Field & Staff---Unassigned---Band
Organized at West Chester June 9, 1861. Moved to Harrisburg, Pa., July 20; thence reported to General Dix at Baltimore, Md., July 22, 1861. Mustered into United States service at Camp Carroll, near Baltimore, July 26. Moved to Annapolis, Md., July 27. Attached to Dix's Command to September, 1861. 1st Brigade, McCall's Pennsylvania Reserves Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April, 1862. 1st Brigade, McCall's Division, Dept. of the Rappahannock, to June, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to August, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to February, 1863. 1st Brigade, Pennsylvania Reserves Division, 22nd Army Corps, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to June, 1864.
SERVICE.--Duty at Annapolis, Md., July 27 to August 30, 1861. Moved to Washington, D.C., thence to Tennallytown, Md., August 30-31. March to Langley October 10, and duty at Camp Pierpont until March, 1862. Reconnaissance to Dranesville December 6, 1861. Action at Dranesville December 20 (Co. "A"). Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15. McDowell's advance on Fredericksburg, Va., April 9-19. Duty at Fredericksburg until May 31. Ordered to the Virginia Peninsula June. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Battles of Mechanicsville June 26; Gaines Mill June 27; Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale June 30; Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing until August 16. Movement to Join Pope August 16-26. Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30. Maryland Campaign September 6-24. Battles of South Mountain September 14, and Antietam September 16-17. Duty in Maryland until October 30. Movement to Falmouth October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. Ordered to Washington, D.C., and duty in the Defenses there until June 25. Rejoined Army of the Potomac. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Williamsport July 13. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Rappahannock Station November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Mine Run November 26-30. Rapidan Campaign May and June, 1864. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. Harris Farm May 19. North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 25. Line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Left front June 1. Mustered out June 10, 1864.
Regiment lost during service 6 Officers and 102 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 64 Enlisted men by disease, Total 174.The First Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps was organized at Camp Wayne, near West Chester, on the 9th of June, 1861. Captain Henry M. M'Intire, who led the Brandywine Guards, was the first to occupy the camp, and was assigned to its temporary command. The formal organization was effected under the immediate direction and orders of Major General George A. M'Call, who had been designated as the commander of the division, and resulted as follows:
Soon after his election Colonel Roberts assumed command of the regiment, and of the camp, and appointed Lieutenant Charles B. Lamborn, of Company A, Adjutant, and Lieutenant Joseph R. T. Coates, of Company C, Quartermaster, the Army Regulations at that time in force requiring these officers to be detailed from the line officers of the regiment. In addition to his own, Colonel Roberts also proceeded to organize, arm and equip the Seventh Regiment, for which companies were daily arriving. On the fourth of July Governor Curtin reviewed the two regiments, in the town of West Chester, in the presence of an immense concourse of people, the citizens entertaining the troops at Everhart's Grove.
- R. Biddle Roberts, of Pittsburg, Colonel
- Henry M. M'Intire, of West Chester, Lieutenant Colonel
- Lemuel Todd, of Carlisle, Major.
As the regiment approached Baltimore on the 22d, the troops were warned of the danger of marehing through its limits, and on its arrival at the outer depot, Colonel Roberts was met by a body of the police, and advised, on account of the excited state of the public mind, not to attempt to pass through the city. But before reaching the depot, he had caused ammunition to be distributed to the men, and without heeding the admonitions of the police, or those met on the way, the command moved in good order and without molestation though the side-walks and houses were crowded with rebels, and those sympathizing with treason. On the 26th of July, while at Camp Carroll, the regiment was mustered into the service of the United States, and on Sunday, the 27th, in obedience to orders received from General Dix, it moved to Annapolis, Maryland.
Headquarters were established in the naval school. Six companies were stationed in the town, and four companies were detailed to guard the railroad from Annapolis to Annapolis Junction, on the Washington and Baltimore road, with headquarters at the junction. Contraband supplies for the enemy had been constantly forwarded by rebel sympathizers at Baltimore, by means of wagons and private carriages, which were sent south from below, together with irregular mails, and communications of spies, everywhere moving about in the national camp. The agents engaged in this business were intercepted and the line of intercourse effectually broken up. The seizure of an immense amount of drugs put up for the enemy's use, called forth the special commendation of General Dix, who, in his official report of the operations on the line of the Annapolis road, commended the conduct of the officers and men of this regiment, for their care and faithfulness in discharging this duty. Perfect order was enforced in Annapolis, and the excellent discipline of the regiment, and decorous conduct of the men, elicited the good will of the inhabitants.
