Saturday, February 18, 2012

Andrew J. Speese.

Andrew J. Speese, 3rd., Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company H., rank Corporal, Mustered in August 17, 1861. Promoted to Corporal, November 25, 1862; wounded at Accotink, Va., October 14, 1861; mustered out with Company, August 24, 1864.

The following is an account on how he be came wounded.

On October 11, while the company was at drill under Lieutenant Baugham, he received orders, to report at once to General Heinzelman, when it was learned that a column of the enemy had passed Pohick Church, and would probable attack our line. He was instructed to ascertain the strenght and probable intentions of this force as quickly as possible. At the time only twelve carbines had been issued to the company, enough to arm the non-commissioned officers, the privates carring pistols and sabres.

Riding leisurely along, when nearing the village of Accotink Virginia., in a thick woods, the advance guard suddenly encounted the First Mississippi Rifles, and a sharp skirmish ensued, the Confederates falling back in disorder upon their battery stationed beyond the village, and kept up a scattering fire, as they retreated. The horses, noy being accustomed to the noise of firearms, soon became unmanagerable, creating so much confusion that the pursuit was stopped and the company retired from the woods. Andrew J. Speese and Edward Tarman were wounded, and one horse waas killed and five wounded.

This account was taken from the Third Cavalry regimental history, in it Andrew J. Speese tells of many personal experiences in battle.

Friday, February 17, 2012

George Gordon Meade.

George Gordon Meade

Birth: Dec. 31, 1815
Death: Nov. 6, 1872

Civil War Union Major General. Known universally for being the victor of the Battle of Gettysburg. Graduated from the USMA in 1835, placing 19th of 56. Left army in 1836, and returned in 1842 as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers. Employed as a military engineer up to and including the Mexican War, where he was present at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterrey. Promoted to Brigadier General, US Volunteers on August 31, 1861 a few months after the start of the Civil War. Commanded a brigade of Pennsylvania Reserve troops on the Peninsula and during the Seven Days battles. Severely wounded at the Battle of Glendale. Commanded the brigade at the Battle of Second Bull Run after partially recovering. Elevated to Division commander, he commanded the I Corps's 3rd Division at the Battles of South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg, where his troops made a temporary breakthrough of the Confederate lines.

Named commander of the Army of the Potomac's V Corps a few days after the battle, and was promote to Major General. Led his Corps at the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he successfully executed the secret and strategic crossing of the Rappahannock River, only to have his efforts squandered by General Joseph Hooker's timidity. Replaced Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863. Just a few days later, the Army of the Potomac was involved in the monumental Battle of Gettysburg. General Meade arrived on the scene the night of July 1st, and made the critical decision to stay and continue the fight. The Confederate forces were subsequently defeated after two more days.

The Battle of Gettysburg has been argued to be the turning point of the Civil War. General Meade himself was roundly criticized then and now for not pursuing the defeated Confederate forces after the battle. Matching his stellar war record was his famous horse "Old Baldy." This many-times wounded Warhorse carried the General faithfully through some of the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War. The only further significant independent command decisions for the Army of the Potomac made by General Meade was the aborted Mine Run Campaign in the fall of 1863. When Ulysses S. Grant named Lieutenant General and commander of all US forces, he joined with the Army of the Potomac, and directed Army strategy and operations against Robert E. Lee.

General Meade nominally retained command of the Army, although strategic decisions were made by Grant. He led the Army in all of the battles from the Wilderness right up until Appomattox. He received the Thanks of Congress for his Gettysburg efforts, and ended the war as Major General in the Regular Army. He died while in active duty command of the Military Division of the Atlantic. His son, George Jr., served as his aide during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Family links:
Richard Worsam Meade (1778 - 1828)
Margaret Coats Butler Meade (1782 - 1852)

Margaretta Sergeant Meade (1814 - 1886)

John Sergeant Meade (1841 - 1865)
George Gordon Meade (1843 - 1897)
Margaret Butler Meade (1845 - 1905)
Spencer Meade (1850 - 1911)*
Sarah Wise Meade Large (1851 - 1913)
Henrietta Meade (1853 - 1944)
William Meade (1855 - 1891)

Cause of death: Pneumonia.

