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of our gallant regiment. In the generation that has since gone by, very many of them have passed from earth. As I remember them I will name a few: General John W. Geary, afterwards Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; General John Flynn, Lieutenant Colonel James Fitzpatrick, Major J. D. Arner, Captain James Silliman, Captain James F. Knight, company F, General Hector Tyndale, Dr. H. E. Goodman, one of the ablest and noblest physicians in the land, “a good man and true” in more than one sense; Color Bearer Barney Lynch, who carried the colors in twenty-three battles, Colonel Thomas J. Ahl, and a host of others.
Now, as we part, may God bless us each and all; may we meet in happiness when we cross that other picket line and hold that most glorious of all reunions in the Land higher above the clouds than any we ever occupied in our marches, encampments and battles on earth.
And now, I dedicate this monument in the name of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers. For ages after we have been entombed it will stand here and tell in brief the story of our prowess.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF REGIMENT.*
N ARLY in June, 1861, Colonel John W. Geary obtained permission E from President Lincoln to raise, in Pennsylvania, a regiment of
volunteers to serve for three years. He accordingly established a camp at Oxford Park, in Philadelphia, and on the 28th of that month the Twenty-eighth Regiment, which was uniformed and equipped at his own expense, was being mustered into the service of the United States.
The regiment, when completed, consisted of fifteen companies, numbering fifteen hundred and fifty-one officers and men, brought together from various sections of the State; Companies A and N having been organized in Luzerne county; B, in Westmoreland; C, D, I, K, M and P, in Philadelphia; E, in Carbon; F, in Cambria and Allegheny; G, H and L, in Allegheny, and 0, in Huntingdon.
The field and staff officers were John W. Geary, Colonel; Gabriel De Korponay, Lieutenant Colonel; Hector Tyndale, Major; John Flynn, Adjutant;. Benjamin F. Lee, Quartermaster; H. Earnest Goodman, Surgeon; Samuel Logan, Assistant Surgeon, and Charles W. Heisley, Chaplain.
From surplus recruits a battery was formed and attached to the regiment, which was known as Knap's Battery of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers. Mr. Charles Knap, of Pittsburg, presented this company with four steel guns, which were subsequently exchanged by the government for six ten-pounder Parrotts. Also connected with the regiment was Beck's celebrated Philadelphia Brass Band.
*Extract from Bates' History of Pennsylvania Volunteers.
The uniform was of gray cloth, manufactured in the vicinity of Oxford Park, and furnished to the several companies as they were mustered in. This subsequently gave place to the blue regulation uniform. The arms were the Enfield rifle with the formidable sword bayonet. These were obtained of a firm in Philadelphia, who fortunately had them for sale, else the regiment would have been armed with the ordinary musket, altered from the flint to percussion lock, many of which were in possession of the government.
Whilst Colonel Geary was actively engaged in forming, equipping and drilling his regiment, events were transpiring which demanded prompt and energetic action on the part of the Government relative to raising additional troops and hastening them to the field. On the 21st of July the disastrous battle of Bull Run was fought; and the panic which seized upon and disorganized a great portion of the army, spread its terrifying influence through all parts of the Northern States, and had the effect to arouse the heads of the national departments to a realizing sense of the danger with which the country was threatened. Re-inforcements were consequently ordered forward to join, as rapidly as possible, the defeated army at the front; and hence, in obedience to orders from General Scott, the Colonel, on the 27th, moved with ten companies of his command-leaving the other five, which were not yet in readiness for the field, in charge of Major Hector Tyndale, with orders to follow as soon as possible-and proceeded directly, by way of Baltimore, to Harper's Ferry, reaching there on the evening of the following day. Here he reported to Major General Banks, to whose command the regiment had been assigned, and was attached to the brigade commanded by Colonel Thomas, now a Major General of the United States army.
The regiment encamped at Sandy Hook, opposite Harper's Ferry, until the night of August 13, when it marched to Point of Rocks, a distance of sixteen miles, arriving at ten o'clock on the following morning, the roads being bad and the night dark and stormy. The duty here assigned it was to guard the frontier from Nolan's Ferry to the Antietam aqueduct, embracing numerous mountain gaps and roads, the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Potomac river and its opposite banks, and the many islands with which it is studded, together with a number of ferries and fords. The telegraph and postoffices, being in the hands of suspected persons, were also taken in charge. To perform this duty, picket posts were established at every four hundred yards along a line of over twenty-five miles. The utmost vigilance was strictly enjoined and enforced. Scouting and reconnoitering parties of guerrillas and rebel cavalry prowled among the hills in the rear and on the opposite side of the river, who daily fired upon the pickets. Slight skirmishes were of constant occurrence. Rebel sympathizers, emissaries and spies existed among the residents, and a systematized plan of signalling was carried on between them and the Confederate troops; whilst, under various pretences, passes were obtained from officers at Washington City, by women as well as men, by means of which communication was kept up between the two shores of the Potomac, with the rebel troops and their sympathizing friends. All this required special watchfulness, and the whole system, with those engaged in it, was soon discovered and communication entirely broken up. Many arrests were made and the prisoners forwarded, with detailed accounts of their offences, to the headquarters of the army. During this time large forces of the enemy were quartered in Loudon county, Virginia, and distributed at various points in the neighborhood, who made frequent threatening demonstrations. On September 15, a body of these troops attacked the pickets above Harper's Ferry, at Pitcher's Mills, where a spirited engagement took place, lasting two hours, in which the rebels were routed, after a loss, acknowledged by them, of eighteen killed, seventy-three wounded, and several prisoners. Two unniounted iron twelve-pounder cannon and two small brass mortars, with other effects were captured. On September 24, about five hundred rebels attacked Point of Rocks from the Virginia side, where another animated fight of two hours occurred, in which artillery and small arms were used. The enemy was driven with loss in killed and wounded, and the houses in which he took shelter were destroyed. A few days afterwards he was also driven, with some loss, from a fortified position opposite Berlin. A similar affair took place at Knoxville on the 2d of October.
Farly in October secret organizations, regularly officered and prepared with arms and equipments, for rebellious purposes, were discovered in Frederick and adjoining counties in Maryland. The names of the parties were obtained and their premises searched. Their arms and accoutrements were found hidden in barns, and out-houses, and buried in the ground, at some distance from the homes of their owners. Two hundred sabres, four hundred pistols and full cavalry equipments for at least two hundred men, and about fourteen hundred muskets were captured.
A detachment of the command having been ordered to seize a quantity of wheat intended for the rebel army, at a mill near Harper's Ferry, in Virginia, Colonel Geary crossed the Potomac with three companies and a piece of artillery to assist in removing it, and to protect the operations. This labor, though pushed forward with great activity, occupied several days. It being completed, the Colonel had determined to re-cross the river on the 16th, but at seven o'clock in the morning his pickets stationed on Bolivar Heights, west of Harper's Ferry, were driven into the town of Bolivar by the enemy who approached from the west in three columns, consisting of one regiment of infantry, one of cavalry, and three pieces of artillery, commanded by General Ashby. His advanced guard of cavalry charged gallantly towards the upper part of the town, and his infantry and artillery took position on the heights from which the pickets had been driven. At the same time General Evans, with four regiments of infantry and four pieces of artillery appeared on Loudon Heights. Sharpshooters were stationed at eligible points to annoy our troops at the crossing of the Potomac, near the railroad bridge at Harper's Ferry. Having detached a portion of his command to defend the fords on the Shenan