The Reverend Mr. David Craft
MILITARY HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY.
Pages 206 - 208 (More to come)
THE SIXTH RESERVE—THIRTY-FIFTH REGIMENT P. V.
On April 22, 1861, the company of Capt. W. H. H. Gore, known as the "Northern Invincibles," and the company of Capt. Bradbury, known as the "Towanda Rifles," left Towanda for Harrisburg, where they arrived on May 2, and formed the nucleus of the 6th Reserve Regiment. Upon their arrival at Camp Curtin, finding it impossible to be accepted for the three months’ service, the quota being already filled, they re-enlisted for the term of three years, and became Cos. F and I, of the 6th Reserve, or 35th Regt. of the line of Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Six of the ten companies of the regiment were organized on the same day, April 22, 1861, though recruited in different sections of the State, and without previous knowledge of each other’s movements. They were as follows: the "Iron Guard," Co. A, in Columbia county; the "Northern Invincibles," Co. F, in Bradford county; the "J. D. Cameron Infantry," Co. G, in Dauphin county; the "Tioga Invincibles," Co. H, in Tioga county; the "Towanda Rifles," Co. I, in Bradford County, and the "Susquehanna Volunteers," Co. K, in Susquehanna county. The remaining four companies were from Snyder, Wayne, Franklin, and Montour counties, respectively. With but few exceptions, the men had no previous military experience.
On June 22, the organization of the regiment was effected by the election of the following field-officers: W. Wallace Ricketts, of Co. A, colonel; William M. Penrose, lieutenant-colonel; Henry J. Madill, major. Lieut. Henry B. McKean, of Co. I, was appointed adjutant.
The regiment remained in Camp Curtin till July 12, when it was armed with the Harper’s Ferry musket,--except the two flanking companies, A and K, which were supplied with Springfield rifles,--and moved to Greencastle, and encamped in Camp Biddle, where it remained until the 22d, when it moved by rail, via Harrisburg and Baltimore, to Washington, which latter place it reached on the 24th. On the 27th it was mustered into the United States service. From thence it moved to Tenallytown, and was, with the other regiments of the Reserves, organized as the division of Gen. McCall, being brigaded, in the 3d Brigade, with the 9th (38th) Regt., Col. Conrad F. Jackson; 10th (39th) Regt., Col. John S. McCalmont; and 12th (41st) Regt., Col. John H. Taggart, Pa. Reserves,--Col. John S. McCalmont commanding the brigade.
The 6th became one of the most efficiently drilled regiments of the State.
The first meeting of the 6th with the foe was at Drainesville, Dec. 20, 1861. The 9th Reserve was posted on the right, the 6th in the centre, the Kane Rifles on the left, and the 10th and 12th in reserve. The 6th advanced into a wood a short distance, and met the 9th slowly retiring, being unable to determine whether the force in front was the enemy or the Kane Rifles. The true condition was soon developed, and volley followed volley in quick succession, and then the charge was ordered. The regiment cleared the fence in front with a bound, crossed the open field, and in a moment the enemy was flying in confusion, losing one caisson and some prisoners. The regiment lay in camp until March 10, and during that time Col. Ricketts was discharged, by reason of continued ill health, and Lieut.-Col. Penrose resigned, leaving Maj. Madill in command.
The 6th marched with the Army of the Potomac on the rebel fortifications at Centreville and Manassas, and back again, a few days later, to Alexandria, performing one of the most fatiguing marches—through rain and mud, shelterless and hungry—experienced during its whole service. On April 1, Lieut. William Sinclair, of the 3d U. S. Artillery, was elected colonel, and Adj. Henry B. McKean lieutenant-colonel, of the regiment, and Q-M.-Sergt. A. A. Scudder was commissioned quartermaster, vice R. H. McCoy resigned.
From this time to June 13 the history of the 6th is uneventful, camp-life being its portion, interspersed with marching between points. Its drill, however, was not neglected, and its efficiency thereby greatly enhanced.
