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In order that the present and rising generations may be reminded of the price of the liberties they enjoy and become more familiar with the history of some of those who when our nation was in peril left their homes giving up their lives as a sacrifice upon the altar of a beloved country, is the incentive prompting the preparation of this imperfect sketch. If the marked bravery of a volunteer soldiery, fired with patriotic devotion to country, shall even in a small degree be accentuated and the youth who may chance to read its recital or pass by the memorial stone be fired to a higher devotion to flag and nation, the full reward will have been enjoyed by the writer in the humble effort to give this brief history of the soldiers' monument which stands upon the school grounds in Frankfort Springs, a loving memorial to the brave sons who lie in unknown graves. The monument is a modest marble shaft of obelisk form, standing some seven feet above the elevated foundation and was erected in the summer of 1888 by the citizens of Frankfort Springs vicinity and the soldiers of that section, led by Mr. Joseph Butz, a soldier, father of Mrs. Clark McKenzie, who desired to erect a suitable memorial to those patriots whose bodies lie far away from loved ones.
The unveiling of the monument took place on October 12, 1888, on the occasion of the regimental reunion of the 140th, which was held at Frankfort Springs. Hon. W.S. Shallenberger, a soldier of distinction, and who represented this congressional district in the national congress three successive terms, and was fourth assistant postmaster general under President Harrison, made the principal address. Captain Milligan also participated in the exercises, as well as other distinguished soldiers whose names the writer is unable to discover.
The monument contains the names of sixteen soldiers, viz: William G. King, of the 46th Pa. Vol. Infantry; John C. Keifer, of the 44th Reg. 4th Pa. Cavalry, and the following, all of 140th Pa. Vol. Infantry: Robert Lindsay, George Fox, David Keifer, Jacob R. Fleegal, William Purdy, William Conley, James H. Beall, Jonathon Berlin, William McCreary, Robert G. Savage, William H. Herron, Louis Swearingen, Stewart Campbell, Thos. F. Campbell, 64th Reg. 4th Pa. Cavalry. On the base of the monument is this tender inscription:
"in Memory of Our Heroic Dead Who Sleep
The writer appends a brief sketch of the above named soldiers, which is imperfect because of the dearth of available information, and hereby acknowledges valuable aid given by many citizens of the community in the preparation of the sketch.
William G. King was the son of James and Mary King and was born and reared on the farm known as the Stevenson heirs' farm, southeast of Frankfort Springs. He was a brother of Mrs. Harper, of Clinton, Beaver County, widow of David Harper. He enlisted August, 1861, in the 46th Pa. Vol. Infantry, and was lost in the action attending what is known as Bank's retreat up the Shenandoah Valley. The place of burial is not known.
Thomas F. Campbell was the son of Josiah and Rosanna Campbell of near Frankfort Springs and a' brother of Captain Samuel Campbell; enlisted in the 64th Reg. 4th Pa. Cavalry. Nothing definite is known concerning his death or burial. A statement that he was made a prisoner in Libby prison and was standing in the door and was shot by one of the guards came to his friends some years after the war, and another report given the writer was to the effect that he and some other cavalry men, being wounded in an engagement possibly at Chancellorsville, was carried into a log hut with others was found bayonetted, presumably by the enemy.
John C. Keifer was the son of Jacob and Nancy Keifer; born on the farm upon which William Keifer now resides, east of Frankfort Springs. He enlisted September 16, 1861 in the 44th Reg. 1st Pa. Cavalry. Was a brother of William Keifer, Sr. and Mrs. Margaret Ewing. He was regimental bugler and was killed May 28, 1864 at Enoch Church. His body was buried by his brother Samuel. His bugle is in the possession of Mrs. Mary Keifer, of Frankfort Springs.
The remaining thirteen were members of the famous 140th, a regiment which, it is said, suffered more serious losses than any other Pennsylvania Regiment. Company H was made up mostly of persons from the vicinity of Frankfort Springs, and the enlistments of most of these bear date of August 22, 1862.
This regiment was largely recruited by Colonel Richard P. Roberts, who had entered the service a captain of Company F. and at the organization of the 140th regiment was elected colonel and was commissioned to that rank. He lost his life in the battle of Gettysburg, July 2. 1863, as he gallantly led his regiment beyond the Wheat Field, up the rocky ledges surrounding Little Round Top, and when the words of tender command had scarcely left his lips: "My brave boys remember you are on your native soil -your own Pennsylvania; drive back the rebel invaders," he fell, pierced by a minnie ball.
Marcus Ormand was the captain of Company H for a time. He was promoted to the rank of chaplain and was succeeded by Captain Samuel Campbell. the post bearing his name being our honored guests on this Memorial Day. Captain Campbell gallantly led the company and was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. Samuel S. Kerr also served as captain.
