During the War of 1812 the unit was consolidated with the 5th Infantry and took part in a series of long engagements. Most of these battles took place in the Niagara Frontier, in and around Buffalo, New York, culminating in the war's final Battle of Plattsburgh.
The regiment was reconstituted in May 1861. General William Tecumseh Sherman was the colonel of the regiment and Philip Sheridan was one of its captains. It was organized as one of the nine "three-battalion" regiments of regulars, each battalion containing eight companies of infantry, in contrast to the original ten regular regiments of infantry, which were organized on the traditional ten-company line.
During the Civil War, the unit earned its motto "First at Vicksburg". It participated in the battles of Hayes Bluffs, Champion Hill, Black River, and on May 19, 1863 took part in the assault at Vicksburg. The 13th Regiment was the only Union unit to plant its colors on the Confederate positions.
Following the Civil War, the Army was reorganized by Congress in July 1866, and the 13th was divided into three regiments, each battalion receiving two additional companies and being organized along traditional lines. The 1st Battalion was given the designation of the 13th Infantry, while the 2nd Battalion became the 22nd Infantry and the 3rd Battalion the 31st Infantry.
From 1867-71 the regiment fought in the Indian Wars in Montana and North Dakota. In June 1889 the regiment was sent to Cuba and led the 1st Infantry's attack on San Juan Hill, capturing the Spanish flag. In 1897 the 13th US Infantry had been filmed on Governor's Island, New York. See . The regiment saw combat in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War, and was assigned to the 8th Infantry Division in June 1918. As a member of this organization, the regiment did not participate in World War I.
In 1939 the regiment was ordered to the Panama Canal Zone and a year later, after having been disbanded, was reconstituted at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. The regiment found itself fighting through the hedgerows of France in July 1944 as a member of the 8th Infantry Division and led the drive to the Ay River. The regiment spent ten months in combat in Northern France, The Rhineland and Central Europe. It occupied a position on the Siegfried Line and was involved in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest.
Following World War II the unit was inactivated at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on 18 November 1945. On 17 August 1949 the regiment was activated once again at Fort Jackson, South Carolina where it remained until 1 August 1957. It was subsequently relieved from assignment to the 8th Infantry Division and reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters Company, 22nd Battle Group, 13th Infantry Regiment and assigned to the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado under the Combat Arms Regimental System.
On 31 January 1962 the regiment was inactivated at Fort Carson, Colorado. On 27 March 1963 the regiment was redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment and was relieved from assignment to the 9th Infantry Division and assigned to the 8th Infantry Division. Five days later the battalion was activated in Germany and remained there until 1 August 1984 when it was inactivated and relieved from assignment to the 8th Infantry Division.
On 27 February 1987, the 13th Infantry Regiment was transferred to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command and reorganized at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Currently, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 13th Infantry Regiment conduct Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
In World War II Walter C. Wetzel was awarded the Medal of Honor