© Alice J. Gayley, all rights reservedThe Eleventh Regiment, having tasted victory at Falling Waters, in thethree months' service, and won the commendation of its superior officersfor discipline and good soldierly qualities, became an object of pride and gratulation to all its members. The feeling generally prevailed, that so fine an organization should not be broken up, and its services lost to the government at a time when they were greatly needed, and when, by a three months' campaign, the men had become inured to the duties and deprivations of the soldiers' life. Application was accordingly made to the War Department, for permission to continue the Regiment in the service. This application was warmly secondedby the commander of the department of the Shenandoah, in which it was thenserving, and on the 25th of July, 1861, notice was given by the Secretary ofWar, that it would be accepted for a period of three years, provided it wasready to march in twenty-one days. At the conclusion of its three months'service, on the 31st of July, the Regiment was mustered out, and early in August, the men commenced re-assembling at Harrisburg. Upon the recommendation of Colonel Jarrett, its first commander, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Coulter was commissioned Colonel. Subsequently Thomas S. Martin was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, and Henry A. Frink, Major.
During the autumn months the Regiment remained at Camp Curtin, engagedin drill, where considerable sickness prevailed and eleven deaths occurred.Efforts were made to have it removed, but without success. On the 27th ofNovember, in pursuance of orders from Governor Curtin, it proceeded by theNorthern Central railroad to Baltimore, and was reported to Major GeneralDix, then in command of the department, by whom it was ordered to Annapolis,Maryland, to relieve the 21st Massachusetts, where, upon its arrival, it wasquartered in the buildings of St. John's college. Its strength was nine companies, comprising thirty-one officers, and seven hundred and forty-three enlisted men present, and two officers and thirty-eight enlisted men absent, an aggregate of eight hundred and thirteen.
The weather being very inclement, much suffering ensued, especially among the sick, of whom there were aboutone hundred and twenty. General Foster, in command at Annapolis, objectedto the Regiment with only nine companies; but an order having been procuredfrom Governor Curtin, assigning to it an additional Company, it was acceptedas a satisfactory solution of the difficulty, though the Company never reported.Field and staff officers, Regimental band, and detachments of companies D,F and H, which had not been mustered previous to leaving Harrisburg, were,on the 11th of December, mustered in, to date from November 27, 1861.
Lieutenant Israel Uncapher was appointed Provost Marshal of Annapolis, and wassucceeded by Captain J. J. Bierer. While stationed here, the sickness whichhad prevailed in Camp Curtin continued, and seventeen more of the numberdied. The reports of an unusual amount of sickness induced the Governor ofPennsylvania to order an examination by the Surgeon General, and upon his report to the War Department, an inspection by the Assistant Inspector General ofthe United States Army was ordered. The result of this last inspection,1 which seems to have been thoroughly made and impartially reported, showed that thehospital accommodations and supply were ample, the quarters of the men good,and that no unusual cause of sickness existed.
On Sunday, the 9th of March, while the men were at divine service, orders were received from General Hatch, commandant of the post, to detach a Company from the Eleventh, to proceed by boat, and act as a look-out party, it being rumored that the rebel iron-clad Merrimac, which had that day encountered the Monitor, had escaped, and was on its way up the bay. Great consternation prevailed at Annapolis; the citizens removed their valuables; the shipping was sent out of the harbor, and measures were taken to destroy the government stores. Company A, Captain Kuhn, was detailed for this duty. But the good services of the valiant little Monitor, robbed the monster of its terrors, and relieved the apprehensions of those in, and about the threatened waters.
On the 9th of April, the Regiment received orders to proceed to Washington. During its stay at Annapolis, the duty had been arduous. It furnished guard for the branch railroad; provost guard for the city; a greater part of the time, guard for the naval academy, and large details for fatigue duty. Soon after arriving at Annapolis, Chaplain Lo6ke made arrangements with the authorities of the Methodist Episcopal church, for the use of their edifice each Sunday afternoon, and the Regiment, in consequence, attended upon divine worship, very generally and regularly.
Manassas Junction - Manassas Gap RailroadOn the 10th of April, upon its arrival in Washington, it reported to General Wadsworth, and was quartered at the Soldier's Rest. New uniforms werereceived on the 13th, and on the 15th it marched to the Executive Mansion,where it was reviewed by President Lincoln. In pursuance of orders fromGeneral Wadsworth, it proceeded, two days later, by boat, to Alexandria, andthence by rail to Manassas Junction, where it reported to General M'Call, andwas ordered by him to relieve the Fourth Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, which was posted along the Manassas Gap railroad, and of whichhe was then in command. Regimental Headquarters were established at theJunction; Company A was posted about three miles down the road; CompanyF at Gainesville; Company H at Haymarket; Company I about two miles beyond; Company K at Thoroughfare Gap; Company E at Broad Run station;and Companies B, C, and D, under Major Frink, at White Plains.
On the 3d of May, two soldiers belonging to a Wisconsin Regiment, whohad previously been taken prisoners and had escaped, came to a farm house within the lines. Being encountered by an armed party belonging to the neighborhood, Robert E. Scott, a noted Virginian, and another prominent citizen were killed. One of the soldiers in attempting to flee, was shot down, the other escaped without injury.
On the 10th of May, on being relieved by the Twenty-eighth PennsylvaniaColonel Geary, it was ordered to move to Catlett's station, on the Orange andAlexandria railroad, and report to General Hartsuff. Concentrating at theJunction, the Regiment marched on the 12th, and arrived at the station at midmight. General Hartsuffs brigade2 having gone to Falmouth, the march wascontinued, arriving two days later. Much difficulty was experienced in movingthe trains on the march the frequent rains rendering the roads next to impassable.
On the 23d of May, the Division was reviewed by President Lincoln,accompanied by General M'Dowell and staff and the French minister. Stonewall Jackson having entered the Shenandoah valley via Gordonsville, was menacing the army of General Banks. Ord's Division was ordered to.join Shields and proceed to his relief. Moving to Acquia Creek, the Brigade proceeded by steamer to Alexandria, and from thence by rail to Manassas Junction, encamping near the former Headquarters of General Beauregard. Proceeding via Haymarket, White Plains, and Salem to Piedmont, the Regiment drew three days' rations and stripped to light marching order. From thence it proceeded to the neighborhood of Front Royal, where the divisions of Generals Ord and Shields were concentrated.
Front RoyalOn the lst of June, cannonading was heard in the direction of Strasburg,occasioned by the skirmishing of Fremont's advance with the rear guard ofJackson, now returning from his discomfiture and route of Banks. Hartsuffbrigade moved at noon of the 2d in the direction of Strasburg, and crossedthe Shenandoah river; but, after proceeding about four miles, was halted byorder of General M'Dowell, who was directing the movements of the army.The mareh was resumed, crossing a second fork of the river and camping atWaterick station. During the afternoon and nigh it rained almost incessantly, and the command was destitute of provisions, with the exception of beef. Fortunately, twelve barrels of flour, found in a mill on the line of march, were seized and distributed to the brigade, affording temporary relief. On the 4th of June, the brigade was ordered to return to Front Royal. The streams were so swollen that the fords had become impassable, and the bridges were endangered. Great difficulty was experienced in the baggage trains, cattle herds, and artillery. Colonel Coulter, with a portion of the EleventhRegiment, was left behind to secure their safe passage. The only way left forwithdrawing them, was by the railroad bridge, the ford by which it had advanced being now a raging torrent. The bridge consisted of trestle-work without floorings With the necessary material taken from an old mill in the vicinity, Colonel Coulter prepared the bridge for crossing, and during the night the trains, artillery, and herds, together with the trains of General Bayard's cavalry brigade, were brought off safely. Scarcely was the last of the detachmnent over, when the turnpike and railroad bridges were both swept away.
From Front Royal the brigade, with the exception of Company F of the Eleventh, detailed as guard to the train, moved by rail to Manassas Junction. M'Clellan's Chickahominy campaign having proved abortive, the scatteredCorps of Fremont, Banks, and M'Dowell were concentrated, being designatedrespectively 1st, 2d, and 3d Corps of the Army of Virginia, and placed underthe command of Major General John Pope, to meet the enemy now advancingfrom Richmond. The Eleventh Regiment thus became a part of the 3d Brigade, 2d Division of the 3d Corps.
