Historical records matching Brevet Brig. General Langhorne Wister (USA)
About Brevet Brig. General Langhorne Wister (USA)
Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General. Served in the Civil War first as a Captain in the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves, then as Colonel and commander of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He assumed command of his regiment's brigade on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1, 1863), when the fierce fighting around the McPherson House struck down previous commander Col. Edmund Dana. Also fought in the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and the Wilderness. He was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers on March 13, 1865 for "distinguished gallantry at the battle of Gettysburg, Pa.; alos for gallant conduct at the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, Va., and for meritorious services during the war". (bio by: Russ Dodge)
Biography, "The Germantown Independent-Gazette", date unknown.
LANGHORNE WISTER, Colonel of the One Hundred and Fiftieth regiment, and Brevet Brigadier-General of volunteers, was born at Germantown, Philadelphia, on the 20th of September, 1834. He was the son of William and Sarah Logan (Fisher) Wister. His boyhood was spent in the country, where a natural fondness for out-door life had full play. He was educated at the Germantown Academy, which he left at the age of eighteen to engage in business.
He received no military education, but on the 19th of April, scarcely a week from the firing upon Fort Sumter, entered the service. He was successful in recruiting, and when the noted Bucktail regiment was formed he joined it with a company of which he was elected Captain. At Dranesville, where he first met the enemy in close combat, he stood with his company in a position where he was the object of the severest fire experienced by any of the Union troops on that field, and received the warm commendations of the commander of the regiment. His single company had two killed and four wounded. Six companies of the Bucktails, including Captain Wister's, under Major Stone, were sent to join McClellan on the Peninsula, and reached him in time to take the advance in the movement upon Mechanicsville. They were the first to meet the enemy as he came out to offer battle, and with wonderful skill and daring held him in check, skirmishing gallantly until the main line of battle was formed behind Beaver Dam Creek, and rifle pits completed. In the engagement which ensued, and in the subsequent retreat to Gaines' Mill, no troops could have acted with greater steadiness, or have rendered more efficient service. To the Bucktails was given the difficult and dangerous duty of skirmishing with the enemy, on the morning of the 27th, while the main body fell back. In all these manoeuvres and hard fighting Captain Wister was among the most reliable and trusted of a battalion that was a special object of regard throughout the whole army. In the battle of the 27th, he received a severe contusion of the right ankle, but was able to keep the field, and at Charles City Cross Roads, where the Reserve corps for a third time in the Seven Days' fight was put at the forefront, and made to bear the brunt of the battle, sustained his part with the same unflinching valor as on the preceding fields.
Soon after the retirement of McClellan's army from the Peninsula, the formation of a Bucktail Brigade was ordered, and Captain Wister was selected to head one of the regiments - the One Hundred and Fiftieth. The reputation, which he had gained as a leader of one of the old Bucktail companies inspired confidence, and made it from the outset almost the equal of a veteran regiment. He was stationed a while at Washington, whence he was ordered to the Army of the Potomac, then lying about Falmouth.
In the preliminary movements to the battle of Chancellorsville, this brigade performed a leading part, marching to Port Conway, for a feint, afterwards operating with the First corps to which it belonged at the lower crossing before Fredericksburg, and finally joining the main army in the great battle itself, occupying the right of the line, and meeting every advance of the enemy with cool courage. At Gettysburg Colonel Wister led his regiment upon the field at a little before noon of the first day, where the gallant Buford had presented a bold front and had held the enemy in check, covering the town until the infantry should come up. His position was upon a slight ridge, a little in rear of that held by Buford, and in advance of Seminary Ridge. Here, exposed to a fierce artillery fire, and the frequent assaults of the enemy's infantry, he held his men, changing front to meet every advance, until Colonel Stone, who commanded the brigade, was badly wounded and borne from the field, when he assumed control, turning over the regiment to Lieutenant-Colonel Huidekoper. The situation was every moment becoming more and more critical, as the enemy, having already brought up the main body of his forces, began to close in on all sides and to press heavily in front. With remarkable skill Colonel Wister manoeuvred his small body of men to meet the masses brought against him, when he also was wounded, a Minie ball striking him in the face and shattering the jaw. "Colonel Wister," says Colonel Stone, in his official report, "though badly wounded in the mouth, while commanding the brigade, and unable to speak, remained in the front of the battle."
In recognition of his gallantry, General Doubleday made honorable mention of him in his report, and recommended him for promotion to Brevet Brigadier-General, which rank was conferred by the President and confirmed by the Senate. He resigned his commission in February, 1864, and resumed the business which he had left on entering the army - that of manufacturer of iron at Duncannon. A resolute purpose and undaunted heroism characterized him from his first entrance to military life, and the Bucktail corps had no more worthy or valiant representative.