91st PA: Robert J Armstrong

Robert J Armstrong

Before the war

He was born in 1837/38, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Jackson Armstrong and Mary [unknown surname]. [sources: date: 4 (23 in 1861), 8 (19 in 1860), 10 (12 in 1850), 11 (23 in 1861). place: 4, 6, 8, 10. parents: 9]

In 1850, he was living in ward 6, Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was living with his parents Jackson and Mary Armstrong, and with various others (presumably his siblings). He had attended school within the year. [source: 10]

In 1860, he was living in ward 17, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was living with his parents Jackson and Mary Armstrong, and with George, Mary, Lucy, Thomas, and Clara (presumably his siblings). He was a bookkeeper. [source: 8]

He was a clerk when he enlisted. He had been a clerk for more than seven years. He had earned about $8.50 per week for the last three or four years, and gave all of it to his mother. [source: 4, 11]

Description

When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 7-1/2 inches tall, and had a light complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair. [source: 4]

During the war

He enlisted and was mustered into service on 10 October 1861. He was enlisted for three years, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Colonel Zinn. He was mustered in as a private in company H. [sources: 1, 4, 16]

On 5 June 1862, he wrote a letter to his family. He and sixteen other men were on picket duty on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, about seven miles from Alexandria, Virginia, guarding a bridge. During the day, they slept, shot game, and picked strawberries; at night they were on duty. [source: 14]

On 24 April 1863, he wrote to his family, from Camp near Falmouth Virginia. He talked about the regiment's projected movement (to Chancellorsville, though he did not know the destination), and said that William (apparently William Fraley, since the money was addressed to Jane Fraley, William's mother) had sent his money to them, with Sergeant Spangler. He had received the Harpers' Weekly they sent, and sent his love to them. [source: 12]

He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was then a corporal. The company H register of non-commissioned officers does not mention him. [source: 5]

On 22 December 1863, he wrote a letter to his family, telling them that he was reenlisting as a veteran volunteer, adding in a postscript:

Do not worry yourselves sick because I have reenlisted. I done [sic] it for the best.

He and William [Fraley] were both in good health. He sent $10, sent his love to Martha and to all the family, and mentioned other people. [source: 23]

On 26 December 1863, at Bealton, Virginia, he reenlisted and was mustered in as a veteran volunteer. [source: 1, 11]

He died of disease--phthisis pulmonalis--on 11 May 1864 at Chester Barracks, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a corporal, in company H. He left no widow or child. He was buried from his parents' resident, Frankford Road at Otter Street. He was buried on 16 May 1864, at American Mechanics' Cemetery. [sources: 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, 16]

After the war

On 6 October 1864, his mother, Mary Armstrong, successfully applied for a pension, under the act of 14 July 1862. She was living at 1134 Frankford Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her husband, Jackson Armstrong, was disabled by old age. Among others, William H Fraley (H) testified on her behalf that Robert Armstrong sent money to her. Her application was accepted on 6 October 1865. She received $8 per month, retroactive to 11 May 1864. [sources: 7, 11, 15]

On 25 February 1880, his mother, Mary Armstrong, died. She was living at 1436 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On 2 April, her daughter Mary applied for the money she hadn't received, to pay funeral expenses. [source: 11]

Sources

1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster) (Robert J Armstrong)

2 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 9 June 1864 (Pri Armstrong)

3 company H, register of deaths (Robert Armstrong)

4 company H, descriptive roll, #38 (Robert J Armstrong)

5 Pennsylvania Memorial, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Robt J Armstrong)

6 death certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 11 May 1864 (Robert Armstrong)

7 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company H (Robert J Armstrong)

8 1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ward 17, eastern part, microfilm series M653, film 1167, page 627 = 124 handwritten (Robert J Armstrong)

9 death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 16 May 1864 page 4 (Robert J Armstrong)

10 1850 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Kensington, ward 6, microfilm series M432, film 807, page 458 recto = 917 handwritten, lines 10-17 (Jackson Armstrong)

11 dependents' pension certificate files, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 15, certificate WC 57,300 (Mary Armstrong mother of Robert J Armstrong)

12 letter, Robt J Armstrong to family, 24 April 1863

13 letter, Robt J Armstrong to family, 22 December 1863

14 letter, Robt J Armstrong to family, 5 June 1862

15 pension index, by name (Robert J Armstrong)

16 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Robert Armstrong)

