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PA Civil War > County > Erie History

PA Civil War
Civil War History in Erie County, PA


Whitman, Benjamin, & N. W. Russell, History of Erie County,

When the thrilling tidings came that the slaveholding States had inaugurated civil war, the people of Erie County were practically unanimous in the sentiment that the Union must be preserved at all hazards. Party differences were forgotten, for the time being, and men of all shades of politics vied with each other in acts of patriotism. The national flag was displayed from hundreds of buildings, and in all the towns and villages vast and enthusiastic meetings were held to declare in favor of sustaining the Government. Amid the general patriotism, none were more earnest and active than the ministers of the Gospel, who, as a class, allowed no opportunity to pass by which they might advance the cause of the Union. The church, as a body, was warmly enlisted on the side of the Government, and did quite as much in its way, as any other instrumentality, in firing the public heart, inducing volunteering and building up a solemn faith in the ultimate triumph of the national army.

The first war meeting in the county was held in Wayne Hall, Erie, on the 26th of April, 1861. It was very largely attended, and was presided over by William A. Galbraith, one of the leading Democrats of the Northwest. Speeches were made, in addition to Mr. Galbraith's, by George H. Cutler, John H. Walker and George W. DeCamp. A movement had already been started by Capt. John W. McLane to organize a regiment to serve for three months. Volunteers were flocking to McLane's standard with surprising rapidity, and it was necessary to raise a fund for the support of the families of many of those who had enlisted. The sum of $7,000 for the purpose was subscribed at the meeting, which was increased in a few days to $17,000. The amount allowed to the needy out of this fund was $3.50 per week to the wife of each volunteer, and 50 cents per week for each of his children. Similar meetings were held in almost every town in the county, and volunteer relief funds were subscribed everywhere. The speakers in most general demand were Messrs. Galbraith and DeCamp.


1st Regiment

The camp of the three months' regiment was established on a piece of vacant ground in Erie at the southeast corner of Parade and Sixth streets, where volunteers poured in from all parts of the northwest. More offered in a few days than could be accepted, and many were reluctantly compelled to return home. As a sample of the spirit of the time, the borough and township of Waterford sent forward nearly 100 men. Five companies were recruited in Erie alone, but of these fully one-half were from other places. It was considered a privilege to be accepted, and those who failed to pass muster or arrived too late were grievously disappointed. The regiment left Erie for Pittsburgh at 2 P. M. on Wednesday, the 1st of May, being accompanied by Mehl's Brass Band. A vast crowd was at the railroad depot to witness its departure, and many affecting farewell scenes were witnessed. The regiment reached Pittsburgh at 9 A. M. the next day, and took up its quarters in Camp Wilkins. A number of its members were discharged because the companies to which they were attached exceeded their quota. On the 5th of May, the regiment was presented with a camp flag by the ladies of Pittsburgh, in the presence of 10,000 spectators. It received arms and uniforms on the 29th of May, and was carefully drilled every day that it remained in camp. For some reason, the regiment was never called into active service, and it returned to Erie on Saturday evening, July 20. An immense concourse welcomed the soldiers at the railroad depot, and escorted them to the West Park, where a public supper had been prepared by the ladies of the city. But one member died during the absence of the regiment,


83rd Regiment

In the meantime, the President had issued a call for 300,000 men for the war, and Col. McLane had made a tender of a regiment for that service. Many of the members of the three months' regiment had volunteered to go with the Colonel, and they were accordingly dismissed until the 1st of August to await an answer to his proffer. On the 24th of July, Col. McLane received an order authorizing him to recruit a new regiment. Those of the First Regiment who had re-enlisted were recalled, and recruiting began actively throughout the northwestern counties. A camp was established on the old fair grounds, about two miles east of the city, where the men were mustered in as they enlisted by Capt. J.B. Bell, of the regular army.

While these measures were in progress, Capts. Gregg and Bell, of the United States Army, opened a recruiting office in the city for the regular cavalry, and enlisted a considerable number of young men. The Perry Artillery Company, an Erie military organization, offered its services to the Government, and were accepted, with C.F. Mueller as Captain, and William F. Luetje as First Lieutenant.

An immense meeting was held in Farrar Hall, on the 24th of August, to assist in raising men for McLane's regiment. It was addressed by William A. Galbraith, James C. Marshall, George W. DeCamp, Col. McLane, Miles W. Caughey and Capt. John Graham. Meetings of a like character followed throughout the county. The principal speakers besides those named were Alfred King, Strong Vincent, William S. Lane, Morrow B. Lowry and Dan Rice. The harmonious feeling of the time is best illustrated by the statement that the Democrats and Republicans united in a Union pole-raising in Greenfield.

Simultaneously with the efforts in behalf of the new regiment, recruiting was going on with great vigor for the navy. Some sixty persons from Erie went to New York to serve under the command of lieutenant T.H. Stevens. Up to September 7, Capt. Carter, of the United States steamer Michigan, had enlisted 700 seamen, who were forwarded in squads to the seaboard.

By September, the Ladies' Aid Society had been organized in Erie to furnish relief to the sick and wounded soldiers in the field, with branches in most of the towns in the county. It was maintained during the entire war, and did invaluable service. Through its labors, boxes of delicacies, hospital supplies, medicines and other comforts for the sick were forwarded to the front almost daily.

The regiment of Col. McLane, on being reported full, was ordered to the front, and left for Harrisburg on the 16th of September. Its departure was attended by the same vast outpouring and marked by the same pathetic incidents as before, and none who were eye-witnesses will ever forget the scenes of the day. A flag was presented to it on the part of the State December 21, and it became officially known as the Eighty-third Regiment.


111st Regiment

Before the departure of the Eighty-third Regiment, Maj. M. Schlaudecker, of Erie, commenced recruiting for another, adopting the same place for his camp that had been occupied by Col. McLane's command. Enlistments went on with such alacrity that the regiment left for the front on Tuesday, the 25th of February, 1862, at 2:30 P. M., with every company full. At Harrisburg, it was presented by Gov. Curtin with a stand of colors, and took rank as the One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment. It is not necessary to say that the scenes at its departure from Erie were fully as affecting as those before stated. The regiment was accompanied by Zimmerman's Brass Band.

