Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

The 2nd Company G of the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on September 11, 2012

The history of the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry explains why replacement companies had to be recruited in 1864 and 1865.  From the Lykens Valley area around Gratz, Company G of the 103rd Pensylvania  Infantry was formed in March of 1865 and sent south to Roanoke Island, North Carolina.  Their experiences there were unlike other companies that had gone to war earlier.  The war was ending. Refugees were heading to the coast.  Prisoners of war were being released.

History of the 103d Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry [103rd Pennsylvania Infantry], by Luther S. Dickey, was published in 1910 by L. S. Dickey in Chicago.  Dickey was a Corporal in the regiment and Sgt. Samuel M. Evans served as collaborator for the work.

The book has been digitized by Google and is available as a free download.  Click here and then follow the instructions in the red box  (EBOOK-FREE) at the left side of the page.  The book is available to download in several formats.

The story of the 2nd Company G, and other replacement companies, is told by Dickey, and continues from the blog post that appeared here two days ago:

Only four men were left from the regiment and they had either been on furlough or in the hospital at the time of the battle loss and capture of the regiment.  These men formed the core of the detachment that awaited new recruits to bring the regiment up to strength.  It took a while for the recruits to arrive and in the meantime, African Americans who were refuges were given weapons and asked to help to defend the island.

During the course of the next year, officers and men who had been prisoners of war and released or paroled, began arriving at Roanoke Island creating a party-like atmosphere with little discipline.  Word spread that the end of the war was near and the men “were having one continual holiday, and dances… were arranged.”  Locally made wine flowed but was sold at more than a fair profit and the soldiers imbibed continuously.

Into this scene came the 2nd Company G from the Lykens Valley.  They were ordered to patrol the island day and night.  On one such occasion, the following occurred:

At a dance one night, the house where it was held was surrounded, and 25 to 30 men were captured by one of the new companies.  The prisoners were marched to headquarters and put in the guard house.  It was a log house with a ground floor, with only one door which was locked on the outside with a pad-lock, and adjoining it, was a room for the guard-quarters…. When the men were incarcerated, [the Colonel] was notified, and he gave orders to have them securely guarded.  Shortly after dawn the next day, the Colonel made his appearance and asked the sergeant in charge to unlock the door, all the time expressing condemnation of the imprisoned men and threatening them with punishment….. The door was opened and the prison was found vacant.  A tunnel had been dug and the prisoners had worked so stealthily that the guards had no suspicion of an attempt being made to escape.  The Colonel was in a rage.  It was not yet time for reveille, but he went immediately to the quarters , and had the men called out in line.  He first informed the men he knew who the culprits were, and he wanted them to step to the front.  Not a man stirred.  Then he threatened to punish all, but the men remained stolid and calm, and acted as though his threats and denunciations went on deaf ears.  Orders were issued that day for the entire detachment to get ready to move to Coin Jock on the Dismal Swamp Canal.  The Colonel had determined to isolate them again from civilization as punishment, but this made the innocent suffer as well as the guilty, and would force the commissioned officers, who had been prisoners of war, into exile also.  They protested most vigorously, but the Colonel remained obdurate.  By good fortune this punishment was interrupted by orders from department headquarters, however with no intent to thwart the Colonel in his purpose.  The war was at an end and the regiment was ordered to New Bern, North Carolina, to be mustered out of the service of the United States.  This was delayed for some reason, probably for lack of transportation, until 25 June 1865.  This muster out did not give the men free rein to do as they pleased; they were still subject to the orders of the officers, and remained so until after they receive the final payment due them, which was given simultaneously with their discharge, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 13 July 1865.  Subsequent to the war no one laughed more heartily over the Island tunnel escape than did [the Colonel], when meeting the men who were participants in it.


The following is a list of the men who served in the 2nd Company G of the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry, many of whom were from the Lykens Valley area.  Click on any name to see prior posts on this blog which may include additional information about the men.

CaptainCornelius A. Harper

1st LieutenantSamuel S. Matthews

2nd LieutenantDaniel Y. Lenker

SergeantBenjamin F. Miller —— Edwin A. Hoffman ——- Obed J. Reigle —— Francis S. Feindt ——- John Townsend

Corporal:  Jacob B. Lehman ——- Simon Blyler ——- John Romberger ——- Henry W. Snyder ——- Cyrus F. Ferree ——- George S. Loucks ——- Benjamin R. Foster ——- Henry Ferree

Jacob Shiro, 2nd Company G, was from Gratz

Private:   George Anthony ——- Joseph Buffington ——- Ernst Buhler ——- John Bellon ——– James G. Bateman ——- Albert Dennis ——- George Deibler ——- George D. Eby —— Jeremiah Fry ——- Jared Fisher ——– Michael Fetterhoff ——- Samuel Forney ——- Leo Gladfelter ——- Adam F. Geesey —— Edwin D. Geesey ——- Franklin Geesey ——- John Greiner ——- Andrew Greiner ——- Melvin Gohn ——- Jacob Hininger ——- Jeremiah Hartman ——-Isaac Hildebrand ——- Jonathan Hoover ——- James Hunter ——- James B. Heim —— Henry H. Harman ——- John W. Hoffman ——- Banawell Hand ——- Jonas W. Hoffman ——– Levi W. Hake ——- Edwin Inness ——- Adam Kohler ——– George E. Kehres ——- Joseph Kramer ——- Isaac Koppenhaver ——- Lewis Kniley ——- Josiah Leber ——– Christian Lower ——- C. H. Laudenschlager ——- John Y. Lenker —— Marcus S. Light ——– Jacob Minnich ——– John G. Mark ——– George Minier ——– Philip McKinney ——– John C. McCallion ——- John W. Orndorf ——- Simon Richard ——– David Riddle ——– Josiah R. Riegle ——– Henry Rickert ——- Jacob Rumberger ——– Benjamin Rickert —— Harrison Riegle ——- Michael Reiley ——– Jeremiah Stump ——– Jeremiah Snyder ——– William Saul ——– Henry Shermeyer ——– Franklin P. Startzle ——– George Spangler ——– Jacob Shiro ——– Isaac Sitlinger ——- Jacob S. Snyder ——– Henry Shoop —— Gottlieb Spoerl ——– Robert A. Thompson ——- Hiram Wilt —— Edward Walters ——– Jacob Williard ——- John Williard ——- Henry Williard ——– Daniel Zimmerman ——- Jonathan H. Zimmerman

For other blog posts on the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry, click here.





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