Aldrich History Project

Chapter XII

Clearfield's Military History

The Fifty-First Regiment

The portion of this regiment that was recruited in Clearfield county was exceedingly small, only comprising a contingent of sixteen men, enlisted by Peter A. Gaulin, who afterward was prmoted to captain of Company G. A major portion of these were enlisted in October, 1816, for the regular three years service, but some slight accessions were made in 1864.

The greater part of the regiment was raised ion the counties of Montgomery, Union, Snyder, Centre, and Northhampton. The field officers were John F. Hartranft, colonel; Thomas S. Bell, lieutenant-colonel; Edwin Schall, major.

On the 6th day of January, 1862, the regiment embarked for Roanoke Island, where they participated in the operations at that point, and moved next in the expedition of Newbern. Afterwards they were engaged at Cedar Mountain and the second battle at Bull Run. At Antietam they were under a terrible fire and made a gallant record in that battle. From Antietam it went before Fredericksburg, and subsequently was ordered to Fortress Monroe. It then followed the fortunes and shared the hardships and privations of the Ninth Army Corps, and participated in the Knoxville campaign. During the spring campaign it pushed forward to the N____ River where they again met the enemy. From this time Colonel Hartranft was in command as brigadier-general.

Next a succession of movements brought them to Cold Harbor, where a heavy loss was sustained. Its next engagement was at Petersburg, Va. Here it formed a part of the storming column that followed the explosion of the mine, but was ordered back, there being no necessity for so strong a force. The regiment then participated in the succession of battles at Poplar Springs Church, Ream's Station, Hatcher's Run, and in the final attack which resulted in the evacuation of Richmond. On the 27th day of July, 1865, it was mustered out of service at Alexandria, Va.

Those of the regiment from Clearfield county were recruited mainly from the northern part. The muster-roll of that part of Company G shows the name, rank, date of muster, and disposition of each man.

Captain.-Peter A. Gaulin, October 17, 1861; promoted from second to first lieutenant February 12, 1862, to captain January 11, 1863; resigned March 16, 1864.

First Sergeant.-Wm. Heichel, October 17, 1861; promoted from sergeant to first sergeant February 13, 1865; mustered out with company July 27, 1865.

Sergeants.-George Dumont, October 17, 1861; promoted from corporal to sergeant February 13, 1865; mustered out with company; veteran.

Lewis Cartuyvel, October 17, 1861; promoted to quartermaster-sergeant March 9, 1865; veteran.

Corporals.-Serdon Rolley, February 28, 1864; mustered out with company July 27, 1865.

Charles Heichel, February 29, 1864; promoted to corporal April 6, 1865; mustered out July 27, 1865.

Wm. Maurer, October 17, 1861; mustered out October 16, 1864 -expiration of term.

Privates.-Philip Cayot, October 17, 1861; absent, sick, when mustered out; veteran.

Cornelius Conway, October 17, 1861; discharged on surgeon's certificate, date unknown.

Huston Heickel, October 17, 1861; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, date unknown.

Wm. Mackey, October 17, 1861; died in Kentucky, date unknown.

Jno. McGonegal, September 27, 1864; drafted; discharged by general order June 1, 1865.

August Rolley, October 17, 1861; captured; died at Andersonville, Ga., may 29, 1864; grave 1454.

Nicholas Rolley, October 17, 1861; discharged on surgeon's certificate, June 6, 1865; veteran.

Christian Simons, October 17, 1861; discharged on surgeon's certificate, date unknown.

Wallis Wiggins, October 17, 1861; killed at Antietam September 17, 1862.


Source: Pages 128-129, History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1887.

Transcribed May 1999 by Richard L. Hoover for the Clearfield County Aldrich Project
Contributed for use by the Clearfield County Genealogy Project (

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