The following information was submitted by Rita and Frank France, chapter members in April of 2008.

Frank France - His great-grandfather was John Davis France, a Civil War veteran from West Middleton, Washington County, PA. He fought in Co. A 100th PA roundheads. The website “Life in western Pennsylvania 1840 – 1970” can be accessed and viewed at www.lifeinwesternpa.org, which details the France family Frank and Rita’s son, Frank L. France is the creator of several articles and photo’s found on the website. {Co. A 100th PA Roundheads, U.S.A. 1906}

Reminiscences of John Davis France, committed to writing at his house in West Middleton, April 16, 1910. In April, 1861, the news was heralded all over this land of ours that Fort Sumpter had fallen and surrendered to the enemy and that the great struggle had begun between the North and the South. It was then that President Lincoln made the call for 75,000 volunteers for three months, and in our little village (West Middleton, PA) twelve young men responded by enlisting for the great struggle.
They left here about the 21st of April and were sworn into the service on the 22nd day of April, 1861, at Washington, Pa.

The call had been made by Lincoln for 300,000 troops for three years or during the war. Captain Wm. Templeton after his return from the three months service commenced to enlist men for Company A of the 100 P.V.I. and Col. W.W. McNulty to enlist men for a Cavalry Co. This company was later known as Co. I of the First Penn. Cavalry was the first to leave the village.

The day they left, the company was drawn up in line in front of the Washington Hotel owned and run by Col. W.W. McNulty and now known as the France Hotel. They were presented with a silk flag…

Then came the leaving of the boys of Company A, 100 Regimen, known as the Roundheads. We left the village about the 24th of August, 1861, went to Washington, Pa., and then direct to Pittsburg, were we were sworn into the service at Camp Wilkins…There were about forty or fifty boys from our town and vicinity who went out in this company. At least one half of them never returned. Some died of disease; some of wounds; others were killed in battle; and others were starved to death in Andersonville prison.

After this came the enlisting of men for the 22nd Pa. Calvary known as the Ringgold Battalion.

In June 1864 the 100 Regiment, “Roundhead,” were lying at Strawberry Plain, Tenn., near Knoxville. They re-enlisted and came home on furlough. Oh! Such a homecoming and what a grand reception and what a feast they had prepared for us…

In the spring of 1863 feeling was running high all over this county. In our neighboring townships there were quite a number of southern sympathizers. It was then the word went abroad that there was going to be a flag placed on the Grove Church at West Middleton. Some of the rebels referred, sent word that if the flag was put on the church they would tear it down…

The next day there was a great crowd at church. They came in buggies, on horse-back and afoot. The southern sympathizers wore butternuts for breast-pins, a favorite pin of the south. Some of the people were armed with revolvers. Money was offered to anyone who would take the flag down…

When they wanted to know who put the flag up, they were told that some good patriotic soul sleeping the cemetery back of the church had arisen from his grave and placed it where it was floating… So the flag was left to float all that day and thank God, it still floats over this beloved land of ours. The boys put the flag on the church all belonged to Co. A of the 100th Regiment P.V.I. and they all have answered the last roll call but myself.
There are many other things that happened during the period of the war but I will leave them for someone more capable than I to recite.

NOAH WHERRY

Noah Wherry – Civil War Pension Record: Sgt. Co. B 37 Iowa Vol. Inf., National Archives Soldier’s Certificate 893 160, Can No. 1.8331, Bundle No. 35. The following notes were prepared by Richard A. Steckley, Aug. 10, 2004, using the Pension Records provided by the National Archives.

He enlisted Sept. 15, 1862, Muscatine, Iowa. He mustered in on Dec. 15, 1862, detailed at Camp Morton Military Prison, Indianapolis, Indiana since Sept. 7, 1864. Detailed at Gallipolis, Ohio since fall of 1864 through being sent to muster out, where Noah was very sick with diphtheria. He mustered out on May 24, 1865 at Davenport, Iowa. He states that the family bible is in the possession of some of their relatives in or near West Middleton, Washington Co., Pa. Summary lists a Levi G. Wherry, son of the soldier by his first wife. Levi is listed in Dec. of 1901, aged 57, contractor and builder and his mother’s maiden name was Catherine Tarr, married in West Middleton, Washington Co., Pa. He states his mother died when she was just 27 yrs. Old about 1851 and she is buried in the Grove Church burying ground and there is a tombstone over her grave…

Frank and Rita France have been long time members of the Jefferson County Chapter, OGS. Frank was one of 6 brothers that served in the military. Listed in order, from oldest to youngest:

1. William Phillip – Marine Corps WW, Pacific E Theatre.
2. James Alvin – Anti-Aircraft, WWII, European Theatre, U.S. Army. Fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
3. Frank Thomas – Rate/Rank Cox, Service Branch U.S. Navy, USS LCI-54 (Landing Craft Infantry). Significant Duty Stations: Weymouth South Hampton, Portland, England, Normandy – Omaha Beach, France, European Theatre. Awards: Combat Action Ribbon, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign, Medal W/Star, WWII Victory Medal, French Jubilee of Liberty Medal.
4. Osborne Davis – WWII, Anti-Aircraft, Panama Theatre, U.S. Army.
5. Charles A. – Control Tower Operator, U.S.A.F., Yucca Army Airfield, AZ, WWII.
6. Carl Galen – U.S. Army Medical Corps, European Theatre, WWII.


HONORING OUR VETERANS
FRANCE/ALLIED FAMILIES

“The Elsie Item”, Official Newsletter of the USS Landing Craft, Infantry, National Association, Inc., July, 2003, issue #45.