Sources checked unsuccessfully

1870 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 16 Jan 2012)
[Jackson (70, ret. feed store) and Mary (60) Armstrong are living with Mary A (24, parasol maker) and Clara (18, school teacher) in Philadelphia, ward 20, district 66, page 426 = 1 handwritten]
1880 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 16 Jan 2012)
1890 US census, veterans' schedules
Ancestry index (accessed September 2006)
1900 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 16 Jan 2012)
1910 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 16 Jan 2012)
1920 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 16 Jan 2012)
1930 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 16 Jan 2012)
RootsWeb WorldConnect
searched Robert Armstrong died 1864, Robert Armstrong son of Jackson and Mary; Robert Armstrong born Pennsylvania 1867 +/- 1 (accessed 18 Jan 12)
Find a grave
accessed 18 January 2012)
a memorial does exist for Mary Armstrong died 25 February 1880 buried in American Mechanics Cemetery (memorial 77235324 (accessed 18 Jan 12))
the only other Armstrong in American Mechanics Cemetery is Nellie, born July 1870, died 7 January 1872
Pennsylvania veterans burial cards
Ancestry index (accessed 3 April 2012)
Records of headstones of deceased Union veterans, 1879-1903
FamilySearch index (accessed 28 June 2012)
Applications for headstones for military veterans
FamilySearch index (accessed 28 June 2012)

Display


Robert Armstrong in the 91st PA gedcom on RootsWeb WorldConnect

Robert Armstrong in the 91st PA database

1850 census

[1850 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Kensington, ward 6, microfilm series M432, film 807, page 458 recto = 917 handwritten, lines 10-17]
[identification is probable, based on his parents' names (see the widow's pension certificate file abstracted below)]
line1011121314151617
Dwellings visited799       
Families visited940       
NameJackson ArmstrongMary "Mary AnnGeorge F "Margaret "Robt J "Thos J "Clara G "
Age48422018141291
SexMFFMFMMF
Color        
Occupation of males over 15 yearsRailroad  Carpenter    
Real estate owned        
BirthplaceIreland"Penna"""""
Married within year        
Attended school within year    111 
Over 20 & can't read/write        
Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.        

1860 census

[1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ward 17, eastern part, microfilm series M653, film 1167, page 627 = 124 handwritten]
[identification is probable, based on his parents' names (see the widow's pension certificate file abstracted below)]
line3132333435363738
Dwelling number864       
Family number943       
NameJackson ArmstrongMary "George F "Mary E "Lucy "Robert J "Thomas J "Clara C J "
Age6060272421191810
Sex" [sc. M]FMF"M"F
Color        
OccupationDealer CarpenterSeamstressVest makerBook keeper" 
Value of real estate owned        
Value of personal estate300       
Place of birthIreland"Pennsylvania"""""
Married within year        
Attended school within year       1
Cannot read & write        
Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.        

index to compiled service records

[index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania]
[transcribed 5 Mar 2014, from Fold3]


Armstrong, Robert I.
     or J.
Co. H [?], 91 Pennsylvania Inf.
Pvt. | Cpl.
See also [blank]

GENERAL INDEX CARD.

death certificate

[death certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 11 May 1864, Robert Armstrong]
[transcribed from FamilySearch, 17 Nov 2008)]

Post Hospital
Chester Rendezvous Pa
May 12th 1864.

I hereby certify that Robert Armstrong Corpl of Co. H 91st Regt Pa Vols. died at this Hospital on May 11th 1864 of Phthisis Pulmonalis.

Geo Rex U.S. Vols
Surgeon of Post
[The rest is on the printed form]
UNDERTAKER'S CERTIFICATE, IN RELATION TO DECEASED.
8. Occupation, Soldier
9. Place of Birth, Phila
10. When a Minor, [blank]
11. Ward, 18th Ward
12. Street and Number, Frankford Road at Otter St
13. Date of Burial, May 16th 1864
14. Place of Burial, American Mechanics Cemetery
J. P. [?] Fisher UNDERTAKER.
Residence, Laurel + Canal St
Date of Certificate, May 13th 1864

death notice

[death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 16 May 1864 page 4, Robert J Armstrong]

ARMSTRONG.--Suddenly, at Chester, on the 11th instant, ROBERT J ARMSTRONG, son of Jackson [?] and Mary Armstrong, of Company H, Colonel Gregory's Ninety-first Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers.

The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, from the residence of his parents, No [3rd digit illegible--seems to be '11-4'] Frankford road, this (Monday) afternoon [illegible] at 4 o'clock.

