Allison-Antrim Museum

Charles Hartman


This week’s story is from the home front.  While reading issues of The Pilot from 1864, I came across the death notice for Charles Hartman, one of two blacksmiths in Greencastle.  “From The Echo Pilot, February 16, 1864, Passing Events, &C, page 3, column 1.  THE TOMB.  Died. – In this place, February 10, 1864, Mr. Charles Hartman, in the 64th year of his age.”


Allison-Antrim Museum was given a photocopy of a transcription of, what is known as, the Charles Hartman diary.  It was typed on a typewriter.  The earliest year, but not in chronological order, is 1824 and the last year is 1868, which indicates that someone continued the “diary” after Charles’ death on February 10, 1864.   There are sections of the text that are diary-like, with year, month, and date given, and a short description of the weather, but the majority of the text reads more like a memoir.  In fact, at the end of the 1824 section (the year he came to Greencastle), is this, “I am writing this for my brother Charles John Hartman.”  We do not know if it was one of Charles’ brothers or one of his sisters.


“March 10, 1849:  Dear Children I will give you my school days. We walked in snow to our knees. Snow drifted in the lanes. We walked in snow higher than the fences. My education is limited. Now it takes years to learn our children.  Three years I went to German school. At 18 years of age (1817), I went to an Irish school teacher by the name of William McCutcheon. He taught spelling, writing, and ciphering. Six months I went to him. I tried to learn all I could in this short time. I was anxious to learn.  I knew the want of it when I come to the years of knowledge and understanding. This was all the schooling, I ever had.”


Hartman's Well


Charles Hartman was a devout Christian man and member of the German Reformed Church (now known as Grace United Church of Christ) in Greencastle.  The Hartman family came south to Greencastle, from Allentown, PA.  “Charles Hartman senior (Father) born near Allentown Lehigh County, February 22, 1772.  Elizabeth Laurie (Mother) his wife, born near Allentown, PA., October   24, 1768.  Their children born in Franklin County.  Catharine Hartman born June 28, 1793. Joseph Hartman born November 16, 1795. Elizabeth Hartman born February 26, 1798. Charles Hartman born December 11, 1800.  George Hartman born January 18, 1803.  John Hartman born July 5, 1805.  Margaret Hartman born April 3, 1808.”


“I come to Greencastle in March 1824.  When I come to Greencastle, I asked for a Sunday school and I was told that it was a union Sunday school held that Sunday in the Lutheran church. I went up.  Mr. Simon Rupley was the superintendent. The second Sunday it was held in the German Reformed church, the third Sunday in the White Church in the upper part of town, the fourth Sunday in the Methodist church.  Two years later the Methodist school and United brethren schools were organized. The Presbyterian school also was organized each being formed out of this one union school. In fall of 1840 I was elected superintendent of the school and served till 1861 when I felt younger ones should take my place and give me a rest from the care that was resting heavily upon me.  The school numbered two hundred and twenty and was in a very prosperous condition. I loved the school, as it was the nursery of our dear Reformed Church where young men and women were trained to fill the places of those who were laboring here and soon would go to that heavenly home to enjoy happiness and peace with our dear LORD and SAVIOUR in his heavenly home above.  Before Sunday schools were organized, they had what was called a parochial school held at intervals in the Lutheran and German Reformed churches where they were taught to spell and read and study the catechism and scriptures.  Old members of the church would tell me how they sat around a large table and the minister and elders would instruct them in the different books of the church in the German language.”


“The first German Reformed Church was a log church built on the corner of an alley near Druck's Stable where the graveyard is (South Carlisle Street).  Rev. Michael Schlatter preached in the old log church at the lower end of the graveyard. A sacred place for God's children. The graveyard is Holy ground.  It was twice consecrated to God.  Our neighborhood was then in 1749 run over with Indians when our forefathers worshipped in this old log church. Old Father Helfenstine, a good faithful minister of the church often told me about these good old German fathers who went to the house of God with sword and rifles to worship God, sometimes running for their lives to the fort at the spring at the lower end of town; often the fort where the A.B. Wingerd house now stands - the old Wingerd place.  Sister Elizabeth, brother Charles and I were all baptized by Rev. Frederick Rauhauser in the old log church.  Rev. Frederick Rauhauser preached in the log church and built the brick church in 1808.  We were confirmed by Rev. Rauhsuser in the brick church.”


