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American Revolutionary War
Continental Regiments

Pennsylvania Regiments in the Continental Army

The Pennsylvania Line originated in 1775 was organized into thirteen regiments and several independent companies. Special battalions of line troops were recruited for the Flying Camp from among the Pennsylvania Associators who took part in the New Jersey campaign in 1776.

The term "Pennsylvania Line" referred to the quota of numbered infantry regiments assigned to Pennsylvania at various times by the Continental Congress. For line troops, neither the type of service rendered nor the term of enlistment was uniform.

In certain counties there were recruited special troops called Rangers, who served long enlistments on the frontier against the Indians. Another form of line service was with the Corps of Invalids. Such men of the Pennsylvania Line as became disabled in service but were found capable of light garrison duty were transferred to this special continental regiment. Many of the Invalids were subsequently pensioned.

The financial difficulties of the new government, difficulties that lasted into the 1790's, complicated the payment of troops. Soldiers who served during the years 1777-1780, when the currency was depreciating, were paid in Continental bills of Credit, which quickly lost value.

To make amends for such depreciation, each of these men who in 1781 yet remained in line service was awarded a substantial sum in Depreciation Pay Certificates, which were both interest bearing and negotiable, like bonds of the present day.

Somewhat similarly, at the end of the war arrearages and allowances due were met by issuing to each soldier still in the service a number of interest-bearing Final Settlements, also called Pierce's Certificates. To each of her line soldiers, who served to the end of the war, Pennsylvania granted Donation Land in certain western counties, land that remained free from taxation so long as the soldier lived and retained ownership.

Contrary to common belief, none of the lands granted to veterans by the federal government were located in Pennsylvania.

Search Connecticut Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 from The National Archives: These documents include muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other miscellaneous personnel, pay, and supply records of American Army units, 1775-83.

Search Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served from Connecticut in the American Army During the Revolution from The National Archives: NARA M881. Compiled service records of soldiers who served in the American Army during the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783.

Search the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files of Connecticut Veterans from The National Archives:: NARA M804. The records in this collection include entire pension files for soldiers and sailors who served in the Revolutionary War. Unlike selected service records, which were typically chosen subjectively for genealogical content, these records reveal more details about each veteran's history and service, as well as more information about his family, state of health, and life after the war.

1st Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on June 14, 1775 in the Continental Army as 6 separate companies of Pennsylvania Riflemen and assigned to the Main Army.
  • Re-designated on June 22, 1775 as the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment.
  • Organized between June 25- July 20, 1775 to consist of 9 companies from Cumberland, Lancaster, Northumberland, Northampton, Bedford, Berks and York Counties.
  • Re-designated on January 1, 1776 as the 1st Continental Regiment.
    It was assigned on April 24, 1776 to Sullivan's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on April 29, 1776 from Sullivan's Brigade and assigned to Greene's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on August 12, 1776 from Greene's Brigade and assigned to Nixon's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on August 31, 1776 from assignment to Nixon's Brigade and to Mifflin's Brigade (re-designated on October 8, 1776 as Stirling's Brigade), an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized and re-designated on January 1, 1777 as the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 8 companies.
  • Relieved on May 22, 1777 from Stirling's Brigade and assigned to the 1st Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment and re-designated as the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment; concurrently furloughed at Trenton, New Jersey and relieved from the 1st Pennsylvania Brigade.
  • Reorganized on January 1, 1783 at Ashley Hills, South Carolina, to consist of 9 companies, and assigned to the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on June 1, 1783 from Southern Department and assigned to the Middle Department.
  • Furloughed on June 11, 1783 at Philadelphia.
  • Disbanded on November 15, 1783.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Capt. William Hendrick's and Mathew Smith's companies each additionally served in:

Unit History

On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution calling for the raising of six companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, two from Maryland, and two from Virginia. Eight days later, Pennsylvania was directed to raise two additional companies, followed by a third.

These nine companies were to form a battalion to be commanded by Col. William Thompson of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Following the British practice of calling a regiment after its commander, this battalion came to be called Thompson's Rifle Battalion. When the army was reorganized on January 1, 1776, the Battalion was renamed the 1st Continental Regiment of Foot.

On July 1, 1776, the army reorganized yet again with each state directed to supply a quota of line regiments for Continental service. Pennsylvania claimed the 1st Continental Regiment as its own and renamed the regiment as the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.

As Thompson's Rifle Battalion, the regiment participated in the siege of Boston. Two companies also accompanied Benedict Arnold's attack on Quebec. After the British attacked at Long Island, the 1st Continental Regiment covered the retreat the American army. It was the last regiment to leave Long Island. The 1st Continentals also participated in the battles at Fort Washington, Harlem Heights, and White Plains. At Trenton, it was the 1st Continental Regiment (now known as the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment) that cut off the Hessian retreat from Trenton, causing them to surrender. Shortly afterward, the Regiment helped delay Cornwallis before the Battle of Princeton.

