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PA Civil War > Regiments > 152nd > History

PA Civil War Volunteer Soldiers

History of the One Hundred Fifty-Second Regiment

152nd Regiment
Additional Companies, Bios, Organization & Service

152nd PA Regimental History

The men composing this regiment were recruited in various parts of the State, but rendezvoused at Philadelphia, where they were mustered into service. Two companies, which subsequently became companies A and B, had been organized by Hermann Segebarth as marine artillery, in 1861, and were stationed at Fort Delaware. In August, 1862, Colonel Segebarth received authority from the War Department to increase his battalion to a full regiment of heavy artillery to serve for three years. Four batteries, D, F, G, and H, were accordingly recruited to near the full strength, during the fall and winter of 1862.

Soon after the battle of Antietam, in September, 1862, Joseph Roberts, Major of the Fourth Regular Artillery, received authority from the War Department to recruit a picked battalion of artillery for special service at Fortress Monroe. Recruiting was immediately commenced, and as fast as organized the companies were sent to the Fortress, where they were drilled by experienced officers in infantry, light, and heavy artillery duty.

Early in the spring of 1863, an order was issued from the War Department directing that the two commands of Segebarth and Roberts should be consolidated in one regiment, to be known as the Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, One Hundred and Fifty-second of the line. This was accordingly effected, and the following field officers were commissioned: Joseph Roberts, Colonel; R. V. W. Howard, Lieutenant Colonel; John A. Darling, Major.

Company H was ordered to duty in the defenses of Baltimore, where, with the exception of being sent to the front upon the occasion of the battle of Gettysburg, in July, 1863, it remained during its entire term of service.

When Longstreet with his corps of the rebel army made an advance into eastern Virginia, in the spring of 1863, companies A, B, F, and G were ordered to the defense of Suffolk, and during the siege of that place, rendered most efficient service, being enabled by their excellent discipline and instruction to meet the enemy with success in every advance. A few men were wounded, and Captain Stevenson, of company A, fell into the enemy's hands. The headquarters of the regiment were at Fortress Monroe, and here it was thoroughly drilled; but as troops were needed for various duty, detachments were being constantly sent out, both by land and sea, the thorough discipline it received at the Fortress fitting it for duty in any arm of the service.

Detachments from every company, except light battery H, stationed at Baltimore, served during the campaign of 1864-5, in the Naval Brigade, commanded by General Graham, and participated in a number of engagements, of more or less importance, on the James, Chickahominy, and Nansemond Rivers and also in the capture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

Detachments from companies A, and B, while serving on the army gun boats, participated in a severe engagement at Smithfield, Virginia, on February 2nd, 1864, in which the commander, Lieutenant Thomas S. Harris, of company A, was severely wounded and taken prisoner, with thirty-seven of his command, most of whom finally perished while in imprisonment at Andersonville.

A detachment from company A, under command of Captain John Krause, serving on the gunboat Bombshell, was in action at Plymouth, North Carolina, when that place was attacked by the rebel General Pickett, on the 17th of April, 1864, and in the action which ensued the boat was sunk, and the Captain and twenty-one enlisted men fell into the enemy's hands. The prisoners were sent to Andersonville, where most of them died.

Company I was early selected to serve as guard at the headquarters of the Army of the James, continuing on that duty until the close of hostilities, and being present at Appomattox Court House, at the time of the surrender of Lee.

Early in the spring of 1864, the regiment having a large number of men in excess of that prescribed by the army regulations, volunteers were called for to form a regiment of infantry. Large numbers of the original men immediately responded, and these, together with certain unassigned recruits, formed the One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment. Other recruits were soon added to the several companies of the original regiment, so that it still had full ranks, even in excess of the number prescribed.

Companies D, E, G, and M, the last as a siege battery, served in the Army of the James during the campaign before Petersburg, and were posted on the Bermuda Front. Battery E, with others, under command of Captain Samuel Hazard, was assigned to Fort Converse, covering the pontoon bridge across the Appomattox, the extreme left of the Army of the James, and right of the Army of the Potomac. Details were constantly furnished for fatigue duty upon the fortifications, and for duty in other arms of the service. Upon the downfall of the rebel power, these companies returned to duty at Fortress Monroe, Jefferson Davis being for a time in durance there, and under guard of detachments from this regiment.

In the fall of 1863, Captain, afterward Major John A. Blake, with his own company, F, and a large number of unassigned recruits, was placed in charge of the prison camp, and camp of distribution, at Camp Hamilton, near Fortress Monroe, which position he retained until the close of the war. A sergeant and fifteen men from company F, on detached service at Wilmington, North Carolina, took passage on the General Lyon, on the 31st of March, 1865, to return to Fortress Monroe. During the first day out, the steamer was destroyed by fire, and all save two were lost. Several light batteries belonging to the Army of the James were largely manned by members of this regiment, who were temporarily assigned to duty with them, rendering most efficient service during the entire campaign before Petersburg and Richmond. The several light-houses along the eastern shore of Virginia were also guarded by detachments from the Third.

Though originally organized for special duty at Fortress Monroe, this regiment had a large share of field service to perform. By land and sea, where arduous and dangerous duty was to be done, there the representatives of this regiment were to be found. It had the reputation of being remarkably well ldrilled in.very lranch. of artillery service and, also in infantry and naval duty. All the field, and nearly all of the line officers of the One Hundred and Eighty-eighth were promoted from its ranks, and the excellent discipline and soldierly bearing of the command was the frequent subject of remark and commendation by its superior officers.

Companies A and B were mustered out of service at Fortress Monroe, on July 11th, 1865; company H was mustered out at Baltimore, July 25th, 1865; the remaining companies were mustered out at Fortress Monroe, November 9th, 1865.

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. Civil War Databases

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