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Captain John R. White, U.S.V.

Captain John R. White was born in Baltimore, Maryland, December 17, 1835. His family removed to Philadelphia when the subject of this sketch was about nine years of age. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted as a private in the Second Company State Fencibles, recruited at 505 Chestnut Street. The company was assigned to the Eighteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Lewis. The enlistment was for three months. The regiment was stationed on Federal Hill, Baltimore, until the time had expired. At that time a call was made for volunteers to escort some transports to Washington via Aquia Creek. Captain White, with about two hundred others, volunteered, and served one month longer. After being mustered out of service, and upon the call of President Lincoln for three hundred thousand more; he enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Eighteenth Regiment (Corn Exchange), as private. He was appointed first sergeant, and marched with his regiment to the front. At the battle of Shepherdstown,a sequel to Antietam, all the company officers present having been killed, he was appointed second lieutenant by special orders from Major-General Fitz John Porter, " for gallantry on the field of battle."

This appointment was speedily confirmed by Governor Curtin sending him his commission. He served with his regiment all through the war, participating in all the principal battles and skirmishes, including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, down to the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox, having been promoted to first lieutenant, and then to captain. He was mustered out of service upon the return of the regiment to Philadelphia at the close of the war.

Upon the close of the war Captain White engaged in mercantile business, organizing with Mr. John Boyd the firm of Boyd, White & Co., manufacturers, importers, and retailers of carpets, now, owing largely to the progressive spirit of Captain White, the leading house in this line of business, and known not only in our own country but through all the marts of trade in Europe.

Captain White has one son who is a member of the Second Class Loyal Legion, and three others who would like to be.

Captain White is well known, not only in mercantile circles, but also in banking, political, and social circles, being a director in the Ninth National Bank, the Central Trust and Safe Deposit Company, the Industrial Safe Deposit Company; a member of the Committee of Fifty, organized to promote measures for the benefit of the city; a well-known member of the Union League, United Service Club, Historical Society, and many other societies, social, secret, and beneficial.

At the close of the war he married Katie Ashbridge, whose father, Captain Ashbridge, served in the War of 1812, and also in several of the conflicts with Indians.

Her grandfather came to this country with William Penn, and was one of the earliest settlers of this State. Seven children make up their home circle,-four boys and three girls. The eldest, John R. White, Jr., has charge of the extensive retail business of the Boyd-White Carpet Company, and, though but twenty-two years of age, ranks among the shrewdest and best-equipped men in the trade for successful management and business ability. The other children give promise of making their mark in life when the time comes for them to start on their own voyage.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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