The regiment was authorized in December, 1775 as the 5th Pennsylvania Battalion. The regiment participated in the unsuccessful defense of New York City and was captured in part at Fort Washington November 16th, 1776.
On January 1, 1777, the survivors of the 5th Battalion, along with exchanged prisoners and new recruits, were reorganized into the 6th Pennsylvania. Most of the regiment's men were recruited from Berks and Chester counties, although many came from Philadelphia and as far away as Northumberland County.
During 1777, the regiment participated in the Philadelphia Campaign and fought at the Battles of Brandywine on September 11th and Germantown on October 4th. At Brandywine, the women of the 6th Pennsylvania were cited for their bravery under fire while bringing water to the men. The regiment spent the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge and took part in the Battle of Monmouth on June 28th the following summer.
In 1779, the 6th Pennsylvania was part of the force commanded by "Mad" Anthony Wayne that stormed the British fortifications at Stony Point, NY July 16th. It spent the rest of the year in garrison at West Point and probably wintered at Morristown. The next year, the regiment took part in a number of small engagements in New Jersey and again wintered at Morristown.
On New Year's Day, 1781, members of the 6th Pennsylvania joined the mutiny of the Pennsylvania regiments then quartered at Morristown. After a settlement was reached, the regiment was furloughed at Trenton on January 17th. Soldiers remaining in the regiment were reassigned to other units and eventually sent south to take part in the Yorktown Campaign. The regiment was officially disbanded in January 1783, although in reality no regiment had existed since 1781.
Today, the "6th Pennsylvania Regiment" represents the unit as it would have looked during the Philadelphia Campaign during the fall of 1777. Until sometime in 1778, the 6th Pennsylvania was uniformed in brown coats faced in red.
The 6th Pennsylvania Regiment