The Haupt Brothers of Sunbury

Alternate Spellings of Surname: Haupt, Hauptt, Houpt

Samuel Y. Haupt, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers (circa 1863, public domain).

Born in 1832 in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, Peter Haupt was a son of Henry Haupt (1812-1897), a native of Augustaville in Northumberland County who was employed as a tailor in Sunbury, a larger community within that same county. Peter and his brothers, Freeman (born in March 1845) and Samuel Y. Haupt (born on 26 August 1842) would all later go on to fight in the Civil War in the same regiment—the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers—with the same company—Company C, the color-bearer unit also known as the “Sunbury Guards.”

In 1850, Samuel and Freeman Haupt resided in Sunbury, Northumberland County with their father, Henry Haupt, and his wife, Sarah (Mowery) Haupt; together, Henry and Sarah’s union had created daughter, Liberty Haupt, sister of the Freeman brothers. (Liberty, who had been born in Sunbury on 11 February 1849, would go on to wed Henry Dugan and have children of her own before being widowed by him and passing away herself in Sunbury on the Fourth of July in 1929.)

On 16 February 1853, Peter Haupt wed Mary Niehart at Sunbury. They were united in marriage by Frederick Lazarus, Esq. Together, they resided in Sunbury, Northumberland County, and welcomed to the world the following children: Lewis (born in Sunbury 9 August 1853), William Peter (born in Sunbury 8 January 1856), Mary Catharine (born in Danville, Montour County 11 March 1858), and Isaac Elwood Haupt (born in Sunbury 16 May 1860). Still residing in Sunbury in 1860 with his wife and four children, Peter Haupt supported his family as a carpenter.

Civil War Military Service

The bombardment of Fort Sumter 12-14 April 1861 (Currier & Ives, public domain).

The bombardment of Fort Sumter 12-14 April 1861 (Currier & Ives, public domain).

As the new decade began, America was in turmoil. Seceding from the Union in December 1860, South Carolina became the first of the southern dominoes to topple. By mid-April 1861, Fort Sumter was in Confederate hands. Many northerners were calling for action by the federal government, and making greater and greater demands of President Abraham Lincoln’s administration, an administration which would be sorely tested over the next four years as it grappled with the weighty matters of slavery, states’ rights and the meaning of “liberty and justice for all.”

Camp Curtin (Harpers Weekly, 1861; public domain).

Camp Curtin (Harper’s Weekly, 1861, public domain).

Caught up in his town’s spirit of support for preservation of the Union, young Freeman Haupt enrolled for military service at Sunbury, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania on 19 August 1861. He then officially reported for duty at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and mustered in as a Private with Company C (the “Sunbury Guards”) of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry on 2 September 1861. Although military records at the time described him as being 19 years of age, the 5’7” tall student from Sunbury with dark hair, gray eyes and a light complexion had been born in 1845, and was therefore only just 16.

Joining him was his brother, Samuel Y. Haupt, who also enrolled and mustered in on the same dates at the same locations as a Private with Company C of the 47th Pennsylvania. It appears, from military records, that Samuel Haupt may also have lied slightly about his age. Those same records described him as being a 20-year-old student who was 5’8” tall with light hair and gray eyes.

Following a brief training period in light infantry tactics at Camp Curtin, the Haupt brothers and their fellow members of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were transported south by rail to Washington, D.C. Stationed roughly two miles from the White House, they pitched their tents at “Camp Kalorama” on the Kalorama Heights near Georgetown, beginning 21 September. The next day, fellow Company C member Henry D. Wharton penned the following update to their hometown newspaper, the Sunbury American:

After a tedious ride we have, at last, safely arrived at the City of ‘magnificent distances.’ We left Harrisburg on Friday last at 1 o’clock A.M. and reached this camp yesterday (Saturday) at 4 P.M., as tired and worn out a sett [sic] of mortals as can possibly exist. On arriving at Washington we were marched to the ‘Soldiers Retreat,’ a building purposely erected for the benefit of the soldier, where every comfort is extended to him and the wants of the ‘inner man’ supplied.

After partaking of refreshments we were ordered into line and marched, about three miles, to this camp. So tired were the men, that on marching out, some gave out, and had to leave the ranks, but J. Boulton Young, our ‘little Zouave,’ stood it bravely, and acted like a veteran. So small a drummer is scarcely seen in the army, and on the march through Washington he was twice the recipient of three cheers.

