12th Regiment of New York State

Volunteer Cavalry


Colonel James W. Savage, Appointed Col. Oct. 4, '62; enrolled at Albany Nov 25,'63
Philip G. Vought Lt.-Col.; former Major, 5th Cav
Floyd Clarkson Major
Church Captain

Major Battles and Engagements

 July 20, '63 Tarboro, NC Killed-1 Of/4 em; Wounded-2 Of/12 em; Missing-2 Of/23 em
 Aug 14, '63 Near Washington, NC W-2 em; M-8 em
 Apr 17-20, '64 Plymouth, NC K-3 em;W-1 Of/15em;M-2 Of/100 em
 Mar 7-10, '65 Wise's Fork, NC K-1 Of/3 em; W-7 em; M-2 Of/49 em
 Mar 11, '65 Core Creek, NC W-2 em; M-9 em
 Mar 29-31, '65 Snow Hill, NC W-1 em; M-10 em
 Apr 12-13, '65 Best's Station, NC W-1 em; M-14 em
Plus lots of lesser engagements. During its entire service, total deaths were: KIA-2/20; DOW-1/16; Disease,    etc.-5/178. 1 Officer and 84 of these died while in the hands of the enemy. A more thorough report appears in "New York in the War of the Rebellion" - Volume 2.

A verse sung by the 12th Cavalry Troopers
(from the same NY State Library papers)

"Strike nobly for your country
Strike nobly for her laws
There is justice in the weapon
Which indignant justice draws

"We will charge upon old Satan
And we will make the Rebel run
We'll advance upon his stronghold
Ere he spikes a single gun
As we go marching on N.C."

- contributed by Tony Turner

12th New York Cavalry Regiment Queries

Submitted by Louise J. Neu
Subj: 12th NY Cavalry Query
Date: Tue, Aug 4, 1998 11:58 PM EDT

I am looking for information on my ancestor Anderson Bunn B. Sep 19, 1827 Sussex County, New Jersey D. Feb 10, 1906 Tioga County, Pennsylvania. The information I have states he enlisted in the 12th NY Cavalry in 1864. Can you confirm this and/or add any additional information? Thank you for your time,
Louise Johns Neu
From: woosterk@cortland.edu
To: neulj@postoffice.ptd.net
Here is the entry on Anderson Bunn from "Annual Report of the (NY) Adjutant General's Office for the Year 1894."

BUNN, ANDERSON.--Age, 37 years. Enlisted, September 22, 1864, at Portage; mustered in as private, Co. D, September 22, 1864, to serve one year; discharged, June 23, 1865, at Tarboro, N.C. Also there was an entry for another Bunn. I include it in case it might be of interest to you.

BUNN, ALBERT.--Age 28 years. Enlisted, September 27, 1864, at Mount Morris; mustered in as private, Co. D, October 6, 1864, to serve one year; died of disease, May 26, 1865, at General Hospital, New York.
Kenneth Wooster

Submitted by John C Oester
Date: Thu, Oct 2, 1997 12:12 AM EDT

Subj: Company B 16th Cavalry PA Pvt Benjamin Nicholson/Nickleson

Hello, I saw your address on the Civil War Homepage. May I ask for your help and insite on a shady ancestor of mine. Benjamin NICHOLSON was a brother of my great great grandfather Simon NICHOLSON. So far in my search i found that Ben was mustered in Sept 24, 1862. He was captured and put in Libby prison. He was later moved to Andersonville Prison. He died there on Aug 14, 1864 of Dysentery. He is buried there in Grave #5595. I don't have documentation of any of this yet. It was all shared to me by three very generous folks like you on the internet. Is there anything you can add to what I've found out so far? I know Ben was born in 1832 but don't have his exact birthdate yet. I hope to find information on Ben's and Simon's father, William. All I know about him is that he died in 1851. I just ordered a book called Escape From Libby Prison, I hope I can learn more about the civil war from it. I doubt that Ben was in on that job, but since he spent some time there it will have special meaning just to read!

Thanks in advance, and if you never heard of him, no problem. Please email me either way. Thank you.
John C Oester@aol.com

Submitted by an Jeanne 12th NY Cavalry researcher
Date: Sat, Mar 22, 1997 5:53 PM EDT
Subj: Civil War Info

My name is Jeanne and I am just starting to track my ancestors. I am trying to get information about : Company A; 12th Regiment New York Cavalry; 1862-1865. I would also like to know how to get information about war prisoners at Andersonville. My 3rd great grandfather was the longest held prisoner there -- 1 year and 10 days and lived through it. Any information you could give me about how to track information down would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!!!!!

Submitted by Wulf Losee
Subj: Question about a member of 12th NY Cavalry...
Date: Wed, Jun 19, 1996 4:22 PM EDT

I understand from the Civil War Units File that you have information on the 12th NY Cavalry. I was wondering you have any information on my ancestor Sylvester N. Gardner. A census extract of Civil War veterans says he attained the rank of Sgt. His obituary from _The Troy Record_, June 25, 1910 states that he was a member of the Twelfth Cavalry (the Light Horse Cavalry). It says:

When hostilities began in the civil war, Mr. Gardner enlisted at the age of sixteen years in the Twelfth cavalry, known as the Light Horse Cavalry. He was one of the youngest soldiers from Rensselaer county. After serving three years, Mr. Gardner re-enlisted and carried a rifle until he was obliged to leave the army because of a wound.

