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91st PA--origins of the regiment

The 91st PA in Washington DC

Dates The 91st arrived in Washington on 21 January 1862. They were transferred to Alexandria on 27 April 1862. They were transferred to the Army of the Potomac on 21 August 1862.

Duties in Washington While the 91st was in Washington, they guarded bridges and prisons, including the Old Capital Prison and Central Guard House.
Duty at Alexandria The 91st had provost duty in Alexandria, where Colonel Gregory was Military Governor and Joseph Sinex was Provost Marshal. Some men found the temptations irresistable; one apparently kept a "house of ill repute" there.

Jesse Wharton One prisoner in the Old Capitol Prison was Jesse Wharton, a boyhood friend of John Wilkes Booth. He had been arrested for trying to bribe a soldier to carry a message across the Potomac river, where Stonewall Jackson was attacking a dam that fed the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Wharton violated a rule against standing by windows, intended to stop prisoners from communicating with people passing by. After warning him, a sentry shot him.

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revised 16 Feb 05
contact Harry Ide at [email protected] with comments or questions