Hon. Andrew G. Curtin,  Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

A Look Inside the History Of The Pennsylvania Reserve Corps

One of the volumes in our The Civil War — Part II: The Soldiers’ Perspective is History Of The Pennsylvania Reserve Corps: A Complete Record of the Organization; and of the Different Companies, Regiments and Brigades Containing Descriptions of Expeditions, Marches, Skirmishes And Battles; Together with Biographical Sketches of Officers and Personal Records of Each Man During his Term of Service. By J.R. Sypher, Esq. Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Compiled from official Reports and other Documents in the year 1864.

This book is over seven hundred pages long and is one of the most complete histories ever compiled by a Civil War Corp. The volume’s text is fully searchable.

Dedication

To His Excellency, Hon. Andrew G. Curtin, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The earnest Patriot and the Friend of the Soldier, this record of distinguished services, and roll of honor is inscribed.

Preface (excerpted)

The Great Rebellion of the Southern States was formally opened and war commenced by the attack of the conspirators on Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, in South Carolina, on the 12th day of April, 1861. After resisting the terrific attack for two days, early on the morning of the 14th of April, the garrison of less than one hundred men, surrendered to an attacking army of over two thousand strong. On the 15th day of the same month, the day following the fall of Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, issued a proclamation, calling out seventy-five thousand militia from the several States in the Union, to serve during a term of three months, in the war against the rebels. A requisition was made on the State of Pennsylvania for fourteen regiments. These were promptly furnished, and, such was the patriotic ardor of the people, that the number was increased to twenty-five regiments fully organized; and as many more regiments, offered by the people, were not accepted by the War Department.

Camp Curtin was formed at Harrisburg on the 18th of April, and before the end of the month, the twenty-five regiments were organized and in the field. The Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania was ordered by the Governor of the Commonwealth to convene in extraordinary session on the 30th day of April, to provide for the better establishment of the State militia, and to organize an army for State defence.

Two days after the passage by the Legislature of the enabling act, Governor Curtin issued a proclamation, setting forth the number of companies that would be required from each county in the State. The distribution was made proportionate to the number of troops already in service from each county, based on assessments in proportion to population.

In the spring of 1862, the Corps joined in the movement of the army, under Major-General George B. McClellan, and marched to Fredericksburg, constituting the Second Division of General McDowell’s Corps. In June it embarked on the Rappahannock river for the Peninsula, and on the 11th of June debarked at the “White House,” on the south bank of the Pamunkey, and joined the right wing of the army at Mechanicsville. These troops alone fought the battle of Mechanicsville, they were engaged at Gaines’ Mills, Charles City Cross Roads and Malvern Hill, through the seven days’ battles before Richmond. They rendered distinguished services at the second battle of Bull Bun, at South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. Where-ever the Army of the Potomac marched and fought, the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps was present, enduring the severest toils of war.

Hundreds of the brave men, who volunteered in defense of the State in case of invasion, have sacrificed their lives  on their country’s altar, in battles fought far from the borders of their native State by the army of the nation.

Both the living and the dead, who marched and battled in this corps of brave men, have a history proper to be written. It is the purpose of this work to supply a public demand, by preserving in proper form, a complete record of the entire organization, containing the names of all the officers and privates, their services, promotions and destinies, from the date of their enlistment into the State service to the day of their muster out of the service of the United States; accounts of the marches they endured, the camps they occupied, and the many battles in which a haughty foe was made to recoil before the power of their arms. The History the Reserve Corps has made, the author has written. It commends itself to every Pennsylvanian on account of the great merits and patriotic devotion of the men whose acts it records.

