Private Thomas Ziegler – A Patriot’s Descendant and Forefather of Civic Leaders

Allentown (circa 1840, public domain).

Alternate Spellings of Surname: Zeigler, Ziegler, Zigler

Born on 22 July 1835, Thomas Ziegler was a son of Hannah (Mory) Ziegler (1794-1870), a daughter of Revolutionary War Patriot Gotthard Mory (1752-1843) and Magdalena (Horlacher) Mory (1759-1827), and Jacob Ziegler (1793-1844), a native of the great Keystone State who fought to preserve America’s freedom during the War of 1812 as a private in the Pennsylvania Militia (under Captain Engle).

Marriage records for one of Thomas Ziegler’s daughters noted that Thomas had been born in “Saucon, Pennsylvania.” He spent the first years of his childhood (during the late 1830s and early 1840s) in the bucolic Lehigh Valley. Residing at home with Thomas and his parents were siblings:

  • Theresa (1818-1881), who later went on to wed Gideon B. Ritter (1817-1891);
  • Judith (1820-1897), who later went on to marry twice – first to Carl Koch (1812-1851), and then to Henry Weiss (1815-1875);
  • Maria Magdalena, who was born in 1828, and later went on to wed Israel Jacob Reinbold (1833-1904); and
  • Elizabeth (1830-1893), who later married Henry Weisel (1826-1910).

Before he could even turn 10, however, Thomas Ziegler was forced by fate to endure the unique uncertainty that only the death of a loved one can bring. In 1844, he lost the stabilizing influence of his father, who passed away in Lehigh County on 8 February, and was laid to rest at the Friedensville Cemetery. It was also around this time that several of his older siblings married and moved out of the Ziegler family home in order to begin new family lines.

Sometime around 1850, Thomas Ziegler also married, taking as his bride Susanna Schneider (1828-1891), a native of Rockland, Venango County, Pennsylvania. Together, they brought these children into the world:

  • Martha J. (1851-1917), who was born on 23 June 1851, and went on to wed James K. Edmiston sometime during the final decade of the 19th century;
  • Joseph W. (born circa 1853);
  • Elemina (born circa 1856);
  • William H. H. Ziegler (1858-1934), who was born in September 1858 and was known throughout much of his life as “Willie,” and who went on to wed 21-year-old widow, Lillian Andora (Mebus) Werley (1866-1904);
  • Samuel J. Ziegler, who was born in January 1861 and, in 1896, went on to marry Alice Sterner (born in August 1877) in 1896;
  • Ida, who was born circa 1866, and who apparently died young, based on records showing that an “Ida T. Ziegler,” born in 1866, was interred in 1887 at the Union-West End Cemetery (the same cemetery where Civil War veteran Thomas Ziegler was later buried);
  • Louis T. Ziegler (1869-1934), who was born in 1869 and was alternately referred to as “Louis” and “Lewis” on various records throughout his lifetime, and who wed Minnie Annie DeLong (1870-1946) in 1896; and
  • Sarah Catharine Ziegler (1871-1951), who was born on 3 July 1871, and later went on to marry twice – first to a man with the surname of Haines who widowed her sometime prior to the 1920 federal census, and then to John Kelly (1874-1947) on Christmas Eve in 1927.

Lehigh County Courthouse, Allentown, Pennsylvania (circa 1850, public domain).

In 1860, Thomas Ziegler resided in Allentown’s 1st Ward with his wife, Susan, and their children: Martha, Joseph, Elemina, and William (aged 1). He supported his family on the wages of a day laborer, and was documented by that year’s federal census taker as having personal property valued at just $100.

Civil War Military Service

At the age of 38, Thomas Ziegler became one of Pennsylvania’s early responders to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to help preserve America’s union. After enrolling for Civil War military service at Allentown in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania on 5 August 1861, he then officially mustered in for duty at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Dauphin County on 30 August 1861 as a Private with Company I of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Military records at the time described him as being 5’ 7-½” tall with brown hair, gray eyes and a dark complexion.

* Note: Company I was one of the first two companies from the Borough of Allentown, Pennsylvania to join the Pennsylvania Volunteers’ 47th Regiment and was also the largest of the regiment’s ten companies to muster in during the Summer and early Fall of 1861. Most I Company members were fresh-faced recruits – encouraged to join up by Coleman A. G. Keck, a 26-year-old master miller who resided with his family in Allentown. Supporting Captain Keck as leaders of I Company were Levi and James Stuber, who respectively entered at the ranks of 1st and 2nd Lieutenant, and Sergeant Allen Lawall. Entering as one of the Sergeants, Theodore Mink would be repeatedly promoted until becoming one of the later captains of I Company.

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

Among the rank and file who enlisted were six carpenters, four printers, seven shoemakers, teamsters, and four tinsmiths.

Following a brief light infantry training period, Private Thomas Ziegler and his company were sent by train with the 47th Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., where they were stationed at “Camp Kalorama” on Kalorama Heights near Georgetown, about two miles from the White House, beginning 21 September. Henry Wharton, a Musician with the regiment’s C Company, penned the following update the next day to his 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.

We were reviewed by Gen. McClellan yesterday [21 September 1861] without our knowing it. All along the march we noticed a considerable number of officers, both mounted and on foot; the horse of one of the officers was so beautiful that he was noticed by the whole regiment, in fact, so wrapt [sic] up were they in the horse, the rider wasn’t noticed, and the boys were considerably mortified this morning on dis-covering they had missed the sight of, and the neglect of not saluting the soldier next in command to Gen. Scott.

Col. Good, who has command of our regiment, is an excellent man and a splendid soldier. He is a man of very few words, and is continually attending to his duties and the wants of the Regiment.

