William A Hoyt - 2nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserves, 31st PA. Infantry. Appears to be wearing a Kearny Cross.
Hoyt was from Philadelphia, he entered service with the 2nd Regiment as Commissary Sergeant in August of 1861. He was later commissioned Lieutenant and appointed Quartermaster. He was later detached to serve on Colonel William McCandless's First Brigade Staff.
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 001