Philadelphia City Troop
In September, 1747 the first General Continental Congress met at Philadelphia, and troops from Europe arrived in America to enforce the arbitrary measures of the mother country, to erect fortifications, and seize and secure the military stores of her Colonies. In this alarming crisis, when the storm was about to burst and rage with violence in the Revolutionary war, the following named twenty-eight gentlemen, of the highest respectability and fortunes, voluntarily associated on the 17th day of November, 1774, and constituted The Philadelphia Troop of Light Horse, now The First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry:
Abraham Markoe Captain Andrew Allen First Lieutenant Samuel Morris Second Lieutenant James Mease Cornet Thomas Mease First Sergeant William Hall Second Sergeant Samuel Penrose Third Sergeant Samuel Howell First Corporal James Hunter Second Corporal Thomas Leiper Private John Dunlap Private William Pollard Private James Budden Private Robert Hare Private Henry Hil Private John Boyle Private John Mitchell Private Samuel Caldwell Private Blair M. Clenechan Private Benjamin Randolph Private George Fullerton Private William Todd Private George Campbell Private Levi Hollingsworth Private George Groff Private Thomas Peters Private Andrew Caldwell Private William West, Jr. Private
They equipped at their own expense, volunteered their services to the Continental Congress, and served during the entire Revolutionary war. While General Washington was in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, in 1776 and 1777, the Troop were his body guard. They served also with distinction m the war 1812.
On the 15th of April, 1861, the day of the President's call for seventy-five thousand men, the Troop tendered their services to Governor Curtin; but the government not requiring cavalry, it was only after great difficulty that they obtained, through the influence of Major General Patterson, a special order from the War Department in their favor, and were mustered into service on the 13th day of May, 1861, for three months. The following constituted the company:
Thomas C. James Captain Richard B. Price First Lieutenant William Camac Second Lieutenant F. Rogers First Sergeant W. D. Smith Second Sergeant S. J. Randall Third Sergeant R. Morris. Jr Fourth Sergeant M. E. Rogers First Corporal C. F. Lening Second Corporal R. E. Randall Third Corporal E. A. Lewis Fourth Corporal G. Dunn First Bugler J. Nosher Second Bugler F. D. Wood Farrier Agen, John Private Angier, W. R. Private Ashhurst, H. Private Bell, S, Jr. Private Bickley, R. Private Blanchard, Private Borthwick, J. Private Brown, J. A., Jr. Private Brinton, J. P. Private Budd, T. M. Private Burk, J. R. Private Butler, W. H. Private Cadwalader, C. E. Private Caswell, J. H. Private Conover, A. M. Private Carpenter, E, N. Private Cochran, G. Private Cooper, E. S. Private Davis, W. S. Private Devereux, R. G. Private Ellis, R. Private Evans, G. G. Private Evans, H. Y. Private Fassitt, J.B. Private Frazier, N., Jr. Private Gilpin, G. Private Goddard, H. B. Private Gray, R. E., Jr. Private Grigg, J. W. Private Harper, J. H. Private Haseltine, J. H. Private Haven, N. P. Private Hensley, A. Private Horner, A., T, Jr. Private Howell, W. H. Private Jacobs, S. H. Private Kane, R. P. Private Kuhn, H. Private Kuhn, J H. Private Keyser, C. S. Private Lieper, C. L. Private Lowber, E., Jr. Private M'Makin, L. Private Merritt, W. H. Private Middleton, G. Private Mitchell, H. P. Private Paxton, J. R. Private Pemberton, A. J. Private Pemberton, C. Private Potter, W. H. Private Reakirt, E. L. Private Relf, J. D. Private Richard, C. E. Private Riddle, D. H. Private Rivinus, D. C. F. Private Seitzinger, F. S. Private Sloan, A. V. Private Sloan, B. H. Private Smith, Cooper Private Smith, E. W. Private Smith, S. E. Private Taggart, C. F. Private Tevis, E. L. Private Thompson, J. Private Tucker, H. Private West, J., Jr. Private Wetherill, F. D. Private White, E. W. Private Whitehead, G. I. Private Whilling, C. M. Private Wilson, R. P. Private Wood, J. P. Private Wood, W. W. Private Wurts, W. N. Private
As soon as they could be furnished with equipments, they were ordered to Carlisle. Leaving Philadelphia on the 29th of May, they reached the latter place on the night of the 30th, and were attached to the command of Colonel George H. Thomas. On the morning of the 31st, they moved, remaining over night at Shippensburg, where they were handsomely entertained by the ladies of that place, and reaching Chambersburg the next day, went into Camp M'Clure. For. four days it rained incessantly, and the material composing the troop was fully tested, receiving unqualified praise from Colonel Thomas, who stated
"that they had set an example to the Regulars, and one which he was pleased to say, had had very happy results."
On the 7th of June, they moved from Chambersburg to Greencastle, where they remained five days, and thence to Williamsport. On the 17th, General Cadwalader being ordered to cross the Potomac, his command advanced as far as Falling Waters, where a slight skirmish took place, and the confederates retreated. In the evening the division was ordered back to the river, but owing to some error in the orders, the troop and Colonel Dare's regiment remained out until the next day. Major General Patterson here joined, and took personal command of the column, and on the 2d of July, the entire army re-crossed the river. Proceeding about four miles, the enemy's out-posts were encountered; a section of Captain Perkins' battery under Lieutenant Hudson, was brought promptly into action, and was supported by the troop. Early in the morning, the advance came suddenly upon the confederate lines, which opened with a heavy and destructive fire; at this moment General Patterson rode to the front, and gave an example that enspirited and nerved his troops, it being the first time they had been under fire of either artillery or musketry.