3rd Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Corps Monument

3rd Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Corps Monument

Contents

  • CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION: Threats of Southern leaders — Secret preparation for war — Treachery of Buchanan’s Cabinet — Conduct of Floyd — Shipment of arms and ammunition to the Southern States — Seizure of Government property by the rebels — Dispersion of the Navy — Secession of South Carolina — The Government in possession of the Conspirators — The inauguration of President Lincoln — Official declaration that force will be used to defend public property — The conspirators attack Port Sumter — The effect in the South — The uprising of the North — The condition of the War Department — Response to the call for 75, 000 troops — Washington threatened — Treachery of Virginians — Harper’s Ferry and Gosport Navy Yard destroyed — Riot in Baltimore — The route to the Capital re-opened
  • CHAPTER II. PREPARATIONS FOR WAR IN PENNSYLVANIA: The People of Pennsylvania respond to threats of Secession — Governor Curtin pledges the power of the State — The Legislature resolves to sustain the Union — The War excitement in the State — Mayor Henry’s Address to the People — Pennsylvania Troops at Washington in advance of all others — Response of the People to the President’s Call for Troops in April, 1861 — Camp Curtin established at Harrisburg — Action of Public Men — Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War — Hon. Thaddeus Stevens advises an Army of a million of men — Governor Curtin convenes the Legislature — His Message — Recommends the organization of a Reserve Corps — Patriotism of the People — Soldiers’ Aid Societies — Refreshment Saloons — Gen. Patterson’s Call for Twenty-five Regiments — Act authorizing the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps — George A. McCall appointed Major-General — Companies ordered into Camps of Instruction — Col. Mann at Easton — Captain McIntire at West Chester — Organization of First Regiment — Col. Roberts — John A. Wright. Chief of Ordnance. &c. — Organization of the Kane Rifle Regiment — Col. Biddle — Organization of the Fifth Regiment — Campaign of Biddle’s Brigade to Western Virginia — Skirmishes at New Creek and Piedmont — Forced March to Ridgeville — Return of Brigade to Harrisburg
  • CHAPTER III. ORGANIZATION: Regiments organized in Camp Washington, Easton — Colonel Mann — Colonel Sickel — Colonel March — Organization of the Sixth regiment, Camp Curtin — Organization of the Seventh regiment, Camp Wayne — Regiments organized in Camp Wilkins — Colonel Hays — Regiments in Camp Wright — Colonel McCalmont — Colonel Gallagher — Twelfth regiment in Camp Curtin — Colonel Taggert — McDowell’s advance — Battle of Bull Run — Call for the Reserve Corps — Marching of regiments — Passage through Baltimore — Arrival at Washington — Camp formed at Tenallytown — First regiment at Annapolis — Artillery regiment — Organization of the Fifteenth regiment, cavalry
  • CHAPTER IV. TENALLYTOWN — PIERPONT — DRANESVILLE: Camp instructions — General intelligence of the men — Position of the Reserve Corps — Alarms — Picket firing — Desire to meet the enemy in battle — The enemy driven from Upton’s Hill — Grand Review by President Lincoln and General McClellan — General McCall’s order — Resignation of Captain McPherson — A negro informs General McCall of the approach of the enemy — Lieutenants Fisher and Wonderly detailed for duty in Signal Corps — Condition, strength and discipline of the Reserve Corps — The enemy reported to be advancing — Attack on pickets at Great Falls — Presentation of colors by Governor Curtin — Organization of brigades — Report on condition of the division — Colonel Magilton — Advance into Virginia — Order of march — Langley — McCall’s division the right of the army — Disasters in other divisions — The Reserves always successful — Reconnoissance to Dranesville — Ball’s Bluff — Colonel Taggart tried by Court Martial — Reconnoissance to Gunnell’s farm — Cavalry reconnoissance to Dranesville — Battle of Dranesville — McCall’s official report — Letter from Secretary Cameron — Governor Curtin goes to Camp Pierpont
