Private Jacob F. Hertzog – A Battle-Scarred Survivor

Jacob F. Hertzog (c. 1866, public domain).

Jacob F. Hertzog (c. 1866, public domain).

Alternate Spellings of Surnames: Hartzog, Hertzog, Herzog


Born in Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania on 21 November 1839, Jacob Franklin Hertzog was a son of Berks County natives, John Schall Hertzog (1798-1874) and Elizabeth (Gregory) Hertzog (1799-1858). His father had been born in Pikes Township, his mother in Longswamp Township.

In 1850, Jacob F. Hertzog resided in Longswamp Township with his parents and siblings: Levi Gregory, who was born on 11 June 1822 and was a 27-year-old cigar maker at the time (and who later died in Berks County on 20 November 1901); John July, who was born on 16 July 1826 and wed Cassiann Landis (1828-1897), a daughter of Frederick S. Landis, later that same year (and later resided with her in Lancaster County before passing away there on 5 November 1891); Maria, who was known as “Mary,” was born on 23 February 1837 and who wed David Geist (and passed away in Berks County on 15 November 1916); and Fianna, who was born on 30 April 1843 and took the married surname of “Frey” (and later relocated to Appleton City, Missouri, passing away there on 17 February 1922, according to various family trees on

Also residing in the Hertzog household in 1850 were the wife and daughter of Jacob’s older brother, Levi Hertzog. (Levi’s wife, Rebecca (Fenstermacher) Hertzog, was a fellow Berks County native. Born on 25 August 1826, she later passed away in Longswamp Township on 20 July 1892. Levi’s daughter, Emmalina, was born in Berks County on 11 April 1850. She went on to marry Benjamin Franklin Gilbert, and passed away in Emmaus, Lehigh County on 10 June 1921.)

In addition, Jacob F. Hertzog also had siblings Sara, Daniel and Richard. (Born on 9 March 1824, Sara wed Longswamp Township carpenter Henry Kaub during the late 1840s, and died on 27 October 1866. Daniel, who was born on 19 April 1832, died in Macungie, Lehigh County on 12 November 1922. Richard, who was born on 17 July 1834, died in Allentown on 7 October 1907.)

Before this decade was out, the Hertzog household lost its matriarch. Elizabeth (Gregory) Hertzog passed away on 24 November 1858. She was laid to rest at what is now the Longswamp Union Cemetery in Mertztown, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Two years later as the dark clouds of Civil War began to form on America’s horizon, Jacob Hertzog was still residing in Longswamp Township, with his father, a pump maker by trade. The other Hertzog children still at home were Jacob’s sisters, Mary and Fianna.

Civil War Military Service

Jacob Franklin Hertzog enrolled for Civil War military service on 21 August 1861 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He then officially mustered in for duty at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on 17 September 1861 as a Private with Company K of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Company K was raised with the intent of being an all-German company. Its founder, George Junker, a 26-year-old, proud native of Germany, lived and worked as a tombstone carver in neighboring Allentown, Lehigh County.

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

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

Following a brief training period in light infantry tactics at Camp Curtin, Private Jacob F. Hertzog and his fellow 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were transported by rail to Washington, D.C. Stationed roughly two miles from the White House, they pitched tents at “Camp Kalorama” on the Kalorama Heights near Georgetown beginning 21 September.

On 22 September, Henry D. Wharton, a Musician with the regiment’s C Company, penned the following update 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.

I am happy to inform you that our young townsman, Mr. William Hendricks, has received the appointment of Sergeant Major to our Regiment. He made his first appearance at guard mounting this morning; he looked well, done up his duties admirably, and, in time, will make an excellent officer. 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.

Acclimated somewhat to their new way of life, the soldiers of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry finally became part of the U.S. Army when they were officially mustered into federal service on 24 September.

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 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 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, 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 October 11, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers marched in the Grand Review at Bailey’s Cross Roads. In a mid-October letter home, 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, E, G, H, and K) 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 morning, 22 October 1861, the 47th engaged in a 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.” Also around this time, Captain Junker issued his first Special Order:

I. 15 minutes after breakfast every tent will be cleaned. The commander of each tent will be held responsible for it, and every soldier must obey the orders of the tent commander. If not, said commanders will report such men to the orderly Sgt. who will report them to headquarters.

II. There will be company drills every two hours during the day, including regimental drills with knapsacks. No one will be excused except by order of the regimental surgeon. The hours will be fixed by the commander, and as it is not certain therefore, every man must stay in his quarter, being always ready for duty. The roll will be called each time and anyone in camp found not answering will be punished the first time with extra duty. The second with carrying the 75 lb. weights, increased to 95 lb. The talking in ranks is strictly forbidden. The first offense will be punished with carrying 80 lb. weights increased to 95 lbs. for four hours.

