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theless his fate to die poor. He was strictly temperate, moral,
well informed on a variety of subjects, ever affectionately de-
voted to his family, but yet always too much inclined to see and
seek opportunity in some other place rather than right around
him, and so too often disregarded such common-sense dictums
as, "a rolling stone gathers no moss," and "one bird in hand is
better than two in the bush." I never saw him, but having seen
his nephew, Seth, and heard him talk and play the fiddle, and
having inspected some of his curious fabrications, it may be well
enough to devote a little space to the nephe^.

Seth many years ago traveled all the way from Illinois to
California with an ox team, an experience that would doubtless
have furnished data for an interesting chapter. After a number
of years he returned in the same leisurely way, to find that his
wife had meanwhile died, and that his widowed mother had been
taking good care of his three motherless and for a time father-
less children. He started again for California with an ox team,
this time taking his good mother and children with him. What

The GcrnJiardt Family History. 289

a long, slow, wearisome journey across the plains and mountains
that must have been for his old mother and the children. The
old lady no doubt felt reasonably safe with her brave and burly
boy, and it is a satisfaction to know that she lived for many years
to enjoy the new home and many comforts in the land of sun-
shine and flowers. She and Seth both died and are buried in
Eureka, Humbold County. Alan}- of his hunting adventures oc-
curred on the other side of the Rocky Mountains.

Once when Seth crossed the plains on one of his hunting and
exploring excursions he had with his team a faithful old mule he
called Dave, of whose intelligence and social qualities he had a
very high opinion. But old Dave was mortal, was taken violently
sick and suddenly went the way of all flesh, and his mourning
master had to leave his carcass on the plains for the hungry
wolves and coyotes to feast on his flesh. On his return trip Seth
camped again on the same spot, and there was the skeleton of his
devoted old friend, Dave, now clean and bleached, recalling to
mind his valuable services in days gone by, and suggesting that
he might still be of some possible services to his appreciative
owner. Gently turning over old Dave's skull, and perhaps won-
dering as the poet wondered when he queried,

" When coldness wraps this suffering clay.
Ah, whither strays the immortal mind?"

the thought immediately came to him that he could make a fiddle
out of it, and that he might also make a fiddle bow out of one of
his ribs, as sure as a woman was once made out of a man's rib.
So he brought some of the bones of his dear old Dave with him,
and by and by he made a skull-bone fiddle and a rib-bone fiddle
bow, with which he in course of time delighted thousands by
playing "Old Dan Tucker," "Zib Coon," and "The Devil's
Dream." He was not a great violinist, but he surely was a great
fiddler, and executed what he could play with admirable technique
and stirring expression. His playing was like himself, strong,
steady, bold, wild, original and peculiar. I practiced some my-
self at that time on the same King of Instruments, and his viva-
cious playing made a lasting and pleasing impression on me. In

290 The Gernhardt Family History.

imagination I can still hear him. Seth was never without a fid-
dle, even when he traveled on the plains, and when he played in
camp he. was always sure of having an attentive ear, as old Dave
would invariably linger near the fire, or wagon, being as great a
lover of music as the fiddler himself. But poor old Dave never
dreamed, no more did his master then, that some day his cranium
would be transformed into a fiddle and furnish amusement to
wondering crowds. '

