Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Special Request

Although I'm trying to put up the monuments and sites of Gettysburg following the order of battle, as I said before, when something strikes my fancy, or if I get a request, I'll deviate from the plan...this is one of those deviations.

My little brother's father-in-law's (the esteemed Jim McCollum) Grandmother's Grandfather (his Great Great Grandfather) fought for the Army of the Potomac, 5th Corps, 1st Division, 3rd Brigade, Regiment 83rd Pennsylvania, Company E where he served as a 1st Sergeant.  Jim asked if I could put up some useful information on his Great Great Grandfather's company.  So here we go...

The monument for the 83rd Pennsylvania at Gettysburg is on the South slope of Little Round Top, it was dedicated on Sept 12, 1889.  It features Colonel Strong Vincent (who was killed shortly after placing his brigade on Little Round Top).  The monument also features the Maltese Cross that was the symbol of the 5th Corps.

83rd Pennsylvania Monument on Little Round Top
E.L. Whitelsey served from August 26,1861 until the company was disbanded at Harrisburg, Pa., July 4, 1865.   He was wounded at the battle of Malvern Hill (during the 7 Day's Battles).  He was wounded a second time and taken prisoner at the battle of 2nd Bull Run (or 2nd Manassas).  He was promoted from Corporal to 1st Sergeant (I can't find the date), and promoted to Sergeant Major on February 1, 1863 (which was the rank he held at Gettysburg).  He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on June 26, 1864.  And promoted a final time to 1st Lieutenant of Company A (83rd Pa) on October 30, 1864.

Company E of the Pa. 83rd was organized in Waterford, Erie County, Pennsylvania, and mustered into United States service September 8, 1861. Mustered out of the Army of the Potomac June 28, 1865, and disbanded at Harrisburg, Pa., July 4, 1865.

Uniform style worn by 83rd Pa 1861-19\862

 The Regiment served from 1st Manassas through the Grand Review.  Significant battles besides Gettysburg included:  The Peninsula Campaign, The Seven Day's Battles (Including Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Savage Station, Malvern Hill) , 2nd Manassas, The Maryland Campaign (including Antietam) Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Overland Campaign (including The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor), Petersburg, Five Forks, Appomattox.

83rd Pa Recruiting Poster
The 83rd lost 282 officers and men who died while fighting for the Union; only the 5th New Hampshire lost more--295. 

The 83rd Pa and Gettysburg

The Brigade was hurried to Little Round Top about 5 p.m. of July 2d. They were one of the companies of Colonel Strong Vincent's Brigade.  The 83rd was positioned to the right of the 20th Maine on Little Round Top.  They repulsed the attacks of General John Bell Hood's Division of Longstreet's Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Specifically the frought Robertson's Brigade and what appears to have been the 5th Texas and 4th Alabama, they also were engaged by the 47th Alabama of Law's Brigade.  After driving Confederate forces from Little Round Top, they assisted in the taking of Big Round Top. 
The Regiment had 308 men engaged in battle, and suffered 10 killed and 45 wounded.  

Triangular Flag of the 83rd Pa (used @ Gettysburg)

No. 201. — Report of Capt. Orpheus S. Woodward, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.

July 6, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: In compliance with orders from headquarters Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Corps, I have the honor to report the following as the operations of my command during the battle of the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th instant:
On the morning of the 2d instant, moved to the front. At about 2.30 p.m. was ordered into position on our extreme left, the Forty-fourth New York on my right, the Twentieth Maine on my left. At 3.15 p.m. the enemy advanced and engaged my skirmishers, pressing on in force, with bayonets fixed. They soon drove in my skirmishers and engaged my regiment, posted behind rocks and stones hastily thrown up for defense. The contest continued lively until nearly 6 p.m., when the enemy fell back. I instantly threw forward a strong line of skirmishers, who captured between 50 and 60 prisoners and 250 stand of arms.
My men and officers acted splendidly. Where all did so well, I cannot discriminate.
My loss amounted to 10 killed and 45 wounded.
At 1.30 a.m. on the 3d, moved to the support of the Twentieth Maine, which had succeeded in taking a high hill a little to the left of my former position. Remained here until 10 a.m., when, being relieved by a regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserves, rejoined my brigade, massed in the woods, just at the right of General Sykes’ headquarters. Here I remained until 12 m., the 4th, when the brigade was thrown forward on a reconnaissance. We moved out, and occupied the position occupied by the enemy the previous day; threw forward skirmishers, but found no opposing force within 2 miles. I deem it but proper to state that but for the prompt and skillful disposition made by Colonel Vincent of the troops under his command (the Third Brigade), the enemy would have succeeded in turning our left.
I regret to state that Colonel Vincent was severely wounded. My command (his regiment) esteemed him highly as a gentleman, scholar, and soldier, and bitterly avenged his injury.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant HERENDEEN,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brig., First Div., Fifth Corps.

