Thursday, November 23, 2006
Co. H, 147th PVI
The 147th was organized at a camp on Loudon Heights, Virginia on the 10th of October. The newly formed regiment did not participate in any battles for the balance of the year 1862 and, for the most part remained in the vicinity of Harpers Ferry.
Oddly, Company H of the One Hundred Forty-Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry suffered an unusual number of deserters; fifty-two men deserted on November 18, 1862. This severely reduced the company and replacements to bring the company to full compliment was accomplished through the draft. There is no official explanation for the large number of deserters on the same date from the same company. Other companies in the newly formed regiment did not have similar desertions.
It is speculated that such a large population of deserters from a single company was brought about by the fact that the company was raised in Allentown as a three year company, at a time when substitutes were in demand and drawing large sums for taking another's place on the battle field. Upwards of $1,000 was being demanded and paid for substitutes, as it was feared that a new draft was forthcoming. Based on the fact that years later, few of the deserters could be found in cemeteries located in Lehigh County, one is led to believe that many men from outside the county came to Allentown for the express purpose of taking money to be a substitute. Once in camp, some apparently chose to desert, perhaps to reenact there money-making scheme again and again, and as word spread, the number deserting grew. Numbers embolden the timid to follow the majorities will. No official record makes comment on this incidence, other than the fact that they were carried on official muster rolls as deserters.
Pvt. Conrad Deitrich died at Dumfries, Virginia on March 26, 1863 - unknown circumstances.
The One-Hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers were not engaged in any battle from the time they enrolled until the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2nd and 3rd, 1863. Initial regimental reports show thirteen killed and twenty-five missing. Members of Company H. found among the dead were: 1st Lt. Thomas Leaming, 1st. Sergeant Wallace W. Weaver, and Pvt. Robert Fox. 1st Lt. Daniel Bower died on June 21, 1863 of wounds received at Chancellorsville. Company personnel report as Missing in Action were: Corporal Joseph Mussleman and Nathaniel Vanarsdale.
The unit proceeded to Gettysburg when Lee's Army again crossed the Potomac and headed toward the village of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The regiment arrived on July 1st and spent the first night to the right of Round Top. Then on the 2nd, the regiment was placed into position to the right of Culp's Hill with several Ohio regiments, where it engaged the enemy in fierce fighting over the next two days. The only soldier from Company H that was killed in action at Gettysburg was Corporal Reuben A. Howerter, who was killed on July 3rd.
After Gettysburg the division, to which Company H was assigned, was involved in action at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Pvt. Charles Brown died on December 26, 1863 and is buried in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga.
The 147th regiment was also engaged at Bridgeport, Alabama; Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta and Bentonville, all in Georgia. Michael Lindermyer died At Bridgeport, Alabama on January 6, 1864 and is buried in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga. Andrew Duss also died at Bridgeport, Alabama on February 13, 1864. Edward Yeagher died at Bridgeport on May 10, 1864 and is buried in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga. Christopher Lyman died on the 19th of June, 1864 from wounds received on June 1st at New Hope Church, Georgia. Frederick Fogle died at Jeffersonville, Indiana on January 18, 1865 - undetermined circumstance.
The company accompanied Sherman's march to the sea and then turned north through the Carolinas'. When Rebel forces surrendered, the entire army under the command of General Sherman marched at a rapid pace toward Washington. The One-Hundred and Forty-seventh was mustered out of service on June 6, 1865.
To view the roster for the One Hundred Forty-seventh Regiment, click on the following links. Each roster page will open as a *.pdf file in a new window. When the roster page opens, right click on the page and choose 'Zoom Tools' and select 'Zoom In'. You can then left click to a size that suits you or right click and select 100%. To view the next page, close the window and click on the next link.
The roster pages are sorted by rank and then alphabetically by name. The enlistment date for each individual is shown and then there is a 'Remarks Column which covers promotions, discharges, desertions, killed with place or battle, and muster out date for those that were with the unit when it mustered out, July 15, 1865.
This is fascinating stuff. Thank you for sharing!
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