Back Up Next

CORDES, Henry, train dispatcher, Northern Central Railway, at Millersburg, was born near the harbor of Breman, Kingdom of Hanover, now one of the German States, July 29, 1838. He is a son of Henry and Sophia Cecilia (Luebken) Cordes. Henry Cordes, Sr., was born in Hanover, Germany, grew up and married there. Part of his family preceded him to America in 1852; he and his wife, emigrated in 1856. He died May 2, 1876, aged sixty. Of their nine children, five are deceased; Anna, wife of Cornelius Fink, had one child; Sophia, who married Frank Carlton; Caroline, wife of William Young; George, died within five weeks of Caroline’s death, both dying of trichinosis; Margaret, wife of John C. King, had seven children; Philipina, Esther, Margaret, John, Louis, Elizabeth, and one deceased, Joseph; Louis C., married Emma Brubaker, had three children deceased, Margaret and Anna were twins. The surviving children of Henry and Cecilia Cordes are: Henry; Hattie C., married Oscar Snyder, who died, and she married Charles Bohne, and after his death, Frank C. Taylor; she had one child, Oscar, son of her first husband; Rettie twin of Hettie C., wife of Charles Dobson, had one child, Nellie; these twin sisters so closely resemble each other in personal appearance that their mother often failed to distinguish them; Frederick G., married Hannah Willets, has one child, Frederick, who served from the beginning to the end of the war of the Rebellion in the famous Kane’s rifles, Bucktail regiment.

Henry Cordes attended the schools of his native city until he was fourteen, when he came with his sister Anna to America, sailing April 15, 1852, and arriving at New York, May 27, 1852. He came to Harrisburg and began an apprenticeship with his uncle, Henry Luebken, at baking; after serving two years he removed to Philadelphia, where he was in the employ of Herman Haupt, chief civil engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company until 1856; he then returned to Harrisburg with his parents, who had just come from Germany, and remained a short time with them. Through Dr. Butt, of Philadelphia, he was employed by the Florida Lumber Company, in the capacity of clerk and went to Florida, where the state of his health permitted him to remain only a short time. He was then employed by Philip Walters, the brother-in-law of his uncle, to do farm work and assist in butchering on his farm in York county, Pa. He continued there until April 18, 1861, when he enlisted at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, in company B, Second Pennsylvania volunteers, Capt. John Doebler and Col. Frederick Staumback. His regiment moved from Harrisburg to the vicinity of Baltimore, and after a short stay there was sent to York, Pa., thence through Maryland and into Virginia, and thence through Baltimore to Harrisburg, where he was discharged at the end of three months service.

Mr. Cordes remained with his parents until August 9, 1861, when he re-enlisted in the Eighteenth United States infantry, in which he served until January 25, 1865. This regiment was ordered to Columbus, Ohio, in November, 1861, was transferred to the Army of the Cumberland, at Louisville, Ky., and participated in the campaign through Kentucky, ending in the defeat of General Zollicoffer’s army at Mill Springs, after which it retired to Louisville. The movement of the regiment was then from Louisville to East Point, Ky., thence by boats down the Ohio river to the Cumberland, up to Fort Donelson, thence to Nashville, Tenn., thence to Shiloh, thence to Corinth, Miss., thence to Rienzi, Blackland, Booneville, to near Holly Springs, Miss., thence back to Corinth, thence to Iuka, thence to East Port Landing, crossing the Tennessee river to Alabama, whence the returned to Louisville, Ky., by way of Athens, Tuscumbia, Decatur and Salem, Ala., Deckard, Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tenn., Bowling Green, Mumfordsville and East Point, Ky., and reaching Louisville October 1, 1862.

