Position occupied by the
Carried into action
Field & Staff--Unassigned
Organized at Pittsburgh as 33rd Regiment August 31, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., August 31, 1861. Designation changed to 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers November 18, 1861. Attached to Morrell's Brigade, Fitz John Porter's Division, Army Potomac, to March, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army Potomac, to May, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps, to July, 1864.
SERVICE.--Camp near Fort Corcoran, Defenses of Washington, D.C., until October, 1861, and near Fall's Church, Va., until March, 1862. Moved to the Peninsula March 22-24. Reconnaissance to Big Bethel March 30. Howard's Mills, near Cockletown, April 4. Warwick Road April 5. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Hanover C. H. May 27. Operations about Hanover C. H. May 27-29. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Battles of Mechanicsville June 26; Gaines Mill June 27; Savage Station June 29; Turkey Bridge or Malvern Cliff June 30; Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing until August 16. Movement to Fortress Monroe, thence to Centreville August 16-28. Battle of Bull Run August 30. Battle of Antietam, Md., September 16-17. Shepherdstown Ford September 19. Blackford's Ford September 19. Reconnaissance to Smithfield October 16-17. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Expedition to Richard's and Ellis' Fords, Rappahannock River, December 30-31. Burnside's second Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until April. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Middleburg June 19. Upperville June 21. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. 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. Duty at Bealeton Station until May, 1864. Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania C, H. May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 25. Line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg until July 3. Left front July 3. Mustered out July 13, 1864. Companies "L" and "M" transferred to 91st Pennsylvania. Mustered out August 15, 1864. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 155th Pennsylvania.
Regiment lost during service 17 Officers and 152 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 89 Enlisted men by disease. Total 258.
The Sixty-second Regiment, was recruited under authority granted to Colonel Samuel W. Black, by the Secretary of War, Hon. Simon Cameron. This order was issued on the 4th of July, 1861, and in less than a month its ranks were full. Companies A, B, F, G, H, K, and L, were recruited in Allegheny county, C, and E in Clarion, I in Jefferson, and M in Blair. Original authority was given for raising ten companies, which was afterwards extended to twelve, and it was understood by the officers who were empowered to recruit them, that they would be mustered and commissioned by the National authority. But the Governors of States claimed the right to commission all officers of troops raised in their respective Commonwealths. Thereupon a controversy arose which lasted until late in the fall of 1861. During the pendency of this question, the regiment was designated the Thirty-third Independent Regiment. Finally, on the 19th of November, an order was issued from the War Department, placing all independent regiments on the same footing as other State troops, and immediately thereafter the officers of this regiment were commissioned by the Governor of Pennsylvania, the commissions bearing date of July 4th. The field officers were as follows: Samuel W. Black, of Pittsburg, formerly Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Pennsylvania Regiment in the Mexican War, Colonel; T. Fred'k Lehman, of Pittsburg, Lieutenant Colonel; J. Bowman Sweitzer, of Pittsburg, Major. Subsequently Lieutenant Colonel Lehman was promoted to Colonel of the One Hundred and Third Regiment, and Major Sweitzer succeeded him, Captain J. W. Patterson being appointed Major. In the meantime, the Governor had given authority to numerous parties for recruiting regiments, for which numbers had been assumed without regard to the independent regiments. Hence, when it came to be adopted as a State organization, it was designated the Sixty-second.
On the 24th of July, the regiment with full ranks, completely officered and organized, moved from Pittsburg to Camp Cameron, in the neighborhood of Harrisburg, whence, after a few weeks' experience of camp life, it proceeded to Baltimore, and thence to Washington, encamping at Camp Rapp, on Kendall Green, in the northern suburbs of the city. Here the regiment received a complete outfit of clothing, arms, and equipments, six companies having the improved Springfield rifles, and the remaining ones, smooth bore muskets. On the 11th of September, the regiment crossed the Potomac and went into camp near Fort Corcoran, where it was assigned to the Second Brigade (Division commanded by General Porter. Drill was immediately commenced, but was little prosecuted in consequence of the numerous details required for fatigue duty, the men being almost constantly employed in constructing roads, throwing up intrenchments, and in cutting away the pine forests beyond Arlington Heights. On the 26th, the lines of the army were advanced and reformed, the enemy, who had occupied Munson's Hill, falling back.)
