Ellis J. Hoover

By J.R. McFerron

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   Ellis Hoover

They came from all walks of life. One was an innkeeper, one was a farmer, one was a lumberman, another a teacher. They hailed from the area designated as the "Wildcat" legislative district. Such were the men of the Band of the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry -- The Wildcats.

We are learning more and more about these men, but until now, we didn't know what any of them looked like. We now have a photo of Ellis J. Hoover, age 19, mustered into the Band September 5, 1861. We can speculate that there may be pictures of other band members. Frequently, soldiers -- particularly bandsmen -- would visit photo studios in large groups, sometimes whole units. If you know of any other photos, please contact us.

As for the other men in the band, we know from a recent study conducted by Dr. Wayne Smith of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), that 17 of the men were between the ages of 18 and 25. Interestingly, four of the bandsmen were relatively old: between 36 and 44. Census records show that most of the bandsmen had very little property and most lived in small towns in the Wildcat district.