7.7.2013.

The 69th/71st. Pa. graves and markers at Andersonville Prison Ga.

Andersonville prison Ga was one of the most notorious prisons that Union soldiers were incarcerated in. Approx. 75 men of the 69th were held there. About 20 died and were buried there. Unlike so many other graveyards fairly accurate listings of the names of the soldiers and where they are buried exist. This is due to the foresight of one prisoner a Dorence Atwater who was a close friend of the first prisoner who died an Adam Swarner and Dorence volunteered to keep the records. He wanted to make sure that those who died here were remembered and so the families would know the fate and burial place of their loved ones. When the dead were brought out of the stockade to the " deadhouse" they were brought by friends who knew them. They would report what was known about the dead man such as name, State, Regiment, date of death, cause, etc. Atwater recorded them numerically and attached a tag to the body which matched the number in the records. The dead then were taken to the cemetery where the first dozen were buried in pine boxes, however since the numbers dying each day was growing so fast, and limited resources, the dead were stripped naked so the living could use what the dead no longer needed. sThe bodies were then laid in trench type graves dug 4 feet deep and long enough for 150 to 200 bodies and shoulder to shoulder without coffins.
With the lack of resources to make grave markers, there was a small post placed at the head of each grave with a number carved into it. This number matched the one on the body tag, which matched Atwaters records. When Dorence Atwater and a Miss Clara Barton returned after the war to establish the new National Cemetery in July 1865, they simply had to match the numbers on the post with the copy of the list that Atwater smuggled out when he was exchanged. This way, the identified graves show exactly who is buried where. The posts were replaced with wooden headboards. In 1878, the wooden boards were replaced by the first set of stones which were plain smooth stones with the name and grave number.
In 1898 when the US Government finally got around to establishing a standard grave marker for Union soldiers, there were new stones placed in 1898-1899 to replace the first stones. These stones now are the ones that mark the graves. So you see, each time the replaced the marker with a new one, it was easy enough to know who was buried where. Those who are buried as unknown will remain as such because there will be no way for anyone but God to know who lies beneath the unknown stones.

Note: Thanks to Kevin Frye for the above information.

Private Emmanuel Blake Co. K. Died 18.9.1864. Grave 9147.
Private Franklin Compton Co. B. Died 10.12.1864 Grave 12255.
Private William Colbaugh Co. Co. K. Died 5.11.1864. Grave 11826.
Private John Dunn Co. F. Died 25.8.1864. Grave 6778.
Private James Elliott Co. D. Died 2.7.1864. Grave 2794.
Private Michael Fahey Co. C. Died 21.10.1864. Grave 11261.
Private Robert Gordon Co. G. Died 4.11.1864. Grave 11806.
Private Jess Gullver Co. B Died 12.9.1864. Grave 8594.
Private John Haughy Co. D. Died 22.6.1864. Grave 9904.
Private George Little Co. K. Died 22.6.1864 Grave 10725.
Private Thomas Moore Co. A. Died 29.8.1864. Grave 7175.
Private James McKeown Co. G. Died 8.11.1864 Grave 11909.
Sergt. John O'Neill Co. F. Died 13.6.1864. Grave 1897.(No marker image)
Private Robert Robbins Co. F. Died 13.7.1864. Grave 3270.
Private Charles Sandford Co. H. Died 20.9.1864. Grave 9912.
Private William Summerfield Co. H. Died 14.8.1864. Grave 5603.
Private William Titus Co. A. Died 14.7.1864. Grave 3329.
1st Lieut. Edward Thompson Co. I. Died 19.8.1864. Grave 6146.
Private Joseph Webb Co. H. Died 31.8.1864. Grave 7382.
Private James Wilson Co A.Grave 1387

Private Emanuel Blake Co. K.

Enrolled and mustered into the 71st. Pa. at Pittsburg Pa. 24th. Sept. 1863 aged 41. Deserted 28th. April 1864 near Levensburg Va. Appears to have been recaptured and transferred to the 69th. Pa. 12th June 1864. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. 22nd. June 1864. Died 18th Sept 1864. Noted as a small man 5' 7 ins tall.

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Private Franklin Compton Co. B.

Enlisted 71st. Pa. Stevensburg Va. aged 25 a farmer by trade. Transferred to the 69th. Pa. 12th. June 1864. Captured at The Wilderness 6th. May 1864. Died 10th. Dec. 1864. Some documents give name as Crompton.

Private William Colebaugh

Enrolled and mustered into the 71st. Co I. at Philadelphia 20th. Sept 1861. Aged 30. 5' 6 ins. tall a butcher by trade in Philadelphia. Transferred to the 69th. Pa. Co. K. 12th June 1864. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. June 22nd. 1864. Died 9th. Nov. 1864.

Private John Dunn Co. F.