The next day, July 3d, Martinsburg was taken without opposition. The army remained there until three o'clock on the morning of the 16th, when they advanced to Bunker Hill, the Troop being this day in their saddles over fifteen hours. At two o'clock A. M. of the 17th, the advance was continued, and about noon they occupied Charlestown.
On the 21st July, the entire command moved to Harper's Ferry, and on the 3d of September the Troop crossed the river to Sandy Hook, where they remained until ordered to Philadelplia. While at this point, they guarded Keily's and Antietam fords and Charlestown road, and with Captain William M'Mullin's Rangers, were the only three months' troops remaining.
The Troop were mustered out of service on the 17th day of August, 1861, with the strongest and kindest encomiums paid by their commander, Colonel Thomas, for military capacity, strict attention to duty, promptness and bravery. On this, as on every previous occasion, they were mounted and equipped at their own cost. Sixty-three of their number returned as officers in the National army, all of whom served with distinction in the different positions which they occupied, from Lieutenants to Generals. Many sacrificed their lives to save their country and put down rebellion, among whom were Captain Thomas C. James, Colonel of the Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry, General David B. Birney, Majors Taggart and Morris, and Captains Ash and Kuhn.
The Troop promptly tendered their services in May, 1862, under the requisition of the President for more troops, and the, call of the Governor of Pennsylvania, following close upon the disasters in the second battle of Bull Run, which, however, were not accepted. No sooner had the news of the second invasion of Pennsylvania by Lee, in June, 1863, reached the city, than the Troop proceeded promptly to Harrisburg, and tendered their services on the 16th of June; they were accepted on the 18th, and ordered by Major General Couch to Gettysburg, to impede and observe the movements of the approaching enemy. They were driven from South Mountain and Gettysburg on the 26th, and the next day from York to Wrightsville. After a slight skirmish, they retreated across the Susquehanna river to Columbia.
On the same day, Captain Samuel J. Randall was appointed Provost Marshal of Columbia, where the Troop remained on duty until the 4th of July, when they proceeded to Harrisburg. On the 2d of July Sergeant Robert E. Randall was ordered to cross the river with thirty men, and to follow and watch the movements of the retreating rebels, which was continued until they reached Gettysburg on the night of the 3d of July. They did not, however, take part in the battle. On the 31st of July, 1863, they were, by order of General Cadwalader, relieved from duty.
The following are the names of those who constituted the Troop during this term of service:
Samuel J. Randall Captain Zantzinger Surgeon M. E. Rogers First Sergeant J. Francis Maher Second Sergeant Robert E. Randall Third Sergeant E. L. Reckirt Fourth Sergeant John W. Grigg Fifth Sergeant James West, Jr. Sixth Sergeant J. A. Brown, Jr. First Corporal Alexander Hensley Second Corporal H. B. Goddard Third Corporal J. P. Wood Fourth Corporal A. C. Cattell Fifth Corporal F. W. Guist Trumpeter Ashhurst, H. Private Allen, H. W. Private Barclay, A. C. Private Barton, F. Private Bishop, C. B. Private Brothwick, W. A. Private Brooke, C. W. Private Brown, P. A. Private Canby, W. H. Private Colket, George Private Conover, A. M. Private Davis, W. S. Private Devereux, R. G. Private Diehl, H. C. Private Diehl, Thomas C. Private Driscol, D. J. Private Eastrick, W. Private Field, Francis Private Frame, N. G. Private Frazier, P. Private Gray, R. B. Private Harrison, A. Private Hayes, R. S. Private Howell, W. H. Private Hubbell,. Private Jennison, J. M. Private Jessup, A. D. Private Johnson, J. L. Private Kempton, J. C. Private Martrie, F. M. Private Mason, R. S. Private Mellor, A. Private Mercer, H. W. Private Merritt, W. H. Private Mitchell, T. Private Morris, George Private Neff,. Private Newhall, George H. Private Newhall, G. M. Private Oakman, George Private Oakman, T. C. Private Passmore, G. Y. Private Reckirt, Theodore Private Rhodes, C. M. Private Roberts, A. Private Rogers, W. E. Private Sharr, E. H. Private Smith, C. S. Private Smith, H. G. Private Snowden, A. L. Private Stevenson, C. Private Tevis, A. Private Thompson, A. L. Private Wagner, J. D. Private Watts, H. M. Private Welsh, J. L. Private White, E. W. Private Wistar, Jones. Private Wood, W. W. Private Wright, Theodore Private
Their services were again tendered and accepted on the 11th of July, 1864, and were continued until the 17th, during another threatened invasion of the State. Appreciating the great importance of cavalry, and proper instruction in this branch of service, they, at their own expense, and without any assistance from either the City or the State government, built an Armory and riding school, at a cost of upwards of thirty thousand dollars, The Troop is the oldest military organization in the United States, except the Ancient Artillerists of Boston. Aside from the Mexican war, they have always been in active duty when either the General, State, or City government required military aid.
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
Tendered services to the Government April 15, 1861.
Not at first accepted, but finally mustered in May 13,1861.
Moved to Carlisle, Pa., May 29-30.
Attached to Geo. H. Thomas' Command.
Source: Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion Compiled and Arranged from Official Records of the Federal and Confederate Armies, Reports of he Adjutant Generals of the Several States, the Army Registers, and Other Reliable Documents and Sources.Des Moines, Iowa: The Dyer Publishing Company, 1908
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
© 2015 Alice J. Gayley, all rights reserved