Thursday, November 30, 2006
Union and West Cemetery Blog - Fans
There are at least four individuals that visit the blog on a fairly frequent basis. I appreciate the fact that there are those among the blog's visitors that find it interesting enough to return to see what has been posted since their last visit. It is also possible that some of these individuals are Civil War bloggers, checking to see if I have posted anything new and interesting so that they can put a comment on their Civil War blog. Of course, the U&WE Cemetery blog is not really a Civil War blog, although recent post have centered around Civil War Veterans buried in the cemetery.
There is an individual in Easton, Pennsylvania that visits often. This person apparently has some involvement with the Express Times and either has an interest in the cemetery or perhaps is a Civil War enthusiast. I wonder if this means I can expect to be interviewed again by the press at some future point in time?
There are two visitors that both reside in Miami, Forida. Both appear to be Civil War buffs; one came to the site through Brian Downey's 'behind.aotw.org', a site that deals principally with the Battle of Antietam. The other came to the U&WE Cemetery blog by virtue a link on the 'Civil War Interactive' web site, where the cemetery blog is a featured site, for the moment. Whatever their reasons for visting, I appreciate their interest.
The fourth visitor is one that gives me reason for pause. This individual is most likely a Civil War enthusiast or perhaps has ancestors buried in the cemetery. The ISP is identified as 'gatekeeper4.fcc.gov'. Is big brother watching? Not likely! But, yes this indivudual is accessing the blog from a Federal Communications Commission computer. Hummmm! No, I am not scared, just curious.
I hope that all four of these frequent, repeat visitors will continue to visit the blog and that my calling attention to them will not cause them to go away. Quite the contrary, I would be very intersted in their comments and would appreciate knowing what draws them to the blog. Contact information is available on the blog if any one of you wishes to provide me with feedback. I love it when someone leaves a comment or sends an e-mail. Even if your not a frquent visitor, comments are always welcome.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
47th Pennsylvania Volunteers
The Forty-seventh Regiment's commanding officer was a strict disciplinarian, having for years commanded the Allen Rifles, a militia company well known in Pennsylvania for its efficient drill.
The regiment, brigade and division were moved to Camp Griffin and on the 11th of October, participated in the grand review at Bailey's Cross Roads.
On the 22nd of January, 1862, the regiment was, at the request of Brigadier General Brannan, then commanding the Third Brigade, ordered to accompany him to Key West, Florida. On the 27th of January the regiment boarded the steamship Oriental at Annapolis, Maryland and proceeded to Key West. Arriving on the 4th of February, the regiment joined with the Seventh New Hampshire, and the Ninetieth and Ninety-first New York, the whole under the command of General Brannan. The regiments were drilled five to eight hours each day, a part of the drill being in heavy artillery. The men of the regiment suffered much from fevers incident to the climate, and many of its members died. Remaining at Key West until the 18th of June, it embarked with the brigade to Hilton Head, South Carolina, where it arrived on the 22nd. It remained in camp at the rear of Fort Walker.
On the 16th of September an expedition was outfitted to penetrate Florida and remove the obstruction in the St. John's River. The force selected consisted of the Forty-seventh Pennsylvania, Seventh Connecticut, First Connecticut Battery and one company of the First Massachusetts Cavalry, all under the command of General Brannan. Landing at Maysport Mills, on the 1st of October, the campaign opened by operations directed against St. John's Bluff, a strongly fortified point, five miles from the mouth of the St. John River. Moving on the 2nd through swamps and pine woods, by a circuit of twenty-five miles, the Forty-seventh in advance, constantly skirmishing with, and driving the enemy as they went, the command bivouacked at night, in rear of the fort, in sight of the rebel works. The gunboats were continually exchanging shots with the fort during the night. In the morning, the brigade was formed, and moved to the assault, but found that the rebel General Finnegan, who was in command, had evacuated under cover of darkness, leaving eleven pieces of artillery, in excellent order, and an immense quantity of ammunition. Companies E and K, under command of Captain Yard, were sent in pursuit of the retreating foe, and, after a sharp skirmish, took possession of Jacksonville, Florida. Thence the two companies proceeded, on the 6th, by steamer Darlington, two hundred miles up the river, where the rebel steamer Governor Milton was captured, and safely conveyed within the Union lines. The artillery, ammunition and materials captured at St. John's Bluff, was placed upon steamers, and with the command were taken to Hilton Head, where they arrived on the 7th, the object of the expedition having been accomplished, with a loss to the Forty-seventh of only two wounded.
On the 21st of October 1862, the command proceeded to destroy the railroad bridge over the Pocotaligo, and sever communications between Charleston and Savannah. The brigade engaged the enemy at Pocotaligo. The enemy was strongly posted and the two opposing forces fought for about two hours until the Union brigade, running low on ammunition and with night falling, withdrew to Mackey's Point.
On the 15th of November, the regiment was ordered to Key West, Florida, and arrived at that post on the 18th. Here a detachment of five companies was ordered to garrison Fort Taylor, and the remaining five companies to garrison Fort Jefferson. The military importance of these Forts was considered very great. The Southern government was attempting to secure foreign intervention and there was a high likelihood that forts would be attacked. Recognizing the imminent peril to which they were exposed, without a moment's delay, the forts were put into the highest possible condition of defence in an effort to make them impregnable. During this time, the enlistments of nearly five hundred of the men of the regiment re-enlisted, and received a veteran furlough. The regiment remained in these forts until the 25th of February, 1863. On this date, orders were received to proceed to Louisiana, embarking on the steamer Charles Thomas. Arriving at Algiers on the 28th they were moved by rail to Brashear City and thence conveyed by steamer up the Bayou Teche to Franklin, its destination. On the 15th of March it moved, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, via New Iberia, Vermillionville, Opelousas, and Washignton, to Alexandria, at which place it was joined by a fleet of Federal gunboats.
