California and the Civil War
71st Regiment of Infantry, Pennsylvania Volunteers
(1st California Regiment)
Organized at Fort Schuyler, N.Y., until July 1, 1861. Moved to Fortress Monroe, Va., thence to Washington, D.C., July 22. Duty in the Defenses of Washington until October. Affair at Vanderburg's House, Munson's Hill, September 29. Ordered to Poolesville, Md. Attached to Baker's Brigade, Stone's (Sedgwick's) Division, Army Potomac, to March, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army Potomac, to June, 1864.

Operations on the Potomac October 21-24, 1861. Hall's Bluff October 21. Duty on the Upper Potomac until February, 1862. At Harper's Ferry, W. Va., until March 24. Moved to the Virginia Peninsula March 24-April 1. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. At Tyler's Farm until May 31. Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. At Fair Oaks until June 28. Skirmish at Fair Oaks June 18. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Peach Orchard and Savage Station June 29. Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale June 30. Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing until August 16. Movement to Newport News, thence to Alexandria August 16-28, thence to Centreville and Chantilly August 28-30. Cover Pope's retreat August 31-September 1. Maryland Campaign September 6-24. Battle of Antietam September 16-17. Moved to Harper's Ferry September 22, and duty there until October 30. Movement to Falmouth October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. Hartwood Church February 25. At Falmouth until April. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Banks' Ford May 1 and 4. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 13-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 2-4. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. At Banks' Ford and Culpeper until October. Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-17. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to the line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Robertson's Tavern or Locust Grove November 27. Duty on the Rapidan until May. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7. Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Po River May 10; Spottsylvania C. H. May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Transferred to 69th Pennsylvania Infantry June 12, 1864. Mustered out July 2, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 14 Officers and 147 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 98 Enlisted men by disease. Total 260.

by Gary Lash
Colonel Edward D. Baker to October 21st, 1861
Colonel Isaac J. Wistar to November 29th, 1862
Colonel R. Penn Smith to July 2d, 1864
Total Enrollment: 1,665 Officers and Men
The story of the formation of this command as the "1st California" Regiment has been outlined in The California Brigade. Soon after the death of Col. Edward D. Baker at Ball's Bluff, a lamentable affair in which the regiment lost heavily, the brigade was claimed as a part of its quota by the State of Pennsylvania and was so credited. The four commands were
designated the 69th, the 71st, 72d and 106th Regiments, and became the "Philadelphia Brigade," Pennsylvania Infantry. Upon recovery from his wounds, inflicted at Ball's Bluff, Lieut.-Col. Isaac J. Wistar became colonel of the 71st. Brig.-Gen. W. W. Burns commanded the brigade, which was attached to Sedgwick's Division of the Second Corps. Early in 1862 the 71st was engaged under Gen. N. P. Banks in West Virginia. The Philadelphia Brigade was soon transferred to the Virginia peninsula, where Gen. McClellan was operating against the enemy at Yorktown and Williamsburg. The Union advance was pushed to within sight of Richmond. At Fair Oaks the 71st was engaged in constant fighting and dkirmishing for four weeks. After the battle of Gaines Mills the "change of base" from the Chickahominy River to the James River developed several attacks upon the army's endless wagon trains, in the course of which the regiment participated in four battles, making repeated charges and losing many officers and men before resting at Malvern Hill. At Harrison's Landing, upon the James River, five companies, L, M, N, P and R, were disbanded, the men being assigned to the depleted original ten companies. The scene of action was now transferred to the region in front of Washington, resulting in the battles of Chantilly and the Second Bull Run, where the 71st assisted in covering the rear of Pope's retreat. In the northward movement which checked the Confederates at Antietam, Brig.-Gen. O. O. Howard commanded the Philadelphia Brigade.
The 71st left upon the field of Antietam one-third of its strength. In the Fredericksburg campaign, nearly three months later, the regiment, led to fruitless sacrifice by Lieut.-Col. John Markoe, was again a heavy loser. The survivors fought again, under Hooker, at Fredericksburg, after which they wintered in camp at Falmouth. The Second Corps, under Maj.-Gen. Hancock was sent, in June, 1863, to Pennsylvania. The 71st was now under command of Col. Richard Penn Smith. Arriving at Gettysburg the regiment was placed in the center of the battle-line. Upon the afternoon of July 2d the brigade became involved in a charge during the attack upon Gen. Sickles' position, but the supreme test of its endurance was reserved for the final scene. It was just at this point that the "high-water line" of the great Rebellion is now fittingly marked. Here the gray billow broke against the solid wall of the Army of the Potomac, never to return. At Gettysburg the regiment lost ninety-eight officers and men. Following the retreating enemy back to the soil of Virginia, the Second Corps fought, through the autumn, over long-familiar ground. The 71st wintered at Stevensburg. When the army resumed operations in May, 1864, Lieut.-Col. C. Kochersperger was in command. He was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness. Capt. Mitchell Smith, who succeeded him, was killed at Spotsylvania. At Cold Harbor the regiment made its last stand. It was now entitled to discharge. The veterans and recruits were transferred to the 69th Regiment. One hundred and fifty-three men returned to Philadelphia and were mustered out on July 2d, 1864.
Total Losses
Killed or died from wounds - 14 officers; 147 men
Died from disease or other causes - 1 officer; 98 men
Wounded - 24 officers; 372 men
Captured or missing - 10 officers; 320 men
Falls Church, Poolesville, Ball's Bluff, Fair Oaks, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, Glendale, Antietam, Fredericksburg (1862), Fredericksburg (1863), Gettysburg, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor. Present also at Yorktown, Malvern Hill, Bristoe Station and Totopotomoy
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Updated 20 June 2017