This article is dedicated to my grandfather’s ancestors.
William H. Wagner was born on August 9th, 1823, in Stoney Creek, Shade Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Michael Wagner Jr. and Hannah Wolford. His grandfather, Michael Wagner Sr., had settled in Somerset County after serving in the Revolutionary War in the 7th Company, 5th Battalion from Lancaster County. William’s early life as a boy was working on the family farm with his siblings and parents.
On February 23, 1846, he married Rachel Gibler of Somerset County. They would become parents to five sons and three daughters. On July 17, 1861, William followed in his grandfather’s military footsteps and enrolled in the “Somerset Infantry”, which later formed Company A of the Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves. William would see his first action at the Battle of Dranesville on December 20, 1861, where the Third Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves under the command of E.O.C. Ord defeated a Confederate force commanded by of JEB Stuart.
Dranesville would prove to be the only battle in which William H. Wagner would participate, as was discharged on Surgeon’s certificate on February 23, 1862. He returned home to Somerset to his family and lived out his life on the farm. He passed away on September 1, 1910, in Shade Township, Somerset, Pennsylvania at the age of eighty-seven. He is buried in Ling Cemetery in Shade Township.