Among the important events in the early part of the year 1862 were the rumors of a war with Great Britain, and the projected naval depot on the lake, in anticipation of the same. A committee of citizens was sent on to Washington by the City Council, to urge the adoption of Erie as the site for the proposed establishment. On the 8th of January, the entire crew of the United States steamer Michigan was ordered to other points, with the exception of eight officers and men. March 8, the newspapers were notified by the Secretary of War that the publication of army movements would not be permitted. A meeting was held in Erie on the 12th of April to provide for the relief of those who might be wounded in the battles that were daily expected in Virginia. Considerable money was raised, and committees were appointed to furnish attendants for those who might need their services. By this date, the country was having war in earnest. Bodies of rebel prisoners were taken through on the Lake Shore Railroad every few days. It might be supposed that war matters absorbed the whole of public attention, but this was only the case in a general sense. All lines of trade and manufacture were carried on with unabated energy during the entire conflict, and a course of public lectures was maintained in the city each winter, comprising some of the most noted orators of the day.

The news of the battles around Richmond, in which the Eighty-third suffered terribly and Col. McLane was killed, reached Erie in the latter part of June, and caused great mourning. Emblems of sorrow for the dead were placed on many buildings, and hospital stores were hastily sent forward for the wounded.


145th Regiment

Early in July the President called for 300,000 more troops, and of this number it was announced that Erie County's proportion was five companies of 100 men each. A meeting to encourage enlistments was held in Wayne Hall, at which the County Commissioners were asked to appropriate $100,000 toward equipping a new regiment. This was succeeded by others, both in Erie and in the country districts. The martial spirit had been much cooled by the disasters in Virginia, and it began to be necessary to offer extra inducements to volunteers. Erie City offered a bounty of $50 to each recruit and the various townships hastened to imitate its example. Another call for 300,000 men decided the County Commissioners to appropriate $25,000 to pay an additional bounty of the same amount. In August, for the third time, the fair grounds were turned into a military camp, and the organization of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment began. Recruits came forward rapidly, and the regiment left for the seat of war on the 11th of September.

At the same time that enlistments were in progress for the last-named regiment, volunteers were being gathered for other organizations. The navy was receiving numerous accessions, mainly from Erie. Capts. Lennon, Miles and Roberts were each raising a cavalry company. It was officially reported that two hundred men had entered the navy from Erie City alone, up to the 16th of August.


Notwithstanding the large number of volunteers, the quota of Erie County, under the various calls of the President, was still short, and a draft seemed inevitable. The papers were full of articles urging the people, for the credit of the county, to avoid the draft, and meetings were constantly being held to induce volunteering. Many persons were badly scared over the probability of being forced into the service, and a few quietly took up their abode in Canada. As the chance of a draft became more certain, insurance companies were formed for the protection of the members. Those who joined these organizations paid a sum varying from $20 to $50, which was placed in a common fund, to procure substitutes for such of their number as might be drawn from the wheel of fate. While preparations for the draft were in progress, recruiting for both the army and the navy went on with great energy. On September 25, Capt. Lennon's cavalry company left with full ranks, and by the 4th of October, Roberts' and Miles' companies were both in camp at Pittsburgh.

Toward the latter part of September, the State authorities became alarmed for the safety of Harrisburg, and a hasty call was issued for minutemen to assist in the defense of the capital. Six companies, including some of the leading business men, left Erie for Harrisburg, in response to the Governor's appeal, but, happily, were not needed to take part in any fighting. They returned in the beginning of October, far from pleased with their brief lesson in military duty.

Meanwhile, an enrollment of the militia had been made, preliminary to the draft, under the direction of I.B. Gara, who had been appointed a Commissioner for the purpose. These proceedings, as well as the subsequent measures in connection with the subject, were carried on under the State militia law, the Federal Government not having yet taken the matter into its hands. W.P. Gilson was appointed a Deputy Marshal to prevent the escape of persons liable to conscription into Canada. The officers to manage the draft were B.B.Vincent, Commissioner, and Charles Brandes, Surgeon. Gov. Curtin gave notice that volunteers for nine months would be accepted up to the day of drafting.

The draft was held in the grand jury room of the court house on the 16th of October, 1,055 names being drawn for the whole county, the owners of which were to serve for nine months. A blindfolded man drew the slips from the wheel, which were read as they came out to the crowd in attendance in and around the court house. There were many funny incidents, and some that were very sad indeed. North East and Springfield were the only districts in the county that escaped the draft, their quotas being full. In filling the wheel, all persons were exempted above the age of forty-five years; also, all ministers, school teachers and school directors.

After the draft, the main business for some weeks was hunting up substitutes. The price of these ranged from $50 to $250, though the average was in the neighborhood of $150. The act released parties from military service on payment of $300, and those who were able to raise the money generally availed themselves of the privilege. A good many persons who had concluded that the war was to be a long and bloody one, shrewdly put substitutes into the service for a term of three years. Swindlers were plenty, who hired out as substitutes, got their money in advance and then left for parts unknown. Some 300 persons were exempted for physical disability, about 250 failed to report, and, altogether, it is doubtful whether 500 of the drafted men ever went into the army. The first lot of conscripts, fifty-one in number, left for camp at Pittsburgh in the latter part of October, some 300 were forwarded on the 10th of November, and the balance went on at intervals between that and the end of the year. Andrew Scott was appointed a Provost Marshal to hunt up the delinquents, but hardly found enough to pay for the trouble. The Councils of Erie voted $45,000 for the relief of the families of conscripts from the city, and the Ladies' Aid Society supplied each family with a Thanksgiving dinner at its place of residence. A majority of the conscripts reached home by the ensuing August. Few saw any fighting and the number of deaths was quite meager.


By fall prices had gone up 25 to 40 per cent, with a steady tendency to advance. The National tax law was in full operation, and county, city and township levies were largely increased to provide money for bounties. Gold and silver had disappeared from circulation, and national treasury notes, or greenbacks, as they came to be known, were slowly finding their way into use, but the principal medium of exchange still consisted of the notes of uncertain State banks, county and city scrip and Government fractional currency or "shin plasters." Even of the latter there were not enough for public convenience, and business men resorted to cheeks and due bills for fractional parts of a dollar. To meet the demand for small change, the city issued scrip in sums of 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 cents, which proved of much convenience for the time being.

