G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, Washington
22nd PA VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: 2/22/64 Chambersburg, PA
Mustered Out: 10/31/65 Cumberland, MD
The 22nd first saw life in mid ’63 as a six-month unit formed in the wake of President Lincoln’s call for troops to repel Confed. Gen. R.E. Lee’s invasion of the north. In Feb., 1864 a “new” 22nd three year unit, the 185th of the line was born from the consolidation of 5 companies of the old 22nd with the 5 companies of the Ringgold Battalion and 2 companies of the “Washington” and “Lafayette” cavalry.
Around mid ’64 the regiment was temporarily given muskets and assigned (as the 185th Infantry) to a brigade that saw action against Confed. Gen. Jubal Early’s forces in Maryland. By Aug., the 22nd was mounted and equipped as cavalry. A portion of it then joined in Natl. Gen. Phil Sheridan’s campaign in VA’s Shenandoah Valley where they saw action at Kernstown, Berryville, Charlestown, and Halltown. At the same time, a detachment left behind in Maryland was engaged at Lynchburg, New Market, Moorefield and Chambersburg, VA.
The reunited 22nd next saw combat at Martinsburg, Bunker Hill, Stephenson’s Depot, Darkesville and Bucklestown. In September it charged the enemy at Martinsburg and joined in the brilliant cavalry action that rounted the enemy at Opequan.
The unit then turned its attention to Fisher’s Hill, Brown’s Gap and Meyer’s Cave where a determined, but costly charge saved the entire division (wagon) train. It lost heavily in the successful Union action at Cedar Creek then completed the year on picket and scouting duty against roving bands of Confederates. Co.’s E and F were mustered out on 7/19/65.
Those companies remaining were then consolidated with the 18th PA Cavalry to form the 3rd Pennsylvania provisional Cavalry, which faded into history on 10/31/65.
Residence: Mifflin, PA Age: 18.7 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 2/22/64 Hollidaysburg, PA Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 10/31/65 Cumberland, MD
Discharged: 11/65 Harrisburg, PA
Highest Rank: Cpl.
Robert Ackley was born 7/3/45 in Mifflin, PA. No information is available on his parents, possible siblings, or formative years. In early 1864 the 5’8” teenager, listing his occupation as blacksmith helper or molder, joined the U.S. Army’s “new” 22nd PA Cav.
Except for some illnesses and one notation of being away without leave, his military tenure was without person trauma. At discharge he had risen to the rank of corporal.
On 3/ 6/64 the youthful soldier married to Lottie H. Maize. Returning to his wife and PA after the war, Robert would father three children: Charles Kingen 12/9/69, Anna Gertrude 2/6/72, and Sarah Sylvia 12/28/73. Charles died in 1890. Anna followed in 1891.
The story of the Ackley’s, like that of many ACW vet families, is one of westward movement. They resided in PA until settling in Huntington, IN (’83-’84), Kankakee, IL (to ’89), Kalama, WA (to ’94) and in Ellensburg, WA where it is noted that as a railroad engineer he served as a superintendent for the Northern Pacific Railroad for at least 12 years. It appears Lottie died in Ellensburg 12/18/07.
By late 1915 the aging Civil War soldier is residing in the Veteran’s Home in Retsil, near Port Orchard, WA. There, on 12/6/16 he remarried to the previously wed Margaret E. Little, nee Miller.
The couple is next heard from in Everett, WA where Robert dies of cardiac failure at Providence Hospital 11:30 p.m. 12/28/28. While his death certificate lists his age as 84 yrs., 5 mos., and 24 days, this is based on a birth date of 7/4/44 rather then the 7/3/45 noted on documents signed by the veteran himself.
Margaret Little Ackley survived her second husband by over seven years. She died 2/18/36 at the age of 85. She is buried next to Robert.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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