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Federal Regiment

106th Pennsylvania Infantry

"5th California Regiment"
Organized: Philadelphia, PA; mustered in 10/31/1861
Disbanded/Mustered out: Philadelphia, PA 9/10/1864

 

Commanding Officer on the Antietam Campaign:
  Col. Turner G. Morehead

 

This Regiment's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of the Potomac
  Corps - Second (II) Army Corps
  Division - 2nd Division, II Corps
  Brigade - 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, II Corps


Unit history

"After the return of the 22d Regiment of the three-months' enlistments, its Colonel, Turner G. Morehead, a veteran of the Mexican War, and some of his officers commenced to recruit a new regiment for the three-year service. It was mustered in during August, September and October, 1861. Many members of the Philadelphia Light Guards and a large number of the enlisted men of the 22d joined this command, which was first known as the "Fifth California" Regiment, being part of Colonel Baker's California Brigade, but later as one of the four regiments composing the Philadelphia Brigade. "
(California State Military Museum)

On the Antietam Campaign

Joseph R. C. Ward of Company I later wrote the following narrative1 of the regiment's role at Antietam on 17 September 1862:

Our Brigade, still commanded by General Howard, was on the right as we moved in three lines and crossed the [Antietam] creek. When all were across, the line was halted and then faced to the left. This brought the division in three lines of battle ... our brigade forming the third line, the Seventy-First Regiment on the right with the One Hundred and Sixth on their left, then the Sixty-Ninth and the Seventy-Second, the left of the line.

... Emerging from the east woods east of the road into that famous cornfield, thence obliquely over the Hagerstown turnpike, subjected to a terrible artillery fire, being all the time greatly encouraged by the brave [Gen. O.O.] Howard ... Stubbornly and solidly did we push our way over the ground now covered with the dead and wounded of both armies, General Howard again urging us to keep steady, and "be careful not to step on those poor men", meaning the wounded ...

Striking the Hagerstown pike obliquely, the right first reaching it and climbing the post and six-rail fence on each side, pushed on into the west woods that surrounded the Dunker Church, the left of the line reaching to the church and the right continuing across the open field beyond and into the woods, fulfilling General Sedgwick's orders to "Push into the woods", which sheltered us from their artillery fire, they also using canister with terrible effect. Adjutant Pleis had his horse shot from under him and instantly killed by a round shot, before reaching the Hagerstown road.

The First Brigade under Gorman, closely followed by the Third under Dana, and that by the Second under Howard, was pressing through the woods and down a slight inclination when they uncovered the enemy under McLaws, who had just arrived from Harper's Ferry, then massing in a cornfield below them, beyond which rose quite an elevation on which their batteries were placed. The infantry opened with volley after volley into our line as soon as it came into sight and the artillery poured into us a heavy fire of shot and shell. Our advance halted and at once opened fire.

Early and Starke joined McLaws and the fire became intense. Gorman met them with successive volleys, but his men could not stand that combined attack and that terrible fire, so gave way and back they came through Dana's line, destroying its usefulness, and carried most all of it back with them and would no doubt have carried our brigade too, but for the coolness and prompt action of its commander, General Howard, who instructed them to lie down and reserve their fire, and as soon as his front was cleared of the retreating troops, gave the order to fire. Its effectiveness checked their advance, and had he been supported could have held his ground, designated by General Jackson as the key of the battlefield.

Lieutenant James C. Lynch, then in command of Company A of the One Hundred and Sixth, called the attention of Colonel Owen, of the Sixty-Ninth, to their column, now plainly visible on our left flank; Colonel Owen said he saw them and had called General Howard's attention to them, and he had replied that he knew it, but his orders were to move right oblique. At this moment General Sumner rode in front of our brigade from left to right, his hat in hand, his white locks blown by the breeze, his eye flashing fire, gave an order which our men thought was to charge, and answered him with a cheer, rose up, began to fix bayonets, but the General cried "Back Boys, for God's sake move back; you are in a bad fix". He had seen the enemy fast getting around our flank, and had sent two different aides with orders to General Howard to change front on the left to meet them, but one was killed and the other wounded, and General Howard never received the order; so General Sumner rode up himself to save his men, and, waving his hat backwards, the men understood and reluctantly began to retire in good order.

