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Federal Regiment

13th Pennsylvania Reserves (1st Rifles)

"Bucktails"
Organized: Harrisburg, PA; mustered in 6/1861
Disbanded/Mustered out: Harrisburg, PA 6/11/1864

 

Commanding Officers at Antietam:
  Col. Hugh W. McNeil
  Capt. Dennis McGee.

 

Arms:
   Sharps Rifle

 

This Regiment's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of the Potomac
  Corps - First (I) Army Corps
  Division - 3rd Division, I Corps
  Brigade - 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, I Corps


Unit history

Also known as the 42nd Regiment, the "Bucktails" were organized originally as a Company and mustered into service as part of the Seventeenth (three months) Regiment, by Thomas L. Kane in April 1861. The were largely hunters and woodsmen, and wore male deer tails pinned to their caps as symbol of their shooting skills.

That Regiment was never officially connstituted, so the respective officers of a number of similar Companies pertioned the Governor to form a Regiment. In June they were authorized with now-Colonel Kane in command.

"The regiment started into service with a variety of names: Kane's Rifles, the Forty-second of the line, the Thirteenth Reserve, the Rifle, the First Rifle, the Kane Rifle, and the Bucktail. The latter was the popular name, known and read of all".

After Col Kane was wounded, January, 1862, Capt Hugh W. M'Neil (Co D) was elected Colonel.

"The Regiment did excellent service in the Valley and Penninsular Campaigns in Gen Meade's Division".
[quoted from Bates]

On the Antietam Campaign

"On the 7th of September, the regiment, now led by Colonel M'Neil, was ordered to move to meet the enemy in Maryland, and arrived in his front at South Mountain on the 14th. General Meade, in command of the division or?dered Colonel M'Neil to deploy his men as skirmishers in front of the division, to move directly up the mountain, and attack the enemy where found. The movement commenced at four P.M., and his line of battle was encountered at the foot of the mountain, protected by artillery on the top. A charge was ordered, and the skirmishers, supported by the entire division, rushed forward with loud cheers, driving every thing before them, capturing prisoners at every step, until the top of the mountain was reached. It was now too dark to con?tinue the pursuit, and the command rested. The loss was eighteen killed and forty-five-wounded. Among the latter were Captains Irvin and Mack".

"On the following morning the troops moved forward in pursuit of the enemy, and at three P. M., reached the Antietam battleground. At two P. M., on the 16th, the regiment moved with the division to the right of the army, when General Meade directed Colonel M'Neil to deploy, as at South Mountain, in front of his division, and to advance to a piece of wood in front of the Dunkard Church then visible. The enemy. was soon found in strong force posted behind a fence in front of the wood indicated. Supports coming promptly up, the order was given to advance. The Bucktails rushed forward, with a shout, through a terrific fire of artillery and musketry, and gained the wood; but at a fearful cost. Colonel M'Neil, Lieutenant William Allison, and twenty-eight men, were killed, and sixty-five officers and men wounded in this single charge. The last words of Colonel M'Neil were, as he faced the death laden storm, and led the way, "Forward, Bucktails, forward! The division came promptly to their support, and the position was held during the night. At three A.M., on the following day, the battle was renewed. The Bucktails, now under command of Captain Magee, as senior officer, aided by Adjutant Hartshorn, were at once hotly engaged, and fought with their accustomed gallantry until relieved by order of General Meade. The loss in killed and wounded in the two days of battle was one hundred and ten officers and men."
[quoted from Bates]

Map Showing this Unit

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #1: First Army Corps - 16 Sep, 2 PM to 16 Sep, 6 PM
Tablet #15: Meade's Division, First Army Corps - 16 Sep, 2 PM to 16 Sep, 8 PM
Tablet #120: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #17: Seymour's Brigade, Meade's Division - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 8 AM
Tablet #11: Meade's Division, First Army Corps - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 9 AM

After the Antietam Campaign

The Regiment continued in service with the Army of the Potomac, and fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the other campaigns of that army through June 1864.

"The veterans and recruits were transferred to the One Hundred and Ninetieth, of which. Major Hartshorn was appointed Colonel, and the regiment was mus?tered out of service at Harrisburg on the 11th. of June, 1864".

References & Notes

Source: Bates, Samuel P., History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Vol I Harrisburg, PA: , 1869. pp 907-943.; and
Thompson, O.R. Howard and Rauch, William H., History of the "Bucktails," Kane Rifle regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps (13th Pennsylvania Reserves), 42nd of the Line. Dayton, Ohio: Morningside House, Inc., 1988 available online

We have 36 individuals in the AotW database for this unit:

 

Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
APvtBeeman, Seymore WIA   09/17
A PvtRowley, John R.AWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
B LtAllison, William KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BPvtBrackbill, Jeremiah WIA   09/17
BPvtJumper, Conrad KIA   09/14     We have some details for this person
B PvtLehman, Peter MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BPvtShatto, George Washington        We have some details for this person
C PvtMalone, Thomas WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
D PvtCobb, Myron C.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
D PvtGeer, Nelson WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
D PvtGlazier, Henry H.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
D PvtSteward, James MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
D PvtWhitlock, Samuel B.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
EPvtBardwell, H. E.WIA   09/17
EPvtBorden, Bela WIA   09/17
FPvtMcFadden, Charles Died   00/00     We have some details for this person
FCaptMcGee, Dennis         We have some details for this person
HPvtAlcott, David WIA   09/17
HPvtBaker, Aaron WIA   09/17
HCorpBaker, Edwin WIA   09/17
H PvtButler, James KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
IPvtBelknap, Josiah B.MIA   09/17
I LtBell, Frank J.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
I CorpBrewer, Wallace W.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
I PvtClose, Peter P.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
I PvtLafferty, William A.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
I PvtLosey, Frederick C.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
IPvtMaxson, William M.KIA   09/14     We have some details for this person
IPvtNewpher, James D.MWIA   09/14     We have some details for this person
IPvtNorthrop, A. DelosKIA   09/14     We have some details for this person
I PvtRice, Charles P.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtBroomall, Jospeh P.MWIA   09/14
K PvtCummings, William S.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
K PvtHall, Charles KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
F&SLtHartshorne, William Ross        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
F&SColMcNeil, Hugh WatsonMWIA   09/16     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person

 

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