Morton L. (Morton Luther) Montgomery.

Historical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. online

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Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 36 of 227)
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was recruited at Pottsville, in Schuylkill county,,
mustered into service in October, 1861, and mus-
tered out July 17, 1865. Forty of the men were
from Plamburg, in Berks county. The regiment
was in the battles of Antietam and Second Bull
Run. It was prominent in the Petersburg cam-
paign, having exploded the great mine.

The Port Clinton Artillery was connected with
this regiment. Included with the battery there were
twenty-five men from Reading and Leesport, ac-
credited to Schuvlkill countv. "it was mustered in
May, 1861.

John D. Bertolette, of Reading, was the adjutant;
and Dr. Charles T. Reber, surgeon.

50th Regiment.— The 50th Regiment included
three companies from Berks county, B, E and H,
which were recruited at Reading. It was organ-
ized at Harrisburg on Sept. "35, 1861. Capt.
Thomas Brenholtz, of Companv H, was selected as
lieutenant-colonel. The regiment proceeded to
Washington on Oct. 2d, and on the 9th to .A.nnap-
olis, where it was assigned to Stevens' Brigade,
which was then fitting out for an expedition to
South Carolina. On Oct. 19th, the regiment em-
barked upon transports. Companies B and E on the



■"Winfield Scott" and Company H on the "Ocean
>Queen." On the night of Nov. 1st, a heavy gale
was encountered off Cape Hatteras, and the "Win-
field Scott," an unseaworthy craft, was in imminent
peril. Her masts were cut away, the freight and
camp equipage were thrown overboard, a portion
of her officers and crew deserted her and every-
thing was given up for lost. She was finally saved
■through the superhuman efforts of the soldiers,
who had been left to their fate without food or
water. The regiment went into camp on the island
.at Hilton Head and was employed in building forti-
fications. On Dec. 6th, it proceeded to Beaufort
and there experienced its first skirmish with the
•enemy. It participated in the battle of Coosaw on
Jan. 1, 1863. In General Hunter's demonstration
against Charleston, Lieutenant-Colonel Brenholtz
and six companies took a prominent part, driving
"the enemy from a railroad bridge which spanned
.a stream near Pocotaligo.

The regiment remained near Beaufort till July
12th; then proceeded to Fortress Monroe. Subse-
quently it was engaged in the first and second
■days' fights at Bull Run. Brenholtz commanded
the regiment. He was one of the wounded in
the second day's fight. On Aug. 1st, it participat-
ed in the battle of Chantilly, and several weeks
later in the battle of Antietam. Subsequently
it was moved to Kentucky and participated in
the siege of Vicksburg. There Brenholtz, whilst
gallantly leading his m.en before the enemy's works,
was mortally wounded. His fall was greatly la-
mented at Reading, where he had been a success-
ful teacher in the public schools. Much of the
•credit which the organization had acquired was
due to his excellent qualities as a soldier. No
l)raver man ever led in battle, and upon his
death the service lost one of its most valued lead-
ers. In August, only eighty of the regiment were
present for duty, and nearly all had chills and
fever. The other men of the regiment were in
hospitals suffering from wounds or malaria. In
October and November, 1863, it took part in en-
gagements, at Blue Springs, Lenoir Station, and

Nearly the entire regiment re-enlisted on Jan-
uary 1, 1864. During January it was marched to
Nicholasville, a distance of two hundred miles,
in ten days. Many of the men were barefooted
and walked through the snow. In February, they
proceeded to Harrisburg on a veteran furlough,
and visited their homes. In March, the regiment
encamped at Annapolis. On May 6th, it was en-
gaged in the battle of the Wilderness, and on the
. 9th, in the battle near Spottsylvania Court-House.
Among the killed was Captain Cleveland, of Com-
pany H. Three days afterward the regiment had
another desperate encounter, in which the men had
a struggle hand to hand. Adjutant Kendall, three
-sergeants and twenty-five privates were taken pris-
oners. From the- Ny river to the North Anna,
.and thence to Cold Harbor, the regiment was en-

