Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Lt.Col. Brevet General George Armstrong Custer
Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers' Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers' Green.
Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene.
No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he's emptied his canteen.
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers' Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And go to Fiddlers' Green.
The origin and author of "Fiddler's Green" is unknown. It was believed to have originated in the 1800's and was composed as a song sung by the soldiers of the 6th and 7th Cavalry. Its first known appearance in published form was in a 1923 Cavalry Journal.
Wednesday June 25, 2008 will mark the 132nd year since the disastrous defeat of General George Armstrong Custer and the famed 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn.
In today’s blog I want to take a trip out to “Fiddlers Green” and pay tribute to the three troopers from Schuylkill County who were at the battle and lost their lives.
Pvt. George E. Adams Co. L 7th U.S.Cavalry
Birth: Jul., 1846
Death: Jun. 25, 1876
Little Big Horn Battle Site
Big Horn County
Private, Company L, 7th US Cavalry. Killed in action at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, 1876, along with General George Custer and most of the 7th Cavalry.
Adams enlisted on 18 October 1869, at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory, at the age of 22, previous occupation as a teamster. He was discharged from the 22nd US Infantry on 19 Dec 1872, for disability. He re-enlisted on 27 Jan 1874 at age 27, at Fort Abraham Lincoln, North Dakota, listing his previous occupation as a soldier. While serving as a teamster, he was reported AWOL January 3 to 13, 1875, and was court-martialed in March 1875, but was acquitted. He was found drunk on duty 28 April 1875, and court-martialed the next month, and sentenced to six months of hard labor. He was 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall, had blue eyes, light hair, and a fair complection. He never married. His unit, under the command of 2nd Lieutenant Crittenden, was with Custer's Column during the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and he was killed there. After the battle, the bodies of the soldiers were buried where they were found. In June 1877, the bodies were reinterred into a mass grave on top of Last Stand Hill.
Custer National Cemetery
Big Horn County
Plot: Buried in the Mass Grave
You can leave a flag, flower on find a grave.com for George if you want
Pvt. Harman Knauth, Pvt. Company F 7th U.S. Cavalry
Born in Dammendorf, Prussia
Lived with his brother at Brandonville, Schuylkill County.
Enlisted in the 7th on January 20, 1872.
Harman Knauch's Obit in the Pottsville Chronicle.
Pvt. William Heath, Farrier Company L 7th U.S. Cavalry
The other member of Company L, Farrier William Heath was born in Staffordshire England, He
enlisted on October 9, 1875 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He had been a coachman in private life and was 27 years
old, had blue eyes, brown hair, and 5’ 7 and a quarter inches tall.
In 1875 while living in Girardville, during the time of the Molly Maguire troubles. Apparently William
had some troubles with the Mollies when he decided to leave the area and joined the 7th Cavalry. At the
time of his enlistment William was married to Margaret Swanborough where they had one small child.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Schuylkill County in the Korean War
At approximately 4 a.m. on June 25, 1950 (Korean Standard Time) on a rainy Sunday morning Democratic People's Republic of Korea Army (DPRK - North Korea) artillery and mortars open fire on Republic of Korea (ROK - South Korea) Army positions south of the 38th Parallel, the line then serving as the border between the two countries. The opening barrage is followed shortly by tank/infantry attacks at all points along the Parallel. At 11 a.m. North Korea announced a formal declaration of war and what is now known as "The Korean War" officially began.
In this announcement North Korea claimed ROK forces on the Ongjin Peninsula attacked North Korea in the Haeju area (west) and their declaration of war was in response to this attack. This claim was bogus.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman was notified of the invasion and returned from his home in Independence, Missouri, to Washington, D.C., arriving in early afternoon. Meanwhile the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of North Korean forces to north of the 38th Parallel.
By June 25, 1953 after three years of (Police Action) by the United Nations to include American troops. Men from Schuylkill County were involved in the fore front of the so called Police Action. By June 25, 1953 old Schuylkill had suffered 237 casualties. By this time 41 men were killed in combat, 164 were wounded in action, and 21 men were listed as missing in action, (MIA) out of this number eleven men were listed as captured by the Communist.
Sixty-one communities in Schuylkill County have local men on the casualty lists issued by the Department of Defense. Shenandoah has been the hardest hit. By the end of the first year Shenandoah had 16 casualties 15 WIA and 1 MIA. Pottsville is the second highest with twelve casualties, and this just after the first year.
At Muir with only a population under 400 inhabitants, they have had two men KIA one is listed as missing and one wounded. This in the first year of the war. Mahanoy City had over 10 men as casualties, along with Pottsville and Shenandoah.
Most of the men who fought in Korea and have been wounded or died came from normal enlistments, draftees, reservists, veterans of WWll and National Guard units. We as a county can be very proud of this generation of men who have carried on the proud and heroic tradition of the Schuylkill County fighting man.
This is the story of our hero casualties from Schuylkill County and my tribute to those who fought and were wounded and died during the FORGOTTEN WAR. All of these little stories were found in the local Newspapers of Schuylkill County.
Wounded in Korea
June 25, 1951.
Wounded 5 times:
Sgt. 1st Class Peter T. Stefanavage, of Shenandoah could be called a one man casualty list. The ten year Army veteran was wounded twice during WW2 and since he landed in Korea has been hit three times.
June 25, 1951.
Two Branchdale boys who enlisted together were both placed on the MIA list on the same day. Cpl. Andrew Kralick and Pfc. Stephen Rada. Rada has been listed as a POW.
Further research shows Cpl. Andrew Kralick an ammunition records specialist in the 2nd ID. Division artillery, and after being captured in the North Korean Sector captured 1 December 1950. Died 01/03/51 Mining Camp- Camden, Dement, Rada, Shadish From non battle injuries.
