The information for the history of this organization was gleaned from the original minute book of the Covington Fencibles. This book came into the possession of the author’s grandfather, George W. Miller (1832 – 1896), one of the members of the organization. Just why it was entrusted to him is unknown.
The minute book was passed on to his son, Redford E. Miller (1873 – 1954), the author’s father. As a teenager, the author became very interested in the history of Drinker’s Beech as a hobby.
Of course, the minute book passed on into the custody of the author. Realizing the importance of this historic document, he turned it over to the Lackawanna County Historical Society in Scranton, where it now reposes in its historic splendor.
The Civil War histories which follow were located in the pension records and the service records of soldiers found in the National Archives, and also in local histories found in the Library of Congress, both in Washington, D.C.
The 1860’s were war years, but the men of Drinker’s Beech had been preparing for it. A group of our citizens called the Covington Fencibles (Home Guards) was organized by Hiram S. Travis, a stone mason and carpenter, who came to Moscow in 1845. This organization held their first meeting at George Treible’s hotel in Daleville on August 22, 1846. They were subject to the military laws of Pennsylvania and met several times a year for training. A special training with other similar groups was held once a year at Scranton or Wilkes-Barre and fines were levied for non-attendance.
The Covington Fencibles existed until 1861. During this time most of the able-bodied men of our area had belonged at one time or another. The first uniform was “scotch plaid coat, white pantaloons, and black hat with white feather, red top and pants.” Our boys must have looked handsome, indeed. Probably many a local maiden’s heart fluttered.
Officers elected at their first meeting were:
Other charter members were: William Albro, Lewis Benjamin, Adam Biesecker, Charles Biesecker, Henry H. Biesecker, Reuben Biesecker, Jeremiah Buck, Samuel B. Buck, Samuel Carter, Abram R. Depew, Israel C. Depew, William Depew, George W. Edwards, Aaron Frey, George Haines, John Haines Jr., Charles Jones, Henry Leader, David McWade, Frederick H. Miller, Samuel Mott, Daniel Noack, William Pierson, John Rhodes, Lewis B. Schoonover, Isaac Silfee, John M. Simpson, Charles S. Swartz, Isaac Swartz, Henry VanCamp, John VanCamp, Isaac Weldy and William Yeager.
New officers were elected on May 6, 1850. They were:
New members who joined between 1846 and 1850 were: Richard D. Hodgson (in 1847); Isaac Bird, Joseph Bird and George Lown (in 1848); Abram Biesecker, Joseph Hornbaker, George W. Miller, Harrison W. Rhodes and William Silfee (in 1849); and Isaac Safford (in 1850).
In 1851, Oscar F. Beemer, William LaFrance and John M. Miller became members. Isaac Biesecker, George W. Edwards, Thomas Seward, Frederick Wombocker and Justice Wombocker joined in 1852; and in 1853, a membership drive added twenty four to their rolls: Levi Biesecker, William D. Brown, Isaac N. Buck, Charles Colgizer, Silas D. Coleman, Thomas Dyson, William M. Edwards, James D. Hendershot, Irvin Ives, Augustus M. Jones, Jacob Keller, Benjamin Krotzer, James Lee, Alanson Phillips, Benjamin Silfee, John Summers, Taylor D. Swartz, Edward Treible, Edward T. Wardell, Henry F. Wardell, Thomas A. Wardell, John T. Webster, Thomas Webster Jr. and David Weldy.
No new members were added in 1854, but by this time a total of ninety six men had become members. However, after nine years of existence, many of the older members had dropped out; some had moved away, and, of course, others had lost interest. At a meeting on July 4, 1855, only seventeen members showed up. Something had to be done.
A re-organization took place at a meeting on May 5, 1856. New officers were elected, six new members were taken in and the uniform was changed. The Covington Fencibles would now wear “blue coats trimmed with red and yellow, with red belts.”
George Krotzer, the dependable, the organization’s first Captain was re-elected Captain, but other officers elected in 1856 were newer members:
New members included: William H. Biesecker, Daniel Evans, William Evans Jr., David Hendershot, John Krotzer and John F. Sayer.
In 1856, thirteen new members were added: Warren A. Beemer, C. Henry Clouse, John Delacy, Peter T. Depew, Erastus Edwards, John W. Fike, Myron Hopkins, James Loveland, Henry H. Lown, Morris H. Rhodes, Henry W. Sayer, Philip Snook and Phillip Swartz.
No new members were added in 1857, but eight joined in 1858: Andrew A. Biesecker, W. Goodrich Bortree, William Loveland, John O. Tanfield, Robert E. Wardell, Dudley K. Watrous, George W. Weldy and Franklin W. Wombocker.
New officers were elected again in 1859. This time, Hiram S. Travis, who had formerly served as Ensign, was elected Captain. The other officers elected were:
Twenty five new members were taken in during 1859: John W. Alt, Sanford G. Colgizer, Nodiah Curtis, William T. Dale, Silas Depew, Richard Edwards, Derias Finch, John Finch, Charles W. Frazier, Leonard Frazier, William Glossenger, Dennis Hawk, Peter Hornbaker, Michael W. Hurley, Laroy Latouche, Dilton F. Miller, Egbert Mitchell, Levi J. Owens, James M. Rhodes, Benjamin F. Swartz, Calvin Waderman, John W. Wardell, Major M. Wardell, Nathaniel Wescott and Adam Yeager.
