The 2nd Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment in the United States Army that has served for more than two hundred years. It was constituted on 12 April 1808 as the 6th Infantry and carries with other regiments the battle honors of the original 2nd Infantry Regiment extending back to March 1791. What follows is a history of that original regiment and the new regiment still in existence. Since the formation of the original 2nd Infantry Regiment in 1791, an active unit bearing the name "2nd Infantry" has served under every president from President George Washington until the present.
American Civil War During the Civil War the 2nd Infantry fought in the early Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri and the first Battle of Bull Run. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and fought in engagements such as Manassas, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. By June 1864 the commissioned and enlisted strength of the regiment had reached such a low figure, less than 100 men, that at the request of the regimental commander the remaining enlisted men were transferred to Company C, and that company was given a full complement of officers and non-commissioned officers. From then until December 1864 the entire regiment consisted of just Company C. On 18 April 1869 the 2nd Infantry was consolidated with the 16th Infantry and the consolidated unit was designated as the 2nd Infantry. The regiment suffered 102 killed and 326 wounded during the Civil War.
Between the end of the war in 1865 and 1877 the regiment was deployed throughout the south enforcing Reconstruction laws. On 10 February 1877 2nd Lieutenant Augustine McIntye was killed in Gelnier County, Georgia while in command of a detachment acting as a posse with two U.S. Marshals and revenue officers engaged in arresting illicit distillers.:430
The 2nd Infantry bears nine battle honors from the Southern Campaign through its 1869 consolidation with the 16th Infantry. These honors were earned by the 16th Infantry Atlanta, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Georgia 1864, Kentucky 1862, Mississippi 1862, Murfreesboro, Shiloh and Tennessee 1863.