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Russell B. "Skip" "Sarge" Sherhag II1,2

b. 4 October 1945, d. 29 November 2010

Mother Helen Louise Harter1 b. 12 January 1921, d. 19 February 2008
Father Russell B. Sherhag1 b. 2 February 1920, d. 17 October 1995
Pop-up Pedigree

Family Pamela Unknown b. circa 1953
Marriage* circa 1975  Principal=Pamela Unknown1,2 
Child  1. Brent Sherhag b. c 1976

News/Obit   TroysJourney

My journal of the journey my Lord started me on many years ago.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I first met Sarge in September, 1963, at the College of the Ozarks (now University). Now here we are 47 years later and he has preceded me to heaven. I got word Monday that he had stepped from the land of the dying into the land of the living. Jesus reached down His hand at about 6am and Sarge took it.

How in the world we became such good friends I can't remember, but we did. We were from two different backgrounds, he from the north and I from the south. He was a jock and I wasn't. Sarge was the type of guy that when you met him you walked away his friend. Everyone liked him. He was truly a Prince among men.

We became such good friends that he was my best man at my first wedding. He drove back to Arkansas from Ohio to attend her funeral a year and a half later. I know that he would have been by my side in January when we laid Jeanne to rest, if he had not been taking chemo and related treatments.

I have been friends with Sarge longer than I have known my younger sister.

He was not always known as Sarge, a name I believe he picked up in High School. Russell Sherhag is his real name. He was never a sargent, but that is how he is known around the country.

We had a standing joke between us, Pam included, that is until email. A line from 'Dances with Wolves' was our mantra, one character says to Kevin Costner, upon seeing a skeleton with an arrow sticking out of it, "Someone back east wonders why he don't write." We always joked about me writing a letter and the mailman passing out when he saw the return address. I was out west and they were back east wondering why he doesn't write. Thank God for email.

I will have only good memories of Sarge and our times together, though we weren't in each others company very many times over the years. I have to admit that there were times that Sarge did more to maintain our friendship than I did.

I know that I will see him again in heaven but I will miss him terribly here on earth. I know he is talking with his family and has laughed with Sharlene and Jeanne, but Sarge, wait for the rest of us at the corner of Hallelujah Blvd and Love Ave, for we will see you soon. We will dance before the Throne and praise God together.

See you later ol' buddy. 
Birth* 4 October 1945  Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH3,4,5,2 
Marriage* circa 1975  Principal=Pamela Unknown1,2 
News/Obit 30 May 2010  Civil War soldier’s story takes shape


The blue-eyed, sandy-haired soldier who settled in Massillon was a relatively new American when he joined the Union Army during the Civil War.

Philip Scherhag survived the war, including Gettysburg, earning several military promotions. It’s still unclear, however, why he left Germany alone for the U.S., according to Bob Bratton, Scherhag’s great-great grandson.

Although he came alone, Scherhag left behind dozens of area descendants – the Sherhags, the Winkharts, the Brattons, the Lechleiters and the McWilliams.

Bratton and Russell Sherhag, Philip’s great-grandson, are among them.

Bratton and Russell have researched dozens of historical documents, including a handful of Philip’s letters from war, to learn more about their family history.

Several years ago, Russell, a retired Northwest High School teacher, contacted Philip’s descendants in Germany. Both he and Bratton flew across the ocean to meet them in May 2009.

Bratton said he became interested in genealogy in high school and credits Russell’s father for doing much of the initial legwork on the family tree. Bratton said has obtained copies of the paperwork from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.

“We’ve actively been trying to get the birth records from Germany of Philip and all his brothers and sisters,” Bratton said.

Wolfgang Scherhag, who still lives in Germany, has traced the family line to 1500 and published a genealogy as a hard bound book, according to Russell. The family believes the Philip has as many as 14 children.

Philip came to America in the late 1850s from Ruber, Germany, settling in Brookfield before moving to Massillon. In 1858, he married Elisabeth Maurer, who came to the U.S. from Switzerland. Four years later, Philip enlisted in the 107th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

A photograph of Philip in uniform is featured on the cover of the book, “Camps and Campaigns of the 107th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.” The photo shows Philip holding a saber, which is still owned by one of his descendants in the Massillon area.

The 107th Infantry was an all-German unit known as the “The Fighting Dutch,” according to Russell.

