Jeremiah Meitzler Mohr Gernerd.

Heinrich Gernhardt and his descendants ... online

. (page 14 of 27)
Online LibraryJeremiah Meitzler Mohr GernerdHeinrich Gernhardt and his descendants ... → online text (page 14 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


John, as already stated, remained in Northampton County, and
settled in Upper Alacungie Township, — a -name derived from
Maucli-Kuntshy, an Indian name, meaning "the eating place of
bears," — but now a part of Lehigh County, in one of the best sec-
tions of the fertile Lehigh Valley, where, after he had worked at
his trade of chairmaking several years, he married Catharine
Siegfried, the adopted daughter of Heinrich Brobst, a prosperous
farmer, in August, 1805. As her foster father had no other heir
Catharine inherited his fine farm, which is pleasantly situated near
the village of Breinigsville. She was born February 10, 1788, and
died July 7, 1844. At the time of her marriage she was but little
past seventeen, while John was in his twenty-fifth year. They had
more children — thirteen, as one died nameless, and does not ap-
pear in the record below — and have become the ancestors of more
grandchildren and great grandchildren than any of the other sons
and daughters of Heinrich and Rosine. They were a frugal, home-
loving and diligent couple, and managed their affairs so well that
years before she died they owned three fine contiguous farms. He
was now 64 years old, and the youngest of their twelve children
was already a young man, when she was called away to the silent
land where the weary are at rest. The bereavement so overwhelm-
ed him that he soon became afflicted with chronic melancholy, after
which he took but little interest in the affairs of life. My only
personal recollection of him is while he was in this unhappy con-
dition. After lingering in this state for seven years he died, Au-
gust 14, 1 85 1, and was tenderly laid beside the faithful consort
for whom he had so deeply mourned, by eight of his robust sons,

150 The Gernhardt Family History.

who acted as pall bearers, in the old burying ground of the Re-
formed and Lutheran Church, at Trexlerstown.

A singular fact may here be mentioned. At the centennial cel-
ebration of Chemistry, held in 1874, at the town of Northumber-
land, in Northumberland County, Pa., the last place of residence
and final resting place of the celebrated Dr. Joseph Priestley, who
in 1774 had discovered oxygen, and made known to the world
many other things — of whom the great Cuvier, after speaking of
his greatest discoveries, before the French Academy of Sciences,
said, "time forces us to neglect a multitude of others which would
of themselves furnish ample materials for the eulogy of another
man" — many interesting articles were placed on exhibition that had
once belonged to the renowned philosopher, as books, manuscripts,
drawings, microscopes, and electrical, philosophical and chemical
apparatus with which he had made some of his most famous ex-
periments. On the wall of one of the rooms containing the exhib-
its, hung a life-size and very life-like painted portrait of the dis-
tinguished doctor. Standing among a group of visitors before the
silent, yet impressive picture, I heard the man in charge of the
collection explain that about ten years previous to the celebration
he as sexton had removed the remains of the philosopher from
the old graveyard to the new cemetery that had not long before
been laid out. "Although he had been buried sixty years (he died
in 1804), when I opened the casket," said the sexton, "I found
him just as perfect and natural in appearance, except the eyes, and
appear precisely as you see him there on the wall. His son, who
had been buried a few years longer, was quite as well preserved.
Their features seemed as perfect as if they had but recently been
interred." Now, after grandfather, John Gernert, had been buried
only about twenty years, his remains were not found in anything
like such a condition. A hole had been noticed down through the
middle of his grave that appeared or was suspected to be the bur-
row of some animal. Two of his sons went with shovels and boards
intending to repair the rough cofifin, and put the grave in order.
The hole they soon discovered was merely caused by a natural sink-
ing of the earth, resulting from the almost complete decay of both


The Gcrnhardt Family History. 151

casket and the body. Nothing was found but several small bits of
decayed boards and a few almost disintegrated bones. All had in
this comparatively short time been changed to dust and ashes, and
almost to invisibility.