Burial: Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

William P. Seal, 18th., Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Lieutenant W. P. Seal.

William P Seal, was mustered September 17, 1862. Was wounded slightly, June 15, 1864, at St., Mary's Church. Was promoted from Sergeant January 2. 1865. Mustered out with his company June 14, 1865. Residence 917, Filbert Street, Philandelphia, Pennsylvania.
Note. On the roster his name is spelled "Sea."

The following battle report is one he was in, although his name is only stated once it was with high honor.

No. 165. Report of Major John W. Phillips, Eighteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, of operations October 8-9.

October 11, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: In accordance with instructions received from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to transmit the following report of the part my regiment took in the late engagements:

On Saturday, October 8, my regiment (being rear guard for the division) was attacked by the advance of the enemy's force. The rear battalion, Lieutenant Blough commanding, formed and checked them, killing three and wounding one captain and six others. The Third Battalion, Captain Britton, formed and met the second charge, allowing Lieutenant Blough to fall back behind him. This was done in some confusion, owing to the strength and confidence with which the enemy advanced. My men fired repeated volleys into the head of the column and so effectually checked the advance that a flank movement on his part became necessary. As soon as I observed this I ordered my men to fall back and take position in the woods, where I learned the Second New York, Major Hull, was formed to assist me. This they did in much confusion, owing to the furious charge made by the enemy. He was checked by the charge of Major Hull, but, coming on in vastly superior numbers, we were forced to fall back upon the main portion of the brigade. In this running fight of more than two miles I lost 4 men killed, 7 wounded, and 5 missing. The color bearer of the enemy was seen to fall, and from the nature of the advance his loss must have been severe. Much credit is due Lieutenant Blough and Captain Britton, and the officers and men in their respective battalions, for the stubborn manner in which they met the repeated charges of the enemy.

In the action of the 9th I was ordered, in the early part of the engagement, to support Major Krom, Fifth New York, whose command was deployed, on the right of our line as skirmishers. This I did until ordered by one of General Custer's staff to tear down all the fences in my front, and deploy my whole regiment as skirmishers. I had scarcely got it deployed as ordered when General Custer ordered Captain Britton, who was on the left of the line, to charge. Soon the whole line was in motion and advanced as rapidly as the nature of the ground and the wearied condition of my horse would allow, driving the enemy's skirmishers before it. When the enemy's center gave way the right of my line was quite far advanced and was in position to give a flank fire as he began to retreat from the top of the hill where his artillery was last in position. Owing to the long run I had made over fences and ditches, and through the woods and brush, many of my horses and become exhausted and my line necessarily much scattered, and the difficulties in the way of a rapid advance on the right flank were becoming greater, owing to the still more unequal nature of the ground in my front. I saw I could do nothing more than pick up a few stragglers if I remained there. Accordingly (not seeing Colonel Pennington at the time) I rode up to General Custer and stated the difficulties, and received permission from his to bring my command on the main road and pursue as rapidly as possible.

I immediately ordered Captain Britton forward rapidly on the main road. In the meantime Lieutenant J. R. Winters, Company E; Lieutenant J. W. Smith, Company B; Lieutenant Nieman, Company E, and Lieutenant Grier, Company B, having seen the enemy's artillery and wagons in rapid flight, gathered together what men were near, pushed forward rapidly in pursuit, passing by the right flank of the artillery and entering the main road about 500 yards in rear of the wagon train. At this point the officers above mentioned and the men with them had the advance of everything on the road, and in three minutes' time came up with the rear of the train. The enemy made a stand in the corner of a wood for a few moments, killing Lieutenant Winters, who had emptied his pistol and was moving furiously upon them with drawn saber. This was the last stand he made, and the wagons were left to the mercy of any one who had a horse swift enough to overtake the terrified teamsters.

