DEEMER Genealogy
DEEMER Genealogy

 Last Updated:
31 Jan 2021  

© Henry Deemer, 2021


John Deemer was the eldest son of John and Catherine Deemer.  Census records of 1850 indicate he was born about 1845.  Muster rolls for the 9th Cavalry state that on 5 May1863 John enlisted in the army at Harrisburg.  His age is listed as 20, making his birth year 1843.  We know that his younger brother, Aaron, lied about his age to enlist.  It’s likely that John followed the example.  Earlier that year, Aaron reenlisted at Mossy Creek, TN.  John joined his brother and Co. G of the 9th PA Cavalry, 92nd Regiment, in Tennessee.

Civil War Muster Rolls were essentially roll calls reported every two months.  They provide useful information about a soldier’s history

John was reported present for duty on Company G’s muster rolls from the time of his enrollment through August, 1863.  Records state that he’d been been left at the hospital at Bridgeport, Alabama on 26 Oct. 1863.  He was reported absent from September through Decemer 1863  Prior to that John’s brother, Aaron was captured, 19 Sep. 1983, at the Battle of Chickamauga.  Later, Aaron shared with his grandson, Walter, that he’d seen his brother fall in battle.  Whether John’s hospitalization was a result of injuries at Chickamauga is a matter of speculation.  During mid to late October the 5th Cavalry was in Alabama, in the area of Bridgeport.  So it’s more likely this is where John was injured.

In January and February 1864 John was in the hospital at Nashville.  He evidently recovered since he was assigned to courier duty at Cleveland, TN 14 April 1864.  During July and August he was detailed as a cattle guard from Nashville to Atlanta.

From October 1864 through April 1865 John is report absent having been take prisoner in October.

Later, in a claim for a mother’s pension, his Mother, Catherine stated that he “was killed while engaged with the enemy near Ross’s store Georgia during the campaign of General Sherman while serving as a scout under Lt. Foley having been detached for that duty.”  Company G was in acton near Lafayette, GA on 12 Oct 1864.

“Ross’s store” was probably at Rossville, a small town near the Tennessee / Georgia border, along the railroad.  It was the home of John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee at the time of the "Trail of Tears" when the Cherokees were forced to emigrate to Oklahoma.  After the Battle of Chickamagua Rossville became a gathering point for retreating Union soldiers.  The Ross House became a hospital.  Earlier the Ross House was where a posse was formed to chse Andrew's Raiders, the Union soldiers who stole "The General" in what became known as the Great Locomotive Chase." 

The May-June 1865 muster rolls states that John had died of wounds received in March, 1865. 

In the 1880s John's mother, Catherine, filed claims for a mother's pension based on his Civil War service.

A statement from the Adjutent General's office dated 12 Sept. 1883 details John's miltary record.

In 1884, as a part of the Mother’s pension application, the War Department reported that Prisoner of War Records furnish no information and that “The records of this office afford no further information as to date, place, or cause of death, than is stated on Company rolls.”  

There are no records of a burial site for John.  His name does appear on a memorial erected 1868 in the Willow Grove Cemetery at Linglestown, Dauphin Co., PA . “John Demer, Co. G 9 Reg., P.V.C.” is included in the list of “Heroic Dead of East Hanover.”  The inscription states that he was killed at Ross Store. GA and was 22 years old.