Organization of Second Brigade:Brigadier General George WV. Morrell
Division commanded by General Fitz John Porter
Fourteenth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel James M'Quade
Fourth Regiment Michigan Volunteers, Colonel Woodbury
Ninth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Thomas Carr
Sixty-second Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Samuel WV. Black.
The camp of the Sixty-second, in the new line, fell near Fall's Church, on the Alexandria, Loudon and Hampshire Railroad. A few weeks later it moved to Minor's Hill, where it went into winter quarters in camp Bettie Black, named for the Colonel's youngest daughter, and where drill and discipline were regularly and rigidly enforced. The routine here established required squad drill from six to nine A. M., company drill from ten to twelve A. M., and battalion drill from one to five P. M. daily. The entire division was drilled at intervals, and occasionally was engaged in sham battles. A school for officers was established which was held regularly at evening. The men were thoroughly drilled in bayonet exercises, which, however, proved of little practical utility, farther than imparting skill in handling the musket as in practice the troops almost invariably charged with the bayonet in the scabbard. The regiment had received a flag before leaving Pittsburg in July, a present from ladies of that city. The presentation of the State colors was made in December, at Hall's Hill, Colonel Black responding in behalf of the regiment in his usual felicitous manner.
Early in the winter, a malignant form of camp fever prevailed among the troops, from the effects of which several died. Strict sanitary regulations were adopted by Surgeon Kerr, and its ravages were soon stayed. The winter was spent in constant duty, the men being drilled and disciplined, reviewed and inspected, until heartily sick of camp life, and anxious for the real business of war. On the 10th of March, in common with the army, it moved upon the enemy's works at Manassas to find them abandoned. At Fairfax Court House, the regiment was halted, where it remained until the 15th, when it marched to Alexandria it having been determined to transfer the army to the Peninsula. Embarking upon transports, it moved to Fortress Monroe, and upon its arrival went into camp near the ruins of the little village of Hampton, which had been destroyed by order of General Magruder. Soon after its arrival it joined in a reconnaissance in the direction of Yorktown. At Big Bethel the movement terminated, and the troops returned again to camp. On the 3d of April the army moved upon Yorktown, the regiment marching up near the enemy's works, the men beholding for the first time the rebel grey. In the skirmishing which ensued, it moved forward under fire and took position in line of battle; but the enemy were soon obliged to evacuate, the Sixty-second losing in the operation one killed and three wounded. During the protracted preparations for carrying the hostile works, the men were kept constantly employed upon the trenches. In the progress of the siege, several died from disease. Colonel Black was first apprised of the evacuation, by three deserters who came in with a flag of truce, the regiment happening to be on picket near the river on the night in which it was made.
General Porter's division remained in the vicinity of Yorktown until the 8th of May, when it embarked upon transports and moved up the York River to a, point opposite West Point, where it landed and went into camp. While here, the Fifth Provisional Corps was formed, to the command of which General Porter was assigned, General Morrell assuming command of Porter's Division, and Brigadier General Charles Griffin, of the Second Brigade. The army moved forward on either side of the Chickahominy, Porter's Corps remaining upon the left bank. On the 26th, it arrived at Gaines' Mill, and on the following day, in obedience to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, General Porter proceeded to Hanover Court House, for the purpose of destroying the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad and forming a junction with M'Dowell's Corps, supposed to be advancing upon the line of that road. The First Brigade, General Martindale, had the advance and first encountered the enemy; the Second Brigade moving at double quick to its support, and marching some distance to the music of Griffin's guns, which were being rapidly served. Arriving on the field, the brigade was ordered into position on Martindale's right, and being quickly deployed in line of battle, the order to charge was given, and dashing forward soon engaged the enemy, putting him to flight, capturing all his camp and garrison equipage with many prisoners.'" In the course of the afternoon's operations," says Colonel Black in his official report, "we captured eighty-one prisoners, including seven officers. From a, great many arms taken, about seventy-five were brought into camp. By the annexed statement it will be seen that our loss is only six men wounded, none killed, and not one missing. I should do the brave and faithful men, I have the honor to command, injustice, if I refrained from expressing, in strong terms, my admiration of their conduct from first to last. In common with the other regiments of your brigade, they went into action with their bodies broken by fatigue, and their physical strength wasted by the hard toils of the day. But their spirits failed not, and they went in and came out with whatever credit is due to dangers bravely met, and the noblest duty well performed."
