We Might As Well Die Here: The 53d Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry

Irvin G. Myers

  • We Might As Well Die Here: The 53d Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry

We Might as Well Die Here is a descriptive and moving history of a regiment formed and trained to fight a war in which brother fought brother. They came from all walks of life, drawn together by their president to save a constitution they were all willing to die for. The men of the 53d Pennsylvania were the volunteers of 1861: young, naïve, and ready to meet their opponent on the field of mortal combat. No time in the American experience were young men transformed from innocence of youth to the brutal ways of war and death so quickly.

Colonel John R. Brooke, their first commander, was the driving force in training the green regiment into a professional unit that would later wear the famous "Red Trefoil" of the First Division, II Corps. Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, called "Hancock the Superb" and "The Thunderbolt of the Army of the Potomac," was their division commander and the guiding light in the heat of battle.

In the winter of 1863-1864, the regiment was proclaimed as the 53d Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry when they reenlisted for the duration of the war. From the Fair Oaks battlefield in June 1862 to the surrender of Lee's army in April 1865, the Keystone warriors fought in 26 major battles with the Army of the Potomac. The regiment received casualties of 563 soldiers in combat, 85 captured or missing, and 232 due to illness and disease. The Keystone unit by 1865 was a shadow of its former strength. The 53d Pennsylvania proudly served until June 30, 1865, was then discharged, and again its soldiers became citizens of a country that was grateful for the services they rendered.

Author Irvin G. Myers
Pages 356
Images 31
Maps 25
Bibliography Yes
Index Yes
  • $27.95

Tags: 9781572493759, Irvin G. Myers