Adjutant Evan Morrison Woodward - Second Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, 31st PA Infantry. Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Nice ink inscription.
Woodward was a resigned of the city of Philadelphia when the war began; where he was working as an employee with the Railroad.
In August of 1861 there were a number of men who refused to continue their service with the 2nd Reserves, which resulted in many of the officers being discharged unfairly, which included Captain Woodward.
Later he was brought back into the regiment, and appointed Adjutant with the rank of First Lieutenant.
At the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862, Woodward would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was responsible for the capture of nearly 300 confederate prisoners and the colors of the 19th Georgia.
Woodward, after the war, authored numerous books including a History of the City of Trenton, and regimental histories of the Second and Third Pennsylvania Reserves.
Edward Morrison Woodward:
CAPTURED THREE HUNDRED REBELS FIRST LIEUTENANT E. M. WOODWARD relates a most thrilling adventure, of which perhaps, the most remarkable feature was his escape uninjured:
"At Fredericksburg the Pennsylvania Reserves held the left of our line, and when we charged the rifle-pits, our brigade struck the left of Archer's and passed up the Heights. I saw that the pit was still held by the enemy, and, knowing the danger of leaving an armed foe in our rear, I succeeded in halting some twenty men, and, with them attacked the pit from high ground in the rear, hoping to hold the occupants in position until assistance came. In about twenty minutes the Seventh Reserves advanced, halted some three hundred yards in our front, and opened fire, their balls passing over the enemy into our men.
"Instantly realizing that we should be wiped out if something were not done, I sheathed my sword, and, with my hat in hand, advanced between the lines to the rifle-pits, stopped the fire of my own men and that of the enemy, and demanded and received the surrender of the Nineteenth Georgia regiment. The rebel color bearer attempted to escape up the heights with his flag, but I headed him off and captured it. I gave it to Charles Uphorn, who was soon afterwards wounded, and it fell into the hands of the Seventh Reserves.
"By this time all but five men of my small party were killed or wounded, and, seeing the impossibility of holding the prisoners with this handful, I crossed the rifle-pits, and, with a Confederate on each side, advanced towards the Seventh, waving my hat and thereby stopping their destructive fire. Returning to the rifle-pits, I got the Johnnies out, and sent them with their arms and accoutrements over to the Seventh.
They numbered over three hundred, and were the only prisoners taken in this battle. With the remainder of my men I advanced up the Heights and joined the brigade, which was soon after crushed out and driven over the rifle-pits. During this fight thirteen bullets pierced my clothing and hat, but I felt that my own men could not kill me while I was saving their lives. It was this conviction which gave me courage to step between the firing lines and stop the deadly fusilade."
Pennsylvania 31th Infantry (three years)
Thirty-first Infantry. - Cols., William B. Mann William McCandless. Lieut.- Cols., Albert L. Magilton, William McCandless, George A. Woodward, Patrick McDonough; Majs., George A. Woodward, Horace Neide, Patrick McDonough, Richard Ellis. This regiment, recruited mostly in Philadelphia, was the 2nd regiment of the Pa. reserves. On July 24, 1861, it moved to Harrisburg, but left at once for Baltimore and then proceeded to Harper's Ferry. So much delay and misunderstanding occurred that when the regiment was finally mustered in on Aug. 1, a large number of the men had returned home. The remainder were mustered in on Aug 16, at Hyattstown, for three years. Cos. B, F, G and I were disbanded because their numbers did not come up to the requirements, though Capt. McDonough of Co. B afterward raised a new company and joined the regiment. At Tennallytown on Sept. 25, the regiment was assigned to the 1st brigade of the reserve corps, becoming the 2nd regiment of the brigade. At the battle of Mechanicsville the regiment received the brunt of the attack without flinching and was highly praised by the commanding officer. It was active at Gaines, mill and Glendale, but was in reserve at Malvern hill. The reserves were under fire at the second Bull Run and Chantilly, the 2nd subsequently participating in a sharp engagement on the Old Hagerstown road, near Frederick. It fought with the 1st brigade of the reserves at South mountain Antietam and Fredericksburg, after which a short period of rest followed at Washington. In March 1863, a detail of Co. F, which had been on duty with the artillery rejoined the regiment. Inaction during the campaign on their own soil was unendurable to the men, and in response to their urgent appeal the regiment was ordered to Gettysburg, attached to the 1st brigade, 3d division, 5th corps. In the battle the Bucktails, 1st, 2nd and 11th, made a brilliant charge into the enemy's lines, capturing many prisoners and he flag of the 15th Ga. The 2nd was active at Bristoe Station and in the Mine Run campaign.
In the Wilderness movement, Cos. A, D, E and H were detailed on guard duty from May 4 to 11. The regiment participated in the battles of the campaign till June 1, its last battle being fought at Shady Grove Church after the expiration of its term of enlistment, the men having elected to remain with the army until the rest of the division was relieved. At Philadelphia on June 16, 1864, the men were mustered out, the veterans and recruits being transferred to the 191st Pa. Infantry.
Inventory Number: PRVC 007