Casper Shafer's Family in America
William Bell Shafer

William Bell Shafer


This page tells you about one of our great warrior's. Please read his retirement letter below to learn more about this direct ancestor of Arline, David, and Bruce Shafer. Thanks to them for the picture.

Please carefully look at the number of battles he was involved with. He fought all over south central Pennsylvania, including the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

"He even fought with spades and picks."

A Retiring Warrior. . .
William Bell Shafer's Resignation

Headquarters Fourth Regiment, N.G., N.J.

JERSEY CITY; July 9th, 1884

I. It is with regret that the Colonel commanding announces to the Regiment the resignation of Lieutenant Colonel William B. Shafer, and Adjutant Thomas D. Vondy, both officers whose history for many years has been the history of the Fourth Regiment, who have ever been foremost in every movement toward its advancement, who, during a term of service of nearly seventeen years have never failed to respond to the call of duty, and whose loss to the Regiment will be regretted by all who have best interest at heart, and particularly by their brother officers to whom during long years of companionship they have become especially endeared by their never failing devotion to the Regiment, and the constant display of every soldierly attribute that makes the National Guardsman esteemed by all throughout the State to which we owe our allegiance.

Lieutenant Colonel Shafer has a record of service in the war for the Union, which has not only been unsurpassed by any officer who has ever served in the Regiment, but which has been rarely equaled in the State. Enlisting in the Second New York Cavalry, (better known as the Harris Light Cavalry) in Nov. 1861, As a private, he was promoted to Corporal in 1862, and to Sergeant, Dec. 1862, In the Spring of 1863, he was ordered by Col.Kilpatrick to select a Corporal and twenty men from the Regiment to form a pioneer Corps, and was placed in command of them, was promoted to Second Lieutenant April 25th, 1868, and left in command of the Corps; his promotion to Second Lieutenant was "for gallant services in building a breast work at Rappahannock Station to guard the bridge over the Rappahannock River under heavy fire from the enemy." Shortly after Kilpatrick started on his famous raid around Lee's Army, going inside of the second line of fortifications around Richmond. After leaving Richmond the party started for Yorktown, tore up the Va. C.R.R. bridges, also the Turnpike bridges that cross the Chickahominy River, arriving at Yorktown after seven days and nights hard riding with no sleep, except what was had in the saddle. Remaining in Yorktown about two weeks, they started out to find the rest of the Cavalry which was stationed at Falmouth, near Fredericksburg, making a complete circuit around Lee's Army. A few days after joining the Command the Brigade had a hand to hand fight with the Rebel Cavalry at Brandy Station, the Harris Light making one of their famous charges that they were noted for. In that fight Kilpatrick said: " Shafer charged his Pioneer Corps with spades and picks;" On January 28th, 1864, he was promoted First Lieutenant, Captain Oct., 25th, 1864, Major March 26, 1865, Lieutenant Colonel May 1865, taking part during the war in the following engagements: Falmouth, Fredericksburg, South Mountain, Rappahannock, Bull Run, Centerville, Culpepper, Antietam, Aldie, Upperville, Frederick City, Hanover, Pa., Gettysburg, Pa., Boonsboro, Falling Waters, Port Conway, Brandy Station three different times, Buckland Mills, Wilderness, Winchester, Berryville, Fishers Hill, Waynsboro, Reams Station, Five Forks; Dinwiddie Court House, Deep Creek, Jettersville, Sailors Creek, Harpers Farm, where he was wounded.

Returning to his home at the close of the war he assisted in organizing Company "E" of this Regiment (then a Rifle Corps) in 1867; was made a Sergeant, promoted to Paymaster of the Rifle Corps, Nov., 15th, 1868; Quartermaster May 25th 1869; elected Major of the Regiment March 6th, 1872; Lieutenant Colonel March 20th, 1876; and resigns on account of permanent removal from the city.

Adjutant Vondy joined Company "E" of this Regiment as a private June 6th, 1871, passed through all the grades to First Lieutenant, was appointed Adjutant December 7th, 1882, and has served faithfully and with signal ability in every position in which he has been placed, proving himself one of the best soldiers that have ever sprung from the ranks of the Fourth Regiment, and resigned on account of pressing business engagements.

. Quarter-Master John A. Parker will act as Adjutant until further orders.

By order of Col. DUDLEY S. STEELE
John A. Parker
Captain and acting Adjutant

"William B. Shafer"