“The Germans were not real popular,” Russell said. “They were kind of like a sacrificial lamb. They lost 400 of the 800 men in their unit at Gettysburg.”

In his letters, Philip describes his war experiences to his wife and children in cadence-like fashion.

The letters were written in Old German – a dialect that is no longer spoken. One of the letters was translated into English by a German foreign exchange student who attended Northwest.

“They were very matter of fact. He talked about drinking coffee,” Bratton said.

Writing from Brookes Station, Va., in May 1863, Philip notes that the infantry was being lined up for battle: “We approximately had 60,000 men standing in a row. The whole length of the of the battle line was about three miles long. There we had to keep standing with our rifles. At 8 a.m., the Rebels already started shooting at us with canons. ... The shooting lasted for the whole day from the 1st to the 2nd of May, but not strong but maybe every 10 minutes that a canon was being shot. It looked pretty at night when a canon was flying through the air.”

Philip also fought in skirmishes in South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. In Jan. 1863, Philip was named a sergeant at Charleston, S.C. At the close of the war, Philip received a field promotion from sergeant to first sergeant. Russell said the curator of the Ohio Society of Military History Museum told the family Philip must “have done something significant.”

“The big thing that makes us so proud about this guy is that he comes here by himself from Germany not knowing how to speak English and fights in the biggest battle of the Civil War at Gettysburg and survives,” Bratton said.

Although he was never wounded, Philip was afflicted with “lung fever” during the war. The condition plagued Philip until his death at age 59 in 1891. Philip’s tombstone is located at the base of the War Memorial in Massillon Cemetery.

Philip’s brother-in-law, Samuel Maurer, also marched for the Union Army. He was wounded at Gettysburg and died several days later at a field hospital. Maurer is buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

After the war, Philip sought work in silver mining in Utah before returning to Massillon to work in the Massillon Paper Mill at Walnut and Canal Street, Bratton said.

Ironically, Elisabeth Maurer hired attorney Robert Pinn, who led the 5th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, Ohio’s first black unit, into three Civil War battles and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, to file the paperwork to collect her widow’s pension. The transaction is documented in paperwork Bratton received from the National Archives.

Elisabeth Maurer collected $20 a month, Bratton said, until she died in Oct. 1917.

Published in The Independent (Massillon, OH), May 30, 2010
SSN* 29 November 2010
First Name: Russell
Middle Name: B
Last Name: Sherhag
Name Suffix:
Birth Date: 4 October 1945
Social Security Number:
Place of Issuance: Ohio
Last Residence: Massillon, Stark, Ohio
Zip Code of Last Residence: 44647
Death Date: 29 November 2010
Estimated Age at Death: 65
Collection: United States Social Security Death Index5 
Death* 29 November 2010  Massillon, Stark Co., OH5 
News/Obit* 1 December 2010  Russell B. Sherhag

Russell B. "Sarge" Sherhag, II, 65, of Massillon, passed away Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. Sarge was born in Cincinnati and had lived in the Canal Fulton and Massillon areas most of his life. He was a 1963 graduate of Northwest High School, received his Bachelor's degree from the College of the Ozarks and his Master's degree from Mt. St. Joseph College in Cincinnati. He retired as a teacher and a coach with 35 years service with the Northwest Local School District, but also coached multiple sports at several other Stark county school districts. He was preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Helen Sherhag, Sr. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Pamela; sons, Brent (Jessica Mueller) Serhag, Scott (Talethia) Mizeres; grandchildren, Chase and Malia Mizeres; sisters, Susan L. Sherhag and Melissa Vanest; numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Funeral service FRIDAY 10 a.m. at the Swigart-Easterling Funeral Home, 624 E. Cherry St. (Rt. 93, Canal Fulton), with Pastor Doug Dill officiating. Burial at Canal Fulton Cemetery. Friends may call 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. THURSDAY and FRIDAY one hour prior to service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Northwest Touchdown Club or University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, Arkansas.

Published in The Repository (Canton, OH), December 1, 20102,1 

Last Edited 31 Aug 2012

  1. [S135] Canton Repository.
  2. [S1383] Swigert-Easterling Funeral Home, online,
  3. [S436] Zaba Search, online
  4. [S44] Denny Shirer Personal Research, Dennis S. Shirer.
  5. [S129] SSDI Death Index,.

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