Thursday, June 25, 2015

Henry Harmon and the Civil War - Part 2

Civil War Pension Index1 (click to enlarge)
A few weeks ago, I wrote an introduction to Henry's military life in Henry Harmon and the Civil War - Part 1. After finding Henry's obituary, I immediately went in search for a pension file. A civil war pension file can provide first hand information regarding life and service for a soldier. So after digging around FamilySearch and, I found the index file which stated that Henry not only served in the 82nd Ohio Infantry, but also Company I of the 1st Ohio Infantry. They type of application made was as an invalid, but it does not state the type of injuries that he sustained. It also shows that he applied for a pension at two different times, first on March 3, 1890, and again on April 25, 1907 (following the Pension Act of 1907). Along with the index card, I landed upon Henry's pension payment card. This card shows the payments that he received by the government for his service in the civil war. The payments begin in 1907 and continue until his death in 1921. He earned between $36-$150 per month in pension payments, which would be equivalent to $1000-$2000 in today's market. Henry's wife Anna died before Henry, so his payments did not transfer after his death.

Pension Payment Card, 1907-19212
(click to enlarge)
After seeing Henry had enlisted in two different regiments during the war, I became curious how long he really served in the war, and to what level he attained. I found Henry's enlistment and muster dates on Ancestry's 'Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles'3. See below for a timeline of Henry's service throughout the war.

1st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (from Wikipedia)4
With the outbreak of the Civil War in the spring of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers from nearly every state. In April, recruiters quickly filled the quota for a number of regiments in the state of Ohio, with several regiments enlisting for 3-months, including a command designated as the 1st Ohio. Mustering in April 17, 1861, under Colonel Alexander M. McCook, it travelled by train to Washington, D.C. for garrison duty in the capital's fortifications and defenses until July. The regiment was placed in Schenck's Brigade, Tyler's Division, Irvin McDowell's Army of Northeastern Virginia. It first saw action at Vienna, Virginia, on June 17 and again on July 9 before occupying Fairfax Court House. It fought at the First Battle of Bull Run and helped cover the army's bitter retreat to Washington. The regiment soon returned to Ohio and mustered out August 2.

Life After the War
Following the war, Henry returned to Mansfield, Ohio. He met his future wife, Anna Bickel and they married on September 25th 1866 in Richland, Ohio. They and starting having children in 1867, and relocated to Sandusky, Ohio around 1875. Their family grew to nine, with seven children: Frank, Orlin, Elizabeth, Frederick, Christian, Louis (Jay C), and Katie. As shown in the article below, Henry never forgot the sacrifices he made as a soldier, and dutifully served on the Soldiers' Burial Committee.

January 4, 1916 - Sandusky Star Journal5 (click to enlarge)

[Henry Harmon has been named as successor to the late Henry Rader as a representative from the second ward on the soldiers' burial committee. The appointment was announced by the county commissioners.]

I ordered Henry's entire pension file from the National archives, and cannot wait to find out what other life details it provides for Henry. Hopefully Henry wrote about his firsthand experiences from the war, life after, and possibly pictures! Eventually I hope to come across a picture of Henry, but photography was still a newer technology during his lifetime so I am not counting on it. But, I plan on taking a trip out to Oakland Cemetery soon to find the headstones for him and his family. I have many ancestors buried in Oakland, so maybe I will find some undiscovered family!

Stay tuned for Part 3.... diving into the long awaited Pension file.

1. "United States Civil War and Later Pension Index, 1861-1917," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 April 2015), Henry Harmon, 25 Apr 1907; from "Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900," database, ( : accessed 24 April 2015); company F, regiment 82, Ohio, NARA microfilm publication T289.
2. "United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933," Database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 June 2015), Henry Harmon, 1907-1933; citing NARA microfilm publication M850 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,634,994.
3. Henry Harmon in the U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865. Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.
5. Sandusky Star Journal, Sandusky, Ohio, Tuesday, January 04, 1916, page 6, 'City Briefs' section, available online <>, accessed 24 April 2015.

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