(based largely on excerpts from William Gilfillan Gavin's History of the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, The Roundhead Regiment, Morningside Books, 1989)
Pre -Civil War History
Prior to the attack on Fort Sumter, a portion of the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteers, the Slippery Rock Volunteers, a local militia, was already in training as described in The 1872 History/1873 Atlas of Lawrence County:
The uniform of the "Slippery Rock Volunteers" was a yellow linen hunting shirt, trimmed with red fringe; red leggings, a citizen's hat with a white plume. Each man furnished his own uniform and his own rifle, with which weapon the men were armed. William Stoughton was probably the first captain of this company, and Samuel Riddle also held the position for a time. After their name was changed to the "Washington Guards", they also changed their uniform to blue pants and coat, red sash, and cloth cap with a white plume. They had four gatherings annually: drill May 4th, review, May 12, and drill July 4th and September 10th. This company contained about one hundred men, and entered the service in 1861 with nearly that strength. And under the following officers, viz: Captain, Samuel Bentley; First Lieutenant, Andrew Nelson; Second Lieutenant, Norman Maxwell. They joined the One Hundredth or "Roundhead" regiment, and were mustered into the service as Company E of that body, and before the close of the war saw much severe service.
Other militias were also in service at this time that would become companies within the Roundhead Regiment, including "The Washington Guards", Col. Daniel Leasure's pre-Civil War Militia.
History of Civil War Service
The following history of the Roundheads is briefly described and primarily draws upon excerpts from William Gilfillan Gavin's book, "Campaigning with the Roundheads, The History of the Hundredth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War 1861-1865.", Morningside Press, 1989 (Currently OUT OF PRINT and OUT OF STOCK, check e-Bay and booksellers for after market copies) The summary and description of specific battles and campaigns draw on Gavin's fine history. Other primary sources include National Archive records, the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle Barracks, PA; the 1872 Lawrence County History/1873 Lawrence County Atlas, and other miscellaneous sources of information that will be mentioned at the time of reference.
1861 - The Civil War Begins, Formation of the Roundheads
Daniel Leasure, a physician from New Castle, Lawrence County is credited with organizing and commanding the "Roundheads" after seeing an advertisement in a Pittsburgh newspaper dated April 15, 1861. Fort Sumter had been attacked on April 12, 1861 and President Lincoln was calling for 75,000 troops to be assembled from the state's militias. The following is a discussion on how the name "Roundheads" came to be.
In early August 1861, Captain Leasure visited Secretary of War Cameron in Washington with a request to organize an independent United States Regiment. Cameron asked him if he would be able to form a regiment of men as good as those he heard had been guarding the railroad north of Baltimore.
Leasure replied that the the men he would bring into the service would be "of no other brand", and that they would be of Scotch-Irish stock, which predominated the Lawrence County area at that time. General Winfield Scott, who was at the meeting, suggested that the regiment be called the "Roundheads" as a special compliment to Cameron, who was also of Scotch-Irish ancestry.
Western Pennsylvania, particularly Mercer and Lawrence counties, had been settled by predominantly Scotch-Irish immigrants, primarily of Presbyterian faith. These were largely descendants of the supporters of the Scottish National Covenant of 1638. They also apparently felt some allegiance to Cromwell and his followers, the Roundheads, so named by the Cavaliers during the English Civil War of 1660. The degree of allegiance of the" Covenanters" to Cromwell is unknown, and also is somewhat suspect. Nevertheless, General Scott suggested the name, Cameron was pleased with it, and Captain Leasure received the personal authority from the Secretary of War to raise the regiment which would bear the name "Roundhead Regiment". With this authority in his pocket, Captain Leasure, soon to be Colonel Leasure, left for Lawrence County to organize the Roundheads. It was August 6, 1861, and the new Colonel wasted no time in recruiting and creating his organization.
The official mustering began August 29, 1861 in Harrisburg, PA. After initial drill and encampment at Kalorama Heights in Washington D.C. in September of 1861, the Roundheads shipped off for Annapolis, MD by train on October 10, 1861. After arriving in Annapolis on October 12, they readied for transport to Port Royal Island, SC and left October 19th aboard the steamer "Ocean Queen".
1862 Southern Coast Operations
Their mission was to assist in a strategic blow to the Confederate supply ports on the southern coast line, specifically to attack and occupy Port Royal Sound. The mission was led by Brigadier General Thomas W. Sherman. The Roundheads played a significant role in taking Hilton Head. They spent the remainder of Fall 1861 and Winter 1862 in South Carolina for fortification purposes.
The Roundheads first taste of battle came on June 3, 1862 in a skirmish at the Legare Plantation on James Island, South Carolina as part of a series of attacks on Charleston defenses. The Roundheads first major battle action was on June 16, 1862 on James Island where they attacked a confederate battery (Battery Lamar) that was a threat to Union-secured fortifications on the coast. It is here where the Roundheads made a frontal assault on the heavily fortified Battery Lamar known as the Battle of Secessionville. The assault was suicidal in strategy according to the Brigade Commander, Colonel Leasure, but was ordered by higher command. Battery Lamar was situated on a hill on a peninsula-like piece of land between swamps. Attempts at flanking the battery were thwarted because of difficult mobility through the swamp. The Roundheads had no choice but to make a frontal attack. The battle took it's toll on the Roundheads with 13 killed and mortally wounded.
This battle essentially ended the Roundheads service on the south coast and they were off to Virginia in July of 1862. On July 29, 1862 the Roundheads received their first state colors finished by the Horstmann Brothers. It was officially presented to the Roundheads by Brigadier General Isaac. Stevens.
Battle of Second Manassas or Second Bull Run
Their next major Battle was Second Manassas or 2nd Battle of Bull Run on August 29, 1862. Though this battle was another confederate rout over the Union army, the Roundheads fought bravely. Leasure's brigade which consisted of the 100th Pennsylvania and 46th New York regiments attacked the Confederate defense line on the unfinished railroad. Following this battle the Roundheads were hobbled with 27 members of the regiment killed and mortally wounded. 117 others were wounded. Only in the Battle of Spotsylvania, later in the war did the Roundheads sustain more casualties. The attack made by General Phil Kearny never had a chance of success. It, like many of the federal assaults that afternoon, was made against a strong enemy position and was completely uncoordinated and unsupported. This marked the second time the Roundheads were defeated in a frontal assault. On both occassions, Secessionville and Manassas, only about half of the regiment participated in the attacks.
The Battle of Chantilly
The Roundheads fought another major battle in the area immediately after 2nd Manassas with the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862. Another seven Roundheads died that day but the Confederates were foiled in a flanking march against Pope's retreating forces. The Roundheads, with General Steven's men, rebuffed Lee and Jackson's efforts to deal the Federal Army a severe blow. Although the Northerners abandoned the field early the next day, their efforts had been successful in stopping the enemy move. By September 3, 1862, the Federal Army of Virginia and the veteran Army of the Potomac had withdrawn in the defenses of Washington, marking the end of Pope's Virginia Campaign. The Roundheads next action was in Maryland when the two great armies clashed in the Battles South Mountain and Antietam September 14, and 17, 1862, only two weeks after their brutal affair at 2nd Manassas and Chantilly.
Battle of South Mountain and Antietam
The Battle of South Mountain was a victory for Orlando Willcox's men. Welsh's Brigade, with the Roundheads, attacked a strong Confederate line at Fox's Gap and were successful in driving the enemy from the field. The assault was made over difficult terrain, requiring an advance over steep uphill country. With the seizure of the South Mountain passes, the Confederates were forced to retreat and concentrate at Sharpsburg. Here Lee was in a poor position and might have been dealt a mortal blow by a determined Union commander rather than George McClellan.
The Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 proved to be the single-most bloodiest day in the Civil War. The Roundheads were assigned as skirmishers for Welsh's Brigade, and succeeded in driving the Confederates before them into the outskirts of the village of Sharpsburg. The arrival of A.P. Hill's Confederates forced the withdrawal of the entire Ninth Corps back to the Antietam. It was a close call for Lee, for a further advance by the Ninth Corps into Sharpsburg would have put the Army of Northern Virginia in a serious predicament, endangering it's line of retreat to the Potomac. Because the 100th Pennsylvania regiment was assigned as skirmishers rather than as part of an assaulting brigade, it was fortunately not as severe a battle for them compared to other regiments. Only two men were killed or mortally wounded in this battle.
Forty-two years after the battle though, on September 17, 1904, the little village of Sharpsburg was filled with Pennsylvanians in a dedication ceremony for monuments erected of the 13 Pennsylvania regiments that fought on that battlefield that day. The statue of the Roundheads is called "Challenge", and shows the private soldier shortly after a severe engagement, assigned to picket duty, while his comrades try to secure the much needed rest. In the cool of the night, he hasthrown his cap to the ground and hearing footsteps (whether friend or foe he knows not) he stands at "ready" and challenges those approaching-a moment of tense anxiety met with the courage of the young American volunteer. The statue is bronze and was molded by artist W. Clark Noble. The statue is impressive, 17 feet 4 inches tall and lays in the path where the Roundheads, acting as brigade skirmishers advanced upon Sharpsburg during the afternoon of September 17, 1862. It is the only known monument dedicated solely to the Roundheads and lists the 24 battles and engagements in which the regiment was engaged.
The Battle of Fredericksburg
The Roundheads got much needed rest the Fall of 1862 but were in action again at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. Here they were fighting for the 9th Army Corps under the new commander of the Army of the Potomac, General Ambrose Burnside. Though they occupied a position in the center of the battlefield, they were not involved with the heavy fighting on December 13th. However, if Burnside's poorly planned attack on December 14th had been made, there is little doubt that the regiment would have received a costly setback in it's attack against the Confederate line at the base of Marye's Heights. The Roundheads were in position, that early morning of December 14th, ready to move. Fortunately, the assault was never ordered.
The Siege on Vicksburg
From April through June of 1863, the Roundheads were on maneuvers through Kentucky. Though they didn't know it at the time they were inching their way toward Mississippi where they were to be a part of the Siege of Vicksburg. Though they were not participants in the great battle of Gettysburg, their involvement in Vicksburg contributed toward a larger strategic victory for the Union army and, coupled with Gettysburg, marked a turning point in the war. The Roundheads and the rest of the 9th Army Corps were positioned north and east of the town in a strongly fortified position awaiting General Joseph E. Johnston's relief attack from the east. Because of their presence, Johnston was unable to advance beyond Big Black River thus insuring Vicksburg's capture.
The remainder of 1863 the Roundheads and the 9th Army Corps were securing other parts of Mississippi and Tennessee for the Union Army which was tightening the vise on the Confederate army's southern operations.
Into the Wilderness - The Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, May 1864
In April of 1864 the regiment spent time around Annapolis, MD. Toward the end of April the Roundheads would be marching toward the first of a series of battles in Grant's Virginia campaign of 1864, the Battle of the Wilderness. For the Roundheads as a regiment, the battle at Spottsylvania Courthouse on May 12, 1864 was the most costly with 44 men killed or mortally wounded. Gavin writes, "The attack by the 100th at Spottsylvania on May 12 was the bloodiest rebuff it ever suffered. The regiment assaulted a strong enemy position, well entrenched and covered in front with heavy slashing, making the Confederate line nearly impenetrable. Although halted, it refused to retreat from the position gained just 50 yards in front of the enemy trenches, until ordered to do so. This isolated attack, made with inadequate force and not properly supported by either flank, was doomed to failure. Enemy fire was received from right and left as well from directly in front. Nothing was gained in this futile effort. It was extremely costly in officers and men and because of it Leasure's Brigade lost it's competent commander".
In the Roundheads next major battle, Cold Harbor on June 2, 1864, they were furiously assailed during their withdrawal movement on the Shady Grove Road. Under these circumstances a less experienced brigade might have panicked and fled to the rear. The Roundheads, along with their comrades the 21st Massachusetts and 3rd Maryland, turned and fought off their aggressive attackers and eventually withdrew in safety to the assigned positions. In this engagement, the Roundheads once again suffered heavy casualties. This battle marked the end of Grant's Rapidan campaign. The next battles occurred in and around Petersburg in June and July of 1864.
Tragedy at the Petersburg Crater, July 30, 1864
The Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864 was a failure in the Union command's management of the events following the explosion of the mine under the confederate lines. The Roundheads were heavily involved in the attack which resulted in heavy losses. In Gavin's book he discusses an excerpt from an article, "The Mine Explosion", written by Lt. John W. Morrison, Company E that gives an eery glimpse of a feeling that the officers in the Roundheads were uncomfortable with the impending attack on the Crater. "In the bombproof of Company E, there assembled that night (July 29), Captain Oliver and Lieutenant Hammond of Company B, Lieutenant Montgomery of Company K, Captain Maxwell and Lieutenant Morrison of Company E. The nature of the movement was conjectured and for some minutes freely discussed; then a silence, tense in the extreme broken occasionally by the bursting of a shell prevailed. This was finally broken by one of the group saying he had a presentiment that he would be hit on the morrow, that he had thus far escaped without a serious hurt but felt in mind and body, he would no longer be immune from injury. This led to a personal interchange of thought on the subject ofpresentiments, each in turn giving his views thereon, coupled with a belief as to his chances in the battle. This belief was to be fulfilled or mercifully shattered ere the close of another day. The result justified the majority of the group in its belief of the subject they had discussed. Of their number, Captain Oliver was killed, Captain Maxwell was slightly wounded. Lieutenants Montgomery and Morrison were the last officers of our Regiment to leave the crater, reaching our lines without serious injury - the latter being struck by a spent musket ball in the leg, within a few feet of our trenches."
This article paints a clear picture of the Roundheads maneuvers in this battle. It is apparent that they were heavily engaged in and around the Crater. Confusion reigned and the regiment was apparently separated into two sections. They were in the thick of the fight from start to finish. Many of the wounded were taken prisoner by the Confederates.
Private Hamilton Dunlap penned this in his diary on August 1, 1864, two days after the battle. "Our Regiment (the Roundheads) lost 66 killed, wounded and prisoners. Company K lost seven. Lieut. Richard Craven was killed, Corporal T. Kelty was wounded and died. W. Johnson was wounded seriously in the arm and side. And Gilfillan was wounded slighlty in the face - that is all of Company K. George Leasure was wounded and taken prisoner. Captain Oliver of Company B was killed. Captain Maxwell was wounded in the foot. That is all I know at present."
The Union Retaking of Fort Stedman, March 25, 1865
Petersburg was virtually surrounded by Union Troops. General Lee saw Fort Stedman as a weak link on the Union front lines to the east of Petersburg and had his General John B. Gordon attack the Fort as a last gasp attempt to loosen the noose around Petersburg. U.S. Grant's troops around Petersburg were soon to join Sherman's troops which had just finished a march of devastation across Georgia. General Joe Johnston was on the retreat from Sherman's march and Lee saw an attack on a weak point of the line as not only an escape route from Grant's noose but also as a way to join up with Johnston's forces and repulse Sherman before Grant could react. Gordon was ordered to organize a select group of Confederates and make a daring nighttime attack (rare during the war) on the Fort scheduled for March 25, 1865.
These excerpts from Gavin's book give a good description of Fort Stedman and the ensuing battles: Fort Stedman was situated on Hare's Hill, two miles from the middle of Petersburg. At this point where the Union entrenchments crossed the Prince George Courthouse Road. Originally Fort Stedman had been part of the Southern defense line captured June 16, by the Second Corps. The fort was named for a Union colonel, Griffin A. Stedman, of Connecticut, who was mortally wounded on August 5, 1864, in heavy fighting here.
Fort Stedman occupied the main eminence on a ridge just west of Harrison's Creek. On it's immediate left was Battery XI, a small redoubt for two artillery pieces. An entrenched line to the left connected it with Battery XII, a square redoubt mounting four Coehorn mortars. On the left of Battery XII on high ground approximately 650 yards from Fort Stedman was Fort Haskell, one of the prime strong points on this sector of the Federal line.
Fort Haskell had six guns plus a number of mortars emplaced within it's walls. Between the opposing lines lay Poor's Creek which had been partially dammed, thus creating a pond in front of Battery XI.
Fort Stedman was projected as a salient toward the enemy lines. It was a comparatively small work without bastions, covering about three-fourths of an acre of ground. In the fort and around it, in rear, was a grove of large shade trees which had not been cut away. Because the fort had not been well constructed, it had been weakened by frosts and storms and the parapets were somewhat lowered by settling during the past six months. Its proximity to the enemy prevented even the slightest attempt at repairs except at night. Any effort at serious maintenance work during daylight hours had proven futile because of the intense enemy fire. Surrounding the fort was a small infantry trench. The front of the work was obstructed by abatis and other minor obstacles. To the right of Stedman was Battery X with four guns. It was close enough to be considered a part of Fort Stedman. About 900 yards to the north was Battery 9. The Confederate line was only 200 yards to the west at Colquitt's Salient. The opposing pickets at one point were only 205 feet apart. One Confederate wrote, " the lines are so close that you can almost see the whites of the Yankees eyes.
The Roundheads were part of the IX Army Corps under Orlando B. Wilcox. They were part of the first division, and held the line around Fort Haskell. When the battle ensued, the Confederates overwhelmed Fort Stedman and surrounding batteries. Fort Haskell became the focal point of battle after Stedman was taken but the Roundheads and other regiments in the 3rd Division held. Colonel Joseph Pentecost who was in command of the Roundheads at the beginning of the battle was mortally wounded in Fort Haskell and Major Maxwell took over command as there were no other senior officers left.
The following report (no. 152) made by Major Maxwell on March 27, 1865 from the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion summarizes the retaking of Fort Stedman:
Hdqrs. ONE HUNDREDTH PENNSYLVANIA VET. VOLS., March 27, 1865
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment on the 25th instant:
Immediately upon ascertaining that the enemy were in possession of Fort Stedman, Colonel Pentecost ordered a skirmish line to be thrown from the mortar battery immediately [on] our right (Battery 11) across the field to our (then) right. This line, supported by one company, succeeded for a few minutes in stopping the enemy's advance, but being pressed by a heavy line of battle were compelled to retire. Perceiving that it was useless to attempt to hold our line of works, three companies were ordered to occupy a part of the old works immediately in our rear, and the remainder of the regiment directed to rally in Fort Haskell. While superintending the movement to Fort Haskell Colonel Pentecost was mortally wounded. When the rebels occupied our camp, the part of the regiment in the fort and the detached companies opened fire upon them, and, in common with the other troops, succeeded in driving them out. The line was almost immediately reoccupied, and with the men at my command I pressed on to Fort Stedman.
Color Sergt. Charles Oliver planted his colors on Fort Stedman while it was still occupied by a portion of the enemy. The following is a list of colors captured, with the names of their captors: Colors Fifth Virginia Infantry, captured by Capt. John L. Johnson, Company D; Colors First Virginia Infantry, captured by Private Joseph B. Chambers, Company F; Colors thirty-first Georgia Infantry, captured by Color-Sergt. Charles Oliver, Company M; rebel staff and part of color and national camp color staff, captured by Corpl. M.D. Dewire, Company A.
A large number of prisoners were captured by the regiment, but I have no means of knowing how many. All of the officers and men who came under my notice behaved so well that I cannot mention particular instances of bravery.
Full details of casualties have already been forwarded.
Very Respectfully, your obedient servant, N. J. Maxwell, Major, Commanding Regiment Captain CLARKE, Acting Assistant Adjutant General
Private J.B. Chambers and Color Sergt. Charles Oliver were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor for their accomplishment. Gavin states in his book that Norman Maxwell was certainly deserving of the medal for the way he organized and lead the retaking of Fort Stedman. Gavin points out that the history books portrayal on the battle are biased in giving most of the credit for the retaking of the fort to Brigadier General John A. Hartranft who commanded the third division. Though Hartranft's men (the entire 3rd Division) did capture three Confederate colors, seven rebel flags were captured by Willcox's men. The Roundheads alone captured four of these. General Orlando Wilcox in his March 29, 1865 General Orders No. 8, mentions the following, ".....To some of your number, officers and men of the Third Maryland and One hundredth Pennsylvania, seems to be justly due the praise of being the first to reenter the captured fort. The flag of the One hundredth Pennsylvania (carried by Charles Oliver) was the first planted on the ramparts (emphasis added).
In Willcox's official report written on April 2nd he says:
"Major Maxwell, One Hundredth Pennsylvania, with the skirmishers of the regiment, under Captains Johnson and Book, and those of the Third Maryland, under Captain Carter, immediately started along the trenches toward Stedman, capturing a large number of prisoners in the bomb-proofs from Battery 12 to Battery 10.
"The first Union colors planted on the recaptured fort were planted there by Sergeant Oliver, One Hundredth Pennsylvania, who captured a stand of rebel colors, at the same point and at the same time with his own hands.
Gavin further discusses that after the last enemy charge was repulsed against Fort Haskell, Major Maxwell concluded it was time to advance after them along the Federal line leading to Fort Stedman. The Major [George M. Randall] of the 14th N.Y. Heavy Artillery, who had become separated from his command, made the remark that he "would go along with Maxwell and his men."
Captain Carter, 3rd Maryland wrote:
"We sent some men to stop the firing, but becoming impatient at the delay, we concluded to advance through the fire, which fortunately did not hit a man. They failed to hit the enemy first as there were few dead and wounded rebels anywhere, except in the camp of the 100th where the only hard fighting took place, and of which, I believe, Captain Book killed at least half a dozen. "Soon after the advance of the 100th Pa., Major Maxwell leading and the 3rd Maryland accompanying... ended with the placing of the colours of the 100th Pa. Upon Fort Stedman, that Regiment moved along the works while the 3rd Maryland passed along toward the gate of the Fort. "Just as were about to enter, I looked to the left and saw Major Maxwell and the colour bearer (Sergeant Charles Oliver) mounting the parapet of the Fort. Not to be left behind, I ran past several of the rebel officers, who ordered me to surrender and mounting a heavy bomb proof, demanded the surrender of the Fort, at the same time pointing to the colours of the 100th Pa, and the men who were crowding over the works. The rebels in great numbers through up their hands, only a few sought to regain their lines. "The 100th took prisoners of all that remained and captured several stands of colours. This ended the Fort Stedman affair with the Roundheads in possession, and although they did not have a Cromwell to lead them, they had an Oliver' carrying their flag to victory." Captain Carter added that it was fully one half hour after these events before General Hartranft was seen coming up the road to Fort Stedman. He goes on to say that Hartranft was not competent to judge which regiment first entered the fort, because he was not there at that time.
Here is Charles Oliver's account of the recapture of the fort:
".... about this time Major Maxwell came to me and said he was going to recapture Fort Stedman. I laughed at the idea, but told him to go ahead, if he could risk it, I could. I was in the lead with my colors, and I believe was the first blue coat in the Fort. Captain Book was next, and I think will stand by me in this as he stood by my flag all through the fight. "I captured two rebel Colonels, both of Georgia Regiments and two stands of colors. The officers were taken care of by Captain Book and the colors I turned over to General Willcox, for which I received a medal (Congressional Medal of Honor) and a Brevet Captain's commission from the War Department.
James P. Sankey, Company K wrote, " When Charlie Oliver went up to one of the color bearers (rebel) he told him he would relieve him of the flag. The color bearer said, I guess not'. Charlie, who had a gun in his hand at the time said, "The hell you won't!" and coolly picked up the flag."
Gavin closes by saying ... "Fort Stedman was a decisive Confederate defeat. It also was the last battle of the war for the Roundheads. Despite their rather heavy casualties, they had won a substantial victory and closed out their combat record in an excellent manner. Two Congressional Medals of Honor were won, and there should have been at least two or three more, especially for others who captured flags. Major Norman Maxwell was certainly deserving. He had, on his own initiative, organized and led the move to recapture Fort Stedman. He braved mounting the parapet with Sergeant Charlie Oliver.
"Major Maxwell, now in command of the Roundheads, could have justifiably elected to remain in the sector assigned the 100th Pennsylvania after the Confederates withdrew to Fort Stedman. Maxwell did not receive a Medal of Honor, but he did receive a well deserved promotion to colonel which was later followed by advancement to the rank of Brevet Brigadier General. He would return home to Pennsylvania as a general!"
Though minor compared to the Battle of Fort Stedman, the Roundheads would see their final action on March 29th, 1965 at night. A confederate artillery barrage was made on the Union Line but no actual infantry attack was ever made by the Confederates. In Gavin's book, he describes Private Silas Stevenson's account of the event, ".... At 10:30 pm, musketry opened from Stedman and all along theline, caused by an alarm. Fort Morton opened in all directions. Companies B and G were immediately sent into Fort Haskell and Company K was ordered by Colonel Maxwell to cover B's front. The firing continued until 2 am on the 30th."
Major Maxwell filed this report (No. 166) on April 9, 1965 as recorded in the Official Records:
Hdqtrs, 100th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, April 9, 1865
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of this command from the 29th ultimo to 9th instant:
Immediately on the opening of the action of the 29th ultimo, two companies, B and G, were sent into Fort Haskell, as per orders from brigade headquarters. On the 1st instant a detail from the regiment was ordered to report to Captain Carter for the purpose of charging the works of the enemy on Cemetery Hill. Four companies, A, F, D, and H, under command of Capt. Charles Wilson, were held in readiness to support the assault of Captain Carter. The regiment was engaged in no other active operations.
Full details of casualties, captures of colors, &c., have already been sent you. N.J. Maxwell, Major, Commanding 100th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Captain CLARKE, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
The End of the War
As Gavin mentions, It was about midnight on April 2, 1865 when Southern deserters came into the picket lines of the Roundheads and the 3rd Brigade and reported the Confederate evacuation of Petersburg. The last Confederates hiding in the deserted homes of the wealthy came out and surrendered and the celebration began. On April 3rd, the Roundheads received marching orders and trekked through Petersburg, over Appomattox River, and north along the Richmond Stage and Chesterfield Roads. The brigade halted at Violet Bank, an old Virginia Plantation house, which had long been occupied by General Lee. There were two pianos in the house, and they were put to good use by happy soldiers who conducted several impromtu concerts for the enjoyment of all. Brigade headquarters were established at the Manor House. During the brief stay, details were sent out to roundup any remaining Confederate stragglers in the woods and other hiding places nearby. The Roundheads were along the Southside Railroad at Wilson's Station on the day of the surrender, April 9, 1865, but did not learn of the surrender until April 10, by a dispatch from Grant's headquarters. Following Lincoln's assassination on April 14, the Roundheads and the rest of the 9th Corps were sent to Washington to insure peace and tranquility in the Capitol.
The final big event during active duty for the Roundhead regiment was the Grand Review in Washington on May 23, 1865. The Roundheads, 468 strong, participated with the Ninth Corps and was in line of march with their First Division, near the front of the Ninth Corps in the parade. General Napoleon McLaughlen led the brigade, and Colonel Norman J. Maxwell marched at the head of the regiment. On July 5, 1865, the Roundheads were ordered to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where they remained in camp during the mustering our process. The regiment was finally mustered out on July 24, 1865 and the men immediately departed for western Pennsylvania and home!
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