First Lieutenant Samuel S. Auchmuty — A Worthy Citizen

First Lieutenant Samuel S. Auchmuty, Company D, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers, circa 1863 (courtesy of David Sloan).

God in His alwise providence has called from time to eternity, our brother and co-laborer P.G., S. S. Auchmuty, who has been a member and has filled positions of honor in our Lodge for forty years, and was ever faithful in the discharge of his duties. — “Tribute of Respect,” The Duncannon Record, 16 October 1891

 

Carpenter. Contractor. Builder of homes in peacetime and a maker of men in times of strife. A veteran of both the Mexican-American War during the 1840s and the American Civil War during the 1860s, he spent the remainder of his life, post-war, making his county healthier and stronger by building new homes for families and revitalizing churches, business facilities and schools in the communities where he and his family, friends and neighbors lived, worked and played.

Formative Years

Frequently referred to in the civic and military records of his adulthood as “S. S. Auchmuty,” Samuel S. Auchmuty was born in 1825 in Duncannon, Perry County, Pennsylvania. He arrived at a time when his hometown, county, state, and nation were at the dawn of transformation from largely agrarian to industrial economies operating from villages, towns and cities that had once been pastoral and rustic.

Even in the early 1900s, Duncannon, Pennsylvania retained its rural character (view from Orchard Hill, public domain).

Although little is currently known about his earliest years (between 1825 and 1840), one can gain a sense of what Samuel S. Auchmuty’s childhood may have been like by reading the works of historians who have researched and written about the location and century in which he lived. According to Harry Harrison Hain in his History of Perry County, Pennsylvania:

Duncannon Borough is located on the western bank of the Susquehanna River, at the very farthest point westward of that noted river in its long course, for while it flows in a southwesterly direction that far, at the very heart of Duncannon its trend starts southeastward…. It is within the limits of Penn Township, to which it belonged until 1844, when it became the Borough of Petersburg. It was a part of Rye Township from 1766 until 1826, when Wheatfield was formed…. When Penn Township was formed in 1840, it was a part of Penn until it became a borough. In 1865 the name was changed to Duncannon, it being incorporated as a borough….

Here the Susquehanna’s break through the mountains creates as marvelous mountain scenery as can be seen anywhere in the state. Southwest of the town is Duncannon Hill, a veritable mountain, yet cleared and once tilled, its grassy slopes being used for grazing to this day [1922]. The view from this hill includes the junction of the two rivers, the hundreds of acres of cultivated homelands, the water gaps both here and above Marysville, where the Susquehanna breaks through, the famous and historic Duncan’s and Haldeman’s Islands nestled in the rivers above, and the broad valley of the Susquehanna stretching away among the mountains….

Just when the first schoolhouse was erected in Duncannon is unknown, but as early as 1797 there was one, as an act of the State Legislature of that year designated the Union schoolhouse at Petersburg (now Duncannon) as a voting place for Rye Township. This building was in use until 1840, when it was succeeded by a frame building. This original schoolhouse stood where the Duncannon National Bank now stands. It was built of logs and ‘chinked’ with clay, being covered with boards on the outside. It was about twenty-five feet square and had a broad fireplace at one side. The tables and seats were of slabs, and the seats were without backs.

…. Wright in one of his historical articles, also tells of a school building in Duncannon, near the site of the present one, burning down in 1814 … [and] probably was the one which stood where the Duncannon National Bank now stands, and its successor would then have been the one which was in use until 1840….

Key to Perry County’s growth was America’s flourishing 1830s economy. Fueled by “[l]egislation that devalued the dollar in 1834 … the instability wrought by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s rise to power in Mexico [which] attracted gold and silver from abroad,” and banks printing “more paper money when precious metals accumulated in their vaults,” the “money supply in the United States grew at an average annual rate of thirty percent between 1834 and 1836,  a marked increase from the 2.7 percent growth during the previous three-year period,” according to historian Stephen Campbell. Land sales quickly caught fire, and banks began “engaging in risky lending practices [which] facilitated the mutually reinforcing expansion of land sales, transportation projects, cotton cultivation, and slavery.”

Unshackled from any regulatory oversight at the national level, state governments began issuing dozens of charters for new state banks. This was especially true in the South and West. In 1836 alone, more than 100 banks opened their doors. Statistics show that state banks were appropriating fixed quantities of monetary reserves and shares of capital stock to issue more and more loans during these years, adding to their liabilities and risks.

Many of these risky financial institutions were founded upon the forced removal of Native Americans and the extension of slavery. In expansionary times a cyclical pattern emerged: enslavers took out loans to buy land and cotton, bought slaves to pick the cotton, sold the cotton, and after paying back their loans, used the proceeds to buy more land, cotton, and slaves. The so-called “property banks” (also known as land banks or plantation banks) throughout the South that set much of this process in motion were partially capitalized by land and slave mortgages, and partially by state-backed bonds.

The economy became so hot that President Andrew Jackson was able to pay off the national debt in 1835, and American businesses and their customers eagerly paid more and more for items they felt would make their lives brighter, driving the prices of cotton, land, food, and other daily necessities higher and higher, which threw the nation into a period of inflation.

Concerned about riskier and riskier land speculations and faced with federal coffers overflowing with import fees and land sale taxes, President Jackson and the U.S. Congress made two fateful decisions—to redistribute a $25 million budget surplus to multiple state banks nationwide (the Deposit Act of 1836), moving large amounts of gold and silver deposits from financial institutions on both coasts of the United States to bank vaults inside the nation’s heartland—and Jackson’s 1836 executive order, the Specie Circular, dictating that all land purchases of 320+ acres be made with gold or silver, rather than paper money.

Those decisions sparked a bank run in early 1837. According to Campbell, “[m]onetary reserves in New York City deposit banks fell from $7.2 million in September 1836 to $1.5 million in May 1837.” By 10 May, gold and silver deposits were so badly depleted that banks stopped both specie payments and full-face value redemption of money market securities (“commercial paper”), triggering the Panic of 1837, a severe financial crisis which became a major nationwide financial depression lasting into the mid-1840s.

Known as the Hard Times,” this period was characterized by high unemployment and low wages. One can easily imagine how confusing life would have been for pre-teen Pennsylvanians like Samuel S. Auchmuty as he watched adults around him suffer extreme reversals of fortune.

Meanwhile, Texans were fighting for their independence from Mexico, prompting debates by elected officials nationwide about what America’s next steps should be if that fight was won. According to the Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State:

Following Texas’ successful war of independence against Mexico in 1836, President Martin van Buren refrained from annexing Texas after the Mexicans threatened war. Accordingly, while the United States extended diplomatic recognition to Texas, it took no further action concerning annexation until 1844, when President John Tyler restarted negotiations with the Republic of Texas. His efforts culminated on April 12 in a Treaty of Annexation, an event that caused Mexico to sever diplomatic relations with the United States. Tyler, however, lacked the votes in the Senate to ratify the treaty, and it was defeated by a wide margin in June. Shortly before he left office, Tyler tried again, this time through a joint resolution of both houses of Congress. With the support of President-elect Polk, Tyler managed to get the joint resolution passed on March 1, 1845, and Texas was admitted into the United States on December 29.

While Mexico did not follow through with its threat to declare war if the United States annexed Texas, relations between the two nations remained tense due to Mexico’s disputed border with Texas….

In July, 1845, Polk, who had been elected on a platform of expansionism, ordered the commander of the U.S. Army in Texas, Zachary Taylor, to move his forces into the disputed lands that lay between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers. In November, Polk dispatched Congressman John Slidell to Mexico with instructions to negotiate the purchase of the disputed areas along the Texas-Mexican border, and the territory comprising the present-day states of New Mexico and California.

But Slidell’s efforts failed, and interactions between the two nations remained tense.

Mexican-American War 

Announcement of America’s 13 May 1846 Declaration of War Against Mexico (Sunbury American, 16 May 1846, public domain).

As America’s relationship with Mexico worsened, President James Knox Polk addressed the U.S. Senate on 11 May, and then announced America’s declaration of war against Mexico two days later—on 13 May 1846. Polk’s address  was the published in the 16 May edition of the Sunbury American:

By Special Messenger from Washington.
HIGHLY IMPORTANT
PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS,
Up to Its Adjournment, at 7, Monday Evening.
Important Message of the President –Mexico and the United States—The Country declared to be in a state of War—Important Debate in the Senate—Fifty thousand Volunteers and ten Millions of Dollars voted by the House

WASHINGTON, MAY 11TH , 1846.  }
5½ o’clock, P.M.

In the Senate to-day, soon after the reading of the journal, the following Message from the President of the United States was received and read. The galleries and lobbies were crowded to suffocation.

The message, after stating the relations between the U.S. and Mexico—the mission of Mr. Slidell as Minister, and his final rejection, proceeds to say:

In my message at the commencement of the present session, I informed you that upon the earnest appeal both of the Congress and convention of Texas, I had ordered an efficient military force to take a position ‘between the Nueces and the Del Norte.’ This had become necessary to meet a threatened invasion of Texas by the Mexican forces, for which extensive military preparations have been made. The invasion was threatened solely because Texas had determined, in accordance with a solemn resolution of the Congress of the United States to annex herself to our Union; and under these circumstances, it was plainly our duty to extend our protection over her citizens and soil.

This force was concentrated at Corpus Christi and remained there until after I had received such information from Mexico as rendered it probable, if not certain, that the Mexican government would refuse to receive our envoy.

