147th Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteers

This regiment was formed from Companies L, M, N, O and P, of the Twenty-eighth Regiment, and three new companies enlisted at Harrisburg, during the months of October and November, 1862. It was organized at a camp on London Heights, Virginia, on the 10th of October, with the following field officers: Ario Pardee, Jr., Lieutenant Colonel, and John Craig, Major.

It was assigned to the First Brigade, Second Division, of the Twelfth, subsequently the Twentieth Corps, in which it was associated with the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, and Fifth, Seventh, Twenty-ninth, and Sixty-sixth Ohio regiments. A year later, another company, raised in Philadelphia, was added to it, and in January, 1864, a tenth company, formed from the men of the first five companies who did not re-enlist for a second term, which completed its full complement.

On the 9th of December, the regiment left the vicinity of Harper's Ferry, where the corps had remained after the general movement of the rest of the army in October, and proceeded to Fairfax Court House, arriving on the 17th, just after the close of the battle of Fredericksburg.

At the opening of Burnside's second campaign, in January, 1863, it moved from camp, and joining in the general advance, proceeded to Stafford Court House, where it went into quarters, inclement weather and the sudden breaking up of the roads, rendering further operations impracticable. Soon afterwards it proceeded with the division to Acquia Landing where it remained on duty until the opening of the Chancellorsville campaign.

Chancellorsville

On the morning of May 1st, the corps having arrived near the Chancellor House, the regiment was assigned a position on the right of the brigade, which was sent forward on a reconnoissance in force, two miles south, returning to camp in the afternoon without loss. The regiment was then placed behind a breast-work, hastily but well constructed, of logs and small timber, and a company was thrown out to the front as skirmishers.. At sun-down, this company was driven in by a heavy force of the enemy, but was immediately re-placed by another, which re-gained the ground, andi held it. until the afternoon of the 2d, when it was relieved by detachments from other regiments. At evening' the enemy again attacked, but was easily repelled.. At ten P. M., Lieutenant William E. Goodman led his comnpany, near to the skirmish line of the enemy, and held his position. during the night, capturing one prisoner and rescuing the colors of the One Hundred and Seventh, Ohio, which had, been lost. At sunrise of the 3d, he engaged the enemy/s skirmishers, and for nearly an hour contested the ground hotly, but was finally obliged to fall back to the breast-works, his ammunition being nearly expended, himself wounded, and his company, overborne by the superior force of the enemy. At this time the whole line of the brigade became engaged, and the enemy appearing in force on its right flank, it was ordered back, and took position in rear of the artillery, posted near the brick hospital.

A little later, the regiment was ordered to advance and re-take the breast-works that had been vacated, which was successfully executed, and some prisoners were captured. But it was here exposed to a galling fire of musketry, which enfiladed the line, and to a heavy artillery fire, from both of which it suffered severely. The troops on the right being overwhelmed by superior numbers, and driven from their position, the regiment was finally obliged to fall back, to avoid capture, and retired to the plank road, where it was re-formed, and again advanced into the woods in front, but was obliged to yield this position also.

At this juncture, orders were received for the command to withdraw to intrenchments on the new line. The loss in the entire engagement was thirteen killed, fifty-nine wounded, and twenty-five missing. Lieutenants James R. Smith, William H. Hughes, and Thomas J. Leaming, were among the killed, and Lieutenants Samuel F. M'Kee, Alexander A. Black, William E. Goodman, and David Brown, among the wounded. Color Sergeant Samuel Henry was instantly killed by a rifle-ball, while engaged at the breast-works from which the command had previously retired.

Gettysburg

After the battle, the regiment returned with the division to Acquia Landing, where it remained until the movement which culminated at Gettysburg, commenced. On the evening of July 1st, it arrived upon the field, by the Baltimore Pike, and moving over to the left, took position to the right of Round Top, its skirmishers thrown out across the low ground, to the stone-wall which skirts the woods in its front. Before dtaylight it was relieved, and moved with the division into position on Culp's Hill, on the right of the line.

