The Philadelphia Volunteers

28th and 116th Pa. Infantry

Submitted by Tony Hoover CTonyHoover@cs.com

He would gladly accept reasonable comments and corrections



Actually, few letters of this group concern the civil war. The chapter title is used for thematic connection. This group could more accurately be grouped by the Bibighaus family connection.

Sarah Eastburn married Charles T. Bibighaus on June 18, 1868. They apparently did not know each other during the period of the Civil War. It is assumed that Sally met Charlie as a result of her working in downtown Philadelphia.

Charlie served in the Union army. His brother William volunteered in August 1862. Charlie and his brother Henry A. volunteered in September as privates in Co. E., 8th Pa. Militia. This unit was organized in early September and they were discharged as a unit at the end of September, 1862. Why is not known. Although Henry apparently did not reenlist, Charles was mustered into Co. E. of the 29th Regiment, which was recruited in Philadelphia, on April 18th of 1863 for a 3 year enlistment as a private. At that point his brother William had just been promoted to 2nd Lt. in his regiment, the 116th. Unfortunately, by August William had died at Washington D.C. and then buried in Philadelphia. Charlie went on to finish his tour through the end of the war, although he was wounded. He was mustered out from Company E, 29th Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania on 17 July 1865.

As can be seen from the letters, Charlie’s brother Henry Bibighaus went west.

This combination of a.) family pressure caused by the danger, even death, of family members in the Civil War, and b.) family separation caused by westward expansion, can be seen elsewhere in the family. Sally’s daughter, Emma, married John S. Donal, Jr. Like Emma, John’s father and uncle were in the war. John Donal, Sr., served in the 28th Pa. Volunteer Infantry from July 3, 1861 to April 8, 1863 when he was discharged for disability due to wounds. His brother Thomas J. Donal, also served in the 28th, from July 3, 1861 to July 18, 1865. This brother went west to Kansas.

letter writers -

Charles T. Bibighaus - husband of Sallie Eastburn

Sarah Rebecca Eastburn - also known as Sallie, Sadie, Sally

Mary Ann Laird Bibighaus - mother of Charlie

John S. Donal - husband of Emma Bibighaus, Sallie’s daughter

In envelope, no postmark:1

Paxson, Croasdale & Co.

Dealers in

Dry Goods, Groceries, Hardware, Wall Paper, Drugs, Dress Trimmings



Men’s and Boys’ ready-made Clothing, Ladies and Children’s Cloaks, Sacks and Circulars





Miss Sallie Eastburn
Feasterville, P.O.|
Bucks Co.Penna

For Haste
Letter, no date:1
Monday Morning

Dear Sallie

I have taken all of the trimming of my coat and have partly trimed it with mourning triming. I got tired of my shawl and I thought I would fix it to wear, and I expect to go up the River next Sunday if I dont take a notion to get sick again. I should have sent you an answer yesterday but I was suffering with the headache until three o clock, and I forgot it when Abe2 went home.

As ever yours,




1. This letter was separated from the envelope, but the handwriting appears the same, both using pencil, and the folded letter fits the envelope. The address would place the letter about 1864.

[at first this appeared to be a note from a seamstress for Sally, but it appears that Mollie lost someone in the her family, but is not so much in mourning that she is not making social arrangements.]

2. Abraham S. Eastburn [?] - Sallie’s younger brother, then about 10 years old. [If the intent was to sent the note back to Sallie by Abe, the only Abe in her household would be this one.]

3. Mollie - unknown, probably associated with the Paxson, Croasdale store

In a small (3"x1 1/2") gilded envelope:

Ladies Invitation

The pleasure of your company is

respectfully solicited at the grand Military and Citizens


to be given at the

















Cor. Fourth and George Sts.

On Monday Evening, April 23rd, 1866


Dear Sallie

The brightest beauty in the world
Is a kind a loving smile

Which from a loved one’s heart proceeds,

To gladden us the while.

