Daniel Jamison of Lime Ridge
Daniel Jamison was born, according to his family Bible, on 17 December 1812. He was the son of Dr. James Jameson, of Allentown, PA, and Catharina Siegfried, daughter of a farmer in a nearby township (see Chapter 2). He spelled his surname with an “i” at the center, but his son Albion believed that the ancestral spelling was Jameson (and went to some trouble to change his own military records to that spelling).
Sometime near the end of his life, Daniel wrote a summary of his life on seven hand-written pages, a brief autobiography which provides fascinating glimpses into his psychological and religious development. The current whereabouts of this manuscript is unknown, but fortunately lengthy sections of it were quoted in a local newspaper article about Daniel in 1983. The transcriber, newspaper-man and historian Ted Fenstermacher, reported that Daniel’s penmanship was exceptionally good but that he used phonetic spelling with traces of Pennsylvania Dutch pronunciation, such as “chumpt” for jumped, “fardest” for farthest, and “hat” for had. (These German-influenced spellings provide a clue that Daniel may have grown up in Pennsylvania Dutch country.)
In the manuscript Daniel wrote that his mother sent him as a boy to the Presbyterian Church and, after he learned well the catechism and doctrine, he became a member, but as a young man he was not a serious Christian. Later, after he had switched to the Methodist church, he observed that there was “no wrong in the [Presbyterian] doctrine; the wrong was altogether my fault. I had eyes but did not see.”
The next sure date we have after Daniel’s birth is his first marriage, just after his twentieth birthday, on February 21, 1833. The bride was 19-year-old Judith Bomboy, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth A. (Bauer) Bomboy of Briar Creek Township, Columbia County, PA.
Daniel and Judith’s first child was born on December 7, 1833, a baby girl whom they named Celestia Adeline Jamison. Judith Bomboy Jameson went on to bear nine children altogether before her death at age 40. (See the genealogy beginning on page 5.)
To support his new family Daniel took up the adventurous life of a canal boatman on the then still-building system of state canals. Having seen the success of New York’s Erie Canal, the state of Pennsylvania in 1821 had begun to construct canals reaching along the Commonwealth’s rivers and eventually across the mountains to Pittsburgh and the Ohio River system. Before the railroads came in the 1840s, the canals offered by far the best transportation for bulk cargoes, and they were often preferred by passengers as well instead of stagecoaches. The canal boats, usually eighty feet long and fourteen feet abeam, were pulled by mules or horses at the rate of four to six miles an hour. With stops for locks, congestion, and overnight tie-up, boats averaged about 24 miles on a good day.
In 1836 Daniel settled his young family in the canal town of Port Carbon near Reading, PA. At this village nestled among mountains was a terminus of the Schuylkill Canal which reached northward from Philadelphia 108 miles along the Schuylkill River. There he was assessed by Norwegian Township taxmen in the years 1836 through 1839; he was rated for one horse (two by 1838) and his occupation as Boatman, paying a relatively low tax ranging from $1.70 up to $2.08. He did not own land or a house, nor did he pay the extra tax his wealthier neighbors did for keeping a carriage. The life of a canal boatman was rigorous; he worked long hours—from 4 a.m. to dusk when the boat-master was trying to make maximum mileage—and he had to be away from home much of the time. The trip from Port Carbon to Philadelphia and return took about two weeks normally.
After four years on the Schuylkill Canal, Daniel in 1839 moved his family back near Judith’s home in Columbia County. They settled at another canal town, then called Centreville, now Lime Ridge, on the north shore of the Susquehanna River. Centreville was a hamlet of “some fifteen or twenty cheaply constructed dwellings” for canal boatmen and also laborers in the nearby lime quarries. Battle’s History of Columbia and Montour Counties published in 1887 describes the village and its economic base this way:
About 1845 several lime-kiln proprietors, desirous of securing better shipping facilities, purchased twenty-four acres of land bordering the canal. After erecting suitable wharves, the remainder of the land was disposed of to quarry hands as building sites on which some fifteen or twenty cheaply constructed dwellings were built. The name Lime Ridge applies exclusively to some half-dozen more substantial residences subsequently erected to the west of these. During the greatest activity of the lime business Centreville was a thriving hamlet, and still does considerable business, though many of its residents are now transferred from the quarries to canal-boats. Two stores, which conduct a thriving local trade, and two church buildings add to the attractiveness of the place. The denominations represented here are the Evangelical and the Methodist. The condition of the former is not as flourishing as formerly, a large proportion of the membership having moved to other points. The latter was organized in 1832 by Isaac Low, George Sloan, Henry Trembly and Aaron Boon, in a school-house at some distance from the village. Ten years later its present house of worship was built.
Here Daniel continued as a “Boatman” (1850 census), but also opened a tavern near the canal. In the 1840 Tax Assessment for Centre Township, Daniel Jameson was rated for 1 horse, 1 cow, and his occupation as innkeeper.
Daniel’s tavern prospered, no doubt helped along by his connections with the canal trade. Later, after he became a confirmed temperance advocate, he wrote about this period in his life: “I sold whiskey, brandy and wine to everybody that wanted a drink of liquor. I made more money in a short time than ever I did before or after. It was a bad business but made money fast.”
A big change in Daniel’s life came, though, after just two years or so as a tavern-keeper. In the winter of 1841 there was a “protracted meeting” or six-week series of revival services in a church about a mile from Daniel’s home. He recalled later that
quite a number of my whiskey boys would come to my tavern and take a drink before they went to church. When church was out, the boys came back and reported what happened during the meeting; how they jumped and shouted and who got converted that evening. After the report, the boys took two or three drinks and went home. This went on about four weeks and at the beginning of the fifth, my whiskey boys reported that Joseph Webb and Mary, his wife, were converted. I could not believe it. Joseph and Mary were the best friends I had in all that neighborhood.
Now in order to know and see if that was so, I went to church myself. When I came to the church I went into the farthest corner I could get. I did not go there to get converted.
Daniel’s account provides details of the evangelist’s exhorting his listeners passionately, with tears running down his face; this experience affected Daniel deeply, and though he didn’t feel as if he was thoroughly “converted,” he wrote later, “I stopped swearing and stopped keeping tavern and kept from all evil and sinful thoughts.”
Here was a change indeed! Canal boatmen and saloon keepers were notoriously rough and ungodly, and Daniel probably fit the mold well enough before this date.
The next year, 1842, Daniel attended another protracted meeting, this time across the Susquehanna River at Mifflinville. In the fall of that year he “built a large brick home, 32 by 40 [feet], two stories, for the purpose of keeping a temperance house or tavern [inn] to accommodate temperance people and strangers.” The Jamison family moved in on New Year’s Day, 1843, although the house was not finished: “carpenters continued work on the second and third floors of the home. . . .” The building, it seems, is still standing, now a handsome private home along Main Street in Lime Ridge.
“Temperance House” in Lime Ridge, PA, 2007
That winter Jamison again attended revival meetings at Mifflinville. During this revival a neighbor, 64-year-old John Freas, who never “had religion” before, attended the meetings, went to the “mourners’ bench,” and “was happily converted. He shouted and rejoiced and fell on the floor and was stiff as a dead man or in a trance. After the meeting was over, the Christian people carried him to a house nearby” and the old man came to after a half hour. About a week later, Freas talked with Jamison and urged him to go to the services.
Daniel did so the next day, and his “second conversion” resulted on March 16, 1843. He arrived at the church after the meeting was well underway and, he wrote, “Just as I came to the church, the whole congregation was kneeling and I kneeled at the door at the first seat. But the altar and mourners’ bench were at the other end of the church.” In that back row, something deeply significant occurred and Daniel became noticeably more pious from that time forward.
The next day, according to his life story,
I told my wife that we would have family worship before we would eat and that she should get the children, five in number [ages 9 down to 6 months], to kneel while I would pray. My wife done so. When breakfast was ready I also told my carpenters, one teamster and one lime burner to also eat and I talked to them and told them I got religion last night and said that I will have different rules in my house and family.
He told his workers to kneel while he read the Bible and prayed, “and they all done so excepting one who did not kneel.” The next morning, when they all gathered again for breakfast, he later wrote, “I pointed my finger at the one that did not kneel the first morning and told him I will pay you off. I cannot make you come to my rules; one thing I can do is discharge you and send you away.” The worker dutifully knelt, and afterwards the Jamison household continued the practice faithfully.
