Birney's Re-enactors

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          23rd Pennsylvania



Original Photos Page 24



Gallery of the 23rd PA
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Private James Earle of Company F, 23rd PVI, Birneys Zouaves. James was born in Philadelphia in the year 1842. At the age of 19, he enlisted in the Army. He was mustered in at the Skuykill arsenal in Philadelphia on August 2nd 1861. He was assigned to Company F,23rd PA. James had brown eyes, light colored har and complexion and was 5 foot 5 and a half inches tall. His occupation at the timeof enlistment, was a boatman. He was first wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31st 1862. His service record shows that he was discharged on December 25th 1863 at Brandy Station Virginia. Around this time at the age of 21 he was married to his wife Mary. He reenlisted as a Veteran Volunteer. At his re-enlistment he recieved $50 and the first installment of his bounty. He was examined on Christmas 1863 by A. L. Clark, Asst. Surg. of the 23rd PA Volunteers and was found to be free of all bodily defects and mental infirmity, which would disqualify him from performing duties as a soldier. He was also inspected by J. B. Vancleve, 1st Lt., who stated that he was entirely sober and of lawful age. He stayed with the 23rd PA until the Regiment was mustered out on September 8th 1864. He was then transfered to the 82nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. Just ten days later, the 82nd was engaged at Winchester (3rd Winchester) and he was wounded in the left foot by a shell fragment. He was admitted to a Hospital at Filbert Street in Philadelphia. On July 13th 1865 he was discharged from the Army and on July 11th 1870, he filed for a claim for invalid pension for a shell wound of the left foot, recieved near Winchester Virginia on September 18th 1864. In March 1873 James Earle had three people testify on his behalf in reguard to his pension. John Anderson and William Barr, both comrades of his, were amongst the witnesses. The Medical Board of Philadelphia granted him a pension of $2 a month on February 2nd 1873. A month later he filed for an increase. He was 30 years old at that time and still recieving $2 a month. He declared that the wound was causing partial loss of use of his foot. He was dropped from the rolls of the US Pension Agengy and was last paid $6 . John and Mary Earle had nine Children. John F, born June 4th 1866, James W., born January 23rd 1868, Mary L., born October 28th 1869, Lizzie, born May 18th 1872, Edward, born July 13th 1874, Maggie, born November 4th 1876, Ida, born on March 27th 1879, Bertha, born May 18th 1881 and Tacy A., born January 8th 1884. You can see a photo of James L. Earle's Gravesite at his Memorial on The Virtual Cemetery Page 7. You can view his Soldier Index Card on Page 1 on The Soldier Index Card Pages.

