|Birth: ||Nov. 7, 1834|
|Death: ||Jan. 4, 1874|
William was the second child born to George McLachlan, a shoemaker, and Margaret Ware. William's parents were married in 1831. William's siblings were Isabella, born about 1832, Isaac, born about 1836, Maria Jane, born about 1841, Lewis T., born about 1843 and George Howard, born about 1852.
His widow's application for his military pension lists William McLachlan's birth as November 7, 1834 in Philadelphia (1). However, William was probably born in Lower Chichester – Marcus Hook area of Delaware County. The family was here at least until 1840. By 1850, the family had moved to Kennett Square, Chester County.
About 1854, George and his family (wife Margaret, children William, Isaac, Maria, George) moved to Philadelphia where they settled on Jefferson Street above Apple. By 1860 this address was known as 424 Jefferson St. above Lawrence Street.
William's brother Lewis remained in Chester County and was close to Isaac Walker. By 1860, Isaac Walker was a Master Painter with Lewis as an Apprentice Painter.
William boyhood friend was William H. Lower. In 1906, while William's wife Angeline was applying for a widow's military pension, the following affidavit was submitted by William H. Lower, of the City of Philadelphia, "he is 65 years of age and that he knew the late William McLachlan since about 1850, both were boys together (1). William H. Lower married William's sister Maria.
On July 2, 1857, George's father died at the age of 46 of consumption of lungs. And about this time, Isaac got married but stayed in Philadelphia. George's widow continued to live on Jefferson Street with children William and George.
With the father dead, William's name started to be listed as the male head-of-the-house. He appears in the 1860 City Directory as William McLaughlin, shoemaker, 424 Jefferson. The information in the City Directories was usually gathered by the publisher the fall of the previous year.
The Philadelphia Public Ledger newspaper lists the marriage of Angeline C. Leister and William McLachlin, "both of this city", by a Rev. Maddox on June 7, 1860 (3).
From his widow Angeline's 1906 pension application affidavit: "The clergyman who married us was the Rev. J. B. Maddux now also deceased who was pastor of the Hancock Street Methodist Church, Hancock St. above Girard Avenue. We were married June 7, 1860 (1)."
Sometime in 1860, William and his wife and mother moved around the corner to 1513 Lawrence Street. The 1861 City Directory shows that both William and his new wife were living in the same household after he got married. Information for the 1861 Directory was gathered by the publisher during the Fall of 1860:
Wm. McGlaughlin cordw. 1513 Lawrence
Margaret McGlaughlin, wid Geo. 1513 Lawrence
On May 29, 1861 William and Angeline's first child, Mary Ann, was born. Philadelphia Birth Registration lists address at the time of birth as "Apple ab Jefferson" which matches the 1513 N. Lawrence Street address.
CIVIL WAR SERVICE:
William served as a Private and Corporal in E Company, 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Remarks: captured at Shepherdstown, West Va. 9-20-1862. "paroled" at Winchester, Va. Courthouse on 9-29-1862; released to Union forces at Harper's Ferry, Va.
Mustered out with company 6-1-1865 at Washington D.C.
His re-married widow, Angeline C. Moyer, filed for his pension on 9-27-1916, no. 857371
TIMELINE OF 118th REGIMENT OPERATIONS AND ENGAGEMENTS:
Mostly based on Bate's History of the PA Volunteers, Philadelphia Inquirer and History of the 118th Regiment by J. L. Smith:
7-24-1862 (6): Philadelphia Corn Exchange Association meeting; adopted to raise an infantry regiment and its equipment. To accomplish this result, the Corn Exchange (located at NE corner 2nd & Chestnut Sts.) offered the inducement of a liberal bounty, and provided each recruit with articles of comfort not usually furnished by the government. Many of the officers had previously seen service in earlier commands (6).
7-30-1862: Recruiting offices opened & Camp Union at Indian Queen lane; near the Falls of Schuylkill. The following bounty incentives were offered by different companies of the 118th Regiment; One months pay in advance, $160 bounty.
In 1866 William McLachlan applied for the $100 government bounty that he never received. Distribution of the government bounty was left up to the soldier's company. Company A, for example, had the following distribution: $2 when recruits mustered in; $10 when sent to camp; $25 when the company was complete; $25 when the regiment formed; $13, one month's pay in advance, and $25 one-fourth of Government bounty of $100 at a later undertermined time (Public Ledger advertisement, Aug. 3, 1862, pg. 2, col.4). Most of the regiments and companies advertised $160 Bounty. Of this was the $100 government bounty. The Corn Exchange "Extra Premium," or Bounty, was $10 (Bates', pg. 1862). Thus, the City Bounty was probably $50. William McLachlan's Company Muster-in Roll dated August 7, 1862 documents that he was paid $25 Bounty. His Company Muster-Out Roll dated June 1, 1865 again stated he was paid $25 bounty and noted that he was due $75 bounty. The muster rolls do not document whether or not he received the regiment or city bounties.
8-7-1862: Twenty-seven-year old shoemaker, William McLachlan, enlisted for three years service into E Company, 118th Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Corps. The unit was raised by the Philadelphia Corn Exchange located at the SE corner, 2nd and Chestnut Sts. Thus, the unit was known as the "Corn Exchange Regiment."
Recruitment for Captain Passmore's E Company was at the Girard House (Hotel and Bar). The Girard House was located at the northeast corner of 9th & Chestnut Sts. and was described in its day as elegant. It accommodated about one thousand guests and occupied the site of the Fisher and Leaming mansions. It was built by Messrs. George W. and J. G. Edwards in 1851 and opened the following year. The architect was John McArthur, Jr. who designed the Continental Hotel located directly opposite the Girard House at the southeast corner of 9th & Chestnut Sts.
The Girard House's numerical address was 823 to 835 Chestnut St. (22).
At time of enlistment William was described as 6' 1" in height with black eyes and black hair and a dark complexion. From his widow Angeline's 1906 pension application affidavit: "I know of no officer living under whom my husband served during the war and the companion who enlisted with him a Mr. Mann is also dead." Bate's History of Volunteers lists a Paschall B. Mann who enlisted on the same day in the same company as William McLachlan did. Bates lists him as "Not Accounted For." However, the 1892 edition of Antietam to Appomattox published by J. L. Smith and written largely upon accounts of his comrades, states that Private Mann was "Discharged for disability April 27, 1863, at Camp Convalescent, Va."
William's wife Angeline had a 14-month old girl and was three-and-a-half months pregnant with the couple's second child. She went to live with her parents at 1208 N. 8th St. for the duration of the war. Angeline's mother was the owner of the house described as, "all that certain lot or piece of ground on the wide of 8th St. 356' south of Thompson Street. Front on 8th Street 17', and depth 94' north(?) Clinton St." A 1996 check reveals this block has been redeveloped. The houses are gone and Girard Medical Center, a continuous care hospital, is located there today. This address is less than a block away from 1227 Darien St.
Probably at this time, William's mother left 1513 N. Lawrence St. and moved in her son Lewis at 320 Diamond St
8-15-1862: Private William McLachlan present for first muster-in roll.
8-15-62: "The "Corn Exchange Regiment," though recently organized, may be considered full." – Phila. Inquirer, August 15, 1862, page 8.