  • CHAPTER V. OPERATIONS OF THE ARMY EAST AND WEST: The effect of the battle of Dranesville — Blockade of the Potomac — Resignation of General Scott — McClellan appointed General-in-Chief of the National army — Situation on the Potomac — Other Departments — Capture of Hatteras Inlet — Battle of Carnifex Ferry — Operations in Missouri — Change of Commanders in the West — Formidable preparations by Army and Navy — Capture of Port Royal — Burnside’s expedition — Battle of Logan’s Cross Roads — Capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson — Battle of Pea Ridge — The Merrimac — Naval engagements in Hampton Roads — The Monitor — Repose of the Army of the Potomac — Spirit of the people — Mistaken policy — Army corps — President Lincoln’s War Orders — The Army of the Potomac ordered to advance — Choice of route to Richmond — Evacuation of Manassas by the rebels — Advance of the Army of the Potomac — Embarkation for the Peninsula — Advance on Yorktown — Siege and Evacuation of Yorktown — Battle of Williamsburg — Advance to Chickahominy — Battle of Fair Oaks — Detachment of McDowell’s Corps — March of the Reserves to Hunter’s Mills — “Smoky Hollow” — March to Alexandria — Hard march and stormy night — Preparations for a new Campaign — The First Corps moves to Manassas — Scenes on the Bull Run battle-field — Paymaster and sutler in camp — Tricks of trade — Advance to Catlett’s Station — Capture of Fredericksburg — Colonel Taggart’s treatment of guerrillas — McDowell desires to advance from Fredericksburg — Promotion of Colonel Bayard and Lieutenant-Colonel Owen Jones — The First Corps ordered to march on Richmond — President Lincoln at Fredericksburg — McDowell’s advance within eight miles of McClellan’s army — The recall — Jackson’s raid — McDowell’s troops sent to the Shenandoah — Bayard’s Cavalry and the Bucktail battalion pursuing Jackson — Harrisonburgh — Gallant conduct of Bucktails — Capture of Lieutenant-Colonel Kane and Captain Taylor — Battle of Cross Keys — Escape of Jackson
  • CHAPTER VI. PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN — MECHANICSVILLE — GAINES’ MILL: The Reserves in camp at Fredericksburg — Condition of brigades — General Reynolds military governor — General Ord, promotion, his military services — McClellan calls for reinforcements — Destruction of bridges at Fredericksburg — McCall’s division ordered to the Peninsula — Embarkation — Sailing to the White House — Disembarkation — March to Despatch station — Pursuit of enemy at Tunstall’s station — Stuart’s raid — Arrival of Third brigade — The Reserves save McClellan’s line of communication — Concentration of the division at Despatch station — Strength of the division — March to new bridge — Spirit of the men — McCall and his troops assigned the post of honor — March to Mechanicsville — The appearance of the troops — Position on Beaver Dam creek — Occupation of Mechanicsville — Picket lines — Powerful armies face to face — Delay of the attack — The situation; in Richmond; in the armies — McClellan in doubt — Resolves to give battle — Position of the army — Advance of the left wing — Position of the right wing — Jackson’s movement — Advance of the Rebel army — Battle of Mechanicsville — Night after the battle — Withdrawal to a new line — Position at Gaines’ Mill — Battle of Gaines’ Mill — Desperate fighting by regiments — Official reports — Results 187
  • CHAPTER VII. PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN — NEW MARKET CROSS ROADS: Designs of the enemy — Trent’s farm — Movement to Savage station — Army trains — The reserve artillery; its value to the army; intrusted to McCall’s division — Arrival of McCall at Savage station — Interview with McClellan — Proposition to destroy the trains — The Hero of Mechanicsville prefers to fight — Spirit of the troops — Scenes at Savage station — Sorrowful partings — Rev. Junius Marks — Distress of the wounded — Battle of Allen’s farm — Gallantry of the Fifty-third Pennsylvania regiment — Battle of Savage station — March to New Market road — A restless night — Battle of New Market cross roads — Treachery of a negro guide — The brunt of the attack sustained by the Reserves — The Third regiment begins the battle — Charge of the Seventh — Confusion on the left — Charge of the First brigade — Death of Colonel Simmons — Cooper’s and Kern’s batteries — Capture and re-capture of Cooper’s battery — Charge of the Irish Brigade — Terrible struggle for Randall’s battery — General Meade wounded — General McCall captured — Colonel Roberts in command — Return of General Seymour — Artillery abandoned by the army — Colonel Simmons — Captain Biddle — False reports — Honor of the Reserves vindicated
