WHEN the Southern Rebellion was inaugurated by the rebels firing upon Fort Sumter, on that memorable 12th of April, 1861, and the echoes of those guns, fired by traitorous hands against the Government of their country, were yet echoing and reverberating through the length and breadth of the land, the news of the outrage penetrated to the little "pine-clad" town of Brookville, Jefferson county, Pennsylvania. Here, A. A. McKnight, a member of the Brookville bar and captain of a militia company called the "Brookville Rifles," had, immediately after the Presidential election in November, 1860, with a premonition of the gathering storm, begun to put his company on a war footing. Captain McKnight and his cousin, Albert C. Thompson, were, in reality two of the first recruiting officers for the war, having, during that winter,  made a trip to the southern part of the county, and at Punxsutawney recruited Corporal Steele, Bair, Depp, and others. But the dangers of war seeming to lessen, nothing more was done until the echoes from Sumter reached them, when Captain McKnight at once offered the services of his company to Governor Curtin, and on the 19th of April issued the following order:

19th April, 1861,


"You are ordered to notify the members of the 'Brookville Rifles' to repair to the Armory in Brookville on Monday, 22d April, at 10 o'clock A.M., prepared to march to the place of rendezvous assigned to volunteers from Western Pennsylvania.


    When the memorable 22d arrived, the ranks of the "Rifles" had swelled so rapidly that two companies were formed, Captain McKnight commanding one, and Captain W. W. Wise, also a member of the Brookville bar, who had aided very materially in recruiting the companies, was unanimously chosen to command the second company. On the day appointed, these companies, composed of the pride and valor of the county, started to the front, the whole country around turning out to see them off; and they left amid the tears and prayers of mothers, wives, sisters, friends, while the gray-headed fathers bid them a hearty "God-speed."

    They proceeded to Camp Curtin, at Harrisburg, where they were assigned to the Eighth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Emley, and designated as Companies I and K. On the 24th of April, the same day that, the regiment was organized, it was ordered to Camp Slifer, near Chambersburg, Pa., and June 7th moved to Greencastle, Maryland, and from thence to Williamsport, on the Potomac river. The companies comprised the following names, nearly all of which have been since gallantly written on the rolls of their country's defenders: 

Company I, Eighth Regiment, P. V.


Amor A. McKnight.


1st. John Hastings,
2d. Herman Kretz.


1st. William J. Clyde,
2d. A. C. Thompson,
3d. Abram M. Rail,
4th. Winfield S. Barr.


1st. Steele S. Williams,
2d. Richard J. Espy,
3d.Calvin A. Craig,
4th. William J. Bair.


James L. Holliday,
George A. Bowdish.


Anderson, Samuel,
Black, Albert,
Bryant, Fernando C.,
Bryant, Milo L.,
Benner, Samuel,
Bowdish, Joseph,

Covill, Sylvanus T.,
Clingensmith, Josiah,
Craig, Alfred S.,
Craig, Joseph,
Chittester, Niman,
Coe, Daniel L.,
Clark, William T.,
Cravener, Simon P.,
Depp, Samuel W.,
Darrow, John,
Dolphin, John,
Elliott, John,
Fox, Henry B.,
Fails, Horace,
Gilbert, John L.,
Garrison, Lorenzo S.,
Groover, Leonard A.,
Gallagher, John S.,
Gilmore, Robert,
Hettrick, Geo. W.,
Hibbler, Samuel,
Hall, James,
Hall, Thomas L.,
Hart, Randall,
Hettrick, Paul,
Henry, Robert A.,
Henderson, Joseph B.,
Jones, Jared,
Johnston, Wellington,
Kinley, Daniel,
Long, Thomas,
Matson, Wilmarth,
Moore, James H.,
Murphy, Joseph R.,
Mccauley, Rob't T,,
Moorehead, James,
McFadden, Levi,
McFadden, Shannon,
McAninch,Elijah H.,
Ohls, George,
Osman, William,
Prevo, John,
Pierce, William N.,
Pearsall, John W.,
Robinson, Robert J.,
Stivers, John,
Steck, Francis H.,
Toyc, William,
Taylor, Alexander R.,
Verbeck, Gustavus,
Warner, Robert,
Wachob, Joseph N.,
Weaver, Amos,
Williams, Mark H.,
White, Alexander C.,
Warner, Hiram.

