© Alice J. Gayley, all rights reservedThe companies for the 145th regiment were recruited as follows:They rendezvoused at the camp near the city of Erie, which had been previously occupied by the Eighty-third, and the One Hundred and Eleventh regiments, where, on the 5th of September, 1862, a regimental organization was effected, with the following field officers:
- Company A - Erie County
- Company B - Erie County
- Company C - Erie County
- Company D - Erie County
- Company D - Erie County
- Company E - Warren County
- Company G - Mercer County
- Company H - Crawford
- Company I - Erie County
- Company K - Erie CountyColonel Brown had served in the Wayne Guards, a militia company of considerable distinction, previous to the opening of the rebellion, as Captain in the three months' Erie Regiment, and as Captain in the Eighty-third, in which he had received a severe wound, at the battle of Gaines' Mill, and from the effect of which he had not entirely recovered when selected to lead this regiment. Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary had also served in the Wayne Guards, and as Lieutenant in the Erie Regiment.
- Hiram L. Brown, of Erie, Colonel
- David B. M'Creary, of Erie, Lieutenant Colonel
- John WV. Patton, of Crawford county, Major
At the time of the organization of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, there was urgent need of troops. The army of the Potomac was returning from the fruitless campaign upon the Peninsula, and the Army of Northern Virginia, under Pope, was retiring, broken and dispirited, fronm the fated fields of Bull Run. It was, accordingly, ordered to the front, without arms, and with scarcely any knowledge of military duty. It left Erie on the 11th of September, and proceeded by rail via Harrisburg to Chambersburg, arriving in thirty-six hours within sound of the enemy's cannon, Lee having already crossed the Potomac, and penetrated the South Mountain. Halting for two days at Camp 1'Clure, the men were supplied with arms, the old Harper's Ferry musket, and moved under orders from General John P. Reynolds, in command in Pennsylvania, in the direction of Hagerstown.
Battle of AntietamWith but a partial outfit, and men and many officers fresh from civil life, the command experienced much suffering from exposure and inadequate supplies. At daylight on the morning of the 17th, the regiment was under arms, the heavy booming of cannon on the field of Antietam, ten miles away, being distinctly heard. That, sound awakened intense excitement in every breast, and all were impatient to march to the theatre of conflict. This desire was gratified. Though isolated from the grand army, and liable to fall victims to the enemy's cavalry, which was manifesting the greatest activity, Colonel Brown led his command forward, and at a little after noon, arrived upon the extreme right of the Union line, at this time desperately engaged with the Corps of Stonewall Jackson, the hostile shot and shell failing thick on every hand. It was immedliately moved into position, filling a gap which then existed between the Union right and the Potomac, holding the tow-path and the road which runs along under the high bluff skirting the river, thus preventing the enemy from flanking the Union forces in that direction. This position was held, and picket duty performed in face of the enemy, until the morning of the 19th. It was then discovered that the enemy had escaped, and with other troops the regiment was sent upon the field to bury the dead, and care for the wounded. For four days they had lain as they fell, and the stench that filled the air was exeeedingly offensive. The unusual privation and exposure of the men during the few previous days after leaving camp, and the severe duty to which they were su-bjected on this polluted field, resulted in wide-spread sickness. Within a month from the time they had been ordered to the front, between two and three hundred were disqualified for duty. Many died, or were permanently disabled, and were discharged.
Soon after the battle, the regiment went into camp on Bolivar Heights, just above Harper's Ferry, where it was temporarily attached to the Irish Brigade but was finally assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, of the Second Corps, in which it was engaged in picket and guard duty, and in severe drill; the troops with which it was associated having had the experience of a year's discipline and campaigning.
Battle of FredericksburgTowards the close of October, the regiment moved with the army down the London Valley to Warrenton, where it made a brief halt and then proceeded towards Falmouth, Burnside being in command of the army, and making every preparation to meet the enemy. The morning of the 11th of Decenmber broke clear and crisp along the Rappahannock, and early the whole army was astir, the battle of Fredericksburg impending. The One Hundred and Forty-fifth crossed on the upper pontoon bridge, on the afternoon of the 12th, and formed in line upon a street running parallel with the river, where it remained during the succeeding night.
