James Martin Yeager.

An brief history of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton, Jacobs, Lemon, Hoffman and Woodside families, and their collateral kindred of Pennsylvania online

. (page 5 of 14)
Online LibraryJames Martin YeagerAn brief history of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton, Jacobs, Lemon, Hoffman and Woodside families, and their collateral kindred of Pennsylvania → online text (page 5 of 14)
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nobly and stood by the Stars and Stripes. William Rube.


and William Kress brought up the rear of the company, as I
had no lieutenant. They showed fight with the butts of our
old muskets. ( )h, it was awful ! You cannot imagine.

Ours was the first riot on Thursday and on Friday came
the second, when the Massachusetts regiment, about iooo,
fought through. They all had minnie muskets out of the
Springfield Armory, all leaded, and fifteen extra rounds.
They killed a good many secessionists and lost two men and
some wounded. Good for Massachusetts !

As to questions from the mob when we passed through,
I had my men instructed to say nothing and not look around
and stick to me. They did so.

The mob yelled : "Ay, you traitors ! Abolitionists ! Abe
Lincoln's militia ! Hurrah for Jeff Davis ! Hurrah for
South Carolina ! Capitol suckers ! Hit him ! Stone him !
What muskets, no locks, no powder, sponges to wipe can-
non for Jeff Davis!"

Right and left on us ; their fists on our noses. You
have no idea of their language and conduct and the danger
we were in.

The only reply I made was in one case to the question,
"Where are you going?" My remark was, "For my coun-

Did Not Tell Men

The belief in Harrisburg, when we left there on Thurs-
day morning, of all Curtin's administration and General
Keim was we would be massacred in Baltimore, as we
were the first Northern troops to cross Mason and Dixon's
line, but they did not let us know it. I took the hint, but
kept it from my men, as we were only a few hours in Har-
risburg. General Keim at i o'clock at night called at my
door, saying: — •

"Captain Yeager, immediately to Washington. Load
your guns."

Says I : — •

"They are not in a condition ; no locks, no flints."


He remarked : —

"They are good for clubs."

When he said that to my answer, the word "club" cave
me the hint of an intended massacre in Baltimore of us, but
I left my men drink freely to keep up their spirits, so they
should not take the hint.

We were the first Pennsylvania troops getting to the
seat <>f freedom, and not only of Pennsylvania, but of all
free States. Phis courage and brisk move by us won us
friends not only in Pennsylvania, but the friendship also of
all the Southern and Northern Union papers, and particular-
ly that of Colonel Forney, who called on us immediately and
rejoiced in our courage in coming through the plotting as-
sassins, especially since we did not have good arms

If the Northern men take the stand in this matter that I
did we will between now and three months march hack to
our native firesides with the minnies on our shoulders, drums
beating, trumpets sounding, the Stars and Stripes in our
hats and playing "Hail Columbia" and the perpetual "Star
Spangled Banner." "Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah."

But this stand and firmness our loyal people of the free
States must take immediately. Pet them come in citizens'
dress as passengers They can be organized here. Send me
a good strong, sober and honest Allentown man for a sec-
ond lieutenant, with good character, immediately, in citi-
zens' dress. When he arrives in Washington let him in-
quire for Captain Yeager's Pennsylvania Volunteers. 1 fe
will find us in a few moments as all the free States men here
know me by reputation already, for the reason that I was die
first here.

Colonel Forney's Oiler

Colonel Forney, since he called on us, sent a messenger
whether he could do anything more. Forney is a man, and
the army officers I am acquainted with are men, too.

Their acquaintance is gotten in this way : They send
messengers to different quarters of the volunteers, who rap


at the door of the quarters and inquire for Captain So-and-So.
"Is he in " The answer is "Yes." The reply of the mes-
senger is: "Captain So-and-So, of the United States Army,
will send a message in a few minutes." In a few minutes a
message comes in writing, address : "Captain Yeager, Penn-
sylvania Volunteers : I desire to see you in my office in one
hour at the office in the Capitol, East, North, or Agriculture
office, as the case may be. In this way you find out where
they are. They are all in full uniform, very complimentary,
but fierce, savage and resolute.

I will have my trunk full of orders, letters, calls and in-
structions by the time I get home. I preserved them all for
the hereafter for information. I already have about a hat-
full. We are called to Major McDonnell's quarters every
few hours through the day and night, the captains only, to
receive instructions. He is the main man, called mustering
officer, United States Army. Fine man, 6 ft. 2 in. This let-
ter is dated Saturday night, April 20, but I did not get it
finished till Sunday night, so the latest is in and all correct.

