62d Pennsylvania Volunteers

Sources and Memorabilia

62d  Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg


Primary Resources | Additional Sources

Letters and Memorablilia

Resources for Regiments Serving Along Side the 62d Pennsylvania

The 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.
Thanks to Mimi Reed, of State College, a descendant of Col. J. B. Sweitzer, for this unique source. It is a hand-written, fifty page account, that both marvelously detailed and, unfortunately, incomplete. I do not know the author. The statement at the beginning, "Compliments of A. D. Barr, Charlestown, W. Va. Oct. 1. 1903" suggests it was privately printed. A.D. Barr sold life insurance in "Charles Town, W Va.", but what his connection to the regiment, if any, is a mystery. There was only two Barrs in the Sixty-second. Robert T. Barr was a corporal in Company E who died at Spottsylvania Court House, and Thomas Barr was a private in Company E who was discharged, 30 July 1862. A.D. Barr died in Charles Town WV 4/14/19 of Bright's Disease at age 74. He sold Life Insurance. To my knowledge this was the only regimental history available until Ernie Spisak published Pittsburgh's Forgotten Regiment: A History of the 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in 2013.

Primary Resources Used in Researching the 62d Pennsylvania Volunteers

Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5. 5 Volumes. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71.
Volume II includes the 62d and is the source for all company rosters. This multi-volume work includes histories and company rosters of all the Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiments. Bates was a member of the Historical Society of Pennyslvania, and the work was commissioned by an act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature. -- The copy I first saw was a reprint edition (Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot, 1993). It is now available online through University of Michigan's Making of America series. Volume II is also available through GoogleBooks. Steve Maczuga, Population Research Institute at Penn State, has created a searchable database using information from Bates, including subsets in many categories, such as casualties by battle, names of deserters, draftees, and additional information.
Digital Archives of the State of Pennsylvania. Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866.
The card file originally designed as an indexing tool for Samuel P. Bates' History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, but was expanded to include information found in the original roll records. Content and completeness of each card varies, but the basic information includes company, regiment, branch, mustering in and out dates, and rank, plus descriptive information such as hair and eye color, age at enrollment, occupation, and residence. The remarks field is usually empty, but may include desertion/death dates, cause of death, dates of promotion, and other spellings of the name. Much information found here is unavailable in Bates' History or other sources I have seen.
Pennsylvania Adjutant-General's Office. Registers of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865.
These are pdf images of the original hand written company and field & staff offers rolls of each Pennsylvania regiment. Available online through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission & Pennsylvania State Archives. Only "muster in" information is provided, but it does provide a corrective to Bates' rosters, primarily for alternate name spellings.
Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Compiled and Arranged from Official Records. Des Moines: Dyer, 1908.
Includes concise authoritative regimental histories.
Evans, Samuel M., editor. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in the war for the suppression of the rebellion, 1861-1865 : roll of honor, defenders of the flag, attack on Fort Sumter, S.C., April 12, 1861, surrender at Appomattox, Va., April 9, 1865. Pittsburgh: 1924.
An alternative source to Bates for the names of soldiers from the regiment. -- available online through the Historic Pittsburgh Full Text Collection.
Pennsylvania Civil War Era Newspaper Collection
From Penn State. A freely accessible archive of newspapers containing articles, photographs, and advertisements from selected newspapers across the state, published before, during, and after the U.S. Civil War.
Killikelly, Sarah H. The history of Pittsburgh: its rise and progress. Pittsburgh: B.C. & Gordon Montgomery Co., 1906.
In the section "Records of Four Wars" details about the early war fever and formation, first, of Home Guard and reserve companies and, then, of regiments of volunteers is well documented.
Pennsylvania at Gettysburg: Ceremonies at the Dedication of the Monuments Erected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: 1893. 3 volumes
Included is the address delivered by Captain William J. Patterson in 1889 at the time of the dedication of the monument to the 62d Regiment Infantry. In the address, some general history is provided, and much detail about the action of the regiment on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg is provided. This book is the source for the image on this page of the monument at Gettysburg dedicated to the Pennsylvania 62d Infantry Regiment on September 11, 1889.
The Rebellion Record of Allegheny County, from April, 1861 to October, 1862. Pittsburg: A. A. Anderson, 1862.
Provides information about the recruitment of the regiment and the war climate of the Pittsburgh area at the time. -- available online through the Historic Pittsburgh Full Text Collection.
Spisak, Ernest D. "The 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry: A forgotten regiment of distinction." The Gettysburg Magazine Issue 26 (January 22, 2002), pp. 69-93.
The article concentrates on the regiment at Gettysburg and must be the most detailed account of the regiment's activities on July 3, 1863. The article provides a good summary of the early history of the Sixty-Second as well.
Spisak, Ernie. The 62nd Pennsylvania: A very brief history (Part of the old Western Pennsylvania Civil War Resources Web site when it was maintained by James J. White.)
A shorter, earlier effort by Mr. Spisak, originally written for informal distribution at a Civil War Round Table.
Spisak, Ernest. Pittsburgh's Forgotten Regiment: A History of the 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 2013. I am very pleased that Ernie was finally able to publish his book after decades of working on the project.
The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.
This official record is a major primary source for Civil War information. The number of documents written by the commanders of the 62d is limited, but the 62d Pennsylvania is mentioned dozens of times, in command structures, casualty lists, and battle accounts. -- Now available online through Cornell University's Making of America series and GoogleBooks.

