DEATH OF COLONEL ALANSON E NILES
SKETCH OF A PROMINENT MILITARY OFFICER AND WELL-KNOWN CITIZEN
Last Thursday morning Colonel Alanson E Niles, of this borough, died at the German hospital in Philadelphia, where he went on the 21st of September to undergo a delicate surgical operation. He stood the operation well and seemed to be on the way to recovery, when Bright’s disease was developed and he rapidly grew weaker until the end. Mrs. Niles and his son Lieut. Nathan E. Niles were at his bedside. The remains were brought home on Friday, and on Saturday afternoon the funeral was held at his late residence on Main street, the burial being with military honors.
Alanson Erric Niles was a son of Mr. Nathan Niles, one of the early settlers of Charleston township. He was born on his father’s farm near this borough October 5, 1816. He inherited the homestead and was engaged in farming until 1857, when he came to this borough and engaged in the mercantile business with Mr. Aaron G. Elliott, the firm of Niles & Elliott doing business in the old wooden building which stood on Main street on the corner just below the First National bank.
In 1861 Mr. Niles was among the first to respond to the call for volunteers to suppress the Rebellion. He enlisted in this borough, recruiting a company of men, and was elected Captain of Company E of the First Pennsylvania Rifles, better known throughout the country as the “Bucktails.” He was mustered into service May 31, 1861.
At Dranesville on December 20, 1861, the Bucktails are credited with winning the first victory of the war for the army of the Potomac. Here Captain Niles was severely wounded, being shot through the lungs. He was in the hospital some time, but as soon as he was able he hastened back to his regiment.
On the morning of the second day of the battle of Gaines Hill six companies of the Bucktails were stationed on a hill above a swamp to guard a bridge, the only crossing for miles in either direction. When the armies retreated, Companies D and E, with Captain Niles in command, were left to hold the bridge. The boys stood their ground until a Rebel brigade came up in their rear to within ten rods, when they retreated over the brow of the hill to fall into Jackson’s advancing corps. They were completely surrounded and taken prisoners. Company E was the color company of the regiment and rather than have their flag fall into Rebel hands they burned it in the swamp. Captain Niles was in Libby prison for 49 days, when he was exchanged, together with most of the members in his company, and they at once went to the front again.
Captain Niles was promoted to the rank of Major on March 1, 1863, and on the 15th of May following he was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment. It was while with the Bucktails in their charge on Little Round Top at Gettysburg, on the 2d of July, 1863, that he was wounded in the left thigh.
Lieut Col Niles was afterward transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps with promotion to the rank of Colonel. He commanded the corps during the raids of the famous Mosby in eastern Virginia, and at White House Landing he held the field against Mosby’s men for one whole day, when he was relieved by Gen. Sheridan.
Colonel Niles was then sent to Point Lookout, a general depot for prisoners, where he remained in charge until after Lee’s surrender. He then went to Washington.
On the night that President Lincoln was assassinated Col Niles was in Ford’s theater, and he heard the pistol shot and hastened to the hallway and saw the wounded President being carried out.
Col Niles participated in the following battles during the war: New Creek, Hunter’s Mills, Dranesville, Gaines Hill of the seven days fight before Richmond, Fredericksburg, South Mountain, Antietam and Gettysburg.
When the war closed and the grand review was held in Washington Colonel Niles was selected from among the thousands of officers to be the officer of the day, and he had full military charge of the city at the time.
Col Niles was then commissioned as Captain in the regular Army, and for three years he was stationed at Plattsburgh, N.Y., in command of the military barracks.
On account of disability by reason of his wounds he was retired in 1869 with the rank and pay of a Captain, and he came to this borough to reside. After his retirement he lived here quietly, enjoying the respect and esteem of his neighbors, and always taking a lively interest in the affairs of the Government. He was an ardent lover of rifle-shooting and recently notwithstanding his years, he made some remarkable scores on the rifle range.
It can truthfully be said of Col Niles that he was a stranger to fear and a martyr to duty. His record during the war was one of great personal courage and of thorough devotion to the exact discharge of military duty in every station. At home among his friends although of a naturally retiring nature, he was cheerful, genial and steadfast.