Meantime, Texas, by the final action of our Congress, had become an integral part of our Union. The Congress of Texas by its act of December 19th, 1836, had declared the Rio del Norte to be the boundary of that republic. Its jurisdiction had been extended and exercised beyond the Neuces. The country between that river and the Del Norte had been represented in the Congress and in the convention of Texas, had thus taken part in the act of annexation itself, and is now included within one of our Congressional districts. Our own Congress had, moreover, with great unanimity, by the act approved December 31st 1845, recognised [sic] country beyond the Neuces as our territory by including it within our own revenue system; and an officer, to reside within that district, has been appointed by and with the advice and consent of  the Senate. It became, therefore, of urgent necessity to provide for the defence of that portion of our country. Accordingly, on the thirteenth of January last instructions were issued to the general in command of these troops to occupy the left bank of the Del Norte.

The movement of the troops to the Del Norte was made by the commanding general, under positive instructions to abstain from all aggressive acts towards Mexico, or Mexican citizens, and to regard the relations between that republic and the United States as peaceful, unless she should declare war, or commit acts of hostility indicative of a state of war. He was specially directed to protect private property and respect personal rights.

The army moved from Corpus Christi on the 11th of March, and on the 28th of that month arrived on the left bank of the Del Norte, opposite to Matamoras, where it encamped on a commanding position, which has since been strengthened by the erection of field works. A depot has also been established at Point Isabel, near the Brazos Santiago, thirty miles in the rear of the encampment. The selection of his position was necessarily confided to the judgment of the general in command.

The Mexican forces at Matamoras assumed belligerent attitude, on the 12th of April. General Ampudia, then in command, notified General Taylor to break up his camp within twenty-four hours, and to retire beyond the Nueces River, and in the event of his failure to comply with these demands, announced that arms, and arms alone must decide the question. But no open act of hostility was committed until the 24th of April. On that day, General Arista, who had succeeded to the command of the Mexican forces, communicated to General Taylor that ‘he considered hostilities had commenced and should prosecute them.’ A party of dragoons of sixty-three men and officers were on the same day despatched [sic] from the American camp up the Rio del Norte on its left bank, to ascertain whether the Mexican troops had crossed, or were preparing to cross the river, ‘became engaged with a large body of these troops, and after a short affair, in which some sixteen were killed and wounded, appeared to have been surrounded and compelled to surrender.’

The President then refers to the grievous wrongs perpetrated by Mexico upon our people during a long period of years, and our forbearance on all occasions, and proceeds:

Instead of this, however, we have been extending our best efforts to propitiate her good will. Upon the pretext that Texas, a nation as independent as herself, thought proper to unite its destinies with our own, she has effected to believe that we have severed her rightful territory, and official proclamations and manifestos, has repeatedly threatened to make war upon us for the purpose of reconquering Texas. In the meantime, we have tried every effort at reconciliation. The cup of forbearance had been exhausted, even before the recent information from the front of the Del Norte. But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory, and shed American blood upon American soil. She proclaimed that hostilities have commenced, that the two nations are now at war.

As war exists, and notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico itself, we are called upon, by every consideration of duty and patriotism, to vindicate, with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.

The President then refers to instructions given to Gen. Taylor in August last, authorising him, in case of emergency, to call upon Texas and the neighboring states for volunteers, and says:

On the 2d day of March, he was again reminded, ‘in the event of the approach of any considerable Mexican force, promptly and efficiently to use the authority with which he was clothed to call to him such auxiliary force as he might need.’ War, actually existing, and our territory having been invaded, General Taylor, pursuant to authority vested in him by my direction, has called on the Governor of Texas, for four regiments of State troops—two to be mounted, and two to serve on foot; and on the Governor of Louisiana for four regiments of infantry, to be sent to him as soon as practicable.

In further vindication of our rights and defence [sic] of our territory, I invoke the prompt action of Congress to recognise [sic] the existence of the war, and to place at the disposition of the Executive the means of prosecuting the war with vigor, and thus hastening the restoration of peace. To this end I recommend that authority should be given to call into the public service a large body of volunteers to serve for not less than six or twelve months, unless sooner discharged.

A volunteer force is, beyond question, more efficient than any other description of citizen soldiers; and it is not to be doubted that number far beyond that required would readily rush to the field upon the call of their country. I further recommend that a liberal provision be made for sustaining our entire military force, and furnishing it with supplies and munitions of war.

The most energetic and prompt measures, and the immediate appearance in arms of a large and overpowering force, are recommended to Congress as the most certain and efficient means of bringing the existing collision with Mexico to a speedy and successful termination.

In making these recommendations, I deem it proper to declare that it is my anxious desire not only to terminate hostilities speedily, but to bring all matters in dispute between this government and Mexico to an early and amicable adjustment; and, in this view, I shall be prepared to renew negotiations whenever Mexico shall be ready to receive propositions, or to make propositions of her own.

U.S. War Department’s Requisition for Mexican-American War Troops, 18 November 1846 (Somerset Herald, 1 December 1846, public domain.)

According to Randy Hackenburg, author of Pennsylvania in the War with Mexico, “word spread that the Commonwealth would provide six entire regiments, and local companies throughout the State hastened to send messages to Gov. Francis Shunk offering their services.”

By June 26, barely six weeks after war had been declared, no fewer than thirty-three Pennsylvania companies had asked to serve, and by the end of July the total had risen to ninety.

Hopes of early field duty were dashed, however, by a rumor that no Volunteer units from Pennsylvania would be needed. None in fact was mustered into service until mid-November, when the Secretary of War asked Pennsylvania to furnish one of the nine Volunteer regiments that were being formed. A month later, on December 18, a second Pennsylvania regiment was requested, and both organizations (designated respectively as the 1st and 2nd Pennsylvania Volunteers) were directed to rendezvous at Pittsburgh.

The 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, which was officially mustered into the federal service on December 15, was placed under the command of Col. Francis M. Wynkoop….

The 2nd Regiment was mustered into U. S. service on January 5, 1847, with William B. Roberts as colonel and John White Geary as lieutenant colonel.

Note: Among the local militia units which mustered into the 2nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry were the Reading Artillerists (Berks County), which would later also send one of its own into the American Civil War as second-in-command of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

It was this second Pennsylvania regiment that Samuel S. Auchmuty ultimately joined, and he did so in response to an updated call for volunteers issued by the U.S. Office of the Adjutant General during the fall of 1846, which was published in newspapers across Pennsylvania in November and early December (including the 1 December edition of The Somerset Herald):

Requisition  for Troops
General Orders—No. 6
HEAD QUARTERS, Adj. Gen’s Office  }
Harrisburgh [sic]. Nov. 18. 1846.

Sir:—The Commander-in-Chief announces to the Volunteer Soldiers of Pennsylvania, that  requisition has been made by the President of the United States, bearing date the 16th day of November, instant, for ONE REGIMENT OF VOLUNTEERS of this State, to consist of ten companies, and to serve to the end of the War with Mexico unless sooner discharged, on the conditions stated in the requisition, a copy of which is hereto annexed. Pittsburgh is designated as place of rendezvous.

The Commander-in-Chief with great confidence expects, that those companies which patriotically tendered their services upon the request of the President of the 19th of May last, will promptly comply with the present requisition. It will be perceived that the present requisition is susceptible of a different construction from the former one, as to the term of service. It will therefore be distinctly understood, that all offers of service made now, will be in reference to the terms of the last requisition. As the services of all those who have already volunteered will not be required to fill the call now made, annexed rule marked A, for making the selection has been adopted.

It will be perceived by reference to the present requisition, that each company is to consist of 80 privates; but if the number on being mustered does not fall below 64 effective men in a company, it will be received. The strictest attention to the requirements in regard to the age and physical ability of the men, should be observed.

Each Captain or Commanding Officer is required to report within ten days after he shall have received this order, to the Adjutant General at Harrisburgh [sic].—As soon as the reports are received, the selection of ten companies will be made, and those whose services are accepted will receive immediate orders to march to the place of rendezvous, where the officers will be elected, and the regiment inspected and mustered into the service of the United States.

By order of the Commander-in-Chief.
GEORGE W. BOWMAN, Adjt’ Gen’l.

NOTE A.—The selection will be made according to the following rule:

The company which is first ready to march computing the time from the receipt of this order, will be first accepted. For example:—If one Commanding officer shall report his company ready to march, within one day after the day on which this order is delivered to him, another within two days and another within three days, &c., they will be accepted according to the order of time in which they are respectively ready to march.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

WAR DEPARTMENT, NOV. 16, 1846

Sir:—In my communication of the 19th May last, your Excellency was requested to organize six regiments of Volunteers, under the act of the 13th of that month, to be held in readiness for public service.

The President now directs me to notify your Excellency that one Infantry Regiment of Volunteers, from your State, is required for immediate service, and to continue therein during the war with Mexico, unless sooner discharged. The Regiment will consist of

Field       {  1 Colonel,
and        {  1 Lieutenant Colonel,
Staff       { 1 Major, 
1 Adjutant—a lieutenant of one of the                          companies but not in addition.

Non-com-  }   1 Sergeant Major,
missioned  }   1 Quarter master Sergeant,
Staff          }    2 Principal musicians, and
                      10 companies, each of which is to
                          consist of 1 Captain, 1 First
Lieutenant, 2 Second Lieutenants,
                          4 Sergeants, 4 Corporals, 2
                         Musicians, and 80 Privates.

