57th PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Fall, 1861 Camp Curtin Harrisburg, PA
Mustered In: September, October & November, 1861 Camp Curtin Harrisburg, PA
Mustered Out: 6/29/65 Alexandria, VA
The 57th Pennsylvania, a three year eastern infantry regiment, was recruited during the autumn months of 1861. Although the men primarily came from the counties of Mercer, Crawford and Venango, some were also from Tioga, Bradford, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. The unit left the state for Washington City on 12/14/61.
In February, 1862 the 57th moved to Ft. Lyon near Alexandria, VA. From there, in April, it entered Union Gen. George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. During the siege of Yorktown (4/5-5/4) it suffered greatly from sickness and entered the battle of Williamsburg (5/5) in a much debilitated condition. At Seven Pines/Fair Oaks (5/31- 6/1) it lost 11 killed and 49 wounded. It was in reserve at Savage's Station (6/29). . At Malvern Hill (7/1) it lost another 2 killed and 8 wounded. In all, when the regiment reached Harrison's Landing it was without a field officer, had only a few line officers and only 56 effective men out of the near 1000 who had entered the campaign three months earlier.
With its ranks swelled by the addition of new recruits and returning convalescents, the 57th played a small roll in the battle of Second Bull Run/Manassas (8/28 - 30). It was present, but not active at Chantilly (9/1) although companies of the regiment were detailed to bring into the Union lines to retrieve the body of Gen. Kearney who was killed in the fight. The 57th concluded the year at Fredericksburg (12/11 - 15) where it lost 21 killed, 76 wounded and 78 missing.
April, 1863 saw the 57th move into the Chancellorsville Campaign. During the battle of Chancellorsville (4/30 - 5/6) it lost 13 killed 48 wounded and 23 missing.
Next came Gettysburg, PA. There, the regiment was heavily engaged losing 12 killed 45 wounded and 47 missing. During the balance of the year the unit was active at Auburn Creek, Kelly's Ford and Locust Grove before it went into winter quarters near Culpepper, VA.
During winter quarters of 1863/'64 nearly two thirds of the regiment reenlisted. Thirty day home furloughs followed.
Returning to the field after their reenlistment furloughs the men of the 57th participated in all the actions of Union Gen. U.S. Grant's Overland Campaign. This included the Wilderness (5/5 - 7), Spotsylvania (5/8 - 21), North Anna River (5/23 - 26) and Cold Harbor (5/31 - 6/12). It shared in the first assault on the enemy's works around Petersburg (6/9) then participated in the general siege of that city which was on-going until the end of the year.
On 1/11/65, because of its heavy losses, the 57th was consolidated into a six company battalion. In February the battalion participated without loss in the Federal movements around Hatcher's Run. It then shared in the operations which lead up to the April withdrawal of enemy forces from Petersburg.
During the pursuit of Confed. Gen. R.E. Lee's fleeing army the unit saw action at Sailor's Creek (4/6). It was within one mile of Appomattox Court House when the news of the Confederate surrender was received (4/9). Moving thence to Burkesville the 57th encamped there until May when it was mustered out of Federal service.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 12; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 0; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 149; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:217 .
Residence: Tioga Co., PA Age: 18 yrs. (est.)
Enlisted/Enrolled: 11/7/61 Rank: Musician
Mustered In: 11/7/61
Mustered Out: Inf. Not Avail.
Highest Rank: Musician
Rank At Discharge: Musician
NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Daniel Downey was created in October, 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than other biographies found within this website because, during the medical emergency, the National Archives located in Washington, D.C. were closed. Not accessible were military, pension and other veteran-related files. It is planned that, on a later date, these files will be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
Pre-American Civil War all we know about Daniel Downey is that he may have been born in Pennsylvania about 1853. There is no available information pertaining to his parents or possible siblings.
Without access to his military service records Private Downey's company movements within the 57th Pennsylvania Infantry are unclear. While available sources show him in Company “D”, there are hints that he may also have had service companies “A” and “H”.
Even Daniel’s birth year can be questioned because, if he was born in 1853 then, in 1861, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army infantry, he would have been around eight or nine years of age................Daniel survived The War.
No U.S. Census data has been found for Daniel in either 1870 or 1880. His first documental appearance is in 1881 Pittsburg, PA. At that time his occupation was "white washer."
Based on available documentation it appears likely Daniel married during the mid-1880s. His bride was Arabelle "Belle" (b. 4/58 VA - later WV) Lowe. After marriage the couple settled in West Virginia.
Daniel and Belle produced three children. The Downey children were: Lawrence Delmont (b. 10/31/88 WV), William Lloyd (b. 1889 WV) and Florence M. (b. 9/24/91 WV). All three survived into adulthood.
It would appear that the Downeys emigrated from the east coast and moved - via Pittsburg, PA - to the King County Puget Sound region of Washington State not long after the birth of Florence. Within King County the Downeys appear to have settled in Seattle, but at some point Daniel left his family to seek work eastwardly across Lake Washington in the coal mining region of Black Diamond. With he having been born in Pennsylvania and his family's presence in West Virginia it is likely Daniel had at least some work experience as a coal mine laborer.
An article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper, 2/23/93 recorded that on 2/21 Daniel's body had been found under a trestle at Black Diamond, but the condition of the body, according to another story, indicated he had been dead at least three weeks. He had likely frozen to death. Daniel was/is buried in the Black Diamond Cemetery (Morganville) King County, WA.
Although it does not appear that former Civil War Private Daniel Downey applied to the U.S. Government for a pension based on his soldiering days, his widow did apply for funds. Until pension documents can be obtained the dollar amount of her monthly stipend will remain unknown.
How long Belle and her children remained in the Seattle area after Daniel's death is not known. By 1900, however, she and her three children had returned to West Virginia and were residing in the Monongalia community of Grant. The same was true a decade later.
In 1920 the widow Downey was still in Monongalia County, WV, but by that time she was residing in or near the community of Union. Her two sons were also in her home.
Belle's whereabouts are not documented in 1930. However, as of 1934 she was apparently in Morgantown Monongalia Co. WV. By 1940 Belle was back in Grant residing with married daughter Florence, her husband and children.
Annabelle "Belle" Lowe Downey died on 4/15/47 in Monongalia Co., WV. The location of her final resting place is not known.
Buried at Black Diamond Cemetery
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