Sgt Henry D. Wharton

Sunbury, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 1 Feb 1898 (aged 71)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Rockledge, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 132320408 · View Source
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Born in Sunbury on 28 November 1826, Henry D. Wharton was the eldest son of Charles Doughty Wharton, Sr. and Maria (Donnell) Wharton. Various sources indicate that Henry's middle name was either Doughty or Donnell. A member of the Presbyterian Church, he was also active with the church choir.

He was the older brother of Charles Doughty Wharton, Jr. (Find A Grave Memorial ID: 146040638), who, after being recognized for his bravery during the Mexican War, was an early responder to President Abraham Lincoln's call for troops at the start of the Civil War; and of Durrell Jordan Wharton (Find A Grave Memorial ID: 146056697), who also served honorably during the Civil War.

In 1847, Henry, Charles and Durrell lost their father when he passed away on 10 June. By 1850, they were residing with their mother and siblings, Mary Elizabeth and Amelia, along with three boarders whom his mother had taken in to help make ends meet.

Trained as a printer by Colonel Best, Henry D. Wharton became editor of the "Intelligencer," a newspaper serving the community of Danville in Montour County, Pennsylvania.

Returning home after honing his trade, he then worked for the "Sunbury American" newspaper until deciding to join with his brother, Charles, and their friends and neighbors in answering the call of President Abraham Lincoln to help quell the southern rebellion.


Henry D. Wharton enrolled for military duty from Sunbury, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania and mustered in as a Musician under Captain Charles J. Bruner with Company F of the 11th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Dauphin County on 23 April 1861. Engaged in the thick of the fighting during the Battle of Falling Waters, Virginia, Henry and the 11th Pennsylvania also saw action at Martinsburg and Bunker Hill. On 1 August 1861, after a decision by regimental leaders to temporarily extend their subordinates' Three Months' Service to support the short-staffed Union Army, Henry D. Wharton and his fellow Company F members mustered out with at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Dauphin County.

Henry Wharton then promptly re-upped for a three-year term of service, enrolling at Sunbury on 19 August 1861. On 2 September 1861, at the age of 34, he mustered in as a Musician with Company C of the newly formed 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Known as the "Sunbury Guards," Company C was composed almost entirely of men from Sunbury and its surrounding Northumberland County communities. Many, like Henry, had served with the 11th Regiment under Captain Bruner.

During his time with the 47th, Henry became widely known by readers of the "Sunbury American" as "H.D.W.," the author of regular letters home from the Sunbury Guards (Company C). His riveting prose stirringly conveyed the gallant exploits of comrades engaged in small skirmishes and major battles across the South while telegraphing the unrelenting heartache when peach fuzz-faced boys were cut down by yellow jack or cannon fire. The letters display the genuine goodness for which he was known throughout his life.

Promoted from Company C to the rank of full Commissary Sergeant for the entire 47th regiment on 1 July 1865, he mustered out just several months shy of the Civil War's end. Although Bates' "History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers" indicates that he mustered out from Charleston, South Carolina with his regiment on 25 December 1865, an October 1865 edition of the "Sunbury American" was already reporting the glad tidings of "his safe return."

A report from the first session of 43rd U.S. Congress (1873-74), confirms that Henry did in fact muster out in October. During that session, the members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Military Affairs were asked to consider bill H.R. 1245, "in relation to the case of Henry D. Wharton, late commissary-sergeant Forty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, on application for pay of installment of bounty.... That, after having served two years under the first three years' enlistment, he re-enlisted at Key West, Fla., where his regiment, the Forty-Seventh Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, was then stationed, for three years or during the war, as a veteran. This re-enlistment was in accordance with General Orders No. 191 and No. 305, of the War Department. On the 12th day of October, 1865, he was honorably discharged from the service of the United States...." Supporting documentation of his honorable discharge was provided by E.D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant-General, and W. Scott Johnston, First Lieutenant and Adjutant 47th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers. The following information provided by these officers clears up the confusion:

"There were then due him three installments of bounty, viz, 6th, 7th, and 8th. His last discharge was given at Charleston, S.C., from which place he was ordered to Hilton Head, S.C., to receive pay and bounty due him. The paymaster there paid him all that was due for wages and clothing account, and the sixth and eighth installments of veteran bounty, but declined paying him the seventh installment of bounty that was due him. Your committee can see no reason why the seventh installment was withheld when the eighth was paid, and therefore recommend the passage of this bill for relief."


