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eral years, to the newly discovered gold placers in the Pikes Peak-
region of Colorado. Margaret's children, as she once wrote me,
all live within a day's drive of her home. In closing one of her
esteemed letters she said : "Providence has dealt kindly with us,
for which we try to be thankful." She and James had :

I. Royal Rowland Clemons*, b. Aug. 5, 1843 • ^- Mary Jane
Gilbert, of Allegheny County, N. Y., Jan. 12, 1870; r. Man-
hatten, Kansas. Two daughters :

i. Lorena Estelle^, b. March 18, 1874. Miss Lorena is the
Secretary of the Kansas State Agricultural College, the
largest institution of its class in this country, oi- in the
world, Iqcated one mile from the city in which her
parents reside. According to the 1902 catalogue of the
college, the total number of students enrolled in the
various departments is 1,396. As Miss Lorena has
held the important position of Secretary upwards of
four years, and receives a liberal salary, it is evident
that she is amply endowed with the necessary ability,.

:254 The Gcrnhardt Family History.

and that she performs her duties conscientiously as well
as satisfactorily. What would her great-great-grand-
parents, Heinrich and Rosine, say if they were to come
back and Lorena could conduct them through this im-
mense institution and show them the Main College
Building, Mechanics' Hall, Gymnasium, Horticultural
Hall, Horticultural Laboratory, Library and Agricul-
tural Hall, with the College Library of 25,700 bound
volumes. Domestic Science Hall, Agricultural Hall,
Physical Science Hall, the great Farm Barn, . Dairy
Barn, Horticultural Bam, and the 544 acres of land de-
voted to agricultural experiments, the expenses of which
tests are defrayed by an appropriation of $15,000 every
year by Congress ? They would be amazed at the con-
trast of their day with this day, and might be imagined
to exclaim, "How the world has moved !"

ii. Lida Ethel^, b. Jan. 22, 1886. In the 1902 catalogue of
the K. State Ag. Col. I find her name appears in the list
of Freshmen.

Royal Rowland demons enlisted in the cause of the Union on
the 6th day of September, 1864, . On the 15th of October he was
assigned to Company E of the Ninth N. Y. Heavy Artillery, and
four days later, on the 19th, in the battle of Cedar Creek, he was
already initiated into the fearful consequences when hostile armies
meet and "let slip the dogs of war." In the notes relating to the
part of Chauncey Wichterman^ (Clarissa^, Jacob^), in the same
engagement — the kin then had no knowledge of each other — ^the
most important details of this great struggle are mentioned.
Royal was but ten paces from the pike when Sheridan on his big
t)lack horse, then white with foam, came rushing through the con-
fused line of battle, some distance in advance of his staff, and
heard him shout, "You shall camp on the old camp ground to-
night." He is also credited with having shouted something very
uncomplimentary to the Johnnies. His appearance and fierce
ardor instantly inspired the men with the same self-reliant spirit,
and when, with fresh confidence, they rushed upon the exulting
foe they retrieved the defeat of the morning by gaining a decisive
and glorious victory.

The Gcrnhardt Family History. 255

After the carnage ended, Royal alone ministered to thirteen of
the seriously wounded, in an old log cabin but a few rods from
Sheridan's headquarters, from dusk until noon the next day. He
gathered wood from among the dead and the debris of arms and
knapsacks and clothes, on the field of slaughter, and made a fire to-
make the sufferers as comfortable as he could, and brought them
water from a spring forty rods distant, to slake their thirst and to
soothe their wounds. Several had their legs broken, and often had
to be helped to change their uncomfortable positions on the hard,,
bare floors, with nothing under them but a blanket. One wretched
comrade was shot through the bowels, and could not raise his head,
but he had to vomit. Another was shot through the bladder, an-
other through the wrist — the latter suffered most intensely, all the-
time walking the floor and moaning — and every one had an ugly
wound. All were strangers to Royal, and he has never to this day
heard of the fate of a single one of the ill-starred thirteen. Thus
did brave men shed their blood on the sacrificial war-altar of their
country, for freedom and righteous government, and thus did the-
daring men, whom Fate spared, tenderly care for their hapless
comrades. Royal had several bullets put through his clothes, but
he suffered no material injury.

