PRVC 1861-1864


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About the P.R.V.C. Battalion

1st -15th Regiments of the Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps (PRVC)

Federalized as the 30th - 44th Regiments of Penna Volunteers (P.V. or P.V.I.)

 

The  Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps (PRVC)  1861-1864

When President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to "put down the rebellion" in the spring of 1861, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania found itself with 25 regiments --more than needed to meet its Federal quota of 14 regiments.  Governor Andrew Curtin proposed to retain the extra men and organize, train, and equip them at state expense. The creation of the special division was approved by the Pennsylvania legislature on May 15, 1861, "for the purpose of suppressing insurrections, or to repel invasions."  The men were trained at camps in Easton, Pittsburgh, West Chester (Camp Wayne), and  “Camp Curtin” in Harrisburg. Fifteen new state regiments were formed and designated as the 1st through 15th Regiments of the Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps (PRVC or Penna Reserves).  The new troops were moved to defend the Pennsylvania border as the Confederates invaded Maryland in July of 1861. After the disaster at 1st Bull Run the Pennsylvania Reserves were immediately taken into federal service and designated as the 30th through 44th Pennsylvania Volunteers, but the units proudly retained the label of “Pennsylvania Reserves” throughout the war. The regiments were grouped into a division of three brigades, and the entire unit normally fought together until the initial term of enlistment expired in 1864. Many reenlisted into the 190th Pennsylvania Volunteers for the last year of the war. The first commander of the PRVC was George A. McCall, and later division commanders were John F. Reynolds, George G. Meade, and Samuel W. Crawford.

For more information see the PRVC Historical Society website at http://pareserves.com/

 

 

The Regiments of the original Pennsylvania Reserves (PRVC) and their Federal designations:

1st    Pennsylvania Reserves (30th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

2nd    Pennsylvania Reserves (31st Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

3rd    Pennsylvania Reserves (32nd Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

4th    Pennsylvania Reserves (33rd Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

5th    Pennsylvania Reserves (34th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

6th    Pennsylvania Reserves (35th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

7th   Pennsylvania Reserves (36th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

8th   Pennsylvania Reserves (37th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

9th   Pennsylvania Reserves (38th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

10th  Pennsylvania Reserves (39th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

11th  Pennsylvania Reserves (40th Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

12th  Pennsylvania Reserves (41st Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

13th  Pennsylvania Reserves & 1st PA Rifles “the Bucktails” (42nd Penna. Volunteer Infantry)

14th  Pennsylvania Reserves & 1st Penna Light Artillery (43rd Penna. Volunteers)

15th  Pennsylvania Reserves & 1st Penna Cavalry (44th Penna. Volunteers)

 

The BSA Venture Crew 1861 Fife & Drum Corps portrays the Regimental Field Music of the 1st Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps / 30th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry

ORGANIZED: June 9th, 1861 for 3 Years
PLACE ORGANIZED: Camp Wayne, West Chester, Pennsylvania
PRIMARILY COMPOSED OF MEN FROM: Adams, Chester, Cumberland, Delaware, Lancaster & York Counties
FIRST COMMANDING OFFICER: Colonel Richard Biddle Roberts of Pittsburgh

See pareserves.com for more on this and other regiments of the PRVC

 

NOTE: Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, P.R.V.C, and Penna Reserves are interchangeable designations.  Federal designations of regiments raised by the states are numbered by state and called “Volunteer Infantry” or “Volunteers” as in 30th Regiment, Penna Volunteer Infantry (abbreviated as 30th P.V.I. or just P.V.).  Some regiments received multiple state and federal designations  and more still were known by their nicknames like the “Bucktails” increasing the confusion. (Like the 1st PA Rifles / 13th PRVC / 42nd PA Vol., also known as the "Bucktails")