Remaining on duty until August 30th, it was relieved by the Twenty-first Massachusetts, and marched by rail to Washington, where it remained until the following morning, and thence marched to Tennallytown, Maryland, and encamped with other regiments of the division, under the command of Major General George A. MCall. While here, the Reserve Corps was organized in three brigades, the First Regiment being assigned to the First Brigade, Brigadier General John F. Reynolds.1
On the 10th of October, it marched with the division via the Chain Bridge to Langley, Virginia, and encamped at Camp Pierpont. In December, shortly before the action at Dranesville, the regiment made an armed reconnoissance to near that point, where it remained two days.
On the 20th of December, it marched to Difficult Creek, where the command halted for a few moments within sound of the engagement in progress at Dranesville. The regiment was immediately put in motion, marching to the sound of the enemy's guns, and reached the battle-field just as the action closed, the enemy having been routed and put to flight. Returning with the command, it reached camp at midnight.
On the 3d of January, 1862, Colonel Roberts was assigned to duty as Assistant Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac, under Brigadier General Andrew Porter, with headquarters at Washington, when the command devolved on Lieutenant Colonel Henry M. M'Intire.
On the 10th of March, the regiment marched with the division via Hunter's Mills to Alexandria, through deep mud and a pelting rain, and went into camp near Fairfax Seminary. Colonel Roberts, having been relieved from duty at Washington, resumed command March 19th, and soon after the brigade moved by rail on open trucks, in a blinding snow storm, towards Manassas Junction, and halting after nightfall on the south bank of Bull Run, encamped in the huts lately occupied by the rebels.
On the following morning, the command marched to Manassas Junction, where it remained until the 17th, when the First Brigade moved forward to Catlett's Station, and soon after the whole division moved towards Fredericksburg. The First Corps, under General M'Dowell, was ordered into camp at Falmouth, and the Reserves, now assigned to his command, were quartered at Fort Washington, to the rear of the town. After the departure of two divisions of the First Corps for the Shenandoah Valley, the Reserves were moved to the bank of the Rappahannock, opposite Fredericksburg. On the 26th of May, Reynolds' Brigade crossed the river, and marching through the town, encamped about a mile and a-half beyond. General Reynolds was appointed Military Governor, and his brigade performed duty as provost guard until the 31st of May when it re-crossed the river, and again encamped near Falmouth.
On the following morning it embarked upon the Rappahannock, and entered Chesapeake Bay about sunset on the 10th of June. Sailing southward to the mouth of York River, it reached the White House via the York and Pamunky rivers at three P. M., on the 11th. On the morning of June 12th, it marched along the York River railroad and encamped at Dispatch Station.
On the 13th, Reynolds' Brigade was ordered back to Tunstal's Station, eight miles to the rear, to assist the railroad guard at that post, who had been attacked by rebel raiders under command of Fitz Hugh Lee. It met and skirmished with the enemy through the woods on each side of the railroad, reaching the station in time to save a train of cars and a bridge from fire. The command returned to Dispatch Station on the 15th.
Next morning, June 27th, an order to fall back was received with surprise, and the command reluctantly withdrew under the fire of the enemy, who at daylight opened his batteries that had been posted during the night in front of the position occupied by Cooper's guns. Resisting the attack step by step, the brigade retired in the direction of Gaines' Mill. It had been determined, on account of the severe duty performed by the Reserves on the 25th and 26th, that they should be held in reserve during the battle about to ensue; but on the afternoon of the 27th they were again ordered into the fight. The First was sent to the relief of Duryea's Zouaves, who were engaged with a large force of the enemy on an open field. Taking position immediately in the rear of the line held by the Zouaves, the regiment met and repulsed every attack of the enemy for nearly three hours, retiring only when the last round of ammunition was exhausted, and relief was sent.
