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Chronology of the Movement of the 145th Regiment

ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIFTH REGIMENT

COMPANIES A, B, C, D, I and K, were recruited in Erie county, B and F, in Warren, company H, was recruited in Crawford, and G, in Mercer. They rendezvoused at the camp near the city of Erie, which had been previously occupied by the Eighty-third, and the One Hundred and Eleventh regiments, where, on the 5th of September, 1862, a regimental organization was effected, with the following field officers: Hiram L. Brown, of Erie, Colonel; David B. M'Creary, of Erie, Lieutenant Colonel; John W.V. Patton, of Crawford county, Major Colonel Brown had served in the Wayne Guards, - a militia company of considerable distinction, previous to the opening of the rebellion, - as Captain in the three months' Erie Regiment, and as Captain in the Eighty-third, in which he had received a severe wound, at the battle of Gaines' Mill, and from the effect of which he had not entirely recovered when selected to lead this regiment. Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary had also served in the Wayne Guards, and as Lieutenant in the Erie Regiment.

At the time of the organization of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, there was urgent need of troops. The army of the Potomac was returning from the fruitless campaign upon the Peninsula, and the Army of Northern Virginia, under Pope, was retiring, broken and dispirited, from the fated fields of Bull Run. It was, accordingly, ordered to the front, without arms, and with scarcely any knowledge of military duty. It left Erie on the 11th of September, and proceeded by rail via Harrisburg to Chambersburg, arriving in thirty-six hours within sound of the enemy's cannon, Lee having already crossed the Potomac, and penetrated the South Mountain. Halting for two days at Camp M'Clure, the men were supplied with arms, the old Harper's Ferry musket, and moved under orders from General John P. Reynolds, in command in Pennsylvania, in the direction of Hagerstown. With but a partial outfit, and men and many officers fresh from civil life, the command experienced much suffering from exposure and inadequate supplies. At daylight on the morning of the 17th, the regiment was under arms, the heavy booming of cannon on the field of Antietam, ten miles away, being distinctly heard. That sound awakened intense excitement in every breast, and all were impatient to march to the theatre of conflict. This desire was gratified. Though isolated from the grand army, and liable to fall victims to the enemy's cavalry, which was manifesting the greatest activity, Colonel Brown led his command forward. The troops recruited for the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment, never had a regimental organization, and wore consequently assigned to other commands forward, and at a little after noon, arrived upon the extreme right of the Union line, at this time desperately engaged with the Corps of Stonewall Jackson, the hostile shot and shell failing thick on every hand. It was immediately moved into position, filling a gap which then existed between the Union right and the Potomac, holding the tow-path and the road which runs along under the high bluff skirting the river, thus preventing the enemy from flanking the Union forces in that direction. This position was held, and picket duty performed in face of the enemy, until the morning of the 19th. It was then discovered that the enemy had escaped, and with other troops the regiment was sent upon the field to bury the dead, and care for the wounded. For four days they had lain as they fell, and the stench that filled the air was exceedingly offensive. The unusual privation and exposure of the men during the few previous days after leaving camp, and the severe duty to which they were subjected on this polluted field, resulted in wide-spread sickness. Within a month from the time they had been ordered to the front, between two and three hundred were disqualified for duty. Many died, or were permanently disabled, and were discharged.