"Enfield rifles have now been received by the Corn Exchange Regiment" – Phila. Inquirer, Aug. 27, 1862, page 8.
"At the usual dress parade of the Corn Exchange Regiment, last evening, Rev. John Walker Jackson presented each member of the regiment, on behalf of the members of the Corn Exchange, a Bible, a hymn book and a blanket, which were received for the soldiers by Rev. Chas. E. Hill, Chaplain of the regiment. – Phila. Inquirer, Aug. 30, 1862, pg. 8.
A Signal Corps – During the past week Mr. James Swain and Horace Binney, Jr., Esq., have been engaged in instructing some of the members of the Corn Exchange Regiment in a new mode of telegraphing signaling. Long messages have been sent great distances with the greatest accuracy and rapidity. – Phila. Inquirer, Sept. 1, 1862, pg. 8.
8-30-1862: Companies mustered into U.S. service and following chain of command formed:
Colonel Charles M. Provost
Lt. Colonel James Gwyn
Major Charles P. Herring
8-31-1862: Orders received to report to Gen. Wool, commander at Baltimore. Then to proceed to D.C.
...Encamping first at Fort Albany and then Fort Corcoran...
"The Corn Exchange Regiment, One-hundred-and-eighteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Col. Charles M. Prevost, left for Washington, last night, between 12 and 1 o'clock." – Phila. Inquirer, Sept. 1, 1862, pg. 8.
"The Corn Exchange Regiment, COLONEL PREVOST, broke camp on Sunday night, at one o'clock. The greater portion of the regiment (which is entirely full) left the same night, including all the staff officers, with the exception of the Lieutenant Colonel, who followed last evening with the balance of the organization, numbering three or four companies. These companies made a street parade accompanied by BECK's band, before leaving, and proceeded to the Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, where they were entertained." – Phila. Inquirer, Sept. 2, 1862, pg. 8
9-1-1862: Regiment left Philadelphia (6). "Difficulties Among the Soldiers – Owing to some misunderstanding, many of the men belonging to the Philadelphia Regiments, who were to leave yesterday, had not received their bounty up to the time of their arrival at Washington street wharf on their way South… We understand that but little trouble occurred in the Corn Exchange Regiment, most of the men having received their bounty."- Phila. Inquirer Sept. 2, 1862, pg. 8.
Several companies of the Corn Exchange Regiment, preceded by a full band, at this time passed down Chestnut street. The effect was similar to that of a huge ball rolling through white sheets of snow. The marching regiment gathering up the fragments and pieces of the crowd through which it passed.
9-2-1862: Regiment reached Washington D.C. and attached to the 5th Bgde, 1st Div., 5th Corps (6).
9-12-1862: Assigned to 1st Brigade, First Division of the 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac and marched to Maryland campaign (5).
Maryland Campaign 9/6 - 9/24, 1862
...passing Silver Springs, Rockville, Frederick and Middletown...
9-16-1862: Arrived at Antietam Creek in the evening
9-17-1862: During Battle of Antietam, regiment was held in reserve and suffered slight loss (5). The regiment was placed in support of artillery and not actually involved (6).
"Corporal Sanford, of Company E... mounted the fence either for more prefect observation or to tempt an expert marksman. His illusion or temerity cost him dearly. A shot went crashing through his thigh, shattering the bone; amputation immediately followed, and his permanent disability speedily terminated his soldier-days. This was our first casualty." – (Corn Exchange, pg. 50)
9-18-1862: Sent forward on picket in front of the Burnside Bridge
9-19-1862: In evening, moved to the banks of the Potomac.
BATTLE OF SHEPHERDSTOWN:
9-20-1862: Per Corn Exchange, pg. 60:
Company E, with Lieutenants Hunterson and Lewis, was promptly deployed as a skirmish line. Advancing but a short distance, it was severely engaged, and, unable to resist the heavy pressure, very shortly fell back upon the main line.
Per Bates (5):
In morning, the division crossed Blackford's Ford (across the Potomac River), enroute to Shepherdstown:
Battle of Shepherdstown: the 118th Pennsylvania enters the Potomac from Maryland. Harpers Weekly, October 11, 1862. Source: www.nps.gov
Details of the 118th crossing the Potomac from Gregory Acken's "Inside the Army of the Potomac"
Division scarcely across when enemy advanced in heavy force. Regiment was at once ordered by Brigade Commander to take position along bluff. The 1st co., gaining summit, was employed as skirmishers & rest of regiment quickly formed. But, before line perfectly established, the skirmishers were driven in and engagement began.The division was unsupported and received concentrated fire from front & flank.Col. Provost was severely wounded while carrying the colors to the front and checking the line Lt. Gwyn ordered to re-cross river under heavy fire. The wounded & 90 men, including William McLachlan, were captured by enemy. Other reports list the number captured as 63.
Per Taylor (6):
Through a mistake the order to recross was not delivered to the 118th, and it was left unsupported to resist the attack of a Confederate Division. The men, although inexperienced, less than three weeks form home and armed with defective muskets, made a gallant stand, but were overpowered and compelled to retreat across the river.
The 118th was forming their line of battle across the top of the cliff when less than a mile to their south appeared A. P. Hill's division, 5,000 men strong. The Confederates were advancing on a front three brigades wide, easily outflanking the 118th on both sides. There was still time for the 118th to pull out. In fact, Colonel Barnes was at that moment ordering the other regiments in the brigade to retreat. From the river road, one of Barnes's lieutenants frantically shouted up the ravine to Colonel Charles E. Provost, commander of the 118th, urging him to withdraw his regiment. But Provost stood on ceremony. "I do not receive orders in that way," he announced. If Colonel Barnes has any order to give me, let his aide come to me."
The Confederates bore down on Provost's untried troops, alone on the cliff. A well-placed barrage from Federal guns on the Maryland shore slowed Hill's veterans, but they continued to advance across the open ground. The men of the 118th gamely returned fire - or tried to. Their weapons were British Enfields, ordinarily dependable. Yet half of the men discovered to their horror their rifles would not shoot. On many of these Enfields the mainspring was too weak to explode the percussion cap. In their excitement, several men failed to notice this defect, and they kept ramming new cartridges down the barrel on top of the unexploded ones.
Castaway rifles and dead and wounded Federals quickly littered the ground. Some of the men snatched up weapons from their fallen comrades until they found one that would work. Others picked up stones and pounded frantically on the rifle hammer until the bullet fired. Enemy troops were now only 50 yards away. One Confederate regiment worked its way over to the Federal right flank. When the 118th there changed front to meet this threat, their comrades in the center mistook the maneuver for a withdrawal and started to break. Colonel Provost managed to restore his line by grabbing the regimental flag and waving it wildly. He was still flourishing it minutes later when a bullet smashed into his shoulder, putting him out of action. Lieutenant Colonel James Gwyn assumed command, and for 30 minutes or more the Philadelphians held. But when an aide finally reached Gwyn with the order from Colonel Barnes to withdraw, all thought of gallantry gave way. "The scene that allowed almost beggars description," admitted regimental historians. "The brave men who had contended so manfully against these frightful odds broke in wild confusion for the river."
Some Federals were killed or maimed in the tumbling descent from the cliff. Most of the regiment funneled into the ravine while the Confederates poured down from the heights. A fallen tree blocked the Federal's path. Attempting to climb over it, several Philadelphians became hopelessly entangled and were shot, their bodies were shot, their bodies dangling over the branches. When the survivors reached the foot of the cliff near the river, they found the escape route to the ford downstream cut off by Confederate marksmen who were firing from an old cement mill. A small group of Federals sought shelter in the archways of some lime-burning kilns dug into the base of the cliff, but there they soon came under fire from a friendly battery across the river whose crews had set their shell fuses too short. Some men jumped into the river and began swimming. The Confederates took on them, and lifeless bodies were soon bobbing in the current. Lieutenant J. R. White survived the 200-yard swim to the Maryland shore, crying as he climbed out of the water, "Thank God! I'm over at last!" At that moment a bullet plowed through his stomach, fatally wounding him. Other Federals tried to scramble across the old mill dam, a partially submerged structure covered with rotting wood planks. William Madison took five bullets as he negotiated the slippery length of the dam. The fifth bullet passed through his jaw.
Shepherdstown Battle Damage Assessment (BDA)
Per Bates (5):
282 total (282/800)
Among killed: Capts. Courtland, Saunders, Ricketts. Lts. Moss, White
Capt'd: Cpts. Callaghan, Lts. M'Keen, Lewis, Smith, Hand, Adj. Perot
Per Taylor (6):
71 officers and men killed or who died from their wounds.
Per History of the Corn Exchange Regiment, Page 94t:
Awards: Col. Provost brevet to Brig. General
Confederate loss (Gen. A. P. Hill's Division): 262 officers and men (6)
Original Confederate strength: 5,000, three brigades wide (Time)
The following reports are from officers in command of the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry Corn Exchange of action near Shepherdstown, VA. (W.VA.), On Sept. 20, 1862:
"Headquarters 118th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Report of Lieut. -Col. James Gwyn, 118th Penn. Volunteer Infantry, at Blackford or Boteler's Ford, near Shepherdstown. Camp near Sharpsburg, Md. Sept.30th , 1862.
Lieutenant: in accordance with instructions, I have the honor to make the following report of this regiment in the action of Saturday, 20th instant. Early on Saturday, 20th instant, while the command was at this place, the regiment under command of Col. Charles Prevost, was ordered to be in readiness to march with the brigade, and with entire force of officers and men of 737, at about 8 0'clock a.m., Took up the line of march in rear of the 13th New York down the ravine and forded the Potomac river at Blackford's Ferry, when the column filed to the right, and after marching about 300 yards was halted and about 9 0'clock a.m. The 118th was ordered to file left up a ravine and form a line of battle on the top of a bluff, and under cover supported on the right by the 13th and 25th Regiments, New York, and on the left by 1st Michigan, 22nd and18th Massachusetts and 2nd Maine Regiments. Owing to the nature of the ground, the regiment came in line by file. Seven companies had only gotten in line when firing was heard on our right flank, and on advancing in line the crest of the hill, we found the enemy advancing in heavy force in front and to our left. Col. Prevost posted in person three left companies to meet flank movement of enemy on a knoll on the left of the regiment, who became almost immediately engaged with the enemy; about the same time the right was fired on from heavy force in front and commenced by my orders to fire by file.
Owing to the worthlessness of pieces (condemned enfields) not more than 50% of which could be discharged, the line began to waiver, when Colonel Prevost advance with the colors to the front, and was almost immediately severely wounded by a rifle shot from the enemy and went to the rear.
The command now devolving me and the enemy threatening us in front, I rallied, with the assistance of Maj. C.P. Herring, about 200 men, charged over the slope of the hill in front, when a heavy fire was poured on us from the left. I fell back under the brow of the hill with my command, and reformed with the intention of repeating the charges. At this moment one regiment of the enemy, with colors displayed, crowned the hill on our left and commenced firing on us. I ordered a fire to the left in response, and was going through the line, pointing out when Adjutant Perot of my regiment came to me and said by Colonel Barnes' order I was to with draw the regiment and retreat in good order, our right and left flank being both turned. Our only way to retreat was over the bluff and it was very precipitous. I sent word along the line to fall back, and get into the road, and retreat across the river. On getting on the road under the bluff, we were immediately fired on by the enemy from the summit with great effect. The regiment crossed at the dam opposite the ferry under a galling fire of the enemy, and reformed about 2 p.m. In the same camp vacated in the morning. The loss on the first essay of the regiment in killed, wounded and missing was 277. I have furnished a detailed list of the casualties, to which I have the honor to refer you.
I am sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
"Lieut. -Col. Commanding 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers to Lieut. W.S.Davis, A.D.C. and A.A.A. Gen., 1st Brigade, Morell's Div., Porter's 5th Army Corps.
Maj.-Gen. A.P. Hill's report of the Battle at Blackford or Boteler's Ford, Shepherdstown, Va. (W.Va.), Sept. 25, 1862: " To Lieut. -Col. C.J. Faulkner, Assistant Adjutant General, 2nd Army Corps:
" Colonel: on the morning of the 20th, at 6:30 0'clock, I was directed by General Jackson to take my division and drive across the river some brigades of the enemy who had crossed during the night, driven off General Pendleton's artillery, capturing four pieces, and were making preparations to hold their position.
Arriving opposite Boteler's Ford, and about half a mile there from, I formed my line of battle in two lines, first the brigades of Pender, Gregg and Thomas, under command of General Gregg, and the second, line (Branch's Brigade), Archer and Brockenbrough, under the command of General Archer.
The enemy had lined the opposite hill with 70 pieces of artillery, and the infantry who had crossed lined the crest of the high banks on the Virginia shore. My lines advanced simultaneously, and soon encountered the enemy. This advance was made in the face of the most tremendous fire of artillery I ever saw, and too much praise cannot be given my regiments for their steady, unwavering step. It was as if each man felt that the fate of the army was centered in himself.
The infantry opposition in front of Gregg's center and right was but trifling, and soon brushed away. The enemy, however, marched in front of Pender, and extending, endeavored to turn his left. General Pender became hotly engaged, and informing Archer of his danger, he (Archer) moved by the left flank, and forming on Pender's left, a simultaneous, daring charge was made, and the enemy driven pell-mell into the river. Then commenced the most terrible slaughter that this war has yet witnessed. The broad surface of the Potomac was blue with floating bodies of our foes. But few escaped to tell the tale. By their own account they lost 300 men killed and drowned, from one brigade alone. Some 200 prisoners were taken. My own loss was 30 killed, 231 wounded. Total, 261.
" This was a wholesome lesson to the enemy, and taught them to know that it may be dangerous sometimes to press a retreating army. In this battle, I did not use a piece of artillery.
" I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Major-General Commanding Light Division.
PRIVATE WILLIAM MCLACHLAN - PRISONER OF WAR
On page 86, "The History of the 118th Regiment Penna. Volunteers, Corn Exchange" the following account of Sgt. H. T. Pecks is written. He and William McLachlan were both among the 63 soldiers captured at the Battle of Shepherdstown:
"After the engagement of September 20th, the prisoners were detained several hours by the rebels in a little grove half a mile north of the battlefield and on the road leading from Shepherdstown. None of the rebel main body was seen by us, only the guard, a company of about 50 men and Gen. Hill, who came, with his staff and escort, to look at us. Towards evening were marched several miles away, where we remained in a woods till next afternoon, Sunday. In the morning a portion of Stonewall Jackson's corps encamped near us and we had nearly all day a constant stream grey-coated visitors, who were very good-natured in their intercourse.
