Military Affairs In New York 1861—1865
The following was taken from the "Military Affairs in New York" a chapter 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. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908, pages 18-49.
[This chapter has been critically examined and cordially approved by Capt. Frederick Phisterer, the eminent military statistician, now connected with the New York adjutant-general's office.]
In the following pages it is proposed to set forth in brief compass the important part played by the; great State of New York during the War of the Rebellion. Events occurring within the State, and reflecting its military activities, will be described in more or less detail, followed by a concise story of each military organization raised by the state. As the best authoritative work on New York in the War of the Rebellion is that of Capt. Frederick Phisterer, a liberal use, of that record has been made, as well as of all available state and.national records of an official nature; also of the war histories of other states, and such standard works as "Fox's Regimental Losses," and Townsend's "Honors of the Empire State in the War of the.Rebellion."
New York was in 1860, as now, the richest and, most populous State in the Union. It was; therefore, only natural that the attitude of her people and the action of her authorities should be watched with grave concern by the whole nation. To her everlasting credit be it said, the great Empire State failed not of her full duty toward the government in the hour of its darkest peril, but repeatedly gave an inspiring example to the people of the other loyal states. Though the vote of the State had been generally Democratic in previous elections, in 1860 it gave Lincoln 353,804 votes, to 303,329 for Douglas. The total Republican vote for Lincoln and Hamlin was only 1,866,452 throughout the nation, while the total opposition vote was 2,823,741—a majority of almost 1,000,000 in a total vote of a trifle over 4,500,000. While Lincoln's plurality was small, it was nevertheless decisive, and the result was promptly seized" upon by the Southern leaders to hasten forward a movement for secession, predetermined upon in the event of a Republican victory. The State of South Carolina led in the movement and was shortly followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. As these state withdrew from the Union they seized upon the federal forts, arsenals, etc., within their limits.
Despite the threatening posture of affairs, the loyal people of New York were still strong in their belief that war could be averted, though many suspected political trickery in the conciliatory overtures of the Border States. The withdrawal of the southern men from Buchanan's cabinet made room for more loyal supporters of the government, but the president still adhered to his belief that the United States was without constitutional warrant to coerce a recalcitrant State, and was so advised by his attorney-general.
New York had chosen a legislature which was overwhelmingly Republican in its membership, but which nevertheless displayed a remarkable unanimity in its counsels and action as threatening events rapidly multiplied. The legislature convened on Jan. 1, 1861, and in his message Gov. Morgan counseled moderation and conciliation. He said: "Let New York set an example in this respect; let her oppose no barrier, but let her representatives in Congress give ready support to any just and honorable settlement; let her stand in hostility to none, but extend the hand of friendship to all; live up to the strict letter of the constitution, cordially unite with the other members of the Confederacy in proclaiming and enforcing a determination, that the constitution shall be honored and the Union of the states be preserved." He further proposed the repeal of the personal liberty bill—one source of bitter complaint in the South, and also suggested the propriety of similar action by other states. A resolution was promptly "introduced in the senate by a leading Democratic member proclaiming the sacred nature of the Union, and asking the executive to tender the president, in behalf of the people, the services of the state militia as an aid in upholding the constitution and enforcing the laws. On Jan., 3, Mr. Robinson in the assembly introduced a series of resolutions to the effect that, after the admission of Kansas, all the remaining territories should be divided into two states, and that the disturbing question of slavery should be eliminated for the future by submitting it to a plebiscite of the people of the new states. These failed of passage, but received considerable support. As the gloomy winter of 1860-61 progressed, the aspect of affairs became darker and more and more threatening. Still the people of the, North did not lose all hope of a peaceable solution and in both state and nation compromise measures without number were brought forward in the effort to heal the widening breach. The New York legislature reflected the general sentiment of the state in its attitude of conciliation, but was by no means neglectful of eventualities and united in passing many important measures to meet the existing situation. As was generally true in the North, the military spirit of the state was almost dead and general apathy, if not actual hostility, toward things military prevailed. Adequate appropriation bills, for the support of the militia had failed of passage for many years past, and the condition of military urn-preparedness Was almost complete. Measures to correct this situation were taken near the end of the session of the legislature, while in the meantime bills were introduced and passed, providing for the more complete enrollment of the militia of the state and to prevent the sale of war materials or the loan of money to states in rebellion. When, on Jan. 9 the batteries in Charleston harbor fired on the merchant vessel, the "Star of the West," flying the Stars and Stripes and engaged in carrying supplies and reinforcements to Maj. Anderson at Fort Sumter, the North was aroused, and the legislature passed the following resolution with only three dissenting votes: "Whereas the insurgent State of South Carolina, after seizing the post-offices, customhouse, moneys, and fortifications of the Federal government, has, by firing into a vessel ordered by the government to convey troops and provisions to Fort Sumter, virtually declared war; and, whereas, the forts and property of the United States government in Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana have been unlawfully seized, with hostile intentions; and whereas, their senators in congress avow and maintain their treasonable acts; therefore—Resolved, That the legislature of New York is profoundly impressed with the value of the Union, and determined to preserve it unimpaired; that it greets with joy the recent firm, dignified, and patriotic special message of the president of the United States, and that we tender him, through the chief magistrate of our own state whatever aid in men and money may be required to enable him to enforce the laws and uphold the authority of the Federal government; and that, in the defense of the Union, which has conferred happiness and prosperity upon the, American people, renewing the pledge given and redeemed by our fathers, we are ready to devote our fortunes, our lives, and our sacred honor." Thereupon, the governor at once sent the following despatch to President Buchanan: "In obedience to the request of the legislature of the state, I transmit herewith a copy of the concurrent resolutions of that body adopted this day, tendering the aid of the state to the president of the United States, to enable him to enforce the laws, and to uphold the authority of the Federal government." The resolutions were, also communicated to the governors of the several states and to the New York senators in Congress. The vigorous sentiments expressed in the,resolutions met with a hostile reception in the South. In Virginia; they were construed as a definite determination by New York to Sustain the United States in an attempt to coerce a state; in Georgia, a defiant resolution was passed approving all that state had done, and recommending the governor to retain possession of Fort Pulaski until the relations between Georgia and the United States should be settled; other governors returned the resolutions without comment. While these resolutions of New York expressed the overwhelming sentiment of the people of the state and were a credit to its patriotism, yet the lamentable weakness of the state's military organization at the time of .this tender of troops is now a matter of record. New York had nominally a force of 19,000 militia, but it possessed only about 8,000 muskets and rifles with which to arm this force, and the war department was in no condition to supply the deficiency, as Sec. Floyd had, with sinister motive, sent many thousands of muskets' from the Watervliet arsenal to Southern points. Moreover, the state was nearly as destitute of cannon as of small arms, as it could command only 150 smooth-bore field pieces of every caliber. To remedy this condition of affairs the legislature, in response to the governor's request as embodied in his annual message, passed a bill during the closing days of the session appropriating $500,000 for the purchase of arms and equipments. - The hostile reception accorded the foregoing resolutions of the legislature of New York by many of the Southern States caused a strong reaction in favor of measures of conciliation. The public mind was genuinely alarmed and a compromise memorial, bearing the signatures of many leading capitalists, was forwarded to Washington. The memorial suggested "an agreed explanation of any uncertain provisions of the constitution a clearer definition of the powers of the government on disputed questions and an adaptation of it in its original spirit to the enlarged dimensions of the country; an assurance, coupled with any required guarantees, of the rights of the states to regulate, without interference, from any quarter, the matter of slavery within their borders; of the Tights secured by the constitution to the delivery of fugitives and we readjustment of the laws bearing on these subjects, which are in possible conflict with it; some adjustment of the rights, of all the states of the Union in the new territory acquired by the blood and treasure of all, by an equitable division, in the immediate organization of it into States, with a suitable provision for the formation of new states in their limits." The memorialists prayed that these measures be brought about, either by direct legislation, or by constitutional amendment. Nor was this all; many and earnest efforts were made to bring about an effective and lasting compromise of the questions in dispute at the seat of government. A comprehensive plan of compromise had been put forward by the Border States, through their senators and representatives in Congress, and a large meeting of merchants at the New York Chamber of Commerce almost unanimously adopted a memorial in favor of mutual concession and compromise, stating that the people of the North would approve of the general outline of compromise agreed upon by the Border States as above. This memorial was signed by 40,000 people, after a thorough canvass of the state, and was carried to Washington by a respectable delegation. It was there placed in the hands of Mr. Seward, the Republican leader in Congress, who was urged to use his great influence to promote legislation by Congress which would satisfy every just demand of the South. To promote conciliation Mr. Seward conceded some of the chief points of Republican policy with reference to slavery in the territories, but all without avail. Late in January, when the withdrawal of the southern members had given the Republicans a majority in the senate, Kansas was admitted as a state under her latest free constitution, while the Territories of Nevada, Colorado and Dakota were organized without any reference to slavery. On Feb. 4, a Peace Congress, made, up of delegates from all but the seceding states, met in Washington to propose measures of accommodation. The Congress assembled in response to resolutions passed by the general assembly of Virginia, inviting all states willing to "unite with her in the earnest effort to adjust the unhappy controversies, in the spirit in which the constitution was originally formed and consistently with its principles, so as to afford adequate guarantees to the slave states for the security of their rights." These resolutions were transmitted by Gov. Morgan to the legislature and that body hastened to appoint the following commissioners to represent New York: David Dudley Field, William Curtis Noyes, James S. Wads-worth, James C. Smith, Amaziah B. James, Erastus Corning, Ad-dison Gardiner, Greene C. Bronson, William E. Dodge, John E. Wool, John A. King. Francis Granger was later chosen in place of Mr. Gardiner, who declined to serve. The commissioners sat until March 7 and drafted a plan of compromise, which was submitted to Congress to be embodied in formal legislation, but was there rejected after strenuous debate. The 36th Congress adjourned on March 4, having enacted but one measure bearing directly on the burning issue of the hour. This was a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the constitution of the United States as follows: "No amendment shall be made to the constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish, or interfere, within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said state." This amendment failed of adoption by the states, and it is now patent to all that the protracted sessions of the Peace Congress were necessarily barren of results.
