The 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 11 officers and 145 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 3 officers and 142 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.
It is honored by a monument at Antietam. There are three monuments to the 48th Pennsylvania at Petersburg, Virginia, including the main 48th Pennsylvania monument, Entrance to Mines, and Crater of Mines.
|September||Organized at Harrisburg under Colonel James Nagle, Lieutenant Colonel David Smith and Major Joshua Sigfried|
|September 24-25||Ordered to Washington via the Northern Central Railroad, but redirected at Baltimore to proceed to Fortress Monroe, Va. on the steamer Georgia|
|September 26||Landed at Fortress Monroe|
|November 11||Sailed for Fort Clarke, Hatteras Inlet, on steamer S. R. Spaulding|
|November 30||Lt. Colonel Smith resigned. Major Sigfried was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain David Nagle of Company D to major|
|March 14||Companies A, B, C, D, H and I at New Berne, N. C., attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Dept. North Carolina||
|May 23||The regiment was reunited at New Berne and attached to Williams Brigade, Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition. The Harpers Ferry rifle-muskets originally issued were replaced by Enfield rifles|
|July 6-8||Moved to Fortress Monroe and attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac|
|July 26||Major David Nagle resigned. Captain Kaufman of Company A appointed acting major|
|August 2-4||Left Newport News for Aquia Creek and moved by rail to Fredericksburg|
|August 12||Lieutenant George Gressang drowned in the sinking of the West Point|
|August 13||Joined Pope at Culpeper, Va.|
|August 16-September 2||Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia|
Captain H. A. M. Filbert and six other men were killed, 61 were wounded, and 74 missing
The regiment had two men slightly wounded
|September 6-24||Maryland Campaign. Attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army Potomac|
|September 10||Colonel Nagle was promoted to brigadier general|
|September 13||Reached Middletown, having marched from Washington via Leesboro and Frederick|
The regiment fought at Fox’s Gap, firing off all its ammunition while positioned behind a rail fence which limited its casualties to 11 men wounded and 1 missing.
The regiment was engaged at Burnside’s Bridge and on the slopes below the town. It lost Lieutenant William Cullen and 7 other men killed, 51 men wounded and 1 missing.
From the War Department marker at Burnside’s Bridge on the Antietam battlefield:
At daylight of the 17th Nagle’s Brigade was about a half mile northeast of this point. It moved to the south and, at 10 A.M., was formed for assault on the bridge. The 2nd Maryland took position in the old lane 110 yards southeast of this point, and the remainder of the Brigade under cover of the hill and in rear of the 2nd Maryland. At 11 A.M. the 2nd Maryland, closely followed by the 6th New Hampshire, both moving by the flank, charged down the hill under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry. They passed through the opening in the fence at this point and reached within 250 feet of the bridge, when their advance was checked. Many of the men took shelter behind the fences and trees bordering the stream, and supported Ferrero’s Brigade in its successful assault. The Brigade then crossed the bridge, filed to the left, and occupied the high ground beyond. Late in the day it moved forward and co-operated in checking the advance of the right of A.P. Hill’s Division.
From the War Department marker along Branch Avenue on the Antietam battlefield:
The Brigade assisted in carrying the Burnside Bridge, and crossed it soon after 1 P.M. After the repulse of the three Divisions of Willcox, Scammon and Rodman later in the day Ferrero’s and Nagle’s Brigades advanced to the crest of the ridge about 420 yards east of this to check Confederate pursuit. The 48th Pennsylvania supported and relieved the 51st Pennsylvania, engaging the Confederates posted on this line and behind the stone walls right and left of this point. The engagement continued into the night, and the Regiment and Brigade bivouacked on the ground on which they had fought.
