The son of Henry M. & Mary P. (Smith) Geiter, in 1860 he was a butcher's apprentice living with his family in Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
A Civil War veteran, he enlisted and mustered into federal service at Lancaster August 19, 1861, as a private with Co. A, 79th Pennsylvania Infantry, but was killed instantly from a head shot at the battle of Chickamauga. His father served with the same regiment in Co. I.
Shortly her son's death, Mary Geiter applied for her son's pension, claiming Joshua as her primary means of support because her husband was an alcoholic who "spent most of his earnings for liquor" and provided corroborating testimony to prove it. Nowhere in the pension records does anyone mention that Henry Geiter had served in the same regiment. Mary got her mother's pension despite the fact her husband was still alive.
There is a question as to whether this is an actual burial site or a cenotaph, although no record of a military burial was found. September 19 is also reported as his date of death, and both dates are possible.
JOSHUA WEISTLING GEITER
Henry M. & Mary P. Geiter
Private of the 79 Regt. PA
Born September 6th 1842
Killed at the Battle of Chichamaugh, GA
September 19th 1863
Aged 21 years & 13 days