On June 13, 1862, the regiment, with the Reserves, was embarked for the White House, to the support of Gen. McClellan in his Peninsular campaign. At the White House vast stores had been accumulated for McClellan’s supply. The 6th, with its brigade, arrived June 14, the 1st and 2d Brigades having preceded it, and moved forward. Upon the arrival of the 3d Brigade the post was alarmed by Stuart’s famous cavalry raid in McClellan’s rear, temporarily cutting his line of supply. The 6th was detailed to remain behind, when the brigade marched to join McClellan’s column, and was posted at Tunstall’s station, four miles from White House, on the Richmond and York River railroad. On the 19th five companies were ordered to fall back to White House, and the remaining companies at Tunstall’s to throw up earthworks for their protection. The rebels, however, flanked the Union army, and White House was evacuated, the stores that could not be removed being destroyed. The companies at Tunstall’s, under Col. Sinclair, by order of Gen. Stoneman, marched in hot haste to White House, and finally, so urgent did haste become, by the general’s order they threw away everything but arms and cartridge-boxes, and came to the landing on the double-quick, closely followed by the enemy. The regiment proceeded via Fortress Monroe and James river to Harrison’s Landing, arriving July 1. During that night the wagon-trains of McClellan’s discomfited army began to arrive, and by morning the brigades began pouring in, thinned and worn by the seven days’ battles,--some regiments scarcely larger than a full company, showing the severe and bloody struggles through which they had passed. The 6th here met its comrades of the division, greatly reduced by the fiery trial through which they had toiled and fought.
On the 4th, the 6th was transferred to the 1st Brigade, Col. William Sinclair commanding, Gen. Truman Seymour in command of the Reserve division, Fitz-John Porter, major-general, 5th Corps. The regiment at this time exchanged its arms for Springfield rifles, and performed skirmish duty alternately with the Kane Rifles.
A series of engagements extending over July 28, 29, and 30, 1862, were maintained by the Reserves near Groveton,--as the contending armies were concentrating and preparing for the desperate encounter of Bull Run (the second).
On the 28th the action of the 6th was unimportant. On the 29th it advanced up a ravine to the right flank of a rebel battery, but discovering it was supported by a heavy infantry force, withdrew.
On the 30th the fighting of the Reserves was splendid. The 6th was advanced to the left flank of the division, slightly in the rear of the advanced skirmish-line, which the regiment held until relieved by the advance of Porter’s Corps, when the division was marched to the rear and massed. Porter steadily drove the enemy, until heavily reinforced, when he in turn fell back. The Reserves were ordered to form across the line of Porter’s retreat, in order that he might rally and re-form his columns. The 1st and 2d Brigades had scarcely moved from their position when the enemy appeared on the immediate left, and the 3d Brigade, of which the 6th was a part, was compelled to resist the rebel advance. Most gallantly was it done, but superior numbers compelled a retreat. The artillery was formed on the brow of a hill south of the Warrenton road, and the division drawn up in column of brigade for its support. A brisk artillery duel lasted for some time, when the enemy in well-dressed lines were seen moving, evidently intent on securing a road which lay between the contending forces. "Immediately the word ‘forward’ was given, and the Reserves swept down the hill with headlong impetuosity, reaching the bank at the upper side of the road as the enemy was approaching the fence on the lower, and sprang down the bank into the road before them. The rebels, dismayed at the rapidity and success of the movement, turned and fled in confusion, under a terrific fire from the charging column." In this charge the flag of the 6th was shot from the staff, while in the hands of Maj. Madill. It was instantly taken by the gallant Reynolds, who, holding it aloft, dashed along the line, the wind catching it as he turned and wrapping it about his form. The sight was inspiring, and pausing for an instant, in the midst of the battle, the men gave a tremendous cheer for their commander.
The loss of the 6th in these sanguinary battles was 6 killed, 30 wounded, and 8 missing.
On August 30, Maj. Madill was elected colonel of the 141st Regt., and a few days after took leave of the 6th, regretted by his old command, for in the last battle at Bull Run he had displayed conspicuous daring and gallantry, and won the confidence of all. Five companies, A, B, C, D, and E, at South Mountain charged up the face of the acclivity and dislodged the 8th Alabama, and drove them in confusion down the opposite side of the mountain, and with the rest of the brigade held the mountain-top. The loss of the regiment in this bold dash was 12 men killed, and 2 officers and 39 men wounded.
At Antietam the 6th distinguished itself anew under the lead of its gallant commander, supporting the Bucktails, and sustained a loss of 132 killed, wounded, and missing; 8 enlisted men being the former, and Capts. Wright, Meeker, and Carle, and Adjt. Coleman were among the wounded.
On Nov. 6, the regiment went into camp on the same ground occupied by the Reserves a few days previous to the second battle of Bull Run, at Warrenton. Thence, on the 11th, it marched to Brook’s Station, on the Aquia Creek and Fredericksburg railroad, where a very comfortable camp was formed. Col. Sinclair was now in command of the brigade, Gen. Seymour having been relieved at his own request. Lieut.-Col. McKean having resigned, Maj. Ent was in command of the regiment, and Capt. Gore was detailed as field-officer.
