This regiment was organized at Camp Curtin, in the fall of 1861. The menComposing it were from various sections of the State, but principallyfrom Philadelphia, and the counties of Indiana, Centre, Luzerne, Schuylkill,Susquehanna, and Wayne. On the 1st of September, Sullivan A. Meredith, ofPhiladelphia, who had been Colonel of the Tenth (three months') Regiment,was appointed Colonel by Governor Curtin. Soon after J. William Hofmann,and Thomas S. Martin, of Philadelphia, both of whom had served in the Twenty-third (three months') Regiment, and had, for several years, been membersof the Washington Grays, an artillery Company, were appointed LieutenantColonel and Major, respectively. Subsequently, Major Martin was promoted toLieutenant Colonel of the Eleventh Regiment, and John B. Smith, of Pittston,Luzerne county, was appointed Major.
The regiment remained in Camp Curtin during the winter, and on the 8thof March, 1862, its organization still inComplete, having but eight and a-halfCompanies, left Harrisburg for Washington. Reaching the capital at six A.M., of the 9th, it encamped on Kalorama Heights, from thence moved to Meridian Hill, and subsequently to Fort Albany, where it remained until April 4th.During its stay at the fort, the first death in the regiment occurred-that ofSergeant Gordon, color bearer. From the fort the regiment proceeded bysteamer to Budd's Ferry, on the Lower Potomac, and was there engaged inguarding government property.
On the 24th it embarked for Acquia Landing, the terminus of the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad. Arriving on the following morning it occupied huts built by the enemy, and located in rear of a ridge, half a mile southof the landing. Until May 10th, the regiment was engaged in repairing damages done by the enemy to the railroad and landing, when five Companies, undercommand of Lieutenant Colonel Hofmann, moved to Belle Plain. The idea ofconquering the rebellion by acts of kindness had not yet been abandoned, andwhile here, a request was made by a citizen to have his property guarded.Lieutenant Colonel Hofmann declined to furnish the guard, when the applicant threatened to present the matter to General M'Dowell. The next morninghe returned with the following order:"Special Order No. 68.It soon became apparent that such indulgent treatment was useless, andthat the contest must be waged on a different principle from this.
HEADQTUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF RAPPAHANNOCK,
OPPOSITE FREDERICKSBURG, VA., May 16, 1862.
"Colonel Meredith, commanding the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, will furnish,from his regiment, a guard for the property of Mr. L. J. Huffman, who livesnear Belle Plain. Colonel Meredith will see that no more corn is taken fromMr. Huffman, and that no more fencing is disturbed. The guard will be soplaced as to make this sure, even if it should be necessary to place a sentinelover every pannel of fence. By command of
MAJOR GENERAL M'DOWELL."
On the 21st ofMay, the regiment moved to Potomac Creek, to guard the railroad bridge overthat stream. On the 27th it proceeded to Fredericksburg, and encamped onthe left bank of the Rappahannock, near the Phillips' House. It was occupiedin doing guard duty until the 9th of August, when it was assigned to Doubleday's Brigade1, King's Division, M'Dowell's Corps, and moved towards CedarMountain, crossing the Rappahannock on a wire suspension bridge built by thecorps of General M'Dowell. At eight P. M. the command bivouacked in theroad leading to Ely's Ford, and at seven the next morning, resumed the march,reaching Culpepper at twelve P. M.
On the 16th it moved to Cedar Mountain, and on the 19th to RappahannockStation, near which place, on the 21st, the men heard, for the first time, theshrieks of passing shells. For two hours the cannonade was kept up; butbeing sheltered by a high bank, no loss was sustained. Moving from SulphurSprings, through Warrenton, the column was suddenly checked, on the eveningof the 28th, by a battery of the enemy, stationed on a ridge near Gainesville.The firing was badly directed, and the shells passed harmless overhead. A narrowstrip of wood lay near by, under cover of which the line of battle was formed,the Fifty-sixth occupying the left of the brigade. On emerging from the wooda body of the enemy's infantry, which, in the darkness, had not been observed,opened a severe fire of musketry by which Captain George Corman, of comnpany F, was killed, and Colonel Meredith was severely wounded.