“Father Charles Hartman died October 12, 1820 aged 48 years, 7 months and 20 days.  Buried by Rev. Frederick Rauhauser.  Mother Elizabeth Laurie Hartman died November 13, 1815, aged 47 years, 20 days, buried by Rev. Frederick Rauhauser. Our dear parents buried in the German Reformed graveyard, Greencastle.  My father lived and died a good consistent member of the German Reformed church.  A deacon.  My dear mother lived and died a faithful Christian of the Lutheran church.  She called us children around her bed and told us she was going to Jesus, and we should go with our father. There was only one church of God, and it would be a great help and much comfort for him, the short time he would be with his children in this world when great temptation and trials would meet all of us. We strictly obeyed her wish and desire, as soon as an opportunity was offered us to unite with the church of God.”


In Antrim Township in 1800, Charles Sr. is listed as a joiner, during the Septennial Census.  On the 1807 Septennial Census in Franklin County, Charles Hartman Sr., drover, and Joseph Hartman (maybe a brother), jobber, are recorded on the same page, a dozen names apart.  Charles Sr., farmer, is on the Washington Township 1814 Septennial Census.  The heirs of Charles Sr. are the ones listed on the 1821 Washington Township Septennial Census, which would correspond with Charles Sr.’s death in 1820.  Charles Jr. and John, his brother, both blacksmiths, are listed one after the other on the 1828 Lurgan Township, Franklin County Septennial Census.  1828 in Lurgan does not correspond with Charles’ statement that he came to Greencastle in 1824.  There is a Charles Hartman and family, in Greencastle, during the 1830 U.S. Census.  The 1830 census does not list anyone by name except for the head of household.  Everyone is counted according to their age bracket.  There were nine living in the Hartman household, on the 1840 census.  The 1842 Septennial Census in Antrim Township, records a Charles Hartman, blacksmith.  During the 1850 census, the Hartman family was recorded in the borough of Greencastle.  Charles was 49 and Susan, his wife, was 46.  They had three children – Hamilton (17), Eliza A. (15), and Susan (13).  Hamilton was working as a blacksmith in his father’s shop.  Charles’ sister, Elizabeth (52), and another blacksmith, George Clark (34), were also living with the Hartman family.  Charles’ real estate was valued at $3,200.  The Hartman household remained the same in 1860, except J. Kerr (18), blacksmith, was living with them instead of G. Clark.  Hartman’s real estate was valued at $4,000, while his personal estate was worth $600.


Hamilton V. Hartman, Charles’ only son, registered for the draft in June 1863.  He was 29 years old and single.  Hamilton never married and according to the Civil War records, he did not serve in the Civil War.


 Charles Hartman was a councilman and as such, was one of the men that Rodes’ division held captive for ransom in June 1863, just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg.  Outside his blacksmith shop was one of the public wells in town, from which anyone could draw water, which came from Moss Spring.  Charles commented on that day of captivity.  “This was the hardest day in all my life. I never was the same strong man afterwards. I was marched till I was worn out.”


From his diary, “That part of this army which passed through Chambersburg was carefully estimated by competent persons both at Greencastle and Chambersburg, July 8th 1863, while the matter was fresh in the minds of the people, and taking its figures from the several estimates made by citizens as the army marched through here, states the number at forty-seven thousand confederate army which passed through Chambersburg…”


“From the time Jenkins' cavalry men fell back to Greencastle, Wednesday (June) 17, until Monday morning the 22nd the whole southern portion of Franklin County was plundered by these men. What they got was sent to Rodes' division at Williamsport. It would be difficult to estimate the value of property taken by this raid, it coming in the season of the year when the farming interests required the use of the horses, followed a few days afterwards by Lee's vast army. Many croppers who had little else than their stock, were bankrupt. Monday morning the 22nd, Jenkins' command had all rejoined the main body between Greencastle and Hagerstown on that day were joined by Rodes' division of infantry, when the real invasion of the state was begun at once.”


“One of the exciting features of the day was the scouring of the fields about town and searching of houses for negroes. These poor creatures, those who had not fled upon the approach of the foe, [were] concealed in wheat fields around the town. cavalrymen rode in search of them and many of them were caught after a desperate chase and being fired at. In some cases the negroes were rescued from the guards. Squire Kaufmann and Tom Pauling did this, and if they had been caught, the rebels would have killed them. I was one of the town council. We were marched all day in the hot sun and dusty roads through the town and country. Heavy demands were made upon us for salt, meat, onions and such.  Also bridles, saddles, and harness. The town council was held till their demands were complied with. This was the hardest day in all my life. I never was the same strong man afterwards. I was marched till I was worn out. Andreas Stiffell they gave an old nag to ride, but then Dr. J. K. Davison, Wesley Rodes and myself, told the officers that they had the wrong man. This was an innocent citizen a tanner by trade. They were after Sam Stickle, the man that had interfered with their wagons.  They told Stiffel to rest on my porch at the pump awhile. They all mounted their horses again and left without him. They would have taken him to Richmond Prison if we would not plead for him.”


