United States Regiments & Batteries > Pennsylvania > Infantry


The 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the only Pennsylvania regiment authorized to carry green regimental colors. It lost 12 officers and 166 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 3 officers and 107 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored with the Philadelphia Brigade on a monument at Antietam, and by a monument at Gettysburg. See a photograph of officers of the 69th Pennsylvania.

1861
August 18 Organized at Philadelphia from the 2nd Regtiment Pennsylvania State Militia under Colonel Joshua T. Owen, Lt. Colonel Dennis O’Kane, and Major John Devereux
September 17 Left State for Washington, D.C. Attached to Baker’s Brigade, Stone’s (Sedgwick’s) Division, Army Potomac for duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C.
September 29 Affair at Vaderburg’s House, Munson’s Hill
October Moved to Poolesville, Md. and duty on the Upper Potomac
1862
February At Harper’s Ferry, W. Va.
March 24-April 1 Moved to the Virginia Peninsula attached to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army Potomac
April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
May 7 Moved to West Point
May Duty at Tyler’s Farm
May 31-June 1 Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines
June Duty at Fair Oaks
June 18 Skirmish at Fair Oaks
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 25 Lieutenant Thomas Carroll dies at Philadelphia
June 29 Battles of Peach Orchard and Savage Station Lieutenant Samuel McKeown wounded
June 30 Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale Lieutenants Charles Fitzpatrick, Michael Dougherty and Alexander Lovett were wounded
July 1 Malvern Hill
July – August At Harrison’s Landing
July 18 Major Devereux wounded
August 16-28 Movement to Newport News, then to Alexandria
August 29-30 To Centreville and Chantilly
August 31-September 1 Cover Pope’s retreat
September 1 Chantilly
September 6-24 Maryland Campaign
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

The regiment was commanded by Colonel Joshua T. Owen. It lost heavily in Sumner’s charge. Captain Francis V. Bierwirth and Lieutenants Joseph McHugh and James Dunn were killed and Major Devereux, Captains Thomas Kelley, James O’Reilly and Thomas Wood and Lieutenants Joseph M. Kelley and John Taggert were wounded. Colonel Owen took command of the brigade when General Howard took over the division from the wounded General Sedgwick. He did not return to regimental command

From the War Department marker for the brigade on the Antietam battlefield at the west edge of Philadelphia Brigade Park:

Howard’s Brigade, following Gorman and Dana in their attack, passed through the East Woods, crossed the Cornfield and the Hagerstown Pike and reached the edge of the West Woods, where its advance was checked about 90 yards east of this point.

Its left flank having been attacked and turned by McLaws’ and Walker’s Divisions, it was forced to retire to the fields north of D.R. Miller’s, where it was reformed and placed in position in support of a part of the Artillery of the First and Twelfth Coprs and of Sedgewick’s Division of the Second Corps.

September 22 Moved to Harper’s Ferry
October 30-November 20 Movement to Falmouth, Va.
Noveber 29 Colonel Owen promoted to brigadier general of volunteers
December 1 Lt. Colonel O’Kane promoted to colonel
December 12-15 Battle of Fredericksburg Lieutenants George P. Deichler, Hugh Flood, John Ryan and Edward Thompson were wounded
1863
January 1 Adjutant Martin Tschudy promoted to major
January 20-24 Burnside’s 2nd Campaign, “Mud March”
February-April At Falmouth
February 25 Hartwood Church
March 31 Major Tschudy promoted to lieutenant colonel
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 1 and 4 Banks’ Ford
May 1 Captain James Duffy of Company A promoted to major
May 27 Captain Andrew McManus killed near Falmouth
June 13-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
July 2-4
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was in the front line during Pickett’s Charhe and held its ground at great cost. It was commanded by Colonel Dennis O’Kane, who was mortally wounded on July 3rd, dying the next day. Lieutenant Colonel Tschuby had been wounded on July 2nd and mortally wounded on the 3rd, and Major James Duffy was also wounded on July 3, so Captain William Davis took over the regiment. Major Duffy would be promoted to lieutenant colonel and Davis to major, effective July 4. Other casualties included Captains Thomas Carroll, Michael Duffy and George Thompson and Lieutenant Charles F. Kelly, who were killed, and Adjutant William Whildey, Captain Thomas Wood, and Lieutenants Edward Harman, Thomas Norman and William Whildey, who were wounded.

From the monument:

This position was held by the 69th PA. Vols., July 2nd and 3rd 1863. Late on the afternoon of the 2nd, this regiment assisted in repulsing a desperate attack made by Wright’s Ga. Brigade. About 1 O’Clock, p.m. of the 3rd, these lines were subjected to an artillery fire from nearly 150 guns, lasting over one hour after which, Pickett’s division charged this position, was repulsed, and nearly annihilated. The contest on the left and centre of this regiment, for a time being hand-to-hand. Of the regimental commanders attacking, but one remained unhurt. Genl. Garnett was killed, Genl. Kemper desperately wounded, and Genl. Armistead, after crossing the stonewall above the right of this command – 2 companies of which changed front to oppose him – fell mortally wounded. A number of Confederate flags were picked up on this front after the battle.

In memoriam of our deceased comrades, who gave up their lives in defence of a perpetual Union.

On this spot fell our commander, Col. Dennis O’Kane, his true glory was victory or death, at the moment of achieving the former, he fell victim to the latter. While rallying the right to repulse Armistead, the Lieut. Col. Martin Tschudy was killed. He was also wounded on the previous day, but nobly refused to leave the field. The Major and Adjutant were also wounded. Out of an aggregate strength of 258 the regiment suffered a loss of 137.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee
August-October At Banks’ Ford and Culpeperw
September 13-17 Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign
November 27 Robertson’s Tavern or Locust Grove
December-May Duty on the Rapidan
1864
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
March and April Veterans on furlough
May 4-June 12 Rapidan Campaign
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness
May 8-21
Battle of Spottsylvania Court House
May 8 Laurel Hill
May 10 Po River
May 12 Assault on the Salient Lieutenant Josiah Jack was killed, Captain Thomas Kelley was mortally wounded and Captain John McHugh and Lieutenants Murdock Campbell, Thomas Norman and Charles McAnally were wounded
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 Line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
June 1-12
Battle of Cold Harbor

Adjutant William Whitley was killed and Lieutenant Charles McAnally were wounded

June 16-18 Assalt on Petersburg Lieutenant John Eagan wounded
June 18 Siege of Petersburg begins. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road
July 14 Major Davis promoted to lieutenant colonel
July 27-29 Demonstration north of the James at Deep Bottom
July 30 Mine Explosion, Petersburg (Reserve)
August 13-20 Demonstration north of the James at Deep Bottom
August 14-18 Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom
August 25 Ream’s Station Lieutenant Colonel Davis and Captains Dennis Loughery and James O’Reilly wounded
October 1 Major Patrick S. Tinen pf Company D promoted to major
October 27-28 Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run
1865
January 24 Major Tinen resigns
February 5-7 Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run Lieutenant James McGinley killed
March 1 Captain James O’Reilly of Company K promoted to major
March 25 Watkins’ House
March 28-April 9 Appomattox Campaign
March 29 Vaughan Road near Hatcher’s Run
March 31 Crow’s House
April 2 Fall of Petersburg
April 6 Sailor’s Creek
April 7 High Bridge and Farmville
April 9 Appomattox C. H. Surrender of Lee and his army.
April At Burkesville
May 2-12 March to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
May-June At Ball’s Cross Roads
July 1 Mustered out under Lieutenant Colonel Davis and Major O’Reilly