Sunday, May 5, 2013

Peter Preston Holsinger, Civil War Veteran, Third American Civil War Challenge

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Bill West of West in New England has issued the challenge, which in part reads:

Did you have ancestors in America during the Civil War? If so, where were they and what were their circumstances?

For this challenge I am going to chat about Peter Preston Holsinger, who I have blogged about before.

Peter Preston Holsinger was born October 6, 1837 in Rockingham County, Virginia, the son of John Holsinger and his wife Delila.  (Delila was either a Spitzer or a Cowan, research has failed to proved either maiden name.)

On October 21, 1860, Peter married Anna Catherine Spitzer, with whom he had 1 child.  Research has not shown us much more about Anna, her son was born just after the outbreak of the Civil War.  

Peter's compiled service records show that he served in Company H, 12th Calvary, Virginia. He served during the Civil War, enlisting on March 1, 1862.  He was taken prisoner at Berryville, VA on November 29, 1862 and arrived at Old Capitol Prison on December 3, 1862. He was exchanged on March 29, 1863. Peter was again taken prisoner at New Market, VA on December 19, 1863 and sent to Camp Chase. {It should be noted that New Market is just a few miles from where he lived all of his life.  Something sad about being taken prisoner so close to home.}  He finished his imprisonment at Ft. Delaware and was released at the end of the war. His cousin Abraham died and is buried at Pt. Lookout Prison, MD. Old Capitol Prison is now the U.S. Supreme Court.; Prison: Fort Delaware Old Capitol Prison Point Lookout.

Below, one of the sixteen cards in Peter's compiled service record, showing his status as Prisoner of War at Fort Delaware.

Below, two images, each one half of the book of the records from Fort Delaware.  (Source:  Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865, accessed at

I have yet to discover any proof that Peter ever applied for any pensions available to Civil War veterans in the Commonwealth of  Virginia.

Peter took as his second bride, Mary A. Kessler on Januay 16, 1866 in Rockingham County, Virginia.  Peter and Mary had 6 known children.  Peter is found on the census reports of Rockingham County through 1920.  He was a farmer, and is so listed on the 1910 census.  By 1920, he is living with his son Harper, and is retired, showing no occupation.

Peter's obituary was published in the Saturday, May 9, 1925 issue of the "Daily News-Record", Harrisonburg, Virginia:
     "Another Gallant Confederate Dies
     P. P. Holsinger, One of Rosser's Men,
     Passes Away Near
(Special to the Daily News-Record)
     Broadway, May 8 - - P. P. Holsinger, aged 88, prosperous farmer and a gallant Confederate Veteran, died early today at his Newdale home, three miles east of here.   Death was due to informaties of age. He had been in failing health for three years.
     Funeral services will be held Sunday morning from the Linville Creek Church of the Brethren, Rev. J. S. Wampler, assisted by Rev. S. D. Zigler, officating.  Friends will leave the Holsinger home at ten o'clock.
     All of Mr. Holsinger's long life was spent in this section.  He was a faithful member of the Church of the Brethren for many years. He was a prosperous farmer known to a host of friends for his great generosity and kindness of heart.
      Mr. Holsinger was a gallant Confederate soldier, serving throughout the War Between the States.   He was a member of the 12th Virginia Calvary, Co. H under Gen. Rosser.  He was twice captured and once wounded, serving 18 months in prison at Fort Delaware.  Upon one occasion, he had his horse shot from beneath him.
     His wife, Mrs. Mary Holsinger  died 15 (16? hard to read) years ago.
     Surviving are:  Six children - - W. B. and O. L. of near Mayland; H. D., at home; S. D. , of Staunton; Mrs. Ida C. Yates, of Fairfax; Mrs. C. G. Trumbo, of near Timberville; one sister, Mrs. Sallie Holsinger, of Saerles, N.D.; and one half-brother and five half-sisters, all of the Newdale section.   A large number of grand and great-grand children also survive."

His probate papers state his estate consisted "of my home place of about 83 acres..."  Peter's estate was assessed at $4,200.00 and personal property valued at $5,700.00.

Peter and Mary are buried side by side at the Linville Brethren Church Cemetery, Broadway, Rockingham County, Virginia. His stone is quite worn and despite several tries I have found it hard to photograph.

Peter was my great great grandfather .

*  Photo courtesy of Paul G. Holsinger, M. D., in his work, Descendants of David Holsinger of Virginia, published in 1969.


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