Field & Staff
Organized at Harrisburg August, 1862. Moved to Washington, D.C., August 20, and duty there until September 14. Moved to Sharpsburg, Md., and duty there until October 30. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. Duty at Falmouth until April. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Mustered out May 23, 1863.
Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 36 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 44 Enlisted men by disease. Total 83.They rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, where a regimental organization was effected by the selection of the following field officers:
Colonel Allabach had served a period of five years in the regular army, and had performed faithful duty in the campaigns in Mexico, under Taylor and Scott.
- Peter I. Allabach, Colonel
- William B. Shaut, Lieutenant Colonel
- Robert W. Patton, Major
Major Patton was a member of the Logan Guards, one of the first five companies in service at the breaking out of the rebellion, and other of the officers and men had served during the short term. Within twenty-four hours after its organization the regiment was on its way to the front, and the day following its arrival at, Washington, it was ordered into Virginia and was assigned to the Third Provisional Brigade, Colonel Allabach assuming command.
A Washington paper of August 21st notices as a remarkable incident, that a Colonel of one of the regiments passing down Pennsylvania Avenue for the Long Bridge, was on foot. The allusion was to the leader of the One Hundred and Thirty-first.
A week later the regiment was moved to the neighborhood of Alexandria, and changes were effected in the brigade organization, whereby it was made to consist of the One Hundred and Thirty-first, One Hundred and Thirty-third, One Hundred and Twenty-third and the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiments. General Briggs was assigned to its command, but owing to sickness never joined it, the leadership falling by seniority to Colonel Allabach, which he held until the close of his term of service. The command of the regiment consequently devolved on Lieutenant Colonel Shaut.
On the 1st of September the brigade moved to the neighborhood of Fairfax Seminary, under the guns of Fort Ward, and was engaged in picket duty on the Leesburg Road and Little River Turnpike, Colonel Allabach reporting immediately to General M'Clellan, now in command of the Military District of Washington. Many stragglers from the disastrous fields of Bull Run and Chantilly were here arrested.
After the opening of the Maryland Campaign the brigade was ordered to Washington, where the regiment exchanged its Austrian rifles for Springfield muskets, and on the 14th of September set forward with the army. While on the march the brigade joined the Third Division commanded by General Humphreys, of the Fifth Corps, to which it had been assigned.
At the Monocacy, near Frederick City, it halted and lay in camp until the afternoon of the 17th, when the movement was resumed and at nine o'clock on the morning of the 18th, after a forced march of twenty-three miles arrived on the battlefield of Antietam, taking position in line and relieving troops exhausted and begrimmed by the fighting of the previous day. On the following morning it was found that the enemy had disappeared, and after following to the Potomac, the brigade retired to camp near Sharpsburg, and was engaged in picket duty along the river.
The weather, in the meantime, was excessively hot, and much sickness prevailed in the regiment, one hundred and seventy-six being on the sick list at one time.
At the close of October, the brigade crossed the Potomac, and shared the fortunes of the army in its movement through Virginia, until it arrived in front of Fredericksburg. The preparations for a decisive battle, which had been in progress since the advent of Burnside to the chief command, were finally completed, and on the 11th of December the brigade moved from camp to participate in the desperate struggle. It lay near the Phillips' House until the afternoon of the 13th, when it was ordered to move, and at three o'clock crossing on the upper pontoon bridge, marched through the town under a ceaseless cannonade, and on out through the suburbs to a little hill on the left of the road, under cover of which the line of battle was formed.
When all was ready, the word to advance was given, and at a double-quick it moved forward. Two hundred yards in front it encountered a mass of our own men, remnants of a previous charge, lying prostrate on the ground. Instinctively the men dropped, and opened fire upon the enemy, who was lying under cover of a stone-wall in front. The line was soon after re-formed, and advanced to within thirty yards1 of the wall, keeping up a steady fire.
Failing to make any impression, the command was withdrawn, after having been an hour and a half under fire, the regiment having lost twenty-one killed, one hundred and thirty-two wounded, and twenty-four missing.
The regiment rested at night upon the field, and at three on the following morning it was aroused, and receiving a fresh supply of ammunition, was posted behind the little hill which had afforded protection while forming on the previous afternoon. It was here exposed to a constant fire from the enemy's sharp-shooters, losing one killed and one wounded. This position was held until dark of the 14th, when the regiment was relieved, and retiring, slept that night on the streets of Fredericksburg.
During the day following, the 15th, it remained in the town, and at evening moved to the right to the support of artillery. At midnight it was taken to the extreme left of the town, and at three in the morning, evacuated the place and marched in a drenching rain to the camp which it had left near Potomac Creek.
Captain George W. Ryan, and Lieutenant William A. Bruner, were killed; Captains David A. M'Manigal, and Isaiah B. Davis, and Lieutenants D. D. Mutthersbough, D. L. Green, Grant S. Waters, and Joseph M. Irwin, were severely wounded, and Captains Charles Davis, and Joseph S. Waream slightly wounded.
The regiment was soon settled in comfortable winter-quarters, where it remained until the 20th of January, 1863. On that day it moved from camp for a second campaign under Burnside, and after a toilsome march of two miles, bivouacked for the night. For two days it staggered on through the pelting storm, at the end of which the campaign was abandoned, and for two days more it was engaged in building corduroy roads, moving trains, and in getting back to camp.
On the 31st, it moved about two miles to more favorable ground, the new quarters being designated Camp Humphreys.
On the 28th of April the brigade broke up winter-quarters. the regiment under command of Major Patton, and moved on the Chancellorsville Campaign, and after considerable delay at the crossing of the Rappahannock, from the moving of troops and trains which had the advance, arrived at the Chancellor Hlouse on the 1st of May. After joining in a reconnoissance towards Fredericksburg, in which the enemy was found and his strength developed, the brigade was thrown out towards the Rappahannock, on the left of the line, where it was immediately put to fortifying. The work of strengthening the lines was continued through the night of the 1st, and the day following.
At dawn of the 3d the command was aroused, and led hastily to the right centre, where the Union columns were struggling to repair the disasters of the previous evening. It arrived on the ground at seven A. M., and was immediately placed in support of batteries, lying under a hot fire of shot and shell until eleven. It was then moved to the rifle-pits on the new line of battle, where it supported Sykles' Division. In this position it remained until the evening of the 5th, when it retired to United States Ford, and during the greater part of the night was engaged in assisting the trains to cross. When all were over, the brigade followed, and returned to its former camp.
The term of service of the regiment expired on the 15th, and in pursuance
of orders it returned to Harrisburg, where, on the 23d, after a week spent in
Camp Curtin, it was mustered out. In his farewell order to the brigade, General
"When in camp, the officers and men have been zealous in their efforts to acquire knowledge of the duties of a soldier. They have cheerfully performed every duty required of them. They have been prompt and obedient, and have fought as well as the best troops at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville."
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.