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Primary Sources for the 138th Pennsylvania Volunteers

“John F Frantz Enlisted in A Bucks Co Company on the 15th day of Aug 1862 and was sworen in to the U S Army on the 26th day of the same month at Harrisburg Pa I spent one week in Camp Curtain at Harrisburg We then got A bord of the Cars and were quickly convade to the Relay House Md whare we halted and went in Camp we then began to Experience the hardshaips of Camp life although we bore it like brave boys from the old key [Stone?] State of Pennsylvania Paul Pursel was shot on the 28 of March 1863 Axidentily in practis by Henry Hilbert.

[Pages 2&3]

We left Camp Relay on the 20th of Aprile, And arrived at Dorcey s Switch on the same day, which was a march of five miles.

On the 12th June 1863. we were ordered to pack up and go to the Relay House to be ready to start on the morning of the [13th?] at 5 O clock but the order was countermanded on the afternoon of the 12th and so we wered ordered back to Dorsey s Switch on the 15th and to keep ourselves in readyness To go at any that we might be called upon We left Dorcey s Switch June the 15th and arrived at Maryland Hights on the 10th after a hard march. the weather was hot. We were ordered to evacuate the Hights on the 30th of June; and so we took up the line of march early in the morning and marched all day through mud and rain and when night came we were not a quarter of a mile from where we started. We spent part of the night in pulling down Cannone from off the Hights” - From the diary of John F. Frantz, Company A, 138th Pennsylvania.

“Camp Sumwalt Sept 26 1862… Shoemaker still mends slowly but he is not able to leave the hospittle yet. And to day there was a man in Company F shot by one of his best friend through one thy & the boll lodged in the other thy. it was axaden they took him to Baltimore to have the boll extracted they think one leg will have to be taken off… our Col has been promoted to assistant brigadear General… We have got our Over Coats Shirts & Browces so we are ready for Jeff and his Armey… I think them Rebels spys as thee cauls them had better be locked up for it is my pinion there is spyes all over Maryland and Pennsylvania to… We have not seen any Rebels yet to fight with but there is plenty of them about us though. but we do not think half as much about fighting and danger as you do there. I think I told thee of one of our men being punished he got drunk & they tied him to a tree…Camp Somewalt Sept 14/62… we have moved to a new Camp ground it is a splended field…last 4th day night about 12 Oclock the Col came riding into camp and cauld as all up we had but 15 minutes to pack our napsacks load our guns we took 10 rounds of cartages in our boxes and marched down to the Railroad & up the Patapscho Tiver threw the bushes and came out on the Ohio railroad there we layed down on our guns and napsacks the Col left us for a few minutes then he came back and he said brave boys I want you to stand your ground the rebels is within 9 miles of us and the Telegraph Office is all cut of… I want you to be ready at a moments warning…I did not sleep much… last week there was 8 in our Company sick at 1 time. last 5th day there was a company Artillery men came to our camp from Burnside the have been in some hard battles. yesterday there was a lot of Calvery came to the uper end of our camp and pitched theyor tents… Camp Relay Sept 5th/1862…We left Camp Curtain…we landed in Baltimore at 11 o clock & stopped there…we halted untill daylight and then we marched around about a mile and drilled 1 hour in the rain with our naksacks & guns on our backs. I was quite sick when we moved but I am middling well at present… We are all very much pleased with our move to Maryland. the camp is 8 miles below Baltimore on a hill sloped to the South East with a Railroad close to the camp ground on wich there has some 18,000 soulders & about 250 army wagons past … there is but 1 Regment here and 4 companys of them left last eavening they had but 15 minutes warning to get ready and I exspect our turn will come next…I just got a check for 50 dollas of the bounty… I shouldn't wonder if we would move before night… within 3 miles of us the rebels burnt a bridge & other damage don besides. there is canons planted neer us to defend us. but some of our Reg is very much afeard…”“ - Civil War letters of Amos Mullen,

Bedford Gazette, September 26, 1862


CAMP RELAY, Md., Sept. 12, 1862.

