South Slocum Avenue, base of Culp's Hill. Gettysburg
July 2, The Regiment
1st BRIGADE 1st DIVISION
Bottom Bronze Plaque
July 3, 1863 P. M. ordered to support of the centre between
Recruited in the
Field & Staff---Unassigned---Band
Organized at Harrisburg October 31, 1861. Ordered to Join Banks November, 1861. Attached to Gordon's Brigade, Banks' Division, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Banks' 5th Corps, and Dept. of the Shenandoah to June, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1863, and Army of the Cumberland to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps Army of the Cumberland, to July, 1865.
SERVICE.--Guard and outpost duty on the Upper Potomac until February, 1862. Advance on Winchester March 1-12, 1862. Near Winchester March 7. Occupation of Winchester March 12. Ordered to Manassas, Va., March 18, and return to Winchester. Pursuit of Jackson up the Valley March 24-April 7. Columbia Furnace April 16: Skirmish at Gordonsville and Keazletown Cross Roads April 26. Operations in the Shenandoah Valley May 15-June 17. At Strasburg until May 20. Retreat to Winchester May 20-25. Front Royal May 23. Kernstown and Middletown May 24. Battle of Winchester May 25. Retreat to Williamsport May 25-26. At Williamsport until June 10. Moved to Front Royal June 10-18. Reconnaissance to Luray June 29-30. Luray June 30. At Warrenton, Gordonsville and Culpeper, July. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Guard trains during the Bull Run battles. Manassas Junction August 28. Maryland Campaign September 6-24. Battle of Antietam September 16-17 (Reserve). Duty in Maryland until December 10. March to Fairfax Station December 10-14, and duty there until January 19, 1863. "Mud March" January 20-24. Moved to Stafford Court House and duty there until April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Duty on line of the Rappahannock until September. Movement to Bridgeport, Ala., September 24-October 3. Guard duty on Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad until April, 1864. Regiment reenlisted January, 1864. Atlanta Campaign May 1-September 8. Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Near Cassville May 19. New Hope Church May 25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Gilgal, or Golgotha Church, June 15. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Kolb's Farm June 22. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff's Station or Smyrna Camp Ground July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Operations at Chattahoochie River Bridge August 26-September 2. Occupation of Atlanta September 2-November 15. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Thompson's Creek, near Chesterfield Court House, S.C., March 2. Thompson's Creek, near Cheraw, S.C., March 3. Averysboro, N. C., March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 9-13. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20. Grand Review May 24. Duty at Washington until July. Mustered out July 16, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 14 Officers and 165 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 136 Enlisted men by disease. Total 317.
At a moment of imminent peril, in April, 1861, five volunteer companies from Pennsylvania rushed to the rescue of the National Capital, seriously menaced by traitors-the first troops to respond to the urgent call of the government. Among the foremost of these companies was the Logan Guards, of Mifflin county. When the three months' service was ended, this company, recruited and re-organized, was again mustered for three years, as company A, in the Forty-sixth Regiment. Company C, recruited in Northampton county, had served in the First Regiment, under Captain Selfridge, as company A. Company D, recruited in Dauphin county, had also served in the Fifteenth Regiment, as company E. Many of the members of other companies, both officers and privates, had served in the first campaign, but the organizations of no other companies had been preserved. Companies B and F were recruited in Allegheny county, E in Berks, G and H in Potter, I in Luzerne, and K in Northumberland.
Rendezvousing at Camp Curtin, the regiment was organized on the 1st of September, 1861, by the selection of the following field officers:
- Joseph F. Knipe, of Dauphin county, who had served during the three months' campaign on the staff of General E. C. Williams, Colonel;
- James L. Selfridge, from Captain of company C, Lieutenant Colonel;
- Arnold C. Lewis, Major.
On the 22d of September, Major Lewis, while attempting to enforce discipline in a case of insubordination, was shot and instantly killed by a private of company I, who afterwards suffered the extreme penalty of the law for his offence. Captain J. A. Matthews, of company A, was promoted to Major.
Upon the resignation of General Patterson, from the command of the army of the Shenandoah, General Banks was appointed to succeed him. His forces were posted on the Upper Potomac, along the Maryland shore, in the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry. Soon after its organization, the Forty-sixth was ordered to General Banks' command. Upon its arrival it was assigned to the First Brigade,1 of the Second Division, of his corps. Little of interest, save the usual drill and camp duty, and an occasional skirmish with the enemy, occurred until the opening of the spring campaign.
In January, 1862, Stonewall Jackson, with a well appointed force of all arms, having for some time occupied the Shenandoah Valley, had pushed out as far west as Hancock, where he was met and driven back by General Lander. Lander pursued, but soon after died, and was succeeded in command by General Shields, who continued the pursuit to Winchester.