When a meeting was called at Syracuse for Jan. 30, to denounce the institution of slavery, it was transformed into a Union meeting for the support of the constitution and government, and the view was freely expressed that by peace only could the Union be preserved. The Abolitionists were driven from the hall and men of that party were generally discountenanced, lest they be taken as representative of Northern sentiment. The disposition in New York, and in fact in the whole North, was to do nothing to further irritate the South.
The people of the North had been much aroused over the continual shipment of war material to the Southern States and an acrimonious correspondence over a question of this kind took place in February between the governors of New York and Georgia. The police of New York city were alert and had seized 38 boxes of muskets about to be shipped on the steamer Monticello to Savannah, and deposited them in the state arsenal in New York city. Gov. Brown of Georgia, on complaint being made to him by the consignees, citizens of Macon, Ga., made formal demand on the mayor of the city, and on Gov. Morgan, for the immediate delivery of the arms to G. B. Lamar, named as the agent of Georgia. There was some delay in adjusting the matter, and Gov. Brown, on Feb. 5, ordered the seizure of five vessels, owned in New York but then in the harbor of Savannah, by way of reprisal. Three days later they were released, but reprisals were again ordered on the 21st, when other shipping from New York was seized at Savannah, to be held pending the delivery of the invoice. Gov. Brown made renewed demands on Gov. Morgan for the arms and the New York executive replied: "I have no power whatever over the officer who made the seizure, and had ho more knowledge of the fact, nor have I any more connection with the transaction, than any other citizen of this state; but I do not hesitate to say that the arms will be delivered whenever application shall be made for them. Should such not be the case, however, redress is to be sought, not in an appeal to the executive authority of New York to exercise a merely arbitrary power, but in due form of law, through the regularly constituted tribunals of justice of the state or of the United States, as the parties aggrieved may elect. It is but proper here to say, that the courts are at all times open to suitors, and no complaint has reached me of the inability or unwillingness of judicial officers to render exact justice to all. If, however, the fact be otherwise, whatever authority the constitution and laws vest in me, for compelling a performance of their duty, will be promptly exercised. In conclusion permit me to say that, while differing widely with your excellency as to the right or policy of your acts and of the views expressed in your several communications, I have the honor to be * * * etc." The matter was finally adjusted by the delivery of the arms on March 16 to the agent of Georgia.
Throughout the period of the war, New York was represented by many able men in the 37th and 38th Congresses. A number of the members of the lower house served in the volunteer organizations of the state and many were active in the work of recruiting volunteers. In the senate Ira Harris succeeded Seward when the latter entered the cabinet; his colleague until March, 1863, was the Hon. Preston King, who had taken a leading part in the great constitutional debates in the months preceding the war. The latter was succeeded by Ex-Gov. Edwin D. Morgan, who had so ably served the state and nation during the first two years of the rebellion as the war governor of New York.
Despite the grave aspect of affairs, the act which precipitated actual war came with unexpected suddenness. The new administration at Washington had been in power for five weeks and had made no movement to coerce any one of the recalcitrant states. Early in April an expedition was fitted out in New York to succor Fort Sumter, whose supplies were nearly exhausted. The response to that expedition was the thunder of those guns from Charleston harbor, in the early dawn of April 12, 1861, which roused the whole North, and precipitated the bloodiest war of history. Maj. Anderson and his brave little garrison maintained the unequal contest for nearly 36 hours, when they surrendered and the Palmetto flag of South Carolina displaced the Stars and Stripes on the battered walls of the fortress. The news of the surrender reached New York on Sunday morning, the 14th, and aroused the most intense feeling everywhere. The authorities of the state at once instituted vigorous measures to meet the emergency. The legislature promptly passed a bill providing for the enrollment of 30,000 volunteer militia for two years and appropriated $3,000,000 to meet the expense. The work of raising and organizing these troops was entrusted to a military board consisting of the governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, comptroller, attorney-general, state engineer and surveyor, and state treasurer. On the 15th came President Lincoln's proclamation calling for 75,000 militia to serve for three months. The quota assigned to New York was seventeen regiments of 780 men each, or 13,280 men. The National Guard of the state responded to the call to arms with the utmost enthusiasm and were only animated by a rivalry as to which organization could first secure marching orders. And indeed there was urgent need of haste. Gov. Morgan had been advised by the war department that the men were wanted for immediate service and that some of the troops were at once needed at the capital. In the hope of capturing Washington, the enemy had severed all communication by telegraph and railroad between that city and the North, and were even attempting to prevent all supplies from reaching that city from the surrounding country. On the 16th Gov. Morgan issued orders for all the available organized militia to march. As no communication with the capital was possible, practically every arrangement for transportating and supplying the troops was left to the state authorities. The military departments of the state went to work with a will and the legislature remained in session to meet the emergency. In addition to the work of organizing the seventeen regiments, all the organized militia must be prepared to take the field. Recruiting depots were established at New York, Albany and Elmira, with branch depots at Syracuse and Troy. The patriotism of the people throughout the state knew no bounds; political differences were forgotten; the national emblem was everywhere to be seen; the press voiced the loyalty of the people, and an industrious and peaceful commonwealth was suddenly transformed into a vast military camp. The state authorities were overwhelmed with applications for permission to raise troops. April 18 Gov. Morgan called for volunteers for the seventeen regiments under the president's call, and a week later called for volunteers for twenty-one additional regiments, all to be organized for two years' service, thus completing the total force provided for by the recent act of the legislature.
The merchants of New York city were especially prompt in rallying to the support of the government. At a large meeting held on the 19th, they enthusiastically voted to sustain the authorities, and raised over $20,000 within ten minutes to assist in moving to Washington some of the regiments then organizing. The following day the largest meeting ever held on this continent assembled at Union Square, and over 200,000 citizens, without distinction of party or nationality, pledged themselves to support their common government with their fortunes and their lives. The sentiments of the nation's great metropolis here were voiced in no uncertain tones and were echoed in numerous other meetings elsewhere. The surging masses of people were addressed by J. A. Dix, Buchanan's secretary of the treasury, D. S. Dickinson, Senator Baker of Oregon, Robert J. Walker, Mayor Wood, Ex-Gov. Hunt, James T. Brady, John Cochrane, Hiram Ketchum, D. S. Coddington, and a number of prominent German and Irish citizens and the Union Defense Committee was formed, composed of the leading men of the city. In every city, town and village of the state similar meetings voiced the prevailing patriotism, and devised ways and means of raising troops to meet the country's call.