The following postscript was added to the letter : —

P. S. They established a post office yesterday in the
Capitol for the benefit of all volunteers. All letters address-
ed to me or rny men must be addressed Captain T. Yeager,
Pennsylvania Volunteers, Capitol Building, Washington,
D. C. Tell Mrs. Yeager and my dear children and all
friends all is right and feel good.

Always immediately send my wife word when I write,
to pacify her. This is all correct in this letter. You can get
notices out of it and editorials as much as you want. The
substance is in but I have no time to write "scientific."

An Interesting Tale

The story of how they acquired the right to call them-
selves, as they do, First Defenders is an interesting one as
told bv the survivors at their fiftieth anniversary. Almost
without exception, these survivors are Pennsylvania Ger-


mans. The records of our last three wars show that when
it comes to jumping to the defense of one's country these
Pennsylvania Germans are quicker on the take-off than any-
body else.

They say they were the first to volunteer in the Mex-
ican war. In 1861 they hustled over to Washington ahead
of everybody else. When the Spanish-American war came
along they had got the habit, and the Fourth regiment,
Pennsylvania National ( hiard, was the first to be mustered
in at the State camp at Mount ( iretna. This was. in effect,
a regiment of Pennsylvania Germans. Two of its com-
panies, I 1 ) and D. were from Allentown, one being the actual
descendants of the Allen light infantry, one of the five com-
panies to reach Washington first in 1861.

These five companies were the Ringgold Light Artil-
lery, of Reading; the Logan Guards, of Lewistown ; the
Allen Light Infantry, of Allentown. and the Washington
Artillerists and the National Light Infantry, of Pottsville.
They met at Harrisburg, were sworn in there and went on
to Washington together. The Ringgold Light Artillery was
the first to start, and came pretty near being the very first
of all the first defenders by getting to Washington ahead of
everybody else.

President Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops for three
months' service was issued on April 15. That morning the
Ringgold Light Artillery, numbering 105 men and officers,
was drilling with full ranks just outside of Reading. The
proclamation of the president reached the telegraph ('itera-
tor while the company was at work, and he hurried his
younger brother off up the street with the dispatch.

The boy knew the route by which the soldiers would re-
turn to their armory, and intercepted diem as they marched


back. Captain McKnight must have been glad to get the
news, for he gave the messenger a quarter — and quarters
were scarcer then than they are now — and in no time at all
another dispatch was en the wires, this time addressed to
Governor Curtin, at Harrisburg:

"The Ringgold Light Artillery are on parade. Every
one of them expects to be ordered on duty for the United
States service before they leave their guns."

Probably a Bostonian would have held up that dispatch
and straightened out its nouns and pronouns and verbs. But
the Pennsylvania German, H. A. Lantz, who signed it for
the company, was superior to any such minor considerations.
He knew what he meant. So did Eli Slifer, secretary of
the commonwealth, who received it and in the absence of
the governor replied :

"Bring your command to Harrisburg by first train. If
any of your men need equipment, they will be provided here
by the general government."

On March in Three Hours

This dispatch was received in Reading at 1 1 .20 the next
morning, April 16, and in three hours the Rin (gold Eight
Artillery was on its way, fully equipped and uniformed.
Being an artillery company, the equipment did not include
muskets. But the men wore sabres, and most of them car-
ried pistols. They reached Harrisburg that evening about 8
o'clock, and the Secretary of State of Pennsylvania at once
notified Washington. The Secretary of War telegraphed in
reply :

"Push forward company by first train."
Arrangements were made to leave at 3 A. M., and if
this plan had been carried out the Reading company would


have been in Washington on April 17, twenty-four hours
ahead of the other Pennsylvanians and forty-eight hours in
advance of the Sixth Massachusetts. The order was coun-
termanded, however, and the Ringgold Light Artillery wait-
ed at Harrisburg for the four other troops.

The Logan Guards, of Lewistown. were the next to ar-
rive. They marched across the Juniata river to Pennsylva-
nia station on the evening of April 16, waited several hours
for a train and reached Harrisburg early the next morning.
If the Massachusetts man who thinks he's the real thing in
first defenders wants to talk things over with a survivor of
the Logan Guards, he will find Major Robert W. Patton
living at 23 West Twelfth street, Xew York.