After a few days rest, it again moved forward, following the course of the Red River to Natchitoches. The intended point of attack was Shreveport. On the night of the 7th of April, the Forty-seventh regiment encamped at Pleasant Hill, and on the following day marched until three P.M., when the column halted. Firing for some time had been heard in the direction of Sabine Cross Roads. The Forty-seventh advanced at double-quick, passing the Second Division of the Nineteenth Corps. As it approached the front, cavalry, infantry, and artillery were met in confusion seeking the rear. The brigade was brought into position on a small elevation. Scarcely had the line been formed, when the pursuing and victorious enemy came pressing on. A well directed volley suddenly checked his course, and he was driven back in dismay. Again he attempted to break the line, and again was repulsed. The rebels, thinking they had repulsed our whole army, dashed impetuously on, and through the line, but those that had been retreating stopped and made a desperate stand. They were ordered to hold their fire until the rebels were within short range, when from both infantry and the artillery, a storm of iron and lead was hurled upon the foe that literally mowed them down. the rebels halted in amazement, but still they fought, and bravely; volley after volley was discharged from each side full into the ranks of their opponents, but neither gave signs of yielding, and night charitably threw her mantle over the ghastly scene, and enforced a cessation of hostilities. With the intervention of darkness, the men lay down in line of battle. Shortly after midnight the command was withdrawn. Wearied and worn, the command returned to Pleasant Hill on the 9th. The loss within the ranks of the Forty-seventh was sixty men killed and wounded.
At Pleasant Hill the regiment was again engaged with enemy forces when the brigade was attacked by rebel forces. The Union forces were victorious but due to a shortage of supplies, was compelled to retreat and ultimately reached Alexandria arriving on the 25th of April 1863. During the progress of this memorable expedition, the regiment marched eight hundred miles, and lost by sickness, killed, wounded and missing, two hundred men. The unit remained for some time in Alexandria. On the 20th of June, the command was moved by steamer to New Orleans.
The Nineteenth Corps was now ordered to Washington, and on the 5th of July, the regiment embarked on the steamer M'Clellan, and arrived at the capital on the 12th. The corps was engaged in the defence of the National capital, and in expelling the rebel army from Maryland. General Sheridan was soon after placed in command of the forces here concentrated, and proceeded to reorganize what was thence forward known as the Army of the Shenandoah.
On the 19th of September was fought the battle of Opequan, followed by a rebel stand at Winchester which ended with the rebels fleeing toward Fort Republic. The command soon after returned and encamped at Cedar Creek. Colonel Tilghman Good, an Allentonian, and and Lt. Col. Alexander were as here mustered out of service, their terms having expired. Captain Charles W. Abbott, of Company K, was promoted to fill on of the vacancies.
At Cedar Creek on the 19th of October the rebel forces, under General Jubal Early, struck the encamped Union forces and drove them from their works. The Second Brigade with the Forty-seventh on the right, was thrown into the breach to arrest the retreat. he line was formed while vast bodies of men were rushing past it. Scarcely was it in position before the enemy came suddenly upon it, under cover of a heavy morning fog. The brigade, only fifteen hundred strong, was contending against Gordon's entire division, and was forced to retire, but in comparative good order, exposed, as it was to a raking fire. Repeatedly pushed back, and making a stand at every available point, it finally succeeded in checking the enemy's onset, when General Sheridan suddenly appeared upon the field atop his charger. The general, who "met his crest-fallen, shattered battalions, without a word of reproach, but joyously swinging his cap, shouted to the stragglers, as he rode rapidly by them —"Face the other way, boys! We are going back to our camp! We are going to lick them out of their boots!" The lines were reformed and subsequent charges by the enemy were repulsed. This success cheered the hearts of all and the army began to take courage. When the final grand charge was made, the brigade counter charged gallantly, and sent the rebels whirling up the valley in confusion. The loss to the regiment was one hundred and seventy-six killed, wounded and missing.
The corps went into winter quarters at Camp Russel, five miles south of Winchester. However, it moved its quarters on the 20th of December to Camp Fairview, two miles from Charleston. where it was on constant duty guarding railroads and constructing fortifications. On the 4th of April 1865, the unit was again in Virginia passing through Winchester and Kernstown; but the army under General Grant had forced the enemy under General Lee to surrender on the 9th. The fighting was ended. The regiment moved to Washington and encamped near Fort Stevens. here it was clothed and equipped, and participated in the grand review on the 23rd and 24th of May.
