Friday, January 8, 2010


The following letter was written to the Pottsville Miners Journal by an unidentified soldier from Schuylkill County, who served in the 210th P.V.I. during the Battle of Hatchers Run.




Editors Miners Journal: Knowing that the voice of every Union Soldier ever finds ready echo in the columns of your Union devoted journal. I, as one hailing from old Schuylkill, take the liberty of availing myself of this privilege to state what our company, composed of Schuylkill and Columbia County boys did in the battle of Sunday and Monday, 4th and 7th inst.

The 210th P.V. in common with the whole of our corps 5th broke camp on Sunday at 5 o’ clock. (Pleasant Sabbath introduction) reveille having been sounded at 4 a.m. and marched towards Hatcher’s Run along what was the Weldon Railroad getting to the run at 10 a.m., where we formed. Our advance cavalry engaged a Brigade of I think Pegram’s Rebel Davisson. Our Generals, Warren, Ayres, and Gwyn Corps, Division and Brigade Commanders, respectively being in advance of the 3d brigade, ordered the veteran regiment of the 3rd to move forward which they did at the double quick, leaving our regiment (210th P.V.) to cover their rear. By this time musketry fell as thick as hail stones. Our regiment being formed in line of battle the Colonel than whom no braver man breathes the breath of vitality, ordered us to charge, which we did with a hurrah and a cheer peculiar to old and experienced veterans. By this time musketry was still in fur owe, and very evidently bringing victory to our side. We charged some hundred yards, when we were reluctantly obliged to halt by reason of the Run, which the “Johnnies” had rendered impassible by means of dams, they being on the opposite side posted behind breast works. Some of our boys more impervious than others jumped and saved themselves from drowning by swimming across. Prominent among them were Lieut’s Giles and Richy, who lost their haversacks while crossing. I shall here mention that General Gwyn, no doubt from brave motives, threateningly insisted on our crossing, but General Warren and Ayres checked it by saying there was no need for this impractical step.

Col. William Sergeant of 210th

Our own Colonel, hitherto not very popular with the boys, because of his rigid discipline(He being a Regular) interposed, saying he did not want any more of his men to cross in this way. Some twenty however got across, who participated in the capture of twenty-five of the N.C. Rebels, who were without shirts and wore only their cotton pants. They were good looking young fellows and appeared most joyful at their capture. One young fellow only sixteen told me he had been two years in the rebel army, and that he was always forced to fight. This they all said. Among them there was only one haversack, containing some ........ of such a compound as might baffle the vegetable condiments. On seeing our full ones their desiderata to get a few “Hard Tack” though unexpressed, was to me quite conspicnine. I therefore opened mine and gave four to each of five, who kindly thanked me, remarking “we don’t get four each day”. Let me here say that I believe in the adage”A magnanimous enemy before a Pusillanimous Friend.” Rebels and Copperheads. All our boys crossed by means of trees which pioneers felled; the “Johnnies” retreated in demoralized confusion and in making their escape, leaving a few killed behind and two officers and twenty-five men captured. These represent rebeldom in a collapsing condition, a fact patent to all rationale men. Copperheads excepted. Leaving the Run about 12M we marched further south and then commenced a counter march towards the Southside, coming to an open field at 3P.M. where we bivouacked until 12 midnight when we were ordered to fall in, and continued marching till 5 A.M. at which time we found ourselves on the ground taken from the rebels by the 2nd Corps on Sunday. Here we lay for some five hours under the most trying circumstances and privations it has ever been my lot to experience. The night was freezing hard; the wind had been biting, with little or no wood to make a fire. I assure you they were no desirable circumstances to endure. However, all these and other privations become dissipated considering the force and gravity of the classic stage.

