Organized in the early part of August, 1861. Company B was composed of what was known as the Collier Guards, of Sharpsburg, a military organization which had done considerable drilling previous to enlistment, and a couple of squads of men from Deer Creek and Fairview, under command of Wm. S. Kirkwood, of the latter place. The first commissioned officers were Captain Wm. S. Kirkwood, afterward promoted to major, lieutenant colonel and colonel, and who died June 25, 1863, from wounds received at Chancellorsville.
First Lieutenant, Timothy L. Maynard, a school principal, who lost his life at Kelly's Ford, on November 7, 1862.
Second Lieutenant, Samuel P. Taylor, who resigned on June 5, 1862. First Sergeant was Henry Hurst.
About the middle of August the company was placed in Camp Wilkins, the old fair grounds in Pittsburgh, where it remained until August 26th, when, with a number of others, it left the camp on a beautiful evening, marked down Liberty street, Pittsburgh, and embarked on cars and amid cheers of citizens and tearful farewells of friends and relatives, they left home for the front. The company arrived at Washington on August 28th and camped a short distance outside the city limits.
Their first camp was known as Camp Sprague. On September 28th they crossed the Potomac and, landing at Alexandria, marched about two miles out the Leesburg Pike, where they encamped at what was known as Camp Shields.
On October 14th they again moved, going across Hunting Creek to the farm of James Mason, on the Mount Vernon Road, and went into winter quarters at Camp Johnston, where they remained until March 17, 1862, when they embarked on transports for Fortress Monroe, where they began the memorable Peninsula campaign.
Company B made for itself a reputation of which it may feel justly proud. Only two of its officers resigned during its three years of service, and one of them only do so when he found that he was unable any longer to serve on account of the severe wound he received in battle, and which had rendered him unfit for any active service. Only four men deserted, and two of them were conscripts. The company was celebrated for its good discipline and the friendly feeling existing between the officers and private soldiers. Very seldom were the officers compelled to punish any of the men for dereliction of duty.
Source: Gilbert Adams Hays, Captain. Under the Red Patch: Story of the Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1864. Published by the 63d Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment Association. Pittsburg: Market Review Publishing Company, 1908.
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