mother's pension certificate file

[dependents' pension certificate files, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 15, certificate WC 57,300, Mary Armstrong mother of Robert J Armstrong]
[abstracted Jan 2012 from 39 pages on Fold3]
5 June 1862
Robert wrote a letter to his family, transcribed below (p.31)
26 Dec 1863
enlisted and mustered in at Bealton VA as corporal, veteran (p.5)
24 April 1863
Robert wrote a letter to his family, transcribed below (pp.27-28)
22 December 1863
Robert wrote a letter to his family, transcribed below (pp.29-30)
11 May 1864
died at Chester Barracks PA of pulmonary consumption, contracted in line of duty from exposure and fatigue (pp. 3, 5, 14)
10 Aug 1864
Jacob S Brown and Robert Stenson [?] swore that they had known Robert J Armstrong for 10 and 12 years respectively, knew that he was healthy before enlisting (p.16)
6 Oct 1864
Mary Armstrong, 57 years old, mother of Robert J Armstrong, and wife of Jackson Armstrong, applied for a pension (application 67,744) under the act of 14 July 1862 (p.3)
resident of Philadelphia, post office address 1134 Frankford Road, Philadelphia (p.4)
Mary's husband, Jackson Armstrong, was 66 [?? 44?] and was disabled because of old age (p.4)
Robert left no widow or children (pp.3, 4)
Robert Armstrong earned about $10 per week as a clerk for some years before enlisting, and gave all of it to his mother, and continued to send her money from the army
Robert J Armstrong was 23 years old when he enlisted, a clerk, and had been a clerk for over 7 [?] years; he earned about $8.50 per week for 3-4 years and regularly gave all to his mother, and sent her money from the army also (p.4)
dated 9 August 1864 (p.3)
initial attorney: W N Ashman (p.3)
witnesses: Jane Fraley, Maria Scott (pp.3-4)
attorney C T Foulks + Co, Philadelphia (p.10)
accepted 6 October 1865 (certificate 57,300, dated 12 October 1865) retroactive to 11 May 1864. $8 per month (pp.2, 10)
19 Jan 1865
adjutant general's office sent above-summarized information to the Pension Office (p.5)
30 Jan 1865
the Pension Office sent circular 14 to the Surgeon General (p.13)
9 Mar 1865
the surgeon in charge, USA General Hospital, Chester PA, informed the Medical Director, Department of Pennsylvania, that Robert Armstrong died in the Post Hospital on 11 May 1864 of pulmonary consumption (p.26)
2 April 1865
the Pension Office received some information from the Surgeon General and sent circulars 2, 9, and 21
26 April 1865
Maria McEwen and Wm H Fraley, residents of Philadelphia, swore that they had known Mary Armstrong and her family for 20 years, that Jackson Armstrong was 68 years old and hadn't been able to support his family for 4 years, because of old age and disability, that Robert Armstrong was a clerk before enlisting, and earned about $8 per week for 4 years before enlisting, which he gave his mother (p.23)
'Wm H Fraley states that I was in the same company and Regt with dec'd I was 1st Lieut, deceased sent his money home to claimant from the Army.' (p.23)
6 May 1865
Henry Mullen MD swore that he had attended Mary Armstrong's family for some years, that Jackson Armstrong was about 70 years old and unable to work because of 'old age and its attended infirmities' (p.21)
9 May 1865
the Pension Office received some information in response to circular 2 (p.13)
19 Sep 1865
CT Foulks + Co. sent a letter to the Commissioner of Pensions, saying that the Sanitary Commission of Philadelphia filed a claim for Mrs Mary Armstrong about July 1864, but is refusing to tell them what the claim number is; they asked him what the next step was (p.33)
Mary Armstrong appointed C T Foulks and Henry A Pfeiffer her attorneys for applying for a pension (pp.35-36)
22 September 1865
Power of attorney was given to Foulks + Co (p.13)
the pension office [sent or received response to?] circulars 2 and 9 (perhaps to Foulks?) (p.13)
27 September 1865
Mary Armstrong, resident of 1134 Frankford Road Philadelphia, 57 years old, applied for a pension under the act of 14 July 1862 (p.14)
wife of Jackson Armstrong (unable to support himself and family because of physical disability), mother of Robert J Armstrong (p.14)
C T Foulks & Co, Philadelphia PA, attorney (p.14)
witnesses: Mrs Margaret Smith and Mr William P Scott both of Philadelphia (p.14)
received by Pension Office 2 October 1865 (p.15)
27 September 1865
Margaret Smith (54) and William P Scott (63), of Philadelphia, swore that they had known Mary Armstrong for 20 years, that she is married to Jackson Armstrong, who hadn't been able to support his family for five years because of rheumatism, old age, and physical disability, that she is Robert J Armstrong's mother, that he left no wife or child, that he was Mary's chief support for 4 years, that he worked as a clerk, earning $10 per week and gave that money to his mother to let her support herself and her family, which she couldn't have done otherwise, and that he continued to send her money after the enlisting ($20 to $25) sometimes by letter, sometimes by Adam's Express Co., and that Mary Armstrong is aged and infirm and can't work (pp.18-20)
19 Feb 1880
Mary Armstrong was sick with acute bronchitis and general debility (p.38)
25 Feb 1880
Mary Armstrong, 1436 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, died (p.38)
2 Apr 1880
Mary Armstrong, 1436 Frankford Ave Philadelphia, applied for reimbursement for $22, citing $148 for Phillip Fisher for funeral expenses, and $5 for Henry Mullen MD for medical service (p.38)
Pension Office received on 16 April 1880 (p.39)
18 May 1880
PA ordered to pay Mary Armstrong $22.00 (I can't read the reason) (p.11)
30 June 1880
Mary Armstrong dropped from pension rolls because she had died (p.8)
last paid at $8 to 25 February 1880 (p.8)

letter, 24 April 1863

[dependents' pension certificate files, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 15, certificate WC 57,300, Mary Armstrong mother of Robert J Armstrong, pages 27-28]
[transcribed 18 January 2012, from Fold3]


