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and Antietam. To-day, we meet where in our young manhood days we followed that gallant and brilliant Commander, Colonel Thomas J. Ahl, who led us above the clouds to battle with an almost unseen foe. It is my conferred duty to tell you that old story again after a lapse of thirty-four years.
THE CAMPAIGN BEGUN. On Sunday morning, November 22, 1863, the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment received orders to break camp preparatory to an onward movement. At 10 o'clock, under command of our leader, we marched to the recently vacated quarters of the Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania. Here we remained until Tuesday, November 24. At 6 o'clock that morning Colonel Charles Candy, commanding the brigade, the first of General John W. Geary's Second or White Star Division, Twelfth Army Corps, General H. W. Slocum Commanding Corps, was ordered to report for instructions to General Geary. Colonel Candy
to remain in the Valley of Wauhatchie. The picket line was very heavy as our troops were required to cover the recently vacated ground of the Eleventh Corps as well as our own. The Twenty-ninth Ohio Regiment and several companies of the Fifth Ohio Regiment of our brigade were the troops left behind. Before leaving camp we unslung our knap-sacks and piled them. One or two men from each company were detailed to remain in charge. The brigade then formed and moved in light marching order forward to the place designated by General Geary to meet the other two brigades of the division.
Colonel Candy was ordered to form line for battle. The right of the leading regiment, en echelon, at about fifty paces interval to the troops on the right. The brigade moved forward in the following order: The One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania, Seventh Ohio, Twentyeighth Pennsylvania, Sixty-sixth and Fifth Ohio Regiments. After marching three-quarters of a mile, Colonel Candy received instructions to change front to the left, with orders to have two regiments to scout the fields at the foot of Lookout Mountain and to uncover the fords so that troops could cross at or near the mouth of Lookout Creek. This duty having been satisfactorily performed, the two regiments rejoined the brigade.
THE BATTLE OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN. The left of the brigade was then ordered: "About half wheel." Heavy and sharp firing was soon heard on the Point and prisoners began coming in. The Fifth Ohio numbered about fifty men and it was ordered to take charge of the prisoners and take them to the rear, which they did. In the meantime the troops on the right had attacked the enemy and driven him from the rifle pits with considerable loss in killed and wounded.
Between two and three o'clock, Colonel Candy received an injury to his hip when he was disabled and compelled to retire from active duty. Colonel William R. Creighton of the Seventh Ohio Regiment, one of the finest soldiers in the brigade, at once assumed command. The brigade was then in this position: The Seventh Ohio and the One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania occupied the rifle pits on the right and left of the road two hundred yards in advance of the White or Craven House.
leit, further down the mountain. A heavy fire resulted from the movements of the brigade which continued for some time. An irregular fire was kept up from both sides all the afternoon. After the two regiments first named had reached their position it was observed that the enemy was massing against our extreme right under the cliff. The Twentyeighth was ordered to fill the gap and to dislodge the enemy which was done in gallant style. The rebel sharpshooters were now beginning to harass the command when a portion of the Twenty-eighth was ordered to deploy and take position as sharpshooters, which they did. The Twenty-eighth remained in position until late at night when it was relieved by the Eighth Kentucky Infantry and descended the mountain to
meal, the first since breakfast.
The day was misty; in the morning as we moved forward a cold, drizzling rain set in. The mountain was covered with a heavy fog so that to a great extent things were felt rather than seen. At times, while fighting at the height of eighteen hundred feet above the bosom of the broad and meandering Tennessee, when the clouds lifted, we saw before us one of the most lovely stretches of landscape ever presented to man. Rugged mountains, hills, valleys, green fields, rivers and smaller streams, towns and villages were unfolded beneath us as were never before unfolded to the gaze of soldiers in battle before, and it may be that in all the ages to follow us none will ever again be so blessed with such romantic sight under similar circumstances. These magnificent views were only seen for a moment at a time, however, as the heavy clouds would soon settle down again.
After the regiment had been relieved from its position and had partaken of supper there was a supplementary view presented to our admiring gaze, that is, to those of us who were able to keep awake to witness it. We had had glimpses of the beauties of terra firma during the day; now, at night, we witnessed one of the spectacular scenes of Heaven, an eclipse of the moon.