The news that the state's most famous militia regiment, the 7th, would leave for Washington on the I9th, created great excitement. The regiment was to form in Lafayette Place and from early morning the streets were filled with an expectant throng, while from every vantage point floated the national emblem. Before the arrival of the regiment, the waiting people were enlivened by the march through their midst of the 8th Mass., accompanied by Gen. B. F. Butler, who had been placed in command of the first four regiments of Massachusetts troops. Soon after the 7th regiment had formed in Lafayette Place in the afternoon, the great crowds were wrought up to a high pitch of excitement by the news of the attack upon the 6th Mass. in the streets of Baltimore. To each man of the 7th was served out 48 rounds of ball cartridge, but when the regiment, commanded by Col. M. Lefferts, reached Philadelphia it received orders to deviate from the route through Baltimore, as it was highly important that the troops should reach the capital with the least possible delay. Consequently, a steamer was chartered at Philadelphia for Annapolis, and the regiment arrived at Washington on the 26th in company with the 8th Mass., after a toilsome march from Annapolis. The 7th was but the vanguard of other New York militia regiments soon to follow. The prompt arrival of these troops, together with the money and provisions supplied by New York, was of the first importance in relieving the situation at Washington and brought forth the statement from President Lincoln and Gen. Scott to the New York Union Defense Committee, that "The safety of the national capital and the preservation of the archives of the government, at a moment when both were seriously menaced, may fairly be attributed to the prompt and efficient action of the state and city of New York." Other regiments of the organized militia were rapidly prepared to leave for Washington. The 6th, 12th and 71st departed on the 21st; the 25th left on the 22nd; on the next day the 13th departed from Brooklyn, and the 8th and 69th from New York city; the 5th left on the 27th; the 20th on the 28th; the Ellsworth Fire Zouaves, one of the first two years' regiments organized, later known as the 11th, left on the 29th; the 28th on the 30th, and still other militia regiments were about to go forward when the state authorities received information from the war department that no more three months' regiments would be accepted. Thereupon four companies of the 74th, of Buffalo, promptly volunteered for three years and became the nucleus of the 21st infantry, then organizing at Elmira.
As has been previously stated, the state was almost entirely dependent on its own resources for the means of raising, equipping and moving its troops and all classes of people and all nationalities vied with one another in the work. On April 23, the Union Defense Committee opened its offices at 30 Pine street with Gen. John A. Dix, president; Simeon Draper, vice-president; and J. Depau, treasurer, most of the other committees being merged into it. The readiness with which vast sums of money were subscribed by all classes is a striking evidence of the prevailing patriotism. At a large meeting of the Bench and Bar of New York city on the 22nd, many thousands of dollars were subscribed; on the same day the common council appropriated $1,000,000 and placed it at the disposal of the Union Defense Committee. Distinctive regiments of British, German, Irish, Scotch and French were being organized by those nationalities and large sums were subscribed for their equipment and transportation, and for the support of their families at home. While money and men were thus forthcoming there was a serious dearth of firearms. On April 24, an agent of the state left for Europe armed with a letter of credit for $500,000 with which to purchase 25,000 stands of the latest improved arms and a supply of ammunition. On his arrival in England he found that the British markets were crowded with other orders from this country and from Spain. He was able, however, to purchase 19,000 Enfield rifles at a cost of $335,000, which were duly landed in New York.
Under the call of May 3, 1861, for 42,000 men for three years, committees and individuals were authorized by the war department to recruit regiments while the state was engaged in raising the thirty-eight two years' regiments. Under this authority, chiefly through the efforts of the Union Defense Committee, there were organized the Garibaldi guard, the Mozart regiment, the De Kalb regiment, the Tammany Jackson guard, the 2nd, 9th, 14th and 79th regiments of militia. Ultimately the thirty-eight regiments of state volunteers were also mustered into the U. S. service for two years and during July, at the request of the government for some cavalry, the state furnished two companies from the 1st and 3d regiments of cavalry (militia), who served for three months. By the middle of July there had been organized and left the state 8,534 men for three months' service; 30,131 two years' volunteers and 7,557 three years' volunteers— a total of 46,224 officers and men. Many more men could easily have been supplied, as thousands were still eager to enlist, but the Federal government refused to accept any more men and all recruiting was temporarily suspended.
The disastrous battle of Bull Run demonstrated that the war was to be a long one, and in July Congress authorized the president to accept the services of volunteers for three years in such numbers, not to exceed 1,000,000, as he might deem necessary. The legislature was not in session and Gov. Morgan, on his own authority, at the request of the president, called for 25,000 vol unteers to be organized into twenty-five regiments of infantry; also for two additional regiments of cavalry, and two of artillery. The first offer of colored troops was also made at this time, three regiments being tendered, but as authority to enroll negroes was then lacking, the governor was forced to decline the tender. The recruiting depots at New York city, Elmira and Albany were again opened, numerous branch depots were established, and once more the military department of the state was deluged with offers to recruit companies, so that the work of raising the new levy proceeded with despatch. Hitherto the state had borne most of the expense, but now the Federal government was to supply the money necessary to raise and equip the new troops, the officers detailed from the regular army to muster in the men, being made disbursing officers. During the month of August the three months' troops returned to the state and were received with every mark of enthusiasm. While these men served only a short term, it should be remembered that they performed the arduous pioneer work and that they enlisted from motives of the purest patriotism at the first call of their country, without thought of personal benefit or pecuniary reward. Moreover, they served as a splendid training school for many future officers and soldiers and a large proportion of them reenlisted for a longer term of service in other organizations. When Col. Lefferts of the 7th begged that his regiment might be allowed to continue in the service after the expiration of its term, Gen. Scott said, "Colonel, yours in a regiment of officers. " From the ranks of this regiment were subsequently taken 603 officers for the volunteer army. It was the "West Point of the New York volunteer service. " In addition to the work of recruiting new regiments, the war department in August authorized recruiting details for regiments in the field, and it is estimated that about 11, 000 men were secured for this purpose by the end of the year. To prevent delays and interference Gov. Morgan was appointed a major-general of U. S. volunteers in charge of the military department of New York. All persons who had received authority, to recruit and organize were ordered to report to him for orders and to complete their several organizations subject to his approval. Late in the fall orders were received from Washington to cease all further recruiting. By the end of the year there had been organized and sent to the front, in addition to the troops previously mentioned, forty-two regiments of infantry, ten regiments of cavalry, one battalion of mounted rifles, nine batteries of artillery, and four companies of Berdan sharpshooters, and in addition, regiments left in the state, complete and incomplete, numbered 14,283 men—a total of 75,339 men. Since the beginning of the war the state had furnished upwards of 107,000 volunteers, this levy constituting about every sixth able-bodied man. Besides this great drain on the able-bodied male population, New York capital had practically financed the war to date by advancing $210,000,000 out of the $260,000,000 borrowed by the secretary of the treasury.
The State of New York continued its tremendous exertions in support of the Federal government and continued to supply both men and money with a lavish hand. The record of troops furnished for the year 1862 or up to the close of Gov. Morgan's administration, is as follows: twelve regiments of infantry (militia), for three months, 8,588 men; one regiment of volunteer infantry, for nine months, 830 men; volunteers for three years, one regiment of cavalry, 1,461 men; two regiments, four battalions, and fourteen batteries of artillery, 5,708 men, and eighty-five regiments of infantry, 78,216 men; estimated number of recruits for regiments in the field, 20,000; incomplete organizations still in the state, 2,000 men; total for 1862, 116,803; total since the beginning of the war, 224,081. To obtain the full number of men furnished by the state, there should be added to the above, 5,679 men enlisted in the regular army, and 24,734 in the U. S. navy and marine, making the total number furnished, 254,494.
Among the important measures passed by the legislature which met early in Jan., 1862, were bills authorizing counties, cities, towns and villages to make appropriations for the purposes of raising troops and the relief of their families; legalizing their previous ordinances and acts for such purposes; providing for the pay of volunteers still in the state and for the payment to the families of soldiers of such sums as might be assigned from their pay; providing for the payment of the direct tax levied by the general government; for expenses incurred in raising troops, and reimbursing the militia regiments for losses sustained while in the service of the United States; a general law for the more complete enrollment of the militia, and for the organization of the National Guard, as the militia was now designated; thanking the volunteers for recent victories achieved by the Union forces; and finally, incorporating the Union home and school, under the management of the patriotic women of the state, where the children of volunteers could be cared for and educated.