JAMES DOAK, JR. worsted manufacturer, was born at Londonderry, Ireland, June I4, I837, and was brought to this country by his father when seven years of age, Settling in New York City. After remaining there a short time the father moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he engaged in the grocery business. He after-wards lived for about eighteen months in Fall River, Massachusetts, and from there came to Philadelphia, where he began to make checked cotton goods on a hand-loom. Mr. Doak began his education in Londonderry and completed it in the public schools of this country, being taken from school when ten years of age and Placed in the factory of Joseph Fleming, at Fairmount, Philadelphia, in the humble occupation of cotton-picker. He afterwards began to learn the trade of weaving in Isaac Rowe's factory, but subsequently his father Moved to Manayunk, where all the members of the family found employment in the factory of Joseph Ripka. Mr. Doak remained for ten years in this factory, growing to be an expert workman, and gaining the position of power-loom boss, which he held at the period of the Disturbances in business preceding the Civil War. On the call for volunteers for the war, Mr. Doak hastened to enlist, joining the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, the regiment known as Birney’s Zouaves, And commanded by Colonel (afterwards Major-General) David B. Birney. Soon after reaching the front, four companies were transferred from the regiment to the Sixty-first Pennsylvania, an organization made up of Miners and rolling-mill hands from the western part of the State. The transferred companies, which included that of which Mr. Doak was a member, were by no means pleased with this arrangement, not liking the rough character of their new associates; but their opinion became changed afterwards, when the Sixty-first had gained the reputation of being one of the bravest regiments in the army. It was made a part of Pratt's Light Brigade, organized for the purpose of being used for the quick reinforcement of weak or overpowered points in the line of battle, and became a part of the Sixth Corps, the "foot cavalry" of the Army of the Potomac, as it came to be called from the celerity of its movements. The duty given Pratt's Brigade was a dangerous one, and no regiment in that army lost more heavily in killed and wounded than the Sixty-First, either in rank and file or in officers. Mr. Doak served with this regiment through the peninsular campaign, after which illness compelled his removal to the hospital. Here he became so reduced that his life was despaired of. He was transferred to the hospital on David's Island, and after remaining there ten weeks was sent north, and placed in the Satterlee Hospital in West Philadelphia. He was subsequently dis-charged from here, with the discomforting assurance that he had but a few weeks to live. His weight had become reduced to ninety-two pounds. But he had no sooner left the hospital than he began to discredit the prediction of its ph ysicians, by gaining in health and strength, and in 1864 again enlisted, this time in the navy, in which he served till the end of the war. This life in the sea-air proved highly beneficial, and by the close of the war his health was completely restored. He now took a position as clerk in the insurance office of William Arrott, with whom, in April, i866, he entered into partnership, with the purpose of engaging in the carpet manufacture, then a rapidly developing busi-ness of Philadelphia. The new firm, however, quickly changed from carpets to cloakings and worsted goods, in which they continued, engaged until the death of Mr. Arrott. After leaving the navy, Mr. Doak went earnestly to work to improve his scanty education, and for a number of years worked indefatigably, attending night school, taking a course at a commercial college, and reading industriously. In this way he prepared himself for the larger business and more complicated transactions which he developed afterwards. His mills at present have grown to extensive proportions. They are situated at Norris and Blair Streets and Trenton Avenue, their product including worsted yarns, cloakings, suiting, and Jersey waists. Mr. Doak is a director in the National Security Bank, and in the Manufacturers' Club, of which he was an active promoter. He is a member of the Masonic order, of the Union League, and of the Grand Army of the Republic, and belongs also to the Five O’clock and Roast Beef Clubs, two of Philadelphia's best known Social organizations.
Samuel Weissel Gross, (In doorway on Right) Philadelphia surgeon and son of physician Samuel D. Gross, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on 4 February 1837. He became the first Surgeon of the 23rd PA, Three MOnth Volunteers. In 1876, he married Grace Linzee Revere, who later married Sir William Osler. His father was the famous M.D. Samuel D. Gross.

Gross received an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in 1857 and practiced medicine in Philadelphia. He was a surgeon and medical director during the Civil War and surgeon to the Howard Hospital, Philadelphia Hospital, and Hospital of Jefferson Medical College. He was a lecturer at Jefferson on the diseases of the genito urinary system and, in 1882, was given the chair of surgery at Jefferson in conjunction with J. H. Brinton. Samuel W. Gross was known for his use of antiseptic surgery and radical surgery in cancer cases.

Gross was a founder of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery and a member of the Pathological Society of Philadelphia, the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia County Medical Society. He was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1868. Gross died of pneumonia in Philadelphia on 16 April 1889.

Captain John Barclay Fassett (Company F, 23rd Penn.) was one of 63 men who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1 - 3, 1863. Captain Fassett was senior aid to Major General Birney who took command of the 3d Corps after Major General Daniel Sickles was wounded. While riding along the Union lines, Captain Fassett noticed an artillery lieutenant standing on a rock observing the fight at Peach orchard. Fassett asked why the artillery officer was not fighting, and he replied that his gun had been captured. Captain Fassett saw that the rebels did indeed have possession of the gun and were preparing to turn it on the Union line. Grabbing the first troops he saw, members of the 39th New York Infantry, Captain Fassett led them in an effort to recapture the gun. During the attack, the bridle of his horse was grabbed by an enemy soldier, and another pointed a musket in his face, but Captain Fassett was able to knock the gun away with his sword even as the rebel pulled the trigger, sending the round through the visor of Captain Fassett's kepi. He then shot the other rebel with his pistol, continued forward at the head of his men, and recaptured the battery.
Captain Louis Hildebrand, Company B, 23rd PA Volunteers.Mustered in on August 2nd 1861. Resigned August 1st 1862. We are looking for burial information for this soldier. In 1904 he was living in Washington D.C
Private James M. Maloney of the 23rd PA. He was mustered into service on August 14th 1861 at The Arsenal in Philadelphia. Upon his arrival at Camp Graham in Washington D.C. in September 1861 he as places into to Company A. He was discharged on a Surgeons Certificate on February 24th 1863. After the war he moved to Kane PA and was a member of Post 238 in Kane , PA. More information is being sought on this soldier. Photo Courtesy of Kenneth Bertholf. .




Birney's Zouaves

© October 11, 2010 - "Birney's Zouaves" The 23rd PA Infantry Volunteers
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