George H. (George Henry) Thurston.

Allegheny county's hundred years online

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forty-four men ; East Birmingham Guards, forty -six men ; Rich Valley Home
Guards, fifty-four men : Union Guards, fifty-two men ; South Pittsburgh Infantry,
sixty men ; Dilworth Guards, fifty -seven men ; Ellsworth Guards, forty men ;
Dower St. Clair Guards, forty-eight men ; West Pittsburgh Guards, fifty men ;
West Diberty Guards, forty -five men ; East Birmingham Guards, forty -four men;
Dawrenceville Guards, forty men; Fifth Ward Guards, Company A, forty-eight
men; Fifth Ward Guards, Company B, fifty-two men; Fifth Ward Home Guard,
forty-eight men; Jefferson Guards, (Eighth Ward, Pittsburgh,) fifty-four men;
8cott Rifles, forty-eight men ; Second Ward Rifles, forty-four men ; Union Rifles,
, (South Pittsburgh,) fifty-two men ; Duquesne Central Guard, fifty-six men ; Park
Rifles, forty-two men ; Eighth Ward Rifles, forty-two men ; Columbia Rifles, fifty-
six men ; Bradley Greys, thirty-eight men ; Dalzell Zouaves, twenty-six men.
The number of men and non-commissioned officers in the ranks were 3,077, and,
including company, regimental, and brigade officers, 3,300.

This detailed record is given not only because it is a part of the history of
Allegheny County, but as an act of justice to the Home Guard and its projectors.


because of the many sneers made at the time and since at this organization of
soldiers. The organization formed just what the committee intended and be-
lieved it would be — "the nucleus of future recruits for the public service of the
country." There was not one of the sixty-four companies that did not contribute- '
largely from its members to the several companies and regiments that under the-
various calls for troops by the government went to the front, furnishing thus not
only new recruits, but those already drilled in the school of the soldier and, to
some extent, in company and regimental drill, and consequently more immedia-
tely effective troops. Not only effective troops, but able company and regimental'
commanders and distinguished general officers as well were furnished from this
school of the soldier.

The city and the county should be as proud of their Home Guard as of any
other of their patriotic organizations and volunteer regiments. It was, so ta
speak, the West Point of Allegheny County, which fully justified in its results
the hopes of the projectors of the organization and their preconceived ideas as to-
its importance. Although there were many in it who did not go to the tented
field, men too old, or youths too young, if there were enough without them, as
there were, many whose duties at home were of greater service to the country
than their presence in the field could have been, yet they, in becoming a Home-
Guard, gave prestige, from their social and business standing, to the organization
and inspired an esprit du corps that followed many a company recruited or volun-
teered out of the Home Guards for actual service to the field.

The subjoined record of companies and regiments recruited in Allegheny^
County during the war, and actually in the field, is thought to be nearly, if not
quite, correct, and is a proud record of the county's patriotism :

Company I, of Third Regiment, recruited at East Liberty, Allegheny County;:
mustered in April 28th, 1861 ; mustered out July 23d, 1861.

Companies A, B and K, of Fifth Regiment, recruited in Allegheny County;:
mustered in April 20th, 1861 ; mustered out July 23d, 1861.

Companies A, B, E, F and K, of Seventh Regiment, recruited in Allegheny
County ; mustered in April 23d, 1861 ; mustered out 23d of July, 1861.

Companies A, B, C, D, I and K, of Twelfth Regiment, recruited in Allegheny
county; mustered in April 28th, 1861; mustered out August 5th, 1861.

Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, I and K, of Thirteenth Regiment, recruited in
Allegheny County ; mustered in 25th of April, 1861 ; mustered out 6th of August,,
1861. This regiment organized again for three years' service, and was known as^
the One Hundred and Second Regiment.