Oh could I choose a boon from heaven

I know what it would be

Not honor, riches, or glory,

But a loving heart for me

From your Charlie

Phlada June 19 of /67

[above in Charlie’s hand]


date, sender, and recipient unknown-

Booklet, with picture of a sprig of blueberries on cover, bound with a white ribbon

"Won’t You?" by Thomas Haynes Bayly Castell Brothers, London

Do you remember when you heard

My lips breathe love’s first faltering word,

You do, sweet -- don’t you?

When, having wander’d all the day,

Link’d arm in arm, I dared to say,

You’ll love me -- won’t you?"

And when you blush’d and could not speak,

I fondly kissed your glowing cheek,

Did that affront you?

Oh, surely not: your eye exprest

No wrath -- but said, perhaps in just,

You’ll love me -- won’t you

I’m sure my eyes replied, "I will,"

And you believe that promise still,

You do, sweet -- don’t you?

Yes, Yes! when age has made our eyes

Unfit for questions, or replies,

You’ll love me -- won’t you?


Mr. Chas. T. Bibighaus

Care Elliott Bros.

403 Market



This is to certify that Mr. Charles Bibighaus, during his attendance at my Evening Business College a few months last winter, made such excellent progress in the study of Book Keeping that I can gladly and conscientiously recommend him as being thoroughly qualified to take the charge of a set of Books in any ordinary Mecantile Establishment.

I would especially mention the general correctness and perfect Neatness of his work.

With wishes for his success

I remain Respectfully

J. S. [unreadable]


June 11/72

Envelope: Mr. Charles T. Bibighaus

403 Market St.1



New Jersey Apr 13th /73

My Darling,

It is storming fearfully here this morning it has been raining all night and this morning it just pours I dont know how you are to get to the store for it dont stop a minute and I an sure it must extend to the City and Darling you ought to see the Crick I can see it from the window as I am writing from my room it looks like a river and you know the medow down by the crick where they had some grass cut well the water is all over there and if the hadnt of got their by away from thare it would all have been washed away just as soon as it stops raining and the ground gets settled I am going down to see the Crick I think it will look beautiful I wish Darling you where here to go with me we would enjoy it so much together

But Darling isnt it singular now that it is raining I an not near so lame yesterday before the rain I could scarcly walk at all my my limbs are so painful but my face is very painful yet and my gums and all around my face is very sore.

Well Dear, Maggie2 has just brought me up a plate full of cantaloupe so I will have to stop to eat it.

Well I have got through I asked Mrs. Shelton3 about Jo4 and she said she would not take her for less for one week she ways it would not pay her and she would not bother with eny one that way for less and now Darling I wont ask her eny more for anybody for I dont think she will like it well Darling you wanted to know whether I had got my feather bed or not I have and it is ever so much nicer, and about the worm Maggie and Martha5 did not know what it was and so I threw it out for it made me sick to look at it.

Oh, Darling I was just looking to see if the Baby6 was getting eny teeth and I can see the edges of the Dearest little teeth you ever saw coming through on the under jaw. now about the patterns I had to laugh I did not tell you enything about Marthas Bask pattern I said her shirt waist pattern the one I cut my pink one like and that other pattern of mine that I told you was in my workstand drawer I think is in my pattern box under my bed it is that long green box and has a piece of my Dolly Varden dress around it I mean around the pattern Darling you did not send me the pins you can send whatever kind you think is the best so they are small I got the other things all right and am ever sso thankfull to you for them my poor darling I know I bother you a good bit but it is love bother now you will laugh and say I know old love bother. when you write tell me how goes Little Ada7 as you know Sallie8 said she was very sick I expect to hear from you to day about the folks9 wether they are coming or not well Darling good bye pet

from your Darling


pretty9 folded her own letter so I send it just as she folded it I know it will please you better.

