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Pvt Charles C Betterly

Pvt Charles C Betterly

Berwick, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 1 May 1921 (aged 83)
Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 44187791 · View Source
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Charles C. Betterly

I find three published records on Charles and from this records I have extracted and developed his history.

In April of 1915 at the age of 77 this Civil War Veteran Celebrates his birthday with family and friends. At this time he lived at 71 East North St., Wilkes-Barre, neither in appearance nor action does he show his age as just this week he made and hung two large store awnings, his trade being the manufacturer of a awnings and the owner of an awning business.

C.C. Betterly was the son of William B. Betterly and Chloe White, Betterly was born in Berwick on April 24, 1838, and came to this city when about fifteen years of age. Betterly worked with his father as a carpenter until enlisting into the Civil War. Prior to his enlistment he was a member of the Old Neptune Volunteer Fire company No. 3 in Wilkes-Barre. He was a pioneer in this section of Wilkes-Barre and watched the Wyoming Valley grow from a hamlet to a community of 150,000 people in 1915.

Mr. Betterly was also a veteran of the Civil War with a remarkable record. He enlisted with the 143rd PA. Volunteers Regiment on August 4, 1862, in which he trained in Luzerne and served with that command until the close of the war. He went through all the battles participated in by the 143rd Regiment. He was mustered into the service in the 143rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, organized at Luzerne, August 27, 1862.

The regiment of which he was a member covered itself with glory at the battle of Gettysburg. He saw action at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863 and at Gettysburg two months later he was keeping back the Confederates along the Chambersburg Pike. Betterly's unit arrived at Gettysburg on the first day of the three-day battle and fought to slow the Confederate advance in order to allow Union forces to occupy the high ground on Cemetery Hill. Betterly was wounded on July 2, 1865 and spent the rest of the battle in a field hospital behind Union front lines, and at the end of the battle he was taken to a Baltimore Hospital where he recovered and upon his recovery was again assigned to the 143rd regiment, was given special duty in rounding up bounty jumpers and guerrillas He had the privileged of seeing John S. Mosby, leader of a band of guerrillas, in fight before a detachment of Union cavalry and was in Columbus, Ohio, when John Monroe, also a guerrilla, escaped from the jail there. He was wounded again in the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. After returning home on a furlough, Betterly was posted to Washington 1865.

On April 14, 1865 which was his 27th birthday, he attended a performance of "My American Cousin" and witnessed when John Wilkes Booth fired a bullet into Abraham Lincoln's head and leapt from the balcony to the stage at Ford's Theatre, at Washington D.C., Betterly was in the audience. Half an hour afterwards Betterly took part in the search for John Wilkes Booth -- named for the English politician who gave Wilkes-Barre half of its name, Betterly was on a special boat bound for Fortress Monroe, one of the many searching parties that started in pursuit of the assassin John Wilkes Booth. Charles was afterwards appointed a body guard at President Lincoln's funeral. He served three years during the Civil war with the 143rd until the close of war.

In the Birthday Article published in 1915, it mentions that it was just fifty years ago that Charles witness President Lincoln's Assassination.

In the services of his country, as in his private business, Mr. Betterly was conscientious in his work, always alert to duty, and through his earnestness, cheerfulness and kindly nature won the deep respect and esteem of all who knew him. He was mustered out of service at Hart's Island, New York harbor, June 12, 1865.

Charles belonged to Company C of 143rd. He served under my 3rd Great Grandfather Sgt. Thomas Dakin. Resource - From Contributor - James Clark #47371387# - The info regarding the service of Charles in Co. C, 143rd Regt. PA Vol. Inf. comes from two main sources. The US Civil War Pension Record that lists his regiment and lists his wife Medora, who is listed as a dependent. And then the National Park Service records for US Civil War Soldiers which lists his Company, regiment and rank.

His brother, Dr. E. L. Betterly served through the war as a surgeon, and the subject of this sketch can well remember his great great grandmother, widow of a soldier of the Revolutionary War. Mr. Betterly has seen the equipment that was used by his great great grandfather in the war against England, as it was pointed out to him by the widow the soldiers of 1776 at her home in Butler Valley near Drums. This woman lived to be 110 years of age.

Returning to Wilkes-Barre after the war, Charles later married, Medora Bowman the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Bowman, Medora and Charles where married on September of 1873 at Carverton by Rev. Isaac Austin, and resumed work as a carpenter. Betterly lived in Wilkes-Barre City until moving to Pottsville in 1873. When 19 suspected members of the band of the Molly Maguires that were sentenced to death, Betterly was on the jury. The Molly Maguires were Irish miners suspected of murders and violence aimed at coal operators. Nineteen Molly Maguires were executed in 1877. Betterly returned to Wilkes-Barre, started a lucrative awning manufacturing firm and was active in veterans affairs.

His wife, and, Mr. Betterly has the following children:L Austin W., C. Bowman - (Ethel Betterly's father) of Scranton: E. Stanley, of Kingston: W.L., Foreman at J.W. Praeder's; I.R.., with the Scranton Times; Mrs. Richard Arnold, Mrs. R. S. Honeywell, the last two families residing with the parents. There are also two grandchildren, Charles and Myrtle, who reside at the North street home.

In his 1915 birthday celebration, all of the sons and daughters at the house yesterday for dinner and there many gifts presented to the father. A big birthday cake occupied the center of the table and altogether the day was made an enjoyable one for him. Betterly was a local celebrity because of his ties to the Lincoln assassination.

Charles Obituary mentions that on May 1, 1921 at the age of 88 of a long illness of general debility died at his home at 401 North Main Street. He had been allying for several months but up to that time has always been very active attending to his business as an awning manufacturer.

His wife survives him; also the following children: Austin, Charles Bowman - Father of Ethel Betterly, William L. Mrs. Richard Arnold, of this city:L Mrs. R. Stanley Honeywell of this city; Ithel R., of Clark's Summit, and E. Stanley, Mt. Greenwood. Mr. Betterly is also survived by the following grandchildren; Charles C., Myrtle, Ethel. William A. Betterly and Mildred Betterly of Mr. Greenwood; Frances, Medora and Paul V. Betterly of this city; James, Mary, John and Kathleen Betterly of Clark's Summit.

His death in 1921 was widely reported in all three daily newspapers serving Wilkes-Barre at the time. He is buried at the old historic Hollenback Cemetery, where many of other prominent area citizens are buried.

Resources -Published in the Wilkes-Barre Record -1915, The Wilkes Barre Times - 1921 and The Times Leader 2003.

Trying to locate his father and mother - William B. shows died in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. in 1873, and his mother Chloe White Betterly who died in 1837 in Huntington Township, Luzerne Co., PA. Also, his grandparents Thomas & Susan Smith Betterly, both dying in Huntington Township, Luzerne Co., Pa.

Anna Nancy Marshall Betterly - Great grandmother - Burial - Find A Grave - St. John's Cemetery, Butler Township, Luzerne county, PA. - Memorial #45852173. Also, buried here is her husband William Carson Betterly - memorial # 45851970.

Thomas and Susan Smith Betterly - buried at Scott's Cemetery in Huntington Mills, Luzerne county, PA. Thomas - Memorial #116258335 and Susan Memorial #116258449

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  • Maintained by: Tweety Emmett
  • Originally Created by: pat callahan
  • Added: 11 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 44187791
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Pvt Charles C Betterly (14 Apr 1838–1 May 1921), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44187791, citing Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Tweety Emmett (contributor 47637041) .