Monday, August 4, 2014

The 48th/150th: "The Regular Siege Life Again:" The Dust Settles at the Crater

Confederate Troops Re-Occupy The Crater
It probably meant little to the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania, especially coming from a man who offered little--if any--support and from a general who largely forsook the 9th Corps in its struggle in the Crater, but 150 years ago on August 3, Major General George Meade issued General Orders No. 32 that acknowledged the hard and heavy work performed by Colonel Pleasants and the soldiers of his command:

General Orders No. 32
George Meade
The Commanding General takes great pleasure in acknowledging the valuable services rendered by Lt. Col. Henry Pleasants' 48th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Volunteers and the officers and men of his command in the excavation of the mine which was successfully exploded on the morning of the 30th ultimo under one of the enemy's batteries in front of the second division of the Ninth Army Corps. The skill displayed in the laying out and construction of the mine reflects great credit upon Lt. Col. Pleasants, the officer in charge, and the willing endurance by the officers and men of the regiment of the extraordinary labor and fatigue involved in the prosecution in the work to completion are worthy of the highest praise.
By Command of Major General Meade

Worthy of the highest praise, indeed. But 150 years ago there were no doubt many in the 48th who were bitter that Meade did not find the effort--while underway--worthy of the highest support. So, as the proverbial and literal dust settled over the Crater battlefield--as the dead were being buried and the prisoners on either side marched to rear and sent away to prisoner-of-war camps--the still unbelieving, somewhat seething soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania settled in once more to life in the trenches, resuming their place in line and suffering from the fire of Confederate sharpshooters. As Oliver Bosbyshell recorded in his regimental history, "Matters resumed the regular siege life again--the picket firing constant, and good men lost every day."
Captain Joseph Hoskings Assumed Command of the 48th Following the Crater
He was wounded severely on August 3, 1864
As Pleasants resumed command of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 9th Corps, Captain Joseph Hoskings of Minersville assumed command of the 48th. On August 3, 1864, Hoskings was shot while on the picket line, the bullet passing "through the fleshy part of his left breast, at an angle, passing through the muscles of his left arm, making four distinct holes." Hoskings will survive this injury. Two days later, the 48th lost a popular officer by the name of David Brown, a lieutenant in Company H and, before the war, a baker from Pottsville. On August 5, 1864, Brown was lying in his tent when a rifle ball struck and killed him instantly.  

Lieutenant David Brown--Killed on August 5, 1864
He was a First Defender

The Grave of Lt. Brown
Presbyterian Cemetery, Pottsville

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