Company K, of Fourteenth Regiment, Company L, of Twenty-eighth Regi-
ment, recruited in Allegheny County. Knaps Battery, Company E, of the Twenty-^
eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was also attached to the regiment. The regi-
ment participated in the following battles, in which Company L and Knaps Battery
took part: Pi teller's Mills, Point of Rocks, Berlin, Knoxville, Bolivar Heights^,
London Heights, Middleburg, Salem, White Plains, Warrenton, Piedmont, Front.


Koyal, Cedar Mountains, Antietam, second battle of Ball's Run, Winchester, Chan-
cellorsville, Gettysburg, Murfree's Boro, Winhatctue, Lookout Mountain, Mission-
ary, Ringgold, Mill Creek and Snake Creek Gaps, NeAv Hope Church, Pine Knob,
Pine Hill, Lost Mountain, Muddy Creek, Nose Creek, Kolb's Farm, Kenesaw
Mountain, Marietta, Peach Tree Creek, Pace's Ferry, and March to the Sea.
Mustered in June 28th, 1861 ; mustered out July 18th, 1865. Thirtieth Regi-
ment, First Reserve.

Companies E, B and C, of Thirty-seventh Regiment, Eighth Reserve, recruited
in Allegheny County; organized June 28th, 1861; mustered out May 4th, 1864.
Battles — Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Bull's Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, the

Thirty-eighth Regiment, Ninth Reserve, recruited in Allegheny County, ex-
cept Companies F and H; organized on June 28th, 1861; mustered out May 13th,
1864. Battles — Dranesville, Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Bull's Run, Junction of
Newmarket, Charles City and Quaker Roads, Chantilly, Turner's Gap, Antietam,
Fredericksburg and Round Top.

Company K, of Forty-fourth Regiment, First Cavalry, recruited in Allegheny
and Washington Counties; mustered in September, 1861; mustered out September
9th, 1864. Battles — Strusburg, Woodstock, Harrisonburg. They supported Knaps
Battery at Cedar Mountain, Bull's Run, Fredericksburg, Brandy Station, Aldie,
Gettysburg, Muddy Run, Beverly Ford, Mine Run, General Sheridan's raid on
Richmond, Malvern Hill, Grovel Hill, twin sister to Malvern Hill, Ream's Station
and front of Petersburg.

Companies B and F, of Forty-sixth Regiment, recruited in Allegheny County;
mustered in September, 1861; mustered out July 16th, 1865. Battles — First en-
gagement in front of Winchester, Cedar Mountain, Gettysburg, Resaca, Atlanta,
Chancellorsville, Kenesaw Mountain, Dallas, Peach Tree Creek, and Sherman's
March to the Sea.

Company K, of Forty-ninth Regiment, recruited at Pittsburgh ; mustered in
April 14th, 1861 ; mustered out July 15th, 1865.

Companies C and E, of Fifty-seventh Regiment, recruited in Allegheny and
Mercer counties ; mustered in June 29th, 1865.

Companies B, C, E, F, H and K, of Sixty-first Regiment, recruited in Allegheny
County previous to August, 1861. Companies H, I and K were mustered in Feb-
ruary, 1861. The regiment was organized in August, 1861; mustered out June
28th, 1865. Battles— Fair Oaks, Turkey Bend, preliminary to the battle of Mal-
vern Hill, Fredericksburg, Mary's Heights, Rappahannock Station, Wilderness,
Winchester, Antietam, and Cedar Creek.

Companies A., B., F., G., K. and L. of Sixty-Second Regiment recruited in
Allegheny county. Mastered in July 1861, Mastered out July 13ih, 1864.
Battles, — Malvern Hill, Harrison's Bar, Gainesville, Second Battle of Bull's Run,
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chickahominy, Antietam, Mary's
Heights, Spottsylvania, Norfolk and Petersburg Rail Road, Jerusalem Plank
Road, and the Wilderness.


Companies A., B., C, D., E., H., I. and K. and part of G. of Sixty-Third
Regiment recruited in Allegheny county. Mustered in Aug., 1861. Mustered
out Sept, 9th, 1864. Battles, — Charles City Cross Eoads, Malvern Hill, Second
Battle of Bull's Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, North Anna River, Locust
Grove, Coal River, Gettysburg, Kell's Ford, and Siege of Petersburg.

