The 147th PVI Company G. History told through the Dairy of M. S.


This is to be a history of Company G, 147th, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, the only company of Civil War soldiers credited to Snyder county, that was sworn in for three years in that terrible war between the North and the South. To effect our organization we held meetings in Port Trevorton, Beavertown, Salem and Kratzerville. This was in August and the early part of September, 1862. On September 12 we were sworn in by John Emmitt, Esq., right opposite the Keystone Hotel (now the Hotel Sterner). We immediately assembled for the purpose of electing officers, and these officers were chosen: Captain, Charles S. Davis: First Lieutenant, Nelson Byers; Second Lieutenant, William H. Schroyer. Other members of the company were: Noncommissioned officers - First Sergeant, B. T. Parks; Second Sergeant, James E. Lloyd; Third Sergeant, George W. Townsend; Fourth Sergeant, Henry W. Baker; Fifth Sergeant, Frank M. Stuck. First Corporal, Isaac D. Whitmer; second corporal, John R. Reigle; third corporal, Francis W. Wallace; fourth corporal, Frederick B. Ulrich; fifth corporal, Henry H. Shrawder; sixth corporal, Jeremiah Malick; seventh corporal, Samuel H. Bower; eighth corporal, George W. VonNeida; Musicians-Lewis C. Schroyer, and Antes Ulrich. Privates-SOLOMAN APP, JEREMIAH APP, John F. Bingaman, Asa B. Churchhill, H. J. Doebler, Amantes M. Eby, Daniel Ehrhart, Edward Fisher, W. E. Fausnaucht, George D. Greggs, Jacob Garman, Daniel W. Gross, William Henninger, William H. Herbster, Thomas Herbster, Allen Hassinger, Uriah P. Hafley, Daniel Herbster, John P. Haas, Jeremiah Hathaway, Samuel Jarrett, Jacob Krebs, William S. Keller, Henry Kreamer, Franklin Knarr, Daniel W. Kreamer, Fred H. Knight, Peter Lahr, Daniel D. Lahr, John C. Long, Joseph A. Lumbard, Jacob Lieder, John T. Mark, Elias Millhoff, Louis Millhoff, John Millhoff, Elias Miller, Jeremiah Moyer, John Mull, Reuben Miller, John Matter, William McFall, Isaac A. Knapp, Jacob Nerhood, Elias Noll, George Noaker, Calvin E. Parks, Martin L. Parks, John Reed, Isaac E. Reed, Levi J. Romig, Jacob J. Reigel, Isaac B. Reed, M. S. Schroyer, Henry E. Schreffler, John K. Stuck, James W. Smith, William Spade, Jacob Swab, William Seesholtz, John A. Swartz, Adam S. Sholly, Michael Schoffer, William H. Schaffer, Stephen Templin, Joseph S. Ulsh, James P. Ulrich, Lot Ulrich.

Hardly had we been sworn into service until the body of the first Selinsgrove soldier, who died in the war, was brought home at 4 o'clock that afternoon. The deceased was Henry J. Miller, of Co. F, 131st, P. V. I. A goodly number of the company marched over to Isaac Miller's residence, opposite the poorhouse (now the Isle of Que school house) and viewed the corpse. Next morning, the 13th, we lined up in Market Street near Pine, ready to depart for the front. Before we left Market Street each member of the company was presented with a "housewife," donated by the ladies of the town. The gift consisted of a sewing kit, and during the time of our service recalled many pleasant recollections. Headed by the Selinsgrove band we marched to the river and there boarded flats to be ferried across the stream to the Junction, where we were delayed several hours on account of the lateness of the train. It was at that time that the Rev. Messrs Hall, Domer and Parks delivered addresses, and Rev. Domer baptized the company as the "Keystone Guards." A rather humorous incident occurred when Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Owen, of Hagerstown, Md., then a student in Missionary Institute (now Susquehanna University), delivered an address to us. At the height of his oratory the stones on the mountain side, where he was standing, began to slide, and the young orator made a sudden and unceremonious descent, cutting short his excellent speech. We boarded the train at Selinsgrove Junction and arrived at Harrisburg in the afternoon of the above date. To the music of drum and fife we marched up Market


The 147th PVI Company G. History told through the Dairy of M. S. SCHROYER Street to Third and from Third to Ridge Avenue, out Ridge Avenue to Camp Simmons, where we camped. This was my first visit to Harrisburg, and the march up Market street and out to camp was one of the proudest days of my life. My age was 19 years and five months. So proud was I that I hardly think General Jackson's overcoat would have made me a jacket.

