United States Regiments & Batteries < New York < 52nd New York Infantry Regiment

“German Rangers”

“Sigel Rifles”

The 52nd New York Infantry Regiment lost 14 officers and 139 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 197 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

October 11 Organized from the German population at New York City by Colonel Paul Frank.
August 3-November 5 The 52nd New York Infantry Regiment was mustered in by companies at the Quarentine Grounds on Staten Island under the command of Colonel Paul Frank, Lieutenant Colonel Philip Lichtenstein and Major Charles Fredenburg.
November 11 Left New York for Washington, D.C. and duty in the city’s defenses.
November 28 Moved from Bladensburg, Maryland across the Long Bridge to Camp California, south of Alexandria. Attached to French’s 3rd Brigade, Sumner’s Division, Army of the Potomac
March Attached to 3rd Brigade, Richardson’s 1st Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 10-15 Advance on Manassas
April 3

Peninsula Campaign

Moved to the Virginia Peninsula.

April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
May 31-June 1
Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines

Lieutenant Albert Pfantz and 28 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, Captain Francis Benzler, Lieutenants Henry Gerke and William Franke, Lieutenant Eugene Von Schoening and 82 enlisted men were wounded and 4 men missing out of 320 engaged defending the rail line against several attacks on its front and flank.

June 25-July 1

Seven days before Richmond

The regiment lost 17 enlisted men missing or captured

June 27

Battle of Gaines Mill

June 29

Peach Orchard and Savage Station

June 30

White Oak Swamp and Glendale

July 1

Malvern Hill

July-August At Harrison’s Landing; at one point only 67 men were available for active duty due to losses and disease.
August 16-30 Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Alexandria and Centreville; attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps
September 1 Cover Pope’s retreat to Fairfax Court House
September 6-22 Maryland Campaign; attached to 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.
September 15-16

Battle of Antietam Creek

September 17

Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)

The 52nd New York Infantry Regiment went into the fight with 119 men and lost 5 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 3 officers and 8 men wounded, and 2 men missing in fighting at the Sunken Road.

From the brigade marker at Antietam:

Brooke’s Brigade formed the reserve of Richardson’s Division.

After checking an attempt of the enemy to gain the right rear of French’s Division near Roulette’s house, it co-operated with Caldwell in his advance across the Bloody Lane and through the cornfield to the south, the advance Regiments driving the enemy from Piper’s barn and outhouses. The ammunition of the Brigade having been exhausted, it was withdrawn and occupied a position a short distance north of this point, in support of Battery K, 1st U.S. Artillery.

September 22-October 29 Duty at Harper’s Ferry
October 16-17 Reconnaissance to Charlestown
October 29-November 17 Advance up Loudoun Valley and movement to Falmouth, Va.
November 24 Lieutenant Colonel Lichtensteain was discharged for disability. Major Freudenberg was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
December 12-15

Battle of Fredericksburg

The Regiment went into battle with 160 men and lost Adjutant Charles Laty and 5 men killed, 4 men mortally wounded, and Lieutenant Edward Ehler and 32 enlisted men wounded in assaults against Marye’s Heights. When the color bearer was badly wounded, Lieutenants Emil Frank and Herman Ehrichs saved the colors.

January 20-24
“Mud March”
February-April At Falmouth, Vairginia. Sixty men from the mustered-out 7th New York (another all-German regiment) whose enlistments had not expired were attached to Company B.
February 9 Edward Venuti mustered in as major.
April 27-May 6

Chancellorsville Campaign

May 1-5

Battle of Chancellorsville

The regiment lost 3 men killed. Colonel Frank, 2 other officers and 28 men were wounded and 9 men missing. Lieutenant Colonel Charles G. Freudenberg took command of the regiment after Colonel Frank left the field.

June 11-July 24

Gettysburg Campaign

July 1-3

Battle of Gettysburg

The 52nd New York Infantry Regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Freudenberg until he was wounded on July 2 during fighting in the Wheatfield. Major Edward Venuti took over command until he was killed. Captain William Scherer then took command of the regiment.

Major Venuti, Captain Hermann Caesar and 2 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Freudenberg, Lieutenants C. W. Schuffner and Philip Treffinger and 22 enlisted men were wounded, and 10 men missing out of 134 men engaged.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee. Colonel Frank returned from his Chancellorsville wound to take command of the Regiment.
August Duty on line of the Rappahannock
September 1 Captain Henry M. Karples of Company E was promoted to major.
September 13-17 Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan
September The Regiment received 600 new recruits. They were draftees and bounty men and most were not of German background, and they overwhelmed the 85 surviving veterans of the Regiment.
October 9-22

Bristoe Campaign

Colonel Frank took over command of the brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Freudenberg returned from his Gettusburg wound to take command of the Regiment.

