Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 182 of 192)
Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 182 of 192)
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bounty of $25 per man, and the State paymaster paying
the State bounty.

The men comprising the regiment were principally resi-
dents of Oneida County, so that it was really a county
organization. The companies were recruited mostly in the
following towns, viz. : Co. A, Utica and Vernon ; Co. B,
Utica and Camden ; Co. C, Utica and Westmoreland ; Co.
D, Utica, Whitestown, and Sangerfield ; Co. B, Rome and
Annsville ; Co. F, Ori.skany village and northward of it ;
Co. G, Paris and Kirkland ; Co. H, Utita ; Co. I, Boon-
ville, Remsen, and Trenton ; Co. K, Sangerfield and North.
Every town in the county was more or less represented.
Co. H had the highest percentage of married men, while
Co. G was made up mostly of young, unmarried men; and
the latter company, it is stated, always furnished a large
share of the mail matter.

The organization being completed, the regiment broke
camp on the morning of Aug. 22, 1862, and shortly after
ten o'clock marched down to the depot, escorted by the
" Gansevoort Light Guard," commanded by Captain Rowe.
A few minutes after reaching the depot, when the last
good-byes were said and the last hand-shakings over, the
long train of twenty-two passenger coaches and four freight
cars sped on its way with its living freight of patriotic men.
At Oriskany, Whitesboro', and Utica crowds were gathered
to witness the departure of the regiment ; at Utica especially
the reception was very demonstrative. The old Utica Band
had taken a position on the roof of the depot, and discoursed
stirring music as the train rolled in and stopped. An address
was delivered by Hon. W. J. Bacon, and responded to by
Colonel Pease and Lieutenant-Colonel White, followed by
Colonel James McQuade, of the 14th New York Volunteers.
At 1.40 P.M. the train moved away, carrying the regiment
out of the county in which it was raised, and bearing its
members swiftly on towards the field of war. Proceeding
by train to Albany, thence by boat down the Hudson to
Jersey City, and by rail to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and
Washington, the regiment reached the latter place early on
the morning of the 25th, and found shelter and " jilain
lodgings" on the floor of some extensive barracks near the
depot. Aug. 26, the 117th went into camp at Tennally-
town, west of Georgetown, and on the 30th was removed
farther west, to Fort Alexander. At the latter place it re-



niained, doing guard and ftttigue duty, till nearly the middle
of November.

On the 12th of November the regiment was relieved by
the 18lh Maine, and moved to an eminence about midway
between Fort Pennsylvania and its late encatnpment, where
it remained a week in the mud, and then moved up near
to Fort Pennsylvania. While in tbLs camp a fine silk ban-
ner arrived, a present to the regiment from the ladies of
Utica. Tile first death in the regiment after leaving home
took place Sept. 12, 1862.

December 24, the regiment was divided into two battalions,
of five companies each, which were assigned to special duty
some ten miles apart. No hard work fell to the lot of the
regiment during the winter, and on the morning of March
15, 1863, the two battalions were united at Washington,
and, embarking on a couple of river boats, were transported
down the river to Norfolk, arriving March 17, where they
were transferred to cars and taken to Suffolk, near which
Longstreet was then making a decided demonstration in the
direction of Norfolk. Now the regiment was literally " at
the front," the event they had long been wishing for, yet
the ominous thundering of Longstreet's guns sounded much
less enchanting to their cars than they had expected, and an
appreciation of their position was apparent in the sober
glances of the men. The 117th was placed on the extreme
right of the line of defense, and subsequently encamped on
what was known as Gaboon's Point, wiiere it remained for
nearly a month, doing picket duty and fortifying the Point.
May 15, the camp was removed to the south bank of Julian's
Creek, about four miles south of Portsmouth, where the boys
remained for some time. On the 22d of June camp was
broken, and the regiment started on its memorable Penin-
sula raid, to aid in checking the advance of Lee, who had
begun another northward movement.