One further step in his religious experience came nearly a quarter-century later. “Now in the year of 1866 in the month of August there was a camp meeting held and old Father Kohlman from Williamsport, an M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] preacher, preached.” After that meeting Jamison walked and prayed for some fourteen days and then felt “sanctified.” (Wesleyan Methodism preached a “second work of grace” after conversion: sanctification, a purification or cleansing of sinfulness. Usually that experience came within a year or two of conversion.)
On 9 January 1845 the Berwick Enquirer announced that a public dinner and a speech by a pro-Temperance orator would be held the next week at the home of Daniel Jamison in Lime Ridge; tickets were 50 cents and could be obtained at most stores in Berwick. Commented the sympathetic editor of the Enquirer, “We hope that our Temperance friends will turn out to a man.”
Daniel’s wife Judith died 5 July 1854, leaving nine children ages 20 to 2. He buried her at the Methodist Episcopal church cemetery just down the road from Temperance House. His land adjoined the church and cemetery on two sides, and he donated additional land to the cemetery to include his family burial plot behind the church. Eventually eleven Jamisons were buried there in two rows on either side of an imposing central monument.
Four years later, on 11 November 1858, Daniel married a second time, to 35-year-old Anna Mariah H. Maust. She was probably the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Maust of West Hemlock Township in Montour County, about ten miles downriver from Lime Ridge. In the next six years Mariah bore him three more children, one of whom died before the age of two.
During these years, Daniel invested his earlier tavern gains in local property. He purchased a lime quarry north of the village, where limestone was dug from the ridge and also from a deep pit to supply the three adjacent lime kilns which turned the stone into lime powder for fertilizer and for use in iron smelting. (When production stopped, the pit was 110 feet deep; the hole gradually filled with rainwater, and the site now is a rectangular pond beside U.S. Route 11.) The Bloomsburg and Lackawanna Rail Road track passed right by the quarry and kilns, so the product could easily be transported to markets up and down the river valley; some shipments continued to be made on canal boats.
Centreville (Lime Ridge), PA, 1876.
KEY: 1. Jamison’s Addition 2. Jamison home 3. Jamison lands 4. M.E. Cemetery
Daniel also bought lands between Centreville and the quarry, fertile farm fields in the river flood plain; the acreage around the church he used as his family farm. One ten-acre plot Daniel laid out into 40 house lots in 1856, naming his subdivision “Jamison’s Addition” to Centreville. Sales were gradual; the map of Centreville in the 1876 atlas of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania shows about a dozen houses on lots in the Addition. The northern lots never were sold off individually, and that land now is an industrial area just north of the residential area of Lime Ridge.
Daniel also bought the land south of Centreville between the canal and the river, adjacent to the canal basin where boats tied up. The deed specifies that one corner of the property lies in the middle of the bridge over the canal. He sold this lot in 1863 to neighbor Peter Miller, and the 1876 map shows fourteen lots there fronting the canal towpath. Daniel probably had hoped that a boat yard for building canal boats would be developed on his land, but the village of Espy, a few miles downriver, captured the lion’s share of the boat-building business.
In the 1860 census for Centre township, Daniel Jamison is listed as a 50-year-old “Depot Agent,” probably for the Bloomsburg and Lackawanna Rail Road station which served Lime Ridge.
In 1870, curiously, Daniel, Mariah and their two surviving young children, Hattie (10) and Charlie (5), were living with widow Catharine Paulus in her small house on lot #25 in the Jamison Addition. (See photo next page.)
Mrs. Paulus’ House in Lime Ridge
Apparently, Daniel’s son Benjamin and his family were then living in the (much larger) Temperance House. This arrangement apparently displeased Daniel’s wife, and may have been the impetus for the deed which Daniel signed five years later. On April 20, 1875 Daniel conveyed his home and barn, on Lots #2 and #3 in Jamison’s Addition, along with 7 acres nearby to his wife, Anna Mariah (Maust), in a trust. The trustee, neighbor Mordecai M. Hicks, was to hold the properties only for the use of Anna Mariah for her life; she was to take the rents, the deed specifies, “so as her husband shall not in any wise intermeddle therewith.” (Wouldn’t we like to know what negotiations between husband and wife prompted that article!) In the 1876 Beers atlas of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania (p. 42)the house on Lot #2 is designated “D. Jamison.” The couple lived on together in the Temperance House for another quarter-century. In 1890 Daniel and Anna Maria deeded a 32-acre farm field west of Jamison’s Addition to their youngest child, Charles W. Jamison, for $1000.
Daniel Jamison died October 14, 1900 and was buried in the family plot in Lime Ridge Methodist Cemetery beside his first wife Judith. His second wife Mariah joined him at her death on February 7, 1908, being buried so that Daniel lay between his two wives.
DANIEL JAMISON FAMILY
b. 17 Dec. 18121 “of Columbia, PA” [i.e., Columbia Co.?]
d. 14 Oct. 19001 Centre Twp., Columbia Co., age 87-9-27 (gravestone)
bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cemetery, Centre Twp., Columbia Co.
m. (First) 21 Feb. 18331 Judith Bomboy, d/o Jacob Bomboy & Elizabeth A. Bauer
b. Dec. 25, 18131
d. July 5, 18541 (g.s. July 5, 1851), age 40-6-9
bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
1. Celestia Adeline Jamison 1
b. 7 Dec. 18331 (g.s. Dec. 20, 1833)
d. Oct. 12, 1917 unmarried (g.s.)
bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
2. Albion Bomboy Jameson1
b. 23 Aug. 18361 in Port Carbon, Schuylkill, PA17
d. May 29, 1920, Washington, D.C., bur. Arlington National Cem.17
m. 18 June 1867 Lavilla Hendershot, who d. Mar. 29, 1920
See below for a biographical sketch.
3. Agnes Jamison
b. 6 Jan. 18381
d. 35 May 1918
m. 18 Mar. 1866 at Berwick, PA, Harvey Alonzo Deiterick,
s/o Samuel & Elizabeth Dietterich of Centre Twp.
b. 26 Sep 1846, d. 27 June 1935.
4. James Almon Jamison
b. 23 Dec. 1840 1
See Chapter 4 for his Civil War service.
5. Benjamin Franklin Jamison
b. 30 Aug. 1842 1
d. 30 Nov. 1924 (g.s. 1926 is definitely wrong)
bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
m. 3 Jan. 1869, Mary C. Glassmoyer of Centre Twp.,
b. 1851, d. 1887 (g.s.), bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
See next Chapter for biographical details.
6. Elizabeth Ann Jamison
b. 12 Oct. 1844 1
d. 9 July 19061
7. Isaiah Jacob Jamison
b. 23 Oct. 1846 1
d. 1934 (g.s.)
m. May 1871, Marion P. Chapin,
b. 1850, d. ca. 16 Sep. 1935 (g.s.), bur. New Columbus, PA
See below for a biographical sketch.
8. Mary Catherine Jamison
b. 23 Mar. 1850 1
d. 14 Dec. 1852 1 bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
9. Sarah Valera Jamison
b. 1 Mar. 1852 1
[Daniel] m. (Second) 11 Nov. 18581 Elmira [Anna] Mariah H. Maust10
(probably the daughter of Joseph & Sarah Maust of W. Hemlock Twp., Montour Co.)
b. 16 Oct. 1823 1
d. 7 Feb. 1908 age 84-3-21, bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
10. Susan Harriet Jamison
b. 1 Nov. 1859
m. _____ Jones
11. Ellen C. Jamison (gravestone; Allen Gadalyn in Jamison Family Bible )
b. 29 Oct. 18611
d. 20 July 1863 bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
12. Charles Willington Jamison
b. 2 Mar. 18641
d. 26 Oct. 1948, age 84-7-24, bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
m. 12 July 1888, Rachel Rebecca Hetler , d/o William & Elizabeth Hettler of Lime Ridge, PA ; she b. 19 Oct. 1871, d. 29 Mar. 1947, bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
Below are brief biographical sketches for Daniel’s sons Albion B., Isaiah J. and Charles W.; for the biography of Benjamin F., see Chapter 3. For the Civil War experiences of four of Daniel’s sons, see Chapter 2.
