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Preserving California's Military Heritage
California and the Civil War
106th Regiment of Infantry, Pennsylvania Volunteers
(5th California Regiment)
 
Organized as the 5th California Regiment at Philadelphia August 14 to October 31, 1861. Moved to Washington, D.C., November. Attached to Baker's Brigade, Stone's (Sedgwick's) Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division. 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to June, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, to June, 1865.
Service
 
Duty on Upper Potomac until March, 1862. Moved to Virginia Peninsula March 24-April 1. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Moved to West Point May 7. At Tyler's Farm until May 31. Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. Skirmish at Fair Oaks June 8. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Peach Orchard and Savage Station June 29. Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale June 30. Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison Landing until August 16. Movement to Newport News, thence to Alexandria August 16-28, and to Centreville August 28-30. Cover Pope's retreat August 31-September 1, Chantilly September 1 (Reserve). Maryland Campaign September 6-22. Battle of Antietam September 16-17. Moved to Harper's Ferry, W. Va.. September 22, and duty there until October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 20. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until April. Hartwood Church February 25. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations at Franklin's Crossing April 29-May 2. Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg, May 3. Salem Heights May 3-4. Banks Ford May 4. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Haymarket June 21 and 25. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-15. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8 Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Payne's Farm November 27. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. Rapidan Campaign. May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7. Laurel Hill May 8. Spottsylvania May 8-12. Po River May 10. Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23, 1864. Demonstration on north side of the James at Deep Bottom July 27-29. Deep Bottom July 27-28. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30. Demonstration on north side of the James at Deep Bottom August 18-20. Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, August 14-18. Ream's Station August 25. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865. Watkins' House, Petersburg, March 25. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Vaughan Road, near Hatcher's Run, March 29. Crow's House March 31. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Sailor's Creek April 6. High Bridge and Farmville April 7. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. At Burkesville May 2. March to Washington May 2-12. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out June 30, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 9 Officers and 95 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 92 Enlisted men by disease. Total 197..

History
by Gary Lash
 
Commanders
 
Colonel Turner G. Morehead to April 5th, 1864
Lieut.-Col. William L. Curry to May 11th, 1864
 
 
Total Enrollment: 1,020 Officers and Men
 
 
After the return of the 22d Regiment of the three-months' enlistments, its Colonel, Turner G. Morehead, a veteran of the Mexican War, and some of his officers commenced to recruit a new regiment for the three-year service. It was mustered in during August, September and October, 1861. Many members of the Philadelphia Light Guards and a large number of the enlisted men of the 22d joined this command, which was first known as the "Fifth California" Regiment, being part of Colonel Baker's California Brigade, but later as one of the four regiments composing the Philadelphia Brigade.
 
The 106th joined Colonel Baker's Brigade just prior to the battle of Ball's Bluff, Va., in which part of his force was trapped.
 
Under Brigadier-General William W. Burns, and as a unit to the Second Army Corps in the Second Brigade, Second Division, Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac, the 106th shared in all of the marches and battles of the Philadelphia Brigade through the Virginia Peninsula up to the gates of Richmond, and from Savage Station to Harrison Landing, fighting desperately at Savage Station, at Glendale and Malvern Hill, then in the succeeding Pope Campaign, where, at Flint Hill, acting as rear guard of the army in the retreat from the Second Bull Run, they led the enemy into a trap, inflicted great loss upon him and checked his advance in that direction, thence along the road that led to Antietam.
 
Here, with Gen. Oliver O. Howard as Brigade Commander, on that beautiful September morning, in what is known as the "West Wood," the brigade fought heroically against fearful odds when all the other troops had left, holding their ground until the enemy, in overwhelming numbers, swept around their flank, compelled them to retire, leaving upon that part of Antietam's bloody field five hundred and forty-five of their members killed and wounded.
 
The Second Corps now returned to Virginia and to Fredericksburg's fatal field where, for the first time, the Philadelphia Brigade was commanded by one of Philadelphia's sons, Brigadier-General Joshua T. Owen, who led his brigade in that fearful charge upon Marye's Heights, until he got within ninety yards of the famous stone wall, and, unwilling to give up one foot of the ground he had gained with such heavy loss, directed his men to lie down, and all that long, cold December day they lay there, subjected to both infantry and artillery fire, until relieved after dark.
 