War seemed imminent by 1860 and the Covington Fencibles responded with another re-organization. A committee consisting of Charles W. Frazier, Dilton F. Miller, Levi Biesecker, John Finch and Hiram A. Depew was appointed to draw up by-laws and regulations which were approved at a meeting on June 15, 1860. Among other things, the uniforms were changed again. This time their dress would include “blue cloth coats, sky blue pants with red stripe and black caps with spread eagle.”
Officer elected on June 15, 1860 were:
New members were: Hiram A. Depew, Benjamin J. Stevens, Halsey W. Swartz and Spencer G. Yeager.
CIVIL WAR RECORDS
8th PENNSYLVANIA REGIMENT
On April 20 and 21, 1861, soon after President Lincoln’s call for troops, the Covington Fencibles responded by recruiting a body of seventy seven men at Moscow. It was their last official act. The group was mustered into service at Wilkes-Barre on April 23rd for three months’ service. About half of this group was from Drinker’s Beech, the others mostly from surrounding areas.
The Officers of the 8th Pennsylvania Infantry were:
Colonel, Anthony H. Emley of Wilkes-Barre
Lt. Colonel, Samuel Bowman of Wilkes-Barre
Major, Joseph Phillips of Pittston
Adjutant, Joseph Wright of Wilkes-Barre
Quartermaster, Butler Dilley of Kingston
Surgeon, Dr. Benjamin H. Throop of Scranton
Assistant Surgeon, H. Carey Parry
Chaplain, T. P. Hunt
The Officers of Company B were:
Captain, Hiram S. Travis
First Lieutenant, Franklin W. Wombocker
Second Lieutenant, Sanford G. Coglizer
First Sergeant, Jacob Swartz
Second Sergeant, John F. Sayer
Third Sergeant, John W. Fike
Fourth Sergeant, Dilton F. Miller
First Corporal, Benjamin J. Stevens
Second Corporal, David M. Weldy
Third Corporal, George W. Weldy
Fourth Corporal, Warren A. Beemer
Musician, Paul Debler
Drummer, William J. H. Miller
James McGuigan replaced Jacob Swartz as First Sergeant during their tour of duty.
The 8th Regiment was sent to Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where they drilled for two days, then were ordered to Chambersburg. Here they were attached to the Third Brigade, First division. On June 7th, they were in Greenville on the way to Williamsport to guard the Potomac River. On July 6th, they joined the Brigade at Martinsburg, West Virginia, and on July 17th they participated in a flank movement toward Charlestown. On July 20th, they were at Keys Ford. They returned to Harrisburg by way of Hagerstown and were mustered out on July 29, 1861.
The members of Company B, 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, and their Civil War history are as follows:
CAPTAIN HELMBOLD’S COMPANY
Another company of fifty eight men, called Captain Helmbold’s Independent Company of Pennsylvania Militia, was recruited in Daleville in June and July 1863 by Reverend Joseph K. Helmbold, who served as their Captain. They were used in the hospitals in Harrisburg as orderlies to man the over-crowded condition resulting from the Battle of Gettysburg. They were mustered out from August to September 1863. The company contained a number of men from Drinker’s Beech, and others from neighboring communities. These soldiers were: George B. Armitage, Merritt P. Barnes, Reese G. Brooks, Philip H. Butts, James T. Dale, Thomas H. Dale, John W. Daug, Abram H. Depew, Leo Dosch, George B. Dreher, Morgan Edmunds, Andrew J. Gambell, Samuel Gates, Jeremiah B. Gilpin, Andrew Glaze, John W. Gray, James H. Havenstrite, Joseph K. Helmbold, Jacob Hilt, Matthew H. Holgate, Jacob Holabaugh, Samuel Homan, Samuel Houser, Howard B. Jeffries, John Kyle, Omer Lester, Richard G. Long, Robert A. Lucas, James Lynch, John N. Martin, William McClinchy, Edward McLaughlin, Samuel V. McNey, George F. Miller, Charles H. Nichols, James H. Paddick, Daniel Pugh, John Rose, George W. Ross, Morgan J. Royal, Aaron Sayer, Jacob Shaffer, Samuel Shirk, Samuel W. Shope, Albert Simpson, William H. Sowers, George E. Staples, Sydenham Staples, Sameul Stone, James W. VanCamp, Edwin R. Warburton, Henry F. Wardell, Robert E. Wardell, Myron G. Wescott, George W. Whiteneck and Gideon Williamson.
THE CIVIL WAR
At the onset of the Civil War, as with other wars, our young men were fired with a spirit of adventure. They were going places they had only dreamed about, and do things they had never dreamed about. But the grand vacation from family ties and boring labor of farming and lumbering soon came to an end.
Never before, or since, has such a terrible toll been taken of the men of Drinker’s Beech. Approximately two hundred and fifty of the men of our area, plus another two hundred recruited in our area, joined in the great conflict. Of this number, forty four died in the service, sixty two more were severely injured or wounded and ten suffered the tortures of exposure and starvation in southern prison camps.
Everyone suffered. The male members of some families were completely wiped out, and others were sadly decimated. Many wives and mothers were made widows and their children fatherless. Some became destitute when their bread-winners did not return. Besides, many that did come back were unfit for hard labor. Our cemeteries tell the tale of veterans that died in the next forty years as a result of disease and wounds received in their service.
Our Civil War veterans were a battle-scarred lot, but to give a clearer picture of the war, we will review some of the history of the regiments that contained soldiers from Drinker’s Beech.
3rd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
7th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
8th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
15th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
This regiment was organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was completed on May 1, 1861 for three months’ service under Colonel Richard A. Oakford. John Delacy of Covington Township, Pennsylvania was appointed First Lieutenant of Company A, while Company K contained two men from Daleville, Pennsylvania: George W. Dale and William T. Dale.
The regiment reached Camp Johnston near Lancaster, Pennsylvania on May 9, 1861 and went into camp. On June 3rd they moved toward Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and then marched to Hagerstown, Maryland. They reached here on June 16th. They continued on to Martinsburg, West Virginia, where they went into camp on July 3rd and remained there until the 15th. George W. Dale was left there, where he died of typhoid fever on July 26th. The rest of the regiment marched to Bunker Hill, Charlestown, Hagerstown and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where they encamped on the 27th. They were mustered out on August 7, 1861.
18th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
21st PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
23rd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
Company L of this regiment, which contained a number of Drinker’s Beech soldiers, was transferred to Company D of the 61st Pennsylvania Infantry.
28th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
30th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
32nd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY (3RD PENNSYLVANIA RESERVES)
41st PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY (12TH PENNSYLVANIA RESERVES)
45th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
48th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
49th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 49th regiment was organized early in September 1861. Company F contained six soldiers from our area:
The 49th was assigned to the 6th Corps, 1st Division, 3rd Brigade of the Army of the Potomac. They were stationed at Chain Bridge, Virginia in January 1862 to guard Washington, D.C. In June 1862 they were at White Oak Swamp and in July 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Here they were held in reserve and suffered no casualties. On August 22, 1865, Captain Wombocker of Company E, was promoted to Colonel, the highest rank attained by any Drinker’s Beech soldier of the Civil War.
Company F of the 49th regiment was transferred to Company C on December 24, 1863. This reorganized company was at the Battle of the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia from May to June 1863. Captain Wombocker was wounded at the latter place on May 12, 1864 and died from the effects of the wounds on September 27, 1877. Paul Debler was captured here in July 1864 and was held at Danville, Virginia until February 20, 1865. He received a medical discharge on July 24, 1865. The rest of the company was mustered out on July 15, 1865.
51st PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
Four men from our area were sent to help fill the ranks of Company F of this regiment late in September 1864, after the regiment had suffered great losses in holding the lines at the Weldon Railroad, Virginia. The four men were:
The 51st fought at Poplar Springs Church, Ream’s Station, Hatcher’s Run and Richmond, Virginia. They were mustered out at Alexandria, Virginia on June 2, 1865 after “arduous service.”
52nd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
Among replacements sent to Company F of this regiment in October 1865 was two area men:
At this time, the 52nd was stationed at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Here, Benjamin F. Sayer became sick with typhoid fever and, after hospitalization, was sent home where he died in 1865. On July 4, 1864 this regiment took part in an attack on Fort Johnson, but the maneuver was badly planned and they were overpowered. Seven were killed, sixteen wounded and fifty died of starvation, exposure and disease in the Andersonville Prison.
56th PENNSYLVANIA REGIMENT
The 56th regiment continued on to Petersburg, Virginia, was at Yellow House on August 18 and at Hatcher’s Run in October. They fought again at Hatcher’s Run on February 5 – 6, 1865. Abraham Swartz died on January 6, 1865 of typhoid fever at Alexandria, Virginia. The regiment was mustered out at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 1, 1865.
59th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY (2ND PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY)
Company D, 2nd Provisional Cavalry:
61st PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 61st was organized in August 1861 under the direction of Colonel Oliver H. Ripley. They were sent to Washington, D.C. with only sixty men. To help fill their ranks, Company L of the 23rdregiment was disbanded and the men were transferred to the 61st. They became Company D. Thirteen men from our area were among those transferred:
The regiment was ordered to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, in March 1862. From here they took part in the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia on May 30, losing eleven officers and sixty nine men. Joseph C. Dale was wounded here and died October 15, 1862. Preserved Taylor died at Fair Oaks on June 1, 1862 with typhoid fever.
The 61st fought the enemy at Charles City Crossroads, Turkey Bend and Malvern Hill, Virginia. They did picket duty on the Potomac at Williamsburg until September 17th when they marched to Antietam, Maryland, but arrived in the evening after the battle. They were at the Battle of Fredericksburg and were fiercely engaged at Chancellorsville where they lost three officers and seventy four men. John Pembridge was sent home in April 1863 after a bout with typhoid fever. He died August 8, 1863. Vincent J. Sayer died at Yorktown, Virginia, on May 25, 1863 with typhoid fever.
The regiment was at Gettysburg in July 1863, but lost only one wounded and one captured. They wintered at Brandy Station, Virginia. In May 1864 they took part in the Battle of the Wilderness where twenty seven were killed and seventy wounded. George W. Sayer was wounded here. At Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 12th, Thomas A. Tanfield was killed. George F. Barnes and William Brooks were wounded.
During the remainder of 1864, they were constantly on active duty. During Sheridan’s campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, they fought at Winchester, Fisher’s Mill and Cedar Creek, Virginia. They also took part in the siege of Petersburg, Virginia. After Lee’s surrender, they marched to Danville, Virginia, where they were mustered out on June 28, 1865.