When the call for troops came young Patton simply lock-
ed up his jewelry shop and helped Capt. Selheimer hustle his
company to Harrisburg where he was commissioned a lieu-
tenant. He is not exactly "young Patton" now, but he's quite
able to cope with any attempt to rob him and his comrades
of their distinction as the only genuine first defenders.

Allentown's Light Infantry

The third company to arrive at Harrisburg was the
Allen Light Infantry of Allentown, the scene of the recent
anniversary celebration. At their head was Captain Thomas
Yeager. If any one is ever tempted to make a list of hot-
headed, enthusiastic young soldiers, the .Allentown people
will see that it includes the name of Thomas Yeager. In the
early daxs of [86i they thought he was rather daft on the
subject of war. He actually made a trip to Washington to
look at the fortifications around the capital, and when he
came hack he was so industrious a drilhnaster that some of
his men barked out of the company.


When the news of the firing on Fort Sumter came Cap-
tain Yeager rushed off posthaste to Harrisburg to offer to
Governor Curtin the services of himself and his command.
The result was that he received one of the first captain's
commissions issued for the civil war. Allentown people
think it was the very first commission issued to an officer of
volunteers. With it in his pocket, he hurried back home
and called on his company for volunteers to go to the de-
fense of Washington.

His way of calling for them seems to have been pe-
culiar to himself. For instance, one member of the com-
pany, a shoemaker, was asked by the doughty captain whe-
ther he was going with the rest. The young shoemaker had
a wife and 3-week-old baby at home and was very much torn
between contending ideas as to what was the first duty of
man in a case like this. The caDtain's convictions, though.
were clear enough for both.

"If you haven't reported for duty by 3 o'clock," said
he, "I'll smash your bench to pieces !"

The young husband was still undecided at the hour
named, and sure enough around came the captain, broke
the bench up and carried off the recruit in triumph.

Recruits on the Way

In spite of the strenuous methods his company num-
bered only forty-seven, and the order had been to recruit to
full strength before coming to Harrisburg. Another man
might have waited a day and gone off with a muster roll of
proper length. But not Captain Yeager. With his forty-
seven men at his back he left Allentown on the afternoon of
April 17, reaching Harrisburg that evening.

He picked up three more recruits on the way but in-


side of twenty-tour hours had expelled one of his men for

"I stripped him myself in the middle of the street," he
wrote hack, "taking the whole uniform from him, and left
him naked except for pantaloons, stockings and shirt, and
took all his money that he received at Allentown except to

This left the captain with forty-nine men, whom he
took on to Washington. Later twenty-eight members of
Small's Philadelphia Brigade were added to the Allentown

This Philadelphia brigade was probably the one noticed
at Baltimore bv the volunteers from Massachusetts. Most
of its members did turn back from that city. But twenty-
eight of them managed to get through with the Sixth Mass-
achusetts, and they were the ones to be added to Captain
Yeager's force already in Washington.

Captain Veager was an impetuous fighter and rapidly
rose in command. A year later, June I. 1862, he was killed
in the battle of Fair Oaks, on the very day that President
Lincoln signed a commission making him brigadier general.

—The Press (Philadelphia)

r Rebekah, born Dec. 9, 1796.

ADAM YEAGER I Mary Ann ' born Jan 25 ' 1799 -

of I James, born Jan. 26, 1801.

Chester County, J Elizabeth, born Jan. 17, 1803.

Born Jan 16, 1769; 1 Anna> born Sept lfi 1805

Died March 28, 1855. | Qeorge born Jan ^ ^

t Jesse E., born Oct. 24, 1810.

JESSE E., (Jesse C, of the Yeager-Hunter

Died Oct. 24, 1838. | Stove Works, Spring City, Pa.



The following sketch of Jesse G. Yeager appeared in
a Philadelphia paper May 12, 1906.

Manufacturer at Spring City has for Twenty-five
Years Kept Same Hours as His Men

Began as Errand Boy

Jesse G. Yeager Always Ready to Share in Rules
Laid Down for Workers

"Several days ago, when the new order granting the
Saturday half-holiday to the employes of the Yeager-Hnnter
stove works went into effect, and the hour for starting in the
morning was changed from 6.40 to 6 A. M., Jesse G. Yea-
ger, the head of the well-known foundry, said: T must go
to work with the men in the shop,' meaning that he did not
expect anything more of his men than he was willing to do
himself. For a quarter of a century he has been at his desk
with the whistle every morning, and his chief characteristic
in life has always been precision and accuracv.

