Union and West End Cemetery

The Union and West End Cemetery is located in center city Allentown. The main entrance is on 10th Street at 10th and Chew Streets. The cemetery is mantained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Ten board members (also volunteers) serve the cemetery association and manage the finances, make application for grants, solicit donations and participate in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The Daily Dispatch: July 1, 1863.

Richmond Dispatch

--$200 Reward.-- Runaway from the subscriber, on the morning of the 26th of June, 1863 my Negro Boy Ren. He is about 20 years of age, of a dark gingerbread complexion, about 5 feet 3 inches in height. He had on when he left a light-colored jacket, a pair of blue Yankee pants, and a black hat; and he is evidently trying to make his way to the Yankees. I will pay the above reward if delivered to me, or one hundred and fifty dollars if recurred in any jail so that I may recover him. Post Office, Richmond.

Sarah T Sytdnok,

Ex'x of W B sydnor, dec'd, Hanover co. Va,
One mile below Mechanicsville. Jv 1-- 4t*

Ran Away
--From the subscriber, on the night of the 29th of June, my negro boy Walker, about five feet high, brown complexion, full head of hair, rather stout built; had on boots, dark pants. white woolen coat, and hat bound with blue, and blue-striped cotton shirt, said boy was bought in this city on the 24th of June. He was brought from Clarke county, in the Valley of Virginia and was formerly owned by Dr. Smith, of the above named Canty. I will give fifty dollars for his deliverance to me, or if placed in any place where I can get him.

John M Eidola,

Westham Plankroad, half mile from Richmond. Jy 1--6t*

--$300 Reward--Ran away, on the 23rd inst, my man William. He is about 28 years old, 5 feet 8 or 10 inches high, rather slender frame, ginger bred color, and is generally known about the city as Wm Tinsley.

Edmond and George left my house about 6 o'clock yesterday morning. Edmonds about 15 years old, quite black, about 5 feet 3 or 4 inches high, well made and likely. George is about 13 years old, ginger-bred color, thick lips, and well grown.

I will pay three hundred dollars for the delivery of the three boys, or one hundred dollars for the delivery of either.

S C Greenhow.
je 30 -- 5t

Ran Away
--$100 Reward. --ran Away from the subscribers on inst night, a negro boy named Martin, purchased of Dr. M A Anderson, of Louisa county. He is about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches in height, stout built, bushy head, and good teeth about 20 years old. He was dressed in a suit of gray homespun clothes, and had on a home-made straw hat. No flesh mars recollected. It is likely he is making his way towards Louisiana. We will give the above reward if delivered to Lee & James, of Richmond, or if confined in jail so that we get him again.

McMurry & Winstead.
je 30--4t8

Run Away
--From the subscriber, in Fluvanna co, Va, on the 29th of May last, my man Moses. He is near 6 feet high, black, rather slender, but large bone; one eye out, the right I believe; knock kneed and turned somewhat to one side; near on arm between elbow and shoulder, cut by a knife, coarse voice; had on Jeans, sack coat and mixed uniform pants. He may endeavor to pass as free and gone off with soldiers. I Will give $100 if taken out of the state, or $50 in the State; or $15 if taken in Fluvanna, or any adjoining county to. In either case to be delivered to me, or placed in jail so that I get him.

Geo W Pettit, Dixie P O,
Fluvanna, Va.je 11--13t*

Negro for sale and hire.
For hire
By the month, a Servant Woman, who is an average Cook, Washer and Ironer. She has a little daughter, large enough to set the table sweep up the house, &c., who will go with her. She is for hire because the family with whom she is living intends visiting the country for a few months. Apply to me at this office, up stairs, new building.

M B Godwin.
je 30--2t*

For hire
--A lot of likely young Men and Boys. Also, several young Women, all just from the country. Some good farm hands; those in want will do well to call early.

P M Tabb & Son,
Recharge Bio;domg. je 30--2t*

Richmond Dispatch, July 1, 1863

Monday, January 29, 2007


Franklin Miller

Franklin Miller was born in 1823. Nothing is known of his life prior to his entering the service of the United States Army except, it is known that he was married to Sabilla and that they likely had two children (perhaps more); Ellen born in 1849 and Harry F. born 23 June 1859. There may well have been additional children in the ten years between 1849 and 1859.

When the War Between the States broke out in April, 1861, Franklin would have been 37 years of age, his wife, 36. The children that we are aware of, would have been 12 and just under 2 years. Franklin enlisted in the Union Army in Allentown, Lehigh County and presumably this is where he had his home.

