102nd Regiment Infantry

Field north of Valley of Death. Gettysburg














Field & Staff---Unassigned

Organized at Pittsburgh August, 1861. Five Companies left State for Washington, D.C., August 21, 1861. Attached to Peck's Brigade, Couch's Division, Army of the Potomac, October, 1861, to March, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to July, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Corps. to September, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Army Corps, to January, 1864. Wheaton's Brigade, Dept. of West Virginia, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac and Army of the Shenandoah, to June, 1865.

SERVICE. Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C,, until March, 1862. Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15. Moved to the Peninsula March 28. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Battle of Williamsburg May 5. Operations about Bottom s Bridge May 20-23. Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing until August 16. Movement to Alexandria, thence to Centreville August 16-30. Cover Pope's retreat to Fairfax Court House August 30-September 1. Chantilly September 1 (Reserve). Maryland Campaign September 6-27. Battle of Antietam September 16-17. At Downsville, Md., September 23 to October 20. Movement to Stafford Court House October 20-November 18, and to Belle Plains December 5. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until April. 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 13-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 2-4. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Duty on line of the Rappahannock until October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Rappahannock Station November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12, 1864. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Spottsylvania May 8-21. 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 17-18. Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23. Siege of Petersburg until July 9. Moved to Washington, D. C., July 9-11. Repulse of Early's attack on Washington July 11-12. Pursuit of Early to Snicker's Gap July 14-18, Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August to December. Charlestown August 21-22. Demonstration on Gilbert's Ford, Opequan Creek, September 13. Strasburg September 21. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Fisher's Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Duty in the Shenandoah Valley until December. Ordered to Petersburg December 9-12. Siege of Petersburg December, 1864, to April, 1865. Fort Fisher, Petersburg, March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. March to Danville April 23-27, and duty there until May 23. Moved to Richmond, thence to Washington, D.C., May 23-June 3. Corps Review June 8. Mustered out June 28, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 10 Officers and 171 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 81 Enlisted men by disease. Total 263.

The thirteenth Regiment, from which the One Hundred and Second sprang, was mustered out of service on the 6th of August, 1861. Colonel Thomas A. Rowley, who had commanded the Thirteenth, having received authority from Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, to raise a regiment for three years service, immediately commenced the work of recruiting at Pittsburg. The ranks were rapidly filled, but before it could be completed, there being a pressing need of troops at Washington, a detachment, consisting of five companies, was ordered forward, and departed on the 21st of August. Others followed until twelve full companies were in camp, and the regiment was organized with the following field officers:
  • Thomas A. Rowley, Colonel;
  • Joseph I.Kinkead, Lieutenant Colonel;
  • John Poland, Major
  • Joseph Browne, Adjutant
The regiment remained during the winter with the army before Washington, and was thoroughly drilled. A detachment, under Captain Foster, consisting of companies A and D, was for a time posted at Great Falls, Maryland, and was engaged in guarding the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. It was assigned to Peck's Brigade,* of Smith's, subsequently Couch's, Division. On the 26th of March, 1862, the regiment embarked at Alexandria, and moved with the brigade to the Peninsula, whither most of the army had preceded it, and upon its arrival was ordered to the neighborhood of Warwick Court House, where, during the siege of Yorktown, it was employed upon the works and in guard and picket duty. When all was ready to move upon him, the enemy quietly abandoned his fortifications, retreating rapidly up the Peninsula, and the pursuit was at once commenced. At Williamsburg, where he had constructed some works, he made a stand. Early in the afternoon of Monday, May 5th, the One Hundred and Second came into position on the enemy's front, its left connecting with the Ninety-third. For nearly three hours the fighting was spirited, the enemy charging and pouring in a hot fire from the artillery in his works. But the ground was held, and at night the enemy again retreated. The regiment sustained severe loss in this engagement, its initial battle, having three killed and thirty-eight wounded.

Williamsburg was occupied, and soon after, the march up the Peninsula was resumed, Keyes' 7 Corps crossing the Chickahominy about the middle of May, and taking position a little in advance of Fair Oaks, which it proceeded to fortify. Soon after mid-day, on the 30th of May, the enemy having massed his forces in front of Casey's Division, struck a stunning blow, causing it to reel and finally yield ground. While the contest was raging before Casey's principal earth-work, Couch's Division, which was posted on the left, was hurried to the scene of action. Peck's Brigade was broken up, and while three of his regiments were sent to different parts of the field, the One Hundred and Second and the Ninety-third Pennsylvania, led by General Peck in person, were moved at double quick to the support of the right flank, where the enemy, in great force, was attacking.

