United States Regiments & Batteries > Pennsylvania > Infantry > 5th Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves


(34th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment)

The 5th Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves enrolled a total of 1,050 men during the American Civil War. It lost 14 officers and 121 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 68 enlisted men to disease. Fourteen officers and 211 enlisted men were wounded, and 5 officers and 115 men were missing or captured.

It is honored by a monument on Big Round Top at Gettysburg.

1861
June The 5th Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves was organized at Harrisburg under the command of Colonel Seneca G. Simmonds (formerly Captain, 7th United States Infantry, West Point Class of 1834) and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph W. Fisher

Organization
  • Company A – “The Jersey Shore Rifles” – Lycoming County – Captain H.C. Ulman
  • Company B – “The Taggart Guards” – Northumberland County – Captain  James Taggart
  • Company C – “The Washington Cadets” – Clearfield County – Captain J.O. Loraine
  • Company D – “The Slifer Guards” – Union County – Captain Thomas Chamberlain
  • Company E – “The Centre Guards” – Centre County – Captain John I. Gregg
  • Company F – “The Bradford Union Guards” – Bradford County – Captain A.J. Trout
  • Company G – “The Huntingdon Infantry” – Huntingdon County – Captain A.S. Harrison
  • Company H – “The Pollock Guards” – Northumberland County – Captain John McCleery
  • Company i – “The Scott Infantry” – Huntingdon County – Captain George Dare
  • Company K – “The Cookman Rangers” – Lancaster County – Captain Arnodt D. Collins
June 22 Ordered by rail to Hopewell then marched to near Bedford Springs, and then to a point on the State line opposite Cumberland, Maryland. Moved into (West) Virginia in support of Lew Wallace
July 8 Marched six miles to Cumberland and relieved Lew Wallace.
July 13-14 Moved to New Creek and then at the double quick to Riegeville to support Lieutenant Colonel Kane and his Bucktails, then returned to New Creek.
July 22 Marched to Piedmont to protect the Union population.
August 8 Moved to Harrisburg, where the regiment completed its interrupted equipping, then moved 984 men by train to Washington, D.C.
August-September Duty at Tennallytown, Md. Attached to 1st Brigade, McCall’s Pennsylvania Reserves Division, Army of the Potomac
September 14 Marched into Washington with the rest of the Pennsylvania Reserves Division and was reviewed by Presiedent Lincoln and General McClellan. The general presented each regiment with a State Flag.
October 10 Crossed the Potomac to Camp Pierpont, near Langley, Va. Schools of instruction were held for officers and non-commissioned officers.
December 6 Expedition to Grinnell’s Farm
1862
March 10-15 Advance on Manassas, Va. Attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac
April 9-19 McDowell’s advance on Falmouth. Attached to 1st Brigade, McCall’s Division, Dept. of the Rappahannock
April-June Duty at Fredericksburg
June 11-13

Peninsula Campaign

Moved by transport to White House, Virginia. Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Corps, Army Potomac

June 25-July 1

Seven days before Richmond

June 26

Battle of Mechanicsville

The regiment held a defensive line along the Chickahominy. It successfully held its position against a Confederate attacks, losing fifty men casualties.

June 27

Battle of Gaines’ Mill

In the afternoon the regiment was ordered up from reserve, holding its position under heavy attack until sunset. The regiment was out of ammunition and no reinforcements could be brought up, so it was ordered to withdraw to avoid capture. General Reynolds was captured, and Colonel Seneca Simmonds took command of the brigade as senior colonel while Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Fisher commanded the regiment.

June 30

Battle of Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale

The brigade was attacked in the afternoon. The 7th Virginia Infantry and the 17th Virginia Infantry suffered heavy casualties in the fighting.  Colonel Simmons was mortally wounded trying to rally the men and died in Confederate hands, and Captain Taggart of Company B was killed.

In five days between the 26th and the 30th the regiment lost 18 men killed, 115 wounded, and 103 taken prisoners.

July 1
Battle of Malvern Hill

The regiment was under fire but not engaged.