The men of my command moved forward with Lieutenant Grier head until there was not a wagon or ambulance that had not been stopped or turned back, some of the Second Brigade following in the rear of them. Lieutenant Grier and his party led the advance all the way, and although he had not men enough to guard all the wagons and ambulances back to the rear, yet he did send many back in charge of men of my own regiment. These so sent back were delivered by Sergeant Puder, of Company M, to some of the First Vermont, whom it is presumed delivered them to the provost-marshal. One piece of artillery was captured by Private Samuel Fry Company F, who alone sobered one of the drivers in order to compel him to stop his horses and turn around and drive back.

This piece he guarded back himself, and should have the full credit of its capture. Private Smith Allen, Company D, charged up to another piece alone and sobered a driver and was in turn severely wounded in the neck, but remained with the piece and rode by it as it was carried back. He acted very bravely. The piece that was strapped beneath the limber was passed by Lieutenant Grier, and the enemy driven from it by his party, but being then in full pursuit of the enemy he did not think it best then to detach any of his men to take particular charge of it. It was taken charge of by some officer of the Eighth New York.

The number of prisoners captured as straggling parties of the enemy's cavalry was nineteen. If I add to this the number taken with that artillery and with the ambulances and wagons it will swell the number greatly.

I wish to mention for particular gallantry, Sergt. James McKay, Company B; Sergt. William Scott, Company G; Sergt. Puder, Company M; Sergt. William P. Seal, Company E; Corporal Depew, Company E; Private Stephen S. Kelley, Company K, Private John A. Chester, Company F; Sergt. Charles A, Clark, Company B. In mentioning the names of these I would do great injustice to many others, did I not state that this list does not include all who did their duty nobly. These mentioned I saw in the van of the fight, and know from personal observation how well they merit mention. All the non-commissioned officers mentioned richly deserve promotion for their strict attention to duty and their noble conduct in time of action.

I will not mention particularly, further than I have already done, the names of any of my commissioned officers, some were ahead of others, but I am convinced it was not from any lack of zeal, but for reasons which will readily suggest themselves when the nature of the ground passed over is taken into consideration.

I liked to have forgotten to mention the name of T. Jackman, regimental commissary-sergeant, who, although he had no particular duty to perform on the field, was in the front all day, and acted with peculiar bravery. He advanced up to the enemy's skirmish line and with his pistol killed a private and wounded an officer who was endeavoring to saber him. He also, during the day, captured a prisoner.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding Eighteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

New Faces of Indiana Soldiers,

Here are some new faces of the Indiana regiments.  This page is more about the faces then information, although there will be some information.  This page is to help families or people of interest get a picture they may not have gotten otherwise.

Note. These pictures can be enlarged by pushing on one of them.
Milton W. Henderson,Second Lieutenant Milton W. Henderson, Residence Prairieton, Indiana, 85th., Indiana Infantry Company E.  Commission March 18, 1865, Mustered April 2, 1865.  Mustered out with regiment.

Marion Elston, Sergeant Major, 37th., Indiana Infantry, Company K., killed at the battle of Atlanta.

Augustus E. Spencer, Enlisted 37th., Indiana Infantry, Company F., October 20, 1861, enlisted at Lawrenceburg, age 21. Died at Fullahoma Tenn., August 8, 1863.

Gilbert Armstrong, Sergeant, 58th, Indiana Infantry, Company E., Enlisted November 13, 1861, at Jasper Indiana,Age 37, Mustered out 1865; Corporal. Promoted Sergeant June 30 1863. Terrell Volume 5 Page 659. Resident of Ireland. Mustered out November 11 1864. Mustered out Savanah, GA. No day given on discharge

John R. Rankin, Lieutenant, 27th., Indiana Infantry, Company A., enlisted September 1, 1861, at Indianapolis Indiana, Age 18.  1st Sergt. Veteran 24 January, 1864. 1st Lieut 23 April, 1864.  Picture as a Sergeant.

Buskirk Brothers.

Left. Isaac Van Buskirk, Company F., 27th., Indiana Infantry, died of wounds at Chancellorsville.
Right, John Van Buskirk, Opderly Segeant, Company F., Known as "Sandy."

