11th Regiment

Pennsylvania Volunteers

Detached companies, formed of men hastily summoned from farm and workshop, rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, and were organized into the Eleventh regiment, April 26th, 1861, by the choice of the following officers:
  • Phaon Jarrett, of Lock Haven, Clinton county, from Captain of company B, Colonel
  • Richard Coulter, of Greensburg, Westmoreland county, from Captain of company I, Lieutenant Colonel
  • Wm. D. Earnest, of Harrisburg; Major
  • F. Asbury Awl was appointed Adjutant
Five of these companies were recruited on the West Branch1 of the Susquehanna, three on the East Branch, and two in Westmoreland county. A band of music, comprising sixteen pieces, under the leadership of Daniel Repass, was attached to the regiment.

Soon after its organization, Colonel Jarrett, by order of the Governor, was placed in command of Camp Wilkins, near Pittsburg. On the 4th of May, by order of General Patterson, the regiment was transferred by rail, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Coulter, from Camp Curtin to Camp Wayne, near West Chester. Colonel Jarrett, having satisfactorily accomplished the duty assigned to him, turned over the command of Camp Wilkins to Colonel M'Lane and rejoined his regiment. Here it remained about three weeks, and during this time was systematically and regularly drilled in Scott's tactics.

Railroad communication between the North and Washington, since the 19th of April, had been broken, the bridges upon the Northern Central, and the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore roads, having been destroyed. It was necessary that these avenues of approach to the Capital should be kept open, and, to this end, that they should be strongly guarded. On the 27th, of May, the regiment having been partially uniformed and equipped, was ordered by the commanding General to move and take position on the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore road. At Philadelphia, the command received forty thousand rounds of fixed ammunition, and the following disposition of the force was made:

  • Company K, Captain William B. Coulter, was stationed at Newark, Delaware;
  • Companies I and H, Captains Terry and M'Clure, at Elkton, Maryland;
  • Company G, Captain Bowman, for guard to the Delaware and Chesapeake canal, at Chesapeake city, the whole under command of Lieutenent Colonel Richard Coulter;
  • Company F, Captain Bruner, was stationed at North East;
  • Company E, Captain Johnson, at Charlestown;
  • Companies D and C, Captains Shaut and Bossert, under command of Major Earnest, at Perryville;
  • Companies B and A, Captains Jackson-and Dodge, at Havre-de-Grace, where the Headquarters of the regiment were established.
The Surgeon took post at Havre-de-Grace, the Assistant Surgeon at Elkton.

While stationed at Elkton, private Maguire, of company H, was killed by the accidental discharge of a musket in the hands of a comrade.

At the end of three weeks, the regiment was relieved by the First Delaware volunteers, Colonel Lockwood, and was ordered to concentrate at Havre-deGrace. Tents were funished, and the men were supplied with overcoats, belts, and cartridge-boxes, which to this time had been wanting.

On the 18th of June, orders were received to march, via Baltimore and Harrisburg, to Chambersburg, and join General Patterson's column. It was rumored at Havre-deGrace, that it would be attacked in its passage through Baltimore, but no demonstration was made.

Remaining a few days at Chambersburg, it was ordered to Hagerstown, Maryland, where it was attached to General Negley's Brigade of General Keim's Division. By careful drill and instruction, and the devoted attention of its officers, the regiment had been brought to as good a state of discipline as could be expected of men to whom the camp was new, and who had been but a few weeks under military pupilage.

On the night of June 18th, the long roll was beaten, and being quickly in column, it was hurriedly marched to Williamsport, where an attack was apprehended; but, as a large force was concentrated by daylight, the enemy deemed it prudent to retire, and late in the day it marched back to the camp at Hagerstown.