Cedar MountainFrom Manassas Junction, the brigade marched via Gainesville to Warrenton, and thence moved to the neighborhood of Culpepper Court House. Thebattle of Cedar Mountain opened on the afternoon of the 9th of August, theforces of Stonewall Jackson encountering those of Banks. The 3d Divisionarrived about dark, and in taking position was exposed to a severe artilleryfire, and remained under arms during the night. On the following day, thepositions were several times changed, in anticipation of a renewal of the fight.Neither party manifesting a disposition to attack, on the 12th both engaged inburying their dead, and on the 13th the enemy fell back across the Rapidan.In this engagement the Eleventh had three wounded.
Learning from his scouts that Lee's army was assembling in fall strength inhis front, Pope commenced on the 18th, a retrogade movement from the line ofthe Rapidan. At tattoo, that night, all the drum Corps and bands were broughtinto requisition, with a view to deceive the enemy as to the movements in progress. Proceeding through Culpepper, the brigade took position on the 19th,on the left or north bank of the Rappahannock, and the enemy, following upthe retreat, soon appeared and commenced skirmishing with the cavalry. Aboutnoon of the 20th, the Eleventh, with a section of Matthews' battery F (FirstPennsylvania artillery), under Lieutenant Casey, crossed the river and took position on Graveyard Hill, about five hundred yards beyond the bridge. Duringthe succeeding night, an additional bridge was built. The detachment beinghotly shelled by the enemy, the Twelfth Massachusetts and Thompson's Independent Pennsylvania battery of four guns, were sent to its support, and theremainder of the brigade was pushed across. Entrenchments were commencedon the hill, at which the men worked vigorously during the day and night ofthe 22d. A sudden rise in the river swept away the newly constructed bridge,and the brigade was ordered to retire to the north bank, which was done undera heavy fire in safety, and the railroad bridge destroyed. The loss of the Eleventh in this engagement was one killed, three wounded, and one missing, Major Frink and Adjutant. Uncapher having their horses shot under them.
Thoroughfare GapOn the 27th of August, Lieutenant Andrew G. Happer, with a detachment of fifty-one men for Company G, arrived in camp. Authority had at length been given to Captain John B. M'Grew, of Allegheny county, to recruit the Company needed to complete the organization of the Regiment, and this was the first detachment. Marching through Warrenton to Haymarket, the comnmand was joined by the cavalry brigade of General Bayard. Stonewall Jackson had already passed through Thoroughfare Gap, and taken position in the rear of Pope, and Longstreet was preparing to follow him. To stop the advance of the latter until a decisive battle could be fought with Jackson, Rickett's (formerly Ord's) division of M'Dowell's Corps, was ordered to seize and hold Thoroughfare Gap. On account of its familiarity with the ground, gainedduring the previous summer months, the Eleventh was ordered to take the advance. At three o'clock in the afternoon of the 28th, it formed and advancedin line on the north side of the turnpike, Company H of the Twelfth Massachusetts being deployed as skirmishers. At the same time, the Twelfth andThirteenth Massachusetts, with Company A, Captain Kuhn of the Eleventh,deployed as skirmishers, advanced on the south side of the turnpike. Theenemy's skirmishers, after slight resistance-gave way, ten of whom were takenprisoners. On reaching the summit of the hill to the right of the Gap, thecolumn met a heavy fire, but succeeded in establishing a line a little beyond,the left resting near the road leading through the Gap. Owing to the natureof the ground, it was impossible to advance farther. Repeated attempts weremade to force the position, but in each case the enemy was repulsed with evident loss.
An attempt to turn the right flank was met and prevented by theEighty-fourth Pennsylvania, Colonel Bowman. The enemy, having gained asheltered position in Chapman's stone mill, and on the hill in its rear, kept upa galling fire, inflicting severe loss, which fell heavily upon the left wing, composed of companies B, D E, and G, of the Eleventh. After holding the position under a hot fire with great steadiness for upwards of an hour, the forcewas withdrawn.
The loss of the Regiment in this engagement was two officersand sixteen enlisted men killed, and three officers and thirty-seven enlistedmen wounded, with two missing, one of whom was thought to have been killed,Company G, composed entirely of recruits, having joined the Regiment onlythe day previous, although suffering severely, behaved with great gallantry.
Bull RunWhile the engagement was in progress at Thoroughfare Gap, General King'sdivision of M'Dowell's Corps was fighting Jackson at Groveton. Early on themorning of the 29th, Rickett's division took up the march for Bristoe station,arriving in the afternoon upon the field where Hooker, the day previous, haddefeated the enemy, and where the dead lay scattered over the ground as theyfell. Continuing the march, it passed Manassas Junction, and arriving on thefirst Bull Run battle-field, late at night, took position in line early on the following morning. At noon the brigade, with Captain Thompson's Pennsylvania battery, was sent to the right with orders from M'Dowell to pursue the enemy; but, soon encountering him firmly posted, the brigade was withdrawnand being temporarily attached to. General Tower's (2d) Brigade, was sent tothe left. With the Twelfth Massachusetts on the right, the Thirteenth on theleft, and the Eleventh Pennsylvania in centre, the brigade advanced to the attack.
The action soon became very warm, the Union lines being thrown into considerable confusion, and, in about an hour, all the troops of M'Dowell's Corps engaged at this point, were in retreat, In the heat of the action, Colonel Fletcher Webster, of the Twelfth Massachusetts, was killed, leaving Colonel Coulter in command of the brigade. General Tower, being soon after severely wounded, the command devolved on Colonel Coulter, who held his position until overpowered by the masses of the enemy hurled upon him when he was forced to yield; reinforcements arriving from Sigel's Corps, he renewed the engagement, but the weight and impetuosity of the enemy's attack was so overwhelming, that they soon melted before it.
Retiring to. the neighborhood of Cub Run, the fragments of these shattered brigades bivouacked for the night. On this hotly contested field, the Eleventh Regiment lost fifty-two killed, sixty-seven wounded, and seventy-five-taken prisoners; of the latter the greater portion were wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas S. Martin was killed early in the action, and Major Henry A. Frink, after having his horse shot underhim, was severely wounded, and fell into the enemy's hands. Colonel Coulter's horse was also struck by a musket ball in the neck. Several color-bearers were shot down, but the State flag was saved. Sergeant Fightner, bearing the flag presented to the Regiment while in the three months' service by the Union ladies of Martinsburg, was wounded and fell with that flag. into the hands of the enemy.
The struggle was short. the reiment being but about an hour under fire, but the losses it sustained attest the terrible ordeal to which it was subjected, and the nature of the onset by which it was overpowered.
Proceeding to Centreville on the morning of the 30th, Colonel Stiles rejoinedand assumed command of the brigade. Ammunition was distributed, andpreparations were made to muster the brigade, which was prevented by orders,to march. On the following day General Kearney's division was hotly engaged.at Chantilly, and the 3d Division was ordered to move, at two o'clock, P. M.,to his support. Forming in the rear of Kearney, the line was exposed to theenemy's fire without the opportunity of returning it. The enemy were at lengthrepulsed and withdrew during the night.
In this engagement two brave Union Generals, Kearney and Stevens, were killed. The Eleventh had one wounded.
Retiring to Hall's Hill, near Washington, the Regiment encamped, and, in pursuance of an act of Congress dispensing with Regimental bands, the band ofthe Eleventh was mustered out of service. The well modulated blasts of thesemasters of the horn had cheered the heart of the soldier and lightened his stepson many a weary march, and it was with sincere regret that they parted Company; but the rough campaigning of the last few weeks doubtless rendered the order a welcome one. On the night of the 6th of September, the Regiment, marched through Georgetown and Washington, and bivouacked at Silver Spring, Maryland.
South MountainIn the campaign now opening, which terminated in the battle of Antietam, General M'Clellan was placed in command of the consolidated Union Army, and General Hooker was assigned to the Corps heretofore commanded by General M'Dowell, which, in the re-organization, became the 1st. Moving by rapid marches to the vicinity of Turner's Gap, in South Mountain, where the enemy were posted to dispute the passage, the action to dislodge them commenced. Rickett's division had rested the night previous in the neighborhood of Frederick City. Reveille was sounded at three, A. M., and at five the troops were in motion. Arriving in the vicinity of the battleground, knapsacks were deposited on the old Braddock road, and the line formed with the 1st Brigade on the right, the 3d in centre, and the 2d on the left. At about four P. M, the division moved forward up the mountain on the right of the turnpike, to the support of General Meade's division. The action at this time was very severe, but the enemy's fire was principally concentrated on the Pennsylvania Reserves.
