Union and West End Cemetery

The Union and West End Cemetery is located in center city Allentown. The main entrance is on 10th Street at 10th and Chew Streets. The cemetery is mantained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Ten board members (also volunteers) serve the cemetery association and manage the finances, make application for grants, solicit donations and participate in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Friday, October 27, 2006

 

Corporal Charles S. Reinsmith



Charles S. Reinsmith was the son of Joseph and Mary Reinsmith. Joseph and Mary lived in the 3rd Ward in the borough of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Charles was the second of five children of Joseph and Mary.

Joseph was born on 18 December 1805 in Pennsylvania. His wife, Mary, was born on 28 July 1814. In 1860, Joseph was employed as a butcher.

There children were:

Henry - In 1860 Henry was a coach maker at age 24
Charles S - Charles was 22 years of age in 1860, but was not living in the Reinsmith household
Alfred - Alfred was 20 years old in 1860 and was employed as an apprentice shoe maker
Daniel - Daniel was 19 in 1860 and was also an apprentice shoe maker
Solomon - Sol was only 16 in 1860 and still in school.

Unable to locate Charles in the 1860 census; he was not in the home of his parents. However, he was believed to be living in Indianapolis, Indiana shortly after the 1860 census was taken.

Following the second battle at Bull Run, the Confederate Army began a northward movement across the Potomac River and into Maryland. Pennsylvania lay directly in fornt of the Rebel Army's line of march, unprotected and vulnerable.

On September 4, 1862, Governor Curtin put out a call fo rthe immdediate formation of companies and regiments throughtout the Commonwealth. On the 10th of September the Confederate Army, under General Robert E. Lee, had moved his army into Maryland.

The 5th Pennsylvania Volunteers, an emergency Militia unit, was formed in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Companies C, E, G and H were recruited in Lehigh County on September 13, 1862. Companies A. B. D, F and I were raised in Northampton County on the same date.

Pennsylvanians from across the state reported promptly to the State Capital. On September 14th, the Army of the Potomac met the advancing enemy at South Mountain. Then, a fierce battle ensued on September 17th, at Sharpsburg, Maryland, known as the Battle of Antietam.
The details of this battle are covered elsewhere, but it was a battle that would go down in history as the bloodiest day of the Civil War.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Militia units concentrated at Hagertown and Chamberburg numbering 15,000. Ten thousand more were posted near Greencastle and Chambersburg. But the Confederate Army was defeated at Antietam and retreated back across the Potomac into Virginaia.

The emergency having passed, the militia units, including the 5th Militia from Lehigh and Northampton Counties was mustered out and disbanded on September 24th. The unit served the Union for a period of only twelve days. It never saw battle, but was close enough to the battlefield to witness the sounds of war.

Among the volunteers of the 5th Pennsylvania was Solomon Reinsmith, just 17 years of age. Oddly enough there was a Charles Reinsmith also attached to the 5th Militia, but this Charles Reinsmith was not Solomon's brother, also named Charles. Charles S. Reinsmith was living in Indiana at that time.

Supposedly, another, unusual and unexpected volunteer to answer the call was Sergeant Amandes A. Wagner, who served in Company E, raised in Lehigh County. Sgt. Mandes A. Wagner was in actuality, Amanda Wagner, the wife of a Union Soldier, Samuel Wagner who served with Co. B of the 153rd PVI and later with Co. C of the 46th PVI. Company E was raised in Allentown. At least, this is the story of Samuel and Amanda's ancestors. However, I could not locate these individuals living in Lehigh County in 1860. I was able to locate a man named Amandes Wagner, age 39 who was a clerk, born in Pennsylvania. His wife's name was Anna and she was 37 years of age. They had a son, Francis, aged 6. Also in the household was a woman, age 33 who listed her occupation as "Lady". So, it may have been the Amandes described above that served, and it doubtful that Amanda Wagner ever entered the war in any capacity. It is an interesting story that probably never happened. But, in any event, Company E of the 5th Pennsylvania Militia never came under fire.