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).

Springfield rifle, 1861 model (public domain).

On 21 November, the 47th participated in a morning divisional headquarters review which was overseen by the regiment’s founder and commanding officer Colonel Tilghman 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.”

As a reward for the regiment’s impressive performance that day – and in preparation for the even bigger adventures and honors that were yet to come, Brigadier-General Brannan ordered his staff to ensure that brand new Springfield rifles were obtained and distributed to every member of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

1862 – 1863

U.S. Naval Academy Barracks and temporary hospital, Annapolis, Maryland, c. 1861-1865 (public domain).

U.S. Naval Academy Barracks and temporary hospital, Annapolis, Maryland, c. 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 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 rail 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.

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

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. (Public domain, U.S. Library of Congress.)

Company K and their fellow 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers arrived in Key West by early February 1862. There, they were assigned to garrison Fort Taylor. During the weekend of Friday, 14 February, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers introduced their presence to Key West residents by parading through the streets of the city. That Sunday, a number of soldiers from the regiment attended to their spiritual needs by sitting in on the services at local churches, where they also met and mingled with residents from the area.

Drilling daily in heavy artillery tactics, they strengthened the fortifications at this federal installation, felled trees and built new roads.

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. Captain Junker and the men from K Company were among those assigned to picket details on 5 July. 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.”

From 20-31 August 1862, Company K soldiers resumed their picket duty, this time stationed at “Barnwells” (so labeled by Company C Captain J. P. S. Gobin) while other companies from the regiment performed picket duty in the areas around Point Royal Ferry.

Saint John’s Bluff and the Battle of Pocotaligo

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

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

During a return expedition to Florida beginning 30 September, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers joined with the soldiers of 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), which had been abandoned by Confederate forces due to the bluff’s bombardment by Union gunboats.

Illustration of the Darlington, a former Confederate steamer turned Union gunboat (public domain).

Illustration of the Darlington, a former Confederate steamer turned Union gunboat (public domain).

With those successes, Union leaders ordered the gunboats and army troops to extend the expedition. As part  of this expanded effort, Companies E and K of the 47th were sent out on detached duty for a special mission. Led by Captain Yard on a special, the men of E and K Companies joined with other Union Army soldiers in the reconnaissance and subsequent capture of Jacksonville, Florida on 5 October 1862.

A day later, sailing up river on board the Union gunboat Darlington (formerly a Confederate steamer) – with protection from the Union gunboat Hale, men from the 47th Pennsylvania’s Companies E and K then ventured deeper into enemy territory – making their way roughly 200 miles along the Saint John’s River. Their next target? Another Confederate steamer – the Gov. Milton, which had been involved in furnishing troops, ammunition and other supplies to Confederate Army units at Saint John’s Bluff, Yellow Bluff and other Rebel sites throughout the region.

The rebel steamer Governor Milton, captured by the U.S. flotilla in St. John's River, Florida, Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper). Courtesy: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory Project (public domain).

The rebel steamer Governor Milton, captured at Hawkinsville. (Source: Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory Project, public domain.)

Identified as a thorn that needed to be plucked from the Union’s side, the Gov. Milton was seized while docked at Hawkinsville, Florida by the soldiers from the 47th Pennsylvania’s Companies E and K with support from other Union troops.

With these accomplishments notched in Union record books, the leaders of the combined Army-Navy team decided that their expeditionary forces had achieved enough success in proportion to the risks taken in enemy territory, and ordered their men to sail the Gov. Milton back down the Saint John’s River.

After moving the steamer and other captured ships behind Union lines, the men under Captain Yard’s command were then ordered to rejoin their fellow 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Battle of Pocotaligo, South Carolina

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

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

From 21-23 October, under the brigade and regimental commands of Colonel Tilghman Good and Lieutenant Colonel George Warren (“G. W.”) Alexander, the entire 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry joined with other Union regiments to engage the heavily protected Confederate forces in and around Pocotaligo, South Carolina – including at Frampton’s Plantation and the Pocotaligo Bridge – a key piece of the South’s railroad infrastructure which Union leaders also felt should be destroyed.

Harried by snipers en route to the Pocotaligo Bridge, the 47th Pennsylvanians 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, including Private Jacob F. Hertzog, fared no better as they encountered artillery and infantry fire from the surrounding forests, but the Keystone Staters refused to give in. Grappling with the Confederates where they found them, those who remained standing pursued the Rebels for four miles as the Confederate Army retreated to the bridge. There, the surviving47th Pennsylvanians relieved the 7th Connecticut.

