128th Pennsylvania InfantryOrganized: Harrisburg, PA; mustered in August 14, 1862
Disbanded/Mustered out: Harrisburg, PA May 20, 1863
Col. Samuel L. Croasdale
LCol. William W. Hammersly
Maj. Joel B. Wanner
|Statistics for Maryland Campaign|
Initial Strength: not known
Killed in Action (KIA): 34
Wounded (WIA): 85
Maps Showing this Unit:
Detail Map #2: Hood's Division Retakes the Cornfield
Detail Map #3: Mansfield's XII Corps Attacks Into the Cornfield
Battlefield Tablets for this Unit:
Tablet #120: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #27: Twelfth Army Corps - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #28: Williams' Division, Twelfth Army Corps - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 5 PM
Tablet #29: Crawford's Brigade, Williams' Division - 17 Sep, 9 AM to 17 Sep, 5 PM
This Regiment's Chain of Command:
Army - Army of the Potomac
Corps - Twelfth (XII) Army Corps
Division - 1st Division, XII Corps
Brigade - 1st Brigade, 1st Division, XII Corps
History of the Unit:
On Aug. 16, the regiment was ordered to Washington, and as no field officers had yet been commissioned, it moved under the command of Captain William H. Andrews, of Company E.
Soon after its arrival at the Capital, the regiment crossed the Potomac and encamped for a week on Arlington Heights. On the 21st it moved to Fairfax Seminary and on the 29th to Fort Woodbury, where for a week, during which the fierce fighting occured at Bull Run and Chantilly, it engaged in felling timber and erecting fortifications.
Captain Samuel Croasdale, of Bucks County was appointed Colonel, and the other staff was selected.
On September 6th, the regiment re-crossed the Potomac and entered into the Maryland Campaign. At Frederick City, where it arrived on the 14th, it was assigned to Crawford's Brigade, of Williams' Division, Mansfield's XII Corps.
The text for this and the next sections are from 'History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-5' by Samuel P. Bates (1868) and were transcribed by Roy Gehris on his history of the Regiment page .
In the Antietam Campaign:
Moving rapidly forward, the command arrived at South Mountain, where it was held in position during the night in expectation of a renewal of battle, which had been fiercely raging during the day, on the following morning. The enemy retired, and late on the 16th it arrived at Antietam Creek, the troops across the stream under Gen. Hooker having already opened the battle.
At eleven o'clock that evening, the regiment was led across the stream to support Hooker's troops. At two o'clock on the morning of the 17th, the regiment bivouacked in a ploughed field, in immediate proximity to the hostile lines. At early dawn the battle opened and the brigade was immediately advanced in close column of company.
At half-past six, in the morning, the regiment was entered into the fight, and made a most gallant charge through the EAST WOODS and into the memorable CORNFIELD, where the enemy lay concealed.
Unfortunately the charge was made by the flank, and before the regiment could be formed in line, the fire of the enemy had become very hot. While in the act of giving his orders, and bringing his command into position, Colonel Croasdale was killed instantly, and soon afterward Lt. Colonel Hammersly was severely wounded and borne from the field. Fresh from civilian life, hardly a month in service, with two of their commanding officers stricken down before their eyes, and comrades falling all around, the men fell into some confusion. This was soon corrected and the command held the ground where the struggle had been the most desperate, and where the regiment lost some of the bravest and best. It was finally relieved by order of Gen. Williams, now in command of the Corps after Gen. Joseph Mansfield was also mortally wounded.
The loss was beyond measure severe, being thirty-four killed, and eighty-five wounded, of which six subsequently died of their wounds. In addition to the Colonel, Captain William H. Andrews, under whose command the regiment was originally led to the field, and who had exhibited the most determined courage in the fight, was among the dead.
The remainder of the War:
After Antietam, the regiment was encamped at Sandy Hook and on Maryland Heights, constructing fortifications. Major Wanner resigned and returned to Reading to resume the duties of Mayor, a position he left to recruit this regiment. Lt. Col. Hammersley was unable to resume command and Major Mathews of the Forty-sixth Pa was appointed Colonel and took command.
On Dec. 10, the regiment was ordered to move to Fredericksburg, VA. On the 16th the regiment was halted at the Neabsco River and was sent to Fairfax Station. The regiment remained in camp until Jan. 19th, when it proceeded to Stafford Court House and settled in for winter quarters.
On May 1, 1863, the Twelfth Corps reached Chancellorsville and was ordered to entrench on the Plank Road. Later in the day the regiment was moved out to United States Ford, to open the way over the Rappahannock River and returned to their entrenchments later on that evening. During the night the regiment was ordered out upon the front, where it remained until morning, and during the day participated in the fighting upon the left center of the Union line.
At evening, the enemy succeeded in breaking the right wing of the Army, and coming in upon the flank, occupied the Union works. The night was very dark, and in retiring to its original line, the regiment suddenly found itself in the clutches of the enemy. Two hundred and twenty-five non-commissioned officers and men plus nine officers were taken prisoners and marched toward Richmond. The balance of the regiment reached its position in the line which it held with the utmost tenacity.At the close of the battle, the regiment with one hundred and seventy-two men, returned to Stafford Court House.
On May 12, the term of service having expired, it was relieved from duty and proceeded to Harrisburg where on May 19, it was mustered out of service. The officers and men who were taken prisoners, were held only a short time in captivity, returning in time to be mustered out with the rest of the command. Upon its return to Reading, it was honorably received by the authorities and citizens, and was there finally disbanded on May 20.
More on the Web:
More nuggets about the Regiment including rosters for some companies along with a contemporary lithograph. The Bates history is also on line for this and other PA units.
References, Sources, and other Notes:
Source: Bates, Samuel P., History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
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