John Frederick Hartranft was born in Fagleysville in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania on December 16, 1830 and died in Norristown, Pennsylvania on October 17, 1889. He is best known as a Union general during the Civil War, and as governor of Pennsylvania from 1873 to 1879. He attended Marshall College in Virginia, receiving a degree in civil engineering in 1853 from Union College in Schenectady, New York. Heworked a brief period for two railroads in Pennsylvania before returning home to Norristown to help his father in the real estate and stage coach businesses. In 1854, he was appointed deputy sheriff of Montgomery County. Hartranft raised a three-year regiment, the 51st Pennsylvania Infantry, and became colonel. Hartranft led them in battle at Roanoke Island and New Bern. In July 1862, Hartranft's men proceeded to Newport News, Virginia, to become part of Burnside's IX Corps, with whom they fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run and at South Mountain. They also fought at the Battle of Antietam, where Hartranft led its famous charge across "Burnside Bridge,"" suffering 120 casualties. They also participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg. The 51st Pennsylvania was transferred to the Western Theater, where Hartranft saw action at the battles of Vicksburg, Campbell's Station, and Knoxville; in the latter two actions, he served as commander of the 2nd Division of the IX Corps while still a colonel He commanded the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, of the IX Corps in the 1864 Overland Campaign, participating in the fighting at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania before he was promoted to brigadier general, as of May 12, 1864. He continued in operations against Richmond and Petersburg, and when the IX Corps was reorganized, he was given command of a new 3rd Division, consisting of newly raised Pennsylvania regiments. Hartranft was brevetted major general by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant for defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee's last offensive at the Battle of Fort Stedman, bringing his untested division from its reserve position and counterattacking to recover the captured fort. At the war's end, Hartranft commanded the Old Capitol Prison and was appointed a special marshal during the trial of those accused in the Lincoln assassination. He was noted for his kind treatment toward Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the Federal government. On July 7, 1865, Hartranft led Mary Surratt, Lewis Paine, David Herold and George Atzerodt to the gallows in Fort Lesley McNair. He read them their last rights and they were hanged. Hartranft switched party allegiances following the war and became a Republican, serving in former general John W. Geary's Pennsylvania administration as Auditor General from 1867 to 1873 before being elected governor in 1872. He was a strong advocate of education, municipal reform, regulation of banking, improved industry and commerce, and the reorganization of the National Guard. He supported suffrage for African Americans, fought the corrupt Simon Cameron political machine, and championed the rights of the workingman.