…. Our Regiment will now be put to hard work; such as drilling and the usual business of camp life, and the boys expect and hope an occasional ‘pop’ at the enemy.

Chain Bridge across the Potomac above Georgetown looking toward Virginia, 1861 (The Illustrated London News, public domain).

Then, on 24 September, the soldiers of Company I, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers became part of the federal service when the regiment officially mustered into the U.S. Army. On 27 September – a rainy day, 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 regiment was on the move again. Ordered onward by Brigadier-General Silas Casey, the Mississippi rifle-armed 47th Pennsylvania infantrymen marched behind their regimental band until reaching 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, and continued on for roughly another mile before being ordered to make camp.

The next morning, they broke camp and moved again. Marching toward Falls Church, Virginia, they arrived at Camp Advance around dusk. There, about two miles from the bridge they had crossed a day earlier, they re-pitched their tents 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.

Once again, Company C Musician Henry Wharton recapped the regiment’s activities, noting, via his 29 September letter home to the Sunbury American, that the 47th had changed camps three times in three days:

On Friday last we left Camp Kalorama, and the same night encamped about one mile from the Chain Bridge on the opposite side of the Potomac from Washington. The next morning, Saturday, we were ordered to this Camp [Camp Advance near Fort Ethan Allen, Virginia], one and a half miles from the one we occupied the night previous. I should have mentioned that we halted on a high hill (on our march here) at the Chain Bridge, called Camp Lyon, but were immediately ordered on this side of the river. On the route from Kalorama we were for two hours exposed to the hardest rain I ever experienced. Whew, it was a whopper; but the fellows stood it well – not a murmur – and they waited in their wet clothes until nine o’clock at night for their supper. Our Camp adjoins that of the N.Y. 79th (Highlanders.)….

We had not been in this Camp more than six hours before our boys were supplied with twenty rounds of ball and cartridge, and ordered to march and meet the enemy; they were out all night and got back to Camp at nine o’clock this morning, without having a fight. They are now in their tents taking a snooze preparatory to another march this morning…. I don’t know how long the boys will be gone, but the orders are to cook two days’ rations and take it with them in their haversacks….

There was a nice little affair came off at Lavensville [sic], a few miles from here on Wednesday last; our troops surprised a party of rebels (much larger than our own.) killing ten, took a Major prisoner, and captured a large number of horses, sheep and cattle, besides a large quantity of corn and potatoes, and about ninety six tons of hay. A very nice day’s work. The boys are well, in fact, there is no sickness of any consequence at all in our Regiment….

Sometime during this phase of duty, as part of the 3rd Brigade, the 47th Pennsylvanians were moved to a site they initially christened “Camp Big Chestnut” for the large chestnut tree located within their lodging’s boundaries. The site would eventually become known to the Keystone Staters as “Camp Griffin,” and was located roughly 10 miles from Washington, D.C.

On 11 October, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers marched in the Grand Review at Bailey’s Cross Roads. In a letter home in mid-October, Captain John Peter Shindel Gobin (the leader of C Company who would be promoted in 1864 to lead the entire 47th Regiment) 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. In his letter of 13 October, Henry Wharton described their duties, as well as their new home:

The location of our camp is fine and the scenery would be splendid if the view was not obstructed by heavy thickets of pine and innumerable chesnut [sic] trees. The country around us is excellent for the Rebel scouts to display their bravery; that is, to lurk in the dense woods and pick off one of our unsuspecting pickets. Last night, however, they (the Rebels) calculated wide of their mark; some of the New York 33d boys were out on picket; some fourteen or fifteen shots were exchanged, when our side succeeded in bringing to the dust, (or rather mud,) an officer and two privates of the enemy’s mounted pickets. The officer was shot by a Lieutenant in Company H [?], of the 33d.

Our own boys have seen hard service since we have been on the ‘sacred soil.’ One day and night on picket, next day working on entrenchments at the Fort, (Ethan Allen.) another on guard, next on march and so on continually, but the hardest was on picket from last Thursday morning ‘till Saturday morning – all the time four miles from camp, and both of the nights the rain poured in torrents, so much so that their clothes were completely saturated with the rain. They stood it nobly – not one complaining; but from the size of their haversacks on their return, it is no wonder that they were satisfied and are so eager to go again tomorrow. I heard one of them say ‘there was such nice cabbage, sweet and Irish potatoes, turnips, &c., out where their duty called them, and then there was a likelihood of a Rebel sheep or young porker advancing over our lines and then he could take them as ‘contraband’ and have them for his own use.’ When they were out they saw about a dozen of the Rebel cavalry and would have had a bout with them, had it not been for…unlucky circumstance – one of the men caught the hammer of his rifle in the strap of his knapsack and caused his gun to fire; the Rebels heard the report and scampered in quick time….

On Friday, 22 October, the 47th engaged in a morning Divisional Review, described by historian Lewis Schmidt as massing “about 10,000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, and twenty pieces of artillery all in one big open field.” In his letter of 17 November, Henry Wharton revealed still more details about life at Camp Griffin:

This morning our brigade was out for inspection; arms, accoutrements [sic], clothing, knapsacks, etc, all were out through a thorough examination, and if I must say it myself, our company stood best, A No. 1, for cleanliness. We have a new commander to our Brigade, Brigadier General Brannen [sic], of the U.S. Army, and if looks are any criterion, I think he is a strict disciplinarian and one who will be as able to get his men out of danger as he is willing to lead them to battle….