June 25, 1951
Cpl. Martin Marchowsky a light weapons infantry man in the 2nd Division of Primrose, was wounded twice and later was reported MIA. Was captured 12, February, 1951 and died of non battle injuries . Marchowsky was with Pfc. Lloyd Adams of Jonestown, when Adams was fatally wounded, Cpl. Marchowsky was holding Adams hand when the Jonestown boy died. Cpl. Marchowsky was wounded two times prior to his capture. He was first wounded Sept. 19, 1950 and returned toduty and then again on Feb. 11, one day before he was listed as missing. He entered the Army in March 1950
June 18, 1951
Muir soldier reported missing. Pfc. Lester J. Bowers F Co. 38th Infantry Division, has been listed as MIA since May 19, 1951. research shows: 07/51 Barnett - died in Suan Camp Elmer Thompson - a 38 inf "Bowers" died 08/12/51 mining Camp.
June 18, 1950
Sgt. James E. Leidich Jr. Coaldale, USMC was wounded in action on June 9th while serving with the 1st Marine Division. Sgt. Leidich was a WWll veteran having erned the Bronze star for gallantry in action.
June 21, 1951
Phoenix Park Soldier Wounded in action.
Pfc. Robert McShaw 24, was slightly wounded in action on May 25, 1951 while serving with a heavy mortar company of the 23rd regiment. McShaw served in the Army from 1946 to 1948 and upon his discharge enlisted in the Army reserve. He was recalled to duty in September 1950. On August 6, another story about Pfc McShaw was listed. Phoenix Park Man Dead In Action In Korea.
Pfc. McShaw who was listed as MIA on May 25, has now been listed as dead. This was the third telegram his parents received fro the War department.
June 28, 1951
Tremont Soldier WIA.
Pfc. Charles J. Redinger, 23 was WIA while serving with the 31st Infantry Regiment. In a letter to his mother which arrived prior top the Defense Dept. telegram, Redinger said that he had been hit above the left eye with a piece of shrapnel. He has since recovered and sent back to his unit. He enlisted in the Army 6 years ago. And spent a year in Korea before the out break of hostilities. He returned to Korea in September.
July 11, 1951
Middleport soldier Badly Hurt.
Pfc. Jack Gallagher was seriously wounded in action on June 28. He is a member of the 24th Division. Gallagher enlisted in the Army in October 1950, and has been in Korea since December.
July 11, 1951
Giradville Soldier is Prisoner of War.
Sgt. John B. Griffith was listed as MIA last September is now listed as a POW. A letter written from the prison camp was sent to his wife and received in New York yesterday.
August 18, 1951
Ex-PCHS Player Wounded
Cpl. Robert J. Dando, Minersville a former Pottsville Catholic Football Player was wounded in Action in Korea on July 14. He is a machine gunner with the 24th Infantry Division. He was wounded by a bullet according to his records and was returned to duty. When he was wounded he was evacuated to the Swedish red Cross Hospital in Pusan, where he underwent two operations. He entered the service in September of 1950 and went overseas in January, 1951.
August 8, 1951
Mahanoy City Boy Wounded in Korea.
Cpl. John B. Chukinka was wounded on July 16. He is serving with the 2nd Division. He suffered serious wounds of the foot, legs, and hip and has been evacuated to the Osaka Hospital in Japan.
Mahanoy City Man Wounded in Korea.
Cpl. John J. Sroczyk was wounded in action on June 21 by a flying missile, (bullet). He enlisted in the Army in June 1950 as an infantry man. And is serving with Company I, 19th Infantry regiment. 24th Division.
August 2, 1951
Three Missing County Boys Prisoners of the Red Chinese
Two Newtown boys who have been listed as MIA in the Korean War for more than six months were today revealed to be Prisoners of the Chinese Communist.
Pfc. Russell Hamershy, 20 and Pfc. George . Hancock Jr. both of Newtown and Pfc. Stephen Rada of Branchdale are together and are well and well treated. The letters one written in January and one in February and apparently mailed from China were the first wounds received by their families since the boys were listed as MIA. Both letters were written in pencil on small sheets of thin, ruled paper. The envelopes bore the inscription “Chinese Peoples Committee for world Peace and Against American Aggression, Pepping, China. The February letter related Hancock and Rada are with me and said they can write two letters a month and can receive letters.
Pfc. Russell Hamershy 2nd Division 9thh regiment. His death was witnessed by William Baker witnessed death of Pfc Russell Hamesby from Zebra PA at Camp 5 Died 05/53 camp 5- Stephen Rada
September 13, 1951
Cressona Boy Wounded In Action.
Pvt. Willis A. Moyer 18, was slightly wounded in action in Korea. On August 28th. In a letter he wrote he told his parents that he had been wounded in the arm and was recuperating in a hospital in Japan. He enlisted in the Army in March 1951. And serving with the infantry.
September 14, 1951
Valley View Boy Wounded August 7, 1951
Pvt. Charles H. Bryan was wounded in action on August 7, 1951. he is a member of the 38th Infantry Division. Bryan enlisted in December 1950.
September 17, 1951
New Ringgold Soldier was wounded.
Cpl Frank Siluk 23, was slightly wounded in Korea on September 6, 1951. Three days prior to the receipt of the telegram informing his parents, they received a letter stating that he was wounded in the right shoulder. He entered the service on October 17, 1950. Cpl Siluk is buried at Indiantown Gap.
SILUK FRANK S 03/12/1928 11/18/1988 US ARMY CPL 12-A 0 693 11/23/1988 INDIANTOWN GAP NATIONAL CEMETERY ANNVILLE PA
September 18, 1951
Former Area Boy Killed in Korea
Cpl. Rober Conway, USMC formerly from Branchdale was KIA on September 18, while serving with the 1st Marine Division. He was a cousin of Robert McShaw who was KIA several months ago. He had been in Korea for the last year and was slated to return home shortly.