"These regiments," says General Peek in his oficial report, "came into line handsomely, pressed forward on the enemy, and contributed their best energies to sustain their comrades so gallantly contesting, inch by inch, the advancing foe. For about the space of half an hour our lines swayed forward and back, repeatedly, and at last, unable to withstand the pressure from successive reinforcements of the enemy, were, compelled to fall back to the woods, across the main road."

The regiments subsequently retired to the second line of works, where he remained until the close of the action. Colonel Rowley, Captain John W. Patterson, Captain Thomas M'Laughlin, Adjutant Joseph Browne, and Lieutenant Tilaim B. Kenny were among the wounded, the latter mortally. The loss was thirteen killed and forty-eight wounded.

Returning to its former position, on the left of Seven Pines, it remained, engaged in guard and picket duty, until the notable change of base to the James. In the battle of Malvern Hill, the brigade, now commanded by General Howe, was on the right of the division line, the right of the brigade resting on a deep ravine, impassable for artillery and cavalry, but practicable for infantry, the edge of the ravine on the right being covered by a thin veil of wood. At a little before nine in the morning, the enemy opened with his artillery, and as Howe had no guns with which to answer, the troops were ordered to lie down. Soon his infantry came forward, under cover of the woods n front, in heavy force, and attacked upon the centre. As soon as hs troops appeared within range, the men sprang to their feet and poured in a withering volley. Though largely out numbered, the brigade kept an unbroken front and delivered a steady and most destructive fire from the effects of which his line finally began to waver. At this juncture, the One Hundred and Second, which had been held in reserve, was, under command of Colonel Rowley, ordered forward for a charge.

"Nobly and gallantly," says General Howe in his report, "did every man of the regiment respond to the order, and the impetuous dash of our men the enemy could not resist, but gave way, and were sent back much cut up and in disorder over the ground on which they advanced. This success gave us much advantage of position, by allowing the left centre of the brigade line to rest upon the woods, some eight hundred yards in advance of our first position, and at the same time affording us a cross fire upon any second attempt of the enemy upon our position. The brigade was under fire for over twelve hours, and made a successful and heroic resistance to every attempt of the enemy to advance.** Major John Poland and Lieutenant Thomas Scoeiey?? were among the killed. The loss was ten killed and thirty-seven wounded.

Upon the return of the army from the Peninsula the division was detached from the Fourth Corps, which was left at Fortress Mlonroe, and during theBull Run and Maryland campaigns acted independently. The brigade was sent forward, soon after landing at Alexandria, in advance of the division, and met the retreating forces, from the Bull Run field, beyond Centreville, forming at intervals, as it retired, to check the pressure of the enemy. In the battle of Chantilly, on the evening of the 1st of September, the regiment acted as support to batteries, and did not become actively engaged. With little time for rest, the regiment crossed the Potomac, at Chain Bridge, and in the campaign, which speedily followed, in Maryland, moved with the division on the left flank of the army, along the Potomac, as far as Sandy Hook, whence it was hurried forward to the field of Antietam, and upon its arrival was held in reserve until the close of the battle. When the command of the army was transferred to Burnside the division was assigned to the Sixth Corps, which formed part of Franklin's Grand Division.

In the battle of Fredericksburg, on the 13th of December, the corps was for the most part held in reserve near the banks of the river, and consequently the One Hundred and Second was not called into action beyond being under artillery fire. Colonel Rowley having been promoted to Brigadier General, Lieutenant Colonel Kinkead was promoted to Colonel, Major Patterson to Lieutenant Colonel, and Adjutant Joseph Browne to Major.

The campaign of Chancellorsville opened on the 27th of April, and on the morning of that day the regiment broke up winter-quarters and advanced to the neighborhood of Franklin's crossing, where it was held in waiting until the 2d of May. At nine o'clock in the evening it moved over the river, and at daybreak on the following morning arrived in front of the heights above Fredericksburg, where the enemy lay intrenched. The Sixty-second New York and One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania were thrown forward to feel his position and strength, but had not advanced more than two hundred yards when they were opened upon by a heavy musketry fire and from five pieces of artillery, in works not more than two hundred and fifty yards distant. They were compelled to fall back a few yards to where the slopes afforded some protection, which they held until the heights were taken.

"The gallantry," says General Wheaton in his report, "with which this regiment (One Hundred and Second) and the Sixty-second New York moved up to receive the enemy's fire, and in about as many seconds lost, in killed and wounded, sixty-four officers and men, is worthy of special praise and notice."

As soon as the heights were carried the brigade was hurried forward, and formed in two lines on the crest beyond the enemy's works, now abandoned, but had scarcely got into position when it was ordered to march in pursuit of the flying foe. At Salem Church, midway between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the enemy was found in great strength, Lee having sent back a heavy body from the Chancellorsville front to overpower and prevent the Sixth Corps from joining Hooker. The first division was engaged when the brigade arrived, the enemy occupying earth-works and rifle pits in a timber on both sides of the road over which the corps was moving.

