8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 2, 2021 4:37 PM by Donna Westling

    Seeking military records of Joseph Smith & 122nd Pa. Infantry

    Bryan Elbell Newbie

      I am looking for any information on Joseph Smith, who served with the Pennsylvania 122nd Infantry from 1860-1865. He took part in the battle at Gettysburg, later wounded at Cold Harbor, VA. His name is on the PA state statue at Gettysburg. I am a direct descendant of him. I know he returned to Indiana County, PA after the war and became a farmer and logger. Not much is known about his military service, other than he enlisted for 3 years, and took part in a majority of the battles in VA up until the time he was wounded.

        • Re: Seeking military records of Joseph Smith & 22nd Pa. Infantry
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          It may also help to narrow down my search if you could provide any additional information such as DOB or place of birth, or any additional family spouse? Smith was a very common last name I have over 20,000 hits just on the name you gave me for PA Civil War and so far have been through 100 of them and no 122nd.


          Additional information needed if known.

          • Re: Seeking military records of Joseph Smith & 122nd Pa. Infantry
            Jason Atkinson Ranger

            Dear Mr. Elbell,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Civil War in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that include an index card for [Pennsylvania] Smith, Joseph B - 122nd Infantry, Company G. The card indicates there should be a consolidate military service record (CMSR) for him in the record series Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the American Civil War in Record Group 94. Most of the service records in this series have been made available via microfilm and through digitization of the microfilm. Unfortunately, the records for Pennsylvania Volunteers have not been microfilmed or digitized.


            To request a copy of his non-digitized service record, please download the NATF Form 86, fill it out to the best of your knowledge, and mail the completed forms to the address listed on the form. Please include a copy of the file unit from the Index. For more information see Requesting Copies of Older (pre-WWI) Military Service Records.


            There also may be a pension file for him, however please note that not all Civil War soldiers received a pension. The majority of Civil War pension files in the Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Record Group 15) are in the custody of the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1). There are also 3 record series (XC files) in Record Group 15 at the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL) that include claims files relating to Civil War Veterans.  These records were transferred to the National Archives in 1952 and 1955 from the VA. Please email both RDT1 at Archives1reference@nara.gov and RL-SL at stl.archives@nara.gov with full details about the soldier you are researching.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1 and RL-SL. Also, Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. NARA has also temporarily suspended the option for placing online orders using eservices.archives.gov. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. We apologize for any inconvenience.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


            • Re: Seeking military records of Joseph Smith & 122nd Pa. Infantry
              Elliot Schneider Ranger



              Think I found your individual where he is buried. He also may have served in other units within the PA Infantry. Wife's name was Catherine C. Smith her maiden name was Gillespie






              Here is his pension record index and other records: click on images to enlarge







              1 person found this helpful
                • Re: Seeking military records of Joseph Smith & 122nd Pa. Infantry
                  Bryan Elbell Newbie

                  Elliot, I have to apologize for offering some mixed up information. My Dad is 87 and got a couple of names confused.


                  The soldier I'm looking for info on is actually John Smith, who was born in Butler County, Pa. in 1839. His father Henry came to the states in 1836 from Germany. The original last name was spelled Schmidt, but was changed when he settled in Pa.


                  The Smiths moved to Canoe Township, Pa to take up farming. John engaged in farming with his family, and in helping out on other farms. In early 1863 he enlisted in the Union Army, and was assigned to Company L, 102nd Regiment P.V.I. (also known as the old 13th Regiment).


                  His unit was dispatched to Camp Reynolds at Rappahannock Station. He became a sharpshooter in November of 1863, and served with the 6th Army Corps.


                  Some of his engagements include Gettysburg, Win Run, Spotsylvania, North Anna River, Tolopotomoy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Stevens, Charlestown, Winchester, Fishers Hill, Cedar Creek, Fort Steadman, Sailors Creek and Appomattox. He was wounded in the hand at Cedar Creek, and carried the bullet in his hand until he died. He was discharged after Appomattox and returned home to continue farming. His wife was Catherine Binn, from Germany, who died in 1895. They had 5 children who survived, and 3 who died in infancy. He owned 150 acres of farmland in Canoe Township, and was a regular member of the Grand Army of the Republic post in Punxsutawney. There is no date mentioned on when he died.