The division returned at night to its camp near Gaines' Mill, M'Dowell's Corps having been prevented from joining the Army of the Potomac by the demonstrations of the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley. The regiment was engaged in picket duty and in constructing bridges across the Chickahominy and roads leading thereto, until the 26th of June, when the enemy, advancing by Mechanicsville, encountered the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps at Beaver Dam Creek. The Second Brigade was ordered to move hastily to its support. A severe battle ensued, in which the Reserves stubbornly contested the ground, and successfully held it. The Sixty-second arrived upon the field in the evening and for an hour was under fire, but not actively engaged. Withdrawing his troops on the following morning, Porter retired to Gaines' Mill, where, upon an elevation, east and south of the mill, he disposed his forces and awaited the advance of the enemy. Morrell's Division held the extreme left of the line, its left resting on the slope extending to the low grounds skirting the Chickahominy, Griffin's Brigade forming the right of the division, and connecting with the left of Sykes. Division. Upon the opening of the battle on the Union left by the advance of Longstreet's Corps, the Sixty-second, with the Ninth Massachusetts, was ordered forward in the face of a terrific fire of infantry, and, charging across a ravine in front, gained the woods upon the opposite side, driving back the enemy, and inflicting fearful slaughter. In this charge, and before reaching the woods, the gallant Colonel Black, while advancing with his men, was stricken down and instantly killed. Without heeding the loss of their leader, the men pressed forward under command of Lieutenant Colonel Sweitzer, until they had driven the rebels back, and attained a position considerably in advance of the main line of battle. This being discovered by the enemy, heat once launched his forces upon their flank, and by a grievous enfilading fire forced them to withdraw. Re-forming in the open field on the right of the woods, the men were scarcely in position, the battle still raging furiously, when General Seymour rode up to Lieutenant Colonel Sweitzer and hurriedly inquired if the regiment had ammunition. He was informed that it had been heavily engaged during the entire afternoon, and that the ammunition was completely exhausted. He at once directed the cartridge boxes to be filled, and ordered Lieutenant Colonel Sweitzer to proceed with the regiment to the extreme left of the line, to check the fiery onset of the enemy in that direction. Marching at double quick over swampy ground, towards the Chickahominy, to the point indicated, the regiment with ranks sadly thinned was formed, and boldly charged up the hill, and into the wood, receiving, as it entered it, a heavy volley of musketry. The fire was at once returned, and the battle, which was now raging along the entire line, became more furious than at any previous stage of the fight. Soon the line upon the right gave way, overborne by vastly superior numbers, and the enemy charging upon a battery on the flank of the regiment, forced it to retire, and with the entire Union line was carried back towards the river. In this last struggle, Lieutenant Colonel Sweitzer, who was determined to contest the ground to the last, was captured, and sent to Richmond where he was incarcerated in Libby Prison. The army now fell back, fighting its way towards the James, the Sixty second arriving at Malvern Hill on the night of the 30th of June. In the fierce battle of the following day, the regiment, without field officers, was led by Captain James C. Hull of company A, and early in the engagement was sent to the support of Battery D, of the Fifth United States Artillery. This battery became a special target for the rebel guns massed in its front, and when they failed to silence it, his infantry charged upon it with determined bravery, but were signally repulsed. In this fiery ordeal the regiment suffered severely. Lieutenant John D. Elder was among the killed. In the confusion incident to charging and counter-charging, the color-bearer, Sergeant Smith, was cut off with others from the regiment, and was near being captured; but with remarkable presence of mind, he secreted the flag upon his person and hid himself in a stable near by. Favored by the charge of a Union Brigade, he made his escape and brought off the flag in safety. For his gallantry on this occasion, he was commissioned a lieutenant.
On the following day the army fell back to Harrison's Landing, where the regiment went into camp. On the 31st of July in the engagement of Harrison’s Bar, it was again exposed, but suffered little. The entire loss in the series of engagements upon the Peninsula was two hundred and ninety-eight in killed, wounded, and missing. Lieutenant Colonel Sweitzer, upon his release from prison, re-joined his command and was promoted to Colonel; Captain Hull was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Major Patterson having resigned, and William G. Lowry was appointed Major.