Companies B., E., and G. of Sixty-Fourth Regiment Fourth Cavalry, recruit-
ed in Allegheny county, Mustered in October 18th, 1861. Mustered out July
1st, 1865. Battles, — Peninsula Campaign, Chiekahominy, Malvern Hill, Harri-
son's Landing, Mechanicsville, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilder-
ness, Second Swamp, Plank Road, Hatchers Run, and Dinwiddle.

Companies L. and M,, of Sixty-Fifth Regiment recruited in Allegheny county,
part of M. being secured in Yenango county. Mustered in from .July 7 to Oct.
lo. Mustered out August 7th, 1865. Battles, — Chancellorsville, Peninsula Cam-
paign, and Petersburg Campaign.

Company I. of Sixty-seventh Regiment recruited in Allegheny county.
Mustered in April 1865. Mustered out July 14th, 1865.

Companies B., C, D., E., F., G., H., I. and part of K. of the Thirty-fifth Pemi'a
Regiment afterwards Seventy-fourth Regiment recruited in Allegheny county.
Mustered in as the Thirty -fifth Penna Regiment on the 14th of September 1861.
Mustered out August, 1865. Battles — Chancellorsville, Cross Keys, Cedar Moun-
tain, Freeraans Ford, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and service i'h South Carolina.
Part of Company K of the Seventy-sixth Regiment.

Companies B., C, D., and E. of the Seventy-seventh Regiment recruited in
Allegheny county. Company B., mustered in Sept. 8th, 1861. Mustered out
December 6th, 1865. Other two companies only three months service. Battles, —
Stone River, Pittsburgh Landing, Liberty Gap, Murfreesboro, Peach Tree Creek,
Tunnel Hill, Rocky Face Ridge, New Hope Church, Franklin and Nashville.

Extra companies F., I. and H., of Seventy-eighth Regiment recruited in Alle-
gheny county. Mustered in March, 1865. Mustered out September 11th, 1865.

Company M. and part of H. of Eightieth Regiment of Seventh Cavalry, re-
cruited in Allegheny county. Mustered in October 1861. Mustered out August
23d, 1865. Battles, — Murfreesboro, Stone River, Shelbyville, Nashville, Salem,
and Columbus.

Company B., of Eighty-second regiment, recruited in Allegheny county. Mus-
tered in August, 1861. Mustered out 13th, July 1865. Battles, — Fair Oaks,
Charles City Cross Roads, Fredericksburg, Malvern Hill, Salem Heights, Cold
Harbor, Gettysburg, Winchester, and Shenandoah ^"alley.

Two extra companies G. and H., of Eighty-third Regiment recruited in Alle-
gheny county. Mustered in March 2nd, 1865. Mustered out June 28th, 1865.

Extra companies G. and F. of Eighty-seventh Regiment recruited in Alle-
gheny county. Mustered in March 1st, 1865. Mustered out June 1365. Com-
panies I. and E., One Hundred and First Regiment recruited in Allegheny county,
and companies A. and G. partially recruited. Mustered in at various dates in the


Fall of 1861. Mustered out 23rd of June 1865. Battles,— Williamsburg, Fair
Oaks, Siege of Little Washington. The entire regiment with the exception of a
few were captured at Plymouth.

One Hundred and Second Regiment, which sprang from the Thirteenth Eegi-
ment. The whole Regiment recruited in Allegheny county except part of com-
pany H. Mustered in chiefly in August, 1861. Mustered out 28th of June 1865.
Battles, — Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville and Gettys-
burg. This regiment was reinlisted from the Thirteenth nearly all responding,
and became a veteran regiment, and was entitled to a veteran's furlough. Later
Battles, — Wilderness Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg Siege, Winchester,
Appomattox, Salem Heights and Fishers Hill.

