Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Soldiers of the 48th: Lt. William Hume, Company B

1st Lt. William H. Hume, Co. B

William H. Hume was only twenty years old when, in September 1861, he enlisted into Company B, of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. Company B was recruited largely from Pottsville and neighboring St. Clair and was first commanded by Captain James Wren. Many of its members, including Wren, had served during the first three-months of the war as part of the Washington Artillery, one of the first five First Defender companies. 
William Hume stood 5'9" in height, had a "Light" Complexion, "Gray" Eyes, and "Dark" Hair. By occupation, he was a clerk, who hailed from St. Clair. Hume entered Company B as 1st Sergeant, and just a year later--on September 20, 1862, just a few days after the bloodletting that was Antietam, he was promoted to Second Lieutenant. Promotion to First Lieutenant arrived the following year, on September 1, 1863, while the regiment was campaigning in Kentucky. Having survived the worst of war during the its first two years, Hume reenlisted in the winter of 1863-1864 and after a thirty-day furlough, he and the 48th once more departed from Schuylkill County, once more to the seat of war. He survived the figthing at the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania unscathed, but would fall to a sharpshooter's bullet on May 31, 1864, after the regiment crossed the North Anna River and approached the Armstrong farm. It was a particularly deadly day for the officers of the 48th, for on that same May 31, the regiment's major, Joseph Gilmour of Pottsville, as well as Lieutenant Samuel Laubenstein of Schuylkill Haven, would also be struck down and mortally wounded by Confederate sharpshooters.
Hume lingered for a month before finally succumbing to his wound at the age of 23. His remains were brought home to Schuylkill County and laid to rest in Pottsville's Odd Fellows Cemetery.

The Grave of Lt. William Hume in Pottsville's Odd Fellows' Cemetery

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