At the battle of Fredericksburg the 6th was heavily engaged, crossing the Rappahannock on a pontoon bridge about three miles below the city on the morning of Dec. 12, and engaging the enemy on the 13th. It drove the rebels from their first and second lines, and, moving along up the hill, encountered the third line, and, after a most terrific fight, discomfited the rebels completely. "The regiment had now lost more than one-third of its entire number, the brigade had suffered terribly, and Col. Sinclair had been borne from the field wounded, when the enemy appeared moving through the woods to the right in large numbers. At the same time a terrific fire of musketry was opened on the left of the brigade. The line began to waver, and, no supporting troops being at hand, it finally yielded, and the regiment with the brigade fell back over the same ground on which it had advanced." Out of 300 men who went into this action, 10 were killed, 92 wounded, and 19 missing.
In the Gettysburg campaign the 6th won imperishable honor, the brigade being under command of Col. William McCandless, of the 2d Reserve, Col. Sinclair having resigned. The regiment reached Gettysburg at two o’clock P.M., July 2, and made a charge from Little Round Top with but small loss. It skirmished all day on the 3d, and towards night charged again, and captured a number of prisoners, and recaptured one gun and five caissons, and relieved a large number of Union prisoners, sustaining a loss of 2 men killed, and Lieut. Rockwell and 21 men wounded. It pursued the retreating columns of Lee to Falling Waters, where it was ascertained the rebel army had escaped across the river. The regiment marched and skirmished until Aug. 18, when it arrived at Rappahannock Station, and remained there until Sep. 15. In the mean time, Lieut.-Col. W. H. Ent had been promoted to colonel, Capt. W. D. Dixon, of Co. D, to lieutenant-colonel, and Capt. W. H. H. Gore, of Co. I, to major. It encountered the enemy again at Bristoe Station, Oct. 14, having 3 men wounded with shells. At New Hope Church, the left wing of the 6th, deployed as skirmishers, under command of Maj. Gore, repulsed two charges of the rebels, with a loss of 2 killed and 4 wounded.
In the Wilderness campaign of Gen. Grant, the 6th was engaged every day from the opening battle of the campaign, May 5, 1864, to May 21, the date of the expiration of its term of service. On the 5th and 6th it was actively engaged, contesting gallantly every inch of ground. On the 7th a slight skirmish only occupied it, in which Capt. Allen, of Co. G, was wounded. At Spottsylvania, on the 8th, it was engaged heavily all day, and on the 9th moved to the right of the line, and constructed rifle-pits. On the 10th two unsuccessful charges, and again on the 12th, were made on the enemy’s works, led by Maj. Gore, Col. Ent having command of the 3d Brigade. In this last engagement Capt. John M. Snyder, of Co. I, was killed. The loss during these engagements was 13 killed, 64 wounded, and 9 missing. "Constantly, on the skirmish- and picket-line, the 6th met the enemy on every field with unflinching courage." On the 22d it captured 90 men of Hill’s Corps.
"At length the final day of its service arrived, and with it the crowning success of the Reserves at Bethesda Church. The regiment was deployed as skirmishers, and had gained the Mechanicsville road, near the church, when it was attacked by an overwhelming force, and compelled to retire with considerable loss. It then threw up a rifle-pit, upon which the enemy impetuously charged. Retaining its fire until the foe was sufficiently near, it poured forth a volley that inflicted most terrible slaughter. Although but about 150 strong, the 6th captured 102 prisoners, and buried 72 dead rebels in its immediate front." Col. Ent and Capt. Waters were wounded, and 19 men captured.
After three years’ service in camp and on the march, from Drainesville to its final brilliant success at Bethesda Church, sharing in the privations and hardships of the Army of the Potomac, as well as in its glory, the regiment left the field, June 1, for Harrisburg, where it was, with the Reserves, received enthusiastically on the 6th, and mustered out of service on the 14th.
FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS
(The date given immediately following the rank is that of muster into service.)
W. Wallace Ricketts, col., April 22, 1861; discharged on surgeon’s certificate, Feb. 27, 1862.
Wm. Sinclair, col., June 27, 1861; resigned, May 23, 1863.
Wellington H. Ent, col., April 22, 1861; promoted from capt., Co. A, to maj., Sept. 21, 1862; lieut.-col., May 1, 1863; col., July 1, 1863; wounded at Bethesda Church, May 30, 1864; mustered out with regiment, June 4, 1864.
Wm. M. Penrose, lieut.-col., June 21, 1861: resigned, Dec. 21, 1861.
Henry B. McKean, lieut.-col., April 22, 1861; promoted from adjt. to lieut.-col., April 1, 1862; discharged on surgeon’s certificate, Nov. 25, 1862.
