On the 12th of September,1861, James M. M'Carter, a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church,stationed at the time at Lebanon, and who had been Chaplain of the Fourteenth Regiment in the three month'sservice, received authority from the Secretary of War to raise a regiment ofinfantry. A call was published on the following day, and a camp of rendezvousestablished at the Fair Grounds near the borough of Lebanon. In less than one month's time its ranks were full. A regimental organizationwas effected by the selection of the following field officers:
- James B. M'Carter, Colonel
- John W. Johnston, Lieutlenant Colonel
- John C. Osterloh, Major
On the 3d of November, a silk flag, a gift of citizens of Lebanon, was presented, and on the 13th, the State colors were delivered by Governor Curtun. While in camp the regiment was supplied with everything that could contribute to the comfort of the men by the people of the town and county of Lebanon, and a liberal sum of money was contributed for the support of the families of those who enlisted. An excellent band was attached to the regiment.
On the 21st of November, the regiment struck tents, and proceeded to Washington, where, after a brief stay at the Soldiers' Rest, it went into camp at Kendall Green, and drill and camp duty was systematically commenced. Two weeks later it moved about two miles further to the east, and on the 2d of December across the East Branch, to near Fort Good Hope, Maryland. It was at first armed with Belgian rifles, but subsequently, and before the opening of the Peninsula campaign, with Springfield muskets.
On the 22d of January, 1862, it moved to Tenallytown, and was here assigned to Peck'sBrigade,1 of Smith's, subsequently Couch's Division. On the 10th of March, it moved with the whole army on the Manassas campaign, andremaining six days in bivouac at Prospect Hill, returned to the camp which it had left. On the 26th it embarked for the peninsula, and until after the evacuation of Yorktown by the enemy on the 4th of May, it was posted in the vicinity ofWarwick Court House, where it was employed in constructing rifle-pits and forts, along the Warwick River. The command suffered severely while here from chills and fevers.
Battle of Williamsburg
On Sunday, May 4th, the regiment moved rapidly forward in the direction of Williamsburg, and bivouacked at night by the roadside. Early on the following morning the march was resumed, and at half past two P. M. it was ordered into position upon the middle front of the brigade, the right joining the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania, and the left extending to the rear of the Fifty-fifth New York.
"About two-thirds of the command," says Colonel M'Carter in his official report, "were in position when the charge of the enemy was made, and the fire of our right wing, under direction of Lieutenant Colonel Johnston, began. The enemy's charge was led by a squadron of cavalry. From the guns of Fort Magruder, and a smaller one on the extreme right of the brigade, from four pieces of artillery posted in front and not five hundred yards distant, and from cavalry and infantry, a perfect shower of missiles was poured upon our line. For three hours the answering fire of the regiment was incessant, commanding from its position the openings of two roads on either side of which were felled trees and bushes. At the end of this time the right and centre had expended forty-five rounds and were out ofammunition. The two Companies on the left, Company B, Captain Arthur, and Company G, Captain Maitland, had been posted by me in rear of the left of theFifty-fifth, under Captain Derr, acting Major, when the enemy made three attempts to flank them, but was as often driven back. The firing of the enemy on this flank having ceased, and these Companies having still thirty rounds of unexpended ammunition to the man, I conducted them to a position on our extreme right, upon which the fire of the enemy was still hotly kept up. Here our silence for some minutes had induced the belief that we had retreated, and these two Companies had scarcely been posted, when the enemy was seen charging up the road at the distance of about one hundred yards. One volley from Company G, deliberately delivered and aimed low, checked his advance; but he continued to fire rapidly and with fearful effect. At the end of thirty minutes he had been repulsed here, and along the whole front, and with the exception ofscattering musketry fire from the bushes, and shells from Fort Magruder, we were little annoyed."
The loss was six killed and twenty wounded. Captain Green B. Shearer was among the killed, and Lieutenant Colonel Johnston had his horse shot under him.
In a congratulatory order issued by General Couch, he says, " General Peck with his brigade had the good fortune to be in advance, and, arriving on the battle ground at a critical time, won a reputation to be greatly envied."