Should the number of Privates, on being mustered, not fall below 64 effective men in a Company, it will be received.

Pittsburgh is designated as the place of rendezvous for the several companies as fast as they shall be organized, and where they may be further organized into a regiment, if not already done under a previous call. The regiment will be inspected and mustered into service by an officer, or officers of the United States Army, who will in every case be instructed to receive no man who is in years apparently over forty-five, or under eighteen, or who is not of Physical strength and vigor. To this end, the inspector will be accompanied by  a Medical Officer of the Army, and the volunteer will be submitted to his examination. It is respectfully suggested, that public notice of these requirements will prevent much disappointment to the zealous and patriotic citizens of your State, who may be disposed to volunteer.

By the enclosed copy of an act authorizing the President to call for volunteers, it will be perceived that all the field and company officers, with volunteers taken into the service of the United States, are to be appointed and commissioned, or such as have been appointed and commissioned in accordance with the laws of the State whence they are taken; and I would suggest the extreme importance to the public service, that the Officers of the above Regiment be judiciously selected.

By an Act of Congress, above referred to, it will also be seen that the terms of service are for ‘twelve months, or to the end of the war, unless sooner discharged.’ And it may be that the Regiments which have been enrolled in your State and are now in readiness to enter the service, may regard their offer as made with reference to the former period. Should this be so, your Excellency will cause them to be informed that the engagement, required by this requisition, is to the end of the war with Mexico, unless sooner discharged, and on this condition only, will their service be required. With this understanding, one of these regiments (to be selected by your excellency) will be accepted. If the modifications suggested should not be acceptable to any of those regiments which have tendered their services, you are respectfully requested to proceed without delay to enrol [sic] and organize one in fulfilment [sic] of this requisition.

It may be proper to remark, that the law provides for the clothing (in money) and subsistence of the non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates of volunteers who are received into the service of the United States.

In respect to clothing, the law requires that the volunteers shall furnish their own clothing, for which purpose it allows to each non-commissioned officer, musician and private, three dollars and fifty cents per month, during the time he shall be in the service of the United State [sic]. In order that the volunteers, who shall be mustered into service, under this requisition, may be enabled to provide themselves with good and sufficient clothing, the commutation allowance for six months (twenty-one dollars) will be advanced to each non-commissioned officer, musician and private, after being mustered into service, but only with the express condition that the volunteer has already furnished himself with six months’ clothing—this fact to be certified to the Paymaster by the Captain of the company—or that the amount thus advanced, shall be applied, under the supervision of the Captain, to the object contemplated by law. In this latter case, the advance commutation for clothing will be paid on the Captain’s certificate that he is satisfied it will be so applied.

In respect to subsistence before arriving at the place of rendezvous, and for traveling home from the discharge, the allowance is fifty cents for every twenty miles distance.

The President requests that you will be as prompt as possible in the arrangement of this whole matter, in order that the volunteers may be ready for immediate service. Officers of the Quarter-master, and Subsistence Department, will be immediately ordered to the place of rendezvous, with funds to defray, the necessary expences [sic] which may be incurred.

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

His Excellency FRANCIS R. SHUNK,
Gov. of Pennsylvania, Harrisburgh [sic].

Fort Jackson, New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1845-1860 (courtesy of Louisiana Digital Library, public domain).

Following his enrollment in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Samuel S. Auchmuty was officially mustered in on 6 December 1846 as a Private with Company G of the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry. Beginning on 9 January 1847, members of the 2nd Pennsylvania boarded ships in Pittsburgh, and were transported down the Ohio River to New Orleans, Louisiana, where they disembarked and took up residence at Camp Jackson. On 29 January, they climbed back aboard ship, departed from New Orleans through the Gulf of Mexico, and headed for the Isle of Lobos, where they dropped anchor on 13 February. According to Hackenburg, “The men disembarked and cleared camp areas, but one shipload of troops—three companies of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment—was quarantined aboard ship due to illness among the troops.”

On 3 March, “they set sail for Anton Lizardo, a small island about twelve miles south of Vera Cruz, from which the invasion [against that city] would be launched.”

U.S. Army landing, Battle of Vera Cruz, Mexican-American War, 1847 (N. Currier, circa 1840s, public domain).

That invasion began, for the 1st and 2nd Pennsylvania Infantrymen, at 10 p.m. on 9 March when they “landed on the beach near Vera Cruz,” and were then “positioned somewhere near the center of the siege line, helping to cut off the Alvarado Road and the city’s water supply.”

The siege of Vera Cruz was primarily an affair of land and naval artillery bombardment. No pitched battles were fought, but a few skirmishes did allow the troops to get the smell of powder….

The day following Lieutenant LeClerc’s letter, the Mexicans marched out of the city and stacked their arms in a formal surrender ceremony. The Americans then moved into Vera Cruz, taking up the duties of an occupation force. The Pennsylvania regiments shared in the task of patrolling the streets and standing ready to maintain order.

It was not long, however, before General Scott moved his army out, advancing northwestward. After about forty miles, however, the column found further progress blocked when it reached the heavily fortified pass of Cerro Gordo on April 12.

The Mexicans had developed here … an impregnable series of breastworks and sheltered artillery [making] the main road through the pass useless to General Scott’s brigades. Three batteries lay just to the south of the road [and] about a mile to the west [there was a key] defensive line located on an eminence called El Telegrafo…. [A]nother half to three-quarters of a mile away, was the town of Cerro Gordo, guarded by two more batteries and additional troops.

Through excellent reconnaissance, the American engineer officers were able to find a mountain path leading away from the road and coming up behind El Telegrafo. Hence, on April 18 four brigades assaulted these positions north of the road, completely routing the Mexican defenders. General Pillow’s brigade, however, was given the task of taking the three eastern batteries…. The 2nd Pennsylvania was the third regiment in line of march, behind the 2nd Tennessee and 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers, and it came under fire from the enemy position as it made its way toward the objective. It was never ordered to attack, however. The three Mexican batteries, realizing their predicament, surrendered before such an advance was necessary.

Next ordered to garrison Xalapa (alternate spelling: Jalapa) on 2 May, the 2nd Pennsylvanians remained there until the end of the month when they were directed “to accompany General Pillow when he came up from Vera Cruz with his fresh troops” in preparation for General Scott’s planned assault on Mexico City.

Battle of Chapultepec, Mexican-American War, 1847 (Carl Nebel, 1851, public domain).

Marching for Scott’s headquarters near Puebla on 29 May, they moved via Tepeyahualco, Birayes, Ojo de Aqua, El Pinal, Acajete, and Amozoc until reaching their destination on 8 July. Encamped there for a month, they “moved about twenty-one miles in the first two days out of Puebla, camping the second night near San Martin at the foot of Mt. Popocatepetl.”

The men marched twenty-two more miles on August 10 and slept in the rain and mud at Rio Frio. The next day they crossed over the mountains and entered the beautiful valley in which Mexico City lies, camping that night near Buena Vista (not to be confused with the Buena Vista in northern Mexico where Gen. Zachary Taylor had won a major victory on the previous February 23). Here they remained until the march resumed on August 15, when they moved as far as Chalco…. On the sixteenth they pressed south and then west along the lakeshore, following a narrow, marshy road through Ayocingo, to the village of Capa at Satalco. The following day saw them march about five miles more to San Gregorio, near Lake Xochimilco. The regiment moved again on the eighteenth, camping within one mile of San Augustin, which they entered the next day.

As General Scott decided to use San Augustin as his supply depot, he left the 2nd Pennsylvania there to guard it….

On September 8 … the 2nd Pennsylvania was ordered to leave San Augustin and march to Los Angelos. During the night of the eleventh they moved up to Tacubaya, barely three miles southwest of Mexico City. Operating in support of Capt. Simon H. Drum’s artillery battery, they encountered skirmishing throughout the next day.

At about 9:00 a.m. on the thirteenth Quitman’s division, including the 2nd Pennsylvania, advanced from the south to assault the citadel at Chapultepec. The troops moved a short distance up the Tacubaya Road, then about twelve hundred yards across a cornfield and meadow. Although under heavy fire the entire time, they quickly took the Mexicans’ outer works. In conjunction with the other units of Quitman’s division and Pillow’s division, they then charged and took the inner works, capturing several cannon and numerous prisoners. [They were then] ordered forward again, this time against the fortified, stone Gareta de Belen [and] were able to take two Mexican batteries and move inside the Gareta…. All through the night fire from the Mexicans in the citadel kept Quitman’s men pinned down; but when daylight arrived, [Mexico City] formally surrendered to General Scott. Thus, on September 14, the Pennsylvanians joined the conquering army, which marched triumphantly into the city.

The 2nd Pennsylvania spent the next three months in Mexico City, engaged in guarding and patrolling various parts of the town…. On November 1 the regiment was assigned to General Worth’s division, with which it would remain until its return to Pennsylvania….

The regiment finally left Mexico City and arrived at San Angel on December 19. There it was quartered in a fine old convent and fell into a routine of garrison duty which continued uneventfully until late May, when the decision was made to schedule both Pennsylvania units for return home.

Private Samuel S. Auchmuty and his fellow 2nd Pennsylvanians remained at San Angel until 30 May when they were ordered to return to Vera Cruz. Arriving in mid-June, they boarded transport ships, reached New Orleans at the end of June, and, in mid-July, finally disembarked in Pittsburgh, where they were officially mustered out.