August 27, 1951
Minersville Boy KIA in Korea.
Cpl. Thomas J. Ryncavage a light infantry man was KIA August 27, while serving with the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division. He enlisted in theArmy December 12, 1950 and had been in Korea since May 13, 1950. He is buried in St. Francis Assesi Cemtery Minersville.
September 9, 1951
County Youth War casualty
Pfc. Luther Kaufman 23, was killed in action in Korea on September 9, 1951 his mother learned. Kaufman went to Korea in the spring of this year 1951 after entering the service on December 13, 1950. His mother did not know he was in Korea because his letters to her told her he was in Japan
September 14, 1951
Four County Men Are Wounded in Korea.
Lt. John F. Gerhart Tower City, USMC wounded while serving with the first Marine division He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve while attending Dickinson Law College.
Pfc. Bernard E. Sharpe 22, Newkirk, wounded September 19, while serving with the Army Infantry. He enlisted in November, 1950 He went overseas in March, 1951.
Pfc. James J. Cuff, 23 Shenandoah was wounded in action September 29, while serving with the 23rd ID. He enlisted December 1950.
Pfc. Joseph Fatula 20, Frackville was wounded in action while serving with the Infantry. He has been in the Army for two years. He was a member of the 25th Infantry Division. As a light weapons infantryman. His records stage he was seriously wounded by missle.( Bullet). Buried at Indiantown Gap, Pa.
October 15, 1951
Palo Alto Boy Was Wounded in Korea
Pvt. Albert A. Pilo was slightly wounded in action in Korea September 28, 1951. He enlisted in theArmy in February 1951 and is serving with the 7th Infantry Division.
October 17, 1951
List Missing Local Soldier As Prisoner
Pvt. Thomas McMurtrie has been listed as MIA since April 23rd. His mother received a letter written in his own hand, was date lined North Korea, and stated that he was a prisoner of war. He told his mother in the letter that he was in good health and was being well treated by the Chinese who are holding him a prisoner. He enlisted in the Army September 27, 1950 He went overseas February 26th and was part of the time stationed in Tokyo before going to Korea. Where he is attached to the Fifth regimental combat Team of the 24th Division.
October 17, 1951
Palo Alto Youth, 19 Is Killed In Korean Battle.
Pvt. Victor M. Kocher was killed in action in Korea on October 3, 1951 He is the 24th Schuylkill County Serviceman to pay the supreme sacrifice in the Korean War.
He enlisted in the Army in February 1951 and was serving with the 23rd Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was KIA one month to the day after his arrival in Korea. He was a light weapons infantryman.
October 17, 1951
Soldier Wounded In Korea.
Two Schuylkill County soldiers have been wounded in action according to word received from the War Department, Department of Defense. Pfc. Russell L. Reigel 22, Pine grove was seriously wounded in action, October 8, 1951 while serving with the infantry. He entered the Army at the beginning of 1951 and has been in Korea since August. He was a member of the 2nd Infantry Division and was wounded by a bullet.
October 18, 1951
Mahanoy City Boy Killed In Korea
Pfc. John Gnall, 22 was KIA in Korea on October 11, 1951
Pfc Gnall was attached to Company B, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division and entered the Army in March of 1951. He went overseas on September 3. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal.
October 25, 1951
Local Soldier Died Of Wounds In Korean War.
Pfc. Franklin A. Williams , Pottsville died October 25 in Korea as a result of wounds received in action on October 18, 1951. He was the second Pottsville man to be killed in action in Korea. Williams also served in the European Theater for three years during World War ll, and re enlisted in the Army in September, 1950. He had been in Korea for one year at the time of his death. Pottsvilles first Korean War victim was Pfc. Kenneth Engleman who was KIA Nov, 27, 1950.
PFC. FRANKLIN A WILLIAMS
From the Pottsville Republican, Jan 9, 1952, p18.
The body of Pfc. Franklin A Williams, 25, the second Pottsville boy to die in Korea, and the 28th county boy to give up his life there, will arrive Thursday at 1:22 p.m. at the Reading Railroad station. The Claude A Lord Funeral Salon will have charge of the funeral arrangements for which will be announced later.
Pfc. Williams, son of Mrs. Pansy Williams, 418 Minersville St., was wounded in action on October 18 and died on October 25. He was a member of the 21st Infantry regiment, and had been in Korea since January 8, 1951.
A World War II veteran, he served in Germany and Austria and had a total of seven years Army service before he died.
Besides his mother be leaves a brother, Eugene, in the Air Force; two sisters, Mabel, wife of Edward Flaherty, and Blanche, wife of Joseph Williams, Pottsville. His father, Alec, died several years ago.
October 28, 1951
St. Clair Man Is Wounded In Korea.
2nd lieutenant Charles J. Buchanan was seriously wounded in action in Korea on October 28, 1951. He is 22 years old.
Buchanan received his commission as a 2nd Lt. after graduation from Pennsylvania Military College in 1950. He is a member of Company B, 31st Infantry regiment.
October 25, 1951
Cpl. W. Stutz 23, New Philadelphia Was Wounded
Cpl. Walter V. Stutz 23, was wounded in action in Korea on October 25, . He is the 121st county man to be wounded in the Korean War.
He entered the Army on December 15, 1950. He is a member of Company C 32nd regiment, 7th Infantry Division.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I goes to fight mit Sigel... Franz Sigel
Here is a little Civil War type humor. This is taken from an 1864 issue of the Miners Journal.
Somewhere in lower Manheim Township, out towards the Pine Grove area.
The reader must picture a stout, big bellied, short haired recruiting officer, with a blue cap, broad stiff front piece, a short sword, a blue uniform, a size to small, and a raw customer hailing from the “Faderland”, wearing wooden shoes and a long tailed gray coat. The officer was after some recruits for a German Regiment, and thus went for his susceptible countryman:
“Ho! Dere, Hans! Be dat you?”
