|Push to enlarge.|
Birth: Jan. 28, 1842
Death: Mar. 12, 1903, Pennsylvania.
Lieut. Co.B.137 Regt. P.V
Sgt. Co.1.130 Regt. P.V
Samuel Charles Ilgenfritz was the son of Samuel & Lydia Imfelt Ilgenfritz and the husband of Harriet C. Weiser Ilgenfritz, whom he married August 29, 1866.
A Civil War veteran, he first enlisted in York August 7, 1862, with Co. I, 130th Pa Inf, as a corporal. Promoted to sergeant December 13, 1862, and shot in the arm at that same day at the battle of Fredericksburg. Honorably discharged with his company May 21, 1863. Also served at the rank of sergeant with Co. B, 187th Pa Inf, January 23, 1864 - August 7, 1865.
Hill Cemetery, York York County Pennsylvania.|
"My Comrades, it is late and my speech will be short and sweet. Apart from my own Company I know but few ; nevertheless by virtue of our identification with the 187th Regiment, I know every one of you whether I can call you by name or not. You have made me your Historian. Why, I cannot say. All that I have done along that line was the publication of an eightcolumn sketch of the Regiment in the York Daily, which was simply my own observations upon its inception, service and immolation, for the defense of the flag. Reminiscences of the camp, the march, the picket, and the battle are pleasant 34 years after the conflict in which we stood shoulder to shoulder battling for our country. I am sure that we have to-day something better and greater challenging our attention and thought. That Comrade to my right hit the nail square on the head when he said we made history. Yes, this gallant old 187th Regiment, as an integral part of the Army of the Potomac, made history.
Now, it does not take three or five or ten years to do this. The actual fighting service of the Regiment only spanned from Petersburg to the Weldon Railroad, but it came into service in an hour when the result was trembling in the balance ; at a time when hours and days and months made history with wonderful rapidity in their sweep down the last thirty-four years. As it stood, superbly stood, receiving its baptism of blood before Petersburg, June 18, 1864, losing 200 of its intrepid sons, more than all the other Regiments of the Brigade combined, and more than any Regiment in the Fifth Corps, I do not know but this single heroic act may have been the boys' push that moved the forces of Union along the line of the Weldon Railroad, to Five Forks and the salvation of the Union at Appomatox, the 187th Regiment contended for a great and far-reaching principle.
What is a principle? A truth received, believed and fixed in the mind from which there flows out a corresponding course of action. When this Regiment marched to the defense of the imperiled interest of its country, it received and wrote upon its colors,' a great truth, namely, the principle of national sovereignty, i. e., This is a nation, not a compact, a rope of sand, that may be snapped asunder by the mere whim of any one ; nor set of States, but a nation possessing the power to defend, preserve and perpetuate its life. And its organization, and camping, and marching, and picketing, and fighting, was the course of action which flowed out of its reception of the truth of national sovereignty, and that made it give the health, and limb, and life, of its gallant boys in defense of the best Magna Charta the world ever saw, and characterized by DeAubigne, as the standing miracle of history, and which Buckley says should be hung up in the nursery of every king, and blazoned on the porch of every royal palace. This sheet anchor of our liberties has gone beyond the environments of our civil strife; yes, the actors in the conflict of the sixties must pass away, but this will go out and onward until civil, political, and religious liberty shall girdle the nations as the undisputed right of all peoples. And here this grand old Pennsylvania Regiment made history, that has, and will continue to have a tremendous sweep down the ages for the good of mankind, while the luster of an imperishable glory shall abide with the 187th, its posterity, and Pennsylvania forever.
"Led by the dauntless Chamberlain, the gallant Griffin, the superb Warren, and the cultured Meade, to the defense of the national sovereignty, we need not blush to say that we belonged to the 187th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Contending for this great basic principle of the Government, it makes a vast difference as to whether we fought for or against 'Old Glory.' We dare not speculate as to who was right in the conflict. The North defended a de facto Government and it was eternally right. The South fought for a de jure Government, which they could not make a fact, and this was a rebellion, and those who engaged therein were Rebels, and hence they were eternally wrong, and being wrong, the sun of the heresy of State sovereignty set in blood at Appomatox forever. I would like to say much more, but that clock bids me cease. My Comrades, farewell, and may God be with you till we meet again. Tell the story of your cares, toils, and hardships, sacrifices for the land and flag you loved and" served', but above all cherish this thought, namely, that the 187th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, made history on whose pages will be read the principles for which we fought by millions yet unborn; truths that shall live and bless the world when we are sleeping in patriots' graves."