The 128th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 2 officers and 31 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 26 enlisted men to disease during the Civi War. It is honored by a monument at Antietam.
|August,||Recruited in Berks, Lehigh and Bucks Counties and organized at Harrisburg|
|August 16||Left State for Washington, D.C. under the command of Captain William H. Andrews of Company E, as no field officers had yet been appointed.|
|August 21||Moved to Fairfax Seminary|
|August 25||Captain Samuel Croasdale of company C was appointed colonel, Captain William W. Hammersly of Company G as lieutenant colonel, and Joel B. Wanner as major.|
|August 29||Moved to Fort Woodbury to erect fortifications and fell timber.|
|September 6-14||Moved to Frederick, Md. and assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.|
The regiment charged by the flank through the East Woods and into the Cornfield. While forming into line, Colonel Croasdale was killed. Lieutenant Colonel Hammersly took over, but was almost immediately severly wounded in the arm. Major Wanner then took command and rallied the regiment, holding it in place until it was relieved by General Williams. Captain William H. Andrews was also killed.
Corporal Ignatz Gresser of Company D earned the Medal of Honor at Antietam for carrying a wounded comrade from the field under fire.
From the monument on Cornfield Avenue on the Antietam battlefield:
Casualties at Antietam, Killed 26, Wounded 86, Missing 6, Total 118
From the War Department marker to Crawford’s Brigade on the Antietam battlefield:
Crawford’s Brigade advanced from Line’s farm at daybreak, on the right of Williams’ Division. The 124th Pennsylvania was detached and supported Magilton’s Brigade of Meade’s Division in its engagement on the north edge of the Cornfield. In its deployment the Brigade moved to the left in support of Ricketts’ Division, a part of which it relieved at this point, and occupied the northeast corner of the Cornfield and a part of the East Woods, where it was heavily engaged. Upon the turning of the Confederate flank by Greene’s Division, the 125th Pennsylvania advanced across the fields north of the Smoketown Road and penetrated the woods around the Dunkard Church. The Brigade supported Sedgwick’s Division in its advance and, later in the day, formed in support of the Sixth Corps.
From the Official Report of the battle by Major Wanner:
Having been ordered under arms before daylight, we were formed in column of divisions and marched toward the scene of action about 6 o’clock, and when in front of the enemy General Mansfield commanded the colonel to deploy his regiment, but as the regiment was new and inexperienced (having been in existence but five weeks), and being within range of the enemy, who were concealed in a corn field in front of us, about 60 or 70 yards distant, thus bringing us under fire immediately, there was much confusion in accomplishing the movement. Before they could be deployed, in fact very soon after giving the order, Colonel Crosdale was killed by a ball through the head, and about the same time Lieutenant-Colonel Hammersly was wounded in two places in the arm. I endeavored to finish the deployment, but it being the first time the regiment had been under fire, I found it impossible to do so in the excitement and confusion. At the suggestion of Colonel Knipe, of the Forty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, I ordered the regiment to charge into the corn-field and dislodge the enemy, while the regiment on our right was charging into the woods. They started off in gallant style, cheering as they moved, and penetrated the corn field, but, in consequence of the overpowering numbers of the enemy concealed, were compelled to fall back, which they did in tolerable order.
The Forty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Knipe commanding, were on our left and held their position. I attempted, with the assistance of Colonel Knipe and Lieutenant-Colonel Selfridge, of the same regiment, to rally and form my men on their right. While thus employed we were ordered to fall back to the woods, by order of General Williams, and another brigade advanced to relieve us.
(Official Records: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam – Serial 27) , Pages 493 – 494)
|September 22 – December 10||
At Sandy Hook and Maryland Heights.
Lt. Colonel Hammersly’s wounds were so severe that he never resumed command. Major Wanner resigned shortly after the battle, returning to his office as mayor of Redding.
|November 1||Major Joseph A. Mathews of the 46th Pennsylvania was appointed colonel.|
|December 10-14||Moved to Fairfax Station, Va.|
|January 19-23||Moved to Stafford Court House and moved into winter quarters|
|January 31||Lieutenant Colonel Hammersly resigned and was discharged on a Surgeon’s Certificate for his wounds from Antietam. Captain J. Heber Smith of Company A was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and Captain Cephas W. Dyers of Company C was promoted to major|
|April 27||Chancellorsville Campaign|
Retiring after dark, the regiment found itself surrounded. While 172 men were able to make their way to safety, 9 officers and 225 men were captured, including Colonel Mathews and Lieutenant Colonel Smith.
|May 12||Relieved from duty and moved to Harrisburg to muster out. The captured men were paroled and returned in time to muster out.|
|May 19||Mustered out under Major Dyers|