Lieutenant Colonel Hofmann immediately assumed command of the regiment, and, on the following morning, with the division, moved to Manassas Junction. At 2 P. M., the division moved back to within a mile of the scene of conflict of the previous evening. The column was moved into the field, to the left of the road, when the enemy's skirmishers immediately opened, supported by a strong line of battle. Here a regiment was required, by General Hatch, commanding the division, to hold them in check while the troops deployed to the left. The Fifty-sixth was ordered forward, and immediately filed into the field parallel with the road, changed front, under fire, ina most creditable manner, and soon replied, when the balance of the divisionfiled past, in rear of the regiment, and formed on its left. The line of battlewas on a small elevation. After a few moments of rapid firing, at easy range,the enemy came forward in heavy force, his line extending to the right, beyondthe turnpike. The regiment held its ground until ordered to retire, when itbecame somewhat disorganized, the way leading through a thick wood. Captain Osborn and Lieutenant Mumford were wounded while leading in thethickest of the fight. In this action the color bearer and the colors of the regiment fell into the hands of the enemy.
On the morning of the 30th, only one hundred and fifty-four men of theregiment were present for duty, and at 2 P. M. it again went into action, butonly as support to other troops. Several hours later, when the whole armyretired, the brigade formed the rear guard, on the right of the turnpike, andsuffered considerable loss. Fording Bull Run it moved eastward several milesand bivouacked until morning, when it marched to Centreville, thence to Fairfax Court House, where it encamped. On the 6th of September it marchedthrough Georgetown and Washington, to Leesburg, where a few days' rest wasgiven the troops.
South Mountain and AntietamThe campaign in Maryland soon opened, and the regiment was hurried for.ward through Lisbon, New Market, Frederick, and Middletown, to the foot ofSouth Mountain, the crest being held by the enemy. The duty of dislodginghim on the right of the road was assigned to Hatches Division, of which theFifty-sixth formed part. The brigade, commanded by General Doubleday, wasmoved to the right of the road, half a mile, formed line of battle, and moving to the crest, engaged and repulsed the enemy in its front. GeneralHatch was severely wounded during the action, and the command of the division devolved on General Doubleday; that of the brigade on LieutenantColonel Hofmann, and of the regiment on Captain Williams, of Company D.The loss in the engagement was severe.In the battle of the 16th and 17th, atAntietam, it occupied the extreme right of Hooker's Corps, and suffered butlittle loss. After the battle it bivouacked in a wood, half a mile west of theDunkard Church, until the 24th, when it moved a short distance to the west,,and encamped tmtil October 20th. It then proceeded to Bakersville, a smallvillage midway between Williamsport and Sharpsburg, where Company A wasdetailed for provost duty at Fair Play. Crossing the Potomac on the 30th, itwas ordered to move towards Union, to the support of the cavalry, underPleasanton, who was engaged in repelling the enemy at the gaps of the mountains. Hofmann reported with his brigade, at a point near Tnion, on the2d of November, and was directed to drive the enemy from the town. Uponhis approach the rebel cavalry and artillery retired to a position, half a milewest, from which they were driven, when they again took position, and openedwith artillery. The brigade moved promptly forward to the attack, and drovethem in confusion.
In this engagement the regiment lost five killed and tenwounded. On the 3d it was engaged in holding important positions, and atnight bivouacked at Upperville, where it received the congratulations of thedivision commander for its gallant conduct in the action of the 2d. It movedon the 5th through Rectortown to Warrenton, and encamped. On the 11th,Lieutenant Colonel Hofmann was relieved of the command of the brigade byColonel Wainwright, of the Seventy-sixth New York.
FredericksburgPreparations were now being made for the Fredericksburg campaign, andon the 9th of December, the command was at Brooks' Station, and on the 12th,at eight P. M., crossed the Rappahannock, on a pontoon bridge, near Mansfield.Moving across the plateau, on the following morning, it took position, on theleft of Franklin's Division, near the Massaponax Creek, but was not activelyengaged. Later in the day it held a position along the Bowling Green Road.It is remarkable that not a man in the regiment was killed, or even injured,while those in front, and in rear of the Fifty-sixth, and those on either flank,suffered considerable loss from the enemy's cannonade.