Col Niles was married November 10, 1842 to Angeline Austin, of Charleston. Two sons and two daughters were born to them. His widow and Lieut Nathan E. Niles of the Navy, survive him.
The funeral was held last Saturday afternoon at the family residence and it was largely attended. Rev. Dr. A.C. Shaw conducted the service. The Cook Post, G.A.R. attended in a body, and twenty five members of Col Niles’s company acted as a military escort to the cemetery and tenderly committed the remains of their late commander to the dust. Each member wore the distinguishing bucktail on his hat. Among the many floral tributes was a buck constructed of white flowers, which was a testimonial of Company E of the Bucktails. At the cemetery the service was in charge of the Cook Post No. 315, G.A.R.
The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Oct 14, 1891
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Mr. Henry Clay Roland died at his home in Delmar township last Friday morning — a victim of the prevalent influenza. Mr. Roland was born in Lycoming county forty-eight years ago; but he came to this county when still young, living for a time in Charleston and afterward in Delmar.
During the war of the Rebellion he was an efficient soldier of the Union, being a member of Company E of the Bucktails, under the late Colonel Niles.
After the war he was engaged in farming, and he was an excellent citizen and a man respected and liked by all his acquaintances. The funeral was largely attended last Sunday at the family residence, many of Mr. Roland’s old comrades being present. The interment was in the cemetery in this borough. Mr. Roland leaves a widow and four children — two sons and two daughters.
The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Apr 6, 1892
Flag image from the Descendant’s Association of the 149th PA Bucktails
Death of Mr. Jacob Huck.
Mr. Jacob Huck, aged 72, died after a week’s illness of pneumonia, on Friday evening at the home of Mr. George W. Smith, at Cedar Run, with whom he made his home. He was a member of Co. E, of the famous 1st Pa. Rifles, or “Bucktails,” and served through the civil war. Five brothers also served in this war.
Mr. Huck had been a member of Wellsboro Lodge, I.O.O.F., for 25 years. He was a conscientious, upright Christian gentleman and was respected and esteemed by all who knew him. Mr. Huck never married. He is survived by the following brothers and sisters: Messrs. Harrison Huck, of Lockhaven; Myron, of Delmar, and Samuel and John, who live in the West, and Mrs. Bert Lloyd, of Olmsville. The Wellsboro Odd Fellows sent a beautiful floral offering and several members of that Lodge besides many Slate Run Odd Fellows attended the funeral at the Cedar Run Methodist church on Monday at 2 p.m.
The following was written by a comrade of the deceased:
“Sergeant Jacob Huck was one of six brothers who enlisted in 1861. Jacob, George and Samuel served in Co. E, of the “Old Bucktails.” Jacob was Color Sergeant for two years and during that time he was wounded three times. At the battle of Cold Harbor a Rebel soldier seized the flag staff and tried to capture the colors. Huck killed him instantly by running him through with a saber. As a soldier and friend none excelled him. He was characterized by his extreme modesty, never mentioning his brave deeds to his most intimate friends. His brothers, Harrison, of Lockhaven, and Myron, of Delmar, with their families, and his sister, Mrs. Bert Lloyd, of Olmsville, attended the funeral. Comrades G.O. Darby, Peter D. Walbridge and W.W. English, of Co. E, with three other veterans acted as pall bearers.”
The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Mar 1, 1905
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Mr. Chester F. Kimball, aged 64, died Saturday evening about 9 o’clock at his home on Crafton street. He was apparently as well as usual on Saturday afternoon, but was stricken suddenly with paralysis about 4 o’clock while making purchases in Finkelstein Bros.’ store. He was removed to his home, where he passed away within a few hours.
Mr. Kimball was born at Homer, Cortland county, N.Y., on April 30th, 1842. He was twice married, his first wife being Sarah Boydson, whom he married on December 20, 1870. and who died on May 18, 1878. Two sons were born to them, Charles N. Kimball, Esq., of Sistersville, West Virginia, and Mr. Everett E. Kimball, of Cleveland, Ohio, both of whom survive.