On Jan. 1, 1862, the Federal authorities placed the recruiting service in the state, for regiments in the field, in charge of a general superintendent and assumed charge of the general depots at Elmira and Albany, Maj. John T. Sprague, of the regular army, being detailed for this purpose. The recruiting service for old organizations was discontinued on April 3, and was not again resumed until June 6, though the state authorities continued the work. On Jan. 25, Col. George Bliss displaced Gen. Yates in charge of the recruiting depot at New York city. The authorities were busied until the end of April in completing the organizations of troops left in the state at the end of 1861 and then turned over to the general government a total of 19,003 men. They were further occupied during this period in putting the defenses of New York harbor in a better condition, as this matter had been a source of worry for many months past. Provision was also made to care for the increasing number of sick and wounded soldiers from the front; ample hospital accommodations were provided in and around New York city and at Albany; competent surgeons were also sent to the front to assist in the work of transporting to the state the sick and wounded. On May 21 the, general government asked for more three years' volunteers and the recruiting depots at New York city, Elmira and Albany were again opened. A few days later, after the serious reverse of Gen. Banks at Winchester at the hands of Gens. Ewell, Johnson and Stonewall Jackson, when it was feared that an invasion of Pennsylvania and the North was contemplated by the enemy, and when the national capital was again endangered, Gov. Morgan was asked to immediately forward regiments of the National Guard. The response was prompt and patriotic and by June 4 twelve regiments, numbering 8,558 men had left for the point of danger, entering the U. S. service for three months. The advance of the Confederate column having been checked by Gens. McDowell and Fremont and the danger averted, no more regiments were despatched, though others were preparing to follow when their marching orders were revoked. The secretary of war expressed his lively appreciation of the alacrity with which the state responded to the call for its citizen soldiery during the crisis. Toward the end of June, Gov. Morgan joined with the governors of the other loyal states in an address to the president, urging him to call upon the states for such additional troops, as were in his judgment necessary to sustain the government and to speedily crush the existing rebellion. The response of the president was his call of July 2, 1862, for 300,000 more volunteers to serve three years, the quota of New York being fixed at 59,705 men. In his proclamation calling upon the people to give a loyal response to this call, the governor voiced his belief that the "insurrection is in its death throes; that a mighty blow will end its monstrous existence." He went on to say: "A languishing war entails vast losses of life, of property, the ruin of business pursuits, and invites the interference of foreign powers. Present happiness and future greatness will be secured by responding to the present call. Let the answer go back to the president and to our brave soldiers in the field, that in New York the patriotic list of the country's defenders is augmented. It will strengthen the hands of the one, and give hope and encouragement to the other." Regimental camps were promptly formed and about 3,000. authorizations to recruit companies were given. To further stimulate enlistments, the governor on his own responsibility offered: a bounty of $50 to each private soldier who volunteered, in addition to the bounty paid by the United States. This bounty was discontinued at the end of September, and by Oct. 2 the governor was able to announce that the quota had not only been filled, but that there was a surplus of 29,000 men to the credit of the: state.
On the return of the militia regiments called out in May, Gov. Morgan warmly thanked them for their services. On Sept. 24, at a meeting of the loyal governors at Altoona, Pa., attended by Gov. Morgan, the government was pledged the continued loyal support of the state; it was recommended that a reserve army of 100,000 men be created, and that the slaves be emancipated.
Under the call of Aug. 4, 1862, for 300,000 militia for nine months' service, the state's quota was again 59,705 men. The organized militia of the state was limited to 20,000 men, of whom some 8,000 were already in the field. Hence it was deemed necessary to resort to a draft of the reserve militia. Delays ensued, and finally the draft was altogether suspended. The result was really beneficial, inasmuch as the number of three years' volunteers was thereby increased, the surplus of three years' men, each of whom counted for four nine months' men in satisfying the quota, giving the state an actual surplus to its credit, and the country acquired a soldier of more value. One regiment of the-National Guard, the 10th, volunteered for nine months and was accepted, going into service as the 177th regiment of volunteer infantry.
In Dec., 1862, the governor established a bureau of military statistics in the office of the adjutant-general. It received, an appropriation from the legislature in 1863 and the following year was made an independent bureau. Its objects were declared to be: "To collect and preserve in permanent form an authentic sketch of every person from this state who has entered the service of the general government since April 15, 1861; a record of the services of the several regiments, including an account of their organization and subsequent history; an account of the aid afforded by the several towns, cities and counties of the state." In 1865, its name was changed to that of "Bureau of Military Record." Hundreds of battleflags and many interesting war relics have been deposited with the bureau, which was discontinued as an independent office, and reincorporated with the adjutant-general's office in 1868.
During the fall of 1862, the state elections resulted in the choice of Horatio Seymour, the Democratic candidate, as governor, over his Republican opponent, Gen. James S. Wadsworth, by a small majority. The legislature elected at the same time contained 23 Republicans and 9 Democrats in the senate, and 64 Republicans and 64 Democrats in the assembly. The change in administration brought about no diminution in the state's support of the general government. Gov. Seymour was inaugurated Jan. 1, 1863, and after complimenting his predecessor, Gov. Morgan said: "In your presence I have solemnly sworn to support the constitution of the United States, with all its grants, restrictions, and guarantees, and I shall support it. I have also sworn to support another constitution—the constitution of the State of New York—with all its powers and rights. I shall uphold it. * * * These constitutions do not conflict; the line of separation between the responsibilities and obligations which each imposes is well defined. They do not embarrass us in the performance of our duties as citizens or officials." He further expressed the hope that, before the end of two years, the nation would be again united and at peace. The new legislature met on Jan. 6, and in his message to that body the governor said: "While our soldiers are imperiling 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." Among the important measures passed by the legislature at this session were acts legalizing the ordinances and acts of cities, towns, villages and counties in aid of recruiting and to assist the families of volunteers; giving them authority to pass similar measures in the future; confirming the action of Gov. Morgan in offering a bounty in July, 1862, and making the necessary appropriation to carry out his contract; providing a bounty of $150 for each member of the two years' regiments, who reenlisted for another two years or more, and a bounty of $75 for each volunteer who had enlisted since Nov. 1, 1862, or would hereafter enlist, for three years; incorporating the "Soldiers' Home;" giving the governor authority to appoint agents charged with the duty of transporting and caring for the sick, wounded, and dead soldiers of the state, and appropriating $200,000 for the purpose. The Soldiers' Home was designed "to provide a home and maintenance for officers and soldiers who have served, are now serving, or may hereafter serve, in the volunteer forces raised or furnished by, or from, the State of New York, who by reason of wounds or other disabilities received, or produced, in the service of the United States, or of the State of New York, shall be unable to support themselves, and all who, having been honorably discharged, shall be decrepit or homeless in their old age." Its model was the Home of the regular army at Washington, and the present Soldiers' Home is the outgrowth. Under the last named act the governor appointed agents, who not only furnished much needed relief to the sick, wounded, furloughed and discharged soldiers of the state, and aided their return to the state, but aided the friends and relatives of dead soldiers in securing their bodies and served as an exceedingly useful bureau of information to all who sought information concerning the men in the service. It also assisted discharged soldiers in obtaining their arrearages of pay and bounty. A principal agency, known as the Soldiers' Depot, was established in New York city, where suitable quarters were provided, both for New York volunteers and for those of other states passing through the city. Over 110,000 volunteers received aid and comfort at this main agency, which did not close its doors until March 25, 1866. On April 27, an appropriation of $1,000,000 was made to put the harbor of New York and the state's frontiers in a better condition of defense.
The first important draft of the war took place during July and Aug., 1863, when the state was virtually stripped of its militia, and proved to be one of the most exciting questions which the new administration of Gov. Seymour was called upon to meet. Under the act of Congress, approved March 3, 1863, prescribing a method of drafting men for the military service, whenever needed, all enlistments under the draft and also for volunteers after May 1, were placed in the hands of a provost-marshal-general, assisted by an acting assistant provost-marshal-general, in each of the three districts, northern, southern, and western, into which the state was divided. The draft was commenced in New York city on July 11, and was accompanied by a riot of very serious proportions on the 13th. To quell the riot, in which all the rowdy, turbulent elements of the city took part, all the available state troops were ordered to New York city. These, assisted by all the troops in the city and harbor and a few outside organizations, together with the city police force, succeeded in dispersing the angry mobs and quiet was finally restored on the 17th. No serious disturbances occurred elsewhere, though violence was only prevented in one or two places by the presence of troops. In New York and Brooklyn the draft was suspended and finally took place in August without any further trouble, though in the meantime it went forward in other parts of the state. Among the specific objections to the application of the draft in New York city and Brooklyn, urged by Gov. Seymour in his correspondence with President Lincoln on the subject, he contended that these two large cities did not get due credit for past enlistments and that the enrollments were excessive as compared with other parts of the state; that the draft, as vol. II— 3 proposed, would throw upon the eastern part of the state, comprising less than one-third of the Congressional districts, more than one-half the burdens of the conscription and presented figures to sustain these objections. The result of the draft in the state was as follows: number of conscripts examined, 79,975; exempted for physical disability and other causes, 54,765; paid commutation, 15,912; procured substitutes, 6,998; conscripts held to service, 2,300.
During the spring and early summer of 1863, the two years' regiments returned to the state and were mustered out. They had seen much hard service and of the 30,000 men who had left the state, less than half that number returned, over 4,000 officers and men having died in service. During the emergency created by Lee's invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania in June, a large proportion of the National Guard of the state was again hurriedly summoned into the field and were mustered into the U. S. service for 30 days, twenty-six regiments responding to the call. Numerous detachments of volunteers in various parts of the state were also organized, equipped and moved to Harrisburg, Pa. The National Guard was warmly thanked by the president and war department for its prompt response during the crisis. In November, the 74th regiment of the National Guard, from Buffalo, was mustered into the U. S. service for 30 days and placed under the orders of Gen. Dix, commanding the Department of the East, to protect the northern frontier of the state from a threatened invasion by a traitorous force from Canada.
Oct. 17, 1863, the president called for 300,060 more volunteers for three years, the quota assigned to New York being 81,993 men. All recruiting work for the organizations in the field was in the hands of the general government, acting through the provost-marshals ; the state could only recruit for new organizations which were sanctioned by the war department, but it received authority to reorganize the two years' regiments on their return, or to enlist the men in new organizations. A very large proportion of the two years' men reentered the service and their patriotic action served to stimulate other enlistments. To further encourage enlistments the state bounty provided by the legislature in the spring was paid to all who enlisted for three years and were credited to the state. From Jan. 1, 1863, to Jan. 5, 1864, the following volunteers were furnished by the state: volunteers raised by state authorities, 25,324; recruits sent to regiments in the field, 1,653; enlisted by provost-marshals, 11,060; reenlistments in the field (estimated), 10,000; substitutes, 6,619; enlisted by provost-marshals since Dec. 21, 1863, 1,500—total, 56,156. The organizations formed by the state authorities and turned over to the United States were as follows: cavalry—the 12th, 14th, 16th, 20th, 1st and 2nd veteran regiments of nine companies each, the 13th and 15th, ten companies each; 18th and 21st, six companies of the 24th, two companies of the 23d, and three companies of the 2nd mounted rifles; artillery—four batteries of the nth regiment; five batteries each of the 13th and 16th; ten batteries of the 14th; eleven batteries of the I5th; one battery of the 3d, and the 33d independent battery; sharpshooters—the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9.th companies; engineers—one company of the 15th regiment; infantry—the 17th veteran, the 168th and 178th regiments; four companies of the 5th veteran; three companies of the 63d regiment, and two companies of the independent battalion. The following nine months' organizations were mustered out during the year: The 168th on Oct. 31; the I77th on Sept. 10; and the 9th company of sharpshooters on Aug. 5.
At the annual elections held in Nov., 1863, for the choice of a secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, attorney-general, state engineer, surveyor, judge of the court of appeals, and a legislature, the Union, or administration party was successful, and the 87th legislature then chosen contained an administration majority of 46 on joint ballot. During the year the arrest of Clement L. Vallindigham of Ohio had raised a storm of disapproval. Responding to an invitation to attend a public meeting in Albany to consider this matter, Gov. Seymour said in part: "It is an act which has brought dishonor upon our country; it is full of danger to our persons and to our homes; it bears upon its front a conscious violation of law and justice. Acting upon the evidence of detailed informers, shrinking from the light of day in the darkness of night, armed men violated the home of an American citizen and furtively bore him away to a military trial, conducted without those safeguards known to the proceedings of our military tribunals. * * * The action of the administration will determine in the minds of more than one-half of the people of the loyal states, whether this war is waged to put down rebellion at the South, or to destroy free institutions at the North. We look for its decision with the most solemn solicitude."
Among the acts passed by the legislature when it assembled in 1864 were bills to promote reenlistments and to encourage recruiting for organizations in the field; further authorizing counties and municipalities to levy taxes for certain purposes such as the payment of bounties, expenses incurred in securing enlistments, and in aid of the families of volunteers; appropriating money to provide suitable burial and monuments for those who fell on the bloody fields of Antietam and Gettysburg; concurring in the amendment to the state constitution passed by the legislature of 1863, which permitted electors absent from the state in the service of the United States to vote. This amendment was submitted to the people of the state and adopted at a special election in March, 1864. A law was thereupon drafted in conformity to the constitutional provision, which enabled "the qualified electors of the state, absent therefrom in the military service of the United States, in the army or navy thereof, to vote." It was passed by the legislature and approved by Gov. Seymour on April 21.
Portions of the National Guard were called out on several occasions during 1864 at the request of the war department. In April one or two regiments were asked for to guard deserters and stragglers being forwarded to the front ; also one or two regiments to serve in the defenses of New York harbor, to take the place of troops urgently needed at the front. In July, when the enemy invaded Maryland and threatened the capital, New York was asked for 12,000 men to serve for not less than 100 days. Under these special calls, the state furnished from the National Guard a total of 5,640 men for three months and 100 days, and 791 men for 30 days. The following organizations were mustered into the U. S. service: for 100 days—the 28th, 54th, 56th, 58th, 69th, 77th, 84th, 93d, 98th, 99th and 102nd regiments of infantry, the 1st battalion of artillery, and Cos. A and B of the 50th regiment; for 30 days—the 37th and 15th regiments of infantry. Under the threat of possible trouble along the northern frontier of the state in the fall, the National Guard was held in readiness for instant service and the 65th and 74th were placed on active duty for a few weeks, the general government then assuming charge. The people of the state were given the opportunity to greet many of their soldiers during the year, the terms of service of numerous volunteer organizations having expired and thousands of veterans returning to the state on veteran furlough. The veteran organizations invariably returned to active service with augmented ranks. Everywhere the home-coming soldiers were accorded enthusiastic receptions by an appreciative and grateful people.
In preparation for the presidential election to be held in November, extraordinary precautions were taken by the Federal military authorities to prevent disorders and the colonization of voters. Maj.-Gen. Dix, commanding the Department of the East, issued special instructions to the provost-marshals and their deputies in his department, to detect persons who had been in the service of the authorities of the insurgent states, who had deserted from the service of the United States, or who had fled to escape the draft, and who might come into the state for the purpose of voting. In general orders, No. 80, issued Oct. 28, Gen. Dix strongly intimated that after voting there would be an organized effort on the part of the enemies of the government to commit outrages against the lives and property of private citizens. The above order, by way of precaution, directed that "all persons from the insurgent states now within the department, or who may come within it on or before the 3d of November proximo, are hereby required to report themselves for registry on or before that day; and all such persons coming within the department after that day will report immediately on their arrival. Those who fail to comply with this requirement will be regarded as spies or emissaries of the insurgent authorities at Richmond and will be treated accordingly." The place of registry for such persons was fixed at the headquarters of Maj.-Gen. John J. Peck, No. 37 Bleeker St., New York city, and several hundred persons from the Southern States appeared there and were registered. On the other hand, Gov. Seymour, in a proclamation issued Nov. 2, declared "there are no well-grounded fears that the rights of the citizens of New York will be trampled on at the polls. The power of the state is ample to protect all classes in the free exercise of their political duties. There is no reason to doubt that the coming election will be conducted with the usual quiet and order." He directed that county sheriffs and all other peace officers take every precaution to secure a free ballot to every voter, and prevent any intimidation by the military forces, or by other organizations. On the same day Mr. Seward, secretary of state at Washington, wired the mayors of New York, Albany, and other cities: "This department has received information from the British provinces, to the effect that there is a conspiracy on foot to set fire to the principal cities in the Northern States on the day of the presidential election. It is my duty to communicate this information to you." Mr. Gunther, the mayor of New York, replied: "I have no fears of such threats being carried out, or even attempted. However, I shall take all precautionary measures, and am amply prepared. Should any Federal assistance be necessary, I shall invoke the same without delay." On Nov. 4, Maj.-Gen. Butler arrived at New York city, under orders of the president and by assignment of Maj.-Gen. Dix, and took command in the city. On the day before the election about 7,000 Federal troops arrived in New York bay as a precautionary measure to assist in preserving order, and on Nov. 8, the day of the election, were placed on board of steamers, which were stationed at various points opposite the Battery and in the North and East rivers. The troops were held within call until Thursday night, where they could have been marched to any part of the city within half an hour, but were not landed. Ample precautionary measures were also taken by Gen. Peck on the northern frontier, of the state, to prevent a threatened invasion from Canada or any interference with the elections, and the election took place without any unusual disturbance. On Nov. 15 Gen. Butler issued an order taking leave of his command in New York, tendering his thanks to Brig.-Gen. Hawley, in command of the provisional Connecticut brigade from the Army of the James and the troops from the Army of the Potomac, who had been detailed for special duty at the time of the election. The result of the election gave Lincoln a majority of 6,749 over Gen. McClellan out of a total vote of 730,821. The state election resulted in the choice of Reuben E. Fenton as governor, by a majority of 8,293, over Gov. Seymour, his Democratic opponent. The legislature chosen at the same time had a Republican majority of 34 on joint ballot.
During the year 1864, a voluminous correspondence took place between Gov. Seymour and the war department relative to the proper credits to be allowed the state under the calls of this year. The state and Federal accounts as to the number of men furnished by the state since the beginning of the war were harmonized after July, 1864, when the state was finally allowed credit, especially for the many thousands of patriotic men enlisted in the regular army and in the U. S. navy and marine service. During the year New York furnished a total of 162,867 men, divided as follows: militia for 100 days' service, 5,640; for 30 days' service, 791; volunteers enlisted by the state authorities, 17,261; reenlisted in the field, 10,518; drafted men, substitutes, enlistments and credits by provost-marshals, 128,657. During the two years of Gov. Seymour's administration, the Empire State furnished the government a total of 214,075 men. Included in the above number are three regiments of U. S. colored troops,' designated the 2Oth, 26th and 31st regiments of infantry. All three regiments were organized in 1864 for three years' service under the auspices of the Union League club, the members contributing $18,000 for the purpose. The following organizations were formed in 1864 and turned over to the United States by the state authorities: cavalry—six companies for the 2nd; three companies each for the 13th and 15th; two companies each for the 18th and 21st; nine companies for the 2nd mounted rifles; six companies for the 24th; the 22nd and 25th regiments, complete; artillery—one company each for the 3d and 6th; seven companies each for the 13th and 16th; and two companies for the 14th regiments; engineers—one company for the 15th, and two companies for the 50th regiments; infantry—one company each for the 57th, 63d 80th, 4th, 137th, 142nd and 159th; three companies each for the 69th and 90th; six companies for the 187th; nine companies for the 188th, and the 7th veteran; and the 179th, 184th, 185th, 186th, and. 189th regiments, entirely new organizations.
The enormous wealth and resources of the Empire State were strikingly shown as the war progressed; the prosperity of the state was uninterrupted, despite the enormous drain upon its resources in men, money and material. The soldiers furnished to the general government by New York alone would have been sufficient to conduct military operations on a large scale. Gov. Fenton was duly inaugurated Jan. 1, 1865, and the 88th session of the legislature convened on the 3d. In his message the governor said that the general government had credited the state with a surplus of 5,301 men under all calls prior to Dec. 1, 1864. He suggested that the legislature fix a maximum bounty to be paid by each locality, and empower localities to raise and pay these bounties in advance of any future calls, so that men would be ready to meet all requirements. He closed his message with the following patriotic words: "The constitution of the Union makes it the duty of the national government to maintain for the people of all the states republican governments. It is no less the duty of each state to throw its whole weight and influence firmly on the side of this great fundamental requirement. This government our fathers intended to establish and transmit as a legacy to posterity. Irrespective of the divisions into states, we are called upon to maintain and perpetuate the trust. Eighty years of enterprise, prosperity and progress have not lessened our obligations, nor checked our devotion to the great cause of civil liberty. It is not a mistake to assume that, whatever exigency may follow, whether domestic or foreign, the great body of the people will go forward to meet and overcome it with the same firm and irresistible energy which characterized our ancestors, and has marked the subsequent course of our civilization. In this patriotic determination of the people for unity, liberty and the constitution, I shall, at all times, earnestly join." The legislature passed a number of important measures relating to the war. It provided for a uniform system of bounties throughout the state and ultimately took steps to reimburse the localities for all bounties paid. It thanked by concurrent resolution the volunteers of the state for their services in defense of the Union and the flag; and by resolutions passed on March 25, in behalf of the people of the state, it gave thanks to the New York officers and men for their gallant achievements at Fort Fisher, N. C. The national banking system had been created by Congress on Feb. 25, 1863, and thoroughly revised by act of June 4, 1864. It was the Federal intent that the state banks should take advantage of these acts to obtain national issues of currency, which they did in large numbers after the act of March 3, 1865, which placed a tax of ten per cent. on state bank circulation. The legislature of New York passed an "enabling act," March 9, 1865, which permitted the state banks to come in under the national system without the long process of a formal dissolution. The result was that 173 state banks were converted into national banks by the end of the fiscal year. Twenty banks had previously taken: advantage of the national banking law, so that 183 state banks were transferred with all their wealth and influence to the national guardianship during the fiscal year.
Under the last call for troops, Dec. 19, 1864, the president asked for 300,000 men to serve for three years and the quota assigned to New York was 61,076. The long war was now drawing to a close and all recruiting and drafting ceased April 14,. 1865. In order to fill its quota without resort to the draft, the state received authority from the war department to organize new regiments and independent companies. It supplied under this last call 9,150 men for one year's service; 1,645 men for two years' service; 23,321 men for three years' service; 67 men for four years' service, and 13 men paid commutation—total 34,196. The following new organizations were completed and turned over to the general government: cavalry—five companies for the 26th regiment; infantry—one company each for the 75th, and 190th; two companies for the 191st; the 192nd, 193d, 194th regiments, complete; also the 35th regiment and a number of independent companies of infantry incomplete.
On April 3 word was received in New York announcing the evacuation of Petersburg and the fall of Richmond. Universal excitement and rejoicing prevailed from this time forward until the final surrender of Lee on the 9th, which practically terminated the war. On the 26th occurred Johnston's surrender and soon ' after the remaining forces of the Confederates laid down their arms. The work of disbanding the Union armies was then taken up and by the close of the summer nearly all the survivors of the New York troops came home, only a few regiments remaining in the service on special duty until the following year. The warworn veterans were received on their return with every honor that a grateful people could bestow for their heroic services. On June 7 Gov. Fenton congratulated the soldiers of the state in an eloquent address which touched the hearts of all, saying: "Soldiers of New York: Your constancy, your patriotism, your faith--ful services and your valor have culminated in the maintenance of the government, the vindication of the constitution and the laws and the 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. 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 imposed in you and have returned these trusts with added luster 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 evidences of the pride and patriotism which animated you. Sadly and yet proudly we receive 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 Godspeed to the departing recruit; with glowing 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 were dependent upon the fallen hero. The fame and glory you have won for the state and nation, shall be transmitted to our children as a most precious legacy, lovingly to be cherished and reverently to be preserved."
The efforts put forth by the great State of New York throughout the war were in every way worthy of her commanding position among the states of the Union, where she easily ranked first in population and material resources. New York furnished the most men and sustained the heaviest loss of any state in the war. The final report of the adjutant-general at Washington for the year 1885 credits New York with 467,047 troops, including 6,089 men in the regular army, 42,155 sailors and marines; and 18,197 who paid commutation. As the above report of the adjutant-general of the U. S. army shows that there were 2,865,028 men furnished during the war, under all calls, the enlistments credited to New York represent over 16 per cent. of the total. In an able analysis of the above, the statistician Phisterer brings out the facts that the state is justly entitled to an additional credit of 15,266 enlistments for 30 days' men, omitted in the adjutant-general's report; of 11,671 more men enlisted in the regular army, and 8,781 more men enlisted in the navy and marine. In arriving at the number of men from New York serving in the regular army, and in the navy and marine corps, he says: "The statement of the adjutant-general of the United States army, dated July 15, 1885, estimates the number of men in the regular army during the war at 67,000. As far as can be determined from the reports of the assistant provost-marshals-general of this state, as published in the reports of the adjutant-general of New York for the years 1863 to 1865, the number of men credited to this state, enlisting or reenlisting in the regular army, is 6,089, and covers only the period of the war from Dec., 1863, to April, 1865, and no men were credited for such enlistments prior to Dec., 1863. There were in the regular army July 1, 1861, as officially reported, 16,422 officers and enlisted men; up to this time the large cities of this state were the principal recruiting fields of that army, and taking therefore from this number but one-fifth (by no means an overestimate), as having been enlisted in this state, would entitle New York to a credit of 3,284. As already stated from Dec., 1863, to April, 1865—seventeen months—there were credited to the state for enlistment in the regular army 6,089 men; and it is but fair to suppose that the state furnished from July 1, 1861, to Nov., 1863—twenty-nine months—a proportionate number and an additional credit is therefore claimed of 10,387; total additional claim for credit for service in the regular army, 13,671. Add to this additional credit the number of men found to have been credited, 6,089, and the total of 19,760 will give the number of men, who it is claimed, served in the regular army of the United States, and were enlisted in, or credited to, New York. Under orders of the war department the enlistment or transfer of volunteers into the regular army was permitted in 1862 and part of 1863, and it is estimated that probably 2,000 volunteers of this state, a liberal estimate, were thus transferred; to avoid all appearance of making excessive claims these two thousand men are deducted, and on the part of the state claim is made for additional credit, for service in the regular army, for 11,671 men only.
" No men were credited to New York for service in the navy and marine until Feb., 1864, and then credit was received for 28,427, as having been enlisted in the state since April 15, 1861. The adjutant-general of the United States army, under date of July 15, 1885, credits New York with 35,144 enlistments in the navy, which includes no doubt those enlisted in the marine corps, a few hundred only. From the statements of the assistant provost-marshals-general it appears, however, that they credited the state with 41,380 such enlistments. The secretary of the navy, under date of April 10, 1884, in a communication to the United States senate, reported the number enlisted in the navy between April 15, 1861, and Feb. 24, 1864, to have been 67,200, of whom there were credited to this state 28,427 men; that the number enlisted between Feb. 24, 1864, and June 30, 1865, was 37,577, of whom were credited to this state, 13,728; that the number enlisted during the war, but not credited to any state was 20,177, of whom were enlisted in this state, 6,817, making the total number of men, who served in the navy, not including those in service April 15, 1861, 124,954, of whom 39.192 per cent., or 48,972 are due to New York. This report of the secretary of the navy, although it places the number credited to this state at a higher figure than even the records of the assistant provost-marshals-general, is here accepted as the correct statement. But to it must be added the number of men in service April 1, 1861, which an annual report of the navy places at 7,600 men; and of this number there is claimed as due to this state the same percentage as has been found of those enlisted between April 15, 1861, and June 30, 1865, namely 39.192 per cent., or 2,964. This would make the total number who served in the navy during the war, 132,554, of whom there came from this state, 51,936. As with the regular army, so were for a time volunteers permitted to enlist in, or to be transferred to the navy, and it is estimated that at the most 1,000 men were thus transferred, and these require to be deducted from the claims made here for additional credit. It is accepted as a fact that 42,155 men were duly credited to New York, and the remainder, deducting those transferred from the volunteers, of 8,781 men is fairly due the state."
Of the 502,765 men furnished by the state, 17,760 served in the regular army, and 50,936 in the United States navy and marine corps, as above shown; the remainder were distributed as follows: In the United States volunteers, 1,375, of whom 800 are estimated to have been transferred from the volunteers as general and staff officers, giving this branch of the service only 575; in the United States veteran volunteers, 1,770; in the veteran reserve corps, 9,862, but as most of these men are properly cred-ited to the volunteers, where they originally enlisted, the state only received credit for reenlistments in this branch of the service to the number of 222; in the United States colored troops, 4,125; in the volunteers of other states (estimated), 500; in the militia and National Guard, 38,028; men who paid commutation, for which the state was officially credited, 18,197; in the general volunteer service, 370,652.
The enlisted men were divided according to their terms of service as follows: For 30 days, 15,266; for three months, 17,743; for 100 days, 5,019; for nine months, 1,781; for one year, 62,-500; for two years, 34,723; for three years, 347,3955 for four years, 141; paid commutation, 18,197—total, 502,765. As a large number of men enlisted in the service more than once, the actual number of individuals from New York who served during the war has been estimated in round numbers at 400,000. The population of the state in 1860 was 3,880,735, of whom 1,933,532 were males. The percentage of individuals in service to total population is therefore 10.30; of individuals to total male population, 20.68. It has been found impossible to arrive at very accurate figures as to the nativity of the individual soldiers from the state, but Phisterer has arrived at the conclusion that of the 400,000 individuals, 279,040 were natives of the United States, and 120,960 or 30.24 per cent. of foreign birth. The latter were divided according to nationality as follows: 42,095 Irish, 41,179 German, 12,756 English, 11,525 British-American, 3,693 French,. 3,333 Scotch, 2,014 Welsh, 2,015 Swiss, and 2,350 of all other nationalities.
The state furnished the following organizations during the war: Cavalry, 27 regiments, 10 companies; artillery, 15 regiments, 37 companies; engineers, 3 regiments; sharpshooters, 8 companies; infantry, 248 regiments, 10 companies. New York furnished the army with 20 major-generals, only 2 of whom— John A. Dix and Edwin D. Morgan—were appointed from civil life. It furnished 98 officers of the rank of brigadier-general, of whom 12 were appointed from civil life. Included in this long list of higher officers are the names of many who gained renown as among the most efficient commanders produced by the war.
The enormous expenditures of the state, both in lives and money, has been frequently alluded to. It is estimated that the various counties, cities and towns of the state expended for every purpose connected with the war the sum of $114,404,055.35. The state expended the sum of $38,044,576.82, making a grand total of $152,448,632.17. In arriving at the total of state expenditures, the following items are included: In organizing, subsisting, equipping, uniforming and transporting volunteers, $5,101,873,79, less the amount reimbursed the state by the general government would leave in round numbers $900,000; amount of the direct tax allotted to New York, $2,213,332.86; expended by the state for bounties, $34,931,243.96.
Of the total number of individuals from New York who served in the army and navy of the United States during the war, the state claims a loss by death while in service of 52,993. Of this number, there were killed in action, 866 officers, 13,344 enlisted men, aggregate 14,210; died of wounds received in action, 414 officers, 7,143 enlisted men, aggregate 7,557; died of disease and other causes, 506 officers, 30,720 enlisted men, aggregate 31,226; total, 1,786 officers, 51,207 enlisted men. The adjutant-general of the United States in his report of 1885 only credits the state with the following loss: killed in action, 772 officers, 11,329 enlisted men, aggregate 12,101; died of wounds received in action, 371 officers, 6,613 enlisted men, aggregate 6,984; died of disease and other causes, 387 officers, 27,062 enlisted men, aggregate 27,449; total, 1,530 officers, 45,004 enlisted men, aggregate 46,-, 534. Of these 5,546 officers and men died as prisoners. The above report, however, only includes losses in the militia, National Guard and volunteers of the state, and fails to include the losses in other branches of the service, including those who served in the navy and marine corps, and in the colored troops. Of the 51,936 men furnished by the state to the navy, 706 were killed in battle, 997 died of disease, 36 died as prisoners, and 141 from all other causes—total, 1,880.
Space forbids more than a brief reference to some of the more famous fighting organizations contributed by the State of New York. Perhaps the best known brigade organization in the service was the Irish Brigade, officially designated as the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 2nd corps. It was in Hancock's old division, and was successively commanded by Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher, Col. Patrick Kelly (killed), Gen. Thomas A. Smyth (killed), Col. Richard Byrnes (killed), and Gen. Robert Nugent. It was organized in '1861, and originally consisted of the 63d, 69th and 88th N. Y. infantry regiments, to which were added in the fall of 1862 the 28th Mass. and the 116th Pa. Its loss in killed and died of wounds was 961, and a total of 4,000 men were killed and wounded. Col. Fox in his "Regimental Losses in the Civil War," says of this brigade: "The remarkable precision of its evolutions under fire, its desperate attack on the impregnable wall at Marye's heights; its never failing promptness on every field; and its long continuous service, made for it a name inseparable from the history of the war." Another famous brigade was the Excelsior Brigade (Sickles'), belonging to Hooker's (2nd) division, 3d corps, and composed of the 7Oth, 71st, 72nd, 73d, 74th and 120th N. Y. infantry. Its losses in killed and died of wounds were 876. in Harrow's (1st) brigade, Gibbon's (2nd) division, 2nd corps, was the 82nd N. Y. regiment of infantry. This brigade suffered the greatest percentage of loss in any one action during the war, at Gettysburg, where its loss was 763 killed, wounded and missing out of a total of 1,246 in action, or 61 per cent. The loss of the 82nd was 45 killed, 132 wounded, 15 missing—total, 192. There were forty-five infantry regiments which lost over 200 men each, killed or mortally wounded in action during the war, and six of these were New York regiments. At the head of the New York regiments, and standing sixth in the total list, is the 69th N. Y., which lost the most men in action, killed and wounded, of any infantry regiment in the state, to-wit: 13 officers and 246 enlisted men—total, 259. Coming next in the order named are the 40th, 48th, 121st, 111th and 51st regiments. Of the three hundred fighting regiments enumerated by Col. Fox, fifty-nine are from New York. (See Records of the Regiments.)
It has been shown that of the 132,554 men who served in the navy of the United States during the war, 51,936 or considerably more than one-third, came from New York. The maritime importance, of course, of a state like New York, accounts for its important contribution to this branch of the service. The sons of the Empire State were to be found in every important naval engagement throughout the war. That they paid the debt of patriotism and valor is attested by the fact that 1,880 perished in battle, from disease and frorn other causes incident to the service. When the government was in pressing need of more vessels, a son of New York, Commodore Vanderbilt, presented it with his magnificent ship, the Vanderbilt, costing $800,000. The names of John Ericsson, John A. Griswold and John F. Win-slow, all of New York, are inseparably linked with the most important contribution to the navy during the war—the building of the Monitor—which worked a revolution in naval warfare. Capt.. Mahan, in his "Navy in the Civil War," thus recounts the bravery of one of the famous commanders furnished by New York: "As the Tecumseh, T. A. Craven, commander, went into action at Mobile Bay, it struck a torpedo and sank instantly. The vessel went down head foremost, her screw plainly visible in the air for a moment to the enemy, that waited for her, not 200 yards off, on the other side of the fatal line. It was then that Craven did one of those deeds that should be always linked with the doer's name, as Sidney's is with the cup of cold water. The pilot and he instinctively made for the narrow opening leading to the turret below. Craven drew back; 'After you, pilot,' he said. There was no afterward for him; the pilot was saved, but he went down with his ship." Other sons of New York, whose names adorn the records of the American navy are Capt. John L. Wor-den, who commanded the Monitor in her historic engagement with the Merrimac; Lieut.-Com. William B. Cushing, a man of extraordinary bravery and the hero of the Albemarle fight ; Capt. A. T. Mahan, who served as a lieutenant during the war, and ranks to-day as the greatest living authority on naval matters; Lieut-Corn. Pierre Gouraud, "the marksman of the Montauk;"' Capt. Melancthon Smith, the hero of the attack on Port Hudson; Commander David Constable, whose steamer led the attack ing-forces in the ascent of the James and the bombardment of Fort Darling, and who was the recipient of warm praise from President Lincoln; Commander William E. Le Roy, who distinguished himself at Mobile Bay; Commanders Henry W. Morris, Homer C. Blake, Jonathan M. Wainwright—who lost his life in the defense of his vessel, the Harriet Lane, at Galveston—William B. Renshaw, another of the heroes of Galveston, who laid down his life and sank his vessel, Jan. I, 1863, to prevent the capture of the same by the enemy; Commodore Theodorus Bailey, second in command during the assaults on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and a long list of other brilliant names.
Instances of conspicuous gallantry on the part of New York organizations and soldiers might be multiplied almost indefinitely. More than a hint has already been given in the preceding pages of many of the more important services to which the state can lay especial claim. Suffice it to say in addition that upwards of 15,000 names of those who received favorable mention in battle reports, and the names of 132 volunteers who received medals of honor from the United States for conspicuous bravery, should be added to the long Roll of Honor of the state. Some idea of the important part played by the soldiers of the Empire State in every important engagement of the war may be gained from the statement that, at Gettysburg, the decisive battle of the great struggle, New York contributed eighty-seven regiments and batteries of the two hundred and sixty engaged on the Union side. Of the nineteen infantry divisions six were led by New York officers, while of the seventy brigade organizations, twenty-one were commanded by New York officers; of the total Union losses, 23,049, New York contributed one-third, or 6,784; of the 246 officers killed, New York claims 76, and 294 of the 1,145 officers wounded. New York organizations were prominent in every campaign, and with scarcely an exception reflected honor on their state.
The excellent sanitary condition of most of the New York regiments in the field evoked many favorable comments. During the earlier period of the war, especially, the surgical staff with the volunteers was of the highest character and standing and medical men of the highest reputation offered their services freely. Said Dr. John Swinburne, of Albany, medical superintendent for the state troops in an official report for 1863, "New York has made the best selection of surgeons for her regiments of any state in the Union. For this judicious and extraordinary selection, we are indebted to Surgeon-General Vanderpoel, of whom the medical profession of the state may well be proud." It is doubtless true that some of the "contract surgeons" during the latter period of the war suffered somewhat by comparison with their predecessors, but on the whole New York troops were given efficient medical supervision. A point to be remembered in analyzing the statistics of deaths from disease among the volunteers from all the states is, that during the first months of the war many recruits were allowed to enter the service without a proper inspection as to their physical condition; and during the last months of the war when the demand for troops at the front was so continuous and pressing, the same condition of affairs prevailed to a certain extent.
To the loyal and patriotic women of the state is largely due the final successful outcome of the war, and from the veryi beginning the mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts of those who enlisted, exerted themselves in every way to alleviate the sufferings and hardships of the soldiers. Every city, town and village had its relief association, which labored unceasingly in making and forwarding comforts to the soldiers in the field, and in providing hospital supplies for the sick and wounded.. At the very beginning of the struggle a society was organized in New York city to furnish hospital supplies and other needed comforts for the soldiers in field and hospital. The first meeting was held in the church of the Puritans, which later culminated in a great assemblage of 3,000 ladies in the Cooper Institute to adopt a plan of concerted action for bringing relief to suffering soldiers, and to their bereaved relatives and friends. This great Cooper Union meeting resulted in the formation of a Woman's central relief association, which then took charge of most of the active relief work. The headquarters of the association were in New York, and on its board of managers were the following well known women: Mesdames Hamilton Fish, Cyrus W. Field, Charles P. Kirkland, Bayard, Charles Abernethy, H. Bayles, N. D. Sewell, G. L. Schuyler, C. Griffin, Laura Doremieux, and V. Botta. It formed an efficient auxiliary to the general hospital service of the army, and it is no exaggeration to say that many thousands of sick and wounded soldiers owe their lives to the efforts of this splendid relief association. At a later date, when the great relief associations known as the United States sanitary and Christian commissions became perfected, the women of the state continued to act as active and efficient aids in the prosecution of their great work, and these associations owe their very origin in a large measure to the philanthropic impulses of the women of New York. Another efficient agency in promoting the successful conduct of the war was the famous Union League Club of New York city, whose influence was manifested in many ways, such as raising and equipping regiments, aiding the general government in the floating of bond issues, and supporting the work of the Sanitary commission. Said the Rev. Henry Bellows, president of the Sanitary commission, in his history of the club: "It is the child of the Sanitary commission. Prof. Walcott Gibbs was the first to suggest that the idea on which the Sanitary commission was founded needed to take on the form of a club, which should be devoted to the social organization of the sentiment of 'unconditional loyalty' to the Union, and he chose Mr. Frederick Law Olmsted as the first person to be consulted and advised with, and the latter at length became the corner-stone of the Union League Club." The great Metropolitan fair, which raised over $1,000,000 for the treasury of the Sanitary commission, was another of the important labors of the club.
Still another efficient adjunct in the work of the Sanitary commission was the "Allotment commission," the commissioners being Theodore Roosevelt, William E. Dodge, Jr., and Theodore B. Bronson. It was the especial duty of this highly useful organization to arrange the means whereby the soldiers in the field could safely and expeditiously transmit their pay to the women and children, and other dependents at home. It performed its work without compensation, and was the means whereby vast sums of money were forwarded to the families of soldiers. Its first annual report showed that it collected and paid over to the families and friends of soldiers more than $5,000,000 in a single year. Cooperating with this commission in all its extraordinary exertions, were the efficient paymaster-generals of the state, Col. George Bliss, Jr., John D. Van Buren, and Selden E. Marvin, and their assistants. It has been estimated that the efforts put forth by the Sanitary, Christian and Allotment commissions fully doubled the efficiency of the Union Army. It is believed enough facts have been set forth in the foregoing brief history of New York in the War of the Rebellion to substantiate the statement made earlier in this history, that the Empire State performed her full duty in the work of suppressing the greatest rebellion in the history of mankind.