The History of New York State
Book XI, Chapter 5, Part 3

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


Under this order the State authorities were relieved from the work of recruiting, except for new regiments and companies, but their cooperation was still given to the general superin-

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tendent. These orders remained in force till April 3 only, when the recruiting service for old organizations was also discontinued.

The defenses of New York Harbor had been a source of concern for some time,. And on March 12 the Governor ordered general Chester A. Arthur, the inspector-general of the State, to visit the forts in and around New York city, to report their condition and what would be necessary to place them in a complete state of defense. Upon that officer's report, the Governor, as commanding general of the department, furnished suitable garrison and such armament as could be obtained from the general government.

During April, 1862, the Secretary of War requested Major-General Morgan to provide accommodation in new York City for the sick and wounded of the army on the Peninsula of Virginia, who might be sent to the rear. The Legislature had already appropriated $30,000 for this purpose, and plans to expend this sum in such a manner as would best promote the object in view, had been decided upon. The State turned over to the United States Government numerous barracks turned into hospitals, except the Parks Barracks Hospital at new York City, in which were over 14,000 men of this and other States. General Vanderpoel, surgeon-general of the State, was directed to proceed to Fortress Monroe and to General McClellan's Army to make and superintend on the part of New York State, arrangements for the care of the sick and wounded volunteers, and for their transportation home, as in consultation with the medical officers of the army, he should find best to promote these objects.

The military department was employed during the first four months in 1862 in completing and forwarding the organizations left in New York State. By enlistments these had been increased to 19,013 men, formed two regiments and four independent batteries of artillery and nineteen regiments of infantry, when turned over to the United States Government. Towards the end of May, 1862, the War Department indicated that an additional force of infantry volunteers for three years would be accepted, and the Governor issued orders o raise as many companies as practicable, designating the depots new York City, Elmira and Albany as places of rendezvous and assigning commanders for these depots.

At this time the movements of the Southern armies in the Shenandoah Valley were developing themselves to the disadvantage of the Federal arms, and on May 24 the Secretary of War requested governor Morgan to forward at once regiments of the organized militia--the National Guard. The governor responded to the request by ordering the guard to march without delay. Between May 26 and June 4, twelve regiments, the 7th, 11th, 22d, 8th, 37th, 13th, 47, 69th, 19th, 25th, and 12th, completely armed and equipped, numbering in the aggregate 8,577 men, left the State and entered the service of the United States for three months' the 7th, called out for thirty days, volunteered for the longer

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term. In June the Governor ordered an enrollment to be made of all persons in New York State liable to military duty, and entrusted the work in the commanding officers of regiments and companies of the National Guard.

President Lincoln, at the beginning of July, called into service an additional 30,000 men in response to representations from the Governors of the loyal States that they were anxious to provide sufficient numbers to garrison the captured cities in the war area an crush the rebellion. The quota of New York State was fixed at 59,705 men. Over 3,000 authorizations to recruit companies were issued and New York State became a vast military camp. Prominent citizens in each district were invited to form military committees to assist the State officers in recruiting their respective districts. To encourage enlistments the governor in July offered a bounty on the part of the State.

In October the quota of the State was not only filled but there was a surplus of 29,000 men, and recruiting for three years' men was suspended, and the depots opened for none months' men. The arming, clothing and equipping of this large force was a labor second only to that of recruiting and organizing it. the United States officers would turnover to the State authorities from time to time the supplies necessary to prepare the troops for service and the issues tot he latter were made through the quartermaster-general, and the commissary-general of ordnance of the State.

The regiments of the National guard, which went into service in May, having returned to the State, the Governor issued, on September 6, orders recognizing their services. He said, among other things: "The commander-in-Chief avails himself of the occasion of he return of the Seventh, Eighth, eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-seventh, Forty-seventh, Sixty-ninth, and Seventy-first regiments of the National Guard tot he State of New York, to thank them for the services they have rendered to the country, and for the honor they have reflected on the State." On September 24 the Governors of the loyal States, with them Governor Morgan of New York, met at Altoona, Pennsylvania, and pledged the Washington Government their cordial support in the prosecution of the war; and they recommended the creation of a reserve army of 100,000 men; the emancipation of the colored people, and paid tribute to the army in the field.

In August President Lincoln called our 300,000 of the militia of the loyal States for a service of nine months. The War Department directed that the quotas of this force should be furnished forthwith, and prescribed the manner in which the drafts should be conducted in States where laws providing for a draft did not exist, or where such laws were in any manner defective. The quota of New York was 59,705 men. By the law of the State the strength of the organized militia was limited to 20,000 men,

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and of these 8,000 were already in the field. It became necessary therefore to have recourse to a draft.

