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Civil War Soldiers - McCandless

McCandless, William, brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in the state of Pennsylvania and was one of the loyal citizens of that state that offered his services to the Federal government in the early days of the Civil war. He enlisted in the 31st Pa. infantry, which was also known as the 2nd Pa. reserves, and on June 21, 1861, was elected major of that organization. On July 24 with his regiment he left camp at Philadelphia and moved to Harrisburg, leaving that point at once for Baltimore and then proceeded to Harper's Ferry. On Sept. 25 the regiment was assigned to the 1st brigade of the Pennsylvania reserves, becoming the second regiment of the brigade, and at the battle of Mechanicsville it received the brunt of the attack without flinching and was highly praised by the commanding officer. On Oct. 22 Maj. McCandless was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment and with it was active at Gaines' mill and Glendale, but was in reserve at Malvern hill. He was commissioned colonel on Aug. 1, 1862, was wounded at the second battle of Bull Run, and also participated at Chantilly and the sharp engagement on the old Hagerstown road, near Frederick, Md. At the head of his regiment he was with the 1st Pa. reserves at South mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg, and at the battle of Gettysburg participated in a brilliant charge in which many prisoners and the flag of the 15th Ga. infantry was captured. He was active with his regiment at Bristoe Station and in the Mine Run campaign, and during the Wilderness movement, on May 8, 1864, he was again wounded. He remained with his regiment, however, and participated in the battles of that campaign until June 1, his last engagement being at Shady Grove Church, and on June 16, 1864, he was mustered out of the service, the term for which the regiment enlisted having expired. On July 21, 1864, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, but declined the proffered honor and gave his attention to peaceful pursuits.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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