October 14

Auburn and Bristoe

The Regiment lost 60 casualties , most of them captured near Auburn. Captain Scherrer was wounded.

November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-December 2

Mine Run Campaign

The Regiment lost 20 men captured on the skirmish line.

December At Stevensburg
December 11 Lieutenant Colonel Freudenberg was discharged and accepted appointment as a major in the Veteran Reserve Corps. Major Henry Karples took command of the Regiment.
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan.
Spring By May the 52nd mustered 364 men.
May 3-June 15

Campaign from the Rapidan to the James

May 5-7

Battle of the Wilderness

The Regiment lost 2 men killed and 4 wounded.

May 8-12

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

In addition to the officers listed below, 24 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, 97 enlisted men were wounded, and 23 men were missing from the May 8 to May 12.

Colonel Frank, commanding the brigade, was relieved by General Hancock after his officers reported him too drunk to command.

May 10
Po River

Captains Charles Kronmeyer and Lieutenant Herman Van Haake, a Prussian count on furlough from the Prussian Army, were mortally wounded and captured. Lieutenants Paul Fuchs, Nicholas Henrich and Adolf Meyer were wounded.

May 12

Assault on the Salient or “Bloody Angle”

Sgt. William Westerhold of Company G earned the Medal of Honor for capturing the flag and color bearer of the 23rd Virginia Infantry Regiment.

Lieutenant Robert Karples (brother to Major Karples) and Lieutenant Baron Otto Von Steuben, descendant of the Revolutionary War hero, were killed. Captains William Scherer and Walter Von Auw were mortally wounded. Captain Philip Treffinger and Lieutenants Peter Hehl were wounded.

May 18 Major Henry Karples and Lieutenant William Von Reichenstein were wounded. Capain Henry Ritzius took command of the regiment, which lost over 160 men in the nine days at Spottsylvania.
May 23-26

North Anna River

May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31


June 1-12

Cold Harbor

The regiment was in the second line of attack and lost 3 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 4 men wounded and 1 missing

June 16-18

First Assault on Petersburg

Captains Jacob Huber and Franz Reinhardt and Lieutenants Frederick Brown and Albert Meissner were wounded.

June 16

Siege of Petersburg

Attached to Consolidated Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps, a merger of the badly depleted 2nd and 3rd Brigades.

June 22-23
Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon Railroad

The regiment lost 80 casualties in the first week at Petersburg.

July 20 Captain Henry Ritzins of Company A was promoted to major
July 27-29 Demonstration north of the James
July 27-28

Deep Bottom

August 13-20 Demonstration north of the James
August 14-18

Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom

Lieutenant Adolph Meyer was wounded

August 25

Ream’s Station

The Consolidated Brigade broke under Confederate attack, and the Regiment lost 2 enlisted men killed, Lieutenant Ludwig Von Eckstedt and 1 other officer wounded, and 1 officer and 26 enlisted men captured

September – October Original members who did not reenlist mustered out at New York City. Lieutenant Colonel Henry M. Karples promoted to colonel. The Regiment was consolidated into six companies under Lieutenant John Bambach.
November Attached to 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps, under the command of Captain George Degener. The Regiment provided 86 men to garrison Fort Blaisdell, near the Jerusalem Plank Road.
November 1 Major Karples was promoted to lieutenant colonel
November 9 Colonel Frank was honorably mustered out of the service.
December 9-10 Reconnaissance to Hatcher’s Run
December 29 Lieutenant Colonel Karples was promoted to colonel and Lieutenant Colonel James Bronson of the 61st New York transferred in, but neither were mustered.
February 5-7

Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run

March 25 Watkins’ House
March 28-April 9

Appomattox Campaign

The Regiment mustered around 200 men.

March 31
Hatcher’s Run or Boydton Road and White Oak Road

Lieutenants John Burke, Richard Heydenrich, Max Klingenberg and Paul Schreiber and 7 men were killed, Captain George Degener and 48 men were wounded, and 12 men missing.

April 2
Sutherland Station and fall of Petersburg

Colonel Karples was disabled when his horse was shot and it fell on him; Major Ritzins took command of the regiment.

April 6

Sailor’s Creek

April 7

High Bridge and Farmville

April 9

Appomattox Court House

Surrender of Lee and his army.

April At Burkesville
May 2-15 March to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
May 31 Major Ritzins was promoted to lieutenant colonel but not mustered.
June Duty at Washington, D.C.
June 17 Captain Charles Kronmeyer of Company C was promoted to major but not mustered
July 25 The 52nd New York Infantry Regiment mustered out at Alexandria under Colonel Karples, Lieutenant Colonel Ritzins and Major Kronmeyer