John and Catharine had :

I. HANNAH3, b. Nov. i, 1806. In 1824, at the age of 18,
she m. Benjamin Donmoyer, of Maxatawny, Berks County, Pa.
About 1840 they bought and settled on a farm in Union Town-
ship, Lebanon County, Pa., where both died of typhoid fever, in
March, 1864^ — she on the 3d and he a few days later. They had
nine children :

I. Catharine Donmoyer*, b. Feb. 16, 1825; m. Simon Bortz,
of Red Hill, Montgomery County, Pa., in 1850. He d. in
1885. She still resides at Red Hill. They had five chil-
dren :

i. Maria Bortz^, b. Nov. 8, 1850; m. Charles Barndt, of
Quakertown, Pa. Twelve children : Louisa*^, b. Oct.
23, 1870; George^, b. July 25, 1871 ; Rosa*^, b. Oct. i,
1873; Jennie^, b. Dec. 2, 1874 — d. Jan. 27, 1891 ; Katie^
b. Feb. 26, 1876; Maggie^ b. March 30, 1879; Ella^, b.
Jan. 4, 1881 ; Samuel^, b. Jan. 23, 1883; Fnos^ b. Dec.
31, 1883; Charles^, b. April 4, 1886; Norman^^ b. June
22, 1887; Edith^, b. May 9, 1890.

ii. Hannah Borts^, b. April 16, 1853 ; m. William H. Roten-
berger, Sept. 13, 1873; r. Trumbauersville, Pa. Twelve
children : Edwin^, b. April 19, 1874 — married^ ; Laura*^,
b. Dec. 15, 1875; Harvey^ b. April 10, 1880; Sallie^,
b. Aug. 20, 1878; John and Alvin^, twins, b. Feb. 2y,
1882 ; Emma6, b. Feb. 14, 1884 ; Jacob^ b. July 23, 1885 ;
Lillie^, b. June 11, 1887; Elmer^, b. April 11, 1889;
Esther^, b. Aug. 30, 1890; Raphael^, b. June 21, 1892.

Hi. Victoria Bortz^, b.^ ; m. Abram Byer, of Red Hill. Pa.
She d. in 1898. One son: John^, b. April 15, 1888.

iv. Emma Bortc^ b. Jan. 27^; m. John Hartzell. Four chil-'
dren'^ :

V. George Henry Borts^, b. June 18, 1866; m. Alice Hart-
zell, Jan. I, 1887; r. Trumbauersville, Pa. Four chil-


The Gcnihardt Family History.

dren: Victoria A.^, b. Feb. i6, 1888; Horace A.^, b
Aug. 17, 1891 ; Ara T.^, and Elsie T."^, twins, b. Jan. 27

William DoNMOYER^, b. Feb. 8, 1827; m. Maria Fenster-
macher, Oct. 25, 1845 ; r. Pine Grove, Pa. He d. Dec. 16
1863. Had nine children :

i. Emma Rebecca D.^, b. Jan. 1846; m. first, Henry Spor-
man, Sept. 16, 1865 ; second, Elias Bixler, Dec. 30, 1897
r. Pine Grove, Pa. Three children :

a. Emma Promilla Sporman^, b. Aug. 29, 1866 ; m. Wil-
son Lewars, of Pine Grove, Pa., Sept. 26, 1885. Chil
dren : Warren'^, b. Jan. 17, 1888 ; Arthur", b. May 6, 1890
Norman^, b. March 3, 1892; HarokF, b. Feb. 8, 1894
Sterling"^, b. Oct. 27, 1895; StanM, b. Feb. 17, 189S
Olive"^, b. Sept. 30, 1900.

h. Mary Elisabeth Sporman^, b. April 7, 1869; m. John
Hughes, of Coatesville, Pa., Oct. 29, 1891. Children:
Madaline^, b. Oct. 25, 1893; Stella^, b. June 11, 1896;
Steward^, b. Aug. 19, 1898; Miriam Elizabeth^, b. 1901.

c. Harry Benjamin Sporman^, b. Sept. 9, 1877.

