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PA Civil War Volunteer Soldiers

Sixteenth Regiment

16th PA Regimental History

The Sixteenth regiment was organized at Camp Curtin on the 3rd of May, 1861, by the choice of the following officers: Thomas A Ziegle, of York from Captain of company A, Colonel; George J. Higgins, of Tamaqua, from Captain of company D, Lieutenant Colonel; Frank T. Bennett, of Minersville, from Captain of company K, Major; William Brown was appointed Adjutant. Five of the companies were from Schuylkill county, and had held a previous organization in the uniformed militia, forming part of the 1st Brigade, 6th Division. Company C was recruited at Mechanicsburg, Cumberland county, by Captain Jacob Dorsheimer, and was mustered into the United States service on the 20th of April, for three years or the war. These wa the first company of Pennsylvanians that volunteered for the long term. The remaining companies were recruited in York county.

Immediately after its organization, it was ordered to Camp Scott, near the town of York, where the men were clothed and regularly drilled. Upon the inauguration of th campaign in the Shenandoah valley, the Sixteenth was ordered to Chambersburg, where camp equipage was supplied, and it was assigned to the 4h Brigade of the 1st Division. Joining in th general forward movement, which commenced about the middle of June, the regiment proceeded to the Potomac, and on the 16th, crossed with the advance Division; but soon after returned and remained encamped near the river until the 2ndday of July. On the return of the Brigade, its commander, Colonel Miles, was ordered to Washington, where he was assigned to the command of the th Division of McDowell's army, which held the left of the line in the battle of Bull Run, and Colonel Longnecker, of the Ninth Pennsylvania, succeeded him.

Upon the initiation of a second forward movement, two regiments of infantry and a battery of three heavy guns were left for th defence of Williamsport and the line of supply. The advancing force consisted of about eleven thousand men, and one battery of six smooth bore guns. The enemy were encountered on the way, but quickly put to flight, and the army moved rapidly to Martinsburg. Here a halt was ordered which continued several day, for the purpose of bringing up a sufficient store of supplies to warrant a further advance.

On the 15th of July, the regiment moved to Bunker Hill and on the 17th made a forced march towards Harper's Ferry. At Smithfield the Brigade halted and was placed in position to repel an attack from the right flank. After the passage of the main column, the brigade resumed the march, and encamped that night at Cahrlestown. Remaining here til near the expiration of its term of service, the regiment proceeded to Harrisburg, where on the 30th of July , it was mustered out.

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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