The rebel troops were remarkably orderly. Religious services in the afternoon were largely attended by them, if it is proper to judge by the volume of voices heard singing Methodist hymn-tunes in several parts of their camp. Late in the day we were marched some five or six miles conformably with a movement of rebel corps.
Our men were subsisting on the food they had in haversacks at the time of the battle, together with what corn "pone" they could buy from the rebel soldiers. Some who were without money went a little short of food, but there was no suffering at all, the luckier ones dividing with the others quite liberally. In the morning, Monday, rations of wheat flour and bacon were issued to us. The latter was very acceptable and useful. The flour, though, good in quality, was entirely useless to our men since they, unlike the Confederates, were without skill in cooking it and had no opportunity of trading it for bread or meat.
Shortly after receiving rations we commenced our march to Winchester. Reaching Martinsburg at about 10 o'clock, we passed first through the better part of the town. Few men were to be seen, but many of the women came to their doors or windows to see us pass and fling at us bitter exclamations. We were called Yankee devils, murderers and thieves, and our guard was begged to strangle or shoot us. It was the young ladies especially who fired at us this quality of animosity. At the other end of the town, the locality of more humble homes, our reception was materially different. Women and children came to us from all directions with a profusion of lunches of bread and meat and cakes, and in many instances with jars of preserves, their choicest dainties, which they really could ill afford to part with. The guards offered no objection to their contributions, and indeed congratulated us on our good luck. These women belonged to the families of mechanics employed mostly in the extensive railroad shops located here, and were presumably from the North.
While halted a few miles out of Martinsburg, a mounted Confederate, a guerilla, probably, got into some dispute with one of our men, drew his pistol and made such earnest threats to use it, the captain of our guard ordered some of his men to cover the braggart with their muskets, which, we felt assured, he would have used if the guerilla had injured any of our party.
While halted for rest near the town of Bunker Hill, a rebel band, out of sight, but near by in the woods, gave us a surprise, probably more pleasant than they imagined, by playing the Star Spangled Banner.
In Winchester we were consigned to the courthouse and the inclosure between it and the street. There were already in those precincts a crowd of some 300 rebels, stragglers, conscripts and the riff-raff a provost-guard can pick up - a miserable lot - who did not fraternize with our men and who were so filthy in clothing and habits that our men remained of choice in the open yard without tents or blankets, even during nights of hoarfrost, to avoid contact with those in the courthouse, which we were otherwise free to occupy.
Rations issued to us here were raw beef and flour, but no arrangements were provided for cooking - not even a stick of wood for fire. At our request the officer of the guard permitted one of our non-commissioned officers to go, under guard, about the town to bargain for the cooking of the food. A baker traded us bread, pound for pound, for flour, and a woman engaged to boil the beef for a moderate sum of money, which we collected from our party. In the beef-boiling transaction our contract turned out to be imperfect; the agreement on the part of the female was to boil the meat. It was boiled, but so thoroughly no two shreds of it would hold together. There was probably a good profit in the soup from a 150 pounds of beef. Our allowance from the rebel commissary was a pound of flour and half-pound of meat per day.
Every afternoon while we were here a neatly-dressed mulatto girl came to the courthouse yard with a large loaf of bread, a lump of butter and a kettle of two or three gallons of delicious soup. She invariably delivered the gift to one of our sergeants, who most probably had been pointed out to her, as we passed through the street on our way to the courthouse, as a proper person to receive it. The girl could not be induced to tell the sergeant who sent the food, saying, "I darsent tell her name for fear of those (rebel) soldiers, but my missis sends it." It was hoped the Union lady learned from the rather stupid girl how more than thankful we were for her timely and touching gift.
One morning a young lady we had frequently noticed as the recipient of many attentions from Confederate officers came to the railing and, calling to one of our party, said, "Sergeant, you are to be paroled in a few days and sent home (this was our earliest report about it). I wish, if you see General Shields when you return, you would give him Belle Boyd's compliments, and say she would be happy to see him in the valley again."
Owing to restricted diet and exposure, without any covering whatever from the frosty night air, all of our men suffered more or less with dysentery. No medical attention was offered them. Their previous robust health, however, and the hope of soon getting back to their own lines, kept them up, and not one became helpless. For one or two nights we had small but very hot fires made of beef bones, which we found burn surprisingly well. On the morning (that) we were sent away, we were brought into the courthouse, one by one, to sign the following parole paper:
I, ________ do solemly swear that I will not do or undertake any act or exert any influence in favor of or for the advantage of the United States; or against the government of the Confederate States; and that I will not divulge anything that I have seen or heard, or may see or hear, to the prejudice of the Confederate States; or engage in any military act whatsoever during the present war until regularly included in an authorized exchange of prisoners.
"Sworn before me this 29th day of September; in the year of our Lord, 1862, at Winchester, Virginia. Major W. Kyle
"By Order of General Robert E. Lee.
To one who signed nearly the last, the rebel captain having the document remarked, "why, I find all your men can write their own names."
We marched out of Winchester at 9 or 10 in the morning, and soon reached the hills to the eastward; thence all the way to Harper's Ferry we passed through a country very beautiful in a dress of early autumn foliage. We were pushed on to a rapid gait, as our guard was at this time a detachment of mounted men, but, having no load to carry, we were no inordinately fatigued. We bivouacked beside a mountain stream and resumed the march early in the morning, passing through Charlestown, of John Brown fame. We came to our outposts, a short distance from Harper's Ferry, late in the afternoon. A flag of truce was sent in and we were promptly transferred to the Federal commandant of pickets."
9-28-1862: Private William McLachlan "paroled" by Confederacy at Winchester, Va.
9-29-1862: Private William McLachlan returned to Union forces at Harper's Ferry. He does not reappear present on E company's muster-in rolls until November 1862.
William McLachlan is listed as "William F. McLaughlin" in the October 3, 1862 Philadelphia Inquirer front page article listing the prisoners-of-war taken at the battle of Shepherdstown.
At Sharpsburg till 10/30/1862
10-30-1862: Regiment remained in Sharpsburg, Maryland, engaged in guard and pickett duty.
...crossed Potomac, moved with army through Virginia, going into camp at Hartwood Church, and at a point near Potomac Creek, where it remained until the Fredericksburg campaign...
Movement to Falmouth, Va. 10/30 - 11/19/1862...
12-1-1862: Rgt. accompanied Averell's Cav. on reconnaissance on the Hartwood Road
12-2-1862: Rgt. returned from recon in morning
12-11-1862, 7:00am: moved with div. to point on Rappahannock opposite Fredericksburg, where it remained under arms during the entire-day bombardment.
12-11-1862, night: moved back a mile and bivouacked near White House
Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia 12/12 - 12/15/1862
12-12-1862: in morning, the regiment moved from the vicinity of the White House to the front.
...pontoons bean successfully laid for river crossing....
