Samuel & Isaac Coldren, Co. I, 53rd PVI

Samuel Coldren enlisted in Perryville in Juniata County, Pennsylvania and mustered into service with the company on October 10, 1861. Samuel evidently took to soldiering very quickly and was promoted to sergeant while the regiment organized at Harrisburg. His brother Isaac enlisted in the same company in February 1864 and joined the regiment as it was preparing to return from its veteran furloughs to the army and winter quarters along the Rapidan River in Virginia. The brothers served with the regiment through the harsh campaigns of 1864, Isaac receiving a promotion to corporal on August 16, 1864 and Samuel, wounded for teh second time at Spotsylvania Court House, to 1st sergeant on November 2. Five weeks later, Samuel Coldren was promoted to 2nd lieutenant to fill a vacancy in the company and served in that rank until war’s end when both brothers mustered out with the regiment on June 30, 1865. Both men led quiet, peaceful lives after the war, Samuel as a farmer and Isaac as a carpenter, and each was an active member of the G.A.R. Information on the Coldrens is through the courtesy of Cal Coldren, Reedsville, PA



From the Star Democrat, Mifflintown, Pa., Thursday, January 28, 1909:

“Samuel Coldren, an aged and much respected citizen of this (Fermanagh) township is ill and grave hopes are entertained for his recovery.”

From the Star Democrat, Mifflintown, Pa., February 4, 1909:

“Samuel Coldren died at his home in Fermanagh township on Thursday of last week after a lingering illness, aged 73 years. Mr. Coldren was born in Walker township and spent his entire life in his native county. He served as a soldier in the Civil War having enlisted as a private in Company I, 53d Regiment, Pa.-Vol., Infantry on October 10, 1861. He was mustered out with his company on June 30, 1865. Company I was under the command of the late Captain H. S. Dimm, of Port Royal, at the time its members entered the service, and afterward Geo D. Pifer, and later, by William Van Ormer at the time it was mustered out of service. Mr. Coldren was a substantial citizen and esteemed by all who knew him. He is survived by his widow and several children.”

From the Jane Watts Scrapbook:


“Lieutenant Samuel J. Coldren, the subject of this sketch, died in Fermanagh township, Juniata Co., January 27, 1909. He was born in Walker township in 1836, was reared, and worked on a farm until the out break of the civil war in 1861, when he responded to Abraham Lincoln’s call for troops to suppress the rebellion.

“On October, 10, 1861, he was mustered in as a private in Company I, 53rd Pa. Vol. Inft. This regiment was known as Gen. John R. Brooks fighting 53rd, and was one of six Pennsylvania regiments that suffered a greater number of casualties in killed and wounded than all others from the state. Lieutenant Coldren was wounded three times: Dec. 13, 1862 at Fredericksburg, Va. in the right foot; May 12, 1864 at Spottsylvania in right side and on March 31, 1865 at Hatcher’s Run in right arm. Co. I, had seven soldiers killed in battle, eleven died from wounds received in battle, and forty-five severely wounded.”

“Lt. Coldren in his three years and eight months service in the army never missed a day from duty except when recovering from wounds received in battle, and on Dec. 15, 1864 received a Lieutenants commission for constant devotion to duty and conspicuous bravery in action. At Gettysburg he compelled two rebels whom he found concealed in a hole in the ground made by a tree blown out of root, to march ahead of him into our lines, just in front of ‘Little Round Top.’

“On June 30, 1865, when all hostilities had ceased he was mustered out with his regiment and returned to Juniata where he followed the life of a farmer until death claimed him. He was of a retiring disposition, not given to mingling much with his fellows, and very few knew the latent powers within his strong mind and body.

“And so another noble defender of the Republic who escaped thousands of bullets, in more than a score of battles, ‘sleeps his last sleep.'”

From the Lewistown Sentinel, February 1, 1909:


“Samuel Coldren, who died at his late residence in Fermanagh township on Thursday morning, was buried on Sunday afternoon. Mr. Coldren was a veteran of the Rebellion in which he was wounded three times. At the battle of Gettysburg, he fought all day with his regiment, on the second day of the fight in front of the wheatfield and at last found himself standing alone in the front and when driven back, captured two Confederates hiding in a tree and drove them back into the Union lines. He served with distinction at Fredericksburg, Spottsylvania and other battles of that fierce contest. After the war he returned to the peaceful pursuit of his farm and lived a quiet, retired life and when spoken to about his brave actions in battle, said, ‘he did only his duty.'”



From the Jane Watts Scrapbook:

“We regret to chronicle the death of our old friend and neighbor, Isaac Coldren, which occurred last Saturday afternoon at his residence in Milroy, at the advanced age of a little over seventy-six years.

“Mr. Coldren was a man of very pronounced views. His likes and dislikes were generally expressed in positive yet kindly manner. He was the same before your face as he was after you had gone. He was a member of the Lutheran church of this place, not only an attendance member, but an earnest, hard-working Christian member, always in his place when services called until he was too ill to attend, and it is well said that this church has lost one of its strongest pillars. He was by trade a carpenter and for many years followed the trade in this and Centre counties.

“Isaac Coldren was a member of Co. I, 53rd Regt. P. V. in the late war and served with honor until discharged, and at the time of his death was a member of Col. Hulings Post, G.A.R. of Lewistown.

“Mr. Coldren was one of the charter members of the Milroy Lodge, Knights of the Golden Eagle, and has been a faithful member ever since, always in his accustomed seat and always ready to help in the work. He was buried with the knightly honors of that order. He leaves to mourn his loss a widow and their children, three boys – James of Hastings, Pa.; William,, of Phoenixville, and Samuel D., of Lewistown; and two daughters – Mrs. C. B. McClenahen and Lizzie Coldren, both of Milroy. His other daughter, Mrs. Isaac Hetrick, was buried only three days before. Interment of Woodlawn Cemetery.”