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ing the troops that were to be relied on for the purposes of defence. But a little more than a month after the Legislature had passed the Act providing for the organization of the Reserve Corps, it became necessary to despatch troops to the southern border and into the State of Mary. land, in order to defend the State from invasion. Accordingly, on the 22d day of June, 1861, two regiments, the First Rifles, popularly known as the “Bucktails," commanded by Colonel Charles J. Biddle, and the Fifth regiment of infantry, commanded by Colonel Seneca G. Simmons, and two companies of artillery, commanded by Captain C. T. Campbell, were ordered to march to Cumberland, in the State of Maryland, to reinforce the Eleventh regiment of Indiana Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Lew. Wallace. While these troops were rendering valuable services in Western Virginia, the battle of Bull Run was fought by the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major-General Irwin McDowell. The terrible disaster that befel the national army in this battle, on the 21st day of July, created an unexpected demand for reinforcements. No provision had been made for an emergency of this nature, and hence no reinforcements were at the disposal of the General-in-Chief. It became necessary, therefore, to summon to the national, capital, with all possible haste, all the available forces in the country. A requisition was made on the State of Pennsylvania on the 22d of July, for the immediate service of its Reserve Corps. In response to this urgent demand of the national government, eleven thousand of these troops were sent to Washington as rapidly as transportation could be furnished, and, within a few days, the entire Corps, number. ing fifteen thousand eight hundred and fifty-six officers and men, was mustered into the service of the United States, and
became a part of the Army of the Potomac. On arriving at Washington, the troops went into camp at Tenallytown, five miles northwest from Georgetown, and in October, crossed the Potomac river on Chain Bridge, and five miles west from the bridge, formed Camp Pierpont, near the Leesburg pike; here they remained during the winter.
While in Camp Pierpont, the organization was perfected, and the troops instructed in drills, and by frequent foraging expeditions and reconnoissances, made familiar with active service.
On the 20th of December, 1861, the Third Brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Edward O. C. Ord, engaged - the enemy near Drainsville, and won the first victory gained by troops in the Army of the Potomac.
In the spring of 1862, the Corps joined in the movement of the army, under Major-General George B. McClellan, and marched to Fredericksburg, constituting the Second Division of General McDowell's Corps. In June it embarked on the Rappahannock river for the Peninsula, and on the 11th of June debarked at the “White House," on the south bank of the Pamunkey, and joined the right wing of the army at Mechanicsville. These troops alone fought the battle of Mechanicsville, they were engaged at Gaines' Mills, Charles City Cross Roads and Malvern Hill, through the seven days' battles before Richmond. They rendered distinguished services at the second battle of Bull Run, at South Moun. tain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. Whereever the Army of the Potomac marched and fought, the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps was present, enduring the severest toils of war.
Hundreds of the brave men, who volunteered in defence of the State in case of invasion, have sacrificed their lives on their country's altar, in battles fought far from the borders of their native State by the army of the nation.
Both the living and the dead, who marched and battled in this corps of brave men, have a history proper to be written. It is the purpose of this work to supply a public demand, by preserving in proper form, a complete record of the entire organization, containing the names of all the officers and privates, their services, promotions and destinies, from the date of their enlistment into the State service to the day of their muster out of the service of the United States; accounts of the marches they endured, the camps they occupied, and the many battles in which a haughty foe was made to recoil before the power of their arms. The History the Reserve Corps has made, the author has written, It commends itself to every Pennsylvanian on account of the great merits and patriotic devotion of the men whose acts it records,
Threats of Southern leaders—Secret preparations for war–Treach. ery of Buchanan's Cabinet--Conduct of Floyd-Shipment of arms and ammunition to the Southern States--Seizure of Government property by the rebels-Dispersion of the Navy-Secession of South Carolina-The Government in possession of the Conspirators-The inauguration of President Lincoln-Official declaration that force will be used to defend public property — The conspirators attack Fort Sumter—The effect in the South—The uprising of the North— The condition of the War Department-Response to the call for 75,000 troops—Washington threatened- Treachery of Virginians-Harper's Ferry and Gosport Navy Yard destroyed-Riot in Baltimore--The route to the Capital re-opened.
The political leaders in the Southern States had so frequently threatened secession and the dissolution of the Union, that the people of the North heard with indifference the menace repeated at the return of each presidential election. During the administration preceding the inauguration of President Lincoln, the Southern leaders openly prepared for war. Military companies were organized, equipped and drilled, at the expense of the government, and the communities of the South Atlantic and Gulf States were put on a war footing. No tocsin of alarm was sounded. The work of preparation went on quietly and stealthily, it is true, but vigorously, and with organized system. In the spring of 1860, the conspirators, emboldened by their previous successes, declared openly, that unless they were permitted to choose for the succession, a man for President of the United States, committed to their own peculiar principles, they would secede from the Union and establish a confederacy of the Southern States, wherein the slaveholder might enjoy the rights and privileges of his domestic institution, unmolested by external interference. The extreme ignorance of the lower classes of the white population in the slave States, placed them wholly in the power of those who plotted treason against the government. They were taught to believe that the greatest calamity that could befall them and all the inhabitants of the Southern States, would be a govern. ment administered by a “Republican” President, and that the only means of escape from this was secession and the establishment of an independent Confederacy. Though the leaders thus taught the people, they at the same time dili. gently labored to ensure the election of the Republican candidate; and having succeeded in this, they called on the ignorant and misguided masses to take up arms and resist the authority of President Lincoln. During the administration of James Buchanan, the traitors occupied the fortifications, barracks and arsenals of the army; seized the yards and docks of the navy; plundered the mints and custom houses; sent abroad the ships of war; corrupted the regular army; bankrupted the Treasury; destroyed the credit of the United States, and so completely demoralized the National Government, that but for the virtue and latent patriotism of the loyal people in the Northern States, the free institutions of America would have been irretrieva. bly lost. Not only had the leaders labored to disarm the people and demoralize the government by seizing the forts, arsenals and treasure, by dispersing the fleet and disorganizing the army, but they had placed in the several departments at the National Capital, men on whom they could rely for assistance. They were equally diligent in garrisoning the fortifications on the Southern coast with men of their own choosing, and in marshaling armies for the field. For, however short-sighted and blinded by treason, these men were not without serious apprehensions of a sudden uprising of the people in defence of the government and the honored flag of the country. To armies hastily organized and indif. ferently armed, they had prepared to oppose companies and regiments and batteries familiar with the evolutions on the field and skilled in the manual of arms.