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

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

The losses sustained by the 47th Pennsylvania, however, were significant. Captain Charles Mickley of G Company died where he fell from a gunshot wound to his head while K Company Private John McConnell was also killed in action.

K Company Captain George Junker was mortally wounded by a minie ball from a Confederate rifle during the intense fighting near the Frampton Plantation, as were Privates Abraham Landes (alternate spelling: “Landis”) and Joseph Louis (alternate spelling: “Lewis”). All three died the next day while being treated for their wounds at the Union Army’s General Hospital at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Private John Schuchard, who was also mortally wounded at Pocotaligo, died from his wounds at the same hospital on 24 October.

Private Gottlieb Fiesel, who had also sustained a head wound, somehow survived. Although the left side of his head had been damaged and his skull fractured by shrapnel from an exploding artillery shell, physicians were hopeful that he might recover since surgeries to remove bone fragments from his brain had been successful. Tragically, however, he contracted meningitis while recuperating and passed away at Hilton Head on 9 November 1862.

Private Edward Frederick lasted a short while longer, finally succumbing on 16 February 1863 at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, Florida to brain fever, a complication from the personal war he had waged with his battle wounds.

In addition, K Company’s Corporals John Bischoff and Manoah J. Carl and Privates Jacob Hertzog, Frederick Knell, Samuel Kunfer, Samuel Reinert, John Schimpf, William Schrank, and Paul Strauss were also among those wounded in action. Fortunately, all of these men rallied. Private Strauss miraculously survived an artillery shell wound to his right shoulder, recuperated, and continued to serve with the regiment. Private Knell was discharged on a Surgeon’s Certificate of Disability on 9 May 1863.

Like Private Knell, Private Jacob Franklin Hertzog was also discharged on a Surgeon’s Certificate of Disability. Fortunately, for historians and his descendants, his case was well documented by Union Army surgical personnel.

A Grievous Wound

Private Jacob Hertzog, Co. K, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers, wearing the support device which facilitated his recovery from a gunshot wound during the Battle of Pocotaligo. Source: George A. Otis (public domain).

Private Jacob Hertzog, Co. K, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers wears a support device to facilitate his recovery from the gunshot wound he sustained during the Battle of Pocotaligo. Source: George A. Otis (public domain).

During the fighting at the Frampton Plantation that terrible day in October 1862, Private Jacob Hertzog sustained a gunshot wound (“Vulnus Sclopet”) to his right arm. Ultimately, following successful treatment for his wounds, he officially mustered out from the military at Fort Wood in New York Harbor on 24 February 1863. George A. Otis, Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Army and Curator of Army Medical Museum (now the Museum of Health and Medicine), carefully documented Private Hertzog’s injury, treatment and recovery in books and photographic case studies, including via the following notations in his Photographs of surgical cases and specimens / prepared by direction of the Surgeon General by George A. Otis:

A]dmitted to Hospital. No. 1, Beaufort, S.C. [on 24 October 1862], with gunshot wound of right elbow joint, the ball entering the outer, and emerging just above the inner condyle of the humerus of on [sic] the opposite side.

Oct. 26t. Exsection of the lower end of humerus, and articulating ends of the ulna and radius was performed [by Surgeon R. B. Bontecou, United States Volunteers], and the arm laid upon an angular splint of two parallel strips, leaving an open space the whole extent, thus rendering approach to the wound of exit easy. Morph. sulph. was applied to the wound, and a dressing of serate cloth to cover the whole, a bag of ice was also applied.

Private Jacob Hertzog, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers - Co. K, successfully recovered from a gunshot wound to his right arm. Source: U.S. Surgeon General's Office (public domain, c. 1866).

Circa 1866, Private Jacob Hertzog, Co. K, 47th Pennsylvania, the gunshot wound to his right arm healed. (Public domain, U.S. Surgeon General.)

Nov. 1st. Suppuration considerable, but the great tumefaction of the arm and forearm, much diminished.

Nov. 15th. The sutures of lead wire were to-day removed, the wound having healed sufficiently to keep the parts in shape. The general condition of the patient improved.

Dec. 15th. The patient has been for some days dressed and walking about the grounds. The wound is nearly healed, the elbow admitting of free motion in every direction.

Dec.28th. The wound has been some days healed, there are no discharges, the patient was to-day sent north per steamer ‘Star of the South.’ The good result attained in the above case, may without doubt, be attributed partially to the excellent condition of the patient; he never having used in his life, either alcoholic or malt liquors, neither tea, coffee, nor tobacco.