The boys have plenty of work to do, such as piquet [sic] duty, standing guard, wood-chopping, police duty and day drill; but then they have the most substantial food; our rations consist of fresh beef (three times a week) pickled pork, pickled beef, smoked pork, fresh bread, daily, which is baked by our own bakers, the Quartermaster having procured portable ovens for that purpose, potatoes, split peas, beans, occasionally molasses and plenty of good coffee, so you see Uncle Sam supplies us plentifully….

A few nights ago our Company was out on piquet [sic]; it was a terrible night, raining very hard the whole night, and what made it worse, the boys had to stand well to their work and dare not leave to look for shelter. Some of them consider they are well paid for their exposure, as they captured two ancient muskets belonging to Secessia. One of them is of English manufacture, and the other has the Virginia militia mark on it. They are both in a dilapidated condition, but the boys hold them in high estimation as they are trophies from the enemy, and besides they were taken from the house of Mrs. Stewart, sister to the rebel Jackson who assassinated the lamented Ellsworth at Alexandria. The honorable lady, Mrs. Stewart, is now a prisoner at Washington and her house is the headquarters of the command of the piquets [sic]….

Since the success of the secret expedition, we have all kinds of rumors in camp. One is that our Brigade will be sent to the relief of Gen. Sherman, in South Carolina. The boys all desire it and the news in the ‘Press’ is correct, that a large force is to be sent there, I think their wish will be gratified….

Springfield rifle, 1861 model (public domain).

On 21 November, the 47th participated in another morning divisional review – this time by Colonel Tilghman H. Good. Brigade and division drills were then held that 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.”

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 ordered that brand new Springfield rifles be obtained for every member of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

But these frequent marches and their guard duties in rainy weather gradually began to wear the men down; more fell ill with fever and other ailments; more died.


U.S. Naval Academy Barracks and temporary hospital, Annapolis, Maryland (circa 1861-1865, 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 train 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 cars 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.

As the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers commenced boarding the Oriental during the afternoon of 27 January, they were ferried to the big steamship by smaller steamers with regimental officers boarding last. Per the directive of Brigadier-General Brannan, at 4 p.m., the Oriental steamed away for the Deep South – headed for Florida, a state deemed strategically important to the Union due to the presence of Forts Taylor and Jefferson in Key West and the Dry Tortugas.

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

In February 1862, Company I and the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers arrived in Key West, where they were assigned to garrison Fort Taylor and drilled daily in heavy artillery tactics and other military strategies, felled trees and helped to build new roads and strengthened the fortifications in and around the Union Army’s presence at Key West. During the weekend of Friday, 14 February, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers introduced their presence to Key West residents as the regiment paraded through the streets of the city. That Sunday, Captain Keck ensured that many of his I Company men attended to their spiritual needs by attending services at a local church.

Issued on Saturday, 12 April 1862, Order No. 4 assigned Captain Coleman Keck and Private William Smith to recruiting duty back home in Allentown. Captain Keck was still there performing that task as of 11 June, according to military records. Meanwhile, back in Key West on 9 June 1862, Sergeant Charles Nolf, Jr. of I Company was accidentally killed by a member of the 90th New York Volunteers while collecting shells on a beach in the southern part of Key West.

From mid-June through July, the 47th Pennsylvanians were then ordered to Hilton Head, South Carolina where they 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, putting soldiers at increased risk from sniper fire. According to historian Samuel P. Bates, the men of the 47th “received the highest commendation from Generals Hunter and Brannan” for their “attention to duty, discipline and soldierly bearing” during this phase of service.

The Capture of Saint John’s Bluff, Florida and Battle of Pocotaligo, South Carolina, October 1862

Union Navy base of operations, Mayport Mills (circa 1862, public domain).

Sent on a return expedition to Florida as September 1862 waned, the men of Company I saw their first truly intense moments of service when their unit participated with the 47th Pennsylvania and other Union regiments in the capture of Saint John’s Bluff from 1 to 3 October. Commanded by Brigadier-General John M. Brannan, the 47th Pennsylvanians disembarked with a 1,500-plus Union force at Mayport Mills and Mount Pleasant Creek from troop carriers guarded by Union gunboats.

Taking point, the 47th Pennsylvanians then led the 3rd Brigade through 25 miles of dense, pine-forested swamps populated with deadly snakes and alligators. By the time the expedition ended, the Union brigade had forced the Confederate Army to abandon its artillery battery atop Saint John’s Bluff, and had paved the way for the Union Army to occupy the town of Jacksonville, Florida. Along the way, two companies from the 47th Pennsylvania (E and K) also helped capture the Gov. Milton, a Confederate steamer that had equipped the bluff and surrounding Rebel troop placements with men and supplies.

From 5-15 October 1862, a teenager and several young to middle-aged black men left the hardship they had known in Beaufort, South Carolina to enroll for service with Company F of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Initially assigned to kitchen duties, the regiment’s new members would be officially mustered in for service as Cooks and Under Cooks at Morganza, Louisiana in June 1864. More men of color would continue to be added to the 47th Pennsylvania’s rosters in the weeks and years to come.

The challenging environment of the Charleston & Savannah Railroad was illustrated by Harper’s Weekly in 1865.

From 21-23 October 1862, under the brigade and regimental commands of Colonel Tilghman H. Good and Lieutenant Colonel George W. Alexander, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers engaged Confederate forces in and around Pocotaligo, South Carolina. Landing at Mackey’s Point, the men of the 47th were placed on point once again, but they and the 3rd Brigade were less fortunate this time.

Those headed toward higher ground at the Frampton Plantation fared no better as they encountered artillery and infantry fire from the surrounding forests. As the Battle of Pocotaligo continued to unfold, the Union strike force grappled with Confederate troops where they found them, pursuing the Rebels for four miles as they retreated to the bridge. There, the 47th relieved the 7th Connecticut.

