Key Battles, Transports and Duty Stations


Camp Curtin (Harpers Weekly, 1861; public domain).

Camp Curtin (Harper’s Weekly, 1861).

Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Dauphin County (mustering in and basic training in light infantry tactics, mid-August 1861 – 20 September 1861)

Transportation of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry to the Washington, D.C. area via:

  • North Central Railroad (Harrisburg to York, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland, 1:30-11 p.m., 20 September 1861);
  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (Baltimore to Washington, D.C. 2:30-9 a.m., 21 September 1861)

Soldiers’ Retreat, Washington, D.C. (meals, rest and march readiness preparations from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. followed by march to Camp Kalorama from 4-5 p.m., 21 September 1861)

Camp Kalorama, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. (21-27 September 1861)

Camp Advance, Virginia (encampment at Advance following march by way of Camp Lyon, Maryland, 27-28 September 1861)

Fort Ethan Allen, Virginia (28 September 1861 – 6 October 1861):

  • While encamped near Fort Ethan Allen, individual companies from the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers were ordered to picket duty within 4-5 miles of camp, as well as drilled daily and inspected regularly;
  • During the evening of 6 October, the regiment broke camp, and marched for Camp Griffin, Virginia beginning at 3 a.m. on 7 October. As they progressed, they pushed back Confederate pickets along the entire route to Lewinsville, Virginia.

Prospect Hill, Lewinsville, Virginia (7-9 October 1861):

  • At 8 a.m. on 7 October 1861, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers formed a battle line on Prospect Hill behind Lewinsville, Virginia. Each wing of the 47th supported Union artillery batteries posted on either side of the regiment;
  • With Rebel pickets in sight, but no attack made, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers fortified the artillery batteries from 10 a.m. until ordered to rest from sundown until daylight. Felling trees, they built a 5-mile-long road, dug rifle pits, and built earthen breastworks around the placements of Union cannon.

Camp Griffin, Virginia (also known as “Camp Big Chestnut”; 9 October – 22 January 1862)


Movement of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry from Camp Griffin, Virginia to Annapolis, Maryland (brief quartering prior to naval transport, late January 1862):

  • 8:30 a.m. march from Camp Griffin to Vienna train station, Falls Church, Virginia (22 January 1862);
  • 30-minute trip by rail to Alexandria, Virginia (22 January 1862);
  • Transportation by steamship City of Richmond along the Potomac River, arriving at the Washington Arsenal, Washington, D.C.  at 4 p.m.; re-equipped with new Springfield rifles (22 January 1862);
  • March to the Soldiers’ Retreat, Washington, D.C. for dinner and rest (22 January 1862);
  • Transportation of the regiment via the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland (2-10 p.m., 23 January 1862);
  • Loading of weapons, equipment and other supplies by the regiment onto the steamship Oriental (24-27 January 1862);
  • Ferrying of the entire regiment (enlisted men first, officers last) to the steamship Oriental via smaller steamers (afternoon, 27 January 1862)

Transportation of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry from Annapolis Maryland to Key West, Florida via the steamship Oriental (departure: 4 p.m., 27 January 1862, arrival: early February 1862)

Rendering of Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida, Harper's Weekly, 1864 (public domain).

Fort Taylor, Harper’s Weekly, 1864.

Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida (February-June 1862):

  • Parade, Key West (14 February 1862);
  • Fortification of the federal facility by the regiment, including improvements to facility’s ingress and egress by felling trees and building roads (February 1862 – early June 1862)

Hilton Head and Beaufort District, South Carolina (June 1862 – 30 September 1862)

  • Encamped near Fort Walker, Hilton Head Island (June 1862)
  • Relocation to the U.S. Department of the South, Beaufort District (July 1862)
  • Expedition to Fenwick Island (9 July 1862)
  • Demonstration against Pocotaligo (10 July 1862)
J.H. Schell's 1862 illustration showing the earthen works which surrounded the Confederate battery atop Saint John's Bluff along the Saint John's River in Florida (public domain).

Confederate battery, Saint John’s Bluff, 1862.

Return to Florida:

Capture of Saint John’s Bluff, Florida (1-3 October 1862)

Capture of Jacksonville, Florida and the Confederate Steamer, Gov. Milton, at Hawkinsville by Companies E and K, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers as part of special collaboration with other Union regiments (5-6 October 1862)

Integration of 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry begins with enrollment of several young to middle-aged Black men from Beaufort, South Carolina; duties assigned were largely those of Cook or Under Cook (5-15 October 1862 with most official muster dates listed as having been granted at Morganza, Louisiana 22 June 1864)

The challenging environment of the Charleston & Savannah Railroad was illustrated by Harper's Weekly in 1865.

