Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There should be a Memorial for the Horses

I found this bit of info on the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry Horses in the National Archives, is quite interesting of what a Cavalry unit did..

There Should Be A Memorial For Horses
The Horses of The Seventh Penna. Cavalry

During the Atlanta campaign, the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry was heavily engaged in scouting and skirmishing with the rebels. The men suffered daily and also their horses. Here is a report taken from the monthly regimental reports found in the National Archives in Washington D.C. about how the horses suffered.

HQ 7th Penna. Cav.
Near Blakes Mills, Ga
Sept. 13, 1864

Capt. R. Burns
1st Brig. 2nd Cav. Div.

Sir, I have the honor to report that the 7th Reg. Penna Vol. Cav. started on the 30th day of April with 919 horses, fresh from the corral at Nashville and unused to military duty. The majority were young horses not aged. 300 of the enlisted men were raw recruits some had never been on a horse before. They entered the service and without drill. We travelled along the line of the Nashville and Chat. R. Rd. for 48 consecutive hours the horses were without feed and travellled 43 miles passing a depot from which forage was carried at least eight miles. May 5 we marched 23 miles without feed. At Ned City rec'd 28 Ibs of corn for 3 days to be carried upon the horses in addition to 5 days rations and travelled 33 miles crossing at Raccoon Sand and a spur of Lookout Mtn. The young horses commenced to lag. A few were abandoned and the hearty and strong horses were fatigued. The Col. Wm. B. Sipes then commanding instituted morning inspections compelling every man to groom his horse and graze when an opportunity occur ed.
From the 16th of May to the 19th the horses had no feed except the leaves and short grass to be found in the hills around Andersonville, Ga. During this time we travelled 35 miles. The last 5 from Kingston to the free badge was travelled at a gallop causing the horses to give out by the dozen (as figures will prove.) That night we rec'd the first forage the horses had for 3 days. Out of 72 hours the horses were under saddle for 60 hours and receiving all the attention the men were able to give. On the morning of May 22 the comdg. officer of companies reported the loss of 76 horses as died of starvation and abandoned. Upon investigation the vet. surgeon corroborated the statement and pronounced 43 were unserviceable and unfit to travel. Up to this point the horses were groomed as regularly as circumstances would permit. Out of the 43 horses left to recuperate 15 were returned to the command Aug. 5/64. From May 26 to June 2 (7days) the horses were without and actually starved. One battalion (the 3rd) lost in action trying to procure forage 33 horses and 101 were starved to death and compelled to be abandoned. A detail commanded by Capt. Garrett travelled 30 miles and returned without forage. June 11 and 12 no forage. A detachment commanded by Capt. Newlin travelled 26 miles returning with 1 qt. for a horse. From July 13 to 18 rec'd half forage. From 19 to 22 no forage. But stuble field to graze in. June 20 lost in 26 horses. From June 23 to July 17 rec'd 1/2 rations. July 18 and 19 no forage. From July 27 to 30 forage on the country for 20 miles around Stone Mountain. All was hacked upon the withers of the horses doing as much harm to the horses as the feed did good causing sore backs. From Aug. 1 to Aug. 15 the command was 5 miles away from the horses. 4 horses were groomed by 1 man cause consequently they were not as well taken care of as the ride would give them. For 48 hurs they were without feed.
Aug 15 and 16 rec'd 1 qt. per head and travelled 24 miles over a country devastated by the army. Aug 17 and 18 rec'd 1 pint feed from 3d Div. Aug 19, 20, 21,22,23, and 24 travelled 120 miles feeding but once on green corn. 1/2 ration of forage was issued to Sept. 9 Sept. 9 ,10,11 no feed and no grazing. The stock rec'd no salt or hay during the campaign. Lost in action Aug. 20 112 horses.

Started with 919 horses
captured 42 horses

total 961 horses

and died 230 horses
killed and
captured 171 horses

Total Lost 401 horses
Present in
the field 560 horses

961 horses.

From the Regimental Records Book
National Archives.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Schuylkill County Color Bearers During the Civil War Only the Brave were Chosen


The regimental flag was to be protected at all costs, even with the lives of the men entrusted with its care, the color bearers and the color guard. To be selected as a member of the color guard was one of the most distinguished honors bestowed upon a Civil war soldier. To carry the colors into battle meant that one was in the fore front of the regiment. One knew that enemy fire would be focused on one's position and the possibility existed that one would be killed or wounded. It took a man of extraordinary courage to be a color bearer, and men from Schuylkill County courageously filled this post of honor often paying with their lives. Not once in battle did a Schuylkill county regiment permanently lose their colors to an enemy regiment.
At the out break of the Civil War every regiment had a flag that was either given to them or was purchased by the individual companies comprising the regiment. The call went out in 1862 for volunteers to enlist for three years. These regiments were formed from the remnants of the three month volunteers. After forming and being mustered into service the regiment was issued a regimental flag by the State of Pennsylvania. The flag had the regimental number painted on the center red stripe and the state coat of arms was centered in the blue canton surrounded by the stars representing the States of the Union.
In 1861-1862 Governor Andrew Curtin of Pennsylvania personally presented the flags to the regiments. He presented the 48th's at Camp Curtin on the outskirts of Harrisburg just before their departure from Camp Curtin. The 50th P.V.I. was drawn up in position of a three square, with Col. Christ in the center. Governor Curtin arrived and presented the regiment with their flag in the name of the Commonwealth. After an emotional speech by the Governor, the flag was accepted by Col. Christ and he returned his most grateful thanks to the authorities of the State.
On November 6, 1861, the 96th P.V.I. marched down from their Camp on Lawton's Hill to the American House hotel in downtown Pottsville. There at the hotel was Governor Curtin, with flag in hand. He addressed the men in a long, patriotic speech, and at the conclusion of his speech he presented the flag to Col. Cake, who made a short acceptance speech. When the ceremony was over, the men cheered the Governor and the flag.
The 129th, also encamped at Camp Curtin, had their flag presented to them by Col. Samuel B. Thomas, an aide to the Governor. On a cold December 18, 1861 the 7th Penna. Cavalry marched dismounted into Harrisburg and formed in front of the Capitol and listened to a stirring speech by the Governor who then presented the State Standard and 10 guidons to Col. George C. Wynkoop. Many other men from Schuylkill County in various other regiments would witness the presentation of their regimental colors by the Governor or his aide.
The regiments carried their State flags into battle and also flags that were presented to them by the people from their communities. The 96th carried with them a flag that was presented to the old 25th Regiment and Col. Joseph W. Cake who commanded it. This flag was carried on the Peninsula Campaign and was used in the fight at Crampton's Pass Md. on September 14, 1862. On June 11, 1863 a flag was presented to the regiment by a group of men on behalf of the Ladies' Aid Society Of Pottsville. It was a magnificent flag that carried the names of the battles that the 96th had participated in up till that time. On February 22, 1864, Webster Bland of Pottsville, the Surgeon of the Regiment, brought home the battle damaged and worn flag.
The 48th carried a flag given to them by a citizen of Pottsville, a Mr. John T. Werner. The flag had the regimental number painted on the center red stripe, and in the blue field were painted the words "In The Cause of The Union We Know No Such Word As Fail." This flag was carried by the regiment until 1864.
The men of the 48th came home on veteran furlough in 1864 and while at home were presented with a blue regimental flag with the state coat of arms on one side and the national arms on the other. Surrounding the coat of arms were the names of four battles the 48th participated in. This flag was presented to the regiment by Representative John H. Campbell on behalf of Mrs. E.R. Bohannon and Miss. Miesse both ladies of Pottsville.
The 7th Penna. Vol. Cavalry received a blue standard and 12 swallow tailed guidons on March 1, 1864, given to them jointly by the Ladies Aid Societies of Pottsville and St. Clair. They also carried two state standards throughout their service.
The 129th, a nine month regiment carried a state flag and a national flag, both of which would fall into enemy hands during the battle of Chancellorsville in May of 1863, but would be immediately recaptured by the heroic actions of Col. Jacob Frick and returned to the regiment.
In February 1865 Pottsville lady friends of Capt. Edward H. Lieb, of the Fifth United States Cavalry, presented a flag to the regiment. They valued his service and that of the regiment and had a silk flag made that was on display in Capt. David A. Smith's store on Center street in Pottsville. The flag was forwarded to the regiment in February but was delayed in getting to them. The 5th did not receive the flag until June of 1865. J.W. Maron of the 5th U.S. wrote to the Ladies of Pottsville thanking them for the flag.
The color company of a Civil War regiment was usually" C" company and always placed in the center of the regiment. The other nine companies were placed around the color company usually by the seniority of their Captain. Such as:
The color guard was composed of eight corporals and one or two sergeants who were selected to carry the flags. The formation of the color guard was highly visible in line of battle as these men were usually out in front marching ahead of the regiment. The color guard was formed up in the following fashion.
As men were wounded, the color guard would naturally diminish in size and upon the order to halt, the colors would retreat behind the double lines of infantry and remain there until the order of "advance the colors" was given. At that time they would move to the front once again.
On September 14, 1862 the 96th P.V.I. went into action at Cramptons Gap, Md. northeast of Harpers Ferry, in an effort to thwart Robert E. Lee's proposed invasion into Maryland and the taking of Harpers Ferry. Opposing the 96th were Confederate soldiers of Gen. Lafayette McLaws.
Advancing in line of battle and being shelled by Confederate artillery postioned on the slopes of South Mountain, the 96th approached a stone wall that was heavily defended by Confederate infantry . The order to halt was given by Col. Cake. John. T. Boyle, the captain of company D, continues the narrative which he wrote for the Pottsville Republican on September 30, 1871.
" The disposition for the final charge having been made, the 96th was ordered forward to draw the concentrated fire of the enemy, and turn his left which was immediately in front, and held by the 16th Georgia. Stepping over the reclining men of the 27th New York picket reserve, whose ammunition was nearly expended, the regiment some distance in the advance of the main line, pressed forward to the attack. Obliquing to the left to keep as much as possible under cover of foliage and a slight elevation, it moved forward until within five or six hundred yards of the enemy, when the right was delayed by a stone wall, and the left by a high worm fence and by a galling cross fire of the enemy.
Col. Cake, on foot, as were most of the officers, was the first man on the right to leap the fence, waving his sword and calling on the men to follow. Seeing some hesitate, he returned toward the fence from which he and others had gone a dozen steps or more, just as some of the more nervous of the men fired their muskets at random, some in the air, others into the earth at no great distance ahead, and a few in the direction of the enemy. The very great majority, however, returned their fire, and a few moments thereafter used it most effectively.
The regiment or that part of it which now remained, was within forty or more paces of stone wall behind which the enemy was fortressed. Here a narrow patch of standing corn hid the centre companies from view, the right companies being fully exposed to the foe together with the left, which was a distance to the rear of the 5th Maine, 16th New York, and Newton's Brigade. It was her that the regiment met with the heaviest loss. Scarcel had it entered the corn patch than the companies were thrown into charging disorder, and their further progress momentarily stayed by a tremendous reserve fire from the enemy behind the stone wall. First Lieut. John Doughert, commanding Company F. Who was some few paces in advance of his command, and waving his sword in the air and calling on his men to follow, received a ball in his breast and sunk down within sword length of the writer.
"Here, Casey," he exclaimed to his first sergeant, "take my sword and follow the Colonel." Casey moving near received the sword from the hand of his dying leader, whirled it around his head and called on the men who were now as fierce as bloodhounds, to move forward. For this act which transpired under the immediate notice of Colonel Cake, the sergeant received honorable mention in that officer's official report, and shortly afterwards became the recipient of a second Lieutenant's commission, which he foully disgraced. A moment after Dougherty fell, the gray headed Scotchman color Sergeant Sol. McMinzie of company C, who was bravely upholding the State Ensign received a mortal wound in the breast. "I am shot," he exclaimed, as he staggered forward his eyes sparkling with unearthly luster and his manly frame - inured to war by twelve years in the Royal Artillery - trembled all over with excitement, and again he cried. As the flag staff slipped from his nervous grasp, and with shattered thigh, he sank with a sigh into the arms of death. The old standard shot-torn and gory with the blood of Gaines Hill, had scarcely kissed the earth, before the regimental or Col. Joseph C. Cake flag, which thus far had been borne by Sergeant Thomas Oliver, of company C. trailed its drooping folds in the dust, its carrier having received a disabling wound in the foot. A cry of exultation went up from the rebel line, and a chill of dismay shivered through the frames of those of the regiment who saw the occurrence. The situation was critical; The moment one of terrible apprehension enough to appall the stoutest heart.
Ordered by Captain Royer, private William Ortner,of company H, stopped to take the flag staff from the hands of Sol. McMinzie, but scarcely had he touched it before he was struck by a ball, which forced him to relinquish his hold. Color Sergeant Johnson raised the staff, but relinqushed it with a disabling wound. Seeing this private Charles Ziegler of the same company, with distinguished gallantry, rushed from his position, grasped the staff and essayed to roar it in the air, but before he could accomplish it, a bullet deprived him of life and he fell forward to earth, covering its silken folds with his blood. Nothing daunted by the fate of his comrades, Corporal Henry H. Hunsicker caught up the standard and had the honor unscathed of carrying it through the rest of the engagement. The other flag after passing through the hands of private David Thomas, William Miller and others, came at length into the keeping of gallant Patrick Powers, of company F. who bore it full high advanced to the top of the mountain."

