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Joseph Bartram Vosburg

Joseph was born 13 April 1845 to Jacob and Susanna Vosburg.  They lived in Washington, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They were farmers. Joseph was one of two children of Jacob and Susanna. Jacob was married previously and had 6 children by that marriage.  Jacob died when Joseph was only 8, and his mother remarried, to a man who was cruel to her children, and to his own.


At age 17, Joseph left home to get away from his cruel step-father, and began working on a farm in Williamsport, PA.  He wanted to join the army, but the people he was working for thought he was too young and tried to talk it out of it.  He left there and went back home.  His step-father thought he had changed his mind about joining the army, so he sent him with the oxen team to town to get some supplies.  He started the team of oxen home.  Being the faithful animals that they were, they returned home without Joseph.


Joseph had enlisted under General Grant on 22 March 1864 into Co E, 45th PA Infantry Regiment, Bliss’ 1st Brigade, Potter’s 2nd Division, Burnside’s 9th Corps, USA.  The group was immediately sent to Virginia to join the Overland Campaign.  Joseph lost his left arm on May 6, 1864 during the Battle of the Wilderness.  He was sent to a hospital in Alexandria.  As he lay in bed, he heard a doctor tell the nurses not to waste their time on him, for he was going to die anyway.  His mother found out what had happened to him, and rushed to Alexandria to care for him and to bring him home.  She sat by his bed, cleaning the would often.  At one time the doctor ripped the thread out of the wound that Susanna had put on to use on another patient.  The doctor again said not to waste time of materials on Joseph, and Joseph replied that he would live longer that the doctor.  The doctor admired his spunk.  He was discharged from the army 16 March 1865 due to the amputation.  Susanna soon took him back home to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 


After he recovered, he visited a nearby school, and met Margaret Ann Parrish.  He was 18, had lost an arm, and was receiving $8.00 a month pension, and she was 16.  This match did not please her parents.   They ran away and got married and would face hardships.  Once they rented a house that was supposed to be haunted.  Joseph soon took care of the problem, a limb rubbing the side of the house.  Eventually Joseph and Margaret would have 7 children.      

 Joseph loved to travel.  Throughout his life, he lived in 10 states.  About 1878, he loaded to family up on a covered wagon and joined a caravan going to Kansas.  They stayed there, farming, for 10 years, until Susanna got homesick for the Blue Ridge Mountains.  At some point, they moved to North Carolina, but again returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains of PA.  He died 13 February 1904 inn Pennsylvania.


 A lot of this information came from the memoirs of Dora Dean Vosburg Cannon Sutton, a daughter.

Joseph Bartram Vosburg
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