The method provided by the State law for a draft of the reserve militia on careful examination was found to be inadequate, and it was decided to adopt the plan prescribed by the War Department, and the work of enrolling commenced. In the middle of October, the enrollment being nearly completed and the books filed, commissioners and surgeons were appointed for the different counties, to hear and determine claims for exemption. It became necessary to determine the number of volunteers already furnished by counties and towns, and this duty was assigned to the existing committees,. Organized in each district to promote recruiting, and in order not to defeat the object of the draft it was decided not to allow credit for volunteers furnished previous to July 2. The date, November 10, was finally selected for making the draft; but in consequence of the failure of a number of counties to furnish returns of the volunteers to be credited, the deficiency for which the draft was to be made could not be ascertained. Under these circumstances the draft was suspended. The delay resulted in increasing the force of three years' volunteers beyond what it would have been if the draft has taken place. New York State furnished during the war during the period ending with the year 1862, 255,338 men.

In 1863 Horatio Seymour became Governor of New York. In his message to the Legislature he said: "While our soldiers are periling their lives to uphold the Constitution and restore the Union, we owe it to them, who have shown an endurance and patriotism unsurpassed in the history of the world, that we emulate their devotion in our field of duty." The new Legislature also did all in its power to support the contest, and passed laws legalizing the confirming ordinances and acts of cities, towns, counties, and villages, enabling these to raise money to aid recruiting, and to assist the families of volunteers. On April 27, a law was passed which provided a bounty of $150 for each member of the two years' regiments, who, having served his term of enlistment would re-enter the service for not less than two years and a bounty of $75 to all others he enlisted since November 1, 1862, and would thereafter enlist for three years. In April also an act incorporated the "Soldiers' Home," and another act authorized the Governor to appoint agents to provide for the transportation and the care of the sick, wounded and the dead, volunteers of the State, and appropriated $200,000 for this purpose. This was the precursor of the Soldiers' Home, now in existence, and was to be modelled mainly after the Home of the Regular Army at Washington, D. C.

On March 3 the president approved the act of Congress providing for a draft, and all enlistments for volunteers were placed in charge of the provost-marshal-general who divided New York into three districts,

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northern, southern, and western. Between April 25 and July 4, thirty-three of the two years' regiments, still in the service, returned to the State to be mustered out. Organizations which had left New York with over 30,000 men, brought back less than half that number; their losses by death alone had been about 4,000 officers and enlisted men.

In June the Secretary of War telegraphed to Governor Seymour to furnish as large a force of militia as possible, say 20,000 men, for a short term of service. The movements of the enemy had then sufficiently developed to indicate that an invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania was contemplated. The Governor issued marching orders to the National Guard. On June 18 12,000 men were on their way to Harrisburg. Later troops went to Baltimore and others went to Pennsylvania. The regiments which took the field in this emergency were the 7th, 8th, 11th, 23d, 71st, 5th, 12th, 22d, 37th, 65th, 74th, 4th, 13th, 28th, 56th, 6th, 21st, 47th, 52d, 55th, 67th, 68th, 69th, 17th, 18th, and 84th. they were mustered in the service of the United States for thirty days.

The draft began in New York City on July 11. There were about 600 men of the National Guard in the city; the State was virtually stripped of troops; disturbances were apprehended, and the adjutant-general was sent to Washington to request a postponement of the draft until a sufficient military force should be on hand. On July 13 there commenced in New York City a serious riot. Disorderly elements gained the upper and, and the ferocity of the war spread to the streets of new York. All available troops were ordered to new York, and as the Hudson River Railroad was torn up, they were directed to take steamers at Albany. The troops in the harbor, one company from West Point, and one from New Jersey, arrived on the 13th; and the 7th Regiment of the National Guard on the 16th. These troops and the city police restored order in a few days. The raft was for the time suspended, but took place in August without any further disturbance.

In October the President called on the country for 300,000 men, and the quota for New York was placed at 81,993 men. In November Major General Dix, commanding the military department of the East, of which new York then formed part, represented to the Governor that a necessity existed for the employment of a military force to protect a portion of the frontier of the State from threatened invasion by traitors sojourning in Canada, and asked that a regiment of the National Guard be ordered to report to him for such service. The Governor placed the 74th Regiment from buffalo under his orders and the regiment entered the Unites States service for thirty days.