Charleston & Savannah Railroad, Harper’s Weekly, 1865.

Battle of Pocotaligo, South Carolina (transport via Ben DeFord; battle in and around the Frampton Plantation and the Pocotaligo Railroad Bridge and Train Depot, 21-23 October 1862)

Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida and Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida (regiment returned to Fort Taylor on 15 November 1862; later split in half in order to garrison both forts)


 Fort Jefferson's moat and wall, circa 1934, Dry Tortugas, Florida (C.E. Peterson, Library of Congress; public domain)

Fort Jefferson, c. 1934, U.S. Library of Congress, public domain.

Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida and Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida (Companies A, B, C, E, G, and I assigned to garrison Fort Taylor while Companies D, F, H, and K assigned to garrison duty at Fort Jefferson, the remote federal installation located in the Dry Tortugas which was accessible only by boat)

Integration of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers continues with enrollment at Fort Taylor of the first Cuban immigrant to serve with the regiment

Re-enlistment of significant numbers of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers for second three-year terms begins, resulting in the regiment’s ultimate designation as the 47th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers when it achieves the milestone of having more than 50 percent of its membership re-muster for continuing military service


Blockhouse, Fort Myers (circa 1850s), FloridaStateArchives

Blockhouse, Fort Myers, Florida Memory Project.

Fort Myers, Fort Taylor, and Fort Jefferson, Florida:

  • Companies B, C, E, G, I garrison Fort Taylor;
  • Companies D, F, H, K garrison Fort Jefferson;
  • Special “Florida Rangers” detachment from A Company ordered to rehabilitate Fort Myers, abandoned in 1858 after U.S. government’s third war with Seminole Indians, and to secure food for Union troops via raids on Confederate sympathizer cattle herds

1864 – Red River Campaign

Transportation of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry to Louisiana:

  • From Florida to Algiers, Louisiana via the steamer Charles Thomas (25-28 February 1864)
  • From Algiers to Brashear City, Louisiana via rail
  • From Brashear City to the Bayou Teche and Franklin, Louisiana via steamer

From Franklin to Alexandria and Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana by way of New Iberia, Vermillionville, Opelousas, and Washington (14-26 March 1864)

Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, 9 April 1864 (Harper’s Weekly, 7 May 1864, public domain).

Battles of Sabine Cross Roads/Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Louisiana (8-9 April 1864):

  • Battle of Sabine Cross Roads (also known as the Battle of Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, 8 April 1864)
  • Battle of Pleasant Hill, parishes of DeSoto and Sabine (9 April 1864)
  • Imprisonment of 16 members of the 47th Pennsylvania by the Confederate Army at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, and then at Camp Groce and Camp Ford near Tyler, Texas or at the Confederate Army hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana (mid-April 1864 – 22 July 1864 or later)

Grand Ecore, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana (10-22 April 1864)

Known as "Bailey's Dam" for the Union officer who ordered its construction, Lt. Col. Joseph Bailey, this timber dam built by the Union Army on the Red River in Alexandria, Louisiana in May 1864 was designed to facilitate passage of Union gunboats to and from the Mississippi River. Photo: Public domain.

Bailey’s Dam, 1864.

Battle of Cane River, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana (also known as the Battle of Monett’s Ferry, or Cane River Crossing, or the Affair at Monett’s Bluff, 23 April 1864)

Construction of Bailey’s Dam across the Red River, Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana (30 April 1864 – 10 May 1864)

Battle of Mansura, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana (also known as the Battle of Marksville or Smith’s Place, 16 May 1864)

Return of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers to New Orleans by way of Simmsport, across the Atchafalaya to Morganza and New Orleans, Louisiana (16 May 1864- 20 June 1864)

Pres. Abraham Lincoln at Fort Stevens, July 1864 (public domain illustration).

Pres. Abraham Lincoln at Fort Stevens, July 1864 (public domain illustration).