After arriving at Camp Simmons Captain Tarbutton, who was in command, assigned us to quarters. We were placed in A tents, in messes of four in a tent, with a board floor four inches above the ground and on it a good bunch of straw. A cook shanty had been erected and our meals were served there, done up in Continental style by the cook, Mr. Laubenstein. On Monday morning we were given a thoro examination by the army surgeon. Only a few were rejected for not coming up to the army standard. We were then marched to Market Square in Harrisburg and sworn into United States service for three years or during the war. The man who administered the oath sized us up; and, seeing a good pair of legs under each one of the boys, he believed we would make good runners, so he swore us in as cavalry. Then we marched to the quartermaster's building, where we were fitted out as follows: a cap, coat, overcoat, pair of trousers, pair of shoes, two shirts and two suits of underclothes. The clothing was tailor-made and given to us regardless of size. The result was certainly amusing, as some of the boys, who wore a number 10 shoe, would probably receive a number 5, and vice versa. It was the same way with the clothing. The large fellows would invariably get short legged trousers. It took some time to adjust matters by trading until we were all satisfied. Haversacks, knapsacks, gum blankets and woolen blankets were then drawn. The Government allowed us $45 a year for clothing and if at the end of the year we had overdrawn that amount, our overdraft was deducted from our voucher, and if the amount was under the $45 the government paid us the balance. Now we were fitted out as full fledged soldiers and willing to do our duty as such. One of our duties in Harrisburg was to guard the capitol buildings. One night the writer-then a private-was on duty acting as corporal, and placed John K. Stuck, of our company, on guard duty and instructed him how to challenge any one coming toward him. I told him to challenge thus: "Who comes there?" The party challenged would answer: "A friend with the countersign." The guard would then say: "Advance one and give the countersign." About midnight I went the round to relieve the guards, and so advancing to Stuck's post, he yelled out in broken English: "Who comes dere?" I replied: "A friend with the countersign." After waiting a while, Stuck finally blurted out: "Our now wase ich byme donner net wos tsu sawga." That reply of his became a by-word with us until the close of the war. One night a soldier from Camp Curtin, adjoining Camp Simmons, broke thru the guard, and running at breakneck speed, yelled that someone was chasing him and wanted to kill him. He broke into the tent occupied by Sergeant John R. Reigle, J. J. Reigle and William Henninger, stepping on them while they were asleep. They awoke, fearfully frightened, and downed the intruder. While Messrs. Reigle held the intruder, Henninger, all excited and trembling, tried to rub a match on the tent, at the same time calling to the two men in German: "Habe un bis ich des licht ow sthecht." Finally a light was produced, and there beneath those two stalwart soldiers lay the poor stranger, shouting: "Ich bin der Johnnie Schultz. Ich cum fun Schuylkill


The 147th PVI Company G. History told through the Dairy of M. S. SCHROYER koundy. Ich bin un gardraften mon, dot cumma se, se welle mich dote maucha. Oh, ich bin der Johnnie Schultz. Ich cum fun Schuylkill koundy." By this time the nearby tents were emptied to see the fun. Some of the camp guards later removed him to the hospital, where it was said that he had the poker. That was the last we saw of him, but the name of Johnnie Schultz from Schuylkill koundy was never forgotten by us during our army service.