The two color bearers who gave their lives on this gallant charge were Solomon McMinzie, a forty - one year - old native of Scotland, who resided in Pottsville at the time of the Civil War. He laid in pain for an additional day with a minnie ball lodged in his chest. The second color bearer, Charles Ziegler, died painfully with his left thigh shattered and broken by a musket ball. He was initially wounded while at the stone wall with a bayonet to the stomach.
On April 2, 1865 the largest cavalry force ever used in the Civil War was on the move near the outskirts of Selma, Alabama. This force was commanded by a young Brigadier General named James H. Wilson. Wilson was ordered by Gen. George H. Thomas commander of the Department of Tennessee and the Cumberland to mount an attack against Selma, Alabama, a vital munitions depot. The campaign began on March 22, 1865 and the troops arrived on the perimeter of the heavily fortified city of Selma about 3 P.M. on the 2nd of April.
Riding with Wilson on this raid was the Seventh Penna. Cavalry consisting of two full companies of Schuylkill County boys. Along with the Seventh in their brigade was the Fourth Michigan, Fourth Ohio and the Seventeenth Indiana. This brigade and other brigades numbered 13,000 mounted troopers.
Facing the Seventh and her sister regiments was a formidable array of defenses. The Union troops looked out upon an open field with no natural cover. If that field was successfully crossed while enduring constant enemy shot and shell, the troops would fall upon abatis, sharpened wooden stakes pointing toward them. If they made it beyond the abatis, they entered into a deep ditch which fronted a fifteen foot embankment. Behind the embankment, the rebels waited to repulse their Union enemies.
A mounted attack would never work on this type of defense so Gen. Wilson ordered the men to dismount. The Brigade Commander, Gen. Eli Long, gave his 1500 men the command to advance. With officers out in front, the Seventh boys, now dismounted, started across the open field to their front. Under heavy shot and shell the whole way across the open field, the Seventh successfully reached the stockade where they pulled out some of the abatis and made a small opening through which they passed. Just outside the fortification, Sergeant John Ennis, color bearer from St. Clair, was fatally wounded by a minnie ball. Sergeant Louis Bickel, company I, retrieved the standard from the dying grasp of John Ennis and carried the colors to the top of the embankment and into the rebel held fort.
This charge cost the life of one officer killed, three wounded and forty seven enlisted men wounded. The Seventh captured 198 prisoners, seven pieces of artillery and over 250 enemy muskets and rifles.

John Ennis was the only enlisted man from the Seventh killed in the charge. He would lay wounded for five more days dying on April 7, 1865 two days before Gen. Robert E. Lee would surrender to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virgina. He was also a member of the British Cavalry participating in the famed charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava in the Crimea, holding several medals of honor for his service to Crown. He was commended in orders numerous times with the Seventh Pa. Cav. Also the John Ennis Post No. 44 of the Grand army of The Republic was named in his honor by his comrades from St. Clair.
On December 13, 1862 the battle of Fredricksburg was raging. As the 129th P.V.I. was attacking the enemy postions on the Heights above the city, most of the color bearers were down with wounds. Leading his men, Col. Jacob Frick of Pottsville, saw the State Colors fall to the ground. He ran to them, picked them up and waved them over his head and advanced forward. While charging, a rebel bullet would shatter the flag staff. Col. Frick retrieved the colors back to the Union lines and received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his deed.
Again on May 3, 1863 Col. Frick would be involved in another rescue of the regiments colors at the batte of Chancellorsville. While rebel soldiers tried to capture the regiment's colors, Col. Frick recognized the danger and went forward and in hand to hand fighting rescued and saved his regiment's colors.

The color bearers from Schuylkill County were:

Sgt. John Roarty Company C. to 10-02-64.
Sgt. Samuel Bedall Company E. 10-02-64 to 07-20-65. Tamaqua.
Sgt. John Taylor Company A. 04-02-65. Port Clinton.
Sgt. Arthur Hatch Company C. Port Clinton.
Sgt. Edward Flanagan Company G. Pottsville.

Sgt. Joseph S. Johnston Company H. Wounded 09-14-62 Cramptons
Corp. William Ortner Company H. Wounded 09-14-62 Cramptons Gap.
Sgt. Charles B. Zeigler Company H. Killed 09-14-62 Cramptons Gap.
Sgt. Solomon McMinzie Company C. Died 09-17-62 Cramptons Gap. Pottsville.
Corp. Thomas Oliver Company C. Wounded 09-14-62 Cramptons Gap.
Port Carbon.
Pvt. Harry Hunsicher Company H. Carried Flag at Cramptons Gap.
West Brunswick.
Sgt. J.W. Conrad Company Wounded 5-9-64 at Spotsylvania Va. Campaign. Pottsville.
Corp. George W. Foltz Company C. Wounded 05-10-64 Spotsylvania Va. Campaign. Tremont.
Corp. William Beynon, Co. A Killed May 11, 1864.
Sgt. Fredrick Snyder, Co. B wounded May 10, 1864.
Sgt. Charles Fisher, Co. C wounded May 10, 1864.
Sgt. Ezra Hendley Company D. Wounded 05-10-64 Spotsylvania Va.
Sgt. William Lord Company A. Carried Colors 05-10-64 Spotsylvania Va. Campaign. Pottsville.
Sgt. John Shan, Co. H. Wounded May 10, 1864 died May 15, 1864.
Sgt. John Keegan Co. I.
Sgt. John Gough, Co. D killed May 10, 1864.

Sgt. John Ennis Company A. Killed Selma Alabama, 07-04-65. St. Clair.

Corp. Thomas Foster. Company I.
Sgt. James B. Murray. Company H. Killed Reams Station. Va.

Corp. Thomas J. Foster.
Fifty-Second P.V.I.
Corp. Samuel Williams, Co. I
Fifty-Fifth P.V.I.
Color Sgt. Michael Murry, wounded at Cold Harbor. 6-3-64
Color Sgt. James Miller, died of disease at Beaufort, South Carolina. He was a native of Scotland and had served in the Crimean War, and lived in Minersville.
One Hundred and Sixteenth P.V.I.
Sgt. Charles Mauer Co. F. The regiments last color Bearer.
Sgt. Edward Kelly Co. F.
Pvt. James M. Seitzinger Co. G
One Hundred and Twenty Ninth P.V.I.
Sgt. Lewis S. Boner Co. E
Col. Jacob Frick rescued and carried the colors at Fredricksburg.

A Marines Marine MOH Holder Alexander Foley In the Boxer rebellion


The Story Of Sergeant Alexander Foley

It has always amazed me how common everyday citizens of Schuylkill County have played an important part in history. One man in particular is Alexander Foley a man who grew up in Lost Creek. Like most boys growing up in the small anthracite coal mining patch towns of the late nineteenth century Foley was the son of a coal miner, a breaker boy and coal miner himself. This is the story of 1st Sgt. Alexander J. Foley a Marine or as his fellow Marines called him “A Marine’s Marine,”.
Sgt. Foley’s story begins on February 19, 1866 in Heckschersville, Pa. A healthy son born to Edward and Catherine (McDonald) Foley. Early in his childhood Alex moved with his family to another coal mining patch town that of Lost Creek. Here Alex worked as a breaker boy and miner in and around the local collieries for about 12 years. On October 29, 1888 at the age of 22 Alex decided that he wanted something different than working in the coal mines. That same day he traveled to Philadelphia to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. He raised his right hand and enlisted for five years. In 1893 he was mustered out but once again enlisted for another five year hitch. So began his career in the Marines. Alex was rated, during his first enlistment, as having an “excellent character”. By the end of his second enlistment, Alex served for three years on sea duty, and served and saw combat with the Marine Battalion in Cuba in 1898 during the Spanish American War. During the summer of 1899, now corporal Foley, was with the Marine Battalion serving in the Philippines. He helped put down an uprising by Filipino Nationalists. Because of his conduct during the hot fighting at Luzon, he was promoted to Sergeant. In the summer of 1900, Sgt. Foley was stationed with the First Regiment of Marines at Cavite, Philippines. On June 14, 1900 Sgt. Foley, 100 enlisted men and six officers were put on board the U.S. S. Newark and sailed for Taku, China. They arrived 4 days later on June 18th, 1900.
At the end of the 19th century China was rife with anti-foreign sentiments. The Chinese people were deeply angered with foreign nations for trying to divide their country into different spheres of influence. Some Chinese wanted to accept Western ideas, while others felt strongly that they had to drive the foreigners out of their country. Included in the latter were a fanatical group of Chinese Nationalists known as the “Righteous Harmonious Fists”, or, as the Europeans called them, the “Boxers”. Their objective was to drive every foreign devil out of China and thus remove every realm of Western influence. In the beginning the Boxers committed sporadic murders, killing mostly missionaries and their families. They hated the missionaries for opposing their ancestor worship and their other ancient religious beliefs. In 1900 the Boxers assassinated the German Minister to China, Baron V Ketteler at Peking. They quickly moved against the different foreign legations stationed in Pekin. Fearing for their lives 200 men, women and children of the legations took refuge in the British Legation and a siege of over two months by the Boxers followed.
At the same time in the city of Tientsin, the international settlement was under siege from the Boxers. Tientsin was the major stronghold of the Boxer uprising. A coalition of nations formed a force to go to the aid of the besieged westerners in Tientsin. Over 5,000 troops, including soldiers from Russia, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, U.S. Marines and men of the 9th U.S. Infantry.
It was clear that the legations in Peking needed help. The Boxers had severed the railroads leading from Tientsin, Peking was cut off. On June 10th, 1900, a detachment, under the command of British Admiral Seymour and numbering 1,945 men, set out to cut its way through to the besieged legation in Peking. Included in this force was a small detachment of U.S. Marines. Within a week the column had made about 65 miles and was only 25 miles from Peking. Continually harried by red scarved Boxers and Chinese Imperial soldiers who just joined the Boxers, the relief force fought continually for sixteen days. Near starvation and badly cut up, the relief force was left with two options; complete annihilation or retreat back to Tientsin. The column turned back. From 18 to 22 June, the column marched back to Tientsin, with over 200 wounded men the force became bogged down. In a last ditch effort the U.S. Marines and Royal Marines, supported by German soldiers, fought their way to a point about 6 miles from Tientsin. Of the 112 U.S. Marines included in this multi national force thirty-two were killed or wounded. The Marines sustained twice as many casualties as any other unit in the force. On June 21, 1900 in fierce fighting outside the International Compound at Tientsin, Sergeant Foley distinguished himself for fighting bravely. He eventually received a personal citation from the Secretary of the Navy, John D. Long for his actions on this date. The citation read:” The Department highly commends your meritorious conduct, which so well upheld the traditions of the United States Naval Service.” Sergeant Foley had the honor of hearing this citation read before his regiment on Sept. 9, 1901 at Cavite, P.I.
On June 22, 1900 the Boxers were well entrenched on the outskirts of Tientsin. The city was surrounded by a high mud wall 20 miles in circumference. The objective of the coalition was to capture the city, and then move on to Peking and the relief of the British legation held there. The Boxers were dug in and determined to die to the last man.
Late in the day of July 11, a large naval bombardment commenced from the warships at Taku, The bombardment lasted for a day and a half. In the early morning of the 13th the collation forces began their attack. The Japanese were assigned the center of the line, British on the left with the 9th U.S. Infantry 1st Marines and the French on the right when the assault began. The 9th U.S. Infantry was advancing over a low mud wall when they came under intense enemy fire. They were on an open field and exposed to heavy fire. The field was very muddy because the Chinese flooded the area. They were trapped in the open unable to advance or fall back and had no option but to try and dig in to protect themselves.
While the 9th Infantry was fighting for its life, Foley and the 1st Marines were advancing toward the south gate of the city. The Marines charged the area and themselves became pinned down. Both the Marines and 9th Infantry were taking heavy casualties all day long. In the dimming twilight, the survivors of both units made their escape to safety but had to leave many wounded behind. In the early evening, Sergeants Alexander Foley, P.S. Burch, Corporal H.E. Swift and Private William Hanrahan all members of Company F, 1st Marines went out on a search of the area for wounded comrades. They came upon a badly wounded Major James Regan of the 9th Infantry.
Major Regan stated about the action that night, “ Our position was a serious one and we were subjected to a hot fire all day. Our comrades at the outer, or mud wall, could not relieve or support us, but at the close of the day, under the protection of darkness our Marines and British Marines came on the field under fire to assist in removing the wounded from the field, and bravely did they continue their work until the last man was carried to a place of safety.
“It was with the greatest difficulty and persistence in their noble work that they got me off the field. They placed me on an improvised litter made of two flannel shirts and two rifles, the men at the suggestion of the surgeon shedding their shirts for the purpose.
“I was a heavy man and with the greatest of care over the roughest kind of ground, under fire, they carried me to a Marine Hospital in the city, a distance, I judge of about three miles.”
Sergeant Foley was mentioned in the after action report for this day by his Company Co. Captain Fuller. He was commended for carrying of messages on this day.
After Tientsin fell, the back of the Boxer resistance was broken when the coalition advanced on Peking. After a brief battle and very little resistance from the Chinese, the city fell. Sergeant Foley marched into the city with the 1st Marine Regiment and secured the survivors of the British Legation.
In October Sergeant Foley and his company F were assigned to the 2nd Marine regiment and sent back to Cavite, Philippines on September 9th , Foley received his letter of Commendation for actions on June 21st at Tientsin.
Almost a year later a grateful Major Regan wrote a letter to the commander of the 1st Marine Regiment in Cavite Philippines.
Sir: “I have the honor to state that at the close of the day of the Battle of Tientsin, being completely helpless from my wounds, I was helped off the battlefield, while still under fire, by four United States Marines.
“I told these men at the time that if I knew their names, I would especially mention them to their commanding officer, to which they are fully entitled for their splendid and difficult conduct on the night of July 13. The names of these men are sergeants Alex. J. Foley, Sergeant P.S. Burch , Corporal H.E. Swift, and Private William Hanrahan, at present, officers of company F First Regiment of Marines.
“It is with pleasure and gratitude that I bring the conduct of these men to the attention of their commanding officer, with the hope that they may be suitably mentioned and rewarded.” On May 11th, 1902 at Cavite, Philippines while standing in front of his Regiment Sergeant Foley was awarded the Medal of Honor.
The Citation Reads:
In the presence of the enemy in the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Foley distinguished himself by meritorious conduct……Medal of Honor
From the United States Marine Corps Archives the following is written:
Outstanding acts of heroism and self sacrifice marked the conduct of U.S. Marines during the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the century. No Individual action however surpassed the gallantry of Sergeant Alexander Foley, U.S.M.C.
During the bitterest period of fighting, Sergeant Foley concerned himself with the number of American wounded, who lay helpless under direct enemy fire. With complete disregard for his own safety he organized and led a rescue squad to evacuate the fallen.
So conspicuous was his bravery that a U.S. Army Major whom he carried from the field stated: “This man is worthy of the distinction the Government can confer upon him.” And sergeant Foley was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor.
On August 1, 1902 Foley was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant. He reenlisted for the fourth time on December 3, 1903. From May 5, 1905 to July 10, 1906 GSgt. Foley served on board the U.S.S. Monadnock with the Marine detachment. On December, 2, 1908 GSgt. Foley enlisted for the fifth time. On April 1, 1908 he was transferred to the battleship Idaho and promoted to 1st Sgt on July 10th. After a tour of sea duty on the U.S.S. Idaho, 1st Sgt. Foley was transferred to garrison duty at Culbera, Puerto Rico.
Sergeant Foley returned home to his native Lost Creek for a last visit sometime in 1908 and according to a relative of his he was the picture of health.
Sadly on the 14th day of January 1910, 1st Sgt. Alexander J. Foley was stricken with a heart attack and died while on duty. Foley was only 44 years of age. The Marine’s Marine was gone. He was buried with full military honors at the base in Culbera, P.R.
1st Sgt. Foley’s decorations included the Medal of Honor, citation for exceptional bravery, Foreign Service campaign Medal; Philippines Campaign Medal, West Indies campaign Medal. Good Conduct Medal, two bars, Sharpshooters Medal.
“SEMPER FIDELS “1st Sergeant Alexander J. Foley, a Schuylkill County hero a Marine’s Marine.