In the spring of 1777, the Regiment was assigned to Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne's Division. The 1st Pennsylvania was considered an elite unit and was given the post of honor on the right of the line. During the 1777 campaign, the regiment split, with the smaller rifle corps joining Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates at Saratoga. The majority of the Regiment fought with the main army at Brandywine, covered the American retreat at Paoli, attacked at Germantown, and skirmished at Whitemarsh.

After camping at Valley Forge, the First Pennsylvania saw limited action at Monmouth. In 1779, a detachment accompanied light infantry troops in the storming of Stoney Point. They also fought at Bergen Neck. A detachment of riflemen served with Brig. Gen. ?? Sullivan in his campaign against the Iroquois in western Pennsylvania.

In January 1780, the Regiment after suffering long and hard service with pay in arrears, poorly fed, and poorly equipped, joined the other Pennsylvania regiments in a mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line at Morristown, New Jersey.

The mutiny failed and resulted in many of the soldiers receiving their discharges. As a result of declining numbers, the Pennsylvania Regiments were reorganized into three provisional battalions.

For all intents the Regiment ceased to exist. Men who served with Regiment and continued their service saw action at Yorktown and mopping up operations in South Carolina.

On November 3, 1783, after a distinguished career, the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment was officially mustered out in Philadelphia, then capital of the United States of America.

2d Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on October 12, 1775 in the Continental Army as the 1st Pennsylvania Battalion. and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
  • Organized between October 25- November 26, 1775 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies from Philadelphia, Philadelphia City, Northampton, Berks and Bucks Counties.
    It was assigned on January 8, 1776 to the Canadian Department.
  • Relieved on July 2, 1776 from the Canadian Department and assigned to the Northern Department.
    It was assigned on July 20, 1776 to St. Clair's Brigade, an element of the Northern Department.
  • Relieved on November 14, 1776 from St. Clair's Brigade and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized and redesignated on January 1, 1777 as the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 8 companies.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 1st Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on July 1, 1778 with the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment and redesignated as the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 9 companies.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment and redesignated as the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment; concurrently furloughed at Trenton, New Jersey (less 2 companies remaining active at Fort Pitt), and relieved from the 1st Pennsylvania Brigade.
  • Reorganized on January 1, 1783 at Lancaster, to consist of 7 companies in the Middle Department and 2 companies in the Western Department.
  • Furloughed on June 11, 1783 at Philadelphia (less 2 companies remaining active at Fort Pitt).
  • Disbanded on November 15, 1783.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment had its origins in a unit established on October 12, 1775, and designated "The First Pennsylvania Battalion." This was the second unit raised by the state (the first was "The Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion") and was enrolled for a term of one year. The original commander, Col. John Bull, got into trouble selling furloughs to the men "and other degrading conduct" and was compelled by the other officers to resign. He was replaced by Col. John Phillip DeHaas of Lebanon.

In January 1776, the eight companies of the newly-formed battalion began leaving the state to participate in Benedict Arnold's ill-fated attempt to capture Quebec. With little winter clothing and half their muskets unservicable, the men struggled by foot, sloop, and bateaux into Canada, their strength sharply reduced by sickness.

By March 30, four of the companies had arrived at the American lines in front of Quebec, but before the remainder could come up the attack on the city was abandoned and the battalion started the slow retreat back to New York.

By July 10, it was encamped with the American Army at Ft. Ticonderoga. In October it participated in Anthony Wayne's defeat of the British at Valcour Island, but otherwise had an uneventful tour of garrison duty. It remained at Ticonderoga voluntarily until November 13 (three weeks beyond its term of service) to await the arrival of replacement troops. By December 8, a remnant of the First Battalion was at New Germantown, New Jersey, but the bulk of the men had been mustered out of service.

During this time, Congress realized a more substantial national army with enlistments longer than 12 months would be needed to fight the war successfully. Pennsylvania was assigned to provide 12 of these "Continental" regiments and decided to use the battalions created in 1775 as the foundation for the state's quota. Thus, the Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, being the first unit formed by the state, became the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, The 1st Pennsylvania Battalion became the nucleus of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment and so on.

Despite the hardships they had endured on Arnold's forlorn expedition to Canada, about 340 of the nearly 500 men who had been with the 1st Battalion at Ticonderoga did join the Second Pennsylvania Regiment in time enough for Col. DeHaas and a portion of the unit to join Washington's army at Trenton and fight in the battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777, in a brigade of Pennsylvanians commanded by Brig. Gen. Thomas Mifflin.

The regiment spent the winter months at Morristown, New Jersey, where it built up strength and was placed in Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne's Division. Col. DeHaas was promoted to a brigadier general in February and was replaced by Col. James Irvine, who resigned in June. Col. Henry Bicker was appointed in his place but did not actually join the regiment until the following October. In the meantime, the regiment was commanded by the senior officer present for duty, Maj. William Williams.

Williams led the unit in patrol actions in New Jersey during the spring and summer, including an engagement at Bound Brook on April 11 or 12 and a skirmish at Amboy on April 25 in which one officer was killed. At the Battle of Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777, the regiment was part of the force guarding Chadds Ford until the British diversionary force stormed across the creek and compelled Wayne's Division to withdraw. It sustained casualties at Paoli on Sept. 21, including one officer killed, and at the Battle of Germantown it was the left flank of the American troops attacking the British center that was mistakenly fired on by other American troops.

By the end of October, the unit had suffered substantially from all the fighting, including the loss of Williams who was captured at Germantown. Capt. Joseph Howell became acting regimental commander and the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment numbered only 13 other officers and 74 enlisted men present for duty at the end of the month.

The few present were able to man a section of the army's first line of defense at Whitemarsh in early December, before moving with the rest of Washington's forces into the legendary winter encampment at Valley Forge. Here the regiment shared the sufferings of the Continental Line, trained in Von Steuben's new manual of arms and brought itself up to strength.

With France entering the conflict on the side of the new United States in May, the British abandoned Philadelphia and moved across New Jersey to the more easily defended stronghold of New York City. On June 19, 1778, the Continental Army left Valley Forge in pursuit and engaged the British in the Battle of Monmouth on an extremely hot June 28. Here the 2nd Pennsylvania served in a provisional brigade commanded by Lt. Col. Aaron Burr and made a charge from the American left flank into a British force trying to assault the American center. It halted the British attack but was itself compelled to retire under subsequent artillery fire. The regiment lost two men wounded in this action.

On July 1, 1778, the regiment absorbed the remainder of the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment, most of its men's enlistments having expired. The colonel of the 13th, 23-year-old Walter Stewart, became the Second's new commander. The young officer, nicknamed "The Irish Beauty" by the ladies of Philadelphia, was a close friend of Anthony Wayne's and well acquainted with Washington as well. He was an able leader with a reputation of taking care of the welfare of his men. Diarist Joseph Plumb Martin described him as "an excellent officer, much beloved and respected by the troops of the Line he belonged to."

Under Stewart it operated along the New York-New Jersey border and moved to Middlebrook, New Jersey, in early December for the winter of 1778-79. There is no particular record that the unit was involved in any fighting that summer, but in October, 1779, it had 452 officers and men with Wayne at West Point. From there it moved to Morristown, New Jersey, for the encampment in Jockey Hollow where it endured the most brutal winter of the 18th Century.

When spring came, the regiment was again actively engaged in patrols and skirmishes with British forays from New York. On May 18 the unit lost a junior officer killed in a fight at Paramus. On June 7, it fought at Connecticut Farms and on June 21 was at "the blockhouse" at Bergen Hts., where it joined the First Pennsylvania Regiment in a gallant but futile headlong charge on a sturdy Loyalist fortification despite the attempts of the officers to restrain the men. Two lieutenants were mortally wounded here and a number of men killed.

On September 21 the regiment was in Hartford, Connecticut, with Wayne to greet French General Rochambeau. On September 25 it rushed from Tappan, New York, to West Point to reinforce the garrison there after Benedict Arnold's treachery was discovered.

In December, the 2nd Pennsylvania returned to Morristown for another winter. There, on January 1, 1781, the mutiny of the Pennsylvania troops took place. The men of the regiment refused at first to join the mutineers, but were finally forced to when the other troops threatened them at bayonet point and with artillery.

The resulting restructuring of the Pennsylvania Line perpetuated a 2nd Regiment among the state's six reorganized units, with Walter Stewart still in command. However, the men who remained in service were all redistributed among all these units and this establishment was mostly on paper. Essentially, the old 2nd Pennsylvania ceased to exist before the final campaign in Virginia and South Carolina, although former members of the regiment were battle casualties at Green Springs on July 6 and Yorktown in October.

3d Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on December 9, 1775 in the Continental Army as the 2d Pennsylvania Battalion.
  • Organized between January 2- February 17, 1776 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies.
    It was assigned on January 8, 1776 to the Canadian Department.
  • Relieved on July 2, 1776 from the Canadian Department and assigned to the Northern Department.
    It was assigned on July 20, 1776 to St. Clair's Brigade, an element of the Northern Department.
  • Relieved on November 18, 1776 from St. Clair's Brigade.
  • Reorganized and re-designated 1 January 1, 1777 as the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 8 companies.
  • Relieved on January 24, 1777 from he Northern Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on July 1, 1778 with the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment and re-designated as the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 9 companies.
  • Relieved on July 22, 1778 from the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade and assigned to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, and element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment and re-designated as the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment; concurrently furloughed at Trenton, New Jersey, and relieved from the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade.
  • Reorganized on January 1, 1783 at Philadelphia, to consist of 9 companies, and assigned to the Middle Department.
  • Furloughed on June 11, 1783 at Philadelphia.
  • Disbanded on November 15, 1783.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment was raised, on December 9, 1775, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for service with the Continental Army. The regiment would see action during the Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Springfield. The regiment was furloughed, on June 11, 1783, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and disbanded on November 15, 1783.