"When he was quite young his father died, and since he
was 12 years of age he has had to work. He began life as
an errand boy in a Reading grocery store, and at 18 years
went to his trade, moulding, and while quite a young man
came to Spring City and bought a half-interest in the dry
goods and grocery business of David Taylor, and later
bought the property which he occupies today as a residence,
in which he continued the store business for several years,
during which he was honored with the appointment as post-
master. Twenty-five years ago he entered the stove business,
and, although he is approaching his sixty-ninth milestone in
life's journey, he is still active and very energetic.


Throughout life he has been an ardent Methodist and
a stanch Prohibitionist, whose influence has done much for
the social and religious purity of Spring City. It is his name
that invariably heads every remonstrance against any se-
rious evil and it is largely due to his untiring zeal that the

town has but one licensed hotel."

(The Record)

Kaiser Sends a Bell

To a German New York Church Organization
That Is 150 Years Old

The Rev. Dr. Julius Jaeger, pastor of the German Re-
formed Church of America, at 355 East Sixty-eighth street,
was notified on Saturday that Emperor 'William had pre-
sented the church with a large bell and that the gift is now
on its way to this country. Dr. Jaeger had written to the
Kaiser last August telling him that the church was to cel-
ebrate its 150th anniversary next December. He also stated
that Baron von Steuben, who came to the aid of this country
in the Revolutionary war, had worshipped in the society's
original building on Nassau street. lie asked for a bell for
the church.

Karl Gneist, the German Consul in this city, informed
Dr. Jaeger on Saturday that he had been commanded by
Emperor William to tell him that the request had been
granted and that the bell is on the way from Hamburg.
Kaiser Wilhelm had taken great pleasure in sending the gift,
said the Consul.

There will be a celebration lasting three days in De-
cember and a time will be set apart to dedicate the bell. The


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services will begin on the first Sunday in the month. Dr.
David J. Burrell of the Marble Collegiate Church will preach
in English and Dr. John II. Oerter of the Fourth German
Reformed Church in ( ierman.

The church was founded in 1758 and the original build-
ing stood between Maiden lane and John street in Nassau
street. In 1822 the congregation removed to Forsythe
street and thirty-four years later to the present site. Here a
new building was dedicated ten vears ago.

Heads of Families by the Name of Yeajjer in Penn-
sylvania in the First Census of the
United States, Published 1790

Christian Yeager Lebanon County

Christopher Yeager Dauphin County

1 lenry Yeager Philadelphia County

b )hn Yeager Allegheny County

John Yeager Northampton County

John Yeager Northampton County

John Yeager, Jr Forks Twp., Northampton County

Philip Yeager Northampton County

Philip Yeager Lower Mount Bethel Township,

Northampton County
Valentine Yeager Upper Saucon Township,

Northampton County

Bernard Yeager Montgomery County

Peter Yeager Montgomery County

Adam Yeager Philadelphia County

Barbara Yeager Reading, Berks County

Frederick Yeager Berks County

George Yeager Hern Township, Berks County



George Yeager Vincent Township, Chester County

Henry Yeager York County

Jacob Yeager Reading, Berks County

John Yeager Chester County

John Yeager Northumberland County

John Yeager Northumberland County

John Yeager Philadelphia County

Joseph Yeager Fayette County

Joseph Yeager, Jr Fayette County

Mary Yeager Amity Township, Berks County

Peter Yeager Chester County

Peter Yeager Fayette County

Hartford, Conn., July 9th, 1912.
Genealogy of Harry Wilson Yeager

William Yeager. — Born in Germany in 1783. (The
great-grandfather of the person whose genealogy this repre-
sents.) Came to America, married and settled in Scho-
harie County, York State, in 1802. He had four sons,
Peter, Adam, Henry, and William, Jr. The mother dying
when these boys were very young ; the father, upon the
advice of the mother on her dying bed, took them to a new
country and settled in the woods of Luzerne county, Penna.,
in the year 18 13, where these boys were reared. Later
Adam Yeager settled in Binghamton, N. Y. Peter, Henry
and William, Jr., became farmers in what is now Moscow,
Lackawanna County, Penna. All now are deceased.

William Yeager, Jr. — Born 1810 in Schoharie County,
York State. (The grandfather of the persons whose gen-
ealogy this represents.) Married Susan Biesecker. They


Harry Wilson Yeager
Hartford, Conn.



had four children as follows : John Adam, Adelbert, William
W., and Sarah Ann, the latter marrying Levi Schwartz. All
four of these children married and located in Lackawanna
County, Penna., (Luzerne County having been divided Adel-
bert now deceased.

