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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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NICHOLAS BAGGS, an enterprising and public-spirited citizen of Abington township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, who served with credit and distinction during the war of the Rebellion, laying aside the pen to take up the sword in defense of the country he loved, is a native of Hillsboro, Caroline county, Maryland, the date of his birth being June 6, 1835.

Isaac Baggs, grandfather of Nicholas Baggs, was born October 18, 1769. He was united in marriage July 14, 1796, to Nancy Price, who was born February 16, 1777, a daughter of Morgan Price, and by this marriage were born two sons, namely: William P., born April 23, 1798; and John, born December 19, 1799. Isaac Baggs married for his second wife Mary Price, a sister of his first wife; she was born February 12, 1786, and died December 15, 1839. The issue of this union was the following named children: Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah, Mary, Martha, Henrietta, Avarilla, Hannah and Louisa Baggs.

William P. Baggs, father of Nicholas Baggs, was born near Centerville, Queen Anne county, Maryland, April 23, 1798. He was reared on his father’s farm, and received a liberal education which thoroughly qualified him for the position of school teacher, in which capacity he served in the neighborhood schools for a number of years, discharging his duties with the greatest efficiency. By his marriage to Mary Nichols, who was a daughter of Jonathan and Hannah Nichols, the following named children were born: Ann Elizabeth, born February 19, 1821, died August 25, 1845; John Nichols, born March 20, 1823, died August 11, 1838; William Montgomery, born May 30, 1824, married Anna M. Malseed, a daughter of John and Mary Malseed, who bore him five children: James, Walter, Harry, Montgomery and Mary; Gustavus, born March 11, 1827, died January 25, 1852; Isaac, born October 18, 1825, died about 1885; James, born April, 1830, died in infancy; Charles, born September 26, 1828, died in infancy; George W., born July 22, 1831, died in 1889; Joshua, born October 12, 1833, died in infancy; Nicholas, born June 6, 1835, mentioned at length hereinafter. The career of William P. Baggs (father) was cut prematurely short by death at the early age of thirty-six years.

Nicholas Baggs attended the common schools of his birthplace, Hillsboro, Maryland, the model school between Eighth and Ninth streets and Race and Vine streets, Philadelphia, and the grammar school located at that time on Zane, near Seventh street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father died prior to his birth, and his mother when he was but five years of age. His sister then took charge of him, but she too was taken from him by death one year later. He then found a home among his relatives, and at the tender age of twelve years secured employment in the dry goods store of Eyre & Landell. His remuneration for the first year was but one dollar per week, with the understanding that he was to receive an additional dollar for each succeeding year until his salary should reach five dollars per week. At the end of the fifth year he was promoted to the position of clerk, serving as such until he attained the age of twenty-two years. In the meantime he acquired the art of bookkeeping by devoting his evenings to study, and the firm advanced him to the position of cashier and book-keeper, in which capacity he served for four years at a very moderate salary. Being desirous of bettering his financial condition, he dissolved his connection with the firm with which he had been so long associated, and entered the employ of Julius Hauel, manufacturer of French perfumes, his establishment being located on Chestnut street, above Seventh street, Philadelphia, at a salary of nine hundred dollars a year. After a short period of time his former employers sent for him, offering him the same pay he was then receiving, which was nearly three times the amount they had previously given him. Feeling more at home with the old firm, he returned to them and remained with them one year, and then entered the employ of Hacker and Conrad, remaining with them until the breaking out of the war of the rebellion.

Mr. Baggs then laid aside his pen and enlisted as first lieutenant of Company D, Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (One Hundred and Twelfth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers), serving for three years, during which time he never lost a days’ service until he was wounded at the battle of Chapin’s Farm. At the expiration of his time, January 9, 1865, he was honorably discharged. He participated in the following named engagements, as taken from the war records:

He entered the service as first lieutenant of Battery D, Second Pennsylvania Volunteers, Heavy Artillery, to rank from December 16, 1861. Promoted to captain August 23, 1862. Wounded at Chapin’s Farm (Fort Gilmer), Virginia, September 29, 1864. Received a gunshot in the left arm while serving as A. A. A. Genera1 to Colonel H. S. Fairchild, commanding the Third Brigade, Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps. Mustered out January 9, 1865, expiration term of service. The Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (One Hundred and Twelfth Pennsylvania Volunteers), was organized at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1862, with Charles Angeroth, Sr., as colonel; John H. Oberteuffer, Sr., lieutenant-colonel; and William Candidus, major. The regiment served in the defenses of Washington, and artillery division, Military District of Washington, from February 25, 1862. First Brigade defenses north of the Potomac, District of Washington, from January, 1863. First Brigade, Haskin’s Division, defenses of Washington, Twenty-second Army Corps from February, 1863. First Brigade, De Russey’s Division, Department of Washington, Twenty-second Army Corps, from April, 1864. Third Brigade, Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps, Army of the James, from June, 1864. Provisional Brigade, defenses of Bermuda Hundred, and First Brigade, Infantry Division, Army of the James, Department of Virginia and North Carolina from December, 1864. Sub-District of the Blackwater and District of the Nottoway Department of Virginia and Division of the Atlantic, from May, 1865. Batteries D, G and H, duty at Fort Delaware, January 9 to March 19, 1862. The remaining companies served in the fortifications of Washington, D. C., from February 25, 1862, to May 27, 1864. Batteries D, G and H joined the regiment March 19, 1862. Batteries L and M were added to the regiment, and moved from Fort Delaware to Washington November 24, 1862. The regiment embarked on steamer “Young America” for Port Royal, Virginia, May 27, 1864; operations at Cold Harbor, June 3-12; repulse of night attack, June 7, under heavy artillery fire June 12, flank movement on Petersburg, June 12-16, 1864. Siege of Petersburg and Richmond, June 16, 1864 until April 2, 1865. Assault on the entrenched lines near Jordan’s House, June 16-17, 1864. Capture of redoubt on Spring Hill road, June 17. Assault near City Point Railroad, June 18, repulse of Hoke’s attack near Hare’s Hill, June 24; duty in the entrenchments, June 24 to August 23; mine explosion or battle of the Crater, July 30. (In reserve). Operations on the north side of the James River September 29-October 30, 1864. Moved to Deep Bottom and Malvern Hill, September 28. Battle of Chapin’s Farm and capture of Fort Harrison, September 29. Operations about Dutch Gap, October 4-30. Reconnoissance in force to Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road, October 27-28, detachment. Occupied the line south of Fort Harrison, Fort Burnham, until December 2. Duty on the Bermuda Hundred front, December, 1864, March, 1865. Battery A on duty at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, February to August, 1865. Fall of Petersburg, April 2, and of Richmond, April 3. Pursuit of the enemy to Chesterfield station April 3. Duty in Petersburg, guarding the approaches, until April 5-11. Provost duty in the sub-district of the Blackwater and District of the Nottoway, April, 1865, until January, 1866. Mustered out at City Point, Virginia, January 29, 1866. Discharged at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 16, 1866.

On February 24, 1859, Mr. Baggs married Lydia P. Longstreth, a daughter of Thomas Mifflin and Deborah M. (Dempsey), Longstreth, of Philadelphia. By this union were born five children, as follows: Mary Nichols, born July 23, 1860; Louise Dilworth, born May 29, 1862; Edward Colwell, born August 16, 1864 died September 28, 1901; Albert N., born August 28, 1870; and Robert Murray, born February 13, 1876, died August__, 1876.

Just prior to the death of his devoted mother, Nicholas Baggs, then scarcely five years of age, was led by her to her pastor, and avowed total abstinence, and from that time to the present (1904) has never broken his vow, notwithstanding the many exigencies and temptations which presented themselves during his term of service in the army.

Albert N. Baggs, fourth child of Nicholas and Lydia P. (Longstreth) Baggs, was born in the city of Philadelphia, August 28, 1870. He received his education at the Germantown Academy, and was graduated from the Medical Department, Pennsylvania University, in the class of 1892. He then became connected with the University Hospital, remaining for two years. He then went to Lattimar, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, where he remained two years, and from there he came to Abington, having his office at the residence of his father. He is president of the Abington township school, a trustee of the Abington Presbyterian church, and medical examiner of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company.

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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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