The Unfortunate Accident of Pvt. Charles Keel

Company G, 4th Pennsylvania Reserves

Researched and Compiled by Douglas Mooney

In a letter written home to his mother, Captain Nathan Pennypacker, related an incident which befell a soldier of Company G, of his regiment.  Though the Co. G man is not identified, it looks like he was referring to Charles Keel, who drowned February 8, 1863.  The account from Pennypacker relates to the 4th arriving in Alexandria on their way to being posted in Washington D.C.

“…we left our camp at Belle Plain at 8 o’clk of the morning of the 8th (Sunday) and got aboard of transports about 10 o’clk when we started for this place.  We got along very well, except one poor fellow of Co. G of our Regt., who fell overboard and before assistance could get to him he was dead.  He had all his equipments on at the time, Knapsack, Haversack, Cartridge box, with 50 rounds of cartridges in it, and musket.  The companies were landing, and it being very dark, he stepped off the warf and landed in eternity.”

Not all soldiers perish with their face to the enemy on the field of battle. Unfortunate incidents such as this happened occasionally, and the victims of these unfortunate occurrences should not be forgotten.

City Letter Carrier at USPS | | Website | + posts

Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.