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Free Genealogy Biography of Ezra Goodyear,
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Ezra Goodyear

Ezra Goodyear, was born in February of 1848 on the Goodyear Farm in South Middleton Township, just south of Carlisle, PA.

The Battle of Carlisle was a skirmish during the Gettysburg Campaign, which took place on July 1, 1863. It occurred simultaneously to the opening of the Battle of Gettysburg, and was part of the reason why Stuart did not arrive at that battle until well into the second day of fighting.

The town of Carlisle had already been occupied by troops of Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia a few days earlier. Stuart's men, at the end of their raid into Pennsylvania and Maryland, came into the town to look for supplies and to attempt to ascertain the whereabouts of Ewell's troops. They found that the town had been reoccupied by a small contingent of Union militia from the Department of the Susquehanna, under William F. "Baldy" Smith. Despite having a large numerical advantage, Stuart's troops were too exhausted from a month of campaigning to attack the town outright, and Stuart initially feared that the troops were regulars from the Army of the Potomac.

After learning that Smith's men were only militia, Stuart sent Fitzhugh Lee, the nephew of Robert E. Lee, into town with a white flag, telling Smith to either evacuate the town or clear out the women and children. Smith replied that he had already done the latter, and, using rather colorful language, refused to surrender. Stuart's horse artillery then began shelling the town. After about an hour of shelling, Stuart received word that fighting had broken out at Gettysburg between the main armies. Unable to take the town by force, Stuart disengaged, ordering the Carlisle Barracks to be set on fire by his men. Stuart's men then began to move towards the fighting at Gettysburg. Casualties for both sides were minimal.

Within days of the Confederate attack, Ezra set off on foot, at age 15 years and 6 months, towards Gettysburg to enlist. He did not know that the battle had been over for some time.

He came across 5 Troopers of Company "K", 8th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry Volunteers. They asked where he was going and had an extra horse, and took him along to Alexandria, Virginia, where he was put into uniform, then sworn in at Petersville, MD, on July 17, 1863.

Ezra served in Company K 8th Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, and was involved in many battles, including Monocacy, MD, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel David Clendenin, on July 9, 1864. Although outnumbered 10 to 1, they slowed the Confederate advance towards Washington long enough for the city to gather other Union forces to protect it. During this battle, the 8th Illinois captured the Regimental Standard of the 17th Virginia Cavalry. Monocacy became known as "The Battle that Saved Washington."

Ezra was also involved in the search for John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865.

The 8th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry Volunteers mustered out on July 17, 1865, at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, MO., then moved on to Chicago to receive their final pay and Discharge.

Then, rather than returning to his home near Carlisle, Ezra followed his comrades back to Plainfield, Illinois, until at least March of 1866.

By 1870, he had returned to live with his family in Pennsylvania.

In 1886, Ezra married Anna Hays, a great-granddaughter of Mary "Molly Pitcher" Hays, and they had 3 children; Eva Goodyear, Frederick Hays Goodyear, and Charles Ezra Rhode Goodyear, born August 29, 1897, when Ezra was 49 years old.

Case of Ezra Goodyear. No. 644,622. Ezra Goodyear being duly sworn according to law deposes and says in reference to application for certificate in lieu of lost discharge, as follows:
In July, 1863 he met five men of Company K, Eighth Illinois Cavalry near Harrisburg, on their return from Chicago, Ill., escorting the dead, body of General Farnworth from Gettysburg. That these five men asked him where he was going, and he told them that he was going to enlist for a soldier. That they told him they had one extra horse and asked him to get on and go along with them, which he did.

That on arriving at Alexander he was put in uniform and sworn in near Culpepper, Va. That he was in engagements at Monocacy Junction, Md., also near Fairfax, Va. That he was also m the raid at Richmond, Va. That he was in active service from the day he went out until he got his discharge. That he was never in any hospital. That on the day he was sworn in there was also a man by the name of Mc Mullen sworn in also in the same company. That when he enlisted his face was full of freckles, his hair black, his eyes brown. That his height today is five feet eight inches, that he does not remember his height when he enlisted. That the officer who swore him in asked how old he was and he informed him that he was eighteen years old, although his actual age was fifteen years and six months; that this was done for fear he would not be accepted if his actual age was made known. That he turned in his equipment at St. Louis, Mo., but received his discharge and pay at Chicago, Ill. That to the best of his knowledge and belief his discharge papers were lost in March, 1866 while at Plainfield, Ill.

Sworn and subscribed before me
this 26th dav of February
A.D. 1901.
Ezra Goodyear

George C. Bowher
Notary Public

John Alexander Goodyear was Ezra Goodyear's 1st cousin.
Jacob Morrett Goodyear was Ezra Goodyear's first cousin.
George W. Goodyear was Ezra Goodyear's 1st cousin.
William H. Goodyear was Ezra Goodyear's 3rd cousin.
Frederick Long Goodyear was Ezra Goodyear's 3rd cousin.

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

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