Initially, Sumwalt had a great deal of support from the regiment's Adams County companies. He lived in the area and was well known as a man of high religious character. The Gettysburg Compiler received news of his appointment by noting that "he possesses capital qualifications, and the boys...may congratulate themselves on having so gallant a leader." These positive impressions of the new commander would not last.
Many of Adams County's best and brightest found themselves at Camp Curtin that August. Company B had several past and future Pennsylvania College graduates - including George W. Hemminger, Lewis W. Detrich, and Henry Grossman. One student soldier, Harvey W. McKnight, would later serve as the college's president. Corporal Peter Thorn had left his post as gatekeeper of Gettysburg's Evergreen Cemetery to join the regiment, leaving behind his wife Elizabeth to manage the grounds. Nicolas G. Wilson - a member of the Bendersville and Heidlersburg Company (G), would later oversee construction of many of the earliest battlefield avenues in Gettysburg.
|A stereo card from the Library of Congress entitled: "Intrenchment at (?) Relay House, B&O R.R., Mass. Regiment (?)" Note the Thomas Viaduct in the background|
|Stereograph from the Library of Congress entitled "The famous relay house on the B.O.R.R." The soldiers are unidentified.|
Here at Relay House, the men of Company B would spend nine months on guard duty. But they would also drill, learn discipline, and become familiar with battlefield tactics and maneuvers that they would need later in the war.