Albion B. Jameson was born at Port Carbon, Schuylkill County in 1836 and moved at about age three with the family to Centreville (later Lime Ridge), Columbia County. There he “grew up on a farm” and doubtless helped at the family farm and the family inn, “Temperance House.” He attended local public schools; later he had two years of additional schooling at Dickinson Seminary in Carlisle and at the New Columbus Academy in Luzerne County. He then taught at a district school (location unknown) for one year. At age 24 he was 5’7” tall, with dark complexion, hazel eyes, and black hair. (See photo in Chapter 2.)
When the Civil War began he was among the first volunteers to leave Columbia County for military service, enlisting for three years with the Iron Guards (see Chapter 4). He was immediately elected by his fellow soldiers to Corporal and then Sergeant rank, and before long was promoted to Lieutenant. He spent much of the war in various hospitals recuperating first from a malarial infection and then from a knee injury at the Battle of Antietam which left him partially disabled for life. He hobbled on marches during the Battle of the Wilderness and for “gallant and meritorious services” was promoted on the battlefield to brevet Captain. In 1864, at the end of his 3-year enlistment, he re-enlisted by Special Order of the War Department in Company F, War Department Rifles under the command of the Army Provost Marshall, and this desk job in Washington led to his civilian employment after the War.
While Albion was serving as a clerk in the War Department in Washington, he was invited to room with a young man from his home county, A. J. Hendershott (son of Joseph Hendershot of Bloomsburg, PA), and the two were roommates for three years, 1864-1867. In a deposition supporting Albion’s pension application, Hendershot testified that during the winter of 1864-1865 Albion was so ill with malarial fever that “it was thought he would not recover, and his friends [i.e., his family] were sent for.” A. J. provided considerable TLC for his sick roommate—and the friendship resulted in a lifelong connection when Albion wooed and won A.J.’s older sister for his bride (see below).
After completing his enlistment, due to his partial disability he accepted a post in the federal civil service, working in the First Auditor’s Office of the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. The biennial Federal Register shows that he rose through the ranks of auditors to become eventually one of four chiefs of division in the Auditor’s office. He assisted in managing the accounting of the huge federal war debt, redemption of government bonds, etc. In managing “millions on millions” of dollars he “always held the confidence of those under whom and with whom he . . . served.” His salary rose from $1200 in 1868 to $2000 by 1901, and he was able to live a comfortable middle-class life, raise a family, and help the family of his brother Benjamin, whose health had been ruined by his war service.
After the War Albion studied medicine in order, he wrote in a pension document, “to better care for and treat my maladies.” He graduated from the medical course at the University of Georgetown on 5 March 1867. Although he was thereafter addressed as “Doctor,” he apparently never took up an active medical career.
Shortly after completing his medical course, on 18 June 1867 Dr. A. B. Jameson of Washington married Lavilla Hendershot at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bloomsburg, PA. She was the sister of his roommate and the daughter of well-to-do Bloomsburg coal merchant Joseph Hendershot and his wife Melvina. Lavilla and Albion had three children, one of whom died young: May, born 21 Sep. 1872; Jay Paul, born 3 Nov. 1883; and Albion H., born 4 Aug. 1882 and died 1 Feb. 1883.
Albion and his family resided at various homes in fashionable northwest Washington: 1414 Park St.. Mt Pleasant; 3223 School St. NW; 3223 Hiatt Place, NW. As late as 1912, however, he maintained his “legal residence” at Bloomsburg, PA, presumably so as to be eligible for pension service through his Pennsylvania Reserves enlistment.
According to his GAR “Personal War Sketch,” Dr. Jameson was reared in the Calvinistic (Presbyterian) and then Methodist faith by his pious parents. In later life, however, “not being able to subscribe to the iron-bound creeds and dogmas as advanced by Calvin, he sought what he considered the more liberal, larger and broader faith, and became united with the Unitarian Church.” He was an influential member of the GAR post in Washington, but was also remembered and honored by his fellow Iron Guard veterans in Columbia County.
Albion B. Jameson died at Washington on 29 May 1920 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His widow Lavilla died soon after and was buried beside him at Arlington.
Isaiah Jacob Jamison was born at Lime Ridge on 23 October 1846, the seventh child of Daniel and Judith (Bomboy) Jamison. He was seven years old when his mother died and twelve when his father remarried. Although we have no record of his schooling, he must have attended local public schools and probably went away to one academy or another for part of his education. It’s quite probable that like his brother Albion he attended New Columbus Academy, for he later married the daughter of one of the school’s founders. By age 17, when he enlisted in the Army, he was trained as a printer.
At age 16, with three brothers already in the Army, he volunteered for the Pennsylvania militia in the “emergency” of a Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863; he enlisted 17 June in Company C, 28th Regiment 1863 Emergency Militia. But before his unit could march to a battlefield, the Rebel forces retreated from the state, and he was mustered out on June 20th with his company.
The next year, just before his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted at Bloomsburg on 7 September 1864 for one year, earning a $100 signing bonus. He declared that his age was 18, though he was still more than a month shy of that milestone. At the time, he was 5’5” tall with dark eyes, brown hair, and dark complexion. Two days later at Camp Curtin near Harrisburg he was mustered in to Company E of the 209th Pennsylvania Infantry. (See Chapter 2 for his military service record.) He was mustered out with his Company at Alexandria, VA on 31 May 1865, when he was still owed $66.65 of his bounty money.
In May 1871 Isaiah married Marion P. Chapin, daughter of Dyer L. and Amanda M. Chapin of New Columbus, Luzerne County (just over the Columbia County line). The bride’s father was a Justice of the Peace in the borough of New Columbus, a wealthy man, and one of the two chief movers in the founding of the New Columbus Academy in 1858. The new married couple eventually settled in that borough, where he practiced his trade as a printer and then, late in life, served as the Registrar of vital statistics.
Isaiah and Marion had four children, of whom one died young. Two boys were named Herbert C. (born about 1872, died 1911) and George M. (born in February 1887). After the children left home, Isaiah and Marion lived on in New Columbus into their eighties; he died in 1934 and she died a year later in September 1935, age 85. Both are buried in New Columbus.
Charles Willington Jamison was born at Lime Ridge, his father’s youngest child, on 2 March 1864, while three of his older brothers were serving in Army units during the Civil War. He became a farmer, probably on the family’s small farm at Lime Ridge. In 1894 when he was age 30 his parents deeded to him for $1,000 the 32-acre field near the Temperance House; his father Daniel was listed in the Census that year as “Retired Farmer.” Charles continued in general farming at the same site until at least 1930, when he was age 66.
On 12 July 1888 Charles was married to Rachel Rebecca Hetler, daughter of William and Elizabeth Hetler of Lime Ridge. (She was Rebecca at her marriage and in census listings through 1920, but Rachel R. in the 1930 census; her tombstone reads R. Rebecca.) The couple had four children: Ruby; Lizzie N., born in September 1879, married Earl Cortright; Robert H. (Hiram R.), born January 1900 and died 1930 (he and his wife Mary C. are interred at Lime Ridge Methodist Cemetery); and Mary Young.
When Charles’s mother Anna (Maust) Jamison died in 1908, Charles inherited all her personal property along with the family home (Temperance House) and barn on two lots in Jamison’s Addition and all the unsold lots in that development.
Both Charles and his wife Rebecca died in 1948, and they are buried together in the family plot at Lime Ridge Methodist Cemetery.
NOTES FOR CHAPTER 3
CCHGS Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society (Bloomsburg, PA)
The data in the family Bible are transcribed at www.lowerluzernecounty.com/familybibles/jamisonfamilybible.htm
from a typed transcription attested, as correctly copied, by a White House notary in about 1908. Cited hereafter as “Jamison Family Bible.”
Daniel’s manuscript is cited from the reprinting of the newspaper article by Ted Fenstermacher titled “Temperance House” in his book More Tracking Yesterday (Bloomsburg: Press-Enterprise, 1984), 149-53. All subsequent quotations of Daniel’s autobiography are from this book, cited as “Temperance House.”
Jacob Bomboy was born in Rockland Township, Berks County, PA on May 14, 1787, and moved to Columbia County between 1810 and 1820; he settled first south of the Susquehanna River in the village of Mifflinville, then moved across the river to live in Liberty (now Espy), a village along the North Branch Canal about three miles downstream from Lime Ridge. By 1850, at age 63, Jacob was well-to-do: his occupation was listed as “none” and his real estate was valued at $5000 (CCHGS, GEN file “Bomboy”).