Sometime during Lincoln's first administration Seth visited
Muncy and gave an entertainment in a public hall, at which I was
present. He -appeared in his buckskin hunting clothes, a power-
ful and most formidable-looking man, with an immense beard
and long, bushy hair reaching to his shoulders, and seemed tb
me as great a curiosity as many of the novelties he exhibited.
Among the relics displayed was a wonderful Elkhorn chair that
he had made for Abraham Lincoln, and which he said he was
then on his way to Washington to present to the noble man, for
whom he expressed intense admiration. He also had another
curious chair from under the seat of which, when he sat down on
it, the head of a bear would shoot forth and savagely snap its
jaws. He exhibited the skull-fiddle and rib-bow and gave an in-
teresting history of shrewd old Dave, and played a tune or two
to show that there was still some music in his old comrade, not-
withstanding that he could no longer make the welkin ring with
his sonorous braying. But the strange instrument did not have
the sweet and resonant tone of his real viodin, on which he played
the "Arkansas Traveler," and as he did so related the observations
and adventures of that renowned character, to the intense delight
of a verv^ attentive audience. He had been an admirer of Presi-
dent Buchanan, and had presented him with a sample of his
ingenuity in the shape of a Buckhorn chair, but when secession
trampled Old Glory in the dust he saw things in a new light and
became infused with the most enthusiastic admiration for Old
Abe. It seems that after the war he presented a Bear chair to
President JohnsonI — the chair probably that has just been men-


The Gernhardt Family History. 291

tioned. He about that time also presented a curious chair to
Rutherford B. Hayes, who was then Governor of Ohio.

CHnton Lloyd, Esq., a clerk in the House of Representatives,
who spent the last years of his life in Muncy, made the presenta-
tion speech when Seth gave the Elkhom chair to President Lin-
coln. Mr. Lloyd, whose memory was a marvel to all who knew
him, was a valued contributor to Now and Then, and I now have
to regret that I did not think to ask him to give its readers his
recollections of Seth and Lincoln on that anomalous but interest-
ing occasion. But fortunately some remembrance of the event
has been preserved. Mr. John G. Huntington, a first cousin of
Seth's, in 1897 published a little book of personal reminiscences
in which he mentions that when, in 1862, he was at his homie in
Montgomery, Lycoming County, Pa., on a furlough from the
army, Seth came to his house, and that they then went to Wash-
ington together for the express purpose of presenting the chair
to the President. He says : "I had the extreme pleasure of be-
ing one of the men who carried the chair to Mr. Lincoln at the
White House, and it was an occasion that I will never forget. I will
always remember Mr. Lincoln's remarks. Kinman's father and
Abe Lincoln had been in the Black Hawk war together in Illinois,
and Seth had with him an old flint-lock rifle which his father had
used in that war. Mr. Lincoln took up the old rifle and, taking
sight over the long barrel, said, 'Mr. Kinman, I believe these are
the best guns yet.' " After mentioning how Seth amused Lincoln
with the story of his old mule Dave, and by showing him the skull-
fiddle and rib-bone bow, he then goes on to say : 'After Mr. Lin-
coln sat down in the chair and tried it all over he said, 'Mr. Kin-
man, you got my measure pretty well; it just fits me.' Mr. Kin-
man now said: 'Mr. President, I have something else here that
I want to show you.' 'What is it?' inquired Abe. Just then
I stepped forward from the rear of the room and handed the violin
to Kinman. Mr. Lincoln viewed it all over and asked, 'Now, Mr.
Kinman, will it make any music ?' Seth took the violin and said :
'Mr. Lincoln, I will play you two tunes. One is the "Essence of
Old Virginia," and the other is "Root, Hog, or Die." He also

292 The Gernhardt Family History.

played 'Away Down in Dixie.' Well, when Kinman drew the
bow across those strings it took Old Abe so down that he
laughed until his stove-pipe hat fell off on the floor. I never will
forget the event. I never saw a man enjoy anything like Mr.
Lincoln did that music. When the music ceased Mr. Lincoln said :
'Now, Mr. Kinman, I will take the chair and you take the violin ;
for I can sit in the chair but can't play the violin.' This ended
the presentation."

