F. Jesse Beard of Company C, Cole’s Cavalry


Flor Jesse Beard was born on November 12, 1835 at Fountaindale, PA. Upon the returning home he enlisted in Cole’s Cavalry, Company C (1st Potomac Home Brigade, Maryland) on November 4, 1862 as corporal. F. Jesse Beard mustered out of service on June 28, 1865. He died on October 14, 1901

F. Jesse Beard’s Fall from an Apple Tree Proves Fatal


The Accident Happened Ten days Ago and was a prominent citizen. Served as a School Director And Town Councilman. Foreman of the Wood Department at Geiser Company for 28 years.

F. Jesse Beard, one of Waynesboro’s most prominent citizen, died Tuesday evening at a quarter before five o’clock at his residence, 56 East Main street, aged 65 years, 11 months and 8 days. Though not unexpected, his death came as a shock to this community where he was known well and so favorably known, and wide spread sorrow is felt today for the loss of a good man.

The primary cause of Mr. Beard’s death reunited from a fall from an apple tree near town, ten days ago, producing a violent shock to his nervous system in addition to a number of bruises about the body and head, and possibly causing a fracture at the base of the droll.

Three days later the rupture of an artery of the brain occurred, and later; cerebral trouble developed. Last Thursday evening he had a slight stroke of paralysis, affecting the right side of his, face, tongue and throat; later heart trouble ensued, the complication baffling the skill of the attending physicians. About 10 o’clock Tuesday morning he became unconscious, in which condition he remained until dissolution took place at the hour stated, when, in the presence of his devoted children, he peacefully passed away.

Mr. Beard was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth Beard and was born on his father’s farm at Fountaindale, Adams County, where he grew to manhood. While yet a young man, he went to Springfield, Illinois, when he learned the trade of millwright. Returning home later, he enlisted in the army in 1862 and served three years in Captain Cole’s cavalry company of Frederick, Md., participating in a number of battles and skirmishes until the close of the Civil War.

In 1866 he married Miss Mary E. Buhrman of Fountaindale, who died nine years ago, by whom he had ten children, of whom six survive. In 1872 Mr. Beard removed to Waynesboro where he has since resided, taking an active and prominent in all her affairs, both, industrial and educational.

He was especially prominent in the affairs of the Geiser Mfg. Co., almost from it’s beginning, and in whose; growth and development he was not only much interested, but in which he had a large share, being for some time a member of the Board of Directors and for years a stockholder.

For twenty-eight years, he was employed in the wood department of the Geiser Company being a foreman for a number of years, until two years ago when he retired from active life. As said, Mr. Beard was much interested in the cause of education and general affairs of the town, serving several terms of as school director and a member of the town council, in both of these spheres of activity, he exerted a wide influence by reason of his intelligence and sound judgment.

At the time of his death, he was president of the Burns Hill Cemetery association, with which he had been closely identified for some years. He was a lifelong member of the Methodist church and at his death was a trustee and treasurer an evidence of his prominence in the congregation. He was also a past commander of the Captain Walker Post, G.A.R. His death removes one our best and most useful citizens, and his children suffer the loss of a kind and indulgent father.


Exploits of the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Before The Battle of Gettysburg

Moyer, Henry P. History of the Seventeenth regiment, Pa. volunteer cavalry or one hundred and sixty-second in line of Pa. volunteer regiments, war to supline the rebellion, 1861-1865; by Pennsylvania cavalry. 17th regt., 1862-1865; 1911,


As we crossed the boundary line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, one of the guidon carriers of Company G, of our regiment, was stationed at the line making the announcement to each company as they approached, that they were, at that point, entering upon Pennsylvania soil. The boys raised their caps and lustily cheered, again and again, for the old Keystone State and Old Glory.

On June 29, 1863, the regiment encamped for the first time, since it left Harrisburg, on Pennsylvania soil, in the vicinity of Waynesboro, in sight of the homes of many of the members of Company G. A request was made to Colonel Josiah H. Kellogg to permit the men of Company G, to visit their homes during the night, which request was granted, however, only upon condition that every member of the company would be present again at roll call the following morning. Captain L. B. Kurtz commanding the company vouched for the men, and, to the credit of the company, it could be truthfully said that every member of the company was present for duty and answered roll call the next morning. It was in this same camp that, early the following morning, an old Pennsylvania farmer and his daughter drove into our camp with a one horse spring wagon and handed out loaves of bread and cakes, free of charge, saying he and his wife and daughter stayed up all night and baked them for the soldiers. “They are yours,” he continued, “you are welcome to them. I wish I had more to give you.” The boys doffed their caps and thanked the donors. Then someone proposed three cheers for the old farmer, another proposed three cheers for his wife, and still another proposed three cheers for the daughter. It is needless to say that in less time than it takes to tell this little incident, the bread and cakes were all distributed. The old farmer said, if we would remain until next morning, he would come again with more bread and cakes; but, before he left camp, “Boots and Saddles” sounded, and we parted, he no doubt for his home, and the regiment in the direction of Gettysburg where we arrived about four o clock in the afternoon of June 30, 1863.