Company C, of One Hundred and Third Regiment, and part of Companies F,
K and I, recruited in Allegheny County ; mustered in 24th of February, 1861 ;
mustered out June 25th, 1865. Battles — Fair Oaks, Williamsburg and Malvern
Hill. Surrendered at Plymouth.

Part of Company D, of One Hundred and Fifth Regiment ; Company E,.^f
One Hundred and Seventh Regiment.

Of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment, Companies F and I^re-
cruited at Tarentum ; part of Company H, from Greene County, and the rest from
Allegheny County; equipped and armed the 29th of August, 1862; mustered out
May 13th, 1863. Battles — Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg. In nine months'

Companies E, F, G and H, of One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Regiment ; re-
cruited in Allegheny County; organized on the 20th of August, 1862; mustered
out May 29th, 1863. Battles — Fredericksburg, Mud March and Chancellorsville.
In nine months' service.

One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Regiment were all from Allegheny County,
except part of Companies E and I; organized at Camp Howe September 1st,
1862; mustered out .Tune 21st, 1865. Battles — Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,
Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Wilderness, in the operations about Spottsylva-
nia Court House, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, and Winchester, in the Shenandoah

Of the One Hundred and Forty-ninth Regiment and of the Fourteenth Cav-
alry many of the men were fiom Allegheny County. The regiment participated
in a number of battles.

All the companies, except G and H, composing the One Hundred and Fifty-
fifth Regiment were recruited in Allegheny County ; mustered in September 5th,
1863; mustered out June 2d, 1865. Battles — Antietam, Fredericksburg, Mary's
Heights, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Round Top and Little Round Top, Rappa-
hannock Station, Mine Rock, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Cold Harbor, Peeble's
Farm, Hatcher's Run, Quaker's Road, Gravelly. Run, Five Forks, Sailor's Creek,
Tolopotomy, Dadney's Mill, Jericho Ford.


Of the One Hundred and Sixtieth, One Hundred and Sixty-third and One
Hundred and Sixty-eighth Kegiments a large number of the men were recruited
in Allegheny County.

Batteries A, B, C, E, F and H, of the Two Hundred and Fourth Eegiment,.
Fifth Artillery; mustered in September 10th, 1864; one year men; mustered out
at the end of term.

Batteries B, C, D, E, F, G, H and L, of the Two Hundred and Twelfth Kegi-
ment, Sixth Artillery; organized at Camp Keynolds, near Pittsburgh, September
15th, 1864; one year men.

Companies A, C and D, of First Battalion ; six months' cavalry.

Companies A and C, First Battalion, Pennsylvania Infantry.

Companies A, B, C, and D, First Battallion, Artillery; one-hundred day men.

Company G, of First Maryland Cavalry.

Two companies of negro troops in the Fifiy-fourth Massachusetts Regiment.

Friend Rifles in a New York regiment.

Thompson's Battery, Independent Battery C; mustered in November 6thy
1861; mustered out June 30th, 1865. Battles — Cedar Mountain, Second Bull
Run, South Mountain, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mitchell's

Hampton's Battery, Independent Battery F; mustered in October, 1861 ; mus-
tered out June 26th, 1865. Battles — Cross Keys, South Mountain, Middletown^
Winchester, White Sulphur, Waterloo, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, Fall's Churchy
W^hite Hall Church, Antietam, Charlestown, Peach Orchard, Blackburn's Ford,
Mine Run, Chancellorsville.

Youngs Battery, Independent Battery G, mustered in August 21st, 1862 ; mus-
tered out June 18th, 1865; mostly employed in garrison duty. Nevin's Battery,
Independent Battery H, mustered in September 30th, 1862; mustered out June
18th, 1865. Knapp's Battery, see Fourteenth Regiment. Independent Bat-
tery, six months men, one company. Union Cavalry and Morehead Cavalry, one
company each. Pittsburgh Fire Zouaves, mustered in June 14th, 1861, three
years. Of this company no record appears of its assignment, or when mustered
out. Fifteenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia, mustered in September 15th,
1862; one hundred day men.

