118th PA

118th PA

From: Adam Duritza (adam@duritza.agn.net)

You wrote:

I am interested in the 118th PA and their activities in Gettysburg. Any information would be helpful. (In the Movie (sorry) --- the 118th was the unit guarding the Maine boys, and gave them over to the 20th Maine.)

Depending on how far you are in your search, this information may or may not be helpful. It is the best I can get without leaving my computer for right now. If anything, it may help show you where to get started.

118th Pennsylvania Commander (at GBurg):

Lt. Col. James Gwyn

Army of the Potomac

Maj. Gen. George G. Meade V Corps

Maj. Gen. George Sykes Brig. Gen.

James Barnes' Division

Col. William S. Tilton's Brigade

Casualty Estimates for 118th PA at Gettysburg:

Total Regimental Strength: 233

Total Casualties: 25
Killed: 3
Wounded: 19
Captured / Missing: 3
As far as I can tell, the 118th took place in the fighting in the Peach Orchard and Wheat Field on July 2nd. From the looks of it, they defended against elements of Kershaw's Brigade, that is the part of the battle I would get more info on to find out about the 118th PA.

Hope this helps in some way!

Samuel M. Caldwell was a Corpl. in Company D, 118th Penn. He was killed at Gettysburg on July 2. He was shot through the right side of the head by Barkesdale's Mississippians during the withdrawal of the 118th from their second position near the Trostle House. He is buried in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg in Section D, grave 26. As to the 118th turning over the prisoners in the movie, that portion is from the book. Page 23 of KILLER ANGELS has a Capt. Brewer of the 118th turning over the prisoners. I took a quick look at my roster and did not see a Capt. Brewer in the 118th. I haven't really researched this but did a quick check and couldn't find a primary source reference to it. That is not to say that it is not true, I just can't come up with anything that backs it up. Shaara may have simply invented the character. If it is important to you, I can look deeper. I have a lot of information on the 118th. I'm glad to share it with you but we're talking about a bunch of stuff. Could you help me as to what you are specifically interested in?

Bill Cameron

From: John Griffin (jgriffin@destiny.esd105.wednet.edu)

You wrote:

As far as I can tell, the 118th took place in the fighting in the Peach Orchard and Wheat Field on July 2nd. From the looks of it, they defended against elements of Kershaw's Brigade,

I would think that Semmes Brigade which followed Kershaws Brigade and move to the left flank of Kershaw (CSA POV) could have engaged the 118th also.

> I borrowed a book from the library on an interlibrary loan. Does > anyone know if it has been reprinted or if an original copy is > available? The book is The History of the Corn Exchange Regiment > 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers by the survivors 1889.

> Thanks

> Andy Sinkleris

I do not believe the book has been reprinted. However original copies seem to be frequently available -- at a considerably higher price than a reprint would be. I would check with The Horse Soldier, The Conflict, or the Farnsworth House (all in G'burg) as I'm sure that one of them have a copy.

The 118th PA was an interesting unit. I don't know where you are in NJ but I know a family in Collingswood who has a complete set of letters from an ancester who served in the 118th. There are some 400+ transcribed pages of letters with great content. I do remember him mentioning "Sugar Loaf" (BRT) in the G'burg letter... I'll have to get my copy of those out again.

The soldier-author of these letters, Henry Peck, actually wrote another short history of the 118th that was used during the dedication of one of their monuments a G'burg.

I remember an interesting story about H. Peck that was mentioned in the larger regimental history that the Northern membership might enjoy. He was captured at Shepardstown following the battle of Antietam. While at a prisoner holding area he picked up an extra kepi from the ground and removed a small brass regimental number "1" from it. Peck added this "1" to his own kept which then displayed "1118". An observant reb asked what state he was from. Peck replied "Pennsylvania." The reb supposedly wandered off stating that the south could never win the war if PA alone produced 1118 regiments of infantry.

Andy, if you need any other info or want me to check out the shops in town for a copy of the book you can e-mail me.