202nd Regiment Infantry














Field & Staff

Organized at Harrisburg September 3, 1864. Moved to Chambersburg, Pa., September 10. Attached to Dept. of the Susquehanna to October, 1864. District of Alexandria, 22nd Corps, to November, 1864. 1st Separate Brigade, 22nd Corps, to May, 1865. Dept. of Pennsylvania to August, 1865.

SERVICE.--At Chambersburg, Pa., until September 29, 1864. Moved to Alexandria, Va., via Washington, D.C., September 29. Guard duty on Manassas Gap Railroad from Thoroughfare Gap to Rectortown. Skirmishes at Salem October 8 and 16, 1864. Guarding Orange & Alexandria Railroad from Bull Run to Alexandria. Duty in the Defenses of Washington and Alexandria until May, 1865. Ordered to Pennsylvania May 20. Duty in the Lehigh District coal regions of Pennsylvania until July. Mustered out at Harrisburg August 3, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 3 Enlisted men killed and 33 Enlisted men by disease. Total 36.

Company A, of this regiment, was recruited in Carbon county, Company B in Juniata county, Company C in Adams county, Company D in Northumberland and Cumberland counties, Company E in Lehigh county, Company F in Northampton county, Companies G and H in Cumberland county, Company I in Union county, and Company K in Huntingdon county. Recruiting commenced early in August, the troops rendezvousing at Camp Curtin, where, on the 3d of September, the regiment was organized, by the choice of the following field officers:

Charles Albright, of Carbon county, Colonel
John A. Maus, of Union county, Lieutenant Colonel
Walter H. Seip, of Lehigh county, Major.

Colonel Albright had served as Colonel of the One Hundred and Thirty-second Regiment, and a number of other officers and a portion of the men had been in the service; but the majority of the command knew little of military duty. On the 10th, the regiment proceeded to Camp Couch, near the town of Chambersburg, where it was subjected to thorough drill, and on the 23d was led out on a three days' march for exercise. General Couch, who was in command of the Department of the Susquehanna, having encountered some opposition in the execution of his orders in Columbia county, sent Colonel Albright to the scene of the disturbance, who was, consequently, for some time, absent from his regiment, but in the meantime performed the duties of his difficult mission to the entire satisfaction of the Commanding General.

On the 29th, the regiment proceeded via Washington, to Alexandria, and upon its arrival, was sent by General Slough, in command of the post, to duty on the Manassas Gap Railroad, taking position along the road from Thoroughfare Gap to Rectortown. General Sheridan had just previous opened his brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, and over this road the supplies for his army were transported. To keep it open, was consequently of vital importance, and to break it up and hinder and destroy trains, was a cherished purpose of the disloyal inhabitants dwelling along the line, and of Moseby and his guerrillas, who claimed this as their favorite stamping ground. This duty was exceedingly arduous and harassing. If a soldier went outside the lines, he was immediately set upon, and either murdered or sent away into captivity. Frequent collisions occurred, in some of which the skirmishing was brisk; those at Salem on the 8th and 16th, resulting in some loss. In both of these the enemy was driven, a number of his men being killed and wounded.

On the 10th, a party of the enemy succeeded in throwing a train of cars from the track while running at full speed, killing four or five, and severely wounding about twenty. Not content with this, they poured repeated volleys upon the poor sufferers in the wreck. Upon hearing of this outrage, Colonel Albright hastened to the scene of the disaster, and immediately ordered that every building, within the radius of one mile of the wreck, should be burned. To secure trains against similar disasters in the future, all the prominent rebels along the line were apprehended, and a portion of them made to accompany each train. This had the desired effect, and the trains were no more disturbed.

In speaking of this part of its service, Colonel Albright says: " The soldiers would have preferred being with the army at the front to doing this duty. Guarding railroads is always distasteful to soldiers, they being in constant danger, and without any opportunity, scarcely, of winning honorable distinction. But they appreciated the necessity of the work and cheerfully performed it."

" Constant activity and vigilance," says another officer, "'were required; for guerrilla bands, frequently disguised in our uniforms, constantly prowled about the country, attacking detachments inferior to them in -numbers, and, like the stealthy Indian of the western frontier, creeping upon our sentries and assassinating them."
When the triumphs of Sheridan in the valley were assured, and the enemy effectually routed, this railroad was abandoned, and the ties and rails were removed to Alexandria. In this laborious duty the regiment was engaged, and when completed, it retired to Alexandria, where it was assigned to the duty of guarding a portion of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, extending from. Bull Run to Alexandria, with headquarters at Fairfax Station. In the vicinity of the Station? four large works were built, and the troops were kept busy in protecting the woodmen engaged in chopping, and the teams in moving wood to the Station for the use of the army.

In a communication sent on the 1st of January, 1865, as a New Year's greeting to the regiment by General Gamble, in command of the brigade, occurs the following acknowledgment of its good conduct and the soldierly qualities of its commander:

"From my personal knowledge, and the report of the inspecting officer, I consider it my duty to return you my thanks for your energy and personal attention to the duties and interests of your command. You have a good regiment, and I am glad to know the right kind of a Colonel is at the head of it."

Towards the close of May, 1865, the regiment was ordered to Philadelphia, where it reported upon its arrival to General Cadwalader, and was sent by him to the anthracite coal regions of the State. Headquarters of the regiment were established at Tamaqua, and the command was distributed in detachments to various points in that region. Colonel Albright, who had been previously brevetted Brigadier General, was placed in command of the district.

Early in July, company A was sent to Pittsburg. Towards the close of July, the detachments assembled in Harrisburg, and on the 3d of August, the regiment was mustered out of service.

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Source for history & rosters: History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-1865; prepared in Compliance With Acts of the Legislature, by Samuel P. Bates, A Member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Volume V, Harrisburg: B. Singerly, State Printer. 1871.