Moving on up the Peninsula in advance of the corps, the regiment, on the 13th of May, acted as a support to Colonel Russell of the Sixth Massachusetts, engaged in picket duty along theChickahominy. On the following morning, a part of the Sixth crossed at Bottom's Bridge, Colonels Russell and M'Carter being the first field officers over. Subsequently Keyes' Corps moved over, Couch's Division taking position and fortifying at Seven Pines, and Casey's further to the right, at Fair Oaks. Peck's Brigade was ordered to occupy and guard the left flank of Conch's encampment.
On the 30th, in consequence of an attack on General Casey's pickets, the brigade was thrown out upon Casey's left., and at the opening of the engagement on the following day, by direction of General Couch, the Ninety-third was sent to the support of Casey, taking position on his left. It was one P. M., when the regiment became engaged, Companies A and F being at the time on picket, and narrowly escaping capture. The ground was mostly swampy where it first stood, and it was partially concealed by a low wood. Here for about two hours it remained under a heavy fire but without sustaining serious loss. It was then moved across an open field to a wood opposite. This opening was crossed at double quick and in open order, but the men were fearfully exposed, and many fell, the bullets raining in among them like hail. In this second position the enemy's fire was terrible, and here its principal loss was sustained. At nightfall the brigade retired to the breast-works which were strengthened and made secure.
The loss in this engagement was twenty-one killed, one hundred and eight wounded, and twenty-one missing. Lieutenant John E. Rodgers was among the killed, and Captain Alexander C. Maitland mortally wounded. Colonel M'Carter, Captain Mark, and Lieutenants Ebur, M'Carter and Keller were among the wounded. Captain Dougherty was struck, but escaped in a most singular manner. He had upon his person a gold watch and a Bible. The watch was shattered, and the ball passed nearly through the Bible, inflicting only a slight wound, leaving its last mark on this passage, " I charge thee, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead, at his appearing, and his kingdom; preach the word."
A correspondent of the New York Tribune, in his admiration of the discipline, and the sterling soldierly qualities displayed by the regiment on this sanguinary field, says, " Take the case of the Ninety-third Pennsylvania. This thoroughly trained body of troops fought, were driven back from their position, but not broken, halted at word of command, wheeled, fired, retreated, halted, loaded and fired again, and again, and came off the ground in perfect order, with their two colors flying--a striking proof that the success of battles is in the discipline of troops."
After the battle the regiment returned to its former camp on the left, and remained during the month of June, engaged in guard and picket duty. In the movement of the army from the Chickahominy to the James, the Ninety-third acted as guard to the trains, and in the battle of the 1st of July, at Malvern Hill, under command of Captain Long, held a position on the extreme right of the line, and fronting a ravine and wood impassable for artillery and cavalry, but favorable for the approach of infantry. The enemy first opened with artillery, and finally sent forward his infantry under cover of the wood, in numbers greatly superior to those opposed to them. But the advantage of the position and the determination evinced to hold it against all odds, proved triumphant, and the enemy was beaten back at every point. The loss of the Ninety-third was about twenty.
Retiring to Harrison's Landing with the army, it remained in camp until the evacuation of the Peninsula, when it moved by transport from Yorktown to Alexandria, and thence marched to Chantilly. It supported a battery during the fierce engagement at that place on the evening of the 1st of September, and on the following morning retired with the army to Chain Bridge.
Upon the opening of the Maryland campaign, the 93rd moved along the Potomac towards Harper's Ferry, making a reconnoissance as far as Sandy Hook. It was then hurried to the Antietam battle-field, but took little part in the engagement, being held in reserve. When the Union army again crossed the Potomac in pursuit of the retiring enemy, the regiment was in the advance and followed closely to the banks of the Rappahannock.
In the battle of Fredericksburg, on the 13th of December, the regiment, now in the Sixth Corps, underGeneral Smith, of Franklin's Grand Division, crossed the river at the lower bridge, and was held in reserve during the engagement. At the conclusion of the action, it returned to its former camp, where it went into winter-quarters.
