14th New York Infantry Regiment's Civil War Historical Sketch

From The 3rd Annual Report Of The Bureau Of Military Statistics

The Fourteenth regiment infantry, N, Y. S. V., or "First Oneida county regiment,'' was organized at Utica in April, 1861.

Company Raised at By
A Utica Captain James McQuade
B Utica Captain William R. Brazie
C Utica Captain Frederick Harrer
D Utica Captain Michael McQuade, jr, though Capt Wm. L. Cowan was mustered as its first captain.
E Utica Captain Lewis Michaels
F Boonville Captain Charles F. Mulle
G Rome Captain Charles H. Skillen
H Syracuse Captain Samuel E. Thompson
I Lowville Captain Horace R. Lahe
K Hudson Captain William H. Seymour


The several companies were accepted at the following dates, viz: Company A, "Citizens' corps," April 23d; company B, April 29th; company K, April 30th; companies E and F, May 1st; com¬panies C, D and G, May 2d; company H, May 4th, and company I, May 7th. At the meeting of the, State Military Board, May 7th, it was, on motion of the Attorney General, "Resolved, That the ten companies commanded by the following named captains: Jas. McQuade, Wm. R. Brazie, F. Harrer, M. McQuade, jr., Lewis Michaels, Charles F. Muller, Charles H. Skillen, S. E. Thompson, William H. Seymour and H. R. Lane, be and they are hereby accepted and organized into a regiment, to be designated as regi¬ment No. 14, and that the officers of said companies be authorized to hold an election to elect the field officers of said regiment." The election ordered was held on the 8th (Special Orders 142). James McQuade was elected colonel, Charles A. Johnson, lieu-tenant colonel, and Charles H. Skillen, major. Lieut. Col. John¬son declined, and on the 15th (Special Orders 185) Major Skillen was elected to supply the vacancy.

The several companies, as they were accepted, reported at Albany, where the regiment was formally organized by the Military Board in the manner already stated, and where, on the 17th of May, it was mustered into the service of the United States by Capt. L. Sitgreaves, for two years. On the 20th of May (Special Orders 229), it was directed to take part in the funeral obsequies of Col. Ellsworth of the Eleventh regiment and performed the duty assigned, with credit. On the 14th of June (Special Orders 270) it was directed to proceed to New York on the 17th, and from thence to Washington via Jersey City and Harrisburg. On the 15th, it was furnished with seven hundred and twenty smooth bore Springfield muskets, and on the 18th with officers' swords,& c, and with one hundred common and eighteen wall tents. The expenditure by the State on account of the regiment, up to the 15th August, 1861, was $42,401.22, exclusive of subsistence and quarters.

The regiment left the barracks at Albany on the 17th of June, and took barges for New York, where it arrived on the 18th, and was received by the "Sons of Oneida*' residing in New York and Brooklyn and escorted to Washington Parade Ground, where an elegant regimental flag was presented. It was then escorted to the Park barracks, and on the 19th to the New Jersey Railroad station, where it took the cars for Washington. It arrived in Washington on the 21st, and on the 22d was in "Camp Douglas" on Meridian Hill. On the 22d of July, its arms were exchanged for long Enfield rifle muskets; and on the same day it moved into Virginia and camped near Fort Corcoran on Arlington Heights at a part of Gen. W. T. Sherman's brigade. It performed guard duty at the ferry and aqueduct; had a picket engagement at Ball's Cross Roads September 14th, and a reconnoissance, October 14th, to within about two miles of Fall's Church, and a skirmish with the enemy's cavalry. It subsequently camped and wintered on Miner's Hill.

Under the organization of March 13th, 1862, the regiment was assigned to Morrell's second brigade, Porter's first division, Heint¬zelman's third corps, and continued in that command until the organization, in May, of the fifth provisional corps, under com¬mand of Gen. F. J. Porter, when Gen. Morrell came in command of the division, and Col. McQuade (subsequently Gen. Griffin) of the brigade. It moved with the third corps to the Peninsula, and in the siege of Yorktown was oil the right of Porter's division and of the whole army. Its experience and movements during the Peninsula campaign, were similar to the 13th New York, already briefly, sketched. It was conspicuous in the battle of Hanover Court House, and, with the brigade, joined in the pursuit of the enemy on his first retreat, and subsequently in repelling the attack on the rear (Martindale's brigade.) At Mechanicsville it was in the support of McCall's division, and was not actively engaged, although one of its men was killed. In the battle of Gaines' Mills, June 27th, it was on the left of the line adjoining Syke's division. It will be remembered that this part of the lino was exposed to the full force of the enemy. Says a correspon¬dent: "The brunt of the engagement was sustained by the 2d brigade, nominally commanded by Gen. Griffin, although Col McQuade was the moving spirit. The brigade fought with a valor and desperation scarce ever equaled. In every part of the field single regiments were pitted against whole brigades of Hill's and Jackson's forces, and yet prevented any general advance of the enemy until nightfall. At one time the colors of the 14th appeared to waver, and the column to be in danger of breaking. Col. McQuade rushed forward, seized the colors, and, waiving them aloft, exclaimed 'Rally on the colors, men, I'll stand by you to the last!' The effect was magical; every man planted him-self firmly in line, and there was no more wavering that day." At Malvern Hill, July 1st, it was again in the thickest of the fight on the left, and remained in position all night. It lost at Gaines' Mills, nine killed, seventy-nine wounded, and twenty-one missing, nearly all of whom were afterwards ascertained to be killed; and at Malvern Hill sixteen killed, eighty-eight wounded, and two missing. It entered upon the seven days battles with 500 men and rested at Harrison's Landing with a loss of thirty-four killed, 177 wounded, and fifteen missing, or nearly half its strength ; its dead amounting to the heavy aggregate of nearly fifteen per cent, and including its Lieut.-Colonel, several lieutenants and subordinate officers.

The regiment returned from the Peninsula with Porter's corps, and moved to the assistance of Gen. Pope. It fell back with the army to Washington, and from thence moved on the Maryland campaign in the reserve, in which capacity it was in the actions of South Mountain and Antietam. It also took part in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

The regiment left the field at Falmouth, Va., November 12th, 1863, at which time it received an unexpected but highly honora¬ble ovation. Says a correspondent: "No other two years' regi¬ment has been the. recipient of such honor on its leave-taking of the army, and its spontaniety and heartfelt character express more deeply and truly, than any words I can write, the high esti¬mation in which the regiment is held and the great regret felt at losing its services. The Second brigade, First division, to which the regiment had been attached during its term of service, and of which Col. McQuade has been in command nearly a year past, accompanied the regiment to the ears as escort. On the way the Third brigade, Col, Stockton commanding, was drawn up in line, and added to the demonstration by a continuous welcome of salutations, showing thereby their estimation of the departing regiment, while nearly all the colonels of the division bore Col. McQuade company to Aquia Creek, and saw him and his regiment on board the steamboat "Monitor " and en route for Washington." The regiment reached New York on the 14th; Hudson, on the 15th; Albany, on the 15th (evening), and Utica on the 20th, and was honored in each city with spirited receptions. It mustered out at Utica, on the 24th, 340 rank and file, and left eighty three years' men in the field transferred to 49th N. Y. V. During its term it lost about 100 killed and died of wounds, and 275 wounded more or less severely.