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and testament, made in February, 1820, he bequeathed to her and
designated as being the land "whereon John Litchard lives."

Margaret's descendants, now comprising many widely scat-
tered families, have for a number of years been having annual
reunions, in Allegheny County, N. Y., and is, we believe, the first
branch of the Gernhardt family to enjoy the satisfaction of such
gatherings. Her children were :

I. WILLIAM LITCHARD3, b. Dec. 8, 1808 ; m. Harriet H.
Smith, of Setauket, Long Island, in 1832. He d. at Green-
port, L. I., Aug. 30, 1879. Had three children :

I. John William Litchard^ b. Jan. 30, 1834; m. Mary Au-
gusta Dickerson, Dec. 27, i860. He d. Jan. 2, 1897. Two
children :




The Gernhardt Family History. 231

i. William M.^, b. Oct. 5, 1861 ; m. Mary G. Perkins, May
9, 1888 ; r. Riverhead, L. I. Three children : Henry^, b.
Feb/4, 1890; Reba^, b. Aug. 8, 1892; Christine^ b. Dec.
7, 1895.

a. Myra Smith^, b. Feb. 11, 1869.

2. Elizabeth*, b. Nov. 9, 1835; m. Albert Watson Smith,
Sept. 7, 1856; n. c.

3. Harriet L.*, b. Feb. 28, 1844; m- Theodore Downs, Feb.

28, 1866 ; r. Riverhead, L. I. One daughter : Julia Anna^

b. May 4, 1869.

II. DAVIDS, b. Nov. 23, 1810; m. Lydia TuckerX; died in
Sparta, Livingston County, N. Y., March 13, 1846. One
son : Josiah*.

III. JOHN^, d. when about two years old.

IV. GEORGES, b. April 28, 1813; m. first, Nancy Buzzle,
April 14, 1837; second, Elizabeth Miller, Dec. 26, 1858.
Elizabeth, who still survives, was born Oct. 5, 1824; r.
Canusaraga, N. Y. He d. Feb. 16, 1902, being at the time
the oldest man in the town. I shall ever regret that I
could not visit him, as I had planned, after I learned of our
kinship. He doubtless knew many things of interest relat-
ing to our early family history. He was the father of ten
children :

I. Harriet F.*, b. Feb. 24, 1839; m. John Carr, March 19,
1857 ; r- Geneseo, N. Y. Three children :

i. Herbert^, b. May 27, 1858; m. first, Mary Janet Youngs,
Jan. 24, 1890; she d. Jan. 30, 1891 ; m. second. Bertha
Wilcox, March 11, 1894; r. Leicester, N. Y. One son:
Sylvaness Young^, b. Jan. i, 1901.

a. Mary Alice^, b. Jan. 5, 1862 ; m. Lewis G. Laronette,
June 21, 1894; r. Geneseo, N. Y. Three children : Ruth
Carr^, b. May 12, 1895; Elton Gibbs^, b. Dec. 19, 1897;
Alice Litchard^, b. Aug. 28, 1900.

Hi. Lula Alfraretta^, b. Aug. 24, 1872; m. George Crosset
McMahan, Dec. 31, 1895; r. Leicester, N. Y. Two
daughters : Grace Louise^, b. Nov. 22, 1896 ; Helen
EHzabeth^, b. Jan. 3, 1901.

232 The Gernhardt Family History.

2. Alexander L.*, b. Nov. 12, 1841 ; m. [Nlyra A. Woods, Dec.
12, 1871 ; o. farmer; r. Rushford, N. Y. One son: Fred'^,
b. Jan. 7, 1873 ; m. Sadie Davis, of Canedea, X. Y., Aug.
10, 1898. One daughter: Irene'', b. Aug. 11, 1900.

Alexander enlisted Aug. 29, 1861, in Co. D of the 86th Regi-
ment N. Y. Vol. Infantry, and after nearly two years' service was
honorably discharged on account of having inflammatory rheuma-
tism. He was the greater part of the time detailed on patrol duty
in Washington City, and on special service at Gen. Whiple's head-
quarters. He saw something of the misery and devastation caused
by war, but the only great fight in which he participated was
the disastrous second Bull Run battle (August, 1862), in which
Major General Pope failed to demolish Jackson's army, as he had
declared with overmuch self-assurance he would do, by a boastful
manifesto at the commencement of the campaign, but in which
he came very near having his own army destroyed. Pope charged.
his defeat to the failure of some of the subordinate commanders
to support him at the proper time, according to orders, but he
found public sentiment so much against him that he soon after felt
impelled to ask to be released from the command. The loss of his
army in killed and disabled was 11,000, besides being reduced by
many stragglers from his ranks, and the Confederate loss was re-
ported to have been 7,241, which is convincing evidence that it was
a desperately fought battle. It was on account of Pope's charges
that General Fitz John Porter was, by a court-martial, sentenced
to be cashiered. Fifteen years later the case was reconsidered by
a board of army officers, and he was then exonerated. Some
prominent army men finally became satisfied of his innocence,
among whom was General Grant, who while President had even
refused to reopen his case. But Alexander, and the rank and file,
and the officers of the command generally, were convinced that if
Porter had moved when and as ordered, the rout would more
likely have been in the direction of Richmond.