Transportation of Companies A, C, D, E, F, H, and I of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry to the Washington, D.C. area aboard U.S. Steamer McClellan and a Memorable Encounter with President Abraham Lincoln (5-12 July 1864):

  • Departure aboard the U.S. Steamer McClellan from Algiers, Louisiana (7 July 1864)
  • Burial at sea of Private Jonas Snyder, I Company, who dies from consumption while en eroute (in the Gulf of Mexico off the American coast 8 July 1864)
  • U.S. Steamer McClellan rounds the coast of Florida and bypasses Forts Taylor and Jefferson to avoid yellow fever epidemic ravaging Key West (10 July 1864)
  • 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers arrive aboard the McClellan at Hampton Roads, Virginia ( afternoon of 11 July 1864)
  • Companies A, C, D, E, F, H, and I of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers ordered to march for Fort Stevens; while there, many members of the regiment are thrilled to realize they are seeing President Abraham Lincoln in person; later, after the regiment marches out to connect with Bidwell’s Brigade, the regiment is informed that President Lincoln survived being shot at by Confederate troops; the 47th then bivouacks that night near the remains of a burnt house which said to be Montgomery Blair’s (12 July 1864)

Transportation of Companies B, G and K of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry under the command of Captain Henry S. Harte to the Washington, D.C. area board the Blackstone by way of Bermuda Hundred, Virginia aboard the Blackstone (rejoining 47th Pennsylvania and U.S. 19th Army Corps at Monocacy, Virginia between 31 July and 2 August 1864)

1864 – Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Battle of Snicker’s Gap, Virginia (also known as the Battle of Cool Spring, 18 July 1864; involved Companies A, C, D, E, F, H, and I; Companies B, G and K were still in Louisiana at this time)

Defensive duties in and around Halltown, Virginia and participation in back-and-forth troop movements between Halltown, Berryville, Charlestown, and Winchester as part of Union Major-General Philip H. Sheridan’s “mimic war” with Confederate Lieutenant-General Jubal Early’s Confederate forces (August 1864)

Battle of Opequan, 19 September 1864 (U.S. Library of Congress, public domain).

Battle of Berryville, Virginia (3-4 September 1864) and ensuing “clean-up skirmishes” with Confederate forces over the next several days

Battle of Opequan, Virginia (or “Opequon Creek” or “Third Winchester”, 19 September 1864)

Battle of Fisher’s Hill, Virginia (21-22 September 1864)

Camp of the U.S. Army of the Shenandoah, Cedar Creek, Virginia (23 September 1864 – 19 October 1864)

Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia (19 October 1864):

  • Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia (19 October 1864)
  • Imprisonment by the Confederate Army of at least one member of the 47th Pennsylvania at the C.S.A prison at Andersonville, Georgia and of multiple 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers at the C.S.A. prison at Salisbury, North Carolina

Camp Russell, near Winchester, Virginia (November 1864 – 20 December 1864)

Camp Fairview, Charlestown, West Virginia (20 December 1864 – February 1865)


Camp Fairview, Charlestown, West Virginia (service from late December 1864 through January 1865)

Provisional Division, 2nd Brigade, U.S. Army of the Shenandoah (February 1865)

Matthew Brady's photograph of spectators massing for the Grand Review of the Armies, 23-24 May 1865, at the side of the crepe-draped U.S. Capitol, flag at half mast following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. (Library of Congress: Public domain.)

Spectators at crepe-draped U.S. Capitol, Grand Review of the Armies, 23-24 May 1865, flag at half mast following Lincoln’s assassination (Matthew Brady, Library of Congress).

Fort Stevens and Old Military Prison, Washington, D.C.; Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (mid-April 1865 -late May 1865):

  • Defense of the nation’s capital following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (April-May 1865)
  • Honor Guard, President Lincoln’s Funeral Train (C Company Musician Samuel Pyers, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Washington, D.C. to Relay Station, Maryland, 21 April 1865)
  • Guard Duties, Old Military Prison, Washington, D.C. (per letters of prison commanding officer, Brevet Major-General John F. Hartanft, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers performed guard and possible pre-trial escort duties associated with the imprisonment of the Lincoln assassination conspirators on at least 9 May and the early morning of 10 May 1865; guard duties may also have been performed on days prior to 9 May)
  • Grand Review of the ArmiesWashington, D.C. (23-24 May 1865)
Ruins seen from the Circular Church, Charleston, SC, 1865. Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (111-B-4667, public domain).

Ruins of Charleston, South Carolina, 1865.
Source: U.S. National Archives, public domain.

Provost (military police) and Reconstruction Duties, Savannah, Georgia (31 May 1865 – 4 June 1865)

Provost (military police) and Reconstruction Duties, Charleston, South Carolina (mid-June 1865 – early January 1866)

Beginning of 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers’ Regimental Honorable Discharge Process, Charleston, South Carolina (25 December 1865 through early January 1866)

Return of the 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry to Pennsylvania:

  • Transport by sea to New York, New York (early January 1866);
  • Transport by rail to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (early January 1866);
  • Honorable Discharge Papers granted to 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Camp Cadwalader, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (9 January 1866)