Meanwhile, their elder brother, Peter Haupt, also decided to leave the security of his job as a 29-year-old Sunbury cabinet maker. He enrolled for military service in the Haupt’s hometown of Sunbury on 17 September 1861, and then also mustered in as a Private with Company C, 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry—on 26 September 1861 at Camp Kalorama, where his brothers and new fellow regiment members were stationed. Military records described him as being 5’9” tall with black hair, gray eyes and a dark complexion.

On 24 September, the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry finally became part of the U.S. Army when its men were officially mustered into federal service. On 27 September, the 47th Pennsylvania was assigned to Brigadier-General Isaac Stevens’ 3rd Brigade, which also included the 33rd, 49th and 79th New York regiments. By that afternoon, the 47th Pennsylvania was on the move again. Ordered onward by Brigadier-General Silas Casey, the Mississippi rifle-armed 47th Pennsylvania infantrymen marched behind their regimental band, and headed for Camp Lyon, Maryland on the Potomac River’s eastern shore. At 5 p.m., they joined the 46th Pennsylvania in moving double-quick (165 steps per minute using 33-inch steps) across the “Chain Bridge” marked on federal maps.

Marching toward Falls Church, Virginia, they arrived at Camp Advance around dusk. There, about two miles from the bridge they had just crossed, they made camp in a deep ravine near a new federal fort under construction (Fort Ethan Allen). They had completed a roughly eight-mile trek, were situated fairly close to General W. F. Smith’s headquarters, and were now part of the massive Army of the Potomac. Under Smith’s leadership, their regiment and brigade would help to defend the nation’s capital from the time of their September arrival through late January when the men of the 47th Pennsylvania would be shipped south.

On 11 October, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers marched in the Grand Review at Bailey’s Cross Roads after having been ordered with the 3rd Brigade to Camp Griffin. In a mid-October letter home, the Haupt brothers’ commanding officer—Captain John Peter Shindel Gobin—reported that companies D, A, C, F and I (the 47th Pennsylvania’s right wing) were ordered to picket duty after the left-wing companies (B, G, K, E, and H) had been forced to return to camp by Confederate troops.

On Friday morning, 22 October 1861, the 47th engaged in a Divisional Review, described by Schmidt as massing “about 10,000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, and twenty pieces of artillery all in one big open field.” On 21 November, the 47th participated in a morning divisional headquarters review by Colonel Tilghman H. Good, followed by brigade and division drills all afternoon. According to Schmidt, “each man was supplied with ten blank cartridges.” Afterward, “Gen. Smith requested Gen. Brannan to inform Col. Good that the 47th was the best regiment in the whole division.”

Springfield rifle, 1861 model (public domain).

Springfield rifle, 1861 model (public domain).

As a reward for their performance that day—and in preparation for the even bigger events which were yet to come, Brigadier-General John Milton Brannan issued a directive to his subordinates that brand new Springfield rifles be obtained for every member of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers.


Rendering of Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida, Harper's Weekly, 1864 (public domain).

Rendering of Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida (Harper’s Weekly, 1864, public domain).

Next ordered to move from their Virginia encampment back to Maryland, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers left Camp Griffin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 22 January 1862, marching through deep mud with their equipment for three miles in order to reach the railroad station at Falls Church. Sent by rail to Alexandria, they then sailed the Potomac via the steamship City of Richmond to the Washington Arsenal, where they were reequipped before they were marched off for dinner and rest at the Soldiers’ Retreat in Washington, D.C. The next afternoon, the 47th Pennsylvanians hopped railcars on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and headed for Annapolis, Maryland. Arriving around 10 p.m., they were assigned quarters in barracks at the Naval Academy. They then spent that Friday through Monday (24-27 January 1862) loading their equipment and other supplies onto the steamship Oriental.

By the afternoon of Monday, 27 January 1862, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers had commenced boarding the Oriental. Ferried to the big steamship by smaller steamers, the enlisted men boarded first while the officers boarded last. Then, per the directive of Brigadier-General Brannan, the Oriental steamed away for the Deep South at 4 p.m. They were headed for Florida which, despite its secession from the Union, remained strategically important to the Union due to the presence of Forts Taylor and Jefferson in Key West and the Dry Tortugas.

In early February 1862, the Haupt brothers arrived in Key West with their fellow members of the regiment, and were assigned to garrison Fort Taylor. On 14 February, the regiment made itself known to area residents via a parade through the streets of the city.

