Monday, May 18, 2015

MILITARY MONDAY Spitler Family Saga, Augusta Co., VA Part 3, The War Years

3rd Great Grandfather Jacob Spitler married a second time to Jane F. (Roberts) Acord July 26, 1860.[1] Jane married Andrew B. Acord Jan. 11, 1843[2] and divorced him June 1860[3] in Augusta County. Two Acord stepchildren, Sarah and Jacob F., were living in Jacob and Jane’s home Sept. 10, 1860.[4] Thomas Spitler (Jacob and Margaret’s son) resided with his father and stepmother. A Spitler son, Jacob F., Jr. and his young wife, Eliza Frances Argenbright, lived next door with their 2 children.

Tough times were coming for the Spitler’s. Jacob was 62 years old when the Civil War began. Five of his six sons joined the Confederacy.  They served in Co. F, 52nd Regt. Va. Infantry.

Henry enlisted April 29, 1861 at West View a few weeks after Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter. He went directly to Harper’s Ferry. I don’t know whether he became ill or was wounded but he was on sick leave from July 1861 until Jan. 27, 1862. Pvt. Henry Spitler was discharged at the end of his sick leave.[5]

John S. Spitler joined Company F the same day as his brother Henry on April 29, 1861. He contracted typhoid fever and was hospitalized from August to December of 1861. On May 3, 1863 John was wounded at Chancellorsville and died 3 days later at a hospital in Staunton.[6]

Pvt. Thomas Spitler enlisted May 15, 1862 and was present at Appomattox April 9, 1865.[7]

Jacob, Jr., joined up August 15, 1862. He was wounded at Manassas and Wilderness. Jacob survived the War and was paroled at Staunton, Virginia May 15, 1865.[8]

Samuel Spitler died of fever in the army according to Henry Spitler’s obituary.

In the meantime, Jacob died Sept. 7, 1864 while the War was being fought. Grandfather prepared his will a few months after the fighting started on August 2, 1861.[9] He wanted his 2nd wife to get his entire estate and named her his Executrix.

Jacob Spitler's Will, Augusta Co. VA Will Book 40, page 89

Jacob Spitler's Will, Augusta Co. VA Will Book 40, page 90

   I Jacob Spitler, of Augusta County, in the State of Virginia, do make this as and for my last will and Testament hereby revoking all others and former wills by me at any time heretofore made
   1st I direct the payment of my funeral expenses, and all my Just debts.
   2nd I give and devised to my beloved wife all my Estate – of every kind and description, of which I may die possessed of or be in any way entitled to.
   Last I Nominate and Constitute my said wife as the Sole Executrix of this will,
      In Testimony whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and seal the 21st day of August in the year of our Lord one Thousand Eight hundred and Sixty one
                                                                                    Jacob Spitler
Witness present – Signing in the
Presences of the Testator & of each
Other – he having signed in _?_ presences
A.   F. Kinney
             N. K. Trout
In Augusta County Court October 24th 1864
   This Last will and Testament of Jacob Spitler dec’d was presented in court and and proved by the oaths of A. F. Kinney and N. K. Trout the Subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded And on the motion of Jane F. Spitler the Executrix therein named, who made and thereof according to and together with Jacob Bayler her Security (who Justified as to his Sufficiency) Entered into a bond in the Sum of Twenty five hundred dollars payable and wich condition as required by law, which bond was acknowledged in open court by the obligers thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Certificate is granted the said Jane F. Spitler for obtaining a probate of said will in due favor.
                                                                William A. Burnett clk

Jacob Baylor, acting as Jane F. Spitler’s Security, requested Augusta County Court revoke Jane’s right to her powers as Executrix August 22, 1865.[10] The court document states Jane renounced her powers in a written document before Staunton Mayor Nicholas K. Trout. It’s hard to say what prompted this. Grandfather had faith in her abilities to handle his estate as he made her his ‘Sole Executrix’. When the Civil War ended, Virginia was part of the United States of America again. The economic future of Southerners was uncertain. Perhaps Jane needed help to wade through the political climate.

Alexander B. Lightner became the administrator for Grandfather’s estate with Albert G. Wayland acting as his Security. Mr. Lightner arranged for an inventory of Jacob’s personal estate that same month. He presented the court with an account of the sale of Jacob’s personal estate that took place Sept. 20, 1865. The estate sale raised $923.45.[11]

I don’t know what became of Jacob’s land. As of 1860 it was still in his possession. No doubt land records will tell another story.

You might enjoy reading:

My Ancestry
4th Great Grandfather John Spitler and wife Mary Eccord
3rd Great Grandfather Jacob Spitler and wife Margaret Dunlap
2nd Great Grandmother Eliza Jane Spitler and husband William Wilson Joseph
Great Grandfather Daniel Franklin Joseph and wife Flora Belle McFall
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father

[1] Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940 [database on-line].
[2] Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940," index, FamilySearch (
[3] Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia Digital Collection, Chancery Records Index No. 1860-008, Jane F. Acord vs Andrew B. Acord,
[4] 1860 Federal Census, 1st District, Augusta County, VA, Pages 197-198, Jacob Spitler household.
[5] Valley of the Shadow website,
[7] Valley of the Shadow website,
[8] Valley of the Shadow website,
[9] Jacob Spitler’s Will, Augusta Co. VA Will Book 40, pages 89-90.
[10] Augusta County, VA, Will Book 40, page 173.
[11] Augusta County, VA, Will Book 40, pages 216-219


  1. Thanks for the comment - I have been watching your blog the past nine months- and I'm impressed with what you have been able to post. I need to get my last eight blogs finished and posted and then figure out which direction I need to go next - and get a couple of quilts finished!

  2. Phew! You are going to be one busy lady.