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Dy nie ns-nr'Ji 

=1 sway they went, back to 
As soon as they had left 
men stacked arms and 

'.-offlo^ and man win be'otir froht, <iu: _,,,.. .._ _,„^ ^ 

return to their homes, not took down the Confedprate stapk.. aniri 
fe*ed by United Statea'pHed the muskets on tlie ground in rpar 
).,lbng,;aB they observe their of our ranks, muzzles rearwardly aU 

the concluslo-h of the ceremony we had'-* 

1 the laws In force where 
aside. Very rfespectfully, 
!F*at. Ijieutenant General. 
lee, after readlniT the letter 
Grant, sat down -and wrote 

, Headquarters 
ly pf Northern Virginia, 
' '• April \ 1865. 

-I rocclved your letter of 
)l)talnlng the terms of sur 
h6. Army of NoTthern Vir 
ruposed by you. As they 
itlally the same as those 
h .your letter of 8th Inst., 
!«!epted. I will proofed to 
he. proper offloers tsi_CarJ;y 
ions into effect. 

R. E. Lee, General, 
nant General U. S. Grant. 


a pile of ?5"?:^«t^i-l-'J. ••«gr fif W brleadfc.,, 

shoulder high. , Most orTlle, Confederates 

behaved very quietly, but frequently somelj 

men, instead of hanging their belts and ' 

cartridge boxes on the stacks, stood o!tii, 

and threw them in a violent, peevish w6.yi 

at the bottom ot the stacks. Regimental fn„a.- Mo-mhoro f\t Va 

battle flags w^re deposited leaning against •"* I 111 UlHJ<f JlieillUeiS 01 Xa-< 

the stgicks of the color guards. Tt was| ^V'-x^ m i,i ^ rn^j-X. 

pathetic to see these e^i^ni soldiers asj lllOUS lO&tH Tell 01 (iatXier- 

they marched past their' staclcs take a' ,. 

last farewell touch of their battle .flag „ 

with tears streaming down their faoeSii f*l 

Many of these battle flags were snatched 

from their staffs liy our men and tornfi,,.. 

ing at Gettysburg. 


Before the exercises at the dedication of 

up for sovivenirs, until the practice wda'J; 

stopped ,by order. Still, one would oo-| 

qaslonally disappear mysteriously. And' 
(SO It. continued until about 4:30 P. M:, 

Brigades succeeding each other regularly, ., ...1^,1-1^ ■ 1 i /-< »/ u 1 »i. 

without delay and in .good order. No neeflltl^e battlefield Biemonal in Gettysburg last 

to stpp for lunch— there was not a crackerjTueBday, and before the veterans retumeol 

or a bean in the division. The \ wagons to tjieir respective homes, a patbetio re.* 
[appeared tb load the captured arms ?uidl,aion -waa held by the One Hundred and' 

pie, tree as we go marching, on— GJory, "ilcoi of Coptpany .L . alid Wllliim Wei 

Glory, Halleluiah.' 

And as we watched|tOo 

& designated as commission-, 

I Grant— General pibbon, Qen- 

@eneral Merritt. 

a: lise- General Longstreet, 

Ion, .General Pendleton. ^^ 

■if^l-w'^».»° '■r.»n^i?=i'°om'Jil?®,*^°"'®*^*f*^^i,'°°'' "P-4?v ^"11"^'', *°;i1tty-liitir Kepmentr i'^nnsylvam'a" V ol- 
iiSPender Were: General Glb^ their respective homes, When the last , ^1.0-,.. t% ,.^y t. j 

I, division infantry with artil-| confederate brigade had marched past our Wnteers, on the tfummit ot liittle Kouna 
1,1 Griffin, Third division in-; brigade, disarmed and colorless, the Army'Top, at the point where the regiment's 
*'i'2l*/i^ir ^®t?S''Um w?^®" T °* Northern Virginia had disappeared and' Zouave monument is located. Golon^i ,B. 
lro?p?Scing UP thei/marclJ^r ^^"'=«^°r'' °"!^ ^ memory. y^._ Hill presided and the veterans turae* 

y tq Burkesville .Junction, td^.^or ourselves the war was over- out in magnificent numbers. 
5s:olsubsfstence and forage] Othello sopcu^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^j.^^^^^ ^ ^,^^^^1 

rwe^re'"sent\t''o"?heil 'C>aTthr°o'Sgh"eieat^dis^str'°rnTsuffie';!;E. J. Allen, who closed his remark, by 
ajiY af our troops were with-l^"S, and now in victory so hard won, we'reading an original poem entitled, "The 
j.d„by the nex:t morning alljcould not exult over a fallen foe. We; Veterans.'' The orator of the day wafi 
It food,' except ear corn and wanted them for fellow citizens, and we;g ^ j-gi^h Wiilffei- of Grand Vallev 

in-Lee entered his lines there succeeded. We were sure they would helpiS,«>,®*"„"°™'' wmger 01 trrana vauey, 
!>^s^cLc?ii^rag he pjolresled upbuild our common country. We had'Oanon Cdunty. whose words were renums- 
marters. Icaptured their arms, their flags and theirlcent of the campwgn; The secretary's roll, 

itog, In' conversation with ^hearts. In retrospect how many who hai call was read and showed that 10 of thi 

I. was' told that as soon a.framped with us had fallen by, tW way- comrades haddied duiiae the past ^ear; 
a. General 'Gordon iiS3enil)le<^«iae and sealing their devotion with life's t^is beinc the heavMSfmortalitv of aa^^ 
tils corps and adtfressed thenjsacrlflce were denied witnessing the con- 1^"« "^""8 *"« heaviest mortality, ot M»J 
M. speech, telling them thessummatlon of ylototy we had Just wit.|""Jj/""-.. _.„^.„' i^^ „~„,.«rf.„ .^ i 

ithitmen could do, and no^nessed^ They h«.rL-marched. and sangjylth -,.^1 the reumon the ooi«l-adeB_ ad-, 
fes at their homes, their duty uf, "Wp'U hang Jeff Davisto a sour apJ^Wied to the^_«r»ve» of^?W?S!S^.l'H?f?fl 
ih^rs, .sisters, wives, children, 
X6d . and tears should ceases 
nt told me the tears streamed 
heelcs of General Gordon, and 
not a dry eye in the corps, 
t General Gordon's advice was 
ifeifc and would be followed by 
'w'a? delighted to And this, as 
f^ryijried for General Gordon; 
3ect and admiration: He con- 
i 'his death, a sincere and de 
l citizen, and his Influence al- 
ig good of the cou ntry he had 
(rd to ■ ,des,froy. 

ifi 11 were occupied in print 
oles, and making the dupli-^ 
^pril 12, the fourth a;nnlvera- 
tihg on Fort Sumter, the diy, 
Ent Jefferson Davis directed 
fisprinkled in the faces of the- 
'order to concentrate public; 
the confederacy, was the day 
' the 'formal turning over the 
Urrender. ■ General ' Grfffilri fa- 
Id division by selecting it to; 
surrender and Brigadier Gen-' 
srlain to conduct the parade, 
it 9 A. M. ' the Third brigade 

up facing the road leading' 
S(ttox court house; right rest- 
ige of the village; commander 
i.the right; arms loaded; bay- 

The other two brigades, one- 
g; were drawn up beyond the. 
i Third brigade on the other' 
roa.-d and .facing the prolonga- 

Third brigade's line. At 9:30' 

first Confederate brigade ap- 

rehlng through the ttwWi 

inander and staff at the^^lSiEli 

Jlit ' colors ^flying. This prove! 

' ;})rigade, .rXJordon's corps. The 

bjjf our troops to attention and 

'i-'ks soon as the ri'ght of the 

ss reached the left of the Third* I 3 lOOA Cy^r, 61 c rio-i 

p, commander ooramandedj olin ^ "^^ Overs 

(ifunieU Uttioeraita ffiihrary 

JItiiata, S^eiu )|arli 


of Cem pgny B. interred in the Na- 
^ " ' leterj;. ' Laurel wreaths were" 
heir graves and Sergeant John 
Pittsburg delivered an addreSB. 
Joshua L. Chamberloih; coUeA-' 
port • of Portland, Me., -vfta' 
!d' himself in th^ gr«at batW^ 
as in the Fifth Army Corp* ^\ 
i. in which the One Hundred 
lf1;h was serving, was present 
Au|hter, Mrs. U. A. AJlen ol 
Tha , venerable General re- 
a beautiful eulogium in '«)rhieh 
(d his listeners a& "Dear Com- 
be 'Gallant Oile Hundred and 
' General Chamberlain was 
ly Genera] Ulysses S. Grant to 
; bri^dier ge&eral by an order 
\ at Petersburg, where he was 

the Veterans in attendance had, 
ichildren present, and it was 
to fee them« according to Col- 
es S,. McKenna, pointing out 
of interest on the battlefiela 
the young people some inter-; 
ts regarding the historical' 




CLASS OF 1889 


_ Cornell University Library 

E527.5 155th .P41 


Under the Maltese cross, Antietam to App 

'♦J^^'^' Bohannan, aggalfaAeter'an of 
the Civil War, and a retired painting con- 
tractor, died suaaenly yesterday in his 
.£? V' ^J"* . ^Vrs^l street. While walking 
ti.7^} "'^ ^°^^ ^8 suffered a stroke of 
?*pP'^xy and died within a few mlnVutes. 
mr. Bohannan wae born in Lancaster, 
Sn "^^*®1t '^^ recTlved his early educa- 
lif*^'^' * '''^ outbreak of the war he en- 
in,^^,. I ^ srlvatfe in Gomoany G, One 
hundred and Fifty-flfth Pennsylvania, 

jmawm u. avttjwfec 

Edward R. Thjrkleld, one o 

residents of Bellevemon, Pa:, anfl^ Civil 
"War veteran, died in his home Thursday 
' evening. He was born In Fayette City, 
Pa., July 28, 1833, and lived, there all his 
life, except the last two years, during 
jvhfch time he resided In Sellevernon. 
With the first call trt troops he enlisted 
In the Civil War an4 was ftj active eerv- ■ 

Vohinteers, ftnd served four years, par- 
tlolpajtmg Jn many Important battles. He 
gas, Injured Iji the, battle of Petersburg. 
JTor bravery he was promoted to the 
rank of lieutenant. At the close of the 
war he came to this city, where he en- 
gaged in the painting business, which he 
carried on for 40 years. In 1870 he mar- 
ried Jennie Kelly, who died in 1905. Later 
J^nSJSJ,"^^ Mary Keefe, who, with two 
children, feurvlve him. The children are 
Mrs. Frank a. Dixon and Ord Bohannan. 
Mr. Bohannan was a member of the 
Bethany Lutheran Churph, Highland ave- 

~^!fli\tii-S-^^^^^° ** Veteran. 
!* Gen? S. W. Hill, President of thai 
Survivors' Association of the 155th 
Pa., has received, thru the kindness 
of Representative James Francis 
Burke, an honorable discharge fori 
Wm, J. McKeever, of Pittsburgh. .This 
act of justice Was requested by the 
Survivars' ,. Association. McKeever 
served In the regiment 10 months, 
takmg^ jjart in the Antietam campaign 
and ' thd famous charge of Hum- 
phreys's Division at Fredericksburg. 
He was wotinded there arid sent to 
the Government Hospital at Balti- 
more. Before fully recovering he was 
-urloughed, and visited his aged par- 
snts in Pittsburgh. There, contrary 
;o his wishes, they Secured his release 
TOm the army on habeas corpus pro- 
!eedings. They claimed the right, as 
veil as the 'necessity, of having him 
tt home to help them. The order of 
lie court was sent to the War De- i 
laftment, but did not reach the regi- 
nent, and McKeever was marked ab- 
ent without leave, and so entered in i 
Jates's History. This was only re- i 
ently jliscovered. McKeever remained I 
t home, supporting his parents iintil 
hree years later, when he enlisted In 
he 27th U. S. and served throe years 
eceiving another wound in an Indian! 
ngagement. He was promoted to the 
ank of Sergeant, and received an 
onorable discharge with excellent in- ' 
orsements. Since his discharge he 
as Iwed in Pittsburgh for 40 years 
1 the, employ of a wholesale grocery 
jmpany, with many friends and ac- 
aalntances. The Survivors' Associa-' 
on gave a vote of thanks and appro- 
ation to Representative feurke. ■ ' 

Sdwin Thlrkleld, 

ice four years. He was wounded during 
the Battle of the Wlldemoss. He Was a 
member of Company B, One Htihdred and 
Fifty-filEtJ» Re^m^t. Hfe served under 
Col. Allen and was also a member of the 
Pearson Zouaves. He was quartermaster 
of J. M. H. Ctordon Post No. 89«, ot which 
he also was the organiser. •He leaves 
one son. Boss, and a daughter. Pearl. , 

He Belonged to the I55th Pa. 

W. J', Brown, Normalvllle, Pa., is 
going to Gettysburg, and, standing by 
the monument of the 155th Pa., on 
Little Round Top, where he was 50 
years ago, swing his cap and give 
three cheers for the gallant boys. At 
the • battle his regiment stood in full 
view of the enemy's lines, with his 
right Oblique tp the Ro-und Top and 
his~ left oblique to the Devil's' Den. 
He was the tirst enlisted man to lake 
position on Little Round Top, about 
half an hour before the line sliowed^ 
I up. The base of the monument covers 
the spot he stood on, with bare and 
bleeding feet and a pasff in his pocket 
^xcusing him from all diity. All lh,e 
same, he went into the last charge 
jhat was made oil the night of Ju ly 
3 by the Pennsylvania Bucktails. , Ka' 
claims also to be the only common 
-eHizen of the United States who has 
in jhis possession a letter of tlianx?, 
frofci King Edward and. Queen Alox- 
anpra./yjC|;;„J/ JrvjAvvX |^;,>nV :.j;3 ^.^ 

tiHB8— On thors^y, Apr" 11. 1912, at 
11 a. Iti., at fiia reudenoiti 2830 Fieth ayiiilue, 
JdhB O. PrleA husbatiid of Katherlna Fries, 
aged 73 years. FiirK^M on Sunday, April 14, 
Horn, the resldettce, at 11 p. m. Services at 
St. John's Chiiroh, comer of Ft*rbe« iild Ju- 
mbiiville street, at 2:80 p. m. Members of 
Colonel J. C. Hull Post, NO. ,167, atnd friends 
of the family are respectfully Invited to at- 

[N«W Tdrk (N, Y.) and WheeUn* (W. Va.) 
papers please copy.l 

tru'A^-^^t Clarion. Pn,, Scnf ■M la^n, 
Elijah Sf. Lee, Co. H. liwth 
a membpr Bt J. B, Loomls 
SUi-vlTcfl l\v Ills widow. 


Jacob S, Friend of McKepsport 
. Passes Away— Veterans Will, 
Attend Funeral, 

Jacob g. Friend, 6ne of the best-known 
civil war veterans and citlaens of , the 
county, (iled yesterday m6i*niiig at his 
home in SicICeesport, after, a protracted 
Illness, largrely due to breaking down 
from seveVfe wounds receiver! at the Bat- 
tle of the rWilderneSs and subsequent 
! sufferings in Andersonville prison. Mr. 
Friend was b^rn in Elizabeth, -^here his 
grandparents were pioneer settlers of the 
In 1SC2, at the age of 16 years, he 

I Joined a company recrult«"i by Joseph 
I B. Power, the town schoolmaster, be- 

coihlng a member of the One Hundred 
ahfl Flfty-flfth Regiment. Pennsylvania 
: Volunteers, serving in the ranks as a 
[pi'J^te. ip all the campaigns of the Army 
[Of theTPptomac froiri Antietam to 'the 
Wilderness. > At the beginning of the lat- 
ter battle, Mr. Friend was on the skir- 
mish Ijne' commanded by the late Maj. 
George M. , Laughlin-^jf this city, and re- 
! ceived : two severe wounds, one in the 
I shoulder and the. other In the forearm, 
I and finally taken prisoner. He spent the 

II months following in Andersonvillfe. . 
Since the close of the war Mr. Friend 

had resided in McKeesport,' where he 

served in the city tax office and later 

in the county controller's office, until he 

was compelled to retire on account of 

continued ill-health. Mr. Friend never 

I married, his nearest relative being his 

j sister, wife of ' Col. William BL 'Thomp- 

I son, formerly of McKeesport, now of 

i Harrisbuiss, P^a. 

f .' Mr. friend was pne of the oldest mem- 
bers of Ehcam^m^nt' No. 1, Union Vet- 
eran Legion, and <5f Samuel B!lack Postr' 
G. A.,R., of McKeesport, which organiza- 
tions will attend. the funeral. The On& 
'Hundred and Fifth-fifth Regiment Sur- 
vivors' Association, Col. E. Jay Allen, 
in the chair, and Col. S. W. Hill, secre- 
tary, lield a meeting, adopted resolutions 
and v.oted to attend the funeral tomor- 
row. Mr. Friend was a member of tlie 
Methodist Episcopal. Church. 

I Funeral of J. S. Friend 

Funeral services of the late Jacob S. 
Friend, of Mel^eesport, a veteran of the 
one Hundred and Fifty-flfth regimentj 

\ Pennsylvania volunteers, .was held yes-; 

I terday. Rev. A. M. Staples, of the' 
Methodist Episcopal chufoii conducted the 
serviae, 'Which was largely attended by 
many from distant points in' the county. 
Samuel Black post, of the G. A. R., witli^ 
colors, marched to the 'Soldiers' cemetery 
plot at monument of McKeesport to vet- 
erans of the Civil war, where the intei- 
ment took place with the G. A. R. funeral 
ceremonies. The A. B. Campbell Camp, 
Son's of Veterans, in uniform, also at- 
tended and furnished a firing squad for 
the military salute oven the grave. The 
ceremO'ny ended with "taps" by the post 
bugger. The Survivors' association of 
the One Hundred and Fifty-flfth regiment 
and the Unicn Veteran legion also had 
delegations in attendance. Colonel S. W.. 
Hill, Thomas E. Morgan. Charles F. Mc- 

1 Kenna, Dr. William L. Penney and 

' Samuel K. Eicher, veterans of the One 
■ Hundred and Fifty-^th regiment, 

Ithe pallbearers. Kfifiu, 


— — — ..^.^..t-. ..., Q,&c»i ou, uieu ill Lne 
home of his son-in-law, John H. Arm- 
strong, 5905 Hampton street, yesterday. 
He served in the Civil War from Antie- 
tam to the surrender at Appomatox. He 
was a native of Scotland and came to 
Pittsburgh when he was 16. For 30 1 
years he was a conductor on the Penn 

avenue street cars, continuing until a 
few years ago, having served while the 
lines operated horse cars, cable and 
traction. He resided in Lawrenceville 
W over 40 j-ears. He leaves three 
daughters. His last appearance in public] 
^¥fS ^t j^the fiftieth anniversary or re- 
M'on of the One , Hundred and Fifty- 
fc-SPJ?!,-^®*'™^"'' Pennsylvania Volunteers,! 
W.'Memorial Hall,' la'st September, when 
:%& picture was taken With his com- 
tames as the honor veteran in age of 
.ms regiment. He was a member of the 1 
_JIjnion Veteran Legion, Encampment No. 
teiWhich has been invited to attend his? 
■'*%eral on Wednesday. 

What a Traveling Man Saw. 

Editor National Tribune: I am a 
traveling man, and don't often gret to 
see The N.itional Tribune, but a short 
time ago 1 was delayed at a small sta- 
tion in eastern Ohio, and saw it — and 
it was being enjoyed, too. A1; the post 
office there about 15 or 20 men were) 
congregated listening to the illustrat- 
ed jokes you publish each week on the 
last page of the paper. I ioined tlie 
good-natured crowd, and passed the 
time pleasantry listening to the jokes 
with the rest until th« train came. I 
sh'all try to keep up vv'ith it better 
how. — John T. Sharp, 155th Pa., Phil- 
adelphia, Pa../J'X*„,r ;„,,, /v /''(V 


IN "TKI-STATE I'SlRJttlTOBY — '9'1— 

BEL.LBVERNON, Pa.— Edward R. Thlrkield 
Is dead at his homn in Bellevernon. He was 
bom in Fayetto City, in 1833, and had spent 
most cf his life there. Dnring the Civil War 
he was a member of Company E, One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Regiment, and also a member 
of the Pearson Zuoaves, He was quartermas- 
ter of J. M. H. Gordon Post No. 396, G. A. R.. 
of which he was the organizer. One son, Ross, 
; and one daughter, Pearl, survive. 


O '-I 

W ci 

M g 

H O 

>- • 

< 5 

a s 

« -a 

< S 


A N T I E T A M 





1861 — 1865 








<;^ rz 

'%.. / 

:> 'A 


Copyrighted, 1910, by 

JOHN T. PORTER, Financial Secretary, 

Pittsburg, Pa. 

All Rights Reserved. 

Printing and Binding: — The Werner Co., Akron, O., and Pittsburg. 

Engraving : — J. C. Bragdon, Pittsburg. 

Stenographic Work and Typewriting: — John T. Porter, Pittsburg. 

Photographers: — Brady, Washington, D. C. ; Cargo, Pittsburg; W. S. Bell, Pittsburg; W. H. Tipton, 

Gettysburg; Dabbs, Pittsburg; Dana, Pittsburg; and R. W. Johnston, Pittsburg. 
Artists: — Edwin Forbes; David G. Blythe ; Wm. Batchelor, Pittsburg; Geo. Gillespie, Pittsburg; and 

Robert E. Smalley, Pittsburg. 


" The Peninsular Campaign is a Failure ! The Union Arms have not 
BEEN Victorious ! They have been driven back to the Gates of Washing- 
ton, notwithstanding all reports to the contrary ! " 

Had it not been for these fateful words, just quoted, uttered by Governor 
Andrew G. Curtin, at a great war mass-meeting, held on the West Common, 
Allegheny, Pa., on the 24th day of July, 1862, the history of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers would probably never have been written. 

Up to that period the attempted secession of the Southern States had been 
the all-absorbing subject of public interest; but the real magnitude of the war 
for the Union had not been fully realized by the people of Western Pennsylvania. 
It was felt somehow that with the mighty efforts already put forth by the Na- 
tional Government, the Rebellion must be short-lived, and the national authority 
soon restored throughout the South. 

The solemn and impressive declaration of the Chief-executive of the great 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that the war thus far had been a failure awoke 
the people with a shock to the real danger of the situation. The effect of the 
Governor's words was not discouraging ; they simply aroused the people from the 
sense of false security under which they had hitherto been resting, and stirred 
up all the latent patriotism in their hearts, resulting in a firm determination that 
the war henceforth should be waged relentlessly till the last armed foe to the 
Union should ground his arms. 

Many youths who had never hitherto entertained a thought of enlisting, 
suddenly felt themselves impelled to enroll themselves in defense of the integrity 
of their native land ; and thus it happened that the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
came into existence. 

The Itinerary and Narrative in the following pages is but a record mainly of 
the rank and file of the Regiment, their hardships and sufferings, their sacrifices of 
life, limb, and health, in behalf of their beloved country. 

The opening Chapter begins with the firing on Sumter, the official date of the 
beginning of the Civil War, and portrays the state of the public mind, which 
called forth upon the stage of action the patriotic devotion to the Union of so 
-many heroic men and women in Western Pennsylvania. Their acts and sacri- 
fices speak for themselves in the following pages. 


The authors of this history mostly belonged to the rank and file of the Regi- 
ment, and they have carefully avoided censorious criticisms, being content simply 
to narrate their story of the stirring events of the campaigns, under the Maltese 
Cross, the badge of the Fifth Corps, Army of Potomac, compiled from 
records, diaries, home letters, and narratives of actual participants, and leaving 
the reader his prerogative of passing upon the same. 

The numerous War-time illustrations and photo groups of Reunions and 
Monument Dedications appearing in the volume is somewhat of an innovation, 
which, with the passage of time, will greatly enhance the work as an Illus- 
trated Souvenir History of the greatest war of modern times. 

The comrade authors are pleased to announce that the Governor, the Audi- 
tor-General, and the Adjutant-General of the State have given their official 
imprimatur to the contents of this volume. This approval of their labors is not 
only most gratifying to the authors, but adds to the authenticity of the work. 





Regimental Committee on History. 

Index to Portraits 

Adams, Capt. David F. . . . 


Albree, Joseph 


Allabach, Col. Peter H. 


Allen, Bradford . . . 


Allen, David ... 


Allen, Col. E. Jay . . . 

59, 516, 620, 683 


Allen, Capt. Wm. E 


Alter, J. King . . . 449, 


Anderson, Corp. John A. . . 


Anderson, Sgt. Thomas C. 


Anshutz, Capt. Lee 


Ashworth, Daniel 


Armstrong, Sgt. J. D. 


Ayres, Gen. R. B. 


Baldwin, Theodore ... 


Bardeen, Charles ... 


Barr, Col. James P. 


Barrett, Corp. Spencer P. . 


Bartlett, Brig. -Gen. Joseph J. 


Beals, Hiram 


Bell, Lieut. Arthur \\' 


Bell, Capt. John S. 


Bell, Capt. John T. 


Birch, William . . 


Boisel, Capt. Daniel . 


Bollinger, George 


Booth, Sgt. George 


Black, Col. Samuel W. 


Blair, Lieut. Samuel Q. 


Bradley, Corp. George 456, 


Bradley, John 


Bradley, Ralph . ... 


Bratton, George ^\' 437, 


Brinton, Capt. 


Breed, Lieut. H. A 


Bruden, Corp. Jacob 


Brunn, Capt. Jacob 


Brunot, Hon. Felix R. 


Bunton, Charles .... 


Burchfield, A. P 


Burnside, Maj.-Gen. A. E. 92. 


Cain, Lieut.-Col. John H. 117, 


Calhoun, Ephraim J. . 


• Callen, Theophilus S 384 

* Campbell, Sgt. Harry S. . . . 729 
Cargo, Lieut. Joseph M. . . . 414 

Carnegie, Andrew 10 

Carson, Lieut. Alexander. 103, 424 
Carroll, Corp. James J. . . . 456 
Chamberlain, Gen. J. L. . 219, 694 
Childs, Col. James H. ... 73 
Childs, Miss Laura ... 33 

Clapp, Capt. E. E 265 

Clark, Rev. John B., D. .D. . 52, 806 
Clever, Corp. Robt. O. . . . 505 
Cline, Major John A. . . 340, 620 
Collier, Col. Frederick H. . . 23 
Collner, Capt. William F. . . 

297, 463, 677 
Collord, Lieut.-Col. James . . 56 
Coulter, Gen. Richard .... 219 
Cowan, John . . . . 196 

Crawford, Jacob 398 

Craig, Isaac .... 407 

Craig, John . . 407 

Craig, Sgt.Washington A. . . 475 
Crawford, Maj.-Gen. S. W. . 154 
Culbert, Robert . . 495 

Culbert, Samuel .... 495 

Gulp, Robert R 408 

Curll, Corp. D. Reid .... 475 
Curry, Color-Corp. Henry M. . 

457, 561, 583, 718 

Curtin, Gov. Andrew G. 
Dalzell, John K. .. 
Davis, Corp. R. B. . . . 
Davis, Thomas D. . 
De Ford, Lieut. Risdon 
Dehner, Leonard 
Denniston, Capt. John T. 
Dewalt, William H. 
Dickson, Dr. Joseph . . 
Dickson, Dr. John . 
Dickson, Dr. Thomas 
Dickson, Thomas H. 
Dillon, John . . 
Dittman, Adam . . 



. 456 

402, 406 














Domenec, Rt. Rev. M. . .31 

Douglass, Howell ... . 489 
Douglass, Robert P. . . 546, 634 

Eagan, Rev. C. L 213 

Elder, Col. Jas. J 799 

Errett, Maj. Russell . 385 

Euwer, Corp. A. N. . . 583, 609 

Evans, William 284 

Ewing, Lieut.-Col. John 298, 620, 683 
Farley, Capt. Porter . . 187 

Fillman, Josiah .... . 466 

Finnegan, James 105 

Fleming, Dr. Andrew . . 34 

Fleming, Corp. K. G. . . 502, 583 
Fleming, John A. . . 504 

Foster, Lieut. J. A. H. . 503 

Frick, Col. Jacob G. 805 

Friend, Jacob S. . . . . 572 

Fullerton, Nathan N. 611 

Fulton, Charles W. 478 

Fulton, Sgt. Geo. P. . . 434 

Gallaher, Dr. Thomas J. . 198 

Gamble, Oliver P. . 442 

Garrard, Gen. Kenner 219 

Garris, David .... 456 

Gilmore, Corp. Franklin . 

398, 596, 599 

Gilson, J. H 708 

Glass, Capt. John P. . .13 

Glass, Com.-Sgt. William B. . 83 
Grant, Gen. U. S. . 235, 364, 579 
Gray, Calvin . . 509 

Gregory, Col. E. M. ... 219 

Griffith, John 569 

Griffin, Maj.-Gen. Charles 350, 665 

Grounds, William 409 

Grubbs, Capt. H. W 401 

Hagan, Corp. Isaac N. . . . 481 
Halleck, Gen. H. W .... 541 

Hampton, J. H 51 

Hancock, Maj.-Gen. W. S. 579, 607 
Harnish, Corp. Horatio S. 255, 728 
Harper, Capt. Samuel ... 24 

Harriger, Harry .... 478 

Hartman, William D. . . 480 

Hartman, Lewis 480 

Hays, Gen. Alexander . . . 256 
Hays, John A. . . . . 399 

Hays, J. Milton 628 

Hazlett, Capt. Charles E. . . 169 
Heasley, Henry W. . . . 495 

Heath, Oliver M. 495 

Heflick, Samuel J. . 409 

Heisey, Capt. Augustus H. . 412 
Henderson, James R 509 

Hess, William 471 

Hill, Corp. Samuel W. 453, 623, 683 
Hindman, William S. . 277, 441 
Hooker, Maj.-Gen. Joseph 116, 135 

Horner, Daniel K 439 

Howard, Rev. William D., D. D. 30 
Howe, Gen. Thomas M. . . 8, 49 
Huey, Capt. Ben . . 507 

Humphreys, Major-General 

Andrew A 65, 796 

Hunter, Sgt. George . 429, 431 

Hunter, John . . .444 

Hunter, John F 101, 536 

Irwin, Sgt. James J. . . . 477 

Irwin, Sgt.-Maj. John H. 128 

Jackson, Brig.-Gen. Conrad F. 15 
Jamison, John . . . 459 

Jenkins, Col. David T. . . 246 

Johnson, Rev. Herrick, D. D. 37 

Johnston, Capt. Charles C. . 268 
Johnston, David . . . 490 

Johnston, Lieut. Ed. P. . . 399 

Johnston, James P. . . 399 

Tones, B. F 32 

Jones, Capt. William R. . . . 108 
Justice, Sgt. W. H. . . 398 

Kaster, James M. . . 480 

Kerr, Capt. Benjamin B. 118 

Kerr, Geo. R. . . 480 

Kerr, Sgt. John H. 623, 650 

Ketcham, W. P. 459 

Kier, Samuel M 49 

King, Dr. James 41 

King, Lieut. Wm. H. . . . 455 

Kirkpatrick, Sgt. D. C. . . . 506 
Kirkpatrick, Hon. John M. . 384 

Kitchin, Dr. E. C. . . . 595 

Kilgore, Capt. Samuel . . . 422 

Kohen, F. P 705 

Kribbs, Lieut. John A. . 462, 624 
Kuhn, Wilbur W. . . . 437 

Lafferty, Stanley 398 

Lancaster, Sgt. J. M. . . 435, 585 
Lapine, Capt. Jacob .... 137 
Laughlin, Maj. George M. 

350, 433, 446, 680, 720 
Lawson, Color-Sgt. Thomas C. 603 
Lee, Lieut. Elijah M. . . 477', 626 

Le Goullon, G 495 

Leonard, Hugh 431 

Lemon, Corp. Michael B. 254 

Lewis. John A. . ... 479 

Lewis, Peter . 479 

Lincoln, Abraham .... 3 
Linderman, Fred. . . . 426 



Linderman, Philip . 
Lindsay, William . . 
Liken, William A. . 
Littlehales, William . . 
Loutzenheiser, Newell D. 
Lowry, Hon. Jas. Jr. . . 
Locke, Col. Fred T. 
Logan, Sgt. William 
Lyon, Capt. D. E. . . 
Lyon, Patrick 
Lutes, J. H. . . • . . 
Mackin, Color Corp. John 

Mackin, John .... 

Markle, Capt. John 

Marlin, Color-Sgt. Thomas J. . 

Marshall, Col. Charles, (C. S. A. 

Marshall, Lieut. D. Porter 

Marshall, E. S. 

Marshall, Hawdon . . . 

Marshall, Thos. M 

Martin, Thomas C. . . 
Mateer, Rev. Joseph, D. D. . 
Mathews, William .... 
Meade, Maj.-Gen. George G. . 

Meagher, Gen. Thomas Francis 

Melchi, E. R 

Merriman, Jackson . . . 

Miller, A. S 

Montooth, Maj. E. A. 83, 6'30, 
Montgomery, William 
Moody, Lieut.-Col. William H. 
Mooney, Lieut. John 
Moorhead, Hon. James K. 
Moorhead, Maj.-AVilliam J. 
Morgan, Miss Eva . . 
Morgan, Capt. Geo. F. 117, 

Morgan, Thos. E. 449, 

Murphy, Corp. Richard 

Myers, Milton L 

McCabe, Sgt. Walter . . 333, 
McCandless, Hon. \A'ilson 
McCann, Dr. James . 
McClellan, Maj.-Gen. Geo. B. 
McClelland, Capt. Geo. P. 
McClelland, William W. . . 
McClintock, Oliver 
McCook, Dr. George . . 
McConnell, Lieut. Daniel W. . 
McCush, Color-Corp. Thos. 492, 
McFadden, James 
McFadden, Patrick 













McFadden, Miss Rachel 
McGimpsey, Sgt. PL W. 
McGaughey, Robt. L. . . 
McKee, Capt. S. A. . . 
McKenna, Charles F. 623, 
McMillan, James A. 401, 
McMillen, William C. . , 
McPherson, Color-Corp. L. 
416, 559, 
Negley, Maj.-Gen. James S 

Nevil, John A 

Nevin, Col. John L . . . 
Niederlander, Joseph . . 
Nilan, Michael .... 
O'Brien, Col. Edward 
O'Neill, James P. . . . 
O'Rorke, Col. Patrick H. 
Ott, Charles W. . 
Palmer, Capt. J. B. 
Pangburn, Noah H. 
Park, Sgt. Hugh 
Park, James, Jr. 
Parker, Sgt. James F. 
Patterson, Col. John W. . 
Pearce, Lieut. James D. . 
Pearson, Gen. A. L. 117, 
Pence, Harmon . 
Pitcairn, Robert 
Poland, Maj. John 
Porter, Gen. Fitz John . 
Porter, John T. ' . . 473, 
Porter, Sgt. A^'m. D. 
Power, Lieut. J. T. 
Prestley, Rev. James, D. D 
Price, Elijah X. . . 

Quay, Col. M. S. . . 

Ralston, Q.-M.-Sgt. John 
Ramsey, John L. . 
Ramsey, Corp. Wm. B. 
Rankin, James A. 
Rankin, John 
Rankin, Samuel G. 
Rankin, Corp. William . 
Reed, Dr. J. A. E. . . 
Reid, Maj. Bernard J. 
Richards, James B. . 
Rippey, Col. Oliver H. . 
Robbins, Moses . 
Rowand, A. H. Jr. . 
Rowe, Col. D. Watson . 
Rowley, Gen. Thomas A. 
Russell, Corp. John C. 
Ryan, Col. George . 
Sackett, Edward W. . . 
Sackett, Capt. Joseph B. 

. 33 

. 440 
. 508 

300, 485 

635, 683 

403, 404 
. 407 


561, 683 
. 468 
. 28 
. 471 
. 407 
. 805 

223, 442 
. 166 
. 407 
. 117 

432, 451 
. 443 
. 33 
. 630 
. 21 
. 494 

635, 663 



. 14 

. 665 

619, 625 

. 505 

. 435 

. 30 


. 532 

. 83 



. 299 

. 601 

. 488 

. 493 

79, 592 


. 443 

. 27 

. 399 


. 799 

. 20 

. 508 

. 345 


. 330 



Sallade, Corp. Martin \' B. . 428 

Savage, Mrs. Kate ... 43 

Scott, Col. Thomas A. . . . 9 

Scott, William J 423 

Schemerhorn, Capt. . 350 

Secrist, Sgt. Asbury . 355 

Shawhan, Sgt. Jos. . 415 

Shaw, Dr. Thomas \V. 198 

Sheridan, Maj.-Gen. P. H. . 348 
Shore, Sgt.-Maj. William, Jr. . 

360, 427, 681 
Sias, John C. . . 490, 494, 625 

Smith, Sgt. Albert K. . 419 

Smith, Gen. " Baldy " 579 
Smith, Dill A. . . . .49 

Smith, George M. . . 224 

Smith, Jeremiah 697 

Speakman, Col. Frank B. . 807 

Stafford, Miss Mary J. . . . 45 

Stanton, Sec'y.-of-War E. M. . 541 

Stewart, Sgt. David J. . . . 480 

Stewart, Maj. R. E. . . 707 

Strong, Lieut. James . . 346 

Sweeney, Capt. John C. . 428 
Sweitzer, Bvt.-Brig.-Gen. J. 

Bowman . . .... 289 

Sykes, Gen. George ... 665 

Taggart, Capt. Samuel 16 

Taylor, Thos. . . . 466 

Thomas, John M., Chaplain 84 

Thaw, William 35 

Thompson, Color-Corp. Francis 

487, 601 

Thompson, Lieut. Robert . 434 

Thorn, Ellis C. Hosp. Steward 79 

Tomer, Color-Corp. Thomas J. 164 

Tyler, General E. B. . . . 813 

Tyler, Maj. Horatio K. . 706 

Van Gorder. Frank .... 82 
Vanosdol, Thos. Y. . , . 443 

Van Tassel, James 397 

Wadsworth, Gen. James S. . 257 

Wall, Jos. S 449 

Walter, Dr. Albert G. . . 199 

Walters, Color-Corp. Charles 

A 494, 583 

Ward, Maj. Frank B 21 

Warren, Gen. G. K. . 579, 665, 715 
Watson, Mrs. Ellen Murdoch . 42 
Weaver, Corp. H. F. . . 197, 625 

Weed, Gen. S. H 166 

Wells, Lieut. James .... 425 
Welton, William ... 195 

Weyman, William P. . 37 

Whipple, Gen. Amiel W 138 

White, Andrew . 482 

White, Gen. Harry 606 

White, Corp. \^'illiam John 436 

Wilkins, Hon. AMUiam 5. 49 

Will, Franklin . . 466. 

Williamson, R. L. . . 495 

Wilson, Rev. S. J., D. D. 51 

Wilson, Surgeon W S. 79, 710 

Winger, Josiah G 471 

Winthrop, Brig.-Gen. Fred . . 352 
Wiseman, Color-Sgt. Thomas 

101, 601 
\\'itherow, \\'illiam . 707 

Woll, Leopold . . . 494 

Woods, Sgt. Thomas L 266, 404 

Wright, Gen. H. G. ... 579 

Wycofif, Sgt. Isaac .... 195 

Index to Illustrations 

Death of Color Guards — Charge Marye's Heights .... Frontispiece 

View of Pittsburg and Allegheny in 1861 xvi 

The "Old 13th" in Action, 1861 18 

National Officers and Delegates, United States Christian Commission . 36 

Humphreys' Division Flag Insert 64-65 

Lutheran Church, Sharpsburg . . 75 

Lincoln's Visit to McClellan at Antietam . . 77 

Fredericksburg, 1862 ... 94 

Stone Wall and Marye's Heights 104 

Burnside's "Muddy March" 110 

Burnside " Stuck in the Mud " . . . 112 

Brig.-Gen. P. H. Allabach and Stafif 114 

Camp Humphreys, Near Falmouth, Va. ... . . Insert 114-115 

" Hoe-Down," Camp Humphreys ... .... .... 122 

President Lincoln and General Hooker Reviewing Army . . ... 125 

Crossing Rappahannock — On Way to Chancellorsville . . ... 130 

Chancellorsville House 132 

Scene — Battle of Chancellorsville .... . ... . 134 

Departure 133rd Pa. Vols, from Camp Humphreys for Home . . . 143 

" Sykes and Ayres " Division Flag Insert 144-145 

" Reveille and Tattoo " 148 

Gettysburg, Meade's Headquarters . . 159 

Gettysburg— July 2, 1863 ... 161 

General Warren on Little Round Top . . . ... 168 

Devil's Den, Gettysburg .... . . . 171 

General Vincent's Monument . . ... . . 202 

Mine Run, 1908 Insert 214-215 

Winter Quarters, Warrenton Junction . . . 217 

Zouave in Action 227 

The " Long and the Short " in Zouave Uniform 229 

Griffin's Division Flag . Insert 232-233 

The Bivouac " Night Before Battle of Wilderness "... . . 241 

Lieut.-General Grant's Headquarters, Culpeper Court House, May 1, 1864 242 

Fifth Corps Crossing Rapidan — Germanna Ford, May 4, 1864 .... 243 

Fifth Corps Replenishing Ammunition, May 5, 1864 . . .... 250 

Removing the Wounded at Wilderness .... 252 

On March by Left Flank to Spottsylvania . . . . .... 260 

General Warren and Stafif at Spottsylvania . . ... ... 270 

Fifth Corps at Spottsylvania . 272 

Pontoon Crossing North Anna at Jericho Ford . . . 274 


General Meade's Headquarters in Field, 1864 280 

Skirmishing — Bethesda Church ^^^ 

Petersburg, 1864 39a 

General G. K. Warren and Staff, Siege of Petersburg 304 

Group at Corps Headquarters 316 

Fifth Corps Headquarters, Yellow Tavern, Weldon R. R 318 

Squad Company C in Camp, Peebles' Farm, Petersburg 322 

Appomattox, Showing Position of 155th Pa. Vols, on Receiving Flag of 

Truce 358 

McLean House, Appomattox .... 363 

General Lee Leaving McLean House at Appomattox 369 

Generals Grant, Lee and Meade and Their Staffs at Appomattox . . 370 

The Final Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac 380 

155th Pa. Vols. Entering Old City Hall to Receive Welcome by City of 

Pittsburg, June 5, 1865 387 

Public Reception and Dinner to General A. L. Pearson and Veterans of 

155th Reg. Pa. Vols, by City of Pittsburg, June 5, 1865 .... 388 
Captain Laughlin and Private McKenna Detailed from Petersburg 

Trenches to Headquarters Fifth Corps 445 

" Breaking Home Ties "—Off for War . . . ... 518 

" Come and Get Your Quinine " . 523 

On the Road to Antietam — Up South Mountain . . . . . . 525 

"How-Dye-Do, General?" 528 

First Lesson in Military Manners, " Salute to Superiors " 529 

Return to Company in Disgrace . . 531 

Colonel Quay's Orderly and 155th Stockade Guard Under Arrest . 533 

General Humphreys' Court of Inquiry 535 

Interviewing Secretary Stanton Under Difficulties 542 

Uncle John Mackin Joins the Ranks for Battle 545 

-On Temporary Provost Duty, Grant's Headquarters . . . 561 

Bivouac — Wilderness . . 562 

Field of Battle Gettysburg from the 155th Pa. Vols. Monument . . . 561 

General Meade's Headquarters, Gettysburg 553 

Guarding Fifth Corps Train in Wilderness . . 560 

Prayer Book Found on Body of Dead Soldier at Wilderness .... 566 
Skirmishers — Hunter, Friend and Lemon, at Opening Battle of Wilder- 
ness 573 

" Hoo-doo-ed " On the Road to North Anna . 577 

War Time Photos of Grant and Corps Generals .... .... 579 

Building Breastworks Under Fire ... 581 

Color Guard, 1864-5 . 533 

The Fatal Vidette Outpost, Bethesda Church ... 586 

The Detail for Vidette Duty — Lancaster, Douglas, McKenna and Hipsley 587 

Sketch of Callen's Grave, Bethesda Church 539 

Final Resting Place of Theophilus S. Callen, Village Church Yard . . 591 
Return of Regimental Flag to State of Pennsylvinia, 1866 . Insert 606-607 


Color-Sgt. Thomas J. Marlin Returning Regimental Flag to State, July 

14, 1866 Insert 608-609 

Lafayette Hall, First Re-union, 1875 . . . 635 

Unveiling Monument, Sept. 17, 1886 and Re-union Group . Insert 636-637 
155th Monument— Little Round Top ... . . 639 

Warren's Monument, Little Round Top . . 651 

Company E, 1894 Reunion Group .... . . 659 

Company F, 1894 Reunion Group .... . . 661 

Reunion 1894. Duquesne Park . 670-671 

Around the Camp Fire .... . . . 673- 

Reunion 155th Pa. Vols., Clarion 1896 674-675 

Executive Committee — Reunion, 1903 ... . 683 

Reunion, 1903, Kennywood Park . 684 

Snapshot of Comrades — Reunion, 1903 . . . 685 

Reunion, 1905, Kennywood Park . 687 

Regimental Executive Committee — Reunion 1905 ... 688^ 

Reunion, Kennywood Park ... . 689 

Reunion— Bellevue, 1906 691-^ 

Reunion — Bellevue, 1906 ... . 695-6- 

Dress Parade and Review of Survivors By Colonel Allen, Bellevue, 

1907 . 698-9 

General A. A. Humphreys' Monument . . . 701 
Reunion, at Unveiling Monument to General Humphreys, Fredericks- 
burg, Nov. 1], 1908 709 

The Allegheny County Soldiers' Memorial Hall, 1910 . . 711 

City of Pittsburg, 1910 .... . . . 794 


Table of Contents 

INTRODUCTORY— Epitome of Events, 1861-186? . 


I JMuster-in at Pittsburg — Forced Alarch to Train . . 46 

II Arrival in Washington, Camp Chase 62 

III Forced March to Antietam 68 

IV Scenes and Events in Camp McAuley, Antietam 81 
V Fredericksburg Campaign, Dec. 186? ... 91 

VI General Hooker — Chancellorsville . ... 115 

VII Return to Camp Humphreys — Forced Marches . . 142 

VIII The Battle of Gettysburg .... . .160 

IX Scenes and Incidents of the Battle of Gettysburg 179 

X Retreat of the Confederate Army — Mine Run . . 204 

XI The Battle of the Wilderness 240 

XII The Battles of Laurel Hill and Spottsylvania ... . 259 

XIII Battles of North Anna— Bethesda Church— Cold Harbor . 271 

XIV Petersburg Campaign — Weldon Railroad 292 

XV Hatcher's Run, Weldon Railroad Raid . . ... 317 

XVI Five Forks — Appomattox — Surrender — Paroling . . . 342 
XVII Appomattox Incidents — Homew^ard March — Grand Re- 
view, Washington — Home Reception — Mustered Out 371 

ETC.— 1862-186.5 :— 


Memories of Company A . 
Organization of Company B . . 
Last Two Years in Company B 
Company C, the Color Company 
In the Ranks of Company D . . 
Officers and Men of Company E . 
Roll Call of Company F . 

Sketch of Company G 

Company H . . . . ... 

Recollections of Company I . . 

With the Colors, Reminiscences of 

Company K . .... 

Bv Wm. H. Dewalt . . 391 

By H. F. Weaver . . 400 

By Jas. A.. McMillan . . 402 

By Jos. M. Cargo ... 412 

By William J. Scott . . 423 

By Noah H. Pangburn . 432 

By Samuel W. Hill . 453 

By John A. Kribbs 462 

By John T. Porter . 472 

By John C. Sias . . 485 

By Thomas J. Marlin 499 




The Colonel's Tribute . . . 

" Breaking Home Ties " . . , . 

How I Found My Regiment 

The Rise and Fall of an " Orderly " 

Quay's Quandary ... 

The Battle of Fredericksburg . . 

Uncle John Mackin's War Exper- 
ience .... .... 

Within the Enemy's Lines — Chan- 
cellorsville . . . . . . . 

At Gettysburg — Under Front and 
Rear Fire . . ... 

The Kiskiminetas Squad 

With Grant at Opening of Wilder- 
ness . . . 

Wounded and a Prisoner . 

My Capture and Prison Life 

The Battle of North Anna . . 

Perils of Vidette Duty ... 

Story of the Regimental Surgeon . 

Reminiscences of Hatcher's Run 
and Five Forks . . . . 

At the Front and in the Hospital . 

The Flag of the One Hundred and 


Return of Regimental Flag to 
State, 1866 ' 

A Country Boy in the Army 

Campaigning with Company A. . 

The Charge at Five Forks 

The Last Man Killed in the Armj^ 
of the Potomac . . . 

Memories of Appomattox 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
in War and in Peace, A Roll 
Call of Survivors . . 

By Edward Jay Allen 
By Thomas E. Morgan 
By W. Stockton Wilson 
By John T. Porter . . 
By John T. Porter . . 
By Henry F. AA'eaver . 

By Charles F. McKenna 

By Robert P. Douglass 

By Henry F. Weaver . 
By J. King Alter 

By L. E. McPherson . 
By John Griffith . . 
By Jacob S. Friend 
By Charles F. McKenna 
By John M. Lancaster 
By J. A. E. Reed . 

By Elias A. Kitchin 
By F'ranklin Gilmore 

By Thomas C. Lawson 

By S. W. Hill 
By Arch N. Euwer . 
By Nathan N. Fullerton 
By J. A. McDowell 

By John H. Kerr 

By George AL Laughlin 

Bv John T. Porter 

. 515 

. . 517 

. . 530 

. . 536 

. . 533 

. . 537 

. . 540 

. . 546 

. . 550 

. . 556 

. 559 

. . 568 


. . 576 

. . 585 

. . 592 

. 594 


. 600 

. 606 

. 609 

. 611 


. 614 

. . 616 



Organization of Regimental Association . . . . 633 

First Reunion, 1875 — Old LaFayette Hall . . . . 633 

Reunion, Pittsburg, Sept. 1'2, 1884 . . ... 660 

Unveiling Monument and Reunion, Gettysburg, Sept. 17, 1886 . 637 
Dedication of State Monument to Regiment, on Little Round Top 

Gettysburg, Sept. 18, 1889 . '649 

Reunion at Clarion, Pa., July 29 and 30th, 1896 . . 676 

Reunion at Kennywood Park, 1903 ... . . ggS 

Reunion at Bellevue Club, June 35, 1906 [ [ 69q 

Dedicatory Ceremonies, Fredericksburg, Nov. 11, 1908 .... 703 
Unveiling of General Humphreys' ^Monument, Nov. 11, 1908 and 

Regimental Reunion ij-q^ 




Action on Death of General Warren Regimental Minute . . 

Corporal Harry M. Curry .... By Col. E. Jay Allen . 

Brevet-Major George M. Laughlin Resolutions 

Colonel John H. Cain Resolutions 

Brevet-Major-General A. L. Pearson Resolutions 

Captain Samuel A. McKee . . . By Sgt. John H. Keer . 

Captain George Pressley McClelland By His Pastor .... 

Corporal Horatio S. Harnish, Com- 
pany H By Wm. D. Hartman . . 

Sergeant Henry R. Campbell, Com- 
pany B By Richard M. Davis 

Reverend Joseph Mateer, D. D., 

Chaplain By Colonel John Ewing . 

Corporal George Bradley, Company F . 

Color-Sergeant Thomas J. Marlin . By Rev. J. A. Thompson 

Color-Sergeant Thomas Wiseman By Alexander Dempster . 

Brevet-Major Samuel Kilgore . . Resolutions .... 

Private James P. O'Neil, Company 

E . . . . .... Press Obituary . . . 

Colonel Peter H. AUabach, 131st 

Pa. Vols. Press Obituary . . . 

Colonel Patrick H. O'Rorke, 140th 

N. Y. Vols. By Captain Porter Farley 

Frederick Winthrop, Brevet-Major- 
General, U. S. Vols By Maj. Geo. M. Laughlin 

Stephen H. Weed, Brigadier-General From U. S. Register . . 













Field and Staff — Rank and File — Revised to Date 
Field and StafT . .... ... 

Company A ... 

Company B . . . 

Company C . 

Company D . .... 

Company E . .... 

Company F ... 

Company G . .... . . 

Company H . . . 

Company I . . . 

Company K 

Record of 155th Pa. Infantry 

r43 to 792 
. 793 


Sketches of Regiments Composing Humphreys' Division in Ah- 
tietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Campaigns and 
Official Reports ... 






iiSTiii Kiiifiiiiii, 

Epitome of Events, 1861-1863. 

]N EPITOME of the rapidly forming events of 1861 to 1862, trans- 
piring in Western Pennsylvania up to the summer of 1863, when 
the youths composing the rank and file of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment volunteered for the Union cause, 
is believed to be a fitting introduction to the history of the campaigns 
of the Regiment. In this chapter, therefore, will be found a summary of impor- 
tant events and incidents occurring in the Nation and locally during the first 
year of the war. 

All Western Pennsylvania had been aroused by certain acts and declarations 
of Southern representatives in the closing days of 1860. So that when an order 
from the Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, was issued directing the shipment 
of heavy ordnance from the Allegheny Arsenal to distant points in the South 
for fortifications, the greatest indignation of the citizens of Pittsburg was 
aroused. Already some of the cannon had been conveyed to the steamer Silver 
Wave at the Pittsburg wharf, when a public meeting was called and held in 
January, 1861, on the Court House grounds in Pittsburg. It was a representative 
meeting of loyal citizens. Prompt action was taken in protesting against the 
removal of the cannon. James Buchanan, the President of the United States, 
had many warm personal friends in Western Pennsylvania, and in response to 
the demand of the citizens at this meeting at the Court House, presided over by 
Doctor George McCook, Sr., it was resolved that a formal protest should be 
telegraphed to the President. The telegram read as follows : 

" James Buchanan, President of the United States : 

^"Sir — An order issued by the War Department to transfer the efifective 
munitions of war from the Arsenal in this city to Southern mihtary posts has 



created great excitement in the public 
mind. We would advise that the 
order be immediately countermanded. 
We speak at the instance of the peo- 
ple, and if not done, cannot answer 
for the consequences. 

" William Wilkins, 
" William F. Johnston, 
■' Thomas Williams, 
" Charles Shaler." 

On the receipt of this telegram 
the President promptly counter- 
manded Secretary Floyd's order for 
the removal of the cannon, and the 
excitement thereupon subsided. 

President-elect Lincoln in 

On the evening of February 14, 
1861, occurred another important 
event in the history of this period. 
This was the arrival from Springfield, 111., of Abraham Lincoln, President-elect, 
en route to be inaugurated President of the United States. He was received at 
the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway station, on Federal street, Alle- 
gheny City, by an immense multitude, anxious to see the man destined to fill 
the most important position in the most critical crisis of the American nation for 
the four years to follow. 

On Smithfield street, at the Monongahela House, the crush was so great 
that the military companies were required to clear the way for the Presidential 
carriages. In response to loud and repeated calls for a speech, Mr. Lincoln stood 
upon a chair in the lobby of the hotel, and begged to be excused from then ad- 
dressing the assemblage, declaring that he had promised the Reception Com- 
mittee that he would have " a few words " to say to the public the next morning. 
He facetiously said, " Some people think L am like a town pump," referring to 
the persistent demands for a speech, — " that all that has to be done is to shake 
my hand and demand a speech and it will come like the water upon shaking the 
handle of the pump." 

The mihtary. General James S. Negley in command, formed the Presidential 
escort while the President was in the city. The next morning fully ten thousand 
people gathered around the Monongahela House to hear Mr. Lincoln's promised 
speech from the portico of the Hotel, on Smithfield street. His patriotic ad- 
dress on that occasion lasted but fifteen minutes. It was remarkable, as was 
his subsequent address at Gettysburg, for its simple, easily-understood utter- 
ances, all appealing to his countrymen to act for the good of the country, and 




to be true to the Constitution and the laws under which the Nation in the provi- 
dence of God had so prospered. This speech had a decided effect in enhghtening 
the people of the whole country as to Mr. Lincoln's broad statesmanship and 
comprehension of the conditions coiifronting the Nation at that time. 

The First Call to Arms. 

With the dawn of real war caused by the firing on Sumter on April 13, 
1861, the call to arms in Western Pennsylvania was promptly sounded, and with 
Pittsburg as the metropolis, nowhere else was there quicker and heartier response. 
On the 15th of April the President's first call to the States for seventy-five 
thousand militia to serve for three months was issued. At that date there were 
still living and active in the ccmmunity many survivors of the Mexican W^ar. 

These men still preserved the martial 
spirit of veterans ; and because of their 
military experience, they were among 
the first to volunteer in response to the 
call of the President. They were re- 
warded with commissions, and at once 
set about organizing companies and 

Chief among those patriotic surviv- 
ors of the Mexican War may be men- 
tioned General James S. Negley, com- 
manding the State militia of Allegheny 
county in 1860 and 1861; Colonel 
Thomas A. Rowley ; Colonel Robert An- 
derson ; Captain Alexander Hays ; Cap- 
tain Oliver H. Rippey; Captain Samuel 
W. Black; and Captain Samuel A. Mc- 
Kee. Nor at that date had all the veter- 
ans of the War of 1813 passed away. 
Though incapacitated by age, these 
venerable patriots became enthusiastic, and exerted patriotic influence bv their 
language and loyal sentiment in support of the country's flag. 


Prompt Filling of Quota. 

Soon regiments and companies were recruited, and promptly placed at the 
disposal of the Governor of the State, in numbers far surpassing the quota of 
Western Pennsylvania. This produced great rivalry in recruiting. 

The companies and regiments thus promptly recruited and mustered into 
service from Allegheny county and Western Pennsylvania were all assigned to 
the army of General Robert Patterson, of Philadelphia, a distinguished soldier 
of the Mexican War. The troops of this command were ordered by the Gov- 
ernment at Washington to remain at points in Pennsylvania — at York, and 
along the Northern Central Railroad to guard it from raids by bodies of the 


enemy in Maryland and Virginia, who frequently threatened the line of com- 
munication with the troops in Washington and at the front. This military ex- 
perience, however, was beneficial in educating officers and men in the school 
of a soldier ; and at the end of their term of service these companies and regi- 
ments served as the nucleus to furnish numerous colonels and generals and of- 
ficers of rank to regiments organized later to serve three years or during the war. 
As indicating the promptness of the responses. Colonel R. P. McDowell, of 
Pittsburg, with three companies, was mustered into the United States service 


on April SO, 1861, and made Colonel of the Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania 

From Sunday, April 14:th, to Wednesday, April 24, 1861, the record shows 
that there had been recruited, armed, and sent to the front from Allegheny 
county two thousand volunteers, and that as many more had tendered their 
services to go on an hour's notice. 

Great War Mass Meeting. 

The prompt action of the citizens of Pittsburgh, on the news of the firing 
on Fort Sumter, was indicated by a mass meeting of the citizens of Allegheny 


county and vicinity, held at City Hall on the evening of April 15th, just two 
days after the fall of Sumter. The meeting was so largely attended that there 
was not space for all who applied for admission, and many hundreds were turned 

Honorable William Wilkins, who presided at that great mass meeting, had 
been a prominent Democrat, and a friend of General Jackson. He was called 
from his retirement and the tranquility of his old age to preside at this great 
meeting. The intense ardor of his eloquent and patriotic appeal for the preser- 
vation of the Union had an electrical effect on the audience, and exerted a lasting 
influence on the community. Colonel James P. Barr, editor of the " Post " ; 
William Neeb, of the " Freiheits Freund " ; Honorable Thomas J. Bigham ; and 
James Park, Jr., were appointed to draft resolutions on the state of the country. 

At this great mass meeting addresses of great force and eloquence were 
also made by Honorable Thomas M. Marshall, Honorable P. C. Shannon, Hon- 
orable A. W. Loomis, Honorable Robert McKnight, Doctor E. D. Gazzam, Ex- 
Governor William F. Johnston, and Marshall Swartzwelder, Esq. 

The resolutions read by Colonel James P. Barr, Chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Resolutions, and unanimously adopted at the mass meeting, pledged 
the support of the people of the community without regard to party, to President 
Lincoln's administration in support of the laws and Constitution of the United 
States, and the preservation of the Union, until the Great Rebellion against the 
Government should be suppressed. Judge Wilkins, as Chairman, announced the 
Committee of Public Safety, whose duty among other objects was declared to be 
" to keep a sharp lookout for traitors." The following citizens constituted the 
Committee of Public Safety, who, throughout the entire period of the war, de- 
voted their time and means unremittingly to the patriotic duties of the times. 
The names and memories of every one of these loyal citizens deserves to be per- 
petuated in the history of the country as examples of devoted patriotism : 

Wm. J. Morrison. 
James P. Barr, 
Wm. F. Johnston, 
Dr. Geo. McCook, 
John Marshall, 
Thos. J. Bigham, 
Joseph Dilworth, 
Chas. Barnes, 
David Fitzsimmons, 
C. L. Magee, Sr., 
John Harper, 
Andrew Miller, 
James Park, Jr., 
C. H. Paulson, 
Alex. Nimick, 
N. P. Fetterman, 
John D. Scully, 

David E. Bayard, 
Jonas R. McCIintock, 
James Kelly, 
James Salisbury, 
Wm. Martin, 
Wm. Robinson, Jr., 
Wm. Bishop, 
Harry Wainright, 
Wm. H. McGee, 
Dr. Thos. J. Gallaher, 
Thos. Steele, 
Russell Errett, 
Wm. Caldwell, 
Dr. Ed. Simpson, 
Dr. James King, 
John J. Dravo, 
Joseph R. Flunter, 

Samuel Rodgers, 
Alfred Slack, 
Christopher Zug, 
John Birmingham, 
John Wright, 
John McDonald, 
Wm. Barnhill, Jr., 
Wm. Owens, 
Jared i\L Brush, 
Robert Morrow, 
John M. Killen, 
Christopher I\Iagee, 
Colonel Leopold Sahl, 
Dr. Wm. M. Simcox, 
Alexander Speer, 
Henry Hays, 
Joshua Rhodes, 


Dr. Geo. S. Hays, 
Benjamin Coursin, 
John Mackin, 
A. G. Lloyd, 
John J. Muse, 
Wm. Bagley, 
Thos. M. Howe, 
C. W. Ricketson, 
Joseph Kaye, 
J. B. Poor, 
J. Herron Foster, 
Chas. McKnight, 
Wm. Neeb, 
John D. Bailey, 
John W. Riddell, 
James A. Sewell, 
Wm. M. Lyon, 
Thomas Bakewell, 
Wm. J. Howard, 
Sol. Schoyer, Jr., 
John P. Pears, 
Reuben Miller, Jr., 
Henry L. Ringwalt, 
Geo. W. Wilson, 
James Rees, 
J. W. Barker, 
R. H. Patterson, 
W. K. Nimick, 
Geo. S. Gallupe, 
A. Nicholson, 
David F. McKee, 
Wm. Phillips, 
Wm. M. Edgar, 
Dr. L. Oldshue, 
Dr. Geo. L. McCook, 
Robt. McElherron, 
Frederick H. Collier, 
Thos. A. Rowley, 
James Herdman, 
Andrew Scott, 
S. H. Keller, 

Wm. M. Hirsh, . 
Chauncey B. Bostwick, 
Nat. Holmes, Jr., 
Samuel Riddle, 
John Scott, 
Thos. B. Hamilton, 
Arch. McBride, 
Andrew Fulton, 
Wm. Simpson, 
Alexander Hilands, 
George A. Berry, 
William Carr, 
James Benny, Jr., 
J. B. Canfield, 
H. L. Bollman, 
Wm. B. Holmes, 
David D. Bruce, 
Wm. A. Lare, 
Robert Finney, 

A. L. Russell, 
N. P. Sawyer, 
Wm. S. Lavely, 

B. F. Jones, 
E. P. Jones, 

P. C. Shannon, 
Dr. E. D. Gazzam, 
Geo. P. Hamilton, 
Thos. M. Marshall, 
J. R. T. Noble, 
Henry McCullough, 
James A. Hutchinson, 
Francis Sellers, 
D. S. Steward, 
Henry A. Weaver, 
R. H. Hartley, 
J. R. Murphy, 
Geo. W. Irwin, 
John M. Irwin, 
Wm. C. Barr, 
James Floyd, 
Alex. Moore, 

James Verner, 
John N. Tiernan, 
Thomas S. Blair, 
Samuel McKelvy, 
John N. McClowry, 
G. L. B. Fetterman, 
Max. K. Moorhead, 
George W. Cass, 
Walter H. Lowrie, 
Dr. E. Dilworth, 
David Irwin, 
Andrew Burke, 
James R. Hartley, 
Wm. G. McCartney, 
John Atwell, 
M. L Stewart, 
Robt. B. Guthrie, 
Hugh McAfee, 
Hugh Kane, 
Samuel Cameron, 
R. J. Grace, 
Joseph Woodwell, 
John McDevitt, 
James B. Murray, 
James McAuley, 
Adams Getty, 
Edward Gregg, 
John Dunlap, 
John C. Dunn, 
John Brown, 
John E. Parke, 
A. W. Loomis, 
Wm. Wade, 
John Graham, 
Wm. Holmes, 
Daniel Negley, 
Wm. Woods, 
George H. Thurston, 
Edward Campbell, Jr., 
Wm. H. Smith, 
John P. Penny. 

Organization of Committee of Public Safety. 

The Committee of Public Safety, thus appointed by Judge Wilkins, promptly 
organized by the selection of General Thomas M. Howe as chairman. General 


Howe had been for many years one of the most prominent and successful busi- 
ness men of Pittsburg. He entered upon the active duties of the position, which 
became so absorbing as to take up his entire time so that his private business was 
turned over to others. As the war progressed, General Howe's duties as chair- 
man of the Committee of Public Safety were very much increased. In his 
strenuous labors throughout the four years of the war, he presented the highest 
type of patriotism. As long as a veteran of the Civil War or his descendants 
survives in Allegheny county the memory of this esteemed and patriotic citizen 
should be cherished for his great services to the Union cause. 


The various sub-committees of the Committee of Public Safety were quickly 
organized, — the Executive Committee, Committee on Transit of Munitions of 
War, Committee on Support of Volunteers not yet Accepted by the Government, 
Committee for the Aid of Families of Volunteers, and later the Subsistence 
Committee, etc. 

Under the supervision of this Committee of Public Safety Allegheny's 
quota of volunteers was speedily raised in answer to President Lincoln's first 
call for seventy-five thousand men. This was the beginning of the Committee 
of Public Safety's activity in aid of the Union cause. Not only did the city and 


county furnish soldiers for the war, but during the entire period the manu- 
facturers, merchants, and the banks of the city aided the Government in sup- 
plying equipment,, clothing, food, and money. On April 17, 1861, the Board 
of Bank Presidents sent a telegram to the Governor stating that, " The banks 
of Pittsburg will cheerfully respond to the call for money to meet the late ap- 
propriation to be used in enabling the Government to sustain the Constitution. 
and the laws." 

Services of Pennsylvania Railroad. 

Simultaneous with these early events should be mentioned the patriotic 
part and prompt service rendered by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company ta 
the cause of the Union. J. Edgar Thompson was President of the Railroad, 
Thomas A. Scott was Vice-President, 
and Andrew Carnegie was serving as 
Superintendent of the Pittsburg Di- 
vision. At the special request of 
Honorable Simon Cameron, Secretary of 
War, Vice-President Scott was asked to 
report in Washington to place the rail- 
road and telegraph lines in proper con- 
dition and control to co-operate with 
military movements, and to meet all 

At Colonel Scott's request Andrew 
Carnegie was detailed to accompany and 
assist Colonel Scott in this branch of the 
work. This was early in April, 1861, 
and Mr. Carnegie was first placed in 
charge of the United States Military 
Telegraph Corps, with headquarters at 
Alexandria, Va. Mr. Carnegie organized 
and operated this Military Telegraph 
Department until November, 1861, estab- 
lishing it on so firm a basis and putting it into such thorough working order that,. 
at President Thompson's request, he was relieved and returned to duty as Super- 
intendent of the railroad for the Western Division of Pittsburg. The transpor- 
tation of troops and military supplies for the vast armies in the field had sa 
increased and had become of so paramount importance to the railroad Company 
and to the Nation that Mr. Carnegie was called upon to discharge the strenuous 
duties of the position. On this important duty he served during the remainder 
of 1861 and throughout 1862, discharging the difficult duties of the position so 
successfully as to merit the highest encomiums of the officials of the railroad 
company and also of the Government. The record of this period will establish 
beyond a doubt that no official of the Government rendered greater service to- 
the cause of the Union than did Mr. Carnegie, by his extraordinary foresight 
in the prompt transportation of troops and supplies to the points of army activi- 




ties. His great services as organizer and first chief of the United States Military 
Telegraph Corps were of vital importance in military campaigns. They are 
matters of history, and the value of that corps to the army in the field cannot be 

It may be well to mention in this connection the prompt and efficient services 


of Robert Pitcairn, Superintendent of the Altoona Division of the Pennsylvania 

Union Mass IMeetings. 
During 1861 and the spring of 1862, war meetings continued to be held 
nightly in Pittsburg, Allegheny, and vicinity. Lecturers became public advo- 
cates for the Union. Ministers and lawyers went on the platform to plead the 
cause of the country. Many halls and rooms were rented for meetings. Henry 




Ward Beecher, of New York, was one 
of the earliest of these war orators in the 
country, and later he was appointed to 
visit Great Britain, there to deliver Union 
orations to the English people. After 
him came Professor Amasa McCoy, of 
the Smithsonian Institute, an orator of 
national reputation, who spoke at a great 
mass meeting in the Opera House at 
Pittsburg. Many other orators of na- 
tional fame delivered stirring addresses 
for the Union in all the large cities. 
Clergymen preached patriotic sermons. 
Teachers caught the inspiration. Every- 
body anxiously awaited events that came 
all too soon and all too sad. 

A Flag Incident. 

The intense patriotism of the times 
manifested itself in the universal dis- 
play of the flag, so that bunting soon became a scarce article. An incident 
happened at this period which showed the trend of the public mind. About the 
year 1798 the United States Government erected a fort on a site fronting on 
the Allegheny river and bounded by Hand street. Liberty avenue and Garrison 
alley. In 1861 the storehouse and barracks of this fort, at the corner of Penn 
street and Garrison alley, was still standing, being in charge of Major Henry 
Talliaferro, U. S. A. The Major was a Virginian, a man at that date well over 
seventy years of age. He had served as an ensign in the War of 1812, and had 
been with General Andrew Jackson at the battle of New Orleans. When, amid 
the extensive display of bunting throughout the city, this rendezvous and bar- 
racks was distinguished only by its absence, suspicion was excited. The old Gov- 
ernment buildings mentioned continuing to be flagless, a few ropes were strung by 
over-loyal people on nearby lamp posts to intimidate all disloyal persons, and 
specially as a hint to Major TaUiaferro, in command of the rendezvous. An 
anonymous letter conveyed to the Major the purpose of these ropes, and demanded 
that he show his colors immediately by putting out the flag on the public buildings, 
under pain of being publicly denounced as a traitor. This epistle was secretly at 
night tacked upon the door of the barracks. The Major, on discovering the insult- 
ing aspersion, vehemently denounced the anonymous author of the letter. He 
published a card in all the daily papers announcing his sincere loyalty to the 
Union cause, and declaring that repeated requisitions for flags had been made, in 
answer to which the Government had reported that it had run out of bunting, and 
that his requisitions had been delayed. This card satisfied the people of the 
venerable patriot's loyalty, and the incident was closed. 


A Central Military Rendezvous. 

The rapid arrival and departure of large bodies of troops from points in 
Western Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburg, and from Ohio and the West, most 
of whom remaining over for various periods of time, converted Pittsburg in 
those days into a great military rendezvous. . 

The Pennsylvania volunteers who were not accepted by the United States 
Government under the first call of the President did not disband, but con- 
tinued their organizations. The wise provision of Governor Andrew G. Curtin 
in recruiting at this period the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps for future emer- 


gencies resulted in the forming of two great camps, namely, Camp Wilkins, 
on the old State Fair grounds at Penn and Twenty-ninth street; and Camp 
Wright, at Hulton's station. Camp Wilkins was established April 27, 1861, and 
named in honor of the distinguished Honorable William Wilkins. Camp Wright 
was organized on May 28, 1861, by General George A. McCall, of Philadelphia, 
an officer of the Regular Army detailed by Governor Curtin for that purpose. 
It was at first called " Camp McCall." 

At one time, at, a meeting in Wilkin's Hall, Pittsburg, forty-six complete 
companies were reported as organized, representing over four thousand men 



ready for war. The local militia were also well organized and splendidly 
equipped. Parades, reviews, drilling, flag presentations and dress-parades were 
every-day occurrences in Camp Wilkins and Camp Wright. The ladies of the 
city were usually the donors of flags, and were attendants as honor guests at the 
evening dress-parades. 

At one o'clock in the morning of the 16th of May, 1861, Major Robert 
Anderson, the hero of Fort Sumter, passed through the city, en route to Wash- 
ington, and received an enthusiastic ovation despite the unusual hour. 

We-stern Pennsylvania sent from Pittsburg to Wheeling and other points 
adjacent upwards of four hundred recruits to be organized into companies for 
the loyal portion of Virginia. Pennsylvania's quota under Air. Lincoln's second 
call in 1861 was so promptly filled that recruits too late for enrollment under 
the State's quota were obliged to enlist in other States whose quotas were un^- 
filled. Western Pennsylvania thus furnished a large number of men, who subse- 
quently rendered efficient service in the " Mountain State," being known as the 
Second Loyal Regiment of Virginia. Among the prominent Pittsburgers thus 
enhsting in the Second Virginia in the service of the Union were Colonel John D. 
Owens; Captain Chatham T. Ewing, commanding a battery; Major A. J. Pente- 
cost, Quartermaster; \\'m. H. Graham, Colonel David L. Smith, who was pro- 
moted to the position of Commissary of the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac; 
James R. Hutchinson, Joseph Forsythe, John Seibert, Captain A. C. Hays, Cap- 
tain C. McClure Hays, and Samuel Scott. 

Private Wm. H. Graham, after three years' service, the term of his regi- 
ment in active service, remained a year longer with the army, and has the dis- 
tinction of being one of the survivors who wit- 
nessed the surrender of the Confederate army at 
Appomattox, serving with Sheridan's command 
on that occasion. 

For the same reason the Friend Rifles, Cap- 
tain Jacob Brunn, and the Pittsburg Zouave 
Cadets, Captain John P. Glass, two companies 
recruited in Pittsburg, went to New York and 
were promptly accepted and mustered into the 
famous " Excelsior Brigade," commanded by 
General Daniel E. Sickles, to serve for three 
years. Augustus H. Beckert, Ex-Commissioner 
of Allegheny County, lost a leg in battle whilst 
serving in the latter company. 

Other well known citizens of Allegheny 
county, Pennsylvania, who, after service in the 
three-months' campaign, re-enlisted at Pittsburg 
in August, 1861, in the First Maryland Cavalr}-, 
were Captains Robert H. Patterson, John H. 
Stewart, Leopold Sahl, Jr. (killed in battle Jan- 
uary 18, 1862), John Seiferth and James M. 
Schoonmaker, Q. M. Serg't (later Colonel Four- capt. john p. glass. 



teenth Pennsylvania Cavalry), and late Private Wm. Boston, forty years Tipstaff 
in Allegheny County Court, Common Pleas No. 2, and Privates William Caches 
and Edward and Wm. Zacharias. 

The full realization of the war and its horrors were first brought home 
to the people of Pittsburg by the casualties befalling the Friend Rifles and the 
Pittsburg Zouaves at the battle of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862, where both 
these splendid Pittsburg companies, then in New York regiments, m Sickles' 
Excelsior Brigade, in Hooker's Division, participated in that severe action, the 
brunt of which fell upon Hooker's Division. The brave Captain Jacob Brunn, 


commanding the Friend Rifles, was instantly killed in leading the attack, and 
his death was soon followed by that of the First-Lieutenant of his company, 
Martin V. Miller. Second-Lieutenant Joseph F. Dennison was also seriously 
wounded, resulting in the loss of his leg. Thus, in a few moments, the company 
was wholly without officers. 

Captain John P. Glass' company, the Pittsburg Zouaves, also suffered heavy 
losses in the same battle. The enemy outnumbered the Union forces, and caused 
heavy losses in the rank and file. Fully a score of Captain Brunn's Company were 



taken prisoners, and paroled within a few days after their capture. These pris- 
oners returned to Pittsburg in time to serve as pall-bearers to their gallant cap- 
tain. Captain Brunn was an accomplished linguist, and had been frequently 
called upon in earlier days by the courts of Allegheny county to act as interpreter 
in the German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swiss, and other foreign languages, 
which he had acquired by his seven years' service in the Prussian army. The 
death and public burial of Captain Brunn, being the first occurring to a Pitts- 
burg officer, created profound sorrow. The funeral of Major John Poland, of 
the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania \'olunteers, who was killed at the 
battle of Fair Oaks, was the next to follow that of the lamented Captain Brunn. 
The Scott Legion, survivors of the Mexican War, in which Major Poland 
had served, attended the funeral service at St. Paul's Cathedral, where Bishop 
Domenec preached a patriotic funeral sermon. The Duquesne Greys acted as 
funeral escort to the remains of their late comrade, to St. Mary's Cemetery. 

Organization of Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. 

Pittsburg was well represented in the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. In the 
Eighth Reserves were Company B, Captain Robert E. Johnston ; Company C, 
Captain George S. Gallupe ; and Company E, Captain E. P. Schoenberger. 
Colonel George S. Hayes, of Pittsburg, commanded this regiment. 

The Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves was substantially a Pittsburg regiment. 
Colonel Conrad Feger Jackson, the regiment's first colonel, and who had been 
promoted to Brigadier-General, was killed in battle at Fredericksburg, Va. 

He was succeeded in the Colonelcy 
by Colonel Robert Anderson, a gallant 
and beloved officer, a former postmaster 
of Pittsburg, and a veteran of the Mex- 
ican War. Eight companies were re- 
cruited in Pittsburg for this regiment, 
one in Beaver county, and one in Craw- 
ford county. 

The One Hundred and Sixteenth 
Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, of 
Philadelphia, commanded by Colonel St. 
Clair Mulholland, also had representa- 
tion from Pittsburg in companies re- 
cruited by Major David Magraw, of 
Allegheny city, and by Captain Samuel 
Taggart, who was killed at Ream's Sta- 
tion, Va., August 25, 1864. 
L-j^.^^^^^^^^^^^^^_» The news of Colonel Ellsworth's 

^I^^^^^^^^^^^H^ tragic death. May 2-1, 1861, was received 

^Sj^^Hi^^^HR^ in Pittsburg with every manifestation of 

^^^ B^K^ ^"^ profound sorrow, as the memory of his 

BRiG.-GEN. CONRAD F. JACKSON. triumphal tour, his wonderful control of 




men, and the visit of the Chicago Zouaves to 
Pittsburg were all still fresh in the mind of the 
public. His death added much to the prevailing 

Colonel Samuel W. Black. 

Early in June, 1861, Colonel Samuel W. 
Black, an eminent Democratic lawyer of Pitts- 
burg, returned from Nebraska, of which terri- 
tory he was serving as Governor, having resigned 
to recruit a regiment for the defense of the 
Union. He was a veteran of the Mexican War, 
in which he had acquired military experience as 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the First Pennsylvania 
Regiment. Colonel Black promptly issued a call 
for volunteers, and in a very brief period recruited a regiment for the war, which 
later became famous as the Sixty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The 
regiment was mustered into service at Pittsburg, July 4, 1861. 

The story of the organization of the gallant Sixty-second Regiment Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers at that period is interesting. Colonel Sam Black, on July 4, 
1861, was serving as Chief-of-Stafif to General William Wilkins, commander-in- 
chief of the forty or fifty companies of Home Guard organizations which had 
sprung up in all parts of the city and county, and which rallied in the parks of 
Allegheny city for review and patriotic demonstration. General Wilkins' ap- 
pearance on horseback, with imposing chapeau of Revolutionary style, and im- 
mense epaulettes, and accompanied by a brilliant staff of young officers in full 
uniform, led by Colonel Black, presented an imposing spectacle of a most im- 
pressive character, long to be remembered. 

On the return of the companies to the city from this great review, a telegraph 
messenger handed to Colonel Black a despatch from Secretary of War Cameron 
authorizing him to recruit a regiment of volunteers in Western Pennsylvania. 
On Penn avenue Colonel Black, on horseback, with this message in his pocket, 
overtook the Eighth ward Home Guards, commanded by Captain E. S. Vi'right. 
Out of respect to Colonel Black the company halted and divided its ranks so as to 
allow them to present arms as Colonel Black passed through on his way from 
the review. 

The Colonel stopped to thank Captain Wright for the honor of the salute, 
and announced to him the contents of the dispatch just received from Secretary 
of War Cameron, stating that, although he was thus authorized, he had not as 
yet secured a single recruit for his regiment. He ended by inviting Captain 
Wright to have his company of Home Guards to be the first to volunteer for 
his new regiment. Captain Wright ordered his company to break ranks for a 
few minutes in order to act upon Colonel Black's message and invitation. At the 
end of five minutes the question of volunteering had been submitted, and it 
had been unanimously agreed that the company would volunteer to join Colonel 


Black's regiment, and that Captain Wright should be continued in the new 
company as Captain; also that First-Lieutenant William J. Patterson, of the 
Home Guard Company, should retain his office. Captain Wright's company of 
Home Guards became Company F of the new regiment, and he and Lieutenant 
Patterson served the full three years of the Sixty-second Regiment. 

Colonel John W. McLain reported at Camp Wilkins early in May, 1861, 
with a magnificent regiment, one thousand strong, recruited in Erie county, for 
the three months' call. Its commander. Colonel John W. McLain, of Erie, was 
made Commandant of Camp Wilkins. The dress-parades and drilling of this 
fine regiment during the first three-months of the war drew great crowds to the 
camp daily. This brave officer, like Black and Rippey, met a soldier's death 
at the head of the Eighty-third Regiment, in front of Richmond. 

Patriotism of German Americans. 

No nationality responded to Mr. Lincoln's, call for troops more promptly 
or loyally than did the American citizens of German birth, residing in Allegheny 
county. The German organization of Turners were among the first to tender 
their services, almost in a body. 

On the expiration of the three months' campaign the German companies 
immediately re-enlisted in regiments for three years' service. 

The Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers was organized in Pittsburg 
by Colonel Alexander von Schimmelfennig, a distinguished graduate of the Ger- 
man army. He earned promotion to a Brigadier Generalship for gallant and 
meritorious services with his regiment in the campaigns of the Army of the 

Many companies composed wholly of German citizens were early recruited 
in Allegheny county by Captains Hadtmeyer, F. Gerard, Gus Schleiter, Louis 
Hager and Bardel Galisath, achieving fine military records. 

President Lincoln's Second Call for Troops. 

In August, 1863, President Lincoln's second call for three hundred thousand 
more soldiers was issued. Under this call many mere boys were accepted for 
military duty, .some not being over fourteen years of age. Fully one-half of 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment was recruited from boys between 
the ages of fourteen and eighteen. The mortality tables show that these youths 
resisted disease and exposure better than did soldiers of maturer age. 

Pennsylvania's quota under the first call for troops was twelve thousand five 
hundred men, and twenty thousand one hundred and seventy-five had been 
furnished. Under the second call, Pennsylvania's quota was eighty-two thousand 
eight hundred and twenty-five men for three years. For this call eighty-five 
thousand one hundred and sixty were actually recruited. The Pennsylvania 
Reserve Corps and other organizations in Camp Wilkins and Camp Wright, by 
this call, secured their long-desired chance to be mustered into the United 
States service for active duty. Recruiting received a great impetus and became 




an actual business. Pittsburg officers also enlisted many recruits for the United 
States Navy, and especially large numbers for the gun-boat, ram, and marine 
service on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. 

General John C. Fremont passed through the city on July 26, 1861, and 
was accorded a public and enthusiastic welcome. The next day Major-General 
George B. McClellan, fresh from his victories over General Lee's Confederate 
army in Western Virginia, passed through the city, receiving a reception even 
much more enthusiastic than that accorded General Fremont. General McClellan 
was at that time the hero of the hour on account of his great victory for the 
Union cause. As elsewhere in the North, the people of Western Pennsylvania 
turned out on the occasion to make General McClellan's reception at the Union 
Station an ovation. 

On the 23d of July, 1861, another great war meeting was held in City Hall, 
presided over by Sidney F. VonBonnhorst, Postmaster of Pittsburg. Honorable 
Thomas M. Marshall delivered an impassioned patriotic opening address. 
Colonel Samuel W. Black followed as the orator of the evening. Colonel Black 
was in fine spirits to aid the objects of this great Union mass meeting when he 
delivered his address. He soon after marched with the famous Sixty-second 
Regiment to the front, and this proved to be his last public address. 

David Blythe, a painter of the humorous in Pittsburg, who, by his war 
pictures attained national celebrity, immortalized on canvas, the strenuous Hfe 
and duties at Commissary Headquarters, at York, Pa., of the famous old Thir- 
teenth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, in the three-months' service, showing 
Captain J. Heron Foster, proprietor of the Pittsburg Dispatch, serving with a 
regiment; Max K. Moorhead, Quartermaster of the Regiment, and Captain 
Leopold Sahl, all prominent citizens and soldiers, on duty in the camp. This 
rare painting of Blythe was loaned for copying in this work, by the late Major 
William G. Moorhead. 

Return of the Three Months' Troops. 

At this period the three-months' regiments commenced returning to the 
city from their bloodless campaigns in Maryland and in parts of Pennsylvania, 
guarding railroads. Most of the returning volunteers felt disappointed in not 
having seen anything of actual war. 

They soon responded to Mr. Lincoln's second call, and now volunteered 
for three years, or during the war. Immense crowds at railroad stations and 
in the streets enthusiastically welcomed these returning braves. Colonel Black 
had no difficulty in recruiting the Sixty-second Regiment. Colonel Oliver H. 
Rippey recruited ten companies. His regiment marched to the front and became 
famous as the Sixty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. Colonel Alexander 
Hays, a graduate of West Point and a veteran of the Mexican War, in a brief 
period recruited ten companies. He was commissioned Colonel of the organiza- 
tion to become known as the Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
which was destined to participate in every battle of the Army of the Potomac. 



General Hays fell at the head of his di- 
vision in the second day's battle of the 
Wilderness, having attained the rank of 

General James S. Negley, who was 
made a Brigadier-General in the three- 
months' service, at the end of said term, 
soon recruited a brigade, consisting of 
the Seventy-seventh, Seventy-eighth and 
Seventy-ninth Infantry Regiments, from 
counties of Western Pennsylvania. 

Thomas E. Rose, of Pittsburg, be- 
came Colonel of the Seventy-seventh 
Regiment. He was captured by the Con- 
federates later, and escaped from Libby 
prison by the celebrated tunnel. 

The departure of General Negley's 
brigade from Pittsburg for the seat of 
war in Kentucky aboard six large steam- 
ers from the Monongahela wharf, on 
October 18, 1861, formed a flotilla of 
beauty. The event attracted great at- 
tention along the Ohio river towns and landings until its destination was reached. 
Colonel Thomas A. Rowley, having returned with the old Thirteenth Regi- 
ment from the three-months' service, recruited a new regiment, which became 
the One Hundred and Second Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry. General Row- 
ley became a Major-General by brevet. This regiment shared the glory of 
the old Sixth Corps in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. Its brave 
Colonel, John W. Patterson, of Pittsburg, was killed in the Wilderness. 

Colonel D. B. Morris, Lieutenant-Colonel David M. Armor, and Captains 
James Chalfant and George W. Bowers recruited companies in the One Hundred 
and First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, which rendered valuable service to 
the Union cause. 

Colonel Theodore F. Lehman recruited a regiment which became the One 
Hundred and Third Pennsylvania, four companies of which, namely, C, F, I and 
K, were furnished by Allegheny county. Company G, of the famous Eleventh 
Pennsylvania Infantry, which was recruited by Colonel Richard Coulter, of 
Greensburg, was furnished by Allegheny county. This regiment earned great 
distinction in its campaigns, being noted in FOx's book of regimental losses for 
its high percentage of casualties. 


Cavalry Recruits. 

The first cavalry company was recruited in the southern part of the county, 
and in the adjacent townships of Washington county. The organization became 
Company K of the First Pennsylvania Cavalry. Company G of the same Regi- 




ment was recruited by Captain O. H. Robin- 
son and Colonel David Campbell, of the old 
Twelfth Infantry. 

The Allegheny county companies — B, E 
and G — in the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, 
were commanded by Captains Samuel B. M. 
Young, James A. Herron and Benjamin F. 
Blood. Lieutenant-Colonel James H. Childs 
was promoted to Colonel of this Regiment in 
March, 1862, and was killed at the battle of 
Antietam. Captain Samuel B. M. Young, at 
the close of the war, had attained the rank of 
Colonel of this regiment. Dr. C. P. Seip, the 
well-known Pittsburg physician, served as 
bugler of this regiment throughout the war. 

Many officers and men of the Ander- 
son Troop, first known as " Buell's Body 
Guard," also enlisted in Pittsburg. This troop later became the Fifteenth Regi- 
ment Pennsylvania Cavalry. Serving in this regiment, the gallant Major Frank 
B. Ward, of Pittsburg, lost his life in battle at Stone river. Judge James W. 
Over, Associate Law Judge of the Orphan's Court of Allegheny county, served 
throughout the war in this regiment, earning a most enviable record as a faithful 

Colonel James M. Schoonmaker recruited the 
Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. He was awarded 
a Medal of Honor by the Congress of the United 
States for gallant and meritorious services in the 
field. The late Colonel William Blakely became 
Lieutenant-Colonel of this regiment. 

Among the early cavalry enlistments from 
Pittsburg was that of the ' heroic Captain Patrick 
Kane, who fell commanding his company under 
General Sheridan, in the action at Hawes' Shop, 
May 28, 186^. His company of the Thirteenth 
Pennsylvania Cavalry was recruited from the 
" Shields Guards," a volunteer company which, un- 
der Captain Kane, was the pride of Pittsburg's 
Irish population for some years preceding the Civil 

Organization of Batteries. 

The Artillery service was early an attractive • 
one to youths seeking to enlist. Captain James 
Thompson, an esteemed Irishman, a veteran of 
the Crimean War, was commissioned Captain by 
Governor Curtin, to rank from September 24, ^^^ j^^^ ^ Patterson. 


1861. His Battery was officially designated, " Independent Battery C, Pennsyl- 
vania Artillery." 

Captain Joseph M. Knapp, organizer of Knapp's famous cannon foundry of 
Pittsburg, was next in line with a commission dated October 5, 1861. He was 
followed by Captain Robert B. Hampton, commissioned October 17, 1861. These 
artillery companies were all mustered in in the fall of 1861, and were best known 
locally, and also in the service, by the names of their first captains. They won 
great distinction as Thompson's, Knapp's, and Hampton's Batteries. Their 
itinerary records include the history of the Army of the Potomac; also of Sher- 
man's campaigns and " March to the Sea." Captain Thompson served through- 
out the war, and survived after its close to the ripe age of eighty-nine years. 
Captain Knapp, after honorable service, resigned in 1863. Captain Hampton 
met a soldier's death on the bloody field of Chancellorsville. A fine monument in 
the public parks in the city commemorates his memory. 

Companies C and E of the Fifty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry 
were recruited in Pittsburg in the fall of 1861 by Captains William B. Neeper 
and James B. Moore, two active members of the Duquesne Greys, who won 
honors and promotion in the field. Captain Neeper became Lieutenant-Colonel 
of the regiment, specially distinguishing himself at Chancellorsville, and in a 
number of other battles in which his regiment sufliered most severely. 

Review and Dress Parade in Parks. 

Before General Negley's Brigade embarked for Louisville on October 17, 

1861, it was arranged to have it pubhcly reviewed in the West Common in 
Allegheny, and it was made a memorable and attractive occasion. From sur- 
rounding counties of Western Pennsylvania large numbers of people attended 
to witness the farewell parade. On this occasion Governor Curtin, accompanied 
by his staff in full uniform, presented each regiment with a beautiful stand of 
colors. The Governor made a most eloquent and soul-stirring address. The 
presentations were in themselves striking object lessons in patriotism, and had 
a great effect in promoting enlistments. 

Allegheny county's part in recruiting during the first year of the Civil 
War, up to the immediate formation of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regi- 
ment and the other organizations responding to President Lincoln's call of July, 

1862, has been described at some length, as far as the limited space allotted per- 
mits. Recruited and in Camp Howe at the same time, August 1, 1862, with the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth were the One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded by Reverend Colonel John B. Clark, of 
Allegheny city ; the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, of 
ten companies, commanded by the late Colonel Thomas M. Bayne ; the One 
Hundred and Thirty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, recruited by Colonel Fred- 
erick H. Collier. 

Many companies of these regiments, while rendezvousing at Camp Howe, 
were recruited, however, from the counties of Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and 
Allegheny. All these regiments were hurried to the front in time to participate 



in the Antietam campaign, and each of them suffered very severely in killed 
and wounded in the great battle of Fredericksburg, in December, 1862. 

Recruiting was also very vigorously conducted for the United States Regular 
Army, both of cavalry and infantry, and many recruits, preferring the artillery 
and the marine branch, entered those arms of the service. During this period 


Allegheny county's quota, through the eagerness shown in enlisting, was in 
the incredibly short space of thirty days, fully furnished the Government. 

Such is, as brief as possible, a review of the times and the events that oc- 
curred leading up to the formation of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment 
Pennsylvania Volunteers. Contemporaneously with it was another gallant three 
years' regiment, the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Pennsylvania, under Colonel 
Frederick H. Collier, for many years a Judge of Common Pleas Court No. 1, of 




Allegheny county. The One Hundred 
and Thirty-ninth Regiment was but a 
few days in advance of the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth at the seat of army 
activities, and later wore the Sixth Corps 
badge with pride and glory in all the 
campaigns of the historic Army of the 
Potomac. Brevet-Colonel William H. 
Moody, in command of the One Hun- 
dred and Thirty-ninth Pennsylvania Vol- 
unteers, was killed at Cold Harbor. The 
efficient Quartermaster of this regiment 
was the late Captain Samuel Harper. 

In August, 1863, there was also re- 
cruited in Allegheny county Company 
D, of the One Hundred and Forty- 
ninth Pennsylvania, Colonel Roy Stone, 
commanding. The officers of this com- 
pany were Captain James Glenn, First- 
Lieutenant Jacob F. Slagle, Second-Lieu- 
tenant VVm. M. Dalgleish. The latter 
served on General Reynolds" staff on the 
first day at Gettysburg. The One Hundred and Forty-ninth became later a gallant 
Fifth Corps regiment, and formed part of the celebrated Bucktail Brigade. Lieu- 
tenant Slagle was promoted to Major, and became better known, in later years, as a 
Judge of the Common Pleas Court No. 1, of Allegheny county, until his death 
in 1901. 

First Union Victories Celebrated. 

The early Union victories by Burnside at 
Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City, in North Caro- 
lina, in the East, and Forts Henry and Donelson, 
in the West, under General Grant, caused great re- 
joicings and public demonstrations in Pittsburg 
and surrounding counties. On the 2d of February, 
1862, Mayor Sawyer directed that a hundred guns 
be fired in honor of the LTnion victories mentioned. 

President Lincoln promptly placed General Mc- 
Clellan in command of all the armies of the United 
States, and assigned him the work of organizing 
and drilling the fresh levies of troops, and moulding 
from this material the grand army with which he, a 
year later, on the Peninsula and at Antietam, con- 
tested the legions of the Confederacy under its most 
famous generals. 






Bitter Fruits of the War. 

The patriotic people of Western Pennsylvania, among whom had been re- 
cruited and forwarded to the front so many thousands of brave officers and 
men early in the summer of 1862, began to hear ominous tidings from the ad- 
vance of the Union army on the Peninsula, in the campaign against Richmond. 
The malarious climate had stricken down many youths, the hosiptals were 
filled, and many had died from the same cause. The names of the killed 
and wounded in the battles and skirmishes following the opening of the cam- 
paign were promptly bulletined each day, the lists increasing as the campaign 
progressed. The battles of WiUiamsburg, Fair Oaks, Savage Station, Gaines' 
Mills, Malvern Hill, and the Second Bull Run, all contributed thousands of names 
to these lists. Crowds daily surrounded the various newspaper offices, eagerly 
awaiting the mortality reports. 

As the central point for Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio at this 
period, Pittsburg soon learned that the sights and scenes of suffering and misery 
produced by the combats in the field would require prompt attention, and that ar- 
rangements for the prompt care and comfort of these soldiers would become an 
imperative duty. Men on crutches from loss of limbs, and otherwise maimed 
and disfigured from wounds in action, began to appear in numbers on the streets 
of the city. Returned soldiers, home for treatment of wounds or disease, became 
numerous and required immediate care. Organizations of patriotic men and 
women, without delay, assumed charge of this charitable work. 

Soldiers' funerals were also numerous, not only from the casualties of bat- 
tle, but also of youths who, unable to endure the exposures of the field, gave up 
their lives from disease. Sadness and sorrow filled many homes during that 
eventful period. 

Among the most prominent officers who fell in the great battles just enu- 
merated was the gallant Samuel W. Black, of the Sixty-second Regiment Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers. At the head of his brave regiment, in the battle of Gaines' 
Mill, Colonel Black was killed, his body remaining within the Confederate lines. 
His remains were recognized by the Confederates, and he was buried in a local 
cemetery, and his grave duly marked. Two years later, on the advance of 
Grant's army in the second campaign against Richmond, Colonel Black's burial 
place was discovered within the Union lines. Under authority of General Grant, 
who had served in Mexico with Colonel Black, a guard of honor from the Sixtv- 
second Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers was detailed to accompany the re- 
mains to Pittsburg. 

An incident out of the ordinary occurred on the disinterment of Colonel 
Black's body, which seems proper to mention. In the inside pocket of his coat 
there was found a small morocco pocketbook in good state of preservation, in 
which, with memoranda and cards, was found a small photograph of the Colonel 
in the full uniform of his rank, and bearing his autograph. The picture was 
found to be in excellent condition, and was turned over to his daughter, Mrs. 
William J. Moorhead, of Pittsburg, who very kindly favored the committee of 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers with the privilege of 
having the same copied and enlarged for the Regimental history. 






Colonel Oliver H. Rippey, of the Sixty-first Pennsylvania Regiment, fell, like 
Colonel Black, at the head of his regiment in the battle of Fair Oaks. He had 
served in the Mexican War with Colonel Black, and had also practiced with 
him for years at the Pittsburg Bar, attaining the front rank in his profession. 
Colonel Rippey's remains were sent home under a guard of honor from his 
regiment. The highest honor was paid his memory by the Allegheny county 
Bar and by the municipality, he having resigned the lucrative office of City 
Solicitor to recruit the Sixty-first Regiment. His remains repose near Colonel 
Black's in Allegheny Cemetery. 

Colonel John I. Kevin, of Sewickley, was among the earliest to respond in 

April, 1861, to the call of President Lincoln. 
By his efforts. Companies A and G of the 
Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers 
were recruited in Sewickley. He was 
chosen Second-Lieutenant of Company A, 
and reported in Philadelphia to Colonel 
John W. Geary, commanding the regiment. 
In February, 1862, he, while on duty, was 
captured, and confined in Libby and Salis- 
bury prisons for six months. On being ex- 
changed, he organized Independent Battery 
PI, and was made Captain. Later he be- 
came Lieutenant-Colonel of the Ninety- 
third Pennsylvania \'olunteers, participating 
with it in the Gettysburg campaign under 
General Sedgwick, on July 2. 1863. As 
Lieutenant-Colonel, he was in command of 
the regiment, which took a prominent part 
in the defense of Little Round Top when 
assaulted by Longstreet's columns. 


A AlEijoRAHLE \\'ar Meeting. 

During those early days of the war, 
party lines had in the main vanished. The Union party was the only party. 

The third call of the President, which was for three hundred thousand men, 
was issued in July, 1862. On the 2ith of that month, Governor Curtin attended 
a great war mass-meeting, held on West Common, Allegheny. Judge William 
Wilkins presided, and General Thomas M. Howe was chairman of the Committee 
on Arrangements. Both Judge \\'ilkins and Governor Curtin made impassioned 
patriotic speeches. Other eloquent speakers were Judge Wilson McCandless, Ex- 
Governor William F. Johnston, Reverend Doctor Samuel J. Wilson, of the Pres- 
byterian Theological Seminary; Judge P. C. Shannon: John H. Hampton, Esq.; 
Reverend Doctor James Prestley ; J. J. Siebeneck, Esq.; Colonel Francis Felix; 
and William C. Moreland, Esq. The number of citizens in attendance at the 



meeting was estimated at over fifteen thousand, and many speaking-stands were 
erected. Many additional stands for overflow meetings were also constructed 
and used on the occasion. The speeches were all strong pleas for the Union and 
that it must be preserved, and that the only way to save it was for the youths of 
the country to enlist. Never was eloquence more fervid, and never more suc- 
cessful. This was the largest and most imposing demonstration ever witnessed 
in Western Pennsylvania. It had immediate results, and many men and youths 
present then and there decided to enlist. There the One Hundred and Fifty- 


fifth certainly obtained its share. The reported defeat and disaster to the Union 
armies only stimulated the people to greater efforts and to renewed patriotic 

Church Influence in the War. 

Church influence of all denominations in those trying days was most 
actively exerted in patriotic and charitable work in behalf of the soldiers and the 
Union cause. Prayers were offered in all churches for the success of the Union 
cause and for the President of the United States. Many ministers also became 



active in urging enlistments in their congregations, and also in arranging for the 
care of soldiers' families, and for the sick and wounded. 

Reverend Doctor Howard, Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of 
Pittsburg; Reverend Doctor James Prestley, Pastor of the Sixth United Pres- 
byterian Church ; Reverend John Douglass, D. D., of the Covenanter Church ; 
Reverend W. A. Passavant, of the Lutheran Church; Reverend Doctor Swift, of 
a United Presbyterian Church of Allegheny ; Reverend Doctor Wilson, of the 
Western Theological Seminary; Doctor I. C. Pershing, of the Methodist Church; 
Reverend Doctor John B. Clark, of a United Presbyterian Church of Allegheny; 
and all the ministers throughout the two cities and the county were exceedingly 
active and outspoken in sustaining the President and the Union. 

Church edifices, as well as public buildings, had the national flag displayed. 
Reverend Denis Kearney, at that date assistant at St. Paul's Cathedral, was an 
outspoken, patriotic Union man. It was by his direction that, within one week 
after the fall of Sumter, a trained steeple-climber was brought from Philadelphia 
to Pittsburg for the purpose of putting a flag on the Cathedral, then the highest 
spire in the city. The churches of all denominations throughout the county 
also floated flags from their spires and edifices, thus showing a true union of 
spirit in the churches of all creeds for the Constitution and the Union. 

The Right Reverend Michael Domenec, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburg, 
a native of Spain, in response to President Lincoln's request, went to the Court 
of Spain to assist in thwarting the intrigues of Pierre Soule, of Louisiana, and 
other Confederate emissaries in obtaining the recognition by Spain of the South- 






ern Confederacy. Bishop Domenec, 
who was a man of great learning and 
of extensive influence, is believed to 
have been successful on this mission. 
He received the thanks of President 
Lincoln and also that of Secretary of 
State William H. Seward for his 
successful efforts. 

The prompt action of Bishop 
Domenec in the matter of urging loy- 
alty and devotion to the Union cause 
was most gratifying and beneficial in 
its patriotic lessons to all citizens. On 
the Sunday following the firing on 
Sumter, Bishop Domenec ordered 
read from the pulpits of all the Cath- 
olic churches throughout the Diocese 
an address replete with loyalty and 
patriotic exhortations in behalf of the 
Union and its preservation. In St. 
Paul's Cathedral the Bishop person- 
ally read the address, and in addition 
expounded the duty of citizens in the 
prevailing emergency. He particularly reminded naturalized citizens like himself 
that they had taken oaths of fidelity to the Constitution of the United States, and 
that the allegiance due by them was as strong as that of those born in the United 
States, and obligated them equally to rally to the defense of the Union whether 
attacked by internal enemies or foreign foes. Pointing to the dome of the 
Cathedral, the Bishop eloquently appealed to Heaven, and prayed fervently that 
victory would be grantedr against those attempting to succeed in the great re- 
bellion against the Union. His earnestness and zeal in the Union cause united his 
clergy and people on the side of law and order, and induced thousands of' the 
followers of his faith in the Diocese of Pittsburg to volunteer in defense of the 

The Pittsburg Subsistence Committee. 