Pocotaligo-Coosawhatchie Expedition, 21-23 October 1862 (Union Army map, public domain).

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 Mackey’s Point.

Losses for the 47th were significant. Two officers and 18 enlisted men died, including I Company Privates L. Druckenmiller, who sustained a fatal gunshot wound during the fighting near the Frampton Plantation, and Jeremiah Metz (alternate spelling “Mertz”). In addition, two officers and 114 enlisted from the 47th were wounded, including I Company Privates J. Bondenschlager, James B. Cole, Edwin Dreisbach, Frederick Drester, Daniel Kramer. Private Dreisbach survived and continued to serve for the duration of the war, but Privates Shaffer, Bondenschlager, Cole and Drester were deemed no longer fit for duty, and discharged on Surgeons’ Certificates.

On 23 October, the 47th Pennsylvania returned to Hilton Head, where it served as the funeral Honor Guard for General Ormsby M. 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 (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

By 1863, Private Thomas Ziegler and the men of I Company were once again based with the 47th Pennsylvania in Florida. Having been ordered back to Key West on 15 November of 1862, much of 1863 was spent guarding 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 in Florida’s Dry Tortugas.

During this phase of duty, disease was a constant companion and foe. Several members of the regiment fell ill and died while others were so severely weakened by their ailments that they were discharged on Surgeons’ Certificates of Disability.

But the time spent here by the men of Company I and their fellow Union soldiers was also notable for an entirely different reason – the continued strength of commitment by 47th Pennsylvanians to preserving the union of their beloved nation. Many members of the regiment who could have returned home, heads held justifiably held high at valor already displayed, chose instead to re-enlist in order to finish the fight, including Private Thomas Ziegler who re-upped for a second, three-year tour of duty on 8 October 1863.


Before the second month of the New Year was out, Private Thomas Ziegler’s military routine received a major shakeup when his commanding officer Captain Coleman Keck resigned his commission on 22 February 1864 due to rapidly advancing liver disease. Three days later, Private Ziegler and his fellow 47th Pennsylvanians then set off for a phase of service in which their regiment would truly make history. Steaming first for New Orleans via the Charles Thomas, the 47th arrived at Algiers, Louisiana on 28 February, and were then shipped by train to Brashear City. Following another steamer ride – 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 of Union General Nathaniel Banks.

From 14-26 March 1864, the men of Company I – now under the command of their 1st Lieutenant Levi Stuber – joined with their fellow 47th Pennsylvanians in trekking through New Iberia, Vermillionville, Opelousas, and Washington while en route to Alexandria and Natchitoches, Louisiana. Often short on food and water, the men 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 volley of fire unleashed in the Battle of Sabine Cross Roads. The fighting waned only when darkness fell as those who were uninjured collapsed beside the gravely wounded. Finally, after midnight, the surviving Union troops were ordered to withdraw 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 and 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 during the Battle of Pleasant Hill.

Casualties were once again severe. Lieutenant Colonel G. W. Alexander was nearly killed, and the regiment’s two color-bearers, both from Company C, were also wounded while preventing the American flag from falling into enemy hands. With respect to the men serving with Private Thomas Ziegler in I Company, Corporal William Frack was killed in action while Sergeant William H. Haldeman and Corporal William H. Meyers were among those who were wounded in battle. Still others from the 47th 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 released during prisoner exchanges beginning 22 July 1864.

Following what some historians have called a rout by Confederates at Pleasant Hill and others have labeled a technical victory for the Union or a draw for both sides, the 47th fell back to Grand Ecore, where the men resupplied and regrouped until 22 April. Retreating further to Alexandria, the 47th Pennsylvanian Volunteers and their fellow Union soldiers then scored a clear victory against the Confederates at Cane Hill (near Monett’s Ferry) in the Battle of Cane River on 23 April.

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

From 30 April through 10 May, while attached briefly to the command of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bailey, Private Thomas Ziegler and his fellow 47th Pennsylvanians helped to build a dam next Alexandria, Louisiana to make it easier for federal gunboats to negotiate the fluctuating water levels of the Red River.

Beginning 16 May, I Company moved with most of the 47th from Simmsport across the Atchafalaya to Morganza, and then to New Orleans on 20 June. On the 4th of July, the 47th Pennsylvanians learned their fight was not yet over as they received new orders to return to the East Coast for further duty.

Removed from command amid the controversy over the Union Army’s successes and failures during the Red River Expedition, Union General Nathaniel P. Banks was placed on leave by President Abraham Lincoln. Banks subsequently spent much of his time in Washington, D.C. as a Reconstruction advocate for Louisiana.

Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign

U.S. Steamer McClellan (Alfred Waud, circa 1860-1865, U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

Still able and willing to fight after their time in Bayou country, the soldiers of Company I and the men from the 47th Pennsylvania’s Companies A, C, D, E, F, and H steamed aboard the McClellan beginning 7 July 1864.

Following their arrival in Virginia and a memorable encounter with President Abraham Lincoln on 12 July, Private Thomas Ziegler and others from the 47th Pennsylvania’s detachment joined up with General David Hunter’s forces at Snicker’s Gap in mid-July 1864. There, they fought in the Battle of Cool Spring and, once again, 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, the regiment was assigned to defensive duties in and around Halltown, Virginia during the early part of August. The 47th then engaged in a series of back-and-forth movements between Halltown, Berryville and other locations within the vicinity (Middletown, Charlestown and Winchester) as part of a mimic warbeing waged by Sheridan’s Union forces with those commanded by Confederate Lieutenant-General Jubal Early.

