A Little White Lie
Pennsylvania monument to 87th, 67th, and 138th PVI at the Monocacy battlefield. Photo courtesy of NPS.
My last post asked Cannonball readers to scour through your old photo albums and files to look for engravings, photographs, CDVs, drawings, and other visual representations of former members of the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry for a project Chris Buckingham is working on. I appreciate the responses so far, and keep looking! There may be scores of photos still out there unaccounted for. Remember, these do NOT have to depict the man in his uniform, but can be of the ex-soldier in old age or in civilian attire at any point in his life.
The 87th PVI fought in a number of significant battles, and at times served in the Army of the Potomac. Here is an amusing anecdote from its service during the Siege of Petersburg.
During the Siege of Petersburg in June 1864, the 87th Pennsylvania, a regiment with a large percentage of soldiers from York County, was manning the Union lines across from a distant Confederate position. At dusk, a tall Rebel infantryman ducked out of his trenches in an effort to find water and fill several wooden canteens for his comrades and himself. His task completed, he slowly worked his way back towards his regiment, but became disoriented and instead approached the 87th’s entrenchments.
By the fading light, the Pennsylvania boys could discern the words 8th GA on his hat. The Rebel called out, “What regiment is that?” A quick-thinking Yankee responded, “8th Georgia.” The Confederate replied, “All right, thought you’uns were Yanks,” and he climbed over the dirt embankment and slid down beside the defenders. “We want you and your canteens, Johnnie,” came the stern order from one of the 87th boys. The startled Georgian drawled, “And you are Yanks, by gad.” He was led away as a prisoner of war.