2nd Heavy Artillery/
112th Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteers

 

In October, 1861, authority was granted by the War Department, upon the recommendation of General M'Clellan, to Charles Angeroth, of Philadelphia, to recruit a battalion of Heavy Artillery-soon after extended to a regiment-which was designated the Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, One Hundred and Twelfth of the line. A camp of rendezvous was established at Camden, New Jersey, and Headquarters at No. 506, Vine Street, Philadelphia. In January, 1862, the regiment was organized by the muster in of the following field officers:

  • Charles Angeroth, Colonel;
  • John H. Oberteuffer, Sr., Lieutenant Colonel;
  • William Candidus, Major.

The men were principally recruited in the counties of Franklin, Allegheny, and Monroe, and from the city and county of Philadelphia.

On the 9th of January, companies D, G, and H, were ordered to duty at Fort Delaware, whither they at once proceeded, under command of Captain James S. Anderson. On the 25th of February, the remaining seven companies were ordered to Washington, and upon their arrival, reported to General Abner Doubleday, who assigned them to duty in the fortifications north of the city, and near to Bladensburg. On the 19th of March, the three companies at Fort Delaware, re-joined the regiment. In June following, Colonel Angeroth having resigned, was discharged from the service, and Augustus A. Gibson, Captain in the Second Artillery, U. S. A., was commissioned to succeed him. On the 24th of November, two independent artillery companies, recruited in Luzerne county, which had also been on duty at Fort Delaware, were assigned to the regiment, and were designated companies L, and M., increasing the number to twelve. The regiment remained in the works north of the Potomac, until the 26th of March, 1864, when it was transferred to the defences south of the river, garrisoning Forts Ethan Allen, and Marcy, near the Chain Bridge. While thus engaged, the regiment became celebrated for its proficiency in drill and soldierly appearance, but to this time had had no opportunity of displaying its skill in battle.

In the spring of 1864 though the regiment numbered eighteen hundred and thirty-six men, rank and file, a much larger number than that allowed by law, recruits still continued to arrive in large numbers. It was accordingly determined to organize, from the surplus men, a new regiment, and on the 18th of April, an order was issued from the War Department, authorizing its formation, under the name of the Second Provisional Heavy Artillery. Officers were selected from among the officers and enlisted men of the old regiment, to serve as provisional officers of the new regiment, until their service, as such, should be no longer needed, when they were to resume their places in the old regiment with their former grade. Before the division was made, the regiment numbered three thousand three hundred men. The new regiment was organized on the 20th of April, 1864, and in command of its provisional officers was sent to the front4 where it was assigned to duty with the Ninth Corps. With that corps it participated in the battle of the Wilderness, and in all the operations of the campaign, until it arrived before Petersburg. Among the killed, in this campaign, were Captain Samuel H. Davis, who fell at Cold Harbor, and Lieutenant Thomas C. Sharpe, in the charge upon the Petersburg front, on the 17th of June.

On the 27th of May, the original regiment was ordered to join the Army of the Potomac, and marching through Washington, embarked upon transports, at Sixth street. On the 28th, it arrived at Port Royal, n the Rappahannock, and marching sixty miles across the country, joined the Eighteenth Army Corps, under General Baldy Smith, on the 4th of June, at Cold Harbor. Being too large to maneuver as a whole, as infantry, the regiment was formed in three battalions, of four companies each, Major Anderson, who had succeeded Major Candidus, since the resignation of the latter, on the 22d of August, 1862, in command of the first, Captain Jones of the second, and Major Sadler of the third; Colonel Gibson had command of the whole, Lieutenant Colonel Oberteuffer having remained on duty in the defences of Washington.

On the 18th of June, the Second Battalion was ordered to join in a charge upon the rebel entrenched line, between City Point Railroad, and the Appomattox River, on the Petersburg front. Owing to the failure of the troops on the left of the battalion to move promptly, the whole fire of the rebel line was concentrated upon it, checking it, and preventing it from carrying the enemy's works. The ground gained was, however, held, the men screening themselves from sight by the tall oats through which they had charged, and using their bayonets and tin cups in making for themselves a partial shelter, At night the line was strengthened, and continued to be occupied as the front line until the fall of the city, nearly a year afterwards. In this charge, the battalion lost ten killed and sixty-five wounded, all within a few minutes. Among the latter was Captain Jones, who received a severe wound in the left shoulder. Upon his fall, the command devolved on Captain M'Clure, of company F.

This regiment, with the Eighty-ninth New York, now constituted the Second Brigade, Second Division, of the Eighteenth Corps. The leave of absence from the regular army, granted to Colonel Gibson to take command of this volunteer regiment, having been revoked, he was, on the 21st of July, relieved by Major Anderson. During the months of June, July, and August, the regiment performed arduous duties in the trenches, stretching from the Appomattox River to the Jerusalem Plank Road, losing in that time more than half its effective strength, being reduced from eighteen hundred and thirty-six, to less than nine hundred. On the 23d of August, the Twenty-third Corps was relieved by the Tenth Corps, and marched to the Bermuda front, to rest and recuperate. On the 5th of September, about four hundred men, all that were left of the provisional regiment, re-joined the old regiment. During their absence, the Provisionals, as they were termed, had performed exceedingly hard service, and lost, in the short space of four months, about one thousand men.

