Colonel D. D. Bidwell received authority from the War Department, August 1, 1861, to recruit a regiment of infantry. September 18, 1861, the State authorities gave this regiment, organized at Buffalo, its numerical designation, and completed its organization by attaching to it the Fremont Rifles, and merging into it another incomplete company, Many members of the 6sth State Militia joined this regiment, which was mustered in the service of the United States for three years, September 18, 1861. A detachment of three years' men of the 33d Infantry was attached to the regiment May 14, 1863, and transferred to the companies of the regiment October 1, 1863. September 17, 1864, the men not entitled to be discharged were formed into a battalion of five companies, A, B, C, D and E, and retained in the service; those of Companies A and G forming Company A; of B and D Company B; of E, F and some of I Company C; of K and some of I Company D; and those of C and H Company E; the men entitled to be discharged by reason of expiration of their term of service were sent to Buffalo and there, under command of Maj. A. W. Brazee, honorably discharged October 18, 1864.
The companies were recruited principally: A, G, I and K in Chautauqua county; B. D, E and F in Erie county; C — Fremont Rifles — in Westchester county; and H in the county of Niagara.
The regiment left the State September 20, 1861; served at and near Washington, D. C., from September, 1861; in 3d, Stevens', Brigade, Smith's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October 15, 1861; in 3d Davidson's, Brigade, same division, 4th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March 13, 1862; in 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 6th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from May, 1862; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. George H. Selkirk, June 27, 1865, at Washington, D. C.
During its service, the regiment lost by death:
- killed in action, 12 officers, 84 enlisted men;
- of wounds received in action, 4 officers, 42 enlisted men
- of disease and other causes, 5 officers, 175 enlisted men
- total, 21 officers, 301 enlisted men
- aggregate, 322; of whom 23 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.
Source: New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.