Return to Civilian Life (late 1840s)

“The Union Is Dissolved” (broadside announcing South Carolina’s secession from the United States (Charleston Mercury, 20 December 1860, U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

Following his honorable discharge, Samuel S. Auchmuty returned home to Perry County, Pennsylvania, which had continued to be a site of tremendous growth and transformation during his sixteen months in the military.

Sometime during the early 1850s, he began his own family line by marrying fellow Duncannon native Sarah McKinsey (1827-1895). Together, they welcomed the births of sons Samuel, who was born circa 1852, and Harry (1854-1940), who was born in Duncannon, Perry County, Pennsylvania on 11 September 1854.

Before a decade could even pass, however, his peaceful homelife was threatened when South Carolina drew the nation into disunion by seceding from the United States on 20 December 1860—an aggression followed, over the next two forty-three days, by the secessions of Mississippi (9 January 1861), Florida (10 January 1861), Alabama (11 January 1861), Georgia (19 January 1861), Louisiana (26 January 1861), and Texas (1 February 1861).

American Civil War

Although he did not immediately enlist as one of the “Three Month Men” who responded to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers to defend the nation’s capital, following the fall of Fort Sumter to Confederate States Army troops during mid-April 1861 (likely because he was a thirty-eight-year-old carpenter supporting a wife and children), Samuel S. Auchmuty soon realized that his prior war-time experience and leadership abilities were needed, and he offered his services that summer—making him one of the earliest responders to President Lincoln’s call for help.

Camp Curtin (Harper’s Weekly, 1861, public domain).

On 20 August 1861, he enrolled for a three-year term of military service at Bloomfield, Perry County. Eleven days later (on 31 August), he mustered in at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant with Company D of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

Note: The initial recruitment for members to fill Company D of the Pennsylvania Volunteers’ 47th Regiment was conducted in Bloomfield, Perry County, Pennsylvania. Company D was led by Henry Durant Woodruff, a native of Waterbury, Connecticut who had been reared and educated in Windsor, New York until the age of 18 when he relocated to Perry County, Pennsylvania. A citizen member of the local militia in Bloomfield and, professionally, a teacher and then innkeeper until 1861, Henry Woodruff had not only performed his own Three Month’s Service, but had actually raised the unit he commanded—Company D of the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry, comprised of residents from Bloomfield and other parts of Perry County.

Following a brief light infantry training period, Captain Woodruff, First Lieutenant Auchmuty and their company were sent by train with the 47th Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. where they were stationed at “Camp Kalorama” on the Kalorama Heights near Georgetown, about two miles from the White House, beginning 21 September. Henry D. Wharton, a Musician with C Company, provided the following update on 22 September for readers of the Sunbury American:

After a tedious ride we have, at last, safely arrived at the City of ‘magnificent distances.’ We left Harrisburg on Friday last at 1 o’clock A.M. and reached this camp yesterday (Saturday) at 4 P.M., as tired and worn out a sett [sic] of mortals as can possibly exist. On arriving at Washington we were marched to the ‘Soldiers Retreat,’ a building purposely erected for the benefit of the soldier, where every comfort is extended to him and the wants of the ‘inner man’ supplied.

After partaking of refreshments we were ordered into line and marched, about three miles, to this camp. So tired were the men, that on marching out, some gave out, and had to leave the ranks, but J. Boulton Young, our ‘little Zouave,’ stood it bravely, and acted like a veteran. So small a drummer is scarcely seen in the army, and on the march through Washington he was twice the recipient of three cheers.

We were reviewed by Gen. McClellan yesterday [21 September 1861] without our knowing it. All along the march we noticed a considerable number of officers, both mounted and on foot; the horse of one of the officers was so beautiful that he was noticed by the whole regiment, in fact, so wrapt [sic] up were they in the horse, the rider wasn’t noticed, and the boys were considerably mortified this morning on dis-covering they had missed the sight of, and the neglect of not saluting the soldier next in command to Gen. Scott.

Col. Good, who has command of our regiment, is an excellent man and a splendid soldier. He is a man of very few words, and is continually attending to his duties and the wants of the Regiment.

…. Our Regiment will now be put to hard work; such as drilling and the usual business of camp life, and the boys expect and hope an occasional ‘pop’ at the enemy.

Chain Bridge across the Potomac above Georgetown looking toward Virginia, 1861 (The Illustrated London News, public domain).

As a unit of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company D became part of the federal service when the regiment officially mustered into the U.S. Army on 24 September. Three days later, on September 27, a rainy, drill-free day which permitted many of the men to read or write letters home, the 47th Pennsylvanians were assigned to the 3rd Brigade of Brigadier-General Ingalls Isaac Stevens. By that afternoon, they were on the move again, headed for the Potomac River’s eastern side where, upon arriving at Camp Lyon in Maryland, they were ordered to march double-quick over a chain bridge and off toward Falls Church, Virginia.

Arriving at Camp Advance at dusk, the men pitched their tents in a deep ravine about two miles from the bridge they had just crossed, near a new federal military facility under construction (Fort Ethan Allen), which was also located near the headquarters of Brigadier-General William Farrar Smith (nicknamed “Baldy”), the commander of the Union’s massive Army of the Potomac (“Mr. Lincoln’s Army”). Armed with Mississippi rifles supplied by the Keystone State, their job was to help defend the nation’s capital.

Once again, Company C Musician Henry Wharton recapped the regiment’s activities, noting, via his 29 September letter home to the Sunbury American, that the 47th had changed camps three times in three days:

On Friday last we left Camp Kalorama, and the same night encamped about one mile from the Chain Bridge on the opposite side of the Potomac from Washington. The next morning, Saturday, we were ordered to this Camp [Camp Advance near Fort Ethan Allen, Virginia], one and a half miles from the one we occupied the night previous. I should have mentioned that we halted on a high hill (on our march here) at the Chain Bridge, called Camp Lyon, but were immediately ordered on this side of the river. On the route from Kalorama we were for two hours exposed to the hardest rain I ever experienced. Whew, it was a whopper; but the fellows stood it well – not a murmur – and they waited in their wet clothes until nine o’clock at night for their supper. Our Camp adjoins that of the N.Y. 79th (Highlanders.)….

We had not been in this Camp more than six hours before our boys were supplied with twenty rounds of ball and cartridge, and ordered to march and meet the enemy; they were out all night and got back to Camp at nine o’clock this morning, without having a fight. They are now in their tents taking a snooze preparatory to another march this morning…. I don’t know how long the boys will be gone, but the orders are to cook two days’ rations and take it with them in their haversacks….

There was a nice little affair came off at Lavensville [sic], a few miles from here on Wednesday last; our troops surprised a party of rebels (much larger than our own.) killing ten, took a Major prisoner, and captured a large number of horses, sheep and cattle, besides a large quantity of corn and potatoes, and about ninety six tons of hay. A very nice day’s work. The boys are well, in fact, there is no sickness of any consequence at all in our Regiment….

Unknown regiment, Camp Griffin, Virginia, fall 1861 (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

Sometime during this phase of duty, as part of the 3rd Brigade, the 47th Pennsylvanians were moved to a site they initially christened ‘Camp Big Chestnut’ for the large chestnut tree located within their lodging’s boundaries. The site would eventually become known to the Keystone Staters as ‘Camp Griffin,’ and was located roughly 10 miles from Washington, D.C.

On 11 October, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers marched in the Grand Review at Bailey’s Cross Roads. In a letter home in mid-October, Captain John Peter Shindel Gobin (the leader of C Company who would be promoted in 1864 to lead the entire 47th Regiment) reported that companies D, A, C, F, and I (the 47th Pennsylvania’s right wing) were ordered to picket duty after the left wing’s companies (B, G, K, E, and H) had been forced to return to camp by Confederate  troops.

In his own letter of 13 October, Henry Wharton described their duties, as well as their new home:

The location of our camp is fine and the scenery would be splendid if the view was not obstructed by heavy thickets of pine and innumerable chesnut [sic] trees. The country around us is excellent for the Rebel scouts to display their bravery; that is, to lurk in the dense woods and pick off one of our unsuspecting pickets. Last night, however, they (the Rebels) calculated wide of their mark; some of the New York 33d boys were out on picket; some fourteen or fifteen shots were exchanged, when our side succeeded in bringing to the dust, (or rather mud,) an officer and two privates of the enemy’s mounted pickets. The officer was shot by a Lieutenant in Company H [?], of the 33d.

Our own boys have seen hard service since we have been on the ‘sacred soil.’ One day and night on picket, next day working on entrenchments at the Fort, (Ethan Allen.) another on guard, next on march and so on continually, but the hardest was on picket from last Thursday morning ‘till Saturday morning – all the time four miles from camp, and both of the nights the rain poured in torrents, so much so that their clothes were completely saturated with the rain. They stood it nobly – not one complaining; but from the size of their haversacks on their return, it is no wonder that they were satisfied and are so eager to go again tomorrow. I heard one of them say ‘’there was such nice cabbage, sweet and Irish potatoes, turnips, &c., out where their duty called them, and then there was a likelihood of a Rebel sheep or young porker advancing over our lines and then he could take them as ‘contraband’ and have them for his own use.’ When they were out they saw about a dozen of the Rebel cavalry and would have had a bout with them, had it not been for…unlucky circumstance – one of the men caught the hammer of his rifle in the strap of his knapsack and caused his gun to fire; the Rebels heard the report and scampered in quick time….