it. Mariette D.^, h. May 17, 1847; ^'^- George Zerbe, of
Meckville, Pa., June 12, 1864. Children:

a. Milton W.\ b. Feb. 3, 1866; d.x

b. Sarah Ida^, b. June 15, 1867; m.x Blickly, Nov. 27, 1900.

c. Mary Alice^, b. Oct. 20, 1868; d.x

d. George Henry^, b. March 21, 1870; m.x June 21, 1892.

e. Thomas Solomon^, b. Sept. 6, 1871 ; d.'^

f. Tyrns Franklin^, b. Aug. 8, 1873 ; d.^

g. Jennie Rebecca^, b. March 17, 1875 ; m.x Peifl:"er, Dec.

10, 1892. Children: Heber^, b. May 6, 1893; Peter'',

b. July 13, 1895 ; Mary7, b. Dec. i, 1898.

h. Charles Benjamin^, h. July 5, 1877.

i. Emma Alvera^, b. Dec. 26, 1888.

Hi. Amanda^, b. Feb. 10, 1853; m. John Stine, Oct. 15,
1870; r. Cressona, Pa. Five children :

a. Charles Edivin^, b. May 27, 1872; m. Sarah Haines,
April 21, 1898.

The Gernhardt Family History. 153

h. Mary Arabella^, b. Feb. 24, 1874; m. George L. Wil-
liams, May 13, 1893.

c. Thomas Oscar^, b. Jan. 11, 1876.

d. Morris^, b. Feb. i, 1882.

c. Frederick Augusta^, b. March 26, 1886.

iv. Thomas Simon Donmoyer^, b. July 22, 1854; m. Kate
Geyer, Dec. 25, 1879; r. Lebanon, Pa. One child: Lil-
lie R. Donmoyer^, b. Feb. 3, 1881.

V. Alice Isadora^, b. April 16, 1856; m. Amos Spancake,
June 20, 1879 ; r. Pine Grove, Pa. Seven children : Lil-
lie May^ b. Mav 12, 1879; Charles Milton^, b. Feb. 12,
1882 ; William Elsen^, b. Dec. 8, 1883 ; Harry Grover^,
b. May i, 1885; Ray Riving b. Jan. 5, 1888; Lambert^,
b. April 5, 1889; Robert Emory^, b. Nov. 12. 1894.

vi. Peter Benjamin Donmoycr^, b. Dec. 3, 1857 ; m. Emma
Spancake, Dec. 7, 1878 ; r. Pine Grove, Pa. Children :

a. Frank^, b. May 2, 1879 ; m. Estella Russell, April 16,
1900; r. Tremont, Pa. One child: Dorothy^^.

b. John^, b. June 21, 1880; m. Eva Christ, June 28, 1901 ;

r. Pine Grove, Pa. One child : Emma Isabella^'*.

c. Harry^, b. Aug. 26, 1881 ; d. April 17, 1882.

d. Irzvin^, b. Feb. 5, 1883.

e. Frederick^, b. June 19, 1884; d. Nov. 22, 1886.
/. Carrie^, b. Aug. 23, 1885.

g. William^, b. Feb. 17, 1892.
h. Benjamin^, h. Jan. 11, 1901.

vti. Lewis David Donmoycr^, b. June 22, 1859; m. Mary
Ann Lehman, May 20, 1880; r. Pine Grove, Pa. Five
children: Henrv Ramond^, b. Oct. i, 1881 ; Minnie
E.6, b. Sept. 8, 1882; Lillie Amanda^, b. Dec. 2^, 1884—
d. Jan. 2, 1893; Clara May^, b. Jan. 18, 1887; Robert
DavidS, b. Nov. 8, 1889— d. Jan. 14, 1893.

z'iii. Hannah Elisabeth Donmoyer^, b. March 6, 1861 ; m.
Andrew Jackson Huntzinger, Jan. i, 1884; r. Miners-
ville. Pa. One son: Robert Franklin^, b. June 14, 1885.

ix. William Franklin Donmoyer^, b. Dec. 29, 1862 ; m. Ellen
E. Minnig, Oct. 6, 188^ ; r. Lebanon, Pa. Four chil-

154 The Gernhardt Family History.

dren : James Franklin^, b. May i6, 1884; William
Benjamin6, b. May 6, 1888; Nellie May^, b. May 6,
1891 ; George Even^, b. April 25, 1893.