Birthdates for Daniel’s children are from the Jamison Family Bible (see Note 1).
Tax assessment: Schuylkill County Tax Assessment Office, Triennial and Annual Assessments, Microf. LR 343.142, Norwegian township 1833-1842.
J. H. Battle, History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania (Chicago: A. W. Warner, 1887), 211.
1850 U.S. Census, Centre Twp., Columbia Co., PA (Ser. 4432 roll 764, p. 169). Note: all census data are cited from online copies of official microfilms, viewed at Ancestry.com. Tax records: Columbia County Assessment Records 1838-1840 (CCHGS microf. 6098), Centre Township, 1840.
The building shown is identified as Temperance House in Fenstermacher’s article (see Note 2); Jamison’s home in 1876, however, was on lots 2 & 3 of Jamison’s Addition (about 300 yards East of the pictured home), and is no longer standing.
Quoted from Paging Through the Past (Bloomsburg: Press-Enterprise, 2001), 29.
Judith’s death: Jamison Family Bible and gravestone, Lime Ridge Methodist Cemetery, cited in Cemeteries of Columbia County, vol. 3 (Bloomsburg: CCHGS, 2004), 177; cemetery land: “Temperance House” (see Note 2) and Columbia County Deed Books 55:8.
Marriage to Anna Maust: Jamison Family Bible and Star of the North (Bloomsburg, PA), 17 Nov. 1858, p. 2 (both bride and groom are said to be “of Columbia County”; “three more children”: Jamison Family Bible and 1870 U.S. Census, Centre Twp., Columbia Co., PA, Ser. M593 roll 1329, p. 124 visit 77; “one . . . died” (Ellen C. Jamison): gravestone, Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
“purchased a lime quarry”: Isaac Low to Daniel Jameson, 2 Mar. 1842, Columbia County Deed Books 9:116. The lime pits and kilns are shown on the map of Centre Township, Columbia and Montour Counties (New York: F. W. Beers & Co., 1876), 42.
The deed in which Daniel acquired the 10-acre plot apparently wasn’t recorded by the county Recorder of Deeds; a plat of “Jamison’s Addition” and a second, annotated copy, are in CCHGS Land Records, file “Jamison, Daniel”; lot conveyances in Jamison’s Addition are found in Deed Books 17:623 (lot #4, 1856), 18:541 (#27, 1864), 35:480 (#7 & #8, 1870), 28.186 (#2 & #3, 1875), 51:195 (#6, 1890); other sales are unrecorded; for the deed for lot #9 (1863), see CCHGS Land Records, file “Jamison, Daniel.”
Columbia County Deed Books 15:222 (1858), 18:200 (1863).
1860 U.S. Census, Centre Twp., Columbia Co., PA, Ser. M653 Roll 1098, p. 657 visit 358.
1870 U.S. Census, Centre Twp., Columbia Co., PA, Ser. M593 roll 1329, p. 124 visits 77 and 72; quotation: Columbia County Deed Books 28:186 (30 Apr. 1875), 55:8 (10 Mar. 1890).
Wilbur Riegel, a grandson of Celestia’s sister Agnes, wrote in his typescript “1993 Memories of Wilbur Dietterich Riegel” (p. 2) that his “Aunt Lest” (short for Celeste) lived in Berwick, PA with Wilbur’s parents, Agnes and Harvey Dietterich, until her death in 1917; her funeral expenses (for casket, vault, and embalming) totaled $105.
The Columbian (Bloomsburg, PA), 21 June 1867, p. 2.
Riegel, “1993 Memories,” p. 1.
Columbia Democrat and Star of the North (Bloomsburg, PA), 28 Mar. 1866, p. 3; Wilbur Riegel lists his grandfather’s name as “Harvey Justine Dietterich,” cites the birth and death dates listed in the text, and notes that Harvey enrolled in the Union Army during the Civil War as a substitute for his father, Samuel Dietterich, who had been drafted (“1993 Memories,” pp. 1-3); a typescript genealogy provided by Neil Kepner of Berwick, PA, “Descendants of Johannes Jacob Detrick” (22 Feb. 2002), cites Harvey’s paternal lineage for seven generations: Samuel7, Henrich6, Johannes Jacob5, Johann Elias4, Elias3, Wilhelm Emanuel2, Johann Peter1.
The Argus (Benton, PA), 4 Dec. 1924, p. 1.
The Columbian and Democrat (Bloomsburg, PA), 8 Jan. 1869, p. 2.
The Morning Press, 8 Feb. 1908, p. 2.
This is the sister “Mrs. Hattie Jones of Baltimore” mentioned as a survivor in the obituary of Benjamin F. Jamison (see Chapter 3).
Marriage: Columbian and Democrat (Bloomsburg, PA), 20 July 1888, p. 3; the bride’s father’s given name should be Hiram; an anon. typescript genealogy (CCHGS, GEN #606) headed “Henninger Family” lists a Hiram Hetler, b. c. 1837, who had a daughter Rachel Hettler b. 19 Oct. 1871 who married Charles Jaminson, and had children Ruby, Lizzie, Hiram and Mary Young Jaminson.
Data in this section are drawn principally from three sources: a) Albion B. Jameson entry in Ent Post GAR “Personal War Sketches” (Bloomsburg, PA, privately published, 1894), 124-5, 274 (copy at CCHGS, Bound MS 102); b) over 50 documents in the military pension file for Albion and his widow Lavilla at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., cert. 890,637; c) biographical sketch of Albion in J. H. Battle, History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania (Chicago: A. Warner & Co., 1887), 345-6.
Photo courtesy of Neil Kepner of Berwick, PA; the photo is labeled on the back “Daniel Jameson,” but there is no evidence that Daniel served in the Civil War; the photo shows a Lieutenant’s shoulder strap on the uniform coat (1861 Army regulations called for a Lieutenant to have “at each end [of the strap] one gold-embroidered bar of the same width as the border, placed parallel to the ends of the strap, at a distance from the border equal to its width”), and Albion was the only Jamison brother known to have been a Lieutenant in the Union Army.
Autograph deposition by A. J. Hendershott received at the Pension Office 3 Dec. 1888; in Albion’s pension file.
Federal Register (Washington: Government Printing Office, biennial) for various years 1868 to 1903. The working conditions of government clerks during the years of Albion’s employment are the subject of Cindy Sondik Aron’s Ladies and Gentlemen of the Civil Service: Middle-Class Workers in Victorian America (New York: Oxford UP, 1987); the researcher used Albion’s application file and cites his letter to Theodore Swayze, 3 Nov. 1897, seeking a promotion.
Autograph “Hospital Statement” dated 26 Apr. 1888, in pension file.
The Columbian (Bloomsburg), June 21, 1867, p. 2; officiating at the wedding was the Rev. Thomas H. Cullen.
“legal residence”: “Declaration for Pension,” 14 May 1912, pension file.
Pennsylvania Archives (Harrisburg), RG-19 Series 19.67, Box 128, roster for Co. C, 28th Regt., 1863 Emergency Militia.
National Archives (Washington, D.C.), Compiled Military Service Record for “Jamison, Isaiah J.”; compare the “Application for Certificate in Lieu of Lost Discharge” dated 19 May 1883, in the papers of the Adjutant General’s Office, National Archives.
Marriage: Jamison Family Bible; bride’s parents: U.S. Censuses for 1810 (Rockland, Berks Co.), 1820 (Mifflin Twp., Columbia Co.), 1830 and 1840 (Briar Creek Twp.), 1850 and 1860 (Bloom Twp.), all under the householder’s name “Jacob Bomboy,” and 1870 (village of Espy, Scott Twp.) under “Trump, Phebe” (Jacob Bomboy was a Boarder, age 83).
Argus (Benton, PA), 1 June 1911 and 21 Mar. 1935.
Jamisons in the Civil War
Daniel Jamison’s four eldest sons all volunteered to serve in Union forces during the Civil War, two of them for three-year enlistments. The eldest, Albion, was a first-day enlistee in the first unit to leave Columbia County for the War, the “Iron Guards.” The youngest of the four, Isaiah, was only sixteen years old when he first marched off to fight. Luckily, all four brothers survived the war, although Albion was seriously ill and injured while in the army and Benjamin was also ill; both men were impaired for life. Taken together, the four men’s service records show their family’s exemplary devotion to the Union cause. That record is the more notable because Columbia County, where they lived, was a Democratic hotbed of opposition to the War and to the policies of the Republican administration.