At the request and wishes of the Bedford county boys in our company, I send you the within roll of company D, 138, P. V., as recorded in the descriptive record. We are now encamped near the Relay-House, seven miles south-west of Baltimore, at the junction, where the railroad from Washington intersects the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. Our camp is situated on the grounds of a rich farmer, which is beautifully decorated with ornamental and forest trees, shrubbery, &c., with an apple orchard on one side, and a peach orchard on the other. Fort Wadsworth is located between us and the railroad, with her dogs of war pointing in every direction to waylay the rebels should they attempt to disturb us. The boys are generally well, and have so far kept up a good appearance, and seem to be as well satisfied as can be expected, with a few exceptions. We are getting along very well, and are being initiated about as fast as you generally see soldiers initiated into service. We have been out, either on guard or picket duty, for the last three or four nights in succession, which is not very pleasant, especially of a rainy night. Part of our regiment has been out picketing over a week. This junction seems to be a very important point, from the fact that reinforcements are here daily. This afternoon, one battery of Col. Cochran's artillery regiment came into our camp. There are several regiments of infantry encamped within gunshot, and some cavalry. From indications we will have a chance to try our hands ere many days. The cars are stopped on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. They run up 8 miles above us to Ellicott's Mills. Reports come in frequently that we will be attacked in order to stop or cut off the communication from Baltimore and Washington. We have a poor chance for drilling, but live in hope of better opportunities in the future. If you think this worthy of note in your valuable sheet, for the benefit of our friends please insert, and oblige, yours &c., JONATHAN SNIDER.
P. S. We would he glad to receive one copy of the Gazette regularly in camp.

Roll of Company D, 139th Regiment, P. V.
Capt—John S. Stucky.
1st Lieutenant—Josiah Baughman.
2nd ” —John A. Gump.

1, Oliver Horton, 3, Jonathan Snider,
2, Simon C. Stucky, 4, Geo. W. Beals,
5, Emanuel Fisher,

1, William Foster,
2, Job M. Beegle,
3, David Cook,
4, Geo. Baughmam,
5. H. W. Stuckey,
6, Wm. Ferguson,
7, lien ry McLeary,
8, E. J. Hixon,

Alison Noah,
Allison Joseph,
Burket John,
Beltz John A.
Beals N. H.
Barkman, Hezekiah,
Barkman David,
Bivens James W.
Burket Isaac,
Corl Wm.
Dicken John T.
Deavers Elisha,
Evens Henry,
Gillam Geo.
Hoshard John A.
Hellman Geo.
Hellman Dan'l,
Harbaugh Emanuel,
Hammer John B.
Huffman Josiah,
Iams Nathaniel,
Ickes Geo. W.
Ickes Geo.
Kurtz Thos.
Kinton Allen.
Kinsey John B.
Kennard John,
Lape Jackson,
Lowry Wm. H.
Lowry Emanuel,
Lowry John E.
Ling Isaac,
Luncas Wm.
Leasure Nathan.
Leasure Josiah G.
Ling Win. H.
Pearson Joseph, Captain's cook.
Layton John.
Miller T. J.
Mock Emanuel,
Mullin John,
Mock Aaron,
McVicker Wm.
Miller Thos.
Neff Frederick,
Naugle James,
Nycum Bernard,
Nycum John,
O'Neal Emanuel,
O'Neal Hezekiah,
O'Neal John E.
Oaks John,
Porter Philip,
Price Joseph,
Riesling Joseph,
Rowland Henry,
Ramsey W. W.
Radcliff James S.
Stucky Elias B.
Sellars Frederick,
Shroyer Moses,
Sleek Wm. S.
Snider David,
Steckman Philp H.
Somerville Charles,
Tharp John W.
Taylor Mathew P.
Tharp Solomon R.
Tharp Jacob,
Wentz Philip,
Wit Jacob,
Yarnel Jesse,
Yarnel John,


Bedford Gazette, October 10, 1862

CAMP SOMWALT, Sept. 24, '62.


