FIFTY-THIRD PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
(from William Fox, Regimental Losses in the Civil War)
BROOKE’S BRIGADE – BARLOW’S DIVISION – SECOND CORPS
(1) Col. JOHN R. BROOKE; BVT. MAJOR-GEN.
(2) Col. OCTAVIUS S. BULL.
(3) Col. WILLIAM R. MINTZER; BVT. BRIG. GEN.
Present also at Yorktown, Gaines’s Mill, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Mine Run, Po River, North Anna, Strawberry Plains, Appomattox.
NOTES: Recruiting commenced in September, 1861, the companies being raised in various counties. An organization was effected at Harrisburg, November 5, 1861, after which the regiment proceeded immediately to Washington. It wintered in Virginia, near Alexandria, and then went with General McClellan to the Peninsula, having been assigned to French’s (3d) Brigade, Richardson’s (1st) Division, Second Corps, remaining in that famous division throughout its service. Its first experience in battle was at Fair Oaks; Major Thomas Yeager was killed there, the total loss of the regiment amounting to 13 killed, 64 wounded, and 17 missing. General Richardson was killed at Antietam, and General Hancock succeeded to the command of the division. General Zook commanded the brigade at Fredericksburg, where, in that bloody assault, the 53rd lost 21 killed, 133 wounded, and 1 missing, out of the 283 men who were in line that day. In December, 1863, the regiment reenlisted for the war, and so was present at all the battles of the Second Corps. It participated, with severe loss, in Hancock’s charge at Spotsylvania, in the assaults at Cold Harbor and Petersburg, and was actively engaged in the battle near Hatcher’s Run, on March 31, 1865, an engagement known as White Oak Road, or Boydton Road. Its losses at Spotsylvania were 26 killed, 123 wounded, and 28 missing; total, 177. The regiment was mustered out June 30, 1865.