Union Flags 54th Pennsylvania Vol. Infantry
ODCF#71- Jacob M. Campbell was selected as colonel of the regiment, Barnabas McDermit as lieutenant colonel and John P. Linton as major. The companies were gathered together and organized at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. On February 27, 1862, the regiment was ordered to Washington, D.C., and then sent to Harpers Ferry the following month. Once there, the companies were detached to various points along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to defend it against guerrilla bands. On October 4, 1862, a force lead by Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden captured companies B and K (both of which were exchanged in December). The regiment was later assigned to the VIII Corps as part of the 3rd Brigade, Second Division, and sent to Romney, West Virginia.
In January 1863, the 54th was transferred to the Department of West Virginia as part of the 4th Brigade, First Division. Campbell was given command of the brigade. Linton, promoted to lieutenant colonel after the resignation of McDermit, took charge of the regiment. Captain Enoch D. Yutzy of company C was promoted to major.
In May 1864, Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel was put in command of the department by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and ordered to capture the Shenandoah Valley as part of Grant's spring offensive. On May 15, Sigel encountered Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge's Confederate force in the Battle of New Market. The 54th Pennsylvania fought near the center of the Union line and managed to retreat in good order. The regiment lost 174 men in the battle, including Linton who was wounded.
On May 26, Maj. Gen. David Hunter took command of the department from Sigel and embarked on the Lynchburg Campaign. During this campaign, the 54th lost eighty-four men. On June 8, 1864, the enlistments for most of the 3rd and 4th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiments expired. Those who were not mustered out were transferred to the 54th.
After Hunter's withdrawal into West Virginia, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan was appointed commander of the Union forces (now called the Army of the Shenandoah) in the Valley. In December, Sheridan's army was transferred to Petersburg, and the 54th was assigned to the Army of the James, in which the 54th served for the rest of the war. It participated in the capture of Fort Gregg during the breakout at Petersburg and in the Appomattox Campaign. At the Battle of High Bridge, the 54th was captured, but was released four days later. The regiment was sent first to Camp Parole at Annapolis, Maryland, and then to Harrisburg, where it was mustered out on July 15.