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Army of the Potomac (USA), US Civil War

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  • Pvt. Thompson F. Hanks, (USA) (1840 - 1902)
    Military Service: Co. D, 101 Regt. Pa. Vols./ 4 1870 PA Census: Bedford Co. Monroe Twp. P.O. Clearville, p. 568b, lines 13-17, Series M593, roll 1304, dwelling 95, family 93, 10 June 1870 Thompso...
  • Judge (Pvt) Henry Clay McWhorter, Civil War veteran (USA) (1836 - 1913)
    Civil War service: enlisted 16 Sep 1861 as private in 9th WVA INF Co B (with brother, Walter Fields McWhorter) Commissioned an officer: 30 Sep 1861 2nd Lt. 9th WVA INF Co B Became a Captain: 1 Mar 18...
  • Pvt Joseph Seiders, (USA) (1841 - 1918)
    Joseph was the son of Henry Seiders (1806-1877/also spelled "Zeiders") and Mary Miller Seiders (1811-1872). During the Civil War, Joseph served with Co. A, 172nd PA Drafted Militia and Co. H, 187th PA ...
  • Charles Read, (USA) (1815 - 1864)
    2nd CT Heavy Artillery Killed in action at Cold Harbor Charles "Reed" is also commemorated on the monument dedicated to the 2nd CT located at the Cold Harbor Battlefield Park. Son of Jonathan Read whos...
  • Pvt. Peter B. Hoover, (USA) (1848 - 1935)
    Private Co C 192 Regt. PA Vol - Civil War.* Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy : Dec 10 2020, 2:17:30 UTC * Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy : Dec 10 2020, 2:22:35 UTC

The Union Army of the Potomac fought in most of the Eastern Theater campaigns, primarily in (Eastern) Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. After the end of the war, it was disbanded on June 28, 1865, shortly following its participation in the Grand Review of the Armies.

Famous Units

Because of its proximity to the large cities of the North, such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City, the Army of the Potomac received more contemporary media coverage than the other Union field armies. Such coverage produced fame for a number of this army's units. Individual brigades, such as the Irish Brigade, the Philadelphia Brigade, the First New Jersey Brigade, the Vermont Brigade, and the Iron Brigade, all became well known to the general public, both during the Civil War and afterward.


  • Brigadier General Irvin McDowell: Commander of the Army and Department of Northeastern Virginia (May 27 – July 25, 1861)
  • Major General George B. McClellan: Commander of the Military Division of the Potomac, and later, the Army and Department of the Potomac (July 26, 1861 – November 9, 1862)
  • Major General Ambrose E. Burnside: Commander of the Army of the Potomac (November 9, 1862 – January 26, 1863)
  • Major General Joseph Hooker: Commander of the Army and Department of the Potomac (January 26 – June 28, 1863)
  • Major General George G. Meade: Commander of the Army of the Potomac (June 28, 1863 – June 28, 1865; Major General John G. Parke took brief temporary command during Meade's absences on four occasions during this period); Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, general-in-chief of all Union armies, located his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac and provided operational direction to Meade from May 1864 to April 1865, but Meade retained formal command.

Major Battles and Campaigns

  • First Bull Run Campaign or First Manassas: McDowell
  • Peninsula Campaign, including the Seven Days Battles: McClellan
  • Northern Virginia Campaign, including the Second Battle of Bull Run (three corps participated under the control of the Army of Virginia)
  • Maryland Campaign, including the Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg: McClellan
  • Fredericksburg Campaign: Burnside
  • Chancellorsville Campaign: Hooker
  • Gettysburg Campaign: Meade
  • Bristoe Campaign: Meade
  • Mine Run Campaign: Meade
  • Overland Campaign: Meade
  • Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, including the Battle of the Crater: Meade
  • Appomattox Campaign, including Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House: Meade