The spring campaign, under General Hooker, opened on the 27th of April, when the movement upon Chancellorsville commenced. To the Sixth Corps, under General Sedgwick, was assigned the duty of attacking the heights above Fredericksburg, and of advancing up the right bank of the river, to form junction with the main body. Moving from its quarters, theNinety-third, under command of Captain Long, crossed the Rappahannock on the morning of the 2d of May. At daybreak of the 3d, the regiment advanced from its position near Fredericksburg and formed line on the left of the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania, which, with the sixty-second New York, had preceded it. The assault upon the heights was made by the light brigade, at the extreme right of the line, and as soon as they were carried, the brigade moved forward, and seized the works in front, where it was exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery. The enemy retreated, and the corps, as soon as it could be formed, moved on in pursuit towards Chancellorsville.
"The Corps," says General Wheaton, who commanded the brigade, "was formed with the greatest expedition, and pushed on to a point called Salem Heights. Here the First Division, which was in advance, found the enemy strongly posted at a cross road near Morristown, earthworks in timber on both sides of the road. and the undergrowth filled with rifle-pits and abattis, which rendered the position to our force quite impossible. The First Division being all engaged, I was ordered by General Newton to move with two regiments to the right of the road, and to take general direction of the operations on that portion of the battle-ground; a deep ravine, with a stream in it, beyond the Morrison House, was soon crossed by the Ninety-third Pennsylvania, Captain Long, and One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania, Colonel Kinkead, (the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Pennsylvania, Colonel Collier, being left supporting a battery, but came up soon after,) and crossing the ridge beyond, they were soon engaged under a terrific fire of musketry from a hidden foe.
"To sustain this fire many minutes was evidently impossible, and I immediately dispatched staff officers to the rear to bring up troops with which to form a second line, and others to assist in delaying the retirement of the One Hundred and Second, and Ninety-third, which was soon anticipated. Before they were pushed back, the troops on the left were driven towards us in confusion by overwhelming odds, and by the time a second line was formed, the battalions of the enemy were rushing up the ravine we had just crossed, and for a few moments it seemed hardly possible to hold our position; but the rebel regiments could not keep formed under our heavy fire, and gradually retired with heavy loss, while our most advanced line moved off in good order by its right flank, and formed in rear of the batteries behind our second. As the enemy retired, our lines advanced; but to attempt the woods again, with our present force, was not deemed possible, and we held the crest this side. Night came on, and we turned our attention to procuring ammunition and aid for our many wounded."
The rebel forces now began to appear in fresh strength upon Sedgwick's front, and to work their way around upon his left flank towards Fredericksburg. He was accordingly forced to withdraw towards Banks' Ford, where a pontoon bridge had been previously laid. On the afternoon of the 4th, Wheaton's Brigade was attacked, but easily repulsed the assailants, taking nearly two entire regiments prisoners. During the night the command retired across the river.
The loss in the engagement was six killed, among whom were Lieutenants Washington Drua and William D. Boltz, forty-four wounded, and twenty-one missing.
Until the 18th of May the regiment remained in the neighborhood of Banks' Ford, when it moved to a new camp, four or five miles north of Falmouth, where it remained, with the exception of a brief period in the 31st?? Campaign, until the opening of active operations in the spring.
On the 8th of June it moved up the Rappahannock, and crossing the stream on a pontoon bridge, was detailed for fatigue duty on a tete duc pobt??, the enemy displaying much activity, and the Union cavalry, supported by infantry, being on the point of crossing for the purpose of a strongreconnaissance. After a hard day's work the regiment was withdrawn at night, receiving a vigorous shelling as it retired. The next day it again crossed, but not until near evening, and spent the whole, night at work, withdrawing in the morning. The same day it again crossed, apparently with the intention of staying.