67th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 67th was recruited at a camp in Carmack’s Woods near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in January and February 1862. Company G contained 3 soldiers from Drinker’s Beech:
In April 1862, this regiment relieved the 11th regiment at Annapolis, Maryland, where they guarded the railroad and did provost duty in the city. In February 1863 they went to Berryville, via Harpers Ferry and were assigned to the 3rd Brigade of General Milroy’s Corps. On June 12th and 13th they were at the Battle of Winchester, where they became isolated and were forced to surrender. Many of the men were unable to make their way back to the Union lines and were taken prisoner. Corporal Wombocker was wounded here on June 15th and was taken prisoner, but was recaptured in August 1863. He was given a medical discharge on February 3, 1864, but died April 9, 1890 from the effects of the wound. Matthew J. Steen was captured on June 15th and was held until July 19, 1863. The officers who were captured were held in prison for more than a year.
The fragment of the 67th which escaped capture were reorganized at Harpers Ferry and were employed in fortifying Maryland Heights until June 30, 1863, when they went to Frederick, Maryland. Here the paroled prisoners returned to the ranks. They went into winter camp at Brandy Station, Virginia.
In June 1864 they guarded General Sheridan’s wagon train. On the 23rd they descended on Ream’s Station and destroyed track on the Weldon Railroad. On July 6th they were ordered to City Point, Virginia, thence to Fredericksburg, where they routed General Early, but with heavy losses.
At Harrisonburg, Virginia on October 14, 1864, the 67th was attacked, and after terrific fighting, routed the enemy at night. They remained in the Shenandoah Valley until December when they were ordered to Petersburg, and were at Appomattox when General Lee surrendered. After the surrender, they joined the army in a march to Danville, Virginia, near the North Carolina border, where General Johnston was in command of a large rebel force. When he surrendered, they returned to Washington, D.C. where they were mustered out on July 14, 1865.
69th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
76th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 76th regiment, commanded by Colonel John S. Littell, was stationed at Raleigh, North Carolina in June 1865 doing provost guard duty when two Drinker’s Beech soldiers were sent to their ranks as replacements:
The remainder of the regiment left Raleigh on July 18 and reached Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on the 23rd, where they were mustered out on the same day.
77th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
Two Drinker’s Beech soldiers were sent to the 77th regiment early in 1864:
In the latter part of April 1864 they joined General Sherman on his Atlanta campaign. They fought for several days from May 7th at Resaca, Kingston and New Hope Church, Georgia. They were also engaged at Smyrnia, Chattahoochee River and Peach Tree Creek and on July 4th at Marietta, Georgia. David Griffith was mortally wounded here and died the next day. In August they were part of the besieging force at Atlanta, and fought at Lovejoy from the 2nd to the 5th of September. They fought again at Franklin during the march to the sea. In December they were engaged in the defense of Nashville against General Hood.
Replacements sent to them in the spring of 1865 included:
In 1865 they went to New Orleans, and then moved into Texas where they stayed until December, then embarked for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and were mustered out on February 16, 1866.
88th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
On June 3, 1864, the 88th regiment arrived at Cold Harbor, Virginia, where it remained in reserve. Replacements reached them here, including:
Benjamin J. Simpson, Turnersville, Pennsylvania.
On June 12th they were at White Oak Swamp skirmishing with the enemy, but withdrew on the 13th and marched to the James River and crossed it on the 16th and went to Petersburg, Virginia. On the night of the 17th, they pushed forward under heavy artillery fire and on the 18th charged the enemy. They lost thirty men killed and wounded.
From July 30, 1864 to August 18, 1864, they did picket duty, and on the 18th moved to the Weldon Railroad and took part in destroying track. In September they were in camp where more replacements reached them. Among the replacements were:
On December 7 they joined the movement on the Jerusalem Plank Road, and then went into winter camp.
On February 5, 1865, the 88th regiment marched to Hatcher’s Run and on the next day took part in the hard fought Battle at Dabney’s Mills. Henry Clouse was wounded here. On the 7th they suffered a severe loss of men at Hatcher’s Run, and then went into camp until March 29th. On this date they joined the 5th Corps and marched and fought until April 9th when Lee surrendered.
After the surrender, they passed through Petersburg, Manchester and Richmond, Virginia, on their way to Washington, D.C. where they were mustered out on June 30, 1865.
92nd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY (9th PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY)
This regiment, known as the Lochiel Cavalry, was recruited in the summer of 1861 under the direction of Colonel Edward C. Williams, who served until October 9, 1862. He was followed by Colonel Thomas C. James who served until January 13, 1863. Thomas J. Jordan finished the term as Colonel. Company L of the 9th Cavalry was recruited in Moscow by Hiram L. Travis and included fourteen men from Drinker’s Beech:
In November 1861 the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry was sent via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Louisville, Kentucky and went into camp at Jefferson, Indiana. In March 1862 they marched into Tennessee and left Dilton F. Miller at Litchfield, Kentucky, where he died March 21st of “camp fever.” They were at Lebanon, Kentucky, on May 5th where they achieved a victory over General Morgan. They attacked and beat him again in Spring Cree on May 10th. They also took part in the Battle of Perryville where their losses were ten killed and twenty seven wounded, but were complimented for gallantry by General Buell.