Darling please send me a pair of new gum shoes mine has given out I will pay you for them when you come down get me a rite thin pair of sandels as thin as you can get them No 9 ½ with

deep heels the new stile


1. Apparently she sent it to Charlie at work - Elliott Bros

2. Maggie - unknown; [servant?]

3. Mrs. Shelton - [apparently owner of boarding house where Sally is staying]

4. Martha - unknown, [based on Sally’s pattern reference - perhaps Bibighaus’ maid?]

5 Jo - [Sick friend or unknown relative wishing to stay there at reduced rates?]

6. Lavina Bibighaus - Charlie and Sallie’s daughter

7. Ada M. Eastburn - daughter of Sallie’s brother Joseph and Mary Lewis, abt. 1 year old [only Ada that fits]

8. Sarah Lewis Eastburn - wife of Alfred, brother of Joseph and Sallie [only known Sallie that fits]

9. Lavina Bibighaus - Charlie and Sallie’s daughter

Adjt. Genls Office

Washington D. C., July 7 - 74


Yours came duly to hand and should have been answered sooner

The records of Camp Cadwalader Hospital are on file in Surgeon General’s Office, and the camp records in the Adjt Genls Office.

I have not access to the Hospital records. Write to the Surgeon General and he will furnish the information desired.

We are all well as usual, how are you all, lets hear from you. Nice cool weather here, after the 4th of July Zephyr.




1. Charles T. Bibigihaus - husband of Sallie

Envelope addressed to Mr. Charles Bibighaus

Care of Dr. Charles Spayd

Wilkesbarre, Pa.

Phil July 28th 1875

My Dear Son

I was very glad to receive your letter, for I began to fear that you had forgotten your promise to write. Such a multiplicity of enjoyments I was afraid had driven home altogether out of your mind but I am pleased to find that was not the case, and I do sincerely hope that you may all feel much better for the trip. I am sorry that Barbie1 is not home, but hope that she also may return much improved in health. Give my love to Mary2 and Charlie.3 There is no one at home here but Edwin,4 Little Willie5, Myself and your Cousin Lou Laird6 who has come to stay with me while Sister7 is away. Sis has been very ill, was taken the Monday night after you left with Cholera Morbus, the Dr. was twice to see her on Tuesday and when she got a little better he told John8 that he must take her away for a little while, she is very miserable indeed and I feel quilte anxious about her, she has a cough and a severe pain on the chest. They left yesterday morning went up to the switch back, expected to spend the night in MauchChunk, come down to Easton and go over to Gardner’s.9 They will be at home by next Monday, do the whole route in less than a week. Expected to meet Anna E.10 and Mamie11 at Old York Road Station and take them along. Hattie12 left last Monday, expected to meet Harry13 in Lewistown and spend Tuesday in Mifflinburg14 and then start West. Harry is well, but not doing as much business as usual.

I do not know any more, or much about our friends, but presume they are all well or I think I would have heard. I do not know whether you heard that Theophilus’ wife15 hurt her foot so badly, she is confined to her bed and they think she will never be able to walk without crutches.

Give my love to Sallie and kiss little Vinnie16 for me, poor little thing. I do hope she will be stronger when she gets home. Willie sends his love and a kiss. Little Russel17 looks badly, he is very thin.

I will now bid you good bye for it is mow noon. The Lord keep you from all evils.

Your affectionate



1.Barbara I Hay Spayd - wife of Charles Spayd

2.Dr. Charles Spayd - Charlie Bibighaus’ 1st cousin, son of Charlie’s father’s sister, Catherine