It should be noted that the men of the Forty-seventh re-enlisted while stationed in Key West. This caused them to be obligated to serve bebeyond the point where the war was officially over. They signed on for a specific term of service and not "for the duration" as was the case with many rebel soldiers. Thus, on the 1st of June 1865, the regiment was sent to Savannah, Georgia and in July it was in Charleston, South Carolina. Here many fell victim of disease and their remains lie in repose in the Magnolia Cemetery. At length the long wished for day of muster-out arrived. On the morning of the 3rd of January, 1866, the regiment embarked for New York, then to Philadelphia by rail. It had seen service in seven of the southern States, participated in the most exhausting campaigns, marched more than twelve hundred miles, and made twelve voyages at sea. It was the only Pennsylvania regiment that participated in the Red River expedition, or that served in that Department until after the surrender of Lee. On the 9th of January 1866, after a term of service of four years and four months, it was mustered out a Camp Cadwalader.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Allentown Democrat, Nov 25, 1863
The town council recently resolved to abolish all houses of ill-repute in our town, and served notice on the various "establishments" to "shut up shop" with a given number of days and that in default of so doing the keepers would be arrested and summarily dealt with. Not heeding the notice, several arrest have been made and parties bound over to court.
Monday, November 27, 2006
First Defenders, a Clarification
There has also been considerable confusion with respect to the names of the various militia units. It is here and now that I will attempt to set forth the factual account and hopefully, dispelled the notion that any Pennsylvania militia unit or its members are entitled to be know as a "First Defenders." This is not the case. The facts are as follows:
In the Lehigh Valley, a joint meeting of Northampton and Lehigh Counties was held on the square in Easton, Pennsylvania on the day after the firing on Fort Sumter. At the meeting, it was resolved that an infantry regiment would be formed and would be designated the 1st Regiment. It was believed that if volunteers would enlist immediately, then the South would not have any hope of success.
On the 15th of April, Thomas Yeager, captain of an Allentown militia company, the Allen Infantry, traveled to Harrisburg to tender the services of his unit to Governor Curtin. The men of the Allen Infantry were in Harrisburg on the evening of April 17th.
The five companies that were the first Pennsylvania militia men to report for duty were:
Ringgold Light Artillery - Capt. M'Knight, Reading
Logan Guards - Capt. Selheimer, Lewiston
Washington Artillery - Capt. Wren, Pottsville
National Light Infantry - Capt. M'Donald, Pottsville
Allentown Infantry - Capt. Yeager, Allentown
The Ringgold Light Artillery arrived in Harrisburg on the evening of April 16. The Logan Guards arrived in Harrisburg on the morning of the 17th. The National Light Infantry and the Washington Artillery, both of Pottsville, arrived on the evening of the 17th and the Allen Infantry, as noted, also arrived on the evening of the 17th.
The five volunteer companies were mustered in and boarded a train en route to Washington at 9 o'clock on the morning of April 19, 1861. After an incident in Baltimore, where the companies had to change trains, the men arrived in Washington at 7 P.M. There they were issued arms and ammunition and were placed along the Potomac in the defense of the Capital.
These five companies, and only these five companies are deserving of being referred to or designated as the "First Defenders."
Some confusion can be attributed to Samuel P. Bates, an authority on the Pennsylvania Volunteers Regiments; he unfortunately referred to the Allen Infantry as the Allen Rifles or the Allen Guards. There was a second Allentown militia unit known as the Allen Rifles under the command of Colonel Tilghman Good. There never was a unit that used the designation Allen Guards. The Allen Rifles ceased to exist when it merged with the Jordan Artillerists and became the Union Rifles. This company and two other Lehigh Valley militia units arrived in Harrisburg on May 1, 1861, ready for service, but way too late to be known as 'First Defenders'.
In the progress of the gigantic struggle which ensued, of which the most farsighted had then no conception, so many and such brilliant services have been rendered by the soldiers of the National armies, that the timely march of these [five] companies has been little noted. But the value of their presence in the Capital at this critical juncture, cannot be overlooked, in any fair estimate of the causes which led to our triumph; and it must ever be regarded as one of the links in that chain of great events, seemingly planned by Providence, for our deliverance. The President and other officers of the Government felt, and repeatedly expressed gratitude for their timely presence, and the thanks of the House of Representatives, which are rarely tendered, and only for great and most signal services to the State, were expressed in the following terms:
37TH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES, July 22, 1861
That the thanks of this House are due, and are hereby tendered to the five hundred and thirty soldiers from Pennsylvania, who passed through the mob of Baltimore, and reached Washington on the eighteenth of April last, for the defence of the National Capital.
GALUSHA A. GROW, Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Allen Infantry; its official designation was Company G, 25th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, returned home to Allentown on July 24, 1861, having completed its 90-day term of service.
A New Dodge - Allentown Democrat
We have been informed that there are some females in this place who wish to be very kind to their husbands in the army and have found a new and novel way of smuggling liquor to them. They provide whiskey, put it in stout bottles, well corked, and then place it in a lump of dough preparatory to being baked into bread. Thus the soldier gets a loaf of bread as well as a little of the "critter." In going through the process as above described one day last week the whiskey became too hot in the oven, when an explosion took place, scattering the dough and whiskey over the room in all directions.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Sergeant Charles A. Pfeiffer
Charles is buried in the Union and West End Cemetery. Charles Pfeiffer was born on April 4, 1846 and died on February 20, 1890. His tombstone does not acknowledge his military service.
Take note that Charles was born April 4, 1846; the Civil War began on April 12, 1861. On April 18, 1861, the Allen Infantry was on its way to Harrisburg from whence it would travel to Washington and into history as "First Defenders". Yes, Charles had turned fifteen just two weeks prior to going off to war.
Captain Yeager's company (Allentown Infantry) was assigned to the 25th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment and became company G in that regiment. All those that served with this company had enlisted for ninety-days and were sent home at the end of their ninety-day enlistment. Many soldiers that served in ninety-day units, either immediately or after a period of time, enlisted in volunteer companies to serve for longer periods of time. Some did not. Charles Pfeiffer was one of those that enlisted with a three-year company after a period of about one year at home.