On 4 May 1869, Henry D. Wharton married Pennsylvania native, Harriet Sophia Raymond. Born in 1834, Hattie was the daughter of William Newton Raymond (1808-1882) and Mary (Camp) Raymond (1812-1901). In 1860 Hattie was residing with her parents and siblings in Hyde Park, Luzerne County, where her father was employed as a merchant.

Often "serving at the pleasure of the President" as he resumed his civilian work life, Henry gravitated toward the public service arena where he employed his skills as a printer, writer, editor, and manager on behalf of the federal government's Washington, D.C. printing office, U.S. Departments of the Interior (Washington) and Treasury (Philadelphia), U.S. Mint (Philadelphia), and as a clerk for the Honorable J.B. Packer in Sunbury.

Sadly, Hattie widowed Henry early. She passed away in Philadelphia on 29 June 1876, and was interred with her parents, William and Mary (Camp) Raymond, and her younger brother Charles Henry Raymond (1836-1837), at the Nicholson Cemetery in Nicholson, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania.

Two years later, Henry married again. On 19 September 1878, he wed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native, Mary A. Kinsler, at the First Moravian Church in Philadelphia.

Despite being married twice, Henry had no children of his own, but he and his second wife did help to raise Willie and Mary A. Grant, the children of his late sister, Amelia (Wharton) Grant (1839-1875).

In 1880, Henry and Mary were living at their Philadelphia home with 15-year-old, Willie Grant, and 11-year-old, Mary Grant.


Tragically, after surviving the most precarious of Civil War moments and when he should have been enjoying his twilight years, Henry D. Wharton's unique voice was nearly silenced by a criminal act. On 15 March 1895, at the age of 69, he was attacked and beaten severely during a burglary at his place of employment. The Saturday, 16 March edition of The Times of Philadelphia provided these details:

"Henry D. Wharton, who is employed as a watchman for the Globe Mill Company, at Forty-eighth and Lancaster avenue, was surprised last night on his rounds and shot at by some burglars who had entered the works. The shot, however, was wide of the mark, and the burglars seeing that they were cornered, came at Watchman Wharton from behind and clubbed him into insensibility.

"He was found by some neighbors, who notified the police who scoured the vicinity for his assailants, but without success. The injured watchman was taken to the Presbyterian Hospital."

Three years later, on 1 February 1898, Henry D. Wharton succumbed to apoplexy. His widow, Mary A. Wharton, filed for his pension on 26 February 1898.

A Philadelphia church burial ledger documents his date of death, and indicates that he was interred in Section D, Lot 639 at Monument Cemetery in Philadelphia on 4 February 1898. His Philadelphia death certificate also confirms this same interment location. Now a defunct burial ground, other records show that the remains of all individuals interred at Monument Cemetery were transferred to the Lawnview Cemetery in Rockledge, Montgomery County in 1956.

Sources: Bates' "History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5"; "Genealogical and Biographical Annals of Northumberland County Pennsylvania," Chicago: J.L. Floyd & Co., 1911; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Death Certificates (Wharton, Henry D.); "Reports of the Committees of the House of Representatives for the First Session of the Forty-Third Congress, 1873-74 in Five Volumes," Report No. 822, Henry D. Wharton (page 427 of the PDF); Sunbury American (multiple editions); U.S Civil War Pension Index (Application No.: 1128782, Certificate No.: 922449, filed from Pennsylvania on 30 August 1892 from Pennsylvania by the veteran, Henry D. Wharton, and his attorney, William J. Wray; Application No.: 671283, Certificate No.: 475667, filed from New Jersey on 26 February 1898 by his widow, Mary A. Wharton); "A Watchman's Peril: Henry D. Wharton Is Shot at and Then Clubbed Into Insensibility," in "The Times" (16 March 1895), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Family Members

Gravesite Details Originally interred at Monument Cemetery in Philadelphia. Cemetery is now defunct. Remains of all individuals interred there were removed from Monument Cemetery in 1956 and transferred to Lawnview in Rockledge, Montgomery County.



  • Created by: lesnyder1
  • Added: 4 Jul 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 132320408
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Henry D. Wharton (28 Nov 1826–1 Feb 1898), Find A Grave Memorial no. 132320408, citing Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by lesnyder1 (contributor 47451559) .