(1844 - 1924)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Branch of Service: Cavalry
Son of Methodist Episcopal preacher Zacheus Sherman Weller (1820-1898), in 1860 he was a 16 year old living with his parents and younger siblings in Jefferson City, MO. At age 18 he enlisted in Pittsburg, PA on 15 August 1862 and mustered as a Private, Company F, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry on 22 August 1862 at Carlisle, PA. He transferred to Company G, date not given.
On the Campaign
On 16 September 1862 he was issued his carbine and, with about 6 other men, escorted Confederate prisoners probably captured in a skirmish at Hagerstown, MD to Chambersburg, PA, later returning to Hagerstown by way of Greencastle, PA.
Early on 17 September he was with a detachment of his regiment at General McClellan's Headquarters in Keedysville. He carried a "dispatch" to the General on the field, and caught up with him, then with General Hooker's Division, on the Sharpsburg Pike. He found General McClellan
a noble looking man and I think just the man to command the Army of the Potomac.At the end of the day - about 10 p.m. - he was back at Hagerstown with about 200 men of the regiment.
awful to behold. The wounded were being seen [to] but the dead were strewn over the ground in every direction. Over 10 thousand dead [rebels?] lay there ... General McClellan's [head]quarters were still at Cadiesville [sic], the road from Sharpsburg to that town was literally strewn with haversacks, muskets, knapsacks, dead horses, etc.After delivering a message, he was on the Boonsboro Pike and
On the way had the honor of [confronting?] two rebels. I came upon them unawares while turning a bend in the road. I thought I would either take them or they me. So I presented my revolver and ordered them to throw down their arms. One of them immediately threw down a pistol and the other a musket - which was not loaded. These I found were all they had. I dismounted, took the musket and pistol, fastened them on my saddle, searched the men, and then marched them before me with a certain feeling quite proud of my conquest.On 19 September he and the rest of the detachment scouted the road from Sharpsburg to Williamsport, MD, and encountered "rebel pickets" there.
The rest of the War
He was with his regiment to the end of the war, primarily with the Army of the Cumberland in the West, and mustered out on 21 June 1865 in Nashville, TN.
After the War
In 1870 he was a drugstore clerk living near his parents in Macon, MO and later a traveling salesman for drug wholesalers Flachs & Company of Quincy, IL. Flachs became Sommer & Weller in 1872, and in 1875 Somner, Keyes & Company - owned by Weller. He was still in the drug business in Quincy in 1880, then traveling for Richardson & Company but in 1887 he moved to Omaha, NE and was vice president and manager, soon president, of the Richardson Drug Company there. He was in that business to at least 1910.
References & notes
Service information from Bates1 and the Card File.2 Antietam details and the quotes above from his wartime Journal. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860-1910, and a bio sketch in the Bulletin of Pharmacy of December 1893. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph at the Onondaga County Public Library.
He married Katherine Ann McElwain (1844-1911) in September 1865 and they had 8 children. He married again, in 1912, Jennie A Bennett (1851-1944).
More on the Web
His wartime photograph, journal, and 50 letters to his future wife Katherine are in a collection at the Onondaga County Public Library, hosted online by New York Heritage.
20 letters documenting his around-the-world travels in 1911-12 are in the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters at the University of Kentucky in Lexington [finding aid].
05/16/1844; New Alexandria, OH
05/06/1924; Omaha, NE; burial in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Omaha, NE
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871 [AotW citation 29831]
2 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Adjutant-General, Pennsylvania Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866, Published <2005, first accessed 01 July 2005, <http://www.digitalarchives.state.pa.us/archive.asp?view=ArchiveIndexes&ArchiveID=17> [AotW citation 29832]