Thomas Grimes, Captain, 85th., Indiana Infantry, Company C., Enlisted August 12, 1862, at Centerville, Indiana, Age 40, Mustered out April 12, 1865: 1st Lt, September 4, 1862. Capt, May 10, 1863

Spillard F. Horrall, Captain, 42nd., Indiana Infantry, Company G., Enlisted1861, as a Second Lieutenant, Promoted Captain, then on September 16, 1864, retired for sickness.

Mrs. S. F. Horrall, maiden name Jane Crabbs, married Mr. Horrall, January 27, 1853.


Mahlon C. Connett, Captain 37th., Indiana Infantry, Company E., Residence Bedford Iwoa.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Edward Ratchford Geary, "Boy Captain."

Edward R. Geary.
"Boy Captain."
Edward Ratchford Geary was born at Salem, Westmoreland, County, Pennsylvania, on September 1, 1845, and was killed in the midnight battle at Wauhatehie, Tennessee, Ocyober 29, 1863, being only eighteen year and two monthsold when killed.  His body was sent home and buried at Newsalem Pennsylvania.  He was musteredinto Knap's Independent Battery E., Pennsylvania Light Artillery, as Second Lieutenant, on September 8, 1861.  He was wounded at the battle of Cedar Mountain Virginia, on August 9, 1862.  On July 16, 1863, he was promoted from Second to First Lieutenant, and was commissioned Captain of Hampton Battery F., on October 20, 1863, but was killed before being mustered in.  On March 13, 1865, he was Breveted Major and Lieutenant Colonel.

While the battery was encamped on Maryland Heights in the fall of 1863, Lieutenant Geary was unanimously elected Captain of Hampton Battery.  His commission from the State of Pennsylvania, dated October 29, 1863, was forewarded to his father John W. Geary, then in command of the White Star Division of the Twelfth Corps.  He had his son's commission in his pocket when Captain Geray was killed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Four Faces Of 151st, New York Infantry.

Read Left to Right

Top Roll.

BOWEN, JR., HEZEKIAH.—Age, 40 years. Enrolled at Lockport, to serve three years, and mustered in as captain, Co. A, August 13, 1862; discharged, September 19, 1864.  Commissioned captain, November 10, 1862, with rank from August 13, 1862, original.

BOGARDUS, CHARLES.—Age, 23 years. Enrolled at Lockport, to serve three years, and mustered in as first lieutenant, Co. A, August 13, 1862; as captain, Co. I, February 28, 1863; „ wounded and captured in action, July 9, 1864, at Monocacy, Md.; discharged for disability, December 15, 1864; mustered in as lieutenant colonel, January 8, 1865; mustered out with regiment, June 26, 1865, near Washington, D. C. Commissioned first lieutenant, November 10, 1862, with rank from- August 13, 1862, original; captain, January 7, 1863, with rank from December 12, 1862, vice G. S. Hutchinson resigned; lieutenant colonel, December 10, 1864, with rank from November 8, 1864, vice T. M. Fay resigned.

Bottom Roll.

TANNER, B E N J A M I N BALDWIN.—Age, 25 years. Enrolled at Lockport, to serve three years, and mustered in as second lieutenant, Go. A, August 13, 1862; as first lieutenant, April 1.4, 1863; died of disease, September 20, 1863, at Washington, D. C.

WARING, A L B E R T A.—Age, 20 years. Enrolled, August 13, 1S62, at Rigeway, to serve three years; mustered i n as first sergeant, Co. A, October 22, 1802; promoted sergeant-major, March 1,- 1863; mustered in as second lieutenant, Co. A, June 10. 1863; as first lieutenant, December 22, 1863; mustered out with company, June 26, 1865, near Washington, I). C. Commissioned second lieutenant, May 27, 1863, with rank from April 14, 1863, vice B. B. Tanner promoted; first lieutenant, November 30, 1863, with rank from September 20, 1863, vice B. B. Tanner died of disease.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bogardus.

Birth: Mar. 28, 1841, Cayuga County, New York.
Death: 1929, Emmet County, Michigan.