Having bound myself in the service of the U. S., and having to go wherever I am called, and, therefore, not getting much news from home, desire to subscribe for your noble sheet (the Gazette,) for this purpose. As I see some of my fellow soldiers have been circulating their eloquence through that stinking concern (the Enquirer,) I feel disposed to give you a few words for publication also. After leaving Bloody Run, on the 26th of August, 1862, we were everywhere greeted by cheers, the waving of handkerchiefs and colors, until we landed at Camp Simmons, near Harrisburg, where we arrived the next day at two o'clock, A. M., and struck our tents, drew rations and dined for the first time after leaving Hopewell, where we took supper at 7 o'clock, P. M., the evening previous. After remaining in camp until the next day, we were sworn into the service of the U.S. for three years or during the war. The day following we received our arms, dress coats, pants, shoes, socks and caps, when we were ordered off in such haste that we did not get time to change clothes. We took our seats on the B. & O. R. R. and landed at Baltimore about 12 o'clock at night, where we took supper and were shipped nine miles below Baltimore, to the Relay house. Then we were marched 1/2 mile from the station and encamped.

After remaining there about one week, we were marched back near the Relay house and encamped on somewhat of a knoll near Fort Dix, where we now remain. The country here is in a bad condition. No prospect of any crops next season, no,appearance of any this last, excepting corn—plenty of that.

Our visitors say that our (138th Regt. P.V., Commanded by Col. Somwalt in Gen. Wool's Division) are the most spirited of all the new regiments. The Bedford Co. boys are heroic indeed, i. e. those that are in the army not those mother hearted ones that remain at home. If the latter will take my advice they will hunt the fox holes, &c.

Please send one copy, per week; of the Gazette to Yours Truly,



Republican Compiler, November 17, 1862

DEATH OF TWO SOLDIERS.— We announce with regret the death-of Wm. J. Walker, of Bendersville, and David Stoner, of Mummasburg, members of Capt. Walter's Company, 138th Regiment, now on duty at the Relay House, between Baltimore and Washington— Mr. Walker died on Monday, and his remains arrived here on Wednesday and were taken in charge by the friends, He leaves a wife and small family, who were dependent on him for support. His age was 41 years. Mr. Stoner's remains arrived on Thursday, and were also taken in charge by friends. He was aged 21 years and 19, days. Both died of typhoid fever, near the same time. They were good soldiers and much esteemed by all who knew them.


Bedford Gazette, November 28, 1862

For the Gazette

Tribute of Respect.

HEADQUARTERS 138th Reg't, P. V.,
November 17, 1862.

At a meeting of the Staff and Line, Officers of the 138th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, the following Preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted.

Whereas, We have learned with sorrow and regret the sudden demise of our esteemed and much respected brother soldier and officer, Lieut. Josiah Baughman, of company D, it having pleased the Almighty to remove him from our midst while yet in the prime of life, and, it is hoped, on the eve of a brief but useful military career, who while among us, endeared himself to all, by his many kind and social qualities as an officer and a man, it behooves us, as fellow soldiers and companions in arms, to pay an appropriate tribute of respect to departed worth.

Therefore, Be It Resolved, That we deeply deplore the early loss of so useful and valuable an officer, in whom were to be found combined so many good and ennobling qualities, and who as a christian was sincerely pious and upright— a firm and steadfast believer and follow er of the faith of his church.

Resolved, That while we thus bear tribute to his many virtues, we cannot fail to place our seal of condemnation upon the dastard hand that in one fell moment, severed the life chord of one who but discharged a just and proper duty.

Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the bereaved family of the deceased and sincerely trust that a just and benign Providence may vouchsafe to the widowed mother and fatherless children, the consolation of the Gospel in this their present affliction.

Resolved, That as a further manifestation of our respect and esteem for the men and the officers, a copy of these proceedings together with the preamble resolutions, be forwarded to the family of the deceased.

Resolved, That a copy of the same be also forwarded to the Bedford county papers for publication.

J. F. PORTER, Pres't

J.T. ROBER, Sec'y.

For the Gazette.

Death of Geo. W. Ickes.

At a meeting of the members of company 138th Regt., P. V., on the occasion of the death of GEORGE W. ICKES, a private of said company, who died November 14, 1862, of putrid sore throat, at the Regimental Hospital, near the Relay House, Baltimore county, Md., the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:

Whereas, It has pleased Providence in His divine mercy to remove by death from our ranks, George W. Ickes, of our company, and, Whereas, The members of said company desire to express their regard for the same, therefore,

Resolved, That in his death we have lost a good and faithful companion, and the cause in which he enlisted a patriotic and devoted soldier.

