This corps was to be designated the First, with General Hancock in command, but the war closed before a corps organization was fully effected, and before any of the nine regiments thus raised were ready for the field, leaving tlhe gallant old First in undivided possession of all the laurels that clustered around that name.
- Siege of Yorktown -- Fair Oaks -- Oak Grove -- Gaines' Mill -- Savage Station -- Peach Orchard -- White Oak Swamp -- Glendale -- Malvern Hill -- Antietam -- Fredericksburg -- Chancellorsville -- Gettysburg -- Bristoe Station -- Mine Run -- Morton's Ford -- Wilderness -- Corbin's Bridge -- Po River -- Spotsylvania -- North Anna -- Totopotomoy -- Cold Harbor -- assault on Petersburg, June 18th -- Jerusalem Road -- Strawberry Plains -- Deep Bottom -- Ream's Station -- Poplar Spring Church -- Boydton Road -- Hatcher's Run -- Siege of Petersburg -- White Oak Road -- Sutherland Station -- Sailor's Creek -- Farmville -- Appomattox.
The second corps was prominent by reason of its longer and continuous service, larger organization, hardest fighting, and greatest; number of casualties. Within its ranks was the regiment which sustained the largest percentage of loss in any one action; also, the regiment which sustained the greatest numerical loss in any one action; also, the regiment which sustained the greatest numerical loss during its term of service; while, of the one hundred regiments in the Union Army which lost the most men in battle, thirty-five of them belonged to the Second Corps. The corps was organized under General Orders No. 101, March 13, 1862, which assigned General Edwin V. Sumner to its command, and Generals Richardson, Sedgwick, and Blenker to the command of its divisions. Within three weeks of its organization thle corps moved with McClellan's Army to the Peninsula, excepting Blenker's Division, which was withdrawn on March 31st from McClellan's command, and ordered to reenforce Fremont's troops in Western Virginia. Blenker's Division never rejoined the corps,--in fact, it had never really joined. The remaining two divisions, which constituted the corps, numbered 21,500 men, of whom 18,000 were present for duty. The first general engagement of the corps occurred at Fair Oaks, where Sumner's prompt and soldierly action brought the corps on the field in time to retrieve a serious disaster, and change a rout into a victory. The casualties of the two divisions in that battle amounted to 196 killed, 899 wounded, and 90 missing. In the Seven Days Battle it lost 201 killed, 1, 195 wounded, and 1,024 missing. Upon the withdrawal of the Army from before Richmond, it moved to the support of Pope at Second Bull Run, arriving on that field in time to go into position at Chantilly, but was not engaged. The corps then marched on the Maryland campaign, during which French's (Third) Division was added. At Antietam the corps was prominently engaged, its casualties amounting to more than double that of any other corps on the field. Out of 15,000 effectives, it lost 883 killed, 3,859 wounded, and 396 missing; total, 5, 138. Nearly one-half of these casualties occurred in Sedgwick's (Second) Division, in its bloody and ill-planned advance on the Dunker church, an affair which was under Sumner's personal direction. The Irish Brigade, of Richardson's (First) Division, also sustained a terrible loss in its fight at the “Bloody Lane” but, at the same time, inflicted a greater one on the enemy. General Richardson was killed, in this battle, and General Sedgwick received three wounds. The next battle was at Fredericksburg. In the meantime Sumner had been promoted to the command of a Grand Division--Second and Ninth Corps--and General Darius N. Couch,