Peter Staley, in the category 20 years through 29, is on the 1840 U.S. Census in Air Township, Bedford County, PA. There are four young children, aged one to nine, and one female between the ages of 30 through 39.
Although the Civil War enlistment registers indicate that Jeremiah Staley was born in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, the first U.S. Census on which I found his name recorded was in Middle Woodbury Township, Bedford County, in 1850. He, 9 years old, and his father Pete(r) Staly, 37, were living in the same dwelling and household of John and Margaret Clay. John was a “smith,” whose real estate was worth $1,200. They had a six-year old son, named Daniel. I believe the census taker made a mistake by not recording Peter and Jeremiah as a separate family, because also living in the same dwelling were John and Catherine Diltz, with their six-month old daughter. The Diltz family was given a separate family number from the Clay family.
In 1860, Peter Staley (47), his wife Catharine (46), and their daughter Mary A. (16) were living in Colerain Township, Bedford County. Peter was a farmer. Several searches for Catharine and Mary in the 1850 census in Bedford County turned up nothing. There are no known reasons why they are not listed. By 1870, Catharine (55) was a widow and was still living in Colerain Township, by herself. Her real estate was worth $600 and her personal estate was valued at $100. I could not find Catharine Staley on any census record in Bedford County, in 1880.
In the beginning of my research, the only Civil War data I could find for Jeremiah was his PA Veterans Burial Card, which gave Co. C, 5th U.S. Cavalry July 11, 1864 to July 11, 1867. But, it also listed August 25, 1860 to July 11, 1864 as dates of service. There is no Pennsylvania Veterans digital card file, in the State archives for him, because he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Therefore, in what company and regiment did he serve, beginning eight months prior to the beginning of the Civil War? Finding the history of the regular U.S. army regiments is much more difficult than locating information on any one state’s regiments and companies. An informative Web site was found on the 5th U.S. Cavalry, which eventually led to U.S. Army Registers of Enlistments, at Ancestry.com. Jeremiah Staley is registered in five books, the first of which gave the missing information. His first enlistment was in Co. C., of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, from August 25, 1860 to July 11, 1864.
Before moving forward with Jeremiah’s long military history, 17 days after enlisting in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, Jeremiah was recorded on the September 11, 1860 U.S. Census, in the Borough of Greencastle. Since the 1850 census, he had grown into manhood, was on his own, moved over two mountain ranges into Franklin County, and was living with J. Newcomer, a blacksmith, in Greencastle. Jeremiah was 20 or 21 years old, and his occupation was listed as “blacksmith.” If he and his father Peter were living with a blacksmith, in Bedford County, PA, perhaps both father and son had learned the trade of blacksmithing.
Newcomer and his wife Catherine had four children – Charles (15), Jer. (13), Mary (11), and Susan (9). Their real estate was valued at $3,000, while their personal estate was worth $1,000. Also, in the household was E. Lindsay, female, (28).
Without the muster rolls, it is not known why there is a 17-day difference between the enlistment and being enumerated on the census. From the two pages in the Descriptive and Historical born in Fulton County and he enlisted at the Carlisle Barracks, for five years of service. Lt. Baker described him as 5’5” tall, with grey eyes, light hair, and a fair complexion. Jeremiah gave his occupation as farmer.
When Jeremiah enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry (Regular Army), James Buchanan, born in a log cabin in Cove Gap just west of Mercersburg, was still President of the United States. He is the only U.S. President who never married. His niece, Harriet Lane, also from Mercersburg, acted as the mistress of the White House. Abraham Lincoln won the November presidential election, beating three opponents. South Carolina, the first state to do so, seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860. On February 8, 1861, the Confederate States of America was formed with Jefferson Davis as its president. Lincoln was sworn in as President of the USA on March 4, 1861. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when the CSA began bombarding Federal Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC. U.S. Major Robert Anderson relinquished control of the fort to the Confederate States of America on April 14. Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, on April 15, to fight the CSA. By May, 11 southern states had seceded. The first Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) was fought and lost to the Confederacy, on July 21, 1861.
