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  • Military Escutcheon of Major John D. Yerkes, PA Bucktails, Wounded at Gettysburg

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    Framed Military Escutcheon of Major John D. Yerkes, PA Bucktails, Wounded at Gettysburg - Inventory Number: DOC 093

    Framed escutcheon commemorating the service of Major John D. Yerkes of the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves, also known as the 1st Pennsylvania Rifles, otherwise known as the Bucktails.  Yerkes "entered service as First Sergeant, Company H, 1st Pennsylvania Rifles (Bucktails), May 28th, 1861 and promoted to First Lieutenant, to rank from October 23. 1861.  Captain to rank from September 10, 1862.  Wounded at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863 (gun shot in the right leg).  Mustered out with the regiment, July 11th, 1864.  Brevet Major, United States Volunteers, for gallant conduct at the Battle of Gettysburg, to date from March 13, 1865."  The Escutcheon has a colorful battle panoply of flags and a spead-winged Federal eagle at the top with 13 gold stars above its head.  At the bottom of the escutcheon are Sheridan's Cavalry Insignia,  Kilpatrick Cavalry Division Badge, 22nd Delaware Infantry Badge, and Wilson's Cavalry Corps Badge, very nice additions to this piece.  Frame measures 32 1/2 x 24 1/2".

    John D. Yerkes:

    Residence Chester County PA;

    Enlisted on 5/28/1861 as a Captain.

    On 5/28/1861 he was commissioned into "H" Co. PA 42nd Infantry

    He was discharged on 7/11/1864

    He was listed as:

    * Wounded 7/2/1863 Gettysburg, PA


    * Major 3/13/1865 by Brevet

    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: DOC 093