3. Anna Maria^, b. Aug. 22, 1828; m. John Felty, Nov. 8,
1849. She d. at South Bend, Ind., July 8, 1879. Had:

i. William Hcnrv Felty^, b. Dec. 23, i8=;o; d. April 22,

a. Susan Fclty^, b. May 5, 1852 ; m. tirst, John Defreese,
January, 1871 ; second, Leonard Brackett, Feb. 22, 1900;
r. Oaklauid, Cal. One child: Molly Alicia Defreese^,
b. Jan. 27, 1872.

Hi. Hannah Elcmcnah Fclty^, b. March 30, 1855 ; m.
George Baur, Nov. 13, 1870; r. Nappanee, Ind. Four
children :

a. Ida Maria Baiir^, b. March 8, 1871 ; m. William Canode,
Nov. 29, 1894; r. Goshen, Ind. Two children'^, both died
in infancy.

h. Emma Baur^, b. 1873 ; d. when two years and six months

c. Dora Bancr^, b. Nov. 21, 1875 ; m. Charles Burbach, July

12, 1893. One daughter: Katherine Marie'^, b. Dec. 14,

d. Mabel Estella^, h. August, 1880.

iv. Emma Elisabeth Felty^, b. May 22, 1857 J "^- Charles
Edgar Kerr, March 29, 1877 ; r. Saginaw, Mich. ; n. c.

V. Katharine Lucinda Felty^, b. Feb. 22, 1859; "^- Frank
Coppes, Sept. 26, 1878; r. Nappanee, Ind. Five chil-
dren :

a. Arthur Coppes^, b. Sept. 16, 1879; d. Sept. 17, 1879.

b. Bessie Gertrude Copped, b. Jan. 14, 1881.

c. Lettie Geneva Coppes^, h. Jan. 18, 1883 ; d. Jan. 2y, 1884.

d. Harold Franklin Coppes^, b. Nov. 26, 1885.

e. Claude H. Coppes^, b. Sept. 27, 1889.

-c'i. John Henry Felty^, h. Feb. 10, 1861 ; m. Hattie Van
Feltie, Oct. 15, 1889; n. c.

The Gcrnhardt Family History. 155

vii. George Henry IV. Felty^, b. Jan. 15, 1865 ; m. Neva Be-
vier, Jan. 8, 1898 ; r. Ganett, Ind ; n. c.

via. Amelia Agnes Jane Felty^, b. Dec. 3, 1868; m. Isaac
Jacobs, Nov. 21, 1889; r. Goshen, Ind. One daughter :
Gretchen Lucille^, b. Oct. 20, 1894.

i.r. Charles M. Felty^, b. June 9, 1870; d. at South Bend,
Ind., Aug. 3, 1890.

4. Lewis Donmoyer'*, b. 1830; m. Mary Hess, of East
Hanover, Pa., April, 1859.

In September, 1862, he enlisted in the cause of the Union and
joined Co. E, of the Seventeenth Pa. Cavalry. Early in the spring
of 1863 his father, mother, wife and infant son Frank were all
down with typhoid fever. He asked several times for a furlough
that he might go home to see the afflicted ones so near and dear to
him, but was refused, as the) army was just then getting ready to
move, and orders from headquarters were necessarily very strict
that no leave of absence should be given. Another letter from
home informed him of the hopeless condition of his wife, that she
was constantly calling for him, a summons to which he felt that he
must respond, and that his aged parents were in the same critical
state. He showed the letter to his colonel, who, moved by sym-
pathy for the distressed soldier, immediately wrote and stated the
case to the Department at Washington. The matter was referred
to President Lincoln, and that great-hearted man forthwith com-
manded, "Give that man a furlough." But when the anxious sol-
dier reached home, in February, 1863, his wife and child were both
dead, and the next day he had the sorrow to see them laid away in
one grave. A few days later both his parents died, and he also
saw them consigned to their mother earth. He then returned to
his post of duty in the army, a sad son, an afflicted husband and
father, and destined never again to see his home and surviving

