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The names of over twenty-five hundred men appeared upon its rolls during its more than four years of service, being augmented from time to time by recruits to replace those whom the fortunes of war had struck down. Its casualties during its service numbered in killed, wounded and prisoners eight hundred and seventy; and of those who returned to our grand old Commonwealth the colors entrusted to them, but a corporal's guard now gathers here, spared by the great death reaper, that the lessons learned of which these ceremonies are a part, may not be forgotten but transmitted to generations yet to come.
Time has whitened and made rugged with premature age whatever manly beauty you once possessed. Those once strong athletic forms are shorn of their youth and a silvery tinge, an empty sleeve or a missing limb tell the story of the hardships of the soldier's life. The white frost of many seasons has replaced the vigor of early manhood and, bronzed with age that the changes of years have wrought, we meet here again, in the hour of profoundest peace, to dedicate to those of our comrades who have crossed the river of life, this memorial which a grateful Commonwealth, proud of their record, has appropriately raised.
It was the speaker's privilege to have formed one of the number of the first company organized for this regiment, and can assert with positiveness that not forty-eight hours had elapsed after the firing upon Fort Sumpter before a roll was opened which formed the nucleus of this comma“ 1.
Within a very brief period thereafter this regiment was mustered and at the front, so that its history is a continuous one from the beginning to the ending of the war.
What a host of sagacious leaders pass in review before us as the memory pictures the commanding officers under whom the Twenty-ninth Regiment directly served. Commencing with the affable and moderately successful Banks, at the head of the corps, we find the gallant Slocum as his successor; while among those of lesser grade the names of Hamilton, Abercrombie, Williams, Geary, Kane and Barnum come in turn--from the victorious Meade upon the field of Gettysburg to that of Sherman and Grant upon these historic heights, each and all resolute, defiant, fearless-never despairing of success but with dogged tenacity pressing forward with order and steadiness to reap to the full whatever advantage presented itself.
That tenacity of purpose was never more strikingly shown than in the successes which followed the transfer of General Grant to Chattanooga.
An army, dispirited and starving, was hedged about by the forces of Bragg who had defeated the Union arms at Chickamauga under Rosecrans and left them in a demoralized and disordered condition. Competent authority had reported the Union army as baffled and mismanaged and a strong hand was needed to bring order out of chaos and save it from annihilation.
It was at this important crisis that re-enforcements were found to be absolutely essential to prevent the enemy from inflicting an irreparable and dire calamity upon the country and to avert this threatening and crowning disaster two corps of the Army of the Potomac, which had valiantly stood between the north and the greatest general the south had produced, Lee, were ordered to this western country to fill the breach and thwart if possible this menacing catastrophy.
tumely, by their brothers in arms, and their first important step, and one that has since been spoken disparagingly of by the western troops, from the commanding general down, was their successful assault and occupation of this stronghold, thus turning the left flank of Bragg's position and making possible the glorious victory which followed on Missionary Ridge.
It is to the everlasting credit of the troops from the Army of the Potomac that they carried this position which had been determinedly held by the
of the two corps, and no argument, however specious, ought to or can deprive them of the full measure of honor for duties faithfully performed.
In all of your subsequent career as soldiers of Sherman's army you testified in the most commendable manner that the same honorable impulses and zealous motives prompted you here that had governed your actions in the eastern army, a fact which the western troops were not slow to observe and approve, and posterity must accord to all alike the need of praise due for services worthily rendered.
May the blessing of Almighty God and the communion of the Holy Spirit abide with these surviving members of the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, now and forevermore. Amen.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF REGIMENT.* TNDER the call of the President of the 3d of May, 1861, for forty additional regiments, authority was given to John K. Murphy, by the
Secretary of War, to raise and organize a regiment for three years' service. The order to recruit was given on the 15th of May, and the work was commenced and vigorously prosecuted at the building then standing on the site of the present postoffice in the city of Philadelphia. On the 29th of June, Major C. F. Ruff, of the regular army, received authority to muster the regiment into the service of the United States, and commenced July 1, mustering the companies as fast as filled and fully organized, the last being mustered July 29. The regiment was recruited, uniformed and rationed, previous to its muster, by the labor and at the expense of the officers, without any assistance from the Government. Tne uniforms, including caps, were of gray. It was at first known as the Jackson Regiment, but upon its organization was designated the Twentyninth of the line, and the following gentlemen were commissioned field
*Extract from Bates' History of Pennsylvania Volunteers.
nel; Michael Scott, Major. On the 16th of July the regiment went into camp at Hestonville near the city, where it was equipped and received military instruction.
On the 3d of August, it broke camp and proceeded to Harper's Ferry, where it was attached to the command of General Banks, and was at first assigned to the Third Brigade,f General Hamilton commanding, subsequently Colonel Gordon. It encamped in Pleasant Valley, where by careful instruction and drill, it was brought to a high state of discipline, and during the autumn and winter performed a great amount of marching between Darnstown, Dam No. 4, Ball's Bluff and Frederick. Near the latter place it went into winter quarters, at Camp Carmel, on the 25th of February, 1862.
or longer, according to circumstances. In this instance it meant the short period, for one night. On the 26th, breaking camp and crossing the Potomac on a pontoon bridge, at Harper's Ferry, it proceeded with the brigade to Winchester, where it arrived on the 12th of March, driving out Jackson and taking possession of the place. On the 1st of April, Banks' army advanced, pushing the enemy up the valley, until it arrived at Edenburgh, where both the railroad and turnpike bridges were found destroyed. A skirmishing party was sent across the creek to dislodge a body of the enemy, so posted as to be very annoying to the troops as they approached the stream. In the skirmish which ensued, the Twenty-ninth lost two killed, James Martin, of Company G, and Gottlieb Spear, of Company I, the first casualties in action. As the command advanced ir pursuit of Jackson on the 19th, the Twenty-ninth, with the brigade, made a detour to the right, to flank the enemy who had taken position on Road's Hill. But discovering the movement in season he sought safety in flight. Marching to Harrisonburg, the army remained about two weeks, when it returned to Strasburg and commenced fortifying. Companies B and G of the Twenty-ninth, together with the First Maryland Regiment, under Colonel Kenly, had been detached and stationed at Front Royal. Jackson, having been re-enforced by Ewell and Edward Johnson, had attacked and worsted the advance Divisions of Fremont's command under Milroy and Schenck, at McDowell, and, by a rapid march
Organization of the Third Brigade, Colonel George H. Gordon, First Division, Brigadier General A. S. Williams, Army of Major General N. P. Banks. Second Regi
consin Volunteers, Colonel Ruger: Twenty-seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Colonel Colgrove; Twenty-ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Murphy.