Letters and Memorabilia

The Civil War photo album of John M. Watson.
portrait of John M. WatsonWill Gorges, of Civil War Battleground Antiques, kindly shared and granted me permission to use images from a photo album once owned by John M. Watson, a private in Company D, before it was sold at auction. Watson's portrait is to the left. Watson's album includes portraits of comrades in Watson's own Company D, including, my grandfather's uncle John Henderson. in addition he included a few portraits of both officers and soldiers from other companies. Watson included a few notes on the backs of the portraits or on the edges of the frames that held the portraits. These notes expand on and occasionally contradict the data included about the soldiers found in Bates' more official record. If it does nothing else, it presents an interesting perspective on the individuals in the regiment. ALERT: ALBUM STOLEN
The Western Pennsylvania Civil War Resources Web site was maintained for many years by James J. White.
Due to ill health, he had to give up the website, and the site moved its location and was considerably altered. No longer available from that source are several resources that I used in creating this website and others that complimented it. Courtesy of the WayBackMachine, those resources are still available:
The story of William Hays of the 62nd Pennsylvania, by his great granddaughter Carolyn Hays Raham. Included in her account were transcripts of his letters home.
Captain Thomas Espy Grand Army of the Republic Post #153 (Captain Espy commanded Company H of the 62d). The collection includes relics and artifacts such as photographs, a company flag, and a uniform. A brief history of the post was written by Bill McLaughlin.
Civil War Veterans Tombstone Inscriptions Allegheny County Pennsylvania
Compiled by Tom & Nancy McAdams and some associates, this site provides names, death dates, cemetery and section, and other information gleaned from tombstones. The names of many soldiers from the 62d are listed on its own page, and I have incorporated some of that information here.
Brookes, Timothy R., edited by Donald McCann. "Memories of the War: Jacob Shenkel's Gettysburg Diary: The Last Shot?" Incidents of the War 2 (Fall 1987): 8-30.
This article includes a short account of the 62d Pennsylvania and the complete text of the Shenkel's diary from 15 April to 31 December 1863. It is richly illustrated and contains a story of a hoax. Shenkel, a musician from Company L, also served as a field hospital attendant and was ordered to remain in Gettysburg after the 62d Pennsylvania moved on. He remained long enough to hear Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Also in November, he records, "he went to Round Top with an artist to take some scenes of the Battlefield. Took one scene of Dead men then as skirmishers then as Picket." The photographer used the photographs he took in which Shenkel and others posed as soldiers, both dead and alive, primarily in the Devil's Den, rather than Round Top, in photographs that were passed off as real war scenes. There is a note at the end of the article that Timothy R. Brookes was planning to publish a regimental history on the 62nd, but I find no evidence that he has yet succeeded in his plans.
Curry, Jacob Pratt. "What I Saw at Gettysburg, 1863 and 1913." [Transcribed from] DuBois Morning Courier, July 14, 1913.
An account by a member of Company E on the occasion of his visit to Gettysburg on the 50th anniversary of the battle.
Hagerson, William. Letters. Unpublished. March 1863
Two letters written by Sergeant William Hagerson of Company D, while he was in winter camp in March 1863.
Lowry, William Gustin, & Robert A. Lowry. 38 U.S. Civil War Letters (August 2, 1861 to June 19, 1863).
Reproductions and transcripts of two letters by Robert Alexander Lowry (Gan/Ganny/R.A.) and 36 letters by William Gustin Lowry (Gus/Gust/W.G.L. Lowry). Maintained by the Special Collections & University Archives, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Moorhead, Elizabeth. Whirling spindle : the story of a Pittsburgh family. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1946.
Written by Sam Black's granddaughter, this memoir includes some insightful biographical information about the colonel
Smith, George. " _______________ Tells a War Story." Originally published in the Marshall County News, Marysville, Kansas, submitted to the Saltsburg Press, Saltsburg, Pa., by R. B. McNeil. Date unknown.
An anecdote featuring Company D, parade ground dust, soup, hairy bacon, and a tall stranger who was shown kindness and returned the favor.
Smith, Isaac. Letters. Unpublished. 1861 and 1862.
Two letters written by Private Isaac Smith of Company M.
Bower, Ernest. Photograph of artifacts
Ernest Bower has posted a picture of four complete canteens, assorted bottles and an Eagle cartridge box strap plate that he dug out of a single hut in the camp of the 62nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment in Stafford County, Virginia, in 2004.
Sixty-second Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg
Details and photographs of the monument from the Historical Marker Database
Patriotic Poetry Inspired by the Sixty Second Pennsylvania.
A volume of Poems of Mrs. Anna Marie Spaulding, published in 1866, includes two works that were addressed to the 62d Pennsylvania. I can find no biographical information about the poet, so I can only speculate what her connection to Company F or the regiment might have been. There were no volunteers named Spaulding.