gaged almost daily. At Cold Harbor, on June
2, 1864, it occupied the front line and suffered
severely. Shortly afterward, it lay in line before
Petersburg. On June 18th, Captain Lantz, of Com-
pany E, and several men were killed. It then per-
formed picket duty during July and participated
in the siege and great explosion of the mine.
During August it was eng-aged in almost contin-
uous fighting. It remained at the front during
September, October and November, when it went
into winter quarters immediately before ■ Peters-

The Union lines began to close in on the Rebel
works on April 1, 1865. The regiment was en-
gaged during the operations of the 2d and 3d, and
it was among the first of the regiments to enter
Petersburg upon its fall. It moved to City Point
on April 15th, and thence by boat to Washington,
where it remained till June 30th. Upon the re-
commendation of Lieutenant-General Grant, this
regiment was ordered to represent the infantry of
the army upon the occasion of laying the corner-
stone of the national monument at Gettysburg on
July 4, 1865. From Gettysburg it went into camp
near Georgetown, where it was mustered out of
service on July 31st.

Henry T. Kendall, who was Adjutant, became
Captain of Company H in January, 1865.

53d Regiment. — Company B of this regiment
included twenty-three men from Birdsboro; and
Company A, four men from Boyertown. It par-
ticipated in many battles.

55th Regiment. — The 55th Regiment was re-
cruited during the summer and autumn of 1861,
and included Company B from Berks county, re-
cruited at Robesonia. It was organized at Harris-
burg, and in November proceeded to Fortress
Monroe. It experienced some service near Framp-
ton in October, 1862. For a year afterward, it
performed picket duty at Port Royal Ferry. On
Jan. 1, 1864, the major part of the men re-enlisted
for three years, and were given a furlough. In
March, the regiment returned to South Carolina,
and in April was stationed at Gloucester Point, op-
posite Yorktown. Here it was assigned to the 3d
Brigade, 3d Division, lObh Corps, Army of the
James, arnd participated in the movements and en-
gagements of this corps under the command of
General Butler. It reached Richmond on April
25th, and encamped near by, ' performing fatigue
and guard duty till the latter part of July; then
it was stationed at different points surrounding
Petersburg till it was mustered out of service on
Aug. 30, 1865.

William G. Moore, of Woraelsdorf, was Cap-
tain of Company D in this Regmient, from July
13, 1864, to June 10, 1865.

59th Regiment.— The 59th Regiment (2d Cav-
alry) included thirty-three men who were recruit-
ed at Reading, in March, 1862, and became part of
Company K, under command of Captain Chauncey.
It experienced much severe marching and partici-



pated in a number of battles, prominent among them
being Bull Run, Chautilly, Gettysburg, and the Wil-
derness campaign. It was present at the surrender
at Appomattox and participated in the grand re-
view at Washington on May 23, 1865. It was
mustered out of service at Cloud's Mill, Va., on
July 13, 1865.

William F. Dougherty, of Berks county, was
captain for a time; and Stephen H. Edgett from
March, 1865, to June, 1865.

70th Regiment. — The 70th Regiment (6th
Cavalry) was composed of Philadelphia men, ex-
cepting Company G, which was recruited at Read-
ing, in July, 1861, under command of Capt. George
E. Clymer. It participated in the Peninsular cam-
paign, and in various engagements, the most prom-
inent being Antietam and Gettysburg. Subse-
quently it took part in the Virginia campaign, and
in the famous raid by General Sheridan. It was
also present at the surrender at Appomattox, and
participated in the grand review at Washington.
It was mustered out of service at Louisville, Ky.,
Aug. 7, 1865.

There were twenty men from the county
in other companies of this regiment : twelve in
Company F ; one in Company H ; four in Com-
pany I ; two in Company K ; and one in Company M.