The battalion to which R. R. belonged was detailed to guard'
the 1,400 prisoners taken in the battle — the nearly same number of
Union soldiers the Confederates had captured in the morning were
unfortunately not retaken, as they had at once been hurried off the
field to some place of safety — and the next day his duty was to ac-
company the captive Johnnies on their first march, destined for-
Point Lookout. They started from Cedar Creek on the 21st and
marched *to the north side of Winchester, seventeen miles, and then
encamped. At ten o'clock in the evening the order came to fall in
immediately, and though it was then raining and so pitchy dark
that nothing a few feet away could be seen, they were hurriedly
marched eleven miles to Bunker Hill. The cause for this hasty
night march, it was understood by the rank and file, was to prevent
Moseby's guerrillas from attempting to free the prisoners. This
was another dismal war experience that will never be forgotten by

2.^<o The Gcnihardt Family History.

Royal and his comrades. It was an intolerably irksome movement
through mud so deep and slippery that the men often fell pell-mell
into it, and all were covered with the mire from head to foot. It
then suddenly grew cold, so that the dirt froze and made their
clothing disagreeably stiff. After halting five hours at Bunker
Hill, another hurried march of ten miles took them to Martins-
burg, where their prisoners were loaded on cars and taken to Bal-
timore, and thence transported by boat to Point Lookout.

Two days later the same detachment conveyed a supply train
of mule teams back in the direction of Winchester, and by way of
variety had a scrap with Moseby at Bunker Hill, but the foxy
guerrilla seemed to decide that the detail was able to do its duty
and only tarried for a short interview. December 5th found the
Ninth New York with the Sixth Corps again on the fighting line,
south of Petersburg, being sent there to relieve the Fifth Corps,
just then starting out on the well-remembered raid to tear up the
Weldon Railroad, and complicate matters for the Confederates.
There Royal's regiment did its share of guard and picket duty
until the taking of Petersburg and the evacuation of Richmond,
April 2, 1865. Here our kinsman recalls an interesting incident,
that shows that officers and men sometimes see things in a very
different light. The first picket was detailed for three days, five
men and a corporal being stationed at each post along the line.
The posts were formed of pine brush in the shape of a horseshoe,
breast high, the inside of the shoe open to the Union lines, three-
fourths of a mile or less to the rear. The Confederate picket line
was about 80 rods in front of the posts. One man of each post
had to stand about 100 steps in front on guard for two hours, and
was then relieved until his turn came again. The corporal in
charge of the squad had to post the vidette, and march back to the
post with the relief. One night when Royal was on picket duty—
and luckily it was the third and last night for his detail — the com-
rade on guard imagined he saw some Johnnies sneaking towards
the picket line, discharged his gun and hastened back to the post.
All instantly fell back from the fire so they could see better ; but if
there were any of the rebs about, none could be seen, and it was

The Gernhardt Family History. 257

decided to be a false alarm. The officer of the day, failing to see
the advantage of falling back, or too ready to exercise his author-
ity, put the corporal under arrest for misconduct. The next night
the enemy surprised five of the Union posts, killed one of the
guards, and captured twenty-six, because they were compelled to
stand by their fires and could not see. The censured corporal was
at once reinstated, and thenceforth the pickets were expected to
fall back from their fires when assailed. Live and Learn in war
as well as in peace.

