Henry “Harry” Cordes, train dispatcher, Northern Central Railway at Millersburg, was born near the harbor of Bremen, Kingdom of Hanover, now one of the German States, 29 July 1838. He is a son of Henry Cordes and Sophia [Luebken] Cordes.
Henry Cordes Sr., the father, was born in Hanover, Germany, and grew up and married there. Part of his family preceded him to America in 1852. He and his wife emigrated in 1856. He died 2 May 1876, aged sixty-two, aged sixty-two. His wife died 11 March 1875, aged sixty. Of their nine children, five are deceased:
Anna Cordes, wife of Cornelius Fink, had one child;
Sophia Cordes, who married Frank Carlton;
Caroline Cordes, wife of William Young;
George Cordes, died within five weeks of Caroline’s death, both dying of trichinosis;
Margaret Cordes, wife of John C. King, had seven children –
Elizabeth Cordes; and
Joseph Cordes, deceased.
Louis C. Cordes, married Emma Brubaker, had three children deceased [including] twins, Margaret Cordes and Anna Cordes.
The surviving children of Henry Cordes Sr. and Cecelia [Luebken] Cordes are:
Hattie Cordes, married Oscar Snyder, who died and she married Charles Bohne, and after his death, Frank C. Taylor – she had one child, Oscar Snyder, son of her first husband;
Rettie Cordes, twin;
Hettie C. Cordes, twin, wife of Charles Dobson, has one child, Nellie Dobson [Note” These twin sisters so closely resemble each other in personal appearance that their mother often failed to distinguish them;
Frederick G. Cordes, married Hannah Willets, has one child, Frederick Cordes, who served from the beginning to the end of the War of the Rebellion [Civil War] in the famous Kane’s Rifles, Bucktail Regiment.
Henry Cordes attended the schools of his native city until he was fourteen, when he came with his sister Anna Cordes to America, sailing 15 April 1852, and arriving at New York, 27 May 1852. He came to Harrisburg and began an apprenticeship with his uncle, Henry Luebken at baking. After serving two years he moved to Philadelphia where he was in the employ of Herman Haupt, chief engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company until 1856. He then returned to Harrisburg with his parents, who had just come from Germany and he remained a short time with them. Through Dr. Butt of Philadelphia, he was employed by the Florida Lumber Company, in the capacity of clerk and went to Florida, where the state of his health permitted him to remain only a short time. He was then employed by Philip Walters, the brother-in-law of his uncle, to do farm work and assist in butchering on his farm in York County, Pennsylvania. He continued there until 18 April 1861, when he enlisted at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, in Company B, 2nd Pennsylvania Volunteers [2nd Pennsylvania Infantry], Capt. John Deebler and Col. Frederick Staumback. His regiment moved from Harrisburg to the vicinity of Baltimore, and after a short stay there was sent to York, Pennsylvania, thence through Maryland and into Virginia, and thence through Baltimore to Harrisburg, where he was discharged at the end of three months’ service.
Mr. Henry Cordes remained with his parents until 9 August 1861when he re-enlisted in the 18th United States Infantry in which he served until 25 January 1865.
This regiment was ordered to Columbus, Ohio, in November, 1861, was transported to the Army of the Cumberland, at Louisville, Kentucky, and participated in the campaign through Kentucky, ending in the defeat Gen. Zollicoffer’s army at Mill Springs, after which it retired to Louisville. The movement of the regiment was then from Louisville to East Point, Kentucky, thence by boats down the Ohio River to the Cumberland, up to Fort Donelson, thence to Nashville, Tennessee, thence to Shiloh, thence to Corinth, Mississippi, thence to Rienzi, Blackland, Boonesville, to near Holly Springs, Mississippi, thence back to Corinth, thence to Inka, thence to East Port Landing, crossing the Tennessee River to Alabama, whence they returned to Louisville, Kentucky, via Athens, Tuscumbia, Decatur, and Salem, Alabama; Deckard, Murfreesboro, and Nashville, Tennessee; Bowling Green, Mumfordsville, and East Point, Kentucky, and reaching Louisville, 1 October 1862.