July-August At Harrison’s Landing
August 1 Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Fisher was promoted to colonel, Major George Dare to lieutenant colonel and Captain Frank Zentmeyer of Company I to major.
August 16-26 Movement to Join Pope. Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Virginia
August 29

Battle of Groveton (Brawner Farm)

August 30

Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas)

The regiment, commanded by Major Frank Zentmeyer while Colonel Fisher recovered from a bad fall from his horse, brought only 200 men to the field due to a number of details and detachments. It was heavily engaged for two hours in the afternoon, losing 1 man killed and 12 wounded.

September 6-24

Maryland Campaign

Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac

September 14

Battle of South Mountain

Colonel Fisher resumed command of the regiment, bringing 357 men to the field. They fought t five hours at Turner’s Gap, losing one man killed and nineteen wounded.

September 16-17

Battle of Antietam

The regiment was commanded by Colonel Fisher. It lost 2 men killed and 8 wounded.

There are two War Department markers for Seymour’s Brigade on the Antietam battlefield.

From the Mansfield Avenue marker for Seymour’s Brigade:

Seymour’s Briade of Meade’s Division, after its engagement with the enemy of September 16, 1862, bivouacked on either side of the road at this point , with pickets thrown forward in the east woods.

From the Smoketown Road marker for Seymour’s Brigade:

Seymour’s Brigade became engaged at daybreak, and advanced on either side of this road into the East Woods, where it became heavily engaged with the enemy.

At the western edge of the East Woods its advance was checked by the enemy, and its ammunition having been exhausted, it was relieved about 7 A. M. by Ricketts’ Division, and withdrawn to the ridge in the rear of Joseph Poffenberger’s.

September-October Duty in Maryland
October 30-November 19 Movement to Falmouth, Va. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac
December 12-15

Battle of Fredericksburg

The Pennsylvania Reserves Division crossed the Rappahannock downstream from Fredericksburg and attacked “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates there, breaking his line that was formed behind the railroad. But they were without support and unable to hold on to the position, and so were forced to withdraw.

Colonel Joseph Fisher took command of the brigade when Brigadier General Conrad Jackson was killed. Lieutenant Colonel George Dare took command of the regiment but was wounded. Major Frank Zentmeyer was killed, as was his brother, the acting Adjutant. Twenty men were killed, 88 wounded, and 61 captured.

1863
January 20-24
“Mud March”
February 6 Ordered to Washington, D.C. for duty in the Defenses of Washington and Alexandria. Attached to 3rd Brigade, Pennsylvania Reserves Division, 22nd Army Corps, Dept. of Washington
May 1 Captain J. Harvey Larimer of Company E was promoted to major
June 25

Gettysburg Campaign

Joined the Army of Potomac in the field. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac

July 1-3

Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Dare while Colonel Joseph Fisher commanded the brigade. They were in reserve behind Little Round Top and were called forward to support Vincent’s battered brigade. After dark they advanced to the crest of Big Roaund Top, where the regiment’s monument stands.

From the monument to the 5th Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves at Gettysburg:

Present at Gettysburg 24 officers and 310 men. Wounded 2 men.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee
October 9-22

Bristoe Campaign

November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 7

Rappahannock Station

November 26-December 2

Mine Run Campaign

December Duty at Alexandria guarding the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and acting as train guards on supply trains on the railroad.
1864
February 14 Major Larimer was killed in a skirmish with guerillas at Bistoe Station. Colonel Smith went in pursuit, but the enemy escaped.
February 22 Captain Alfred Smith of Company C was promoted to major
May

Rapidan Campaign

May 5-7

Battle of the Wilderness

Lieutenant Colonel Dare was mortally wounded on May 6 and died that night in camp. Major Alfred Smith took command of the regiment.

May 7 Major Alfred Smith was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Captain James A. McPherran of Company F to major.
May 8-21

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

May 8

Laurel Hill

May 12

Assault on the Salient

May 19

Battle of Harris Farm

May 23-26

North Anna River

May 25 Jericho Ford
May 26-28 Line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31

Totopotomoy

May 31 Left the front to muster out, going by steamship from White House, Virginia to Washington, D.C., then by rail to Harrisburg.
June 11 The 5th Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves mustered out under the command of Colonel Joseph Fisher, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Smith and Major James A. McPherran