Henry Clay Weight, Co. I, 12th Pennsylvania Reserves

Henry C[lay] Weight, Civil War veteran, died at his home in Three Springs, Pa., December 1, 1926, aged 82 years, 8 months and 18 days.  He was born at Warriorsmark, Pa. and learned the trade of a miller from his father, and followed the milling business, having in his life time operated mills at Maddensville, Orbisonia, Rockhill, Shirleysburg and Three Springs.  He was married to Martha Jane, a daughter of Joshua Morgan, a sister of Washington, Henry and Theodore Morgan.  They were the parents of ten children.  Mrs. Russell C. Smyers, of Mount Union, Mrs. Bert Johns of Vira, Pa., Clay and Lorraine, of Pitcairn, Pa.. Bertha and Martha of Three Springs; and Oscar Franklin, Berlin, Ernest, and Lucy, all deceased.  William, of Tyrone, Mrs. Kate Cutshall of Broad Top City and Mrs. Elizabeth Brown of Shelby, Iowa, are surviving brother and sisters.

Henry C. Weight enlisted in Company I, 12th Pa. Reserves, March 17. 1862, for three years. This company was almost entirely from this vicinity.  It had in it such well known men as Frank D. Stevens, David W. Stevens, Henry Shaffer, George W. Shaffer, W. David Hancock, Samuel C. Cloyd, David Long, John B. Chilcoat, George W. Weight, Josiah Baker, Thomas Cloyd, James P. Giles, Aquilla Hancock, Alfred Kelley, Thomas Kelley, James Knob, B. F. Liveringhouse, Jonnthan Locke, Daniel Locke, J. O. Liveringhouse, William Malone, Austin Ramsey, . David Roberts, Daniel Roberts, Daniel Swartz and others.

The Pennsylvania Reserves was made up of fifteen Regiments, twelve of which were Infantry, one artillery, one of cavalry and one of sharpshooters.  They had a most honorable record which was made by hard fighting under skilled commanders. The Pennsylvania Reserves made more first class Generals than.any other division in the Civil War. General Meade, General Reynolds, General Ord, all became commanders of armies while a line of Brigadiers were made.

The Monument to the 12th Pennsylvania Reserves on Big Round Top, circa 1880/1890.

They began their service In a skirmish at Dranesville, Va., Dec. 20, 1861.  Their severe fighting began in the the Peninsular Campaign under General McClellan in the spring of 1862; and was of the most trying kind. The next fighting was at the second Battle of Bull Run, and a little later at Antietam. This closed their service under General McClellan.  Their next battle was that of Fredericksburg. In all these the Reserves were up front where the fighting was the hardest.

At Gettysburg the Reserves did good work as they always did in their whole history.  General Charles Diven whose remains were buried with the honors of war at Shirleysburg was major of the 12th Reserves, and afterwards the Colonel of the 200th Regiment.

On June 11, 1864 the terms of most of the men expired and they were discharged.  Those who had enlisted in March 1862 were placed in the 190th and 191st Regiments.

In the Wilderness Campaign Company I was on the skirmish line between the armies when Grant moved to Spottsylvania Court House.  The skirmishers were left in place while the army moved out quietly at night.  Next morning the Confederates learned of the absence of our army and captured most of the Company.  Comrade Stevens was captured.  Having been exchanged he was again back with his regiment in time for the battle for the possession of the Weldon railroad.  While the general movement was a success as we got possession of, and held the Weldon railroad to the end of the war, yet it brought serious disaster to the remnant of the Pennsylvania Reserves, as while on the skirmish line they were surrounded and nearly all captured.  They were first confined on Belle Isle, in the James River near Richmond. Afterwards they were taken to Salisbury, North Carolina, where they were confined to the end of the war.  Only the most hardy ones survived.  Many died, and the rest came out skeletons.  Comrade Weight was one of these, Daniel Roberts was another and Frank D. Stevens was another.  We can have but a faint conception of what the suffering of these men was.

But happily it is all past. Our country is united from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific.  But such men as Henry C. Weight paid the price of the blessings we now enjoy.   Somebody always pays the price of the things that have value. Our comrades earthly career has ended. His record is completed. Taps have sounded, and the farewell has been said. His remains have been laid away in the bosom of the earth that for so long was his only bed.  But his spirit has gone to the spirit land to make report to its source and its Maker. In life’s trials and activities he has acquitted himself well.  He was a good soldier. He was a good citizen. He was a good neighbor and friend. May his patriotic life be emulated and his memory cherished.

December 7, 1926.

Weight is buried in Three Springs Cemetery, Three Springs, Huntingdon County, PA. Source: Findagrave.com.

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.

  1. The Mount Union Times (Mount Union, PA), December 10, 1926, pg. 21.