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4th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on December 9, 1775 in the Continental Army as the 3d Pennsylvania Battalion.
  • Organized on January 2- late March 1776 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies from eastern Pennsylvania.
    It was assigned on February 27, 1776 to the Middle Department.
  • Relieved on June 11, 1776 from the Middle Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
    It was assigned on June 29, 1776 to Mifflin's Brigade (re-designated 8 October 8, 1776 as Stirling's Brigade), an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Captured in part on November 16, 1776 by the British Army at Fort Washington, New York.
  • Remainder of Regiment reorganized and re-designated on January 1, 1777 as the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment, an element of the Main Continental Army, to consist of 8 companies.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Capt. Joshua Williams' Independent Company consolidated 6 November 1777 with the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Relieved on July 18, 1778 from the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade and assigned to the Northern Department.
    It was assigned on April 19, 1779 to the New York Brigade, an element of the Northern Department.
  • New York Brigade relieved on May 24, 1779 from the Northern Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on August 24, 1779 from the New York Brigade and assigned to Hand's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on August 1, 1780 from Hand's Brigade and assigned to 1st Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment and re-designated as the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment; concurrently furloughed at Trenton, New Jersey.
  • The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1783.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The 4th Pennsylvania Regiment was raised December 9, 1775 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for service with the Continental Army.

The regiment would see action during the New York Campaign, Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown, Battle of Monmouth and the Sullivan Expedition.

5th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on December 9, 1775 in the Continental Army as the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion.
  • Organized between January 2- February 11, 1776 at Chester to consist of 8 companies from Chester, Bucks and Lancaster Counties.
    It was assigned on February 27, 1776 to the Middle Department.
  • Relieved on March 15, 1776 from the Middle Department and assigned to the Canadian Department .
  • Relieved on July 2, 1776 from the Canadian Department and assigned to the Northern Department.
    It was assigned on July 20, 1776 to St. Clair's Brigade, an element of the Northern Department.
  • Relieved on November 18, 1776 from St. Clair's Brigade.
  • Reorganized and re-designated on January 1, 1777 as the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 8 companies.
  • Relieved on January 24, 1777 from he Northern Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
  • Captain John Nelson's Independent Rifle Company consolidated on March 24, 1777 with the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment and re-designated as the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment; concurrently furloughed at Trenton, New Jersey.
  • Disbanded on January 1, 1783.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The 5th Pennsylvania Regiment was raised December 9, 1775 at Chester, Pennsylvania for service with the Continental Army. The regiment would see action during the Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Springfield. The regiment was furloughed January 17, 1781 at Trenton, New Jersey and disbanded on January 1, 1783.

6th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on December 9, 1775 in the Continental Army as the 5th Pennsylvania Battalion.
  • Organized between January 2- late March 1776 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies from Philadelphia City and Berks, Bucks Chester and Philadelphia Counties.
  • It was assigned on February 27, 1776 to the Middle Department.
  • Relieved on June 11, 1776 from the Middle Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
    It was assigned on June 29, 1776 to Mifflin's Brigade (redesignated on October 8, 1776 as Stirling's Brigade), an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Captured in part on November 16, 1776 by the British Army at Fort Washington, New York.
  • Remainder of Regiment reorganized and re-designated 1 January 1, 1777 as the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment, an element of the Main Continental Army, to consist of 8 companies.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Relieved on July 22, 1778 from the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade and assigned to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Furloughed on January 17, 1781 at Trenton, New Jersey.
  • Disbanded on January 1, 1783.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The regiment was authorized in December, 1775 as the 5th Pennsylvania Battalion. The regiment participated in the unsuccessful defense of New York City and was captured in part at Fort Washington (16 Nov., 1776). On January 1, 1777, the survivors of the 5th Battalion, along with exchanged prisoners and new recruits, were reorganized into the 6th Pennsylvania. Most of the regiment's men were recruited from Berks and Chester counties, although many came from Philadelphia and as far away as Northumberland County.

During 1777, the regiment participated in the Philadelphia Campaign and fought at the Battles of Brandywine (11 Sept.) and Germantown (4 Oct.). At Brandywine, the women of the 6th Pennsylvania were cited for their bravery under fire while bringing water to the men. The regiment spent the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge and took part in the Battle of Monmouth (28 June) the following summer.

In 1779, the 6th Pennsylvania was part of the force commanded by "Mad" Anthony Wayne that stormed the British fortifications at Stony Point, NY (16 July). It spent the rest of the year in garrison at West Point and probably wintered at Morristown.

