Chapter 2
Armstrong County in The War of the Rebellion
Brady Alpines - Ninth Regiment

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The Brady Alpines were mustered into the three months service, April 22, 1861, and attached to the 9th Pa., Vol. Inf., Col. Longnecker. About April 1 it was generally understood that the South would rebel against the North, when Capt. William Sirwell, who was commanding the Brady Alpines and the Kittanning Yeagers, with his military forethought, tendered the services of his company to Gov. A. S. Curtin, of Pennsylvania, in case war should be declared. Capt. Sirwell received notice from the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania that the tender of his company to the state had been received and placed on file. At the firing of the first gun on Fort Sumter, Capt. Sirwell received orders to form his company at once and proceed to Harrisburg. When this order was received the day was very pleasant, and the town was quiet as though it was Sunday. In less than an hour the whole town was up in arms. Recruiting at once commenced for the camp, and in forty-eight hours the company was in Harrisburg, 115 strong, able-bodied men. The maximum strength of a company at the breaking out of the war was seventy-seven, officers and privates. Hence that was a surplus of thirty-seven men. Eighteen of the men joined other companies and regiments, leaving still a surplus of fifteen men. Those fifteen, all being from Kittanning and Armstrong county, utterly refusing to join any other company, but would remain with the Brady Alpines, and did remain during the three months' service, and asked nothing for their service. The captain managed to get three of his men attached to the quartermaster's department, and by that means was enabled to get as many rations and clothing as fed and clothed the men during the service and rations to spare. In fact, so careful were the men of their rations that they fed Capt. John Hastings' company, from Punxsutawny, supper and breakfast, that company having run out of provisions. When Capt. Sirwell returned home he could only count ninety-one men, when he finally discovered he never counted himself, which would have made the number correct on the rolls. Only seventy-seven of those men have ever been paid by the government only what Capt. Sirwell gave them, he having divided his own pay with the extra men. There were in this company twenty-two men, each of whom measured over six feet, sixteen that weighed 200 pounds each. The good citizens, men and women alike, contributed all their time, labors and money to make the soldiers comfortable in their departure for the war. A splendid silk flag was presented to this company, and each member was presented with a Bible by the ladies of Kittanning. All that the mind could imagine was done to make the soldiers comfortable. After the company left, the citizens organized a committee to visit the families and provide everything that was needed by the families to make them comfortable.

This infant company was the root of all the military organizations that left Armstrong county during the war.


Capt.. William Sirwell, 1st Lieut. Norwood G. Penny, 2d Lieut. Samuel Robertson, 1st Sergt. James L. McCain, 2nd Sergt. James Hillberrry, 3d Sergt. James Lowther (resigned), 4th Sergt. James Gates, 1st Corp. Darwin Phelps, 2d Corp. Henry Grazier, 3d Corp. Henry Glauts, 4th Corp. Matthias Freese. Musicians Theo. Barrett (14 years old), Dan A. Olden (12 years old).


George A. Armstrong, William Bell, Joseph P. Beggs, Joseph Brown, William Bauer, Francis Boyd, Samuel Bouvard, Murray Cunningham, Alexander S. Davidson, James Dugan, George W. Davis, Philip Edwards, Alfred L. Fluke, John Frederick, August Frederick, Michael Fishter, George S. Frailey, William Frailey, Joseph Gates, Joseph Garver, William Hill, Jacob Hobaugh, Henry W. Hoaks, James Hetherington, Hiram Henry, Aldin Henry, George Hilterbran, James Huston, Samuel Jordan*(5), Charles M. King. Valentine Kerr, Samuel F. Keiner, Scott King, William A. Logan*(5), John Mott, George W. Mackey, George Mathews, George McComb, George W. McMillen, James McMasters, George McCandless, David L. McVey, Robert McNett, Milton McCormick, Charles McManus, John L. McElwain, Archibald McMullin, Martin McCann, John McElravey, James McGarvey, George Mathews, Randolph Oswald, Henry F. Phelps, Harrison Premkard, Isaac A. Price, James Porter, Jefferson Reynolds, Albert Robinson, James Rhoads, --------- Rogers, Orlando W. Russ, John Roth, --------- Rumbaugh, James H. Stevenson, Charles W. Smith, August Singer, Francis Shoup, George Sintser, George Serene, John Scott, John H. Truby, Charles Trew, Jefferson Truit, -------- Vourhour, Samuel Walker*(5), James B. Welty, Samuel Wasson, Henry Wygant, Frederick Wagoner, Peter Whal, William W. Wallace, Thomas C. Wilson.

Source: Page(s) 60-100, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
Transcribed January 1999 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by James R. Hindman for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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