On the 11th the regiment was sent on picket near the centre of the line and was under an annoying fire all day, though further to the right the pickets could be seen exchanging newspapers. A mutual withdrawal of pickets took place on the 13th, and then it became evident that the anticipated conflict was to be far away, and on Northern soil. The march for Pennsylvania now commenced, and on the 1st of July it reached Manchester, Maryland. At eight in the evening intelligence was received of the opening of the battle at Gettysburg, and orders to march immediately to the field. The corps was promptly put in motion, the Ninety-third leading the column. At nine on the following morning the booming of cannon from the distant field was distinctly heard, and at ten the regiment crossed the State line. The men were worn out with fatigue, the day wasexcessively hot, and the roads dusty; but when the colors were unfurled and the drums beaten in token of entrance upon the soil of their native State, they came toa quick step, with arms at a shift, and marched on gaily, singing "Pennsylvania again."
At two P. M. the regiment arrived at Rock Creek, by the Baltimore Pike, just in rear of the line of battle at the Cemetery. At three, General Sedgwick was ordered to send a brigade to the support of the Third and Fifth Corps, then hard pressed on the left. Wheaton's Brigade was ordered to ??the Ninety-third being in advance, (the first regiment of the Sixth Corps to get into action,) Major Nevin in command. General Sedgwick in person led the brigade, and formed it on the brow of a low, rocky knoll, covered with scattering trees, just to the right of Little Round Top, the left of the brigade joining with the Pennsylvania Reserves. It got into position just as the troops which had been contesting the ground in the open fields along the Emmittsburg Pike, broken, and almost annihilated, were coming back in disorder, followed by the exultant enemy. Thecommand was ordered to lie down, and to withhold its fire until the enemy was close upon it. Had this command been heeded the whole rebel line could easily have been captured. But impatience got the better of obedience and discretion, and a premature fire was opened from a part of the line, which checked his advance, and caused him to be wary. Further attempts at concealment being useless, the whole brigade advanced, and after a short contest the rebel line was driven in tumult. In this charge the Ninety-third took twenty-five prisoners.
Just before nightfall the Ninety-third was ordered forward in conjunction with a regiment of the Reserve Corps, to re-take a battery which had been lost in the early part of the day. But it was soon discovered that the guns had been removed, and it returned to its place on the right of the brigade. At night the men slept for a few hours in line of battle, but spent the greater part in removing the wounded who strewed the fields in front. Since eight P. 13. of the evening previous it had marched thirty-nine miles, had fought three hours, and passed an almost sleepless night without food. During the terrible cannonade of the 3d the men hugged closely the ground, and sought shelter behind rocks and trees, and at the conclusion of the charge on the left centre, renewed the picket firing and kept it up until dark. During the night the regiment was engaged in burying the dead and bearing off the wounded.
The 4th of July was celebrated at the front, the regiment being ordered upon the skirmish line on the extreme left, where it suffered some loss. At two in the afternoon it was relieved, and thus ended its part in the battle. The loss was eight killed and twenty-one wounded.
On the 5th it was ascertained that the enemy had retreated and the pursuit was at once commenced. The Ninety-third was detailed to guard the corps artillery, and assist in taking it across the mountains. This duty proved an onerous one, the men suffering much from the hardships it imposed. On the 10th it was ordered to picket and skirmish duty at the front, near Frankstown. After several days' delay, the men eager for a final issue, it was discovered that the enemy had escaped, much to their chagrin, heartily dreading another campaign in Virginia. In the campaign which was soon after entered on, the regiment participated, and at its conclusion, in the movement upon Mine Run, returned with the army to the neighborhood of Brandy Station, where it went into winter-quarters in substantial log huts. A Christmas gift, in the form of a beautiful silk flag, with the number of the regiment inscribed, was received to re-place the tattered ensign which, had been originally presented, and which had been borne in triumph in frequent fiery contests.
On the 30th of December Wheaton's Brigade was detached from the main body of the army and sent by rail to Washington, and thence to Harper's Ferry. Loaded upon open freight cars, without fire, the men suffered intensely from cold as they were borne on through the frosty night air. The feet and hands of many were frozen, rendering amputation necessary in two cases, and in one proving fatal. The brigade marched to Halltown upon its arrival, but soon afterward returned and went into camp at Harper's Ferry. The object of the movement was to repel an anticipated demonstration of a body of the enemy under General Early.