On the 20th of June; the regiment was transferred to the 6th Brigade,2 to the command of which Colonel (since General) J. J. Abercrombie, of the Seventh U. S. infantry, was assigned. On the 28th of June, it moved to Downstown, where a detachment, under Lieutenant Colonel Coulter, was ordered to proceed to the Potomac, in the neighborhood of dam No. 4, and select a suitable ford for the passage of the army. After a fruitless night's labor Colonel Coulter reported that no safe fording, with the present stage of water, could be found. On the following day the regiment moved to Williamsport, where the army had principally concentrated, and where preparations were made for crossing the river. At two o'clock on the morning of the 2d of July, a scouting party, consisting of one hundred and fifty men of the Eleventh, and Captain M'Mullen's company of Rangers, the whole under command of Lieutenant Colonel Coulter, forded the river and pushed forward into the enemy's country.

Colonel Abercrombie, with the remainder of his Brigade, advanced to its support, followed by the whole army. As the head of the column approached the ford, firing was heard on the Virginia side, Coulter's detachment having come in contact with a body of rebel scouts, who were quickly put to flight. Abercrombie, having crossed, immediately put his Brigade in motion, and proceeded about two miles in the direction of Hoke's Run, better known as Falling Waters, when day began to dawn, and the detachment rejoined the Brigade. It was reported that a strong force of the rebel army was posted at Falling Waters. Advancing to within a mile of this point, being several hours in advance of the main column, the Brigade halted, and a detachment was again sent forward to reconnoitre; but no enemy was encountered. On arriving at the stream, the troops refreshed themselves, and filled their canteens.

The march was resumed; but before proceeding far the enemy was discovered, posted in a wood. The Eleventh immediately formed on the right of the road,in the edge of the wood, and awaited his advance. At this time, a section of Captain Perkins' battery, consisting of three pieces, under command of Lieutenant Hudson, moved up the pike; and immediately after, General Patterson and staff arrived and moved to the front.

The Eleventh was ordered back from its first position, and advanced on the pike. A heavy fire was opened by the enemy in front of the First Wisconsin, which was immediately formed in line of battle, and skirmishers were thrown out. The Eleventh was ordered to move by a road leading to the north, and to form on the right of the First Wisconsin. The enemy,3 under command of Colonel (Stonewall) Jackson, were strongly posted behind fences, and concealed in grain fields, while one regiment was sheltered by Porterfield's house and out-buildings, and a pile of cord wood along the turnpike.

As soon as the Eleventh emerged from the wood, it encountered a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, which did little execution, the shot generally passing overhead. The men were ordered to withhold their fire, as the enemy were concealed from view. The line now advanced to within two hundred yards of Jackson's front. At this juncture, the Battery opened with shells on Porterfield's barn, and the buildings were soon wrapt in flames.The enemy being thus dr iven from their shelter, were for the first time exposed to view, and extended their line. The Eleventh now opened, and the engagement became general. The enemy's guns were soon silenced, and his line began to fall back, at first in good order, but soon in great confusion.

After the action commenced, and before advancing, Colonel Jarrett detached three companies, A, B, and C, leaving the regiment under command of Lieutenant Colonel Coulter, with a view of outflanking the enemy, whose cavalry were making a demonstration in that direction, and moved forward, maintaining an effective fire, until it reached the point where it rejoined the left of the regiment. Abercrombie's Brigade, with Perkins' battery, and the First City Troop of cavalry, pursued the enemy about two miles, some of their dead and wounded being left upon the field. In this engagement the Eleventh regiment lost one killed and ten wounded. 4

On the 3d of July, the Brigade resumed the march and proceeded to Martinsburg, where it went into camp. On the following day the Eleventh, with the First Wisconsin, was detached to escort a wagon train from Williamsport to Martinsburg. The sick and wounded who were able to be moved, had been sent to Hagerstown. While preparations were being made at Williamsport for the movement of the train, Colonels Starkweather and Jarrett visited Hagerstown, where they found that the court house had been converted into a hospital, in which the sick and wounded were comfortably quartered, and that they were receiving the kind attention of the patriotic ladies of the place. The train, of eight hundred wagons, was safely brought in, though the enemy's cavalry was watchful, and ready to make havoc if opportunity offered.

