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

- 31 -

after deploying on both sides of the roads,
moved forward with alacrity, the
command following at a comfortable
supporting distance. After moving
about three miles out from the Junction
a halt was sounded, and the entire
command formed a line of battle, the
skirmishers remaining out feeling
for the enemy. they came suddenly
upon a force of Stuart's cavalry that
[sic] from a thick cops [sic] of woods
in front and to the left of the line,
charging with great vigor. They
were met by a volley from the skirm-
ishers who immediately caused much
surprise and confusion in their ranks,
and facing about beat a hasty retreat

- 32 -

Soon after this a masked battery of two
pieces opened and fired shell and
solid-shot in the midst of our col-
umns, then but a short distance off.
Battery D. of the 5th Us. S. Artillery was
soon brought into position and after
a few shots silenced the rebel guns and
called them to fall back. Although
part of the corps became hotly engaged
with the enemy, this was all the
part taken in the action by our
command. Our loss was one man
    Our march was now in the direct-
ion of the Potomac. In the latter part of
August we encamped on our old
ground formerly called "Bettie Black."
From here we marched to Ft. Upton on
Upton's Hill and after remaining there a

- 33 -

a few days on picket, moved on into
Maryland, crossing the Potomac at
the Georgetown Aqueduct on the 8th of Sep-
tember, the same day and at the
same place that our command
crossed into Virginia one year before.
    The rebel army had already cross-
ed into Maryland and were making
rapid strides towards Washington.
Our march was in the direction of
South Mountain, where our army had
met and engaged the enemy.
When we reached Fredrick City we
learned that the enemy had been
driven from the mountain fastness-
[?] and that McClellan was still
driving him towards the Potomac. We
crossed South Mountain and came up with
the army a short distance beyond Kellysville

- 34 -

where a halt was held and active pre-
parations were making for another
battle. General Lee had formed line of
battle on the South bank of Antietam
Creek. At day break the following
morning (the 14th) the engagement
commenced and continued with
unabated fury throughout the day.
    Our Division supported several Batt-
eries of artillery, one of which that support-
ed by our Brigade composed twenty four
pieces -- eighteen 20 lb. parrot guns and
six 24 lb. howitzers. This battery did
splendid firing and good execution.
A desperate attack by the enemy on
the right wing and our Division was
ordered to hasten to its support. Before,
however, we had reached the ground

- 35 -

the danger was past, and the order
was countermand. The next day was
occupied in burying the dead and car-
ing for the wounded and also streng-
thening certain points along the
extended line. Our Division was ordered
to take a position on the left, which
was commanded by Gen. Burnside
and here we made all necessary
preparations to advance upon the
enemy at the renewal of the en-
gagement. On the morning of the
19th the skirmishers were advanced and
the 5th Corps moved forward. We crossed
the Antietam, marched through Sharps-
burg and down to the river, when
we discovered that the enemy had
crossed during the night previous,
and had established his pickets on the

- 36 -

on the [sic] opposite bank; here also (at Shephard's
Ford) a battery was in position, which opened
a brisk fire on our approaching columns.
That night a regiment from our Bri-
gade, the 4th Mish. forded the river, sil-
enced the battery and captured three
of their guns, one of which proved to be
the same that was captured from
Gen. Griffin, then commanding a bat-
tery, at the Battle of Bull Run.
    On the morning of the 20th our
regiment accompanied by the 4th
Mich. made reconnaissance into Virginia,
crossing at Shephard's Ford to ascertain
if the retreat was complete. [This Ford is
the same that was crossed by Gen.
Braddock, when his army marched via
Chambersburg into Pennsylvania and

- 37 -

a down to the Monongahela where he
fought the morable
[sic] battle with the
French and Indians and in which he
lost his life: known as Braddock's
Fields] Careful search was made but
no traces of the enemy could be found.
in fact everything around evidenced
the fact that he was far away. He
captured a few stragglers, thru pieces
of Artillery, a battle flag and a number of
small arms. We then re-crossed the
river with the intention of drawing ra-
tions and taking with us our tents etc.
that remained in camp. The 1st Brig-
ade of the Division, met us in the
river on their way over. The corps had or-
ders to cross after our report that the
enemy was gone. But we were de-
ceived - the enemy had not all left,

- 38 -

but on the contrary a strong rear guard
was lurking near, perhaps purposely hid
from us, and the Brigade had not more
than reached the other shore until they
assaulted our men, and a sharp action
ensued. Gen. Morell, commanding
the Division, had very prudently left
several batteries in position and they
opened a brisk fire upon the enemy,
which kept him at bay so effectively
as to allow our men to re-cross the river,
though not without great loss. The
118th Penna. Vols known as the Corn
Exchange regiment, suffered very severely
in this encounter. It was supposed
the rebels numbered in Infantry +
cavalry between ten + fifteen thousand, but
as it seemed, were without transportation
for we afterwards carried all the arms,

- 39 -

etc, that were left by them in their tents retreat.
   Soon after this, our Brigade from
each Division was selected to make a
reconnaissances and if the enemy was
still lurking on the other side to give
him battle. Our Brigade formed part
of the force. At Shephardstown, a beau-
tiful village, but a few rods from the
river, we met the enemy and sharp
skirmishing commenced. We fell back
gradually, disputing with us every foot
of the ground, and then finally re-
treated in haste and left us in possession
of the place field. We advanced as far as
Bunker Hill, a point about ten miles dis-
tant from the river. Here the columns halted and the purpose of the expedition

- 40 -

having been accomplished, the command
which was led by Gen. Humphrey about
faced and returned to camp at Sharps-
  Here we remained until the 30th day
of October, when we again started on an-
other campaign towards Richmond. The
Potomac was crossed at Harpers Ferry on
the 31st and our line of march was
through London Valley. We halted a
few days at Warrenton, w[h]ere our gall-
ant and much loved commander-in-
chief, Gen. George B. McClellan was re-
lieved and Gen. Burnside assumed
command of the army. Never before
was there so much grief and profound
sorrow manifested in any army

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