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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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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CAPTAIN GEORGE W. BISBING, participant in two wars, after gallantly battling for his country on many a hard-fought field gave his life’s blood in proof of his devotion to his flag.

He was of German descent, his earliest ancestor in America being his great-grandfather, Barnard Bisbing who came from Germany. Barnerd Bisbing was the father of seven sons and three daughters. George, the youngest of his children, settled at Fountain Inn, Barren Hill. He married Catherine Bilger. Their son, William, was a farmer on the Crawford farm in Plymouth township, and also lived on the Carver property on the Gulf road in Upper Merion township. He married Maria Streeper, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Streeper, and to them was born one child, George W. Bisbing.

George W. Bisbing was born at Barren Hill, May 28, 1823. His career was one most notable, and such as must be inspiring to all who knew him or of him. He was educated at the Norristown Academy, where he had for school companions two men whose names are famous in history-that superb soldier, General Winfield S. Hancock, and General George F. Hartranft, who after splendid service in the Civil war twice became governor of Pennsylvania. George W. Bisbing was a young man of twenty-three when the war with Mexico occurred, and during the two years of that brilliant conflict he was in the employ of the United States government on a vessel carrying supplies from New Orleans to the army in Mexico, and he was present at that stirring scene, the surrender of Vera Cruz to General Winfield Scott. After the restoration of peace Captain Bisbing returned to his home. While an academy student he had learned civil and mechanical engineering, but he did not follow the occupation and settled upon a farm.

He was so engaged when the Civil war broke out. As soon as he could arrange his affairs, he left his little family, consisting of his wife and two children, the one of eleven and the other of two years, and on September 28, 1861, went to the front with Company I, Fifty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. This company was recruited through his own effort, and he encamped his men upon his own farm, his wife cooking for them. At the organization of the company Mr. Bisbing was elected first lieutenant, and he was promoted to the captaincy on June 23, of the following year. His regiment was assigned to the brigade commanded by General Hartranft, who had been his former school companion. Captain Bisbing participated in some of the most arduous campaigns and bloody battles of the war, in both the south and west, acquitting himself with unsurpassable courage and displaying officer-like conduct of the highest degree. His active service began with General Burnsides’ expedition to North Carolina, with the tempestuous voyage in midwinter, followed by the capture of Roanoke Island and the battle of Newberne. His command was then conveyed to Virginia, when it operated under General Pope and afterward under General McClellan, and fought in the battles’ of Kelley’s Ford, Rappahannock River, Sulphur Springs, Warrenton, Groverton, Gainesville, the second Bull Run, Chantilly, Frederick, South Mountain, Antietam and Upperville. At Antietam, Captain Bisbing’s sword was broken by a Rebel rifle ball, after it had passed through the body of a man by his side, who fell dead on the instant. Sent west to aid General Grant, Captain Bisbing’s regiment came under the immediate notice of the writer of this narrative, taking part in the siege of Vicksburg, and after witnessing the surrender of that city, participating in the battle of Big Black River, and the several days’ battles at Jackson, Mississippi, in the latter of which, on July 16, 1863, he was wounded in the shoulder. Captain Bisbing’s regiment was now sent to the relief of General Burnside, who was in state of siege and at the point of starvation, at Knoxville, Tennessee. En route, Captain Bisbing was engaged in the battles of Loudon, Lewis Farm, and Campbell’s Station, and finally fought General Bragg’s army, at Knoxville, raising the siege, and admitting supplies to the famished garrison. The regiment was now transported again to Virginia, and took a noble part in the series of battles in the Wilderness, and at Spottsylvania Courthouse. In the last named engagement, May 12, 1864, about ten o’clock, while gallantly leading his men, Captain Bisbing was wounded in the hand. Refusing to leave the field, he applied a bandage and continued in action with his men until two o’clock in the afternoon, when he was shot down, a rifle ball entering his right side and penetrating to the left, and remaining there. The injured man was removed to Seminary Hospital, at Georgetown, D. C., where he lingered until June 5, when he died.

Thus passed away a splendid type of the volunteer soldier of the Civil war. “Proving his truth by his endeavor,” he and such as he gave in their life and death the heroic example which inspired the great Lincoln, at Gettysburg, to voice the most pathetic and eloquent tribute to patriotism that ever fell from human lips. While a matchless soldier Captain Bisbing was also a model citizen, cultivating, even amidst the horrors of war, the gentle manners of peace, and the virtues of a devout Christian life. The esteem in which he was held at his home was evidenced in the presentation to him, by the citizens, of a beautiful sword, a sacred relic now cherished with a glowing yet sorrowful pride by his daughter, Anna, who also has in her possession the sword broken in battle, as previously mentioned, with numerous relics sent home by her father from many of the most notable battle-fields of the war. Captain Bisbing was a member of the Lutheran church, and the lodge of Odd Fellows at Barren Hill, and was a Republican in politics.

Captain Bisbing married, December 13, 1849, Miss Elizabeth Shainline, daughter of Andrew and Ann S. (Holstein) Shainline, of Upper Merion township. Her father was a farmer and lime burner in Upper Merion township. He was a Whig in politics and captain of a company of state militia prior to war times, commissioned by the governor. In religious faith he was a member of the old Swedish church of Upper Merion. He was the son of Jacob and Rebecca (Yocum) Shainline, who owned a tract of four hundred acres along the King of Prussia turnpike in Upper Merion. He married Ann Sophia Holstein, May 17, 1826. The couple had nine children, as follows: Elizabeth, who married George W. Bisbing; DeWitt Clinton, who married Catherine Davis; George Holstein, deceased, who married Sarah Forsythe; William Holstein, who married Mary Emily Potter; James Yocum, unmarried; Rebecca Emily, deceased; Mary Louisa, deceased; Henry Harris, who married Abbie S. DeHaven; and Ann Sophia, deceased.

Captain and Mrs. Bisbing were the parents or four children: William Holstein, born October 6, 1850, married Emma Styer, of Plymouth, and has one child, Martha; Winfield Scott, born September 21, 1852, died May 23, 1858; Maria Streeper, born December 25, 1854, died May 19, 1858; and Anna Holstein, born March 10, 1859.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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