When the mine was exploded, the provisional regiment formed part of the brigade that had the advance in the charge, and dashed into the crater, losing heavily in killed, wounded, and prisoners.

On the 20th of September, a movement of the Army of the James was made, which resulted in the capture of Fort Harrison, and the permanent establishment of the right wing of the army, north of the James River. During the day, the First and Second battalions, under command of Major Anderson, were ordered to make a charge on the rebel works in rear of the Fort. The movement was not supported, and resulted disastrously, the loss in the two battalions being over two hundred, in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Among the killed was Major Anderson, whose commission as Colonel, reached regimental headquarters on the day after his death, and Lieutenant Presley Cannon. Among the severely wounded, were Captain N. Baggs of the Staff of Colonel Fairchild, commanding the brigade, and Lieutenants John B. Krepps, and Wm. Barba. Major Sadler, and Lieutenants Wilson, Laughlin, and Mumford, were among the captured. Upon the death of Colonel Anderson, Captain Wm. M. M'Clure, of company F, was appointed Colonel, Captain S. D. Strawbridge, Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Benjamin F. Winger, Major.

The regiment occupied the line south of Fort Harrison, now Fort Burnham, until the 2d of December following when it was ordered to the Bermuda Front. The original term of service expired in January, 1865. A large number re-enlisted, and with the recruits formed an aggregate of over two thousand men still remaining in the service. At the expiration of his term, on the 7th of March, Colonel M'Clure was honorably discharged, and was succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Strawbridge, Major Benjamin F. Winger being commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, and Captains David Schooley, and William S. Bailey, Majors. On the 31st of March, the regiment charged upon the enemy's lines, and again on the following day, capturing some prisoners. After the evacuation of Petersburg, the regiment was ordered to duty in that city, and upon the surrender of the rebel army, a week later, the companies were distributed through the lower counties of Virginia, for the purpose of maintaining order and tranquility. Until the South was divided into Departments and Posts, in the beginning of the year 1866, the regiment continued to perform this duty. It was finally mustered out of service, on the 29th of January, 1866, at City Point, Virginia, whence it returned to Philadelphia, where, on the 16th of February, it was discharged.

From the fact that this regiment was entrusted with the defences of Washington, during a long and dark period of the rebellion, shows that the authorities had full confidence in the fidelity and heroism of both officers and men. By its confinement here, it was robbed of the opportunity of displaying its prowess on sanguinary fields, until it joined the Army of the Potomac, in the Wilderness campaign, when it was at once put upon severe duty, and until the close of the war endured hardships and braved dangers with the best, sustaining losses that well attest the perilous service to which it was subjected.

 

Source:  Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.

 

Organization

Organized at Philadelphia January 8. 1862. (Cos. "D," "G" and "H" ordered to

Fort Delaware January 9, and duty there till March 19, 1862,

when rejoined Regiment in Defences of Washington.)

Companies "A," "B," "C," "E," "F," "I" and "K" moved to Washington, D.C.,

February 25, 1862.

Attached to Artillery Brigade, Military District of Washington, to August, 1862.

Defences of Washington north of the Potomac to October, 1862.

1st Brigade, Haskins' Division, Defences north of the Potomac, to February, 1863.

1st Brigade, Haskins' Division, 22nd Army Corps, Dept. Washington, to March, 1864.

1st Brigade, DeRussy's Division, 22nd Corps, to May, 1864.

3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina,

to December, 1864. Provisional Brigade, Defences of Bermuda Hundred, Va.,

Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to April, 1865.

1st Brigade, Ferrero's Division, Dept. of Virginia, to May, 1865.

Sub-District of the Blackwater,

Dept. of Virginia, to January, 1866.

 

Service

Garrison duty in the Defences of Washing north of the Potomac till May 27, 1864.

(2 Independent Cos. Heavy Artillery assigned as Cos. "L" and "M" November 24, 1862.)
Moved to Port Royal, Va., May 27-28, 1864, thence marched to Cold Harbor May 28-June 4.
Battles about Cold Harbor June 4-12.
Before Petersburg June 15-19.
Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865.
In trenches before Petersburg till August 23, 1864.
Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30.

Duty on the Bermuda Hundred front till September.
Weldon Railroad August 18-21.
Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28-30.
Fair Oaks October 27-28 (Co. "G").
Ordered to Bermuda front December 2, and duty there till April, 1865.
Fall of Petersburg April 2.
Duty at Petersburg till May, and in counties of lower Virginia, Sub-District of the Blackwater, District of the Nottaway, till January, 1866.
Mustered out at City Point, Va., January 29. 1866, and
discharged at Philadelphia, Pa., February 16, 1866.

Losses

Regiment lost during service:

5 Officers and 221 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and

5 Officers and 385 Enlisted men by disease.

Total 616.


Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion Compiled and Arranged from Official Records of the Federal and Confederate Armies, Reports of he Adjutant Generals of the Several States, the Army Registers, and Other Reliable Documents and Sources.Des Moines, Iowa: The Dyer Publishing Company, 1908.

  Alice J. Gayley, all rights reserved

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