Joanna (Minerd) Enos was born on Christmas Eve 1843 at Hexebarger near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of John and Sarah (Ansell) Minerd.
During Joanna's girlhood years, she broke both ankles and later walked bowlegged as an adult, with her weight resting on her ankles.
Raised in a German-speaking household, Joanna recalled Pennsylvania Dutch words in her later years. One such word passed down in the family -- "grumbeer" for potatoes -- was recalled many years later by one of her elderly granddaughters.
Joanna also is known to have smoked a corncob pipe, a habit picked up from helping her father when he was elderly and unable to light his own. As an older woman, when her mind began to fail, her thoughts often raced back to the hectic days of farm-threshing when as a girl she had to cook constantly for all the relatives and friends who were helping work in the fields.
On March 29, 1868, at the age of 25, Joanna married 24-year-old Civil War veteran Perry Enos (1844-1909). They were the parents of seven children -- Elizabeth "Bessie" Weimer, Hannah Laura Enos, Sarah "Ellen" Hart, Minnie Ann Kuhns, James M. Enos, Jennie M. Snyder and Andrew J. "Bud" Enos.
Joanna is seen here, seated, while a horse grazes along the fence in the background.
Perry was born on Valentine's Day 1844. During the war, Perry had served in Company G, 188th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Drafted on Sept. 29, 1864, he stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, with blue eyes and light hair.
While in camp near Richmond, VA in November 1864, Perry "contracted rheumatism, weak back and pain in side and breast" and was treated at the Point of Rocks Hospital, VA. He spent the winter of 1864-65 in "soldier villages" in a camp near Fort Gilmer, VA.
The "monotony of camp life" was "little disturbed during the winter" according to published reports, but in March 1865 the regiment marched to Fredericksburg, VA, destroying "stores and property collected for the use of the rebel army."
Seen here is a rare, old colorized photographic postcard showing the wartime destruction in Fredericksburg. The caption states that within 15 miles of this spot, "more great armies maneuvered, more great battles were fought, more men were engaged in mortal combat and more officers and privates were killed and wounded than in any similar territory in America."
Later, in April 1865, the 188th marched to the Confederate capitol city of Richmond, which was in flames as Union troops passed through. Though the war ended in April 1865, Perry remained in the Army for an additional six months, and was discharged at Lynchburg, VA, on Oct. 4, 1865.
The colorized photo of Lynchburg seen here was taken during the war years, and gives us an idea of what Perry would have seen as he completed his military service. The image was taken in front of the courthouse looking down Ninth Street to the river. It shows the old Market House that stood in the center of Ninth Street at Main. The house with the chimney in the foreground was a fire engine house.
Perry returned home after the war. He and Joanna were married three years later. After marriage, they acquired 31 acres of farmland near White, Fayette County, that they farmed for many years. The June 10, 1898 Connellsville Courier reports that Perry had "raised his new barn...."
In 1865, when Joanna was age 22, her mother died. Her widowed father later married again, to his wife's sister Hannah Ansell. The step-mother was not altogether liked within the family, and some snickered that she "wasn't fit to raise a cat."
In the years after the war, Perry applied for and began receiving federal pension benefit payments in recognition of his military service. The Dec. 14, 1894 Courier said that Perry had "received notice some eight or nine months ago that his pension would be reduced from $12 to $8 per month, but he has been drawing his $12 right along, reports to the contrary notwithstanding."
Perry was politically active, and in November 1882 was elected an officer of the Democratic organization of Springfield Township. The Courier reported:
The late democratic victory was celebrated in the village of [Normalville] with speeches, illuminations, bonfires and a torchlight parade. Two martial bands enlivened the occasion with their music. Men, women and children turned out to celebrate the first democratic victory since 1857. After the marching was over, a meeting was organized by the selection of the following officers: ... vice presidents, ... Perry Enos....
The remaining years of Perry's life are obscured by the mists of history. He died near White on March 30, 1909, at the age of 63. The details are not known.
Joanna outlived him by 23 years, and passed away on Feb. 19, 1932, at the age of 89. They are buried together at nearby Snyder Cemetery.
In the summer of 2011, Perry was honored at the national reunion of the Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor family as one of 107 known Civil War soldiers in the family.
Perry also was pictured in a July 5, 2011 article in the Uniontown Herald Standard, headlined "Minerd Family Had Big Presence in Civil War."
Joanna and Perry are mentioned in a 2011 book about one of her cousins from Somerset County who also served in the Civil War -- Well At This Time: the Civil War Diaries and Army Convalescence Saga of Farmboy Ephraim Miner. The book, authored by the founder of this website, is seen here. [More]