                  He also had an older brother named Adam, who served in Company I, 162nd P.V.I. (Pa. Volunteer Infantry) and was wounded at Bull Run. Very little is known about Adam except that he returned to Jefferson County after being discharged to take up farming.


                  This is information my Dad copied from his book of the History of Indiana County and sent me.


                  The Joseph Smith I asked about earlier was a cousin of John's.

                • Re: Seeking military records of Joseph Smith & 122nd Pa. Infantry
                  Donna Westling Newbie

                  Looking at the tombstone of Adam Smith on Find-A-Grave.com, it says that he was attached to "Company I 62nd PVI." It's easy to see how that could be mistaken for the 162nd.


                  Here's what I was able to find about the 62nd:



                  62nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry


                  Organized at Pittsburg as 33rd Regiment August 31, 1861. Left state for Washington, D. C., August 31, 1861. Designation changed to 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers November 18, 1861. Attached to Morrell's Brigade, Fitz John Porter's Division, Army Potomac, to March, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army Potomac, to May, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps, to July, 1864.



                  Camp near Fort Corcoran, Defenses of Washington, D. C., till October, 1861, and near Fall's Church, Va., till March, 1862. Moved to the Peninsula March 22-24. Reconnaissance to Big Bethel March 30. Howard's Mills, near Cockletown, April 4. Warwick Road April 5. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Hanover C. H. May 27. Operations about Hanover C. H. May 27-29. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Battles of Mechanicsville June 26; Gaines Mill June 27; Savage Station June 29; Turkey Bridge or Malvern Cliff June 30, Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing till August 16. Movement to Fortress Monroe, thence to Centreville August 16-28. Battle of Bull Run August 30. Battle of Antietam, Md., September 16-17. Shepherdstown Ford September 19. Blackford's Ford September 19. Reconnaissance to Smithfield October 16-17. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Expedition to Richard's and Ellis' Fords, Rappahannock River, December 30-31. Burnside's second Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth till April. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Middleburg June 19. Uppervile June 21. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Duty on line of the Rappahannock till October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Rappahannock Station November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Duty at Bealeton Station till May, 1864. Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania C. H. May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 25. Line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg till July 3. Left front July 3. Mustered out July 13, 1864. Companies "L" and "M" transferred to 91st Pennsylvania. Mustered out August 15, 1864. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 155th Pennsylvania.


                  Regiment lost during service 17 Officers and 152 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 89 Enlisted men by disease. Total 258.


                  This information courtesy of the following website:



                  Information from Adam Smith (1 Feb 1836-13 Apr 1915) Find-A-Grave memorial:


                  Born near Neuengronau, Hessen, Germany; a son of Heinrich & Elizabeth (Zinkhan) Schmitt.

                  He was a veteran of the Civil War, having served with with 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry until he was shot through one of his hands during battle.

                  He later resided in Bell Township, Jefferson County, where he was farmer.


                  Husband of Mary Thomas Smith.

                  ~ The Pennsylvania Department of Vital Records-Death Certificate Number-38662.


                  Back to John: Information from John Smith (17 May 1839-19 Oct 1934) Find-A-Grave Memorial. It has a copy of his death certificate, but when you click on the tombstone, the image is of the tombstone of his daughter Carrie.


                  He was a son of Heinrich & Eva Elisabeth Zinkhan Smith, a German emigrant family of Hessian birth. It is believed that he was the first of his family born on American soil, born not long after they came to Butler, PA. They later removed to northern Indiana County with a number of other Hessian families, many of whom helped found the St. Paul's German Reformed Church (Old Round Top), now defunct.


                  John was the husband of Catharina Blinn Smith, who came to America when young from Niederhausen by Winterbach in Pfalz-Zweibrücken, Kingdom of Bavaria.


                  As an adult, he served in the American Civil War as a sharpshooter in the 102nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Co. L. but suffered a severe injury when he was shot through either one or both of his hands.


                  All the best in your research effort. Please reply if you need additional help.