In summary, the four soldiers’ service records are as follows, in order of first enlistment:
Albion B. Jamison (born 23 Aug. 1836)
Enrolled at Bloomsburg 22 Apr. 1861; Mustered In 21 Sept. 1862 to Company A, 35th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers (6th Reserves) at Washington, D.C.; Mustered Out with Company 11 June 1864.
Re-enrolled by special orders in 35th Regt. at Washington 24 Apr. 1865; Mustered In to date as of 24 Apr. 1863 [sic], rank 1st Lieutenant; promoted to Brevet Captain at Battle of the Wilderness
Benjamin F. Jamison (b. 30 Aug. 1842)
Enrolled 13 July 1861 at Bloomsburg; Mustered In 27 July 1861 to Co. A, 35th Regt. (6th Reserves) at Washington, for 3 years; Mustered Out with Company, 11 June 1864, rank Private.
James A. Jamison (b. 23 Dec. 1840) Enrolled at Bloomsburg 13 Sep. 1862 in Co. D, 13th PA Infantry Militia, Emergency of 1862; discharged 25 Sep. 1862, rank Sergeant. Probably re-enlisted, but his service record is obscured among a half-dozen “James Jameson/Jamison” enlistees in Pennsylvania.
Isaiah J. Jamison (b. 23 Oct. 1846)
Enrolled 17 June 1863 at Bloomsburg; Mustered In 20 June 1863 to Co. C., 28th Regt. of Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia for the duration of the Emergency (the Confederate invasion of the Commonwealth); Mustered Out 28 July 1863.
Enrolled 9 Sep 1864 at Harrisburg for 1 year in Co. E, 209th PA Infantry; Mustered Out at Alexandria, VA, 31 May 1865, rank Private.
Following are the details of their enlistments and major battles.
B. The Iron Guards
When news of the firing on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 reached central Pennsylvania, citizens of Columbia County rallied to support the Union. A meeting was called at the courthouse in Bloomsburg for April 18th; a large number attended and pledged support for raising and arming a body of troops. On April 22nd an infantry company was organized under the leadership of W. W. Ricketts, a medical student who had attended West Point for a year; the town’s citizens named the company “The Iron Guards,” taking the name from the then much-advertised grain reaper with an “Iron Guard” fore-edge on the cradle. Among the 77 original enrollees was Albion B. Jameson, a clerk age 24. His brother Benjamin F. Jameson joined the same company slightly later, on June 13.
The Iron Guards left Bloomsburg on May 7th by canal boat to report to Camp Curtin near Harrisburg. Since the state’s quota for federal forces was already filled, the state legislature created the “Pennsylvania Reserves,” state-supported units which eventually were merged into the Army of the Potomac but continued to be identified throughout the War as Pennsylvania Reserves. (The three Reserve brigades formed a separate division in the army, the only division whose regiments were all from one state.) The Iron Guards became Company A of the 35th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (6th Reserves); their drill leader, William W. Ricketts, was elected Captain—at the time, regiments and companies elected their own leaders—and Albion Jameson was selected a Corporal. The company drilled and paraded for two months, and learned the routines so well that they were called “the finest looking and best disciplined company in Camp Curtin.” During that time they received additional recruits, including Albion’s younger brother, 18-year-old Private Benjamin F. Jamison. The regiment was officially mustered in to the Army of the Potomac on July 27th at Washington, D.C., and by that time Albion had already been promoted to Sergeant in Company A while W. W. Ricketts was elected Colonel in command of the regiment.
At first, camp life was not very rigorous; a letter home from a Bloomsburg recruit in the regiment, Private John A. Hower, on July 18, 1861 reported that
we have pretty good times here our rations Beef Pork Bread Crackers rice Beans Coffee sugar . . . vinegar soap Candles and more than we can eat and our duties are very light 5 o’clock roll call 6 oclock prayers 7 oclock Breakfast and then we are free until 2 oclock music drill [Hower was a bandsman] 7 PM dress parade.
However, later that summer the regiment was stationed on guard duty near Washington D.C.; their camp was on low-lying land near swamps, and many of the men contracted typhoid fever or malaria. At one point more than half of their Brigade was on the sick list—including the 35th Regiment’s commander, Colonel W. W. Ricketts, who had to resign his commission and return home, where he died within a year from the effects of the fever.
4 The 35th Regiment (6th Reserves) had a distinguished career during the men’s three-year enlistment; it was engaged in sixteen battles, many of them among the most famous battles of the War, including Groveton (August 29, 1862), South Mountain and Antietam (September 14-17, 1862), Fredericksburg (December 12-15, 1862), Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), and at the end of their enlistment, the nearly continuous battles of Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Bethesda Church (May, 1864).
Like most units of the Union army opposing General Robert E. Lee, the 6th Reserves spent most of their time in guard duty or in endless marching and countermarching, as the Union generals tried to outflank Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, or head him off on the two occasions when he invaded the North. But from time to time, the 6th was in the thick of battle, and on some dreadful days the men saw many of their comrades fall—as much as a third of the company killed or wounded in a single day.
Skirmish at Dranesville
Their first serious combat was at the Battle of Dranesville, in northern Virginia twenty miles northwest of Washington, on December 20, 1861. While out on a foraging expedition, the Brigade to which the 35th Regiment belonged encountered a Rebel unit on similar duty, and the two units engaged in a brief, sharp firefight. The Bloomsburg Columbia Democrat gave an account of the Iron Guards’ participation:
In the late fight at Drainsville, the Iron Guards showed their coolness and training by withstanding one of the most trying tests to which a soldier can be subjected. In the very hottest of the battle, when a regiment, thrown into confusion, was forced to fall back, the Iron Guards opened ranks, let the retreating regiment through, closed up again and advanced to the charge, with as much coolness and regularity as if on parade. That shows blood and training, and to do it, the first time under fire, is alone unprecedented.
In the Summer of 1862, during General McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign advancing on Richmond, the Iron Guards were shifted by boat to Virginia and posted at the federal supply depot for McClellan’s army at White House on the York River; this estate had been the home of Martha Custis Washington. As McClellan retreated from before Richmond, however, the supply depot was cut off from the federal army, and advancing Confederate forces threatened to capture the vast stores piled there. McClellan sent an order to destroy the stores and evacuate the troops. At the time, several companies of the 35th Regiment, including the Iron Guards, were four miles away guarding the railroad line at Tunstall Station; they were ordered to withdraw back to White House, and four different messages were sent urging them to hurry, the last requiring them to throw down everything except their rifles and march double-quick to the river landing. There they came upon an awe-inspiring scene: to keep the supplies from falling into Confederate hands, other companies in the 35th had surrounded the piles with hay bales, soaked those with whiskey, and set the whole ablaze, sending huge columns of smoke aloft. The Iron Guards fled to the riverbank and embarked on the last available Union troop transport. They proceeded down Chesapeake Bay and up the James River to Harrison’s Landing, where they met the battered troops of McClellan’s army retreating from the horrific Seven Days Battle which ended McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign.
Second Bull Run
Both armies moved slowly northwest in Virginia, the Union army, then commanded by General Pope, trying to keep between Lee’s forces and the city of Washington. On the second day of the Second Battle of Bull Run, August 30, 1862, the Pennsylvania Reserves under General Meade played an important role in allowing commanding general Pope’s defeated Army of Virginia to retreat from the battlefield and escape wholesale capture. About 4 p.m. that day, when Pope realized his peril and began to retreat, the Confederate army of General Longstreet on his left began to advance on that flank; Longstreet realized that if the Confederates could overrun and hold the Henry House Hill, they could cut off the only avenue of escape for Pope’s army along the Warrenton Pike. The Pennsylvania Reserves spread across that hill, charged to clear its slope of enemy skirmishers, and held their ground nobly until nightfall while the main Union force marched away. General John F. Reynolds, commander of the First Brigade (which included the Sixth Reserves), noted in his official report:
It is due to the Pennsylvania Reserves to say that this charge and maintenance of this position was made at a most critical period of the day. The enemy had repulsed the attack made by us on our right flank and had himself assumed the offensive on our left flank. His infantry had emerged from the woods, had already secured one of our batteries, and was advancing to the Henry House ridge, which, if he had succeeded in gaining, might have materially altered the fortune of the day. It was the good fortune of the Reserves to be brought into action at this moment, and by their gallant bearing and firm advance to compel the enemy to retire to the shelter of the woods, where he was held in check until the close of the action.
