Peter Cron, Co. B, 151st Pennsylvania Regiment, Do
Peter Cron, Co. B, 151st Pennsylvania Regiment, DOW at Gettysburg, Civil War Archive†
24 soldierís letters, 1862-1863.
The 151st Pennsylvania Infantry served for nine months, spending much of their time in the defenses of Washington, D.C., but culminating in heated combat at Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg, suffering a 7 percent casualty rate. Organized at Harrisburg and mustered into the service in September 1862, the regiment was assigned to the Army of the Potomac at Bell Plain, Virginia, in February 1863. From his first taste of active service, Peter Cron, a typical private from Pike County, considered the military to be a pretty hard life. We have to stand picket twenty four hours and guard 24 hours rite after and we have to do police duty that is to clean up the ground use the spade and pick and it about uses up all out time for the week and we have to drill Sundays... In winter quarters in January, he witnessed a man shot while on guard: I was badly scart, but I guess it was no Rebel. I donít know whether it was a Rebel shot him or not, some thinks he was Shot in a hen Roost but I donít know if he was or not. I wonít send you the full particulars of a Soldierís life for if I should you would hardly Believe me. It is a very hard life and the laws are very Strict. We have to tow the mark if I ever live to get home I have learnt new ways to get Rich. I have learned to live on nothing and I have learnt how to sleep on the floor...
By the time he reached Virginia, Cron was sick of the war and found that the all of comrades were too. With rumors that Confederate forces were all around, and the regiment joining in shadowing the Army of the Northern Virginia as they headed north into Pennsylvania, Cron wrote from Leesburg on June 22, 1863, to say that his health was poor, for we have made a longe march. When we left our last quarters we marched 3 days right strait longe then we rested a day and a half, then we marched again twoo days till we got to this place... it was hot and the roads so dusty that we could not tell hoo walked along side of one, and I overheated myself... There was some heavy fighting about 10 miles from here our men li[c]ked the Rebels and taken a good many prisoners. I am in hopes we will have no fighting before we come home. It is very likely they will let us goe about middle of July...
Cron was killed in action at the Battle of Gettysburg. The final letter in the collection is from Wesley Cron (also a member of the 151st) mentioning that he had come out of the battle unscathed and was waiting to be mustered out to go home, but in the confusion after the battle and with losses so high, he knew nothing more. I donít know any thing more about Peter only the Doctor says he is in Baltimore Badly Wounded but he thinks he will get well... Peter Cron died on July 27.
A classic collection of letters from a typical Civil War soldier. Whether or not he was the most literate of men, he left a wife and children behind to serve in the Union cause, and paid the ultimate price at Gettysburg.†
One letter in the collection is incomplete and all are brittle and strongly age toned, with evidence of past repair with scotch tape at folds. Many are eroded at the margins, occasionally affecting some text.