This is an enlarged view of Peter Petenbrinks's father Christian Petenbrink that was taken from the Peter Petenbrink family photograph. The firearm appears to be a Civil War era rifle.
Christian Petenbrink served in the Civil War in the Second Regiment Potomac Home Brigade, Maryland Infantry, first as a member of Company K and later transferring to Company C. He was severely injured when a cannon ball or explosive shell hit his iron-clad car at the battle of Greensprings Depot, WV on or about Aug. 2, 1864.
According to the "History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-5", The Second Regiment, Potomac Home Brigade Infantry, Maryland Volunteers was organized in Cumberland, MD via the efforts of the Honorable Congressman Francis Thomas. The history of the Regiment is given there-in as follows:
"The Second Regiment of Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade, was organized at Cumberland, Maryland from August 27, 1861 to October 31, 1861, to serve 3 years.
On the expiration of its term of service, the original members (except veterans) were mustered out and the veterans and recruits consolidated into a battalion of three companies, viz., companies A, B and C. A new company was organized on March, 1865, to serve one year, and assigned to this battalion as Company D.
The organization was mustered out of service May 29, 1865, in accordance with orders from the War Department.
Companies A, B, C, E, G, H, I and K were recruited an Allegany County, Company F at Hancock, Washington County, and Company D at Piedmont, Virginia, on the border land. Immediately after the completion of the organization the regiment was assigned to duty in Western Virginia, in that part of the Army of West Virginia under General B. F. Kelly, and for a brief time, under General F. W. Lander's command.
During the raid of General (Stonewall) Jackson's Confederate Army through Berkeley Springs to Hancock, Md., in January, 1862, and the subsequent movement of this Confederate Army to Romney, West Virginia, the 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry took a very active part, and had several severe skirmishes with the enemy. On September 17, 1862, the 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry had a skirmish with the enemy near Romney, West Virginia...... The 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry rendered efficient service in Western Virginia, in the autumn and winter of 1863.
The 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry formed a part of the Army of General David Hunter, who advanced down the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as far as Lynchburg, Va., on the James river, in June, 1864, after the arrival of reinforcements of Early's Confederate Army at Lynchburg and the retreat of the Army of Western Virginia. The 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry marched with that army, and when Early's Army was in turn driven back from Maryland to Virginia, the 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry formed a part of the Union Army in pursuit, and participated in the fight at Snicker's Gap, Va., July 18, 1864.
From thence the 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry marched to Western Virginia again, where the original men on re-enlisted as veterans were mustered out of service on the expiration of their terms of enlistment, in the autumn of 1864, and the battalion, composed of veterans and recruits, continued in the military service in the Department of Western Virginia until the close of the war, and were mustered out of service May 29, 1865.
The 2d Regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry, with its Cavalry Company F, participated, either by detachments or as an organization, in the following engagements, viz.: Springfield, Va., August 23, 1861; Blue House, Va., August 26, 1861; South Branch Bridge, Md., October 23, 1861; Springfield, Va. October 26, 1861; South Branch Wire Bridge, October 26, 1861; Great Cacapon Bridge, Va., January 4, 1862; Vance's Ford, near Romney, Va., September 17, 1862; Charlestown, Va., May 15, 1863; Summit Point, Va., October 7, 1863; Charlestown, Va., October 18, 1863; Burlington, Va., November 16, 1863; Ridgeville, Va. January 4, 1864; Moorefield Junction, Va., January 8, 1864; Medley, Va., January 30, 1864; Lynchburg, Va., June 18, 1864; Salem, Va., June 21, 1864; South Branch Bridge, Va., July 4, 1864; Sir John's Run, Va., July 6, 1864; Snicker's Gap, Va. July 18, 1864; Martinsburg, Va., 1864; Back Creek Bridge, Va., 1864; Hancock, Md. 1864; Green Spring Run, Va., 1864.
The following death casualties were incurred by the 2d regiment Potomac Home Brigade Infantry, Maryland Volunteers, during the Civil War, Viz.: Killed in battle, one (1) commissioned officer and nine (9) enlisted men-total, ten (10); died of disease, wounds, etc., eighty-four (84) enlisted men; or an aggregate death list of ninety-four (94)."<>
The following is quoted from a 1906 history of Bedford and Somerset County, PA in regards to the Second Regiment, Maryland Potomac Home Brigade:
"While, as a matter of course, this was a Maryland organization, nevertheless Company K bore upon its muster rolls the names of a considerable number of Somerset county men. These were mostly from about Wellersburg and the adjacent township of Southampton, the Captain, Peter B. Petrie, according to the best information attainable to the writer, having been a resident of Wellersburg at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war."
"The regiment was mostly employed in guarding the Baltimore & Ohio railroad from New Creek (now Keyser, West Virginia) to points east of Cumberland, Maryland. At times the entire regiment was at Cumberland, but most of the time the companies were detached along the line of the railroad. The regiment, however, also saw some service of a more active nature in 1864, and took part in several engagements in the Shenandoah Valley. At Cumberland, a couple of gondola cars had been in some way roofed over or covered with iron rails, the sides were pierced by port-holes, and they carried small brass guns, probably three or four-pounders. These armored cars, or iron-clads, as they may be called, were run back and forth over the road to such points as were threatened by the Rebels, who were quite persistent in their efforts to burn the bridges and otherwise interrupt the free use of the railroad, the keeping open of which was a matter of vital importance. In one of the frequent encounters that took place east of Cumberland, the enemy also had one or two light pieces of artillery, a well directed shell from which, entering a port-hole of one of these iron-clad cars, exploded and put it out of business. These iron-clad cars were manned and operated by Capt. Petrie's Company K through almost the entire war. Aside from this particular service, we have very little information about the company.
For such names of its members as are here given the present writer is indebted to Samuel M. Petrie, a son of the captain, and John H. Lepley, Esq.*, of Southampton township."
To see Christian Petenbrink's Civil War military and pension records, the history of his regiment, and information on the armored railroad car incident click here.
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