On the 24th of February, General Banks commenced crossing the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, and occupied, in turn, Leesburg, Charlestown, Martinsburg and Winchester. Shields continued the pursuit of Jackson as far as New Market, whence he returned to Winchester. In the meantime, Banks had dispatched one division of his corps to Centreville, and had himself departed for Washington. Considering himself superior to the Union force remaining, Jackson turned upon Shields, and a severe engagement ensued in the neighborhood of Kernstown. Three companies of the Forty-sixth, under command of Major Matthews, arrived upon the field in time to participate in the conflict. Jackson was beaten, and Banks returning, gave chase, which was continued to Woodstock. In this pursuit the Forty-sixth was conspicuous, Colonel Knipe manifesting his usual enterprise and daring.
Jackson, who was fearful of a union of the forces of Fremont and Banks, marched hastily across the mountain to M'Dowell, where he encountered the head of Fremont's column, under Milroy and Schenck, and defeated it, inflicting considerable loss. Returning with his characteristic celerity of movement, and masking his progress by his cavalry, he fell suddenly upon Colonel Kenley, occupying an outpost at Front Royal, and, routing his small force, was making for the rear of Banks' army, before the latter was aware of an enemy's presence in his front.
"My retreating column," says General Banks in his official report, "suffered serious loss in the streets of Winchester; males and females vied with each other in increasing the number of their victims by firing from the houses, throwing hand grenades, hot water, and missiles of every description."Upon the appointment of General Pope to the command of the army of Northern Virginia, the scattered forces upon the Rappahannock, the Shenandoah, andin West Virginia, were concentrated, and were organized in three corps, commanded respectively by Sigel, (formerly Fremont,) Banks, and M'Dowell.
" Had victory been possible,' says Greeley, " they would have won it. * * * The best blood of the Union was poured out like water. * * * General Crawford's Brigade came out of the fight a mere skeleton."The loss in the Forty-sixth was thirty killed, thirty-four severely wounded, and six prisoners. Among the killed were Lieutenants Robert Wilson, S. H. Jones, and Wm. P. Caldwell, and among the wounded Colonel Knipe, Major Matthews, Captains Lukenbaugh, Brooks, and Foulke, and Lieutenants Selheimer, Caldwell, Craig, and Matthews.
Soon after the battle of Antietam, Colonel Knipe was promoted to Brigadier General, and assigned to the command of the Brigade; Lieutenant Colonel Selfidge was promoted to Colonel; Major Matthews to Colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, which was assigned to Knipe's Brigade; Captain William L. Foulke, of Company B, to Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Cyrus Strouse, of company K, to Major.
Upon the inauguration of the Fredericksburg campaign, the Forty-sixth, which was then lying with the division at Fairfax, was ordered forward, but did not arrive upon the field in time to be engaged.
In the re-organization of the army, which was made upon the accession of General Joseph Hooker to the chief command, Knipe's Brigade became the Second of the First Division of the Twelfth Corps, the division being commanded by General A. S. Williams, and the corps by General Slocum.
There were three roads centering at Chancellorsville, the main direction of each being eastward. Upon each of these Hooker ordered an advance on the morning of the 1st of May, Meade upon the left, Sykes, commanding a division of regulars belonging to the Fifth Corps, in the centre, and Howard upon the right. At two o'clock P. M., the movement commenced, and after proceeding some three miles the central column encountered the enemy in considerable force, and Knipe's Brigade was sent to its support, where it was engaged and lost some men; whereupon Hooker ordered a retrograde movement and a concentration upon the line of the previous night with the Chancellor House as headquarters, Meade on the left, Slocum in the centre, and Howard, somewhat in the air, on the right.
Desultory fighting continued during the day of the 2d of May, when, at near night fall, Stonewall Jackson, with twenty-five thousand men, burst like an avalanche upon Howard's Corps, resting unsuspicious of danger, and drove it, in rout and confusion in upon the centre. This brought the enemy upon Slocum's right, and during the early part of the night a sharp conflict was kept up, wherein Knipe's Brigade was engaged, loosing many in killed and wounded, and a considerable number of prisoners. Here fell Major Strouse, his body riddled with bullets, while attempting to escape when called on to surrender. At midnight a counter charge was made by Birney's Division, and a part of the guns lost by Howard and his abandoned rifle-pits, were re-gained, and the enemy thrown into some confusion.
On the morning of the 3d, Williams' Brigade was sent to the support of Birney; and here the battle raged with great fury, the enemy losing heavily, and being broken and driven in great confusion. Upon the return of Hooker to the north bank of the Rappahannock, the regiment occupied its old camp, where it remained until the advance of the army into Pennsylvania. The loss in the Chancellorsville campaign was four killed, a considerable number wounded, two severely, and two taken prisoners. Major Strouse and Lieutenant 0. R. Priestly were among the killed.
