ice April 20, 1861, and left camp the same evening by rail for Baltimore, Maryland, but halted at Cockeysville, the bridge having been destroyed, encamping there until the 22nd, then returning to York, Pennsylvania, where they went into camp and were thoroughly drilled and disciplined. The commissary department not yet having been fully organized, the men would have suffered for lack of provisions had it not been for the generosity of the citizens of York in contributing supplies. The moved to Camp Chambers, May 27, three miles from Chambersburg, where it was later assigned to Wyncoop's Second Brigade, Keim's Second Division, of General Patterson's Army of the Shenandoah. This army was organized to operate against the rebel forces in the Shenandoah Valley, who were threatening the adjacent parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania. They moved by rail, June 7, to Hagerstown, Maryland, marched thence to Funkstown, and took up a position to operate against the enemy established at Harper's Ferry, under General J. E. Johnston. They moved to Williamsport, July 1, and on the following day participated in a skirmish at Falling Waters, forded the Potomac, and marched with the army into the country controlled by the enemy, who was driven back to Winchester, where he remained entrenched, Patterson's army arriving at Martinsburg, Virginia, July 3. The regiment was then detached from the brigade and ordered to Williamsport to guard the main depot of supplies and the approaches thereto, remaining on guard and garrison duty until July 26, when, its term of service having expired, it was ordered to Harrisburg, and there mustered out.
After bearing a faithful part in all the operations of his command, as above outlined, Joseph W. Matthews was honorably discharged with his company, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 30, 1861, by reason of expiration of term of enlistment. He re-enlisted and was mustered into the service at Harrisburg, September 5, 1861, to serve three years, or during the war, as a corporal of Captain John P. Suter's Company A, Fifty-fourth Regiment Infantry, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel J. M. Campbell commanding. He was honorably discharged at South Branch, Virginia, February 10, 1862, by reason of reenlisting on the same day to serve a second term of three years or during the war, as a veteran volunteer in the same company and regiment. The regiment rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, where it was organized and mustered into the service, and February 17, 1862, left camp for Washington, District of Columbia, encamped near Bladensburg cemetery, was armed with Belgian rifles, and thoroughly disciplined. It was ordered to Harper's Ferry, Virginia, March 29, 1862, reporting to Colonel D. S. Miles, and stationed for guard duty along fifty-six miles of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, between Cumberland, Maryland, and Martinsburg, Virginia, and for nearly a year was entrusted with the important duty of guarding this great