The Pennsylvania Reserves in the Civil War

A Comprehensive History


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About the Book

Until its soldiers mustered out of service in mid–1864, the Pennsylvania Reserve Division was one of only a few one-state divisions in the Union army. Known as the Pennsylvania Reserves, or simply the Reserves, the division saw action in most of the major battles of the Civil War, including Mechanicsville, New Market Crossroads, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. This history chronicles the division’s service from its organization in May 1861 through June 1864, when most of its soldiers reached the end of their service commitment. The book includes short biographical sketches, most with photographs, of the Reserves leadership. Throughout, excerpts from letters, journals, diaries, and books from more than 150 members of the Reserves provide a personal perspective on the action and reveal the human side of battle.

About the Author(s)

The late Uzal W. Ent, a brigadier general retired from a 34 year military career, was the author of three books and published work in 19 magazines and five encyclopedias. He lived in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Uzal W. Ent

Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 412
Bibliographic Info: 110 photos, 13 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4872-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8623-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Principal Battles of the Pennsylvania Reserves vi
Foreword by Richard J. Sommers vii
Preface and Acknowledgments ix
1—Organizing the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps 1
2—From Washington to Dranesville 18
3—January–June, 1862 37
4—On the Peninsula: Mechanicsville (June 26, 1862) 52
5—Gaines’ Mill (June 27, 1862) 66
6—New Market Crossroads (June 30, 1862) 82
7—Malvern Hill to Second Bull Run Campaign (July 1–August 11, 1862) 101
8—The Second Bull Run Campaign (August 12–September 1, 1862) 109
9—The Antietam Campaign (September 3–19, 1862) 130
10—September 1862 to the Fredericksburg Campaign (November 6–December 15, 1862) 160
11—December 1862 to the Gettysburg Campaign (June 24–July 14, 1863) 186
12—To Bristoe Station and the Wilderness (August 1863–May 3, 1864) 229
13—In the Wilderness (May 4–7, 1864) 244
14—Spotsylvania Court House to Bethesda Church (May 8–31, 1864) 256
15—The 3rd and 4th Reserves in West Virginia (January 4–May 30, 1864) 285
16—The 1st Pennsylvania Reserve Cavalry Regiment (July 15, 1863–August 31, 1864) 310
17—Mustering Out 338
Appendix A—Biographical Sketches of Principal Reserve Corps Officers 343
Appendix B—Initial Organization of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps 355
Appendix C—Texts of Speeches and Remarks, June 6, 1864 361
Chapter Notes 362
Bibliography 387
Index 391

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “this book is the first modern study of the command…comprehensive…Ent has done his research…loaded with facts and details…a solid work and recommended”—Civil War News
  • “In this volume, the first full history of the Reserves, Ent… literally give us a ‘comprehensive’ look at its organization and operations through the war…. The division’s actions are examined in considerable detail, with a critical eye”—The NYMAS Review
  • “a very welcome addition to the literature of the war”—Strategy Page