Pennsylvania 51st Volunteer Infantry (Union)
01 Nov 1861
Pennsylvania 51st Volunteer Infantry organized at Pennsylvania.
07 Feb 1862
Participated in the Battle of Roanoke Island at Roanoke Island, North Carolina; Croatan Island, North Carolina.
14 Mar 1862
Participated in the Battle of New Bern at Craven County, North Carolina.
Hatteras Island, on the outer shore of North Carolina, fell to Union forces in August, 1861. Roanoke Island, just to the north, was captured on February 8, 1862. Elizabeth City on the mainland followed days later. With the freedom to navigate unmolested through Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's command looked for other strategic targets of opportunity. The city of New Bern was a significant target, as the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad that connected the coast with the in…
01 Sep 1862
Participated in the Battle of Chantilly at Fairfax Co, VA.
Confederate Maj. Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson hoped to cut off the Union retreat from Manassas the day after the Confederate victory at the second battle fought there. Jackson's wing of Lee's army made a wide, flanking march, screened by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry, north and then east, to take the strategically important village of Germantown. There, Maj. Gen. John Pope's only two retreat routes to Washington - the Warrenton Pike and the Little River Turnpike - converged. On September 1st, beyond Chanti…
14 Sep 1862
Participated in the Battle of South Mountain at Frederick County, Maryland; Washington County, Maryland; Boonsboro, Maryland.
After his success at Second Manassas, Gen. Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia north across the Potomac River on an invasion of Maryland in September of 1862. Lee divided his army, sending a portion of it into western Maryland while Lieut. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's wing attempted to capture the Federal garrison at Harper's Ferry. The bold plan was jeopardized on September 13th when a mislaid copy of Lee's orders revealing the Confederates' plans was given to Union commander Maj. Gen. George B. M…
17 Sep 1862
Assigned to the Regiment led by .
17 Sep 1862
Participated in the Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Maryland.
The Army of the Potomac, under the command of Maj. Gen. George McClellan, mounted a series of powerful assaults against General Robert E. Lee's forces along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17th, 1862.
13 Dec 1862
Participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg at Fredericksburg, Virginia.
In early November, Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside took command of the Army of the Potomac, and made immediate plans to move the army once again toward Richmond.
18 May 1863
Participated in the Battle of Vicksburg at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
In mid-May, 1863, after six months of unsuccessful attempts, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee finally converged on Vicksburg, defended by a Confederate army under Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton. Capture of the Mississippi River town was critical to Union control of the strategic river. Vicksburg was located on a high river bluff defended with artillery, and Pemberton's men had constructed a series of fortifications in an 8-mile arc surrounding the city on the landward side. After crossing the…
05 May 1864
Assigned to the Regiment led by .
05 May 1864
Participated in the Battle of Wilderness at Spotslyvania County, Virginia; Orange County, Virginia.
The first battle between Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee erupted late in the morning of May 5, 1864, as Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's Union V Corps attacked Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps on the Orange Turnpike southwest of the old Chancellorsville battlefield. Although Federal infantry managed to break through at several points, the Confederate line held. Fighting shifted to the south as Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill's Third Corps engaged Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock's II Corps and ele…
08 May 1864
Participated in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House at Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
Following the Battle of the Wilderness, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant marched the Union army south with the hope of capturing Spotsylvania Court House and preventing Robert E. Lee's army from retreating further. Lee's Confederates, however, managed to get ahead of the Federals and block the road. Fighting began on May 8th, when the Union Fifth Corps under Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren and the Sixth Corps under Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick engaged Confederate Maj. Gen. Richard Anderson's First Corps at Laurel Hi…
31 May 1864
Participated in the Battle of Cold Harbor at Hanover Co; near Mechanicsville, VA.
After two days of inconclusive fighting along Totopotomoy Creek northeast of Richmond, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee turned their sights on the crossroads of Cold Harbor. Roads emanating through this critical junction led to Richmond as well as supply and reinforcement sources for the Union army. On May 31, 1864, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's cavalry captured Cold Harbor. The next day, Sheridan held the crossroads against a Confederate attack. With reinforcements from both armies arriving…
15 Jun 1864
Participated in the Battle of Second Petersburg at Petersburg, Virginia.
As the Overland Campaign concluded, the strategic goals of Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant shifted from the defeat of Robert E. Lee's army in the field to eliminating the supply and communication routes to the Confederate capital at Richmond. The city of Petersburg, 24 miles south of Richmond, was the junction point of five railroads that supplied the entire upper James River region. Grant knew Petersburg was the key to the capture of Richmond and that Lee would be forced to defend it. Marching south from Co…
21 Jun 1864
Participated in the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road at Petersburg, Virginia.
30 Jul 1864
Participated in the Battle of Crater at Petersburg, VA.
Two weeks after Union forces arrived to invest the Confederate defenders of Petersburg, the battle lines of both sides had settled into a stalemate. Since Cold Harbor, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was reluctant to mount a frontal attack against well-entrenched Confederates. By late June, Grant's lines covered most of the eastern approaches to Petersburg, but neither side seemed ready to risk an offensive move. Part of the Union line was held by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's Ninth Corps. Some of Burnside'…
18 Aug 1864
Participated in the Battle of Globe Tavern at Petersburg, Virginia.
25 Mar 1865
Participated in the Battle of Fort Stedman at Petersburg, VA.
By March of 1865, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's grip on the Confederate lines around Petersburg was having its desired effect. Outnumbered and weakened by disease, desertion and shortage of food and supplies, Gen. Robert E. Lee had few options. After careful study of the Union troops in his sector of the line, Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon suggested to Lee the possibility of a successful offensive strike against Grant. In front of Gordon's men, Union-held Fort Stedman seemed the best target for a Confederate a…
02 Apr 1865
Participated in the Battle of Third Petersburg at Dinwiddie County, Virginia; Petersburg, Virginia.
With the Confederate defeat at Five Forks on April 1st, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. George Meade ordered a general assault against the Petersburg lines by the Second, Ninth, Sixth and Twenty-Fourth Corps to take place April 2nd. In the pre-dawn darkness, the Union infantry gained a successful breakthrough where Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright's advancing Sixth Corps met the Confederate lines held by Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill near the Boydton Plank Road. Hill was killed trying to reach his troops in t…
09 Apr 1865
Participated in the Battle of Appomattox Court House at Appomattox Court House, VA.
Between 26,000 and 28,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered and were paroled.
27 Jul 1865
Pennsylvania 51st Volunteer Infantry mustered out at Pennsylvania.