A study of the the Pennsylvania Emergency Militia, and the Keystone state's reaction to the threat of invasion during the Maryland Campaign of 1862, and the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863. As well as other historical thoughts and observations.
Pennsylvania's Emergency Men
Sunday, September 16, 2012
September 16, 1862: Byers' Independent Cavalry Co.
Clear-fine-hot-sun. We woke at 5 A.M. Considerable discussion and doubt in the Company about the propriety of our going out of the State. We had been ordered to report to Gen. Reynolds at Chambersburg, where, not finding him, we proceeded to Greencastle expecting to find him. He was not there, but said to be at Hagerstown. The Captain himself had great doubts about the fitness of our going out of the State to report to any one, as we would then be under his orders. I considered it rather ridiculous for us to set out for service and yet stop short of being appointed to any, and thought it most unbecoming and unsuitable for us to ask the nature of the orders we might get there. We accordingly determined with some hesitation on the part of the Captain and some others, (he hesitating I think mainly from his implied obligations not to take the men beyond the [state] borders) to move on to Hagerstown, and we left Greencastle at 2 to 3 P.M. Our arrival at the State line five miles from Greencastle, we loaded pistols to be ready for emergencies. When within a few miles of Hagerstown the Quarter master [Benjamin] Peters and the Surgeon [George] Dock went ahead into the town to look for quarters. They returned with word that all was full and forage not to be had. We halted at the farm of an Thomas Spriggle, two miles out of town, where we got hay for our horses and quarters for the men in the barn and got bread, butter and apple-butter in abundance for ourselves. I detailed the guards - four watches of two hours each for the night, and turned into sleeping quarters at 9 to 10.