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This honored veteran of the Civil War, who in that momentous struggle faced death on many a bloody field without disaster, and toward the end received a number of serious wounds, so that he yet bears in his own person the marks of the fateful strife, is a native of the old county of Westmoreland, in Pennsylvania, where he was born on February 7, 1843. His parents were John and Anna (Miller) Shearer, and were also natives of the Keystone State.

Robert A. Shearer was reared to the age of eighteen in his home county, then in obedience to one of the first calls of President Lincoln for volunteers, in 1861 he enlisted in Company E, Eleventh Pennsylvania Infantry. His regiment became a part of the Army of the Potomac, and it was almost continually in service, in the field or on the march, so that Mr. Shearer had abundant opportunity to see war in all its horrors. He participated in many important engagements, after being detained on guard duty at Annapolis, Md., for almost a year. Among the battles in which he fought were those of Front Royal under General Banks, the earlier Shenandoah Valley campaigns, Rappahannock Station and the river of the same name, Sulphur Springs, Waterloo Bridge, Thoroughfare Gap, Second Bull Run, Chantilla, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Second Thoroughfare Gap, Liberty, Mine Run, the Wilderness, (where as a non-commissioned officer, he temporarily commanded the regiment, his superiors having either been killed or wounded), Spottsylvania, Piney Branch Church, Laurel Hill and Po River. In the last named battle he was wounded with five bullets, and his wounds kept him in a hospital a whole year. He was mustered out of the service in July, 1865, and at once returned to his native State, where he remained eight years making his home at Pittsburg.

When Mr. Shearer first came West he located in Dawson county, Neb., where he lived three years. The next three he spent in Pennsylvania. In 1879 he came to Cass county and located on Indian creek, where he made his home for three years. At the end of that period he moved to his present home, and here he has since resided.

On December 25, 1879, Mr. Shearer was joined in marriage with Geneva Hetrick, a Pennsylvanian also by birth, and a daughter of Martin and Jemima Hetrick who were early settlers in this county. Three children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Shearer, Cecilia, John M. and Ida. Although an ardent and loyal Republican, and a man of earnest devotion to the welfare of his State and country, Mr. Shearer, has never sought public office. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic in fraternal life, and to the Congregational Church in religious affiliation. Thus true to every call to duty in war and peace, performing always a good citizen's service to his country, as a young man looking forward to a career, as a man of mature years actively engaged in making one, and as a man approaching the evening of life, looking back with interest over the course he has followed, he has well earned the universal esteem in which he is held, and as well the worldly comforts he can now enjoy after a long record of effort and trial.

Transcribed from "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 501-502.

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