The Civil War in the East

52nd New York Infantry Regiment "German Rangers" "Sigel Rifles"


The 52nd New York Infantry Regiment lost 14 officers and 139 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 197 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.


It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

Monument to the 52nd New York Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg


October 11

Organized at New York City

August 3-
November 5

Mustered in by companies at the Quarentine Grounds on Staten Island under Colonel Paul Frank, Lt. Colonel Philip Lichtenstein and Major Charles Fredenburg .

November 11

Left State for Washington, D.C. and duty in the city's defenses.

November 28

Moved from Bladensburg, Maryland across the Long Bridge to Camp California, south of Alexandria. Attached to French's 3rd Brigade, Sumner's Division, Army of the Potomac



Attached to 3rd Brigade, Richardson's 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac

March 10-15

Advance on Manassas

April 3

Moved to the Peninsula, Va.

April 5-May 4

Siege of Yorktown

May 31-June 1

Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines

Lieutenant Albert Pfantz and 28 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, Captain Francis Benzler, Lieutenants Henry Gerke and William Franke, Lieutenant Eugene Von Schoening and 82 enlisted men were wounded and 4 men missing out of 320 engaged defending the rail line against several attacks on its front and flank.

June 25-July 1

Seven days before Richmond

The regiment lost 17 enlisted men missing or captured

June 27

Battle of Gaines Mill

June 29

Peach Orchard and Savage Station

June 30

White Oak Swamp and Glendale

July 1

Malvern Hill


At Harrison's Landing; at one point only 67 men were available for active duty due to losses and disease.

August 16-30

Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Alexandria and Centreville; attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps

September 1

Cover Pope's retreat to Fairfax Court House

September 6-22

Maryland Campaign; attached to 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps

September 15-16

Battle of Antietam Creek

September 17

Battle of Antietam

The Regiment went into the fight with 119 men and lost 5 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 3 officers and 8 men wounded, and 2 men missing in fighting at the Sunken Road.

September 22-October 29

Duty at Harper's Ferry

October 16-17

Reconnaissance to Charlestown

October 29-November 17

Advance up Loudoun Valley and movement to Falmouth, Va.

November 24

Lt. Colonel Lichtensteain discharged for disability. Major Freudenberg promoted to lieutenant colonel

December 12-15

Battle of Fredericksburg

The Regiment went into battle with 160 men and lost Adjutant Charles Laty and 5 men killed, 4 men mortally wounded, and Lieutenant Edward Ehler and 32 enlisted men wounded in assaults against Marye's Heights. When the color bearer was badly wounded, Lieutenants Emil Frank and Herman Ehrichs saved the colors.


January 20-24

"Mud March"


At Falmouth, Va. Sixty men from the mustered-out 7th New York (another all-German regiment) whose enlistments had not expired were attached to Company B.

February 9

Edward Venuti mustered in as major

April 27-May 6

Chancellorsville Campaign

May 1-5

Battle of Chancellorsville
The regiment lost 3 men killed, Colonel Frank, 2 other officers and and 28 men wounded and 9 men missing. Lieutenant Colonel Charles G. Freudenberg took command of the regiment after Colonel Frank left the field.

June 11-July 24

Gettysburg Campaign

July 1-3

Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Freudenberg until he was wounded on July 2 during fighting in the Wheatfield. Major Edward Venuti then took over until he was killed. Captain William Scherer then took command of the regiment.


Major Venuti, Captain Hermann Caesar and 2 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, Lt. Colonel Freudenberg, Lieutenants C. W. Schuffner and Philip Treffinger and 22 enlisted men were wounded, and 10 men missing out of 134 men engaged.

July 5-24

Pursuit of Lee. Colonel Frank returned to take command of the Regiment.


Duty on line of the Rappahannock

September 1

Captain Henry M. Karples of Company E promoted to major

September 13-17

Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan


The Regiment received 600 new recruits. They were draftees and bounty men and most were not of German background, and they overwhelmed the 85 surviving veterans of the Regiment.

October 9-22

Bristoe Campaign

Colonel Frank took over command of the brigade, and Lt. Colonel Freudenberg returned from his wound to take command of the Regiment.

October 14

Auburn and Bristoe
The Regiment lost 60 casualties , most of them captured near Auburn. Captain Scherrer was wounded.

November 7-8

Advance to line of the Rappahannock

November 26-December 2

Mine Run Campaign

The Regiment lost 20 men captured on the skirmish line.