At evening, it returned with two brigades of the division in the direction of Round Top; but the battle, which had been fiercely raging on that part of the line having ceased, it returned and took position in rear of the ground which it had left, the enemy having occupied the position in its absence. The One Hundred and Forty-seventh was formed with the Seventh Ohio on its right, the Fifth Ohio on its left, and an open field, of triangular shape skirted by a low stone-wall running diagonally between the two lines, in its front. The battIe opened on that part of the field at daylight, and until ten o'clock A. M., the firing wvas incessant, fresh ammunition being brought up and distributed to the men as the supply became exhausted. The enemy made repeated charges upon the line, but was as often swept back with fearful slaughter, the men withholding their fire until he was at close range. Finally, broken and dispirited, he was driven, and the ground lost during the absence of the troops on the previous evening, was re-gained.

On the 4th, details from the regiment were sent out to bury the dead, who lay in every conceivable posit.ion, on all parts of that hotly contested field. Owing to the nature of the ground where the regiment stood, the enemy's fire passed, for the most part, harmless over head, and, consequently, the loss was inconsiderable in conllpa'ison with that which it inflicted, and with the vital nature of the struggle.. It had five killed, and twenty wounded. Lieutenant William H. Tourison was among the killed.

With the army the regiment returned into Virginia, and while resting at camp, beyond the Rappahannock, one hundred and sixty drafted men and substitutes were added to its number. Soon afterwards, the Eleventh and Twelfth corps were ordered west, to join the Army of the Cumberland. At the time of the battle of Wauhatchie, which was fought by a part of the Second Division, the One Hundred and Forty-seventh was in the vicinity of Bridgeport, Alabama. It soon after re-joined the division, and went into camp on a spur of Raccoon Mountain, facing Lookout Creek.

Chattanooga Ringgold Campaign

Early on the morning of the 24th of November, moving with the division, it crossed the creek some distance above Wauhatchie Junction, and forming under the shadow of the vast wall of rock which nature has piled along the mountain's breast, swept on over the rugged ground, carrying all before it, capturing many prisoners, and wind. ing up around the extremity of the ridge looking towards Chattanooga, approached to within a short distance of the road by which the summit was reached. To render this road secure, the enemy had erected a breast-work along the eastern side, and were in possession. Night coming on, this could not be carried, and under cover of darkness the enemy made good his escape.

At sunrise, the rocky fastnesses of this towering mountain were in the hands of the White Star Division, and the flashing colors of the Union were unfurled upon its summit. Without pausing for rest, the division pushed on down the mountain, crossed the Chattanooga Creek, and forming in Ross's Gap, moved upon the left flank of the rebel army under Bragg, strongly posted on Mission Ridge, routing his terror-stricken troops, and contributing largely to the signal triumph which attended the Union arms in front of Chattanooga. Following up the retreating enemy, the division came up with his rear guard, firmly holding a gap in Taylor's Ridge, near Ringgold. With his advantage of position, he contested the ground stubbornly, the division sustaining some loss, Captain Charles S. Davis, of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh, being mortally wounded. The loss in the entire engagement was twenty wounded and one missing. The enemy was finally driven, and further pursuit was abandoned. It was now winter, and returning to Wauhatchie, the regiment went into permanent quarters.

On the 29th of December, a majority of the men re-enlisted, and returned home on veteran furlough. A considerable number of recruits were added to its strength during this period, and on the 8th of March, 1864, it re-joined the division at its camp at Bridgeport. At the opening of May, Sherman moved with his whole army on the Atlanta campaign. On the 8th, the division was engaged at Dug Gap, in Rocky Face Ridge, in which the regiment supported a battery, but did not come to close quarters. A week later, near Resacca, it again met the enemy, and in the second day's fight suffered a loss of one killed and nine wounded.

New Hope Church

On the 25th of May, the brigade, to which the regiment was attached, took the advance at New Hope Church, and in the battle which ensued, became heavily engaged. Captain Joseph A. Moore, of company B, was here wounded, on account of which he was subsequently discharged. For nearly a week the fighting was kept up, the lines closing in upon each other, each party striving for an advantage, the firing unceasing and very destructive. Finally, the enemy was turned out of his position, and the movement of troops, and almost constant skirmishing continued.

