History and Names of 45th Regiment

The Forty-Fifth Regiment U.S.C.T. – A History


This regiment was recruited for the most part in Pennsylvania, and was organized at Camp William Penn, in February, 1864, with the following field officers:

  • Ulysses Doubleday, Colonel
  • Edward Thorn, Lieutenant Colonel
  • Edelmiro Mayer, Lieutenant Colonel
  • James T. Bates, Major

This regiment was formed from troops accredited to Pennsylvania, and assembled at Camp William Penn, during the summer of 1864. Early in July, and when only four companies were full, the enemy under General Jubal Early, advanced into Maryland, and approaching Washington, assumed a threatening attitude. These four companies were, accordingly, hurried away to  the Capital, under command of Captain Wilhelm Von Bechtold, and were assigned to a provisional brigade, commanded by General Thomas Lincol Casey, in charge of the defenses of the city. By him they were placed in garrison duty at Arlington Heights, where they remained until the middle of March 1865. They were on duty in the city on the occasion of the second inauguration of President Lincoln, the only colored troops in the procession.

In the meantime, the remaining six companies were organized at Camp William Penn, and a regimental organization was effected with the field officers listed above. On the 20th of September, these companies under the command of Major Bates, proceeded to City Point, where they were assigned to duty in the Tenth Corps, commanded by General David B. Birney, then occupying a position in front of Petersburg. Soon after the arrival of the command, the Tenth Corps was sent to the north side of the James River, with which it took part in the engagements on the 29th and 30th of September, and the 1st of October at Fort Harrison. On the 8th, it was placed in the Second Brigade, commanded by Colonel Doubleday, of the Third Division commanded by General William Birney.. On the 13th, it participated in the action at Darbytown Road, and on the 27th at Charles City Cross Roads. It was soon afterwards placed in winter-quarters, and until the opening of the spring campaign, was engaged in fatigue and picket duty, in front of Fort Harrison.

Upon the formation of the Twenty-fifth Corps, it was assigned to the Second Division, and on the 11th of March, Colonel Doubleday was promoted to Brigadier General. The four companies which had been on duty in the defenses of Washington, were on the 14th of March, 1865, united with the other companies at the front. On the 26th, the crps was reviewed by President Lincoln and General Grant, and on the following day crossed the James, for active duty with the army of the Potomac. With the forces of that army, the regiment participated in the fighting at Hatcher’s Run, and in that before Petersburg, on the 30th, and 1st and 2nd of April losing in the engagements, one killed and eleven wounded, and entering Petersburg with the victorious forces on the 3rd. With the corps, it joined in the pursuit of the rebel army, passing through Burkesville, and Farmville, to Appomattox Court House, where it was present at the capitulation on the 9th. In May, it was sent with General Godfrey Weitzel’s forces to Texas, and was stationed at Edinburg, on the Mexican border. On the 8th of September, it was ordered to Brownsville, where it was mustered out of the service on the 4th of November, and returning to Philadelphia, was paid and discharged at Camp Cadwalader, on the 13th od December.

Source:  Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.

Organized at Camp William Penn, Summer of 1864
Assigned Tenth Corps, September 20
Placed in 2nd Brigade of Third Division, October 8
Assigned to 2nd Brigade, Twenty-fifth Corps, March 1865
2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 25th Corps and Dept. of Texas to November, 1865

Four companies sent to defense of Washington, assigned garrison duty until March 1865
Remaining six companies organized at Camp William Penn
The six companies sent to City Point in front of Petersburg, September 20, 1864
James River engagements September 29th and 30th
Engaged at Fort Harrison, October 1st
Action at Darbytown Road, October 13th
Acton at Charles City Cross Roads, October 27
Winter-quarters until opening of spring campaign in 1865
Four companies from Washington united with regiment March 14th
Reviewed by President Lincoln and General Grant, March 26th
Crossed James River for active duty with army of the Potomac, March 27th
Participated in fighting at Hatcher’s Run and before Petersburg, March 30th, April 1st and 2nd.
Entered Petersburg, April 3rd
Pursuit of rebel army to Appomattox Court House.
Present at the capitulation on April 9th
Service at Edinburg on Mexican border, May until September
Brownsville, Texas, September 8th
Mustered out November 4th, 1865, and discharged at Philadelphia, PA, December 13, 1865

Regiment lost during service:
3 Enlisted men killed and eleven wounded
50 Enlisted men by disease
Total 64

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