Who was Nelson Statler?

2011-1985.354Nelson Statler enlisted in Co. E, 211th Pennsylvania Infantry on 6 September 1864. His enlistment papers tell us that he stood 5′ 5″ tall, had a fair complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. He was mustered out of the regiment on the date of his death, 2 June 1865. Nelson was struck in the right arm by a minié ball on 2 April 1865 during the final assault on Petersburg. He was transported to Alexandria, Virginia, and admitted into the Washington Street Hospital on 6 April 1865. Due to the severe inflammation in his arm, Nelson’s arm was not amputated until 24 April 1865 (3 weeks after the wound). Two days later he was transported to the Sickle’s Barracks Hospital west of Alexandria where he died on 2 June 1865. Ironically, this was the exact same date on which all of his comrades in the 211th Pennsylvania were also discharged from the service at Pittsburg.

I could not find any biographical sketch for Nelson but cobbled the following information from on-line sources.

Nelson Statler (1840-1865) was born on a farm near Berlin, Somerset county, Pennsylvania—the son of Henry Statler (1802-1853) and Keziah Ferrel (1813-1903). His siblings included Ellen Statler (1844-1932), John (or Jonathan) Ferrel Statler (1845-1924), and Samuel Ferrel Statler (1848-1936), Emanuel Statler (1848-1927) and Joseph Statler (1851-1852).

Nelson married Sallie A. Hoffman on 13 June 1861 at Davidsville. The minister officiating the ceremony was Rev. J. Beaver of the Lutheran Church. Sally was born on 16 April 1841 at Somerset, the daughter of Joseph Hoffman. Nelson and Sallie’s only child, Mary (“Minnie”) Anderson Statler, was born 16 January 1862.

Nelson is buried in the Alexandria National Cemetery, 1450 Wilkes Street, Alexandria, VA — Plot Section B, Site 2994.


  • In the 1850 US Census, Nelson (age 10) was enumerated in the household of 36 year-old Samuel Waters, a tanner, in Conemaugh township, Somerset county, Pennsylvania.
  • In the 1850 Census, Nelson (age 10) is also enumerated in his parents household in Brothersvalley, Somerset county, Pennsylvania. In that census, Nelson’s siblings included Ellen (age 8), Jonathan (age 6), Samuel (age 3), and Emanual (age 2).
  • In the 1860 US Census, Nelson (age 20) was enumerated as a hired hand on the farm of Josiah Swank in Davidsville, Somerset county, Pennsylvania.
  • In the 1863 draft registration, Nelson was married and working as a tanner in Hillside, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania.
  • On 21 April 1867, Nelson’s widow—Sallie (Hoffman) Statler—married Abraham Spangler, a veteran of Co. B, 54th Pennsylvania Infantry. Abraham died on 3 December 1894 at Somerset, Pennsylvania. Following his discharge, Abraham attempted to obtain a disability pension claiming he suffered from an injury in which a barrel of pickled meat fell on him during the war.