• Kristin Wenger

Civil War: Grandfather vs. Grandfather (#52Ancestors week 21: Military)

When I was a child, I would have told you that no one in my family ever served in the military. I knew that my dad’s parents and grandparents were members of historic peace churches (Mennonite and Church of the Brethren) and were conscientious objectors to war.


In fact, my grandpa completed two years of alternative service working in a mental hospital in Connecticut, with my grandma joining him after their marriage in March 1954. Their first child, my dad, was the only member of many generations of their families to be born outside of Pennsylvania due to their service in Middletown, Connecticut.[1]


John and Doris Hornberger with baby Lenny after their return to Pennsylvania,1955


A vintage postcard of the mental hospital in Middletown, Connecticut[2]


Now that I have a much broader perspective on family history, I realize that there are actually numerous veterans among my ancestors. This week, I will profile two of my 3x great grandfathers who fought in the Civil War, one for the Union and one for the Confederacy.


Union Soldier: Martin Stormfeltz Hornberger (1845-1896)

A photograph that is believed to be Martin S. Hornberger in his Civil War uniform[3]


Martin’s gravestone in Millport Cemetery[4]


Martin appears on line 15 of this muster roll.[5]


Like many of his peers, Martin was only 19 years old when he volunteered to join the Union army in July 1864.[6] He served as a Private in Company C of the 195th Infantry Regiment.

Martin contracted typhoid fever “after a long, wet march” from Martinsburg, Virginia to Brown's Crossing, Virginia. About four months into his service, on 23 November 1864, Martin was admitted to Ward 2 of a Martinsburg Post Hospital and remained there until 9 March 1865. He was transferred to a hospital in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on 13 March 1865 and eventually ended up at Fredericksburg, MD where he was discharged on the 19 May 1865.[7]


Martin was discharged on a surgeon's certificate on 19 May 1865 [8]


After his return home, “he had a dislocation of his left hip, swelling in his left leg, pain in the left knee with open sores below the knee. He wore an elastic stocking and used crutches or a cane at times. A Lititz physician, Dr. Roebuck, told him he should not walk on his leg at all. He claimed total disability for Martin.”[9]


This list of pensioners confirms that Martin had a lame left leg, knee, and hip. In 1882, he was receiving $18.00 per month.[10]


Life after the war:

Martin initially followed in his father Samuel’s trade and worked as a cooper (barrel-maker), but he then worked most of his life as a cigar maker.[11] In February 1870, Martin married Mary Ann Cooper and the couple had thirteen children, eight of whom survived to adulthood.[12]


This 1890 special census of veterans in Warwick Township confirms Martin’s service and disability. It also lists other veterans, including Martin’s brother, Adam S. Hornberger.[13]



Martin died suddenly at age 51.[14]


Mary, age 45, was pregnant with their son Walter, who was born five months after his father’s death.[15] Mary had a small income from making cigars; however, it was not enough to support the family. She applied for a widow’s pension and approved. As part of the pension application, she described her property as a one and a half story log cabin on 4-5 acres of land on Owl Hill, Warwick Township.[16] A previous story uses maps to pinpoint the exact location of that property and its proximity to my home.


Confederate Soldier: Hiram Adkins (1833-1904)

Unfortunately, I do not have a photograph of Hiram, but I do have one of his daughter, my great-great grandmother.

Susan Catherine (Adkins) Burnum (1858-1948).

As Hiram’s oldest child, her father was away at war while she was ages four through seven. I wonder what memories she had or if her father told her any stories about his experience in the Civil War.


Hiram was born in Tennessee in February 1833 and moved to Alabama with his parents when he was a young child of three or four years old. On 3 March 1857, he married Sarah Virginia Blackwell.[17] They had two daughters before Hiram enlisted in Company K of the 56th Alabama Cavalry in May 1862.[18] He reportedly became a 1st Lieutenant in Company E of the 28th Alabama Infantry before he was discharged on 10 May 1865.[19]


Pension Application for Hiram Adkins includes details about his Civil War service.[20]


Life after the war:

Hiram and his wife had five more children after he returned from the war.[21] He became a prominent and respected citizen who held a variety of public roles.