While this was the state of affairs financially, political feeling grew daily more intense. The term "Copperhead," as applied to the Democrats, came into use about the beginning of 1863, and the latter, to retort upon the Republicans, styled them Blacksnakes, Revolutionists, Radicals and other names more forcible than polite. The Republicans taunted the Democrats with being opposed to the war, and the latter answered by saying that the Republicans aimed at the destruction of the people's liberty. Looking at the subject now, the embittered partisanship of the day seems supremely foolish and incomprehensible. There were true patriots on both sides, and both parties doubtless contained men who were more anxious for the triumph of selfish ends than of or the good of the country. The mass of the people were patriotic, no matter by what party name they called themselves.


Early in the year 1863, Congress passed an act taking the matter of conscription out of the hands of the States, rendering all persons liable between the ages of twenty and forty-five, except such as were exempt from physical causes, or for other special reasons, and making each Congressional district a military district, under the supervision of a Provost Marshal, an Enrolling Commissioner and an Examining Surgeon, to be appointed by the President. To escape military duty, when called upon, it was made necessary to prove exemption, furnish a substitute or pay $300. lieutenant Col. H.S. Campbell, late of the Eighty-third Regiment, was named as Marshal; Jerome Powell, of Elk County, as Commissioner; and Dr. John Mackim. of Jefferson County, as Surgeon, to act for this Congressional district. Headquarters were established at Waterford, and a new enrollment was made during the months of May and June. In the prosecution of their duties, the enrolling officers met with some hostility among the laborers and mechanics of the city, but nothing occurred of a serious nature. The Government was now enlisting negroes into the army, and bodies of those troops passed through Erie frequently.

The news of the rebel invasion of Pennsylvania, and of the battles at Gettysburg caused a wonderful commotion throughout the county. The Governor made an urgent appeal for militia to defend the State, and instant measures were taken in response. A vast meeting was held in Erie on the evening of June 15, at which earnest speeches were made by Messrs. Lowry, Sill, Galbraith, Walker, Marvin, McCreary and others, pointing out the duty of the people to drive the enemy from the soil of Pennsylvania. About 400 citizens enlisted for the State defense, but, on reaching Pittsburgh, they were ordered home, the victory of Meade having rendered their immediate service unnecessary. Generous contributions of hospital stores were sent to the wounded Erie County soldiers at Gettysburg by the efforts of the Ladies' Aid Society. The fall of Vicksburg and Meade's triumph were celebrated in Erie with great rejoicing.

By reference to the newspapers of the day, we find that in June Capt. Mueller was in Erie recruiting another battery. Large numbers of young men were shipping in the navy. The citizens were making extraordinary exertions to avert another draft. Insurance companies against the draft were formed by the score, and hundreds of persons were putting in claims for exemption to the enrolling officers. Eastern regiments were passing through the city as often as two or three a week, on their way home to fill up their ranks. Not a few liable to military service were slipping off to Canada, and an occasional instance was reported of young men cunningly maiming themselves to secure exemption. The only portion of the male population who felt really comfortable were the deformed, the crippled and the over-aged.

The second draft in numerical order, and the first under the United States law, occurred at Waterford, under the supervision of the officers above named, on Monday and Tuesday, the 24th and 25th of August. The wheel stood on a platform in front of the Provost Marshal's office, and the names were drawn by a blind man. An audience of a thousand or more surrounded the officers, one of whom took each slip as it came out of the wheel and read it aloud, so that all present could hear. The crowd was good natured throughout the proceedings, but many a man who assumed indifference when his name was drawn was at heart sick and sore. The saddest features of the case did not appear to the public; they were only known to the parents, the wives and the children of the conscripts. It is impossible to state the number who were drafted, but as the county was announced to be nearly 1,400 short of its quota a week or so before, it is probable that it did not fall much below that figure. The price of substitutes ran up to $300, with the supply quite up to the demand. On the 26th of September, it was stated in the newspapers that eighty-three of the conscripts had furnished substitutes, 245 had paid commutation, 706 had been exempted and 127 had been forwarded to camp at Pittsburgh.

The fall election for Governor was one of the most exciting in the history of State politics. Meetings were held in all parts of the county by both parties, and much bad feeling prevailed.


In October, appeared a call from President Lincoln for 300,000 more men.

On the heels of this, Gov. Curtin announced Pennsylvania's quota to be 38,268, which he asked to be made up by volunteering. A general bounty of $402 was offered to veterans who should re-enlist, and $100 less to new recruits. To this sum the county added $300, and most of the districts $50 to $100 more.

During a portion of the season, the United States steamer Michigan, which had been fully manned again, was guarding Johnson Island, in the upper part of the lake, where about two thousand rebel prisoners were confined, whom rumor accused of a design to escape. In the month of November, reports became current of a proposed rebel invasion from Canada, Erie being named as the landing place. This was the most startling news, in a local sense, that had yet arisen out of the war, and our citizens were correspondingly agitated. While the excitement was at its height, 600 troops arrived from Pittsburgh, with a battery, all under the command of Maj. Gen. Brooks. The latter directed entrenchments to be thrown up on the blockhouse bluff, and called upon the Citizens to lend him their assistance. Something like one thousand obeyed his summons, with picks and shovels, on the first day, but the workers dwindled woefully in number on the second day. The rumor, which was absurd from the start, soon proved to be false, the work was abandoned, and the troops left for the South in a few days, with the exception of the battery.

The encouragement given by the large bounties did much to promote volunteering. Erie County's quota of the new call was 673, which it was determined by the public should be made up without a draft. On the 14th of January, 1864, the members of the One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment came home to recruit their ranks. They were given a grand reception at the depot, and treated by the ladies to a sumptuous repast in Wayne Hall. The regiment went into camp on the fair grounds, and remained until February 25, when they left for the seat of war with ranks nearly full. A good many members of the Eighty-third Regiment, whose terms had expired, also came home in January, and were received with the cordiality their bravery entitled them to. Seventy-five more arrived on the 4th of March.

Among the features at the beginning of 1864, it is to be noted that two recruiting officers for the regular army were busy at work in the city. The national currency had supplanted all other paper circulation, and, being issued in vast amounts, had inflated prices to twice and thrice their normal standard. A remarkable speculation had commenced in real estate. Sixty persons had enlisted from Erie in the navy and hosts of others were thinking of doing the same in preference to entering the army. Several squads of negro soldiers passed through Erie from Waterford, where they had been accepted to apply on the quota of the county. Five or six criminals were released from prison by the court at the May session on condition that they must join the army.