About March 25th A. P. Hill succeeded in breaking the Union
line between the Sixth Corps and City Point, by which he obliged
R. R. and his comrades to go without rations for several meals,
but there was some satisfaction for this in the capture of about
2,500 of the adventuresome Confederates, and in keeping Grant's
lines intact. The picket line of the corps was now advanced, over-
lapping the enemy's picket line, and pushing up close to his works.
About the 28th the command broke camp, on the receipt of orders
to be ready to move at one hour's notice. On the 31st General
Sheridan fought the battle of Five Forks with a part of Lee's
army, and made a big haul of 5,000 prisoners. The men of the
Sixth Corps this day lay on their arms ready to be led into action
at any moment. They knew that Grant's plans were working
deftly, and believed that the collapse of the Confederacy must soon
come. On the following evening, when the shadows of night had
fallen so as to conceal the movement, they were aligned in four
lines of battle, ready for the proposed general assault, and lay thus
on their arms through the night, a vigorous bombardment being
meanwhile kept up on the defensive works around Petersburg,
now the last great stronghold of the Southern federation, and be-
fore the break of day on the morning of the 2d of April they
joined in the great general assault, taking the works in their im-
mediate front. Many prisoners were taken, six of whom gave
themselves up to Royal, tired of the war, and not a few completely
realizing that theirs was a Lost Cause. In little more than a week
later the Army of Northern Virginia was dispersed, and the deter-

258 The Gcrnhardt Family History.

mined but useless struggle to found a government with the "sum
of all villainies" as a corner-stone, after spreading ruin and desola-
tion all over the South, was brought to an inglorious end.

But Royal was once more engaged in a clash of arms, as he
had a hand on the 6th in the fight at Sailor's Creek, at the time
when nearly the whole army was in pursuit of the retreating Con-
federates, who had not yet agreed to surrender. It was on the 7th
that Grant sent the first messenger to General Le.e, demanding
a surrender, reminding him that it was clearly evident he was now
waging a hopeless war. Sheridan, supported by the Second
Corps, on the 6th attacked Ewell at Sailor's Creek, taking 16 gims,
400 wagons, and 6,000 prisoners. This was the last hard fight
before the final surrender.

Lee still, however, seemed to hope to cut his way through
the now constantly tightening Union lines — notwithstand-
ing that since the 29th of March 19,132 of his men had
been taken prisoners, besides the large number that had been
killed and wounded, and the many that had during the flight
slipped from the ranks — but he soon realized that further resist-
ance was useless, just as Grant had admonished him, and on the
9th was willing to accept the very lenient terms of surrender
offered, his army now being reduced to less than 30,000 officers
and men. Yet on the very morning of the 9th, when he asked
Grant for an interview in accordance with the terms offered, he
actually made a move to break through. It was of no use, how-
ever, and to save his men from a needless sacrifice it was quickly
abandoned. Sheridan was just getting his men ready for a
charge, when the white flag was held up, and — Royal did not get
into another fight.

2. William Byron Clemons'*, b. Sept. 14, 1844; d. Dec. 2y,


3. Julius Edgar Clemons^ b. July 19, 1846; m. Miss Helen

Irene Carter, January, 1872 ; n. c. ; r. Junction City, Kansas.

Julius enlisted a few days after his brother Royal, and as re-
cruits thev both at the same time joined the same compan} and


The Gcrnhardt Family History. 259

regiment — Co. E., Ninth N. Y. H. A. — in which their cousin, Al-
manzo W. Litchard, served. The sketch of Royal's service gives
the important facts of Juhus' military career, as they were together
in all the marches and engagements therein mentioned. All alike
had the good fortune to pass through the war unharmed, and have
lived to see many of the happy results of the triumph of the cause
for which they fought, and would have given their lives. They
helped to make the Union a World Power, a mighty and ever
expanding force for the civilization, freedom and uplifting of
humanity, that would have been impossible with a disunited peo-
ple, ever wrangling over the curse of human bondage.

4. George Melvin Clemons'*, b. Aug. 20, 1848; d. Oct. 30,


5. LuTHENA M. Clemons^ b. March 11, 1850; d. Mav 20,


6. James Elmer Clemgns^ b. Nov. i, 1851 ; m. Mary Kath-

erine Norman, April 25, 1877; r. Chapman, Kansas; o.
■ farmer. One child : Grace Wadleigh^, b. 1884.