“Come mit me to be a sojer man?”
“Yaw ! Come ! It be so nice”
“Nein! I gets Shoots!”
“Nix! Py tam it is better as good. It be foon all de ville. You enlist mit me you gets nein hundred tollars bountish.”
“Yaw. And you gets such nice clothes ash never vas! Shust look at me!”
“Yaw,” And in ter morning ven de trum peets agin and dit is de gurnel’s gompliments to come eat some sour krout un sausage mit him, by tam!”
“Yaw, dat ish so. Den purty soon,bime by, der trunpeets, dat is de gurnels gompliment, to ride mit him in der carriage tosee your vrow or your Katrina. And den you rides all over de city mit him and no costs you one tam cent. And bime by de trum peets, and dat is de gurnel’s gompliments to come, and schmoke a bipe mit him! And bime by, pretty soon right away, de trum peets like de tuyfel, and dat is de gurnel’s gompliments to come and get your nein hundred tollars boutnish. I thinks, but I guess not , py tam.”
“Yaw ! So goot!”
“Yaw, And den de gurnel and de Bresident shakes hands mit you, and you cat krout mit de Bresident’s vrow and shust like one fighting rooster, py tam! And den in a little vile you say der Bresident be one nice man, and you gets anoder hundred tollars bountish, and der Bresident makes un grand general mit you, purty soon, I guess, but I tinks not! You go mit me ?”
Recruiting From Harpers Weekly
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Captain Jacob Haas
While doing research in the Schuylkill County Historical Society I came across this copy of Captain Jacob Haas of Company G 96th P.V.I. Gettysburg period Diary. This diary was written during the Gettysburg Campaign. The diary gives a good look at the route of march taken by the 96th and 6th Corps during the Gettysburg campaign. It also gives a good look at the daily life of a company grade officer while in the field.
This diary was transcribed by James F. Haas, Jacobs Grandson.
Captain Haas was well known for his being mistaken for John Wilkes Booth. He was a Coal Mine Superintendent and a prominent resident of Northumberland County, and also lived in Schuylkill County.
Near the North bank of the Rappahannock River, Virginia.
At the beginning of June, 1863, the Union Army was sitting along a long line on the North Bank of the Rappahannock River, in Virginia. Major General Joseph Hooker was still in command. The union Army had just undergone one of the worst defeats it ever suffered at the hands of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Lee’s Army was then sitting around the city of Fredericksburg, Va. On the south bank of the Rappahannock.
The Sixth Corps, under the command of Major General John Sedgwick was in camp at White Oak Church, Va. In the 6th Corps was one of Schuylkill County’s famous regiments, the 96th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. From June 6th till their departure from White Oak Church, Va. On June 13, 1863 the 96th saw continuous skirmishing and picket duty. On the 13th the regiment moved out with the rest of the famed 6th Corps and started on the memorable march to Gettysburg.
In command of Company G, 96th P.V.I. was Captain Jacob Haas. Company G contained men from Schuylkill, Berks and Dauphin Counties. Following are excerpts from Captain Haas’s diary during the Gettysburg, campaign.
Instead of writing the short, cut up sentences of a Haas’s diary I have taken the liberty to fill it in as thou Captain Haas was talking. Everything listed is what he wrote in his diary.
June 1, Monday,
Today is fine day, but very dusty. I worked on my ordnance returns, and rec3ieved invoices from major Lessig. I then gave him my receipts. I was also at a court martial, it has adjourned for 3 days. Today I felt unwell, and then wrote my wife.
June 2, Tuesday,
Another fine day, I drilled the company today and worked on my vouchers. I then wrote a letter to Ed, Hanna. I went over and paid my Mess Bill to Fesig for $12.54. I paid Rumberger $2.50. In the evening we had a Dress parade, later I maid out requisitions for clothing. Al is quiet; I am going to bed early.
June 3, Wednesday,
Another fine day, Mr. Schweers came to camp and brought me a letter and some tobacco, the letter was from my wife. I then wrote her a letter. I also arranged all of my papers. There are rumors of a big move today, although I just loafed around. I played some poker tonight first since being at Harrisons Landing. I had a bad pain in my side. This evening I spent a pleasant time at Schweers tent, had some lemonade. Went back home to my tent at 2 a.m. We received orders to have the men stand to arms at daybreak, looks like we are moving to prevent an attack.
June 4, Thursday,
I rose at 4 a.m. it is another fine day. I roused up the men and had them stand to arms for ½ hour. There were fears of a raid on our lines today. Nothing happened so I went back to bed again and slept to 8 a.m.. My feet are bad and sore. The sutler was open also. The First Corps moved out today, they say top White Plains. I think we will move also, maybe tomorrow. During the day it was very warm, and I cleaned my clothes of grease and pitch spots. I got a hat from Cranberry. I had meat boiled and sent to the men out on picket duty. All is quiet, it is now 2 p.m.. I understand that we are ready to move; I will regret parting with this camp. I just slept and worried the whole day through, and went to bed early. The Fifth Corps came back and pitched their tents.
June 5, Friday,
A woke to another fine day, I fixed up my pass book, received some clothing and had them issued. I also drew 600 rounds of ammunition and it issued to the men. We received orders to be ready to move on short notice; we also drew 8 days rations. I had more meat cooked and sent to the men n picket duty. There are all kinds of rumors coming in. For the benefit of my wife, I have only to say that all I owe in the world is for my hat, and no one owes me. If we go into action I will give my pocket book to Dr. Bland. I wrote a letter to my wife. At 5 p.m. I hear heavy cannonading and musketry, Today Charley Crosland came to camp. I went to bed about 10 p.m. I did not sleep well, I kept dreaming of battling.
