History of the 103rd Infantry Regiment

By SSG Esther Kazian
103rd Infantry Regiment

Originating in Bangor as the 2nd Maine Infantry, the oldest of the original companies dating back to 1851, the 103rd has a long and interesting history.

During the Civil War the regiment participated in the battle at Yorktown, the Peninsula Campaign, Gaines Mill, Malvern Hill, the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville as part of the V Corps. Upon the expiration of its term of service all who would re-enlist and recruits were transferred to the 20th Maine regiments and thereafter during the Civil War the record of the 20th Maine is the record of the 2nd. During the famous battle of Gettysburg while defending Little Round Top, the 20th Maine held the extreme left of the Union line and repulsed every attempt made to penetrate the line on the afternoon of July 2, 1863 as part of Hood’s Division, Longstreet’s 1st Confederate Corps, practically annihilating the 15th and 48th Alabama regiments.

During the Civil War the regiment was the first to be sent to battle and participated in the following engagements: Bull Run, Peninsula, Valley, Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, wilderness Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Shenandoah Appomattox, Virginia 1862, Virginia 1863, Louisiana 1864 On June 16, 1880 the regiment was reorganized as the 2nd Infantry. The regiment was again called into Federal service on June 18, 1916 and served along the Texas border from June 29 through October 25, 1916. Activated for service in World War I on April 13, 1917, they assembled at Westfield, Massachusetts as part of the 52nd Brigade, 26th Division and were consolidated with the 1st New Hampshire Infantry later to be redesignated the 103rd on August 22nd, 1917. The regiment entered the front lines on February 8, 1918 and until the Armistice on November 11, 1918 they were constantly at the front. During World War I the regiment served overseas and participated in the following battles: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihel, Meuse-Argonne Ile de France 1918, Lorraine 1918

They returned on April 28, 1919 and were reorganized as the 3rd Infantry and redesignated as the 103rd Infantry on January 1, 1922. When called into service for World War II, the 103rd became part of the 43rd Infantry Division. During this conflict the 103rd took part in four major engagements: Guadalcanal, North Solomons, New Guinea and Luzon. They were the first outfit to reach the Ipo Dam which controlled one third of the water supply for the city of Manilla in addition to being one of the few regiments of the United States Army which actually made “Target Tokyo”.

The 103rd lineage continued on when it became the 20th Armor in the 1950’s and early 60’s and later transitioned into today’s 133rd Engineer Battalion.