18th Cavalry Regiment

Nickname: Corning Light Cavalry

Left the State in detachments: September 26, 1863 to January 1864
Mustered out: May 31, 1866.

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

May 11, 1863, Col. James J. Byrne received authority to recruit the Corning Light Infantry; June 24, 1863, the designation Infantry was changed to Cavalry. The regiment was organized in New York city for a service of three years. October 22, 1863, the men enlisted by Lieut. Cyrus Payne for the 16th Cavalry were assigned to this regiment. The companies were mustered in the service of the United States at Staten Island, A and B July 18th and 19th, respectively; C, D, E and F August I2th, 25th, I5th and 31st, respectively; G and H October 13th and 31st, respectively; at Fort Columbus, New York harbor, I December 2, 1863, and at Elmira, K, L and M in January, 1864. June 12, 1865, the I4th N. Y. Volunteer Cavalry, joined by transfer, and Companies L and M were consolidated with the other companies of the regiment.

The companies were recruited, principally: A, B, D, E and F at New York city; C at Albany and New York city; G at New York city, Albany, Poughkeepsie and Troy; H at New York city, Cazenovia and Watertown; I at New York city, Albany, Cape Vincent and Buffalo; K at New York city, Alexandria and Cape Vincent; L and M at Alexandria, Albany, Columbia, Massena, Mannheim, Pamelia, Watertown and Winfield.

Companies A, B, C, D, E and F left the State September 26, 1863, commanded by Maj. Edward Byrne; G and H October 23, and I and K December 13, 1863; Companies L and M left in January, 1864; the regiment served in the defenses of Washington, D. C., 22d Corps; from February 22, 1864, in the Department of the Gulf; in the 5th Cavalry Brigade, from March, 1864; at La Fourche, La., from June, 1864 (Companies A and F, detached, in Texas from June to November, 1864) ; in January, 1865, dismounted; at Bonnet Carre, La., from March, 1865; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, Military Division, W. Mississippi, from May, 1865; in Texas from November, 1865.

Commanded by Colonel Byrne, the regiment was honorably discharged and mustered out May 31, 1866, at Victoria, Tex., having lost by death during its service, killed in action, 1 officer, 8 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 6 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 2 officers, 202 enlisted men; total, 3 officers, 216 enlisted men; aggregate, 219; of whom 11 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy. The regiment lost drowned, 1 officer, 23 enlisted men, by the foundering of the steamer North America December 22, 1864.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers, Volume II: New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908.

Eighteenth Cavalry.—Col., James J. Byrne; Lieut.-Cols., Stephen W. Stryker, John Tracy, Jr., Edward Byrne; Majs., Gaza Haraszthy, Edward Byrne, John Tracy. Jr., William H. Davis, Brockholst L. Power, Albert A. Pitcher, John F. Porter, Jr., John Ennis. The i8th, known as the Corning Light Cavalry, was organized in the summer of 1863 at New York city for three years' service. The companies of which it was composed were largely recruited in New York city, though the counties of Albany, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Herkimer and Erie also contributed men. The various companies were mustered into the U. S. service at Staten island, Fort Columbus in N. Y. harbor, and Elmira, between July i8, 1863, and Feb. 3, 1864. The regiment left the state by detachments from Sept., 1863, to Jan., 1864. It was stationed in the defenses of Washington until Feb., 1864, when it was ordered to the Department of the Gulf and was there assigned to the 5th cavalry brigade, Arnold's division, 19th corps. It took part in the Red River campaign, in which it was repeatedly in action, meeting with its severest losses at Sabine cross-roads and at Yellow bayou. At the battle of Sabine cross-roads a squadron under Capt. William Davis was warmly engaged, fighting bravely, and losing 12 in killed, wounded and missing, and at Yellow bayou the regiment sustained a loss of 40, of whom 33 were reported missing. On its return from this expedition the regiment was stationed at La Fourche, La., until the following spring. Cos. A and F were on detached duty in Texas part of the year 1864. The regiment was active during this period at Morganza, Centerville and Franklin, La.; Parish Vico, Pattersonville, Rancho San Pedro and Clarksville, Tex. It was dismounted in Jan., 1865, and in March was ordered to Bonnet Carre, La. After the close of hostilities the regiment was on duty in Mississippi and Texas until mustered out at Victoria, Tex., May 31, 1866. Its losses during service were 1 officer and 14 men killed and died of wounds; 2 officers and 202 men died of disease, accident, in prison, etc., the total number of deaths being 219. One officer and 23 men were drowned by the foundering of the steamer North America off the coast of Florida on Dec. 22, 1864. The only commissioned officer lost in action was 1st Lieut. Alvaro Hammond, who was killed at the battle of Sabine cross-roads.

18thCavFlankMarker2003.0108.jpg

18th Regiment Cavalry, NY Volunteers | Flank Markers | Civil War

The New York State Battle Flag Collection includes two flank markers carried by the 18th Regiment Cavalry, NY Volunteers. The blue silk flank markers…

18thCavStandard2006.0138.jpg

18th Regiment Cavalry, NY Volunteers | Standard | Civil War

Approximately 40% is lost from this flag carried by the 18th Cavalry, New York Volunteers. From what remains we can determine the flag includes the…

NYSMM Online Resources

Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (pdf)
Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (spreadsheet)

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Muster Roll

Unit Roster

Search the Museum catalog for this unit

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Other Resources

This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to ng.ny.nyarng.list.historians@mail.mil with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

Items in the museum's catalogue are in bold.

      Wenzel, Augustus. “18th New York Cavalry, I; 47th New York Infantry, B. Letters (1862-1865).” New York State Library. https://www.nysl.nysed.gov/mssc/allcwrec.htm#389.

      Worman, Edward. “18th New York Cavalry casualties, May 15-20, 1864, at Yellow Bayou, and Bayou de Grace, etc. LA, Companies B and I, primarily.” New York State Military Museum. http://catalog.nysmm.org/Presto/content/Detail.aspx?ctID=MWUzZjNjOGQtZjA1My00MDA3LTk0ZDMtN2E5ZmNkZWM1ZWUw&rID=MTM4Mzc=&qrs=RmFsc2U=&q=MTh0aCBuZXcgeW9yayBjYXZhbHJ5&ph=VHJ1ZQ==&bckToL=VHJ1ZQ==&rrtc=VHJ1ZQ==.

 

Photos from the American Civil War Database:

Henry Arden 18th New York Cavalry. http://www.civilwardata.com/active/hdsquery.dll?SoldierHistory?U&1495480. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Commandery of MOLLUS.

William H. Davis. 18th New York Cavalry. http://www.civilwardata.com/active/hdsquery.dll?SoldierHistory?U&1994816. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Commandery of MOLLUS.

John W. Farr. 18th New York Cavalry. http://www.civilwardata.com/active/hdsquery.dll?SoldierHistory?U&1994880. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Commandery of MOLLUS.

David E. Gwynne. 18th New York Cavalry. http://www.civilwardata.com/active/hdsquery.dll?SoldierHistory?U&1957511. Photo courtesy of Henry Pomerantz.

Augustus Chapman. 18th New York Cavalry. http://www.civilwardata.com/active/hdsquery.dll?SoldierHistory?U&1531876. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Commandery of MOLLUS.