The 11th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • Authorized on September 16, 1776 in the Continental Army as the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment.
  • Assigned on December 27, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • Organized in spring 1777 at Philadelphia to consist of 8 companies from Philadelphia City and Berks, Chester, Philadelphia and Northumberland Counties.
  • Assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Consolidated on July 1, 1778 with the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment.



11th Pennsylvania Regiment was officially authorized on October 25, 1776. Some elements of the 11th Pennsylvania saw action in the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777. Later, some of the 11th Pennsylvania took part in the patrol actions in New Jersey, which marked the spring and summer of 1777. During the summer, the 11th Pennsylvania was assigned to the 2d Brigade of Anthony Wayne's division. Some of its troops were detached to serve with the special task force (the "light infantry corps") under Brig. Gen. William Maxwell, which was formed for the fall campaign opposing the British approach toward Philadelphia from the south. It was Maxwell's command which fought the delaying action at Iron Hill on September 3, 1777, when Lt. Col. Francis Gurney was wounded.

The regiment as a whole seems to have seen its first major action at the Battle of Brandywine, on September 11, 1777, and saw especially hard fighting, taking heavy casualties. The regiment was in combat again on September 20 when, with the rest of Wayne's division, it was surprised at Paoli. Due to bad tactics, the unit took the heaviest losses in the engagement. The 11th Pennsylvania fought again at Germantown on October 4, 1777. The 11th Pennsylvania's total losses during the whole campaign were substantial, for by November 1, 1777, it had present for duty only eight officers and eighty enlisted men. Another sixty-six enlisted men were sick, and thirty-one were on detached service.

After spending the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge with the other regiments of the Pennsylvania Line, the 11th Pennsylvania took part in the campaign across New Jersey which followed. At the Battle of Monmouth, on June 28, 1778, it was one of the three Pennsylvania regiments in the force which Aaron Burr led in a late-afternoon assault on the flank of a British counterattacking column. Less than a week later, on July 1, the unit was dissolved, and merged with elements of the 10th Pennsylvania.

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