An 1870 agricultural schedule reveals that Hiram owned 50 acres of land (10 improved and 40 woodland). His livestock included 2 mules, 2 “milch” cows, 4 working oxen, 5 sheep, and 8 swine, with a total value of $385. For the year ending 1 June 1870, he produced 10 bushels of sweet potatoes, 50 pounds of butter, and 40 gallons of molasses.[22] He listed his occupation that year as “grocer,” indicating that he was also running a store.[23]


Hiram served as Sheriff of Winston County, Alabama from 1871-1875.[24] He also was a mail contractor responsible for numerous routes.[25]


Hiram Adkins is listed as a mail contractor for forty postal routes


After moving his family to neighboring Cullman County, Alabama, he was elected Sheriff there. Hiram also ran a livery stable in Cullman and was commonly referred to as “Major Adkins” after the war.[26]


In 1889, he was appointed Deputy U.S. Marshal.[27]


Other sources reveal that he also served as a long time U.S. revenue officer [28] and was a member of the Masons and the Baptist church.[29]

A 1900 newspaper article endorsing Adkins for Sheriff [30]

Note: My grandpa, John Groenendaal, was a staunch Republican who, if memory serves, had a signed photograph of President Ronald Reagan on his wall when I was a child. I wonder if he knew his great-grandpa was equally loyal to the Democratic party?


This 1903 pension check shows he was receiving $21.65 a month.[31]

I was surprised to see that he signed his check with “his mark,” indicating that he could not write. However, perhaps he was in poor health by October 1903. Less than seven months later, he would be dead. His obituary title read:


The Cullman Tribune, 6 May 1904:

Major Adkins Passes Away. Died at His Home Thursday Morning After a Protracted Illness—Death Not Unexpected. Was a Prominent and Useful Man. Died at his home in Cullman May 4, 1904, Major Hiram Adkins, one of Cullman’s oldest and most respected citizens.[32]


Another obituary published in Waxahachie, Texas called him “one of Alabama’s most prominent citizens.”[33]


Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, I’m thankful to have a broader perspective and a deeper appreciation for the diverse history of our nation. I am amazed to think that before I started researching my roots, I had never heard the names of either of these Civil War veterans. I would not have imagined that a Confederate soldier fighting to preserve the vile institution of slavery was part of my history. These two men had very different war experiences. One was left with a lifelong disability while the other’s military service propelled him into prominent roles in his community. This Memorial Day, I'm pensive. How can we remember the service and sacrifice of those who came before us if we don't even know about it? How can we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past if we don't know history?

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. - Pearl S. Buck


For my extended family members, here is a helpful chart to show the relationship to these two Civil War soldiers:


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Sources:

[1] Doris Hornberger, grandmother of author, conversation about location of Connecticut hospital, 6 May 2018.


[2] Tom Kirsch, “CVH postcard, unknown date,” Opacity: Photographs of Abandoned Places (https://opacity.us/site156_connecticut_valley_hospital.htm#historic|cvh_postcard1 : accessed 22 May 2018).


[3] Photograph courtesy of Dan Gwinn, “Civil War Soldier Unknown Family,” Northern Lancaster County: History, posted 15 February 2014 (http://nlchistory.blogspot.com/2014/02/civil-war-soldier-unknown-family.html : accessed 22 May 2018).


[4] Kristin Wenger, photograph of Martin S. Hornberger gravestone, 14 June 2013, Millport Mennonite Cemetery, 820 Log Cabin Road, Leola, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


[5] “Pennsylvania, Civil War Muster Rolls, 1860-1869,” database with images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 May 2018) > Infantry > 195th Pennsylvania > G > image 2 of 4 > line 15: Hornberger, Martin.


[6] Ibid.


[7] Dan Gwinn, “Civil War Soldier Unknown Family,” Northern Lancaster County: History, posted 15 February 2014 (http://nlchistory.blogspot.com/2014/02/civil-war-soldier-unknown-family.html : accessed 22 May 2018).


[8] “Pennsylvania, Civil War Muster Rolls, 1860-1869,” database with images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 May 2018) > Infantry > 195th Pennsylvania > C > image 4 of 4 > “Discharged”, line 1: Hornberger, Martin.


[9] Dan Gwinn, “Civil War Soldier Unknown Family,” Northern Lancaster County: History, posted 15 February 2014 (http://nlchistory.blogspot.com/2014/02/civil-war-soldier-unknown-family.html : accessed 22 May 2018).


[10] List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883: Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for which Pensioned, Post-office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance, as Called for by Senate Resolution of December 8, 1882, Volume 2, p. 686; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com/books?id=aLkqAAAAMAAJ&q=hornberger#v=snippet&q=hornberger&f=false : accessed 22 May 2018).


[11] "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZPV-3KZ : 12 April 2016), Martin Hornberger, Pennsylvania, United States; citing p. 77, family 648, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,858. Also, "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWFR-TC6 : 15 July 2017), Martin Hornberger, Warwick, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district ED 118, sheet 305A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1140; FHL microfilm 1,255,140.


[12] Kristin Wenger, Martin Stormfeltz Hornberger profile, “Josh Alexa Nathan Wenger Tree,” Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 May 2018).