On the 7th of February two-hundred and eighty-four of the men, upwards of three-fourths of the entire regiment, re-enlisted, and were given a veteran furlough. Upon their arrival home at Lebanon, they were received in a manner befitting men who had for upwards of two years maintained a reputation for courage and endurance unsurpassed. Nearly the entire population came out to meet them, and at the Court House a bountiful banquet was given. General Wheaton, who was not present at their departure, sent a letter to Lieutenant Colonel Long, in which occurred this passage: " The greet Keystone State has sent few regiments to the field who can return showing as handsome a record as the one you command."
On the 10th of March, 1864, the regiment assembled at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, and on the 18th re-joined the brigade at Halltown, eight hundred strong.
Soon afterwards the brigade returned to Brandy Station. In the re-organization of corps, previous to breaking winter-quarters, this brigade was transferred from the Third, to the Second Division of the Sixth Corps. Exchanging the smooth-bore muskets with buck and ball cartridges, with which it had been armed, for improved Springfield rifles, it set out at half past three, on the morning of the 4th of May, for the Wilderness. Strict orders had been given not to fire the camps, lest the enemy from his signal stations should be warned of the movement in progress; but custom and carelessness prevailed over discipline, and the command moved off amidst the broad glow of blazing camps.
The Wilderness Campaign
At eight o'clock on the morning of the 5th the column halted and formed line on the Chancellorsville Plank Road, near the spot where General Meade subsequently had his headquarters. At noon the Second Division, under General Getty, resumed the march down the plank road, the other two divisions, under General Sedgwick, moving off to the right. After marching two miles on the plank, the division filed sharply to the right, and marched down a narrow dirt road, which stretched almost due south through a thick and tangled wilderness of pine and undergrowth. It marched in column of route, without skirmishers orflankers, general officers with their staffs ridin1 in front. In this manner it moved on to the Gordonsville and Fredericksburg Plank Road. The Ninety-third, which was in the advance, had just crossed the plank, and was plunging again into the thick woods to the left of it, when a murderous fire was suddenly and without premonition of an enemy's presence, poured into it from the right. Without confusion theregiment halted, faced to the front, delivered one volley upon the concealed foe, and then charged, clearing the woods and establishing a line about two hundred yards in front of the dirt road, with its right resting upon the plank. In this brief encounter, lasting less than a quarter of an hour, the regiment lost twenty-five, killed and wounded, among whom were Captain Edward H. Rogers and Lieutenant Maxwell B. Goodrich mortally wounded.
Division line was immediately formed, and for hours it awaited the enemy. About the middle of the afternoon a vast cloud of dust was observed, far down the plank road, which rose up and obscured the western sun. Dispositions were rapidly made for an attack, brigades of the Second Corps now beginning to arrive. The Ninety-third was moved across to the right of the plank. At four, A. P. Hill's entire corps having arrived and formed without molestation in the dense woods in front, the crash came. For two hours the roar of musketry at close range was incessant. The enemy was invisible, and the fire could only be directed by the course of the enemy's missiles. At six, the regiment having suffered severely, was relieved by a regiment of the Second Corps. Resting on its arms during the night, in the dirt road, along which the Second Corps had thrown up breastworks, at four o'clock on the morning of the 6th it advanced in the second line of battle to the attack. The first line soon came upon the enemy, who was driven two miles, when the second became the first line. After a short pause it again advanced, General Wadsworth putting himself at the head of the Ninety-third and charging down the plank road. At this juncture Longstreet, with a fresh corps, came up, and made a counter-charge, a division of the Second Corps being forced back, and the whole line retiring in some confusion, though leisurely and unpursued, to the dirt road. At five P.M. Longstreet made a furious assault, but was easily repulsed. In these two days of fighting the regiment lost eighteen killed and one hundred and forty-four wounded.
