71st Regiment of Infantry, Pennsylvania
(1st California Regiment)
Organized at Fort Schuyler,
N.Y., until July 1, 1861. Moved to Fortress Monroe, Va., thence
to Washington, D.C., July 22. Duty in the Defenses of Washington
until October. Affair at Vanderburg's House, Munson's Hill, September
29. Ordered to Poolesville, Md. Attached to Baker's Brigade,
Stone's (Sedgwick's) Division, Army Potomac, to March, 1864.
2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army Potomac, to June,
Operations on the Potomac
October 21-24, 1861. Hall's Bluff October 21. Duty on the Upper
Potomac until February, 1862. At Harper's Ferry, W. Va., until
March 24. Moved to the Virginia Peninsula March 24-April 1. Siege
of Yorktown April 5-May 4. At Tyler's Farm until May 31. Battle
of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. At Fair Oaks until
June 28. Skirmish at Fair Oaks June 18. 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's Landing until August 16. Movement to Newport News,
thence to Alexandria August 16-28, thence to Centreville and
Chantilly August 28-30. Cover Pope's retreat August 31-September
1. Maryland Campaign September 6-24. Battle of Antietam September
16-17. Moved to Harper's Ferry September 22, and duty there until
October 30. Movement to Falmouth October 30-November 19. Battle
of Fredericksburg December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud
March," January 20-24, 1863. Hartwood Church February 25.
At Falmouth until April. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May
6. Banks' Ford May 1 and 4. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 13-July
24. Battle of Gettysburg July 2-4. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24.
At Banks' Ford and Culpeper until October. Advance from the Rappahannock
to the Rapidan September 13-17. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22.
Advance to the line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Mine Run
Campaign November 26-December 2. Robertson's Tavern or Locust
Grove November 27. Duty on the Rapidan until May. Demonstration
on the Rapidan February 6-7. 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 C. H. 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. Transferred to 69th Pennsylvania Infantry June 12, 1864.
Mustered out July 2, 1864.
Regiment lost during service 14 Officers and 147 Enlisted men
killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 98 Enlisted men
by disease. Total 260.
by Gary Lash
Colonel Edward D. Baker
to October 21st, 1861
Colonel Isaac J. Wistar
to November 29th, 1862
Colonel R. Penn Smith
to July 2d, 1864
Total Enrollment: 1,665
Officers and Men
The story of the formation of this
command as the "1st California" Regiment has been outlined
in The California
after the death of Col. Edward D. Baker at Ball's Bluff, a lamentable
affair in which the regiment lost heavily, the brigade was claimed
as a part of its quota by the State of Pennsylvania and was so
credited. The four commands were
designated the 69th, the
71st, 72d and 106th Regiments, and became the "Philadelphia
Brigade," Pennsylvania Infantry. Upon recovery from his
wounds, inflicted at Ball's Bluff, Lieut.-Col. Isaac J. Wistar
became colonel of the 71st. Brig.-Gen. W. W. Burns commanded
the brigade, which was attached to Sedgwick's Division of the
Second Corps. Early in 1862 the 71st was engaged under Gen. N.
P. Banks in West Virginia. The Philadelphia Brigade was soon
transferred to the Virginia peninsula, where Gen. McClellan was
operating against the enemy at Yorktown and Williamsburg. The
Union advance was pushed to within sight of Richmond. At Fair
Oaks the 71st was engaged in constant fighting and dkirmishing
for four weeks. After the battle of Gaines Mills the "change
of base" from the Chickahominy River to the James River
developed several attacks upon the army's endless wagon trains,
in the course of which the regiment participated in four battles,
making repeated charges and losing many officers and men before
resting at Malvern Hill. At Harrison's Landing, upon the James
River, five companies, L, M, N, P and R, were disbanded, the
men being assigned to the depleted original ten companies. The
scene of action was now transferred to the region in front of
Washington, resulting in the battles of Chantilly and the Second
Bull Run, where the 71st assisted in covering the rear of Pope's
retreat. In the northward movement which checked the Confederates
at Antietam, Brig.-Gen. O. O. Howard commanded the Philadelphia
The 71st left upon the
field of Antietam one-third of its strength. In the Fredericksburg
campaign, nearly three months later, the regiment, led to fruitless
sacrifice by Lieut.-Col. John Markoe, was again a heavy loser.
The survivors fought again, under Hooker, at Fredericksburg,
after which they wintered in camp at Falmouth. The Second Corps,
under Maj.-Gen. Hancock was sent, in June, 1863, to Pennsylvania.
The 71st was now under command of Col. Richard Penn Smith. Arriving
at Gettysburg the regiment was placed in the center of the battle-line.
Upon the afternoon of July 2d the brigade became involved in
a charge during the attack upon Gen. Sickles' position, but the
supreme test of its endurance was reserved for the final scene.
It was just at this point that the "high-water line"
of the great Rebellion is now fittingly marked. Here the gray
billow broke against the solid wall of the Army of the Potomac,
never to return. At Gettysburg the regiment lost ninety-eight
officers and men. Following the retreating enemy back to the
soil of Virginia, the Second Corps fought, through the autumn,
over long-familiar ground. The 71st wintered at Stevensburg.
When the army resumed operations in May, 1864, Lieut.-Col. C.
Kochersperger was in command. He was wounded at the battle of
the Wilderness. Capt. Mitchell Smith, who succeeded him, was
killed at Spotsylvania. At Cold Harbor the regiment made its
last stand. It was now entitled to discharge. The veterans and
recruits were transferred to the 69th Regiment. One hundred and
fifty-three men returned to Philadelphia and were mustered out
on July 2d, 1864.
Killed or died from wounds
- 14 officers; 147 men
Died from disease or other
causes - 1 officer; 98 men
Wounded - 24 officers;
Captured or missing -
10 officers; 320 men
Falls Church, Poolesville,
Ball's Bluff, Fair Oaks, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, Glendale,
Antietam, Fredericksburg (1862), Fredericksburg (1863), Gettysburg,
Mine Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Bethesda Church,
Cold Harbor. Present also at Yorktown, Malvern Hill, Bristoe
Station and Totopotomoy