Dr. G. S. Engler, of Muhlenberg township, was
the regimental assistant surgeon.

74th Regiment. — Company G, of this regi-
ment, was composed of men recruited in Berks
and Adams counties, during Fehruary, 1865, for
a service of one year. It was attached in March
to this regiment, originally organized in 1861. It
was engaged in guard duty at Beverly, Clarksburg
and Parkersburg, from April to August 29th, when
it was mustered out of service at Clarksburg. It
was disbanded at Pittsburg.

80th Regiment. — The 80th Regiment (7th
Cavalry) included some men who were recruited in
Berks county, and mustered into service with Com-
pany L. It participated in various engagements
with the Army of the Tennessee, where it had
been ordered to service. In March, 1865, it march-
ed under General Wilson across the Gulf States.
and in the beginning of April participated in the
battles of Plantersville and Selma, Ala. At the
latter place, the regiment led in the assault upon
the works and the conduct of the men was highly
meritorious. Its last engagement was near Col-
umbus, on April 16, 1865. It was then stationed
at Macon, Ga., from April 20th to August 13th,
when it was mustered out of service. This company
was recruited in Berks and Northumberland coun-
ties, and was mustered out Aug. 23, 1865.

88th Regiment. — This regiment included three
companies, recruited in Berks county, A, B, and
H. It was mustered into service at Philadelphia
in October, 1861, and then ordered to Washington.
It performed guard duty in that vicinity until May,
1862. Subseauently, it participated in the follow-
ing battles : Thoroughfare Gap, Bull Run, Antie-

tam, Fredericksburg, Cedar Mountain, Second
Bull Run, Chantilly, Gettysburg, South Mountain,
Gainesville, Wilderness, Chancellorsville, North
Anna, Tolopotomoy, Mine Run, Petersburg, Wel-
don Railroad, Spottsylvania and Bethesda Church.
It continued in active operations until General
Lee surrendered, when it proceeded to Washing-
ton, where it was mustered out of service on June
30, 1865.

David A. Griffith, of Reading, was major of
the regiment from September to December,
1862. .

Joseph A. McLean, of Reading, was the lieuten-
ant-colonel until he was killed at the battle of
Bull Run on Aug. 30, 1862. JNIcLean Post, No.
16, G. A. R., of Reading, was named after him
in 1866.

Ringgold Band. — The regimental band of the
88th Regiment was the "Ringgokl" from Reading,
with Emanuel Ermentrout, as leader, and twenty
men. It was mustered into service at Philadel-
phia on Aug. 30, 1861, and mustered out at Man-
assas Junction on June 21, 1862, pursuant to a
general order dispensing with the services of bands
of music.

93d Regiment. — This regiment was organized
at Lebanon, Pa., in October, 1861, and included
two companies, B and G, and part of Company K,
from Berks county. It proceeded to Virginia and
participated in the following battles : Williiams-
burg, Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Fred-
ericksburg, Marye's Heights, Gettysburg, Wilder-
ness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Op-
equan, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. After the
surrender of General Lee, it marched to Danville
to co-operate with Sherman for the defeat of Gen-
eral Johnston. After remaining in camp there
for several weeks, it proceeded to Washington,
and was mustered out of service on ijune 27,

John E. Arthur, of Reading, was lieutenant-
colonel from July to November, 1863; David C.
Keller, major, from September, 1864, to December,
1864, when he was appointed lieutenant-colonel, and
on April 2, 1865, brevet colonel.

W. A. H. Lewis was adjutant from October
1861, to August, 1862 ; and John B. Dewees from
March to June 27, 1865, when mustered out as

96th Regiment.— The 96th Regiment was re-
cruited mostly in Schuylkill county. Some men
frorn Hamburg and of Berks county were includ-
ed in Company G. It was mustered into service
on Sept. 23, 1861, at Pottsville, and participated in
various engagements in the Peninsula, at Gettys- •
burg, in the Wilderness campaign, and in the
Shenandoah Valley. It was mustered out of ser-
vice in West Philadelphia on Oct. 21, 1864.