On August 3, 1861, President Lincoln ordered the organization of the 5th U.S. Cavalry from the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, in which Jeremiah was enrolled. Throughout most of the war, the 5th U.S. Cavalry was attached to the Army of the Potomac, except from September 1864 to March 1865, when it was attached to the Army of the Shenandoah. On July 11, 1864, Jeremiah Staley reenlisted, for three years, at Light House Point, VA, into Co. C., 5th U.S. Cavalry. His last place of residence was Green Castle; he was a “career” soldier, and 25 years old. During the war, Jeremiah, as a member of the 5th U.S. Cavalry, was involved in reconnaissance; defending Washington City; the Battle of Williamsburg, VA; the Battle of Antietam, September 16 to 17, 1862; the Battle of Fredericksburg; the Chancellorsville Campaign; Stoneman’s Raid, April 29 to May 8, 1863; the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1 to 3, 1863. Jeremiah got very near home after the Battle of Gettysburg, when the 5th rode to Williamsport, MD, Boonsboro on July 8, Beaver Creek July 9, and Funkstown, MD from July 10 to 13. By the beginning of 1864, the 5th was back in VA on the Rapidan River, Charlottesville, the Rapidan Campaign, and the Battle of the Wilderness May 5 to 7. They were at Cold Harbor May 31 to June 1; Sheridan’s Trevillian Raid, the Siege of Petersburg, and Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign to the end of 1864. At the beginning of 1865, the men of the 5th were involved in Sheridan’s Raid from Winchester, the Appomattox Campaign, and witnessed the surrender of Lee and his army. The 5th U.S. Cavalry marched to Washington and took part in the Grand Review, in front of President Lincoln, on May 23. During the Civil War, the regiment lost seven officers and 60 enlisted men, who were either killed or mortally wounded. Disease killed two officers and 90 enlisted men.
On July 11, 1867, while in Atlanta, GA, Jeremiah was discharged, upon expiration of his second tour of duty. Over the next 20 days, time was spent traveling from Georgia to Washington, D.C., where on August 1, 1867, Jeremiah Staley, a career soldier, reenlisted for the third time. This was his second tour of duty in the 5th U.S. Cavalry, except he served in Co. K. He was 27 years of age, 5’5”, with hazel eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion. A year and a month later, it is recorded in the “remarks” column of the enlistment book that Jeremiah deserted on September 11, 1868. All totaled, from this one page of 40 soldiers, there were 12 deserters, one death, and one dishonorably discharged soldier; all the rest were honorably discharged. Again, without the Jeremiah’s muster rolls, the specifics of what was going on are not known.
The last document which gives any information about his time in the service is the 1890 Special Veterans Schedule, which was enumerated during the 11th Census. Technically, if any veteran served more than one tour of duty, any and all tours were included on the Special Schedule. Jeremiah served three tours of duty, eight years and 17 days, from August 25, 1860 to September 11, 1868. Only his first tour of duty is included on the June 1890 Special Schedule. Charles Ruthrauff, the enumerator, in Greencastle, noted that Jeremiah was blind and that he had the “small pox in service.” The extent of his blindness is not known.
Two years later, on the July 22, 1870 census, after leaving the service, Jeremiah is recorded as working for the Railroad. He is not married. Leaping forward to information garnered from the cemetery headstone and the 1900 census, we know that Jeremiah married shortly after the 1870 census, which was recorded on July 22. Jeremiah and his wife Anna M. had a son Alburtis A., born on December 19, 1872. Their daughter Emma F. was born October 9, 1877. Two and a half years later, Anna died on April 16, 1880, aged 32 years, 4 months, and 6 days. She was born on December 10, 1847. A little over a year after her mother died, little Emma died, on June 21 1881, at age three years, eight months, and 12 days. They are buried beside each other in the Cedar Hill Cemetery. Anna did not show up on any census records with Jeremiah because they married after the 1870 census was taken and she died April 16, 1880, a month and a half before the 1880 census in Greencastle was recorded, the first few days of June.
On January 13, 1879, Jeremiah applied for his pension. Only Co. C, 5th U.S. Cavalry was listed on the application. After a couple hours of searching, page by page, I have been unable to find Jeremiah Staley in the 1880 U.S. Census, in Greencastle or Antrim Township. It is most likely because of a spelling error of either his first or last name, or it was incorrectly transcribed into the search engines. The 1880 census search will continue.
