Allison-Antrim Museum 

                                     Greencastle, PA

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Civil War
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Civil War

The museum contains an extensive collection of local Civil War history and artifacts and includes recently acquired primary documents that have never been publicly exhibited before. 

Civil War Letters and Transcriptions

The following is a partial list.

1.         Muster in and Muster out Rosters, Co. K, 21st Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, formed in Upton under the command of Captain Robert Boyd.

2.         Francis Hoffman, Greencastle, volunteer in Company H, Second Artillery, 112th Pennsylvania Volunteers. The post-Civil War lithograph discharge paper is dated April 9, 1865 and is signed by Lt. Col. B. F. Winger.  Hoffman lived at 50 West Madison Street until his death on July 18, 1925. The official governmental discharge paper is in the display case along with a photograph and an Allison-Antrim Annals article written about Hoffman.

3.         Corporal William H. Rihl, a 1963 centennial commemorative coin. Rihl was born in Philadelphia in 1843, Co. C., 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry Regiment.  He was a gardener.  On July 19, 1861, at the age of 18, he enlisted, for three years in the company organized by Capt. W. H. Boyd. He was 5’ 6 ¼” tall with dark hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion.  The cavalry company organized by Boyd was one of the first companies of that branch recruited for the Civil War. This company was eventually attached to the First New York (Lincoln) Cavalry Regiment.  The First New York was the first authorized regiment to be raised for the Civil War. Rihl was the first Union Soldier killed north of the Mason-Dixon Line in an ambush on June 22, 1863 on the Fleming Farm in Antrim Township, just north of Greencastle along the Carlisle Pike (Route 11).

See the account of the third re-interment of Corp. Rihl’s remains in the photocopy of the June 29, 1886 Franklin Repository that is displayed on the table along the east wall of the dining room.

4.         Pvt. Samuel W. North, Mercersburg, Co. C, 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers.  North was a prolific writer of letters to his brother and father while serving in the Civil War.  Of his 16 letters in the museum’s collection, which were written between the months of August 1862 and May 1863, two are in the display case. The letters are part of the Greencastle Civil War Round Table collection now owned by Allison-Antrim Museum. The North letters are transcribed in Ted Alexander’s 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers on pages 109 – 113, 117 – 131, 142 – 146.

5.         Col. William H. Davison, Antrim Township, Pennsylvania, born November 2, 1836 and died September 8, 1875, Co. B, 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers – In the display case is the certificate for his commission to colonel that was signed by Governor John W. Geary in 1870.  Davison was first commissioned to the rank of captain on August 20, 1862 by Governor Andrew Curtin. The dress coat, sash, saber, canteen, and signed enlistment oath of Davison are displayed in the large parlor - #13.

Davison was in charge of collecting volunteers from Antrim Township, which along with the volunteers from Fulton County, comprised Co. B, which was under the command of James C. Austin, Antrim Township, a part of the 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers.  Davison was commissioned Captain when the company mustered in at Harrisburg.

In February 1863 Davison was appointed the Assistant Inspector General on the Staff of General E. B. Tyler, at which time he detached until the muster out of the regiment.

Davison was at the battles of both Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville.

He was highly spoken of by his commanding officer, Gen. E. B. Tyler who was quoted as saying in his report about the participation of his brigade in the battle of Chancellorsville, “The officers of my Staff, Captains H. C. Ranney and William H. Davison, Lieutenants Deihl and Tyler, rendered me every assistance in their power under an incessant fire.” 

In 1860, William H. Davison, Gen. David Detrich, and the Rev. Dr. Edwin Emerson began a steam saw mill and sash, door, and blind factory.  One year later in 1861, James C. Austin bought out the business interests of Detrich and Emerson.  Davison and Austin continued the mill and sash factory until the following year when in 1862, J. B. Crowell bought out Austin.  At that time Crowell added his grain drill and hay rake business to the mill and sash company.  For eight more years Crowell and Davison continued the partnership until it was dissolved in 1870.  Jacob Deardorff and Crowell bought out Davison’s interest at that time.

After the dissolution of the partnership with Crowell, Davison started another business in the Town Hall building on the southwest corner of Washington and Baltimore Streets.

