John E. Essick journal  1861
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Biography

Essick, John E.

Rank : Pvt.

Regiment : 4th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. Co. B (1861)

Service : 1861 April 20-July 27

The 4th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment was recruited in mid-April, 1861, in response to the secession crisis and bombardment of Fort Sumter. Originating in the 1st Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division of the State Militia, it consisted of six companies raised in Norristown, Montgomery County. Among its recruits was John E. Essick of Norristown, Pa., who enlisted for three months duty.

The 4th Pennsylvania Infantry was one of the earliest northern regiments to enter Maryland, taking possession of Perryville, Md., on April 21st, and moving on to Annapolis the next day and to Washington, D.C., on May 8. The regiment had been rushed into service with such alacrity that they did not even receive uniforms or proper equipment until well into June. Like many of the soldiers in the regiment, Essick was stricken with illness under the poor camp conditions, and spent four weeks of his short enlistment on the sick list.

The regiment served for the remainder of its enlistment in the vicinity of Washington, quartered at first in the city, and later in Bladensburg, Alexandria, and on Shuter's Hill. On June 30, they experienced their only engagement when three pickets of the 4th confronted a small party of Confederates. All three suffered injuries, one man dying of his wounds.