12-13-1862, 2:00pm: river crossing, passed through the streets under heavy artillery fire, ordered to advance upon Marye's Heights, which the divisions of French & Hancock had failed to carry. At moment of advance, the enemy's artillery was in act of being relieved. However, when regiment came within range of enemy's infantry, the 118th came under enemy artillery "sheets of flame." Regiment remained in line remainder of afternoon and the entire night.
12-14-1862: line still held under fire. At night, retired to river bank where it bivouacked until 7am, 12/16.
12-16-1862: Regiment recrossed river and returned to camp near Falmouth.
BDA: 7 Killed, 43 Wounded including Maj. Herring, 16 Missing
Recon to Richard's and Ellis' Fords, Rappahannock River
12/29 - 12/30/1862
12-30-1862: Rgt. participated in a recon, extending to Richardson's & Ely's fords, skirmishing lightly
1-1-1863: Rgt. returned to camp from recon in afternoon. Corn Exchange committee arrived in evening with numerous packages from home.
1-16-1863: William McLachlan's second child, Ella May, was born. His family was living with his wife's parents Jesse and Mary Ann Leister at 1208 N. 8th St. in Philadelphia for the duration of the war.
Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," 1/20 - 1/24/1863
1-20-1863: Rgt. broke camp and moved out on the United States Ford Road, the whole army in motion.
1-23-1863: Road conditions impassable, a return to camp ordered.
... for 2 days, regt. engaged in building corduroy roads for rescuing trains from mud...
At Falmouth till April...
4-19-1863: Col. Provost returned to command from his Shepherdstown wounds.
Chancellorsville Campaign, 4/27 - 5/6/1863
4-27-1863: Regt. moved on the Chancellorsville campaign. Night: bivouacked near Hartwood Church.
4-28-1863: at night: bivouacked near Kelly's Ford
4-29-1863: crossing Rappahannock at mid-day, the Rapidan at eve., night bivouac on bluffs above ford.
4-30-1863, 11:00am: arrived Chancellorsville, immediately. joined in pressing enemy driving him back 2 miles and capturing his pickets. At 2:00pm, it came upon enemy in strong force in position 6 miles from Fredericksburg. Division ordered to retire, returned to point near Chancellor House and bivouacked for night.
5-1-1863, 11:00am: Battle of Chancellorsville commenced. In afternoon, the 1st brigade sent on recon towards Bank's Ford, returning in evening at Chancellor House, where it was exposed to heavy artillery fire during night.
5-2-1863, 2:00am: moved out upon road leading to Bank's Ford and began work constructing breast works; it's first experience in digging - busily engaged throughout entire day. At dark, it moved double-quick towards the Chancellor House, where the 11th Corps holding the right of the line, having been driven from its position by the fierce onset of Stonewall Jackson's men. It remained during the entire night in line behind breast-works engaged under heavy infantry & artillery fire.
5-3-1863: early morning: moved to the U.S. Ford Road.
8:00am: placed in line with Sykes' Division and employed in throwing up breast-works.
Mid-day: taken to Chancellor House, where it was in line of battle supporting artillery for an hour exposed to heavy fire.
2:00pm: moved to rear, rested for a short time...
Dusk: moved into breast-works at Barn's House
5-4-1863: Remained in breast-works under constant fire from enemy's sharpshooters until 5:00pm, when the brigade supported an advance of the 2nd and 3rd brigades upon enemy lines.
5-5-1863: the greater part of the regiment was on the picket line under command of Maj. Herring, and at night the army began to retire across the river.
5-6-1863: at daylight, the pickets of the regiment retired, and with detachments of other regiments, acted as skirmishers. At 9:00am: crossed at U.S. Ford road and was engaged all day in the laborious duty of taking up the pontoon bridges, the stream greatly swollen by recent rains. In evening, returned to former camp.
BDA: 10 wounded, 7 missing
5-25-1863: Col. Provost left regiment to command Invalid Corps; subsequently hon. discharged as Col.
...regiment remained here engaged in usual camp and guard duty until June 10th...
6-10-1863: regiment started north for the campaign in Pennsylvania "having frequent brushes with the Confederate cavalry enroute (6)."
...at Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, it supported the cavalry, the enemy driven into fastnesses of the mountains...
Gettysburg, Pa Campaign 6/11 - 7/24/1863, Battle of Gettysburg July 1 - 3, 1863.
6-30-1863: Arrived after a hard day's march at Union Mills, Maryland.
7-1-1863, 10:00am: crossed into Pennsylvania, the men exhibiting the greatest enthusiasm on reaching the soil of their own State.
4:00pm: bivouacked at Hanover.
9:00pm: March resumed after commanding general decided to concentrate army at Gettysburg where the 1st and 11th Corps were hotly engaged, and deliver a general battle.
7-2-1863: in morning, the rgt. reached the field and held in reserve in rear of Cemetery Hill until 4:00pm.
4:00pm: Hurriedly, the 118th posted on the extreme left in support of Sickle's Corps under attack.
118th hotly engaged BDA: losing 2 killed, 5 wounded, 2 missing.
5th Corps (now commanded by Sykes) hurried to Sickle's support.
There are many accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg that include mention of the 118th P.V. and their positions and movements. However, I chose the following anecdote not to found in the Official Record, as remembered in 1886 by Captain F. A. Donaldson and published on page 265 of the historical work about the Corn Exchange Regiment entitled, "Antietam to Appomattox - A history of the 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers (1892)." Smith wrote:
"Among the amusing incidents told therein is the following one taken from a letter to his mother, written by [E Company] Lieutenant S. N. Lewis after the Battle [of Gettysburg], in which he describes the part taken by the 118th in the great fight. I quote from the letter, not the manuscript. "Our brigade immediately took the place of Sickles's retreating men, and, as the enemy's artillery continued to play upon our line, the men sought cover behind rocks and stones. On the right, where my company occupied its place in line, it was more open and uncovered, and the men lay upon their faces. Meanwhile could be heard the shouts and yells of the advancing enemy above the din and roar of battle. At this juncture a rabbit, frightened by the advancing foe, ran among our men and made a jump on the back of the neck of private ------- , who, throwing up his hands, exclaimed: ‘Oh! I'm shot! I'm a dead man! Shot clean through the neck!' This set the men laughing, not withstanding the shells and bullets flying around, and they fairly roared at the poor fellow."
(How considerate of Captain Donaldson not to name the soldier and embarrass him!)
BDA: Captain Davids killed and Liuets. Wilson & Inman wounded.
Night: Men slept on their arms in line during the night, the enemy being completely checked.
7-3-1863, 7:00am: regiment moved to the left, near to the summit of Round Top, where it remained behind breastworks, undisturbed, except for the enemy's sharpshooters, until the close of the battle.
Slowly, over the misty fields of Gettysburg—as all reluctant to expose their ghastly horrors to the light—came the sunless morn, after the retreat by [General Robert. E.] Lee's broken army. Through the shadowy vapors, it was, indeed, a "harvest of death" that was presented; hundreds and thousands of torn Union and rebel soldiers—although many of the former were already interred—strewed the now quiet fighting ground, soaked by the rain, which for two days had drenched the country with its fitful showers.
7-4-1863, 10:00am: Regiment moved out to recon and became warmly engaged, the enemy keeping up a show of strength upon his skirmish line, to screen his retreat, which was now in full progress.