June 6, Saturday,
Today starts out as a fine day, Packed up my belongings and got ready to move. Pickets came in at 10 ½ a.m. We loaded up our baggage. I gave Dr. Bland $44 to give to my wife in case I fall. I can hear cannonading and musketry at intervals. We started on the march at 12 ½ p.m. and marched to the Rappahannock and crossed at Bernard’s House. We stopped and rested until the evening. The 2nd Division is across, they said they lost 26 men getting across. William Miller was sent to the hospital. We had a thunder storm in the evening, we then moved back on the bluffs and went into camp for the night. I again slept badly, although I had a dream of a big dinner at Kopitches restaurant.
June 7, Sunday. I awoke at 5 a.m. to another fine day. I washed out my canteen, had breakfast and got a drink of whiskey. I felt better today, but just laid quiet all day. Our batteries where shelling during the day,. I got a letter from Tom Foster. At 7 ½ we struck tents and packed up, we moved out and crossed the river. We then filed out and laid in line of battle near Bernard House. Half of the company stayed awake until 12 midnight, then were relieved by the other half, the night was very cold. The third division dug a rifle pit along our bank.
June 8, Monday,
I rose up at 3 a.m. to another fine day. I got the men under arms, and stood to until 5 a.m.. Then I had breakfast. Seems the Rebs are thick, the rifle pit is a full mile long. I had tome to write my wife a letter. At 12 p.m., all is still quiet. There are still working parties at the rifle pit. The 95th Penna, Vols and the 121st New York arte on picket duty. I made out a report for the tri monthly returns. The siege guns on the other side shifted positions, the whole movement looks very curious to me. I t is a remarkable fact that t the closer we get to danger, the more lovely the distant hills are. At 6 P.M. I received a letter from my wife. My impression is that an assault will be made tomorrow. Our boys are still working go n the rifle pit, we pitched our tents and went to sleep. The Second Division was working on the earthworks all night.
Officers of the 96th P.V.I.
June 9, Tuesday,
We were aroused and stood to arms at 4 a.m. I then received orders to go on picket at 5 ½ a.m... I ate breakfast, packed up and moved forward to the right of the ravine and picketed the ravine from the river. I was much annoyed by sharpshooters, our pickets were firing all day, at times I felt very heavy and weary. Today the heat was intense. And there are plenty of rebs to be seen. Berdan Sharpshooters gave them hell. I was relieved at 7 p.m. by the Second New Jersey. Rebs shelled us with their heavy guns in the heights, the night was very cold, and I slept very badly.
June 9th 1863 1 p.m.
My Dear Brother.
We marched from camp on Saturday at 12 , and arrived at our old crossing place near Bernfills House at 5 p.m. camped for the night and crossed over the river on Sunday, evening and took position in line of battle and slept on our arms. The 2nd Division threw up breastworks in front of us, ½ mile to our right. Yesterday we laid quiet all day.
Last night we worked at the earthworks and this morning we were sent to the front to picket, and I can tell you now that it is very nasty. Their sharpshooters are hid in buildings on the outskirts of this town and fire at us constantly. Son of a Bitch. Shot seven of our pickets yesterday, at one post and has been shooting all morning again, but I haven’t yet learned with what success as it is to the right of me.
I am writing this laying down, for the moment they see one of us, bang three shots come, but of course we shoot too but they are hideaway to close to do with. The sun is very warm and lying in an open field, on your back, writing a letter is not much fun.
I do not know what to make of this move; it came as a surprise to me. I do not think that we will assault the heights again as the enemy are in large force in front of us. If we do assault the Heights, I heard we will be successful. I----------------- will again turn up as-------------------- , for I am anxious to get home to my dear little family.
I am almost convinced that we will never subdue the Rebels unless the Gov’t quits this dilly dallying and make a fuss over Copperheads and goes to work in earnest. Let it bring out the line and sinews; use more rope and less words. In one word, use all the powers that are vested in them and in 90 days this war will be over. Of course there would be so many men left but what of that, they can pay a pension for, F—K and the world will soon be full again. The fact is that our Generals had half the energy and ability the CSA have, a few short months would settle the CSA it is a shame that we do not soon do better. I will quit the service and goo to China to serve under the New Mandarin.
I am well and hearty, have a stiff upper lip, a tight --------.
I do not write as I have not had a passage in the last four days. I cannot see why you folks do not write to me and I am D---D if I pen another line to you until I do hear from you. I think one of our boys just got himself a sharpshooter as I can ------- -------- going amongst them. I wish you were here to see the fun, they are shooting like ------- and I would like to see you get, all over, no one hurt on our side. I must close something up. My love to you all, If I am wounded or killed got to Pottsville, get money and come for me. Good bye. A lovely skirmish is going on the right and working this way.
June 10, Wednesday
Today the 23rd New Jersey went home. There was picket firing all day at times very lively. I laid quiet all day. Went and bought some eating s from the sutler. We were then relieved by the First Division. We crossed on the North Bank of the river at 10 p.m. and lid in the road, I slept very badly.
June 11, Thursday.
Awoke to a fine day. Messrs. Little and Clayton came today with a flag. We had the presentation in the afternoon. General Bartlett received it for us, and he gave Little a “Backhander”. I laid quiet all day and into the night. We are under marching orders, and there are all kinds of rumors. I received two letters from my wife, and I in turn wrote her 2, one by mail and one to Mr. Clayton. We had lots of whiskey, and I sent home a receipt for checks.
June 12, Friday
We were aroused at 3 a.m. and ordered to go on picket at daylight. I had the men pack up and we marched pout at that time. Marched around 8 miles and went on picket at the Rappahannock. The rebs were very civil, we fished and swam in the river. We drew rations and the rebs and our men were fishing in the river all day. I washed my shirts and drawers. Later rebel shells came from the crest and fell in the road to our right. The 14th Georgia, 49th and 29th North Carolina was opposite us. One of the boys in the Fifth Maine swam across the river and traded papers; they treated him very kindly. The rebs have a fine band that played some pieces in the evening. I put out some strong posts in the evening, and the night passed without any alarms.
