The Reverend Mr. David Craft
The regimental histories were transcribed from History of Bradford County Pennsylvania with Illustrations 1770 1878, by Rev. David Craft; pages 235-237 for the 132nd regiment and page 246 for the 171st regiment. The photograph is a scanned image of the picture on page 17 of South Creek Sesquicentennial 1833-1983.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SECOND REGIMENT.*
The regiment was recruited for nine months in the months of July and August, 1862, and was from the northern part of the state. Company A was recruited in Montour county, principally from the employees of the Danville iron-works, B in Wyoming county, C and D in Bradford county, E and H in Columbia county, F and G in Carbon county, and I and K in Luzerne county. The companies rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, and were mustered into the service from Aug. 11 to 18. On the 15th the regimental organization was effected and the field-officers appointed, viz.: Richard A. Oakford, of Luzerne county, lieutenant-colonel; Charles Albright, of Carbon county, major. Col. Oakford had served as colonel of the 15th Regt. in the three months' service.
On the 19th the regiment moved for the front, via Washington, and encamped near Fort Corcoran, on the Virginia shore of the Potomac, opposite the capitol. Here instruction in the art of war was received, and practiced to the music of the guns at Bull Run and Chantilly. On Sept. 2 it marched to Brockville, Md., twenty-two miles, in seven hours. Here it was assigned to Kimball's Brigade, French's Division of Sumner's Corps, the other regiments of the brigade being the 14th Indiana, 8th Ohio, and 7th Virginia. On Sept. 13 the regiment made a forced march of thirty-three miles, reaching the battle-field of South Mountain just as the fighting for the day closed. It joined in the pursuit of the enemy across Antietam creek on the 16th, and at nine o'clock on the following morning met the enemy at close quarters, in an exposed position on the centre of the line of battle, which is especially trying for new troops for the first time under fire. Here the men of the 132d received a baptism in blood, but resolutely, without wavering, the regiment held its position for four hours, when, with ammunition exhausted and ranks shattered, it was relieved by the Irish Brigade, and retired in good order. Col. Kimball says, in his official report, "Every man in my command behaved in the most exemplary manner, and as men who had determined to save their county or die. A glance at the position held by the rebels tells how terrible was the punishment inflicted on them. The corn-fields on the front are strewn with their dead and wounded, and in the ditch first occupied by them the bodies are so numerous that they seem to have fallen dead in the line of battle."
The regiment lost 30 killed, 114 wounded, and 8 missing, Col. Oakford and Lieut. Anson C. Cranmer being among the killed.
After the battle the 2d Corps moved to Harper’s Ferry, and the regiment encamped at Bolivar Heights. Lieut.-Col. Wilcox was promoted to colonel, Maj. Albright to lieutenant-colonel, and Capt. Joseph E. Shreve to major.
*Nine months’ service.
The 132d distinguished itself at the battle of Fredericksburg, winning a name for gallant deeds that the future can never dim. It was in the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Corps, and was led by Lieut.-Col. Albright. "In the charge on Mayre’s Heights, on Dec. 13, it occupied a position in the second line with veteran troops, and showed a heroism in the assault not excelled by the bravest. Sickness and casualties had reduced the command to 340 effective men and of this number it lost 150. Five men and 2 commissioned officers, Lieuts. Charles McDougal and Henry H. Hoagland, were stricken down while bearing the colors. The latter was killed while in the act of receiving the flag from the hands of its dying bearer, and waving it on to the conflict. An incident which occurred in this battle well illustrates the valor and determination which fired the hearts of the citizen soldiery in this war. John Kestler, a private in Co. F, had his arm blown off at the elbow by a cannon-ball as the regiment entered the fight. With his arm bandaged, he still kept the field; and, as the shattered ranks came back from the bloody assault, he rushed up to the colonel, saying, ‘We shall whip them yet!’"
When the regiment was returning to town, the color-bearer, severely wounded and weak from the loss of blood, but clinging to his trust, the colors, entered a hospital, and becoming insensible, died shortly afterwards. In the darkness the colors were not missed for the moment, though it was known that they were with the command when it entered the town. They were found and carried away by the officers of another regiment.
A court of inquiry afterwards held on the loss of the colors reported as follows: "The last color-bearer, badly wounded, left his regiment after dark, and in the town entered a church used as a hospital, taking his colors with him. He was carried away from this place, and the colors left behind. The very fidelity of the color-bearer, holding to his colors as long as he was conscious, was the occasion of their loss to the regiment. Not only no fault should be found with the regiment, but it should receive unqualified commendation."
Gen. French commended the gallantry of the 132d in unqualified terms.
From the return of the regiment from the battle of Fredericksburg to near the close of April, 1863, it was engaged only in ordinary camp and picket duty near Falmouth. In January Col. Wilcox was honorably discharged, and Lieut.-Col. Albright promoted to succeed him; Maj. Shreve to be lieutenant-colonel, and Adj. Fred L. Hitchcock to be major.