While stationed at Martinsburg, a stand of National colors was presented by the Union ladies of the place, at the hands of Miss Miller. The regiment, prior to this, had carried no colors. This flag was subsequently borne in the three years' service, in the battles of Cedar Mountain, the operations on Rappahannock river, and at Thoroughfare Gap. In the second battle of Bull Run, where the command was warmly engaged, the color-bearer, William Feightner, was severely wounded, and, with the flag, fell into the hands of the enemy.

On the 15th of July, the regiment moved to Bunker Hill, and occupied the rebel camps, which had been hastily abandoned, and in which some beeves were found, partially dressed. On the 17th of July, Abercrombie's Brigade inarched to Charlestown, where it encamped and remained several days. The term of service of the three months' men had now nearly expired, and, as yet, their places were unsupplied by other troops. General Patterson made an earnest appeal to these regiments, to remain a week or ten days beyond the period of their enlistment, to enable him to maintain his position until new troops should come forward. The Eleventh was drawn up in front of the General and his staff for its decision. He proposed that those who were willing to stay with him should bring their arms to a shoulder. At the command "shoulder arms," every musket went up with a will, to the great satisfaction of the General, who rode forward, and exclaimed, "With you, my brave Blue Jackets, I can hold the place alone."

On the 21st of July, the regiment moved to Harper's Ferry, and on the 24th, forded the Potomac, and marched to Sandy Hook. On the 26th, the following order was received:

Harper's Ferry, Va., July 24, 1861
(Special order No. 127.)

1.   The Eleventh regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, Colonel Jarrett commanding, will, to-day, take rail transportation from this place to Baltimore, en route for Harrisburg, where they will be mustered out of service.

It gives the Commanding General great satisfaction to say, that the conduct of the regiment has merited his highest approbation. It had the fortune to be in the advance at the affair at Hoke's Run, (Falling Waters,) where the steadiness and gallantry of both officers and men, came under his personal observation. They have well merited his thanks.

By order of Major General Patterson.
Assistant Adjutant General.

On the 19th of July, prior to the muster out of the regiment, the necessary measures were taken, with the approval of the Commander of the Department, to have it re-mustered for three years' service, and on the 25th, it was, by an order of the Secretary of War, accepted. It was permitted, by a general order of the Governor of Pennsylvania, to retain its original number. Hence, the Eleventh became the frst regiment for three years' service.

1 A few moments before the cars started, and while the soldiers were bidding adieu to their friends, a splendid American eagle flew directly over them, halting momentarily and flapping his wings as though he comprehended the scene below, and then moved on majestically southward amidst the cheers of the crowd. Clinton County Democrat, April, 1861.

2 Organization of the 6th Brigade, Colonel J. J. Abercrombie; 2d Division, Major General William H. Keim. First Wisconsin volunteers, (3 months,) Colonel Starkweather; Fourth Connecticut volunteers, (3 years,) Colonel Woodhouse; Eleventh Pennsylvania volunteers, (3 months,) Colonel Jarrett; Philadelphia Independent Rangers, CaptainM'Mullen.

3 This force consisted of the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Twenty-seventh Virginia regiments, J. E. B. Stuart's cavalry regiment, and Captain Pendleton's battery of four guns, afterwards celebrated as the Stonewall Brigade.

4In the engagement at Falling Waters, Amos Suppinger, private of company H was killed, and Marion F. Hamaker, of company B, James Morgan, DanielR. Stiles, andNelsonHeaden, of company E, Christian Schall, of company F, John De Hass and Russel Levan, of company G, John E. Reed, and William H. Kuhns, of company K, were wounded.

Source:  Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.


Organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, April 26, 1861.
Ordered to Camp Wayne, West Chester, Pa., and duty there and guarding Pittsburg, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad till June 18.
Ordered to Chambersburg June 18.
Attached to Negley's 5th Brigade, Abercrombie's 2nd Division, Patterson's Army.
Transferred to 6th Brigade June 20.


Moved to Williamsport, Md., June 29.
Falling Waters July 2.
Occupation of Martinsburg July 3.
Advance on Bunker Hill July 15.
Moved to Harper's Ferry July 25.
Mustered out August 1, 1861.

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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