On the night of the 15th the command re-crossed the river, and encampednear its banks, where it remained until the 25th, when the corps moved toPratt's Landing, at the mouth of Potomac Creek. Here huts were erected inthe expectation that the encampment was for the winter. But on the 20th ofJanuary, 1863, the command was put in motion, for a second advance, when,at ten P. M., a severe storm of rain, sleet and snow,'burst upon it, whichcaused a general breaking up of the roads, arrested the advance, rendered locomotion impossible, and left the army hopelessly floundering in the mire. Themovement failed of its object, and the command returned to its former camp,where it remained until the 28th of April.
On the 8th of January, LieutenantColonel Hofmann was promoted to Colonel, to fill the vacancy occasioned by thepromotion of Colonel Meredith to Brigadier General. Captain George B. Osborn, of Company A, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and on the 12th ofFebruary, upon the resignation of Major Smith, Captain John T. Jack, of Company H, was promoted to succeed him.
Chancellorsville CampaignOn the 28th of April, the regiment moved on the Chancellorsville campaign,and bivouacked at night, on the banks of the Rappahannock, near the Fitz HughHouse. The regiment now numbered twenty-one officers, and two hundred andeighty-nine enlisted men. General Hooker had succeeded to the command ofthe army. Early on the morning of the 29th, an effort was made to lay pontoon bridges across the river at Pollock's Mills. The enemy's sharp-shooters,posted in rifle-pits, were very annoying, and delayed the work, rendering it impracticable, until they were driven from their shelter. To effect this, a stormingparty was sent across in boats, acCompanied by General Wadsworth, the division commander, who swam his horse. To cover the crossing of this party,the Fifty-sixth was deployed as skirmishers on the left bank of the river. Under cover of the fire of the regiment, the party effected a landing, and capturedsome prisoners. The river was soon crossed by the corps, the object of whichwas to divert the attention of the enemy from the real point of attack, to be madeby crossing a considerable distance above Fredericksburg. Works were erected,covering the bridge, and the position occupied until ten A. M. of the 2d of May,when the division moved to United States Ford, and bivouacked for the night.
The loss to the regiment, in this demonstration, was two killed, and sevenwounded. Private Kelly, of Company B, who was wounded in the thigh, andsuffered amputation, was taken prisoner, carried to Richmond, afterwards exchanged, and recovered.
At five A. AM. of the 3d, the command formed line of battle on the Ely'sFord Road, and held it until it was ordered to re-cross the river. After thisit encamped near the Fitz Hugh House, and remained until the 7th of June,when the regiment was detailed, with the 7th Wisconsin, to support the cavalryat Brandy Station. loving vie Hartwood and Kelly's Ford, it reached thepoint of destination at twelve M. of the 9th. Forming line of battle it held theposition, under the enemy's artillery fire, until two P. M., when it moved toBeverly Ford by direction of General Buford. Colonel Hofmann formed theregiment in rear of the crest of hills half a mile west of the ford, and remaineduntil the cavalry had re-crossed the river. While holding this position, Companies A and F, under command of Captain Runkle, were thrown forward toa stone wall where it repelled a furious charge of the enemy's cavalry.
GettysburgOn the 25th of June the march towards Gettysburg commenced. The command proceeded across the Potomac, on a pontoon bridge, at the mouth ofGoose Creek, through Middletown, and reached Frederick at three P. M. of the28th. On the following day it moved, acting as rear guard, towards Emmittsburg, which place it reached at one A. M. of the 30th.
