(1830 - 1916)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Education: Allegheny College, Class of 1855
Branch of Service: Infantry
His family came to a farm at Meadville, PA from Connecticut when he was 8 years old. After graduating from college magna cum laude in 1855 he taught Greek and Latin at Madison College (now part of Waynesburg University) in Uniontown, PA. On 2 November 1861, by then a 31 year old professor, he mustered into service as 2nd Lieutenant, Company E, 111th Pennsylvania Infantry.
On the Campaign
He was badly wounded by gunshot to the upper right arm - his humerus fractured near the shoulder joint - in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He was treated at the Smoketown field hospital near Sharpsburg where a part of his humerus (upper arm bone) was removed. He was promoted to Captain on 10 February 1863 but resigned his commission on 30 March 1863. He then served as First Lieutenant and Captain (to date from 10 December 1863) in the 3rd Regiment, Invalid Corps (later Veteran Reserve Corps). He resigned that commission on 16 February 1866.
After the War
With "one good arm" he farmed in Butler County until his wife's death in 1874, then became an educator and newspaperman in the town of Butler. He was Principal of the Witherspoon Institute which he founded in 1877, and then wrote for the Butler Eagle beginning in March 1888 after closing his school. He was associate editor of the Butler County Record after October 1889 and held that post until 10 days before his death in 1916. He began receiving a Federal disability pension in September 1873; it was worth $18 per month by 1883. He was living with his daughter Flora's family in Butler at the time of his death.
References & notes
Service information from Bates1 and the Official Army Register of the Volunteer Forces (1867). Wound and hospital details from Nelson2 and the MSHWR.3 Personal details in posts about Peter and his daughter Flora from great-great-granddaughter A Charity Higgins-Johnson, and from a sketch in Brown's History of Butler County, Pennsylvania (1895). His gravesite is on Findagrave. Thanks to Patrick Knierman for Bancroft's picture, from a photograph in Ms Higgins-Johnson's collection, posted to Ancestry.com.
He married Isabell S. "Belle" Brinker (1846-1874) in 1865 and they had three children; one daughter (Flora) and two sons (Earl, Grove).
12/24/1830; Canaan, CT
05/16/1916; Butler, PA; burial in North Side Cemetery, Butler, PA
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871 [AotW citation 10931]
2 Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pg. 121 [AotW citation 21678]
3 Barnes, Joseph K., and US Army, Office of the Surgeon General, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 6 books, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1870, Volume 2, Part 2, pg. 531 [AotW citation 21679]