Pittsburgh Independent Scouts; Spang Infantry ; Wood Guards; Minute Rifle-
men; Plummer Guards; Anderson Infantry; one company each.

Pennsylvania Dragoons ; National Cavalry ; Young's Cavalry; Faith's Cavalry ;
Bagaley Cavalry; Keystone Cavalry; one company each.

There were, no doubt, other single companies from Allegheny county, who
were accepted in the regiments of other States, but there is no records that enables
them to be traced. Of these there were two companies among the West Virginia
troops. It has been computed by those best informed, that over 20,000 of the men
of Allegheny County, in some organization, either military or naval, bore arms in
defense of the Union. The battles in which they participated has been to some


extent given, but there is no question that many have been omited from want of
information, as well as the minor skirmishes and " affairs." Enough has been
given to show that the troops from " Old Allegheny " were no holiday soldiers^
and upheld the honor of the county grandly on many a "well fought day."

The women of the county were side by side in their patriotic sentiments with
their fathers, husbands, and brothers, and through their assistance, on August 1st
1861, was organized a Subsistence Committee, for the purpose of furnishing meals^
to all the troops passing through the city.

The Subsistence Committee was the outgrowth of the personal efforts of two of
Pittsburgh's leading manufacturers, to improvise a hasty lunch for a regiment
which was among the first troops from the west to pass through the city. They^
procured some boxes of crackers and some boxes of cheese from a retail grocery
store, and rolled the boxes, with their own hands, along the street to where the-
troops were resting. The next day arrangements were made to prepare a meal for
all troops passing through the city. It was soon found that more time would be
required to have these meals served "decently and in order," than the business
men could spare from their business and other duties, and it was proposed that the-
women of the two cities should take the matter in charge. It was with some-
hesitation that this was adopted, as from the rude and reckless actions of some of
the troops it was feared it would be unpleasant, to say the least, for ladies. It
proved otherwise, many of the most cultured women of the two cities eagerly ac-
cepting the duty, and their presence and their serving at those dinners, breakfasts^
and luncheons, was received by the troops as a compliment; there never was
occasion to complain of a rude action or word from any of the thousands of soldiers
of all nationalities, who were thus cared for by the Subsistence Committee, and
the whole business of the committee was carried on by the women of AUegheny^
County. The first regiment was dined July 26th, 1861, a few days before the
committee was fully organized. From that time until January, 1866, when it
finally dissolved, no body of troops passed through the city, whether by night or
day, without being furnished with a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or supper. The
movement was purely voluntary, and sustained by personal contributions.

During the period of its organization, 469,745 soldiers were fed, not only the
loyal troops but occasionally squads of rebel prisoners. In addition to which?-
79,460 sick and wounded soldiers were cared for at the Soldiers Home, some of
whom were prisoners of war from the Confederate army. It was not alone in this
work that the women of Allegheny County expressed their loyalty and devotion
to the Union. The old Scotch and Irish blood of the matrons who, in the early
days of Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt, fought the Indians with their male relatives-
in their log cabins and block houses, showed itself in their daughters. Every
ward of the city, many of the townships and small villages, every church and,
public school had its coterie of women, busy preparing boxes of clothing and
delicacies for the camp hospitals, and not a few went with the boxes to take upoi^
themselves the duties of nurses. For it was not alone in furnishing trooj)s for the


battle field, or by standing ready by night or by day to cheer with a breakfast, or
•dinner, or supper, served by Pittsburgh's fairest faces and whitest hands the pass-
ing soldier, grim with the smoke of battle and weary with his march, that the
patriotism of Pittsburgh women kept step in the line of duty ; their hearts were
away in the camp, reaching out to the bivouac, sorrowing beside the hospital
-couch, or grieving over the wounded on the battle field.

