St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: 1862 "War Meeting" for the Co. D PA 149th Boys

With the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War this week, I've really thought about the families on both sides of the proverbial Mason-Dixon line and the costs the war brought to each.

History tells us of the organization of Co. D of the PA 149th Volunteers at the Hill Church in Robinson's Run on August 22, 1862.  Among those who volunteered and were original members of the group were several kin and kissing kin of mine, including Captain James GLENN (1824-1901).

This seems like the perfect time to share some more tidbits about cousin James.

In the Diary of Hannah Glenn SNODGRASS (my 2g aunt), she tells us that on August 19, 1862, her sister, Maggie, and Hannah's future husband, Addison Henry SIMMONS, and Hannah all ..

(Note: spelling and punctuation are the same as found in the diary)

"went to a war meeting down to Scotts. The speakers the Reverands J Y McCartney R McPherson Mr Calhoun Capt McElwain J Snodgrass & two others
Wed the 20 we sewed & put up tomatoes
Thursday the 21 we took the ear & plumbs aft put up some plumbs and sewed & Capt J Gleen (GLENN) was here for tea 
Friday 22 Capt G in the morning"....

Captain GLENN was the first cousin of Hannah, and likely came to tea as he was going to be leaving for war that night.  J SNODGRASS was also the cousin of Hannah.  Two of the Reverends mentioned were from the Mansfield Presbyterian Church and Mansfield UP Church.

According to Hannah's words,  Reverend McCartney chose his text on the 24th as Psalm 31 verse 19 which states, "How great is Thy goodness, Which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee, Which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee, Before the sons of men!".  We can only imagine the good Reverend somehow used that verse for the war talk from the pulpit.

The company did leave for Harrisburg on the evening of August 22, 1862, and arrived in Washington, DC on August 31, 1862.  To see a letter written by company member (and cousin of Glenn) Frank C DORRINGTON, click on 1863 Civil War Letter from a Member of the PA 149th Bucktails written earlier this week.

The following item I placed in my genealogy files without documenting the source!  How could I have done that?  So, please forgive me.  I acknowledge I didn't write this summary although I suspect it was a local newspaper of the time and I am still looking for the source.  When I find it, it will be properly noted.

Civil War Veterans Memorial
Memorial for Deceased Veterans
G.A.R. Men Honor Their Dead Comrades in a Service at the First Baptist Church Records and Singing on Program

The First Baptist church was filled with old soldiers and their friends, and relatives of deceased members of Captain Thomas Espy Post No. 153 Grand Army of the Republic, last Sabbath afternoon. Perhaps never before in Carnegie have there been held a more impressive service then this, the service to the memory of the twenty-one members who have passed away in the past seven years. The McKees Rocks Veterans Association was well represented. Rev. C. C. Cowgill, pastor of the First Christian church, read the Scripture lesson and Rev. J. H. Duff D.D., pastor of the First Presbyterian church, made the opening prayer. The pulpit was draped with the American Flag, and the symbols of the mourning, and on the arrival of the Post their half-masted flags were placed upon the platform. Col. Wm J. Glenn announced the program. The choir, with Miss Ella Perrin at the organ, sang several selections. Adjutant W. H. H. Lea read the record of each of the twentyone comrades who had died, and after each one the bugle call and taps were sounded. Rev. J. A. Snodgrass, the pastor of the church and a member of Espy Post delivered an address. Rev. Snodgrass spoke of the great dept which the younger generation owes to the Union soldiers of the Civil War. In the performance of their duty they assured to us the blessings of prosperity which we now enjoy. He called attention to the act that the government pension list, which up until last year grew steadily larger, had commenced to diminish, and last year was smaller then the year pre- ceding. There is only one cause for this, said he, the old soldiers are passing from our midst. The service closed by the congregation singing the doxology. Rev. Cow- gill pronounced the benediction.

*GLENN, James Captain James Glenn, who organized Company D, was a military man before the War, having entered the State service under the old Militia Laws, as Second Lieutenant in the Pennsylvania Blues, an independent Allegheny County Military Company. In this organization he was promoted to First Lieutenant and Captain; his Company being a good organization, and well known under the old system. He was mustered into the Volunteer Service for the Civil War as Captain of Company D, 149th Pa. Volunteers, August 22, 1862, and promoted to Major, April 22, 1864, and to Lieutenant Colonel January 08, 1865. After the Regiment joined the Army of the Potomac it was assigned to the Third Division, First Army Corps, and Captain Glenn was Provost Marshal of the Division. He served in this capacity until he was promoted to Major. Captain Glenn was placed in command of the Regiment after the fight at Gettysburg, July 01, 1863 the Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel and Major being disabled by wounds - and had charge of the Regiment through the second and third days of the battle, and up to July 6th, when Major Irvin returned and took command. After the battle of Dabney's Mills, February 07, 1865, the Regiment was ordered to Elmira, N.Y., for special duty, and Lieut. Col. Glenn was there placed on detailed court martial service. He was mustered out of the service August 22, 1865. After the war Captain Glenn was elected Major in the 14th Regiment, N.G.P., September 01, 1875; promoted to Lieutenant Colonel January 20, 1877, and to Colonel in January, 1882. After serving a term as Colonel he retired roll February 25, 1888. Captain Glenn was well known in the community in which he lived, had no difficulty in securing the requisite number of men to organize a Company for the Civil War, and with the assistance of his Lieutenants and First Sergeant, the Company soon became proficient in drill and discipline. During his service he became known as a fighting officer,being frequently assigned to other commands when severe fighting was expected. He was almost reckless in his bravery. It was a common remark among the boys that "the Captain didn't know when he was licked" and after his attempt to rally half a dozen members of his Company on the retreat from Seminary Hill at Gettysburg, to stop the advance of a division of Lee's Army, followed by his service in the Wilderness and other campaigns, the mention of his name was sure to recall recollection of his bravery and soldierly qualities. He served his entire term of service without sickness or wounds, and was engaged in every march, skirmish or battle in which the Regiment participated. After the war he engaged in the grain and feed business and made his home with his sister, Mrs. Robb, of Glendale, Allegheny Co., Pa., where he lived, honored and respected by the entire community and kindly remembered by the surviving members of his old company. He died August 23, 1902, and was buried by his surviving comrades in the cemetery at Mt. Lebanon, Allegheny Co., Pa.

More on Captn James GLENN:

*General History of Company D, 149th Pennsylvania Volunteers: and Personal Sketches of the Members, compiled by John W. Nesbit. pg 52, 1908.

 "Captain James Glenn's Sword and Private J. Marshall Hill's Enfield in the Fight for the Lutheran Cemetery" by Wiley Sword Gettysburg, Jan. 1, 1993, Issue No. 8.

"Hannah Glenn Snodgrass Diary 1862-1863" Transcribed by Ann S Eldredge, Theresa Paxton and John Addison Williams, Jr,  Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, 32:3 (2006).

Ahh, genealogy. Writing about the past brings warm hugs from beyond on a sunny day.

©2011 AS Eldredge

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