Christian B. Hebble – Civil War Service and “Hebble’s Cavalry”

Capt. Christian B. Hebble

Capt. Christian B. Hebble was drafted into the Confederate States Army in 1861. He escaped across the lines and served four more times in the Civil War on the Union side. First in the 135th Regiment, then the 181st 20th Cavalry Regiment, in his own Hebble’s Independent Company “Hebble’s Cavalry” and finally in the 195th Regiment. This photo is guessed to be him due to the cavalry uniform and estimated age.

UPDATE May 22, 2012: I received the Confederate States army records for Christian B. Hebble. They show a much more detailed story of his time in the 26th Virginia Infantry. The section below has been updated.

There are a number of Christian B. Hebbles in the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System database. Since none of the dates overlap and the places all make sense with Census records, I’m going to assume it’s all the same person.

Before the War

Records show that Christian Bartholomew Hebble was born on February 24, 1839 son of Jacob H. Hebble and Catharine Bartholomew. They were living in Virginia.

By 1840 they were living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and in 1850 they lived in Conestoga, Pennsylvania. In 1860 Christian was living in Gloucester, Virginia with a friend from Pennsylvania.

26th Virginia Infantry

At the beginning of the Civil War, Christian Hebble was living near Yorktown, VA and was conscripted into the rebel army where he was compelled to serve for a year. During his time he was enrolled as a Private on May 14, 1861 then promoted to Sargent by August 1861. In December 1861 he was marked Absent without leave. This happens to also be the month it seems he was married to Annie Enos.

The notes tell how he “Reenlisted for the War. Bounty due $50.-” in February 1862. On May 3, 1862 he is noted as “Left sick in Gloucester in the lines of the enemy” and was “Reduced from Sergt to the Ranks”.

I guess that when the Army of the Potomac drove the rebels from Yorktown, Christian managed to escape and crossed the lines into the North. He then returned to his family home in Conestoga, Pennsylvania with his new wife. The C.S. Army continued to log him until October 1862 by which time he was declared a deserter.

135th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry

When the nine months volunteers were called for he promptly responded by assisting to raise a company. The 135th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry was organized at Harrisburg in August 1862 and moved to Washington D.C. on August 19th. Christian was inducted on September 11, 1862 as a Sargent. The company was placed in the 135th Regiment.

The 135th Regiment was attached to the Military District of Washington, D.C. where is served provost duty at Washington and Georgetown until February 1863. Christian was made lieutenant on February 14, 1863.

The regiment was then attached to the Army of the Potomac (1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Army Corps) with duty at Falmouth and Belle Plains, Virginia until April 27th before being engaged in the Chancellorsville Campaign from April 27th to May 6th. Christian was promoted to Captain on March 16, 1863. The regiment had operations at Pollock’s Mill Creek from April 29th to May 2nd including Fitzhugh’s Crossing on April 29th and 30th. The Battler of Chancellorsville was on May 2nd to May 5th.

The Regiment (and Christian) was mustered out on May 24, 1863 and returned to Pennsylvania.

20th Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry

When General Lee’s army invaded Pennsylvania from the south, another call was made for six-month volunteers and Christian, working as a Printer at the time, responded, joining on June 15, 1863. He was mustered in as a Capt. and given command of Company “I”, the Lancaster Troop, a cavalry company in the 20th Cavalry Regiment of the 181st Pennsylvania Volunteers. The commanding officer was Maj. John. E Wynkoop.

The 20th Regiment was organized at Harrisburg from June to August 1863 for six months. After a march to Greencastle on July 7, 1863, the regiment scouted into Maryland and pursued General Lee’s army from July 8th to July 24th.

They missed service at the Battle of Gettysburgh. Instead they were moved to Falling Water and the picket shores of the Potomac until August. They were ordered to Sir John’s Run in West Virginia and assigned guard duty on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

On September 7, 1863 near Brook’s Gap Christian was involved in a skirmish. Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden, a Confederate Army General, reported a skirmish where “Captain Hebble and 8 or 10 of his men (Yankees) were killed” but a note to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies says “An error: Capt. C. B. Hebble was mustered out.” The incident was also reported in the Richmond (VA.) Examiner, which also referred to his death.