In this battle, while the Twenty-eighth did a great deal of hard work, the regiment had but few losses. General Geary gives the losses of the division at Lookout Mountain as follows: Killed, two officers and twenty men; wounded, fourteen officers and 102 men; total killed, twenty-two; wounded, one hundred and sixteen; grand total, one hundred and thirtyeight. What the losses of the other troops co-operating with us were I am unable to say, but it is given that Hooker lost five hundred men killed and wounded in the battle. The Confederate losses, according to General Geary's report, were as follows: Killed, one hundred and twenty-five; wounded and left on field, three hundred; prisoners, one thousand nine hundred and forty. The division captured two cannon, five battle flags and two thousand eight hundred stands of arms. Lookout Mountain was a great victory for Fighting Joe, but he died recalling that General Grant had denied that there was a battle on Lookout Mountain. General Grant said: (page 306, Volume II, “Around the World with General Grant") "The nattle of Lookout Mountain is one of the romances of the war. There was no such battle and there was no action even worthy to be called a battle on Lookout Mountain; it is all poetry.” In Volume II, "Personal Memoirs," pages 68 to 73, General Grant tells the story of the battle of Lookout Mountain, and in the index calls it the battle of Lookout Mountain, giving gallant Joe Hooker credit for all that was claimed for our popular general; but this was done in 1885, six years after the hero of the battle above the clouds was dead.
MISSIONARY RIDGE. On the day after the battle of Lookout Mountain, Wednesday, November 25, sometime before noon, we descended from the Palisades where we had had a view of the early movements in the battle on Missionary Ridge, seeing at a distance of three miles the shifting of heavy masses of troops and the firing of guns all of which was pleasant enough to see and hear while occupying a position above and beyond the post of danger. Under the command of General Hooker who had as his flanking column Geary's Division, representing the Army of the Potomac; Osterhaus' Division, from the Army of the Tennessee, and Cruft's Division from the Army of the Cumberland, we moved rapidly towards Missionary Ridge where General Sherman, who had been fighting all day, we found had all he could do in his attack on Bragg to hold his own. Our forces under Hooker turned the enemy's left and won the day. Thousands of the Confederates threw down their arms and one whole brigade surrendered to Hooker's command. The Twenty-eighth at first supported a battery of flying artillery and afterwards climbed the mountain without giving the enemy any chance to return our fire as he was on the run, and we had no losses on that day.
While yet on the battlefield I asked a Confederate prisoner, a young man of sixteen years, "Were you conscripted?" "No," he said, "they took me. Oh, I could have had a bran new, red flannel shirt that was laying on the ground, if I'd only a know'd this.” He was not a bit afraid of what his fate might be in the hands of the Yankees; he only thought of that red flannel shirt.
From Missicnary Ridge to Pea Vine Creek the next day, where in the evening the enemy was met and a brief fight ensued, was a rapid march, as you all remember.
RINGGOLD, GA. Up to this time the Twenty-eighth had done some important work withcut suffering material losses, but at Ringgold, which we reached at an early hour on Friday, November 27, we were destined to accomplish less but to lose many officers and men killed and wounded. Osterhaus, we found skirmishing with the enemy, whose whole rear guard was on Taylor's Ridge, a wild, rugged and steep mountain. The Confederates were located in a strong position on top of the mountain in great force. Orders were received to move to the left of the town and to charge up the ridge, Geary supposing it to be held by a small force. The brigade was formed in two lines, the Sixty-sixth Ohio and the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, and the Seventh Ohio and One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania. We moved towards the top of the ridge under heavy fire of musketry. On reaching the foot of the mountain the second line was moved to the left of the first and extended it, but the enemy reinforced his troops and had double the number we had while we had the work before us of climbing the ridge. We withheld our fire until we had gone half way up the mountain side; we were tired and our fire was not delivered with that accuracy and effect that might have been hoped for. It was as much as we could do to climb the rough and steep mountain-side without having to fight a larger army in front of us.
nobly upward when the enemy threw troops on both flanks of it, placing that gallant regiment between enfilading fires. The result was that all of its officers and many men were killed or wounded. The One hundred
enemy threw troops on both sides of its flanks, and seeing the results of similar dispositions of the enemy on the Seventh Ohio, the regiment was withdrawn and fell back. It was just before this that Colonel Creighton, who commanded the brigade, learning of the death of Lieutenant Colonel Crane exclaimed, “There goes poor Crane.” He too, fell, and as he did, said, "Tell my wife I died at the head of my command."