On the morning of the 13th, it moved back from the river, two or three streets, its right resting near the Court House, where it came under a heavy artillery fire, and an incessant fusilade from sharp-shooters concealed from view. About noon, the First Division marched by the flank up the streets and out upon the plain, between the town and the battery-crowned hills that encircled it beyond. The One Hundred and Forty-fifth moved forward with the steadiness of veterans, over the deep ditch and snmooth plain, towards the fatal stone-wall at the foot of Marye's Heights, though its ranks were shattered and torn by the fire from concealed infantry, and the batteries which confronted and enfiladed it, until it reached the front line formed by the Union forces. Here it remained until after night-fall, and until the fighting ceased, when the division was relieved, and returned to town.
"Of the five thousand men," says Swinton, "Hancock led into action, more than two thousand fell in that charge; and it was found that the bravest of these had thrown uip their hands and lay dead within five and twenty paces of the stone-wall."On the night of the 15th the army recrossed the river, and on the following morning the fragment remaining of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, took possession of its old quarters upon Stafford Heights. On the morning previous to the battle, flive hundred and fifty-six men reported for duty. A portion of two companies were upon the skirmish line, when the rest of the regiment moved for the field, and consequently did not accompany it.
Of those who crossed the river, less than five hundred in number, two hundred and twenty-six, nearly one-half, were either killed or wounded. Captains Wood, Mason, and Brown, and Lieutenants Clay, Brown, Carroll, Vincent, Riblet, and Hubbard, nine commissioned officers, were either killed or mortally wounded. Colonel Brown received two severe wounds, one of which was supposed to be mortal, but from which he recovered. Captain Lynch, and Lieutenants Long and Stuart, were among the wounded. Colonel Von Shock, of the New York Seventh, and Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary, were the only field officers in the entire brigade who were not either killed or wounded.
After its return to quarters, the regiment was engaged in drill and in picketing the river, from the Railroad Bridge to Franklin's Crossing, below the city.
Elaborate preparations were made during the early spring of 1863, for a campaign, under the leadership of General Hooker. When the army finally moved, the One Hundred and Forty-fifth was detailed to construct corduroy roads, to facilitate the movement of the artillery and heavy trains, and subsequently to assist the engineer corps in laying the pontoon bridge, at United States Ford.
Battle of ChancellorsvilleOn the 1st of May, while being mustered for pay, the first gun in the battle of Chancellorsville was fired. The Second Corps was immediately thrown forward on the road leading to Fredericksburg, the First Division forming the advance line. At evening it was marched back to a slight ravine, where, in a dense wood, nearly the entire night was spent in throwing up breast-works, and in cutting and forming an abattis in front. The enemy opened at intervals upon the troops while at work, but with little effect. At daylight the main body of the command was moved back three-quarters of a mile, near to the Chancellor House, a heavy skirmish line only being left in the advanced works.
During the day of the 2d, fire of artillery occurred at intervals, and at night the enemy made his fierce assault, which resulted in the discomfiture and rout of the Eleventh Corps, posted on the extreme right of the lines. The night was passed in intense excitement along the whole line, the battle raging fiercely on the right centre. On the morning of the 3d, a detail of one hundred and fifty men, from the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, and one hundred from other regiments of the brigade, under Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary, was ordered to the relief of the skirmish line, left in the works thrown up on the night of the 1st.
The remainder of the regiment was engaged in supporting the batteries around the Chancellor House, which had been massed to resist the troops of Jackson, now led by Stuart. It was here exposed to a severe fire of musketry and artillery. Here, Major Patton was struck by a fragment of shell, receiving a mortal wound. The men under Lieutainant Colonel TM'Creary, on the skirmish line, were hotly engaged during the early part of the day, and with the troops upon their right, successfully resisted repeated assaults of the enemy under Anderson and M'Laws, and completely foiling every attempt to turn the left and reach the rear of Hancock's main line of battle. When the army fell back towards the river, the troops upon this skirmish line failed to receive the order to retire, and fell into the enemy's hands, most of the detail from the One Hundred and Forty-fifth being among the captured.