Seven months and a couple weeks after the Jenkins’ incident, during which he was held for ransom, Charles Hartman died.  “From The Echo Pilot, February 16, 1864, Passing Events, &C, page 3, column.  THE TOMB.  Died. – In this place, February 10, 1864, Mr. Charles Hartman, in the 64th year of his age.”




“From The Echo Pilot, February 16, 1864, Passing Events, &C, page 2, column 4.


TRIBUTE OF REGARD. – At a meeting of the Town Council, on Friday evening, February 12th, the following resolutions were adopted:


   Whereas, It has pleased an Al-wise Providence to remove from earth one of our number; therefore,


   Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Charles Hartman the town has lost a useful and most valuable citizen, - on who was always deeply interested in the welfare of the Borough – the Town Council and active and tried member, whose advice and opinions, based on long experience as a Borough officer, were of the utmost value in all that concerned the interest and improvements of the town.


    Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the family of the deceased in their bereavement.


George J. Davidson, Burgess.

A.    K. Weir,

Wm. W. Fleming,

Jer. Detrich, secr’y”




“From The Echo Pilot, February 16, 1864, Passing Events, &C, page 2, column 5.


We chronicle in our list of deaths in this issue, the name of Charles Hartman, of our borough, one of our most esteemed citizens.  Mr. Hartman, we understand, was a little over sixty-three years old.  Almost all his life was spent in our midst.


No one in this whole community was better or more favorably known.  By a youth and manhood devoted to industry, sobriety and economy, he was enabled in his later years to enjoy a calm and pleasant manner of life, and to take part in promoting the welfare of the borough.  He was frequently elected to municipal positions, by his fellow citizens, for he was a man of unimpeachable integrity and sound judgment.  He occupied that middle station in life which is admitted by all to be the happiest, and being without ambition save to be useful, he succeeded in securing for himself the greatest boon of life, contentment.  He will be missed in the community, for he was a good citizen; he will be missed in the church of which he was not only a good and pious man but a consistent and prominent member; he will be missed and mourned in the family, for he was true to all his duties, whether in the relation of husband, brother or father.  He sleeps the sleep of a Christian, in the German Reformed graveyard in this borough.”


The gravesite of Charles John Hartman, born December 11, 1800 and died February 10, 1864, has not yet been found.


One of the last journal entries was written to his children.  “In my long experience in the Sunday School work, I find it is sinful and wrong to do or act false in trying to wound or trifle with the feelings of others. I see in my children how quickly they observe every movement or action in their teachers or those who are over or around them. I tell them they must see and not see. It will be all the better for [them] in the end.         God knows the heart of each one, the right and the wrong. God will mete out to everyone on the judgment day.


My dear children, think of what your dear father truly from [his] heart of hearts now says.            Do to others as you would have them do to you.  This is the golden rule.  Always be faithful to your church and Sunday School.  In spite of how ill others treat you, think God marks it down against them in his great book of Life.  Not you but he will punish them accordingly. I know this will be hard for you to do.”


Susan Hartman inherited her husband’s estate, which was valued at $7,500 on the 1870 census.  Her personal property was only listed as $100.  Hamilton and Eliza A. were living with their mother.  Charles’ sister Elizabeth was 73 and still living with the Hartman family.


Between 1870 and 1880, both Susan and Elizabeth died.  Hamilton (45) was still listed as “blacksmith” but he was living with his sister, Eliza, and her husband George W. Brumbaugh, a drover.  They had a little five-year old daughter Susie, no doubt named after her grandmother.  Katie Besecker (27) was a servant in the household.


Hamilton was 65 in 1900 and never married.  His birth date was January 19, 1835.  Hamilton had not worked for 12 months as a blacksmith, but the census record does not indicate whether he was retired, or not.  He was still living with his sister, Eliza, and her husband George Brumbaugh, teamster.  Hamilton’s niece Susan was 25, single, and an only child.



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