104th Infantry Regiment

Nickname: Wadsworth Guards; Livingston County Regiment

Mustered in: September 1861 to March 1862
Mustered out: July 17, 1865.

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

This regiment, Col. John Rorbach, was organized at Albany, March 4, 1862, by the consolidation of the Morgan Guards, Col. John J. Viele, with the Geneseo Regiment, Wadsworth Guards, Colonel Rorbach; the ten companies of the latter forming seven, and the five companies of the former, three, H, I and K, of the new organization. The regiment was mustered in the service of the United States for three years between September, 1861, and March, 1862. At the expiration of its term of enlistment, the men entitled thereto were discharged and the regiment retained in service.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Nunda; B at Springwater; C at Centreville, Eagle and Pike; D at Geneseo; E at Groveland, Cohocton and Burns; F at Rochester; G at Fowlerville, Alabama and Gainesville; H and I at Troy; and K at Troy and Cohoes.
The regiment left the State March 22, 1862; served in General Wads worth's command, Military District of Washington, from March, 1862; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, Department Rappahannock, from May, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 3d Corps, Army of Virginia, from June 26, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac, from September 12, 1862; in same brigade and division, 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from April, 1864; in 3d Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Corps, from May 9, 1864; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 5th Corps, from May 30, 1864; in 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 5th Corps, from June 6, 1864; as Provost Guard, 5th Corps, from August, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 5th Corps, from May, 1865; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. John R. Strang, July 17, 1865, near Washington, D. C.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 2 officers, 51 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 3 officers, 34 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 2 officers, 145 enlisted men; total, 7 officers, 230 enlisted men; aggregate, 237; of whom 1 officer and 61 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

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. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II. 

One Hundred and Fourth Infantry.—Cols.-, John Rohrbach, Lewis C. Skinner, Gilbert G. Prey, John R. Strang; Lieut.-Cols., R. Wells Kenyon, Lewis C. Skinner, Gilbert G. Prey, Henry G. Tuthill, John R. Strang, H. A. Wiley; Majs., Lewis C. Skinner, Gilbert G. Prey, John R. Strang, Henry V. Colt, Henry A. Wiley, William C. Wilson. This regiment, known as the Wadsworth Guards, or the Livingston county regiment, was recruited in the counties of Albany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Rensselaer and Steuben. It was organized at Albany by the consolidation of the Morgan Guards, under Col. John J. Viele, with the Genesee regiment under Col. Rohrbach, and was mustered into the U. S. service from September, 1861, to March, 1862, for three years. On the expiration of its term of service a sufficient number reenlisted to enable it to continue in service as a veteran organization. The regiment left the state on March 22, 1862, and served for some weeks in Gen. Wadsworth's command in the District of Washington. As a part of the 3d corps, it was in action for the first time at Cedar mountain, but about a week later it was assigned to the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 1st corps, and moved on Pope's Virginia campaign, being engaged at Rappahannock Station, Thoroughfare gap, Bull Run, and Little River turnpike, with a loss during the campaign of 89 killed, wounded and missing. Lieut. John P. Rudd, who fell at Bull Run, was the first man of the regiment to be killed. In September the 104th moved on the Maryland campaign under Gen. McClellan; fought at South mountain, and lost 82 in killed, wounded and missing at Antietam, where the 1st corps, under Gen. Hooker, opened the battle. At Fredericksburg it lost 52 killed, wounded and missing; was in reserve at Chancellorsville; was heavily engaged at Gettysburg, where it lost 194 in killed, wounded and missing; engaged without loss in the Mine Run campaign, the last campaign of the old 1st corps. In March, 1864, it was assigned to the 5th corps, with which it continued during the remainder of the war. It took part in all the bloody battles of the Wilderness cam-paign, losing heavily at Spottsylvania, the first assaults on Petersburg, and at the Weldon railroad. After Aug., 1864, it performed provost guard duty with its corps, and served with slight loss through the final battles of the war, ending with Lee's surrender at Appo-mattox. It was mustered out under Col. Strang, at Washington, D. G., July 17, 1865, having lost during its term of service 5 officers and 85 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded; 2 officers and 145 enlisted men by disease and other causes, a total of 237.


104th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Regimental Color | Civil War

General James S. Wadsworth presented this “Tiffany Co.” marked silk regimental to the 104th Regiment in the spring of 1862. The flag features the…

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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@army.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.

"A well-kept secret comes home." New York State and the Civil War. 2 :5 November, 1962.