J. Stuart Richards

1. The Saga of Sergeant Foley, Shenandoah Evening Herald, May 29, 1951. James F. Haas
2. The Old Corps , John C Bonnell , 20023. Role of the U.S. Marines Boxer Re

Monday, November 26, 2007

Part 2 Cavalry and Artillery soldiers from Schuylkill who served at Gettysburg

This is part 2 of the list of soldiers, the Cavalry and Artillery boys.

Cavalry Regiments from Schuylkill
County That Served
At Gettysburg.

1st. Pennsylvania Cav.
9 Companies Army Headquarters.
344 Engaged 2M

Monument located on Hancock Ave.
" At the opening of the artillery fire on the afternoon of July 3 the Regiment was in line to the left and rear of this position with orders from General Meade to Charge the assaulting column should it succeed in breaking the infantry line."

1. Corp. Henry H. Brownmiller Co. L/ Orwigsburg/ Wounded twice.
2. Corp. John Richards Co. G/ Mahanoy Township./ Wounded and captured 6-24-64 died Andersonville8-17-64
3. Pvt. William Ells/ Co. G/ Orwigsburg
4. Pvt. Joseph H. Lindemuth Co. L/ Auburn.
Mr. Lindemuth was used as the model for the statue of the cavalry man on the 1st. Pa. Monument.
5. Pvt. Reuben Wagner Co.L/ Frackville.
6. Pvt. Samuel Slocum Co. C/ Girardville./ Wounded 6-24-64.

" The first Federal soldier killed in the battle was a cavalryman Ferdinand Usher from the 12th Illinois Cav.. He was struck by a shell."

3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry
Cavalry Corps, 2nd Div., 1st Brig.
394 Engaged 3k-15wd-6m

Monument located on Gregg Ave. East Cavalry Battlefield.
"July 3rd engaged mounted and dismounted with the confederate cavalry divison on this field from 2 P.M. until evening. Portions of the regiment advancing in a mounted charge and driving the enemy beyond the Rummel Farm Buildings."

Company L
Company L was armed with 264 Sharps carbines during the battle, 165 men carried colt 44 revolver's and 184 men carried colt 36 Navy revolvers. Also they were armed with 332 sabers.

1. 1st. Lt. Howard Esmonds/ Ashland/ Wounded 7-3-63
2. Sgt. Dan Jones/ Captured 8-1-63 dies in Richmond12-30-63.
3. Corp. William Green.
4. Corp. David Reese.
5. Corp. Joseph Mann/ Ashland
6. Corp. James Johnston/ Frailley.
7. Corp. John Stonehouse/ Branch Township

8. Pvt. John Brennan/ Cass Township
9. Pvt. Calvin Brower/ Frailey.
10. Pvt. William Bainbridge/ Reilley Township.
11. Pvt. William Devine/ Reilley Township/ Capt. 8-27-63
12. Pvt. John Donnelly/ St. Clair/ Captured and dies in Richmond.
13. Pvt. Fredrick Gunther/ Minersville.
14. Pvt. Daniel Kent/ Frailley.
15. Pvt. George Kries/ Frailley.
16. Pvt. James Lawler/ New Castle/ KIA Mine RUn 11-18-63.
17. Pvt. Joseph Miller Bugler/ Butler Township.
18. Pvt. Erneiquildo Marquez Bugler/ Pottsville.
19. Pvt. John Mealey/ Cass Township.
20. Pvt. Larry Mc Knight/ Branch Township.
21. Pvt. James McCabe/ St. Clair/ Captured 11-29-63 dies at Andersonville.
22. Pvt. William Knoble.
23. Pvt. Christian Ochner/ Minersville.
24. Pvt. Joseph Patton/ Branch Township.
25. Pvt. Andrew Wilson/ Ashland
26. Pvt. George Wilson/ Donaldson/ KIA July 3 1863 Gettysburg.
27. Pvt. William Waterhouse/ Reilley Township./ Captured 1-27- 64 and dies in Andersonville.
28. Pvt. Calvin D. Wright/ Donaldson.
29. Pvt. George Kriese/ Tremont.

4th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Cavalry Corps, 2nd Div. 3rd Brig.
307 engaged 1k

Monument located Hancock Ave.
" Detatched on the morning of July 2nd from the brigade at the junction of White Run and the Baltimore Turnpike, ordered to report to HQ. Supported a battery temporarily near this position. On picket at night, retiring late on the afternoon of the 3rd to 2nd Cavalry Div."

The regiment was armed with 165 Sharps carbines, 166 Colt Army 44's and 42 Colt Navy 36's. The men carried 203 light sabers.

1. Capt. W.K. Lineweaver Co. F/ Moved to Pottsville.
2. Pvt. Isaac Mease Co. F/ Tower City.

6th Pennsylvania Cavalry
9 Co. Cavalry Corps, 1st Div., Reserve Brigade.
366 engaged 3k-7wd-2m

Monument located Emittsburg Road Nera Meade's HQ
" This regiment detached with 2nd corps covered the rear of the Army on the march from Virginia."

The regiment was armed with 231 Sharps carbines, 122 Colt Army 44's and 49 Navy 36's. The men also carried 276 sabers.

1. Corp. John Walker Co. C
2. Pvt. Daniel Christian Co. B/ Pottsville
3. Pvt. John Sauerbury Co. B
4. Pvt. John Richardson Co. E/ Wounded in Wilderness 5-7-64.
5. Pvt. Christian Stein Co. E/ Transferred to Co. E 2nd Prov. Cav.

" There was between 3000 and 5000 horses killed in the battle"

8th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Detached in Md. woth its Brigade.

1. Corp. John J. Payne Co.B Cressona.
2. Pvt. George Burton Co. K Cressona.
3. Pvt. James Moyer Co. M Tamaqua

4. Pvt. Andrew McCann Co. M Tamaqua.

" The Estimated total Number of Horses at Gettysburg was 72,243"

17th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Cavalry Cporps, 1st Div. 2nd Brig.
448 Engaged 4m.

Monument located Buford Ave.
" The regiment held this position on the morning of July 1, 1863
from 5 O'clock until the arrival of the 1st Corps troops. The brigade then moved to the right, covering the roads to Carlisle and Harrisburg and holding the enemy in check until relieved by troops of the Eleventh Corps. It then took position on the right of the infantry and later, aided in the retreat of the Eleventh Corps to Cemetery Hill, where it went into position with the division on the left of the army."
Note Company H did not arrive on the field until the afternoon of the 3rd.

Companies D and H were on detached service at Fifth Corps headquarters and did not participate in the first days fight. Captain Thompson served directly under General Meade and rode with him over the battlefield on the morning of the second. Company H would be on continuous duty during the on the second and was positioned on Culp's Hill during the famous charge of Pickett on the third.

Company H

The regiment was armed with 127 Smith carbines 108 Merrill carbines 4 Colt army 44's and 392 Remington 44 revolvers. They also carried 376 light sabers.

1. Capt William Thompson/ Pottsville.
2. 1stLt. William Allen/ Pottsville
3. 2nd Lt. George Garrett/ Pottsville.
4. Sgt. Thomas Hoch/
5. Sgt. acob Schlabeman/
6. Sgt. J. E. Fertig
7. Sgt. John Smith/
8. Corp. Emanuel Moyer
9. Corp. George Herring/
10. Corp. Franklin Rhoades/ Tremont/ Vet 1865
11. Corp. Joseph Beadle/
12. Corp. William Douty/
13. Pvt. saddler Philip Artz/
14. Pvt. Samuel Beaber/ Ringtown
15. Pvt. Jonas Bankus/ Ringtown
16. Pvt. Lewis Bankus/ Ringtown
17. Pvt. George Bankus/Ringtown.
18. Pvt. Joseph Bitler/
19. Pvt. Jacob Baker/
20. Pvt. Isaac Blue/ Barnesville.
21. Pvt. Emanuel Bolich/ Barry Township
22. Pvt. John P. Clauser/ Branch Township.
23. Pvt. George Doutel/
24. Pvt. Henry F. Denglar/ Barry Township/ Shot in the leg 64.
Company H 17th.

25. Pvt. Daniel Derr/ Barry Township.
26. Pvt. Ellis Derr/ Barry Township.
27. Pvt. Charles Eyster/
28. Pvt. Peter Feterolf/ Ashland.
29. Pvt. Bennville Ganker/
30. Pvt. Daniel Hoy/ Ravine.
31. Pvt. John Hoffa/
32. Pvt. Thomas Halley/
33. Pvt. Benj. Klock/ Barry Township.
34. Pvt. Lewis Langdon/
35. Pvt. Phil Lukner/
36. Pvt. Levi Michael/
37. Pvt. Dan McDonald/ New Phila.
38. Pvt. Solomon Maury/ Gordon.
39. Pvt. William Markle/Shennandoah.
40. Pvt. Daniel McMullion/
41. Pvt. William Michael/
42. Pvt. John Norris/
43. Pvt. Solomon Obenhauser/
44. Pvt. Elias Reed/Pottsville.
45. Pvt. Daniel Rumbel/ Pottsville.
46. Pvt. Frank Schrope/
47. Pvt. Mike Schober/
48. Pvt. John Snyder/
49. Pvt. Isaac Sell/
50. Pvt. Charles S. Troy/
51. Pvt. Jacob Werner/
52. Pvt. Jonas Weiss/Butler Township.
53. Pvt. Isaac Yarnell/ Ashland.
54. Pvt. Hiram Yorkey/
55. Pvt. Jacob Zimmerman/
56. Pvt. William Zimmerman/

1st US Cavalry: Christ Bloomfield, Samuel Cover, Patrick Gilmore, Francis Leman, Henry Miller

5th US Cavalry: Captain Edward T. Leib, John H. Wilson, Charles Weaver

6th US Cavalry:
William Everly
Morris Everly
Thomas Turner
John Kane
Thomas Kelly
Corporal William H. Mattern (Co H)
John Bird (Co D)
Benjamin Mills (Co A)
Henry Fields (Co A)
Abraham Heck (Co A)
Martin Lawler (Co A)
James Brennan (Co A)
Sergeant Charles Lucas (Co A)
Joseph Davies (Co A)

" The Federal Cavalry Corps in the battle of Gettysburg lost 5 Officers 86 enlisted men killed, 39 officers 315 enlisted men wounded and 8 officers 399 enlisted men captured or missing."

