My Union Ancestor
CHARLES MANNING APPLETON
Co. R, 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry
Half 3 x great-granduncle of Tad D. Campbell, PCinC
Charles Manning Appleton was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on or about January 9, 1846, the only son of Dr. Charles William Worthington Appleton and Mary Manning.
Appleton's maternal grandfather, Thomas S. Manning (c.1771-1855), was a printer and publisher in Philadelphia. During his youth, Appleton learned his grandfather's trade and by the age of fifteen was already working as the compositor and assistant editor of the West Philadelphia Saturday Star newspaper.
Although a lad of only fifteen years, Appleton was very mature in appearance and easily passed for a man of nineteen when he enrolled in the U.S. Army on September 27, 1861. He was mustered in as a Private in Company R, 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry on October 27, 1861.
The regiment had originally been designated as the 3rd California Infantry, having been credited to California as part of Oregon Senator Edward D. Baker's California Brigade. After Baker's death at the Battle of Ball's Bluff on October 21, 1861, the regiments in the California Brigade were reclaimed by Pennsylvania, each unit being redesignated with a new numeral, and the brigade being renamed the Philadelphia Brigade. It had the distinction of being the only brigade composed of troops entirely from a single city. The 72nd was also known as Baxter's Fire Zouaves, because of their commander, Colonel DeWitt Clinton Baxter, because of the modified Zouave uniform they wore, and because the majority of the regiment's recruits came from the firemen of Philadelphia.
They spent the fall patrolling along the Potomac River, near Poolesville, Maryland, and in the spring were transported to the Peninsula. It suffered much from sickness at the siege of Yorktown, as its camp was in an unhealthful location and the constant rains and exposure in the trenches bore heavily on the command. It took park in the Battle of Seven Pines (also known as Fair Oaks), Virginia and it was near there on June 8, 1862 that Private Appleton was severely wounded by a gunshot wound in the right thigh. His leg was amputated and he was sent to DeCamp General Hospital on Davids' Island in New York Harbor. Unfortunately, Appleton was not able to recover from the wound and died there on July 20, 1862. He was only sixteen and a half years old.
His remains were brought back to Philadelphia and interred in the Monument Cemetery. This cemetery, the second rural cemetery in Philadelphia, was founded in 1837 on North Broad Street, across from Temple University. In 1956 the University purchased the cemetery for use as a parking lot and athletic fields. About 28,000 bodies — including those of Charles M. Appleton, Civil War nurse Anna M. Ross, and well-known artist John Sartain — were removed to Lawnview Cemetery in Rockledge, Pennsylvania and buried in a mass grave. The monuments were dumped into the Delaware River near Castor Avenue as riprap (foundation) for the Betsy Ross Bridge, then under construction. At low tide today, many of the grave markers are still clearly visible.
Charles Manning Appleton's half-brother was John Henderson Appleton (1832-1911), the direct ancestor of Brother Campbell, and who served in the 17th Indiana Infantry of Wilder's Lightning Brigade during the Civil War.
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