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  • Writer's pictureBeth Stenstrom

Eli Sunderland/Sunderlin

Eli Sunderland is the 5th Great Uncle of Alexandra Tugman


Eli Sunderland was born 26 Feb 1833, as a twin to Levi, in Clearfield Co. PA.  They were the oldest two of 15 children of Michael Sunderland.  Michael was married twice, so their mother was probably Mary Ratlew.   Michael was a farmer all his life, so the boys probably became farmers also.  By the time the children were grown, the name had been changed to Sunderlin.  On 7 June 1855, Eli married Margaret Jane Fulton, and they eventually had 7 children.


The Civil War began, and by 1864, regiments were needing replacements. Eli felt the need to help, so he enlisted as a private on 17 March 1864.  He was immediately assigned to Co D 11th PA Volunteer Regiment, McCandless’ 1st Brigade, Crawford’s 3rd Division, Warren’s 5th Corps, USA.   They soon saw action at the Wilderness, and proceeded to follow the Overland Campaign to Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, Totopotomoy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Weldon Railroad, where the unit was tasked to destroy the Weldon Railroad.  The Battle of Globe Tavern, or the Second Battle of the Weldon Railroad ensued 18 – 21 August 1864, and, at this point, Eli was captured and eventually sent to the Confederate Prison at Andersonville, Ga.

He died 26 October 1864 of Scorbutus, a disease caused by lack of Vitamin C and living conditions.  His body was buried at Andersonville Nation Cemetery in a mass grave with grave marker #11488

There is memorial marker to him in the Sunderlin Family Cemetery in Clearfield County, PA. 

Eli Sunderland
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