165th Regiment*
Pennsylvania Volunteers

Company A of this regiment was from Franklin county, and B from Cumberland; the remaining eight companies were from Adams county. The men rendezvoused early in November, 1862, at a camp near Gettysburg, where company organizations were soon after effected, and on the 6th of December, the following field officers were chosen:
  • Charles H. Buehler, Colonel
  • Edward G. Fahnestock, Lieutenant Colonel
  • Nash G. Camp, Major. Colonel
Buehler had served as Captain in the Second Regiment, and as Major in the Eighty-seventh, until his election to the command of this regiment.

Scarcely was its organization effected, when it was ordered to the front, and on the 8th moved via Washington and Newport News, to Suffolk, arriving on the 17th. It went into camp on the South Quay Road, but was subsequently transferred to a position on the Somerton Road. Schools for instruction of officers were established, and the men thoroughly drilled in tactics; attention being also given to picket, guard and provost duty, and the construction of defensive works. It was brigaded with the Thirteenth Indiana, One Hundred and Twelfth New York, Sixth Massachusetts, and One Hundred and Sixty-sixth Pennsylvania regiments, forming part of the First Division of the Seventh Corps.

The first active service of the regiment was in an expedition towards the Blackwater, which was undertaken as a diversion in favor of the column under General Ferry, moving into North Carolina. Colonel Gibbs, of the One Hundred and Thirtieth New York, was in command, and for three days he was upon the march, along the borders of the Great Dismal Swamp. No enemy was met, and on the 12th, the command was again settled in camp.

Little occurred to mar the monotony of guard and fatigue duty, until the 29th of January, 1863, when the enemy made his appearance at Deserted House, six or eight miles away. Two companies, A and F, were ordered to march with the Sixth Massachusetts. At one A. M., a brisk skirmish opened, which lasted until daylight, when the enemy was routed. Two other companies, D and I, were sent with the One Hundred and Twelfth New York, in pursuit, occasionally skirmishing with his rear-guard; but failed to bring him to a stand. The casualties in the companies engaged were one severely, and several slightly wounded.

Early in April, Lieutenant General Longstreet, with a detachment of the rebel army, estimated to number forty thousand men, advanced upon Suffolk, with the design of capturing it, and of re-opening the way to Portsmouth and Norfolk. Situated at the head of the Nansemond River, where cross the railroads to W eldon and Petersburg, it was regarded as the key to all the approaches to the mouth of the James River, on the north of the Dismal Swamp.

Defeated in his purpose to carry the place by direct assault, on his first approach, the rebel leader sat down in its front, with the design of reducing it by a siege. The defense was stoutly maintained, and frequent sallies were made, in which the One Hundred and Sixty-sixth participated. The most important of these was one made on the 24th of April, in which Colonel Buehler, with a part of his own, the Sixth Massachusetts, One Hundred and Sixtysixth Pennsylvania, and a section of Neil's Battery, advanced against the enemy's intrenched position on the Somerton Road. The purpose of the movement was a diversion in favor of General Corcoran, who was charged with a real demonstration in force, on the Edenton Road. Colonel Buehler arrived in front of the enemy at one P. M., and at once made his dispositions for attack. The demonstration was continued with much spirit until nightfall, when, the object of the movement having been accomplished, Colonel Buehler withdrew, bringing off his killed and wounded. The loss, in the part of the One Hundred and Sixty-fifth engaged, was one killed, one mortally, and several slightly wounded.

The siege was pushed with great spirit and determination for nearly a month, when, having been foiled in all his purposes, Longstreet abandoned the enterprise, and withdrawing from his elaborately constructed works, retreated in the direction of Petersburg.

On the 13th of May, the regiment joined in an expedition led by Colonel Foster, to guard a working party, engaged in the destruction of the Weldon Railroad. Fourteen miles out the enemy was met, and some skirmishing ensued; but the Union advance not being in a position to use artillery, was compelled to retire to more open ground, about the village of Carrsville, where, after a sharp skirmish, he was held in check, while the destruction went on. The loss was eight wounded. The command subsequently moved upon the Petersburg Road, which was also destroyed, but without molestation, and on the 26th, returned to Suffolk.

On the 27th of June, the regiment embarked upon transports and moved to White House, on the Pamunky, where it joined in a demonstration towards Richmond. The right wing, under General Getty, in which was the One Hundred and Sixty-fifth, moved to Hanover Court House, and broke up the railroads crossing above, destroying the bridges over the South Anna. The rebel army was just then falling back from Gettysburg, having been defeated there, and as the purpose of the demonstration had been attained, the forces united, and returned to Yorktown. Here a number of militia regiments were detached, and ordered to Washington.

In the meantime, the term of service of the One Hundred and Sixty-fifth had expired, and returning to Gettysburg, it was, on the 28th of July, mustered out.

* The troops recruited for the One Hundred and Sixty-fourth Regiment never had a regimental organization, and were, consequently, assigned to other commands.

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


Organized at Chambersburg and Gettysburg November 25-December 5, 1862.
Moved to Washington, D. C, thence to Newport News and Suffolk, Va., December 8-17, 1862.
Attached to Foster's Brigade, Division at Suffolk, 7th Corps, Dept. of Virginia, to April, 1863.
2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 7th Corps, Dept. of Virginia.


Duty at Suffolk till May, 1863.
Expedition toward Blackwater, Va., January 8-10, 1863.
Deserted House January 30.
Leesville April 4.
Siege of Suffolk April 11-May 4.
Edenton, Providence Church and Somerton Roads April 12-13.
Somerton Road April 15 and 20.
Edenton Road April 24.
Operations on Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad May 12-26.
Holland House, Carrsville, May 15-16.
Dix's Peninsula Campaign June 27-July 7.
Expedition from White House to South Anna River July 1-7.
South Anna Bridge July 4.
Moved to Washington, D.C., July 8,
Mustered out July 28, 1863.


Regiment lost during service:
1 killed and 1 Officer and
14 Enlisted men by disease.
Total 16.

Source:  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






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