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

- 21 -

of the 14th N. Y. vols. being the senior in
rank, assumed command of the
Brigade. Our time was now wholy
employed in building bridges over
the Chickahoming
[sic] and performing
arduous picket duty. The command
was once deployed along the outer
line, and the water (caused by the
inundation of the Chickahoming)
was waist deep -- here we remained
subjected at the same time to the
fire of the enemy' pickets, four hours.
At the time, whilst the regiment was
in the front on picket duty, Gen. T.
J. Porter rode out to the front with the
desire to make a close personal

- 22 -

observation of the enemy's line and his
defenses. "Little Mac" threw off his coat
and from one of our men borrowed a
blouse - Gen. Porter went fourth
[sic] with
out coat or blouse. After obtaining
all the necessary information, they
returned and were again clothed
in habiliments appropriate to their
rank and mounted their steeds;
the men would have been keen to
cheer but the fear of attracting att-
ention alone prevented them.
They were however discovered, and
the "reb" opened all their batteries on
our worthy and esteemed Generals.
Gen. McClellan turned on his horse
and politely saluted them in military

- 23 -

style; Gen. Porter gracefully waved his
cap -- they rode off deliberately amid
the shower of shells and solid shot
    During the Battle of Fair Oaks
our command was called out and
advanced as far as the banks of the
river, but owing to the high stage
of water it was impossible, our bridge
having been swept away. We re-
mained in sight during the
    At noon on the 26th of June the
regiment was ordered out in line
of battle and at 3 o'clock was
marched in the direction of Mechan-
nicsville. The terrific cannonading
all day convinced me that the en-

- 24 -

emy was advancing and that we
had hot work to perform. It was
late in the evening, however, before
the regiment was properly engaged
and but one volley was fired, but
the command remained in line
of battle through the night. Early
in the morning orders were re-
ceived to fall back which were
promptly obeyed, and a good pos-
istion was taken up on Gaines Hill,
where we held our ground through
the day against superior numbers.
Our brave and much respected Col.
Samuel W. Black fell early in the day,
shot through the head, minye(?)
[sic] ball.
He was at the head of his regiment at

- 25 -

the time, leading a charge, and from
a tree top a rebel sharp-shooter selected
his victim and fired the fatal shot.
Unfortunately for him his treachery
was discovered, and from the fire of sev-
eral muskets leveled at his breast he tum-
bled from his seclusion in the midst
of his infuriated enemies, wound in
several places; his pleadings for life
were no avail, for a sturdy Irishman
belonging to the 9th Mass. came for-
ward and with the words "You killed
Co. Black" ringing from his lips, he
thrust a bayonet through his heart.
Lt. Col. Sweitzer was captured and sent
a prisoner to Richmond. Our loss was
severe. Gen. Griffin, who had assumed
command of the Brigade the day previous

- 26 -

was heard to exclaim in the midst of
this terrible battle "Oh my God, what
have I done that I should be possessed
of such an inheritance. It was in this
language that he gave vent to his
feelings at seeing the bravery of his
    Night coming on we found our-
selves near the same ground on
which we had taken position in the
morning, but it was evident to all
that the enemy was superior in
members and that we must fall
back to another position. About 2
o'clock A. M. on the 28th we crossed
the Chickahoming and blew up the
bridge; and about noon that day
began the march towards the James River.

- 27 -

At White Oaks Swamp another fearful
battle was fought but we were below the
point at the time. Our command
stood at Malvern Hill and with much
eagerness awaited the approaching of the
enemy. He came and the first
gun was heard about 3: 30 o'clock
P. M. on the 1st of July. From that
until dark the battle raged with the
most intense fury -- a greater slaugh-
ter of human beings in the same
space of time was never before wit-
nessed on this continent -- the re-
bels under Magruder fell in heaps
and it has since been reported that his
command was almost annihilated.
  The regiment was led into the
[sic] by Capt. James C. Hull of Co A. (Since

- 28 -

made Lt. Col.) in elegant style. His behavior
in this engagement is worthy of highest
     Our loss in the seven days
fighting, in officers and men in
killed, wounded and missing was
two hundred and ninety-one.
    We marched to Harrison's Landing
and encamped near the Westover Mon-
sion. About 2 o'clock A. M. the 31 of July,
the enemy succeeded in erecting
a battery on the opposite shore of the James
River and shelled over the entire camp; this
lasted about two hours during which time
it was very terrific. Their object was to
shell our fleet, but in this way they utterly
failed; their missels
[sic] all passed too high

- 29 -

and not a boat was to any extent injured.
We succeeded in getting several siege
guns in position and soon silenced
their noise. Our loss was one man
killed. Col. Sweitzer arrived on the 1st
of August from Richmond where he
had been confined in the Libby Prison
since the battle of Gaines Hill. He was wel-
comed by the regiment with three
hearty cheers. He reported for duty and
at once took command of the regiment.
We remained here until the 14th of Aug.
performing very little duty, when we
evacuated the p
[l]ace with orders to
unite with Gen. Pope's Army, then in
full retreat to Washington. Our march
was on the river road heading to Williams-

- 30 -

burg, thence to Yorktown and down the
Peninsula to New Port News. Here we em-
barked on board of transports for Aquia
Creek; thence proceeded on cars to Falmouth
and thence marched to Eliots Ford on the
Rappahannock when we halted for two
or three days and thence to Warrenton
Junction. The weather was intensely hot
and the roads dry and dusty and often
blocked up with the wagon trains of
the two armies. Amidst all these
difficulties we labored but finally after
considerable unavoidable delay, made
the desired conjunction but as afterwards
stated, too late to effect any good.
    Four companies G. K. B and M.
under the command of Lt. Col. Hull
were ordered out as skirmishers and

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