This rare pin of Chester's Civil War Wilde Post is over 100 years old
To all veterans everywhere, Thank You for your service
CHESTER’S FIRST VOLUNTEERS
Men Who Responded to President Lincoln’s Initial Call
The "Union Blues"
The company’s first steps toward enrollment were made at the conclusion of a meeting of citizens held on Monday evening, April 15, 1861. On the following Wednesday more than a sufficient number of men had enlisted and an election of officers resulted in the choice of Henry R. Edwards as captain. A sword was presented to the newly elected officers by Rev. Mr. Talbot, then rector of St. Paul’s Church. The company was called the Union Blues and began drilling at once.
On the morning of Saturday, April 20, 1861, the new company was ordered to proceed at once to Harrisburg and at 6 o’clock that evening the command mustered in front of the Washington House where they were addressed by Frederick J. Hinkson, Rev. Mr. Talbot and Rev. Mr. Sproul, of the First Presbyterian Church. Pledges were given that the families of the men who were going to the front would be supported and Rev. Father Havilland of St. Michael’s Church, personally solicited and contributed subscriptions for that purpose.
The departure of the first company mustered in Chester caused a large number of people to gather in the streets and those now living who witnessed the scenes at the depot will never forget that hour. As the train containing the men slowly rolled away women were bathed in tears and strong men wept.
“The night that followed the departure of the Union Blues,” says an old resident, “will never be forgotten by me. A pall seemed to have settled over the town. The crowd that at first cheered the departing company left the depot in silence and then seemed to settle upon the people the fact that at last war with all its dreaded horrors, had come.”
The Union Blues reached Camp Curtain, at Harrisburg, the following day and were mustered in as Company I, Ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. They were then sent to West Chester, then to Wilmington, and on June 6 the Ninth was ordered to Chambersburg, when it was attached to the First Brigade, First Division. On July 23 the Ninth Regiment was marched to Hagerstown and then forwarded to Harrisburg where it was mustered out of service, the period of three months term of enlistment having expired.