Pennsylvania 62nd Infantry Regiment

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

Monument at Gettysburg
dedicated to the
Pennsylvania 62d Infantry Regiment
on September 11, 1889

photo from Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, 1893

'Among the many valiant organizations that
participated in this battle, none can show a prouder record than the
Sixty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers.' -- Captain W. J. Patterson

The Out-line Field History

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

- 11. -

and the three that made the best
progress and presented the finest app-
earance were to receive a French uni-
form and camp and garrison equip-
page of that nation complete. The 62nd
Penna Vols. was one the three thus
rewarded. When the large round
French tents were received, the camp
was beautifully laid out, handsomely
ornamented with trees and evergreens,
and named after the Colonel's
youngest daughter, "Bettie Black."
Who of the 62nd Regiment will ever
forget the many pleasant days
and nights spent at "Camp Bettie
Black"? The entire regiment was
also served with the improved Spring-
field rifled musket.

- 12 -

During the winter Lt. Col. Lehman
resigned his commission and Maj.
Sweitzer was promoted Lt. Col. and
Capt. J. W. Patterson of Co. B. elected to
fill the place thus vacated. Several
reconnaissances were made in the di-
rection of Fairfax Court House and
Viena, but as we were in no instance
engaged with the enemy, they were
all of minor importance.
    On the 10th day of March 1862 whil-
st the Regiment was in the neighbor-
hood of Viena, repairing the London,
Hampshire and Alexandria Railroad
the army began to move forward
and without further notification, we
repaired to the camp nine miles
distant, and that afternoon were

- 13 -

marching through mud and rain
towards Fairfax. The advance was
made upon Centreville and Mannas-
sas, but, these places having been
evacuated, the regiment soon after marched to Alexandria, where
it embarked on board the transport
"Donaldson" and "Flushing" for the
Peninsula where it safely arrived, af-
ter a pleasant trip down the Potomac
River and Chesapeake Bay, and dis-
embarked on the 23rd at Hampton,
once a beautiful town near Fortress Monroe
but destroyed the Summer previous
by the rebel vandal General Magruder.
    On the 4th of April the advance
upon Yorktown was made and the
Regiment under the fire of the enemy's

- 14 -

guns, arrived there on the morning
of the 5th. This was the first fire to
which the men were subjected, and
they behaved in the most creditable
manner. A detour of the enemy's
works was made and it was
at once determined to lay siege to
the place. We lost on man killed
and three wounded. The regiment
was encamped in a large peach
orchard on the banks of the York River;
our time was employed during the
siege in working on the parallels,
building bridges, roads, earthworks
and performing picket-duty. Then
was not a day passed that with com-
mand was not, to some extent, ex-
posed to the fire of the enemy's heavy

- 15 -

guns. We became as accustomed
to the voice of the shells and solid
shot as we were to the humming of
the bees or the whistling of the wind. On
Sunday morning the 4th of May
while the Regiment was to the front
on picket, it was rumored that the
enemy had or was evacuating, and
Col. Black was ordered forward to re-
connoiter and storm the works. The
Regiment sallied forth and upon
reaching the works discovered the
enemy gone. Col. Black was the
first to mount the parapets and
with his own hands planted the stars
and stripes on the walls of Yorktown.
     After the battle of Williamsburg
Porter's Corps was ordered to West Point

- 16 -

with a view to intercept the flying re-
bel columns and cut off their retreat.
We embarked at Yorktown on the
evening of the 7th and arrived at
West Point (where the Paumanky and
Matapony unite and form the York) the
next morning, and disembarked
by means of pontoons(?)
[sic]; no quays had
yet been constructed and the river is
shallow, except in the channel. The
enemy successfully eluded our army
and were now retreating steadily and
in good order toward Richmond. We
had but one recourse left and that
was to follow and give battle at the
very gates of the rebel Capital. Our
line of march was along the Pam-
uncky river as far as White House

- 17 -

where our future base of operations was
established. We marched form West
Point to Cumberland and thence to
White House. He we
[sic] encamped on the
extensive and rich plantation on
which stood, in all its grandeur, at
that time, this time honored historic
mansion. From here we marched
forward and encamped near Coal
[sic] Har-
bor about fifteen miles from Richmond.
At this point one of the Regiments in our
Brigade (the 4th Mich) led by Capt. Custer
(then on General McClellan's staff) now a
Brig. Gen'l.) made a reconnaissances
in which they discovered a force of re-
bels, gave them battle, and after
several brilliant charges put them
to flight. For their gallantry in this

- 18 -

occasion they received the plaudits of
the Commander in Chief.
     On the 26th of May we marched to
the Chickahumming
[sic] and encamped
at Gains Mills about seven miles from
Richmond. On the 27th the regiment
was called out at an early hour, with
orders to march to Hanover Court House,
a distance of fifteen miles. The rain
fell in torrents and the roads where fill
ed with mud and water, the men,
however were in good spirits and
the columns moved with astonishing
rapidity. As the command neared
the Court House, our ears were greeted
with the roar of Artillery. The rain
had ceased and all felt eager for the
fray. The regiment arrived on the

- 19 -

field of action shortly after noon; the
firing had ceased and for a while it
was thought that the battle was over
and we had arrived too late. The
column was moving rapidly towards
the town, when suddenly heavy mus-
ketry firing was heard to our rear and
the battle was renewed. We were im-
mediately faced about and in a few
minutes after stood face to face
with the enemy. After a brilliant
charge, through a dense woods, in which
the enemy was in position; and fir-
omg several volleys that shattered
their ranks, another desperate
charge and the rebel column was
put to flight and we had the

- 20 -

field. After having completely routed
the enemy and capturing many pri-
soners. We bivouaced that night
on the battle-field, and early the
next day the regiment marched
out several miles farther, where it
remained on picket until noon. That
afternoon the command marched back
to camp, where it arrived soon after
dark. The regiment had marched
forty miles, fought a battle, and stood
a turn of picket within thirty-six
hours! Our loss was seven men
     While in this camp Gen'l Mor-
ell was assigned to the command
of the Division and Col. McQuade

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 @, Lodi, NY.
Last modified: 13 July 2012