William G. Harsha, Co. D, 10th Pennsylvania Reserves

The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania), February 6, 1920.

William G. Harsha. Lifelong Resident Of Community. Dies in His 78th Year 

Last Member of Co. D. Tenth Pa. Reserves, Passes Away-Active in G.A.R. and U.V.L. Circles

Death late yesterday afternoon further thinned the ranks of the men in their neighborhood who fought in the Civil War. William Gilman Harsha, a lifelong resident of the community and one of its best-known citizens, died at the home of his son, George P. Harsha. White Lawn Terrace, following an illness of several months. He had been confined to his room since early in the winter. His illness was not caused by any particular disease, but resulted from a general breakdown.

Mr. Harsha was a son of William and Harriett (Fee) Harsha, former well-known residents of Chartlers township, and was born July 5, 1842 in the vicinity of McConnells Mills. He had not reached his 19th year when the Civil War broke out, and in June, 1861, he volunteered for service, enlisting in the Jefferson Light Guards, which, when sworn into the United States service a short time afterward, became Company D. Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves. During the more than three years of his service Mr. Harsha’s regiment took part in some of the fiercest battles of the war, including Gettysburg, where the command did effective work on the second day of the fighting. Upon his return from the war Mr. Harsha engaged in carpentering. 

He had a wide acquaintance with Grand Army and Union Veteran Legion men, having belonged to Paxton Post, No. 126, G.A.R. and Encampment No. U.V.L. He attended many regimental reunions and Grand Army and Union Veteran Legion encampments, and made numerous visits to the fields made famous by the Civil War.

An almost constant reader, he was unusually well posted on topics of the day. Altho never holding other than local offices, he took a decided interest in politics. In the seventies and early eighties he was an active member of the Greenback party and supported Peter Cooper for President in 1876 and James B. Weaver for the same office in 1880. After the Greenback party went to pieces Mr. Harsha aligned himself with the Democrats. 

He was a familiar figure about town, and was widely known throughout the community. Virtually all the old soldiers who are able to leave their homes will attend the funeral services Sunday afternoon.

Mr.Harsha was married more than forty years ago to Miss Edna Hayden. She died many years ago. He leaves a son, George P. Harsha, at whose home he died and two daughters. Miss Curtis Harsha, a teacher in the local schools, and Mrs. Mary Vankirk of West Pike street. Another son, Scott, was drowned in the Ohio river, near Wheeling, a number of years ago. Mrs. Elizabeth Huston, Canonsburg, and Mrs. W.M. Hutchison, Wheeling, are sisters of the deceased. The late George V. and Thomas Harsha of Canonsburg were brothers.

Mr. Harsha was the last of the men here who had served in the Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves

Funeral services will be held in the home of the deceased’s son, George P. Harsha, White Lawn Terrace at 3’o clock Sunday afternoon. Internment will be in Oak Spring cemetery. 

William Gilman Harsha (1843-1920) – Find a Grave Memorial

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Brendon is a history buff who loves American History, especially the American Civil War. He is also a direct descendant of William H. Wagner of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves. Member of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves Co. A (Reenacting Unit). Creator of The Blue & Gray Historian on Instagram and Facebook. He is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.