Birney's Re-enactors

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          23rd Pennsylvania

Virtual Cemetery Page 39

The Final Resting Places of 23rd PA Soldiers
"Click a page to view Gravesites."

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Private Robert Hanna of Company E,23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers, "Birney's Zouaves" Died on April 30th 1891 at the age of 58 Years Old. Buried in Section 10, Lot 21 of Upper Octora Church Cemetery in Parkesburg,PA.
The Grave of John G Lowther, Company C, Three Month Volunteers, 23rd PVI.Mustered into Service on April 12th 1861, he was one of the city's first volunteers. He died on April 3rd 1898 in Philedelphia, at the age of 66. He was buried on April 6th 1898. He is Buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Philadelphia. He was born in Delaware and was married.
The Grave of Corp. Solomon Forepaugh of the 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company A, Birney's Zouaves". He was killed at Fair Oaks on May 31st 1862.He is buried at Seven Pines National Cemetery in Grave 366.
The Grave of 1st Lt Augustus H. Wilson of Company K, 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers, three month volunteers. Augustus was born in New Jersey in 1825. Augustus enlisted in the 23rd on September 1st 1861 in Philadelphia. He was mustered into service on April 31st 1861 and served for three months. He died on 5/24/1897 in Turnersville,NJ. He is buried at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Chews Landing, NJ in Plot 51-0.
The Grave of Robert Levan Orr Company O , "Birney's Zouaves". He was born on March 28th 1836 to his parents whom died while he was a young boy. His life and training then fell to a maternal aunt. He was educated in the public schools, completing an English course and graduating from Central High in Philadelphia in February of 1853 at the young age of 15. His tastes were for mercantile pursuits, a trade his father had prosperously established himself in. His aptitude and energy won him favor with his employers and his reputation of the knowledge of fabrics and of a salesman of high merit remained with him through a business career that remained with him after The Civil War.

He had scarcely come to manhood when as a volunteer fireman and member of the local militia he had showed that he had quickly conceived that some service was due the public. He had been a member of The Independent Grays and on April 25th 1861 just after the opening of hostilities, he was mustered into U.S. Service of First Lieutenant of Company I, 17th PA Infantry. That service terminated with his muster out as a three month regiment on August 2nd 1861.

One month later on September 2nd 1861, he again mustered into U.S. Service, but this time as a more permanent three year volunteer as a Captain with the 23rd Pennsylvania, “Birney’s Zouaves”, Company O. This thirty day interval between services was recognized by the U.S.Army as a period of reorganization, therefore Orr could claim continuous service in the field from the beginning to the end of the war. On September 8th 1861, he moved with the 23rd Pennsylvania Regiment to Washington D.C, where he was encamped just three miles north of the Capitol on “The Queen’s Farm” at Camp Graham . He was there with the Regiment during the cold winter months and in December of 1861; Typhoid Fever broke out within the Camp which resulted in the Death of Fifty-One men of the 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers. It was decided on March 12th 1862 to move the camp to higher ground in Bladensburg, Maryland to rid the epidemic and ready the Soldiers for campaign. The 23rd Pennsylvania moved to Bladensburg and were encamped at Camp Clark .The 23rd Pennsylvania had been recruited beyond the maximum of 1,000 soldiers to nearly 1,500 and the War Department decided in late March to transfer 500 men, or five Companies of the 23rd PA to the 61st Pennsylvania Volunteers, a western PA Regiment that had only been able to recruit about 500 men. Under much protest from the men who loved the Zouave regiment, the men reluctantly obeyed the order and the transfer was made.

Captain Orr was now a member of the 61st Pennsylvania Volunteers and sustained the high distinction that preceded him. After Colonial Crosby was wounded at Ft. Stevens and Killed at Petersburg, Orr became the Colonel of the 61st. He had the confidence of his superiors and respect of his men who trusted his decisions and judgment of battlefield decisions. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery at Petersburg, Virginia on April 2, 1865. His citation reads "Carried the colors at the head of the column in the assault after two color bearers had been shot down". His Medal was awarded to him on November 28, 1892. Orr was a famous organizer. He married shortly after the war’s end but was soon a widower. He remained that way until his death.

You can view a Photo of Robert Levan Orr on Page 35 and on Page 16 of the 23rd Pennsylvania, Original Photos pages.

Birney's Zouaves

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© May 30, 2005 - "Birney's Zouaves" The 23rd PA Infantry Volunteers
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