3. Mary Ann Spayd - Charlie’s 1st cousin, sister or Charles Spayd, living with Charlie after their parents’ deaths

4. Edwin - unknown

5. William Summers - Charlie’s nephew, s/o Elvira Bibighaus and John Summers

6. John Lohra Laird - Charlie’s 1st cousin, s/o John Lohra Laird, brother of Charlie’s mother

7. Elvira Ann Bibighaus Summers - Charlie’s sister

8. John Summers - husband of Elvira, Charlie’s brother-in-law

9. Gardners- Charlie’s 2nd cousin, Arlena Weaver married Lewis Garner, living in Northampton Co., Pa.

10. Elvira Ann Bibighaus Summers - Charlie’s sister [context raises some doubts, no other choices are known]

11. Mamie Summers - Charlie’s niece, d/o Elvira and John Summers

12. Harriet Russel Bibighaus - wife of Henry Bibighaus

13. Henry A. Bibighaus - Charlie’s brother

14. Mary Bibighaus Piper, wife of Dr. John Piper and sister of Charlie’s father, lived in Mifflinburg

15. Sarah Jane Clark Bibighaus - wife of John Theophilus Bibighaus, charlie’s 1st cousin

16. Lavina Bibighaus - Charlie’s daughter

17. Russel Bibighaus - Charlie’s nephew, s/o Henry and Hattie Russel Bibighaus


Philada May 24th 1879

Dear Bro Abe1,

I expect you will be rather surprised to receive a letter from me, because I am not much of a letter writer, but knowing you intend to go to Chatanooga Tenn. and having been there during the war myself I thought I would drop you a few lines about the surroundings, though I suppose you will get to see and hear more than I did. The most attractive place of interest down there is Lookout Mountain. I do not know whether you remember hearing about it, but that is the Mountain that the fighting was done above the clouds. In the latter part of 1863 I think in Movember we were ordered to capture that mountain, the enemy occupying the top and front facing Chatanooga, we started bright and early but before we reached the top, we were in the clouds, and by the time we reached the top we were above the clouds, we could not see anything at the foot, the clouds being below us. If you get a chance to go up on it, you had better do so. You will get a magnificent view of the surrounding country, and you can then get an idea how fatiguing it was to charge up the side of the mountain. we went up the side toward the Wauhatchie Creek. It is very steep and so covered with underbrush that it seems almost an impossibility for a body of men to make a charge up the side, in fact if I had not been there myself I could hardly credit it. Another place of interest, at least to me, is Wauhatchie, at the foot of the Mountain. we had on of the hardest fights there, that we had during the war, our troops got into that place in the afternoon. of course the enemy saw us, but we did not know they was there, we had gone into temporary camp for the night when a little after dark they made the attack. they knew exactly where we were, and so had the advantage of us, and besides that they had the Rail road embankment for a breastwork, and they just piled the bullets into us hot and heavy. we had Knapp’s Battery with us but in a little while they had killed all our horses, and we had to pull the guns with ropes, it was some time before we could get our guns to bear on them as they could shoot our men down while they were trying to get intoposition, but we finally got them where we wanted them. that was on the railroad facing down along the Embankment when we opened on them, and I tell you it was not long before we made them skip. we lost a great many men in that fight, although it was not very long in duration, and the ground taken up was a very small space. that was one reason they could get at us so easy, and then they had the R R Embankment to hide behind while we were on a level with it. It was in that fight that we lost Lieu. Geary son of John W Geary Maj. Gen Commanding 2nd Div., 12th Army Corps, and afterwards our Governor. The Tennessee River is very pretty between Chattanooga and Bridgeport. I wnet up and down several times on a Steamer and thescenery is beautiful. At that time the river was just full of wild ducks. the boats would almost run them down, but we were not allowed to fire at them, for fear the enemy would know we were there, If you stay there any time youmust take a ride on the river. I know you will enjoy it. Stevenson Ala is just a short distance from Bridgeport, that was our first stopping place preparatory to taking up our march to Chattanooga. They used to call us the Cracker boys down there, as we opened the railraod communication between Nashville and Chattanooga which enabled them to get their hard tack through by rail, as they were compelled to haul every thing by wagons clear through from Nashville. If you go up the railroadas far as Nashville you will pass through Murfeesboro Tenn, which is a very nice place, and of considerable size, we stopped there several dys. there is a little place just below murfeesboro called Christianna that I had a good bit of fun at, we were there about six weeks, and I got acquainted with a family I think the name was Moore, they had several daughters, the father was in the Southern Army a colonel I think, I used to lave lots of fun at there house, I guess this wont interest you any so I will stop. when I get thinking about those times I do not know when to stop. I guess I cannot tell you any news of home as Mother2 writes you about every thing that is going on. Vinnie3 and Emma4 are highly delighted with the alligators, they do not get tired of watching them. Harry5 has made them a nice tub to swim in, and we have some sod in it so that they can crawl upon it and lie in the sun. I imagine they are growing considerable but some of the rest do not think they are much larger. if you go too near them they will hiss just like a snake, and snap at you, we feed them on raw beef and fish. I dont know it Mother told you or not, but we had quite an exciting time with them about 2 or 3 weeks ago. at least Mother and Sallie had. they got to fighting one had the other down and had him by the jaw and they could not make let go. they tried to choke him off but it would not do so. Mother got the oyster knife and pried his mouth open, and as soon as he let go, the one that was getting the worst of it caught the other by the throat and them they had to make him let go and finally had to separate them by putting them in different tubs, but we put them togeather again that evening and they did not fight any more not since. I do not know of anything to write but what Mother has al;ready told you. I suppose you know of Anna Delaney6 and Hiram Winders7 deaths they both died the same day.. vinnie and Emma are getting along very nicely, of course you would not know Emma, she runs out and plays around with the other little girls and can talk and fight as well as any of them, she grows considerable, but Vinnie is shooting up just like a weed, she is growing too fast, and is as thin as a rail. Sallie will answer your letter in a few days, she has been very miserable this spring. her back is not as strong as it was, Mother keeps in pretty good health, but she is nnot as strong as she was and is gradually breaking down, she is getting old now, and cannot work like she used to. The rest of us are all well. When do you intend to come home, itseems an awful long time since we saw you, well it is going on two years, but I must close I cannot thing of any news to write and I think I have written more now than you will care about reading so Good Bye and God Bless you and keep you safe