As Wheaton came up, he was ordered by General Newton to take two regiments and go to the support of the troops engaged on the right of the road. The One Hundred and Second, under command of Major Browre, and a Rhode Island regiment were selected. Crossing a ravine just beyond the Morris House, he soon reached the ridge beyond, where he came suddenly under a terrific fire of musketry from a hidden foe. For an hour and a half the position was held and until the ammunition became nearly exhausted, when the troops upon his left gave way, giving free course to the enemy, who came pouring down the ravine which had just been crossed. A new line was accordingly formed, on which the troops were rallied as they came back, and the well directed fire of these two regiments checked his fiery charge, and caused him to recoil. Night coming on, the sound of battle gradually died away, but the enemy was still active and began to push by upon the left flank of the corps. The action opened early on the following morning, but only desultory fighting occurred, and at evening the brigade re-crossed the river, at Banks' Ford. The loss in the One Hundred and Second in this battle was twelve killed, fifty-five wounded, and one hundred missing. The regiment retired to a camp four or five miles north of Falmouth, where it remained until the 8th of June.

Upon the resignation of Colonel Kinkead, on the 27th of May, Major Patterson was promoted to Colonel, Captain William M'Ilwaine to Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Thomas M'Laughlin to Major. On the 8th, with the entire corps, it again crossed the Rappahannock, and was for several days kept hard at work fortifying. It was, however, soon after ascertained that the enemy, having moved up into the Shenandoah Valley, was making his way northward. To meet him, the army of the Potomac was put in motion, the First and Eleventh corps engaging him at Gettysburg on the 1st of July, the Sixth reaching the field on the afternoon of the 2d, after a long and wearisome march. Wheaton's Brigade was sent to the support of the Third and portions of the Second and Fifth corps, which had been desperately engaged, and took position, on commanding ground, to the right and front of Little Round Top, along a by-road, running parallel with the Taneytown Road, the position of the One Hundred and Second falling just in front of Weikert's House. At evening the brigade was withdrawn a short distance and its front made to conform to the new line of battle taken up during the night, and here it remained, with only slight loss, until the close of the struggle. The enemy, finding his efforts futile to break the Union lines, withdrew from the contest, and before he could again be brought to bay, escaped across the Potomac.

After some delay the Union army followed, and the regiment joined in the pursuit, which was continued to the Rapidan, participated in the counter move to Centreville, again joined in the advance, taking part in the action at Rappahannock Station, crossed the Rappahannock and the Rapidan, and at Mine Run, after being temporarily transferred to General Warren's command, was marshaled, under the cold blasts of a December night, for a charge upon the enemy's entrenchments. The booming of the guns, which was to be the signal for the onset, was long and anxiously waited for, but before it came the order for the assault was countermanded, the blow meditated was withheld, and the army returned to the neighborhood of Brandy Station, where it went into winter quarters.

Soon after being settled in camp the subject of re-enlistment was agitated, and to the lasting honor of the One Hundred and Second, it responded almost to a man, and became a veteran organization, being thereby entitled to a veteran furlough. This was joyfully accepted, and during its continuance a large number of recruits were obtained. The men who remained, together with the rest of the brigade, on the 30th of December, moved via Washington, by rail to Harper's Ferry, and thence marched to Halltown, where, during the winter, it was engaged in severe guard and picket duty, the country being infested with wandering bands of guerillas, unusually vigilant and active, with whom many of the inhabitants sympathized.

About the middle of March,1864, the brigade, the veterans in the meantime having re-joined it, returned to Brandy Station, where active preparations were in progress for the spring campaign. In the re-organization of the corps, the brigade was transferred from the Third to the Second Division.

On the morning of the 4th of May the regiment moved from camp, and at noon of the 5th emerged upon the Wilderness battle-ground. Upon the Plank Road, near the point where General Meade afterwards established his headquarters, the Second Division separated from the rest of the corps, and while Sedgwick, with two divisions, moved off to the right, it advanced on the Plank, and after crossing to the Gordonsville Road, came suddenly upon a concealed foe, who poured into it a most withering fire. The line was immediately formed and a charge ordered, which was promptly made, and the woods in front were cleared. A position two hundred yards in advance of this was taken up and the enemy's coming awaited. At four in the afternoon, Hill's Corps, which had been hurried forward from Gordonsville, attacked in overwhelming numbers and with unwonted impetuosity. For two hours the battle raged with great violence, the slaughter being terrible, at the end of which the regiment was relieved and rested on its arms during the night, having lost, during the brief period of the fighting, sixteen killed and one hundred and twelve wounded. Colonel Patterson and Lieutenant Jacob Drum were among the killed, and Captain Thomas E. Kirkbride among the mortally wounded.

