Captain Harry Jacobs


While searching through the stacks for an account book, I found this interesting ledger, “Enlistment Book of Capt. H. Jacobs Company of Volunteer Infantry, Norristown, Mont. Co.”

The inside pages gives the names and some personal information of the men who enlisted in Company F of the 6th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.


It also lists where they live and where they were born, a brief description, and their occupation.


The book is undated so I wasn’t sure if this was a Civil War era book or not.  I decided to investigate.

“Capt. H. Jacobs” turns out to be Captain Henry “Harry” Jacobs, who died in 1919 at the age of 80.  He was from Norristown, and like many young men in this county, in 1861, he left off working at his father’s business, and volunteered for the Union Army.  He served his original 90 day enlistment, and then enlisted as a corporal for three more years with the 51st Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers.  According the regimental history, he was wounded at Jackson, Mississippi, and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1864.

After the war, he went back to work with his father as a butcher. His obituary says  that when the National Guard was reorganized in 1879,  he was active in the formation of Company F of the 6th Regiment.  He was captain of this regiment for many years, retiring as a major (though the same obituary notes that he was known locally as “Captain Jacobs”).  I think the ledger is probably from this time.

Despite being retired from the National Gaurd and his successful butcher stand in the Norristown market, when the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, he returned to service with the 6th Regiment.  The regiment did not leave the mainland and was mustered out in late 1898.

Old Market

The market where Captain Jacobs had his butcher stall

I was hoping to find a picture of Captain Jacobs, but I was unable to.  According to his obituary, he was very active with the Grand Army of the Republic Zook Post #11.  “Whenever the boys in blue appeared in public, the militant bearing of Captain Jacobs was one of the features.”  So I thought I would include a picture of the G.A.R. from 1916, that Jacobs might be in.  I like to think he’s the tall gentleman in the center.



Norristown Times-Herald, June 11, 1919

Thomas H. Parker, History of the 51st Regiment of P.V. and V.V. (1869)




  1. So these gentlemen who participated the in Civil War, I presume? Union side, of course. Very interesting piece of info- I temporarily taught a history class to 6th-8th graders during January-beginning of March where we are in Central Florida, at a Christian school– it was slightly uncomfortable teaching the Civil War from a Southern view, and how brave and heroic some of the Southern Generals were, but no mention of heroes from the North!!

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