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PA Civil War Volunteer Soldiers

Fourteenth Regiment

14th Regiment
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Regimental History

14th PA Regimental History

The Fourteenth regiment was formed at Camp Curtin, of companies from various sections of the State. The men had been recruited, or rather accepted-for the outpouring everywhere was at the flood tide-at periods varying from the 15th to the 30th of April. The line officers, becoming impatient at the delay in effecting regimental organizations, selected ten companies, and calling them together held an election, at which the following field officers were chosen: John W. Johston, of Youngstown, Westmoreland county, from Captain of company F, and who had been a Captain of volunteers in the Mexican War, Colonel. Richard McMichael, of Reading, Berks county, who had been a Major in the Mexican War, Lieutenant Colonel; Charles N. Watts, of Carlisle, Cumberland county, Major; Joseph A. McLean, of Reading, was appointed Adjutant. This organization was recognized and approved at Headquarters, and the men mustered into the service of the United States by Captain Simmons, on the 30th of April, 1861. Many of the men, also, had seen service in the war with Mexico and were familiar with a soldier's life.-Clothing, arms, and accoutrements were received at Camp Curtin. On the 9th of May, the Fourteenth, in company with the Fifteenth regiment, was ordered to Lancaster, where it went into camp upon the Fairground, which was designated Camp Johnston.

The post was under the command of Brigadier General James S. Negley, of Pittsburg, an experienced officer, who commanded the Brigade to which the Fourteenth and Fifteenth regiments were subsequently attached. The men were drilled in Scott's tactics, and were soon brought to a good understanding of the principles and practice of that system. Much attention was bestowed upon the troops by the citizens, and the whole camp was entertained with a sumptuous dinner by the ladies, by whom havelocks and Bibles were liberally distributed. On the 3rd of June, the regiment was ordered to move to Chambersburg, where it arrived on the same day and went into camp about five miles from the town. The Brigade organization was here completed, and the Fourteenth was assigned to the 5th of the 2nd Division.

On the 16th of June, the Brigade advanced to Hagerstown, and on the 20th was marched to the neighborhood of Sharpsburg. Here the Fourteenth remained, doing picket and guard duty, and was thoroughly disciplined in anticipation of active service.

At early dawn on the morning of the 2nd of July, the whole force under General Patterson commenced crossing the Potomac. The column took the main road to Martinsburg, except the Brigade under General Negley, which, at a point about one mile from the ford, diverged to the right, to meet the enemy should he come from Hedgesville, to guard the right, and to rejoin at Hainsville. On the following day the Fourteenth arrived at Martinsburg, and encamped near the town. Several expeditions were made into the country, but in every instance failed to meet the enemy. Before leaving Martinsburg, a beautiful flag was presented to the regiment by the citizens of the place, as an expression of their sympathy in the Union cause, and as an acknowledgement of the good conduct of officers and men while doing provost duty in the town. When, subsequently, the place fell under rebel rule, many of those who were instrumental in securing and presenting the flag, were subjected to bitter persecution.

The enemy being reported in force at Bunker Hill, about seven miles distant, on Monday, the 15th of July, the whole army moved to that place. But the enemy had fled, leaving his camping grounds as the only vestiges of his presence. On Thursday following, the regiment marched to Charlestown, and on Sunday to Harper's Ferry, where the first intelligence of the battle of Bull Run was received.

The term of enlistment having expired, it was ordered to Harrisburg.-Marching to Hagerstown it was dispatched by the Cumberland Valley road. On arriving at Chambersburg, a telegram was received from Governor Curtin, directing it to go into camp at some convenient place and await further orders, Harrisburg being already full of returning troops. It was accordingly moved to Carlisle, where it encamped and remained about two weeks. Here the men were paid and mustered out of service by Captain Hastings. A large proportion of officers and men re-entered the service in various Pennsylvania organizations.

Source: Bates, Samuel P. (Samuel Penniman), 1827-1902.: History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5; prepared in compliance with acts of the legislature, by Samuel P. Bates.

14th Regiment

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