We left the field at 10 a.m. maneuvered till 2 P.M. when musketry again resonantly comes on the ear. Then our brigade was ordered to front and formed into three lines of battle moving by the left flank. Three parallel lines, when Lo came the cavalry, “helter Skelter” through or formed lines in a most demoralized condition. As a natural consequence we stamped for about two minutes, being, to use a military term, “green” Pennsylvania troops, who were that day to be mentioned in the category of bravery indigenous to the Old Keystone. Soon we redeemed what was the instant significant of utter demoralization. At the same time Messr Editors, understand that the 210th was not the first to falter. The whole brigade with the old famous Reserves, with the 3rd and 4th Delaware for a moment was confused. The drums beat “Rally”, the Rebel balls flying the dust in a hurricane. General almost frothing, exhibited the most signal bravery, and amongst all of this chaos, was one who was cool and deliberate, calculating and reserved. This was William Sergeant, Colonel of the 210th P.V. brother in law of General George Meade, General Commanding, and worthy of distinguished connection. Seated on his black horse, he cries “Rally 210th “. In less than one minute he has his boys following him. it is not “go boys, “ but “follow me” is the motto. In five minutes the whole command, five hundred strong, was leading their veteran comrades, headed by their idolized Colonel. Today who can throw any obloquy on Col. Sergeant’s name in the hearing of any man of the brigade, much less his own boys. He led them putting his hat on the tip of his sword: exclaiming like a true Union Soldier, “Follow Me Boys, and Follow Me!” Today the Army of The Potomac hears of the 210th and their beloved Colonel, for every man has pledged himself to never desert him. The green Horn regiment with their old, though not thirty five Colonel, is now the topic everywhere in the army. At his instant command we rallied, pursued and hunted Hill’s veterans, for two and a half miles through interminable woods, disregarding shells and bullets which were flying like snow and only felt a regret at our Colonels “Cease Firing”. In our company we lost one St. Clair man wounded, since died and six others slightly wounded. In the regiment we had about sixty killed wounded and missing. One of my boys an Ashland man, in a hand to hand conflict, captured a Johnny and brought him to General Gwyn. This is Lewis Stolte. We went in at two o’clock and came out at five o’clock. Among those deserving honorable mention are captain Palmer, Co.G, Foster, Co. I, Bowman Co. A. McKnight Co. D, and Kenny Co. F. and Lieuts Richy, Killen Ruggle and our newly appointed adjutant. Of the fifty three men we have for duty forty six are from old Schuylkill. The rest are from Columbia. On Tuesday evening the 3rd Division of our Corps captured a battery of eight guns, and reports say two thousand prisoners. Yesterday we again pursued the rebs, but they wouldn’t give battle. Before clothing let me state, we are leaving this line that the rebs shell feel what Union means. Enough for this time.

A Union Soldier, Co. E. 210th P.V.

Jacob E. Raub
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Served in the Civil War as Assistant Surgeon of the 210th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery at the Battle of Hatchers Run, Virginia on February 5, 1865. His citation reads “Discovering a flank movement by the enemy, appraised the commanding general at great peril, and though a noncombatant voluntarily participated with the troops in repelling this attack”. He had be initially stationed in a Federal field hospital well away from the fighting, but when he learned his regiment was entering the battle without a surgeon, he obtained permission to advance with them. While attending wounded soldiers under fire, he observed the Rebel movements that threatened the flank and, while still under severe fire, found division commander General Romeyn B. Ayres, who was able to change the direction of the nearest Union brigade in time to save his flank. His Medal was issued on April 20, 1896.

From Find A grave (bio by: Russ Dodge)

The boys of Company E recruited in Schuylkill and Columbia County

John Cook

First Lieutenant
J. Milton Shuman

Second Lieutenant
William S. Morris

First Sergeant
Samuel Bower

Uriah W. Tiley
John R. Miller
Benjamin Haines
Isaac J. Wagner

Charles Wagner
Charles P. Koch
Joseph E. Thomas
Edward Fletcher
Lawrence Rastatter
Michael Curley
Edward Reed
Louis Stolte
Martin M. L'Ve1le

Enos Bower
Elijah Bower

Burke, Patrick
Barrett, Mark
Blakely, Joseph
Betz, Henry C.
Buck, John C.
Barnes, James
Bye, John
Crawley, James
Clark, James
Colahan, Thomas
Davidson, Samuel
Daddow, Henry G.
Evans, Thomas E.
Evans, Jckson L.
Evans, Reese M.
Faux, Tillman
Figgles, Charles
Fisher, William T.
Frederick, George
Faust, Charles
Fletcher, Henry
Ford, Thomas
Gensel, Jacob G.
Gartley, John
Geiger, Nicholas
Hart, A1exander
Hussey, Thomas
Hoffman, Reuben
Hobbs, Michael
Hoffman, Bently
Hyman, Bently
Hess, Silas
Hagenbuch, Abraham
Hetler, Hiram H.
Houseknecht, B. J.
Hall, James W
Hinchcliffe, S. H.
Haggerty, John
Irely, Joseph
Johnson, Alexander
Johnson, Hugh
Joyce, John
Koettnitz, Louis
Ke1ly, William H.
Krebs, Pharoah W.
Kane, Dennis
Kelly, James
Robbins, Levi
Rounds, Horace R.
Reed, David J.
Rochow, Adolph
Swartwout, William H.
Smith, John
Sissem, Charles A.
Staub, Henry H.
Smith, Thomas G.
Shattuck, John
Sanford, William R.
Snyder, James R.
Shipman, Andrew J.
Staub, Jacob J.
Swift, Andrew J.
Shurtz, Frank
Torrey, Nathan W.
Vangelder, Stephen
Wilt, George W.
Warner, Seth V.
Whitaker, Edward
Ward, John
Welch, Nicholas
Weddick, James
Yeatter, Andrew

1 comment:

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