Artillery Men From
Schuylkill County.

1st Artillery
43rd Regiment.
Battery F & G
Ricketts Battery.

6 Ordnance Rifles 144 men engaged.

Monument located on East Cemetary Hill.
"July 2nd. Reached the field and took this position in the afternoon and engaged the Rebel batteries on Benners Hill. 8P.M. A rebel column charged the battery and a desperate hand to hand conflict ensued which was repulsed after every round of canister had been fired."

1. Corp. Eugene Moore/

Part 1 Schuylkill soldiers who fought at Gettysburg

This is a project I started a few years ago. I know it is probably not complete but I think I got most of those listed on the Pa. monument. If I missed someone please feel free to email me and I will add the soldier.


During the battle of Gettysburg the state of Pennsylvania supplied over 23,400 men and Schuylkill County alone had over 700 men engaged in the conflict. Pennsylvania would suffer 5,886 men to the battle, Schuylkill all though much lower would lose 13 men in the battle. Men in the 151st P.V.I. would have the honor of serving in a regiment that was listed as having the second highest loses of Union regiments at Gettysburg having 337 casualties and a 72.2% loss. 13 men would serve in 107th P.V.I. that would have over 165 men captured. On the third day Schuylkill countain's riding with the 3rd Penna. Cavalry would fight and be listed as the 8th highest casualties for cavalry regiments in the battle.


1st Corps 2nd Div. 2nd Brig.
292 engaged 5k-52wd-60m.

Monument located on Doubelday Ave.

1. PVT. David Adams Co.H / West Penn.
Killed in action July 1.
2. PVT. Terence Cunningham/ Co. H/ Tamaqua.
3. PVT. Joseph Herring Co. H/ Rahn/ Coaldale
4. PVT. John Koch Co. H/ Tamaqua
Wounded July 1.
5. PVT. Joseph Moser Co. H/ Rahn /Coaldale
6. PVT. Josiah Poh Co. H/ Rahn Township
Wounded at 2nd Bull Run/Killed in action July 1..
7. Pvt. Christian Halderman/ Tamaqua.
8. Pvt. Lewis Moyer/ Tamaqua.

6th Corps 3rd Div. 1st Brig.
538 engaged 1K-13 wd.

Monument located Slocum Ave.
" The regiment was placed in reserve in rear of this position at 9:30 a.m. of the 3d, and subsequently five companies advanced into the breast works. During the heavy cannonade it moved with the brigade to support the left center."

1. Pvt. Benjamin Jenkins Co. H/ Pottsville.
2. Pvt. John Killrain Co. C/ Tamagua.

23rd PVI.
6th Corps 3rd Div. 1st Brig.
Monument located on Slocum Ave.

The regiment was placed in the reserve of the rear of this
position at 9:30 a.m. of the 3rd. and five companies advanced into the breast works. During the heavy cannonade it moved with the brigade to support the left.

3. Lt. William Clark Co.E/ Pottsville.
4. Pvt. James Buchanan Co. E/ Shenandoah
5. Pvt. Reuben Dewald Co. H.

365 engaged 30k-176wd-7m

Monument located Emmitsburg Road.
" July 2nd went into action here."

1. Pvt. James Goldsmith Co. F/ Pottsville.
Captured at Gettysburg.
2. Pvt. William Owuller Co D./ Donaldson.

27th Pennsylvania Infantry
11th, Corps. 2nd Div. 1st Brig.
324 6k-29wd-76m

Monument located on
East Cemetery Hill, July 1, 1863 the regiment moved with the brigade on the afternoon to N.E. side of Gettysburg where it became actively engaged covering the retreat of the Corps. It finally moved into the cemetery where it remained until the close of the battle.

1. Pvt. John Herrman Co. D/ Pottsville.

12th Corps 2nd Div 1st Brig.
370 engaged 3k-23wd-2m

Monument located Slocum Ave. near Rock Creek.
"Arrived at 5pm. July 1st and went into postion on the ridge north of little Round Top. at 6:30 am. July 2nd moved to Culp's Hill where the regiment advanced to Rock Creek to support the skirmish line. At Dark retired and moved with the brigade. Returned at About 3 am. July 3rd and at 8 am. relieved the troops in the breast works; was relieved in turn and again advanced and occupied the works from 4pm. to 10 pm."

1. 1st Lt. James Silliman Co. A/ Pottsville
2. Sgt. Alex. Mckecheny Co. A/Lost Creek
3. Corp. William Moyer Co. A/ Tamaqua/ Mahanoy City.
4. Pvt. AAron Moser Co. E/ Rahn Township.
5. Pvt. Gideon Moser Co. E/ Rahn Township.
6. Pvt. Herbert Weston Co. E/ Tamaqua
7. Pvt. Thomas Young Co. E/ Blythe
8. Pvt. James Shirey Co. A/ Mahanoy City
9. Pvt. Dan Sittler Co. A/ Mahanoy City 10. Pvt. Thomas Cunnigham Co. A/ Rush Township.
11. Pvt. Harrison Hill Co. A/ New Silver Brook.
12. Pvt. Patrick McShea Co.A/ Kelayres
13. Pvt. Richard Brennan Co. E/ Blythe Twp.
14. Pvt. Michael McAllister Co. E/ Pottsville/Blythe.
15. Pvt. Robert Petit Co. E/ Pottsville
16. Pvt. Maberry Trout Co.E/ Tamaqua.
17. Pvt. Joseph Zehner Co.E/ Tamaqua.
18. Pvt. Edward Boyle Co. E/ Coaldale.

12th Corps, 2nd Div., 2nd Brig.
485 engaged 15k-43wd-8m

Monument Located

Slocum Avenue
July 2nd position of the regiment at 7p.m. the Brigade was withdrawn, and on returning during the night found the enemy in these works. The regiment took position in rear of this line, with its right as indicated by the tablet located to the left and rear. And from their a charge of the enemy of the 3rd was repulsed

1. Sgt. Patrick Downey Co. F/ Pottsville.
2. Pvt. Matthew Dornar Co. A/ Cass Twp.


1. Pvt. Charles Bowman Co. B/ Shenandoah.
2. Pvt.Harrison Foreman Co. E/ Port Clinton.


1. Pvt. John H. Johnson Co. B


Monument Located on

1. 2Lt. Jacob Bonewitz Co. k/ Pottsville.
2. Mus. Emanuel Kurtz HQ./
3. Pvt. Joel Metz Co. E/ Ashland.
4. Pvt. Henry Kern Co. A/ Ringtown.
5. Pvt. William Ackey Co. E/ Port Clinton.

12th Corps 1st Div. 1st Brig.
262 engaged 2K-10wd-1m

Monument located on Slocum Ave.
" July 2 the regiment constructed and held these works until evening when the division moved to the support of the left of the line. Returning in the night the enemy was found in the works and the regiment was posted in the open field to the rear until the enemy was driven out, when it returned and held the
works until the close of the battle."

1. Pvt. Cornelius NeisshwenderCo. K / Mahantongo Valley.
2. Pvt. John A Gilger Co. K / Pottsville.
3. Pvt. Samuel Weidner Co. E/ Tamaqua.
4. Pvt. Edward Hume Co. K/ Park Place/ Mahanoy City.


1. Pvt. Jacob Hill Co. B/ Mahanoy City.


1. Pvt. Patrick McLaughlin Co. C/ Rahn Twp.
2. Pvt. Johnn Sennet Co. B/

1st Corps 1st Div. 2nd Brig.
252 engaged 14k-61wd-55m

Monument located on Reynolds Ave.
"The regiment here delivered the opening fire of the infantry in the battle of Gettysburg in the forenoon of July 1st 1863.

1. Sgt. John C. Delaney Co. D/ Foster Twp.
Dies 13 Dec. 1863
2. Corp. George Allison Co. K Port Carbon
KIA Spottsylvania C.H. May 1864.
3. Harrison K. Smith Co. K Port Carbon
KIA Gettysburg July 1, 1863.
4. Pvt. Isaac Jones Co. K/ St. Clair/ Ashland.
5. Pvt. Mike Moher Co. K/ East Mines.
6. Sgt. Harrison Smith Co. K
7. Corp. Isaac Jones Co. K
8. Pvt. Michael H. Ealy Co. C/ New Mines.
9. Pvt. Jeremiah Hutchison Co. K/ Branchdale.
10. Pvt. John Mason Co. K/ Mahanoy City.
11. Pvt. Michael Shaughnessy Co. D/ Kelayres.
12. Pvt. John Lambert Co. F/ Pottsville.


1. Pvt. Augustus Seiler Co. G/ Pottsville.

5th Corps 1st Div. 2nd Brig.
426 engaged 28k-107wd-40m.

Monument located De Trobriand Ave.
" Position occupied by the regiment on the evening of July 2, 1863 after the troops on the right had retired, and where the brigade had a bayonet contest.

1. Pvt. Henry Sharere Co. I/ M.O. Vet. July 1864

2nd Corps 2nd Div. 2nd Brig.
329 engaged 40k-80wd-17m

Monument located on Webb Ave.
" This position was held by the 69th July 2nd and 3rd 1863 in the afternoon of the 2nd this regiment assisted in repulsing a desperate attack made by Wright's Brigade. About 1 O'clock P.M. of the 3rd, these lines were subjected to an artillery fire from nearly 150 guns, lasting over an hour after which Picketr's Division charged this position, was repulsed and nearly annihilated. The contest on the left and centre of this regiment, for a time being hand to hand."

1. Pvt. Charles Jenkins Co. D/ Minersville
Killed in Action on July 3rd by being wounded in the stomach.
2. Pvt. Henry Owens Co. E/ Lost Creek.
3. 1st. Lt. John Ryan Co. F/ North Manheim Twp./ Captured.

2nd Corps 2nd Div.2nd Brig.
331 engaged 21k-58wd-19m

Monument located on Webb Ave.

" To the left of this point on July 2, the 71st Penna. assisted in repulsing the furious attack of Wright's Brigade. During the terrific cannonading of July 3rd the regiment occupied a position 60 yards in the rear of this spot, a number of men voluntarily helping to work Cushing's disabled Battery. As the enemy
emerged from Seminary Ridge the regiment was ordered forward the left wing to this point the right wing to the right rear. When Pickett's Division rushed upon the wing in overwhelming numbers it fell back into line with the right, thus bringing the whole regiment into action, with the additional use of a large number of loaded muskets gathered from the battlefield of the previous day."

1. Pvt. Reuben Miller Co. K/ Schuylkill Haven.
Wounded in the left side of the face and killed July 3, 1863. (Buried in Pa. Plot E 1)

2nd Corps 2nd Div. 2nd Brig.
458 engaged 44k-146wd-2m

Monument located on Webb Ave.
" The regiment reached this angle at 1 a.m. took position in rear of this monument. Supported Cushings Battery A 4th US Artillery. At 6p.m. assisted in repulsing an attack of the enemy and in making a counter charge, driving them beyond the Emmitsburg Road capturing 250 prisoners."

1. Corp. Joseph W. Wythes Co. H


1. PVT. Charles Horn Co. K/ Ashland.

11th Corps 3rd Div. 2nd Brig.
258 engaged 19k-89wd-3m

Monument located on Howard Ave and National Cemetery.
" July 1. Fought on this postion from 2 p.m. until the Corps retired. July 2/3 Held postion at stone wall near cemetery as shown by monument there."

