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  • Second Lieutenant William H. Dieffenbach, Company B, 7th Regiment, PRVC

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    Second Lieutenant William H. Dieffenbach - Company B, Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps.  Captured at the Battle of Bethesda Church.

    He was a twenty-two year old Machinist from Montgomery Ferry, Perry County, PA when he enlisted. He rose from the ranks up to Second Lieutenant. At the battle of Wilderness, he narrowly managed to escape captivity when the rest of the regiment was taken prisoner. However, less than a month later he was captured at the Battle of Bethesda Church.

     W H. Dieffenbach:

    Residence Perry County PA;

    Enlisted on 5/4/1861 as a Private.

    On 5/4/1861 he mustered into "B" Co. PA 36th Infantry

    He was discharged on 3/12/1865

    He was listed as:

    * POW 5/30/1864 Bethesda Church, VA


    * Sergt 7/15/1862 (Estimated day of promotion.)

    * 2nd Lieut 7/31/1863

    * 1st Lieut 3/13/1865 by Brevet


    Thirty-seventh Infantry. - Cols., George S. Hays, Silas M. Bailey; Lieut.-Cols., S. Duncan Oliphant, William Lemon; Majs., J.  B. Gardner, J. W. Duncan, S. M. Bailey, Robert E. Johnston, George S. Gallupe.  The 37th, the 8th reserve regiment, was organized at Pittsburg and there mustered into the U. S. service for a three years, term on June 28, 1861.  It rendezvoused at Camp Wright, near Pittsburg, until ordered to Washington on July 20, and there encamped until Aug. 2, when it reported to Gen. McCall at Tennallytown and was assigned to the 1st brigade, Pa. reserve corps, under Brig.-Gen. John F. Reynolds.  Winter quarters were established at Langley, Va., and the brigade encamped there from Oct. 9, 1861, to the spring of 1862, when it was attached to the 1st corps and held at Washington until the other troops had embarked for the Peninsula.  Late in May the regiment joined the army and took part in the battle of Mechanicsville, with great loss, and also in the battle of Gaines, mill, but was in reserve at Malvernhill.  In August it joined Gen. Pope's army and shared in the battle of the second Bull Run. Then, under McClellan, it fought at South mountain and Antietam, and was at Fredericksburg under Gen. Burnside.  In all these fierce engagements the 37th fought nobly and became tried and reliable veterans.  In the advance at Fredericksburg the conduct of the command was heroic, but after the day was over only half of the regiment was able to report for duty.  On Feb. 8, 1863, the 37th was ordered with the rest of the reserves to the defenses of Washington for a needed rest, and here it was stationed until April 19, 1864, when it left for the front.  After a week in camp at Bristoe Station it shared in the battle of the Wilderness, and in the subsequent actions of that campaign until May 17, when it was relieved, the veterans and recruits were transferred to the 191st Pa. Infantry, and the remainder ordered home.  The regiment was mustered out at Pittsburg, May 24, 1864.

    Inventory Number: PRVC 054