To the joy of all, when the day for the draft arrived, Erie County escaped, her proportion having been raised. A few names were drawn, however, for the other counties of the Congressional district.


The call of the President, in July, for 500,000 more men, was succeeded by the usual periodical endeavor to avoid the draft, which had become the all-exciting topic of discussion. At a meeting in Erie, $20,000 was subscribed to offer extra inducements to volunteers, besides the United States, county and district bounties. The quota of the county was stated to be 1,289, and of this, the city's proportion was about one hundred and fifty. Provost Marshal Campbell, in pursuance of instructions, gave notice that negroes would be taken as substitutes. This hint was eagerly accepted, and Asa Battles, John W. Halderman and Richard M. Broas were deputed to go to the Southwest and pick up recruits to apply on the quota of Erie County. Meanwhile Ensign Bone had opened an office in the city, where he was shipping men by the hundred for the navy. About a thousand entered the service through that channel, receiving an average bounty of $400. The price of substitutes had increased to $550, $600 and $700.

President Lincoln was re-elected in November, after a contest which has never been surpassed in the hatred it engendered, and the vigor with which it was fought on both sides. Every speaker who could be mustered was forced upon the stump, and there was scarcely a cross-roads that did not have its mass meetings, pole raisings and political clubs. The great processions of the two parties in Erie during that campaign were the chief events of a life-time to many of the participants. Notwithstanding the heated canvas, the election passed off without a disturbance, and the defeated party acquiesced in the result with the calmness of a martyr.

On the 10th of November, there were two companies of home guards in Erie organized especially for State defense.


The call for 300,000 more men in January, 1865, led the Councils of Erie to increase their offer of a bounty to $150, which was ultimately increased to $400. A draft took place at Ridgway, where the Provost Marshal's office had been moved from Waterford, on the 6th of March, in which 2,010 names were drawn from Erie County. The only district that did not have to contribute was Girard Borough. The names of the conscripts were telegraphed to Erie and read to the anxious thousands in waiting, from a window of the Wright Block. Occasionally, a sound of forced laughter would be heard as some excitable person's name was announced, but the general bearing of the crowd was solemn and painful. Hundreds of women were in the crowd, and their distress upon learning of the conscription of some father, husband or brother was most pitiful. The people were at last face to face with war's sternest and cruelest realities. The Legislature had passed an act authorizing any district to pay a bounty of $400, and large sums were now offered for volunteers and substitutes. The price of the latter at one period rose to $1,500, but got down finally to an average of between $700 and $800. Of the drafted men, a good portion entered the service and were mostly assigned to guard duty in the forts at and near Washington. The majority of them were back by the close of June.

On Sunday, April 9, came the glad news of the surrender of Lee, which was everywhere hailed as the virtual end of the war. The demonstration in Erie over the event was the most joyful and impressive in the city's history. Cannon were fired, bells were rung, flags were thrown to the breeze, and the whole population shouted themselves hoarse for the Union and its gallant soldiers. The illumination in the evening made the streets almost as bright as the noonday sun.

This universal gladness was quickly changed to profound sorrow by the assassination of President Lincoln on that dreadful Friday, the 12th of April. Emblems of mourning instantly took the place of the tokens of victory, and every warehouse, shop and business establishment was closed on Saturday. The special train bearing the martyred President's remains to Springfield, passed through the city on the 27th of April. Thousands of spectators gathered at the depot to pay their last tribute of respect to the honored dead.


Here ends the story of the war, so far as relates to its general features in Erie County. A sketch in detail of the several regiments is given below, to which all are referred who wish to know more of their history. The following is a partial list of officers from Erie County who took part in the contest, aside from those already named or in the regular regimental organizations:

United States Navy
. - Regular officers, R.B. Lowry, Thomas H. Stevens, R.N. Spotts, James E. Jouett, James W. Shirk, Leonard Paulding, D. Lanman, Napoleon Collins.

Chief Engineer - William H. Rutherford.

Surgeon - W. Maxwell Wood.

Assistant Paymasters - J.P. Loomis, Walter W. Chester, George A. Lyon.

Volunteer Service.
- Masters -John H. Welsh, M.J. Cronen, James C. Marshall, Jr.

Ensigns - A.J. Louch, M.E. Flannigan, Patrick Donnelly, William Slocum, James Hunter, George W. Bone, Felix McCann, Philip Englehart, James S. Roberts, C.M. Bragg, John Dunlap, Frank Oliver, James Downs, J.M. Reed, John Sullivan, Norman McCloud, Warren Burch, ----- Reed, ----- Reed, Patrick Murphy, Braxton Bragg.

Engineers - Patrick Maloney, Robert Riley, William Bass, Bennett Jones, P.H. Fales, Jonas Slocum, William Moran, John Miles, George Odell.

Gunners - John Murray, William Barton, Thomas Carpenter.

Carpenters - J.G. Thomas, John O. Baker.

Masters Mates - Patrick Sullivan, Horace Sprague, Robert Roberts, Thomas J. Dunlap, William Marsh, Henry C. Warren, William E. Leonard, Jesse M. Rutherford, Joseph E. Kelso, James Cummins, Henry Van Velsor.

Revenue Service. -
Douglass Ottinger.

United States Army
. - Regular officers - Gen. Reno, H.B. Fleming, Josiah Kellogg, W.W. Lyon.

Paymaster - A. McDowell Lyon.

Quartermaster - E.C. Wilson.

Volunteer Service. -
A.F. Swan, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry; Lockwood Caughey, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry; William McAllister, Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry; T.J. Hoskinson, Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.

Paymasters - Allen A. Craig, S.V. Holliday, Gideon J. Ball, Henry C. Rogers, John W. Walker.

Quartermaster - Robert C. Caughey.

Surgeons - J.L. Stewart, Thomas H. Stuart.

The above is far from full, and may be incorrect in some respects.

The lamented Gen. Reno was appointed to West Point through the influence of Hon. John Galbraith. His father was once in business at the Erie docks.

S. Todd Perley served during a good part of the war, by appointment of Gov. Curtin, as State Agent to assist the sick and wounded in hospital at Washington.