Pursuit of Lee: 7/5 - 7/24/1863
7-13-1863: the enemy was followed up as far as the Potomac, but it escaped across river on this date.
...returning across South Mountain, the regiment crossed the Potomac with the army at Berlin, and returned to the neighborhood of Warrenton...
7-23-1863: Wapping Heights, Va
At Warrenton and Beverly Ford to 9/17/1863.
8-6-1863: Warrenton: 109 recruits received.
9-15-1863: Warrenton: 185 more recruits received.
"desultory fighting kept the men moving through the autumn (6)."...in the advance to the Rapidan, which now followed, and the maneuverings for an advantage, which brought the army back to Centreville, and again carried it forward to Mine Run, where, standing admidst the frosts and chilling December blasts, Meade wisely declined to attack the enemy in his well chosen and fortified position,...
9-17-1863: regiment left Warrenton toward Culpeper Hill
Bristoe Campaign 10/9 - 10/22/1863
10-11-1863: regiment left Culpeper Hill
10-14-1863: ...the regiment shared the fortunes of the corps, being in line of battle in the action at Bristoe Station, and BDA: losing 6 missing
Advance to Line of the Rappahannock 11/7 - 11/8/1863
11-7-1863: regiment in action with the corps at Rappahannock Station; losing 2 wounded.
Mine Run Campaign 11/26 - 12/2/1863
11-28-1863 to 11-30-1863: regiment in action with corps at Robinson's Tavern and Mine Run;
BDA: losing 1 killed and two missing.
At Beverly Ford till May, 1864
12-4-1863: regiment went into permanent winter-quarters near Beverly Ford until May 1864.
12-31-1863: Lt. Col. Gwyn mustered as Colonel, Maj. Herring as Lt. Colonel and Captain. Henry O'Neill as Major. These officers had been previously commissioned to these grades, to date of 9-30-1863.
....regiment remained during the winter in comparative quiet...
April 1864: "regiment assigned to 3 Brig., 1 Div., 5 Corps, Army of the Potomac"
- Dyer's Compendium of the War of the Rebellion
5-1-1864: the regiment broke camp and started for the Wilderness.
Rapidan Campaign 5/4 - 6/12/1864
Battles of the Wilderness 5/5 - 5/7/1864
5-5-1864, Regiment activity from the Corn Exchange's 11th Annual Report:
early morning: enemy found at front.
8:00am: built breastworks
12:30pm: moved forward and charged the enemy. Col. Gwyn in command of the 2nd line of the brigade, 20th Maine, and 118th, Lt. Col. Herring commanding the regiment. Engagement very sharp, heat oppressive.
1:30pm: obliged to retire the breastworks, the enemy moving upon our flanks in force.
Col. Gwyn wounded and carried off the field.
5:00pm: moved to the front again.
7:00pm: retired to breastworks and bivouacked for the night.
BDA: 2 Killed, 26 wounded, 27 missing
5-6-1864, 3:30am: moved out to the front, formed line of battle in the woods near the enemy: brigade in three lines, 6th Corps connecting on the right. Under sharp fire all day.
6:00pm: retired to the breastworks and rested for the night.
5-7-1864, 6:00am: attacked by the enemy, who was repulsed.
10:00am: Lt. Col. Herring in command of 3 regiments, including the 118th, charged enemy, pressed him back to his works, and established a picket line.
8:00pm: army moved toward Spottsylvania. BDA: Wounded: 10; missing: 1.
Spottsylvania 5/8 - 5/21/1864
Laurel Hill 5/8/1864
5-8-1864, 1:00am: moved w/ detachment under Lt. Col. Herring. Withdrew pickets & acted as rear guard.
10:00am: reached Laurel Hill, near Spottsylvania Court House. Found the army engaged and was sent to support a part of Crawford's division.
5:00pm: moved forward with Crawford and became hotly engaged.
BDA: Killed: 5; Wounded: 24, Missing: 1
5-9-1864, 3:00am: retired quietly
8:00am: rejoined brigade and bivouacked for the day
5-10-1864, 4:00pm: moved out to front of breast-works at Peach Orchard, to make a charge. Orders for charge countermanded.
8:00pm: regiment bivouacked. BDA: Lt. Coane wounded. Killed: 1, wounded: 1
5-11-1864: under fire of the enemy's artillery. Lt. Thomas wounded and sent to the rear.
Assault on the Salient 5/12/1864
5-12-1864, 3:00am: moved to the extreme right of the army, to act as skirmishers on the flank. Crossed the River Po in conjunction with the army. Exposed to artillery fire.
BDA: Killed 1; wounded 3; missing 1
A series of movements by the left flank followed, which finally brought the army to city of Petersburg, south of the James, in which two hostile forces were kept facing each other, some portions almost constantly in collision, the fighting at times being terrific. In these movements the regiment participated:
5-18-1864: BDA: one killed
5-22-1864: action near Bowling Green, BDA: one killed and one wounded.
North Anna River 5/23 - 5/26/1864
5-23-1864: at North Anna River, BDA:1 wounded
5-25-1864: Jericho Ford
5-26-1864: at North Anna River, BDA: 2 wounded
On Line of the Pamunkey 5/26 - 5/28/1864
Totopotomoy 5-28 - 5/31/1864
5-30-1864: near Mechanicsville, BDA: 1 killed
Cold Harbor 6/1 - 6/12/1864
6-1-1864: BDA: four wounded
6-2-1864: at Bethesda Church, BDA: 4 wounded, 86 taken prisoners while on the skirmish line, including Captain Kelly & Lt. Crossley
6-4-1864: Lt Ware mortally wounded
Before Petersburg 6/16 - 6/18/1864
Siege of Petersburg 6/16/1864 - 4/2/1865
6-16-1864: the regiment crossed the James, and moved up to the front near Petersburg, and was immediately engaged, the enemy being driven slowly back, and the Union troops throwing up works to hold every inch of ground gained.
6-21-1864: BDA: one killed and six wounded.
... from 6/21/64 to the middle of August, the regiment remained in the trenches, under fire day and night from mortars, rifles, and cannons, living much of the time in bomb-proofs, and engaged in building fortifications and in picketing...
Jerusalem Plank Road 6/22 - 6/23/1864
8-15-1864: the regiment retired from the trenches, and joined in the movement upon the Weldon Railroad, Col. Gwyn in command of the 3rd Brigade and Lt. Col. Herring in command of the regiment.
Weldon Railroad 8/18 - 8/21/1864
8-18-1864, 10:00am: line of battle formed near Gurley House. 12:00pm: road occupied, maneuvering and fighting continued throughout the day
8-19-1864: enemy made a heavy attack upon the right, and the regiment was moved at double-quick to the front, and took part in restoring the lines.
8-21-1864: the enemy again attacked in strong force, coming in several lines of battle, but was repulsed with great loss, the engagement lasting an hour. BDA: loss of the command was 1 killed, 1 wounded, 20 missing.
....the regiment remained in breast-works near the Yellow House, picketing and building forts...
8-31-1864: Pvt. Wm. McLachlan advanced $57.29 pay. He was still owed $75 of his original bounty.