The First and Eighth Regiments, marching to the rear for ammunition, were met by General Porter, who, excited by the breaking of our lines, exclaimed. "Colonel Roberts, can't you form a line with these two regiments and stop those flying troops?" The Colonel replied that he could, but demanded a supply of ammunition that he might stop the enemy. The two regiments immediately formed in line with coolness and precision under the eye of General Porter, and elicited from him expressions of enthusiastic admiration. The position taken was held until nightfall. In this engagement the First lost seven killed and twenty-eight wounded. Among the killed was Lieutenant Stewart, of Company H, who had been ordered by Colonel Roberts, on entering the field, to the command of Company B, which was without a commissioned officer. He was shot through the head and instantly killed at the moment of assuming the command.
Crossing to the right bank of the Chickahominy, the division remained in camp during the day, and at night marched through mud and rain as wagon guard, and reached Savage Station Sunday morning, June 29th. After a brief halt it moved forward towards New Market Cross Roads, and, after a fatiguing march of fifteen hours, the regiment was ordered on picket duty.
June 30th, the First and Third Reserves were ordered to the support of the cavalry pickets and videttes. While posting his men Colonel Roberts discovered that, through the treachery of a, guide who had been sent to him, he had led his regiment within the enemy's lines. Immediately re-forming, he withdrew to the New Market Road, and soon after placed it in support of Cooper's Battery, where it maintained its position with great steadiness for five hours, repulsing three distinct and heavy charges of the enemy,2 and holding the position until relieved, after nightfall by one of the regiments of Meagher's brigade.
The Reserves having retired to a road on the right of the line, the officers endeavored to re-form their shattered ranks. Generals M'Call and Reynolds having been captured, General Meade wounded, Colonel Simmons, commanding the First Brigade, killed, Colonel Roberts being the ranking officer on the field, assumed command and ordered the men to form on the road. This remnant of the division remained in position immediately in the rear of the original line of battle, until about midnight, when an order to withdraw was given, and it marched to Malvern Hill. For his gallantry in this engagement, which was one of the most desperate of the war, the Colonel received the special thanks of the General commanding the division.
The loss of the regiment in this battle (variously known as Charles City Cross Roads, New Market Cross Roads, Glendale and Nelson's Farm) was eleven killed and eighty-five wounded. Captain John F. Bailey, of Company K, was among the killed; Lieutenant Colonel Henry M. M'Intire, and Captain George H. Hess, of Company D, were severely wounded, and the hospital to which they had been carried having been captured, they fell into the hands of the enemy. Captain Hess died from the effects of his wounds, at Richmond, on the 4th of July, 1862. Lieutenant Colonel M'Intire, after his release, endeavored to rejoin the regiment, but was pronounced physically unfit for further duty in the field. He was accordingly mustered out of service on the 7th of January, 1863, and soon after died.
Malvern Hill was reached early in the morning of July 1st, and during the action on that day the fragment of the division now remaining was held in reserve, having fought three battles, and performed severe duty and fatiguing night marches, since the 26th of June. About midnight the division marched for Harrison's Landing, and upon its arrival was ordered on picket duty in the midst of a furious storm. Soon after reaching the landing, Colonel Roberts obtained leave of absence on account of sickness, and was succeeded in command by Major Lemuel Todd, Lieutenant Colonel M'Intire being at that time wounded and a prisoner.
Upon the return of Colonel Roberts, August 8th, he was ordered to the command of the First Brigade. The regiment remained in camp at Harrison's Landing until the evening of Thursday, August 14th, when it embarked upon transports, and sailed next morning to Fortress Monroe. On account of boisterous weather, it remained here until August 19th, when the steamer upon which it was embarked, sailed for Norfolk for fuel, and on the following day reached Acquia Creek. The regiment immediately moved by rail to Falmouth and encamped. After sundown on the 21st, it marched for Kelly's Ford, on the Rappahannock, to meet the old enemy left upon the Peninsula. On the 23d, it proceeded to Rappahannock Station, and thence to Warrenton, where the division was again attached to the First Corps, under command of General M'Dowell, now a part of Pope's army.