Alexander unfortunately lost a journal that he kept while in
the arm}% which would have been useful now in furnishing data
for a sketch of his service, and of recalling incidents of interest

The Gcrnhardt Fauiily History. 233

that occurred more than forty years ago. He distinctly recollects
that at this ill-fated battle of Bull Run there was "something ter-
ribly wrong." His command, stripped of everything that could
in any way hinder a forced march, was at Warrenton Junction the
night the army was on the move to Bull Run. The station four
miles above was crowded with cars containing clothing and sup-
plies, including everything that belonged to his regiment. That
night the rebels raided the station and burnt everything they did
not appropriate to their own use. The next morning Porter's
troops brought up the rear. When they got up to where they
heard the firing, not more than a mile from their line, instead of
getting closer and taking a hand in the fight, they were counter-
marched, now here and now there, until about 3 P. M., when they
were marched back to the old camp, and that night actually slept
on the same ground they had slept on the night before. They then
marched back again over the same ground, and finally got into
the fight and did Pope some good service, just where Porter had
been ordered to close the gap the day before. Alexander remem-
bers well that the 86th was in the line on the extreme left of the
Union army, and how they then made a furious charge on the
enemy's right, and drove him back, and held the ground taken
until "Stonewall" Jackson extended his right line with a strong
force and flanked the brigade, and that it then became a matter of
undoubted discretion to join in the retreat already in progress.
Had Porter moved as ordered, at the proper time, Alexander
thinks the historian would have had a more satisfactory story to
tell of the battle, and is strongly of the opinion that good Honest
Old Abe did just the right thing when he signed the finding of
the court-martial that contemned him. Porter's time, he believes,
was to try to save the army when he had a good chance. What he
did later was not enough to make amend for his failure, because,
as A. L. says, "We nevertheless got a devil of a licking and lost
hundreds of lives to no purpose." The loss in killed and wounded
in his part of the fight was very heavy. Alexander's division did
the last hard fighting of the battle, covered the retreat, brought oflf
a large number of the wounded, crossed Bull Run after midnight.

234 The Gernhardt Family History.

burned the bridge, thus enabHng the army to retire in tolerably
g-ood order to Centreville. His brigade reached Centre-
ville by daylight, but was pretty badly used up. Many
of the boys got estray in the darkness and in the jam
of artillery and cavalry, getting back to their commands at all
hours during the day. Col. Bailey, of the 86th, he remembers,
had a very beautiful and spirited bay horse, sixteen hands high,
that had been presented to him by his friends at home. When
the firing began the animal became unmanageable and the Col-
onel concluded to lead his men on foot, so he dismounted and
gave him to some one to take to the rear. He never saw the
horse again, and never could tell into whose care he had con-
signed him.

Alexander was not yet twenty years of age when he enlisted,
but the war ended his school days, and on his return home he gave
his time and thought to agriculture. He is one of the Executive
Committee of the Allegany County Farmers' Club, and some-
times writes and lectures on agricultural topics. In politics he
avows himself a staunch Prohibitionist ; his idea being, like
Shakespeare's, that the "invisible spirit" of intoxicating drinks
ought to be regarded as a Devil — if not the biggest of all Devils.
Who can deny that if all the inhabitants in this broad land entirely
discarded liquor as a drink, they would be a greater, purer and
happier people, and that millions would be spared from poverty,
crime and drunkards' graves ? He is also a steward of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church of Rushford, but does not think that he
has departed from the religion of his ancestors, Heinrich and Ro-
sine, in any essential thing. During the past eleven years he has
served on the Board of Supervisors, being the only Prohibitionist
among the twenty-nine members. As the office is regarded as one
of great importance in his state, this indicates that if our kinsman
belongs to a very small party, he at least has the respect and confi-
dence of a very large number of voters.

