Part of the USA Today Network

York County soldiers: Pvt. Daniel Roland, Pennsylvania State Militia

Private Daniel Roland, Pennsylvania Drafted Militia Infantry, Union Army.

Long-time Cannonball reader Dianne Bowders is a noted photographer and family historian in York County, Pennsylvania. She has contributed several of her family photos to various local history sites, and some of her excellent modern photographs have been featured in a book compilation of the best pictures from York Countians. In 2009, she shared with our readers the interesting story of one of her ancestors, a plucky Emigsville, Pennsylvania, woman named Ellen Roland, who, while her husband was away in the army, took their five children safely through Confederate lines from their isolated farmhouse to safety in the village.

This time, Dianne relates the story of Ellen’s husband, Daniel Roland, during the war and his and Ellen’s family.

A 39-year-old farmer from near Emigsville, Daniel Roland was drafted Oct 16, 1862, and served as a private in Captain Edward Y. Luther’s Independent/Unassigned Company B, Pennsylvania Drafted Militia Infantry. It was a nine-months’ regiment that did not see combat but instead served primarily on guard duty throughout its term of enlistment. He served as “On detached duty Quartermasters Department… Regimental Bakery”. The entire company was honorably discharged in Harrisburg on July 23, 1863, not long after the Battle of Gettysburg. While Daniel was away with the militia, his wife Ellen had her adventure with “Extra Billy” Smith’s Virginia infantry.

Well after the war, Daniel filed for disability for “total deafness of the left ear, and nearly total deafness of the right ear & rheumatism”, in 1890, and was granted a pension of $12 per month for the deafness.

Civil War heroine Ellen Busey Roland of Emigsville, Pennsylvania.

Daniel Roland (1823-1905) was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. He moved to York County, Pennsylvania and during the height of the Mexican War era married Ellen Busey (1832-1919) at the local Methodist church in York, Pennsylvania (now First United Methodist).
(1) Sarah Ann Roland (1851-1919) married George Ryan ( – )
(2) Mary Adeline Roland (1853-1854)
(3) Emma Jane (1854-1905) married Arthur John Shelly (1849-1923)
(4) Charles J. Roland (1857-1925) (photo) married Sarah “Sally” King (1856-1906), dealer in Coal, Wood, & Phosphate, Justice of the Peace, Emigsville,and Agent for Farmer’s Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Charles was also an artist.
(5) William Wesley Roland (1859-1935) unmarried, wheelwright at Acme Wagon Works, Emigsville, woodworker
(6) Ellen L. Roland (1862-1868)
Sarah, Emma Jane, Charles, William, and toddler Ellen were living with their mother Ellen when Jubal Early’s Rebel infantry division and associated artillery and cavalry invaded York PA at the end of June 1863 during the Gettysburg Campaign.
Children born after the Civil War:
(7) Alice Elizabeth Roland (1865-1929) (photo) married Henry Nelson Zumbrun (1845-1909), box paster at cigar works on High St., Emigsville, PA. Henry Zumbrun was a stone cutter for the railroad underpasses.
(8) Daniel Busy Roland (1867-1919) unmarried, cigar maker
(9) Laura Martha Roland (1870-1963) married William Walter Oberdick (1867-1931)
(10) John Albert Roland (1871-1934) married Annie A. Neff (1874- )
(11) Robert Montgomery Roland (1874-1914) married Laura Newcomer (1888-1915) both died of tuberculosis
(12) Fannie K. Roland (1877-1877)
Daniel’s occupation in 1900 was listed as stone quarrier. He and Ellen rented rooms to local stone cutters and workers. Henry Zumbrun, the stone cutter for the three RR underpasses and the wall at the Emig Mansion, was one of their renters. Henry married Roland’s daughter Alice Elizabeth Roland.
The last years of Daniel’s life were filled with pain brought about or exacerbated by his Civil War service. His physician later testified, “During time that I attended him he was in feeble health, complaining severely of pains through joints presumably rheumatic – He had been unable to walk more than a square ever since I attended him.”
After Daniel Roland’s death in late January 1905 “from Senility and Endocarditis sclerotic,” his widow Ellen applied for widow’s pension and received $8 per month starting Feb 1905. She applied for an increase in 1916 and the pension was increased to $20 per month.
Daniel Roland’s obituary:
Roland, Daniel, Emigsville, York Co., Pa. Husband of Ella [sic] Busey Roland, Civil War veteran, survived by 9 children. ob[ituary] Jan 31, 1905, aged 81 yrs, 9 mos., 30 days. Interment in Prospect Hill Cemetery, York, Pa. York Evening Press, Jan 31, 1905.
[Source: “Death Index to York Newspapers, 1901, M to Z”; compiled by DAR [929.3 D285 RR – Historical Society, York, Pennsylvania, p. 1632.]