David and Thomas Moll
153rd PA Volunteers, Company "B"
Sergeant David Moll (22 May 1840 - 17 May 1919, 5th Gen.) served in the 153rd PA Volunteers, Company "B". He enlisted in Easton PA for 9 months service on September 12th, 1862, and was mustered in on October 7th, 1862. He was from Rittersville, Hanover Township, PA (known today as Allentown) and enlisted as a Corporal. He died at age 78 at his home in Fountain Hill, PA.
Private Thomas E. Moll (1844 - 13 Sep 1896, 5th Gen.) also served in the 153rd PA Volunteers, Company "B". He also enlisted on September 12th, 1862. David and Thomas Moll were brothers. Thomas Moll died at age 54 at St. Anthony's Hospital, Denver Colorado.
David and Thomas Moll were the sons of William H. Moll (b: 24 Apr 1813; baptised 4 Aug 1816, d: 9 Dec 1893, 4th Gen.) and Mary (Adelman) Moll (b: 15 Jun 1818, d: 14 Jun 1901). From 1850 through 1855 David Moll and his brother Henry lived on the farm of Joseph Unangat, Bethlehem TWP, Northampton County. From 1855 until his enlistment in 1862, David lived with the family of Enos Seigel, also a farmer, in Lower Nazareth TWP.
At the time of his enlistment, Thomas Moll listed his occupation as a butcher.
The 153rd Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers was recruited entirely within the limits of Northampton County. They were assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, Eleventh Army Corps. On 12 October the regiment proceeded to Washington, and after a sojourn of a few days in the neighborhood of the Capital, was ordered to duty with the Eleventh Corps.
They were a nine-month regiment, They only fought in two major engagements - Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. This regiment - these few hundred men - along with one other unfortunate unit, the 45th New York, faced the full fury of Jackson's legendary flank attack in the woods of Chancellorsville.
On April 27, 1863, the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker led the V, XI, and XII Corps on a campaign to turn the Confederate left flank by crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers above Fredericksburg.
On Saturday, April 25th, the final marching orders were recieved by the 153rd PA. The regiment broke camp at dawn on the 27th and moved in a northwesterly direction until noon. The men of the regiment suffered greatly on this march. They had just come out of winter quarters and were unused to severe marching. The day was overwhelmingly hot. They were also carrying the sixty rounds of ammunition and eight day's rations. Very early into the march, men of all commands began to jettison everything that was not considered essential. But despite their burdens and inexperience at marching, the men still managed to cover twenty-two miles that day.
Sgt. David Moll, 1863
After finally crossing the Rappahannock, the men of the 1st Division formed into line of battle, with the division of Major General Carl Schurz in front. The two divisions cautiously felt their way forward, with the division in front sending signals to the division in the rear when it was safe to advance. This movement was very tiresome and tedious for the men in the ranks.
After a few hours of rest, the 153rd PA resumed the march at 10am and "greatly fatigued", reached the northern heights of the Rapidan, opposite Germanna Mills, at 7pm in the evening. They crossed the Rapidan at 2am on April 30th and had barely reached their camp when the heavens opened up. The men tried to get whatever rest they could in the downpour. The rain finally ceased about 6am, and the men were back on the road again by 9am that morning. They made a rapid march that ended about 4pm, when they halted close to what became the battlefield of Chancellorsville. Exhausted, the men went to bed early and slept well.
When the men of the 153rd awoke on May 1st, they were "in the best of sprits," and "confident of success". It was a relatively quiet morning until about 11am when they could hear the roar of artillery over to their right. At noon, the 153rd recieved orders to be ready to move at any moment. By 1pm, the men "were again in motion and continued until nearly midnight. Wherever the emergency seemed to require our presence there we were." Only at midnight were they finally were allowed to rest, and they were up again at dawn on May 2nd.
On May 2nd, the Federal Army was spawned in a sort of crescent-shaped line around a private residence known as the Chancellor House, which served as army headquarters during the battle. About two miles west of the house, the 11th corps was held by General Charles Deven's 1st Division, and it's right was held by Colonel von Gilsa's 1st Brigade. The corps was strung out along the east-west running Orange Turnpike, facing south, the expected direction of any Confederate attack. All though the morning of May 2nd, however, Union scouts had been reporting the presence of a large Confederate force, moving towards the Federal right flank. This was, of course, Stonewall Jackson's corps on its famous flanking march.
Thomas E. Moll, 1888
One of those two regiments was none other than the 153rd PA. Untried in battle, in their maiden fight, the men of the 153rd were in the worst possible place at the worst possible time. The unsuspecting soldiers would soon be facing an enemy more than thirty times their number.