Any extra information you could supply on his service record, his wound, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Wulf Gardner Losee

Submitted by Ed Boots
Date: Sun, Sep 8, 1996 2:34 PM EDT
Subj: 12th NY Cavalry
I saw your name listed as having an interest in the 12th NY Cavalry. I am the President of a Descendants Society For Soldiers Captured at the Battle of Plymouth, NC in April 1864. I know that part of the 12th NY Cavalry were there and took part in the battle.
Ed Boots, President & 101st PA Historian
Civil War Plymouth Pilgrims Descendants Society

- and -

Date: Sun, Sep 8, 1996 6:48 PM EDT
From: Qmsgtboots
Subj: Re: 12th NY Cavalry
Hello Mike,
I haven't seen any medical records coming from the Confederate side for their prisoners. I know that you can get medical records from the National Archives, but the files I've seen aren't very big. If there are such records, I'm sure they would be at the National Archives. Most all of the CSA's records were turned over to the Federals. As far as our society goes, we have about 75 members, and growing fast. Only two are 12th NY descendants. We don't have as yet a 12th NY Historian, but have a line on one. We probably can't be much help to you now, but probably can in the future. I'll keep you in my files, because when we do get a Historian for your regiment, they will concentrate not only on the Battle of Plymouth, but on the regiment as a whole.

Submitted by Bernard E. Breen
Subj: Civil War
Date: Sun, Sep 22, 1996 10:00 AM EDT

I am very interested in the Civil War as my Great Grandfather a Canadian was a member of the 12th N. Y. Cav/ co. B.
Only last month I was able to arrange to have his broken tombstone replaced with a new one by the Veterans Affairs. He enlisted in Fulton N.Y. and is buried there.
Bernard E. Breen
668 Rivermeade Ave
Kingston, Ontario
K7M 7Z6
- and -

Date: Sun, Sep 29, 1996 8:47 PM EDT

Dear Mr. Mike Burnett:
Thank you for your prompt reply. I have requested and received the following documents from National Archives: Claim for minor's pension with two dollars per month additional #123507; Certificate of discharge, signed by Simon Church at Bachelors Creek; Certificate of his marriage in Kingston, Ontario; a certificate that the name of Corp. George Gregg appears on the muster out roll of Co. B 12 N.Y. Cav. as having been enlisted on the 30 day of August 1862 by D.C. Baker and was mustered into service by Cpt. D. Russey on the 19TH day of November 1862 at New York. Discharged from local hospital New Berne N.C. March 19/1865. He died 5 weeks later. Does any of this info match your g.g. Gran's info? Were all the 12th from around Fulton? Let me know some of your info on g.g.g., like when did he enlist? Did he survive? etc. Do you think i can get more info from war records? I am anxious to find George Gregg's father and mothers name. maybe they are on some war record somewhere. My wife and i have visited New Berne's museum, local library and the church which was used as a hospital. I am a member of a local group called "Civil War Round Table of Greater Kingston" we meet a least once a month and some of our topics are: music of the Civil War; women in the Civil War; Gettysburg; the election of 1860; Sherman; small arms of the Civil War; etc. Very interesting group. The war cost Geo. Gregg his life. However, he is survived by a long list of decedents, to which only last week another boy was added Samuel Breen.

Submitted by Kenneth Wooster
Subj: Re: 12th NY Cavalry
Date: Sat, Feb 22, 1997 12:01 PM EDT

I found your e-mail address on the web as a person who either has or is seeking information on the 12th NY Cavalry.
My great uncle, Oren T. Wooster, was in Co. B. He enlisted at Volney, NY on 21 August 1862 at 18 years of age. He died of yellow fever in New Bern, NC on 25 Sep 1864. At the moment I am attempting to edit a collection of his letters home. Right now all that I have there is his mother's last letter to him. At the moment I am awaiting several photocopied pages of history from the US Army Military History Institute. If I am not mistaken I believe that I also have access to the muster roles at the Onondaga County Public Library in Syracuse. I am very anxious to get ahold of any and all material I can. Perhaps we can share information.

Kenneth Wooster
27 Abdallah Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045-3302
- and -
Subj: Dyer and Phisterer
Date: Fri, Feb 28, 1997 4:58 PM EDT

I received the material I was waiting for, and I will try to get copies to you sometime next week. From the material it seems that the original "A" Company was recruited in Fulton and Oswego and was initially intended for the 5th Cavalry. "A" Company was sworn into federal service in New York City on 19 November 1862. This is consistent with the date that your gg grandfather, my great uncle and Peek were sworn in. No other company was sworn in on that date. On 20 may 1863, the regiment was reorganized. The new "B" Company was made up of parts of old "A", "B" and "I."  This sorts out a problem which I had been having. Oren's records said he was in "B" Company, but I had seen someplace that it was "A" Company that came from Fulton and Oswego. Now I know the details. Upon looking at Phisterer, I wonder if your gg grandfather was not wounded on 20 July 1863 rather than 20 August 1863 as you say in your piece about the 12th cavalry. During August, no one was wounded except for 2 on the 14th of the month. However, on 20 July. 1 officer and 4 enlisted men were killed, 2 officers and 12 enlisted men were wounded and recovered, and 2 officers and 23 enlisted men were missing. This seems better to fit the circumstances as you described them when Josiah was wounded. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the skirmish when Colonel Savage learned not to walk into an ambush. If I am correct your gg grandfather was among the first casualties of the regiment. Prior to that there had been only 2 men missing, one on 15 July and the other on 18 July. But you will see all this and more when you get the photocopies.

Subj: 12th NY Cavalry
Date: Wed, Apr 10, 1996 10:35 AM EDT

I am desirous of sharing information with you regarding my father's great grandfather, Amos Parsons. According to family history, he served with Company K of the 12th NY Cavalry and was captured at New Berlin. From there he was held in Andersonville Prison. My Grandmother Kinsey (this being her grandfather) told the story of his escape from Andersonville (making him if I'm not mistaken only one of 307 to ever escape). It seems he was of a slight, but wiry build, and upon his capture and incarceration, seeing the inhuman conditions in the prison, resolved to escape at this first opportunity. Grandma told of a sewer pipe at one end of the compound, and under cover of a moonless cloudy night, her Grandfather Amos scraped his way through the sewer pipe, evaded the guards, and headed north to Union lines. Is there any additional information you could provide on this company, or on Amos Parsons?
Thank you for your time and trouble.
Best regards,
Charles Kinsey

- and -

Subj: Update
Date: Wed, Feb 19, 1997 10:52 AM EDT
From: chuckkinsey@juno.com
It has been quite a while since emailing you, and have been quite busy with family archives research re the 12th NY Cavalry. Here are two additional names for the roster:
Company: Enlisted Mustered Out
Co. M John Saunders Champlin 9/7/1864 6/20/1865
Co. M Lewis Adelbert Champlin 9/26/1864 12/22/1864 (died)
at Newburn, NC (some question of whether this is New Berne, spelling from old family records is questionable)

Subj: 12th NY Cavalry
Date: Thu, Apr 11, 1996 4:10 PM EDT
Re: 12th NY Cav.