On the 15th, the regiment arrived in front of Pine Knob, and was immediately thrown fiorwardlupon the skirmish line. The enemy was driven from a hill which he occupied in front, but the left of the line met stubborn resist. ance. The regiment was finally brought directly in front of a strong line of rebel skirmishers, posted behind well constructed barricades of logs and stones, where it held its ground until relieved at five P. M. It then took position in line to the left of the Sixty-sixth Ohio, and advanced with skirmishers deployed, being exposed the while to a hot fire from the enemy's works, behind which he was completely sheltered. Unable to reach the foe, and short of ammunition, the regiment hugged closely the earth, until after dark, when it was withdrawn. The loss during the day was one killed, and fifteen wounded, two mortally.

At daylight of the 16th, it relieved the Sixty-sixth Ohio, in partially constructed earth-works, which were finished during the day, under a hot fire of musketry and artillery, by which it lost six wounded, Captain John Q. Mercer losing a leg, and Lieutenant Mahlon Ewing receiving a severe hurt. On the 18th, the enemy was driven from his works, the regiment losing in the action one killed, and three wounded. Following closely the line of retreat, the enemy was found in position at Noses Creek, and a line of intrenchments was again erected, and skirmishers thrown out. The firing kept up between the two lines, which were here in unusually close proximity, was very severe and destructive. The loss on the 19th was four wounded, and on the 20th, one, mortally. On this day, Captain Samuel F. M'Kee, an accomplished officer, while in charge of the skirmish line, was accidentally shot by one of his own men, and died on the 25th. An assault was made by the Union forces on the rebel intrenched position, at Kennesaw Mountain, on the 27th of June, in which they sustained a disastrous repulse.

Peach Tree Creek

On the 20th of July, the army had reached Peach Tree Creek. Across this the right wing, consisting of Hooker's and Palmer's corps, and Newton's Division of the Fourth Corps, was thrown, practically isolating it from the rest of the army, between which and the main body was a considerable interval. Peach Tree Creek is a narrow, sluggish stream, with sudden banks, fringed with briar patches, and almost impassable undergrowth, and would be, without bridges, a fatal bar to the escape of a routed and pursued army. But across this a number of bridges had been thrown, securing an open way in case of disaster. It had been the purpose of the foe, now led by the impetuous Hood, to make a noisy demonstration in front of the Union left, and then fall with nearly the entire weight of his force upon the unsuspecting right. This purpose he skilfully executed. Massing his forces in front of the severed right wing during the night of the 19th, and concealed from view, he stood in readiness, on the afternoon of the 20th, for the onset.