Rosanna's and Nathan's children and grandchildren :

1. Sarah Ann Kinman^, b. Dec. 22, 1829; m. James Curtis,
March 25, 1850; she d. March 10, 1853. No issue.

2. John Kinman*, b. Aug. 17, 1831 ; m. Miss Louise Clark,
April 4, 1857; r- Dayton, O.

He early entered the military service, but of the date of his
enlistment I have not been informed. He was severely wounded
on the morning of the first day of the battle of Pittsburg Land-
ing, — fought April 6 and 7, 1862, — the greatest and most sanguin-
ary battle of tbe war then yet fought. As the Union troops wiere
driven from the field, and his comrades could not find him when
the ground was regained on the following day, it has been sup;
f>osed that he was removed by the Confederates, and that he prob-
ably soon died in their hands. Being very severely wounded, he
may, however, have crawled from the spot where he was seen fall
and been among the scattered host of both sides who, intermingled,
lay cold and rigid on the wide field over which the two great
armies had been desperately struggling for two days. The
enemy had left his own dead to be buried by our troops, and he
had been so stubbornly fought, and at times so hard pressed, and
his facilities for caring for his own wounded so taxed, that it may
be questioned whether he looked after our badly wounded. But
whatever John's particular fate was, he was one of the many loyal
and true whose death-message there was no one to receive and
send home, and whose final place of rest will never by mortal be
known. Though not even a simple head-stone will ever mark his
grave, what grander memorial can there be to his valor and patriot-
ism than the national peace and prosperity he died to secure. ' He

The Gernhardt Fainily History. 293

« -^

died a martyr, for us, his kindred, his country, and for all hu-

He had one daughter: Anna Laura^, b. Feb. 20, 1859, at
Manistee, Mich. She m. first, Horatio S. Kemp, Feb. 14, 1884;
second, Francis G. Pucket, Dec. 14, 1895. Two children : Ruth
Richmond Kemp^, b. June 5, 1887; Eliza Wahnetah Pucket^ b.
April 7, 1899; r. Dayton, Ohio.

3. Charles C. Kinman"^, b. April 11, 1833 ; m. Mary H. Hall,
May 10, 1853. After he had been in the tjiree months'
service he re-enlisted for three years, and joined the 23d
Kentucky Vol. Infantr}-, Oct. 9, 1861. He passed safely
through the bloody battle of Murfreesboro', but was soon
afterwards disabled by an accident in camp that unfitted
him for militjary service, and on account of which he was
honorably discharged May 10, 1863 ; r. Galena, O. He d.
May 14, 1889, ^"d was buried at Galena, Ohio. Three
children :
i. Julia Annie K.^, h. Aug. 10, 1854; d. Feb. i, 1855.

a. Ida May K}, b. Jan. 26, 1856 ; m. Dr. Judson Utley, July
20, 1878 ; r. Galena, O. Three children : Marv Edna^,
b. March 22, 1883; Gertrude Borland^, b. Jan. 9, 1887;
Gladys K.6, b. Feb. 9, 1892.

Hi. George Borland K.^, b. April 23, 1858; d. Feb. 7, 1888,
at Bloomfield, Indiana, where he was engaged in the
mercantile business ; m. Catharine Grey, the same day
he died.

George, as we learned from one who knew him well, was a
young man of good habits and excellent character. He had more
than ordinary ability, was studious and industrious, and although
still young, had already succeeded well in business. His doting
parents had begun to lean upon him as the staff of their old age.
But disease suddenly robbed them of that consolation and laid him
low. He had engaged himself to be married. When he felt that
the ruthless messenger was about to come for him, he asked to
have the marriage ceremony performed, and twelve hours later
he was numbered with the great^ silent multitude, and his young-
wife was alreadv a widow.

294 T^h^ Gernhardt Family History.

4. William ^. Kinman^ b. Sept. 26, 1835 ; m. Mrs. Sophia
Dodge Kisse, of Pekin, N. Y., July 6, 1863 ; r. and d. in
Andrew County, Mo. Two children :

i. George L.^, b. June 23, 1864; d. Dec. 22, 1887.

a. Alvin A.^, b. Sept. 28, 1866; m. Martha Wright, May
2y, 1894; r. Robinson, Brown County, Kansas. Four
children : Earl Arthur^, b. May 7, 1895 ; Charles Ever-
ett^ b. Aug. 19, 1897; William Thomas^, b. April 15,
1899; Harvey Leslie^ b. Oct. 21, 1901.