After Second Bull Run, Lee decided on a characteristically bold move: he would divide his army and invade the North in a two-pronged attack into Pennsylvania; he had three aims: to gather supplies from the fertile farmland of south-central Pennsylvania, to draw the Union army out of Virginia, and to cut the crucial railroad line across the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg. If occasion might serve, he would go on to threaten either Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Washington. The Union army, again headed by General McClellan, marched northwest to head Lee off and came up with the Confederate rear guard defending the passes of South Mountain in Maryland.
South Mountain is an extension of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, running northward from the Potomac for nearly fifty miles. Lee had sent 24 of his 40 regiments, under Stonewall Jackson, angling to the south to surround and capture the 12,000 soldiers guarding the Union armaments at Harper’s Ferry; thus he had only about 43,000 troops in the valley West of South Mountain to face McClellan’s force of 87,000. McClellan, misled by poor intelligence, believed that more than 120,000 Rebels were opposing him.
On September 14, 1862 McClellan’s troops attacked straight up the steep western flank of South Mountain, aiming to capture three passes at the top. The northernmost pass, Turner’s Gap, was assigned to the First Corps on the army’s right wing, and the farthest-right unit in the assault was the Third Division under the leadership of Brig. Gen. George G. Meade. The Division’s First Brigade, which included the 6th Reserves, in mid-afternoon started up the Old Hagerstown Road, which slanted up the mountain towards the north; they were seeking to get around the extreme left of the defenders on the mountaintop and then drive that flank back. They were opposed fiercely by the five Alabama regiments of Brig. Gen. Robert E. Rodes, spread thin along the ridgetop but enjoying the advantage of high ground. “Companies A and B, Captains Ent and Roush, were ordered out to seize and hold the knob of the mountain immediately in front. They marched from the wood, passed the enemy’s flank and firing into it one volley, made straight for the mountain top. When within one hundred yards they received the fire of the enemy protected by a ledge of rocks which capped the summit.” The three other regiments of the Division joined them, and the five regiments of Reserves drove the 8th Alabama Regiment from the crest. By then, though, it was too dark to push southward along the ridge and clear the pass. During the night, however, Lee ordered his badly-outnumbered defenders to retreat from South Mountain and rejoin the army near Sharpsburg. The next morning, when the Union troops rose to renew the fight and take Turner’s Gap, they discovered that the enemy was gone. The Rebels had lost about 2,300 men in the battle for South Mountain, the Federals just over 1,800. But due to McClellan’s cautious advance, Lee had won precious time for his forces at Harper’s Ferry to rejoin the main army for the coming major battle.
In the valley below South Mountain, Lee deployed his troops in a long defensive line along a low ridge west of Antietam Creek, just in front of the town of Sharpsburg. (The battle was thus called Antietam by Union writers and Sharpsburg by Southerners.) During the two days after the battle on South Mountain, McClellan moved his huge force over the mountain and planned his attack on the Rebels. Again, the First Corps was at the far right of the Union deployment. Late in the day on September 16, Meade’s division, the Pennsylvania Reserves, moved to the northward to get around the Confederate left flank; two regiments in the lead, including the 6th, met stiff resistance, and shooting continued until dark and intermittently all night.
At dawn on Wednesday, 17 September, Meade’s forces opened the Union attack, driving southward against Lee’s left flank along the Hagerstown turnpike. Opposing them were 7,700 Confederates under Stonewall Jackson, supported by several artillery batteries well-placed on high ground to the west. Three “PA Volunteer” regiments under Brigadier Truman Seymour pushed through the East Woods and advanced several hundred yards, but were quickly depleted by murderous fire from Rebels behind a fence in front and artillery on their flank. With their forty rounds of ammunition exhausted, they retired as other units came forward to take up the advance, and Company A, at least, seems to have played little role in the battle for the rest of the day.
The role of the 6th Reserves at South Mountain and Antietam is succinctly reported by the Regiment’s commander, Col. Wellington Ent, in a letter from the battlefield to his father, published afterwards in a Bloomsburg newspaper:
On The Battle Field
September 18, 1862
I write to say that I am still about, having passed safely through the hottest of the Battle of Middletown Heights [i.e., South Mountain], on Sunday, and a very warm part of the fight of yesterday and day before. The enemy is still to our front, we shall in all probability have a severe battle today. [Actually, Lee had withdrawn his army during the previous night.] On Sunday [at South Mountain] I had command of five companies of our Regiment, under a storm of fire; the five companies numbering about 200 men, out of whom 52 were killed and wounded. The balance of the Regiment were not engaged, though they were under fire. The Bucktails and the 6th commenced the Battle of Sharpsburg late on Tuesday evening, and were in line all of Tuesday night, skirmishing with the enemy, and opened the battle in earnest at daylight, yesterday. There has never before been so much blood shed in one day on the American continent as yesterday. . . . The loss of our Regiment in both battles is 17 killed and 93 wounded, several of the wounded have since died.
With love to mother I am in great haste,
Your affectionate son,
Colonel Ent was exactly right about the bloodshed: the Battle of Antietam saw the highest death toll of any single day in the Civil War and of any day in all of American history to the present.
The Regiment’s next major battle was at Fredericksburg, VA on 13 December 1862. The PA Reserves were in the thick of the Union assault on the defenses of that city, successively attacking three entrenchment lines. In this battle, of 300 men who went into action, 10 were killed, 92 wounded and 19 missing.
Again the 6th was on guard duty through the winter and spring until ordered in late June to join the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg. After marching most of 40 hours, they arrived at the battlefield around 2 p.m. on 2nd July and made a charge down Little Round Top which routed the enemy. On the 3rd they were in skirmishes all day, making another charge in which they captured a number of prisoners and a cannon. (A monument on the battlefield near Little Round top commemorates the 6th Reserves and lists their Civil War battles.)
After wintering-over in guard duty at Kettle Run, VA, the Regiment broke camp in late April and fought in the Wilderness campaign in 4th to 7th May, 1863, with heavy fighting for two of those days. The fight continued in the Battle of Spottsylvania, where they were engaged in heavy fighting all day on the 8th and made two unsuccessful charges against the enemy on the 10th.
After three years of service, the 6th fought its last battle on the very last day of its enlistment period, at Bethesda Church. There the regiment was deployed as skirmishers near the church when it was forced to retreat by a larger enemy force. The men made a rifle-pit and held it successfully against another charge by the Rebs. In this fight the 6th, with about 150 soldiers active, captured 102 Confederate prisoners and buried 72 enemy attackers.
The regiment left the Army of the Potomac on 1 June 1864 and was mustered out on the 14th at Harrisburg.
Over the course of their three-year enlistment, about 1,050 men altogether enlisted in the 35th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (6th Reserves). Of that number, 109 died in battle or from battle wounds and another 72 from disease or other causes, 354 were wounded, and 63 were captured or missing in action—a total of 477 casualties, or 45% of the regiment.
C. Albion’s Record
Among the regiment’s casualties—twice—was Albion Jameson. Having joined the Iron Guards (Company A) at its formation in April 1861, he was first put out of action when he was felled by “camp or malarial fever” in early 1862 and spent months in hospitals near Washington. At the end of August he rejoined his regiment at the Battle of Second Bull Run and took part in the next campaign including South Mountain and Antietam. At the latter battle, on 17 September 1862, while jumping from a fence
Lt. Albion Jameson (courtesy Neil Kepner)
he seriously injured his knee. According to his GAR “Personal War Sketch,” he
received an injury to his right Knee-Joint, a contusion of the ham string muscles and aneurism of the popliteal artery from the effect of which he never fully recovered . . . he was confined in hospital . . . at Belle Plain Field hospital VA[,] Eckington Hospital Washington DC and in Cammacks Woods Officers Hospital Phila. Pa.
