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  • Handbook For Active Service Inscribed by Colonel Charles J. Biddle 42nd Pennsylvania 13th P.V.R.C.

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    Handbook For Active Service Containing Practical Instructions in Campaign Duties for the Use of Volunteers - Written by Egbert L. Viele and published by Van Nostrand, New York 1861.  Inscribed by, Colonel "Charles J Biddle" 42nd Pennsylvania (13th P.V.R.C.) on title page.  


    Charles John Biddle:

    Residence Philadelphia PA; a 32 year-old Lawyer.

    Enlisted on 5/29/1861 at Harrisburg, PA as a Colonel.

    On 5/29/1861 he was commissioned into Field & Staff PA 42nd Infantry

    He was discharged for promotion on 8/31/1861

    On 8/31/1861 he was commissioned into US Volunteers General Staff

    He Resigned on 2/1/1862

    Promotions:

    * Brig-General 8/31/1861

    Other Information:

    Born in 1819 in Philadelphia, PA

    Died 9/28/1873 in Philadelphia, PA

    (Served in US Army during Mexican War)

    After the War he lived in Philadelphia, PA


    Biddle was born and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Nicholas Biddle, president of the Second Bank of the United States, and nephew of Congressman Richard Biddle. Charles Biddle graduated from Princeton in 1837, where he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1840.

    Biddle served in the Mexican-American War, serving as captain and company commander in the Regiment of Voltigeurs and Foot Riflemen. He was brevetted to the rank of Major for gallantry in the Battle of Chapultepec. At the close of the war, he returned to Philadelphia to practice law.

    In May 1861, following the outbreak of the American Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln's call to arms, he was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the Pennsylvania Reserves, rising in May to the rank of Colonel in command of the 42nd Pennsylvania Volunteers Infantry (13th Reserves or simply the Bucktails), also known as the 1st Pennsylvania Rifles.  In October of that year he was elected to the Thirty-seventh United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Edward J. Morris. He was tendered a commission as a brigadier general, but declined it, and then resigned from the army in February 1862.

    After the war, he became one of the proprietors and editor-in-chief of the Philadelphia Age, and retained that position for the remainder of his life.



    PENNSYLVANIA 42ND INFANTRY (13TH Reserves) Bucktails

     Forty-second Infantry.-Cols., Charles J. Biddle, Thomas L. Kane, Hugh W. McNeil, Charles F. Taylor , Lieut.-Cols., Thomas L. Kane Edward A. Irvin, Alanson E. Niles , Majs., Roy Stone, Alanson E Niles, William R. Hartshorn.  The 42nd also known as the 1st rifles and the 13th reserves, was composed of woodsmen and hunters from different parts of the state, the nucleus being a company from the "Wildcat," district known as the "Bucktails."  In honor of Col. Kane, who resigned his office in favor of Lieut.-Col. Biddle, an experienced officer, the regiment was named by special order of the war department, "The Kane rifle regiment of the Pa. reserve corps".  The command was known, however, throughout its term of service as the "Bucktails", on account of the bucktails worn by the men in their hats.  In June, 1861, the regiment was mustered into the U. S. service at Harrisburg, for a three years, term.  On June 21, it was ordered to Cumberland and took part in the ensuing campaign, engaging the enemy at New creek.  Returning to Harrisburg on July 27, the regiment was next ordered to Harper's Ferry and brigaded with the 28th N. Y., the 2nd and 12th Mass. and 2nd U. S. cavalry.  It remained with this command until Oct. 1, when it joined the reserves at Tennallytown, where it was assigned to the 2nd brigade, and with Ord's brigade shared in the success at Dranesville.  In March, with the 1st corps, the Bucktails took part in the marches and countermarches of the reserves; in May a detachment of four companies under Lieut.-Col. Kane joined Col. Bayard's cavalry in an expedition to Hanover Court House; it was next sent to aid Gen. Fremont's force in the Shenandoah valley, where from May 25, to June 6, the Bucktails led the pursuit of the enemy and were almost constantly engaged.  On June 6, near Harrisonburg, the Bucktails charged a large force of Confederates and held their ground nobly in expectation of reinforcements, but as none appeared the gallant command lost half its number, including the heroic Martin Kelly, who sacrificed his life by exposing himself for a target to draw the fire of the Confederate troops.  The detachment took part in the battle of Cross Keys and was highly praised by its leader.  After the battle of Cedar mountain, the four companies fought at the second Bull Run and joined the regiment on Sept. 7, 1862.  In the meantime, the remaining six companies shared in the campaign on the Peninsula, participating in the actions at Mechanicsville, Gaines, mill and Glendale.  The reunited regiment was active at South mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg, losing heavily.  When the reserves were ordered to Washington in Feb., 1863, the Bucktails with the 1st brigade, encamped at Fairfax Court House.  They remained with this brigade through the Gettysburg campaign, fighting as usual in the advance.  Their most brilliant success at the battle was the capture of a large number of the 15th Ga., with their colors.  The Bucktails joined in the pursuit which followed, engaging in numerous skirmishes, and went into winter quarters at Bristoe Station.  In the spring campaign of1864 they performed their usual valiant service in the constant engagements during May, and after the transfer of the veterans and recruits to the 190th Pa. infantry returned to Harrisburg, where they were mustered out June 11, 1864.


    Inventory Number: HIS 004