On Friday morning, 22 October 1861, the 47th engaged in a Divisional Review, described by historian Lewis Schmidt as massing “about 10,000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, and twenty pieces of artillery all in one big open field.” Less than a month later, in his letter of 17 November, Henry Wharton revealed more details about life at Camp Griffin:

This morning our brigade was out for inspection; arms, accoutrements [sic], clothing, knapsacks, etc, all were out through a thorough examination, and if I must say it myself, our company stood best, A No. 1, for cleanliness. We have a new commander to our Brigade, Brigadier General Brannen [sic], of the U.S. Army, and if looks are any criterion, I think he is a strict disciplinarian and one who will be as able to get his men out of danger as he is willing to lead them to battle….

The boys have plenty of work to do, such as piquet [sic] duty, standing guard, wood-chopping, police duty and day drill; but then they have the most substantial food; our rations consist of fresh beef (three times a week) pickled pork, pickled beef, smoked pork, fresh bread, daily, which is baked by our own bakers, the Quartermaster having procured portable ovens for that purpose, potatoes, split peas, beans, occasionally molasses and plenty of good coffee, so you see Uncle Sam supplies us plentifully…. 

A few nights ago our Company was out on piquet [sic]; it was a terrible night, raining very hard the whole night, and what made it worse, the boys had to stand well to their work and dare not leave to look for shelter. Some of them consider they are well paid for their exposure, as they captured two ancient muskets belonging to Secessia. One of them is of English manufacture, and the other has the Virginia militia mark on it. They are both in a dilapidated condition, but the boys hold them in high estimation as they are trophies from the enemy, and besides they were taken from the house of Mrs. Stewart, sister to the rebel Jackson who assassinated the lamented Ellsworth at Alexandria. The honorable lady, Mrs. Stewart, is now a prisoner at Washington and her house is the headquarters of the command of the piquets [sic]….

Since the success of the secret expedition, we have all kinds of rumors in camp. One is that our Brigade will be sent to the relief of Gen. Sherman, in South Carolina. The boys all desire it and the news in the ‘Press’ is correct, that a large force is to be sent there, I think their wish will be gratified….

Springfield rifle, 1861 model (public domain).

On 21 November, the 47th participated in a morning divisional headquarters review by Colonel Tilghman H. Good, followed by brigade and division drills all afternoon. According to Schmidt, “each man was supplied with ten blank cartridges.” Afterward, “Gen. Smith requested Gen. Brannan to inform Col. Good that the 47th was the best regiment in the whole division.”

As a reward—and in preparation for even bigger things to come, Brigadier-General John Milton Brannan obtained brand new Springfield rifles for every member of the 47th Pennsylvania.

1862—1863 

On Sunday, 19 January 1862, First Lieutenant Samuel Auchmuty was assigned as commander of a picket detail. Per Schmidt:

Capt. Woodruff had no sooner returned from his furlough the previous evening, with two new recruits who brought the company strength to 101, when he was detailed for Captain of the picket on Monday morning. 1st Lt. Auchmuty had been blessed with the detail the day before and 2nd Lt. Stroop was detailed  for picket duty on Tuesday, a turn he felt came too soon, having suffered through this onerous duty last Thursday. Company D had three men on the sick list, but none seriously ill….

Finally, on Wednesday January 22, the pickets were relieved and the troops fell out of their tents to discover the ground covered with the snow that had fallen during the night. The men were assembled at their quarters where the band played ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and they gave three cheers for Camp Griffin. At 8:30 in the morning, ‘in mud up to their knees from the snow the night before,’ the 47th left the camp that had been their home for almost four months.

Standard Civil War Union Army Signal Corps Kit (U.S. Army Historical Collection, public domain).

But First Lieutenant Samuel Auchmuty would not join them on that expedition; sometime during the fall of 1862, he was assigned to detached duty with the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps. According to Schmidt:

Many officers and men of the [47th Pennsylvania] missed the battle [of Pocotaligo], among them Maj. Gausler and Capt. Harte who were at home on recruiting duty; Capt. Kacy who was sick in the hospital at the time; Lieutenants Stroop and Auchmuty who were on temporary duty with the signal corps, and many other unknown members of the regiment, including those who remained in camp at Beaufort.

According to military records, by February of 1863, First Lieutenant Auchmuty had returned to his duties with Company D. The monthly report, “Commissioned Officers, present and absent, accounted for by Name,” for March 1863 notes that First Lieutenant Auchmuty, et. al. “Reported to Lt. Col. G. W. Alexander for duty [at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida] by Order of Col. T. H. Good Dec 22 ’62.”

But by May of 1863, his life changed yet again. According to the “Commissioned Officers, present and absent” report for that month, First Lieutenant Auchmuty was assigned to “Special Duty [at Fort Jefferson] in accordance with … Special Order 68.” The next month, he was serving as a First Lieutenant at Fort Taylor in Key West under the command of Colonel Tilghman H. Good. He remained there until December of 1863 when he was awarded a furlough.

1864

First Lieutenant Samuel Auchmuty’s 1863 furlough was likely typical of the month-long breaks taken by members of the 47th Pennsylvania during December 1863 and January 1864. Approved and issued by Union Army leaders, furloughs were awarded to members of the regiment who chose to re-enlist for additional three-year terms of service.

But his time away from the regiment was apparently extended well beyond the standard thirty-day furlough period—by order of his superior officers who re-assigned him to recruiting duties. According to Schmidt:

On Friday [22 April 1864], Capt. Woodruff with Company D recorded that ‘Lieut. Auchmuty joined us yesterday, with recruits enough to fill the places of the men I lost. Twenty one men are still absent on furlough.’ Capt. Kacy added ‘We are now busy fortifying it [Grand Ecore] with earthwork, falling timber &c., &c. We momentarily expect an attack.’

This means that First Lieutenant Auchmuty was not present during the Battles of Sabine Cross Roads/Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Louisiana in early April 1864, and may not even have been present for the earliest days of that military engagement (known as the Red River Campaign)—or even when the regiment departed from Florida and headed for Louisiana. Schmidt makes clear, however, that Auchmuty did eventually participate in part of this campaign—from the time of the 47th Pennsylvania’s encampment at Grand Ecore until its departure from Louisiana in July 1864—a timeline that is also supported by a letter penned by H Company Lieutenant Christian K. Breneman to Lieutenant William Wallace Geety on 25 April:

We now occupy a splendid position. It is a large bluff on the Red River which we are fortifying. The entire command is at work building breastworks of huge logs around [the] entire bluff some three miles in circumference. Part of [Admiral David] Porter’s monitors are also here. Camp is in a dense shady woods and water is pure and cool. We marched 350 miles, delightful climate and fine country. S. S. Auchmuty, Eagle and party arrived a few days ago [from furlough] and say they enjoyed return voyage. Scenery along Mississippi and Red River unsurpassed.

Having been ordered to make camp at Grand Ecore, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were subsequently involved strengthening brigade fortifications for eleven days and then ordered to head for Natchitoches Parish. Beginning their march on 22 April, they marched forty-five miles until arriving in Cloutierville at 10 p.m. that same night. Attacked at the rear of their brigade while en route, they quickly ended the encounter and moved on.

The 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were stationed just to the left of the “Thick Woods” with Emory’s 2nd Brigade, 1st Division as shown on this map of Union troop positions for the Battle of Cane River Crossing at Monett’s Ferry, Louisiana, 23 April 1864 (Major-General Nathaniel Banks’ official Red River Campaign report, public domain).

The next morning (23 April 1864), episodic skirmishing quickly roared into the flames of a robust fight. As part of the advance party led by Brigadier-General William Emory, the 47th Pennsylvanians took on Brigadier-General Hamilton P. Bee’s Confederate Cavalry in the Battle of Cane River (also known as “the Affair at Monett’s Ferry” or the “Cane River Crossing”). Responding to a barrage from the Confederate artillery’s 20-pound Parrott guns and raking fire from enemy troops situated near a bayou and on a bluff, Emory directed one of his brigades to keep Bee’s Confederates busy while sending the other two brigades to find a safe spot where his Union troops could ford the Cane River. As part of the “beekeepers,” the 47th Pennsylvania supported Emory’s artillery.

Meanwhile, Emory’s other troops worked their way across the Cane River, attacked Bee’s flank, forced a Rebel retreat, and erected a series of pontoon bridges, enabling the 47th and the remaining Union force to make the Cane River Crossing by the next day. As the Confederates retreated, they torched their own food stores, as well as the cotton supplies of their fellow southerners.