Rushing up over very rugged and precipitous ground, the crest of the mountain was carried, and the command remained on the field in front of, and very near to the enemy during the night. The loss during the day in the Eleventh was two wounded. At daylight on the 15th, the line moved forward over the mountain with skirmishers advanced; but the enemy had retired, leaving many prisoners, mostly stragglers, in our hands. Halting on the west side of the Gap long enough to receive a fresh supply of hard bread, the march was resumed, passing through Boonsboro' and encamping at midnight on Antietam creek, one mile from Keedysville.
AntietamAs soon as the two armies began to confront each other, Hooker was ordered to move on our extreme right, and flank and attack the enemy's left. The division broke camp at three o'clock on the afternoon of the 16th, crossedAntietam creek, moved towards Sharpsburg, and at dusk took position undera heavy artillery fire. During the night the men remained under arms, theEleventh resting in a corn field, the fire of the enemy's artillery being kept upthrough the early part, and a brisk musketry fire nearly the entire night.At daylight on the 17th, the brigade moved forward in line, with two companies of each Regiment deployed as skirmishers, Companies E and K skirmishingin front of the Eleventh. The enemy were soon encountered in a commandingposition, well covered. General Hartsuff, who had gone forward to examine theground, was severely wounded and taken from the field, early in the engagement. Upon his fall, the command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel Coulter, and that of the Eleventh Regiment upon Captain Cook, of Company F.
Moving steadily forward, the left was made to connect with Seymour's brigadeof the Pennsylvania Reserves, when the engagement became general. Theenemy were driven back, contesting every inch of ground with great firmness,until re-inforceed, when our line was compelled to retire, losing a part of theground already gained. A position was finally taken, and held by the brigade,until re-inforced by a part of General Sumner's Corps, when the enemy wereagain compelled to give way. At nine o'clock in the morning, the brigade wasrelieved, and retiring a short distance re-formed, and received a fresh supplyof ammunition.3 Going into action at about five o'clock in the morning, and retiring at nine, it was, during two hours of that time, subjected to a mostgalling and destructive fire. At two o'clock in the afternoon, the divisionmoved to the right near Sharpsburg pike, to the support of batteries there engaged, where it remained under arms through the following evening and night.
On the 18th, the enemy placed batteries in position to command the Union guns,with the design of compelling the abandonment of the position, but were forcedby the precision and accuracy of the fire, to abandon the attempt. As soon asthe firing ceased, details were sent out to bury the dead, and the enemy begansullenly to retire. In this battle, the Eleventh lost one officer and twenty-six men killed, four officers and eighty-five men wounded, and two men taken prisoners. Adjutant Uncapher also had his horse killed under him.
Moving towards the Potomac, the rebel army having re-crossed, the brigadewas reviewed on the 3d of October, by President Lincoln, accompanied by Generals M'CIellan and Reynolds.
On the 11th, three Regiments of the brigade,the Eleventh Pennsylvania, and Twelfth and Thirteenth Massachusetts, weredetailed under Colonel Coulter, for picket duty on roads leading to Hagerstownand Sharpsburg, on the occasion of Stuart's raid through Maryland to Chambersburg, around the rear of the army. On the 20th, and again on the 29th of October, clothing and shelter tents were issued, comprising a complete outfit,of which the Regiment was in great need.
On the 26th, an order was receivedfor the division to leave its baggage in camp under guard, and to march atonce into Virginia. Moving through Crampton's Pass, and crossing the Potomac on a pontoon bridge at a point nearly opposite Berlin, the division passedthrough Lovettsvile, Bloomfield, and Salem, to the neighborhood of Warrenton.
On the 8th of November, General M'Clellan was relieved, and General Burnside was ordered to assume command of the Army of the Potomac. Three daysprevious, General Gibbon assumed command of the division in place of General Ricketts, and on the 7th of October, Brigadier General Nelson Taylor wasassigned to the command of the brigade, relieving Colonel Coulter. Soon afterwards the brigades of the division were re-organized, the Third4 receiving andparting with two Regiments.
At midnight of the 7th of November, after a hard march in a heavy snowstorm, orders were received to prepare two days' rations, and be ready to moveat a moment's notice to support General Bayard upon the Rappahannock.The brigade moved on the following afternoon, and took position near the railroad bridge in support of the cavalry, the enemy's forces being on the oppositeside of the river, and his pickets in sight. It remained on duty, occasionallyskirmishing with the enemy, until the 18th, when the whole command was relieved by General Pleasanton, and the bridge across the Rappahannock wasburned. The cavalry took the river roads, and the infantry that by Bealton'sStation, and marched to Acquia landing, where the Eleventh was detailed forfatigue duty at the wharf. Here the Regiment received pay, clothing, campand garrison equipage, and, in pursuance of recent general orders requiringofficers to be mustered in for every new grade filled, those of the Eleventh towhom it applied were mustered.
FredericksburgOn the 10th of December, taking three days' cooked rations, and sixty-sixrounds of ammunition, the Regiment marched in the direction of Fredericksburg, where preparations were in progress for a general engagement, and bivouacked on the night of the 11th, near the river. Heavy cannonading had been kept up during the entire day, Fredericksburg being bombarded and at times on fire. Crossing the Rappahannock on a pontoon bridge two miles below Fredericksburg, on the morning of the 12th, the division gained a position at two P. M., about two hundred and fifty yards from the Bowling Green road, where it lay in line, under arms, during the night.
On the following morning,as soon as the fog had risen sufficiently, the division moved forward by brigades, the Third having the advance, and crossed the Bowling Green road.About two hundred yards beyond, the skirmishers met the enemy and weresoon engaged. The position of the Eleventh was on the extreme left of thebrigade, where, from the nature of the ground, it was much exposed to theenemy's artillery. After some time, it went forward about fifty yards, where itfound better cover. At two o'clock in the afternoon, the line was again advanced and the engagement became general. The Third, still holding the advance, and receiving the first onset of the ememy, suffered fearfully, but was well supported by the First and Second Brigades. The colors of the Eleventh were three times shot down, but as often re-placed and borne triumphantly forward.
In the heat of the engagement, Colonel Coulter was severely wounded, andthe command devolved upon Captain Kuhn. The ammunition having beenexhausted, the Regiment re-formed on the Bowling Green road, where a freshsupply was obtained, and subsequently the brigade took up a position to theleft of that occupied on the night of the 12th, where it remained in line of battleduring the night and the following day. At daylight on the 15th, the Regimentretired about one hundred yards under cover of rising ground, whence it wasordered on picket duty at Cross Roads, continuing until three A. M., of the16th, when it crossed to the left bank of the Rappahannock, and encampednear Falmouth.
In this battle, the Eleventh lost one commissioned officer and fourteen men killed, five commissioned officers and sixty-one men wounded, and five taken prisoners. Colonel Coulter was sent to the general hospital, at Washington, and Lieutenant Colonel N. W. Batchelder, of the Thirteenth Massachusetts, was, by special order, placed in command of the Regiment. General Gibbon was also wounded in the action, and was succeeded by General Taylor.
On the 31st, Brigadier General John A. Robinson was assigned to the command of the division, and on the 2d of January, Lieutenant Colonel Henry A.Frink, who had been severely wounded and taken prisoner at the battle ofBull Run, returned and assumed command; but unable to endure the hardshipsof the camp, he was, a few days later, sent to Georgetown hospital.
On the 2d of January, all the arms of calibre'57 and '58, were exchanged for rifled muskets of calibre '69. Colonel Coulter re-joined the Regiment on the 19th, but,being still unfit for duty, did not assume command.
Burnside's Mud MarchOn the 20th of January, opened that celebrated campaign under Burnside,known as the " Mud March," in which the Eleventh held a distinguished part.Purposing to cross the Rappahannock and again offer battle, General Burnsideput his columns in motion; but scarcely were they out of camp when the rainsbegan to descend, and the mud to deepen. The division moved out to Stoneman's Switch, on the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac railroad, whereit bivouacked for the night. Colonel Coulter accompanied in an ambulance,but, being unable to bear the march, was taken back to Falmouth.