On April 30, 1890, Mr. Kimball married Sarah Rollins, of Roundtop, who survives him, with one daughter, Clara A.
Two sisters also survive him, Mrs. Adelbert Green, of Syracuse, N.Y., and Mrs. Miles Dunbar, of Necedah, Wisconsin.
Mr. Kimball enlisted on August 7, 1861, in Co. E, of the 1st Pa. rifles, better known as the “Old Bucktails.” He served with honor and distinction and was one of the best soldiers in his company. He later served with the 13th Veteran Reserve Corps. He was a member of the Union Veteran Legion and of the Methodist church. The deceased was a good man, an upright and progressive citizen and was highly esteemed by all who knew him.
Funeral services will be held this morning at 10 o’clock at the late home of the deceased, Rev. W.H. Reese, D.D., officiating.
The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Jan 30, 1907
Another Veteran Mustered Out.
At his home near Ewing, Neb., February 16th, of bronchitis, Orsamus P. Borden answered the final roll call. He was born November 30, 1829 at Pultney, N.Y., and at the time of his death was 77 years, 2 months and 16 days old.
When a young man he moved with his parents to Tioga county, Pa. He married Miss Sarah Impson, January 28, 1854, in Delmar, Pa. To this union were born four children, three sons and one daughter, only one of whom survive, namely, Arthur H. Borden of Genessee, Potter county. His wife died April 17, 867.
On November 2, 1867, he married Miss Josephine S. Butler, his present wife. To them were born thirteen children of whom five are living, three sons and two daughters.
In 1861, Mr. Borden enlisted in Company E of the “Bucktails.” He served through the entire war. Was taken prisoner at Mechanicsville, June 26, 1862, and spent some time in Libby and Belle Island prisons.
In 1882 he moved his family to Nebraska and settled on a homestead, where he spent the remainder of his days, and with his faithful wife, fought the hard battles, and faced the privations of a frontier life. In courage and fidelity to what he considered right, he proved himself in every respect a man. He was a member of the Grand Army, General Anger Post 192 of Ewing, and no one of its members was more faithful in attendance at its meetings, or more loyal to its laws.
The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Mar 27, 1907
Another Veteran Gone.
Samuel Freeland, aged 75 years, died last Tuesday morning at 3:45 o’clock at his home in Corning of paralysis.
Mr. Freeland was born in Chatham Tioga county, Pa., December 1, 183, and the early part of his life was spent on farms in different parts of this country. When the civil war broke out he enlisted in Company A, Bucktails. Early in the war he was captured by the Confederates and was in Libby prison for a number of weeks until he was exchanged. When he entered this famous prison pen he was a large man, weighing over 200 pounds but so severe was his treatment that when he came from the confinement he tipped the scale at only 100 pounds. He was so worn and changed that his own brother failed to recognize him. He again went into active serviced and shortly after he was wounded in the right hip. He lay for four days on the battle field where he received the wound and was finally found by the Rebels and again taken to Libby prison. During the days that he lay on the filed of battle he had only one drink of water, this from the canteen of a Rebel captain. This time he was confined in Libby prison only about six weeks and when exchanged he was honorably discharged from service because of his wound. He carried the bullet to the day of his death.
After recovering from his injury he lived at Addison where he worked in the sash and blind factory and where he married Mary L. Seaman on the first day of February, 1865. He also lived at Coudersport for a time. About four years ago he removed to Corning where he had since lived. Besides his wife he is survived by five children — G.V. Freeland, of Spokane, Wash., C.H. Freeland, of Corning; William Freeland, of Hunt, N.Y.; Mrs. Arthur Slad with whom he lived, and Mrs. Rose Varner, of Albany Falls.
He was a member of the Arch Jones Post, G.A.R. at Coudersport, and was one of the charter members of the W.W. Angle Post, at Addison.
The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Mar 3, 1909
Image from the Richard Warren Smith family tree on Ancestry.com
Benjamin W. Topping, Sr., died recently at his home in Elmira, aged 79 years. He is survived by his widow, one son, B.W. Topping, Jr.; one daughter, Mrs. B.G. Birney, of Cincinnati. Mr. Topping had been a resident of Elmira for many years. He was a veteran of the civil war and was a captain in Co. H, Pennsylvania “Bucktails.” He was a commercial traveler for 35 years and, as a cigar salesman, was well known in almost every city and town in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York.
Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Feb 21, 1917
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DEATH OF P.D. WALBRIDGE.
Highly Esteemed Civil War Veteran Died Last Wednesday.
Peter D. Walbridge, aged 83 years, died at the Blossburg hospital early last Wednesday morning, following the amputation of his right leg, which operation was performed Monday. Mr. Walbridge’s right foot had caused him much suffering for several years and not long ago gangrene developed and amputation of his knee was necessary as the only hope of saving is life, but he failed to recover from the shock of the operation.
He is survived by one son, Peter D. Walbridge, Jr., of Pueblo, Colorado, and three daughters, Mrs. W.D. Riffle and Miss May Walbridge, of Wellsboro, and Miss Maude Walbridge, of New York city.
Mr. Walbridge served with conspicuous bravery during the civil war as a member of Co. E, of the famous “Old Bucktails” regiment, and many are the tales of heroism his comrades tell of him, but Mr. Walbridge seldom spoke of his own experiences during the dark days of ’61-’65. He was a prisoner at Andersonville for nearly a year and that trying ordeal took a heavy toll from his naturally strong constitution. Mr. Walbridge had a host of warm friends to whom his death brings deepest sorrow.
The funeral was held Saturday afternoon at two o’clock at the First Baptist church, Rev. C.W. Macgeorge officiating; burial in the Wellsboro cemetery.
The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Dec 3, 1919
BRILLIANT WAR RECORD.
Brief Review of a Brave Soldier’s Career During the Civil War.
The brilliant and gallant Civil War record of the late Peter D. Walbridge, of Wellsboro, who died a few days ago at the Blossburg Hospital, following amputation of his left leg for gangrene, should not pass unnoticed. He was one of the first from Wellsboro to enlist in the original Old Bucktails under Captain Alanson E. Niles and served throughout the entire Civil War.
Notwithstanding Peter Walbridge was always conceded one of the bravest and most daring soldiers of the fighting Bucktails, having performed many heroic deeds worthy of note, he bore his honors meekly, without display, blow or bluster. He had a big heart and it was in the right place, as all his comrades in arms can testify.
The Gazette takes great pride in presenting the following summary of this brave soldier’s war record:
Peter D. Walbridge enlisted April 28th, 1861, from Wellboro, Pa., and was mustered into the United States service May 31st, 1861, at Harrisburg, as a private to serve for a term of three years in Company E, First Regiment, Penna. Vol. Rifles, under Captains A.E. Niles and S.J. Mack and Cols. Theodore L. Kane, J. Biddle, H.W. McNeil and C.F. Taylor. The Regiment was the 42nd Pa. Vol. Inf., 1st Bucktails or 13th Regiment, Penna. Reserves Infantry.
Moved to a point opposite Cumberland, Md., June 22nd, thence to West Va., in support of Lew Wallace till October; then moved to Tennallytown and attached to McCall’s Reserve Division, Army of Potomac. Engaged at Drainesville, Va., Dec. 20th, ’61. Moved to Virginia Peninsula, June 9th to 12th, ’62.
Attached to 5th Corps Army of Potomac. Engaged in seven days battle before Richmond, Jun 25th to July 1st, ’62; battle of Mechanisville, June 26th; Meadow Bridge, June 26th; Gainesville, July 27th; Savage Station, June 29th; Charles City, Cross-Road and Glendale, Jun 30th ’62; Malvern Hill, July 1st, ’62; battles of Gailnesville and Groveton, August 28th and 29th, ’62; Second Bull Run, August 30th, ’62; South Mountain, Md. Sept. 1?, Antietam, Md., Sept. 7th, ’62. Was wounded here by gunshot in right leg and sent to Harrisburg. Received 50 days furlough to go home from Governor Curtin. Rejoined regiment and participated in battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, ’62, and March, January 20th to 24th, ’63.
