Thanks goes to my newly found distant cousins Don and Jerry Varner for this info!
Silas Plummer Residence not listed; Enlisted on 8/29/64 as a Private. On 8/29/64 he mustered into "C" Co. PA 81st Infantry He was discharged on 6/1/65 Eighty-first Infantry.-Cols., James Miller, Charles F. Johnson, H. Boyd McKeen, William Wilson, Lieut.-Cols. Charles F. Johnson, Eli T. Conner, H. Boyd McKeen, Robert M. Lee, Jr., Amos Stroh, Thomas C Harkness, William Wilson, Lawrence Mercer; Majs., Eli T. Conner Robert M. Lee, Jr., Thomas C. Harkness, William Wilson, Lawrence Mercer, James H. Mitchell. The 81st regiment, composed of men from the city of Philadelphia, and the counties of Carbon and Luzerne, was mustered into the U. S. service in August, Sept., and Oct., 1861, at Philadelphia, for three years. Col. Miller was a soldier of the Mexican war and many of the officers and men had served in the state militia or during the three months' campaign. It left the state for Washington on Oct. 10, and was assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 2nd corps, commanded by Gens. Howard, Richardson and Sumner respectively. It remained inactive during the succeeding winter, except for numerous details sent out on scout duty. In March, 1862, active operations against the enemy commenced and a month later, having been transferred to the Peninsula it engaged in McClellan's campaign to Richmond. Upon reaching the Chickahominy it was employed in building the Sumner bridge over which it marched to Golding's farm, where it engaged in a sharp skirmish with the enemy. The regiment saw much fighting and suffered severely during the rest of the campaign. Col. Miller was killed at Fair Oaks, and on the retreat to the James river, the 81st was engaged at Peach Orchard, Savage Station, Charles City cross-roads, where Col. Johnson and Capts. Conner and Harkness were wounded, and at Malvern hill, where Lieut.Col. Conner was killed while gallantly leading his men. It arrived too late to share in the 2nd battle of Bull Run and was in reserve at South mountain, but was heavily engaged with loss at Antietam, where Capt. Schuyler and Lieut. Vandyke were among the killed. It fought at the battle of Fredericksburg and then returned to winter quarters near Falmouth, where it remained until April 26, 1863. It suffered considerable loss at the battle of Chancellorsville, Col. McKeen and Maj. Harkness being among the severely wounded, and after the battle returned to Falmouth until the end of May. It then moved to Stoneman's switch and on June 18, to Stafford Court House, where it skirmished with the enemy. After a series of exhausting marches it arrived on the field of Gettysburg on the evening of July 1, and immediately threw up breast-works. On the following day it was heavily engaged until 9 p.m. in the wheat field beyond the peach orchard, losing one-half its effective strength. On the 3rd day it was posted near the cemetery. It joined in the pursuit of Lee and subsequently participated with the 2nd corps in the "campaign of maneuvres" in the Valley of Virginia, and in the operations at Mine run. The winter of 1863-64 was spent about Brandy Station and Stevensburg. A portion of the command reenlisted in Jan., 1864, and the men were given the usual veteran furlough, though the veterans, with a large number of recruits, returned before the opening of the spring campaign of 1864 Col. McKeen commanded the brigade and Lieut.-Col. Wilson the regiment. In the desperate fighting which now ensued, the 81st had its full share, being engaged at the Wilderness, Po river, Spottsylvania, North Anna river, Totopotomy and Cold Harbor. Lieut.-Col. Wilson was severely wounded in the desperate assault by the 2nd corps at Spottsylvania, and Col. McKeen was killed in the last assault at Cold Harbor. It was actively engaged with its corps in the first assaults on Petersburg, suffering considerable loss, and fully maintained its reputation as a fighting regiment in the engagements at Strawberry Plains, Reams' station and Deep Bottom. The winter of 1864-65 was spent in the trenches in front of Petersburg and at the end of March it participated with its corps in the final campaign. It did not again suffer serious loss, though frequently engaged, and was almost constantly on the march until the desperate assault on Lee's lines at Farmville where the 81st suffered severely, Capts. Wilson and Bond being among the killed. After Lee's surrender it returned to Washington and was mustered out at Alexandria, Va., June 29, 1865. Its total losses during the four years of service were 14 officers killed, 45 wounded, 3 prisoners, 2 died of disease, 201 enlisted men killed 516 wounded and 70 died of disease.
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