For the first time in its history was Sedgwick's Division compelled to retire before the enemy, and its brave commander twice wounded, refusing to leave the field when first wounded. As we emerged from the woods the enemy opened with their artillery a terrific fire of canister from batteries they had rushed into position on our left flank, with terrible effect, and then their infantry rushed into the gap, poured volley after volley into the flank of our now retreating line; this hastened our retreat and broke our line, then moving rapidly off towards the right, causing a very heavy loss, especially in the Seventy-Second Regiment, then on the left.

Colonel Morehead's horse was shot from under him, and, falling, held him fast until released by Sergeant Joseph Taylor and Corporals McNeal and Stephen Taylor of Company C. After going some distance to the rear the Colonel found he had lost his sword, a handsome one, that had been presented to him by the Regiment, and went back after it, though urged not to do so by the men, but he said, "Yes I will, that sword was given me by my men and I told them I would protect it with my life and never see it dishonored, and I am not going to let them damned rebels get it", so he went back to where his horse lay and got it and returned in safety to the regiment although the enemy was near enough to demand his surrender, and fired at him because he refused.

Arriving at a fence, running at right angles to the Hagerstown pike across the open field north of the Dunker Church, an effort was made to rally and check the advance of the now elated enemy, who were emerging from the woods in large numbers. Here Sergeant Benjamin F. Sloanaker, of Company C, Color Sergeant, and with Sergeants Rose and Foy of Company H, planted the colors on the fence and called upon the Regiment to "rally on the colors". Captain Allen and Lieutenant Tyler rallied the other men. calling upon them to stand by their colors, and stand they did, detachments of other regiments joining them. Colonel Morehead opened fire, pouring volley after volley in quick succession into the advancing enemy, who, thinking they had struck our second line, checked their advance, and finally fell back under cover of the wood. Colonel Morehead, though injured by the fall of his horse, remained on the field.

A portion of the Regiment, principally Company A, had fallen back part of the way to some haystacks further to the right of the position, where the Regiment made its stand, and there formed and opened fire. It was joined by a detachment of a Massachusetts regiment under a captain, who was almost instantly killed upon reaching there, by a round shot. (We have since been informed that this was the Fifteenth Massachusetts.) These detachments from this point opened fire, and by their well-directed and constant volleys materially assisted in checking that advance. This detachment soon after joined the Regiment, and went with it to the support of the artillery.

We cannot pass on, without referring to the personal gallantry of Sergeant Charles E. Hickman of Company A, who, with his gun in both hands across his body, marching backwards all the way, called upon his men to keep steady, and by his example kept the company closed up, and then in good order retired, firing as they fell back. Here Sergeant Hickman gave his life for his country, being instantly killed.

This ended the contest in our front. The One Hundred and Sixth Regiment then fell back still further to the right, and again formed between a house and barn, receiving many of the members that had been separated from them, and was then ordered by General Howard back, and around to the left to support the artillery, and took their position in the edge of the woods on the east side of that cornfield, being the same woods through which they advanced early in the morning. Now known as the "East Woods".
See also a casualty list published in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 29 September 1862. More about those soldiers below.

Map Showing this Unit

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #35: Second Army Corps - 15 Sep, 7 AM to 15 Sep, 8 PM
Tablet #115: Second Army Corps - 15 Sep, 9 AM to 17 Sep, 7 AM
Tablet #120: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #116: Second Army Corps - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #36: Sedgwick's Division, Second Army Corps - 17 Sep, 7 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #39: Howard's Brigade, Sedgwick's Division - 17 Sep, 7 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM

More on the Web

See a summary of the unit's history from the California State Military Museum.