The regiment had been so depleted by the storm of battle at Antietam and Fredericksburg that, after a winter in camp and accession of recruits, it reported to Gettysburg, along with the equally reduced 69th, 71st and 72d Regiments, with but three hundred and thirty-five officers and men. The brigade was now commanded by Brigadier-General Alexander S. Webb. Arriving upon the field on the morning of the second, Companies A and B were at once advanced as skirmishers to the Emmitsburg road, and during the morning made a gallant attack upon the Bliss House, between the lines, and with the help of four companies of the 12th New Jersey Regiment, dislodged the enemy, burned the house and barn and captured one hundred prisoners.
 
Near the conclusion of the heavy fighting on the left of our line, on the afternoon of July 2d, when Wright, with his Georgia brigade, had swept around the right of Sickles' command and had captured the guns of Brown's Rhode Island Battery and was forcing his way to the position of the Philadelphia Brigade, Gen. Hancock ordered the 106th Regiment to charge upon the advancing enemy, upon whom the brigade was pouring a withering fire. Dashing over the low stone wall the regiment rushed the then discomfited enemy and drove him back to and beyond the Emmitsburg road, recapturing the guns of Brown's Battery and two hundred and fifty prisoners, principally of the 48th Georgia Regiment, including its colonel and twenty officers. The regiment returned to its position with the brigade and was immediately hurried to the right, upon request of Gen. Howard, leaving a detail of fifty men and two full companies, A and B, with the brigade, upon the front of Gibbon's Division of the Second Corps.
 
In the gathering shadows of evening a gray column of Early's men, among them the vaunted "Louisiana Tigers," was sent swarming up the slope of Cemetery Hill, east of the Baltimore pike, where Rickett's and Weiderick's batteries needed instant help, and the 106th arrived in time to join with the decimated regiments of Howard's Eleventh Corps, saved the guns of those batteries, and hurled back the few survivors of that gallant and deadly sortie.
 
On the morning of the fourth, the regiment was ordered to advance and reconnoiter towards the town. Finding their way but feebly contested, they pushed forward and found that the enemy had evacuated. Thus the 106th Regiment was among the first to enter Gettysburg since the retreat through it on the night of July 1st. Its outpost line and the two companies that remained with the brigade shared the glory of the repulse of Pickett at the "clump of trees."
 
After Gettysburg, the Philadelphia Brigade, less than a regiment in numbers, returned to Virginia, and went into camp near Brandy Station for the winter, during which time many of the regiment re-enlisted. In April, 1864, Col. Morehead resigned.
 
During the summer campaign of 1864, battle followed battle with terrible regularity, as the waning fortunes of the Confederacy made its brave soldiery more desperate, and our men more determined to bring the war to an end, beginning with the three-days' battle of the Wilderness and continuing through Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, Totopotomoy, Cold Harbor and Petersburg, in all of which the regiment was in the thickest of the fighting and suffered the heavy loss of five officers and one hundred and ten men from its already reduced numbers. Among the many lost at Spotsylvania was Lieut.-Col. William L. Curry, who died, a month later, of his wound.
 
Before Petersburg, the 106th was given surcease of fighting, when its term of enlistment expired, but unfortunately, before that event, on June 22d, 1864, three officers and ninety-one men were taken prisoners.
 
On July 27th the veterans and recruits were consolidated into three companies, F, H and K, and united with the 69th Regiment for field service, but retained its identity as a separate battalion. The remainder of the regiment was sent to Washington, and after a period of guard duty at Arlington Heights, for about thirty days, was ordered to Philadelphia and was mustered out on September 10th, 1864.
 
The 106th Battalion, left in the field, served through Deep Bottom, Reams Station, Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run and Dabney Mills to the scene of the surrender of Appomattox, participated in the Grand Review at Washington, and was mustered out on June 30th, 1865
 
Total Losses
Killed or died from wounds - 9 officers; 90 men
Died of disease or other causes - 1 officer; 94 men
Wounded, not mortally - 24 officers; 373 men
Captured or missing - 5 officers; 152 men
 
Battles
Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Flint Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Haymarket, Gettysburg, Kelly's Ford, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Totopotomoy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, Reams Station, Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Fun (February 6 and 7, 1865), Hatcher's Run (March 25, 1865), Dabney's Mill, Appomattox Court House
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