For Private John Watts, Co. F, 1st Regt. Pa. Artillery. Describes Watts as being 22 years old, with grey eyes, auburn hair, and standing 5 feet, 5 inches tall. It also gives his pay and clothing account information. I Certify that the above account is a correct transcript from the records of Co. F, 1st Regt. Pa. Arty., C.B. Brockway, Lieut., Commanding Co. F, 1st Regt. Pa. Arty. Date: March 13, 1863. There are also several stamped signatures of J. Hopkinson, Surg., U.S.V. Age toning and wear with a paper chip out of the bottom edge of the document. The folds have been repaired on the reverse with archival tape.
John Watts, was a resident from Schuylkill County, Pa., when he enlisted as a private on July 8, 1861, and was mustered into Battery F, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery. He was mustered out of the service on July 27, 1864.
Joseph Hopkinson, was commissioned surgeon U.S. Volunteers, October 4, 1862; promoted to brevet lieutenant colonel, March 13, 1865; died July 11, 1865.
Charles B. Brockway, was mustered into Battery F, of the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, as a private on July 8, 1861. He was commissioned 2nd lieutenant, on February 28, 1862; promoted to 1st lieutenant, on March 16, 1863. During the battle of Gettysburg, on the evening of July 2, 1863, Louisiana and North Carolina troops charged up Cemetery Hill. Lieutenant Brockway was one of the officers who helped defend the hill and he explained an unconventional practice used by the batteries when hard pressed by infantry at close quarters. "We bore the brunt of the attack along our left piece, which was close to the stonewall and spiked by the enemy, but only after they had killed, wounded, or taken prisoners every man belonging to it. Some of the drivers were bayoneted on their horses. Still our men stood at their post, the officers and drivers supplying the places of those who had fallen. Our canister failing, rotten shot was used; that is shrapnel shell without fuse, the shell bursting at the muzzle of the gun." Brockway was brevetted captain, on March 13, 1865.
The hard fought 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery saw action at 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Petersburg, to name but a few places.
Footnote: Batteries F & G, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, were commanded by Captain R. Bruce Ricketts during the battle of Gettysburg. They were very heavily engaged on July 2, 1863, being posted on Cemetery Hill. After fighting in the afternoon on the 2nd, a heavy column of Confederates charged their batteries at about 8 p.m. and succeeded in capturing and spiking their left piece. In his Gettysburg report in the Official Records, Rickett's writes, "the cannoneers fought them hand to hand with handspikes, rammers, and pistols, and succeeded in checking them for a moment, when a part of the 2nd Corps charged in and drove them back. During the charge I expended every round of canister in the battery, and then fired case shot without the fuses. The enemy suffered severely." His report goes on to state that he lost 6 killed, 14 wounded, 3 missing, 20 horses killed and 1,200 rounds of ammunition spent.