The next year, the regiment took part in a number of small engagements in New Jersey and again wintered at Morristown.

On New Year's Day, 1781, members of the 6th Pennsylvania joined the mutiny of the Pennsylvania regiments then quartered at Morristown. After a settlement was reached, the regiment was furloughed at Trenton on January 17.

Soldiers remaining in the regiment were reassigned to other units and eventually sent south to take part in the Yorktown Campaign. The regiment was officially disbanded in January, 1783, although in reality, no regiment had existed since 1781.

Brief History of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment of 1777

November 16, 1776 - Formerly known as the 5th Pennsylvania Battalion the entire unit was captured at Fort Washington, New York. The enlisted men were held by the British until December 26, 1776 when they were set free on parole and, most probably, exchanged for prisoners held by the Continental Forces.

January to June 1777 - During this period the unit was reorganized as the 6th Regiment with Colonel Henry Bicker as its commander. Many of the men who served in 1776 reenlisted and to these were added new recruits to fill out the regiment. In June the men refused to report at camp for duty as they thought they were still on parole and had not been properly exchanged. These concerns were overcome and the regiment joined the army later in the month.

June 26, 1777 - As part of Lord Stirling's Division the regiment probably joined the army in time to participate in the battle of Short Hills.

July to August 1777 - With the rest of Washington's army the 6th Regiment marched back and forth across New Jersey and into New York and Pennsylvania while trying to ascertain the destination of General Howe's army, which had embarked on the British fleet.

During this time the brigade under General Thomas Conway, to which the 6th Regiment belonged, was reputed to be "the best instructed and disiplined" in the army. This was in spite of the fact that he "is detested by the officer's of his brigade... because he makes his brigade work and personally drills and instructs it, instead of leaving it idle in camp.

September 11, 1777 - Stirling's Division takes part in the action on the right of Washington's army during the battle of Brandywine. During the afternoon the forces under General John Sullivan fought with the enemy for almost two hours near Birmingham Meeting House.

In this contest "Lord Sterling's Division & particularly Conway's Brigade" were seen to have "remarkably distinguished themselves." It was during this action that the "wives of several of the soldiers belonging to the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment took the empty canteens of their husbands and friends and returned them filled with water...during the hottest part of the engagement, although frequently cautioned as to the danger of coming into the line of fire."

October 4, 1777 - Possibly because of their service at Brandywine, Conway's Brigade was chosen to lead the main column of Washington's army in the attack on the British at Germantown. During this assault one regiment, possibly the 6th Pennsylvania attacked the pickets at Mount Airy.

Conway's Brigade continued at attack and eventually drove "the enemy a mile and a half below Chew's house" before being forced to retire. At least one company of the regiment joined in the assaults on the Chew House and lost a number of men.

December 19, 1777 - After an encampment of almost six weeks at Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania the army moved into its winter quarters at Valley Forge where they would remain for the next six months. It was here that they received a new commander, Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Harmar, on the 1st of January 1778. Harmar would remain in this position until 1780.

After the war he became the Commander of the First American Regiment, for a time they only infantry unit in the fledgling army of the independent United States.

7th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on January 4, 1776 in the Continental Army as the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion.
  • Organized between January 8- March 20, 1776 at Carlisle to consist of 8 companies from Cumberland and York Counties.
    It was assigned on February 27, 1776 to the Middle Department.
  • Relieved on March 14, 1776 from the Middle Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
    It was assigned on April 24, 1776 to Greene's Brigade, an element of the Main Army.
  • Relieved on April 27, 1776 from Green's Brigade and assigned to the Canadian Department.
  • Relieved on July 2, 1776 from the Canadian Department and assigned to the Northern Department.
    It was assigned on July 20, 1776 to St. Clair's Brigade, an element of the Northern Department.
  • Relieved on November 18, 1776 from St. Clair's Brigade.
  • Reorganized and re-designated on January 1, 1777 as the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 8 companies.
  • Relieved on February 8, 1777 from the Northern Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 1st Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

Originally, the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion, the 7th Pennsylvania was authorized on January 4, 1776. The regiment was raised in Cumberland and York counties (companies G and H).

On March 14, 1776, the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion was sent to New York City. It then reported to march with the army under Col. Arthur St. Clair and was involved at Three Rivers on June 9. The whole force retreated to Isle Aux Noix and then to Crown Point, reached on July 1. The 6th Pennsylvania was then posted there for the next three months and was involved in several brushes with the British.

On October 14, under pressure from the British rejoined the main force at Ticonderoga. There they remained until the 6th Pennsylvania was mustered out on March 15, 1777.

Re-designated the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment and with such a large number of re-enlisting veterans, the unit was ready for duty in a very short time. The 7th Pennsylvania fought at Middlebrook, New Jersey on June 17. The 7th Pennsylvania marched with Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne and Washington south in August where they fought at Brandywine on September 11, 1777.