As the gateway between the Great West and Northwest and Washingfton 
City, D. C, Pittsburg early in the war felt the importance of an organized sys- 
tem of some kind to afford relief to the vast numbers of soldiers passing through 
the city, both going to and returning from the front. Railroad trains and steam- 
boats transporting troops were often unavoidably delayed en route, and the sol- 
diers, having exhausted their rations, frequently arrived in the city without food, 
and were Often compelled to make the entire journey to the scene of army activ- 
ities fasting. 

About the last days of July, 1861, the late B. F. Jones, of the firm of Jones 
& Laughlin, passing along Liberty street one morning, noticed a train of soldiers 



standing on the tracks of the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad Company. The 
men, having been started from their 
camp without rations of any kind, 
and being locked in the coaches, were 
clamoring to get out to procure some- 
thing to eat. Not many minutes 
elapsed before Mr. Jones had pur- 
chased the entire stock of apples and 
crackers of a neighboring grocery 
store, and had them distributed among 
the soldiers to satisfy their pressing 

No active step was taken toward 
effecting an organization to provide 
relief for such cases until Tuesday, 
August 3, 1861. The arrival in the 
city about midnight on Saturday a 
few days previous, July 24, 1861, of 
the Twenty-fourth Ohio Regiment, 
weary and hungry, with no means of 
relief in a land of plenty, emphasized 
the necessity of speedy action toward 
forming an association for the assistance of such cases. On Sunday morn- 
ing this regiment was marched to the railroad station, where, standing 
in line, they were served by a number of patriotic citizens, with ham, bread and 

On Tuesday, August 3, 1861, a public meeting was held and the Pittsburg 
Subsistence Committee was organized with the following Executive Committee 
and members : 


Executive Committee — William P. Weyman, Chairman ; Joseph Albree, 
Henry M. Atwood, Doctor Andrew Fleming, Medical Director. 


Albree, R. C, 
Caldwell, C. L., 
Carnegie, Thos. M., 
Donnell, J. J., 
Edwards, Geo. B., 
Edwards, Wm. B., 
Fleming, Dr. Andrew, 
Howe, Honorable T. M., 
Jones, B. F., 
Lemon, Oliver, 

Howard, Miss Rebecca, 
Haines, Miss J. B., 
Kennedy, Miss Bessie 

(Mrs. Coll),. 
Kennedy, Miss Alice 

(Mrs. W.R.Howe), 
Kennedy, Miss Emma 

(Mrs. W. H. Forsythe), 
Kennedy, Miss Sallie 

(Mrs. Speer), 

Bruchlocker, Miss Mary, 
Breed, Miss Emma 

(Mrs. T. F. Phillips), 
Lothrop, Miss Martha 

(Mrs. W. P. Weyman), 
Lemon, Miss Sidney, 
LaughHn, Miss Lizzie 

(Mrs. H. S. Bailey), 
Maitland, Miss Mary, 
Moorhead, Miss Mary E., 






(Mrs. Oliver McClintock.) 



Lane, A. H., 
Little, Geo. W., 
Mattern, J. C, 
McClintock, Oliver, 
McClure, G. W., 
Nevin, Edw. H., 
Park, James, Jr., 
Robinson, Harry, 
Riggs, C. H., 
Breed, Miss Sarah 

(Mrs. Chas. Zug), 
Denniston, Miss Kate 

(Mrs. Stockton), 
Dalzell, Miss Martha 

(Mrs. Jas. M. Bailey), 
Howard, Miss Mary 

(Mrs. Henry M. Hay), 

Schwartz, J. Ernest, 
Scott, John, 
Semple, Frank, 
Thaw, Wm., 
Travelli, John J., 
Vandervort, B.'F., 
Weyman, B. Frank, 
\\ oods, J. McQ., 
Weyman, Geo. W. 
Young, W. W., 
Albree, Mrs. Jos., 
Albree, Miss Lizzie B., 
Arthurs, Miss Ann, 
McFadden, Miss Rachel, 
Atwood, Miss Lizzie, 
Bryan, Miss Mary 
(Mrs. R. C. Albree), 

Moorhead, Miss Hettie, 
Park, Miss Mary 

(Mrs. Jas. A. Lowrie), 
Robinson, Miss Mary, 
Rodgers, Miss Julia 

(Mrs. D. C. Mattern), 
Thaw, Miss Annie C, 
Thaw, Miss Lidie 

(JVErs. Geo. B. Edwards), 
Townsend, Miss Sabina 

(Mrs. A. J. Rankin), 
Lane, Miss Maria E., 
Lane, Miss E. P., 
Weyman, Miss H. K., 
Wade, Miss Bessie, 
Childs, Miss Laura 

(Mrs. O. McClintock), 

The duties of this committee were to provide for the subsistence of such 
companies and regiments as were in process of recruiting in the city, until they 
were regularly mustered into the United States service, and to supply transient 
wants of soldiers passing through the city. To serve this purpose the committee 
rented the old Leech warehouse, corner of Penn and Wayne (how Tenth) 
streets, and fitted up the same with dining-room and kitchen sufficient for the 
accommodation of an entire regiment at one time. 

On the next Sunday morning, August 8, 1861, one week from the time the 

Twenty- fourth Ohio Regiment was fed, 
the Twentieth Indiana Regiment, en 
route to the front, was marched to the 
newly-furnished quarters, and given a 
breakfast consisting of ham, bread and 
butter, and cofifee, by the Pittsburg 
Subsistence Committee. On all incom- 
ing through trains the Committee dis- 
tributed a circular inviting sick and 
wounded soldiers to avail themselves of 
the means of assistance furnished by the 

Many other regiments and com- 
panies were taken care of in the old 
Leech warehouse until October of the 
same year, when city councils granted 
the free use of the City Hall, then one 
of the largest and finest buildings in the 
county, for this purpose, and the head- 
DR. ANDREW FLEMING. quarters of the Committee were trans- 




ferred to it. On the main floor of the 
hall were placed ten long tables suf- 
ficient for the accommodation of 
twelve hundred soldiers at one meal. 

Doctor Andrew Fleming, a lead- 
ing physician of the city, took charge 
of the Medical Department, and under 
his supervision an adjoining room was 
fitted up as a hospital, where the sick 
and wounded soldiers might receive 
the best medical attention, in addition 
to the many little delicacies that 
" often do more good than medicine." 

Here the subsistence work was 
carried on with renewed diligence, the 
Committee entering earnestly and 
heartily into the work of supplying the 
wants of the brave defenders of the 
Union. No appeal was made to the 
public for funds, with a single excep- 
tion that when the treasury was empty 
at one time, a call was made by the 
Committee upon the banks and busi- 
ness men, who responded most liberally. From that time the public voluntarily 
contributed so freely that the treasury was never exhausted. 

Among the most liberal contributors to the funds of the Subsistence Com- 
mittee was the late William Thaw, whose open purse helped out the Committee 
in oft-occurring emergencies. 

It was found by experience that owing to the distance of City Hall from 
the railroad station, many soldiers who arrived by one train and departed by the 
next, could not avail themselves of the hospitality of the Committee. To obviate 
this disadvantage, on January 18, 1863, the second floor of the warehouse at 347 
Liberty street, opposite the station, was fitted up as soldiers' quarters, and called 
the " Soldiers' Home," meals being furnished here day and night. Upon one 
occasion, the railroad having given notice a few hours in advance, thirty members 
of the Subsistence Committee fed five thousand soldiers in twelve hours. 

The walls of Old City Hall contained two memorable tablets, one bearing 
this inscription : 

" Pittsburg Subsistence Committee, Organized August, 1861, Dissolved 
January, 1866, Sustained by Voluntary Subscriptions of the Citizens." 

On the other inscription, 

" 409,745 Soldiers Entertained in This Hall, 79,460 Sick and Wounded 
Provided for at the Soldiers' Home, Total 489,205." 

The Pittsburg Subsistence Committee needs no other record to speak to 

















The Christian Commission. 

The Western Pennsylvania branch of the Christian Commission was or- 
ganized April 6, 1863, and relieved the Pittsburg Subsistence Committee of all 
its duties except that of providing refreshments and medical attendance for 
all regiments, companies or individual soldiers passing through the city to and 
from the seat of war. 

On the date above mentioned the Subsistence Committee transferred all its 
hospital and medical stores to the army branch of the Christian Commission, and 



the latter at once became active in collecting and distributing supplies for sick and 
wounded soldiers. 

At a meeting of the ministers of the various denominations of Pittsburg and 
vicinity, held in the Second Presbyterian Church, April 6, 1863, the Army Com- 
mittee of Western Pennsylvania was organized, and the following officers elected : 

President, Reverend Herrick Johnson ; Chairman of Executive Committee, 
Honorable Robert McKnight ; Secretary, Robert C. Totten ; Treasurer, Joseph 
Albree ; Receivers, William P. Weyman, John R. McCune, Joseph Home, Henry 
W. Atwood ; General Committee, Reverend William D. Howard, D. D., Reverend 
S. J. Wilson, D. D., Reverend Wm. Preston, Reverend Wm. A. Snively, Reverend 





Geo. S. Chase, Reverend I. C. Pershing, Reverend H. H. Higbee, Reverend S. 
Stewart, Reverend E. E. Swift, Reverend C. E. Swope, Reverend W. J. Reid, 
Reverend Reuben Hill, Reverend J. D. Herr, Honorable J. K. Moorhead, Harvey 
Childs, B. Wolff, Jr., Joseph McKnight, G. Follansbee, James McCandless, 
Charles Arbuthnot, J. G. Backofen and Robt. H. Davis. 

On the evening of April 16, 1863, the first public meeting was held, and from 
that date the new Committee began active work in connection with the United 
States Christian Commission. In 1864, Mr. Albree took the title of Field Sec- 
retary, and William Frew became Treasurer. A band of patriotic men and 
women had been trained to the work. The previous work of the Subsistence 
Committee had been so remarkably efficient that its transfer of this part of its 
duties to the Christian Commission secured for the latter a corresponding con- 
fidence and influence. To the noble devotion of Messrs. Albree and ^^'eyman 
belongs no small portion of the credit for the grand record which the Pittsburg 
branch of the Christian Commission presents. The field of operations of the 
Commission included Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and West \''irginia. 
Local committees were everywhere organized, and the entire territory was thor- 
oughly and systematically canvassed. The press and transportation companies 
placed their facilities at the disposal of the Commission and were immensely 
helpful to the noble cause. 

The Pittsburg branch of the Christian Commission was associated with 
those auxiliaries of the United States Christian Commission, whose field of work 
was with the armies of the Southwest, having their principal depot at Nashville. 

Considering the fact that the immense work carried on by the Commission 



was entirely gratuitous, no salaries being paid, its success was remarkable. The 
annual increase in the amount of stores received was about five .fold. In addi- 
tion to cash receipts of $158,334.37, stores were collected to the value of $679,- 
664.89 ; cash value of all receipts, $837,999.36. This magnificent showing was in 
excess of any other branch of the United States Christian Commission. The total 
cash value of supplies collected by the Pittsburg branch of the Christian Com- 
mission was only a little less than that collected by the central office. The total 
expense for collecting and forwarding the large receipts of the Pittsburg auxiliary 
was only $3,787.35. 

During the later years of the war the various Conferences and Presby- 
teries in the home field Commission, at their own expense, kept delegates at 
the front, co-operating with the Government in caring for sick and wounded 
soldiers, and ministering to the comfort of the troops generally. 

Felix R. Brunot. 

Honorable Felix R. Brunot, a distin- 
guished citizen of Pennsylvania, past the 
age of military service, early volunteered 
as an organizer of the United States 
Christian Commission to visit the army 
camp hospitals to relieve the many sick 
and wounded requiring care and atten- 
tion. Whilst Mr. Brunot was engaged on 
this duty on the Peninsula with General 
McClellan's army, the great Seven-Days 
battles before Richmond occurred, and 
the Confederates captured in battle many 
thousand Union soldiers and many thou- 
sand more of the badly wounded and 
sick in the field hospitals also fell into the 
enemy's hands, together with the sur- 
geons, nurses, hospital attendants and 
members of the United States Christian 
Commission. Mr. Brunot was taken to 
Libby prison — the Confederates declining 

to recognize him as a non-combatant entitled by military law to immunity from 
imprisonment. Mr. Brunot, in Libby prison, was invited by the Confederate au- 
thorities to visit Secretary Stanton in Washington to secure a modification of 
the existing orders prohibiting the introduction of medical supplies to any part of 
the Confederacy. The unexpectedly large number of Federal wounded and sick 
prisoners captured found the Confederates wholly unprepared for their care, and 
their condition appealed strongly to the sympathies of Mr. Brunot. He accepted 
the mission to Washington. His appeal and request for the suspension of the 
existing military orders was refused by Secretary of War Stanton. Mr. Brunot 
was urged in Washington not to return to Richmond to resume imprisonment in 




Libby. The plea was made to him that he was a non-combatant entitled by usages 
of war to immunity from imprisonment. These urgent appeals of personal friends 
were not entertained, Air. Brunot asserting that he had given his parole of honor 
to return within the Confederate lines, and that no mere personal discomfort 
would justify him in dishonoring his parole. He accordingly returned to Rich- 
mond and delivered his answer to the Confederate authorities of his failure to 
secure from the Federal Government the medical supplies solicited for the suffer- 
ing wounded and sick Union soldier prisoners. Few more chivalrous incidents of 
exemplary honor during the Civil War is to be found than is illustrated by the 
conduct of Mr. Brunot on this occasion. The Confederate authorities, unable to 

provide for the unprecedented large 
number of wounded and sick Union 
prisoners, soon after thfe return of 
Mr. Brunot from Washington paroled 
all the wounded and sick, and included 
him in the exchange. As an officer 
of the Christian Commission, Mr. 
Brunot resumed his duties and at- 
tentions to the care of the returned 
prisoners in camp and to the soldiers 
in field-hospitals. Mr. Brunot con- 
tinued until the close of the war most 
active in the work of the United 
States Christian Commission and later 
to the United States Sanitary Com- 
mission in its great field of labor on 
the field with the Union armies. 

Doctor Thomas Dickson, one of 
the three brothers, eminent surgeons 
of that name, practicing in Pittsburg, 
and all of whom left their home pa- 
tients, in the first battles of the war, 
contracted typhoid fever while serving 
with the United States Christian Com- 
mission in the camps of McClellan's army besieging Richmond, and fell a martyr 
to that disease. His two brothers. Doctors John and Joseph Dickson, were serving 
with him at the time, and continued to respond with their personal attendance and 
services to calls for volunteer surgeons on every great battlefield of the Army of 
the Potomac until the end of the war. 

Women's Work in the War. 

The valuable and devoted services of the women of Pittsburg to the sol- 
diers in the field and in the hospitals cannot be too highly extolled. They ex- 
hibited a consecration to the work of humanity that is sacred and beautiful 
beyond words. 

Also among the first to tender their services to the Government as nurses 




were the Sisters of Mercy, of Allegheny county. They soothed many a fevered 
brow, and watched the glorious young life ebb from many a patriot youth. 
Their four years' work at the West Penn Hospital during the war is part of 
Pittsburg's patriotic history. There lives to-day many a white-haired man who 
cherishes in memory's choicest casket the tender recollection of a gentle, loving, 
kind-faced Sister of Mercy, in somber robe, who was ever at his bedside when 
his Hfe trembled in the balance. No sooner were the Union soldiers victims 
to the missiles of the enemy, or prostrated by the many camp diseases than a 
corps of trained and experienced nurses of that day, the ladies composing the 
Sisters of Mercy of the diocese of Pittsburg, tendered their services to the Gov- 
ernment of the United States, to go to any place where the sick or wounded 
required attention. President Lincoln, in a grateful letter to Bishop Domenec, 
returned his thanks, and at once accepted 
this kind offer. The Government, which 
had taken possession of the West Penn 
Hospital of Pittsburg, with Doctor 
James King as surgeon in charge, at once 
turned over the entire management and 
conduct of the institution to the Sisters 
of Mercy, and to the corps of surgeons 
of whom Doctor King was chief, who 
had so heartily endorsed their qualifica- 
tions. Their services were continued 
from early in the war until long after 
its conclusion. During those four years 
many thousands of Union soldiers, 
badly wounded and afflicted, became pa- 
tients under the charge of these Sisters. 
The development of the war, and the 
great battles following required an in- 
crease of hospital accommodations in 
Washington, and a second draft upon 
the Sisters of Mercy of Pittsburg was 

made by Secretary of War Stanton, and they were placed in charge of the new 
Stanton Hospital, Washington City, probably the largest institution for wounded 
soldiers in that city. A score or more of Pittsburg's Sisters of Mercy served 
faithfully and devotedly there throughout the war. 

Under the supervision of the Christian Commission the first low-diet kitchen 
in connection with military hospitals was established by a Pittsburg lady. Miss 
Mary Moorhead, in the Cumberland Military Hospital, at Nashville, Tenn. This 
kitchen was maintained about two years, feeding during that period from one 
thousand to fifteen hundred patients. 

Of the one hundred and six ladies commissioned for the work in these low- 
diet kitchens, thirteen were from Pittsburg and vicinity, namely. Miss Mary E. 
Moorhead, Miss Ellen R. Murdoch, Miss Hannah Shaw, Aliss Hetty Lathrop, 
Miss Mary A. Little, Miss Mattie J. Fowler, Miss Mary Humbert, Miss Emily 




Hunnings, Miss Maggie Hopper, Miss Phebe Nease, Miss Mary Hunnings, 
Miss Lizzie DeHaven, Miss Howells. Among these ladies thus devoted to the 
Union cause, none was more distinguished for zeal and self-sacrifice in charitable 
work in the hospitals of the Union armies than Miss Ellen R. Murdoch, now 
Mrs. Ellen Murdoch Watson. 


In this field of work of Miss Mary E. Moorhead and the volunteer ladies, 
assistants, the Commission was enabled to accompHsh prompt and efficient relief 
for the soldiers through her father, the Honorable James K. Moorhead, one of 
the most influential Congressmen during Lincoln's entire administration, and an 
intimate personal friend of Secretary of War Stanton. 

These Pittsburg ladies mentioned above also set up a low-diet kitchen at 
White House Landing during General McClellan's Peninsula campaign. Mrs. 
Watson, quoting from her interesting diary, says that, being attracted on one 



occasion by the spectacle of a steamer coming down the James river from Rich- 
mond under a flag of truce, they were astonished and delighted to see their 
townsman, Honorable Felix R. Brunot, step ashore from the steamer, having 
been released from his imprisonment by the Confederate Government, together 
with thousands of paroled prisoners of war. 

It is due to the memory of an esteemed and worthy lady of Pittsburg to 
mention the name of Mrs. Kate Savage, lately deceased, whose husband, the late 
John Savage, was proprietor, during the war, of a hostelry known as the " Amer- 
ican Hotel," on Liberty and Grant streets, and immediately parallel with the 
old Pennsylvania Railroad Passenger Station at Liberty and Grant streets, since 
replaced with the Union Station. Trains from the East and the West almost 
daily bearing regiments and companies as well as individual soldiers on fur- 
lough came into the station at all hours, and particularly often during the night, 
many being sick or wounded, and all hungry. The late Hunt M. Butler, Union 
Depot master during the Civil War, in a card to the Pittsburg newspapers, wrote 
a just tribute to the patriotic zeal and afifectionate solicitude shown throughout 
the war by this good lady. To the soldiers, sick and wounded, without pay or 
reward of any kind to his knowledge, Mr. Butler says she furnished meals and 
lodging, and assisted many a poor, distressed, wearied, and often penniless sol- 
dier passing through the city. She co-operated in every way with the zeal 
and charity of the ladies of the Pittsburg Subsistence Committee in number- 
less cases. It often occurred that exhausted and stricken soldiers, broken down 
by the long ride on the cars, were unable to walk or be conveyed to the bountiful 
table provided in Old City Hall for soldiers, or even to the Soldiers' Home, and 
in such cases Mrs. Savage and her servants would carry food and refreshments 

to them in the cars. Mr. Butler, who was a daily 
witness to these benefactions so cheerfully and 
gratuitously rendered the soldiers by Mrs. Sav- 
age, all without ostentation or display of any 
kind, urged that a permanent tribute to commem- 
orate her deeds of charity to the soldier should 
be made in Pittsburg's war history. 

An instance of wounded soldiers being cared 
for, far from home and far from the battlefield 
where they fell, is recorded in the fact that 
seventy of the wounded from the battle of Pitts- 
burg Landing were brought to Pittsburg by a 
hospital steamer, and cared for and tenderly 
nursed by the loving women of the loyal city of 

First Soldiers' Orphans' Home. 

The mortalities, casualties and sufferings in- 
cident to the Civil War found the State of Penn- 
MRS KATE SAVAGE sylvania unprepared, with her many other 



pressing obligations during the first )'ears of the continuance of the war, to pro- 
vide homes and quarters for the many orphan children of soldiers throughout the 
Commonwealth. The private homes, hospitals and orphan asylums of the various 
religious denominations were wholly inadequate. To assign those unfortunate 
soldiers' orphan children to the county poor-house was not to be thought of. 

To Colonel James P. Barr, of Pittsburg, is due the distinction of being the 
first to display a practical interest and devotion to the soldiers' orphans by his 
establishing in Pittsburg the first Soldiers' Orphans' Home, located on Bluff 
and Stevenson streets. This school was opened early in 1861, and continued 
to be maintained throughout the years of the Civil War and after, until the year 
1867, when the State of Pennsylvania established the system of State Orphans' 
Homes and Schools, in all parts of the State. There were sheltered and pro- 
vided for in the Pittsburg Soldiers' Or- 
phans' Home, founded by Colonel Barr, 
upwards of a thousand children of sol- 
diers who fell in battle or died of disease 
contracted in the military service. The 
matron of this home was Miss Mary J. 
Stafford, a native of Pittsburg, selected 
for possessing the peculiar sympathetic 
qualities and patriotic devotion to the 
welfare of the wards placed under her 
charge. Colonel Barr,' although at the 
head of a great daily newspaper during 
this period, which made great demands 
upon his time, manifested great personal 
interest in the development and mainte- 
nance of this school, which was supported 
wholly by the generosity of himself, 
and a few other public-spirited citizens 
of Pittsburg. 

During the continuance of this Or- 
phans' Home, the patriotic founder, to 
reside closer and to more readily visit and superintend the institution, removed 
from a remote part of the city to a dwelling next door to the home. 

Patriotism, 1861-1862. 

The foregoing pages, comprising the introductory chapter of this history, 
from Sumter to Appomattox, constitutes a brief review of the rapidly transpiring 
events of 1861 and 1862 in Western Pennsylvania. To this is added the names 
and records of citizens, and tributes proper to preserve the memory of those 
heroic patriots who so promptly, unselfishly and unremittingly sacrificed their 
time and their means so liberally in sustaining the Government of the United 
States in the great crisis of the Civil War. They rose above partizanship in 
their zeal for the Union cause, disdained personal benefit or profit arising from 
the necessities of the Government, in vivid contrast with the prevailing commer- 




cialism of the present times. Without exception, no grander galaxy of loyal, 
disinterested, public-spirited and true men than the one hundred citizens com- 
posing the Committee of Public Safety could be found in any other country. 

Nor was the loyalty, philanthropy and zeal manifested by the citizens named 
in this chapter deserving of any greater acknowledgment or gratitude than that 
of the ladies who so promptly rallied to the relief of the sick and wounded sol- 
diers on the field, in the hospitals and in their journeys to and from the seat 
of war. With such conspicuous and persevering examples of loyalty and pa- 
triotism of the citizens of Western Pennsylvania, it is not strange that the 
younger generation of youths composing the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regi- 
ment Pennsylvania Volunteers, on their enlistment, should have been imbued 
with the same noble principles and desires to spare no sacrifices in defending 
the Union. 



Chapter I. 


Governor Curtin's Proclamation ; Call for State's Quota. — Prompt and 
Rapid Recruiting of. — Cause of Activity. — Disasters of McClellan's Army 
on Peninsula Doubted. — Great War Meeting in West Common. — Recruit- 
ing Stands.^Reports of Meeting. — Eloquent Speeches. — Reverend John 
B. Clark Organizes One Hundred and Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers.^ — College Students, Farmer Boys and Apprentices Rally as Recruits 
TO One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers. — Promoters of 
Companies Become Officers Without Election. — Physical Examination of 
Recruits. — Clarion County Companies Join Regiment at Camp Howe. — 
Colonel E. J. Allen Chosen Colonel. — Recruits Organized Into a Regi- 
ment AND Ordered to Washington', D. C, September 2d. — Forced March of 
Two Miles from Camp Howe to Railway Station. — Three Hours to Each 
Mile. — Departing Scenes. — Freight and Stock Cars. — ^Railway Journey 
in Dark. — Receive Arms and Accoutrements at Harrisburg. — Reach 


^RESIDENT LINCOLN, on July 2, 1863, issued a call for three hun- 
dred thousand additional troops to assist in defending the Union and 

On July 7, 1862, the Adjutant-General of the United States Army 
made requisition on Governor Andrew G. Curtin, requesting him to 
raise in Pennsylvania, as soon as practicable, twenty-one new regiments of vol- 
unteer infantry, and on July 21, 1862, Governor Curtin issued a proclamation 
as follows: 

Pennsylvania — ss. : 

In the name and by the authority of the State of Pennsylvania, I, Andrew 
G. Curtin, Governor of said Commonwealth, issue the following 

Proclamation : 

To sustain the Government in times of common peril by all his energies, his 
means and his life, if need be, is the duty of every loyal citizen. The President 
of the United States has made a requisition on Pennsylvania for twenty-one 
new regiments, and the regiments already in the field must be recruited. 

The existence of the present emergency is well understood. I call on the 
inhabitants of the counties, cities, boroughs and townships throughout our borders 


to meet and take active measures for the immediate furnishing of the quota of 
the State. 

I designate below the number of companies which are expected from the 
several counties of the State, trusting the support of her honor in this crisis, as it 
may be safely trusted to the loyalty, fidelity and valor of her freemen. 

Given under my hand and Great Seal of the State at Harrisburg, this 21st day 
of July, in year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two and of 
the Commonwealth the eighty-seventh. 


By the Governor. 
Eli Slifer, 

Secretary of the Commonwealth. 

Governor Curtin Addresses Great War Meeting. 

The newspaper reports for months previous, emanating from Washington, of 
desperate fighting and great victories had aroused the people of Allegheny county, 
Pennsylvania, and led them to regard the Union armies as invincible; so that 
when the news of the disasters befalling McClellan's army on the Peninsula, and 
Pope's army on the plains of Culpeper, Warrenton and Manassas, in the closing 
days of July, 1862, and the sullen and stubborn retreat of the Union army to the 
defenses of Washington, reached Pittsburg, the public was appalled. 

While the terrible news was received in sorrow, it caused no dismay, but 
stimulated to fresh efforts the latent patriotism of the youths of the country. 
Allegheny county was aroused, and to this patriotism formal expression was 
promptly given in a great war meeting held on the 24th of July, 1862, in the 
West Common, surpassing in numbers and intense interest any previous war 
meeting held in the State of Pennsylvania. 

Preparations for the meeting had been in progress for several days previous, 
which resulted in an assemblage of between fifteen and twenty thousand people. 
The speakers were Andrew G. Curtin, Governor of Pennsylvania; Honorable 
William Wilkins; Judge Wilson McCandless; Professor Samuel J. Wilson, of 
the Western Theological Seminary ; Thomas M. Marshall, Esq. ; Honorable 
Judge P. C. Shannon; Honorable T. J. Bigham; Ex-Governor William F. John- 
ston, and other highly distinguished citizens. Professor J. T. Wamelink, organist 
of St. Paul's Cathedral, with a corps of singers, occupied a stand, and rendered 
inspiring, patriotic music, both vocal and instrumental. There were five speakers' 
stands, and two stands for speakers of overflow impromptu meetings. At the 
meeting were also many citizens in charge of recruiting booths, with martial 
music and transparencies, inviting young men to " fall in " and join the com- 
panies then being recruited. 

The strong emotions that filled the minds of the citizens of Western Penn- 
sylvania at that period are exhibited in the extensive newspaper descriptions of 
the meeting. The powerful and stirring eloquence of the orators exerted great 
influence on the youth of that day. The earnest resolutions of loyalty to the 
Union which were adopted voiced the sentiment of the people of Pennsylvania, 


in the darkest hour of the Civil War, to stand by President Lincoln. The meet- 
ing caused a fresh uprising of the patriots of the State. In less than two weeks 
following this great war meeting ten new regiments of infantry, two new inde- 
pendent batteries, and several cavalry regiments were recruited in Allegheny 
county, attributed directly to this meeting. 

As bearing on the development of the future One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
Regiment, Captain S. A. McKee, Colonel John H. Cain, Captain Lee Anshutz, 
and Captain Samuel Kilgore all attended this great meeting as recruiting officers. 
It was there that they rallied the nucleus of their future companies. 

General Thomas M. Howe presided over this great assemblage, and an- 
nounced the list of officers for the various stands. General Howe had a State- 
wide reputation as a public-spirited, patriotic citizen and successful business 
man, and from Sumter to Appomattox devoted his time to aid the Union cause. 

The Chairman, Honorable Thomas M. Howe, in calling the meeting to order, 
announced the list of officers : 

Stand No. 1 — Honorable William Wilkins, president, assisted by over one 
hundred vice-presidents, comprising most valued and respected citizens. 

Secretaries — Robert Finney, J. R. Hunter, Samuel Harper, E. A. Mon- 
tooth, William B. Negley, William C. Moreland, Thomas M. Bayne, H. E. Davis. 

Stand No. 2 — General William Robinson, Jr., acting president, assisted by 
Simon Drum, John Morrison, C. T. Ihmsen, J. McDonald Crossen, and Thomas 
McKee, vice-presidents. 

Stand No. 3 — Thomas Bakewell, Esq., acting president, assisted by B. C. 
Sawyer, G. L. B. Fetterman, John Birmingham, J. Sampson, and B. A. McVay, 

German Stand — G. G. Backofen, Esq., acting president, assisted by N. 
Voeghtly, Francis Felix, Major D. Fickeisen, Doctor A. H. Gross, and A. Hol- 
■stein, vice-presidents. 

Reverend W. D. Howard, D. D., at the opening of the meeting, addressed 
a fervent prayer to the Throne of Grace, which was listened to with great 

Honorable P. C. Shannon then introduced Judge Wilkins, the Chairman, 
and proposed three cheers for him, which were cordially given. The pres- 
•ence of a man of the magnificent appearance of the venerable William Wilkins, 
then in his eighty-seventh year, appearing like a voice from the Revolutionary 
period in which he was born, appealing to the youth of later generations, 
added very much to the impressiveness of the occasion. In person he was fully 
six feet tall; of fine classical features, heightened by extreme age; displaying 
a wealth of snow-white hair resembling that of Andrew Jackson. His appear- 
ance united with the beauty of his diction and the vigor of his eloquence and 
appeals for the supremacy of law and the preservation of the Union, made his 
powerful oration convincing and far-reaching in its effect. 

The very eloquent address delivered on that memorable occasion by Professor 
Samuel J. Wilson, D. D., wrought the populace to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. 
His commanding appearance, the earnest and impressive manner of his oratory, 



as with uplifted hand he appealed to the youth to rally for the Union, and in- 
voked in forcible terms the noblest attributes of the human heart, thrilled the 
vast assemblage. 

His impressive interrogatory, " What is gold — what is silver — as compared 
with the honor of the Nation? It is offal when thrown into the balance against 
the liberties of our country," electrified his hearers. The speaker's impassioned 
eloquence, and appeal to the youth to go forth and battle for the Nation's life, 
reached the sublimity of patriotic oratory. 

The attendance of Governor Andrew G. Curtin at this mass-meeting in 
his official capacity attracted the greatest public interest because of his untiring 
zeal and labor for the Union. Governor Curtin was at that time in the prime 
of mature manhood, having a manly, erect figure, pleasing countenance, and a fine 
voice, and with his iron gray hair he presented all the attractive qualities which 
his reputation as a gifted orator had gained for him. On this eventful occasion 
he seemed more solemn, more earnest, and bore marks in his countenance of 
profound concern. Those who heard his address will never forget the opening 
words of Governor Curtin on being introduced. Gazing at the sea of faces before 
him, without the slightest introductory remarks, his clear voice thundered out 
the words. "The Peninsul.\r campaign i.? a failure! The Union armies 


Washington, notwithstanding .vll reports to the contrary!" 

The effect of these words, so dramatically uttered, was startling in the ex- 
treme because so unexpected. 

The magnificent speeches of Judge Wilkins, Governor Curtin and Professor 
Wilson were followed by most eloquent appeals in behalf of the Union cause 
by ex-Governor Johnston, Judge Wilson McCandless, Judge P. C. Shannon, 
Honorable Thomas J. Bigham, Thomas M. Marshall, Esq., John H. Hampton, 
Esq., Colonel Francis Felix, and Honorable James Lowry, Jr. 

Mr. Hampton was called upon by the audience to speak because of his great 
zeal and labor in organizing the successful meeting, being chairman of the 
committee on speakers. In response to loud calls, Mr. Hampton took the plat- 
form and was received with very great applause, being a recognized, popular 
speaker. He seemed much affected and wrought up by the addresses of the 
preceding speakers. 

To deliver an oration worthy of the great occasion, in his opening remarks 
Mr. Hampton impressively parodied a celebrated classic utterance by the great 
Roman orator, Cato, on a not unsimilar occasion, when the Roman legions had 
been defeated. Striking an attitude of majestic defiance, and with intense and 
impassioned emphasis, Mr. Hampton exclaimed, " Notwithstanding the dark and 
gloomy tidings of disaster to the Union army, 'my voice is still for war!'" 
Pausing for a moment at the close of this solemn utterance, Mr. Hampton was 
rudely surprised by the response which was shouted him from the lips of a 
wounded Union soldier in the audience, " Damn your great big voice ; it's your 
wee small body we want." 

Although Mr. Hampton was famous at the Pittsburg Bar for his imper- 
turbability and presence of mind in court, which nothing could disconcert, he 






freel}- admitted in after years that the interruption and remarks of this wounded 
soldier, thus made, completely destroyed his current of thought and shortened 
and spoiled his intended great speech. 

Renewed Exthusiasm in Recruiting. 

As an immediate result of this awakened enthusiasm by the powerful and 
stirring addresses at this meeting, a great impetus was given to recruiting through- 
out Western Pennsylvania. Recruiting offices were opened in many of the 
conspicuous streets in the cities and boroughs. The fife and drum for recruits 
were heard continuousl}- during all hours of the day and often late at night. In- 
deed, many drum corps seemed to parade the streets with every new recruit 

The advertisements in the newspapers of the day and in the public hand- 
bills emphasized the requirement in recruits that " None but sober, steady men 
need apply." This at first appeared very suggestive that a prohibition army was 
being recruited instead of a grand rally in defense of the Union. All recruits, 
however, did not attain this high standard of sobriety. 

Schools axd Churches Furnish Recruits. 

Alini-ters left their pulpits and organized companies during this period ; 
notably, Reverend John B. Clark. D. D., pastor of the Second United Presbyterian 

Church, who, bidding farewell to his con- 
gregation on girding on the sword in de- 
fense of his country, recruited a regiment 
in a period of less than ten days. The ma- 
jority of his regiment were youths belong- 
ing to his own flock, who proved gallant 
soldiers. Reverend Clark held a war meet- 
ing in the lecture-room of his own church, 
and there organized his regiment, the One 
Hundred and Twenty-third Pennsylvania 
\'olunteers, he being unanimoush' chosen 
as Colonel. 

College students ' breaking off their 
course of study, industrial apprentices with 
unfinished terms, law students short of ad- 
mission to the bar, and youths and adults 
from every vocation vied with each other 
in hastening to defend the flag. 

In the enthusiasm of the youths eager 

to enlist, but few elections for officers were 

held, the minds of the recruits not being 

upon office or position. The choosing of 

REV. JOHN B. CLARK, D.D. Company" officers was, therefore, left in 





T«v Cnutxj dcaaals nn seisiec. €im» Utimi, (k»n,wfih 
willhK iaifa aid brave hearts, It crash tat frcastat 


Is now offered to persons desiring lo enlist for three 
years or daring the m»r, by tbe 

Now in camp, near PittsDurgh, nbo require a few mrfe 
good nclive men to fill up their. ranks to the complement 
sf 101 . This Company is attached lo the 




Persons wishing (o Join will please call immediately %t 

Wo. ei "Wooa street, 



D. M. ARMOR, Capt 




most cases to the promoters who had published the calls for recruits and incurred 
recruiting expenses. 

Organization of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. 

The nucleus of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment was Company 
A and Company B of the " Kier Rifles," so named in recruiting in compliment 
to S. M. Kier, a large contributor to the Union cause. 

" The Hiland Guards," called after Alexander Hiland, who was Clerk of 
Courts, was recruited by A. L. Pearson and E. A. Montooth, and it subsequently 
became Company A of the Regiment. 

Captain Frank Van Gorder and Joseph B. Sackett organized Company B of 
the Kier Rifles, which became Company E of the Regiment. 

Company A of the Kier Rifles, which was recruited by Captain John Markkj 
E. E. Clapp and H. A. Breed, formed Company F of the Regiment. 

"The Park Zouaves " was named after the late James Park, Jr., a patriotic 
steel manufacturer of Pittsburg. It was recruited under the call of S. A. McKee, 
a veteran of the Mexican War. It became Company I of the Regiment. 

" The McAuley Guards " was recruited under the call of James J. Hall as 
Captain, and Samuel Kilgore and Alexander Carson, Lieutenants. It was named 
after James McAuley, who bore all expenses of its recruiting, but became Com- 
pany D of the Regiment. 

" The Park Rifles " was organized by John H. Cain and Lee Anshutz. It 
became Company C of the Regiment, with its organizers as officers. G of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was organized at the home- 
stead of Doctor Charles Klotz, of Clarion county, who was made Captain. 

Company K was known as the " Loyal L'nion Guards." It was recruited 
in Armstrong county in response to a call for recruits signed by J. A. Cline, of 
Kittanning. It subsequently became Company K of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, Cline being chosen Captain. 

Company LI of the Regiment was recruited in Clarion count}- by Captain John 
Ewing and Lieutenant D. E. Lyon, who were its first officers. 

Physical Examination of Recruits. 

All these companies, as soon as the men and the various recruiting officers 
had been examined, and had passed the physical inspection of the United States 
surgeons, were formally mustered into the United States service by Captain E. H. 
Ludington, of the Seventeenth United States Infantry, mustering officer for 

It might be interesting to the reader to describe the required physical exami- 
nations. They were usually conducted in the rear rooms of the recruiting of- 
fices, and were rushed through with the very greatest celerity because of the 
existing emergencies. The great majority of the recruits, being youths from 
sixteen to twenty, were sturdy, healthy, athletic boys, who, at the inspection, read- 
ily disported themselves in nature's garb, demonstrating by gymnastic efforts, 


trapeze performances, hand-springs and mischievous pranks generally, their 
physical fitness, convincing the examining surgeons so as to pass the strenuous 
youths in a body. Quite a minority, however, of the recruits, on one pretext or 
another, were ver}- backward about being examined, and succeeded in avoiding 
the ordeal. A few others were absent paying farewell visits to Bacchus, etc., 
but all were finally allowed to be mustered in. Many of the quota thus excused 
from examination, in active service soon proved to be physically unfit for active 
campaigning. Many of these, who did not die, were quite early mustered out on 
surgeons' certificates of disability. 

Rendezvous in Camp Howe. 

The companies named above, upon being mustered in, were ordered to 
report under their temporary officers at Camp Howe, now in the Fourteenth ward 
of Pittsburg. The camp at that time was composed of a large tract of land 
known as " Linden Grove," containing fifty acres, well laid out and watered, 
with comfortable barracks and quarters erected thereon for the accommodation 
of soldiers. It was occupied during the Civil War as a rendezvous and drilling 
ground for recruits. 

The companies named, and subsequently merged into the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Regiment, were all promptly clothed in ill-fitting blue uniforms, 
unbleached underwear and astonishingly large army brogans. With the startling 
instructions — though there was probably not a cartridge in the camp — to shoot 
on sight any individual attempting to enter or leave Camp Howe, with or without 
the countersign, the recruits were promptly armed with muskets belonging to the 
camp, and detailed for camp guards. 

The company from Clarion county, subsequently Company H, is conceded, 
on the evidence of its future Captain, John Ewing, the honor of having one of 
its recruits shed the first blood in his country's cause at Camp Howe. The recruit 
thus honored insisted to a camp guard on duty that he had a right to go in or out 
of the camp with or without the countersign. To end the discussion, the Com- 
pany H recruit was given a prod with the bayonet by the guard that drew the 
claret. This claim of first blood, however, was later seriously disputed on behalf 
of Private James Fielding, of Company E. Fielding insists that a jab from a pro- 
truding bayonet, which a recruit carelessly left sticking out of a tent at night, 
drew blood from his big toe. From this wound Fielding was forever afterward 
rendered hors du combat. Not being able to decide between Company H and 
Company E on this grave subject, the compilers of this history are compelled to 
remit the determination of the rival claims to, the category of undecided contro- 
versies arising out of the Civil War. 

Life and Scenes in Camp Howe. 

The first assemblage and residence of the companies in Camp Howe was 
marked with great spirit and gayety. The country boys, recruits from the Kis- 
kiminetas, the Youghiogheny and the Monongahela valleys, and from the Clarion 



and the Red Bank rivers, had brought with them to camp their musical instru- 
ments, violins, flutes, guitars and mandoHns. The city men and boys, in addition 
to their musical instruments, formed a glee club, George P. Fulton performing 
on the guitar, and Harry Campbell and Robert Culp on the mandolins. Among 
the many good vocalists were Colonel E. Jay Allen, Captain A. L. Pearson, John 
H. Ralston, Jack Campbell, and Lieutenants E. A. INIontooth, George F. Morgan 
and Samuel Kilgore. The week's sojourn in the camp was thus rendered a period 
of marked enjoyment and conviviality. In the barracks at night there were " hoe- 
downs," and music both instrumental and vocal, the singing ranging at times from 
the martial to the humorous and the pathetic. Every day was marked by visits 
of delegations of ladies and friends from the city and vicinity. Even though the 
new uniforms did not fit, the recruits put forth their best efforts to please their 
visiting friends. 

This paradise of pleasure was rudely marred by the bill of fare and abom- 
inable cooking arrangements of the camp. Shortly after the arrival of the com- 
panies at Camp Howe, so-called camp-cooks were provided ; and then began an 
experience of which the country boys, accustomed to mother's cooking, had 
never before dreamed. Food of the most abominable character was served — ^vile 
smelling and vile tasting. The country boys, who were compelled by force of 
circumstances to live on these rations, soon began to experience the first symptoms 
of home-sickness. The city boys, however, did not remain in camp for meals,, 
on!)- reporting daily, and consequently escaped this unpleasant experience. 

The companies were entirely free and independent up to that time, there 
being no regimental organization in Camp Howe, although it was generally un- 
derstood that E. Jay Allen was to be the 
Colonel of the Regiment because of his 
previous military experience in the field. 
On the 3d of September, isii-.'. however, the 
nine companies then in camp were ordered 
to report immediately at Washington un- 
der command of Colonel Allen, who was 
commissioned Colonel at Harrisburg, as 
Regiment -was on its way to the former city. 
Colonel Robert Anderson, commanding 
the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves, on the 
day before the Second Battle of Bull Run 
granted a furlough to Sergeant James Col- 
lord to join a company in Camp Howe, 
which had been recruited for him bv his 
friends at home. This company later be- 
came Company F of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth. Sergeant Collord declined ac- 
cepting the furlough until after the battle 
which was then impending. The battle oc- 
curred the next day and Sergeant Collord 
LiEUT.-coL. JAMES COLLORD. ^"^'^^ badly wounded. On report of the sol- 


diely conduct of Collord in this battle, Governor Curtin recalled an intended Cap- 
tain's commission for him, and instead issued to the brave Sergeant a commission 
as Lieutenant-Colonel of the newly-formed One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regi- 
ment. Owing to the severity of Lieutenant-Colonel Collord's wounds and con- 
tinuance of disabilities he resigned at the end of two months. 

ALxRCHixG Orders. — P.\ckixg Up. 

While the companies were thus enjoying themselves with festivities, and in 
getting used to their misfit uniforms and infamous food at Camp Howe during 
the last week in August, 18(1-?, history was being made fast in the vicinity of 
Washington. The disastrous campaign of Pope's army, which had been driven 
to the very gates of ^^'ashington, cut short the jovialty of the several regiments 
hastily recruited and quartered at Camp Howe. The One Hundred and Twenty- 
third Regiment, Colonel John B. Clark; the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth, 
Colonel Thomas M. Bayne ; the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth, Colonel F. H. 
Collier; and a number of cavalry and artillery companies were all in the same 
rendezvous, at Camp Howe. They were all ordered to the beleaguered Capital 
at Washington as fast as the Pennsylvania Railroad trains could carry them. 

On the memorable 2d of September, 1862, marching orders were received 
for the future One Hundred and Fifty-fifth to break camp and march to the 
Union station on Liberty street, next day, and there to take the cars for Wash- 
ington, to share in checking the onslaught of the enemy. The scene on the eve 
of Waterloo described by Byron's immortal stanzas, " There was a sound of 
revelry by night," and the gayety at Brussels, rudely interrupted by the dashing 
messenger who conveyed the order to the officers in the ball-room to march to 
the battle of Waterloo, is paralleled by the orderly who brought the startling 
news that night to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, announcing marching orders 
for Washington at daylight. The new soldiers left the gay ball-room in the 
concert hall of the barracks, some abruptly terminating friendly games of cards 
in their quarters, on receipt of the ominous marching orders, all probably being 
duly impressed that unless the Regiment hurried to the relief of the imperiled 
Capital, the Confederates would catpure it. 

The freight or cattle cars, or probably both, which the Pennsylvania Railroad 
at that time was able to provide for the departing Regiment, it was announced in 
orders, would not leave the station until 7 p. ii. Through some mysterious cal- 
culation as to the time required to accomplish this short march of three miles 
from Camp Howe to the Liberty street Station, it was deemed imperatively neces- 
sary to enable the march to be accomplished in time, to sound the reveille as early 
as five o'clock in the morning. This very liberal allowance of fourteen hours to 
accomplish the packing up and short march of the new command could not be 
■complained, of as being too severe or arduous on the nevy recruits, even in the 
exciting emergency. Contrasting the time allowed for the march from Camp 
Howe to the railroad station with the rapid-transit gait the same men acquired 
later, in their memorable forced marches of twenty-eight and thirty miles a day 
in the Maryland and Gettysburg campaign, it seemed most amusing. However, 


the elaborate preparations, the number of contlicthig orders, the delays, the ob- 
structions, the countermanding of orders to getting ready to " fall in " and to 
" fall out " for the march from Camp Howe to the relief of Washington via the 
Liberty street Station, will never be forgotten by those participating. 

Heavy Knapsacks. — A ^Iemoeable ]\L\rch. 

All the morning of the 3d of September in Camp Howe was not unlike 
many of the mornings spent and time lost by afmies in active campaigning, in 
getting ready to fight. In Camp Howe, the new recruits were occupied up until 
three o''-lock in the afternoon before they got under way, and bade farewell 
forever to Camp Howe and its varied memories. The day of the departure was 
unusualb' hot. The men in the ranks were still burdened with home presents 
and gifts and material thought to be necessary in active warfare, stowed away, 
making their knapsacks quite heavy. The contents of the latter were, of course. 
Bibles, albums, shoe-brushes, clothes-brushes, tooth-brushes, soap, spoons, knives 
and forks, cups and saucers, suspenders, gloves, neckties, mirrors, shirts, vests, 
extra caps, etc., etc., swelling up the knapsack to an inordinate size. Some men 
in the ranks, providing against rainy days, carried umbrellas. To all these were 
added heavy blankets, and haversacks gorged to repletion with fruits and pre- 
serves, to guard against possible starvation en route. Many of the canteens also 
were filled with beverage — whether with water, coffee, or ardent spirits must ever 
be a subject of conjecture. A march of one or two short squares brought the 
greatest disorder and confusion to this untrained, undisciplined, and undrilled 
corps, not unlike, for diversity of step, deportment, uniform and unsoldieily gait, 
Falstafif's famous guard. At the end of the first two squares, which brought the 
column to Fifth avenue, the ranks were broken for town-pumps and watering 
troughs to bathe the fevered brows of the fatigued marchers. The right to rest 
at this stage was conceded the column : and in half an hour, by coaxing and 
threatening, the recruits resumed position, where they could recognize it, with 
their own companies. The need of a fifer or drummer or band-master was at this 
stage sadly felt. Although there was plenty of material in the regiment, the 
Government in the emergency had furnished neither fife, drum nor flag to the 
new organization. 

The second " fall-in " after this half-hour's rest was followed by a slow 
and easy march for another half hour, when by unanimous consent, but without 
a formal vote, a second halt took place in the vicinity of Craft avenue, for the 
double purpose of a rest as well as to allow the stragglers to catch up. Three- 
quarters of an hour's halt was deemed necessary at this point to enable the wearied 
recruits to regain strength sufficient to make the next mile inning. Much of this 
being down hill, was accomplished with less fatigue and straggling in the ranks, 
although a number took a half-way halt in the classic precincts of Soho, and 
tarried there long after the Regiment had passed. 

Flag Presentation En Route. 
Before reaching the scene of the flag presentation scheduled to take place in 
the vicinity of Ross street and the Court House at 6 o'clock p. ii., several more 




halts were agreed upon by the embryo officers and their men, but the column was 
very much decimated b}- the time it reached the Second ward school-yard on 
Ross street, where the flag presentation was to take place. The departing Regi- 
ment, which was scheduled to depart from the Liberty street Station at 7 o'clock 
p. M., was, by the 'compliment of the railroad authorities, indulged until half- 
past nine, so as to allow the last tardy straggler from Camp Howe to rejoin his 
company. Straggling had set in early and cofitinued late. Many of the men did 
not know their officers. The Regiment had no designation ; and, until fjie future 
officers would get their commissions, authority was very tenderly exercised. The 
nine hundred men composing the nine companies made the three-mile forced 
march at the rate of a mile in three hours. Many broke down, and sought trans- 
portation in passing wagons and carts ; others loaded their baggage and persons 
on the one-horse bob-tailed street-car line that had been recently constructed. 
The final long-halt made at the Second ward school-house was for the purpose of 
listening to a flag presentation by the ladies of the Second ward to Colonel E. 
Jay Allen, the future commander of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. With this 
rest the survivors of the march straightened up and, displaying considerable 
sprightliness and improvement of step, as the ladies and crowds on the sidewalks 
cheered them, marched down Fifth avenue to Wood street, thence to Liberty 
street, where the train awaited them. The accession of the new flag thus pre- 
sented also seemed to inspire the patriots with renewed vigor for the completion 
of their journey to the railroad station. 

Brr.\kixg Home Ties. — Farewell Scenes. 

IJberty street, where the cars awaited the soldiers from Camp Howe, was 
literally crowded by the friends and acquaintances of the departing soldiers; so 
that when they broke ranks to enter the cars assigned them, they were beseiged 
with demonstrative attentions of their friends and relations. The patriotism of 
the young ladies of that day was so exuberant that they did not confine their 
farewell embraces of hugging and kissing to sweethearts and relatives only, but 
bestowed their favors and attentions on the boys in blue indiscriminately. At 
this final farewell the embracing and farewell kisses of mothers, wives and 
sweethearts, and smacks in general, resounding from every quarter, lasted until 
the train departed at 9:30 p. m., the crowd cheering to the last echo as the train 
bore the loved ones away, many of them never to return. 

At the debut of this undisciplined, hastily organized collection of city boys 
and country )'ouths, who added to the heavy-burdened knapsacks in many 
cases, a walking arsenal of Bowie knives and horse pistols, ready for the emer- 
gencies of war, it would seem hardly possible, that they would so soon, in a 
few months, under efficient officers, become converted to well-drilled and disci- 
plined soldiers. Yet it is a fact that these same raw recruits, for perfection in 
drill, and especially in the bayonet exercise, were rewarded bv the Government 
at the end of their first year, with the unique and fancy dress uniform of 
zouaves, constituting one of the three volunteer regiments honored by the Gov- 
ernment by being assigned to serve in the same division with Svkes' United States 



Regulars. Not only did they excel in drilling, but their forced marches from 
twenty-eight to thirty miles a day in the Maryland-Gettysburg campaign, carry- 
ing muskets and sixty rounds of ammunition, exhibited their great development 
in rapid^transit marches over their first and memorable march from Camp Howe, 
Oakland, to the Liberty street Station a short year before. 

On to Harrisburg and Washington. 

The train steamed out of the Liberty street Station at 9 : 30 p. m. The 
departing train was made up of freight cars, there being neither lamps, candles 
nor lights of any kind, and the recruits retired early, and were soon in the land 
of nod, after their early rising, fatiguing day's labor and marches. No stops 
occurred on the route to the State Capital, where they arrived quite early. The 
Regiment was immediately detrained, and marched a mile or more to Camp 
Curtin for breakfast, being assisted and escorted on this early march by the 
accommodating Provost Guards on duty at Harris- 
burg. All day of the ith of September was spent 
at Harrisburg, and many of the recruits escaped 
from the camp and inspected the Capital and the 
city at large. 

While at Harrisburg it was announced to the 
Regiment that Colonel E. Jay Allen had received his 
commission and was to be recognized as Colonel of 
the Regiment, which was to be numbered and known 
as the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment 
Pennsylvania Volunteers. 

At the State Arsenal in Harrisburg, the Regi- 
ment was armed with very heavy ordnance called 
the Belgian rifle, and immediately entrained for 
Washington via Baltimore. The accession of the 
very heavy guns and cartridge-boxes to the already 
heavy-laden recruit made his life very burdensome. 
On arriving at Baltimore, the Regiment detrained 
and bivouacked on the sidewalk of Eutaw street, 
where they partook of the bounty of the Government 
in the shape of a meal composed of raw pork, hard- 
tack, and black, unsugared, uncreamed coffee. ^^'^^'SJJah H°pfngbum*^ ^■'^^^" 


Chapter II. 


Regiment Reaches Washingtox at 6 a. m. — Takes Breakfast at Soldier's 
Retreat in Svvampoodle District. — Hardtack, Coffee and Salt Pork for 
Breakfast. — March to Camp Chase. — Lqng Roll Sounded at Midnight in 
Camp Chase. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Assigned to Allabach's 
Brigade, Humphreys' Division, Fifth Corps.' — March to Fairfax Semi- 
nary. — March to the City of Washington. — Colonel Allen Orders Wagon 
Load of Oysters. — Humphreys' Division Exchange Belgian Rifles and 
Sword Bayonets for Harper's Ferry- Muskets with Buck-and-Ball Car- 
tridge. — Halleck Orders Humphreys' Division to Move. 

Arrival in Washington. 

iFTER a short stop in Baltimore and a detention en route at the Relay 
House, the Regiment reached ^^'ashington, still in the uncomfortable 
freight cars, at 6 a. m. Not an official, guide or chaperone of any 
kind was on hand to receive or to pilot to breakfast the tired and 
hungry One Hundred and Fiftj'-fifth Regiment. Colonel Allen and 
stafif, however, who were excellent and vigilant foragers on this first assumption 
of command of the Regiment, soon discovered the famous " Swampoodle dis- 
trict," where the " Soldiers' Retreat " was located. This was the name of the 
barracks 'in \vhich the meals to new regiments were furnished by the United 
States at all hours. Colonel Allen's organization, approximating a thousand 
men, needed no military drill or rehearsal to enable it to get into line promptly 
on the Colonel's order to " fall in " on this occasion for breakfast. They im- 
mediately stormed the " Soldier's Retreat." and took possession of the eating 
stands and the contents thereof. Their first Government meal consisted of 
hardtack, black, sugarless, creamless coffee with tin cup accompaniment, and 
boiled salt pork. The soldier guests were allowed to stand and wait on them- 
selves throughout the so-called meal. 

Forced ^Lvrcit to Camp Chase. 

About ten o'clock the Provost Guard of ^^'ashington assisted in gathering 
in many of the sight-seeing bovs and they were marched in a body back to the 
" Soldiers' Retreat," from whence they had wandered. Orders had come by 
this time that the Regiment was needed at the front and should immediately 
march across Long Bridge to Camp Chase on Arlington Heights. It at once 





packed up and made the march, under a broiling sun, arriving at Camp Chase 
late in the evening. In this camp beautiful tents were distributed to the Regi- 
ment, and the recruits soon began to attain a more soldierly appearance and 
deportment. The few days they were permitted to remain in this fine camp af- 
forded an opportunity for the officers to become acquainted with their men. 
Guard and picket duties were also explained to the men who went on that duty. 
To test the promptness of the command to respond to orders for action, Colonel 
Allen, in this camp, had the " long roll " sounded at midnight, which meant a 
call " to arms." This first test of the men was highly successful. They got out 
of their elegant new tents with great alacrity and promptly fell into the ranks, all 
believing the alarm to be a genuine and a real call to action, and that the enemy, 
who was near by, had been discovered in force preparing for an attack on 
the new camp. However, this was not the case, and Colonel Allen, before 
dismissing the Regiment, thanked the officers and men for their exceedingly 
prompt response to the long roll. At the same time he declared that it was 
merely to test the Regiment that he had the call to arms sounded and the Regi- 
ment routed from their tents at that unseasonable hour. 

Allabach's Brigade. — Humphrey's Division. 

In Camp Chase orders were read assigning the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment to the newly-formed brigade of Pennsylvania regiments com- 
manded by Colonel P. H. Allabach, a veteran of the Mexican war. It was also 
simultaneously announced that the newly-formed brigade would form part of 
the new division organized,, also composed of Pennslyvania regiments, and which 
had been placed under command of Brigadier-General Andrew A. Humphreys, 
late chief of topographical engineers, on the staff of General jNIcClellan, and 
that the brigade and division had been assigned to the Fifth Army Corps, com- 
manded by General Fitz John Porter. The Regiment the next morning marched, 
mimolested by guerrillas or Black Horse Cavalry, a distance of four or five miles 
to the vicinity of Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and remained there all dav Sep- 
ternber 11th. 

General ]\IcClellan Resumes Command. 

General George B. McClellan, who but a week prior to this date, had been 
specially ordered by President Lincoln to again assume command of the Army 
of the Potomac, was already leading his army in the :\Iaryland campaign against 
the Confederates, whose columns were already invading that State. The rear 
guard of the Confederates, however, still tarried in close vicinity of Fairfax 
Seminary and other points near the Capital, their object being to detain Union 
troops from joining :\IcClellan's army in pursuit of Lee. The day following the 
midnight test by Colonel Allen already described, and the march the next day 
to Fairfax Seminary by the Regiment, it was discovered that all of the rear 
guards of the enemy had left their post, and were in full and rapid march to 
join Lee's columns, invading Maryland. 

September 18, 1862, to May 16, 1863. 


Soldiers pass on from this rage of renown, 

This ant-hill, commotion and strife, 
Pass by where the marbles and bronzes look down 

With their fast-frozen gestures of life, 
On, out to the nameless who lie 'neath the gloom 

Of the pitying cypress and pine ; 
Your man is the man of the sword and the plume, 

But the man of the musket is mine. 





An Oyster Feast. — Colonel Allen's Treat. 

Humphreys' Division, on September 13th, marched from Fairfax Semi- 
nary and crossed over the Potomac on the Acqueduct to Georgetown, and pro- 
ceeding thence to Washington, where it encamped for the night. The One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth, after this marching, was short of rations, and the 
men were beginning to feel the pangs of hunger. Colonel Allen was equal to 
the occasion, and endeared himself to his command by promptly supplying the 
failure of the Commissary to reach the Regimental bivouac with the necessary 
rations. The Colonel visited Harvey's celebrated oyster depot on Pennsylvania 
avenue, Washingfton, and ordered a wagon load of oysters in the shell to be de- 
livered forthwith at the camp of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. In order 
that no mistake in the destination of the oysters should occur. Colonel Allen 
took a seat on the wagon accompanied by Mr. Harvey, the caterer. More wel- 
come visitors, or more welcome goods, could not be imagined, than the considerate 
Colonel and the contents of the wagon. The hungry soldiers, however, and es- 
pecially those in the ranks from the countr}-, unused to opening bivalves, had their 
patience sorely tested by the delay in getting at the oysters. The Governmental 
power of " eminent domain " was exercised by pressing into service a number 
of contrabands hanging around the camp, and commanding them with their 
oyster knives to open the shells. This oyster feast was enjoyed immensely. 
The patriotic Harvey declined to receive any compensation from Colonel Allen, 
and announced that if one wagon-load was not enough, he would send others 
up. At the close of the banquet, the Regiment gave Colonel Allen three hearty 
cheers, whereupon he referred briefly to the public spirit Mr. Harvey had dis- 
played in refusing compensation. This statement elicited three cheers and a 
tiger for Harvey. The tardy wagons, with the supplies of hardtack and coffee for 
the Regiment, however, joined the camp during the night, in time for distribution 
of army rations at breakfast. 

Great confusion, however, existed in army circles in \^■ashington at this 
time, owing to the many unassigned soldiers and scattered organizations. Many 
of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, on the march through the streets of Wash- 
ington, became detached from their comrades and were unable to find the camp 
that night. A number of these sufficient to compose a company, as if defending 
the Capital, wandered into Jackson Park, and bivouacked at the foot of the bronze 
equestrian statue of the rampant horse, on which Andrew Jackson appears to be 
so bravely mounted and welcoming the public with his military chapeau. These 
patriotic stragglers, however, failed to share in the distribution of Harvey's 
oysters, and great was their disappointment on missing the rare treat. 

Regiment Armed with Effective Weapons. 

Humphre3s' Division, at this hah in \^'ashington, exchanged the ponderous 
Belgian rifles and sword bayonets received at Harrisburg, the military board pre- 
sided over by Captain .\. T. A. Torbert, U. S. A., having condemned them as 
unfit for service. These arms were undoubtedly imposed upon the Government 
in the emergency as effective weapons, and no doubt some grafter of that period 


laid the foundation of a colossal fortune in thus swindling the Government. In 
place of these useless arms, left at the Arsenal in Washington, the Regiment 
received the Springfield rifles, being the old-fashioned muzzle loader, with ram- 
rod and percussion cap accompaniments. The ammunition used in these ex- 
changed guns was three buckshot and a bullet, called " buck and ball," which 
in actual service became destructive only at close range. 

As further evidence of the extraordinary confusion existing in Washington, 
in the administration of General H. W. Halleck, an incident connected with 
Humphreys' Division at this date is worthy of mention. As General-in-Chief, 
Halleck issued the subjoined order on September 13th to General Humphreys, 
ordering him to leave Washington with his newly-formed division within a few 
hours, under pain of being court-martialed. This censure of one so energetic 
and fiery a leader as Humphreys for tardiness and want of zeal, it is needless to 
state was most uncalled for. 

(Copy ) 

" Headquarters of the Army, 

Washington, Sept. 13th, 1862. 
Unless General Humphreys immediately leaves to take command of his 
division in the field, he will be arrested for disobedience of orders. 

(Signed) H. W. H.klleck, 

General in Chief. 
Addressed to General A. A. Humphreys." 

This astonishing dispatch to General Humphreys was a most uncalled for 
aspersion and betrayed lamentable ignorance on the part of Halleck of the situ- 
ation. This controversy involving the commander and men of Humphreys' 
Division is deemed of sufficient importance to incorporate in the Appendix. Gen- 
eral Humphreys officially replied to Halleck's charge, and demanded that a Court 
of Inquiry be convened to exonerate him from the unjust accusation implied in 
Halleck's peremptory order just quoted. 


Chapter III. 


March of Humphreys' Division for- Wf-stern" Maryland Commenced 
Sunday Morning, September 14:TH. — jMake Fifteen Miles in Heat and 
Dusty Roads. — Cannonading Heard During the Day in Direction of South 
Mountain. — General Humphreys at Head of Column. — ^NIarch Continued 
ON September I-jth. — Abandoned Articles of Clothing and Knapsacks 
Along the Route. — Forced March Resumed. — Reach Clarksville Late in 
Evening. — Forced AL\rch Resumed September 16th. — September 17th 
Humphreys Division Reaches Monocacy River. — Debris of Burned Bridge. 
— First Real Evidence of — Paroled L'nion Prisoners. — Humphreys' 
Division H.\lts at Frederick. — Covers Appro.\ches to Washington. — Forced 
ALarch to Join Army of Potomac Resumed. — Humphreys' Division Arrives 
AT Antietam in ^Iorning of ISTH. — Harrowing Sights and Scenes. — 
Humphreys' Division Takes Position in Reserve of Army of Potomac. — 
Confederate Dead and Wounded Left in Hands of Union Forces. — Cordial 
Reception of Commander-in-Chief. — Company' G of One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Selected to Engage in Reconnoissance. — Camp McAuley. — 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Without Shelter or Medical Supplies. — 
President Lincoln Reviews Army of Potomac. — Colonel J. H. Puleston, 
Representing Governor Curtin, Presents State Flag to One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth. — Regiment Without Accommodations for Sick or the Benefit 

OF Clergy. 

The Antietam Campaign. 

IHE march into ^laryland of the eight new regiments of Pennsylvania 
troops, aggregating eight thousand recruits, composing Humphreys' 
Division, was commenced very early Sunday morning, September 
14th, the shortest route from Washington to join McClellan's army 
being in the direction of Western Alaryland. The troops, though 
heavily burdened, marched all day in the great heat and dusty roads, making 
fifteen miles, which was regarded as a most satisfactory feat for fresh troops 
but little over a week from home. Late in the afternoon the Division, or rather 
those who kept up with the colors, encamped for the night on the outskirts of 
the beautiful village of Rockville, ;Md. This camp will be remembered as the 
place where private Robert A, Hill, of Company " F," was shot in the foot by 
an over-officious guard for trespassing on a peach orchard. 


General Humphreys at the Head of His Din'isiox. 

During this day's march the cannonading opening the battle of South Moun- 
tain could be distinctly heard by the troops. As the column was hurriedly march- 
ing in that direction, it was obvious to all that serious work was before the 
Regiment. General Humphreys, the Division commander, made his appearance 
with his staff at the head of the Division during this day, and became very con- 
spicuous, riding backward and forward along the column on his superb charger, 
appearing to be the very embodiment of energy and martial bearing. At this 
time General Humphreys seemed to be a man of about fort)'-five years of age, 
having fine classical features, wearing glasses, a military cape, and a black 
slouch hat. He had a sturdy, well-knit figure, and in his movements and con- 
versation displayed a most earnest and determined manner. 

Rockville, iNId., where the Regiment camped that night, proved interesting, 
as being the site of General McClellan's army headquarters two days previous. 
September 15th was spent in continuing the march from Rockville from early 
in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon, when a long halt was taken 
for dinner. Among the noteworthy incidents of the forced march made by 
Humphreys' Division the preceding two days, were numerous well-filled knap- 
sacks lying on each side of the route where they had been tossed by foot-sore 
men who had carried them. New army overcoats and blankets issued by the 
Government had also been thrown away by soldiers who were unable to carry 
them farther on the fatiguing marches. Teamsters with the army wagon-trains, 
who followed, often dismounted and picked up these abandoned articles on the 
roadside, and in many cases were known to sell them to citizens along the route. 

After dinner marching was resumed, and the same scenes continued until 
late in the evening, when the column reached Clarksville and bivouaced for the 
night, tired and worn-out by the severe marching in hot weather. 

Early next day, September 16th, the column resumed the march, passing 
through the villages of Hyattstown and Urbana, the populations of which treated 
the marching troops very coolly. There were no cheers nor encouraging words 
uttered by any of the inhabitants as the Union troops marched through these 

The Regiment this day manifested evidences of fatigue, and many more 
knapsacks, overcoats and impediments to marching were thrown away by the 
command. Night overtook many of the men who were unable to keep up, lagging 
far behind the advance of the Regiment, unable to maintain the speed which 
General Humphreys, Colonel Allabach, Colonel Allen, all riding superb horses, 
so strenuously urged them to do. Nature asserted itself in many cases, and 
from sheer exhaustion many of the troops could go no farther. Others turned 
in at points where they broke down and formed temporary messes and groups 
for the night. One of the rendezvous affording a night's shelter for the broken- 
down and foot-sore inexperienced soldiers was a Young Ladies" Seminary build- 
ing, recently vacated. There were man}- rooms and dormitories in the building, 
also- a fine orchard of ripe apples and peaches adjoining, and plenty of limpid 
water, all of which made it for a night's lodging a most welcome discovery. All 


the rooms on the different floors were occupied by the soldiers who had dropped 
out of the ranks from exhaustion. The fatigued occupants retired very eadv. 
The Confederates of Longstreet's Corps had occupied this building a few nights 
previous. They had written their autographs, and many unpatriotic inscriptions, 
with burnt sticks, on the beautifully, white-plastered walls. They had registered 
their names, ranks, and regiments conspicuousl)' ; some recording disloyal epi- 
grams and other epitaphs on Abraham Lincoln. The Union troops (about one 
hundred in number) who found shelter in the hospitable seminary also took 
burnt sticks and recorded tributes far from complimentary to one Jefferson 
Davis and the Southern Confederacy, indulging at the same time in loyal 
cartoons of Lincoln, Washington, etc. The names of John M. Lancaster, 
Theophilus Callen, Newell D. Loutsenheiser, Thomas P. Tomer, James P. 
O'Neil, Robert P. Douglass, Hugh Leonard, James Finnegan and John 
Crookham, all of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, are among those now re- 
called as having duly recorded their names, ranks, etc., that night on the walls 
of the parlors of the seminary. 

Private McKenna, of Company " E," especially distinguished himself on 
this occasion as a lightning artist, and was given three cheers by the comrades 
who witnessed his performance, and unanimously voted Regimental artist. 

Before resuming the march the next morning the seminary orchard was 
invaded by the visiting Union soldiers and the ripe apples and peaches liberally 
appropriated at breakfast. 

Scenes at Monocacy River. — Paroled Prisoners. 

Humphreys' Division, after resuming the march September 17th, reached 
the Monocacy river about ten o'clock a. m., where it halted for considerable time. 
The troops very generally availed themselves of the opportunity presented to 
enjoy a much-needed bath. All the regiments of the Division, having loaded 
their guns soon after departing from Washington, their officers decided that 
they should either discharge them or get rid of the loads by drawing the car- 
tridges. A number also took occasion at Monocacy to indulge in target firing. 
It was am.using to see how these inexperienced marksmen, many of them firing 
guns for the first time in their lives, often missed not only the target but even the 
large tree on which it was placed. 

Humphreys' column pushed on, resuming forced marching, bemg prodded 
by the fiery General and his staff'. The Regimental and company officers 
also stimulated the men by referring to the reports that AlcCleilan's death-grapple 
with Lee made it imperati-\>e that every man of Humphreys' Division should join 
the main Union army to accomplish an assured Union victory over the Con- 
federate troops. 

The scenes at the Monocacy were the first real evidence of war and its 
blighting effects that the new troops of Humphreys' Division had witnessed. 
At the Monocacy Railroad Junction, on the Monocacy river, the railroad bridge 
had two days before been blown up by the Confederates ; the timbers, debris and 
wreckage of all kinds being plainly visible as Humphreys' column halted close 


by. Many things that fell under the observation of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth were very suggestive of war. The corpse of a negro killed in the blowing 
up of the bridge was still exposed. It was currently reported that he was the 
man the Confederates employed to apply the torch which caused the explosion 
and destruction of the bridge. 

Near this point another surprising spectacle awaited Humphreys' men on 
their forced march to re-inforce McClellan's army then engaged with the enemy. 
This was the presence of twelve thousand prisoners of war captured and paroled 
by the Confederates at Harper's Ferry. They were all Ohio regiments who had 
been captured by Stonevvall Jackson and paroled by him not to take up arms until 
duly exchanged. This large body of Union troops, thus paroled at this critical 
period, marching to the rear instead of to the front, appeared sad, and many of 
the men paroled betrayed despondency as they spoke of the great prowess and 
skill of Stonewall Jackson. As the paroled prisoners passed by the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, who had so shortly before left Pittsburg for the 
front sanguine in their expectations of defeating and capturing the Confederates, 
the effect may be more easily imagined than described. The incident was certainly 
one which tended to chill the ardor of the most enthusiastic patriot at the time. 

No doubt the chronic dread of uncovering Washington still haunted General- 
in-Chief Halleck, and had much to do in influencing his orders on the advance of 
McClellan's army against the Confederate forces invading Alaryland. It was 
well known that General McClellan, on being restored by President Lincoln to 
the command of the Army of the Potomac, had insisted that Harper's Ferry 
was of no strategic importance, and should be evacuated so that the twelve 
thousand troops garrisoning that post under Colonel Miles should unite with 
his army immediately in the pursuit of Lee in Maryland. President Lincoln 
referred General McClellan's request to General Halleck, and General McClellan, 
before leaving Washington, accompanied by Honorable William H. Seward, 
Secretary of State, waited on General Halleck to secure authority to evacuate 
Harper's Ferry and to have its garrison join McClellan's army in its new cam- 
paign. Halleck indignantly closed his ears to McClellan's appeals, dissenting 
wholly from his views and emphatically declared that Harper's Ferr}' was a very 
Gibraltar of strength and defense, and insisted that it was of the utmost impor- 
tance, strategically, and that not a man from it could be spared to join Mc- 
Clellan's army operating in Maryland against the main army of Lee. In less 
than one week the folly of Halleck's views was demonstrated by the capture with- 
out difficulty of Harper's Ferry by Stonewall Jackson, and the consequent sur- 
render and paroling of twelve thousand Union troops. It was probably in con- 
sequence of Halleck's orders that Humphreys' Division of new troops, eight 
thousand strong, was halted for a whole day near Frederick, on this forced 
march to join McClellan's army, and that this unfortunate delay prevented their 
reaching Antietam until the day following the great battle. It is needless to 
state that General Humphreys chafed intensely under this new order from Wash- 
ington required him to halt in camp while almost within sound of the constant 
cannonading at Antietam while the battle was in progress. However, the author- 
ities in Washington, on the afternoon of September 17th, reconsidered their 


action and, when too late, allowed Humphreys' Division to break camp and re- 
sume its march to join McClellan's army after losing a day near Frederick. 

Humphreys Ordered to Join AIcClellax. 

The following order received from General Fitz John Porter may account 
for Halleck's action when he reconsidered his order to Humphreys to go into 
camp near Frederick instead of despatching his fine Division to the relief of the 
Arm}- of the Potomac at Antietam : 

'■ Headquarters, Fifth Army Corps, September 17th, 1862, 2 : 30 p. m. 
" General A. A. Humphreys, in bivouac near Frederick : 

We are in the midst of the most important and extended battle of the war. 
The rebels are desperate. We have driven them some distance, but it is of vital 
importance to get up all our troops. Come on as soon as possible, and hurry 
up with all haste. Do not render the command unfit for service, but force your 

" Alex. S. Wzkv.. Brig. Gen., Chief-of-Staflf, Fifth Corps." 

On resuming the march for Antietam, Humphreys' Division passed through 
Frederick City, where the troops were cheered and applauded enthusiastically by 
the residents, indicating by the large number of Union flags displayed and the 
warmth of the reception that the loyal citizens of that place were in the majority; 
also that but little success had attended the Confederate efforts to induce the 
citizens of ^laryland to rally around the banners of the Confederacy. But three 
days before this reception to Humphreys' Division, Bradley Johnson, himself a 
JMarylander. with his Confederate cavalry, had posted handbill proclamations to 
Marylanders along the line of the march of Lee's army, appealing to all Con- 
federate sympathizers to aid the Southern cause. 

Under the pressing orders of General Fitz John Porter just quoted and the 
earnest zeal of the Division Commander, General Humphreys, and of the brigade 
commanders. Colonels Allabach and Tyler, and also of the Colonels commanding 
regiment^, the forced night march to Antietam was marked by few halts for 
rests, the grave emergency not permitting it. The patriotism of the men in the 
ranks and their desire to reach the battlefield in time to take part in the action 
inspired them to demonstrate greater endurance, and to make a better record for 
continuous marching than was ever achieved by any other fresh troops in any 
previous campaign. Many of the men broke down and gave out from sheer 
exhaustion on this memorable forced night-march. Many more, from over- 
exertion on that night's campaign, contracted disabilities that made them cripples 
and invalids for life. The ambition of the new and inexperienced troops to 
respond to the orders and appeals of McClellan's amiy for help sustained them, 
enabling- them to demonstrate their marching qualities ; so that there was less 
than the usual dropping out of the ranks to straggle or rest. 

During the night-march the column passed through ?iIiddletown, a village 
which Ijore many evidences of its proximity to the battlefields of South ^Mountain 



and Antietam, the principal buildings being converted into hospitals for the 
Federal wounded. 

On leaving the city of Washington, Humphreys' Division was estimated to 
be eight thousand strong. General Humphreys, at the head of his troops, reached 
Antietam, and reported to General AlcClellan on the field about seven o'clock 
in the morning of the 18th. It was estimated that a thousand, foot-sore, wearied 
and exhausted men of his command had broken down from fatigue on the 
forced march of the night, and that after short rests to recuperate, the majority 
of them had rejoined their command, continuing to report in detachments until 
near noon. 

On the last hour's march to join AlcClellan, the Union soldiers enjoyed the 
comforting spectacle of seeing upwards of one thousand Confederate prisoners 
in their gray and butternut uniforms, who were captured from Stonewall Jack- 
son's command in the action at Antietam. 

The Division soon after passed through the village of Boonsboro, the streets 
of which were thronged with ambulances conveying wounded soldiers of Mc- 
Clellan's army to the buildings which had been improvised as hospitals. From 
these ambulances men of the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves from Pittsburg, who 
had been wounded in the famous cornfield, from 
their seats in the ambulances, recognized and 
called the names of many of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Regiment as it was marching 
to its position on the battlefield. In an ambu- 
lance passing the Regiment, as it halted by the 
roadside, was the dead body of Major-General 
J. K. F jMansfield, a Union corps commander, 
who had been mortally wounded on the previous 
day. The Pittsburgers and \^^estern Pennsylva- 
nians also manifested much sorrow as the body 
of Colonel James H. Childs, commanding the 
Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, who had been 
killed in the cornfield the day previous, passed in 
. an ambulance. Colonel Childs, as a native Pitts- 
burger, was known to most of the officers and 
men of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and his 
death caused a feeling of profound sorrow. In 
the words of Colonel Allen, " ^^■e could realize 
what his death meant to those at home — a sorrow, 
as we were to know, but one of many thousands, 
because of the dead whose bodies as yet lay stark 
upon the bloody field of Antietam." 


Humphreys' Division Forms Reserve. 

General McClellan, on General Humphreys' reporting that his Division had 
accomplished the march^ and were ready for duty, ordered the General to relieve 


General Morrell's Division of the Fifth Corps, which had been held in reserve, 
and about eleven o'clock a. m., General Humphreys marched his command to 
the position of reserve of the Army of the Potomac. The men loaded their 
guns and formed in their first line of battle as the reserve of the army. After 
some changes of position, the Regiment with the Division encamped in line of 
battle for the night — in military parlance, " sleeping on their arms " for the first 

It was a marked compliment to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and to all 
of Humphreys' Division composed entirely of new troops and officers, to be 
selected by General McClellan for the responsible position of reserve for his 
army at x\ntietam. Though inexperienced, undrilled, and undisciplined as they 
were, yet the stamina and the courage they exhibited on the memorable forced 
march indicated that the honor was not misplaced, and that had the enemy not 
retreated during the night, Humphreys' Division was prepared for any emergency. 
As developed, no better illustration of the rapid transformation of the American 
youth from citizen to soldier could be displayed than was demonstrated in the- 
discharge of this first duty as it was fulfilled by Humphreys' Division within two 
weeks from the time they first donned a military uniform. It was, therefore, no 
surprise that these self-same new troops, after a short two-months' drilling 
under General Humphreys, Colonel Allabach, Colonel Allen and the other Regi- 
mental and Company officers, should have become so reliable and excellent in 
discipline and soldierly qualities a-) to be soon again honored b}' General Burn- 
side, McClellan's successor in command of the Army of the Potomac. Hum- 
phreys and his Division of Pennsylvania soldiers was assigned a most important 
duty at Fredericksburg. When Couch's, Sumner's and Hancock's Divisions, of 
the Second Corps of Sumner's Grand Division, the celebrated Irish Brigade, and 
the United States Regulars were each in turn repulsed in their dreadful assaults 
upon I\Iarye's Heights, it was Humphreys' Division that Burnside held in reserve, 
having selected it to lead the " forlorn hope " against the stonewall and fortifica- 
tions of Marye's Heights. How well they discharged their duty is shown in 
the official reports of Generals Burnside, Hooker and Humphreys, who, in the 
strongest language, singled out the One Plundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania 
and its gallant commander. Colonel E. Jay Allen, and the One Hundred and 
Twenty-third Pennsylvania, Reverend Colonel J. B. Clark, as entitled to special 
mention for conspicuous gallantry in that famous charge. 

Flag of Truce at Antieta^ 


General Lee's Confederate army, having been driven back through Sharps- 
burg to the Potomac, left the battlefield in possession of the Union Army. The 
Confederate dead and wounded, therefore, fell into the hands of the Union 
forces. It is a conceded fact that the casualties at Antietam for a single day's 
battle surpassed in numbers and severity than of any other single day's battle 
on either side occurring during the war, and consequently attests the very severe 
fighting and terrible carnage on both sides. 

The care of the Confederate wounded and prisoners, thus falling into 



General McGlellan's hands in such large numbers, together with the unusually 
heavy losses sustained by his own army, imposed upon him the duty of looking 
after the wounded and sick of both armies. General Lee sent in a flag of truce 
and asked leave to have his own Confederate surgeons remain on parole with 
his wounded, to assist in caring for the same. This request was granted. Pre- 
paratory to retreating, General Lee is reported as having called his ranking offi- 
cers together, stating that as he expected McClellan to follow up the advantage 
gained in the recent battle, he ordered the Confederate army to halt on the 
south side of the Potomac, there throw up works and to resist to the utmost the 
advance of the Union army if it attempted to follow. 

That General McClellan contemplated the immediate pursuit of the Con- 
federates is indicated by the prompt advance of the whole army over the battle- 


^\"^- w,--.^^V., 



field and through the town of Sharpsburg, which the enemy had evacuated at 
dayhght on September 19th, a few hours previous. 

Battlefield Sights. — Sharpsburg. 

Sharpsburg, as the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth marched through it to the 
Potomac, bore many evidences of the fiery ordeal it had sustained during the 
battle of the 17th. Many houses and several churches showed immense holes 
and fissures resulting from being struck by shot and shell. The village grave- 
yard did not escape, and many headstones were shattered by the projectiles which 
lay around quite numerously. On porches and in back yards were to be seen 
terrible effects of the battle, many dead bodies of Confederate soldiers, terribly 
mangled, lying where they fell. These scenes being the first introduction that the 
new troops had to real war made a deep impression upon all. 


The inhabitants of the town of Sharpsburg who, during the battle had taken 
refvige in cellars or fled beyond the danger line, were beginning to reappear in 
their deserted houses, some bringing their families with them. General McClellan 
and his staff moved into the village about the same time the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth was passing through, and a large United States flag was soon stretched 
across the main street. General ]\IcClellan, always very popular with the troop?, 
was greeted with the most enthusiastic and cordial cheering, which he most cour- 
teously acknowledged. It was the first appearance of the Commander-in-Chief to 
Humphreys' Division, and the reception so cordiall}' and spontaneously bestowed 
upon General [NlcClellan indicated that he enjoyed their love and esteem for the 
great victory achieved at Antietam. 

Reconxoiss.w'Ce Across the Potomac. 

^IcClellan's entire army moved toward the Potomac, indicating an intention 
at the time to cross the river and renew the battle with the Confederates on Vir- 
ginia soil. Humphreys' Division, after passing through the town of Sharpsburg 
and a mile beyond, came to the banks of the Potomac, and at once a reconnoissance 
was ordered by General Fitz John Porter, commanding the Corps. The One 
Hundred and Eighteenth Penns}'lvania Regiment, known as the Corn Exchange 
Regiment of Philadelphia, was selected to make the reconnoissance, and crossed 
the Potomac at Shepherdstown. For some unknown, mysterious, and inexplica- 
ble-reason. Company G, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, recruited 
in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, was also selected to cross the river at Shep- 
herdstown, and to engage in what appeared to be either a supporting or an 
independent reconnoissance. The cause for the expressions of surprise at the 
remarkable selection of Company G for this special service is occasioned by the 
fact that its officers were probably the most inexperienced, and least competent 
at that time, of any in the Army of the Potomac, for so important a duty; al- 
though the men of the company justly earned the reputation of being the equal 
of any troops in the service for soldierly qualities. The reconnoissance ordered 
b}- General Porter resulted most unfortunately for the Corn Exchange Regiment, 
as the enemy were behind works, and were prepared for and expected a much 
larger demonstration from a pursuit across the Potomac by 2\IcClellan's army. 
The loss in this repulse was unusually large, a great man>^ of the wounded 
and retreating men of the Corn Exchange Regiment being drowned in the 
river. Company G of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was more fortunate 
in that respect, as it escaped from its reconnoissance without the loss of a 
man and saved even their knapsacks, which Captain Klotz stayed back on the 
north side to guard. The cannonading during the reconnois'^ance was interesting 
but not dangerous, and towards evening the One Flundred and Fift}--fifth wa? 
withdrawn from the vicinity of the front and bivouaced for the night on the 
banks of the canal running along the Potomac river, where Allabach's Brigade 
was placed on picket duty. 

This was new duty to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and most mysterious 
orders and countermanding of orders and many comical incidents occurred to all 


the novices on picket duty. " All was quiet on the Potomac " during the Regi- 
ment's first night on this dixty, and when daylight appeared, the surpassing beauty 
of the surrounding scenery filled all with admiration. 

Picket duty along the Potomac became the lot of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, and of Humphre^-s' Division, for several weeks in succession. Camp 
AIcAuley was the name given the bivouac occupied by the Regiment during 
several weeks following. This camp was later the scene of much suffering and 
misery because of the inadequate provision for the care of the sick and the in- 


15, Hancock; 14, Griffin; 13, Sykes ; 12, Hooker; 11, Morrell; 3, Webb; 2, McClellan; 4, Meade; 16 Warren; 

5, Custer; 6, Hunt; 7, Porter; 8, Locke; 9, Humphreys; 10, Burnside. 

crease of the mortality among the soldiers was very great. Although within 
a comparatively short distance (fifty or sixty miles) of A\"ashington City, the 
headquarters of army supplies, the requisitions of Colonel Allen for shelter tents, 
necessary clothing, surgeon's supplies and medicines for his regiment, although 
approved by General Humphreys and forwarded by General ]v'IcClellan to \\'ash- 
ington with urgent appeals for relief, received no attention whatever from the 
■department at \\'ashington. Xo one seemed to be responsible for ignoring these 
requisitions and demands, and consequent!}' great dissatisfaction prevailed in the 
■army. Recriminations, charges, and complaints were daily occurrences, and dis- 


cipline was severely impaired through this cause. The hospitals were filled and 
the mortality, as stated, became alarming. The Government at Washington 
seemed incapable of meeting or unwilling to meet the emergency. Private relief, 
public spirited citizens, the Christian Commission and other charitable organiza- 
tions were touched by this condition of affairs, and finally brought relief and con- 
solation to the suffering soldiers in the camps about Antietam. 

The visit of President Lincoln to General McClellan at Antietam, making 
his headquarters with General Fitz John Porter, Commanding Fifth Corps, also 
brought additional rehef to the Army of the Potomac at this time. President 
Lincoln, immediately after the great battle, wired the thanks of the Nation to 
General McClellan and his gallant army for the victory at Antietam, and shortly 
after paid them a visit. General McClellan, on this visit, arranged to have the 
Army of the Potomac reviewed by the President. Lincoln's appearance on 
horseback, with his singularly out-of-date silk hat and familiar but homely 
features, attracted great attention, and elicited every mark of love and esteem 
as the head of the Nation and the soldiers' greatest friend. 

Camp McAulev. — Flag Presentation to Regiment. 

In this camp also the State of Pennsylvania fulfilled its duty of furnishing 
State flags to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the other regiments of 
Humphreys' Division. Governor Curtin had arranged to discharge in person the 
duty of presenting these colors to the various Pennsylvania regiments, and was 
expected to visit the camp of Humphreys' Division, composed exclusively of 
Pennsylvania troops. However, he was prevented, and one of his staff, Colonel 
J. H. Puleston, who was temporarily detailed from the British War Office, in 
London, to assist the War Department at Washington and Governor Curtin 
in organizing armies, discharged that duty in an eloquent address, to which 
Colonel Allen responded in fitting and eloquent terms as follows : 

Colonel : — In behalf of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Vol- 
unteers, I receive at your hands with pride and pleasure this glorious proof that 
the old Commonwealth has not forgotten her sons who went forth from her 
bosom to battle for the integrity of the Federal arch of which she is the key- 
stone. While I am proud that Pennsylvania deems us worthy of so precious a 
trust, I receive it with a saddened heart, for gazing upon its starry folds I remem- 
ber the tried and the true who have gone down to the silent dead in this struggle 
for freedom against despotism, while the end for which they fought was 
yet unaccomplished. Brave spirits! Gallant souls! May the memory of their 
deeds nerve us in our hour of battle that we may garner the harvest of which 
they planted the seed. Remembering the calm grandeur of these heroic dead, 
it is not for us to make promises of our future, but we may say to you, the 
honored representative of our native State and home, that we feel the deep 
responsibility resting upon all Americans in this struggle, and hope that when 
we go forth to the fray, we will merit the confidence of those who love us, and 
some day may return toward home and deliver this banner once again to Penn- 



DR. J. A. E. REED, 


Assistant Surgeon. 

Hospital Steward. 



sylvania. And grouped about it, may say with pride and with truth, " Tattered 
though it be by the winds of heaven; soiled though it be b)^ the dust of earth; 
stained by the blood of our comrades in the field, we give it again to thy trust, 
O Pennsylvania, undimmed by shame, unstained by dishonor." 

One of the great inconveniences suffered by the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth from the time it left Pittsburg and on its march to Sharpsburg, was a lack 
of surgeons and medicines. Doctor J. A. E. Reed, of Lancaster, Pa., and Doctor 
W. S. Wilson, of Blairsville, Pa., received appointments as Assistant Surgeons 
of the Regiment, and reported for duty in the bivouac at Camp ^IcAuley near 
Antietam. Without medical supplies, hospital tents, or accommodations of any 
kind for the nursing and caring for the sick, these devoted officers were very 
much handicapped professionally in administering to the relief of the sick. Nor 
had the Regiment the "benefit of clerg}' " of any kind, as no chaplain was ap- 
pointed until the "2Sth of December following, when the Reverend Joseph 
Thomas, an esteemed Methodist minister of Pittsburg, was appointed Chaplain. 
The only medical attention the Regiment had from Camp Howe to Antietam 
was that received from Ellis C. Thorne, a private of Company F, who was later 
promoted to Hospital Steward because of his having served as drug clerk in civil 


Chapter IV. 


Regiment Spends Month of October in Camp McAuley. — Many Changes 
IN Regimental and Company Organizations Since Departure of Regiment 
from Pittsburg. — Daily Drill, Discipline, Picket Duty, Inspections, Re- 
views, Dress Parades, Fatigue Duty, Roll-calls and Reconnoissances. — • 
Religious Services in Various Companies. — Recreation and Sports in 
Camp McAuley. — Company Cook System a Failure. — First Military 
Funeral in Regiment. — Emancipation Proclamation Read to Regiment at 
Dress Parade. — Orders Received to Pack Up and Break Camp. — ^Army of 
Potomac in Motion. — Orders of General McClellan Forbidding Foraging. 
— General A. E. Burnside Succeeds General McClellan in Command of 
Army of Potomac. — Grand Review of Army of Potomac — Farewell Ad- 
dress of General McClellan. — General Fitz John Porter Relieved of 

Command of Fifth Corps. 

iLL of the month of October, 1862, was spent by the Regiment at 
Camp McAuley. in the suburbs of Sharpsburg, on the banks of the 
Potomac, where the boys really first became acquainted with their 
company officers. The Regimental organization, with the company 
formations, had been subjected to many changes in the short time 
elapsing from the departure of the Regiment from Pittsburg. Major John H. 
Cain was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel; Captain A. L. Pearson was pro- 
moted to Major; Lieutenant Frank J. Burchard became Captain of Company A; 
Lieutenant E. A. Montooth became Adjutant; Frank Van Gorder, who had been 
commissioned Captain of Company E, was appointed Quartermaster of the Regi- 
ment, and in his place Lieutenant Joseph B. Sackett became Captain of Company 
E; Corporal WilHam B. Glass, of Company F, was the first Commissary Sergeant 
of the Regiment, and served as such during the entire term of service ; Sergeant 
John H. Ralston, of Company F, was made Quartermaster Sergeant; Hawdon 
Marshall, Private in Company F in this camp, became Principal Musician, as the 
important office of Drum Major was known on the muster rolls. Another officer 
of very great importance to the Regiment, although not known at all on the army 
pay-rolls, made his appearance in this camp and conducted a flourishing busi- 
ness — that of Regimental sutler, a very necessary office, which was held by 
Samuel Pollock, of Pittsburg, aided and abetted by William Robinson and Gil- 
bert McMasters, and subsequently by Ed. F. Pearson. This sutler quartette 
composed a jolly set, and besides their stores of eatables they contributed much 
to the good humor and entertainment in the camp. 




Quartermaster Sergeant. 

Between the sickness caused by exposure and scarcity of food and medi- 
cines supplied by the Government in Camp ]\IcAuley. and the bill of fare con- 
sisting of canned stuff and venerable eggs and sturd}- pies supplied by the sutler, 
it became a question which cause contributed most to the population of the 
hospitals in the camps. The sutlers accommodated the soldiers with a line of 
credit, taking as collateral security orders on the monthly pay-rolls from their 
customers. During the six weeks' occupancy of this camp, which may be said 
to be the formative period of the Regiment from the raw and fresh material 
composing it to the development of the soldier by the daily drills, discipline, 
picket duty, inspections, reviews, dress parades, fatigue duty, roll-calls, and re- 
connoissances. Attention was also paid to having company cooks and frequent 
policing of camp during this period. 

Chaplaix Appointed. — Religious Services. 

As has been said, the Regiment was entirely without a Chaplain or spiritual 
guidance the first few months of its service, until the Reverend John M. Thomas 
was appointed Chaplain, December 28, 1862. This, however, did not deprive 
the Regiment from previously holding very frequent religious services in the 
various companies. Companies K, from Armstrong, and H and G, from Clarion 
county, it may be said, set the first example of prayer-meetings, and the singing 
of religious hymns each evening after drills, and especially on each Sunday. 
The city companies, while possessed of many most exemplary Christian youths, 
did not shine so conspicuously or seriously in devotional exercises as did their 



rural companions. Reverend John B. Clark, D. D., of Allegheny, a minister of 
the United Presbyterian Church and Colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty- 
third Pennsylvania Volunteers, in the same camp and brigade of Humphreys' 
Division, had an unusual number of young men, professed Christians, in his 
Regiment. On Sundays many of the officers and soldiers of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth and neighboring regiments, attended his preaching, until the 
Regiment succeeded in securing a regular Chaplain. Colonel Allen, in this camp, 
issued an order that as many of the Regiment professed the Catholic faith, 
they had his permission, and indeed his earnest recommendation, to attend divine 
service each Sunday, in the adjoining camp of General AIeagher"s Irish Brigade, 
where chaplains of that faith held services. As a result, the Regiment might 
be said to have fared very well in the matter of religious instruction. 

On the other hand, recreations and sports were not overlooked whilst in 
this camp. The vioHns and musical instruments, which had made Camp Howe 
so full of pleasant memories, were often reproduced in this camp, and the strains 
of music were frequently heard until late hours, or until what was called " tattoo " 
sounded. Colonel Allen, Lieutenant-Colonel Cain, Alajor Pearson, Adjutant 
Alontooth, Sergeant Harry Campbell, Geo. P. Fulton, and many non-commis- 
sioned officers were good singers, and at Regimental headquarters an impromptu 
glee-club could nightly be heard at this camp on the banks of the Potomac. 

One afternoon the entire Regiment, not on duty, and many of the' officers, 
adjourned to a grove to witness a " set-to " in a ring, arranged between two pri- 
vates, who had a dispute, according to the Marquis-of-Oueensbury rules of the 
London prize ring. A rope was arranged, and 
ring formed, seconds chosen, and a referee se- 
lected in approved form. Two boy gladiators 
came into the arena, each frowning at the other, 
threw off their blouses, rolled up their sleeves, 
took hitches in their belts, and glared at each 
other from their comers, as they took seats 

Commissary Sergeant. 




on camp-stools provided for the occa- 
sion. In addition to " bottle-holders," a 
large bucket of water and horse sponges 
procured from a corral near by were 
placed in position for use. When all was 
ready, a commotion was heard in the 
crowd, which was compelled to open 
ranks a space back, whilst two other sol- 
diers carried on their shoulders a large 
hickory pole which they deposited in the 
center of the ring. Principal Alusician 
Hawdon JMarshall was time-keeper for 
this occasion and gave the signal for the 
contest to open. The parties took their 
positions and the combat was about to 
begin, when it was discovered that the 
fight was to be across a pole, either end 
of which was held by friends of the war- 
riors, mutually chosen. One selected 
Sergeant AIcGimpsey and the other 
Jimmy O'Xeil. " Time " being called, 
the boy fighters proceeded in true prize- 
ring- style to spar for positions and to reach out and tap each other as if with 
" knock-out " blows. Round after round, however, was thus fought amid cheers 
by the assembled Regiment and visiting comrades at the elegant performance of 
the fighters. At the end of half an hour of acute pantomime work, it was discov- 
ered that the holders of the pole, across which the war was being waged, had en- 
tered into a conspiracy to use the pole to prevent either of the combatants from 
landing a blow on his antagonist ; whereupon the referee. Sergeant William Shore, 
of Company D, pronounced the battle a " draw," and all parties adjourned, more 
or less displeased at the result. It was learned afterwards that the two boy 
combatants were in dead earnest, and had challenged each other to fight. They 
were consequently much mortified and chagrined at the outcome of the contest, 
whilst all their companions really enjoyed the bloodless encounter. The estrange- 
ment of the combatants was of short duration. They subsequently became fast 
friends, and when one of them fell on " Little Round Top." pierced by a rebel 
bullet, he expired in the arms of his adversary in the mock fight in Camp McAule)'. 


In consequence of the harrowing and exaggerated tales of the sufferings of 
the Regiment in this camp, sent home and published in the papers generally, the 
express companies were kept busy sending boxes from the homes of the boys, 
containing delicacies and substantial food. Much sickness frequently followed 
from indulgence in over-eating the contents of these boxes, as a result of the 
sympathetic action of the friends at home. Before leaving this camp, the com- 
pany-cook s}'stem introduced was found to be a total failure, principally because 
of the selection for the trying position of the most uncouth and disqualified men 


in the companies. As a result of dissatisfaction, company cooks were discon- 
tinued, and eacli mess of three or four comrades accepted the raw rations dis- 
tributed to the companies and did their own cooking as messes. 

While in this camp, in the late October weather, the Regiment had not yet 
received its full supply of tents or blankets necessary to the health and comfort 
of the boys. To supply this want, however, they had an abundance of cord- 
wood and rails with which they kindled many camp-fires. To keep themselves 
warm on the frosty evenings before retiring, the boys of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth would stand around the blazing logs and rails with their backs to the 
fire, sometimes getting so close as to scorch first the bottom of the legs of their 
trousers and gradually burning them still higher, until at the end of five or six 
days the severe scorching affected the entire back part of their unmentionables 
and big holes were made in the garment. 

At this period also requisitions for new supplies of clothing were very slow 
in being filled and in consequence many of the boys, on account of the condi- 
tion of their army trousers, were prevented from drilling and performing other 
military duties. One day the camp of the Regiment was visited by Lieutenant 
\V. J. Patterson and Sergeant Bernard Coll, of the Sixty-second Regiment Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers, then in an adjacent camp. Comrades Patterson and Coll 
had just been exchanged as paroled prisoners. They had been wounded and 
captured at the battle of Gaines' Mill, and after their exchange and return to 
camp, they were anxious to see their Pittsburg friends in the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth. In conversation sometime after this visit to Camp McAuley, they 
expressed surprise at the behaviour of so many of their friends in the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth in remaining squatted on the ground during their visit, 
and their failure to arise and hospitably welcome them. Comrades Coll and Pat- 
terson, after hearing of the condition of the boys' wardrobe, fully accepted the 
explanation, and pardoned the apparent want of courtesy on understanding that 
the state of the wardrobe of about one-half of the Regiment caused by their too 
close proximity to the rail fires, left them no alternative than to remain seated 
in the presence of visitors, and thus conceal the ravages made upon the seating 
portion of their Government uniforms. 

To show their appreciation of the uncomfortable condition of their friends. 
Comrades Coll and Patterson formed a relief party, and gathered up a supply 
of necessary clothing from the more fortunate members of the Sixty-second, from 
which they helped out the scanty wardrobe of their friends, the new soldiers of 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. 

October 15th was election day in camp, but there was very little excitement 
or interest taken in the State election. 

Abram F. Overholt, private of Company E, a native of West Xewton, 
aged nineteen, died in the hospital at this camp this day, and being the first death 
in that Company, he was given a military funeral, ordered by Captain Sackett, in 
command. The burial took place in the Lutheran Church graveyard in Sharps- 
burg, around which a few weeks before the great battle of Antietam had raged. 
His comrades, digging his grave and lowering him into his last resting place, 


fired a military salute over his grave and marched back to camp. His death was 
due to typhoid fever, a disease to which a great many other soldiers in Humphreys' 
Division had fallen victims. 

It was in the latter days of .September, whilst the Regiment was in Camp 
McAuley, that the great Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President 
Lincoln, and read to the various regiments in camp, at dress parade, by orders of 
General McClellan, Commander in Chief. It is now a matter of history that this 
great war measure would have been proclaimed at an earlier date, but the disasters 
of the Union army in the summer of 1862 caused its postponement until the 
Union armies had won a victory. President Lincoln followed the proclamation, 
returning the thanks of the Government and Nation to General McClellan and 
his troops for the victory of Antietam, in repulsing the Confederate invaders and 
driving them south of the Potomac. Officers and men of the Army of the Potomac 
received with delight the tidings of this great war measure, as a most opportune 
blow to the Confederate cause and its corner-stone — human slavery. 

Army in Motion. 

October 30, 18(3?, was memorable because of the orders received from General 
McClellan to "' pack up," break camp and resume the march and an active cam- 
paign against the enemy. The large number of convalescent sick were placed in 
ambulances and sent to Frederick, Md., and other points for further treatment. 
Humphreys' Division marched through Sharpsburg, continuing on their way until 
night. The next morning the march was resumed, and at noon the Division 
reached Sandy Hook, the whole Army of the Potomac being in motion. The 
Potomac river was crossed at Harper's Ferry on pontoons, the first the Regiment 
had ever seen, presenting a sight most remarkable in its grandeur of scenery, as 
well as a moving picture of the magnificent army of nearly one hundred thousand 
men in motion, engaged in the opening demonstration of another campaign. The 
army was in fine spirits, and had recovered from any demoralizing effects in- 
volved in the disasters of the Peninsula and the defeats in the Second Battle of 
Bull Run, and as General McClellan and staflf rode by, the cheers that greeted 
him were as cordial as ever. 

Harper's Ferry, which the new troops saw for the first time, presented a 
singular sight. The United States arsenal, which had been blown up and de- 
stroyed a year before, was the most conspicuous object visible. Huge piles of 
gun-barrels, bayonets, shells, etc., taken from the ruins, were piled up and stacked 
in the arsenal grounds. 

The historic Engine House at which John Brown and his party made, the 
famous stand at Harper's Ferry, and where Colonel R. E. Lee, U. S. A., suc- 
ceeded in capturing Brown and his party but a few years before, also attracted 
very great attention from the Union troops, as they marched along, many sing- 
ing " John Brown's body lies a mouldering in the grave, as we go marching 
on," etc. 

Passing through Harper's Ferry, which was thronged with soldiers, Mc- 
Clellan's grand army crossed over the Shenandoah on pontoons, and the columns 


ascended a series of hills for three or four miles, on the south side, where the 
Division again encamped on the sacred soil of Old Virginia. On November 2d, 
the army resumed its march, and continued all day, halting in the evening at 
Snicker's Gap. 