Poplar Springs Church (Peeble's Farm) 9/29 - 10/2/1864
9-30-1864, morning: regiment was moved to the front and joined in driving the enemy's pickets, charging and carrying a fort and line of the enemy's works.
4:00pm: regiment moved to the support of troops of the 9th Corps, which had been driven in. The engagement became warm and lasted two hours. The position was held and the enemy repulsed with great slaughter. BDA: 7 killed (including Lt. Canahay) and 26 wounded (including Captain Young and Lts. Seeshotz, Scott, Conner.) Captain Young's wound proved mortal. Col. Herring had a horse killed under him, and subsequently lost a leg as a result of his wounds. For his gallantry, he was brevetted Brig. General.
Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run 10/27 - 10/28/1864
11-23-1864: Corporal William McLachlan is absent from his company on furlough. He was probably summoned home to see his sister Isabella who was in the last stages of tubercolosis; she died December 7th. Her husband Isaac Walker had died the previous March 10th of tubercolosis. This left two orphaned Walker children of the dead couple, who may have been estranged at the end of their shortened lives. The 1864 City Directory lists them separately as Isaac Walker 730 Master St. and Isabella Walker 340 Diamond St. -- the home of William's other sister Maria and her husband at the time. Isabella died at 340 Diamond St.
Warren's Expedition to Hicksford 12/7 - 12/12/1864
12-16-1864: Private William McLachlan promoted to Corporal
Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run 2/5 - 2/7/1865
At Dabney's Mills several of the regimental officers were killed or wounded (6).
3-25-1865: a general movement of the army was inaugurated which resulted in the practical overthrow of the rebellion. Learning that the enemy had struck at Fort Steadman, Grant ordered a general attack along his whole line. The regiment was early in motion, and at 5:00pm became hotly engaged. The fighting ceased at dark and it returned to camp.
Appomattox Campaign 3/28 - 4/9/1865
3-29-1865: regiment again early in motion.
3:00pm: Gen. Chamberlain's Brigade became hotly engaged at Lewis' Farm, near Gravelly Run
Junction of Quaker and Boydton Roads
5:00pm: 118th was advanced as skirmishers, charging the enemy's skirmish line, crossing the Boydton Road, and remained on picket during the night. BDA: two wounded.
3-31-1865: White Oak Road
2nd and 3rd Divisions were attacked and driven back upon the First, which became sharply engaged, but succeeded in holding its position, and compelling the enemy to retire. BDA: 1 killed, 2 officers and 5 men wounded. In the afternoon, the division moved to the left to join Sheridan's Cavalry, but, unable to reach him, it returned at midnight and rejoined the corps.
4-1-1865: the corps moved early, and was engaged during the day in the Battle of Five Forks. This was the last day of battle for the corps.
....the pursuit of Lee's army, which was now in full motion, was vigorously pushed. Passing Sutherland Station, Jettersville and Amelia Court House....
4-2-1865: Petersburg fell
4-3-1865: Richmond fell
Sheridan's cavalry swept after the fugitive remnants still obedient to Lee.
4-7-1865: the corps crossed the Appomattox.
...the 118th was among the advanced troops at Appomattox.
Appomattox Court House
4-9-1865: in morning, formed a line of battle for an attack. As it moved forward, and had already come under artillery fire, a rebel officer was discovdiscovered bearing a flag of truce and a message from General Lee, asking for terms of surrender. The 118th was the first to receive and direct the officer bearing the flag of truce from the Confederate headquarters which resulted resulted in the end of hostilities (6).
McLean's House, Appomattox Court-House, Va. Surrender document signed by Lee and Grant
4-10-1865: the tidings of the consummation of the surrender were heralded to the army; admidst general rejoicing.
4-12-1865: early in the morning, the 118th, which had been selected to receive the rebel arms and colors, moved out, when 84 battle flags, and 15,000 muskets were laid down in its front. The 118th remained in camp until 4/15/65.
4-14-1865 President Lincoln shot at Ford Theatre, Washington D.C. by actor John Wilkes Booth.
4-15-1865: President Lincoln dies 7:22 a.m. The homeward march was commenced.
...passing through Richmond and Fredericksburg...
March to Washington D.C. 5/1 - 5/12/1865
5-12-1865: the regiment arrived in the vicinity of Washington D.C. and went into camp.
Grand Review 5/23/1865
5-23-1865: the regiment participated in the grand review at the Capital
Washington, D.C. Infantry units with fixed bayonets passing on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Treasury. Mathew B. Brady photographer (Library of Congress)
Mustered Out 6/1/1865
6-1-1865: the unit, including Corporal William McLachlan, was mustered out of service at Washington D.C. The recruits were transferred to the 91st Infantry.
....returning to Philadelphia the regiment was paid....
Union privates were paid $13 per month until after the final raise of 20 June '64, when they got $16. Soldiers were supposed to be paid every two months in the field, but they were fortunate if they got their pay at four-month intervals (in the Union Army) and authentic instances are recorded where they went six and eight months. Source: "The Civil War Dictionary" by Mark M. Boatner
6-9-1865, evening: the regiment was entertained at a grand banquet given at the Sansom Street Hall, by the Corn Exchange Association, at which Generals Meade and Patterson, and other distinguished guests were present.
6-10-1865: the regiment participated in the review and reception of returned Philadelphia Volunteers, when it was finally disbanded.
POST CIVIL WAR:
"My father returned from the war a sick man and never did a weeks work thereafter, dying as a lingering consumption, and mother's privations and sufferings were hard to bear." – Mrs. William (daughter Emma) Cox affidavit 23 Oct. 1906.
"From his discharge he was ill with lung trouble and was confined to his bed for two years prior to his death. He was never able to aid me in the support of our children from his return from the war until the time of his death." – widow affidavit 27 Nov. 1906
"William McLachlan was in delicate health after his discharge from the army and was unfit for any work from that time until his death." – Wm. Sower affidavit 27 Nov. 1906.
Despite "unfit for any work", Gopsill City Directory lists " William McLaughlin, Shoemaker" at 1227 Darien St. from 1866 to 1869. 1227 Darien St. Additionally, he lists the address in his November 1866 Bounty Application (see below). In February 1868 (daughter Maggie's birth record) states he was living at 1227 Darien St. This street runs north-south and situated east of 9th Street. (1227 Darien St. is actually 1226 N. 8th St.) The Gopsill City Directory lists " William McLaughlin, Shoemaker" at 1227 Darien St. from 1866 to 1869.
6 November 1866: William McLachlan signature on Power of Attorney declaration appointing George W. Ford, 241 Dock St., his representative in his claim for additional $100 bounty due him by 28 July 1866 Act of Congress.
1866 Power of Attorney (National Archives)
By 1866, William's mother was living with her son Lewis at 320 Diamond St. She would go on to live with her children Lewis and Maria until Lewis' death from tubercolosis in 1877, then with Maria for awhile and, finally, the remarried widow of her dead son William!
February 2, 1868: William's third child Margaret Jane born. Father listed as cordwainer (shoemaker). 1227 Darien St.
December 17, 1869: William's last child William is born. Father listed as shoemaker. Family residing at 2016 Brown St. at the time. This was a three-story brick premise, or "messuage" as it was commonly referred to in the 19th century. Until June 9th of the following year, 1870, it was owned by a Bayard Robinson. It was "situate on the east side of the said Corinthian Avenue at the distance of 18 feet southward from the southside of the said Brown St. in the 15th ward."
