Ed Hagerty's presentation traced the fortunes of the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers, a "Zouave" regiment under the command of Col. Charles Collis who was born in Ireland and was a lawyer. Although the term "zouave" suggested 'elan' and dash, the 114th was known as a steady regiment, not for making impulsive charges.
hey had mixed fortunes. At Fredericksburg, the regiment, under Brigadier General John C. Robinson managed to lose its regimental band, all of whom became prisoners as they slept!
At Chancellorsville they were again in the fray but were overwhelmed. Collis at the time was suffering from typhoid fever. His official report indicated his orders were of a conflicting nature. Though returned to him he would still not change it. The report was then forwarded to General Birney and Collis was court-martialled.
Without Collis in command the 114th fought along the Emmitsburg Road at the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg, facing 1,400 Mississippians and protecting Union guns. After fierce fighting at the Sherfy farm only 184 remained out of the 341 who fought.
Collis was back in August 1863 and the 114th was HQ guard in winter quarters at Brandy Station. On 2 April 1865 it took part in the assault on Fort Mahone in Petersburg. On 3 April, it entered Petersburg, acting as skirmishers. Collis gained a brevet promotion to Brigadier General USV, 28 Oct 1864.
© ACWRT (UK) 2000 & 2001