James Jagger (pictured here with his family from left rear: Edna, Lily, Will, Jess, Ruth, Rose, May, Mattie, front row - Lee, Bessie, James, Frances, Harry, Allie.) settled in the north of Adams County, near the coal mine of John Jacob Weidenhamer III. Soon afterwards, his wife Jane migrated from England to join him. Jane died in childbirth (d. Oct. 28, 1870), and the baby girl died shortly afterwards. They were buried at the Mt. Horeb Cemetery, 5 miles east of the town of Golden. James Jagger roomed with coal mine owner (and farmer and businessman) John Jacob Weidenhamer III (of Baden, Germany ancestry) and his wife Elizabeth Glenn Weidenhamer (her ancestry includes Glenn of Northern Ireland, Tucker of early Jamestown, Cherokee, and Choctaw). On December 25, 1870, our James Jagger married their daughter Frances Fredericka Weidenhamer. The first of their 13 kids was born in 1871, and 12 survived to adulthood (pictured above). Soon after the marriage, James and Frances were baptized into the United Brethren Church. They lived, while in Adams County, in Fowler, Camp Point (e.g. 1880 census), and Golden. He came home from work black from coal. At some point his hand was injured, and it appears from old photos that the index finger of his left hand was partly gone. James was in good health, liked long walks, and played the accordion.


The largest land battle ever fought in North Carolina began on March 19, 1865. At Bentonville, Confederate forces under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston tried to stop the northward advance of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, who sought eventually to join forces with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia. Confederate troops were in place across the Goldsboro Road the morning of March 19, blocking the Union Left Wing under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum. The fighting was heavy, and United States forces had some setbacks.

Late afternoon on March 20, Private John Chancy Weidenhamer (eldest brother of my great-grandmother Frances Weidenhamer Jagger) arrived at the Bentonville battlefield to reinforce the Union troops. J.C. Weidenhamer had some help: Sherman’s Right Wing (Army of The Tennessee), under the command of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard.

Private Weidenhamer had joined the army at age 16, threatening to run away if permission was not given. He sought to take the place of his father John Jacob Weidenhamer III, who was too ill to serve when drafted after his first discharge. J.C. had turned 16 on Aug. 2, 1864, and he was mustered in as a substitute on October 14, 1864. From November 15, the 12th Illinois Infantry was part of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to The Sea (Savannah Campaign), with a goal of speeding the end of war. Following the Savannah Campaign, Sherman began the Carolinas Campaign, leading to the Battle of Bentonville.

When Howard’s Right Wing joined comrades at Bentonville on March 20, 1865, his troops extended Slocum’s right flank. There was heavy skirmishing on March 21. The
12th Illinois Regiment was commanded by Lt. Col. Henry Van Stellar. The 12th was part of Col. Robert N. Adams’ 2nd Brigade of Maj. Gen John M. Corse’s 4th Division of Maj. Gen. John A. Logan’s XV Corps. This corps was under Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard’s Right Wing (Army of The Tennessee) of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s army. Over the course of the battle, the 12th Illinois Infantry Regiment advanced north behind their skirmishers parallel to, & left of, the Bentonville Road (Route 1197). They apparently held at the south rim of a now-wooded swampy ravine at Sam Howell Branch, opposite the Confederates. John Chancy Weidenhamer was reportedly never wounded, but his regiment lost 260 during the entire war. Union forces (but not the 12th) used a local home, Harper House (still standing), as a field hospital. The night of March 21 the armies were drenched by rain. The Confederates withdrew during the night, having learned that more Unions troops, under Maj. Gen. John Schofield, had reached Goldsboro, a supply depot and rail junction.

After Bentonville, the 12th Illinois occupied Goldsboro (March 24), & then Raleigh (Apr. 14). Union troops were in Raleigh when Sherman’s escort rode out to meet Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston to negotiate the Confederate surrender. Sherman felt that he understood Lincoln’s intention to not be overly punitive to the South in the terms of surrender. The morning that Sherman was to first meet with Johnston, Sherman swore the telegraph guy to secrecy about the newly decoded telegram. The mounted escorts of Sherman & Johnston met along the road between Raleigh & Hillsboro, near Durham Station. Johnston said that he had just passed a farm where perhaps they could hold their meeting. The Bennett family (who had lost several men to the war) agreed to loan them their residential cabin while the family stayed in the kitchen cabin. Sherman showed Johnston the telegram: Lincoln had been assassinated. Sherman and Johnston met further times, after consultations with superiors. The surrender was signed on April 26, 1865, at Bennett Place.