The next month – September 1864 – saw the regiment engage in its first major test of its new campaign as it fought in the Battle of Berryville, Virginia. In addition, the opening weeks of September were marked by the departure of several 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers who had served honorably, but whose three-year terms of service were expiring. Those members of the 47th who remained on duty – like Private Thomas Ziegler – 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 General Philip H. (“Little Phil”) Sheridan and Brigadier-General William H. Emory, commander of the U.S. Army’s 19th Corps, the members of Company I and their fellow 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers helped to inflict heavy casualties on Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederate forces in the Battle of 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.

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 bogged down in the midst of the massive movement of Union troops and supply wagons, enabling Early’s men to dig in. When they finally reached 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.

Meanwhile, the 47th Pennsylvania and the 19th Corps were directed by General William 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.

Victory of Philip Sheridan’s Union army over Jubal Early’s Confederate forces, Battle of Opequan, 19 September 1864 (Kurz & Allison, circa 1893, U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

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 (21-22 September), eight miles south of Winchester, and then to Waynesboro, following a successful early morning flanking attack by Sheridan’s Union men which outnumbered Early’s three to one.

On the day of the Union’s success at Opequan (19 September 1864), several men from I Company received promotions, including 1st Sergeant Theodore Mink, who advanced to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Corporals William H. Meyers and Edwin Kemp were promoted to the rank of Sergeant while Privates Thomas N. Burke and Allen Knauss became corporals. Private Oscar Miller was then mustered out the next day, on 20 September, upon expiration of his term of service.

Afterward, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were sent out on skirmishing parties before making camp at Cedar Creek. Moving forward, they and other 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 expiration of their respective terms of service. Fortunately, they were replaced by others equally admired both for temperament and their front line experience, including John Peter Shindel Gobin, a man who would later go on to become Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Battle of Cedar Creek, 19 October 1864

Alfred Waud’s 1864 sketch, Surprise at Cedar Creek, which captured the flanking attack on the rear of Union Brigadier-General William Emory’s 19th Corps by Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederate army, and the subsequent resistance by Emory’s troops from their Union rifle-pit positions, 19 October 1864 (public domain).

It was during the Fall of 1864 that General Philip Sheridan began the first of the Union’s true “scorched earth” campaigns, starving the enemy into submission by destroying Virginia’s crops and 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.

From a military standpoint, it was another 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!’”

Sheridan Rallying His Troops, Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia, 19 October 1864 (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

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 in full view of his drummer boy son, Samuel. Regimental Chaplain William Rodrock suffered a near miss as a bullet pierced his cap.

Among those from the 47th Pennsylvania who were killed or wounded in action that day were multiple officers and enlisted men from I Company, including Corporal Allen Knauss, who sustained a gunshot wound to the right side of his face, and Private Thomas Ziegler, who had been “shot through the left leg,” according to the 1890 U.S. Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War.

Still others were captured by Rebel soldiers and carted off to Confederate prisons at Andersonville, Georgia, Richmond, Virginia and Salisbury, North Carolina. The most unfortunate of these POWs perished during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day, their remains buried in unmarked trenches at the Confederate prisons were they fell.

Soldiering On

Following his treatment and recuperation at a Union Army hospital for his battle wound, Private Thomas Ziegler returned to duty with his regiment. Stationed at Camp Russell near Winchester, Virginia from November through most of December, he and his fellow 47th Pennsylvanians then trudged through deep snow five days before Christmas to reach their next destination – outpost and railroad guard duties at Camp Fairview in Charlestown, West Virginia.

1865 – 1866

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 (Matthew Brady, U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

Assigned first to the Provisional Division of the 2nd Brigade of the Army of the Shenandoah in February, the men of the 47th moved, via Winchester and Kernstown, back to Washington, D.C. where, by 19 April 1865, the regiment was assigned, once again, to defend the nation’s capital – this time in the wake of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

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 key Lincoln assassination conspirators during the opening days of their imprisonment and trial.

As part of Dwight’s Division of the 2nd Brigade of the Department of Washington’s 22nd Corps, the 47th Pennsylvania also participated in the Union’s Grand Review of the Armies on 23-24 May. It was also during this phase of duty that Captain Levi Stuber, the commanding officer of I Company was promoted to the rank of Major with the regiment’s central command staff, and 1st Lieutenant Theodore Mink was advanced to the rank of Captain, I Company (22 May 1865).

An early thinning of the 47th Pennsylvania’s ranks then began on 1 June 1865 when a General Order from the U.S. Office of the Adjutant General provided for the honorable discharge of several members of the regiment, including multiple members of I Company. But Private Thomas Ziegler remained on duty – despite having been sustained a gunshot wound to his left leg during the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Ruins of the Catholic Cathedral, Charleston, South Carolina, 1865 (George N. Barnard, U.S. Library of Congress, public domain)

On their final southern tour, he and his fellow 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers served in Savannah, Georgia from 31 May to 4 June. Again attached to Dwight’s Division, this time they were assigned to the 3rd Brigade, U.S. Department of the South.

Relieving the 165th New York Volunteers in July, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers next quartered in the former mansion of the Confederate Secretary of the Treasury at Charleston, South Carolina. As with their previous tours of duty in the Deep South, disease stalked the 47th. Men who had survived the worst in battle were now being felled by fevers, tropical diseases and dysentery. Many of those who died during this phase of service were initially buried in Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery before being exhumed and reinterred later at the Beaufort National Cemetery.

Finally, beginning on Christmas day of 1865, the majority of the men of Company I, 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers – including Private Thomas Ziegler – began to honorably muster out at Charleston, South Carolina – a process which continued through early January. 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 discharge papers.