The brigade had the advance of the First Corps, and the Fifty-sixth wasthe second in the brigade column. As the head of the column arrived at thefront, the regiment was the first to get into position, and as the enemy at themoment advancing, was within easy musket range, it was immediately orderedto fire, which opened the battle. Brigadier General Cutler, then in commandof the First Division of the First Corps, in a letter dated November 5,1863, addressed to Governor Curtin, says:" In noticing in the papers to-dayan account of the proposition for a National Cemetery at Gettysburg, for themen who fell there in July last, I am reminded that I have neglected a dutywhich I owe to one of your regiments, the Fifty-sixth, and its brave commander,Colonel J. William Hofmann. That regiment is in the Second Brigade2 of thisdivision, and was at that time under my command. It was my fortune to bein the advance on the morning of July 1st. When we came upon the groundin front of the enemy, Colonel Hofmann's regiment (being the second in thecolumn) got into position a moment sooner than the others, the enemy nowadvancing in line of battle within easy musket range. The atmosphere beinga little thick, I took out my glass to examine the enemy. Being a few pacesin the rear of Colonel Hofmann, he turned to me and inquired, 'Is that theenemy?' My reply was,'Yes.' Turning to his men he commanded, 'Ready,right oblique, aim, fire!' and the Battle of Gettysburg was opened. The firewas followed by other regiments instantly; still that battle on the soil of Pennsylvania was opened by her own sons, and it is just that it should become amatter of history. When Colonel Hofmann gave the command' aim, I doubtedwhether the enemy was near enough to have the fire effective, and asked himif he was within range; but not hearing my question, he fired, and I receivedmy reply in a, shower of rebel bullets, by which many of the Colonels menwere killed and wounded. My own horse, and those of two of my staff, werewounded at the same time. I desire to say to your Excellency that the Fiftysixth is one of the very best regiments in the service, and that Colonel Hofmannis, without qualification, one of the best officers, brave, faithful and prompt,and a most excellent disciplinarian. I most earnestly hope that his faithfulservices may be suitably rewarded. I hope that you will cause proper measuresto be taken to give that regiment the credit, which is its due, of having openedthat memorable battle."The position of the regiment was in a field in front of a wooded ridge, known asOak Ridge, where the battle raged furiously for twenty minutes, after which theregiment was withdrawn in good order. It soon after engaged the enemy, under Hill, at the northern extremity of the wood. Occupying Seminary Ridge,that overlooks the town from the west, the struggle was resumed with vigor,our troops having the advantage of position. Its ammunition being expended,the brigade was relieved by that of General Baxter, and moving throughthe town, formed in the cemetery, near the Baltimore Pike, and subsequentlymoved to a field on the right of the pike, nearly opposite the entrance to thecemetery, where it rested on its arms during the night. Lieutenant Gordon,of Company B, and seven men were killed, Captains Burritt and Flynn, andLieutenant Hubler, and sixty-one men were wounded, and seventy-eight missing.On the 2d, the regiment moved into the woods on Culp's Hill, and occupiedthe angle at the summit. Scarcely had it got in position, when the rebels began the ascent of the slope in front. A murderous fire was poured in uponthem, causing them to retreat in confusion, but not until some had approachedwithin twenty yards of the works. They sought the shelter afforded by treesand rocks, and from their covert continued firing until late at night. In thisaction the regiment lost two killed, and three wounded.
On the following day it remained inactive until six P. M., when it was movedto the cemetery to support the batteries on its crest. On the 6th it moved toEntmmittsburg, and on the 7th crossed the Catoctin mountains, and reachedMiddletown at noon of the 8th. It participated in the pursuit of the enemywhich followed, crossed the Potomac at Berlin, and moved with the corps inthe retreat to Centreville, and the advance to, and retreat from Mine Run.
Onthe 25th of July, while at Warrenton Junction, Colonel Hofmann, and a number of officers and men of the regiment, were detailed to conduct drafted menfrom Philadelphia. While in the city, that the men might readily learn theirduties and responsibilities, Colonel Hofmann caused to be published a pamphletcontaining the articles of war, and extracts from the army regulations of suchparagraphs as particularly apply to the enlisted men, and, on his return, furnished each of them with a copy, a Comparatively small outlay that resultedin great good.
Colonel Hofmann was ordered, on the evening of the 30th of November,with his own and the One Hundred and Forty-seventh New York regiments, toguard the bridge across Mine Run until three o'clock of the following morning;then to withdraw his pickets, and destroy the bridge; all of which was successfully accomplished. During the movement on Mine Run, the regiment lostfive men wounded.
On the 7th of November, Lieutenant Loren Burritt of Company K, who had been Aid-de-Camp to General Cutler, was promoted to Major, and subsequently to Lieutenant Colonel, and Brevet Colonel of the EighthUnited States Colored Troops, and Captain Burritt, of the same Company, wasmade Aid. Lieutenant Colonel Osborn was appointed Division Inspector, whichposition he retained until the expiration of his term of service.Remaining quietly in camp until the 6th of February, 1864, the regiment,under command of Major Jack, Colonel Hofmann being in command of thebrigade, participated in the demonstration at Raccoon Ford.