[13] 1890 U.S. Census, East Warwick, Lancaster County Pennsylvania, “Special Schedule: Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows,” Enumeration District 142, page 2, line 26, Martin S. Hornberger,” digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 May 2018), Pennsylvania > Lancaster > East Warwick > image 2 of 4; citing NARA microfilm publication M123, roll 81.


[14] “Found Dead in Bed,” The Lititz Record (Lititz, Pennsylvania), 6 November 1896, page 3, col.4; digital image, iowin (http://digitalcollections.powerlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/slchs-lnp1/id/5857/rec/1 : accessed 2 May 2018).


[15] For Walter’s birthdate of 29 March 1897, see "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JB2Q-JZG : 19 May 2014), Walter Hornberger, Dec 1966; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).


[16] Dan Gwinn, “Civil War Soldier Unknown Family,” Northern Lancaster County: History, posted 15 February 2014 (http://nlchistory.blogspot.com/2014/02/civil-war-soldier-unknown-family.html : accessed 22 May 2018).


[17] Robin Sterling, “Hiram Adkins,” Free State of Winston (https://www.freestateofwinston.org/hadkins.htm : accessed 22 May 2018); citing “Major Adkins Passes Away,” The Cullman Tribune (Cullman, Alabama), 6 May 1904.


[18] “Alabama, Confederate Service and Pension Records, 1862-1947,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com :accessed 25 April 2018); path > Confederate Pension Files > Cullman County > image 317 of 11285.


[19] Robin Sterling, “Adkins, Hiram,” Winston County, Alabama Confederate Soldiers (self-published, 2012), 14; digital image, Google Books (https://books.google.com/ : accessed 19 May 2018). Also, Robin Sterling, “Adkins, Hiram,” Cullman County, Alabama Confederate Soldiers (self-published, 2012), 13-15; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com/ : accessed 19 May 2018).


[20] “Alabama, Confederate Service and Pension Records, 1862-1947,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com :accessed 25 April 2018); path > Confederate Pension Files > Cullman County > image 317 of 11285.


[21] Robin Sterling, “Hiram Adkins,” Free State of Winston (https://www.freestateofwinston.org/hadkins.htm : accessed 22 May 2018); citing “Major Adkins Passes Away,” The Cullman Tribune (Cullman, Alabama), 6 May 1904.


[22] 1870 U.S. census, Township 11, Winston County, Alabama, agricultural schedule, Post Office: Houston, page 11, line 7, Hiram Adkins,” digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 May 2018), Alabama > Agriculture > 1870 > Winston > Township 11 > image 7 of 12.


[23] "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH27-2JW : 12 April 2016), Hiram Adkins, Alabama, United States; citing p. 12, family 85, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,544.


[24] “Sheriff’s History,” Alabama Sheriffs Association (http://www.alabamasheriffs.com/pages?id=75 : accessed 22 May 2018).


[25] United States Department of the Interior, Official Register of the United States: Containing a List of Officers and Employees in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service… (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1878), 450; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com/ : accessed 19 May 2018).


[26] Robin Sterling, “Hiram Adkins,” Free State of Winston (https://www.freestateofwinston.org/hadkins.htm : accessed 22 May 2018).


[27] “Local and Personal,” The Cullman Tribune (Cullman, Alabama), 5 September 1889, page 3, col. 2; digital image, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/18293754/the_cullman_tribune/?xid=865 : accessed 14 March 2018).


[28] Robin Sterling, “Hiram Adkins,” Free State of Winston (https://www.freestateofwinston.org/hadkins.htm : accessed 22 May 2018); citing “Major Adkins Passes Away,” The Cullman Tribune (Cullman, Alabama), 6 May 1904.


[29] Robin Sterling, “Adkins, Hiram,” Cullman County, Alabama Confederate Soldiers (self-published, 2012), 13-15; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com/ : accessed 19 May 2018).


[30] “Major Hiram Adkins,” The Tribune-Gazette (Cullman, Alabama), 27 January 1900, page 4, col. 3; digital image, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/18293411/the_tribunegazette/?xid=865 : accessed 14 March 2018).


[31] “Alabama, Confederate Service and Pension Records, 1862-1947,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com :accessed 25 April 2018); path > Confederate Pension Files > Cullman County > image 467 of 11285.


[32] Robin Sterling, “Hiram Adkins,” Free State of Winston (https://www.freestateofwinston.org/hadkins.htm : accessed 22 May 2018); citing “Major Adkins Passes Away,” The Cullman Tribune (Cullman, Alabama), 6 May 1904.


[33] “Major Adkins Passes Away,” The Waxahachie Daily Light (Waxahachie, Texas), 14 May 1904, page 1, col. 4; digital image, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/8077946/hiram_adkins_obituary/?xid=865: accessed 30 December 2016).

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