88th Pennsylvania Volunteers

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1861 - 1865

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The 88th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.



The 88th was also known as the Cameron Light Guards; it was recruited from Philadelphia and Berks County in September 1861. The regiment went through several commanders. The first was Maj. Benzet F. Foust (1840-1870), a Philadelphia lawyer. When Foust was wounded on July 1, Capt. Edmund A. Mass (1834-1894), a railroad baggage master from Reading, took command until he was captured. The final commander was Capt. Henry Whiteside (1835-1905), a cooper in Reading.[1]


Regimental History ~ from Dyer’s Compendium of the War of the Rebellion


Organized at Philadelphia September, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., October 1. At Kendall Green, Washington, D.C., until October 12. Provost duty at Alexandria until April 17, 1862. (Cos. “A,” “C,” “D,” “E” and “I” garrison forts on Maryland side of the Potomac River February 18 to April 17.) At Cloud’s Mills, Va., April 17-23. Guard Orange & Alexandria Railroad between Bull Run and Fairfax C. H. until May 7. Attached to 1st Brigade, Ord’s 2nd Division, Dept. of the Rappahannock, to June, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army Potomac, to March, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, to May, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, to March, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Army Corps, to June, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to March, 1865. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to June, 1865.


Duty near Fredericksburg, Va., until May 25. Expedition to Front Royal to intercept Jackson May 25-June 18. Duty at Manassas, Warrenton and Culpeper until August. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 21-23. Thoroughfare Gap August 28. Battle of Bull Run August 30. Chantilly September 1. Maryland Campaign September 6-24. Battles of South Mountain September 14; Antietam September 16-17. Duty near Sharpsburg, Md., until October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15. Burnside’s 2nd Campaign, "Mud March,” January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth and Belle Plains until April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations at Pollock’s Mill Creek April 29-May 2. Fitzhugh’s Crossing April 29-30. Chancellorsville May 2-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Duty on line of the Rappahannock until October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. Regiment reenlisted February 6, 1864, and on furlough until April 7. Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania C. H. May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 25. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. White Oak Swamp June 13. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864 (Reserve). Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Hatcher’s Run October 27-28. Warren’s Expedition to Weldon Railroad December 7-12. Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Lewis Farm near Gravelly Run March 29. White Oak Road March 30-31. Five Forks April 1. Pursuit of Lee April 2-9. Appomattox C. H. April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Moved to Washington, D.C., May 1-12. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out June 30, 1865. Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 101 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 72 Enlisted men by disease. Total 181.

Affiliated Units

88th Pennsylvania Regiment Companies:

Company A (Berks County)
Company B (Berks County)
Company H (Berks County)

Photo Gallery

Internal Resources

External Resources


  1. Draw the Sword: 88th Pennsylvania Infantry
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