Harold P. Robertson (April 20, 1846 - July 4, 1946) is a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. He was born in Cork, Ireland during the Potato Famine and arrived in America only days after his birth. He arrived in New York City on a Monday, 1 week after his birth. His parents quickly moved to Meadville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania to escape the discrimination against Irish Immigrants in New York.
He later fought in the American Civil War seeing every major battle in the Eastern Theater from 1861 - 1865 serving along side James Lewis. Harold is known as "Fighting Paddy" for saving the lives of his wounded comrades by the hundreds at the Seven Days Battles earning him a promotion for the rank of Sergeant. He became the most respected Irishman to serve in the history of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry.
Harold was born an only child to a father who was a former soldier in the British Army and a mother who is a house wife in rough times in Ireland. Rebelliosn for freedom from Great Britain started popping up, the country was povert stricken and people were starving due to a blight that ruined potato crops all acorss Ireland.
Harold grew very ill while in infancy and almost died. His mother and father knew they had to do something. So they used the last of their money to go to America, and it worked. When they arrived in America, they checked in at Ellis Island and became US Citizens. Harold survived his illness and became healthy within a few weeks.
Harold's parents saw how the New Yorkers were treating Irish and German Immigrants. His mother remembers the New Yorkers would throw rocks, bricks, and shards of glass at them and yell "Get out of here you filthy pests! Go back to where ye came from! We don't want you here!" Him and his parents quickly fled New York and came to Meadvill, Pennsylvania where they still live on their family farm today.
Harold was only 4 years old when his baby sister, Emily came into the world. Harold helped his father around on the farm aswell as hunting, and fishing. He also helped his mother out be helping her cook meals for his family. Harold was often stuck caring for his little sister, and did it without protest.
The Civil WarEdit
Enlsiting In the Army
Harold was only 16 when the American Civil War broke out. He enlisted in the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, Company K in September of 1861 shortly aftyer it was newly mustered into the Union Army for three years of service. With the luck Harold had, he didn't seen any combat until the Battle of Yorktown in 1862 which meant he was stuck on guard duty most of the time when he wasn't training or drilling.
The Battle of Yorktown (1862)In the Spring of 1862, he said his final farewells to his parents, and his sister hoping to return home soon. Then he was sent to Yorktown Virginia in April of 1862. He took part in a deadly and fatal charge agaisnt Rebel Forces who were dug in ontop of a ridge on the Eastern Side of the battle. A man infront of Harold was shot and killed, falling backwards onto Harold almost crushing him underneath the man's weight. Harold got the dead man off of him and kept charging, but the attempt was useless, the 83rd Pennsylvania were rodered to pull back and retreat. Later in June, at the Seven Dates Battles he earned his fame and a nickname "Fighting Paddy" and became one of the most respected Irishmen in his company for saving so many lives in the misdt of battle while taking heavy fire from the Rebel Lines.
Seven Days Battles and Second Battle of Bull Run
During the Summer of 1862, Harold saw two battles back to back from each other. At Seven Days, his regiment was ambushed by over 1,200 Confederate Soldiers from Tennessee and Mississippi inflicting heavy casualty casualties upon the Pennsylvania Boy's, but they stood their ground and reinforcements eventually came to relieve of the 83rd Pennsylvania at Beaver Dam Creek.
Then later at the Second Battle of Bull Run, the 83rd Pennsylvania charged stright on in an attempt to capture Stony Ridge. The 83rd was overran by Confederate Breastworks and were forced to regroup at Matthew's Hill South-East of Stony Hill only to attack Stony Hill again2 days later on August 30th and successfully captured a section of the Confederate Breastworks.
Antietam (Bloody Lane)
On the morning of September 17, 1862 at 9 AM in the morning, the 83rd Pennsylvania was called into action and was sent to the Sunken Road with the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and were the first two regiments to see combat at what would soon be called "Bloody Lane".