1st Pennsylvania Rifles

Organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on June 21, 1861.

On the 13th of April, 1861, Thomas L. Kane, brother of Dr. Kane, the famous Arctic explorer, and himself schooled by extensive travel in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains, applied to Governor Curtin for permission to raise a company of mounted riflemen from among the hardy yeomanry of the counties of Forest, McKean and Elk, popularly known as the wildcat district. Authority was immediately given as requested, and in less than a week the men began to assemble at the points of rendezvous. On the 17th it was decided to change the organization from cavalry to infantry. The men, for the most part lumbermen, came clad in their red flannel shirts, bearing their trusty rifles, and wearing each in his hat, a bucktail. No one was accepted who did not prove himself-a skilled marksman. All were carefully examined by a surgeon, and none but sound and hardy men taken…Read More