On September 20, the 7th Pennsylvania bore the brunt of the British assault at Paoli where half of the men present were either killed or wounded. Inspite of the the heavy loss of life at Paoli the Regiment fought on October 4, 1777 at Germantown.

Having suffered so many casualties, by November 1, the 7th Pennsylvania only had 17 officers and 105 men fit for duty. The 7th Pennsylvania was present at Whitemarsh but did not fight. They spent the winter at Valley Forge and fought at the battle of Monmoth on June 28, 1778. After this, the 7th Pennsylvania spent time in New York and New Jersey watching the British. Where it was involved in several minor battles and skirmishes.

In 1780, the 7th Pennsylvania was part of a force which defended against a Hessian attack on New Bridge, New Jersey on April 16, 1780 and then at Paramus. The 7th Pennsylvania was part of the force that attacked the blockhouse under Wayne at Bergen Heights on july 21, 1780. The Regiment then marched to Tappan to bolster the Garrison at Ticonderoga after Arnold's defection.

At Morristown, during the winter of 1780-81, the 7th Pennsylvania was involved in a mutiny with other Pennsylvania Regiments after which the unit was disbanded.

8th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on July 11, 1776 in the Continental Army as a Battalion for frontier defense in the Northern Department.
  • Designated on July 20, 1776 as Mackay's Battalion
  • Organized between July 15- September 15, 1776 at Kittanning to consist of 8 companies from Westmoreland, Bedford and Cumberland Counties.
  • Relieved on November 23, 1776 from the Northern Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
  • Re-designated on January 1, 1777 as the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on May 19, 1778 from the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade and assigned to the Western Department.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Captain Samual Morehead's Independent Company consolidated July 1778 with the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The original 8th Pennsylvania Regiment was formed in July 1776 of men from Westmoreland and Bedford counties in western Pennsylvania. They marched from Hannastown, Pennsylvania, to New Jersey in the winter of 1776-77, and the following campaign season took part in a number of battles, including Paoli, Brandywine, White Marsh, Boundbrook, and Germantown as part of Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne's division. During this period, 135 men and officers were detached to Col. Daniel Morgan and participated in the Saratoga campaign as part of his rifle corps.

After wintering at Valley Forge the regiment was assigned to the Western Department, headquartered at Fort Pitt. In the Western Department, the unit helped construct and garrison Fort McIntosh on the Beaver River, and Fort Laurens on the Tuscarawas.

They took part in campaigns against the Indian towns in northwest Pennsylvania in concert with the Sullivan/Clinton campaign, and again against the hostile Indians in southeast Ohio. They also helped garrison Fort Pitt, Fort Henry, and a number of smaller posts.

Following the reduction of the Pennsylvania Line in the winter of 1780-81 the unit was redesignated "the detachment of the Pennsylvania Line", and consisted of two companies. It remained in the Western Department till the end of the war.

9th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on September 16, 1776 in the Continental Army as the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment.
    It was assigned on December 27, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • Organized in spring 1777 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies from Westmoreland, Lancaster, Chester, Philadelphia and Cumberland Counties.
    It was assigned on May 27, 1777 to the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Relieved on July 22, 1778 from the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade and assigned to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The 9th Pennsylvania Regiment was authorized September 16, 1776 and was assigned to the Main Continental Army on 27 December 1776.

It was organized during the spring of 1777 to consist of eight companies of volunteers from Westmoreland, Lancaster, Chester, Philadelphia and Cumberland counties of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The regiment was assigned to the 3d Pennsylvania Brigade of the Main Continental Army on 27 May 1777.

On 1 July 1778 the regiment was re-organized to eight companies. On 22 July 1778 the regiment was re-assigned to the 2d Pennsylvania Brigade. It was consolidated with the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment on 17 January 1781 and re-designated as the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment and concurrently furloughed at Trenton, New Jersey.

The regiment would see action during the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Springfield.

10th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on September 16, 1776 in the Continental Army as the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment.
    It was assigned on December 27, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • Organized in spring 1777 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies from York, Bucks, Northampton and Northumberland Counties.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 1st Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Army.
  • Captain Jacob Weaver's Independent Company consolidated on November 7, 1777 with the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment.
  • Consolidated and reorganized on July 1, 1778 with the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment and redesignated as the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment, to consist of 9 companies.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The 10th Pennsylvania Regiment was raised September 16, 1776 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for service with the Continental Army. The regiment would see action during the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Springfield. The regiment was disbanded on January 17, 1781 at Trenton, New Jersey.

11th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on September 16, 1776 in the Continental Army as the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment.
    It was assigned on December 27, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • Organized in spring 1777 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies from Philadelphia City and Berks, Chester, Philadelphia and Northumberland Counties.
    It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on July 1, 1778 with the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

11th Pennsylvania Regiment was officially authorized on October 25, 1776. Some elements of the 11th Pennsylvania saw action in the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777.