We crossed the river on pontoons at Edwards Ferry and took up the line of march through Maryland, moving so as to cover the left flank of the army. The country was loyal and men and horses recuperated rapidly. Passing near Frederick City, Md., a luckless spy happened to fall within our clutches. A drumhead court-martial dealt out prompt justice and his body was left hanging to a tree by the road side. A committee of indignant citizens called on General Buford and wanted to know why he was hanged. General Buford informed them that the man was a spy and he was afraid to send him to Washington because he knew the authorities would make him a brigadier General. The committee retired, unanimously voting General Buford a “Northern brute.” The march through Western Maryland was thoroughly enjoyable good roads, frequent streams of water, fine camping grounds, sympathizing people often crowding villages and country towns as we swept on through them. Mails, with letters from home, and newspapers, too, met us and were distributed almost every day. Later in the day June 29th w r e crossed the boundary line into Franklin County, Pa. The men of Company G, of this regiment, commanded by Captain Luther B. Kurtz, were natives of this county, and mostly recruited at or near Waynesboro. A trooper of this company, with guidon, stood at the line while the regiment passed, and each squadron lustily cheered him as we hastened on.

The division crossed the South Mountain on a good highway, along which the enemy s cavalry had preceded us some days. The road at some points had been barricaded by home guards and local troops to retard their progress, but these obstructions had mostly been removed. The command bivouacked on the night of the 29th at the foot of South Mountain, with orders to move at sunrise. The camp, as near as we can remember, was some eight or ten miles east of Waynesboro, the home of Captain L. B. Kurtz and the home of the men of Company G. The captain asked Colonel Kellogg for permission to take his company and spend the night in his native village. The request was novel; the orders under which the command was marching were very exacting. The colonel was a West Pointer and a strict disciplinarian. On the other hand, the sympathies of every officer in the command were with Captain Kurtz and his men. The request was granted and Company G went home for the night, leaving assurances of honor that all would be back at the hour the column would march, and, true to their word and country, they came, and when they reported the next morning, without a man missing or a straggler, they received a warm greeting from their generous, though less fortunate, companions.


A RETROSPECT, pg. 379-380

General Buford s Division crossed the Pennsylvania line in Franklin County on the 20th of June Passing over the South Mountain it went into camp near Fairfield for the night, in a region abounding in forage and water for our jaded horses, as well as in supplies of Pennsylvania bread and meat for the wearied men of the command. The days march was uneventful, save in the short but eloquent speeches made by the captains in obedience to orders, and in the responsive and ringing cheers made by the gallant soldiers as they marched by the trooper of Company G, who stood with streaming guidon, on the boundary line of the State, indicating our exit from doubtful Maryland into loyal Pennsylvania.

The restful camp that followed our march over the mountain was memorable only in the departure of Company G on a social visit for the night to their homes, at and near Waynesboro, in the exercise of authority reluctantly given them by Colonel Kellogg, and their return without a man missing by sunrise on the following morning, in fulfillment of their pledge of honor. The day s march had a significance, however, far beyond the comprehension of the toiling officer and soldier of the line. The trained eye and splendid forecast of General Buford, scanned with eager interest the landscape that opened to his view on this mountain highway. Gravely impressed by the importance of impending events, Buford said to the officers surrounding him “within forty-eight hours, the concentration of both armies will take place upon some field within view, and a great battle will be fought.” By the examination of a local map obtained in the neighborhood, the remarkable convergence of broad highways at Gettysburg was first clearly disclosed to the officers in command, and indicated the approximate field of the coming conflict. To this point, under general instructions, Buford hastened and directed his next day s march. It is a remarkable coincidence that on the evening of this day, June 29, General Lee issued his order for the concentration of his army at Cashtown, recalling General Ewell from the Susquehanna. The march of

Buford’s column northward, reported to Lee by his secret service, indicated the advance of the Army of the Potomac in the same direction. This movement precipitated preparations for what was then, as well as subsequently, believed to be the greatest battle of the war.