1. Sgt. Charles Goodman Co. F/ Schuylkill Township
2. Sgt. Joseph Newell Co. F/ Minersville
3. Pvt. Jacob Yost Co. D
4. Pvt. Philip Mohan Co. D/ Minersville
5. Pvt. Mathias Laubach Co. D/ Mahanoy City.
6. Pvt. James Cloan Co. D/ Cass Township.
7. Pvt. Charles Walzenegger Co. D/ Ashland.
8. Pvt. John Guenther Co. E/ Minersville.
9. Pvt. Jacob Busch Co. I
10. Pvt. Lorenz Long Co. I/ Ashland
11. Pvt. David White Co. A
12. Pvt. Fredrick Wentz Co. A/ Mahanoy City.
13. Pvt. Christopher Weir Co. A/ Mahanoy City.
14. Pvt. Philip Hoffman Co.D/ Ashland.
15. Pvt. Gottlieb Horning Co. D/ Minersville.
16. Pvt. John Hartman Co. E/ Blythe Twp.
17. Pvt. Louis Sechler Co. E/ Pottsville.
18. Pvt. Mathias Kaefer Co. F/ Pottsville.
19. Sgt. Barnabus Billeau Co. C St. Clair.
20, Pvt. Frederick Stutz served in the Co. C, 75th PA, 8/22/61 - 8/16/64

2nd Corps 1st Div. 1st Brig.
190 engaged 5k-49wd-8m

Monument located Wheatfield.
"Fought on this line July 2nd."

1. Corp. James King Co. H/ Tamaqua
2. Pvt. Owen Fisher Co. H/ Rahn Township.
Captured 1864 dies in Richmond.
3. Pvt. Isaac Kennard Co. K/ Tamaqua/ Wounded 6-3-64
4. Pvt. Alex Snedden Co. H/ Coaldale.
5. Maj. Thomas Harness HQ./ Tamaqua
6. Pvt. James Murray Co. H/ Tamaqua.

6th Corps 3rd Div. 1st Brig.
320 engaged 6wd

Monument located Slocum Ave.
" July 3rd marched from near Little Round Top and occupied the works in front at 11:30 a.m. relieving other troops."

1. Lt. Col. J.M. Wetherill/ Pottsville./ M.O. Vet 1864
2. Pvt. George Lass Co. C/ Pine Grove./ Minersville.
3. Pvt. James Stapelton Co. A/ Tamaqua.
4. Pvt. Mark Foster Co. C/ Seek.
5. Pvt. Philip Heilman Co. C/
6. Pvt. William Higgins Co. C/ Tamaqua.
7. Pvt. David Mattson Co. G/


1. Pvt. John A. Sneddon Co. B/ Shenandoah.

1st Corps 2nd Div. 2nd Brig.
296 engaged 4k-55wd-51m

Monument located on Doubleday Ave.
" About noon on July 1st 1863, the regiment was in line along the Mummasburg road, 200 yards SE of this monument. Later it changed direction and formed here, charged forward and captured two battle flags and a number pf prisoners. At 4pm the Divison was overpowered and forced through the town."

1. Pvt. John Beaumont Co. A/ St. Clair./ KIA Petersburg 1864.

2. Pvt. William Beaumont Co. A/ St. Clair
Mortally wounded July 1, 1863 buried in plot B73.
3. Pvt. George Beaumont Co. A/ St. Clair
Wounded Fredricksburg 12-13-62
4. Pvt. Wiliam Pugh Co. A/ Died 8-1-64 City Point Va.
5. 2Lt. Jacob Kram Co. A/ Pottsville.
6. C.W. Hoffman Co. A/ Ravine.

6th Corps 3rd Div. 3rd Brig.
270 engaged 10wd.

Monument located Sedgwick Ave. and North of Wheatfield Road.
" After charging with the brigade from the right of Little Round Top in the evening of July 2nd and assisting in the repulse of the enemy and in the capture of a number of prisoners, the regiment retired to and held this position until after the close of the battle."

1. Sgt. William Vogt Co. G/ Pottsville.
2. Pvt. Henry Bowman Co. A/ Sch. Haven./ Wounded in the Wilderness 1864
3. Pvt. Charles Luckenbill Co. F/ Wayne Township
4. Pvt. Joseph Southham Co. C/ Transferred to Western Gunboat Service. Tamaqua.
5. Pvt. Ezra Bougher Co. B/ Suedberg.
6. Pvt. Lt. William H. Riland Co. B Friedensburg.
7. Pvt. George K Stroud Co. C/ Tower City.
8. Pvt. James D Canada Co. H/ Pottsville.


1. Pvt. John Donaldson Co. C.
2. Pvt. Philip Calavor Co. D.
3. Pvt. Charles Breyer Co. I/ Sch. Haven/ Wayne Twp.

A circular dated June 30, 1863 by the Army Of The Potomac Read:
" The men must be provided with 3 days rations in Haversacks and with 60 rounds of ammunition in the boxes and upon the person."

6th Corps 1st Div. 2nd Brig.
356 engaged 1wd.

Monument located on Wheatfield Road.
"Position of the 96th Regt. Penna. Volunteers, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 6th Corps, from 5p.m. of the 2nd until the morning of the 5th of July 1863"

Field and Staff
1. Major William Lessig/ Pottsville
2. Adjudant M.E. Richards/ Pottsville
3. Surgeon D.W. Bland/ Pottsville
4. Asst. Surg. J. R. Shamo/
5. Quaterm. J.A. Schweers/Pottsville
6. Sgt. Maj. Edward Philips/Pottsville
7. QMSgt. C Schollenberger/ Pottsville
8. ComSgt. J.J. Dampman/

Company A
1. Capt. John Harlan/
2. 1st. Lt. Edward Thomas/ Pottsville.
3. 2nd Lt. J.P. McGinness /
4. Sgt. Frank W. Simpson /
5. Sgt. William F. Lord / Pottsville.
6. Sgt. David Pritchard /
7. Sgt. Thomas Brown /
8. Corp. James Ness /
9. Corp. Edward C. McCormack/ Pottsville.
10. Corp. Lybrand Hoffman / St. Clair.
11. Corp. William Smith / Frailey Township.
12. Corp. Joseph Gee /
13. Pvt. William Beynon / Pottsville.
14. Pvt. J. Bartholomew / Mahanoy Township.
15. Pvt. John Berdineer /
16. Pvt. Warren Crossland/ Pottsville.
17. Pvt. Dallas Dampman /
18. Pvt. John Donegan / Pottsville.
19. Pvt. William Edwards / Pottsville.
20. Pvt. John Ferry /
21. Pvt. Ed Fenstermacher/ Pottsville.
22. Pvt. Willam Gould /
23. Pvt. J. Goldsworthy / Pottsville.
24. Pvt. August Garber / Pottsville.
25. Pvt. Daniel Hartline / Norwegian Township.
26. Pvt. J.W. Hopstine / Pottsville.
27. Pvt. Edeward Linner / Pottsville.
28. Pvt. Mike Larkin / Norwegian Township.
29. Pvt. John Laffert /

30. Pvt. M. Morrell / St. Clair
31. Pvt. Sylvester G. Rice / Pottsville.
32. Pvt. Frank Strouse /
33. Pvt. Alex Smith / Pottsville.
34. Pvt. John T. Stodd /
35. Pvt. Emanuel Templin /
36. Pvt. John Thompson /
37. Pvt. Daniel Welsh / Pottsville.
38. Pvt. William Weand /
39. Pvt. Nicholas Yost / Norwegian Township.

Company B

1. Capt. Levi Huber / Pine Grove
2. 1st. Lt John Van Holland/Pine Grove
3. 2nd Lt. Lewis Luckenbill/ Pine Grove
4. Sgt. Paul F. Barr/Pine Grove
5. Sgt. C.F. Umbenhauer/ Pine Grove
6. Sgt. Davis Huber/ Pine Grove
7. Sgt. Daniel Bonawitz/ Pine Grove
8. Sgt. Jacob Geier/ Pine Grove
9. Corp. Fred snyder/ Pine Grove
10. Corp. Fred Kline/
11. Corp. Edward Jones/
12. Corp. John Harvey/
13. Pvt. J. Bonawitz/
14. Pvt. Andrew Buchner/ Pine Grove
15. Pvt. Joseph Bauer/ Pine Grove
16. Pvt. Manlove Clifton/ Pine Grove
17. Pvt. Peter Clemence/ Pine Grove
18. Pvt. Jacob Christ/ Pine Grove
19. Pvt. Alex Dubbs/ Pine Grove
20. Pvt. Victor Dubbs/ Pine Grove
21. Pvt. Joseph Eich/ Pine Grove
22. Pvt. William Fritz/
23. Pvt. Irwin Fessler/ Pine Grove
24. Pvt. R. Goebell/ Pine Grove
25. Pvt. John Hardenace/
26. Pvt. John Hornish/
27. Pvt. Lewis Kotchin/
28. Pvt. William Lemman/
29. Pvt. Jacob Keffer/ Pine Grove
30. Pvt. Reuben Kaercher/ Pine Grove
31. Pvt. W.A. Leffler/ Pine Grove
32. Pvt. Bernard Litman/ Pine Grove
33. Pvt. Matt. Lambert/ Pine Grove
34. Pvt. Daniel Martin/ Pine Grove
35. Pvt. Solomon Moyer/ Pine Grove
36. Pvt. J.L. Mimmig/ Pine Grove
37. Pvt. Henry Miller/ Pine Grove
38. Pvt. William Mangold/
39. Pvt. George Nagle/ Pine Grove
40. Pvt. Henry Oether/ Pine Grove
41. Pvt. John Reed/
42. Pvt. Maurice Oestreich/ Pine Grove
43. Pvt. Isreal Reed/ Pine Grove
44. Pvt. W. S. Reindenl/
45. Pvt. E.W. Reed/ Pine Grove
46. Pvt. Joseph Sterner/ Pine Grove
47. Pvt. Fred Sieber/
48. Pvt. Francis Vaughan/Pine Grove
49. Pvt. Jacob Wanner/ Pine Grove
50. Pvt. Henry Zimmerman/ Pine Grove.

Company C

1. Capt. Isaac Severn /Pottsville
2. Sgt. Hugh Stevenson/ Pottsville
3. Sgt. James Oliver/Pottsville.
4. Sgt. David Williams/ Pottsville.
5. Sgt. George W. Foltz/ Pottsville.
6. Corp. John Alles/ Pottsville.
7. Corp. Sam Fisher/ Cressona.
8. Corp. Arthur Brannigan/ Pottsville.
9. Corp. George Delker/ Pottsville.
10. Pvt. Sylvanus Bishop/ Pottsville.
11. Pvt. William Beadle/
12. Pvt. Lewis Bocam/
13. Pvt. Louiis Bruns/ Pottsville.
14. Pvt. J.J. Crosland/ Pottsville.
15. Pvt. Martin Curry/ Pottsville.
16. Pvt. John Davis/
17. Pvt. George Farrel/ Sch. Haven.
18. Pvt. Charles Fisher/ Pottsville .
19. Pvt. Charles C. Fox/ Pottsville.
20. Pvt. George C. Fry/
21. Pvt. Thomas Garris/
22. Pvt. William Hay/
23. Pvt. John Hartman/ Norwegian township.
24. Pvt. Thomas Hilton/ Mahanoy Township
25. Pvt. Francis Knittle/
26. Pvt. James Lafferty/
27. Pvt. Adolf Lutz/
28. Pvt. William Miller/ Sch. Haven.
29. Pvt. John Paul/ Pottsville.
30. Pvt. Reuben Rishel/ Pottsville.
31. Pvt. Jacob Saylor/ Pottsville.
32. Pvt. Martin Spence/ Pottsville.
33. Pvt. John Simpson/
34. Pvt. Elias Trifoos/ Pottsville.
35. Pvt. Thomas Williams/ Pottsville.
36. Pvt. Perry Watts/ N. Manheim

Company D

1. Capt. John T. Boyle/ N. Manheim
2. 1st. Lt. John T Manhum/
3. 2nd Lt. Amos Forceman/ Pottsville.
4. Sgt. Ira Troy/ Palo Alto.
5. Sgt. Charles Beaumont/ Pottsville.
6. Sgt. Ezra Hendley/ Pottsville.
7. Sgt. William Henry/
8. Sgt. Sam Seitzinger/
9. Corp. Wiliam Hart/ St. Clair.
10. Corp. Thomas D. Price/

11. Corp. James Sands/ Pottsville.
12. Corp. James Gough/
13. Corp. John Cunnigham/
14. Pvt. Jonathan Becker/ Pottsville.
15. Pvt. William Campbell/ Pottsville.
16. Pvt. William Corby/
17. Pvt. Edward Freel/
18. Pvt. John Greenwood/
19. Pvt. Elijah Hart/ St. Clair
20. Pvt. Jacob Hart/ St. Clair.
21. Pvt. Edward Henry/ Pottsville.
22. Pvt. Luke Kelly/
23. Pvt. Jacob Kranch/
24. Pvt. Gomer LLewellyn/ Minersville.
25. Pvt. David Lewis/ Cass Township.
26. Pvt. William Mcglone/
27. Pvt. John Price/ Pottsville./ Drummer.
28. Pvt. George Ritzell/
29. Pvt. George Thomas/
30. Pvt. Jones Vanderslice/ Palo Alto.
31. Pvt. Michael Welsh/ Pottsville.
32. Pvt. Robert L. Wright/ Pottsville. /Drummer.