On his return to duty, he was unable to walk normally but gutted it out in his regiment’s long march to Fredericksburg. He then (June 1863) was appointed acting regimental quartermaster, a post he retained until he was mustered out with the regiment in 1864. Nonetheless, the injury bothered him and he was on sick leave in November and December 1863; he went home, and in Bloomsburg was fitted with a leather knee brace to keep down the swelling. For the rest of his life, he was partially disabled. Despite the injury, and his staff appointment, after the Battle of the Wilderness in May, 1864 he received a commendation for “gallant and meritorious” service and was promoted to brevet Captain.
After his return to civilian life, still disabled, Albion took a post in the federal civil service in Washington, where he remained until retirement. Many years later, Albion was buried with military honors at Alexandria National Cemetery.
D. Benjamin’s Record
For Albion’s younger brother Benjamin F. Jamison we do not have complete data on his war experiences. He evidently served with the Iron Guards throughout their three-year term and fought in all their engagements without serious injury. His elder brother Albion won the promotions and commendation, but in fact the records suggest that Benjamin was directly engaged in battle far more extensively than his more decorated brother. As far as we know, he fought in all the battles in which the Iron Guards were engaged, from Dranesville on 20 December 1861 through Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania, up to the Battle of Bethesda Church on the day that their enlistment expired.
By the time he was mustered out, he had marched many hundreds of miles, sometimes in terrible weather such as the infamous “Mud March” of 20-22 January, 1863. He had seen scores of his friends wounded or killed, and had marched across battlefields where thousands of men lay dead or dying. He had spent many nights lying without cover, his rifle at his side, ready for instant rising to action. It is little wonder that his health seems to have been permanently impaired; in later life he suffered from malaria, rheumatism, and many other ailments, though he lived past age 80.
E. The Younger Brothers: James and Isaiah
James A. Jamison enrolled in the “emergency” Pennsylvania Militia of September, 1862 and served for just twelve days. This Emergency call-up came after the infamous defeat of the Union Army at the Battle of Manassas in late summer of 1862, when the way was open for the Army of Northern Virginia to march northward into Pennsylvania, where an abundant harvest was ripe for the taking. Pennsylvania’s Governor Curtin, in alarm, on September 10th issued a general order calling all able-bodied men of the Commonwealth to arms. Within a few days 15,000 men were collected at Hagerstown and Boonsboro, Maryland, to stem a Southern advance, and upwards of 35,000 more were gathering behind them in south-central Pennsylvania between Chambersburg and Harrisburg.
James A. Jamison enrolled on September 13 at Bloomsburg, in Company D of the 13th Infantry Militia; the men set out for Harrisburg, but soon news came of the battle at Antietam and the retreat of General Lee’s army back out of Maryland, ending the emergency. The 13th Regiment started for home, and on the 25th Jameson’s company was discharged.
While it is likely that James later enrolled in a regular army unit, his records have not yet been positively identified among the files of numerous men of the name James Jameson (or Jamieson, Jemmison, etc.) who enlisted in Pennsylvania units during the War.
The fourth son of Daniel and Judith, Isaiah J. Jamison, was only fourteen and still in school when the Civil War began. In the summer of 1863 Lee invaded Pennsylvania for the second time; Governor Curtin again issued a call for all able-bodied men to muster to head off the invaders. Sixteen-year-old Isaiah volunteered for Captain Robert F. Clark’s Company C, 28th Militia Regiment. He was enrolled at Bloomsburg on June 17th and mustered in at Harrisburg on June 20th to serve “during the Existing Emergency.” After the invading Confederate army had been turned back at Gettysburg, Isaiah’s company was mustered out on July 28th, having served for five weeks.
A few weeks before he turned 18 Isaiah joined a regular Army regiment. On 7 September 1864 at Harrisburg he enrolled for one year in Company E of the 209th Pennsylvania Infantry. His enlistment record gives his age as 18, occupation “Printer,” height 5’5”, with dark eyes, brown hair, and dark complexion. He was listed as present on the muster rolls from 12 September 1864 through May of the next year, and then was mustered out with the company on May 31st at Alexandria, VA as the War came to an end. Thus one Jamison brother or another was in uniform throughout the Civil War, from Albion’s enlistment just ten days after the firing on Fort Sumter (12 April 1861), to Isaiah’s demobilization six weeks after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House (12 April 1865).
Notes for Chapter 4
The primary source on Albion’s military service is his pension file at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. (#890,637), which holds over 50 documents. Also important are: a) “Personal War Sketch – Albion B. Jameson” in Ent Post GAR “Personal War Sketches” (Bloomsburg, PA, privately published, 1894), 124-5, 274 (copy at CCHGS, Bound MS 102); and b) biographical sketch of Albion in J. H. Battle, History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania (Chicago: A. Warner & Co., 1887), 345-6.
The pension file at the National Archives (#647,786) for Benjamin and his surviving daughter Anna (Jamison) (Hanna) Griffith contains some 65 documents dating from 1861 to 1925.
Pennsylvania Archives, Civil War Veterans’ Card File, “Jamison, James A.” (online at digitalarchives.state.pa.us/archive). There is a “Jameson, James A.” who was a musician in the 30th Reserves and is the same age as the Lime Ridge man, but apparently is a different soldier.
National Archives, Compiled Military Service Record for “Isaiah J. Jamison.”
For the 35th Regiment’s record in the Civil War, the primary source is the official record in Samuel Bates, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, vol. 1 (Harrisburg: State Printer, 1869), 692-718; also useful are the individual accounts of some forty veterans in the GAR Ent Post, “Personal War Sketches” (see Note 1).
“Letter 18” in George A. Turner, ed., Civil War Letters from Soldiers and Citizens of Columbia County, Pennsylvania (New York: American Heritage, 1996), 41.
Columbia Democrat, January 11, 1862.
Quotation: from Reynolds’ official dispatch dated Sept. 5, 1862, downloaded May 8, 2007 from http://www.civilwarhome.com/meademanassas.htm
The account of the 6th Regiment at South Mountain and Antietam is based primarily on: Bates, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1: 697-99, and Stephen W. Sears, Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam (New Haven: Ticknor & Fields, 1983), passim.
Quotation: Bates, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1: 698.
Columbia Democrat, 27 Sep. 1862.
On the 35th Regiment at Gettysburg, see “The Reserves at Gettysburg” in Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, vol. 1 (Harrisburg: State Printer, 1893): 92, 99-110.
Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, vol. 2 (Harrisburg: E.K. Meyers, State Printer, 1893): 950-51
Malaria: Memo from Adjutant General’s office dated 17 July 1888, in Albion’s pension file, shows from official records that on 31 May 1862 he was reported sick and sent to Cliffburne Hospital in Washington, where he remained through August. Knee Injury: memo from Adjutant General’s office, 2 Nov. 1888, and affidavit by John K. Grotz of Bloomsburg, 12 Mar. 1888, in pension file.
Chapter 5 - Benjamin F. Jamison
Benjamin was born 30 August 1842 at Lime Ridge, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, and grew up there on his parents’ farm. As a teen he learned the trade of saddler, possibly with the firm of J. K. Grotz in nearby Bloomsburg. He was (according to military records) 5’5” tall, with hazel eyes, dark complexion, and dark brown eyes.
At age 19 he enrolled in the “Iron Guards,” an infantry company raised from Columbia County which became Company A, 35th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (also known as 6th Reserves). He remained with that company throughout their three-year enlistment and fought in sixteen battles (see Chapter 2). While there is no record of a major wound, it is clear that hard marches and rough camping seriously impaired his health. Early in the War, when his brigade was camped beside swampy ground near Washington, D.C., more than half of the brigade came down with a “malarial” illness, Benjamin among them; he suffered recurring effects of that illness throughout his life.
On 3 January 1869 at Lime Ridge he was married to Mary C. Glassmoyer by a local magistrate, Samuel Deiterich, Esq.; Benjamin was then age 27 while Mary was just 17. In the newspaper notice, Mary is said to be “of Centre Township,” but her family has not been identified in area records; she may have been a domestic servant in a local household. Mary bore eight children in the next seventeen years, three of whom apparently died young. She herself died 28 November 1887 at age 35, leaving at least five minor children; Benjamin never remarried.