Later, some of the 11th Pennsylvania took part in the patrol actions in New Jersey, which marked the spring and summer of 1777. During the summer, the 11th Pennsylvania was assigned to the 2d Brigade of Anthony Wayne's division.

Some of its troops were detached to serve with the special task force (the "light infantry corps") under Brig. Gen. William Maxwell, which was formed for the fall campaign opposing the British approach toward Philadelphia from the south. It was Maxwell's command which fought the delaying action at Iron Hill on September 3, 1777, when Lt. Col. Francis Gurney was wounded.

The regiment as a whole seems to have seen its first major action at the Battle of Brandywine, on September 11, 1777, and saw especially hard fighting, taking heavy casualties.

The regiment was in combat again on September 20 when, with the rest of Wayne's division, it was surprised at Paoli. Due to bad tactics, the unit took the heaviest losses in the engagement.

The 11th Pennsylvania fought again at Germantown on October 4, 1777. The 11th Pennsylvania's total losses during the whole campaign were substantial, for by November 1, 1777, it had present for duty only eight officers and eighty enlisted men. Another sixty-six enlisted men were sick, and thirty-one were on detached service.

After spending the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge with the other regiments of the Pennsylvania Line, the 11th Pennsylvania took part in the campaign across New Jersey which followed.

At the Battle of Monmouth, on June 28, 1778, it was one of the three Pennsylvania regiments in the force which Aaron Burr led in a late-afternoon assault on the flank of a British counterattacking column.

Less than a week later, on July 1, the unit was dissolved, and merged with elements of the 10th Pennsylvania.

12th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on August 23, 1776 in the Continental Army as the Northampton and Northumberland Defense Battalion and assigned to the Middle Department.
  • Redesignated on September 16, 1776 as the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment.
  • Organized in between September 28- December 18, 1776 at Sunbury to consist of 8 companies from Northampton, Berks, Cumberland and Northumberland Counties.
  • It was assigned on December 1, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • It was assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on July 1, 1778 with the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The 12th Pennsylvania Regiment also known as Northumberland Defense Battalion was raised August 23, 1776 at Sunbury, Pennsylvania as a state militia regiment and later for service with the Continental Army.

The regiment would see action during the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown and the Battle of Monmouth.

The regiment was merged into the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment on July 1, 1778.

13th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on March 6, 1776 in the Pennsylvania State Troops as the Pennsylvania State Rifle Regiment.
  • Organized in between March 7- May 29, 1776 at Markus Hook, to consist of the 1st Battalion (6 companies) from Philadelphia City and Bucks, Bedford, York, Norhampton and Northumberland Counties; and the 2nd Battalion (6 companies) from Berks, Cumberland, Lancaster and Westmoreland Counties.
  • It was assigned on July 4, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • It was assigned on August 12, 1776 to Stirling's Brigade, an element of the Main Army.
  • Relieved on August 31, 1776 from Stirling's Brigade and assigned to Mifflin's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Mifflin' Brigade re-designated on October 8, 1776 as Stirling's Brigade.
  • Relieved in January 1777 from Stirling's Brigade.
  • Consolidated on July 1, 1778 with the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Unit History

The Pennsylvania State Regiment of Foot was organized at the end of April, 1777, from the men and officers of Miles's rifle battalion and Atlee's musketry battalion. Colonel John Bull was appointed colonel on May 2, 1777, but was succeeded on June 17 by Colonel Walter Stewart.

On June 10, 1777, the Pennsylvania Assembly, following the advice of the Supreme Executive Council of the state, transferred the state regiment to Continental service.

Colonel Stewart called his regiment the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Regiment in his weekly return of October 27, and it was so designated and officially added to the Continental Line by a resolution of the Continental Congress dated November 12, 1777. The Thirteenth was incorporated with the Second Pennsylvania, July 1, 1778.

March 5, 1776 The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passes a resolution to establish: The Pennsylvania State Rifle Regiment, know as Miles's Regiment, was to consist of two battalions of six companies of seventy-eight enlisted men, armed with rifles: The State Battalion of Musketry, known as Atless's Battalion, was to consist of eight companies of fifty-eight enlisted men, armed with muskets.

August 11, 1776 The Pennsylvania troops are ordered to New York and are assigned to the brigade commanded by General William Alexander.

August 25-27, 1776 The Battle of Long Island. The Pennsylvania Riflemen are sent to the left near Flatbush and the Musketeers are sent to the right with General Alexander.

During the battle, Colonel Miles, Atlee and Lt. Colonel Piper are captured. Lt. Colonel Brodhead is placed in command of the consolidated forces and ordered by General Washington to withdraw to Manhattan.

October 28, 1776 The Battle of White Plains. A portion of the Pennsylvanians, most of them riflemen, served on the American left flank against the Hessians.

