91st PA--formation and training in 1861

Response to the call of the Government

['Important military movements', Philadelphia Inquirer 20 August 1861 pages 1 and 8]
[Wallace isn't mentioned because he wasn't authorized to begin until 20 August 1861]
[Who is the other Colonel forming a regiment from the Home Guard?]

Important Military Movements.

The proclamation of the Government, requiring all organized and partly organized regiments to report themselves at Washington without delay, created great excitement in military circles yesterday.

At the different recruiting stations an increased activity was apparent. Drummers and fifers were procured and sent out at short notice with files of men to march through the streets, and collect recruits. Orders were immediately issued by the Colonels in command at the several camps around the city, that no private should be allowed to leave the grounds.

There was another remarkable feature of the day, and that was the general discussion whether the Government intended to call out the Home Guard and Reserves. This was debated at street corners, in places of business and in household circles, and the liability of the respective organizations to serve did not appear to be very well understood.

The Reserve Brigade, we may state, is liable at any time to be drafted into the United States service by the State authorities, in case volunteers do not offer themselves in sufficient numbers to fill any requisition upon the State by the General Government. The Home Guard is liable to be called into service only for duties connected with the defence of Philadelphia.

As twilight approached the business portions of the city were startled by rumors of Government action in arrestingerns suspected parties. Report [sic] stated that at least six citizens, whose loyalty would not bear a test, had been imprisoned. The true facts soon became apparent, and it was ascertained that but one individual had been taken.

About eight o'clock in the evening, a meeting of the Colonels of all regiments now forming in and around Philadelphia was held. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, Hon. ELI K. SLIFER, was in attendance at the Continental Hotel. Thirty commanding officers answered to their names, and made reports of the strength and efficiency of their commands. The greatest good feeling and spirits prevailed, and every one seemed ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of their beloved country. Hon. ELI K. SLIFER occupied the chair, and Hon. A. K. McCLURE acted as Secretary.

Mr. SLIFER stated the object of the meeting. He said there was no cause for alarm for the safety of the Capital, but intimated that it was the intention of the Commanding General to make an advance, and in order to do so in a manner as effective as possible, fresh troops were needed to take the place of the entire force now in and around Washington. However, this was not the question, troops had been asked for, and troops must be sent forward, either by regiments, or companies, or even squads.

Gen. PLEASONTON remarked that he thought he could furnish one thousand, or perhaps fifteen hundred men from the various Home Guard organizations, although two Colonels were already forming regiments from Home Guards.

Col. FRIEDMANN reported that his cavalry regi [page 8] ment, which is to consist of twelve companies, would be ready to march by Friday morning, if necessary--nine of the companies are in camp. Ten are full, and the other two, it is expected, will be completed by the time mentioned.

Col. BALLIER, of the Twenty-first Regiment, said that his regiment was approaching completion. The whole regiment could be ready for marching in ten days. Should it be necessary to go to the seat of war before that time, five companies would be ready for marching by next Monday.

Colonel CHANTRY, of the Thirtieth Regiment, stated that he had six companies already mustered in and ready to march, and two more companies will be mustered in this week.

Colonel BIRNEY, of the Twenty-third Regiment, reported that he had six full companies mustered in. The remaining four are almost full, and will be mustered in this week.

Colonel OWEN's Regiment has been attached to the brigade of General BAKER. Seven companies will have been completed by the close of next week.

Colonel HARVEY stated that his regiment numbered seven companies, which were not quite full.

The regiment of Colonel GREGORY consists of seven companies, which are not yet complete. The Colonel originally received instructions to have his regiment ready by the early part of September, at which time the regiment will have been completed. Two full companies are to be mustered in to-day. Colonel GREGORY stated that, if necessary, he could get his regiment ready for marching in two weeks.

Colonel KOLTES, of the Pennsylvania Legion, reported that he had two full companies, and seven others in process of completion.

Lieutenant-Col. CURRY of Col. MOREHEAD's regiment, said that three companies were ready to be mustered in this week. Five others were filling up.

Col. McLEAN stated that he had five fulll companies, and expected that they would be mustered in on Friday. The Colonel said that he was willing to employ his men in whatever capacity they could best serve the Government; and that if necessary, he would gladly amalgamate his regiment with any other, resign his position as Colonel and shoulder a musket.

Col. GOSLINE stated he could have four companies ready to march this week.

Col. LUJEANE reported his regiment as very nearly full.

After the reports of the Colonels had been delivered, the meeting resolved itself into a social reunion. The greatest of good feeling prevailed, and it was manifestly the determination of all to respond to the call of the Government, no matter at what sacrifice of individual interests or personal ambition.

We understand that Colonel BAKER, who is at present at the Continental Hotel, has succeeded in making a large addition to his Brigade from New York, and that last evening, he swore in several Surgeons for his Brigade, and that he has received the following regiments into his corps:--Colonel BAXTER'S Fire Zouaves, Colonel GOSLINE'S Pennsylvania Zouaves, and Colonel OWEN'S Regiment, all of which consider themselves independent of all other orders, General BAKER having plenary authority.

The Oregon Rifle Regiment, Col. WILLIAMSON, is now in active service. Any captain, with a company, will be equipped and sent to the seat of war by applying at the rendezvous of the above named regiment.

GEORGE P. ANDERSON is recruiting for the first regiment that marches, at Broad and Ridge avenue and at ROOP'S HOTEL, Germantown. AUGUSTUS B. WILSON is recruiting for BIRNEY'S Regiment at the Moyamensing Soup House, and at Eighth and Marriott streets.

From information which has been received, it appears that in the latter part of last week nearly one hundred deserters from the Seventy ninth New York Regiment reached this city, without attracting notice, and took steamboat for New York. They were closely pursued by the authorities. Thirty-seven of the men had been under arrest for mutiny, and escaped from Washington at night.

COL. OWEN, of the Twenty-fourth Regiment has issued a card, in which he says:--"I take great pleasure in announcing to the gallant men who have just returned with me, that the opportunity now presents itself for their re-enlistment, and speedy return to active duty. The enemy still threatens the capital. The best Government which has ever been constructed is still in jeopardy. Peace will not be restored again until it is conquered. Treason must be suppressed by the strong arm of military power. Once more to the field, then, my brave comrades, and vindicate your right to be free. Inspired by a noble patriotism, let us together resume our position in column, and march to the rescue of our priceless Constitution and blood-bought liberties.

Col. BIRNEY'S Regiment, encamped near the Church of St. James the Less, was visited on Sunday, notwithstanding the unpleasant weather, by upwards of two thousand persons. The camp comprises two hundred and sixty-three tents, containing five hundred men. A member of Co. I was drowned in the Schuylkill, while bathing.

Col. WM. H. YOUNG is meeting with success in the formation of his Brigade of Cavalry. There are now about seventeen troops, of ninety-five men each, in camp at Washington, and last night two more companies left the head-quarters, No. 715 Market street, to be attached to the brigade at Camp Park, Washington. A lot of horses were also sent off.

Capt. WM. H. STEWART is recruiting for a company for the "Cameron Light Guard," Col. GEO. P. McLEAN. One of the recruiting stations is at the Wire Bridge.

The Cincinnati Zouave Guard (Company D, Second Regiment, Ohio Volunteers) who were at one time quartered at Suffolk Park, have returned thanks to the citizens of Philadelphia "for many acts of kindness and hospitality during the journey to Washington." The card of thanks is signed by CHAS. MENDENHALL, L. V. HORTON, T. MURDOCK.

The Mounted Rifle Rangers Regiment, which is commanded by Colonel E. G. CHORMANN, is filling up rapidly. Two troops were mustered into service yesterday, and another will be mustered in this morning. The officers of those mustered in yesterday are:--

Third Troop, (Company C,) Captain PETER KEENAN. First Lieutenant, -- WICKERSHAM. Second Lieutenant, WM. A. MILLER.

Sixth Troop, (Company F,) Captain W. A. CORRIE. First Lieutenant, W. W. WISTAR. Second Lieutenant, ANDREW WELLS.

Captain KEENAN'S Troop will be the regimental color bearers.

We understand that the FIrst Pennsylvania Artillery, (Col. F. E. PATTERSON'S,) Seventeenth Regiment, is rapidly filling up, the companies to return to the seat of war under command of its former Major, WILLIAM A. LEECH, Esq. This gentlemen [sic] is a graduate of West Point. Colonel LEECH was a classmate and brother-in-law of the late lamented GREBLE, who fell at Big Bethel.

The Grey Reserves are ordered to parade on Thursday afternoon, in full fatigue uniform.

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revised 20 Nov 06
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