Meeting Face to Face

After a ten year search I have found a Civil War era photo of my great-great grandfather, Adjutant William B. Phillips of the 2nd Pennsylvania Provisional Heavy Artillery! Nothing on the back. Great signature though! It is a “carte de visite” — very common during the Civil War. He is wearing a well-tailored 9-button enlisted man’s […]

Two Brothers Die Together at Andersonville

Imagine discovering that both of your sons had died prisoners-of-war in one the worst prisons operated within the Confederate States during the Civil War. While researching the pension records of members of the 2d Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery “Provisionals,” I discovered two soldiers with the last name Rathfon who came from the same location in Pennsylvania […]

Henry Alonzo Greig killed at Chapin’s Farm

William H. Scott, a resident of Lawrenceville, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, came forward after the war to testify that Pvt. Henry Alonzo Greig and he had enlisted together in Co. E, 2d Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery in 1864 and that they had known each other at least three years prior to that. He also remembered that they […]

Revealing Family Secrets

When Catharine Mason filed her claim for a “Mother’s Pension” following the death of her soldier son, she didn’t expect she’d have to divulge embarrassing details about her personal life just to collect her rightful benefits. From government pension records, we learn that John D. Mason was unmarried and still residing with his mother at […]