7. Leila Alberta Clemons*, b. July 16, 1853 ; m. Samuel S.

Gaston, Jan. i, 1873 ; r. Wakefield, Kansas. Three chil-

i. Minnie Myrtle Gaston^, b. Feb. 7, 1874; m. William C.
Gaston, March 25, 1896. Two children : Ethel
Gladys^, b. Jan. 19, 1897; Evelyn Ruth*', b. Dec. 22,
a. George Williani Gaston^, b. June 9, 1878; m. Mary
Ellen Haden, Nov. 24, 1898. Two children : Warren
Moore^, b. Oct. i, 1899; Lelia Lorena^, b. Nov. 20,

Hi. Edgar demons Moore Gaston^, b. Sept. 11, 1883.

8. Adilla Lenora Clemoxs^, b. Oct. 22, 1855 ; m. first, Alex-
ander Gaston, Nov. 20, 1872; he d. from injuries received
by being thrown from a carriage May 4, 1893; m. second,
Joseph P. Otis, March 4, 1900; r. Clay Centre, Kansas.
Three children :

i. William E. Gaston^, b. Dec. 24, 1873 ; d. Nov. 20, 1874.
a. Bertha Agnes Gaston^, h. Feb. 29, 1876; m, Percy

26o The Gernhardt Family History.

Batchelor, Oct. 21, 1896; r. Gorman, Kansas. Two
children: Nerila G.^ b. Oct. 31, 1897; Arthur Percy^
b. Jan. 25, 1900.
Hi. Arthur E. Gaston^, b. Jan. 13, 1878; m. Mary Wright,
Jan. I, 1900.

9. LoRETTA Elsie Clemons'*, b. April 10, 1857 ; m. Wellington

W. Norman, of Orange, Ohio, Oct. 25, 1877 ; r. Junction

City, Kansas : Three sons :

i. Ernest Earl Norman^, b. Jan. 30, 1886.

a. Emmer Warren Norman^, b. Aug. 18, 1887.

Hi. Harry C. Norman^, b. Dec. i, 1889.

10. Martha Luthera Clemons^, b. Oct. 16, 1858; m. Eli N.
Crayden, March 18, 1882 ; r. Chapman, Kansas. One
child: Florence M. C.5, b. May i, 1884.

11. Clarence Rafaella Clemons*, b. April 16, 1861 ; m.
Josephine Bisnett, Oct. 2, 1901.

12. Ernest E. Clemgns^ b. Sept. 3, 1863 ; m. Miss Jennie
Alpha Loader, Feb. 26, 1896; r. Sultphen, Kansas. Three
children: Joe Ernstien^, b. May 3, 1897; Ivan Eugene^ b.
Nov. 17, 1898; Lance Edgar^, b. June 17, 1900.

IX. HENRY3, b.x 1823; m. Catharine IngolsonX; n. c. He
d. in Sparta, N. Y., August 27, 1854.

X. BENJAMINS, b. Dec. 26, 1826; d. Dec. 26, 1848; unm.


BALTZER2, the youngest of Heinrich's four sons, was born in
August, 1785, and was therefore 10 years old when the first family
of our kin left the birthplace in Northampton County, and was
just 20 years old at the time of the purchase ( 1805) of the Sinking
Springs. In 1808 he married Anna C. Esbach, who was also born
in Northampton County, and came with her people to Northum-
berland County in the year 1805. He was living at the Sinking
Springs with his wife and four children, and managing the farm,.

The Gcrnhardt Family History. 261

at the time of his father's death (1820), but several years later,
after the sale of the homestead, bought a place about two or three
miles north-west of the Springs, where he lived until his death,
April I2th, 185 1. He served as the sole executor of the parental
estate, as neither of the other two named in Heinrich's will could
conveniently serve. His final account as executor has by some
means got out of its proper f)lace among the archives of the county
and was not found, and therefore we cannot give the particulars
concerning the estate in which all branches of the family have a
mutual interest. A brief preliminary report relating to the vendue
was found, however, but it contained only one item that seemed to
me of any real historical significance, viz., an outlay of five shillings
for zvhiskey for the yeomanr}^ who' came to the sale. Whether this-
excited the ardor and vivacity of the bidders and made the bid-
ding more spirited is not now known, but in some cases it probably
did. It is a fact of history that in that day the fiery beverage was a
free and common provision on all public occasions, even often at
funerals. An old man, whose memory reached back to those days,
some years ago made the remark to me that "then the old men did
most of the drinking, but noiv most of the drinking is done by the
young men."

