JOHN W. COLEMAN was born in Pennsylvania in December of 1848. He was living in Philadelphia in the summer of 1863 when, answering a call to arms in response to general Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, he enlisted as a Private on June 17th in Company K, 20th Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania. The unit mustered out on August 10th. Having acquired a taste of the military, young Coleman, then but 16, re-enlisted on September 15, 1863 as a Saddler and served as a Private with the 19th Cavalry Regiment Pennsylvania. He served with Company B and Company I during his term of service. The 19th Cavalry Regiment Pennsylvania mustered out on May 14, 1866 at New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Nineteenth Cavalry was commanded by Colonel Alexander Cummings. Other officers who served were Lieutenant Colonel Joseph C. Hess, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Reeder, Major Amos J. Holahan, Major Norman M. Finlay, and Major Charles F. Huston. 

The 19th cavalry, the 180th regiment of the line, was recruited in Philadelphia with the exception of Cos. L and M from the counties of Huntingdon and Blair. It rendezvoused at Camp Stanton, Philadelphia, and was mustered into the U. S. service in 

June, July, August, September, and October, 1863, for three years. Most of the men and officers had seen previous service. 

It left for Washington early in November and on December 3, reported to General A. J. Smith at Columbus, Ky. Three days later it moved to Union City Tennessee, where it was assigned to the 1st brigade, (Col Waring) of General Grierson's cavalry division. Lieutenant Colonel Hess commanded the regiment, Col. Cummings being on detached service. 

Early in February, 1864, it moved with its division to Collierville, Tennessee, whence it participated in a raid into Mississippi, proceeding as far as West Point, and assisted in destroying the railroad and immense stores of grain and cotton. On the 22nd it took part in a sharp engagement with the enemy at Okalona, Mississippi, and then returned without further interruption to Memphis. Its loss during the expedition was 15 killed, wounded and missing. 

On April 6, it was engaged for several hours with the troops under General Nathan Bedford Forrest at Cypress Swamp, Tennessee, suffering some loss. Captain Wenrick of Company E was captured here and died in captivity. The regiment returned to Memphis on April 10 and the next few weeks were employed in scout and picket duty, details of the regiment being frequently sent out to harass the forces under Forrest. At the battle of Brice's cross-roads the 19th acted with the infantry, its losses being 15 in killed, wounded and missing.

During July a detachment of 150 men was engaged with the forces under General Slocum at the Big Black river, Port Gibson and Grand Gulf, Mississippi. In August it was engaged with General A. J. Smith's forces against Forrest, at Coldwater, Oxford and Hurricane Creek, Mississippi. 

In September, during General Price's invasion of Missouri, the 19th Cavalry was active at Marion, Greensboro, Pilot Knob, and the Big Blue River, returning to Memphis on October 20. In November it skirmished on the flank of Hood's army, marching towards Nashville, Company F being desperately engaged at Nonconnah Creek.

Early in December the 19th proceeded to Nashville and was assigned to Hammond's (1st) brigade, Knipe's (7th) division cavalry corps, under General Wilson. It participated in the battle of Nashville and the pursuit of Hood's army, suffering some losses. During Hood's retreat, it was warmly engaged at Hollow Tree Gap, where it delivered an impetuous charge and drove the enemy for 2 miles. At Franklin, the same day, the 19th again charged and in the day's fighting captured 3 stands of colors and 350 prisoners. It lost in killed, wounded and missing about 25, among the wounded being Major Holahan, Captain Reeder, Captain N. M. Smith and Acting-Adjutant Blackstone. 

Continuing the pursuit, the 19th was again hotly engaged at Anthony's Hill and Sugar Creek, losing 12 killed and wounded. The command was now much reduced in numbers and was consolidated early in February, 1865, into a battalion of six companies, the supernumerary officers being mustered out. 

On February 8 the battalion started for New Orleans, arriving there March 9. On the 20th it moved to Baton Rouge and was engaged in picket and scouting duty until the middle of August. Meanwhile the battalion had been further reduced on June 13 to four companies. It served by detachments in Louisiana and Texas until April of the following year, when the four companies were reunited at New Orleans, performed provost duty there for a few weeks, and was finally mustered out on May 14, 1866.

