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W. R. Hartshorne

W. R. Hartshorne

Federal (USV)


William Ross Hartshorne

(1839 - 1905)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Regimental Adjutant

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (1st Rifles)

Before Antietam

Beginning in April 1861 he helped recruit a company, the "Raftmen's Rangers" in Curwensville, and was elected First Lieutenant as they became Company K of the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves. He mustered as such on 29 May 1861. He was appointed Adjutant of the regiment in February 1862 and was wounded at Mechanicsville, VA on 26 June.

On the Campaign

Captain McGee, Company F, took command of the Regiment on 16 September at the death of Colonel McNeil.

Unsuited to the work of leading the regiment, he [McGee] permitted Adjutant Hartshorne to direct the men.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major on 22 May 1863 and commanded the regiment as senior officer at Gettysburg, PA after Colonel Taylor was killed on 2 July.

At the end of his term of service with the 13th Reserves, he was appointed Colonel of the new 190th Pennsylvania Infantry on 6 June 1864. He was captured at the Weldon Railroad, VA on 19 August 1864 and held at Salisbury, NC and Danville, VA. He was one of two officers threatened with execution in retaliation if two Confederate officers captured as spies in Kentucky were killed. Fortunately, they were exchanged, instead, in February 1865. He was honored by brevet to Brigadier General of Volunteers on 13 March 1865 and mustered out with his regiment on 28 June 1865.

After the War

He was Superintendent of Public Grounds in Harrisburg for 13 years and on the staffs of Governors Hartnranft (1873-79), Hoyt (79-83), and Pattison (83-87, 91-95). He served two terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1875-76). He was President of the Bucktail Regimental Association from 1887 to 1892 and was appointed by Governor Pattison in 1894 to a commission to help the Antietam Battlefield Commission mark positions of Pennsylvania units at Antietam. He died of cancer at the Philadelphia Oncolgic Hospital in 1905, at age 66.

References & notes

Basic service from Bates.1 The quote above and further details from Thompson & Rauch's History of the "Bucktails," Kane Rifle regiment ... (1906). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph hosted on his page from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

He married Alice Bresee (1845-1934) in December 1863 and they had 3 children.


01/26/1839; Curwensville, PA


06/12/1905 Philadelphia, PA; burial in Oak Hill Cemetery, Curwensville, PA


1   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871  [AotW citation 22121]