Biography of Sergeant James McCreary, Company F, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 100th Regiment

From Rootsweb,, as transcribed by Mona Houser

 Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney and Phelps, Nebraska, F.A. Battey and Company, Chicago, 1890, pages 422 and 423



JAMES McCREARY, a prominent and successful farmer of Buffalo county, and an old settler of Sharon township, where he lives, is a Pennsylvanian by birth. His father, Enoch McCreary, and his mother, Margaret Pearson, were both natives of the "Keystone State," and always resided there, the father dying in 1856, at the age of fifty-nine, and the mother in 1885, at the age of eighty. These were the parents of eight children, of whom the subject of this notice is the sixth, the full list being - Pearson, Belinda, Samuel, Sarah, William, James, John and Enoch.
    James, our subject, was born in Lawrence county, Pa., September 26, 1838, and was reared in his native place, growing up on his father's farm, receiving a fair common-school education, and being trained to the habits of industry and usefulness common to his calling. In August, 1861, when it became known that the country must go through a civil war of greater or less length, and preparations began to be made therefor, by calls for volunteers to defend the Union, Mr. McCreary, with the enthusiasm of youth, and a devotion to his country born of the purest patriotism, responded promptly to the call, enlisting in Company F, One Hundredth Pennsylvania infantry. His military history is best told in the recorded triumphs, suffering and losses of his regiment, whose fortunes he followed from the date of his enlistment to the close of the war. The One Hundredth Pennsylvania, which bore the designation of "roundheads," was recruited mainly in the part of the state which was settled by English roundheads and Scotch-Irish covenanters, and it proved itself eminently worthy of its ancestral origin and namesakes. It was officered by Col. Daniel Leasure and Col. Norman J. Maxwell, both brevet brigadier-generals. It began its service at the opening of the war and continued on the front and in the thickest of the fight till the surrender. Like most of the other Ninth corps regiments, its service was a varied one; it made long journeys by sea and land, and fought its battles in many and widely separated states. It participated in twenty-three of the hardest fought battles of the war, being present at only four engagements in which it did not participate, and it lost, out of a total enrollment of two thousand and fourteen enlisted men, eight hundred and eighty-seven in killed and wounded, only twenty-nine of whom died in Confederate prisons. Its heaviest losses were sustained at James island, South Carolina; Manassas, Virginia; South mountain, Maryland ; Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, siege of Petersburg, Petersburg mine and Fort Stedman. Lieut.-Col. Dawson fell, mortally wounded, in the assault on Petersburg; Lieut.-Col. Pentecost was killed at Fort Stedman; Major Hamilton and Adjutant Leasure fell in the fighting at the Petersburg mine, and five line-officers fell at Manassas. Mr. McCreary was temporarily disabled by the explosion of a shell before Petersburg, receiving a severe shock and having his hat cut into holes. He was mustered out at the close as sergeant, having entered as private. He returned to Pennsylvania, and moved afterwards to Ohio, and then to Illinois, and still later, in 1873, to Nebraska, settling at that date in Buffalo county, where he took a homestead in Sharon township, where he has since resided, except a year or so spent in


Shelton, near by. Mr. McCreary has become thoroughly identified with the farming interests of his community, and it is no flattery to him, nor injustice to his neighbors, to say that he has made better success than the average farmer. He owns five hundred and sixty acres of splendid land, agricultural and grazing, all of which he has in a paying condition. He is a large cattle feeder, and is recognized as one of the clear, level-headed business men of his locality - solid and reliable.
    Mr. McCreary married, in 1863, a lady of his native county, Miss Catherine Craig, and this union has been blessed with five children - J. Craig, Frank A., Lula, Gertie and Nettie. He and his excellent wife are zealous members of the Methodist church, and he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America.


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