Foraging and Straggling. 

The disposition displayed by the new troops of the army, on crossing into 
the enemy's country again, was to forage and raid on the farm houses and stock 
of the non-combatant inhabitants, thus inducing straggling and loitering on the 
march. General JNIcClellan, to stop this, issued an order on the first day's 
march, announcing that further straggling would be severely punished, and that 
the business of the Union soldier was not to molest, but to protect the peaceful 
non-combatant citizens, and that their duty called for suppressing the rebel- 
lion and dealing with armed foes of the Union only, and closing by stating that 
violation of these instructions, because being subversive of discipline, would be 
severely punished, whether committed by officers or enlisted men. With the 
heedlessness due to the youth and inexperience of the new troops composing 
Humphreys' Division, it was found most difficult to restrain them from violation 
of these orders, and as a consequence, but little attention was paid to the orders 
of the Commander-in-Chief. 

General Fitz John Porter, commanding the Corps, and General Humphreys, 
commanding the Division, because of the wholesale violation of the general 
order prohibiting straggling and foraging, announced in orders to their respective 
subordinate officers, that they would be held responsible and liable to court- 
martial, if they permitted or tolerated, or did not suppress straggling or foraging 
by their men. As this order did not seem to afifect the men, or threaten additional 
punishment to them, although read to them on dress-parade on the second day's 
march, it had little or no effect, and as a result, even more straggling and more 
foraging on the part of the new troops took place, under the belief that they 
had immunity from punishment. Chickens and fowls of all kinds, hogs, sheep, 
bee-hives and other portable articles were coolly appropriated by the troops on 
this day's march. Houses were invaded in search for apples and fruits and 
vegetables, and many well-stufifed haversacks of the men indicated that their ap- 
propriation of private property had been extensive.. Straggling, or dropping out 
of ranks, to accomplish this result, of course, necessarily followed. The provost 
guard of the Army of the Potomac was composed of United States Regulars, 
veterans in the service, and it was said to be a most delightful duty to them, and 
a work in which they reveled, to follow the new volunteer troops on the march 
and to capture foragers and stragglers found with private goods on their per- 
sons. As many as two hundred men of one regiment alone were thus arrested 
on the march by the provost guard with the stolen property of non-combatants 
in their possession, and they were accordingly, at the end of the day's march, 
corraled as prisoners in what was called a " bull-pen," where they remained under 
arrest until morning, when they were discharged. Strange to say, no part of 
their captured goods was confiscated by the provost guard, or other officers, thus 
practically putting a premium on straggling and foraging. 


Several colonels of regiments, for failure to enforce necessary discipline on 
the day's march and to prevent straggling and foraging, were, as the general 
orders had announced would be done, placed under arrest, on charges preferred 
of disobedience of orders. It was a drastic remedy thus invoked, because of the 
irrepressible desire of the soldiers and their belief that it was their bounden duty 
to forage upon all inhabitants of the enemy's country, making no inquiries or 
distinction as to the loyalty or disloyalty of the population. The officers thus 
arrested were really not to be blamed, and should not have been censured, as, 
despite all their efforts, their inen circumvented them, and disobeyed orders from 
headquarters which the thoughtless youths scarcely comprehended. 

The Regiment was placed on picket duty at Snicker's Gap, and served there 
until the next day, when the army of McClellan again marched, and reached 
White Plains, where a number more of stragglers and foragers were arrested 
by the provost guards, composed of Regulars, and with their captured provisions 
were detained over night, and returned to their regiments in the morning. At 
this place, November 7th, the first snow of the season fell, giving the camp a 
wintry appearance. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, on this day's march, had its first ex- 
perience as rear guard to the Fifth Corps. The wagon-train which was a very 
long one, being composed of many ammunition wagons, quartermaster wagons,, 
headquarters' wagons, commissary wagons and artillery trains, several miles in 
length, occupied nearly the entire day in passing; so that it was nearly night 
when in their capacity of wagon-train guards the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
followed it, and marched all night over muddy, bad roads, about as intolerable as 
was ever afterwards experienced in Virginia's muddy roads in bad weather. 
The Regiment passed through New Baltimore and Georgetown and on nearly 
to Thoroughfare Gap. 

General McClellan Relieved from Command.- 

General McClellan was relieved from command of the army at White 
Plains, on November 7, 1862, at midnight, by special messenger from the Adju- 
tant-General's office in the War Department at Washington. General McClellan, 
commander of the army, was served with an order relieving him from com- 
mand, and substituting in his place General A. E. Burnside, then serving in 
command of a corps under McClellan. Had this order of removal been made 
some weeks earlier, while General McClellan was tarrying in camp at Sharps- 
burg and quarreling with the Government for its want of co-operation, it could 
be well understood, as the Government was impatient that the army should move 
before winter set in; but deferring the removal until the army was recruited 
and in magnificent condition to strike a blow, and was well on the march, with 
plans of campaign formed and renewed confidence in its commander, it came as 
a surprise to the men under his command, who still worshipped McClellan and 
appreciated his patriotism and generalship. The Army of the Potomac, how- 
ever, its leaders and men, were in the campaign for the country and the Union, 
and it mattered little to them as patriots what Generals led them, if they were 



only loyal and capable. That this was General McClellan's own view was clearly 
exhibited by his patriotic deportment on this, to him, trying occasion. General 
Bnrnside shared in the popular love and admiration of McClellan, and when thus 
tendered the appointment as his successor, hesitated ,to accept it, and declared 
to McClellan his want of confidence in his own capacity to succeed him, and 
sought the former's advice as a special friend as to accepting the responsible po- 
sition. General McClellan promptly assured General Burnside that it was his 
duty to accept ; that it was the demand of the country, and that he should obey ; 
and that he, General McClellan, would stay with him, explain his plans, introduce 
him to all his officers, have a public review of the army in his honor, and in his 
farewell address to the army would commend him as his successor. All of which 
General McClellan did, much to the advantage and prestige of General Burnside. 
A review of the army was at once arranged, and it was a most remarkable fare- 
well demonstration. The cheers and applause that greeted " Little Mac," as he 
was affectionately called, as he returned most gracefully the salutes and greetings 
■of his men, will ever be remembered. 

In this review of the army. General McClellan was accompanied by the 
Generals commanding the corps, and General Porter, being always a favorite of 
the Fifth Army Corps, accompanied General McClellan, the farewell review being 
intended for both. General iNIcClellan issued the following farewell address : 

" Headquarters of The Army of the Potomac, 

" Camp Near Rectortown, Va., Nov. 7, 1862. 
■" Officers and Soldiers of The Army of the Potomac : 

" An order of the President devolves upon Major-General Burnside the 
command of this army. In parting from you, I cannot express the love and 
gratitude I bear to you. As an army you have grown up in my care. In you 
I have never found doubt or coldness. The battles you have fought under my 
command will probably live in our Nation's history. The glor}' you have achieved 
over mutual perils and fatigues; the graves of our comrades fallen in battle and 
by disease, the broken forms of those whom wounds and sickness have disabled — 
the strongest associations which can exist among men unite us by an indissoluble 
tie. We shall ever be comrades in supporting the Constitution of our country 
and the nationality of its people. 

" Geo. B. McClellan, 
" Major-General U. S. A." 

Major-General Porter issued a farewell address to the Fifth Army Corps, 
replete with patriotic sentiments, on being relieved of its command, and com- 
mended the qualities of the distinguished soldier appointed to succeed him, 
Major-General Joseph Hooker. This farewell address was read at the Regi- 
mental dress-parades. 

An apparently belated order was also read about this time by Adjutant 
Montooth, purporting to be a letter from Major-General Franz Sigel, in relation 



to having the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers 
transferred to his corps; as in the recruiting days in Pittsburg, many officers in- 
voked the name of General Sigel as a popular hero of the hour to aid in re- 
cruiting. This letter was an explanation indicating to those who wanted " to- 
fight mit Sigel " that it was through no fault of General Sigel that their wishes 
had not been reahzed. 


Chapter V. 


First Official Act of General Buexside to Order Reviews by A'arigus 
Corps Commanders. — Rumor of Coming Battle at Fredericksburg. — Gen- 
eral Burnside's Headquarters. — ENEArv Strengthens Fortifications on 
Hills of Fredericksburg. — Balloon Service of Army of Potomac. — Burn- 
side Reorganizes Army of Potomac into Three Grand Divisions. — General 
Hooker Promoted to Command Grand Center Division. — General Daniel 
Butterfield Succeeds to Command of Fifth Corps. — Failure of Pontoons 
to Arrive from Washington, D. C. — Confederates Strengthen Fortifica- 
tions Daily'. — Heavy Cannonading by Both Armies. — Laying of Pontoon 
Bridges. — Humphreys' Division in Reserve as " Forlorn Hope." — Incident 
OF U.vcLE John JMackin. — Humphreys' Division on Pontoons Bombarded by 
Enemy. — Position of Regiment Opposite AIarye's Heights. — Humphreys' 
Division, as " Forlorn Hope," Prepares to Assault. — Colonel Allen Com- 
mands Regiment in the Charge. — Humphreys' Division Charges on Con- 
federate Position Protected by Stonewall at Foot of Heights. — Charge 
Made with Bayonets Only. — Humphreys' Division Repulsed with Loss of 
1,700 Men. — Courage of Colonel Allen, Commanding One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth. — Regiment Remains on Battlefield Nearly All Night. — 
Army Cross Rappahannock to Old Camps. — Captain Anshutz, Company 
C, AND Color-Sergeant Thomas E. Wiseman Killed. — Staff of Regimental 
Colors Cut by Canister Shot. — Color-Corporal Thomas C. Lawson Rescues 
and Carries Flag Safely- Off the Field. — Longstreet's Description of 
Charge of FIumphreys' Division. — A'andalism Committed by Non-com- 
batants and Camp Followers. — Sorrowful and Distressing Scenes in 
Hospitals in Town of Fredericksburg. — Retreat of Burnside's Army. — 
Burnside's " Mud March." — Casualties. 

|HE first official act of General Burnside, on his advent to power, was 
to order reviews of his command by the various corps commanders. 
On Sunday, November 16th, General Hooker, the new commander 
of the Fifth Corps, conducted a grand review of the three divisions 
composing the Fifth Army Corps. The next day the army broke 
camp near Warrenton, passing through the town, which seemed deserted by all 
the inhabitants except one or two indignant females well up in years, who scolded 
and denounced the " Yankee troops " generally as they passed by. By slow and 
easy marches the next two days the different corps reached positions. No con- 
certed plan of action on these movements could be recognized, unless it was that 



the movements were intended to conceal from the enemy the real object of 

On the 32d of November, Humphreys' Division was in camp six miles from 
Fredericksburg, on the north side of the Rappahannock, where rumors were first 
circulated that a battle would soon take place and an attempt be made to drive 
the enemy, then occupying Fredericksburg and its adjacent heights, from that 
locality. To many of the troops in the ranks what importance or significance, 
strategetically or otherwise, there would be in the capture of Fredericksburg, 
could not be understood any more than was General Halleck's strategy in persist- 
ing upon the retention of Harper's Ferry as important in the Antietam campaign. 
This thought was especially impressed upon the men of the Pennsylvania Re- 
serves and other regiments of McDowell's Corps, which had, the previous spring, 
occupied quiet and peaceful possession of Fredericksburg. They had for several 
weeks held the town and the natural fortifications surrounding it, and without 

being compelled to do so, had quietly 
evacuated the position ; and it was now 
proposed to give the enemy battle to re- 
occupy the position. Finally Humphreys' 
Division marched to the village of Fal- 
mouth, a point on the hills bordering the 
Rappahannock, immediately opposite the 
town of Fredericksburg. There General 
Burnside at once opened up the head- 
quarters of the army, and settled down 
for some weeks to a period of inaction; 
although the enemy, divining his plans, 
had commenced to work on breastworks 
night and day, with details of contraband 
labor, in plain view of Burnside's head- 
quarters, strengthening the terraced hills 
and strong natural defensive positions 
surrounding the town of Fredericksburg 
and making the same practically impregnable. 

The balloon service of the Army of the Potomac here, being a corps organ- 
ized by General Fitz John Porter in the Peninsula campaign, attracted great at- 
tention. The balloon made daily captive ascensions to discover the movements, 
the works, and the positions of the enemy. 

''"'' ' 

■ .:■ 









. :<^ 








Preparing for the Battle. 

General Burnside took this occasion of military inaction to reorganize the 
Army of the Potomac into three grand divisions. General Hooker was pro- 
moted to the command of the Center Grand Division, which led to the assign- 
ment of General Daniel Butterfield, a very popular officer, to the command of 
the Fifth Corps. Whilst it was generally known that the objective point of the 
movements of the Army of the Potomac was Fredericksburg, it had also been 


known for a long time previous that the delay of the array in crossing to storm 
the heights, was the non-arrival of the necessary pontoon trains from Washington 
City. General Burnside had sent written orders making requisition for pontoons, 
which went through the regular departments with as little celerity as in " piping 
times of peace," and week after week passed, however, and the pontoons from 
Washington, but sixty miles distant, failed to arrive. The red tape of the de- 
partment at Washington was indifferent to the fact that the Confederates were 
strengthening their fortifications daily and bringing up reinforcements; and 
General Burnside, with an abundant staff and aids, preferred waiting on the cir- 
cumlocution office in Washington, to detailing an officer of his staff and sending 
him to the engineer corps in Washington, or to the War Department itself, to 
take the pontoon trains which were stored in the War Department buildings in 
Washington, to the Army of the Potomac. At last, when the enemy seemed to 
have strengthened his last weak point, and to be at the very maximum of his 
strength, the long-delayed pontoons arrived. The Commander-in-Chief, General 
Burnside, unmindful of the greatly strengthened position of the enemy so ma- 
terially added to during the long delay in the arrival of pontoons, determined to 
accommodate the willing enemy by making direct attacks upon his strongest 
positions, and so the battle of Fredericksburg was inaugurated. 

It is not within the scope of a regimental history to describe more than what 
fell under the observation of the members of the regiment ; or at most, the 
division, and hence the orders and strategy and movements relating to other 
corps or divisions in that disastrous and ill-fated battle, will not receive mention. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment remained in camp near Fal- 
mouth from November 22d to December 11th, except three days in which the 
Regiment was on picket. On Thanksgiving day a sermon was delivered by 
Colonel John B. Clark, of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Pennsylvania 
Volunteers, which, it is needless to say, was an eloquent discourse, coming from 
such a source. 

While encamped here a new base of suppHes was formed at Acquia Creek 
for the Army of the Potomac, and a military railroad thirteen miles in length 
conveyed supplies to the army in this position. 

On Thursday, December 10th, Humphreys' Division received marching 
orders and the Regiment was aroused before daylight by the sound of heavy 
cannonading from Stafford Heights, where over one hundred pieces of Federal 
artillery, under General Hunt, were posted. It was soon answered from the 
enemy's works back of Fredericksburg. The duel between the contending forces 
lasted for several hours during the day. The various columns of troops marched 
closer to the army headquarters of General Burnside, so as to be ready to de- 
scend from the heights of Stafford to the banks of the Rappahannock, thence 
to cross the pontoons to Fredericksburg, which was still in the possession of the 
enemy, and the south banks of the Rappahannock being lined with Confederate 

Friday, December 13th, Humphreys' Division was moved a short distance 
closer to the sound of the firing, which was kept up all day. Professor Lowe's 
balloon, already mentioned as accompanying the army, was kept busy making 



ascensions and reporting to Burnside. This really seemed unnecessary, because 
of the fact that Stafford Heights, occupied by ,the Federal artillery, afforded a 
magnificent view of the valley beneath on the opposite side of the Rappahannock, 
on the plateau of which the town of Fredericksburg is located. The positions of 
the artillery and the infantry of the enemy occupying the works could be plainly 
seen with the aid of military glasses. 

Crossing Pontoons Under Fire. 

The laying of the pontoon boats opposite Fredericksburg, on which Hum- 
phreys' Division and other troops were to cross directly opposite the town, was 
a most difficult and hazardous undertaking, by reason of the Confederate sharp- 


shooters and the regular troops lining the banks of the river and resisting every 
attempt to float the pontoons into shape for tying and bridging purposes. The 
fire of the enemy was so concentrated at first that the Union engineer corps in 
charge of the work were driven from their positions by the enemy, and for a 
time it looked as if the laying of the pontoons at the point in question would 
have to be abandoned. The engineer corps, however, was re-enforced by com- 
panies of volunteer infantry soldiers, who jumped into boats and were rowed 
across by oarsmen while they fired in squads and got accurate range on the 
sharpshooters and troops of the enemy occupying the Fredericksburg bank of 
the river. These boats thus laden with soldiers and sharpshooters in large num- 
bers, soon crossed, and on landing, drove the enemy, not only from the banks 
./?,;- and hiding places, but also up through the streets of Fredericksburg, which the 


enemy made no further serious attempt to hold. Under the protection, therefore, 
of the Union troops who had thus landed and occupied in force the banks of 
the river and the town of Fredericksburg, two bridges of pontoons were quickly 
laid across the Rappahannock to a street located about the center of the town. 
No further resistance from the city or the shore being offered, the Union columns, 
corps after corps of Hooker's Grand Division, occupied the greater part of the 
day in crossing, with the large supply and ammunition trains. The enemy, from 
the works back of Fredericksburg, sought to repulse the crossing on the pontoons 
by severely shelling the location occupied by the bridges, but their range being 
far from perfect, but few of the shells from the heavy cannonading struck either 
the bridges or the soldiers occupying them. Humphreys' Division, it was de- 
termined by General Burnside, should participate in the direct charges he had 
ordered against Marye's Heights, and should be the last command to make 
the assault in case the others should be repulsed. This was because the Division 
was composed of fresh troops, and this was its first battle; also because of 
General Burnside's great confidence in Humphreys, its dashing General. The 
■officers and men of this Division alike — this being their baptism of fire — could 
be said, for this battle at least, " to be eager for the fray." In fact, it can be 
truly doubted whether they were ever again as " eager for the fray " as they 
were upon this occasion. To hear the cannons roar nearly all day, to know of 
the repeated charges, and repulses of Federal troops under Couch and Sumner 
and Hancock and Griffin and Sykes and Meagher, and to know that Humphreys' 
Division was reserved to be the last to make the attack, and in fact, to be the 
" forlorn hope," as was communicated in a vigorous address delivered to the 
■command by General Humphreys, made it indeed a very trying occasion, and a 
test of the soldierly qualities of the command. But, undismayed and undaunted, 
the men touched elbows, and determined to do their duty. 

Incident Before the Battle. 

Whilst awaiting the final order to cross the pontoon, an incident occurred 
regarding a well-known Pittsburger and his son, a soldier in the Regiment, which 
deserves mention. Uncle John Mackin was the esteemed citizen referred to. 
He had succeeded, through Colonel Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of 
War, in securing a pass to visit his son. Corporal John Mackin, serving as color 
guard in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment. During this visit, on the 
eve of battle, Colonel Allen, Regimental commander, provided him with quar- 
ters and rations from his own mess. As the battle was imminent. Uncle Mackin's 
war spirit rose to the occasion, and he demanded of Colonel Allen a gun and 
permission to accompany the Regiment in the " forlorn hope " assigned it on 
the occasion. The sight of rough-box coffins piled up by the hundred at the 
freight station adjacent to Burnside's headquarters, being intended for the 
soldiers killed in the coming battle, had no disheartening effect upon citizen 
Mackin's intentions. He was not permitted, however, to accompany his son 
across the pontoon bridge to Fredericksburg, the most that could be conceded 
him was to allow him to remain on the north-side bridge approach, where an 


occasional shell from the enemy's bombardment was lighting. There he re- 
ceived a farewell kiss and embrace from his beloved son, who left the marching- 
ranks for that purpose, as the Regiment was rapidly marching to cross the 
Rappahannock to engage in the battle of Fredericksburg. 

The artillery and musketry fire of the morning, as stated, could be seen 
but dimly by the waiting troops of Humphreys' Division by reason of the smoke 
and fog, but later in the afternoon, when the Division was ordered to descend 
the ravine from Stafford Heights and cross the pontoons, the fog had disap- 
peared, and the smoke did not obstruct the view. The enemy's artillery, how- 
ever, which earlier in the day had very poor range, seemed to take advantage 
of the disappearance of the fog at this hour, and as the Division was getting 
into line and marching down the hillside to the pontoon approaches, the shells 
had better range, and occasionally struck and killed and wounded men, and also 
struck the caissons and batteries crossing on the other pontoon bridge, which was 
also within the range of the enemy's artillery. In crossing the pontoons, the 
troops experienced a singular sensation. The fact that one's chances of being 
either killed on the bridge or drowned if wounded and knocked off the pontoons 
into the stream, was far from consoling. Officers and men, however, recognized 
the dilemma and hurried across, not a halt occurring during the passage of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment. Once on the banks and in the town 
of Fredericksburg, the Union troops were comparatively safe from the range 
of the enemy's fire, the Confederates manifesting no disposition at the time to 
shell or destroy the city, which they could easily have done. 

General Humphreys Leads " Forlorx Hope." 

With great celerity General Humphreys conducted the advance of the 
Division through the streets of Fredericksburg, and up to the position opposite 
Marye's Heights, where the great fighting of the fore part of the day had taken 
place. Couch's Division, composed of the flower of the Army of the Potomac,, 
veterans under Hancock, had already been repulsed in the charges against the 
stonewall at Marye's Heights; General Thomas Francis Meagher's celebrated 
Irish Brigade, the " forlorn hope " on many previous campaigns, had also been 
repulsed with heavy losses, after making gallant assaults. It was in the lulJ 
following these repulses, that Humphreys' Division arrived on the scene. It is 
said that General Hooker, commander of the Grand Division, observing the ter- 
rible repulses and slaughter, as he termed it, of the gallant commands in at- 
tempting to assault Marye's Heights, before giving the final order for Hum- 
phreys' Division to make the final attack as a " forlorn hope " of the Army of the 
Potomac, rode back to General Burnside, and invited his confirmation of the 
existing order for General Humphreys to attack the position with the bayonet. 
Burnside is said to have replied with great determination, " Yes ; those heights 
must be taken, and why should General Hooker ask such a question at this 
time ? " " Because," replied General Hooker, " I thought that, in view of the 
terrible losses of Couch's Division, Hancock's, Meagher's and the other brave 



commands in assaulting the position, that the loss you had started out to accom- 
plish, had been attained, and that, therefore, the renewal of assaults by the 
magnificent Division of General Humphreys would be unnecessary." Burnside 
then repeated the order, and Hooker rode away, and most reluctantly repeated 
it to the Corps Commander, General Butterfield, who in turn delivered the 
order to General Humphreys. 

Colonel Aller^, with that solicitude for his men which marked his whole 
service, made a detail of the very youngest and least sturdy looking boys of 
the Regiment to guard the knapsacks, which had been unslung and piled up just 

Brigade Commander, 

preparatory to the advance and charge on Mayre's Heights. General Humphreys, 
who seemed ubiquitous, in making his final preparations for the " forlorn hope," 
soon after discovered half a dozen boys hanging round the piled-up knap- 
sacks, a short distance from the troops, and in his excitement, ignorant that the 
boys had been detailed there by Colonel Allen, indignantly and profanely ordered 
the knapsack guards to report at once to their companies, insinuating most un- 
justly that they were a lot of skulkers. Two of the boys thus ordered to their 
companies in less than half an hour later were killed in the charge ordered. The 
knapsacks were never recovered, and it was just as well that General Humphreys 


dispersed the guards to their companies, for had they remained, they would un- 
doubtedly have been captured by the enemy. 

At this date probably the most accurate description of the participation of 
the Regiment in the battle up to which the reader has been led, is contained in the 
■official report of General A. A. Humphreys, the Division commander, and that 
of acting Brigadier-General Colonel P. H. Allabach, and also the report of 
•Colonel E. J. Allen, commanding the Regiment, which, being official and on the 
archives of the Government at Washington, may be relied upon as accurate and 
complete for the purpose of this history. The same is, therefore, appended as 
being well worthy of perusal. The preparations for the " forlorn hope " and 
the assault by Humphreys' Division, described in extracts of the official reports, 
it may be further stated, were extensive and thorough. 

jReport of Brigadier-General Andrew A. Humphreys, U. S. Army, Com- 
manding Third Division, Fifth Army Corps, at Battle of Fred- 
ericksburg, December 13th, 1862. 
" Headquarters Third Division, 
" Camp near Fredericksburg, 

" December 16th, 1862. 
■" General : 

" I beg leave to submit the following brief report of the part taken in the 
action of the 13th inst. at Fredericksburg, by the Division under my command. 
" My Division, about four thousand five hundred strong, being massed 
about the Phillip's house received orders at 3 : 30 p. m. to cross the river and 
■enter Fredericksburg, which being done, it occupied, by your order, in quick 
succession three different positions." 

" One hundred and fifty yards in advance of the position my command 
was ordered to occupy was a heavy stonewall, a mile in length, which was 
strengthened by a trench. This stonewall was at the foot of the heights in 
rear of Fredericksburg, the crest of which running four hundred yards distant 
from the wall was crowned with the enemy's batteries. The stonewall was 
heavily lined with the enemy's infantry. The Second Brigade, led by Colonel 
Allabach and myself, moved rapidly and gallantly up to General Couch's troops 
under the artillery and musketry fire of the enemy. 

" As soon as I ascertained the nature of the enemy's position I was satisfied 
that our fire could have but little eflfect upon him, and that the only mode of 
■attacking him successfully was with the bayonet.' 

" The charge was then made, but the deadly fire of musketry and artillery 

broke it after an advance of fifty yards. 

" Our loss in both brigades was heavy, exceeding one thousand, including a 

number of officers of high rank. The greater part of the loss occurred during 

the brief time they were charging and retiring." 



" The cool courage of Colonel E. Jay Allen, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, in bringing up his command to the charge 
and in conducting them from the field fell particularly under my own observa- 
tion, and I desire to bring his conduct to your notice." 

Report of Colonel Peter H. Allabach, Commanding Second Brigade, Third 
Division, at B.\ttle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1863. 

" Headquarters Second Brigade, 
" Near Potomac Creek, Va. 

" December 19, 1863. 
■" General : 

" The charge was made and the hne pressed forward to within twelve paces 
of the stonewall under a galling fire of musketry and of grape and canister from 
a battery on the right. 

" Too much praise cannot be given to Colonel E. Jay Allen, of One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers for the fine style in which he con- 
ducted himself and maneuvered his regiment." 

Report of Colonel Edward Jay Allen, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. 

" December 13, 1862. Marched across pontoon bridges, crossing the Rap- 
pahannock about 3 : 30 p. m. Marched through the city, crossed a canal and filed 
to the left, the brigade marching left in front. The One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment was in advance on the left. All the command marched over 
.a plateau some four hundred yards towards the enemy's rifle pits and batteries. 
Halted within fifty yards of their first line, where they were covered by a stone- 
wall, and for about an hour and a half replied to the fire of the enemy. Twice 
the Regiment attempted to charge their lines and to carry them by the bayonet, 
but owing to the heavy fire in front and an excess of enthusiasm in the rear 
were compelled to fall back to their position. The Regiment, by command of 
Brigadier-General Humphreys, commanding Division, was withdrawn with the 
entire brigade about dark and formed again on their first line under the slope. 

" The Regiment receiving no orders to fall back into the city, remained 
until nearly daylight, when by order of Colonel Allabach, commanding Brigade, 
it marched down into the city to renew their ammunition, and receiving enough 
to make up quota of sixty rounds, marched back again to the cover of the slope 
and remained there until Sunday evening, the 14th, when they marched into the 
city, bivouaced in the streets that night and next day, and about an hour from 
daybreak on the morning of the 16th recrossed the Rappahannock, taking posi- 
tion in our old camp. Loss, nine killed, fifty-eight wounded. Captain Anshutz, 
' Company C, and Color-Sergeant Thos. Wiseman killed, and entire Color Guard, 




except Color-Corporal Thos. C. Lawson, were killed. Lieutenant E. E. Clapp, 
Company F, wounded and included in above aggregate. 

" Respectfully submitted, 

" Edward Jay Allen, 
" Colonel One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment 

" Pennsylvania Volunteers. 
" Colonel P. H. Allabach, 

" Commanding Second Brigade." 



Color Sergeant axd Color Guards Killed. 

Amid the malignant, deadly storm of leaden hail that penetrated the flesh 
and splintered the bones of the men of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, the 
flag was borne aloft by Color-Sergeant Thomas Wiseman till a mortal wound 
caused it to fall from his nerveless grasp. As the brave Color-Sergeant reeled 
backward, Color-Corporal Charles Bardeen seized the colors and carried them 
forward, when he, too, received a death wound. The staff of the colors was 
cut in twain by a canister shot, but the silken folds of the flag, with fourteen 
perforations by minie balls, had not yet touched the ground, when Color-Corporal 
George W. Bratten raised them again. He, too, was laid low, and Color-Corporal 
Thomas C. Lawson grasped the splintered stafif, and, keeping the flag unfurled, 
bore it through the bloody conflict and carried it safely off the field. Color- 
Corporals Frank Thompson and John Rankin, Jr., both of Company I, also fell 
mortally wounded. 

Private John F. Hunter, of Company C, while serving as a personal and 
mounted orderl}- to General A. A. Humphreys, and delivering orders in this 

great charge, was badly wounded, 
having his horse shot under him 
and being a sufferer confined to 
the hospital from his wounds for 
several years after his discharge 
from the service. 

Color Sergeant. 

Mounted Orderly. 


There had been four files of Confederates beyond that parapet and the 
stonewall on Marye's Heights, which Humphreys was expected to carry. Al- 
though all previous assaults by the flower of the troops under the bravest com- 
manders, had been repulsed, to quote from a Confederate authority, " The last 
assault (Humphreys) seemed to promise so much determination that an addi- 
tional file of men was sent into the Confederate works. These extra men were 
loading muskets for the ones in front, and this made a continuous fire. The 
sharpshooters on the slope and in the trees, under all kinds of cover, had their 
own way, subject to no return fire." The charge of Humphreys' Division was 
one of the grandest events of the war. It was nearly dusk when the Regiment 
received orders to fall back. Colonel Allen, being junior of the brigade, was 
complimented by General Humphreys, by assigning him to the command of the 
remainder of the brigade on the battlefield, and under his command the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the One Hundred and Twenty-third, Colonel Clark,, 
commander, withdrew from the field. 

It is quite certain that very few Confederates were killed in this last assault. 
Their fire was incessant, and the sharpshooters supported the battle-line by shoot- 
ing at their leisure. The bullets from Humphreys' columns could be heard dis- 
tinctly spattering against the stonewall. The loss in Humphreys' Division 
reached one thousand seven hundred men killed and wounded, in a charge oc- 
cupying less than ten minutes in execution. General Longstreet, in his pub- 
lished volume on the war, speaking of the assault of Humphreys' Division, says: 
" No troops could have displayed greater courage and resolution than was shown 
by those brought against iMarye's Heights, but they miscalculated the wonderful 
strength of the line beyond the stonewall. The position held by Cobb surpassed 
strength and resolution." 

A writer in the " Confederate Veteran," a historical magazine, for many 
years published at Nashville, Tenn., states that in a communication from a 
courier who, during the battle, carried a message from General Lee to General 
Kershaw, commanding the defenses at the stonewall, occurs this passage: " When 
we left the wall the gallant Federals in five lines of battle were on the charge. 
I have since learned this was Humphreys' Division of Hooker's Reserves. They 
were allowed to come within fifty yards of our hne. Then our quintuple line 
rose up from behind the stonewall and delivered their withering fire, and the 
batteries on the hill vomited double charges of canister. The first hne melted, 
but the second came steadily on over the dead and dying of the former charges, 
to share the same fate, but still no halt ; its other lines came on. Ye gods ! it is 
no longer a battle, it is a butchery! Confederates might have made a more 
impetuous charge, but for cool persistent courage there is no instance in the whole 
history of the war that surpasses this charge of Humphreys." 

Night Scenes on Battlefield. 

It was a relief at dusk to find the Regiment sheltered by the slope at the 
mill-race, subject to no direct fire of the enemy, except from occasional shells 
and frequent renewal of sharpshooting when the men unnecessarily assumed a 



standing or even a sitting position, exposing themselves. Quite late in the even- 
ing it was discovered that the remainder of the brigade had left the battlefield 
to go to the town of Fredericksburg. No orders had been received by Colonel 
Allen, in command of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the One Hundred 
and Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, to leave the field, and they, there- 
fore, assumed that they were ordered to remain. A heavy fog set in, and points 
became undistinguishable. The cries of the wounded with the calls of names 
of the various regiments to attract attention could be heard at frequent intervals, 
and an occasional stray shot still penetrated the fog and reached the lines. As 
the fog grew denser, volunteers were called for to ascertain where the Regi- 
ments were, and also to bring in all the 
wounded they could secure. Lieutenant 
Alexander Carson, of Company D, with 
an occasional relief of men, at great per- 
sonal risk, brought in all wounded men 
found in the Regiment's front, not ceas- 
ing until one hundred and twenty 
wounded men had been rescued. One 
of those rescued was Color-Corporal 
Chas. F. Bardeen, of Company F, who 
received a mortal wound, shattering his 

In the early morning, just before the 
fog lifted, several ambulances came 
along, which, had they not been halted, 
would have gone directly into the ene- 
my's lines. Several were loaded up with 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
wounded whom they conveyed to the 
hospitals in the town of Fredericksburg, 
Corporal Bardeen being among them. 
Sad to state, although poor Bardeen was 
tenderly helped into the ambulance, and 
a detail sent to accompany the wounded to the hospitals in the town of Fred- 
ericksburg, all of Colonel Allen's subsequent efforts to discover the location of 
the hospital or even the lot of this brave fellow, were unavailing, and his fate 
will probably never be known. 

As stated, the two regiments left on the field under Colonel Allen were 
without orders. It was discovered late in the night that they were completely 
cut off from communication with any other parts of the Union army. Major 
Pearson was sent to penetrate the fog and the mystery of what had become of 
the rest of the army. The Major not reporting after an interval, Adjutant Mon- 
tooth was despatched on a similar errand, and he, too, could not find his way 
back, as both he and Pearson subsequently reported in describing their wan- 
derings and endeavors to keep out of the Confederate lines. So dense was the 
fog that hours passed by and they could not find either the regiments or the 






town of Fredericksburg. Colonel Allen then left the field, and, after much 
trouble, crossed the canal leading into the town, where he soon found General 
Humphreys' headquarters, it being explained there that the two regiments named 
had been entirely overlooked. Orders were immediately given to Colonel Allen 
that, as soon as the fog permitted, the two regiments named should march into 
the town, which they did, joining the rest of the brigade in the streets of 

Street Scene in Fredericksburg. 

The streets of the town where the troops of Humphreys' Division were sta- 
tioned, it was noticed, were full of loot, and great scenes of vandalism and use- 
less destruction of books, furniture, carpets, pianos, pictures, etc., were visible. 
This conduct was contrary to the orders of the commanding General, but the 
acts had been committed by non-combatants and camp-followers. The army 
soldier, discharging his duty, has no time nor inclination for such disreputable 
work. Many buildings had been dreadfully shattered by the shell and shot, but 
this afforded no excuse for the wanton destruction of private property, or its 
unauthorized confiscation by men masquerading as soldiers in the uniform of 

The sights and scenes during the bivouac of the troops in the streets of 
Fredericksburg were often quite amusing, even amid the gloom prevailing as a 
result of the great disastrous battle. Human nature, as studied, revealed all 
varieties of tastes and inclinations on the part of those troops who left the 
ranks to inspect the city. Some of those characters might be seen with musical 
instruments, with big horns, violins, accordions, and banjos, confiscated from a 
deserted music store : others rolled out barrels of flour and delivered them in 

^ their companies, where, with the aid of water and fire 

P /^ ^^\ and griddles, flapjacks were hastily baked and dis- 

tributed among companions. Drug stores gratified the 
tastes of others, who provided themselves with medi- 
cines and instruments to be found in such stores. The 
enterprising James Finnegan, a character of Company 
D, whose education abroad did not include either 
reading or writing, rifled the desk of an abandoned 
express office and found bundles of receipts, old notes 
and cancelled checks, which he gathered up with great 
care and concealed until its return to camp for exami- 
nation, being under the impression that it was a bank 
instead of an express company he was burglarizing, 
and that his captured booty would enable him and 
Lieutenant Carson, whom he intended to let into 
the secret, to retire to Ireland, there to spend the remainder of their lives in 
opulence and luxurious living. 

It was during this sojourn on the streets of Fredericksburg that a detach- 
ment of the Union Signal Corps, which had climbed up and occupied the interior 
of the tall spire on the Episcopal church of the city, attracted by the waving 



of signals the attention of the battery commanders on Marye's Heights. These 
batteries, in a few well-directed shots at the steeple, caused a panic in the Signal 
Corps, and the members of that body, with their little flags, withdrew very pre- 
cipitately from their elevated position. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, which was stretched along the sidewalk 
or curbstone in front of this church, concurred most heartily in the rapid descent 
of the signal men from the steeple, as the enemy's shells, directed at the steeple, 
occasionally fell short and unpleasantly close to the Regiment enjoying a rest 
on the sidewalk. Also whilst occupying this position on the streets. General 
Burnside and his entire staff and cavalry escort left the army headquarters on 
the north side of the Rappahannock and came over in person to the city of 
Fredericksburg, halting at a public building not far from the position of the 
regiments composing Humphreys' Division. As General Burnside and his staff 
proceeded to dismount, the enemy's batteries, which had observed his conspicu- 
ous crossing on the pontoons and passing through the streets with his escort and 
flags, thought proper to direct a few shells at this cavalcade as it halted. The 
shots thus aimed came very nearly ending the earthly career of General Burn- 
side, as a solid shot within a few feet of him killed one of his mounted orderlies. 
As soon as Burnside and staff entered the house, the shelling of the enemy 
ceased, as they seemed to desire to avoid the destruction of the buildings. This 
fatal incident did not seem to disturb General Burnside or the members of his 
staff in the least as they entered the new headquarters. 

Most sorrowful and distressing were the sights and scenes in the hospitals 
in the town of Fredericksburg. The Court House, Market House and everjf 
church and public building were literally crowded with amputating tables and 
beds on the floor, containing the Union wounded, the death-rate of whom was 
very great, necessitating the coffining and grave-digging for many. 

Burnside Proposes to Renew the Assault. 

It was currently believed and generally circulated that Burnside's visit 
to the town was to demonstrate his confidence in the ability of the men of his 
old corps to charge successfully and capture Marye's Heights by a direct at- 
tack, although so many other assaulting columns had been repulsed. It was 
asserted also that he had declared his intention to prove this by leading in per- 
son the Ninth Army Corps in the assault, having organized and commanded 
that corps in battles, and he, therefore, proposed to stake all on this new and 
direct attack on Marye's Heights. 

This undeserved reflection on the efforts of all the other troops and their 
commanders who had been repulsed on the most brilliant charges with heavy 
losses, was not received favorably by any of the commanders of divisions, corps, 
or grand divisions, and they so warned General Burnside; but he was irre- 
vocably committed to the plan of leading a new storming column in person. It 
was known in advance of this campaign that all the Generals of the Army of 
the Potomac, who had fought under General AlcClellan in his campaigns and 
who had become so personally attached to him, would be closely scrutinized in 


the battle in which his successor commanded, and with this notice it can be said 
that Sumner, Hooker, Couch, Franklin, Hancock, Humphreys, Sykes, Griffin, 
and General Meagher, commander of the Irish Brigade, and all officers under 
McClellan, never fought better or co-operated more zealously with any other 
commander than they did in the ill-fated and disastrous battle under Bumside 
at Fredericksburg. President Lincoln, on receiving word of Burnside's determi- 
nation to renew the direct assault upon Marye's Heights, intervened, and from 
an intimation from him to Burnside, the latter abandoned his intention, and the 
arrangements were accordingly changed so that the entire army at nightfall was 
to fall back, and retreat to the north side of the Rappahannock, there to occupy 
their old camps. It was fortunate, however, that word of General Burnside's 
intention to resume the attack on the next morning by leading the Ninth Corps 
in person reached General Lee through the capture by the Confederates of a staff 
officer conveying such information to General Franklin, commanding the left 
wing of the Union army, at the lower crossing of the Rappahannock. This 
message thus captured was the cause of preventing orders to General Stonewall 
Jackson's command and other Confederate troops for a night assault on Burn- 
side's army camped on the streets of Fredericksburg. 

General Lee, in answer to critics, after the battle, censuring him for not attack- 
ing the Union army and preventing its retreat to the north of the Rappahannock, is 
said to have asserted his belief in the truth of this captured message conveying 
word of the renewal of the assault on Marye's Heights by Burnside in person. 
Lee, therefore, averred, in answer to critics, that his works and positions were 
impregnable, and that he had decided to postpone the attack on the Federals 
in Fredericksburg until after the expected attack of Burnside's assaulting column 
on the following morning. 

Night Retreat of the Union Army. 

The retreat of the Union army under Burnside from Fredericksburg was 
conducted with great skill and success, considering the number of men and the 
shortness of notice. It was to prevent the noise of the large bodies of marching 
columns from attracting the attention of the enemy, that the men in the ranks 
were ordered to remove their bayonet scabbards from the same side of the 
person on which the canteens and tincups hung, which ordinarily made a noise 
in rapid marching not unlike the proverbial cow-bells. Even talking in the 
ranks above a whisper was prohibited because of the retreat and the necessity 
of its being conducted quietly and rapidly. This necessity being communicated 
to the men, they knew its significance, and readily reciprocated with the officers 
in obeying the orders. The night was dark, rendered so by the heavy fog, and 
brigades and divisions were soon in line, and a constant procession the entire 
night, occupied the pontoon bridges from the center of Fredericksburg to the 
north side of the Rappahannock. Ammunition trains, and ambulances convey- 
ing the wounded men necessarily occupied one of the bridges, while the other 
bridge was used by the troops, so that towards morning the whole town was 
evacuated by the Union army. 



Singular to state, Humphreys' Division, tlie last to cross on the pontoons, to 
serve as the " forlorn hope " in the last charge against ^larye's Heights, had the 
honor in turn of being the last to recross to the north side on the pontoons, and 
was assigned the distinguished honor of covering the retreat of Burnside's army. 

Among the remarkable incidents occurring on the night of the retreat was 
the overlooking of many of the pickets. Owing to the confusion incident to 
the retreat no orders were given for the retiring of the Union pickets and guards 
who were on their posts. As a result, quite a number, accidentally discovering the 
retreat of the main army and being without orders, left their posts and reported 
at the river bank just in time to witness the last pontoon being taken up, leaving 
them on the south shore of the Rappahannock. Fortunately, the continuing fog, 
sleet and rain thoroughly concealed the entire movements of the Union army from 
the enemy; and time was given guards and pickets to waken up and call in from 
posts nearby other pickets and guards and those who were ofif guard taking rest. 
These men, too late to cross on the pontoons, to avoid being captured, gathered on 
the bank, and determined, cool as the weather was, that they had no resort but to 
swim the stream, and, abandoning guns, equipments and knapsacks, plunged into 
the river and swam across. Among many others thus abandoned, Corporal 
Frank Gilmore, of Company A, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, one of the 
guards at the court-house in Fredericksburg, used as a hospital, swam the stream. 


A cheerful incident attending the evacuation of Fredericksburg occurred 

concerning Colonel Allen, General Hum- 
phreys and many of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Regiment, and as the 
sequel shows, a few uninvited comrades 
of a neighboring regiment bivouacked 
on the streets of the town. Some in- 
quisitive spirits, members of the Regi- 
ment, found a cellar full of other 
spirits close by; and upon reporting the 
discover}- early in the afternoon, Colonel 
Allen sanctioned, for the sake of the 
sick and wounded in the hospitals, the 
appropriation of the contents of this 
wine cellar, by a reliable committee from 
the Regiment. The bottles were handed 
up one at a time through a vault hole in 
the sidewalk and passed along in quan- 
tities aggregating over four hundred bot- 
tles, when the work of the receiving 
comrades at the top of the grating re- 
quired a rest. At this point a comrade, 
CAPT. WILLIAM R. JONES. who later became famous in Western 


Pennsylvania, being none other than the late William R. Jones, late manager of 
the Carnegie Steel Works at Braddock, but at that time serving as a private sol- 
dier in the One Hundred and Thirty-third Pennsylvania Regiment, from Johns- 
town, Pa., volunteered to reheve the over-worked men of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, in the labors of receiving bottles of wine passed up to them through 
the grating in the street. Private Jones kindly relieved the labors of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth men, but soon diverted a goodly number of the last hun- 
dred bottles to himself and companions for services rendered. This diversion was 
not discovered by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth until the next day, when, 
through Colonel F. B. Speakman, commanding the One Hundred and Thirty- 
third, Jones' good joke on the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth leaked out. Colonel 
Allen thought the confiscation of the wine justifiable, in view of the arduous 
duties of the troops and the inclement weather, and that rations of this superb 
wine should be distributed to his Regiment. The Colonel also sent a bountiful 
supply of the wine to the sick and wounded in the hospitals. 

General Humphreys Samples the Wine. 

Orders had been issued by General Humphreys against the troops' interfering 
with private property of any kind, and in the interest of discipline the direst 
penalties were threatened to officers tolerating any violation of these orders. It 
was, therefore, not without considerable curiosity as to how General Hum- 
phreys, the Division Commander, might, if invited by Colonel Allen to share the 
Colonel's ration, take the tender of a little of this confiscated wine. Without 
any misgivings, however. Colonel Allen did induce General Humphreys to share 
his hospitality, although it was disturbed once or twice by an occasional shell or 
stray shot striking the building where the modest banquet to Humphreys was 
being tendered. At the proper period of the feast. Colonel Allen produced from 
beneath the table a bottle of wine, and in politest terms, asked General Hum- 
phreys to share a bumper with him. The General, who at times could be as 
polite as any man in the world, proved it on this occasion by most courteously 
accepting the Colonel's ofifer and in the absence of silver goblets or fine cut-glass- 
ware; the plain army tin cup was utilized and filled with the tempting beverage. 
General Humphreys pronounced a warm eulogy upon it, and demanded to know 
how Colonel Allen was so fortunate as to secure a bottle. The latter explained 
to him that he had another bottle, and could furnish him another cupful, which the 
General received with great gusto. When finding that General Humphreys would 
not likely be shocked with the truth, he explained that to prevent vandalism and 
the destruction of the wine, he had taken the contents of the entire cellar for his 
sick and wounded in the hospitals, which report met with the hearty and cordial 
approval of Humphreys as a wise and humane act, instead of censure. When, 
however, Colonel Allen admitted that he had already distributed a hundred bot- 
tles of this fine beverage to his own men bivouacking in the streets, Humphreys 
professed to be shocked beyond measure at the awful waste of such fine wine 
on such raw material as private soldiers. After some extenuating defense by 
Colonel Allen, and pleading specially the gallant charge of the One Hundred 














and Fiftv-fifth Regiment on Marye's Heights, Humphreys became reconciled 
to the wanton waste of fine wine on private soldiers, and the Colonel produced 
a third bottle from under the table and another cupful, which the Division Gen- 
eral disposed of with great apparent relish. With the gift of a few more bottles 
to General Humphreys, he and Colonel Allen separated with a cemented friend- 
ship of a lasting character. 

The enemy did not discover the retreat of the main army until late in the 
day, when the fog lifted ; and great must have been their chagrin and disappoini- 
ment over the masterly retreat of Burnside's army. The casualties on the Union 
side have never been fully or carefully tabulated, but they are approximated to 
have reached not less than seventeen thousand men, mostly killed and wounded, 
a few being taken prisoners. As the distance from the north-side end of the 
pontoons, on which the army crossed to their old camps was very short, and as 
the winter huts of the camp were all intact, the same as they had been left a few 
days before, Burnside's army soon resumed their old positions and camps. 

About the only prominent general who took part in the battle of Fredericks- 
burg that escaped official and personal denunciation by General Burnside was 
General Humphreys, whom Burnside, in his official report recommended to be 
breveted Major-General for conspicuous bravery and gallantry in leading the 
" forlorn hope " by his Division on Marye's Heights. This recommendation 
Lincoln adopted, and General Humphreys was accordingly so honored. The 
charges preferred by General Burnside against seventeen of his leading Gen- 
erals, growing out of this Fredericksburg battle, when presented to President 
Lincoln, were met by the latter in his characteristic, homely and commonsense 
way. He said to Burnside that, as between removing these other distinguished 
Generals, who had won distinction on many battle-fields, and removing him as 
the commander of the Army of the Potomac, it would occasion less trouble to 
the Union cause to remove him. The Cabinet influences, however, that secured 
the appointment of Burnside, were able to overcome this opposition, and to 
secure him another chance to redeem his lost reputation as a General. 

Burnside's Mud-march Campaign a Fiasco. 

Accordingly, about the 20th day of January, 1863, Burnside organized an- 
other campaign against the Confederates, and prefaced the opening of the same 
with the remarkable address that " the auspicious moment had now arrived to 
strike the enemy a blow," which, in view of the sequel, was ridiculous. When the 
army broke camp to follow up, or take advantage of " the auspicious moment " 
mentioned, the weather was fine, and the roads very good for military move- 
ments ; but where the blow was to be struck was, of course, a profound secret to 
all but Burnside and his advisers. All that the men in the ranks knew was that 
the line of march was towards the upper fords of the Rappahannock, or possibly 
the fords of the Rapidan where Hooker and Grant in later campaigns crossed to 
meet Lee's army. But fate seemed to be once more against Burnside, as at the 
end of the first half-day's march a decided change in the magnificent weather took 





place by a storm of drizzling rain and snow, which in a few hours made the roads 
over which the heavy wagon and ammunition trains and the troops had to march, 
impassible by reason of the muddy condition of the same. In many places the 
roads became almost liquid. It was not unusual to see wagon trains, sutlers' 
wagons and artillery wagons sunk to the hubs of the wheels, and the poor mules 
were unable to budge their loads, it being as much as they could do in some cases 
to keep their bodies or heads above the water and mud. At first the troops, to 
meet this most unexpected change in the weather, were detailed by regiments, 
with axes, to chop down trees and build corduroy roads, but the storm con- 
tinuing, this became impossible, and the roads could not be used. The pontoon 
trains as well as the wagon trains stuck in the mud, and the entire movement 
was completely blocked — ^more effectually, in fact, than it could have been by any 
human enemy. Unwilling to abandon this unfortunate movement, which had 
suddenly become so inauspicious, the command was given that the mules and 
teams in the pontoon trains stuck in the mud should be taken out, and in their 
places ropes should be tied to the wagons, and regiments of men detailed, like 
firemen, to pull the ropes of the wagons conveying the pontoons. The storm 
continued, however, with unabated force, so that fires could not be lighted, rations 
cooked or shelter secured for the men, and at last Burnside was most reluctantly 
compelled to abandon the movement which had promised so well. The enemy 
got word of the movement promptly from some source, and as the troops came 
near the streams where the pontoons were to be laid, in derision, hoisted signs 
with the inscription " Burnside stuck in the mud." 'After three or four days of 
this miserable experience, the troops were marched back again to their old camps, 
and soon after Burnside's resignation was accepted, and General Joseph Hooker 
was named by President Lincoln to be his successor as commander of the Army 
of the Potomac. 



When the day's march was over, the bivouac spread, 

The sky our canopy, the earth our bed — 

How close along- the shadowy hill arrayed 

Mingled the campfires of our Brigade ! 

Or, when through travel or in battle spent, 

With what fraternal love each regiment 

Shared with their comrades in their scanty store, 

And with kind offices each other's burdens bore ! 


Chapter VI. 


Official Order Assigning General Joseph Hooker to Command Army of 
Potomac. — ^Camp Humphreys. — Colonel Allen's Health Fails. — Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel John H. Cain Assumes Command of Regiment. — Changes and 
Promotions in Regiment. — Description of Camp Humphreys. — Routine 
of Camp Life. — Bayonet Exercise and Skirmish Drill. — Religious Exer- 
cises IN Camp. — ^Army of Potomac Reorganized by General Hooker. — ^Presi- 
dent Lincoln Visits Army of Potomac. — Grand Review of Army in Honor 
OF President. — ^April 36th Marching Orders Received. — Regiment on 
Picket Duty at Fords of Rappahannock. — Army Crosses Rappahannock. — 
Confederates Surprised. — Order from General Hooker Congratulating 
Army.— Battle of Chancellorsville Begins. — Fifth Corps Supports 
Eleventh Corps. — Humphreys' Division Under Fire. — Takes Position at 
Front. — ^Regiment Supports Battery. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and 
One Hundred and Thirty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers " Feel the 
Enemy." — Affecting Incident of General Whipple's Death. — Humphreys' 
Division Covers Retreat of Army Across Rappahannock. — Strategic 
Ability of General Hooker.- — Casualties. 

IN THE 36th day of January, 1863, the official order assigning General 
Joseph Hooker to the command of the Army of the Potomac was 
read at dress parade to all the regiments of the army. A few days 
after this announcement, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth moved 
a few miles nearer to Falmouth, to what was probably the finest 
camp and winter quarters it ever occupied during its term of service, known as 
Camp Humphreys. On February 3, 1863, a few days after the " Mud March," 
this new camp had been laid out in approved military form, with parade campus, 
fine company streets, officers' quarters and quartermasters' tents, and all the para- 
phernalia of a genuinely comfortable camp for winter quarters. The bad sanitary 
arrangements in the construction of the quarters in the previous camps and 
winter quarters and the resultant sickness were the reasons for the perfection of 
drainage and sanitary precautions attained in Camp Humphreys. The memories 
of the good health and comforts and pleasant days in this camp during February 
and March, and a large part of April, 1863, in the minds of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Regiment, will never be forgotten. Indeed, so picturesque and 
attractive was this encampment that the artist of the Regiment reduced its at- 
tractive appearance to paper, and had the sketch copied and lithographed in 
Pittsburg, and many copies were sold by the sutler in charge of the enterprise. 




As a historic souvenir of that period, this 
bird's-eye view of Camp Humphreys is 

This camp was remarkable, too, from 
the fact that it was occupied by all the regi- 
ments composing Humphreys' Division at 
this time. 

First, Colonel P. H. Allabach's head- 
quarters, with Brigade flag floating, is 
shown in the left of the foreground of 
picture ; next, the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Pennsylvania Volunteer Regimental 
quarters in the foreground with the Regi- 
ment out on dress parade ; next, the One 
Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment 
Pennsylvania A'oUmteers, Colonel John B. 
Clark; following this, the One Hundred 
and Thirty-third Regiment Pennsylvania 

Volunteers, Colonel Allabach; and lastly, the One Hundred and Thirty-first 

Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel F. B. Speakman. 

The other four Pennsylvania Regiments of Humphreys' Division, composing 

General E. B. Tyler's Brigade, are not entirely visible in this picture of Camp 

Humphreys, being partially concealed by the woods. 

Changes Occurring in the Regiment. 

Colonel Allen, whose strenuous and untiring labors and exposure in the cam- 
paigns of Antietam and Fredericksburg, had seriously affected his health, finally 
broke down. After weeks of suffering in the field, his complaint — inflammatory 
rheumatism — not yielding to medical treatment, he was compelled, most reluc- 
tantly, to relinquish command of the Regiment, and accept a sick-leave, in order 
to secure home treatment. To one of his soldierly instincts, and with his fine 
record, his retirement was most disappointing to the men of his command, who, 
without exception, honored and esteemed him. During Colonel Allen's leave 
of absence for his health, the command of the Regiment was assumed by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel John H. Cain, also a most popular and attractive officer. 

Captain Frank Van Gorder, the Regimental Quartermaster, resigned and re- 
turned to Pittsburg immediately after the battle of Fredericksburg. This vacancy 
in the Quartermaster's office caused the promotion of James B. Palmer from 
Sergeant of Company C to a Captaincy and Regimental Quartermaster, a posi- 
tion he filled most creditably until the end of the war. 

The resignation of Captain Charles Klotz, of Company G, already noted 
as so loyally guarding the knapsacks of the Company- when it crossed the Poto- 
mac at Shepherdstown, on the reconnoissance with the Corn Exchange Regiment, 
the One Hundred and Eighteenth Pennsylvania, to discover the position taken 
by Lee's army, on its retreat from Antietam, was accepted by Colonel Allen im- 
mediately following the battle of Fredericksburg. 





Captain and Regimental Quartermaster. 






Sergeant-Major George F. Morgan, of Company E, was promoted and 
transferred to succeed Captain Charles Klotz. 

' The death of Captain Lee Anshutz, of Company C, at Fredericksburg, left a 
vacancy which was filled by First Lieutenant James S. Palmer. 

Doctor James M. Hoffman, Surgeon of the Regiment, who had been trans- 
ferred from the Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry in October, 1863, was dis- 
missed A/[arch 22, 1863. 

Doctor Joseph A. E. Reed succeeded Doctor Hoffman by promotion from 
Assistant Surgeon of the Regiment. 

Doctor W. Stockton Wilson became the Assistant Surgeon of the Regiment 
at Antietam. 

Sergeant Arthur W. Bell, of Company E, was promoted to First Lieu- 
tenant to fill a vacancy occurring by the resignation of Lieutenant Miles P. 
Sigworth, of Company G. Lieutenant Bell was a brave, efficient officer and 
conscientious in the discharge of all duties. 

The promotion of Captain Alfred L. Pearson, of Company A, to be Major 
on December 31, 1863, occasioned the commissioning of First Lieutenant Frank 
J. Buchard to be Captain, who served for three months, when his resignation was 
accepted. He was succeeded in turn as Captain by John C. Stewart. 

Captain Benjamin B. Kerr, who organized Company B, was compelled 
by ill health in the camp to tender his resignation on April 3, 1863. His 
position as Captain was filled by Henry W. Grubbs, promoted from First 

First Lieutenant George W. Lore and Second Lieutenant Benjamin F. 


Jennings, who were also active organizers of their Company, also tendered their 
resignations during this period following the battle of Fredericksburg. 

James J. Hall, who, with Samuel Kilgore and Alexander Carson, had 
recruited Company D, was discharged on Surgeon's certificate, December 15, 
1862, First Lieutenant Samuel Kilgore was promoted to the Captaincy of the 

Second Lieutenant Edward Meeker, of Company G, who commanded the 
Company at Fredericksburg, resigned January 10, 1862, because of ill health. 

First Lieutenant John T. Denniston, of Company C, was promoted to Captain 
and transferred, November 10, 1863, to the staff of Brigadier-General Thomas 
A. Rowley, U. S. Volunteers. 

Regimental Quarters. — Camp Life. 

The location occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and other regi- 
ments in Camp Humphreys was well selected, all the companies having good 
wide streets. There were also regimental quarters and campus, and quarters for 
the brigade commander and staff officers. The regiments occupying Camp 
Humphreys were furnished with axes and sent to the woods near by to chop 
trees and saplings from which to build log huts for winter quarters, each hut 
containing quarters for three men. The chimney was made of sticks and mud, 
surmounted by a box to convey away the smoke. The roof was made of wood 
or slats, where obtainable, and in other cases tents were used. The interior of 
the quarters thus constructed was very comfortable, being daily inspected, the 
clothing aired and every precaution of a sanitary nature was taken to prevent 
disease. Virginia pines, being winter-greens, were planted in rows along the 
streets and borders of the camp, and arches of the same material were con- 
structed in front of the quarters of each Colonel in the Division. 

The streets, the parade-ground, and officers' quarters were policed regularly, 
so that it could be said to be a model camp of neatness and cleanliness and 

A very frequent practical joke, perpetrated by soldiers leaving the camp in 
the middle of the night for the outposts, was the covering, unobserved by the 
slumbering occupants of the quarters, of the chimney with a board or other ob- 
struction, which was sure to result in the smoking out of the inmates. Of 
course, by the time this occurred, the perpetrators of the mischief would be far 
away at their distant posts unsuspected. 

The Colonel, and all the commissioned officers of the Regiment at head- 
quarters, had servants, or men detailed during these winter quarters, to chop 
the fire-wood into nice pieces for their daily use. These sticks of fuel were gen- 
erally stacked up at night adjacent to each officer's quarters, and when no guard 
was on duty, as was frequently the case, the returning pickets on the winter nights, 
to save themselves the trouble of chopping fire-wood, would purloin an armful 
of this nicely-chopped wood, and hide it in their own tents for use. Frequently 
officers would be roused by this breach of duty, and would raise a rumpus, 
shouting and calling for guards, and possibly using some profanity. In such 
cases, however, the officer, being in his retiring costume, never followed through 




the snow the absconding wood thief. On one or two occasions, however, watches 
were set for these night prowlers, and several were caught in the act and made 
examples of by being required the next day in camp to carry a good-sized log 
on their shoulders, whilst the guard patrolled his beat to prevent their escape. 
The result of this vigilance made the wood-robbers more particular as to the 
officer upon whom they committed their depredations, and the shrewd ones were 
wont to relieve the non-combatant officers of the regiment of their fuel. The 
worthy Chaplain, whose peaceful instincts, they knew, could be safely relied upon 
to prevent their being shot, even if caught in the act, became their victim, and as 
a result his wood-pile was regularly diminished, and the good man, to his credit 
be it said, never raised a disturbance or made a complaint. Some of the most 
exemplary and devout comrades of the Regiment, and regular attendants upon 
the sermons of the Chaplain in this camp, it is sad to relate, were also the most 
regular attendants at his wood-pile whilst he was in the arms of ^Morpheus. 

The morale of the men of Humphreys' Division was never better than it was 
during their performance of picket duties, drilling and reviews, and the dis- 
charging of soldierly duties, such as guard-mounts, wagon-guards and an occa- 
sional scouting party, in this camp. As previously stated, the sanitary condition 
of the camp was perfect and the hospital cots unoccupied. The bugle call, " Come 
and get your quinine ! Come and get your quinine ! " for those suffering from 
temporary or imaginary ailments to report at the Regimental doctor's tent, met 
with few responses in this camp, and formed a marked contrast to the experience 
of sickness, disabihties, and excuses from duty in preceding camps of the Division. 

An unfailing and enjoyable daily bugle call was, " Come and get your mail," 


being the receipt of letters from home, a great antidote for home-sickness. The 
joy on these occasions was surpassed only by the receipt of boxes by express from 
home containing rolls of fresh butter, jellies, and many home delicacies. 

During the long winter evenings, continuing until spring set in, many recrea- 
tions were introduced in camp to relieve the dull monotony of the soldier's life. 
Thus, at Regimental headquarters a glee club was formed, and often late in the 
" wee sraa' hours " of the night, from that quarter might be heard the sweet notes 
of " Lorena," " In the Old Louisiana Low-lands," and many other familiar 
ballads. Membership in this camp choir was not restricted to officers, but disci- 
pline was relaxed and the private soldier known to have a good voice, or to play 
a musical instrument, was often excused from camp or picket duty to permit his 
attendance at Colonel Pearson's headquarters, to participate with Pearson, Adju- 
tant Montooth, Sergeant Ralston, Sergeant Harry Campbell, of Company B, 
Quartermaster-Sergeant George P. Fulton, Corporal Robert Culp and other tal- 
ented performers. Many of the Regiment who performed on musical instruments 
had their vioHns, banjos, accordions and mandoHns sent from home during winter 
quarters, so that even in the company quarters select quartettes would often be 
formed. Frequent cotillions and hoe-downs were executed most gracefully in the 
company streets with Corporal Bob Culp, of Company B, the Regimental fiddler, 
calling the figures. A snap-shot sketch of one of these festive occasions, drawn 
by the Regimental artist, has been reproduced for this history, in which portraits 
of Sergeant Walter McCabe, Dick Murphy, Bill Jones and Pat Lyon, well-known 
comrades, appear as forming the set in the hoe-down. Professor Bob Culp is 
seated " rosining the bow " vigorously. Also heard nightly, but earlier in the 
evening, was the very loud and animated singing of religious songs or hymns by 
Company K, noted as being the most religious company of the Regiment, having 
a number of preachers as officers, and elders and active church members in the 
ranks. This company was from Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, and in their 
lives and conduct were as exemplary Christians as were those of Cromwell's 
army, although not quite so austere and fanatical. 

Company E, a Pittsburg company, was camped on one side, and Company 
B, another Pittsburg company, was camped on the other side of Company K. 
The sweet strains of camp-meeting hymns were rendered in stentorian tones, 
and the nightly rendition of these devout songs, such as " The Sweet Bye and 
Bye," " In Heaven Above Where All Is Love," " In the Green Fields of Eden," 
etc., shouted by voices more vigorous than musical of this good company, very 
much disturbed the nightly worldly enjoyments and pleasures of Companies E 
and B on either side of " K." This sonorous rendition of sacred music in con- 
. nection with the sounds of prayer meetings in so close proximity to the two com- 
panies named was but little appreciated by the members of the latter companies, 
their piety being less demonstrative. A very different feature enlivening other 
companies in this camp was that of card-playing, prevalent during the hours 
of the devotional exercises in Company K. It must be confessed, also, that oc- 
casional private games of " poker " were indulged in by members of various com- 
panies, and that the stakes, to make the game interesting, were not always limited 
to a mere nominal sum. 







Discipline was relaxed on many pleasant days in these winter quarters and 
officers and men engaged in pitching quoits, whilst others procured boxing gloves 
and gave exhibitions of the manly art of self-defense. These diversions never 
interfered with the respect due Major Pearson, who often took an active part 
in these amusements. He was an excellent boxer and also surpassed as a pitcher 
of quoits. In fact, an era of good feeling was engendered between officers and 
men by this daily camp life through which they became better known to each other 
and also more attached. 

As indicating another variety of young men existing in the Regiment there 
were not a few in these winter quarters who sent home for school-books aban- 
doned on enlisting, and resumed their studies as opportunity gave them the time. 
In some cases this occurred with such success, that the soldier students were quali- 
fied, on returning home, to enter upon business or professional careers, and some 
obtained distinction without further school or college education. 

Drilling was not neglected, and the amount of attention paid to drilling the 
men in the bayonet exercise and the skirmish drill and target-firing in which the 
officers and men of the Regiment became very proficient, was of invaluable benefit 
to the service in the subsequent active campaigns in which the Regiment par- 
ticipated. This bayonet or skirmish drill superseded early in the war the old-time 
tactics coming down from the days of Waterloo, which was simply a useless waste 
of time and muscle in teaching a regiment of infantry how to form a hollow 
square, and to kneel down, and with fixed bayonets receive a charge of cavalry. 
It was found quite early in the Civil War that, however obliging the cavalry were 
in Napoleon and Wellington's time in charging these " hollow squares " of infan- 
try thus posted to receive them, that " Jeb." Stuart's and Fitz Hugh Lee's Confed- 
erate cavalry never manifested the slightest disposition to fight Union veterans 
that way. It cannot probably be said that any members of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, however eager for the fray, ever felt disappointed at the failure of 
the Confederates to impale their cavalry on the bayonets of the Regiment. 

During camp life in the pleasant winter quarters of Camp Humphreys, many 
subordinate officers of Allabach's Brigade seemed to be afflicted with various 
minor ailments, such as cramps, etc., for which no other remedy seemed so 
efficacious as frequent doses of Government " commissary." For a short period 
only, during the absence of Colonel AUabach, Colonel John B. Clark, command- 
ing the One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment Pennsylvania \^olunteers, was 
placed in command of the Brigade. Being a minister of the gospel and strictly 
temperate, he refused to sign the usual requisitions of officers for " commissary," 
except for urgent medical purposes. Just at this particular period, it is stated 
that cramps became very prevalent among certain officers of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth, and the situation became peculiarly distressing on account of the 
inability of these officers, by reason of Colonel Clark's stand, to procure their 
favorite remedy. Lieutenant Alex. Carson, of Company D, while suflfering greatly 
from the deprivation of his favorite beverage and medicine, with a canteen strung 
on his shoulder, visited Colonel Clark at brigade headquarters and presented the 
depressed condition of himself and his companions in so touching a manner that 
the good Colonel set aside his scruples for the nonce, and endorsed the requisition 


enabling the genial yet thirsty Lieutenant to procure just one canteen full of the 
coveted medicine. 

With a countenance expressive of great satisfaction, Lieutenant Carson has- 
tened to his quarters where he speedily procured assistance to alter the formal 
requisition by placing after the figure one the figure four, so that the amended 
requisition would read fourteen instead of one. Thus amended, the requisition 
was duly honored by the commissary, and the cramps and kindred diseases af- 
fecting so many officers of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, after a few doses 
of this sovereign remedy, disappeared like magic. 

During the occupancy of Camp Humphreys the Regiment was without a 
chaplain. Expecting to secure one soon, Lieutenant-Colonel Cain directed the 
erection of a chapel adjacent to the Regimental camp. The boys of the religious 
Company K, and many from other companies detailed for the task of building 
the chapel, entered upon the work with alacrity, and labored with diligence and 
pleasure. Private D. K. Stevenson, of Company E, who left a Methodist pulpit 
to shoulder a musket, was chosen architect of the sacred structure, and Lieutenant 
Alex. Carson, of Company D, was made superintendent of construction, and had 
charge of the gang of soldier laborers that felled the trees and squared the tim- 
bers. Among the Clarion and Armstrong county boys were many expert woods- 
men, and the work went on in good shape for several weeks, according to the 
elaborate plans. But, alas ! before the completion and dedication of the chapel, 
the Chancellorsville campaign was on. The Regiment broke camp and the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers' chapel was never completed. 
However, before it was actually roofed, the boys of Lieutenant Carson's detail had 
a dance in it. and the dulcet strains of the old-time tunes were duly brought forth 
from Bob Culp's fiddle, " Andy " White, of Company H, calling the regulation 
country-dance " figgers." 

General Hooker Regrga.xizes Army. 

General Joseph Hooker had acquired, before his appointment, the reputation 
of being a most severe critic of all the previous Generals commanding the Army 
of the Potomac — a fact which, in a letter communicating his appointment. Presi- 
dent Lincoln referred to as being far from the cause of his appointment, and as- 
suring him that it was in spite of his caviling and harsh criticisms of other com- 
manders that he intrusted him with the command of the Army of the Potomac. 
It is to be doubted whether in history there is a parallel of a General accepting a 
promotion such as this, accompanied with the stern rebuke contained in this letter 
of the patient Lincoln. Personally, however, General Hooker's handsome appear- 
ance as an officer, his genial manners and aggressiveness in battle, earning the 
soubriquet of " Fighting Joe," made his appointment a most popular one— the 
more so, because it relieved the army of General Burnside, whose unfitness for 
general command was established beyond doubt. General Hooker's tact also 
served him well, and aided materially in restoring confidence to the army suffering 
from the demoralization of Burnside's demonstration. 

General Hooker's first move was to disband the organization of the grand 




divisions of the army made by his predecessor, and in their place restored the 
corps organizations and plan of army commands, as maintained by General 
McClellan. This change also relieved the^Fifth Corps of General Daniel Butter- 
field, who became Chief-of-Stafi to General Hooker. General George G. Meade, 
destined to become so famous as the commander of the army at Gettysburg and 
at Appomattox with Grant, succeeded to the command of the Fifth Army Corps. 
Probably, however, no single act of Hooker's, as the new commander, did more 
to restore confidence and good spirits to the army than the increase of rations to 
be distributed to the rank and file of the army, and the substitution of baker's 
bread and also fresh vegetable rations in camp in place of the irrepressible hard- 
tack. As a consequence. Hooker's appearance in the camps, on the march, and at 
reviews was marked by the liveliest cheering and demonstrations, indicating the 
appreciation of the men of his command of his efforts to increase their comforts. 
During the weeks following his appointment and preparations of plans for 
the spring campaign, drillings, inspections, reviews and target-firing were resorted 
to daily; so that the army discipline was restored, and its tone and spirit was 
never better under any General who had previously commanded than it was 
when the orders to break camp were given by General Hooker, on the 27'th day 
of April, 1863, beginning the march to Chancellorsville. 

President Reviews the Army. 

President Lincoln, on April 7, 1863, visited General Hooker in the camps at 
Falmouth, where the winter quarters of the Army of the Potomac, on the north 
side of the Rappahannock since the retreat from Fredericksburg, had been. 

General Hooker made ample preparations to extend to the President, on the 
occasion of his visit, a review of all the corps of the Army of the Potomac. It 
was conceded that the army had reached the maximum of efficiency and morale 
at this time, and the display on the occasion of this review by the President had 
never been surpassed by any similar event since the opening of the Civil War. 

Composing this grand army thus reviewed were commanders of distinction, 
several of whom afterwards fell in battle. At the head of the column. General 
John F. Reynolds, in command of the First Corps, rode with his staff and well- 
known colors and corps markers. 

General Hancock, styled by McClellan the " Superb," followed with his staff 
at the head of the famous divisions and brigades of the Second Corps, con- 
taining the decimated columns of the regiments of the Irish Brigade, with 
General Thomas Francis Meagher at its head, each regiment carrying the green 
flag of old Ireland side by side with the stars and stripes and Second Corps flag. 

The Third Corps, commanded by General Daniel E. Sickles, who, present- 
ing a magnificent soldierly appearance, followed with his staff, the historic 
Excelsior Brigade, and the division Generals Whipple and Berry, who were 
destined so soon to fall in battle at Chancellorsville, made an imposing sight. 

The Fifth Corps was led by General George G. Meade, fresh from the 
wounds received at Antietam and the honor of leading the Pennsylvania Re- 
serves at Fredericksburg. This Corps also contained the division commanded by 


General Charles Griffin; also the division of the United States Regulars, under 
command of General George Sykes; and the division of Pennsylvania regiments, 
led by the intrepid General A. A. Humphreys, in which the One Hundred and 
Fiftv-Fifth, commanded by Colonel John H. Cain, was serving. 

The Sixth Corps followed next, commanded by General John Sedgwick, a 
veteran officer of the Mexican War who had also won distinction on many 
battle-fields of the Civil War. 

General O. O. Howard, with the empty sleeve recalling the loss of an arm 
in the Peninsula Campaign, with his staff, led the Eleventh Corps, in which were 
the divisions of German troops, commanded by General Von Steinwehr, Schim- 
melpfennig, and Carl Schurz. 

The Twelfth Army Corps was led by Major-General Henry W. Slocum, of 
most distinguished record, in which General Geary,, of Pennsylvania, commanded 
a division. This Corps completed the infantry troops in the review. 

General Stoneman, at the head of the magnificent divisions of cavalry, com- 
manded by Generals Pleasanton, Custer, Gregg and Buford, followed. The 
historic batteries of artillery, regular and volunteer, made a splendid appearance, 
all being under command of General Henry H. Hunt, whose handling of the 
hundred pieces of artillery in the recent battle of Fredericksburg had earned him 
great honor and distinction. General Gouverner K. Warren was promoted by 
General Hooker to be Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac. 

The pontoon boats on this occasion were not detained in Washington, nor 
" stuck in the mud," but with their guards and engineers, and General Warren 
at their head, also passed in review before the President and party. 

The number of troops participating in this review, it is estimated, exceeded 
one hundred thousand, and occupied the entire day from early morning until late 
in the afternoon in passing. Humphreys' Division had marched six miles to the 
open plain selected for this magnificent military pageant. 

However, as the weather was fine, President Lincoln, as seen on the reviewing 
stand, seemed to endure the fatigue of reviewing the long procession of troops 
well, and remained until the last pontoon at the rear of the parade had passed, 
returning with great precision and cordiality the salutations given him by the 
corps and other commanders. The orders for strict discipline on this occasion, 
prohibiting the men from making demonstrations, and, as required by military 
etiquette, to keep their eyes front, were frequently disregarded, especially when 
some of the famous brigades and regiments containing emotional individuals 
threw up their hats and cheered lustily for the much-beloved President. This 
flagrant breach of military etiquette was overlooked on this occasion, no offenders 
being sent to the guard-house for the infraction. 

Marching Orders. — Eight Days' Rations. 

One week later, the 36th of April, marching orders were issued by General 
Hooker to his army, together with the unusual direction that each soldier in the 
ranks should carry on his person eight days' rations. On no previous campaign 
or march of the army were the men in the ranks required to carry more than 




three days' rations. This order in itself indicated a 
movement from the base of snpphe.s and probabihty of 
hostihties lasting some days and marches to points where 
the army wagons with supplies could not promptly fol- 
low. This gave rise to a great deal of conjecture as to 
the objective campaign about to be undertaken by General 
Hooker. The secret, however, was well guarded, and 
the soldier in the ranks had to keep guessing as to the 
destination. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth bade 
farewell once more to Camp Humphreys, and just before 
the move was detailed for picket duty at Bank's Ford on 
the Rappahannock. The relations with the enemy at this 
time were so friendly that conversations and exchanges 
of civilities were frequent with the pickets on the opposite 
side of the Rappahannock, no shooting at each other be- 
ing tolerated without previous notice. 

The left wing of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
composed of five companies, under command of Lieu 
tenant-Colonel Cain, remained at Bank's Ford, whilst the 
five other companies composing the right wing of the 
Regiment, tmder command of Major Pearson, was as- 
signed to picket duty at Kelly's Ford. Sergeant-Ma jor 
John H. Irwin remained for duty with the left wing, with Lieutenant-Colonel 
Cain commanding, at Bank's Ford; and Major Pearson, in command of the right 
wing, detailed Private Charles F. McKenna, of Company E, as acting Sergeant- 
Major of that wing. On this picket duty at these two fords, the Regiment re- 
mained quite comfortable until April 27th, when the Irish Brigade, under General 
Meagher, of the Second Corps, relieved both wings of the Regiment from picket 

General George G. Meade, the new Fifth Corps commander, with his staff, 
had visited the picket-posts of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment at the 
fords named the day before the Regiment was relieved by Meagher's men. 
General Meade and staff made observations with their field glasses to ascertain 
the positions of the enemy opposite and the situation of the forces across the 

The Regiment was returning to Camp Humphreys on being relieved from 
picket duty at the fords, when it met the other divisions of the Fifth Corps on the 
march, indicating the opening of the campaign for which the eight days' rations 
had been issued. General Meade personally halted the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment on its march to its old camp, and directed the officers to have the 
Regiment file off the road to the sides, so as to allow the marching column of 
troops to pass ; and that when Humphreys' Division reached the point where the 
Regiment had halted, the latter should fall into line and accompany it. The 
greeting of the other regiments of Humphreys' Division to the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth, halted on the roadside, was most cordial, and demonstrations of 
affection were particularly manifested by the nine-months regiments on the 


march, with whom the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth had been associated ever 
since enlistment. 

The Fifth Corps column marched past Hartwood Church April -^Sth. 
General Hooker and staff rode by close to where the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth had halted in the column, and his presence was greeted with cheering and 
shouts of " eight days' rations," which seemed to amuse the General very much, 
as he most courteously responded to the salutes of his men. The 28th and 29th 
were spent in marching to the point on the Rappahannock where it was intended 
to cross over to give the enemy battle. 

The Regiment, before starting on this campaign, had reached a high state of 
efficiency, being under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Cain, who, in 
the battle and subsequent movements of the Regiment, won the approbation of 
his superior officers and all the men of the Regiment for his soldierly conduct. 

Crossing the Rappahannock and the Rapidan. 

The Regiment, on the night of the "^Qth, camped on blufifs overlooking the 
Rappahannock. From these heights, on the next morning, a most impressive 
and picturesque view was witnessed in the movement across the Rappahannock 
on pontoons of the army composed of more than one hundred thousand men, 
comprising infantry, cavalry and artillery. This, with miles of ammunition and 
headquarters wagons, presented a remarkable scene and one most impressive and 
interesting. It was dusk in the evening when it came the turn of Humphreys' 
Division to cross on the pontoons. The soil on the south side of the Rappa- 
hannock after this command had crossed was found to be marshy and sandy and 
most difficult to travel over, and the wagon and pontoon trains could scarcely 
move on these roads. 

April 30th, 1863, Humphreys' Division rose early and marched steadily,, 
fording " Deep Creek," a stream knee-deep. After marching until late in the 
afternoon, the Division reached the Rapidan river at Ely's Ford. A halt of 
three or four hours occurred at this point, the delay being caused by a blockade 
of the roads by wagon trains. At first the proposition that all the troops should 
wade the Rapidan at this ford seemed incredible, considering that the weather 
was quite cool and that the troops had become very warm by their fatiguing 
march. However, the order was given to ford the stream, and it was cheerfully 
obeyed. Almost all of the troops stripped off their clothing and packed it in one 
miscellaneous bundle, which they placed on their shoulders with their guns, and 
timidly but firmly stepped into the cold water. Bundles and guns and clothes 
were lost by many of the men in crossing this stream, and various devices were 
invented to float or carry soldiers and officers across. The water was up to the 
chest of a man of ordinary size, and the stream was quite swift. All the Division 
trains, artillery, cattle and pack-mules, carrying hardtack and rations, forded the 
river. After crossing the stream, Humphreys' Division encamped in a dense 
pine woods for the night, starting big fires to dry their clothes, and receiving- 
rations of hardtack and fresh beef. 

Friday, May 1st, 1863, after resuming the march early and passing through 




dense woods, about ten o'clock Humphreys' Division reached the open ground in 
the vicinity of what afterwards became famous and known as Chancellorsville. 
The Division formed in hne for inspection, during which a general order from 
General Joseph Hooker, commanding the Army of the Potomac, was read by the 
Adjutants to the respective regiments of the Division. The order congratulated 
the army on its successful series of marches of the last few days, and its great 
surprise to the enemy taken unaware, and promised the sure destruction of the 
enemy on his own soil. 

This order further declared that we had now got that enemy where he would 
have " to come from his strongholds and give us battle, or ingloriously retreat." 
The order thus read inspired the men with additional confidence and affection for 
Hooker, for the march had been a success and a total surprise to the enemy. 

After marching a few miles farther from this position, General Meade led 
Griffin's and Sykes' Divisions of the Fifth Corps to the roadside near the 
Chancellor House, and there formed a junction with the Second Army Corps 
under General Hancock, which had crossed the Rappahannock the night before at 
Bank's Ford. Whilst halted here an inspection of arms took place and the 
command was ordered to load their guns. The bugle-call sounded to resume 
the march. Many of the soldiers, from the excessive marching and the prospect 
of battle, threw away at this point their knapsacks and other impediments likely 
to become burdensome. 

Battle of Chancellorsville. 

The two Divisions of the Corps, Sykes' Regulars and Griffin's Division, 
marched out very rapidly on a road in the direction of Bank's Ford. Humphreys' 
Division was ordered to follow, and promptly did so, passing a Confederate 
encampment on the road which gave every sign of having been suddenly evacuated 
but a few hours before. Brisk artillery firing while on this reconnoissance towards 
Bank's Ford broke out and could be heard very distinctly by the command. But 
few of the shots or shells reached Humphreys' Division, which, as stated, was in 
the rear of the Fifth Corps column ; but Sykes' Division and Griffin's Division 
received some of this artillery firing of the enemy. From some unexplained 
reason, Sykes' Division, which thus came across the enemy as the head of the 
reconnoitering column, was given orders by General Hooker not to fight or bring 
on a battle, and next was ordered to fall back to the place whence they started, 
near the Chancellor House. 

A singular scene took' place on the retrograde movement of this column 
composed of the Fifth Corps. As it was falling back, panic-stricken teamsters, 
pack-mule drivers, with a number of wounded prisoners, some contrabands and 
the cattle train crowded the roadside and were in full retreat as if the enemy were 
following the troops which General Hooker had sent out on this road to make a 

General Sickles, at the head of the Third Corps, on the return of the Fifth 
Corps from this reconnoissance, formed a junction with the Fifth and Second 



Humphreys' Division was detached from the Corps and assigned to a 
position on heights commanding the southern approaches to United States Ford. 
This was exactly the reverse of the position they had been picketing for two or 
more months previous on the opposite side. In taking this new position, strict 
orders were given to build no fires and to give no signs by which the enemy 
might know or discover the presence of Union troops occupying this position, and 
orders were also issued to be ready to fall into line at a moment's notice — virtually 
to " sleep on their arms." 

Saturday, May 3, 1863. All this day Humphreys' Division was engaged in 

CHANCELLORSVILLE HOUSE. War Time Sketch by Edwin Forbes. 
(May 1, 1863, at 9 to 10 o'clock a. m.) 

Hampton Pennsylvania Battery is shown in the foreground. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, is seen on the right of the sketch. It has just loaded muskets and is marching 
with the First and Third Divisions, Fifth Army Corps, on the reconnoisance on the River Road to 
Fredericksburg, having got as far as Bank's Ford, when recalled by order of General Hooker, instead of 
connecting with General Sedgwick at Fredericksburg, Va. 

erecting earth works, rifle-pits and other defenses on the heights occupied by the 
Division. Batteries were placed in position, and a body of the enemy, gathering 
in the woods plainly in sight of the position occupied by Humphreys' Division, 
was treated to a shelling by the batteries and driven from their position. The 
battle of Chancellorsville was now on and very heavy cannonading and musketry 
firing were heard close by, indicating the severity of the engagement. 

While still engaged in throwing up works, the Fifth Corps received orders 
to march immediately to the right to assist in checking the advance of Stonewall 
Jackson's attack on the Union left held by the Eleventh Corps. The One Hundred 


and Fifty-fifth knew by the sound of musketry coming from this unexpected 
quarter that the enemy had broken through the Union Hues and the Regiment 
double-quicked to the scene of action. On the way they beheld most astonishing 
sights. Panic-stricken non-combatants, cattle, cattle-guards, ambulances, etc., 
completely choked up the road, impeding the passage; so that the troops were 
obliged to take a parallel lane leading to the front. This lane was also soon 
crowded with fugitives proclaiming terrible news about the disaster at the front 
towards which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was hastening. The Fifth Corps 
was ordered to relieve the Eleventh Corps under General Howard, and the latter 
under orders were marched to the rear to occupy the earthworks covering the 
approaches to United States Ford, which the Fifth Corps had been engaged in 
erecting. Humphreys' Division was soon under fire, and by the presence of these 
fresh troops the stampede was partially checked, and soon the whole Union line 
was advanced and the lost ground recovered. 

As night set in without a cloud, and the moon arose with unusual brightness, 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was posted in the woods, throughout which the 
cry of the whip-poor-will was heard, furnishing a strange accompaniment to the 
incessant boom of heavy fighting — artillery, cavalry and infantry — the roll of 
musketry and picket firing all along the line lasting all night. 

Death of " Stonewall " J.vcksox. 

It was during these early hours of the night — about nine o'clock — that 
General " Stonewall " Jackson lost his life whilst personally with his staff recon- 
noitering outside his picket lines, previous to rallying his forces and making a 
midnight assault on the Union lines. It appears that he was first seriously 
wounded by pickets firing between the lines, and while being carried back to his 
own lines was again wounded. No convincing evidence has ever been gathered 
or submitted to establish the Confederate claim that General Jackson was killed by 
the fire of his own pickets, mistaking him and his escort for Federal cavalry. The 
close proximity of' the Union lines with skirmishers and pickets, and the con- 
tinuous firing in that viciijity, cast a shade of doubt over the Confederate claim 
that stronger proof than has ever yet been offered must be required to dispel. 

Sunday, May 3, 1863. The battle was resumed soon after daylight by 
furious attacks of the enemy under General J. E. B. Stuart, who had succeeded 
General " Stonewall " Jackson. Humphreys' Division advanced from the rifle-pits 
which they had nearly completed, being relieved by part of the Eleventh Corps, 
and took position, on marching to the front, near the Chancellor House. Alla- 
bach's Brigade was immediately assigned to support a battery, and after remain- 
ing there an hour or more on this duty stray shots and shells dropping around 
the position uncomfortably close to the Regiment, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
and the One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiments were detached from the Brigade 
and marched to the right of the White House, where General Hooker's head- 
quarters were located, and where with his staff he seemed to be receiving reports 
from his subordinates. There had been fighting all along the line, and heavy 
skirmishing in the vicinity of the White House, which General Hooker had 






selected for his headquarters. The enemy had range of the position and dropped 
many shot and shell in the immediate vicinity of the position occupied by the 
commanding General and his staff. General Hooker's deportment at this time 
was most soldierly and inspiring ; and it was a matter of very great regret that 
soon after, whilst standing on the porch of the White House, a shot struck a 
column against which he was leaning and knocked him down, stunning him for 
some time. Instead of yielding to his injuries and seeking treatment, on first 
rallying from the effects of his injury, General Hooker insisted on mounting his 
horse and riding past the line of his troops to show that he was still alive and 
active. In this effort, however, the General overtaxed himself ; the exertion re- 
quired to maintain his equipoise being too much, and he broke down a second 
time, exhausted from his shock and injury, and was taken to his headquarters in 
an ambulance. He was there put to bed, without his having made any provision 
or given any orders concerning the battle then in progress. General Couch was 
the senior Major-General on the field ; but, in view of what was supposed to be 
only a temporary disability of the commanding General, and not knowing his 
plans, General Couch hesitated and refused to give orders, or in any way exercise 



control of the army, and, like the other corps Generals, remained inactive 
awaiting orders. General Humphreys, after getting his division into line of 
battle, took occasion at this point to address each particular regiment of his 
command. With his staflf, he rode up in front of the troops, and in a most 
€xcited manner and accentuating his speech with vigorous gesticulations and 
profanity, demanded that each regiment of the Division stand up to the work 
before them in the impending battle. To many of the Division who had so re- 
cently won for General Humphreys his high honors and reputation in the great 
charge at Marye's Heights, his address on this occasion was most surprising and 
was wholly uncalled for. Nothing in the conduct of the men in the ranks so far 
had given any excuse for the insinuations involved in this excitable and un- 
expected speech. 

General Humphreys Orders Reconnoissance. 

From the position occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and com- 
panion regiments of the Division, which was in the reserve line of battle, the 
Regiment had an excellent view of the columns of Union forces in the advance 
going into battle before it came the turn of Humphreys' Division to move. 
Whilst expecting at this point to advance in regular line of battle, the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the One Hundred and Thirty-first, which, as 
stated, had been detached, were deployed into the edge of the woods, where 
they observed before entering forty or fifty pieces of Union artillery in line, with 
lanyards drawn ready for action, all under command of Captain Stephen H. 
Weed, U. S. A. Whilst the Regiment was waiting for the final order to deploy 
into the woods, quite a number of Confederate prisoners who had been captured 
in the same woods passed to the rear of the Union lines ; also many Union 

wounded being carried back, whilst other 
wounded men were walking. A remarkable 
scene was also witnessed of a detachment of 
Meagher's Irish Brigade, accompanied by 
General Meagher himself and Colonel St. 
Clair Mulholland, of the One Hundred and 
Sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, coming 
out of the same woods where they had very 
severe fighting all morning, pulling by hand 
and ropes the Fifth Maine batterj- of ar- 
tillery, the horses of which had all been 
killed in the fight. The defence made by 
the efficient officers and men of the famous 
battery exhibited some of the severest and 
most stubborn fighting of the war, its brave 
and youthful Captain, Jacob Lapine, dying a 
true soldier's death at his post. 

Among the officers whose regiments were 
GEN. THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER, actively engaged in the same woods defending 



Lapine's Battery, was Lieutenant-Colonel William B. Xeeper, whose regiment, 
the Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, was in the thickest of the fight. 
Colonel Neeper was well known to Colonel Cain, Major Pearson, Adjutant Mon- 
tooth, and many other Pittsburgers in the One Hundred and Fifty-iifth, having 
long been an active member of the Duquesne Greys, of Pittsburg. 

At last, the order was given for the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the 
One Hundred and Thirty-first to advance from behind the position of the fifty- 
four pieces of artillery, already mentioned, in line ready to shell the enemy in 
the woods. The military term for the duty of these two regiments is called 
" feehng the enemy," but, in point of fact, it proved to be the enemy feeling 
them. The two regiments named were ordered to go into the woods and 
advance silently as close to the enemy as possible, and that if attacked by the 
Confederates from behind works or by their batteries, they were to lie down flat 
on the ground to escape the range of the enemy's masked artillery and musketry , 
and that on no account were they to advance farther or to attempt to carr}' the 
enemy's works. At the first advance into the woods, the enemy evidently did 
not know of the approach of the two regi- 
ments and no shots were fired. A rather 
humorous incident took place at this time. 
Major Pearson, deeming it a proper occasion 
to imitate General Humphreys' inspiring ad- 
dress to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, 
made a speech demanding that each man 
stand up to his work ; that no hiding behind 
trees or holding back should take place, etc. 
He had scarcely finished his impassioned ora- 
tory when the enemy, discovering the pres- 
ence of the two regiments in the woods, 
opened out about as brisk a grape and canis- 
ter and musketry fire upon them as they did 
on Marye's Heights ; so that without express 
orders every man in the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth fell flat on the ground, including 
the redoubtable Pearson, who, his men after- 
wards claimed, got a little nearer down, 
and hugged mother Earth a little closer than 

his men. The range, however, of the Confederate artiller}- and musketry 
all above the heads of the prostrate men. Soon the enemy ceased firing and, 
jumping over their breastworks, advanced to capture the deployed troops. 
General Humphreys, however, who was present and on the alert to the situation, 
ordered the men of the two regiments of his command to arise instantly and 
retreat as promptly and rapidly as they could, so that the fifty-four pieces of 
artillery under Captain Stephen H. Weed could let loose their fire on the 
pursuing foe. This movement ordered by General Humphreys was executed, to 
use a hackneyed phrase, " with quickness and despatch ;"' and the pursuing foe 
received the volleys of a most destructive fire from the waiting artillerymen, 





and the woods in which the two Union regiments had been deployed was soon 
covered with the bodies of dead and wounded Confederates, whose charge was 
repulsed with severe loss. 

As the two regiments of Humphreys' Division were falling back from the 
woods, the famous Chancellor House in the rear could be seen burning, having 
been set on fire by the shelling. The enemy's batteries resumed shelling the same 
woods and around the White House, which was still Hooker's headquarters, 
and near where Humphreys' Division was stationed and again exposed to 
desultory firing. 

General Hooker's continued disability prevented any general advance or 
movement, but during the night of this day, May 3d, the Regiment furnished 
details consisting of one hundred men with similar details from other regiments 
to throw up rifle-pits at this point, and when completed, as they were towards 
morning, Hayman's Brigade, of the Third Corps, occupied the position. The 
weather was extremely cold for the season ; the eight days' rations had not held 
out ; the overcoats and blankets had been thrown away on the march, and, as a 
result, there was considerable discomfort experienced by many of the troops. 

General Whipple's Death ; Affecting Scene. 

May 4, 1863. Skirmishing with the enemy's pickets was kept up all day in 
plain view of the position of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth in the rear of the 
skirmish line. The Regiment, from its position in reserve, saw General Amiel 
W. Whipple, a distinguished officer commanding the Third Division of the Third 

Army Corps, mortally wounded by a 
Confederate sharpshooter while the Gen- 
eral was standing by or leaning against 
his horse writing an order. Stray shots 
struck others near where the General 
received his mortal injury. August 
Shmuck, of Company K, was wounded 
while taking observations and sighting 
a piece of artillery away in reserve of 
the skirmish line. General Whipple was 
carried on a stretcher past the line 
occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth on the road near the White House, 
followed by his staff. His wound being 
mortal and death imminent, the unusual 
spectacle was beheld of the stretcher- 
bearers stopping and depositing the 
stretcher with its occupant on the road- 
side, while Father O'Hagan, chaplain 
of the Excelsior Brigade, knelt down, 
as did all of the General's staff, mourn- 
GEN. AMIEL w. WHIPPLE. fully followiug, and the consolations of 


religion were administered to the dying man, and prayers appropriate for the oc- 
casion were uttered. It was truly a sad and pathetic scene to witness. The spot 
where this solemn ceremony took place was still within the range of the foe's 
sharpshooters, but no further casualties occurred at that point. General Whipple 
passed away within half an hour of the time of receiving the dying sacraments of 
his church. General Whipple had a distinguished career on the Peninsula, being 
one of Hooker's ablest lieutenants, and was beloved by his men for his soldierly 
qualities and courteous treatment of his subordinates. 

General Whipple was one of the old Regular Army officers, being a graduate 
of \\'est Point, and participating in the Mexican War and also commanding a 
division at Fredericksburg. His death caused profound sorrow in Washington, 
where he filled various military positions and enjoyed the personal confidence of 
President Lincoln. After his death the President interested himself to secure 
the appointment of General Whipple's two sons, then in their school days, as 
cadets at West Point and Annapolis, respectively, where both in due time 
graduated. Charles W. Whipple, on the outbreak of the war with Spain, was 
made Chief Ordnance Officer, with the brevet rank of Colonel, and after the close 
of that war was dispatched to the Philippines, where he continued to serve the 
Government for several years, until his arduous duties and the baleful climate so 
affected his health as to cause his retirement. His brother, who entered the navy, 
did not long survive his graduation. 

General Whipple's remains were removed to Georgetown, D. C, and were 
given the honors of a public funeral, which was attended by President Lincoln 
and Cabinet. 

General Warren in the Trenches. 

A detail under Lieutenant James Wells, of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment, reported quite early on the morning of May 5th, at General 
Hooker's headquarters, which had been moved a mile or two back beyond the 
range of the enemy's fire, the headquarters consisting of a wagon converted into 
a. tent. General Hooker, when the detail reported, was pacing the ground in 
front of his tent in deep thought. He was evidently very weak and fatigued, 
for suddenly turning from his walk he entered his tent and wrapped himself in 
blankets. The detail from the Regiment, in connection with those from other 
regiments, in all aggregating a thousand men, was put to work constructing an 
immense line of fortifications under the direct charge of General G. K. Warren, 
Chief of Engineers. The work was difficult at best, but was increased by heavy 
rains, which made the ground soft and muddy, and the men were kept hard at 
work. Here an incident occurred which many who served on this detail will 
recall. General Warren, in charge of the construction of these works, noticing 
that some of the men and. boys detailed were inexperienced in such work, and 
unfamiHar with the spade and tools, in a most kindly manner got down into the 
trenches personally, and affectionately, as if he were a brother of the soldiers, 
took shovels and picks from their hands and showed them the knack and skillful 
way to use the same in throwing up earth. 

The General, in thus educating the men in the use of the tools, must have 


gone along that entire line and thrown up perhaps a couple. of hundred spadefuls 
of earth. This event was the first introduction of General Warren to the 
members of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, and, in fact, to 
Humphreys' Division. At first so modest was he and kindly in his action that no 
one suspected him of holding the rank of Brigadier-General, as he had no sword 
or epaulettes or style indicating his rank. Being intent on the work before him, 
he had no time for such ornaments. This work, however, was all in vain, as 
during the night Hooker's disability continuing, and no one superseding him or 
assuming the responsibility, there was no alternative but to abandon the action, 
and retreat across the Rappahannock. This was rendered the more necessary as 
the river was rising and the pontoons were in danger of being swept away, and 
there would then have been no way of supplying the army had it decided to 
remain on the south side of the Rappahannock. 

Humphreys' Division was again honored by being made the rear guard to 
cover the retreat of the army across the Rappahannock, as it had across the same 
stream under Burnside in the previous December. The Army of the Potomac, 
as already intimated from this account, had been evidently not defeated, because 
not more than one-third of it had been actually engaged in the battle. The 
allegation was made at that time that General Hooker's incapacity to command 
his army at Chancellorsville arose from intoxication. The men of Humphreys' 
Division who saw him on that occasion until disabled by the injuries at the 
White House are living witnesses to the injustice of this charge against General 
Hooker. His strategic ability displayed in reaching the battle-field at Chancellors- 
ville so promptly with nearly one hundred and twenty-five thousand troops and 
springing a surprise on Lee is itself a tribute to his character and refutes the 
charge that he had been drinking or exhibited any evidence of it to the observer. 

Up to Chancellorsville the rapid movements of so large an army and the 
laying of pontoons crossing streams with such celerit)^ and concealment from the 
enemy, was unprecedented, and stamped Hooker as a General of exceptional 
ability in the matter of prompt and successful movement of large armies, however 
unfortunate it was that his injuries disabled him and prevented his successful 
execution of plans to engage the enemy at Chancellorsville. 

Movements of One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. 

While the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was, as the foregoing itinerary of 
the Regiment's participation in the Chancellorsville campaign shows it to have 
been, under fire at several difi^erent places, both on the reserve firing hne as 
well as on picket and rallying to check the disaster to the Eleventh Corps, very 
fortunately the casualties were comparatively slight. This was due to the fact 
that none of the regiments of the Fifth Corps was called upon to make assaults 
or charges upon the enemy's lines, although " sleeping upon their arms " and 
ready at all times to do so. 

In the advance and deploy of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and One 
Hundred and Thirty-first into the woods, as already mentioned, near the Chan- 



cellor House, these two regiments were used as a decoy to draw the enemy 
from his works in pursuit, so that the assembled fifty-four pieces of artillery 
under Captain Weed, U. S. A., could be used on the pursuers, hence but little 
loss was sustained. Adjutant P. S. Noon, of the One Hundred and Thirty-first, 
was killed in this advance in the woods. He was a most popular and gallant 
officer, having made many friends in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. He 
was a practicing attorney and a resident of Ebensburg, Cambria County, Pa. 

Many pickets and guards of the Union army on duty were abandoned at 
their posts lest their earlier withdrawal might be discovered by the enemy, and 
the retreat v/hich General Hooker was anxious to conceal made known to the 

The one hundred men of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, as already 
described as detailed to construct earthworks, received no notice of the intended 
retreat of the army until midnight, when they by mere accident discovered the 
passing of the columns of the First and the Second Corps troops in full retreat 
for the United States Ford pontoons, with wagon trains hurrying to the same 
destination. Lieutenant Wells, in charge of the details, on making this discovery, 
hurried back to where Privates O'Neil, Jones, Walters, Hays, Morgan and others 
were sleeping. He hurriedly aroused the men barely in time to cross the Rappa- 
hannock with the last troops crossing on the pontoons. Just about daylight the 
last of the Union army reached the north shore ; but not until the enemy had been 
aroused and fired some shells across the Rappahannock, with no other result, 
however, than to hurry up the retreat. 


Chapter VII. 


Troops Regain Their Old Camps. — Expiration of Term of Service of 
Nine-months' Regiments. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Ninety- 
first Pennsylvania Volunteers Assigned to Third Brigade, Sykes' Second 
Division, Fifth Army Corps. — Camp Humphreys Abandoned. — Colonel E. 
J. Allen Returns to Regiment. — Army of Potomac Breaks Camp and 
Marches in Direction of Washington City. — Passes Over Battlefields of 
Previous Year. — Depressing Sights and Scenes. — Great Fatigue - of 
Troops. — Fifth Corps Remains Week Near Aldie, Loudoun County, Va., 
in Support of Cavalry Protecting Wagon Trains. — Fifth Corps Resumes 
Forced Marching. — Physical Exhaustion of Men.-^— Hanging of '' Spy " 
Richardson. — General Meade Succeeds General Hooker in Command of 
Army of Potomac. — General George Sykes Commands Fifth Army Corps. — 
General Ayres Succeeds to Command of Sykes' Division. — General Weed 
Commands Third Brigade. — Sykes' Division on Pen?:sylvania Soil. — -Re- 
nevited Martial Spirit Awakened in Troops. — Sunstroke and Blistered 
Feet. — Cavalry Engagement Near Hanover, Pa. — Forced March of Regi- 
ment Until Midnight of July 1st. — Sounds of Heavy Cannonading. 

|N MAY 6th, 1863, Humphreys' Division took up its line of return 
march, which occupied all day, over muddy roads and in rainy, 
foggy weather, back to Camp Humphreys, the point from which 
they had started for Chancellorsville with such bright hopes and 
expectations of victory one short week before. The Union army 
was not demoralized, although somewhat disappointed, as but a fraction of it 
had been engaged. In regaining their old camps, the entertainments, drills, picket 
and guard duties, and also the amusements which had marked the camp all the 
previous winter, were soon resumed. 

The relations existing between the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the 
One Hundred and Twenty-third Pennsylvania Regiment, on the marches to 
Antietam and to Falmouth, and in the Division camps at Falmouth and also in 
Camp Humphreys, were most friendly and intimate. The companies of the 
regiments, being mostly from Allegheny county, had strong ties of friendship 
as schoolmates and neighbors before enlisting. Colonel Clark, commander of 
the One Hundred and Twenty-third, was a brave soldier, who received from the 
dashing General Humphreys, the Division commander, the great compliment on 
the battlefield of Fredericksburg, where the regiment participated in the bloody 




charge on Marye's Heights, that, " after all, the Preacher-Colonel would fight." 
The earnest and intense language used by the Division General in compliment to 
Reverend Colonel Clark was emphasized with profanity, which the reverend 
Colonel, under other circumstances, would undoubtedly have reproved. 

