62d Pennsylvania Volunteers

Out-line Field History of the Sixty-second Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteers (Col. J. B. Sweitzer)
from the time it entered the service up to
the 1st day of August 1863

62d Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg

The Outline History

The text of the outline history found here is a transcription of a hand-written document presented to me in 2002 by Mimi Reed, whose ancestor was Colonel Jacob Bowman Sweitzer. There is a good bit of mystery about the document. The author is unknown, but from the text he appears to have been a soldier of the 62d. The author variously refers to the regiment in the third person, but often uses "we" instead. The version I have seen was hand-copied from the original by Annie Bowman Sweitzer Duncan, Ms. Reed's great grandmother. Whether the original manuscript was hand-written, privately printed, or published, she don't know. The document begins with a note "Compliments of A. D. Barr, Charlestown W. Va. Oct. 1. 1903." That raised the question what "compliments of" means, and we don't know how A. D. Barr may be related to the 62d Pennsylvania. A. D. Barr is listed in the 1880 Census for Charleston, W.Va., as a railroad agent, son-in-law of the head of household, Geo. W. Spotts, a blacksmith. He was born in Pennsylvania, and his age was 35, making him about 16 when the 62d regiment was formed. A. D. Barr was a six year old son of J. D. Barr of the Pittsburgh 6th Ward in the 1860 Census. Albert D. Barr, a resident of Charles Town, West Virginia, was a 43 year old insurance agent who was born in Pennsylvania. The census records do not connect A. D. Barr to either of two Barrs in the regiment. Both Corporal Robert T. Barr and Private Thomas Barr were in Company E, which hailed from Clarion County. Thomas Barr was discharged before Gettysburg, and Corporal Robert T. Barr died at Spottsylvania Court House.

The "Out-line Field History" is both wonderful and very frustrating. I have learned details about the 62d that I have not seen elsewhere, but there are great omissions of detail. For example, the author provides a description of the regiment's original uniforms, but includes no detail or description of the "French uniforms" that the regiment won for making "the best progress and present[ing] the finest appearance" among all the regiments in Porter's Division of the Army of the Potomac. He describes battles with no little more information than that the officers led gallantly and the men fought bravely.

The copy of the "Out-line Field History" presented to me is incomplete. The account is cut off mid-sentence, but my guess is that less than a page of text is missing, since the title indicated that the outline history ended on the 1st day of August 1863, and the story of the pursuit of Lee after Gettysburg is being told on the last page I have.

I have tried to transcribe the document as exactly as I could, but I have made guesses in some places where the handwriting was not clear, so there may be errors due to my misinterpretation. The author is very literate and has few misspellings other than geographical names. Where I have found mistakes and either corrected them or let them stand, I have indicated my editorial effort.

Thanks once again to Mimi Reed for alerting me to and sending me the document.

Pages 1-10 Pages 11-20 Pages 21-30 Pages 31-40 Pages 41-50

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This page authored and maintained by John R. Henderson (jhenderson @ icyousee.org), Lodi, NY.
Last modified: 13 July 2012
URL: http://www.icyousee.org/pa62d/outline.html