Born Co Cavan Ireland. Enlisted Philadelphia 13th. April 1864 aged 38. From Berks Co Pa. a farmer by trade small in stature 5' 5 ins. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. 22nd. June 1864. Note: There was another John Dunn in the Regt. He was wounded at Gettysburg and sick in hospital at M.O.end of war.

Private James Elliott Co. D.

Accurate information on specific Elliott soldiers in the 71st. Pa and 69th. Pa. difficult to determine. James probably enlisted Philadelphia. Wounded and captured Gettysburg July 1863. Died 2nd July 1864.

Private Michael Fahey Co. C.

Born Co. Mayo Ireland. Enlisted 21st.Aug. 1861 at Philadelphia into the 69th aged 29. Fought and captured Antietam and released back to regiment. Fought Gettysburg July 1863. M.I.A. Wilderness or Petersburg Va. June 1864. Reports vary so much so that when his widow applied for a pension it was refused because of lack of evidence about his death. However it appears he had been captured and imprisoned Andersonsville. Died there 21st. Oct. 1864.

Private Robert Gordon Co. G.

Drafted. Joined 71st. Pa. Philadelphia 31st. July 1863 aged 30. Transferred to the 69th. Pa. 12th. June 1864. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg 22nd. June 1864. Died 4th. Nov. 1864.

Private Jesse B Gulver Co. B.

Drafted and mustered Scranton Pa. 5th. Jan. 1864 aged 29 into the 71st Pa. Later transferred to the 69th. Pa. date unknown. Later captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. 22nd. June 1864. Died 12th. Sept. 1864.

Private John Haughey Co. D.

Born Co. Tyrone Ireland. Probably from the Sperrin hills between Co's Derry and Tyrone. Enlisted Philadelphia and mustered in 31st. Oct. 1861 aged 35. Fought Gettysburg July 1863. Captured wounded at Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg June 22nd. 1864. Died 27th Sept 1864. A small man as so many soldiers of the 69th appear to have been. Noted as being 5' 6 ins. in height.

Corp. George Little Co. K.

Drafted soldier. Mustered into the 71st. Pa. Pottsville Pa. 23rd. Sept. 1863 aged 30. Transferred 69th. Pa. 12th. June 1864. Taken prisoner Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburgh Va. 22nd. June 1864. Died 11th. Oct 1864. Also known as George Tibbles.

Private Thomas Moore Co. A.

Enrolled Philadelphia 14th. April 1864 aged 28. Captured before Petersburg Va 22nd June 1864. Died 29th. Aug. 1864.

Private James McKeown Co. G.

Joined the 71st Pa. at Pootsville Pa. 25th. Sept 1861 aged 40. Transferred into the 69th Pa. 12th. June 1864. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. 22nd. June 1864. Died 8th. Nov. 1864. May also have used the name McCune.

Private Robert Robbins Co. F.

Enrolled Philadelphia 19th June 1861. Mustered in Camp Observation Md. 31st. Oct. 1861 aged 35. Wounded and captured Spotsylvania C.H. May 12th. 1864. Died July 13th. 1864.

Private Charles Sandford Co. H.

Unable to source any information worth on Charles. Died 20th. Sept. 1864. Possibly a drafted soldier.

Private William Somerfield Co H.

Born Saxony Germany. Lived Upper Marion Twp Pa. Carpenter by trade. Enrolled/mustered in 69th. Pa. 12th. April 1864 aged 43. Captured at The Wilderness. Died 14th. Aug. 1864.

Private William Titus Co. A.

Mustered in at Philadelphia 25th Sept. 1863 aged 28. Transferred to the 69th. Pa. 12th June 1864. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg 22nd. June 1864. Died 14th. July 1864.

Private Francis Thompson Co. I.

Enrolled and mustered into the 71st. Pa. at Scranton Pa. 3rd April 1862 aged 25. Transferred to the 69th. Pa. 12th June 1864. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. June 22nd. 1864. Died 19th. Aug. 1864.

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Private Joseph Webb Co. H.

Enrolled Philadelphia 26th. Sept. 1863 aged 28. Transferred to the 71st. Pa. 12th June 1864. Captured Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. 22nd. June 1864. Died 31st. Aug. 1864.

Private James Wilson Co. A.

Because the name Wilson a very common one in Civil War regiments it is difficult to determine just which is which especially if some carry same Christian names. This James Wilson appears to have enrolled and mustered into the 71st. Pa. at Philadelphia 10th. July 1861. He is noted as having transferred to the 69th. Pa. 12th. June 1864 a date others were transferred. Probabaly captured at Jerusalem Plank Road Petersburg Va. June 22nd. 1864 like so many others were .

Acknowledgement and thanks: To Kevin Frye webmaster of the Andersonsville Prison site for his allowing me to have the marker images above. This is much appreciated. I have provided a link below to his excellent site. Many many thanks.