On 11 March 1862, in a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, Company C’s Captain John Peter Shindel Gobin wrote:

Gen. Brannan has appointed me Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Department of Key West, giving me Supervision of all law proceedings on the island. I have Samuel Haupt for my clerk, and it keeps us both busy. I have a splendid office in the barracks – everything nice as can be. It beats the one at home all to pieces… The weather continues very warm.

But in reality, the 47th’s early days here were not easy. Drilling daily in heavy artillery tactics, members of the regiment also bolstered the federal facility’s fortifications, felled trees and helped to build new roads. In addition, several 47th Pennsylvanians fell ill, largely due to poor sanitary conditions and water quality.

Still, the majority of the men soldiered on and faithfully, effectively performed the duties they were assigned; several were recognized for their contributions, including Private Peter Haupt, whose service was so appreciated that he was promoted from the rank of Private directly to the rank of Sergeant on 1 April 1862 (rather than having to be first be promoted to the rank of Corporal).

Spirits soared on 4 June 1862, a festive day for the regiment. As the USS Niagara set sail for Boston after transferring its responsibilities to the USS Potomac as the flagship of the Union Navy squadron in that sector, the guns of 15 warships anchored nearby fired a salute. Company F of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers followed suit, and “fired 15 of the heavy casemate guns from Fort Taylor at 4 PM.”

From mid-June through July, the 47th was ordered to Hilton Head, South Carolina where the men made camp before being housed in the Department of the South’s Beaufort District. Picket duties north of the 3rd Brigade’s camp were commonly rotated among the regiments present there at the time, putting soldiers at increased risk from sniper fire. According to historian Samuel P. Bates, during this phase of their service, the men of the 47th “received the highest commendation from Generals Hunter and Brannan” for their “attention to duty, discipline and soldierly bearing.”

Illustration of the Union Navy's base of operations, Mayport Mills, circa 1862 (public domain).

The Union Navy’s base of operations, Mayport Mills, circa 1862 (Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, public domain).

During a return expedition to Florida beginning 30 September, the 47th joined with the 1st Connecticut Battery, 7th Connecticut Infantry, and part of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry in assaulting Confederate forces at their heavily protected camp at Saint John’s Bluff overlooking the Saint John’s River area. Trekking and skirmishing through roughly 25 miles of dense swampland and forests after disembarking from ships at Mayport Mills on 1 October, the 47th captured artillery and ammunition stores (on 3 October) that had been abandoned by Confederate forces during the bluff’s bombardment by Union gunboats.

From 21-23 October, under the brigade and regimental commands of Colonel T. H. Good and Lieutenant-Colonel George W. Alexander, the 47th engaged the heavily protected Confederate forces in and around Pocotaligo, South Carolina—including at Frampton’s Plantation and the Pocotaligo Bridge—a key piece of southern railroad infrastructure which Union leaders felt should be destroyed.

Harried by snipers en route to the Pocotaligo Bridge, they met resistance from an entrenched, heavily fortified Confederate battery which opened fire on the Union troops as they entered an open cotton field. Those headed toward higher ground at the Frampton Plantation fared no better as they encountered artillery and infantry fire from the surrounding forests. The Union soldiers grappled with Confederates where they found them, pursuing the Rebels for four miles as they retreated to the bridge. There, the 47th relieved the 7th Connecticut. But the enemy was just too well armed. After two hours of intense fighting in an attempt to take the ravine and bridge, depleted ammunition forced the 47th to withdraw to Mackay’s Point.

Losses for the 47th Pennsylvania were significant. Among others, two company captains from the 47th Pennsylvania were lost and, on 22 October 1862, Sergeant Peter Haupt and his brother, Private Samuel Y. Haupt, were wounded in action. Samuel suffered a wound to his chin and survived, but sadly, Peter did not.