Resolved, That we, as a company, deeply regret his death, and heartily and sincerely sympathize with his bereaved parents and friends on the death of a devoted son and a faithful and affectionate friend.

Resolved, That a copy of the above preamble and resolutions be forwarded to the family of the deceased, and also a copy to the Bedford county Editors for publication.

JOHN W. THARP, Sec'y.,
Nov. 20, 1862.


Letter of Joshua Wood to his Brother

Camp Relay
Feauer the 1

Dear Brother

I take this opportunity to write to you to let you know that i am getting along very well at present and i hope that you are well i wish you good luck. i heard that you was married. i wouldn't let like you to write to let me know how you are geting along. i wont now what is the matter with you and mother. i think that it is very quire that you and mother cant live together. i wont you to see that she gets a place for she sees that she has to move. i think that you are to keep her for what she has down weather she ever anything down not for you now that i now how it is i don't won't you to think hard of me for writing this to you for every letter i get from Mother see that she has to move i don't now when i will get home. They say that we will get money Tuesday, you must write so i will write a letter to mother today and i want you to see that she gets it for i wrote one last friday week. Write soon so good by. Give my love to all from you affectionate Brother.

Joshua Wood

tell Fi[…] i hope that little Boy is going a long first rate.

tell him to write to me. i got one from him but i have felt too lazy to write to him.

Norman Daniels Collection
Harrisburg Civil War Round Table Collection
U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center

Letter of Joseph T. Michener to a Friend

Camp Relay Feb 1st

Dear Sir,

I now take this oppertunity of writing you a few line to fill out this shete of paper well John I am well and enjoying good health and hope you and your wife is the sam Well John I expect You feel like a married man by this time now. you ar dun sporting around with other wimen you have tied the not with your tung that you can’t unty with your teeth well I think I will close so good by my love to you and your new frow Write soon from your friend.

Joseph T. Michener I would like to had a peas of weden cake.

Norman Daniels Collection
Harrisburg Civil War Round Table Collection
U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center

Letter of Frank Roberts to a Friend

Camp Relay March 1

Dear Friend,

How strange it seems not to have you here. It seems as though it were absolutely necessary that you should be here to make things look right. I raise my head and right before me I see your empty bunk. No blanket, no knapsack, no Josh, no nothing. You would not believe how we miss you. When you were here and we did not happen to see you. we always knew you were down in Cap’s quarters but now we do not find you there. How does home go by this time? Would not you rather be down here once more. It has been very windy today and our house as usual is on a rock as usual. Josh you ought to have been here last night. Lieut. Lovett was Adjutant on dress parade and when he went to open the ranks they were standing at an order arms. He said “to the rear open order march” but as soon as he seen his mistake he said “Hold on battalion” so now we have that for a by word. Dave Shelmire and me were police to day and we got to wait on the steward so we had it bully, nothing to do of any account all day. The Colonel has got something like the manipotes and was crazy yesterday. Hurra for little Mac. He will soon be our Colonel and then look out for breakers! He will put us through about right.

I expect you have been up to see Joe so when you see him again tell him to write. Tell him that he got me into this scrape and that now he must write to me to keep my spirits up. Tell our folks to write oftener. What did Joe think of his valentine? Did he know where it come from? I believe I must close as this is the fourth letter I have written to day and I am tired so good bye

Your truly.


The Old Women sends her pious regards. George Shoffnier say that as soon as you write to him he will send you his picture.

Cousin tells me to tell you that he is still orderly but for a time is reduced to policemen. Stoker says to tell the Old he fellow to send him your picture. George Reesse tells me to tell you if you don’t send him your picture he will come up an beat you playing all fours. The Old Women also wants your picture, George Shoffnier and myself ditto.

Mrs. Hinkle sends her pious regards and tell you to tend to Katrina Jack Hay sends his pious regards and wants you to write to him. Lutchy says when you go to Halbors to give his regards to all his relations and that he is well and nothing the matter with him.

