Welcome to "Remembering the 142nd PVI". The purpose of this site is post pictures, information, and the final resting places of this regiment of the American Civil War. It seeks to tell a "bottom up" history, straight from the common soldiers themselves. If you have any information concerning the 142nd, please email me at bmonticue@gmail.com. Thank you and enjoy.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Camp A, Frederick, MD

In early October of 1862, the 142nd moved from their position at Ft. Massachusetts, on the outskirts of Washington, DC, to Frederick, MD. Following the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, in September, many of the Union wounded were moved to the hospitals located in this central Maryland city.

Aftermath of the Battle of Antietam
The city of Frederick, MD was a crossroads town during the war. Because of this, they had three Confederate invasions, 38 skirmishes, and two major battles. The Union Army held a permanent general hospital there, but after the 1862 Maryland Campaign, many field hospitals were set up, using churches, businesses, and tents.

The 142nd was assigned to one of the tent hospitals, named Camp A. On October 2nd, Capt. Albert Heffley wrote: "This morn they gave our camp a name. They concluded to call it Camp Allen...To day about 300 wounded arrived, amongst which are some 10 or 12 Rebel prisoners, and 3 or 4 of them are very intelligent, & about as fine a looking set of people as I almost ever saw."

William Notson
 Camp A was the largest of the two tent hospitals in Frederick. It staffed 11 surgeons and assistant surgeons, 2 medical cadets, 4 stewards, 114 male nurses, and 18 cooks, with a patient capacity of 733.

 The 142nd's duties during this time consisted of cooking, nursing, and policing. William Notson was the Surgeon in Charge of Camp A. He did not have kind words for the new recruits of the 142nd, stating that "To a perfect laxity of discipline upon the part of their officers may be added the natural inefficiency of the recruit." 

 The regiment spent only a couple weeks in Frederick caring for the wounded. Soon they would march off the Antietam and Harper's Ferry to join the rest of the Army of the Potomac that was massing for another drive into Virginia.

Works Cited:

Reimer, Terry. One Vast Hospital: The Civil War Hospital Sites in Frederick, Maryland After Antietam. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 2001. pp. 94-98.

Croner, Barbara M. A Sergeant's Story - Civil War Diary of Jacob J. Zorn 1862-1865. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999.

Berlin Area Historical Society. Civil War Diaries of Capt. Albert Heffley and Lt. Cyrus P. Heffley. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 2000.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pvt. Jesse H. Critchfield, Co. F

Today we meet Jesse Critchfield, a man born and raised in Somerset County, PA. He was born in that rural, hilly country on July 2, 1841 to William and Susannah Critchfield. Jesse grew up on the family farm, and married Rebecca Gessner of Berlin, Somerset County, PA on Dec. 3, 1861.

Less than two years later, on August 21, 1862, Jesse enlisted in Co. F, 142nd PA Infantry and was mustered into service four days later. Pvt. Critchfield (often misspelled "Scritchfield" in regimental records) saw action in the battles of Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Laurel Hill, where he was taken prisoner, according to the records kept by his 1st Sergeant, Jacob Zorn.

Jesse then spent eight months in Andersonville Prison in Georgia. According to his pension records, he made his way back to his regiment March 2, 1865, and mustered out with them in Washington, DC on May 29, 1865.

After the war, Jesse moved back home and was a schoolteacher in Somerset County until 1881, when he went into the mercantile business. A few years later, Jesse and Rebecca moved to Ellersie, Allegany County, MD where he taught school again, was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, became Assistant Postmaster, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He and Rebecca also had 7 children.

In 1902, the 142nd PVI held their 40th reunion in Berlin, PA, and according to the Berlin Record, Jesse was one of the veterans in attendance. Below is a picture of some Co. F veterans from that reunion.

Photo Credit: A Sergeant's Story

Jesse H. Critchfield passed away on March 13, 1917, and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Cumberland, MD.

A very big THANK YOU is due to Pvt. Critchfield's great-great grandaugher, Michele Doyle, for sharing all her research into Jesse and his family. Check out her blog at http://michelefamilyresearch.blogspot.com/

Works Cited:

Croner, Barbara M. A Sergeant's Story - Civil War Diary of Jacob J. Zorn 1862-1865. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999.

Doyle, Michele. "Jesse Critchfield Collection."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lt. John W. Dissinger, Co. K

Today's post is about an officer in Luzerne County's Co. K, John Weitzel Dissinger. John enlisted as a Private on Sept. 2, 1862 and moved quickly through the ranks, making Captain on Sept. 21, 1864. According to his obituary from the Dec. 4, 1919 edition of the Lebanon Daily News, John earned the rank of Captain before he was mustered out on May 29, 1865, but the regimental records do not show this.

His obituary also lists a litany of wounds that Lt. Dissinger received while serving the Union.

"He was wounded at Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13, 1862, by a shell fragment in the left knee. Later, in the Wilderness, on May 5, 1864, he was gun shot in both shoulders. At Spotsylvania Court House, on the night of May 9, 1864, he was again gun shot in the right shoulder."

After the war, John moved to Lebanon County, PA and lived in Lebanon, where he became a carpenter and an active member in the Hebron United Brethern Church. He and his wife, Louisa, had five children. At the time of his death, John also had 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

John Dissinger passed away on Dec. 2, 1919 at home in Lebanon, PA and is buried there beside his wife in Kimmerlings Cemetery.