Though the term of enlistment of a portion of its men had expired when the movement to Chancellorsville began, yet the 132d fell into line without a murmur, and marched with alacrity to the field. It was first led to the support of the first line of attack, but was withdrawn before a determined engagement had taken place, and was with the division held in reserve during May 1 and 2. On the 3d, in the morning, it was moved rapidly to the front, where the Union arms had met with disaster the evening before.
"On entering the woods near the Chancellor House, and between that and the Fredericksburg plank-road, it received a severe fire from the enemy in his well-chosen position, which was briskly returned, and a charge delivered with the bayonet, in which a number of prisoners were taken. In the new line of works the regiment held an advanced position, and held it until the close of the battle, when the division was withheld and the retreat commenced."
The loss of the regiment in this engagement was about 50 killed and wounded.
It was relieved from duty May 12, its terms of service having fully expired, and returned to Harrisburg, where it was mustered out on the 24th.
In his farewell order, Gen. French expressed the hope that, "after a brief sojourn at home, the brave men of this regiment, who passed unscathed through the thickest of the fight in three pitched battles, would again rally round the flag which they had so nobly defended." The hope thus expressed was realized, for about two-thirds of the command re-entered the service, and remained till the close of the war. Col. Albright and many of his old officers and men went out again in the 202d Regiment.
FIELD OFFICERS AND STAFF OFFICERS.*
Richard A. Oakford, col., Aug. 21, 1862; killed at Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862.
Vincent M. Wilcox, col., Aug. 26, 1862; promoted from lieut.-col., Sept. 10, 1862; discharged on surgeon’s certificate, Jan. 24, 1863.
Charles Albright, col., Aug. 21, 1862; promoted form major to lieut.-col., Sept. 18, 1862; to col., Jan. 24, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Joseph E. Shreve, lieut.-col., Aug. 22, 1862; promoted form capt., Co. A, to maj., Sept. 18, 1862; to lieut.-col., Jan. 24, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Fred L. Hitchcock, maj., Aug. 22, 1862; promoted from adjt., Jan. 24, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Austin F. Clapp, adjt., Aug. 14, 1862; promoted from sergt.-maj., Jan. 24, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Clinton W. Neal, quar.-mast., Aug. 13, 1862; promoted from corp., Co. E, Aug. 22, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Levi Oberholtzer, surg., Aug. 30, 1862; promoted from asst. surg., 139th Regt., P. V., Dec. 22, 1862; discharged, Jan. 6, 1863.
James W. Anawalt, surg., Sept. 12, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
George K. Thompson, asst. surg., August, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
George W. Hoover, asst. surg., Sept. 3, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Thomas maxwell, sergt.-maj., Aug. 14, 1862; promoted from priv., Co. A, Aug. 15, 1862; to 1st lieut., Co. A, Nov. 1, 1862.
Elmore H. Wells, quar.-mast. sergt., Aug. 11, 1862; transferred to Co. B, Jan. 1, 1863.
Alonzo B. Case, com.-sergt., Aug. 11, 1862; promoted from sergt., Co. C, Dec. 25, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
W. W. Coolbaugh, com.-sergt., Aug,. 14, 1862; promoted from corp., Co. G, Oct. 10, 1862; transferred to Co. K, Dec. 25, 1862.
John F. Solomon, com.-sergt., Aug. 13, 1862; promoted from priv., Co. K, Aug. 15, 1863; died at Harper’s Ferry, Oct. 16, 1862.
Moses Y. Corwin, hosp. stew., Aug. 14, 1862; promoted from priv., Co. K, April 6, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Horace A. Deans, hosp. stew., Aug. 15, 1862; promoted from priv., Co. I, Oct. 1, 1862; transferred to Co. I, April 6, 1863.
Herman Townsend, capt., Aug. 13, 1862; discharged on surgeon’s certificate, Jan. 10, 1863.
Chas. M. McDougall, capt., Aug. 13, 1862; promoted from 1st lieut., Jan. 10, 1863; mustered out with company.
James A. Rogers, 1st lieut., Aug. 11, 1862; promoted from sergt. to 1st sergt., Sept. 18, 1862; to 1st lieut., Jan. 10, 1862; mustered out with company.
Anson C. Cramer, 2d lieut., Aug. 13, 1862; killed at Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862.
Levi D. Landon, 2d lieut., Aug. 11, 1862; promoted from 1st sergt., Sept. 18, 1862; mustered out with company.
Chas. H. Chase, capt., Aug. 14, 1862; resigned Dec. 6, 1862.
W. H. Carnochan, capt., Aug. 14, 1862; promoted from 2d lieut., Nov. 29, 1862; mustered out with company.
Chas. E. Gladding, 1st lieut., Aug. 14, 1862; mustered out with company.
J. W. Brown, 2d lieut., Aug. 14, 1862; discharged, Aug. 11, 1862, to date Aug. 14, 1862.
F. Marion Wells, 2d lieut., Aug. 12, 1862; promoted from 1st sergt., Dec. 6, 1862; wounded, with loss of leg, at Chancellorsville, Va., May 3, 1863; absent in hospital when company mustered out.