Abbe, Walter et al. Civil War collection, 1861-1889.
Description:    .5 linear ft. (1 box) approximately 150 items
Abstract:    Artificial collection consisting of letters from soldiers to their families, muster and bounty receipts, and commemorative items relating to the activities of and reactions to the Civil War. The most complete series of letters are from William W. Disoway of New York (killed in battle, 13 Oct. 1863). In addition to letters to his family, Disoway's papers include a letter sent by his captain to his parents notifying them of his death; a resolution on his service from officers of his regiment; and letters of condolence to his family. Several of the items are accompanied by wrappers with notes presumably written by his mother, mourning the loss of her son. There are also pen and ink drawings of scenes from the war, including "William's tent," and copies of a carte de visite Disoway had made before his death. He also served as a judge advocate, as evidenced by copies of court-martial proceedings. Other letter-writing soldiers including Walter Abbe of the 37th Regiment, New York Militia; Sergeant George Hale of Westport, Cpl. Allen Smith of Ridgefield, who served in the 17th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers; and Capt. George Starr of the 104th Regiment, New York Volunteers. Includes a discharge certificate (1863) of M.V.B. Dunham (later doctor of Greenfield Hill) from the 43rd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers; two passes issued to Frederick Sturges (1861); and assorted correspondence and legal documents, including a parole, a discharge, and pension records, together with photocopies of letters written by George E. Northrop to his parents in Southport, Conn. (1861-1863). Fairfield Town records relating to the Civil War include correspondence to and from town selectmen, pay vouchers, draft notices, the appointment of an extra postmaster, muster receipts, and bounty receipts (1862-1864). Also contains reunion programs and songs honoring the 17th Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers, and a handwritten copy of John H. Glover's speech at the Fairfield reunion (1883). Commemorative and published items not associated with a specific person include commemorative envelopes; a copy of the Mobile Evening News from Mobile, Ala. (1862), and the New York Herald issue announcing President Lincoln's assassination (1865); printed documents related to the draft; and rules for the G.A.R. Also contains a list of corps, evidently part of the Corps of Engineers, with hand-drawn and hand-colored symbols for the three divisions within each corps; the artist is anonymous. Oversized items stored in the flat files include a soldiers memorial, 1st Regiment Connecticut Cavalry (1864); a muster list of the 2nd Connecticut Light Battery (1862); and an illustrated certificate of George C. Short's activities in the U.S. Navy. Other persons represented include G.W. Abbe; Andrew Crissey (d. 1863); Ludwig Jeckel; John Kennedy; Charles H. Willson; Francis D. Perry; Ruth D. Root and the Smith family (the last three mentioned have correspondence in the collection).
Held by the Library of Congress.

"Another Hero Gone to His Rest" (Obituary for 1st Lieut. Andrew Andrews of Pike, Wyoming Co., NY). Wyoming Mirror, February 25, 1863.

Barber, Charles, 1826-1898. The Civil War letters of Charles Barber, private, 104th New York Volunteer Infantry. Torrance, CA: G.E. Swinson, 1991.

Besancon, Henry.  Diary, 1862-1864
Diary of Besancon's experiences during the Civil War while his unit was stationed in Virginia. He served as fifer and as a nurse in divisional hospitals. Also includes a list of expenditures giving wartime prices. 3 v.
Located at Duke University.

Blakeman, A. N. (ed.)  Personal recollections of the war of the rebellion : addresses delivered before the Commandery of the State of New York, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States: second series. Wilmington, N.C. Broadfoot Pub. Co. 1897, 1992.

Casey, Patrick. Diary, 1863-1864
Information on camp life, prison, and family. Transcription only. 10p. 
New York State Military Museum, Verticle  File.

Casey, Patrick. The Patrick Casey collection, 1862-1865.
Description:    3 items ( 700 cubic in.)
Abstract:    Collection consists of two diaries and one autobiographical narrative. The first diary covers the period from January 19, 1863 to December 17, 1863. The second diary covers the period from May 14, 1864 to March 18, 1865. The autobiographical narrative is the beginning of an autobiography titled "The travels of a soldier in the 104th Regt. N.Y.V. since the date of enlistment in Whitehall, Washington Co. to date". The narrative begins with Casey's enlistment on January 26, 1862, and ends on September 15, 1862.
Held by SUNY Binghamton.