After resting four days they started on the Perrysville campaign, by way of Shepherdville, Bardstown and Springfield to Perrysville or, (Chaplain Hills), thence to Crab Orchard, Frankfort, Greenville, Mumfordsville, Bowling Green, Ky.; Gallatin, Bellows Ford, Pilot Knob, Edgefield and Nashville, Tenn. They then moved on Christmas day, 1862, to Murfreesboro (Stone river), where they lost nearly half the regiment. From Murfreesboro they moved to Tulahoma, Tenn.; thence to Cowen, across the Cumberland mountains into the Crow Creek Valley; thence to Stephenson, Ala.; thence to Bridgeport, Ala., where they crossed the Tennessee river and Raccoon mountains into the Trenton Valley, Ga.; thence across Lookout mountain into the Chickamauga Valley, Ga.; thence to Chattanooga, Tenn., where, in September, 1863, they were in a number of engagements and remained in that vicinity until May 14, 1864.

They then began the Atlanta campaign, moving first to Ringgold, Ga.; thence to Tunnel Hill, thence to Buzzard’s Roost, thence to Snake Creek Gap to Resaca; thence to Kingston, Cassville, Burnt Hickory, New Hope Church, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Big Shanty, Kenesaw, Smyrna, Chattahooche river, Peachtree creek, Atlanta, Eutaw creek, to Jonesborough, Ga., where Mr. Cordes received a serious gunshot wound in his left arm, necessitating amputation on the battlefield, after which he was taken to a distance of twenty miles to the hospital at Atlanta suffering intensely on the way. He remained in the hospital until October 23, 1864, when he was sent with others in freight cars to Chattanooga, Tenn., and was finally discharged at Columbus, Ohio, January 25, 1865, on account of disability resulting from wounds received in battle.

Mr. Cordes then returned to Harrisburg, and after a short stay entered Crittenden’s Commercial College, Philadelphia, where he took a course in bookkeeping and telegraphy, which he completed in December, 1865. Through the friendly endorsement of Hon. J. D. Cameron he obtained a position in the service of the Northern Central Railroad Company, and was stationed at Harrisburg; after six months he was sent to Marysville, Perry county, Pa., where he remained two and a half years. In September, 1868, he was located at Millersburg, and has been in the employ of the same company at that point ever since.

Henry Cordes was married, December 25, 1866, to Kate, Daughter of John and Catherine (Sweigert) Shoader. Two of their children are deceased: John Henry, at the ate of nineteen days, while Catherine Cecilia, who was born December 20, 1868, died March 27, 1895. Those who survive are also two in number: Florence Victoria, born June 8, 1872, wife of Benton M. Jury, of Millersburg, Pa., and Warren Ray, born January 9, 1875.

Mr. Cordes is a Republican. In 1892 he was elected to the office of director of the poor for a term of three years, and in 1895 was re-elected to the same office. He has been the commander of Post No. 212, G., A. R., at Millersburg for fifteen years, and still holds that office. He is a member in good standing of Lodge No. 183, I. O. O. F., at Millersburg. Mr. Cordes and his family attend the Lutheran Church.

John Shoader, father of Mrs. Cordes, died January 4, 1875. His wife survives him. Their children are: Frederick G., married Kate Harm; Kate, Mrs Cordes; John H., married Mary Flickinger; Harry B., married Lydia Hamilton; Elizabeth, wife of Willis Shearer; William B., married Annie Flickinger, and Mary B. Mr. Shoader served in the United States navy during the Mexican war.

Henry Luebken, uncle of Mr. Cordes, with whom the latter resided when he first came to America, and from whom he learned his trade, emigrated to this country in 1832. He had learned baking in his native land, and was one of the first bakers in Harrisburg. He married Margaret Walters, daughter of Philip Walters.

Henry and Margaret Luebken had twelve children, all of whom died in childhood, the eldest having lived to be eighteen years of age.

Historical Review of Dauphin County
Transcribed by Daniel Reichard for The Dauphin County,
Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -
Date of Transcription: July 20, 2001
Copyright (c) 2001 - All Rights Reserved: Use, duplication or reproduction
for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.