The men were marched to Portsmouth, where they em-
barked and steamed up to White House, and from there
made a rapid march towards Hanover Court-House, making
a demonstration against Lee's communications with Rich-
mond. They lay at this place until the morning of the
5th of July, and then began a forced march to Fortress
Monroe, suffering greatly from heat and fatigue on the way,
and losing a few men prisoners to the rebel cavalry. July
29, the regiment was removed to Portsmouth, where they
embarked on board a transport and steamed out upon salt
water, their destination being Charleston Harbor, S. C,
where they arrived on the afternoon of August 2, and the
following day landed on Folly Island, where they remained
till August 22, when their location was changed to Block
Island. At their camp on the latter island the men re-
mained about a month, and then returned to Folly Island.
During the winter but little happened out of an easy rou-
tine of camp-life. The 117th participated, on the 7th of
February, 1864, in a demonstration against Charleston via
John's Island, and returned on the 10th. Colonel Pease
had obtained leave of absence, on account of sickness,
while the regiment was at Portsmouth, and during the stay
on Folly Island a letter wa.s received from him announcing
his resignation on account of ill-health. Lieutenant-Colonel
White was promoted to colonel. Major Daggett to lieutenant-
colonel, and Captain F. X. Meyer to major.

April 15, 1864, subsequent to General Grant's appoint-
ment as commander-in-chief, an order was received by the
Folly Island forces to be ready to move at short notice, and
on the 18th the camp was broken up. On the evening of
the 19fh the regiment embarked on the steamer "Nep-
tune," and on the 20th, at Hilton Head, took passage on
the propeller transport " Blackstone," and arrived at
Gloucester Point on the 24th. Remained there about a
week, during which time it was reinforced by an installment
of recruits. Moved up the York River to West Point May
1. Left; for Fortress Monroe May 5, 1864, and from there
proceeded up James River, arriving off City Point the next
day, and landing at Bermuda Hundred. Considerable
skirmishing and some .sharp fighting occurred during the
successive days thereafter, all in an advance towards Peters-
burg.' On the 16th, in the battle at Drury's Bluff, the
117th suffered heavily, losing 89 men, among them Lieu-
tenant Castleman and Captain Brigham, who were mortally
wounded and subse(]uently died. Splendid service .was
rendered in this engagement by the 117th and her four
sister regiments, the 89th, 142d. and 3d New York and
40th Massachusetts, composing the First Brigade, Second
Division of the Tenth Corps.

In rapid succession followed the battles of Cold Harbor,
capture of Petersburg Heights, Bermuda Hundred, and
Petersburg Trenches, in all of which the 117th suffered
greatly, principally from the firing of the enemy's sharp-
shooters and the explosion of shells. In June the brigade
was re-formed. The history of the regiment from this time
forward is one of continued interest ; exciting events trans-
pired almost daily, and the casualties were very great. It
pai'ticipated in the second siege of Petersburg and at Chapin's
Farm (Sept. 29, 1864) ; the desperate fight of the 27th of
October; in the two expeditions to Fort Fisher, near Wil-
mington, N. C, on the second of which the fort was cap-
tured, the 117th being the first regiment to plant its colors
on the rebel works ; the capture of AVilmington ; and the
subsequent march in the rear of Sherman's army (whose
trail it struck at Bentonville) back to the " sacred soil" of

On the 8th of June, 1865, at Raleigh, N. C, the regi-
ment was mustered out of the government service, and on
the morning of the 9th began its march homeward. It
reached City Point, Va., June 14 ; proceeded to Fortress
Monroe, and from there to New York City, where it arrived
June 17 ; reached Albany the 18th, and took the cars for
Syracuse ; stopped a short time at Utica, where a grand
banquet was served by the citizens, and an address of wel-
come delivered by Hon. Roscoe Conkling, to which reply
was made by Colonel Daggett (brevet' brigadier-general).
From Utica the command proceeded to Syracuse, where it
remained in camp about ten days, and received its final
muster-out June 28, 1865.

The casualties of the regiment in some of its prominent
battles were as follows : Drury's Bluff, May, 1864, 81 (given
also 89); taking of Petersburg Heights, June 15, 1864,
24; siege of Petersburg, 132; Chapin's Farm, Sept. 29,
1864, 130; Darbytown Road, Oct. 27, 1864, 52; Fort
Fisher, Jan. 15, 1865, 95. Of the entire number of men
lost 85 were killed in action, 154 died of sickness or wounds,



198 were discharged for disability, 21 were missing in action,
and 25 were transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps,
making a total of 483. The 117th hit with 1020 men, and
returned with 315. At intervals during 1863-65 it re-
ceived an aggregate of about 500 recruits. Of these about
250 were transferred to the 48th New York Volunteers.