My interests, as you know, focus on what happened late in the war (Sept., '64 to muster-out). Two of my great-grandfather's brothers served in the regiment. Both were from the town of LeRoy, Pennsylvania, located 20 miles or so south of Elmira, NY.
Francis Elliot Griswold (age 18) enlisted Sept. 16, 1864, at Mt. Morris, NY, for one year. Bounty paid: $33.33; due: $66.67. He was mustered in the same day at Avon, NY. Present for roll call Oct. 8, '64 at Elmira. Present Oct. 18 at Camp Judson, NC, as a "recruit" from the depot. Assigned to Co. I. Sick at hospital Oct. 28. Died Nov. 2 of "chronic diarrhea." That was quick poor guy!

Daniel Augustus Griswold (age 21) -- who had served before with Pennsylvania militia units during the Maryland Campaign ('62) and Pennsylvania Campaign ('63) -- enlisted Sept. 27, 1864, at Canisteo, NY, for one year. Bounty paid: $33.33; due: $66.67. He was mustered in at Elmira Oct. 3, '64. Present for roll call Oct. 3 & Oct. 6 at Elmira. Assigned to either Co. I or Co. G, it's hard to tell from the records I have. Present for duty with the regiment from Sept., '64 thru Jun, '65. Discharged at Tarboro, NC (near Raleigh) June 23, '65, per U.S. War Dept. General Order No. 83.
Info I have which one or both of you might be interested include a list of engagements from June '63 to the end; transcript of part of a letter written by William Burr to Mrs. C. A. Penfield advising her NOT to let a young man they both know enlist; and a few other items.

There's a fascinating story to be found in the OR about how the Union general in charge of occupying Union forces planned to coerce the cotton growers around New Bern not to sell their cotton to anyone other than Union authorities. The bribe was several barrels of whisky. I have more and will be in touch. You do the same, please.

Tony Turner
17 Chapel Street
Cobleskill, NY 12043

Subj: 12th NY Cav
Date: Mon, Apr 15, 1996 4:15 PM EDT

For your files:
October 4, 1862, Col. James W. Savage received authority from the State to recruit this regiment. It was organized at New York city to serve three years.
Principal officers:
* James W. Savage Appointed Col. Oct. 4, '62; enrolled at Albany Nov 25,'63
* Philip G. Vought Lt.-Col.; former Major, 5th Cav
* Floyd Clarkson Major
The regiment left the State by detachments, the first in May, 1863, and was entirely in the field by December of that year; it served in the Department and District of North Carolina, 18th Corps; and from March, 1865, with the Provisional Corps; with the 23d Corps from April, 1865, and July 19, 1865, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Philip G. Vought, it was honorably discharged and mustered out at Raleigh, NC
Heaviest engagements/casualties of the 12th NY Cavalry:
* July 20,'63 Tarboro, NC Killed-1 Of/4 em; Wounded-2 Of/12 em; Missing-2 Of/23 em
* Aug 14,'63 Near Washington, NC W-2 em; M-8 em
* Apr 17-20,'64 Plymouth, NC K-3 em;W-1 Of/15em;M-2 Of/100 em
* Mar 7-10,'65 Wise's Fork, NC K-1 Of/3 em; W-7 em; M-2 Of/49 em
* Mar 11,'65 Core Creek, NC W-2 em; M-9 em
* Mar 29-31,'65 Snow Hill, NC W-1 em; M-10 em
* Apr 12-13,'65 Best's Station, NC W-1 em; M-14 em
Plus lots of lesser engagements. During its entire service, total deaths were;
KIA-2/20; DOW-1/16; Disease, etc.-5/178. 1 Officer and 84 of these died while in the hands of the enemy
A more thorough report appears in of "New York in the War of the Rebellion" - Volume 2.
Excerpt from a letter written by a soldier in that regiment, I suspect sometime in 1864: "It is quite sickly here now every day the Stretcher passes by with some poor fellow burning with a fever. The nights are cold and bring with them a malaria which is full of Poison and will penetrate the thickest Canvass we have."
Tony Turner

Subj: A soldier's letter (12th NY Cav)
Date: Fri, Apr 19, 1996 8:30 PM EDT

I got this from the NY State Library in Albany -- an Aug. 29, 1864, letter from William Burr of the 12th NY Cav to Mrs C.A. Penfield about a young man the latter knows is planning to enlist: "A warning to Lewis as he thinks of enlisting. Tell him the bounties look large but let not that persuade him. It is but a small portion he will get before he starts. The rest perhaps will be paid in the field and he will find it a hard matter to save it with the money temptations that follow the army. I know of no law that would draft him at his age and circumstances. I would not discourage enlistment but he is too young. He might fall into some humane officers hands & it would be fortunate if he did. They are not all Men that are officers. Many treat those they command with but little feeling. A tired weary Boy perhaps is placed on the Post before the enemy. He is made to keep his eyes open and is fined by the officer of the Guard or Day (if) asleep. His idea of having to fight at home is not a strange one and I think he would not feel very contented away knowing an enemy had a foot on Oswego soil. "Tell him to think two or three times before he starts. It is quite sickly here now every day the Stretcher passes by with some poor fellow burning with a fever.
The nights are cold and bring with them a malaria which is full of Poison and will penetrate the thickest Canvass we have. Yesterday morning 'Saddle Up' sounded as the Rebs had made this appearance and fired on our reserve Picket. We waited in readiness while our troop went to feel their strength -- it proved to be a Scout who after firing ran into the woods and have not been seen since another party dodged the Pickets and tore up a portion of the R.R. at Crotan(?). The Cars passing over the road this morning run off in Consiquance killing two men."