Address To Co. F, 62d Pa. Vols.
Williamsport, Pa., 1861

Soldiers ! while ye wait, expecting
Every hour the battle-call,
Let the friendlier voice of woman
On your watchful senses fall.

From the heart of Pennsylvania,
Where the Red, the White, and Blue
Wave above the Susquehanna,
Floats this friendly voice to you.

Brothers! when your thoughts are turning
From the old Potomac's strand,
And ye dream of Alleghany,
And Sylvania's loyal land,

Think not we are idly weeping—
Pining for the brave and true:
No; for while the heart-rain's falling,
Golden beams of Hope break through.

We would cheer and not dishearten—
We would ever urge you on!
To Manassas, to Port Royal!
Until treason's overthrown.

Go! and may the God of Battles,
Nerve you for the fearful fight;
Trust Him, and He will sustain you,
For your cause is just and right.

And there is a mighty weapon
God commands you all to use:
It is Prayer—brave hearts accept it—
It were madness to refuse.

Prayer can turn the tide of battle,
It can strengthen even the strong,
It can lead you on triumphant
Till you shout the victor's song!

Use it, soldiers; grasp this weapon—
Let it strengthen heart and hand;
Take it with you in the conflict—
With it save your native land.

Go then, brothers, brave and loyal,
And with prayer we too will fight,
When around each family altar
We are gathered morn and night.

Go, and come again with honor,
We are weaving laurels now ;
We have smiles for every Victor,
Wreaths for every Hero's brow !

To The Sixty-second Regiment Pa. Vols. After the Death of Col. S. Black
Vineland, N. J., June 1862.

Another hero fallen! and we mourn his loss today,
Though the cannon booms of victory far off across the bay.
We never saw his manly form, his strong brave spirit's shrine,
That every eye looked on with pride, along the battle-line;
But, soldiers, your devotion, revealed in tidings home,
Has taught our hearts to love him, and with you we mourn his doom.

Brave heart! its aspirations sleep—it never more may beat—
Nor feel a victor's joy, nor thrill when conquered foes retreat;
And the hour we are looking for, alas! he may not see,
For all of earth he yielded np, striving for victory.

