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Civil War Soldiers - Wistar
|Wistar, Isaac J., brigadier-general,
U.S. Army, was born in the city of Philadelphia Nov. 14, 1827, and was
educated at Westtown and Haverford, Pa. On June 28, 1861, he was
commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 71st Pa. infantry, originally
known as "the California regiment," which was recruited in
Philadelphia during April and May, 1861, by Edward D. Baker, U. S.
senator from Oregon, under special authority from President Lincoln.
On July 1 the regiment proceeded to Fortress Monroe and was
immediately assigned to picket and scouting duty. After Bull Run it
moved to Washington, and on Sept. 11 it first came under any
considerable fire, when Col. Wistar displayed a spirit which proved
his excellent material. Early in October the regiment moved to
Poolesville, Md., where with other regiments it formed the
Philadelphia brigade, commanded by Col. Baker, a part of Gen. Stone's
division of Gen. Banks' army. In the first serious engagement at
Ball's bluff Col. Baker fell at the head of his command while cheering
his men, and on Nov. 11, 1861, Lieut. -Col. Wistar was commissioned
colonel of the regiment, going into winter quarters with his men while
their decimated ranks were recruited. In the spring he led his
regiment in McClellan's Peninsular campaign, assigned to Sedgwick's
division, Sumner's corps. He was engaged at Fair Oaks, in the actions
along the Chickahominy, at Savage Station, and Charles City
cross-roads, and his regiment acted as artillery support at Malvern
hill. He made a forced march with Sumner's corps, reaching the battle
field of the second Bull Run toward the close of the action, and his
regiment served as rear-guard to Pope's retreat, constantly
skirmishing as far as Chain bridge. He was in reserve at the battle of
South mountain, but was heavily engaged at Antietam, where he was
severely wounded while leading a charge. On Nov. 19, 1862, Col. Wistar
was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers and served in that
capacity until Sept. 15, 1864, when he resigned his commission and
returned to the pursuits of civil life, in which he won distinction as
a writer and speaker on penology.
Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal
States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908