Humphreys' Division Disbanded. — Regiments Depart for Home. 

The One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
Colonel Edward O'Brien commanding, a native Pittsburger and a veteran of 
the Mexican War, was from Beaver and Lawrence counties, and had many 
warm friends — schoolmates and old neighbors — in the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth. Both the One Hundred and Twenty-third and the One Hundred 
and Thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Regiments lost, as shown by the official reports, 
due to their exposed position, almost twice the number killed and wounded as 
the casualty returns show that any other regiment sustained in that dreadful 
action. These regiments, with this excellent record of officers and men, had 
enlisted for the term of nine months, which was to expire on May 9th. It was 
a source of sadness to some of the homesick comrades of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth who had enlisted for three years' service to hear in Camp 
Humphreys each sunset, for thirty days before the term of the One Hundred 
and Twenty-third and other nine-months' troops expired, their demonstrative 
cheering that another day had expired, and that home and friends were accord- 
ingly so much nearer to their view. 

On May 8th, an equally solemn duty was assigned to those of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment who were homesick, namely, to escort Colonel 
Clark's regiment of Humphreys' Division to the railroad station on their 
way home. Homesickness was much aggravated by the circulation of reports 
invented by the active minds of the Ananias clubs which abounded in every 
regiment in camp. 

It was gravely asserted that an egregious blunder had been made by the War 
Department in mustering the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment into the 
United States service as a three-years' instead of a nine-months' term regiment. 
These veracious reporters asserted that the entire Cabinet of the President were 
excited over the startling discovery, and that there was no possible way out of 
this dilemma except promptly to discharge the Regiment as a nine-months 
organization. In consequence of these persistent reports, therefore, continuing 
until almost the night before the nine-months' regiments were to depart from 
Camp Humphreys, the boys of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth cherished the 
delusion of accompanying the other Pittsburg regiments that had enlisted for 
nine months and being mustered out with them in Pittsburg. The wish being 
father to this thought among the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, it may be well 
understood that sorrow and sadness prevailed, after their feelings had been so 
wrought up, when they were ordered to fall into line with their bands to escort 
the nine-months' regiments from Camp Humphreys to Stoneman's Station, there 
to entrain via Washington for Pittsburg. The disappointment to friends and 
■sweethearts at home, to whom these members of the One Hundred and Fifty- 

May 16, 1863, to March 24, 1864. 


J knew him ! By all that is noble, I knew 

This commonplace hero I name ! 
I've camped with him, marched with him, fought with him, too. 

In the swirl of the fierce battle-flame! 
Laughed with him, cried with him, taken a part 

Of his canteen and blanket, and known 
That the throb of this chivalrous prairie boy's heart 

Was an answering stroke of my own. 


fifth had given the most positive assurances that the Regiment would be dis- 
charged as a nine-months' regiment, must have also been harrowing. 

A practical joke was played on General Humphreys, the Division com- 
mander, by some mischievous devils of the nine-months' troops, who, the night 
before the disbandment of the Division and their homeward march, gathered up 
all their cartridges, and with the powder from the same laid a mine leading to 
■General Humphreys' tent. This they ignited by a slow match, thus giving them 
time to escape before its explosion. The detonation caused a great excitement 
and a scattering of tin cans and bottles in the vicinity of the distinguished 
General's headquarters. The irascible General, thus aroused from his slumbers, 
■called the provost guard and made an awful commotion in the camp, almost as 
much so as if the enemy had broken through. It was generally supposed that if 
the General had possessed power, instead of deploying the peaceful One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth — a three-years' regiment — to escort the nine-months' troops to 
the station the next morning, he would have enjoyed assigning that Regiment to 
the duty of shooting a couple of battalions of the nine-months' regiments of his 
late command for their terrible act of insubordination and violation of the rules 
and regulations and articles of war so dear to one so rigid in the enforcement 
■of the same as was the General of the division being thus disbanded. 

On the morning of the 8th of May, the whole of Allabach's Brigade was 
•drawn up in line in Camp Humphreys to bid farewell to the nine-months' regi- 
ments on their departure. Cheers were given and farewells were spoken. The 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was detailed to escort them to the station. This 
incident is also perpetuated in this history by a sketch made at the time by the 
Regimental artist. 

The disbandment of Humphreys' Division left General Humphreys without 
a command. He was soon assigned to the command of a division in the Third 
Corps under General Sickles, and at Gettysburg won great renown in the engage- 
ment in the Peach Orchard. He was promoted by General Meade before leaving 
the battlefield of Gettysburg to the position of Chief-of-Staff of the Army of the 
Potomac. This position he filled with great ability under Meade and Grant until 
the fall of 1864, when he was promoted to the command of the Second Corps. 

Regiment Transferred to Sykes' Division. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers, the remaining Regiments of Humphreys' Division, were assigned to the 
Third Brigade of General Sykes' Second Division of the Fifth Army Corps. 
Colonel Patrick H. O'Rorke, of the One Hundred and Fortieth New York, was 
in command of this Brigade. The other two brigades of Sykes' Division were 
United States Regulars, for whom and for their fighting qualities the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth soon learned to have the highest regard and 

On the departure of the nine-months' troops. Camp Humphreys, with its 
memories and associations, was abandoned, and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
and the Ninety-first Pennsylvania became residents of Camp Sykes, near United 


States Ford, on the Rappahannock, spending several weeks in it. On June 3, 
1863, this camp was broken up and the Regiment marched to the United States 
Ford, where it settled down to an idle camp life again. There was no drilling 
or roll calls or any routine of that kind in this camp, owing to the close 
proximity of the Regiment to the enemy immediately opposite on the Rappa- 
hannock. Conversation with the enemy, exchanges of newspapers and tobacco, 
floating of little paper boats across the stream, and many other civilities were 
daily exchanged with Confederates during the stay at this point. The particular 
detail of Confederates thus so courteous and considerate to the Union troops 
belonged to Phillips' Legion of General J. E. B. Stuart's Cavalry, who were 
principally Virginians. 

On Friday, June 5th, firing was heard in the direction of Fredericksburg, 
and on the 6th further firing was heard. Apparently, Hooker was testing, or, 
to use a military phrase, " feeling the enemy." 

In this camp at United States Ford, Colonel E. Jay Allen returned from 
sick leave to the Regiment, having been detained at his home in Pittsburg for 
some months by severe sickness. The officers and men of the Regiment, however, 
were delighted to welcome the popular Colonel and many called at his tent to pay 
their respects. Major A. L. Pearson also returned at the same time from a 
brief leave of absence. Colonel Allen brought reports in circulation in Washington 
that the Union army was about to resume operations across the Rappahannock. 

Colonel Allen's appearance, on returning, indicated that he was still far from 
having recovered. The six weeks' confinement to bed and his room at home was 
undoubtedly compulsory and benefited him, so that on the first sign of sufficient 
convalescence he determined to disobey his physician's orders and disregard his 
family's protests against his return to the Regiment. The possibility of an in- 
vasion of Pennsylvania by the Confederates determined him to join the Regiment 
at once wherever located. But his condition of health on reaching camp was not 
sufficiently improved to permit his relieving Lieutenant-Colonel Cain in command 
of the Regiment. Colonel Allen, however, hoping to further improve under care 
of the Regimental surgeons, continued with the Regiment in camp and on the 
forced marches following. 

Marching Orders. 

Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Cain, in command of the Regiment, had read 
the " marching orders " at dress-parade on Sunday, June 7, 1863. The Regiment 
was kept on the anxious bench as to the time of moving until Saturday, June 13, 
in the meantime continuing the picket duty on the Rappahannock. On this date, 
while the Regiment was being inspected, orders were received to move at eight 
o'clock that night and requiring the men to pack up right away and be ready to 
move. The camp was accordingly broken at that hour in the midst of a heavy 
thunderstorm, the vivid lightning brightly illuminating the darkness of the 
roads over which this remarkable forced night-march was being made. At mid- 
night the column reached Hartwood Church, a well-known point, where the 
troops bivouacked. 


Sunday, June 14th, 1863, as early as five o'clock in the morning, the march 
was resumed in the direction of Washington City, and instead of mud causing 
annoyance this day the roads were dusty and the heat occasioned much suffering. 
Continuously marching till night brought Sykes' Division, in which the Regiment 
was serving, a distance of twenty miles, near to Catlett's Station, on the Orange 
& Alexandria Railroad, still on the march towards Washington. The heat was 
so great and the sun so strong that on this day's forced march ambulances follow- 
ing the troops were frequently filled with sufiferers from sunstroke and exhaus- 
tion from heat, many dropping from the ranks. 

June 15, 1863, marched early from Centreville, the vicinity of the first and 
second battlefields of Bull Run, covering twenty miles in the march. It was a 
most fatiguing march owing to the great heat, causing the prostration of many 
in the ranks. On this march, the Regiment passed Bristoe Station, celebrated 
as the point where Generals Hooker and Kearney had engaged the enemy one 
year previous. During this day's march many graves of soldiers of the Union 
army who had fallen in action the preceding year were visible. Many of the 
graves were unmarked and all seemed neglected, the weather and rains having 
frequently washed away the mounds, leaving the bleached bones of the slain ex- 
posed, certainly not a cheerful or encouraging sight to behold. The column 
crossed Kettle Run, continuing along the line of the Orange & Alexandria Rail- 
road, passing by Manassas Junction and joining the remainder of the Fifth Corps 
in camp on the plains of Manassas, the identical Bull Run battlefield of 1861. 
Through the intense and debilitating heat of this day the Regiment marched 
twenty miles. Many more of the men in the marching column being prostrated 
were obliged to be placed in ambulances. An engagement was deemed highly 
probable at this halt, and General Griffin, commanding the First Division in the 
advance, placed artillery in position to protect the point occupied by the Fifth 
Corps, and Griffin's entire division was formed in line of battle. 

Tuesday, June 16, found the entire troops of the Fifth Corps halted and 
resting at Manassas. More graves — ^this time of Confederate soldiers killed in 
the first battle of Bull Run — could be seen here. Only one headstone could be 
seen, and the inscription upon it was : " Here lies the remains of George W. 
Scovill, Private, Fifty-second Georgia Volunteers, aged twenty-one years, who 
died for his country, July 31, 1861." 

The ground where these Confederates were buried seemed well tramped 
over and neglected, and the place was well supplied with the remains of old 
Confederate forts, which had been constructed during the first year of the war. 

Wednesday, June 17, reveille sounded early in the morning and marching 
was resumed by the Regiment at daylight. The weather had become cooler, 
although the roads marched over were still very dusty. The column marched 
through the village of Centreville at six o'clock, having passed the famous stream 
of Bull Run, a few miles back. This village appeared to be a well-fortified place, 
the surrounding fortifications obscuring the village. 

After an hour's halt at Centreville, brisk marching was resumed for the 
remainder of the day. Many of the boys of the command were so fatigued and 
broken down by the continuous and rapid marching, and their eagerness to keep 




up with their companies, that teamsters and wagoners often came to their rehef 
and favored them by permitting them to throw their knapsacks and guns into the 
wagons, which they could again get at the end of the day's march in the park 
of the wagon trains. During the march this day, the Regiment also passed near 
Chantilly, made famous as the site where, the previous September, General Phil 
Kearney, serving in Pope's army, lost his life whilst reconnoitering in advance 
of his command. 

The column camped this night near Goose Creek, four miles from Aldie, 
Loudoun County, Virginia, and remained there until June 26, about a week. 

The entire Fifth Corps remained encamped at this point, as a support to 
Pleasanton's Cavalry, which was protecting the large wagon trains of the Army 
of the Potomac from the raids of the enemy. The cavalry had very severe 
fighting at Aldie and also at Upperville, and Sykes' Division of infantry was 
called upon several times and the Regiment was drawn up in line of battle, but 
the cavalry under General Pleasanton was so well handled as not to need the 
active assistance of the infantry. The picketing in the camp was most enjoyable, 
as the Regiment was located on the Catoctin mountains, and had " lookout 
points " and signal stations communicating with all portions of the army. Every 
day of the sojourn in this camp, there was more or less fighting, confined, 
however, wholly to the cavalry and artillery because of the fact that it was 
Stuart's cavalry which was harrassing and annoying the immense army trains 
accompanying the Army of the Potomac. 

General S. H. Weed Assumes Command of Brigade. 

Brigadier-General Stephen H. Weed, lattly appointed commander of the 
brigade in which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment was serving, arrived 
in this camp and relieved Colonel P. H. O'Rorke, who, up to this time, was 
acting Brigadier in command of the brigade. This camp was but ten miles from 
Leesburg, the county seat of Loudoun county. The picket guards in this camp 
were located in pleasant places; the cherries were plentiful and just ripe, 
and the farmers in the neighborhood were kind and obliging, although they 
acknowledged themselves " secesh." Being treated well and protected by the 
Regiment on picket, they reciprocated every way possible the courteous treatment 
accorded them by the pickets. 

On one occasion General Pleasanton rode by the place where the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth was stationed, with angered brow and stopped the 
retreating cavalry, ordering them to " About Face ! " The One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania and the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York stood 
ready to support this retreating cavalry, but under General Pleasanton's leader- 
ship the cavalry so rallied as to make the line of battle of infantry do nothing but 
await the orders to advance, which never came. 

During the brief ten-days' sojourn in this camp, streets were laid out in 
regular style and the comforts of camp tents, etc., enjoyed. Spare time was 
devoted to drilling and short summer excursions ; and, barring the recollection of 


a most awful water-spout and rain which deluged the camp, the memories of 
the life in this bivouac were all of the most pleasant character. 

Forced Marches to Gettysburg. 

On June 26, 1863, at daylight, this pleasant encampment was broken up 
and forced marching was resumed by the entire Corps, which again forded the 
celebrated Goose Creek — without doubt the crookedest stream in the world. At 
a temporary halt in the road this day. General Meade, the Corps commander, 
together with Generals Sykes, Ayers and Weed, appeared and seemed to be in 
earnest consultation. The Corps reached the town of Leesburg about noon, 
which appeared to be a neat and clean place. This day it was learned from the 
inhabitants of Leesburg that General Lee's army was already in Pennsylvania, 
and, as an inhabitant of the town remarked, " they would give the people an idea 
of war and the way old Virginia was being treated." 

On June 36, 1863, the column marched at three o'clock a. m. and at noon was 
at Leesburg. After a delay of an hour or two, the Regiment resumed the march 
and, passing Ball's Bluf¥, crossed the Potomac on pontoons at Edward's Ferry. 
At this period, the Regiment felt very much like encamping, and certainly ex- 
pected to do so, but the march continued and the column marched seven miles into 
Maryland and finally encamped at Poolsville. The distance accomplished by the 
Regiment in this day's forced march was from thirty to thirty-five miles, and 
was without doubt the most severe ever experienced up to that date by the 
Regiment. Many were stragglers from absolute physical exhaustion, and at the 
roll-call and distribution of rations at the camp at the end of the day's march 
but few responded. The missing of roll-call to the wearied straggler annoyed 
him but little, but the issue of rations missed by him added hunger to his 
alread)' multiplied woes and had a depressing effect upon his spirits. 

June 37, 1863. After the unusually hard march of the previous day, the 
Regiment again moved and marched all day to within a few miles of Frederick 
City, having forded the Monacacy. The valley of the Potomac to that point was 
in vivid contrast to the sandy plains and untilled fields of the Old Dominion, 
over which the Army of the Potomac had operated. The beautiful fields of 
golden grain almost ready for the reaper, and the well-laden cherry trees, ripe 
and ready for the consumer, attracted the attention of all. 

Execution of " Spy " Richardsox. 

Near the end of this day's march by the various corps of the Army of the 
Potomac en route for Frederick a grewsome sight was presented on a road in the 
suburbs of Frederick. The cavalry had captured on the march a man in citi- 
zen's clothes who had been a camp follower in the corps of Hooker's army 
during the winter quarters in Virginia, having secured a permit to sell stationery, 
pens and ink, song books and newspapers. No one ever suspected his loyalty 
or that he might be a Confederate spy. He was well known to the One Hundred 
and Fifth-fifth by his frequent visits to Camp Humphreys, where, during the 


winter he peddled his goods. He was a cheerful, lively individual, past middle- 
age, and had a refrain which he frequently shouted to the amusement of the 
soldiers in response to their bidding him " good-morning " or asking him the 
condition of his health, etc., to which he always made reply that with him " every- 
thing is lovely and the goose hangs high." The story of his subsequent capture 
on the march to Frederick was that the cavalry guards detained him, and finally, 
not satisfied with his explanation or references, searched him and found concealed 
on his person papers with details of the various army corps under Hooker and 
of their estimated strength. A drum-head court-martial was convened at night 
during a halt on the march, and on a hearing he was adjudged to be a spy and 
ordered to be hung at daylight. The individual was ever afterwards known as 
" Spy " Richardson. A placard with that inscription was tied around his body by 
the cavalry. Many of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth in passing recognized the 
features and the dress of " Spy " Richardson as that of the old stationery 
peddler, their frequent visitor in Camp Humphreys, who invariably wore a linen 
duster in all kinds of weather. 

General Meade's Appointment to Command. 

Sunday, June 28, 1863. The Regiment remained this day in camp, at 
Frederick, enjoying a well-needed rest. General Hooker, it was here learned, 
had been relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac the night 
before by the acceptance of his resignation. General Meade, commander of the 
Fifth Corps, his successor, was roused from midnight sleep by a special messenger 
from Washington, assigning him to the command of the Army of the Potomac, 
this being his first intimation of the appointment. General Meade afterwards 
remarked that, when so summarily roused by the messenger from the War 
Department, instead of expecting the appointment to succeed Hooker, he feared 
that probably the message contained an order for his arrest or removal on un- 
founded charges. General Hooker's resignation was occasioned through a 
quarrel with General Halleck, the General-in-Chief, who refused to comply with 
Hooker's urgent request that the twelve thousand Union troops at Harper's 
Ferry should be sent to join the Army of the Potomac in the coming battle of 

The first order General Meade issued on assuming command of the army 
was to direct that the troops under General French at Harper's Ferry should 
immediately join his army. General Meade's distinguished services under 
Generals McClellan, Burnside and Hooker made his appointment pecuHarly 
welcome and gratifying not only to the people of the country, but more especially 
to the Army of the Potomac. The Fifth Army Corps was particularly elated 
that their General should be selected for the high command. The change placed 
General George Sykes in command of the Fifth Corps and General Romeyn B. 
Ayres succeeded to the command of Sykes' Division. General Stephen H. 
Weed became commander of the Brigade in which the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth was serving. General Meade, on accepting the command of the army, 
continued for the present all of General Hooker's staiif officers. 





Monday, June 29, 1863, General Meade, because of the enemy's operations in 
Pennsylvania and the panic prevailing there, did not tarry at Frederick, but 
pushed on for Penns}dvania at once to overtake the enemy, reaching on the first 
day's march a place called Liberty, a small village on the road leading to 
Pennsylvania. Many of the Regiment, as a result of the severe forced marching 
and wading the streams, suffered from sore feet and could not wear shoes. As a 
general rule, the pluck and desire of the troops to participate in the impending 
battle sustained them and enabled them to keep up on the trying marches. 

Tuesday, June 30, 1863. Marching was resumed at an early hour, passing 
along the road from Liberty through the village of Union Mills to Frizzleburg. 
More beautiful country, with more grain ripe and ready for the harvest, heavily 
burdened trees of ripe cherries and fields of growing corn, unusually large red 
barns, and general appearances of contentment and comfortable rural life, were 
visible on the day's march. A memorable scene which impressed all the 
soldiers and cheered them as they marched along, footsore and weary, took 
place at Frizzleburg, Md. On the steps of the public school building were 
grouped a hundred children with flags in their hands, singing the " Star-Spangled 
Banner " and other loyal songs as the marching columns passed along. Marching 
■still farther, as the Regiment advanced in towards the Pennsylvania line, the 
■enterprising inhabitants prepared bread, pies and cakes and also milk in bottles 
for sale at moderate prices to the soldiers as they passed. That any charge 
whatever was made by these thrifty farmers was very disappointing to the over- 
marched soldiers hastening to save Pennsylvania from the invasion of the 
■Confederate army. At the end of a twenty-eight-mile march, the Regiment 
camped this night close to the Pennsylvania line. The severe strain of these 
marches on the most stalwart soldier often caused blistered feet, which retarded 
■progress. The Captain of a company often, on the recommendation of the Sur- 
geon of the Regiment, certified that the private soldier suffering from sore feet 
should be excused from duty and exempt from arrest by the provost guards 
following the army. One such pass to an afflicted comrade would be copied 
■several times, signature and all, by sympathizing comrades and distributed to 
messmates, who, although similarly suffering, had not been fortunate enough to 
secure original passes. These copies so made in most cases passed the inspec- 
tion of the provost guard as well as did the genuine passes. At the end of this 
■day's march the usual sixty-day muster for the pay-rolls was made, the com- 
panies averaging only thirty muskets present in the ranks. 

Pennsylvania Reserves Join the Fifth Corps. 

On the night of the 30th of June, 1863, the Fifth Corps marched until near 
midnight. The Corps was joined on the march by the Division of the Pennsyl- 
vania Reserves, under command of General S. W. Crawford. They were trained 
^veteran regiments, which had been resting and recruiting their ranks for some 
months in the defenses of Washington, and to-day overtook the Fifth Corps in 



which they had previously so long served. A number of these companies and 
regiments had been recruited in Pittsburg. The meeting of old friends by their 
comrades in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth en route was cordial and most 
welcome. At many points on the march these reinforcements, rallying to the 
defense of their native State, elicited loud cheers and enthusiastic demonstra- 
tions. With the arrival of these troops also came the report, which was circulated 
all along the line, that General McClellan had been restored to the command of 
the Army of the Potomac and was on his way to join the army. General Mc- 
Clellan's name and popularity on this report were also enthusiastically received; 
but, alas ! it was doomed to contradiction as a mere camp rumor, as developments 
soon demonstrated. 

On Pennsylvania Soil. 

Wednesday, July 1, 1863. General 
Sykes' Division of the Fifth Corps, with 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, was up 
early and started on the march soon after 
daylight, and at the end of an hour's 
travel the State line between Pennsyl- 
vania and Maryland was reached. Strik- 
ing Pennsylvania soil awakened a differ- 
ent spirit, probably more natural than on 
any previous campaigns, as the troops, 
and particularly Pennsylvania regiments, 
deemed the Confederate invasion an ag- 
gravation of their offense in fighting the 
flag of the Union. As a consequence, 
despite the great fatigue from the forced 
marches, loss of sleep and other priva- 
tions, speaking for the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth men, it can be truly said 
that on reaching the Keystone State 
their determination to fight to the bitter 
end was most marked, and no signs 
of doubt of the result were visible any- 
where in the ranks. Disappointment, however, was experienced on crossing 
the State line that these feelings were not more cordially reciprocated by their 
fellow Pennsylvanians in the persons of the first inhabitants of the State met by 
the advancing columns of the Union army. So far from welcoming them, or 
displaying any sense of gratitude to the men in the ranks ready to die in the 
defense of the Union and of Pennsylvania, the first inhabitants, met by the 
columns as they marched by, were engaged at the various roadsides selUng fresh 
milk in bottles to soldiers at ten cents a pint and fresh bread and cakes and pies 
and buttermilk at proportionate prices. These mercenary people So engaged were 
in many cases young athletic farmer boys, who, many soldiers thought, were 
capable and should have been willing to take guns and to harrass the invading 



columns of Lee, instead of turning the sad incident of the war to making money 
from the unfortunate footsore and over-marched Union soldiers. 

Many of the first inhabitants of Pennsylvania thus met by the Union 
army also seemed densely ignorant about the war for the Union or anything 
else. In the most unsophisticated manner, they protested against the action of 
General Jenkins, the Confederate cavalry leader, who had passed through that 
section a few days before, impressing cattle and horses for the use of his 
command without asking or securing the consent of the rural owners of the same. 
These injured citizens, in their complaint to Union soldiers following Jenkins' 
operations, asserted that his treatment was incomprehensible to them, as they 
were really his friends ; that is, they had never done anything against the 
Confederates to justify such discourteous treatment. Jenkins, they said, had 
given in exchange for their fine horses he had carried off the broken-down and 
jaded beasts of the Confederate riders, which these farmers said were not worth 
their feeding. Not a few of the soldiers, and among them a number of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, thought it but fair to patronize these milk and pie 
vendors, the able-bodied young farmers and their wives, all apparently living in 
affluence, judging by the size of their great barns and fine dwellings, so they 
ordered canteens of milk and fine rolls of butter in the most lavish manner, 
caring nothing for expense. When their orders were filled, these soldiers found 
themselves in a very great hurry to rejoin their commands, being thus often 
prevented from handing over the necessary change to the avaricious rustics. 
The excited milk and pie vendors were, however, assured by the hungry soldiers 
that the United States Government would cheerfully pay for the milk, pies, 
bread, butter and other articles thus obtained. If any dispute arose about the 
amounts to let the soldiers of. the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania 
know, when they would " O. K." their bills. 

Neaeing Gettysburg. — Night Marching. 

The marching this day was brisk and the suffering of the men from heat 
and blistered feet was great. About noon General Sykes' Division reached the 
town of Hanover, York County, in the streets of which the day previous there 
had been heavy skirmishing between the advance cavalry of both armies. Many 
signs of the severity of this cavalry engagement were still visible. Dead horses 
killed in the skirmishing with the enemy still lay on the streets. Several build- 
ings bore the marks of artillery shots, while others presented evidences of the 
shots of cavalry carbines. All the remainder of the day there could be heard in 
advance cannonading, indicating that fighting had begun in earnest, and with 
renewed vigor the marching from Hanover was resumed. A few miles beyond 
the town orders were received just before sunset to go into camp and halt for 
the night. This order was most welcome to the fatigued troops and a camp 
bivouac on the hillside was promptly laid out in companies by each regiment. All 
arrangements were made and expectations for at least receiving a much-needed 
rest preparatory to which and an early retirement, the troops engaged in cooking 
their coffee and other food for their evening meal. This plain repast had hardly 


been finished by all the regiments when a scene occurred which changed all the 
plans in the minds of the troops for a good night's rest and compelled the 
immediate resumption of the forced march, lasting until midnight. The incident 
alluded to consisted in Colonel P. H. O'Rorke, of the One Hundred and Fortieth 
New York Volunteers, accompanied by a courier from General Hancock, riding 
into the bivouac on the hillside. The courier and his horse, covered with foam, at- 
tracted the attention of all in the temporary camp as he rode up with Colonel 
O'Rorke and dismounted at General Sykes' headquarters. This courier was the 
bearer of despatches, conveying the ominous news that the Union and the Confed- 
erate armies had encountered each other outside of the town of Gettysburg and 
had battled during the entire day ; that the Union advance under Generals Buford 
and Reynolds had been repulsed and driven back to the town of Gettysburg; 
that General Reynolds had been killed early in the battle ; also that it was 
absolutely necessary that the Fifth Corps troops should press on by a night 
march to Gettysburg to hold the place, and the enemy in check. Within five 
minutes from the delivery of this important message, the bugles of each brigade 
and regiment sounded the orders to pack up, and in not over ten minutes each 
regiment was in line to obey the orders. The sad news of the battle, the sounds 
of the cannonading they had heard during the day and the disasters to the Union 
arms reported by the courier's despatch to General Sykes became known with 
but little delay to the troops, and worn out as they had been with the long 
march of the day they cheerfully and promptly obeyed the orders requiring them 
to fall in for the resumption of the march by night, not a man of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth faltering. The march by slow and easy stages, thus 
resumed, continued until midnight, passing through IMcSherrytown and other 
villages. Along the road this night the troops were treated well. The people 
along the line of march distributed bread and pies freely to the troops. Along 
the line of march, at the occasional short halts, the troops learned more particulars 
of the death of General Reynolds in the advance encounter with the Confederate 

On this night's march the objective was the town of Gettysburg, where the 
fighting had taken place. The tired columns halted at one o'clock a. m., 
too fatigued for further marching, and orders were given for the troops to lie 
down on the road itself instead of deploying into nearby fields. This was but a 
temporary halt, and orders were issued that but three hours' sleep would be 
allowed before marching was resumed. 

" French Leave." — Prisoners Released to Enter the Battle. 

An episode worthy of mention occurred at the midnight halt, which concerns 
three well-known comrades of Company D, all of whom have long since passed 
away. Two of these comrades, William Jones and Daniel Haney, were mere 
boys in their 'teens, and, although fearless soldiers, they had become homesick 
with the monotonous wearisome march through Maryland to Gettysburg, and 
openly expressed their intention to take a " French leave " for their home in 
Pittsburg as soon as they would strike the Pennsylvania line. The third one of 


the trio was the redoubtable James Finnegan, of the same company, who, as he 
had a wife and several children living within the borders of Pennsylvania, was 
found in just the humor to pay a visit to the family with or without leave of his 
superiors. The comrades named carried their threats into execution promptly 
on crossing the State line by throwing away their guns and accoutrements, and 
defying any one to stop them from leaving the ranks for their homes. Captain 
Kilgore accepted the challenge and ordered the arrest of the three worthies for 
insubordination, mutiny and attempted desertion, and placed guards around the 
offending comrades. During the long forced marches the prisoners, relieved of 
gun and accoutrements, had much the best of the guards escorting them — the 
latter being weighted down with gun, bayonet and sixty rounds of cartridges. 
At the midnight halt in the middle of the road, from the faithful ranks of those 
who had trudged along the exhaustive lengthy day's march, a detail of four 
privates was ordered to report for the ignoble and disgusting duty of serving 
as guards over the prostrate and sleeping forms of the three prisoners reposing 
in a fence corner. At that hour and for that duty the wearied guards almost 
mutinied. On reporting, it was found that Sergeant " Forty " Shawhan, of 
Company I, was to be placed in charge of the important detail. He was impressed 
with the absurdity of such duty over three prisoners who were too tired to 
escape even if they desired to do so. The genial Sergeant, destined later to 
fall in battle, directed the guards to follow his example by spreading their 
" ponchos " on the ground and enjoy a good and badly-needed rest, sleeping until 
called for duty. His example was followed, and neither guards nor prisoners 
were disturbed or aroused until daylight, when the sound of distant artillery was 
heard and the regiment was ordered to resume the march for Gettysburg, twelve 
miles distant, the scene of the preceding day's battle. The charges and specifica- 
tions against the three prisoners were promptly withdrawn, as they each demanded 
release and privilege to go into the fight with their company, which they did, all 
serving creditably. 

Opening of Battle of Gettysburg. 

As is well-known, on the morning of July 1st, as the Confederate armies 
were complying with the orders to concentrate at Gettysburg, their advanced 
columns under General A. P. Hill, a short distance out of Gettysburg, encoun- 
tered the advanced pickets and skirmishers of the Union cavalry under General 
John Buford, whose men dismounted, and in that capacity resisted and held back 
for several hours the line of battle of the advancing Confederates. The skir- 
mishing thus commenced opened the three days' battles of the contending armies 
under Lee and Meade at Gettysburg, ending on the night of July 4th in the 
complete retreat of the Confederate forces. This history is necessarily confined 
to the movements and actions of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania 
Volunteers in the campaign now under consideration. It becomes necessary, 
however, for a proper understanding of the operations of the Regiment to em- 
brace, at times, the itinerary and descriptions as well as the positions occupied 
by . the four ■ regiments comprising Weed's Brigade and the two brigades of 
Regulars associated as component parts of General Ayres' Division, all under 



command of General Sykes, of the Fifth Army Corps. This is now mentioned 
to account for the fact that space in this volume would not permit an adequate or 
full description of the three great battles fought on July 1st, July 2d and July 3rd, 
respectively, at Gettysburg, and the fourth great battle fought by the cavalry of 
both armies, which in itself was conceded to be the greatest cavalry engagement 
of the war. 

The reader is referred to the admirable work of the Comte de Paris, occupy- 
ing an entire volume, devoted to a description of the great battle of Gettysburg, 
including the great cavalry encounter, which is considered to be a most ac- 
curate and thorough description of the operations at Gettysburg of the various 
corps of both the Union and the Confederate armies. The Comte de Paris, a 
graduate of the great French military college, St. Cyr., the West Point of France, 
was permitted by the French government to accept service during the Civil War 
in the United States army. With his brother, the Duke de Joinville, he rendered 
efficient service in the Peninsular campaign, participating in all the severe actions 
of that period — an experience especially qualifying him to describe military 





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Chapter VIII. 


Thursday, July 3, 1863, Near Gettysburg. — Fifth Corps Rests a Few 
Hours in Position on Battlefield. — Toward Noon on Reserve Near Center 
OF Army. — General Meade's Order Read to Army. — Sykes' Corps Changes 
Position to Power's Hill. — ^Troops Rest and Sleep. — Amusement Indulged 
IN Just Previous to the Great Battle. — Weed's Brigade Occupies Little 
Round Top. — Desperate Fighting on Little Round Top. — Enemy Repulsed 
BY Weed's Brigade. — Perfect Range of Enemy's Sharpshooters. — Bucktails' 
AND Berdan's Sharpshooters. — Scores of Dead Confederate Sharpshooters 
Found in Rocks and Crevices of Devil's Den After the Battle. — ^Tremen- 
dous Artillery Fire Against Little Round Top. — Grand Attacking Column 
Led by General Hood. — ^Assaulting Column of Texan Troops. — Robertson's 
Brigade of Texans Assault the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. — Colonel 
Cain's Order to Regiment to Aim Low and Fire. — Pennsylvania Reserves 
Advance and Clear the Slope of Confederate Sharpshooters. — No Mid- 
night Attack in Front of Little Round Top. — Fine View from Little 
Round Top in Afternoon of 3d. — Pickett's Charge. 

|HURSDAY, JULY 3d, 1863, marked the opening of the Battle of 
Gettysburg to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania. At 
four o'clock A. M. this day the troops of General Sykes' Fifth Corps 
were aroused from their slumbers and resumed the march west- 
ward, being welcomed along the road nearing Gettysburg by many 
of the inhabitants, who freely distributed fresh bread, cakes, milk and other food 
to the wornout soldiers and relieved the drooping spirits of the troops with 
encouraging words as they passed. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth did not 
fail to receive its full share of these good fanners' provisions thus distributed by 
their wives and families. The march continued until within two miles of the town 
of Gettysburg, the vicinity of the battlefield of the day previous. 

Fifth Corps Forms Reserve of Army. 

The first position taken by the Fifth Corps was in the rear of the positions 
held by Generals Hancock and Howard and the First Corps on the day previous. 
From this, after a few hours' rest, towards noon, the position of the Fifth 
Corps, aggregating about twenty thousand men, was changed so as to make it 
the reserve corps of the army and placed near the center, ready in any emergency 
when the enemy attacked, to be signalled or called to the relief of the 









threatened quarter. While the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth halted here with the 
other regiments of Weed's Brigade, the troops were massed in close column by 
divisions, in the rear of the troops who were deployed in line of battle with 
skirmishers advanced. The preparations all indicated the near proximity of 
the enemy in force. Of course, at that time the geography of the battlefield 
was entirely unknown to the men of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, but 
from the knowledge they have gained since, the Regiment was to the right, or 
eastward of Gulp's Hill. It was while waiting in that line of battle in reserve 
that Colonel Cain, in obedience to orders received read to the Regiment in a 
most impressive and significant manner a printed order from General Meade, 
the new Commander of the Army of the Potomac, and indeed the same order 
which is given below was read to every regiment in the Brigade. 

" Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

"June 30th, 1863. 
" The commanding General requests that, previous to the engagement soon 
expected with the enemy. Corps and all other commanding officers address their 
troops, explaining to them the immense issue involved in the struggle. The 
enemy is on our soil. The whole country looks anxiously to this army to deliver 
it from the presence of the foe. Our failure to do so will leave us no such 
welcome as the swelling of millions of hearts with pride and joy at our success 
would give to every soldier of the army. Homes, firesides and domestic altars are 
involved. The army has fought well heretofore. It is believed that it will fight 
more desperately and bravely than ever if it is addressed in fitting terms. 
Corps and other commanders are authorized to order the instant death of any 
soldier who fails to do his duty at this hour. 
" By command of 

Major General Meade. 

S. Williams, 

"-Assistant Adjutant-General." 

Colonel Cain, as required by this order, also addressed the Regiment in 
earnest and convincing terms. The scene, action, and words were of intense 
and dramatic interest. 

So many of the comrades of each company of the Regiment, wornout and 
exhausted by the march, had dropped out of the ranks that the companies as they 
stood and listened to this order looked very small, not averaging more than 
thirty men to each company. Solicitude was also felt by many anxious mess- 
mates for comrades who had straggled without permits and who had not been 
able to overtake the Regiment up to the reading of this drastic order. 

Stragglers Nearly Miss the Battle. 

On the forced marches to Gettysburg daily medical inspections of each 
company was held immediately after roll call — ^the object being to examine the sick 
and exhausted and to issue proper passes excusing from duty those unable to 



maintain place in the ranks. Whilst there may have been some who desired these 
excuses and were not anxious to participate in the impending battle, it is simple 
justice to state that such cases were exceptional, as many instances of comrades 
well entitled to be excused occurred where they persisted under the greatest 
difficulties in marching and keeping up with the company and participated in the 
great battle. An instance illustrating this feeling, as also indicating how two 
worthy comrades came near missing the battle of Gettysburg, occurred on the 
morning of June 30th, 1863, the day before the opening of the battle. At the 
morning roll-call and inspection a private appeared in ranks with his well-worn 
shoes dangling from the muzzle of his musket instead of on his feet. It was 
explained that his feet were too sore and bhstered to allow him to wear his shoes 
and that he contemplated going into battle barefooted. Assistant Surgeon 
Wilson issued the usual " pass " excusing the private from duty and bespeaking 
mercy in case he straggled and fell into the hands of the 
inexorable detail of United States Regulars serving as 
division Provost Guards. Soon after the march was 
resumed this barefooted private kindly loaned his pass 
to his two messmates, and at the first halt these comrades 
made two copies of same, inserting, however, in each 
their own names as beneficiaries. The private owning 
the genuine pass stuck to the company and declined using 
its privilege. His two messmates fell out of the ranks 
early in the day and failed to report at the night's halt 
or to be present at roll-call the next morning. The com- 
pany became solicitous for the missing men who were 
both known as ideal brave soldiers and fears were en- 
tertained that they would be disgraced by absence with- 
out leave in the impending battle. Just a half hour be- 
fore the order issued to the Fifth Corps to " double 
quick " to the left of the battlefield to the relief of Gen- 
eral Sickles in the Peach Orchard, the two tardy soldiers 
were spied emerging from nearby woods and joined the 
company in time for the battle. On reaching the summit 
of Little Round Top one of these comrades, who was a 
Color-Corporal, Thomas J. Tomer, fell badly wounded, 
mates, Privates O'Neill and McKenna, came to his relief and helped him back a 
few yards, where an immense boulder furnished him shelter until the stretcher- 
bearers conveyed him to the nearest field hospital. 

His barefooted mess- 

From reminiscences of the Gettysburg campaign, by General A. L. Pear- 
son, published in the " Pittsburg Sunday Critic," July 30, 1880, the following 
extracts are given of incidents occurring on the forced marches to Gettysburg, 
in which further allusions are made to the incidents mentioned by Assistant 
Surgeon Wilson: 

" Early in the morning of July 1st, before resuming the forced march for 
Gettysburg, Colonel Cain, commanding the Regiment, detailed me to conduct an 



inspection of the men of the Regiment with the Assistant-Surgeons, Reed and 
Wilson, and to order those found to be unfit to continue the marches to the hos- 
pital ambulances in the rear. The inspection resulted in finding over fifty men 
barefooted, unable to wear shoes, broken down, and too much exhausted to re- 
sume marching. These men were ordered to report to the hospital ambulances. 
Among those thus ordered out of the ranks and to the rear as unfit for duty, I 
recall the names of Sergeant James A. McMillan, of Company B, the most stal- 
wart man of the command; also Sergeant William F. Collner, of Company G; 

and Privates Noah H. Pangburn and 
Charley McKenna, of Company E. 
The forced marches and the streams they 
had waded, the sand and pebbles getting 
into their shoes, had so blistered and 
bruised their feet as to prevent their 
wearing their shoes. The men I have 
jubt named, with a number of others 
whom I cannot recall, refused to obey 
the orders to go to the rear to the hos- 
pital ambulances, claiming that as they 
were on Pennsylvania soil with an im- 
pending battle so close, they would strug- 
gle to remain with their companies and 
do their best to keep up. Assistant- 
Surgeon Wilson thereupon prepared for- 
mal passes which I countersigned, ex- 
cusing each of the four men named from 
all duty, and authorizing them to fall out 
of the ranks, with immunity from arrest 
by the Provost Guards. 

" Collner, McKenna, and Pangburn, 
each managed to reach the Regiment in 
line of battle in time to participate in the 
storming and capture of Little Round 

" Sergeant McMillan's fate was pa- 
thetic and extremely distressing. While 
bravely following his comrades on this 
day's forced march under the broiling 
sun, he completely broke down and be- 
came wholly unconscious, during which 
he was conveyed by ambulance to a hos- 
pital at Frederick. His case developed 
into a severe attack of typhoid fever. 
The battle of Gettysburg was over fully 
six weeks before he was sufficiently re- 
coLOR-coRP. THOMAS J. TOMER. storcd to Understand how he had missed 


the battle and came to be in a hospital ward. It was the only battle of the thirty- 
two to the credit of the Regiment that he missed." 

Sykes' Corps soon changed its position, and during the greater part of the 
remainder of that day all the regiments composing it lay upon Power's Hill, 
about a mile eastward from the spot where the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
monument now stands on Little Round Top. In this position the regiments were 
permitted to rest and make up for the loss of sleep and fatigue of the night and 
day before, although throughout the day the frequent sound of cannon firing 
could be heard, which, however, seemed far awa}' and did not disturb the 
slumbers of the weary troops of the division. Indeed, as the afternoon wore 
away and the men wakened and cooked their meals everywhere there was evident 
the best of spirits and joviality, strangely in contrast with the harvest of sorrow 
and death so soon to follow. Many of the survivors of the Regiment will recall 
that the few hours immediately preceding the great battle on Little Round Top 
were enlivened by the singing by officers and men of many of the favorite camp 
songs and .choruses, " Lorena," " The Virginia Lowlands," " Listen to the 
Mocking Bird," etc., by many of the officers. Other amusements were indulged 
in and everywhere demonstrations of a cheerful character were visible during 
the few hours resting in reserve. This was also particularly true of the camp 
of the United States Regulars of Ayres' Division, the immediate neighbors of 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. Discipline seemed to be relaxed to a great 
extent. The fact that a battle was imminent appeared to have no disheartening 
effect upon the lively spirits ever present in the veterans of the Regular army. 

During this eventful rest opportunities to see more of the officers of the 
brigade were afforded. Many of the men of the Third Brigade had not seen 
General Stephen H. Weed, their new commander, until this occasion, as he had 
only joined the marching column a few days before at Aldie. But he was seen 
at this time in the day conversing and seemingly enjoying himself with Colonel 
O'Rorke, of the One Hundred and Fortieth New York, his immediate predecessor 
in command of the Brigade. Colonel O'Rorke seemed so gay and light-hearted 
as he chanted familiar lines. In less than one hour after the pleasant social 
intercourse of the gallant young officers named at this point of rest in bivouac 
with their men, both lay dead amid the rocks of Little Round Top, both victims of 
the unerring aim of the Confederate sharpshooters concealed in the Devil's Den. 

The Capture of Little Round Top. 

The last resting place of the troops on Powers' Hill was occupied until late 
in the afternoon by Sykes' Fifth Corps. The artillery s lively play to the 
westward was heard without disturbing the serenity of the troops, and, strange 
to say, it seemed much more distant than it really was. The battle of the day 
with Sykes' Corps had actually opened, and the entire Corps was soon set in 
motion towards the high ground which could be seen to the westward, and 
which, in fact, proved to be Little Round Top. The First Division of the Fifth 
Corps, Brigadier-General Barnes commanding, and the Brigade of the L^nited 




States Regulars, of Ayres' Division, preceded the advance of Weed's Brigade to 
the left to the relief of General Sickles' Corps in its contest with Longstreet's 
columns. Sykes' Corps passed along the road crossing the ridge at the foot of 
the northern extremity of Little Round Top. The two advanced brigades of 
Sykes' Corps, under Colonels Vincent and Sweitzer, soon became engaged in the 
furious battle at the farther side of Little Round Top. When Weed's Brigade 
was marching across the ridge to join them and had about reached the point where 
the railroad now crosses the roadway the missiles of the enemy screeching over 
their heads, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and other regiments wereJialted and 
ordered to load, which, when done, and before moving farther, an incident oc- 
curred which changed the line of march of Weed's Brigade, and which proved 
to be a most important factor in the result of that day's battle. 

Early on the 2nd of July a signal station had been located, by the orders 
of General Meade, on the summit of Little Round Top, then unoccupied by Union 
troops, with instructions to signal operations of the enemy. 

Just before the opening of the battle and, the assault on Sickle's Corps in the 
Peach Orchard by Longstreet's forces. General G. K. Warren, Chief Engineer 
of General Meade's army, visited Little Round Top with Captain W. A. Roeb- 
ling, of his staff, and made observations with field glasses from the summit which 
disclosed the movement of Longstreet's columns in the dense woods nearly op- 
posite Little Round Top and, although the enemy was marching to avoid obser- 
vations, the flashing of the bright steel guns and bayonets in the sunlight dis- 
closed to Warren a strong column assembling opposite his position, being the 
extreme left of the Union army. 

General Warren at once promptly directed the signal corps detail to com- 
municate his timely discovery of Longstreet's movement to General Meade, with 
request that he order the Fifth Corps troops then in reserve to immediately ad- 
vance to occupy Little Round Top and the other positions in its front to check 
the movement of the enemy designed to flank or capture the position. The signal 
detail immediately complied with Warren's order and General Meade ordered the 
Fifth Corps from its reserve to at once advance at double-quick to the left, report 
to General Warren, and occupy the positions in front of Little Round Top, and 
also to occupy Little Round Top itself. 

Warren and Signal Corps. 

General Warren was wounded slightly in the neck whilst reconnoitering with 
his staff on Round Top. He insisted on the detail of signal corps remaining in 
position, waving their flags conspicuously so the enemy could see that the posi- 
tion was occupied by Union forces, whilst he dashed down the rocks to intercept 
Weed's Brigade to advance on Round Top. 

Note. — Captain Roebling, the young officer above mentioned, subsequently- 
served until the close of the war as Engineer officer on the staflf of Major-General 
Warren, commanding Fifth Corps, being promoted to Colonel for gallant conduct. In 
civil life he has attained national distinction as the engineer constructing the great 
Brooklyn bridge. 




Just at the time the com- 
mand " Forward " was about to 
be given. General G. K. Warren, 
Chief Engineer of the Army of 
the Potomac, with Captain W. 
A. Roebling, a staff officer, rode 
down towards the head of the 
One Hundred and Fortieth New 
York Regiment, of Weed's Bri- 
gade, from the direction of the 
sunmiit of Little Round Top. 
His speed and manner indicated 
unusual excitement. Before 
reaching the One Hundred and 
Fortieth New York Regiment, 
which was bringing up the rear 
of the brigade, he called to Col- 
onel O'Rorke to lead his regi- 
ment up the hill, now known as 
Little Round Top. O'Rorke answered him that General Weed had gone ahead and 
expected the One Hundred and Fortieth to follow him. " Never mind that," an- 
swered Warren; " I'll take the responsibility." Warren's words and manner car- 
ried conviction of the importance of the thing he asked. Accepting Warren's 
assurance of full justification, O'Rorke turned the head of his regiment to the left 
and followed the staff officer who had been with Warren, leading it diagonally up 
to the eastern slope of Little Round Top. General Warren rode off evidently bent 
upon securing other troops. A few seconds later the head of the One Hundred 
and Fortieth New York reached the summit of the ridge. The march to the 
relief of the left of Little Round Top was on the double-quick, being, as stated, 
for the relief of the Third Corps, which was being severely pressed. The incident 
mentioned of General Warren's separating the One Hundred and Fortieth New 
York from its brigade and having it countermarched, and leading the way to 
the summit of Little Round Top, was soon followed by General Warren's orders 
to General Weed to have the other regiments of the brigade " about face," and 
■double-quick to follow the One Hundred and Fortieth New York in the occupa- 
tion of Little Round Top. While thus double-quicking into position, the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth was under a heavy fire of the enemy. Captain S. A. 
McKee, of Company I, was struck with a ball on the arm. Color-Corporal John 
Mackin, of Company F, was also wounded before reaching Little Round Top. 
The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth on the reserve march of Weed's Brigade, in 
ascending Little Round Top, was in the rear, the Ninety-first Pennsylvania and 
the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York having preceded it. 

Death of Weed, O'Rorke, and Hazlitt. 
Little Round Top is an eminence covered with immense rocks and boulders 
and small timber and at the time of the battle had no roads, thus making it 





inaccessible. These impediments made it impossible for the battery horses of 
Captain Hazlitt's Fifth United States Artillery to haul the cannon up the steep 
hill. A squad of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth assisted in hauUng up the 
four pieces to the summit of Little Round Top, where the battery did most 
effective execution. The Bucktails of the Pennsylvania Reserves, who had been 
detailed because of their long-range arms and their skill as sharpshooters, imme- 
diately left the front of the Regiment, and, advancing over the rocks as skir- 
mishers, sooa answered the strong force of Confederate sharpshooters in the rocks 
known as the " Devil's Den." So accurate was the range of these Confederate 
sharpshooters concealed in the rocks of Devil's Den, in the immediate front of 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, that Brigadier-General Stephen H. Weed, who 
had just succeeded in capturing Little Round Top and posting his men in position, 
was among the first picked off. Colonel Patrick H. O'Rorke, commander of the 
One Hundred and Fortieth New York, whose regiment led the advance of 
Weed's Brigade in the capture of Little Round Top, encountered a regiment of 
Confederates near the summit seeking to capture the position, and, in resisting 
this advance with sword in hand, inspiring his regiment, was instantly killed by a 
minie ball in the head. The struggle here was very severe, and the loss of the 
One Hundred and Fortieth New York in killed and wounded was very heavy. 

The action and brave stand of the One Hundred and Fortieth New York 
secured Little Round Top against the first assault of the enemy. Similar service 
in repulsing the attack of the advanced columns of the enemy seeking to capture 
the other slope of Little Round Top was rendered by Colonel Vincent, of the 
Eighty-third Pennsylvania, and Colonel Chamberlain, of the Twentieth Maine, 
with their brave men, Colonel Vincent, like Colonel O'Rorke, however, being 
killed at the head of his regiment while rallying his men against the Confederate 
onslaught. The One Hundred and Fortieth New York held the position thus 
gained until reinforced by the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York, under 
Colonel Kennar Garrard; the Ninety-first Pennsylvania, Colonel Sinex, and the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania, Colonel John H. Cain, the remaining 
regiments of Weed's Brigade, thus strengthening this naturally strong posi- 
tion against any attack of the enemy. The sharpshooters from Devil's Den 
continued their fire on these regiments as they were ascending Little Round 
Top. Captain Charles E. Hazlitt, Fifth United States Artillery, who had so 
promptly occupied Little Round Top with Battery D, fell a victim to a Con- 
federate sharpshooter's aim soon after gaining the position. Captain Hazlitt 
was killed while stooping over conversing with General Weed, who had been 
mortally wounded and carried back. It was a particularly sad sight to the 
remaining regiments of Weed's Brigade, as they reached the summit of Little 
Round Top, to see their beloved commander's dead body and that of the popular 
Colonel O'Rorke exposed to view, as the regiments were taking positions. 

After thus securing the heights by the repulse of the enemy by Weed's and 
Vincent's Brigades, a lull in the battle lasting half an hour or more occurred, 
during which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and other regiments of the 
brigade were ordered, from the abundance of stone and small rocks in the 








vicinity, to construct stone walls instead of earthworks, to protect themselves 
from the attacks of the enemy. But little time was lost in thus, from the 
abundance of material, constructing these defenses, which afforded ample pro- 
tection to the men against the Confederate sharpshooters in Devil's Den. So 
perfect, however, was the range of these Confederate sharpshooters that fre- 
quently the men of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth would place their caps upon 
their bayonets, and expose the same above the top of their stone-wall breastworks 
as if being on the head of a soldier, to draw the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters. 
Their shots never failed to perforate the cap thus exposed. This exposure, how- 
ever, of the cap on the bayonet projected above the top of the stone walls used 
as defenses was given a very practical turn to benefit the troops occupying Little 
Round Top. The details from the Pennsylvania Bucktails and Berdan's sharp- 
shooters, who had been detailed to the companies behind the stone wall occupied 
by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, having telescopic rifles, answered the shots 
of the Confederates in Devil's Den when they fired at the exposed caps above 
the stone wall. When the enemy's sharpshooters fired, the Bucktail sharpshooters 
were enabled to observe whence the little curl of smoke emanated, and, conse- 
quently, with deadly aim, returned the fire of the Confederate behind the little 
column of smoke in the rocks of Devil's Den below. That this fire of the Union 
sharpshooters was very effective was disclosed later, when the Fifth Corps Hnes, 
after the repulse of Pickett's charge, were advanced beyond Devil's Den, reveal- 
ing scores of dead Confederate sharpshooters in the rocks, crevices and re- 
cesses of the Den. 

During the lull mentioned in the battle, except the sharpshooters' fire, suc- 
ceeding the capture of Little Round Top by Weed's Brigade, the opportunity of 
obtaining a view of the enemy was perfect to the occupants of Little Round Top. 
The Confederates seemed to be engaged in forming a column or making move- 
ments to renew the attack by a superior force, with a view of either capturing or 
flanking Little Round Top. 

Renewal of Attack by Robertson's Texans. 
During this lull in the fighting with smaller arms, the enemy opened up a 
tremendous artillery fire against Little Round Top from a large number (forty 
or fifty) of their heaviest guns, almost causing the earth to quake among the 
rocks surmounting Little Round Top. The Confederate fire, however, although 
rapid and continuous, was inaccurate in aim, and for the most part went over 
Little Round Top, doing but Httle harm to the troops occupying it. General 
Meade's artillery, which was well posted, accepted the artillery challenge of the 
enemy, and answered in kind with an equal number of guns ; but, for some reason, 
the Union artillery after half an hour ceased firing, while the cannonading of 
the Confederates was still active. The men of Weed's and Vincent's Brigades 
could plainly see the formation of large columns of the enemy in the plain below, 
maneuvering for a renewal of the attack on Little Round Top. The bad range of 
the latter's artillery firing did not prevent the officers and men occupying Little 
Round Top from following the movements of the enemy opposite very closely. 
They saw the Confederate officers, when their line of battle was formed, dis- 


mount and, with sword in hand, lead their columns on in great force. Hazlitt's 
Battery, on Little Round Top, to the command of which Lieutenant B. F. 
Rittenhouse had succeeded, and other adjacent batteries, had perfect range of the 
formidable lines of the enemy, which had been massed as an attacking column 
against Little Round Top. This grand attacking force was led by the Confed- 
erate General Hood with his Texan troops. The destructive aim of the artillery 
on Little Round Top and the adjacent batteries, as the shots and shells shattered 
the Confederate column thus massed for the attack was plainly visible. The 
bravery and determination of the enemy in so boldly and courageously disregard- 
ing this destructive direct and enfilading fire, elicited the admiration of the 
officers and men who were awaiting the attack. No sooner had one company 
of the Confederate column been scattered by the bursting shells than its place 
was taken promptly and in good order by others. On came the advancing column 
across the open fields and across the stream, \\'illoughby Run, undaunted and 

Weed's Brigade had not long been in the occupation of the position on the 
rocky heights thus secured until the foe under Longstreet's direction made a 
diversion from the attacks on the Third Corps, and assaulted along the whole 
line of Weed's Brigade, with Hood's Texans and other troops, in efforts to 
carry the Union position on Little Round Top. From these heights occupied by 
Weed's Brigade on the summit, the maneuvering and preparations of the enemy 
were plainly visible in front of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth ; the United 
States Regular Brigade of General Ayres' Division had advanced to the relief of 
Sickles, but, although making a most obstinate resistance and falling back on 
the retreat as if on drill, the Regulars were finally overpowered and driven back. 
They rallied frequently and did much execution on the attacking column, but 
they could not contend against the overwhelming numbers in the attacking party. 

After the repulse of the Regulars immediately in front of Little Round Top, 
the enemy emerged from the woods opposite to the point from which they had 
driven the Regulars, and directed their attention to the position of Weed's and 
Vincent's Brigades, occupying the summits of Little Round Top, a half mile 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, as has been already stated, was at a 
disadvantage compared with other regiments in this part of the action, as its arms 
consisted of the old Harper's Ferry muskets, using only buck-and-ball shot for 
ammunition and being effective only at a very short range. As a consequence, 
the Regiment, from its position, was obliged to witness this advancing column of 
the enemy across the open plain for a quarter of a mile in front of Little Round 
Top, and see them march triumphantly to the foot of the same, and to continue 
the advance until they were within twenty yards before the Regiment was 
allowed to shoot across the stone wall at the enemy. From this handicap the 
other regiments of the Brigade, having arms of longer range, began firing at the 
enemy first, and necessarily checked the enemy's advance in that direction. Not 
receiving any immediate fire from the part of the line occupied by the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth, the Confederate officers, believing it to be a break in 
that position and not defended, directed Robertson's Brigade of Texans to the 


point in front of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. Colonel Cain, commanding, 
however, and the captains of all the companies were strict in enforcing the 
orders that not a shot should be fired until the enemy got close within range. 
When the enemy's advance reached that distance, the order was given by 
Colonel Cain, and repeated by the company commanders, to fire and to aim low. 
The effect was immediate and checked the enemy, with fatal results, not sufficient, 
however, to stop their onward attack and advance to within not less than twenty 
feet of the Union line, where their officers and men rallied and poured destructive 
volleys into the firing line occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth.. This 
perilous position the enemy maintained for fully half an hour, returning volley 
for volley, until their losses compelled their retreat and abandonment of their 
attempt to capture Little Round Top in this second storming of the position. 
In this repulse of the enemy in their effort to capture the position, great loss was 
sustained by the One Hundred arid Fifty-fifth and a number of its most valued 
and beloved members gave up their lives on this occasion. While thus exposed, 
and suffering considerable loss in repulsing the attack made by Hood's men on 
the position defended by the regiments of Weed's Brigade, it was a matter of 
astonishment to all concerned, in view of the closeness of the range and the 
number of volleys fired by the Confederates, that many more casualties were not 
reported. Without exaggeration, it can be said with truth that the enemy's 
bullets flew thick and fast, and it is only owing to their poor marksmanship that 
their firing was not more destructive. This can be explained only by the fact 
that the enemy being below the position occupied by Weed's Brigade and firing 
up hill their bullets fell short of the mark. 

After this repulse of the enemy and their withdrawal from the slopes of 
Little Round Top to the Devil's Den, their picket line, many sharpshooters of the 
Bucktails from the Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves and from Berdan's 
took positions in the rocks and crevices on Little Round Top in advance of the 
positions of the Union main line and of the skirmishers, and rendered most 
effectual work in driving out from Devil's Den and adjacent rocks the remaining 
squads of sharpshooters who had lingered in concealed positions. 

Charge of Pennsylvania Reserves on Enemy^s Pickets. 

By orders of General Meade, who was inspecting Little Round Top during 
the action. General Fisher's and McCandless' Brigades, of the Pennsylvania 
Reserves, advanced to clear the rocks on the left slope of Little Round Top still 
occupied by many of the enemy's sharpshooters and also to establish an advanced 
picket line in front of Vincent's Brigade. The brigades of Reserves advanced 
and gained the ground, driving a few sharpshooters and advanced pickets of the 
enemy from the points lately occupied by Robertson's Confederates back to their 
own line, which was held by the Confederate General Law's Division. 

After the repulse of Robertson's Texans, among the wounded who came 
up from the base of Little Round Top was Major William G. Moorhead, of the 
Seventeenth United States Infantry, which had suffered so severely at the 
opening of the battle of Little Round Top by the Fifth Corps. Major Moorhead 



being so well known as the son of Pittsburg's Congressman, Honorable J. K. 
Moorhead, his appearance and bleeding condition attracted the notice and 
sympathy of his friends in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment as he 
passed through the Regiment to the field hospital. 

The occupants of Little Round Top were not doomed to further interruption 
from the enemy either by bombardment or skirmishing during the remainder of 
the day or night of the 2d of July. The cries and groans of the thousands of 
the wounded of both armies lying between the lines of the contending armies 
and also many within the lines, the latter being removed by ambulance, could be 
heard distinctly all night, disturbing the slumbers of many wearied soldiers. 
Little Round Top, being about two hun- 
dred and eighty feet in height and ex- 
ceedingly rough and rocky, afforded no 
soft couches upon which to rest the 
weary bones of the men of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the other 
regiments of Weed's Brigade on the 
night following this day's battle. The 
huge boulders and rocks interspersed on 
the summit of Little Round Top, many 
boulders being as large as from six to 
twenty feet, long and having their rough 
edges and surface smoothed by time, fur- 
nished beds for two or three comrades, 
whilst others, fearing a renewal of the 
enemy's bombardment during the night, 
pitched their poncho beds behind the 
rocks on the bare earth, so that there 
were all kinds of couches and places of 
repose. However, no midnight attack or 
volleys or firing in front took place dur- 
ing the night. 

Early in the morning of the 3d of 
July the reveille was not sounded as usual, but instead the Captains and other of- 
ficers quietly visited the sleeping places of the men and roused them to be on the 
alert and ready in case the enemy suddenly renewed their attacks upon this most 
significant position of Little Round Top. All the morning of the third the enemy 
made no attack, being engaged in preparing for battle and generally arranging for 
attacks or charges along the Union line in hopes of regaining the lost ground of 
the day previous. 

Simultaneously with the opening of the enemy's batteries on the 3d, as 
already stated. General Hunt, commanding the Union artillery, gave orders for 
an immediate reply, and, as stated, for half an hour the Union batteries directed 
an enfilading and direct 'fire, concentrated with excellent aim, upon the enemy's 
positions in front of Little Round Top. During this heavy earth-quaking bom- 



-bardment officers and men of the Fifth Corps were ordered to seek positions of 
shelter afforded by the large boulders and rocks so abundant on Little Round 
Top, there to remain until the enemy's artillery fire had ceased or orders to resume 
-position in battle line were received. It was terrifying at times behind the im- 
mense rocks, when a shell short of range would burst in the air and strike some 
of the men hugging the rocks or ground adjacent. George R. Kerr, a private of 
Company H, and Lieutenant D. E. Lyon, of the same company, were both 
wounded from the fragments of shells thus striking them in their supposedly safe 
positions. For the most part, however, the enemy's heaviest fire missed the range 
entirely of the troops on Little Round Top, and the missiles and explosives 
alighted some distance in the rear, in many cases damaging and wounding the 
occupants of the field hospitals there located. Indeed, on this occasion the 
-amputations necessary to be undergone by the wounded carried back to the field 
hospital were interrupted because of the severity of the enemy's shelling, which 
reached far beyond the rear of the Union lines. Battery D, Fifth United States 
Artillery, on the summit of Little Round Top, already mentioned, whose com- 
Tnander, Captain Charles E. Hazlitt, and many of its enlisted men had been 
picked of? by the enemy's sharpshooters early in the action, and details from 
infantry replaced the fallen. 

Activity' of Confederate Sharpshooters. 

The presence of the Confederate sharpshooters among the rocks and crevices 
-of Devil's Den, and their deadly aim, which had resulted in the picking off of 
General Weed, Colonel O'Rorke, and Captain Hazlitt and the wounding of 
General Warren, besides killing and wounding so many of the rank and file, 
■caused General Meade to detail two Companies of Berdan's New York sharp- 
shooters to the position occupied by the battery mentioned and the troops of 
Weed's Brigade. The Berdans had telescopic rifles, and, in securing positions 
and to avoid their own exposure, they could be seen creeping on hands and knees 
to get behind rocks or protecting crevices on the slopes of Little Round Top, 
from which to respond with deadly aim to the Confederate sharpshooters in 
Devil's Den and vicinity. 

Notwithstanding that the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was behind the rocks 
and boulders and the stone wall it had erected on carrying the position on July 2d, 
and the concealed skirmishing of the Bucktail and Berdan sharpshooters in front 
•with the enemy's pickets, the Confederate sharpshooters from their hiding places 
in Devil's Den promptly fired at any soldier who exposed himself. Hence, it was 
necessary under the strict orders of the officers of 'V\'eed's Brigade for the men 
1:0 keep under shelter of the stone wall and surrounding rocks. 

About ten o'clock, on the morning of the 3d of July, the enemy opened a very 
heavy artillery fire on the right of the Union line near Gettysburg and kept it up 
•continuously for several hours. In the afternoon three large columns of Con- 
federates were seen emerging from the woods to the right of Little Round Top 
as if to renew yesterday's maneuver and contest. Battery D, Fifth United States 
Artillery, which was being supported by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth in 


the morning, consisting of four guns, opened a very exact fire of shell and 
canister — ^the range being exact on the enemy's columns. The Confederate lines 
thus advancing endured several enfilading volleys from Battery D and also from 
the batteries adjacent. This finally caused the advancing columns of the enemy 
to retreat and to regain the cover of the woods from which they had emerged for 
the threatened movement. The Confederates then resumed the shelling of the 
position occupied by Weed's Brigade on IJttle Round Top, with a view of silenc- 
ing the destructive fire of Battery D, as stated, in command of Lieutenant B. F. 
Rittenhouse, U. S. A., who succeeded the lamented Hazlitt. 

Ax Artillery Duel. 

This renewal of the shelling of the position on Little Round Top was light 
when compared with the awful earthquaking shelling to which those positions 
were treated by the Confederates later in the afternoon. From one hundred and 
forty guns of the Confederates posted on commanding positions immediately 
opposite the Union lines, a bombardment all along the line, including Little Round 
Top, took place. This artillery fire was promptly replied to by every battery, 
eighty and upwards in number, from the heights and positions opposite occupied 
by the Union forces. This great artillery duel continued more than an hour and 
was terrific in the extreme, surpassing any other occurring during the war. It 
was not so destructive in casualties as it might have been, the Confederate 
gunners failing to secure the proper range, and, as in the previous bombardments, 
the shells went so far over the heads of those on Little Round Top as to do 
practically no harm. The shells lighted half a mile and often a mile in the rear 
of Little Round Top. The immense rock and boulders found upon this elevation 
and the stone walls which the Regiments of Weed's Brigade had built for their 
protection along the line occupied by them on Little Round Top rendered excellent 
shelter from the enemy's artillery fire. These timely stone walls were a perfect 
protection from the enemy's sharpshooters. They stopped the minie balls per- 
fectly, but they would have been of no protection against the shot or shell of the 
enemy striking them in front. There was very little musketry firing beyond the 
skirmish on the left of the position occupied by the Fifth and the Third Corps, but 
there was a formation plainly visible from Little Round Top about one p. m. 
that day of large columns of the enemy on the right of Little Round Top, near 
the center of the Union line. 

It was supposed at that time that the cause of the terrific artillery duel 
against Little Round Top and other positions of the Union forces was to cover 
an attack to follow on some part of the Union line by columns of infantry, the 
usual tactics of the Confederates under General Lee. 

That the fighting on the L'nion right occupied by Hancock was severe was 
known from the roll of musketry which was plainly heard, and also from the many 
exploding caissons on either side struck by explosive shells from the batteries 
exchanging fire at short range. Finally, the cheering all along the Union line 
reached Little Round Top, and the word was passed along the line that the 
Confederates' great charge under Pickett had failed. 


Pickett's Charge as Seen from Little Round Top. 

From Little Round Top, under shelter from the heavy bombardments of 
Longstreet's batteries, which opened on the Union center, simultaneously with 
the assault of Pickett's troops, could be seen in the distant panorama Pickett's 
columns advancing on their fatal charge. From the same position on Little 
Round Top could be seen the lines of the gallant Second Corps ready and eager 
to welcome Pickett's attacking column. Prominent among the division com- 
manders under General Hancock was General Alexander Hays, commanding a 
division on the advancing firing line. During the hottest of the fray General 
Hays seemed to bear a charmed life as he rode out along the Union lines, cheer- 
ing and stimulating his column to stand firm in the approaching assault, exposing 
himself recklessly. 

After Pickett's columns were finally driven back, a Union General rode 
up to General Hays, whose command occupied a position adjoining what has been 
called the " High- Water Mark " of the battle for the Confederates in the center of 
the Union line, and said: "Well, General Hays, the rebels penetrated my line.'' 
Hays replied, with just pride: "Well, General, they failed to penetrate the line 
of my division." General Hays' Division is credited with having captured thirty 
Confederate flags in the action, receipts for which were sent him by the War 

The close of this day's battle on the Union right and the cessation of hos- 
tilities on the left occurred at sunset. The night of the 3d, like the night of the 
■2d, was again one of anxious solicitude. The groans and cries of the 
wounded still on the battlefield, as well as the heavy loss in able officers and many 
thousands of the rank on the Union side as the result of the three days' conflict, 
made all feel solicitous for the morrow. 


Chapter IX. 


Pastimes Indulged in by Troops During Lulls in Battle on 3d and 3d of 
July. — Many of Regiment Visit Devil's Den. — Confederate Sharpshooters 
Captured. — Cold Rain Sets in on Night of 3d. — Discomfort of Troops.— 
Burial of Dead and Removal of Wounded. — Confederate Army Retreats 
on 5th of July. — Sixth Army Corps Under General Sedgwick Leads Ad- 
vance IX Pursuit. — Instructions from General Halleck to General 
jMeade. — Union Army's Position at Gettysburg Defensive. — Congress Votes 
Thanks of Nattox to General Meade. — Brilliant Charge of General 
Farnsworth's Brigade of Cavalry. — ^^egiment of New York State Militia 
Arrives at Gettysburg. — Many of One Hundred .\nd Fifty-fifth Went 
Into B.attle Barefooted. — Feet Swollen and Blistered Unable to Wear 
Shoes. — Coloxel Allen With His Regiment on Little Round Top. — Field 
Hospitals Located Near Firing Line. — Casualties. 

Recreations in Lull of Battle. 

JL'RING the lull in the fire of the battle and the uncertainty of 
how soon hostilities might be renewed, and while enjoying the 
shelter of the immense rocks and boulders of Little Round Top 
from the fierce artillery duel from the one hundred and forty Con- 
federate guns, lasting over an hour in the afternoon of the 3d, and 
also from the terrific bombardment on the 3d day of July, many of the men occu- 
pied themselves with very pacific pastimes. In some groups so securely sheltered 
cards were produced and games of euchre were enjoyed by proficients in the 
science of Hoyle. Others might be seen reading home newspapers several days 
old. Some, too, more seriously inclined, were perusing long-neglected Testa- 
ments, while not a few others thought the time and opportunity most appropriate 
to write letters home to parents or sweethearts. The apparent want of mail facili- 
ties, however, made it uncertain when the letters being thus written could be 
sent away. Some of a methodical turn were seen making entries in diaries, whilst 
the irrepressible Regimental artist of Company E was engaged in making snap- 
shots of Generals Meade and Warren in his sketch book. 

Unpatriotic Farmers Demand Pay for Straw. 

In the cessation of the firing and during the preparations of the Confederates 
for a renewal of the battle on the 3d of July, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 


and the other regiments of Weed's Brigade, now commanded by Colonel Kenner 
Garrard, were visited in their bivouac on a strange mission by some citizen farmers 
residing adjacent to Little Round Top. This delegation had a grievance, and the 
first officer they met to whom they poured out the story of their trouble was 
Major A. L. Pearson. With an obtuseness of the existing carnage and surround- 
ing misery caused by the meeting of the contending armies and before the full 
contest for supremacy had been decided, these phlegmatic farmers complained 
that the straw and hay in their barns nearby had been taken by the Union soldiers 
and carried away to the field hospitals for use of the wounded soldiers in the 
battle and made demand for immediate payment for the same. This unseemly 
conduct so shocked Alajor Pearson that he gave the visiting farmers a stinging 
rebuke, and in stern language denounced their want of patriotism and their 
inhumanity in terms so strong that it must have penetrated the dense stu- 
pidity of the claimants. Major Pearson ordered th e committee of farmers 
to leave Little Round Top, threatening that if they did not do so at once 
he would take the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment and destroy their 
barns and have their owners court-martialed for their disloyalty as well as their 

The next day other farmers visited the field hospitals where amputations of 
the wounded and burials of the dead were taking place, and with these spectacles 
before their eyes repeated their inhuman demands to the surgeons in charge, to be 
paid for the straw and hay thus used for the wounded. The dense ignorance of 
these peasants and their want of knowledge of the great war, its causes or ob- 
jects and their unconcern and total want of public spirit is the most charitable 
explanation of their action on this occasion. It is by no means intended to brand 
all the resident farmers of this vicinity as wanting in humanity or patriotism by 
reason of the shameful actions of the visitors mentioned, who as stated before 
the echoes of the cannonading at Little Round Top had died out were demanding 
pay for the hay and straw required for the wounded soldiers. These were no 
doubt exceptional instances and in marked contrast with many acts of kindness 
and public spirit shown the LTnion soldiers by the general population of the 
locality during the Gettysburg campaign. 

As a reflex from the repulse of Pickett's great charge on the left center of 
the Union line, the Confederates who had their skirmish line and sharpshooters in 
and about the Devil's Den withdrew them and their immediate supports on 
straightening their lines under the Confederate General Law, a considerable 
distance back from their previous advance. In falling back to refomi their lines 
on the left, the Confederates abandoned many of their wounded sharpshooters 
who had been concealed in Devil's Den, and when the Union skirmis'h Hne and 
pickets advanced they found squads of Confederate soldiers as well as many of 
their wounded abandoned. Many Confederates were thus promptly captured and 
still more surrendered without question. Quite a number who were badly 
wounded came through the advanced Union picket line in front of the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth. As the firing had ceased many of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth and of other regiments of Weed's Brigade availed themselves of the lull 


in the battle and of the enemy's falling back half a mile or more to re-form their 
lines, to go over the rocks and points fronting the scene of such severe fighting on 
the second. 

Among the oiScers who thus availed themselves of the enemy's falling back 
and yielding up possession of the intervening ground was Lieutenant George 
M. Laughlin, of Company E, and Lieutenant D. E. Lyon, of Company H. These 
officers had heard of the death in battle of Sergeant David R. Acheson, of the 
One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania, who had been their classmate in 
Washington College. The officers named found the position of the One Hundred 
and Fortieth and evidences of the terrible fighting under Sickles in the Peach 
Orchard and of the losses sustained by the sight of the number of unburied 
bodies of the slain. They were unable, however, to find the body of their missing 
classmate, their search being interrupted by the opening of the firing of the 
enemy to whose lines these officers had unwittingly approached too close. 
On a huge boulder in the Peach Orchard is carved and visible to-day the name 
" David R. Acheson, One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania," to mark the 
identical spot where this brave soldier fell. 

The redoubtable James Finnegan, of Company D, also took advantage of 
this peaceful situation to visit the hill-slope and valley below, including Devil's 
Den, which was now within the Union lines. Finnegan was unarmed and being 
quite small in stature his ordinary appearance was not such as would tend to 
terrify the ordinary Confederate soldier. He had no other business in that 
portion of the field than mere curiosity to see the dead and wounded. As he 
entered the huge rocks of Devil's Den, not less than four stalwart Georgian 
sharpshooters concealed in the rocks, noticing that Finnegan was unarmed, threw 
away their guns and called to him that they desired to surrender, as the Confed- 
erates had fallen back half a mile, leaving them to be captured. Finnegan ac- 
cepted their surrender unconditionally and proudly marched his prisoners up 
Little Round Top to the lines of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, where 
with great pride he reported his achievement to Major Montooth, Adjutant 
of the Regiment. In answer to the question of how he came to capture 
so many Confederates, Finnegan triumphantly replied : " Be gorra, I surrounded 

Corporal Frank Gilniore, of Company A, during the cessation of hostilities, 
also ventured down among the rocks very close to the enemy's new line in front 
of which the Bucktail and Berdan sharpshooters were already on duty with the 
Union advanced line. Gilmore found a Confederate concealed among the rocks, 
who surrendered to him, and he brought his captive to the Regimental line, 
turning him over to Adjutant Montooth. The prisoner was sufifering from a 
bullet wound in the jaw, and requiring medical attention was sent under guard to 
the field hospital for treatment. It was not long this day after the evacuation of 
Devil's Den till hundreds of the Union troops unarmed were permitted to leave 
their positions and to visit between the lines, some to help succor the wounded, 
others to w^itness the fearful sights of the battlefield of the two previous days, 
whilst still others got clothing and shoes, ammunition and guns, no longer useful 
to the army of the dead who remained for the time unburied. 


Curiosities of Artillery Contest. — Humane Incidents. 

Among the curiosities of the cannonading at Gettysburg were several re- 
markable instances where the enemy's solid shot struck and penetrated a Union 
cannon squarely in the muzzle, in some cases cracking or bursting the gun thus 
struck and in other cases the solid shot lodging like a plug solidly wedged in 
the mouth of the cannon. 

Conspicuous instances of the humane feeling pervading the soldiers of either 
army so soon after the cessation of deadly firing and almost before the echoes of 
the musketry volleys had died out was observable at Gettysburg. Particularly 
noticeable was the reception of a few of the badly wounded Confederate sharp- 
shooters who came into the picket line in front of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth to whom these Confederates surrendered. Some were badlj' wounded in 
the jaw and face, interfering with their ability to eat the extremely hard oatmeal 
bread forming the ration of the Confederates. Recognizing this situation and 
the hunger of the prisoners. Private William P. Ketcham, of Company F, took 
from his haversack a fresh loaf of soft bread which he had received in the 
morning of the 2d of July before the battle, and insisted on a prisoner, whose 
teeth had been knocked out, taking the soft bread in exchange for the latter's 
very hardtack. Other One Hundred and Fifty-fifth pickets divided their rations 
at this outpost with the hungry Confederates, and exhibiting mercy and humanity 
most exemplary and chivalrous to vanquished foes. 

Cessation of Hostilities July 4th. 

As is usual after very heavy bombardments, a heavy cold rain set in on the 
night of the third, continuing until morning. Much chilliness, on the bleak rocks 
and stone bedding, was felt by the soldiers thus exposed. The knowledge, how- 
ever, that the summing up of the da}-'s fighting along the line had resulted in a 
victory for the Union arms cheered the spirits and hopes of all the troops so that 
they soon fell into a refreshing sleep, being undisturbed from war's alarms through 
the night. The choice of positions on the rocks for beds and quarters during this 
night was quite animat-ed. Those who had retired early and secured spots beneath 
the friendly boulders which had sheltered them so generouslv during the bom- 
bardment found the same objects of little use against the element pouring down 
from the canopy above. Pools of water in dug-out caves which had served the 
day before as bombproofs now made these quarters very undesirable. Upper 
stories on ledges and rocks were preferable, although their slope and shapes 
made them somewhat uncomfortable to the wearied soldier. A veteran, however, 
becomes used to all positions and accommodations, and with thanks that the 
enemy did not during the night contribute to their discomfort bv re-opening the 
batteries or making other disturbing movements the Union soldiers slept soundly 
until the reveille sounded in the morning of the glorious Fourth of July. It was 
a most cheerless day so far as the prevailing chilliness and drizzling rain and 
annoyances attendant upon attempting to cook coffee and prepare meals from 
the soldiers' rations could make it so. Their hardtack had become saturated with 


■water and swollen and fires to cook or warm food were difficult to make because 
of the prevailing rain and wet conditions. For this unsatisfactory state of things 
consolation was obtained by the agreeable disappointment that the enemy, whose 
lines were still visible, occupying every position of the day previous, had not 
resumed hostilities except by desultory picket firing at points distant from Little 
Round Top and the position of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. 

As the day progressed, this feeling of gladness at the enemy's cessation of 
hostilities increased, and the daj' was spent quietly by the troops resting from the 
unusual labors of the previous three days. Stretcher-bearers, ambulances and 
many of the troops were detailed in burial parties to visit the grounds and bury 
the thousands of the dead of both armies remaining on the field and to remove 
the large number of wounded of both armies to the field hospitals which had been 
established near the battle line. This burial of the dead was one of the saddest 
features of the bloody struggle. Many of the bodies, having lain on the field for 
two and three days beneath the scorching rays of a July sun, were so distorted 
and swollen as to be beyond recognition. 

Teamsters and supply trains were also kept extremely busy bringing up and 
distributing rations to the soldiers and hospitals as well as forage for the animals. 
The heavy demands of the battle which had exhausted the supply of artillery and 
infantry ammunition had to be met, and the same required replenishment before 
any movement of the army could be renewed ; consequently the teams of the am- 
munition train, drivers, and guards were kept busy on that duty all of the 4th 
of July. 

The Confederates engaged in retreating had no such difficulties to contend 
against as had General ]\Ieade. They left their dead and wounded, as well as 
several thousand prisoners, to the humanity of the Union army, and continued 
their foraging off the country for their supplies, having half a dozen excellent 
roads on which to conduct their retreat from Gettysburg to the Potomac. 

The preparations described as well as the conditions existing on the battle- 
field occupied every moment of the time and attention of General Meade and 
his surviving Generals on the 4th day of July. 

Retreat of Lee's Army and Pursuit. 

Early on the morning of the 5th of July it was discovered that the Con- 
federate army had, during the night, withdrawn their skirmishers from the line 
occupied by them up to night-fall of July 4th. General Meade at once directed 
General Pleasanton immediately to send the cavalry divisions of Gregg, Buford 
and Custer in pursuit of the enemy. General Meade also set in motion the Sixth 
Army Corps, under General Sedgwick, twenty thousand infantry, to pursue the 
retreating Confederates. The other corps of the army speedily followed in 
pursuit by different routes, but the Confederates had a full night's advantage 
in leading the retreat, and Stuart's Cavalry, the rear guard of Lee's columns, 
covered the retreat of the miles of wagon and ammunition trains, holding at bay 
Pleasanton's Cavalry until the Confederate trains had time to make good their 


Another phase pecuHar to the Gettysburg campaign after the battle had 
ended was the fact that in every company there were at least several men who by 
reason of the excessive forced marches had their feet so blistered that they 
could not wear shoes, and many were seen on the last days of the campaign pre- 
ceding the battle with their shoes strung across their muskets as they marched 
in the ranks barefooted. A number of these men throughout the army, who were 
unable by reason of their exhausted condition, and further injury to their feet in 
going in on the rocky heights and positions to battle, were rendered unfit for 
further marching, and therefore could not take part in the pursuit. They were 
sent, by orders of the surgeon, in a large number of cases, to the field hospitals 
in Gettysburg, there to abide until their suffering feet were restored sufficiently 
again to wear shoes. It is supposed that at a low estimate upwards of two 
thousand of Meade's men were thus excused from the ranks on the renewal 
of marching. 

If, on the sunrise and reveille of that 4th of July, so bleak, so chilly and so 
miserable, with its sorrowful associations, there was any officer or enlisted man 
in Weed's Brigade, then holding position on Little Round Top, who was eager 
for a resumption of the battle and anxious for renewing the fray, he kept it so 
secret and subdued that it never reached the masses of the troops defending that 
important position. The anxiety for battle and thirst for gore and terms so 
freely used by descriptive writers, belongs to the domain of fiction, and de- 
scribes a sentiment far from the truth. 

Braver officers and men than those who withstood the continued bombard- 
ment and the desperate fighting and charges of the Confederates at Gettysburg 
never existed, and all would have obeyed orders instantly to resume the battle 
and to die as so many of their comrades had, in defense of their flag and country. 

Halleck's Instructions to ;\Ie.-\de. 

Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, and the Governor of Maryland had each 
issued calls, backed by the leading journals of the country, appealing to President 
Lincoln to save their respective States, and particularly Pennsylvania, from the 
invasion of the Confederate armies, that threatened a campaign of pillage and 
plunder, and to capture and sack the great city of Philadelphia and the Capital 
city of the State, Harrisburg; and that this duty thus devolving upon the Army 
of the Potomac was paramount to any other obligation of General Meade, its 
commander. How nobly General Meade, his officers and men, could justly con- 
clude, on discovering Lee's retreat and abandonment of his superior position on 
the ridges opposite that of the Army of the Potomac, that his army had, at great 
loss and sacrifice, more than accomplished its mission in responding to the appeals 
of the public that the Confederate army be driven from Pennsylvania soil and 
south of the Potomac, turning the invasion of Lee's triumphal army into a disas- 
trous defeat ! 

General Meade's instructions from General Halleck, President Lincoln's 
military advisor, were to follow up in close pursuit and overtake General Lee in 
his invasion of Pennsylvania, and to prevent the threatened capture by the Con- 


li^i^,::^^„Z ;i:';;:^<..:^S!i^ June leti., isea 

"• of (hiH Slat,, will, a 









the term of service will only be while the danger to the State 

is imminent. 

Send forward Companies 







federates of Harrisburg and Philadelphia, at the same time keeping Baltimore 
and Washington within his protection. With but three days' elevation to the 
command of the Army of the Potomac, General Meade had but little time to 
plan a great battle at Gettysburg while also being handicapped by his strict in- 
structions from the General-in-Chief, Halleck, to arrest the march of Lee's army 
against the cities named. The meeting at Gettysburg of the two armies was 
well known, to be merely accidental, and not preconcerted by either Lee or 
Meade. General Meade, therefore, because of his instructions, decided not to 
assume the offensive unless absolutely compelled to do so ; and, therefore, sought 
the very strong position presented by the ridges and topography of the locality 
of Gettysburg, to make the battle on his part what is known as a defensive battle. 
He, therefore, chose his position, posted his troops and battalions for miles in 
front of the enemy's strong positions, thereby challenging and awaiting the attack 
of the Confederates. The Confederate positions were veritable Gibraltar strong- 
holds, and had Meade and his Generals assumed the offensive, and sought to 
storm and capture the strong positions on the fortified ridges liberally supplied 
with batteries at every available point, it would have been welcomed by the Con- 
federate commander, as was the persistent disastrous attack made by Burnside 
on the fortified ridges held by Lee at Fredericksburg, and later by Grant's dis- 
astrous charges and repulses on Lee's position at Cold Harbor, and would no 
doubt have been followed by similar losses and final repulses. The wisdom of 
General Meade's decision to make the battle on his part purely defensive was 
verified soon after by the Confederate General's being compelled to assume the 
offensive against the Union line. The story of the Wheatfield, the Peach 
Orchard, Little Round Top, the repulse of Pickett's charge, the defense of 
Cemetery Hill, and the great cavalry encounter on the flanks of Meade's army, 
all attest the superiority and success of Meade's plans over that of the Confed- 
erate chieftain. 

General Meade, having with his army complied with his instructions to 
intercept the invading column of Lee, and to prevent the further invasion of 
Pennsylvania and the capture of Harrisburg and Philadelphia, as well as afford- 
ing protection to Baltimore and Washington from the Confederate army within 
a day's march of these cities, might well consider, as did all the Generals surviving 
the battle, that their successful efforts, ending in driving the Confederates south 
of the Potomac, would meet the prompt approval of General Halleck. 

General Meade and his army had, as stated, more than fulfilled General Hal- 
leck's instructions in every respect. Yet, strange to say, instead of thanks. 
General Meade's action in not totally annihilating the Confederate army was so 
sharply criticized by Halleck and others that General Meade promptly tendered 
his resignation as commander of the Army of the Potomac. It is needless to say, 
however, that the great and just Lincoln refused to accept his resignation, and 
compelled Halleck and other carpers against General Meade publicly to retract 
their unjust complaints. 

Congress, which was in session, also voted the thanks of the Nation to 
General Meade for his great victory at Gettysburg. 

A singular coincidence to the experience of General JNIeade may be men- 



tioned in the fact that General Lee, commanding the Confederate ami}- also 
tendered his resignation to the President of the Southern Confederacy because 
of the official censure and criticisms expressed by President Davis at the defeat 
of his army by the Unibn forces at Gettysburg, and the failure of General Lee 
to capture Harrisburg and Philadelphia, with the Confederate army invading 
Maryland and Pennsylvania. Public sentiment in the South, however, came to 
the relief of General Lee, and compelled the Confederate authorities to decline to 
entertain the resignation of General Lee. 

No Official Reports of One Hundred and Fiftv-fifth ox Little 

Round Top. 

The death of General S. H. Weed, commanding the P>rigade, and of Colonel 
O'Rorke, killed early in the battle, pre- 
vented official reports from those sources. 
Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Cain, com- 
manding the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
resigning soon after the battle, filed 
no official report of the part taken 
by the Regiment in the capture and de- 
fense of Little Round Top on July "Jd 
and 3d. 

Fortunately,, however, from two 
other reliable sources of actual partici- 
pants, accounts of the battle have been 
prepared and published, and so accur- 
ately describing the events that they are 
deemed appropriate for incorporating in 
this history. 

The first is the description of the 
advance of ^^'eed■s Brigade at double- 
quick up the rocky heights of Little 
Round Top, and the bloody encounter oc- 
curring there. The writer is Doctor 
Porter Farley, of Rochester, N. Y., 
who was serving in the battle as Adjutant of the One Hundred and Fortieth 
New York Volunteers, in Weed's Brigade. Adjutant Farley followed the 
brave young Colonel O'Rorke in leading the men of the One Hundred and 
Fortieth New York in the storming of Little Round Top, and was the first 
to reach the body of O'Rorke as he fell pierced by a ball from a Confederate 

As the scenes and experience of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment 
Pennsylvania \^olunteers was similar to that of the One Hundred and Fortieth 
New York, in the absence of official reports. Adjutant Farley's historical account 
is given in full. The second report of the eventful scenes on Little Round Top 



is in a letter from General G. K. Warren, describing the exciting events of the 
arrival of Weed's Brigade. 

The following are the extracts from Doctor Farley's historical sketch of 
the scenes in question : 

" The First Division of our Corps, commanded by Brigadier-General Barnes, 
had preceded us, and our Division, the Second, under Brigadier-General Ayres, 
followed it. Our Brigade, under Brigadier-General Stephen H. Weed, led the 
Division, and though my recollection of the order in which the regiments were 
marching does not agree with that of other officers present, I think that our Regi- 
ment was the rear one of the Brigade, and that the leading regiments of our 
Brigade were just over that slightly elevated ground north of Little Round Top, 
when down its slope on our left, accompanied by a single mounted officer and 
an orderly, rode General G. K. Warren, our former brigade commander, then 
acting as General Meade's Chief Engineer. Warren came straight toward the 
head of the Regiment where I was riding with the Colonel. He called out to 
O'Rorke, beginning to speak while still some eight or ten rods from us, that 
he wanted us to come up there, that the enemy were advancing unopposed up 
the opposite side of the hill, down which we had just come, and he wanted our 
Regiment to meet them. He was evidently greatly excited, and spoke in his usual 
impulsive style. O'Rorke answered, ' General Weed is ahead and expects me to 
follow him.' ' Never mind that,' said Warren, ' bring your Regiment up here 
and I will take the responsibility.' 

" It was a perplexing situation, but without hesitating O'Rorke turned to 
the left and followed the officer who had been riding with Warren, while Warren 
himself rode rapidly down the stony hill, whether in the direction from which 
we had just come or to overtake the rest of the Brigade, I cannot say. but evi- 
dently to find and order up more troops. The cause for this haste is graphically 
described by General Warren himself, in a letter which he kindly wrote me 
under date of July 13, 1872, from which I here take the liberty to quote. He 
says : 

General Warren's Account of Little Round Top. 

Just before the action began in earnest on July ^d, I was with General 
Meade near General Sickles, whose troops seemed very badly disposed, on that 
part of the field. At my suggestion General Meade sent me to the left to examine 
the condition of affairs, and I continued on till I reached Little Round Top. 
There were no troops on it, and it was used as a signal station. I saw that this 
was the key to the whole position, and that our troops in the woods in front of it 
could not see the ground in front of them so that the enemy would come upon 
them before they would be aware of it. The long line of woods on the west side 
of the Emmettsburg road (which road was along a ridge) furnished an excellent 
place for the enemy to form out of sight, so I requested the Captain of a rifle 
battery just in front of Little Round Top to fire a shot into these woods. He 


did so, and as the shot went whistling through the air the sound of it reached 
the enemy's troops and caused everyone to look in the direction of it. 

" ' This motion revealed to me the glistening of gun barrels and bayonets 
of the enemy's line of battle, already formed and far outflanking the position of 
any of our troops, so that the line of his advance from his right to Little Round 
Top was unopposed. I have been particular in telling this as the discovery was 
intensely thrilling to my feelings and almost appalling. I immediately sent a 
hastily written dispatch to General Meade to send a division at least to me, and 
General Meade directed the Fifth Army Corps to take position there. 

" ' The battle was already beginning to rage at the Peach Orchard, and be- 
fore a single man reached Little Round Top the whole line of the enemy moved 
on us in splendid array, shouting in the most confident tones. While I was still all 
alone with the signal officer, the musket balls began to fly around us and he was 
about to fold up his flags and withdraw, but remained at my request and kept 
waving them in defiance. Seeing troops going out on the Peach Orchard road, 
I rode down the hill and fortunately met my old brigade. General Weed, com- 
manding it, had already passed the point, and I took the responsibility to detach 
Colonel O'Rorke, the head of whose Regiment I struck, who, on hearing my 
few words of explanation about the position, moved at once to the hill-top. 
About this time First-Lieutenant Charles E. HazHtt, of the Fifth Artillery, with 
his battery of rifled cannon, arrived. He comprehended the situation instantly 
and planted his guns on the summit of the hill. He spoke to the effect that 
though he could do little execution on the enemy with his guns, he could aid in 
giving confidence to the infantry. He stayed there till he was killed. 

" ' I did not see Vincent's Brigade come up, but I suppose it was about this 
time they came, and coming up behind me through the woods and taking post 
to the left, their proper place, I did not see them. The full force of the enemy 
was now sweeping the Third Army Corps from its untenable position, and no 
troops nor any re-enforcements could maintain it. It was the dreadful misfortune 
of the day that any re-enforcements went to that line, for all alike. Third Corps, 
Second Corps and Fifth Corps, were driven from it with great loss. The earnest 
appeals for support drew, I suppose, the troops of the Fifth Corps away from 
their intended position, that is. Little Round Top, out on the road to the Peach 
Orchard, and so it was that the Fifth Corps reached this vital point in such small 
detachments. I was wounded with a musket ball while talking with Lieutenant 
Hazlitt on the hill, but not seriously, and seeing the position saved, while the 
whole line to the right in front of us was yielding and melting away under the 
enemy's fire and advance, I left the hill to rejoin General Meade, near the center 
of the field for a new crisis was at hand.' " 

Regiment Exch.\xges Arms. 

At Gettysburg, on the 4th of July, Colonel Cain, who for months previous 
had been in correspondence with the Government, requesting that he be allowed 
to exchange the Harper's Ferry buck-and-ball guns of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Regiment for more modern arms without success, of his own accord 


took advantage of the opportunity to supply his command with the improved 
Springfield rifles from the thousands of dead Union soldiers — United States 
Regulars and Volunteer troops — on the field in front of Little Round Top. He, 
therefore, announced to the men that the enemy, having abandoned the battle- 
field for a mile in front of Little Round Top, including Devil's Den, that they 
were at liberty to visit the actual battlefield for the purpose of gathering the arms 
of the dead and wounded. The horrible sights and scenes of the unburied dead is 
beyond the power of pen to describe. Private John C. Sias, of Company I, re- 
lates that, while on this errand in search of arms, he came across, on the im- 
mense boulders comprising Devil's Den, scores of dead Confederate sharpshooters, 
many of whom had dropped down into crevices among the massive rocks to a 
depth that made impossible the recovery of their bodies ; that one particular dead 
Confederate sharpshooter occupied a ledge of a rock, his musket in his hands 
resting on the rock, apparently sighting his weapon. He had been shot in the 
forehead and instantly killed. The position of the body of the dead Confederate 
remaining unchanged, it presented a truly gruesome sight. No firing of the 
enemy — even of their sharpshooters — ^took place while the Union troops from 
Little Round Top and vicinity were exploring the Peach Orchard, Wheat Field 
and Devil's Den, on the 4:th, except when members of the Regiment, exchanging 
arms, ventured too close to the Union outposts, and mingled among the Bucktail 
and the Berdan sharpshooters on the advanced picket line. Shots were then occa- 
sionally exchanged by the opposing pickets, but they were only desultory and did 
but little harm. 

General Farnsworth's Charge of Cavalry. 

One of the many striking episodes of the grand battle of Gettysburg was 
the tragic death of General Elon J. Farnsworfh, which occurred on the 3d of 

About two o'clock in the afternoon, when the air was being made discordant 
with hideous noises and the earth was seemingly rocking and reeling like a 
drunken man, from the brazen throats of two hundred and twenty-five pieces 
of artillery, exploding caissons and ammunition wagons of both aniiies. General 
Farnsworth's Brigade of Kilpatrick's Division of Pleasanton's Cavalry Corps, 
swept around the base of Little Round Top, and charged upon the right flank of 
Lee's army, resting upon the Emmettsburg road. This point, so vital to the safety 
of the Confederate army, was most carefully and strongly guarded by artillery and 
infantrjr. So fierce and impetuous, however, was the onslaught of this cavalr}' 
brigade, under General Farnsworth, that they rode over the enemv's pickets 
and skirmishers, and faced the infantry lines with flashing sabers. 

The Confederate General Law relates that so courageous and determined was 
the assault of these Federal troopers, in this charge, that they forced their horses 
up to the very muzzles of the rifles of the Confederate infantry, and that the 
use of artillery was unavailable against them. The First Vermont Cavalry, under 
General Farnsworth in person, broke through the strongly defended line, and 
swept up the valley in the rear of the enemy's main line in gallant style. The 


jaded and exhausted steeds of the sturdy Vermonters, however, soon flagged, and, 
checked in front by overwhelming forces of infantry and hemmed in on all sides 
by superior forces of the enemy, the little band, with rapidly emptying saddles, 
was compelled to describe a complete circle, and attempt to escape by charging 
upon the point of the enemy's line where they had broken in. This gap, how- 
ever, had by this time been closed by a strong force of the enemy, the severe fire 
from which caused the remnant of the brave" riders to recoil and veer to the left. 
About a dozen of the troopers at this point separated from the main body of the 
riders, and made their escape by running the gauntlet of the fire of an entire 
Confederate regiment. 

General Farnsworth, with his handful of intrepid followers, sought refuge in 
the woods at the base of Little Round Top. There they ran upon the skirmish 
line of the Fifteenth Alabama Confederate Regiment, and, pistol in hand. General 
Farnsworth, already sorely wounded, demanded their surrender. In return the 
Confederate skirmish line fired upon him, killing his horse and wounding the 
General in several places. 

As the devoted General fell from his horse, a Confederate Lieutenant ap- 
proached and demanded his surrender, which the General curtly refused, at the 
same time shooting himself through the head with his own revolver. 

It is related from Confederate sources that while General Farnsworth was 
massing his troops for the charge in close proximity to the Confederate lines, a 
voice was heard to exclaim in loud, angry and excited tones, " Colonel, if you 
are afraid to attack, by God, I will lead the charge myself ! " 

It was supposed in Confederate circles that, knowing the madness of the 
proposed attack upon the enemy's strong infantry lines. General Farnsworth 
had advised against it, but stung to the quick by the implied insinuation of 
General Kilpatrick, he was goaded on to make the desperate charge which 
routed every obstruction in his front, and resulted in his own untimely death, as 
well as the loss of a most gallant regiment. 

Falling within the Union line, this young General, not yet twenty-five years 
■of age, was buried in the town cemetery of Gettysburg, in a grave surrounded by 
broken shafts and headstones, uprooted ground and splintered trees, the scene 
of the awful fighting and destructive firing on the first and the second day at 

The charge at Balaklava was surpassed by the bold charge of General 
Farnsworth, and, like that celebrated charge, it was not war, but a useless sacri- 
fice of Hfe. From the position on Little Round Top the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment, occupying its summit, had an excellent view of this dashing 
■cavalry raid of Farnsworth into the very jaws of death. 

Confederate Prisoners. 

The large number of Confederate prisoners, many of whom were wounded, 
made it impossible for the ordinary provost guards of the Army of the Potomac 
to take charge of them after the battle of Gettysburg, when the enemy left their 
dead and wounded within the Union lines. Therefore, details from regiments to 


serve as guards to the Confederate prisoners were assigned to convey them to 
the prisons provided for Confederate soldiers at Washington. Among those de- 
tailed for this diitjr were Privates Thomas E. ]\Iorgan and John K. Alter, of 
Company E, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, who reported to the provost 
marshal in the town of Gettysburg on July 6th for that duty, with one hundred 
other guards from other regiments. After ten days' service at that point, they, 
with over twenty-five hundred prisoners, marched to York, Pa., in detachments, 
and from there, by passenger trains, the prisoners with their guards, were taken 
to \\"ashington city, and the prisoners delivered to the commandant of the 
Confederate prisons there. These Confederate prisoners seemed to enjoy their 
experience very much, getting abundance to eat and drink, and none seemed 
anxious to escape or to quarrel with their captors. 

On the morning of the 6th of July the guards thus detailed from the various 
regiments witnessed a rather imposing sight in Gettysburg, before going on duty 
to guard Confederate prisoners. This was the triumphal entry into the town of 
a New York State militia regiment, numbering over one thousand strong, with 
magnificent bands of music playing and National colors flying. They exhibited 
all the airs and bravado of great heroes engaged in the capture of a mighty city 
which had fallen only after a severe siege. 

The scene would have been more impressive on those veteran guards and 
other soldier spectators present, who had participated in the battle just ended, had 
this dandy regiment fired a gun or been near any part of the battlefield during 
the Gettysburg campaign. 

The militia regiment, however, was put on provost guard duty in the town 
and vicinity, and held possession of all the famous points during their stay in the 
neighborhood, for nearly a month, until they were disbanded. 

Before further describing the retreat of the Confederates, it is but proper 
to advert to the condition in which the close of the battle of Gettysburg left the 
companies of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment. Not only the actual 
casualties, which are copied from the official records at the close of this chapter, 
but the general condition requires mention. As already stated in this narrative, the 
long and forced marching from Culpeper and United States Ford in Virginia 
to Gettysburg in pursuit of Lee's army, often in the most sultry heat that early 
summer produced, resulted in heavy losses in the ranks of the Regiment from 
sun-stroke, heat exhaustion, blistered feet, and general breakdown of many men 
in the ranks. Many more in the ranks, sustained by greater strength and deter- 
mination, at the end of this protracted forced marching to Gettysburg, ralHed and 
went into the action when physically, if insisted upon, they might have been 
excused by the surgeons because of their condition. Not a few of the dead 
bodies of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and of ^^'eed's Brigade, who fell in 
that action in the storming of Little Round Top, had joined in the assault, were 
barefooted, being unable to wear shoes because of the condition of their feet. 
Among those, however, wholly unable to keep up until the last on these fatiguing 
marches was Color-Sergeant T. C. Lawson, who, by protest of the Regimental 
Surgeon, was compelled to leave the ranks and take to an ambulance, because of 


his broken-down and exhausted condition. Sergeant Milton Ziegler and Private 
CoHn Latta, of Company E, were sun-struck and dropped from the ranks on this 
march, near Centerville. They were most excellent soldiers, but sustained such 
lasting injuries that they never returned to their company, and after years of 
suffering in civil life, died from the effects of the injuries received on this severe 
campaign. These names do not comprise all who were thus forced from the 
ranks on that march to Gettysburg. Among the Regimental officers there were 
similar cases of suffering from the protracted marches, and equal heroism dis- 
played in persistently accompanying the Regiment to the battlefield at Gettysburg. 
Captain S. A. McKee, commanding Company I, who had served in the Mexican 
War, and on whom age was already beginning to tell, was sick, and in the division 
hospital when the orders to march to Gettysburg were issued. With a soldier s 
instinct, he refused a sick-leave tendered him by the surgeons, and in an ambu- 
lance, day after day, followed the devious marches of the Regiment to the field 
of Gettysburg. The opening of the battle, however, caused him to leave the am- 
bulance in the rear, and to join his command and to take command of the com- 
pany just as it was entering the assault on Little Round Top on July 2d. In lead- 
ing his company in this action. Captain ^Mclvee was among the first struck, re- 
ceiving a painful wound. 

Colonel Allen Returns to Regiment. 