Upon the return of the army from Chancellorsville, the regiment remained quietly in camp for nearly six weeks, picketing the line of the river as before.
GettysburgAs soon as it was discovered that the enemy was withdrawing fromn the Rappahannock, and moving northward, the Union army was put in motion to check-mate or meet him in battle. The advance of the two armies met on the field of Gettysburg, on the 1st of July. The Second Corps reached the field on the morning of the 2d, the First Division taking position on the left centre, and in rear of the line taken up by the Third Corps. Towards evening, and when the lines of the Third Corps had been hopelessly broken, the division was sent to their relief. The brigade, now led by Colonel Brooke, passed over the low grounds to the right of Little Round Top, and crossing the road leading out to the Peach Orchard, soon came upon the Wheat Field, where the battle had raged, and was now raging fearfully. With heroic daring, Brooke led his devoted band against the enemy, holding the fastnesses of wood and rock wrenched from the Third Corps, drove him in confusion from his dearly bought ground, and silenced a battery which was annoying the Union troops.
But the advantage, so bravely won, could not be held; for the rebels, in heavy force, were flanking the position on the right, and exposing the brigade to capture or annihilation, and no alternative existed but to retire."Caldwell experienced, " says Swinton, "the same fate as those that had gone before; for the Confederates, penetrating the wide interval made by the disruption of Sickles' centre, at the Peach Orchard, enveloped his right, and penetrated almost to his rear. This quickly forced Caldwell back, after the frightful sacrifice of one-half of his division."The One Hundred and Forty-fifth held the extreme right of the brigade in this terrible encounter, and suffered severely. It entered the engagement two hundred strong, and lost in killed and wounded, upwards of eighty. Captain George Griswold, and Lieutenants Horatio F. Lewis, and George H. Finch, were mortally wounded, and Colonel Brown, Mlajor Reynolds, Adjutant John D. Black, and Captain John C. Hilton, were severely wounded, the latter losing a leg.
On the 3d, the regiment was posted with the division on the left of the corps, and during the fierce struggle of the afternoon, was exposed to a fearful artillery fire, but in the infantry engagement which followed, was not involved, the enemy being repulsed before it could be moved to the scene of conflict.
After the return of the army to Virginia, the regiment remained in comparative quiet until October, when it was actively engaged in the forced marches and strategic movements between Meade and Lee, which carried them to the Rapidan, back to Centreville, and again forward to the Rapidan, participating in the engagements at Auburn Hill, and Bristoe Station, losing a number in killed and wounded.
In November it went into temporary quarters, where it remained until the morning of the 26th, when it set out on the Mine Run campaign. Upon arriving at Germania Ford, it was found that the pontoons were insufficient to construct a bridge. Colonel Brooke volunteered to wade the stream, which was now breast deep, with his brigade, and dislodge the enemy. It was wintry weather, but without a murmur the men plunged in, and soon had possession of the works which the enemy, but a few days previous, had elaborately constructed. The One Hundred and Forty-fifth was part of General Warren's force of twenty-eight thousand men, which marched on the 29th, from before daylight until evening, for the purpose of turning the enemy's right flank; but upon arriving upon his front, found him in force in a well fortified position, and the attempt to carry it by storm, as had been determined on, was finally abandoned.
A portion of the regiment was detailed to occupy a part of the long picket line, designed to cover the withdrawal of the rest of the army. The night of the 28th was cold, and the suffering of the troops intense, but the duty was successfully executed, and they were all with, drawn in safety. The regiment went into quarters with the army near Brandy Station, but scarcely was it settled, when, with the brigade, it was ordered to proceed to the neighborhood of Germania Ford, to cover the approaches from that direction. Here, comfortable, and substantial huts were built. These had been occupied but a little time, when it was ordered back a mile, and here again it erected quarters, where it finally rested.
The camp was accurately laid out, and the huts, which were of cedar, were uniform, and exhibited in their construction'much skill and taste. The streets were planted with evergreens, and presented a, handsome and picturesque appearance. The camp was pronounced by the medical directors to be the best in the army, and it was much frequented by officers, and by visitors to the front.
