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E.W. Spangler

E.W. Spangler

Federal (USV)


Edward Webster Spangler

(1846 - 1907)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Private soldier

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 130th Pennsylvania Infantry

Before Antietam

Enlisted at age 16 on 9 August 1862 at 5' 2" and less than 100 pounds.1 He first saw action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

On the Campaign

"The moment I discharged my rifle, all my previous scare was gone. The excitement of the battle made me fearless and oblivious of danger; the screeching and exploding shells, whistling bullets and the awful carnage all around me were hardly noticed ... "

"The hill from which we delivered our fire descended abruptly to the fortified road filled with Confederates, and not more than three hundred feet distant. A score or more venturesome ones came out of this road and advanced toward us along the rail fence of a lane on our immediate left running from the sunken road to the Roulette buildings. All these brave men were killed ...

After I had discharged the forty cartridges in my cartridge-box, I replaced them with the forty in my coat pocket. During the time in which we were engaged, I fired as fast as I could load, causing the barrel of my rifle to become so hot that it burnt me when I touched it. After my eighty rounds were exhauted, I turned over a soldier of the First Delaware, the top of whose skull was shot off, and took from his cartridge-box, ten Enfield rifle cartridges, which fortunately fitted the barrel of my Springfield rifle ..."

"A large Confederate officer, evidently of high rank, waved his sword in the air in rallying his men, and was especially conspicuous. I was so anxious to get a shot at him that in the hurry I neglected to extract my ramrod, and fired it with the charge. I replaced the ramrod with an Enfield one. Others as anxious as myself, doubtless, aimed at him, and he soon fell wounded or killed... "

"Our regiment about two o'clock was relieved, the ammunition having been exhausted. I had then two Enfield cartridges left, having fired eighty-eight rounds in all. Immediately after the regiment was relieved I noticed that the stock of my rifle was pierced by a rebel bullet, presumably while loading, otherwise I would have been hit. It muse also have occurred about the time I stopped firing, or I would have seen it sooner. Only eight of our company, myself included, remained on the field when we were relieved." 1

The rest of the War

Spangler continued in service with his regiment for the duration of its service, being at Fredericksburg after which he was ill enough to be hospitalized in Washington (where the photo above was taken in January 1863) and later Philadelphia. He returned from hospital to the Army near Fredericksburg in March 1863, and was at Chancellorsville. He mustered out at the end of the 130th's term of service on 21 May 1863.2

After the War

He was a lawyer in York for more than 40 years, president of the Spangler Manufacturing Company, and for a time publisher of the York Daily.

References & notes

Later life and death information from his death notice in the New York Times, 24 April 1907, pg. 9 and his brief bio from the Pennsylvania Bar Association 1907 annual report. The photograph above is part of one published in his memoir.


02/23/1846; York County, PA


04/22/1907; York, PA


1   Spangler, Edward W., My Little War Experience with Historical Sketches and Memorabilia, York (Pa): York Daily Publishing Company, 1904, pp. 33-  [AotW citation 1100]

2   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871, Vol. 4, pg. 223  [AotW citation 1101]