The 12th New York Cavalry Regiment

The men of the 12th Cavalry came from several counties of New York State including Oswego County. The 12th Cavalry was sent for training and drill on Staten Island, NY in late Fall and Winter of 1862-1863. After several months, the troopers had become restless and were happy when they boarded ship, bound for the Carolinas.

Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee mentioned the regiment in a dispatch to the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Lee had just read a story in the New York Herald about the departure of the 12th Cavalry from New York to the south, see dispatches and reports.

The men of the 12th Cav. had a difficult time with the strange and somewhat tropical climate and several commented about seeing and interacting with local slaves.

The 12th was commanded by Colonel Savage and there are several stories of his bravery and leadership skills. Once, upon being surprised and surrounded, while on patrol, by a Rebel force, the Colonel quickly took control of the situation and ordered his men to... "Half draw sabers... half draw your pistols.... Charge!" The inspired Union 12th Cavalry routed the attackers.

On one of the first patrols into enemy controlled territory, the 12th Cavalry were trotting down a narrow wooded lane. Suddenly a Rebel contingent appeared and Savage ordered his Troopers to attack. This played into the hands of the Rebels who had set up an ambush. From the woods came a terrific volley of rifle fire. The result was a frightful toll in dead and wounded for the soldiers of the 12th Cavalry.

My great great Grandfather, Josiah Burnett, was wounded at Tarboro, North Carolina, July, 1863, while on mounted patrol with his Company, B, Captain Church's Company. There was a bridge in the North Carolina town on which the troops of the 12th Cavalry spotted a lone Rebel horseman. The Federal troops gave chase. When from the woods came a volley from a hidden Georgia Infantry Regiment. The Rebel ambush killed and wounded several men of the 12th NY Cavalry, including Captain Church. Private Josiah Burnett sustained a severe gunshot wound to the left hip and was in and out of hospitals for the remainder of the war. He was mustered out with his Regiment at the end of the war. On another occasion while at the head of his column of troopers, a company of the 12th NY Cavalry is said to have encountered several mounted Rebels about 100 yards distant. Savage ordered the four troopers in the front line to fire their rifles at the enemy and one Rebel fell from his mount. When the company reach the Rebel, he was dead and what's more he was a full Confederate Brigadier General. The last and only major campaign or battle which the 12th NY Cavalry participated in was Bentonville, in North Carolina, a Union Victory.

Burnett, Josiah. - Age, 40 years. Enlisted, August 29, 1862, at Fulton; mustered in as private, Co. B., November 19, 1862, to serve three years; appointed corporal, 19 November, 1862; reduced, May 20, 1863; appointed corporal, June 20, 1863; reduced, date not stated; discharged for disability from wounds received in action, February 13, 1865, at General Hospital, New Berne, N.C.

The 33rd New York Infantry

From Geneva Gazette 8 May 1863

Casualties in the 33d in the late Battle at Fredericksburgh

A letter from a member of the 33d received by a citizen states that this regiment, whose term of active duty expired the 30th ult., volunteered in a body for the fight then impending.  Such conduct and heroism are deserving of lasting and honorable remembrance. But alas !  it was a fatal resolve for many a brave boy of that regiment, as the sequel shows. If we are correctly posted, the 33d is in Sedgwick's Division, Mills' Brigade. These were the troops who so gallantly stormed and took the heights of Fredericksburgh on Sunday last, capturing the famous Washington Battery of New Orleans. The reported Union loss in this assault is one thousand killed and wounded.

In the Tribune of Wednesday we find the names of 11 killed and 50 wounded in the 33d alone. We republish the names:


Company F

Levi Adams
Wm. Van Nostrand
Nelson Keyes
Michael Carl
Bernard Smith
Lieut. Dusinberry
Wm. Cosnett
Benj. Swift
Geo. H. Flowers
Chas. Austin

Company B

William McFillancy


Wm. Foley - Co. D - foot
Serg't W. H. Alexander - Co C
J. M. Hamilton, Co. H - leg
Elijah Rice - Co. C - hand
W. R. Playsted - side
J. Eggleston - Co. H - arm
E. Hunt - Co. I - arm
D. Barber - Co. I - arm
Capt. E. E. Root - Co. L - thigh
Jos. Kinkaid - Co. E - slight
Ed Wheeler - Co. L - slight
H. A. Morse - Co. C - slight
Jas. Doyle - Co. I - slight
Amos Farrar - Co. E - slight
Barnet Greelan - Co. E - slight
Wm. Moran - Co. C - slight

Corp. Elisha Lewis - Co. B - slight
Corp. C. F. Lovett - Co. G - slight
Lieut. B. Byrne - Co. K - slight
Corp. B. Dobson - Co. B - slight
K. McParland - Co. K - slight
John McGuire - Co. K - slight
Corp. Menze Wixon - Co. I - slight
S. S. Porter - Co. D - slight
N. B. Risley - Co. B - slight
Sam. Adams - Co. B - slight
Henry Bass - Co. D - slight
Chas. Shuter - Co. I - slight
Geo. Root - Co. L - slight
Corp. Geo. T. Covert - Co. C - slight
Thos. Glosender - Co. B - slight
B. P. Richmond - Co. E - slight
Ed. Jarvis - Co. B - slight
Capt. C. H. Cole - Co. C - slight
Rob. W. Blainey - Co. G - severely
Chas. Starkey - Co. G - severely
Capt. Root - slight
Capt. Brown - slight
J. P. Jarvis - Co. B - hand
Capt. W. G. Cook - Co. C - severe
Serg't Geo. Sherman - Co. I - slight
Norton Bordwall - Co. F - breast
Corp. Michael Floyd - Co. D - thigh
Michael Burcher - Co. G - abdomen
Thos. Conway - Co. I - severe
Wm. Reasley - Co. C - chest
Geo. Crofutt - Co. D - arm and side
Madison Fox - Co. E - slight
James Turner - Co. I - severe
W. H. Early - Co. I - severe

Among the killed will be recognized the familiar name of Nelson Keyes, of this village, son of B. W. Keyes, carriage manufacturer. Mr. K has another son in the army, attached to the 38th regiment. He has our heartfelt sympathy for his loss. He will be consoled by the reflection that his son fell in the glorious cause of his country.