On the 10th ofMarch, a sufficient number of the men having re-enlisted to entitle it to retainits organization as a veteran regiment, it was granted a veteran furlough, andreturned to Philadelphia. On the 17th of April they met at Chester, Pennsylvania, and on the 20th left for the front. A few days of camp life, andthen came the memorable Wilderness campaign.
The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Spotsylvania Court HouseThe regiment crossed the Rapidan, at Germania Ford, at four A. M. of the 4th of May, and on the morning of the 5th moved towards Parker's Store. The brigade occupied the extreme left of the division, and the regiment the extreme left of the brigade.At noon the line moved forward, through a dense wood a short distance, whenit became engaged. Captain Barger, of Company H, occupying the left of theline, discovered and reported the enemy moving around the left flank. Scarcelyhad he given the intelligence, when the whole line, bravely contending againstgreat odds, was forced back. In this encounter the Fifty-sixth sustained heavyloss in killed, wounded, and missing. Among the killed was Lieutenant Titman, of Company G, a faithful officer, whose sword-drawn for the first timein this battle-was presented him in acknowledgment of his services in theranks. The division re-formed in front of the Lacy House, and at six P. Mi.moved through the woods to the support of the Second Corps, then engagedwith the enemy on the plank road, west of the Brock Road.
On the morning of the 6th, the Fifty-sixth and the Seventy-sixth New York,both under command of Colonel Hofmann, were ordered to drive away, and, ifpossible, capture the enemy's skirmishers in front, and a battery that had beenbrought to the crest, beyond the ravine in which the troops then were, and hadbecome annoying. The two regiments gallantly charged up the slope, and withsuch rapidity that the greater part of the shirmish line was captured, and thebattery Compelled to retire. In this charge, Lieutenant Eby, of Company H,was killed, and Captain Runkle lost an arm, while gallantly leading his men.
At noon the Fifty-sixth, again occupying the left of the line, rested with itsleft on the plank road. The enemy was again advancing in heavy force. Atthe order of General Wadsworth, Colonel Hofmann swung his line around facingthe road, when it poured in a deadly fire. In a short time, notwithstanding therewas displayed the most desperate valor, the whole division line was forced toretire. In this fierce encounter General Wadsworth was killed. In the eveningthe regiment assisted in driving the enemy from the intrenchments, which hadbeen captured from the Second Corps, and was the first to plant its flag on theworks, where a moment before had floated the rebel colors."At that criticalmoment," says Lossing,3 "Colonel J. W. Hofmann, with parts of nine brokenregiments, (less than five hundred men,) struck the assailants a blow that madethem re-coil, and thus saved the day on the left, as Hancock then declared."At ten P. M., the command moved towards Spottsylvania Court House,reaching Todd's Tavern at daylight. It fought determinedly at Laurel Hill,driving, in connection with the Ninety-fifth New York, the enemy from anorchard and farm house on the hill. A large detachment thrown cut as skirmishers, under command of Lieutenant Michaels, was captured. LieutenantMiller, of Company F, was severely wounded in both arms, losing one by amputation. The division fell back, and took position a hundred and fifty yards inrear of the line, where it fought and threw up works.
On the 11th a stormingparty, consisting of the Fourteenth Brooklyn, Ninety-fifth, and One Hundredand Forty-seventh New York, and the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, prepared tocharge the enemy's position at Bloody Angle. This design was relinquished,but the command remained to prevent the rebels from sallying out and attemptting to break our lines. To acComplish this purpose, a continuous fire was directed upon their works, which, upon their abandonment of the position on the following morning, was found to have done good execution, the bodies offorty men being found between two traverses, a distance of not more thanfifty feet.
At eleven P. M. of the 13th, the division moved a half mile east of theCourt House, on the Fredericksburg Road, where breastworks were erected,which were occupied until the 21st. On this day, Colonel Hofmann, being theranking officer, assumed command of the brigade, and Captain Black, of theregiment. Crossing the North Anna at Jericho Ford, the brigade proceeded ashort distance up the latter stream, to a wood, through which the enemy wasmoving to turn the right of the corps. The brigade changed front and with theaid of Mink's New York Battery, met and repulsed his advance, taking severalhundred prisoners. Captain Black was severely wounded, and the commanddevolved upon Lieutenant Baker, of Company A.