In January 1863 they went to Nashville, Tennessee to join the campaign against General Bragg and fought at rover, Middleton, Shelbyville, Elk River, Cowan, Lafayette, Georgia and Chickamauga.
In 1864 they were in action at Danbridge, New Market, Mossy Creek, where Edward Marsh was wounded and at Fair Garden. In September they defeated part of General Wheeler’s command at Readyville and here they took three hundred prisoners.
The 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry joined General Sherman on November 14, 1864 and were his escort on his famous march to the sea. They were engaged with the enemy at Lovejoy Station, Macon, Bear Creek, Duanesboro and Buckhead Creek, always driving the rebels back.
In January 1865 they marched through the Carolinas and engaged the enemy at Aiken, Black Stakes Station, Hillsboro and Morrisville. They were mustered out at Lexington, North Carolina on July 18, 1865.
97th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
In September and October 1863, the terms of the officers and men of this regiment had expired and the ranks were replaced with drafted men and substitutes. Company I contained five men from our area:
This regiment reached Fortress Monroe, Virginia on December 7, 1864 and on the 13th accompanied Generals Butler and Porter on their expedition against Fort Fisher. They took the fort on January 15th after a terrific struggle in which the 97th did themselves proud. Four were killed, including Philip Swartz and thirty seven were wounded.
On February 22nd they captured Fort Anderson at Wilmington, North Carolina and took four hundred Confederate prisoners. They remained in Wilmington until March 15th, were in Newbern, North Carolina on the 21st and were sent to assist a cavalry train under General Kilpatrick. From April 16th to July 10th they were in camp at Raleigh, North Carolina, when they returned to Camp Cadwaller near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and were mustered out on September 4, 1865.
107th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 107th was organized under the direction of Colonel Thomas A. Zeigle at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was completed on March 5, 1862. Company F contained seven men from Drinker’s Beech. They were:
The regiment reached Washington, D.C. on March 9, 1862 and went into camp on Kendall Green. On April 16th, they were at Cloud’s Mill, Virginia where they were assigned to Duryea’s Brigade of Ord’s Division. They were later attached to General McDowell’s Corps. On May 11th they moved to Manassas, but reached here too late to support General Jackson. They went into camp at Weaverville, Virginia and subsequently camped at Waterloo.
On August 9th they fought at Cedar Mountain and on the 29th at Manassas near Stone House. They were heavily engaged here on the 30th when their losses amounted to twenty five killed, wounded and prisoners. At Turner’s Gap on September 14th, they lost three killed and seventeen wounded. They were also at Antietam, Maryland where nineteen were killed and forty five wounded.
The 107th went into camp at Brook’s Station Virginia on October 25, 1862, but on December 12th they participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg and lost four killed and forty nine wounded and prisoners. They returned to camp on December 12th and remained inactive until the opening of the Chancellorsville campaign.
In May 1863, the 107th regiment did picket duty on the Rappahannock River and on June 29th, 1863, after marching twenty six miles through a drenching rain, reached Emmetsburg, Maryland on their way to Gettysburg, which they reached the next day. They went into position on Seminary Ridge, but were overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers and retreated through the town after terrible slaughter. For the rest of the time, they fought near Cemetery Hill, most of the time under heavy fire. Their loss was eleven killed, fifty six wounded and ninety eight captured or missing. After the battle, they participated in the pursuit of General Lee, in the movement to Centerville and in the second advance to Mine Run. On November 28, 1863 they were hotly engaged at Hope Chapel. They spent the winter in camp at Mitchell’s Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Joshua Doran and Oliver Ransom reached them here in February 1864.
The 107th reached Fredericksburg on May 15, 1864 and were placed in the front line near Spotsylvania Courthouse where they were almost constantly under fire until June 13th. On June 17th at Petersburg, Virginia, they were again under heavy fire until the 24th, losing forty five men killed and wounded.
On August 18, 1864 they participated in the descent on the Weldon Railroad, where they fought at Yellow House. Here they lost one hundred and fifty one men, mostly prisoners, including William F. Haines, who died at Salisbury Prison, North Carolina on January 8, 1865 of starvation and exposure; Patrick H. Campbell, who was not expected until March 11, 1865. He was so badly emaciated when released; he was not expected to live. On September 30 the 107th took part in the movement at Poplar Grove Church, and on December 7 were assigned to further destruction of the Weldon Railroad.
On February 5, 1865 they took part in the Battle of Hatcher’s Run where their loss amounted to six killed, fifty one wounded and thirty three taken prisoner. On March 29th they met the enemy at Boydton Plank Road and drove him back. They conquered the rebels again on April 1st at Five Oaks.
They started the homeward march on May 1st, attended the Grand Review of the Armies at Washington, D.C. on the 23rd and were mustered out on July 13, 1865.
111th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
112th PENNSYLVANIA REGIMENT (2nd PENNSYLVANIA HEAVY ARTILLERY)
This regiment was organized in Camden, New Jersey in June 1862. In February 1862 they were stationed at Bladensburg, Maryland near Washington, D.C. Four companies containing men from our area reached them here. They were:
On March 26, 1864 the regiment was transferred to the defenses at Chain Bridge, Virginia. While here they became known for “proficiency in drilling and soldierly appearance.” Due to an order from the War Department, the 2nd Provisional Heavy Artillery was formed from this regiment. Philip Mead, James Havenstrite, Myron G. Wescott, John Bird and Henry Rodney were among those transferred. This new regiment participated in the Battle of the Wilderness where Henry Rodney was wounded, then moved to Petersburg, Virginia.
