United States Regiments & Batteries > Pennsylvania > Infantry

The 81st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 18 officers and 190 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 officers and 96 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

October Organized at Philadelphia under Colonel James Miller and Lieutenant Colonel Charles F. Johnson
October 1-9 At Easton, Pa.
October 10 Moved to Washington, D.C. Attached to Howard’s Brigade, Sumners Division, Army Potomac
March Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army Potomac
March 10-15 Advance on Manassas, Va.
March 20 Reconnaissance to Gainesville
March 28-31 Operations on Orange & Alexandria Railroad
April 5-May 4 Ordered to the Virginia Peninsula. Siege of Yorktown
May 28-30 Construction of Grape Vine Bridge on Chickahominy
May 31-June 1
Battle of Fair Oaks (Seven Pines)

Colonel Miller was killed, shot in the heart.

June 1 Charles F. Johnson was promoted to colonel. Captain Henry B. McKeen was promoted to major
June 18 Fair Oaks
June 21 Fair Oaks Station
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 28 Orchard Station
June 29 Peach Orchard, Allen’s Farm
June 29 Savage Station
June 30
White Oak Swamp Bridge and Glendale

Lieutenant Colonel Johnson was wounded in the thighs and groin.

July 1
Malvern Hill

Major Henry B. McKeen was wounded.

July-August At Harrison’s Landing
July 2 Major Henry B. McKeen was promoted to lieutenant colonel
August 16-30 Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Alexandria and Centreville
September 1 Centreville
September 6-24 Maryland Campaign
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Henry B. McKeen. It lost 8 men killed and 44 wounded near the Cornfield.

From the brigade monument at Antietam:

Caldwell’s Brigade relieved Meagher’s and became heavily engaged with the Confederate Infantry occupying the Sunken Road and Piper’s cornfield south of it. After an obstinate contest, the Brigade succeeded in dislodging the Confederates from the Sunken Road and, having repelled several attempts to turn its flanks, advanced to the high ground overlooking Piper’s house, where it was halted by command of General Richardson.

From Lieutenant Colonel McKeen’s Official Report of the 81st Pennsylvania at the Battle of Antietam:

I have the honor to report that on the 17th we marched into position on the battle field near Miley’s Springs about 10 a. m. We were ordered to advance, which was done. Having taken up our position in the corn-field near the orchard, we were again ordered to move, which the regiment executed most creditably under a heavy fire of grape. We formed at right angles to our old position.

In my new position I found the Second Delaware Regiment immediately in my front. For some cause the regiment broke out. We would not allow them to pass our line. They then returned to their old position and fought nobly. At this time I noticed the enemy’s flags approaching from the orchard, and engaging the Fifth New Hampshire. The Fifth having taken up their position on the edge of the corn-field, and in the old road, I immediately changed the position of my regiment, taking position on their right, opening fire on the enemy with terrible execution. The Fifth New Hampshire and Eighty-first Pennsylvania thus completely frustrated an attempt to flank the division. We were then marched to the left of the corn-field, and remained under a heavy artillery fire the balance of the day. Our casualties are 8 killed and 44 wounded. The officers and privates of the regiment that were in the engagement behaved with great coolness and bravery.

September-October Moved to Harper’s Ferry and duty there
October 16-17 Reconnaissance to Charlestown
October 29-November 17 Advance up Loudon Valley and movement to Falmouth, Va.
November 2 Snicker’s Gap
November 5-6 Manassas Gap
November 24 Colonel Johnson resigned due to his wounds from Glendale. Lieutenant Colonel McKeen was promoted to colonel.
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg

Colonel McKeen was wounded in the side and foot.

January-April At Falmouth
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 1-5
Battle of Chancellorsville

Colonel McKeen was wounded by an artillery shell.

June 9
Battle of Brandy Station

Reconnaissance to the Rappahannock as part of a composite infantry brigade temporarily attached to the Cavalry Corps.

June 10 Kelly’s Ford
June 13-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Amos Stroh.

From the monument:

Fought on this line in the afternoon of July 2nd. Present at Gettysburg 175 officers and men. Killed and died of wounds 9 men. Wounded 5 officers and 40 men. Captured or missing 8 men Total Loss 62

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee
August-September Duty on line of the Rappahannock
September 13-17 Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
October 14 Auburn and Bristoe
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign
November 28-30 Mine Run
December-May At Stevensburg
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
May 4-June 12 Rapidan Campaign
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness
May 8-21
Battle of Spottsylvania Court House
May 8 Corbin’s Bridge
May 10 Po River
May 12
Assault on the Salient

Colonel McKeen took over the brigade as senior colonel.

May 18 Landen House
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 Line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
June 3
Battle of Cold Harbor

Colonel McKeen was mortally wounded

June 16-18 Before Petersburg. Beginning of Siege of Petersburg
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road
July 27-29 Demonstration north of the James at Deep Bottom
July 27-28 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
October 30 William Wilson was promoted to colonel.
December 7-10 Reconnaissance to Hatcher’s Run
December 8 Hatcher’s Run
February 5-7 Dabney’s, Mills, Hatcher’s Run
March 25 Watkins’ House, Petersburg
March 28-April 9 Appomattox Campaign
March 29-30 On line of Hatcher’s and Gravelly Runs
March 31 Hatcher’s Run or Boydton Road
March 31 White Oak Road
April 2 Sutherland Station
April 6 Sailor’s Creek
April 7 High Bridge, Farmville
April 9 Appomattox C. H. Surrender of Lee and his army.
May 2-12 March to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
June 29 Mustered out