While in camp a little girl was murdered on Allison's Hill, east of Harrisburg. It was reported that the murderer was a soldier, so orders were issued that no soldier was allowed to leave camp, but that any and all should be admitted. Some five or six citizens, men and women, were brought into camp to search for the supposed murderer. We were drawn up in line, and those people took a front and back view of us. A man was taken from the line near us, and that created quite a commotion for a little while, but he was later released. It is said that the girl was a distant relative of Governor Curtin, and that her slayer was captured two years later. One of the very pathetic features of our stay in Harrisburg occurred when we were keeping a guard at Walnut street hospital. The convalescents were sitting on a bench outside the hospital and among the wounded ones were two Rebel soldiers. Women from the city came along with baskets of fruit, and they passed along the line distributing their gifts. They gave fruit to all except the two boys in grey, and then went into the hospital to continue their donations. Hardly had they departed until one of our boys arose and said that he was unable to enjoy his fruit alone and that he proposed to share his portion with the Confederates. He then placed some fruit in the laps of the two men, who had not been helped by the women. All the other Boys in Blue thereupon began dividing with the two Johnnies, and soon the Southerners had more fruit than any of the Northerners. It was then that one of the Boys in Grey arose, and made one of the most pathetic and inspiring speeches I ever heard. He said that he did not blame the Northern women for the slight to himself and his wounded comrade. He believed that Southern women would likely have treated Northern prisoners in the South similarly, but that he was overcome by the generosity of the Northern soldiers in sharing their fruit with him and his companion. Both those Rebel soldiers then arose and with hand uplifted to Almighty God pledged allegiance to the American Flag. That was just one of life's instances showing the value of an act of kindness. We expected to leave Harrisburg soon, and boys of Company G wanted to be ready to meet the enemy. A number of them bought Bowie knives and revolvers. Among them was Ed Fisher, who conceived the idea that if he had a self-cocking revolver he would be able to put down the rebellion himself. One day in camp Fisher hurriedly ran his hand down into his trousers pocket, where he carried his rapid firing piece of ordinance, and to his surprise he struck the trigger and off went the gun. The hot smoke curled down his pantaloons, and he, of course, imagined that it was blood. A hasty examination relieved his anxiety, but the ball of the cartridge had gone thru his pocketbook, which was very light after the purchase of the revolver. The ball struck the ground just in front of his big toe, and that settled Ed for carrying such deadly weapons. I don't think he ever carried one since then. An order had been issued by the War Department that any volunteer was privileged to join the regulars, and Henry H. Shrawder, now of Sunbury, took advantage of the order and leaving us at Harrisburg, was assigned to the Fourth Regiment, U. S. Regulars. He was wounded under Sherman in the battle of Kenesaw


The 147th PVI Company G. History told through the Dairy of M. S. SCHROYER Mountain, Ga., in 1864, but there is another sad feature of his military career and I expect to chronicle it at a later time. The company remained in camp doing guard duty at the city hospitals and in and about the camp until November 24, 1862, when we were transferred to Harper's Ferry, Va., for the purpose of organizing the 147th Regiment. I was detailed to carry the colors from Harrisburg to Harper's Ferry. We left Camp Simmons on Monday, but were compelled to camp in a shanty in Harrisburg until the next day, on account of the lateness of the train. We went to Baltimore, Md., on the 25th and took our meals that day at the Soldiers' Relief Association rooms. The meat, served us, was said to be salt horse. It compared, however, favorably with the old sow belly, so much relished by the boys during the balance of our service. We were placed in a large brick house in Baltimore for the night. Some of the boys managed to get out and attended the theater. So far as I was concerned my exchequer was too low, for two cents was all the money I had. I was anxious to see the Chesapeake Bay, so I started off alone for the wharf. The bay and fish markets were great sights for me, and it was a delightful trip. Wednesday, the 26th, we left Baltimore, Md., for Harper's Ferry, Va., where we arrived about noon. We marched thru the town to Bolivar Heights, two miles distant. Here we joined the regiment and became Company G of the 147th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, First Brigade, Second Division, Twelfth Army Corps. Our Division Commander was General John W. Geary. We were now on Rebel soil, where just a few weeks before General Miles surrendered thousands of Yankee boys to Stonewall Jackson. It was in Harper's Ferry, too, that John Brown organized his insurrection for free slaves, just prior to the war, for which he was hanged at Charlestown, Va., just five miles distant.

Thus we started out for three years active campaigning with a full determination to do our humble share in blotting out secession. Harpers' Ferry, on the south side of the Potomac River, is situated on Bolivar Heights; West Va. East of the town the Shenandoah River breaks into the Potomac. Just across the Shenandoah River is Louden Heights in Louden county Virginia. North and across the Potomac River is Maryland Heights is Maryland. A large fort had been erected thereon. Batteries placed upon either height can easily throw their projectiles from each to the other. We reached Harpers' Ferry by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The bridge across the Potomac had been burned and we crossed on a pontoon bridge. The first sight greeting our eyes was the ruins of the old United States arsenal which had contained from 100,000 to 200,000 stand of arms, destroyed by John Brown. Later we visited John Brown's cave, along the river, just above Harpers' Ferry. Here Brown had with him 17 white men and five blacks, when he began hostilities. I think that a great majority of Company G entered the cave at different times, and explored it thoroughly. The opening of the cave was made secure by two massive doors, made of railroad sills and fastened with large pieces of iron and huge hinges. Thru these sills holes were cut so that the muzzle of the guns would pass thru in case of attack and those inside could protect themselves. While at camp here our duty was heavy. When not on picket or camp duty we were fortifying on Louden Heights. Here we drew our Springfield rifles and drill was the order of the day. The boys were all happy. Some of the company never fired off a gun before they entered the army, and therefore they thought that when the


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful