The 149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Unit in the Civil War

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About the Book

The 149th Pennsylvania saw its one day of glory on July 1, 1863, when this young and untried regiment staged a magnificent defense at McPherson’s farm. Although this bright promise quickly faded into more typical regimental experience, the story of the regiment’s service under the indomitable Joshua Chamberlain remains worth telling. Drawing on the service records of more than 800 soldiers as well as diaries, letters, and other primary souces, this book details the 149th’s battles from brigade to company level, from the charges at Gettsyburg to the assault at Petersburg. Focus is on the development, mood and character of a regiment as it undergoes changes in leadership, loss of reliable veterans and the increased individual desire for survival as brutal battles take their toll on mind and body. More than 100 photographs enhance the text.

About the Author(s)

A retired high school principal, Richard E. Matthews of Slatington, Pennsylvania, has written numerous magazine articles on the Civil War.

Bibliographic Details

Richard E. Matthews

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 346
Bibliographic Info: 109 photos, 20 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007 [1994]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3256-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Illustration Credits      v
Acknowledgments      vii
List of Maps      xi
Abbreviations Used in Chapter Notes      xiii
Preface      xv
Prologue      1

1. Recruiting the Companies      7
2. Assignment to Washington      17
3. Chancellorsville      39
4. Gettysburg      67
Between pages 76 and 77 are 16 plates containing 59 photographs
5. Northern Virginia      109
6. Richmond Campaign      127
Wilderness      131
Between pages 140 and 141 are 16 plates containing 58 photographs
Spotsylvania      151
North Anna      161
7. Petersburg      179
8. Elmira      213

Epilogue      221
Appendix A: Civilian Occupations      231
Appendix B: Regimental Roster      233
Appendix C: Chronology—Regimental Officers      272
Appendix D: Army Command Assignments      274
Bibliography      275
Index      283

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Matthews has done his job well, mining contemporary newspapers, letters, diaries, reports and muster rolls”—Blue & Gray
  • “a first rate regimental history”—Civil War
  • “one of the most thorough, most intelligently written regimentals you are likely to encounter”—Military Images
  • “well done…rich details”—The Civil War News
  • “solid research”—Civil War Regiments
  • “uses an impressive number and range of original sources”—The Journal of Southern History