In a letter penned from Morganza, Louisiana on 29 May, Henry Wharton described what had happened to the 47th Pennsylvanians during and immediately after making camp at Grand Ecore:

Our sojourn at Grand Ecore was for eleven days, during which time our position was well fortified by entrenchments for a length of five miles, made of heavy logs, five feet high and six feet wide, filled in with dirt. In front of this, trees were felled for a distance of two hundred yards, so that if the enemy attacked we had an open space before us which would enable our forces to repel them and follow if necessary. But our labor seemed to the men as useless, for on the morning of 22d April, the army abandoned these works and started for Alexandria. From our scouts it was ascertained that the enemy had passed some miles to our left with the intention of making a stand against our right at Bayou Cane, where there is a high bluff and dense woods, and at the same attack Smith’s forces who were bringing up the rear. This first day was a hard one on the boys, for by ten o’clock at night they made Cloutierville, a distance of forty-five miles. On that day the rear was attacked which caused our forces to reverse their front and form in line of battle, expecting too, to go back to the relief of Smith, but he needed no assistance, sending word to the front that he had “whipped them, and could do it again.” It was well that Banks made so long a march on that day, for on the next we found the enemy prepared to carry out their design of attacking us front and rear. Skirmishing commenced early in the morning and as our columns advanced he fell back towards the bayou, when we soon discovered the position of their batteries on the bluff. There was then an artillery duel by the smaller pieces, and some sharp fighting by the cavalry, when the “mule battery,” twenty pound Parrott guns, opened a heavy fire, which soon dislodged them, forcing the chivalry to flee in a manner not at all suitable to their boasted courage. Before this one cavalry, the 3d Brigade of the 1st Div., and Birges’ brigade of the second, had crossed the bayou and were doing good service, which, with the other work, made the enemy show their heels. The 3d brigade done some daring deeds in this fight, as also did the cavalry. In one instance the 3d charged up a hill almost perpendicular, driving the enemy back by the bayonet without firing a gun. The woods on this bluff was so thick that the cavalry had to dismount and fight on foot. During the whole of the day, our brigade, the 2d was supporting artillery, under fire all the time, and could not give Mr. Reb a return shot.

While we were fighting in front, Smith was engaged some miles in the rear, but he done his part well and drove them back. The rebel commanders thought by attacking us in the rear, and having a large face on the bluffs, they would be able to capture our train and take us all prisoners, but in this they were mistaken, for our march was so rapid that we were on them before they had thrown up the necessary earthworks. Besides they underrated the amount of our artillery, calculating from the number engaged at Pleasant Hill. The rebel prisoners say it seems as though the Yankees manufacture, on short notice, artillery to order, and the men are furnished with wings when they wish to make a certain point.

The damage done to the Confederate cause by the burning of cotton was immense. On the night of the 22d our route was lighted up for miles and millions of dollars worth of this production was destroyed. This loss will be felt more by Davis & Co., than several defeats in this region, for the basis of the loan in England was on the cotton of Western Louisiana.

After the rebels had fled from the bluff the negro troops put down the pontoons, and by ten that night we were six miles beyond the bayou safely encamped. The next morning we moved forward and in two days were in Alexandria. Johnnys followed Smith’s forces, keeping out of range of his guns, except when he had gained the eminence across the bayou, when he punished them (the rebs) severely.

Christened “Bailey’s Dam” for the Union officer who ordered its construction, Lt.-Col. Joseph Bailey, this timber dam built by the Union Army on the Red River near Alexandria, Louisiana in May 1864 facilitated Union gunboat passage (public domain).

Having finally reached Alexandria, Louisiana on 26 April, the 47th Pennsylvanians learned they would remain at their latest new camp for at least two weeks. Placed temporarily under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Bailey, they were assigned yet again to the hard labor of fortification work, helping to erect “Bailey’s Dam,” a timber structure that enabled Union gunboats to more easily make their way back down the Red River. While stationed in Rapides Parish in late April and early May, according to Wharton:

We were at Alexandria seventeen days, during which time the men were kept busy at throwing up earthworks, foraging and three times went out some distance to meet the enemy, but they did not make their appearance in numbers large enough for an engagement. The water in the Red river had fallen so much that it prevented the gunboats from operating with us, and kept our transports from supplying the troops with rations, (and you know soldiers, like other people, will eat) so Banks was compelled to relinquish his designs on Shreveport and fall back to the Mississippi. To do this a large dam [Bailey’s Dam] had to be built on the falls at Alexandria to get the ironclads down the river. After a great deal of labor this was accomplished and by the morning of May 13th the last one was through the shute [sic], when we bade adieu to Alexandria, marching through the town with banners flying and keeping step to the music of ‘Rally around the flag,’ and ‘When this cruel war is over.’ The next morning, at our camping place, the fleet of boats passed us, when we were informed that Alexandria had been destroyed by fire – the act of a dissatisfied citizen and several negroes. Incendiary acts were strictly forbidden in a general order the day before we left the place, and a cavalry guard was left in the rear to see the order enforced. After marching a few miles skirmishing commenced in front between the cavalry and the enemy in riflepits [sic] on the bank of the river, but they were easily driven away. When we came up we discovered their pits and places where there had been batteries planted. At this point the John Warren, an unarmed transport, on which were sick soldiers and women, was fired into and sunk, killing many and those that were not drowned taken prisoners. A tin-clad gunboat was destroyed at the same place, by which we lost a large mail. Many letters and directed envelopes were found on the bank – thrown there after the contents had been read by the unprincipled scoundrels. The inhumanity of Guerrilla bands in this department is beyond belief, and if one did not know the truth of it or saw some of their barbarities, he would write it down as the story of a ‘reliable gentleman’ or as told by an ‘intelligent contraband.’ Not satisfied with his murderous intent on unarmed transports he fires into the Hospital steamer Laurel Hill, with four hundred sick on board. This boat had the usual hospital signal floating fore and aft, yet, notwithstanding all this, and the customs of war, they fired on them, proving by this act that they are more hardened than the Indians on the frontier.

On Sunday, May 15, we left the river road and took a short route through the woods, saving considerable distance. The windings of Red river are so numerous that it resembles the tape-worm railroad wherewith the politicians frightened the dear people during the administration of Ritner and Stevens. – We stopped several hours in the woods to leave cavalry pass, when we moved forward and by four o’clock emerged into a large open plain where we formed in line of battle, expecting a regular engagement. The enemy, however, retired and we advanced ‘till dark, when the forces halted for the night, with orders to rest on their arms. – ‘Twas here that Banks rode through our regiment, amidst the cheers of the boys, and gave the pleasant news that Grant had defeated Lee.

“Sleeping on Their Arms” by Winslow Homer (Harper’s Weekly, 21 May 1864).

Having entered Avoyelles Parish, they “rested on their arms” for the night, half-dozing without pitching their tents, but with their rifles right beside them. They were now positioned just outside of Marksville, Louisiana on the eve of the 16 May 1864 Battle of Mansura, which unfolded as follows, according to Wharton:

Early next morning we marched through Marksville into a prairie nine miles long and six wide where every preparation was made for a fight. The whole of our force was formed in line, in support of artillery in front, who commenced operations on the enemy driving him gradually from the prairie into the woods. As the enemy retreated before the heavy fire of our artillery, the infantry advanced in line until they reached Mousoula [sic], where they formed in column, taking the whole field in an attempt to flank the enemy, but their running qualities were so good that we were foiled. The maneuvring [sic] of the troops was handsomely done, and the movements was [sic] one of the finest things of the war. The fight of artillery was a steady one of five miles. The enemy merely stood that they might cover the retreat of their infantry and train under cover of their artillery. Our loss was slight. Of the rebels we could not ascertain correctly, but learned from citizens who had secreted themselves during the fight, that they had many killed and wounded, who threw them into wagons, promiscuously, and drove them off so that we could not learn their casualties. The next day we moved to Simmsport [sic] on the Achafalaya [sic] river, where a bridge was made by putting the transports side by side, which enabled the troops and train to pass safely over. – The day before we crossed the rebels attacked Smith, thinking it was but the rear guard, in which they, the graybacks, were awfully cut up, and four hundred prisoners fell into our hands. Our loss in killed and wounded was ninety. This fight was the last one of the expedition. The whole of the force is safe on the Mississippi, gunboats, transports and trains. The 16th and 17th have gone to their old commands.

It is amusing to read the statements of correspondents to papers North, concerning our movements and the losses of our army. I have it from the best source that the Federal loss from Franklin to Mansfield, and from their [sic] to this point does not exceed thirty-five hundred in killed, wounded and missing, while that of the rebels is over eight thousand.

Continuing on, the surviving members of the 47th marched for Simmesport and then Morganza, where they made camp again. According to Wharton, the members of Company C were sent on a special mission which took them on an intense 120-mile journey:

Company C, on last Saturday was detailed by the General in command of the Division to take one hundred and eighty-seven prisoners (rebs) to New Orleans. This they done [sic] satisfactorily and returned yesterday to their regiment, ready for duty. While in the City some of the boys made Captain Gobin quite a handsome present, to show their appreciation of him as an officer gentleman.

Union Army base at Morganza Bend, Louisiana, circa 1863-1865 (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

While encamped at Morganza, the nine formerly enslaved Black men who had enlisted with the 47th Pennsylvania in Beaufort, South Carolina (1862) and Natchitoches, Louisiana (April 1864) were officially mustered into the regiment between 20-24 June 1864. The regiment then moved on once again, and arrived in New Orleans in late June.

On the Fourth of July, leaders of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry received orders to return to the East Coast, and began packing up and loading their men onto ships in two stages. Companies A, C, D, E, F, H, and I steamed for the Washington, D.C. area beginning 7 July while the men from Companies B, G and K remained behind on detached duty and to await transportation. (Led by F Company Captain Henry S. Harte, the 47th Pennsylvanians who had been left behind in Louisiana finally sailed away at the end of the month aboard the Blackstone. Arriving in Virginia on 28 July, they reconnected with the bulk of the regiment at Monocacy, Virginia on 2 August.)

As a result of this twist of fate, First Lieutenant Samuel Auchmuty and his fellow “early travelers” had the good fortune to have a memorable encounter with President Abraham Lincoln on 12 July 1864. They then subsequently fought in the mid-July Battle of Cool Spring at Snicker’s Gap, Virginia.

Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign

“Berryville from the West. Blue Ridge on the Horizon” (T. D. Biscoe DeGloyer, Berryville Pike, 1 August 1884, courtesy of Southern Methodist University).