The following are extracts from the records of the County Commissioners during and immediately following the war.

1861 - April 22 - The sum of $10,000 of the county funds set apart for the support of such persons as shall enlist in support of the Government.

1862 - August 5 - A bounty of $50 voted to each person who will volunteer to make up the quota of 500 men required from Erie County to make up the call of the President.

September 10 - The quota being full and a large excess of volunteers in the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment; the resolution offering a bounty of $50 extended to all who may hereafter form the Eighty-third, One Hundred and Eleventh and One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiments, or Thomas Lennon's Cavalry Company, to be credited to Erie County.

1863 - December 14 - A bounty of $300 voted to each person who shall volunteer to the credit of Erie County, so as to avoid the draft fixed for the 5th of January, warrants to be issued for the purpose drawing interest, redeemable at the will of the County Commissioners in county scrip, at par without interest.

1864 - February 9 - The bounty of $300 extended, under the same conditions as above.

April 5 - County scrip signed to date, $190,800.

March 14 - Rate of bounty tax fixed at 20 mills on the dollar of valuation. Amount levied, $93,652.

March 22 - The bounty of $300 continued till the quota of Erie County is full; provided, that if a local bounty is offered by any ward, borough or township, the county will only pay so much in addition as will make the sum of $300.

June 7 - Record made that the injunction asked for by James C. Marshall against the issue of the county scrip had been denied by Judge Derrickson.

December 15 - The other banks of Erie having refused to receive the county scrip on deposit, arrangements made by which it will be received by the Keystone National Bank at par.

A tax of $35,000 levied to redeem county scrip.

1865 - January 9 - Rate of county bounty tax fixed at 3 per cent on the valuation. Amount levied $171,867.

October 2 - Tax to the amount of $12,000 levied to pay interest on scrip and bounty warrants.

December 27 - The rate of county bounty tax fixed at 15 mills on the valuation. Amount levied $88,643.

1866 - January 2 - Burned $74,891 of the county scrip.

1867 - January 7 - Burned $54,532 of county scrip.

April 1 - Burned $25,000 of county scrip.

1870 - October 4 - Estimate of county, expenses: To replace scrip burned by Auditors for 1869, $14,800; to redeem county scrip yet outstanding, $3,700.

The above is all that is to be found in the minute book of the Commissioners relating to the subject.


The following table of retail prices, compiled from the Erie papers, shows how the cost of living advanced in consequence of the war:

Articles January 1, 1862. March 12, 1864. September 14, 1865.
Flour, per barrel $5.00 / 6.00 $7.50 / 8.00 $10.50 / 11.00
Wheat, per bushel 1.10 1.40 / 1.60 1.80 / 2.40
Corn, per bushel 40 1.20 75 / 80
Rye, per bushel 60 125 100
Oats, per bushel 30 75 50
Barley, per bushel 40 / 50 1.25 75 / 1.00
Clover seed, per bushel 4.00 / 4 25   14.00 / 15.00
Timothy seed, per bushel 2.00   6.00
Flax seed, per bushel 87 2.00 1.75
Potatoes, per bushel 37 1/2 60 / 75 40 / 50
Beans per bushel 1.25 2.00 / 2.25 1.50 / 2.00
Dried apples, per bushel 1.50 per lb 25 / 30 2.00
Butter, per pound 15 / 16 30 / 35 28 / 30
Lard, per pound 8 / 10 25 / 28 20
Cheese, per pound 5 / 6 12 / 15 14 / 16
Ham, per pound 7 / 8 15 / 16 25 / 28
Shoulder, per pound 6 12 20
Eggs, per dozen 10 / 12 20 / 23 20 / 22
Hard wood, per cord 2.00 / 2.50   7.00
Soft wood, per cord 2.00   4.00


This regiment was recruited under a call issued on the 21st of April, 1861, by Capt. John W. McLane, who had served in the Mexican war, and at the breaking-out of the rebellion was in command of the Wayne Guard at Erie. Twelve hundred men responded to the call in four days, of whom ten companies of seventy-seven men each were accepted. The regiment was mainly recruited from Erie and Crawford Counties. It went into camp on a piece of vacant ground in Erie City, on the east side of Parade street, near the intersection of Sixth, which was duly christened Camp Wayne. Field officers were elected on the 27th of April. The regiment proceeded by rail to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, May 1, and camped along the Allegheny River a short distance above the city. Being the first organized regiment that had reached the city, it was received with much curiosity and enthusiasm, and the people vied with each other in deeds of kindness to both officers and men. After six weeks spent in idleness at Camp Wilkins, as its first quarters were known, the regiment was moved to Hulton Station, twelve miles further up the Allegheny, where a general rendezvous had been established for the troops of Western Pennsylvania, under the name of Camp Wright. Here the men received muskets and were carefully drilled, but labored under much disadvantage in target practice for want of suitable ammunition. The term of enlistment of the regiment expired without its having been mustered into the United States service. It returned to Erie on the 20th of July, much to the disgust of both officers and men, who were in dead earnest to render some service to their country.

The following were the principal officers of the regiment:


Colonel - John W. McLane.

Lieutenant Colonel - Benjamin Grant.

Major - M. Schlaudecker.

Adjutant - Strong Vincent.

Quartermaster - S.B. Benson.

Surgeon - J.L. Stewart.


Captain - T.M. Austin.

First Lieutenant - A. McD. Lyon.

Second Lieutenant - Strong Vincent.

Second Lieutenant - William E. Bates.


Captain - Hiram L. Brown.

First Lieutenant - James F. Wittich.

First Lieutenant - D.B. McCreary.

Second Lieutenant- John M. Clark.


Captain- John Graham.

First Lieutenant - A.E. Yale.

Second Lieutenant - C.P. Rogers.


Captain - J.L. Dunn.

First Lieutenant - J.W. Patton.

Second Lieutenant - I.S. Krick.


Captain - John A. Austin.

First Lieutenant - A. M. Judson.

Second Lieutenant - J.W. McKay.


Captain - Charles B. Morgan.

First Lieutenant - James Farrell.

Second Lieutenant - David P. Sigler.


Captain - D.W. Hutchinson.

First Lieutenant - J. Godfrey.

Second Lieutenants - C.A. Pettibone, J.E. Pettibone.