Lancaster Evening Express, September 19th, 1863

DEATH OF CAPT HEBBLE

It was yesterday announced in our news column, on the authority of the Richmond (VA.) Examiner that on the 7th inst. the rebels attached a camp of Col. Wynkoop’s Cavalry (six months men), commanded by Major Camby, in the neighborhood of Bath, Morgan county, and that Capt. Hebble, of Company , and nine men were killed. The fight was said to have been a hand to hand affair. Capt. Christian B. Hebble, the officer referred to, belonged to Conestoga Center, this county. At the breaking out of the war he was residing near Yorktown, Va., and was conscripted into the rebel army, where he was compelled to serve over a year. When the Potomac army drove the rebels from Yorktown, Va., and was conscripted into the rebel army, where he was compelled to serve for over a year. When the Potomac army drove the rebels from Yorktown the Captain managed to make his escape, and entered our lines. He returned to his home in this county, and when the nine months’ volunteers were called for he promptly responded by assisting to raise a company, and was made a lieutenant. This company was placed in the 135th Regiment, and served out its time. On its discharge from the service the Captain again returned home , but on the invasion of Pennsylvania by Lee’s army, and another call being made for six months’ volunteers, he nobly responded, and very soon raised a company of cavalry, which was placed in Col. Wynkoop’s Regiment. An now he was offered up his life, a willing sacrifice on the alter of his country. He was a brave and faithful soldier, and had a kind heart. When eh entered the Union service he expressed his determination never to be taken alive by the rebels, and it is probably from this fact that the fight in which he perished was so sanguinary, as the dead outnumber the wounded. A grateful people will keep his memory green.

- Since the above was in type, we were called upon by the father of Capt. Hebble, who states that there is no truth in the statement of the Richmond Enquirer, that his son is still alive and has been seen by friends within a few days past. The Captain was in the skirmish spoken of but came off unscathed. He was ordered to surrender by a rebel captain, but instead of doing so shot the rebel captain dead. We are pleased to hear this and hope the Captain may live many years to enjoy the fruits of that freedom which he is helping to achieve.

By January 6, 1864, Christian was mustered out again from the Union Army.

Hebble’s Independent Company (Lancaster Troop)

The next year, on July 19, 1864, Christian joined again as a Captain of Hebble’s Independent Company, Pennsylvania Cavalry, sometimes called “Hebble’s Cavalry”. The company served in the Department of the Susquehanna under Maj. Gen. Darius N. Couch near Shipstown, Pennsylvania.

There are a number of mentions of Hebble’s Cavalry in the Official Records of the Union and Confederate armies, 1861 – 1865 describing being located in and around Shimpstown, Pennsylvaina.

Hebble’s Cavalry was mustered out on October 29, 1864.

After the war

After the war, Census data, city directories and pension records show that Christian lived in Baltimore (1890-92). He filed for Pension Invalidity from Maryland. He eventually moved to New York City in Kingsbridge of the Bronx. The 1900 Census shows him in construction living on the same road as Abraham and Lillian Stewart (Lillian was his daughter) The 1910 Census (aged 71) shows him owning a lumber yard. A letter to the Pension Board notifying them of his death in 1913 was on company letterhead with the following:

C. B. HEBBLE
manufacturer of
Cars, Scale Boxes, Centers, Stone Boats,
Wedges, etc.

The New York Times has his obituary.

New York Times, August 22, 1913

HEBBLE At his late residence, Kingsbridge, New York City, on August 19, Christian B. Hebble, in his 75th year. Funeral services at residence, 2:00 PM August 22.

Internment Woodlawn Cemetery.

Capt Hebble died at his home 3436 Bailey Avenue., Kingsbridge, NYC at 9:20AM on Tuesday August 19, 1913 per his Civil War pension file.

The New York Times has a probate notice.

New York Times, Sept. 27, 1913:

Wills for Probate

HEBBLE, CHRISTIAN B., (died Aug. 19) left less then $2,000 personally to wife, Anna M. Hebble.

Christian B. Hebble Pension Record

Christian B. Hebble’s pension record confirms service in the 195th, the 135th, the 20th Cavalry and his own Capt Hebbles Ind (Lancaster Troop).

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