The men of the 153rd did not know of the huge force moving into position off their front. They were buy enjoying what was for them a beautiful morning, with "peace and the deepest silence" around them. They improved their position a bit, clearing a small piece of woods in their immediate front. Trees were felled and placed "in such a manner as to seriously impede the progress of the enemy should they attempt to attack". The rest of the afternoon was spent quietly, with the men resting on their arms.
The star and "You Are Here" on the National Park Service map indicates the location of the photograph underneath. This is a view to the east towards Chancellorsville, directly behind the woods where the 153rd engaged Jackson's Corps. When the Confederates reached this point, the 153rd PA was in full retreat.
The men of the 153rd did manage to pour a volley right into the faces of the Confederates. It was fruitless, though, nothing could even slow the momentum of the Confederate attack. The two cannons on their left had already broken for the rear, and the 54rh NY was beginning to disintegrate on their right. Still, the 153rd PA held it's position until Colonel von Gilsa ordered the regiment to fall back. The noise and confusion was so great, howver, that it took some time to relay the order to the men. Once recieved, though, the regiment quickly joined the retreat, which rapidly became a rout.
"... had we remained a minute longer all would doubtlessly been captured. The enemy had not only outflanked us on our extreme right, but were also advancing in force on our immediate left. Resistance against the fearful odds of the advancing foe was utterly hopeless; safety was only to be found in a hasty retreat, and when the regiment [74th PA and others] sent out to our support were seen in full flight, this retreat assumed the form of a panic. All attempts to arrest the fleeing columns proved futile. Confidence had vanished. The panic had turned into a rout, and it was only after the retreating masses had found security within the lines of the corps in the rear that comparative order and discipline were restored."
The men and officers of the 11th Corps had become a huge, entangled, panicking mob, and it took all the rest of the night of May 2nd and the early morning of May 3rd for the troops to sort themselves out and re-form their regiments. The 153rd PA itself was in complete disarray. By midnight of May 2nd, only about 300 men of the regiment had rallied around the Chancellor House. Most of the rest of the survivors rejoined the regiment by the next morning.
Early on May 3rd, roll was called, and the extent of the damage to the regiment became known. Colonel Charles Glanz had been captured and Lt. Colonel Jacob Dachrodt was wounded. Major John Frueauff, who had been serving as Acting Assistant Inspector-General on the division commander's staff, now left that position to take command of the regiment. The causalities for the rest of the regiment were not as bad as would have been expected, given the position that it occupied. 16 of the 153rd were dead or mortally wounded, and 37 were wounded. 43 soldiers were captured or missing, for a total of 96 casualties, or approximatley 14% of the regiment.
With the regiment re-formed, the 153rd was ordered to a line of rifle-pits that covered the United states Ford on the Rappahannock River. This was an extremely important assignment because if the Federal Army had to retreat, as it would eventually do, this ford was the only place where it could re-cross the river. When fighting broke out again late in the morning of May 3rd, the bullets came too close for comfort. Colonel von Gisla ordered the brigade to improve the breastworks behind which they had taken refuge. This was quickly done, and the 153rd PA suffered very little in the rest of the battle. About the evening of May 4th, the regiment was relieved and retired to a position about a mile to the rear. On May 5th, they occupied some rifle-pits [foxholes] about a quarter of a mile to the front. While in the rifle-pits, a fierce storm arrived in the area late in the afternoon. The men had no protection and by nightfall were knee-deep in water that collected in the pits. They were finally ordered out of the position about 2am on May 6th, and silently headed for the United States Ford. They reached the Ford at about 6am and safely crossed the river.
Photograph of Barlow's Knoll at Gettysburg where the 153rd fought July 1st, 1863. My ancestor, David Moll, was wounded in the knee at this battle.
It was a difficult march, as it was incredibly hot and the roads were not in the best of shape because of recent rains. As they crossed over the line to their home state of Pennsylvania, the men could barely contain themselves. They entered the town of Gettysburg a little after 1pm with beating drums and colors unfurled. The men were greeted by the cheers of the townspeople who looked upon them as their saviors. Ready for the fight, the 153rd headed northwest out of the town.
Map from the 1904 Pennsylvania at Gettysburg history, Volume 2. Barlow's Knoll is located northeast of the town of Gettysburg. Indicated on the map is where the 153rd fought July 1st, 1863.
Von Gilsa ordered two companies of the 153rd PA onto the brigade skirmish line, with the other eight companies forming on the slopes of the knoll. In preparation for the fight, for Napoleons [cannon] from Lt. Bayard Wilkenson's Company G, 4th U.S. Artillery unlimbered on top of the knoll and fired over the heads of the men of the 153rd. One major drawback to this arrangement was that it attracted Confederate artillery fire towards the knoll, and shot and shell rained down upon the 153rd.
