Pvt William J Reichard

1 December 2019

Private William Jonathan Reichard, Company G, 128th Pennsylvania Infantry wrote home of Antietam in September 1862

I cannot describe it to you the way the balls and shells whistled around us, but we drove them back. I never knew that such a continual roar of Musketry and Artillery could be fired off. If one has never been in a battle he can never rightly imagine how it is.

He was in action again at Chancellorsville, VA then mustered out in May 1863. He briefly served as Sergeant in Company K of the 41st Regiment, Pennsylvania Emergency Militia of 1863 – organized for home defense during the Gettysburg Campaign – and was afterward a shoemaker in Allentown, PA, like his father.

His photograph is from Mahlon H. Hellerich’s Allentown, 1762-1987: a 225-year history (1987). It and more than 40 of his wartime letters are in the collection of the Lehigh County Historical Society.

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