The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 9, 1864

From Corporal Keiser's Diary:Monday, May 9, 1864.  The Rebels fired a volley into some teams last night.  At 9 a.m. the 5th Corps took our place and we moved a short distance to the left and took up a line of battle in a woods.  The front line began throwing up rifle pits.  Heard that … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 9, 1864

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

The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 7, 1864

From Corporal Henry Keiser's Diary:Saturday, May 7, 1864.  We marched through brush and mud for three miles until 3 this morning, when we formed a new line.  At daylight our Company and Company B were detailed as skirmishers to try and take up an opening on the skirmish line, but we failed to find the … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 7, 1864

The 96th Pennsylvania in the Wilderness: May 6, 1864

Dawn broke over the Wilderness on May 6 with two armies locked in a deadly stalemate. Lee had positioned his Confederate infantry and artillery across Grant's line, stymieing any attempt at a Union breakthrough. The previous day's fighting around the Orange Turnpike had been brutal and unrelenting. Engaged in this fighting were the V and … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Wilderness: May 6, 1864

The 96th Pennsylvania in the Wilderness: May 5, 1864

As the 96th pressed through the tangled thickets that made up the Wilderness, the sights and smells of battle were all around. Corporal Keiser wrote of the scene, "we advanced... through the awefullest brush, briers, grape vines I ever was in. We soon met the enemy and the battle of the Wilderness began."1  This terrain made up … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Wilderness: May 5, 1864

The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 4, 1864

Bugles cried out at three in the morning rousting Company G from their restless sleep. With marching orders for 4:30 a.m., the regiment had an hour to pack up camp and prepare to hit the roads. Sleepy men wandered to the smell of coffee boiling. The regiment and the brigade were a bit slow to … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 4, 1864

The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 3, 1864

While the Army of the Potomac's cavalry screen secured the Rapidan River fords near the old Chancellorsville battlefield, most of the infantry units stayed in their temporary camps and waited.General Grant decided on the route through the tangled thickets of the "Wilderness" for his first move across the Rapidan, mostly because it allowed him greater … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 3, 1864

The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 2, 1864

The second of May broke warmly over Culpeper County, Virginia with a breeze whipping across the ridges along the river. Everywhere, the signs of an army in motion were visible.  Beneath the spring sunshine, wagons and artillery rumbled along the plank roads towards the Rapidan crossing at Germania Ford. The nearby hills and gullies had … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 2, 1864

The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 1, 1864

At six o'clock on the morning of May 1, 1864, the 96th Pennsylvania awoke to the sound of bugle calls. Following reveille, the tune of a march played. For the first time since December, the 96th and the rest of the First Division of the Union's VI Corps were to take to the roads. The … Continue reading The 96th Pennsylvania in the Overland Campaign: May 1, 1864

96th Pennsylvania in Grant’s Overland Campaign

Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (NARA) May 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of General Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign through Virginia. The Army of the Potomac's march into Virginia in the spring of 1864 ushered in one of the Civil War's most bloody periods. From May 1 through June 30, a series of battles were … Continue reading 96th Pennsylvania in Grant’s Overland Campaign