United States Regiments & Batteries > U.S. Regulars

The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment lost 2 officers and 39 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 48 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. The regiment is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

In Texas

Headquarters and Companies B, D, G, H and K, at Fort Clark, Colonel Bonneville commanding

Companies A, C and E, at Ringgold Barracks, Lieutenant-Colonel Electus Backus commanding

Companies F and I at Fort McIntosh, Major C. C. Sibley commanding.

March Companies C and E moved to Fort Hamilton, New York
March 19-
April 25
Companies B, D, G, H and K to New York

Companies C and E moved to Fort Pickens, Fla.

March 19 Headquarters and Companies B, D, G, H and K, under Brevet Major O. L. Shepherd (Colonel Bonneville on leave) ordered to evacuate Texas and left Fort Clark.

The regiment had been instructed to detour around San Antonio due to “excitement among the citizens.” But Major Shepherd called a council of the officers and it was decided to march through the town with “colors flying, band playing, and every man and officer as fine as brass and bullion could make him.”

April 7 Headquarters and Companies B, D, G, H and K arrived at Indianola and embarked for New York Harbor
April 16 Companies C and E arrived Fort Pickens, Fla. and duty there until June, 1862
April 25 Headquarters and Companies B, D, G, H and K arrive in New York
April 26 Companies A, F and I surrendered to an overwhelming force of Confederates under Colonel Van Dorn at Mattagorda Bay, Texas. The men and officers were paroled. Every enlisted man rejoined the regiment in 1862, in spite of offers of commissions in the Confederate service.
May 9 Companies B, D, G, H and K moved from Fort Hamilton, N.Y. Harbor, to Washington, D. C.
June Ordered to General Patterson’s Department of Pennsylvania. Moved by rail to Carlisle, Pa., and marched to and forded the Potomac near Williamsport. The regiment was then recalled to Washington, making a forced march of twenty hours out of twenty four.
July 4 Moved to Arlington Heights and attached to Porter’s Brigade, Hunter’s Division, McDowell’s Army of Northeast Virginia
July 16-21 Advance on Manassas, Va. With two companies of the Second and one of the Eighth Infantry formed Battalion of Reglars under Major George Sykes.
July 21
Battle of Bull Run

The regiment lost five men killed, 26 missing, and four enlisted men wounded, and two officers wounded and taken prisoner.

August – March Duty at Washington assigned to Porter’s City Guard. The battalion encamped in Franklin Square. When reviewed by President Lincoln shortly after the battle, General McDowll told Lincoln, ‘Mr. President, there are the men who saved your army at Bull Run.’
October 9 Companies C and E – Action on Santa Rosa Island, Fla.
November 22-23 Companies C and E – Bombardment of Fort Pickens
January 1 Companies C and E – Fort Barrancas
February Companies F and I were paroled and exchanged and joined Regiment at Washington
May 9-12
Fort Pickens (Companies C and E)

The companies lost two men killed and seven wounded.

March Regement assigned to Sykes’ Regular Infantry, Reserve Brigade, Army Potomac and moved to the Virginia Peninsula
April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
May Assigned to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Army Corps, Army Potomac
June, 1862 Companies C and E joined Regiment in Army of the Potomac
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 26 Battle of Mechanicsville
June 27 Gaines’ Mill

Major Rossell was killed. Captain John D. Wilkens (USMA 1846) took command of the regiment.

June 30 Turkey Bridge
July 1 Malvern Hill
July-August At Harrison’s Landing
August 16-28 Moved to Fortress Monroe, then to Centerville
August 28-September 2 Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia
August 29 Battle of Groveton
August 30
Second Battle of Bull Run
September 6-22 Maryland Campaign
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

The regiment was commanded at the Battle of Antietam by Captain John D. Wilkins.

From the War Department marker on the Antietam battlefield:

On the afternoon of September 15 the 3rd U.S. Infantry was deployed as skirmishers on the crest of the ridge, on either side of the road at this point, overlooking the Antietam and the bridge.

It remained in this position until about 10 A.M. of the 16th, when it was relieved by the advance of the 4th U.S. Infantry across the bridge.

It then retired to the reserve at the eastern base of the ridge, where it remained until the morning of the 19th when it advanced to Sharpsburg.

September 19-20
Shepherdstown Ford
September 21 At Sharpsburg
October 16-17 Kearneysville and Shepherdstown
October 29-November 19 Moved to Falmouth, Va.
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg
January 20-24 “Mud March”
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 1-5
Battle of Chancellorsville
June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

From the monument on Houck’s Ridge at Gettysburg:

Six Companies
Captain Henry W. Freedly and Captain Richard C. Lay commanding

July 2 Arrived in the morning and took position near the line of the Twelfth Corps. The Regiment with the Brigade moved from the right to the left of the line and at 5 p.m. advanced across Plum Run near Little Round Top and supported the Second Brigade in its advance to the crest of the rocky wooded hill beyond and facing to the left. Engaged the Confederates but returned under a deadly fire on the left right and rear rear after the Confederates had gained a position in the Wheatfield in the rear of the Brigade and took position on east slope of Little Round Top.

July 3 Remained in the same position

July 4 The Regiment with the Brigade made a reconnaissance and developed a force of the Confederate Infantry and Artillery in front.

Casualties: killed 8 men, wounded 4 officers and 63 men, missing 1 man.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee
August 21-September 14 At New York City during draft disturbances attached to the Dept. of the East
October 9-22
Bristoe Campaign
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-December 2
Mine Run Campaign
December Ordered to New York and duty at Forts Richmond, Hamilton and Columbus, N.Y. Harbor
October Ordered to Washington, D.C., and duty there attached to Defenses of Washington, D.C., 22nd Army Corps
February Ordered to City Point, Va., and duty at Headquarters, Army of the Potomac
April 2 Fall of Petersburg
May – October Moved to Washington, D.C. and attached to Defenses of Washington, 22nd Corps
May 23 Grand Review