The 98th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment was organized upon the return of the 21st Pennsylvania Regiment after its three months' service at the end of July 1861. The unit was formed by Colonel John F Ballier from the former ranks of the 21st and new recruits from the Philadelphia area. The men were chiefly German origin, the expection be Company A made up mostly of Irishmen.
The regiment camped thru the winter in Maryland. In March 1862 they embarked for Hampton, Virginia to join the Third Brigade, First Division, Forth Corps in the march up the Peninsula. Their first fire came at Williamsburg on May 5th, 1962. From here they proceeded to Mechanicsville, nearly to Richmond itself. On July 1st the boys fought bravely from Malvern Hill, losing about fifty killed, wounded, and missing. From here they marched back to cover the retreat form Bull Run.
After just missing Antietam, the 98th established its winter quarters near Falmouth, Virginia. The time spent here was interrupted by Burnside's movement on Fredericksburg in December and the "mud march" in January 1863.
When Hooker took command of the Army of the Potomac, the 98th was transferred to the Third Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Corps. Next came the fight for Marye's Heights and Salem Heights on May 3rd. Here the Colonel was wounded, and command reverted to Lieut. Col. George Wynkoop.
At Gettysburg, the Third Brigade was posted on the extreme right of Little Round Top. When Sickles' Corps was driven back this brigade held its position unmoved. Though exposed to terrible artillery fire, the 98th held firm and received a few casualties.
The regiment established winter quaters at year's end near Brandy Station. By this time the regiment had three hundred and twenty-nine soldiers present for duty. All but one hundred re-enlisted on December 23rd.
In January the 98th was moved to Charlestown, West Virginia. Soon afterward they left for Philadelphia for a fully deserved furlough. The following May the regiment once again took to the field under Col. John Ballier for the opening of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor campaigns. In five weeks the casualties mounted to three offiers and twenty-four men killed, six offers and one hundred and two men wounded.
At Petersburg the regiment assisted in the Weldon Heights movement. Following this engagement, the Sixth Corps and the Nineteenth Corps were rushed to the Capitol which was being threatened by General Early and his Confederate forces. The Shenandoah campaign followed. Fighting here commenced at Opequon, Fisher's Hill, and on to Cedar Creek. In January 1865 the remnant of the 98th left camp near Winchester, Virginia to return oncemore to the seige of Petersburg.
After the surrender at Appomattox, the unit was augmented with seven hundred newly drafted recruits. They were then sent forward to Danville. After Johnston's surrender to Sherman, the 98th marched back to Washington to be mustered out on June 29th, 1865.