Company E

1. Capt. James Russell/ Pottsville
2. 1st. Lt. John Oberrender/ Pottsville
3. 2nd Lt. Thomas Reed/ Pottsville.
4. Sgt. Charles Russell/ Pottsville.
5. Sgt. William Zeigler/
6. Sgt. Morgan Luckenbill/
7. Sgt. Francis Kemp/ Pottsville.
8. Corp. Henry Roth/
9. Corp. John A. Aixler/
10. Pvt. John P. Brennan/
11. Pvt. Reuben Balliet/
12. Pvt. Josiah Balliet/
13. Pvt. Philip Cook/
14. Pvt. John Foley/ Cass Township.
15. Pvt. Lewis Fredrick/
16. Pvt. David Howard/
17. Pvt. Eli Keener/
18. Pvt. John Keely/
19. Pvt. William Mayberry/
20. Pvt. John Miller/
21. Pvt. Samuel Mumah/
22. Pvt. Benjamin Mitchel/
23. Pvt. Charles Paden/
24. Pvt. William Ramsey/
25. Pvt. George Sterling/ Pottsville.
26. Pvt. William D. Trout/
27. Pvt. Henry Weigner/

28. Pvt. Mark Whitebread/
29. Pvt. John E. Waters/ Musician.
30. Pvt. Daniel Whalen/
31. Pvt. Joseph Yost/ Schuylkill Township.

Company F

1. 1st. Lt. James Casey/
2. 2nd Lt. John Brennan/ Norweigan Township.
3. Sgt. Philip Reilly/ Pottsville.
4. Sgt. Robert Borland/
5. Sgt. John Walsh/ NOrweigan Township.
6. Sgt. William, McAlister/ Mahanoy Township.
7. Corp. Patrick Martin/ Minersville.
8. Corp. Mike Carrol/ Palo Alto.
9. Corp. Thomas Curry/
10. Corp. Bonaparte Fell/ Frailey Township.
11. Pvt. George Barnes/ Norwegian Township.
12. Pvt. Edward Britt/ Norwegian Township.
13. Pvt. Edward Ford/
14. Pvt. Hugh Glacken/ Palo Alto.
15. Pvt. Philip Goulden/ Mahanoy Township.
16. Pvt. Mike Cavanaugh/ Mahanoy Township.
17. Pvt. Mike Moran/ Minersville.
18. Pvt. Sylvester Maddock/ Mahanoy Township.
19. Pvt. William Manates/
20. Pvt. John O'Donnell/ Mahanoy Township.
21. Pvt. Patrick Powers/
22. Pvt. William Quirk/
23. Pvt. William Smith/ Pottsville.
24. Pvt. Aaron Williams/ Pottsville.

Company G

1. Capt. Jacob Haas/ Pottsville.
2. Pvt. Jacob Nice/ Minersville.
3. Pvt. James Zulich/ Orwigsburg./ Musician.

Company H

1. Capt. Samuel Russell/ Pottsville.
2. 1st. Lt. William H. Davis/
3. 2nd Lt. Joseph Johnson/

4. Sgt. John M. Hughes/
5. Sgt. Jacob Brubaker/
6. Sgt. George Hughes/
7. Sgt. James Treichler/
8. Sgt. Charles Colt/
9. Corp. John Kelly/
10. Corp. Joseph Monday/
11. Corp. John Shane/
12. Corp. Cornelius McNulty/
13. Corp. Daniel Engle/ Frailey Township.
14. Corp. John Donnelly/ Frailey Township.
15. Corp. John Boyer/
16. Corp. William Ortner/
17. Pvt. James Brassington/
18. Pvt. John Brobst/
19. Pvt. James Carrol/
20. Pvt. William Crosland/ Pottsville.
21. Pvt. Morris Clancey/
22. Pvt. Dennis Delaney/
23. Pvt. George Dull/
24. Pvt. Jonathan Erdman/ Tamaqua.
25. Pvt. Napolean Bickleman/
26. Pvt. Patrick Fell/ Frailey Township.
27. Pvt. William Fox/
28. Pvt. John Fink/
29. Pvt. Daniel Faust/ Mahanoy City.
30. Pvt. John Fowler/
31. Pvt. Jacob Gross/
32. Pvt. Edward Hudson/
33. Pvt. Fredrick Hoy/ Frailey Township.
34. Pvt. Henry Lutz/
35. Pvt. David Lanpblock/
36. Pvt. William Manear/
37. Pvt. Ephraim Moser/
38. Pvt. Thomas Morgan/
39. Pvt. Mike Haus/
40. Pvt. Joseph Pasco/
41. Pvt. Francis Reed/ Pottsville.
42. Pvt. Thomas Walker/
43. Pvt. John Weldon
44. Pvt. Henry Weon/
45. Pvt. Frank Whetstone/
46. Pvt. Charles Yost/ Musician/
47. Pvt. Daniel Zollers/

Company I

1. Capt. Matt Byrnes/ Potsville.
2. 1st. Lt. George Cake/ Pottsville.
3. 2nd Lt. William Cusack/ Pottsville
4. Sgt. Jerimiah Sullivan/ St. Clair.
5. Sgt. John Dalton/ Ashland.

6. Sgt. John Gleason/
7. Corp. Thomas Naughton/ St. Clair.
8. Corp. John Keegan/ St. Clair.
9. Pvt. Thomas Canton/ N. Manheim Township.
10. Pvt. James Conlon/ Cass Township.
11. Pvt. Ethan Crandale/
12. Pvt. Steven Horan/ Pottsville.
13. Pvt. Peter Kelly/ St. Clair / Musician.
14. Pvt. Mike Keating/
15. Pvt. Henry Law/ Musician/
16. Pvt. James McArdle/ Blyhte Township.
17. Pvt. James McDevitt/
18. Pvt. Tim O'Conner/ St. Clair.
19. Pvt. Adam Reb/ Pottsville/ Wagoner.
20. Pvt. Thomas Riley/ New Castle Township.
21. Pvt. John Sullivan/ St. Clair.
22. Pvt. James Sexton/ Pottsville.
23. Pvt. James Tye/ Pottsville.

Company K

1. Capt. Richard Budd/
2. 2nd Lt. Andrew Andewrson/
3. Sgt. Thomas Burns/
4. Sgt. William Curn/
5. Corp. William Abelwright/
6. Corp. James Mcguigan/
7. Corp. William Brennan/ Cass Township.
8. Corp. Patrick Welsh/
9. Pvt. John Brennan/ Cass Township.
10. Pvt. Lawerence Bradley/ New Castle Township.
11. Pvt. Patrick Downey/ Cass Township.
12. Pvt. John G. Farrel/
13. Pvt. Patrick Ford/
14. Pvt. Thomas Gribben/
15. Pvt. Dominick Hart/ New Castle Township.
16. Pvt. Patrick Laddia/
17. Pvt. Thomas Moore/ St. Clair.
18. Pvt. James O'Donald/ Ashland.
19. Pvt. Joseph Rutledge/ Musician.

Private Henry Keiser a member of Company G from Lykens, Dauphin County kept a diary throughout the war and kept a descriptive look at what the 96th did during the Gettysburg Campaign.
July 2, 1863
"Instead of turning to the left last night, we should have turned to the right, and by the time we were fairly started on the right road, it was daylight. At 8:30 this morning we crossed the line into Pennsylvania, and at 10 A.M. we passed through Littlestown. The civilians along the line of march could not do enough for us. Most every household standing ready with water buckets dealing out water to the boys as we marched along, and the Stars and Stripes hanging out in all directions. It made us feel as if we were home once more, and the citizens of Southern Pennsylvania, through their kindness to the soldiers have put now life into us. Can hear heavy canonading ahead all day. At five O'clock this evening we arrived at what is called Little Round Top, a short distance from Gettysburg. Very heavy firing to our left at 5 o'clock. At six this evening we filed left, marched some distance, when we formed a line of battle on a knoll and in some underbrush. Our troops gave way and the Rebs drove our men. The Penna. Reserves, forming on our front, counter charged the Rebs our line following up sharp. The enemy was driven back and we regained the ground lost a short time before. We halted in a hollow behind a stone fence, having marched, since last evening, thirty two miles. At the time we formed a battle line, I threw my knapsack, being to tired to carry it into a charge, but after advancing a short distance the regiment was halted and the men unslung knapsacks and had guards placed over them. As we were going in General Sickles was carried past on a stretcher."
July 3, 1863
" Last evening while the enemy was being driven back the troops on Little Round Top cheered justly, but the Rebs cut it short by giving them a dose of artillery which made the boys take to their holes in the rocks in "Double Quick," This morning Col. Lessig informed our Captain that their were some spare knapsacks left on the knoll where they had been left, guarded by the pioneers, which those of the boys having lost knapsacks could get. The captain informed us about it and I thinking I might get one went up and the first one on the pile was my own knapsack. The field is covered with dead and wounded. There must be fearful fighting on the right judging from the very heavy firing, sometimes coming down the line pretty near to us. We were shelled occasionally during the day, but none of our company were hurt. At five o'clock this evening, the Reserves in our front charged the enemy and drove them over a mile taking prisoners."
July 4, 1863
" All is quiet along the line this morning."

Captain Samuel Russel from Pottsville wrote home to his mother about the battle he was just in, although some of the information he was reporting was inaccurate it actually tells what the soldiers heard and thought. This letter was published in the Miners Journal July 12 1863.

From The 96th Regiment PV.
Battlefield near Gettysburg Pa.
July 4, 1863

My Dear Mother
The last letter I mailed you, was, I think, from Barnsville, Md. Since then we have had very long and rapid marched. Our Corps arrived here on the afternoon of the 2d after a hard march of 32 miles, and just in time to save our army from a total defeat, as it appeared at the time. Our Corps went into it splendidly, driving the rebels in every direction and recapturing the artillery that the 5th Corps had lost. Our regiment had but one man wounded. We were right in were the balls flew thick and fast, and how we got off so well I do not see. Yesterday we were opened on several times by the rebel artillery and sharpshooters. We had built a barricade which protected us from their fire. Our success yesterday was most complete. We repulsed the rebels at every attack. I suppose we captured 8000 prisoners and also General Longstreet. The portion of the field we occupy is strewn with mostly with our dead. Very few of the rebels are to be seen, but I am told a short distance beyond here they lay thick. Last evening our line was advanced and we captured between two and three regiments. The men are in splendid spirits. The smell of the dead is awful. we have not have time to bury them. We will wind up the rebel army before they reach the Potomac. We have all got sixty-five crackers to celebrate the day with. I must close.
Samuel R. Russel.
Captain Co. H 96th PVI

6th Corps 3rd Div. 3rd Brig.
406 engaged 11wd.

Monument location on field north of the Wheatfield and Sykes Ave
" Arrived here July 2nd about 5 p.m. immediately charged into the Wheatfield and woods to the left. About dark rejoined the brigade north of the road where the other monument stands." "Wheatfield road. The regiment was the advance of the sixth Corps in its march from Manchester, Md. to the battlefield and occupied this position from the evening of July 2nd until the close of the battle.

1. Howe. K Seddinger Hospital Steward/ Vet 1864
2. Pvt. William H. Zimmerman Co. B/ Minersville.
3. Pvt. Louis Frank Co. B / Wounded at Gettysburg
4. Pvt. Fredrick Strohm Co. E
5. Pvt. Fredrick Headerly Co. K
6. Pvt. George marquett Co. E/ St. Clair.
7. Pvt. George Marquardt Co. F/ Port Carbon.

3RD Corps 1st Div. 2nd Brig.
339 engaged 18k-81wd-11m

Monument located Sickles Ave &Hancock Ave.
"Fought on this line in the afternoon of July 2nd."

1. Sgt. William Rushell Co. C/ St. Clair/ Wounded At Gettysburg July 2/ Deserted 3-23-64
2, Pvt. Robert Thomas Co. C/ Vet M.O. 1864
3. Pvt. John Beadle Co. C/ St. Clair
Died of wounds in July.
4. Pvt. Andrew Murphy Co. F/ Wounded at Spotsylvania
5-12-64 / Minersville.
5. Pvt. Patrick Foley Co. K/ Cass Township/Wounded at Wilderness 5-5-69
6. Pvt. William R. Williams Co. C.
7. Pvt. Ephraim Thompson Co. C/ Gordon
8. Pvt. John Hummel Co. D/ Minersville.
9. Pvt. Henry Williams Co. F.

3RD Corps 1st Div. 1st. Brig.
307 engaged 8k-115wd-9m

Monument located on Emmitsburg Rd.
" July 2nd position from 2 to 4 p.m. Moved across the Emmitsburg road. Being outflanked the Regiment changed front facing south and formed line along the lane at right angles to the road from which it retired fighting."

1. Lt. Isaac Dunsten Co. C/ Middleport
Thigh fractured 2 July; died 26 August at letterman hospital. and buried next day.
2. Pvt. Edward Kline Co. D/ New Castle Township.

"of the 27, 574 muskets picked up on the battlefield and turned into the Washington Arsenal at least half of them were loaded."