William McLachlan is found in the 1870 census under the name William McLaughlin, shoemaker, 35 years old, white male, born in Penna. Series M593, Reel No. 1404, Page 124. He lived in District 57, 19th Ward.
1872 – 1873 "From his discharge he was ill with lung trouble and was confined to his bed for two years prior to his death. He was never able to aid me in the support of our children from his return from the war until the time of his death." – widow affidavit 27 Nov. 1906
On January 1, 1874 Angeline McLachlan purchased a 80-square foot lot no. 10 in Section 212 at Mount Moriah Cemetery. She was preparing for the imminent death of her husband William. On January 4th William McLachlan died of "Consumption due to exposure incurred in the... service." – widow affidavit 23 Oct. 1906. Buried Mt. Moriah Cemetery.
The death registration in the Philadelphia Department of Records states the following:
WILLIAM McLACHLAN, 39, died January 4, 1874 of "phthisis pulmonalis." Residence: 2022 Bodine St. Buried January 8, Mt. Moriah. Vol. 1, pg. 10. Born Philadelphia. Dr. W. C. Hamilton.
In 1906, a "Certified Record of Death" was issued to his widow by the Bureau of Health - Division of Vital Statistics in Room 517, City Hall in Philadelphia. It stated similar to the above. It stated that he died of "Phthisis Pulmunalis " and was treated by Dr. W. C. Hamilton, M.D. who resided at 2119 GGermantown Avenue. William McLachlan died in the 19th Ward and was "buried from," 2022 Bodine St. The undertaker was Schuyler – Armstrong (Ausby?), who resided at 2004 N. 6th St.
His wife's Declaration of a Widow for Original Pension states that William died "of consumption due to exposure" incurred during his military service.
Doctors in 1874 knew very little about consumption, or tuberculosis which forced the victim to waste away until they lingered and died. It was considered almost always fatal until 1854 when Hermann Brehmer published a disseration Tuberculosis is a Curable Disease documentating how good nutrition and exposure to fresh air could cure it. This was known as a sanatorium cure. In 1865 doctors first learned the disease was caused by a micro-organism and did not arise spontaneously. It was not until 1882 – eight years after William's death – that doctors first viewed the mycobacterium tuberculosis micro-organism under a microscope.
The January 5, 1874 Philadelphia Inquirer (pg. 2) gave the following weather report on the day William McLachlan died: "Seventy degrees in the shade' yesterday - an unusual and unseasonable spell. Were it not for the assurance of physicians and others, who should be well informed upon the subject, that the vernal temperatures which prevailed in this latitude yesterday and on Saturday is unwholesome and disease-producing in its effect, occurring at a time when snow and ice should be everywhere seen, the occurance of such a spell might be counted cause for special gratification at this time. Such moderate weather is very gratefully acceptable to those whose wardrobes are scant and their coal bins empty, with no money to replenish either."
His obituary as reported on Thursday, January 8, 1874 in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
McLACHLAN - On the 4th inst. WILLIAM, oldest son of Margaret and the late George McLachlan, in the 40th year of his age. The relatives and friends of the family also Cohocksink Lodge No. 333, I.O.O.F. and Keystone Lodge, No. 2, K. of P., are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, this (Thursday) morning at 10 O'clock, from his last residence, No. 2022 Bodine St. To proceed to Mount Moriah Cemetary.
On January 8, 1974, William McLachlan was buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery, 62nd St. & Kingsessing Ave., Section 212, Lot 10, internment no. 20933 (burial cemetary record, Historical Society of Penna., microfilm). Undertaker: Schuyler-Armstrong 2004 N. 6th St. It is located in the cemetary portion that is situated in Philadelphia (south of the river) and just west of the Cobbs Creek Parkway.
William McLachlan left no will or administration upon his death.
August 1875 Widow Angeline remarries.
9-8-1884: Commercial (late Corn) Exchange unveiled 118th Regt. monument on Round Top
9-20-1897: 35th annual reunion of the 118th Regiment held on the battlefield of Shepherdstown, W.Va.
1904: Remarried widow Angeline pays an attorney to apply for a widow pension. She never hears from the attorney again.
1906 Remarried widow Angeline applies for a pension and is rejected because of her remarriage.
1914 Angeline's second husband dies.
1916 Angeline re-applies for William's military pension.
1918 Angeline awarded William's pension and receives a check for back money to date of 1916 application. She was receiving $30 monthly at the time of her death in 1927.
1945: William Mclachlan's grandchildren – led by daughter Margaret - apply for survivor pension benefits and are denied a claim.
1958 Last family member buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery family plot.
Biography and research by Drew Techner, 2nd Great Grandson.
Bibliography and Sources
1. U.S. National Archives; Military and Pension files for William McLachlan
2. U.S. National Archives, Federal Census
3. Philadelphia Public Ledger
4. Philadelphia City Archives; Birth, Marriage, Death, Deed records
5. Bate's History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861 - 1865, Volume III
6. "Philadelphia in the Civil War" - Frank Taylor
7. Dyer's "Compendium of the War of the Rebellion"
8. The Union Army Volume I, States and Regiments (1908), page 448
9. History of the 118th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers "Corn Exchange" J. L. Smith 1892
10. "The Bloodiest Day" - Time-Life Civil War history series
12. History of Philadelphia Vol. II, Thos. Scarf 1994
13. Philadelphia A Story of Progess Vol. I
14. Temple University Libraries (online)
15. Philadelphia Inquirer; Death Notices
16 Philadelphia city directories; Listings
17 Historical Society of Pennsylvania
20. "Brief History of Tuberculosis," Revised: July 23, 1996, URL:http://www.umdnj.edu/~ntbcweb/history.htm, National Tuberculosis Center.
22. "Philadelphia Architects and Buildings," www.philadelphiabuildings.org, 2003. Wepage accessed November 27, 2003.
26. "The Civil War Dictionary" by Mark M. Boatner," http://www.civilwarhome.com/Pay.htm
Note: This biography edited from an older working document. Obsolete sources deleted.
George Beauglas McLachlan (1811 - 1857)
Margaret Harvey Ware McLachlan (____ - 1890)
Angeline Cox Leister Moyer (1841 - 1927)
Mary Ann McLachlan Greifzu (1861 - 1883)*
Margaret McLachlan Griffing (1868 - 1956)*
William Henry MacLachlan (1869 - 1951)*
Isabella McLachlan Walker (1832 - 1864)*
William McLachlan (1834 - 1874)
Isaac McLachlan (1836 - 1889)*
Maria Jane McLachlan Lower (1841 - 1872)*
Lewis Taylor McLachlan (1844 - 1877)*
George Howard McLachlan (1852 - 1919)*
Note: Headstone is missing
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Plot: Section 212, Lot 10
Created by: Researcher
Record added: Apr 12, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18892600
Added: Jan. 6, 2016
Added: Dec. 13, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this gentleman's account of the war. He seem to be well spoken. Thank you for your service to this country. You will always be remembered as a hero. May your soul rest in eternal peace|
Added: Nov. 13, 2015
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