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139th Pennsylvania Infantry

Online Books
139th Pennsylvania Infantry Soldier Roster - History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, Volume 4 by Samuel P Bates, 1869     View Entire Book

Regimental History
One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Infantry. Col., Frederick H. Collier; Lieut.-Cols., James D. Owens, William H. Moody, James L. McKean, John G. Parr; Majs., William H. Moody, A. H. Snyder, John G. Parr, Robert Munroe, James McGregor. This regiment, composed of men from the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Mercer and Beaver, rendezvoused at Camp Howe, Pittsburg, and was there mustered into the U. S. service for three years on Sept. 1, 1862. The second Bull Run battle had just been fought, and there was an urgent demand for more troops at the front. The 139th, therefore, departed on the evening of the 1st and arrived at Washington on the 3d. It was immediately sent to the Bull Run battlefield to bury the Union dead, and after this sad duty was performed joined the army at Antietam on the day of the battle, but was not engaged. It was assigned to the 3d brieade, 3d division, 6th corps, and was exposed to a severe artillery fire while in reserve at the battle of Fredericksburg. During the battle of Chancellorsville, the 6th corps, under Gen. Sedgwick, was engaged at Fredericksburg, Salem Church and Marye's heights, and Wheaton's brigade, to which the 139th belonged, was hotly engaged on May 3-4. The whole brigade suffered severely, the loss of the 139th being 123 in killed, wounded and missing. Wheaton's brigade arrived on the field of Gettysburg on the afternoon of the second day of the battle, and at 5 o'clock went into position in support of the 3d and 5th corps, being posted in front of Little Round Top, a short distance to the right of the road leading to the Peach Orchard, where it charged the enemy and drove him in disorder. That night and the 3d day of the battle it was in the second line, supporting the Pennsylvania reserves. On the evening of the 3d, it aided in advancing the left, drove the enemy, and a brass piece and 3 caissons belonging to the 9th Mass. battery were recaptured by the 139th. Its losses were 1 killed and 19 wounded. It shared in the pursuit of Lee's army and in the fall campaigns in Virginia, being active at Rappahannock Station, and in the Mine Run campaign. On the close of the offensive operations it encamped at Brandy Station and at the end of the year was ordered to Harper's Ferry with its brigade. In March, 1864, it rejoined its corps at Brandy Station and was transferred to the 2nd division. Meanwhile a number of recruits had been received and the command was restored to nearly its original strength. It next entered on the bloody series of battles of the spring campaign, losing 196 at the Wilderness, including nearly all its commissioned officers. It was almost constantly engaged at Spottsylvania, again losing heavily; was only lightly engaged at the North Anna river, but was in the fierce assaults on the fortified lines of the enemy at Cold Harbor. Maj. Snyder was among the killed at the Wilderness, and Lieut.- Col. Moody, at Cold Harbor. Crossing the James, it shared in the first assaults on Petersburg and in the movement on the Weldon railroad in June. In July it moved to Washington with the 6th corps to confront Gen. Early, and after Gen. Sheridan assumed command of the forces, it took an honorable part in the victories achieved at the Opequan, Fisher's hill, and Cedar creek. On Dec. 1 it again took its place in the lines before Petersburg, where it shared in the advance of the 2nd and 6th corps in March, 1865, and was active in the final successful assault which led to the evacuation of Petersburg and the fall of Richmond. Color-Sergt. David W. Young of Co. E was designated by Gens. Wright and Grant as one of the three soldiers most conspicuous for gallantry, in the final assault, receiving an autograph letter from the commanding general warmly praising his heroism. It engaged in the final pursuit of the enemy and was active in the fight at Sailor's creek. After the surrender it moved to the support of Sherman, but on the surrender of Johnston, returned to Washington, where it was finally mustered out on June 21, 1865.

Footnotes:
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 1

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