02 March 2015

National Archives provides info on Civil War soldier

My 4th great uncle, Benjamin Franklin Vanhorn served in the 90th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Infantry. He is a collateral relative but he fascinates me, being the only family member thus far I can confirm actually served during the Civil War on my side of the family.

A single man, he would have been 20 years old when he enlisted on 2 September 1863 as a Private. The 90th PA Infantry spent its days in Virginia. He fought at Mine Run, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, the Spotsylvania Court House, Petersburg, and the Weldon Railroad. It was at the Weldon Railroad, on 20 August 1864, that he was captured, taken prisoner, and confined at Liberty Belle Island in Richmond. 

The National Archives recently shed a little more light on that day. 

Benjamin was admitted at the Regimental Hospital on 18 August 1864 for “diarrhoea”. How embarrassing right? I suppose though it would be hard to march or fight while you constantly stopping to go to the bathroom. In any case, he was cleared to return to duty on 20 April 1864. 

He did survive the War. He was released from Liberty Belle Island on 15 June 1865. 

He came home to Pennsylvania. He married a Margaret Hensel. They moved first to Virginia then made their way west, settling in San Jose, California.

Military Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.