Aldrich History Project

Chapter XII

Clearfield's Military History

The Fifty-Ninth Regiment,

Second Cavalry

The proportion of this regiment that was recruited in Clearfield county was exceedingly small, less than fifty men, and they were attached to Company F. These men were recruited in the eastern part of the county by Thomas G. Snyder, who was made first lieutenant, and who died of wounds received at Occoquan, Va., on December 28th, 1862. The regiment was raided in the fall of 1861, in various sections of the State, and rendezvoused at Camp Patterson, six miles from Philadelphia. The field officers were as follows: Richard Price Butler, colonel; Joseph P. Brinton, lieutenant-colonel; Charles F. Taggart and J. Archambault, majors. The regiment was well disciplined, many of its officers having acquired some experience in the three months service. The colonel had served in Mexico, and Major Archambault was one of Napoleon’s veterans. At Baltimore the regiment was reviewed by General Dix. At Cloud’s Mills it was assigned to the brigade commanded by General Cooke’s First Reserve Army Corps, General Sturgis, but in August was transferred to General Buford’s brigade. Its first engagement took place near Culpepper, and afterward participated in the Bull Run fight, where it lost heavily. On September 10, Buford was appointed to McClellan’s staff, and Colonel Price succeeded to General Bayard’s command, and assigned to the First Brigade. In November they engaged the enemy and were compelled to retire. They were constantly scouting until late in December, when, on the 28th, it fell into an ambuscade at Occoquan and suffered a great loss. Lieutenant Thomas G. Snyder was mortally wounded and captured here. He died in the enemy’s hands. In killed, wounded, and missing it lost over one hundred men. The regiment wintered at Accotink.

In April, 1863, at Fairfax Court-House, it was assigned to the Second Brigade of General Stahel'’ Division. In June it participated in the Gettysburg campaign, conducted twenty-five hundred prisoners to Westminster, and on the 7th rejoined the army at Middletown. It started in pursuit of Lee’s army and went as far as Warrenton, and afterward did guard duty at Meade’s headquarters. It was then assigned to the Second Brigade. It subsequent history is told by the engagement at Beverly’s Ford, on the heights around Rappahannock Station, the raid on Luray, after which it again went into the winter quarters. The next year it moved with the Army of the Potomac and went with Sheridan on his memorable raid, and rejoined the army on the 25th. In Sheridan’s second raid it also engaged. Its subsequent career was identified with the Army of the Potomac, at Wyatt’s Farm, Boydton Plank Road, McDowell’s Hill, and Five Forks, and was present at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The regiment was mustered out of service at Cloud’s Mills, July 13, 1865, after which "the boys" returned home, all but the dead, whose bones are bleaching from the Potomac to the Blackwater.

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