At the age of thirty-one WILLIAM M. ENGLISH with his wife and child appeared in the 1830 census, Derry Township, Westmoreland County, PA. He filed his intention to become a US citizen at the Court of Common Pleas in Pittsburgh, PA October 1844. He was admitted as a citizen September 1848. His brother John (occupation: farmer) wrote him from Cobh (Queenston), County Cork, Ireland in 1830 to announce their brother David’s death. Children in Ireland at the time were Janie, Mary Jane, James and David English.
William M. English b. Ireland 1799 and John Scott, b. Ireland 1766, were neighbors in the 1830 census. They were also neighbors in the 1840 census, Kiskiminetas Township, Armstrong County, PA. In the 1850 census John Scott, age 84, was listed as living in the WME household, on Liberty Street, in Allegheny City, Ward 4, Pittsburgh's North Side.
Sources: Census, Court records, 1830 correspondence, 1852 Pittsburgh City Directory.
JANE SCOTT ENGLISH b. 1802, was she the daughter of John Scott? Scotland> Ireland> Canada> Pennsylvania> Iowa per traditional family history.* The family bible was published in 1822 Edinburgh, Scotland. In the 1830 census, her neighbors were John Scott's family and Margaret Scott's family, both possibly related to her. Afterwards she and her family, which eventually grew to two sons and five daughters, moved to Armstrong County, PA and then to Allegheny City. The Rock Island Bridge over the Mississippi was completed in 1856 and Jane Scott English, Lettie age 14, William T. age 16, and David Scott English's family were all in Davenport, Iowa.
Sources: *Josephine English Campbell correspondence, Family Bible,1856 Iowa census
DAVID SCOTT ENGLISH b. Sep 1833 was the son of William M. and Jane Scott English, Pennsylvania, Westmoreland County, in a township known as an "Irish settlement." By 1840 the family had moved a short distance northward to Armstrong County, probably farming near Spring Church, PA. In 1844 they were in Allegheny City. In 1856 DSE and his extended family moved to Davenport, Iowa. Later the family was in Xenia, OH, Greene County for seventeen years. Westmoreland County, PA> Armstrong County, PA> Allegheny City, PA> Davenport, Iowa> Greene County, OH 1868> and Hutchinson, KS 1885.
For nineteen years David and his younger brother lived in adjoining counties in Ohio and Kansas, practicing the blacksmithing trade.
He was accidentally injured and died seven days later. "On last Wednesday evening while alighting from a moving street car at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue, Mr. DS English of the firm of English & Goodin, of the Hutchinson Carriage Factory, slipped and fell, sustaining a fracture on the left hip and pelvic bones. He was taken to his home, corner of Second Avenue and Poplar Street. Dr. Klippell was called, but his injuries were of such a character that at this writing very slight hopes are entertained of his recovery." Hutchinson News, June 1887.
Sources: Hutchinson Daily News, census, obituaries.
WILLIAM THOMAS ENGLISH b. Jul 1840 and SARAH ANN DAVIS ENGLISH b. Apr 1839 were married in Allegheny City, PA April 1862. When their first child was four months old WTE joined Captain Horatio Tyler's Independent Artillery Company of Volunteers for an enlistment of six months. This was the summer of 1863, around the time of General Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania.
In January of 1865 their second child was born and a month later WTE re-enlisted. He and his brother-in-law, Joseph Gray, were mustered into the 61st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Co. I at Pittsburgh. He traveled with 500 fresh troops as they set off for the state of Virginia. Eventually they steamed up the James River to City Point where they boarded a troop train to join the siege of Petersburg in early March 1865. According to family tradition Gray saved WTE's life in the Petersburg fighting, WTE named his son, Joseph Gray English, after him. His grandson was also named Joseph Gray English.
Grant was lengthening the Union lines and as the Confederates stretched their defenses to match his troop placements their 37 miles of trenches became thinly manned. Lee’s forces numbered 60,000 and Grant’s 110,000. By Mid-March there was unbearable pressure on the Southern forces and it was decided to stage a surprise attack on Grant’s lines at Fort Stedman to get some relief. CSA General John Gordon led the troops and they successfully broke through Union lines. However, the attack bogged down and stalled. “A young corporal watched in amazement as a much smaller counter-charge by Union reinforcements pushed back the disorganized Confederates and reclaimed the fort.” -Blood, Tears, and Glory, Bissland, Orange Frazer Press, 2007, p. 419. The 61st PVI carried an outer line of fortifications on this day March 25, 1865.
Petersburg was a rail center with five lines that brought in men and supplies. By this time all but one line had been cut, the South Side Railroad. On March 29 twenty-two thousand troops under General Sheridan engaged CSA Gen. Pickett at Five Forks. It was Sheridan’s victory and the last major supply line into Petersburg and Richmond was disabled. The beginning of the end.
On April 2, 14,000 Union troops overran the Rebel fortifications in a battle known as “The Breakthrough” at Pamplin, a site declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006. General Wright led the VI Corps and the 61st PVI helped spearhead the attack. The regiment suffered 62 casualties and the regimental commander, Lt. Col. John W. Crosby, was fatally wounded. 12,000 Confederate prisoners were taken along with 50 pieces of Confederate artillery. The ten month siege of Petersburg was over.
Lee’s troops evacuated and crossed the Appomattox River, “Lee’s Retreat” began. There were long columns on two separate roads. CSA Gen. Gordon’s troops formed a rear guard and the rebel cavalry took the point, clearing the roads as necessary. At the battle of “Sayler’s Creek” one of the columns was attacked and defeated by Federal troops. There were 2000 Confederate casualties and 6,000 prisoners taken, totaling about 25 percent of Lee’s forces. The 61st PVI fired it’s final shots in a small support role at this battle on April 6, 1865.
The 61st PVI was present at Lee's surrender April 9, 1865. Lee's soldier's were paroled, allowed to keep their horses, and officers were permitted to retain side arms. 25,000 rations were issued by the Union army to the Confederates. “As the head of the Confederate column passed, Chamberlain ordered a bugle call, and the whole Federal line, regiment by regiment, snapped from “order arms” to “carry arms” - the marching salute. Gen. Gordon, leading the Confederate procession, looked up and taking the meaning, wheeled superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he dropped the point of his sword to the boot toe…” -Whip the Rebellion , Walsh, 2005, Doherty Associates, New York, pp. 399-421.
The regiment paraded as part of the public review of the VI Corps that was held on June 8, 1865 in Washington, DC.
Allegheny City, PA> Beaver County, PA> Camanche, Iowa 1867> Clinton County, Ohio 1869> Stafford County, KS 1885. In Kansas WTE opened a blacksmith shop with his son AG English in the tiny farming community of Macksville, KS in the spring of 1886. The railroad was completed in the summer of 1886. His brother DSE moved to Hutchinson, Reno County, KS in 1885. WTE homesteaded a farm south of Macksville.
WTE and his older brother named sons after each other. There’s a town map from a County Land Ownership Atlas showing WTE’s house and blacksmith shop in Reesville, OH 1875. WTE, his wife and five children are all buried at Farmington Cemetery on the eastern edge of Macksville, KS.
Sources: Census, National Archives, Regimental History, Census, Stafford County History, obituary, traditional family history.