The organizations in New York art the beginning of the year 1863 not fully organized numbered about 2,000 men; recruiting was almost at a standstill. On February 23 colonel H. S. Lansing, 17th New York Volunteers, was placed in charge of all the troops in process of organization

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in New York Harbor and City. The incomplete organizations were consolidated and the regiments formed turned over to the United States.

During the year 1863 there were organized and turned over to the United States on the part of the New York authorities, of cavalry, the 12th, 14th, 16th, 20th, 1st and 2d Veterans regiments, nine companies each of the 13th and 15th; ten companies each of the 18th and 21st; six companies of the 24th, two companies of the 23d Regiments, and three companies of the 2d Mounted Rifles; of artillery, four companies of the 11th, five companies each of the 13th and 16th, ten companies of the 14th, eleven companies of the 15th, one company of the 3d, and the 33rd Independent Battery; of sharpshooters, the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th companies; of engineers, one company for the 15th Regiment; of infantry, the 17th Veteran, the 168th, the 178th regiments, four companies of the 5th Veterans, three companies for the 63d Regiment, and two companies for the Independent Battalion.

In 1864 the Legislature at Albany passed new laws to promote the re-enlistment of volunteers, and to encourage the enlistment of persons into organizations already in the service. It authorized the boards of supervisors of counties to borrow money and to levy taxes for the payment of bounties to volunteers, or for the expenses of their enlistment, for aid to their families, to pay any liabilities incurred; it legalized the ordinances of municipalities and other corporations for the same purposes; it appropriated means to provide grounds for the final resting place of the remains, and fro monuments to perpetuate the memory of the soldiers of new York, who fell on the battle-fields of Gettysburg and Antietam; it perfected an amendment to the constitution of the State, providing for the vote of electors while in the military service of the Untied States, and passed a law for the protection of the civil rights of the citizens of the State, while serving in the army or navy of the country.

Permission was received from the War Department to recruit two regiments and 100 companies for one, two or three years' service. In organizing and completing these, difficulties were encountered; the machinery of the provost marshal's office gave greater facilities to citizens who were acting as recruiting officers than the State could offer, and the payment of bounty on the part of the State ceased under the operations of the law on March 31. On April 31 the Secretary of War requested Governor Seymour to furnish one or two regiments of militia to guard deserters, stragglers, etc., being forwarded to the army. Two days later Major-General Dix, by the authority of the President, called on the Governor for one or two more regiments to occupy the defenses of new York Harbor. On July 5, the Secretary of War, a rebel force having invaded Maryland, requested the Governor to furnish a military force to serve not more than 100 days. The steps necessary to comply with the requests were quickly taken, and the following regiments entered the United States service for 100 days:

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the 69th, 84th, 93d, 54th, 77th, 102d, 28th, 98th, 90th, 58th, and the 1st Battalion of artillery and companies A and B of the 50th Regiment. The 37th and the 15th entered for thirty days.

During the autumn there were again appearances of possible disturbances on the northern frontier of New York, and steps were taken by the New York government to defend them. The militia along the frontier was ordered to be in readiness for instant service and portions of the 65th and 74th regiments of the national guard were in October and November placed on active duty, until later in November, the General government took charge of the protection of the frontier.

The terms of service of a large number of volunteer organizations expired in the course of 1864 and they returned to new York for final discharge. A number of regiments had re-enlisted in the field in the latter part of 1863 and the early part of 1864. These also returned to the State on veteran furlough, invariably taking the field with increased numbers. All these organizations were welcomed in the various localities of new York State with enthusiastic ovations, that spoke eloquently of the intense sympathy given out to them by the people of the State and the admiration generally felt for the heroic defenders of the Union.

During 1864, there were recruited, organized and forwarded by the New York authorities the following troops: Of cavalry: six companies for the 2d, three companies each for the 13th and 15th, two companies each for the 18th and 21st, nine companies for the 2d Mounted Rifles, six companies for the 24th, the 22d, and 25th regiments, complete; of artillery: one company each for the 3d and 6th, seven companies each for the 13th and 16th, and two companies for the 14th Regiment; of engineers: one company for the 15th and two companies for the 50th regiments; of infantry: one company each for the 57th, 63d, 80th, 124th, 137th, 142d, 187th, nine companies for the 188th, and the Seventh Veteran; the 179th, 184th, 185th, 186th and 189th regiments, complete. The total of men furnished by the State of New York in 1863 and 1864 altogether amounted to 213,663.

Reuben E. Fenton was inaugurated at the beginning of 1865 as chief magistrate of New York State. In his message to the Legislature the governor stated that on the preceding December 1 New York State had been credit by the War Department with an excess of men furnished of 5,301, and recommended that the laws relating to bounties paid by each locality could raise by legal taxation, and to enable them to raise and pay these bounties with a view to future contingencies, so that men could be obtained in advance of future calls.