On the 28th, the corps marched to the left towards Manassas, and subsequently moved in the direction of Centreville. At daylight on the 29th, the Reserves engaged the enemy, and for two entire days, were continually under fire, almost constantly moving, and totally destitute of rations. The First Regiment was on picket duty during the 29th, within sight of the enemy, and but a few yards in front of his line. Its loss in the engagement was six killed and twenty-two wounded.
The gorge and summits of the mountain were held by Hill's Corps which was strongly posted, and determined to maintain its position. The First Brigade held the extreme right of the line opposite the troops of Longstreet's Corps, which had now come up and joined those of Hill. As the men approached the stone wall at the base of the mountain, the rebel skirmishers and sharp-shooters posted behind it, opened a destructive fire. General Seymour, commanding the brigade, called out to Colonel Roberts, "Can't your regiment take that height ?"
The Colonel immediately gave the command " forward," when the column rushed on with a yell, driving the enemy from the wall, and unchecked in its intrepid charge by the bullets of the foe, or the rugged acclivity of the mountain, drove every thing before it, until the summit was gained and made secure from attack. The men slept upon their arms during the night, ready to renew the contest in the morning; but the enemy finding themselves thus suddenly turned out of their fancied security in this stronghold of nature, withdrew during the night, leaving the victors in possession of the field.
On the following morning, General Hooker came upon the ground, and amidst the relics of the struggle, in presence of most of the general officers of that portion of the army, presented in person his thanks to Colonel Roberts, for the heroic conduct of the regiment. In this engagement the loss was ten killed and thirty wounded. Captain Thos. P. Dwin, of Company H, First Lieutenant John D. Sadler, of Company K, and Second Lieutenant John H. Taylor, of Company C, were among the killed.
At daylight on the 17th, the battle began, and notwithstanding the fatigue consequent upon the attack of the preceding night, the command entered the engagement with the vigor of fresh troops, and after a fiercely contested fight was relieved about nine o'clock A. M., remaining, however, in line of battle on the field throughout the day, and sleeping on their arms at night. General Hooker having been wounded, turned over the command of his corps to General Meade, throwing General Seymour in command of the division, Colonel Roberts of the First Brigade, and Captain Talley of the regiment. These commands were assumed while on the field. The loss was five killed and twenty-three wounded.
On the 18th the regiment, with the division, moved near Sharpsburg, and on the day following marched as advance guard across the battle-field of the 17th, and encamped on the banks of the Potomac.
On Monday, September 22d, the command was ordered to Harper's Ferry, but before beginning the march the order was countermanded. Remaining in camp at Sharpsburg until October 26th, a movement was commenced towards Berlin. After a march of eight miles it encamped in a wood, under a pelting storm, which continued through the night, rendering sleep impossible. Crossing the Potomac near Berlin, the regiment passed through Lovettsville and Waterford, and encamped near Hamilton.
In the latter part of October, 1862, Governor Curtin requested General M'Clellan to accept the resignation of Colonel Roberts, that he might return to the Governor's staff. This request was granted, and the Colonel taking leave of his regiment and compatriots in arms, on the 2d of November, departed for his new field of labor, followed by the hearty regrets of his men. The attachment felt for him was never lessened. In the spring of 1864 they sent to him from the field a corps badge in gold, with an inscription of the names of the battles in which he had led them. At the State Capital Colonel Roberts was placed in charge of the arduous and responsible duties of the Executive Military Department.
Colonel Roberts was succeeded in command of the regiment by the ranking Captain, William Cooper Talley, of Company F, who was subsequently commissioned Colonel, to rank from that date. Captain W. W. Stewart, of Company K, was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain T. B. Kauffman, of Company I, Major.
The regiment continued its march up the Loudon Valley until it encamped near Warrenton, on the evening of the 6th of November.
On the following day General Burnside took command of the army of the Potomac, relieving General M'Clellan. The forces were immediately organized in three grand divisions of two corps each-designated as the Right, Centre and Left,3 and commanded respectively by Sumner, Hooker and Franklin. The Pennsylvania Reserves, under General Meade, formed part of the First Corps commanded by General Reynolds, of the Left Grand Division.
