Camp William Penn

Camp William Penn

On June 22, 1863 Special Order 275 from the War Department established Chelten Hills, near Philadelphia, as the rendezvous point for United States Colored Troops recruited in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. This Camp bacame known as Camp William Penn.

Camp William Penn recieved it's first group of recruits on June 26, 1863 These 80 recruits would become Company A of the Third United States Colored Infantry.

The Camp was built on an elevated piece of land that provided a view of the entire countryside. The first two regiments formed at the Camp the 3rd and 6th USCT would live in tents the Third Regiment formed, the 8th USCT would live in Wooden Army Barracks.

The Camp was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Louis Wagner who had been wounded at the second Battle of Bull Run and was detached from the 88th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The Camp was closed August 14, 1865. Camp William Penn was the Largest encampment for USCT in the Civil War Producing 11 Regiments of Colored Infantry.

The United States Colored Infantry Regiments formed at Camp William Penn and the dates they were formed and mustered out of service.

3rd USCI-August 3-10, 1863 to October 31, 1865

6th USCI-July 28-September 12, 1863 to September 20, 1865

8th USCI-September 22-December 4, 1863 to December 12, 1865

22nd USCI-January 10-29, 1864 to October 16, 1865

24th USCI-January 30-March 30, 1865 to October 1, 1865

25th USCI-January 13-Febuary 12, 1864 to December 6, 1865

32nd USCI-Febuary 17-March 7, 1864 to August 22, 1865

41st USCI-September 30-December 7, 1864 to December 10, 1865

43rd USCI-March 12-June 3, 1864 to January 31, 1866

45th USCI-June 13-August 19, 1864 to November 4, 1865

127th USCI-August 23-September 10, 1864 to October 20, 1865

The Regiments formed at Camp William Penn have a proud history of service. The 6th, 8th, 22nd and 43rd Regiments saw the most fighting of the William Penn Regiments. The 6th and 8th Regiments are listed in W.F. Fox's Regimental Losses of the Civil War among the 300 hardest fighting Regiments in the War. Also The 43rd Regiment was the first Black Unit to be in a Presidental Inaugural Parade when President Lincoln was sworn in for the second time. The 22nd Regiment took part in President Lincoln's Funeral procession.