Pennsylvania. Shiloh Battlefield Commission.

The Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania at Shiloh. history of the regiment online

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PRINT JULIUS BIEN 8 CO. NEW YORK

THE PENN SHILOH BATTLEFIELD COMMISSION.



THE



Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania



AT SHILOH.



HISTORY OF THE REGIMENT.



1908.




HARRISBURG, PA.:

HARRISBUKG PUBLISHING CO., STATE PRINTER.
1908.



TO THE SOLDIERS OF

THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT

PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS.

IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE DAYS OF 1861-1866, WHILE

TOGETHER IN CAMP— ON THE MARCH— IN

BATTLE— AND IN CONFEDERATE

PRISONS.



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SECOND EDITION.

VERY soou after the first edition of "The Seventh-seventh
Pennsylvania at Shiloh" was issued, it became evident
that the supply would not be equal to the demand.
We, therefore, in view of having a second edition published,
determined to revise and improve the book.

This has now been thoroughly done, the entire work has
been gone over and compared with the official records, all
facts have been verified and considerable new matter — among
which is an entire chapter on Tunneling and Escapes from
Confederate Military Prisons, with which Seventy-seventh
men were prominently identified — has been added.

Herewith we again submit it to the Comrades and the
public, confident that all is now in harmony with the facts and
records, and that we have here — although necessarily brief —
a complete and truthful history of the Seventy-seventh Penn-
sylvania Volunteers.

JOHN OBREITER.
Lancaster, Pa., January 1, 1908.



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CONTENTS.



Page.

Report of the Commission 11

Dedication of Monumenl 34

History of the Seventy-skyknth Pennsylvania
Volunteers.

chapter i.

Recruiting for the Regiment— Camp Slifer — Camp Wilkins — On to
Kentucky — Camp Nevin — Captain Pyfer's Company— Reorganiza-
tion of the Army — General Buell in Command — Munfordville —
Division Moves North to aid Grant at Fori Donelson — Counter-
march — Bowling Green — Nashville 65

CHAPTER II.

Pittsburg Landing — Battle of Shiloh — Company E Joins Regiment —

Siege of Corinth, 78

CHAPTER III.

Through Alabama — Battle ("reek — Bragg moves Northward — Buell
follows — Louisville, Kentucky — Re-organization of the Army —
Fern Creek — -Clay Village, Frankfort — Lawrenceburg — Capture
of Convalescents and Quartermasters — Scarcity of Water — Perry
ville, 118

CHAPTER IV.

I'.uell relieved from Command — Rosecrans succeeds him — Reconnois-
sance to La Vergne — Reorganization of the Army — On to Mur-
freesborougb — Battle of Stone River — Review of the Army, .... 133

CHAPTER V.
Liberty Gap — Tullahoma, 14«J

CHAPTER VI.

Chickamauga Campaign — Battle of Chickamauga — Night attack on

Johnson's Division — Seventy-seventh men prisoners 157

CHAPTER VII.

The Chickamauga Prisoners — Tunnels and Escapes, 170

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The Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania.

CHAPTER VIII.



Page.



Chattanooga — Short Rations — Rosecrans' plan to open communica-
tions is, approved by Grant, successful — Rosecrans relieved by
Thomas — Grant takes supreme command — Skirmish at Lookout
Creek — Reorganization of the Army — Whiteside— 77th Re-enlist-
_ments — Home on Veteran Furlough, 201

CHAPTER IX.

Regiment returns and joins the Army at Blue Spring, Tennessee —
Atlanta Campaign — Colonel Hose returns from prison, 206

CHAPTER X.

Confederates move North ward — Thomas sent to Nashville — Spring
Hill— Battle of Franklin — Battle of Nashville — Pursuit of the
Enemy — Winter quarters at Huntsville 214

CHAPTER XI.

Fast Tennessee — Strawberry Plain — Bull's Gap — New Companies of
one year men join regimenl — Embark at Johnsonville for Texas —
New Orleans — Texas — Return to Pennsylvania — Discharged Jan-
uary 16, 1SGG, at Philadelphia 225

List of casualties in acl ion 231

Roster, 239

REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS, UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Report of General Sherman, 321

Report of General Buell, 326

Report of General McCook, 331

Reports of General Beauregard 335



ILLUSTRATIONS.



The Shiloh Battlefield Commission, Frontispiece.

Shiluli Chnrcl Pacing p. 11

( !ommittee on Location of Site Facing p. 18

Shiloh Monument, South Easl View, )

Shiloh Monument, North West View, f I age 22

Bronze Inscription Panel on Monument, Facing p. 24

Bronze Panel on Monument, Surrender of Col. Battle, )

Bronze Panel on Monument, Capture of Battery, .. f 1>age 26

Inspection of Monument Facing p. 2.S

Steamer Clyde, Facing p. ;J4

Seventy-Seventh Pa. Regiment Tablet, on Shiloh Field Facing p. 35

Fifth Brigade Tablet, on Shiloh Field, Facing p. 37

Survivors of 77th Pa. at Dedication of Monument, Facing p. 59

The Commanders of the Regiment in all its Battles: —

Colonel Frederick S. Stumbaugh, Facing p. G3

Lieutenant Colonel Peter B. Housum, Facing p. 133

Colonel Thomas E. Rose, Facing p. 14D

Captain Joseph J. Lawson Facing p. 20G

General Don Carlos Buell, Facing p. 78

General A. McD. McCook Facing p. 80

Colonel Edward N. Kirk Facing p. 135

Hamburg and Purdy Road, Shiloh Facing p. 82

Shiloh Spring Facing p. 84

Siege Gun Battery Facing p. 86

Near the Hornets' Nest, Shiloh Facing p. 103

Bloody Pond, Shiloh, Facing p. 109

77th Pa. Monument, Chickamauga, front view, ]

77th Pa. Monument, Chickamauga, back view, . j Page 168

Leaders in Prison Tunnels: —

Corporal Tsenberger, Page 175

Colonel Rose Facing p. 14!)

Sergeant Obreiter Page L87

Ground Plan of Libby Prison, Richmond, Va., Fage 185

Ground Plan of No. 5 Prison, Danville, Ya Page 200

Site of First Field Tent Hospital, Facing p. 231



MAPS.

Shiloh Battlefield, First Day, Following p. 94

Shiloh Battlefield, Second Day, Following p. 114

Stone River Battlefield Following p. 138

Chickamauga Campaign, Following p. 156

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REPORT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA SHILOH BATTLEFIELD
COMMISSION.



MANY years ago the good people of Harding county, Tenn-
essee, hewed timber from the surrounding forests, and
builded for themselves a house in the woods. Their
lowly temple was erected on the main road to Corinth, Missis-
sippi, about two and one-half miles from Pittsburg Landing.
Here they peacefully assembled to worship the Lord of Hosts.
Little did they dream, that their humble meeting-house would,
one-day, become famous throughout the civilized world. They
called it Shiloh Church. To-day the name Shiloh is written
upon the pages of history, as the title of one of the greatest
and most fiercely contested battles of modern times.

In the great war between the States, on the sixth day of
April, 1862, two large armies, one from the North and one
from the South, met there in deadly conflict, that raged in
all its fury, for two long days. In the very center of this
dreadful contest, so destructive to life and limb, stood this
humble, little log-church, from which the great battle of
Shiloh took its name. Upon its site still stands a larger
House of God, replacing its more lowly predecessor, and bear-
ing the same historic name.

So important and far reaching were the results of this great
engagement, that the National Government determined to
forever preserve its historic field, and to properly mark upon
it the lines of battle and the various positions of both armies
on the ground over which they fought. To accomplish this
purpose the Congress of the United States enacted the fol-
lowing law:

AN ACT
To establish a national military park at the Battlefield of Shiloh.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That in order that the armies
of the southwest which served in the civil war, like their comrades of the
eastern armies of Gettysburg and those of the central west at Chicka-
mauga, may have the history of one of their memorable battles preserved
on the ground where they fought, the battlefield of Shiloh, in the State

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2



12 The Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania.

of Tennessee, is hereby declared to be a national military park, whenever
title to the same shall have been acquired by the United States and the
usual jurisdiction over the lands and roads of the same shall have been
granted to the United States by the State of Tennessee; that is to say, the
area enclosed by the following lines, or so much thereof as the commis-
sioners of the park may deem necessary, to wit: Beginning at low-water
mark on the north bank of Snake Creek where it empties into the Ten-
nessee river; thence westwardly in a straight line to the point where the
river road to Crump's Lauding, Tennessee, crosses Snake Creek; thence
along the channel of Snake Creek to Owl Creek; thence along the channel
of Owl Creek to the crossing of the road to Purdy, Tennessee; thence south-
wardly in a straight line to the intersection of an east and west line drawn
from the point where the road to Hamburg, Tennessee, crosses Lick Creek,
near the mouth of the latter; thence eastward along the said east
and west line to a point where the Hamburg Road crosses Lick Creek;
thence along the channel of Lick Creek to the Tennessee River; thence
along low water mark of the Tennessee River to the point of beginning,
containing three thousand acres, more or less, and the area thus inclosed
shall be known as the Shiloh National Military Park: Provided, That the
boundaries of the land authorized to be acquired may be changed by the
said commissioners.

Sec. 2. That the establishment of the Shiloh National Military Park
shall be carried forward in, dor the control and direction of the Secretary
of War, Mho, upon the passage of this Act, shall proceed to acquire title
to the same either under the Act approved August first, eighteen hundred
and eighty-eight, entitled "An act to authorize the condemnation of land
for sites of public buildings, and for other purposes." or under the Act
approved February twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, en-
titled "An Act to establish and protect national cemeteries," as he may
select, and as title is procured to any portion of the lands and roads within
the legal boundaries of the park he may proceed with the establishment
of the park upon such portions as may thus be acquired.

Sec. ::. That the Secretary of War is hereby authorized to enter into
agreements whereby he may lease, upon such terms as he may prescribe,
with such present owners or tenants of the lands as may desire to remain
upon it, to occupy and cultivate their present holdings upon condition that

they will preserve the present buildings and roads and the presenl outlines

of field ami forest, and that they only will cut trees or underbrush under
such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, and thai they will assist
in caring for and protecting all tablets, monuments, or such other artificial

works as may from time to time be erected by proper authority.

Sec. I. That the affairs of the Shiloh National Military Park shall.
Bubjecl io the supervision and direction of the Secretary of War, be in

Charge of three commissioners, to be appointed by the Secretary of War.
each of whom shall have served al the time of the battle in one <<f the

armies engaged therein, one of whom shall have served in the Arm] of the
Tennessee, commanded by General U. S. (Irani, who shall be chairman
of the commission; one in the Army of the Ohio, commanded by General



ShiloJi National Parle. lo

I >. ('. Buell; iiinl one in the Army of the Mississippi, commanded by Gen-
eral A. S. Johnston. The s;ii<l commissioners shall have an office in the
W.-ir Department building, and while on actual duty shall be paid such
compensation nut of the appropriations provided by this Act as the Secre-
tary of War shall deem reasonable and just; and for the purpose of assisting
them iii their duties in ascertaining the lines of battle of all troops engaged
ami the history of their movements in the battle, the Secretary of War
shall have authority to employ, at such compensation as he may deem
reasonable, to be paid out of the appropriations made by this Act, some
person recognized as well informed concerning the history of the several
armies engaged at Shiloh, and who shall also act as secretary of the coin-
mission.

See. 5. That it shall be the duty of the commission named in the
preceding section under the direction of the Secretary of War, to open
or repair such roads as may be necessary to the purposes of the park, and
to ascertain and mark with historical tablets or otherwise, as the Secretary
of War may determine, all lines of battle of the troops engaged in the
battle of Shiloh and other historical points of interest pertaining to the
battle within the park or its vicinity and the said commission in establishing
this military park shall also have authority, under the direction of the
Secretary of War, to employ such labor and services and to obtain such
supplies and material as may be necessary to the establishment of the said
park under such regulations as he may consider best for the interests of
the Government, and the Secretary of War shall make and enforce all
needed regulations for the care of the park.

Sec. 6. That it shall be lawful for any State that had troops engaged in
the battle of Shiloh to enter upon lands of the Shiloh National Military
Park for the purpose of ascertaining and marking the lines of battle of
its troops engaged therein: Provided, That before any such lines are
permanently designated the position of the lines and the proposed methods
of marking them by monuments, tablets, or otherwise shall be submitted
to ami approved by the Secretary of War, and all such lines, designs and
inscriptions for the same shall first receive the written approval of the
Secretary, which approval shall be based upon formal written reports,
which must be made to him in each case by the commissioners of the park:
Provided, That no discrimination shall be made against any State as to
the manner of designating lines, but any grant made to any State by the
Secretary of War may be used by any other State.