The 7th was comparatively quiet, a slight skirmish in the afternoon with some cannonading. At evening it moved out and took up the line of march towards Spottsylvania, and during the 9th, 10th, and 11th was kept busy inmaneuvering, digging, and fighting. On the morning of the 12th it was ordered to the support of the Second Corps, and went into position at the right of the famous "Angle," advancing to within fifty yards of the rebel works. The men dropped upon the ground for protection, and yet, so destructive was his fire, that the Ninety-third lost four officers, and seventy-three men killed and wounded, in the space of one hour. Captain Richard G. Rogers was mortally wounded.
With the corps, the regiment participated in the fierce fighting which marked the course of the army in its progress to the James, losing men almost daily, and in the engagement on the 18th of May having thirty killed and wounded. It crossed the Rapidan on the 4th of May and entered the campaign with seven hundred and fifty men present for duty. As it marched from the trenches at Cold Harbor at its virtual conclusion, it had but three hundred and twenty-five of the number left in its ranks, fifteen officers and three hundred and ten men having been either killed or wounded, and ninety five sick and sent to the rear. But nine men were captured, and these were wounded and left on the field.
" From the 4th of May until the 12th of June," says a member of the command, "the Ninety-third marched three hundred and fifty miles, made twenty-six night marches, was fifteen days without regular rations, dug thirty rifle pits, oftener at night than by day, and fought in eight distinct battles. During all this time there were but five days on which the regiment or some part of it was not under fire, and neither officers nor men ever took off their clothes, seldom their accoutrements, day or night. Clothes and shoes worn out were only re-placed by those of dead men, and not until it arrived at the James River, far from the presence of an enemy, did the men enjoy the luxury of abath."
Crossing the river on the 15th of June, after two days' marching, the regiment arrived in front of Petersburg. Heavy skirmishing at once commenced, and continued till the afternoon of the 18th, when a general advance was made, the line pushing close up to the enemy's works by the Norfolk Railroad, and entrenching with bayonets under a heavy fire. Captain Jacob P. Embich was here killed, and five men wounded. Remaining in the trenches under an almost constant fire until the 22d, it was withdrawn from the right, and taken to the extreme left of the line, where it supported the Third Division in an attack upon the enemy's line, losing thirteen killed and wounded.
On the 29th it marched southward to the relief of General Wilson, returning with the cavalry from his raid. After tearing up a portion of the Weldon Railroad, and meeting the cavalry, it returned to camp.
Attack on Fort Stevens
On the 9th of July it was ordered from the front and marching to City Point, was taken upon crowded transports to Washington, the capital being menaced by a corps of the rebel army under General Early. The regiment moved rapidly through the city, hailed by demonstrations of joy, arriving at the defences, Fort Washington, just as Early's skirmishers were advancing over the esplanade. These were quickly driven back, and the skirmish line was established a half mile out from the fort.
On the 17th there was sharp skirmishing until five in the evening, when a general advance was ordered, and a sharp battle ensued. By dusk the enemy was driven at all points. Pursuit was immediately commenced, passing throughRockville and across the Potomac, and for nearly a month the corps was kept upon the march under a burning sun and upon dusty roads, seemingly to little purpose. General Sheridan assumed command of the army in the Valley on the 9th ofAugust, and an active campaign was commenced.
On the morning of the 27th, while posted at Charlestown, the enemy appeared in front and quickly drove in the skirmishers. The Ninety-third was ordered forward to fill a gap in the retreating skirmish line, and formed across an open meadow. The line was advanced, but was checked and driven back to its original position. At night the Union forces were withdrawn to Halltown.
On the 13th of September, in a spirited skirmish, which the Second Division had beyond Opequan Creek, the regiment supported a battery which was shelled out of position, when it withdrew, sustaining some loss in killed and wounded. At midday on the 19th the battle line was ordered to advance and attack the enemy near Winchester. He was driven back nearly a mile, but rallied, and having broken the Union line, pushed it back to its first position. At four it again advanced, and the enemy was driven, losing artillery and a large number of prisoners. The regiment lost in the engagement seven killed and forty wounded.