Davison was in ill health at the end of the Civil War and died in 1875 at the age of 39.  Davison was married twice.  His first wife was Sarah Patton and they had one child, Edward E.  With his second wife, Florence Rowe, he had five children – Elizabeth, Jane Robinson, Watson Rowe, Sarah Agnes, and Nellie.

Watson Rowe Davison was an attorney and became a Franklin County judge.  He built the house at 501 East Baltimore Street, Greencastle, which is now known as White Hall.

The Davison archival document with Geary’s signature increases the Brumbaugh Collection of Pennsylvania Governors’ Signatures to 50. The museum now has almost 50% of the signatures of the 101 men who so far have served as governor of Pennsylvania.

The Davison collection is a recent gift from William Davison Elden, Waynesboro, William H. Davison’s great-grandson.

6.         Jasper McLanahan, Antrim Township, grandfather of Dorothy Crunkleton Statler, Greencastle. A tin type photograph of Jasper which lays next to his Civil War canteen. Jasper was a farmer who lived on the Milnor Road and owned two farms.  He was married twice and raised 12 children.

7.         John T. Koons, Antrim Township was born August 22, 1830 and died May 8, 1903. Koons served two enlistments, both as bugler, during the Civil War. He was mustered into the three-month regiment of Co. C, 2nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers on April 20, 1861and mustered out July 26, 1861. Koons then enlisted as the bugler of Co. K, 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry on August 1, 1863 and mustered out on February 20, 1864.  Koons was the great, great-grandfather of Don Coldsmith. Please notice the bugle on the top of the headstone.

8.         George Snively, was a son of Melchi Snively the founder of Shady Grove, and was born on the family homestead.  He attended school in Mercersburg for two years but quit to enlist in 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry on October 12, 1862. He was mustered out at the end of the war on October 7, 1865.  Snively was very active in the Corporal Rihl Post 438 in Greencastle.

9.         Colonel Benjamin Franklin Winger, Antrim Township, son of Joseph Winger (postmaster of Claylick), 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, 112th Regiment, Inspector General for 1st Brigade Defenses North of the Potomac.  Winger was responsible for the recruitment of volunteers from this area for this regiment in the fall 1862.  He and his unit were responsible for heading the reconstruction of south central Virginia after the war. 

Winger represented Franklin County in the Pa. House of Representatives in 1868. He was admitted to the bar on March 12, 1871. In 1876 Winger established a weekly newspaper, the Greencastle Press, after leaving the Valley Echo.  His residence in town was the building on the southwest corner of the square and South Carlisle Street.  The main entrance was from the little portico on the South Carlisle Street side. The building is the location of the oldest business location in town which was built in 1812 by John McLanahan. For a while, Winger owned the property in Antrim Township that is now commonly known as Tayamentasachta.

10.      Captain Hezekiah Easton, leader of Battery A, 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Fort Loudon, Franklin CountyBattery A was comprised entirely of Franklin Countians. Easton was killed in action at Gaines Mill on June 27, 1862 during the Peninsula Campaign to capture Richmond. From when War Passed This Way, page 72, “As advancing Confederates called for the battery to surrender, Easton cried, “No. We never surrender.”  The volley that followed killed him,…” 

Easton was a builder in the Greencastle-Antrim area and amassed a great fortune.  A competitor in town bought out his bank notes requiring Easton to use all his cash on hand to pay the called-in bank notes which left him broke.  It did not take very long for him to recover from the setback and by the time the Civil War began, he was again prosperous. 

Easton was an ancestor of Percy Snyder of Greencastle and Shirley (Mrs.    Frank) Bittner of Waynesboro.  The photocopy of the photograph was attained by Shirley Bittner when she and her husband visited the Gaines Mill museum and discovered a photograph of Easton hanging on a wall.

11.      Colonel William H. Davison, Antrim Township, Captain of Company B, 126th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers  and, after the Civil War, he was commissioned to Colonel in 1870.

12.       4th Sgt. Simon W. Rupley, Greencastle and other native sons, Co. K, 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers, died from wounds received in action May 3, 1863 near Chancellorsville.