Lewis was in a number of the sanguinary engagements in
which the Seventeenth Pa. Cavalry participated, made a number
of hairbreadth escapes, having several horses killed under him
while in action. On the 31st day of May, 1864, he took part in the

156 The Gernhardt Family History.

bloody struggle at Cold Harbor, and this was his last battle. Here
his regiment moved dismotmted, and in its first advance was driven
back with heavy loss, but on charging again routed the enemy and
captured his works. Grant had resolved to seize Cold Harbor, a
very important point to give him control of the Chickahominy and
the roads to Richmond, and after a sharp struggle carried the po-
sition, though in gaining it he lost two thousand men, and in the
still greater conflict that followed the next day (June ist) he failed
to get over the Chickahominy. Lewis was among the unfortunate
in the struggle for the position, as he was severely wounded by a
shot through the arm and elbow. The bones were badly shattered,
gangrene set in, and on the 29th day of June he was mustered out
by that Supreme Commander whom no earthly sovereignty or
power can hinder.

In the summer of 1885 it was my privilege to visit the National
Military Cemetery, at Arlington, opposite Washington City, D. C,
and there I found the grass-grown grave of our sadly bereaved
and patriotic kinsman, among the graves of 16,263 brave comrades
who had died on battle fields and in hospitals, and are now laid in
long rows, sleeping that last long sleep from which no one will ever
be awakened by war's stern alarms, or the sharp call "to arms."
The first interments of Union soldiers in that historic ground (once
owned by the wife of General George Washington, and when the
war of the rebellion broke out was the inheritance of the wife of
General Robert E. Lee, and from which the Lees reluctantly re~
moved to Richmond when the General, after a painful heart-strug-
gle, had finally decided that he must cast his lot with his native
state as a member of the Southern Confederacy), were made in
May, 1864, and therefore only a short time before Lewis Don-
moyer fell from the ranks to await the final roll call, at the sound
of the last trump, which his Lutheran faith had assured him would
reunite him with the departed loved ones. Peaceful and beautiful
is the vigilantly guarded place where he rests. On the borders of
the extensive grave plots are here and there frames, on each of
which is conspicuously inscribed some sentiment in verse that ap-

Tlic Gcrnhardt Family History. 157

peals to the heart of the thoughtful and sympathetic visitor, as the
following, for example :

"No rumor of the foe's advance

Now sweeps upon the wind,
No troubled thoughts at midnight haunts

Of loved ones left behind."

Lewis, of whom further mention will be made when recording
the longer military service of his younger brother, Rudolph, was
the parent of four children :

/'. Lezvis Irzvin Dojwwyer^, h. December, 1859 5 <^- i" i^~

a. JVilliani B. DJ>, b. Dec. 25, i860; m. Kate Botz, Sept.
26, 1880; r. Allentown, Pa. Nine children: Jennie^, b.
Aug. 14, 1881 ; GoldenS, b. Oct. 17, 1884; Carrie I.^, b.
July 21, 1887 — m. Harry A. Diefenderfer, Nov. 28,
1903; Massie^, b. Aug. 12, 1889; Abner^, b. May, 1891 ;
Rudy6, b. Feb. i, 1894; Kate B.e, b. March 28, 1^896— d.
Oct. 16, 1900; Francis^, b. June 26, 1898; John^, b. Dec.
26, 1900.

/;■/. Ella M. D.^ b. Dec. 8, 1861 ; m. first, George A. Hoff-
man, Feb. 21, 1879; second, Sherman Lautzenheiser,
Aug. 10, 1893; r. Cleveland, Ohio. One son: Earl T.
Hofifman6, b. Sept. 6, 1881.

n'. Franklin W. D.^^ ; d. in infancy, and was buried with
his mother, in 1863.