Captain - John Landsrath.

First Lieutenant - John M. Sell.

Second Lieutenant - W.W. Gould.


Captain - Frank Wagner.

First Lieutenant - Peter Liebel.

Second Lieutenant - Peter Schlaudecker.


Captain - John Kilpatrick.

First Lieutenant - Thomas C. McLane.

Second Lieutenant- Edward Coughlin.

The regiment was accompanied by Mehl's Band during the entire period of its absence.


83rd Regiment

On the return of the three months' regiment, Col. McLane immediately announced his purpose of raising another regiment for three years. Authority for this purpose was received on the 24th of July, 1861, and in less than five weeks the full complement of 1,000 men had enlisted, mainly from the counties of Erie, Crawford, Warren and Forest. Of these, nearly three hundred had been members of the three months' regiment. The rendezvous was on the old fair grounds east of Erie, and the regiment was mustered into the United States service on the 8th of September. It left for Washington on the 16th of September, accompanied by Mehl's Band, where it was assigned to the Third Brigade of Porter's division, under command of Gen. Butterfield. The regiment soon attained to a high reputation for drill and soldierly appearance. On one occasion, Gen. McClellan said to Col. McLane: "I congratulate you upon having one of the very best regiments in the army." Gen. Butterfield also congratulated and commended the regiment in a general order. It was also awarded one of the French uniforms and equipments that had been specially imported to be presented to the regiments found the most proficient in a competitive drill. The regiment remained in camp in front of Washington until the 8th of March, 1862, when orders were received for the whole army to move. It took part in the reconnaissance toward Big Bethel and the siege of Yorktown, and was prominently engaged in the battles of Hanover Court House, Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill and most of the desperate encounters along and in the vicinity of the Chickahominy. At Gaines' Mill on the 27th of June, Col. McLane was killed, lamented not only by his own men but by the whole corps. On the 11th of August, Mehl's Band, which had been with the regiment to that date, was discharged by general order, and came back to Erie. When the army moved north, the Eighty-third accompanied it, and participated in Pope's campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, and, in fact, nearly every battle that was fought down to the closing scene at Appomattox. Col. Vincent, who had succeeded Col. McLane, and who was at the time in command of the brigade, fell, mortally wounded, at Gettysburg on the 2nd of July, 1863. He had been appointed a Brigadier General, but the news of his promotion did not reach the regiment until after his death. After Gettysburg, the regiment, which had been reduced by losses in battle and sickness to but 200 of its original members, was enlarged to the extent of some 400 drafted men and substitutes, and it received accessions from time to time sufficient to swell its total roll to about 2,600. It was mustered out of the service at Washington on the 28th of June, 1865, and formally disbanded on the 4th of July at Harrisburg. The members of the regiment returned to their homes in small bodies, but their welcome was none the less warm and cheering. In the official history of Pennsylvania volunteers, published by the commonwealth, it is stated that the Eighty-third Regiment was engaged in twenty-five battles, "more by two than any other Pennsylvania Infantry regiment." The surviving members formed a civil organization in September, 1867, which has assembled each year at some town within the limits of the territory in which it was recruited. Below is a list of the principal officers of the regiment:


Colonels - John W. McLane, Strong Vincent, O.S. Woodward, Chauncey P. Rogers.

Lieutenant Colonels - Strong Vincent, Hugh S. Campbell, Dewitt C. McCoy, Chauncey P. Rogers, William O. Colt.

Majors - Louis H. Naghel, William H. Lamont, William O. Colt, W.H. Dunbar.

Adjutants - John M. Clark, B.M. Frank.

Quartermasters - James Saeger, Daniel W. Clark, George M. Boal.

Surgeons - William Faulkner, E.P. Allen, J.P. Burchfield.

Assistant Surgeons - David E. Belknap, Isaac Walborn, Michael Thompson, Jonathan Wotring, William S. Stewart, Jared Free, T.C.M. Stockton.

Chaplains - Josiah Flower, Orson B. Clark.


Captains - Charles B. Morgan, David P. Sigler, David P. Jones, William O. Colt, E.L. Whittelsey.

First Lieutenants - David P. Sigler, David P. Jones, James M. Hunter, Martin V. Gifford, Wilkes S. Colt.

Second Lieutenants - David P. Jones, James M. Hunter, Wilkes S. Colt, William H. Lamont, Pierce Hanrahan, David R. Rogers.


Captains - John F. Morris, David A. Apple, Daniel G. Saeger, Israel Thickstun, Andrew J. McKee.

First Lieutenants - James Saeger, Daniel G. Saeger, Orrin A. Hotchkiss, David A. Apple, Andrew J. McKee, A.C. Montgomery, Harrison Raymond.

Second Lieutenants - David A. Apple, Daniel G. Saeger, Orrin A. Hotchkiss, A.C. Montgomery, Harrison Raymond, Charles W. Smith.


Captains - John Graham, John H. Borden.

First Lieutenants - Aaron E. Yale, John W. Vannatta, Abner B. Edson, Charles H. Hubbell.

Second Lieutenants - James R. Farrell, Bethuel J. Goff, Joseph B. Grimler, John W. Vannatta, Samuel L. Fluke, Charles H. Hubbell, Daniel B. Foote.


Captains - O.S. Woodward, Chauncey P. Rogers, John P. Kleckner.

First Lieutenants - Chauncey P. Rogers, Isaac Keck.

Second Lieutenant - Plympton A. White, Isaac Keck, Abijah H. Burnett.


Captains - Hugh S. Campbell, Amos M. Judson, Benjamin A. Smith, Peter Grace.

First Lieutenants - Amos M. Judson, William O. Colt, Peter Grace, William H. McGill.

Second Lieutenants - William O. Colt, James H. Barnett, Peter Grace, William H. McGill, Alex B. Langley, E.L. Whittelsey, James C. Percival.

Captains - Dewitt C. McCoy, Thomas A. Stebbins, C.V. Van Dusen.

First Lieutenants - Joel Smith, Thomas A. Stebbins, C.V. Van Dusen, John W. Marshall, Noble L. Terrell.

Second Lieutenants - Thomas A. Stebbins, John W. Marshall, Augustus McGill, William J. Gleason, John P. Kleckner, William L. Bennett.


Captains - Daniel S. Knox, George Stowe, Moses G. Corey.