"July 19th,' says Colonel Pardee in his official report, "the regiment crossed Peach Tree Creek, north of Howell's Mills, and bivouacked for the night on a small height. on the south side of the creek. At eight A. M., of July 20th, the brigade moved forward, my regiment being second in line, the Fifth Ohio having tihe right of the brigade. After marching a short distance, the brigade was halted, and formed in line of battle. The halt was of short duration, however, and the brigade moved forward, the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Pennsylvania now having the right. After crossing a deep ravine, and ascending a hill, the skirmish line was reached. I then, under direction of Colonel Candy, commanding the brigade, formed line of battle, and threw up a substantial barricade of rails. In my front was a small belt of woods, through which ran a road connecting the Howell's Mill Road with the Buck Head Rload, and in front of this road was a small stream, a branch of Emory's Creek. Farther in advance, and directly in my front, was a large corn-field. To my right, and connecting with me, were the works of the Fifth Ohio, and farther to the right the remaining regiments of the brigade, the line extending along the crest of the ridge, and parallel with the road previously mentioned. Knap's Pennsylvania Battery was posted, four pieces, in the line of my regiment, and two on the left of it; Bundy's New York Battery was also posted, four pieces, in the right wing of my regiment, and the remaining two pieces, in the line of the Fifth Ohio. We remained quietly in this position until three P. AI. The skirmishers had, in the meantime, taken and were holding a height to the front and right of my regiment. The Thirty-third New Jersey, of the Second Brigade, was ordered out to this hill to throw up a temporary work, and occupy the position, This regiment was soon driven, as were the skirmishers, and the enemy, in heavy force, was seen following them rapidly and closely. At the same time, the enemy made his appearance in the corn-field, in large numbers, advancing rapidly and in excellent order. This column soon came within rifle range, when I directed the fire from my regiment to be opened on them. The artillery opened at the same time. The lines of the enemy were broken, and they were soon compelled to seek cover in the woods, from which they had advanced in such good order a short time previous. The lines of battle of the enemy to the right had pressed forward with such vigor, as to drive back all the regiments on my right, and the disorganized masses of men, as they rushed past my line, told a fearful tale. * * * Under direction of Major Reynolds, Chief of Artillery of the Twentieth Corps, a section of Bundy's Battery was turned on the advancing enemy. This, with the fire of musketry brought to bear from the right of my regiment, and from the men who had been hastily gathered together, held the enemy in check. At this time a portion of the enemy had gained the ravine in my rear, and there was some danger of their coming from that direction in such force as to seriously endanger the batteries. Finally, aid was brought by Major Reynolds, who led the Sixtieth New York and posted it on my right. The two pieces of artillery which had here been abandoned, were brought in by Captain Kreider, with the aid of volunteers from companies A and F, and some men of Bundy's Battery. These two pieces were placed in position, which, with the two already faced to the right, gave us an excellent and destructive fire on the enemy's flank and rear. The execution done by these pieces, was made manifest after the fight was over. During the whole of this time, the firing in my proper front was regularly and coolly given on the enemy, who seemed determined to break through the lines. At the opening of the action, the Third Division made connection on the left of my line, forming an obtuse angle with the works of my regiment. The fire from that portion of this line bearing on the corn-field, together with the fire from the artillery, and from my regiment, rendered all attempts of the enemy to break through the lines futile, and repelled each attempt with loss." The loss in the regiment, owing to the protection afforded by the barricade, to which it persistently clung, was but slight, being two killed, and five wounded. The unwavering front presented by this regiment, with the aid of the artillery posted in its line, and the tenacity with which it held its ground, repelling with great slaughter the most desperate charges of the foe, undoubtedly saved the corps from disaster, and. won for its commander the commission of a Brevet Brigadier General.

"At noon of the 20th," says an eye witness of the scene, " Geary advanced to his tete de ront, and with the assistance of a section of Magill's Battery, succeeded in taking a ridge in his front, to which he advanced his division, formed with Colonel Candy's Brigade on the left, Colonel Jones on the right, and Colonel Ireland's in the centre, and proceeded at once to erect barricades. They had just fairly got to work when the fierce shout of the enemy and the confused sound of -their myriad tramp struck the startled ear. More than half of Geary's line was in a dense forest filled with underbrush, the remainder faced an open field. Across the latter, it was a brave but terrifying sight.: When we, remember that the entire rebel attacking column reached along the front of but four of our divisions, it can easily be conceived how massive and deep their formations were. In the forest the thickets fairly wilted and disappeared under their feet, so closely were they packed and so irresistible their progress.. They came on without skirmishers, and, as if by instinct, struck Geary's right. flank, where a gap existed, that Williams' Division was endeavoring to close. The four regiments forming the right brigade were enveloped on their flank and rear in a moment, and cruelly enfiladed. Subjected to a half dozen cross fires, the brigade fell back hastily to the trenches it had left in the morning.

"To remain would have been annihilation. Portions of Colonel Ireland's Brigade were also torn to pieces by the withering cross-fires, and fell back after repeated gallant efforts to re-form their line to return the fire on flank and rear. The moment was a desperate one. The enemy were almost within grasp of Lieutenant Bundy's Battery on the right, but he wheeled one section from front to right, and by double-shotting the guns with canister, succeeded in repelling the greedy vermin in dirty gray. * * * So bitter was this enfilading fire to which Geary's position was exposed, that the caissons of the guns that had been taken to the rear for safety were driven back to the front to escape a more deadly fire than was sustained at the ordinary point of danger. But the remainder of Geary's Division stood firm as a rock. The enemy in vain charged and re-charged from front and right flank. Until nightfall the unequal contest was waged, but Geary held his hill inflexibly. The enemy sullenly left his front during the evening, firing spitefully as he retired. 1 I have seen most of the battle-fields in the South-west, but nowhere have I seen traces of more deadly work, than is visible in the dense woods in which Geary's right was formed."

