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Free Genealogy Biography of Benjamin Kenower Goodyear,
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Benjamin Kenower Goodyear

Benjamin Kenower Goodyear was the only son of the nine children of David and Anna Kenower Goodyear. At age 25, he enlisted for nine months on 28 July 1862, at Chambersburg, Pa., as a private in Captain Doebler's Company A, 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers. His company was mustered into service on 31 July 1862.

After but little training, the regiment was sent to the Washington, D.C., area and was located at Alexandria, Va., as of 1 September 1862, as a part of Brigadier General Erastus B. Tyler's command. The regiment was brigaded with the 91st, 129th, and 134th Pennsylvania regiments as the 1st Briagde, Humphrey's 3d Division, Porter's V Corps. As raw recruits, the regiment was marched from the D.C. area to meet the Confederate march into Maryland. Lt. Col. D. Watson Rowe of the regiment reported, ", . . when the [126th] Pennsylvania Volunteers arrived at the battlefield of Antietam and occupied the position vacated by the troops of General Morell about 11 a.m. on the 18th of September, the number of men present was 730 . . .'' But the battle was virtually over when these troops arrived, and the regiment remained in reserve.

On 8 December 1862, nine companies (including Company A) of the 126th Pennsylvania (24 officers and 530 men) participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, Va.

The regiment was among those troops hurled against the stone wall at the foot of Marye's Heights only to be met by terrific fire from the Confederate defenders which forced the Pennsylvanians to ''hit the dirt'' where they were pinned down until after dark.

In this engagement, Goodyear received a wound in his right shoulder which caused a compound fracture of the clavicle. He was first hospitalized at Point Lookout, Md., for three weeks and was then transferred to the Staunton Hospital in Washington, D. C., where he remained until 13 May 1863. Returning to Pennsylvania, he was mustered out of the service with his company at Harrisburg on 20 May 1863.

After his discharge, Goodyear taught school in Cumberland County until the spring of 1864 when he was active in raising Company G of the 202nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. It ls reported that he refused at accept a commission as an officer.

He enlisted for one year on 1 September 1864, and was described as 27 years old, having a florid complexion, was 5' 9" in height, had blue eyes, light hair, born in Cumberland Co., Pa., and was a lawyer by occupation. He was mustered-in at Harrsburg (Camp Curtin) on 2 September 1864.

The 202nd Pennsylvan|a Regiment under Col. Charles Albright was ordered on 8 September 1864 from Harrisburg to Chambersburg, and, on or immediately after 20 September, to Washington. D.C., and to Alexandria Va., on 2 October 1864. Three days later, two companies were deployed to Thorofare Gap and eight companies to White Plains, west of Gainesville , Va. , with the duty of guarding the railroad. The regiment was drawn back to the Mannassas area early in November 1864, and, as of 13 November, was ordered posted on the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad from the Accotink bridge to Bull Run branch. Regimental headquarters were located at Fairfax Court House, Va.

From November 1864 through February 1865, Goodyear was detailed to Brigade Headquarters at Fairfax Station to serve as a dispatch bearer io Washington. He was given a furlough from 28 April to 8 May 1865, to visit Shippensburgr Pa. The muster-roll for May-June 1865 shows him on detail from his company as a clerk at General Albright's headquarters.

On 27 May 1865, the 202nd Pennsylvania was ordered from Fairfax to the coal regions of Pennsylvania. On 22 July 1865, the War Department issued the official circular order discharging the 202nd Pennsylvania on 20 July 1865.

Benjamin K. Goodyear was finally mustered out of service at Harrisburg, Pa., on 3 August 1865 about four weeks short of his one-year term of enlistment, and almost four months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Benjamin Kenower Goodyear was Ezra Goodyear's 1st cousin.

Source: Military service records and family histories of Benjamin Kenower Goodyear submitted by Bob Goodyear.

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