First Lieutenants - George Stowe, Moses G. Corey, Thomas Van Giesen.

Second Lieutenants - Daniel W. Clark, John Herrington, Moses G. Corey, Thomas J. Van Giesen, Benjamin A. Smith.

A new company G, recruited in Allegheny County, was assigned to the regiment in March, 1865.


Captains - P.B. Carpenter, Israel Thickstun.

First Lieutenants - John E. Wilson, Israel Thickstun, Roswell B. Hynes.

Second Lieutenants - Israel Thickstun, James W. Foster, Oliver L. Hall, Andrew J. McKee.

A new company H, recruited at Pittsburgh, was assigned to the regiment in March, 1865.


Captains - Hiram L. Brown, John M. Sell, John H. Borden.

First Lieutenants - John M. Sell, John H. Borden, Frederick C. Wittich.

Second Lieutenants - John M. Clark, Frederick C. Wittich, William J. Wittich, Abner B. Edson.

A new company I, recruited at Harrisburg and Reading, was assigned to the regiment in March, 1865.


Captains - Thomas M. Austin, John Hechtman.

First Lieutenants - William E. Bates, John Hechtman, Henry Austin.

Second Lieutenants - Edmund W. Reed, Henry Austin, Noble L. Terrell.

A new company K, recruited in Dauphin County, was assigned to the regiment in March, 1865.


111th Regiment

While the Eighty-third Regiment was organizing, application was made to the Secretary of War by Matthias Sehlaudecker, of Erie, who had served as Major of the three months' regiment, for authority to recruit a new infantry regiment for the three years' service. His request was granted on the 2nd of September, 1861, a rendezvous was at once established at the old fair ground, and on the 24th of January, 1862, the ranks being full, a regimental organization was effected. The regiment left for Harrisburg on the 25th by way of Cleveland and Pittsburgh, reaching the State capital on the 27th. There it was furnished with colors, arms and equipments, and on the 1st of March proceeded to Baltimore. Its first serious engagement was on the 9th of August, at Cedar Mountain, where it lost 19 killed, 61 wounded and 13 missing. From that time to the 24th of September, 1863, when the regiment was transferred to Tennessee, it was constantly connected with the Army of the Potomac, and participated in nearly all of the memorable battles in Virginia and Maryland, including Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. While stationed at Acquia Creek it was one of fifteen regiments specially commended by Gen. Hooker in his general order of March 3. Col. Schlaudecker was honorably discharged in November, 1862, and the other field officers were duly promoted. The regiment joined Rosecrans' army at Murfreesboro on the 6th of October, 1863, and took a conspicuous part in the movement upon Lookout Mountain. In December, most of its members enlisted for a second term, and were given a furlough to come home, arriving at Erie the 14th of January, 1864. On returning to the scene of war in the Southwest, the regiment took part in the march upon Atlanta, being one of the first to enter that city. During the severe fighting before the capture of Atlanta, Col. Cobham was shot, and died on the field of battle. The regiment performed provost duty in Atlanta some two months, when it joined the main body of the army in Sherman's famous "march to the sea." At Goldsboro, N.C., the One Hundred and Ninth and One Hundred and Eleventh Regiments, which had served side by side since 1862, were consolidated, with 885 members, retaining the latter title. It was mustered out of service at Washington on the 19th of July, 1865, and the Northwestern Pennsylvania portion of the regiment reached Erie on the 27th of the same month, where, after a grand reception, the gallant veterans quietly separated for their respective homes. Below is a list of the principal officers of the regiment:


Colonels - M. Schlaudecker, George A. Cobham, Thomas M. Walker.

Lieutenant Colonels - George A. Cobham, Thomas M. Walker, Frank J. Osgood.

Majors - Thomas M. Walker, Frank J. Osgood, John A. Boyle.

Adjutants - John A. Boyle, James M. Wells, Hiram L. Blodgett, John B. Boyle, Albert G. Lucas.

Quartermasters - Alexander Thompson. William Saeger, Noah W. Lowell.

Surgeons- Wallace B. Stewart. George P. Oliver, James L. Dunn, D.H. Strickland.

Assistant Surgeons - John Nicholson, James Stokes, Henry F. Conrad, Joseph F. Ake, G.M. Bradfield, D.H. Strickland.

Chaplains- Loren D. Williams, John B. Hamilton.


Captains - Josiah Brown, John D. Bentley, Martellus H. Todd, George Selkregg.

First Lieutenants - John D. Bently, Martellus H. Todd, Nelson E. Ames, Joseph Warford.

Second Lieutenants - M.H. Todd, N.E. Ames, Cyrus A. Hayes.


Captains - Arthur Corrigan, W.P. Langworthy, Wallace B. Warner, William Geary, John J. Haight.

First Lieutenants - W.P. Langworthy, Wallace B. Warner, John J. Haight.

Second Lieutenants - Wallace B. Warner, John J. Haight, Marvin D. Pettit.


Captains - Richard Cross, O.H.P. Ferguson.

First Lieutenants - O.H.P. Ferguson, Hiram L. Blodgett, William C. Hay, John McFarland.

Second Lieutenants - Hiram L. Blodgett, William C. Hay, Philetus D. Fowler.


Captains - Elias M. Pierce, William J. Alexander, H.R. Sturdevant.

First Lieutenants - William J. Alexander, H.R. Sturdevant, Nelson Spencer, C.W. Culbertson.

Second Lieutenants - H.R. Sturdevant, Nelson Spencer, Warren M. Foster.


Captains - Samuel M. Davis, Peter S. Bancroft, Francis A. Guthrie, William L. Patterson.

First Lieutenants - Leander W. Kimball, F.A. Guthrie, W.L. Patterson, Jesse Moore.

Second Lieutenants - W.L. Patterson, Jesse Moore, Hiram Bissell.


Captains - John Braden, James M. Wells.

First Lieutenants - James M. Wells, C.M. Kingsbury, Andrew W. Tracy.

Second Lieutenants - C.W. Kingsbury, George Selkregg, John L. Wells.


Captains - William A. Thomas, Frederick L. Gimber.

First Lieutenants - Christian Sexaur, William Mathers.

Second Lieutenants - Joseph Cronenberger, Valentine Hitchcock, Albert N. Kinney.


Captains - J.P. Schlaudecker, Hiram L. Blodgett, William C. Hay.