Dateline: Greencastle, End of May 1863 NATIVE SONS KILLED AT CHANCELLORSVILLE Mr. Jacob Pensinger received, but two days ago, a letter dated May 7 from Captain Andrew R. Davison, Co K, Pennsylvania 126th Regiment, which informed him of Simon Rupley’s death, his brother-in-law. “He was severely wounded in the action near Chancerllorsville about 11 O.C. a.m. on the 3rd of May and died on the evening of that day in the Hospital of our division. In him we have lost one of the best soldiers in the company and Greencastle certainly one of its best citizens.”  Capt. Davison also wrote news that George Missavy died of wounds he received that same day.  Good news was written that David Pensinger, Jacob’s brother, escaped unhurt.  Those wounded in action were John Gilmore, severely wounded in the forehead but survived; John Robison, Wm. F. Rupert, Scott K. Snively, Jac. Unger and John Beamisderfer were all slightly wounded.  From Co. K, W. H. Snively is missing and supposedly being held as a prisoner.  Jonathan Bowman from Co. B is also missing

Capt. Davison wrote asking Jacob to inform Rebecca Rupley, Simon’s wife, of these sad events. 

Dateline: Greencastle, May 1866 RE-INTERMENT SERVICES HELD  The remains of Simon Rupley, who died of wounds received at the Battle of Chancellorsville, were exhumed from his burial site near the battlefield.  Isaiah Ilginfritz. veteran of the Civil War and comrade of Rupley, knew of his burial place and returned to Chancellorsville to recover the remains and escort them back home to Greencastle. Sgt. Simon Rupley was buried in the Reformed Church graveyard on May 17 last week.

                    (Article from Allison-Antrim Annals, May 2003)

13.       The signed note sent to George F. Ziegler which announced that he was drafted and he must report for duty.

14.      The Rev. Dr. Edwin Emerson was a Presbyterian minister who was pastor of the Greencastle parish from 1852 to 1860. Emerson left Greencastle in 1860 to teach English at Troy University in Troy, N.Y. It was from Troy that the letters were written to Ziegler.  In the 1861 letter, Emerson’s opinion was that the Greencastle residents didn’t have anything to fear because the Confederate army would never advance as far north as the Mason-Dixon Line, and there would be no conflict on northern soil.

Emerson, a well-educated man, graduated from what is nowPrinceton University in 1849. During the Civil War, he was well known in governmental circles at the highest level, which included Abraham Lincoln and William H. Seward, the Secretary of State.  Because of Emerson’s leadership qualities, he was asked to be the U.S. government’s emissary to England and France to convince their government leaders not to support the Confederate cause.  Emerson’s mission was a successful one.  While in Europe, Emerson agreed to write an occasional column for Horace Greeley in the New York Tribune called “Letters from an American Abroad.” 

15.       A pass for 1 ½ hours of non-duty time.

16.       Two of George F. Ziegler’s letters to his “Papa” that were written only days apart.  Ziegler’s handwriting is quite legible and his perfect grammar indicates the quality of his education.  When I first opened the letter written on the blue paper, I thought it must have been written by someone else because it is quite illegible.  I discovered after struggling to read it that it was, indeed, written by George F. Ziegler.  The reason for the bad handwriting was the extreme cold temperature which prevented him from being able to barely hold the pen.

The transcripts of excerpts from his letters appear at the end of this notebook. 

17.       An interview with Scott Kennedy Snively a son of Melchi Snively, founder of Shady Grove.  Scott had an illustrious tour of duty during the Civil War, having been shot on several occasions. After the Civil War, he married Jane “Jennie” E. G. Irwin a daughter of Alexander L. Irwin who built the museum house.

They left Greencastle and moved west to Missouri and Wyoming.

18.      Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers dated April 15, 1865 – April 28, 1865 The newspapers, in great detail, describe the events following Lincoln’s assassination. The accounts parallel the type of coverage given after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There is a map of the D.C. area, a description of the Ford Theater and its layout, a map of the area where Booth was killed and under what circumstances, pen and ink drawings of the casket (with great detail given to the symbolic mourning decorations), drawings of the casket laying in-state in Independence Hall, the route that Lincoln’s mourning train took so that our nation could pay their respects and mourn their loss, and a picture of the black-draped, rider-less horse.  The banner headline that carried throughout the period was “A Nation Mourns Its Loss,” reminiscent of the Kennedy assassination and September 11th banner headlines.

Notice the lack of black borders on the April 15 newspaper, which was the day of the assassination, compared to the very heavy black borders on April 16.  A quick scan of all the newspapers shows the narrowing of the black borders over the almost two-week span of coverage, eventually returning to the regular column lines.