As soon as he had recovered from the stunning blow which he had received, the rebel leader rapidly retired to his inrcenched lines in and about Atlanta. By sharp manoeuvring and fighting Sherman soon soon pushed him from this and then commenced his march to the sea. Of the fortunes of the regiment in this march, and its subsequent advance northward through the Carolinas, ib is unnecessary to speak in detail, as its course was not marked by any special incident out of the ordinary routine of fatiguing marches and ceaseless vigilance, which characterized this triumphant but bloodless campaign. After the surrender of General Johnston, on the 26th of April, 1865, Sherman's Army moved by rapid marches to the neighborhood of Washington, where, on the 15th of July, the One Hundred and Forty-seventh was finally mustered out, of service.

____________________________________

1 Moore's Rebellion Record, Vol. XI, page 252,-Docs.

Source:  Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865 , Harrisburg, 1868-1871.


Organization:


Organized at Loudoun Heights, Va., October 10, 1862, from surplus men of the 28th Regiment,
Pennsylvania Infantry, as Companies "A," "B," "C," "D" and "E."
Companies "F," "G" and "H" organized at Harrisburg, Pa., September 29 to November 20.
Company "I" organized at Philadelphia October 10, 1862, and Company "K" organized at Philadelphia February, 1864.
Attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1863, and Army of the Cumberland to April, 1864.
1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 20th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to July, 1865.

Service:

Duty at Bolivar Heights, Va., till December, 1862.
Reconnoissance to Rippon, W. Va., November 9, and to Winchester, Va., December 2-6.
Moved to Fredericksburg December 10-14.
At Stafford Court House till April 27, 1863.
Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24.
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 524.
Movement to Bridgeport, Ala., September 24-October 3.
Reopening Tennessee River October 26-29.
Wauhatchie, Tenn., October 28-29.
Chattanooga Ringgold Campaign November 23-27.
Battles of Lookout Mountain November 23-24; Mission Ridge November 25; Ringgold Gap, Taylor's Ridge, November 27.
Guard duty on Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad till April, 1864.
Expedition down the Tennessee River to Triana, Ala., April 12-16.
Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1-September 8.
Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11.
Dug Gap or Mill Creek May 8.
Battle of Resaca May 14-15.
Near Cassville May 19.
New Hope Church May 25.
Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas,
New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 26-June 5.
Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2.
Pine Hill June 11-14.
Lost Mountain June 15-17.
Gilgal or Golgotha Church June 15.
Muddy Creek June 17.
Noyes Creek June 19.
Kolb's Farm June 22.
Assault on Kenesaw June 27.
Ruff's Station, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4.
Chattahoochie River July 6-17.
Peach Tree Creek July 19-20.
Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25.
Operations at Chattahoochie River Bridge August 26-September 2.
Occupation of Atlanta September 2-November 15.
Near Atlanta November 9.
March to the sea November 15-December 10.
Siege of Savannah December 10-21.
Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865.
North Edisto River, S.C., February 12-13.
Red Bank and Congaree Creek February 15 Averysboro, N. C., March 16.
Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24.
Advance on Raleigh, N. C., April 9-13.
Occupation of Raleigh April 14.
Bennett's House April 26.
Surrender of Johnston and his army.
March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20.
Grand Review May 24.
Duty in the Dept. of Washington till July.
Companies "F" and "G" mustered out June 6, 1865.
Regiment mustered out July 15, 1865.

Losses:

Regiment lost during service:
7 Officers and 71 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
3 Officers and 61 Enlisted men by disease.
Total 142.

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

Home

Artillery

Cavalry

Infantry

Reserves

U. S. C. T.

Direct questions or comments to pacivilwar@gmail.com

©  Alice J. Gayley, all rights reserved

Web Space provided by