3. Almanzo W.^ b. Nov. 12, 1841 ; m. Helen K. Karr, Dec.
19, 1866; she d. April 28, 1902; r. Rushford, N. Y. Two
children :

Tlic G cm hard t Family History. 235

i. Martin Karr Litchard^, b. Aug. 3, 1868; m. Pauline E.
Brainard, Sept. 29, 1891 ; r. Newark, N. J. Two chil-
dren : Donald Brainard^, b. July 28, 1893; Corydon
Karr^, b. Dec. 11, 1896.

a. Jennie^, b. Aug. 15, 1876; m. Daniel W. Gilbert, Sept..
15, 1897; r. Rushford, N. Y. Two children: Helen
Sophia G.^ b. Aug. 19, 1898; Loren Litchard G.^, b.
April 14, 1900.

Almanzo W. Litchard"* enlisted at the same time, Aug. 29,
1861, that his twin brother, Alexander, entered the service, and
served in the same company (D, 86th Reg't N. Y. V. I.) until
December, 1862, when he was taken ill, and while in the hospital
was honorably discharged. He soon recovered, however, and
thinking that Uncle Sam still needed him, re-enlisted in August,
1863, was consigned to the New York Heavy Artillery, Third Di-
vision, Sixth Corps, and served until June 26, 1865. Side by side
with Alexander he had part in the adverse second Bull Run bat-
tle, already described ; afterwards went through the Cedar Creek
fight under Phil. Sheridan, and subsequently was in all the prin-
cipal engagements under General Grant, ending with the surren-
der at Appomattox, and had the satisfaction of being on hand
when the Confederates marched to Clover Hill, north of Appo-
mattox Court House, to stack their arms, April 12, 1865. His
health continued unimpaired, and though many of his comrades
were killed, and many all around him were wounded, he escaped
without sustaining the slightest bodily harm. After Lee's army
was captured, Almanzo's command made forced marches to join
Sherman's army, then chasing Johnston, but did not reach that
valorous body until the night following Johnston's surrender. He
expected to see some more ugly work by the clashing of arms,
but his disappointment on reaching Sherman was not in any sense
a disagreeable frustration of expectation. Every true soldier in
his heart reflected the benevolent sentiment of Grant, "Let us have
Peace." The surrender to Sherman of all the insurgent forces of
the South east of the Mississippi River now forever ended the
davs of bloody strife between the North and the South, and the

236 The Gernhardt Family History.

rank and file of both armies, and many even of the Southern lead-
ers, rejoiced. Our respected kinsman can well say with Captain
Whiting-, the Southern poet, who wrote the following affecting-
lines :

* ' I saw the glazing eyes of those

Struck down by rifle ball and shell;
I saw the angry looks of foes,

I heard the piercing rebel yell!

I marked the charging squadron's wheel,

I heard the stirring bugle call,
I heard the red-mouthed cannon's peal —

I saw the men in wind-rows fall.

Sudden the hideous spectres fled —

The hushed sounds of battles cease;
A cloudless sky is overhead,

Indicative of Love and Peace.

Oh! brothers of the wintry North!

Oh ! brethren of the sunny South !
May civil discords call you forth

No more, to face the cannon's mouth!

After returning from the war Almanzo took a commercial
course and graduated from Eastman's College, Poughkeepsie, N.
Y. In politics he is a staunch Republican, and was elected by his-
party to the Legislature of New York in 1898, 1899 and 1900.
He is the President of the Allegany County Farmers' Co-opera-
tive Fire Insurance Company, incorporated in 1883, and now hav-
ing property insured to the amount of $5,500,000. Is also the
President of the Allegany County Farmers' Club. A curious
biological fact pertaining to these twin brothers is that when they
were boys Alexander was much the stouter and heavier, but on
reaching manhood the relative condition has been completely re-
versed, as Almanzo is now the stronger, and, tipping the scales at
195, weighs fifty pounds more than Alexander. Both are active,
vigorous and useful men. Both are also fervent members of the
Grand Army of the Republic, and it seems that, if possible, they
never miss the opportunity to meet their surviving comrades at
the National Encampments.

The Gcnihardt Family History. 237

4. John B.'*, b. Dec. 18, 1845 ; m. Sarah Ferry, of Almond, N.
Y., Nov. 5, 1874; Sarah d. July 6, 1896; o. miller; has a
half interest in a grist mill at Wilson, Niagara County, N.
Y. Five children :

i. Cora Bclle^, b. April i, 1876; m. Bert Mudge, Nov. 21,
1900. One daughter: Florence L.^, b. March 18,

a. Frank Ezra^, b. Dec. 19, 1878.

Hi. Claud G.^, b. Jan. 15, 1880; m. Carrie "\Vheeler, March
29, 1902.

iv. Clyde A.^,h. Jan. 15, 1880.