Early on the following morning it again advanced to the attack and drove the enemy nearly two miles, but was itself in turn driven, and retired to the earth-works, where, at five in the evening, it was again attacked but easily repulsed repeated assaults. On this day it, lost two killed and six wounded. Maneuvering for an advantage now commenced, in which the two armies were brought to Spottsylvania, where the struggle was renewed and continued, with little intermission, for nearly a week, when they again set forward towards Richmond. At Cold Harbor the fighting was very severe, the regiment losing, on the 3d of June, twenty-four wounded, and on the 5th fifteen wounded. Lieutenant Andrew J. M'Ilwaine was among the killed, and Lieutenant Colonel William M'Ilwaine among the mortally wounded.

On the 15th of June the regiment crossed the James, and upon its arrival in front of Petersburg again found the old foe, and commenced pushing him back and intrenching the ground gained. On the 18th a general advance was made, in which it lost one killed and twelve wounded. The slow operations of a siege now commenced and the regiment settled down in the trenches, where it was kept constantly employed, being under an almost constant fire day and night, the enemy's sharp-shooters being remarkably vigilant and active. On the 22d it moved over to the extreme left of the line and participated in the sharp fighting in which the movement resulted, and on the 29th marched to the relief of the cavalry, hemmed in by the enemy at a point upon the Weldon Railroad.

On the 9th of July, the corps having been ordered to Washington, to meet the enemy advancing through Maryland and threatening the Capital, it marched to City Point, and embarking upon transports arrived in the city at the moment of greatest peril, the enemy being in the act of carrying the principal fortifications upon the north. He was repulsed with great slaughter, leaving three hundred of his killed and wounded upon the field. It joined in the pursuit, and for two months was kept almost constantly upon the march, the weather being intensely hot, and the troops suffering severely. At the expiration of his term of service, September 9th, Lieutenant Colonel M'Laughlin, in command of the regiment, was honorably discharged, and was succeeded by Major Coleman, whose commission bore date of August 2d.

On the 19th of September the army, now in the Shenandoah Valley, and General Sheridan in command, crossed the Opequan and advanced upon the enemy near Winchester. He was at first driven, but rallying he gained a decided advantage. At this juncture was felt the personal influence of the commander. Riding along the line he inspired all by his own heroic spirit, and at four in the afternoon the order to advance was given. With resistless power it swept onward, crushed and routed the enemy's forces and put them to in glorious flight. In this engagement the One Hundred and Second lost five killed and twenty-three wounded.

Following up the retreating foe, who had taken refuge in the fastnesses of Fisher's Hill, Sheridan, leaping the mountain barriers, came in upon him, on front and flank, and again drove him in confusion, leaving his army little better than a disorganized rabble. In this engagement the regiment lost thirty-one wounded and three missing. Sheridan now retired to Cedar Creek, where he put his army in camp.

General Early, who commanded the rebel army, having re-organized his command, and having received strong reinforcements, crept stealthily up to the Union front, and at a little before dawn on the 19th of October, under cover of a dense fog, broke in upon the Union encampment, and in the absence of the leader, routed the army and occupied the abandoned camps, capturing many guns and prisoners. Sheridan, who was at Winchester, by that ride of twenty miles made famous by the verse of Buchanan Reed, arrived upon the field in time to change the fortunes of the day, and about-facing his men and forming them for the decisive struggle, at four in the afternoon, sounded the charge. With determined valor the line moved on, swept the enemy back, re-possessed the lost camps, re-took the lost guns, and captured from the enemy the most of his, dealing him a blow from which he never afterwards recovered. In this battle the regiment lost seven killed and fifty-eight wounded. Major Coleman, who led the regiment, was among the killed.

In December the corps returned to the intrenchments before Petersburg, where it rested until the 25th of March, 1865. On the morning of that day the brigade was ordered to advance upon the enemy's works. He was found in full force and it was obliged to retire, suffering considerable loss, the regiment having one killed and twelve wounded.

On the 2d of April the enemy began to move from his intrenchments, and the race for escape began. At Sailor's Creek, on the 6th, he found the Sixth Corps across his path, and sharp fighting ensued. On the 9th, at Appomattox Court House, finding all way of retreat cut off, he surrendered. The corps now moved rapidly to Danville to join Sherman. But the subsequent surrender of Johnston made further offensive movements unnecessary, and after a few weeks' delay the regiment returned to the neighborhood of Washington, where, on the 28th of June, it was mustered out of service.

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