The 33rd Indiana Infantry Regiment was organized at Indianapolis on September 16, 1861. Charles S. Reinsmith joined Company I of the 33rd Indiana Infantry on September 23, 1861 and marched of to Kentucky.

The 33rd Regiment, Indiana Infantry -

Organized at Indianapolis and mustered in September 16, 1861. Moved to Louisville, Ky., September 28, thence to Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., and duty there till October 13. Attached to Thomas' Command, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1861. 1st Brigade, Army of the Ohio, to December, 1861. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Army of Ohio, to February, 1862. 27th Brigade, 7th Division, Army of the Ohio, to October, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio, to February, 1863. Coburn's Brigade, Baird's Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. of the Cumberland, to June, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. Coburn's Brigade, Post of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Dept. of the Cumberland, to January, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 20th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to July, 1865.

SERVICE.-Moved to Camp Wild Cat, Ky., October 13, 1861. Action at Camp Wild Cat, Rockcastle Hills, October 21. At Crab Orchard, Ky., November 15, 1861, to January 3, 1862. Operations about Mill Springs, Somerset, Ky., December 1-13, 1861. At Lexington, Ky., January 3 to April 11, 1862. Cumberland Gap Campaign March 28-June 18. Occupation of Cumberland Gap June 18 to September 17. Retreat to the Ohio River September 17-October 3. Duty at Covington, Lexington, Nicholasville and Danville, Ky., till January 26, 1863. Moved to Louisville, Ky., thence to Nashville, Tenn., January 26-February 7. Moved to Franklin February 21. Action at Franklin March 4. Battle of Thompson's Station March 4-5. Most of Regiment captured by Van Dorn's forces nearly 18,000 strong. Exchanged May 5, 1863. Brentwood March 25 (Detachment). Middle Tennessee or Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. Duty at Guy's Gap and Munfreesboro till September 5. At Manchester, Estill Springs, Cowan, Dechard, Tracy City, Christiana City and along Nashville & Chattanooga R. R. till April, 1864. Regiment re-enlisted at Christiana City, January, 1864. On Veteran Furlough February and March. Atlanta Campaign May 1-September 8. Demonstrations on Rocky faced Ridge May 8-11. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Cassville May 19. Advance on Dallas May 22-25. New Hope Church May 25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill, June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Gilgal or Golgotha Church June 15. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Kolb's Farm June 22. Assault of Kenesaw June 27. Riff's Station, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atanta July 22-August 25. Operations at Chattahoochie River Bridge August 26-September 2. Occupation of Atlanta September 2-November 15. McDonough Road near Atlanta November 6. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Lawtonville, S. C., February 2. Fayetteville, N. C., March 11, Averysboro March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20. Grand Review May 24. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., June, and duty there till July 21. Mustered out July 21, 1865.

The 33rd Indiana Regiment lost during service: 4 Officers and 112 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 180 Enlisted men by disease. Total 298.

Charles S. Reinsmith, was killed on the 9th of December 1861 at Crab Orchard, Kentucky.







Charles' father, Joseph died on the 11th of October 1877. His mother, Mary, died on 25 July 1899. They are buried next to their son in the family plot in the Union portion of the Union and West End Cemetery.

Also buried in the family plot is Joseph and Mary's youngest son, Solomon G. Reinsmith. Solomon was born on 14 September 1843 and died on 14 April 1913. His wife, Mary J., was born 10 March 1850 and died on 8 January 1896. They had two sons, Robert, born in January, 1883 and Clarence, who was born in April, 1887. Annia E. Reinsmith, who was born on 28 November 1873 and died 17 December 1900 is also in the family plot. She is believed to be a daughter-in-law.

Joseph and Mary Reinsmith's son Henry appeared in the 1900 census in Allentown. Henry was now 63 years of age and his wife, Anna was 43. They had a son, Harry, born February 1894, he was six years old. Henry was shown as a cabinet maker and his wife was a dress maker.






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