According to an affidavit submitted to the Commissioner of Pensions, United States by Lieutenant Daniel Oyster at Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida on 14 August 1863, and certified at Fort Taylor on 20 August 1863 by John Peter Shindel Gobin in his acting capacity as Judge Advocate:

This is to certify that Sergeant Peter Haupt of Company (C) 47th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers who died at Hilton Head South Carolina November 14th 1862 of wounds received at Pocotalico [sic] South Carolina;

That the said wounds were received by the said Peter Haupt during an engagement with the enemy at the place aforesaid and were caused by a Rifle or Musket ball having entered his left foot and which resulted in his death at the time and place aforesaid that I was present and have personal knowledge of the facts

Lieut Danl Oyster
Company C 47th Penna Vols

The cause of Sergeant Peter Haupt’s death, listed by his physician on the Union Army hospital’s death ledger, was “traumatic tetanus.” His remains were returned home, and he was laid to rest at the Sunbury Cemetery in Sunbury Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Note: Peter Haupt’s widow, Mary, never remarried, and soldiered on for more than five decades without her husband. By 8 January 1918, having developed age-related dementia, she required the care of at least two physicians and a nurse. Ten days before her death, according to her physicians, she developed a “virulent infection of right wrist.” She passed away on 1 May 1918, in Sunbury, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and was interred at the Sunbury Cemetery.

Her Civil War Widow’s Pension Records confirm that she had been residing with her daughter, Mary Catharine (Haupt) Garinger, the wife of Charles Garinger, at 203 Walnut Street in Sunbury. Upon Mary Haupt’s death, Mary Catharine sought reimbursement via her mother’s Civil War Widow’s Pension for overdue medical and funeral bills. (Although Northumberland County Commissioners had paid $75 to the William A. Shipman and Sons Company, payment was still outstanding to the grave digger, a nurse and one of the two physicians who had provided care to Mary Haupt.)

Also mentioned in these pension records was Charity Haupt, the wife of William P. Haupt and sister-in-law of Mary Catharine (Haupt) Garinger. Charity had been named the beneficiary of a $100 Prudential insurance policy created by her mother-in-law, Mary (Sergeant Peter Haupt’s widow). Charity had paid the premiums until her mother-in-law turned 75. With the policy paid in full, the funds were then disbursed back to Charity—most likely because, in 1912, Charity had been widowed by her husband, William, who had died at the State Hospital in Danville, Montour County after having been institutionalized there.

On 23 October, the 47th Pennsylvania returned to Hilton Head, where it served as the funeral Honor Guard for General Ormsby McKnight Mitchel, the commander of the U.S. Army’s 10th Corps and Department of the South who had succumbed to yellow fever on 30 October. The Mountains of Mitchel, a part of Mars’ South Pole discovered by Mitchel in 1846 while working as a University of Cincinnati astronomer, and Mitchelville, the first Freedmen’s town created after the Civil War, were both later named for him. Men from the 47th Pennsylvania were given the high honor of firing the salute over his grave.


Woodcut depicting the harsh climate at Fort Taylor in Key West, Florida during the Civil War. (Public domain, U.S. Library of Congress.)

Woodcut depicting the harsh climate at Fort Taylor in Key West, Florida during the Civil War (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

Having been ordered back to Key West on 15 November 1862, much of 1863 was spent garrisoning federal installations in Florida as part of the 10th Corps, Department of the South. Companies A, B, C, E, G, and I garrisoned Fort Taylor in Key West while Companies D, F, H, and K garrisoned Fort Jefferson, the Union’s remote outpost in the Dry Tortugas off the coast of Florida.

As with their previous assignments, the men discovered that disease would be their constant companion and foe. This makes it all the more remarkable that, during this phase of service, the majority of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers chose to re-enlist when their three-year service terms were up. Many, who could have returned home with their heads held legitimately high after all they had endured, re-enlisted in order to preserve the Union of their beloved nation.

Private Samuel Y. Haupt was one of those who re-upped for a second three-year tour of duty. Honorably discharged pursuant to General Order No. 191, he re-mustered on 18 December 1863 at Fort Taylor in Key West, Florida. Although the date of his promotion to the rank of Corporal is unknown, it likely occurred at or around this time since a number of the men from the 47th Pennsylvania who chose to re-enlist received promotions upon re-enrollment.

Private Freeman Haupt was honorably discharged at Fort Taylor on 21 December 1863, also pursuant to General Order No. 191. Although one military record indicates that he also re-enlisted six days later on 29 December 1863, most indicate that he finished his service on 21 December and returned home.


On 25 February 1864, the 47th set off for a phase of service in which the regiment would make history. Steaming first for New Orleans aboard the Charles Thomas, the men arrived at Algiers, Louisiana on 28 February and were then shipped by train to Brashear City. Following another steamer ride—this time to Franklin via the Bayou Teche—the 47th joined the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division of the Department of the Gulf’s 19th Army Corps. In short order, the 47th would become the only Pennsylvania regiment to serve in the Red River Campaign spearheaded by Union Major-General Nathaniel P. Banks.