Colonel Allen, leaving a sick bed in Pittsburg, and against the advice of his 
physicians, determined to join the Regiment wherever stationed. He found the 
Regiment on picket duty, at United States Ford on the Rappahannock, but pre- 
paring for the pursuit of the Confederate army invading Pennsylvania. General 
George Sykes had succeeded to the command of the Division instead of his 
friend, General Humphreys, under whom Colonel Allen had served so gallantly 
at Fredericksburg. Colonel Allen's condition after his arrival in camp indicated 
that he was far from having recovered his health. He was entitled, by reason of 
seniority, to command the new brigade to which the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth had been assigned, and which was then under command of Colonel P. H. 
O'Rorke, of the One Hundred and Fortieth New York Volunteers. Colonel 
Allen, however, waived the rank question, and requested to be given command of 
his regiment. General Sykes', however, decided that this could not be done until 
a court of inquiry would examine the sick leave granted Colonel Allen, and why 
the formality of renewing it had been overlooked. General Sykes declared that 
the army regulations gave him no discretion to dispense with the necessary for- 
mality of a court of inquiry, but promised Colonel Allen to convene such a 
court at the earliest moment practicable. Before this court of inquiry could be 
convened, however, orders to march were issued, and the Maryland and the Penn- 
sylvania campaign began. 

Colonel Allen, being assigned an orderly, at first rode on the march on 
horseback, but the exposure to rains and damp grounds soon disabled him from 
continuing the campaign on horseback. Determining, however, to be with his 
regiment and take command in the approaching battle, he, with indomitable pluck 


and spirit, continued on the long and wearied marches, often by night as well as 
by day, in an ambulance, until the Gettysburg battlefield was reached. He later 
found the Regiment on Little Round Top on July the 3d and 3d, sharing in 
the shelling and the protection of the friendly rocks of the celebrated ground 
with the men and officers of his Regiment. His condition, however, became so 
much worse that his men cut him a pair of crutches to enable him to walk. 

General Sykes, while expressing admiration of the determined and soldierly 
instincts of Colonel Allen, declined to grant a renewal of the latter's request 
for restoration to the command of his regiment, announcing that under the army 
regulations he was powerless to grant the request, more especially so as since the 
Colonel had participated in the long march and battle, his disabilities had so in- 
•creased as to incapacitate him for the command of the Regiment. 

On July 5th, when the army had left Little Round Top, and resumed the 
march in pursuit of the defeated Confederate army. Colonel Allen, being unable 
to follow, sought the protection of a farm house nearby. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Cain, commanding the Regiment, and all the officers and many of the men, paid 
Colonel Allen a farewell visit at his tent amid the rocks of Little Round Top, and 
bade him a most affectionate adieu, as the Corps left the rocky summit to join 
in pursuit of Lee's army. 

Other changes and separations of officers, whose last appearance with the 
Regiment was at Gettysburg, took place. Lieutenant E. A. Montooth, the highly 
popular Adjutant of the Regiment since its organization, soon after the Confed- 
erates crossed into Virginia, received an appointment from Governor Curtin, in 
the office of Adjutant-General of Pennsylvania. Adjutant Montooth re-joined 
the Regiment, and participated in the homeward march, the Grand Review at 
Washington of the Army of the Potomac, and the public reception of the Regi- 
ment at Pittsburg. 

First-Lieutenant Joseph Torrence Power was detailed, after the battle of 
Gettysburg, to the Treasury Department at Washington. 

Incidents of Deaths of Wycoff and Welton. 

Private William Welton, of Company E, who was instantly killed in the 
Confederate's attack on Little Round Top, on the afternoon of July 2d, was shot 
in the throat. Immediately back of him, and at about the same time, standing a 
little higher up on the hillside, was Sergeant Isaac Wycoff, of the same com- 
pany, who also was instantly killed by a minie ball entering his forehead. 

As showing how little incidents produce unexpected results, in the case of 
William Welton, his messmates. Privates Chas. F. McKenna and James P. 
O'Neil, immediately after this, his fatal wound, took the contents of his pockets 
from his body, consisting of a prayer book and some letters to his affianced, with 
a view of sending the articles to his famil)'. This action occurred in the middle of 
the battle, the comrades named not being allowed to leave the ranks long enough 
to take the body of their messmate to the rear. The stretcher-bearers appeared 
and helped to place the body on the stretcher, and it was carried away to the rear. 





The messmates named, being obliged to resume loading and firing in the ranks, 
knew not to what point the body was carried by the stretcher-bearers. This 
friendly action of Welton's messmates resulted in the loss at his burial in the 
rear of all data to indicate his name, rank or regiment, so that Private Welton 
was buried in a grave marked " name unknown." When the orders to cease 
firing had been issued. Sergeant Wyckoff 's body was carried to the rear by orders 
of Lieutenant Powers, with whom W\ckoflE had enlisted. Xoah H. Pangburn and 
William S. Hindman, of Elizabeth, Pa., Wyckoff's place of residence, looked after 
his burial and the due marking of his grave. 

A remarkable coincidence seemed to prevail on these forced marches in the 
fact that the extraordinary tall soldiers in the ranks were often the first to break 
down, exhausted with the severity of the thirty-mile daily journeys. Thus, Lieu- 
tenant Porter D. Marshall, of Company K, six feet, nine inches in height, con- 
ceded to be the tallest soldier in the army, who had sustained all the hardships of 
all the previous campaigns, succumbed to the fatigues and dropped out of the 
ranks, excused from all duty, on June 30, being conveyed to a hospital. . He was 
a brave soldier, never before missing an action. 

Sergeant Thomas C. Lawson, of Company H, also over six feet tall, who 
had won great distinction with the colors at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, 
was ordered from the ranks on the same day with Lieutenant Marshall, for 
physical disability resulting from the protracted marches and was reluctantly 
compelled to turn the colors over temporarily to Corporal Alathew Bennett. 



Lieutenant Marshall, the Regimental giant, and Sergeant Lawson soon re- 
cuperated and returned to duty in their respective companies, present in every 
battle from Gettysburg to Appomattox, it being also notable that notwithstanding 
their extraordinary size, both escaped the missiles of the enemy during their en- 
tire term of service. 

Captain James B. Palmer, Quartermaster of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth, although by his office not required to participate in battle, was accepted by 
General Steven H. Weed as a volunteer aide-de-camp on his staff on the morning 
of July 2, 1863, and was serving with the General on Little Round Top, where 
the Confederate sharpshooter from Devil's Den mortally wounded that officer. 
Captain Palmer continued his services with General Garrard, the successor of 
General Weed, during the remainder of the battle. 

The Casualties at Gettysburg. 

Corporal Mathew Bennett, of Company I, was detailed by Colonel Cain 
a day or two before the battle of Gettysburg, to take charge temporarily of the 
colors during the absence of Color-Sergeant Thomas C. Lawson, who was for 
the time being incapacitated for active duty by the severe marching, and Ser- 
geant Bennett performed his duty with credit to himself. 

Color-Corporal John H. Mackin, of Company F, was wounded in the shoulder 
on ascending Little Round Top, but despite the severity of the wound, remained 
to the end of the battle, when, unable to resume the march, he reported to the 
hospital, his wound being much aggravated by his neglect to secure early medical 

Color-Corporal Thomas J. Tomer, 
of Company E, who had a surgeon's pass 
in his pocket enabling him to straggle 
free from interference from the provost 
guards because of his fatigued and ex- 
hausted condition from forced marches, 
entered the battle with the colors, and 
was stricken down at the first fire of the 
enemy, on Little Round Top, being so 
badly wounded that he was never able to 
resume duty in the field, and causing 
him to be a sufferer for life. 

Also mortally wounded at Gettys- 
burg, in the attack of the Texan brigade 
on the position of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, was Corporal David M. 
Smith, of Company B. He was wounded 
in the left groin, and was carried back a 
short time after the attack, but died just 
as he reached the foot of Little Round 



Private William Douglass, of Com- 
pany B, about the same time was struck 
in the center of the forehead and with a 
piercing shriek fell back dead. 

In the very advance of his company, 
Corporal Henry E \\'eaver, of Company 
B, one of the youngest boys in the Regi- 
ment, was wounded in the ball of the 
right ankle joint, necessitating immedi- 
ate amputation at the Field Hospital, at a 
time when, as in a letter he describes it, 
" the balls kept coming as numerous ap- 
parently as drops of rain in a heavy 
shower,'' and as he farther states, he lay 
there " expecting to get another bullet in 
the head at any minute." 

Company K had. four men wounded 
and one killed — Lieutenant Foster and 
Privates Shields, Hetrick and David 
Kirkpatrick, the last-named being struck 
by a ball, but not disabled. Private John 
Cowan was shot through the bowels and 

The Regiment had no chaplain at 

Field Hospital. 

A matter requiring acknowledgment 
here was the efficiency and zeal of the 
Regimental surgeons. Doctor J. A. E. 
Reed and Doctor W. Stockton \Mlson. 
Assistant- Surgeon, and Ellis C. Thorn, hospital steward, in the Gettysburg 
campaign. These officers were indefatigable in their attentions and efforts to 
relieve the sufferings on the march and in camp, and to the great increase of their 
duties precipitated by the three days battles of Gettysburg. 

The emergency field hospitals at the rear of Little Round Top were opened 
immediately on the attack by the enemy on that stronghold, and necessarily the 
field hospitals had to be located as close as possible to where the injured fell. A 
nearby woods in a position supposed to be somewhat sheltered was hastily se- 
lected by the surgeons as a site for the field hospitals, which were located in many 
instances within four or five hundred yards back of the position occupied by the 
regiments and batteries in front. The Fifth Corps and Sykes' Division field 
hospital were not far from General jMeade's headquarters during the battle. 
Corporal Weaver, Color-Corporal Tomer, of Company E, and others who were 
carried back to these field hospitals described the scenes of the accumulated 










thousands of wounded deposited by the stretcher-bearers on the grounds, await- 
ing their turn for treatment, or the amputation table, during the afternoon of 
the 2d and the 3d of July, as something terrific in its impressions. The enemy's 
bombardment and shelling reached the woods and rocks near these field hospitals, 
and the surgeons at their posts zealously discharging their duties, and in many 
cases whilst performing amputation operations on the table, were exposed to as 
deadly a fire from the enemy as were those in the front on the firing line ; yet they 
did not desist or prove recreant to their duties. 

Volunteer Surgeons and Nurses Reach Battlefield. 

Before the sounds of battle at Gettysburg had ceased, delegations of good 
people, principally physicians and Christian Commission members, reached the 
front and tendered their much-needed services to the already overworked sur- 
geons, nurses and hospital stewards. Philadelphia and Pittsburg surgeons arrived 
in considerable numbers, bringing with them supplies of medicines, instruments, 
lint and other needed articles. The men of the One Hundred and Fift3^-fifth 
Regiment were gladdened by the visits of esteemed and skilled surgeons from 
Pittsburg, with home messages, and were especially delighted to witness their 
prompt devotion to their professional duties. 

Of the many patriotic surgeons so promptly on the battlefield, tendering 
their services, are recalled. Doctor Thomas W. Shaw, Doctor Thomas 
J. Gallaher, Doctor John Dickson, Doctor Joseph Dickson and Doctor George L. 
McCook, and others not now recalled. 

Abundance of supplies for the wounded and sick followed the departure 
of the delegation of surgeons for the bat- 
tlefield, being provided by the Christian 
Commission. No corps of surgeons labored 
more devotedly in the field hospitals on the 
battlefield and in the town of Gettysburg, 
than did the patriotic members of the Pitts- 
burg delegation, and too much praise can- 
not be awarded the noble deeds and acts of 
the surgeons named. All have long since 
passed away to their eternal reward. 

Nor was the patriotic devotion of the 
profession confined alone to those who so 
promptly rallied to the relief of the wounded 
and sick after each battle. Doctor Albert G. 
Walter, a surgeon of National reputation, 
conducted a hospital in Pittsburg during the 
Civil War, and gave to soldiers his unremit- 
ting attention and highest skill. Doctor 
George McCook, Sr., also an eminent sur- 
geon of Pittsburg, gave freely of his skill 
and services to the Union soldiers, his ad- pg albert g Walter 



vanced age alone preventing his tak- 
ing the field of active service with his 
numerous kinsmen, the fighting Mc- 
Cook's of Ohio. 

The late Doctor James AlcCami, 
who attained the highest rank in the 
surgical profession in Pennsylvania, 
imbibed the patriotic spirit of his pre- 
ceptors, Doctors John, Joseph and 
Thomas Dickson, of Pittsburg, and 
immediately upon graduating at Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, volunteered 
as Assistant Surgeon of the Fifth 
Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
and served until the close of the war. 
In the field hospital at Antietam, 
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and 
Gettysburg and in Grant's Virginia 
campaigns, the young surgeon was un- 
remitting in his devotion to the 
wounded. Doctor Edward J. Don- 
nelly, surgeon of Ninth Pennsylvania 
Reserves, of Pittsburg, served in all 
the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac and at his post of duty on the battle- 
field, relieving the badly wounded. He was captured and taken prisoner by the 
enemy several times, declining to abandon the wounded. 



Report of Colonel Kenner G.arrard, Oxe Hundred and Forty-sixth Regi- 
ment New York Infantry, Commanding Third Brigade. 


Headquarters Third Brigade, Second Division, Fifth Army Corps. 

Camp near Berlin, Md., July 16. 1863. 

I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Third 
Brigade in the late battle near Gettysburg : 

On the 2d instant, after changing position several times in the early part 
of the morning, the Brigade with the Division remained idle, lying by their arms 
until about 4 p. m. 


At this time the Brigade was moved rapidly forward (most of the time at 
the double-quick) nearly one and one-half miles, when it came under the fire of 
the enemy's musketry; at this point the leading regiment, under the direction of 
General Warren, Chief Engineer Army, of the Potomac, was led to the left up 
on what is known as Round Top ridge. Hazlitt's Battery ascended the ridge im- 
mediately in the rear of this regiment (the One Hundred and Fortieth New 
York Volunteers, Colonel P. H. O'Rorke, commanding) and went into battery on 
the summit. The One Hundred and Fortieth was formed in line, and was im- 
, mediately closely engaged with the enemy at short musket range on the left slope 
of the ridge. 

A portion of the First Division, Fifth Army Corps, was engaged to the left 
of the 'ridge, and this regiment and Hazlitt's Battery were brought up to assist 
the First Division in repelling a heavy assault of the enemy, with the evident 
design of gaining this ridge. Colonel O'Rorke was mortally wounded at the head 
of his regiment, while leading it into action. The other regiments, One Hundred 
and Forty-sixth New York Volunteers and the Ninety-first and One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, were led to the right and front some dis- 
tance and formed in line in a narrow valley to support a portion of the Third 
Corps and Watson's Battery, then severely pressed by the enemy. Before be- 
coming engaged, however, orders were received for these regiments to return at 
double-quick to Round Top ridge, and secure and hold that position. The 
Ninety-first was posted on the left of the battery connecting with the One Hun- 
dred and Fortieth ; the One Hundred and Forty-sixth and One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth were posted on the right, extending from the battery on the summit 
along the crest of the ridge to the gorge on the right. As soon as the regiments 
had their positions, men from each regiment were advanced down the slope to the 
front in among the rocks and together with those in line on the crest actively en- 
gaged the enemy during the rest of the day. At night this ridge, naturally strong, 
was strengthened by building a stonewall about half way down the slope wherever 
the rocks offered no protection to the men. 

The next day the Brigade remained in the same position and, though under 
the shells of the enemy and exposed to their sharpshooters, it was not engaged 
to any extent. When the Brigade and Hazlitt's Battery seized this ridge, it was 
done under a heavy musketry fire and was entirely unoccupied, excepting b)- a part 
of the First Division, on the extreme left, and I am gratified to report to the 
General commanding the Division, that the order to secure and hold this ridge 
was faithfully executed. 

At no time during July 2d, 3d and 4th, after its position was assigned it, did 
any regiment of the Brigade leave its place, excepting at the time of the heavy 
assault, a portion of some of' the regiments advanced to the front down the slope 
of the ridge, in order to have a better fire at the enemy. 

A few moments after General Weed, the Brigade Commander, had placed 
his command in position on this ridge, he was mortally wounded, on the summit 
near the Battery. Lieutenant Hazlitt, commanding the Battery, while offering 
his assistance to General Weed, fell, mortally wounded. 

I am pleased to report that all the regiments performed their duty well, and 



that during the two days' battle, the officers and the men conducted themselves 
in the most praiseworthy manner. 

A report of the casualties has already been furnished. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

K. Garrard, 
Colonel One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York Volunteers, 

Commanding Brigade. 
George R-Y.vjv, 

Captain and A. A. A. G., Second Division, Fifth Army Corps. 


Simultaneous with the advance of \\'eed"s Brigade with the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania \'olunteers storming of Little Round Top on July 
3d, under direction of General Warren, the Eighty-third Regiment Pennsylvania 
Volunteers, led by Colonel Strong Vincent, was storming the opposite side of the 
mount, and met with fierce resistance from Confederate sharpshooters and a 


hand-to-hand encounter during which the brave Colonel \'incent fell, mortally 
wounded. He survived, however, long enough to receive direct promotion to a 
Brigadier-Generals rank, by telegraphic order of President Lincoln. Pennsylvania 
has erected a magnificent monument on Round Top to his memory and that of 
comrades of the 83d, who also fell in the battle. 

Colonel Vincent, as Brigade commander, spoke his last words in action to 
Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, of the Twentieth Maine Volunteers, who assumed 
command of the Brigade on the fall of X^incent early in the battle. 

The heavy volleys of O'Rorke's regimei.t. One Hundred and Fortieth New 
York, in the advance of Weed's brigade on the summit of the ridge was heard by 
Chamberlain, as his men engaged in a hand-to-hand conflict with the Texan troops 
of Longstreet's corps on the left slope of Little Round Top. It ended by Cham- 
berlain's, at the head of the Twentieth Maine, leading a successful bayonet charge 
against the Confederate column which was seeking to pass through the gap be- 
tween Little and Big Round Top Mountains, and thereby outflank the Union po- 
sition. The losses of Weed's and Vincent's Brigades were unusually heavy in this 
action, the destructive aim of the enemy's sharpshooters adding to the number of 

The late Lieutenant Arthur W. Bell, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
Regiment, who was in charge of the Ambulance Corps of Weed's Brigade, states 
in his report, that between 4 p. m. of July 2d and 2 a. m. of the 3d, the stretcher- 
bearers removed from the rocks and fields of the positions occupied by the bri- 
gades of Weed and Vincent over thirteen hundred wounded. 

Retreat of Enemy Discovered. 

The picket firing continued all day of the 4th between the two armies. Re- 
connoitering parties of United States Regular cavalry had been sent out by 
General Meade at intervals during all day of the 4th, and at dark the officers in 
charge reported to General Meade that the enemy still occupied all their works 
and picket lines, with no evidence of their abandoning any portion of the same. 

Before daylight of the 5th Meade and all his staff were awake and alert for 
action. General Warren, accompanied by Captain E. B. Cope, A. D. C, was dis- 
patched to make observations of the enemy's movements from Little Round Top 
as soon as daylight would allow a view. 

There, surrounded by the men of Weed's Brigade, still fast asleep in their 
water-soaked blankets, Warren, with his powerful field glasses, made important 
observations which caused him for confirmation to ride to the advanced picket 
lines of Wright's division of the Sixth Corps. This division then occupied the 
Peach Orchard, the scene of the great fight of the Third Corps on July 2d. War- 
ren then made a personal reconnoissance across the picket line and out along the 
Emmittsburg Road and found all the positions of the enemy deserted, and that 
Lee's entire army and trains had, under cover of darkness and of the heavy rains, 
retreated during the night. Warren, on this discovery, rejoined Captain Cope on 
Little Round Top and at once, representing Meade, delivered to General Sedgwick 
orders to have the Sixth Corps, then in reserve, immediately to march in pursuit 
of the retreating Confederate army. On Warren's reporting the retreat of Lee's 
army, General Meade dispatched his cavalry in pursuit. 


Chapter X. 


Confederate Army Retre.ats Across Potomac. — Regulars Sent to New 
York. — Execution of Five Deserters. — ^Army of Potomac and Confederate 
Army Maneuver for Position. — Union Army Moves Toward Orange Court 
House. — Preparations for Battle. — -Union Army Withdraws. — Winter 
Quarters at Warrenton Junction. — Incidents of Mine Run Campaign. — 
Colonel Edwin M. Gregory, of Ninety-first Pennsylvania, Becomes Com- 
mander of Brigade. — New Year's Day, 1864, in Camp. — One Hundred and- 
Fifty-fifth Receives Zouave Uniform. — Lieutenant-Colonel Pearson 
Assumes Command of Regiment. — Regiment Complimented for Proficiency 
Tactics by General Garrard. — Description of Zouave Uniform. — ^Religious 
Exercises in C.\mp. — Drowning of Captain Joseph B. Sackett, Command- 
ing Comp.\ny E. — Impressive Military' Funeral. — Regiment Transferred 
to First Brigade, First Division, Fifth Corps. — Major-General Gouveneur 
K. Warren Succeeds General Sykes -\s Commander of Fifth Corps. — Fare- 
well Address of General Sykes. — Orders Received to Break Camp.— Gen- 
eral Ayrrs Com.mands First Division, now Consolidated to Brigade. — Fifth 
Corps Camps for the Nii3ht on Outskirts of Wilderness. 

jN THE morning of the 4th day of July, 1863, the Third Brigade, Sec- 
ond Division, Fifth Corps, to which Colonel Kenner Garrard had 
succeeded General Weed in command, together with the Sixth 
United States Regulars of the Second Brigade, same Division, was 
ordered on a reconnoissance in front of Little Round Top. Moving 
about a mile to the front, through the AMieatfield, it was found that Lee was 
still holding a strong position towards the center of the line, thus leaving the 
contested grounds of the battlefield of the three days previous all within the 
Union line, as stated, for a mile in front of Little Round Top. While this ad- 
vance of the Fifth Corps was being developed. General Slocum had made a 
reconnoissance on the right, and discovered that the Confederates had wholly 
withdrawn from the front of the right of the army. It is presumed that General 
Lee rather courted an attack from General Aleade at this time, but the latter 
was too clear-headed to give up his defensive position when he knew that General 
Lee must attack him or run away. As already stated, the remainder of the 4th 
of July was full}- occupied by the Union army in getting up its large wagon 
trains with supplies and ammunition, caring for the wounded, burying the 


dead, and putting things in order generally for immediate pursuit of the 

Instead of pursuing the Confederates on the direct line of their retreat, the 
Union army made a flank movement by the east side of South Mountain. Lee's 
army, by direct march, reached Williamsport on the 7th of July, two days after 
retreating from Gettysburg, and finding that its pontoon bridge had been de- 
stroyed by the Union cavalry, and the river swollen to a height of seven feet by 
recent rains, immediately threw up intrenchments, and strongly fortified its 

The Union army, having crossed South Mountain, did not reach the vicin- 

iai %mxitxs %x\\\i 0f t|e |0t0ttiac, 

JULY 4th, 1863' 

NO. 08. / 

-The CoMmanding General, in behalf of the countiy, thanks the Army of the Po- 

(Diuao for the glorious result of the recent operations. 

ka enemy superior in numbers and flushed with the pride of a Bucoessful invasion, 

attempted io overcome and destroy this Army. Utterly baffled and defeated, he has 

now withdrawn from the contest. The privations and fatigue the Army has endured, 

and the heraio courage and gallantry it h^ displayed will be matters of history to bo 

ever remembered. 

Onr task is not yet accomplished, and the Commanding General looks to tho Army 

for greater efforts to drive from our soil every vestige of the presence of the invader. 

It is r^ht and proper that wo should, on all suitable occasions, return our grateful 

thanks to the Almighty Disposer of events, that in the goodness of his Providence 

He has.tiioaght fit to give victory to the cause of the just. 

]3y command of 


S.'WiLUAMS, Asat. Adj. General. 

Facsimile of Meade's announcement of his victory over Lee at Gettysburg. 
From the original in possession of Judge Samuel W. Fennypacker. 

ity of Williamsport until the 12th, thus affording the enemy nearly a week in 
which to further strengthen its works and prepare for an expected attack. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, in line of battle with other regiments of 
Ayres' Division, advanced several miles before coming into contact with the 
Confederates in their intrenchments. The Brigade and Division immediately 
began to fortify preparatory to assaulting the enemy's works. No movement was 
made, however, until the 13th of July, when the skirmishers along the line be- 
came engaged with the enemy and the Union troops prepared to make an 


No orders to attack, however, came before the morning of the 14th, when, 
on the advance of the Union troops, the Confederate w^orks were found to be 
deserted, Lee's arm)' having retreated across the Potomac at Falling Waters, a 
short distance from Williamsport, during the previous night. 

The results of the campaign in pursuit of Lee by the Fifth Corps were 
several htmdred prisoners captured from the enemy's rear guard before they 
could cross the river. The Confederates also sustained a great loss in the death 
of General Pettigrew, who had led a brigade in Pickett's recent charge at 

After crossing the enemy's works in the morning of the 14th, three brave 
boys of Company K — E. A. Calhoun and R. O. and G. H. Clever — while passing 
a house saw through a window several Confederates enjoying a good breakfast 
before taking their departure for Virginia. The Company K boys captured the 
entire squad. 

Council of War. 

After a council of war on the night of the 13th of July, at which were 
present Generals John Sedgwick, John Newton, George Sykes, H. W. Slocum, 
O. O. Howard, D. B. Biniey, G. K. Warren, Chief Engineer, A. A. Humphreys, 
Chief of Staff, H. J. Hunt, Chief of Artillery, and John Gibbon, succeeding 
Hancock in command of the Second Corps, the strength of the enemy's fortifica- 
tions and natural defenses were discussed, resulting in quite a division of opinion 
as to the chances of success in case of an assault by the Union army upon the 
Confederate strongholds. General Meade was from the first favorable to the 
assault, but was induced to delay by the many arguments adduced against it, 
until the end of the council, when he gave the order to attack. 

The 14th was spent in preparing for the assault; but when the advance was 
began no enemy was found, the Confederates having retreated during the 

The enemy's works were found to be of the most formidable character, ex- 
hibiting the highest military skill and engineering in construction. 

It was a matter of deep regret, in view of later developments as to Lee's 
condition, that he should have been allowed to escape once more to southern soil. 
There must have been a sting in the remark said to have been made by President 
Lincoln to General Meade and his corps commanders shortly afterwards, that, 
" The fruit seemed so ripe, so ready for the plucking, that it was very hard 
to lose it." 

The next day, July 15th, the army was again on the move, marching 
twenty-six miles across South Mountain. The next day the Fifth Corps moved 
down the Potomac to Berlin, and towards evening crossed the river on pontoons, 
and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was again on " old Virginia soil." 

For the next few days the Fifth Corps moved along the Loudoun valley 
amidst the marvelous profusion of blackberries. The One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth ate blackberries for breakfast, for dinner and for supper. There appeared 
to be berries enough to supply several armies. During the night bivouacs the 








July 10 to 14 1863 

Scale of Miles 

rr-L E. P. cone 


boys exercised their ingenuity in making blackberry shortcake out of crushed 
hardtack and berries. 

On the 24th of July, the Third Corps, commanded by General French, had 
a skirmish with the enemy at Wapping Heights, near Piedmont, in the mountains. 
Lee's army was retreating up the Shenandoah valley, and General Meade ordered 
General French to make a flank attack on the Confederate columns through a 
pass in the mountains. 

General French was so dilatory in obeying this order that the enemy's col- 
umns had all passed the point of the proposed attack before French reached 
the position. 

His advance consisted of a brigade of Hooker's old corps, who, as they 
moved forward toward the crest which the rear guard of Lee's troops was de- 
fending, coolly loaded and fired; then ate blackberries a while; then loaded and 
fired and moved onward and upward a few steps ; then ate more blackberries, all 
the while ridiculing their General. 

On the morning of the 2oth of July, the Fifth Corps advanced in line of 
battle toward the Confederate position, but with the exception of some desultof)' 
skirmishing at a few points along the line with scouting parties of the enemy, no 
firing took place, the main body of the Confederate rear guard having retreated 
during the night. 

After various marches and movements of little interest to the general 
reader, but very trying to the patience of the soldiers, the Fifth Corps and the 
other corps of the army retraced their steps through the mountain gap, and, 
moving hx way of W'arrenton, went into camp at Beverly Ford, on the Rappa- 
hannock, on August 6, 1863. 

Two Brigades United States Regulars Sent to New York. 

On the 13th of August, 1863, the two brigades of the United States Regu- 
lars, under General R. B. Ayres, were, with other troops, detached and sent to 
New York. It was expected that General Ayres' entire Division, with Garrard's 
Brigade and the One Flundred and Fifty-fifth, would be included in this New 
York detail, but at the eleventh hour the plan was changed and only the Regular 
brigades were sent. The object of this detail was to preserve and restore order 
in New York City "after the reign of terror produced by the memorable draft 

On the 20th of August, 1863, five deserters from the One Hundred and 
Eighteenth Pennsylvania, belonging to the Fifth Corps, were executed. The 
solemn affair took place in an immense meadow shaped like a large amphitheater. 
Orders were issued for the parading of as many regiments of the Fifth Corps 
as could be spared from picket and other duties. Five graves had been dug, and 
a coffin placed beside each grave. All were attended by ministers of their own 
faith — two being Catholic, two Protestant, and the fifth was a Jew. After 
the procession had been formed and the parade to the place of execution had 
taken place, the prisoners, riding in an open army ambulance, alighted and were 


then seated on their coffins. The firing party, consisting of sixteen files of men, 
were drawn up in front of the place of execution, within sixty feet of the 
condemned men. The bearing of all these individuals was firm and steady, ex- 
cept the Jew, whose form of praying seemed to be hysterical, causing him to 
appear to be completely overcome. After a few minutes delay, the bugle sounded 
" attention," the signal for the three chaplains to retire. The prisoners were 
then blindfolded, and the firing detail was marched to within ten paces of the 
prisoners, who were blindfolded, whilst a breathless silence pervaded the audi- 
ence of not less than ten thousand troops. " Ready ! Aim ! Fire ! " rang out on 
the clear summer air, and the thirty-two muskets belched forth their flaming 
tongues, and the five men fell dead upon their coffins. But little time was lost, as 
the troops, playing lively airs, returned to camp. 

An apparent cessation of important movements of both the Union and the 
Confederate army now followed. On the 15th of September, 1863, General 
Halleck, by order of the President, urged General Meade to move upon Lee's 
army, it being known that Longstreet's Corps had been detached from the Con- 
federate army and sent to Tennessee, and General Meade, therefore, issued orders 
for a forward movement. Then followed a series of maneuvering for position, 
and strategic tactics completely bewildering to the men in the ranks took place, 
without results, except over-marching and exhausting the troops. Both armies, 
like gladiators sparring for positions, frequently moved up and down the 
Orange & Alexandria Railroad, crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan, and 
occupying and retreating from Culpeper alternately, so often as almost to be- 
come monotonous. In fact, from this time on until winter set in, the country 
about the Rappahannock and along the line of the Orange & Alexandria Rail- 
road became a chessboard on which General Lee and General Meade played a 
great game. It would be but a weary recital devoid of interest to the reader 
to narrate the many details of the movements of the rival armies during this 
period. It became a constant theme for newspapers in the North that the Army 
of the Potomac was simply a " police guard " for Washington, and also urging 
that it should renew operations before another winter set in, when campaigning 
and marching of armies on Virginia roads would be out of the question. 

Mine Run Campaign. — Bitter Cold. 

On the 7th of November, General Meade put his troops in motion to force 
a passage of the Rappahannock. By a brilliant charge at Rappahannock Station 
the Sixth Corps, supported by the Fifth, took the works and captured sixteen 
hundred prisoners. General David A. Russell, commanding the advanced Division 
of the Sixth Corps, was mortally wounded in the charge. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Ayres' Division were in the advance of 
the Fifth Corps in this action. The two corps then crossed to the south side of the 
river, and went into camp some four miles east of the railroad, occupying the log 
cabins constructed a few days before by the Confederates. As soon as the railroad 




was repaired, General Meade followed this move, by deciding to cross the Rapi- 
dan, and to advance rapidly towards Orange Court House. On the 23d of No- 
vember, therefore, marching orders were issued, but, a severe storm occurring 
during the night, the movement was delayed until the morning of the 26th. 
The Fifth Corps, under General Sykes, crossed at Germanna Ford. On the 28th 
of November, disposition was made to attack the Confederates. After a march 
of several miles, the Confederates were found to have established themselves in 
strong fortifications on the west bank of Mine Run. The Fifth Corps moved 
and took position at four o'clock a. m., the 29th, in a thick forest immediately in 
front of Mine Run and the enemy's works. The opposite bank of Mine Run at 
this point had an elevation of over one hundred feet, with a gentle smooth slope 
to the creek of over one thousand yards. General Meade, having received favora- 
ble reports from his engineers, decided to make three assaults on the enemy's 
works — one on their left with the Fifth arid the Sixth Corps, one on the center 
with the First and the Third Corps, and one on the Confederate right with the 
other corps, all imder command of General G. K. Warren. After an inspection 
of the Confederate position. General Meade concluded to abandon the center 
attack, and to reinforce Warren's column with two divisions of the Third Corps, 
giving him nearly half the infantry under Meade's command. Orders were ac- 
cordingly issued. The battle was to be opened by the Union batteries on the left 
firing at eight o'clock a. m. on the 30th, this being a signal for General Warren to 
make the main attack ; and at nine o'clock. General John Sedgwick was to assault 
with his column. 

Warren Decides Enemy's Position Too Strong to Attack. 

Promptly at eight o'clock on the morning of the 30th, the Union batteries 
opened, the skirmishers of the First and the Third Corps advanced across Mine 
Run, and drove in the Confederate skirmishers, and every preparation was made 
by General Sedgwick and others for the assault. Fifteen minutes rolled by, yet 
nothing was heard from General Warren. Three-quarters of an hour passed and 
still nothing was heard from Warren, and General Meade was fretting like a 
war-horse under curb. At ten minutes to nine o'clock a dispatch was received 
by General Meade from General Warren to the efifect that the position and 
strength of the enemy in Warren's present front seemed so formidable that he 
advised against making an attack ; that the full light of the sun showed him that 
he could not succeed. General Meade rode to General Warren's headquarters 
and, after inspecting the position of the enemy and concurring in the opinion 
of General Warren that it was hopeless to make an attack, reluctantly abandoned 
the assault; and, therefore, when night came, the Third, Fifth and Sixth Corps 
returned to their former positions. General Meade, after mature deliberation, 
finding by this inspection that the Confederates had been working all night to 
render the only weak point in their position as strong as any other on their line, 
decided to withdraw his army. The newspaper war correspondents of the 
period bitterly arraigned General Meade for his action in abandoning the Mine 
Run campaign. These newspaper comments elicited a manly, courageous letter 


from General Meade, in which he declared that he stood ready at any time to 
surrender his sword and position as commander of the Union army rather 
than wilfully to sacrifice the precious lives of the men of his command unneces- 
sarily or without hope of great gain to the country. 

On the abandonment of the Mine Run campaign, the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Regiment was, on the 2d of December, 1863, back at Rappahannock 
Station with, the remainder of the corps. The day following the Regiment moved 
to Warrenton, and was assigned the duty of guarding the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad. On this duty the Fifth Corps was disposed of by brigades at intervals 
along the line from Brandy Station to Fairfax, and in these winter camps the 
annals of the Regiment for 1863 closes. \Mnter quarters were enjoyed, with all 
the pleasures and duties incident to the camps, until May 2, 1864, when, under 
General Grant, a new campaign was initiated in the Wilderness. 


To the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment the experience at 'Sline Run 
was unique in the extreme from the fact that after the most extensive prepara- 
tions for a battle had been made by the commander of the army under most 
cheerless and discouraging circumstances, no battle was fought. Scarcely had 
the movement of the army for Mine Run been undertaken by Meade, at the end 
of a month of beautiful weather, so well suited for campaigning, than the most 
miserable, uncomfortable and finally distressingly cold, freezing weather set in, 
embarrassing movement and causing the greatest suffering and also a shortage 
of rations. 

When General Sykes, commanding the Fifth Corps, had massed his column 
of ten thousand picked men, concealed in the woods in front of the stream known 
as Mine Run, a magnificent view was afforded the troops of the fortified camps 
and positions occupied by the Confederate army in winter quarters. It was 
noted that the small stream had been dammed in front of the Confederate 
positions, thus producing so good a stage of water as to prevent a crossing im- 
mediately in front of their positions. On the opposite banks of the stream 
many large trees had been chopped down and the limbs trimmed and placed 
as a cordon of obstructions which the attacking party would be compelled to 
climb over to take the works ; also there was an area of ground in front of the 
Confederate fortifications of a half mile in width, necessary to be crossed under 
the complete range of the man}- batteries which frowned from the ramparts of 
the enemy's fortifications. After witnessing these bulwarks of the enemy, many 
a veteran's mind, unbidden, averted to thought of similar embankments and ter- 
raced works surmounted with Confederate guns faced by them at Fredericksburg. 
The order issued to General Sykes required a picked body of troops, ten thousand 
strong, to form in the adjacent woods, concealed from the enemy, there to re- 
main ready on the signal to charge these extraordinarily strong fortifications of 
the enemy. The assaulting columns would have been obliged to cross the stream 
of Mine Run in plain view of the enemy, to reform in line of battle after crossing, 
to climb over the chevaux-de-frise and other obstructions defending the enemy s 


works, and then to march across the open plain in direct and enfilading range of 
the enemy's batteries. 

The tortures of the zero weather were aggravated by the prohibition of the 
generals in command that to conceal the presence in the woods of so large a body 
of Union troops prepared to charge, no fires to cook coffee or other warm food 
should be allowed, lest the curling smoke irom the same should be discovered 
by the enemy, and make known the position of the hostile hosts gathering to as- 
sault their works. 

One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Chosen for Stormixc. Column. — Chaplains 

ON Duty. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment was selected for the post of 

Chaplain of GriHin's Division. 

honor in the storming column on the works at Mine Run. Knapsacks were un- 
strung and piled up in the rear. The faithful Regimental Chaplain, Doctor 
Mateer, appeared and volunteered his services to take charge of the spare funds 
and keepsakes of any of the Regiment who desired it, and also pinned the name 
of each soldier to the lapel of his blouse, in view of the expected charge and the 
extreme probability of its heavy mortality to the ranks of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, so that the bodies of the slain could be thus identified. The Ninth 
Massachusetts Regiment, also selected for the storming column, being mostly 
composed of Irish citizens of Boston, Mass., had a Catholic chaplain, Reverend 
Father C. L. Egan, who publicly administered the ceremony provided by his 


church, of prayers of absohition to all soldiers going into battle. This venerable 
chaplain, standing on a stump or cliff in the woods, publicly invoked the blessing 
of Almighty God on all the troops there massed, and eloquently prayed for the 
success of the Union army. He also invoked divine forgiveness of sins to all 
present about to offer their lives for their country. This scene was most im- 
pressive and inspiring, irrespective *of creed. Many thousands of troops knelt 
in reverence to the good man's prayer that God might forgive them all their 
sins. No signal for the charge reached the troops selected and thus massed 
for the attack. 

As the day wore on and the suffering from the cold and exposure became 
intense, as a culminating incident to the interesting situation of the troops thus 
awaiting the order for the attack, the medical supply wagons and ambulances, 
with the corps of doctors and stretcher-bearers, arrived in the same woods in 
the rear of the troops. The medical supply wagons, with surgical instruments 
and other material, were at once unloaded and tents for field hospitals were 
immediately put up in plain sight of the troops, all of which was far from in- 
spiring, the only gruesome particulars omitted from this depressing proceeding 
being coffins and ready-made graves. The assaulting column, however, remained 
until nightfall, when it was understood that a further inspection of the enemy's 
lines by General Warren, who had been given command of the charging columns 
to open the attack, had revealed the fact that the enemy had discovered, as 
Warren had reported to General Meade, the weakest part of their defenses, and 
that the enemy had occupied the night previous in strengthening that particular 
point; so that when the fog subsided in the morning and Warren and his scouts 
renewed their inspection, preparatory to giving the signal agreed upon for the 
assaulting columns, Warren made the report already quoted to General Meade, 
and the attack had to be abandoned. 

Thus, in no previous battle in which the Regiment had participated had 
there been such elaborate preparations, or such harrowing accompaniments or 
such manifest determination of the men to make the attack, as marked Mine 
Run; and yet it was a battle that never came off, although it is inscribed upon 
the Regimental colors. It deserves, however, to rank as a great battle, for the 
sufferings endured and for the maintenance in position for the attack in plain 
view of the enemy for so long a period. The Confederates never left their 
formidable works to make an attack or an advance at Mine Run against Meade's 
army. The only hostile demonstration was, in their anxiety to find out what 
was in the dense woods sheltering the storming column in which the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth was assigned, the shelling of these woods by the Con- 
federate batteries, which during the day dropped several shells into the same, in 
military parlance was merely intended as " feehng for the enemy." 

It was most fortunate for the Union arms, as the sequel showed, that no 
battle was fought by General Meade at Mine Run, as the Confederates had de- 
voutly prayed that he should do, for it would have been an engagement under 
most adverse and discouraging circumstances, and quite likely attended with great 
loss of life and the accomplishment of little good. 

MINE RUN— 1908. 

Sweet little Major, he mounts my knee, 

And the tender blue eyes look at me. 

" Tell me, Papsie, just once more. 

What did you do when you went to war?" 

" Say, tell me, Papsie, say you will — 

How many Rebels did you kill ? " 

So I told him the truth, or near as mi^s^ht be- 

As many of thciii as they did of me. 


Union Army Returns to Old Camps. — Re-enlistments Set In. 

As so many of the three-year troops' terms were then expiring and the Gov- 
•ernment was anxious to secure their re-enHstment, a disaster at Mine Run, and 
probable repetition of Fredericksburg, would have so discouraged re-enlistments 
that it would have been a most serious detriment to the country. As it was, the 
army returned jubilant to its camp because no battle had been fought, and the next 
four months, hostilities being suspended by both armies, was spent in winter 
■quarters most enjoyably, and re-enlistments for another three years of the men 
whose terms were expiring, became very popular, and benefited the Government 
■enormously in securing the continuance of trained soldiers in the field. 

The Mine Run campaign will be memorable to all the participants because 
■of the thousands of Union soldiers in the woods where their guns were stacked, 
who might be seen, because of the extraordinary cold and absence of fire, chasing 
each other around the trees, keeping up the action all day, to keep themselves 
warm and their blood from freezing. Notwithstanding this, there was very great 
suffering and some loss of life from exposure. 

An Exciting Incident. 

On the march to Mine Run an incident occurred out of the ordinary which 
shows the boldness of the enemy. With Meade's army of eighty or ninety 
thousand men on the march for Mine Run, were their immense wagon-trains oc- 
cupying many miles in length, sandwiched between each infantry division column, 
•conveying ammunition and rations, each army corps occupying perhaps ten 
miles of the line of marching. The division and corps wagon-trains were guarded 
by a regiment at the head and one at the end of each mile of trains. In addition 
to these front and rear guards for each mile of trains, individual and pioneer 
guards accompanied the wagons as protection, the teamsters also being well armed. 

In passing on the march beyond Culpeper, on the way to Mine Run, this im- 
mense column of cavalry and infantry, batteries, ammunition and commissary 
wagons, sub-divided into sections and guarded as described, was attacked by a 
regiment of Confederate cavalry, which had lain in ambush watching for a weak 
spot in the lines of train guards. The enemy dashed out in force, and succeeded 
in surprising and capturing the Federal train guards, pioneers, teamsters and a 
dozen or more loaded army wagons, all belonging to Ayres' Division, in which 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was serving. Among the wagons captured were 
several containing General Ayres' dress uniform and sword, as well as ample 
suppHes of " commissary " for the General and his staff. 

Before the Union troops, marching in the front and the rear of this train, 
with infantry supports, could be rallied to the rescue, the Confederate raiders 
succeeded in escaping with all their plunder, taking the teamsters, wagon-guards 
and also a number of Union soldiers, prisoners. General Ayres, being', at the 
time, in command of a division of United States Regulars, received little sym- 
pathy from the volunteers, whom the regulars were forever charging with care- 
lessness and want of military sagacity. 


Reynolds Fox, of Company H, a faithful private of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, was captured in this Confederate cavalry ambuscade of Ayres' wagon- 
trains on the march to Mine Run, and died at Andersonville, August 33, 1864, 
being buried in grave 6,649. 

After enduring the miseries of the night march in zero weather, on the 
return from Mine Run, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and other troops were 
allowed to light fires in the morning. The severity of the frost and the miseries 
of the night march in the freezing weather, bore a wonderful resemblance in the 
minds of many at the time to the description of Napoleon's historic winter retreat 
from Moscow, though neither Cossacks nor Confederates harrassed or in any way 
disturbed the slow retreat of General Meade's army. At Brandy Station the 
army reached the very familiar Orange & Alexandria Railroad, where the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth crossed the Rappahannock. This crossing by actual 
count made the fourteenth time that the Regiment, during 1863, in its campaigns 
back and forward in that section of Virginia, had crossed and re-crossed that 
historic stream. 

The supply of eight days' rations with which the troops had been supplied 
on the reconnoissance to Mine Run became exhausted before the expiration of 
that period, and the miseries and discomforts of the severe winter weather were 
aggravated by the agonies of hunger affecting most of the troops before they 
reached camp or met the long-looked-for commissary, and again had their empty 
haversacks refilled. After a two-mile march from the Rappahannock along the 
Orange & Alexandria Railroad on December 3, 1863, the Regiment and the ac- 
companying brigades halted, and a most welcome distribution of rations took 
place. The next morning the march along the Orange & Alexandria Railroad to- 
wards Washington was resumed, passing Bealton Station, and halting at Warren- 
ton Junction, the place destined to be the winter quarters of the Regiment for 
some months following. 

Winter Quarters at Warrenton Junction. 

The Fifth Corps was detailed all along this railroad to guard and protect 
it from the raids of Moseby's guerrillas. Warrenton Junction and vicinity was 
assigned to the care and observation of General Garrard's Brigade, of Ayres' 
Division, with which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was serving. Orders 
were given, on December 5th, to lay out the Regimental camp and to locate head- 
quarters of the Regiment. This involved the going of the men of each mess to 
the near woods, to cut, split and carry in timber necessary for the log huts of 
which winter quarters were to be formed. The camp was laid out in regular 
streets, the company officers' quarters being at the head of the streets, with non- 
commissioned officers next, followed by that of the privates. The architecture 
of these structures, although primitive, was uniform in style, being Hmited to 
space sufficient for three men occupying a joint bunk, and having a fireplace 
of old-fashioned style, and a chimney which frequently failed to carry upward all 
the smoke. No fenders, tongs, or mantlepieces graced the fittings of the fireplace. 
The interior was free from anything like cupboards or boxes. The canteens 




were hung upon the floor. The cooking utensils were very limited in number 
and primitive in style, the same tin bucket in which the meals and coffee were 
cooked, with scant rinsing from the limited supply of water, being made to dO' 
duty in cooking soups, boiling beans, or dried apples, making rice puddings,, 
stewing elderberries and many other purposes. 

The only art decorations on the walls of the quarters consisted of cuts from- 
Harper's and Leslie's, war pictures illustrating desperate cavalry charges and 
infantry engagements. The uncarpeted floors were composed of split timbers. 
The fires were made of sticks and logs of wood, the cordage of the same being 
under the bed to prevent being appropriated by mistake. The pitched roof of 
the huts were made of canvas tents furnished by the Government. Sometimes 
to keep the light from shining through the transparent white canvas after the 
" tattoo " had sounded " lights out," the occupants, desiring to continue games 
of euchre or " penny-ante " after hours, would throw heavy blankets over the 
roof to shut off the light from the " Officer of the Day " charged with the en- 
forcement of camp orders after " tattoo " had been sounded. 

The actual work of making these quarters fell very hard upon the city-bred" 
boys in the companies because of their total non-familiarity with the use of 
hatchets, axes, or picks, or the tools necessary to build the quarters; but the- 
tie of comradeship was so strong that the woodsmen from the country com- 
panies, familiar with this sort of labor, cheerfully aided the inexperienced town- 
boy soldiers in the construction of their quarters. The streets of the camp 
were wide and commodious and policed regularly by the removal of all garbage. 
The chimneys on these structures or huts in the camp were unique features. A 
beer keg or cracker box or any other kind of keg or box possible to obtain was 
considered a proper crowning article for the chimney surmounting the fireplace 
of the soldier's hut. When these could not be obtained, " hardtack " boxes were 
sometimes strengthened and used for the same purpose, and both forms of chim- 
neys served their purpose very well, although it must be admitted that all the 
smoke created in the soldiers' quarters did not go up the chimney. 

Life in Winter Quarters. — Amusements, Etc. 

Strong temptations were offered, as in Camp Humphreys of the previous 
year, and in fact, were often yielded to on many occasions in this winter camp 
by mischiveous comrades, to play jokes upon the inmates through the use of 
these chimneys. Long after " tattoo " and the occupants of the quarters had 
retired, the fire in the primitive fireplace being well slacked so as to keep the 
interior warm, the midnight guard called to leave camp for duty, before going 
to his distant post, would place a plank or board on the top of the chimney, thus 
soon driving all the smoke inside. The mischievous guard, in the meantime hav- 
ing proceeded to his post of duty out of camp limits, would be beyond suspicion,. 
or, in case of being accused, would have a good alibi, when the irate inmates, 
nearly suffocated, would rush out of their huts and denounce the villainous deed, 
and the orderly sergeant or some other officer would be aroused to hunt for the 
invisible demon who, of course, could not be found. 





This form of disturbing the sleeping inmates was varied by the outgoing 
midnight guard's occasionally taking from his sixty rounds of ammunition 
a handful or two of cartridges, which, putting in a paper and tying with a 
string, he would lower down through the chimney to the slacked fire, when in 
a short time an explosion would follow from the discharge of the cartridges. 
During the excitement sure to succeed the explosion, the mischiveous guard 
would escape to his post of duty some distance beyond the camp limits, and 
of course all trace of the offender would be lost. 

From this camp. Colonel Kenner Garrard, of the One Hundred and Forty- 
sixth New York Volunteers, who, as senior Colonel, on the 2d of July, had suc- 
ceeded to the command of the Brigade, took his departure as Brigade comman- 
der, having been promoted to a Brigadier-Generalship, and assigned to the com- 
mand of a division of cavalry in the Western army, where he later earned great 
distinction with General Sherman. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment 
in particular owed General Garrard a debt of gratitude for the personal interest 
manifested by him in the welfare of the Regiment, and in enabling it to earn 
the high distinction it subsequently gained under Colonel Alfred L. Pearson. 


Colonel E. M. Gregory, Commanding Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers, Succeeds General Garrard. 

General Garrard, as commander of the Brigade, was succeeded by Colonel 
Edward M. Gregory, of the Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, a popular and 
brave officer. Colonel Gregory subsequently became equally noted in the army 
for his zeal as a Christian worker, often varying the duties of military life by 
preaching and conducting prayer-meeting services at his own brigade head- 
quarters, and also at company and regimental meetings of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth. The Ninety-first Pennsylvania, Colonel Gregory's own regi- 
ment, which had been recruited in the famous Moyamensing district of Phila- 
delphia, afforded a fine field for Christian missionary work for Colonel Gregory. 
The men composing the regiment, although being splendid fighters, were far 
from being angels, or piously inclined. In this camp Colonel Gregory started a 
religious revival in the ranks of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, 
which lasted for several weeks, and won a great many converts to experience 
religion. It is but proper to credit Companies K and G, of the Regiment, with 
these pious awakenings and converts. 

That extremes would meet on the subject of religious enthusiasm, even in 
the same companies, is made apparent on the perusal of a diary of a most 
worthy and exemplary Christian soldier of Company D, the late Corporal M. V. 
B. Sallada, which was submitted to the compilers of the Regimental histor)^ In 
this journal there appears the solemn record entered under date of January 21, 
1864, Camp Warrenton Junction, " The company was paid off to-day, and went 
on a general drunk." This was followed by a second entry on the same date, 
" Eight p. M., held prayer-meeting services, conducted by Peter Tippin." 

Early in December, while in these winter quarters, the Regiment was called 
upon to witness on very short notice the execution of a private soldier of the 


Eleventh United States Regular Infantry, convicted of desertion. Like the 
former executions previously described, General Sykes' entire division was drawn 
up in the three sides of a square to witness the sad ceremony. It was an af- 
fecting scene, and happily the last to be witnessed by the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth during the remainder of its term of service. 

On December 36th, Companies E and K packed up and relieved part of the 
Ninety-first Pennsylvania on guard duty at Catlett Station, on the Orange & 
Alexandria Railroad. These companies went into the quarters of the Ninety- 
first Pennsylvania, which had been moved out that day, but the enjoyment of 
these fine winter huts by Companies G and K was of short duration, as within 
twenty-four hours they were sent to Bristoe Station, and at the end of three 
weeks were marched back to the Regimental camp at Warrenton Junction. 

Orders Allowing Ten-day Furloughs Issued. 

In this camp, while the army was resting, General Meade, to add to the 
good feeling prevalent in the camps of his army, and to encourage re-enlistments, 
which the Government was most anxious to take place, issued orders that ten- 
day furloughs would be granted to worthy soldiers of each regiment, the only 
condition being that some good reason must be assigned in order to obtain the 
furlough, and that only seven applicants should be absent from the regiment on 
furlough at any one time. As the precise reasons on which furloughs were to 
be granted were not specified, but were left to the discretion of the applicant, 
the greatest variety of declarations as to the urgency and necessity of the fur- 
lough was embodied in the petitions in order to insure the success of the request. 
The formality required in the application for a furlough was a respectful letter 
from the soldier to the Colonel of his regiment, who in turn, if the appHcation 
was approved, forwarded it to brigade headquarters with his endorsement. If 
the application was not approved by the Colonel, it went into the waste basket. 
At brigade headquarters the application for a furlough went through the same 
process of treatment, and if approved, was sent to division headquarters by the 
brigade commander with his endorsement. Undergoing the same mode of treat- 
ment at division headquarters by the division commander, the application was 
finally forwarded to corps headquarters. If, during its journey from the regi- 
mental headquarters to corps headquarters, the reasons assigned for wanting a 
furlough, were disapproved by the intermediate commanders, it found its way 
to the waste-basket. As a corps was composed of three divisions, each having 
twelve regiments and a number of batteries, the corps commander received for 
consideration over one hundred applications a day. 

At first, Major-General Sykes, commanding the Fifth Corps, undertook to 
read and pass upon the urgent reasons assigned, but the perusal of applications 
containing so many manifestly distressing cases of death, suffering and misery, 
necessitating the presence of the applicants at home, soon wearied General Sykes. 
After some weeks of this experience in reading the recitals in these applications, 
ni?iny of which he could not avoid suspecting as being fictitious, the General 
assigned the hundred or more daily petitions received, to the Adjutant-General 


of the corps. In turn, this official struggled with the perusal of the harrowing 
reasons assigned for immediate furloughs, and wrestled with the puzzling prob- 
lems presented. After some weeks of this trying exrecise, the Adjutant-General, 
in turn, got rid of this duty by turning over subsequent applications to the enHsted 
men who were confidential clerks at corps headquarters. These clerks enjoyed 
the reading of the letters, being aware in many cases of the suspicious character 
of many of the contents. This task of reading the fabricated excuses finally 
became so monotonous that, for the peace and comfort of all concerned, the con- 
fidential clerks, to avoid reading the voluminous applications, decided to draw 
lots for the lucky seven, and the applications thereafter were decided in that way. 

New Year's in Camp. 

New Year's day, 1864, in this camp was made memorable to the men in the 
ranks by the presence of the Regimental sutler, who had on hand nice plump 
chickens at the cost of one dollar each, and fine fat turkeys at the price of six 
dollars a piece. Apples were sold by the sutler according to their size, and eggs 
according to their age. But prices did not deter the well-paid officers from in- 
dulging in both chickens and turkeys. There were very few messes of privates 
who could afford the luxury of paying the prices demanded for the poultry. 
Uncle Sam, however, voluntarily distributed gratuitously old rye whiskey, styled 
" commissary," to the men, in honor of the day, in the proportion of one quart 
to twelve men. No excesses or abuse of this infinitesimal distribution of whiskey 
was apparent in the camp, and the best of feeling prevailed. The usual thoughts 
and reminiscences of the year just ended impressed the soldier, and thoughts of 
home and friends as well as anticipations of what the future might have in store 
for the Nation and for the individual in the army, also occasioned more than 
a passing thought. The day was also made memorable by the extremely cold 
weather, so intense as to prevent sleep. It was too cold even to sit before the 
fire. The boys on picket suffered very severely from this night's exposure. Jan- 
uary 3d was the first Sunday of the new year in this camp. Chaplain Mateer 
preached a sermon in the chapel, but the weather was so bitterly cold that the 
sermon had to be cut short and audience dismissed without the Doxology. 

Colonel John H. Cain Resigns. 

In this camp Colonel John H. Cain resigned the Colonelcy to resume business 
in Pittsburg, left in the hands of his partners on his entering the military service. 
Colonel Cain had risen from rank of private in the Twelfth Regiment Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, in three months' service, to the Colonelcy of the One Hun- 
dred and F"ifty-fifth Regiment. He commanded the Regiment at Chancellorsville 
and elicited in official reports high commendations from both General Humphreys, 
commanding the Division, as well as from General Meade, in command of the 
Fifth Corps. He was also in command of the Regiment in the battle of Gettys- 
burg, where, on Little Round Top, he, with the Regiment, earned great dis- 
tinction. No more gentlemanly or popular commander ever served with the 



Regiment. Both officers and men were assembled to receive his cordial hand- 
:shake — a farewell parting to the gallant officer. 

Colonel A. L. Pearson Assumes Command. 

Alfred L. Pearson, Lieut.-CoL, was in Washington City when Colonel 
"Cain's resignation was accepted, and he was at once commissioned Colonel and 
arrived in camp and assumed command. Colonel Pearson inaugurated more fre- 
quent drilling, and soon imparted enthusiasm and ambition to officers and men 
to win distinction for proficiency of drill and excellency of discipline. The 
promotion of Major John Ewing to rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and of Captain 
John A. Cline, to Major, soon followed, and gave, great satisfaction as deserved 
•recognition to worthy officers. 

Zouave Skirmish Drill. — Bayonet Exercise. — Target Firing. 

During the summer and fall previous, General Garrard had insisted upon the 
regiments of his brigade becoming perfect in the zouave drill and bayonet ex- 
•ercise, and particularly in skirmish duties and target firing. So pleased was he 
■with the efficiency attained by the regiments named that on his reports to General 
Halleck he received permission from Washington to offer as a prize for skill in 
the bayonet exercise and skirmish drill the French zouave uniform. The Gov- 
■ernment accordingly ordered from Paris uniforms of that pattern for this 
brigade, in compliment and as a reward for the high efficiency achieved by all 




the regiments composing it in the 
drill and tactics so much desired 
by General Garrard. Every day 
in this camp, when the weather 
would permit, the Regiment had 
been deployed as a whole in open 
order and vigorously drilled by 
Colonel Pearson in the bayonet ex- 
ercise, resulting in the men becom- 
ing expert athletes in the use of 
the muskets and bayonets. There 
was no prouder officer in the army 
than Colonel Pearson on the day 
when these zouave uniforms were 
distributed as a prize to his Regi- 
ment ; and in the orders read on 
dress-parade. Colonel Pearson con- 
gratulated the Regiment, and es- 
pecially the officers, for their close 
attention to the new tactics and the 
skill attained by the companies in 
the same. 

The exchange to the zouave 
uniform from the plain blue in- 
fantry uniform was enjoyed im- 
mensely by the men of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regi- 
ment, not only on account of their 
having earned the recognition, but 
also because of the great beauty 
of the uniform and the greater 
comfort and other advantages it 
possessed over the regulation uni- 
form. The zouave uniform may be described to those who have not seen 
pictures of it as being wide — very wide — dark blue knee-breeches with ma- 
terial enough in one pair to make two pairs of ordinary pantaloons, and 
shaped not unlike the bloomer costume worn by some women years ago. Next 
came the jacket of the same heavy, dark-blue material as the knee-breeches, 
and trimmed with yellow at the collar and the wrists and down the fronts. 
A feature of the uniform was the red flannel sash fully ten feet long and 
about ten inches wide. This sash was trimmed with yellow, and was wound 
around the waist of the soldier, adding much to the comfort, to the appear- 
ance and to the preservation of the health on marches and fatigue duties 
of the wearer. The foot-gear consisted of white canvas leggings, which came 
down over the shoes, and were buckled along the sides and around the ankles, 
reaching half way to the knees, where the breeches were fitted into them. Lastly, 

Regimental Bugler. 


Drum Major. 


the greatest and most impressive part of the uniform was the turban, after the 
Turkish plan. It was composed of a sash of white flannel about a foot wide and 
ten feet long, which would be nicely wound, so as to set or fit on a red fez skull 
cap, to which was attached a blue tassel. This turban was seldom worn except 
•on dress-parade or dress occasions ; but the red fez cap with the tassel was always 
worn on fatigue or other duties. It took some time to get used to this metamor- 
phosis, from the plain regulation uniform to the dullish colors and style of the 
zouave dress, and some most amusing contrasts were presented on the introduc- 
tion of this exchanged attire. The French soldiers, for whom this uniform was 
patterned and made, were, as a rule, much smaller in stature than the American 
soldier, and hence the imported zouave uniforms distributed, in many cases, were 
•entirely too short for the many giants in stature in the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment, and particularly in the companies where stalwart six-footers and 
over was the rule. First- Sergeant D. Porter Marshall, of Company K, being 
six feet nine inches in his stockings, had the greatest difficulty of any man in 
the Regiment in securing a zouave outfit to conform to his stature. In contrast 
with Porter Marshall, the tallest man in the Regiment, was Private Tobias Diet- 
rich, of Company A, the shortest man in the command, who was awarded the 
longest pair of zouave trousers. There was no provision made in the army 
for a company or a regimental tailor, to cut down, enlarge, alter or mend uni- 
forms. Colonel Pearson, commanding, met the situation which faced Sergeant 
Marshall, the Regimental giant, b}- ordering the Regimental Quartermaster to 
issue two suits of zouave uniforms to the Sergeant, out of which he could at 
least make one suit nearly large enough to fit him. After some time, the Ser- 
geant presented himself in the new zouave uniform, presenting a most singular 
.and grotesque appearance, on account of his stature and the novelty of the new 

Whilst this uniform had its advantages on the march and was comfortable on 
•other occasions, occasionally it was found to have its drawbacks. Thus, on the 
march, if its wearers straggled, the singularity of their uniform distinguished them 
from all other soldiers, and aided in their detection. The ever-vigilant provost 
-guards easily knew the camp locations of the stragglers, and easily identified them 
by their peculiar uniform, whereas, has they been dressed in the ordinary regula- 
tion uniform, they would have escaped arrest. 


The guerillas under Moseby disturbed the even tenor of camp life, and in 
guarding of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. One night, quite near the 
pickets of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, they captured a mail carrier near 
Bealton and killed him. The guerillas were pursued by guards of the Regiment, 
who captured two of them in possession of the mail which they had stolen. 

During this winter camp life many of the officers secured permission to have 
their wives visit the camp and share their headquarters. Among others who 
visited the camp, and enjoyed the dress-parades and reviews for a few days, were 
Mrs. Pearson, the Colonel's wife, and some lady friends. A few days, however. 





after these ladies left the Regimental headquarters, Moseby's guerillas executed 
one of their frequent midnight raids. The guerillas, being dressed in Union 
uniform, went out and relieved the Union pickets, when, having secured charge 
of the picket line, they proceeded to raid the camp. They captured a Brigadier- 
General, two sutlers and a number of horses. Had they known it, and extended 
their raid a mile farther, they might have captured General Sweitzer and his 
good wife, who was at the time visiting the camp. An order was issued after 
these events withdrawing the permits for officers' wives to visit their husbands' 
headquarters because of the attending risk and danger. 

Religious Services. 

In this camp the religious fervor, resulting from the revivals which were 
inaugurated and maintained, culminated in the erection by the Regiment of a 
union chapel for the Christian Commission and the Regiment, under the direc- 
tion of the Regimental Chaplain, Reverend Doctor Mateer. The men vied with 
each other in their zeal in constructing this chapel, which was soon finished, be- 
cause of the lumber and material being so readily supplied over the Orange & 
Alexandria Railroad, which the command was engaged in guarding. This chapel 
was duly opened and prayer-meetings and Sunday exercises were regularly held 
in it for some weeks. 

The Reverend Constantine M. Egan, a Catholic priest, of Washington, D. C, 
through the petition of officers and men of the United States Regulars serving in 
the Fifth Corps, at General Griffin's request, was assigned to his headquarters. 
Father Egan had been given a commission at large to visit soldiers of his creed in 
the various camps, being assigned to no particular regiment, and serving with- 
out salary, in the performance of his mission. Reverend Egan called upon 
Colonel Pearson, commanding the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, who readily 
accorded him permission to hold services for the Catholic soldiers in the camp 
of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment. The announcement was read by 
the Adjutant, John H. Irwin, at the usual dress-parade. Reverend Doctor Mateer, 
the Regimental chaplain, also cordially welcomed Reverend Father Egan, and 
tendered him the use of the Regimental chapel to conduct services and preaching 
during his visit. 

Colonel Pearson issued orders that all members of Father Egan's denomina- 
tion would be excused from guard or other duties from ten to two o'clock on the 
day of the celebration of services by Father Egan in the camp chapel. 

As all the boys liked to be excused from guard, fatigue and other duties in 
camp for the purpose of seeking amusements in card-playing, etc., in their quar- 
ters, and there being no orders how to test the faith of the soldiers deserving to 
be excused from duty, it was found that the entire Regiment, or a large majority 
of them, had suddenly professed the Catholic faith in order to secure exemption 
from duty, under pretense of attending divine service. Chaplain Egan's preach- 
ing was, therefore, well attended. He preached a plain, eloquent sermon from the 
gospel of the day, exhorting all in patriotic terms to serve their country faith- 
fully in its hour of great peril. 






Father Egan remained several days in camp, the guest of Reverend Doctor 
JNIateer. It was an agreeable exhibition of Christian harmony to find these two 
ministers of different faiths working side by side, not only in the camp, but in 
the hospitals and on the actual battlefield, for the relief of the brave soldiers. 
Both these exemplary ministers frequently endured sacrifices on marches and 
exposures in battle as much as did the rank and file. 

Coincident with this religious revival in the camp, it is to be regretted that 
the saving grace did not extend to some unregenerate individuals in the camp, wh& 
made up for the shortage of furniture in their winter quarters by midnight visits 
to the Regimental chapel, where they proceeded to lay their sacrilegious hands 
upon the nicely-planed boards out of which the pulpit was made, and feloniously 
carrying off the same, as was later discovered, to their tents and secreting therrt' 
under their beds and blankets until the excitement of the vandalism had passed. 
The pulpit furniture, sad to relate, was then metamorphosed into tables for 
cards, meals and other profane purpo.'^es. The perpetrators were never 

Death of Captain Sackett and His ^Military Funeral. 

January 34, 1864, towards midnight, the intelligence reached the camp of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth of the drowning of Captain Joseph B. Sackett, 
commanding Company E, who had in the afternoon, in company with Quarter- 
master-Sergeant John H. Ralston, left camp on horseback to visit the United 
States Regulars. 'On returning to the camp of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth, about 9 p. M., Captain Sackett lost 
his life in crossing Kettle Run. A heavy 
rain storm had come up while the Cap- 
tain and his companion were visiting 
the camp of the Regulars, which had 
caused the stream suddenly to rise,, 
so that in attempting, on their return 
to C3mp, to re-cross at the same ford,, 
the Captain's horse, in swimming, threw 
him off and kicked him, rendering him 
insensible and causing his drowning. 
Sergeant Ralston, on his horse, how- 
ever, reached the opposite shore in 
safety. A detachment of soldiers from 
the Regular camp recovered the Cap- 
tain's body soon after, and sent word 
of the accident to First-Lieutenant 
George ]\I. Laughlin, of Company E, in 
the camp of the One Hundred and 

Captain Sackett had been granted 
CAPT. JOSEPH B. sackett. fifteen days leave of absence at the time 


of the accident, and intended to leave the next morning for Pittsburg. General 
Garrard issued orders to pay Captain Sackett the lionors of a military funeral 
from the camp of the Regiment to the railroad station, a mile distant. It was 
the first and only military funeral of an officer which the Regiment had been 
called upon to witness or participate in during its service. Whilst many officers 
of high rank and others had been slain in battle, the exigencies of the campaign 
did not permit of carrying out the regulations prescribed for military funerals 
occurring at posts or in military camps, as was the situation on the occasion of 
Captain Sackett's death. The entire Brigade was massed for the solemn occa- 
sion of the funeral, all except the Ninety-first Pennsylvania being attired in the 
new zouave vmiform. The command of the funeral column was assigned by 
General Garrard to Colonel D. T. Jenkins, of the One Hundred and Forty-sixth 
New York Volunteers. The body of Captain Sackett, enclosed in a handsome 
cofifin, was borne upon an artillery caisson. The thirty-two musicians, with their 
instruments, composing the brass band of the United States Regulars, headed 
the cortege, and in compliment to the companionship, a regiment of the United 
States Regulars occupied a position in the funeral column. General Garrard, and 
all of his staff, with colors draped in mourning, participated in the procession. 
The sight was most impressive, the plain where the funeral procession was 
formed and paraded to the station afforded a fine view of the troops composing^ 
the funeral cortege. The solemn strains of a dirge rendered by the band and the 
display of the entire Brigade troops not on duty marching with arms reversed 
and colors draped, and the escort of the United States Regular regiment, pre- 
sented a scene of grandeur and solemnity, and was a mark of honor and respect 
for Captain Sackett. Captain Sackett's command. Company E, was given the 
post of honor, being next the caisson carrying the remains in the procession. 
The remains were shipped to Pittsburg and there interred in the family lot in 
Allegheny cemetery. 

Captain Sackett was an unusually handsome officer, having commanded 
Company E with credit in the three great battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellors- 
ville and Gettysburg. First-Lieutenant George M. Laughlin succeeded Captain 
Sackett in command of Company E. 

Political Visitors to Camp. 

During the State campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1863, the Legis- 
lature having passed a law enabling soldiers of the State serving in the armies 
of the United States outside of the State to vote for State officers, representatives 
of the State and of the political parties visited the camps in the Army of the 
Potomac, to distribute tickets as well as to do some electioneering, both parties 
being represented in the visiting delegates. Among those of prominence from 
Allegheny county, who thus visited the army camps of Western Pennsylvania 
soldiers, was a well-known divine. Reverend John Douglass, D. D., a retired 
Presbyterian minister of Pittsburg, who, in the political campaigns during the 
war, was quite active in addressing Republican meetings. On his army visit it 
is related that a very humorous episode took place in the camp of the Sixty-second 
Pennsylvania, a great majority of whom were of the Democratic faith, having: 


enlisted with Colonel Sam W. Black and J. Bowman Sweitzer, active leaders in 
the Democracy before enlisting in the service. 

Reverend Doctor Douglass was the guest of Colonel Sweitzer, enjoying the 
hospitality of his headquarters, which latter often included the best brand of 
Government " commissary." During a discussion of the relative merits of 
Democracy and Republicanism, and the Generals of both parties in the field, a 
warm debate ensued between the mighty host and his clerical visitor, lasting until 
the " wee sma' hours of the night," both combatants pugnaciously and aggress- 
ively maintaining their diametrically conflicting views. The contest became so per- 
sonal that General Sweitzer felt constrained to warn the doughty divine that 
if it were not for his ministerial coat, he (Sweitzer) would thrash the life out 
of him for his unpatriotic utterances and denunciation of McClellan, Porter and 
other heroes of the war, who were of Democratic faith, and under whom 
Sweitzer had fought so many campaigns. 

The Reverend Doctor Douglass, with true Irish courage, accepted the chal- 
lenge of Colonel Sweitzer, and declared that his ministerial coat need be no bar 
to determining right then and there the supreme question of the moment as to 
which of the two was the better man. Douglass whirled off his coat and defied 
Sweitzer, when the staff officer of the latter interfered and prevented the wordy 
combatants from coming to blows. 

In a day or two this incident was forgotten, and Colonel Sweitzer and Doctor 
Douglass ever after in Pittsburg, where they long survived the close of the war, 
continued the warmest of friends. 

Reviews, Drills, Amusements. 

February 11, 18G4, will long be remembered by reason of a Brigade review, 
which was the first full-dress zouave review held in the Army of the Potomac. 
General Ayres, commanding the Division, was the reviewing officer, and he ex- 
pressed himself as well pleased, congratulating the officers commanding the 

In this camp the Regiment had the usual out-door exercises — -games of ball, 
pitching horseshoes, boxing, for which many had sent home for gloves ; sparring 
and wrestling matches, often took place. Fiddles that had been laid aside during 
the active campaigning, were unearthed ; cotillions, round dances and amusements 
generally were invoked. The members composing the Regimental glee club of 
the previous winter's camp, however, were missed. Colonel E. Jay Allen, himself 
a fine singer; Colonel John H. Cain, Adjutant E. A. Alontooth, the leading per- 
formers in the concerts of the previous year, were absent, whilst George P. Ful- 
ton, John Ralston, John H. Irwin, Sergeant Harry Campbell, Sergeant-Ma j or 
Hawdon Marshall, Corporal Robert R. Culp, and others survived, and gave the 
benefit of their music on the long winter evenings ; yet the absence of the orig- 
inators of the glee club was felt. 

Valentines in Cami-- and from Home. 
A great season in this camp, however, was St. Valentine's day, February 
14th. The valentines sent and received by the boys added very much to the 

March 24, 1864, to June 2, 1865. 


I knew him, I tell you ! And, also, I knew 

When he fell on the battle-swept ridge. 
That the poor battered body that lay there in blue 

Was only a plank in the bridge 
Over which some should pass to a fame 

That shall shine while the high stars shall shine ! 
Your hero is known by an echoing name, 

But the man of the musket is mine. 


revenues of the Postal Department, judging by their numbers. The sutler was 
suppHed with a highly-colored assortment of humorous valentines. Sheets so 
prominent in the windows at home were in stock, and the sutler had large sales 
of them in this camp. Not satisfied, however, with these highly-colored pictures, 
many of the soldiers employed amateur artists and color-painters to make draw- 
ings and sketches suitable for sweethearts at home. The favorite drawing, in 
the absence of tin-types and photographs, was the cartoon-sketching of the 
soldier in the new zouave uniform, which afforded a fine field for the amateur 
painters in camp, using Osborn's water colors. These cartoons depicted the 
zouave in the attitude of resisting a cavalry charge, or bayoneting a fleeing Con- 
federate, etc. 

Lieutenant-General Grant in Command. 

Early in March, 1864, General Grant, who had been assigned to command 
the Army of the Potomac, passed the camp on the railroad, and, by many of the 
Regiment, a mental note was made of the significance of this arrival so near 
the approach of spring, and the conclusion was reached by all that it meant 
business of actual campaigning. 

On March 37th, at dress-parade, a notice was read by the Adjutant of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment that the Regiment had been transferred 
to the First Brigade of the First Division. Also that the Corps commander, 
General George Sykes, identified with the Fifth Corps from its formation, and 
commanding it at Gettysburg and up to the present time, had been transferred 
to the Western army; also that Major-General Gouverneur K. Warren had been 
promoted from Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac to succeed General 
Sykes as commander of the Fifth Army Corps. General Sykes was a most 
efficient and faithful officer in every battle of the Army of the Potomac, having 
won his fame and reputation as the commander of the United States Regulars. 
That General Sykes reciprocated the love and esteem the Corps had for him is 
shown by his farewell address, which was read to all the regiments at dress- 
parade, reading as follows : 


" Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

" March 34, 1864. 
"General Orders No. 5. 

" Soldiers of the Fifth Corps : By direction of the War Department, I am 
relieved from duty with the Army of the Potomac. 

" In obeying an order so wholly unexpected, I part from you with the pro- 
foundest regret. We have been associated together since your organization as a 
corps ; we have shared all the campaigns of this glorious army and for months 
It has been my pride and distinction to be your chief. 

"The history of your achievements adds a lustre to the history of your 
country and in the great battle of the War, on the 2d of July, 1863, your heroism 
and valor indisputably saved the day. 

" I part from you feeling assured that your manly virtues, courage and 
patriotism will still be conspicuous in campaigns to come, and the insignia borne 


upon your flags and worn upon your breasts, will, in the shock of battle, always 
be found in the thick of your country's foes. 

(Signed) George Sykes, 


Last Days in Winter Quarters. 

In camp at Warrenton Junction, along the railroad, the Regiment passed 
the four winter months, a most pleasant and enjoyable rest. They had all learned 
from experience the life and duty of soldiers, and also the benefit of discipline; 
and hence but little complaint or grumbling, such as had marked the dissatis- 
faction and discontent of soldiers in the early days of their enlistment, charac- 
terized this camp. The re-enlistments of the veteran regiments had been highly 
successful. Many recruits were sent to the decimated regiments of the Army 
-of the Potomac, including the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth; and the army was 
brought to a high state of perfection, officers and men submitting to discipline, 
cheerfully and willingly undergoing the hardships incident to military Ufe, 
and looking forward to an early closing of the war in the approaching spring 

Lieutenant-General Grant Issues Marching Orders. 

May 1, 1864, orders were issued by General U. S. Grant, commanding the 
armies of the United States, with headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, 
to break camp and to pack up and take up the march once more to cross the 
Happahannock river from Brandy Station, a distance of six miles, thus bidding 
farewell forever to our winter quarters and pleasant associations incident thereto. 
A feature on the resumption of campaign life is proper to mention here. It 
is the coincidence that while changes in the general officers from the highest to 
the lowest were constantly in progress by reorganizations and resignations, etc., 
reorganizations of the various messes of the enlisted men and non-commissioned 
officers in the commands were also taking place. Soon after enlistment the sol- 
diers selected their messmates, a mess being composed of two or three — ^generally 
three. No detail or assignments of messes was made by officers or others. 
The selections were amicable, being governed largely by congeniality. This 
frequently led to changes from disagreements, and but few of the original messes 
remained together even among the survivors until the end of the war. Many 
messes of three were wholly extinguished by the casualties of war though not 
always in one battle. Many other messes were broken up through sickness or 
•disease causing deaths or discharges. Many more messes of three would be by 
promotions requiring a separation. Still more messes would be disintegrated by 
the detailing of members of the mess for special duty, such as guard-mount, 
•orderlies, clerks, hospital nurses, or other positions. Therefore, on this day, the 
breaking of camp on the resumption of the march marked as many changes in 
the formation of messes of both officers and men relatively as did the changes 
in the general army from Lieutenant-General Grant down. 





May 3d, Ayres' Division, now consolidated to a brigade, after breaking up 
camp, slowly marched to Brandy Station, remaining there until about one o'clock, 
when the march was resumed at a slow pace. The column was halted near 
Culpeper, having accomplished six miles. This halt was supposed to be for the 
night, and the troops spread their ponchos on the ground and lay down for a 
night's rest, expecting no interruption until morning, although knowing that 
the march was to be resumed. This night, in view of the resumption of the 
campaign, the already heavily-laden knapsacks filled with trinkets accumulated 
in the four months of camp life, were overhauled with a view of making the 
same lighter by disposing of all unnecessary articles. Many sat up late stripping 
their knapsacks of their contents for that purpose. Many more were in i.iost 
earnest conjecture about the destination of the movement and the result of the 
same, in anticipation of meeting the Confederate army south of the Rapidan. 
Before the first sleep was had, about eleven o'clock, the Regimental bugle blew 
the familiar sound of " Pack up ! Pack up ! " No time was lost. It was a little 
past midnight before the column was in motion, and the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth in its place in line. Daylight on May 4, 1864, found the column 
at Germanna Ford on the Rapidan. Ayres' Brigade was in advance, conse- 
quently the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was among the first to cross imme- 
diately after Sheridan's Cavalry, which had passed over at daylight, finding only 
a few Confederate pickets, who retreated without obstructing the way. Here, 
as they marched by at the Ford, the Regiment had a good view of General 
Phil. Sheridan and his staff, who were halted near the Ford to allow the Fifth 
Corps to take position to follow the cavalry, and also to see that his cavalry 
wagon trains promptly followed the infantry column. After crossing this Ford 
with the Corps the Regiment marched five miles, reaching the outskirts of the 
Wilderness at the intersection of the Germanna Plank Road and the Orange 
Court House Pike, where all the troops and the artillery seemed to camp. The 
spectacle on the plateau of several miles in extent selected for this night's camp 
for the army was most remarkable and one which those witnessing it can never 
forget. It was a beautiful spring afternoon when the halt took place. The 
troops had had no fatiguing march, and were fresh and well rested by their long 
idleness in winter quarters, there being no stragglers. The breaking up of the 
winter camp and the present out-door life and the resumption of campaigning 
was most cheering and gratifying. Numerous fires were started, each mess 
prepared its meals leisurely, having an abundance of rations, and as stated, the 
troops were in magnificent spirits. The numerous brass bands of the United 
States Regulars and others attached to the divisions in the Fifth Corps were 
present in this bivouac, and bringing out their instruments, soon discoursed in- 
spiring music, adding very much to the animation of the occasion. 

The Calm that Preceded the Storm. 

The Fifth Corps, which was thus camped on the edge of the Wilderness, 
was thirty thousand strong, and with the Corps artillery and teams and wagons 
all parked adjacent in that open country, as stated, made it a most remarkable 


scene. The music of the bands continued until the last ray of the setting sun 
had disappeared below the western sky and the shades of night had settled 
down upon the camp. Everything was indicative of peace, comfort and good 
cheer. No hostile sound or report from the enemy, who had fallen back 
quietly from the Ford and allowed Grant's columns to come unresisted to the 
Wilderness,. had yet been heard. All was quiet and still in that dense underwood 
and jungle, or ground known as the Wilderness, except the song of the whip- 
poor-will and the occasional screeching of an owl. Where was the enemy? 
Why did the Confederates allow the crossing of the river by Grant's columns 
without resistance? Their silence was ominous. Usually in war the crossing 
of streams at the fords is resisted, and works and ramparts are erected by the 
enemy to prevent the crossing by their foes. Yet the Confederates offer no 
resistance and even abandon their defenses constructed at the Ford. Undis- 
turbed, Grant's army, thus halted and in bivouac, at the usual sound of " tattoo " 
at ten o'clock, lights went out and the troops retired and slept as soundly and 
peacefully as in any camp during their service. No enemy disturbed their 
slumbers, and but few had premonitions or discussed the prospects of the next 
day, or anticipated the terrible fighting in the Wilderness. 

The holocaust that closed the next day's fighting was in awful contrast 
to the already described peaceful surroundings of the troops on retiring this 
evening. The movements of that part of Grant's army as the troops packed up 
from their bivouacs and camps along the Orange & Alexandria Railroad where 
they had wintered, had been closely watched by the Confederate scouts and 
pickets, and more especially from the signal stations on Cedar and Pony Moun- 
tains, in the vicinity of Brandy Station and Culpeper. General Lee, in his 
fortified camp and winter quarters at Mine Run and Orange Court House, was 
supplied with reHable information of every movement of the Army of the 
Potomac. No one knew this better than did General Meade, the commander, 
who, upon consultation with Lieutenant-General Grant, the new commander, 
directed General A. A. Humphreys, the able and efficient Chief-of-Staff of the 
Army of the Potomac, to prepare and submit a project for the opening cam- 
paign in the spring of 1864. General Humphreys accordingly prepared a 
project that was approved by Generals Grant and Meade. 

To prevent the enemy from discovering the real intention of the Union 
commanders in the campaign about to open, no attempt at first was made by 
night marches or through woods to conceal the movements of the Second, Fifth, 
Sixth and Ninth Army Corps, or of the cavalry. On the contrary, in broad 
daylight, these Corps, with the cavalry, aggregating on the army rolls at that 
date, over one hundred and thirty thousand men, broke camp and by slow and 
easy marches, commeiicing on April 30th, advanced to the Rappahannock, laid 
their pontoons and continued their advance through the pickets of the enemy 
south of the Rappahannock, halting at Brandy Station a day or two, and ex- 
tending their columns as far as' Culpeper. This route was entirely in the oppo- 
site direction from where Lee's entire army was located, and threatened a march 
to Richmond away from the Wilderness or the svtbsequent movements of the 
Union army into the Wilderness on the Spottsylvania route. The miles of am- 


munition trains and many more miles of supply-wagon trains and quarter- 
master trains, together with the long column of artillery composing the one hun- 
dred or more batteries of the Army of the Potomac, not to mention the superb 
cavalry divisions of Generals Gregg, Merritt and Custer, and their wagon trains, 
must have attracted in the week occupied in the change of base the serious 
attention of General Lee and his vigilant Generals. 

This open display of the movement of the Army of the Potomac as facing 
Richmond, indicating to the enemy an advance southward and away from the 
old battlefields of the Wilderness and Chancellorsville after the movement had 
been started, was all suddenly changed. When nightfall came on the evening 
of the 3d of May, the Second, Fifth, Sixth and the cavalry corps, in advance, 
under Sheridan, were ordered, in conformity with the plan of campaign, to 
march to the Rapidan, and there to cross — Hancock's Corps at Ely's Ford, 
where the trains had delivered pontoons for bridges; the Fifth and the Sixth 
Corps on pontoon bridges laid at Germanna Ford. General Wilson's Cavalry 
Division led the advance of the columns across the Rapidan, meeting with no 
resistance except the feeble fire of a few Confederate pickets occupying the 
fortified points at the fords mentioned. The Ninth Corps, thirty thou- 
sand strong, under General A. E. Burnside, followed the Fifth Corps, under 
General Warren, and the Sixth Corps, under General Sedgwick, at Germanna 

General Grant's Movement to Wilderness Successful. 

The movement projected by General Humphreys for the various corps was 
carried out very successfully, being executed with precision and promptness, 
every corps and column of troops and the vast army trains occupying miles and 
miles of roads, and parks of artillery, were found to be posted in proper posi- 
tions without confusion or interference with each other; so that it was a 
subject of profound congratulation, indeed, to Generals Grant and Meade that 
their first movement in the opening of the campaign of 1864 was a decided 

This fact had much to do with the splendid morale and spirits pervading 
the entire army under its new commander in the opening of the battle in the 
Wilderness on May 5th. Neither General Grant nor General Meade was given 
to the issuing of vainglorious, bombastic orders, either before or after battles, as 
had so many previous commanders of the army, who had been unfortunate in 
issuing premature congratulations. 

General Humphreys, in his volume on the " Campaigns of Mrginia," con- 
tradicts the assertion of General Badeau, in his " Memoirs of General Grant," 
that the plan of campaign involved battles in the Wilderness. On the contrary, 
General Humphreys asserts that the plan or project which he was ordered to 
prepare, and which met with the approval of Grant and Meade, contemplated 
no such thought as an engagement or campaign in so unsuitable a place as the 
twenty miles of Wilderness presented. Its many drawbacks — its so few and so 
narrow roads, all of which were familiar to General Meade and himself, from 



previous campaigns, suggested its absolute unfitness for the maneuvering of 
large bodies of troops. Its impenetrable jungles and undergrowth of saplings 
made it impossible to handle a regiment, much less divisions and corps in- 
telligently, or to form alignments. Besides, it was wholly impracticable,, 
by reason of the absence of clearings or roads for either artillery or cavalry 


Chapter XI. 


Description of Wilderness. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Ayres' 
Brigade Open Battle. — One Hundred and Fortieth New York Volunteers 
Suffers Terrible Punishment. — Battle Ground Not Adapted for Ar- 
tillery. — Captain George M. Laughlin Commands One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth's Skirmish Line. — Ayres' Brigade Attacks with Tremendous 
Energy. — Battle Rages with Tremendous Fury. — Contest Too Unequal 
TO BE Maintained. — Enemy Falls with Fearful Energy on Ayres' Exposed 
Flank. — Brigade Compelled to Retreat. — Woods on Fire. — Many Dead and 
Wounded Left Between Lines Cremated. — Regiment on Skirmish Line 
During Night. — Overpowered by Enemy's Solid Battle Line. — Regiment 
Falls Back and is Fired Upon. — Heated Colloquy of Colonel Pearson 
with General Ayres. — Colonel Pearson Placed Under Arrest. — Many 
Wounded Become Prisoners. — Casualties. 

IHE road over which the Fifth Army Corps had marched from Ger- 
manna Ford on the afternoon of the 4th of May, 1864, ran in a 
southeasterly direction for six or seven miles, where it formed a 
junction with the Orange turnpike, running almost due west from 
Fredericksburg to Orange Court House ; and the bivouac of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth that night was near the junction of these two 
roads, in the vicinity of the Old Wilderness Tavern. The slumbers of the troops 
during the night " before the battle " were serene and undisturbed. Daylight, 
which broke about five o'clock on the morning of May 5th, found the troops 
of Ayres' Brigade refreshed and on the alert for what the day should bring 
forth. The sequel showed they had but little time to await the discovery. 

The sun, in blood-red splendor, as if ominous of the dreadful carnage which 
was soon to follow in the dense entanglement of the jungle in which Grant's 
entire army was soon to become enmeshed, was pouring his slanting beams 
through the openings in the woods so richly clad in the green robes of early 

The Wilderness. — Combat Opens. 

The Wilderness, on the outskirts of which the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth rested so peacefully that calm spring night, and in the jungles and ravines 
of which it was so soon to participate in one of the mightiest and bloodiest, if 



not decisive, battles of the war, is a wild, desolate region of worn-out farms 
covered with a dense growth of scraggy oak and pines, sassafras and hazel, in- 
terlaced with an entanglement of vines that rendered its recesses almost impene- 
trable. This forbidding forest, of twenty miles square, was intersected with only 
a few narrow roads and many deep ravines, which made only parts of it ac- 
cessible to the Confederates, who, however, were already familiar with every foot 
of ground within its boundaries. 

About nine o'clock on the morning of the 5th a rattling of carbines from 
the cavalry outposts in advance revealed the presence of the Confederates in the 
neighborhood, and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth knew that Grant's quest 
had been successful. Ayres' Brigade, in the advance, was formed in two lines 
of battle on the right of the Orange Turnpike. The One Hundred and Fortieth 


New York, on the left, prolonged by the United States Regulars on the right, 
composed the first line. The second line was formed immediately in the rear 
of the first by the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York on the left, just in 
the rear of the One Hundred and Fortieth, and prolonged by the Ninety-first 
and One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania on the right, the latter regiment 
being in the rear of the Regulars, all these regiments forming and ready to ad- 
vance as a double line of battle. All the regiments composing these two battle 
lines unslung and piled their knapsacks, leaving guards over them. About noon 
the final command " Forward " was given, and the troops advanced slowly and 
laboriously through the undergrowth, with considerable noise caused by the 
rattling of tin-cups, bayonets and canteens clashing together. A most accurate 
and graphic account of this day's battle in the Wilderness by Captain Porter 



Farley, of the One Hundred and Fortieth New York Vohinteers, in the same 
brigade and location as the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth is here introduced: 

Adjutant Porter Farley's Account of the Battle. 

"After crossing the river, we marched in a southeasterly direction about 
seven miles on the road leading from Germanna Ford to the Orange Turnpike. 
All was quiet. We heard not a shot that day. An ominous silence was our only 
welcome as we found ourselves surrounded by the tangled thickets of the Spott- 
sylvania Wilderness. When we arrived at the junction of the two roads, we 


turned to the right and proceeded for about a mile up the Orange Pike and 
bivouacked in the woods on the right of the road. We had started out on this 
campaign a Regiment more than six hundred strong, and in point of material, dis- 
cipline and appearance, we had the vanity to think there was no other organiza- 
tion in the army superior to us. Our distinctive zouave uniform had made us 
well known throughout the army, particularly as we had spent the winter beside 
the railroad over which so many men and officers had passed on their way to 
and from Washington. That fatal 5th of May was to see this splendid Regiment 
shorn of half its strength, and mourning the loss of half its members. 

" About nine o'clock on the 5th of May we became aware that the enemy 
were in front up the Orange Turnpike. This road for some miles to the west- 




ward was perfectly straight, so that we could clearly see groups of men crossing 
it some two miles distant from us. 

" No large bodies of troops could be seen moving upon it, which, however, 
was no proof against their presence in the woods on either side. Some one 
or two pieces of artillery were planted on the road, and began firing in our 
direction, but at very long range and doing no damage. A section of one 
of our batteries was sent a short way up the road, and there took position and 
replied to them. Lieutenant-Colonel E. A. Otis, of our Regiment, was out in 
the woods in command of the picket line of our Division. The rebel skirmishers 
soon reached them and a rattling fire began. 

" Meanwhile we had piled our knapsacks, and had left them in charge of 
a guard of two men. The Regiment formed a new line a few rods in front 
of our bivouac, and there waited for more than an hour expecting any moment 
to advance, the skirmish firing in our front continuing all this time. 

" At last, about noon, we got the order ' Forward,' and with the left of our 
Regiment guiding upon the turnpike, but not exposing itself upon it, we ad- 
vanced in line of battle through the woods. The Regulars of our Brigade were 
on our right and the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York was in our rear. 
The brush and undergrowth g'reatly impeded our progress, and prevented very 
exact alignment, but we went steadily though slowly forward. 

" After advancing about half a mile we reached our picket line, now act- 
ing as skirmishers, and engaged with those of the enemy. We marched right 
through and left them behind. The rebel skirmishers fell back as we went on. 
In about five minutes we reached an opening in the woods some acres in extent 
and forming a sort of valley or hollow two or three hundred yards in width 
directly across our line of march. The rebels were posted on the crest of the 
hill opposite us, just in the edge of the woods which skirted the hollow. The 
very moment we appeared the}- gave us a volley at long range, but evidently with 
very deliberate aim, and with serious effect. The mare which Colonel Ryan rode 
was grazed by a bullet on the fetlock, and she kicked and plunged so that he 
had to dismount and leave her to be led to the rear. Lieutenant John Hume, 
who had lately been promoted from Regimental Commissary Sergeant, and who 
here went under fire for the first time, was struck in the knee, and lost his leg 
in consequence. Quite a number of enlisted men were also wounded, among them 
a man named William Hurle, of my company. His gun and accoutrements were 
immediately appropriated by our Regimental butcher, Casper Tromm, who had 
no arms of his own, but who, in obedience to orders, followed the line up 
closely, and now took his place in the ranks. 

" The moment we received this volley, Colonel Ryan ordered us to lie down 
and fix bayonets. In a minute or two one of General Ayres' staff, either Captain 
Winthrop or Lieutenant Swan, rode along to see if we were ready to advance. 
In a few seconds the order was passed along the command, and the Regiment 
started at full speed with a shout \\hich drowned all other sounds. Captain 
Grantson's was the color companv, and mine was next to it on the left. We were 
thus just in the middle of the line. Colonel Ryan was with us, he and I run- 
ning so near together that we exchanged words as we went across the field. Of 




course, the moment we sprung to our 
feet, the enemy opened fire upon us, and 
many of our men fell before we reached 
the skirt of the woods where the rebels 
were posted. Unhindered by the fire that 
thinned its ranks, the Regiment never 
slackened its speed till it reached the 
woods, where it expected to close on the 
enemy with the bayonet, but they fell 
back just as we were about to reach them, 
retiring slowly into the undergrowth. 
The moment we reached the woods our 
speed was checked, and then for the 
first time we opened fire, but still kept 
advancing slowly. Ryan passed rapidly 
along the whole line, waving his hat, for 
he had no sword with him, having left it 
sticking in the girth of his saddle. He 
was full of energy, and though we were 
in a forest, he showed himself at every 
point of our thin line during these few 
desperate minutes. As we drove the 

enemy before us, it soon became evident that our position was a very perilous 
one ; for, while we had charged across an .open valley, the Regulars on our right, 
starting at the same time that we did, had been obliged to force their way 
through the bushes, and were consequently far behind us. Our right flank was 
thus exposed to a raking fire. The Regiment melted away like snow. ^len disap- 
peared as if the earth had swallowed them up. Every officer about me was shot 
down. No other officers were now to be seen, and only a few men scattered here 
and there among the bushes. It seemed as if the Regiment had been annihilated. 
" In charging across the clearing, we had moved in a direction somewhat 
oblique to the road, so that our center companies were upon it when they reached 
the woods. Several times during the fight I crossed from one side of it to the 
other. Some two or three minutes later the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New 
York, led by Colonel Jenkins, came up to the support of our right wing, though 
really by that time they had to take the brunt of the fight, for our organization 
was virtually destroyed. Jenkins' men came up in good style, and he led them 
on bravely. It was the last time I ever saw him. Strange as it may seem, 
though dressed in a Colonel's uniform, with shoulder straps, he was lost in that 
charge, and was never afterward heard of. The One Hundred and Forty-sixth 
advanced into the woods somewhat to the right of the road where I was stand- 
ing. A half dozen or so of our men were firing from behind shelter at the sides 
of the road, but they had no line of battle left. Just then there were two terrific 
explosions in the hollow behind us, accompanied by the crash of shot through 
the trees, and followed by a dense cloud of smoke which completely enveloped us. 
Taken completely by surprise by this fire in our rear, we jumped into a gulley 




which had been worn by the rain beside the 
road, and in its friendly shelter retreated 
some rods down the hill. The guns blazed 
away, and we could now see that they were a 
section of our own artillery planted in the 
hollow and firing up the road where we had 
been standing. At that same time we saw 
emerging from the woods on the right a rebel 
flag and full line of battle. We were nearly 
cut off, but taking our only chance for escape, 
started back across the open field. Sergeant 
AIcDermott, of Company K, was my only 
companion in this inglorious retreat. It 
seemed as if the bullets flew about faster than 
ever, and I was never more surprised in my 
life than when we reached unhurt the shelter 
of the woods on the other side. The artillery 
men saw their danger at the same time, but 
it was too late. Most of their horses were 
shot, and the others became entangled in 
their harness. The guns were lost and most of the men were killed or taken 
prisoners. The officer in command of the section. Lieutenant Shelton, of 
Battery D, First New York Artillery, was among those captured. His conduct 
was gallant to be sure, but from my standpoint, the road up which he fired, I can 
hardly call it wise. I have been informed by General ^^'arren that he directed 
a section of artillery to accompany our Brigade, so that when the enemy should 
be broken the guns might open fire, and their sound being heard along the line, 
thus give confidence to our men. But the fact is that those two guns were un- 
limbered in about the lowest part of the hollow, and fired two or three rounds 
haphazard into the woods where some few of our men were yet left, and where 
the One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York had just entered to suffer a loss 
fully equal to ours. 

" Upon regaining the shelter of the woods at a point somewhat to the left of 
the turnpike, I found scores of men, some wounded and others not, but no 
organized troops. Working my way up the road, I there met Colonel Ryan, 
two officers and perhaps a dozen of our men. It was a wild meeting. Overcome 
by our conflicting emotions of wrath, excitement and mortification, we all talked 
at once. ' My God ! ' said Ryan, ' I am the first colonel I ever knew who 
couldn't tell where his regiment was.' Each told hurriedly what he knew 
of those he had seen hurt, and as we were still in an exposed place where the 
bullets occasionally flew in among us, we fell back to the place where we had 
left our knapsacks. Then in an incredibly short time the remainder of the Regi- 
ment rallied. 

" The One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York, Colonel Jenkins in com- 


mand, advanced nobly to the assistance of the One Hundred and Fortieth, and 
suffered severely." 

Captain George M. Laughlin, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regi- 
ment, Commands Skirmish Line. 

All the regiments in Ayres' Brigade on the right of the One Hundred and 
Fortieth New York did not sustain the enormous losses such as that Regiment 
did, but all suffered heavy losses. On the first advance of Ayres' Brigade, on 
the morning of the 5th, Colonel Pearson had detailed Captain George M. Laugh- 
lin to command the skirmish line of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, who dis- 
charged that hazardous duty with his men under the greatest difficulties. In 
advancing the skirmishers, Captain Laughlin noticed something moving at a short 
distance in the woods in front. In order to find out whether it was the 
enemy lurking there, he ordered his men to fire in the direction of the sup- 
posed sounds and movements, although from the underbrush nothing certain was 

The firing elicited the fact that it was the Confederate skirmish line, and 
that Captain Laughlin's surmise was correct. This, no doubt, was the opening 
of the ball, as it is termed, in the great battle of the Wilderness. The firing 
of the enemy at once became so severe, that Captain Laughlin ordered his men 
to lie down, and continue firing as rapidly as possible. While directing the fire of 
his men, he noticed the gun drop from the nerveless hands of the nearest man 
on his right, as the enemy's bullet pierced his flesh. An instant later the reclining 
soldier on the left of the officer was shot in the neck, inflicting a mortal wound. 
While still engaged in bravely facing the enemy in this perilous position. Captain 
Laughlin and his skirmishers were re-enforced by the approach of the battle 
line of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Ayres' Brigade. 

On first coming in contact with the enemy, Ayres' Brigade advanced to the 
attack with tremendous energy, driving them back with complete success, and if 
the Brigade had been properly supported it is quite probable that the Confed- 
erate troops would have been involved in hopeless disaster. As it was, however, a 
whole Confederate division was rushed to the rescue of their shattered column, 
and in what seemed the moment of victory, Ayres' Brigade was brought to a 
sudden standstill, and the battle raged with tremendous fury. The contest, how- 
ever, soon became too unequal to be long maintained by the Union troops. It 
had been intended that the line of Ayres' Brigade should be prolonged and sus- 
tained by a division of the Sixth Corps, but the denseness of the woods and the 
absence of roads prevented the troops from making connection. On the ex- 
posed flank of Ayres' Brigade, therefore, the enemy fell with fearful energy, and, 
being thus overpowered, the Brigade was compelled to fall back. 

The dense barrier of brushwood through which the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth had to make their way in the advance was difficult work, even without the 
effort to preserve alignment. Consequently, the line was very irregular and 
broken by the time it reached the thin line of Regulars who preceded the right 


of Ayres' Brigade as skirmishers. In a few minutes the enemy, in overpowering 
number, was encountered advancing swiftly to meet the advancing regiments of 
Ayres' Brigade, their front Hues forced forward by those in the rear. 

Instantly the fire became general and the sulphurous smoke settled down 
over the combatants in the thicket as if it would shield the victims of the terri- 
ble " shouting, screaming war-demon " against which the furious fire from the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the other regiments seemed to have no visible 
effect. As if to hide from view the victims of man's wrath, everywhere a gentle 
steady rain of twigs and leaves was falling to the earth, pruned by the same 
hail that penetrated the flesh and splintered the bones of the devoted men of the 
few regiments that vainly fought to destroy or at least check this terrific on- 
slaught. The colors around which the men of the Regiment had so often rallied 
remained tightly furled around the staff. No room was there amid the thorns and 
briars of that enslaving jungle to unfurl the flag. 

Closer and yet closer came the hostile hosts. Faster and more furious fought 
the Union troops. Yelling like devils the enemy fell upon the Union line. A 
Confederate captain falls dead, shot by a soldier of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth. Three or four Confederates throw the body of their officer in a blanket 
and bear him off ; while their strong lines, yelling and cursing, burst upon and 
intermingle with the men of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. " Throw down 
your guns ! Drop your colors ! Surrender ! " shouted the enemy^ Sergeant 
Lawson, of Company H, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, having no time to 
go aroimd, jumped into a thicket of brambles, tearing his way through, badly 
lacerating his body and leaving portions of his tattered garments impaled upon 
the thorns. 

Color-Sergeant Marlin, with a firmer grasp of the colors, turned and, amid 
a shower of bullets, tore his way through the bushes toward the rear. The re- 
mainder of the Regiment quickly abandoned the unequal conquest and retreated. 
Had the enemy not become as badly disorganized as the men of the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth, few of the wounded would have escaped. Indeed, quite a 
number of the Regiment, as it was, were both wounded and captured. The battle 
in the somber recesses of the Wilderness on the .5th of May, was a " pandemonium 
of horrid sounds and a panorama of awful scenes." Suddenly a sullen roar smote 
the ear, gradually dying out until the sounds resembled that made by a boy 
running with a stick pressed against a paling fence : again swelling up into a con- 
tinuous roar. It could not be said with truth that Ayres' Brigade was whipped 
by the Confederates, but it was simply overpowered by vastly superior numbers. 
The Brigade was soon re-formed in the rear and was again ready and eager 
for action. Both officers and men, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and the 
other regiments of Ayres' Brigade, chagrined and humiliated, declared that they 
had not been whipped, but simply overwhelmed by the enemv. 