Below we give a brief sketch of those who were in this regiment and whose names are on this monument.
Robert Lindsey was born in the Kings Creek section, possible in West Virginia and made his home with the family of Samuel Leeper, father of Joseph W. Leeper, and it was from here he enlisted. Details are wanting but it is believed he was lost in the engagement of Spottsylvania Courthouse, May 12, 1864.
George Fox was the son of W. and Eleanor Fox, and was born September 14, 1830 on Little Travis near the site of Morgan mill. His father was a scythe and sickle maker, having his shop on Travis Creek. He enlisted in 1861, served as corporal in Company H, wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863 and was lost in the engagement at Spottsylvania Courthouse, May 12,1861. He was a brother of William Fox, residing east of Frankfort Springs.
David Keifer was the son of Henry Keifer. He enlisted as a private in Company H, served until after the surrender of General Lee and was killed supposedly by a sharp shooter, April 7, 1865, at Farmville, Virginia. His body was buried by his comrades in a coffin made from pews taken from a Methodist church nearby.
Jacob R. Fleegal migrated from eastern Pennsylvania, and made his home for a time with August Miller on the farm on which Thomas Campbell now resides, and enlisted while in his employ - in Company H. He was wounded in the battle of Deep Bottom, August 16, 1864, and died from the effects of the wound September 10, 1864, a little more than a month after suffering the wound. His body was buried October 7, 1864 in Philadelphia, Pa.
William Purdy was the son of Farmer and Esther Purdy, a full brother of Corporal John Purdy, of Clinton, and James and Esther Purdy of Frankfort Springs; born on the farm now the home of the family of James Hood. He first enlisted in the 56th Pennsylvania for three months, and afterwards in the Company H of the 140th Regiment. Suffering from an attck of measles, his brother John was aiding him, and he was ordered back in the battle, that of Spottsylvania Courthouse, May 12, 1864, after which no word was had of him. His Bible, knife, fork, and spoon were found upon the field and are in the possession of his family.
William Conley - But little information could be obtained of his history, parentage and place of residence. He was a member of Company H, was in the Battle of Gettysburg and received serious wounds July 2. 1863, from which he died July 21, nineteen days later, in the hospital. His body lies in the cemetery at Gettysburg.
James H. Beall was the son of David and Rachel (Moore) Beall, who resided on a farm near Poe, Beaver County. Enlisted in Company H, and was reported missing after the battle of Brostow Station, Va., October 14, 1863. There are reasons to believe that he died in one of the southern prisons, although no facts positively showing this are to be found.
Jonathan Berlin was the son of Samuel and Eliza (Hogue) Berlin, born in Beaver County, near Poe, on the farm where Zachariah Swearingen now resides; a member of Company H; was killed in the battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. It is supposed that his body lies in the Gettysburg cemetery.
William McCreary was the son of Henry and Ann (Carothers) McCreary. His father was a harness maker, working at his trade in Frankfort Springs many years. He was a member of Company H; died from wounds received in action, May 18, 1864, it being the story that the engagement was that of Spottsylvania Courthouse. He was one of the youngest men enlisted from this section. His body probably lies in Gettysburg cemetery.
Robert G. Savage was a son of William and Margaret Ann (Leeper) Savage, a half brother of James Savage and Mrs. Neettie Arnold. Born in Robinson Twp., Allegheny County. He was a member of Company H, and was killed at the battle of Spottsylvania Courthouse, May 12, 1864. Exact place of burial not known.
William H. Herron was the son of Stephen Herron, a blacksmith, residing in Frankfort Springs. William being a carpenter apprentice was apprenticed to William McCullough, east of Frankfort Springs at the time of his enlistment. Member of Company H. killed at Spottsylvania Courthouse, May 12, 1864. His body lies in the Wilderness Cemetery.
Louis Swearingen was a son of Captain Samuel and Martha (Spivey) Swearingen. Born and rear on the farm upon which Bazil Swearingen now resides, near Poe, Beaver County. Member of Company H. Killed in the battle of Gettysburg, July 2,1863. One who saw him fall tells this of his death. The color bearer was shot down, and he heroically bore aloft the fallen emblem, only to meet the fate of the other. His body lies in the Gettysburg Cemetery.
Stewart Campbell of his early history we are not able to find definite data. He made his home for some time with Russell Moore, the father of Mrs. McCutcheon of Frankfort Springs, a short distance south of the village. He became a member of Co. H. Died May 29, 1864, from the effects of a wound received in action, and was buried June 13, 1864 in Arlington Cemetery.
This copy was made from a Memorial Day Program at the Frankfort Springs Monument on May 30, 1911.