Attached to the Middle Military Division, Army of the Shenandoah beginning in August, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was assigned to defensive duties in and around Halltown, Virginia during the opening days of that month, and then engaged in a series of back-and-forth movements over the next several weeks between Halltown, Berryville and other locations within the vicinity (Middletown, Charlestown and Winchester) as part of a “mimic war” being waged by the Union forces of Major-General Philip H. Sheridan with those commanded by Confederate Lieutenant-General Jubal Early.

From 3-4 September, First Lieutenant Samuel Auchmuty and the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers took on Early’s Confederates again—this time in the Battle of Berryville.

But it would be the last combat action in which First Lieutenant Auchmuty would be engaged. Deciding that he’d had enough of military life, he accepted his honorable discharge from the 47th Pennsylvania at Berryville, which was granted on the expiration date of his original three-year term of service on 18 September 1864.

Return to Civilian Life (mid-1860s)

Duncannon retained its small-town feel well into the 20th century as illustrated by this photo of the Doyle Hotel on Market Street Square (early 1900s, public domain).

Following his honorable discharge, Samuel S. Auchmuty returned home to his wife and children in Pennsylvania, where he and his son, Harry, ultimately became successful contractors engaged in building homes in Perry County, including in Duncannon’s “uptown” area. In July 1869, The Perry County Democrat published a report by him in his capacity as president of the Penn Township School Fund, which detailed the fund’s revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year that had ended in June.

In 1870, Samuel S. Auchmuty was documented by a federal census enumerator as a forty-five-year-old carpenter residing with his wife, Sarah, and sons, Samuel (aged eighteen), Harry (aged fifteen), and Frank (aged one), in Duncannon, Penn Township, Pennsylvania. In mid-September, The Bloomfield Times reported that he was one of several residents building new houses:

Duncannon Improvements

Perhaps it will be better understood by those who may read this article to say that Dr. Jos. Swarts, Wm. C. King and ex-Sheriff John Sheibley … bought the Clark farm, laid out lots and sold the number stated….

The first man to build a house on the new addition was Mr. Wm. Brown, the man who is full of patent-rights, and has excelled in the Window Sash Lock. Next was Mr. Crick, and third was Mr. S whom we mentioned last week…. Mr. S. S. Auchmuty has a cellar partly dug, and most of his lumber on the ground, will build during the winter, and a number still intend to build as soon as the ‘needful’ is ready….

Note: According to the 1935 Duncannon Record, the Auchmuty family lived for many years on North High Street.

The 20 February 1872 edition of The New Bloomfield Times reported that Samuel Auchmuty had been selected to represent Penn Township as a Traverse Juror “for Special Court for cases from Franklin County, to be held in Bloomfield, March 11th, 1872.” The 24 December 1872 edition reported that his name had been drawn as a Traverse Juror for Penn Township for January 1873.

In late September 1874, he served as one of two delegates representing Penn Township at the Perry County Republican Convention, which was held at the Court House in New Bloomfield, per the 6 October 1874 edition of The Bloomfield Times. On 30 September 1875, he joined with his fellow army veterans from the region in commemorating their service to the commonwealth and nation during the first reunion of former Civil War soldiers in Perry County. According to historian Harry Harrison Hain:

While the great Sectional War was over in 1865, the Soldiers Reunions, so familiar to a later generation, were not inaugurated at once, but ten years intervened before the first one was held, at Newport, on September 30, 1875. The chief marshal of the first parade was Capt. B. F. Miller. The aids were Maj. George A. Shuman, Capt. A. D. Vandling, Lieut. D. C. Orris and Sheriff J. W. Williamson. The procession included the following and marched over the principal streets of Newport:

Barnet Sheibley, survivor of the War of 1812, in carriage.
Dr. Isaac N. Shatto, survivor of the Mexican War, in carriage.
Keystone Band, of Newville, Pa.
Company of veterans, under Lieut. S. S. Auchmuty, of the Forty-Seventh Regiment Penna. Volunteers, and also a Mexican War veteran. The Duncannon contingent.)
Morris Drum Corps, Liverpool; Wm. Morris, drum major, 8 drums.
Company of veterans, commanded by Capt. H. C. Snyder, of Liverpool, late captain of Company B, Seventh Reserves. (Liverpool veterans.)
Germania Band, Newport; Wm. A. Zinn, leader, 16 pieces.
Company of veterans, commanded by Capt. F. M. McKeehan, late captain of Company E, 208th Regiment. (Probably Newport and Bloomfield veterans.)
Duncannon Band, Joshua H. Gladden, leader.
Company of veterans, commanded by Capt. W. H. Sheible, Landisburg, late captain of Company G, 133rd Regiment. (Upper Sherman’s Valley contingent.)

Charles H. Smiley, a veteran and then a young and rising attorney, later a state senator from his native district, was the orator of the day.

Still working as a carpenter in 1880, Samuel S. Auchmuty resided in Penn Township, Perry County with his wife, their son Harry, and Harry’s wife, Annie (Smith) Auchmuty, whom Harry had married in 1879. On 1 March 1881, Samuel Auchmuty filed for (and was later awarded) his U.S. Civil War Pension. That same year, he was assigned Traverse Juror duty again for Penn Township.

Additionally, throughout the 1880s, local and regional newspapers reported on his business successes. In August 1883, the Duncannon Record described him as “Samuel Auchmuty, Contractor and Builder,” and noted that he was responsible for improvements to or new construction of homes for William Yoe, Jr., William Parsons, H. Auchmuty, and the “Flemming  property,” as well as Hawley-Sankey and Hawley-Beck, the Methodist Episcopal Parsonage, “Store rooms in Pennell’s,” and the “School House,” among other structures. In the fall of 1886, The Perry County Democrat reported that:

Col. W. W. Dickinson of Philadelphia … contracted with S. S. Auchmuty & Son to build a double house on Broadway Avenue. The Colonel’s home is in Philadelphia, but love for the place of his birth makes him come here and invest a part of his wealth.

Note: Per historian Harry Harrison Hain, “Joseph M. Hawley, who died in 1889, was a prominent businessman and left his mark on the community” [of Duncannon]. “In 1883, S. K. Sankey & Company erected the Duncannon planing mill…. William Bothwell was later associated with Mr. Sankey, and on his withdrawal it was operated by Sankey & Son.”

The Duncannon Presbyterian Church was one of the structures Samuel S. Auchmuty helped to build in Perry County, Pennsylvania during the 1880s (image circa early 1900s, public domain).

During mid-April 1888, both The Bloomfield Times and Mifflintown’s Sentinel & Republican reported that Samuel S. Auchmuty had been chosen to build a new church in Duncannon. Per the 11 April 1888 edition of the Sentinel:

The Bloomfield Times says: The Presbyterian congregation of Duncannon intends erecting a new church. Messrs. Sweger and Auchmuty have taken the contract for the sum of $5,555. Ground will be broken for the new foundation in a few days.

And per Hain, many of the county’s earliest settlers were Presbyterian.

The early records tell of the establishment of churches in the west end of [Perry] county…. In October 1793, Presbytery appointed supplies for Sherman’s Creek, Dick’s Gap and ‘at the mouth of the Juniata,,’ a Sabbath to be spent at each place….

In conjunction with Middle Ridge and the Sherman’s Creek Church the people of that faith residing here issued a call, March 10, 1803, to Rev. James Brady, of Carlisle, to become pastor. The services were then held in a stone house, above William Irwin’s store. During the next year a log church, 25×30 feet in size, was built on the bluff, above Duncannon, on lands purchased by Cornelius Baskins—the location occupied [in 1922] by the Presbyterian cemetery….

[By the early 1830s], the town, then known as Petersburg, had grown from the small settlement to a village of considerable size, and a new church had been built on High Street and was dedicated in August, 1841. It was a frame church, 40×50 feet in size, and on the site of the present church. The Sunday school was held for a time in the old building on the heights, but was soon transferred to the new school building, where it met until the church was erected. Occasional services were also held in the old church until April 12, 1866, when a storm laid it in ruins….

A new brick edifice was erected upon the same site at a cost of over $10,000, being dedicated April 27, 1888…..

Of note, Samuel S. Auchmuty also filed an application for an increase to his U.S. Civil War Pension sometime during this period. According to the 6 May 1887 edition of The Duncannon Record:

Two worthy citizens of this place, Wm. A. Holland and Samuel Auchmuty have been made happy by receiving pensions during last month. Mr. Holland receiving $12 a month besides back pension, and Mr. Auchmuty has had an increase from $4.25 to $8.50 per month.

Later that same year, the same newspaper mentioned him twice in its 21 October 1887 report of the Civil War veterans’ reunion held in Perry County, noting that “Lieutenant S. S. Auchmuty introduced Secretary of the Commonwealth, C. W. Stone, who had come to explain Governor Beaver’s ‘unavoidable absence.'” In 1890, The Duncannon Record reported that “Mr. S. S. Auchmuty [was] recovering from the effects of his recent illness and is now able to be out.”

Death and Interment

Sadly, Samuel S. Auchmuty’s recovery from illness was not a long one. He died in Perry County, just seven months later, on 2 October 1891. Following funeral services on Monday, 5 October, he was laid to rest at the Duncannon Presbyterian Cemetery in Duncannon, Perry County. According to The Duncannon Record, “Samuel Auchmuty died on the exact date 40 years after his initiation into the I.O.O.F. (the International Order of Odd Fellows).” His death was also reported later in the year by The Morning Call in Allentown, which was covering the annual reunion of the 47th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers.