In leaving the Peninsula Porter's Corps was the first to march, breaking camp on the 14th of August. Crossing the Chickahominy near its mouth, it proceeded by Williamsburg, and Yorktown, and reached Newport News on the18th, a march of sixty miles in three days. Immediately embarking, it proceeded by transports to Acquia Creek, and thence by rail to Fredericksburg. After its arrival, the regiment was ordered to duty in guarding the fords of the Rappahannock. As soon as it was discovered that the rebel army was crossing above, it was withdrawn, and re-joined the division, which had already effected a junction with Pope's Army. In the second battle of Bull Run, the Sixty-second was slightly engaged on the 27th, at Gainesville, losing two wounded; but during the remaining days of that desperate and unfortunate struggle, it remained in reserve with the rest of Porter's Corps. From Centreville, to which the army had retired, the line of march for Maryland was taken up, and on the 4th of September the regiment encamped on the old ground at Minor's Hill, in camp Bettie Black, where it had passed the winter of 1861. Each company went into its old position, but so reduced by the hard service of the year, that it could muster but little more than a corporal's guard, in strange contrast to the full ranks with which it started for the field.
In the battle of Antietam, which soon followed, Porter's Corps was posted in the centre, and the Second Brigade supported a battery of twenty pieces, which, being advantageously posted, played an important part in the fight, doing fearful execution. On the 30th, the enemy having retired across the Potomac, the Sixty-second was ordered on a reconnaissance to the Virginia shore, for the purpose of developing the enemy's strength. Crossing at an early hour, at Blackford's Ford, the regiment was formed and companies L and M were deployed as skirmishers. No enemy was visible, and to all appearances he had withdrawn his forces. A few stragglers were captured, and a number of muskets were gathered, when the regiment re-crossed the river, and the entire corps was put in motion to follow up the retreating army; but scarcely had the One Hundred and Eighteenth Pennsylvania, which formed the head of the column, reached the opposite shore, when the enemy debouched in heavy columns from a thick wood, and made an impetuous assault upon this isolated force, killing and capturing many, and driving the rest in confusion back to the river. General Morrell had taken the precaution to plant a battery to cover the crossing, which was immediately opened, and soon succeeded in checking and driving the assaulting party. After this affair the army remained in comparative quiet, resting upon the banks of the Potomac, until the close of October.
In the re-organization of the army under General Burnside, the Centre Grand Division which embraced the Third and Fifth Corps was assigned to the command of General Hooker. Whereupon General Butterfield assumed command of the Fifth Corps, General Griffin of the First Division, and Colonel Sweitzer of the Second Brigade, leaving the Sixty-second in command of Lieutenant Colonel Hull. The battle of Fredericksburg was opened upon the right by a struggle for laying of the pontoon bridges, and as the buildings upon the opposite bank furnished protection to sharp-shooters, was followed by a heavy cannonade of the town. The bridges having been successfully laid, the troops began to move over and to engage the enemy. The Second Brigade crossed at noon of Saturday, December 13th; but it had scarcely passed the bridge when an order was received from General Griffin for it to return, and the counter-move had been nearly executed, when it was again ordered to advance, the column being kept upon the bridge marching and counter-marching for a considerable time, all the while exposed to a fierce cannonade from the enemy's guns upon the heights. Passing up through the town, over streets raked by artillery, the column on reaching the suburbs, turned to the right, and moving out past the brick kiln, and crossing the railroad track, was moving along the bank of a canal, when suddenly the line upon the right seemed to have given way, and the crowd of stragglers rushing to the rear, threw the brigade into temporary confusion. Order was quickly restored, and the canal serving as a barrier, the stampede was checked. Soon afterwards an order was received for the brigade to advance, when, throwing aside knapsacks and overcoats, it moved forward in excellent order, under a heavy fire, until it had reached a point within thirty or forty yards of the stone wall in front of Marye's Heights, behind which the enemy's infantry was concealed. To advance farther in face of the torrent of missiles which here swept their ranks, was impossible, and the men dropped upon the ground, and for a day and two nights they held this advanced position, where to raise a head in daylight was almost certain death. It was while advancing over the ground to t his perilous position, that General Burnside, while viewing the column by the aid of his field glass, inquired, "What troops are those?" "Second Brigade, General Griffin's Division," replied General Sturgis, who stood by his side. "No troops ever behaved better in the world," exclaimed General Burnside. Lying flat upon the ground in mud and water, with the dying and the dead thickly strewn about them, and no possibility of caring for or removing them, the men clung to the ground they had so nobly won, until Sunday night, when, under cover of darkness, they were relieved and returned to the town. On Monday evening the regiment was again sent to the front to picket the line and throw up sham intrenchments, while the army was retiring across the river. When nearly over, those on picket quietly and hastily followed, and on reaching the shore the regiment returned to its old camping ground. The loss was two officers and five men killed, and seven officers and fifty-six men wounded. Lieutenant Stephen C. Potts, and Adjutant James E. Cunningham were among the killed. The latter was struck by a cannon ball and died without a struggle. Colonel Sweitzer was wounded and his horse killed.