Return to Civilian Life

Allentown, Pennsylvania (circa 1865, public domain).

Following his honorable discharge from the military, Thomas Ziegler returned home to his family and friends in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Among those most eagerly awaiting his return were his children: Martha, Joseph, Elemina, William, and Samuel. By 1869, they were greeting the arrival of a new family member – Thomas and Susanna Ziegler’s son, Louis (1869-1934).

Employed as a laborer, according to the federal census of 1870, Thomas and his wife, “Susan,” resided in Allentown’s 5th Ward with their children: Martha, Joseph, Elemina, William, Samuel, Ida, and “Louis” (aged 1). Sadly, that same year, he lost his mother – Hannah (Mory) Ziegler – who had been residing in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County near Thomas’ sister, Mary (Ziegler) Reinbold, and her husband, Israel Reinbold, an engineer, and their children, William and Mary. Following her death on 25 July 1870 and funeral, Thomas Ziegler’s mother was then laid to rest beside his father at the Friedensville Cemetery.

Center Square at 7th Street (Allen House Hotel at right; Allentown Bank and Board of Trade, looking north, top), Allentown, Pennsylvania (1876, public domain).

Employed as a laborer at an area furnace during the next decade – along with his 21-year-old son, Willie, Thomas Ziegler and his family continued to reside in Allentown. Still living at home with Thomas, Susan were the Ziegler’s youngest children: Samuel (aged 19), Ida (aged 13), “Lewis” (aged 11), and “Catharine” (aged 8), who was shown on later records as “Sarah C.” and “Sarah Catharine.” Also residing with the family was 12-year-old Emma Frey, the granddaughter of Thomas and Susan Ziegler. Ida, Emma, Catharine, and Louis were all still attending school while son Samuel worked at an iron foundry.

But that family grouping would not remain static for long. In 1888, at the age of 29, Thomas Ziegler’s son, Willie (William H. H. Ziegler) left the family nest to marry Mrs. Lillian A. (Mebus) Werley, a 21-year-old widow, in Allentown on 28 February. Their daughter, Ellen, arrived in January 1889.

The next year, a “Thomas Zigler” was documented by the special veterans’ schedule of 1890 as an Allentonian who had been shot through the left leg while serving with the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Also around this time, Thomas Ziegler’s daughter, Martha, wed James Edmiston, and subsequently relocated with him to Philadelphia, where her new husband was employed as a cigarmaker. Meanwhile, Thomas Ziegler’s son, William H. H. Ziegler and his wife, Lillian, were welcoming the birth of another child – daughter Dora, who was born in September 1890.

But the family’s joy was soon tempered by the loss of its matriarch, Susanna (Schneider) Ziegler, who passed away in Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania on 7 December 1891. Following her funeral, she was laid to rest at the Union-West End Cemetery in Allentown.

Death and Interment

Less than three years later, Civil War veteran Thomas Ziegler then answered his own final bugle call, passing away on 30 April 1893. Following a funeral attended by many of his former Civil War comrades, he was laid to rest beside his wife at the Union-West End Cemetery in Allentown.

What Happened to Thomas Ziegler’s Children?

Kramer’s Corner Store across from Lentz Building, Hamilton Street, Allentown (1891, public domain).

Before the 19th century could come to an end, the Ziegler family was reshaped yet again when two more children of Thomas and Susanna Ziegler married in Allentown – this time within less than a month of each other. On 20 June 1896, Louis T. Ziegler, a 27-year-old bricklayer, wed Allentown native Minnie DeLong, a 26-year-old cigarmaker who was a daughter of Charles DeLong. Samuel J. Ziegler, a 35-year-old moulder, then wed Alice A. Sterner, on 14 July. According to their marriage license, she was a 17-year-old silk weaver who was a daughter of Adam Sterner.

Their brother, William H. H. Ziegler, and his wife, Lillian, then welcomed another child – Susan – who was born in January 1898. Just a month later, William’s brother, Samuel Ziegler, and his wife, Alice, were also greeting the arrival of their own bundles of joy – daughters Katy and Anna, who arrived, respectively, in February 1898 and on 22 January 1900. (Anna ultimately grew up to become a beloved figure in the Lehigh Valley.)

As the new century dawned, both brothers remained close – even going so far as to reside next to each other in Allentown’s 9th Ward with their respective families, according to the 1900 federal census. Willie supported his family as a laborer at a local gasworks while iron moulder Samuel was demonstrating a growing interest in civic governance. The Allentown Leader reported via its 31 January 1902 edition that:

In accordance with the new law requiring that city assessors this spring he nominated for one, two and three years respectively, so that hereafter one be elected yearly to serve three years, the City Committees by lot arranged the ticket as follows: Democratic, H. J. Gackenbach, for one year…. Republican, Samuel Ziegler for one year, Henry W. Keck for two years, and Geo. G. Blumer for three years. A large Republican meeting was held Thursday evening at A. S. Stahler’s cigar store, Ninth and Gordon Streets. It was an enthusiastic gathering and ringing address were [sic] made by Hon. Fred E. Lewis, candidate for mayor, and J. Jeremiah Snyder. There were fully 200 people present. The Democrats held a large and en enthusiastic meeting at the Tenth Ward Hotel. Hon. Hugh E. Crilly, the nominees for mayor, made an address and was enthusiastically received. His speech was supplemented with an address by City Solicitor J. I. Schwartz. Wesley Harper presided at the meeting….

