The "Original Bucktails” were the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves Regiment (42nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment). They were so named because of the regiment’s custom of having each man wear on his hat the tail of a deer he had shot. The Bucktails were said to all be superior marksmen, and during the first year of the war they distinguished themselves as skirmishers and sharpshooters.

In July 1862, because of this excellent record, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton directed Roy Stone, a major in the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves, to enlist an additional brigade of Bucktails. Stone raised 20 companies of recruits by the end of August to send to Harrisburg for official organization into the Craw 149th and 150th Pennsylvania regiments. The new volunteers, C having proudly adopted the distinctive badge of the earlier group, also called themselves the “Bucktails” or the "New Meadvill Bucktails". The "Old" or "Original Bucktails", however, resented the two new and upstarting regiments and would later come to refer to them as the "Bogus Bucktails". In 1863, the 143rd Pennsylvania would also join up with this courageous and gilt-edged brigade.

At the beginning of the war, most of this brigade’s time had been spent within the fortifications of Washington, D.C. They were not significantly engaged at Chancellorsville, so Gettysburg would be the first major battle of the campaign. Their most important contribution in Gettysburg occurred on McPherson’s Ridge on July 1, 1863, where the newly recruited troops proved themselves by their gallant stand at McPhearson's Farm. The defense of McPherson's Farm by this new elite group of Western Pennsylvanians on the first day of battle, bought valuable time for more Union units to arrive in the area and deploy for the ultimate victory. Following that engagement, the entire brigade of "Bucktails", both "Old" and "New", remained highly regarded throughout the Army of the Potomac and during the remainder of the war.

Sources: "Gettysburg Daily" -LBG Rich Kohr, "Stone's Brigade and the Fight for McPhearsn's Farm"-James Dougherty, "150th Pennsylvania Volunteers"-Chamberlin, "Pennsylvania Bucktails A Photographic Album of the 42nd, 149th & 150th Pennsylvania Regments"-Patrick A. Schroeder  

​         ​150th PVI Bucktails

Medal of Honor Recipients

Henry S. Huidekoper

Lieutenant Colonel
150th Pennsylvania Infantry
Born - July 17, 1839, Meadville, Pennsylvania Death - November 9, 1918

Civil War Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient. Entered Civil War service with a commission of Captain in the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Rising to Lieutenant Colonel and commander of the unit, he was awarded the CMOH for his bravery on the First Day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1, 1863).

His citation reads: "While engaged in repelling an attack of the enemy, received a severe wound of the right arm, but instead of retiring remained at the front in command of the regiment".

He had commanded a portion of the 150th Pennsylvania in the initial heavy fighting around McPherson's Farm northwest of the town. When the 150th's Colonel, Langhorne Wister, took over command of the brigade, Lt. Colonel Huidekoper assumed command of the regiment. He then sustained the serious arm wound that eventually cost him his arm. He continued to direct his regiment despite the wound until the loss of blood forced him to retire; his remaining in the battle proved invaluable since every officer of the regiment had been killed or wounded. His wounds in the battle incapacitated him until September 1863, when he rejoined his men. He was promoted to Colonel; however, further field service aggravated his partially healed wounds to the point he was forced to resign his commission in 1864. After the war he served as a Major General of the Pennsylvania National Guard, and was active in suppressing the 1877 Labor Riots. He also served as Postmaster of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1880 to 1885, and was responsible for increasing the standard weight for letters from a half-ounce to an ounce. His Medal was awarded to him on May 27, 1905.

James Monroe Reisinger

Born - October 28, 1842 in Beaver County, Pa Death - May 25, 1925

Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He enlisted in the 150th Pennsylania Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in as a Corporal in Company C on August 28, 1862. He would go on to perform heroically and bravely during

the fighting around McPherson's Farm on the First Day of the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg (July 1), and would be awarded the CMOH for his actions.

His citation reads: "Specially brave and meritorious conduct in the face of the enemy"

Commended by name in his regimental commander's Official Report, he would serve with the 150th Pennsylvania until October 29, 1864, when he was transferred to Company B, 14th Veterans Reserve Corps. He spent the remainder of the war on duty with the VRC, and was honorably discharged on June 26, 1865. A month later he re-joined the Union Army, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company D, 114th United States Colored Troops on July 31, 1865. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant on April 23, 1866, he served until he was discharged on April 7, 1867. When his Medal was awarded to him on January 25, 1907, he was the last of the sixty-three Union soldiers and officers to be issued the Medal of honor for bravery at Gettysburg.

Marker Located in Greendale Cemetery Meadville, Pennsylvania Crawford County


The "Original" Bucktails