This company was recruited in Warren county, in the summer of 1862, for the One Hundred and Forty-fifth regiment, but before reaching the camp of this regiment at Erie, the requisite number of companies had been accepted. It was accordingly mustered into service as an Independent company, under Captain DeWitt C. James, on the 4th of September, and immediately proceeded to Harrisburg. It was promptly armed, and sent forward into the Cumberland Valley with a provisional battalion, the rebel army being at this time in Maryland, and threatening an invasion of the State.
While the battle of Antietam was in progress on the 16th and 17th, the company was posted on picket across the valley near the State line, where it remained some ten days, picking up during that time, one hundred and fifty rebel stragglers. Towards the close of the month, it returned to Harrisburg, where Captain James was made provost marshal of the city, and the company was employed in provost duty, under the direction of Captain W. B. Lane, chief mustering and recruiting officer, being chiefly engaged in arresting deserters in the counties of Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Cumberland, Franklin, and Fulton.
On the 2d of February, 1863, Lieutenant Eben W. Ford, was killed while arresting parties in Fulton county. On the 20th of March, it was transferred to Washington, where it performed provost duty, until the 13th of May, when it was sent to Alexandria, under command of Lieutenant George W. M'Pherson, and was attached to Independent Battery H, Captain Borrowe, on duty at Alexandria, in the command of General Slough.
When the rebel General Early made his demonstration upon Washington, in July, 1864, this company was ordered to the front, and thrown upon the picket line. In September, 1864, it was relieved from duty with the battery, and was assigned to guard duty at the military prisons in Alexandria. While engaged in this service, about ten thousand persons who had been arrested as deserters, were conducted to the front by this single company.
In March, 1865, Captain James was appointed an additional paymaster, and was confirmed by the Senate on the 6th of April, his commission dating April 14th, being the last signed by President Lincoln, The company was mustered out of service at Harrisburg, on the 20th of July, 1865.
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
© 2015 Alice J. Gayley, all rights reserved