From 14-26 March, the 47th passed through New Iberia, Vermilionville, Opelousas, and Washington while en route to Alexandria and Natchitoches. Often short on food and water, the remaining members of the regiment encamped briefly at Pleasant Hill the night of 7 April before continuing on the next day, marching until mid-afternoon.

19th U.S. Army Map, Phase 3, Battle of Sabine Cross Roads/Mansfield (8 April 1864, public domain).

Rushed into battle ahead of other regiments in the 2nd Division, 60 members of the 47th were cut down on 8 April during the back-and-forth volley of fire unleashed during the Battle of Sabine Cross Roads (Mansfield). The fighting waned only when darkness fell. The exhausted, but uninjured collapsed beside the gravely wounded. After midnight, the surviving Union troops withdrew to Pleasant Hill.

The next day, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were ordered into a critically important defensive position at the far right of the Union lines, their right flank spreading up onto a high bluff. By 3 p.m., after enduring a midday charge by the troops of Confederate General Richard Taylor (a plantation owner who was the son of Zachary Taylor, former President of the United States), the brutal fighting still showed no signs of ending. Suddenly, just as the 47th was shifting to the left side of the massed Union forces, the men of the 47th Pennsylvania were forced to bolster the 165th New York’s buckling lines by blocking another Confederate assault.

Casualties were severe. Among others, the regiment’s second in command, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander, was nearly killed, and the regiment’s two color-bearers, both from Company C, were also seriously wounded while preventing the American flag from falling into enemy hands. Still others were captured, marched roughly 125 miles to Camp Ford, a Confederate Army prison camp near Tyler, Texas, and held there as prisoners of war (POWs) until being released in prisoner exchanges in July, August, September, or November. At least two members of the 47th Pennsylvania never made it out of the prison alive.

Following what some historians have called a drubbing by the Confederate Army and others have called a technical Union victory (or at least a draw), the 47th Pennsylvania fell back to Grand Ecore, where the men resupplied and regrouped until 22 April.

Known as "Bailey's Dam" for the Union officer who ordered its construction, Lt. Col. Joseph Bailey, this timber dam built by the Union Army on the Red River in Alexandria, Louisiana in May 1864 was designed to facilitate passage of Union gunboats to and from the Mississippi River. Photo: Public domain.

Christened “Bailey’s Dam” for the Union officer who ordered its construction, Lt.-Col. Joseph Bailey, this timber dam built by the Union Army on the Red River near Alexandria, Louisiana in May 1864 facilitated Union gunboat passage (public domain).

On 23 April, the 47th and their fellow brigade members re-engaged with Confederate troops in the Battle of Cane River near Monett’s Ferry. Then, placed temporarily under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Bailey, they helped to build a dam from 30 April through 10 May, which enabled federal gunboats to successfully navigate the fluctuating water levels of the Red River.

Beginning 13 May, Samuel Y. Haupt and his fellow Sunbury Guardsmen moved with most of the 47th from Simmesport across the Atchafalaya to Morganza, and then to New Orleans on 20 June.

Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Still able and willing to fight after their time in Bayou country, the soldiers of Company C and their fellow 47th Pennsylvanians from Companies A, D, E, F, H, and I returned to the Washington, D.C. area aboard the McClellan beginning 7 July 1864. During this transitional phase, several members of the regiment were left behind to convalesce at Union Army hospitals in Louisiana or Florida; others were discharged in the Deep South on Surgeons’ Certificates of Disability or aboard ship.

After arriving in Virginia and their memorable encounter with President Abraham Lincoln, the men from Companies A, C, D, E, F, H, and I joined up with Major-General David Hunter’s forces at Snicker’s Gap (also known as the “Battle of Cool Spring”), where they assisted in defending Washington, D.C. while also helping to drive Confederate troops from Maryland.

Attached to the Middle Military Division, Army of the Shenandoah beginning in August, September saw the promotion of a number of men from the regiment, including First Lieutenant Daniel Oyster who was promoted to the rank of Captain and assumed command of C Company when John Peter Shindel Gobin began his march up the chain of command. Still others departed upon expiration of their respective three-year terms of service. For the remaining members of the 47th, the fighting was not yet over; those still on duty were about to engage in their regiment’s greatest moments of valor.