Another familiar name to our country friends is that of Wm. Van Nostrand, of Flint Creek, found among the killed.  

Happily the injuries of most of those wounded are reported slight.  

Col. Taylor, of the 33d N. Y., reported killed in the fight of Monday evening, is unharmed. Lieut. Col. Corning was wounded in the arm.   Major Platner had both of his horses shot. Capts. Cole and Root, Lieut. Porter of the same regiment, were wounded. Sunday morning it numbered 500 men. It is estimated that not more than 200 are left. Too much praise cannot be awarded to this regiment, the 31st, Col. Jones, and other two years regiments, whose time is up within two weeks, for the gallant manner in which they have conducted themselves in the various fights. The brave boys were beginning to count the days which intervened between the period of their departure for home.

From Geneva Gazette 15 May 1863

The Late Battle of Fredericksburgh

Losses in Co. H, (from Geneva) of the 33d Reg't

Tuesday, May 12, 1863

We received the following letter from Maj. Platner Tuesday morning:

Camp near Banks' Ford, Va, May 5th

S. H. Parker:

For the information of the friends of the members of Company H, 33d Reg't N. Y. V., I herewith hand you a correct list of killed, wounded and missing at the battle of Fredericksburgh the 3d and 4th inst.:


Levi Adams
Jonas Austin
Nelson Keyes
William Van Ostrand


Lieut. Sylvester Porter, thigh
Corp. J. M. Hamilton
Private Jesse Eggleston
Serg't David Acker, ankle
Private Jacob Green
Private David Schwab, leg amputated
Private D. W. Ellsworth, hand.
Private Louis Philip De St. Croix, leg


Edward A. Cady
Patrick Guire
Myron Scott
Charles L. Baily
Corp. George E. Ellis
Corp. Charles Van Gelder
Corp. N. M. Maddagan
Private George E. Barker
Private Charles Gafney
Private John Rice
Private  John Johnson
Private Samuel Larwood
John Leepold
John McDonald
John Moshier
Davidson Moshier
Thomas McCarty
Henry Van Gelder
John Schindler
Philip Saulpaugh

Our regiment lost in killed, wounded and missing 240, including commissioned officers -- over one-half of our effective strength at the time of going into action. I have no time to give you the details at present.

In haste, your &c.,
J. S. Platner.
Maj. 33d Reg't N. Y. V.

The 76th New York Infantry

The 76th New York Infantry was recruited from several upstate New York counties.

Submitted by Bob Taylor Subj: 76th Reg New York Vol.
Date: Sat, Dec 13, 1997 1:24 PM EDT

Am researching Milton B Hart, Drummer Boy in NY 93rd and NY 76th. Mustered in at Woodstock in 1861 age 16. Served two years then transferred to 93rd til end of war. Understand wounded several times but unconfirmed this date. Any info concerning this soldier greatly appreciated. Info on this man researched and provided in 30 min by NY State Archives Records. For your research, suggest contacting Chris Bouregard that office Tel: 518 474 8955 (MOST COOPERATIVE). Also obtained History of the 76th Reg. by Abram Smith and of the 93rd by David King. These (and others I am sure) are on microfiche and available thru inter-library loan.  Bob Taylor

Submitted by Suzanne Dickinson
Subj: 76th Infantry
Date: Fri, Dec 12, 1997 9:51 PM EDT
From: SDickins@clarityconnect.com

Have several newspaper clippings re; my Uncle Orville W. Dickinson who was in 76th. What would be the best way to transmit them to you? hard copy via mails? They are incorporated in notes in my genealogy files.

Suzanne Dickinson

Submitted by Conrad Bush

The letters are available to others now so use of them is not a problem. I have had parts of H. Sutton's letters published in the Cortland Roundtable newsletter. Hadley's letters have always been available but I don't think anyone has done anything with them other than me. They have been made available to the Cortland Roundtable and Florence Prison association. I do have many other letters which I have either on file or in the process of being transcribed. I can send you files of the ones I have done. Conrad

- and - Mike,

I have transcribed the William Wallace Hadley civil war letters found in the Wyoming County Historians archives. He was a private in Co. K, an 1863 recruit. Thought you would be interested. I also have a roster of Co. B of the 76th on my computer and if you want it for your web page I would be glad to E-mail it to you in ascii format. I also have a hard copy of the entire regimental roster as in NY State Adj. Roster of 76th. If you want a copy I can produce it for about 10.00.

Conrad Bush
1940 Reading Road
West Falls, NY 14170

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Subj: 76th Regiment
Date: Sun, Nov 9, 1997 10:57 PM EDT

I've been working on collecting material on a new unit history for five years. Please post this under the 76th Regiment/ Tell Mr. Todd Graves, to give us his e-mail address. I have Freeman Schermerhorn's diary during the Civil War. His brother was the first casualty of the 76th Regiment. He died of measles in the military hospital in Albany. The Schermerhorn's were from New Boston, a small settlement southeast of Truxton over in the hills of Cortland County.

Submitted by Gary Thompson

Subj: 76th NYVI
Date: Sun, Sep 14, 1997 6:39 PM EDT

Dear Sir
Forming a company of the 76th N.Y. Vol, Inf for living history reenactments. Would like to recrate a Cherry Valley Company. What were the first uniforms issued at the start of the Regiment? What were the uniforms issued after being reissued by the U.S. Government? Any uniform and equipment discriptions you could give us would be greatly appreciated. I have the history of the 76 by A.P. Smith, but does not give discriptions.

