The Valley of the Shadow

Henry Bitner and Friends

Henry A. Bitner came from a Democratic family in Shippensburg, Franklin County. He and his friends Alex "Ellic" Cressler, David Daihl, Thaddeus "Thad" Donely, William Kindig, William Martin, and David Shoemaker all lived in Southampton Township before the war. Most still lived with their parents and siblings. The census taker in 1860 listed Bitner, Daihl, and Martin as farm hands. Donely worked as an iron moulder. Cressler and Kindig taught school. Though Shoemaker left Franklin before the war, he maintained ties in the community through his friends and through his aunt and uncle, Conrad and Lydia Kyner, who lived a few houses away from Bitner. By 1861, Shoemaker lived in Darke County, Ohio, where he worked as a teacher. Bitner and his friends were mostly young men in their early twenties when the Civil War began. During the war, Bitner remained in Southampton, teaching school, adjusting to married life, and serving as county assessor. Each of his friends served in the Union army, except Cressler who moved to Chambersburg. Donely and Martin served in the 130th Pennsylvania, Daihl in the 77th Pennsylvania, Kindig in the 170th Pennsylvania, and Shoemaker in the 11th Ohio. Kindig died in September 1862 of wounds received at the Battle of Antietam. At least Daihl, Donely, and Martin survived the war. By 1870, none of the men were still living in their parents' households.

The following links provide access to the most likely matches in the Valley of the Shadow databases for these men and their families. More information about these men can be found in the detailed biographies compiled by the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. You may also wish to search the newspapers for references to the Bitner family.

Henry Bitner: 1860 Census
Alex Cressler: 1860 Census | 1870 Census
David Daihl: 1860 Census | 1870 Census | Military Service
Thaddeus Donely: 1860 Census
William Kindig: 1860 Census | Military Service
William Martin: 1860 Census | 1870 Census

Part 2: The War Years

Return to the War Years Personal Papers

Franklin County Personal Papers: Eve of War | War Years | Aftermath
Augusta County Personal Papers: Eve of War | War Years | Aftermath

Return to Full Valley Archive