The original regiment marched sixty miles from Port Royal and joined the 18th Army Corps at Cold Harbor, Virginia on June 4th , then moved on to Petersburg. Here John Bird was wounded. Myron G. Wescott was killed on June 16th and John O. Tanfield was killed on June 17th. During June 7th and 8th , the regiment performed arduous duty in the trenches stretching from the Appomattox River to Jerusalem Plank Road, losing during that time, half of its effective strength.
The 2nd Provisional lost one thousand men in four months. When the mine exploded at Petersburg, this regiment formed part of the Brigade that had the advance in the charge, dashed into the crater and lost heavily in killed, wounded and prisoners.
On September 20, 1864, the 112th was ordered to make a charge on Fort Harrison. This movement was not supported and ended in disaster; the loss being over two hundred killed, wounded and prisoners. On December 2, 1864 they were ordered to Bermuda Hundred. Here their original term expired in January 1865, but many re-enlisted. The regiment was ordered to duty in Petersburg after the city was evacuated to keep order. Afterward, they were assigned by companies to the lower counties of Virginia for the purpose of maintaining order and tranquility. On January 29, 1865 they reported to City Point, Virginia and were mustered out at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 16, 1865.
118th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 118th was stationed at Warrenton, Virginia in October 1863 when they received two hundred and ninety four recruits, including five from Drinker’s Beech. None of the five escaped a heavy penalty for this part in the war. They were:
In October and November 1863 they were in action at Bristoe Station, Rappahannock Station, Robinson’s Tavern and Mine Run. During this time, they lost one killed, two wounded and eight were reported missing. They went into winter camp on December 4th at Beverly Ford, Virginia. On May 1, 1864 they broke camp and took part in the Battle of the Wilderness. Benjamin J. Stevens was wounded here. The regiment reported nine killed, sixty two wounded and thirty two missing during this campaign.
At Petersburg, during May and June, they lost three killed and eight wounded. Solomon S. Siglin was wounded May 23, 1864 at North Anna, Virginia. On July 2nd at Bethesda Church, the loss was three killed, eight wounded and on July 16th in front of Petersburg, the loss was one killed and six wounded. From July 21st to the middle of August they remained in the trenches under heavy fire day and night.
They were at Gurley House on August 21st and at Yellow House until September 30th, when they left again for Petersburg. Enroute, Jacob Swartz was wounded at Pegram’s Farm on September 30th and Benjamin J. Stevens was killed the same day at Poplar Springs Church. They remained at Pegram’s Farm until February 5th and were engaged in several skirmishes until April 1st when they took part in the Battle of Five Forks.
On April 12, 1865, the 118th was selected to receive the rebel arms and colors. Eighty four battle flags and fifteen thousand muskets were laid down in its front. They started the homeward march on April 15th, participated in the Grand Review of the Armies at the Capitol on May 23rd and were mustered out on June 1, 1865. On June 9th they were entertained at the Sanson Street Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at a grand banquet given by the Corn Exchange Association, at which Generals Meade and Patterson and other distinguished guests were present.
132nd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
Ten local men were sent to this regiment, commanded by Colonel Richard A. Oakford, at Washington, D.C. in August 1862. They were:
The 132nd regiment was ordered to the South Mountain on September 21st, but arrived at the close of the battle. They moved on to Antietam, Maryland, where, on September 17th, their losses amounted to thirty killed, one hundred and fourteen wounded and missing. Obediah Sherwood was mortally wounded here and died at Smoketown, Maryland on October 12th. After the battle, they went into camp on Bolivar Heights at Harpers Ferry. They moved toward Fredericksburg during the last of October and were part of the charging force on Marye’s Heights.
They participated in the Battle of Chancellorsville, and on the third day of the battle, they took a number of prisoners with a bayonet attack. They were mustered out on May 24, 1863. It was said that two-thirds of the regiment re-enlisted for further service.
137th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
Company A of this regiment was recruited principally in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, under the direction of Captain J. M. Buckingham. Two Drinker’s Beech soldiers were in the ranks:
The recruits reported to Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where the regiment was completed on August 25, 1862. They were ordered to Washington, D.C. and were assigned to General Hancock’s Brigade of the 6th Corps. They were at South Mountain and were held as reserves at Antietam, Maryland. They wintered near Washington and entered the Fredericksburg Campaign in January 1863. This campaign was abandoned and they went into camp at Belle Plain Landing, Virginia.
In the campaign, under General Hooker, which opened on April 27, 1863, the 137th moved out with the 1st Corps, and crossing the Rappahannock River under heavy fire, took their position and threw up earth works. They remained here until May 1st when they were ordered to Chancellorsville. They saw no serious fighting here and after three days returned to camp. About the middle of May they were ordered to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and were mustered out on July 1, 1863.
143rd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
This regiment was organized under Colonel Edmund Lowell Blair near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and was completed on October 18, 1862. 28 of the soldiers came from our area:
In April 1863, the 143rd regiment was under fire at Pollick’s Run, but on May 8th they were in camp at Falmouth, Virginia. They were assigned to the 1st Corps which was the first to reach Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The first day’s fighting was severe and they were forced to move back but did so reluctantly. David Hendershot was killed and William LaFrance, Henry LaFrance, Nautilus Slutter and Jacob O. Williams were wounded. They were engaged on the 2nd and 3rd also, but not so severely. During the three days, the 143rd lost twenty nine killed, one hundred and fifty one wounded and eighty four captured or missing. After the battle, they did guard duty near Bealton Station.
