Civil War Regiments
Two sources that provide general military history on Somerset County include Welfley's History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania, Vols. 11; and History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5 by Samuel P. Bates, 5 Vols., 1869-1871.
The 39th Volunteer Infantry, Co. A., moved to the federal capitol with the Pennsylvania Reserves Division. The first action this company participated in was at Dranesville, VA. In June of 1862, this company moved to Mechanicsville, VA and became part of McClellan's army to fight in the battle of Gaimes Mills and Mechanicsville. Other battles this company fought included: White Oak Swamp, Second Manassas, South Mountain, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Bestheda Church. The company suffered particularily heavy losses at the battle of Fredericksburg. Initial enrollment was 127 volunteers and 58 mustered out on June 11, 1864.
The Somerset County men who fought in the 52nd were mustered in on September 26, 1864. A detachment of this regiment were among the first men to enter Fort Sumter on Feb. 18, 1865 and the first to enter Charleston, South Carolina along with Sherman as he marched south to Atlanta. Somerset countians made up units C, E, I, H - with most in C and I.
The largest contingent of men from Somerset County made up the 54th Volunteer Infantry. They were recruite from Somerset and Cambria counties in 1861. Companies B, C, and G were made up entirely of Somerset county men and 50% made up Company D. The regiment was organized under Col. Jacob M. Campbell, of Allegheny Twp.
The 54th began it's service after encamping near Washington until March 29, 1862. The regiment then moved to Harper's Ferry and shortly was ordered to guard the Baltimore and Ohio railroad (for nearly 8 months.) On October 4, Company B was captured at Paw Paw, West Va., and was ordered to be executed. Judge Jeremiah S. Black interceded on their behalf and the unit was released at City Point and rejoined their regiment.
The 54th became part of the Department of West Virginia and in April of 1864 it joined Gen. Sigel in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The first major battle took place at New Market and the 54th suffered major losses. Later it took part in fighting at Peidmont and in the capture of Lexington. The regiment suffered a forced march from Lynchburg to the Kanawha River, a distance of 215 miles. September of 1864 found the regiment back in the Shenandoah Valley and was fighting the third battle of Winchester and Fisher's Hill. The 54th was sent to City Point where it joined the Army of the James. On Feb 7, 1865 the original term of enlistment was over and the regiment was reorganized.
Company I of the 55th Volunteer Infantry was recruited mainly from Bedford County in September of 1861. Twelve men in this company were from Shade Township. This regiment took part in Drury's Bluff and Cold Harbor, South Carolina.
58th Volunteer Infantry
Not much information is available online about the 58th Penna. Vols. Ken Bascom Jr. has put together a website and is forming a reenactment troupe to remember those men who served in this regiment. For more information see: http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/58thpa/58thpa.html. For information on joining the reenactment troupe, please see this page.
Companies F and G were made up of mostly men from Somerset County. Most of these men joined the company in September and October of 1864. These men took part in Gen. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign and fought at Ford Stedman and Saylor's Creek.
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Last Revised: October 8, 2010