Born April 1, 1834 in Perry County, Luther Bernheisel was the son of George and Susan K. Bernheisel.
Married to Catharine Winters in 1856, they began their family before the first shots of America's Civil War were fired.
Luther Bernheisel enlisted as a Private in Company H of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers on August 20, 1861. His brief obituary in the June 1, 1918 edition of the "Harrisburg Telegraph," modestly states that "he was south of the Mason and Dixon line" during his period of enlistment. In fact, he first participated with the 47th in defending the nation's capital in 1861 and then, after transferring south with the regiment, engaged in the Battle of Pocotaligo, South Carolina (October 1862). Following a period during which the 47th Pennsylvania defended various points from South Carolina to Florida, including the garrisoning of Forts Taylor and Jefferson (1863), the 47th was moved to Louisiana, becoming the only Pennsylvania regiment involved in the Red River Campaign of Union General Nathaniel Banks (March-May 1864).
Transferred back to the East Coast, Luther and the 47th then participated in the tide-turning Shenandoah Valley Campaign of Union General Philip Sheridan (Fall 1864), which included significant engagements by the 47th at Opequan and Fisher's Creek (September 1864), and the Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864).
After completing his service with the 47th on January 11, 1866, Luther Bernheisel returned home to Pennsylvania. Residing in Harrisburg, he became "widely and favorably known throughout the entire city" where, according to the Telegraph, "he was engaged in the tailoring business, and during the latter part of his career, specialized in the making of ladies coats."
Succumbing to apoplexy at his Reilly Street home on May 29, 1918, funeral services were conducted from his home June 1 by Rev. H.W.A. Hanson, pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church. Luther Bernheisel was survived by his second wife, Emma (Sheetz) Bernheisel (whom he married in 1879), eight children and 22 grandchildren, and was interred at the East Harrisburg Cemetery in Dauphin County.
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