Charles A. Marvin – “One Year, Six Months, and Eleven Days”

I took a writing detour last week to work on a history of my wife’s ancestor Charles A. Marvin. As far as I can determine, Mr. Marvin is the only relative who fought in the American Civil War. As the title on the blog entry reflects, the “working title” is Charles A. Marvin – A Brief Interruption. The interruption referred to is Marvin’s one-year, six-month, and eleven-day time in the Union Army. Charles was a private in Company L of the Seventh Cavalry Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Charles was a farmer in Covington, Pennsylvania when the war broke out in 1861. The 1860 US Census indicates that six people were members of the Marvin household: Charles (31), his wife Olive (28), Charles Elis (listed as Elis C.) (7), Emma J. (5), Elisabeth (4), and Hattie (1).

Charles was thirty-four when he enlisted for three years on February 12, 1864. The Regiment was originally formed in December 1861 and, during the course of the war, added new companies like Company  L to its ranks.  The company was probably organized and trained at Camp Cameron about 1 1/2 miles east of Harrisburg.  It was one of twelve camps in Harrisburg and vicinity. The company was raised in Berks County.

Seventh_PA_Cavalry_at Chickamauga

The Seventh Cavalry Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers Monument at Chickamauga, Georgia

The regiment fought in General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign in 1864. After the capture of Atlanta, the Seventh went to Louisville, Kentucky to obtain new mounts and equipment. The Army sent the regiment to Gravelly Springs, Alabama, on the Tennessee River, where it drilled and completed its organization  for the spring campaign of 1865. On March 22, it joined the command of General James H. Wilson on the expedition from Eastport, Mississippi across the Gulf States. Under Wilson, the regiment fought at Selma and Macon. The Seventh occupied Macon in April and performed duties in Nashville until mustered out of service in August 23, 1865.

After he returned home, he continued to farm in northern Pennsylvania until his death on October 2, 1898 in East Smithfield.

About Allen Mesch

Allen is an author, educator, and historian. He has written six books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days", Preparing for Disunion, and Ebenezer Allen - Statesman, Entrepreneur, and Spy. He taught classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and given presentations at Civil War Roundtables.
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