Valley of the Shadow
The Aftermath
Spring 1865–Fall 1870

Letters & Diaries


Demus and Christy Families (1865)

David Andrew Demus married Mary Jane Christy sometime before the war. David had known the Christy family from their childhood together in Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Before his marriage, David worked as a hand on the farm of James and Mary Witherspoon, where he may have gone by the name Edward Dennis. After his marriage, David lived with his wife’s family. During the war, David, along with his brother George and his brothers-in-law, Jacob, Samuel, and William, enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts. Mary Jane, with her brother John, remained at home in Mercersburg. David survived his service as a soldier and reunited with his wife in 1865. He resumed his work at the Witherspoon farm until his death sometime after 1870. Mary Jane remarried another veteran of the 54th Massachusetts, Wesley Krunkleton.

The following links provide access to the most likely matches in the Valley of the Shadow databases:

David Demus

Mary Jane Demus

David Demus and Jacob Christy wrote five letters to Mary Jane Demus in the months just after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. In his letters, David mentions to his wife his activities in the 54th Massachusetts and shares his plans for life after the war. In his letters to his sister, Jacob mentions his interactions with returning Confederate soldiers and escaping slaves.