Battles of Opequan and Fisher’s Hill, September 1864

Together with other regiments under the command of Union Major-General Philip H. (“Little Phil”) Sheridan and Brigadier-General William H. Emory, commander of the 19th Corps, the members of Company C and their fellow 47th Pennsylvanians helped to inflict heavy casualties on Lieutenant-General Jubal Early’s Confederate forces at Opequan (also spelled as “Opequon” and referred to as “Third Winchester”). The battle is still considered by many historians to be one of the most important during Sheridan’s 1864 campaign; the Union’s victory here helped to ensure the reelection of President Abraham Lincoln.

Image of the victory of Philip Sheridan’s Union army over Jubal Early’s Confederate forces. Kurz & Allison, circa 1893. Public domain, courtesy of the Library of Congress: LC-DIG-pga-01855 (digital file from original print) LC-USZC4-1753 (color film copy transparency).

Victory of Philip Sheridan’s Union army over Jubal Early’s Confederate forces. Kurz & Allison, circa 1893 (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

The 47th Pennsylvania’s march toward destiny at Opequan began at 2 a.m. on 19 September 1864 as the regiment left camp and joined up with others in the Union’s 19th Corps. After advancing slowly from Berryville toward Winchester, the 19th Corps became bogged down for several hours by the massive movement of Union troops and supply wagons, enabling Early’s men to dig in. After finally reaching the Opequan Creek, Sheridan’s men came face to face with Early’s Confederate Army. The fighting, which began in earnest at noon, was long and brutal. The Union’s left flank (6th Corps) took a beating from Confederate artillery stationed on high ground.

The 47th Pennsylvania and the 19th Corps were directed by Brigadier-General Emory to attack and pursue Major-General John B. Gordon’s Confederate forces. Some success was achieved, but casualties mounted as another Confederate artillery group opened fire on Union troops trying to cross a clearing. When a nearly fatal gap began to open between the 6th and 19th Corps, Sheridan sent in units led by Brigadier-Generals Emory Upton and David A. Russell. Russell, hit twice—once in the chest, was mortally wounded. The 47th Pennsylvania opened its lines long enough to enable the Union cavalry under William Woods Averell and the foot soldiers of General George Crook to charge the Confederates’ left flank.

The 19th Corps, with the 47th in the thick of the fighting, then began pushing the Confederates back. Early’s “grays” retreated in the face of the valor displayed by Sheridan’s “blue jackets.” Leaving 2,500 wounded behind, the Rebels retreated to Fisher’s Hill, eight miles south of Winchester (21-22 September), and then to Waynesboro, following a successful early morning flanking attack by Sheridan’s Union men which outnumbered Early’s three to one. Afterward, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were sent out on skirmishing parties before making camp at Cedar Creek.

Moving forward, the surviving members of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers would continue to distinguish themselves in battle, but they would do so without two more of their respected commanders: Colonel Tilghman Good and Good’s second-in-command, Lieutenant-Colonel George Alexander, who mustered out 23-24 September upon the expiration of their respective terms of service. Fortunately, they would be replaced with leaders who were equally respected for their front line experience and temperament.

Battle of Cedar Creek, October 1864

It was during the fall of 1864 that Major-General Philip Sheridan began the first of the Union’s true “scorched earth” campaigns, starving the enemy into submission by destroying Virginia’s farming infrastructure. Viewed through today’s lens of history as inhumane, the strategy claimed many innocents—civilians whose lives were cut short by their inability to find food. This same strategy, however, almost certainly contributed to the further turning of the war’s tide in the Union’s favor during the Battle of Cedar Creek on 19 October 1864. Successful throughout most of their engagement with Union forces at Cedar Creek, Early’s Confederate troops began peeling off in ever growing numbers to forage for food, thus enabling the 47th Pennsylvania and others under Sheridan’s command to rally and win the day.

From a military standpoint, it was an impressive, but heartrending day. During the morning of 19 October, Early launched a surprise attack directly on Sheridan’s Cedar Creek-encamped forces. Early’s men were able to capture Union weapons while freeing a number of Confederates who had been taken prisoner during previous battles—all while pushing seven Union divisions back. According to Bates:

When the Army of West Virginia, under Crook, was surprised and driven from its works, the Second Brigade, with the Forty-seventh on the right, was thrown into the breach to arrest the retreat…. Scarcely was it in position before the enemy came suddenly upon it, under the cover of fog. The right of the regiment was thrown back until it was almost a semi-circle. The brigade, only fifteen hundred strong, was contending against Gordon’s entire division, and was forced to retire, but, in comparative good order, exposed, as it was, to raking fire. Repeatedly forming, as it was pushed back, and making a stand at every available point, it finally succeeded in checking the enemy’s onset, when General Sheridan suddenly appeared upon the field, who ‘met his crest-fallen, shattered battalions, without a word of reproach, but joyously swinging his cap, shouted to the stragglers, as he rode rapidly past them – “Face the other way, boys! We are going back to our camp! We are going to lick them out of their boots!’”