After resting four days they started on the Perrysville Campaign, via Shepherdsville, Bardstown, and Springfield to Perrysville or Chaplain Hills, thence to Crab Orchard, Frankfort, Greenville, Mumfordsville, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Gallatin, Bellows Ford, Pilot Knob, Edgefield and Nashville, Tennessee. They then moved on Christmas Day 1862 to Murfreesboro (Stone River) where they lost nearly half the regiment. From Murfreesboro they moved to Tulahoma, Tennessee; thence to Cowen, across the Cumberland Mountains into the Crow Creek Valley; thence to Stephenson, Alabama; thence to Bridgeport, Alabama, where they crossed the Tennessee River and Raccoon Mountains into the Trenton Valley, Georgia; thence across Lookout Mountain into the Chickamauga Valley, Georgia; thence to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where in September, 1863, they were in a number of engagements and remained in that vicinity until 14 May 1864.
They then began the Atlanta Campaign, moving first to Ringgold, Georgia; thence to Tunnel Hill, thence to Buzzard’s Boost, thence to Snake Creek Gap to Reseca; thence to Kingston, Cassville, Burnt Hickory, New Hope Church, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Big Shanty, Kenesaw, Smyrna, Chattahoochie River, Peachtree Crek, Atlanta, Eutaw Creek, to Jonesboro, Georgia, where Mr. Cordes received a serious gunshot wound in his left arm necessitating amputation on the battlefield, after which he was taken a distance of twenty miles to the hospital at Atlanta, suffering intensely on the way. He remained in the hospital until 23 October 1864, when he was sent with others in freight cars to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was finally discharged at Columbus, Ohio, 25 January 1865, on account of disability resulting from wounds received in battle.
Mr. Henry Cordes then returned to Harrisburg, and after a short stay, entered Crittenden’s Commercial College, Philadelphia, where he took a course in bookkeeping and telegraphy, which he completed in December 1865. Through the friendly endorsement of Hon. J. D. Cameron he obtained a position in the Northern Central Railroad Company, and was stationed at Harrisburg. After six months he was sent to Marysville, Perry County, Pennsylvania, where he remained two and a half years. In September 1868, he was located at Millersburg, and has been in the employ of the same company at that point ever since.
Henry Cordes was married, 25 December 1866, to Kate Shoader [or Shader]. Two of their children are deceased. Their children:
John Henry Cordes, died at the age of nineteen days;
Catherine Cecelia Cordes, born 20 December 1868, and died 27 March 1895;
Florence Victoria Cordes, born 8 June 1872, wife of Benton M. Jury, of Millersburg, Pennsylvania; and
Warren Ray Cordes, born 9 January 1875.
Mr. Henry Cordes is a Republican. In 1862 he was elected to the office of director of the poor for a term of three years, and in 1895 was re-elected to the same office. He has been the commander of Post No. 212, G.A.R., at Millersburg for fifteen years, and still holds that office. He is a member in good standing of Lodge No. 183, I.O.O.F., at Millersburg. Nr. Cordes and his family attend the Lutheran church.
John Shoader, father of Mrs. Kate Cordes, died 5 January 1875. His wife survives him. Their children are:
Frederick G. Shoader, married Kate Harm;
Kate Shoader, Mrs. Henry Cordes;
John H. Shoader, married Mary Flickinger;
Harry R. Shoader, married Lydia Hamilton;
Elizabeth Shoader, wife of Willis Shearer;
William B. Shoader, married Annie Flickinger; and
Mary B. Shoader.
Mr. John Shoader served in the United States Navy during the Mexican War.
Henry Luebken, uncle of Mr. Henry Cordes, with whom the latter resided when he first came to America, and from whom he learned his trade, emigrated to this country in 1832. He had learned baking in his native land and was one of the first bakers in Harrisburg. He married Margaret Walters, daughter of Philip Walters. Henry Luebken and Margaret [Walters] Luebken had twelve children, all of whom died in childhood, the eldest having lived to be eighteen years of age.
Corrections and additional information should be added as comments to this post.
The above information was modified/edited from Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, published in 1896 by J. M. Runk and Company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A free download is available from the Internet Archive.
Findagrave Memorial #112102825. Henry Cordes died on 3 March 1914 in Lenkerville, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. He is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. His name is sometimes found as Henry Cordis, which is how his name appears on his grave marker.