June 13, Saturday
We arose at 5 a.m. to another fine day. It was quiet all day. The General Officer of the Day came around and gave em hell, and ordered me to alter the posts, and told me the whole army had moved. Rain came up in the evening. The batteries on both sides shelled for awhile. At 10 p.m. Major Lessig ordered me to call in my pickets and move out in the road, we were to make no noise and rendezvous at White oak church. We then laid there about an hour. At 11 p.m. we marched across to Potomac Creek Bridge and rested a total distance of about 13 miles. During the march I fell over a stump and hurt my knee.
June 14, Sunday
We halted at 4 ½ a.m. and rested at Potomac Creek Bridge and waited for the Brigade unti 8 a.m. when we again marched about a half of mile. The day is cloudy. We rested there until 2 p.m. then moved near the RR Bridge and stayed all afternoon . I saw immense stores of public property burned. The Balloon is with us and it went up seven times during the day. Our pickets are on our right front. An immense wagon train and artillery train passed us. We marched at 8 p.m. and marched until 2 a.m. We halted at Stafford Court House and laid in the road and slept for two hours, a total distanced marched of 8 miles. This was the most tiresome march I ever made. During the night some horses ran away, a “Skidipper” ensued, I thought it was the enemy cavalry. I suffered very much from loss of sleep. A very “Hard Time”, H. Rumberger and D. Williams are absent.
June 15, Monday
I arose at 5 a.m. and marched without eating about 4 miles. It is a fine warm day. We passed our old camp in the Wilderness, the road is blocked with wagons and guns, and is very dusty. The Second Corps is also on this road. I had to mend my pants today, and made some lemonade, the sutlers are all skedaddling. Found some lice on my shirts also, I cooked some coffee and ate breakfast at 10 a.m. We crossed Acquia Creek by wading; we suffered much from fatigue and heat. We marched a little after 10 a.m. and marched all day to make 12 miles in all and arrived at Stafford. A great many of the men are sun struck, at least a 100 men in our division were taken so. I laid in the woods for one hour in a creek. I washed and then marched to Dumfries. I had another wash, supper and then slept solid. There were a great many stores abandoned.
June 16, Tuesday,
We arose at 3 a.m. to another fine day. Our march was difficult because of artillery blocking the way. We marched about 2 miles, halted and cooked coffee at 6 a.m. Sedgwick scolded us because we did not march faster. We again took up the line of march and halted at 4 p.m. and had dinner. I took a swim in the Occoquan. My feet are very sore, and I am very tired. The men straggled very much. We came in with only three muskets, marched some 12 miles. We again took up the line of march and marched 12 miles and halted at Fairfax Station at 7 p.m. Distanced marched 20 miles. I was very tired and foot sore. Oberender came and had some of the ardent. Whiskey was issued to the men. News that the Rebs are in Pennsylvania is a great sensation. I got a clean pair of socks to put on. I again slept badly.
June 17, Wednesday
We arose at 3 a.m. to a fine day. I got some coffee and laid still most of the day. We fired our guns. I got a clean shirt and drawers and threw away the dirty ones. I wrote a letter to my wife, and also received one from her. My feet are very sore. Today the men raided a sutler,. Officers were ordered to reduce baggage.
June 18, Thursday
A very fine warm day, I rose at 3 ½ a.m. got coffee and set out on the march at 4 a.m. We passed by Fairfax Court House, and took the road to Leesburg. We halted in a fine large woods until the next day. We marched a distance of 5 miles. A large train of wounded cavalry passed by us today, there was a heavy cavalry fight at Aldie some 18 miles from us. They say our side was successful. I also made requisitions for some clothing. It started to rain in the evening and rained heavily all night. I slept well.
June 19, Friday
I rose up at 5 a.m. to a cloudy morning. I got breakfast and wrote a letter to my wife. I laid quiet all day. I can hear cannonading all day. There was cavalry skirmishing all day. I think we will have a battle in a few days. We were ordered to be ready to move on a short notice. It rained all night, and I did not sleep very well. I received a letter from my wife.
June 20, Saturday
I wrote a letter to my wife. Lt. Getter, of the 46th P.V. came to see me. It rained during the day. I laid quiet again. I wrote a letter to Dr. Wetherill. A lot of Rebel prisoners are being brought in. I got $4 dollars from Dr. Bland, leaving 41 in his hands. I sl;ept badly but dreamt of home.
June 21, Sunday
A cloudy day. I had an inspection at 9 a.m. We issued clothing to the men, I drew a canteen, 1 pr. Socks , 1 pr. Drawers. I aid my mess bill to Fesig $3.43. I heard heavy cannonading all day in the direction of Leesburg. A trial of wounded came in. I read and slept all day, and went to bed at 9 p.m. and slept badly.
June 22, Monday
A fine day rose up at 6 ½. Dr. bland gave me $41 dollars. I played Vigt. Et-in and made out so –so . More prisoners came in. I put up my tent, and got my baggage.
June 23, Tuesday
A fine day. I worked like a beaver all day. Finished my back ordnance return. We were inspected by captain hall in the afternoon. I had some punch in the evening. More prisoners and wounded being brought in. We fixed the camp.