Johnston defied Jefferson Davis, who wanted to fight on indefinitely. Sherman defied those in D.C. who wanted to be more punitive to the South. They did a good thing in ending the killing & establishing fair terms.
Lee had already surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, & Johnston’s largest surrender of Confederate troops ended the war. Sherman and Johnston also became friends. Johnston attended Sherman’s funeral in later years, stood bareheaded in the rain, caught a cold & later pneumonia, which killed him.

After the Bennett Place April 26 surrender, John Chancy Weidenhamer’s unit went on to Richmond & Washington D.C., where the 12th was in the Grand Review parade of May 24, 1865. Later, the regiment went to Louisville, and were finally discharged on July 18, 1865, at Camp Butler, Illinois.

See the regimental history at Also, see's_March_to_the_Sea

John Chancy Weidenhamer had been born on a farm in Adams County, Illinois. He did farm work, and also had hauled coal. There were several coal mines nearby. Following the December 26, 1867, marriage of Amanda Jane Griffiths (reportedly kin to Davy Crockett) and John Chancy Weidenhamer, he worked the farm awhile. J.C.’s future brother-in-law James Jagger (my great-grandfather) came from England in 1869 to mine coal in Adams County.

John Chancy Weidenhamer was listed as a farmer in the 1870 census of adjacent Schuyler County, but two of their children were buried on the Adams County side of the line, at Mt. Horeb Church. The same cemetery holds the graves of James Jagger’s first wife Jane Emmerson Liddell Jagger and their infant daughter. On December 25, 1870, James Jagger married Frances Frederika Weidenhamer, sister of John Chancy Weidenhamer.

In 1877, John Chancy Weidenhamer moved his family to Galesburg, Illinois, to work for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroad. He began the family railroading involvement, which eventually included large numbers of kin. He began as a brakeman (e.g. 1880 census of Galesburg), and became a conductor. At some point he was dragged by a waycar, and this may have contributed to his rheumatism. He died at age 54, in 1902. J.C. and Amanda were reportedly happy, and were very loving and kind parents.


Elizabeth Ann Weidenhamer was a sister of my ancestor Frances Fredericka Weidenhamer Jagger (b. 1855). Prior to Elizabeth’s marriage in 1867 to her second cousin Albert B. Straub, Albert was in Company E of the 50th Illinois Infantry through the Civil War. Albert’s regiment had several operations parallel to those of the 12th Illinois Infantry in which served Albert’s cousin and future brother-in-law John Chancey Weidenhamer. Both units were involved in the March to the Sea, Battle of Bentonville N.C., surrender of Confederates at Bennett Place (near Durham), and Grand Review in Washington, D. C.

Corporal Albert B. Straub (pictured) was at the Battle of Shiloh, April 6 & 7, 1862. At that same battle, on the Confederate side, was Pvt. Othaniel Arthur Rice, 2nd great-grandfather of Charlotte Anne Donald Muffley, my deceased first wife. Othaniel, formerly a plantation overseer, was in the First Regiment of Mississippi Cavalry at Shiloh; after the battle he was hospitalized at a makeshift hospital at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, and he died there.
At the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, Albert B. Straub’s 50th Illinois Infantry was in the 3rd Brigade (& J.C. Weidenhamer’s 12th Illinois Infantry was in the 2nd Brigade) of the 2nd Division under Brigadier General W.H.L. Wallace. The 2nd Division was part of the Army of the Tennessee, Major General Ulysses S. Grant commanding. Also at the Battle of Shiloh were some companies of the 18th Regiment of Missouri Infantry, but apparently not company K, in which there was some Pvt. Joseph M. Muffley; that regiment was stationed at Corinth awhile.

The photo of Albert B. Straub in corporal’s stripes was taken during his regiment’s stay in Corinth, Mississippi. He was in service for nearly 4 years, and was discharged as a first sergeant. In 1867, Albert B. Straub married Elizabeth Ann Weidenhamer. Albert’s work included farming, dry goods, groceries, railroading, and justice of the peace. He was Station Master for the railroad at Galesburg, Illinois, for some time. Albert and Elizabeth had at least 9 kids, contributing substantially to the huge railroading clan of Weidenhamer and associated families. See

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