Thursday, July 14, 2005

Richard Lewis in the Civil War: 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery

Our ancestor Richard Lewis emigrated from Wales with his parents in about 1851. They settled in Trevorton, in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Ten years later,Richard enlisted to serve his country in the "War Between the States". On August 14, 1862, Richard Lewis enlisted as a Corporal in the independent battery recruited by Captain David Schooley.

At the time of his enlistment, Richard was a 22 year old clerk. He was 5 foot 6 inches tall, with a light complexion, light hair and blue eyes.

On November 24, 1862, Schooley’s Battery was incorporated into Company M, of the Pennsylvania 2nd Heavy Artillery unit of the 112th Volunteers.

"As soon as recruits were received, they were sent to Charles G. Zimmerman's "Diamond Cottage," a pleasure resort in the suburb of Camden, NJ, where a rendezvous camp (Camp Angeroth) was established, and where they were drilled in the 'school of the company'." (Regimental History)

From the training camp. soldiers joined the 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery units that were defending Washington DC, north of the Potomac River.

For the most part, a soldier's duty in the fortifications consisted of maintaining the existing defense structures and building new ones, constructing roads and performing other fatigue details. Most of this work was tough, physical labor and performed under all weather conditions. When not assigned to fortification detail, the individual batteries would engage in parade drill, gunnery drill, marksmanship, and various inspection routines. In addition, the heavy artillery units also received infantry and bayonet instruction. Overall, however, the general view of battle tested veterans of Washington defense duty was regarded as "soft assignments." (from An Account of a Civil War Regiment)

On January 12, 1864, Richard and several other members of his Company transferred to the Signal Corps. (see next post for more details about the Signal Corps.)

Most of the information in this post is from the pension application file of Richard Lewis, and later, his widow Sarah (Betts) Lewis.

Captain David Schooley
2nd Heavy Artillery Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company M
2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery Regimental History

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