G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
105th PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized/Mustered In: 9 & 10/61 Pittsburgh, PA
Mustered Out: 7/11/65 Washington D.C.
Raised primarily in three west central Pennsylvania counties the 105th, a three year unit spent the ensuing winter in Washington D.C. before moving to the Virginia Peninsula Campaign in March, 1862. There it took part in the siege of Yorktown and battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oakes, Glendale and Malvern Hill.
When the regiment reached Harrison’s Landing, and the end of the campaign, its ranks were so reduced by wounds and sickness that less than 100 men were fit for active duty. Still, the 105th would suffer additional losses in August at 2nd Bull Run and in December at Fredricksburg.
1963 found the regiment warmly engaged at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg. Returning to Virginia the unit saw combat at Auburn, Kelly’s Ford, and Locust Grove before capping off the year with the Mine Run Campaign.
On 12/18 almost the entire regiment reenlisted. In May 1864 the 105th did its share of fighting at The Wilderness and Spottsylvania before moving on to Petersburg. 1865 saw the unit complete its combat career at Sailor’s Creek and then participate in the Grand Review in Washington.
Throughout its entire existence the 105th served only with The Army of the Potomac.
Residence: Inf. Not Available Age: 20.2 years
Enlistment: 9/1/61 Richlandtown, PA Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 6/12/65 Annapolis, MD
Highest Rank: Cpl.
David Criswell, the next to youngest of one girl and four boys born to Robert and Mary (Say) Criswell, came into this world on 6/8/41 in Richlandtown, PA. While there is no available documentation on his formative and teen years, it appears the 5’6” farmer remained in the town of his birth until entering the U.S. Army for what would be a peril-fraught tenure.
His unit’s move to the Virginia Peninsula in the spring of ’62 would be significant to the young private only because in May and June of that year he would wind up sick in the hospital at Philadelphia. In December at Fredricksburg, however, he would receive an “unspecified” wound, which would remove him from the 105th roster until 2/28/63 when he re-enlisted.
Military documents next note Pvt. Criswell in July and August 1864 “still absent” after being wounded in the right leg during fighting in The Wilderness 5/5/64. Returning to the ranks, on 9/1/64 Pvt. Criswell is promoted to Corporal. Shortly thereafter, on 10/27/64 he is listed as missing in action during fighting along the Boydton Plank Rd near Petersburg. It was later learned he was wounded during this fighting and taken prisoner. After being detained at Richmond, VA and Salisbury, NC Cprl. Criswell was paroled and, after returning to camp on 3/13/65 finishes the war on furlough.
Mr. Criswell appears to have returned to Pennsylvania after being separated from the service. However, by 1867 he was residing in Iowa. At some undermined point he had married for it was in Iowa on 8/24/71 his wife Olive J. (nee Nelson) died. Available records do not indicate if the couple had children. On 4/16/74, also in Iowa, the former Union soldier remarried to Paula Madeline Gaylord. The couple would apparently produce six children who would survive until adulthood: Robert Gaylor (3/27/75), Royal Leonard (11/3/76, Siolas C. (1/29/79), Marshall Fremont (12/1/80), Grace Elizabeth (1/6/83), and Walter David (11/14/86). All but Walter were born in Iowa. The latter was born in Kansas.
In 1902 the Creswell’s traveled westward to the Puget Sound area settling in Granite Falls, WA. Here on 1/12/08 at the age 66.7 years, David would die of typhoid pneumonia. At his death he was receiving a $13 per month government pension. Paula would continue to receive this monthly military stipend until her death on 1/28/15.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
Iron Pony Mustang
Mount Lake Terrace, WA
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