The same newspaper then carried an endorsement from local residents in its 15 February edition of his candidacy for City Assessor:

For City Assessor. To Republicans: One of the candidates named for city assessor by the Republican City Convention is Samuel J. Ziegler of the Ninth Ward, a life-long [sic]  Republican and citizen of Allentown. He has been employed by Captain Chas. Spangler as foreman of his foundry for the past 15 years. He is a property owner and has full knowledge of city property and its value. Any vote cast in his direction will meet with the approval of all right-minded Republicans.

Meanwhile, brother Louis Ziegler and his wife were welcoming son, Lewis Thomas Ziegler (1900-1940, to the world while older sister Martha J. (Ziegler) Edmiston continued to live in Philadelphia’s 19th Ward with her husband of nine years, James Edmiston, and an 18-year-old boarder, William Haines, who was most likely the child of younger sister Sarah C. (Ziegler) Haines, who had been widowed by her husband.

Sadly, before the decade was out, the Ziegler clan were forced to grieve yet again – this time when Louis Ziegler and his wife lost infant daughter Lillian Dorothy (1907-1907).

Hess Brothers Department Store, Ninth and Hamilton, Allentown, Pennsylvania (1903, public domain).

By 1910, two more of the Ziegler children – Martha J. (Ziegler) Edmiston and William H. H. Ziegler – would also suffer the loss of their respective spouses. That year, the pair combined households in Allentown’s 9th Ward. Also residing with Willie, a laborer at a local gasworks, and Martha were his daughters, Ella E. (aged 21) and Dora (aged 19), who were weavers at a local silk mill, and Susan (aged 10). Of note, their brother, Samuel Ziegler, was no longer listed on the same census sheet as a next door neighbor (as he had been in 1900).

Samuel Ziegler, in fact, had relocated by 1910. Now a foreman at an area foundry, he was residing in Upper Saucon Township in Lehigh County, with his wife, Alice, and their children: Katie (aged 12), Anna (aged 10), and Robert (aged 2).

Just seven years later, the Ziegler family’s ranks thinned again. On 31 January 1917, Martha J. (Ziegler) Edmiston, who had wed and been widowed by James K. Edmiston, died in Allentown, and was laid to rest at Allentown’s Greenwood Cemetery. Following her death, The Allentown Leader reported on her passing and resolution of her estate as follows:

Two wills were admitted to probate today in the office of Register of Wills…. Martha Edmiston directs that $50 be paid to the Greenwood Cemetery Association. She bequeaths to her daughter, Mrs. Frank Mebus, the two homes at No. 410 and 413 North Church Street. If there is not sufficient income to pay the expenses of these two houses, the daughter has the privilege of selling the one at 413 North Church. The balance of the estate is divided among the brothers and sisters, Joseph W., William H., Samuel J. and Lewis T. Ziegler and Sarah C. Haines. All of the lodge and insurance money is to go to the daughter, Mrs. Mebus, and she is also named as the executrix. The will is dated Jan. 14, 1915, with William G. Gotthardt and W. B. Groman as the witnesses.

600 Block of Hamilton Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania (circa 1921, public domain).

By 1920, Samuel Ziegler was still employed as a moulder at an iron foundry, but had returned to Allentown, where resided with his wife, Alice, and their children, Katie, Anna, Robert, and Helen (aged 7), in that city’s 11th Ward.

Meanwhile, Louis Ziegler was residing in Allentown’s 10th Ward with his wife, Minnie, and their children: May (aged 10), Richard (aged 7), and Ida A. (aged 4). During this time, Louis Ziegler supported his household through employment as a bricklayer in the housing construction industry.

Also residing at Louis Ziegler’s home was his 47-year-old sister, Sarah Catharine (Ziegler) Haines, a licensed practical nurse. Although the federal census taker noted that she had been divorced prior to the time of the 1920 census, records for her second marriage confirmed that she had been widowed by her first husband. On Christmas Eve in 1927, she then wed machinist John J. Kelly, a 53-year-old native of Fullerton, Lehigh County who was a son of John Kelly, a native of Ireland, and Mary (Garneau) Kelly, a native of Canada.

Three years later, Samuel J. Ziegler was still residing in Allentown with his wife, Alice, and children: Anna, Robert and Helen. He was described  by the 1930 federal census taker as a foreman for a local foundry while son, Robert, was an electrician’s helper.

Meanwhile, William H. H. Ziegler, a widower, also continued to reside in Allentown. Living with him were his daughter, Sue (aged 32), and her husband, William C. Steinmeyer, and their 25-month-old daughter, Pauline.  Still employed by a local gas company, Willie Ziegler was described by the federal census taker as a janitor while his son-in-law was an employee of a railroad company.

Willie Ziegler’s brother, Louis, also continued to work in his chosen profession – as a bricklayer in the housing industry – while also continuing to reside in Allentown with his wife, Minnie, and children Randall (aged 27) and Ida (aged 14). Son Randall was employed by an area steam railway.

Liberty Bell Line, 8th and Hamilton, Lehigh Valley Transit Co., Allentown (circa 1938, public domain)

As the years rolled by, Samuel J. Ziegler finally became the owner of a foundry, according to the 1940 federal census. At the age of 78, he still lived in Allentown with his wife, Alice, and their daughter, Helen (aged 27). By 1935, however, the head of the household had shifted from father to daughter. The trio now all resided at the 3rd Ward home of Samuel’s daughter, Anna Ziegler (aged 40), who had embarked on a career as a private practice physician.

By mid-century, the family’s makeup was transformed by death once again when the youngest child of Civil War veteran Thomas Ziegler joined her parents in death. Following her passing on 23 April 1951, Sarah Catharine (Ziegler) Haines Kelly, was laid to rest beside her second husband at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Cemetery in Whitehall, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

What Happened to the Grandchildren of Thomas Ziegler?