John W. Coleman returned to Philadelphia where he married his first wife, Melvina, and started a family. By 1880 he was working as a bank cashier and bookkeeper. He was living at 1211 Dickinson Street in South Philadelphia in 1880 and 103 Dickinson in 1890. At some point before 1895 he moved to 37 North 35th Street in what was then Stockton Township. This became a art of Camden in 1899. His daughter Evaline was born in New Jersey in 1890. The 1900 census shows the John W. Coleman family also having three sons, Louis, Charles W., W. and Elmer, and another daughter, Catherine B. Coleman. Another son, John W. Coleman Jr., died in March of 1899. Two older children, George and Nellie, were not living with their parents. It appears, from the 1900 Census, that John W. Coleman had remarried, and that Catherine Coleman came of the second marriage. Who Evaline Coleman's mother was is not clear.

John W. Coleman got involved in local politics upon moving to New Jersey. He served on the Stockton city council and two terms on Camden's City Council after the 1899 annexation. He also was an active member of the Thomas M.K. Lee Post No. 5, G.A.R. and served at least once as the post commander

John W. Coleman and his wife Annie resided at 37 North 35th Street through 1914. Not long after the 1910 Census was taken, daughter Evaline married Leon B. Proud, who who had lived with his parents at 45 North 35th Street. Mr. and Mrs. Proud made their home at 31 North 35th Street. By 1920 they Prouds had two daughters, named after Mr. Proud's wife Leonora and Mrs. Proud's mother, Eva.

John W. Coleman and his wife left Camden at some point after 1914 and before January 1920. He retired from the Southwark Bank in Philadelphia in 1918 after 45 years of service, much of it as the assistant cashier.

Son-n-law Leon Proud passed away in the mid-1920s. His widow remained at 31 North 35th Street until at least 1947. By June of 1933 John W. Coleman had returned to Camden and was making his home with his daughter at 31 North 35th Street. John W. Coleman passed away on February 7, 1935.

1890 Veterans Census
Click on Image to Enlarge

Civil War Pension Record

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 8, 1899

Dr. A.L. Sherk
Improved Order of Red Men
Shepherds of Bethlehem
Miss Emma Seaman
Alexander S. Aser
George Rudge
John Dietz
W.A. Deneter
George A. Williams
F.W. Gercke
John A. Mortimer
Rosedale Fire Company
Joseph H.K. Johnson
Clarence Furman
Simon Watkins
Eber Hutchinson
John W. Coleman
Jesse Milby
B. Reed
W,T, Waller
Citizens Fire Company

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 19, 1899

John W. Coleman Sr.  & Family

Philadelphia Inquirer
July 16, 1899

John W. Coleman
George Horner
Albert Kemble
Jersey Beaston
George Blake
Theodore Leas
Carrow DuBosq
V.L. Cavanna
Mary Kemmerer
Ellen Kemmerer
Lillie Kemmerer
Anna Kemmerer
Elizabeth Kemmerer
George J. Pechin
James McCormick
Lillian Bernhart
Wilson H. Jenkins
Arthur Abele
Malinda Mansfield

Philadelphia Inquirer
November 5, 1904

John W. Coleman

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 1, 1906


Philadelphia Inquirer - January 28, 1909

Camden Memorial Day Committee

In order that Camden veterans may have an elaborate celebration on Memorial Day, Mayor Ellis yesterday appointed the following committee of citizens to act in conjunction with them: William D. Vanaman, William Sangtinette, Frank W. Tussey, William Fox, Dr. J.W. Martindale, Walter L Tushingham, Ira E. Lutte, Harry C. Kramer, John W. Coleman, Bernhard Schroeder, Edward H. Nieland, Daniel M. Stevens, W.F. Powell, Abe Fuhrman, Jacob Neutze, Francis B. Wallen, Charles A. Ackley, Louis T. Derousse, James M. Bentley, John K. Newkirk, William Schmid, John Larsen, Sigismund Schoenagle, Charles M. Baldwin, and Harry A Whaland.

