Pennsylvania 62nd Infantry Regiment
Regimental History: Campaign in Maryland
Campaign in Maryland
The 62d Pennsylvania's place in the organization of Army of the
Potomac at the time of the Battle at Antietam, 17 September 1862:
- Army of the Potomac (Major General Goerge McClellan, commander)
- Fifth Army Corps (Major General Fitz John Porter)
- First Division (Major General George W. Morell)
- Second Brigade (Brigadier General Charles Griffin)
- 2nd District of Columbia (Colonel Charles M.
- 9th Massachusetts (Colonel Patrick R. Guiney)
- 32d Massachusetts (Colonel Francis J. Parker)
- 4th Michigan (Colonel Jonathan W. Childs)
- 14th New York (Colonel James McQuade)
- 62d Pennsylvania (Colonel Jacob Bowman Sweitzer)
- Defense of Washington, 4 to 12 September 1862
- Perhaps in reaction to the actions during the Second Battle of
Bull Run, the Fifth Corps was detached from the rest of the Army of the
Potomac (the Army of Virginia being very short lived). The corps did
ungo some reorganization with several regiments being added to
reinforce several brigades, but for the most part the corps was simply
being kept far from the action.
- March to Sharpsburg, 12 to 16 September.
- With reports that the Confederate army was moving into Maryland
to threaten both Pennsylvania and Washington, D. C., the Fifth Corps
was ordered to rejoin the bulk of the army. Most days the marches were
more than 20 miles. On 14 September it passed through Frederick,
Maryland. The march then took the regiment over both the Catoctin range
and the South Mountains, passing through Turner's Gap on the 15th,
where in the vista before them it saw the rest of the Army of the
Potomac stretched out below them.
- Battle at Antietam, also
as Sharpsburg, 17 September 1862
- Porter's Corps was posted in reserve in the center of the line.
One report indicates that the Second Brigade of the First Division of
the Fifth Corps was assigned to support a twenty piece battery.
McClellan was criticized for not deploying the Fifth Corps, but at this
point in time he was not repromanded, and when Lincoln came to review
troops later in October, it was the Fifth Corps that was selected for
the honor. The report in Thomas Livermore's Numbers and
Losses in the Civil War is that "Morell's Division, although
present, was not engaged, and had no influence on the result." The 62d
had no report of casualties.
at Blackford's or Boteler's Ford, near
Shepherdstown, 19 September 1862.
62d saw more action in the maneuvers immediately following Antietam
it did during the battle. Lee had begun a withdrawal of troops to the
other side of the Potomac crossing at a ford near Shepherdstown on the
evening of 18 September.The ford was known as the Shepherdstown Ford,
Blackford's Ford (named
for the Blackford farm on the Maryland side, and also as Boteler's Ford
(named for Boteler's mill on the Virginia side. The 62d was part of a
reconnaissance mission by the Fifth Corps
, which was at full strength since it had been held in reserve at
to find out whether the Confederates were in full retreat or remaining
in a position to reenter Maryland and press on with the campaign. The
Union force crossed the Potomac at the same ford. Companies L and M
were deployed as skirmishers in advance of the corps. The Confederate
army was in disarray and, beyond a few stragglers who were pursued and
captured, this initial advance met no resistance. On the following day,
A.P. Hill’s division had returned to the Shepherdstown ford to counter
the Northern advance, and the armies fought for four hours. Now heavily
outnumbered and in a weak position below a bluff, the Union forces
withdrew to the Maryland side of the Potomac. The Corn Regiment
(118th), from the Fifth
Corps' 3rd Brigade, a raw unit, suffered
severe casualties. Union batteries returned fire, and the Confederate
forces remained on the Virginia side.
- Encampment and duty along the Potomac, 20
September to 30
highlight of the encampment occured on October 1st, when the
regiment had an opportunity to see Abraham Lincoln, when the President
reviewed the Fifth Corps. Some companies of the 62d were involved in an
action called "Reconnaissance to Smithfield," 16-17 October 1862. It
had the potential
to become a small battle or skirmish, but it mattered to
very little. I have seen no report of casualties among the 62d.
- None reported or unavailable.
Back to the Pennsylvania
62d Infantry Regiment Page?
This page authored and maintained by John R. Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Photo of the Monument at Gettysburg dedicated to the Pennsylvania 62d
Infantry Regiment is from Pennsylvania at Gettysburg,
Last modified: 17 September 2012, the 150th anniversary of the Battle