The division moved above Falmouth and encamped on the 21st, where it remained during the 22d and 23d, it being utterly impossible to move either trains or artillery, the infantry marching with the greatest difficulty. Yielding to an imperious necessity, further advance was abandoned, and the troops were ordered back, the Eleventh occupying its old camp at Fletcher's Chapel.
On the 26th of January, General Burnside was relieved, and Major General Joseph Hooker was placed in command of the Army of the Potomac. Dispirited by its repeated failures, the troops were suffered to rest in camp, while its commanderwas busily engaged in re-organizing its ranks.
Early in April great activity prevailed throughout the army. Inspectionswere critically made, reviews were frequent, and every indication pointed tothe early opening of a campaign. Colonel Coulter having resumed commandof the Regiment, Colonel Leonard of the brigade, and General Robinson of thedivision, it was reviewed on the 2d of April by General Hooker, and a few daysthereafter by President Lincoln. On the 14th of April all surplus clothing andbaggage were sent to Belle Plains. In acknowledgment of his many services,and in anticipation of an active campaign, Chaplain William H. Locke waspresented with a horse by the line officers of the Regiment.
To obviate the many difficulties arising from a lack of ready recognition ofthe members of the different Corps and divisions of the army, General Hookerinvented a system of badges, by which to designate them, and the Chief Quartermaster was ordered to furnish them to all officers and enlisted men. These badges were fastened on the centre of the top of the cap, and inspectors were directed to see that they were worn. By this system, the badge for the 2d Division of the 1st army Corps, to which the Eleventh Regiment belonged, was a white globe or disc.
General Hooker, having made the necessary preparations for a general engagement, desired to mask his real design of crossing above Fredericksburg, bymaking a great show of crossing below. He accordingly sent the 1st, 3d, and6th Corps with immense pontoon trains down the stream to cross and make ademonstration on the right wing of the rebel army. The 3d Brigade marchedat five A. M. of the 29th, and halting in a field till afternoon, it approached theRappahannock at the pontoons of the 1st Corps, where the left grand divisionunder Franklin had effected a passage on the 12th of December previous. Merrill's brigade, after a spirited engagement, had gained possession of the rightbank early in the day, and in the afternoon the balance of the division joined it.For two days, 30th of April and 1st of May, the forces remained in nearly thesame position, with three pontoon bridges stretched across the stream, the division upon the south bank throwing up breast-works and planting pieces, whilea vigorous cannonading and some picket firing was kept up from both sides ofthe river.
Chancellorsville.On the morning of the 2d of May, a heavy fire was opened upon the enemy's batteries, who seemed to have been reinforced, and at eleven A. M. the division marched away to the United States ford, twelve miles above Falmouth, and crossing the stream took position at midnight on the right of the line, near Chancellorsville. The 3d Brigade occupied the centre of the division, and was engaged during the remainder of the night in digging rifle pits and erecting breast-works. The day had been warm, and the march of twenty miles, concluded with intrenching, had completely exhausted the men.
On the 3d, the breast-works were strengthened, and Ramseur's (5th U. S.) and Hall's (2d Maine) batteries were placed in position on the right, where a furious attack wasmade by the enemy, which was repulsed, and a large number of prisonersbrought in. On the 4th, fighting continued at intervals on the left, and at fourP. M., the Eleventh was placed on the skirmish line in front of the division,where it continued until the morning of May 6th. During the night of the 5th,the army retired, and at dawn on the following day, the Regiment withdrewto the intrenchments and found them abandoned. Here it was joined by theOne Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania, and deploying skirmishers upon theflank and rear, the two Regiments retired to United States Ford, being the lasttroops to leave the field.
Re-crossing the river, the Eleventh marched to Falmouth, where it re-joined the division. Not arriving upon the field until the second day of the battle, and not being actively engaged, it had no casualties. In consequence of the reported movement of the enemy's artillery down the river, it was held in readiness from May 13th to 15th for immediate action, but was not called on to move.
In the re-organization of the army, after the battle of Chancellorsville, theEleventh was assigned to the Second Brigade,5 Second Division, First Army Corps.
Gettysburg CampaignIn anticipation of an active campaign, an order was issued from Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, on the 11th of June, requiring all surplus baggage to be sent to the rear, all persons not having a recognized position in the army to be excluded from its lines, and the troops prepared for the greatest possible mobility.
Starting on a race which culminated at Gettysburg, the two armies went forward by the Shenandoah and Potomac valleys, the commanders watchful:and eager to seize every advantage. Pleasanton with the cavalry displayed great activity, and gained a signal advantage over his antagonist at Brandy Station, and again at Upperville and Ashby's Gap.
Leaving Falmouth on the 12th of June, the Second Brigade moved via Warrenton Junction, Centreville, Herndon and Guilford Stations, to Edward's Ferry, where it crossed the Potomac on the 25th, and continuing the march through Barnsville, Middletown and Emmittsburg, halted for the night, at Wolford's farm, on the Pennsylvania State line, where the Eleventh was inspected and mustered for pay.
Notice of the order relieving General Hooker, and placing General Meade in command of the army, was here first communicated to the troops. Resuming the march, three cheers were given by the Eleventh and Ninetieth Regiments as they crossed the line, then hastened forward, determined to strike for their native State a deadlier blow. Cannonading was soon heard in the direction of Gettysburg, and the column was pushed forward with all possible dispatch.
GettysburgOn the march, the Eleventh formed the rear of the rear brigade of the division. Arriving in the neighborhood of Gettysburg at about eleven o'clock A. M., the brigade was massed on the north side and near the railroad embankment, andjust in rear of Seminary Ridge. Scarcely had it halted, when General Baxter received an order from General Robinson to send forward two Regiments. The Eleventh Pennsylvania and the Ninety-seventh New York, under the command of Colonel Coulter, were detached for this purpose, and proceeding about a quarter of a mile to the right, formed onthe right of General Cutler, of the First Division. A few minutes later, GeneralBaxter moved with the balance and formed on the right of the detachment, assuming command of the entire brigade. The skirmishers were quickly engaged, and at about half-past twelve P. M., the firing became general. The enemy were soon observed advancing, when the brigade opened a heavy fire, causing them to recoil After several attempts, ineach with fresh troops, finding it impossible to force the position, they commenced moving to the left under a galling fire, when a part of the brigade, including the Eleventh, made a sally which resulted in the capture of about five hundred of the enemy, comprising three Regiments of Iverson's North Carolina brigade, The line was steadily maintained under a heavy pressure until after three o'clock, when the Second was relieved by a portion of the First Brigade and the Eleventh was moved to the railroad embankment to the support of Stewart's battery.Both flanks of the army having been turned, it was ordered to fall back to the town of Gettysburg, the Eleventh retiring with the brigade along the railroad, andsuffering severely from a fire of musketry and artillery.
The division immediately took position on Cemetery Hill. Here, an orderwas received, transferring the Eleventh Regiment from the Second to the FirstBrigade, and directing Colonel Coulter to assume command in place of GeneralPaul, who had been severely wounded and taken from the field. At about fiveo'clock it moved from the Cemetery to the left, and formed near, and parallelwith the Emmittsburg road, the division connecting with the left of the EleventhCorps. Having formed in line of battle, and erected temporary breast-works,it remained in position supporting batteries, until about noon of the followingday, July 2d, when it was relieved by General Hays' division of the SecondCorps, and retired a short distance.
At seven o'clock in the evening, the brigade moved further to the left to the support of the Third Corps, and was subjected to artillery fire which resulted in considerable loss At about ten o'clock P. M., the brigade was again ordered into position on the Emmittsburg road, in front of the Cemetery, in support of a portion of the Eleventh Corps, from which it was relieved at daylight on the morning of the 3d. At two o'clock in the afternoon, the artillery fire becoming general and heavy along the entireline, the brigade was moved quickly to the support of Captain Ricketts' andother batteries, on the right and front of Cemetery Hill, where it remainedabout an hour, exposed to both front and rear fire of artillery, and a skirmishfire in front. When, upon the point of moving, Colonel Coulter was severelywounded in the arm, and temporarily disabled, but remained with the brigade,and soon after resumed command.