2nd Corps 2nd Div. 2nd Brig.
335 engaged 9k-54wd-1m

Monument located on Hancock Ave and Emmitsburg Rd.
"Position of the regiment on July 2, 1863. In the evening the Regiment assisted in repulsing a charge of the enemy on this line and made a counter charge to the Emmitsburg road in which 3 guns of Battery B 1st Rhode Island were recovered and at the Cordori House captured 250 prisoners."

1. Capt. William M. Jones / Minersville.

1st Corps 2nd Div. 1st Brig.
255 engaged 11k=56wd-98m

Monument located on Doubleday Ave.
"July 1, the regiment fought here from 1 p.m. until the Corps retired and then took position on the left of the cemetery Hill. In the evening of the 2nd moved to the left to support the second Corps, and after the repulse of the enemy returned to former position. On the 3rd moved several times to reinforce different parts of the line."

1. Sgt. Sam Lehman Co. G/ Pine Grove Township/ POW 8-64 to 1865.
2. Corp William Sterner Co. G Wayne Township/ Vet.1865
3. Pvt. Reuben G. Miller Co. G Hubley Township/ Vet 1865
4. Pvt. Eliash Dietrich Co. G/ Pine Grove Township/ Died Dec. 1863.
5. Pvt. George Huber Co. G/ Pine Grove Township/ Vet 1865
6. Pvt. Henry Heckler Co. G/ Pine Grove Township
7. Pvt. Henry Hoy Co. Co. G/ Pine Grove Township/ Captured 56-19-64 dies in Pine Grove.
8. Pvt. John Lehr Co Ravine.

Wounded At Gettysburg./ Vet 1864
9. Pvt. David Reed Co. G/ Pine Grove Township/ Captured at Weldon RR dies in Salisbury Prison.
10. Pvt. Nick Snyder Co. G
11. Pvt. Philip Clauser Co. G/ Branch Township
12. Pvt. John Fox Co. Co. G/ Hegins Township/ Vet 1865
13. Pvt. Nathan Dinger Co.D/ Hegins Township
14. Pvt. Christian Sheck Co. G/ Pine Grove
15. Pvt. Harrison Manwilller Co. G/ Pine Grove Township.
16. Pvt. Frances Heilner Co. G.

12th Corps 2nd Div. 2nd Brig.
149 engaged 3k-6wd-1m

Monument is located on Slocum Ave.

" July 1st. the regiment arrived within two miles of Gettysburg about 5 p.m. and took position on the left of the Baltimore Pike. July 2nd it moved here and built these works. In the evening it was withdrawn with the Brigade, and returning in the night, found the works in the possession of the enemy, when it formed at right angles to this line behind a ledge of rocks to the left and rear of this position designated by a marker. After severe fighting on the morning of the 3rd this line was re-captured and held until the close of the battle."

1. Pvt. James Purcell Co. F/ Cass Township./ Captured at Peach Tree Creek Ga. 7-20-64.
2. Pvt. Jonathan Humphrey Co. F.

3rd Corps 2nd Div. 3rd Brig.
182 engaged 3k-18wd-3m

Monument located on De Trobrian Ave.d
" July 2. This Regiment detached from the brigade engaged the enemy here at 4:30 p.m. July 3, In position with Division on left centre of the line."

1. Pvt. James Boyd Co. A/ Tamaqua
2. Pvt. John Collins Co. A/ Tamaqua
3. Pvt. William Partington Co. A/ Tamaqua
4. Pvt. Manus Conagham Co B/ Tamaqua / Captured at The Wilderness 5-6-64.
5. Pvt. William Weldon Co B/ Tamaqua
6. Pvt. Charles Weldon Co.B/ Tamaqua
The remainder of the men were transferred to Co. F 110 P.V.I.
on 6-22-64.

1st Corps 3rd Div. 1st. Brig.
467 engaged 51k-211wd-75m

Monument Located on Reynolds Ave.
"July 1. Fought here and in the Grove west of the Theological Seminary, July 2. In reserve on Cemetery Hill. July 3. In position on left centre and assisted in repulsing the charge of the enemy in the afternoon.

Field And Staff.
1. Surgeon Jonas H. Kauffman/ Pottsville.
Company I
1. Capt. William Grey/ Cressona/ Captured 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
2. Lt. H.H. Merkle/ Cressona / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettsburg
3. Lt. Charles Potts/ Pottsville/ Captured 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
4. Sgt. John Cohoon/ Frackville/ Captured 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
5. Sgt. Charles Bartlett/ Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
6. Sgt. Joe Kantner/ Cressona / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
7. Corp. Elias Bartolett/ Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
8. Corp. John Buchanan / Captured 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
9. Corp. Frank W. Berkheiser/ Wayne Township/
10. Pvt. Jonathan Auchenbach/ Wayne Township / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
11. Pvt. Daniel Bresler/ Wayne Township/
12. Pvt. Patrick Brennan/ Manheim Township
Listed as wounded and missing/ KIA July 1.
13. Pvt. Albert Bacon/ Manheim / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
14. Pvt. Ben Dillman/ Cressona
15 Pvt. Daniel Dillman/ Cressona
16. Pvt. William Delp/ Manheim Township / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
17. Pvt. John C. Duncan/ Manheim Township
18. Pvt. Elias Delcamp/ Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
19. Pvt. John Deitrich / Captured Gettysburg 7-1-63.
20. Pvt. Franklin Ebly/ North Manheim Township
21. Pvt. Adam Eichley
22. Pvt. Dan Fessler/ North Manheim / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
23. Pvt. Mike Fessler/ North Manheim / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
24. Pvt. Jacob Fisher/ North Manheim /
25. Pvt. Henry Felton/ North Manheim
Wounded and missing KIA July 1, 1863
26. Pvt. Commodore Hendricks/ Sch. Haven/ Captured Gettysburg 7-1-63.
27. Pvt. Samuel Howser/ Captured 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
28. Pvt. Jacob Hohmakre
29. Pvt. Don Hilbert/ Branch Township
30. Pvt. Charles Heinrich / Sch. Haven
31. Pvt. Isaac Jones
32. Pvt. Lewis Lebengood/ Cressona'
33. Pvt. George W. Coover/ North Manheim
34. Pvt. Harvey McCaty
35. Pvt. John McClure / Missing Gettysburg 7-1-63.
36. Pvt. William Moyer/ Wayne Township / wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
37. Pvt. William McLaughlin/ Captured 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
38. Pvt. William Manning/ North Manheim
Wounded and Missing in action KIA.
39. Pvt. Anson C. Miller/ North Manheim
Shot in the left thigh and both knees 1 July. Died 1 August.
40. Pvt. Steven Palsgrove/ Sch. Haven
41. Pvt. John Runkle/ Cressona
42. Pvt. Jerimiah Reed/ Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
43. Pvt. Jacob Rauch

44. Pvt. Jerimiah Stait/ North Manheim / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
45. Pvt. Oliver Schwartz/ Captured 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
46. Pvt. Peter Schnerring/ Wayne Township
47. Pvt. William Wessner/ Cass Township
48. Pvt. Daniel Yeik/ Wayne Township/ Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
49. Pvt. John Zimmerman/ North Manheim
50. Pvt. Ben Zimmerman/ North Manheim
51. Pvt. George Zeckman / Wounded 7-1-63 Gettysburg.
52. Lieut. John Witman Co. G/ Ashland
53. Pvt. J.N. Kaufman C. G
54. Pvt. J.Y. Strouse Co. H/ Washington Township
55. Pvt. George Reber Co. H/ Washington Township.
56. Pvt. Isaac Derr Co. H Barry Township.
57. Pvt. George Knoll Co. H/ Pottsville.

Lieut. Charles P. Potts from Pottsville one of the officers of the 151st at Gettysburg kept a short diary of his regiment and also wrote a short story of there involvement in the battle and there capture and imprisonment at Libby Prison. Following is the description of the fight at Gettysburg
" Marched from Emmitsburg to Gettysburg without a halt and directly into the fight . Careful fighting on both sides. Forces on either side. Our regiment supports a Battery the greater part of a day. Went to the front about 3 o'clock. Rebs outnumbered us two to one. Form line in entrenchments before Seminary. Parts of four regiments in entrenchments held rebs in check for about half an hour. Forced to retire into town. Rebs swing around the town and capture about 5000 officers and men.
July 2, 1863
Placed in field about one mile northwest of town. Rebs held in check, but think they will be able to drive our men on the morrow. Guarded by the 17th Va. Infantry, commanded by Col. French. Well treated, and find an old Colonel a gentleman, but no provisions.
July 3, 1863
Batteries in full play. Awful cannonading and musketry Rebs feel bad and look blue. Are not very confident of success.
(afternoon) Battle wages with great fury, (night) Great confusion among the rebs. Cattle and trains moving, that sound very much like a skedaddle. Ask guard what is wrong, he tells me they are going foraging. Don't see much in that light. Ask him if he don't wish himself back in old Va.
He says the days will not be long, and he will be through. Is not in favor of fighting the north. Does not want Yankees to subdue them and confiscate their homes, and dishonor their wives. No rations for three days. Offered parole advised not to accept.
July 4, 1863
Glorious old fourth but cannot enjoy it much in my present position no rations, no clothes, but what is on my back, and old half of a blanket. Rebs retreating as fast as possible, through drenching rain. Long train of wagons, containing wounded rebels, household furniture, in fact anything everything that they could carry off, chairs, bed quilts, covers, lids, mowing machines, scythes and their horses decorated with sleigh bells."
Lieut. Potts would be a prisoner in 5 different prisons and would not be exchanged until September 9, 1864.

"Over 5,400,000 rounds were estimated to have been expended (fired or dropped) during the battle by the Army of The Potomac. This equals about 193 tons of lead and 23 tons of black Powder."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Joseph Elison Artic Explorer

Members of the Greely Expedition Elison backrow on the right.

This is an exciting story of another Schuylkill countian a soldier from the 5th Cavlary who was a member of the ill fated Greely Expedition to the far North in 1881.


Arctic Explorer and HERO.

In the summer of 1881, June 14, to be exact, the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition set sail for the far North. Led by Lt. Adolphus Greely, of the 5th United States Cavalry and twenty-four men established a base camp for arctic exploration on Ellsmere Island near latitude 81.44 degrees north. Little did the men know that they would spend three years in the north fighting for their lives in one of the most extraordinary arctic survival stories ever told. It is a story filled with months of starvation and man’s heroic efforts to survive under the most trying of conditions.
On the expedition was a man who now rests in the Catholic Cemetery in Yorkville, Pottsville Pa. T Joseph Elison, born in Baden, Germany in 1849, came to this country in 1868 and moved in with his brother at Pottsville. He worked for a year or more at the Rolling Mills in Palo Alto. Leaving Pottsville, Joseph Elison traveled West were he worked as a carpenter for a time. Tiring of this, Elison entered the United States Army Signal Corps were he enlisted for a period of six years. In 1881 he reenlisted and volunteered for the military expedition known as the Greely Expedition led by its namesake, Lt. Adolphus Greely. Elison was credited with being an expert naturalist. He was also given special training as a taxidermist. Lt. Greely, after the ill-fated expedition praised Elison for his natural history work and his bravery. Also Elison Island is named after this brave man. Elison kept a very detailed diary of the first two years of the expedition, and the original diary is in archives of the Schuylkill County Historical Society.
Leaving from the port of Baltimore on June 14, 1881, the expedition set sail for the North on the Steamer Proteus, and arrived in St. Johns, Newfoundland on June 22nd. After gathering supplies and loading stores, the men left St. Johns on July 7th. Elison noted in his diary on July 8th

“ Arose after a quiet night’s rest at 7a.m. but soon found out the sea was not calm. I noticed the first ice berg at 7:39 a.m. off the eastern coast of Newfoundland.”

On July 12th the men spotted the first ice fields about three square miles in length. They were all excited. On the 15th they passed the Arctic Circle were they put in at an Eskimo village named Disco, or better known as God Haven Greenland, consisting of about two hundred inhabitants. In Greenland the expedition would pick up fourteen Eskimo dogs. Continuing their northward travel, the men picked up another eleven bear dogs. Struggling north, the Proteus fought large ice flows sometimes being stuck solid in the ice and expecting every minute to be crushed to pieces. Arriving on August 11th in Lady Franklin Bay, the ship laid anchor about 150 yards off shore in Discovery Harbor. Here they built a wooden. And named it Fort Conger after Senator Conger who helped to get appropriations for the expedition. The Fort consisted of one building in which all the members of the party lived and worked. Unloading their supplies from the Proteus, the expedition had stores for twenty-seven months. On August 26th, the Proteus left Lady Franklin Bay and sailed out of sight to the South and so began the expedition’s reason for being.
On May 1, 1880 the President of the United States authorized an expedition to establish a temporary station in the Arctic seas at some point north of 81 degrees latitude on or near the shore of Lady Franklin Bay for the purpose of scientific observation and exploration. During the second year of the expedition, a scientific first was noted in early April of 1882 when fifteen men set out from Fort Conger northward on dog sleds. Elison was a member of the supporting party. They made a base at Cape Britannia miles north of Fort Conger. On April 28th, 1882 Lt. J.B. Lockwood, Sgt. D.L. Brainard and an Eskimo named Fredrick Christiansen made a dash north on dog sled teams and reached a distance of 83.44 degrees from the equator, the farthest north any man had ever traveled. They all returned safely to Fort Conger within a few days.
During the ensuing months the expedition faired well enough. The winter months were hard but the men survived. They were well nourished and their food supplies were plentiful. They shot and ate geese, and large Arctic muskox. At times the men were even in a jolly good mood. On July 4th, 1882 while at Fort Conger Elison describes in his diary what took place,

“ We had a shooting match 100 yards, foot race for 100 yards, wheelbarrow race, blindfolded and a base ball match. We had a fine dinner and the usual allowance of rum, Dr. Pavy and my self went gathering flowers in the evening, returned at 11 p.m.”