* The date following the rank, in each case, is that of muster into service.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIRST REGIMENT.
This regiment was one of the regiments of nine months’ drafted militia, called into the service in November, 1862. The regiment was composed of men from the counties of Bradford, Juniata, Lycoming, Somerset and Tioga, Cos. B, C, D, and G being wholly or in most part filled up in Bradford County. The regimental organization was effected about Nov. 15, Everard Bierer, of Fayette county, being appointed colonel; Theophilus Humphrey, of Bradford County, lieutenant-colonel; and Robert C. Cox, of Tioga county, major. Col. Bierer had served as captain in the 11th Reserve Regiment, and had been appointed commandant of Camp Curtin, with the rank of colonel, Oct. 28. Nov. 27 the regiment left camp for Washington by rail; thence by water to Norfolk, and thence by rail to Suffolk, Va., where it was assigned to Spinola’s Brigade of Ferry’s Division, Gen. Dix commanding the department. A school for instruction of officers was at once established, and drill thoroughly prosecuted.
The regiment does not appear to have been in any important engagements, though it was of Gen. Prince’s force, sent to relieve Gen. Foster, besieged at Washington, N.C., on the Tar River, and was one of the two regiments which landed therefrom to storm the Hill’s Point battery, both being withdrawn before the assault was made. It then proceeded with Spinola’s Keystone Brigade, of which it formed a part, to break the rear lines of the enemy investing Gen. Foster, but Spinola again withdrew. A gunboat having in the mean time run past the batteries, Gen. Foster ran down and returned to Newbern, and took command in person, concentrated his troops, and marched to the relief of the beleagured garrison, when the siege was hastily raised by the rebel force, which retreated.
The brigade was then posted at Washington, N.C., for the defense of the place, and on May 29 Col. Bierer relieved Spinola of the command.
The regiment returned, with the brigade, to Fortress Monroe, near the close of June, where the 171st remained till July 11, when it marched to Boonesboro’, and thence to a pass in the South mountain, where it remained until Lee had escaped into Virginia. It then proceeded to Frederick, and on Aug. 3 was ordered to Harrisburg, where it was mustered out of the service on the 6th to the 8th of that month.
FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS.*
Everard Bierer, col., Nov. 18, 1862; discharged, to date Aug. 8, 1863.
Theophilus Humphrey, lieut.-col., Nov. 19, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Robert C. Cox, maj., Nov. 19, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Samuel D. Sturgis, adj., Nov. 21, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Issac J. Post, quar.-mast., Oct. 17, 1862; promoted from priv., Co. A, 151st P.V., Nov. 22, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Thos. B. Lashells, surg., Dec. 6, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Thomas C. Pollock, asst. surg., Oct. 29, 1862; discharged, Dec. 30, 1862.
Wm. B. Hull, asst. surg., Nov. 1, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
John B. Culver, asst. surg., May 26, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
N. B. Critchfield, chap., Nov. 28, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
A. E. Chamberlain, sen. maj., Nov. 2, 1862; promoted from priv., Co. B, Nov. 18, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Seth Homet, quar.-mast. sergt., Oct. 28, 1862; promoted from sergt., Co. D, Nov. 18, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Wesley Wirt, com.-sergt., Oct. 28, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Hiram D. Deming, hosp. stew., Nov. 1, 1862; promoted from priv., Co. A; mustered out with regiment.
Ulysses E. Horton, capt., Nov. 12, 1862; mustered out with company.
Wm. Jennings, 1st lieut., Nov. 12, 1862; mustered out with company.
Wm. J. Brown, 2d lieut., Nov. 12, 1862; mustered out with company.
Wm. B. Hall, capt., Nov. 10, 1862; resigned, April 11, 1863.
Clinton E. Wood, capt., Nov. 10, 1862; promoted from 1st lieut., April 11, 1863; mustered out with company.
Sanderson P. Stacey, 1st lieut., Nov. 14, 1862; promoted from 2d lieut., April 11, 1863; mustered out with company.
James H. Van Ness, 2d lieut., Nov. 2, 1862; promoted 1st lieut., April 11, 1863; mustered out with company.
Minier H. Hinman, capt., Oct. 31, 1862; mustered out with company.
Hiram A. Black, 1st lieut., Oct. 31, 1862; mustered out with company.
Loomis B. Camp, 2d lieut., Oct. 31, 1862; mustered out with company.
Albert Judson, capt., Nov. 12, 1862; mustered out with company.
Samuel C. Robb, 1st lieut., Nov. 12, 1862; mustered out with company.
Samuel B. Pettingell, 2d lieut.,
Nov. 12, 1862; mustered out with company.
* The date following the rank,
in each case, is that of muster into service.
Bibliographic data for your source citations: Craft, The Reverend David; 1770-1878 History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominient Men and Pioneers, originally published 1878 by L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, Reprint edition published by Tri-Counties Genelaolgy & History by Joyce M. Tice (rootsweb.com/~srgp/jmtindex.htm) 1999-2004.