104th Regiment. — The greater part of Com-
panies B, and H in this regiment consisted of men
from Berks county; and among the field officers
was John M. Gries, from Reading, chosen as



major. During 1862, the regiment participated in
the siege of Yorktown, and in the battles of Sav-
age Station and Faiir Oaks, in the Peninsular cam-
paign. In the beginning of 1863, it was ordered
to South Carolina, and there took part in the siege
of Charleston and the capture of Fort Wagner.
During August, 1864, it was stationed in Florida,
guarding a line of railroad from Jacksonville to
Baldwin. Thence it proceeded north to Alexan-
dria, where it performed duty in the fortifications
on the southern side of the Potomac river, till its
term of service expired. It was mustered out
of service at Philadelphia on Sept. 30, 1864. Some
of the men from Berks county re-enlisted in this
regiment. There were veterans and recruits suf-
ficient to form a battalion of five companies. Its
" principal service afterward was in the siege of
Petersburg, participating in the assault on the city,
April 3 and 4, 1865. It was mustered out of ser-
vice at Portsmouth on Aug. 25, 1865.

Durell's. Battery. — This was the famous In-
dependent Battery D, commonly known as "Dur-
ell's." It was organized at Doylestown on Sept.
24, 1861, and proceeded to Washington on Nov.
6th, where it was equipped as a six-gun battery.
Afterward two additional pieces were provided.
It had a very active career, and participated in
the following battles: Kelly's Ford, Bristoe Sta-
tion, Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antie-
tam, Sharpsburg, Sulphur Springs, Fredericks-
burg, Vicksburg, Wilderness, and the siege of Pet-
ersburg. It was mustered out of service on June
13, 1865.

152d Regiment. — Company K, of this regiment,
known as the 3d Artillery, included twenty-five
men from Berks county. The regiment was ori-
ginally organized for special duty at Fortress Mon-
roe, but it performed a large share of field ser-
vice. It had the reputation of being remarkably
well drilled in every "branch of artillery service,
as well as in infantry and naval service. All the
field and nearly all of the Hne officers of the 188th
Regiment were promoted from its ranks, and the
excellent discipline and soldierly bearing of the
command were frequent subjects of remark and
commendation by its superior officers. The reg-
iment was mustered in at Philadelphia; and nearly
all the companies (including Company K) were
mustered out at Fortress Monroe on Nov. 9, 1865.

181sT Regiment. — Sixteen veterans from Berks
county were enlisted in Company H of this reg-
iment upon its re-prganization in February, 1864,
having previously been in the six months' service.
It was in the Shenandoah Valley campaign under
Generals Sigel, Hunter, and Sheridan, and parti-
cipated in numerous battles, including New Mar-
ket, Piedmont, Quaker's Church, Liberty, Salem,
Snicker's Gap and Gordonville; also in various
battles during the concluding campaign before Pet-
ersburg, the regiment occupying the extreme left.
It was mustered out of service July 13, 1865, at
Cloud's Mills, Virginia.

182d Regiment. — In January, 1864, authority
was given to re-organize this regiment for three
years (as the 21st Cavalry) and over half of Com-
pany H were enlisted at Reading. About the mid-
dle of May, the regimeiit was ordered to Washing-
ton (from camp near Chambersburg) and thence
sent to join the Army of the" Potomac. It partici-
pated in the battles of Cold Harbor, Petersburg,
Weldon Railroad, Poplar Spring Church, Boyd-
ton Road, and Bellefield. It was mustered out of
service at Lynchburg, Va., on July 8, 1865.