Wm. D. Dixon, lieut.-col., April 24, 1861; promoted from capt., Co. D, to lieut.-col., Sept. 12, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Henry J. Madill, maj., June 22, 1861; promoted to col. 141st P. V., Aug. 30, 1862.
Wm. H. H. Gore, maj., April 22, 1861; promoted from capt., Co. I, to maj., Sept. 1, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
George S. Coleman, adjt., April 22, 1861; promoted from priv., Co. A, to adjt., Aug. 11, 1862; wounded at Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
Robert H. McCoy, quar.-mast., June 22, 1861; resigned March 26, 1862.
Aaron A. Scudder, quar.-mast, April 22, 1861; promoted to quar.-mast., April 5, 1862; captured at Brentsville, Va., Feb. 14, 1864; discharged, March 12, 1865.
Chas. Bower, surg., June 22, 1861; mustered out with regiment.
Z. Ring Jones, asst. surg., June 22, 1861; promoted to surg. 63d Regt. P. V., Aug. 20, 1862.
A. J. Atkinson, asst. surg., July 15, 1862; resigned March 20, 1863.
J. Leander Bishop, asst. surg., Aug. 26, 1862; promoted to surg. 36th Regt. P. V., Feb. 5, 1863.
Joseph K. Corson, asst. surg., March 14, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Samuel Jessup, chap., June 22, 1861; resigned, July 30, 1862.
Thomas Stevenson, chap., Oct. 6, 1862; resigned, April 23, 1863.
Thomas H. Abbott, sergt.-maj., April 19, 1861; transferred to 191st P. V. Vet.
B. R. Mayhurst, sergt.-maj., April 21, 1861; transferred to Co. G, April 11, 1863.
H. Malcolm Dwyer, quar.-mast. sergt., July 25, 1861; transferred to 191st P. V. Vet.
James B. Goodman, com. sergt., April 22, 1861; com. sergt., April 22, 1861; promoted to 2d lieut., Co. H, April 13, 1863.
Perez L. Norton, com. sergt., July 2, 1861; transferred to 191st Regt. P. V. Vet.
L. D. Montanye, hosp. stew., Oct. 11, 1861; discharged on surgeon’s certificate, Sept. 30, 1862.
John S. Stearnes, hosp. stew., July 15, 1861; promoted from priv., Co. C, to hosp. stew., Dec. 24, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
D. Henry Barston, hosp. sew., Aug. 21, 1862; promoted to asst. surgeon 173d Regt. P. V., June 19, 1863.
James S. Drake, hos. Stew., June 22, 1861; died, Oct. 18, 1861.
Emanuel Kurtz, prin. mus., April 22, 1861; promoted from priv., Co. A, to prin. mus., Nov. 1, 1862; mustered out with regiment.
James A. Nicholson, prin. mus., April 22, 1861; promoted from priv., Co. D, to prin. mus., Aug. 1, 1863; mustered out with regiment.
Henry A. Burbank, prin. mus., April 15, 1862; discharged on surgeon’s certificate, Sept. 30, 1862.
Christopher Woods, prin. mus., May 14, 1861; promoted to prin. mus., Sept. 1, 1861; discharged, Aug. 11, 1862.
J. W. Chamberlain, prin. mus., July 13, 1861; transferred to Co. A, April 15, 1862.
Daniel Bradbury, capt., April 23, 1861; wounded at Drainesville, Dec. 20, 1861; discharged on surgeon’s certificate, June 7, 1862.
Wm. Aug. Meeker, capt., April 23, 1861; promoted from 2d lieut. to capt., Aug. 1, 1862; wounded at Wilderness, May 8, 1864; absent in hospital at muster out.
Leman D. Forrest, 1st lieut., May 15, 1861; deserted, Nov. 28, 1862; dismissed, April 6, 1863.
Wm. S. Briggs, 1st lieut., April 23, 1861; promoted from 2d lieut. to 1st lieut., Aug. 2, 1863; prisoner from May 8 to May 26, 1864; mustered out with regiment.
W. H. H. Gore, capt., April 22, 1861; promoted to maj., Sept. 1, 1863.
John M. Guyer, capt., April 22, 1861; promoted from 1st lieut. to capt., Feb. 8, 1864; killed at Spottsylvania Court-House, Va., May 12, 1864.
Peter States, 1st sergt., April 22, 1861; promoted to 2d lieut., April 1, 1862; 1st lieut., March 18, 1864; mustered out with regiment.
Henry B. McKean, 2d lieut., April 22, 1861; promoted to adj., July 11, 1861.