Camp near Falmouth Ap. 24 /63
My dear family

It is with pleasure I set down to let you know I received your kind + welcome letter of the 20th on yesterday and I was glad to hear you were all in the enjoyment of your usual health. I have not wrote [sic] to you for some time, but I hope you will excuse me. I wrote a letter dated the 21st. we were then at Banks Ford about 8 miles from here. We were there 10 days. We came back here on Wednesday. There is a move in progress in this Army. And we expect to move every day [page 28] but the weather has been wet for 3 days, which has put us back. We have got to carry 8 days rations + 100 rounds of cartridge and very little clothing. our destination is unknown to us. But wherever we go may the Lord go with us and guide + direct us in all our ways. William sent my money home with Sergeant Spangler of our regiment. It was directed to the care of Mrs Jane Fraley but by the time this reaches you, you will no doubt have received it. William + I are in good health. I am not in want of anything. I also received the Harpers Weekly you sent. I have nothing of any interest to write. I send my love to you all and my respects to Mr Heigler [??] and all inquiring friends and hope to hear from you soon. I still remain your affectionate son + Brother

Robt J Armstrong

Write Soon + direct as before

Excuse writing as it is done in Haste.

letter, 22 December 1863

[dependents' pension certificate files, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 15, certificate WC 57,300, Mary Armstrong mother of Robert J Armstrong, pages 29-30]
[transcribed 18 January 2012, from Fold3]


Camp at Bealton Station Dec 22 /63
Dear Family

It is with great pleasure I set down to let you know I just received my box with its various contents for which accept my heartfelt thanks. The weather is very dull and looks very much like snow. I am in good health and William also. The 91st Reg. P.V. have 3/4 of the Reg. to reenlist, and they expect to be home this year. I have reenlisted but William has not as yet. My love to all and respects to all inquiring friends. And hoping to see you all soon I remain as ever your Affectionate Son + Brother


[page 30]
Robt J Armstrong.

P.S. We got paid today and enclosed you will find $10.00, and I will send more again. Do not worry yourselves sick because I have reenlisted. I done [sic] it for the best. Give my love to Martha [several words are crossed out] and my love to all the family I received Theodore + Louisa [?] Letters last night and was glad to hear from them One thousand kisses to Frank. And I hope he is well by this time

No More
Good Bye
Rob

letter, 5 June 1862

[dependents' pension certificate files, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 15, certificate WC 57,300, Mary Armstrong mother of Robert J Armstrong, page 31]
[transcribed 18 January 2012, from Fold3]


June 5th 1862
Bridge east of Springfield Station on the Orange + Alexandria Railroad. about 7 miles from Alexandria.

My Dear Family

I now take up my pen to let you know that I am quite well and hope these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing. There is [sic] 17 men of our Company and I am included in the number on Picket duty on the Railroad, about 7 miles from Alexandria. We are guarding a Bridge and doing Picket duty. There is not much danger in it but still we have to look pretty sharp. In day time we have nothing to do but eat + sleep and shoot game and pick strawberries. There is plenty of them. And in the night we have to do duty. I was sorry to hear of Jesse Stough being sick and I have no doubt it goes pretty hard with him. Tell Harry that I get his papers, but not very often. I think I do not get them all. I am very much obliged to him for them. There has been some very hard fighting going on at Richmond, and by this time it is thought that the city is ours. The weather down here has been very wet for this last week. I got your very kind letter in good season, and I am glad to hear you are all well. And I hope you will continue to enjoy good health. By the time this reaches you, you will no doubt have received $20.00 by the Adams Express Company. I would have sent you word before this, but being so far away from the city I had no chance. As soon as you get this letter, let me know if you got the money, which I should think will be a welcome visitor to you. I send my love to you all, and my respects to all inquiring friends. Remember me to Mr Stoughs [sic] family and to Harry. I have no more to send you at present [page 32] but hoping to hear from you soon. I still remain your affectionate Son + Brother. And may God Bless you all.


Robt J Armstrong
Company H. Col. Gregorys [sic]
91st Regt. P.V. Alexandria Va.

Write Soon

P.S. I expect my little sister Clara has got to be a young woman and does she put on any of your dresses now, and play Teacher, or the visitor

Rob.

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revised 5 Mar 14
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