128th Regiment. — ^This regiment was recruited
in response to the proclamation of the Governor,
calling for troops to serve for nine months, issued
July 21, 1862. Companies A, B, E, H, I and K ^
were recruited in Berks county. The regiment
rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, and was mustered
into the service from the 13th to the 15th of Aug-
ust. The majority of the regimental officers were
selected from the companies named. On the 16th
of August, it was ordered to Washington, moving
under the command of Capt. William H. Andrews,
of Company E, because no officers had been as yet
commissioned. Soon after its arrival at the capital,
it crossed the Potomac, and was encamped on
Arlington Heights for a week. On the 21st, it
moved to Fairfax Seminary; and on the 29th, to
Fort Woodbury, where for a week (during the
fierce fighting at Bull Run and Chantilly) it was
incessantly engaged in felling -timber and erect-
ing fortifications. On Sept. 6th, the regiment, in
light marching orders, recrossed the Potomac and
entered upon the Maryland campaign. At Fred-
erick City, on the 14th, it was assigned to Craw-
ford's brigade, of Williams' division, Mansfield's

It was engaged in active service and participated
in the battles of Antietam and the Wilderness. In
the latter battle, the regiment was surrounded by
the enemy and the greater part of the officers
and men were taken prisoners to Richmond. After
the battle, the remainder of the regiment (reduced
to 172) marched to Stafford Court-House, where
its terni of service expired. It was ordered to Har-
risburg', and there mustered out on May 19, 1863.

Captain Smith, of Company A, was promoted
to lieutenant-colonel on Feb. 1, 1863, Joel B.
Wanner was major; James H. Gentzler, adjutant,
and Dr. J. B. Potteiger, assistant surgeon of the

15 1st Regiment. — Companies E, G, H, K, and
part of I, were recruited in Berks county, the re-
maining part of Company I in Schuylkill county.
They rendezvoused at Camp Curtin during Sep-
tember, 1862, where a regimental organization was
efifected. On Nov. 26th, the regiment moved for
Washington, and, upon its arrival, proceeded to
Arlington Heights. On Dec. 3d, it marched to
Alexandria, and thence proceeded by rail to Un-
ion Mills.



About the middle of February, the regiment was
transferred to Belle Plain, where the men sufifered
much from sickness and exposure. Just previous
to the opening of the Chancellorsville campaign,
the regiment, with the 3d Division, was sent to
Port Conway, on the Lower Rappahannock.

Before marching to the battle-field at Chancel-
lorsville, it was twice subjected to a vigorous shell-
ing from the enemy posted on the opposite shore.
During Sunday (the 3d) and Monday (the 4th)
the regiment occupied a position on the picket line,
between the Ely and Germania Ford roads, where
it confronted the enemy. Considerable sickness
prevailed here, the morning report at one time
showing 160 on the sick list.

The march to Gettysburg commenced on the
12th of June. The right wing of the army (com-
posed of the 1st and 11th Corps under General
Reynolds) made a forced march of 105 miles in
three days, throwing itself suddenly between Lee's
army (which was moving down the Shenandoah
Valley) and Washington. At Broad Run, they
halted for the enemy to develop his plans. As the
enemy pushed on into Pennsylvania, Reynolds fol-
lowed, and on the 1st of July his cavalry, under Bu-
ford, met the head of the enemy's columns, and
immediately commenced the battle. The 1st Bri-
gade (commanded by Col. Chapman Biddle) arrived
upon the field at half-past 10 a. m., and took a po-
sition on 'the extreme left flank of the corps, the
151st Regiment under command of Lieutenant-Col-
onel McFarland, in the absence of Colonel Allen,
holding the left of the brigade line. As it moved
into position, it was saluted by the booming of can-
non and the rattle of musketry.