The Union’s counterattack punched Early’s forces into submission, and the men of the 47th were commended for their heroism by General Stephen Thomas who, in 1892, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his own “distinguished conduct in a desperate hand-to-hand encounter, in which the advance of the enemy was checked” that day. Bates described the 47th’s actions:

When the final grand charge was made, the regiment moved at nearly right angles with the rebel front. The brigade charged gallantly, and the entire line, making a left wheel, came down on his flank, while engaging the Sixth Corps, when he went “whirling up the valley” in confusion. In the pursuit to Fisher’s Hill, the regiment led, and upon its arrival was placed on the skirmish line, where it remained until twelve o’clock noon of the following day. The army was attacked at early dawn…no respite was given to take food until the pursuit was ended.

Once again, the casualties for the 47th were high. Sergeant William Pyers, the C Company man who had so gallantly rescued the flag at Pleasant Hill was cut down and later buried on the battlefield. Perry County resident and Regimental Chaplain William Rodrock suffered a near miss as a bullet pierced his cap. Others killed in action were buried where they fell; a number of the many wounded were treated and then discharged on Surgeons’ Certificates while some returned to duty. As with the Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana six months earlier, others were captured and taken to Confederate prison camps, including Salisbury and the infamous hellhole which still makes Americans shudder at its name—Andersonville.

Afterward, the 47th was ordered to Camp Russell near Winchester from November through most of December. Samuel Y. Haupt was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on 1 November 1864. Three days later, on 4 November, Major John Peter Shindel Gobin was also promoted. Now holding the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, the Sunbury Guardsman assumed command of the entire regiment.

Rested and somewhat healed, the 47th was next ordered to outpost and railroad guarding duties at Camp Fairview in Charlestown, West Virginia in December. Five days before Christmas, they trudged through a snowstorm in order to reach their new home.


Matthew Brady's photograph of spectators massing for the Grand Review of the Armies, 23-24 May 1865, at the side of the crepe-draped U.S. Capitol, flag at half mast following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. (Library of Congress: Public domain.)

Matthew Brady’s photograph of spectators massing for the Grand Review of the Armies, 23-24 May 1865, at the side of the crepe-draped U.S. Capitol, flag at half mast following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

Assigned in February to the Provisional Division of the 2nd Brigade of the Army of the Shenandoah, the men of the 47th moved back to Washington, D.C. via Winchester and Kernstown. By 19 April, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were once again responsible for helping to defend the nation’s capital—this time following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Encamped near Fort Stevens, they received new uniforms and were resupplied.

Letters home and later newspaper interviews with survivors of the 47th Pennsylvania indicate that at least one 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer was given the high honor of guarding President Lincoln’s funeral train while others may have guarded the Lincoln assassination conspirators during the early days of their imprisonment. Assigned to Dwight’s Division of the 2nd Brigade, Department of Washington’s 22nd Corps, the 47th Pennsylvania also participated in the Union’s Grand Review on 23-24 May.

Ruins seen from the Circular Church, Charleston, SC, 1865. Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (111-B-4667, public domain).

Ruins of Charleston, South Carolina as seen from the Circular Church, 1865 (U.S. National Archives, public domain).

On their final southern tour, the remaining men of Company C and their fellow members of the 47th Pennsylvania served in Savannah, Georgia from 31 May to 4 June. Attached again to Dwight’s Division, this time they assigned to the 3rd Brigade, Department of the South. Relieving the 165th New York Volunteers in July, the soldiers of the 47th Pennsylvania were quartered next in Charleston at the former mansion of the Confederate Secretary of the Treasury. Duties for the remainder of their tenure were Provost (military police) and Reconstruction-related, including the repair of railroads and other key infrastructure items that had been damaged or destroyed during the long war.

Finally, beginning on Christmas Day of that year, the majority of the men of Company C, 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers began to honorably muster out for the final time—including First Sergeant Samuel Y. Haupt, who had been promoted to his new rank on 5 July 1865. Following a stormy voyage home, the 47th Pennsylvania disembarked in New York City. The weary men were then shipped to Philadelphia by train where, at Camp Cadwalader on 9 January 1866, the 47th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers were officially given their final discharge papers.

