Title: Army Private, Civil War
Birthdate: December 21, 1844
Death Date: August 9, 1863
Plot Location: Section 101, Lot 107

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There were seven boys and one girl born to John and Jane Corn of Philadelphia, with John Jr. being number four in birth order. He was number two in enlisting when what was called the “War of the Rebellion” broke out in 1861. His older brother Lawrence joined that August but on July 1, 1862 he was wounded in the Battle of Malvern Hill, the last day of the Seven Days Battles near Richmond. Because of his injuries he was discharged a month later.

There is no photograph of John, but if there was, it might have resembled this photograph of Lawrence before he left the service. John enlisted on November 30, 1861, three months after his brother did, and no doubt gave the wrong age. He was only 16 at the time, but just three weeks shy of his 17th birthday.

John signed up with Company K of the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The regiment saw action in 1862 at the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, then in May of 1863 at Chancellorsville. On July 1, the first day of battle at Gettysburg, Private Corn was shot in the leg.

This is a photograph of a field hospital in Gettysburg. Such places are crude in wartime but even more so when hundreds have to be processed and end up with minimal care. Since 70 percent of all wounds were to the extremities, and lacking resources, time, and skilled doctors, amputation was the most common procedure. An estimated 30,000 were performed on Union soldiers, including one on John’s leg. Unfortunately, only 21,000 survived. 

John only survived about five weeks. His body was brought home and a family plot was purchased at Mount Moriah, across Cobbs Creek at the entrance to the Yeadon side. The 18-year-old hero was eventually joined by his parents and four siblings, with younger brother, Samuel, sharing his gravestone. Two other brothers, including Lawrence, are in other sections of the cemetery.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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