On 16 October 1891, Samuel Auchmuty’s fellow Odd Fellows members honored him in The Duncannon Record:

Tribute of Respect

At a regular meeting of Evergreen Lodge, No. 205, I.O.O.F., of Duncannon, Pa., held Oct. 10, 1891, the following Resolutions were unanimously adopted:

WHEREAS, God in His alwise providence has called from time to eternity, our brother and co-laborer P.G., S. S. Auchmuty, who has been a member and has filled positions of honor in our Lodge for forty years, and was ever faithful in the discharge of his duties, and,

WHEREAS, we are again thus reminded that the earthly ties which bind us together here, though they may continue for many years will finally be severed by death, therefore,

Resolved, That bowing in humble submission beneath the chastening, we mourn the loss of our brother here and will ever cherish a pleasant recollection of the association of days gone by.

Resolved, That we send our heart felt sympathy to his bereaved wife and friends, and hope that affliction, though severe, may work out for them a great good.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the wife of  the deceased, and entered on the minutes of the Lodge, printed in the Duncannon RECORD, the Peoples Advocate and Press and the Perry County Democrat.

Resolved, That the charter be draped for thirty days, and the brother’s name be entered in the Lodge Bible.

C. F. Gamber,
Geo. H. Snyder,
W. W. Potter,
Committee

What Happened to His Wife and Children?

Samuel S. Auchmuty’s widow, Sarah, filed for a U.S. Civil War Widow’s Pension on 27 October 1891. She joined him in death just over four years later. Following her passing on 12 November 1895, she was laid to rest beside him at the Duncannon Presbyterian Cemetery.

Their son, Harry, became a carpenter and partner in the contracting firm, S. S. Auchmuty & Son, and also began his own family by marrying Anna E. Smith (1857-1935), a daughter of James Smith and Susannah (Gilper) Smith. He went on to live a full life, finally succumbing to atherosclerosis and myocarditis in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania on 3 January 1840. He was then laid to rest at the Shamokin Cemetery on 6 January. According to his obituary in the Shamokin News Dispatch:

Harry Auchmuty, 85, of 138 East Lincoln Street, died of a heart ailment at his home early last evening [3 January 1940]. He was in ill health for more than two years, and although not bedfast, he was confined to the second floor of his home for the past 11 months.

Mr. Auchmuty was born in Duncannon, Perry County, September 11, 1854, son of the late Lieutenant S. S. and Sarah (McKinsey) Auchmuty. The elder Mr. Auchmuty served with the Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War, and moved here when Harry Auchmuty was about 20 years old. The latter learned the carpentry trade when a young man and worked for more than 40 years for the Shamokin Lumber and Construction Company, retiring 15 years ago. He was married in 1879 to Miss Anna E. Smith, of Shamokin, who preceded him in death four years ago. Mr. Auchmuty was a member of Lincoln Street Methodist Church.

Surviving are an adopted niece, Mrs. Harold E. Shompoer, formerly Miss Dorothy Williams, who was reared by Mr. Auchmuty and his wife, and who resided with Mr. Auchmuty until his demise; several cousins and a number of nephews and nieces by marriage, residing in region towns.

 

Sources: 

  1. Anna Elizabeth Auchmuty (Samuel Auchmuty’s daughter-in law), in Death Certificates (file no.: 99912, registered no.: 427, 13 November 1935). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.
  2. Auchmudy [sic], Samuel, in U.S. Compiled Military Service Records: Mexican War, 6 December 1846-April 1848. Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
  3. Auchmuty, Samuel S., in Civil War Veterans’ Card File, 1861-1866. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Archives.
  4. Auchmuty, Samuel S., in “Records of Burial Places of Veterans.” Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Commonwealth, of Pennsylvania: Department of Military Affairs, 1891.
  5. Auchmuty/Auchmudy [sic]/Auchmoody [sic], Samuel/Sam (father), Sarah (mother), Samuel/Saml (son), Harry (son), Frank (son), and/or Annie E. (wife of Harry), in U.S. Census (Duncannon, Penn Township, Perry County, Pennsylvania: 1870, 1880). Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
  6. Auchmuty, Samuel S. and Auchmuty, Sarah, in U.S. Civil War Pension Index (application no.: 416898, certificate no.: 290358, filed from Pennsylvania by the veteran on 1 March 1881; application no.: 530358, certificate no.: 373641, filed by the veteran’s widow, Sarah Auchmuty, on 27 October 1891). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
  7. Bates, Samuel P. History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, vol 1. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: B. Singerly, State Printer, 1869.
  8. “Boom of Business: Fruits of Industry: What Eight Months Has Done for This Place” (listing of Samuel S. Auchmuty’s contracting sites in Duncannon). Duncannon, Pennsylvania: The Duncannon Record, 10 August 1883, p. 3.
  9. “By Special Messenger from Washington. HIGHLY IMPORTANT PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS, Up to Its Adjournment, at 7, Monday Evening. Important Message of the President—Mexico and the United States—The Country declared to be in a state of War—Important Debate in the Senate—Fifty thousand Volunteers and ten Millions of Dollars voted by the House.” Sunbury, Pennsylvania: Sunbury American, 16 May 1846.
  10. Campbell, Stephen. Panic of 1837.” Bloomington, Indiana: The Economic Historian, 12 November 2020.
  11. “Duncannon Dots” (notice of contracting of S. S. Auchmuty & Son by Colonel W. W. Dickinson of Philadelphia to build a new home). Bloomfield, Pennsylvania: The Perry County Democrat, 29 September 1886, p. 3.
  12. “Duncannon Improvements.” New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania: The Bloomfield Times, 13 September 1870, p. 5.
  13. Hackenburg, Randy. Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War with Mexico,” in Pennsylvania Heritage, March 1978. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
  14. Hackenburg, Randy. Pennsylvania in the War with Mexico. Shippensburg, Pennsylvania: White Mane Publishing Company Inc., 1992.
  15. Hain, Harry Harrison. History of Perry County, Pennsylvania. Including Descriptions of Indians and Pioneer Life from the Time of Earliest Settlement. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Hain-Moore Company, 1922.
  16. Harry Auchmuty, in Death Certificates (file no.: 8989, registered no.: 9, 3 January 1940). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.
  17. “Heart Ailment Causes Death of Local Man: Harry Auchmuty, Retired Carpenter, Dies at Lincoln Street Home.” Shamokin, Pennsylvania: Shamokin News Dispatch, 4 January 1940, p. 3.
  18. “Mrs. Annie Auchmuty” (obituary). Duncannon, Pennsylvania: The Duncannon Record, 1 November 1935, p. 4.
  19. “Penn Township School Fund” (report by Samuel S. Auchmuty). Bloomfield, Pennsylvania: The Perry County Democrat, 14 and 21 July 1869, p. 3.
  20. “Personals” (notice of S. S. Auchmuty’s recovery from illness). Duncannon, Pennsylvania: The Duncannon Record, 15 August 1890, front page.
  21. “Republican Convention.” New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania: The Bloomfield Times, 6 October 1874, p 5.
  22. “Requisition for Troops” (for the Mexican-American War). Somerset, Pennsylvania: The Somerset Herald, 1 December 1846, p. 3.
  23. Samuel Auchmuty (funeral and death information). Duncannon, Pennsylvania: The Duncannon Record, 9 October 1891, p. 4 and 16 October 1891, p. 1.
  24. Samuel Auchmuty (jury duty notices). Perry County, Pennsylvania: The New Bloomfield Times, 20 February 1872, 24 December 1873 and 27 September 1881.
  25. Samuel S. Auchmuty, in “Returns from U.S. Military Posts,” in “Records of the U.S. Adjutant General’s Office” (December 1862, January-December 1863; Record Group 94). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
  26. Samuel S. Auchmuty, in U.S. Census (“Special Schedule—Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows, etc.”: 1890). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
  27. Schmidt, Lewis G. A Civil War History of the 47th Regiment of Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Self-published, 1986.
  28. “Short Locals” (announcement of Samuel S. Auchmuty’s involvement in the construction of a new Presbyterian Church building in Duncannon, Perry County). Mifflintown, Pennsylvania: Sentinel & Republican, 11 April 1888, p. 3.
  29. “Survivors at Easton: The Gallant 47th Regiment Holds Its Annual Reunion, Many Veterans Present” (article mentions death of Samuel S. Auchmuty). Allentown, Pennsylvania: The Morning Call, 23 October 1891, front page.
  30. The Annexation of Texas, the Mexican-American War, and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, 1845–1848,” in “Milestones:1830-1860.” Washington, D.C.: Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, retrieved online 19 July 2022.
  31. “The Veterans’ Great Day! Grandest Reunion of Them All! 5,000 Strangers in Town! Duncannon’s Welcome to Them All!” (two mentions of Samuel Auchmuty in a report on the Civil War veterans’ reunion held in Perry County). Duncannon, Pennsylvania: The Duncannon Record, 21 October 1887, front page.
  32. “Tribute of Respect” (paid to Samuel S. Auchmuty). Duncannon, Pennsylvania: The Duncannon Record, 16 October 1891, p. 8.
  33. “Two Worthy Individuals” (notice of U.S. Civil War Pension increase for Samuel Auchmuty). Duncannon, Pennsylvania: The Duncannon Record, 6 May 1887, p. 4.