Thank you in advance , Gary Thompson, 1st Sgt.


Richard Palmer
2156 Barker St.
Tully, NY 13159

I have spent five years collecting material on the 76th Regiment to redo A.P. Smith's history. I also have a likeness of the second battle flag. I have a file cabinet drawer full of material on the unit prior to its going off to war, including correspondence, letters, etc., as well as a photo of Col. Shaul who commanded the Cherry Valley segment of the unit. The unit had regimental reunions from 1869 to 1926 and I have accounts and minutes of most of them.

Richard Palmer

Submitted by Conrad Bush

Date: Mon, Oct 27, 1997 5:13 PM EDT
Subj: 76th NY

Mike Burnett,

I have an cousin who was in the 76th NY named Nenry C. Sutton and I have over 40 letters he wrote during his one year with the regiment. He was killed at the 2nd battle of Manassas at Gainesville on the 29th. I have also approx. two hundred other letters I found by going through the National Archive pension files of men in the 76th. Would be happy to share what I have and you can place me on your page as a reference for people to inquire about their ancestors. I also have the full roster of the men of the 161st NY, 19th NY Battery Lt Art. and many letters and info on each. I would be interested in any information on these units.

Conrad Bush
1940 Reading Road
West Falls, NY 14170

Submitted by Mike Burnett

My interest in the 76th NY Infantry comes from my gg Grandfathers brother, Marvin Wheaton from Prattsburg or Cohocton, Steuben Co., NY who was drafted near the end of the war and went into camp at Elmira. He was about 18 years old and contracted some disease in camp, apparently tuberculosis or other disease. It is difficult to determine what exactly happened during his brief service by reading his military file. Seems that the Army lost track of where he was and his status. He may have made it as far as Washington, D.C. In any event... was given medical furlough as a result of his illness and one report has him returning home to the family farm unannounced and arriving in terrible shape, his family not recognizing him until he made his way to the bee hive which he kept and poured hands full of bees over his body. He died at home. His brother Alvin Sherman Wheaton, 104th NY infantry, and father Samuel Wheaton recovered his personal possessions from the Army.

Submitted by Mike Apgar

Subj: Apgars in the 76th New York Volunteers
Date: Thu, Oct 2, 1997 10:15 PM EDT

Dear Mike Burnett

I'm trying to compile a family history and know that two Apgars served as Pvts in Co C of the 76 NYVI :

John G. Apgar (31) mustered in 10-5-61 and transferred to the "Invalid Corps 11-22-63.

Melville B. Apgar (18) mustered in 10-27-61 and was discharged for disability 12-19-62. Melville enlisted in the 15 NYCav on 8-23-63 and finished the war as a Sgt.

Would it be possible to find out where these two guys were from, which battles they participated in, whether they were wounded, and what were the circumstances for their disabilities?


Mike Apgar
114 S. Fairfield Dr.
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 698-1865


I've done some surfing and reading in books I've got. It seems that the 76 NY was heavily engaged at both 2nd Manassas and Gettysburg (meaning they suffered severe losses in both engagements). At Gettysburg, the 76 NY was the first Union Infantry regiment to reach the field. They lost about 40% of their total strength, including 50 men killed or mortally wounded.

As the John G. Apgar (Pvt, Co C) was transferred to the "Invalid Corps" on 11-22-1863, I thought he might have been just recovered from wounds at Gettysburg.

Melville B. Apgar (Pvt, Co C) was discharged for disability on 12-9-1862, so I thought he might have been dinged at either 2nd Manassas or Antietam. Melville re-enlisted in the 15 NYCav on 8-26-63 and served for the rest of the war, so he must not have been too badly disabled. Another Apgar in the 8 OH was shot in the heel at Antietam, discharged for disability late in 1862, then enlisted in the 9 OH Cav (after his older brother was killed at Chancellorsville) and served for the rest of the war. Could Melville have had a similar career?

If you have the answer or can find it without too much trouble, I'd appreciate it. Also, do you know where I could get a copy of the reprint of the regimental history of the 76 NY. (The original by A. P. Smith was published in 1867.

Mike Apgar

Submitted by Mike Brown

Subj: 76th New York
Date: Fri, Mar 14, 1997 11:55 AM EDT

I am the newsletter editor of the Maj. Andrew Grover Civil War Roundtable in Cortland NY. Although we are interested in the ACW in general, we have concentrated on the 76th NY, as that regiment was raised (mostly) in Cortland. Major Grover, of course, was in command of the regiment as it entered the field on the first day at Gettysburg, where he was killed.

Many of the articles in the newsletter are about the 76th. Do you have any information you could share with our roundtable, perhaps an article or two? We've had contributions in the past from 76th descendents around the country and I'd be happy to send copies of the newsletter to you in return for information I can print.

If you decide you'd like to receive the newsletter on a regular basis, membership in the roundtable is $10 per year. No obligation, I'm just mentioning it if you're interested.

Mike Brown
41 Creamery Rd.
Richford, NY 13835

Submitted by Brenda


The help Gibbon had sent for was slow in coming. Rugus King, the epileptic division commander, was growing increasingly ill and made no response. Patrick moved slowly. Hutch turned back, but too late to help. Doubledy alone responded promptly. One of the regiments he brought up to the>battle was the 76th New York. I was green, and it knew a moment of panic when shells burst overhead. Colonel W.P. Wainwright rode among the men calling easily, "Oh, my boys, don't run, don't run. Think a moment how it would sound to say, 'the Seventy-sixth ran!'" One of his lieutenants said later that no pen could describe "the magic effect of those words."Then a mounted officer was shouting, "Come on! Quick! Quick!"

The 76th moved into a dangerous gap of a thousand feet that had developed between the 6th and 7th Wisconsin and stabilized the Federal line. The men of the Black Hat Brigade felt that the 76th had saved them.