We have 107 individuals who were on the Maryland Campaign in the AotW database for this unit:

 

Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
APvtBeckley, Joshua KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtConnelly, John WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
ASgtCrewe, Charles H.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
ASgtHickman, Charles E.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtHodson, James C.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
A LtLynch, James Canning        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
APvtMorris, George W.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtNichols, Theodore WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtScullen, Patrick KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtSharpley, William WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
A PvtSmith, George S.WIA   09/17     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
APvtStafford, Thomas L.AWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtSteinmetz, William WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtWaldron, George W.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
APvtWalton, David G.WIA   09/17     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
BSgtChambers, John H.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BPvtChambers, Joseph A.MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BPvtHollingsworth, James WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BPvtMasterson, John WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BPvtMcGreal, Patrick WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BSgtSchank, Alonzo C.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
B PvtStainrook, Henry A.POW   09/17     We have some details for this person
CCaptAllen, Ralph Wheelock Pomeroy        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
CPvtArbuckle, Samuel W.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CCorpBaile, Francis WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CPvtCole, Orson ClarkWIA   09/17     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
C PvtDibble, William A.MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CPvtFord, Charles WIA   09/18     We have some details for this person
CPvtMathews, Thomas M.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CCorpMcNeal, William MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CPvtMitchell, James WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CCorpNeiler, William H.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CSgtSloanaker, Benjamin F.        We have some details for this person
CPvtSpencer, James W.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CLtSteel, John A.WIA   00/00     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
CSgtTaylor, Joseph J.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CCorpTaylor, Stephen P.        We have some details for this person
CPvtWard, Thomas WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DPvtCoons, Giles McDuffieWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DCorpDonovan, Albert AWOL   09/15     We have some details for this person
DPvtDowd, Thomas KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
D PvtElter, John S.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DPvtHolcomb, James ElleryWIA   09/17     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
D PvtKendall, Pembroke S.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DPvtMason, George G.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DPvtRodebaugh, Elwood KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DPvtSchambacher, Charles F.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
D PvtTyler, James D.POW   09/12     We have some details for this person
D PvtWatts, Hiram B.AWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
EPvtDoane, Samuel N.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
E CorpHart, Thomas WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
EPvtMcLaughlin, John KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
E PvtMountenay, John WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
EPvtRice, Jacob MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
E CorpSchaer, Theodore C.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
E CorpStroup, Thomas M.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtBitler, Adam BruceWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtBlack, Samuel N.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtBrosious, Jacob M.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FLtBryan, William KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FCaptClarke, Timothy DwightMWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtCoffman, John WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtHowlett, William WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtLivergood, Samuel WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtLucke, William MorrisWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtPoust, Henry WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FSgtSanders, Richard KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtSoars, Stephen WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtStarr, Abram WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtStauffer, John WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FSgtWhitmoyer, Clark WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
G PvtEhler, Benjamin WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtHale, John F.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtLeggett, Walter F.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtManning, Andrew J.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtMcDonnell, Joseph WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtPhillips, Edward WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtSellers, Joseph S.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtSpicer, John AWOL   09/15     We have some details for this person
GPvtTownsend, William S.WIA   09/15     We have some details for this person
HPvtAnderson, John R.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
HPvtDiemer, Henry KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
HSgtFoy, James J.        We have some details for this person
HPvtMiller, James WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
H PvtRawnsley, Francis IngramWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
HSgtRose, William B.WIA   09/17     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
HLtTyler, Lynford David Criss        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
HPvtVanhoff, Charles AWOL   09/16     We have some details for this person
HCorpWeiderman, Frederick WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
IPvtMcNally, Peter WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
IPvtOuton, John H.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
IPvtSterling, Hector WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
IMusWard, Joseph Ripley Chandler        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
ISgtWitter, James D.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
I PvtWoods, Thomas AWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtClark, Justus JohnWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KCorpDarrah, Henry MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KCaptFimple, Theodore J.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtMcBride, John WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtMcCann, Francis WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtMcGinn, Owen WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtMcGuffin, Hugh WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtMcVey, John MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtWard, Robert W.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
KPvtWhite, Joseph WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
F&SColMorehead, Turner Gustavus        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
F&SLtPleis, Ferdinand M.        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person

 

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Notes

1   Ward, Joseph R. C., History of the One-Hundred and Sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865 (2nd Ed.), Philadelphia: Grant, Faires & Rogers, 1906, pp. 102-106  [AotW citation 21517]