BTC Notes: The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion

   

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Story of the 116th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry by MulhollandSubject: The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion by St. Clair Augustin Mulholland

Important Points:

Note:

  • Earlier chapters do not discuss the Siege of Petersburg and were not consulted for the purposes of this research.

Chapter 13: Petersburg

  • 116th PA arrived at the Petersburg battlefield around midnight on the night of June 15-16, 1864.1
  • 116th PA attacked the Confederate lines near the Hare House, about where Fort Stedman would be built in the future, around 6 pm on the night of June 16, 1864.2
  • Casualties in the June 16 fight were 46 enlisted men killed, wounded, and missing3
  • 116th again attacked on June 17 with more casualties4
  • Another attack on June 18 caused the loss of three killed and “about a dozen” wounded in the 116th5
  • Interesting letter from General William Mahone to General Mulholland from May 7, 1895 which covers the fighting on June 22, 1864 during the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road.6
  • Captain Nowlen commanded the 116th PA on June 22, 18647
  • The 116th Pennsylvania’s part in the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road on June 22, 1864 is described on pages 276-279.

Chapter 14: First Deep Bottom or Strawberry Plains

  • 116th New York participated in the First Deep Bottom expedition and battle with the rest of the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.  No detailed explanation of the regiment’s participation is given.
  • Captain Garrett Nowlen commanded the 116th PA at First Deep Bottom on July 27, 1864.8
  • Second Deep Bottom is discussed from pages 285-290
  • 116th was involved in the action at Fussell’s Mill on August 18, 1864.9
  • By “early on the morning of [August] 21st”, the 116th PA had returned to its camp on the south side of the Appomattox River.  The regiments casualties at Second Deep Bottom were not known to the writer at the time of the book’s publication.10

Chapter 15: Battle of Reams Station

  • The First and Second divisions of the Second Corps were ordered to the Weldon Railroad near Ream’s Station to tear up the track there and to the south in late August, but they faced a battle from a large Confederate force on August 25, 1864.11
  • Captain Nowlen commanded the 116th PA on August 25, 1864 at Ream’s Station but was killed during the battle.  He was succeeded by Captain Samuel Taggart.  Taggart was also killed at Ream’s Station.12
  • The Confederate attacks caused a panic and a rout in the Second Corps, attributed to the newer men in the regiments.  The 116th fell back along with the rest.  The author notes 17 killed, 10 wounded, and 31 missing.13
  • 8000 men fought in the Union forces at Second Ream’s Station, with 2400 killed, wounded, or missing.14

Chapter 16: Petersburg

  • After Reams Station the 116th PA was behind the lines for two weeks.  Starting in September, the regiment moved into the trenches for two months.15
  • Around October 1, 1864, the 116th PA moved from the left to the right of Fort Stedman.16
  • “During September and October the Regiment was moved from one part of the line to another, but always in the trenches—sometimes in Forts Morton and Rice, again in Forts Haskell or Steadman, but always under fire.”17

Chapter 17: Petersburg: Turning Movement Against Lee’s Right. October 27th.

  • At the start of the Sixth Offensive, the 116th PA and Fourth Brigade, First Division, Seoncd Corps occupied the lines directly opposite the Crater, with the left in Fort Rice and the right “extending towards Fort Stedman.”  The 116th PA specifically was in the trenches near Fort Haskell.18
  • Colonel Mulholland of the 116th PA, the commander of 4,1,2,AotP, led a small demonstration on the enemy’s lines near the Crater as a diversion for the attack on the Boydton Plank Road far to the west on October 27, 1864.  The demonstration succeeded in capturing an enemy fort (Davidson’s Salient), but no reinforcements could be spared to hold the gains.19
  • In late November the II Corps was moved to the left of the lines, where the trenches were further apart.  The 116th PA occupied the lines on the Peebles Farm.20
  • Miles’ First Division, Second Corps went on a reconnaissance to Hatcher’s Run on December 9, 1864, but the 116th PA was held in reserve.21
  • “The Regiment was commanded during the winter by Major David W. Megraw, who had been promoted from Captain of Company H, Colonel Mulholland being in command of the brigade.”22

Chapter 18: Gravelly Run and Five Forks. March, 1865.

  • Major David W. Megraw was wounded on March 31, 1865.23
  • The 116th and its brigade participated in the battles of White Oak Road and Sutherland Station in the closing actions around Petersburg in late March and early April 1865.24

Unit Strengths

  • 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: About 6,000 men around October 27, 1864.25

Unit Armament

  • Sometime between July 11-July 25, 1864, the 116th PA traded in their .69 smoothbore muskets for .58 Springfield rifled muskets.26
  • At least a portion of the 148th PA was armed with the Spencer Repeating Rifle on October 27, 1864.27

Unit Commanders:

  • Captain Nowlen commanded the 116th PA on June 22, 186428
  • General James A. Beaver commanded 4,1,II, AotP at the beginning of the Battle of Ream’s Station on August 25, 1864, but was wounded early in the action and never returned to command.  At the time the 116th PA joined the Fourth Brigade in July 1864, Beaver was absent from a previous wound received at Cold Harbor.29
  • Captain Garrett Nowlen commanded the 116th PA at First Deep Bottom on July 27, 1864.30
  • First Division, Second Corps, AotP: On August 18, 1864, General Barlow relinquished command of the First Division, Second Corps and General Nelson A. Miles succeeded him temporarily.31
  • First Division, Second Corps, AotP: On August 24, 1864, General Barlow again relinquished command of the First Division, Second Corps and General Nelson A. Miles succeeded him permanently.32
  • Captain Nowlen commanded the 116th PA on August 25, 1864 at Ream’s Station.33
  • 4th Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: Colonel Mulholland returned on October 15, 1864 to take command of the brigade from Lt. Colonel Glenny of the 64th NY.34
  • Major David W. Megraw commanded the 116th PA during the winter.35

Other:

  • Some time between July 11 and July 25, 1864, the 116th PA transferred from the Second (Irish) Brigade to the Fourth Brigade, First Division, II Corps36
  • Before the transfer, “[t]he Irish Brigade was commanded by a captain.”  However, according to the June 15-June 30 casualty returns, by this time the Irish Brigade had already been joined with the Third Brigade, First Division, II Corps into a new “Consolidated” Brigade.  Were the remnants of the old Irish Brigade, or at least the New York (63rd, 69th, 88th) units, functioning together as a regiment by this time?  Further research is needed.37

Sources:

  1. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 267
  2. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 268
  3. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 269
  4. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 270
  5. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 270
  6. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, pages 274-276
  7. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 277
  8. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 283
  9. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 288
  10. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 289
  11. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, pages 291-293
  12. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, pages 293-294
  13. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 296
  14. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 297
  15. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 307
  16. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 319
  17. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 320
  18. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 321
  19. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, pages 322-324
  20. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 332
  21. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 333
  22. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 333
  23. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 336
  24. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, pages 335-338
  25. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 321
  26. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 280
  27. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 322
  28. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 277
  29. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 280
  30. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 283
  31. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 288
  32. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 291
  33. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, pages 293-294
  34. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 320
  35. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 333
  36. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 279
  37. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, page 279

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