This Month in Delaware…

Third Delaware pennant
Pennant for the Third Delaware Volunteer Infantry Regiment, circa 1862 (DHS collection)

The Third Delaware Volunteer Infantry Regiment is mustered into service at Camden, Delaware on May 15, 1862. The regiment had a busy three years, which began with it being ordered to the defense of Washington D.C., and from there it went on to play an active part in many of the various campaigns throughout Virginia and Maryland. The Third Delaware was present at several major Civil War battles, including Second Bull Run, Antietam, and the Battle of Cold Harbor. There is even a monument to their service in the West Woods at Antietam. Erected in 1964 by the Delaware Civil War Centennial Commission, it reads:

This regiment, worn down from active service in the second Manassas Campaign, went into action Sept. 17, 1862 with only five officers and 120 men. It started out on the right of the Union line in front of the West Woods. After heavy action along the Hagerstown Pike, it helped repulse Confederate counter attack following rout of Sedgewick’s Division. Final position of the regiment, 65 yards north of this point.

The Third Delaware also played a very active part in the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign and was attached to the Army of the Potomac (Vth Corps, Second Division, Third Brigade) during the Appomattox Campaign, which resulted in Lee’s surrender and the end of the Civil War. The regiment was mustered out of service on June 3, 1865.


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