Incidents of the Battle. 

The clearing or open space, referred to in the narrative of Captain Porter 
Farley, over which Ayres' Brigade drove the enemy, was the homestead of a 


Confederate named Major Lacy, whose house was surrounded by a lawn and 
green meadows. In this opening of the battle of the Wilderness there was no 
desultory firing to mark the beginning of the fray, but the fire opened instantly 
on both sides as soon as the opposing forces came into contact, and became 
deadly amid the bushes. So fierce was the contest that both lines of Ayres' 
Brigade became confused, and fell back, the underbrush between the lines being 
cut off as if it had been mown. The Regulars, the Ninety-first Pennsylvania and 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania were thrown into confusion, and 
were unable to tell whether they were firing into friend or foe, and finally they 
fell back through the underbrush. The two pieces of Union artillery, mentioned 
by Captain Farley, got half way across the clearing when all their horses were 
shot, and the guns were abandoned between the Hnes. Ayres' Brigade was re- 
formed a short distance in the rear of the clearing by the continuous calls of the 
Brigade and Regimental bugles, the density of the woods obscuring the position 
of the troops from each other. Colonel Pearson, having been assisted to mount 
an unsaddled horse, straightened himself up, and in a loud voice called " Atten- 
tion! I want you to understand that this Regiment is not whipped yet," which 
was received by the Regiment with a good-humored laugh and cries of " cer- 
tainly not ! " 

The musketry fire at close range, continuous and deadly, was kept up all 
afternoon and evening, with constant picket firing by both sides, particularly 
where covering the two pieces of artillery left between the lines. This entangle- 
ment of wilderness was totally unsuitable for artillery operations and maneuver- 
ing on this first day, and there were only three or four shots fired from the guns 
on the opening of the fight. Both Generals Grant and Meade had been at the old 
Wilderness tavern about eight o'clock in the morning of the 5th, and it was not 
the opinion of either of these commanders that the Confederates were present 
in any great force. On the contrary, it was their belief that General Lee had 
fallen back, and that the forces of the enemy with which the cavalry had come 
in contact were merely Lee's rear gtiard covering the latter's retreat. How they 
mistook the true situation, later events showed. 

Fire in \^'oods Adds to Horrors of War. 

To add to the horrors of this battlefield, the woods took fire and many of the 
dead and wounded left between the lines were cremated. This, no doubt, was the 
fate of the many accounted for as missing. 

So dense were the thickets through which the two battle lines had advanced 
that, in falling back rapidly, many of the men had their flesh so lacerated and 
their clothes so torn that from their bloody appearance they were supposed to 
be wounded. When the gloom of night had cast its mantle upon this field of 
slaughter, intrenching began on the newly-formed lines, and was steadily carried 
on all night. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth constructed intrenchments at 
three different places, as they were shifted from point to point. Before daylight 
on May 6th, however. Griffin's Division, with the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, 



left their newly constructed breastworks and advanced to their old position of the 
day before. 

The Confederates were just as busily occupied in building intrenchments at 
the same time as was Ayres' Brigade. During the night, in lulls of picket firing, 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth could hear the sharp ring of the enemy's axes 
and the falling of trees. Very heavy skirmishing took place at intervals during 
the 6th, and that night the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, being deployed as 
skirmishers, were moved from point to point in the woods, the locations being in- 
dicated by Colonel Pearson, who whistled the bugle calls on the handle of his 
riding whip. While on this skirmish line the Regiment could hear intrenching 
operations being carried on, both in the direction of the enemy and in the rear of 


the Regiment. Toward morning the skirmish line formed by the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth was located in front, or at the edge of a clearing, the men being 
posted by twos at close intervals. As day dawned, the advance of the Confederates 
to attack could be plainly seen by the skirmishers through the young green 
foliage. Nearer and nearer they came. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth held 
its fire and watched the Confederates halt and straighten their line. Then, when 
the bugles of the enemy sounded the charge, the firing began. The Confederate 
officers could be heard giving commands. Suddenly the enemy's solid battle line 
were upon the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth skirmishers, who opened fire at close 
quarters and then fell back. The other regiments of Ayres' Brigade during the 
night had constructed heavy breastworks, which were well manned. Before the 


One Hundred and Fifty-fifth skirmishers could fall back into the breastworks in 
the rear, a heavy fire of musketry and canister was opened right through their 
ranks upon the enemy from the Union troops in the rear. So severe was this 
fire that it quickly repulsed the Confederates, except some of the most advanced, 
who rushed into the skirmish line of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and lay 
down with them to escape the fire of the Union troops. They were nearly all 
taken prisoners. As soon as the enemy retreated, the fire slackened, and the One 
Hundred and Fiftv-fifth skirmishers were ordered back into the breastworks. 

Colonel Pearson Temporarily Relieved. 

Upon reaching the works. Colonel Pearson, in command of the Regiment, 
had a heated colloquy with General Ayres over this firing into the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth by other regiments of his Brigade, in which the Colonel used lan- 
guage deemed disrespectful to General Ayres. The result was that Colonel Pear- 
son was immediately removed from command and placed under arrest, remaining 
so until the army had crossed the James river. Lieutenant-Colonel John Ewing, 
in the meantime, took command and remained in charge of the Regiment through- 
out the campaign until after the charge on the 18th of June at Petersburg. 

No formal charges were ever preferred against Colonel Pearson, 'and the 
matter was arranged by the transfer, some weeks later, of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth to General Sweitzer's Brigade in Griffin's Division, Fifth Corps. 

To resume the narrative : On being ordered out to the skirmish line to re- 
lieve the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, the Twentieth Maine left good fires burn- 
ing in the rear of the breastworks they had been occupying. The One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth boys were not slow in utilizing these fires for the purpose of 
making coffee. One fire composed of a pile of rails was surrounded by perhaps 
a dozen men watching their cups of coffee coming to the boil, when a twelve- 
pound solid shot from the Confederate hnes struck the end of the rails, scattering 
rails, cups and coffee in all directions, fortunately, however, injuring no one. 
As the only convenient place for procuring water was under dangerous shell 
fire from the enemy, it was very disappointing to have such an accident happen 
at such a time, and induced strong language from some of the boys. 

The Twentieth Maine relieved the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth as skir- 
mishers, and the latter took possession of the place behind the breastworks pre- 
viously occupied by the former when the Regiment proceeded to prepare the first 
cooked food they had had for forty-eight hours. The Twentieth Maine, Colonel 
J. L. Chamberlain, in advancing to the skirmish line which had been established 
by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth during the night, had a severe fight 
with the enemy, and suffered serious losses. A sergeant, who was some- 
what late in gathering up his accoutrements, followed his regiment quickly 
and in ten minutes thereafter was carried back dead, a shot having gone 
straight through his chest. The grief of his brother, who helped carry him back, 
was pitiable. / 

May 7th was spent in the woods skirmishing and, in military language, 



" feeling " the lines of the enemy, with occasionally heavy outbursts of musketry 
and artillery. 

After Observations. 

In the engagement that took place on the 5th of May, 1864, the men of the 
same army could not see each other at a distance of more than a few yards, and, 
of course, could not see the enemy at a greater distance. Regiments struggling 
through this mass of obstructions necessarily lost their bearings, and would sud- 
denly come upon each other, and upon similar bodies of the enemy. All direc- 



tion being lost, there would be desperate fighting for the possession of ground, 
neither side knowing how much or how little, from a military point of view, the 
possession sought or defended was worth. It was impossible for corps com- 
manders to handle their troops with any co-operation. Even brigades became 
broken up so that they could not re-inforce an}- body of troops, or assist in taking 
advantage of temporary successes. To add to the perils of the fighting, several 
times fires broke out in the inflammable brush and dead leaves, literally smother- 
ing with smoke the combatants, and often seeking out the wounded who had help- 
lessly sought shelter. Colonel D. T. Jenkins, of the One Hundred and Forty- 
sixth New York, with man}- others of that Regiment, after being mortally 


wounded, became enveloped in the prevailing conflagration, and were last seen 
in the flames. 

Ayres' Second Brigade and Bartlett's Third Brigade, of Griffin's Division, 
held their new positions until 3 p. m., when the Fifth Corps lines were readjusted 
in their original positions, the enemy having fallen back to their breastworks 
from which their deadly attack had been made. The recovery of the lost ground 
of the Fifth Corps, and especially of Ayres' Brigade, in the afternoon by the 
movement to straighten the lines to the original position, revealed a scene of 
distress and misery rarely surpassed in any other war. On this ground, thus re- 
taken between the lines, were strewn the bodies of several thousand soldiers of 
both enemy and foe, who fell in the awfully close range and frequently hand-to- 
hand struggle. At least a thousand wounded soldiers, unable to move, also were 
discovered, and many of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, thus recovered, de- 
scribing the advance of the enemy over the ground in dispute and the falling 
back of the line of the attacking column of Ayres' Brigade, averred that the 
enemy, passing over them for dead, had robbed their persons of everything of 
value and carried oS knapsacks and contents in the most heartless manner. 

Pathetic Incidents. 

In the hand-to-hand encounter and stand of Ayres' Brigade, in the advance 
in the Wilderness, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment lost in prisoners 
and killed and wounded many of its most valued and beloved comrades. Ser- 
geant Harry R. Campbell, of Company B, a most popular and genial comrade, 
noted in camps as an accomplished musician, was captured in this struggle with 
the enemy, and destined to become a martyr in Libby and Andersonville prisons, 
there to survive eleven months from the horrible treatment, dying at Annapolis 
within a week after his exchange. He had become too much debilitated to jour- 
ney on to the loving friends and relatives in Allegheny, Pa., who were unfortu- 
nately kept in ignorance of his exchange. 

Private John Hunter, of Company E, who, in the midst of the fray, was 
clubbed into insensibility by a Confederate in the thicket, and captured and 
taken prisoner, also died at Annapolis, his experience at Andersonville having 
made him a physical wreck. His death at Annapolis occurred a few days after 
his exchange. 

Private Jacob S. Friend, of Company E, after being wounded in the shoul- 
der and wrist in two places, was left for dead on this battlefield, from the shock, 
and on reviving was taken prisoner by the retreating enemy, as the latter fell 
back over the same ground to thtir earthworks. Private Friend, at the time of 
his capture, was the youngest and most delicate in physique of any in the ranks 
of the Company, but he survived the horrors of Andersonville treatment, and 
was exchanged after eleven months' captivity. It was many years after the war 
before the terrible effects of his long imprisonment were eradicated. 

Sergeant Hugh W. McGimpsey, a sturdy, small-sized man, in this iight at 
close range had an opportunity to display his well-known pugilistic abilities. He 






got into a hand-to-hand encounter and wrestle with an able-bodied Confederate 
whom he downed on the first round. Hardly had McGimpsey accomplished this 
feat, however, when he was struck by a clubbed musket in the hands of another 
Confederate and knocked insensible. Private Jacob S. Friend, of Company E, 
who was standing next to McGimpsey, and who himself was soon after struck 
insensible by the bullets from the enemy and taken prisoner, declared that he 
actually believed all the time of his imprisonment that the blow thus received by 
McGimpsey had killed him. After recovering from the shock, the brave Ser- 
geant McGimpsey, finding that the enemy had fallen back, made a " bee-line " 
for the new rallying ground of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment and 
Ayres' Brigade, surviving to participate in all subsequent campaigns of the 

Corporal Michael B. Lemon, of Company E. also received in this day's 
action very severe wounds, disabling him for life. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment quickly recovered the ground 
thus lost in the afternoon and brought Corporal Lemon again within the Union 
lines, in reach of the stretcher-bearers, who carried him back to the field 

Color-Corporal John H. Mackin, of Company F, who was among the first 
to receive a wound at the battle of Gettysburg, was again unfortunate, while 
serving with the colors, receiving in this action a more severe wound in the left 
shoulder in almost the same place as his former wound. Many will recall a 
remark often made by Mackin on his return to the camp after recovering from 
the Gettysburg wound, that " lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place." 
Corporal Mackin was sent to the Wash- 
ington General hospital, and there died a 
month later from the effects of his 

Horatio S. Harnish, of Company 
H, from Rimersburg, Clarion county, in 
the thickest of the fray, at the opening 
of the battle of the Wilderness, on 
this first day, was instantly killed. In 
the advance on the charge of Hum- 
phreys' Division, leading the " forlorn " 
hope against the stonewall on Marye's 
Heights, at Fredericksburg, Horatio S. 
Harnish fell, severely wounded,, and was 
necessarily absent from the Regiment 
some months, but at the earliest oppor- 
tunity he rejoined the command in time 
to participate in the great battles 
of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and in 
the Mine Run campaign, but fell a victim 
to the enemy's fierce fire on the 5th of 




John Griffith, of Company H, 
on this day was on the skirmish 
hne, detailed from the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth, commanded 
b)' Captain Laughlin. When the 
enemy, in response to the fire of 
these skirmishers, returned the fire, 
thus opening the battle with a ter- 
rific attack along the Union Hne, 
Colonel A. L. Pearson, command- 
ing the Regiment, which, by reason 
of the dense undergrowth, was not 
far in the rear of the skirmishers, 
rode along the lines and ordered 
his men to " cease firing " and to 
hug mother earth closely until the 
firing ended. The enemy, however, 
advanced over the skirmishers in 
superior numbers, driving them 
back into the Regimental ranks. 
Griffith received a severe wound in 
his right shoulder from the enemy's 
fire, after which he remembered 
nothing for a period. On reviving, 
he found himself a prisoner, and 
although very weak and faint from 
the loss of blood, was sent to the rear of the Confederate army. Griffith endured 
all the horrors of Andersonville for the following eleven months. 

Private Harnet E. Meeker, of Company H, was wounded in the first day's 
fighting in the Wilderness. He was taken prisoner, and died a few months later 
in Andersonville prison. 

The great battle of the Wilderness, commencing on the 5th and lasting 
throughout the 6th and 7th of May, 1864, was a most remarkable struggle. It 
was a contest for two days and nights on lines approximately four miles in length, 
by the Union forces, comprising one hundred and thirty thousand troops in bat- 
tle columns against the Confederate forces of sixty-five thousand men, also 
lined up for battle on the defensive. The position of advances gained or lost 
by either army as a result of the severe fighting in the Wilderness on the 5th, 6th 
and 7th of May, carried with them no significance or military advantage. 


Death of General Alexander Hays. 

The loss, in the action of the Wilderness, of General Alexander Hays, of 
Pittsburg, who was mortally wounded while commanding a brigade of the 
Second Corps, reached the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, while alsc 
fighting in the same bewildering jungle near where General Hays fell. The 



General being personally known to many of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
Regiment, the news of, his death for the time being cast an additional gloom over 
the Regimental ranks. General Hays had served with the Arrny of the Potomac 
from its organization and in every great battle in the Peninsula campaign and at 
Antietam under McClellan, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and more especially 
rendering most distinguished services in the famous Peach Orchard at Gettys- 
burg. This career had earned for him the highest military reputation and pro- 
motion to a Brigadier-Generalship for gallant services in the field. General H^ys 
was a student at West Point with General Grant, and subsequently served with 
him in the Mexican War. On visiting Pittsburg in 1867, Lieutenant-General 
Grant, in company with Captain David Shields, who had served as A. D. C. on 
General Hays' staff, visited the grave of General Hays in Allegheny Cemetery 
and paid an affectionate tribute to the memory of his classmate. 

Another distinguished officer, endeared to the Fifth Army Corps, was 
Brigadier-General James S. Wadsworth, who was also killed in the battle of the 
Wilderness whilst engaged with his Division in straightening out the lines. Gen- 
eral Wadsworth's career illustrated the highest type of American patriotism. 
He was past sixty years of age at the outbreak of the war for the Union, and 
was also recognized at that time as the wealthiest landowner of the State of New 
York. At Gettysburg, General Wadsworth, with his snow-white hair, was con- 
spicuous on the first day in leading his division and later in the day in repulsing 
the enemy's colurnns and in saving the important position secured by the lamented 
General Reynolds, who fell early in the battle. 

General Wadsworth's body fell into the^ hands of the enemy at the Wilder- 
ness, and received the most tender care 
and marks of respect from General Lee. 
General Wadsworth lived long enough 
after he fell to express to his captors the 
patriotic sentiment, " I feel consoled that 
at my advanced age the mortal wound 
I have received has simply cut off but a 
few years of the life left me for service 
to my country." General Lee, as a trib- 
ute of respect and esteem, sent a flag of 
truce through the lines with an escort 
conveying General Wadsworth's body to 
General Grant's headquarters, where the 
General's son, Lieutenant James S. 
Wadsworth, Jr., who was serving on his 
father's staff, received the body, and 
with other officers on leave of absence, 
escorted the remains to the home of 
General Wadsworth, in the Genesee 
Valley in the State of New York. 

An incident occurred a few weeks 
later in the campaign which revealed the qen. james s. wadsworth. 



public spirit and foresight and great consideration of General Wadsworth for 
his troops. It was found, when nearing Cold Harbor, that the Quartermaster's 
supply of army shoes for the troops of the Fifth Corps had run out, and that 
much time would be lost in securing fresh consignments from Washington. The 
forced marching and the fording of many streams by Grant's troops in the cam- 
paign was so severe on shoes that many of the soldiers were actually barefooted 
by the time they reached the vicinity of Cold Harbor. General Wadsworth's 
Division, having suffered from a scarcity of shoes on former campaigns, the 
General, anticipating the possibility of this again occurring, previous to the open- 
ing of Grant's campaign to Richmond, at his own expense, purchased and had 
■deUvered to his division train in the Fifth Corps, a number of boxes of shoes. 
These boxes were opened for delivery at Cold Harbor. Many of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers will recall the joy of George 
P. Fulton, Regimental Quartermaster- Sergeant, on receiving for distribution the 
Regiment's share of these shoes from the stock so considerately provided by the 
lamented General Wadsworth. 


Chapter XII. 


Night March of Union Army to Spottsylvania Court House. — Flank 
Movements Led by Sheridan's Cavalry. — Encounters Enemy in Force at 
Alsop's Farm Late in Morning. — Severe Engagement Ensues. — General 
SEDGVifiCK Killed by Confederate Sharpshooter. — Generals Warren and 
Griffin Both Active in Directing Troops to Points of Attack. — Spirited 
Attack of Ayres' Brigade with One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Upon Con- 
federate Lines. — Fierce Contest. — United States Regular Band Renders 
Cheering and Inspiriting Music. — Enemy Routed by Fifth Corps. — 
Enemy's Strong Positions Captured and Intrenched by Union Line. — 
Death of Captain Clapp in Battle of Alsop's Farm. — -Heavy Loss of Regi- 
ment. — Lieutenant-Colonel John Ewing in Command of Regiment. — 


[HE positions or advances gained or lost by either army as a result 
of the severe fighting in the Wilderness carried with them no sig- 
nificance or military advantage. The pine woods and impenetrable 
undergrowth so obstructing the view of the contending armies, 
added to the scarcity of roads, made all movements confusing 
and unsatisfactory. 

On the 7th of May, General Grant determined to evacuate the useless 
positions held by him in the Wilderness jungles, and directed General Meade 
to make a night march of the entire army to Spottsylvania Court House, a dis- 
tance of fifteen miles, so as to secure the advantage of the open country and also 
of the many roads radiating from that place. Grant's plan was to secure these 
roads before the Confederates could overtake him, and to cut of from Lee's army 
communication and supplies and stores from the outside, and also to enable the 
Union army to continue unmolested on its march towards Richmond. There were 
but two or three roads from the Wilderness to Spottsylvania Court House suitable 
for traveling or for moverhents of armies, and the race was soon commenced 
by both armies for the latter place. The extensive preparations on the after- 
noon of the 7th by General Grant's army for this change of base naturally led 
to great discussion on the part of the rank and file as to the destination of the 
march. Many miles of ammunition, quartermaster, commissary and headquarter 
wagon trains, with the proverbially balky mules and the consequent lurid swear- 
ing of their teamsters, not to mention the artillery and caissons with the accom- 
panying noise, made the scenes of this afternoon's preparations for the all-night 



march most remarkable, and not soon to be forgotten. It naturally led in the 
minds of many in the waiting columns of troops by the wayside and in the in- 
trenchments who were not to move until the cover of the night concealed their 
movements, to thoughts concerning the new commander, General Grant, and of 
the significance of this night's evacuation movement by the left flank. Unbidden 
memories arose of the many sad retreats of the gallant Army of the Potomac 
under other commanders, when greatly outnumbering the enemy, as on the pres- 
ent occasion. The Union army had made retreats from Fredericksburg and from 
Chancellorsville, near the same territory now being traversed, to the north side of 
the Rappahannock, for no other reason than that the commanders, Burnside and 
Hooker, had demonstrated their total inabihty to handle so large an army. The 


route of the march of the troops and trains was now in the direction of Chan- 
cellorsville and was most suggestive of a retreat of the Union army instead of 
a flank movement, as the marching was termed. The veterans and trained troops 
under Grant, however, on this occasion gave way to no such misgivings or doubts 
in their new commander. The movement of the infantry columns preceded by 
Sheridan's cavalry by the left flank promptly disclosed that the abandonment of 
the positions of no strategic importance in the Wilderness and which were 
no longer worth contesting, was simply a change of base for better . positions 
and partook of none of the qualities of a retreat. The cavalry, leading the ad- 
vance, guarded the roads on the route of the night march to keep the moving 
columns of infantry following advised of the position or the approach of the 


enemy. The movement required the trains to be set in motion by three o'clock 
in the afternoon of the 7th, so as to clear the road for the troops. It was rightly 
apprehended that the people of the country would inform General Lee of the 
movement and that he would surmise its object. 

In accordance with the project of General Grant, the troops began to move 
at half-past eight in the evening; General Warren advancing with the Fifth 
Corps by the Brock road towards Spottsylvania, General Sedgwick with the Sixth 
Corps by the Plank road to Chancellorsville ; Burnside with the Ninth Corps 
followed Sedgwick. Hancock with the Second Corps followed Warren as far 
as Todd's Tavern. General Sheridan was directed to have a sufficient force on 
the approaches from the right to keep the corps commanders advised in time of 
the appearance of the enemy. General Meade and General Grant set out about 
11 o'clock p. M. for Todd's Tavern, in advance of the Fifth Corps, reaching there 
about midnight. At five o'clock in the morning General Warren informed Gen- 
eral Meade that the head of his column had reached General Merritt's cavalry 
headquarters at 3 :30 a. m. ; that Merritt's troopers had already moved to clear 
the road, and that he. General Warren, had massed his troops there as they 
arrived, to give them a rest, for the march on a dark night by a narrow road 
running through woods had much fatigued them ; also that General Fitzhugh 
Lee's Cavalry Division had barricaded the road by felling trees across it, and 
had disputed every foot of the ground. 

Battle of Alsop's Farm or Laurel Hill. 

In the darkness of the night, General Merritt, commanding the cavalry ad- 
vance, found it exceedingly difficult to make any progress. At six o'clock in the 
morning. General Warren, upon an intimation from General Merritt that the 
infantry could push the enemy faster than could his (Merritt's) cavalry, ordered 
an advance of the Fifth Corps, General Robinson's Division now leading. In 
reporting this. General Warren added, " It is difficult to do much with troops in 
an expeditious manner in these dense woods." The same obstacles continued 
until about half-past eight o'clock, when Robinson's Division emerged from 
the woods into the open ground of Alsop's Farm, about two and a half miles 
from the Spottsylvania Court House. Robinson advanced his Division along 
the left fork of the Brock road to the junction of the two roads. Lyle's Brigade 
on the left, Dennison's on the left and Coulter's Brigade on the left rear, where 
the line was reformed in columns of regiments, advanced along the road in open 
ground, with a strong line of skirmishers in front. When within two or three 
hundred yards of the woods which the road entered, suddenly a severe musketry 
and artillery fire was opened upon Robinson's Division from an intrenchment 
just inside of the wood. This staggered them, and in a short time they fell 
back to the shelter of the woods in the rear, followed by the Confederates. The 
Maryland brigade. General Dennison's, took up a position in the edge of the 
woods and checked the further advance of the enemy, who had turned the left 
of Lyle's Brigade, which had held on close to the enemy's intrenchments under 
shelter of a steep crest. General Robinson was severely wounded at the first fire 


while leading his men. In the meantime, General Griffin placed General Bart- 
lett's Brigade in line of battle in advance, Generals Ayres' and Sweitzer's Bri- 
gades marching on the road. When Bartlett's Brigade got half way across the 
open ground of Alsop's Farm, it also came under fire of the enemy's infantry 
and artillery. By the exertions of General Griffin, who led his Division in per- 
son, and of Generals Bartlett and Ayres, the men reformed quickly under cover 
of Ayres' Brigade. Griffin again advanced his Division, taking the line afterward 
held for several days. General Crawford came up with his Division of the 
Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, driving the enemy out of the woods in his front. 
Field's Confederate Division of Longstreet's Corps had been coming up all this 
time, and taking part in the fight. They began now to push through the pines 
on Griffin's right, threatening that flank. Coulter's Brigade, which came up, 
having had several hour's rest, the troops were in good condition. They ad- 
vanced in fine style and drove the enemy out of the woods on Griffin's right. 
The position now held by the Fifth Corps was intrenched. It was from two to 
four hundred yards distant from that of the enemy. At 13:30 p.m. General 
Warren reported to General Meade that he had pushed back the enemy, but had 
not quite gained the junction of the Brock and Catharpin roads. Many of 
Warren's men, wounded and tired, fell out of the ranks into the woods. Warren 
also reported that his corps had encountered Fitzhugh Lee's division of cavalry 
and two divisions of Longstreet's Corps, from both of which he had taken a 
number of prisoners ; also that Longstreet's men, thus captured, had stated that 
they had left their trenches at the Wilderness the night before at eleven 

On the afternoon of the 7th, General Lee directed General R. H. Anderson, 
now in command of Longstreet's Corps, to move to Spottsylvania Court House, 
and at eleven o'clock that night this Confederate corps took up the line of 
march by the Catharpin road. It was about three miles shorter than that taken 
by General Warren's Corps. Anderson had also the additional advantage of 
encountering no obstructions or barricades of the enemy. Along this road An- 
derson's Division of Longstreet's Corps was slowly stretching out, endeavoring to 
unravel the mystery of Warren's movement. The forest fire, so fatal to the Union 
army and so fortunate for the enemy in the Wilderness two days previous had 
by this time spread to the woods through which Longstreet's road led. Once 
more fortune favored the Confederates. Once started on the march, Ander- 
son's troops could find no suitable place to bivouac, and were compelled to forge 
ahead so rapidly or fall back beyond the fire zone. The latter course was not 
to be thought of, and the consequence was that early in the morning of the 8th 
they reached the vicinity of Alsop's Farm and Spottsylvania in advance of 
Warren's troops. 

The foregoing account of the battle of Laurel Hill, or Alsop's Farm, as 
it has been termed, relates only generally to the part taken by the Fifth Corps, un- 
der General Warren. Much of it is compiled from the official narrative of 
General Humphreys, Chief of General Meade's staff. It will be perceived that 
the movements of General Grant to capture the radiating roads at Spottsylvania 
Court House before General Lee's army could reach there was promptly check- 


mated and defeated by Lee on discovering the night march of Grant's army 
by the left flank. This information immediately caused Lee to direct the evacu- 
ating of all the Confederate positions in the Wilderness, and was also the cause 
of the Confederates' forced night march over shorter roads, thereby reaching 
Spottsylvania Court House in advance of Grant's columns. General Meade 
ordered General Sedgwick with the Sixth Corps to move to Spottsylvania Court 
House and there to unite with General Warren in an immediate and vigorous- 
attack upon the enemy. 

Spottsylvania Court House. 

The arrangements for the attack of the Fifth and Sixth Corps were not 
completed until late in the afternoon, and were then only partial. At one o'clock 
of the same day, by order of General Grant, General Sheridan was directed to 
move his entire cavalry forces against the enemy's cavalry, and when' his sup- 
plies were exhausted to proceed to General Butler near City Point. 

There was nothing in the site of Spottsylvania Court House that gave it 
special military strength. Its importance was derived from its proximity to the 
Richmond & Fredericksburg Railroad and the stage and telegraph roads between 
those towns. Roads also radiated from it in several directions, including a good 
wagon road to Richmond. No active operations were undertaken against the 
enemy on the 9th, the army being allowed a much-needed rest. The skirmishers 
and sharpshooters on both sides, however, were very active, and in the morning- 
General John Sedgwick was killed while standing close to the intrenchments at 
the right of his Corps at the point where the forks of the road on Alsop's Farm 
unite. He was highly esteemed, being a modest, brave, courageous, honest-hearted 
man, much beloved by all of the troops composing the Sixth Corps. 

The skirmishers of the Fifth and Sixth Corps were pushed forward so as 
to develop the position and character of the enemy's works, and ascertain where 
they were probably vulnerable. This work was continued by both those corps 
on the 10th. 

The part taken by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment in the battle 
of Laurel Hill on the 8th calls for more particular mention than is given in the 
foregoing narrative. On the all-night forced march for Spottsylvania the Regi- 
ment, with others, experienced great fatigue and annoyance in the narrow roads, 
halts being often made every one hundred yards or so to ford streams, or on 
account of obstacles placed in the road by the enemy to impede the progress of 
the Union troops. Whilst the Corps halted at three o'clock in the morning, after 
overtaking General Merritt's cavalry, the men of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth availed themselves of the chance for an early breakfast, but were obliged 
to take their hardtack without their usual accompaniment of warm coffee. Fires 
were prohibited, because the divisions were expected to fall in at any moment 
to relieve Merritt's Cavalry, which was being pressed, on the skirmish line ; but 
it was not until six o'clock that the troops were required to come into line for 
action. As has already been described, Robinson's Division of the Fifth Corps 
was first ordered in, and on being repulsed and reformed. General Griffin's 


Division, under his personal supervision, was next formed and ordered to 

General Griffin gave directions as to the point of attack. The One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth, as already stated, was serving in General Ayres' Brigade, 
of Griffin's Division of the Fifth Corps, and took part with that Brigade 
under General Ayres, in this morning's attack upon the enemy. The Confeder- 
ates, on their part, were well prepared for the assault, and from every point 
of the intrenchments in the woods poured heavy volleys in return to the fire of 
the Union troops ; so that it required a second assault, conducted by General 
Griffin, to carry the position and to drive the Confederates from the field. On 
the renewal of the second assault by General Griffin's Division, General Ayres 
ordered his magnificent brigade brass band of the United States Regulars under 
cover, with orders to render most cheerful and inspiring music as his Brigade 
advanced against the enemy. This fine band, so often heard in camps and reviews,, 
never rendered more timely and more cheering music than it did on this exciting 
occasion. The routing of the enemy by the Fifth Corps and the capturing of 
their strong positions enabled the Union line to be safely held and intrenched. 
The spade and other intrenching tools were soon brought to the front and 
placed in the hands of the troops who had won the positions. The casualties 
in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment in this engagement, known as 
■" Laurel Hill," and also as the battle of " Alsop's Farm," were unusually severe, 
although protected in sorne respects by the advantageous position chosen by 
General Ayres. 

General Warren appeared in this action in the full regulation uniform of a 
Major-General, which was presented to him by admiring friends in New York. 
Receiving it on the march, the General wore it in this battle, but the remainder 
of the campaign he, hke Grant, Meade, and other commanders, appeared in the 
plain fatigue dress of his rank. 

Stampede of PACK-iiuLES. 

A highly exciting incident occurred during this all-night march whilst Gen- 
eral Warren's Corps was in advance, preceded only by Sheridan's Cavalry skirm- 
ishers, protecting the roads branching from the main route of the march. As is 
usual in all marching columns, the divisions and brigades have, in addition to 
their Generals and staffs mounted, also a retinue of orderlies and servants on 
horseback. Immediately following the Generals and their retinues on this night 
march were also a number of pack-mules, carrying baggage, stretchers, cooking 
utensils, surgical instruments and other articles of necessity. The pack-mules 
were led, and formed quite a cavalcade in the immediate rear of the head- 
quarters procession. Whilst the infantry divisions were marching in the dark- 
ness along the main road, they passed along on the right side of the road a mile 
or more of Flancock's Corps, the main body of the troops being sound asleep _ 
in their trenches, protected only by pickets. No firing on either side was taking 
place, and everything was quiet, when suddenly the silence of the marching 
column was disturbed and almost a panic occasioned by an alarming noise of 






clattering hoofs, accompanied by shouts and yells as if the enemy's cavalry had 
attacked the Union infantry column. On ! on ! the tumult and panic continued 
to increase, coming apparently at a swift rate back from the head of General 
Warren's column. It was incomprehensible to the men in the ranks and their 
officers, as no shots were fired to indicate a hostile demonstration. Finally, after 
an hour's interruption of the march, it was discovered that the cause of the alarm 
was the breaking loose from their drivers of fifty or sixty pack-mules, which 
fled to the reax-on. the flanks of the marching column and continued their journey 
in the darkness along by the portion of the line in which the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth was marching. How much farther the stampeding mules continued 
their wild rush is not known ; but it was most fortunate that it occurred on the 
opposite side of the road from where Hancock's veterans were enjoying their 
much-needed sleep, for had the mules broken into their ranks, arousing them 
suddenly, there certainly would have been firing and destruction of life under 

the mistake that it was an attack of 

the enemy. 

Casualties. — Incidents. 

The death of Captain E. E. 
Clapp, of Company F, who was killed 
in this battle of Alsop's Farm, was 
peculiarly pathetic, as on his person 
was a twenty days' leave of absence, 
which had been issued a few days be- 
fore the campaign opened, and which 
he declined to avail himself of in the 
presence of the enemy. In the An- 
tietam campaign Captain Clapp was 
taken ill and nursed in a hospital in 
the town of Frederick, where he met 
an estimable young lady in attendance 
on the sick. This acquaintance 
ripened into courtship and an engage- 
ment to marry, for which his leave 
of absence had been procured. He 
was buried on the battlefield and the 
grave duly marked, but years after- 
ward his parents visited Virginia and 
removed his remains to the family 
burying ground in Massachusetts. 

Sergeant Thomas I. Woods, an 
exemplary soldier of Company B, 
and Private Wm. Douglass, of Com- 
pany D, fell mortally wounded in 
SGT. THOMAS I. WOODS. this engagement. Among the first to 



be wounded in this action was Private Samuel W. Hill, of Company F, who was 
struck by a minie ball on the skull and rendered totally unconscious. He was 
removed to a field hospital of the corps adjacent to the battlefield. Private Hill 
refused a furlough to the hospital in Washington, offered him by reason of his 
wound, and in less than a week he reported on the firing line at Spottsylvania for 
duty with his company. The ball which struck Private Hill still remains imbedded 
in his skull, medical men all advising against any attempt to remove it. 

The late Private James P. O'Neil, of Company E, so well known to all the 
survivors of the Regiment since the war as a brilliant newspaper man of Pitts- 
burg, had a very narrow escape from death on this day's action, the result of a 
ball's striking his abdomen. The wound bled 
most profusely, almost dyeing his whole zouave 
uniform the crimson color of his body sash. His 
wound made him hysterical. He left the ranks 
and ran shouting to General Griffin, who was 
close by, excitedly pointing out the location of 
the enemy to the General and his staff. Captain 
George M. Laughlin, commanding Company E, 
observing his condition, detailed O'Neil's mess- 
mate. Private McKenna, to conduct him to the 
field hospital near by. 

Private Patrick Lyon, of Company D, also 
received in this action a severe wound in the 
knee, necessitating his removal to the field hos- 
pital. Private Lyon, from the serious nature of 
his injuries, was also entitled to a hospital fur- 
lough home, but declined it, and soon rejoined 
his company for duty with the musket, although 
continuing to suffer from his wound. 

Sergeant Joseph Shawhan, Company I, pop- 
ularly called " Forty," also fell in this battle, 
and was buried on the field by his comrades. 
His remains, with the headboard on which his name was carved, were removed 
soon after the war to the family lot. South Side Cemetery. Pittsburg. 


The weather, for so early in Alay, was unusually hot and oppressive, several 
cases of sun-stroke and heat exhaustion occurring to men of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth, causing many to be unable for duty. At the field hospital of the 
Fifth Corps close to the scene of the fighting, attending from the first wounded 
to the last of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, was Colonel A. L. Pearson, acting 
as a volunteer nurse whilst relieved from command. Colonel Pearson, while 
suffering very much from the apparent injustice of his treatment, remained close 
to the Regiment, accompanying it in all its marches and skirmishes, expecting 
daily to be restored to his command. He rendered most efficient service to the 
sick and wounded of the Regiment, co-operating with the army surgeons in se- 
curing for them the best attention. 


The Christian and Sanitary Commission agents through this campaign ap-. 
peared, and were prompt and conspicuous in the field, rendering every assistance 
possible to the soldiers, sick or wounded, in each battle. 

There also reappeared on duty at the front and in the field hospitals, at 
this time, the faithful volunteer chaplain-at-large of the Fifth Army Corps, 
Reverend Constantine Egan, of Washington, D. C, previously mentioned as 


having visited the Regiment while it was in \\inter quarters at Warrenton 
Junction, and conducting Catholic service. 

First-Lieutenant Charles Johnston, commanding Company A in this day's 
battle, was mortally wounded. He was one of three brothers, whose parents were 
early settlers in Lawrenceville. All the brothers enlisted with Captain Pearson 
in Company A of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment. Lieutenant Ed- 
ward P. Johnston suffered the loss ^of his right arm from wounds received in 



the charge of the 18th of June, 1864:, in front of Petersburg, and James P. 
Johnston, his youngest brother, still in his teens, after a service of two years, was 
honorably discharged, by reason of disease contracted in the service, and died 
from the effects thereof soon after the close of the war. 

First-Sergeant Thomas Innes Woods, of Company B, was killed on May 
8th. The first time that Sergeant Woods was ever known to ask permission to 
leave his post on march or in battle occurred this day, after the Regiment's all- 
night march to reach Spottsylva-nia ahead of Lee. When it became evident that a 
battle was imminent, Sergeant Woods asked Captain H. W. Grubbs for a pass 
to go to the rear. On his declaring that he was not sick, he was advised by the 
Captain that tmder the circumstances he could not be excused, and Sergeant 
\\'oods resumed his post at the head of the Company. Shortly after, during a 
halt by the roadside, Sergeant Woods wrote in his diary the following, addressed 
to his friend, Sergeant James A. McMillen : " I am going to fall to-day. If you 
find my body, I desire you to bury it and mark my grave so that if my friends 
desire to take it home they can find it. Please read the Ninetieth Psalm at my 
burial." He was killed early in the battle. His body was found by Sergeant Mc- 
Millen and others of Company B, the diary being found in his pocket. His re- 
quest for the Ninetieth Psalm to be read at the grave was complied with. 

' ->/c"G- 





Chapter XIII. 



Ayres' Brigade at Spottsylvania. — Fifth Corps Occupies Extreme Right 
OF Army. — Hancock's Corps Storms " Bloody Angle." — Captures Four 
Thousand Prisoners. — Night of May 13th Flanking Movement to Left. — 
Severity of Engagement at Spottsylvania. — Fifth Corps Crosses North 
Anna River at Jericho Ford. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Ayres' 
Brigade Repulse Four Persistent Charges of Confederates. — Remarkable 
Heroism, Tenacity, Endurance and Suffering of Union Troops. — Badly 
Blistered Feet Caused by Scorching Roads and Wading Streams of Water. 
— Battle of Bethesda Church. — Battle of Cold Harbor. — ^June 2d, Fifth 
Corps Attacked by Early's Confederates. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
.\nd Fifth Corps Take Position to Protect Army While Crossing James 
River. — Army of Potomac Crosses to South Side of James River. — 



VY 10, 1864. The Regiment spent all day with Ayres' Brigade be- 
hind breastworks which had been erected and afiforded protection 
from the enemy's firing in answer to the desultory firing which was 
kept up by the regiments of the Brigade. About four o'clock in the 
afternoon, Ayres' Brigade was ordered to advance and drive the 
enemy some distance back to their works, a position of skirmishing which the 
Brigade held for some time, until relieved by other troops, when it resumed its 
former place and position in the breastworks. 

May 11, 1864, was occupied by the Regiment and Ayres' Brigade in the 
breastworks, with little disturbance from the enemy, enabling preparations to 
be made for an attack arranged for the next day. May 13th, on the enemy's works 
by the entire Corps, supported by the Sixth Corps. In the evening the Ayres' 
Brigade moved to a position on the left of the Corps. The position of the entire 
army under Grant at this time, at Spottsylvania, was the Fifth Corps on the 
extreme right, near the Po river; the Sixth Corps adjoining the Fifth on the 
left, under General Wright. The Second Corps, under General Hancock, con- 
tinued the line, to the left, occupying the front of the salient of Lee's intrench- 
ments. The Ninth Corps, under General Burnside, held the extreme left, near 
Spottsylvania Court House. 



■ i"\ ■/■ 


The Bloody Angle. 

Although the losses of all these corps had been very heavy, their depleted 
ranks were promptly filled up by reinforcements from Washington, fresh divis- 
ions and brigades and regiments appearing promptly and ready for action. The 
battle of Spottsylvania was opened promptly at daylight of the 13th. Hancock's 
Corps stormed the angle, since famous as the " Bloody Angle," because of the 
desperate character of the fighting and heavy losses to both armies. Hancock's 
troops, however, were successful, and captured four thousand prisoners, many 
^ns and two officers, Major-General Edward Johnson and Brigadier-General 
George E. Stewart, who were commanding the defenses of Lee's army at that 
time. The news of this victory spread like wild-fire in the other Federal columns 
and lines of battle. The Fifth Corps, later in the day, had to fight hard to hold 
the Confederate works, which had been captured by Hancock, the enemy making 
repeated and desperate assaults to recover the captured works. The One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth Regiment of Ayres' Brigade occupied part of the captured 
works. The losses on both sides were very heavy because of the closeness of 
the infantry and artillery firing. The troops under Warren in this vicinity 
were required to change positions so often because of the changes in the enemy's 
movements as to make it very difficult in the new country to distinguish the 
points of the compass. 

From the 13th to the 18th following, the four corps of Grant's army, occu- 
pying their own works and the works captured from the enemy at Spottsyl- 
vania, were never out of range of the enemy's artillery. The Confederates 
would not leave their works to attempt to dislodge the Union troops where 
intrenched. The positions of both armies were very strong, the fortifications 
being practically impregnable, and Grant and Lee were undoubtedly playing a 
game of chess with their armies in the matter of the movement of troops. 

During the occasional lulls of these days' battles, Brady's photographic 
wagon and outfit from Washington appeared in the reserved bivouac of the Fifth 
Corps. One day General Warren and his entire staff, while under a desultory 
fire from the front, were exposed to a different fire from the rear by the snap- 
shot of the large camera of the army photographer, which successfully executed 
the General and his stafif in a large picture. . General Warren's staff was com- 
posed of a brilliant and capable set of young officers. Captain Robert Warren, 
Colonel Fred T. Locke, Assistant Adjutant-General, who had served in that ca- 
pacity since the organization of the Fifth Corps, attaining rank as Brevet Briga- 
dier-General for meritorious conduct at Five Forks and Appomattox. The 
engineers on Warren's staff when he assumed command of the Fifth Corps were 
Captain Washington A. Roebling, who subsequently earned distinction as the en- 
gineer constructing the great Brooklyn Suspension Bridge; Captain E. B. Cope, 
U. S. A., who, with Captain Roebling, was with Warren on Little Round Top ; 
and Captain Paine, U. S. A. Captain James W. Wadsworth, son of General 
James S. Wadsworth, killed in the Wilderness, and Captain George B. Hal- 
stead, and Captain A. S. Marvin were Assistant Adjutant-Generals, and A. D. C. 
on the staff. Captain William T. Gentry, U. S. A., was commissary muster 




officer. Colonel H. C.Bankhead, U. S. A., was Inspector-General of the Corps. 
Colonel David L. Smith, of Pittsburg, was the efficient Commissary-General of the 
Fifth Corps, and an A. D. C. on the Corps staff. Captain Thomas was the Corps 

More Flank Movements. 

During the night of May 13th, the army moved to the left, marching 
through mud and rain, and crossing the Nye river. It was so dark that the 
enemy could not see the movement, and th? Union troops could see but a few 
feet ahead. Mounted men were placed at intervals along the road by General 
Warren's orders to prevent regiments from losing their way. General Grant had 
discovered, from his experience in the Wilderness, that it was useless to fight 
Lee behind intrenchments and fortifications for the mere positions gained, the 
military advantages of mere positions not justifying renewals of further assaults 
and loss of Hfe. The unanimous opinion of both armies at Spottsylvania Court 
House was that either of the armies behind intrenchments was unassailable, and 
that a front attack by either army was a foregone failure. They had acquired 
the art of rapidly constructing impregnable earthworks, all approaches being 
covered with abattis and slashed timber. The men of both these armies had re- 
fused to be driven from their positions, and died where they stood. At Spottsyl- 
vania they had fought for twenty-four hours with only a line of felled trees and 
a line of earth six feet thick between them, in a continuous rain, every thread of 
clothing drenched and soaked, water over their shoe-tops, no food but rain- 
soaked crackers. As showing the severity of the fighting, oak trees eighteen 
inches thick could be seen cut down by the constant patter of minie balls. At the 
end of twenty-four hours fighting at Spottsylvania, when the exhausted Con- 
federates were withdrawn, it was only to disclose the presence of another line of 
strong breastworks, constructed by the enemy, one hundred yards in the rear 
of their first line. 

General Grant evidently believed that if one of the large corps of the Union 
army was detached and exposed to a march of twenty miles in a southeasterly 
direction. General Lee would be tempted to leave his works and attack the ex- 
posed corps, and that while the Confederates were thus moving for the attack, 
he (Grant) could fall upon them with his main body and bring on a general 
engagement before they could again intrench. Accordingly General Hancock's 
Second Corps moved on the night of May 20th and reached Guinea Station 
the next morning. General Lee declined to attack the exposed Second Corps, 
but on the contrary moved rapidly south of the North Anna river to Hanover 
Junction, where he arrived May 23d, interposing his army between Grant and 

Fording the North Anna. 

Grant's entire army was in motion at 5 a. m.. May 23d, the Second Corps, 
the most eastward, moving to Chesterfield Ford, on the North Anna river, the 
Fifth Corps to Jericho Ford, and the Ninth Corps to a crossing between the 
Second and the Fifth Corps. The scenery along the route of the army's move- 


ment was most beautiful, being an open country abounding in fine fertile farms, 
and every appearance of comfort and prosperity of the inhabitants, as com- 
pared with the portions of Virginia previously occupied in the campaigns of the 
Army of the Potomac. Ayres' First Brigade of Griffin's Division waded the 
North Anna stream at Jericho Mills Ford, time not permitting the troops to 
wait for the pontoon bridges which were soon to follow. General Ayres' Brigade 
advanced the line further from the crossing as each Brigade of the Corps following 
got over. A strong skirmish line from Ayres' Brigade was posted ahead, driving 
the Confederate outposts in advance of them. The fording of these streams by 
so many men, in water so cold, and often in places so deep, was attended with 
great difficulty to the troops, but the urgency of the race for positions left no 
alternative, it being generally known that Breckenridge's and A. P. Hill's 
Confederate forces were in position at another portion of the stream where there 
was a ford, in anticipation that that would be the place where the Union troops 
would cross, instead of Jericho Mills. Whilst the Fifth Corps was crossing, 
Ayres' Brigade was in two lines in the edge of the timber. In front of the line 
formed by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and other regiments of the Brigade ■ 
was the skirmish line of the Fourteenth Regiment of United States Infantry, 
less than thirty feet in advance. After the divisions of the corps had all crossed 
the stream and secured positions without opposition being developed, muskets 
were stacked and blanket-rolls hung on them. 

Repeated Attacks by the Enemy. 

Towards sunset, after the men had their suppers cooked, and were engaged 
in eating, and non-combatants were peacefully bivouacked in the midst of the 
troops, not expecting battle, about 6 p. m., the yells of the enemy were heard, as 
they crossed the fields in front, their advance being preceded by the flight of 
hogs and cattle, sheep and fowl, from the farms, in and through the lines of the 
Brigade pickets. The familiar ' rebel yell " was recognized, and instantly the 
stacked arms were seized and the men of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and 
all along the line, dropped to their knees and were ready. The first line of 
skirmishers fired steadily during the first and second attacks of the enemy. 
The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Ayres' entire Brigade then advanced over 
the line of pickets, and repulsed three more very persistent charges of the Con- 
federates, the last severe charge occurring after dark, although during the entire 
night frequent renewals and attempts were made at very short intervals to drive 
Ayres' men from their position, which was being strengthened ever\' moment by 
the erection of earthworks. During the night frequently both pickets and 
skirmishers were driven in, and the men behind the works engaged in strength- 
ening the same, dropped their tools and opened fire, checking the enemy's further 
advance. The attack was a total surprise. General Ayres, who led the advance, 
and who rallied the first troops that crossed around the Corps flag, was most 
active in directing the firing diiring the engagement. 

At the time of the first attacks and charges by the enemy, there being no 
intrenchments, the loading and firing of the troops of Ayres' Brigade was all 



done while kneeling. After the repulse of the enemy, 
the engineers' tools, the spade, shovel, ax and pick 
were brought up- and put to work, and as stated, were 
frequently exchanged during the night for the musket 
to repel the fierce assaults upon the pickets and 

Among the killed in the first attack by the enemy 
in this action were Privates William S. Hindman, of 
Company E, and Theodore Baldwin, of Company F, 
two of the youngest and most popular members of the 
Regiment, and no deaths produced greater sorrow to 
their comrades. 

On the morning of the 25th of May, it was dis- 
covered that the enemy had withdrawn from the battle- 
field of North Anna, leaving a large number of killed 
and wounded on the field. The One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Regiment alone, in going over the field 
in front of their position, gathered up a wagon load of 
Confederate arms, with the bayonets still fixed, which 
had been left by the enemy on the field. Generals 
Meade and Warren both, in orders, publicly congrat- 
ulated General Grifiin, the Division commander, and 
General Ayres, commanding the advance Brigade, for the gallant style in which 
their commands repulsed the repeated attacks of the enemy. 


Tuesday evening. May 26, 1864, the Fifth Corps was again on the move, 
Ayres' Brigade leading the advance along the line of the A'irginia Central Rail- 
road. Details of troops were made up to tear up and destroy the track, which 
occupied all the day. Ties were piled up and set on fire, and the rails were laid 
across the piles of burning ties and heated. Squads of men then seized the rails 
at each end, and bent them into all sorts of shapes. The railroad bridges and 
much stock were also destroyed. But little time was given the troops .for rest, 
and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, under command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Ewing, was among the busiest troops engaged this day. 

On Wednesday morning. May 27, 1864, whilst operating along the railroad 
mentioned, and advancing towards Hanover Junction and the Pamunkey river. 
Company E, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, with three companies 
of the Ninety-first Pennsylvania and the One Hundred and Fortieth and the 
One Hundred and Forty-sixth New York, were detailed as advanced skirmishers. 
They were deployed in an open field, really serving as vidette posts, being pro- 
tected only by hastily gathered railroad ties, behind which the skirmishers lay and 
hid their bodies from the unusually accurate range of the enemy's sharpshooters, 
many of whom were posted on trees in the adjoining woods. The minie balls that 
raised the dust along this exposed skirmish line were very numerous, and con- 
tinued until night set in, when Company E was relieved from the skirmish line. 





Coolness of General Griffin Under Fire. 

An episode which elicited the admiration of the men on the skirmish line 
■was the calmness and coolness displayed by General Griffin, the Division com- 
mander, while in a very dangerous position. As the General visited the vicinity 
of the exposed skirmish line of Company E, commanded by Captain George M. 
Laughlin, he approached the advanced position through heavily wooded timber 
where his division was concealed, walking along the pubHc road towards the 
front, and making no effort to conceal his presence from the enemy. The Gen- 
eral, apparently unconscious of the danger, exposed himself to plain view of the 
■enemy, as he approached the outposts of the skirmish line, in order to take ob- 
servations of the enemy's position. He was warned by Corporal John M. Lan- 
caster, of Company E, who was on duty closest to General Griffin's position, to 
get under cover, as the enemy's sharpshooters, concealed in the trees and other 
places, had full range of the position. The General, without the slightest exhi- 
bition of concern, continued his advance in the middle of the road; when the 
minie balls, raising the dust close around him, caused him to heed the advice of 
the Corporal. As General Griffin turned to leave the road for the cover of the 
woods, a minie ball struck the heel of his boot, on which the General turned 
towards the enemy, and said loud enough for the men on his own skirmish line 
to hear, " Johnny, your aim was bad ; you shot a little too low this time " ; and 
then disappeared in the woods. In less than ten minutes after. General Griffin 
dispatched the Maryland Brigade of three regiments to take position in the 
field occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth skirmishers, to drive the 
enemy's pickets and skirmishers back from the position they occupied. This the 
Maryland Brigade did in gallant style, but not without heavy loss. 

The ground gained on the railroad, and property destroyed and track torn 
up by Grant's army this day, while keeping the troops unusually busy, was quite 
satisfactory, and General Grant, evidently not desiring to have a battle on the 
railroad thus destroyed, issued orders to move on to the Pamunkey river. This 
led to the evacuation of the Union breastworks just completed for defensive 
purposes, as was done at Spottsylvania. 

Changes in Campaign Methods. 

And here it is proper to recognize a condition that began in front of 
Spottsylvania Court House and continued until the end of the war. 

In all engagements previous to Spottsylvania, the regiments were main- 
tained as units, each regiment usually having its front covered by a detail of 
skirmishers from its own ranks, and somewhat under the observations of the 
Regimental commanders. But in the strenuous fighting in the Wilderness and 
the first two days at Spottsylvania the limit of human endurance was reached. 
Commanders of brigades, regiments and companies could not personally super- 
vise every detail of the moving, fighting and care of their commands, every hour 
of the twenty-four hours of the day. No less could the rank and file stand up 
without sleep, food or rest. They had to be relieved from the firing line for sus- 









tenance, washing of face and hands, even though with a small amount of water 
poured from a comrade's canteen, issue and cooking of rations, replenishing of 
ammunition and cleaning of guns. 

During the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, the entire line of the Fifth 
Corps was held in close contact with the enemy's line at from two hundred to 
four hundred yards distant, with the intention of assaulting, if the enemy 
weakened his line in front by withdrawing troops to re-enforce other parts of 
the line in resisting the attacks of the Sixth, Second and Ninth Corps. The 
fighting on the skirmish line was constant and severe with many attacks on either 
side to test the resistance of the line in their front. 

To furnish this firing line, details were made from each Regiment for 
twenty-four hours duty, sometimes the right or the left wing (five companies) 
with a complement of one or two field, and company officers ; sometimes one 
or two or three companies, sometimes heavy details from all of the companies, the 
remainder of the command occupying the intrenchments, ready to support the 
firing line in either defence or attack. 

And so it came that in the fierce continuous fighting at Spottsylvania, the 
distinguishing services of any regiment or brigade or its commander disappears 
and is merged in that of the corps. But in this development of the subordinate 
officers and their detachments, came so many instances of personal gallantry that 
the pen fails to record and a record of the same would be wearisome to the 
reader. It produced in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment a long list 
of magnificent, unsurpassed outpost officers, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, cor- 
porals and privates, equal to any emergency. 

No night was too dark, no thicket too dense, no swamp too treacherous to 
estabUsh a Hne of active skirmishers. In open ground and daylight a squad of 
four men, each with a couple of rails on his shoulder and musket in hand, made 
a rush to the ground selected in advance. On arriving on the ground selected, 
the four of each squad then combined their rails and dropped behind them, one 
firing and three digging. By this means, they intrenched in a few minutes the 
places thus selected with marvelous swiftness and skill, in close contact with the 
enemy. Did the position occupied by the enemy's skirmishers suit better, they 
were by the Union skirmishers boldly charged upon, their line penetrated and 
taken in reverse, prisoners sent to the rear and the pits made to face the other 
way. Reprisals were frequent on both sides, the fighting fierce and deadly — 
sharpshooting constant and skilful. The heroism, tenacity, endurance and suf- 
fering cannot be told. A man or regiment in a historical battle for an hour or 
fraction thereof can say he was in such a battle. What can be said for the de- 
tachments engaged in continuous, hourly battle for the many weary miles from 
Spottsylvania to the James river? The operations in advancing on Cold Harbor 
partook very much of the foregoing character. 

On May the 37th and the 28th, the Regiment marched twenty miles, and 

halted at night very weary and fatigued, sufifering much from heat and thirst. 

On the 28th of May, after reaching Hanoverton, the Regiment crossed the 


Tolopotomy river, and again began putting up as usual works for defense of 

Early in the morning, May 39th, the left of the Ninth Corps connected with 
the right of the Fifth Corps, the Sixth Corps on the right of the Ninth Corps, and 
the Second Corps on the extreme right, and the whole line thrown forward in 
front of Hawes' Store. 

May 30th, the Fifth Corps continued the advance of Griffin's Division to- 
wards Shady Grove Church, capturing two lines of earthworks. 

At the close of the day, the Fifth and Ninth Corps had been placed south 
of the Tolopotomy creek line held by General Lee, and on the right flank of Lee 
with the Second Corps passing the enemy's line along Tolopotomy creek from 
Atlee Station southeastwardly to vicinity of Cold Harbor. 

As fast as ground was gained from the enemy the new position was in- 
trenched, and usually a counter attack had to be repulsed. Occasionally several 
attack had to be repulsed in quick succession. 

More Flanking Movements. — Much Suffering. 

After very severe marching May 27th, and renewed on the 28th of May, 
1864, the Fifth Corps reached and crossed the Pamunkey river about noon, 
where, on the south side of the stream, Ayres' Brigade and the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth were halted, and instead of resting, intrenching tools were dis- 
tributed among the already much fatigued men and the work of chopping down 
trees and building earthworks to defend the position of the Corps was imme- 
diately commenced. At this point in the campaign, from the protracted and 
continuous marches and fighting, there was much suffering among the troops. 
Hundreds of private soldiers could be seen the previous two or three days 
wending their way over the scorching, sandy roads with sorely blistered bare 
feet, unable to wear shoes, caused by wading the streams and marching over 
the sand and stones, and the bruises incident to the severe campaign. But littie 
relief could be afforded the suffering on these marches which were necessary and 
unavoidable. The men, though suffering, bore the hardships and fatigue with but 
little murmuring or complaining. The halt on this day and the construction of 
earthworks was near Hanoverton. The base of supplies for the army was trans- 
ferred, on reaching Hanoverton, to White House Landing on the Peninsula, as 
the latter place afforded a water base for supplies, which was a great advantage, 
affording easier freight deliveries than by long-distance hauling from the Orange 
& Alexandria Railroad from Washington and the supply trains from Fredericks- 
burg following the marching army. 

Early on the morning of the 29th, the Ninth Corps moved into the interval 
between the Sixth and the Fifth Corps, and then the whole line was thrown 
forward in front of the Hawes' store. In this position the Regiment remained on 
the 29th. Generals Early, Breckenridge and Anderson, with their troops in line 
behind the Confederate breastworks, awaited attack. On the morning of the 
30th of May, 1864, General Griffin's Division was ordered by General Warren 


to drive the Confederate skirmishers of General Rodes' Division from the Union 
front. The enemy, however, made a determined resistance, and prolonged their 
line of defense, on which Crawford's Division of the Fifth Corps was brought 
up, and with the assistance of Richardson's Battery, drove the enemy back. 
General Griffin, at this point, ordered General J. Bowman Sweitzer's Brigade 
to advance against the enemy, with the Twenty-second Massachusetts deployed 
as skirmishers, and the Fourth Michigan supporting them. These troops ad- 
vanced, and quite brisk fighting took place, ending in the repulse of the 
Confederates. The Sixty-second Pennsylvania lost heavily in this action. 

General Humphreys, in his " Mrginia Campaigns," says of the situation on 
May the 31st, " The Infantry Corps were pressed up against the enemy as close 
as practicable without assaulting, but the position was so strong, naturally, and 
so well intrenched and the intrenchments so strongly held that an assault was not 
attempted. The skirmish lines, however, were kept up against the enemy and an 
attack threatened." 

June 8, 1864. Griffin's Division was massed this day at Bethesda Church, 
where General " Baldy " Smith's newly-arrived Eighteenth Army Corps occu- 
pied the right. In the afternoon of the ?d of June, 1864, General Lee undertook 
to depart from his defensive policy, and assumed the offensive. He ordered 
General Early to attack the right flank of the Union army. General Bartlett's 
Brigade of the Fifth Corps held the extreme right and on the right of this 
brigade were skirmishers of the Ninth Corps. Desultory firing by both 
armies was kept up all day until late in the afternoon, when the Confederates 
advanced on the flank of Burnside's and Bartlett's skirmishers. General Rodes, 
commanding the Confederate's advance, having cleared off everything that inter- 
posed, made a desperate charge along the whole line, which was met by Griffin's 
Division, which, in time, had discovered Early's movement. General Griffin 
formed Ayres' Brigade in line on the left, Bartlett in the center and Sweitzer on 
the right, and moved forward under musketry and artillery fire to the attack. They 
had the enemy in the open now and were ready to test their strength where 
everything seemed equal. These three brigades threw themselves upon Rodes 
and forced him back to his defenses, both sides incurring heavy losses. 

Treasure Trove. 

During the lulls in the firing on the 2d of June, 1864, while the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth was occupying its breastworks, some enterprising comrades 
■of Company F, in investigating a spot of newly-disturbed earth, quite unex- 
pectedly discovered hidden treasure of value. The breastworks extended through 
an orchard and typical farm of a Virginia planter at Bethesda Church, along the 
Mechanicsville road, about ten miles from Richmond. This treasure, consisting 
of silverware and silver coin, with much Confederate paper money secreted in 
pitchers and cans, had been buried no doubt by the fugitive occupants of the 
farm, to conceal it from the Union troops advancing on Richmond. Privates 
Alexander Stevenson and James J. Carroll, of Company F, although at the time 
hourly interrupted by the firing of the Confederates and the driving in of the 



Union skirmishers, were the lucky discoverers of this 
treasure-trove. The " find " amounted to several hun- 
dred dollars in good gold and silver coin of Uncle 
Sam's minting, considerable silverware, also thousands 
of dollars in Confederate notes, payable only " one year 
after the recognition of the Independence of the South- 
ern Confederacy," which Stevenson and Carroll and 
other companions, and, indeed, the whole of the 
Union army under Meade and Grant were then doing 
their very best to prevent. This discovery produced 
quite a sensation in the ranks. 

In the active campaigning then engaging the at- 
tention of the officers of the army, no inquiry was 
ever instituted to have these lucky soldiers disgorge 
the mone}' and valuables thus found by them and ap- 
propriated to their own use. 

A few hours later. Sergeant Lancaster and Pri- 
vates McKenna, Hipsley and Douglass, of Company 
E, under the fire of the enemy on the advanced skir- 
mish line, rescued and carried in from the front the 
body of Private Theophilus S. Callen, of the same 
company, who had been killed on vidette outpost just 
before daylight that morning. Whilst engaged in burying their fallen comrade at 
the foot of a peach tree just inside the breastworks, the burial party unearthed 
buried treasure, consisting of silverware, cutlery and Confederate paper money, 
but no gold or silver coins. 

Many were wounded in broad dajdight on this day from the frequent as- 
saults of the enemy's skirmishers. Two worthy privates of Company E, Daniel 
Horner and John Horner, brothers, received mortal wounds, and Private William 
Evans received a double wound, one in the face, shattering his jaw, and the 
other in the arm and wrist. 


Cold Harbor Assaults. 
General Grant had intended to make a general 
assault on Cold Harbor on the 2d, but it was postponed 
until the next day at 4 : 30 p. M., on the 3d. Three 
corps, commanded by Hancock, Wright and Smith, re- 
spectively, assaulted the Confederates works. The 
ground over which these corps moved was very much 
exposed, and in the charge the troops were subjected 
to a cross-fire which occasioned severe loss. In the 
meantime Burnside's Ninth Corps, assisted by part of 
the Fifth Corps also created a diversion, by attacking 
the enemy's line near Bethesda Church, carrying the 
advanced line. The enemy again attempted to retake 
this position in the afternoon, but their attack was re- 




pulsed with considerable loss. General Ayres' Brigade and the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth took part in this attack and repulse of the enemy. Immediately after 
the assault on the 3d of June at Cold Harbor, General Grant visited all the corps 
commanders, and, after interviews, decided to abandon offensive operations at 
that point. General Grant states, in his Memoirs, " I have always regretted that 
the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. No advantage whatever was 
gained to compensate for the heavy loss sustained." General Humphreys, the 
Chief-of-Staff of the Army of the Potomac, and who, as Chief of Topographical 
Engineers in the Peninsula campaign under McClellan, had become thoroughly 
familiar with the strength of the Confederate defenses, protested to General 
Grant against making the charge and assaults upon the works at Cold Harbor, 
declaring, in his opinion, the same to be impregnable. 

From the disaster at Cold Harbor the army rested in the breastworks in the 
various positions occupied by the corps, with occasional skirmishing and changes 


of unimportant positions, until June 12, 1864. Both armies were then in condi- 
tion for a cessation of hostilities from the unprecedented severity of the cam- 
paign, and daily engagements and skirmishes occurring since May 5th, in the 

General Grant had visited, as already stated, all the corps commanders at 
Cold Harbor, after the assault of the 3d, and had ordered General Hancock's 
column, after the first repulse of that desperate assault, to reform his line to 
renew the assault on the Confederate works, but that corps had lost so many 
Generals and field officers of high rank in addition to the very heavy losses of 
enlisted men, that Hancock reported to General Grant that his decimated corps 
and ranks could not be made to renew the assault. 

A flag of truce was soon afterwards sent to General Lee by General Grant 
for the burial of the Union dead in front of the Confederate positions. As a 


result of the interviews with his corps commanders, General Grant thereupoji 
decided to abandon all offensive operations at that point. The Fifth and the 
Ninth Corps, with Wilson's Cavalry, covered the right of the Army of the Po- 
tomac, during the 2d and 3d of June, from the vicinity of Bethesda Church to 
the Pamunkey river, the main body of the Confederate cavalry being on Lee's 
left, with Fitz Hugh Lee's Division on his right. On the afternoon of the 'Jd, 
General Lee, having been re-inforced, determined to take the offensive, and with 
Early's Division, attacked in force the Union right, and being re-inforced by 
Rodes' Division, the latter troops succeeded in getting into the rear of the Fifth 
Corps skirmish line. While Generals \\'arren and Burnside were thus engaged on 
the right of the line, repelling this assault, Generals Smith and Wright, with their 
Corps, made an attack on the Confederate position at Cold Harbor, which was par- 
ticularly successful. General Smith capturing upwards of eight hundred prisoners 
and the first line of the enemy's works. The occupation on the right of the 
position held by the Fifth and the Ninth Corps engaged in heavy skirmishing 
on the 3d, prevented those two corps from participating in the intended general 
assault at Cold Harbor on the Confederate position. However, to create a diver- 
sion, the Ninth Corps, assisted by portions of the Fifth Corps, attacked and 
carried an advance line of the enemy at Bethesda Church, which in the after- 
noon the enem)^ by a counter-attack, attempted to re-take, but were repulsed 
with considerable loss. These two corps, the Ninth and Fifth, while thus en- 
gaged, were serving the purpose on the 3d of preventing large portions of the 
Confederate forces from re-inforcing General Lee's defenses and assisting in 
the repulse of Hancock, W^right and Smith, in their unsuccessful assault, which 
was attended with such heavy loss of life of officers and men. 

In all these movements and attacks by Warren's troops, the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth was an active participant, as shown by the casualty returns. 

On June 7th, while the One Hundred and Fiftj'-fifth was resting in the 
breastworks, George P. Fulton, Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant, received, on 
requisition, a full supply of shoes for the Regiment, being a portion of the shoes 
provided for the Fifth Corps by the lamented General James S. \\'adsworth at 
his own expense, previous to the beginning of the Wilderness campaign, in an- 
ticipation of their probable need at this time. So many of the Regiment being 
barefooted at this time, this foresight of General Wadsworth was greatly 

A Retrospect of the Overland Campaign. 

Up to the crossing of the James River by the Army of the Potomac about 
forty days had elapsed since the beginning of the campaign, and never before 
in the history of the world had such continuous bloody fighting taken place 
in any war. During that entire period, day and night, some part of the army was 
engaged in battle. 

Frequently a single regiment on the skirmish line or on picket duty, being 
suddenly attacked, would hold its ground against the enemy until overpowered 
and cut to pieces. 


The troops were continuously within hearing of cannonading from some 
portion of the fighting zone, and they became so accustomed to the sounds that, 
like the ticking of a clock, they ceased to notice them. 

On one occasion during this overland campaign to Richmond, the Fifth 
•Corps, in the vicinity of Bethesda Church and Cold Harbor, had, quite unex- 
pectedly to the Confederates, captured a position so favorable to military opera- 
tions that it was almost a certainty that a desperate attempt would be made by the 
enemy to recover it. Quickly forming in line of battle, the Union troops, with 
•quickened pulses, awaited the enemy's onslaught. The line of battle thus formed 
■extended across a ravine or water-course several hundred yards wide, covered 
by low-standing timber and underbrush that hid the troops occupying it from the 
view of the other parts of the line, and also concealed their position and strength 
from the enemy. 

The expected attack was not long delayed, but instead of assaulting along 
the entire line of the Fifth Corps the Confederates, from some cause — perhaps 
in the behef that it was the weakest part of the line — concentrated their efforts in 
fierce and persistent attacks against the part of the line occupying the ravine. 

The brave Michigan troops composing part of the brigade in the ravine, 
bracing themselves against the storm of lead and hail and bursting shells hurled 
against them, repulsed in turn the repeated attacks. The right and left wings 
■of the Union hne on the higher ground on each side of the ravine, stood at 
parade-rest in an expectant attitude, listening with breathless interest to the 
tumult of hell going on in the ravine, and giving but passing attention to the 
shells that went screeching over their heads from a distant Confederate battery. 

The suspense endured by the boys of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth while 
thus waiting to be attacked amid the commotion was worse than the actual 
furor of battle. 

The rapid and furious fighting in the ravine, charging and counter-charging, 
after a time resulted in a scarcity of cartridges, and soon came the cry from the 
heroic Michiganders for ammunition. To supply this want an ammunition 
wagon drawn by six mules was rapidly driven to the front, the drivers lashing 
and urging their animals to "their utmost speed. The team went rushing through 
the parted ranks of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth to the front, and wheeled 
around, leaving the rear of the wagon towards the front. Immediately two sol- 
diers ran to the rear of the wagon, one on each side, to let down the endgate, 
while another mounted the wagon to push the boxes of ammunition to the ex- 
pectant soldiers. While engaged in this work a cannon shot with a demoniac 
screech passed between the soldiers at the endgate, struck the tar bucket hanging 
to the axle of the wagon, bespattering the soldiers with tar, passed under the 
wagon, out along the wagon tongue between the mules, and ricocheted over the 
heads of the Regiment, injuring neither man nor beast. 

While it is quite natural to suppose that the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
boys were glad enough not to be down in the vortex of death and destruction 
going on so close to their position, yet such was the patriotism and the sympa- 
thetic emotion excited within the breasts of many that had there been no re- 
straint they would have rushed to the assistance of their comrades in the midst 


of the battle. Indeed, as it was, a young corporal of Company F, Samuel W. 
Hill, seized a box of ammunition and lugged it down the slope through the 
bushes into the midst of the zipping minie balls and hurtling fragments of burst- 
ing shells till compelled by exhaustion to relinquish his burden to stronger but 
not more willing hands. 

Successful Strategic Operations. 

On the 9th of June, 1864, General Meade directed Major Dunn, Chief En- 
gineer of the Army of the Potomac, to select and intrench a Hne in the rear 
of the position at Cold Harbor, to be held while the arrhy was withdrawing and 
moving to the south of the James river. The intrenchments so ordered were im- 
mediately constructed, and were finished on the morning of the 11th of June. 
On the 10th, General Warren's Corps was directed to move, and advance to a 
position, keeping entirely out of the observation of the enemy, which the Corps 
did successfully. General Warren, being advised confidentially of the part his 
corps would take in the march to the James, was directed to move as soon as it 
was dark on the evening of the 12th. General B. F. Butler, on the 9th of June, 
sent General Gilmore and General Kautz from City Point with the cavalry of the 
Army of the James on an expedition against Petersburg, to capture the city and 
also to destroy the railroad bridge across the Appomattox. The expedition con- 
sisted of four thousand infantry and fifteen hundred cavalry. General Gilmore 
says the pontoon bridge over the Appomattox river was not muffled as was prom- 
ised it should be, and that the crossing of Kautz Cavalry could be heard for 
miles, and no doubt put the enemy on his guard. These movements under Gen- 
erals Gilmore and Kautz were wholly unsuccessful. General Beauregard, com- 
manding the forts and intrenchments of Confederates at Petersburg telegraphed 
to Richmond that, having sent all his troops to re-inforce General Lee, he would 
be obliged to abandon the lines at Bermuda Hundred or those of Petersburg, 
unless his own troops with others to man the fortifications of Petersburg were 
at once sent to him by General Lee. 

Grant's Army Crosses the James-River. 

The quietness and secrecy with which the orders of Grant and Meade for 
the crossing of the James River and change of base of the Army of the Potomac 
were carried out by Generals Warren, Hancock and Humphreys, Chief-of-Staff, 
exhibited the highest order of military skill on the part of those commanders. 
It effectually deceived General Lee, who disregarded the repeated requests and 
appeals of Beauregard, and ignored dispatches from other Confederates that 
the columns of the Army of the Potomac were being rapidly transported across 
the James to capture Petersburg. General E. P. Alexander, General Lee's 
Chief-of-Artillery at Gettysburg and subsequent campaigns, in a very recently 
published history, departs from the usual style of Confederate writers by 
venturing to criticise and to question the infallibility of Lee's generalship in 
this campaign. In his ably-written work. General Alexander declares that General 





Lee was very much at fault in refusing to believe the warnings and notices from 
Beauregard and others that Grant's entire army was across the James en route 
tc Petersburg, and in scouting the information as unreliable and incredible, from 
the reports obtained by him through his officers and scouts on duty in front of 

To General Humphreys, the Chief-pf- Staff of General Meade, too much 
■credit cannot be given for the successful carrying out of the project, or plan, to 
transfer bodily an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men — infantry, cav- 
alry and artillery and their immense wagon trains — across the James, success- 
fully eluding the unusually expert and vigilant enemy, from whose immediate 
front this army had withdrawn. Not a man of that great command was killed 
-or captured by the enemy in this great movement over the James. So carefully 
had every point been guarded and every advantage taken to keep from view the 
movements, that it was, in fact, all accomplished without discovery by the enemy. 

In preparing to carry out the project made by General Humphreys for trans- 
fer of the Union army to the south side of the James, General Warren was di- 
rected to move his corps out the Long-Bridge road, not only far enough to cover 
the crossing of the Chickahominy by the army, but also to hold the bridge over 
White-Oak swamp. It was expected that such a movement by General Warren 
would deceive General Lee, by giving him the impression that it was an advance 
upon Richmond. The movement evidently made the desired impression upon 
General Lee, and to a greater extent than was contemplated, as his subsequent 
movements and actions show. General E. P. Alexander states that Lee was 
uncertain what the Army of the Potomac was doing until the afternoon of 
the 17th of June, when the entire Army of the Potomac was south of the James 
river with all its cavalry and trains. 

One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Transferred to Sweitzer's Brigade. 

On the 16th of June the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, by steam-ferry, 
crossed to the south side of the James river, at Wilcox Landing. On the 15th 
of June, previous to crossing the James river, the Regiment was, by the follow- 
ing circular or order, transferred from the First Brigade of the Second Division 
of the Fifth Corps, General Ayres commanding, to the Second Brigade of the 
First Division of the same Corps, General Griffin commanding. 

" Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

" June 15, 1864. 

" The Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Gregory, and the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Major Ewing, are relieved 
from duty with the Second Division, General Ayres, and will report to Brigadier- 
General Griffin, commanding the First Division. 

" By command of 

" Major-General G. K. Warren, 

" Fred T. Locke, Assistant Adjt.-Gen." 



This order transferred the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment to the 
Brigade commanded by Colonel J. Bowman Sweitzer, composed of the following 
regiments: Sixty-second, Ninety-first and One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers and the Twenty-first Pennsylvania Cavalry, dismounted. 
This was a most gratifying order to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, because 
■of the popularity of General Sweitzer and of the men of the Sixty-second Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers — fellow Western Pennsylvanians with whom they were here- 
after to be brigaded. 


Chapter XIV. 


June 18th, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Assaults Enemy's Fortifica- 
tions IN Front of Petersburg. — Disastrous Effect of Charge. — One Hun- 
dred AND Fifty-fifth Regiment Transferred to Sweitzer's Brigade of 
Griffin's Division. — Official Orders of General Griffin, Congratulating 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth on Brilliant Conduct in Charge of 18th 
of June. — Fifth Corps Headquarters Established at Avery Mansion. — 
Siege of Petersburg Entered Upon. — Jerusalem Plank Road and Weldon 
Railroad. — Distressing Scenes on Battlefield. — Colonel Pearson Re- 
instated in Command, Participates in Engagement. — Major Ewing 
Slightly Wounded in Foot. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth in Trenches. 
— Departure of Sixty-second Pennsylvania. — Recruits of Sixty-second 
Pennsylvania Transferred to One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. — Warren's 
Headquarters at A^'ERY House. — Accuracy of Picket Firing. — Covered 
Ways. — Mortar Plants. — Explosion of Mine. — Griffin's Division Destroys 
Railroad. — Impetuous Charges of Confederates Upon Union Line.- — Re- 
pulse OF Enemy. — Furious Dash Upon One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and 
Bloody Repulse. — Corps Headquarters of General Warren at Yellow 

Tavern. — Casualties. 

Assaults.^ — Siege of Petersburg. 

JY MIDNIGHT of the 16th of June, 1864, the entire Army of the 
Potomac, with all its numerous wagon and artillery trains, had suc- 
cessfully moved from its positions in front of Richmond and the 
Confederate army of General Lee, and crossed the James River 
without the loss of a man, gun or wagon. 
General Wright's Sixth Corps covered the operation, being the last troops 
to reach the right bank of the James. The navy also assisted with its armored 
ships and gun-boats in covering the passage of the river; but the movement 
being undiscovered by the enemy, neither army nor navy had occasion to inter- 
fere during the passage. 

General Hancock's Corps, on the 14th, was the first to cross, with all its 
infantry and four batteries of artillery, to the south bank of the James. The 
Fifth Corps, late at night on the 17th of June, was ordered by General Meade 
to make an assault in strong columns upon the enemy's works in front of 
Petersburg. At four o'clock on the following morning the attack was ordered 




to be made by the Fifth, the Ninth and the Second Corps, with portions of the 
Sixth Corps and the Eighteenth Corps, and other troops were to be held in 
readiness to support the attack. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was with 
this Fifth Corps assaulting column, but on the morning of the 18th it was 
found that the enemy had abandoned the intrenchments which they had so suc- 
cessfully defended the day before. The ground in front of the points previously 
assaulted was thickly covered with the killed and the trenches at those points 
filled with Confederate dead from the assaults of the previous day by Smith's, 
Hancock's and the Ninth Corps. Finding the Confederate line abandoned, Gen- 
eral Meade at once ordered the army to press forward and to make renewed 
attacks on the enemy's inner works before they could receive re-inforcements 
from Lee's army. The Fifth Corps on the left of the Ninth, in this new advance, 
had a very considerable distance to traverse to reach the second line of in- 
trenchments of the enemy's main line, and it was exposed to a very severe ar- 
tillery fire during the advance movement. Deep ravines and a Norfolk Railroad 
cut, which was held by the enemy at its northern end, and from which an 
enfilading fire from batteries and skirmishers was kept up at frequent intervals, 
made it very difficult to cross. 

On the 18th of June, General Meade ordered a simultaneous attack on the 
enemy's works, and fixed the hour at twelve o'clock, directing all the corps to 
attack at the same hour with strong columns. General Burnside's and General 
Warren's Corps were kept occupied in endeavoring to drive the enemy out of the 
railroad cut in their front, so as to get close enough to the enemy's intrenchments 
to assault. The ground to be passed over was open and exposed to the enemy's 
artillery fire for a long distance. General Meade again ordered assaults by all 
the corps with their whole force at all hazard as soon as possible, as he found it 
useless to appoint an hour to effect co-operation. 

One Hundred and Fifty-fifth ]\Lvkes Bayonet Charge. 

All the corps assaulted the enemy's works late in the afternoon and at hours 
not widely apart, but were repulsed with considerable loss. General Warren's 
assault with the Fifth Corps was well made. Griffin's Division being particularly 
conspicuous and heavy losers. Thfe One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, which 
had but a few days previous been transferred to Sweitzer's Brigade of Griffin's 
Division, led the advance in the charge on this day, many of its men being killed 
within twenty feet of the Confederate works, and many more, crossing over that 
distance, occupied the moat around the hostile works unobserved by the enemy be- 
hind the same. This charge of Griffin's Division and of Warren's Corps with fixed 
bayonets was no more successful than the other assaults. Lieutenant-Colonel 
John Ewing led the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth on this bayonet charge, and 
gave the order to fall back only when the enfilading fire of musketry and artillery 
of the enemy supplementing the direct destructive fire made the chance of success 

In this charge the loss of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment was 
greater than in an}^ other engagement during its campaigns. Captain Samuel A. 


McKee, of Company I, a veteran of the Mexican War, a brave and capable 
officer, fell mortally wounded leading this charge, dying on the field of battle, 
a true soldier's death. 

On the death of Captain McKee, the boy Captain of the Regiment, A. 
H. Heisey, took command of the storming column during the remainder of the 
battle, and when the order to retreat was given 'by Lieutenant-Colonel Ewing, 
conducted the movement successfully, under the direct and enfilading fire of 
the enemy. Captain Heisey received commendations from both Lieutenant- 
Colonel Ewing, commanding the Regiment, and General Sweitzer, the Brigade 
commander, for his cool courage throughout the action. 

Both Captains Heisey and Kilgore were particularly in demand as experts 
in the zouave skirmish drill during the campaign. 

Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, of the Twentieth Maine, in Griffin's Division, 
also led his Brigade under the destructive fire of the enemy. Colonel Chamber- 
lain was wounded in the leg, resulting in the loss of a limb whilst in command 
of his brigade in this assault. He received the distinction of being promoted 
on the field of battle to the rank of Brigadier-General by General Grant. 

General J. Bowman Sweitzer, of Pittsburg, commanded the Brigade, and 
was conspicuous for his bravery in this severe engagement. It occurred but a 
few days before the term of service of his regiment, the Sixty-second Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, expired, and made it a soldierly test. 

One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Complimented. 

Generals Meade and Warren both issued complimentary orders to Griffin's 
Division on the great valor and gallantry displayed by the men in this brilliant 
charge upon the enemy's fortifications. 

The following official dispatch was forwarded from the battlefield that night 
by General Griffin to General Meade, referring to the part taken by the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth in the charge: 

" Headquarters First Division, Fifth Corps. 

"June 18, 1864. 
" Colonel Locke, 

" Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifth Army Corps. 
"Colonel: In answer to your statement just received, I have to state that 
nearly all the dead and wounded were recovered. A very few of the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania are still, I fear, outside, perhaps within twenty 
feet of the earthworks. 

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" Chas. Griffin, Brigadier-General." 

The next morning at nine o'clock General Warren officially dispatched tO' 
General Meade a report of this charge, from which the following extract is 


given concerning the participation of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth in the 
great charge : 

" Headquarters, Fifth Army Corps. 

" June 19, 1864, 9 a. m. 
" Brigadier-General S. WilHams, 

" Acting Adjutant-General Army of the Potomac. 
" My Division commanders report that all their dead and wounded were 
recovered last night, except a few of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers (Griffin's Division), which lie within twenty feet of the 
enemy's works. 

" G. K. W.ARREN, !Maj.-Gen. Commanding.'' 

General Sweitzer, before departing with his regiment, the Sixty-second 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, for Pittsburg, a few days after this memorable charge, 
wrote Colonel Pearson, who had again been restored to the command of the 
Regiment, that as he had vouched to General Griffin for the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Regiment, in requesting its transfer to his brigade from General 
Ayres' Brigade, he had asked General Griffin how he was satisfied with Pearson's 
zouave regiment, and that Griffin had emphatically replied that, in his opinion, 
no better troops or regiment existed in the Army of the Potomac, as their actions 
in the desperate charge on the 18th of June had fallen under his own personal 

General Griffin subsequently issued a formal order congratulating the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the other regiments of the brigade on their brilliant 
conduct in the charge of the 18th of June. 

Incidents of the Charge. 

This battle of the 18th of June was fought on what is known as the " Avery 
Farm," on which was erected a fine mansion of colonial style. This house, which 
was situated between the lines, was unoccupied, and was frequently struck by shot 
and shell, being, by the advance of the Fifth Corps quite close to the Confederate 
fortifications, the scene of the assault of June 18th. This family mansion, by 
the advance of the Union lines, being well within the same, later became the 
headquarters of General Warren and his staff, attaches, orderlies and telegraph 
operators connected with the Corps. The advance of the Fifth Corps on the 
18th of June to within twenty feet of the enemy's works, where assaulted by 
General Sweitzer's Brigade, as officially stated, was the high-water mark of the 
charge of Grant's army in the siege of Petersburg. 

Immediately after the charge, on the following day, the regular siege of 
Petersburg was entered upon, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth still holding its 
advanced position. The Fifth Corps works, as laid out by General Warren, 
were commenced, and a line was constructed on the position gained by the ad- 
vance of Sweitzer's Brigade in that memorable charge. 







A most remarkable incident occurred 
during this charge. When Lieutenant- 
Colonel John Ewing, finding that his 
men were falling thick around him, 
and that it was evident that his small 
force could not capture and hold the 
works of the enemy in front, ordered 
tke .men- of. the- Regimnet to fall back ; 
instead of obeying this order, Sergeant 
William F. Collner, of Company G. 
Private James A. Rankin, of Company 
I, and a number of others of the Regi- 
ment, thinking it safer to continue their 
advance, ran the short distance to the 
enemy's fort, being about a distance 
of not more than twenty feet, and took 
refuge in the ditch or moat surround- 
ing it. 

In this position they were completely 
protected from the direct and enfilading 
fire to which the Regiment had been ex- 
posed on falling back under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Ewing's orders. These members of the Regiment, probably a dozen in 
number, remained in this hazardous position undiscovered by the enemy until 
night, under cover of which, they, in turn, succeeded in escaping, crawling back 
on hands and knees within the Union lines. 

Private James A. Rankin, of Company I, was one of the parties who secured 
shelter in the moat of the Confederate fortification. Becoming impatient, and ' 
expressing fears of being taken prisoner with its known horrors, Rankin, against 
the urgent entreaties of all the comrades who were sheltered in the ditch, made 
a rush before dark to gain the open space between the lines, and thereby exposing 
himself to the Confederate sharpshooters, was instantly killed, his body falling 
back into the ditch. 

During the night the enemy, out of humanity, believing the parties in their 
front to be wounded, or engaged in removing the dead, did not open fire on the 
moving parties in the space between the lines. Captain McKee's body and that 
of Privates W. A. Liken and David Lear, of Company E, instantly killed in the 
charge, were removed in the night by comrades without molestation by the enemy 
and buried in the ravine below the crest from where the charge was made. 

Among the numerous narrow escapes in this assault was that of Color- 
Bearer-Sergeant Thomas L Marlin, who received a shght wound on the chin, 
which paralyzed his jaws for several days. 

If the charge of the 18th of June already described, in which the First and 
the Second Brigade of Griffin's Division lost so heavily, and many of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth storming the enemy's works were killed within twenty 
feet of the same, had taken place the day previous, the Regiment would un- 





■doubtedly have succeeded in carrying the works and entering Petersburg, as 
during the night of the 17th General Beauregard had been re-inforced from 
General Lee's army, Anderson's and Hill's Corps having both arrived and secured 
positions before the final Union assault was made. Lieutenant-General Grant, 
to whom General Meade reported the action on the advance of June 18th, made 
the following reply : 

" City Point, \'a., 

June 18, 1864, 10 o'clock p. m. 
" Major-General Meade : 

" I am perfectly satisfied that all has been done that could be done, and 
that the assaults to-day were called for, with all the appearance and information 
that could be obtained. Now we shall rest the men, and use the spade for their 
protection, until a new vein can be struck. 

U S. Gr.ant, Lieutenant-General." 

Then began the long and tedious work of besieging the city of Peters- 
burg under the supervision of the army engineers. Frowning redoubts, long 
lines of breastworks, mortar batteries and field works of all kinds were con- 
structed — the sortie, the bomb-proof, the mine, the counter-mine, the covered 
ways, were all now to be added to the experience of those who had not partici- 
pated in the siege of Yorktown. This necessitated the encircling or covering of 
two railroads, the Weldon and the Lynchburg, as the siege of Petersburg 





June 21, 186-1. The disastrous repulses of the several storming columns had 
convinced General Grant that the defenses around Petersburg were impregnable 
against direct assault ; and henceforth the energies of the Union army were to 
be directed against General Lee's lines of communication with the South. On 
this day active operations were again commenced by the main army, having in 
view the capture of the Weldon Railroad. 

Battle of Jerusalem Plank Ro.\d. 

The Second Corps advanced across the Norfolk Railroad and then marched 
rapidly southward, followed by Griffin's Division and the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Pennsylvania, under an intensely hot sun and stifling, blinding clouds of 
dust. In the afternoon the Second Corps, in advance, struck the enemy in the 
vicinity of the Jerusalem Plank Road which runs southward from Petersburg. 
From the nature of the earthworks constructed by the enemy parallel with the 
Jerusalem Plank Road, it was very evident that Lee understood the very great 
importance of the Weldon Railroad, and was ready and determined to defend it. 
A severe engagement took place on what was known as the Davis Farm, about 
three miles south of Petersburg. The Sixth Corps came up during the night fol- 
lowing, and formed on the left of the Second Corps, prepared to move in con- 
junction with that corps against the railroad. The right of the Second Corps 
rested on the Jerusalem Plank Road, with Griffin's Division including the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth of the Fifth Corps, on the opposite side of the rail- 
road. On the 22d of June, when the advance against the Confederate works was 
renewed by the Sixth and the Second Corps, desiring to mass more closely, the 
left of the Second Corps began to press toward the right, thus creating a gap 
between the two corps. Quick to take advantage of this mistake, the Confederate 
General, Hill, pushed Mahone's Division into the gap. As was usual with the 
enemy, the attack on the Union lines was made with tremendous energy, resulting 
in the capture of many Union prisoners. 

On the afternoon of the 33d of June, the Fifth Corps, being camped in 
reserve, resting from its labors on the fatigue duty and work of the siege and 
picket, was suddenly summoned to break camp and to double-quick half a mile 
to the front in the vicinity of the Jerusalem Plank Road, at the advanced posi- 
tion in the breast works held by the Second Corps. The enemy had attacked in 
force the breastworks occupied by General Corcoran's Irish Legion, consisting of 
a brigade of New York regiments, and after meeting considerable resistance, the 
Confederates broke through the line, captured many prisoners and carried the 
breastworks. It was to relieve this part of the line that General Sweitzer's 
Brigade and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth of Griffin's Division was sum- 
moned. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the Brigade at once advanced 
beyond the lines of Corcoran's Irish Legion, which had suffered terribly, and the 
Regiment at once deployed as skirmishers, being only a few yards from the 
enemy in places. It was quite dark and the obscurity was further deepened by 
the woods in which the battle and skirmishing was being conducted; but the 
Brigade held its advanced position until daylight, when it advanced and drove 


the enemy from the Union breastworks which they had captured the day previous. 
The scenes on the field when Sweitzer's Brigade and the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth advanced through the lines of the troops of the Second Corps, sur- 
passed in terrible agony and misery any that the Regiment had previously ex- 
perienced. This peculiar fact was caused by the closeness of the range of the 
enemy's artillery and musketry fire in the woods and roads. The One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth was obliged at one point of the action to change position, and 
move across the Jerusalem Plank Road at a point commanded by a most perfect 
range of a Confederate battery. The officers in command of the Regiment with- 
held the order for the movement across the Jerusalem Plank Road, and leaving 
the woods sheltering it, until the enemy's battery in question had fired its volley 
along the Plank Road, and then before the battery could be re-loaded to fire 
again, the Regiment double-quicked across the narrow road to the new position 
on the line assigned it. 

A previous volley from the Confederate's battery commanding the road had 
poured its deadly shot into a regiment less fortunate than the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth, while it was moving across the fatal point of this road. On the 
roadside crossed by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth were dozens of men struck 
and mortally wounded, piled in the middle of the road, and crawling to the side, 
many shouting in their delirium of home, mothers, wives, and others appealing 
most piteously to the Almighty for relief. The dead also strewn upon the road 
from the same cause were very numerous. As stated, it may be doubted whether 
a more horrible sight than that met by Sweitzer's Brigade in rapidly crossing the 
Jerusalem Plank Road at this point, was ever witnessed on any battlefield. 

As to the desperate character of this action, General J. Bowman Sweitzer, 
who was commanding the Brigade, and whose long and honorable service in all 
the campaigns of the army of the Potomac had earned for him a Brevet Brigadier- 
Generalship, expressed the opinion that this afifair of the "22d of June on the 
Jerusalem Plank Road was one of the severest engagements in which he or his 
command had ever participated. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was fortu- 
nate, however, in 'sustaining comparatively slight loss in this engagement, which 
resulted in recapturing the works taken from the Second Corps. 

Incidents of the Engagement. 

This was the first engagement in which Colonel Pearson had participated 
since his altercation with General Ayres and suspension from the command of 
the Regiment, in the battle of the Wilderness. Lieutenant-Colonel John Ewing 
was slightly wounded in the foot in this action, and four others of the Regiment 
were wounded. One of the comrades of Company E received a wound under 
most peculiar circumstances. His name was Hugh Bayne, who, although hale 
and hearty physically, and at home a coal miner by occupation and used to 
laborious work, was discovered, after his enhstment and settling down to duty 
in the service, to be mentally weak. From this fact, commanders of the company 
would never allow him to take charge of a gun or musket in the camp, on the 
march, or in battle, Bayne was assigned duty to be performed with an ax or 


shovel or other peaceful implement — work which he did cheerfully. By some 
extraordinary oversight in this day's engagement, Bayne, who did not realize 
what danger was, accompanied the Regiment and Company to the relief of the 
position of the Second Corps on the front of the line. Armed with a shovel, 
Bayne stood up at one point of the action, when all of the Regiment in response 
to orders of the officers had lain down and were hugging the earth as closely as 
possible to avoid the enemy's shots. In plain view of the Regiment, Bayne 
arose, and seeing the enemy's line very distinctly, turned around to inform his 
comrades of the fact, when the enemy sent a minie ball through his jaw. It is 
said this occurrence was the only time that poor Bayne was ever known to look 
serious. His wound, however, was not dangerous. He was taken to the hospital 
and, after recovery, discharged for mental incapacity. 

For half an hour in the same evening of the S2d, the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth was tinder the severest shelling at the closest range it had ever ex- 
perienced, the shells in great numbers striking in their .front, in their midst, and 
in their rear, ricocheting and bursting with crashes as if the heavens were 
falling. And yet amidst the storm of fragments of ragged iron, the Regiment, 
hugging the earth closely, suffered comparatively little harm. 

The Fifth Corps was pushed up close to the Confederate works, occupying 
the ground a little to the eastward of the direct Petersburg front, being the iden- 
tical position in advance which it had captured in the assault of the 18th of June. 

After re-capturing the works of the Second Corps from the enemy and hold- 
ing them a day or two the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth went back into reserve 

Sixty-second Departs for Home. 

On the night of the 3d of July, 1864, the Sixty-second Pennsylvania Regi- 
ment, commanded by Brevet Brigadier-General J. Bowman Sweitzer, on account 
of the expiration of its three year's service, took its departure from the front for 
its journey home to Pittsburg. The night before, notwithstanding the picket firing 
and shelling and the bomb-proof places of refuge existing in front of Petersburg, 
special permission was given the officers and men of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Regiment for a display of good will and to bid farewell to General 
Sweitzer and to the officers and men of the Sixty-second Regiment. 

The officers of General Sweitzer's Brigade and General Griffin, commander 
of the Division, tendered General Sweitzer the honor of a farewell banquet — 
if the humble fare of the commissary stores and the holding of the same 
amid the firing of the enemy will admit of being designated a banquet. On 
the "menu," however, were "commissary" and "hardtack" in abundance. 
Colonel Pearson, who had rejoined and resumed command of the Regiment, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ewing, Major Cline, Captains Laughlin, Quartermaster Pal- 
mer, Kilgore, Allen and Heisey, participated on the behalf of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth in these festivities. Among the guests also in attendance was 
Brevet Brigadier-General Richard Coulter, Colonel of the famous Eleventh 
Pennsylvania Volunteers. General Coulter, like General Sweitzer, had been per- 
mitted by the authorities at Washington to command various bodies of troops in 




active service, performing, for two years, ttie duties of Brigadier-General, but, 
despite the repeated recommendations of Generals Meade and Grant, for gallantry 
in action, he had been refused the vi^ell-earned commission. 

In General Sweitzer's farewell remarks on the occasion, he congratulated 
General Griffin, the Division commander, who was present, on the transfer of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment to his division, stating that he had re- 
quested the War Department, because of his special confidence in the gallantry 
and bravery of Colonel Pearson and Lieutenant-Colonel Ewing, so long the 
commanders of the Regiment in the active campaigns, that the three hundred men 
of the Sixty-second Regiment, whose terms of service had not expired, be 
assigned to and distributed among the companies of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment. He also declared, turning to Colonel Pearson, that he felt no 
uneasiness as to the future of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, after what he 
himself had witnessed of their storming and assaulting the enemy's works on 
the 18th of June, while serving in his (Sweitzer's) Brigade. 

The Sixty-second Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers left for home on the 
3d of July, after the banquet in their honor held on the night of July 3d. 

Many of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth were permitted to accompany the 
officers and men of the Sixty-second some distance from their camp to ex- 
change farewells and to send messages to relatives and friends in Pittsburg and 

The revised Regimental roster in the Appendix shows the names and ranks 
of the members of the Sixty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, thus transferred 
to serve unexpired terms in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. It is but due these 
officers and men, thus transferred, to record the fact that no worthier, braver, or 
more chivalric soldiers than they proved to be while serving in the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth, ever faced an enemy. 

Avery Mansion. — Corps Headquarters. 

Through the close proximity of all the officers and men to the corps General 
and staff, his orders are given immediate attention, and distributed to the division 
and brigade commanders of the corps without delay. The right arm of the corps 
General, at his headquarters, is called the Assistant Adjutant-General of the 
■corps, with the rank of Colonel. He is furnished two assistants with the rank 
■of Captain, and also a number of enlisted men detailed to assist in copy- 
ing orders and preserving records, and tabulating morning reports and other 
routine work. 

It is through the Adjutant-General of the corps that all executive work and 
'details of the corps, as planned and directed by the corps commander, are shaped 
and formulated for action and communication to all subordinate division com- 
manders. Really, though usually but little seen or known to the public, the corps 
Adjutant-General is a most responsible officer, his office demanding constant 
energy in the discharge of the duties in active campaigning. The Fifth Corps 
was most fortunate in having, during the three years' service of the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth Regiment in the field, the duties of Assistant Adjutant-Gen- 


eral, performed by Colonel Fred T. Locke, of New York, who was wounded 
in action several times, and on special recommendation of General Meade, 
was brevetted Brigadier-General for gallantry and meritorious services in 
the field. 

The location of corps headquarters in the early da)s of the siege of Peters- 
burg in the Avery Mansion was a source of no little concern to the large colony 
to be described below as comprising the headquarters. The shelling by the 
enemy, the Union mortar firing and Confederate replies, made the locality and 
building most undesirable, especially at night, when coveting tired nature's sweet 
restorer. General Warren and his personal staff preferred the beautiful lawn, 
and erected their tents on that ground. This left the stately mansion for the 
United States Military Telegraph operators, the Signal Corps and other depart- 
ments. The upper stories were reserved for sleeping apartments, the accommo- 
dations being limited to sleeping on uncarpeted floors. 

During the first days of the siege, both armies were hard at work strength- 
ening positions and extending their defenses, working at night as well as all day, 
in regular relief working parties. 

On account of his reputation as a military engineer. General Warren, as 
corps commander, was, with the rank and file, kept unusually busy day and night 
in the great work of investing the Confederate army intrenched behind the miles 
of breastworks composing the defenses of Petersburg. In addition to the mili- 
tary fire-arms, the troops of this corps were furnished picks, shovels and spades 
and other tools, and were required day and night to serve on details for fatigue 
duty, as the hard labor in erecting forts and digging trenches, was termed. This 
work of the troops was done under frequent fire of the enemy, and the me- 
chanical implements of the soldier-laborer had frequently to be dropped for the 
gun and its deadly sharpshooting. 

General Warren, in directing and superintending with engineers this con- 
struction of siege operations, usually located corps headquarters close to the 
front, and in the vicinity of the siege works being constructed. A fine old colonial 
mansion, known as the Avery Mansion, situated near the Union firing line on the 
18th of June, on the great charge, had been abandoned by its owners. It was, 
notwithstanding its continued exposed condition, taken possession of as Fifth 
corps headquarters, and continued to be occupied as such during the first month 
of the siege. It had been already damaged in actions before its spacious parlors, 
rooms and grounds were made corps headquarters. The latter means in active 
campaigning much more than the corps General and his personal staff. Head- 
quarters comprises, in addition, a large retinue of commissioned officers, such as 
corps Quartermaster, corps Commissary, corps Provost Guard, corps Medical 
Director, a company of sharpshooters, a company of cavalry as escorts, a number 
of mounted and unmounted orderlies, soldier clerks. United States MiHtary Tele- 
graph operators. United States Signal Corps, United States mail clerks, wagon- 
ers, teamsters and colored cooks and servants, in all forming a colony of from 
three to four hundred people, together with horses, mules, etc., all camped close 
together at the end of each night march, or in winter quarters. Also the medical, 
hospital and ambulance officers and new men formed quite a large contingent. 


It did seem unkind and even malicious in both armies during this strenuous 
period of the siege, that every night just as the wearied day fatigue parties and 
the occupants of the Corps headquarters mansion were seeking sorely-needed rest, 
that the Confederate and Union batteries should at intervals break out in duels 
lasting often an hour or more. Stray shells and spent cannon balls frequently 
added to the excitement by striking the old Avery Mansion, penetrating the roof 
or a window with a great noise, and arovising the slumberers and especially ter- 
rifying the contraband cooks and servants in the corps colony. The United 
States Military Telegraph Corps operators had their ticking machines on the 
first floor of the building destroyed by one of these unwelcome visitors. The 
heavy siege mortars introduced by General Warren to the grounds of the Avery 
Mansion, when discharged at the enemy, as was done daily, also jarred and racked 
the venerable mansion, adding to the discomforts of the inmates. However, but 
few casualties resulted from the fire of the Confederates during this period of 
Corps headquarters. 

Fourth of Jtjly Celebrations. 

July 4, 1864, was spent by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth in the advanced 
trenches, and as bombardment and mortar firing by both armies continued 
throughout the entire day and night, Independence Day about Petersburg was 
celebrated by much more noise and waste of powder than marked the Nation's 
birthday celebrations at home. 

After spending a few days in reserve, resting, the Regiment was on this 
day moved to the camp formerly occupied by the Sixty-second Pennsylvania, now 
consolidated with the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. John Adams' famous ad- 
dress about the proper celebration of Independence Day, contrasted with the 
boom and noise of cannonading, musketry and picket firing along the line in front 
of Petersburg, was more than literally complied with in the army. Earnest and 
serious work by the armies behind the trenches and in the siege works being con- 
structed occupied the time of the commanders and subordinate officers of both 
armies operating at Petersburg, on this anniversary of the Nation's birth. The 
lines of the contending pickets were very close, and although lulls in firing took 
place, eternal vigilance was manifested by the videttes and pickets of both 
armies without relaxation on account of the Nation's holiday. 

The survivors of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment serving in the 
trenches could not refrain from recalling memories of the equally noisy celebra- 
tion of July 4th on Little Round Top, Gettysburg, where, in addition to the great 
victory of the gallant Army of the Potomac on that historic field, word was also 
received of Grant's great victory and the surrender of the Confederate army at 
Vicksburg. Thoughts of the cold, wet, dreary day of the preceding July 4th 
came unbidden to contrast the soft side of the rocks and boulders on Little Round 
Top, the Regiment's only couches for resting, with the dusty, sandy, heated soil, 
their sleeping places in front of Petersburg. 