When it became apparent that a Confederate attack was imminent, Barlow refused to relinquish the knoll - he was determined to fight there. To support the troops in position there, he ordered up his other brigade to the support of von Gilsa. Barlow now had more than 2,000 men around the knoll. Both of his flanks were exposed, but Barlow believed that he would be able to hold the position. He would find out very soon just how wrong he was.
About 3pm the Confederates launched their attack on the Federal right. Two brigades of about 3,000 men descended upon Barlow's position. Colonel von Gilsa's skirmishers fell back into the ranks of the 153rd PA back at the knoll. The Federals managed to get a few shots off before Colonel von Gilsa ordered a retreat. The Confederates were moving very fast, and the 153rd was in great danger of being surrounded as they began the backward movement. The Union men fought every step of the way - they were determined not to repeat the panicked rout at Chancellorsville. The situation was hopeless however, as the collapse of von Gilsa's brigade made the entire 11th Corps line untenable. The men of the corps gave way under the relentless Confederate onslaught. The retreat was orderly however, with groups of Union soldiers attempting to make pockets of resistance and almost all of the soldiers at one time or another turning to fire into the ranks of the Confederates. While attempting to stop the retreating soldiers, General Barlow recieved a grievous wound that took him out of command.
Photo of the monument at the Gettysburg battlefield to the 153rd Pennsylvania Volunteers. This monument stands at Barlow's Knoll.
Click Here For Additional Photos Of Barlow's Knoll
July 2nd was spent quietly until about 4pm, when the 153rd's position came under fire from some Confederate batteries located on Benner's Hill, a few miles from their left front. The regiment lost quite a few men to this fire. The Union batteries on East Cemetary Hill responded and after a time silenced the enemy's cannon.
The artillery duel was not the end of the action on that day however. Around sunset, two Confederate brigades advanced on the position of the 153rd PA. The Confederates mad it all the way into the Union lines, and a vicious hand-to-hand struggle commenced.
Map of the Gettysburg Battle, July 2nd, 1863, with the location of the 153rd PA
"When the contending armies met, the shock and the scene that followed were such to defy description. It was no longer a battle. It was a hand-to-hand conflict, carried on with the valor and vindictiveness of desperation. The arms of ordinary warfare were no longer exclusively used. Clubs, knives, stones, fists, anything calculated to inflict pain or death was now resorted to. Now advancing, now retreating, this sort of conflict continued for fully three-quarters of an hour. At one time defeat seemed inevitable. Closely pursued by the enemy, we were compelled to retire on our first line of defense, but even here the enemy followed us, while the more daring were already in our lines, and were now resolutley advancing towards our pieces. The foremost one had already reached a piece, when, throwing himself over the muzzle of a cannon, he called out to the bystanding gunners: "I take command of this gun!" At the very moment the cannon fired and a second later, the soul of the daring rebel had taken it's flight to the realms of everlasting peace. Here our reverses ended. Determined to conquer or die in the attempt, our men now threw themselves upon the enemy with a resolution and a fury that soon compelled them to retire. The batteries were saved, the day ours. Chancellorsville redeemed!"
The men of the 153rd PA retired that night feeling very proud of themselves. They had recieved an attack of the enemy, and although pushed back for a period of time, were able to drive the Confederates out of their lines. They had done it!
On July 3rd, though famous for Pickett’s Charge, the day passed quietly for the 153rd PA. They were under artillery fire for a time during the great cannonade that preceded the Confederate attack but suffered no real damage. After evening fell, details of the regiment were sent out to bring in the wounded and bury the dead, an unpleasant task under any circumstances.
The 153rd PA suffered horrendous casualties at Gettysburg. Of the little more than 550 men that went into the fight, 29 were killed and 23 mortally wounded. 147 men were wounded and 68 were captured or missing. A total of 267 men of the 153rd were casualties at Gettysburg, or 47% of the regiment. There were other regiments that had greater losses, but the casualties of the 157th PA were especially heartbreaking, as the regiment only had a few more days to serve and then would be back on their way home. Gettysburg was a great Union victory, but there were many homes in Northampton County in mourning for their lost patriots.
Early in the morning of July 4th, a detachment of men from the 153rd PA was ordered to scout the Confederate's position, and, if possible, to enter the town of Gettysburg. Though meeting a force of the enemy a few hundred yards in front, the party pushed on until they reached the town, thus earning "the honor of having been the first to enter the interior of the town since it's evacuation." During this foray, they captured 290 Confederates and 250 stands of arms. The rest of the 1st Brigade followed them into the town. They were there until the eveing of July 5th.
After it had been established that the Confederates were in full retreat southwards, the Union army began to pursue on the following day. The 153rd PA began heading south at 6:30pm in a difficult march on roads made impassible by a heavy rain on July 4th. They tried to rest as best they could in the mud, but more rain began to fall that night. Unable to sleep, the men "went to whistling patriotic airs, while the rain kept beating time to our music".
With the battle of Gettysburg, ended the hard fighting of the regiment; but hard marching was still in store for it. When arrived at Emmittsburg, whither the regiment was led in pursuit of the retreating rebel column, the term of service of six of the companies had expired, and they asked for their release; but their request was not granted, and the command continued to move with the corps until it came up with the rebel column, in the of Funkstown, where skirmishing was in progress. On the morning of 14 August 1863, orders for the discharge of the regiment having been received from Washington, it moved by Frederick City and Baltimore, to Harrisburg, where, on the 24th, the regiment was mustered out of service. On the following day, it returned in a body to Easton, where an enthusiastic public reception was accorded it, and it was finally disbanded. On taking leave of the regiment, upon its departure from his brigade, Colonel Von Gilsa said: " I am an old soldier, but never did I know soldiers, who, with greater alacrity and more good will, endeavored to fulfill their duties. In the battle of Chancellorsville you, like veterans, stood your ground against fearful odds, and, although surrounded on three sides, you did not retreat until by me commanded to do so. In the three days' battle at Gettysburg, your behavior put many an old soldier to the blush, and you are justly entitled to a great share of the glory which my brigade has won for itself, by repulsing the two dreaded Tiger Brigades of Jackson. In the name of your comrades of the First Brigade, and myself, I now bid you farewell."
History Of The 153rd PA Volunteer Infantry
Butternut & Blue
3411 Northwind Rd
Baltimore, Maryland 21234
Fought on 1 & 2 July 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
About David and Thomas Moll
Sergeant David Moll was a tall man, 6' 4", about 180 pounds, with a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. After the war he married Delilah A. Dunham (b: 1 Jan 1845, d: 10 Apr 1919). They were married on 21 March 1865 by the Reverand J. B. Roth in Bethlehem, PA. David and Delilah had a son, William J. Moll, (b: 28 Jun 1876, d: 7 Aug 1876), who died in infancy.
David Moll resided in Northampton as a farmer from the time of his discharge in 1863 until 1877. He then moved to Fountain Hill, PA, residing at 1013 Delaware Avenue. He was a truck farmer/ vegetable garderner in Fountain Hill. He died at 2:00am on 17 May 1919 at the age of 78 years, 11 months and 25 days. He recieved a Civil War pension beginning in 1903, starting at $6/month, which increased to $22.50 by the time of his death.
Sergeant David Moll is buried at the Nisky Hill Cemetary, 264 E. Church Street, Bethlehem PA. (610) 866-5742. David Moll is buried in Lot 8.H.69, Section F. David's wife Delilah is buried next to him, along with their infant son, William J (Willie).
David And Delilah Moll
David and Thomas's parents, William H and Mary Moll are also buried in the same lot as David. The lot was purchaced by David Moll on 7 July 1896, for $138.00.
Private Thomas E. Moll was also mustered out July 24, 1863 in Harrisburg, PA. He was married to Elinnor Moll (b: abt 1852) about 1868. The 1870 census, taken on 28 July, lists Thomas employed as a Brickmaker living in Bethlehem with his wife Elinor and his first son, Henry (Harry) F. Moll (1870 - 1930s?), born in Janurary 1870. Other children were: Wilson H. Moll (14 Jan 1872 - 14 Jan 1901); Oliver Wilson Moll (15 Nov 1876 - 3 Aug 1902), and Laura (Laurie) Moll (April 1880 - 1930s?). All the children were born in Pennsylvania except Laura, who was born in Nebraska.
After the war, Thomas moved west. moving to Nebraska about 1876/7. The 1880 census lists Thomas and his family living in St. Charles, Cuming County, as a farmer. In the Nebraska 1890 Veteran's census, Thomas Moll is living in Dodge County, Fremont TWP, NE, P3, SD 2-ED 207. The 1891-92 Fremont, Nebraska City directory lists him as a Horseman. Thomas is not listed however, in the 1891 Census.
Thomas was active in the G.A.R., being a member of G.A.R. McPherson Post #4, Dodge County, Nebraska. Harrison (Harry) F. Moll is also listed as a Horseman in the 1891-92 Fremont, Nebraska City directory. Oliver Moll and Wilson H. Moll are listed as a broom makers, The address of the broom factory is listed as 231/233 E. 4th Street, Fremont.
Private Thomas E. Moll
153rd PA Volunteers
1844 - 13 Sep 1896
Aged 53 yrs.
Fairmont Cemetary, Denver, CO
photo courtesy of Jan Durst.
Oliver W. Moll was married to Sarah Moll in Box Elder, Nebraska on March 25th, 1896. They were divorced in Denver, September 1899. There was a child listed in the divorce, age 2, by the name of William Boyard Moll, born 24 March 1897. The reason for the divorce was listed as Adultry. Sarah went on with her life after the divorce, living with an Oliver (Ollie) Thompson, living at 1431 16th St, Room 38, Denver.
A wedding notice for Oliver W. Moll and Lela Parmalee was posted in the January 20, 1901 edition of the Rocky Montain News. Lela was 17 years old at the time of the wedding. He lived with Lela at 1170 South 11th St., Denver.
Wilson H. Moll
14 Jan 1872 - 14 Jan 1901
Aged 29 yr, 0 mo, 0 da
Fairmont Cemetary, Denver, CO
photo courtesy of Jan Durst.
About 1899, Laurie Moll married George Atwood in Denver. George Atwood was origionally from Indiana. They had two children, Roy Atwood (b: 7 Apr 1899, d: Apr 1963), and Melanie Atwood (b: 1902).
Wilson H. and Oliver W. Moll are listed in the 1900 Denver City directory. page 888. They are listed as "Broommakers", and reside at 4137 Bellaire Avenue. Harrison F. Moll, same address, is also listed as a sewer worker. Wilson and Oliver are listed as working for "M Craffey", while Harrison is listed as working for Phoenix Broom Co. The 1900 Denver City Directory also lists a Henry W. Moll and a Jacob Moll, residing 90 S. 12th St, Denver. They are listed as roofers.
The 1901 Denver City Directory lists Harrison and Oliver Moll as broommakers. Harrison is working for W. H. Seltzer & Sons however. There is also a listing for a Charles F. Moll, rooming at 191 Champa Street, working as an "expressman".
Wilson H. Moll died of kidney failure in St. Anthony's Hospital. A burial permit was posted in the January 17, 1901 edition of the Rocky Mountain News. He is listed as a Widower, but no information is known about his wife or any children.
Oliver Moll died on August 1st, 1902 at the age of 26. He was married at the time of his death. The cause of his death was Pulmonary Consumption (death due to excessive smoking).
Wilson and Oliver are also buried at Fairmont Cemetary, Denver.
About 1907 Thomas Moll's widow, Elinnor Moll, moved with her family to Alamedia, California, near Oakland. She operated a boarding house at 735 21st street into the 1920's. The 1920 census lists her son Harrision and daughter Laurie Atwood; her son-in-law George Atwood, and grandchildren Roy and Melanie Atwood residing there. There are also numerous boarders living at the same address. Harrison lists his occupation as a broommaker, George Atwood as a clerk for the Railroad, 20 year-old Roy lists himself as a salesman for a coffee company, and 18 year-old Melanie is a stenographer for a legal office.
The 1930 census, taken on April 2nd, 1930, lists Harrison F. Moll as an inmate at the Alamedia county jail.
Roy Atwood died in California in April, 1963. His SSAN was 568-22-1956
William Boyard Moll, grandson of Thomas and son of Oliver Moll enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 19 and fought in World War I. After the war he married Nammie G. Moll in 1919 at the age of 21. Nammie was born in 1895 in Kansas. Nammie was previously married, but it is unknown if she was widowed or divorced. They lived in Kansas until about 1923, then moving to California. The 1930 census lists William B. Moll as a farmer living on Sterling Road near Bakersfield in Kern County. He was renting a home, paying $75/month. The home was electrified, and had a radio. William and Nammie had the following children: Martha L. (b: 1916); Betty B. (b: 1921); William W. (b: 1923); Mary M. (b: 1926), and Darcy L. (b: Dec 1929).
William B. Moll eventually returned to Kansas where he died in May, 1969. His last residence was Spring Hill, Johnson, Kansas, 66083. His SSAN was 513-07-7690.
606 David Moll
State Filed: Pennsylvania
Filed for Disability: 11/19/1901
Case: 1277494 Certif: 1060095
570 Thomas E. Moll
State Filed: Colorado
Widow: Elmina Moll
153rd PA "B"
Filed for Disability 6/27/1880
Case: 405677 cert: 888870
Filed for Widows Benifits 9/28/1896
Case: 641330 Cert: 437133