Col. Bogardus Is Buried With Military Honors

The body of Col. Charles Bogardus arrived in Paxton on Monday evening from Pellston, Mich., accompanied by the daughter and husband, Attorney and Mrs. Oscar R. Zipf, of Freeport, Ill. Burial took place at 10:30 o'clock Tuesday morning at the family lot in Glen Cemetery, with Prairie Post No. 150 American Legion in charge. Chaplain E. H. Sauers, of Prairie Post, who is pastor of the Paxton M. E. Church, officiated. Many of the friends of the deceased were present at the services.  The military escort, in uniform, consisted of the following Legionnaires; Standard Bearer, Cletus Jayne, and Raymond Swanfelt; firing squad, Albin Anderson in command and John Colwell, Roy Holton, Ed Johnson, Primus Ryberg, Clifford Fitzgerald, Simon Caristen and Harvey Wellers, members. The pall bearers were Messrs C. A. Larson, F. L. Wesslund, John Swanson, P. A. Clark, Victor Lundberg and Charles Aspergren.

Spouse: Hannah Whitaker Pells Bogardus (1838 - 1923)
Burial: Glen Cemetery, Paxton, Ford County, Illinois.

Abner Floyd & William S. Herbert.

Eighty-Fifth Indian Volunteer Infantry.

Left to Right.

Captain Abner Floyd---Captain William S. Herbert.

It seems that ever time I find a name or a picture I like I can't seem to find any information on them.  Just like in this case.  I liked the looks of their faces, but when I looked for informaation on them I found very little.  Even looking through the Regiments History Book I found little.  But I decided to put up what little information I have on them.  Those looking into these family lines will be glad to have any information let along a picture of him.

Captain, Abner Floyd, Residence Annapolis, Commission August 1 or 8. 1862, Mustered September 2, 1862.  Killied Thompson Station, Tenn. 
Here's what the regiment history had to say about him.

Cpatain Abner Floyd, was born in 1829, of good old Kentucky stock, received his education in the common schools of Parks county, Indiana.  A millwright by trade he worked at this business in Indiana, Ohio and Missouri, in politics he was ardent republican.  In religion , a member of the Universalist Ckurch.  A memberof the Mason's fraternity, he was the master of our lodge, organized in the regiment after our mustered out into service.

A stalwart in loyalty he organized company A., and joined the 85th., at the head of this noble company.  When leaving home on the train and bidding good-by to his family he said "you take good care of home and I will stand by the flag."  And waving it over him he was off to war.  His father before him was a captain in the war of 1812, and the war like fires that flamed in his father's soul came out in life of hisss noble son.

Abner Floyd was born a captain and was and so was recognized by comrades as one in every way worthy to command.  Had his life been spared he would have been in line for promotion.  But in the bloody battle of Thompson Station he fell mortally wounded and lingering a little while his noble spirit passed beyond the sight and the weeping.  He had been with us about six months, long enoughto have left an abiding evidence of his nobility.  A leader himself he was willing to follow where othersled and so fell in line of his duty "Standing by the Flag." 

His Sister writes of him as follow:  He was a brave, noble generous hearted man, a friend to all and especiall to the aged and afficted.  One of his favorite maxims was "Always respect grey hairs."

Such was Captain Floyd of Co. A., when he fell in his 34th., year, leading his company stalwart soldiers in the unfortunate battle of Thompson Station, March 5, 1863, Tenn.

William S. Herbert, was captain of Co. C., Residence Chicago, commission April 1, 1863, Mustered May 10, 1863.  Mustered out with the regiment.  The picture shows him at the time he was a Lieutenant.

Authors note.  William S Herbert, is some what a mystery.  Although he is in the History of the regiment as the picture shows and he is listed in the roster of Co. C.,  but nothing is said about him in the history.  I went through the the book and found nothing on him.  He is not recorded in the National Park Service nor The Indiana State Digital Archives.  Yes a mystery man indeed.

The information for this page came from the following;
History of the Eighty-Fifty Indiana Volunteer Infantry, By Jefferson E. Brant, Pub. 1902. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Erskine Hazard, Jr.

Push to Enlarge.

Here is a drawing of fourth Sergeant Erskine Hazard Jr., drown on November 13, 1862, it shows him taking a rest from the march to Fredericksburg.  He enlisted August 18, 1862, at the age of 35, years.  He was of the 121st., Pennsylvania Infantry Co. D., he mustered in August 18, 1863.  He was the Color-Sergeant, for company D., he was wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, on December 13, 1862, and from his wounds he would died on January 1, 1863.

