7th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
7th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg
Pennsylvania flag
Active June 6, 1861, to June 16, 1864
Country United States
Allegiance Union
Branch Infantry
Engagements Battle of Mechanicsville
Battle of Gaines' Mill
Battle of Glendale
Battle of Malvern Hill
Battle of Second Bull Run
Battle of South Mountain
Battle of Antietam
Battle of Fredericksburg
Battle of the Wilderness
Battle of Laurel Hill
Battle of Spottsylvania Court House
Battle of North Anna
Battle of Totopotomoy Creek

The 7th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment, also known as the 36th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was part of the 2nd Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves division. At the Battle of the Wilderness, on May 5, 1864, most of the regiment became surrounded by the enemy and was forced to surrender. The captives were sent to Confederate prisoner-of-war camps where they were kept until the final months of the war.


The 7th Pennsylvania Reserves were recruited in several counties lying east of the Allegheny mountains, rendezvoused at Camp Wayne, near the town of West Chester, Pennsylvania, early in the month of June 1861, and were organized on June 26, 1861. Elisha B. Harvey, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, served as the regiment's first colonel, Joseph Totten as lieutenant colonel and Chauncey A. Lyman as major. It was sent to Washington, D.C., where the division was assigned to the I Corps of the Army of the Potomac. The I Corps remained in northern Virginia instead of following the rest of the Army for the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. In May, due to Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's demands for reinforcements, the division was sent the Peninsula as well.

In August 1862, the Army of the Potomac was transferred to northern Virginia to support the Army of Virginia. The 7th Pennsylvania Reserves then fought at Turner's Gap in the Battle of South Mountain, at the Battle of Antietam, and at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 12. The Seventh Reserves distinguished themselves at Fredericksburg by capturing over 100 of the enemy, along with the battle flag of the Nineteenth Georgia Infantry, the only trophy seized during the battle.[1]

At the Battle of the Wilderness, on May 5, 1864, the entire regiment—except for Company B -- found itself hopelessly surrounded by Confederate troops, and was compelled to surrender. 272 officers and men were captured, and were immediately marched to the rear of the rebel army at Orange Court House, and thence to Lynchburg, Virginia. The enlisted men were speedily conveyed to the infamous rebel prison pen at Andersonville, Georgia, and the officers were sent to Camp Oglethorpe in Macon, Georgia, and were subsequently placed under fire of Union guns at Charleston, for the protection of the city. The prisoners were held until the end of the conflict was near, with some being paroled, and some liberated by Union troops, but with many enlisted dying from starvation, disease and exposure in the period leading up to release.


The 7th Pennsylvania Reserves lost 3 officers and 80 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded in battle, and 135 enlisted men dead for reasons not directly caused in action (disease, etc.) -- 67 of these at Andersonville, and an undetermined number after the captives were moved to Florence, South Carolina, totalling 218 fatalities.[2][3]


  • Col. Elisha B. Harvey, June 26, 1861, to July 4, 1862 (resigned)
  • Col. Henry C. Bolinger (Capt. of Company D 6/26/1861, to Lt. Col. 5/5/1862, then Col. 8/1/1862; captured at the Wilderness, May 5, 1864; sent to Macon, GA)
  • Capt. Samuel B. King (of Company H), May 1864 to June 16, 1864 (mustered out)

See also[edit]


  • Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (Des Moines, IA: Dyer Pub. Co.), 1908.


External links[edit]