Ordered to Washington, D.C., Feb. 6th, ’63. Duty there and at Alexandria till June 25th, ’63. Rejoined the Potomac Army, June 25th, ’63. Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Div., 5th Corps, Army of Potomac. Engaged in Battle of Gettysburg, July 1st to 3rd, ’63. Pursuit of Lee, July 5th to 24th, ’63. Engaged at Rappahannock Station, Nov. 7th, ’63; Mine Run, Nov. 26th and 28th, ’63.
Honorably discharged Feb. 27th, ’64. Re-enlisted as a veteran Feb. 28th, ’64, in the field as Sergeant in same Company and Regiment, three years more, or during the war, under Captains S.J. Mack and Col. A.E. Niles. Participated in Battle of the Wilderness, May 5th-7th, ’64;; Laurel Hill, Va., May 8th; Spottsylvania, May 8th to 12th, ’64; assault on the Bloody Angle, May 12th ’64; Spottsylvania Court House, May 13th to 21st, ’64; Harris Farm, May 19th; North Anna River, May 23rd to 26th, ’64; Jericho Ford, May 25th; Penunkeg River, May 26th to 28th; Totokotomy, May 29th to 31st; Bethesda Church, May 30th to June 6th.
Was wounded May 30th in head, left leg and right arm by shell explosion and was captured and taken to Spotts Hospital, Richmond, Va., until July ’64. Then was placed in Andersonville, later Florence, prison. Was paroled and sent to Annapolis, Md. Received furlough home until April, 1865. Rejoined regiment. Was on May 31st, 1865, transferred to Co. E, 190th Reg., Pa. Vol., Infantry, which he joined close to Petersburg. Engaged at Appomattox Court House, Lee’s surrender, April 9th, 1865. Washington, D.C., May 1st to 12th; Grand Review, May 23rd, 1865. Honorably discharged June 28th, 1865, at Harrisburg, by reason of close of war.
The Wellsboro Gazette (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Dec 11, 1919
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CIVIL WAR VETERAN ANSWERS LAST CALL
James T. Hebel, 79 years old, a veteran of the Civil War, while accompanying a neighbor, Joseph Lenig from his home in Hunter’s Valley to Newport, Perry County, Pa., on Friday morning, May 26, got off the wagon in the narrows, along the steep mountain road to walk up a hill, and while walking along back of the wagon, dropped dead in the road. Death was due to heart failure.
His son, Alfred of Osecola Mills, went to visit him on Monday, May 22, as had been his custom, about every four to six weeks. On Tuesday morning his father suggested that they go to Newport on Wednesday morning, as he wanted to buy a suit and hat and shoes to wear to the Memorial services at Liverpool on Sunday, May 28 and on Tuesday, May 30. As planned, they went to Newport on Wednesday morning and after making the purchases, and were about to part to go in different directions to their homes, and as his father said “Good Bye” to his boy he remarked, he would wear his new clothes to the memorial services, neither thinking that the time was so near at hand when he should answer the final “roll call” and be numbered among those whose graves would be strewn with flowers, by his few surviving comrades on that day.
Mr. Hebel was born near Liverpool Perry County, Pa., March 19th, 1843. He was the son of George and Rosanna (Matchet) Hebel, natives of Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. The early part of his life was spent in working as a millwright with his father. He was eighteen years old when the Civil War broke out and at once enlisted in the service of his country in Co. B, 7th Penna. Reserves, being organized at Liverpool by Capt. G.K. Shull and after serving in this regiment and company for some time was transferred to the “Old Bucktails” and at the expiration of his 3 year enlistment re-enlisted, for three years more, or until the close of the war. He took part in nearly all the important battles between the Army of the Potomac and the Confederate forces under command of Robert E. Lee, from the first battle of Bull Run to Appomattox. Then took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C. Then went to Harrisburg where he was honorably discharged from the United States Service, July 5th, 1865, after having served his country over four years, in its most trying hours.
