Penrose Frank

Penrose W. Frank 1844-1914

My greatgrandfather Penrose Frank served in the Civil War from the beginning to nearly the end.  He enlisted first with the 15th Pennsylvania Volunteers,  on 30 April 1861, for three months.  He was discharged at Carlisle when this time was up.  Later of course it became clear that the situation was not going to be solved by three-month volunteers, and Penrose joined the 84th Pennsylvania Volunteers, for three years, on 17 Nov 1861.  He was injured (not shot) while helping to retrieve a gun cassion stuck in mud at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862.   He was treated for several months at a military hospital in Virginia and discharged on a surgeon's certificate on 11 Feb 1863.   He apparently recovered sufficiently to  rejoin his unit sometime after that, however, and was finally discharged for the last time on 11 Nov 1864, in New Bern, North Carolina.

I have wondered about the rather fancy uniform since Penrose was only a teen-aged private of volunteers.   His older brother Rufus was in the Regular Army,  6th U.S. Cavalry, at this time and it is possible that the uniform was borrowed for the occasion.   It has also been suggested to me that the photographer may have provided it.  The writing at the bottom of the picture, which is difficult to read here, says "J. W. Choate, Carlisle, PA", presumably the photographer, and so it may have been taken between enlistments.

After the war, Penrose married Mary Elizabeth Schultz, and the family lived in Middletown, PA for a number of years.   They had five sons:  William Henry born 1870; Edwin Penrose born 1871 (my grandfather); George Keller born 1873; John Mervin born 1879; and Walter Leroy, born 1883.   Walter Leroy died in infancy but the others all lived a good number of years, and here they are

George William Edwin Mervin
Probably ca 1900

Mervin George Edwin William
Probably ca 1930
The dates I have given are just estimates from their apparent ages.  I do not know what the occasions were in either case.

Edwin Frank was my grandfather but I never met him; he died a number of years before I was born.   The only one on these pictures that I really remember clearly is George.


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