In updating his case notes, Otis added the following details regarding Private Hertzog’s fight to recover from his injury:

… This man was discharged the service February 24, 1863, and pensioned. On March 18, 1863, Pension Examiner Llewellyn Beaver reports ‘an open running sore.’ In June, 1864, Dr. Bontecou writes that he saw his patient at Fort Wood, New York Harbor, in June, 1863, and that he had good motion of the elbow. Another report from Pension Examiner Beaver, dated September 11, 1866, states that this man had completely lost the use of his arm. There was four inches shortening. He rated his disability total.

After the War

Following the treatment of his gunshot wound and subsequent physical rehabilitation, Jacob F. Hertzog was permitted to return home to Pennsylvania. In 1868, he wed Rachel Long. Born in Berks County, Pennsylvania on 31 July 1839, she was a daughter of Berks County native, Jacob Long, and Elizabeth (Bieber) Long, a native of Oley in Berks County.

By 1870, Jacob and Rachel Hertzog were living on their farm in Bernville, Longswamp Township. Tragically, their first child – a son – died in 1871 while still just an infant.

According to the 1900 federal census, Rachel Hertzog ultimately gave birth to a total of three children, only two of whom were still alive by the dawn of the new century. On 14 August 1872, Jacob and Rachel Hertzog welcomed their second child, Harvey J. Hertzog to their Longswamp Township home. A daughter, Vallie Rachal, arrived on on 8 January 1875.

During the 1880s, Jacob Hertzog continued to grow his farming operations and continued to reside in Longswamp Township, Berks County with his wife and children, Harvey and Vallie. This particular decade, however, was another challenging one for him, and the New Year of 1883 arrived with a terrible responsibility. According to the 3 January 1883 edition of the Reading Times:

Early on Monday morning [1 January 1883] a dead male infant was found in a creek running through the farm of Nathan Fritch, Longswamp township. The spot is about 200 yards distant from the house of Levi, Dieroff, in whose family a young woman named Maria Keyser was employed. She was suspected of having thrown the child into the creek, and upon being approached on the subject, confessed her guilt. ‘Squire William Schubert summoned as a jury Nathan Fritch, Jacob Long, Elias Diener, Joel Strunk, Jacob F. Hertzog and John Hertzog, who, after learning that the child was alive when thrown into the stream, rendered a verdict in accordance with the facts.’

Four years later, in 1887, Jacob F. Hertzog and his neighbors were battered by a major storm. The Reading Times reported in its 29 July 1887 edition that:

The Little Lehigh, which has its source at the head of Long’s Dale, was so swollen by Tuesday’s [26 July 1887] rain that it overflowed its banks and finally broke into the iron ore mines of Dr. Long, Levi Fritch, Jacob Hertzog, and Penrose Knappenberger. The mines, which cover about ten acres, present the appearance of a good sized lake, and seem to be a total loss. About one hundred people will be out of employment…. The bridge near Nathan Dresher’s was washed away and travel is stopped. The roads are damaged to a great extent and it will take all summer to repair them.

Fortunately, the following decade proceeded more smoothly. In February 1894, Jacob Hertzog was appointed by Judge Endlich to serve as the elections inspector for the 2nd precinct of Longswamp Township. And in 1898, the Hertzog’s son, Harvey, wed Sarah (“Sallie”) Fritch.

* Note: Harvey Hertzog and his wife welcomed the following Berks County-born children to the world: Mabel Mary (born on 29 December 1901; died in Longswamp Township on 5 December 1920); Jacob F. (born on 26 May 1904; died in Pennsylvania on 22 February 1991); Sarah Elizabeth (born on 14 October 1906; died sometime after 1930); John Benjamin (born on 4 April 1910; died from pneumonia on 14 January 1912; interred at Longswamp on 17 February 1912); and William Daniel (born in Mertztown, Longswamp Township on 13 September 1918; died in Allentown, Lehigh County on 21 January 2004).

In 1900 and again in 1910, the federal census documented that Jacob and Rachel Hertzog resided on their Longswamp Township farm with their daughter, Vallie. In 1900, their 13-year-old nephew, Elmer Long Adams (1886-1968), lived with them.

In 1907, Jacob Hertzog traveled to Lehigh County to attend the 25th reunion of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was held at the Duck Farm Hotel. His former regimental commanding officer, John Peter Shindel Gobin, reportedly gave a “touching speech” to the assembled throng of Civil War veterans.

