16th Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteers

Three-Month Unit

The Sixteenth regiment was organized at Camp Curtin on the 3rd of May, 1861, by the choice of the following officers:

  • Thomas A Ziegle, of York from Captain of company A, Colonel
  • George J. Higgins, of Tamaqua, from Captain of company D, Lieutenant Colonel
  • Frank T. Bennett, of Minersville, from Captain of company K, Major
  • William Brown was appointed Adjutant
Five of the companies were from Schuylkill county, and had held a previous organization in the uniformed militia, forming part of the 1st Brigade, 6th Division. Company C was recruited at Mechanicsburg, Cumberland county, by Captain Jacob Dorsheimer, and was mustered into the United States service on the 20th of April, for three years or the war. This was the first company of Pennsylvanians that volunteered for the long term. The remaining companies were recruited in York county.

Immediately after its organization, it was ordered to Camp Scott, near the town of York, where the men were clothed and regularly drilled. Upon the inauguration of th campaign in the Shenandoah valley, the Sixteenth was ordered to Chambersburg, where camp equipage was supplied, and it was assigned to the 4h Brigade of the 1st Division. Joining in the general forward movement, which commenced about the middle of June, the regiment proceeded to the Potomac, and on the 16th, crossed with the advance Division; but soon after returned and remained encamped near the river until the 2nd day of July. On the return of the Brigade, its commander, Colonel Miles, was ordered to Washington, where he was assigned to the command of the 4th Brigade, 1st Division of M'Dowell's army, which held the left of the line in the battle of Bull Run, and Colonel Longnecker, of the Ninth Pennsylvania, succeeded him.

Upon the initiation of a second forward movement, two regiments of infantry and a battery of three heavy guns were left for the defence of Williamsport and the line of supply. The advancing force consisted of about eleven thousand men, and one battery of six smooth-bore guns. The enemy were encountered on the way, but quickly put to flight, and the army moved rapidly to Martinsburg. Here a halt was ordered which continued several day, for the purpose of bringing up a sufficient store of supplies to warrant a further advance.

On the 15th of July, the regiment moved to Bunker Hill and on the 17th made a forced march towards Harper's Ferry. At Smithfield the Brigade halted and was placed in position to repel an attack from the right flank. After the passage of the main column, the brigade resumed the march, and encamped that night at Cahrlestown. Remaining here till near the expiration of its term of service, the regiment proceeded to Harrisburg, where on the 30th of July, it was mustered out.

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


Organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, May 3, 1861


(Co. "C" mustered for three years April 20, 1861, the first Company of Pennsylvania to so volunteer.)
Moved to York, Pa., May 9, and duty there till June 3.
Moved to Chambersburg June 3, thence to Williamsport June 16.
Attached to Miles' 4th Brigade, Cadwalader's 1st Division, Patterson's Army.
At Williamsport June 16-July 2.
Occupation of Martinsburg July 3.
Advance on Bunker Hill July 15.
At Charlestown July 17.
Mustered out July 30, 1861

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






U. S. C. T.

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