Shortly after the battle, a cavalry raid to the west and south of Richmond, under General Averell, was ordered, and the First Division of the Fifth Corps was detailed to accompany the force to the crossing of the Rappahannock, and support it in making the passage. The regiment moved on the afternoon of the 29thof December, and at Hartwood Church, the First and Third brigades diverged to the river, while the Second was directed to proceed to Unionville, fifteen miles further up, and await orders. Here General Averell was met, and an order received countermanding the contemplated raid, when the brigade retraced its steps, arriving in camp that evening, having marched during the day under a heavy snow storm, thirty-three miles. In January, 1863, the regiment moved on Burnside's second campaign, which was arrested by the mud, and was for several days engaged in constructing roads for the return of the artillery. Active operations were resumed under General Hooker on the 27th of April, when the campaign resulting in the battle of Chancellorsville opened. The Fifth Corps, now under command of General Meade, preceded by the Eleventh and Twelfth, moved up the river, crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, the Rapidan at Ely's Ford, and proceeded with but little opposition to the neighborhood of the Chancellor House, where the line of battle was established, the Fifth occupying the left, stretching out towards the liver. On the afternoon of the 30th the regiment was ordered with the brigade to the support of General Griffin, who had been sent out with the First Brigade of his division to reconnoitre in the direction of Fredericksburg; but without being engaged. On the following day, May 1st, the division was again ordered to the left, but the time was principally spent in marching and counter-marching with seeming much uncertainty of purpose. Towards evening, in the devious movements of the command, the Second Brigade became separated from the rest of the division. The enemy, who was now in full force in front, seeing this, threw a body of troops upon the road on which it was advancing, and at the same time opened upon its rear with artillery. Its situation was now critical. No way of escape seemed possible. Colonel M'Quade who was in command, and who was much reduced by recent sickness, proposed to surrender. But this Colonel Sweitzer, the next in rank, stubbornly opposed, and the command was passed to him. Immediately throwing out companies L and M of the Sixty-second as skirmishers to engage the attention of the enemy, he commenced the perilous task of withdrawing the brigade. By skillful maneuvering and fighting, which occupied nearly the entire night, he finally succeeded in eluding the vigilance of the enemy, and brought his command in safely. During the following day the regiment was not engaged.
On Sunday morning, May 3d, the Eleventh Corps having been broken the brigade was ordered to the right on the road leading to Ely's Ford, north of Chancellorsville, where the artillery was concentrated. A line of breast-works was thrown up west of the road, behind which the guns were posted, and immediately in rear of them was the infantry. The Sixty-second was detailed to advance as skirmishers into the woods in front of the works, drive back the enemy, and establish a new and more advanced line. His skirmishers were driven and some prisoners taken; but at this juncture, and before a lodgment could be made, the rebels fired the woods, and the wind blowing in the direction of the Union lines, it was compelled to retire. On the following day, the brigade was ordered to advance in front of the lines, reconnoitre the enemy's position, and without bringing on a general engagement, ascertain if he was still inforce. Forming in two lines, the Sixty-second Pennsylvania and Thirty-second Massachusetts, under Colonel Sweitzer in the first, with the Fourth Michigan as skirmishers, it advanced pushing the enemy's skirmishers before it, until it came upon his intrenched line, when he opened upon its front and left flank a murderous fire of grape and canister. The object of the reconnoissance being accomplished, the command was withdrawn. In this movement the regiment lost fourteen wounded, several mortally, five members of Company D being wounded by the explosion of a single shrapnel. At three o'clock on the morning of the 6th, the Fifth Corps retired from the front, and re-crossed the river, the First Division being assigned as rear guard to the column. As the Corps moved, the enemy's cavalry followed and began to be troublesome. The Sixty-second was accordingly sent back to check him and hence was the last regiment to cross the river.