Soon after the battle, the regiment went into camp on Bolivar Heights, just above Harper’s Ferry, where it was temporarily attached to the Irish Brigade but was finally assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, of the Second Corps, in which it was engaged in picket and guard duty, and in severe drill; the troops with which it was associated having had the experience of a year's discipline and campaigning. Towards the close of October, the regiment moved with the army down the London Valley to Warrenton, where it made a brief halt and then proceeded towards Falmouth, Burnside being in command of the army, and making every preparation to meet the enemy. The morning of the 11th of December broke clear and crisp along the Rappahannock, and early the whole army was astir, the battle of Fredericksburg impending. The One Hundred and Forty-fifth crossed on the upper pontoon bridge, on the afternoon of the 12th, and formed in line upon a street running parallel with the river, where it remained during the succeeding night. On the morning of the 13th, it moved back from the river, two or three streets, its right resting near the Court House, where it came under a heavy artillery fire, and an incessant fusillade from sharpshooters concealed from view. About noon, the First Division marched by the flank up the streets and out upon the plain, between the town and the battery-crowned hills that encircled it beyond. The One Hundred and Forty-fifth moved forward with the steadiness of veterans, over the deep ditch and smooth plain, towards the fatal stone-wall at the foot of Marye's Heights, though its ranks were shattered and torn by the fire from concealed infantry, and the batteries which confronted and enfiladed it, until it reached the front line formed by the Union forces. Here it remained until after nightfall, and until the fighting ceased when the division was relieved, l-and returned to town. "Of the five thousand men" says Swinton, " Hancock led into action, more than two thousand fell in that charge; and it was found that the bravest of these had thrown up their hands and lay dead within five and twenty paces of the stone-wall. On the night of the 15th the army re-crossed the river, and on the following morning the fragment remaining of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, took possession of its old quarters on Stafford Heights. On the morning previous to the battle, live hundred and fifty-six men reported for duty. A portion of two companies were upon the skirmish line, when the rest of the regiment moved for the field, and consequently did not accompany it. Of those who crossed the river, less than five hundred in number, two hundred and twenty-six, nearly one-half, were either killed or wounded. Captains Wood, Mason, and Brown, and Lieutenants Clay, Brown, Carroll, Vincent, Riblet, and Hubbard, nine commissioned officers, were either killed or mortally wounded. Colonel Brown received two severe wounds, one of which was supposed to be mortal, but from which he recovered. Captain Lynch, and Lieutenants Long and Stuart, were among the wounded. Colonel Von Shock, of the New York Seventh, and Lieutenant Colonel M’Creary, were the only field officers in the entire brigade who were not either killed or wounded.

After its return to quarters, the regiment was engaged in drill and in picketing the river, from the Railroad Bridge to Franklin's Crossing, below the city. Elaborate preparations were made during the early spring of 1863, for a campaign, under the leadership of General Hooker. When the army finally moved, the One Hundred and Forty-fifth was detailed to construct corduroy roads, to facilitate the movement of the artillery and heavy trains, and subsequently to assist the engineer corps in laying the pontoon bridge, at United States Ford. On the 1st of May, while being mustered for pay, the first gun in the battle of Chancellorsville was fired. The Second Corps was immediately thrown forward on the road leading to Fredericksburg, the First Division forming the advance line. At evening it was marched back to a slight ravine, where, in a dense wood, nearly the entire night was spent in throwing up breast-works, and in cutting and forming an abattis in front. The enemy opened at intervals upon the troops while at work, but with little effect. At daylight the main body of the command was moved back three-quarters of a mile, near to the Chancellor House, a heavy skirmish line only being left in the advanced works. During the day of the 2nd, fire of artillery occurred at intervals, and at night the enemy made his fierce assault, which resulted in the discomfiture and rout of the Eleventh Corps, posted on the extreme right of the lines. The night was passed in intense excitement along the whole line, the battle raging fiercely on the right centre. On the morning of the 3rd, a detail of one hundred and fifty men, from the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, and one hundred from other regiments of the brigade, under Lieutenant Colonel M’Creary, was ordered to the relief of the skirmish line, left in the works thrown up on the night of the 1st. The remainder of the regiment was engaged in supporting the batteries around the Chancellor House, which had been massed to resist the troops of Jackson, now led by Stuart. It was here exposed to a severe fire of musketry and artillery. Here, Major Patton was struck by a fragment of shell, receiving a mortal wound. The men under Lieutenant Colonel M’Creary, on the skirmish line, were hotly engaged during the early part of the day, and with the troops upon their right, successfully resisted repeated assaults of the enemy under Anderson and M’Laws, and completely foiling every attempt to turn the left and reach the rear of Hancock's main line of battle. When the army fell back towards the river, the troops upon this skirmish line failed to receive the order to retire, and fell into the enemy’s hands, most of the detail from the One Hundred and Forty-fifth being among the captured. Upon the return of the army from Chancellorsville, the regiment remained quietly in camp for nearly six weeks, picketing the line of the, river as before.