5. Mary Jane Kinman^ b. April 5, 1838; d. Sept. 8, 1839.

6. George W. Kinman*, b. Feb. 6, 1840; d. Dec. i, 1851.

7. Seth Kinman*, b. June 5, 1842; d. Aug. 17, 1842.

8. Mary Sophia Kinman*, b. Aug. 17, 1843; ^- James A.
Maloney, March i, i860; r. Bellbrook, O. James d. May
23, 1894. Had no children of their own, yet their home
was an asylum for children. They raised and educated
three, and gave temporary homes to a number of others.
She and her youngest brother, Nathan, are the only chil-
dren of Rosanna now living.

9. Ellen Jane Kinman^, b. Aug. 22, 1847; ni- I^a A. Scott,
Jan. 14, 1868; r.x She d. Jan. i, 1876. Three children:

i. George Louis S.^, b. Oct. 18, 1869; d. April 12, 1880.
a. Annettie S.^, b. June 25, 1871 ; m. Harry K. Chidlaw,

Oct. 18, 1892; r. Orange, Texas. Three children:
; Lester Scott^ b. Oct. 23, 1893 ; Carroll Hughes^ b. May

25, 1896; Harry Kenneth^, b. Sept. 16, 1900.

Hi. Mary Bell S.^, b. July 26, 1873 ; m. Walter McClure,
Oct. 18, 1892 — the same day on which her sister Annet-
tie was married. Two children : James Edwards^, b.
Sept. 13, 1893; Carl Scott^ b. Feb. 3, 1900.

10. Nathan T. Kinman^, b. Feb. i, 1851 ; m. Olive Amelia
Craw, Sept. 11, 1877; r. Long Beach, Los Angeles County,

He was the youngest of the thirty-three patriotic descendants
of Heinrich Gernhardt who, from 1861 to this time, entered the
military service of Uncle Sam. He was but a stripling eleven
years and ten months old when, in company with a chum, Joe Rob-
inson, he ran awav from home, and on the 28th dav of November,

The Gernhardt Family History. 295

1862, enlisted as a drummer — because on account of his age he
knew he would not otherwise be accepted. His three living broth-
ers were already in the service, and he thought it was his duty to
be there also. In the following spring the army of the Cumber-
land was being recruited and needed musicians, so he was ordered
from New York, where he had been stationed during the winter,
to join the army at Chattanooga, to serve as a bugler. It was
soon discovered, however, that he could not bugle, whereupon he
was given his choice of being sent back home or shouldering a
gun and a knapsack. He immediately decided to remain with
the army. He wanted to carry a gun, and did not object to a
knapsack. He was still only in his 13th year, but his promotion
to the rank of a high private made him feel that he had now at-
tained to manhood. There were perhaps younger boys in the army
as drummers, but certainly not many younger that carried a gun
and a knapsack. He was now assigned to- Company G, o^f the
79th Pa. V. Infantry. Fourteenth Army Corps, under Gen. John
M. Palmer.

Nathan's first baptism of fire chanced to be at Lookout Moun-
tain, November 23, 1863, where there was much fire, and much
excitement. He did not know that war was such a terrible busi-
ness, but he found out what it was when the infernal dogs of war
began to bark and howl and snap and bite as the Fourteenth
Corps moved across Lookout Valley in the assault on Lookout
Mountain, the crest of which was alive with the ready Boys in
Gray under the redoubtable General James Longstreet, waiting to
receive with their outstretched arms the eager Boys in Blue under
the equally valorous General Joseph Hooker. The attacking
troops were not only warmly assailed with shot from muskets
and cannon, but shells with lighted fuses, and rocks, and even logs,
were rolled down on them in the most spiteful manner, as they
scaled the side of the mountain, and fought and won the famous
"Battle above the Clouds." Nathan vividly remembers how, after
the Johnnies had in belter skelter haste left their seemingly impreg-
nable position, the conquerors, flushed with their splendid victory,,
rent the air with shout upon shout and became almost frantic with.

