John O. HUFF was born November 22, 1837 in Walpack Township, Sussex County, New Jersey to William Coursen HUFF and Catharine LOSEY. John was the eldest of 7 children (8 if you count his nephew, William H., who his parents adopted). The family lived on the road over the mountain between the villages of Stillwater and Flatbrookville. Flatbrookville, which is little more than a few houses today, was located along the Delaware River. The road is still there but the farm and house are long gone. The road is closed on the Stillwater side of the pass.

Little is known about John's early life. He worked the farm and, as the oldest, was probably responsible for helping his father as soon as he was able. The farm was located in Walpack Township (not Stillwater Township) so he probably attended school in Flatbrookville. In 1861, when he enlisted in the Union Army, Flatbrookville was listed as his home town.

I have not been able to figure out what the "O" stands for but he used it all the time. His son, Mahlon, also used "O" for his middle initial.

Family

John married Mary Ann CRAWN (1843-1920) on December 24, 1864. Mary Ann was his first cousin once removed; that is, the grand-daughter of his Aunt Elizabeth KEEN nee HUFF and daughter of his cousin Sarah Ann CRAWN nee KEEN. This was not as unusual as it is today. John and Mary Ann had 3 children:

  1. Rosa Belle "Rosy" HUFF (1868-?)
  2. Mahlon O. HUFF (1870-1939)
  3. Sarah Margaret "Maggie" HUFF (1874-1940)

 

Timeline

SEPTEMBER 20, 1861 – TRENTON, NEW JERSEY – John O. Huff of Flatbrookville, Sussex County, New Jersey enlisted to serve for 3 years in the Ninth New Jersey Volunteers. The 9th New Jersey (9NJ), later nicknamed the "Jersey Muskrats", formally mustered in at Camp Olden near Trenton. John probably signed up to serve in Sussex County before traveling south to start training for war.

The 9th was raised as a regiment of "sharpshooters" who were required to hit the bull (bullseye) on a target 200 yards away with a rifled musket. That means John was a good shot with an advanced weapon (most regiments were still using smoothbore). 

The war has been called many things including the American Civil War, the War of Southern Independence, the Was of Secession, and even Mr. Lincoln's War. Whatever name you prefer it was a long, brutal, and bloody rip in the culture that had evolved in the United States.

DECEMBER 6, 1861 – WASHINGTON, DC – The 9th New Jersey arrived at Washington today from Camp Olden. The regiment of sharpshooters went into camp on the Bladensburg Turnpike where the men will continue training and await orders.

FEBRUARY 8, 1862 – ROANOKE ISLAND, VIRGINIA – The Burnside Expedition, including the 9th New Jersey under command of Brigadier-General Jesse L. Reno, fought for control of this key navigation position. The ultimate purpose of the Expedition is to bring the war to the rebels in North Carolina and, hopefully, separate Virginia from the other states in rebellion. The regiment moved out about 8 o'clock in the morning and passed through the 51st New York Volunteers. There were some reports of friendly fire as the 9th advanced through the wetlands toward the main fortifications. Under heavy fire from the front, and some from behind, the regiment took the assigned position and pushed the rebels out. The regiment suffered 9 killed and 25 wounded.

MARCH 14, 1862 – NORTH CAROLINA – The 9th New Jersey moved with other Union forces into the coastal area of North Carolina, which seceded from the Union on May 20, 1861, on the 11th of March. The regiment moved up the Neuse River and attacked an entrenched position this morning. Their destination was New Berne. The regiment lost 4 killed and 58 wounded.

When General Burnside moved north into Virginia the 9th New Jersey remained in North Carolina on garrison and supression duties. By keeping a strong presence in North Carolina the Union created logistics and transportation problems for the rebels.

APRIL 7, 1863 – SOUTH CAROLINA – The 9th New Jersey moved into North Carolina under the command of General Foster on January 20 of this year. The regiment headed to St. Helena Island where they remained for 2 months. So the rebels were aware of a Federal presence in the area when attacked today. The regiment was making a move toward Charleston.

