12th Regiment Infantry New York Volunteers Spanish-American War
The 12th Infantry Regiment was one of twelve New York State National Guard infantry regiments that were federalized for service in the Spanish-American War. The 12th Regiment was originally formed in late June of 1847. It was initially known as the 11th Regiment and contained a collection of ten companies from a number of different units. Over the next few years companies were added and subtracted until 1859 when the 12th Regiment was principally composed of companies from the 22nd Regiment and the few remaining founding companies. During the Civil War the 12th served for several three month terms and was present for a number of engagements, including the surrender of Harper’s Ferry, WV in which the entire regiment was taken prisoner by Stonewall Jackson’s confederates. Following the war the 12th Regiment served in the Orange riots of 1871, the railroad riots of 1877, the switchman’s strike in Buffalo of 1892, and the motormen’s strike in Brooklyn of 1895. The regiment was mustered into federal service and reorganized to a twelve-company format on May 13th, 1898 at Camp Townsend, NY. It was officially designated the “12th Regiment Infantry, New York Vols.” on the same date.
The 12th Regiment stayed at Camp Townsend for only a few days before it was moved south to Chickamauga Park in Tennessee. The regiment arrived at Chickamauga on the 20th of May and was ordered to set up at Camp George H. Thomas where it remained until August 24th, 1898 when it departed for Lexington, KY bound for garrison duty. On November 13th the regiment departed Lexington for Americus, GA where a new camp was set up. On December 26th the 12th Regiment left camp en route for Cuba, where it arrived on the 1st of January 1899 and took up garrison duty at Matanzas and Cardenas. On March 20th, 1899 the regiment was sent home to New York City where it arrived on March 27th and was mustered out on April 20th, 1899.