The advance of all columns was upon Gettysburg on the morning of June 30, save that commanded by General Stuart; General Ewell from the east, General Hill from the north, General Longestreet from the west; from the south, General Buford on the left, General Gregg on the right, covering the capital, and the face of the country from Hanover to Fairfield the Army of the Potomac, under a new commander was moving to strike the Army of Northern Virginia whenever found.


On the night of June 29th, the regiment encamped upon Pennsylvania soil, about eight miles from Waynesboro, almost in sight of the homes of the members of Company G. I heard Colonel Bean, in a public address, make the statement that Captain Kurtz, commanding Company G, asked permission at this time to allow his men to visit their homes during the night, and that this permission was granted upon condition that every member of the company must report for duty again at sunrise the following morning; and that, to the credit of Company G, it could truthfully be said that every member of the company answered roll call the next morning.

Lt. Henry G. Bonebrake

Moyer, Henry P. History of the Seventeenth regiment, Pa. volunteer cavalry or one hundred and sixty-second in line of Pa. volunteer regiments, war to supline the rebellion, 1861-1865; by Pennsylvania cavalry. 17th regt., 1862-1865; 1911, pg. 155-156

histseventee00editrich_0184Lieutenant Henry G. Bonebrake was born near Waynesboro, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, June 21, 1838. His early life was spent on the farm with his father in the vicinity of Waynesboro, Pa. On September 8, 1862, he went to the office of Michael H. Stoner, a justice of the peace in Waynesboro, and signed the muster roll of the Waynesboro Cavalry, then being recruited in Franklin county, and later became one of the chief promoters of the company. When the company was permanently organized he was elected first sergeant of the company and served in that capacity until December 15, 1864, when he was commissioned second lieutenant.

On January 14, 1865, he was commissioned first lieutenant of the company. From the day the company was mustered into the United States service, September 26, 1862, until the day of his muster out of the service, June 21, 1865, he had a continuous service record with the company.

On October, 1863, during the engagement at Stephensburg, Virginia, his horse was shot on the skirmish line. He, with Comrade Aaron Harman who was also dismounted at the time, was cut off from the company and experienced great difficulty in crossing a swollen stream in their rear.

While emerging from the stream on the opposite side, they were greeted with a volley of Rebel bullets and he received a slight wound. On December 23, 1864, in the mounted charge near Gordonsville, Virginia, his horse was again shot from under him, receiving two bullet wounds, and was killed.

On April 1, 1865, at the battle of Five Forks, Virginia, while charging the enemy’s breastworks, Lieutenant Bonebrake and Comrade William Cummings were the first to leap over the breastworks. Seeing a Rebel battery flag, he made a dash for it, but failed in the attempt to capture it. A short distance to the right was another Confederate color-bearer who was enthusiastically waving his flag and urging his comrades to stand by the colors. While the color bearer s attention was principally directed to the assault in his immediate front, Lieutenant Bonebrake rushed to his side, grasped his colors and demanded his surrender. A hand to hand struggle followed and he succeeded in capturing the flag.

histseventee00editrich_0187For this distinguished and meritorious act he was one of fifty-one who, having captured Confederate flags, presented in person their trophies to the Secretary of War, the Honorable Edwin M. Stanton, receiving his warm personal congratulations. All who presented Confederate flags on that occasion were granted a thirty days furlough. In further recognition of his distinguished bravery, he received from the War Department, May 5, 1865, a medal of honor for conspicuous bravery in the battle of Five Forks, Virginia, April 1, 1865, together with the following letter:



WASHINGTON, D. C, MAY 3, 1865.

Lieutenant H. G. Bonebrake, Company G, Seventeenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry.

Sir : Herewith I enclose the medal of honor which has been awarded you under the resolution of Congress, approved July 12, 1862 : To provide for the presentation of medals of honor to the enlisted men of the army and volunteer forces who have distinguished or may distinguish themselves in battle during the present rebellion. Please acknowledge the receipt.