Baltzer was a man of small stature, but sinewy, strong and ac-
tive, and known as a hard worker. I saw him several times, but
was then too young to remember much about him. I remember
well, however, of at various times hearing him spoken of as taking
great pride in having good, well-fed and well-groomed horses, and
as being an exceptionally good teamster, who could get a team to

draw a load that few could induce them to pull. Air. D , a

neighbor of his, who was also vain of his horses, one day came
along the road by Baltzer's place with a heavy load on his wagon,
and in a bad spot where the ground was soggy got mired. It was
about noon, when the boys were just coming to the barn with the
teams. Baltzer, seeing that his esteemed neighbor could not get
his horses to draw the load, kindly — but evidently with a manner
betraying his conceit that he had the better team — proposed that
Mr. D should unhitch, and that he would then hitch on his

262 The Gernhardt Family History.

team and get his wagon out of the mire. This touched the sensi-
tive neighbor's pride, at which he insisted that his own team could
pull out the wagon with the load if any team could. Baltzer then
told his boys to put their horses in the barn and feed them. After
making several more vain efforts to extricate the wagon, the
owner felt obliged to give up, and then meekly requested Baltzer
to bring out his team and hitch on to the tongue of the wagon and
help his tired horses out of the hole. "No," said the imperturba-
ble Baltzer, "my horses are eating now and I don't care to take

them away from their feed. But, friend D , I'll tell you what

I'll do. If you'll let me take your horses in hand I'll soon show
you that they alone can pull that load out." The subdued and now
surprised neighbor perhaps thought that this certainly would at
least not hurt the reputation of his team, as, after hesitating but a
moment, he agreed tO' the quite unexpected proposition. Mr.
Baltzer, after letting the excited and panting beasts cool ofif a lit-
tle, and giving them some gentle pattings, — and even whispering
something in their ears, for effect on the owner, if not on the
horses,' — induced them to make one tremendous and united effort,
and they actually themselves pulled the wagon out on solid ground.

Mr. D knew they could do it if any horses could — and Baltzer

knew what he could do, and he did it. This circumstance was
often mentioned and chuckled over by the old people who knew
both men well.

Baltzer's wife, Anna C. Esbach, survived him eleven years
(until 1862), but they have now for more than forty years been
sleeping side by side in the Delaware Run Churchyard, in that last
deep sleep from which, according to the Christian faith, there has
as yet been but one final awakening, that of The First-Born from
the Dead. In the frontispiece view of the old graveyard my right
hand rests on her tombstone. The centre stone, with the rounded
top, marks Baltzer's grave. The third of this group of three
stones marks the resting place of Anna Elizabeth, who died a spin-
ster in 1854, and was the third-born of Heinrich's and Rosine's
children. In the other view of the graveyard, in which the church

The Gcryihardt Family History. 263

is seen, the position is reversed, my hand there resting on Anna
EHzabeth's headstone. Baltzer's and his wife's descendants :

I. MARY GARNHART3, b. June 1 5, 1810 ; m. Samuel Sees^.
They settled and lived until their decease on a farm less than one
mile north of the Sinking Spring, where Mary was born, and about
the same distance from the old graveyard. She died Oct. 14,
1846, and Samuel survived her until Sept. 23, 1887. Their chil-
dren and grandchildren :

1. Mary Ellen^, d. in infancy. "Leaves have their times
to fall, and flowers to wither, and stars to set — but thou hast
all seasons for thine own, O Death !"

2. William H. Sees-, b. Aug. 23, 1835 ; m. Elizabeth McCoy,

of Freeport, Ills., Dec. 25, i860. He d. Jan. 23, 1895.