The Regiment, with the Corps, was located less than a mile from Peters- 
burg, and from their position an excellent view of the church spires and public 
buildings of the besieged town was plainly visible. The peaceful and sweet 


chimes of the church bells were heard each Sunday, very frequently having for 
accompaniment the shrieking, angry sounds of the cannon and mortars of both 
armies. The Confederate's heaviest mortar gun became so regular in its firing at 
this stage of the siege as to be dubbed " The Petersburg Express." The terrible 
reverberating sounds of the heavy artillery and numerous shells fired into Peters- 
burg during the siege, made the Union soldiers think that but little would be 
left of the beautiful " Cockade City " at the end of the siege. In this they were 
mistaken, for after the surrender at Appomattox, preceded by the fall of Peters- 
burg, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, in marching with the Corps 
through the town of Petersburg, could see but little of the effects of the heavy and 
continuous bombardment by Grant's army, on any of the churches or high build- 
ings exposed. 

Changes in Regiment. — Details, Etc. 

A number of vacancies in details and positions in the Corps and Division 
was occasioned by the occupants returning home with the Sixty-second and other 
regiments, whose terms of service had expired. 

Captain George M. Laughlin, of Company E, was appointed Commissary 
of Musters of the First Division, on the personal staff of General Charles Griffin, 
commanding the Division. It was a promotion and distinction for the Regiment, 
which occasioned great joy to all except the members of his own company, who, 
whilst appreciating the honor, deeply regretted the severance of the affectionate 
ties which had won their love and esteem. Captain Laughlin discharged the duties 
of his position so satisfactorily that, on General Griffin's promotion to the com- 
mand of the Corps, Captain Laughlin continued on his staff, and was finally 
brevetted Major for gallant and meritorious service in action. 

A special order was received on July 10th from General G. K. Warren, 
commanding the Corps, ordering Private Charles F. McKenna, of Company E, to 
report at once for special duty with Colonel Fred T. Locke, Assistant Adjutant- 
General of the Fifth Corps. Private McKenna left the trenches to obey this 
order, and served at Corps headquarters under Generals Warren and Griffin 
until the war ended, being present at Five Forks and at Appomattox on duty with 
Colonel Locke, Adjutant-General. 

Private John C. Sias, of Company I, was detailed as orderly at the Division 
Headquarters, and Private Edward W. Sackett, of Company E, was detailed 
at Brigade Headquarters. 

Sergeant Zerah C. Monks, transferred to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
from the Sixty-second Regiment, was appointed Orderly-Sergeant of Company 
E, and proved himelf to be an efficient and brave officer. At the action of Five 
Forks he became engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter with a Confederate, which 
ended in the death of Sergeant Monks' antagonist. 

Captain Ben Huey, also transferred to the Regiment from the Sixt3-second, 
was assigned to Company K of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth as Captain, in 
which position he proved himself to be a capable and brave officer. He moved 
to Bellevue, Pottawatomie county, Kansas, where, in the year 1900, he died uni- 
versally esteemed. 


On the 5th of July, at this camp, the Regiment was visited by agents of 
the Sanitary Commission, and treated to a welcome addition, in the shape of 
canned fruits of various kinds, to their daily fare of hardtack and meat. From 
the 5th to the 30th of July the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, through " fatigue " 
details, was almost constantly undergoing hard labor in the trenches, constructing 
forts and breastworks. While engaged in this toil, the Regiment became so 
callous to the sound of shrieking and bursting shells around them that they paid 
little heed to them. 

On July 20, 1864, the Regiment moved out to the front line at daylight, to 
reheve another Regiment of the Brigade, and the enemy's pickets on this part 
of the front being peaceably inclined were soon on good terms with the Union 
pickets. For another week there was no picket or general musketry fire, and 
but for an occasional shelling, which the Union and the Confederate batteries 
exchanged to keep themselves in practice, the Regiment was as comfortable on 
the front as it had been in its camp in the rear. The picket lines in front of the 
Regiment were not over one hundred yards apart, and indeed in many places 
closer. Many exchanges of small articles, such as newspapers, coffee for tobacco, 
etc., took place. 

Life in the Trenches. 

July 28th. After dark the Regiment moved a mile to the right, to a much 
less comfortable position, being within range of the enemy's heaviest artillery, 
where the breastworks were so poor as to afford little or no protection. On the 
morning of the 29th, at early dawn, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, with 
many other regiments, was put to work cutting and carrying timbers to build 
up and strengthen the breastworks. No trenching was done during daylight, as 
the enemy, having accurate range of the position, seemed determined to prevent 
it. The Regiment would bivouac all day some distance away in the most pro- 
tected situation to be found, and details would be called to go out and work 
all night in the trenches. On this night the Regiment put in several hours of hard 
labor, and by morning was tolerably well protected. The shoveling was con- 
tinued during the night of the 30th, the works were as well constructed as any 
along the line. The picket posts along in front of this portion of the breastworks 
were holes in the ground large enough to contain two men. The earth from the 
holes was banked up on the side next the enemy with narrow embrasures therein 
large enough to allow the men to look and shoot through. These exposed picket 
posts on both sides afforded fine opportunities for target practice, as when firing 
was going on the occupants were continually on the watch for a head or an arm 
to protrude above the pit. Frequently, to test the accuracy of the fire, a Union or 
a Confederate soldier would place an empty fruit-can upon the little breastwork, 
and in a moment the can would topple over perforated by a minie ball. Inside 
the hole next the bank of earth a few sticks or boards were placed forming a 
platform, or banquette, to kneel upon while firing. To walk across the open space 
between the Union breastworks and rifle-pits would have meant certain death; 
therefore, communication with the picket lines was had through trenches and 
"covered ways." These trenches would commence at the main line and run 


out in a zigzag direction to the picket post, the earth being always banked up on 
the side next the enemy to conceal the movement, constituted a covered way. 
Sometimes the trenches ran straight out perpendicular to the enemy's line, so that 
bombshells from the enemy's mortar plants could be dropped into them. In such 
cases, timbers or plank with a thick covering of earth formed a roof over the 
same. These trenches and " covered ways " were frequently deep and large 
enough to allow ammunition and supply wagons to be driven through them con- 
cealed from the enemy. In several places inside the enemy's main line the 
locality in the rear of the works was so much exposed to the range of the Union 
sharpshooters that it was very unsafe for the enemy to approach or to leave the 
same. To overcome this difficulty, the Confederates constructed " covered ways " 
wide and deep enough to allow ammunition and supply trains and columns of 
troops to pass through them unobserved by the Union troops. 

A distinguished Confederate officer. Honorable John S. Wise, of A'lrginia, 
who was present during the siege, relates that during the picket firing between 
the picket lines two Confederate pickets in a post, becoming weary of the etern?' 
vigilance required of them, fixed a mirror in the rear of their little excavation, 
so that by sitting with their backs to the embrasures and looking into the mirror 
opposite, they could see the reflection of the Union lines in front. One day 
these Confederate pickets. Hays and Collins by name, while engaged in a 
friendly game of cards, began a bantering scuffle over the game, when Hays 
incautiously lifted Collins slightly above the parapet of the rifle-pit. Instantly the 
watchful eye of a Union sharpshooter, detecting the exposure, sped a minie ball 
which perforated the neck of Collins, killing him instantly. 

Both sides had many mortar plants from which immense bombshells were 
dropped by each side into the breastworks of the other. These mortars were 
fired into the air at a sufficient angle to the horizon to allow the big shell to drop 
at almost any spot the gunner desired to reach. To protect themselves against • 
these missiles that came down like great meteors from the heavens, the soldiers 
of both armies dug deep holes into the earth, like cellars, covering the same with 
roofs of earth ten to fifteen feet in thickness constituting bombproofs. These 
mortar shells, however, were not very dangerous, as they generally struck and 
buried themselves in the ground before exploding, and beyond covering the by- 
standers with earth, did little damage. 

During those long midsummer days of the siege of Petersburg, when the 
rays of the Southern sun beat down upon the occupants of the riflepits unreHeved 
by breeze or shade, when the slightest exposure of the body meant death or 
wound, life in the pits as well as in the breastworks became indescribably mo- 
notonous, and the prolonged strain on the nerves could not endure for long. 
By a tacit agreement, the pickets on both sides stopped firing at each other during 
the daytime, and as already stated, became quite friendly. On one occasion 
during the summer seige a party of young ladies from Richmond visited Peters- 
burg, and were conducted to the Confederate intrenchraents defending the city. 
Encouraged by the peacefulness of the surroundings, the young lady sight- 
seers mounted to the top of the Confederate parapets to view the Yanks in their 
front. Thousands of Union soldiers' were visible engaged in various occupations, 


some cleaning and polishing their arms, others in fighting an enemy unnamable 
in polite conversation or literature. "Hello, Johnny! is this ladies' day?" 
shouted a Yank from an adjacent pit. The Union troops were not fighting 
women, and the Confederate ladies were not molested. 

This silent compact between the Union and Confederate pickets not to 
fire on each other during the daytime, was always ended at night by one side or 
the other calling out, " Look out, Yank ! (or Johnny !) we're going to shoot." 

The reflecting reader may be curious to know how these pickets and men 
in the trenches were supplied with water. The defect of streams and springs 
was remedied by the sinking of artesian wells. At a. depth of ten or twelve 
feet beneath the sandy, porous soil an abundant supply of pure water could be 
had; and many wells were sunk within the lines and along the picket posts of 
both armies. 

The Mine Explosion. 

July 39th. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth men were about exhausted 
by the unintermitting shoveling in the trenches in which they had been engaged 
by details for the past three nights. In the evening of this day orders were read 
that at sunrise next morning a mine would be exploded under a fort a short 
distance to the right of the position occupied by the Regiment, and that firing 
upon the enemy would be commenced all along the line. The idea of this mine 
was originated by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Pleasants, of the Forty-eighth Penn- 
sylvania, who, as a mining engineer, was familiar with mining operations in the 
Schuylkill counties mining districts of Pennsylvania. To the Forty-eighth Penn- 
sylvania, composed largely of miners, was intrusted the construction of the 
mine. The work of excavation was commenced on the 35th of June, and com- 
pleted on the 36th of July. The utmost precautions were taken to prevent knowl- 
edge of the operation from reaching the enemy. The doomed fort was a little 
more than a mile from Petersburg, directly in front of the Ninth Corps, at a very 
familiar location to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth as being the very point on 
which the Regiment had made its brilliant charge on the previous 18th of June. 
The excavation was commenced in the side of a ravine, surmounted by an earth- 
work on the Union line, and the distance to be mined to reach the Confederate 
fort was about five hundred feet. As the excavation progressed, the earth from 
the mine was thrown on the works to prevent the accumulation of heaps, which 
might cause suspicion and give rise to inquiry. When the mining operation was 
completed under the fort, the excavation was within twenty feet of the surface, 
and the nailing of planks and timbers in the enemy's fort overhead could be 
distinctly heard by the miners. Chambers for explosives were carefully con- 
structed in the mine, and the whole charged with three hundred and twenty 
kegs of powder, amounting to four tons. A fuse spliced in many places to make 
it of proper length, was carefully laid, and the mine was ready to be sprung. 
While the excavation was progressing, all intercourse between the opposing 
pickets was strictly prohibited and a constant skirmish fire was kept up in front 
of the Ninth Corps, while to the right and the left of the line the pickets were 
on amicable terms. Notwithstanding all the precautions as to secrecy taken by 


the Union officers, the enemy was not unaware that some such operation was 
being prosecuted. The artillerymen in the enemy's fort, lying with their ears 
to the ground, could distinctly hear the work going on beneath them. The Union 
pickets themselves, aware of the undertaking only by vague rumor, occasionally 
threw out vague hints, such as " Johnny, you're going to heaven soon," or " We're 
going to blow you up next week," etc. 

The Confederate engineers, evidently placing no reliance in the informa- 
tion coming from the rank and file, seemed uncertain as to the location of the 
mine, and after making two or three attempts to countermine at different points, 
abandoned their efforts and awaited further developments. The plan of assault 
was that upon the explosion of the mine a fierce cannonading was to open all 
along the Union line upon the enemy's works, thus keeping them fully employed, 
and preventing the withdrawal of any troops to reinforce the part of the line 
to be destroyed by the explosion of the enemy's fort. Then, before the Con- 
federates could recover from the consternation and confusion which the ex- 
plosion of the mine and the sudden burst of a tremendous artillery fire would 
naturally create, a strong assaulting column from the Ninth Corps would advance 
rapidly through the gap created by the explosion, passing to the right and left 
of the wrecked fort, to the crest of the ridge beyond, known as Cemetery Hill, 
which completely commanded the city of Petersburg, and which was the key 
to the extensive fortifications encircling the city. This fort that was to be blown 
up formed a salient in the enemy's line, and was the same in the moats of which 
many of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth had taken refuge until darkness en- 
abled them to escape, in the famous charge and repulse on the 18th of June. 
The space between the fort and the Union line over which the storming columns 
would have to advance to reach the fort was about one hundred and fifty yards. 

To render success more probable. General Grant, on the 26th and 27th, sent 
two divisions of the Second and the Nineteenth Corps, with Sheridan's Cavalry, 
across the James river to join with the Tenth Corps in a determined attack in 
front of Richmond, to distract the attention of the enemy and draw their troops 
away from the works in front of Petersburg. On the 29th, the gunboats on the 
James river joined in the attack, and Lee's suspicions being fully aroused that a 
serious assault upon his right was really impending, sent all his available troops 
from Petersburg to defend his menaced right flank. This was the opportunity 
Grant desired. Soon after dark on the 39th of July, 1864, all the troops that 
were to take part in the Union assault were placed in position. Ledhe's Division 
of the Ninth Corps was to lead in the advance, followed by Wilcox's and Pot- 
ter's Divisions of the same Corps. These troops were to be supported by the 
Eighteenth and the Second Corps on the right and the Fifth Corps on the left. 
The troops that had been sent across the James quietly returned during the night. 
The fuse was to be lit in the mine at half-past three on the morning of the 30th. 
Promptly at the time specified the match was applied to the fuse, but after wait- 
ing a reasonable time no explosion occurred, and it was decided that the fuse 
at some point was defective. Two brave men of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, 
who had toiled in the mine night and day under the direction of Colonel Pleas- 
ants, having faith that their work was not a failure, volunteered to enter the 


mine and remedy the trouble. The defect was found and repaired. The fuse 
was lighted a second time. This failure of the first attempt and the consequent 
repairing of the fuse consumed time, and the explosion did not take place until 
a few minutes before five o'clock in the morning, when there was a deep rum- 
ble and the earth in the neighborhood trembled as with an earthquake, and then 
with a tremendous explosion a conical mountain, seemingly half an acre in 
extent, rose in the air, carrying with it stones, timber, caissons, bodies and limbs 
of men, and some of the heavy guns of the fort. Remaining poised for a mo- 
ment, the black earth in the center streaked and serried with lightning, surrounded 
by white smoke which still came pouring out of the volcano, the mass settled 
back to the earth. 

Of the two hundred Confederates in the fort, many still asleep, none es- 
caped. For a moment the deepest silence prevailed ; then, as if old Chaos and all 
the thunderbolts of heaven were being hurled into that living Golgotha, one hun- 
dred heavy siege guns and seventy thousand muskets from the Union works, in 
compHance with the previous orders, opened fire upon the enemy's line. The 
Confederate troops in the works for nearly a quarter of a mile on both sides of 
the exploded fort left their positions, fleeing in terror from the wholly unexpected 
sight so much resembling the Day of Judgment. A great gateway to Cemetery 
Ridge and Petersburg was opened up, and surely Grant will lay a strong hand 
on Petersburg to-day. But why does not the Union storming column advance? 
Finally, after a waste of much precious time, Ledlie's Division of Burnside's 
Corps slowly advances — hesitates— halts — finally advances again as far as the 
crater, and again halts, blocking the way for the other divisions of the Ninth 
Corps. An hour passes. Where is Burnside, the commander of the Corps? 
Why does not Ledlie advance to the crest? Generals Grant and Meade were 
both at the scene of action. To General Meade's peremptory order to Burnside 
to advance, the latter replied that there were difficulties. What were the diffi- 
culties? He could not specify any. 

Is it any wonder that, under the circumstances, the troops of Ledlie's Divis- 
ion yielded to the calls of humanity, and entered the crater to render assistance 
to the torn and shattered fragments of human beings still alive, half buried in 
the debris, and begging piteously for help ? — " For God's sake, a little water ! 
Yanks, have mercy, take me out; FU do as much for you some time! " This re- 
sponse to the calls of humanity was ruinous, for it gave time to the enemy to 
recover from the panic into which they had been thrown by the unexpected 

" But," says this distinguished Confederate author, Honorable John S. Wise, 
" If Burnside was deficient on the aggressive, the Confederate officer in command 
of the Division defending the position, was a Roland for his Oliver. * * * 
Bushrod Johnson held the rank of Major-General. He selected headquarters at a 
house in the rear of the lines, and there he remained vegetating, without any 
friendly intercourse with his command. When General Lee, some hours after the 
mine had been exploded, reached General Johnson's headquarters, Johnson knew no 
details of the disaster, or of the dispositions made to repair it, although it was his 
own Division that was involved, and the enemy over the hill was not four hundred 


yards distant. If the enemy had pressed forward at any time within two hours 
after the explosion, they would in all probability have found General Bushrod 
Johnson in bed. When General Lee arrived about eight o'clock, he found him 
actually ignorant of the peril." 

The stupidity — or whatever it might be called — -which occasioned the delay 
of three hours in taking advantage of the opportunity to capture Petersburg 
created by the explosion of the mine, was fatal to the project; for it gave the 
enemy time to recover from the stupor occasioned by the explosion. The fierce 
fire from several batteries which the Confederate General, Haskell, had by that 
time placed in position on Cemetery Ridge, now poured upon the unfortunate 
Union troops huddled like sheep in and around the crater, aggravated the hor- 
rors of the scene. It was now impossible for the Union troops in that vicinity 
either to advance or to retreat, and the officers lost all control of their com- 
mands. The carnage was beyond description. The victims were crushed in the 
very jaws of Death itself. From the time of the explosion to its close. Generals 
Grant and Meade were on the ground, and both Generals Warren and Ayres 
occupying works and whose troops were in line of battle requested to be allowed 
to lead their men to the charge, but Grant and Meade refused. At nine o'clock 
General Meade ordered Burnside to withdraw his troops, but it was two o'clock 
in the afternoon before the order was executed. 

The detailed description of the mine explosion and its deplorable conse- 
quences is only adverted to in the history of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, because of the Regiment's participation with 
the Fifth Corps in firing at the enemy's line opposite, and also from their desire 
to follow their leader. General Warren, had his request to be allowed to leave 
the breastworks and charge the enemy's defenses opposite, been granted. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth maintained its position without change 
amid the bomb-proofs until the 18th of August, undergoing daily inspection, and 
house-cleaning to keep and promote proper sanitary conditions in its cramped 
quarters, varying this daily routine with the use of the shovel and pick. The 
mortar plants on both sides went through their daily and nightly performances, 
keeping the men in the trenches dodging to avoid the falling aeroUtes. During 
this period there was much good-natured badgering indulged in between the foes. 
" Grant's Petersburg Express " sent a great many iron messages into Peters- 
burg, especially the lower part of the city, in the neighborhood of the railroad 
bridge over the Appomattox. Life in the trenches at this time was very monoto- 
nous and unpleasant, the heat and flies preventing sleep in the daytime, and 
digging in the trenches at night allowing no time for it. 

Capture of Weldon Railro/\d. 

On the 18th of August, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Fifth Corps, 
being relieved in the trenches by other troops, marched out and started on another 
flanking movement to the left. In referring to movements to the left, the reader 
will understand the left flank or end of the Army of the Potomac and the right 
flank or end of Lee's army is meant. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and 


Griffin's Division being in advance, being preceded by a brigade of cavalry, 
marched in the direction of the Weldon Railroad, and between seven and eight 
o'clock in the morning struck the railroad at Six Mile Station. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Griffin's Division at once began tear- 
ing up the track, while the other divisions, under Ayres, Crawford and Cutler, 
marched up the track towards Petersburg, driving the enemy's skirmishers before 
them until the Union troops were within two and one-half miles of the city. At 
this point the Confederates of Hill's Corps, under Heath and Mahone, were 
encountered double-quicking down the railroad from Petersburg. The two 
divisions under Ayres and Crawford formed in line of battle at right angles to 
the railroad, in the open fields, Ayres being on the left of the railroad and Craw- 
ford on the right. About 2 v. m. the enemy emerged from the woods immediately 
in front, and made one of their usual impetuous charges upon the Union line, 
forcing it half a mile down the road to the Yellow, or Globe Tavern; but the 
Fourth Division, under Cutler, advancing rapidly to the support of Ayres and 
Crawford, flanked the enemy's line on the left. This turned the tide of the bat- 
tle, and the enemy was repulsed. The Union forces now began throwing up 
earthworks, and by daybreak on the 19th were strongly intrenched. The rain 
fell in torrents during the night, and the enemy, fearing an advance of the 
Union forces, kept up a vigorous shelling the entire night, making the work of 
intrenching very arduous and dangerous. 

It was not considered probable that General Lee would consent to give up 
one of his most important railway lines of communication without a determined 
effort to retake it. Steps were immediately taken by Grant to reinforce the 
Fifth Corps under Warren, and connect the earthworks just constructed with the 
Union main line on the right. The Ninth Corps, having arrived in the vicinity 
on the morning of the 19th. and connection having been made with the Fifth 
Corps on the right, the whole line, preceded by a heavy line of skirmishers, ad- 
vanced slowly in the direction of Petersburg, throwing up intrenchments as they 
advanced. No opposition was felt until about ten o'clock, when the enemy 
was encountered in force, and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the Fifth 
Corps, under Warren, prepared for a fierce resistance. About four o'clock in 
the afternoon, in the midst of a heavy downpour of rain, the enemy under Heth, 
yelling Hke demons, made a furious dash upon the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth and Griffin's Division, capturing the advanced picket line and the strongly 
intrenched skirmish line, driving the pickets and skirmishers back upon the main 
line. Here, however, the Confederates received a bloody repulse, not without, 
however, having inflicted a heavy loss upon the Brigade of United States Regu- 
lars under General Joseph Hayes, who was among the wounded and captured. 

The Fifth Corps, under Warren, maintained its Hne without change of posi- 
tion during the 20th, amid severe cannonading but no general fighting. On the 
31st, however,- the enemy renewed the attack on the Union lines, driving in the 
skirmishers and advancing again and again to the charge, but always receiving 
bloody repulses. On the' 23d reconnoitering parties were sent out, and the 
enemy was discovered busily engaged in intrenching about three miles from 
Petersburg. The Corps headquarters of General Warren were then established 



at the Yellow Globe Tavern, a strong skirmish line was established by the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and other regiments, and the troops went to work 
industriously with the spade, in the use of which they were becoming adepts. 

During this fierce contest for the possession of the Weldon Railroad, it was 
supposed that the enemy's heaviest attack would be made on the left of the 
Union line occupied by Griffin's Division, in an endeavor to flank the Fifth Corps 
and drive it off the railroad. The Second Brigade, with the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania, forming the left of Griffin's Division, it was supposed, 
would receive the brunt of the assault; but the enemy, in charging on Griffin's 
Division, on account of some obstruction in the way, always obliqued to the right, 
thus shifting the force of its attack upon the right of Griffin's Division and upon 
the other divisions of the Fifth Corps. For this reason, the losses of the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth were much lighter than they might have been had the 
Confederate's columns reached the Union line at the points aimed at when their 
advance commenced. 



Chapter XV. 


Confederate General Hampton's Cavalry Raid in Rear of Union Army. — 
Pickets in Front of One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Attacked by Enemy. 
—Cavalry Reconnoissance in Direction of South Side Railroad. — Regi- 
ment Supports Cavalry on Squirrel Level Road. — Engagement at Chap- 
man's Farm. — Battle of Peeble's Farm. — Capture of Fort McRae by 
Griffin's Division. — One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Colors First Planted 
ON Enemy's Works. — Farewell Sermon of Chaplain J. M. Mateer.- — Orders 
to Pack Up and Break Camp. — Enemy Encountered in Strong Force at 
Hatcher's Run. — Fifth Corps Regains Its Former Quarters. — Sutlers' 
Stores. — Weldon Railroad Raid. — Destruction of Track. — Contrabands. — 
Bushwhackers and Guerrillas Foraging. — Apple Jack and Peach Brandy. 
— Sussex Court House Burned. — Regiment Goes Into Winter Quarters. — 
Griffin's Division on March to Left. — Engagement at Dabney's Mills. 
— Engagement of Second Hatcher's Run. — ^Lieutenant-Colonel Ewing 

Wounded. — Casualties. 

Successful C.-^-Ttle Raid by Hampton's Cavalry. 

|ERY early on the morning of the 15th of September, 1864, General 
Grant received reports from the Union cavalry outposts that a 
mysterious movement of Confederate cavalry was taking place on 
the left of the Fifth Corps. A reconnoitering force composed of 
several regiments of Union cavalry and a brigade of infantry was 
sent out towards the Vaughan Road running nearly south from Petersburg. 
The enemy's outpost lines were broken through and the country traversed in 
various directions, and although Dearing's Confederate Cavalry was encoun- 
tered and a slight brush took place, the reconnoissance could obtain no knowledge 
of anything alarming, yet one of the most brilliant, daring and successful raids 
of the war was being made by the Confederate cavalry leader. General Wade 
Hampton. Setting out from Reams' Station on the Weldon Railroad, and 
making a wide detour of the Union left, General Hampton, with his Confederate 
cavalry and two batteries, appeared suddenly early on the morning of the 16th 
of September, 1864, in the rear of the center of the Army of the Potomac. One 
of Hampton's regiments, dressed in Union cavalry uniforms, relieved the Union 
pickets, thus making the surprise more complete. His object was to seize a herd 
of twenty-five hundred beef cattle pasturing southeast of Petersburg, near Syca- 




more Church. The attack was so sudden and the surprise so complete that 
Spear's Union Cavalry Brigade, which was picketing the locality, was driven 
away by the Confederates, and two regiments, the Thirteenth Pennsylvania 
and the First District of Columbia Cavalry, stampeded, the latter Regiment, with 
all its horses, arms, equipments, wagons and camp paraphernalia being captured. 
It is also related that General Grant and his staff, whose headquarters were close 
by, narrowly escaped being among the trophies of the daring Confederate cavalry 

As soon as this great herd of cattle, with their herdsmen, guards, etc., were 
secured and driven ahead, General Hampton and his troopers set out on their 
return to the Confederate lines. General Kautz and Gregg's Union Cavalry 
Divisions soon followed in rapid pursuit, continuing as far as Belcher's Mill, on 
the Jerusalem Plank Road, where the Confederates, under Rosser and Dearing, 
made a stand, holding the Union cavalry at bay while the other portions of 
Hampton's columns moved leisurely off with the cattle. In addition to the 
cattle herd, Hampton carried off three hundred prisoners, two hundred mules 
and thirty-two wagons ; also a telegraphic construction corps of forty men, with 
their trains and twenty miles of wire. 

Attack on Union Picket Line. ' 

The more effectively to conceal this raid of Hampton's cavalry, the Con- 
federates, early on the morning of the I6th of September, made a fierce attack 
upon the pickets all along the line of the Fifth Corps, driving many of them 
into the intrenchments. The attack in front of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth continued for more than an hour, but the Union pickets succeeded in re- 
pulsing the enemy. When the firing began on the picket line, the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth was called to arms, and the companies stacked their muskets in 
the company streets to await the result of the attack upon the pickets. While 
the Regiment was thus marshalled,' a large black snake was seen to protrude its 
head and neck from a hollow limb of a large oak tree in the camp, and a mem- 
l)er of Company H, with an ax, climbed the tree to cut off the limb. Sitting 
astride the limb, with his back against the trunk of the tree, the soldier at- 
tempted to sever the limb between himself and the hole in which the snake was 
concealed. The strokes of the ax jarring the limb, caused the snake to poke 
liis head out of the hole and attempt to escape. The axman using the handle of 
his ax as a club, battled with the reptile to drive it into the hole again. This 
unique battle was kept up half an hour before the limb was finally severed from 
the tree and the serpent dispatched. During the progress of this snake fight 
more interest was displayed in it by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth than in 
the expected attack of the enemy. 

Engagement at Chapin's Farm. 

On the 39th of September, 1864, a reconnoissance was made by Gregg's 
cavalry towards the left front of Griffin's Division, in the direction of the South- 


side Railroad. In the afternoon of that day it was evident, from the heavy can- 
nonading in that direction, that the Union cavalry had come into contact with the 
enemy in force. In the meantime, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, having re- 
ceived orders to " pack up," moved, about five o'clock p. m., a short distance on 
the Squirrel Level Road, then turning to the right on a narrow country road, ad- 
vanced a mile, where it formed in line of battle to support the cavalry. The 
latter fell back through the lines of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, pursued 
by the enemy. After a slight skirmish, the Confederates, finding that they were 
fighting with infantry, fell back. The Regiment remained in position until 
darkness set in, and then marched back to its old camp. This skirmish was 
known as the battle of Chapin's Farm. 

The Action at Pebble's Farm. 

Early on the morning of the 30th of September, Griffin's Division returned 
to its position of the evening before, and with cavalry skirmishers in front, ad- 
vanced about a mile. At this point the enemy's skirmish line proving too strong 
for the cavalry, Griffin's Infantry Division formed in line of battle, and advancing 
slowly, pressed the enemy's skirmish line in a northwesterly direction. The 
Confederate artillery, supporting their skirmish line, seemed to have a good 
range as to distance, but their shells burst high in the air, doing but little damage. 
As Griffin's Division descended into a deep, heavily-wooded ravine, the enemy's 
shells cut down trees eight to ten inches thick, in the vicinity of the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth. Several short halts were made in this ravine to straighten 
the alignment of the advancing columns. 

After crossing a small stream at the bottom of the ravine. Griffin's Division 
threw out a strong line of skirmishers, and awaited developments. The skirmish- 
ers met with little resistance, advanced up to the crest of the ridge on the opposite 
side of the valley, until reaching the open space beyond the crest, where they 
were met by a furious enfilading fire from an unseen foe lurking in the woods 
on the left front. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth skirmishers were well pro- 
tected by large oak trees, and the Confederate skirmishers, while making very 
close shots, failed to repulse them. This cleared space, known as Peeble's Farm, 
was of several hundred acres in extent and entirely inclosed by a fringe of forest 
on four sides. The ground descended slightly from the edge of the woods in 
which the Union troops were located to the middle of the plantation occupied by 
the homestead, barn and numerous outbuildings, then gradually ascended to the 
farther side of the farm. On commanding ridges on the opposite side of these 
fields, half a mile distant, was discovered a Confederate redoubt called Fort 
McRae, containing several rifled guns, and connecting on either side with fines 
of well constructed intrenchments erected by Confederates, having a clear sweep 
of the entire open ground of this farm. Across this space, a thousand yards wide, 
Griffin's Division was to charge on the enemy's works. 

Capture of Fort jMcRah. 

As the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth line of battle advanced to and joined 
the skirmishers on the edge of the plantation, the fire from the enemy's position 


became furious. For some reason, the Regiment advanced on the charge before 
orders to do so were given. As the troops, with loud cheers, started on the 
" double-quick " into the open ground, Colonel A. L. Pearson, commanding the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, who had dismounted, shouted to the men to 
" halt." Finding he could not make himself heard, the Colonel, with an oath, 
exclaimed, " Well, if you will go, then go ! " and starting after, was soon in the 
midst of the charging column. This assault of Griffin's Division on Fort McRae 
and the enemy's breastworks was to have been made in three lines, one behind 
another; but if the charge was so made, the lines soon became intermingled as 
one Hne. Color-Sergeant Thomas J. Marlin, of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth, seeing that the color-bearer of another regiment of Griffin's Division was 
likely to reach the Confederate works sooner than he, called on Corporal Thos. 
Anderson, of Company I, to assist him, and the two planted the colors of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth on the enemy's works ahead of all the other regi- 
ments of Griffin's Division. When the charging column had approached to 
within one hundred yards of the enemy's intrenchments, the cannoniers in Fort 
McRae were seen limbering up their guns and hooking on their horses, and when 
the Union troops surged up over the breastworks like a huge, resistless billow, the 
Confederates had made good their escape, leaving but one gun and fifty or sixty 
prisoners in the hands of Griffin's victorious troops. 

A half-hour later Potter's Division, of the Ninth Corps, marched through 
the captured works in pursuit of the retreating enemy. An hour later heavy 
musketry and cannonading in the direction taken by the Ninth Corps announced 
the fact that they had overtaken the foe ; but as the tumult became louder and 
nearer, it also became evident that the Confederates were the victors. Shortly 
after the advance of the Ninth Corps in pursuit of the enemy and their ap- 
parent repulse, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth which with the Third Brigade 
had been massed near the spot where they had crossed the enemy's works, with 
Colonel Pearson leading, double-quicked to the left a short distance, with the 
enemy's bullets humming over their heads and through their ranks. The Regi- 
ment then charged through the woods to a field beyond, encountering the enemy 
flushed with victory, advancing to re-capture their lost works. It appears that 
after passing through the captured works and advancing some distance. Potter's 
Division of the Ninth Corps formed in line of battle and advanced until checked 
by the enemy in a strong line of works on a hill half a mile further on. Endeav- 
oring to carry this position, the Ninth Corps Division suffered a severe repulse, 
and being thrown into confusion, allowed a gap in their lines to be created, 
through which the Confederates threw a strong flanking force, dispersing Potter's 
Division, and capturing more than fifteen hundred prisoners. Sweeping onward 
this flanking force of the enemy endeavored to re-capture their lost works at 
Peeble's Farm, and it was this force that the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, as 
already described, under Colonel Pearson, encountered and drove back. The 
other troops of Griffin's Division, with a battery, soon came to the support of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and a hot engagement ensued, lasting until dark- 
ness put an end to the strife. For more than an hour during this engagement, the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth lay on the ground loading and firing, directly in 





front of the guns of Griffin's battery, which fired over the heads of the prostrate 
Regiment, a position which finally became exceedingly uncomfortable, when this 
battery became engaged in a duel with a Confederate battery which had got the 
range. When night came on and the firing ceased, the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth, using their bayonets and tin-plates, threw up light intrenchments of earth. 
The next day, the artillery firing on both sides was kept up all day, with few 
casualties in the Regiment. 

Intrenching Operations Renewed. 
On October 1, 1864, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth moved nearly a mile to 

Chaplain, 1863-4. 

the right, along the captured works, and began the work of changing them into 
Union defenses. On the 3d of October, because of some threatening movements 
of the enemy, the Regiment was moved back to the position which it had occu- 
pied on the afternoon and evening of the 30th of September. Beyond a severe 
shelling by the enemy, only skirmish firing took place. In the afternoon of the 
2d the Regiment again moved to the right, taking a position nearly half a mile 
in advance of the enemy's works captured on the 30th ult., and for several days 
labored hard in the construction of new defenses, with plenty of slashed timber 
in front. 

On October 7, 1864, a recruit of Company H, who had been with the Regi- 


ment only five days, becoming demoralized with fear when assigned to picket 
duty, committed suicide by shooting himself through the head while on his post 
forty or fifty rods in advance of the breastworks. 

On October 8, 1864, the picket line of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was 
advanced half a mile, the Regiment in line of battle supporting the movement. 
From the 8th to the 36th of October, 1864, no event of unusual importance oc- 
curred to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. Comfortable quarters had been 
erected, and the men daily performed the common routine duties of camp, such 
as guard-mount, inspections, sending out details to build new fortifications, 
strengthen old ones, etc. 

On October 23, 1864, the Regimental Chaplain, Reverend J. M. Mateer, D. D., 
preached his farewell sermon to the Regiment, General Gregory, of the Ninety- 
first Pennsylvania, who had a few days previous been promoted to a Brigadie'-- 
Generalship, taking an active part in the services. Chaplain Mateer's resignation 
was greatly regretted by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. His Christian char- 
acter was fully exemplified by his frequent visits and ministrations to the sick 
and wounded of the Regiment in the field hospitals. In the camp many a sol- 
dier's pathway was made smoother by the kindly advice of this simple-hearted 
Christian minister who sought only to do the Master's will. Frequently before 
battles. Chaplain Mateer became the repository of the money, valuables, memen- 
toes and letters of members of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, to be sent, in the 
event of their falling in battle, to relations and friends in the distant North. The 
trust thus reposed in him was always faithfully executed, and the burden of many 
a grief was lightened b}- the comforting words accompanying these messages. 

As this season of the year in A-^irginia, the fields and lanes contained an 
abundance of persimmon trees, the fruit of which was now ripe, and the forests 
a plentiful crop of wild fox grapes, of moderate size and good flavor ; but the men 
of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, not being permitted either by their officers 
or by the enemy, to roam the country at will, were compelled to forego the for- 
bidden fruit. The outlying pickets were more fortunate in this respect, as they 
occasionally gathered quantities of delicious fruit. 

Action at Hatcher's Run. 

On the 26th of October, 1864, orders to pack up and break camp were re- 
ceived, and at an early hour on the 27th of October, 1864, the Regiment, com- 
manded by Colonel A. L. Pearson, marched out of their works, near Peeble's 
Farm, and with other regiments of the Second Brigade, took its place in the 
columns of Griffin's Division, to attempt by another flank movement to get a grip 
on the Southside Railroad. Soon after passing through the Union picket line, 
the enemy's outposts were reached and their pickets driven two or three miles into 
their first line of works. Here the Confederates wer^ encountered in strong 
force. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth doubtless were ready to renew the at- 
tempt to route them had the Regiment been ordered to charge on the works. In- 
deed, several of the most adventurous spirits of the Regiment did advance to 


and mounted to the top of the enemy's defenses, and narrowly escaped being- 
killed or captured for their rashness. 

Corporal George Clever, with some comrades of Company K, approached 
the hostile works without being discovered, the Corporal mounting to the top of 
the parapet. The enemy, not expecting an attack, had been paying but little 
attention to their front, and when Clever appeared upon the parapet, they were 
very much surprised, a Confederate officer exclaiming, " Look at the damned 
Yankee! Shoot him! Shoot him! " causing the Corporal to make a hasty retreat. 
Finding that probably no attempt would be made to assault the Confederate line, 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth threw up light earthworks, which they occupied 
continuously imtil noon of the 18th of October, being under a desultory fire 
from the enemy the entire tim.e. 

At this point on Hatcher's Run, the Fifth Corps was formed in three lines 
of battle, Griffin's Division being on the second line. During the period of the 
enemy's hottest fire, a New York regiment of fresh troops in the first line of 
battle, becoming panic-stricken, on the opening of the battle, made a rush through 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth for the rear, many throwing away in their flight 
guns, accoutrements and knapsacks. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, having 
before the Wilderness campaign, relieved themselves of all superfluous baggage, 
joyously availed themselves of this opportunity to secure a fresh supply of over- 
coats and well-stocked knapsacks, which, in many cases, they refused afterwards 
to restore to their original owners. 

It was learned later that the Second Corps, which was still further to the 
left than the Fifth Corps, had been unable, because of the impenetrable forests 
and marshes, to secure a favorable position to connect with Warren's troops, and 
as the enemy's fortifications were being rapidly manned with strong re-enforce- 
ments, an assault was deemed impracticable, and the Union troops were with- 
drawn. The previous night had been cold and wet, causing considerable suffer- 
ing among the troops, and it was with much rejoicing that the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, on the 28th of October, marched back to their former comfortable 
quarters in the intrenchments. 

Camp Life. — Incidents. 

During the autumn just ending, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, in its vari- 
ous movements, was never settled in a camp longer than a day until the Regi- 
mental sutler pitched his tent and displayed his enticing wares for sale. A plenti- 
ful supply of tobacco, both for chewing and smoking, could always be obtained 
from the sutler's store at a very moderate price. If a youth had never been ad- 
dicted to the use of tobacco at home, it required but a short period after enlist- 
ment for him to acquire a taste for the weed. The articles of food kept in stock 
by the sutler was a decided variance from Uncle Sam's fare, and had it not been 
for high prices and lack of money, the soldiers might have enjoyed many home 
luxuries. Butter was in greatest demand as a luxury to be used on the good 
soft bread rations issued by the Government to the troops when in camp, and 
eighty cents to a dollar a pound was not considered a high price for it, as being 



of a much stronger quality than the home 
article, a much smaller quantity of it 

About the 1st of November, 1864, 
the One Hudnred and Fifty-fifth was 
transferred to the Third Brigade of the 
First Division of the Fifth Corps, with 
Brigadier-General Joseph J. Bartlett, a 
brave and popular officer, as commander 
of the Brigade. Life in the trenches, 
camps and marches, drills and inspections 
continued daily during this month. 

Along in the first days of December, 
1864, the hopes of the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth of being ordered to go 
into permanent winter quarters, were 
much disturbed by rumors of another 
flank movement by the Fifth Corps to- 
ward the Southside Railroad. The move- 
ment of the Sixth Corps to the rear of the 
Fifth Corps seemed a confirmation of 
these camp rumors ; and when orders 
were received by the Regiment to " pack up," no surprise was felt. In the mean- 
time, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth were delighted to learn that Colonel Pear- 
son had received a commission as Brevet Brigadier-General and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Ewing as Brevet Colonel, on recommendation of General Meade, for 
gallant and meritorious conduct in the field. 


The W'eldon Railroad Raid. 

On the 6th of December, 1864, the Fifth Corps, including the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth, broke camp, and massed in the rear near the Jerusalem 
Plank Road, with a division of the Second Corps, and Gregg's Division of cav- 
alry, comprising in all about twenty thousand men, vi^ith twenty-two pieces of 
artillery. The massing of these troops on the Jerusalem Plank Road dispelled 
the idea of another " flank movement " to the left. The supplying of the troops 
with four days' rations, and the news that the supply trains carried additional 
supplies of rations for eight days, as usual in siich cases caused much conjecture 
among the troops as to the destination of the impending movement. When, after 
a wet, disagreeable night, the troops started at daybreak southward on the 
Jerusalem Plank Road, rumor became busy and word spread that the destina- 
tion of this strong force was Wilmington, North Carolina, which town, the in- 
genious reporters asserted, was to be stormed by this expedition in the rear, 
whilst the United States navy made a front attack. A march of about fifteen 
miles brought the Fifth Corps column near to Freeman's Bridge across the 
Nottoway river. Before reaching the bridge, the column filed to the right on a 


country road, crossing the Nottoway a mile above the bridge at a ford about 
three feet deep. The Union cavalry forded the stream, and the infantry crossed 
on pontoons without any delay, the entire force being on the south side of the 
river before dark. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth bivouacked about half way 
between Sussex Court House and the Nottoway. Early on the morning of the 
8th of December, 186-i, the column passed through the former place, marching 
in a southwesterly direction toward the North Carolina State line. Late in the 
afternoon the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth with the other troops reached the 
Weldon Railroad and immediately began tearing up the track, continuing the 
work of destruction until midnight. The rails were twisted from the ties, the 
latter piled up in square heaps and fires kindled, and the rails placed across the 
top. When the latter became heated to a degree that the ends sagged down, they 
were twisted by the troops around the trees that fringed the track, thus render- 
ing them forever useless for railroad purposes. As night set in, the long line 
of burning ties, extending for miles along the straight track, presented a most 
beautiful sight. 

The following day the column, still moving southward, continued to destroy 
the track in the same manner, until reaching Bellefield on the ^leherran river, 
nearly forty miles south of Petersburg. Before reaching Bellefield, distant some 
three miles, the troops encountered the enemy in some force at a small stream 
called Three Creek. Having burned the railroad bridge, this force disputed the 
passage of the stream. However, a Federal battery having opened upon the 
enemy's position, attracted their attention while the Tenth New York Regiment 
forded the stream and flanked their position, the Confederates falling back to 
Bellefield. Hicksford, across the river from Bellefield, was discovered to be well 
protected by strong defensive works, well manned by militia and a part of 
Hampton's Confederate cavalry. The place was not considered of sufficient 
strategic importance to warrant the loss of life the taking of the position might 
occasion. A severe engagement later took place and Warren's troops were sub- 
jected to a very hot fire from the hostile works, but the enemy was finally driven 
from them, only to occupy another stronger position beyond the town. 

Return from Weldon Railroad Raid. 

On the morning of December 10, 1864, General Warren ordered a return 
march to the Union lines to commence. This was a great disappointment to the 
troops, as the work of destruction in which they had been engaged for the last 
two days was quite exciting, and they were more than willing to continue it. 
But the reconnoissance ordered by General Grant, to be conducted by General 
Warren's Corps, had been successful, and hence its return to the main line. 

The Weldon Railroad had been destroyed by the Union cavalry in June 
previous, to a point twelve or fifteen miles south of Petersburg, but the road was 
still used by the Confederates as far North as Stony Creek Station, in conveying 
supphes to Lee's army, wagon trains being used to convey military stores across 
a comparatively level country to the Southside Railroad for re-shipment to 
Petersburg. General Grant's design in sending out Warren's expedition was to 


destroy the railroad so far south as to render it useless as a means of communi- 
cation with the Confederate Capital, and in this duty the Corps had been 

Ever since starting on this raid on the 6th of December, the weather had 
been very wet and disagreeable ; but now the increasing cold terminated in storms 
of sleet and snow, making the roads almost impassible for the trains and troops. 
Much suffering from exposure occurred, but the troops made few complaints. 
The wagon and artillery trains occupied the highways, while the troops marched 
on their flanks through muddy fields, forests and swamps as guards. Negroes 
from all directions left their masters and flocked to the protection of the Union 
troops, among them old men and women and little children, and as soon as a 
wagon of the supply train was emptied of its contents, it was filled with negro 
mothers with their childhen. So tightly were they packed into the canvas-covered 
wagons that little woolly heads often protruded from every crack and crevice in 
the cover, reminding one of the " Old woman who lived in a shoe.'' 

On the return, the enemy's cavalry followed the Union column and en- 
deavored to harrass the rear, but did not cause much trouble. On the 13th of 
December, 1864, Warren's expedition reached the Union lines in safety, though 
much exhausted from the forced marches and severe winter weather. 

Incidents of the R.aid. 

During the progress of this expedition, known in general history as the 
Weldon Railroad Raid, General Warren issued strict orders prohibiting foraging 
or the committing of depredations by the troops upon the inoffending non-com- 
batants along the route of march. Learning, however, that these supposedly 
peaceful inhabitants, in many cases, were engaging in bushwhacking and murder- 
ing stragglers who were unable to keep up with the column, Warren withdrew his 
orders against foraging, and the troops, taking advantage of the license, soon 
became possessed of all sorts of household articles. The principal forage, how- 
ever, gathered in by the troops consisted of hogs, turkeys, chickens, flour, sweet 
potatoes, with honey and jams and jellies as accessories. " Apple-jack " and 
peach brandy, another bi-product of that part of Virginia, was discovered in lib- 
eral quantities, many of the troops soon showing the hilarious effects of the bev- 
erages. Few of the troops in this expedition had ever tasted the distillations 
known as " Apple-jack " and " Peach Brandy " — many had never even heard the 
name — consequently, being unaware of the intoxicating qualities of these se- 
ductive beverages and finding them delicious to the taste, drank copiously of the 
same. Being well aged, these liquors were quick in action and lasting in their 
effects ; and hundreds of the troops, becoming intoxicated, were unable to keep 
up with the column in the forced marching. Many were captured by guerrillas; 
some were bushwhacked by the inhabitants, and, no doubt, a number perished 
from exposure. 

Coffeepots were hastily rinsed and used as vessels in which to stew chickens 
or turkeys. Fresh pork foimd its way into the frying pan so quickly that many 
of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth declared they felt the animals still kicking 


as they swallowed the meat. A member of Company H, seeking flour to thicken 
his chicken broth, visited a plantation, where he was quickly surrounded by a 
troop of negro children of various ages, sizes and shades of color, all eager to 
inform him where everything was to be found. An old negro, who seemed to 
be manager about the place, solemnly informed the forager that there was not 
an ounce of flour on the premises, but that the warehouse contained an abun- 
dance of corn-meal. Compelled by necessity to accept the latter as a substitute 
for flour, the soldier borrowed a sack, which he proceeded to fill with meal, 
assisted by the aged servant. In the warehouse were several barrels of Sorghum 
syrup, the head of one of which had been knocked out. In the swarm of colored 
children scampering around was a lively girl of fifteen or sixteen, who, to the 
delight of the other little darkies, leaned over the barrel and lapped up a mouthful 
of the syrup with her tongue. " You can't do that again, Topsy," bantered the 
forager. Immediately Topsy dipped her tongue a second time into the barrel, 
and the soldier pushed her head down into the syrup. Lifting her head with a 
jerk and sputtering molasses over everything till she caught her breath, the girl 
shouted, " O, golly, isn't I sweet! " causing her younger companions to become 
fairly hysterical with merriment over the scene. 

On forced marches of columns of troops it is customary to halt for a rest 
of ten minutes after each hour's march. During one of these halts on this return 
march of Warren's troops, while the sleet was giving the ground and bushes a 
coating of ice, a soldier belonging to some other regiment of the Third Brigade 
passed through the column of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth resting on each 
side of the road. The mud was ankle deep. The comrade was hatless. His 
canteen was full of apple-brandy, and his head with the effects of it. He had z 
brace of chickens fastened to his belt, his gun strapped over his shoulder, and 
a willow basket filled with honey on his head. As the joyous soldier waded 
through the mud, perfectly indifferent to the trickling down of the honey over 
his head and shoulders, his voice rang out in the strains of a patriotic song. The 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, with hearty cheers, sped the joyful soldier on his 

Cruelties of Bushwhackers. 

On the second day of this return march, the body of a murdered Union sol- 
dier was discovered pinned to the ground by a stake driven through his mouth. 
At Sussex Court House the bodies of half a dozen nude Union soldiers were 
found placed side by side near the road in front of the Court House — murdered 
by bushwhackers. In retaliation, General Warren ordered the torch to be applied 
to the Court House and all public buildings in the village and to all barns and 
storehouses along his line of march, and for many miles great columns of smoke 
rising above the tree tops, within half a mile of each side of the road, and many 
homeless families, were visible evidences of the penalty the inhabitants were 
paying for the inhumanity of residents. Many of the population along the route 
of march, however, showed a kindly feeling toward Warren's troops. At several 
large homesteads the white members of the family assembled on the porches 
and balconies to view the pageant of warriors, infantry, cavalry and artillery — 


perhaps the first they had ever seen — passing; while their slaves stood at the 
roadside with buckets of spring water, handing out dipperfuls to the thirsty sol- 
diers as they passed by. It seemed a pity that these kindly-disposed — or at least 
humane — people should have to suffer for the sins of their miscreant neighbors, 
who, in return for the protection afforded them by General Warren, should 
abuse his humanity by murdering his troops from ambush. It was not a time 
for discrimination, however, and General Warren was perfectly justified by the 
laws. oL.war in^ retaliating by permitting his troops to forage at will ; and when 
these treacherous people resorted to the barbarous practice of murdering and 
mutilating their victims, he was fully justified in applying the torch to their 

These bushwhackers, not being mustered into the military or regular service 
of the Confederacy, nor in any way connected with the Confederate armies, 
were simply cut-throats and murderers, and, if captured, were entirely outside 
of the rules governing civilized warfare. Their trial by a drumhead court- 
martial would have been speedily followed by the death penalty. 

Winter Quarters, 1864. 

On reaching the Union lines, in the rear of Petersburg, on December 12th, 
after the Weldon Railroad raid, the Third Brigade filed off a short distance to 
the left of the Jerusalem Plank Road, and late in the afternoon went into camp. 
The night following was most disinal, the rain and sleet falling continuously all 
night, rendering the bivouac of the troops most miserable. 

About the 15th of December, 1864, orders were received by the Regiment 
to construct quarters, and the men, believing they were to spend the winter in 
this pleasant locality far in the rear of the firing line, proceeded to build quar- 
ters of the most elaborate and substantial character. By the 20th of the month 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth were housed in the most commodious and 
comfortable quarters they had ever occupied. The extra clothing which the 
Regiment had packed up and sent to ^^'ashington for storage before breaking 
camp at Warrenton Junction the previous spring, was now returned and dis- 
tributed b)' the Regimental Quartermaster. Manv had despaired of ever seeing 
these articles again, and their joy and appreciation on return of same was ex- 
pressed b}' many. 

Contemporaneous with the movements of the Army of the Potomac dur- 
ing the previous autumn. General Sherman was advancing on his famous 
" March to the Sea," the progress of which was watched by the Regiment and 
all soldiers in the Army of the Potomac with deep interest, and every scrap of 
news reaching camp from the expedition was scanned with the greatest eager- 
ness. The success of General Sherman and the fall of Savannah was announced 
to the Army of the Potomac in general orders, followed bv a salute of one hun- 
dred guns from the Union forts in front of Petersburg, causing great rejoicing 
and cheering among the troops. 


Christmas and New Years. 

December 35, 1864, Christmas Day, the United States Sanitary Commis- 
sion, backed by the good people of the North, treated the Army of the Potomac 
to many delicacies. Many of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth thought the 
distribution of the good things should have commenced with the enlisted men 
and ended with the officers, instead of vice versa, as was the fact. After the 
officers were supplied, each enlisted man of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth re- 
ceived this day one large apple or two small ones. New Year's, 1865, falling 
upon Sunday, January 3d was observed instead. A reception was tendered the 
commissioned and the non-commissioned officers of the Third Brigade by General 
Bartlett, Brigade commander, at his headquarters. The non-commissioned of- 
ficers of the One hundred and Fifty-fifth and of other regiments proceeded in 
a body to pay their respects to General Warren, at his corps headquarters. 
General Warren cordially welcomed their friendly visit, and feasted them 
royally. In the afternoon the privates of the Regiment, after enjoying well 
their feast of hardtack and one apple apiece, indulged in games of ball, boxing, 
wrestling matches and other amusements. During this holiday period and rest- 
ing in camp, many furloughs were granted to the Third Brigade, the One 
Hundred aftd Fifty-fifth receiving its due share. During the holidays and con- 
tinuing the entire month of January, 1865, many Confederate deserters came 
into the Union line, an indication that the Confederates were rapidly losing hope 
of the success of their cause. These deserters, coming in often in squads of 
five or six, declared that Lee's army was almost on the verge of demoralization 
from starvation and exposure, and the ragged clothing and half-famished con- 
dition of these specimens strongly corroborated their assertions. 

Marching Orders. 

February 4, 1864, orders were received in the evening of this day to "pack 
up " and be ready to march at a moment's notice. Being in the middle of win- 
ter, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth could hardly believe they were to leave 
their pleasant, comfortable winter quarters to begin a new campaign at that 
inclement season of the year, hence the officers of the Regiment advised leaving 
behind in camp all but absolutely necessary articles. The pickets of the Regi- 
ment also remained behind on the posts near the old camp and guards were left 
in the camp. Early in the morning of February 5th, General Bartlett's Brigade, 
in which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was serving, and Griffin's Division 
marched by way of the Weldon Railroad track south several miles, then to the 
southwest of Petersburg to Rowanty Creek, the approaches to which were 
guarded by Confederate breastworks. The enemy, in small force at this point, 
was easily routed, leaving some prisoners in the hands of Bartlett's Brigade. 
Crossing the stream, the First Division advanced in column to the Vaughan 
Road, some six miles distant. At this point an incident occurred which showed 
great bravery on the part of the enemy. General Warren, with his staff, in com- 
pany with General Griffin, approaching a squad of twenty or thirty Confederate 


cavalrymen, guerrillas wearing Union uniforms, inquired to what command they 
belonged. The Confederates answered by firing a volley, a bullet of which 
passed through General Warren's coat, thereby causing a hasty retreat by both 
Generals and their staffs. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth rested at this 
point for several hours. The night was cold and the ground frozen hard, making 
sleep impossible, and the Regiment was not sorry when orders came about 
midnight to resume the march towards the rear of the Confederate works at 
Hatcher's Run in a northerly direction. After a weary tramp of several miles 
in the darkness, the Regiment bivouacked in the rear of the same Confederate 
works they had been facing on the previous movement in October, 1864, in the 
vicinity of Hatcher's Run. The next day, the 6th of February, was quite cold 
and cheerless and was spent by the Regiment in transforming with pick and 
shovels the enemy's works, now evacuated, into Union defenses. 

Battle of Dabney's Mills. 

In the afternoon of the 6th of February, heavy firing in front and to the 
right of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth indicated that the Second and the 
Third Divisions of the Fifth Corps had become hotly engaged with the enemy, 
and about 3 p. m., Griffin's Division, in line of battle, crossed the Confederate 
works and advanced in the midst of a severe artillery fire, across a wide field 
to a woods in which the enemy were posted in strong force. While crossing this 
open space the Regiment met an aged colored man and a woman carrying a 
white child of two or three years. The old couple were badly frightened. 
Some of the troops shouted to them to seek refuge behind a large fallen tree, 
which the little group proceeded to do. After reaching the woods a short halt 
was made, the troops hugging the earth to avoid the severe musketry and ar- 
tillery fire being poured upon them. In a few minutes the command came to ad- 
vance and open fire on the enemy, .both of which were done quite vigorously, 
the enemy being driven back nearly half a mile to a new fine of defense, in 
which General Mahone's Division of Confederates, who had just arrived in sup- 
port of their retreating troops, awaited the assault of Bartlett's Brigade. General 
Bartlett, not deeming it prudent or necessary to risk the terrible fatalities which 
would probably ensue from a direct assault upon a foe superior in numbers 
and brave to recklessness, and protected by strong earthworks, ordered the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the other troops in the Third Brigade to fall back, 
which they did in good order. They were pursued slowly by General Mahone's 
strong division of Confederates. On account of the furious fire still kept up by 
the retreating One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and the Third Brigade, Mahone's 
men did not press the pursuit very closely. 

As the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth approached the edge of the woods 
from which they had first advanced, a line of troops, said to have been the 
Second Brigade of Griffin's Division, composed partly of three New York 
Regiments of raw, undisciplined troops, the same that had become panic-stricken 
at Hatcher's Run the previous October, had formed in the edge of the woods to 
support the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and other troops. As the humming 



of the enemy's minie balls passing through the ranks and over the heads of the 
line of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, reached these raw troops, they again 
became demoralized, and commenced firing into the ranks of the withdrawing 
line of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. The Regiment, thus placed " between 
the Devil and the deep sea," charged upon the panic-stricken Second Brigade, 
causing it to break and turn into a fleeing mob. In this state of affairs, it became 
impossible for the regiments of the Third Brigade to maintain their order, and 
utter confusion resulted. Amidst the buglers' assembly calls of the Brigade and 
Regimental bugles, the mass of troops fell back to a commanding ridge, on the 
crest of which several batteries had been quickly placed in position, the gunners 
standing with lanyards drawn, waiting until the disorganized mass of troops 
had passed' through, then pulling the lanyards, the guns belched forth a storm of 
canister that suddenly checked the onward rush of the elated enemy. The re- 
treating troops fell back behind the captured Confederate works on the banks 
of Hatcher's Run, from which they had emerged two hours before, and within 
twenty minutes order was again established, every soldier being with his com- 
pany and regiment. As darkness set in, the enemy made an assault upon the 
position occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, but were easily repulsed. 
Thus ended the battle of Dabney's Mills, so-called from a sawmill located on 
Hatcher's Run. 

Further Incidents of Life in the Trenches. 

The whole region between the lines of the contending armies during the 
siege of Petersburg was so cut up by " covered ways," " dug-out " roads, rifiepits, 
etc., as to make it almost impossible to pass safely without losing one's way from 

b^^^ the main lines to the picket posts, when the fog was 

^^^ heavy. 

\>. / In winter and early spring this marshy country, 

drained by Hatcher's Run and Gravelly Run, was subject 
to frequent fogs so dense in character that frequently 
from daybreak until ten o'clock, a soldier wandering a 
few rods from this camp would be unable to find his way 
back to the same. On one occasion during this winter 
campaign. Sergeant Walter McCabe, of Company B, of 
the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, in command of a large 
squad of pickets, started out in the morning to relieve 
the Union pickets already on duty. After wandering 
for some time in what seemed to be the direction of the 
Union picket line, the Sergeant and his squad were 
brought to a sudden halt, and challenged to give an ac- 
count of themselves. To the great consternation of the 
squad of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, they found 
themselves prisoners within the Confederate lines. On 
being lined up, the Confederates promptly relieved them 
of nearly all their clothing, and of all their valuables. 
SGT. WALTER McCABE. One of the enemy would exclaim, " Say, Yank ! that's 


a nice overcoat, let's exchange." Another would exclaim, " Off with your shoes, 
Yank, I'll exchange with you ! " A mercenary Confederate would ask, " Have 
you any money? Out with it — you'll not need it where you're going; I'll take 
care of it for you! " Others insisted on trading shoes "even up," the unfortu- 
nate Yankee giving a compulsory consent. 

When the exchanges were all completed, the scene presented the appearance 
of a Confederate company dressed in neat zouave uniforms guarding a company 
of Union soldiers dressed in ragged, tattered Confederate clothing, their heads 
sticking out through crownless hats, bare spots showing through rents in trous- 
ers, especially in the rear, together with soleless shoes, etc. As the Confederate 
cavalcade started to march with their Union prisoners for the rear of the Con- 
federate troops, they in turn became confused by the thick fog, and striking a 
covered way, unconsciously marched their prisoners right back into the Union 
lines. In turn the late captors were captured. It is needless to add that the 
fortunes of war having changed, the Confederates were made to disgorge their 
plunder in short order, and Sergeant McCabe's squad promptly came into their 
own again without much ceremony. 

Whether it was Major-General G. K. Warren's high reputation as a skillful 
engineer, or his eminence as a brilliant strategist and fighter and great coolness 
in cases of emergency, that led to his being selected by General Grant to lead all 
important and hazardous movements looking to the complete isolation of Lee's 
army within the defenses of Petersburg is a problem the readers of this volume 
will each have to solve. Be the cause or causes what they may, however, the 
facts stand out so plain that he who runs may read. Every fresh advance into 
the enemy's strongholds by General Warren's Corps involved the greatest dangers 
and necessitated not only courageous fighting qualities on the part of his troops, 
but the ability to perform very hard manual labor. Every new position gained 
had to be fortified; every intrenchment captured from the enemy had to be 
remodeled so as to make it a defensive position for the Union troops. Thus 
during the entire summer and autumn of 1864, as well as the greater part of the 
winter of the Petersburg campaign, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment 
was constantly engaged either in fighting, or, through details of men, digging and 
shoveling in the trenches. 

Immediately upon securing a firm grasp of an important position, General 
Warren set his troops to work to fortify the same. As soon as the new works 
were made impregnable against the enemy's assaults, some other corps of the 
army of the Potomac would march in to occupy the position, and the Fifth Corps, 
under General Warren, would march out to make new conquests and fortify 
again. This order of campaigning ended only at Appomattox. That General 
Warren fully appreciated the hardships to which his brave, uncomplaining troops 
were subjected, goes without saying. The details from the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, who toiled in the trenches, all bear willing testimony to the kindness 
and sympathy shown them by the kind-hearted General, who often personally 
superintended their work. Frequently, when some youthful soldier, who from his 
tender nurture and surroundings at home, had never handled a shovel before. 


would evince awkwardness in the use of the same, General Warren would get 
down into the ditch, grasp the tool, and kindly show the novice how to use it 
to advantage. 

During the siege of Petersburg, General Meade received complaints that 
in many cases the enhsted men failed to extend the military salute to their su- 
perior officers, thus neglecting to show proper respect to their mihtary 
superiors. In response to these complaints. General Meade issued a General 
Order, directing that thereafter all soldiers in the ranks should, in accord- 
ance with military regulation, salute their superior officers anywhere when 
meeting or passing them. On receiving this order, General Warren immediately 
requested General Meade to except from the provisions of the order the hard- 
worked troops of the Fifth Corps, then engaged toiling in the mud and water 
of the trenches in fatigue details, day and night. General Meade thereupon 
qualified the General Order, making it apply only to " soldiers off duty '' in 
camps, or on guard duty, dress parades, or on distinctly military occasions, and 
not to include working details of soldiers engaged in constructing defensive works. 

Topography of Petersburg District. 

To the general reader the description of the various movements of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and of the battles fought by the Fifth Corps under 
General G. K. Warren, must be unintelligible without a clear understanding of 
the topography of the region in which those events occurred. Running south and 
southwest from Petersburg were several wagon roads and two railroads, which 
formed the main arteries of communication between Petersburg and Richmond 
and the southern States of the Confederacy, and over which were conveyed the 
principal supplies for Lee's army. The possession of these roads by the Union 
army, of course, meant the speedy surrender or evacuation of the Capital and 
strongholds of the Confederacy. The first important road of which the Union 
army obtained possession west of the Norfolk & Petersburg was the Jerusalem 
Plank Road, running almost due south ; which was followed a few weeks later- 
by the capture of the Weldon Railroad, running south into North Carolina, and 
the Halifax Wagon Road, running south parallel with this railroad. The only 
remaining railroad by which Lee's army could obtain supplies was what was 
known as the Southside Railroad, running in a southwesterly direction from 
Petersburg. The vital importance of this railroad to the Confederate Capital led 
General Lee to make use of every means at his command even to the utmost to 
protect it from capture. 

Before reaching the Southside Railroad from the Weldon Railroad, it was 
necessary to cross four important wagon roads running south from Petersburg — 
first, the HaHfax Road ; second, the Vaughan Road ; next, the Boydton Plank 
Road; and lastly, the White Oak Road. These wagon roads, about ten miles 
south of Petersburg, crossed, first. Hatcher's Run, flowing southeast; second, 
Gravelly Run, flowing in the same direction, the two streams uniting to form 
Rowanty Creek. These various roads were connected by numerous narrow 
country roads crossing from one to the other. The distance from the Yellow 


Tavern and Four-Mile Station on the Weldon Railroad across to the Southside 
Railroad was about ten to twelve miles. The capture of Fort McRea and con- 
necting works at Peeble's Farm, by the Fifth Corps, reduced the distance to the 
Southside Railroad to about six to eight miles. The intervening space, however, 
was so strongl}- fortified with numerous lines of intrenchments and redoubts, 
also well manned by Confederate veteran troops that its capture by direct assault 
was hopeless to the Union Generals. 

With the bull-dog tenacity, characteristic of General Grant, he determined 
to plant his forces on the Southside Railroad by flanking movements ; that is, by 
pushing his troops around the western ends of the enemy's intrenchments and 
coming in on their rear. This necessitated the movement of the Union troops 
south several miles, then a march in a westward direction across the country trav- 
ersed by the country roads and streams already mentioned. The greater part 
of this region was thickly covered with forests, and intersected and cut up by 
deep ravines and impassible marshes. 

Along the western crest of every ravine, and at the intersection of every 
cross-road with the main road, the Confederates had constructed surprisingly 
strong works. Should the Union troops successfully assault one line of de- 
fenses, the enemy had only to fall back to a still stronger position in their rear, 
commanding the first position and rendering it untenable. This second position 
was commanded by a third earthworks still further in the rear. Not satisfied 
with this series of defensive fortifications behind which they could bid defiance 
to the Union army, the foe had constructed other earthworks facing to the south, 
following these up with others in the rear of the first, until the gloomy forests 
and swamps of that dreary region, ten to fifteen miles square, was cut up by a 
labyrinth of defensive works, of which the Confederate officers alone held the 

It was impossible for General Lee, with his rapidly depleting army, to oc- 
cupy continuously these defenses ; but his faithful scouts, always on the alert, 
kept him fully informed of every threatening movement by the Union troops 
in that direction, and holding the key to the position, that astute General was 
able to fill the works with his troops on short notice, and was never caught 
napping. Entangled in the intricate mazes of the Hatcher's Run forests, the 
Union troops were constantly in danger of being ambushed and shot down by 
unseen foes, or cut off from supports and captured by flank movements on the 
part of the enemy. 

General Warren and the Fifth Corps. 

To face these dangers and to undergo the hardships and exposures inci- 
dent to campaigning in such a region in the dead of winter, the reader will ob- 
serve that General G. K. Warren, with his Fifth Corps, composed of such troops 
as the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was invariably 
selected by General Grant to penetrate the heart of Lee's network of supposed 
invincible intrenchments during the siege and extensions to the left, and finally 
to storm the enemy's strong position at Five Forks, and plant his faithful troops 


on the coveted Southside Railroad, capturing at Five Forks more prisoners than 
he had troops in his command. 

Inclement Weather. 

On the night of the 6th of February, 1865, to the 13th, the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth and Griffin's Division suffered extremely from cold and ex- 
posure. ■ Having left all camp paraphernalia in their former quarters, some 
soldiers even leaving their blankets, and the weather continuing very inclement, 
the ground being frozen hard, it was impossible to attain restful sleep. In fifteen 
minutes after lying down the part of the body in contact with the frozen earth 
would become numb with cold, compelling the weary soldier to turn continually 
from side to side. Huge fires of oak logs were kept burning constantly, but the 
wind blew all the heat as well as the smoke away from the windward side, while 
the dense biting wood smoke was blinding and. choking on the side to leeward. 
A more miserable week than that spent by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
during the lull following the Dabney's Mills campaign could hardly be imagined. 

New \\'ixter Quarters, 1865. 

On the 13th of Februar}-, 1865, the camp-guards and pickets, together with 
the camp property left behind at the former quarters, were restored to the 
Regiment. Having, by hard labor, changed the enemy's works which the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth had captured on the banks of Hatcher's Run into strong 
Union defenses, the Regiment moved out as usual this day, and other troops 
moved in. The Regiment was moved back a mile or more to a forest of yellow 
pine timber, and ordered to erect new quarters. After another week of toil com- 
fortable houses were completed, and with the exceptions of regular details for 
^' fatigue duty " in the trenches, the Regiment spent a few pleasant weeks in this 
■camp. The barns and other buildings torn down for the sake of the boards, not 
furbishing sufficient material for the needs of both officers and men, the latter 
were compelled to procure their share of the same surreptitiously, by running 
the gauntlet of guards at night and carrying off such boards and other material 
as they needed. 

Within a few rods of this new winter camp of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth was a fine large tabernacle erected by the Christian Commission, in which 
undenominational religious services were, held nightly through the week and in 
daytime on Sundays. The soldiers in the field — in this portion of the army, at 
least — had heard much about the great work which the Sanitary Commission 
■of the North was doing among the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac. The 
work of this Commission was evidently confined to the hospitals, as there were 
few visible signs of their presence at the front ; but the hearts of the troops were 
with the brave, self-sacrificing ministers and" nurses of the Christian Commission, 
who were everywhere present ministering to the physical as well as the spiritual 
needs of the men in the trenches. Close in the rear of the battle line, often amidst 
the crashing of shells and the smoke of battle, these devoted men carried fuel and 
"Water to keep their vessels of hot coffee full and steaming; and with hands tender 


as a woman's, fed the hungry, staunched the blood, and bound up the gashes 
made in human flesh by the deadly missiles of the enemy. These priests of 
God, Catholic and Protestant, asked no questions of the sufiferer, but simply 
obeyed the divine precept to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and bind up the 
wounds of both friend and foe. Many a wounded Confederate owed the Chris- 
tian Commission a debt of everlasting gratitude. Helplessly wounded, in the 
hands of his foes, he was treated with the same tender consideration as if he 
were a friend, and all for Christ's sake. 

Camp Occupations, — Drilling Resumed. 

In a few days after the battle of Hatcher's Run, February 6, 1865, the 
weather moderated and became mild and pleasant, continuing so for weeks. After 
the middle of the month, rumors of another move circulated freely among the 
troops, and when orders were finally received to " pack up " and " send to the 
rear all superfluous clothing and baggage," the rumor increased to a certainty. 
General Warren with the ubiquitous Fifth Corps had threaded his way among 
such a net-work of Confederate intrenchments, successfully assaulting some and 
flanking others, that he had finally reached the point from which the whistling 
and rumbling of trains on the Southside Railroad were plainly audible. The 
war had been ended in the Southwest by the destruction of Hood's Confederate 
army at Nashville ; Sherman, in his march through the Carolinas, had successfully 
reached Goldsboro ; the Union forces were in possession of all the seaports and 
coast cities of the South ; Sheridan had cut the canal and destroyed the Lynch- 
burg Railroad northwest and west of Richmond ; the Union cavalry were probing 
the heart of the Confederacy, and wails of despair were filling the air throughout 
the South. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, expecting every day to be ordered 
to move, were bracing themselves for the final supreme effort ; for the whole 
command felt that the next move of their trusted Corps commander would 
place them across the Southside Railroad, the only remaining artery conveying 
blood to the impoverished brain of the Confederacy. 

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, daily reviews were held. The 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, under command of Brevet Brigadier- 
General A. L. Pearson, was assiduous in its daily practice of deployments, skir- 
mish drills and the useful and graceful bayonet exercises. Every afternoon, on 
the immense fields in front of the Cumming's House, there was a review either 
by brigades or divisions, and frequently by the entire Corps, attended occasionally 
by Generals Grant and Meade and their staffs. 

At this time the wife of General Charles Griffin was in camp, and accom- 
panied her husband on these reviews. She was a handsome woman, a superb 
rider and rode a beautiful horse. At this time, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
was at the zenith of its reputation in the Fifth Corps as one of the attractive 
regiments. Gaily dressed in its pleasing dark blue zouave uniform, white turbans, 
leggings and white gaiters, moving as one man with a light, free step, whether 
in company, regimental or division line, swaying in beautiful cadence to inspiring 
martial music, the Regiment presented an impressive picture. All these scenes 
were long to be remembered, and did much to prepare the Regiment for its crown- 


ing career in the battles yet to come, culminating in the final victory at Appo- 
mattox Court House. 

Second Battle of Hatcher's Run. 

On the morning of the 25th of March, while the country was covered with a 
fog so dense that the rays of the morning sun were too weak to penetrate, ter- 
rific cannonachng was heard to the right, coming from the direction of Peters- 
burg. Bartlett's Brigade, including the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, was 
ordered to break camp and march. Leaving their comfortable quarters, the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment marched amid the fog two or three miles to 
the right in the direction of the cannonading, eating a breakfast of hardtack as 
they marched. Halting, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth remained in one spot 
two or three hours, watching with great interest the hazy movements of a division 
of the Second Corps maneuvering in their front and left, having learned in the 
meantime that the heavy cannonading in the early morning was caused by a 
Confederate attack'on Fort Steadman, and final repulse of the enemy. About 
noon, the Union troops half a mile in front and to the left of the position occupied 
by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, became engaged with the enemy. The 
fog had lifted and disappeared, the sun shone bright and clear, wanning the 
chilly air of early spring. The buds were swelling ready to burst. There was a 
balmy sweetness in the air, beauty in the landscape, but no birds. Instinctively 
the feathered tribe had deserted those regions when the terrible tempests of 
human wrath converted the once peaceful hills and valleys into scenes of tumult 
and horror. Soon the brazen-throated engines of war with ear-splitting deto- 
nations began to fill the air with missiles of destruction. The musketry firing 
increased to a continuous roar ; again subsiding to sounds resembling the ripping 
of canvas or the rattling of a stick over a paling fence. The firing increased and 
subsided continually, and as the battle extended the contending hosts became en- 
veloped in the smoke and lost to view. Awe-stricken, the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth gazed upon the sublime scene transpiring within a landscape which the 
deepest hues of the painter were powerless to portray, or words, the winged 
messengers of thought, to describe. 

About an hour before sunset, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and other 
regiments under General Bartlett, marching in the direction of the heaviest 
firing, formed in line of battle in the rear of the troops on the firing line, which 
they ascertained to be the famous Irish Brigade of the Second Corps, and ad- 
vancing to the front, relieved them. The heavy volleys poured into the enemy's 
line by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth seemed for a time to stimulate their 
fire, and in a very short measure of time many of the Regiment fell killed or 
wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel John Ewing was wounded in the leg, and Major 
John A. Cline, who had lately been promoted from Captain of Company K, re- 
ceived a minie ball in the shoulder, but declined to leave the field. The Regiment 
lost two killed and about thirty wounded. 

The fire of the enemy was very severe, particularly for the two right com- 
panies, A and F. The slope of the ground somewhat protected the left companies. 






It was growing dark, and the flash of the enemy's fire was very conspicuous. 
Above the roar of musketry came a voice, " Fire right obHque." It may have 
been the voice of a private or a sergeant, or a captain, but the inspiration was 
taken up by many voices, and that obHque fire was concentrated with such mur- 
derous effect that the fire of the enemy slackened and finally ceased. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth maintained its position until the enemy 
gave up the contest and retreated behind their breastworks about nine o'clock. 
In front of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, during this battle, lay many dead 
soldiers, and some members of the Regiment whose guns were becoming well 
worn, taking advantage of the opportvmity presented, went out in the darkness 
and exchanged guns with the dead men, securing bright new arms in place of 
their own worn and rust-eaten weapons. In history this engagement is known 
as the second battle of Hatcher's Run. By midnight the Regiment was back in 
the old camp which it had left in the morning. 

For two days the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, to employ a military term, 
" slept on their arms." That is, their guns were stacked in the company streets, 
their knapsacks were packed, and a constant supply of four days' rations were 
kept in their haversacks, so that the Regiment, had occasion required it, could 
have been on the march within five minutes after receiving orders to move. 


Chapter XVI. 


Engagemext of Lewis Farm or Quaker Road. — Gallantry of Colonel 
Pearson. — Burying the Dead. — Furious Attack of Confederates on Fifth 
Corps. — Plan of Battle of Five Forks. — Sheridan Orders Plan to be Put 
Into Execution. — Brilliant Charge of Fifth Corps. — Gallantry of AIajor 
George M. Laughlin, of Griffin's Staff. — Warren's Removal frojni Com- 
mand of Fifth Corps. — Griffin Succeeds Warren. — April 6th, General 
]\Ieade Resumes Control of Fifth Corps. — One Hundred .\nd Fifty-fifth 
Under Comjiand of Major Cline. — Regiment Deployed as Skirmishers in 
Advance of Brigade. — Flag of Truce. — Grant's Letter to Lee Proposing 
Surrender. — Lee's Letter Accepting Terms. — One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Among Regiments Designated to Receive Surrender. — Confederate 
Army Stacks Arms in Front of One Hundred and Fifty-b-ifth and Third 
Brig.\de. — The War Over. — Parole of General Lee and Staff. — Casualties. 

ARCH 29, 1865. This morning at daylight the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth marched out of its camp with the other regiments of 
the Fifth Corps, to initiate a new campaign, which proved to be 
the beginning of the end. No sheher except the canopy of the 
heavens was to cover them until the last armed foe of the glorious 
Stars and Stripes had grounded his arms. General Lee, with the knowledge 
that General Warren, who, with his invincible troops had gradually wrested 
from him his strongest positions, was now massed on the left near the Southside 
Railroad, Lee's last real artery, read)' to strike for that coveted prize either by 
force or by strategy, must have considered his position extremely critical. To 
a man of weaker nerve and less fruitful of resource than Lee, the situation 
would have certainly seemed desperate. There was, however, still a net-work 
of strong defenses to be overcome by ^^'arren before Lee's hold on his im- 
portant railroad was loosened. The latter, realizing this, immediately stripped 
his long lines of fortifications around Richmond and Petersburg of troops, leav- 
ing but a skirmish line to guard them, and concentrated the main body of his 
army near the threatened points, to meet General \\^arren with his troops in the 
advance, and Sheridan with his cavalry still farther to the left. 

The left of the Confederates' main line of intrenchments, beginning north- 
west of Richmond, which had never yet been broken, extended from Petersburg 
in a southwestward direction to Hatcher's Run at the point where the Boydton 
Plank Road crosses that stream ; thence on the southside of and parallel with 


the stream some distance westward to the White Oak Road, thirty-five miles 
in length. This line of intrenchments protected Lee's right and rear ; but about 
four miles farther west from the termination of this main line on the White 
Oak Road, a detached line of intrenchments existed, running parallel with the 
White Oak Road, to cover an important strategic point known as " Five Forks." 
To reach the Southside Railroad in this roundabout way, it was necessary that 
General Warren should either circumvent or successfully assault these fortifica- 
tions. It was evidently Grant's plan to use both methods of reaching the coveted 
prize — Sheridan with his cavalry, to endeavor to flank the strong positions, while 
Warren's columns kept the enemy's troops so fully employed that they could not 
be used against Sheridan. To the latter commander must be given the credit 
of originating the general plan of this campaign, but to Warren belongs the 
glory of successfully carrying the details into effect. At an early hour of March 
29th, 1865, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth together with Warren's whole corps 
marched southwest to Rowanty Creek at the point where the Quaker Road 
crosses that stream ; thence north along that wagon road to a point where it 
crosses Gravelly Run, the southern branch of Rowanty Creek. 

The Battle of Lewis Farm. 

Shortly after crossing Gravelly Run on the Quaker Road, the First Brigade 
of Griffin's Division came into contact with the enemy in advance of their 
breastworks on Hatcher's Run, and a severe engagement ensued, the Con- 
federate pickets, unable to check the advance of the Union troops, rapidly fell 
back to their main line of battle. Here, a determined stand being made, the 
First Brigade was compelled to retreat in confusion. The One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, being nearest the scene of action, was promptly sent on the double- 
quick to the support of the discomfited First Brigade. Arriving on the ground, 
no organized Union troops were to be seen by the Regiment. One of Griffin's 
batteries, however, was holding its ground on a ridge a few rods in advance. 
Without taking time to form in line of battle, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
pushed on hastily and formed in the rear of the battery where the enemy's 
column was seen advancing on the double-quick to capture the guns. 

The battery boys maintained their position bravely, and the rapidity with 
which they loaded and fired cannister into the exultant enemy was surprising. 
The appearance of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth so suddenly in the rear of 
the battery in its support was like an apparition to the foe, and, after a few 
volleys had been poured into their column by the Regiment, the Confederates 
quickly retreated. 

Dashing Exploit of General Pearson. — Death of Lieutenant Strong. 

A short distance in front and to the left of the position occupied by the 
battery was a long saw-dust pile, behind which, unknown to the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth, a large number of the Confederates were concealed. General 
Pearson, commanding the Regiment, who in some way became aware of the 


presence of this hidden force, rode up to the " Color-Sergeant " and reached for 
the Regimental colors, which Color-Sergeant Marlin refused to yield, saying, 
" Show me where you wish the colors carried, and I'll take them there." Gen- 
eral Pearson, however, seized the colors, and shouting, " Follow me, men, or 
lose your colors," galloped furiously up on this saw-dust pile, the Regiment 
following, cheering lustily. The enemy immediately took to their heels, leaving 
fifty or sixty prisoners in the hands of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. This 
gallant act of General Pearson was, on recommendation of General Charles Grif- 
fin, rewarded by a Brevet Major-Generalship. 

Lieutenant James Strong, of Company I, a gallant and faithful officer, was 
shot through the head and instantly killed in this action, falling close to General 
Pearson as he planted the colors on the enemy's position. As Lieutenant Strong 
lay on the field mortally wounded, Corporal Charles A. Walters left the ranks 
to relieve his suiiferings. With true soldierly instinct, Lieutenant Strong bade 
the Corporal to spare his efforts, as his case was hopeless, and to return to the 
ranks of his Company. Lieutenant Strong left a wife and six children in a little 
cottage by the coal works on the Youghiogheny, where he had been employed, to 
mourn his death. 

After this short battle, the Regiment spent an hour or longer in succoring 
the wounded and burying the dead from their own ranks, as well as looking after 
the wounded of the brave members of the battery which had so gallantly held its 
ground until reinforced by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. 

Several men were detailed with picks and shovels to dig a trench fifteen or 
twenty feet long, six feet or seven feet wide, and three feet deep. Over the bot- 
tom of these trenches were carefully spread blankets taken from the knapsacks 
of the dead men. The bodies were then tenderly laid side by side and covered 
with blankets. The trenches were then filled up. Where the identity of a dead 
comrade, through any letters or other documents about his person, could be 
a.scertained, his name with his company and regiment was written or carved 
upon a stick or piece of board which was driven into the ground at the head 
of his position in the trench. 

An incident of heroism and devotion to duty occurred in this action and is 
worthy of notice. In the impetuous rush of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth to 
the support of Griffin's battery in this action, in the midst of the rain of missiles 
that were raising dust spots in the ground over which the Regiment was double- 
quicking, a soldier of the First Brigade, which had become disorganized and 
scattered, unable to find his own command, voluntarily joined the ranks of the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and was thus going into battle among entire 
strangers. Early in the action this visiting comrade received a mortal wound 
and toppled over. Thus died in battle an unknown patriot. 

This brief engagement is known in history as the battle of the Quaker Road, 
or Lewis Farm. Later the same evening the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth ad- 
vanced a mile, and putting out a strong picket line, bivouacked for the night. 
At the apex of an angle in the road where a squad of the Regiment's pickets was 
posted a Confederate captain was noticed approaching, evidently reconnoitering. 
Unaware of the vicinity of the pickets, the officer approached within a few yards 


of the post, on discovering which he demanded the surrender of Sergeant D. R. 
Curll, of Company H, and Lieutenant D. Porter Marshall, of Company K, 
They refused and in turn captured the daring Confederate officer. 

This movement of the Fifth Corps along the Quaker Road was supported 
on the right flank by the Second Corps, commanded by General Humphreys, the 
latter advancing by the Vaughan Road, intending to strike the enemy's works at 
Hatcher's Run at the point where the road crossed the stream, about four miles 
to the right of Warren. Thus both corps were marching north towards Hatcher's 
Run on parallel roads. Griffin's Division of the Fifth Corps, including the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth, was the first to come into contact with the enemy at 
Quaker Road, or Lewis Farm, which action has already been described. The 
point where this engagement occurred was less than two miles from the enemy's 
main line on Hatcher's Run. The Division pressed on, forcing the Confederates 
into their works. Sheridan's cavalry, by a more circuitous route, had by this 
time reached Dinwiddle Court House, about six miles southwest of the position 
occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and Griffin's Division on the 
■Quaker Road. The Second Corps, under Humphreys, marching north on the 
Vaughan Road, encountering many obstructions, had not yet reached the enemy's 
front on Hatcher's Run, when night set in. To resist this advance of the Union 
army. General Lee had twenty thousand muskets and a few brigades of cavalry 
in position, protected by a series of the strongest fortifications parallel with 
Hatcher's Run, as previously described, that modern military science could de- 
vise. The night of the 29th of March was exceedingly stormy and wet, but on 
the morning of the 30th the rain had ceased and the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth, with the other troops, were up and in position ready to strike. The ground, 
however, was so soaked with rain as to become almost a swamp, and the roads 
were impassible for artillery trains. Military operations were well nigh at a 
standstill. The firing along the outposts was continuous. The Second Corps 
•extended its left and made connection with the Fifth Corps. It became a serious 
question to the Union army of getting up supplies of subsistence and ammunition. 
The wounded could not be carried back to the railroad, and had to be made as 
comfortable as possible in the woods, with the limited number of tents available 
for shelter. Grant's army at this point could neither advance nor retreat. 

Warren, however, pressed his troops close up to the Confederate works on 
the White Oak Road to keep the enemy occupying them from sending re- 
inforcements to the troops opposing Sheridan, who had advanced to assault the 
enemy's works at Five Forks. The Confederates having superior numbers, how- 
ever, easily repulsed the cavalry, and drove Sheridan's troopers back to Din- 
widdle Court House. Early on the morning of March the 31st, the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth and the other regiments of Griffin's Division extended their 
lines gradually still further to the left, endeavoring to connect with Sheridan 
and reach the right flank of the enemy's line so as to overlap it and get in 
their rear. 

The stormy weather and bad roads which had impeded the progress of 
Warren's troops, had been of immense advantage to Lee, giving him an oppor- 



tunity to reinforce his works at Five Forks, which was threatened by Sheridan's 
cavalry, and Lee had all of his troops now well forward and in posi- 
tion to reinforce any part of his long lines on Hatcher's Run which might 
become hard pressed. Every hour's delay, however, meant increased peril to the 
enemy. Brave and full of resources to the last. General Lee resolved to repeat 
the tactics which he had used so successfully against the Union forces in the 
Wilderness, and by which he had so often foiled Grant's flanking movements. 
This was to launch strong bodies of his troops with the fury of a thunderbolt 
upon the flanks of Warren's troops while they were engaged in changing position 
and unprepared to resist a sudden attack. 

In the movement 


B.\TTLE OF Gravelly Rum. 

westward on March the 31st, Ayres' and Crawford's 
Divisions of Warren's Corps marched by 
way of Boydton Plank Road, with Griffin's 
Division, including the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, in the rear, in what is known in 
military terms as en echelon. Extremely 
anxious to reach the flank of the enemy's 
position and connect with Sheridan, General 
Warren obtained permission from General 
Meade to make a reconnoissance in the 
evening, and, if he found it possible, to take 
position on the flank of the enemy's works. 
It was this reconnoitering movement that 
precipitated the conflict. The advance had 
scarcely begun when Lee, believing the op- 
portunity for which he was watching, had 
arrived, with the swiftness of lightning, 
hurled his veterans like an avalanche upon 
Ayres' Division, which, stunned by the blow, 
fell back upon Crawford's Division in turn, 
confused by the mass of fugitives rushing 
upon them from Ayres Division, broke their 
lines, and fell back upon Griffin's Division 
and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. The 
enemy, flushed with victory, charged upon 
Griffin's Division, but were repulsed and 
sent staggering backward. Then, while the 
two former divisions were rallying and re- 
forming their lines. Griffin's Division, includ- 
ing the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, 
charged upon the enemy, driving part of 
them back in a mob over their intrenchments, 
and the remainder disappeared down the 


White Oak Road towards Five Forks. Before the enemy could regain their in- 
trenchments, a large number of prisoners were left in the hands of GrifHn's 
Division. Although Lee had failed in his attack on Warren, he was quickly 
ready for another bold and determined effort. 

Privates Edward R. Melchor, of Company E, and Alexander Eaton, of Com- 
pany H, were killed in this action. Among the wounded were Corporal John 
Saber, of Company B, Privates James Martin, Company D, Henry Starr and 
William H. Stitt, Company G, and Martin Y. B. Sproull, Company K. 

Bad news flies fast. An exaggerated report of the disaster to the Fifth 
Corps, without information as to the glorious recoup, led General Grant, in issu- 
ing orders to the Fifth Corps to move to the assistance of General Sheridan that 
night, to authorize General Sheridan to relieve General Warren from the com- 
mand of the Fifth Corps in case Warren failed him. 

That evening General Warren was directed to withdraw from the White 
Oak Road, being relieved by the Second Corps, and to advance by crossing 
Gravelly Run and to make connection with General Sheridan. It was a slow, 
hard, all-night's march. Bridges had to be built crossing the swollen Gravelly 
Run, and many places through the impassable swamp had to be corduroyed. 
The troops toiled all night and began to arrive at Sheridan's position soon after 
daylight, the rear of the Fifth Corps not arriving until noon, April 1, 186.5. 

Battle of Five Forks. 

Meantime Sheridan had been making his dispositions to attack as soon as 
the troops of the Fifth Corps were available. General Custer's Division of 
cavalry was brought up and placed in position. The enemy occupied a line of 
intrenchments in front of the White Oak Road covering the road to Ford's 
Station, which, leading southward in two branches at its intersection with the 
White Oak Road, constituted the " Five Forks." General Sheridan deployed his 
dismounted cavalry in front of the enemy's works. With a scabbard he sketched 
for General \\'arren the location of the enemy's intrenchments on the White 
Oak Road, and directed Warren to advance across the White Oak Road past 
the enemy's flank, then to change direction to the west and advance rapidly 
taking the enemy in flank and rear, which would be a signal for advance by the 
cavalry. Warren immediately sketched a plan of attack, copies of which he 
furnished to his division commanders. 

After the orders had been given by General Warren, the troops of the 
Fifth Corps marched two to three miles, and were in position for attack by 
4 p. M., April 1st, near the White Oak Church. The attack was immediately made, 
advancing across the White Oak Road, Ayres on the left and Crawford's Division 
on the right, in line by brigades. Grifiin's Division, in reserve, was in line by 
brigades in rear of Crawford's Division. Firing began at the White Oak Road. 
General Sheridan, who rode with General Ayres, was chafing with impatience. 
The moment General Ayres' strong skirmish line met the enemy, Sheridan put 
spurs to his horse and dashed along in front of the battle lines shouting encour- 




agement to the troops. As the lines moved forward, a man on the skirmish line 
was struck in the neck, crying, as he fell to the groimd, " I'm killed." " You're 
not hurt a bit," shouted Sheridan, " pick up your gun, man, and move on the 
front." The poor fellow grasped his musket, sprang to his feet, and rushed 
forward a short distance, then fell dead. 

It was found that the enemy's line did not extend as far eastward as General 
Sheridan had been led to beheve by his scouts, but was covered on the left by a 
skirmish line of Munford's dismounted Confederate cavalry in deploy. Gen- 
eral Sheridan impetuously ordered an immediate change of direction by Gen- 
eral Ayres' left brigade, under command of General Fred Winthrop, and an 
attack on the flank of the enemy's line. This broke the connection of Winthrop's 
Brigade with the rest of Ayres' command. Winthrop gallantly attacked, and 
after driving the enemy a short distance, was himself attacked in flank and 
driven back with serious loss, the gallant General Winthrop himself being killed 
at the head of his brigade. 

General Ayres and General Sheridan rapidly brought the other two brigades 
of Ayres to the assistance of Winthrop's Brigade, and then ensued some very 
sturdy fighting. In the meantime General Crawford, having lost touch with the 
division on his left by the sudden withdrawal of Ayres' troops, was advancing 
rapidly northward, driving the dismounted Confederate cavalry before him 
through the woods. General Warren's aides, having failed to get. Crawford to 
change direction and follow Ayres, General Warren went after him in person, 
in the meantime sending orders to Griffin to change direction and move into the 
gap between Ayres and Crawford. This Griffin did handsomely, but there was 
much very difficult ground to be covered, and it took time, while Ayres and the 
cavalry were fighting hard. 

During this wheeling movement of the Fifth Corps many troops of the 
three divisions, becoming confused, lost their commands, and were intermingled 
in the rear. General Chamberlain, commanding the First Brigade of Griffin's 
Division, who was among these troops, endeavoring to reduce them to a sem- 
blance of order, was most ably assisted by Captain George M. Laughlin, formerly 
Captain of Company E, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, but now on Gen- 
eral Griffin's staff. General Chamberlain states that Captain Laughlin went 
dashing in among the disorganized body of troops in this action, and by his 
gallantry and cool courage in this trying emergency succeeded in rallying the 
men, inspiring them with such confidence that they followed him enthusiastically 
into the hottest part of the engagement. It was no doubt this clearness of mind 
and self-command of Captain Laughlin in times of urgent need and severe strain 
that led General Griffin to call the Captain to a distinguished position on his 
staff, an honor which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth highly appreciated. 

General Ayres' Division on the left, which had fallen back a short distance, 
quickly rallied, and charging on the flank of the enemy's intrenchments, ran over 
them, capturing over one thousand prisoners. Griffin's Division, with the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth, rushing through the gap, fell upon the works in their 
front, capturing fifteen hundred prisoners. Crawford's Division, which General 
Warren had gone after, and brought up on the right, fell upon the rear of the 





enemy, capturing four guns and many prisoners. The Union cavalry was now in 
front of the Confederate works, and Crawford's Division of troops concentrated 
at right angles with the W^hite Oak Road. At this point Crawford experienced 
a most stubborn resistance. The troops in the turmoil, becoming somewhat dis- 
organized, had halted without orders. It was a most critical period. General 
Warren, seizing the Corps colors and spurring his horse to the front, called 
on Crawford's men to follow him. The effect was electrical. There was a 
wild rush, irrespective of organization, and a large part of the enemy that re- 
mained were captured. General Warren's horse was shot under him, and but 
for the timely interference of Colonel Richardson, of the Seventh Michigan, 
Warren might have been killed. In his efforts to shield his beloved commander, 
Colonel Richardson was himself mortally wounded. The few of the enemy that 
escaped were pursued by \\'arren's troops in squads till night, and many of the 
exhausted fugitives surrendered. Thus ended the battle of Five Forks, one of 
the most brilliant and certainly the most decisive battle of the war. General 
Sheridan suggested the general plan of attack, but it was Warren with the Fifth 
Corps who arranged the details and fought and won the battle, it being mainly 
a battle between the infantry of both armies. The trophies left in possession of 
General Warren's troops were many guns and battle flags, and more than five 
thousand prisoners. 

Incidents of the Five Forks Campaign. 

In this engagement and rout of the enemy from their last stronghold, the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth captured a prisoner for every man in the Regiment, 
three guns and a number of wagons and ambulances. 

Among the brigades suffering most severely in the fight immediately under 
Warren on the right was the command led by Brigadier-General Richard Coulter, 
whose conspicuous gallantry in all the battles of the Army of the Potomac, from 
the first Bull Run to Five Forks, had earned for him not only well-deserved 
promotion, but also the title of " Fighting Dick," an epithet which he cordially 
■despised. His command suffered the heaviest in casualties of any brigade in 
the action of Five Forks. 

General George A. Custer, commanding a division of cavalry, also serving 
on the right at Five Forks, was credited in General Warren's official report with 
most conspicuous services in the final attack, defeat, and pursuit of the Con- 
federates in their last stand and assault upon Crawford's Division at Five Forks ; 
Warren's report also detailing the number of battle flags and prisoners captured 
by Custer's Cavalry on the same part of the battlefield on which they charged 
the enemy. 

The losses of Crawford's Division, led by Warren in person, exceeded con- 
siderably the losses of the other two divisions of the Fifth Corps combined. 

Among the many officers killed in this brilliant and successful assault on 
the Confederate works at Five Forks, as already stated, was Brigadier-General 
Frederic Winthrop, of New York, commanding the First Brigade, Second Di- 
vision, Fifth Corps. While leading the charge at the head of his troops, this 




distinguished young officer, in his twenty- 
seventh year, was mortally wounded by a 
shot through the lungs. He survived his 
wound scarcely two hours, and when told 
that the assault had been completely suc- 
cessful, exclaimed, " Thank God, I am now 
willing to die." 

General Warren Removed from 

April 2, 18tJ.5, the announcement was 
made in general orders that Petersburg had 
fallen, the news, though expected by the 
troops, being received with acclamations 
and great demonstrations of joy. While still 
felicitating themselves over the joyful an- 
nouncement, the astounding news came that 
General Warren had been removed by Gen- 
eral Sheridan from the command of the 
Fifth Corps at the moment of the victory at 
Five Forks. The information seemed in- 
credible. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and all the troops of the Fifth Corps 
were shocked and indignant at this action, and for hours following were scarcely 
able to credit the news, attributing the report to baseless camp rumors. The 
announcement, however, proved to be only too true. 

Without detracting in the least from the fame of General Sheridan and his 
brave troopers, the fact stands out clear and uncontradicted in the history 
of that period that it was the brilliant generalship of General Warren and the 
courageous fighting of his invincible infantry corps that consummated the fall 
of the Confederate Capital, and rendered the glory of Appomattox a certainty. 
And just at the supreme moment, when the glorious news that Liberty and 
Self-government were once more triumphant was encircling the globe on the 
wings of the lightning ; when the bells were ringing and bonfires blazing over the 
joyful tidings throughout the North, General Sheridan, with authority from 
General Grant, removed General Warren. 

For sixteen years General Warren knocked yearly at the doors of the Gov- 
ernment for a Court of Inquiry, and it was not granted until the Presidency of 
Rutherford B. Hayes. It was in vain that he appealed to the authorities in Wash- 
ington, after his arbitrary removal from the command of the Fifth Corps and 
the failure to prefer charges of any kind against him, for a Court of Inquiry. 
Under Prefident Hayes' administration a commission of Major-Generals of the 
United States army was appointed as a Court of Inquiry. General Hancock was 
detailed for service in the Court, but was soon afterward nominated for the 
Presidency and was obliged to withdraw from the service. This declination of 
General Hancock, it was said, greatly affected General Warren at the time. 


because of his great faith and confidence in Hancock's sense of justice. General 
George A. Custer, commanding a division of cavalry,' side by side with General 
Warren, in his report of the battle, paid the highest tribute to the energy, ability 
and soldierly qualities exhibited by ^^■arren in the action. General Charles 
Griffin and General Romeyn B. Ayres, in official letters furnished soon after the 
event, bore testimony to General Warren, refuting the insinuations that he had 
left anything undone in co-operating with General Sheridan. General S. W. 
Crawford, the Division commander, and General Richard Coulter were witnesses 
at the Court of Inquiry, and testified from their personal observation as com- 
manders in the battle to the great valor, distinguished gallantry and intrepidity 
of General Warren at Five Forks, and to the further fact that the division, com- 
manded by General Crawford and led by Warren, had sustained more loss in 
killed and wounded in the action of Five Forks than did the divisions of Griffin 
and Ayres, with whom Sheridan was present. They furthermore in official re- 
ports certified to the capture of several thousand Confederate prisoners and 
numerous stands of colors of the enemy. After months of deliberation, the 
Court of Inquiry completely exonerated General Warren from blame of any 
kind, whilst conceding the discretionary right and power vested in General 
Sheridan to remove Warren with or without cause. 

As the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, somewhat strung out and scattered by 
the under-brush and other obstructions, advanced, they suddenly came upon the 
enemy's field hospitals, where the Confederate surgeons were dressing their 

Pushing forward, the Regiment soon reached an open space in the rear of 
the enemy's works, but found their further progress intercepted by a ravine filled 
with bushes. The crossing of this depression caused more confysion in the ranks, 
and as the Regiment climbed up the opposite bank, the men found themselves 
face to face with a strong column of Confederate reinforcements marching in 
the rear of their works. Before regaining their breath and forming into anything 
like a semblance of order, the Regiment received a volley from the reinforced 
enemy which threw the troops into worse confusion, and caused them to fall 
back into the woods from which they had just emerged. 

Major CHne, who had command of the Regiment, gallantly rode among the 
boys and quickly ralHed them. Not waiting to regain his hat, which had been 
knocked off by an overhanging branch, the major bravely led the Regiment in 
a renewed attack upon the enemy, which was made with such impetuosity that 
the Confederates in their front threw down their arms and surrendered. When 
the battle findlly ended, it was found the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth had cap- 
tured more prisoners than there were men in the Regiment, besides three pieces 
of artillery, and a number of caissons, army wagons, ambulances, etc. 

The Regiment suffered .severely in the action. Among the many casualties 
were Captain George P. McClelland, who commanded Company F in the engage- 
ment. He received a serious wound in the thigh, and was for half an hour a 
prisoner in the hands of the enemy. He was rescued, however, by the grand 
counter-charge of the Regiment. 


The Captain's wound was deemed a mortal one, and he was removed to a 
field hospital and as tenderly cared for as the surrounding conditions would per- 
mit. To the surprise and pleasure of his comrades, Captain McClelland survived 
his injury, and after months of suffering finally recovered sufficiently to return 
to the peaceful pursuits of civil life. 

Lieutenant Thomas B. Dunn, of Company C, was also badly wounded in the 
knee, from which he died a few hours later. It was his first appearance after 
being promoted to First Lieutenant for gallant and meritorious services in many 
battles. He had just returned from home on a furlough, and wore a new uniform 
presented to him by friends. General Pearson visited him in the field hospital, 
and urged Doctor Kitchin, the Regimental surgeon, to do his best for the Lieu- 
tenant, promising him a substantial reward if he could save the life of his 
wounded friend, but all without avail. 

The brave Sergeant Hughey Park, of Company E, was wounded in the 
groin in this battle, finally dying of his wound years afterwards. He had escaped 
unscathed in all previous campaigns. 

During the half-hour interval between the first and the second charge by the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, several members of the Regiment who were 
leading the advance in the first charge were captured by the enemy. 

Among those thus captured were Sergeant J. A. AIcDowell, of Company F, 
and Solomon Durnell and Daniel Hawk, of Company K, all of whom had exciting 
experiences imtil recaptured by the second charge of the Regiment. Sergeant 
\Mlliam Logan, who had been detailed from Company I, for duty with the Corps 
battalion of sharpshooters, while with his detachment had a narrow escape from 
capture by Pickett's Confederate division in this action. The detail had been 
assigned to duty on the flank, and were very much exposed. When the battle 
was over, six sharpshooters were found killed, but the survivors all escaped 

As a sequel to ^Nlajor Cline's experiences, it may be mentioned that a few 
days later, at Appomattox, he discovered his lost hat on the head of a Confederate 
prisoner. On learning, however, that the Confederate had bought the hat from 
a fellow prisoner who had found it at Five Forks, paying therefor three hundred 
dollars. Confederate money, the gallant Major declined to reclaim the hat. 