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,

W. A. NICHOLS, Assistant Adjutant General.

An act of Congress approved April 23, 1904, provided for the issue of a medal. The first was of bronze, the latter of silver heavily electrotyped in gold. It is much handsomer than the old medal. The new medal was received by Lieutenant Bonebrake on Memorial Day, May 30, 1905. Lieutenant Bonebrake prizes these medals very highly and regards them as rare souvenirs to hand down to his posterity. Lieutenant Bonebrake was regularly mustered out of the United States service, with his company, at Clouds Mills, Virginia, in obedience to General Order No. 312, War Department, June 16, 1865.

Captain John Walker


In October 1861, John A. Walker enlisted in Company A, 77th Pennsylvania Infantry at Chambersburg, PA. Upon enlistment he was given the first lieutenancy of his company. Lieutenant Walker saw his first major action at the Battle of Shiloh in April of 1862. In December, he was wounded in the knee at the Battle of Stones River, Tenn.

Lieutenant Walker returned to Waynesboro while recuperating from his injury. In February of 1863, he was promoted to Captain and took command of Company A. During September and October of 1863, Walker fought well at Battle of Chickamauga and Siege of Chattanooga.

In March of 1864, Captain Walker returned to Waynesboro to recruit men for his company. The newspaper called him “A brave and competent officer, as has been shown on various battle-fields and recruits could join no more creditable organization.” Captain Walker was killed on August 5th, 1864 just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Isaac Newton Snively

60130384_138716667574Isaac Newton Snively was born in 1839 near Jackson Hall in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He was a school teacher in Waynesboro and earned a medical degree in 1862, graduating from Jefferson Medical College. He practiced in Chambersburg in 1863 and was appointed by Pennsylvania Andrew Curtin as surgeon of the 20th Pennsylvania Militia. After the Battle of Gettysburg was over and the Confederate army was south side of the Potomac River, Snively mustered out of the militia.

In 1864, during the Confederate raid on Chambersburg, Snively’s home was among those destroyed when the Confederate cavalry torched the town. After the Chambersburg Raid, Snively reenlisted in the Union army.

After, the Civil War, Snively returned to Waynesboro establishing another medical practice. He developed an interest in minerals and eventually formed a few partnerships for the mining of copper in South Mountain near Fountaindale during the 1870s-1900s. Snively died in 1913 and is buried at Green Hill Cemetery.


Henry G. Bonebrake, Franklin County’s Medal of Honor Recipent


Did you know that Waynesboro, Pennsylvania was home to a Medal of Honor recipient from the American Civil War? Henry G. Bonebrake was born on June 21, 1838. During his youth, he attended various schools in Washington Township. At the onslaught of the American Civil War, Mr. Bonebrake was a teacher.

During the first Confederate invasion of the north known as the Maryland Campaign, Mr. Bonebrake enlisted in a cavalry company that was being raised in Waynesboro on September 12th, 1862. Mr. Bonebrake and many other soldiers would be mustered into the U.S. service on September 26th, 1862. Upon formation at Harrisburg, the Waynesboro Company was assigned as Company G, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Mr. Bonebrake was elected as First Sergeant of the company.

During the Civil War, he fought in many engagements and on three occasions had his horse shot from under him. The 17th Pennsylvania served under General John Buford’s Cavalry Division in Colonel Thomas Devin’s Brigade during the Battle of Gettysburg.

On December 28, 1864, First Sergeant Bonebrake was promoted to Second Lieutenant. Lt. Henry Bonebrake distinguished himself once more during the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia in April of 1865. On May 5th, 1865, Lieutenant Bonebrake was the recipient of the Medal of Honor for his action during the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia. His citation read “As one of the first of Devin’s Division to enter the works, he fought in a hand-to-hand struggle with a Confederate to capture his flag by superior physical strength.” Lieutenant Bonebrake was one of 51 Union soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor for capturing Rebel flags during the war. He and the other 50 personally handed their flags to then Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

May 28th, 1865, he was again promoted to First Lieutenant. Company G, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry was mustered out of U.S. service on June 21st, 1865.

After the Civil War, Mr. Bonebrake continued his teaching career. He also went into farming. He later became a businessman owning a grocery store. In 1898, he became Assistant Postmaster. He was also married two times. His first wife Cora Walters died in 1899 and his second wife, Clara Palm died in 1909.

In 1905, Bonebrake was given a silver replacement of the Medal of Honor. Bonebrake died from a stroke on October 26th, 1912, and is buried at Green Hill Cemetery.

Several decades after his death, Bonebrake was honored twice, once in 1987 and again on July 27th, 2002 when a bronze tablet of the Medal of Honor was dedicated.