The 116th PVI began recruiting June 11th, 1862 in Philadelphia. On August 31st, with only seven-hundred men mustered, orders were received to move without delay to the defense of Washington D.C. The regiment was then sent to Harpers Ferry, VA, where they saw duty until October 29th. It was here at Harpers Ferry that the regiment was assigned to the Irish Brigade, which comprised of the 63rd New York, 69th New York, 88th New York, 28th Massachusetts, and the 29th Massachusetts.
116th PVI Battles and Skirmishes
VA October 10, 1862
Snicker's Gap, VA November 11, 1862
Fredricksburg, VA December 12-13, 1862
Chancellorsville, VA May 1-4, 1863
Gettysburg, PA July 2-3, 1863
Falling Waters, MD July 12, 1863
Auburn, VA October 14, 1863
Bristoe Station, VA October 14, 1863
Mine Run, VA November 28-30, 1863
Morton's Ford, VA February 6, 1864
Wilderness, VA May 5-6, 1864
Todd's Tavern, VA May 8, 1864
Po River, VA May 10, 1864
Spotsylvania, VA May 12, 1864
Spotsylvania Court House, VA May 18-19, 1864
North Anna River, VA May 23, 1864
Pamunkey River, VA May 28, 1864
Tolopotomy, VA May 30-31, 1864
Cold Harbor, VA June 3, 1864
Petersburg, VA June 16-18, 1864
William's Farm, VA June 22, 1864
Hatcher's Run, VA December 9, 1864
Petersburg, VA, Siege December, 1864 to March, 1865
Deep Bottom, VA July 26, 1864
Strawberry Plains, VA August 14, 1864
Reams Station, VA August 25, 1864
Dabney's Mill, VA February 5, 1865
Gravelly Run, Five Forks, VA March 29-April 4, 1865
Sunderland Station, VA April 2, 1865
Amelia Court House, VA April 6, 1865
Sailor's Creek, VA April 6, 1865
Farmville, VA April 7, 1865
Appomatox, VA April 9, 1865
The regiment began their march to Washington D.C. on May 2nd and arrived on May 12th. The 116th PVI participated in the Grand Review on May 23rd and all companies were mustered out by July 14th, 1865. During active service, the regiment lost 8 officers and 137 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 1 officer, 88 enlisted men to disease.
Let us never forget the Men of the 116th!
For More information on the 116th try;
The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, MULHOLLAND, St. Clair A. (edited by Lawrence Frederick Kohl): Fordham Univ., New York, 1996, 480pp.. Irish-born Mulholland (1839-1910) commanded the 116th through most of its Civil War campaigns, and wrote his account of the experience after the war. The regiment fought in the Army of the Potomac alongside the famous Irish Brigade from Fredericksburg to Petersburg and saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
The Civil War Notebook of Daniel Chisholm - A Chronicle of Daily Life in the Union Army 1864-1865. CHISHOLM, Daniel (edited by W. Springer Menge & J. August Shimrak):, Orion, NY, 1989, 198pp. Daniel Chisholm was a young man from Uniontown, Pennsylvania when he enlisted with Company K 116th Pennsylvania Volunteers on February 29, 1864 along with his brother Alex. The 116th had already been in service since June of 1862, but it wasn't long before the new recruits from Fayette County were made experienced soldiers in the battle of the Wilderness. They encountered fighting again at Cold Harbor, Reams Station, and Petersburg. Alex was promoted to sergeant on May 29, 1864, and Daniel was put in charge of Company C on November 10th 1864, and promoted to lieutenant. The Chisholm brothers had many close calls, Alex was at one point in the hospital and, according to 1883 pension records, Daniel would receive a monthly allowance of four dollars due to a leg wound. Their regiment remained at Petersburg until news reached them on April 9, 1865, of General Robert E. Lee's surrender. Those in Company K that had survived the war were mustered out on July 14. Chisholm, upon retiring to his home after service in the Army of the Potomac, transcribed the diary of Samuel Clear into a notebook and collected and transcribed his own letters home, along with some of his brother's.
My Life in the Irish Brigade - The Civil War Memoirs of Private William McCarter, 116 Pennsylvania Infantry, McCARTER, William (edited by Kevin E. O'Brien): Savas Pub., Campbell CA, 1996, 257pp. William McCarter was a twenty-one year old Irish immigrant when he enlisted in the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry in August 1862. The unit soon became part of the Second Brigade, First Division, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, better known as the fabled Irish Brigade and Carter's memoirs, "My Life in the Irish Brigade" has the distinction of being the first full-length memoir published by an enlisted man in the Irish Brigade. McCarter's account covers the brigade from the Seven Day's Battles in which it made its battlefield reputation, to its assault against the Bloody Lane at Antietam, to the charge up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg where McCarter was gravely wounded and forced to leave the army. Because he was detailed as the personal scribe to General Thomas F. Meagher, commander of the Irish Brigade, McCarter was able to meet and judge the famous generals of the Union Army such as Ambrose Burnside and Winfield Scott Hancock. Kevin E. O'Brien, who has written widely on the Irish Brigade, edits the volume and in addition to his Endnotes he has included several interesting items in the Appendixes, such as the poem "The Irish Dead on Fredericksburg Heights" which was printed in the "Irish-American" in 1863. McCarter's recollections are quite engaging, and his description of the Brigade's actions at the fateful battle of Fredericksburg, where the vast majority of its 1,200 men were killed or wounded, is the best part of the book. If you have more than a passing familiarity with the history of the Irish Brigade, this is an excellent book to give you a unique and fascinating perspective on their glory days during the Civil War. It is also one of the better written memoirs, by enlisted man or general, you will find.
L. M. Bernabo