At this time, a part of Lee's army had reached Culpepper, and the remainder was scattered up and down the Shenandoah Valley, while the national army, having passed down east of the Blue Ridge and masked its movements by holding the passes, was assembled in the neighborhood of Warrenton. On the 16th of November, the movement towards Fredericksburg was commenced. On Saturday, November 24, the regiment with the division, reached Brooks' Station on the Richmond and Potomac railroad, encamping at this point until December 8th, whence it marched to White Oak Church.
The following day passed without a renewal of the attack, and on the evening of Monday, the 15th, the army re-crossed the river, and the Reserves encamped near Belle Plain. In this engagement Colonel Talley led the regiment with great gallantry, assisted by his faithful Adjutant, John C. Harvey, who had but recently been promoted from the ranks. The loss in the engagement, was two killed and thirty-four wounded. Though this loss was but small, when compared with that of troops operating in the immediate front of Fredericksburg, yet the signal advantage gained in the whole battle, was gained by this part of the line; and had the successful assault here made been vigorously followed up, it would doubtless have resulted in a brilliant victory, instead of that bloody repulse which filled the land with gloom.
On the 6th of February, the regiment broke camp, and marched to Fairfax Station, whence it was deployed along the Orange and Alexandria railroad for the purpose of guarding the supplies of the army against the attack of Mosby and other guerrillas. Upon the assumption of chief command by General Hooker, the army was thoroughly re-organized in seven corps; the First under Reynolds, the Second under Couch, the Third under Sickles, the Sixth under Sedgwick, the Eleventh under Howard and the Twelfth under Slocum. The Reserves in this organization, formed a part of the Fifth corps, commanded by General Meade. In the Gettysburg campaign, Meade upon being relieved to take command of the army, was succeeded by General Sykes, and the Reserves were commanded by General Crawford.
Upon its arrival at Gettysburg, on the 2d of July, it was immediately formed in line of battle, where it remained nearly two hours. It was then moved to the left, re-formed on the right of Little Round Top, and charged the enemy with the most determined spirit, driving him back upon his reserves, and strewing the field with his dead.
On the 3d, in the charge which was made by the First Brigade, the First Regiment commanded by Colonel Talley, occupied the centre. In this brilliant movement, by a sudden change of direction, the enemy was struck on the flank and driven in great confusion. One hundred prisoners, one battle flag and a large number of small arms were captured. Company K, of this regiment, was from Gettysburg, many of the men fighting within sight of their own homes, and some even struggling to drive the invaders from their own fields.
On the 5th of July, the regiment marched with the division in pursuit of the enemy. Upon the retreat of Lee up the Shenandoah Valley, it again crossed the Potomac, and proceeded to the neighborhood of Culpepper, where, on the 1st of September, it encamped. It participated in the battle of Bristoe Station, the fruitless campaign to Mine Run, and in the numerous skirmishes and manoeuvres in which the army of the Potomac participated, till the close of the year.
On the 1st of January, 1864, the regiment moved to Bristoe Station, with orders to keep open the communications between the defenses of Washington and the front. In this position it went into winter quarters, where it continued until the commencement of the Wilderness campaign, under Grant.
On the second day of the battle, the Reserves occupied a position in the centre of the line. Colonel Talley again made a reconnoissance with the regiment in the direction of Parker's Store, where the enemy was found in force, and the facts duly reported; but the undergrowth in this portion of the field was so dense that it was impossible to penetrate it in line of battle. The regiment, together with the division, was moved at different times to weak points of the line, and at eleven o'clock on the 7th, it moved by the left flank.
On the 31st of May, the last day of service for the Reserves, the regiment, commanded by Colonel Talley, participated in the battle of Bethesda Church, taking a conspicuous part and assisting to achieve a brilliant victory. On the 1st day of June, 1864, together with the division, the regiment left the army, and proceeded via White House to Washington, and thence through Harrisburg to Philadelphia, where, on the 13th of June it was mustered out of service. The whole number mustered into the regiment was one thousand and eighty-four. Of these, one hundred and thirty-nine were killed or died in the field, two hundred and thirty-three were wounded, two hundred and fifty-eight were discharged for disability contracted in the service, and one hundred and forty-eight re-enlisted as veterans.