The new Legislature bent its efforts also to the prosecution of the war. On February 10 an act was passed establishing a uniform system

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of bounties throughout the State, and assuming their payment by the State. This act contemplated and allowed the payment of a bounty of $250 to every drafted man; of $300 to every volunteer enlisted for on year's service; of $400 to every volunteer enlisted for two years; of $600 to every volunteer enlisted for three years; and according to the length of service the same amount to each person furnishing a substitute. The law was amended from time to time until April 7, when it was placed in condition permitting action under it. The intention, originally, was to have the bounty paid by State officials to the persons entitled, themselves, but owing to the delay in perfecting the law, localities were authorized to continue the system under which they had acted before that time, and were ultimately reimbursed by the State in accordance with the act passed later in the session.

Towards the end of February, 1865, the legislature passed a concurrent resolution giving the thanks of the people of New York to the men who had volunteered to defend the intregity of the Union and the flag which represented its sovereignty, on the bloody fields where rebellion and raised armed opposition tot he National Government. On December 10, 1864, the President had called for 300,000, and on January 17, 1865, notice was received that the quota of New York State of 61,074 men. To avoid a general draft in the State, authority was asked and obtained from the War Department, to organize new regiments and independent companies. When, on April 14, the Secretary of War ordered the discontinuance of recruiting and of the draft, the State Military Department had turned over to the National government the following troops: Five companies for the 26th Regiment of Cavalry, one company each for the 75th and 119th, two companies for the 191st. the 192d, 193d, and 194th regiments complete; and the 35th and a number of other incomplete, independent companies of infantry, and the State had received credit on this last call and quota as having furnished 34,196 enlistments, to which should be added enlistments in the navy, made in New York during the war, but not credited, pro rate of time, 568; total 34,764.

On June 7, two months after the fall of Richmond, the capital of the Southern Confederacy, and the surrender of lee at Appomatox, Governor Fenton issued the following congratulatory address to the soldiers of the State:

"Soldiers of New York: your constancy, your patriotism, your faithful service, and your valor, have culminated in the maintenance of the Government, the vindication of the Constitution, and the laws and perpetuity of the Union. You have elevated the dignity, brightened the renown, and enriched the history of your State. You have furnished to the world a grand illustration of our American manhood, of our devotion to liberty, and of the permanence and nobility of our institutions.

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Soldiers! Your State thanks you, and gives you the pledge of her lasting gratitude. She looks with pride upon your glorious achievements and consecrates to all time your unfaltering heroism. To you New York willingly intrusted her honor, her fair name and her great destinies; you have proved worthy of the confidence reposed in you, and have returned these trusts with added lustre and increased value.

"The coming home of all our organizations, it is hoped, is not far distant. We welcome you and rejoice with you upon the peace your valor has achieved. Your honorable scars we regard as the truest badges of your bravery and the highest evidence of the pride and patriotism which animated you. Sadly and yet proudly we received as the emblems of heroic endurances your tattered and worn ensigns, and fondly deposit these relics of glory, with all their cherished memories and endearing associations, in our appointed repositories. With swelling hearts we bade God speed to the departing recruit; with flowing pride and deepened fervor we say, welcome! To the returning veteran. We watched you all through the perilous period of your absence, rejoicing in your victories and mourning in your defeats. We will treasure your legends, your brave exploits, and the glorified memory of your dead comrades, in records more impressive than the monuments of the past, and enduring as the liberties you have secured. The people will regard with jealous pride your welfare and honor, not forgetting the widow, the fatherless, and those who are dependent upon the fallen hero. The fame and glory you have won for the State of Nation shall be transmitted to our children as a most precious legacy, lovingly to be cherished and reverently to be preserved."

In new York City one of the high points of the war was represented by the Draft Riots in 1862, to which reference has already been made. Preparations for the proposed draft affecting the city comprised the appointment of a provost-marshal for each congressional district, and an assistant provost-marshal-general to supervise their work, for New York and Brooklyn. This officer was Colonel Robert Nugent, 69th New York volunteers, a gallant soldier, an Irishman, and a Democrat. As early as April 24, 1862, Governor Seymour and Major Opdyke were informed of this. The first order for making the draft under the enrollment act was issued on July 1. Little preparation had been made to guard against excesses arising from the enforcement of an unpopular act. The morning of Saturday, July 11, has been selected for the commencement of the draft in New York, and the day passed without much interference with the officers charged with its supervision. The following day, Sunday, appears to have been seized upon by those intent on obstructing the provost-marshals to foment trouble. On Monday morning a few policemen were sent to the enrolling offices at 677 third Avenue and 1190 Broadway. At the last-named place the mystic wheel was set in

