A Tribute to Daniel W. Luke, Co. A, 11th Pennsylvania Reserves

The below information is supplied to us by Chris Quinn, descendant of First Sergeant Daniel W. Luke, who served with the Cambria Guards, Company A, 11th Pennsylvania Reserves. Thank you Chris Quinn!

Johnstown Tribune

Monday Evening, February 20, 1911


One of Cambria County’s Well-Know Citizens Expires of Acute Indegestion


Special to the Tribune

South Fork, Feb. 20 – Daniel W. Luke, one of the most prominent business men of this place, died at his residence on Maple street here at 6 o’clock yesterday morning, after a few hours illness of acute indigestion, in his seventieth year. Mr. Luke became suddenly ill after dinner on Saturday and several local physicians and the members of his family were constantly at his bedside up to the hour of his death. The funeral will take place from the Methodist Episcopal Church here at 1 o’clock on Wednesday, the services to be in charge of Oriental Commandery, No. 61, Knight Templar of Johnstown. Interment will be made in Pringle Hill Cemetery. The Rev. Thomas Charlesworth, of the local M. E. Church is away from home at present and the services will be conducted by the following ministers: The Revs. Titus Lowe of Cedar Rapids, (?), S. B. Laverty, of Saltsburg; A. J. Ashe, of Connellsville, and W. T. Robinson, all former pastors of the M. E. charge here.

Postwar Photograph of Daniel W. Luke

                The deceased was a son of John and Charlotte George Luke and was born in Blacklick Township, this county, on March 23, 1841. His grandfather, James Luke, came to America from Ireland soon after the Revolutionary War and settled at Armagh, Indiana County, which was then a dense forest. James Luke’s wife was Mary McClain and to them seven children were born, among them John Luke, the father of D. W. Luke. James Luke, another son, served in the War of 1812. John Luke was born at Armagh and was married to Charlotte George about 1828, and to them eleven children were born, Daniel W., being the last of the number to pass away. Dr. J. C. Luke, who was a brother of the deceased, died here about eight years ago.

                Daniel W. Luke taught school in Cambria County and left his pupils to enlist in the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry. He served throughout the Rebellion and took part in the following battles and skirmishes: Great Falls, Falmouth, Mechanicsville, Chickahominy, Cold Harbor, Culpepper, Glendale, Nelson Farm, Frazier Farm, Turkey Bend, Gainsville, Bull Run, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Williamsburg, Gettysburg, Manassas, Chester Gaps, Rappahannock Station, Brandy Station, Kitty Ford, Bristol Station, Beverly Ford, Bradley’s Station, Warrenton Junction, Mine Run, and the Wilderness. He was captured during the latter battle and was taken to Andersonville Prison, where he remained for for three months longer. While gathering wood with eight other prisoners under a guard of ten men at the latter place Mr. Luke made a break for liberty. A guard fired at him, but the bullet went wild, and he made his way into a swamp. Here he carefully concealed himself until night, when he tried to make his escape, but had not proceeded far until he heard the tonguing of bloodhounds. They were not of the ferocious kind, and he easily quieted them. While hiding in a cornfield as the guide passed, the owner of the land fired a gun at the dogs and they fled. Later while trying to cross the Great Pedee River on a raft the rails of which it was made separated and the young soldier had to swim the balance of the way, only to be confronted on landing by four Confederate soldiers, who returned him to  prison. After the war he returned to South Fork and again taught school for several years.

This may be Dan Luke. In Civil War uniform holding a fiddle. Found with picture of Mary Luke Pringle (his sister who’s husband and brother’s also fought…a play was written about her husband Philp Pringle called “Solider Come Home” based on the letters of Mary and Philip to each other during the war.

                Mr. Luke helped organize the Aurora Coal Company and served as its Superintendent for a long time. He was a member and served several years as Manager of the South Fork Supply Company, and was President of the Roaring Spring Land & Mining Company of Joplin, Mo. A company organized with a capital of $100,000 for the purpose of developing the lead and zinc mines of that section of Missouri. The deceased was one of the organizers of the South Fork Water Company, was a member of the Board of Directors and served as its Superintendent until a few years ago. He was also a member of D. T. Stineman Post G. A. R. and was identified with Summit Lodge, No. 312 Free and Accepted Masons, Portage Royal Arch Charter, No. 195, and Oriental Commandary, No. 61, Knights Templar, of Johnstown.

                The deceased was married twice. His first wife was Frances P. Davis and to this union eight children were born, the surviving being John Howard Luke, of Carthage, Mo., Ralph Waide, of Livington, Mich., and Miss Josephine, of South Fork. Mrs. Luke died about twenty years ago and several years later the deceased married Catherine Wilson, who survives him, with two children, Miriam and Randall, both at home.

First Sergeant Daniel W. Luke’s name on the Pennsylvania Monument as being present at the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
City Letter Carrier at USPS | augustmarchetti1980@gmail.com | Website | + posts

Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.