At about three o'clock P. M., it movedrapidly under a severe fire to the support of the Second Corps, upon which theenemy had massed his forces for a last desperate attack, and took position onthe right of the Third Division in support of a battery, where brisk skirmishingwas kept up with considerable loss on both sides, until nine o'clock P. M. Twohours later, it being ascertained that the enemy were removing fences, eitherfor the purpose of making defence against attack, or of opening the way, thebreast-works were much strengthened by the addition of stone and timber, thebrigade working nearly the entire night. On the following day, July 4th, theposition remained unchanged, skirmishing continuing with some loss.
Immediately after the failure of the grand charge on the afternoon of the3d, the rebel leader began to withdraw his forces. But, in order to mask hisdesigns, he strengthened all his picket lines and fell to fortifying. Beyond slightencounters, there was little activity during the 4th. On the morning of the5th, the last of the rebel host had disappeared; the ground was yielded; thevictory won.
Upon being assigned to the command of the brigade, Colonel Coulter turnedover the command of the Regiment to Captain Benjamin F. Haines, who waswounded on the afternoon of the 3d of July and was succeeded by CaptainJohn B. Overmyer, who remained in command until noon of July 4, when hewas relieved by Captain J. J. Bierer, his senior officer, just then returned froman absence occasioned by sickness. The losses of the Eleventh Regiment duringthe four days of fighting, were fifteen killed, fifty-nine wounded, and sixty-fourtaken prisoners. Adjutant Small had his horse shot in the action on the firstinstant.
Pursuit of the retreating rebel army was commenced on the morning of the5th of July, and on the 6th, the Union army was in full motion. Following upthe direct line on the Chambersburg road, with Sedgwick's Corps subsequeitlyre-inforced by the Fifth, as far as Fairfield Pass, where the enemy was found insome force, Meade decided to debouch to the left, and moved through Emmitts.burg to Middletown, the army remaining one day to rest and refit.
At daylight on the 8th, the Eleventh moved with the brigade and bivouacked thatnight on the north side of South Mountain, throwing up breast-works. Movingon July 10th, through Boonsboro' to Beaver creek, it was again engaged inthrowing up breast-works, where an attack was anticipated. Crossing Antietam creek at noon on the 12th, it formed in line of battle and entrenched, withthe enemy in its immediate front, in strong position well fortified. On the nightof the 13th, the enemy escaped across the Potomac, and further pursuit wasgiven over.
Returning to Berlin, the Regiment crossed the river on pontoons, and encamped on the night of the 18th, at Waterford, Virginia. Here the Eleventh,which had been transferred on the field of the first day at Gettysburg, to theFirst Brigade, was returned by order of General Robinson to its place in theSecond.
In the forward movement of the army to the Rapidan and retrogradeto Centreville, the Regiment participated, but did not become actively engaged.
On the 8th of October, while on the picket line in the neighborhood of Germania ford, Colonel Coulter, division officer of the day, had occasion to conimunicate with the officer of the enemy's pickets. The substance of the communication was signalled from the nearest station to rebel Headquarters. But this was not the conclusion of the matter. The Union signal officers supposing themselves in possession of the enemy's system of signals, read the communication and reported it to Corps Headquarters, so that a trivial act transpiring on the remote picket line was immediately known throughout both armies.
Colonel Coulter was summoned to the tent of Generol Newton to give an explanation, and was requested to make a detailed report of the facts. The event though of little moment in itself, proved of great consequence to the army for the rebel signal system was thereby verified.
Mine Run ExpeditionAs the army again moved forward on the Mine Run expedition, the Eleventhtook the Warrenton road, crossing Bull Run at Stone Bridge, and thence movedthrough Haymarket to Thoroughfare Gap, where a slight skimish enined;Crossing the Rappahannock river on the 9th of November, Colonel Coulterwas placed in command of a detachment consisting of the Sixteenth Maine,Eighty-third and One Hundred and Fourth New York, and Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiments, with a section of a New York battery, and stationed atLiberty, where were established General Richardson's division Headquarters,the Eleventh under the command of Major Keenan. An attack upon an outpost, by Mosby's cavalry in the garb of Union soldiers, was repulsed, but notuntil one Union soldier was wounded, five taken prisoners and a number ofhorses and mules driven away. The assumed uniform protected the party untiltoo late for the picket guard to make a successful resistance.
The Regiments of this detachment having been ordered to their several brigades, at daylight on the morning of the 27th of November, the division crossed the Rappahannock at the station, and the Rapidan at Culpepper Mines ford,encamped at Culpepper gold mines and on the following day marched to, Robinson's Tavern, where the Second Corps was already in line.
Colonel Coulter assumed command of division reserve, consisting of the Ninetieth and Eleventh Pennsylvania, Sixteenth Maine, and Twelfth Massachusetts, and moving forward in three lines, took position on Mine Run. The Eleventh was placed onpicket duty and had one man wounded.
On the 30th, the division moved tothe right in two lines, the reserve under Colonel Coulter, covering the rear ofboth brigades, and took position on the right of the Fredericksburg and OrangeCourt House turnpike. At nine o'clock in the, morning, General Sedgwickopened on the right, but the enemy only answered with a few shells. Remaining, and suffering intensely from cold, until the evening of December 1st, thedivision withdrew, and moved to Germania ford, where it covered the crossingof the Fifth and Sixth, and the picket details of the First, Third, Fifth and SixthCorps, when it was withdrawn, with the exception of one hundred men, whoremained till the bridges were taken up and then crossed in boats. Returning to the right bank of the Rappahannock, and again crossing to the left, itwent into winter quarters.
On the 5th of January, in conformity with provisions of' an order from theWar Department, two hundred and four men of the Eleventh Regiment re-enlisted as veteran volunteers, and were mustered in, to date from January 1st. As this number exceeded three-fourths of the whole, it insured the continuance of the organization and a veteran furlough and attaching temporarily, the men not re-enlisting to the Ninetieth Pennsylvania. On the 2d of February, an order was issued from the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, granting a furlough of thirty-five days to the re-enlisted men.On the 20th of January, a communication was received from the Headquarters of the First Army Corps, proposing a plan to raise a fund for the erection of a monument to the memory of Major General John F. Reynolds, former commander of the Corps, upon which a Regimental order6 was issued, commending the virtues of that illustrious soldier, and urging a hearty co-operation. The full amount, allowed by the conditions fixed by the committee, was immediately subscribed; one hundred and ten dollars by commissioned officers, and one hundred and fifty-five dollars by enlisted men.
Onthe 5th, the Regiment proceeded to Alexandria, and was quartered at the Soldiers' Rest, receiving pay and new clothing, and thence to Harrisburg, whereit was disbanded. Recruiting stations were opened at Pittsburg, Greensburg,Lock Haven, Jersey Shore, Carlisle, and Mauch Chunk. On the 20th of March,the Regiment re-assembled at Harrisburg, and on the 28th, proceeded to Washington with three hundred and fourteen recruits, and two hundred and seventy-six furloughed men, an aggregate of five hundred and ninety. On the 3d ofApril, the Regiment re-joined the brigade at Culpepper, and until the openingof the campaign in the Wilderness, was employed in re-organizing and drilling.
Upon the establishment of the Headquarters of Lieutenant General Grantwith the Army of the Potomac, that army was consolidated into three Corps,Second, Fifth and Sixth, commanded respectively by Hancock, Warren andSedgwick. In this organization, the First Corps was merged in the Fifth, theunited force forming four divisions, commanded by Wadsworth, Robinson,Crawford and Griffin.
The WildernessAt midnight on the 3d of May, the army began to move; the Fifth Corpsleading the way, and crossing the Rapidan at Germania ford. Griffin's division encountered the enemy on the Orange and Fredericksburg turnpike, atthree P. M. on the 5th, the second division being within supporting distance,but not actively engaged. At six P. M., the division was marched to the left,to the support of Hancock's right, and in assuming position, the Eleventh became very warmly engaged, the battle raging with great fury, until darknessput a period to the contest. The loss during the engagement, was about fiftykilled and wounded. Captain Chalfant, while establishing a line during thenight, became bewildered, and taking a wrong direction, fell into the hands ofthe enemy. Colonel Coulter had his horse shot.