Collins, Frank and Grace Collins. Frank Collins correspondence, 1842-1869 (bulk 1861-1865).
Description:    1 folder
Abstract:    Grace Collins Horack of Iowa City donated approximately 60 original letters written by Frank Collins and the family between 1842 and 1869. Frank Collins was the brother of Grace's father Henry. The earliest letters were written by Collins to his father or his brother, William. The oldest letter in the collection, however, was written by May Collins, a sister, to her brother, William, during a time that William was a student at Yale College. Most of these early letters were written by Frank to William in the 1850s, a time when Frank was a student at Union College in Schenectady, New York. The majority of this collection are Civil War letters (38); written from 1861 to 1865, when Collins served in the Union Army. There are five letters from 1861, fourteen from 1862, eight from 1863, ten from 1864, and one from 1865. The letters are generally in good condition, but they vary in legibility and the quality of the content. Collins devotes a good part of his content to stories about camp life and his efforts to gain promotions in rank. As with many soldiers, he also writes about the weather, the tedium of camp life, medical challenges, and the comings and goings of general officers. On occasion, he does discuss battles and skirmishes. His letters of May 12 and January 31, 1863 are of note.
Held by the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City

Curtis, David E.  Diary, 1864
Diary covers February 1-October 12, 1864. Recounts author's experience in camp, battle, and hospital. 1 item. 
Located at Auburn University.

Hough, Franklin Benjamin. History of Duryee's brigade, during the campaign in Virginia under Gen. Pope, and in Maryland under Gen. McClellan, and the summer and autumn of 1862Albany: J. Munsell, 1864.

Lamson, Albert T. Papers, 1916
Civil War service certificate for Lamson, a New York native, who served with the 104th New York Infantry. The certificate provides a regimental history of the 104th New York Infantry as well as information about Lamson. It includes information about his capture at the Battle of Gettysburg, internment at Libby Prison and in South Carolina, and escape from prison. There is also brief biographical and genealogical information and in the collection is a letter from A.H. Church about an open house. The collection includes a "Personal Military and Civil History" book which was intended to be completed by Civil War veterans with service information. Lamson's is blank. 
Papers 0.1 linear ft. (1 folder and 1 oversized folder). 
Located at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center.

Mahood, Wayne. "The Wadsworth Guards." : Part 1: The Salad Days; Part 2: "Where Lee Goes, There You Will Be Also"." Livingston County Historical Review. New York: 1 :1 and 2 2013. 3-7 and 9-15.

McCarty, Dennis J. Dennis J. McCarty papers, 1857-1887
Contains the following type of materials: correspondence / letters. Contains information pertaining to the following war and time periods: 1848-1860; Civil War -- Eastern; 1865-1897. Contains information pertaining to the following military unit: 104th New York Infantry Regiment. General description of the collection: The Dennis J. McCarthy papers consist of the non-commissioned officer's (NCO's) correspondence with his sister during the Civil War, 1862-1865. He wrote most of the letters while campaigning in the field, as a prisoner of war (POW) following the Gettysburg battle, and during the Battle of Globe Tavern. 
1 box. 
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

McMahon, John T. John T. McMahon's diary of the 136th New York, 1861-1864. Shippensburg, PA, USA: White Mane Pub. Co, c1993.

Miller, Joseph.  Wadsworth Guards : Company G, 104th Reg't, N.Y.V. Inft'y. Illinois: Joseph Miller, 1863. 
Roster of members of Company G of the Wadsworth Guards, with ports. and ill. of battle and other scenes. 
1 poster : paper engraving, hand-colored ; 62 x 49 cm., in metal frame with attached stand or hangar. 
Located at SUNY College at Geneseo.

Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg, Chattanooga and Antietam . . . . Report of the New York Monuments commission on the dedication of monument to the One hundred and fourth New York volunteer regiment (Wadsworth guards), Antietam, Md., September 27, 1917. Albany: J. B. Lyons co., printers, 1918.

Murray, R.L. New Yorkers in the Civil War. Wolcott, N.Y. Benedum Books, v. 3 c2004.

New York (State). Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg, Chattanooga and Antietam. Itinerary of official party at dedication of statues to Gen. Abner Doubleday and Gen. John C. Robinson, at Gettysburg,
and memorial to 104th N.Y. Regiment at Antietam, September 24, 25, 26 and 27, 1917
Description:    6 unnumbered leaves. 28 cm
Held by the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Prey, G. G.  Recollections of 3 rebel prisons : Libby, Salisbury, Danville. Geneseo, NY : Published at Milne Library, SUNY College at Geneseo,  2012, 1896.