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Motion, and the drawing of names were continued without interruption till noon, when the provost-marshals suspended operations as a measure of precaution. Till ten in the morning the city had been quiet. At that hour Superintendent Kennedy was attacked by a mob at the corner of Forty-sixth Street and Lexington Avenue, and after being severely beaten, barely escaped with his life. The president of the police department, Thomas Acton, then established himself at police headquarters in Mulberry Street, and, with the advantage of a complete telegraphic system centered there, practically directed the operations of the campaign which ensued. The entire police force as for the next three days employed in stamping out the sparks of insurrection which threatened to break into flames. From Cooper Institute to Forty-sixth Street, Third Avenue was black with human beings. Bodies of police were molested, houses were fired, stores looted, and a reign of violence inaugurated.

Negroes became especially obnoxious and neither age nor sex was regarded in the thirst for blood. Several thousand rioters swooped down on the colored Orphan Asylum, then occupying the space from Forty-third to Forty-fourth Street on fifth Avenue. The 200 children were hurriedly removed by a read door while the mob rushed at the front. The torch was applied in twenty places at once, and despite the heroic efforts of Chief engineer Decker and other firemen, the asylum was burnt. Later the mob attacked police headquarters in Mulberry Street, where Daniel Carpenter had under his command about 200 policemen. Carpenter moved his column down Bleecker Street to Broadway, at the same time sending a detachment up the nearest parallel streets to the east and west, to strike the flanks of the infuriated mass bearing on his front. At the proper moment a combined charge utterly demoralized the undisciplined horde, which fled in every direction.

As darkness came it was evident that the disturbance was too wide-spread to be controlled by clubs, and that reinforcements would have to be called for. To this end Mayor Opdyke called for troops upon General Wool, commanding the Department of the East, and General Sandford, commanding the National Guard. General Wool directed Brevet Brigadier-General Harvey Brown, colonel 5th United States Artillery, commanding the troops in the harbor, to report with his available force to Major-General Sandford of the State Militia for duty. General Brown established his headquarters at the central office, remaining there in active cooperation with the police board, during the continuance of the riot. General Sandford, at the head of some 700 men of the militia, occupied the Sate Arsenal at Seventh Avenue and thirty-fifth Street.

The second and third days were marked by fresh outbursts and much bloodshed; bayonets and bullets were substituted for policemen's billies. The territory of the disturbance had extended to Harlem and westward beyond Sixth Avenue. Stones were thrown from the roofs of houses and

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shots were fired at the police. Detachments composed of mixed civil and military forces were sent out from Mulberry Street. In one encounter Colonel O'Brien of the 11th New York volunteers, then on recruiting service in the city, was seized by roughs and handled so roughly that he died in his own backyard where he was tossed. Driven from one section, the disorder appeared in another and gradually crept over the North River. The "Tribune" building received a large share of sinister attention, and the residences of the mayor and other obnoxious citizens were often in peril. In the meantime the United States Government had placed gunboats off the city. Orders were issued to the 7th and other regiments to return home, and quite a large force was put under orders at a moment's notice. But the discipline of the force under the city authorities finally prevailed and by midnight of the third day the wires reported all quiet. Still peaceful citizens breathed with relief when the 7th Regiment returned to hold the peace.

During the first three years of the war, the operations were divided into two distinct and at all time separate parts. The Alleghany Mountains clove the Theatre of war in twain, wit no possibility of concerted movements. The eastern and western campaigns had of course a common purpose--the invasion of the South, but in little else were they connected. The principal armies of both the North and South, indeed, spent the grater part of three years in one main endeavor--the occupation of the enemy's capital. Richmond and Washington were so near each other and the main objective so tantalizing within apparent reach that both sides spent the greater part of their military strength upon the attainment of this political advantage; and at the end of 1864 neither side seemed any nearer gaining its main objective. And, strange was it may seem, the operations over the long and exciting period in the Virginia area pile up a longer list of reverses than of victories in both records. The Virginia Campaigns indeed resolved themselves largely into march and countermarch, with one side eluding the other almost at will, but with the main danger--the seizure of the capital, Washington or Richmond--almost always a grave possibility. The operations west of the Alleghany Mountains, however, resolved themselves into a struggle for waterways necessary for the success of wide, and at the best only indirect flanking movements against the armies that were struggling for the capitals.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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