Died of Wounds Received At Gettysburg, Pa, July 2nd, 1863.
Ferdinand M. Pleis enlisted during the Civil War on August 28, 1861, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 22nd Pennsylvania Regiment of Infantry. Having served in that regiment for 3 plus months, he mustered out to be commissioned into the Field and Staff of the 106th Pennsylvania Vols on August 28, 1861.
Taken from History of the One Hundred and Sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers….by F. McMannus, 1906, this brief story of Lt. Pleis’s time in service serves as his poignant view of war, yet his willingness to perform his duty to Pennsylvania and the Union:
“He saw much action, and even had his horse shot out from under him at Antietam. A month later, the officers and men of the regiment presented him with a new horse and full set of equipment.”
Pleis remained sensitive to the human sufferings of battle and could not stomach the gruesome sights of the death and dying on the battlefield.
Following the battle of Fair Oaks, Captain Robert H.Ford and Adjutant Pleis took a walk over the field. They had not gone very far when Pleis said, “I cannot stand this; it makes me sick to see the terrible sights,” and turned back while Ford continued over the battlefield filled with the “dead lying thick, piled on top of each other just as they had fallen; all mangled and torn – decomposition already taking place.”
Pleis endured the hardships of the war for another year through their arrival into Pennsylvania.
While at Gettysburg, Adjutant Pleis was seriously wounded, “being struck in the thigh by a piece of shell” during the “charge of the regiment on the 2nd.”
In a letter to his friends, Colonel Curry spoke of the incident: “We opened fire, and charged so determinedly, along with the others, that we drove the enemy to their original lines, and would have spiked a six gun battery, had we not been ordered back. The carnage was terrible, the ground being covered with the dead and wounded. It was in this charge that Adjutant Pleis fell.”
Ferdinand Pleis was returned to Philadelphia, but never recovered from the wound suffered at Gettysburg. He died on August 2, 1863.
In this CDV, Pleis is wearing a frock coat without shoulder straps; in other views of him, he is seen wearing the collar of his military frock turned down as well. The buttons on the frock in this image appear to be cloth covered, yet the buttons on the vest are likely military. This is an image probably taken just prior to entering service in early 1861. There is no back-mark. Condition is fine.
There are copies of musters in the 106th Pa and a copy letter from Kingston Goddard, Act’g Surgeon in Charge, U.S. Hospital, South Street, Philadelphia, etc.
USPS Postage: $4.00