John Adam Y eager. — (The father of the person whose
genealogy this represents). Was born in Moscow, Penna.,
1840. He married Ella A. Stevens, born 1844. They had
five children — Arthur K., Sadie, Bertha, Bessie and Harry
Wilson. The said John Adam Y eager being the father and
his children herein enumerated the brothers and sisters of
the person whose genealogy this represents. Sadie and
Bertha now being deceased. Arthur K., contractor and
builder, is now located at Moscow, Lackawanna County,
Penna. Bessie married to C. A. Yeager, lumber dealer, of
Buffalo, N. Y.

Harry Wilson Yeager. — Born 1868 at Moscow, Penna.,
and being the subject of this genealogy, married Lillian
Cottrell of New York City, born 1887. Have two children,
Caryl Aline, and John Adam, Jr.

Biography of Harry Wilson Yeager

Born on a farm, remaining there until 19. Later be-
came associated with Jones Bros. Tea Co., of Scranton,
Penna. Being of musical tendency and possessed of fair
natural voice, followed the stage, appearing in "A Little Ty-
coon," Hi Henry's Minstrels, "Don't Tell My Wife," "The
Power of Love," etc., becoming proprietor of some of these
attractions, also organized the Music Publishing house of
II viands, Spencer & Yeager, t>2> West 27th St., New York
City. Also directed the music in The Church of the Sa-


viour, Lexington Avenue and mth St., New York City.
Is now President and Treasurer of the Yeager Piano Com-
pany, a corporation operating 16 stores, with General Office
at Hartford, also President and Treasurer of the Vacu-
Coupler Player Action Co., of Hartford. Conn.


Lackawanna County, Penna.

son of
William, of Schoharie
County, New York


son of
William Jr., son of
William of Schoharie

PETER, son of
William of Schoharie

( Angelichor

| William
\ John B.
| Selden
I Martha
[ Emma

/ Lana
J Vernon, L.
| Oren, G.

c Spencer
J John
l Susan

1 Ella

i. Mary


' John
I Max

Williamsport, Pa., Nov. 28, 1909.
Mr. James M. Yeager,
Scranton, Pa.

My Dear Sir: — Had talk with my father yesterday con-
cerning our branch of the Yeager family and 1 herewith
give you the following information, which, while rather in-
complete, may be of some assistance.

Three brothers came to this country before the war of
the Revolution. Don't know their qames. The one brother
— the father of Jacob Yeager, settled in Columbia county,
near Millville. Other two might have settled there also.
but don't kn«>\\. Jacob Yeager was born near Millville, Co-
lumbia county, in the year 1808. He had one brother.


George, and one sister, Mary. Mary married a man named
Philips Swisher. George married, lived and died in Colum-
bia county. Jacob Yeager married Mary Ellen Woolever
about 1830 in Columbia county. To this union there were
the following children : Henry, Amanda, Samuel, Elizabeth,
Jane, Sarah, Jacob, Charles, Emma, William, Alice. I am
the son of Jacob. My father tells me that some of the
descendants of the three Yeager brothers who came here
before the Revolution took the name of Hunter — Hunter
being the English of Yeager.

I will try to learn what Jacob Yeager's father's name
was if possible. This should be an important connecting

Trust this will be of some interest.
Yours truly,


Between 1747 and 1758 Nicholas Yeager married Ann
Regina Hillegas. This record is found in Goshenhoppen
Reformed Charge and the officiating minister was Rev.
George Michael Weiss.

The father of Ann Regina (Hillegas) Yeager was John
Frederick Hillegas who was a first cousin of Michael Hil-
legas, the first Treasurer of the United States.

February 15, 1748, John Yeager of New Hanover was
married to Eva Elizabeth Schneider by Rev. Muhlenberg of
The Trappe Lutheran Church, Montgomery County.

The first marriage service at which the Rev. Frederick
Schultz officiated at The Trappe Lutheran Church, Jan.
fifth, 1752, was the uniting of Dorothy Yeager to Barthol-
omew Osterman. The record says they were "from beyond
the Schuylkill.'"



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Online LibraryJames Martin YeagerAn brief history of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton, Jacobs, Lemon, Hoffman and Woodside families, and their collateral kindred of Pennsylvania → online text (page 5 of 14)