NP: May 19, 1865 The Bedford Inquirer: Corporal Mauk of the 138th PA Kills Gen. A. P. Hill, April 2, 1865

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in May 1865

DEATH OF GEN. A. P. HILL.—The following letter in regard to the death of [Third Corps commander] Gen. A[mbrose]. P[owell]. Hill, from our mutual friend, Lieut. C. P. Calhoun [of the 138th Pennsylvania], will be read with pride by many of our patriotic citizens. Bedford county truly has turned out as brave and daring soldiers as ever carried a musket or drew a sabre:

DANVILLE, Va., May 5, 1865.

EDITORS INQUIRER:—The following taken from the Norristown Herald and Free Press, of April 27th, I hope you will publish, that your readers may know that Bedford county can boast as brave patriots as ever fired a gun in defence of their country.

“Just after the assault upon the rebel works, April 2d [April 2, 1865], some of our men penetrated the country as far as the Southside Railroad, and two men of Co. “F,” [of the 138th Pennsylvania] named Corp. John W. Mauk and private Daniel Wolford were among the number.1 They tore up two rails of the track, and when returning to the command, they encountered two rebel mounted officers, who at once demanded their surrender. It was, however, refused, and Corp. Mauk shot one of them dead. Private Wolford shot at the other, but he escaped apparently unhurt. The men returned to their regiment and reported their adventure. It appears that information gained from rebel prisoners gives the circumstances of Gen. A. P. Hill’s death as similar to that of the officer shot by Corp. Mauk, and it is officially believed by our Brigade, Division and Corps commanders that the noted rebel officer above named met his well deserved death at the hands of a soldier of the 138th [Pennsylvania].2

The names of these men have been forwarded in the commanding officer’s report, and they are recommended for a suitable reward for their meritorious services.”

Since the above was written additional evidence has been established without doubt the correctness of the statement. It however appears that it was only an Orderly that accompanied A. P. Hill and he was severely though not mortally wounded. Corp. Mauk is from Cumberland Valley and private Daniel Wolford from Londonberry township. May a grateful country reward them, as well as all their brave comrades who participated in the crowning successes of the war, and the final overthrow of the rebellion.

Yours,

C[hrist.]. P. Calhoun3,
1st Lieutenant Co. “F.”4

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Source/Notes:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: The Union Sixth Corps, of which these men and their regiment were a part, had broken through the Confederate lines southwest of Petersburg early on the morning of April 2, 1865, kicking off the Third Battle of Petersburg. The Southside Railroad ran west from Petersburg and was behind the extended Confederate lines.  Mauk and Wolford were trying to disrupt one of the last remaining rail lines out of Petersburg and Richmond.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: For a detailed discussion of Hill’s death and background on both Hill and Mauk, see “The Man Who Shot A.P. Hill” by Jon Guttman.
  3. SOPO Editor’s Note: A quick glance at the roster of the 138th Pennsylvania taken from Bates’ classic reference work led me to Christ. P. Calhoun of Company F.  He had been promoted from Sergeant back in January 1865. See his earlier letter to the Bedford Inquirer.
  4. “Death of Gen. A. P. Hill.” The Bedford Inquirer (Bedford, PA), July 14, 1865, p.3, col. 4.

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