Franklin Miller was among many Lehigh Countians that enrolled on October 21, 1861, in the three-year volunteer regiment known as the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment. Company K' was made up of men from Lehigh County. Other Pennsylvania counties represented in the Fifty-fourth were Cambria, Somerset, Dauphin and Northampton. The regiment was organized at Camp Curtin where the men were drilled by squads and companies.

The regiment was ordered to Washington on the 27th of February, 1862. In late March, the regiment was sent to Haper's Ferry where they would be disbursed up and down the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Each company was assigned to a bridge that crossed a local creek. The total distance that the regiment protected was fifty-six miles of railroad tracks, or more correctly, the bridges along these fifty-six miles.

Company K' under the command of Captain Edmond R. Newhard was assigned to guard the bridge at Little Cacapon Bridge, which was more than fifty miles from Martinsville, Virginia and the second furthest from the first detachment.

The area was swarming with Rebel guerrilla bands that harassed the citizens that harbored northern sympathies and were bent on destroying the railroad bridges of the B&O. On the morning of October 4, 1863, A Confederate guerrilla band struck Company K's position. The men of Company K were at roll call and were caught off-guard. Although they attempted to resist the hostile force, the odds were too great and they had to yield. Thirty-five of the company escaped; but Captain Newhard, and fifty of his men were captured. Seven of the men were wounded. The enemy had two killed and eight wounded. The rebel force then moved on to the next station and completely surprised Company B. The entire company was taken prisoner.

The prisoners were taken to Libby Prison at Richmond, Virginia where they were held until exchanged in December, 1863. It is not known if Franklin Miller was among those imprisoned at Libby or was among those that escaped. At any rate, those of Company B and K that were taken prisoner were returned to their unit which had, in the meantime, been assigned to the Eight Corps, Third Brigade of the Second Division. With this new assignment, the regiment was no longer involved in the trying duty of defending the railroad from attack.

In the latter part of 1863, the unit saw service in West Virginia, a new state that had been created from the northwest portion of Virginia just the past June. In early 1864 the Fifty-fourth Regiment was stationed at Cumberland, Maryland while rotating companies were garrisoned at nearby Patterson Creek, West Virginia. On one such night in February, 1864, Company F' was captured by rebel forces while doing duty at Patterson Creek. By this time, the exchange program between the North and the South, had been suspended, The men of Company F' were sent to the newly opened Camp Sumter at Andersonville, Georgia. As time past, this prison would become infamous for its cruel and inhuman conditions and would come to be known simply as 'Andersonville Prison'.

On May 15, 1864, the Fifty-fourth was ordered to New Market to join in an existing campaign to drive the rebel forces out of the Shenandoah Valley. When the unit arrived at New Market, the battle was already raging. The regiment fell in behind the twelfth West Virginia Infantry Regiment until the twelfth shifted to the right. The Fifty-fourth moved into the gap and became the last unit on the Union left flank. When the West Virginia unit charged the Confederate right, the commander of the Fifty-fourth gave a similar order and the men of the regiment charged the Confederate line. The Fifty-fourth laid down an effective fire although they suffered a galling and destructive fire that killed or wounded many of the regiments men. At one point, the rebel left faltered and a replacement unit made up of VMI Cadets moved into the breach and continued to pour a blistering fire into the men of the Fifty-fourth. The Twelfth West Virginia began to withdraw, leaving the right of the Fifty-fourth exposed while simultaneously the rebel force began a flanking movement around their exposed left. Colonel Campbell, in an effort to avoid being surrounded, ordered the regiment to withdraw, which it did in an orderly and controlled fashion.

At the outset of the battle, the Fifty-fourth had 566 men engaged. After the battle ended, the regiment had lost five commissioned officers killed or mortally wounded and 2 wounded and brought off the field. Of the enlisted men, 27 were known to have been killed, and 42 were wounded, all of whom fell into enemy hands. An additional 98 wounded men were brought off the field of battle.

It is believed that Franklin Miller was among those wounded and captured at New Market. Like the men of Company F, the captured Union soldiers of the Fifty-fourth were taken to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. The prison had been built in February, 1864 and was designed to hold 10, 000 prisoners in an open stockade with no protection from the elements. At one time, in July 1864, the prison held more than 32,000 Union prisoners in foul, unsanitary conditions, with scant food supplies and virtually no fresh vegetables or water. Before the inmates of the prison were released, almost 13,000 Union soldiers had died. The dead were buried outside the prison walls in graves marked with a number.