5. Benjamin Franklin Donmoyer^, b. Nov. 28, 1833; m.
Adelade Shartle, of Pine Grove, Pa., Nov. 28, 1852 ; she d.
Dec. 10, 1895; r. Flora, Illinois; o. carpenter. They had
nine children :

i. JVilliani Donnwycr^, b. March 6, 1853; d. March 13,

ii. Franklini Janics D}, b. April 17, 1855; m. Emma Anne

Stanford, Nov. 12, 1882 ; o. section foreman on B. & O.

S. W. R. R. ; r. Flora, Illinois. Two children : Mamie

Viola^, b. Sept. 13, 1886; Ruba Opal^, b. May 14, 1895.

Hi. Elizabeth Jane D.^, b. April 3, 1857; m. John Gobin.

iv. Matilda D.^, b. July 20, 1858 ; m. George W. Bowers,
Nov. 28, 1880; r. Annville, Pa. Three children: Reu-

158 The Gcrnhardt Family History.

ben Franklin^, b. March 6, 1883; Adaline Susan^ b.
Dec. 9, 1886; Walter George", b. Feb. 3, 1890.

V. Catharine D.^, b. Aug. 24, 1861 ; m. first, Ezra Platt^;
second, James C. Sullivan, Dec. 15, 1887. Six children:
Charles William S.e, b. May 5, 1889; Maude S.", b.
Oct. 8, 1890; Ruth Adelade S.", b. Aug. 15, 1892; Asa
B. and Bertha Edith", twins, b. April 6, 1897.

vi. Ellen D.^, b. Sept. 3, 1863 ; m. Hezekiah Denning, Dec.
21, 1882. Seven children: Dora May", b. Aug. 24,
1883; Stella Ellen", b. March 9, 1888; George Frank-
lin", b. Aug. II, 1891 ; S. WiUiani", b. Oct. 7, 1893:
Paul Francis", b. Aug. 25, 1896 ; Walter Joseph", b. Oct.
31, 1898; Ralph Lester", b. Jan. 28, 1900.

vii. Anna Maria D.^, b. Nov. 3, 1865; m. John Monroe^ ;
she d. July 3, 1891. One son: Irwin William Monroe",
b. March 15, 1884.

via. Grant Donmoyer^, b. Sept. 25, 1868; m. Ada Clark,
Jan. 23, 1899.

i.v. Snsan Emma D.^, b. Nov. 10, 1872; m. Sherman Hall.
She d. Oct. 27, 1901. One son: Reuben Franklin
Hall", b. March 11, 1896.

6. Isaac Donmoyer^, b. in 1841 ; d. in 1842 or '43.

7. Susanna Donmoyer^, b. Oct. 11, 1844; ^'^- Alfred F. Haas,
of Montour County, Pa., Dec. 23, 1867; r. Tiffin, O. [Al-
fred served under the Old Flag from 1861 to 1865, and
was in some of the hardest battles of the war. The Boys
in Gray were active enough to capture him at Chancellors-
ville, May 3, 1863, and compelled him to serve a term in
Libby Prison.] One son: Harvey A. Haas^, b. April 17,
1883. Harvey possesses musical talent. Since fifteen years
old has been the leader of a number of musical organiza-
tions. Was educated at Heidelberg College, Tiffin, O.

8. Rudolph Wellington Donmoyer^, b. Jan. 25, 1847; "i-

Ella Baker, of South Bend, Ind., April 2, 1871. One son :
Lewis William D.^, b. July 31, 1873 ; d. Jan. 24, 1874.

