The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 8, 1864

From Corporal Henry Keiser’s Diary: 

Sunday, May 8, 1864.  We were on the road all last night, but did not make much head way.  At daylight we passed over the old battlefield of Chancellorsville and at 8 a.m. we stopped long enough to cook coffee, when we again started off.  We soon after came to where the 5thCorps had engaged and driven the Johnnies this morning.  The woods were on fire and I seen three of the Rebels roasted to a crisp.  After marching two miles we got to Spotsylvania where the enemy has again made a stand.  We were shelled quite a lot but none were hurt.  The Company re-joined the regiment this afternoon, when we heard that Evan M. Geary had been taken prisoner yesterday.  As told by the Company, they heard some noise in their front and did not know was it friend or foe.  The Captain sent Sergeant Jacob Alvord ahead to find out, when he returned he said he was alone enough to hear them talk and could see their legs but nothing more on account of the brush and he pronounced them Rebels.   This did not suit the Captain, who said he made a bungling job of it.  Geary volunteered to go and make sure and I suppose he found out as he did not return.  At six this evening some of our forces made a charge and were repulsed.  We were to be part of the supporting line, but the Rebels were making for a wood on our right.  Our Regiment and the 95th were ordered to go for that piece of woods also, and we did.  We cut across and open field at a double quick and got there before the Rebels, but in doing so we had to pass within rifle range of the Rebel breast works and the bullets “skipped” past us thick and fast.  Edward Pugh was wounded in the left side in crossing the field.  The General complimented our Colonel for the splendid manner in which we formed our duty. 

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