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and Brevet Major-General Galusha Pennypacker, U.S.A.
Colonel and Brevet Major-General Galusha Pennypacker, U.S.A.
Colonel and Brevet Major-General Galusha Pennypacker is a native of
Pennsylvania, belonging to one of its oldest families, whose names are
written in the annals of the State and nation. The appointment to West
Point from the Sixth Congressional District having been tendered him, he
would, but for the war, have probably entered the Military Academy in 1861
General Pennypacker entered the service in April, 1861. Declining, on
account of his youth, the appointment of first lieutenant in his company,
A, of the Ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, he was made a
non-commissioned staff-officer of that regiment, and served with it,
during its three months of service in Major-General Patterson's column, in
the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.
He entered "for the war" as captain of Company A, Ninety-seventh
Pennsylvania Volunteers, August 22, 1861, and was promoted major October 7
following. The Ninety-seventh Regiment joined the Tenth Corps in the
Department of the South, and during the years 1862 and 1863 participated
in all the various movements, engagements, and sieges in which that corps
took part, on the coasts of South Carolina (Forts Wagner and Gregg, James
Island and siege of Charleston), Georgia (capture of Fort Pulaski), and
Florida (taking of Fernandina and Jacksonville).
General Pennypacker commanded his regiment and the post of Fernandina,
Florida, in April, 1864, when the regiment was ordered with the Tenth
Corps to Virginia, and became part of the Army of the James. Promoted to
lieutenant-colonel April 3, 1864, and to colonel June 23 following.
||In action in command of his
regiment at Swift Creek, May 9; Drewry's Bluff, May 16, and Chester
Station, May 18. On May 20 he led his regiment in an assault upon
the enemy's lines at Green Plains, Bermuda Hundred, receiving three
severe wounds, losing one hundred and seventy-five men killed and
wounded out of two hundred and ninety-five taken into the charge.
Returned to duty in August, and in action at Deep Bottom on the
16th, and Wierbottom Church on the 25th of same month. In the
trenches before Petersburg in August and September. Assigned to
command the Second Brigade, Second Division, Tenth Corps, in
September, and on the 29th led his brigade in the successful assault
upon Fort Harrison, where he was again wounded, and his horse shot
under him. In action October 7 at Chaffin's Farm, and on the 29th at
Darbytown Road. With the first Fort Fisher Expedition under General
Butler, December 1 to 31.
General Pennypacker's brigade (composed of New York and Pennsylvania
regiments) formed a portion of the expeditionary corps which, under
command of Major General Terry, made the successful (and perhaps most
brilliant of the war) assault upon Fort Fisher, North Carolina, January
For his distinguished personal gallantry in this assault, when he was most
severely (and it was thought for a time mortally) wounded, and " for
gallant and meritorious services during the war," Pennypacker received six
brevets or promotions as follows: Brevet brigadier-general U. S. .
Volunteers, January 15, 1865; brigadier-general U.S. Volunteers, February
18, 1865; brevet major-general U.S. Volunteers, March 13, 1865; colonel
Thirty-fourth (designation changed to Sixteenth) Infantry U.S.A., July 28,
1866; brevet brigadier-general U.S.A., March 2, 1867, and brevet
major-general U.S.A., March 2, 1867.
The Congressional medal of honor was awarded General Pennypacker for
"bravery at the battle of Fort Fisher." He was one of the youngest (if not
the youngest) general officers of the war, and was the youngest man in the
history of the regular army to be commissioned a colonel and brevet
major-general. His commanding general emphasized to the writer of this
sketch the declaration that Pennypacker and not himself was the real hero
of Fort Fisher, and that his "great gallantry was only equaled by his
Since the war (with the exception of two years on leave in Europe),
General Pennypacker has served in the Southern, Southwestern, and Western
States, performing the duties incidental to a regimental and post
commander. He was temporarily in command of the District of Mississippi in
1867, the Fourth Military District in 1868, the Department of Mississippi
in 1870, the United States troops in New Orleans in 1874, and the
Department of the South in 1876.
Placed on the retired list of the army in 1883, on account of wounds, he
has since resided in Philadelphia.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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