More About the Bucktails

"Old Bucktails" Veterans - 1900

Image is cropped from another image on the Planet Smethport website.


Famous Tioga County Unit Recalled By Son Of A Former Member.

The son of a former member of the Bucktail Regiment writes the Agitator as follows:

“Recently, I ran onto what to me at least, were some interesting facts in connection with the use of a buck tail as an insignia on a soldier’s cap or hat. I had always been under the impression that the use of the buck’s tail as a soldier’s insignia was original with the old “Bucktail Regiment,” which was recruited in Tioga county, until I read the paragraphs which are quoted in the enclosed paper.

“It occurred to me that such an item might be of interest to the readers of your paper, although all of the old soldiers are now gone, I believe, so I have made a statement quoting from the book mentioned.

To this item i have added the names of as many of the members of Co E that I can recall and with most of whom I was personally acquainted when I lived in Wellsboro, others, I have heard my father speak of. There may be others whose names should be included.

The “Bucktails” organized in Northwestern Pennsylvania in 1861 was one of the most famous regiments in the Union Army in the Civil War. Co. E of the “Bucktails” was organized in Tioga county, Pa., and the Captain was Alanson E. Niles, who lived in a large white house on lower Main street in Wellboro, about opposite the house formerly known as the L.A. Gardner house.

The members of this famous regiment were riflemen and generally were used as scouts and on the skirmish line. They were called the “Bucktail Regiment” because every member wore a buck’s tail in his cap.

Most people doubtless are under the impression that the name of this regiment was original and probably the only body of soldiers even known by this designation. However, this is incorrect because the Minute Men of Culpeper county, Va., raised in 1775 and 1776 to serve in the Revolutionary War, “wore in their hats buck-tails and in their belts tomahawks and scalping knives.”

This is quoted from page 3 of “Genealogical And Historical Notes on Culpeper County, Va., embracing a revised and enlarged edition of Dr. Philip Slaughter’s History of St. Mark’s Parish” (1900) Culpeper, Va.

Also, at pages 12-13 of the work cited, under the chapter headed “The Culpeper Minute Men,” it is stated:

“The late Capt. Slaughter, of Slaughter’s Mountain, left a journal of his daily life from the year 1775, when at the age of 16 years he joined Capt. John Jameson’s Company of Minute Men.

“We encamped in Clayton’s old field. Some had tents, and others huts of plank etc. The whole regiment appeared according to orders in hunting shirts made of strong, brown linen, dyed the color of the leaves of the trees, and all that could procure for love or money buck’s tails wore them in their hats.”

It is also interesting to read in the same work, at page 2, under the chapter cited, that John Randolph, in referring to the Minute Men of Culpeper, made the following observation in the United States Senate concerning them:

“They were raised in a minute, armed in a minute, marched in a minute, fought in a minute, and vanquished in a minute.”

Therefore, they were called “Minute Men,” and by the same token the regiment was called “Bucktails.”

Some of the members of Co E living for many years in and around Wellsboro may be recalled by our older readers and may for that reason be interesting: Capt. Alanson E Niles, Lt. Lucius Truman, Lt. George A. Lulow, Sgt. Jonathan V. Morgan, Sgt. Peter D. Walbridge, Sgt. George W. Sears, Sgt. George O. Derby, Cpl. Robert Kelsey, Edwin R. Allen, Daniel Bacon (later an M.D.), Morgan L. Bacon (later an M.D.), William S. Boatman, John English, William W. English, Charles T. Kimball, Chester F. Kimball, Andrew J. Kriner, James C. Kriner, Eugene H. Stone, Aaron B. Torpey, Henry Varner.

Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Dec 7, 1949

Kane's Rifles - The Bucktails

This next part was a follow-up to the December 7th  article above. These are screen clips of the actual article, in lieu of a transcription.

More About the Bucktails

Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Dec 14, 1949


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