The 117th was spoken of by Colonel Pease as being " the
finest body of men he ever saw." As a fighting regiment
its qualities were well tested, and they never failed to come
up to the standard. The statistics of its losses speak vol-
umes in its favor, and the forms lying so lowly on many a
Southern field testify truthfully of its patriotism, while a
grateful country awards to it cheerfully the honor it so
bravely won. Many of its members to-day are among the
foremost of Oneida's civilians, and peace has spread around
them her manifold blessings, yet doth the eye glance bright
and the form become martially erect at thoughts of the
stirring " scenes of other days,'' now living but as dread
memories of the past.


The 146th Regiment was organized at Rome, under the
direction of the Senatorial Committee of the Nineteenth
District. It was mustered into service at that place on the
10th day of October, 1862. Originally it was known as
the "5th Oneida;'' afterwards as the " Halleck Infantry,"
so named in honor of Major-General Henry Wager Hal-
leck, whose birthplace Oneida County has the honor of
claiming. The familiar title of " Garrard Tigers," by which
the officers and men wore wont to speak of themselves, was
a compliment to the stern discipline and soldierly enthu-
siasm of Colonel Kenner Garrard, a graduate of West Point,
who had accepted the command of the 146th at the sugges-
tion of General Halleck. Colonel Garrard had been nearly
fifteen years in the United States service, and had been
recently exchanged as a prisoner of war, — made such by
the disgraceful surrender of General Twiggs in Texas.

On the 11th of October the regiment left for the seat of
■war, and went into camp at Arlington Heights, Va. Dur-
ing the month that the regiment remained there it was
subjected to the most severe drill. Leaving " Camp Sew-
ard" the 9th of November, it joined the Army of the Po-
tjmac, at Warrenton, the day after McClellan was relieved
of command. The regiment was assigned to the 3d Brigade
of General Sykes' Division of the 5th Corps, then under
the command of General Meade. In the latter part of
November it went into camp near Falmouth, Va., and
remained there until December 11, when it broke camp and
was engaged with the army at the battle of Fredericksburg.
It was on the 15th that the 146th re-crossed the river to
its old camp. It was the last regiment over at the lower
bridge. It was at the battle of Chanoellorsville, under
Hooker, and in the first day's fight sufi'ered heavily, but the
men acquitted themselves with honor. May 21, 1863, the
regiment was sent to guard Richards' Ford, on the Rappa-
hannock River. On the 10th of June the s(art was made
for Gettysburg. During the battle the 146th was in the

* By Col. (Brevet Brig.-Gen.) James G. Grindlay.

brigade commanded by Brigadier-General Stephen Weed, and
in a charge supported the flying columns of the 3d Corps,
which had met with a temporary reverse. Here also it was
that the 146th, with the 140th New York and 91st and
lo5th Pennsylvania Regiments, at a severe loss of officers
and men, charged up and obtained possession of the " Little
Round Top," the key to the position, and held it during
the entire engagement. Among the killed were Brigadier-
General Stephen Weed, who commanded the brigade.
Colonel Patrick O'Rourke, of the 140th, and Captain Haz-
lett, commanding the famous " Battery D," 5th United
States Artillery, which the 146th supported. In conse-
quence of the death of General Weed and Colonel O'Rourke
the command devolved upon Colonel Garrard, and for his
gallant conduct on that occasion he was commissioned brig-

The 146th shared the fortunes of the Army of the Poto-
mac until the spring of 1864, when General Grant assumed
command of the army, and the First and Fifth Corps wore
consolidated. The 146th was then in the Fifth Corps, First
Brigade, First Division, General Ayres commanding. April
29 the army broke camp, and on May 4, came within one
mile of the Wilderness battle-field. On the succeeding
day the 146th went into the fray and suffered almost total
annihilation ; numbering at the commencement some 600
muskets, they lost nearly 400 in killed, wounded, and pris-
oners. Colonel David I. Jenkins, of Vernon, then com-
manding the regiment, — than whom a braver or more
meritorious officer never lived, — was killed. He was ac-
counted one of the best engineers in the Army of the Poto-
mac, not a West Point graduate. On that day also fell that
gifted, courageous young officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry
Hastings Curran. The command of the regiment devolved
upon Colonel James G. Grindlay, who led it until the close
of the war. From this time until the end the 146th bore
a conspicuous part in all the operations of the Army of the
Potomac. At the battle of Spottsylvania, a portion of the
regiment, under the command of Captain Joseph S. Lowory
performed a very gallant deed ; advancing in a handsome
manner as skirmishers clear up to the rebel fortifications,
and ascertaining their position and force, for which daring
feat Captain Lowery was brevetted and highly compli-
mented in general orders. He was afterwards severely
wounded while leading his men at the battle of Cold Har.
bor. At the battle of Five Forks the 146th captured the
works in front of it, securing three times its own number
in prisoners" and three battle flags; the brigadef to which
it belonged capturing in all seven battle-flags. Medals of
honor were awarded by the War Department to the brave
men who secured the trophies.