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 28, 1911

Mayor Ellis - Soldiers' Monument - William Thompson - Rev. A.H. Newton
First Methodist Episcopal Church - Isaac T. Nichols - Amos Richard Dease
H.L. Hartshorn - William D. Vanaman - Charles A. Ackley -
Charles M. Baldwin - James M. Bentley - John W. Coleman - C.K. Deacon - Malachi D. Cornish
Louis T. Derousse - William Fox - Abe Fuhrman - Harry C. Kramer - Ira E. Lute
Dr. J.W. Martindale - Jacob Neutze - Edward Nieland -
Dr. H.S. Riddle
William Sangtinette -
Bernhard Schroeder - William Schmid
 Sigismund Schoenagle - Daniel M. Stevens - Frank W. Tussey
Walter L Tushingham -
Francis B. Wallen,- Harry A Whaland.

Camden Courier-Post * June 4, 1933

Vets in Colorful Memorial Crowd Convention Hall
Military and Civic Organizations Parade in
and Join Services Addressed by Clergy and Congressman Wolverton

More than 2500 persons attended a joint veterans memorial observance in Convention Hall which followed a parade of veterans and civic organizations yesterday afternoon.

To the martial strains of bands and bugle corps, the participants marched from Fifth and Cooper to Seventh Street; south to Haddon Avenue, then to Line Street and the Convention Hall.

The parade was headed by a squad of motorcycle police under Acting Sergeant William Taylor. They were followed by the band, headquarters, howitzer, medical and service companies of the 114th Infantry in command of Capt. Mahlon F. Ivins, Jr.

Then came the massed colors, National Guard, Naval Reserve, Disabled American Veterans, John J. Pershing Camp No.9, United War Veterans; Gen. John A. Mather Post No. 18, Spanish War Veterans with their fife and drum corps and the Clara E. Waller Auxiliary; Posts 518 and 980 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and their bugle corps; Mt. Ephraim Junior Legion, No. 150; and, bugle corps; Public Service American Legion Post and bugle corps; Westmont American Legion Post and bugle corps; 50 Pennsylvania Gold Star Mothers led by Mrs. Mary E. Hewson; Elks color guard and the Salvation Army and band.

G. A. R. Vets In Line

Three veterans of the G. A. R., in flag-draped automobiles, participated in the parade. They were John W. Coleman, 76, of 31 North Thirty-fifth street, who served with the 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry; William A. Morgan, 93, of Clementon, who was with the 104th Doylestown Infantry, and Leonard L. Roray, 89, of Glassboro, who served with Company H, Third New Jersey Cavalry.

Ceremonies at Convention Hall opened with advance of the colors to the stage and invocation by Rabbi Nachmann Arnoff.

Rev. Charles Bratten Du Bell, former chaplain of the 114th Infantry, delivered a memorial address, taking as his subject the career of General "Stonewall" Jackson.

Congressman Charles A. Wolverton after paying tribute to the G. A. R., Spanish American and World War veterans, promised that Congress would make provisions to support widows and orphans of veterans who need aid before adjournment this Summer.

Criticizes Veteran Cuts

He attacked any plan for balancing the national budget which does so at the expense of the veterans.

"There are two ways to balance the budget,'" he said. "One is to take the money from the veterans and federal employees. The other is to require wealth to help."

American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and United Spanish War Veterans memorial services and rituals also featured the program. Rev. Lewis A. Hayes, of Westmont, pronounced the benediction. C. Richard Allen, past county commander of the American Legion, was master of ceremonies.

The committee included Samuel Magill, Jr., chairman; Edward A. Stark, A. F. Klein, Joseph A. Kohler, Joseph Whylings, James J. Burke, Norval McHenry, Charles Buzine, William Amberg, James Milne, William P. Breen, William Miller, William Reinholdt; Edward J. Wintering, William Eisele, William Lloyd, Joseph F. Markley, Frank Ellis, D. J. Connors, Joseph Lounsberry and Charles M. Jefferies.

Camden Courier-Post
February 9, 1935

John W. Coleman
Thomas M.K. Lee Post No. 5, G.A.R.