Id’d Civil War Soft Pack Knapsack – Private Michael Bender 1st Potomac Home Brigade Infantry


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Id’d Civil War Soft Pack Knapsack – Private Michael Bender 1st Potomac Home Brigade Infantry – Many of the so-called, Id’d knapsacks that we encounter present a spuriously stenciled ID or are postwar. This late war, soft pack knapsack evinces a great, white painted or stenciled ID on the exterior of one of the black, canvas bags, that reads as follows:



                     “M BENDER


Michael Bender (1844 – 1916) was a 23 year-old boatman from Sharpsburg, Maryland; he enlisted in Frederick, Maryland on February 7, 1865 in the 1st Regiment Potomac Home Brigade which would later be designated the 13th Regiment Maryland Infantry. The 1st Regiment Home Brigade was organized in Frederick, Maryland in 1861 and spent a substantial period of the war guarding locations in Maryland and West Virginia; the regiment would participate in the Battles of Gettysburg and Monocacy. Private Bender joined the regiment in the last year of the war, mustering out in May, 1865. After the war, he returned to Sharpsburg, married and raised a family, taking over his father’s weaving business. When we obtained the knapsack, we discovered an old, round, typed tag, printed on round, embossed cardstock which had a GAR star in the center; in a circumferential embossing, a GAR post is listed, which is somewhat difficult to read, although we believe it refers to the Memorial Hall of the MG Jesse L. Reno Post, #4 of Hagerstown. The typed descriptor on the tag states the following:





HALL BY O.T. ????


The apparent misspelling of Michael Bender’s name is a period error, incurred when the knapsack was catalogued for the GAR Hall, several years after the war; we have encountered this type of disconnect between enlistment names and war period, as well as postwar recorded names numerous times; with research, we confirmed that there was only one Michael Bender in the 1st Md. PHG and no one by the name of M. Brenner – this is most assuredly Michael Bender’s knapsack, as corroborated by his name and regiment designation stenciled on the knapsack. The knapsack is the typical, late war soft pack; it retains all of its original, exterior straps and associated hardware. The interior retains three of the four original rawhide closure

ties. One of the shoulder straps exhibits the New York location of manufacture, inspector’s stamp and the date August, 1864. The knapsack remains in overall good condition – it is flexible, with only a few, minor weak areas; the straps are in good condition, as well. Id’d knapsack are very difficult to find; this example remains in strong condition, with readily readable regimental and soldier’s name stenciling.

Michael Bender

Residence was not listed;

Enlisted on 2/2/1865 as a Private.

On 2/2/1865 he mustered into MD 1st PHB Infantry

He was transferred out on 4/8/1865

On 4/8/1865 he transferred into “D” Co. MD 13th Infantry

He was Mustered Out on 5/29/1865 at Baltimore, MD

The 1st Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade was organized at Frederick, Maryland, beginning August 15, 1861, and mustered in on December 13, 1861, for three years under the command of Colonel William P. Maulsby. Companies A, B, D and I were recruited in Frederick County. Company C was recruited from Baltimore City.

13th MD Infantry
( 3-years )

Organized: Frederick, MD on 4/8/65
Mustered Out: 5/29/65 at Baltimore, MD


From To Brigade Division Corps Army Comment
Apr ’65 Jun ’65 1 2nd Infantry Department of West Virginia Mustered Out

(Three Years)

     First Potomac Home Brigade Infantry. – Cols., William P.

Maulsby, Roger E. Cook; Lieut.-Cols., George R. Dennis, John A.

Steiner, Charles J. Brown; Majs., John I. Yellott, Eugene C.

Baugher.  The organization of this regiment was commenced at

Frederick City on Aug. 15, 1861, and on Dec. 13 it was mustered

into service for three years.  Companies A, B, D and I were

recruited in Frederick county; C in the city of Baltimore; E ,

F, and H in Washington county; G in Baltimore, Frederick and

Carroll counties; and K in Frederick county and the city of

Baltimore.  During the winter of 1861-62 it served with Gen.

Banks and in the following spring marched with that commander

up the Shenandoah Valley as far as Winchester, when it was

assigned to the duty of guarding the line of the Baltimore &

Ohio railroad.  When Banks was driven out of the valley the

regiment was concentrated at Harper’s Ferry, where it remained

until the Union troops again the valley, when it resumed the

work of guarding the railroad.  After Gen. Pope’s defeat at the

second battle of Bull Run the regiment opposed the passage of

the Potomac River at the several fords and ferries near the

mouth of the Monocacy, and was then concentrated at Harper,s

Ferry, where it was surrendered with the garrison on Sept. 15,

1862.  The men were paroled and after being exchanged the regi-

ment was assigned to duty along the Potomac in the southern

part of the state.  In the Gettysburg campaign it formed part

of Lockwood’s brigade, and on the second day of the battle of

Gettysburg was in the thickest of the fighting on Culp’s hill

and was one of the regiments that moved to the relief of

Sickles, corps, where it assisted in the final repulse of the

Confederates under Gen. Longstreet.  After the battle of Get-

tysburg it marched with the Army of the Potomac in pursuit of

Lee as far as the Potomac River, when it was assigned to the

duty of guarding the line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad.  In

July, 1864, when Gen. Early invaded Maryland, this regiment

took an active part in checking the Confederate advance, and

part of it fought gallantly in the battle of Monocacy under

Gen. Wallace.  During its service the regiment lost 45 men

killed in battle and 86 died of wounds and disease.  It was

engaged at Loudoun heights, Poolesville, Monocacy, Aqueduct,

Maryland heights, Harper’s Ferry, Gettysburg, Duffield Station

Monocacy, and in several skirmishes along the line of the

Baltimore & Ohio railroad.  Those whose terms of enlistment

expired in the fall of 1864 were mustered out, and the veterans

and recruits were assigned to the 13th Md. infantry.

1st Maryland Infantry Regiment, Potomac Home Brigade

1st Maryland Infantry Regiment, Potomac Home Brigade
Active August 15, 1861, to December 1864
Country  United States
Allegiance Union
Branch United States Army
Union Army
Type Infantry
Engagements Battle of Harper’s Ferry
Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of New Market (detachment)
Battle of Monocacy (5 companies)
Colonel William P. Maulsby

The 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment, Potomac Home Brigade was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.


The 1st Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade was organized at Frederick, Maryland, beginning August 15, 1861, and mustered in on December 13, 1861, for three years under the command of Colonel William P. Maulsby.

Companies A, B, D and I were recruited in Frederick County. Company C was recruited from Baltimore City. Companies E, F and H were recruited from Washington County. Company G comprised men from Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Counties. Company K was from recruited Baltimore city and Frederick County.

The regiment was attached to Banks’ Division, Army of the Potomac, to March 1862. Unassigned, Banks’ V Corps, and Department of the Shenandoah to May 1862. Railroad District, Middle Department, to July 1862. Railroad District, VIII Corps, Middle Department, to September 1862. Annapolis, Maryland, VIII Corps, to March 1863. 1st Separate Brigade, VIII Corps, to June 1863. Lockwood’s Brigade, VIII Corps, to July 1863. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, XII Corps, Army of the Potomac, July 1863. 2nd Brigade, Maryland Heights, Division West Virginia, to December 1863. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, West Virginia, to April 1864. Reserve Division, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to January 1865. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, West Virginia, to April 1865.

The 1st Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade mustered out of the service August through December 1864. Afterwards reenlisting veterans and new recruits formed the 13th Maryland Infantry Regiment.

Detailed service

Railroad guard duty until March 1862. Advance on Winchester, Va., March 7–12. Strasburg March 27. Guarding Baltimore & Ohio Railroad until May. Concentrated at Harpers Ferry May 24, and action at Loudon Heights May 27. Defense of Harpers Ferry May 28–30. Guard Baltimore & Ohio Railroad until September. Action at Monocacy Aqueduct September 4. Poolesville September 5. Concentrated at Sandy Hook and march to Harpers Ferry. Siege of Harper’s Ferry September 12–15. Maryland Heights September 13. Harpers Ferry September 14–15. Surrendered September 15 and paroled September 16. Sent to Annapolis, Md., and when exchanged assigned to duty on the Potomac in southern Maryland to June 1863. Martinsburg June 14. At point Lookout June. Joined Lockwood’s Brigade and march to Gettysburg, Pa., June 25-July 2. Battle of Gettysburg July 2–3. Pursuit of Lee July 5–24. Guard duty on Baltimore Ohio Railroad in Maryland and Virginia until May 1864. Operations against Early’s invasion of Maryland June and July. Duffield Station June 29. Battle of Monocacy July 9. Moved from Monocacy to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and duty in that district until April 1865.


First Day

Under command of Col. Maulsby, the regiment formed part of 2nd Brigade (Brig. Gen. Henry H. Lockwood), 1st Division (Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams), XII Corps (Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum) at the Battle of Gettysburg. The regiment mustered 674 all ranks, making it the largest regiment in the Army of the Potomac. The regiment reached Gettysburg during the afternoon of July 1, but was not engaged.

Second Day

On the morning of July 2, the regiment constructed breastworks south of Culp’s Hill at McAlister’s Woods. The entire division was withdrawn later in the day and sent south to support a section of the Union line under attack by Longstreet’s Corps. Returning to Culp’s Hill that evening, the regiment discovered that its breastworks had been captured by Confederates of Maj. Gen. Edward “Allegheny” Johnson‘s division.

Third Day

On July 3, the regiment fought to hold ground against renewed attacks by Johnson’s division. Bloody fighting continued until around 11:00 a.m. when Johnson finally broke off his attack. XII Corps commander Brig. Gen. Alpheus Williams wrote: “The wonder is that the rebels persisted so long in an attempt that the first half hour must have told them was useless.”[


The regiment mustered 674 all ranks at the beginning of the battle. It lost 104 killed, wounded, captured and missing.


  • Colonel William P. Maulsby – mustered out August 25, 1864
  • Major Townsend Daniel – commanded at the Battle of New Market
  • CaptainCharles J. Brown – commanded at the Battle of Monocacy


The regiment lost a total of 131 men during service; 3 officers and 42 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 1 officer and 85 enlisted men died of disease.