Before dawn of the 3d, a heavy fire of infantry and artillery was opened upon the enemy, and after an obstinate resistance of several hours, he was driven back at the point of the bayonet. The Forty-sixth held the extreme right of the line, and after the re-occupation of the breastworks, was pushed-across an open space beyond Spangler's Spring, and held a piece of wood fringing Bock Creek. The loss, owing to the sheltered position which the regiment occupied, was inconsiderable.
Upon the withdrawal of Lee into Virginia, the Union army followed up his line of retreat, at the same time covering Washington, until it reached the Rapidan. Here the Eleventh and Twelfth corps were detached from the Army of the Potomac, and ordered to the support of Rosecrans, in Tennessee and Northern Georgia. Marching to Washington, the regiment proceeded by rail to Nashville. Here the First Division was detailed to guard the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, from Tullahoma to Bridgeport. The country through which the road passes was infested with guerrillas and rebel cavalry, ever watchful for an opportunity to destroy the road, and to wreck the trains. It was vital to the existence of the army that this line should be kept open, and that it should be operated to its utmost capacity. The vigilance and fidelity with which this service was performed on the part of the Forty-sixth, elicited the warm approval of its superior officers. Early in January, 1864, a large proportion of the officers and men of the regiment having re-enlisted for a second term of three years, insuring its continuance as an organization, they were given a veteran furlough and proceeded to Pennsylvania.2 Here its ranks were rapidly recruited, and upon its return the division rejoined the corps, in winter quarters, in and about Chattanooga.
Following up the retreating enemy, Sherman found him well entrenched at Resaca, prepared to dispute his further progress. Here Sherman again attempted a movement by the right flank; but Johnston, taking advantage of his antagonist's weakened lines in front, delivered a heavy and well sustained attack, falling upon the divisions of Hooker and Schofield. He found Hooker not unprepared for the encounter, and after a bloody conflict, Johnston was driven, with a loss of four guns and many prisoners. In this engagement the Forty-sixth participated, losing three killed and five wounded. Among the killed was Lieutenant John H. Knipe, of company I.
Pushing the enemy steadily back, on the 25th of May, the regiment was again engaged at Pumpkinvine Creek and at New Hope Church. The country is here broken, and the enemy was well entrenched, his lines stretching across Lost, Pine and Kenesaw mountains, from Dallas to Marietta, presenting an unbroken front. From the 25th of May until near the middle of June, Sherman, always fruitful in resources, operated against the enemy's lines, compelling him, by constant battering, and picket firing, and by frequent assaults, gradually to give ground, taking first Pine Knob, then Lost Mountain, and at length the long line of breast works connecting the latter with Kenesaw.
Finally, on the 22d of June, the enemy, finding himself slowly but surely pushed from his strong position, suddenly assumed the offensive, and made a furious attack upon Hooker's Corps, in position near the Culp House. It fell principally upon Knipe's Brigade, and was led by Hood, but signally failed. Hood was repulsed with heavy loss, including some prisoners.
"Williams' Division," says General Thomas in his official report, "skirmished itself into position on the right of Geary's Division, the right of Williams resting at Culp's House, on the Powder Spring and Marietta Road. About 4 P. M., the enemy, in heavy force, attacked Knipe's Brigade in its advanced position, before his men had time to throw up any works, and persisted in the assault until sundown, when they withdrew, their ranks hopelessly broken, each assault having been repelled with heavy loss."In the various engagements at Dallas, Pine Knob, Kenesaw Mountain and Marietta, in all of which the Forty-sixth participated, the loss was fourteen killed and about thirty wounded. Captain D. H. Chesebro and Lieutenant J. W. Phillips were among the killed.
Shifting the Army of the Tennessee from the left to the extreme right, Sherman was preparing to cut off the railroads, and invest the city on the south, when Hood, detecting the movement, again fell upon the Union lines, only partially formed. The attack was made with the rebel leader's characteristic impetuosity, but it fell like the beating of the mad waves of the sea against the immovable cliff. The regiment lost here six killed and a considerable number wounded.
On the 1st of September, Atlanta surrendered, and Sherman's victorious columns entered the city in triumph. The hard fighting of the regiment was now ended. General Knipe was here transferred to the command of cavalry, and Colonel Selfridge to the Brigade, leaving Major Patrick Griffith in command of the regiment.
Johnston surrendered on the 26th of April, and the army immediately commenced its homeward march. On the 16th of July, 1865, the Forty-sixth regiment, after nearly four years of faithful service, was mustered out near Alexandria, Virginia.
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the
Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.