V. Edgar B.^, b. March 10, 1884.

Claude and Clyde° are the sixth pair of twins in the Litchard
branch of our family. Margaret^ and her sister, Catharine Fogle-
man (1783), were twins. George Litchard^ was twice the father
of twins (1841) and 1861) ; his sister, Catharine Amess (1858),
had twins; and Lucy Keihle Clark'* had twins (1890).

John B.^, when not yet 18 years old, seemed to think that his
father's family ought to be represented in the cause of the Union
and the Constitution by all his sons who were old enough to bear
arms, so he accordingly enlisted Aug. 17, 1863, and as a recruit
joined the veterans of Co. D, First New York Dragoons, Second
Div. Cavalry Corps, under General Wesley Merritt, and served
until the close of the war. He returned to his home in time to go
to school again while he was still a minor. It was his fortune to
take part in twelve of the forty-four engagements in which his
regiment fought, was twice wounded — first at Newtown, Ga.,.
Aug. II, 1864, by a wound in the wrist that laid him up for two
months ; and second, at Cedar Creek, Oct. 17, 1864, one week after
he rejoined his company, by a bullet hitting him on the hip, which
put him off duty for three weeks — and several times narrowly
escaped falling into the hands of the enemy. During a raid in the
neighborhood of Lynchburg he was in a skirmish on a side hill
and had his horse killed. When the animal fell it rolled over
him and bruised him badly. The (at that time) very inhospitable'
Johnnies were within forty rods of him, keeping up a lively

238 The Gernhardt Family History.

fusillade, but he managed to escape without further injury. Sev-
eral of his comrades were wounded, one fatally. The most san-
guinary encounter in his experience was at Cold Harbor, June 3,
1864, where his regiment, fighting dismounted, in crossing a field
raked by rebel infantry and artillery, lost 66 men in 40 minutes,
yet he had here also passed through the shower of lead and iron
unharmed. This was one of the bloodiest battles of the cam-
paign of 1864, but it was not a decisive one for either side, except
that it was of decisive effect on the fast vanishing resources of the
Confederacy. Grant was compelled to change his plan. It was
a better cause, and greater resources, that decided the four years
of internal strife in favor of the Old Flag. The fighting qualities
were too near alike to make any distinction as to valor.

We in this age talk boastfully of Civilized Warfare, yet must
confess with regret that at the best war is still unrefined Cruelty.
It is still the infliction of suffering and destitution on the innocent,
want and hardship on the aged and infirm, misery and sorrow on
defenseless women and children, mutilation or death on the men
bearing arms, and it can never be conducted that triumph will not
be decided by cruelty and destruction. When the hostile spirit is
once awakened by bloodshed it justifies the destruction of life and
property, until the enemy surrenders, or his country is laid waste
and he is destroyed. John B. remembers well how Sheridan, his
chief commander, felt obliged to ravage the territory through
which he marched, how he destroyed the grain and forage, barns
stored with wheat and hay, and farming implements, burnt grist
mills, seized the horses, drove off the cattle and sheep, and made
the country as worthless to the Confederate army as he possibly
could. Our kinsman relates an incident that illustrates one of the
evils of war, and a practice that too often disgraced even the Old
Flag. A member of his regiment when foraging had a peccant
for appropriating silverware and silk dresses to send home to his
people. One day when J. B. was out with a company foraging
for the army he entered a house and found this secretive comrade,
who was foraging on his own account, in a very unenviable pre-
dicament. He had just been searching a large chest for the

TJie Gcrnhardt Family History. 239

things he coveted, when the phicky woman of the house suddenly-
dropped the hd on him and jumped on it and held him there, and
would have held him until he died if J. B. had not pulled her off
and saved him. •

Our kinsman saw enough to satisfy him that it will be a
bright day for humanity when war shall cease, and hopes that its
final extinction in the civilized world will not be postponed for
another century. Why indeed cannot states and nations settle
their differences by arbitration and law, the same as individuals,
corporations, and town communities? If the world is to become
Christianized, then surely the time will come when nations shall
beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks,
and learn war no more. The great slaveholders' rebellion should
not have been possible in this enlightened age, and would not have
occurred if the calmer and more Christian people of the South
had been heeded, but it was the selfish ambition of their desperate
and unscrupulous political leaders that plunged them into self-
destructive insurrection. They drew the sword, and they perished
by the sword. They fought to perpetuate slavery, and they caused
slavery to be abolished. They fought for disunion, political
pozi'cr, and hoped to extend slavery. Their Northern brethren
fought for the Union and the Constitution, and to restrict
SLAVERY to where it was — and even after the nation was plunged
into civil war, the government forts and arsenals had been seized^
proposed not to interfere with slavery where it existed if the in-
surgents would lay down their arms. It is well for humanity that
the seditious states rejected the offer of peace on that condition.
They who fought for the "Lost Cause," therefore, may be said to
have unconsciously fought for a Good Cause — for Freedom — even
for Emancipation.