June 24, Wednesday
A fine day. I mailed out my back ordnance return to General Ripley, made out a new muster roll. I worked all day at my books and papers. Had my receipt rolls witnessed and signed. And received a letter from my dear wife. I wrote her a letter. I had a headache all day. And did not go on dress parade
June 25, Thursday
A cloudy day. I felt unwell. I made out 4 muster rolls and received pay vouchers for quarterly returns. I was also Officer of the Day. And was out to Regimental Drill. I worked hard on my accounts. We received orders to move, and packed our baggage. I paid my mess bill to Fesig $5.00 and sent a package to my wife. We had our photographs taken in a group, and got some ice cream. It rained all night. “Hooker Dream”
June 26, Friday
A cloudy day, rose up at 1 a.m., then got the men up. Cooked coffee, packed up and loaded baggage and marched at 4 a.m. via Guilford Station, Dranesville and went into camp at 1 p.m. about a half mile from Dranesville. It was raining all day, and the march was terrible and rapid, the distance marched was about 18 to 20 miles, nice country, lots of cherries. I am very tired, it rained in the evening and I did not sleep well.
June 27, Saturday
A cloudy day. We rose at 3 a.m. but did not march until 6, cause the road was blocked by teams and troops. The march was very tedious. We arrived at Edwards Ferry at 10 a.m. in Loudon County is the best in Virginia. Maryland is looking nice from this side also. And starring us in the face is Sugar Loaf Mt. I commenced a letter to my wife and then laid around until 5 ½ p.m. We crossed the Potomac on pontoon bridges consisting of 64 pontoons on the river and 11 on Goose Creek. We marched some distance and camped in a large field at 6 ½ p.m. We marched a total distance of 10 miles. The boys forgot they were out of Virginia and made a raid on the fences, they were scolded for it.
June 28, Sunday
Arose at 3 a.m. to a cloudy day. We marched at 4 ½ a.m. Passed Monocacy Church at 6 ½ . Turned on the old road to Barnesville at 10 a.m. I mailed a letter to my wife. Marched along all day until 6 p.m. We passed by Hyattstown and camped about 1 mile from there on the road to New market. We marched 20 miles today. It felt as thou we had marched 30 miles. I spent the evening with some “Old Maids”: - “My father died” etc.
June 29, Monday
A cloudy day, raining at intervals all day. We rose at 3 a.m. and marched at 4 ½ and passed through Monrovia, New Market. We crossed the B&O Railroad. Came on the turnpike 6 miles to Rydersville, turned off and passed through Mt. Airy and crossed the B&O again. Here we rested for two hours. We marched until 6 p.m. and halted until morning. We ate cherries and drank milk, and diarrhea was the result. We marched 24 miles. I made requisitions for clothing. It rained during the night. I had command of the B&G of rear guard. The men straggled very much today. Dr. Bland gave me a lift. I then went to a farm house for supper. Here we ate lots of cherries, the limestone water operated on me.
June 30, Tuesday
A cloudy day. The mail came in today. We marched at 8 a.m. and passed through Lewisburg. We then marched to Westminster a distance of 9 miles. Arrived there at 1 ½ p.m. we marched through the town a very nice place, population 2,000. We halted and rested for two hours. We resumed the march at 3 ½ p.m. and marched to the Manchester Road. Crossing the Maryland Central railroad and halted and went into camp in a large woods, marched a distance of 8 miles, the whole distance marched was 17 miles. Rained at intervals throughout the day. We are all very tired and foot sore. Three rebel prisoners are brought in. I saw Lt. carpenter and Capt. Young as we passed through town. A great many pretty girls in town. Country we marched through is splendid.
The 96th monument and Position Below Little round Top
July 1, Wednesday
Cloudy day. We mustered the men for pay. Had an inspection and equalized ammunition. All kinds of rumors prevailing. Heavy cannonading toward Gettysburg. We drew two days extra rations. I wrote my wife and brother Fred. We marched at 9. p.m. and got on the wrong road. We halted at 12 midnight and rested until the Third Division passed. I suffered from sore feet very much.
July 2, Thursday
A cloudy day, marched all night. We took the pike to Littlestown and Gettysburg. Rumor that a big battle took place at Gettysburg, and that General Reynolds had been killed. We saw a captured rebel train, and also prisoners. We came into Pennsylvania at 8:05 a.m. I am very tired and foot sore. We passed through Littlestown a very nice place, the ladies were cheering and waving their kerchiefs. This county is splendid, large crops of grain etc. in the fields. Dr. Bland gave me a pass to get in an ambulance to rest in. I did and rode to near Gettysburg. I arrived here at 4 ½ p.m. we marched a total distance of 32 miles today. The cannonading is very heavy, a great many wounded men came past us. We went into action at 6 p.m., we charged forward several times and at dark, rested behind a stone wall for the night. We had one man in the regiment wounded. We crossed a creek and all got wet feet. I passed a horrid night, the groans of the wounded filled the night air, where they laid very thick.
July 3, Friday
A cloudy day, we were aroused by the firing of the skirmishers at 3:45 a.m. The shelling was very heavy at our line all day. One man was wounded by a piece of shell in our regiment. The 95th P.V.I. had two men shot. In the evening, the Third Division made a charge and advanced our line, also the Pennsylvania Reserves charged. They took the 15th Georgia Prisoners. All in all, our success was very brilliant. I made up a detail to gather up arms lying in the field. There are immense numbers of wounded coming in. I caught a bad cold. It has been raining at intervals all day long. In the evening, a shower fell. Six of the enemy batteries shelled the heights around us awfully during the day Douden, Glass, Rumberger, Feree still absent.