First Lieutenants - George J. Whitney, John B. Boyle, William P. Gould.

Second Lieutenants - Samuel S. Bloom, John B. Boyle.


Captains - Frank Wagner, Charles Woeltge, Moses Veale.

First Lieutenants - Charles Woeltge, John C. Teel, Henry Dieffenbach, William W. Griffing.

Second Lieutenants - U. Schlaudecker William Saeger, Henry Diefenbach.


Captains - Jonas J. Pierce, Frank J. Osgood, Plympton A. Mead.

First Lieutenants- F.J. Osgood, P.A. Mead, Albert E. Black, George W. Clark.

Second Lieutenants - George W. Smith, P.A. Mead, A.E. Black, George W. Clark.


145th Regiment

A fourth regiment, which received the title of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth, was recruited during the summer and fall of 1862, having its rendezvous at the same camp which, had been used by the Eighty-third and One Hundred and Eleventh Regiments. The date of its organization, September 5, 1862, was one of the most critical in the history of the war. The regiment was accordingly hurried forward without arms and with little training in military duty. Leaving Erie on the 11th of September, it reached Chambersburg by way of Buffalo and Elmira within thirty-six hours, was there furnished with arms, and in two days more was within sound of the enemy's guns at Antietam. About noon on the 17th, the regiment joined the extreme right of the Union line, and rendered good service in preventing a flank movement of the enemy. After the battle, it was one of the detail to bury the dead, some of whom had lain upon the field of battle four days. The exposure to which the regiment had been thus suddenly subjected told with serious effect upon many of the men, so that between 200 and 300 were disqualified for duty within a month after it was ordered to the front. Quite a number died or were permanently disabled. The regiment was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, of the Second Corps.

On the 13th of December, the One Hundred and Forty-fifth took part in the terrible charge at Fredericksburg, under the lead of Gen. Hancock. The division to which it belonged was composed of 5,000 men, 2,000 of whom fell in that single charge. Of the 556 members of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth who crossed the river, 226 were either killed or wounded. At Chancellorsville, a detail of 150 men from the One Hundred and Forty-fifth was ordered to the relief of the skirmish line, and, after some hard fighting, failing to receive the command to retire, were mostly captured. The regiment entered the battle of Gettysburg 200 strong, and lost upward of eighty in killed and wounded. Returning to Virginia, it participated in nearly all of the marches and engagements of the Union army until the winter of 1863 brought the campaign to a close.

The renewal of operations in May, 1864, found the regiment recruited almost to its original strength. From this date the history of the Army of Virginia, with its never-ceasing marches and well-nigh daily battles, is equally the history of the regiment. No braver men were in that army, and none who had more of the confidence of their commanding officers. In the charge in front of Petersburg, the regiment had about fifty killed and wounded, and some ninety fell into the hands of the enemy. The remainder of the men were almost constantly under fire during the balance of the season.

In the spring campaign of 1865, the regiment did good service with Sheridan. It was mustered out of service on the 31st of May, and returned to Erie on the 5th of June, where it was welcomed with the honors it so richly deserved.

Below is a list of the principal officers:


Colonels - Hiram L. Brown, David B. McCreary.

Lieutenant Colonels - David B. McCreary, Charles M. Lynch.

Majors - John W. Patton, John W. Reynolds, Charles M. Lynch, John D. Black.

Adjutants - James C. Hart, John D. Black.

Quartermasters - James G. Payne, D.W. Winchester.

Surgeon - George L. Potter.

Assistant Surgeons - Simon V. Pilgrim, J.S. Whilidin, Daniel W. Richards, I.N. Taylor.

Chaplain - J.H.W. Stuckenberg.


Captains - John W. Reynolds, Frs J. De Schryver, Horace McCray.

First Lieutenants - James C. Hart, Fletcher Clay, Daniel Long, Frs J. De Schryver, Horace McCray, Elias Brockway.

Second Lieutenants - Frs J. De Schryver, Daniel Long, Horace McCray, Elias Brockway, William F. Brockway.


Captains - Moses W. Oliver, John H. Collom, Marlton O. Way.

First Lieutenants - William H. Graut, John H. Collom, M.O. Way.

Second Lieutenants - Joseph A. Moray, John H. Collom, M.O. Way, S.M. Birchfield.


Captains - Dyer Loomis, George T. Jewett, Melvin H. Bemis.

First Lieutenants- Ezra A. Parker, George T. Jewett, M.H. Bemis.

Second Lieutenants - George T. Jewett, M.H. Bemis, A.H. Rathbone, John M. Fargo.


Captains - David B. McCreary, Charles M. Lynch, Clayton W. Lytle.

First Lieutenants - John H. Hubbard, Horatio F. Lewis, C.W. Lytle, Thomas C. Lee.

Second Lieutenants- Charles H. Riblet, C.W. Lytle, Thomas C. Lee, John C. McIntosh.


Captain - Kimball H. Stiles.

First Lieutenants - Richard Magill, Jeremiah Birtcil.

Second Lieutenants - Stephen H. Evans, Jeremiah Birtcil, Louis B. Carlile.


Captains - William W.W. Wood, Thomas F. McCreary, George F.C. Smart.

First Lieutenants - T.F. McCreary, G.F.C. Smart, Joseph L. Linn.

Second Lieutenants - John W. Vincent, G.F.C. Smart, Joseph L. Linn, Robert C. McClure, Stephen A. Osborne.


Captains - Andrew J. Mason, J. Boyd Espy, Peter W. Free.

First Lieutenants - J. Boyd Espy, Hugh B. Stewart, Peter W. Free, William S. Trimble.

Second Lieutenants - H.R. Stewart, P.W. Free.


Captains - Washington Brown, George G. Griswold, James B. Hamlin.

First Lieutenants - George G. Griswold, James B. Hamlin, Edwin W. Sampson, George A. Evans.

Second Lieutenants - James B. Hamlin, George A. Evans.


Captains - John W. Walker, John C. Hilton, C.W. Devereaux, Samuel V. Dean.

First Lieutenants - James F. Wittich, John C. Hilton, C.W. Devereaux, Samuel C. Snell, George W. Young.

Second Lieutenants - C.W. Devereaux, R.M. Brown, Samuel V. Dean, Samuel C. Snell.

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