296 The Gernhardt Family History.

joy. And Nathan was a very fortunate boy, as he sustained no
injury in this nor in any of the succeeding battles during Sher-
man's March to the Sea, which now seems marvelous to him when
he reflects how many he saw killed and wounded around him in
the various engagements.

The hottest place the juvenile soldier thought he was ever in
was at the battile of Bentonville, N. C, March 21, 1865, near the
close of the war, where Sherman gave Gen. Johnston another
severe wallop. The fight did not continue long, but it was lusty
and bloody while it lasted. Gen. Slocum, in command of the left
wing of Sherman's army, very unexpectedly found himself con-
fronted by Johnston's entire army, whereupon Sherman ordered
him to stand strictly on the defensive, and sent dispatches to a
number of his scattered divisions to move in haste to Bentonville
in his support. Slocum was not frightened. He at once took a
strong position to make a vigorous defense, and then sent a di-
vision a little farther ahead to form another line. Johnston now
quickly fell on him with an overwhelming force and broke up his
advanced line. Slocum had hurried up the Fourteenth Corps,
under Gen. J. C. Davis, — the corps to which Nathan belonged, car-
rying a gun and a knapsack, — and the Twentieth Corps, under
Gen. Williams, and was now ready to make an obstinate resistance
until Sherman could push forward the troops to his relief. Kil-
patrick heard the noise of battle in the distance and in the mean-
time had come galloping to the scene and massed his cavalry on
the left, ready to take a hand in the fight. The confident enemy
now came on in a terrific rush, in three heavy columns, expecting
to crush Slocum by his very weight and impetuousness. But he
found himself facing an insurmountable barrier. Right there in
his front stood the undaunted Fourteenth Corps, presenting a solid
wall beyond which he could not advance. Six times in less than
one hour he tried in vain to break the line. He partially succeeded
the last time, but the undismayed men of the Fourteenth instantly
rallied, furiously charged him in turn, and sent him flying from
the field. It was a hot fight, and so close that many of the Con-
federate dead lav within the Union lines. Nathan says the men

The Gcrnhardt Family History. 297

around him were "simply mowed down," but once more he passed
through the showers of bullets without being harmed. Otlier di-
visions of Sherman's anny now came up, and Johnston concluded
the proper thing for him was to retreat. Slocum's loss was seri-
ous, but Johnston's was nearly twice as heavy.

Though battles are exciting, and always more or less danger-
ous to corporeity and life, yet the long and tiresome marches, in
the hot sun, or in rain, often over dusty, sandy or muddy roads,
were sometimes about as hard to endure. Nathan says his com-
mand marched thirty-five miles one day, then before the men had
time to get settled in camp the enemy came upon them and forced
them back over the same ground, and they did not stop moving
until the next morning, when they were about ready to fall over
from sheer exhaustion. Often, however, the soldiers have lots of
merriment on their marches, as well as when in camp, as every
battalion has its irrepressible wags and jokers, ever ready with
some ludicrous speech, or to view grave matters in a farcial way,
and this often serves to rally their spirits and maintain their forti-
tude. There is always something turning up to make sport over,
to stir up their wits, promote good cheer, excite interest in their
movements and surroundings, and to keep them on the alert. In-
cidents daily occur, in almost every soldier's life, that would adorn
a tale, point a moral, excite sympathy, provoke laughter, or elicit
admiration, if rightly told. Once Nathan went out on a foraging
raid by himself, at a time when such liberty was not approved,
and he came across a little pig, nice and fat, that he seized as con-
traband of war and tried to smuggle into camp without being seen
by the officers. He was caught in the act, however, and for his
defiant misdemeanor he was compelled for a while to carry the pig
back and forth in front of the commander's tent, and then — more
mortifying than all — he was obliged to surrender the pig. He
would not have minded the carrvang part of the penalty, if he only
had not been deprived of his nice little fat pig. At another time,
when he craved a change of diet, he quietly stole from the ranks
when on a march to visit a house not far from the line, where he
thought himself very fortunate to find a nicely baked cake, a

