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Free Genealogy Biography of Edward Spangler
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Edward Webster Spangler

Edward Webster Spangler was born in Paradise Township, York County, February 23, 1846. As a country boy he performed boy's work on his widowed mother's farm, and during four months in winter attended free school. Never relishing agricultural labors he abandoned them at the first opportunity and at the age of thirteen became a student at the York County Academy. After a year's study he entered as a clerk in one of the leading dry goods houses in York.

In August, 1862, at the age of sixteen years, he responded to the call of President Lincoln for nine months' volunteers, and enlisted as a private in Company K. One Hundred and Thirtieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 130th Regiment. After a two months service, in the Army of the Potomac, he received his first baptism of fire at the battle of Antietam, in which his company lost in killed and wounded one-third of its number engaged. Mr. Spangler fired the eighty rounds with which he was equipped, and finding use for more took ten rounds from the cartridge box of a dead comrade, eight of which he discharged before his regiment was relieved. During the engagement the stock of his rifle was shattered by a Confederate bullet.

At the battle of Fredericksburg, his division--the third of the second corps--made the initial and sanguinary charge on Mary's Heights. His colonel was killed at the first fire. At Chancellorsville his division was thrown into the breach to arrest the victorious Confederates in their pursuit of the routed Eleventh Corps. During the terrible Saturday night, May 2, 1863, Mr. Spangler's company was fighting nearly all night on the plank road at the foot of the knoll on which our artillery was massed, and in front of which Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded.

The next morning, Sunday, his division was compelled to give way, and his general of brigade, Hays, was taken prisoner. Although in the fore-front of every battle, Mr. Spangler was unharmed in each. The term of enlistment having expired, the regiment returned home and was disbanded.

After his return he was appointed deputy United States marshall of York County. He was in service but a few weeks when his leg was broken by the kick of an abandoned Confederate horse and, being incapacitated for active duty, resigned.

Upon his convalescence he resumed his studies at the York County Academy, during which he also registered as a student at law. After attending a course of lectures in the law department of the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, he was admitted to the York bar, March 4, 1867. He soon acquired a very lucrative practice which he has ever since retained. He has been admitted to practice in the neighboring county courts and in the United States district court, and is an active practitioner in the supreme court during the week appointed for the argument of York County cases. He has studiously eschewed politics, save his filling the office of president of the York Republican Club, in 1881, which position he subsequently resigned, having joined the independent wing of his party.

In 1881 he was one of the principal promoters in the building of York's beautiful opera house. and superintended its first year's management. He has also taken an active interest in suburban development, and laid out his real estate, extending from George Street to Cottage Hill, into building lots, which are propinquitous to nearly all of York's manufactories, and are made accessible by the construction of the new and handsome Beach Street iron bridge, in the procuration of which he was mainly instrumental.

In January 1882, Mr. Spangler purchased the York Daily and Weekly Printing House, with daily and weekly editions, and extensive job department. With the valuable assistance of his two able publishing partners he at once introduced into these issues new life, features and methods, resulting in the large increase in their circulations and carrying them to the fore-front of successful inland journals. Mr. Spangler possesses great energy and executive ability, is a sound and able advocate, and a pungent and forcible writer.

Source: York County, Pennsylvania Biographical History, John Gibson, Chicago: F.A. Battey Publishing Co., 1886.

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