The heroism displayed by the regiment in this
battle was highly praiseworthy. It went into the
fight with twenty-one officers and 466 men ; of
these two officers and 187 men were wounded, and
100 were missing, an aggregate loss of 367. Lieuts.
Aaron S. Seaman and George A. Trexler were of
the killed; Lieutenant-Colonel McFarland, Adjt.
Samuel T. Allen, Capts. George L. Stone and
James W. VVeida, and Lieuts. Benjamin F. Oliver,
Thomas L. j\'Ioyer, Henry H. Merkle, Willam O.
Blodget and Albert Yost were wounded ; and Capts.
William K. Boltz and William L. Gray, and Lieuts.
James L. Reber and Charles P. Potts were taken
prisoners. At 6 o'clock on the morning of the 6th,
the regiment moved with the army, in pursuit of
Lee, coming up with his rear-guard at Funkstown
on the 12th, and his main body near Williamsport
on the 14th. That night the enemy escaped. The
regiment's term of service had now nearly expired.
It was accordingly relieved from duty on the 10th,
and returned to Harrisburg, where it was mustered
out on the 27th.

Francis Parvin, of Berks county, was quarter-
master of the regiment.


When the Rebel army achieved its triumphs in
the second battle of Bull Run^ it hastened northward
and commenced crossing the Potomac. The result
of the struggle on the plains of JNIanassas was no
sooner known than the helpless condition of Penn-
sylvania, which had been apparent from the first,
became a subject of alarm. On Sept. 4th, Governor
Curtin issued a proclamation, calling on the people
to arm and prepare for defense. He recommended
the immediate formation of companies and regi-
ments throughout the commonwealth. On the 10th,
the danger having become imminent, and the en-
emy being already in Maryland, he issued a general
order, calling on all able-bodied men to enroll im-
mediately for the defense of the State, and hold
themselves in readiness to march upon an hour's
notice : the following day he called for fifty thou-
sand men. The people everywhere flew to arms,
and moved promptly to the State capital.

On the 14th, the head of the Army of the Poto-
mac met the enemy at South Mountain, and hurled
him back through its passes ; and on the evening
of the 16th and on the 17th a fierce battle was fought
at Antietam. In the meantime, the militia had rapidly
concentrated at Hagerstown and Chambersburg.
The enemy was defeated at Antietam, and re-
treated in confusion across the Potomac. The
emergency having passed, the militia regiments
were ordered to return to Harrisburg, and in ac-
cordance with the conditions on which they had
been called into service, they were mustered out
and disbanded on the 24th. The train on which the
20th Regiment was returning over the Cumberland
Valley railroad collided, upon nearing Harrisburg,
with a train passing in an opposite direction, by
which four men were killed and thirty injured.

The following seven companies from Berks
county were enlisted in this special service :

Company G, in 2d Regiment, organized Sept. 6-
13, 1862. and discharged Sept. 23-2.3.

Companies E and I, in 11th Regiment, organized
Sept. 12, 1862, and discharged Sept. 24-25. Charles
A. Knoderer, of Reading, was the colonel of this

Companies G, H and I, in 20th Regiment, organ-
ized, Sept. 18, 1862, and discharged 'Sept. Se-S'o.

An Independent Cavalry Companv was organ-
ized Sept. 17, 1862, and discharged Sept. 27.

During the year 1862, the military operations
were conducted with such energy,, and'so many men
were required, that volunteer' companies were not
sufficiently numerous to supply the increasing de-
mands for troops. The government was therefore
driven to the extreme measure of impressing men
into service by drafting them for that purpose'.^ Ten
companies which constituted the 167th Regiment,
and two companies, I and K, of the 179th Regi-
ment, were composed of drafted men from Berks



county. They were mustered into service for nine

167th Regiment. — This regiment was exclu-
sively from Berks county, and was organized in
November, 1862, with the following field officers:
Charles A. Knoderer, colonel; DePuy Davis, lieu-
tenant-colonel: Gustavus A. Worth, major. Soon
after its organization, the regiment was ordered to
Suffolk, Va. It was actively engaged in fatigue
duty upon fortifications (in the planning of which
Colonel Knoderer was an adept) and in reconnoit-

Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 36 of 227)