On the following morning pursuit of the flying enemy was vigorously pushed, and the advance came up with him at Fisher's Hill, where he was entrenched. On the 21st the brigade charged and captured Flint Hill, the position affording a full view of his entrenchments. It was entrenched and held. On the following afternoon the brigade was held in readiness, and at the word to advance, leaped the breast-works, and crossing the intermediate ravine, under a murderous fire of infantry and artillery, charged up the hill, over skillfully laid obstructions, and carried the enemy's works, capturing a battery of sixRodman guns.
The loss was twenty-four in killed and wounded. Captain Jacob Brower was mortally wounded. The color Sergeant,William Smith, displayed unusual gallantry, carrying the flag steadily up, in the face of the battery, and had both legs shot off by a close discharge. After pursuing the enemy up the valley beyond Staunton, taking many prisoners, the army returned and took position behind Cedar Creek.
During the month of October, Major Nevin recruited one hundred and eighty men at Pittsburg, and as the original Company G had become much reduced, the few men remaining were distributed to other Companies, and a new Company G was organized from the recruits, commanded by Captain Kuhn.
On the morning of the 19th of October the enemy attacked the Union army at Cedar Creek, and drove it back nearly four miles. The Ninety-third was posted upon a ridge when the route commenced, and with other troops repelled several assaults; but the line was finally out-flanked and forced back. At two P. M. an order came from General Sheridan, who had now arrived on the ground, that if the enemy was repulsed when attacked he was to be followed up without further orders.
At three General Sheridan rode along the line saying, as he came to the Ninety-third, " We must sleep in our old camp to-night." The battle soon opened, and for an hour the fighting was very severe; but he at length gave way, and his route was complete, the Union line following, taking guns and prisoners at every step. After the battle the regiment lay quietly in camp near Strasburg for nearly a month.
On the 28th of October the term of the men who did not re-enlist expired, and they were mustered out of service to the number of about one hundred. Early in November the regiment was ordered to Philadelphia, where, upon its arrival it was assigned to duty in the city, and remained until after the presidential election, when it returned to camp at Winchester.
About the middle of December, with the corps, it returned to the lines in front of Petersburg, where it went into winter-quarters. Through the exertions of Chaplain Joseph S. Lane, a chapel tent was erected, where, during the winter evenings, religious services were held, and the literary society of the regiment met. During the winter, several hundred recruits were received, bringing up its strength to near the minimum standard.
On the 25th of March, 1865, the brigade was ordered to advance upon the enemy's works, and test the strength of the forces occupying them. The space in front was open, and over this the command charged to the summit immediately in front of his picket line of trenches. Here was some delay, other parts of the line not having come up, and confusion ensued; but order was soon restored, the line again went forward across the plain, captured the outer picket trenches and charged up a second hill, where was his main line. Here the brigade halted and for a short time was subjected to a severe enfilading fire. It was soon ascertained that the enemy was present in full force, and the command was rapidly withdrawn. The loss in this brief engagement was fifteen killed and one hundred and thirty-six wounded. Captain George W,. Meilinger was among the killed.
At midnight of April 2d the regiment, under command of Captain B. Frank Hean, moved to the front entrenchments in line of battle, forming on the picket line in front of battery Gregg, and at four in the morning, with the rest of the brigade, was ordered to charge the enemy's works, which were carried after an obstinate struggle, the colors of the Ninety-third being the first planted upon his ramparts. After moving a short distance towards Hatcher's Bun, the command was ordered to return towards Petersburg. In executing this order the regiment was brought in front of a rebel battery, which opened with grape and canister. At this juncture Sergeant Hiram Layland led a squadron to the left of the battery to out-flank it, and coming up within a short distance opened fire, shooting several of the battery horses, and causing the men to desert their guns. At the same time the line in front charged. Passing on a short distance the line halted and threw up entrenchments. The loss was two killed and thirty-one wounded. In the first charge upon the enemy's breastworks Sergeant Charles Marquette distinguished himself by capturing a rebel flag, for which he received a medal of honor. During the night the enemy evacuated Petersburg, and on the following morning the corps moved south to Burkesville Junction.