I hope this help you.  Thanks Brenda

Submitted by Suzzan Greenhagen

Subj: 76th NYSV
Date: Thu, Oct 23, 1997 3:16 PM EDT
From: greenhsh@MORRISVILLE.EDU
X-From: greenhsh@MORRISVILLE.EDU (Suzanne Greenhagen)
To: MWBURNE@aol.com

Interested in sharing information on then 76th NY Inf. Sue Greenhagen, Head of Technical Services SUNY Morrisville Library Morrisville, NY 13408 Webmaster: "New York State & the Civil War" http://www.morrisville.edu/pages/library/local_history/sites/

The 76th New York Infantry was recruited largely from Cortland County, NY.

The 126th New York Infantry

A book available for purchase from the Geneva Historical Society.

*5. The Redemption of the "Harper's Ferry Cowards": The Story of the 111th and 126th New York State Volunteer Regiments at Gettysburg. R.L. Murray; 1994; 178 pp. Table of Contents.

Paul Phillips Stafford

My gggrandfather, Philo D. Phillips, (from whom my own name was derived) played an interesting role in the Battle of Harpers' Ferry on September 15, 1862.  The regiment suffered a humiliating defeat there and surrendered to the Confederates. However, my ancestor (then a Captain), is portrayed as having pleaded with Colonel Miles not to surrender, since he was sure he had heard signal shots of reinforcements.  The colonel prevailed and commanded that the men "raise anything white". Moments later, Colonel Miles received a bullet in the leg and was badly wounded.  Captain Phillips was said to have responded, "Good !."

I regret to say that I haven't yet done follow-up readings about these events.  However this book appears to have been written with the intent of trying to repair the sullied reputation of the regiment.  The 126th was apparently pilloried by the national press of the time and numerous letters to the editor(s) were written by regimental members in their defense.  Nonetheless, the regiment was paroled by the Confederates and it eventually returned to the front to fight for the Union cause.

From "Stonewall - A Biography of General Thomas J. Jackson" by Byron Farwell. pages 431, 432 - The Invasion of Maryland.

When Brigadier General Julius White arrived from Martinsburg on the 12th, he became the senior Union offer at Harper's Ferry, but as only a few months earlier he had been the collector of customs in Chicago and was without prior military experience, he relinquished command to Colonel Dixon Stansbury Miles, a regular who had been in charge there. Miles, a fifty-eight-year-old Marylander, was the oldest colonel in the Union army. He had been graduated from West Point in 1824, the year Jackson was born, and had served twenty-three years as a company officer.  Although he had distinguished himself in the Mexican War and in expeditions against the Coyotero Apaches and the Navajos, no one ever considered him brilliant.

 There were some twelve thousand troops in Harper's Ferry, on September 5; Miles had been given specific orders by Major General John E. Wool, his superior in Baltimore: "You will not abandon Harper's Ferry without defending it to the last extremity."  Apparently thinking this message not forceful enough, Wool later that same day sent Miles another, including the order that "There must be no abandoning of a post, and shoot the first man that thinks of it.(")  Two days later Miles assured Wool: "I am ready for them."

 Mile's command was a remarkably large one for a Colonel.  It was even more remarkable that of all people, he was put in charge of it, for in August of 1861 a court if inquiry had found him guilty of being drunk during the Battle of Manassas.  He was spared a court-martial, for the court... decided that a trial... would not be "for the interest of the service" ... This experience... seem to have embittered him.  His defense at Harper's Ferry was certainly inept. It has been suggested that he was a traitor, secretly arranging with Jackson for the surrender. -note- The case against Colonel Dixon S. Miles is strongly argued by Paul R. Teetor, an attorney and retired administrative law judge, in "A Matter of Hours".  The Historian of the 115th New York... called him the Benedict Arnold of the Civil War"

A military commission later found him guilty of "criminal neglect" and of an incapability amounting almost to imbecility."

By far the greatest number of troops Miles commanded were untrained volunteer infantry who had been employed in guarding the bridges and track of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.  Six of the twelve regiments consisted of men of insignificant experience.... The 126th New York, which faced McLaw's tough Confederates on Maryland Heights, had been in existence less than three weeks; its soldiers scarcely knew how to load their rifles.  -note The inexperienced 126th New York, which had been mustered into the army only twenty-one days earlier, after fighting bravely for several hours against the veterans in Kershaw's and Barksdale's brigades and suffering fifty-five casualties, was ordered to retreat.  Their retreat became a rout, earning them the name of the Harper's Ferry Cowards.  It was a stain the regiment later erased with its blood by its gallantry at Gettysburg and in many another hard fought battle.

From Geneva Gazette 17 July 1863


As nothing of importance has been received up to time of going to press, we re-publish the list of killed and wounded in the 126th reg't as given in our "Extra" of the 13th.  Should a full and complete list be received before our next issue, it will be placed before our readers in an "Extra" as soon as received.

Gettysburg, Pa., July 6, 1863

Dear Sir:  Herewith you will find a list of killed and wounded of the 126th.  I send it to you in order to relieve the painful anxiety of friends.  Our Regiment has won imperishable laurels, and gained a place in history for time to come, though at a fearful cost:
Col. E. Sherrill, killed

Co. A. - Serg't David Goff, Private Robert Pool, killed.

Wounded:  Serg'ts Smith Stebbins, James Henderson, Privates Levi Cole, S. P. Breeze, John Frost, Alexander Mosher, Wm. Axle, Frank Pool, Charles Terbush.

Co. B - Serg't Major H. P. Cook, Serg't Erasmus Bassett, Corp. E. A. Norris, Privates William Hobart, Charles Gaylord, killed;.