|September 20||Lieutenant Colonel Sigfried was promoted to colonel, Captain Henry Pleasants to lieutenant colonel and Captain James Wren of Company H to major|
|October 7||To Pleasant Valley, Md.|
|Crossed the Potomac at Berlin and moved to Falmouth, Va.|
|November 10||Corbin’s Cross Roads, near Amissville|
|December-March||On Veteran furlough|
|January 20-24||Burnside’s second Campaign|
|February||Duty at Falmouth|
|February 11||To Newport News|
|March 26-April 1||Moved to Baltimore on the steamer John A. Warner, then by rail to Covington, Ky. and assigned to Army of the Ohio|
|April-September||Provost and guard duty at Lexington, Ky.|
|May 20||Major Wren resigns|
|June||Attached to 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps. Army Ohio|
|July 28||Captain Joseph Gilmour of Company H promoted to major|
|October 4||At Knoxville, Tenn. Attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army Ohio, with Colonel Sigfried in command of the brigade, Lt. Colonel Pleasants on General Hartsuff’s staff, and Major Gilmour in command of the regiment.|
|October 10||Blue Springs, Tenn.|
|November 4-December 23||Knoxville Campaign|
|November 16||Campbell’s Station|
|November 17-December 5||Siege of Knoxville|
|December 5-29||Pursuit of Longstreet|
|December 7||Regiment reenlisted at Blain’s Cross Roads|
|March 14||Left Pottsville, Pa.|
|March-April||At Annapolis, Md., assigned to Army of the Potomac. The regiment received Springfield rifles to replace its Enfields|
|April 23||Left Annapolis|
|April 25||Review before the President in Washington|
|May 4-June 12||Rapidan Campaign|
|May 12||Assault on the Salient
Lieutenant Henry Jackson was killed. The regiment had lost 187 casualties since the 5th
|May 21||Stannard’s Mills|
|May 23-26||North Anna River|
|May 26-28||Line of the Pamunkey|
Lieutenant S. B. Laubenstine was killed, and Major Gilmour and Lieutenant William Hume were mortally wounded, all hit by sharpshooters
The regiment lost 75 casualties
|June 1-3||Bethesda Church|
A surprise assault at dawn on the 17th by the brigade captured 600 prisoners and four guns. The regiment lost 75 casualties , including Lieutenant Curtis Pollock, who was mortally wounded.
Corporal Patrick Monaghan of Company F earned the Medal of Honor for recapturing the colors of the 7th New York Heavy Artillery, and Private Robert Reid of Company G earned the Medal of Honor for capturing the colors of the 44th Tennessee Infantry Regiment (C.S.A.)
|June 18||Siege of Petersburg begins|
|June 22-23||Jerusalem Plank Road|
|June 25||Captain Benjamin Schuck was mortally wounded
Lt. Colonel Pleasants proposed laying a mine underneath the Confederate lines, which was accepted by high command. According to Pleasants’ official report,
“It was commenced at twelve M., the 25th of June, 1864, without tools, lumber, or any of the materials requisite for such a work. The mining picks were made out of those used by our pioneers; plank I obtained, at first by tearing down a rebel bridge and afterwards by sending to a, saw-mill five or six miles distant, and the material excavated was carried out in hand-barrows, constructed of cracker boxes. The work progressed rapidly until the 2d of July, when it reached extremely wet ground. The timbers gave way, and the roof and the floor of the mine nearly met. I retimbered it and started again. From this point I had to excavate a stratum of marl, the consistency of which was like putty, and which caused our progress to be necessarily slow. To avoid this, I started an inclined plane, and in about one hundred feet rose thirteen and one-half feet, perpendicular. On the17th of July the main gallery was completed, being five hundred and ten and eight-tenths feet in length. The enemy having obtained information of the mine, and ‘having commenced searching for it, I was ordered to stop operations, which were, however, re-commenced on the 18th of July, by starting the left lateral gallery.