Roberts, Frank letters
U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center
HCWRTColl-DanielsColl (Enlisted man's letters, Mar 1, Mar 28, Jun 8, 1863)

Letter of Frank Roberts to a Friend

Relay Barracks
March 28th 1863

Dear Friend

I should have written to you sooner but I had not a single postage stamp. I sold part of my part of my horse tools so now I have got a few stamps. I will write. Last Tuesday we were inspected by Briggs he found the officers a blamed sight dumber than the privates. Last Sunday the Colonel got the devil in him and made believe that he had take arsenic. The doctors and a great many of the officers ran down there and when they got there he jumped up and laughed and said, What do I see here? Nothing but a lot of one stoned sons of bitches. The Lieutenant Colonel telegraphed to Gen. Schenck and he telegraphed back to put him in close confinement so he now has six guards over him. We have had it pretty tough guarding for some time but now they have thrown out patrols guarding four out of every company. Cousin Shelmire can't get whiskey any more as he drinks alcohol. He is nearly crazy all the time. Joe Michener is now Orderly of Court Martial in Cousins place.

How do you like home by this time. Have you come settled down into a farmer again? I have not any news of importance to write so good by. Write soon to your friend.


Roberts, Frank letters
U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center
HCWRTColl-DanielsColl (Enlisted man's letters, Mar 1, Mar 28, Jun 8, 1863)

Methodist, April 25, 1863

ELLICOTT'S MILLS.—The revival which commenced in this place last winter under the ministrations of Rev. W. T. D. Clemm, of the Baltimore Conference, was continued with great interest and power. The membership are in a most lively and zealous spirit, and are for carrying on the work as long as there are any indications of doing good. One hundred probationers have already been added to the Church record. A remarkable feature of this work is the conversions that have taken place among the members of the 138th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, and the great interest the religious soldiers take in the meetings, Nearly one half of company B have been converted or are seeking the Saviour. Mr. Clemm has formed a soldiers' class, and has appointed one of their own number the leader. The revival is still spreading among them, and the Prospect for the future is full of promise and encouragement.


Letter of Frank Roberts to a Friend

Camp Moore Elysville
June 8, 1863

Dear Friend;

As i have not heard from you for some time I thought that this afternoon I would try to pen a few lines to you. I suppose you have heard of our company moving to Elysville to work on a block house so I will commence with the health of the company. The health of the company is good excep about half dozen cases of the clap. Jim Wilson shot himself through the hand the other day so he in not on duty. the wound is painful but not dangerous. Bill Vansant is as crazy as ever only more so, the spells are brought on by d[…]ing off and are much more frequent than they were when you here. He fell a foul of a little nigger the other day when he had a spell on and he liked to have kicked his arse off. The boys like it very well here and pitch into the galls[?] heavy. Seth Smith is married to a woman old enough to be his mother and ugly as blue mud. Joe Mitchener & John Hay seen to have forgotten Miss Butterworth & Miss Philips at home and console themselves with two young ladies by the name of Curtis. Heritage went to see Miss Beckley for a while until Heard cut him out which made Heritage so mad he was going to fight. As for myself I have not seen a girl that I like well enough to go with and another and a stronger reason is that the a—s Of my britches are entirely wore out. We have jolly times here no camp guard and we can go where we please when not on duty. Our camp is up on the side of the Standfast so you may know we have a bully place. We have as many strawberries as we like by going over to Dorseys where there is two large beds of splendid berries. But it is nearly time for me to go on guard so i will draw to a close remaining

Your friend
Frank Roberts

Direct to
Co I 138th P V
Alberton P O
Howard County

P.S. Write Soon

Roberts, Frank letters
U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center
HCWRTColl-DanielsColl (Enlisted man's letters, Mar 1, Mar 28, Jun 8, 1863)

Adams Sentinel, June 30, 1863

The 138th Regiment, P. V., which has been lying at the Relay House and Elicott's Mills, has been moved to Maryland Heights. The Heights have since been evacuated.


units/138th_pennsylvania_volunteers_primary_sources.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/22 05:30 by admin