AUGUST 13, 1863 – NORTH CAROLINA – Major-General Peck assumed command of the Department of North Carolina today. The 9th New Jersey soon moved back to North Carolina. The regiment was in South Carolina while the Battle of Gettysburg and related battles took place in Pennsylvania.

JANUARY 17, 1864 – NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – John O. Huff and over 50% of the remaining men re-enlisted for another "3 years or [duration of] the war" today. Due to the number of experienced men that remain, the regiment's name is changed to the Ninth New Jersey Veteran Volunteers. This is a source of pride for the men. John was 5 foot 10-1/2 inches with a light complexion, blue eyes, and sandy hair; the very picture of a young man of Dutch or German ancestry.

JULY 30, 1864 – PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA – The Battle of the Crater today tried to force the siege today but, after achieving surprise, failed. The 9th New Jersey, under command of General Ord, was in position to support leading elements of the attack. It is unclear when or where they were actually positioned but they probably did not enter the crater.

Private John O. HUFF of Company E, 9th New Jersey Veteran Volunteers was wounded by a Minié Ball today. The shot fractured the bone, requiring the right thumb to be amputated at the field hospital. John was then moved away from the barrlefield, first to Fort Monroe and later to an army hospital near Philadelphia. He was eventuall returned to his home state and received care at the General Army Hospital at Newark. 

NOVEMBER 5-12, 1864 – SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY – John O. HUFF was granted leave to visit Flatbrookville in Sussex County from the "Ward" General Hospital in Newark. 

DECEMBER 24, 1864 – SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY – John O. HUFF, a private in Company E of the 9th New Jersey Veteran Volunteers who was wounded in the right hand before Petersburgh, Virginia last summer, married Mary Ann CRAWN on Christmas Eve. Mary Ann is the daughter of James CRAWN and the former Sarah Ann KEEN. The groom and his new mother-in-law are also first cousins.

His service record does not include a pass for leave from the hospital but we have to assume he had permission.

FEBRUARY 11, 1865 – NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Private John O. HUFF, Company E, Ninth New Jersey Veteran Volunteers was discharged today for medical reasons.

OCTOBER 6, 1868 – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – John O. HUFF purchased 48 acres from Edward and Elizabeth Clark today in Standing Stone Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania for $1,440.

1868 – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – Rosa Bell HUFF was born.

Until Rosy's birth date is found we don't know if she was born on the new property or not. Mary Ann's parents lived nearby so she and John may have lived with her parents until he could afford to buy his own land.

1870 – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – Mahlon O. HUFF wad born.

JANUARY 1 or 2, 1874 – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – John O. HUFF and the former Mary Ann CRAWN welcomed a daughter, named Sarah Margaret, today. They call her "Maggie".

There is some confusion in John's pension file about whether Sarah/Maggie was born on January 1 or 2.

1883  – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – John O. HUFF receives a veteran pension of $4/month pension for his wound.

1884  – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – John O. HUFF had 46 acres taxed against a value of $450. He also had 2 cows and 2 horses.

1886  – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – John O. HUFF had 40 acres cleared land and about 10 acres wooded land. Not sure what happened with the size of his property but I doubt he was buying and selling land. He still had 2 cows and 2 horses. His property was valued at $1,440.

FEBRUARY 17, 1887 – STANDING STONE, PENNSYLVANIA – John O. HUFF, a veteran of the Civil War, died today ot stomach problems that had plagued him since his service in North Carolina.

The "stomach problem" probably refers to dysentery, which was rampant in army camps. While there were many other diseases or parasites that could have lingered for 20+ years, dysenteryis a really good candidte based on the little description in his pension file.

John was buried in the Keene Summit Cemetery. He has a headstone provided by the U.S. Government.

MARCH 7, 1887 – TOWANDA, PENNSYLVANIA – The Last Will and Testement of John O. HUFF, written when he knew he was dying, was probated today. He left $10 to each of his 3 children and everything else to his wife. George W. Huff [his brother] and Oscar Schoonover witnessed the Will.

 


Sources

  1. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), ed (9 Aug 1850) [1850]. 1850 United States Federal Census. Series: NARA M432. Roll 464 (of 1,009 rolls). Walpack Township, Sussex County, New Jersey: U.S. Census Bureau, Ancestry.com [updated 2009]. p. 2B (image 10), Lines 4-11. "Household of William C. Huff (1818-1898)"
  2. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), ed (27 Jul 1860) [1860]. 1860 United States Federal Census. Series: NARA M653. Roll: 709 (of 1,438 rolls), SLC Family History Library Film: 803,709. Walpack Township, Sussex County, New Jersey: U.S. Census Bureau, Ancestry.com [updated 2009]. p. 381 (image 286), Lines 3-12. "Household of William C. Huff (1818-1898)"
  3. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), ed (2 Jul 1870) [1870]. 1870 United States Federal Census. Series: NARA M593. Roll: 1,312 (of 1,761 rolls), SLC Family History Film: 552,811. Standing Stone Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania: U.S. Census Bureau, Ancestry.com [updated 2009]. p. 451B (image 179), page 22 (handwritten), Lines 10-13. "Household of John O. Huff (1837-1887), post-office: Myersburg"
  4. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), ed (9 Jun 1880) [1880]. 1880 United States Federal Census. Series: NARA T9. Roll: 1,104 (of 1,454 rolls), SLC Family History Film: 1,255,104. Standing Stone Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania: U.S. Census Bureau, Ancestry.com [updated 2009]. p. 397B (image 784), Enumeration District (E.D.): 24, Lines 21-25. "Household of John O. Huff (1837-1887)"
  5. History of Sussex and Warren Counties New Jersey with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of he Prominent Men and Pioneers. James P. Snell. Published by Evers & Peck, Philadelphia 1881. Page 118.
  6. Sept, 24, 1861. New Jersey State Archives. 9th New Jersey Volunteers. Company "E".
  7. United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Service file for private John O. Huff, 9th New Jersey Infantry, Company E.
  8. United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Medical file for private John O. Huff, 9th New Jersey Infantry, Company E.
  9. United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Pension file for private John O. Huff, 9th New Jersey Infantry, Company E.
  10. Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil Was 1861-1865. Vol. I. Compiled in the Office of the Adjutant General. William S. Stryker. 1876. Page 457.
  11. Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil Was 1861-1865. Vol. I. Compiled in the Office of the Adjutant General. William S. Stryker. 1876. Page 457.
  12. List of Discharged Men and Deserters from the Ninth Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers. January 1864. New Jersey State Archives.
  13. Bradford County, Pennsylvania Deed Books. Book 87, Pages 276-279.
  14. 1883 List of Pensioners Bradford County, Pennsylvania (Mainly for the Civil War). Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. 1988. Page 20.
  15. List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883. Volume II. Genealogical Publishing Company. 1978. Page 550. Certificate No. 40,073.
  16. Bradford County, Pennsylvania Tax Assessment Records. Standing Stone 1884. John O. Huff. Located at the Bradford County Historical Society.
  17. Bradford County, Pennsylvania Tax Assessment Records. Standing Stone 1886. John O. Huff. Located at the Bradford County Historical Society.
  18. Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Wills. Book [NEED], Page 23, No. 4305.
  19. Keene Summit Cemetery, Standing Stone Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, USA. 2004 cemetery reading by Joan Kintner. Found at the Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice. (link)

External Links

 

Full Disclosure: I wrote the initial Wikipedia article about the 9th New Jersey Volunteers referenced on this page based on my research about John O. Huff. Several others improved the article but I wrote the starting article. So any errors or discrepencies in one article may have affected the other. Please let me know if you notice any inconsistencies.