Sec. 7. That if any person shall, except by permission of the Secretary
of War, destroy, mutilate, deface, injure, or remove any monument, column,
statues, memorial structures, or work of art that shall be erected or placed
upon the grounds of the park by lawful authority, or shall destroy or
remove any fence, railing, inclosure, or other work for the protection or
ornament of said park, or any portion thereof, or shall destroy, cut, hack,
bark, break down, or otherwise injure any tree, bush, or shrubbery that may
be growing upon said park, or shall cut down or fell or remove any timber,
battle relic, tree or trees growing or being upon said park, or hunt within the
limits of the park, or shall remove or destroy any breastworks, earthworks,



14 The Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania.

walls, or other defenses or shelter on any part thereof constructed by the
armies formerly engaged in the battles on the lands or approaches to the
park, any person so offending and found guilty thereof, before any justice
of the peace of the county in which the offense may be committed or any

court of competent jurisdiction shall for each and every such offense forfeit
and pay a tine, in the discretion of the justice, according to the aggravation
of the offense, of not less than live nor more than fifty dollars, one-half
fur the use of the park and the other half to the informer, to be enforced
and recovered before such justice in like manner as debts of like nature
are now by law recoverable in the several counties where the offense may
be committed.

Se.-. S. That to enable the Secretary of War to begin to carry out the
purpose of this Act, including the condemnation or purchase of the neces-
sary land, marking the boundaries of the park, opening or repairing neces-
sary roads, restoring the field to its condition at the time of the battle,
maps and surveys, and the pay and expenses of the commissioners and
their assistants, the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars, or such portion
thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in
the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and disbursements under this Act
shall require the approval of the Secretary of War, and he shall make
annual report of the same to Congress.

Approved December 27, 1894.

Upon the approval of this act, the Secretary of War ap-
pointed the following Commission to carry its provisions into
effect: From the Army of the Tennessee, Colonel Cornelius
Cadle, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Chairman; from the Army of the
Ohio, General Don Carlos Buell, of Paradise, Kentucky; and
from the Confederate Army of the Mississippi, Colonel R. F.
Looney, of Memphis, Tennessee. Major David W. Reed, of
Evanston, Illinois, an ex-Union officer, was appointed Sec-
retary and Historian to the Commission, and Captain James
W. In in. an ex-Confederate from Savannah, Tennessee, was
appointed (heir Land Purchasing Agent.

The Commission a1 once wenl earnestly to work, acquired
the desired lands, and began to improve them under the very
able managemenl of their engineer in charge, Mr. Atwell
Thompson. Within the park limits now run thirty miles of
gravel reads, unsurpassed anywhere. All undergrowth has
been removed from the land excepl on that part of the field
known as the Hornets' Nest. All lines of battle and all posi
i ions of both armies have been definitely located ami per
manently marked by metal tablets, bearing inscriptions which
detail accurately and concisely the various occurrences of the



tihiloh National Park. 15

battle at the differenl points. Even the mads are completely
marked with metal signs, making it impossible for strange
visitors to the Park to lose (heir way.

Monuments mark the sites of Generals' Headquarters dur-
ing the battle, and the spots where General officers were killed
or mortally wounded. The tablets showing the lines of the
first day's battle are square, while the second day tablets are
oval shaped. Red borders and letters are used on the Con-
federate tablets, blue on those of the Army of the Tennessee,
and orange on those of the Army of the Ohio. This arrange-
ment is very readily understood. Visitors can see at a glance
just what troops occupied a particular position, when they
were there, and what part they took. Taken altogether, the
inscriptions constitute a complete history of the battle.

The locations of camps are shown by tent-shaped markers.
This diversity of color and shape of tablets makes the Park
much more interesting to visitors than other battle parks
where but one shape of markers is used.

The plan of the Park, which is being faithfully and effi-
ciently carried into effect, is to restore the whole field, as
nearly as possible, to the condition in which it was at the time
of the battle. To that end, all clearings, made since the bat-
tle, are replanted in forest trees. The new roads have been
closed, and all roads, which were there at the time of the
battle, have been properly graded and gravelled.

The only perceptible change made is the clearing out of
undergrowth, in order to give a better view of the grounds,
and to make them more accessible.

Thus far a great deal has been accomplished, but much yet
remains to be done.

Since the appointment of the Commission, two of its mem-
bers have answered their last roll call on this earth, and
have passed to their reward in a better world. They are Gen-
eral D. C. Buell, and Colonel R. P. Looney. The vacancies,
caused by their deaths, were very creditably filled by the
appointment of Major J. H. Ashcraft, of Paducah, Ky.. to
succeed General Buell, and Colonel Josiah Patterson, of Mem-
phis, Tennessee, to succeed Colonel Looney.