298 The Gernhardt Family History.

luxury not on the list of army rations. When he returned to his
company he shared the tempting sustenance with two of his com-
rades. Result — his comrades died, and he got "awfullv sick."
Moral — don't always trust to pleasing appearances. Lesson —
obey orders.

A good pair of willing legs sometimes is a blessing to a sol-
dier, and inattention to orders may cause serious trouble. Once
when the boy was out on the skirmish line a call was sounded
that he mistook for a summons of another sort, and that led him
to move in the wrong direction. The mistake resulted in his
walking right up to a body of Confederates. Seeing his predica-
ment, he wheeled about and made a desperate scud to gefc back to
congenial company. A number of bullets whizzed past him, but
he got back whole' — as bullets don't hurt unless they hit you. He
thinks his legs never performed their duty in better time. And
he paid closer attention to calls after this affair.

No impression remains more vivid in Nathan's mind than the
closing scene of the war, of which it was his good fortune to be a
witness. He will never forget how jubilant they all felt and the
excitement that followed when the word was passed along the
lines that both Lee and Johnston had surrendered, and that the
cruel war was at last ended. The men were forbidden to fire off
their guns or discharge the field pieces, but a command might as
well have been given to the wind to stop blowing. For the next
hour the noise made by the defenders of Old Glory was simply
terrific. The glorious sunshine of Peace had at last broken
through the black cloud of Civil War, and they could not refrain
from giving the loudest possible expression to the joy, the over-
whelming delight, that now filled their hearts. The whole army
was frenzied with excitemeni. The noise presently subsided, but
the rapturous joy that had for a moment overflowed abides to this
day in the soul of every survivor who fought to preserve the
Union. Preparations immediately followed to march to Washing-
ton, where they were to be reviewed by the President and his Cab-
inet, and then disbanded. Nathan, now past the noon of life,
thus in a few touching words referred to their reception at the

The Gernhardt Family History. 299

metropolis of the nation by the great and grateful multitude on
the bright day of the review : "We arrived in Washington tired,
ragged and dirty, but Oh ! how we were cheered and cheered and
cheered by the people as we marched by. It is a pleasant memory
yet, to think of those hearty and tumultuous cheers, the bright
faces, and the flags, that everywhere lined the avenues, and the
cordial welcome we all received."

Nathan's family consists of ten children :

i. Mary Eloise^, b. June 5, 1878; m. Floyd C. Foote, March
12, 1900. Mr. Foote is editor and proprietor of The
News, of Long Beach, Cal. One son : Wayne Theo-
dore Footie^ b. Dec. 18, 1900.
ii. Olive Rosanna^, b. Jan. 11, 1880; m. Frank M. Wilson,
Aug. 15, 1898; r. Independence, Cal. One daughter:
Gladys Wilson^, b. Oct. i, 1899.
Hi. Ada Ellen^, h. April 2y, 1882.
iv. Lucy Liiella^, b. Jan. 18, 1884.
V. Jessie Irma^, b. Sept. 4, 1887.
vi. Nathan Lloyd^, b. Jan. 29, 1889.
vii. Harold Ernest^, b. Aug. 21, 1891.
via. Glena^, b. Feb. 26, 1895.
ix. Ralph^, b. April 19, 1897.
.r. George^, b. x\pril 15, 1901.

III. DAVID WILLIAMS^, b. Jan. 22, 1812; d. April 13,

IV. CHARLES C. WILLIAMS^, b. March 18, 1813; m.

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