  • CHAPTER VIII. PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN — MALVERN HILL — HARRISON’S LANDING: Battle at Turkey bridge — Withdrawal of troops to Malvern hill — Noble efforts to save the wounded — Line of battle on Malvern hill — The battle — Retreat to Harrison’s landing — March of the Reserves — Situation at Harrison’s landing — Casualties in the Reserve Corps — Reorganization — Labors of the surgeons — Promotion of officers — Colonel McCandless — Fisher — Ricketts — Sinclair — Harvey — Hays — Jackson — Anderson — Taggart — Hardin — Donations of delicacies and vegetables — Mrs. Harris — Prof. Kevinski — Return of prisoners from Richmond — Their reception — McCall at home; sword presentation at West Chester — Resignation — General Reynolds assumes command of Reserves — President Lincoln and General Halleck visit the army — General Pope assigned to the army of Virginia — His mission — McClellan ordered to withdraw from the Peninsula — Tardy obedience — Critical situation of the armies — General Hooker’s reconnoissance to Malvern hill — End of Peninsula campaign
  • CHAPTER IX. POPE’S CAMPAIGN — BULL RUN — MARYLAND CAMPAIGN — SOUTH MOUNTAIN — ANTIETAM: Position of Pope’s army — Abandons the line of the Rapidan — Position on the Rappahannock — Movements of the enemy — Attempts to cross the river — Pope’s army outflanked — Promised reinforcements do not arrive — Rain storm — Movement to Warrenton — March to Manassas — Battle at Bristoe station — Skirmish at Gainesville — Jackson’s retreat from Manassas — Pursuit — Jackson surrounded — Withdrawal of McDowell’s forces — Change of plan — Porter’s disobedience of orders — General Sigel’s attack on Jackson on the 29th of August — Noble conduct of General Reynolds — Desperate fighting — Heintzelman and Reno on the field — General Pope orders a charge along the front — The enemy driven from the field — Inexplicable conduct of General Porter — Situation at nightfall — Position on Saturday morning — Porter’s repulse, desperate fighting along the whole line — The enemy in overwhelming numbers — Turning of Pope’s left — Attempt to seize the Stone bridge — Daring valor of General Reynolds and the Reserves — Official reports — Loss in Reserve regiments — March to Centreville — Condition of the troops — Rations issued — Battle of Chantilly — Retirement of the army within the fortifications — Object of Pope’s campaign — Transfer of the Army of the Potomac — Movements of McClellan — The rebels cross the Potomac — Pursuit by General McClellan — March of the Reserves — Meade in command — Battle of South Mountain — Spirited charge up the mountain slope — The shout of victory — The casualties — The bivouac — Pursuit of the enemy — Position on the Antietam — Hooker ordered to turn the enemy’s left — The Reserves in the advance — The fight on Tuesday night — The picket line on the field — Battle of Antietam — Desperate fighting — Field won, lost and won again — Fighting on the right — Fighting on the left — The field — The casualties — Official reports
  • CHAPTER X. BURNSIDE’S CAMPAIGN — FREDERICKSBURG — HOOKERS CAMPAIGN — CHANCELLORSVILLE: Camps at Sharpsburg — Effort to withdraw the Reserves — Resignation of Colonel Roberts — Colonel Potts — Major Todd — Colonels Talley — Baily — Kirk — Warner — General officers — Supplies for the soldiers — McClellan’s delay — Ordered to advance — Stuart’s raid — Advance into Virginia — March of the Reserves — McClellan relieved — Burnside assumes command — Plan of campaign — Organization of the army — Movement to Falmouth — Battle of Fredericksburg — Line of battle — The Reserves in the advance — Charge of the First and Third brigades — They pierce the enemy’s line — Unsupported — Forced back — Casualties — General Jackson — Death of three sergeants — Captain O’Rourke — General Meade’s report — Sumner’s and Hooker’s attacks — Withdrawal of the army to the north bank of the river — Second campaign — Burnside requests to be relieved — Hooker placed in command of the army — General Meade promoted to the command of the Fifth corps — General Doubleday in command of the Reserves — The Reserves transferred to Washington — Hooker’s administration — Condition of the army — Hooker’s campaign — His plans — Movements — Battle of Chancellorsville — Jackson’s assault on the Eleventh corps — Desperate fighting — Death of Colonel Peissner — Generals Berry and Whipple — Sedgwick victorious at Fredericksburg — The Sixth corps struggles against Lee’s whole army — Hooker retreats across the river — Loss in both armies
  • CHAPTER XI. INVASION OF PENNSYLVANIA — MEADE’S CAMPAIGN — GETTYSBURG — MINE RUN: Transfer of Reserve Corps to Alexandria — Guarding the railroad — Efforts to retire the Reserves — Change of officers; resignations and promotions — Colonel Ent — Colonel S. M. Jackson — General Crawford — Lee’s march northward — Hooker’s march to Frederick — Advance of the Rebel army into Pennsylvania — Destruction of the Columbia bridge — The Reserves ask to be led against the invaders of their native State — General Meade assumes command of the army — Meade’s plans — Movements — Position — Advance on Gettysburg — Movements of the enemy — Reynolds’ corps at Gettysburg — Beginning of the battle — Death of Reynolds — General Howard falls back to Cemetery hill — Concentration of the army — Line of battle — Operations of the second day — Topography of the field — Position of the Third corps — The attack on the left — Charge of the Reserves — Capture of Round-top — The battle on the right — Close of the second day — Preparations for the third day — Desperate fight on Friday morning — The lull — The artillery fire and the charge in the evening — General Meade in the battle — Slaughter of the enemy — The second charge of the Reserves — End of the battle — The casualties — Surgeon Jackson — Colonel Taylor — General Reynolds — Retreat of the enemy — The pursuit — Position of the enemy at Falling Water — The council of Generals — The escape of Lee’s army — Pursuit into Virginia — End of the campaign — General Meade — Presentation of sword to Meade — Operations on the Rappahannock — The retrograde movement to Centreville — Battle of Bristoe station — Advance to the Rapidan — Battle on the Rappahannock — Mine run campaign — Marches and skirmishes of the Reserves — The withdrawal — Winter quarters
  • CHAPTER XII. WINTER QUARTERS — GRANT’S CAMPAIGN — WILDERNESS — SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE — NORTH ANNA — BETHESDA CHURCH — MUSTER OUT: Guarding the railroad — Capture of guerillas — Colonel Hardin wounded — Expedition to Brentsville — Death of Major Larimer — Colonel Gustin’s expedition to Occoquan — Captain Fisher; his escape from Libby Prison — Reorganization of the Army — General Grant — Advance — Crossing the Rapidan — The Army in the Wilderness — Muster out of the Ninth regiment — Surgeons Phillips, King and Lane — General Meade’s address to the Army — The battle in the Wilderness — The advance to Parker’s store — Line of battle — The Reserves surrounded — Escape to Lacy’s farm — Capture of the Seventh regiment — Colonel Bolinger — Battle of Friday — General Wadsworth — Death of Colonel Dare — Movement to the right — Close of the day — Operations on Saturday — Night march to Spottsylvania Court-House — Battle on Sunday — Charge of the Reserves — Line of battle — Second charge — McCandless wounded — Colonel Talley captured — Operations on Monday — Death of General Sedgwick — Sheridan’s cavalry raid — Battle of Tuesday — The army at rest — Battle of Thursday — Hancock’s coup de main — Desperate battle — Days of repose — The return of the Eighth regiment — Death of Surgeon Jones — Escape of Captain Robinson and Lieutenant Robinson — Attempt to turn the right — Exploit of Bucktails — Movement to Guinney’s station — March to the North Anna — Operations south of the North Anna — Plank movement to Hanover — Battle of Bethesda Church — Expiration of term of service — Casualties — Return to Pennsylvania — Reception — Muster out — Campaign of the Third and Fourth regiments in Western Virginia — Battle of Cloyd’s mountain — Battle of New River — Casualties — Death of Colonel Woolworth — Return — Reception and muster out — The glory of the Reserves
  • CHAPTER XIII. REGIMENTAL ROLLS AND INDIVIDUAL RECORDS:
    • Muster-out Rolls of the First Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Second Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Third Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Fourth Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Fifth Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Sixth Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Seventh Regiment — Roll of Field and staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Rolls of the Eighth Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Muster-in Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Rolls of the Ninth Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Muster-out Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Rolls of the Tenth Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Muster-out Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Muster-out Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Rolls of the Eleventh Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Muster-out Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Muster-out Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Muster-out Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Twelfth Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Muster-in Roll of company K
    • Muster-out Rolls of the Thirteenth — Bucktail — Regiment — Roll of Field and Staff Officers — Roll of company A — Roll of company B — Roll of company C — Roll of company D — Roll of company E — Roll of company F — Roll of company G — Roll of company H — Roll of company I — Roll of company K

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