The U.S. Census records skip from 1880 to 1900, because of a fire that destroyed the majority of the 1890 census records. Jeremiah remarried 10 or 11 years after the death of Anna M, his first wife. Adding to the confusion is the fact that his second wife’s first name was, also, Ann or Anna, Annie E(lizabeth). The White family genealogy indicates that Annie E. was called “Lib.” Jeremiah and Lib were married in 1891. The 1900 census was recorded in Greencastle on June 14. Jeremiah and his second wife, Annie E., were living on Madison Street, in Greencastle. They owned their home, free and clear of a mortgage. He and Annie had been married for eight years. They had two daughters, Helen B., born June 3, 1892, and Ruth C., born October 14, 1893. Alburtis A., from Jeremiah’s first marriage, was born 20 years before Helen. He was a day laborer but had been out of work for most of the year. The three adults were all able to read and write.
Jeremiah Staley died on July 24, 1903, aged 61 years, 6 months, and 14 days. He is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Section K, Lot 37, Antrim Township, Franklin County, PA. Annie, as Jeremiah’s widow, applied for his pension on August 21, 1903. She was left with two young daughters, aged 11 and nine.
Jeremiah was not a member of Greencastle-Antrim’s Corp. Rihl GAR Post #438, but by his grave is a GAR marker with a holder for the U.S. flag. Jeremiah died in July 1903, between meetings of the local GAR chapter. I surmise, from the minutes, that Post #438 provided the iron GAR markers for all Union soldiers, whether they were members of the GAR or not, until the October 2, 1903 meeting of the Post. The following is from the minutes of that evening. “On motion of Comrade J. R. Davison, it was resolved that the markers now on hand in this Post be hereafter used for members in good standing of this Grand Army of the Republic, only, and that this Post will petition the County Commissioners to furnish iron markers for the graves of deceased Union soldiers, who are not members of the Grand Army of the Republic.”
Jeremiah was buried alongside his first wife, Anna M., who died April 16, 1880, and their daughter Emma F., who died June 21, 1881. Annie E., Jeremiah’s second wife is not buried in the Staley family burial lot, perhaps because she remarried.
Helen B. grew up and married Clifford K. White. Their children were: Kathleen, Clifford Jr. “Bud”, and Aria. Kathleen “Katty” married Glen Grosh. They had one son Thomas, who passed away.
Clifford Jr. and his wife Ruth had three children: Clifford III (wife Evelyn); Constance “Connie” (married Dan Vanderau); and Robert “Bob” (wife Debbie).
Jeremiah’s and Lib’s second daughter Ruth C. married a Beeler and they moved south.
The following is the transcription of Jeremiah’s discharge and reenlistment paper, which were donated, along with a photograph of Jeremiah, to Allison-Antrim Museum, by Clifford III and Evelyn White.
To all whom it may concern.
Know ye, that Jeremiah Staley, a private of Capt. Wm. B. Royle's Comp'y C. 5th Regiment United States Cavalry, who was enlisted Aug. 25, 1860 to serve 5 years, is hereby Discharged from the Army of the United States in consequence of re-enlistment.
Said Jeremiah Staley was born in Fulton Co., Penna., is 21 years of age, 5 feet 5 inches high, fair in complexion, gray eyes, light hair, and by occupation, when enlisted, a farmer.
Given under my hand, at Light House Point Va., this 11. day of July in the year of Our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and 64.
Capt. U.S. Cavalry
Know ye, that Jeremiah Staley, a private of Capt. Thomas E. Maley's Co. C., 5th Regiment United States Cavalry, who was enlisted July 11, 1864, to serve 3 years, is hereby Discharged from the Army of the United States in consequence of expiration of term of enlistment.
Said Jeremiah Staley was born in Fulton Co. Penna., is 25 years of age, 5 feet 5 inches high, ruddy complexion, hazel eyes, brown hair, and by occupation, when enrolled, a soldier. -
Given under my hand at Atlanta, Ga. July 11. 1867.
G. M. Brayton,
Capt. 33. Inf't & Bat. Maj.
U. S. Cav. Com. Post.
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