Union and West End Cemetery
Charles' wife is also buried in the family plot; Mary A. Pfeiffer, born December 21, 1847, died April 29, 1924.
Charles' father, Henry, born July 12, 1803, died April 12, 1878 and his mother, Caroline Sellers Pfeiffer, born November 7, 1810, died June 16, 1885, are also buried in the family plot.
Others in the family plot include Hattie T. P. Peiffer, born June 15, 1848, died November 9, 1911 (likely the sister of Charles). Henry Sellers (no legible dates, 11 years old in 1860) and Susannah Sellers, daughter of Henry and Susannah Sellers, again no dates. It is presumed that the elder Susannah was another sister to Charles. It is not known where she is buried.
Photographs of Charles' tombstone in the family plot are shown below:
As noted above, Charles A. Pfeiffer enlisted with company G of the 128th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment at Allentown on August 12, 1862. Due to his previous service with the "First Defenders", he was given the rank of sergeant. He served with the 128th regiment a little more than one month before going into the Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Maryland. Charles deserted during or immediately after the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862. At this time, Charles was sixteen years, five months and 13 days old.
The Allentown Democrat of December 3, 1862, carried the following article:
ARRESTED - - Charles Pfeiffer, a deserter from Captain Huber's Company, 128th Regiment absent since the Battle of Antietam, was last week arrested and taken to Harrisburg, whence he will be forwarded to the regiment.
Allentown Democrat, March 4, 1863
Arrested. Charles Pfeiffer and Willoughby Leopold of this borough were arrested at Bethlehem on Saturday evening last as deserters from the U.S. service and brought to this place and committed to jail. The first named belongs to the 128th regiment and latter to the 2nd cavalry. They will be taken on to Harrisburg and handed over to military authorities. They were arrested by Sgt. Keiper, recruiting officer here.
There is no indication that Sgt. Charles A. Pfeiffer ever returned to his unit or any other military unit. The final disposition of Charles A. Pfeiffer with respect to his military service has not been ascertained.
The 1860 census shows the Pfeiffer family living in the 5th Ward in the Borough of Allentown. Henry, Caroline, Charles, 15; Henry, 11; George, 6. There is no mention of a Hattie or Susannah.
In 1870, Charles is living with his family in Philadelphia's 10 Ward, 28 Dist. He is now 25 and his wife, Mary is also 25. They have two children, Elizabeth (6) and Annetta (2). Living with them is Maria Marriner who is 71 years of age. Charles is shown as a laborer.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Lt. Col. W. W. Hamersley & his sons
William W. Hamersley of Allentown enrolled in this regiment on August 14th and was given the rank of Captain in charge of Company G. A few days later, August 25, 1862, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and became second-in-command of the regiment, assigned to the headquarters section.
As previously posted, the 128th found itself in the thick of things at the Battle of Antietam, Shapsburg, Maryland just slightly more than a month after leaving Harrisburg. On the morning of the 17th of September 1862, the 128th regiment was ordered into the fight and it charged out of the woods and into the cornfield where the rebels lay concealed. Unfortunately, the charge was made on the flank and while Colonel Coasdale was in the act of ordering the company into proper position he was killed instantly. A short time later, Lt. Colonel Hamersley was severely wounded and had to be carried from the field.
The regiment lost a large number of brave men there in Miller's cornfield before it was ordered off the field of battle. In the brief, but bloody fight, the 128th lost thirty-five men killed and eighty-five wounded. Lt. Col. Hamersley's arm was torn and terribly mutilated and he was unable to resume command of the regiment. Subsequently, Major Joseph A. Mathews of the 46th Pennsylvania Volunteers was promoted to Colonel and placed in charge of the 128th regiment.
On January 31, 1863, Lt. Colonel Hamersley, being permanently disabled by the wounds received at Antietam, resigned his commission. Captain L. Heber Smith was commissioned to succeed him. This ended Lt. Colonel Hamersley's military career and he returned to Allentown and his family.
The One Hundred and Twenty-eighth went on to fight courageously at Chancellorsville, just days before it's nine month enlistment would expire. It suffered heavy losses at Chancellorsville and then on May 19, 1863, was mustered out of service.
Lt. Col. William W. Hamersley died on 24 November 1888. His tombstone indicates that he held the rank of Colonel, which of course, is not entirely correct. A plaque placed at the grave at a later date reflects his correct rank of Lt. Colonel. His wife Elizabeth J. Hamersley preceded him in death, having died on 2 August 1881. They had two sons, Robert, born 1836 and James B. born 14 September 1844, who are buried with them in the family plot in the Union and West End Cemetery. Additionally, a daughter-in-law (Sarah Ann) and a grandchild (Eliza Lewis), the wife and daughter of James B. Hamersley are also buried in the plot.
Robert Hamersley enlisted as a corporal with the 54th Pennsylvania Volunteers on December 2, 1862. The 54th regiment was a three-year company recruited in Northampton, Luzurne and Lehigh counties. At the time that Robert enlisted, he was twenty-six years of age, his complexion was shown as lightand his height was 5' 6 ¾", Eyes and hair were black and his occupation was listed as a butcher. On September 4, 1863, Robert was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.
The regiment was primarily utilized for guard duty on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, in an attempt to prevent rebel forces from destroying the bridges. In May 1863, the regiment was engaged in the Battle of New Market. That summer it also saw action at Piedmont, and Lynchburg and spent the balance of the war in the Shenandoah Valley, Mustering out in July, 1865.
Robert Hamersly resigned his commission on September 4, 1863 and left the regiment prior to its being mustered out. Robert returned to the Lehigh Valley, lived in Easton with his wife and daughter and was a baggage worker on the railroad. He died in 1910. Robert is buried beneath a simple ground level stone that is almost obscured by grass. A lone American flag flies along side his grave to denote his contribution to his country. His wife and child are buried elsewere.
James B. Hamersley's tombstone indicates he was a Captain with the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry (92nd Regiment). Official records show that he entered the service with the 9th cavalry on 29 August 1861 as a Private. He was 18 years of age when he enlisted. It was recorded that he had a light complexion, was 5' 6" tall with hazel eyes and brown hair. He was a laborer before joining the army. The unit moved by rail to Pittsburgh and then by boat to Louisville, Kentucky and served for the duration in Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina, engaging in many minor skirmishes and making numerous raids on the enemy forces. It was also engaged in the Battle of Chicamauga late in the war between the states. Records show that James was promoted to Sergeant on January 1, 1864, at Mossy Creek, Tennessee and was subsequently commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on March 16, 1865. He was mustered out with the company on July 18, 1865 as a 2nd Lieutenant.
James B. Hamersley died in 1912. His wife passed away in 1920. Their daughter had predeceased both of them, having died in December 1881.
The grave of W. W. Hamersley is in the upper left with the flag, next is his wife, Elizabeth, and then James & Sarah's daughter, Eliza Lewis. In the lower portion of the photo, (L - R) Robert's grave is marked by the flag, then the two block type stones are James B. (flag) and his wife, Sarah Ann. To the left of W. W. Hamersley there is a small grave marker with the initials EGH, with no dates or any other identification. Possibly a child that died at birth.
No additional information could be found for William W. Hamersley before or after the Civil War.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Pvt. William J. Reichard
Pvt. William J. Reichard
The One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Regiment was recruited in response to the proclamation of the Governor, of July 21st, 1862, calling for troops to serve for nine months. Companies D and G were raised in Lehigh County. William J. Reichard enlisted at Allentown the first week of August, 1862. Other companies of this regiment were raised in Bucks and Berks Counties. The Lehigh County companies were mustered in on August 12, 1862, at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. William was twenty years of age at the time he was mustered into service.
The regiment left Harrisburg, moved through Washington, crossed the Potomac and encamped for a week on Arlington Heights. The regiment was involved in various manuvers but did not engage in any fighting. Late on the evening of September 16th, the regiment arrived at Antietam Creek just outside Sharpsburg, Maryland. At eleven o'clock that evening it was led across Antietam Creek to support Gen. Hooker's troops, who had already opened the battle. At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 17th, it bivouacked in a plowed field. At 6 o'clock, the 128th regiment was ordered into the fight and made a most gallant charge through the woods and into the memorable corn-field, where the enemy lay concealed. While in the act of giving orders to bring his command into position, Col. Croasdale, the regiments leader, was instantly killed. Soon after, Lt. Col. Hammersly was severely wounded, and borne from the field. Fresh from civilian life, hardly a month in service, with two of their commanding officers stricken down before their eyes, and comrades falling at every hand, the men fell into some confusion. This was soon corrected, and the command held the ground where the struggle had been most desperate, and where the regiment lost some of the bravest and the best.
The One Hundred Twenty-eighth was finally relieved by order of Gen. Williams, in command of the division, and rested on the field until night-fall. The units loss was beyond measure severe, being thirty-four killed, eighty-five wounded, of which six subsequently died from their wounds. After the battle, the regiment was encamped at Sandy Hook.
While encamped at Sandy Hook, William J. Reichard, a member of Company G of the 128th Pennsylvania Volunteers, wrote a letter to his father. It reads as follows:
Camp near Sandy Hook, Maryland
Monday morning Sept 22nd 1862I received your letter of the 12inst. yesterday morning soon after I had sent off my letter, so I thought I had a little leisure time I would write again, for if you are only half as glad to hear from me as I am from home I think it will be welcome. We had inspection last evening and reg. dress parade. Lieut. Col Selfridge seems to be liked by all, he seems as a father to us. He would like to take our reg. to a camp of instruction for a short time. I think it would be needful. We are encamped at the bottom of Maryland heights, about half mile from the Potomac. The days are warm here and the nights very cold. Fire wood is very scarce, we must use fence rails to cook with, that we have done since leaving Virginia. The water is plenty for cooking and drinking. Each man has (or ought to) a tin cup, tin plate, knife and fork, haversack, canteen, blanket, some gum coats. Our rations are shared out to each man. We get about 12 crackers (when plenty), 2 tablespoonful of coffee and 2 of sugar, 2 of salt per day, some times beans, and a piece of pork or fresh beaf per day, about half a pound, then each man cooks as he wishes. I can do it up prime if I have it. We are often scant on a march but when we lay still a day we make up for it. We dont get much news here. I also received that paper you sent me. I would like it very much if I had a new pair of boots or shoes for I often get wet feet crossing creeks but I am afraid you cant send them just now. I suppose Lieut. Miller is still at Allentown. Capt. Huber is sick in hospital, I think at Frederick. Lieut. Hamilton (formerly orderly) is our only officer. The loss in our reg. in the battle of Wednesday, was about 30 killed & 80 wounded, so our reg. is somewhat reduced. Tell Sallie to make my small bags of thin oil cloth and roll them up like a paper and send by mail. We dont know how long we stay here, the bridge crossing the river to Harpers ferry is burnt by the rebels, so if we cross just now we must wade it. We have now slept in the open air over two weeks clear or rain and still I must say my health is much better than at home. I feel very thankful to God Almighty for giving me such a blessing. By your letter there must have been exciting times in our state and I am glad to hear that the love of country is still so great in the hearts of the Allentonians. I hope they may not have such hardships to undergo as we have, still we dont I hear many complain; we only hope it may do something toward drawing this rebellion to a speedy close. I would like it if you could pass through the country the rebels have passed through. It looks very desolate especially the town of Sharpsburg, in most every house you could see holes of shot and shell. They having passed through; and along the road to here you could hardly get a piece of bread for love or money, the reels have taken all in their hungry flight, I cant say where they are just now. Some of our boys who were slightly wounded are coming in from hospitals and are glad to be with us again. It is strange to see and hear of the narrow escapes some of our boys had in battle, some were shot in caps, haversacks, coats &c. Tell George I would write to him when I could get time but could hardly get time just now for time, paper, and stamps are scarce. Frank Keck & Charley Pfeifer are still missing, we think they are prisoners for their bodies were not found on the field. I must close with my sincere love to you all, hoping I may soon hear from you at home. The mails are not as regular now as when in regular camp but still welcome, you ought to see the beaming faces when one has a letter handed to him.From William
—Proceedings of the
Lehigh County Historical
Society, vol. 22, 1958
In December the Twelfth Corps, to which the 128th regiment was attached, moved rapidly to Fredericksburg, as fighting had broken out at that place, however, the battle was over before the corps arrived. The unit spent the winter in Stafford Court House. On the 1st of May the corps reached Chancellorsville where Gen. Joe Hooker was planning to challenge the Army of Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee. Full details of this battle can be found elsewhere. The 128th participated in the fighting at Chancellorsville, positioned upon the left center of the Union line. After night fall, the rebels broke through the right wing and came in on the flank and occupied the Union works. The 128th suddenly found itself in the clutches of the enemy. Nine officers and two hundred and twenty-five non-commissioned officers and men were taken prisoners and marched to Richmond. At the close of the battle, the regiment had been reduced to one-hundred and seventy-two men. On the 12th of May, the term of service having expired, the regiment was relieved of duty and proceeded to Harrisburg where on the 19th it was mustered out. The officers and men that were taken prisoner, were held but a short time in captivity returning in time to be mustered out with the rest of the command.
Individuals mentioned in Private William J. Reichard's letter of Sept 22, 1862:
Lt. Co. James L. Selfridge - second in command of the 46th PVI Regiment was assisting in the training of the new recruits from the 128th after the battle at Chancellorsville. He was promoted to Colonel, May 10, 1863, and then to brevet Brigadier General, March 16, 1864 and was mustered out with the 46th PVI Regiment, July 16, 1865.
1st Lt. Daniel C. Miller - assigned to Co. G of the 128th and was mustered out with the regiment, May 19, 1863.
Capt. Peter C. Huber - Company G; captured at Chancellorsville, but was mustered out with the regiment, May 19, 1863. He is veteran buried in Union and West End Cemetery.
2nd Lt. George W. Hamilton - Assigned to Co. G; Promoted from 1st Sgt. on August 18, 1862. Mustered out with regiment, May 19, 1863.
Pvt. Franklin J. Keck - wounded at AnAntietam September 17, 1862. Discharged on a Surgeon's Certificate, February 14, 1863. A veteran buried in the Union and West End Cemetery.
Sgt. Charles A. Pfiefer - A First Defender (Allen Infantry). Pfiefer joined the 128th on August 12, 1862, as a Sergeant. He deserted on September 17, 1862, the day of the battle of Antietam. He was arrested in Allentown in December 1862 and presumably returned to his unit. He was again arrested in Allentown in March, 1863, but was not with his regiment when it was mustered out, May 19, 1863. Charles A. Pfiefer is buried in the Union and West End Cemetery.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lt. Col. W. W. Hammersley - wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862. Left arm shattered. Discharged on a Surgeon's Certificate, January 31, 1863. A veteran buried in the Union and West End Cemetery.
Private William J. Reichard survived the war and was mustered out with his regiment, May 19, 1863. It is not known where William is buried.
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.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
147th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment
This regiment was formed from companies of the Twenty-Eighth Regiment, and three new companies enlisted at Harrisburg during the months of October and November, 1862. The company was officially organized at Loudon Heights, Virginia on October 10, 1862. The regiment quartered at Harper's Ferry until the 9th of December when the regiment proceeded to Fairfax Court House. In January it moved from camp and went to Stafford Court House. Soon afterwards it was in Acquia Landing, where it remained until the opening of the Chancellorsville campaign. On the morning of May 1st, the corps having arrived near the Chancellor House, was placed behind a breast-work of logs and small timber, and a company was sent out as skirmishers. At sun-down, this company was driven in by a heavy force of the enemy, but was immediately replaced by another, which regained the ground. At evening, the rebel force again attacked, but was easily repelled. At sunrise on the 3rd, Lt. William E. Goodman engaged the enemy's skirmishers, and for nearly an hour contested the ground hotly. About this time, the whole line of the Brigade became engaged, the enemy appearing in force on the right flank. It was ordered back, and took position in rear of the artillery.
A little later, the regiment was ordered to advance and re-take the breast-works that had been vacated, which was successfully executed. But it was here exposed to a galling fire of musketry and heavy artillery fire, suffering severely from both. Being overwhelmed by superior numbers, the regiment was obliged to fall back to avoid capture. The loss to the regiment was thirteen killed, fifty-nine wounded, and twenty-five missing. Lieutenants James R. Smith, William H. Hughes, and Thomas J. Leaming, were among the killed. Lieutenants Samuel F. McKee, Alexander A. Black, William E. Goodman, and David Brown, among the wounded.
After the battle of Chancellorsville, the regiment returned with the division to Acquia Landing, where it remained until the movement which culminated at Gettysburg. It arrived upon the field on July 1, 1863. The regiment was positioned to the right of Round Top, where its skirmishers were thrown out across the low ground, to the stone wall that skirts the woods in its front. The next day it was moved with the division into position on Culp's Hill, on the right of the line.
The One-Hundred and Forty-seventh was formed with the Seventh Ohio on its right, the Fifth Ohio on its left, and an open field, of triangular shape skirted by a low stone-wall running diagonally between the two lines, in its front. The battle opened on that part of the field at daylight, and until ten o'clock A.M., the firing was incessant. The enemy made repeated charges upon the line, but was swept back with fearful slaughter. Finally, broken and dispirited, he was driven from the field. On the 4th, details from the regiment were sent out to bury the dead, who lay in every conceivable position, on all parts of that hotly contested field. Owing to the nature of the ground where the regiment stood, the enemy's fire passed, for the most part, harmlessly over head, and, consequently, the loss was inconsiderable in comparison with that which it inflicted, and with the vital nature of the struggle. The unit suffered twenty-five killed, and twenty wounded. Lieutenant William H. Tourison was among the killed. Following the battle of Gettysburg, the regiment returned into Virginia where one hundred and sixty drafted men and substitutes were added to its number.
Both the 11th and 12th Corps were ordered west to join the Army of the Cumberland. The division went into camp on a spur of Raccoon Mountain, facing Lookout Creek. Early on the morning of November 14, the division crossed the creek some distance above Wauhatchie Junction, swept on over the rugged ground, carrying all before it, capturing many prisoner, and winding up around the extremity of the ridge looking towards Chattanooga. Although the summit was occupied by enemy forces, night was coming on and an attack could not be carried out. At sunrise, it was discovered that the rebels had made good their escape under cover of darkness. The summit of Lookout Mountain was in Union hands and the stars and stripes was unfurled upon its summit.
On the 29th of December, a majority of the men re-enlisted, and returned home on veteran furlough. A considerable number of recruits were added to its strength during this period, and on March 8th of 1864, it re-joined the division at its camp at Bridgeport. At the opening of May, Sherman moved with his entire army on the Atlanta campaign.
On May 25, the brigade, to which the regiment was attached, took the advance at New Hope Church, and in the battle which ensued, became heavily engaged.For nearly a week the fighting was kept up, the lines closing in upon each other, each party striving for an advantage, the firing unceasing and very destructive. Finally, the enemy was turned out of his position, and the movement of troops, and almost constant skirmishing continued. The regiment, along with the division, was engaged at Pine Knob, Noses Creek, and Peach Tree Creek. The battle at Peach Tree Creek was a particularly desperate fight at times, the rebels coming forward with irresistible determination. The enemy charged and recharged from front and right flank, but the Union forces held firmly, refusing to give way. The enemy sullenly left his front during the evening, firing spitefully as he retired.
Sherman soon after occupied and burned Atlanta and then continued on his destructive march to the sea. Of the fortunes of the regiment in this march, and its subsequent advance northward through the Carolinas', it is unnecessary to speak in detail, as its course was not marked by any special incident out of the ordinary. After the surrender of General Johnston, on the 26th of April, 1865, Sheman's Army moved by rapid marches to the neighborhood of Washington, where on the 15th of July, the One Hundred and Forty-seventh was finally mustered out of service.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Blogs: Less filters, more voices
On Friday, November 17, 2006, "The Allentown Times" published an article about blogs and bloggers. Kristen Ziegler of the Allentown Times covered all the bases; whether blogs are challenging traditional media, what motivates local bloggers to post, the efforts of the corporate community to control public information,and a statement from a blogger that blogs will force newspapers to change.
Everette Carr, the creator of the Union and West End Cemetery blog was interviewed for the article and shares some of his comments. Also interviewed were bloggers: Damien Brown, Our West End Neighborhood; Bernie O'Hare, Lehigh Valley Ramblings; and Vaneesa Williams, Afterwork Chronicles. Also commenting was Steve Ibanez, editor-in-chief of pennlive.com, which hosts The Express Times online edition. If you would like to read the entire article, click on the link shown below:
Allentown Alive e-Letter
He goes on to provide a condensed version of his budget message, which outlines a balanced budget for 2007.
The Mayor also announced the hiring of a new Special Assistant, Ismael Arcelay, a former Bethlehem City Council member and leader of the Lehigh Valley Latino community.
The Allentown Alive e-Letter also includes a link to "Lights in the Parkway", which is now in its 11th year.
City beautification in cooperation with the Allentown Garden Club and computer enhanced patrol cars are other new projects that the city is exploring.
You can sign-up for the new Allentown Alive e-Letter by going to the city's web site which can be found at: Allentown Alive e-Letter
Monday, November 20, 2006
Allentown Democrat, October 1, 1862
James Clader, son of Valentine Clader, of this place, a member of the 46th regiment, was killed in the battle at Sharpsburg. His remains will be brought home.
The Allentown Democrat did not get it quite right. Valentine Clader was James' grandfather, not his father. James was the son of Ephraim and Catharine Clader of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Fall Clean-up Scheduled
Yes it is that time again. Time to put the cemetery to bed for the coming winter weather. On Saturday, November 18, 2006, the cemetery association will hold fall clean-up from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon. Volunteers are needed. Bring a rake or leaf blower and join in with others from the community and the association to eliminate the fall leaves.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
9 A.M. to 12 Noon
needs your help.
Come out and help rake leaves.
IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO?
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Representative Jennifer Mann
Friday, November 10, 2006
Veterans Day - November 11
Veterans Day, as we know it, was originally known as Armistice Day. World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. However, the actual fighting between the Allied Forces and Germany had ended with the armistice which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.
Armistice Day became an American holiday in 1926 and a national holiday 12 years later. The name was changed to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954 in honor of all U.S. Veterans.
Official national ceremonies for Veterans Day center around the Tomb of the Unknowns.
To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil.
At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb of the Unknowns. The nation's tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of "Taps."
Until 1936 WWI was known as the "Great War" and "The War To End All Wars."
As a side note, as of November 9, 2006, there were 52 World War I veterans still living, world-wide. Fourteen of these veterans live in the United States. The oldest American, lives in Puerto Rico and is also the oldest living individual at age 115. Among the 14 is a Canadian living in Spokane, Washington. The youngest American WWI vet is 105 years old. Soon, there will be no one to speak for these aging veterans. The loss will be ours...
I would like to personally acknowledge the sacrifices made by all veterans of the United States Armed Forces and thank them for their service to their country. And, although 'Veterans Day' is not specifically a day to acknowledge those currently serving in the military, they are not yet veterans in the truest sense of the word, I would like to pay tribute to all military personnel currently serving their country. Those in the war zones and those scattered all across the world. Every one plays a part, everyone makes a contribution and they all deserve our support and our thanks.
I Salute You All!
Staff Sergeant Everette Carr
5004th Air Intelligence Service Squadron
Alaskan Air Command
United States Air Force
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - USMC
View a tribute to the Marine Corps by GoDaddy.com
Happy 231st Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Trees Sometimes Come Down
It was just a matter of time until the tree could no longer defy gravity and would come down. There was little that could be done. The cemetery association had no money to pay for this trees removal. All that could be done was to wait and hope that it would do little damage when it eventually came down.
The cemetery has a plan for diseased tree removal. The endangered trees have been identified and their removal has been prioritized and, as money is available, they will be removed. Did you know that it cost from $2,500 to $3,000 to take down a tree of this size and age? We are usually able to obtain some grant monies that allow us to take down one or two trees a year. But we have at least six trees that need to come down now!
Well, as expected, the tree in question came down on its own one windy stormy night. It lay where it fell. Cemetery volunteers eventually were able to clean up some of the smaller limbs using a small, but efficient chain saw. But we needed help with the larger trunk.
As can be seen in the above photographs, the tree had rotted out at the roots which could no longer support the tree.
Help came in the form of the Allentown City Parks Department. Joe McDermott, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, set up a meeting between representatives of the cemetery society and Fran Dougherty, Managing Director for the City of Allentown, and Superintendent of Parks for the City, John Faslka. Subsequently, City crews came into the cemetery and removed what was left of the tree. The cemetery association is grateful to the City of Allentown for coming to our rescue. This action shows that a new spirit of cooperation between the cemetery association and the current administration of the City of Allentown is in place. The cemetery association is grateful for the city's help.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Cemetery Headstones - 2
Marie E. Trinkle was born in Allentown on 25 June 1926. She died on August 2, 1927 and was buried in the West End portion of the cemetery on 5 August 1927. She was just 14 months old and probably had been walking for only a few months. Her grave was adorned with a beautiful sculptured statue of a young girl. Now, the statue is headless and a portion of an arm is missing. Who could have be so heartless as to desecrate the grave and stone of a young beautiful girl?
A little lower down, there is another statue, this one of an angel mounted on top of a pedestal. The angel has a broken right wing which shows signs of having been repaired. The left wing is missing above the shoulder blade. This angel is one of my favorites and, for me, is a perfect symbol for the cemetery; broken, in need of care, but still standing, strong, stately and majestic.
This marker indicates that it was erected for the "Children of Charles & Lydia Seagreaves." Charlie, born May 23, 1868, died Aug 28, 1876. Katie, born Jan 5, 1865, died Sept 8, 1876. Lizzie, born Jan 17, 1860, died Oct 17, 1876. Take note that all three children died within fifty days of one another. If one could get close enough, I imagine you could see a tear running down the cheek of that sad,broken angel.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Allentown Democrat, Aug & Sept, 1862
James Cook, a Delaware County contraband, several shades darker than the ace of spades, with liver lips, unprepossessing continence, was committed to jail on Thursday, charged with having stolen two dollars out of the money drawer in the store of Charles Ritter at Rittersville. James will have a warm time to await his trial in November.
Postponment of the Fair
Owing to the present unsettled condition of the county, the Managers of the Lehigh County Agricultural Society have concluded to hold no fair this year.
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]