from your loving brother

Charlie T. Bibighaus


1. Abraham S. Eastburn - brother of Sallie. [Perhaps this letter was never sent.]

2. Esther States Eastburn - Sallie’s mother. [Charlie’s mother died in 1874]

3. Lavina E. Bibighaus - Sally and Charlie’s daughter, about 6 years old

4. Emma E. Bibighaus - Sally and Charlie’s daughter, about 3 years old

5. Harrison Eastburn - Sally’s brother

6. Anna Delaney - no known relation. [Charlie had a 1st cousin once removed, John Bibighaus Weaver, from the Northampton area, who married Susan Delaney, but she died in 1874. Also there is no apparent reason for Abe, brother of Sally, to have known them.]

7. Hiram Winders - no known relation

Northern Pacific Railway Company

freight Department

J.S.Donal 711 Chesnut St., Philadelphia, Pa.

General Agent April 18, 1916

Adjutant General of the Army

State, War, and Navy Building

Washington D.C.


I would appreciate it if at your convenience you would kindly have me

furnished with a copy of the military record of my father, John S. Donal1, Company C., 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, in the service during the Civil War.

Your kindness would be appreciated.

Yours very truly.









John S. Donal

1st Lieutenant, Company C., 28th Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers.

- - - - - - - - - -

The official records show that John S. Donal was inrolled June 13, 1861, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was mustered into service July 3, 1861, as 1st sergeant of Company C, 28th Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers, to serve three years; that he was mustered in as 2d lieutenant of the same company and regiment to date July 3, 1862; that he was wounded in action near Sharpsburg (Antietam), Maryland, September 17, 1862; that he was mustered in as 1st lieutenant to date September 8, 1862, and that he was honorably discharged the service, by reason of disability, in paragraph nine, Special Orders No. 161, from the War Department dated April 8, 1863, while holding the rank of 1t leiutenant.

- - - - - - - - -

Oficial statement furnished to Mr. J. S. Donal, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By authority of the Secretary of War:

Jos. G. Tracy

Adjutant General

2392821 April 21, 1916


1. John S. Donal - father-in-law of Emma Bibighaus, daughter of Sallie Eastburn

2. John S. Donal - husband of Emma Bibighaus


Last updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006


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