Wilford Six was born in Maryland in 1821, the son of John and Sarah Six. John was recorded during the 1840 U.S. Census, when he and his family lived in Frederick County, MD. In 1850, John, a farmer, Sarah, and their family of 11 children were living in Carroll County, MD. The children ranged in ages from 18 to nine months old. John was a farmer and his real estate was worth $2,200.
On the 1850 U.S. Census, Wilford and his wife Hannah Rebeccah were recorded living in the Creagerstown Election District, Frederick County, MD. They had a three-year old daughter Mary A. and Emily I. Koontz (18) was also living in the household. The census taker did not identify Emily’s relationship to the head of household. Wilford’s real estate was valued at $800.
By July 24, 1860, Wilford and Hannah had moved north, across the Mason-Dixon Line, into Antrim Township. Wilford was still a laborer but he owned his home, which was valued as $550; their personal estate was worth $80. He and Sarah had three more children – Elizabeth Ann (9), Virginia Laura (7), and their first son John (5), named after Wilford’s father. All of the children were born in Maryland, indicating that the family had moved to Antrim Township, PA within the previous five years. All the children, except John, were attending school.
During the summer and fall of 1862, many men from Antrim Township and Greencastle enrolled in the army, especially in the 126th PA Infantry. On October 21, 1862, Wilford was only a couple months away from his 40th birthday. He would have been one of the older men in the regiment. He enrolled in the Army at Chambersburg and was mustered in on October 30, in Harrisburg, in Battery C of Pennsylvania’s 2nd Heavy Artillery (112th Volunteers). His rank in and out was as a private. Once in a while during research a surprise appears. The photograph of Wilford was “attached” to his online Ancestry record for the 2nd PA Heavy Artillery.
Other men from the area, who also served in the 2nd PAHA, were Francis Hoffman, Battery H; he enlisted on January 27, 1863. Brothers, Benjamin Franklin Winger and Joseph Winger were both assigned to Battery D, 2nd PAHA. Benjamin enlisted on August 23, 1862 and Joseph on September 20, 1862. There were close to 50 men in Battery C, who were not listed on the muster-out roll. They were not marked as deserters. Wilford was among those 50.
The 2nd PA Heavy Artillery regiment was the largest regiment in the Civil War. It was so large that it was divided into another whole regiment – the Provisional 2nd PA Heavy Artillery. Frank and the Winger brothers remained in the 2nd PAHA. From 1862 to 1864, the regiment’s assignment was to protect Washington City.
If it hadn’t been for finding Wilford’s pension record on Ancestry.com, it wouldn’t be known that he also enlisted in the U.S. Volunteer Reserve Corps, because that regiment is not listed on his veteran’s burial card, nor is it included in his records at the National Park Service. Wilford was in Co. I, 22nd Regiment. On January 12, 1864, the 22nd Regiment in the USVRC was organized, by consolidating the companies of ten regiments from the 1st Battalion. The men of the 22nd were mustered out between July 1 and November 19, 1865. I have not yet found any muster-in/muster-out records for any of the regiments in the U.S. Veterans Reserve Corps.
On August 27, 1870, Wilford, a farmer, and Hannah’s family was enumerated on the U.S. Census. They were living in Antrim Township and they owned their home, valued at $2,080. Their personal estate was worth $785. They had two more children – Ella J. (10) and Ida E. (11 months). The Sixes were neighbors of Benjamin Snively who owned several properties along the present-day Antrim Church Road. As his property was valued at $27,250 and his personal estate was $10,400, perhaps Wilford worked as a farmer for Snively.
On July 9, 1876, Wilford’s and Hannah’s only son John died at the age of 20 years, 2 months, and 17 days.
The Six family was living in Greencastle, when they were recorded on the June 8, 1880 U.S. Census, by John R. Ruthrauff. Wilford was 58 and Hannah was 54. Ella was 19 and Ida was 10 years old. Mary A. Kuhn (33), Wilford’s and Hannah’s first born child and her four-year old son Alva W. Kuhn were living in the household. Mary, a widow, evidently married and moved west, as far as Illinois, the state in which Alva was born.
Hannah Rebeccah Six died on April 6, 1885. She was 69 years and 6 days old.
Wilford applied for his pension on October 18, 1888, two years before he was recorded on the Veterans Special Schedule. Again, only Wilford’s service in the 2nd PA Heavy Artillery regiment was listed and a corroborating note was made that he was absent on the muster-out roll. Although Wilford applied to receive his pension in 1888, there was no mention of a particular ailment or disability on the 1890 form. Wilford was living in the Borough of Greencastle.
The fifth child of Wilford and Hannah, Ella J. Six, died on September 26, 1898, at the age of 33 years, 3 months, and 10 days. Ella was the last of his children who was living at home. When she died, Wilford was well into his 70s and most likely was asked by his youngest daughter Ida to come live with her and her husband John C. Crider. They were living in Peters Township when they were all recorded in the same household in June 1900. John was a farmer and they owned their home and farm but were still paying off a mortgage. Ida and John had two children, neither of whom was still living.
Wilford Six, a Civil War veteran who served his country twice, died on December 3, 1905. Upon his headstone is chiseled: I heard the voice of Jesus say Come unto me and rest. He was one month shy of his 83rd birthday, which was January 1, 1821. Wilford was buried alongside his wife Hannah, and two of his children, John and Ella, in the family plot, in Section B, Lot 80, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Antrim Township, Franklin County, PA.
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