Company K, Eighth Regiment, P. V.


William W. Wise.


1st. John C. Dowling,
2d Wilson Keys.


1st. Sam'l C. Arthurs
2d. John Coon,
3d. Benj. F. Lerch,
4th.Orlando H. Brown


2d. J. Potter Miller,
3d. Charles J. Wilson,
4th. Franklin Reas.


David Dickey,
James Campbell.


Adams, William,
Armstrong, Sidney,
Bates, David
Bell, Rowan M.
Burge, Lafayette
Baum, Edward H.
Baldwin, James
Baird, Thomas
Baldwin, David
Blose, Darius
Clark, Asa M.
Clark, Franklin W.
Christie, Andrew
Coon, Samuel H.
Coon, Charles B.
Crosby, George W.
Confer, William P.
Carrier, Isaac,

Dibler, Lewis
Dibler, Benjamin
Dowling, James C.
Deacon, John B.
Flick, Christopher D.
Goup, Lewis
George, William
Gaffield, Ward
Hawthorne, Henry
Hawthorne, George
Hadden, Archibald
Hawley, Benjamin
Keck, Peter
Love, Andrew
Logan, James W.
May, Samuel
McAninch, Hiram
McAninch, Harvey
Mitchell, Alex. H.
Mitchell, Samuel H.
Neal, William
Parsons, Judson J.
Porter, David
Porter, George
Page, Henry
Riggs, Burdett
Rhodes, Daniel
Rumbarger, Franklin
Robinson, James
Rankin, Adam A.
Smathers, William
Shugart, Addis M.
Swineford, Salumiel
Swineford, David
Sheets, William W.
Shafer, Chauncy
Taylor, David L.
Taylor, Philip P.
Van Overbeck, Fran'n
Weldon, Barton B.
Wilson, Samuel
Watson, Jarnes H.
Whiteman, Francis M.
Woods, Oliver
Young, William E.
Young, Stephen R.

    The three months' campaign although termed a 'holiday affair," was of great benefit to the men, as it made them acquainted with the hardships and deprivations of camp life, and gave them a foretaste of the drilling they must undergo to become good soldiers. The Eighth Regiment saw no active service; the only thing of moment that occurred to our two companies was the transfer of Captain W. W. Wise to the regular army. Captain Wise was an old soldier, having served under General Scott in Mexico. On account of his experience in the field, as well as his intelligence, quick perception, and cool and dauntless bearing, he was selected to make a reconnaissance into the enemy's lines at Harper's Ferry. This he succeeded in doing, and visited all their camps, gaining such valuable information, that, upon reporting at Washington city, he was tendered a captaincy in the regular army, as a recognition of the valuable and hazardous services he had performed. This he at once accepted, and was assigned to the command of Company I, Fifteenth United States Infantry, a regiment that did such gallant service in the West, and where, on the 31st of December, 1862, at the hard-fought battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Captain Wise fell covered with wounds, and sealed his devotion to his country with his life, dying January 1st, 1863.

    Upon the resignation of Captain Wise, the command of Company K devolved upon Lieutenant John C. Dowling. When the three months' term of service had expired, Captain McKnight was authorized by the Government to recruit a regiment for three years or during the war, and as these three months' companies formed the nucleus from which the One Hundred and Fifth Regiment was formed, furnishing twelve officers for it, we have considered it in place here to give an account of their organization.

Source: Pages 17-21, History of the One Hundred and Fifth Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers by Kate M. Scott.  Philadelphia, New-World Publishing Company, 1877


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