July 4, Saturday
Rainy in the morning but cleared off early. I roused up the men at 2 a.m. and distributed rations. Drew 9 pairs of shoes and gave them to the men. All very quiet this morning, the carnage of the field beyond is horrible. The regulars must have suffered considerably. I took a walk over the battle field. Our loss was heavier than theirs. I wrote to my wife and had it mailed at Littlestown. Huber paid me $1.37, I paid Fessig $3.30 for my mess acct. to date. I felt unwell, seems I caught a cold. At 10 ½ a.m. we advanced to the wheat field and supported a reconnaissance made by the Second Brigade of Sykes regulars. We found the enemy in force about 1 mile in the rear of the old position. They opened up with shells on our advance. No one was hurt in our regiment. Our men gathered great quantities of arms all day from the advance picket line. We returned to our old position at the stone fence at 12. And laid there all afternoon. At 1 ½ p.m. the Regulars relieved the Pennsylvania reserves and are now in our front lines, we are in the second line. It rained heavy all afternoon. The Rebs burned down the house across the wheat field. It rained heavy all evening and night, We drew rations after dark. I slept badly I coughed very much during the night. J.C. Bear said he was sick and was sent to the rear.
July 5, Sunday
Rainy and cloudy day again, rose at 4 a.m. and moved to the rear about a half mile and halted along a road until 9 a.m. when we moved to the front. The whole Corps seemed to move and halted in the Wheat Field until 1 p.m. when we moved forward. I think the rebs have gone. The stench is horrible from the dead carcasses lying around. We moved forward by columns and in line of battle at times, skirmishing along. Major Lessig and Company A took 2 of the 47th Alabama. Found that the rebs left all their hospitals and wounded to fall into our hands. At 6 p.m. we caught up with their rear guard near Blue Ridge Gap. They opened with shell. Our batteries played on them. Saw their train winding along the Gap. We formed in line of Battle and took the extreme right of the line. We moved forward until dark, when we laid down in line of battle and slept. We were wet, tired and hungry. My cough troubled me .
July 6, Monday
Cloudy and rainy, rose at 4 a.m. and cooked coffee. Hen Romberger came to the company. We rested in some woods until 4 ½ p.m. when we marched through Fairfield toward Mountain Gap. We rested and cooked coffee in a large field on the other side of the town. Daniel Stahl rejoined the company. Our Division was last today, our regiment the last one. Very short on rations. We marched at 11 p.m. and marched all night.
July 7, Tuesday
A fine day but cloudy. We passed through Emittsburg at 3 a.m. a portion of the town was burned. Institute buildings are fine. We halted nearby until 10 a.m. We slept and cooked some coffee. It rained a little. We passed through Franklinville and Mechanics town, small villages. I mailed a letter to my wife at latter place. Ladies sang, waving flags etc. All lovely, goose hangs high. All very short of rations. Three crackers a piece. Passed by Thompson’s Furnace, left Lewistown to our left and crossed over the pass in the Catoctin Mountain. Horrible marching. It again commenced to rain and continued all night. Regiments were getting lost in the dark. Artillery jammed up and things were awfully mixed up. We marched along until 10 ½ p.m. when I camped in the woods with three of my men. Thousands of men went and laid down in the rain. I washed my feet and socks and laid down in my gum blanket to sleep. Got my ass wet. We all suffered from hunger, fatigue and exposure. We marched 25 miles.
July 8, Wednesday
A rainy day, rained heavily all morning. Our Brigade waited on top of the mountain until 9 ½ a.m. waiting for stragglers to come up. We marched down the mountain and passed through Belleville, in mud ankle deep all the way. We halted and camped 1 ½ miles from Middletown at Turner’s Gap. Drew rations for the men. We skirmished for lice and laid down to sleep, wet, tired and hungry. I did not feel well. Heavy cannonading from the other side of South Mountain. News came that Vicksburg had surrendered. Cleared off toward evening. I received a letter from my wife dated the 2nd. I reported Frank Douden and John Glass as deserters and Urich D. Feree as absent sick. Coughed most of the night. There was a cavalry fight in Turner’s Gap. We marched 6 miles today.
July 9, Thursday
Cloudy day. Roused up at 3 a.m. and marched at 5 a.m. and passed through Middletown, crossed South Mountain at Turner’s gap and passed through Boonsboro, we turned off and laid in line of battle. I can see Antietam Battlefield. I mailed a letter to my wife at Middletown. We moved about a half mile further and laid in line of battle all night. There was heavy fighting down the valley. The rebs trying to come our way. John Van Hollen came into camp, We marched 8 miles.
July 10, Friday
July 11, Saturday
A fine warm day. We deployed groups at 3 a.m. I drew 11 pair of shoes and some rations. We advanced as skirmishers by the right flank at 5 a.m. we formed regiment at Antietam Bridge and rested at 10 a.m. I took Co. B and G across the bridge and occupied the rebel rifle pits. We sent out skirmishers. They drove the rebs back to the woods. We took one prisoner of Munford’s 2nd Virginia Cavalry. The firing was lively. I fired some three or four shots. We were relieved in the evening and moved in the right flank and rested for a few minutes. We moved into the skirmish line and supported a section of artillery. We opened fire but received no reply. Knocked Jake Nice and H Keiser down with my sword for disobedience of orders. Came back after dark and slept for the night. I lost my gum blanket.
July 12, Sunday
Foggy Morning. I paid Fesig $2.29 for my mess bill at the 10th inst. We marched at 5 ½ a.m. Passed through Funkstown, crossed the Antietam Creek and formed into line of battle within one mile of Hagerstown. Laid around, moving our lines now and then until evening, when we moved to the left. We made breastworks. At Dark, moved forward to support the 121st N.Y. pickets. Was on picket with part of the regiment. I mailed a letter at Funkstown to my wife. Heavy Skirmishing. The eleventh Corps and First Corps moved to our right, Fifth Corps to our left. I was very sick all night.
July 13, Monday
Cloudy and rainy. Aroused and moved forward to the skirmish line at 3 !/1 a.m. Heavy picket firing all day. I am very sick. Close shooting. Exchanged newspapers with the rebs. Firing Stopped. The First South Carolina is opposite us. It is raining at intervals all day. We relieved about 6 p.m. and retired behind our breast works for the night. The enemy was busy all day at their earthworks, they opened with shell on our right, one man in our regiment was wounded by a sharpshooter.