Colonel Ahl then took command of the brigade. Our regiment was on the right of the line. The Twenty-eighth fell back after the disasters on the left had occurred, in accordance with orders, but about twenty comrades of company A who, with a few members of company F, and Adjutant Samuel Goodman not hearing the orders to withdraw, remained. Along with us was a color bearer with his colors and one comrade from an Iowa regiment. We remained in our advanced position sometime, deploying and acting as skirmishers. While here, Adjutant Goodman, who refused to get behind shelter though admonished by the men to do so, and who was standing fifty feet ahead of our thin line on a mountain road, was wounded in an arm. About this time I was startled by the cry of my nearest comrade, Pat McShay, who exclaimed, “I'll die, if I don't get a chaw of tob:icco.” I certainly was relieved of much anxiety when I heard the last part of his exclamation. I fired just after this and before I could get back under shelter again I was struck in the right breast by a spent ball. I saw the ball within six feet of me after it had hit me and I longed to pick it up for a relic, but I was afraid I might pick up others that I didn't want for they were flying in profusion and promiscuously.
sire over our heads on the enemy. It was, I suppose, one of Knap's guns. We then fell back moving at a right shoulder shift, stopping ever and anon to return the enemy's fire. Some of our men were wounded, I think, on this retreat, but I do not remember who or how many of them were shot as we retreated.
Colonel Ahl reported the loss of the Twenty-eighth to be four officers wounded and four men killed and twenty-eight men wounded; total, thirty-six. The list of killed was increased to ten by the death of six of the wounded comrades.
The names of those killed and died of wounds were: Lieutenant Peter Kaylor, company F, but who commanded company D; Sergeant Major Robert A. Kernihard, company A; Henry C. Fithian, John Hill and Charles T. Murphy, all of company D; Joseph W. Stephens and John Lane, company F; James T. Brady, company G; Samuel Hamilton and James Dunn, company K.
THE DIVISION’S LOSSES. General Geary's official report after the close of the campaign around Chattanooga, has these statistics:
Whole number of officers killed, five; number of officers wounded, twenty-nine; number of men killed, twenty-nine; number of men wounded (including many who died from their wounds) one hundred and fifty; total number killed, thirty-four; total number wounded, one hundred and seventy-nine; total killed and wounded, two hundred and three; nurnber missing, probably killed, twenty-five. Grand total of losses, Geary's Division, two hundred and twenty-eight.
At Missionary Ridge we helped to capture a Confederate brigade in addition to which we took two hundred other prisoners. Geary's Division started in the campaign with three brigades, and we had one hundred and forty-one officers and two thousand eight hundred and eighteen men; total force, two thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine officers and men.
Of the two thousand and twenty regiments mustered into the Union service during the war, the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania stands No. 124 in the list of killed. In its four years of active duty the regiment lost one hundred and fifty-seven killed, three hundred and ninety-four wounded, and thirty-five prisoners, the smallest loss in prisoners of probably any regiment that was constantly in active service in the Union army. The entire losses were therefore five hundred and eighty-six in action and one hundred and twenty-seven died from disease.
of the two thousand six hundred and sixty-five enrolled officers and men about one thousand joined the regiment when the war was practically over, and five companies were taken to form the nucleus of the One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania and perhaps fifty were transferred to form the nucleus of Knap's Battery. Our regiment produced two major generals and two brigadier generals.
Now comrades, when after four years of war, having been engaged in nearly thirty battles and scores of skirmishes fought in many states, we returned home thirty-two years ago, we had with us some of the standbys