But by 1914, the old soldier’s health was faltering. The 3 July 1914 Reading Times reported his rapid decline:

Jacob Hertzog, of Longsdale, a veteran of the Civil War, is seriously ill. Until a few days ago he was still able to be about the house, but is now confined to his bed.

On 14 July 1914, at the age of 74 years, 7 months and 23 days, Jacob F. Hertzog, a respected and beloved member of his community, died at his Longsdale home in Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Funeral services were held at the Hertzog family home at 9:30 on Friday morning, 17 July, and were followed by graveside services and interment at the Longswamp Church cemetery.

Planners clearly expected that the farewell would be well attended, announcing via a funeral notice: “Teams will meet train at Mertztown until 8 o’clock.” The Rev. W. L. Meckstroth and the Rev. W. F. Bond officiated. J. J. Schofer was the undertaker.

Disposition of His Estate

According to the 21 August 1914 edition of The Allentown Leader, the estate of Jacob F. Hertzog was valued at $15,000 with personal property in the amount of $10,500 and real estate in the amount of $4,500:

The decedent gives to his widow, Rachael, all of his estate to hold during her life, with the right of disposing of such portions of it as she may deem expedient. After her death the remainder is to be divided equally between the two children, Harvey J. and Vallie R. Hertzog. Harvey J. Hertzog is given the privilege of taking over a farm of 68 acres at Mertztown at the price of $2700. To the daughter, Vallie R. Hertzog, is given the privilege of taking over an 11-acre farm in Longswamp Township for $1000. The will names the widow, son and daughter executors. It was made on March 28, 1907, with H. A. Miller and Jennie C. Miller as witnesses. The late Mr. Hertzog was a veteran of the Civil War and during the fight he lost the elbow of his right arm and which he later used to advantage by using a spring connecting both bones. He was widely known and greatly respected.

Less than four years later, on 11 February 1918, Rachel Hertzog followed her husband in death, succumbing to chronic gastritis in Longswamp Township, Berks County. Three decades later, both of the Hertzog children passed away within a year of each other.

A farmer like his father, Harvey J. Hertzog died from bladder cancer at 4 p.m. on 4 November 1947 in Mertztown, Longswamp Township, Berks County. He was interred at Longswamp on 7 November 1947.

Tragically, Vallie R. Hertzog was scalded in a home accident on 17 January 1948. She died at 5:30 p.m. on 20 January 1948 from shock due to burns covering a third of her body, and was interred at Longswamp Union Cemetery, Berks County on 25 January 1948.



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

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

3. Death Certificates (Hertzog Family). Harrisburg: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.

4. Fianna (Hertzog) Frey, in Orphans’ Court Divides Estates: Ten Accounts Distribute $75,000 to Many Berks Heirs, in Reading Times. Reading: 20 October 1919.

5. Jacob F. Hertzog, in Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, in Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Record Group 110). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives, 1 July 1863.

6. Jacob Hertzog, in Deaths, in Reading Times. Reading: 17 July 1914.

7. Jacob F. Hertzog, in Infanticide Near Mertztown (jury duty), in Reading Times. Reading: 3 January 1883.

8. Jacob F. Hertzog, in Sample Ballots Ready, in Reading Times. Reading: 15 February 1894.

9. Jacob F. Hertzog, in Veterans of 47th Hold Reunion: Nearly 100 of Them in Annual Gathering at Duck Farm: General Gobin Guest of Honor: Old Commander of Regiment Makes Touching Speech to His Aging Comrades – Captain Leisenring’s Portrait on the Badge, in The Allentown Leader. Allentown: 22 October 1907.

10. Jacob F. Hertzog, in Wills, Berks County (Pennsylvania). Reading: Register of Wills, 1914.

11. John July Hertzog and Cassian (Landis) Hertzog, in Genealogical Card File. Lancaster: Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.

12. More Storm Damages in Berks: Ore Mines Flooded and Many People Thrown Out of Work, in Reading Times. Reading: 29 July 1887.

13. Otis, George A. Photographs of surgical cases and specimens / prepared by direction of the Surgeon General by George A. Otis. Washington, D.C.: Surgeon General’s Office, 1861-1865.

14. Pennsylvania Veterans’ Burial Index Cards. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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

16. U.S. Census, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

17. U.S. Civil War Pension Index (application no.: 25046, certificate no.: 19740, filed by the veteran on 6 June 1863; application no.: 1032538, certificate no.: 782943, filed from PA by the vet’s widow, Rachel Hertzog, 12 August 1914).

18. Will of Jacob F. Hertzog, in The Allentown Leader. Allentown: 21 August 1914.