The action opened early on the following morning, the line being advancedrapidly across the plank road. In this advance, leading with his accustomedbravery and skill, General Baxter fell severely wounded, and the command ofthe brigade devolved on Colonel Coulter; that of the Regiment on Major Keenan. The battle soon grew warm, and, owing to the difficult nature of the ground, the brigade became broken. The rebels fought with great obstinacy, and the loss in the command was heavy. Major Keenan had his horse killed, and Colonel Coulter another horse wounded. Being relieved by a portion of Hancock's Corps, the brigade was ordered to the extreme left, in anticipation of an attack, where it remained strengthening the position until about five P. M., Corps, when it was ordered to the right, and posted at ten P. M. near army Headquarters, the enemy's efforts being at that time directed against the right of the Sixth Corps. The loss during the day, was one hundred and fifty-seven killed and wounded.
On the evening of the 7th, the brigade was united near the Lacy House,and at ten P. M., took the advance in the flank movement of the army to theleft, passing the Second Corps, and taking the Brock road to SpottsylvaniaCourt House. All night the march was continued, with the design of seizingthe high and commanding grounds at that point, but the enemy having the advantage of a shorter road, had already arrived and posted his skirmishers along the river Ny, where the brigade, at about five o'clock on the morning of the 8th, went into line, the Twelfth Massachusetts, and the right wing of the Eleventh being deployed as skirmishers. Without pausing for rest, it was pushed rapidly forward for nearly a mile and a half, with some loss. It had been given out that the enemy in front were " dismounted cavalry,'7; but one of the men having obtained through the thick undergrowth a view of them, reported "dismounted cavalry, carrying knapsacks." It was Hood's veteran division. At this point, the lines which had become somewhat disordered, were re-formed by General Robinson, the Second brigade on the left, and the First and Third on the right of the road.
From this point the ground was open,the enemy having taken a strong position in the edge of the woods and strengthened himself by felling trees. The line was pushed forward till within aboutseventy-five yards of the enemy's breast-work, when his fire becoming very severe, and the left flank and front being entirely unprotected, it was checkedand compelled to retire, taking up a position near Alsop's house, where temporary defences were thrown up and the division rested.
During the advanceGeneral Robinson was severely wounded and taken from the field. MajorKeenan gallantly leading the Eleventh, was shot dead in the very act of cheering on his men. A brave man, always at the post of duty, his loss to the Regiment was sorely felt.
The fatigue and fighting to which the division had been subjected, hadterribly thinned its ranks. During the last three days, it had lost its division,all three brigade commanders, and an aggregate of not less than two thousandofficers and men. It was, in consequence, temporarily broken up; the FirstBrigade, Colonel Lyle, being transferred to the Fourth Division; the SecondBrigade, Colonel Coulter, to the Third Division, General Crawford; the ThirdBrigade, Colonel Bowman was retained by General Warren, under his own supervision.
Laurel HillBusily employed strengthening the defences near Alsop's house duringthe entire night, at eight o'clock on the evening of the 8th, the Regiment wasordered further to the right, where it again spent the night throwing up breastworks. At noon on the following day, it reported now under Captain B. F. Haines, with the brigade, to General Crawford, and was immediately placed on the right of the line. On the morning of the 10th, an order was issued for a general assault along the whole front of the Fifth and Sixth Corps. Advancing under a deadly fire of musketry up the slope of Laurel Hill, a line of rifle pits on its summit was gallantly carried; but beyond,'earth-works well supplied with artillery, supported by infantry, were disclosed. Advancing to within a hundred yards of the intrenchments, it was compelled to halt, but held the ground gained. In the face of a severe fire, the brave men clung to their position for five hours, when they were relieved by Gibbons' Division. Out of nine hundredmen who formed the brigade, as it marched out in the morning, two hundredand twenty-nine, mangled and bleeding, were struck down in the narrow spacein front.
Another attempt was made to carry the heights on the 12th, by thePennsylvania Reserves, in which Coulter's brigade was ordered to their support,but was alike unsuccessful. The supporting brigade gained a position a littlein advance of the charging column, protecting themselves by the formation ofthe ground, which was held until they were relieved.
SpottsylvaniaFinding it impossible to carry the strong position occupied by the enemy,a movement by the left flank was ordered, and the Eleventh remaining on thepicket line until the division was well away, followed, and joining the brigade,took position near the Anderson House, and subsequently crossing the riverNy, moved up nearer Spottsylvania, in support of Cooper's First Pennsylvaniabattery. All night long, the work of intrenching was vigorously pushed, andmorning disclosed to the enemy a formidable line of earth-works, into whichhis shells fell harmless.
During the following day, 18th, timber was felled in front, and pickets were established in close proximity to the enemy's works,one of his most formidable batteries being silenced by their unerring aim.Stung by the troublesome fire of the riflemen, several attempts were made todislodge them, one of which proved partially successful, the line being drivenin nearly one hundred yards. Colonel Coulter immediately led the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania to its support, and while disposing the men for an advance,was wounded in the left breast by one of the enemy's pickets, and was bornefom the field.
PetersburgParticipating with its accustomed valor, in the manceuvres and desperatefighting to gain Richmond, by the way of the North Anna, Bethesda Church,and Cold Harbor, the Regiment was finally established in the lines before Petersburg, its right connecting with the Ninth Corps, and the enemy in well constructed breast-works just in front.
During the night of the 17th of June, preparations were made for a general assault at daylight; but as the skirmishers advanced, they found that the enemy had withdrawn, and taken up a position nearer the city, more easily defended than the outer line. Changing the tacticsfrom a general, to an assault by column at different points, an ineffectual attempt was made to storm their works, when the line was re-formed and intrenched.Finding that the direct attack would not prove effectual, the lines weregradually extended to the left, until, about the middle of August, the camp ofthe Eleventh was within three miles of the Weldon railroad, one of the enemy'schief lines of supply.
On the 18th of August, masking the movement by someactivity on the north side of the James, the Fifth Corps moved for the purposeof occupying and destroying that road. The division marched with the Firstand Second brigades in line, the Third supporting, formed in column of Regiments. The skirmishers soon became engaged, and the brigade was deployedwith the Eleventh on the right. At six o'clock P. M., the line was establishedand breast-works were erected which, on the following day were extended tothe right. At four o'clock in the afternoon, the enemy having massed aheavyforce, broke through the line and took some prisoners. The loss in the Eleventh fell principally upon companies D, E and G, occupying the skirmish line,under command of Captain John B. Overmeyer, who was himself twice takenprisoner, but escaped; two men were killed and several wounded by the fire ofour own batteries. Remaining in line until the morning of the 20th, it was relieved, and moved to a position near the Yellow House.
In the action of thefollowing day it was present, but did not become actively engaged. CaptainNoble, of Company A, re-captured the colors of the Ninety-fourth New York,which had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and private George W. Reed, ofCompany E, captured the colors of the Twenty-fourth North Carolina, afterwards receiving a medal of honor by order of the War Department, as a markof distinction for the heroic act. The loss in this engagement was two killed,ten wounded, and seventy-four taken prisoners.
Hatcher's RunThe expedition to Hatcher's Run, on the 27th of October, proved fruitless,and the command returned to its old position, after six days of marching andfighting. In September a number of promotions were recommended by Colonel Coulter, now appointed Brevet Brigadier General, and the Regiment wasthoroughly re-organized. Since the opening of the Wilderness campaign, ithad lost over five hundred men; but recruits came forward, so that its numbernever fell below two hundred. By special order of the War Department, datedNovember 16, the veterans and other enlisted men of the Ninetieth Pennsylvania, remaining in service, were transferred to, and consolidated with theEleventh Regiment.
Notwithstanding the occupation of the Weldon railroad, it was still used bythe enemy for the transportation of his supplies. On the 7th of December, theFifth Corps was ordered to effect its more complete destruction. Encampingon the night of the 7th, at Sussex Court House, the Regiment arrived on theevening of the 8th, struck the road about four miles south of the Notawaybridge, and commenced burning cross-ties, heating and bending the rails, and,proceeding in direction of Hickford station, encamped at night on the Halifaxroad. About twenty miles of the road having been destroyed, the countermarch was commenced on the morning of the 10th, the brigade acting as rearguard to the column. The enemy's cavalry hung on the flanks of the brigade,and five miles from the place of starting, made a dash upon a squadron ofUnion cavalry, but were quickly checked by the infantry. Still following upwith the evident design of giving trouble, the Eleventh and Eighty-eighthPennsylvania, and Ninety-seventh New York were formed in ambush. Ourcavalry having made a show of resistance, rapidly retreated, followed by theenemy, who received a deadly volley, emptying saddles and convincing thesurvivors of the necessity of keeping at a more respectful distance. Crossingthe Notaway river at Jerusalem plank road, the Regiment arrived on the 12thin its camp before Petersburg. The loss was one wounded and two missing inthis expedition.