Tried hearts! ye must have well-nigh failed to see your leader fall,
And faltered in your thoughts when first you missed his clarion call.
But, soldier-like, we know you suffered not your firm young feet
To yield one blood-bought inch of earth in cowardly retreat.

Oh, brothers true! though many a sad and gory battle-plain,
Receives a bloody baptism from the hearts of heroes slain,
Let not a soldier-soul grow faint—let love of Country give
Strength to fight on, to charge and shout, "The Union yet shall live!"

And look to God, your loved commander's Father, Friend, and Guide,
And like him, too, go fearless forth into the battle-tide;
Knowing whatever fate betides—-whate'er may chance you there,
God and your Country will bestow crowns you shall ever wear.

Resources for Regiments Serving Along Side the 62d Pennsylvania.

Since no complete nor full-length regimental history of the Sixty Second Pennsylvane has been written, the regimental histories of regiments serving with the 62d are especially valuable.

    9th Massachusetts. A companion regiment throughout the war
  1. Guiney, Patrick R.. Commanding Boston's Irish Ninth: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Patrick R. Guiney, Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Edited by Christian G. Samito. New York: Fordham University Press, 1998.
  2. Macnamara, Daniel George. The History of the Ninth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Second Brigade, First Division, Fifth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, June, 1861 - June, 1864. Boston: E. B. Stillings, 1899.
  3. Coyle, Henry. "The Fighting Ninth In Action." In Our church, her children and institutions, vol. 3, by , 1908.
  4. Bowen, James Lorenzo. "The Ninth regiment." in Massachusetts in the war, 1861-1865, 1889.
  5. Bennett, Edwin C. Musket and Sword, Camp March, And Firing Line of the Army of the Potomac. (Boston, 1900), a regimental history of the 22d Massachusetts.
  6. Parker, John Lord. Henry Wilson's Regiment: History of the Twenty-Second Massachusetts Infantry, Second Company Sharpshooters and the Third Light Battery, in the War of the Rebellion. Boston: Regimental Association, 1887.
    4th Michigan. A companion regiment throughout the war
  7. Bertera, Martin, and Ken Oberholtzer. The 4th Michigan Volunteer Infantry at Gettysburg: The Battle for the Wheatfield. Dayton, OH: Morningside, 1997.
  8. Wilkinson, George. 4th Michigan. A newly envigorated website that contains a comprehensive regimental history that is well illustrated with soldiers' portraits, maps, letters, diaries, and other documents.
    91st Pennsylvania. Not in the same brigade, but many volunteers from the 62d finished the war in the 91st.
  9. Ide, Harry. The 91st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Harry maintains a masterful Web site that contains the results of painstaking research he has undertaken using archival materials such as regimental order books, plus letters and diaries written by members of the 91st and newspaper accounts. There is a chronological account and pages devoted to each volunteer. I am indebted Harry Ide for much of the information biographical information listed for soldiers of Company L who later served in the 91st P.V.
    155th Pennsylvania. In the same brigade very late in the war and the regiment to which many volunteers of the 62d transferred after the 62d was mustered out.
  10. Under the Maltese cross, Antietam to Appomattox, the Loyal Uprising in Western Pennsylvania, 1861-1865; Campaigns 155th Pennsylvania Regiment, Narrated by the Rank and File. Pittsburgh: The 155th Regimental Association, 1910.
  11. Aronhalt, Christopher J.M. 155th PA Vol. Inf. A colorful site for a colorful regiment, with a unit history, an illustrated feature on its Zouave uniforms, and information about about the 155th Co. B. reenactors.

Additional Sources I have Consulted in Creating this Web site

This page authored and maintained by John R. Henderson (jhenderson @ icyousee . org), Lodi, NY.
Last modified: 27 March 2016
The Sixty Second Pennyslvania Monument, pictured at the top of the page, was dedicated at Gettysburg on 11 September 1889. The image was printed in the book, Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, Ceremonies at the Dedication of the Monuments, published in 1904.
URL: http://www.icyousee.org/pa62d/sources.html