At Stevensburg

December 11

Lieutenant Colonel Freudenberg discharged to accept appointment as major in the Veteran Reserve Corps. Major Henry Karples took command of the Regiment.


February 6-7

Demonstration on the Rapidan


By May the 52nd mustered 364 men.

May 3-June 15

Campaign from the Rapidan to the James

May 5-7

Battle of the Wilderness

The Regiment lost 2 men killed and 4 wounded.

May 8-12


In addition to the officers listed below, 24 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, 97 enlisted men were wounded, and 23 men were missing from the May 8 to May 12.


Colonel Frank, commanding the brigade, was relieved by General Hancock after his officers reported him too drunk to command.

May 10

Po River

Captains Charles Kronmeyer and Lieutenant Herman Van Haake, a Prussian count on furlough from the Prussian Army, were mortally wounded and captured. Lieutenants Paul Fuchs, Nicholas Henrich and Adolf Meyer were wounded.

May 12

Assault on the Salient or "Bloody Angle"

Sgt. William Westerhold of Company G earned the Medal of Honor for capturing the flag and color bearer of the 23rd Virginia.


Lieutenant Robert Karples (brother to Major Karples) and Lieutenant Baron Otto Von Steuben, descendant of the Revolutionary War hero, were killed. Captains William Scherer and Walter Von Auw were mortally wounded. Captain Philip Treffinger and Lieutenants Peter Hehl were wounded.

May 12-21

Spottsylvania Court House

May 18

Major Henry Karples and Lieutenant William Von Reichenstein were wounded. Capain Henry Ritzius took command of the regiment, which lost over 160 men in the nine days at Spottsylvania.

May 23-26

North Anna River

May 26-28

On line of the Pamunkey

May 28-31


June 1-12

Cold Harbor

The regiment was in the second line of attack and lost 3 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 4 men wounded and 1 missing

June 16-18

Assault on Petersburg

Captains Jacob Huber and Franz Reinhardt and Lieutenants Frederick Brown and Albert Meissner were wounded.

June 16

Siege of Petersburg begins. Attached to Consolidated Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, a merger of the badly depleted 2nd and 3rd Brigades.

June 22-23

Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon Railroad

The regiment lost 80 casualties in the first week at Petersburg.

July 20

Captain Henry Ritzins of Company A promoted to major

July 27-29

Demonstration north of the James

July 27-28

Deep Bottom

August 13-20

Demonstration north of the James

August 14-18

Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom

Lieutenant Adolph Meyer was wounded

August 25

Ream's Station

The Consolidated Brigade broke under Confederate attack, and the Regiment lost 2 enlisted men killed, Lieutenant Ludwig Von Eckstedt and 1 other officer wounded, and 1 officer and 26 enlisted men captured

September - October

Original members who did not reenlist mustered out at New York City. Lt. Colonel Henry M. Karples promoted to colonel. The Regiment was consolidated into six companies under Lt. John Bambach.


Attached to 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, under the command of Captain George Degener. The Regiment provided 86 men to garrison Fort Blaisdell, near the Jerusalem Plank Road.

November 1

Major Karples promoted to lieutenant colonel

November 9

Colonel Frank was honorably mustered out of the service.

December 9-10

Reconnaissance to Hatcher's Run

December 29

Lt. Colonel Karples is promoted to colonel and Lt. Colonel James Bronson of the 61st New York transferred in, but neither are mustered.


February 5-7

Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run

March 25

Watkins' House

March 28-April 9

Appomattox Campaign; the Regiment mustered around 200 men.

March 31

Hatcher's Run or Boydton Road and White Oak Road

Lieutenants John Burke, Richard Heydenrich, Max Klingenberg and Paul Schreiber and 7 men were killed, Captain George Degener and 48 men were wounded, and 12 men missing.

April 2

Sutherland Station and fall of Petersburg

Colonel Karples was disabled when his horse was shot and it fell on him; Major Ritzins took command of the regiment..

April 6

Sailor's Creek

April 7

High Bridge and Farmville

April 9

Appomattox Court House. Surrender of Lee and his army.


At Burkesville

May 2-15

March to Washington, D.C.

May 23

Grand Review

May 31

Major Ritzins promoted to lieutenant colonel but not mustered


Duty at Washington, D.C.

June 17

Captain Charles Kronmeyer of Company C promoted to major but not mustered

July 25

Mustered out at Alexandria under Colonel Karples, Lieutenant Colonel Ritzins and Major Kronmeyer

About the Author • ©2015 Steve Hawks