During the two succeeding months, little activity prevailed. The time wasemployed in filling up the ranks, re-organizing and drilling. General Coulterhaving been assigned to the command of the Third Brigade, and Major B. F.Haines-who had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in place of Henry A.Frink, promoted to Colonel of the One Hundred and Eighty-sixth Regiment being assigned to command of the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania volunteers, thecommand of the Regiment devolved upon John B. Overmeyer, who had beencommissioned Major.
Leaving camp at early dawn on the 5th of February, the Eleventh marchedin the rear of the brigade, and bivouacking for the night on Grand Creek plantation, crossed Hatcher's Bun where the Division was massed, remaining until two P. M., when the brigade re-crossed the stream, and marching about threequarters of a mile in a north-westerly direction, formed in line of battle. Moving forward a quarer of a mile furter, it was hotly engaged with the enemy, the rebel General Pegram being oklled by the first volley. The Eleventh moving a short -distance by the right flank, erected temporary breast-works, and held the position with the exception of a short interval when its flanks were uncovered, until its ammunition was exhausted and the giving way of the whole line left no alternative but to withdraw. Retiring o the breast-works thrown nap at Hatchers Bun, it'was re-formed and remained there during the night.
On the morning of the 7th, it was moved along the work a mile to the right ofthe Vaughan road, where debouching from the intrenchments, it formed insupport of the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts, and was soon engaged with theenemy's skirmishers,, pushing them steadily back, capturing one of his temporary earth-works, and advancing to within one hundred yards of a strong lineof his fortifications. Relieved by a portion of the Sixth Corps, it bivouackedfor the night on the field, and on the following morning was again placed uponthe skirmish line.
On the 10th, it moved with the brigade back to camp, havinglost in the series of engagements, nine killed, sixty-nine wounded, and ninemissing.7 Hatcher's Run was securely held, and two days later, the military road was extended to its right bank. Lieutenant Colonel Haines was severelywounded in this action, while in command of the Eighty-eighth.
Little anticipated by the rank and file of the army of the Potomac their lastcampaign was fast approaching. On the morning of the 29th of March, theRegiment broke camp at Hatcher's Run, and moving by the Halifax road, formedin line of battle near the Speer House, with the Ninety-seventh Iew York onthe right and Sixteenth Maine on the left, and advanced about a mie, when,after manoeuvring for position it bivouacked for the night, near the Boydtonplank road. On the following morning, it moved a mile to the right, and threwup breast-works, whence it was pushed forward about two miles, where a lineof battle was formed in the woods About noon of the 31st, the enemy attackedin heavy force, and turning the flank of the brigade, forced the line back to nearthe plank road. But the advantage was only temporary; for, immediately reforming, it re-gained the lost ground, and advanced about half a mile furtherand threw up rifle-pits.
April 1st, moving in line of battle in the directionof the White Oak road, at three o'clock P. M., Company D was deployedas skirmishers, and the line advanced about two miles, gradually bearing tothe left, when the enemy were driven from their works and the battle-flag ofthe Thirty-second Virginia was captured by Sergeant H. A. Delavie, of Company I. Marching by the White Oak road, it bivouacked near Five Forks forthe night.
South Side RailroadOn the 2d, the enemy's left having been broken and dispersed, thebrigade moved in the direction of Petersburg, on the South Side railroad, andat four o'clock in the afternoon, leaving the road, crossed Chandler's Run andformed in line of battle at ten P. M., north of Sutherland station, the enemyoccupying strong works just in froht, and opening a heavy fire. During thenight, they stole away from their works, and while the troops were preparingto fall into line for the march, on the following morning, a prolonged cheerrolling along the Union lines, told that Petersburg and Richmond had fallen.
AppomattoxOn the 4th, the Corps moved and bivouacked at night near Jettersville station,on the Danville railroad and passing through Drainesville, bivouacked on thenight of the 6th, near High Bridge on the South Side railroad. Crossing theAppomattox on the 7th, it encamped at night near Prince Edward's CourtHouse, During the 8th, its march was broken by frequent halts, the trainsblocking the way, but finally rested at eleven P. M. On the following morning it moved by a circuitous route, crossing and re-crossing the railroad, andhalted at nine o'clock A. M., near Appomattox Court House, where the ENEMYSURRENDERED.
Among the first Regiments in the service in 1861, fighting its first battle atFalling Waters in the three months' campaign, through all the varying fortunes of the Army of the Potomac, with which it was from the first incorpofated, down to the last grand struggle, when the old antagonist was held in an unyielding grasp, it had never lost its identity and never failed to respond in the hour of battle.
ACCOUNT OF THE STATE FLAG:The State flag was presented to the Regiment by Governor Curtin, November 20th, 1861, and placed in the hands of Sergeant Charles H. Foulke, of Company A, who carried it until August 11th, 1862, at Cedar Mountain, where he was accidentallywounded in the foot, when it was delivered to Sergeant Robert H. Knox, of Company C, who carried it August 21st to 24th, at Rappahannock station, August 28th, at Thoroughfare Gap, and August 30th, at Bull Run, where he was severely wounded, losing his right leg, the flag passing on the field, into the hands of First Sergeant Samuel S. Bierer, Company C, who was immediately wounded; it was then taken by Second Lieutenant Absalom Schall, Company C, who was severely wounded, when it was again taken by Sergeant Samuel S. Bierer, Company C, who carried it to Centreville. Daniel Mathews carried it September 1st, at Chantilly, September 14th, at South Mountain, September 16th and 17th, at Antietam, where he was severely wounded, and it was taken by Private William Welty, of Company C, who wasalmost immediately killed; it then passed into the hands of Corporal Frederick Welty, of Company C, who was soon severely wounded, and obliged to leave it on the field, where it remained some time, all of the men near it having been killed or wounded.
It was next carried by Second Lieutenant Edward H. Gay, of Company F, who received two gun-shot wounds, and passed the flag to Sergeant Henry Bitner, of Company E, who retained it until the close of the action. December 12th, and 13th, 1862, at the battle of Fredericksburg, it was carried by Corporal John V. Kuhns, of Company C, until he was three times severely wounded, losing his left leg. It was then borne by Cyrus W. Chambers, of Company C, who was killed, when it was taken by Corporal John W. Thomas, of Company C, who was also severely wounded. It was brought off the field by Captain Benjamin F. Haines, of Company B. Corporal John H. M'Kalip, of Company C, was next made color bearer, who carried it April 30th, to May 5th, 1863, at Chancellorsville, and July 1st, at Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded in a charge upon Iverson's North Carolina Brigade, the flag falling amongstsome bushes where it was afterwards discovered by Private Michael Kepler, of Company D, who carried it during the remainder of the engagements July 1st, 2d and 3d, and also at Mine Run, December 1st, 1863; in April, 1864, he being absent, sick, it was delivered to Corporal J. J. Lehman, of Company D, who carried it May 5th and 6th in the Wilderness, and May 8th at Spottsylvania, where he was killed, and the flag was brought off the field by Second Lieutenant M'Cutchen of Company F. The next color bearer, whose name has not been ascertained, was severely wounded in the foot, May 12th, at Spottsylvania. Corporal Wm. Mathews, of Company C, carried it during the remainder of the engagement at Spottsylvania, and at North Anna, Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, in front of Petersburg, Weldon railroad, and until December 3d, 1864, when he was relieved by Sergeant Albert Carter, of Company A, whobore it in the Hickford raid, December, 1864; February 6th and 7th, 1865, at Hatcher's Run and Dabnoy's Mills; March 28th, Quaker Road; March 80th, White Oak Ridge; April 1st, Five Forks; April 9th, Appomattox Court House and until May 28th, 1865, when he was honorably discharged. John C. Scheurman, of Company A, then carried it until the Regiment was mustered out of service.