On the morning following the battle of Five Forks, when the rolls of the 
various companies were called, the missing were carefully sought for in the 
woods and grounds through and over which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth had 
advanced in its wild rush. Among the missing was Sergeant Asbury Secrist, of 
Company F. He and a Confederate soldier were found dead in the woods, lying 
feet to feet, each with a bullet hole in his forehead, both muskets empty. So far 
as is known, no mortal eye witnessed that deadly combat. Only friend and foe 
and God were present. In the impetuous onslaught they had met and both died. 
Sad and shocking as was the spectacle, the sequel was still sadder. Away back 
in Fayette county, Penn.sylvania, both the aged parents of young Secrist sickened 
and died with grief within a short period after hearing the sad tidings, the mother 
losing her reason before dying. 





That is the story of but one side. Had Sergeant Secrist's Confederate an- 
tagonist a wife, mother or father? His name never became known, there being 
nothing on his person by which he could be identified. Did some trembling, 
hoping, loved one in the sunny Southland watch and wait and pray in agony of 
expectation for the step and knock that would never be heard, and pine away 
for tidings no human being could ever bring? God knows. 

In the afternoon of the 2d of April, 1865, the Regiment marched in line of 
battle to the Southside Railroad at a point about fifteen miles from Petersburg, 
and turning to the right marched in the direction of the fallen city until night 
set in, when the Regiment went into bivouac, being satisfied that the news regard- 
ing the capture of Petersburg was correct. 

The doom of the fallen city was sealed, as the uninterrupted and incessant 
bombardment with the heaviest siege guns the entire night previous was bound 
to penetrate the weak spots in Lee's defenses. 

General Lee was soon made aware of the terrible disaster to his army at 
Five Forks. Its full significance was apparent to him. His right flank had been 
turned, and the Fifth Corps, now with Griffin as . commander, was in his rear. 
The problem with Lee now was how he could hold on until he could provide for a 

News of Victories. — Pursuit of Confederate Army. 

Breaking camp April 3, 1865, the Regiment marched in the direction of 
Richmond, but halted on announcement being made that Richmond also had 
fallen, and that the Confederate army, in a demoralized condition, was trying 
to escape to North Carolina. Then the Fifth Corps let itself loose — the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth especially, cheering itself hoarse. Within half an hour 
the Regiment and all brigades and division of the Fifth Corps were retracing 
their steps, and starting on a long, arduous march to intercept the Confederate 
army. Sheridan was in the advance with his cavalry, and although he would 
have preferred his old Sixth Corps, yet requiring the support of infantry troops 
that could endure the fatigues of long, rapid marches, and whose fighting qualities 
could be depended upon in the most critical emergency, he hesitated not a mo- 
ment before selecting the Fifth Army Corps. 

Thus was initiated the first scene in the last act of the great tragedy, which 
had its commencement on the 12th of April, 1861, when the first Confederate shot 
was fired against Fort Sumter. 

The afternoon of April -l, 1865, the Fifth Corps arrived at Jetersville at 
about the time the vanguard of Lee's army arrived at AmeHa Court House, nine 
miles distant, and about the same distance from Burkesville Junction. The Corps 
found Sheridan's cavalry intrenched in a slight line of rifle pits extending across 
the Richmond & Danville Railroad, and skirmishing with bodies of Confederate 
cavalry towards Amelia Court House, and being greatly concerned lest the Fifth 
Corps would not arrive in time. The Fifth Corps immediately occupied the cav- 
alry works, and in a short time with pick and shovel had them thick and high. 
The Union cavalry moved off to take care of the flanks and the outposts on the 


road to Amelia Court House. The next day, April .5th, the tired troops of the 
Second and the Sixth Corps began to arrive and the Regiment felt that Lee 
was effectually headed off in his retreat to Danville to unite with General John- 
ston. At the same time General Ord with the Twenty-fourth Corps was arriving 
at Bufkesville Junction. The next morning, April 6th, at daylight, found two 
divisions of Union cavalry massed, saddled and bridled, in front of the works 
of the Fifth Corps — one on each side of the road leading to Amelia Court 
House. A few minutes later appeared Generals Grant, Sheridan, Meade, Griffin 
and the Division commanders of the cavalry and of the Fifth Corps, and possibly 
Generals Humphreys and Wright, all mounted. The scene was aii unusual and 
notable one. A squad of Sheridan's scouts approached on the gallop and made 
a report to Sheridan personally. From the gestures and pointings of these 
scouts, the troops in line assumed that General Lee's army was endeavoring to 
pass to the westward of the position of the Fifth Corps. General Sheridan re- 
ported to General Grant, and after a very short consultation a decision was 

A few orders from General Grant and then the cavalry bugles began to blow 
at each division, each brigade, each regimental and each troop headquarters, all 
blowing at once. There was " mounting in hot haste,'' as the cavalry moved 
out on the road to Amelia Court House. 

The Fifth Corps bugles immediately began sounding the general " pack up " 
call, and the troops were soon in motion, still foltowing the cavalry up the Amelia 
Court House road, and, after a march of three miles westwardly, were soon on 
the trail of Lee's army, which had evidently been marching all night. During the 
•day's march some four hundred of Lee's disabled army wagons were passed. 
About the middle of the day heavy firing on the right of the Fifth Corps' line 
of march indicated that the Second and the Sixth Corps, moving on a shorter 
line, had struck the Confederate army at Sailors Creek. The battle lasted until 
evening, resulting in the capture of six thousand Confederates, including nine 
general officers, many pieces of artillery, wagons, etc. 

The Regiment, with the Fifth Corps, marched in a circle that day, following 
Lee's army twenty-seven miles, and camped at night only nine miles in an air 
line from the starting point of the morning. 

April 7, 1865. The Regiment and the Fifth Corps was on the march again 
at daylight in the neighborhood of High Bridge, where the Second Corps had 
been skirmishing with the rear guard of Lee's army. All day the Fifth Corps 
followed Sheridan's Cavalry, passing south of Lee's army through Prince Ed- 
wards Court House, camping at night in the neighborhood of Pamplin's Depot. 
At daylight on the morning of the 8th of April the march was resumed, follow- 
ing Sheridan's Cavalry at a rapid gait all day, reaching, that evening, Appomat- 
tox Depot on the Lynchburg Railroad, where the cavalry had captured four 
supply trains loaded with provisions intended for Lee's army. The cavalry boys 
had detached the four engines and were having their fun running them up and 
<lown the track, ringing the bells and tooting the whistles. These sounds, to the 
«ars of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, seemed like a return to civilization. 
The Fifth Corps crossed the track and passed on a couple of miles northwest, 





going into bivouac about two o'clock in the morning, near where Custer's Cav- 
alry was having a skirmish with Lee's advance guard. General Ord's Twenty- 
fourth Corps reached Appomattox Depot shortly after the Fifth Corps, and both 
these corps were now as squarely planted across Lee's path on the road to Lynch- 
burg as they had been at Jetersville, and the sentiment in the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth now was that if Lee escaped on the morrow, it would not be through 
their lines. 

The Surrender of the Confederate Army. 

April 9, 1865. Too much worn out from exhaustive marches to cook or to 
eat, the weary One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment bivouacked at two o'clock 
A. M., this day, at the sides of the road, and before the Regiment had rested or 
had time to make coffee, firing in front warned the command that the second 
scene in the last act of the great tragedy was about to be enacted. General Bart- 
lett's Brigade was at once formed in line of battle, and the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, now under command of Major John A. Cline, was ordered to the 
front. The Confederates, believing they were opposed by cavalry only, had 
already advanced to brush the latter aside, and to continue their retreat. The 
firing became rapid as the cavalry gradually fell back. The commands came 
sharp and quick from the brigade commander, General Bartlett, '" One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth — Forward as skirmishers! On center! Take intervals! De- 
ploy ! " These movements being quickly executed by the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, the skirmish line covered the entire front of Bartlett's Brigade, which 
rapidly formed in line of battle. As the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, now de- 
ployed as skirmishers, advanced, the Union cavalry parted and, turning to the 
right and left, rode off. the field, uncovering the advancing infantry skirmish line 
of the Regiment. The spectacle of the glittering arms and serried ranks of the 
Union infantry had all the effect of a stunning and unexpected blow to the Con- 
federates, who immediately began to fall back through the village of Appomattox. 
The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth skirmish line pressed closely on the rear of the 
Confederates, capturing on the road seventy-seven men, the remnant of an 
Alabama brigade, and two pieces of artillery which had been firing. 

Whilst the right of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth skirmish line, which ex- 
tended a considerable distance along the ridge overlooking the village of Appo- 
mattox, was engaged, a mounted courier suddenly emerged from a wooded grove 
within the Confederate lines bearing uplifted a small white flag of truce, and gal- 
loped directly to the Union front, reaching the firing line occupied by the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth. No attempt was made from the Union line to interrupt 
thi3 messenger bearing the emblem recognized in time of war as a cause for sus- 
pending fire. On reaching the skirmish line, the courier was received by Sergeant- 
Major William Shore, who, by orders of Major Cline, of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, commanding the skirmish line, conducted him to General J. L. Cham- 
berlain, commanding the Division. The Confederates were no doubt induced to 
send in the flag of truce by the discovery a short time previous that instead of 
being pursued by the advance of cavalry and that cavalry was the only force in 
their front, they were facing infantry. They were much astonished on the with- 



drawal of the Union cavalry to discover the whole Fifth Corps infantry in bat- 
tle line advancing to the attack, and cutting off all chance of retreat by the line 
they had chosen. 

The arrival of the messenger with the flag of truce at General Griffin's 
headquarters, to which he had been forwarded by General Chamberlain, resulted 
in the immediate despatch of Captain George M. Laughlin, aide-de-camp on 
General Griffin's staff, with orders to be delivered by him to Major Cline, com- 
manding the Regiment, on the advance skir- 
mish line, at once to cease firing. This ex- 
tremely hazardous duty Captain Laughlin 
promptly performed. The Confederates, how- 
ever, through some misunderstanding, con- 
tinued their firing at points along the line, in 
disregard of their own flag of truce. Persist- 
ing in this, General Griffin, on receiving re- 
ports from Captain Laughlin that the Con- 
federates were disregarding their own flag of 
truce by firing, ordered Captain Laughlin to 
return to the front and deliver an order to 
Alajor Cline to resume firing until the enemy 
cea«ed. In delivering these orders. Major 
Laughlin was exposed to a galling fire from 
the enemy. , Finally, when the Confederates 
stopped firing. Captain Laughlin again de- 
livered General Griffin's orders for the last 
time for the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth to 
" cease firing," which order was obeyed and 
not a hostile shot on either side was after- 
wards exchanged. 

Death of Young Montgomery. 

During these intervals of firing the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth had several killed and 
wounded, one of the saddest and most pa- 
thetic being that of Private William Mont- 
gomery, of Company L who, while loading and 
firing, was mortally wounded by a cannon ball. 
The pathetic feature of this young soldier's 
death being that he had scarcely reached his fifteenth year, and had been in the 
service but a few months, his life being really sacrificed after a flag of truce 
was within the Union lines, and through which the peace of Appomattox oc- 
curred. This young Pittsburg boy's life was undoubtedly the last sacrifice which 
was offered up to the Union cause in the Army of the Potomac, as the final 
orders to cease firing had been delivered on both sides but a few moments before 
the hostile shot ended this young patriot's life, and no further casualties occurred. 






Young Montgomery's last words were messages of love and affection to his 
mother and the tender of comforting hopes that his injuries were not 
serious. He expired the following day, while the paroling ceremonies were being 

A few -disorganized Confederate regiments were unwilling to surrender, and 
wanted to fight it out, truce or no truce. A magnificent spectacle was presented 
during the morning of April 9, when Merritt's bugles sounded the charge, and a 
whole division of Union cavalry went thundering down on the South Carolinians, 
who, without officers, persisted in firing. Guidons bending to the front, sabers 
gleaming, and the troopers cheering, Merritt's men soon captured the belligerent 

Many of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth at this time were suffering from 
hunger and fatiguing marches, but never did more refreshing news come to any 
troops than the announcement which this flag of truce conveyed to the Regi- 
ment. Hunger and exhaustion, however, were forgotten amid the universal 

The position occupied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth on the skirmish 
line was on a commanding ridge from which the entire landscape, including the 
village of Appomattox, could be seen. The Confederate army was visible on 
both sides of the road, and the McLean ^Mansion where the negotiations between 
Grant and Lee were being conducted, was distinctly within the range of vision. 
It was a most advantageous position for the Union troops, had the negotiations 
for the surrender failed. When the terms had been satisfactorily arranged be- 
tween Grant and Lee and the latter finally rode back along the line of Confed- 
erate troops, he was greeted with immense demonstrations of joy by his men. the 
cheering, however, having a more joyful significance to the Union troops than it 
had on any previous occasion. 

Terms of Surrender Concluded. 

The day was well advanced when the two armies settled down quietly to 
await the result of the peace negotiations between Generals Grant and Lee. 
When the negotiations were finally concluded. General Lee came down from the 
porch of the AIcLean House, mounted his heavy gray horse, and rode back to 
his army. A few minutes later a Union staff officer came down and announced 
that the Ami}- of Northern Virginia had surrendered. Shortly after this an- 
nouncement a Union battery about one hundred yards distant from the McLean 
Mansion began firing a salute, when immediately a couple of aides came dashing 
down from the porch with orders from General Grant to stop the salute, saying 
that there must be no exultation over the fallen foe. 

General Grant wrote the following letter of terms of surrender in the 
presence of General Lee and his Chief-of-Staff, Colonel Charles Marshall, 
namelv : 





" Appomattox Court House, Virginia. 

" April 9, 1865. 
" General R. E. Lee, 

" Commanding C. S. A. 

" General : — 

" In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst, I pro- 
pose to receive the surrender of the Army 
of North Virginia on the following terms, 
to-wit: Rolls of all the ofificers and 
men to be made in duplicate. One copy 
to be given to an officer or officers as 
you may designate. The officers to give 
their individual paroles not to take up 
arms against the Government of the United 
States until properly exchanged, and 
each company or regimental commander 
sign a like parole for the men of his 

" The arms, artillery and public prop- 
erty to be parked and stacked and turned 
over to the officers appointed by me to 
receive them. This will not embrace the 
side-arms of the officers nor their private 
horses or baggage. This done, each officer 
and man will be allowed to return to his 
home, not to be disturbed by United States 
authority so long as they observe their pa- 
roles and the laws in force where they may 


Very respectfully. 

U. S. Grant, Lieut. -Gen. 

General Lee, after reading the letter of General Grant, wrote the following: 
" Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

" April 9, 1865. 

" General : — I have received your letter of this date containing the terms of 
surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, as proposed by you. As they are 
substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th inst., they are 
accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations 
into effect. 

" R. E. Lee, General." 

To Lieutenant-General Grant. 


General Lee's Farewell Order. 

When General Lee entered his Hnes after the surrender there was a continu- 
ous cheering as he progressed to his headquarters, from which he immediately 
issued the following General Order : 

" Headquarters Army Northern Virginia. 

" April 10, 1865. 
" General Order No. 9 : 

" After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and 
iortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to over- 
whelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the brave survivors of so many 
hard-fought battles who have remained steadfast to the last that I have consented 
to the result from no distrust of them ; but feeling that valor and devotion could 
accompHsh nothing that would compensate for the loss that must have attended 
the continuance of the contest, I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those 
whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. 

" By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes 
and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that pro- 
ceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray 
that a merciful God will extend you his blessing and protection. With an in- 
creasing admiration of your countrymen and devotion to your country, and a 
grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I 
bid you an affectionate farewell. 

" R. E. Lee, General." 

Parole of General Robert E. Lee and Staff. 

We, the undersigned prisoners of war, belonging to the Army of Northern 
Virginia, having been this day surrendered by General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army, 
commanding said army, to Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, commanding armies 
of the United States, do hereby give our solemn parole of honor that we will not 
hereafter serve in the armies of the Confederate States of America, or render aid 
to the enemies of the United States until properly exchanged in such manner as 
shall be mutually approved by the respective authorities. 

Done at Appomattox Court House, Va., this 9th day of April, 1865. 

(Sgd.) R. E. Lee, General. 

W. H. Taylor, Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General. 

Charles S. Venable, Lieutenant- Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General. 

Charles Marshall, Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General. 

H. E. Payton, Lieutenant-Colonel, Adjutant and Inspector General. 

Giles B. Cook, Major and Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General. 

H. E. Young, Major, Assistant Adjutant General and Judge Advocate 



The within named officers will not be disturbed by the United States au- 
thorities so long as they observe their parole and the laws in force where they 
may reside. 

(Sgd.) George H. Sharpe, 
Assistant Provost Marshal General. 

As soon as General Lee returned to his troops and issued this general order, 
the Confederate General Gordon assembled the men of his corps and addressed 
them in a powerful speech, telling them they had done all that men could do, and 
now their duty was at their homes, to their mothers, sisters, wives and children, 
and bloodshed and tears should cease. During this eloquent address of General 
Gordon, the tears streamed down his cheeks, and there was not a dry eye among 
the hardened veterans of his corps. General Gordon continued until his death a 
sincere and devoted citizen and his influence was ever after always for the good ' 
of the country he had fought so hard to destroy. 

The Union officers named by General Grant to carry the stipulations into 
effect were Generals Gibbon, Griffin and Merritt. General Lee, for the Con- 
federates, appointed Generals Longstreet, Gordon and Pendleton. ■ 

The troops designated to remain to receive the surrender were : 

General Gibbon, Second Division Infantry, with artillery. 
General Griffin, Third Division Infantry, with artillery. 
General MacKenzie, First Division Cavalry, with artillery. 

As the Union army had started on the campaign with but twelve days' ra- 
tions, and that period having about expired, the army supplies were about ex- 
hausted. General Grant having ordered 30,000 rations to be furnished the 
Confederates, the supply was still further diminished. The other corps of the 
Union army were, therefore, ordered back to Burkesville Junction to receive food 
and forage by the railroad. By the morning of the 18th, the remaining troops 
designated to receive the formal surrender were doing duty on both empty stom- 
achs and empty haversacks. A small hand printing-press having been found at 
one of the corps headquarters of the Union army, the 10th and 11th of April 
were spent in preparing forms of paroles and making duplicate rolls. 

By the irony of fate, April 12th, the fourth anniversary of the firing on Sum- 
ter, was the day appointed for the ceremonies attending the formal surrender of 
the Army of Northern Virginia. 

The Fifth Corps Receives the Formal Surrender. 

By General Meade's order the Fifth Corps, General Griffin in command, was 
designated to receive the formal surrender. 


General Griffin, having selected his former division, now commanded b}- Gen- 
eral J. L. Chamberlain, to receive the arms and colors of the Confederates, 
recognized the latter's claim by reason of seniority, to command the Third 
Brigade, which had been assigned to conduct the parade. For this purpose 
Brevet Brigadier-General Pearson, who had been the commander of that Brigade 
in the final campaigns from Hatcher's Run to the firing line at Appomattox, was 
temporarily assigned to command the First Brigade, resuming command of the 
Third Brigade on the homeward march and the final review of the Army of the 
Potomac, May, 1865. 

The Third Brigade, thus honored, was formed entirely from the eight veteran 
regiments of Chamberlain's Division, as follows : 

One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania. 

Twentieth Regiment Maine. 

Thirty-second Regiment Massachusetts. 

First Regiment Michigan. 

Sixteenth Regiment Michigan. 

Eighty-third Regiment Pennsylvania. 

Ninety-first Regiment Pennsylvania. 

One Company First Maine Sharpshooters. 

At 9 A. M., April 12th, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was relieved from its 
position on the skirmish line, which it had been occupying continuously since the 
morning of the 9th, and with the Third Brigade was drawn up on the right of 
the road leading into the village, muskets loaded and bayonets fixed. General 
Chamberlain and stalif on the right of the line, adjacent to the hamlet. 

The First Brigade, under Brevet Brigadier-General Pearson, and the Second 
Brigade, Brevet Brigadier-General E. M. Gregory, formed on the opposite side 
of the road beyond the left of the Third Brigade, facing the prolongation of the 
Third Brigade. 

At 9: 30, a half hour later, the silvery tones of the bugles brought the troops 
to " attention " and soon the first Confederate brigade made its appearance, march- 
ing through the village and along the road in front of the Third Brigade. When 
the head of the Confederate column reached the left of the Third Brigade, and 
directly opposite the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, their commander gave the com- 
mand, " Halt ! Close Up ! Front Face ! Stack Arms ! Unsling Cartridge Boxes ! 
Hang on Stacks ! " This being done, the command was given, " Right Face ! 
Forward! Countermarch by File Right, March! " and away they went unarmed 
and colorless, back to their camp. 

As soon as this brigade, which it was learned was Evans' Brigade, of Gor- 
don's Corps, had departed, the troops of the Third Brigade, by orders of General 
Chamberlain, then stacked arms and took down the Confederate stacks, piling the 
muskets on the ground in their rear, muzzles outward. One Confederate brigade 
succeeded another all day long, continuing until nearly 5 p. m. ; and as S. W. 
Hill, a member of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, who was present at these 


"final ceremonies, expresses it, " There was no need to stop for lunch, as there 
was not a cracker nor a bean in the Third Brigade, General Grant's orders of 
30,000 rations to the Confederates having exhausted the supplies of his own 

It was evident that the Confederates were much dejected, though there ap- 
peared an expression of relief on their faces as they marched away, and their de- 
pression may have been caused more by hunger and emaciation than by the chagrin 
of defeat. Most of them acted in a soldierly manner, but occasionally one would 
-display ill-temper by peevishly throwing his cartridge box at the foot of the stacks 
instead of hanging it thereon. 

The color guards, having stacked their arms, the color-bearers deposited their 
■flag against their stacks — some of them with tears in their eyes bidding farewell 
with a kiss to the tattered rags they had borne through so many dangers. The 
scene during the day was pathetic in the extreme, and tears welled up in the eyes 
■of many a seasoned veteran in the Union lines. 

When the last Confederate brigade had disappeared there was a pile of 
muskets shoulder-high, which the army wagons soon hauled away. The Army 
of Northern Virginia, the pride of the Confederacy, the invincible, upon which 
their hopes and faith had been reposed, had disappeared forever, existing thence- 
forth in memory only. 

The total number of Confederates who received paroles at Appomattox 
reached about 28,000, though less than half that number had arms to surrender. 
Between the opening of the campaign on the 29th of March and the 9th of April 
more than 19,000 prisoners and 689 pieces of artillery had been captured. 

Twenty-eight thousand hatless, shoeless, famishing men were cast adrift by 
the collapse of the Confederacy, hundreds of miles from their poverty-stricken 
homes. While the low-hovering smoke of battlefields had lifted, yet the embers 
and ashes of war had left desolate the entire intervening region, and the outlook 
-of these disheartened and penniless men was indeed cheerless. With the true 
American spirit of humainity, those of the Union soldiers who had any money 
freely and generously shared it with th'eir former enemies, and many Confederates 
-were assisted to reach their homes in the Southwest by way of northern 

In the words of a gifted writer, " For ourselves the war was over — Othello's 
■occupation gone. Our thoughts were homeward. We had followed the flag 
through defeat, disaster and suffering, and now in victory so hard won we could 
not exult over a fallen foe. We wanted them for fellow citizens, and we suc- 
ceeded in getting them. We were sure they would help up-build our common 
country. We had captured their arms, their flags and their hearts. In retrospect, 
Tiow many who had tramped with us had fallen by the wayside, and sealing their 
devotion with their life's sacrifice, were denied participation in the consummation 
of the victory we had just witnessed. They had marched and sang with us, 
' We'll hang Jeff Davis on a Sour Apple Tree, as we go marching on — Glory, 
Glory, Halleluiah ! ' and as we watched the last Confederate disappear surely 
the shades of comrades gone before would unite with us in singing, ' Glory, 



Glory, Halleluiah ! ' There is Peace in all the land ! and from every town and 
hamlet and every bereaved heart in the Great Northland would come the 
response — 

' Praise God from whom all blessings flow, 

There is Peace in all the land. 

There is Peace.' " 





Chapter XVII. 


Incidents of Flag of Truce. — Sergeant Shore's Reception of Truce Bearer. 
— Return of Army to Washington.^ — Fifth Corps Reviewed in Petersburg 
BY General Warren. — March of Troops Through Richmond. — Grand Re- 
view IN Washington. — Farewell Address of General Meade to Army of 
Potomac. — ^Return of One Hundred and Fifty-fifth to Pittsburg. — Public 
Reception and Dinner. — Parade and Public Exhibition and Drill in Alle- 
gheny Parks. — Regiment Mustered Out of Service. 

Number of Confederates Paroled. 

|CCORDING to the records of the War Department, the number of 
officers and enhsted men of the Army of Northern Virginia paroled 
at Appomattox on the 9th of April, 1865, was a total of twenty- 
two thousand, three hundred and thirty-five infantry, composed of 
Gordon's and Ewell's Corps. The cavalry and artillery corps and 
detachments swelled the grand total up to twenty-eight thousand, three hundred 
and fifty-six men. It has been stated that of the troops surrendered only eight 
thousand had arms in their hands. If this was correct, then the greater part of 
those men who had no arms must have thrown them away when they found 
they must surrender. The casualties of the Union army in these closing opera- 
tions, from the 29th of March to the 9th of April, of officers and enlisted men, 
killed, wounded and missing made a total of nine thousand, nine hundred and 

General Griffin, to whom Grant assigned the order of arranging the final 
details for the surrender and parole of Lee's army, in comphment to General 
Joshua L. Chamberlain, commanding the First Brigade of Bartlett's Division, 
designated him to command the parade and final review. 

General Chamberlain, who, in acknowledgment of his valuable services on 
many a bloody field, and at Gettysburg in particular, had been assigned the honor 
of receiving the arms and colors of the Confederate army, asked for the famous 
old Third Brigade of the First Division of the Fifth Corps, with which he had 
been so long identified. His request was granted, and it was the Third Brigade, 
including the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, that he found in line of battle on 
the morning of the 12th of April, 1865, to participate in the last ceremony of 
the formal surrender of Lee's once magnificent army. 




A. H. ROWAND. Esq. 

General Lee's Clemency to Spy at Appomattox. 

During Lee's retreat, after the evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg, 
Sheridan's cavalry scouts dressed in Confederate uniforms freely intermingled 
with the Confederate troops. Three of these Union scouts, one of whom was 
Arch H. Rowand, Jr., of Pittsburg, serving as a private of Company K, First 
Regiment, West A'irginia Cavalry, and at present a well known member of the 
bar, were captured, on April 7th, near Appomattox Court House. They were 
tried during the bivouac at night by a drumhead court-martial, all were found 
guilty of being spies, and one of them was sentenced to be shot at -daylight the 
next morning, the 8th of April, the otiier two succeeded in making their escape 
from the Confederate guards. 

During the progress of the war, General Lee had for reasons satisfactory 
to himself issued an order that all proceedings and findings in summary court- 
martials involving capital punishment should be submitted to the Commander-in- 
chief of the Confederate army for approval before being carried into execution. 

On the occasion referred to a courier from General Gordon, bearing the 
findings of the court-martial against the spies, reached General Lee's head- 
quarter bivouac in the early hours of the morning. Colonel Charles Marshall, 
Asst. Adj. General and Mihtary Secretary to General Lee, first received the papers 
from the courier, and proceeding to General Lee's quarters, awakened him and 
presented the important paper to him. for approval. General Lee, sitting up in 
his tent and looking over the documents by the light of a tallow dip candle, re- 



marked, perhaps with well-founded apprehension of the morrow's catastrophe 
to the Confederate army, " Colonel, do you not think there has been enough blood 
spilled in this dreadful war without shedding any more uselessly? Carrying this 
sentence into execution under the present circumstances can serve no useful pur- 
pose; therefore, the further execution of the sentence will be postponed for the 

The Colonel Charles Marshall mentioned above was later, and until his 
death a few years ago, a prominent and distinguished member of the Baltimore 
bar, with a well earned legal reputation throughout the country. 

Colonel Marshall and Scout Rowand Exchanging Reminiscences. 

Many years after the close of the war, Colonel Charles Marshall, who, as 
previously stated, had served as chief-of-staff to General Lee throughout the 
Civil War and at Appomattox, attended an important case in Pittsburg as attor- 
ney for Baltimore parties, before the late Honorable J. W. F. White, Judge of 
Common Pleas Court No. 2, of Allegheny county. At the close of the argu- 
ments General A. L. Pearson, Judge Slagle, John H. Kerr, Charles F. McKenna, 
E. A. Montooth, and Arch H. Rowand, Jr., of the Pittsburg bar, all of whom 
had taken part in the surrender at Appomattox, and were familiar with Colonel 
Marshall's part therein as a Confederate officer, tendered an informal reception 
and collation at the Hotel Henry to Colonel Marshall. 

The former Union scout. Arch H. Rowand, Jr., exchanged interesting remi- 
niscences with Colonel Marshall about the last days of the Confederacy, and 
the Appomattox campaign, when his fel- 
low scout of Sheridan's cavalry was 
saved from death through the clemency 
of General Lee in suspending execution 
of sentence after the scout had been con- 
demned to death by a drumhead court- 
martial. Colonel Marshall took occasion 
to congratulate Comrade Rowand on 
his opportune escape from the Confed- 
erate camp and the drumhead court- 
martial and sentence, which also awaited 
him on the same occasion, when General 
Lee declined to have his convicted mess- 
mate shot at daylight. 

Comrade Rowand, at the time of 
his capture as a Union scout by the 
Confederates, wore the uniform of a 
company of South Carolina Confederate 
cadets, with whose dialect and style 
young Rowand in early boyhood, by 
reason of residence, had become quite 
amiliar. j,ql charles Marshall, c.s.a. 


A medal of honor was awarded Comrade Rowand by Congress, on recom- 
mendation of General Phil Sheridan, for important services rendered the Union 
cause as a scout in various campaigns of the Union army. 

Form of Appomattox Paroles Questioned. 

General J. L. Chamberlain, the Union General detailed to receive the 
formal surrender of the Confederates, describes the preliminary conference he 
had with General Henry A. Wise, the senior Confederate division commander, 
the remnants of whose command were about forming preparatory to stacking 
arms and disbanding. In the midst of the prevailing excitement. General Wise, 
who in civil life was known as one of Virginia's greatest lawyers, earnestly ex- 
postulated with General Chamberlain on what he termed the ridiculous proposi- 
tion then about to be enacted of paroling an army without the signature of each 
paroled individual. General Wise indignantly inquired if there were no lawyers 
among the Generals or leaders of Grant's army to insist upon the individual 
signatures of each and every Confederate to be paroled, averring that it was 
unprecedented and of very doubtful force whether the commanding officers of 
regiments could sign binding paroles for the men of their respective commands, 
as the articles of surrender between Lee and Grant provided. General Chamber- 
lain declares that he suppressed his feelings of amusement at the venerable 
General Wise's indignation and profound concern over the technical question of 
the vahdity of paroles of the Confederate rank and file, all of whom had endorsed 
most heartily General Lee's actions in surrendering his army. He closed the 
discussion with General Wise by expressing the opinion that as subordinate of- 
ficers of Grant and Lee, General Wise and himself had no other course than 
cheerfully to obey the orders of their commanding officers. 

The Various Flags of Truce. 

Much has been said and written about the various flags of truce which pre- 
ceded the formal execution of the papers of surrender by General Lee in the 
McLean House. Colonel Charles Marshall, who, at Appomattox, made the 
copies for Grant and Lee, of the terms of capitulation, has declared that so 
many stories have been told about the flags of truce at Appomattox, as almost to 
convince him that he was not present on the morning of the surrender, as he 
saw no flag of truce at all. It is certain, however, that, on account of the difficulty 
in reaching Lieutenant-General Grant on that morning, located in a distant por- 
tion of the army, quite a number of messengers and flags of truce were hastily 
sent through the lines of the Union army, by direction of General Lee. 
From the council of the night previous it became known to Generals Longstreet 
and Gordon that the surrender of General Lee of his army had been determined 
upon and that all were anxious to avoid further effusion of blood. How- 
ever, the advanced videttes of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, occu- 
pying the skirmish line of the Fifth Corps on the advance at Appomattox on the 
morning of the 9th of April, 1865, saw a mounted staff officer leave the enemy's 


columns just outside the village of Appomattox, carrying on his uplifted sword 
a white object like a towel, evidently intended as a flag of truce. General Grif- 
fin, commanding the Corps, also observing this plain movement of the officer, 
dispatched Captain George M. Laughlin, senior aide-de-camp of his staff, to the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, occupying the skirmish line, with orders to cease 
firing because of the approach of the rider with the flag. The young Confederate 
oiificer, bearing the flag of truce, on reaching the skirmish line, was first stopped 
by Sergeant-Ma j or William Shore, to whom the officer spoke, remonstrating that 
his flag of truce was repeatedly fired upon. 

To this Sergeant-Ma j or Shore responded that until the Confederates quit 
firing the Union troops would not cease their firing. Sergeant Shore gave the 
flag bearer safe escort through the skirmish line to Colonel Pearson, now in com- 
mand of the Brigade, who in turn passed the bearer with Captain George F. 
Morgan of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, a staff officer, along to General J. 
L. Chamberlain, commanding the Division and from thence by escort the officer 
was finally passed to General Grant, whose headquarters at that time was some 
miles distant in the rear from Appomattox. Until General Grant's reply was 
received a long wait occurred, and the status quo at the front of both armies 
was preserved, but under the greatest strain and tension. 

Sergeant-Major Shore's participation in the reception of this flag of truce 
delivered so conspicuously by the Confederate courier was corroborated in a 
singular manner many years after the close of the war. Sergeant-Major Shore, 
in 1903, while serving. in the employ of the city of Pittsburg, read of the appoint- 
ment of an ex-Confederate veteran to be United States Judge of the District of 
Alabama. The item stated that this Judge, being then a boy of nineteen, had 
ridden across the open field at Appomattox with a flag of truce on his uplifted 
sword, and had passed through the Union skirmish line and was at once es- 
corted to General Grant with Lee's final message for the surrender on April 
9th. Sergeant-Major Shore opened correspondence with the newly-appointed 
Judge, Honorable Thomas E. Jones, and interesting letters passed between 
the two. This interesting correspondence will be found in report of Bellevue 
Reunion, 1907, in this history. 

While the Fifth Corps was in line of battle immediately after the flag of 
truce and pending the arrangement of Generals Grant and Lee for the surrender 
and parole of the latter's army, quite an exchange of courtesies was taking 
place between the Confederate Generals and Union Generals, with their staffs, 
and particularly between those officers who had been cadets together at West 

Generals Custer and Merritt were particularly fraternal with Generals 
Fitz Hugh Lee and Lomax, Confederate cavalry leaders. So many evi- 
dences of mutual joy and friendship were exhibited that it became difficult to 
tell from the conviviality and hilarity which were the victors, and which the 

General Fields, commanding a division of the Confederate army under 
Longstreet, opposite the position held by the Fifth Corps and the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth, had been a classmate at West Point with General Charles Griffin. 


General Fields sent his compliments to Griffin by an aide, whereupon General 
Griffin dispatched Major Laughlin, of his staff, with his compliments to Gen- 
eral Fields, to escort the latter to his headquarters as his guest pending the 
paroling ceremonies then being arranged to take place a day or two later. The 
hospitality of General Griffin was gratefully accepted by General Fields, and the 
greeting of the two classmates of the '50's at West Point was cordial in the 

The Confederate officers' mess chest and wardrobes had become quite re- 
duced by the fall of Petersburg and Richmond and the harrassed retreat of the 
Confederate army, and the capture of their wagon trains by the Federal cavalry. 
General Fields, therefore, apologized for his fatigue attire, and his inability ta 
return the hospitalities of General Griffin's larder. 

General Griffin, being an abstemious man, had to depute the distribution of 
the champagne festivities with his Confederate guest to other Generals of his 
corps who did not share his prejudices against the limited use of ardent spirits, 
especially to the stranger within their lines. 

It was said, however, that General Griffin, before their final parting, in- 
sisted on his Confederate guest's accepting a substantial roll of money for his 
immediate expenses. 

General Fields was a brave soldier, having been in the war from the first 
battle of Bull Run to Appomattox, and during his visit to General Griffin, the lat- 
ter sent for General Ayres to come and meet Fields, both Griffin and Ayres 
having participated in the battle of Bull Run in the artillery service, and having 
commanded bodies of troops down to Appomattox. 

Magnanimity of General Grant. 

It is related by the late Major Geo. M. Laughlin that, on the evening of 
May 5, 1864, in the bivouac of General Meade's headquarters in the Wilderness, 
an informal council of war was held. A preliminary discussion took place as to 
the terrible carnage which had occurred that day in the various divisions of the 
Fifth Corps, and the inadequate gains as to position or advantages. On this 
occasion, General Griffin, whose Division of the Fifth Corps had opened that 
memorable battle, and suffered such severe losses, expressed his views to General 
Meade, presiding, in very forcible terms, denouncing it as an inexcusable blunder 
to fight under such disadvantages of position; and also characterizing in severe 
terms the losses occasioned in the rank and file of his command as " useless 
slaughter." Lieutenant-General Grant had just arrived at the meeting in time to 
hear the remarks of General Griffin. Though not addressed to him, he quietly 
expressed to General Meade the great surprise he felt that the latter tolerated 
any such remarks or criticisms from subordinate commanders, declaring that 
in the armies with which he had served in the West the commanders never per- 
mitted such conduct. General Griffin, overhearing General Grant's expressed dis- 
pleasure at his remarks, quietly withdrew from the informal council of war. 

General Griffin, it is said, subsequently expressed his belief that his earnest 
remarks criticising the great and useless carnage of the first day in the Wilder- 


ness would be remembered by Grant to his disadvantage in subsequent promotion. 
In this, however, General Griffin was agreeably disappointed, as after Five Forks, 
when other Generals were competing for the command of the Fifth Corps to 
succeed General Warren, it was Grant's act that awarded the distinguished honor 
to General Griffin, unsolicited and unexpected by him, but much to the gratifica- 
tion of the rank and file of the Fifth Corps. When Lieutenant-General Grant 
separated from General Lee, and rode back to rejoin his own army where the 
various Union Generals had assembled at Appomattox Court House, General 
Grant advanced and cordially greeted and shook hands with General Griffin, 
publicly expressing his thanks for and great appreciation of the services of the 
latter, and of his brilliant handling of the Fifth Army Corps in the memorable 
pursuit of the Confederate army. He also announced the permanent appoint- 
ment of General Griffin to command the Fifth Corps. 

The magnanimity of the Lieutenant-General on this occasion overcame 
General Griffin, who, with unconcealed emotion, accepted the proffered hand, and 
thanked General Grant for his generosity. 

News of Assassination of President Lincoln. 

One of the most shocking experiences in the midst of the great joy prevailing 
in the camps on the fall of Richmond and the surrender at Appomattox was the 
intelligence of the assassination of President Lincoln. The President had but 
a few days before visited the Army of the Potomac and General Grant at 
the latter's headquarters at City Point, and also General Butler's camps after 
the fall of Richmond, everywhere counseling " peace and good will " and laboring 
to bring about the restoration of harmony and peace to both sections. On his 
return to Washington, Mr. Lincoln had, in response to a serenade by the 
citizens of Washington, made an address which, for patriotism, charity, love and 
Christian sentiment, seemed actually inspired. To the soldiers of the Union, 
President Lincoln was especially endeared. His personality was well known to 
the Army of the Potomac through his frequent attendance at its many reviews 
under McClellan, when camped in the vicinity of Washington, and under Burn- 
side and Hooker. 

Homeward March Through Petersburg. — Grand Review by General 


The return of the army to Washington for disbandment after the surrender 
of Lee was delayed for some weeks because of the impediments to travel by the 
destruction of railroad bridges and the condition of the wagon roads, which, at 
that season, were almost impassable. This delay was very trying on the rank 
and file of the army, now so anxious to return home. From the 17th of April 
to the 5th of May the Fifth Corps, guarding army stores and resting, encamped 
at various points. On the 5th of May, 1865, the troops of the Fifth Corps 
bivouacked for the night just outside the intrenchments at Petersburg and the 
next day resumed their triumphant march through that city. 


No more impressive or touching scene occurred during the varied ex- 
perience of soldiers in active service than the occurrence of the homeward march 
of the Union armies. The mingled emotions of the closing scenes of the war 
are hard to describe — the loss of dear comrades in battle, marches, sieges, all 
occupying the mind of the returning soldier, who was yet cheered and com- 
forted with the knowledge of the triumph of the Union cause, and also by the 
thought of an early return home, and the receptions and the glory awaiting him 
on his native heath. 

On the 5th of May a most memorable example of the earnest affection and 
deep emotion showed by the returning veterans of the Fifth Corps for General 
Gouverneur K. Warren, so long the commander of the Fifth Corps, and at 
times previously identified wtih the Second and the Third Corps of the Army of 
the Potomac, the youngest corps commander in the army. 

General Charles Griffin, his successor as corps commander, with Generals 
Ayres, Crawford and Chamberlain, division commanders, shared this affection 
for Warren as a brave soldier and chivalrous officer. General Grant had de- 
servedly appointed General Warren, on the fall of Petersburg, to be Governor 
of the city, which the latter had by his skill contributed so much toward cap- 
turing. The city of Petersburg and its line of intrenchments, being on the route 
assigned for the homeward march of the Fifth Corps, it was determined by 
General Griffin to invite General Warren, as military Governor, to extend 
to his late corps the honor of a public review as it passed through the 
" Cockade City." Accordingly, preparations were made in all the regiments 
and batteries for the occasion. Instructions from the officers were given for 
all the rank and file to prepare themselves, their uniforms and arms, in the 
best shape, for the farewell reception to their late beloved commander. The 
numerous bands and drum-majors were also put upon their metal to do their 
best. The reviewing stand selected was a platform erected in front of the 
" Bolingbroke House," which was occupied as the headquarters of the military 
Governor and staff. 

On the reviewing stand with General Warren was Mrs. Warren, the bride 
whom he had married while on leave of absence en route to Gettysburg, and also a 
number of distinguished Generals of the Army of the Potomac, staff officers and 
their wives. In the line of the column being reviewed were ten thousand soldiers, 
survivors of the twenty-five thousand who, during General Warren's command, 
had so faithfully followed the Maltese Cross from the Wilderness to 

As General Griffin at the head of the Corps rode by, he saluted General 
Warren and joined him on the reviewing stand. As the bronzed veterans fol- 
lowing Generals Ayres, Chamberlain and Crawford, commanding divisions and 
the historic batteries of the Corps, obtained sight of their old commander, their 
emotions overcame them. The war being over and discipline relaxed, the men 
most enthusiastically saluted and cheered to the echo their old commander. The 
climax, however, of excitement and enthusiasm was reached when Warrens 
old brigade, composed of zouave regiments, including the One Hundred and 
Fifty-fifth, now commanded by General A. L. Pearson, reached the reviewing 


stand. These veterans were formed in what is known as " open order " maneu- 
vers, and carried their guns on their knapsacks, and with their tattered flags and 
weather-beaten faces, they seemed to be the very ideal of veteran soldiers. They 
halted before the reviewing stand after saluting General Warren, and most en- 
thusiastically cheered and cheered, adding " tigers," until their officers ordered 
them to resume the march. This grand ovation and tribute to Warren, so 
cordial and unanimous, should have gone far towards making his superiors right 
the recent wrong occasioned by his arbitrary removal from the command of the 
Fifth Corps in the supreme moment of victory at Five Forks. 

The people of Petersburg, who crowded the streets and occupied the win- 
dows and dwellings at the time, declared they had never witnessed anything 
like the scene of this great military demonstration of the Fifth Army Corps 
through their streets. The miles and miles of ammunition and quartermasters 
trains, artillery caissons, and ambulance wagons, which followed, were also a 
source of great surprise to the population, white and black, of Petersburg. 

On to Richmond. 

On the 6th day of May the march of the army corps was continued to 
Richmond. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth with the Fifth Corps rested at 
Manchester, outside of the city of Richmond, until the next day, when it passed 
in silence through the principal streets of that city, no band playing, or other 
display, the ruins of the recent fire being visible. The Fifth Corps was reviewed 
by Genera! Halleck, whose unpopularity to the soldiers in the field caused him to 
receive scant honors or cheers from the returning veterans. The army marched 
by forced marches by way of Hanover Court House, and by way of Fredericks- 
burg, toward Washington. The fatigue of these forced marches day after day 
was somewhat relieved by sights of many of the battlefields on which the One 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth had fought, and over which they were now marching 
under such vastly changed conditions. The then unfinished white dome of the 
Capitol was at length sighted by the returning columns on the afternoon of the 
12th of May, 1865. Cheer upon cheer was sent up all along the columns as the 
shining dome came into view, as expressions of the gladness and joy of the vet- 
erans, and of their gratitude that the war was really over. The Fifth Corps went 
into final camp about a mile from Falls Station on the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad. A few days later General Sherman's great army arrived and encamped 
on the heights above Alexandria. 

The Grand Review in Washington. 

Preparations were now made for a Grand Review in Washington of these 
two magnificent armies. On the 24th of May, 1865, the President and his cabi- 
net, with the representatives of foreign governments, and thousands upon thou- 
sands of people coming from distant cities, witnessed the imposing pageant on 
Pennsylvania avenue. Little children pressed flowers into the hands of the 




hardy veterans as they marched in the review; kindly smiles and svi^eet words 
of welcome greeted the soldiers on every hand. The pride that swelled the hearts 
of the returning comrades participating in these great reviews can never be for- 
gotten. Elsewhere in this history will be found a more detailed description of the 
Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac, but it is deemed proper at this point 
specially to advert to the appearance of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regi- 
ment on the occasion of that grand pageant which occupied the entire day in 
passing the reviewing officers. Brevet ]\lajor-General A. L. Pearson, on this 
historical occasion, commanded the brigade in which his regiment was serving. 
Being at its zenith of proficiency in the zouave drill and bayonet exercise, the 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, under command of Major J. A. Cline, was de- 
ployed in the parade in what is known as " open order," the men carrying their 
guns on their shoulders, and with the alignment and accuracy of step of veteran 
soldiers, together with their brilliant-colored uniforms, they elicited admiration 
and cheering all along the line. The tattered flag of the Regiment, showing its 
shattered flag-staff, was still carried by the intrepid color-sergeant, Thomas J. 
Marlin, and attracted great attention. No Roman legions returning from con- 
quests of foreign lands ever received more enthusiastic applause than did this 
regiment of Pittsburg zouaves in that historic review. There was no prouder 
trio in the parade than Drum-Major Sergeant Hawden Marshall, who in the 
picturesque zouave uniform performed astonishing juggling feats with his baton; 
and also the martial music of the veteran drum-and-fife corps of the Regiment, 
led by Sam Heflick, with whom the third member of the trio, the Regimental 
bugler, John Mooney, marched. It is to be regretted that the era of the kodak 
had not arrived at the date of this event so that the picturesque scenes of this 
Grand Review could have been perpetuated by the camera of to-day. 

After the Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac, the regiments com- 
posing the Fifth Corps were detained one or two weeks longer in the camps near 
Alexandria, while the muster-out rolls were being prepared and properly certi- 
fied. For some reason these lengthy muster rolls and rosters had to be executed 
in seven copies on blanks furnished by the Government, a tedious and laborious 

General Meade's Farewell. — Scenes in Last Camp. 

In this camp was read to each regiment the following beautiful Farewell 
Address of General Meade to the Army of the Potomac, with whose fortunes 
that able General and devoted patriot had been associated from its organization 
to its disbandment: 

" Headquarters Anny of the Potomac, 

"June 28, 1865. 

" Soldiers : — This day two years ago I assumed command of you under the 
orders of the President of the United States. To-day, by virtue of the same 
authority, the army having ceased to exist, I have to announce my transfer to 


other duties and my separation from you. It is unnecessary for me to enumer- 
ate all that has occurred in these two eventful years, from the grand and decisive 
battle of Gettysburg, the turning-point of the war, to the surrender of the Army 
of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House. Suffice it to say that history 
will do you justice. A grateful country will honor the living, cherish and support 
the disabled, and sincerely mourn the dead. In parting from you, your com- 
manding General will ever bear in memory your noble devotion to your country, 
your patience and cheerfulness under all the privations and sufferings you have 
been called upon to endure. 

" Soldiers, — Having accomplished the work set before us, having vindicated 
the honor and integrity of our Government and flag, let us return thanks to 
Almighty God for his blessing in granting us victory and peace, and let us hon- 
estly pray for strength and light to discharge our duties as citizens, as we have 
endeavored to discharge then as soldiers. 

" George G. Meade, 
" Major-General U. S. A." 

Farewell Torchlight Parades. 

A memorable instance indicative of the prevailing joy, and of the harmony 
existing between the rank and file of the Fifth Corps, and also of their officers, 
occurred in this camp a few nights after the great Review in Washington. The 
tribute being entirely spontaneous and unexpected, its sincerity and significance 
was, therefore, the more to be appreciated and valued by the recipients. The 
closing days of May, 1865, in this camp, while the troops were awaiting muster- 
out, were marked by unusually fine weather. Amid the prevailing joy and pleas- 
ures in this peaceful camp was the singing by the company glee clubs of familiar 
songs suggestive of home and friends. One evening some enterprising comrades 
took the short pieces of candles distributed early in the evening to the soldiers 
of each company, and placed them dul}' lighted in the sockets of their bayonets. 
Not a breath of air was blowing to impair the candles thus lighted. As the 
darkness of night set in, the antics of these comrades with lighted candles took 
the shape of orders for the men to fall into lines, and with their lighted candles 
on their bayonets to form a line of march. Companies thus formed were soon 
organized into impromptu regiments ; regiments were soon rallied into brigades, 
and soon the enthusiasm of the candle lighters for a procession spread through- 
out the divisions. Privates in the ranks soon found themselves installed as Col- 
onels of provisional regiments in this demonstration. Other subalterns were 
suddenly elevated to command divisions in this grand demonstration. It was 
soon arranged that the candle-light parade under command of an improvised 
Major-General, should march to the Brigade, Division and Corps Generals' head- 
quarters to congratulate the Generals commanding, on the return of peace, and 
to testify by this farewell demonstration the affection and esteem entertained 
by the troops for their leaders. Five or six thousand of the comrades, out of pure 
joy, rallied to the ranks of the parade, which was marked with excellent 


The candle-light column first waited upon Major-General Charles Griffin. 
Subversive of all ordinary discipline, the processionists immediately demanded 
that the General give them a " speech," and the cries of " Speech ! Speech ! 
Speech ! " were heard. General Griffin resembled General Grant and many other 
West-Pointers in being wholly disqualified to make a speech; and the cries for 
a speech embarrassed the General. A compromise was reached, however, and 
General Joshua L. Chamberlain, commanding a division of the Fifth Corps, was 
offered as a substitute. General Griffin occupying the background. General Cham- 
berlain, in response to calls, had to produce General Griffin on the stand (a 
cracker box), where he bowed his acknowledgment and received the cheers of his 
men. General Chamberlain delivered an eloquent address which he, as well as 
Generals Griffin, Ayres, Gregory, Bartlett, Coulter, Pearson and the other Gen- 
erals and Colonels, felt for the rank and file of the Corps. 

From General Griffin's headquarters the procession moved to General Ayres', 
General Bartlett's, General Pearson's and to the headquarters of other com- 
manders. The oratory and exercises, however, were cut short by the ration of 
candles burning out, leaving all in the dark. 

En Route to Pittsburg. 

On June 1, 1865, the Regiment was ordered to report at Camp Reynolds, 
Pittsburg, for pay and final muster-out, a most gratifying order, doubly so in 
meeting the ever-welcome paymaster as well as prospects of reaching home. 
It is needless to say this order was obeyed with alacrity. Here it is proper to 
state that three hundred and sixty of the recruits and men transferred in July, 
1864, to the Regiment from the Sixty-second Pennsylvania were here re-trans- 
ferred to the One Hundred and Ninety-first Pennsylvania. The parting of these 
faithful officers, and equally faithful comrades and messmates of the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-fifth was a disappointing ordeal to the recruits mentioned, as they 
had expected to accompany the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth on its homeward 
journey to Pittsburg. They were, however, mustered out a few weeks later. 

As a majority of the men and officers of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
were from Pittsburg, the municipality determined to accord the returning organi- 
zation on its return and before its final muster-out in Pittsburg, a public reception 
and dinner at City Hall. It was at the same time arranged by the city, through 
the Honorable James Lowry, Mayor of Pittsburg, that before the disbandment 
of the Regiment a short parade through the city, ending with a public exhibition 
of the zouave drill by the Regiment in the Allegheny parks, should take place. 

Public Reception to the One Hundred, and Fifty-fifth. 

On the morning of June 7, 1865, two hundred and fifty surviving comrades 
of the Regiment, under command of General A. L. Pearson, arrived from Camp 
Reynolds, in the city of Pittsburg about ten o'clock, where they were joined by the 
Twenty-sixth Michigan veterans which had just arrived at the Union Station 
on its way home. The parade starting from Liberty Street Station, was headed 




by Young's Military Brass Band, fol- 
lowed by one hundred city police, march- 
ing by platoons. The Mayor of the city 
and speakers, and the councilmen of the 
city followed in open carriages. The 
One Hundred and Fifty-fifth veterans in 
their gaudy zouave uniforms, marching 
in open order, came next, presenting a 
handsome and picturesque appearance. 
The stalwart veterans of the Twenty- 
sixth ^lichigan, fully equipped with their 
accoutrements and glistening arms, 
brought up the rear of the parade. 
From the Union Station the procession 
moved along Liberty street to Smith- 
field, along Smithfield to the Mononga- 
hela House, from the balcony of which 
the Honorable John J\L Kirkpatrick paid 
an eloquent tribute to the survivors of the 
Regiment, alluding in pathetic terms to 
the many faces that were missing from 
the ranks of the returning braves, who 
had sealed with their life-blood their devotion to the cause of the Union and 
human rights. Ex-Governor William F. Johnston followed with an eloquent 
tribute to the soldier boys in general who had so patriotically defended their 

The formal reception exercises took place in the City Hall, the place 
during the entire Civil War of the reception and entertainment of Union- 
soldiers of both Eastern and Western armies passing through Pittsburg. The 
program of exercises on the occasion of the reception and dinner to the Regi- 
ment consisted of an eloquent and patriotic address of welcome by Honorable 
James Lowry, Mayor of the city of Pittsburg, and a reply on behalf of the 
Regiment by General A. L. Pearson. These were followed by addresses of 
Wilson McCandless, General J. Bowman Sweitzer, Colonel E. Jay Allen, Rev- 
erend James Pressly, D. D., Honorable Thomas AL Marshall, Reverend John 
Douglass, D. D., and James Park, Jr., all delivering eloquent and patriotic trib- 
utes to the members of the Regiment, living and dead. 

The Pittsburg Subsistence Committee, assisted by a number of ladies, 
friends and relatives of officers and men, provided the very elegant repast, 
which was furnished by the well-known caterer, Schildecker. The festivities, 
in response to demands, were enlivened by the Regimental glee club, who ren- 
dered some popular war and camp songs, the members of the club announced 
on the printed programs being General A. L. Pearson, George P. Fulton, E. 
A. Montooth, John Ralston, Robert A. Thompson, Hawdon Marshall and 
the Regimental bugler, John Mooney. Sam and John Heflick and WiUiam 
Grounds, of the fife-and-drum corps, were also called to the platform, and 



played martial airs. The camp-calls were sounded by John Mooney, Regi- 
mental bugler. 

In the afternoon the Regiment re-assembled at City Hall and formed 
for the street parade. Mayor Lowry and the Councilmen of the city, in open 
carriages, joined the parade, crossing the St. Clair street bridge to the Alle- 
gheny parks, where General Pearson had company drills in the bayonet exer- 
cise and zouave tactics, ending with a final review and dress-parade of the 

The assembled thousands filling the windows and balconies, and crowding 
the pavements along the line of march were not those of the usual sight-seers 
who gather out of curiosity to witness city parades. Far different was the 
sentiment that pervaded the multitudes assembled from city and country to 
do honor to the survivors of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. Fathers and 
mothers, sisters and brothers, sweethearts and wives, were there to catch a 
first glimpse of their hero for the safety of whom for three long years their 
daily and nightly prayers had ascended to heaven. Among the throngs of 
people were many who had lost loved ones by " War's cruel alarms," and 
whose tenderest sympathies were manifested in their greetings to these sur- 
vivors of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth by the tears which coursed down 
their cheeks. The bunch of flowers that fell at the soldier's feet was a greet- 
ing from a maiden whose shy glances, more eloquent than words, assured a 
welcome to her returning hero. For every heart throb in the ranks of the 
Regiment as they marked time to the strains of the inspiriting music there was 
a corresponding pulsation of love and sympathy somewhere in the vast throng. 
" Boys in blue," some with arms in 
slings, some with heads bandaged, some 
on crutches, occupied points of vantage 
from which to view the triumphal return 
of their Regimental comrades in many 
wearisome marches and bloody battle- 

Finally Paid Off. — Guns Returned 
TO United States. 

The breaking ranks after this final 
parade and review was the last appear- 
ance of the survivors of the Regiment 
in zouave imiform as a body. The 
Regiment was formally paid off, and 
turned their guns in to the Government 
the next day at Camp Copeland, now 
within the limits of the industrial bor- 
ough of Braddock. 

On the 8th of June, 186.5, Major 
Russell Errett, paymaster of the United jjaj. russell errett. 


States army, appeared in Camp Reynolds, and paid the men their accrued wages 
for three months, each private receiving thirteen dollars per month, and being 
handed at the same time an honorable discharge paper. 

An unusual and certainly unnecessary requirement was exacted by the Gov- 
ernment from the veterans who had served it so faithfully when it demanded, 
on muster-out, that their muskets should be returned, or that in lieu thereof 
the sum of fourteen dollars be deducted from their wages. Indignation was 
felt at this order, and many soldiers resented the demand and in disgust sur- 
rendered their favorite guns rather than submit to the unreasonable deduction 

Many a veteran, as he received his honorable discharge and gave up his 
musket, bayonet, and cartridge-box, was conscious of the same feeling of sadness 
and regret that he had seen exhibited by the Confederates as they grounded 
their arms at Appomattox a few weeks before. Many, in later years, regretted 
that they had not paid the amount demanded and kept their faithful weapons, 
their companions in many campaigns and defense in many battles. 

With this grounding of arms, which, with the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, 
was its first and last surrender, the career of the Regiment as a military organiza- 
tion ceased, its record and deeds in the war for the preservation of the Union 
thenceforth becoming part of the national history. 

The scenes on disbandment and parting of comrades in Camp Reynolds 
were more than ordinarily interesting, and quite pathetic. General Pearson, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ewing, Majors Cline and Laughlin, Captains Heisey, 
Sweeney, Allen, and many other popular officers wei-e surrounded by the men 
of their late commands, receiving from them many expressions of good will and 

The faithful color-bearer, " Tom " Marlin, in a brief address, formally 
confided the remnants of the Regimental colors to the temporary custody of 
General Pearson, eliciting hearty plaudits for both Pearson and Marlin, and 
most demonstrative applause for dear Old Glory. 

The messmates of the rank and file — cronies for three years in camps and 
comrades in marches and battles — indulged in many interchanges of reminis- 
cences of the past and hopes for the future. Unbidden tears welled up as the 
names of dear comrades were recalled, who had been left behind sleeping under 
the sod of Old Virginia's grassy hillsides and green valleys. Vows were ex- 
changed that wartime friendships would ever be cherished throughout life. 

Delegations of friends from Kittanning, Clarion, Butler, Brownsville, and 
other towns in Western Pennsylvania had come to inform the companies and 
squads from those places of the cordial local receptions arranged in their honor 
by the dear home friends impatiently awaiting their arrival. 

The final hand-clasp and leave-taking was very impressive ; and when the 
last veteran had left the precincts of Camp Reynolds, the story of the marches, 
sieges, and battles of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers 
under the Maltese Cross, the most sublime and thrilling events that human pen 
can relate, came to an end. 



JUNE 5, 1865. 
, In this Historic Hall the Pittsburg Subsistence Committee, at the outbreak of the Civil War, fitted 
",? ''!*'=hens and tables and provided meals to over 100,000 Union soldiers passing through Pittsburg, 
allowing no Union soldier to depart hungry. 








" They invited nrie; still questioned 
me the story of my life from year 
to year; the battles, sieges, and for- 
tunes that I have passed through. 
I did consent." — Othello. 




By Private William H. Dewalt. 

I HE recruiting office opened in August, 1862, by Alfred L. Pearson 
and Edward A. Montooth, of Pittsburg, then two newly-admitted 
members of the Pittsburg bar, was located in singularly unique and 
dilapidated quarters, in a four-story plain brick building, at the cor- 
ner of Fifth avenue and Smithfield street. The first floor of this 
structure, which was then known as the Splane Building, was ' occupied as a 
saloon. Had the structure not been torn down ten years ago to be replaced by 
the present Mellon buildings, it would doubtless have fallen down from sheer 
dilapidation. A drum corps composed of just two men, a drummer and a fifer, 
was stationed at the dismal, shaky. Fifth-avenue entrance to the recruiting 
office. This entrance, together with the shaky stairs to the fourth floor where 
recruits signed the roll, was really like an initial test of the courage of the boys 
desiring to enlist. 

The band discoursed patriotic tunes until a squad or even a single recruit 
was enlisted, when it exultingly paraded with the recruit or squad through the 
principal streets with a boy bearing a transparency announcing that the 
" ' Hilands Guards ' were filling up rapidly," and 
that now was the time to enlist, etc. The names 
published on the hand-bills and advertisements for 
recruits as officers of the embryo company were 
A. L. Pearson, Edward A. Montooth, and Frank J. 

Edward A. Montooth had already recruited the 
greater part of a company called the " Hilands 
Guards, ' named after Alexander Hilands, a wealthy 
and public-spirited citizen, who long had held the 
position of Clerk of Courts of Allegheny county. 
Through the patriotic influence of their patron, this 
Company was favored with permission to bivouac 
on the Court House grounds, and also to conduct 
the drilling of " awkward squads " in full presence 
of the Court House habitues, and also in view of 
the jail prisoners peeping through the windows of 
the old jail. 

The " Arsenal Guards," recruited by A. L. 
Pearson, had also secured a number of recruits, and 
after due negotiations, the Hilands Guards and the 
Arsenal Guards were consolidated, and became ^jj_ jj dewalt. 


Company A of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers. Pearson became Captain of the new company, Montooth accepted the 
First-Lieutenancy, and Buchard became Second-Lieutenant. 

The pleasant week spent in Camp Howe, and the rude " war's alarms " that 
occurred nightly, together with the performance of glee clubs and musical instru- 
ments, and the genuine " hoe down '' dancing in the barracks by the one thousand 
recruits rendezvousing in Camp Howe, awaiting the summons to the front, 
would form an interesting and amusing chapter in itself, of which, no doubt, men- 
tion is made in this history by other comrades. 

Lieutenant Montooth was promoted to Adjutant of the new regiment at its 
first organization, and soon made, it was said, the finest adjutant in the Army of 
the Potomac. To this deserved tribute might justly be added that he became 
also the most popular of Adjutants. 

So far as military knowledge or training is concerned, none of this trio. 
Captain Pearson, Adjutant Montooth, or Lieutenant Buchard, had the least 
experience in the field, or ever smelled powder in any shape. Captain Pearson, 
however, had acquired a reputation as a popular and well-drilled officer of the 
" Home Guards " company, which he had, during the first months of the war, 
organized for later calls. Its flag presentations, reviews, parades, and competitive 
prize-drills the first year of the war, had made the " Arsenal Guards," of Law- 
renceville, under Captain Pearson, locally famous. The gay Captain and the 
festive \'ouths composing the rank and file of the company- attained great 
popularity, especially among the fair maidens of that period. The " Hilands 
Guards " furnished half the recruits, all enlisting for three years or during the 

Charles C. Johnston, Edward P. Johnston, and James P. Johnston, brothers, 
were among the first to enlist with Captain Pearson. They were sons of William 
Johnston, one of the pioneer settlers of the borough of Lawrenceville, and who 
had served three terms as postmaster. These boys all proved on many battle- 
fields to be chivalrous, knightly soldiers. Charles C. Johnston, who had at- 
tained the rank of First-Lieutenant, fell in battle at Laurel Hill, May 8, 1864; 
Edward P. Johnston lost his right arm in action at Cold Harbor, June 2, 1864, 
and was afterward promoted to the rank of Captain. James P. Johnston, the 
youngest of the brothers, after an honorable record in many battles, died of 

Captain John C. Stewart, who had risen from the rank of Corporal, was 
a brave soldier, and who was present for duty in all the great battles from Antie- 
tam to the Wilderness, is pleasantly remembered for his kind and gentle treatment 
of his command. At the bloody battle of the Wilderness, Captain Stewart re- 
ceived serious wounds, forever incapacitating him from further military service. 
Lieutenant Charles C. Johnston, on the wounding of Captain Stewart, took com- 
mand of the company and, as stated, became engaged a few days later, May 8th, 
with the enemy at Laurel Hill, and was the first to fall in that severe action. 
Lieutenant Johnston was shot while leading his company into the battle. His 
body was carried to the rear and laid side by side with the body of Captain 
Edward E. Clapp, of Company F, who was killed in the same action. Two 


nobler patriots than these brave officers, thus buried together, could not be found 
in any army. 

John M. Campbell, who rose to the rank of First-Lieutenant, and who served 
from Antietam to Appomattox, was a highly original character. He was well 
educated, having been a pupil of the old Pittsburg High school, of good family, 
brave as a lion, generous, witty, and ever cheerful. He was an all-round athlete, 
and had an intimate acquaintance with those sciences of which Hoyle is the recog- 
nized authority. In camp, with boxing gloves, he could hold his own with any 
other comrade of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth or neighboring regiments, in 
contests according to London prize-ring, or Marquis of Oueensbury rules. He 
frequently gave exhibitions of the manly art. In evenings in camp it required 
an able handler of cards to win stakes from him. Promotion to commissioned 
rank did not change " Jack's " deportment to his late comrades in the ranks. At 
his request they ignored his rank and title and salutes, and continued to call him 
" Jack." As an officer, in camp or any of its duties, or as a drill-master or disci- 
plinarian, " Jack " made no pretentions, and never aspired to be a martinet. In 
battle, however, no other soldier was more daring or insensible to fear, nor ex- 
hibited greater skill in leading his company, nor capacity to inspire his men 
to deeds of valor. After the war he drifted to the very far West, it was reported. 
Though all would have been delighted to welcome " Jack " Campbell to the Regi- 
mental reunions, he never attended nor communicated by letter. Whether scalped 
by Indians or " dying with his boots on " in some Cowboy disturbances, or pass- 
ing to the Great Beyond in a more peaceful way, or whether still in the land of 
the living, his surviving comrades have never heard. 

Just the opposite in deportment to " Jack," there was in the company the 
mild, quiet, patient, retiring, young Sergeant, William Justice, of Pittsburg, ever 
ready for duty and always performing it uncomplainingly. Never missing roll- 
call nor a battle was his record, with the words added, " wounded in action." 
Reared tenderly by pious parents, the often dangerous and immoral environments 
of camp life never affected his exemplary Christian character and charitable dis- 
position. Sergeant Justice has long slept in the Allegheny cemetery, where com- 
rades annually decorate his grave, and recall his amiable and chivalrous life as a 

No greater evidence of the effects of time is manifest than in the efforts 
of the veterans of the Civil War to narrate the history and reminiscences of oc- 
currences happening forty-three years ago. The last shots fired at Appomattox, 
April 9, 1865, were fired by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers, which was then 'serving on the advanced skii'mish line, its 
former Colonel, Brigadier-General A. L. Pearson, then commanding the Third 
Brigade, of the First Division of the Fifth Corps, having on that eventful morn- 
ing at Appomattox, specially deployed his old regiment for duty on the skirmish 
line. The Confederate army, having been constantly harrassed on its retreat from 
Petersburg, by Sheridan's troops in the front and in the rear, determined, on 
reaching the vicinity of Appomattox Court House, to make a last stand. For 
that purpose. Generals Longstreet and Gordon had halted the Confederate infan- 
try and artillery, and, hastily throwing up breastworks, invited Sheridan's dis- 


mounted cavalry, their close pursuers, to advance and accept the wager of battle 
thus tendered. The Confederate commanders named, at this time, were totally 
ignorant of the fact that the entire Fifth Corps under General GrifEn had by 
forced night marches arrived and were in battle line to support Sheridan's cav- 
alry. General Pearson, commanding the advance brigade of infantry, knowing 
that the end of the Confederate army was at hand, requested General Griffin, 
commanding the corps, that his old regiment, the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, 
should be deployed to serve as advance skirmishers in the impending movement 
against Longstreet's and Gordon's Confederate forces. General Griffin granted 
General Pearson's request, and having placed all the Fifth Corps batteries in posi- 
tion for action, advanced his infantry to attack. This done. General Sheridan 
ordered his dismounted cavalry, which had been harrassing and pursuing the 
Conefderates, to fall back as if retreating from the fire of the Confederates. 
The Fifth Corps infantry columns then advanced and opened fire on the enemy. 
The appearance in battle line of the columns of the Fifth Corps infantry and 
batteries, and their action in immediately opening fire was an astounding revela- 
tion to the Confederate commanders, who, however, continued the unequal combat 
with the superior forces of the Union infantry. During the continuance of the 
firing a young Confederate courier appeared with a flag of truce, riding rapidly 
from the enemy's lines between the skirmishers of both armies, towards the Union 
line. Strange to say, both the Confederates and the Union troops disregarded 
the flag of truce and its bearer on his journey to the Union line. The firing of the 
skirmish lines was kept up, as no orders, to cease firing had been received. The 
bearer of the flag of truce entered the Union line at the advanced position occu- 
pied by the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment then on skirmish duty. The 
truce bearer, who had narrow escapes from being shot by the fire of both 
armies, on reaching the Union lines, complained bitterly to Sergeant-Major 
William Shore, of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, who was the first to receive 
him, that in open disregard of the flag of truce the Union troops had continued 
to fire on the white flag. The Confederate courier also indignantly inquired of 
Captain George F. Morgan, serving as personal aid on General Pearson's staff, 
as to why the Union troops did not cease firing on seeing him approach with the 
flag of truce. Captain Morgan, who was equally indignant at the Confederates 
for keeping up their firing, minie-balls and shells falling close to him during his 
'dialogue with the courier, inquired why the courier did not have the Confederate 
army respect their own flag of truce by ceasing to fire. Captain Morgan then 
conducted the courier to General Pearson, who instructed him to take the messen- 
ger to General Charles Griffin, commanding the Fifth Corps. General Lee had 
furnished this messenger with a letter accepting General Grant's overtures for 
peace. The war then ended in an hour, no hostile shots being fired thereafter by 
either army. 

This matter of history of the surrender at Appomattox is preliminary to 
rendering a just tribute to the memory of A. L. Pearson, under whom the writer 
had the honor as a boy of seventeen, to enlist as a private soldier, in August, 
1862, and who served in Company A, organized by Captain Pearson, until the 
last shot was fired at Appomattox. 


As Captain, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, and as Brevet Brigadier, 
and Brevet Major-General, and as the recipient of a Medal of Honor for gallant 
and meritorious conduct in many battles. General Pearson never for a moment 
forgot his old company. The members of Company A and all surviving comrades 
of the Regiment claim to share in the glory, and the deserved promotions and the 
high honors which so rapidly came to their first Captain. In the great charge of 
Fredericksburg, Lieutenant Pearson, while serving as an officer of Company A, 
sheathed his sword, and seizing the gun of a fallen soldier, took his place in the 
ranks and loaded and fired with a zeal that encouraged his men to imitate him. 
The daring and courage, intelligence, enthusiasm, alertness, the intuitive percep- 
tion, and unerring judgment in action of General Pearson eminently qualified 
him for the distinguished honors heaped upon him as a natural-born soldier. 

The writer would like to protract this narrative by mentioning many dear 
comrades and many incidents of the war, but once one becomes reminiscent it is 
difficult to tell where or when to end. Understanding that Corporal Frank Gil- 
more and Private Nathan Fullerton have furnished personal sketches of their 
interesting experiences, the writer will close his contribution by referring readers 
to their articles. Privates Benjamin Strubel, who served the entire term in the 
field, and his brother, John H. Strubel, proved good and faithful soldiers, the 
former being early honored by being detailed to Fifth Corps headquarters. 
Private John Milton Hays, the youngest and shortest comrade, and John A. 
Hays, in camp life and in winter quarters were ever-present in good humor, doing 
much to cheer their comrades. For the officers and others in camp they fre- 
quently gave dramatic recitals, evincing great talent in that line. 

The Roll of Honor, names of the killed and wounded of the Company, tells 
its own story of the Company's achievements and services on the many battle- 
fields of the Army of the Potomac. 

Record Enrollment Casualties, Etc., Company A. 


Lieutenant Charles C. Johnston— Killed at Laurel Hill, Va., May 8, 1864. 

Corporal George Tackelberry — Died March 37, 1865, of wounds received at 
Hatcher's Run, Va., March 25, 1865. 

Private Samuel Claypoole — Died August 5, 1864, of wounds received at Cold 
Harbor, Va., June 4, 1864. 

Private William Davis — Killed at Peebles Farm, Va., September 30, 1864. 

Private George Edmunds — Died July 37, 1864, of wounds received at Peters- 
burg, Va., June 18, 1864. 

Private Jeremiah Nolf — Died April 32, 1865, of wounds received at Quaker 
Road, Va., March 39, 1865. 

Private Isaac Nelson — Died January 31, 1863, of wounds received at Fred- 
€ricksburg, Va., December 13, 1863. 

Private Moses Robbins — Killed at Peebles' Farm, Va., September 30, 1864. 


Private Samuel W. Smith — Killed at Dabney's Mills, Va., February 6, 1865. 
Private Peter V. Boehr — Wounded and missing at Chancellorsville, Va., 
May 3, 1863. 


Corporal Joseph Bauer, January 1, 1864. 

Corporal McGrew Wiley, February 25, 1863, at Falmouth, Va. 

Private Henry Holmes, August 5, 1864, in New York. 

Private Nicholas Marchand, November 19, 1862. 

Private Abraham Smeltzer, September 25, 1864, at City Point, Va. 


Captain John C. Stewart, Wilderness, Va., May 5, 1864. 

Captain Edward P. Johnston, Wilderness, Va., May 5, 1864, with loss of arm. 

First-Sergeant Wilham H. Justice, Wilderness, Va., May 5, 1864. 

Sergeant Brintnel R. Goodlin, Dabney's Mills, Va., February 6, 1865. 

Corporal Franklin Gilmore, Laurel Hill, Va., May 8, 1864; Dabney's Mills, 
Va., February 6, 1865. 

Corporal John W. Smyers, Dabney's Mills, Va., February 6, 1865. 

Private Thomas B. Bilt, Hatcher's Run, Va., March 25, 1865. 

Private John Beck, Peebles' Farm, Va., September 30, 1864. 

Private William DeWah, Hatcher's Run, Va., October 27, 1864. (Loss of 

Private Frederick Diviner, Hatcher's Run, V'a., March 25, 1865. (Loss of 

Private George Fifer, Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, 1862. 

Private Archibald Griffin, discharged on account of wounds, February 25, 

Private Tolbert Richter, Hatcher's Run, Va., March 25, 1865. 

Private Thomas Rosser, Petersburg, Va., June 18, 1864. 

Private William Roberts, Hatcher's Run, Va., March 25, 1865. 

Private R. T. Robinson, Hatcher's Run, Va., October 27, 1864. 

Private Joseph Robbins, Dabney's Mills, Va., February 6, 1865. 

Private Moses Robbins, Chancellorsville, Va., May 3, 1863. 

Private George Sharp, Laurel Hill, Va., May 9, 1864. 

Private Henry A. Troutman, Bethesda Church, Va., June 2, 1864. (With 
Sixty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers.) 

Private James R. Thompson, Petersburg, Va., June 18, 1864. 


Total enrollment 146 

Killed and died of wounds 10 

Died of disease 5 

Discharged on account of wounds and disabilities 42 

Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps 2 


Deserted 6 

Transferred to other companies and regiments. . . .• 25 

Not on Muster-out Rolls 5 

Discharge at expiration of term 1 

Discharge on habeas corpus 2 

Veterans discharged by General Orders 4 

Mustered out with the Regiment 44 



and Brother of 4th Cavalry. 

















By Corporal H. F. Weaver. 

IHE writer, having by the fortunes of war become disabled by wounds 
received in battle on Little Round Top, Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, 
can only partially comply with the request to furnish a sketch of 
Company " B." All subsequent campaigns must be described by 
those who participated after the writer's compulsory withdrawal 
from the service. 

Captain Benjamin B. Kerr, of Pittsburg, who had acquired the prestige of 
a year's active service in the field as a member of Company A, Ninth Pennsyl- 
vania Reserves, organized Company B of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
Regiment Penns)'lvania Volunteers. The roster of commissioned and non-com- 
missioned officers mustered into the United States service at Pittsburg, at Camp 
Howe, in August, 1863, was as follows : 

Benjamin B. Kerr, Captain; George W. Lore, First- Lieutenant ; Benjamin 
F. Jennings, Second-Lieutenant ; Henry W. Grubbs, First-Sergeant ; John Mc- 
Millan, Second-Sergeant ; Daniel W. McConnel, Third-Sergeant ; James J. 
Stewart, Fourth-Sergeant ; James A. McMillan, Corporal ; Milton L. Meyers, 
Corporal ; James D. Wilson, Corporal ; John Miller, Corporal ; John Saber, Cor- 
poral ; \A'iIliam Story, Corporal; Adam Black, Corporal; David M. Smith, Cor- 

First-Lieutenant Lore resigned before the battle of Fredericksburg to 
enter the United States navy. Captain Kerr commanded the Company at the 
battle of Fredericksburg, Mrginia, December 13, 186"2, soon after resigning 
because of ill-health. 

Lieutenant Benj. F. Jennings, after honorable service at Antietam and 
Fredericksburg battles, resigned. Sergeant Henry W. Grubbs and Sergeant 
John McMillan were commissioned First-Lieutenant and Second-Lieutenant to 
fill these vacancies. No one hundred more cheerful, active, mischievous, and 
diversified characters than formed the rank and file of this Company could be 
found in any army. 

Nearly all nationalities were represented. Old age and extreme youth, a 
few fanatical prohibitionists and a number of strong anti-temperance advocates 
characterized the Company membership. 

In civil life the recruits had varied occupations, and a number seemed to 
have had none. Coal miners and iron and steel workers from the vicinity of 
Pittsburg, however, formed the great majority of the recruits. Captain Kerr 
and the other officers in command, undoubtedly had their lives shortened with 
the troubles and difficulties occasioned in breaking in the wild mustangs and skit- 
tish colts of the Company, and making them understand the necessity of military 









discipline and unquestioning obedience to orders. All, however, being permeatei 
with a patriotic spirit, the urgent exigencies of the service aided materially ii 
demonstrating the necessity of discipline, and the raw recruits soon became ex 
cellent soldiers, proving it on their first campaign and forced marches througl 
Maryland, and at Antietam, as also in the famous charge on Marye's Height 
at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1868. 

Keeping no diary, the writer now only recalls in a most general manner th( 
names and persons of many dear comrades, with whom he enlisted and touchec 
elbows in battle from Antietam to Gettysburg. Whilst often boisterous, unruly 
and difficult to control in the early days of their service, no kinder, better-hearted 
or devoted friends to each other could be found than were those in the rank; 
of Company B. 

The peculiarity of the nick-names by which many came to be known is re- 
called as most amusing. There was " Spitty " Grounds, " Greaser " Woods, 
" Spoony " Drake, " Dad " Craig, " Nervy " Fitzgerald, " Pat " Lyon, " Watty '' 

McCabe, " Limpy " Stack, who answered these strange 
cognomens in camp as if they had been bestowed upon 
them at baptism. The most of these brave soldiers 
have long since passed to the Great Beyond, but as a 
survivor the writer cherishes only the most affectionate 

It is due Captain Henry W. Grubbs, who rose 
from First-Sergeant to Captain, and served bravely 
from Antietam to the Wilderness; First-Lieutenant 
John McMillan, who participated in every battle of the 
Regiment, having command of the Company on the 
last campaign and at Appomattox; and Second-Lieu- 
tenant Daniel W. McConnell, his brave and efficient 
assistant in all of the same battles, to say that their 
promotion was well earned. These officers returned 
home in command of the Company. 

Sergeant James A. McMillan and Corporal Richard B. Davis are recalled 
by the writer as faithful, brave soldiers, ever ready for duty and obedient to 
orders. In another part of this history, the writer contributes his recollections 
of Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, and having told the story here of the original 
organization of Company " B," the writer will conclude this sketch. 


By Orderly-Sergeant James A. McMillan. 

Corporal H. F. Weaver's contribution describing the organization and roster 
of officers in the campaign to Gettysburg, where the gallant Corporal's military 
career was cut short by a Confederate bullet, disabling him for life, will shorten 
the writer's story, confining it to incidents in the last two years' campaigning. It 



is no easy task after the lapse of forty- 
three years to tap one's memory to re- 
call the scenes and stirring events and 
interesting incidents of war days. The 
writer has, however, distinct recollec- 
tions of several incidents and episodes 
of service in Company B, which may 
be of interest not only to the survivors 
and their friends, but to the general 

The Company was composed of men 
and boys gathered from many walks of 
life, farmers, tradesmen, coal miners, mill 
men, laborers and one solitary preacher, 
constituting the roll of the Company. 
No reflection is meant on the morality 
of the Company when the opinion is ex- 
pressed that there might have been more 
of the latter's holy calling to the profit 
of the remainder of the Company. 
One thing is certain and that is that 
the " peep-o'-day " boys, and the " mud- 
larks " of Saw Mill Run, so well represented in the ranks of the Company, could 
be relied upon in becoming busy when there was anything doing, from a raid on 
the sutler store to a battle with the " Johnnies." On either occasion they did 
their duty and reaped their rewards in their share of the spoils and in the 
honors of war. 

The fortunes of war deprived this Company within seven months froni the 
time of leaving home of its original commissioned officers — Captain, First and 
Second Lieutenants — all having resigned and returned to their peaceful homes. 

JAMES A. McMillan. 

A Fatal Presentiment. 

All the battlefields of the Army of the Potomac, as well as the national 
cemeteries at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg, attest by their graves 
the heroism of members of Company B from Antietam to Appomattox. The 
incidents I shall describe may have been overlooked in the itinerary of this his- 
tory, and will not, therefore, encroach on the general narrative. At the battle 
variously called Laurel Hill and Alsop's Farm, on May 8, 1864, on the all-night 
march from the Wilderness, preceding the morning of this battle, First-Sergeant 
Thomas Innis Wood, one of the bravest and most energetic men in the Company, 
who had been promoted from the ranks, experienced a strange and pathetic 
presentiment as to his fate in the battle of the morrow. Its persistent domination 
so overcame him that he approached Captain H. W. Grubbs, commanding the 
Company, with the most unexpected and surprising request to be excused from 
service in the approaching engagement. The Captain inquired if he were sick 



or disabled in any way, and on the Sergeant's answering in the negative, regret- 
fully refused his request. At a halt on the road on the line of march, Sergeant 
Woods was seen to leave the ranks and seat himself at the foot of a large tree, 
where he took from his pocket a diary and made entries therein. Of this action, 
although observed by the writer and others of the Company, Sergeant Woods 
offered no explanation, and as the column renewed its march no significance was 
attached to the action. An hour later the engagement opened and soon became 
a desperate conflict. The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, with the 
. Fifth Army Corps being in the advance, was soon ordered forward to assault 
the enemy's column. In doing so the Regiment lost from the severe fire of the 
enemy a number of its best soldiers. Among the latter, falling early in the action, 

was Sergeant Thomas Innis Woods, 
having been at first reported among 
the missing. The writer and other 
volunteers of the Company instituted 
a search in the woods at the scene of 
the assault by the Regiment, and 
found among the large number of 
slain the dead body of their dearly- 
beloved comrade. The detail in re- 
moving his remains took from his 
pocket his diary and watch which 
were given into possession of the 
writer. An examination of the diary, 
made as the Company buried his body 
in a battlefield grave, exhibited the 
last entry made by Sergeant Woods 
a short half hour before the battle in 
which he lost his life. This entry 
was addressed to the writer, and ex- 
pressed the belief that the Sergeant 
was certain he would fall in the im- 
pending battle, in which event he 
asked the writer to bury his body, 
and to mark his grave so that his friends could recover his remains after the 
war. The diary entry further requested the writer to read the 90th Psalm at 
his burial and also gave instructions as to the disposition to be made of his watch 
and personal effects. Thus the mortal career of one of the best, bravest, and 
most exemplary Christian soldiers was ended. 


JAMES A. McMillan. 

Another incident of a different character is recalled, and may be worth re- 
peating here. On the last days of May, 1864, the Regiment, on crossing and 
fording the North Anna River and securing position on the south side, had a 
very active and busy time in getting into line before being discovered by the 
Confederates of Breckenridge's Corps, who were waiting for them at another 
ford. General Warren, being well aware of that fact through his scouts, directed 


the march of his columns to an unguarded passage some miles higher up the 
stream, at Jericho Ford, and crossed the entire corps of infantry to the south 
side of the North Anna before being discovered. While in line awaiting the 
expected attack of the enemy, having arms stacked and cooking the frugal meal 
allowed on the march, one of the boys of Company B, who might have been 
" Pat " Lyon, was seen slowly marching to join his Company in its position await- 
ing attack. This comrade named had been wounded in the knee in the fight 
at Laurel Hill a few days before, and although unable to march with the Com- 
pany, he followed the army as best he could. As he came to the Company line 
before the opening of the battle, he was limping, but was also lugging a pillow 
slip half full of cornmeal, and also a genuine hickory-smoked Virginia ham. 
Some kindly-disposed native Virginian must have given these timely articles to 
comrade Pat, for he would not steal. Pat, on joining the Company, threw down 
the sack of cornmeal and the ham, and said to the Company, " There, youse 
hungry fellers can have something for supper." Elaborate preparations were at 
once started for a royal meal of corn cakes and ham. The Confederates, how- 
ever, must have smelled the odor of the frying ham, for they soon coiicentrated 
in our front, and then and there attempted to capture the meal in preparation. 
They made desperate efforts to drive the Regiment back over the river, con- 
tinuing the attack at intervals all night. The Confederates did not succeed in 
forcing General Ayres' Brigade, in which the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth 
was serving, back to the North Anna, but they certainly did spoil that supper. 
All survivors of Company B to this day deeply regret that generous " Pat " Lyon's 
effort to supply his Company with a good supper on the battle line ended so 

The memorable charge of the 18th of June, 1864, in front of Petersburg, 
is detailed so fully in the itinerary, both as to losses and strategic advances, as 
to require but little mention here. In this assault some comrades of Company B, 
the writer remembers, started for the right, opposite the center of the breast- 
works, and they ran into a wire fence which was stretched along the Baxter 
Road. Private R. B. Davis, the writer remembers, among others, in striking 
the wire fence turned a somersault head first into the road, Sergeant Walter 
McCabe being his running-mate on the occasion. The wire was concealed by 
the bushes, and caused the tumble on the part of Davis. The enfilading fire of 
infantry and artillery on this occasion was more severe than the direct fire, from 
the close range of the enemy's fort, in which Company B lost eight men out 
of thirty engaged. Corporal Robert Story received three bullet wounds, as 
did also Alexander Crowley, from which both died. Two comrades lost legs, 
one lost an arm, and only one of the wounded was able to return for duty again. 

In December, 1864, the Fifth Corps, to which the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth was attached, was ordered on a reconnoissance south, to destroy the Weldon 
Railroad that was of the greatest importance to the Confederates as a line of 
supplies. After quite a lengthy march the Union column reached the road. 
They went to work with a will, destroying the road, burning the ties, and twisting 



the rails. This work occupied nearly two days. The weather was extremely c 
and disagreeable. On the afternoon of the second day the troops halted, ; 
having no shelter or blankets, considerable suffering from exposure ensued. 

" Spoony " Drake, one of their water squad who had gone after water 
make coffee, soon returned to camp drunk, and being asked if he had got 
any water, replied that he had not, but that he had obtained some of the t 
stuff he ever tasted. On investigation it was found that his canteens and cofif 
pot were filled with applejack, and he had also a comb of honey in his haversa 
After sampling the stuff, and discovering it pleasant to the taste, the writer g; 
" Dick " Davis a pull of it. " Dick " at the time, was trying to dissect or ma 
cate a portion of an old cow that had been picked up and slaughtered by 
butchers and issued to the Regiment. In a very few minutes after taking 
pull at the canteen, " Dick " could not connect his kr 
with the beef. On being informed that he was drunk, 
frankly admitted the self-evident fact. On attempting 
turn to give the writer his knife, Comrade Davis, sad 
state, fell into the embrace of mother earth, and soon s 
sided into one of the quietest soldiers in camp. There w 

These, after partaking of the applejack, tried to diss 
the cow, but were soon prostrated, and the writer decla 
his belief now that that quarter of the cow in question ne 
was carved. In looking back, the writer is fully convin( 
that the entire command was applejacked, or in other wo 
were drunk. All, however, could duly declare their ign 
ance of the qualities of the applejack, or, that they kn 
that the beverage was loaded. 

The return march of this reconnoissance to the 'W 
don Railroad was marked by unusually severe, bitter cc 
and sleety weather, causing the clothes of the troops 
freeze as they marched. One shivers yet as he recalls t 
march. The discomfort of that night following will : 
bt forgotten while any of the participants live. 
A little incident also worth noticing occurred on the march back fr 
this raid on the Weldon Railroad, to our camps in front of Petersburg. On pa 
ing a large plantation some of the boys found a hogshead of molasses, tun 
it on end, knocked the head out, and helped themselves. The molasses bej 
to get low, and in order to get to it it was necessary to balance on the top 
the hogshead to reach the sweet contents. One poor fellow overbalanced i 
went head first into the molasses. When he was pulled out he was surely one 
the queerest looking pickles one ever saw, and was nearly smothered. Oh! 
he was sweet. 

Not to protract this sketch the writer cannot close without expressing, e' 
at this late day, the friendship and obligations for the many favors and ki: 
nesses in the daily life of a soldier received by him at the hands of this gall 
company. The writer would like to name every one of the heroic dead and 







patriotic survivors who so faithfully served their country, but to do so in this 
sketch would be impossible. Where all did so well, it seems unjust to single out 
particular persons, but the writer could not forbear the tribute due Sergeant 
Thomas Innis Woods, for his good advice and excellent example during his 
service, nor can he overlook Comrade " Dad " Craig, still living. Can you for- 
get, Comrade " Dad," the night you stood the writer's watch at Laurel Hill, when 
tired nature exhausted the writer's power of endurance so that he could no longer 
stand ? 

Dear Comrade " Dick " Davis, still my neighbor, ever ready as a soldier for 
duty, unselfish as a mess-mate, with a never-empty haversack, and always ready 
to divide its contents, how can memory of you ever fade ! To brave Sergeant 
Walter McCabe, ever fearless unto recklessness at the front, honest, true, and 
faithful as a friend, a similar tribute is due to you. " Bob " Stoddard, always 
as ready to fight the enemy as he was in camp to forage for subsistence, gave up 
his life on the 18th of June, 1864. Little, but gallant, Sergeant " Johnny " Hays, 
faithful WilHam Woods, reliable William C. McMillan, gentle and jolly " Mike " 
Nilon, the brave and dutiful " Charley " Ott, who lost his leg on the fateful 






18th of June, David M. Smith, killed at Gettysburg, sturdy and brave Lieu- 
tenant " Dan " W. McConnell, and gallant Corporal Harry F. Weaver, who lost 
his foot on Little Round Top, July 2, 1863, and the dutiful Corporal Milton L. 
Meyers, all are among the friends and patriots of Company B impressed on the 
writer's memory. Many have gone where war is unknown and all deserve 
tributes as earning for Company B its honored record. Handsome Sergeant 
Harry R. Campbell, whose sad fate it was to be wounded and captured in the open- 
ing battle of the Wilderness, and to be carried off to languish in Confederate 
prisons, brings a tear to the eyes of the writer. His death at Annapolis aboard 
the exchange steamer on the memorable 9th of April, 1865, his patriotic spirit 
passing away as his comrades of Company B at Appomattox were receiving the 

surrender of the Confederate army are but 
one among the thousand other like occurrences 
of that terrible war. 

At the recent unveiling of the Hum- 
phreys' Monument at Fredericksburg on No- 
vember 11, 1908, and at the reunion of the 
Regiment on the same occasion, but twelve 
survivors of Company B answered roll-call on 
the old battlefield on Marye's Heights, thus 
evidencing the ravages of time and the work 
of the grim messenger in the ranks of this 
famous Company, on whose rolls the names of 
one hundred and fifty men were carried. 

The fact that this Company furnished 
music as well as fighters should not be over- 
looked, as but few performers on the ear- 
piercing fife in the army could surpass the 
masterly notes in playing of " Sam " Heflick 
and his younger brother, John Heflick, who 
joined his brother in the Company in the second year of the war, both proudly 
serving until the triumphal day at Appomattox, and in the parade through the 
streets of Pittsburg on the occasion of the reception accorded the survivors of the 
Regiment at the close of the war. 

To Company B must also be credited the honor of Corporal " Bob " Culp, 
the accomplished Regimental violinist, and no less skillful blacksmith. This Com- 
pany had also the honor of furnishing an able member of the Regimental Drurt^ 
Corps, in the person of Private William Grounds. 


Record Enrollment, Casualties, Etc., Company B. 


Sergeant Thomas L Woods— Killed at Laurel Hill, Va., May 8, 1864. 
Corporal Robert Story — Died July 14th of wounds received at Petersburg, 
Va., June 18, 1864. 







L^H^I ] inV^ 

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HMj^^ iI^hI 




W" 1 


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of Regimental Band. 


Corporal Adam Black — Died July 9, 1863, of wounds received at Fredericks- 
burg, Va., December 13, 1862. 

Corporal David M. Smith— Killed at Gettysburg, Pa., July 2, 1863. 

Private Alexander Crowley — Died July 6, 1864, of wounds received at 
Petersburg, \'a., June 18, 1864. 

Private William Douglas — Killed at Gettysburg, Pa., July 2, 1863. 

Private Plenry Kaner — Killed at Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, 1862. 

Private Abraham Miller — Killed at Peebles' Farm, Va., September 30, 1864. 

Private Michael Seiffert— Killed at Spottsylvania ,Va., May 11, 1864. 

Private William C. Todd— Killed at Quaker Road, Va., March 29, 1865. 


Private Harrison Daverbiss, Wilderness, \^a.. May 5, 1864. 


Sergeant Harry R. Campbell, at Annapolis, Md., April 9, 1865. 
Private William A. Moore, at Richmond, Va., September 16, 1864. 


Private John L. Byers, at Bolivar Heights, \"a., December, 1862. 

Private William Cronemeyer, at Camp Humphreys, Va., March 17, 1863. 

Private Samuel Edmunds, at Stoneman's Switch, Va., December 12, 1862. 

Private William Glenden, at City Point, Va., December 28, 1864. 

Private David Hopkins, at Annapolis, Md., March 17, 1865. 

Private Archibald McMillan, at Sharpsburg, Aid.. November 7, 1862. 

Private Alexander Porter, at Philadelphia, Pa., May 12, 1863. 

Private John Ramsey, at Appomattox C. H., \"a., April 12. 1865. 

Private William Smith, May 3, 1863. 

Private Carl Truxall, at Washington, D. C.. July 13, 1864. 

Private Michael Weaver, at Washington, D. C, May 6, 1865. 


Sergeant John Hays, Petersburg, Va., June 18, 1864. 

Sergeant James P. Stewart, Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, 1862. 

Sergeant Francis A. Flarvey, Petersburg, Va., June 18, 186-1. (Loss of arm.) 

Corporal Harry F. Weaver, Gettysburg, Pa., July 2, 1863. (Loss of foot.) 

Corporal John Saber, Boydtown Road, Va., March 31, 1865. 

Private Robert R. Gulp, Hatcher's Run, Va.. October 27, 1864. 

Private Ferdinand Deitsch, Laurel Hill, Va., May 8. 1864. 

Private John Eastwood, Fredericksburg, \"a., Dec. 13, 1862. 

Private John Gabel, Petersburg, Va., June 18, 1864. (Loss of leg.) 

Private Patrick Lyons, Laurel Hill, Va., May 8. 1861. 

Private John McKinley, Fredericksburg. A'a., December 13, 1862. 

Private Hugh McFarland, Hatcher's Run, Va., October 27, 1864. 


Private Charles McMahon, Petersburg, Va., July 18, 1864. 

Private Charles W. Ott, Petersburg, Va., July 18, 1864. (Loss of leg.) 

Private Patrick Stack, Wilderness, Va., May 5, 1864. 

Private Samuel Upcraft, Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, 1862. 


Total enrollment , 157 

Killed and died of wounds 12 

Died of disease and in prison .... 12 

Deserted 6 

Discharged on account of wounds and disabilities ' 46 

Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps 8 

Transferred to other organizations 31 

Never joined Company 6 

Officers resigned 3 

Discharged at expiration of term 2 

Transferred men discharged by General Orders 4 

Dishonorably discharged 1 

Wounded in Action 16 

Mustered Out with Regiment 26 


•-■7cJ W,;v...^ 




By Lieutenant Joseph M. Cargo. 

JOMPANY C may truly be said to have had its birth at the great 
Union mass-meeting held on the West Commons (now Park) 
of Allegheny City, in the latter part of July, 1863, when the news 
of repulse and disasters to the gallant Union army under General 
George B. McClellan startled the country and aroused the patriotic 
element predominating in the young and old of that day and generation. 

Among the recruiting stands opened on that memorable day, when twenty 
thousand people rallied to hear the sad news from the lips of Pennsylvania's 
own great War Governor, Andrew G. Curtin, and other patriotic orators, was. 
John H. Cain, of Pittsburg. His recruiting booth was decorated with the 
Nation's flag under the folds of which, in United States uniform, a fifer and 
drummer kept time to the music of the day. During the progress of the meeting 
and after each stirring war address urging enlistment. Captain Cain's quota was 
rapidly filling and at last twenty-five names were enrolled. Besides the writer, 
who signed his name, he now recalls comrades Archie N. Euwer, L. E. Mc- 
Pherson, John McGee, Thos. B. Dunn, Thos. Wiseman, and Thomas Sprague, as 

among the gallant comrades with whom 
in the next three years' service in the field 
the writer was destined to become most 

Captain Cain had served three months 
in the Twelfth Pennsylvania Infantry un- 
der Mr. Lincoln's first call for three- 
months' troops. He had in that regiment 
the benefit of the military service in camp 
and on drills under two efficient and brave 
soldiers who later died for the Union 
cause — 'General Alexander Hays, who was 
killed in the Wilderness, Major of the 
Regiment, and Colonel James H. Childs, 
who fell commanding the Fourth Penn- 
sylvania Cavalry at Antietam, Captain of 
the company in which Captain Cain had 
served as a private. 

Lee Anshutz, of Pittsburg, at the 

same mass-meeting was recruiting for the 

One Hundred and Fifty-fifth, and se- 

CAPT. AUGUSTUS H. HEisEY. cured a number of volunteers. He had 


achieved a reputation as an efficient Captain in command of a company of Home 
Guards in Pittsburg, known as the Park Rifles. It was drilled by the late James 
G. Weldon, a Sergeant in the Duquesne Grays. The company wore an attractive 
zouave uniform in mild imitation of that of the famous Ellsworth Chicago 
zouaves. Its gaudy uniform made the organization exceedingly popular in local 
circles, with its fancy drills and presence at flag presentations, reviews, etc. To 
the city school boys of fifteen and sixteen years of age, this company was es- 
pecially attractive. It is needless to add that for the same reason it became de- 
cidedly popular among the school girls and lassies of that day. They frequently 
attended the fancy drills and gorgeous dress parades daily had on the Allegheny 
Commons parade grounds. On these occasions the young ladies were wont not 
only to cheer the embryo heroes of the rank and file of Captain Anshutz' crack 
company with the bewitching smiles, but frequently accompanied the same with 
wreaths, bouquets, and small flags to emphasize their sympathy for the Union 
and the youthful zouaves of the Park Rifles. 

Among the boys still attending school or just leaving whom the writer now re- 
calls first meeting at the company, answering to Captain Anshutz's roll-calls, were 
John F. Hunter, Charles F. McKenna, John Mackin, and other boys who grad- 
uated the next year into full-fledged volunteers in the One Hundred and Fifty- 
fifth Regiment, none of those named having at the time passed his seventeenth 
year. Chas. Seibert, Nicholas Seibert, J. J. Ricketts, and F. C. O'Brien volun- 
teered from this home-guard company to join the Sixty-second Regiment Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers, being organized by Colonel Samuel W. Black. Scott C. 
McDowell, the handsome color-bearer of the Park Rifles, still later joined the 
same regiment and died a soldier's death in the famous Peach Orchard on the 
field of Gettysburg. 

Captain Anshutz, at the close of the great War meeting of July, 1863, al- 
ready mentioned, merged the recruits who had volunteered with him with those 
already recruited by Captain Cain at the same mass-meeting, and thus Com- 
pany C of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth was completed. It organized by 
the choice of John H. Cain as Captain. Lee Anshutz was made First-Lieutenant 
and James S. Palmer was appointed Second-Lieutenant. On organization of the 
Regiment, Captain Cain was commissioned Major and Lieutenant Anshutz was 
promoted to Captain, and James S. Palmer advanced to First-Lieutenant. John 
T. Denniston was promoted to the vacant Second-Lieutenancy of the Company. 

A Flag Reminiscence. 
In October, 1863, when the representative of Governor Curtin at Camp 
McAuley, Sharpsburg, Md., on behalf of the State of Pennsylvania, presented 
the beautiful new United States flag to Colonel Allen, commanding the Regi- 
ment, assembled on dress parade for the occasion, all will recall the eloquent 
and patriotic response of the Colonel in receiving the colors. Particularly pa- 
thetic is the recollection now recalled how at the bugler's call. Captain Anshutz 
and Color-Sergeant Thomas E. Wiseman, of " C " Company, marched to the 
front of the Regiment, where the Colonel handed the spotless new flag to Color- 
Sergeant Wiseman, accompanied with a solemn charge as to the duty of the 



Sergeant to forever defend the honor of the precious emblem entrusted to his 
custody. How vigorous and soldierly erect both Captain Anshutz and Color- 
Sergeant Wiseman appeared as they proudly marched back to the Regimental 
line with the sacred colors can never be forgotten by those who witnessed the 
impressive ceremony. 

What a distressing contrast in scenes and coincidences in the lives of these 
two beloved comrades occurred in less than two short months when the Regiment 
received its baptism of fire in the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1863. 
It formed with seven other new Pennsylvania regiments, composing Humphreys' 
Division, the " forlorn hope " or last desperate assault ordered by Burnside, and 
led by the intrepid General A. A. Humphreys against the stonewall defended by 
the Confederate army on Marye's Heights. Seventeen hundred and fifty men 
killed and wounded in the bayonet charge of this Division, occupying not over 
fifteen minutes, tells its own story. Among the killed of Company C were 
Captain Anshutz and Color-Sergeant Thos. E. Wiseman. The beautiful flag 

was badly riddled and torn by the ene- 
my's missiles. The flag staff was shat- 
tered and broken. Sergeant Wiseman, 
however, held on to the colors until they 
were rescued from his dying grasp by 
Color-Corporal Thomas C. Lawson, of 
Company H. Immediately around the 
prostrate forms of Captain Anshutz and 
Color-Sergeant Wiseman four of the 
color-corporals also lay mortally wounded 
defending the colors, being Chas. Bar- 
deen. Company F, Frank Thompson, 
Company I, Geo. W. Bratten, Company 
E, and Robert Rankin, Company I. 
Both Captain Anshutz and Color-Ser- 
geant Wiseman were buried by comrades 
of the Company in the Court House 
yard. The Court .House was one of the 
largest buildings in the town. Its rooms 
were used for hospitals. It was over- 
crowded with wounded and dying. The 
numerous amputations and operations in 
progress greatly over-worked the large 
corps of surgeons. The many coffins we 
had seen piled up on Stafford's Heights, 
just before the army crossed over the 
Rappahannock on the pontoons to Fred- 
ericksburg, were all needed in this