The WildernessDuring the winter, the thinned ranks of the regiment were filled by fresh recruits, so that at the opening of the spring campaign, it stood retady to march with nearly its original strength. At noon on the 5th of May, the army having broken up winter-quarters and crossed the Rapidan, the regiment met the enemy beyond the Brock Road, and again on the following day was hotly engaged, but without serious loss.
Company H, Captain Espy, was sent out on the 5th to form junction with the out-posts, and for nearly two days it stood at its post, without food or water, it being supposed at headquarters that it, had been captured. It was accidentally discovered, and relieved.
The breast-works thrown up along the Brock Road, were held against every attempt of the enemy to carry them, who met at every advance, a disastrous repulse. When the enemy was finally satisfied to confine himself to his breast-works, and abandon offensive operations, the Union army resumed its march towards Richmond. Colonel Brown was here placed temporarily in command of the Third Brigade, Major Lynch assuming command of the regiment, in the absence of Lieutenant Colonel'NCreary, on detached service.
SpotsylvaniaUpon arriving at the Po River, Hancock, who led the Second Corps, found the enemy on the opposite bank in good defensive position, well fortified. In the face of this, Hancock, on the afternoon of the 10th, threw a portion of his command across, but subsequently, by order of General Meade, attempted to withdraw it. The enemy, discovering this retrograde movement, immediately attacked with great spirit and determination. The brigades of Brooke and Brown received the weight of the blow, but so determined was the front they presented, and so deadly the volleys that they poured into the faces of the foe, that he was forced to retire.
At this juncture, the woods in the rear of these two brigades took fire from the enemy's shells, making their position one of much peril. They finally re-crossed the river, but not without having sustained serious loss, some of the wounded perishing in the flames, from which it was impossible to rescue the Company I Lieutenant Joseph W. Baker was among the killed.
Failing to carry the enemy's position by direct assault, Grant ordered a blow at his left. The Second Corps was selected to deliver it. Moving over from the extreme right to the left of the Union line, under cover of the darkness of the night of the 11th, Hancock attacked at dawn. Barlow's Division had the advance, Brooke's and Miles' brigades in the first line, Brown's and Smyth's in the second. The enemy was taken by surprise. His skirmish line was swept away with little opposition, and the abattis crossed and the intrenclhments carried, before he fully realized his situation. But the struggle soon commenced in earnest, and was at close quarters, until he was forced to yield the ground, large captures of men and material being made. Attempts to carry his inner line were unsuccessful, and he struggled fiercely to re-gain his lost works, piling the ground with his slain, but to no purpose.
The One Hundred and Forty-fifth lost heavily in this assault, taking the lead in the charge. Captain C. W. Devereaux, and Lieutenants Edwin W. Sampson, and Elias Brockway, were among the killed, and Captain J. Boyd Espy, and Lieutenant Peter W. Free, among the wounded.
The North Anna River and Cold HarborThe struggle was continued until the 20th, when the Union army again moved forward, and crossed the North Anna, only to encounter again the enemy in impregnable works. The Second Corps was but little engaged here, and upon re-crossing the stream, pushed on to Cold Harbor, where, in face of a defiant enemy, and over difficult ground, it charged close up to his intrenchments, but failed to carry them. The ground gained was held, and a line of fortifications was thrown up. So close were the opposing lines, that a stone could be easily tossed from one to the other. Sharp-shooters were vigilant, and it was instant death to show any vital part of the person. The loss in the regiment in the charge was very heavy, Lieutenant Samuel C. Snel1 being among the killed. Captain Henry G. Harvey, while attempting to cross a slight embankment across the head of a ditch, and though exposing his body but for a moment, was terribly mangled by a minie ball, losing a leg.
On the 12th of June, the corps withdrew from the position at Cold Harbor, and on the night of the 14th the First Division crossed the James, the One Hundred and Forty-fifth being now in command of Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary.