Remaining in camp in the vicinity of Fredericksburg until the 1st of June, it moved up to Kelly's Ford, and was there employed in picket duty, the rebel army manifesting much activity. About the middle of the month, it having been ascertained that Lee had started northward, the Union army commenced a corresponding movement. At Middleburg the Sixty-second was called to support the cavalry, and in the engagement which ensued the enemy was driven. At sundown of July 1st the Fifth Corps arrived at Hanover Junction. General Meade had previously been assigned to the chief command, and General Sykes to that of the corps. Soon after its arrival, orders were received to immediately resume the march, and proceed with all possible dispatch to Gettysburg, where a battle had already opened, and where it was determined to concentrate for a decisive fight. Though in no condition for a forced march, being worn out with the fatigues of the day, the troops cheerfully fell into line and before daylight on the morning of the 2d arrived upon the field. Moving up the Baltimore Pike until it crossed Rock Creek, the division was posted to the left of the road, and in rear of Cemetery Hill, where it remained until late in the afternoon, in readiness to go into action upon any part of the field where needed.
In the meantime the battle had been for some time raging fiercely on the left, and as the Third Corps was hard pushed and in peril, the Fifth was ordered to its support. The division moved off, left in front, the Second Brigade taking position in a strip of woods on the right of the wheat field, and in front of Little Round Top, with the First Brigade on its right, the Sixty-second holding the left of the line. The position occupied by the right of the line was rocky and wooded, the left extending into a ravine. Soon the enemy was discovered advancing through this ravine. Seeing that it was likely to be outflanked, the several regiments were wheeled to the left and rear, giving three lines facing in the same direction and supporting each other. The fighting became very warm, but as the brigade was favorably posted it easily held its ground, and kept the enemy at bay. But the First Brigade being in a less advantageous position, had been driven back, leaving the Second in a critical situation.
At this juncture General Barnes, who commanded the division, ordered Colonel Sweitzer to withdraw his brigade through the woods as best he could. This the troops were reluctant to obey, not being apprised of the yielding of the right of the line, and moved maintaining the contest as they went. The brigade was again formed along the road in rear of the wheat-field, at right angles to its former position. An hour later it again advanced across the wheat-field to the support of General Caldwell, hotly engaged in the wood beyond; but before reaching the stone wall upon the farther edge of the field, the lines posted beyond gave way, the enemy following in large numbers and charging with great impetuosity. Seeing that they were gaining upon his flank and rear, Colonel Sweitzer changed front to the right and a hand to hand struggle ensued. A staff officer was dispatched to communicate with General Barnes; but the General had disappeared, the enemy was in full force along the road in the immediate rear of the brigade, and no possible way of escape seemed open. While returning the officer had his horse shot under him. The woods which surrounded the wheat-field seemed to be swarming with the enemy, every avenue of escape cut off, and the men terribly exposed in this open field. Keeping a bold front, and pouring in volley after volley as they went, the lines moved diagonally across the field, crossed the stone fence in front of Little Round Top and had reached the low ground which skirts the hill, when the Pennsylvania Reserves came charging down upon the flank of the enemy, hurling him back in confusion, and rescuing them from further peril. The brigade entered the engagement nine hundred strong, and escaped with barely half that number. The loss in the Sixty-second was very heavy. Colonel Sweitzer was wounded and had a horse killed under him. Major Lowry, Captains Edwin H. Little and James Brown, and Lieutenants Scott C. M'Dowell, Josiah P. Mouck and Patrick Morris were among the killed. Many of the men were bayonetted, Colonel Jeffords of the Fourth Michigan dying on the following morning of a bayonet wound. By order of General Sykes the division was posted during the night along the stone wall at the foot of the hill, to the right of Little Round Top, where it remained until the close of the battle. As it marched away from Gettysburg the regiment could muster but about ninety men.