…The mine was excavated by the enlisted men of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment. As the excavation progressed the number required to carry out the earth increased, until, at last, it took nearly every enlisted man in the regiment, which consisted of nearly four hundred effective men. The whole amount of material excavated was eighteen thousand (18,000) cubic feet. The great difficulty to surmount was to obtain the exact distance from the entrance of the mine to the enemy’s works, and the course of these works. This was accomplished by making five separate triangulations with a the odolite and taking their mean. The triangulations were made in our most advanced line of works, and within one hundred and thirty three yards of the enemy’s line of sharp-shooters.
Having received the order to charge our mine on the 27th of July, I commenced putting in the powder at four P. M., and finished at ten P. M. The charge consisted of three hundred and twenty kegs of powder, each containing about twenty-five pounds, [four tons.] It was placed in eight magazines, connected together by wooden tubes half filled with powder. These tubes met from the lateral galleries at the inner end of the main gallery, and from this point I placed three lines of fuses for a distance of ninety-eight feet. Not having fuses as long as required, two pieces had to be spliced together to make the requisite length of each of the lines. The tamping was begun at ten P. M., July 27th, and completed at six P. M., July 28th; thirty-four feet of main gallery was tamped, and ten feet of the entrance of each of the lateral galleries, but the space between the magazines was left clear of tamping. I received orders from corps headquarters, on the 29th of July, to fire the mine at half past three A.M., July 30th. I lighted the fuse at a quarter past three A.M., and having waited until a quarter past four without any explosion having taken place, an officer and a sergeant (Lieutenant Jacob Douty, company K, and Sergeant Henry Rees, company F) of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, volunteered to go in and examine into the cause of the delay. It was found that the fire had stopped where the fuses were spliced. They were re-lighted, and at sixteen minutes of five A. M., the powder exploded.
The size of the crater formed by the explosion was at least two hundred (200) feet long, fifty (50) feet wide, and twenty-five (25) feet deep. I stood on top of our breastworks and witnessed the effect of the explosion on the enemy. It so completely paralyzed him, that the breadth of the breach, instead of being only two hundred feet, was practically four or five hundred yards. The rebels in the forts, both on the right and left of the explosion ran away, and for over an hour, as well as I could judge, not a shot was fired by their artillery. There was no fire from infantry from the front for at least half an hour; none from the left for twenty minutes, and but few shots from the right.”
The regiment did not participate in the following battle. The battle was a disaster but the miine was a great success, and the regiment and Lt. Colonel Pleasants were praised by General Meade.
|July 23||Captain O. C. Bosbyshell of Company G promoted to major|
|August 18-21||Weldon Railroad|
Poplar Springs Church
The regiment lost 2 killed, 7 wounded and 47 prisoners
|October 1||Major Bosbyshell mustered out at the expiration of his term of service|
|October 11||Colonel Sigfried mustered out at the expiration of his term of service|
|October 27-28||Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run|
|December 18||Lt. Colonel Pleasants mustered out at the expiration of his term of service|
|December 20||Captain George Gowen of Company C promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Isaac Brannon to major|
|March 1||Lt. Colonel Gowen promoted to colonel and Major Brannon to lieutenant colonel|
Assault on and fall of Petersburg
Colonel Gowen and 9 other men were killed, Lieutenant Thomas Sillyman and 56 other men were wounded and 24 missing in the assault on Fort Mahone.
Surgeon William R. D. Blackwood earned the Medal of Honor when he “removed severely wounded officers and soldiers from the field while under a heavy fire from the enemy, exposing himself beyond the call of duty, thus furnishing an example of most distinguished gallantry.”
|April 3||Occupation of Petersburg|
|April 3-9||March to Farmville|
|April 20-24||Moved to Petersburg and City Point|
|April 26-28||To Alexandria|
|May 11||Lt. Colonel Brannon promoted to colonel and Captain Richard Jones of Company G to major|
|May 23||Grand Review|
|June||Duty at Washington and Alexandria|
|June 3||Major Jones promoted to lieutenant colonel|
|June 21||Quarter Master Jacob Wagner promoted to major|
|July 17||Mustered out under Colonel Brannon, Lt. Colonel Jones, and Major Wagner|