Ray, Lyman B.  Lyman B. Ray letter to his friend, Pickie, 1862 October 20.
1 item (1 leaf); 25 x 40 cm. folded to 25 x 20 cm.
Abstract:    Holograph Civil War era letter written by Lyman B. Ray, a Union soldier in the 104th Regiment, New York Infantry, from the Sixth and Master Street hospital in Philadelphia. Ray describes how he came to the hospital, his recuperation, and his impending discharge.
Held by the Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Roster of officers and actions in which they engaged.
A roster of all the officers listed by rank. It includes rank, dates of muster, cause of discharge, actions in which engaged, and remarks. 
9 32 x 39 cm pages, hand-written.
New York State Military Museum, Verticle  File.

Satterlee, George. Letter, 4 June 1862.
6 pages.
Letter, 4 June 1862, from George Satterlee (ca. 1842-1865), 104th New York Infantry, at Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, to his sister. He writes about battle skirmishes and getting separated from his unit, scout duty, and notes that the rest of his regiment is in Manassas. He also inquires about other members of their family.
Accession 40572. Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.

Sheads, J. James. Sheads family papers, 1863-1872.
Description:    8 items.
Abstract:    Correspondence, diary, certificates, reports, and other papers relating to the Sheads family of Pennsylvania and their role the Civil War. Includes diary (1864 February 10-June 25) of J. James Sheads relating to his service with the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry at the battle of Cold Harbor and siege of Petersburg, Va., and ALS (1863 July 7) written by Lt. Col. Henry G. Tuthill, 104th New York Infantry, on the aid and comfort given his troops by the Sheads family during the battle of Gettysburg.
Held by the Library of Congress.

Starr, George H. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. New York Commandery. "In and Out of Confederate Prisons." Personal recollections of the war of the rebellion : addresses delivered before the Commandery of the State of New York, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States: second series. Wilmington, N.C. Broadfoot Pub. Co. 1897, 1992. 64-103.

Swartz, John F. Personal Recollections of a Veteran : John F. Swartz, a member of the 104th N. V. Y., relates something of his life in Southern prisons during the War of the Rebellion.
Donated by Barbara Wilcox.

Soldiers memorial : Capt. Will. Trembley's Company E, 104th Reg't N.Y. Vol. Infantry. Washington, D.C. : Case, Walrad & Baker, 1863
Description:    1 broadside : illustrations ; 56 x 46 cm
Abstract:    Lists the men who served in the company and their fate as of 1863, and the individual battles the company fought.
Held by SUNY Geneseo

Wiederight,, John. [Letter from John Wiederight, Weaverville, Virginia, to Susan Sylor]. 1862
Description:    1 item (4 pages on 1 sheet) ; sheet 22 x 14 cm.
In:    Liljenquist Family collection (Library of Congress) (DLC) 2010650519
Abstract:    Handwritten letter from Union soldier John Wiederight of Company F, 104th New York Infantry Regiment, to Susan Sylor noting his good health and how he expects to enter into battle before he sees her again.

Wiley, H. A. Letters, 1862-1863.
20 pages.
Letters, 1862-1863, from Captain H. A. Wiley (b. ca. 1836) of Company B, 104th New York Infantry, to his father and brother in Livingston County, New York, discussing military life, desertion and corruption, campaigning, civilians, and generals of the Union army. Wiley comments on campaigning in the Shenandoah Valley, General George McClellan and the Peninsular Campaign, intrigue among generals, Wiley's dislike of Generals Irvin McDowell and Abram Duryea, and the arrest of Ohio politician Clement Vallandigham by General Ambrose Burnside, as well as comments on the war effort.
Accession 45422. Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.

Willard, Kenneth, R. "Choosing a site for training camp creates a hassle." New York State and the Civil War. 2 :5 November, 1962. 1-6.

Wood, Ephraim A. Journal of Private Wood, 1862 June 29-September 13.
Description:    1 v
Abstract:    Wood's journal describes life in camp and on the march including weather, meals, drills, entertainment, work unloading trains and loading teams, being crippled by rheumatism, and war rumors. He gives excellent, detailed descriptions of his participation in the battles of Cedar Mountain and Second Bull Run, and the march to Antietam, including a truce to bury the dead after Cedar Mountain during which Generals Hartsuff and Stuart "spent two hours together under a shady tree talking of old times." Other topics include a sermon preached on Mark Tapley of "Martin Chuzzlewit," repairing clocks, a speech by General Banks, the local civilians near camp and on the line of march, particularly around Warrenton, Va., depredations by the 104th New York, employing African-Americans in camp, and a memorial service for Martin Van Buren Generals Carroll, Duryee´, Hartsuff, McDowell, Pope and Ricketts are briefly mentioned.
Held by the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.


Unit bibliography from the Army Heritage Center

Items in the museum collection are in bold.