Wounded:  Melvin Bunce, Serg't Edwin Gossop, Corp'ls Geo. Chapman, Thos. T. McCarrick, Privates John Finger, C. M. Hyatt, Moses Booth, David J. Wilkins, Charles C. Hicks, Wm. Cassian, Wm. Raymond, Reuben Bullock, John Blansett, Charles H. Dunning, Nathan D. Baden, Mortimer Garrison, Peter M. Norman, Stephen C. Purdy, Amos J. Potter, Orrin Bates, Orrin Edgett, Luther Weaver, Edwin Coryell, Wm. H. Thomas, Franklin S. Pettingill, Jas. K. P. Huson (dead), Lt. M. H. Lawrence.

Co. C - Serg't C. T. Harris; Corp'l C. L. Bailey, Privates E. D. Vaughn, Joshua Purcell, Geo. Kelly, J. L. Grant, killed.

Wounded:  Lieut. Sidney Brown, Sergeants Benj. Swarthout, Madison Covert, Corporals Wm. Herrington, Henry Peterson, Privates John M. Chambers, Henry H. Rumsey, Spencer J. Colvin, Richard Lockhart, Geo. W. Comer, Richard C. Dimmick, Eugene K. Holton, J. F. Harris, F. M. Parker, Samuel Bleu (dead), Geo. C. King (leg amp.) Edgar H. McQuigg, Peter W. Rappleye, Thos. M. Woodworth, James H. Stull, John Bond, M. Harriel, J. C. Scott, Wilmer Stuart.

Co. D - Serg't Edwin W. Tyler, Corp'l Hiram B. Wood, Privates Henry W. Wilson, Truman B. Comstock, Chas C. Crandall, killed.

Wounded:  Capt. Chas A. Richardson, Corp'ls J. Z. Sabine, Henry Matton, Privates Wm. R. Chambers, Sylvester Oatman, Barber Eldridge, Geo. B. Johnson, Wm. Snyder, John Goodrich, Jr., Arnold J. Yeckly, Mark Dunham, Wesley D. Robinson, Edgar Oatman, John Chloecy, Frederick Ebert, Robert T. Porter, Hosea Lewis (dead), O. C. Lyon, Thos. Barnett, John D. Rivers, sunstroke, (missing), A. J. Wilson, Decatur A. Hedges, Wm. B. Brondo, John Brodie.

Co. E - Killed, Harvey Wilson, Joshua Brink, John W. Thompson.

Wounded:  Capt. John E. Brough, Lieut. Jacob Sherman, Orderly Serg't Edwin Barnes, Privates, Jonathan Creed, Tyler Brink, Henry Becker, Geo. W. Hafling, James Boyd (dead), G. W. Larkham, John Gallivan, B. W. Scott, James B. Reynolds, Lorenzo Phillips, Leonard Seitz, John H. Saulpaugh (dead), John Sloat, Ambrose Bedell.

Missing - Geo. W. Turner.

Co. F - Killed, Capt. Shimer, M. Cunningham, John Phillips, John Snelling.

Wounded:  Charles Terbush, T. G. Wilson, Geo. Carr, O. M. Leland, C. W. Nill, Oliver Perry, John Torrence, J. M. Wilson, E. Craft, Andrew J. Davenport, Sam'l Jacort, Rob't Jeffrey, A. N. Fiero, James Camp, Orderly Serg't Van Buren Wheat, Ephraim Dubois, Edward A. Young, Samuel Clark, John W. Bishop, Charles P. Keytz.

Co. G - Lieut. Rufus Holmes, Sergeants Snyder, killed.

Wounded:  Fred'k Spicer, Chas. Farnsworth, Clinton Pason, Wm. Long, John Moran, leg amputated, G. W. Bailey, Jas. Place.  (A few names here were in a fold of the paper on film and could not be deciphered.)

Co. H - Capt. O. J. Herendeen, Robt Burns, killed.

Wounded:  Corp. Chas. L. Clapp, David Phipps, Ame Camp, James A. Young, Edward T. Swan (missing), C. L. Gilbert (missing), Sergt. Anson E. Howard, Nathaniel J. Briggs, H. S. Dickens, Theodore F. Stacey, James Seden, Charles L. Bigelow, James Golden, Fre'k Bayne, Ceylon H. Sheffer, E. G. Hamlin, George Nicholson, Peter J. Hopkins, Nicholas Loomis, Theodore Vickery, J. H. Russell, Lieut. Asbrak Huntoon, Lieut. H. B. Owen, Wm. S. Westfall.  John L. Bullis, missing.

Co. I - Sanford Ambrose, Chas. Waters, Wm. H. Eddy, killed.

Wounded:  David Berger, A. H. Pierson, Dennis Ryan, W. H. Wood, Stephen L. Weatherlow, Sergt. Abram Cadmus (killed), Geo. Ackerman (wounded), Thos. Seabring (dead), H. Kelignor, W. Decker, H. Kipp, J. Hart, W. H. Tewksbury.

Co. K - Charles M. Wheeler, killed.

Wounded:  Lieut. I. A. Seamans, Sergt. Wm. Criscadon, Alonzo K. Davis, G. Prouty, Geo. Smith, Corp. B. Logan, W. H. Adams (missing), H. T. Alcott (missing), Geo Macomber, Sergt. Ralph H. Crippen, Sergt. A. B. Cooper, A. W. Cooper, Jerome Parks, J. King, Lester Nelson (killed), A. J. Cady (missing).
This list is as complete as I could make under the pressure of circumstances.  Please have the Geneva, Penn Yan, Canandaigua, and Ovid papers copy.  A hard fought battle, but a complete success for the army of the Potomac.  Large numbers of the wounded rebels brought in.  Their dead left a great number of them for as to bury.  So completely demoralized were they that many of them when attacked by our boys, gave themselves up.  I understand that their officers made their men believe that we were green militia, but said they found out the mistake.  I guess they did.  What is left of us are in good spirits and are now marching forward on the pursuit of our flying foe.  The prospect is that Lee will regret ever having come North.  God be praised for this success.

Yours, &c.,
T. Spencer Harrison
Chaplain, 126th N. Y. V.

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