July 7th, 1865, it was delivered to the State authorities at Harrisburg, and July 4th, 1866, it was formally returned to the Governor, at Philadelphia, upon the occasion of the public return of all the State flags.
1INSPECTOR GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,
Washington, D. C., February 14, 1862.
I have the honor to report the result of my inspection of the Eleventh (11th)Pennsylvania volunteers, stationed at Annapolis, Maryland, made in conjunction with Surgeon C. F. H. Campbell, volunteer service, from the 11th to 13th instant, inclusive.
* * *The examination of this Regiment, with regard to the physical and sanitary condition of the men has been quite satisfactory. Generally, they are young and physically a fine body of men.
On the 13th instant, there were reported in hospitals, but twenty-eight, (28,) many of whom were convalescents and nearly fit for duty. The hospital accommodations are most ample, many rooms being unoccupied, and the supply of stores and bedding adequate to the wants of the sick. The police and ventilation of the wards of the sick were very fair, although the former, in some respects, was not quite what it should have been in some parts of the hospital building. One of the buildings of the United States naval school is used for the hospital of this Regiment.
* * *The records and books of the Adjutant's office were systematically andwell kept and posted. * * *Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
N. H. DAVIS,
Assistant Inspector General
General S. WILLIAMS,
Adjutant General, Headquarters Army Potomac, Washington, D. C.
2 Organization of 3d Brigade, Brigadier General George S. Hartsuff, 2d Division, Major General E. O. C. Ord, Eighty-third Regiment New York Volunteers, (Ninth militia,) Colonel J. W. Stiles; Twelfth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Fletcher Webster; Thirteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel S. W. Leonard; Eleventh Regiment Pennsvlvania Volunteers, Colonel Richard Coulter, Colonels ranked in the above order
3The morning of the 17th, your orders to advance and occupythe works in front were being carried out, when Brigadier General Hartsuff, who was examining the ground, was severely wounded, and the services of this valuable officer were lost, when the brigade moved forward, supported by the Second Brigade on the left, and First Brigade on the right, all advancing with the Artillery Battery F, First Pennsylvania Artillery, under Captain Mathews, and Captain Thompson's Independent Pennsylvania Battery, each consisting of four three inchrifled guns. Taking advantage of the ground, both batteries opened with destructive effect; officers and men displaying great coolness while exposed to a severe fire of artillery and infantry. The Division gained the outer edge of the woods and kept up a fearful fire for a few hours, until the ammunition being exhausted, and the supports coming up, was compelled to retire to re-fill boxes, after which the division joined the rest of the Corps on the right, near the turnpike.
* * *Offcial Report of General Rictetts.
4 Organization of Third Brigade, General Taylor; Eighty-third Regiment New York Volunteers, (Ninth Militia,) Colonel Stiles; Thirteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Leonard; Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Coulter; Ninety-seventh Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Wheelock; Eighty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel Wagner.
5Organization of the Second Brigade, Brigadier General Henry Baxter, Second Division, Brigadier General John C. Robinson, First Corps, Major General John F. Reynolds, Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Richard Coulter; Ninety-seventh Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Charles Wheelock; Ninetieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Peter Lyle; Twelfth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel James L. Bates; Eighty-third Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Williams; Eighty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Major Foust.
6HEIADQUABTERS, ELEVENTH REGIMENT
Camp on Cedar, Mountain, Virginia, January 10, 1864.
RBEGIMENTAL ORDERS No. 1, (Extracts.)
"2. The following communication has been received from Headquarters.ofFirst Army Corps:
You are informed that at a meeting of the officers of the First Army Corps, held inthis town, January 5, 1864, you, with your Adjutant and senior medical officer, were appointed a committee for your Regiment, to collect funds for the purpose of erecting a monument over the remains of the late Major General John F. Reynolds. The meeting limited the subscriptions so that no officer should subscribe more than five dollars, and no soldier more than fifty cents. The principal committee as selected by the meeting, is composed of the following officers: Colonel Hoffman, for the 1st division, General Baxter for the 2d, Colonel Dana, for the 3d, Dr. Heard, Medical Director, Treasurer, and Captain M'Clure, Secretary. Be so good as to inform the other members of the committee for your Regiment, and at your earliest convenience commence the subscription.
In compliance therewith, Major John B. Keenan, Surgeon James W. Anawalt, and acting Adjutant, Lieutenant James T. Chalfant, are announced as the Reynolds' monument committee for this Regiment. The high esteem in which our late commander was held by the entire men, in conformity with conditions tendered by the Government, cannot be more befittingly expressed than in the manner proposed, and it is hoped that the name of every officer and enlisted man in the Regiment will appear upon the subscription roll."
By order of Major JOHN B. KEENAN.
The committee have decided to erect the monument of bronze, on the field where theircommander fell. The Pennsylvania Legislature, at its last session, passed the following act:
Be it enacted, etc., That the Governor be and is hereby authorized to transfer, at his discretion, to the committee of the First Army Corps, for the erection of a monument to the memory of Major General John F. Reynolds, deceased, any unserviceable or condemned ordnance:
Provided, That the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania shall first have such ordnance properly inspected, by a competent person, and make report thereof to the Governor, specifying in his report, the articles of ordnance found unserviceable and condemned; which articles so specified, the Governor is authorized by this act, to turn over as aforesaid.
Pa.mph. Laws, 1867, p, 364
7 A notable example of the attachment of men for a dumb brute, was afforded during this engagement. A faithful dog, which had followed the Regiment through all its campaigns, always taking its place beneath the flagin battle, was hit and instantly killed. Though in the midst of a desperate engagement, and under a murderous fire, the men paused and gave the body a burial where it fell.
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
Organization:Organized at Harrisburg and in Westmoreland County August, 1861.
At Camp Curtin till November 27.
Moved to Baltimore, Md., November 27; thence to Annapolis, Md.
Attached to Annapolis, Md., Middle Department, to April, 1862.
Wadsworth's Command, Military District of Washington, to May, 1862.
3rd Brigade, Ord's Division, Dept. of the Rappahannock, to June, 1862.
3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862.
3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to May, 1863.
2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, to July, 1863.
1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, July, 1863.
2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, to March, 1864.
2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Army Corps, to May, 1864.
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to March, 1865.
3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to July, 1865.
Service:Duty at Annapolis, Md., till April 9, 1862.
Moved to Washington, D.C., April 9-10; thence to Manassas Junction April 17,
and guard Manassas Gap Railroad till May 12.
Moved to Catlett's Station May 12 and to Falmouth May 14.
Expedition to Front Royal June.
Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9.
Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2.
Fords of the Rappahannock August 21-23.
Warrenton August 26.
Thoroughfare Gap August 28.
Bull Run August 30.
Chantilly September 1.
Maryland Campaign September 6-24.
Battles of South Mountain September 14. Antietam September 16-17.
Duty at Sharpsburg till October 30.
Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19.
Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863.
At Falmouth and Belle Plain till April 27.
Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6.
Operations at Pollock's Mill Creek April 29-May 2.
Fitzhugh's Crossing April 29-30.
Chancellorsville May 2-5.
Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24.
Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3 (served with 1st Brigade July 1 to 18).
Duty on the Rapidan till October.
Bristoe Campaign October 9-22.
Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8.
Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2.
Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864.
Regiment reenlisted January 5, 1864.
Veterans on furlough February 5 to March 28.
Rapidan Campaign May-June.
Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7. Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12;
Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21.
Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26.
Jericho Ford May 25.
On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28.
Totopotomoy May 28-31.
Cold Harbor June 1-12.
Bethesda Church June 1-3.
White Oak Swamp June 13.
Before Petersburg June 16-18.
Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865.
Mine Explosion Petersburg July 30, 1864 (Reserve).
Weldon Railroad August 18-21.
Reconnoissance toward Dinwiddie Court House September 15.
Warren's Raid to Weldon Railroad December 7-12.
Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865.
Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
Lewis Farm, Gravelly Run, March 29.
White Oak Road March 31. Five Forks April 1.
Appomattox Court House April 9.
Surrender of Lee and his army.
Moved to Washington May.
Grand Review May 23. Mustered out July 1, 1865.
Losses:Regiment lost during service:
12 Officers and 224 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
4 Officers and 177 Enlisted men by disease.
Total 417.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
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