Allentown General Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania (circa 1930s, public domain).

Anna M. Ziegler, M.D. (1900-1990), one of the granddaughters of Civil War veteran Thomas Ziegler, led a remarkable life. Following her completion of both nursing and medical school training, she joined the medical staff at the Allentown Hospital and also opened a private practice in the city – both pioneering achievements for her day. Documented simply as a physician on the 1940 federal census, her work as a respected obstetrician and gynecologist is still referenced in present day, Lehigh Valley newspaper articles. Her sister, Helen R. Ziegler, was as an assistant in her medical office for much of her professional life.

A resident of Coplay in Lehigh County at the time of her death, Dr. Anna M. Ziegler passed away in Allentown on 26 October 1990. She was eulogized three days later by one of the region’s leading newspapers, The Allentown Morning Call:

Dr. Anna M. Ziegler, 90, of Coplay, died Friday in Allentown Hospital.

She was a gynecologist and obstetrician in the Allentown area for many years.

A 1921 graduate of the Allentown Hospital School of Nursing, she later received degrees from Cedar Crest Preparatory and Muhlenberg Colleges, Allentown, and Columbia University, New York City. In 1933, she completed her medical degree from New York University Medical School. The following year she completed her internship at Allentown Hospital and joined the staff there, beginning a 43-year association with the hospital.

In 1976, the hospital dedicated its labor and delivery area to her. The area, renamed the ‘Anna M. Ziegler Labor and Delivery Suite,’ contained 11 beds, three delivery rooms and an operating room.

After a self-imposed ‘semi-retirement at age 76, she became active as a volunteer prison counselor, and in 1977 was honored by the Allentown Exchange Club for her work with the inmates at Lehigh County Prison.

Born in Allentown, she was the daughter of the late Samuel J. and Alice (Sterner) Ziegler.

She was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Congregational Church, Egypt.

Survivors: Adopted daughters, Mary L. Munster of Oley and Jean A. Schwartz of Coplay, and sisters, Mrs. Kathryn S. Krommes and Helen R., both of Coplay.

Memorial services: 10 a.m. Tuesday in the church. No calling hours. Arrangements, Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 Highland St., Allentown.

Alice’s sister, Kathryn S. (Ziegler) Krommes, was then also remembered by The Morning Call upon her own passing in 1993:

Kathryn S. Krommes, 95, of Coplay, died Saturday in her home. She was the wife of the late Lehman D. Krommes.

She was a self-employed farmer for many years in the Egypt area before retiring. Before that, she worked in several silk factories in the Allentown area.

Born in Center Valley, she was a daughter of the late Samuel and Alice (Sterner) Ziegler.

Survivors: Daughter, Doris V., wife of Ivan L. Krause of Allentown; sister, Helen Ziegler, with whom she resided; seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren. A daughter, Lucille Z. Moyer, died in 1991.

Services: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 Highland St., Allentown. Call 1:30-2 p.m. Wednesday.

The passing of their sister, Helen R. Ziegler, was then also noted by the same newspaper in 2005:

Helen R. Ziegler, 92, of 700 Union St., Allentown, formerly of Coplay R. 1, died Saturday in her home. Born in Coopersburg, she was the daughter of the late Samuel J. and Alice (Sterner) Ziegler. She was an office assistant for her late sister, Dr. Anna M. Zieglers [sic] Medical Practice, Allentown. Survivors: Nieces, Mary Ziegler Palladino of Reading, Jean Talbott of Bath, Linda Ziegler of Allentown; nephew, Dr. John Ziegler of Allentown; four grandnieces and nephews, three great-grandnieces, nephews. Services: private. Arrangements, Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 Highland St., Allentown. Contributions: American Cancer Society, c/o the funeral home, 18102.


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

2. Dr. Anna M. Ziegler: Noted Area Obstetrician and Prison Counselor. Allentown, Pennsylvania: The Morning Call, 29 October 1990.

3. Helen R. Ziegler (obituary). Allentown, Pennsylvania: The Morning Call, 12 September 2005.

4. Kathryn S. Krommes (obituary). Allentown, Pennsylvania: The Morning Call, 4 October 1993.

5. Lewis T. Ziegler, Minnie DeLong, Thomas Ziegler, and Charles DeLong, in Marriage License Docket. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Clerk of the Orphans’ Court of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, 19-20 June 1896.

6. Political Notes (Samuel J. Ziegler, et. al.) and For City Assessor (Samuel J. Ziegler). Allentown, Pennsylvania: The Allentown Leader, 31 January 1902 and 15 February 1902.

7. Samuel J. Ziegler, Alice A. Sterner, Thomas Ziegler, and Adam Sterner, in Marriage License Docket. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Clerk of the Orphans’ Court of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, 14 July 1896.

8. Sarah C. Haines, John J. Kelly, Thomas Ziegler, Susanna (Snyder) Ziegler, James Kelly, and Mary (Garneau) Kelly, in Marriage License Docket. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Clerk of the Orphans’ Court of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, 22 and 24 December 1927.

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

10. U.S. Census and U.S. Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War (1890). Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania: 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

11. Will Probate Notices (Martha J. Edmiston, et. al.). Allentown, Pennsylvania: The Allentown Leader, 23 February 1917.

12. William H. Ziegler, Mrs. Lillie A. Werley, Thomas Ziegler, and Solomon Mebus, in Marriage License Docket. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Clerk of the Orphans’ Court of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, 28 February 1888.

13. Zigler, Thomas, in Civil War Veterans’ Card File, 1861-1866. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Archives.