Heavy skirmishing on the picket line occurred on the 25th, in which Lieutenant Young, of Company D, was killed, and Lieutenant Shaw, of CompanyK, severely wounded. On the 30th it participated in the engagement at Bethesda Church, but suffered no loss. Captain Burritt, who had been absent onaccount of wounds received on the 6th of May, returned, and was assigned tostaff duty, as brigade inspector. The regiment shared the fortunes of the armyfrom this time until it crossed the James River, on the 16th of June, duringwhich time Lieutenant Cunningham, of Company B, was seriously wounded.
On the 17th, it moved forward and faced the foe near the Blackwater Road andand on the followng ning morning moved upon his worts in front, but found them abandoned. The enemy had fallen back and thrown up a line of breast-works on the crest beyond the Petersburg and Norfolk Railroad, which shortened by several miles, his line of defence. At three P. M., this new line was attacked by the whole corps, the Fifty-sixth charging at a point a quarter of a mile south of the site afterwards selected for the mine. After reaching a position within thirty yards of the enemy's entrenchments, unable to carry the works, the men were obliged to throw themselves upon the ground, to secure the protection ofthe elevation in front, where they remained until after dark, when they withdrew. In this assault Captain Mumford, fell at the head of his regiment.Captain Barger was severely wounded.
Firing was kept up by both parties, at intervals, until July 31st, when themine was exploded. The brigade, on this occasion, was attached temporarilyto the division of General Ayres, and was to have charged with his division.For this purpose it took position inthe covered way, west of the railroad, in readiness for the advance. The order to assault was delayed, and finally withheld.
On the 18th of August the Fifth Corps took possession of the Weldon Railroadat Yellow House. On the march, the Fifty-sixth was in the rear, but, beforethe action closed, it was in the front line, and was in the thickest of the fight.The brigade afterwards supported General Ayres, and scarcely had it takenposition, when the enemy made a furious attack, but was repulsed with loss.
On the following day, at four P. M., another desperate attack was made, inwhich the Fifty-sixth settled, with the rebels, an old debt. At the battle ofBull Run, August 29th, 1862, its color-Company was surrounded, and colors captured. The opportunity, now offered, to avenge the loss. The foe was repulsed and hotly pursued. In the pursuit the regiment captured the battle flag of the Fifty-fifth North Carolina, and the Secretary of War awarded a medal of honor to private James T. Jennings, of Company H, for his gallantry in securing it. Captain Burritt was again severely wounded.
During the night, amid a pelting storm of rain, the men constructed breastworks, which served a most excellent purpose on the following day. At nine A. M., the enemy attacked, in heavy force, a brigade of Mahone's Division, approaching immediately in front of Hofmann's position. With a valor rarelyparalleled, it marched, in face of a heavy fire, to within twenty feet of thebreastworks, whence it was repulsed with terrible slaughter, leaving fifty killed, three hundred prisoners, and three battle flags. A shell from a battery, stationed in the road, in rear, dropped into the works, taking off the leg of a brave soldier, who had served from the organization of the regiment-Sergeant Lebo, of Company I. He soon after died; but, before he expired, when asked if hesuffered pain, be replied, "yes, very much, but we drove them back."
The regiment occupied the works until the 13th of September, when theFirst Corps was consolidated into one division, and assigned as the ThirdDivision of the Fifth. The Third Brigade of the Third Division was Composed of the Fifty-sixth, and the Ninety-fifth and One Hundred and Fortyseventh New York regiments, and was commanded by Colonel Hofmann. Subsequently, the Ninety-fourth New York, and the One Hundred and Twenty-first.and One Hundred and Forty-second Pennsylvania were added.
The regimentparticipated in the advance to Hatcher's Run, on the 27th of October, and toHickford, on December 5th. It destroyed several miles of the Weldon Railroad, on the 8th. On the 13th the regiment encamped between Lee's Mills andJerusalem Plank Road, where it remained until February 4th, 1865.