Rudy, as his nearest friends all called him, enlisted in Co. E
of the Seventeenth Pa. Cavalry soon after the enrollment of his
unfortunate brother Lewis. He was a stout and venturesome bov,


The Gcrnhardt Family History. 159

though at that time only fifteen years and six months old. The
first notable experience he had happened just when his regiment
received orders to leave Harrisburg for the seat of war, and that
was to become infected with the loathsome disease of smallpox. It
was not the way in which he expected to serve his country, but he
could not help it, and it is only mentioned to illustrate one of the
disagreeable exigencies of war. December 9th was a cold, un-
pleasant day. It snowed fast all that afternoon and night, and the
next moming the drift against the tents was so high that, as one
of the company remarked to me, "we could hardly crawl out,"
though, of course, a snowbank is not a very formidable obstacle to
a soldier. After packing up the camp accompaniments the men
mounted their horses and at nine o'clock rode to the railroad,
where they were compelled to wait until four before the trains
came to transport them to the City of Washington.

Rudy had for several days been feeling miserable. It was
night when the men reached Washington, when they again mount-
ed their horses, and rode out several miles to an open field to en-
camp on the soft side of four inches of snow. As the tents had
not yet arrived, the sick boy lay that night on an open bale of hay
under a blanket. In the morning a hospital tent was put up and
he was then taken' to better quarters on a stretcher, not improved
by the exposure and exertion since leaving Harrisburg. A stove
placed in the tent made him more comfortable. The next night
the frozen earth on the near side of the stretcher thawed, and
suddenly the litter executed a flank movement, and the prostrate
incumbent involuntarily debouched into the mud. As no support to
this forlorn detachment was present, it scrambled out of the mud
as best it could, and as soon as able formed a new alignment. As
the bov had eaten nothing for several days, his anxious brother
thought that a piece of chicken would tempt him, so the next
morning a raid was made on the market for a chicken. It was
still hoped that nothing serious ailed him, and that he would in a
few days come out all right. Before the detail with the chicken
came, however, the Doctor came, and closely scrutinizing the
young soldier, exclaimed, "^ly dear boy, you have the smallpox,"

i6o The Gernhardt Family History.

Almost instantly a colored man came with an ambulance and hur-
ried away with him to a better furnished hospital, a large stone
house in Georgetown, D. C, where hundreds of others, in the
house and in tents on the environing ground, were down with the
same repulsive disease. Le^i^is and his mess that day may have
had a chicken for their dinner, but not their laid up comrade.

Rudy was carried up the stairs of the big stone house on a
stretcher and left for some time in the hall, where he could med-
itate on the novelty of the situation, if he felt inclined to reflect
upon it, until the corpse of a man who had just died of smallpox
could be carried out from the bed he was to occupy. The tick of the
bed to which he was in turn assigned was filled with corn husks,
"with the nubbins left on." The Doctor mildly admonished him not
to turn over any more than he could help, but to keep as quiet as
possible, like a good soldier. The advice was doubtless well
meant. Where the nubbins came into contact with his body a sore
formed, until he had thirty-five of the bothersome things. These
sores became abscesses, filled with corruption, and the Doctor, as
kindly as he could under the circumstances, lanced them. Then
in some of them gangrene set in, and for a time every morning
the Doctor entertained his sore-suffering patient by burning out
the holes with caustic. The Doctor did not mind it much, but
Rudy remembers that he himself minded it somewhat. Some of
the holes ran down to the bone. Finally, at the end of four
months, being thought unfit for cavalry service, he was kindly
offered an honorable discharge, which he would not accept, as he
was still mending, and hoped to be in good shape soon to be
with his brother Lewis, at the front, where he understood the
boys were having lively times. The Doctor thought he could not
for some time ride a horse on account of his sores. However, he
gladly accepted a furlough for thirty days to visit the old folks
and sisters at home, and at the end of the leave of absence hie be-
lieved he could ride with the boys. When the time expired, in-
stead of reporting at the hospital, from which he was glad to es-
cape, he presented himself at the dismounted camp at Alexandria,
Va., where he was given a horse and sent on to his regiment.

The Gcrnhardt Family History. i6i

When he arrived at the front, just before the great battle of Chan-
cellorsville, his captain notified the hospital that the young caval-
ryman was again in the ranks. And the boy remained to partici-

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Online LibraryJeremiah Meitzler Mohr GernerdHeinrich Gernhardt and his descendants ... → online text (page 14 of 27)