After the War, according to later military pension records, Benjamin lived for four years (or two) in Washington, D.C., five years in Venango County, PA, about 25 years at or near his boyhood village of Lime Ridge, then in nearby Beach Haven, Luzerne County (about ten miles upriver from Lime Ridge), then in Berwick, and finally for the last four years of his life further upriver with his daughter Anna (Christiana) in Shickshinny, Luzerne County. In the censuses of 1870 to 1900 his occupation was listed as farm laborer. In 1910 he was enumerated in the household of his oldest daughter Celestia, married to farmer Mayberry Achy in rural Catawissa Township, Columbia County; she died, however, in 1912. In 1920 he was in the boarding-house of his daughter Anna Hanna on Second Street in Berwick; she soon married her boarder Charles Griffith and moved to the next town upriver, Shickshinny, taking Benjamin with her. Anna Griffith after his death received recompense in March 1925 for his funeral expenses.
After the War Benjamin received a partial-disability pension based on his inability to earn a living by physical labor. As his disability worsened and Congress passed increasingly-generous pension laws to keep up with inflation, his monthly pension rose from $6 in 1890 to $72 by 1924, but the pension amount was generally not enough to live on or support a family. Beginning about 1880 his older brother Albion, a successful government employee in Washington, D.C., quietly supported Benjamin’s family. Later Benjamin’s son James Clyde Jamison helped support his father until Clyde was killed in battle before the gates of Tien Tsin, China in 1900.
The various medical documents in Benjamin’s pension file show that his ailments were multiple; he suffered from “malarial poisoning,” heart disease, and severe rheumatism of the shoulders and a hip. By 1889 he developed kidney disease and dyspepsia resulting in “weakness and emaciation” (he weighed just 115 pounds); in his sixties he needed help to go up or down a flight of stairs. He also developed cataracts in both eyes and by 1920 was blind in the left eye and nearly so in the right. His final illness of two weeks led to his death 30 November 1924 at age 82. His obituary in The Argus, a weekly paper published at Benton, PA, highlighted his Civil War service:
BENJAMIN F. JAMISON DEAD
Benjamin F. Jamison, one of Shickshinny’s few remaining Civil War veterans died Sunday morning at 3:30 o’clock at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Charles Griffith. Mr. Jamison had a particularly long and active service in the War of the Rebellion and this included participation in some of the most noted battles of the war, notably Antietam, the wilderness, Gettysburg and Fredericksburg.
A two weeks’ illness resulted in his death. There are surviving two children, Mrs. Charles Griffith and Albert Jamison, both of Shickshinny; two brothers, I. J. Jamison, of New Columbus, and Charles Jamison, of Lime Ridge, and one sister, Mrs. Hattie Jones of Baltimore. There are twenty grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren. Heart disease was the cause of death and [he] was aged 82 years.
FAMILY OF BENJAMIN F. JAMISON
Benjamin Franklin Jamison
b. 30 Aug. 1842 at Lime Ridge, Columbia County, PA
d. 30 Nov. 1924 at Shickshinny, PA; bur. at Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
m. 3 Jan. 1869 Mary C. Glassmere at Lime Ridge by Samuel Deitrich Esq.;
she b. 1851, d. 28 Nov. 1887, bur. at Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
Children of Benjamin and Mary:
Celestia Elizabeth (Lestie) Jamison
b. 24 July 1869
d. Mar. 1912 at her farm in Catawissa Twp., Columbia Co.
m. c. 1891 Mayberry Achy, farmer of Catawissa Twp. b. Feb. 1870;
Children: Anna M. b. Jul. 1892; Mary E. b. Apr. 1893; George Ephriam b. Nov. 1898,; Harry Benjamin b, Mar. 1899; Hattie D. c. 1901, Frank A. c. 1903, Laura A. c. 1905
Jennie E. Jamison
b. 1 Jul. 1871
Carrie Agnes Jamison
b. 22 Nov. 1873
d. Jan. 1875
John Daniel Jamison
b. 21 Sep. 1875
d. July 1889?
James Clyde Jamison
b. 3 Aug. 1878
d. 13 July 1900 at Tien Tsin, China, serving with Co. G, 9th Infantry, U.S. Army
bur. at Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
Edward B. Jamison
b. 3 Mar. 1881
d. July 1889?9
Christiana (Anna) Jamison
b. 5 May 1883
d. 1959, bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
m. (1) c. 1908, Thomas Hanna, a Scot b. ca. 1873 who immigrated 1876; (2) Charles H. Griffith (b. 16 June 1890, d. 25 June 1955), bur. Lime Ridge Methodist Cem.
Children: Genevieve b. 1922; Charles H. Jr. b. 1924; Betty J. (1928-1986)
Albert Briton Jamison
b. 17 Dec. 1886, Lime Ridge, PA
d. 7 Apr. 1961, age 75, in Shickshinny, PA due to a cerebral occlusion
bur. Rose Lawn Cem., Berwick, PA, West section, Lot 194.
m. Bertha I. Church c. 1908; she b. Sep. 1886, daughter of Almond & Martha Church
of Lehman Township, Luzerne Co. (in 1900)
Children: Edna b. 1910; Harold C. b. 1911
Notes for Chapter 5
Most information in this sketch comes from Benjamin’s military pension file, National Archives, Washington, D.C., cert. 647,786; date of birth: notarized statement by Benjamin of 14 Aug. 1912; other data: Declaration for Pension dated 28 May 1924. (Note: in an earlier application for pension, Benjamin had given his date of birth as 30 Aug. 1841, but in a notarized affirmation 14 Aug. 1912 he said he was sure the date was 30 Aug. 1842 and “can not account” for how the previous form had the earlier date.) Grotz: see affidavit by John K. Grotz, 12 Mar. 1888, in Albion Jamison’s pension file.
Many documents in the pension file refer to his malarial illness, including physicians’ examination reports.
Marriage: The Columbian and Democrat (Bloomsburg, PA), 8 Jan. 1869, p. 2; Mary’s death: gravestone.
Pension documents: Sworn deposition by Anna Hanna 22 June 1920; Declaration of Pension, 28 May 1924; notarized depositions dated 3 Feb. 1925 by Anna’s neighbors Alvin Hontz and John Bierman; reimbursement form dated 2 Mar. 1925. U.S. Censuses: 1870 Centre Twp., Columbia Co., PA Ser. M593 Roll 1329, p. 124 visit 72; 1880 Centre Twp., Ser. T9 roll 1118, p. 138 visit 244; 1900 Centre Twp., Ser. T623 roll 1435, p. 11A visit 232; 1910 Catawissa Twp., Columbia Co., PA, Ser. T623 roll 1398, p. 10B visit 218 “Mayberry Achy”; 1920 Ser. T625 roll 1554, p. 5B visit 116 “Anna Hannah.”
In pension file: Albion B. Jameson to J. L. Davenport, 20 Jan. 1900; son Clyde’s aid: Declaration for Increase of Pension, 11 Feb. 1909.
Ailments: numerous documents in the pension file, including physicians’ examination reports in 1899 and 1920; obituary: The Argus, 4 Dec. 1924, p. 1.
The children’s birthdates are listed by Benjamin on a Bureau of Pensions questionnaire dated 6 Apr. 1915; he spells the eldest child’s name “Scylestia.” Note that one or more children may be omitted (see note 9).
1910 U.S. Census (see note 4).
The Democratic Sentinel (Bloomsburg, PA) reported in its issue of 26 July 1889 the death of an (unnamed) 10-year-old son of Benjamin Jamison of Lime Ridge; son John would then have been age 13 and Edward was 8; there possibly was another son, omitted by Benjamin in his listing of “all your children, living or dead,” and not entered in the family Bible.
General Affidavit by Benjamin, 1 July 1901, pension file; Republican (Bloomsburg, PA), 30 Jan. 1901.
Thomas Hanna: 1910 U.S. Census, West Berwick, Columbia, PA, Ser. T624 roll 1334, p. 13A visit 277; Charles Griffith: gravestone.
Name and date from Albert’s draft registration card dated 12 Sep. 1918 (online at Ancestry.com, WW I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Luzerne Co. Board 7, Roll 1893751); Albion’s list (see Note 7) has the middle name Britten and the birth year 1885. It is more likely that Albert was correct than that his 73-year-old father’s memory was accurate in 1915; on the other hand, “Britten” is a more likely spelling if derived from a family connection. Perhaps Albert never knew the correct spelling of his own middle name.
Rose Lawn Cemetery Record of Interments (copy at CCH&GS), no. 1925.
1900 U.S. Census, Lehman Twp., Luzerne Co., PA, Ser. T623 roll 1433, p. 17A visit 344 “Almond Church.”
The Jameson Family
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