It was also after the battle of Shiloh that the great heart of Pittsburgh went
throbbing with sympathy over the story of the wounded of that terrible day ; nor
Tested until two well appointed steambDats sailed for Shiloh, carrying some of
Pittsburgh's most manly hearts and skillful surgeons to that distant battlefield, to
■gather into those boats, under the care of those surgeons and tender nurses, the
-wounded, and bring them to Pittsburgh for restoration to liealth. As the boats
proceeded up the river, those of the wounded who desired it were left at cities and
landings as near their homes as possible. Fifty-four were brought to Pittsburgh ;
•of whom eight belonged to Iowa regiments, seventeen to Illinois, seventeen to
Michigan, three to Ohio, three to Missouri, two — who were prisoners of war — to
Alabama, and three whose State or regiment was not recorded. Of these eight
■<died in the hospital ; being two from Iowa, two from Illinois, and four from Michi-
gan. Forty-two were regularly discharged on recovering, and helped on their
way with tickets to their homes.

In 1863, while Grant was besieging Vicksburg, the Secretary of War applied
to the Board of Trade to appoint a committee to superintend the construction of
three iron dads, so called, to be used on the Mississippi river at that siege. These
boats were constructed on a plan of Captain Eads, of Mississippi Jetty fame. They
were three staunch river boats, which were cased above the water line with heavy
one-fourth inch iron plates, and intended more to protect the troops upon them
from musketry than artillery. They rendered the service for which they were in-
stended. At the same time one hundred mortar boats were built by Watson &
Munroe. These boats were formed of iron plates, nine feet long, 4 feet wide, and
€ve sixteenths inches thick, pierced with a three inch port hole in each plate for
rifle firing. These plates were shipped by the car load to St. Louis, where they
were put together. The ends of the boats were constructed to be let down, so that
they could be used as pontoons if necessary. The work of constructing these boats
was prosecuted night and day, and were a part of the plan of War Department in
Hconnection with the iron clads mentioned above.

Soon after the recruiting began, in 1861, a Belief Committee, to provide for
the wants of the families of volunteers who had come forward at the first call for
-troops, leaving, in many cases, their families unprovided for. This committee was
formed under the direction of the Finance Committee of the Committee of Public
Srfety, and on the 15th of June, two months after the first company left for the
battlefields, had 750 families on their roll. Cash, dry goods and groceries were
iiberally contributed by the business men of the city, and |24,251.90 were thus
•contributed and distributed during the summer of 1861. In the fall and winter of


1816, the Belief Committee was organized under an Act of Legislature. The
County Commisioners assumed the distribution of relief, and a three mill tax levied
to meet the expenditure. For the year 1861 the sum assessed was |55,775, and
for 1862 the amount was $54,927. This sum was exhausted by August of 1862,
when the last relief under this organization was paid out, although in other pri-
vate ways the payment of reliefs to the families of soldiers in the field was con-

Sunday evening, June 14th, 1863, was another notable date in the history of
Allegheny, and the beginning of a short period of public excitement, quite as
marked as that occasioned by the firing on Sumter. On that evening dispatches
were received by Major General Brooks, then commanding the department of the
Monongahela, from Secretary Stanton and Major General Halleck, stating that
the city was in imminent danger from the rebel forces, and advising him that no
time was to be lost in putting the city in a state of defence.

From the outbreak of the war uneasiness had existed at Washington City as to
the possibility of an attempt on the part of the confederates to capture Pittsburgh..
This is set forth in a letter dated April 28th, 1861, to Governor William F. John-
ston, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Committee of Public Safety,
from Nicholas B. Wade, Esq., of the Fort Pitt Cannon Foundry, communicating
some requests made in a letter from Charles Knapp, Esq., written from Washing-
ton City, dated a day previous, in which Mr. Knapp writes:

"At Washington Pittsburgh is considered a most important strategetical point

Online LibraryGeorge H. (George Henry) ThurstonAllegheny county's hundred years → online text (page 10 of 43)