They fought again at Haymarket on October 9, 1863 and wintered at Culpepper. On February 6, 1864 they were at Raccoon Ford and in March were assigned to the 5th Corps. In May they were at the Battle of the Wilderness. George M. Hathrill was killed here and Herbert M. Nagle was wounded on May 5th. At Spotsylvania Courthouse, Ephriam E. Sterling was mortally wounded on May 9th and died at Stanton U.S. Army Hospital, Washington, D.C. on August 12, 1864. Francis B. Wheeler was wounded here on May 10th and Andrew Biesecker on May 13th. The regiment went on to Petersburg, where Peter T. Depew was wounded on August 30th and Lieutenant Orin E. Vaughn on June 24th. In October they were at Hatcher’s Run and were successful in destroying twenty miles of railroad.
In February 1865 they were again engaged at Hatcher’s Run where the regiment suffered greatly. Later, they were ordered to Hart Island where they did guard duty in New York Harbor. They remained here until they were mustered out on June 12, 1865.
147th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
152nd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY (3rd PENNSYLVANIA HEAVY ARTILLERY)
The 152nd was organized for special duty at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, but contained so many surplus men that four companies were sent to the defenses at Suffolk in the spring of 1863, and in 1864, the 188th Pennsylvania Regiment was made up from the ranks of the 152nd. Five men from Drinker’s Beech remained with the regiment:
The 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery served in the Army of the James during the campaign at Petersburg and, for a time, were guards at the prison where Jefferson Davis was being held. They were mustered out on November 9, 1865 at Fortress Monroe.
162nd PENNSYLVANIA REGIMENT (17th PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY)
The 162nd was organized and completed on October 18, 1862 and left for Washington, D.C. on November 25. Company K contained seven men that had been recruited at Gouldsboro (now Thornhurst), Pennsylvania. Companies H and M also contained three local soldiers:
In 1863, the 17th Cavalry was at Chancellorsville and in July at Gettysburg, Charles Pethick was mortally wounded at Gettysburg on July 1st and died a short time later. They also fought at Mine Run.
In February 1864 they took part in a raid on Richmond under General Kilpatrick. Oscar Beemer was wounded on May 18th at Belle Plain Landing. They also took part in an expedition toward Lynchburg. Solomon M. Edwards was wounded during this expedition on June 12th at Trevillian Station, Virginia. He was sent to Mt. Pleasant Hospital in Washington, D.C. where his right arm was amputated. He was given a medical discharge from the service at this place on April 4, 1865.
In August 1864 the regiment had the honor of escorting General Sheridan on his famous campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. Alanson Phillips was wounded at Winchester on September 19thand John Bedell was captured in October 1864 at Cedar Creek, Virginia. He was held in Libby and Remberton prisons.
The 162nd wintered at Winchester and in February 1865 went with General Sheridan to destroy communications near Richmond. They were mustered out at Washington, D.C. on June 16, 1865 where they were complimented for gallantry by General Devin.
163rd PENNSYLVANIA REGIMENT (18th PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY)
Richard Hall, Clifton, Pennsylvania.
Ziba Scott, Springbrook, Pennsylvania.
174th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
John W. Alt, Madison Township, Pennsylvania, from November 1, 1862 to August 7, 1863.
178th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
John F. Sayer, Freytown, Pennsylvania, from October 27, 1862 to July 27, 1863.
179th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 179th was recruited mostly in the counties of Berks, Lancaster, Montgomery, Pike and Wayne and the city of Philadelphia. Four area men were in the line-up:
Company E was detached and sent for duty to Chestnut Hill Hospital where, with the exception of a short period when they had charge of paroled prisoners at a camp near West Chester, they remained until the close of their services.
The rest of the regiment proceeded to Fortress Monroe, thence to Yorktown where they formed part of the garrison at the fort. Under Colonel Robert M. West, they became a first class regiment, “remarkable for the proficiency in drill.” At one time they marched to the White House for a special occasion. When their term of service was about to expire, they offered their services to Governor Curtin for defense of the state. The offer was accepted, but by the time the regiment reached Washington, enroute to Gettysburg, Lee’s army had retreated into Virginia. Accordingly, they were ordered to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and were mustered out on July 27, 1863.
187th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
A body of troops known as the First Battalion was organized in July 1863 for six months’ service. Upon the expiration of their term, they were reorganized in March 1864 at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A group of soldiers from Drinker’s Beech were included at this time. They were:
The 187th left Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on May 19, 1864 to join the Army of the Potomac and went into camp on Arlington Heights, near Washington, D.C. They started for the front on May 26th and reached Cold Harbor during fierce fighting. They reached Petersburg on Jun 16th and in three days lost more than a tenth of their number in killed and wounded. Cornelius Frey was killed on June 18th and Charles Jones and Aaron Sayer were mortally wounded on the same day. Jones died on June 22nd and Sayer died on June 23rd. John Kendrew was also wounded here on June 18th.
The regiment took part in the three-day furiously-fought battle at Yellow House. On September 22nd they were ordered to Camp Cadwaller at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where they were employed in garrison and escort duty. They headed the funeral procession of President Lincoln on its way from the Baltimore Depot to Independence Hall and, with the First City Troop, were detailed to escort the remains from Independence Hall to the New York depot.