Franklin Miller, Private, Company K, Fifty-fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers died on October 27, 1864. He is buried at Andersonville, Georgia in grave number 11,542.

Altogether, 27 men from the Fifty-fourth Regiment died at Andersonville. Most of the men were formerly with Company F' of the Fifty-fourth. There will be more on Andersonville on this blog at a later date.

The Miller family has a family plot at the Union and West End Cemetery in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In the family plot next to the monument that marks Sabilla Miller's grave is a similar monument that marks an empty grave. The monument is inscribed as follows:

Franklin Miller
Born 1823 - died 1864
Buried at Andersonville, GA
Company K' 54th PA Reg.

Sabilla Miller, 18 Dec 1824 - 17 Pct 1906

Other family members buried in the plot are:

Ellen Beisel. 1849 - 1874

Raymond Nagle, 17 Dec 1888 - 5 Aug 1889

Mary O. Miller, 14 June 1868 - 25 Apr 1950

Harry F. Miller, 23 June 1859 - 15 Aug 1919

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Fifty-Fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Many men from the Lehigh Valley enrolled with the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment on October 22, 1861. The 54th Pennsylvania was a three-year regiment. It was raised in Cambria, Somerset, Dauphin, Northampton and Lehigh counties. Company K was made up of men from Lehigh County.

The regiment was initially ordered to Washington where they practiced drilling. On March 29, 1862, the regiment arrived at Harper's Ferry for the purpose of defending the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Company G was assigned to guard Back Creek Bridge eight miles west of Martinsburg; Company F at Sleepy Creek Bridge, nine miles further west; Company D at Alpine Station, five miles beyond the Sleepy Creek post; Company I at Sir John's Run, six miles further west; Company C at Great Cacapon Bridge, five miles west of Sir John's Run; Company H at Rlckwell's Run, six miles beyond' company E at No.12 Water Station; company B at Paw Paw, three or four miles further on; company K at Little Cacapon Bridge, and company A at South Branch Bridge, sixteen miles east of Cumberland, and sixty-two miles west of Kartinsburg. The distance to be guarded was fifty-six miles.

The country through which the railroad ran was considered by the Rebels to be their own territory. Roving guerrilla bands roamed the country, pillaging and burning the property of Union Inhabitants and always watchful for an opportunity to burn the railroad bridges. To guard this great thoroughfare, of vital importance to the government, to suppress guerrilla warfare, to afford protection to the harrassed and helpless people, was the duty to which the regiment was assigned to perform. Colonel Campbell, the regimental commander, at once assumed, as a cardinal principle, that the true way to deal with guerrillas was to assume the offensive, and hunt them, instead of waiting to let them hunt him. Almost daily, from some part of the line, squads were sent out to engage and capture these roving bands and many were brought in. Some were sent to Harper's Ferry, others, after taking the oath of alligience were released. From June 1st to September 10th, two hundred and thirteen gurrillias and two hundred and seventy-three horses, together with muskets, sabers, pistols and other military trappings, were captured.

At daylight on the 4th of October 1862, a rebel force, Partisan Rangers, 700 strong, attacked company K's position. The men were at roll call when the enemy , under cover of a dense fog, rushed into their camp. The Union troopers attempted to drive out the hostile force, but the odds were too great, and they were forced to yield. Thirty-five of the company escaped; but Captain Newhard and fifty of his men were captured. Seven men of the company were wounded. The enemy had two killed and eight wounded.

The Rebel marauders then proceeded to the next post where it quickly captured all men of company B. The men of both companies were taken to Richmond, Virginia and confined in Libby Prison in that city.

Soon afterwards, the regiment was attached to the command of General Morrell, and moved to the defense of the Upper Potomac. In December, companies B and K, having been exchanged, returned to the regiment. The 54th performed various duties in the area until it received orders on the 6th of July, to co-operate with the Army of the Potomac, now driving the enemy from the field of Gettysburg. The 4th Brigade, to which the regiment was attached, followed the Confederate Army's retreat into Virginia.

The Fifty-fourth was not further engaged in any serious activity until early May, 1864 when, with the Eighth Army Corps, it commenced a campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. The Corps encountered an unusually large force commanded by General Breckinridge, near New Market, Virginia. The battle raged with great fury, but the enemy's superior numbers began to prevail and the Union lines were forced back. The fifty-fourth retired in good order, returning the fire of the rebel forces until they ceased to pursue. The Corps retreated to Cedar Creek where they threw up defensive works. The regiment lost one hundred and seventy-four killed, wounded and missing.

