19th Regiment

Pennsylvania Volunteers

THE Nineteenth regiment originated in the National Guards, of Philadelphia, a uniformed regiment of the State militia. It was originally a singlecompany, organized on the 11th of December, 1840, under Captain ThomasTustin, succeeded in 1844 by Captain Stephen B. Kingston, and the latter in1847 by Captain Peter Lyle. It was recruited for the Mexican war; but moretroops volunteering than were needed, its services were not accepted. Thecompany held a volunteer encampment of eight days' duration in July, 1856,near the city of Lancaster, and again the year following at Bethlehem. NONSIBI, SED PATRIW, was adopted as its motto.

In 1858, it had so increased in numbers-having one hundred and twentymembers-as to be unwieldy on parade with other companies of only the minimum strength. It was accordingly divided and a battalion of four companiesformed from it. Still maintaining a steady growth, on the 11th of December,1860, a full regimental organization, with eight companies, was effected. Experiencing much inconvenience for the want of suitable Headquarters, the National Guards' Hall was erected on Race street, Philadelphia, at an expense ofone hundred and ten thousand dollars.

The Guards were in line at Harrisburg on the 22d of February, 1861, on theoccasion of the reception of Abraham Lincoln, President elect, on his way tothe National Capital. Upon the outbreak of the rebellion, the regiment washeld in readiness, and on the 16th of April, 1861, its services were tendered tothe Governor. On being accepted, recruiting immediately commenced, and onthe 27th of April, with full ranks, it was mustered into the service of the United States, as the Nineteenth Pennsylvania volunteers, and the same field officers, who had commanded the Guards, were commissioned:

  • Peter Lyle, Colonel
  • D. W. C. Baxter, Lieutenant Colonel
  • J. W. Fritz, Major
  • H. A. B.
  • Brown became Adjutant
Upon opening the books for recruits, men flockedto its standard, largely in excess of the number which the government wouldaccept, and consequently many were rejected. So great was the desire to belong to this organization, that it was regarded as a personal favor to be accepted.

On the 10th of May, the regiment was ordered to Baltimore.   Landing atLocust Point, it marched to the neighborhood of Fort M'Henry, and encampedjust outside the Fort, in Camp Pennsylvania. The thorough drill to which theNational Guards from their first organization had been subjected, and the largeexperience of its officers, rendered the discipline of the recruited regiment easy,and it was soon brought to a high state of proficiency. There were few betterdrilled organizations, at this time, in the service.

The command of the Department of Annapolis, with Headquarters at Baltimore, had been given to General Cadwalader; but upon being assigned tothe command of a division in General Patterson's army, he was succeeded byGeneral Banks. The latter soon discovered that unlawful combinations of menexisted for the purpose of thwarting the operations of the government in itsattempts to subdue armed rebellion, and that Marshal Kane, chief of police,was not only aware of their existence, but in contravention of his duty, and inviolation of law, was both witness and protector to the transactions and parties engaged therein. It was rumored that these hostile organizations were soon to assume the offensive, and seize the Custom House, Post-office, Telegraph, and a large amount of coin in transiti. Acting under instructions from hisgovernment, he determined to arrest the Marshal.1

This delicate and possibly difficult duty was assigned to the Nineteenthregiment. Leaving two companies in camp, Colonel Lyle made the followingdisposition of the remainder of his force: selecting from each company five ofthe most judicious men and skillful marksmen, he placed them upon the sidew.alks, with orders to keep abreast of their respective companies which wereformed in platoons of ten in the street. A little after midnight, the commandmoved quietly into the city, and in order to prevent any disturbance, and tocut off the possibility of an alarm being given, the troops were ordered toseize all persons found on the line of march, whether policeman or civilians,place them in the centre of the column and compel them to march noiselesslyalong. Arriving at the residence of the Marshal, he was found and taken in custody, having had no suspicion of a purpose to capture him. He was taken tothe Fort and placed in safe keeping, and the captives found upon the streetswere dismissed. For several days succeeding this event, a portion of the regiment was on duty in the city, and upon its return, the regular routine of drilland camp life was resumed.

While stationed at Camp Pennsylvania the command received many favorsfrom friends in Philadelphia, among others, a printing press and materials.  In the ranks were not only printers and literary men, but skilled designers and engravers, and the publication of a camp newspaper, the NATIONAL GUARD, was commenced. It had an elaborately designed and neatly engraved head, with the words "NATIONAL GUARD" in scroll, with groups of flags displayed at either end, the regimental coat of arms with the motto NON SIBI, SEDPATRIL entwined, the whole having been executed in camp. The first number was marked Volume II, Number 1, the first volume having been issued in the encampment at Lancaster in 1858. One number was profusely illustrated, delineating many ludicrous scenes in camp life, in which a pair of dilapidated army shoes and breeches came in for a share of ridicule.

General Banks was succeeded in the command of the Department by General Dix. As the expiration of the term of service of the three months' troops drew near, he was in danger of being left without a command. He accordingly made an earnest appeal to the several regiments to stay with him until their places could be filled by other troops. When he came to the camp of the Guards they were massed in his front, and he urged his suit in a few well timed and eloquent remarks. It was a time to try the feelings of the officers. Anxious as they were, that their men should remain, they were still uncertain of the temper which would prevail. At the signal for a decision, there was not a dissenting voice, a result which excited the pride and satisfaction of every member of the regiment and elicited the compliments of the General. They were,however, detained only four days beyond their term of enlistment, and weremustered out at Philadelphia, on the 29th of August, 1861.

1 I deem it proper at this, the moment of arrest, to make formal and public declaration ofthe motive by which I have been governed in this proceeding. It is not my purpose, neitheris it in consonance with may instructions, to interfere in any manner whatever with the legitimate government of the people of Baltimore or Maryland. I desire to support the public authorities in all appropriate duties; in preserving peace, protecting property and; the rights of persons, in obeying and upholding every municipal regulation. and public statute, consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and of Maryland. But unlawful combinations of men, organized for resistance to such laws, that provide hidden deposits of arms and ammunition, encourage contraband traffic with: men at war with the government, andwhile enjoying its protection andprivileges, steal hily wait opportunity to combine their means and forces with those in rebellion against its authority, are not among tho recognized or legal rights of any class of men, and cannot be permiated under any form of government whatever. Moore's Rebellion Record Vol. 11 p. 176. Does.

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

Organization and Service:

Organized at Philadelphia and mustered April 27, 1861.
Moved to Baltimore, Md., May 10, and provost duty near Fort McHenry till August.
Mustered out August 29, 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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