Frank and Rita France have been long time members of the Jefferson County Chapter, OGS.
Frank was one of 6 brothers that served in the military. Listed in order, from oldest to youngest:

  1. William Phillip – Marine Corps WW, Pacific E Theatre.
  2. James Alvin – Anti-Aircraft, WWII, European Theatre, U.S. Army. Fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
  3. Frank Thomas – Rate/Rank Cox, Service Branch U.S. Navy, USS LCI-54 (Landing Craft Infantry). Significant Duty Stations: Weymouth South Hampton, Portland, England, Normandy – Omaha Beach, France, European Theatre. Awards: Combat Action Ribbon, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign, Medal W/Star, WWII Victory Medal, French Jubilee of Liberty Medal.
  4. Osborne Davis – WWII, Anti-Aircraft, Panama Theatre, U.S. Army.
  5. Charles A. – Control Tower Operator, U.S.A.F., Yucca Army Airfield, AZ, WWII.
  6. Carl Galen – U.S. Army Medical Corps, European Theatre, WWII.

     France Brothers Left to Right: Osborne, Charles, James, Frank, William, and Carl.

NOTE – Beginning on page 3, the France Military history show a connection to Western Pennsylvania.

FRANCE FAMILY HISTORY - Frank’s great-grandfather was John Davis France, a Civil War veteran from West Middleton, Washington County, PA.  He fought in Co. A 100th PA roundheads. The website “Life in western Pennsylvania 1840 – 1970” can be accessed and viewed at www.lifeinwesternpa.org, which details the France family Frank and Rita’s son, Frank L. France is the creator of several articles and photo’s found on the website. {Co. A 100th PA Roundheads, U.S.A. 1906}

Reminiscences of John Davis France, committed to writing at his house in West Middleton, April 16, 1910. In April, 1861, the news was heralded all over this land of ours that Fort Sumpter had fallen and surrendered to the enemy and that the great struggle had begun between the North and the South.

It was then that President Lincoln made the call for 75,000 volunteers for three months, and in our little village (West Middleton, PA) twelve young men responded by enlisting for the great struggle. They left here about the 21st of April and were sworn into the service on the 22nd day of April, 1861, at Washington, Pa.

The call had been made by Lincoln for 300,000 troops for three years or during the war. Captain Wm. Templeton after his return from the three months service commenced to enlist men for Company A of the 100 P.V.I. and Col. W.W. McNulty to enlist men for a Cavalry Co. This company was later known as Co. I of the First Penn. Cavalry was the first to leave the village.
The day they left, the company was drawn up in line in front of the Washington Hotel owned and run by Col. W.W. McNulty and now known as the France Hotel. They were presented with a silk flag…

Then came the leaving of the boys of Company A, 100 Regimen, known as the Roundheads. We left the village about the 24th of August, 1861, went to Washington, Pa., and then direct to Pittsburg, were we were sworn into the service at Camp Wilkins…There were about forty or fifty boys from our town and vicinity who went out in this company. At least one half of them never returned. Some died of disease; some of wounds; others were killed in battle; and others were starved to death in Andersonville prison.

After this came the enlisting of men for the 22nd Pa. Calvary known as the Ringgold Battalion.
In June 1864 the 100 Regiment, “Roundhead,” were lying at Strawberry Plain, Tenn., near Knoxville. They re-enlisted and came home on furlough. Oh! Such a homecoming and what a grand reception and what a feast they had prepared for us…

In the spring of 1863 feeling was running high all over this county. In our neighboring townships there were quite a number of southern sympathizers. It was then the word went abroad that there was going to be a flag placed on the Grove Church at West Middleton. Some of the rebels referred, sent word that if the flag was put on the church they would tear it down…

 

FRANCE - The next day there was a great crowd at church. They came in buggies, on horse-back and afoot. The southern sympathizers wore butternuts for breast-pins, a favorite pin of the south. Some of the people were armed with revolvers. Money was offered to anyone who would take the flag down…

When they wanted to know who put the flag up, they were told that some good patriotic soul sleeping the cemetery back of the church had arisen from his grave and placed it where it was floating… So the flag was left to float all that day and thank God, it still floats over this beloved land of ours. The boys put the flag on the church all belonged to Co. A of the 100th Regiment P.V.I. and they all have answered the last roll call but myself.
There are many other things that happened during the period of the war but I will leave them for someone more capable than I to recite.

Noah Wherry – Civil War Pension Record: Sgt. Co. B 37 Iowa Vol. Inf., National Archives Soldier’s Certificate 893 160, Can No. 1.8331, Bundle No. 35. The following notes were prepared by Richard A. Steckley, Aug. 10, 2004, using the Pension Records provided by the National Archives.

He enlisted Sept. 15, 1862, Muscatine, Iowa. He mustered in on Dec. 15, 1862, detailed at Camp Morton Military Prison, Indianapolis, Indiana since Sept. 7, 1864. Detailed at Gallipolis, Ohio since fall of 1864 through being sent to muster out, where Noah was very sick with diphtheria. He mustered out on May 24, 1865 at Davenport, Iowa.  He states that the family bible is in the possession of some of their relatives in or near West Middleton, Washington Co., Pa. Summary lists a Levi G. Wherry, son of the soldier by his first wife. Levi is listed in Dec. of 1901, aged 57, contractor and builder and his mother’s maiden name was Catherine Tarr, married in West Middleton, Washington Co., Pa. He states his mother died when she was just 27 yrs. Old about 1851 and she is buried in the Grove Church burying ground and there is a tombstone over her grave…

Photos posted in the Fall 2008 Jefferson County Lines Newsletter. These newsletter are available to purchase by contacting the publications chair listed under the "chapter officers" on the homepage.