56th Pennsylvania Infantry

   

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Editor’s Note: Do you have information on this unit’s role at the Siege of Petersburg?  Please contact us using the Contact button in the menu at the top of the screen.  We are happy to exchange information with other researchers.

Muster In: Organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, March 7, 1862.1
Muster Out: July 1, 18652

Commander(s):
Lieutenant Colonel John T. Jack
Commander Image

Major Henry A. Laycock
Commander Image

Commander 3
Commander Image

First Offensive Order of Battle: Second Brigade | Fourth Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army3,4

Second Offensive Order of Battle: Second Brigade | Fourth Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army6,7

Third Offensive Order of Battle: Second Brigade | Fourth Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army10,11

  • Commander: Major John T. Jack (July 31, 1864)12
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Fourth Offensive Order of Battle:

Second Brigade | Fourth Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army (August 1-?, 1864)13

Third Brigade | Second Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army (August ?-31, 1864)14

  • Commander: Major John T. Jack (August 31, 1864)15
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Fifth Offensive Order of Battle: Third Brigade | Third Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army16,17

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Sixth Offensive Order of Battle: Third Brigade | Third Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army18,19

  • Commander: Major John T. Jack (October 31, 1864)20
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Seventh Offensive Order of Battle: Third Brigade | Third Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army21,22

  • Commander: Major John T. Jack (December 31, 1864)23
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:
  • Note: This regiment participated in Warren’s Stony Creek, or “Apple Jack” Raid to Belfield and Hicksford, Virginia from December 7-12, 1864.24

Eighth Offensive Order of Battle: Third Brigade | Third Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army25,26,27

  • Commander: Major (Lieutenant Colonel) John T. Jack (January 31 & February 28, 1865)28,29
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:
  • Note: This unit is listed in the casualty returns for the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7, 1865, implying it was present during the Eighth Offensive and the battle.30

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle: Third Brigade | Third Division | V Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army31,32

  • Commander: Major Henry A. Laycock (March 31, 1865)33
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:
  • Note: On March 16, 1865, the 56th Pennsylvania and 88th Pennsylvania were consolidated in the field and functioned as one regiment under Major Laycock of the 56th Pennsylvania for the rest of the Siege of Petersburg.  More research is needed.34,35

Dyer’s/Sifakis’ Compendium Info:
Siege of Petersburg Battles36:

  • Before Petersburg June 16-18.
  • Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865.
  • Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864 (Reserve).
  • Weldon Railroad August 18-21.
  • Poplar Springs Church September 29-October 2.
  • Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run, October 27-28.
  • Warren’s Raid on Weldon Railroad December 7-12.
  • Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7, 1865.
  • Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
  • Lewis Farm near Gravelly Run March 29.
  • Boydton and White Oak Road March 31.
  • Five Forks April 1.
  • Fall of Petersburg April 2.
  • Appomattox C. H. April 9.
  • Surrender of Lee and his army.

Bibliography:

    Siege of Petersburg Documents Which Mention This Unit:

    Sources:

    1. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer (Part 3)
    2. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer (Part 3)
    3. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), p. 225
    4. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 2 (Serial Number 81), p. 546
    5. Volume 14 (Ordnance Returns for the Second Quarter, April-June, 1864); 56th Pennsylvania Entry, Page 48; Summary Statements of Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand in Regular and Volunteer Army Organizations, 1862-1867, 1870-1876. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1281, Roll 7); Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1797-1969, Record Group 156; National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
    6. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), p. 225
    7. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 2 (Serial Number 81), p. 546
    8. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 2 (Serial Number 81), p. 546
    9. Volume 14 (Ordnance Returns for the Second Quarter, April-June, 1864); 56th Pennsylvania Entry, Page 48; Summary Statements of Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand in Regular and Volunteer Army Organizations, 1862-1867, 1870-1876. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1281, Roll 7); Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1797-1969, Record Group 156; National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
    10. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), page 256
    11. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 3 (Serial Number 82), page 733
    12. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 3 (Serial Number 82), page 733
    13. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), page 125: “Return of Casualties in the Union Forces (August 1864)”: At some point after the Battle of Globe Tavern ended on August 21, 1864 the Fourth Division, Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac ceased to exist and its units were parceled out to the rest of the Fifth Corps.  The Official Records, XLII, Part 2, page 800 contains General Orders #35 from September 12, 1864 detailing the changes.  However, the table in OR, Vol. XLII, Part 2, page 614 showing the organization of the Army of the Potomac on August 31, 1864 already has the Fourth Division, Fifth Corps broken up.  More research is needed.
    14. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 2 (Serial Number 88), page 615: “Organization of the Army of the Potomac…August 31, 1864”
    15. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 2 (Serial Number 88), page 615: “Organization of the Army of the Potomac…August 31, 1864”
    16. Sommers, Richard J. “Grant’s Fifth Offensive at Petersburg: A Study in Strategy, Tactics, and Generalship.  The Battle of Poplar Spring Church, the First Battle of the Darbytown Road, the Second Battle of the Squirrel Level Road, the Second Battle of the Darbytown Road (Ulysses S. Grant, Virginia).” Doctoral Thesis. Rice University, 1970. Print. p. 1300.
    17. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), page 140: “Return of Casualties in the Union Forces (September-October 1864)”
    18. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 3 (Serial Number 89), page 461: “Organization of the Union Forces” (October 31, 1864)”
    19. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), page 157: “Return of Casualties in the Union Forces…Boydton Plank Road, Va., October 27-28, 1864”
    20. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 3 (Serial Number 89), page 461: “Organization of the Union Forces” (October 31, 1864)”
    21. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 3 (Serial Number 89), page 1118: “Organization of the Union Forces” (December 31, 1864)
    22. Calkins, Chris. “The Apple Jack Raid: For This Barbarism There Was No Real Excuse.” Blue & Gray Magazine Summer 2005: 18-25 (OOB on page 60).
    23. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 3 (Serial Number 89), page 1118: “Organization of the Union Forces” (December 31, 1864)
    24. Calkins, Chris. “The Apple Jack Raid: For This Barbarism There Was No Real Excuse.” Blue & Gray Magazine Summer 2005: 18-25 (OOB on page 60).
    25. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 2 (Serial Number 96), page 329: “Organization of the Union Forces” (January 31, 1865)
    26. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 2 (Serial Number 96), page 742: “Organization of the Union Forces” (February 28, 1865)
    27. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 96), page 67: “Return of Casualties in the Union forces at Hatcher’s Run (otherwise known as Dabney’s Mill, Armstrong’s Mill, Rowanty Creek, and Vaughan Road)… (February 5-7, 1865)”
    28. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 2 (Serial Number 96), page 329: “Organization of the Union Forces” (January 31, 1865)
    29. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 2 (Serial Number 96), page 742: “Organization of the Union Forces” (February 28, 1865)
    30. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 96), page 67: “Return of Casualties in the Union forces at Hatcher’s Run (otherwise known as Dabney’s Mill, Armstrong’s Mill, Rowanty Creek, and Vaughan Road)… (February 5-7, 1865)”
    31. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), page 570: “Organization of the Union Forces” (March 31, 1865)
    32. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), page 586: “Return of casualties in the Union Forces commanded by Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, March 29-April 9, 1865”
    33. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), page 570: “Organization of the Union Forces” (March 31, 1865)
    34. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), page 570: “Organization of the Union Forces” (March 31, 1865)
    35. Ayoub, Michael N. The Campfire Chronicles: The words and Deeds of the 88th Pennsylvania 1861-1865 (Xlibris: 2010), p. 326
    36. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer (Part 3)

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