As soon as it was discovered that the enemy was withdrawing from the Rappahannock, and moving northward, the Union army was put in motion to checkmate or meet him in battle. The advance of the two armies met on the field of Gettysburg, on the 1st of July. The Second Corps reached the field on the morning of the 2nd, the First Division taking position on the left centre, and in rear of the line taken up by the Third Corps. Towards evening, and when the lines of the Third Corps had been hopelessly broken, the division was sent to their relief. The brigade, now led by Colonel Brooke, passed over the low grounds to the right of Little Round Top, and crossing the road leading out to the Peach Orchard, soon came upon the Wheat Field, where the battle had raged, and was now raging fearfully. With heroic daring, Brooke led his devoted band against the enemy, holding the fastnesses of wood and rock wrenched from the Third Corps, drove him in confusion from his dearly bought ground, and silenced a battery which was annoying the Union troops. But the advantage, so bravely won, could not be held; for the rebels, in heavy force, were flanking the position on the right, and exposing the brigade to capture or annihilation, and no alternative existed but to retire. "' Caldwell experienced, " says Swinton, " the same fate as those that had gone before; for the Confederates, penetrating the wide interval made by the disruption of Sickles' centre, at the Peach Orchard, enveloped his right, and penetrated almost to his rear. This quickly forced Caldwell back, after the frightful sacrifice of one-half of his division." The One Hundred and Forty-fifth held the extreme right of the brigade in this terrible encounter, and suffered severely. It entered the engagement two hundred strong, and lost in killed and wounded, upwards of eighty. Captain George Griswold, and Lieutenants Horatio F. Lewis, and George H. Finch, were mortally wounded, and Colonel Brown, Major Reynolds, Adjutant John D. Black, and Captain John C. Hilton, were severely wounded, the latter losing a leg. On the 3rd, the regiment was posted with the division on the left of the corps, and during the fierce struggle of the afternoon, was exposed to a fearful artillery fire, but in the infantry engagement which followed, was not involved, the enemy being repulsed before it could be moved to the scene of conflict.

After the return of the army to Virginia, the regiment remained in comparative quiet until October, when it was actively engaged in the forced marches and strategic movements between Meade and Lee, which carried them to the Rapidan, back to Centreville, and again forward to the Rapidan, participating in the engagements at Auburn Hill, and Bristoe Station, losing a number in killed and wounded. In November it went into temporary quarters, where it remained until the morning of the 26th, when it set out on the Mine Run campaign. Upon arriving at Germania Ford, it was found that the pontoons were insufficient to construct a bridge. Colonel Brooke volunteered to wade the stream, which was now breast deep, with his brigade, and dislodge the enemy. It was wintry weather, but without a murmur the men plunged in, and soon had possession of the works which the enemy, but a few days previous, had elaborately constructed. The One Hundred and Forty-fifth was part of General Warren's force of twenty-eight thousand men, which marched on the 29th, from before daylight until evening, for the purpose of turning the enemy's right flank; but upon arriving upon his front, found him in force in a well fortified position, and the attempt to carry it by storm, as had been determined on, was finally abandoned. -A portion of the regiment was detailed to occupy a part of the long picket line, designed to cover the withdrawal of the rest of the army. The night of the 28th was cold, and the suffering of the troops intense, but the duty was successfully executed, and they were all with, drawn in safety. The regiment went into quarters with the army near Brandy Station, but scarcely was it settled, when, with the brigade, it was ordered to proceed to the neighbourhood of Germania Ford, to cover the approaches from that direction. Here, comfortable, and substantial huts were built. These had been occupied but a little time, when it was ordered back a mile, and here again it erected quarters, where it finally rested. The camp was accurately laid out, and the huts, which were of cedar, were uniform, and exhibited in their construction much skill and taste. The streets were planted with evergreens, and presented a, handsome and picturesque appearance. The call was pronounced by the medical directors to be the best in the army, and it was much frequented by officers, and by visitors to the front.

During the winter, the thinned ranks of the regiment were filled by fresh recruits, so that at the opening of the spring campaign, it stood ready to march with nearly its original strength. At noon on the 5th of May, the army having broken up winter-quarters and crossed the Rapidan, the regiment met the enemy beyond the Brock Road, and again on the following day was hotly engaged, but without serious loss. Company H, Captain Esopy, was sent out on the 5th to form junction with the out-posts, and for nearly two days it stood at its post, without food or water, it being supposed at headquarters that it, hl-l been captured. It was accidentally discovered, and relieved. The breast-works thrown up along the Brock Road, were held against every attempt of the enemy to carry them, who met at every advance, a disastrous repulse. When the enemy was finally satisfied to confine himself to his breast-works, and abandon offensive operations, the Union army resumed its march towards Richmond. Colonel Brown was here placed temporarily in command of the Third Brigade, Major Lynch assuming command of the regiment, in the absence of Lieutenant Colonel M’Creary, on detached service.