On June 5th, the First Brigade met the enemy in force near New Hope Church, where he was well posted behind breastworks. Three successive charges were made by this gallant bridage, but was as often swept back by a murderous fire. The Fifty-fourth had been posted to the left of the line, where, from early morning until noon, it was maneuvred in the face of a destructive fire of shot and shell, holding in check the enemy's cavalry, and protecting that wing. At one p.m. the Second Brigade, of only three regiments, was ordered to storm and carry the works, which six regiments had vainly, but well fought for all morning. The brigade charged the works, and poured a single volley in upon the rebel mass, then used muskets as clubs in a terrible hand to hand encounter. With unflinching bravery, the small brigade held the ground against repeated attempts of the enemy to regain it. Finally, the rebel leader went down with a shot to the head and the rout of his forces commenced. The regiment lost thirty killed and wounded in this battle.

On the 17th of June, the Fifty-fourth now assigned to the 3rd Brigade of the Second division, arrived at Lynchburg, where the enemy had concentrated in large force. Heavy skirmishing immediately commenced, and the fighting soon became general. For the next two days the contest was waged, raging at times with great fury. The regiment lost fifty-four of their number killed in the engagement. Finding the enemy too strong and too well entrenched, the Union forces withdrew and eventually made its way to Martinsburg, arriving on the 14th pf July.

Meanwhile, General Early, who had been detached from Lee's Army, had advanced into Maryland, had driven Wallace from the Monocacy, and had approached to the very gates of the Capital. The timely arrival of General Wright, with the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, from Grant's army, turned him back. The 3rd Brigade was ordered from Martinsburg to intercept his retreat. The command hastened through Lovettsville to Snicker's Gap, only to learn that Early had already passed through. The Army of West Virginia joined the pursuit. Three Union Brigades passed the Blue Ridge, and, avoiding the main ford, which was strongly defended, crossed at an unfrequented ford. Early's entire force was here concentrated, but the three brigades immediately attacked. However, being vastly outnumbered, the Union forces were driven back and recrossed the river. The loss to the Fifty-forth was seven.

General Wright with his two Corps crossed the river and pressed the enemy who fell back to Winchester. Here the pursuit was stayed and Wright, with his force, returned to Washington. When Early was apprised of this, he immediately began to again move forward and press the attack. As the day wore on, the fighting became more and more intense, particularly in the vicinity of Kernstown. The Union commander order a general retreat in the face of a superior force, eventually crossing to the north side of the Potomac.

During the remaining summer months, the regiment participated in the marches and counter-marches of the command. About this time, General Sheridan took command and reorganized the army in preparation for an active campaign. The Fifty-fourth, with the rest of the command, marched to Cedar Creek where it engaged in some minor skirmishes. Then on August 28th, the whole force marched to Charlestown and then to Berryville. On its arrival in Berryville on September 3rd. a severe engagement occurred, lasting far into the night.

At two o' clock on the morning of the 19th of September, 1864, Sheridan advanced to drive the enemy from its strongly fortified position near Winchester. The Battle at Winchester was a complete rout of the Confederate forces. Several days later, it enjoyed similar success.

On the 19th of October, in the absence of General Sheridan, Confederate General Early, passed silently from his camp at midnight, and dividing his command into two columns, gained a position undiscovered, very close to the Union force, whence, in the mist of the early morn, his forces fell with crushing force upon an unsuspecting Union force. The rout was complete, the rebel forces were in full possession of the Union camps, artillery, and many prisoners.

When General Sheridan, who was at General Grant's hedadquarters at the time, learned that the Confederate force under Early, had attacked his camp, he immediately mounted his horse and rode like the wind toward his embattled troops. In a short time Sheridan arrived upon the field, and with remarkable coolness and assurance, collected his scattered forces, formed his line of battle, and when well in hand and inspired with the spirit of their leader, he fell upon the enemy, rioting in the captured camps, and before night fall had retrieved all that was lost, and was glorying in his captures of artillery, small arms, and a great crowd of prisoners, the exultant enemy reduced to a flying mob. The 54th suffered severely in this engagement. Being posted in advance, and the first to feel the enemy's blow. This engagement ended the campaign of the Shenandoah, and the enemy never afterwards made his appearance in the valley in force.

Sheridan's Eighth Corps marched from the valley to join Grant at Petersburg. The Fifty-fourth was reassigned to duty in the Army of the James. The Fifty-fourth was then consolidated with the remnants of the Third and Fourth Reserve Regiments in February, 1865. On the 2nd of April the regiment was ordered to join a general forward movement. At Fort Gregg it met spirited resistence, but the enemy eventually yielded. In the brief engagement, the regiment lost twenty killed and wounded.