In 1863 the 146th adopted the Zouave uniform, which
rendered it as beautiful on parade as it was gallant in
action. It numbered in all from first to last 1508 men,
receiving additions from the old 5th New York DurySa
Zouaves, the 17th New York D'Espeneuil Zouaves, and the
44th New York " Ellsworth Avengers," receiving at each
time a body of splendid soldiers. The regiment was thrice

"f" The brigade in this engagement was commanded by Colonel
Grindlay, who, for his gallant action on that day, was brevetted



complimented in general orders for distinguished gallantry:
first, at Laurel Hill, Va., when two lines of battle in front
broke, it stood firm and repelled the attack, losing severely |
second, at Cold Harbor, when Mahone's Division burst on
their lines, the brigade to which the 146th belonged checked
their career, thus saving the position, — the 146th in this
encounter lost 2 ofiBcers and 09 enlisted men ; third, at
Hatcher's Eun, where it held its ground at great odds
until its ammunition was entirely gone, when it was with-
drawn a short distance, its cartridge-boxes replenished, and
the line again advanced.

The following is the list of battles in which the 146th
Regiment participated, and which, by order of the War
Department, were allowed to be inscribed upon its banners:
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Rappahan-
nock Station, Bristow Station, Mine Run, Williamsport,
Wapping Heights, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Laurel Hill,
North Anna, Tolopotomy, Bethesda Church, Petersburg,
Weldon Railroad, Chappel House, Hatcher's Run, Hicks'
Ford, White-Oak Road, Five Forks, Appomattox Cuurt-
House (Lee's Surrender), — total, twenty-two.

The 146th Regiment lost two field-officers and five line-
officers killed in battle, two by disease, five by resignation
on account of wounds, and one by transfer; 16 of its offi-
cers and 525 of its enlisted men were wounded in battle;
162 of its enlisted men were killed in battle; 105 died of
disease ; 550 were discharged for wounds and disability ;
324 were transferred ; and 427 mustered out of service at
the close of the war (July 16, 1865).

Everybody in Oneida County recognized the 146th as
" the fighting regiment." Its record speaks for itself more
fitly than any words of eulogy which can be pronounced.
Yet it is deserving of them, and all praise is awarded to
every one of its members who braved so great perils for the
preservation of a common country.

The following compliments from its former brigade com-
manders were well deserved :


-July 15, 1865.
" Colonel James Grindlay, Officers and Men of the 146th New
York Volunteers:
" As our official relations are about to terminate I take the occasion
to express to you my deep regret ttierefor, though rejoicing in its cause.
" During the two years that your regiment has perved in my com-
mand, and the many battles it has participated in, I have ever felt
entire confidence in its discipline and gallantry. I have never called
upon it save to see the duty assigned nobly performed.

" I believe there is not a more distinguished regiment than yours.
" Gallantly have you borne those torn and tattered banners. Defi-
antly have you shaken them in the very jaws of death, and trium-
phantly waved them on fields of victory.

"Well assured that in your reception on returning home will be
evinced the deep gratitude of an admiring people, and with my best
■wishes for your welfare and happiness, I remain sincerely your

(Signed) " R. B. Ayres,

"Brevet Major-General Commandiug."


"July 16, 1865.
"Colonel James Grindlay, Commanding 146th New York Vol-
" Colonel, — In taking leave of you I desire to express to you, and
through you to your officers and men, my high appreciation of your
gallant regiment, and of its services in the late war.

" Taking the field at an early day, it has participated in the
severest campaigns, and has won its reputation where soldiers are
best tried, 'upon the battle-field.'

" Associated with many other good regiments, and for a long time
with the infantry regiments of the regular army, the 146lh yields the
palm to none. By the intelligence and ability of its officers, by the
discipline, soldierly character and conduct of its men, it has added
lustre to the proud name of Volunteer.

"After your long and arduous service, having accomplished your
work, you return now to enjoy the greetings of your friends and
families and the laurels you have so nobly won. Let me assure you
you bear with you the best wishes of your friend and commander,
(Signed) ".T as. Hayes,

" BnyacUer-General Commanding,''


This regiment was organized in New York City to serve
three years. It was mustered in Nov. 19, 1862. Part of
the men comprising Company H were from Oneida County,
and the remainder of the regiment was composed of men
from the counties of New York, Kings, Erie, Niagara, and
St. Lawrence. July 15, 1865, the regiment was mustered
out in accordance with orders from the War Department.
Its engagements were Suffolk, Blaokwater, Spottsylvania,
Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Strawberry Plains,
Deep Bottom, Ream's Station, Boydton Road.


The 189th Regiment was organized at Elmira, N. Y.,
for one year. The companies composing it were raised in
the counties of Alleghany, Steuben, Madison, Oneida, and
Oswego. Company K was partly from Oneida. The regi-
ment was mustered into service in August and September,
1864, and mustered out June 1, 1865, in accordance with
orders from the War Department.


Companies A, B, C, D, E, and F of this regiment were
in part from Oneida County, and the balance of the regi-
ment was raised in the counties of Albany, Rensselaer,
Clinton, Schenectady, and Ulster. It was organized at
Albany for one, two, and three years, and mustered in from
Jan. 9 to March 10, 1865. In accordance with orders
from the War Department, it was mustered out of service
Aug. 28, 1865.


This regiment was organized at Auburn , N. Y., for one,
two, and three years. The companies composing it were
raised in the counties of Cayuga, Oswego, Onondaga,
Oneida, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Franklin. It was
mustered in from April 6 to July 2, 1865, and mustered
out, in accordance with orders from the War Department,
Jan. 18, 1866.


Company H of this regiment was principally from the
county of Oneida, and the balance was raised in the State
at large. The regiment was organized at Troy, N. Y., to
serve three years ; was mustered in from Oct. 8 to Nov. 6,
1861, and mustered out March 31, 1862, in accordance
with orders from the War Department.




The 3d Cavalry Regiment was organized at New York
City for three years, the companies being raised principally
in the counties of Albany, Schoharie, Chemung, Delaware,
Oneida, Onondaga, and Orleans. It was mustered in from
July 17 to Aug. 27, 1861. At the expiration of its term
of service the original members, except voterans,_ were
mustered out, and the organ^ization, composed of veterans
and recruits, retained in service. It was consolidated with
the First Mounted Rifles, July 21, 1865, and the consoli-
dated force was known as the " Fourth Provisional Cavalry."
It was mustered out of service Nov. 29, 1865. The various
engagements in which it participated were Burns' Church,
Young's Cross-Roads, Williamston, Kinston, Whitehall,
Groldsborough, Ball's Bluff, Weldon Railroad, Edwards'
Ferry, Stony Creek, Petersburg, Malvern Hill, New Mar-
ket, Johnson's House.


This regiment was organized at Rochester, N. Y., to
serve three years. The companies composing it were raised
in the counties of Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Or-
leans, Niagara, Chenango, and Oneida. The regiment was
mustered in from Nov. 28, 18(il, to Oct. 4, 1862, and at
the expiration of its term of service tlie original members,
except veterans, were mustered out, the veterans and re-
cruits remaining in the service until June 27, 1865, when
they were mu.stered out in accordance with oiders from the
War Department. The battles of this regiment were Win-
chester, Antietani, Upperville, Beverly Ford, Gettysburg,
Locust Grove, Hawes' Shop, White Oak Swamp, Opequan,
Cedar Creek, Appomattox Court-House.


The companies composing this regiment were raised in
the State at large, and mustered in June, 18G2, to serve
three years. The original members, except veterans, were
mustered out at the expiration of their term of enlistment,
and the veterans and recruits retained in service. They were
consolidated into a battalion of four companies, and mus-
tered out September 30, 1865, in accordance with orders
from the War Department. Company C, of this regiment,
was principally from Oneida County.


This regiment was organized for three years at New
York City. Company F was partly from Oneida County,
while the balance of the organization was raised in the
counties of New York, Albany, St. Lawrence, Franklin,
and Erie. It was mustered in from February, 1863, to
March, 1864 ; consolidated with the 16th Now York Cav-

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 182 of 192)