105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment

105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Silas Marlin, 105th PA Major & Lt. Colonel. Silas also built the Marlin Opera House , Brookville.
105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Col. Amor McKnight

The 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment was raised mainly in the counties of Jefferson, Clarion, and Clearfield. The regiment was mustered at Pittsburgh in September 1861. Brookville resident Amor A. McKnight was the first Colonel and founder of the 105th PA Infantry.

This exciting new exhibit consists of 64 individual portraits of members of the regiment most taken as “CDV” photographs between 1861 and 1865.  Carte de visite (French for “visiting card”) is the format of small paper photographs developed in 1854.  Each photograph was the size of a modern baseball card and the process permitted multiple copies to be made.   These inexpensive pictures were widely taken of Civil War soldiers and sent home. Each photograph was a “visiting card, commonly traded among officers and friends. Albums for the collection and display of cards became common in Victorian parlors, including family and visitors.

The photographs in this exhibit are from the personal collection of Ken Burkett. Many have never before been publicly displayed or published. A selection of associated artifacts associated with the portraits will also accompany the exhibit. 

A little history:

 The 105th distinguished itself during its first action at Fair Oaks setting a precedent for the regiment as hard fighters.  At the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, many won the Kearny Medal of Honor, however, Colonel Amor McKnight was killed during this battle while leading a charge of the Wildcats against the Confederates.

 At the Battle of Gettysburg, only ~ 250 men were left of the regiment and the regiment lost ~50%, and after the return to Virginia, many engagements followed through November. At the end of that campaign, the regiment returned to winter camp at Brandy Station and on December 28, 1863, nearly the entire unit re-enlisted.

 The regiment fought at the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, VA.  First Lieutenant Alexander H. Mitchell of Company A, 105th received the unit’s only Medal of Honor at Spotsylvania on May 12, 1864 for the capture of flag of 18th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.), in a personal encounter with the color bearer.

The regiment then moved to Petersburg, where it took part in the operations of the 10th Army Corps in August and the movements upon the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad in October and December.  On September 5, the remainder of the 63rd Pennsylvania was added to the regiment.

On February 20, 1865, the 105th absorbed Company C of the 2nd United States Sharpshooters, and in March 1865, about 300 new recruits were received.  At Sailor’s Creek, the regiment was actively engaged, after which it returned to Alexandria. It participated in the Grand Review at Washington and was mustered out in that city on July 11, 1865. 

Out of a total enrollment of 2,040 with new recruitments over 3 years’ time, the regiment lost 309 men by death from wounds or disease, and 199 soldiers were reported as missing.

Many families of Jefferson and surrounding counties have ancestors in this hard fought Civil War regiment and the exhibit provides an opportunity to put a face to the name and meet your ancestors, many of whom did not survive the conflict.