By the death of Colonel Pattersom which occurred at Mem-
phis, on the 12th day of February, 1904, a vacancy again



1(5 The Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania.

occurred on the National Commission, to till which the Sec-
retary of War appointed General l>a:>il \Y. Duke, of Louisville,
Kentucky.

Under the provisions of the Act of Congress establishing
Shiloh Park, all states thai had troops engaged in the battle
were requested to co-operate, aud to erect monuments or
other memorials to such troops on lines or positions occupied
by them, during the engagement.

To this request a number of the states have already lib-
erally responded. Ohio. Illinois. Indiana and Iowa, the states
most numerously represented at the battle, have all their
monuments in place. Other states are moving in the matter,
and soon all of them will, no doubt, have appropriate memor-
ials erected. There are now about 120 monuments in place
on the Park.

Our own old Keystone State, always honoring the patriot-
ism and valor of its' sons, has shown its' appreciation by the
following Act of Assembly, providing for a monument, which
has been erected on Shiloh Park, to commemorate the ser-
vices of the 77th Regiment of Infantry, the only Pennsylvania
regiment that participated in the Battle of Shiloh:

AN ACT

To provide for the erection of a monument to commemorate the services of
Pennsylvania troops in the battle of Shiloh, and the appointment of a
commission to carry into effect the provisions of this Act, and making
appropriation therefor.

Section 1. Be it enacted, &c, That immediately after the passage of
this Act, the Governor shall appoint a commission of seven persons from
amongst the survivors of the said Seventy-seventh regiment of infantry.
That the said commission shall be known as "The Shiloh Battlefield Com-
mission." That the Governor shall till all vacancies thai may occur in said
commission, and it shall serve without compensation, except actual neces-
sary expenses incurred in the performance of its duties: and its duties

shall lie to select and decide upon location, design, materials and inscriptions
for .mi' monument, to commemorate the servic* s of the said Seventy Beventh

regiment of infantry during the battle of Shiloh. and to enter into contract

for the construction and erection of said monument: Provided, Said monu-
ment shall not exceed in cost the sum of live thousand dollars; and when

such Bhall have l a completed and erected, the Auditor General shall, upon

properly, specifically itemized vouchers, draw his warrant upon the Stat.'
Treasurer, in favor of the said Shiloh Battlefield Commission, for the sum
of five thousand dollars, ..r so much thereof as maj be necessary, for the



SMloh National Park. 17

[taymenl of said monument, and for the further sum of one thousand dollars
f or the paymenl of the necessary expenses of the said commission.

For the purposes herein mentioned the following sums, or so much thereof
as may !>«• necessary, are hereby specifically appropriated: For the erection
and completion of a monumenl as aforesaid, the sum of five thousand dol-
lars, br so mucli thereof as may be necessary. For the payment of the
necessary expenses of the said Shilob Battlefield Commission, and of such
officers of the Stale as may be designated by the Secretary of War of the
United States ami the National Shiloh Battlefield Commission to represent
this Commonwealth in the dedicatory ceremonies, the sum of one thousand
dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary.

July 18, 1901— This hill is approved except as to the following items:

1 approve the item appropriating $5,000 for the construction and erection
of a monument in the sum of $4,000, and withhold my approval from the
balance of said item.

I withhold my approval of the item appropriating $1,000 for the expenses
of the commission.

I have made the reduction aforesaid because of insufficieul State revenue.

WILLIAM A. STONE.

The foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Act of the Genera,!
Assembly, No. 453.

W. W. GRIEST,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.



Governor William A. Stone, in compliance with the afore-
said Act of the Legislature, appointed the following persons,
all survivors of the Seventy-seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania
Volunteers, viz:

Samuel T. Davis, Lancaster,

Henry P. Krebs, Pittsburg,

John W. Kreps, Allegheny,

Michael McNally, Philadelphia,

John Obreiter, Lancaster,

William A. Robinson, Pittsburg,

George W. Skinner, Scotland,
as Commissioners to carry into effect all the provisions of
the said Act of Assembly.

Those Commissioners met for organization, on the loth day
of October, 1901, at the Soldiers' Orphans Industrial School,
Scotland, Pennsylvania.

The meeting was called to order by Captain Skinner, and
the following permanent organization effected, all being



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