On May 11, 1865 they were detached by companies for guard and provost duty in various parts of the state. They were mustered out at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on August 3, 1865.
188th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
The 188th contained a great number of surplus men and early in 1864 the 152nd Regiment (3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery) was organized at Fortress Monroe from the 188th. The 188th was reorganized in April 1864 and was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division of the 18th Corps at Yorktown, Virginia. It contained seven men from our area:
In May 1864 the 188th fought at Bermuda Hundred and at Proctor’s Creek. Their losses in the two battles amounted to eleven killed and sixty wounded. They were at cold Harbor from June 1stto 3rd , where twenty four were killed and a large number were wounded. They moved to Petersburg where they remained for two months. Here eighty more were killed or wounded, but a larger number were lost to disease. On July 28th they charged Fort Harrison under desperate fire, but captured the fort. They were engaged again at Pegram’s Farm on September 30th, where Erastus Edwards was wounded.
They remained in winter camp until March 4, 1865 when they advanced toward Fredericksburg and burned huge stores of goods and property. Afterward, five companies did guard duty at Danville, Virginia. They were mustered out at City Point, Virginia on December 14, 1865.
194th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
198th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
199th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
This regiment was organized at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the fall of 1864 for one year’s service. It contained eight men form Drinker’s Beech:
The 199th was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the 24th Corps at Deep Bottom Landing, Virginia in October 1864 and went into camp here, where they were thoroughly drilled. Discipline was strict and sanitary conditions excellent, so that the spring of 1865 found the men in good condition.
On April 2nd they made repeated assaults on Forts Gregg and Alexander without success. Finally, a strong column was formed and captured the garrison after having three-fourths of its number slain. The loss of the 199th was eighteen killed and ninety one wounded. The wounded included Richard D. Parry.
After the evacuation of Petersburg, the 199th pursued the rebels and were engaged at Rice’s Station on April 6th, where two were killed, including John W. Wardell. Six were wounded. At Appomattox Courthouse on April 9th, two more were killed and eight were wounded, including Luther C. Bortree.
After the surrender, this regiment was ordered to Richmond and went into camp two miles north of the city. They were mustered out at this camp on June 28, 1865.
203rd PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
These troops were organized at Camp Cadwaller, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and were completed on September 10, 1864 as sharpshooters at the suggestion of General Birney. The General died before they reached the field and they were treated as ordinary troops. The line-up included seven men from Drinker’s Beech:
The 203rd was ordered to Petersburg, Virginia and reached there on September 27, 1864. They were assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division of the 10th Corps. They advanced on the enemy’s works at Chapin’s farm and New Market with “signal success,” but lost one killed and six were wounded.
The regiment attacked Wilmington, North Carolina on February 11, 1865 when four more were wounded. Early in March they joined General Sherman’s army at the Battle of Bentonville in which they took part.
After the surrender, they were assigned to duty at Raleigh, North Carolina, where they remained until they were mustered out on June 22, 1865.
210th PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
On December 5, 1864, this regiment moved with the 5th Corps on the Bellefield raid, which lasted nearly a week, the column destroying the Weldon Railroad as it went. The weather was intensely cold and the troops suffered, causing many to fall out of the ranks, some of whom were captured or inhumanly murdered.
After the return to camp, sickness prevailed and many died, among which was their Chaplain, Taylor D. Swartz of Moscow, Pennsylvania, who died at City Point Hospital on March 29, 1865. He was buried in Moscow Cemetery on April 4th. In his honor, the Moscow Grand Army of the Republic named their Post the Chaplain Taylor D. Swartz Post.
5th U.S. ARTILLERY
14th U.S. REGULAR ARMY
Robert M. McLain, Jubilee, Pennsylvania, enlisted February 22, 1862 in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. He was at Savage Station, Virginia on June 29th; Malvern Hill, Virginia on July 1st; and Antietam, Maryland on September 12, 1862. He also saw service in the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spotsylvania and North Anna. He took part in the siege of Petersburg, Virginia and was there from June 15th to 30th, 1864. He was at Hatcher’s Run, Virginia on October 27, 1864. He was discharged at Elmira, New York on February 23, 1865.
9th NEW JERSEY INFANTRY
15th NEW YORK ENGINEERS
20th NEW YORK MILITIA
24th NEW YORK INFANTRY
50th NEW YORK ENGINEERS
When the term of enlistment of Company F of Stewart’s Independent Regiment of New York Infantry expired, many of the soldiers re-enlisted and became Company F of the 50th New York Engineers. Included were five men recruited at Elmhurst:
56th NEW YORK INFANTRY
157th NEW YORK INFANTRY
194th NEW YORK INFANTRY
12th WISCONSIN INFANTRY
20th WISCONSIN INFANTRY
1st BATTALION MISSISSIPPI, MARINE BRIGADE, U.S. VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
FORTRESS MONROE SURGEON
Christopher J. Wilbur, M.D., Moscow, Pennsylvania, was appointed surgeon at Hampton Hospital, Fortress Monroe, Virginia. He was transferred to Point of Rocks Hospital, Virginia, then to Delemator Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia until the close of the war.
OTHER LOCAL CIVIL WAR VETERANS
The following are known to have been Civil War veterans, but we were unable to locate their military records: