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History of Cambria County, V.2

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 317
ing Lieut. Ashcom, of Co. C. and Lieut. John B. Hay, of Co. A (from Johnstown), were all received while nobly leading and rallying their respective commands.
    Capt. Alexander Bobb, of Co. C. and Capt. George F. Baer (of Somerset), of Co. E. are deserving of especial notice for the cool, brave and intrepid manner in which they acted during the engagement.
    Lieuts. Frederick and Eby, of Co. G; Deach, of Co. I; Powell Stackhouse (of Johnstown), of Co. A; Flanagan (of Johnstown), of Co. F. and Hudson, of Co. D, all acted with much coolness and bravery during the action.
    The men throughout were courageous while under fire. Of those who came under my personal observation, deserving mention here, were Privates John Jones, Jr., J. Billow and E. C. Bendere; Corporal Finlon M. Witherow and Sergeant David C. Orris, of Co. G; Sergeants W. A. Zinn and G. S. Debray of Co. I; Sergeants Holbrook and Ross, of Co. E; Corporal Lewis, of Co. C. and Private Joseph Craig, of Co. H. Others, both officers and men may have borne themselves equally well; I speak only of those who came under my own observation.
    Cambria country was represented by 500 troops in the battle of Fredericksburg, 250 of whom were in the assaults made on Marye's Heights. The question of the distance from the stone wall to the position which the advanced line of our troops reached before they were repulsed has frequently been discussed, and many opinions have been given. The men who were there cannot agree, nor is it any wonder. Some believe 100 yards, which has been the closest estimate, while others place it at 150 yards. Gen. Hooker, who commanded the Center Grand Division in those assaults, testified before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, saying:
    “When the fire of the artillery ceased I gave directions for the enemy's works to be assaulted. Gen. Humphreys' men (the 133d Regiment) took off their knapsacks, overcoats and haversacks. They were directed to make the assault with empty muskets, for there was no time there to load and fire. When the word was given, the men moved forward with great impetuosity. They ran and hurrahed, and I was encouraged by the great good feeling that pervaded them. The head of Gen. Humphreys' column advanced to within, perhaps 15 to 20 yards of the stone wall, which was the advanced position which the rebels held, and then they were thrown back as quickly as they had advanced. Probably the whole of the advance and the retiring did not occupy fifteen minutes. They left behind, as was reported to me, 1,760 of their number, out of about 4,000.” * * * In reply to an inquiry as to “how the men behaved during the attack,” the general said: “They behaved well. There never


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Created: 24 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors