Note for: James Speary, 12 JUL 1840 - 3 MAY 1863 Index
Place: Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan Co., Pa.
Union soldier in the Civil War. Served with the 141st Regiment, Company
K of the PennsylvaniaVolunteers as a Private. Mustered in August 27,
1862 (with his brother Dorson). His service records shows he was killed
at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863 at age 23.
According to the 141st Regimental History book written in 1886 by
Regimental Chaplain David Craft, page 91:
"James Sperry and his brother Dorson were residents of Davidson township,
in Sullivan County, and both member of the same company. In the assault
upon the enemy's position in the oak woods James was mortally wounded in
the back, and as the Regiments was compelled immediately to fall back he
was left on the field. He was unmarried and about 24 years of age. He
seemed to have premonition of his death, for in col. Watkins' diary was
this entry: -"James Sperry, Company K, shot by a ball in the back in the
spine, Chancellorsville, VA. His fathers name is Christopher Sperry -
resides in Davidson, Sullivan County, PA. 'He died a soldier and a
Christian. If he never meets you on earth, will meet you in heaven.' "
"Oliver G. King, a cousin of the Sperrys, and also of the Penningtons,
and Converse, of the same company, enlisted from Laporte township, was a
son of William King, a single man, and about the age of 20."
Of the four hundred and nineteen officers and men with which his company
entered the battle of Chancellorsville, two hundred and thirty-four were
either killed or wounded.
I also have reference that shows 5-19-1863 as his date of death. I
believe with is from a tombstone transcript. Will have to check.
ONE HUNDRED and FORTY-FIRST INFANTRY
One Hundred and Forty-first Infantry. - Col., Henry J. Madill;
Lieut.-Cols., Guy H. Watkins, Casper W. Tyler, Joseph H. Horton ; Majs.,
Israel P. Spaulding, Casper W. Tyler, Joseph H. Horton, Charles Mercur.
This regiment was composed of recruits from the counties of Bradford
Susquehanna and Wayne, and rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg where
it was mustered into the U. S. service in the latter part of Aug. 1862,
for three years. It was barely organized, when it was hurried to
Washington, arriving on Aug. 30 during the progress of the second battle
of Bull Run. It was a raw, inexperienced regiment and
the privations and exposure of the first few weeks told heavily on the
health of the men, 300 being in hospital at one time and 500 being
reported unfit for duty. It was assigned to the 1st brigade (Gen.
Robinson), Birney's division, 3d corps. It remained at Washington,
engaged in perfecting itself in drill and discipline, until the close of
the Maryland campaign, and was then posted at Poolesville for a time,
engaged in picket duty.
It went into winter quarters at Falmouth on Nov. 25, and was in reserve
during most of the battle of Fredericksburg, losing but 1 killed and 4
wounded. At the battle of Chancellorsville the 141st was heavily engaged,
sustaining its chief loss in a desperate charge on the morning of the
third day of the battle,
where it fought with great courage and lost 235 killed, wounded and
missing, out of 419 in action. Lieut.-Col. Watkins was severely wounded
and was taken prisoner. The regiment reached the field of Gettysburg on
the evening of July 1, after a most fatiguing march. On the next day it
went into position at the angle of Sickles' line, on the right of the
Peach Orchard, which was the most exposed part of the whole field. Its
action was most heroic throughout the day, during which it sustained
fearful losses. It went into action on that morning with 198 men, and
lost during the battle 136 in killed, wounded and
missing, or nearly 70 per cent of its numbers. Its total loss during the
two days was 149. In the ensuing campaigns in Virginia it was engaged at
Kelly's ford, Locust Grove, and several minor actions. Winter quarters
were established at Brandy Station and while here many convalescents
returned to the ranks.
Its strength was further augmented by the transfer of many men from the
105th, 99th and 110th Pa. regiments. It entered on the spring campaign of
1864 as part of the 4th division, 2nd corps. In a single charge at the
Wilderness the 141st captured 50 prisoners and the colors of the 13th N.
C. It was fiercely
engaged at the Po river and a few days later at the "bloody angle." In
front of the regiment in the latter engagement stood the great tree which
was cut in two by bullets, and whose trunk
is now one of the treasured memorials of the war at Washington.
Around this tree the enemy's slain were strewn by hundreds. The losses of
the regiment up to this time amounted to 9 killed, 98 wounded and 21
missing. It was first to plant its colors on the enemy's works in a
gallant charge at the North Anna river. More severe fighting followed at
Cold Harbor and on the 14th it crossed the James. Lieut.-Col. Watkins was
killed while leading his men in the charge on the works of Petersburg on
June 18. Maj. Tyler now assumed command and was promoted to
lieutenant-colonel. On July 1, the regiment numbered only 170, and had
but 7 of its 39 original officers.
During the balance of the year it shared in all the fighting of its
corps, being engaged at Deep Bottom, Strawberry Plains, on the Weldon
railroad in October and again in December. It was stationed during the
winter near Fort Hell and on March 27, 1865, began its final campaign,
taking part in the final as-
saults on Petersburg and maintaining its reputation for gallantry in the
bloody engagement of Sailor's creek. At the surrender of Lee it was in
line of battle, prepared to continue the bloody fighting if necessary. On
May 28, it was mustered out at Washington, with the exception of the
were transferred to the 57th Pa. Few regiments achieved a more honorable
record for gallantry and efficient service. The number on the regimental
rolls was 1,036, and its losses during service were 156 killed or died of
wounds, 404 wounded, and 75 captured or missing.
The Union Army, vol. 1
History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865. (PARoster) Published in
November 6, 1862.
November 17, 1862.
November 18, 1862 at Warrenton, VA.
November 28, 1862 at Poolesville, MD.
December 13, 1862 at Fredericksburg, VA.
May 3, 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA.
Other Speary's in the Civil war were:
Asa Speary (his uncle)
Dorson Minard. Speary (His brother)
John W. Speary (Samuel's son.)
Benjamin C. Speary (Samuel's son.)