Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ringgold Cavalry and the Civil War

Elwood's stories of the old Ringgold cavalry, 1847-1865;
by John William Elwood
Book; English
Coal Center, Pa., The author, J. W. Elwood, 1914.
Related Subjects:
Pennsylvania Cavalry. -- Ringgold Battalion, 1847-1864. Pennsylvania Cavalry. -- 22d Regt., 1864-1865. United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Pennsylvania Cavalry -- Ringgold Battalion. United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Pennsylvania Cavalry -- 22d.

The copy of Elwood's Stories that I own is a reprint of the original. Since the original book was published before 1923, it is now in the public domain and so it has been reprinted by different publishers. The one I purchased was from Higginson Book Company and cost about $40.
I found an original version of the book once online and it was selling for well over $200. I also found a listing for this book that said it was published by Closson Press. However, I just checked both Higginson Books and Closson Press and could not find this book listed on either site. I did find a few used copies at Amazon for around $35. Higginson Books and Closson Press are both worth a look though as they have a large collection of genealogy related books that they publish and reprint.
If you enjoy Civil War History, you will enjoy reading this account of the history of the original Ringgold Cavalry which became known as Co A. The books covers the activities and battles that the Ringgold were involved in during the war but also gives a glimpse into the personalities of the soldiers that comprised the comany and that mostly hailed from the Beallsville area and many of whom are now interred in the Beallsville Cemetery.

The author of this book, Sergeant John W. Elwood is buried in Beallsville Cemetery. One of the Ringgold Cavalry companies left Beallsville and the farewell point where everyone met to see their soldiers off, was the National Hotel which is located across and down the street from Beallsville Cemetery.

The photo on the left is from a collector's series 1 in the Pennsylvania Historic Towns of Washington County by Patrick Connors. In case the caption is too small or fuzzy to read it states: "The Ringgold Calvary [sic] was organized in Beallsville at the time of the Civil Was. On the morning of June 22, 1861, Captain John Keys of Beallsville [buried in Beallsville Cemetery] and the original 70 men of the Ringgold Calvary [sic] departed Beallsville from this national Hotel. A rousing address was delivered from the steps of the hotel where over seven thousand were present to say good-by. It was great event in the hisory of the country and Beallsville."
The National Hotel is on the left and you can see the steeple of the Beallsville Methodist church up the street on the right. The Beallsville Cemetery, although not connected to that church, is located right behind it.
You can see the tombstones of both Captain John Keys and John Elwood at the Beallsville Cemetery website. The John W. Elwood papers are located at the Emory University Library in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chiefly correspondence, veterans' reminiscences, clippings, and other papers, relating to Elwood's research and writing of Elwood's Stories of the Old Ringgold Cavalry (1914), a history of the Ringgold Cavalry, which subsequently became Company A of 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment; together with legal and financial papers, photos, and papers (1883-1904) relating to a controversy in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Beallsville, Pa. Includes family correspondence and military papers of Capt. James P. Hart.

The Twenty-second Pennsylvania cavalry and the Ringgold battalion, 1861-1865; written and comp. by Samuel Clarke Farrar ...Pub. under the auspices of the Twenty-second Pennsylvania Ringgold cavalry association.
by Samuel Clarke Farrar
Book; English
[Akron, O. and Pittsburgh, The New Werner company] 1911.
Related Subjects:
Pennsylvania cavalry. -- 22d regiment, 1864-1865. Pennsylvania cavalry. -- Ringgold battalion, 1847-1864. United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Pennsylvania cavalry -- Ringgold battalion.

This is another book that is now in the public domain and can be found in reprinted versions. This too gives detailed accounts of the battles and activities on the Ringgold Cavalry and the history of how the original company was eventually joined by several companies composed of men that came from many of the communities that surrounded the Beallsville area. In the back of this book, there are roster listings of the various companies. These include, names, rank, muster in dates, muster out dates.
The author of this book Dr. Samuel Clarke Farrar, became a well known principal in the Pittsburgh School district. He kept a diary while he was serving in the war and this diary is now housed in the archives at the Heinz History Center. While I was working there as an intern, I had the pleasure of transcribing the diary into electronic format. It was so interesting to read of the daily activities, skirmishes, battles, leaves of absences and trips home, Samuel's service as a trumpet player in the company band, etc. during the war. One of the most interesting excerpts described the reaction of the men in the camp when the death of President Lincoln was announced and the memorial ceremonies that the soldiers held in honor of their president.
Dear Esther : the Civil War letters of Private Aungier Dobbs, Centerville, Pennsylvania ...
by Aungier Dobbs; Ralph Haas; Philip Ensley
Book; English
Apollo, PA : Closson Press, ©1991.
1558560890 9781558560895
Related Subjects:
Dobbs, Aungier, Dobbs, Esther Ann Smith, United States. -- Army. -- Ringold Cavalry Regiment (1861-1864) More Subjects ...
I have not had a chance to read through this whole book but it appears to be very interesting. It consists of photos, transcripts of about 300 letters from Aungier Dobbs to his wife Esther during his service in the Ringgold Cavalry, supporting historical commentary and history of the Ringgold and other Civil War related information. Again, many veterans now burind in Beallsville are mentioned in these letters as is my GG Grandfather Joseph and his father George Hill. This book is on my to-read list. This book may be hard to find. It is out of print and not in the public domain so can not be reprinted. It took me a year to finally find a used version online and I have to say, I spent way too much on it. Probably the best thing to do is go to the WorldCat listing to find a library near you that has a copy of the book.
There are many other sources of information for Civil War research. Below are just a few:
  1. Samuel P. Bates wrote History of Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861 - 1865.
  2. The War of the Rebellion records are now available on line at
  3. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database at