He then returned to his home in Perry County, but in December of the same year, came to Clearfield, where he learned the carpenter trade under Ezra Ale. During the spring of 1867 he was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte Deis, and moved to Luthersburg, where he followed his trade, farming and lumbering until October 1897 when he was appointed and assumed the position of post master. He resigned that position April, 1906 and moved to Curwensville where his wife died on the 19th of December 1907. He then returned to Perry county and purchased forty acres of land in Hunter’s Valley, near the place of his birth, and about midway between Newport and Liverpool, where he lived during the summer and spent the winter with his four surviving children, Alfred M. of Osceola Mills, Mrs. Mary Freedline of Bell Township near Mahaffey, Clearfield County, Pa., Mrs. C.U. Downs of Kansas City, Mo and Warren L. of Harrisburg, Pa. He is also survived by nine grandchildren.
His Body was taken to Osceola Mills to the home of his son Alfred, on Saturday evening at which place funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at 4:30 o’clock, conducted by Rev. J.W. Shillington of the M.E. Church. On Monday morning the body was taken to Luthersburg where it was laid to rest beside that of his wife and deceased children.
Mr. Hebel was a kind and affectionate father and was dearly loved by his children. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church from the time he first moved to Luthersburg until he returned to Perry County, where he associated himself with the church he attended as a boy and was regular in attendance at services until his advanced age made it almost impossible for him to walk the six miles to the church and back.
Clearfield Progress (Clearfield, Pennsylvania) Jun 2, 1922
AGED CIVIL WAR VETERAN DIES
Eugene H. Stone Was Nearly One Hundred Two Years Old.
Eugene H. Stone, of near Wellsboro, civil war veteran, died at the Soldiers’ Facility, Bath, N.Y., Thurdays afternoon, Sept. 2, after a long illness.
There is now only one civil war veteran living in Tioga county, John Eldridge Harvey, aged 101, of Westfield.
Mr. Stone was a half-brother of the late William A. Stone, a former governor of Pennsylvania. He was born in Delmar, Jan. 31, 1842, son of Israel and Abbie Stone. At the age of 19 in August, 1861, he enlisted with Co. E, 42nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, known as the Bucktails.
Mr. Stone was captured July 22, 1862, at the battle of Mechanicsville, after being in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. He was held prisoner at Libby and Belle Isle Prisons 40 days, when he was exchanged and rejoined his regiment. He was mustered out Aug. 7, 1864, at Petersburg, Va.
On Nov. 9, 1864, he married Sarah Francis, daughter of Ephraim Francis, of Charleston. For six years they resided on his parents’ farm and then he purchased adjoining farms in Shippen and Delmar townships.
He went to Pawnee county, Kans., where he took up 160 acres of government land. Three years later he returned to Tioga county.
He served as school director and Shippen township Supervisor, was a member of the Masons and the Grange.
The funeral was held Saturday at the Johnson Funeral Home in Wellsboro, Rev. C.W. Sheriff officiating’; burial in the West Branch cemetery.
Mr. Stone is survived by a son, Fred A. stone, of Ansonia; two daughters, Mrs. Hobart Maynard and Mrs. Rankin Stermer, of Wellboro, R.D.; five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The first three “Bucktail” companies were organized by Thomas L. Kane at Smethport, McKean county, in April, 1861. One volunteer, seeing a deer suspended in front of a market, cut off the buck’s tail and stuck it in his hat and when he enlisted the name “Bucktail” was adopted.
The Tioga county contingent was organized in early May, 1861, by R.C. Cocks, of Liberty, afterward Colonel of the 207th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers and later advanced to Brigadier General, in answer to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 men.
The Wellsboro regiment was commanded by Alanson [E.] Niles. This troop, with four others, marched overland to Troy and took the Northern Central Railroad to Harrisburg, announcing the arrival at the state capitol by a salvo of musketry. The contingent became Co. E, First Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, and entered active service.
Mr. Stone participated in many of the principal battles of the war. He had three brothers in the Union forces. One was a member of his own company. All returned to their homes at the close of the war.
Of adult population of 6,000, 2,000 Tioga county men enlisted in the civil war and 445 never came back, a record equaled by only one other county in the union in proportion to population.
Wellsboro Agitator (Wellboro, Pennsylvania) Sep 8, 1943