My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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J. W. BERRY, farmer of Gibbon township, Buffalo county, Nebr., was born in Noble county, Ohio, and there reared. He enlisted in the Federal army. One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio volunteer infantry, November 6, 1862, which command was attached to the Army of the Potomac and served with that army during the entire war. He was in all the principal engagements fought by the Army of the Potomac. Being a mere lad he was detailed as a musician, but carried a gun most of the time. His command participated in some of the heaviest battles fought by the Army of the Potomac, and sustained heavy losses in several engagements, notably at Mine Run and the Wilderness, Virginia. The total loss of his regiment in killed and those who died of wounds, disease, accident and in rebel prisons during the war, as shown by the official records at Washington, were: officers, nine, and enlisted men, two hundred and twenty-three. Mr. Berry has especial reasons to remember the battle of Cedar Creek as he there barely got off with his life. He had just been relieved of guard duty when Early made the charge on the Federal lines before sun-up and, there being a heavy fog, there was considerable confusion during which most of the Federal pickets took shelter in an old house. Mr. Berry was not fortunate enough to get in, it being crowded to over-flowing before he got to it. Being hard pressed by the enemy and seeing that something must be done, and done at once, he determined to make good his escape if possible, and keeping the house between himself and the advancing pickets the best he could, he battered down a large paling fence with his gun, made his way through, escaped and assisted in bearing off the field his general, who was wountled in the engagement. In this venture Mr. Berry lost all his accoutrements, had his cap shot off, seven bullet holes shot in his clothes and he was cut through the skin on both hips, but otherwise uninjured. He served as a private and was in from the date of his enlistment till the surrender, being present at Appomattox and saw Lee, as he says, “give up under the famous apple-tree.” He was discharged July 5, 1865. Returning to Ohio, he moved shortly afterwards to Fulton county, Ill., where he lived, engaged in farming till March, 1872, when he came to Nebraska as a member of the Old Soldier’s Homestead Colony and settled in Gibbon township, Buffalo county. He homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 6, township 9, range 14, which he subsequently sold and moved on to the northeast quarter of section 7, adjoining where he now lives. He has a good farm, small, but well improved and pleasantly located, and everything on his place is in a thrifty, prosperous condition. He has been devoted strictly to agriculture and is now one of the oldest settlers in Gibbon township. He has served as assessor of his township three terms and has been active in school matters. He has a family — wife and two children. He married, November, 1862, Anna E. Mercer, of Noble county, Ohio; his children, Frank M. and Lula, now being grown. Mr. Berry cast his lot with the republican party on the war issues and has never seen cause to waver in his allegiance to that party since.

In personal appearance he is pleasant and affable. He has an honest, open countenance and greets friend and stranger alike with a hearty grasp of the hand. He is generous in disposition and as kind and hospitable about his home as any living man.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Buffalo County, Nebraska family biographies here: Buffalo County, Nebraska Biographies

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