The expedition remained at Fort Conger on Lady Franklin Bay for a period of more than two years. The supplies started to run low and the excitement of Arctic exploration started to wear off. The winter of 1882 was extremely severe and the men were at times confined to their sleeping bags for days at a time. The first supply ship was scheduled to arrive in the summer of 1882, but it never came. Loaded with essential equipment and food supplies, the ship landed minimal supplies at two different locations, Month after month passed and still no relief ship arrived. On Christmas day 1882 Elison wrote in his diary,

“ Cloudy and calm. A dreary Christmas, this is a day one feels the forlorn situation more than any other day. I hope that this will be our last Christmas in the Arctic, it makes me sad to think of home and friends. We had an excellent dinner consisting of wine soup, roast meat, green corn, carrots and beets, coconut pie, rum jelly, English plum pudding, pine apples pears and grapes. After dinner each man was presented with a fine cigar which was very welcome. “

Surviving the first seven months of 1883, Elison noted in his diary on July 29th, 1883

“ Just before divine service Comm. Officer Lt. Greely issued the following orders. We would abandon the station on the 7th of August ice permitting. Extra weight per man out side of clothing worn on the body 8ilb. Officers 16Ilbs we were also informed that we should give the weight of extra clothing by Wednesday and also be in readiness so that we could leave at 3 hours notice.”

The July 28th diary report stated,

“ In case of a noon arrival of a vessel by Aug. 7th 1883, this station will be abandoned and a retreat southward by boats to Littleton Island will be attempted. “

Prior to leaving Fort Conger, Lt. Greely ordered the men to leave behind all personal property all scientific books, samples and papers were stored in three metal boxes and sealed with solder for safe keeping. It is important to note that Joseph Elison’s diary would be left behind at Fort Conger and would not be returned to his family until July 6, 1900 by members of the Peary Arctic Club of New York. A memorandum stated that the diary of Joseph Elison Co. E 10th Infantry was brought in May 1899, from Fort Conger by Civil Engineer, Robert E. Peary.
Despairing that a ship would arrive, on August 8th, Fort Conger was abandoned. The last scientific observation was made on the 9th; the men left by using the steam powered launch called the Lady Greely, which towed several smaller boats with the men. Struggling over three hundred miles of the most treacherous ice, Lt. Greely noted in his diary that,

“ We have tea and coffee enough for forty days, all other provisions sufficient for 50 days but could be made to last sixty days.”

By Sept. 5th the men were drinking the blood from seals that they killed. Sgt. Brainard stated,

“The conduct of the men during this retreat have been all beyond praise, they are to be highly commended for their unselfishness and for their happy faculty of making the best of everything. Even under the most trying circumstances. I thought there would be endless repining and laminations, but to my surprise good natured chaff, a hearty ringing laugh or a snatch of a song heard from the irrepressible little band almost any time.”

On September 10th 1883 the launch, Lady Greely, was abandoned and the men set out on sleds. By the 28th the men had suffered greatly from exposure. The retreat from Fort Conger to Cape Sabine involved over 400 miles of travel by boats and fully a hundred by sled. The trip was made under such trying circumstances of great peril and each man showed the greatest amount of courage and endurance.
On October 2, 1883 with no rescue in site, the men decided to ration their meager food supplies. They had hoped to stretch the food for 35 days but would try to stretch it into 50 days. At worst, they could last till November 16th and wait for the straits to freeze over. During this time, although exhausted and weak, the men set out to build some shelter. Using tent poles, oars and canvas they built huts made of stone and canvas. On October 17th they built their huts. The huts were two feet thick and three feet high. Outside was an embankment of snow that began about four feet high but later buried the building. Late in October the men were inside the hut. It was cold and uncomfortable and their constant talk was about something to eat and the different dishes they had enjoyed in the past.
On November 2, 1883 a party of four men left their shelter in search of forty pounds of meat left at an earlier date near Cape Isabella. The party consisted of Elison, Fredrick, Lynn and Sgt. Rice. The men took a four-man sleeping bag and a light sled. They had a ration of eight ounces of meat and bread and five ounces of alcohol. Sgt. Rice was in charge because of his knowledge of the area. They reached the area were the meat was stored on November 7th, took the meat and returned to the main camp. It took the men over fourteen hours to travel to where they left their sleeping bag. The men were exhausted and in the process started eating snow. Elison froze both his feet and hands while struggling along. His fellow travelers immediately put him in the sleeping bag. Ice covered both hands and feet. Fredrick crawled into the sleeping bag and placed Elison’s hands between his thighs in effort to thaw him out. Elison cried out the whole night in pain, Fredrick stated “ It was one of the worst nights spent in the Arctic.” Again on the 8th, Elison once again froze his limbs. He could not maneuver properly behind the sled. His legs were as stiff as cordwood and he could barely walk. By the morning of the 9th, Elison was completely helpless and had to be dragged along. On November 10, Lynn with Elison went ahead of the others. The temperature was about -25 and Elison was once again frozen stiff. His eyelids had now frozen shut. The men tried tying a rope to Elison to help him along but he would fall every few feet and be dragged behind the sled for several feet before being noticed. By now Elison’s feet were frozen so solid he could not stand and the men were obliged to halt and make a camp. That evening a northward blowing gale came and Sgt. Rice and Fredrick froze their hands.
The men decided that Sgt. Rice should go alone back to the main party and get help. He made the trip in darkness over 25 miles and sixteen hours later he staggered into camp, where he explained the situation with Elison. After Sgt. Rice left Fredrick , Elison and Lynn crawled into the sleeping bag shivering, cold and hungry. After a few hours the bag became so frozen the men could not turn over and they lay in one position for over eighteen hours.
Finally Lt. Lockwood arrived and tried to free the men from their frozen tomb, but he was unable to do so until he cut off the top of the bag. Fredrick and Lynn reached camp safely. Lt. Lockwood brought back Elison alive but in critical condition. Not only were his hands and feet frozen, but his face was so frozen he did not resemble a human being any longer. As Elison was brought into the hut, he begged for death. But with in one month, Joseph Elison, despite his injuries was bright and cheery.
In another notebook were found the notes that Elison dictated to Roderick R. Schneider on June 8, 1884, He talked about his situation while frozen.

Nov. 2, “ Sergt. Rice in charge and Sgt. Lynn, Pvt. Fredricks and myself left camp about 8 a.m. it being quite dusk, yet with a lightly laden sledge for Cape Isabella for the purpose of getting 144 Ibs of English meat left by Capt. Allen Young in 1876. Traveling quite bad, snow being soft and deep.”
Nov. 5, “ Spent a miserable night, broke camp about 8:30 a.m. only took one cup of tea, one biscuit and started for Cape, left our sleeping gear about 3 miles north of the cape. Snow knee deep, ice very humorocky and broken up. Had to abandon sledge within a mile of camp owing to the open water. The ice being pressed up about 40 feet. Against the cliffs. We climbed along the best we could, reached the cache and obtained the boxes of meat with great difficulty, Started back to the sledge which it took us 5 hours to do so. Took our meat and proceeded to were we left the sleeping bag. Having worked 13 hours in all this day, I was completely exhausted. After two hours of work with the wood boxes succeeded in cooking a cup of tea. The pennican we eat cold. Here I froze my hands so that I was unable to use them. Tried our best to thaw them out in sleeping bag, but owing to high wind, we did not succeed, the bag being frozen so stiff we were hardly able to move. Form this time out I had to be fed.”

Nov. 6, “Spent a miserable night. I froze both of my feet, Myself still able to walk with great difficulty, but not able to assist any on the sledge, thus making it hard on the others”.

Nov. 7. “Spent a miserable night, I still struggle along, my legs being like stilts and entirely unable to bend my ankles, it is by the greatest exertions that I get along at all. After supper party thawed my feet by warming stockings, which occupied about 2 hours.”

Nov. 9, “Myself yet unable to struggle along but growing weaker and weaker until I finally had to give in after traveling 7 miles.”

Nov. 10, “Unable to move in bag my hands and feet frozen now so badly that I had no use of them whatsoever, a high wind was blowing, we were unable to cook, no one was able to get out of the bag about noon Sgt. Brainard reached us from camp Clay, finding us in deplorable condition, frozen solid in the bag. About this time some horrible shortness of breath, begging for water and ice which could not be obtained. Putting me on sledge hauled me to Camp Clay. My sufferings on the way were horrible.”

Hospital Steward Biederbick wrote the following concerning Sgt. Elisons situation.

“Elison was brought into Camp Clay on the 12th of Nov. 1883 with his hands and legs badly frozen up to nearly his knees, his hands wrist and nose also badly frozen so that they appeared like a piece of ice. He was put in our miserable camp on a mattress over which a sheepskin sleeping bag cut open was spread and then covered with three woolen blankets. I was set to work at once thawing out the frozen parts with cloth steeped in cold water, which was gradually raised to a higher temp. All attention possible in our miserable condition was paid tot he patient. After about ten days a line of demarcation showed itself just above the ankles, and two days later on the hands. The nose was very sore and part of flesh sluffed off. One foot was removed through the ankle joints, nothing being used but a small scissors, the disjointing coming through the natural process. What makes this case so very remarkable is the short rations that which the patient had to subsist, and the cold dark and damp atmosphere in which we had to live.”
By mid January the first death over took the men. Sgt. William H. Cross died. Just barely staying alive the men struggled through another 150 or more days of Arctic darkness when in April the valiant Sgt. Rice died while on a food hunting search. By early May, despair and hunger started to take hold of some of the men and the stealing of food was noticed by some of the men. Still some of the stronger men were able to go out hunting; some of the men were acting insane and treating the sick very badly. May 19th Pvt. Ellis died.
The melting snow in the hut rained down on the survivors making them even more miserable. May 23d Ralston died. May 24th Pvt. Whisler died of starvation. The men were breaking down slowly. Lt. Greely reprimanded some of the men for their cruelty to the dying men. On May 27th Sgt. Isreal died and on June 3rd, Sgt. Sailor died. The men did not have enough strength left to bury him. He was placed away from the men out of sight. Lt. Greely wrote in his diary,

“ The uncertainty of life or death was a veritable sword of Damocles, but far worse than the fable.”

Knowing that there was a thief among the men and after days of missing food supplies, the culprit was caught. Pvt. Henry was repeatedly caught stealing food and after his admission of quilt was sentenced by Lt. Greely to be shot. On June 6th the order was carried out by pistol fire. That same day Pvt. Bender and the expedition’s doctor, Pavy, also died of starvation. The men were now down to eating their boot lashings and boot soles. June 12th Corp. Gardiner died. Sgt. Elison was still alive at this time and suffering not only from his wounds and starvation but also of bedsores. On June 20th Elison, whose hands had been amputated, was eating with a spoon lashed to one of his stumps. So he could eat seal stew. On June 22 the sound of a whistle was heard. There were seven men left alive in their tent. Strange voices were heard outside the tent. The voices heard were those of Capt. Winfield Scott Schley and the relief party. The men, after months of agony, were rescued.
After being loaded aboard the rescue ship, the seven survivors set sail for the south. After arriving in Greenland Elison under went another amputation. Actually he had lost both his hands and feet and remarkably had survived this horrible ordeal for over seven months. He succumbed to death on July 8th 1884 from the effects of the added amputations.
After the expedition there were many questions asked of Lt. Greely especially about the execution of Pvt. C.B. Henry. There were many accusations of cannibalism among the survivors. Nothing was ever proved concerning the cannibalism and the execution of Private Henry was found to be legal under military law.
Sgt. Elison finally came home to Pottsville; on August 9, 1884 He was buried with full military honors in one of the biggest funerals ever held in Pottsville. His casket weighed over 800Ibs and required 14 men to carry. The military funeral and cerimony was fitting for this soldier, explorer and hero of his time. Schuylkill County can be proud to have such a hero buried within its soil.
The only surviving members of the Elison family living in Schuylkill County at this time is Thomas Elison and William Elison. They are descendants of Joseph Elison’s brother.