In themeantime Colonel Hofmann had been brevetted Brigadier General, and- Lieutenant Colonel Osborn, Colonel. On the 23d of December Colonel Osborn wasdischarged, his term of service having expired. Captain Burritt had been discharged on the 21st of November, on account of his numerous wounds, andLieutenant Healy, on the 7th of January, on account of failing health. On the26th of December Major Jack was promoted to Lieutenont Colonel, and Lieutenant Henry A. Laycock, of Company I, to Major.
On the 5th and 6th of February, the regiment participated in the secondengagement at Hatcher's Run. A month later General Hofmann, and Lieutenant Colonel Jack were discharged, their terms of service having expired.On the 16th of March Major Laycock was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, andCaptain Black, of Company B, to Major, and, on the following day, to Coloneland Lieutenant Colonel, respectively. Captain Michaels, of Company F, waspromoted Major. It shared in the perils and honors of the final campaign, whichbrought the once defiant army of Northern Virginia to surrender, and, onthe 1st of July, was mustered out of service at Philadelphia.
1Organization of Doubleday's Brigade, King's Division, M'Dowell's Corps. Fifty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Sullivan A. Meredith; Seventy-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel William P. Wainwright; Ninety-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel George H. Biddle; Seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Colonel James Gavin; First New Hampshire Battery, Captain George A. Gerrish.
2 Organization of the Second Brigade, Brigadier General L. Cutler, First Division General James S. Wadsworth, First Corps General John F. Reynolds. Fifty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel J. William -Iofmann; Seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Colonel James Gavin; Seventy-Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel William P. Wainwright; Ninety-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel George H. Biddle; One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel John G. Butler; Eightyfourth Regiment New York Volunteers, (Fourteenth Brooklyn,) Colonel Edward B. Fowler.
3 The Civil War in America, Lossing, Vol. III, page 303. Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
Organization:Organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, March 7, 1862.
Left State for Washington, D.C., March 8.
Attached to Defences of Washington to May, 1862.
Doubleday's Brigade, Dept. of the Rappahannock, to June, 1862.
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862.
2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1864.
3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Array Corps, Army Potomac, to September, 1864.
3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to July, 1865.
Service:Duty at Fort Albany, Defences of Washington, till April 4, 1862, and
at Budd's Ferry till April 24.
At Aquia Creek Landing till May 10.
Guard railroad bridge at Potomac Creek May 21-27.
(Five Companies moved to Belle Plains May 10.)
Guard duty near Fredericksburg till August 9.
Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2.
Battles of Gainesville August 28; Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30.
Maryland Campaign September 6-24.
Battles of South Mountain September 14; Antietam September 16-17.
Duty on the battlefield of Antietam till October 20.
(Co. "A" at Fairfax October 20-30.)
At Bakersville October 20-30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19.
Union, Va., November 2-3.
Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15.
Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863.
At Falmouth and Belle Plains till April 27, 1863.
Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6.
Operations at Pollock's Mill Creek April 29-May 2.
Fitzhugh's Crossing April 29-30.
Chancellorsville May 2-5.
Brandy Station and Beverly Ford June 9. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24.
Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3.
Pursuit of Lee July 5-24.
Duty on line of the Rappahannock till October.
Bristoe Campaign October 9-22.
Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8.
Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2.
Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864.
On Veteran furlough March 10-April 17.
Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12.
Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8;
Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania C. H. May 12-21.
Assault on the Salient May 12.
North Anna River May 23-26.
Jericho Ford May 25. Totopotomoy May 28-31.
Cold Harbor June 1-12.
Bethesda Church June 1-3.
Before Petersburg June 16-18.
Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865.
Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864 (Reserve).
Weldon Railroad August 18-21.
Poplar Springs Church September 29-October 2.
Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28.
Warren's Raid on Weldon Railroad December 7-12.
Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865.
Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
Lewis Farm near Gravelly Run March 29.
Boydton and White Oak Road March 31.
Five Forks April 1.
Fall of Petersburg April 2. Appomattox C. H. April 9.
Surrender of Lee and his army.
March to Washington, D.C., May 2-12.
Grand Review May 23.
Mustered out at Philadelphia, Pa., July 1, 1865.
Losses:Regiment lost during service:
7 Officers and 111 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
1 Officer and 96 Enlisted men by disease.
Total 215.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
Direct questions or comments to email@example.com
© Alice J. Gayley, all rights reserved
Web Space provided by