Some references that may help those looking for additional information on the 83rd Pa include:

Judson, Amos M., Captain, Company E.    History of the Eighty-Third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.   Dayton, OH: Morningside Books, 1986. 

Schellhammer, Michael W. The 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War, McFarland Publishing .

More on the First Corps from Gettysburg

Today’s post features the 1st Corps, 1st Division, 2nd Brigade.  The Brigade consisted of the following regiments:  76th New York; 84th New York (also known as the 14th Brooklyn); 95th New York; 147th New York; and nine companies of the 56th Pennsylvania.

The 2nd Brigade  saw action July 1, 1863 along the Chambersburg Pike (US Rt 30), notably at the area of the railroad cut and along Oak Ridge.  After the Brigade assisted in the capture of a large portion of Iverson’s Brigade they retreated to Cemetery Hill and then were sent to Culp’s Hill, where the 7th Indiana joined back up with the brigade.

On Culp’s Hill, the 84th and 147th NY went to the aid of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, of the 12th Corps where they actively engaged Confederate troops on July 2nd, and on the morning of July 3rd the Brigade also repulsed a Confederate attack.  They remained there until the close of the battle.

With the exception of the 7th Indiana, all of the major monuments shown here are located along the railroad cut (or in close proximity to it).  The 7th Indiana’s monument is on Culp’s Hill.  Secondary monuments aren’t pictured in this post, maybe somewhere down the road I will do several posts on secondary monuments.
One additional thing to make note of, when I list the casualties below, a wounded soldier could die of his wounds weeks or months later and not be counted as battle killed.

Brigadier General Lysander Cutler

At Gettysburg, the 2nd Brigade served  under the leadership of Brigadier General 

Lysander Cutler.  Cutler was originally commissioned in July 1861 as Colonel of the 6th Wisconsin (of Iron 
Brigade Fame, see previous posts).  

He was wounded in the thigh at the Battle of Brawner's Farm which caused him to miss the Battle of Antietam.  Following the First Battle of Fredericksburg where Cutler distinguished himself, he was promoted to Brigadier General, eventually leading to appointment as 2nd Brigade Commander (1st Division, 1st Corps). 

 In 1864 Cutler suffered a severe wound at The Battle of Globe Tavern when he was struck in the face by a shell fragment.  Although he was brevetted to the rank of Major General, he was an invalid for the remainder of the war.  Cutler died of a stroke in July 1866. 

Brigadier General Lysander Cutler

76th New York

  With 375 men engaged in battle they suffered 32 killed, 132 wounded and 70 missing.  They were organized in January 1862 at Courtland and Albany New York and served until January 1865 when their remaining veterans were absorbed into the 147th NY.  This monument was dedicated July 1, 1888 on the 25th anniversary of the battle.  There are secondary unit markers for the 76th NY located on the summit of Culp's Hill where they were located on July 2nd and 3rd.  

76th New York Monument, located on Reynold's Avenue.