November 16, 1776 The fall of Fort Washington. The Pennsylvanians assigned to the fort, mostly from the Musket Battalion, are among those captured.

December 26, 1776 The Battle of Trenton. Participating in a part of the left wing under Nathaniel Green, the Pennsylvanians assist in the defeat of the Hessians under Colonel Rall.

January 3, 1777 The Battle of Princeton. With less than 200 troops remaining, the consolidated troops are assigned to Brig. General Hugh Mercer and attack a group of British dragoons.

March 1, 1777 The Pennsylvania State Regiment is officially activated as a unit. The Pennsylvania Council of Safety prescribes that there will be ten companies, "eight of them armed with muskets and the other two with riffles." (sic)They are officially uniformed in a blue regimental coat with red lining and facing and pewter buttons inscribed PSR. Black regimental hats are bound up in yellow.Records of deserters in 1777-78 show however, men clad in various color regimental coats and hunting shirts.

June 10, 1777 The transfer of the Pennsylvania State Regiment to the Continental service is formalized.

September 11, 1777 The Battle of Brandywine. After exchanging fire in the area of Chadd's Ford, The PSR, as part of General Greene's division move to meet the main British assault

October 4, 1777 Battle of Germantown. Still assigned to Greene's division, the PSR participates in the assault of the British right flank.

November 12, 1777 The Pennsylvania State Regiment is officially designated the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Line.

Pennsylvania State Musketry Battalion

  • The Regiment was authorized on March 6, 1776 in the Pennsylvania State Troops as the Pennsylvania State Musketry Battalion.
  • Organized between March 13- May 29, 1776 at Chester to consist of 8 companies from Philadelphia City and Bucks, Philadelphia, Chester and Lancaster Counties.
  • It was assigned on July 4, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • It was assigned on August 12, 1776 to Stirling's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on August 31, 1776 from Stirling's Brigade and assigned to Mifflin's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved in January 1777 from Stirling's Brigade.
  • Consolidated on April 30, 1777 with the Pennsylvania State Rifle Regiment.

Carlisle Independent Companies

  • The Regiment was authorized on October 6, 1777 in the Continental Army as two Carlisle Independent Companies and assigned to the Middle Department.
  • Organized between October 20- December 22, 1777 at Carlisle
  • Disbanded on June 2, 1778 at Carlisle.
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Captain John Doyle's Independent Rifle Company

  • The Regiment was authorized on July 16, 1776 in the Continental Army as Capt. John Doyle's Independent Rifle Company.
  • Organized on September 5, 1776 at Lancaster with recruits from central Pennsylvania and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
  • Disbanded on July 1, 1778 at White Plains, New York.

Significant Campaigns and Battles

Captain John Pugh's Independent Company

  • The Regiment was authorized on April 8, 1777 in the Pennsylvania State Troops as Capt. John Pugh's Independent Company to guard Powder Mill at French Creek.
  • Organized in May 1777 at Philadelphia.
  • Consolidated on June 17, 1778 with the Pennsylvania State Regiment of Foot.

Captain Samuel Morehead's Independent Company

  • The Regiment was authorized on January 22, 1777 in the Continental Army as Capt. Samuel Morehead's Independent Company, an element of the Middle Department.
  • Organized in spring 1777 at Kittanning to consist of 8 companies from Westmoreland County.
  • Relieved on April 9, 1777 from the Middle Department and assigned to the Western Department.
  • Consolidated on July 1, 1778 with the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Captain John Nelson's Independent Rifle Company

Captain Jacob Weaver's Independent Company

  • The Regiment was authorized on January 18, 1777 in the Continental Army as an independent company to guard prisoners of war at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • Organized between January 31- August 19, 1777 at Lancaster as Capt. Jacob Weaver's Independent Company
  • Consolidated on November 7, 1777 with the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Captain Joshua William's Independent Company

  • The Regiment was authorized on March 15, 1777 in the Pennsylvania State Troops as Capt. Joshua William's Independent Company.
  • Organized spring 1777 at York, Pennsylvania, with personnel from York County.
  • Consolidated on November 6, 1777 with the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Misc Militia Units

  • Pennsylvania State Musketry Battalion
  • First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry
  • Bayard's Philadelphia Associators Regiment
  • Cadwalader's Philadelphia Associators Regiment
  • Matlack's Philadelphia Associators Rifle Battalion
  • Morgan's Philadelphia Associators Regiment
  • Moulder's Philadelphia Associators Artillery Company
  • Baxter's Militia Hay's Militia

  • Kachlein's Militia Lawrence's Militia
  • Lutz's Militia
  • Swope's Militia
  • Klotz's Lancaster County Militia Regiment
  • McAllister's York County Militia Regiment
  • Montgomery's Cumberland County Militia Regiment
  • Moore's Chester County Militia Regiment
  • Watt's Cumberland County Militia Regiment

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Links to Pennsylvania Units in the Revolutionary War

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