The rebel army had been routed from its works at Petersburg and was rapidly retreating toward North Carolina. The Fifty-fourth was one of two regiments ordered to destroy High Bridge to cut off the rebel forces avenue of retreat. The rebels had taken precautions to protect their only way of retreat and the advancing Union force was met with substantial Confederate forces. After a desparate struggle, a large portion of the Union command was either killed or taken prisoner and those remaining found themselves surrounded. Surrender was the only option. Although the Union force was not successful in destroying the bridge, it did delay the main force for several hours, allowing Sheridan to sweep around the rear of the rebel force and complete the destruction and capture of that once proud and defiant army.

After four days of marching, without rations, with the retreating rebel army, the Union captives were, to their great joy, released from captivity by Grant's victorius cloumns. The Fifty=sourth made its way to Appomattox Court House and from there, the regiment made its way to Harrisburg where it was mustered out of service on 15 July 1865.

Some of the men of the Fifty-fourth had been mustered out in July, 1864 having served their full three-year term. Many of the men in Company K' were transferred to Company B' at some unknown date and a large number of men of the original Company K' were simply reported as 'not present for muster' when the unit was mustered out in July, 1865. Most of Company K had joined the Fifty-fourth in October, 1861 and would have completed their three-year commitment in October, 1864 and thus would not have been present for final muster in July, 1865.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Chew Street Across from Cemetery

The photographs that follow are of residences on Chew Street in the "Old Allentown Historical District" and are situated directly across the street from the Union and West End Cemetery. The photos begin generally at 10th Street and then proceed west toward 12th Street.

Click here to view enlargement of door

The residents that live in these houses on Chew Street take pride in their community and keep their property and their side of the street looking very nice.

Unfortunately, the cemetery side of the street does not receive the same care and attention. Although the city has placed trash recepticles on post at various locations along this stretch of sidewalk, the transients that walk through from someplace else, going someplace else are not as thoughtful about properly disposing of their trash. With all the other chores that keep the volunteer cemetery staff occupied, it is almost impossible to keep this area outside the cemetery property free from trash and litter.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


10th Street Across from Cemetery

Photos of houses along Tenth Street from about Gordon Street going south toward Chew Street.

The residents that live on the 10th Street across from the cemetery make an effort to keep their property and the surrounding area neat and clean.

Monday, January 01, 2007



As you read the Civil War posts to the cemetery blog, particularly those detailing battles, you will run across the reference to 'skirmishers'. The word skirmisher originated with the French and had to do with sword fighting, i.e., reaching out to make contact with an enemy. By the time the Civil War was fought, the term skirmisher had nothing to do with swords or sword fighting, but described the men that were deployed out ahead of the army to probe for the enemy.

Skirmish lines often served as the eyes and ears of regiments or brigades on the march. Skirmishers were sent forward or along the flanks of moving bodies of troops to determine the whereabouts of the enemy or to draw the enemy out.

Napoleon had relied extensively on skirmishers and thus, Civil War infantry manuals included skirmishing tactics and commands. Officers and troops were drilled for skirmisher duty. For officers, these drills included how to deploy skirmishers, how they should advance, proper skirmish firing, rallying the skirmishers, and deploying a battalion as skirmishers.

Companies were often deployed as skirmishers in front of a regiment or at a flank. A typical order for the deployment of a platoon: "First platoon—as skirmishers, on the left file, take intervals—march! The men thus summoned would march forward, separate into lines and then break into groups of four. The distance between the groups depended upon the terrain and the circumstances, but was not suppose to exceed forty paces. If the skirmishers were to be deployed on the flank the command would be: "Second platoon—as skirmishers, on the right flank, take intervals—march!"

Once out as skirmishers, the commands used were standard military commands. "Forward, march!" "Halt!" In retreat, march! This last command was often "Retreat, double quick, march!" Skirmishers frequently unexpectedly came in contact with enemy forces and quick action was necessary. In these circumstances, one did not wait for an order to fire! At such times, the normal order of commands often broke down, and it was every man for himself.

If a unit had access to a cavalry unit, it would not be unusual to utilize the cavalry regiment as skirmishers.

If a battalion were already in battle lines, platoons could be deployed forward as a fighting force or called back into line as needed after serving one of the functions most vital to a Civil War army: "feeling" the enemy, thus avoiding surprise, and protecting the main body of troops.

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