84th New York (14th Brooklyn Militia)

The 84th New York (also known as the 14th Brooklyn Militia) entered the battle with 356 men and suffered 13 killed, 105 wounded and 99 missing.  Raised in King’s County New York in May 1861, they served until June 6, 1864.  Their monument was dedicated October 19, 1887.  They have two secondary markers indicating their positions:  one on McPherson's Ridge indicating the position they held on the morning on July 1 prior to advancing on Davis' Brigade at the railroad cut; The second is on Culp's Hill where they engaged Johnson's Division (of Ewell's Corps) on July 2 (and where they remained on July 3).

84th NY (14th Brooklyn Militia) Monument.  Located on Reynolds Avenue (McPherson Barn in background)

95th New York

The 95th New York entered the battle with 261 men, and suffered 7 killed, 62 wounded and 46 missing.  They were organized at New York City and the counties of Rockland, Schoharie, and Westchester New York and served through July 16, 1865.  They were present for Lee’s Surrender and the Grand Review.  The monument was dedicated July 1, 1893 (the 30th anniversary of the battle), and it was moved in 1960 due to the bridge that was built over the railroad cut.
They have 4 secondary markers on the battlefield indicating various locations they held.  The first 3 represent locations held on July 1 and are located in the following areas:  The Railroad Woods, showing position held @ 10am on July 1; Wadsworth Avenue on Oak Ridge showing position held @ noon on July 1; Chambersburg Pike at Confederate Avenue showing position held @ 4pm on July 1.  The final secondary monument is on the summit of Culp's Hill showing position held on July 2 and July 3, 1863.

95th New York Monument (Railroad Cut in background)

147th New York
The 147th NY has a secondary unit marker on Culp’s Hill.  This memorial was dedicated on July 1,  1888, the 25th anniversary of the battle.  They had 430 men engaged in the battle and suffered 60 killed, 144 wounded, 92 missing.  Organized at Oswego, New York in September 1862, they served until June 1865 and were present at both Lee’s Surrender and the Grand Review.
147th New York Monument.  Located on Reynolds Avenue by the Railroad Cut.

56th Pennsylvania

The 56th Pennsylvania entered the battle with 252 men in 9 companies, and suffered 14 killed, 61 wounded and 55 missing.  They were organized in the Pennsylvania counties of Centre, Luzerene, Susquehanna, Indiana, and the city of Philadelphia.  They served with the Army of the Potomac through July 1865, and were present for both Lee’s Surrender and the Grand Review.  While they also served on Culp's Hill, there are no secondary markers for this unit.  Their monument was dedicated on September 11th 1889 at a cost of $1500.
56th Pennsylvania Monument.  Located on Reynold's Avenue by the Cut Bridge.

7th Indiana

The 7th Indiana missed most of the action on July 1st as they were detached from the brigade in Emmitsburg by Maj Gen Reynolds for a guard detail.  They rejoined the 2nd Brigade late afternoon / early evening on the 1st.  This monument is on the summit of Culp’s Hill where they were in position until July 5th 1863.  They were organized in Dearborn, Decatur, Johnson, Hendricks, Marion and Ohio counties, Indiana in September 1861 and served until September 23, 1864 when the remaining members of the regiment were absorbed into the 19th Indiana Infantry of Iron Brigade fame.  They entered the battle with 431 men and suffered 2 killed, 5 wounded and 3 missing.  Their monument was dedicated on October 28, 1885.

Night shot of the 7th Indiana Monument on Culp's Hill.

I hope you found this informative.  My plan is to continue every couple weeks with new posts on another brigade (1st Corps through 12th), and I will occasionally pepper the site with additional Civil War tidbits that I think may be interesting.  As always, feel free to comment, I will reply to all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

150 Years Ago This Week

The process of study is on a slight hold, between vacation, work and "to do" lists I am working on, I've been neglectful.  But on a brighter note, it's time for a new post.

As I'm sure that most of the people (both of you) who read this blog are aware, we are in the middle of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.  This week notably is the anniversary of the first major battle of the Civil War, First Manassas (or First Bull Run if you prefer).  

The set up is as follows...

Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell was appointed by President Lincoln  to command the Union Army of Northeastern Virginia.   McDowell was harassed by impatient politicians and citizens in Washington, who wished to see a quick battlefield victory over the Confederate Army .   Lincoln too was concerned as several of the "90 day" units who enlisted in the early days following Ft. Sumpter were about to expire.  McDowell, however, was concerned about the untried nature of his army. He was reassured by President Lincoln, "You are green, it is true, but they are green also; you are all green alike." Against his better judgment, McDowell commenced campaigning. On July 16, 1861, the general departed Washington with the largest field army yet gathered on the  continent, about 35,000 men 
The Confederate Army of the Potomac with nearly 22,000 men under Beauregard was encamped near Manassas Junction, approximately 25 miles from the United States capital. McDowell planned to attack this numerically inferior enemy army. 
On July 21, 1861 the battle commenced.  Without going into too much detail, the early part of the battle the Union Army seemed to have the advantage, but due to lack of training and leadership failed to press the advantage, and ultimately was crushed by a Confederate counterattack later in the day.  The routed Union Army that took days to march the 25 miles from Washington took hours to retreat back.  
Bull Run was the largest and bloodiest battle in American history up to that point. Union casualties were 460 killed, 1,124 wounded, and 1,312 missing or captured; Confederate casualties were 387 killed, 1,582 wounded, and 13 missing.
Many things came from this first major land engagement.

McDowell was rlieved of command, and was replaced by Major General George McClellan who excelled at building and training an army, but was less than a great battlefield commander. 
 A day after the battle, (July 22nd) Lincoln signed a bill calling for the 3 year enlistment of an additional 500,000 troops.  
Beauregard was promoted by Jefferson Davis to the rank of full general.  

And on this field, Brigadier General Barnard Bee (CSA), told his troops to reform on Henry Hill  behind former VMI professor's Thomas Jackson Virginia troops.  Bee said, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.  Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer.  Rally behind the Virginians!"  Jackson would be forever more known as Stonewall Jackson.  Bee was mortally wounded shortly after.  

Without further ado, please enjoy these pictures I have taken at the Manassas Battlefield.
Jackson Memorial on Henry House Hill

Smooth Bore and Rifled Guns of The Washington Artillery Battalion on Henry House Hill

Artillery View from Jackson's Line Looking Towards Henry House
Robinson Lane where Confederates Retreated from Matthew's Hill to Henry Hill

Stone House with Matthew's Hill in Background as Seen From Henry Hill

Close up of Stone House (it was used as a field hospital following the battle)

Graffiti of Private Eugene P Geer 5th NY Infantry in Stone House.  He died of his wounds Sept. 30, 1862 at the age of 17.  This is from the Second Battle of Manassas.

Graffiti of Private Charles E. Brehm 5th NY Infantry in Stone House.  He recovered from his wounds and survived the  war.
This is from the Second Battle of Manassas.

Union Memorial to the Battles of First and Second Bull Run, Dedicated 1865.  Note the artillery shells on the monument, they were live until about 60 or so  years ago.

Approximate Position of Rickett's Battery.  Note the visitor's center in the background.

Stonewall Jackson Monument on Henry House Hill, Jackson's position located by wood line in the background

Close up of Jackson on Little Sorrell.  Obviously not to scale, this monument was built  in the late '30s or early 40's (I can't remember which at this moment)

Monument to Brigadier General Francis Bartow (CSA), reported to be the first Confederate officer to die in the battle.  He was mortally wounded on this spot on Henry House Hill.

Opposite side of Jackson Monument is this monument to the mortal wounding of Brigadier General Barnard Bee (CSA) who just before his wounding told his men, "There stands Jackson like a stonewall..."

Cannons of the Rhode Island Battery (USA) on Matthews Hill

View of Henry House Hill from Rhode Island Battery location on Matthew's Hill

Confederate Cemetery at Manassas.  At least 266 men are interred here, all but 2 are unidentified.

Stone Bridge crossing Bull Run, destroyed during the battle, it was later rebuilt.

Looking downstream on Bull Run from Stone Bridge.

Looking upstream on Bull Run from Stone Bridge.

As usual, I hope you enjoyed, feel free to leave comments.  I promise next post will be back on track with Gettysburg.