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

- 41 -

as there was in the Army of the Potomac
when Gen. McClellan bade us all farewell. A
crushing defeat could not have caused
more pain or sadness. From Warrenton
we marched to Falmouth, arriving
there on the 13th of November. Camps were
regularly located, and the troops e-
rected comfortable huts, thinking the
campaign for the season at an end.
But soldiers have no right to think!
On the 12th of December we were again
called out and marched to Fredricks-
burg, then bombardment of the city had
commenced at day light or rather
before day, and continued with little
intermission until day-light. Under this

- 42 -

heavy fire the construction of pontoon bridges
was commenced; but owing to the
sharp-fire of the enemy's sharp-shooters
were not complete until the morning
of the 13th. The troops began to cross
at once and the battle commenced
in earnest. The rebels were strongly
entrenched on the heights beyond the
the city. Our regiment, under the com-
mand of Lt. Gen. J. C. Hull -- Colonel
Sweitzer having command of the Brigade
crossed about 4 o'clock in the afternoon
and immediately went in action,
subjected to a raking fire. We remain-
ed in the field all that night and
the next day; but could make no farther
advance than within

- 43 -

200 yards of the enemy's works. We were
drawn off on the right of the 14th and
under the cover of darkness and a severe
storm that fortunately came up, the
entire army recrossed the river on the
night of the 16th. -- Our loss in killed and
wounded was seventy. We returned to the
camp recently left and established our-
selves for the winter.
    We were however, again called out in
January, but this campaign proved
abortive; and we returned to camp af-
ter a six days absence, where we remain-
ed until Spring. Soon after this Gen.
Burnside was releised [sic] and Gen. Hooker
was placed in command of the army.
    On the 27th of April, the Spring Campaign
opened, and we took up our line of march

- 44 -

along the Rappahannock river. We crossed
at Kelley's Ford and after fording the Rapidan,
moved down the river in the direction
of Fredricksburg. We met with no oppos-
ition, so sudden and unexpected was the
movement, until at Chancellorsville,
and here Gen. Lee had his army in position.
ready to receive us. Our lines were estab-
lished and here on the 1st 2nd +3rd days of
May, the severest and most obstinate
battles was fought. Our regiment
under the excellent leadership of Lt. Co. Hull
Col. Sweitzer having command of the
Brigade -- took an active part throughout.
But not withstanding the fine condition
of the army and the excellent spirits of
the troops - the zeal and determination
with which they entered into the conflict -
our arms met with a reverse, and our brave,

- 45 -

gallant, and heroic soldiers were ordered to fall
back -- an order they were lo[a]the to obey --
they were as yet unconquered! The army
recrossed the river on the 4th and went in-
to the old quarters near Falmouth. Our
loss in this engagement was four killed and
twenty-five wounded.
    On the 27th of May, the regiment was
ordered to Kelley's Ford, where it encamped
on the 29th. It was assigned to the im-
portant duty of guarding the Ford. While
here we lost two men who were captured
on their posts after night and one, Joseph
T. Cracraft -- Brigade mail carrier, while
on his way to Grove Church (the head-quar-
ters of the Division) with the Brigade mail.
Cracraft was evidently captured by guerrillas
with which we were very much annoyed
at this point.

- 46 -

We moved form this place on the 13th of June,
where it was ascertained that Lee was
moving down to Shenandoah Valley,
with a view to invade Maryland and
Pennsylvania; and with all speed
our columns moved northward. We
marched to Mannassas Junction and
thence to Aldie, a small town 12 miles
from Leesburg. Here we halted for supplies.
In the meantime our cavalry force
under Gen. Pleasonton had come in con-
tact with a portion of Gen. Stuart's force
and a sharp engagement took place
in which the rebels were routed. They
held a position near Middlesburg and
defied our approach. the cavalry a-
gain moved forward and our
Division accompanied them for support.
Again the rebels were met on their own

- 47 -

ground and again repulsed; this time
they were driven far beyond Middleburg,
through Asby's Gap and in the direction
of Upperville. Our march was continued
and the rout[e] was via Leesburg to Ed-
ward's Ferry where we arrived and cross-
ed the river on the evening of the 26th
of June.
  Thence we marched to Frredricksburg City
where it was announced that Gen.
Mead -- our corps commander -- had
command of the army. From Fredrick
City our column moved in the direction
of Pennsylvania and arrived near
Gettysburg on the morning of the 2nd of
July, where we found a portion of the
enemy already engaged with Lee's
boasted invaders
[sic]. No time was to be lost
and we immediately formed line of battle.

- 48 -

Our regiment under the command of Lt.
Col. Hull - Col. Sweitzer having command
of the Brigade - about 4 o'clock in the after-
noon of the 2nd again moved forth in
good order to meet the enemy in deadly
victory - the dye was cast and every one
felt and seemed to appreciate the
value of success at this critical mom-
ent. Victory or Death! was the motto.
The battle which lasted all the next
day, was terrible in the extreme; but the
vaunted hords of Lee were vanquished.
His predacious army was hurled back
with great slaughter - the victory was
complete and the Army of the Potomac
won for itself a proud place in the an-
nals of history - Our regiment lost
192 officers and men killed, wounded & missing.

- 49 -

Our Major, the gallant Loury was shot
through the head by a miny ball which termin-
ated his life in a few minutes.
    The rebel army retreated towards Vir-
ginia via Emmitsburg and the South
Mountain. We pursued via Fredricks City
and Hagerstown. Near Williamsport
Lee threw up earth-works and on all ap-
pearances his position was an advanta-
geous one and prepared strongly entrench-
ed. When our army was sufficiently
concentrated and prepared to make the
attack, the advance was made on the
morning of the 15th, but it was discover-
ed that he had been successful in his re-
treat, having crossed the river during
the night previous --
    We marched to Berlin where the Potomac

- 50 -

was crossed on the 14th and once again
our veteran columns tread the soil of old
Virginia. We marched to Lovettsville and
thence up the London Valley via Rectorstown
to Mannassas Gap. Here we came up
with the 3rd Corps and found it in line of
battle and our Brigade skirmishing with
the enemy. Line of battle was formed,
and after advancing a mile and a half
and night coming on, the two Corps bivou-
acked on the field until morning. The Ex-
celcior Brigade had succeeded after several
brilliant charges in driving the enemy
from the field. At day break a careful
reconnaissance was made and it
was soon discovered that the enemy
had retreated beyond the Gap. Having in
his flight destroyed the bridge across the

The account is cut off here, but since the title indicated that the outline history only went to August 1863, my guess is that less than a page of text was left.

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