Let us hope that no descendant of Heinrich — and no others of
the sons of men — will ever hereafter be obliged to go to war, but
that the thirty-three of our kindred who have fought under the
Old Flag will be the last compelled to engage in cruel carnage for
the rights of man. War is a relic of animahsm and barbarism.

240 The Gernhardt Family History.

It is one of the "evils of the flesh." The fruits of the Right Spirit
are Love, Mercy, Meekness, Law, Order and Peace — the hope and
promise of the future !

But the Golden Age of Peace and Disarmament is still an era
of the future. The cherished policy of the ruling nations is still
to be prepared for war, believing that in the present state of so-
ciety the arbitrament of the sword is thus abbreviated, or often en-
tirely averted. The greed and selfishness of man still prevents the
world from being at Peace. It was the unremitting cruelty,
tyranny and avarice of the Spaniards that compelled the United
States to recognize the independence of the people of Cuba — April
18, 1898 — and, as President McKinley said in his respectful reply
to the friendly communication of the European powers, obliged us
"to fiilfiU a duty to humanity by ending a situation the indefinite
prolongation of zuhich has become insufferable." It was in a
spirit of unselfish and generous patriotism to serve in the cause of
oppressed humanity, therefore, that our kinsman, Frank Ezra
Litchard^, son of John B., enlisted on the i6th day of November,
1898, for three years, in the Hospital Corps of the Army of the
United States. He did not enlist to participate in the merciless
clash of arms, but to perform the tender and equally patriotic and
important service of taking care of the sick and wounded — in the
doing of which there is at times exposure to the calamities of war,
as liability to be killed in action, or to death from disease. He
was first sent to Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Ga., where he was on
duty until March i, 1899, when he was stricken down and came
near death's door with typhoid fever. When sufificiently recov-
ered, April 28, he received a furlough to go home. He there im-
proved rapidly, and when his leave of absence expired, June 15,
reported to Fort Porter, at Buffalo, N. Y. On the i6th of Au-
gust he was sent in charge of a number of Hospital Corps recruits
to Fort Columbus, N. Y. Harbor, where they were given a befit-
ting course of instruction. On the 27th of September he boarded
the hospital ship Missouri with a detachment of the Corps, bound
for the Philippine Islands, via the Suez Canal, and arrived at Ma-
nila November 28, after a tiresome voyage of 59 days.


The Gcrnhardt Family History. 241

The routine of hospital work was occasionally diversified in
a way that afforded the boys both salutary relaxation and merri-
ment. One of Frank's amusing recollections was a midnight raid
on a negro's watermelon patch, in which he participated with
about a dozen of the Corps boys, while still at Camp McKenzie.
The moon was shining brightly as the pillagers quietly moved
through the pine woods and came to the clearing in which the
lucious fruit lay partly hidden among the vines. A menacing
barbed wire fence enclosed the ground, the well-stretched strands
of which were only about twelve inches apart, so that it required
some circumspection to press through without being lacerated. All
managed to get through without special derangement except
Roly-poly, a short, chubby, good natured youth whose circumfer-
ence was almost equal to his longitude, and whose weight, 180
pounds, was altogether disproportionate to his height. He man-
aged to wriggle through, however, but not without embarrassing
contact with the sharp barbs, and not until he had entertained his
companions by the free use of some very unrefined language.
Each of the boys soon secured a good-sized melon, and started
for the fence on the return march. They had not noticed the small
hut standing in the shadow of the trees on the opposite border of
the patch. They had just reached the fence when they heard the
now alarmed negro proprietor shout, "Sic 'em. Tiger! Sick 'em!
Ketch 'em I Bite 'em. Tiger," and as he clapped his hands the
big dog rushed forward to execute the command. The boys all
got through the fence in good time, and in fairly good shape, ex-
cept Roly-poly, and as he could not at once adjust! himself to the
perilous situation, he had to suffer from the lively onset of Tiger.
The rotund youth had got fast among the clutching barbs, and
the next thing that happened the dog had him by the broadest
part of his trousers and commenced pulling him along the wires,
now to the right and then to the left, he all the while kicking vig-
orously and yelling vociferously, but still stanchly holding on to
the melon under his arm, while his undaunted comrades stood a

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Online LibraryJeremiah Meitzler Mohr GernerdHeinrich Gernhardt and his descendants ... → online text (page 21 of 27)