Authors note.  I would like to add more information on him.  If you have any information on him drop me a line and I will post it here.  

Rebecca Wright Civil War Spy.

Rebecca McPherson, a Union spy during the Civil War, was born near Winchester, Virginia, in January, 1842. Her family was one of the few in Winchester who supported the Union. Her father, Amos Wright, died in a Confederate prison early in the war. Rebecca was a schoolteacher, and due to her Quaker beliefs, she abhorred slavery.

In August 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early's army occupied Winchester. While trying to discover the troop strength of Early's army, Federal scouts came across Thomas Laws, an elderly slave, at his home. When Laws told them that he had a permit to pass through the Confederate lines three times a week to sell vegetables, the scouts enlisted his help.  Next, they needed a reliable contact in Winchester. Rebecca Wright's name was suggested by General George Crook, who had visited her boarding house a number of times and trusted her loyalty to the Union.

One afternoon, Rebecca answered a knock at her door to find Thomas Laws on her doorstep. He said he needed to speak with her immediately, and she invited him in. He removed a piece of tin foil from his mouth and handed it to her. Inside the foil, there was a message written on a piece of tissue paper:

Ms. Wright, I know that you are a loyal lady and still love the old flag. Can you inform me of the position of Early's forces, the number of divisions in his army, and the strength of all or any of them and his probable or reported intentions. Have any more troops arrived from Richmond, or are any more coming, or reported to be coming?  The note was signed by General Philip Sheridan of the Union Army.

Rebecca hesitated. If the Rebels discovered that she had given information to Sheridan, she might be imprisoned or put to death. But she remembered a conversation she had with a wounded Confederate officer a few days earlier, and felt compelled to provide that information to the Yankees. She asked Sheridan to keep her involvement a secret until after the Civil War.

She wrote this note to General Sheridan:

The division of General Kershaw and Cutshaw's artillery have been sent away, and no more are expected to arrive as they cannot be spared from Richmond. I do not know how they are situated. I will take pleasure hereafter of learning all I can of their strength and position, and the bearer may call again.
Laws carried this vital news back through the lines. This meant that a full division of General Early's army had been sent to fortify General Robert E. Lee's forces at Petersburg, Virginia. Based on this information, Sheridan planned his attack on Winchester.

Rebecca later recalled:

Many times during the next day, and the quiet Sabbath that followed, I wondered what had become of the messenger, and what would result from my note.
The answer to that question came on the morning of September 19, 1864, when she was awakened by the booming of cannon.

The Yankees drove Early's army from Winchester, clearing the way for General Sheridan's destruction of farms and crops in the Shenandoah Valley, which rivaled the devastation of General William Tecumseh Sherman's contemporaneous March to the Sea in Georgia.  After the war, Sheridan sent Wright a gold watch, chain and breast pin, which was made to his order. "I will always remember this courageous and patriotic action of yours with gratitude," Sheridan wrote.

It was discovered that Rebecca supplied the information that helped the Union army drive the Rebels from Winchester, and she was hated in her hometown after the Civil War. She left Winchester, and General Sheridan helped her get a job in the United States Treasury Department, where she worked for the next 47 years, retiring in 1914.

Authors note:

The Colored messenger.

Up to the year 1891, the colored man that carried the dispacth, had not been found, although every effort had been made to find him.  That year the survivors of the sixth corps, dedicated a monument at Winchester to General David A. Russell, who was killed in that action and while there started a search to find the missing colored man.  He was found and prover to be Tom Lewis of Berryville, who in 1864, belonged to a Mr. Clarke who resided in Winchester and who was privileged to go into town twice a week with produce from his master's farm.  He was brought to to Washington and was finally ---by Mrs. Bonsall ( Miss Wright ), who took him to the War Department and took affidavit of identity which is now on file.  At this time the faithful messenger was 78 years of age, never lived in a city, and while a position was offered him for the balance of his live, he refused, as he was then living with his Grandchildren and doing well and is contented