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Commanding Officer
Colonel John W. Ames

Leaving Camp William Penn on October 14th, 1863 the “6th” joined the army at Fortress Monroe, and was, in the course of its history, attached to the Eighteenth, Tenth and Twenty-fifth Corps. In its two years of service, the regiment had a more active part in a field of operations covering a large portion of two States than any other colored regiment originating in Pennsylvania. With its camp at Yorktown, Va., the regiment accompanied expeditions into North Carolina and to various points on the peninsula, joining the colored division under General B. F. Butler on the James River in May 1864, and participating in battles and operations incident to the siege of Petersburg and Richmond Its most notable record was gained at the battle of Chaffin’s Farm (New Market Heights), where it lost most heavily. Here a company, led by Capt. John McMurray, went into the charge with thirty-two men and returned with but three. This was the greatest average company loss recorded of any troops in the course of the war. It was in this charge that Captain Robert B. Beath, subsequently commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel lost his leg.

With the Twenty-Fifth Corps in the operations of the North Carolina Coast at the beginning of 1865, the “6th” was in the advance upon and capture of Fort Fisher, and in the following campaign, which cleared eastern North Carolina of the enemy and finally lead to a junction with General Sheridan’s army at Raleigh and the capitulation of Gen. Johnston, after which the ”6th” performed garrison duty at Wilmington, N. C., to its muster out on September 20th, 1865. The chaplain, Rev. Jeremiah W. Asher, lost his life at Wilmington through attendance on men suffering from malignant fever.

Total Losses

  • Killed or mortally wounded officers… 8
  • Killed or mortally wounded men… 79
  • Died of disease officers… 5
  • Died of disease men… 132
  • Wounded and missing officers and men… 168

Battles and Services

  • Expedition against Richmond
  • Skirmish near Williamsburg
  • Expedition – Yorktown to New Kent Court House
  • City Point
  • Petersburg (June 9th 1864)
  • Butler’s operations against Petersburg and Richmond
  • Petersburg (assault June 15th 1864)
  • Petersburg (June 16th, 18th, 1864)
  • Dutch Gap
  • Chaffin’s Farm (Fort Harrison)
  • Fort Fisher (December 1864)
  • Fort Fisher (January, 1865)
  • Sugar Loaf Battery, North Carolina
  • Occupation of Wilmington North Carolina
  • Skirmish Phillips Cross Roads, North Carolina