On the 6th the regiment participated in the battle of Sailor's Creek. On the 9th Lee surrendered, and soon afterwards the corps made a forced march to Danville, to cooperate with Sherman for the defeat of Johnston. After remaining in camp here for several weeks, it returned by rail to Richmond, and thence to Washington, where, on the 27th of June, it was mustered out of service.
1Organization of Peck's Brigade, Couch's Division, Keyes' Corps: Ninety-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel James M. M'Carter; Ninety-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel John F. Ballier; One Hundred and Second Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Thomas A. Rowley; Sixty-second Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel John L. Riker; Fifty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Regis De Trobriand. At the conclusion of the Peninsula campaign the Fifty-fifth New York was detached and the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Pennsylvania was added to it.
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Regiments, p. 1861-1865.
Organization:Organized at Lebanon September 21 to October 28, 1861.
Left State for Washington, D.C., November 21.
Attached to Peck's Brigade, Couch's Division, Army Potomac, to March, 1862.
3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Army Corps, Army Potomac,
to September, 1862.
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Army Corps, Army Potomac,
to November, 1862.
3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Army Corps, to January, 1864.
Wheaton's Brigade, Dept. West Virginia, to March, 1864.
1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Army Corps, Army Potomac, and Army Shenandoah, to June, 1865.
Service:Duty in the Defences of Washington till March, 1862.
Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15.
Moved to the Peninsula March 25.
Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4.
Battle of Williamsburg May 5.
Reconnoissance to the Chickahominy and Bottom's Bridge May 20-23.
Battle of Fair Oaks (Seven Pines) May 31-June 1.
Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1.
Seven Pines June 27.
Malvern Hill July 1.
At Harrison's Landing till August 16.
Movement to Alexandria, thence to Centreville August 16-30.
Cover Pope's retreat to Fairfax C. H. August 30-September 1.
Chantilly September 1.
Maryland Campaign September 6-24.
Reconnoissance to Harper's Ferry and Sandy Hook September 12-14.
Battle of Antietam September 16-17 (Reserve).
At Downsville, Md., September 23-October 20.
Movement to Stafford C. H. October 20-November 18,
and to Belle Plains December 5.
Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15.
Burnside's second Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863.
At Falmouth till April.
Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6.
Operations at Franklin's Crossing April 29-May 2.
Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg, May 3.
Salem Heights May 3-4.
Banks' Ford May 4.
Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 13-July 24.
Battle of Gettysburg July 2-4.
Pursuit of Lee July 5-24.
Duty on the line of the Rappahannock till October.
Bristoe Campaign October 9-22.
Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8.
Rappahannock Station November 7.
Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2.
Regiment reenlisted February 7, 1864.
Duty at Brandy Station till May.
Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12.
Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Spottsylvania May 8-21.
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 17-18.
Siege of Petersburg till July 9.
Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23.
Moved to Washington. D.C., July 9-11.
Defence of Washington against Early's attack July 11-12.
Pursuit to Snicker's Gap July 14-18.
Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August to December.
Charlestown August 21-22.
Demonstration on Gilbert's Ford, Opequan Creek, September 13.
Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19.
Strasburg September 21.
Fisher's Hill September 22.
Battle of Cedar Creek October 19.
Duty in the Shenandoah Valley till December.
Moved to Petersburg December 9-12.
Siege of Petersburg December, 1864, to April, 1865.
Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865.
Fort Fisher, Petersburg, March 25.
Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2.
Pursuit of Lee April 3-9.
Appomattox C. H. April 9.
Surrender of Lee and his army.
March to Danville April 23-27, and duty there till May 23.
Moved to Richmond, Va., thence to Washington. D.C., May 23-June 3.
Corps Review June 8.
Mustered out June 27, 1865.
Losses:Regiment lost during service:
11 Officers and 161 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
1 Officer and 111 Enlisted men by disease
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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