Returning to Virginia, the Sixty-second participated in the "campaign of maneuvers' which followed, and was engaged at Rappahannock Station, at Locust Grove Church, and finally at Mine Run. It went into winter quarters at Licking Run, and was employed in guarding a portion of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad from the incursions of Moseby.
On the 1st of May, 1864, with ranks recruited, the regiment broke camp and crossed the Rappahannock halting near Brandy Station, where the main portion of the army had passed the winter. On the 3d a general movement was commenced, the Fifth Corps, now under command of General Warren, in advance. Crossing the Rapidan at Germania Ford, the regiment encamped on the evening of the following day near the old Wilderness tavern. On the morning of the 5th it was employed in throwing up breast-works, the enemy in heavy force in its immediate front. At ten o'clock the action opened and continued until dark. The Sixty-second was on the extreme right of the division, and with it advanced a half mile beyond the breast-works, where it became hotly engaged. Not being supported upon the left, the enemy was enabled to outflank it, and open an enfilading fire, causing it to yield; but the advantage was not followed up and it retired in good order. On the morning of the 6th,the battle was renewed and continued without decided advantage. On the morning of the 7th the lines were advanced considerably, but without driving the enemy from his intrenched position, and on the following night the regiment moved with the corps to the left, in the direction of Spottsylvania Court House. The column was much impeded by passing trains, and was all night upon the march. At Laurel Hill, Ewell's Corps of the rebel army was encountered, and a sharp engagement resulted, in which the Sixty-second participated, losing heavily. The ground was closely contested, but was held and substantial breast-works were thrown up. On the following day the regiment was engaged in skirmishing, and on the 10th a battery was brought into position on its left, which kept up an uninterrupted fire during the entire day, doing good execution. The enemy's sharp-shooters, secreted in the wood in front, proved very troublesome, and a constant fusilade was kept up. On the 12th a charge was made along the whole line, in which the regiment participated, and suffered severely. Lieutenant Colonel Hull, in command of the regiment, was mortally wounded, and Lieutenants John E. Myers and William Johnson were among the killed.
Captain William P. Maclay, of company C, now assumed command, and on the night of the 13th moved to the left, taking position in front of Spottsylvania. It was here almost constantly under fire until the 21st, when it was again ordered to move. Taking up the line of march, the Sixty-second in advance, the corps proceeded to the North Anna, and fording the river, soon found the enemy. The troops were formed as fast as they arrived, and by noon the entire corps and a part of the Sixth Corps were upon the field and engaged. The battle lasted until sundown. After this, and until the 27th, the hostile forces were maneuvered, but little fighting resulted. Re-crossing the North Anna, and passing the Pamunkey, the enemy was again encountered at Totopotomy Creek, and driven. On the 2d of June the regiment was at the front and engaged, and on the following day in the battle of Bethesda Church performed signal service losing heavily. In this engagement Lieutenants William Phillips, Samuel M. Adams, and Jefferson Truitt were among the killed.
Crossing the James River on the 16th, the brigade arrived at evening in front of Petersburg. Two days later the regiment was hotly engaged near the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, the possession of which was stoutly contested. General Griffin, who commanded the division, and whose faith in artillery was remarkably strong, executed the novel maneuver of advancing a battery in front of the line of skirmishers, and opening with grape and canister. The enemy was soon driven, and the brigade advanced, possessed the road and erected strong works beyond. On the 21st the regiment was again engaged at Jerusalem Plank Road, but suffered little loss. Employed in picket and fatigue duty until the 3d of July, the term of service of the original companies having expired, it was ordered to the rear. Companies L and M having still some further time to serve, were transferred to the Ninety-first Pennsylvania, and the recruits and re-enlisted men, to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth. On the following day the regiment started for Pittsburg, where, upon its arrival, it was mustered out of service. It entered the campaign on the 4th of May with five hundred and fifty-seven men, and in one month's time lost one officer and twenty-eight men killed, eleven officers and two hundred and twenty-seven men wounded, and one officer and thirty men missing. Six of the officers were mortally wounded and died soon after. A month later companies L and M were withdrawn from the front, and following the regiment to Pittsburg, were mustered out of service on the 8th of August.
Source for history & rosters: History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-1865; prepared in Compliance With Acts of the Legislature, by Samuel P. Bates, A Member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Volume II, Harrisburg: B. Singerly, State Printer. 1871.