205th Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteers


Companies A, C, and I of this regiment, were recruited in Blair county,J B, E, and H in Berks, F, and K in Mifflin, D in Huntingdon, and G in Blair, Dauphin, and Franklin. They rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, where, on the 2d of September, 1864, the following field officers were selected:
  • Joseph A. Mathews, Colonel;
  • William F. Walter, Lieutenant Colonel;
  • B. Mortimer Morrow, Major.
Colonel Mathews had served in the Forty-sixth, and in the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth, Lieutenant Colonel Walter in the One Hundred and Fourth, Major Morrow in the Eighty-fourth regiment, and a large proportion of the remaining officers and men were skilled in military duty. On the 5th, the regiment left Harrisburg, and proceeding to Washington, crossed the Potomac, and went into camp at Fort Corcoran. At the end of a week, it moved to Camp Distribution, and taking in charge thirteen hundred recruits and drafted men, proceeded with them by transports to City Point. Moving out fonr miles, it reported to General Benham, and under his direction, was engaged in picketing from the left of the army line, to the James, and in building forts and earth-works for the defense of City Point, nearly the entire regiment being called to duty daily. On the 9th of October, it was ordered to the Army of the James, and at the end of twenty days, during which it was employed on picket duty, it returned and proceeded to join the Army of the Potomac. With five other new Pennsylvania regiments, it formed a provisional brigade, commanded by General Hartranft, and was attached to the Ninth Corps. Early in December, this brigade moved to the relief of the Second and Fifth Corps, which were threatened with an attack by the enemy, while out upon a demonstration on the left. On the 15th of December, the six regiments composing this brigade, were organized into a division, which became the Third of the Ninth Corps, composed of two brigades, the Two Hundred and Fifth, Two Hundred and Seventh, and Two Hundred and Eleventh, forming the Second Brigade, to the command of which Colonel Mathews was assigned. General Hairtranft commanded the division, and General Parke the corps. With the exception of occasional marches to the left, in support of aggressive movements, the regiment remained in camp, near Fort Prescott, on the Army Line Railroad during the winter, engaged in drill and fatigue duty, the division being held in reserve, just in rear of the other two divisions of the corps. Before daylight, on the morning of the 25th of Ma1arch, 1865, the regiment was summoned to arms, and ordered to stand in readiness to move upon the first signal, the enemy having broken through the line on Wilcox's front, and captured Fort Steadman. General Hartranft was quickly upon the ground where further disaster threatened, and;gathering in the regiments of his division, attacked and checked the victorious onset of the enemy. The Two Hundred and Fifth was ordered to move down a ravine which ran in rear of the captured line, and when opposite Fort Haskell, was halted under cover, and held in support of the rest of the line, which was hotly engaged. For nearly an hour, impatient to move upon the defiant foe, it was forced to stand in waiting. Finally, when all his plans for a combined assault had been perfected, General Hartranft gave the signal to charge, and with a united front, and with the greatest determination and daring, the lines moved on, sweeping every thing before them, and re-gaining all that was lost. The Two Hundred and Fifth, moved at once to the support of the charging column, and held a large number of prisoners, small arms, and one battle-flag. The loss, fortunately, was but slight, being but ten wounded. Of the part taken by the Two Hundred and Fifth, in the final assault upon the works before Petersburg, on the morning of the 2d of April, an idea will be best gained by the following extract from Captain Holmes' official report:
" On the night of the 1st instant," he says, " at eleven o'clock, the regiment was ordered to form on the color line in front of the camp, Major. Morrow in command. At one o'clock A. M., of the 2d, the regiment was moved towards, and on the Plank Road in rear of Fort Sedgwick, halted sometime, and then advanced by the right of the fort in the covered way, and formed in line of battle, with the Two Hundred and Seventh in front, directly in rear of our picket line. The order was given to charge the enemy's works at daylight, which was gallantly accomplished. The regiment captured Battery 30, with a number of prisoners; also one battle-flag fell into our hands, being captured by private John Lilly, of company F, who acted very gallantly throughout the engagement. This flag was forwarded to General HLrtranft's headquarters, with a statement of its capture. Our colors were planted on the works, and remained there until the regiment was relieved. At this time, Major Morrow received a severe wound in the foot, and was taken off the field.. I then assumed command, and remained with the regiment in the works, repulsing several charges made by the enemy during the day, and at night, assisted in placing the abatis in front of our works, under a severe enfilading fire from the enemy, remaining upon the line until two o'clock on the following morning, when I was ordered to move with the regiment to the rear of our picket line."
In the advance upon the hostile works, and in driving out the enemy and holding the line when captured, the regiment was exposed to a fearful fire of infantry and artillery, from the effect of which it suffered heavy losses. Two officers, Lieutenants Henry A. Lower, and David B. Roberts, and twenty-two enlisted men were killed, six officers and ninety-one enlisted men were wounded, one officer, Samuel L. Hughes, mortally, and five men were missing, an aggregate loss of one hundred and twenty-six. Major Morrow lost a leg. At daylight, the regiment was ordered to advance towards Petersburg; but everywhere the evidences of a general evacuation were observable, and on arriving within the city, it was found that the enemy had fired it in several places. By the aid of the fire companies, the flames were subdued, and the bridges crossing the Appomattox were saved. At noon the regiment returned to its former camp, and striking tents. started with the division to follow up the advantage. The progress to Burkesville Junction was slow, the command being charged with the repair of the the South Side Railroad as it went, and with keeping open this line of communication with the main body of the army. At Burkesville, the regiment remained until after the surrender of the rebel armies in the east, and hostile operations were at an end. It then proceeded via City Point to Alexandria, and encamped at Seminary Hill, where it remained until the 2d of June, when it was mustered out of service. Source:  Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.


Organized at Harrisburg September 2, 1864.
Moved to Washington, D.C., September 5, thence to City Point, Va., in charge of 1,300 Recruits.
Attached to Provisional Brigade, Defences of Bermuda Hundred, Va., Army of the James, to October, 1864.
Hartranft's Provisional Brigade, 9th Army Corps, Army Potomac, to December, 1864.
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, to June, 1865.


Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond, Va., September, 1864, to April, 1865.
Duty at City Point, Va., constructing fortifications, till October 9, 1864.
Picket with Army of the James till October 29.
Join Army Potomac October 29.
Movement in support of Weldon Railroad Expedition December 7-11.
Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865.
Fort Stedman March 25.
Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2.
Pursuit of Lee to Burkesville.
Moved to City Point, thence to Alexandria April 21-28, and duty there till June.
Grand Review May 23. Mustered out June 2, 1865.


Regiment lost during service:
3 Officers and 37 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
17 Enlisted men by disease

Total 57.

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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