Last r. Montgomery City, Mo. Had children :

i. Mary Ellen Secs^, b. May 30, 1862.

ii. George McCoy Sees^, b. June 30, 1864 ; m. Lorena Rob-
inson, Sept. 5, 1897. One daughter: Madaline Far-
rel'^, b. July 6, 1900.

Hi. Georgianna Sees^, h. April 28, 1866.

iv. Carrie Elisabeth Sees^, h. May 7, 1868.

V. William W. Seesr', b. Nov. 3, 1871 ; m. Blanche Sabourin,
Dec. 22, 1897. One daughter: Lela Ruth Sees'^, b.
Oct. 24, 1898.

3. Jacob Sylvester Sees^, b. April 15, 1837 ; m. first, Elizabeth

R. Berry, Dec. 24, 1861 ; she d. Sept. 3, 1874; m.
second, Rosa J. Wenker, July 2^, 1876. Jacob was a miller
by occupation for many years, but is at present farming the
homestead farm, which is still held by the heirs. His

i. Carrie MabeP, b. July 29, 1862 ; m. N. D. Welshans, of
Limestone Township, Lycoming County, Pa. Has had
nine children: William Dell W.^ b. July 11, 1887;
Gordon Nelson^, b. Oct. 27, 1888 ; Walter^, b. Feb. 19,
1890 — d. in infancy ; Madge Byrl^, b. May 24, 1891 ;
Jacob Sees^, b. Aug. 20, 1893; Abraham^, b. Feb. 20,
1895 — d. in infancy; James Trevette^, b. May 28, 1898
— d. in infancy ; Steward W.^ b. Jaly 23, 1900; Torance
Lakne^, b. July 28, 1902.

264 The Gcrnhardt Family History.

a. Samuel Sylvester^, b. Feb. 3, 1864; m. Gertrude Tri-

Hi. Harry Barney^, b. May 2, 1866.
iv. Blanche Iva^, b. Sept. 15, 1868; m. Bert Weaver; r.

Newberry, Pa.
V. Elizabeth^, b. Oct. 13, 1870; m. Michael K. Tomb^.
vi. William Torrence^, b. June 11, 1873 ; m. Verner Confer,

of Newberry, Pa., April 24, 1902.
vii. Pearl Wenker^, b. Sept. 20, 1878.

4. John B. Sees*, b. June 22, 1840 ; m. Caroline Smith, Feb.
18, i860; r. two miles east of Strawberry Ridge, Montour
County, Pa. ; o. farmer.

John has a war record abounding with many interesting inci-
dents, of which limited space will permit a brief notice of but a
few. He enlisted February 18, 1864, for three years or during the
war ; was mustered into the service a week later as a recruit of Co.
D, Seventh Reg't Penn'a Vol. Cavalry, and was discharged by
reason of close of the war, August 23, 1865. Being well ac-
quainted with several members of this company from the neigh-
borhood of Muncy, who are still living — and one of them, Silas
Snyder, was John's messmate, and often drank with him out of the
same canteen — I have had opportunity to acquaint myself with
the part that he and his comrades took in the campaign in which
they together served. The Seventh Penn'a Cavalry served chiefly
as a part of Gen. Minty's Brigade of the Second Division, Cavalry
Corp^ Army of the Cumberland. John B. Sees participated in
the engagements at Rome, Dallas, or New Hope Church, Big
Shanty, Xenesaw Mountain, McAfee's Cross-Roads, Lead's Cross-
Roads, and Columbus, all in Georgia; at Bardstown in Kentucky,
and at Plantersville and Selnia in Alabama, besides having a hand
in various lively raids and skirmishes with guerrillas and bush-
wackers. For some time he served every third day of the week
on detached duty as a courier from General Eli Long's headquar-
ters. April 2, 1865, he rejoined his regiment just in time to share
in the important battle of Selma, a stronghold that was defended
by works of the most formidable character, where the Second Di-

The Gernhardt Family History. 265

vision met with the fearful loss of twenty-five per centum of its
men and officers in killed and wounded. Minty's already de-

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Online LibraryJeremiah Meitzler Mohr GernerdHeinrich Gernhardt and his descendants ... → online text (page 23 of 27)