Return to Civilian Life

Following their respective honorable discharges from the military, the surviving Haupt brothers—Freeman and Samuel—returned home to Sunbury. In 1868, Samuel Y. Haupt married. By 1870, he and his wife, Amelia (born in Pennsylvania in July 1845), were living with their nine-month-old son, Maurice, in Sunbury where Samuel was employed as a teacher. Sometime around 1874, they welcomed son, Ralph, to the world.

By 1870, Freeman Haupt was employed as a brick maker; he resided in Sunbury with his wife, Ellen (Gizerro) Haupt, a Pennsylvania native born sometime around 1847, and their children, Ida M., born in Sunbury on 20 February 1868, and infant Sarah, born in Sunbury in June 1870. (At the age of 18, Ida would go on to wed Francis M. Leiby, a 27-year-old farmer from Columbia County, in Northumberland County on 14 February 1886; she passed away in Sunbury on 16 February 1940.)

In 1874, William P. Haupt, son of the late Sergeant Peter Haupt and nephew of Peter’s surviving brothers Freeman and Samuel, married Mary Charity Farrow (1851-1931). Born in Snydertown on 26 October 1851, she was a daughter of John and Annetta (Smith) Farrow.

But the decade was not an entirely happy one for the Haupt clan. Having contracted consumption, Freeman Haupt died on 25 January 1874, roughly two months shy of his 30th birthday. He was interred at the Sunbury Cemetery where his brother, Peter, had been brought home to rest in 1862 after being cut down during the Battle of Pocotaligo.

By 1880, Samuel Y. Haupt and his wife, Amelia (1841-1914) were residing in Scranton, Lackawanna County with sons Maurice and Ralph. There, Samuel was employed as a lumber dealer. By 1900, Samuel and Amelia were living alone in their Scranton home while Samuel continued working in the lumber trade. He retired sometime before 1910.

This decade became another one of loss for the Haupt clan. In 1912, William P. Haupt, the son of Sergeant Peter Haupt, passed away in Danville, Montour County. His remains were brought home to Sunbury for burial. Then, in 1914, Amelia Haupt widowed her husband, Samuel, and was interred at the Dunmore Cemetery in Lackawanna County.

Lewis D. Haupt, son of Sergeant Peter and Mary (Niehart) Haupt followed them in death on 26 December 1915, passing away at the Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. His remains were also shipped home to Sunbury; he was interred on 27 December. The coroner determined that he had died of apoplexy.

By 1920, Samuel Haupt was living with his son, Maurice, and Maurice’s wife, Minnie, in their Scranton home. Finally, on 26 October 1930, the heart of the last surviving Haupt brother gave out. Samuel Y. Haupt died in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, and was laid to rest at the Dunmore Cemetery in Lacakwanna County on 29 October.


1. Bates, Samuel P. History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, vol. 1. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: B. Singerly, State Printer, 1869.

2. Civil War Muster Rolls, in Records of the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (Record Group 19, Series 19.11). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

3. Civil War Veterans’ Card File. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Archives.

4. Haupt Family Baptismal, Marriage and Death Records, in Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

5. Haupt Family Burial Records, in Pennsylvania Veteran’s Burial Index Cards. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

6. Haupt Family Death Certificates. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Bureau of Health, Department of Vital Statistics.

7. Mahoney, Peter F., James Ryan, et. al. Ballistic Trauma: A Practical Guide, Second Edition, pp. 31-66, 91-121, 168-179, 356-395, 445-464, 535-540, 596-605. London, England: Springer-Verlag London Limited, 2005.

8. “Oration Delivered by A.N. Brice, Esq., on Decoration Day, May 28, 1875” (including a description of those wounded or killed in action, as well as what happened to surviving members of the 47th Pennsylvania’s C Company). Sunbury, Pennsylvania: Sunbury American, 4 June 1875.

9. Peter and Freeman Haupt, in Card Records of Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, in Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92, Microfilm M1845). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives.

10. Peter and Mary Haupt, in U.S. Civil War Widows’ Pension Files. Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

11. Schmidt, Lewis. A Civil War History of the 47th Regiment of Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Self-published, 1986.

12. U.S. Census (1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930( and U.S. Veterans’ Schedule (1890). Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.