Upon arriving at the Po River, Hancock, who led the Second Corps, found the enemy on the opposite bank in good defensive position, well fortified. In the face of this, Hancock, on the afternoon of the 10th, threw a portion of his command across, but subsequently, by order of General Meade, attempted to withdraw it. The enemy, discovering this retrograde movement, immediately attacked with great spirit and determination. The brigades of Brooke and Brown received the weight of the blow, but so determined was the front they presented, and so deadly the volleys that they poured into the faces of the foe, that he was forced to retire. At this juncture, the woods in the rear of these two brigades took fire from the enemy's shells, making their position one of much peril. They finally re-crossed the river, but not without having sustained serious loss, some of the wounded perishing in the flames, from which it was impossible to rescue the. Lieutenant Joseph W. Baker was among the killed. Failing to carry the enemy's position by direct assault, Grant ordered a blow at his left. The Second Corps was selected to deliver it. Moving over from the extreme right to the left of the Union line, under cover of the darkness of the night of the 11th, Hancock attacked at dawn. Barlow's Division had the advance, Brooke’s and Miles' brigades in the first line, Brown's and Smyth's in the second. The enemy was taken by surprise. His skirmish line was swept away with little opposition, and the abattis crossed and the entrenchments carried, before he fully realized his situation. But the struggle soon commenced in earnest, and was at close quarters, until he was forced to yield the ground, large captures of men and material being made. Attempts to carry his inner line were unsuccessful, and he struggled fiercely to re-gain his lost works, piling the ground with his slain, but to no purpose. The One Hundred and Forty-fifth lost heavily in this assault, taking the lead in the charge. Captain C. W. Devereaux, and Lieutenants Edwin W. Sampson, and Elias Brockway, were among the killed, and Captain J. Boyd Espy, and Lieutenant Peter W. Free, among the wounded. The struggle was continued until the 20th, when the Union army again moved forward, and crossed the North Anna, only to encounter again the enemy in impregnable works. The Second Corps was but little engaged here, and upon re-crossing the stream, pushed on to Cold Harbor, where, in face of a defiant enemy, and over difficult ground, it charged close up to his entrenchments, but failed to carry them. The ground gained was held, and a line of fortifications was thrown up. So close were the opposing lines that a stone could be easily tossed from one to the other. Sharpshooters were vigilant, and it was instant death to show any vital part of the person. The loss in the regiment in the charge was very heavy, Lieutenant Samuel C. Snell being among the killed. Captain Henry G. Harvey, while attempting to cross a slight embankment across the head of a ditch, and though exposing his body but for a moment, was terribly mangled by a minie ball, losing a leg. On the 12th of June, the corps withdrew from the position at Cold Harbor, and on the night of the 14thl the First Division crossed the James, the One Hundred and Forty-fifth being now in command of Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary. After a long and fatiguing march, it arrived in front of Petersburg, and on the evening of the 16th, three brigades of the division charged at different points, and independently of each other. The Fourth Brigade, led by Colonel Beaver, charged a distance of twelve hundred yards, over a cornfield, in face of a heavy artillery fire, upon works elaborately made, and defended by an ample force. The result was as should have been expected. Large numbers were killed and wounded in approaching, and when arrived close upon his works, scarcely two hundred were in position. Perceiving the fruitlessness of attempting to go further, the command dropped upon the ground, and screened themselves from the deadly fire as best they could. The position was soon flanked by the enemy, and the entire force captured. Lieutenant Colonel M'Creary, Captains Clinton W. Lytle, Horace M'Cray, George F.C. Smart, and Samuel V. Dean, and Lieutenants John C. M’Intosh, John R. Rounds, Louis B. Carlile, and Joseph L. Linn, together with about eighty enlisted men of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, fell into the enemy's hands. The men were hurried away to Andersonville, and the officers to Macon, and were afterwards held at Charleston, Savannah, and Columbia, being kept in confinement until March, 1865, enduring all the hardships and sufferings which at this period were visited upon Union prisoners of war, many yielding up their lives. Only about two hundred men were present for duty when the charge was made, and of this number about fifty were either killed or wounded. On the 22d of July, the Fourth Brigade, under command of Colonel Fraser, was attacked by a superior force of the enemy, and a number were killed, wounded, and captured, among the latter, Major Lynch, in command of the regiment. During the remainder of the summer, the handful of men left was at the post of duty in the trenches, and almost constantly under fire. It was engaged in the battles of Ream's Station, and Deep Bottom, sustaining some losses in each It spent the fall and winter in the trenches, engaged in picket and fatigue duty. Upon the opening of the spring campaign, the corps was early put in motion, and in the battle of Five Forks, the First Division, commanded by General Miles, was detached and sent to the aid of Sheridan, rendering efficient service. After the surrender of Lee, the regiment returned through Richmond with the corps, to Alexandria, where it went into camp, and participated in the grand review of the armies on the 23d and 24th of May, 1865. It was mustered out of service on the 31st, and returning to Erie, on the 5th of June, under command of Colonel M'Creary, was received with many demonstrations of honor and satisfaction, where it was finally disbanded.

FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS.

NAME.     RANK.     DATE OF MUSTER INTO SERVICE    REMARKS.

Eliram L. Brown.... Colonel Sept. 5,'62, Brevet Brigadier General, Sept. 3,'64-discharged by special order, Feb. 1. 1865.

David B. M'Creary Lt. Col. Aug. 27,'62, Pr. fr. Capt. Co. D, Sept. 5,'62-com. Col., Jan. 17,'65-not mus. bv. Col. and Brig. Gen., March 13, 1865 —mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

John W. Patton.....Major.. Sept. 25,'62, Died May 15, of wounds received at Chancellorsville, Va., May 3, 1863.

John W . Reynolds.....do..... Aug. 26,'62, Promoted from Captain company A, Aug. 20,'63discharged by special order, Sept. 19, 1863.

Charles M. Lynch.....do..... Aug. 27,'62, Promoted from, Captain Co. D, Nov. 13, 1863 com.

Lt. Col., Jan. 17,'165-not mus.-Bv. Col., March 13, 1865 — mus. out with regiment, May 31, 1S65.

James C. Hart........ Adj't.... Aug. 26,'62, Promoted from 1st Lt. company A, Sept. 5. 1862 discharged on Surgeon's certificate, May 13, 1863.

John D. Black........... do..... Aug. 27,'62, Pr. fr. 1st Lt. Co. E, May 13,'63-Byv. Capt., Aug. 25, 1864, and Maj., April 9,'65-disch. Nov. 8,'65.

James G. Payne..... Q. M... Sept. 10,'62, Promoted to Captain and A. Q. M., U. S. Vols., April 7, 1864-Brevet Major and Lieut. Colonel, March 13. 1865-discharged Oct. 1, 1867.

D. W. Winchester....do..... Aug. 26,'62, Promoted from Q. M. Sergeant, May 20, 1864-discharged by special order, March 23, 1865.

George L. Potter..... Surg.... Sept. 12,'62, Mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

Simon V. Pilgrim... As.Sur. Sept. 12,'62, Discharged September 12, 1862.

J. S. WThilldin.........-do.... Sept. 12,'6', Promoted to Surg. 208th reg. P. V., Feb. 25, 1865.

Daniel W. Richards...do..... June 20,'63, Discharged by special order, Nov. 11. 1864.

Isaac N. Taylor.....l...do..... Sept. 12,'62, Promoted from Hospital Steward, March 15,'635mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

J W Stuckenberg Chap'n. Sept. 11,'62, Discharged by special order, Oct. 4, 1863.

George R. M'Creary Sr. Maj. Aug. 27,'62, Promoted from Sergeant company D, Apr. 27,'65 mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

Horatio F. Lewis.....do.... Aug. 27,'62, Promoted to 1st Lieut. company D, Dec. 13, 1862.

John C. M'Intosh......do..... Aug. 27,'62. Promoted to 2d Lieut. company D, March 5. 1864.

Wm. S. Trimble..do.... Sept. 2,'62, Promoted to 1st Lieut. company H, April 17, 1865.

Jonathan Spaulding Q. M. Sr Aug. 26,'62,. Pr. fr. priv. Co, A, to Corn. Sgt., May, 1863-to Q. M. Sgt., Sept. 1,'64-com. Q. M., May 22,'65-not mus. —mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

Clayton W. Lytle...... do...Aug. 27,'62, Promoted to 2d Lieut. company D, May 1, 1863.

Hugh G. Free......... Com.Sr Sept. 2,'62, Promoted from Corporal company II, Sept. 1,'64 —  mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

Seymour D. Ware.. Hos. St. Aug. 27,'62, Promoted from private company D, March 15,'65 mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

Marcellus Gardner.. P1. Muc Aug. 26,'62, Promoted from company A, March 1, 1864 - mustered out with regiment, May 31, 1865.

Nicholas Walsh.. do..... Sept. 15,'63, Drafted-promoted from private company,. March 1, 1864 - transferred to 53d reg. P. V. - date unknown-not taken up in that regiment

Enlisted Soldiers:

Page 534 ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIFTH REGIMENT.

Mulberry, John........ do..... Sept. 29,'63, Drafted-wd. at Spottsylvania C. H., Va., May 10,

1864-tr. to Co. F, 53d reg. P. V.-date unknown.

Page 118 FIFTY-THIRD REGIMENT

Mulbury, John.........do..... Sept. 29,'63, 3 Discharged on Surgeon's certificate, May 20,'65.

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