PetersburgAfter a long and fatiguing march, it arrived in front of Petersburg, and on the evening of the 16th, three brigades of the division charged at different points, and independently of each other. The Fourth Brigade, led by Colonel Beaver, charged a distance of twelve hundred yards, over a corn-field, in face of a heavy artillery fire, upon works elaborately made, and defended by an ample force. The result was as should have been expected. Large numbers were killed and wounded in approaching, and when arrived close upon his works, scarcely two hundred were in position. Perceiving the fruitlessness of attempting to go further, the command dropped upon the ground, and screened themselves from the deadly fire as best they could. The position was soon flanked by the enemy, and the entire force captured.
Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary, Captains Clinton W. Lytle, Horace MI'Cray, George F. C. Smart, and Samuel V. Dean, and Lieutenants John C. M'Intosh, John P. 1tounds, Louis B. Carlile, and Joseph L. Linn, together with about eighty enlisted men of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, fell into the enemy's hands. The men were hurried away to Andersonville, and the officers to Macon, and were afterwards held at Charleston, Savannah, and Columbia, being kept in confinement until March, 1865, enduring all the hardships and sufferings which at this period were visited upon Unionl prisoners of war, many yielding up their lives. Only about two hundred men were present for duty when the charge was made, and of this number about fifty were either killed or wounded.
Deep BottomOn the 22d of July, the Fourth Brigade, under command of Colonel Fraser, was attacked by a superior force of the enemy, and a number were killed, wounded, and captured, among the latter, Major Lynch, in command of the regiment.
During the remainder of the summer, the handful of men left was at the post of duty in the trenches, and almost constantly under fire. It was engaged in the battles of Ream's Station, and Deep Bottom, sustaining some losses in each. It spent the fall and winter in the trenches, engaged in picket and fatigue duty.
Five Forks, Sailor's Creek and AppomattoxUpon the opening of the spring campaign, the corps was early put in motion, and in the battle of Five Forks, the First Division, commanded by General Miles, was detached and sent to the aid of Sheridan, rendering efficient service. After the surrender of Lee, the regiment returned through Richmond with the corps, to Alexandria, where it went into camp, and participated in the grand review of the armies on the 23d and 24th of May, 1865.
It was mustered out of service on the 31st, and returning to Erie, on the 5th of June, under command of Colonel M'Creary, was received with many demonstrations of honor and satisfaction, where it was finally disbanded.Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
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
Organization:Organized at Erie September 5, 1862.
Moved to Chambersburg. Pa., September 11-12, thence to Hagerstown and Antietam, Md., September 15-17.
Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1862.
1st Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, to April, 1863.
4th Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, to May, 1865.
Service:Moved to Harper's Ferry, W. Va., September 22, 1862, and duty there till October 29.
Reconnoissance to Charlestown October 16-17.
Advance up Loudoun Valley and movement to Falmouth, Va., October 29-November 17.
Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15.
Duty at Falmouth, Va., till April, 1863.
Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6.
Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5.
Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24.
Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3.
Pursuit of Lee July 5-24.
Duty on line of the Rappahannock till September.
Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-17.
Bristoe Campaign October 9-22.
Auburn and Bristoe October 14.
Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8.
Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2.
At Stevensburg till May, 1864.
Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7.
Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12.
Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Corbin's Bridge May 8;
Spottsylvania May 8-12; Po River May 10; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21.
Assault on the Salient May 12.
North Anna River May 23-26.
On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28.
Totopotomoy May 28-31.
Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 16-18.
Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865.
Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23, 1864.
Demonstration north of the James at Deep Bottom July 27-29.
Deep Bottom July 27-28.
Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30 (Reserve).
Demonstration on north side of the James at Deep Bottom August 13-20.
Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, August 14-18.
Ream's Station August 25.
Reconnoissance to Hatcher's Run December 7-10.
Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865.
Watkins' House March 25.
Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
Skirmishes on line of Hatcher's and Gravelly Runs March 29-30.
Hatcher's Run or Boydton Road March 31.
Crow's House March 31.
Sutherland Station April 2.
Sailor's Creek April 6.
High Bridge, Farmville, April 7.
Appomattox Court House April 9.
Surrender of Lee and his army.
March to Washington, D.C., May 2-12.
Grand Review May 23.
Mustered out May 31, 1865.
Losses:Regiment lost during service
18 Officers and 187 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
3 Officers and 214 Enlisted men by disease.
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