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  • Identified Civil War Period Hardtack Biscuit / Sold

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    Identified Civil War Period Hardtack Biscuit - Inventory Number: IDE 086 / Sold

    George Clair – 145th PA Infantry

    Prisoner of War at Petersburg, VA.

    Heavily engaged at the Battle of Gettysburg

    Main staple food of Civil War Soldiers was fried, boiled or eaten dry

    Photo of soldiers is representative example.  

    George W. Clair:

    Enlisted on 8/21/1863 as a Private.

    On 8/21/1863 he was drafted into "C" Co. PA 145th Infantry

    He was transferred out on 6/1/1865

    On 6/1/1865 he transferred into "I" Co. PA 53rd Infantry

    He was discharged on 6/2/1865

    He was listed as:

    * POW 6/22/1864 Petersburg, VA

    * Returned 4/28/1865 (place not stated)


         One Hundred and Forty-fifth Infantry. - Cols., Hiram L. Brown, David B. McCreary; Lieut.-Cols., David B. McCreary, Charles M. Lynch; Majs., John W. Patton, John. W. Reynolds, Charles M. Lynch, James H. Hamlin.  The 145th, composed of men from the counties of Erie, Warren, Crawford and Mercer, rendezvoused at the old camp of the 83d and 111th, near Erie, and was mustered into the U. S. service for three years, during the latter part of August and the first part of Sept., 1862.  Col. Brown had previously served in the militia and as a captain, both in the three months, Erie regiment and the 83d. Lieut.-Col. McCreary had also served in the militia and in the Erie regiment.  Such was the demand for troops at the front at this time, the 145th was hurried to Chambersburg on Sept. 11, where it could hear Lee's guns at South mountain, and where it was supplied with arms of an obsolete pattern.  After two days at Camp McClure, it hurried forward towards Hagerstown, only partially equipped, and on the morning of the 17th was only 10 miles from the field of Antietam.  About noon it reached the battlefield and at once went into position between the Union left and the Potomac, where it did picket duty until the morning of the 19th, when it assisted in burying the dead and caring for the wounded.  The sudden transformation from civil life to active military duty worked havoc with the men and over 200 were incapacitated for duty, while many died or were permanently disabled.  It next moved to Harper's Ferry, where it was temporarily assigned to the Irish brigade and later to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 2nd corps.  In October it moved to Warrenton and thence to Falmouth.  It shared in the bloody charge on Marye's heights at the battle of Fredericksburg and behaved with the steadiness of a veteran organization.  Less than 500 men were engaged and of these 226 were killed or wounded.  Nine commissioned officers were killed, Col. Brown was severely wounded, and only 2 field officers in the entire brigade escaped injury.  At the battle of Chancellorsville it suffered another severe loss, more than 100 detailed on the skirmish line being captured, as they did not receive the order to retire when the army fell back toward the river.  Its total loss was 122 killed, wounded and captured.  It reached the field of Gettysburg with the 2nd corps on the morning of July 2 and suffered severely in the two days, fighting, its heaviest loss being incurred at the Peach Orchard.  Altogether 90 men were killed, wounded or missing, out of 200 engaged, Col. Brown and Maj. Reynolds being among the wounded.  It then shared in the pursuit of Lee, the campaign of maneuvers in the Valley of Virginia, and the Mine Run campaign, being active at Auburn, Bristoe Station and Raccoon ford.  It went into permanent winter quarters on the close of the Mine Run campaign near Germanna ford, its camp being pronounced by medical directors the best in the army.  During the winter it received a large number of recruits and on May 5, 1864, it moved on the Wilderness campaign.  Its loss was light at the Wilderness, but it suffered severely at the Po river and again on the following day, when under Gen. Hancock, it led the assault on the enemy's entrenched works.  It was active at the North Anna river, Totopotomy and Cold Harbor, losing heavily in the last named action.  In an assault on the works of Petersburg on June 16, the regiment suffered a serious disaster, for of 200 men engaged, about 50 were killed and wounded, and 9 officers and about 80 enlisted men were taken prisoners, Lieut.-Col. McCreary being among the captured.  It suffered more loss on July 22, when Maj. Lynch, commanding the regiment, was among the prisoners.  A mere fragment of the regiment was now left, which did duty in the trenches and was active at Deep Bottom, Reams, station and Five Forks.  After the surrender of Lee it returned to Alexandria, and after participating in the grand review at Washington, was mustered out near Alexandria on May 31, 1865.  It returned to Erie, Pa., under the command of Col. McCreary, and was there finally paid and discharged on June 5.

    Inventory Number: IDE 086 / Sold