All Sorts of Pittsburgers, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania, 1892
Herbert Bengough Biography
Herbert H., better known as "Harry," Bengough, was born in Pittsburg June 15, 1845, of English parentage. He was left an orphan at the age of four years, and was adopted by Captain William Burns, of Mt. Oliver, Lower St. Clair Township. He attended the common school at Mt. Oliver, and for one season was a pupil of the late Prof. Andrew Burtt, who, as the warm personal friend of the youth's parents, assumed the responsibility of acting as his guardian. To Prof. Burtt's interest in his welfare Mr. Bengough attributes much of his success in life.
In the fall of 1858, Mr. Bengough entered the office of the Pittsburg Gazette, and he was a printer on that paper when the Civil War began.
On September 11, 1861, before reaching the age of 17, he enlisted as a private in Co. K, 78th P. V., and went with his regiment to the front in General James S. Negley's division. This command was ordered south via Louisville, and from the day of its advance towards Nashville until the fall of Atlanta, was engaged in all the brilliant achievements of the Fourteenth Army Corps, commanded by General Thomas. The three years' term of Mr. Bengough's regiment expired at the time of the capture of Atlanta, and his regiment was mustered out at Kittanning on October 12, 1864. During the entire three years Mr. Bengough was never once absent from active service, and, considering the dangers which his regiment went through, he was fortunate in escaping with two slight flesh-wounds.
Returning home, he regarded his soldiering as ended, and entered upon a course at the Iron City College. But. excitement was at its height in the spring of 1865, and he could not resist the temptation to re-enlist along with some of his old comrades. He helped to organize Co. K, 104th P. V., and became its orderly sergeant. The company reported at Norfolk, Va., but was mustered out soon afterwards, as the war was brought to a close.
Mr. Bengough looked after the interests of his foster-father until 1869, when he returned to the printer's case. In 1874, at the request of his old commander, General Negley, he accepted a clerical position in Washington, but found it uncongenial, and returned to Pittsburg in the following year.
In 1882 he became a clerk under R. D. Layton, then General Secretary of the K. of L., and in the following year he entered City Treasurer Denniston's office, and was by him appointed vehicle officer. During his service in the treasury he handled millions of dollars, absolute faith being reposed in his integrity.
On November 17, 1890, Mr. Bengough was appointed U. S. Pension Agent by President Harrison, over the heads of many influential contestants. The unanimous support of his comrades in Western Pennsylvania contributed chiefly to this result. Since his appointment the business of the pension office has greatly expanded, but Mr. Bengough has proved equal to all demands upon him, and his administration has been in line with the record of prudence, honesty and strict regard for duty which has marked his whole lifetime.
Source: All Sorts of Pittsburgers Sketched in Prose and Verse; Burgoyne, Arthur; Pittsburg, PA; The Leader; 1892.
Note: The correct spelling of Pittsburgh in 1892 was Pittsburg. The spelling Pittsburgh was officially restored in 1911.
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