|Position||U.S. Infantryman, 116th Pennsylvania Irish Brigade, "Gallant" Company K|
Harold Phillip Robertson (CorporalIan) ( March 17, 1844 - July 12, 1938 ) is an Irish Immigrant who came from Ireland to live in America at the time of the American Civil War. Him and his brother Thomas, enslited in the 116th Irish Brigade, Company K in August of 1862 shortly after it was mustered in for 3 years of service beofre being renewed for 2 more years and serving in Reconstruction. He served 5 full years in the Union Army and retired as a First Sergeant. Later coming back serving in the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars and the Spanish - American War.
Harold was born in Skibbereen of County Cork, March 17, 1844 (St. Patrick's Day). His family owned a Potato and a Barley Farm outside the village. Harold has Bright Copper Hair with Blue Eyes and often played Soldier as a boy, he always dreampt of becoming a real soldier some day.
The Potato Famine (1845 - 1852)Edit
Harold was only a year old when the Potato Famine struck disaster. Harold, Thomas, and his sister Bridget nearly died from sickness and starvation at a very young age. His family was kicked off their farm and it was burned to the ground by British Soldiers and Lawmen for not paying their debts and property bills and were forced to move to America Harold in his family arrvied in America a few months after his family was exiled from Ireland.
Life in AmericaEdit
When the Robertsons arrived in New York City, they found the living conditions unsuitable, New Englander's didn't take to kindly of him and many new immigrants. Harold and his family shortly moved to High Bridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where living conditons were more suitable and were able to get their family farm back up and running. While living in Pennsylvania, Harold and his sister Bridget were able to get a proper education. Harold and Thomas would soon realise that the war would be at their door step in July of 1863.
1862 - 1865In the spring of 1861, the American Civil War broke out their Junior year. Harold and Thomas immediately answered their country's call and tried to enlist in the 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment but were turned down because of their age. Harold, Thomas, and Bridget finally graduated in May of 1862. Harold and Thomas were now 18 years of age and tried again for enlistement. They enlisted in the 116th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment (2nd Regimental Irish Brigade) in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania where they met the famous Irish hero Thomas Francis Meagher. He heartily recruited both of them and so the brother's military career began.
Harold saw his first battle in December of 1862, he was sent to Fredericksburg, Virginia on the 11th and arrived December 13, 1862. The 116th Pennsylvania was a reserve regiment serving as covering fire in the rear for retreating units at Marye's Heights. Even though Fredericksburg was a huge defeat for Union Forces, Harold and his bother made it out alive.
In May of 1863, it was a warm sunny morning. Harold and his brother, Tomas were hanging out in camp playing a game of chess when someone came running through camp yelling "Stonewall Jackson has an entire army after us just over the hill! Grab your rifles and get ready for a fight!" Mostmen got scared and ran away, others like Harold and Thomas were sitting in a daze wondering what the hell is going on! The man was right, Harold began to Confederate Army Battle Flags rise up from just ver the hill and then eventually the men that marched under them themselves.
With no time to get their coats or leathers on, Harold and Thomas just grabbed their cartridboxes, waist belts, canteens, and their 1861 Springfield Rifles Muskets and took off with the others and stood in formation. Most men hardly had any time to get their unfiroms on so we all looked like a rag tag army in just our plaid civilian shirts and Blue Trousers. Most of the men in our company stood in formation, some stayed behind to try their best to slow down the confederate attack once they rampaged our camp. They were torn to shredes with bayonets and bullets, we were next in line for the bloody fight.
Only moments later, a Confederate Infantry Regiment from South Carolina threw a hail of lead into the ranks of the Irish cutting them down like paper. Harold and Thomas saw both of their company's color sergeants go down and dropped their rifles to go after the colors. Harold quickly grabbed the Silky Green Colors while Thomas got their regiemtn's national colors. The two of them took off with a few other survivors of the volley and took off running towars the rear. Harold recalls the moment when he said "I never ran this fast in my life. If I hadn't of gotten out of there with the other survivors when I did I would have been dead or taken prisoner."
Harold and Thomas escaped with their lives at Chancellorsville, but their entire company was destroyed and their regiment was scattered. Chancellorsville was another defeat for the Union Army and forced the Union Army ferther North where General Robert E. Lee and his Northern Army of Virginia would meet in the town of Gettysburg, where Harold and Thomas grew up. In June of 1863, Company K along with Company A and Company F who were all torn to shreds at Chancellorsville were able to regain their strength and got volunteers by the hundreds and made it to 8,000 Men strong and were now the three largest companies in the entire regiment. Harold and Thomas were both promoted to Color Sergeant of Company K and were both awarded the Medal of Honor.
On July 1st, 1863 the 116th Pennsylvania was attacked in the streets on the Western Edge of Gettysburg. Again, Company K served as reserve units with Companie's F and A. They were given orders to head to Little Round Top and hold position there untill further notice. The 116th Pennsylvania was stuck on Little Round Top crammed in between two New York Regiments for two days. On the afternoon of July 2nd, 1863 the 116th Pennsylvania enaged with a Texas Infantry Regiment from Hood's Texas Brigade, they were quickly drawn back due to the tough fortifications of trench breastworks dug into Little Round Top the night before.
More to come. 1871 - 1898
Shortly after Harold's Brother died, he reenlisted in the U.S. Army in the Cavalry and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant despite his trama, and PTSD which gave him problems on the battlefield. He managed to lead his men to victory. Harold was assigned to the 7th US Cavalry Regiment. He later served in the Indian Wars including Little Bighorn in 1876, and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Harold then fought for the Rough Riders in the Spanish - American War and was present at both San Juan Hill and Kettle Hill. He retired from his military service at the end of the Spanish - American War ending his military career completely. During Harold's Military Career, he has earned three medal's of honor, 2 purple hearts, and many more combat service medals.