The Civil War in the East

45th New York Infantry Regiment "5th German Rifles"


The 45th New York Infantry Regiment lost 5 officers and 42 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 officer and 106 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.


It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

Thumbnail of the monument to the 45th New York Infantry REgiment at Gettysburg



Organized at New York City

September 9

Mustered in under Colonel George Von Amsberg, Lieutenant Colonel Edward C. Wratislaw and Major Charles Semsey

October 9

Left State for Washington, D.C. Attached to Stahl's Brigade, Blenker's Division, Army of the Potomac for Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C.

December 2

Annandale Church, Va.

The regiment lost 1 enlisted man killed and 12 captured



Attached to Stahl's Brigade, Blenker's Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac


Redesignaed Stahl's 1st Brigade, Blenker's Division, Dept. of the Mountains

May - August

Operations in the Shenandoah Valley

June 8

Battle of Cross Keys

Lieutenant Henry Grassan and 3 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, 5 enlisted men wounded, and 1 officer and enlisted man missing or captured


Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps, Pope's Army of Virginia. At Sperryville and Centreville

June 15

Major Semsey discharged and Captain Adolphus Dobke of Company D promoted to major

July 28

Outpost duty at Madison Court House

August 16-
September 2

Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia

August 20-23

Fords of the Rappahannock

August 29

Battle of Groveton

The regiment lost 5 enlisted men killed.

August 30

Battle of Bull Run

The regiment lost 6 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Captain Joseph Spangenberg and 30 enlisted men wounded and 6 captured.


Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C. attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac

November 28-30

Reconnaissance to Snicker's Ferry and Berryville

December 10-15

March to Fredericksburg, Va.


Duty at Falmouth and Brooks' Station


January 20-24

"Mud March"

April 27-May 6

Chancellorsville Campaign

May 1-5

Battle of Chancellorsville

The regiment lost Captains Lewis Bisky, Francis Dessaner, Charles Leonhard and 15 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Captains Joseph Spangenberg and Augustus Michaelis and Lieutenants Rudolph Basson and Henry Albert and 18 enlisted men wounded, and Captain Michaelis, Lieutenant Albert and 36 enlisted men missing or captured

May 11

Lieutenant Colonel Wratislaw discharged

May 19

Major Adolphus Dobke promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Charles Koch of Company E to major

June 11-July 24

Gettysburg Campaign. Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac

July 1-3

Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Colonel George Karl Heinrich Willhelm Von Amsberg until he took command of the brigade on July 1. Lieutenant Colonel Adolphus Dobke then took command. Lieutenant Edward Milde was killed, Major Koch was wounded, Captains Henry Dietz, John Heil, Francis Irsch and William Syring and Lieutenants Henry Albert, Henry Bath, Otto Gerson, Adam Hauf, Hugo Kandler, Edward Kunkle, Jacob Leydhecker, Louis Lindemeyer, George Schule and James Vanderhoef were captured


From the monument:


This regiment went into action about 11:30 a.m., July 1st 1863 by deploying four companies as skirmishers under Captain Irsch. About one hundred yards to the rear of this monument, they advanced supported by the other six companies under Lt. Dobke, about five hundred and forty yards under a terrific artillery and sharpshooters fire to a point indicated by marker in front. This regiment also assisted in repelling a charge on the flank of the 1st Corps to the left, capturing many prisoners. Covered retrograde movement into town, fighting through the streets, where Major Koch fell desperately wounded. A portion of the regiment was cut off and took shelter in connecting houses and yards on Chambersburg Street west of the town square, holding the enemy at bay, until about 5:30 p.m. when they surrendered, after having destroyed their arms and accoutrements.


The regiment carried into action July 1st, 25 officers and about 250 men as officially reported. It lost, killed 11, wounded 35, missing 164, total 210 officers and men. Among the missing many were killed or wounded in the town and not included in the above numbers. Those captured refused offered parole hoping to encumber the enemy, believing that the Union Army would capture the crippled foe. and thereby effect their release. Sadly disappointed, they suffered indescribable misery in Andersonville and other prison pens, neglected, often maltreated and finally believing themselves forgotten and forsaken. Many died martyrs and joined their more fortunate comrades who fell gloriously on this field.


On July 2, the remnant of the regiment was exposed to a heavy artillery fire on Cemetery Hill, and in the evening moved hastily to Culp's Hill and assisted in repulsing an attack on Greene's Brigade 12th Corps (see markers on Culp's and Cemetery Hills). On 3rd it was again exposed to artillery and sharpshooters fire, whereupon Sergt. Link, with volunteers, dislodged the enemy's sharpshooters in the edge of town, nearly all the small attacking party being killed or wounded in the effort.


Duty near Bristoe Station

September 24-October 3

Movement to Bridgeport, Ala. and attached to Army of the Cumberland

October 20

Reconnaissance from Bridgeport to Trenton

October 25-28

March along Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad to Lookout Valley, Tenn.

October 26-29

Reopen Tennessee River

October 28-29

Battle of Wauhatchie, Tenn.

The regiment lost 2 enlisted men wounded, 1 mortally

November 23-27

Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign

November 23

Orchard Knob

November 24-25

Tunnel Hill

November 25

Mission Ridge

November 28-December 17

March to relief of Knoxville


Duty in Lookout Valley


January 22

Colonel Von Amsberg discharged


Attached to 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland

May 1 - July 6

Atlanta Campaign

May 5-13

Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton

May 14-15

Battle of Resaca

March 16

Lt. Colonel Dobke promoted to colonel with rank from May 11 but not mustered

May 19

Near Cassville

May 22-25

Advance on Dallas

May 25

Battle of New Hope Church

May 26-June 4

Battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills

June 10-July 2

Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain

June 11-14

Pine Mountain

June 15-17

Lost Mountain

June 15

Gilgal or Golgotha Church

June 17

Muddy Creek

June 19

Noyes Creek

June 22

Kolb's Farm

June 27

Assault on Kenesaw

July 4

Ruff's Station, Smyrna Camp Ground

July 6

Ordered to Nashville, Tenn. assigned to 4th Division, 20th Army Corps

August 22

Major Koch promoted to lieutenant colonel with rank from August 7, but not mustered


Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 20th Army Corps, Dept. of the Cumberland

December 15-16

Battle of Nashville


February 18

Major Joseph Spartenberg promoted to lieutenant colonel with rank to January 18, but not mustered


Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of Nashville, Tenn., Dept. of the Cumberland

May 31

Captain Gustav Korn of Company I promoted to major

June 30

Consolidated with 58th Regiment New York Infantry under Colonel Dobke, Lieutenant Colonel Kornand Major Spartenberg

About the Author • ©2015 Steve Hawks