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159th Pennsylvania Regiment, 14th PA Cavalry

Online Books
159th Pennsylvania Regiment, 14th PA Cavalry Soldier Roster - History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, Volume 4 by Samuel P Bates, 1869     View Entire Book

Regimental History
Fourteenth Cavalry. Col., James N. Schoonmaker; Lieut. -Cols., William Blakeley, John M. Daily; Majs., Thomas Gibson, Shadrack Foley, John M. Daily, William W. Miles, John Bird. In Aug., 1862, James N. Schoonmaker, a citizen of Pittsburg, and a lieutenant in the 1st Md. cavalry, was authorized by Sec. Stanton to recruit a battalion of five companies of cavalry. Recruits were rapidly obtained and authority was given to recruit a full regiment. The men were principally from the counties of Allegheny, Fayette, Armstrong, Washington, Lawrence, Erie and Warren, and the city of Philadelphia. They rendezvoused at Camp Howe, afterwards at Camp Montgomery, near Pittsburg, and were mustered into the U. S. service from Aug. 21 to Nov. 4, 1862, for three years. On the latter date it moved to Hagerstown, Md., where it received horses, arms and equipment and was drilled in the various cavalry evolutions. On Dec. 28, it proceeded to Harper's Ferry and was engaged for several months in picket and scouting duty. A detachment of unmounted men under Maj. Foley was left at Harper's Ferry and the remainder of the command joined Gen. Averell's forces at Grafton. It skirmished at Beverly and Huttonville early in July, a few days later rejoined Gen. Kelley's forces at Cumberland, and proceeded thence to Williamsport, where it joined the army of the Potomac, being engaged with the enemy's cavalry near Martinsburg on the 15th. Shortly after it was joined by Maj. Foley's detachment. On Aug. 4 it moved with Gen. Averell on the Rocky gap raid in West Virginia and was hotly engaged at White Sulphur springs losing 80 men, killed, wounded and missing. On this raid it marched over 600 miles in 27 days, being frequently engaged. On Nov. 1, it moved with Gen. Averell on the Droop mountain raid and was engaged at Mill Point, and Droop mountain. Returning to New creek by easy marches, it shared in Averell's second raid into southwestern Virginia in December, when an immense amount of stores and merchandise, many miles of rail-road track, and numerous bridges were destroyed. Its loss during the raid was about 50 and the command marched over 345 miles under very trying conditions. It went into winter quarters at Martinsburg and was almost constantly engaged in picket, guard and scout duty until the opening of the spring campaign. As a part of the 1st brigade, (Col. Schoonmaker) of Averell's division, it broke winter quarters on April 12, 1864, and moved to Parkersburg, whence it proceeded south to the Virginia & Tennessee railroad, aiming to destroy the salt works at Saltville. The regiment was heavily engaged at Cove mountain in May, losing 12 killed and 37 wounded. At Union, Averell's forces effected a junction with Gen. Crook, advanced to Lewisburg and then to Staunton, to join the forces of Gen. Hunter, who was about to move on the Lynchburg campaign. A detachment of the regiment, which had been left behind at Martinsburg under Capt. Duncan, was meanwhile hotly engaged at New Market and Piedmont, carrying an earthwork, capturing a number of prisoners, and winning praise for its gallantry in the latter action. At Staunton the detachment rejoined the regiment and started on the Lynchburg campaign. The Union cavalry drove Imboden at Lexington, destroyed the Virginia military institute, skirmished at Buchanan, and June 17-18 fought the battle of Lynchburg, but was forced to retire. During the retreat, the 14th, as part of Hunter's rear-guard, was warmly engaged at Liberty on the 19th, holding the enemy in check for several hours and losing 6 killed and 18 wounded. It was active at Salem on the 21st and finally reached Parkersburg, after a march which entailed great hardship and suffering from hunger and fatigue. From Parkersburg it moved by rail to Martinsburg. In July it was twice engaged with Early's forces at Winchester, being forced to fall back to the Potomac with the rest of Averell's command. After the burning of Chambersburg, Pa., it followed in pursuit of McCausland, overtook him at Moorefield, Va., where severe punishment was administered to the forces of McCausland, Johnson, Gillmore, and McNeill, the 14th losing here 10 killed and 25 wounded. It now returned to Martinsburg and later participated under Sheridan in the brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, losing heavily at the Opequan and being active at Fisher's hill. For gallantry displayed in the action at Weyer's cave, against the forces of Fitzhugh Lee, the name was inscribed upon its battle flag by general order. A detachment under Capts. Miles and Duff was engaged at Cedar creek, on Oct. 19. The regiment soon after made a reconnaissance in the Luray valley and was hotly engaged with McCausland at Front Royal, losing 15 killed and wounded. During the winter of 1864-65, it suffered severely in expeditions to Millwood and Ashby's gap. After Lee's surrender it was stationed for two months near Washington and the latter part of June moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where it was consolidated into a battalion of six companies on July 17, 1865. The field and staff and Cos. B, C, D, E and F were mustered out here, on Aug. 24, and Co. A on Nov. 2, 1865, the last named having been detailed as an escort to Gen. Dodge, commanding the department, on a tour of inspection.

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

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