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The Death of

Lt. James Hoskinson

of the 15th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry

Contributed by Edwina Schrader

Lt. James Hoskinson

This is an image of Lt. James H. Hoskinson of the 15th Pennsylvania of Erie, Pennsylvania, who served as the battalion adjutant. He was killed in a fall from his horse on December 14, 1898 at Athens, Georgia. The contributor is interested in more information on Lt. Hoskinson, and can be contacted by email by clicking here.

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The following newspaper article reports in the death of Lt., James H. Hoskinson of the 15th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Co. D.

The Article:


Drums the Remains of the Late Lieut. Hoskinson



The following article in regard to the fatal accident which befell Lieut. James H. Hoskinson of this city, at Athens, Georgia, was taken from last Thursday's Athens (Ga.) Daily Banner:

In the twinkling of an eye yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock, Lieut. James H. Hoskinson, adjutant of the First Battalion of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Regiment, sustained injuries that resulted in his death two hours later.

The accident happened on Clayton street, in front of the post office, and was witnessed by quite a number of citizens.

Lieut. Hoskinson had come down town to get a couple of shoe boxes in which to send to his fond parents in Erie, Pa., a quantity of misletoe and holly, as a souvenir of Georgia and a token of remembrance at Christmas time.

He secured the two boxes at Max Joseph's store, on Clayton street, and tied them to the back of his saddle. In front of the Max Joseph building he started to mount his horse.

He put one foot in the stirrup and caulted toward the saddle. As he swung his right leg toward the saddle it struck the two boxes, and the horse made a sudden lunge forward.

Lieut. Hoskinson was unable to gain his seat in the saddle, but hung on with one foot in the stirrup and one hand holding to the bridle.

A second lunge of the frightened horse and Lieut. Hoskinson was thrown violently backward to the ground. He fell about seven feet and the back of his head struck on the hard ground.

Several citizens and a couple of soldiers saw the accident and ran quickly to his assistance. It was at once seen that Lieut. Hoskinson was badly injured. He was carried to the Victorial Hotel immediately.

For a few minutes he was conscious and asked for a drink of water and a cuspidor. He also asked for a cigarette and then lapsed into a semi-conscious state. Meanwhile Drs. S. C. Benedict, D. D. Quillian and W. B. Conway had arrived and had Lieut. Hoskinson removed to a room in the second story of the hotel building.

Inside of 10 minutes after the accident occurred, Lieut. Hoskinson became unconscious and from that moment until his death he suffered no pain, although it appeared so to those who stood by his bedside.

The physicians saw at once that a blood vessel in the brain had been ruptured and that compression had followed. By this time Surgeons Wright and Hunter had arrived, and after a brief consultation all the physicians agreed that the case was a fatal one and that there was no chance for recovery.

As soon as the news spread, quite a number of officers and privates of the Pennsylvania Regiment came down to the room, where the gallant young lieutenant lay dying. Col. Kreps was among the first to arrive and he expressed the deepest grief at the unfortunate accident.

It was a solemn and pathetic scene when Mrs. Maj. Van Lucas came into the room and kneeling at the bedside of the dying soldier, offered up one of the beautiful prayers of the Episcopal church. As the sweet and plaintive tones of this consecrated lady rose and the prayer ascended to the great Creator not a dry eye was to be found in the room.

Then came the chaplain of the Pennsylvania Regiment, Rev. Mr. Knerr, who offered up a most beautiful prayer, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, in which all present joined with great reverence.

Lieut. Hyner, one of the dying soldier's best friends, came in and when told that no chance was left for recovery, broke down completely and fell by the side of his boon companion, weeping hysterically. Others came with tears in their eyes and with faltering voice, and old and young gave vent to their grief by shedding many tears.

Slowly the action of the heart weakened, the pulse became fainter and fainter and at 6 o'clock the soul of the young soldier passed out into the great beyond. His last great battle had been fought, and one more valiant defender of Old Glory had joined his comrades on the campground of eternity.

It was a tribute to the worth and popularity of the young officer, that as the breath left his body, his comrades standing near by were convulsed with grief and wept bitterly.

Lieut. James H. Hoskinson was 28 years of age, and was the son of Mr. William Hoskinson, a prominent citizen of Erie, PA. Prior to his enlisting as a volunteer in the American army, Lieut. Hoskinson was assistant cashier in the Keystone Bank, of Erie Pa. He was one of the most prominent young men of that city, was talented and progressive, and had a bright future before him. No young man in Eire bore himself more knightly, and none numbered more friends than young Hoskinson.

He was for a while captain of Co. A, of the Pennsylvania National Guard, and when the war broke out entered the service as adjutant with the rank of lieutenant. No officer in the Pennsylvania Regiment was more popular than he, and wherever he went he made warm friends.

Since coming to Athens, Lieut. Hoskinson had made many warm and enduring friendships. He had become acquainted with many of the best citizens of Athens, and his manly bearing had won their highest esteem. He was charmed with our people, and his views were entirely reciprocated.

His tragic death, will cast a shadow not only over the hearts of his comrades in arms, but also will leave the mark of grief upon many hearts in classic Athens.

The remains of Lieut. Hoskinson were carried last night to the embalming rooms of E. H. & W. F. Dorsey, where they were embalmed.

That he was a noble boy, well worthy of that mother's affection, is attested by all who knew him. Brought up under the tender influence of a good mother, he became in his youth a member of the Episcopal Church, and no doubt in the strength of that faith he died.

Back to his Pennsylvania home he soon will go to rest among his native hills. A gallant soldier and a knightly gentleman he was; and having served his country faithfully, 'after life's fitful fever he rests well.'

The holly and the mistletoe, plucked by his strong hands, now folded forevermore, will rest above his bosom, and carry to his bereaved parents a message of love, that in his last moments his though turned backward to the dearest altar upon which a man can consecrate his life.'


Long before the remains of the gallant young officer arrived in this city yesterday afternoon crowds flocked to the depot, and when the train arrived at the station it was estimated that fully 5,000 people were in the vicinity of the depot. At 3 o'clock the Marines from the U.S.S. MICHIGAN in command of Lieut. Bearse, and Co. I, Twenty-first Regiment, N.G.P., commanded by Lieut, Tinkey, assembled at the armory of Co. I., at the corner of Sixth and French, and headed by a band made up from members of the local Musicians Union, marched to the depot. When the train arrived, as soon as possible the casket was transferred to a waiting hearse by Messrs. Mayo, Mitchell, Kelley, Lewis and Blackmond Bros., who served under deceased, and were recently discharged. The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 o'clock from St. Paul's Episcopal church on West Sixth street.

Following is a list of the pall bearers:
Active-Non Coms, Harry Mayo, James Lewis, J. Kelley, Lee Mitchell, Chas. Blackmond, Geo. Blackmond. Honorary- Fred Allis, W. L. Scott Thompson, Geo. Carroll, Fred Jarecki, Harry Wood, Harrison Reed, Harry McWhorter, Geo. Loomis, Rudolph Jarecki, Clyde Strickland, Geo. Lyle, Fred Armstrong, Sam Bacon, Fred McBrier, Boyd Hayes, Wm. Varnum, Fred Downing and Chas. Messenkoph."


Erie Daily Times - Erie PA - Monday, December 19, 1898

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