70th Infantry Regiment
Nickname: First Regiment Excelsior Brigade; First Regiment Sickles' Brigade
Mustered in: June 20,1861
Mustered out: July 7, 1864
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
General Daniel E. Sickles, as temporary Colonel, recruited this regiment under special authority from the War Department; it was organized at Camp Scott, Staten Island, and there mustered in the United States service for three years June 20-22, 1861, except Company G, which was mustered in at Washington, D. C, October 8, 1861. Pursuant to the orders of the Secretary of War, dated December 5, 1861, it received, December 11, 1861, its State numerical designation. The three years' men of the 2d Infantry joined it May 19, 1863. The men not entitled to be mustered out with the regiment were, June 22, 1864, transferred to the 86th Infantry.
The companies were recruited principally: A in part, B, D and G in New York City; C at Paw Paw Mich.; E — Friend's Rifles —at Pittsburgh, Pa.; F at Port Jervis, Orange county; H at Boston, Mass.; A in part, and I at Paterson, N. J., and K at Newark, N. J.
The regiment, except Company G, left the State July 23, 1861; served at and near Washington, D. C, from July, 1861; in Sickles' Brigade, Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October 15, 1861; in same, 3d, Brigade, and 2d Division, 3d Corps, Army of the Potomac from March, 1862; in 2d Brigade, 4th Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from April, 1864; in 4th Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from May 13, 1864; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. J. Egbert Farnum, July 7, 1864, to date July 1, 1864, at New York City.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 9 officers, 137 enlisted men of wounds received in action, 1 officer, 35 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer 69 enlisted men; total, 11 officers, 241 enlisted men; aggregate, 252, of whom 9 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.
Seventieth Infantry.—Cols., Daniel E. Sickles, William Dwight, Jr., J. Egbert Farnum; Lieut.-Cols., William Dwight, Jr., J. Egbert Farnum, Thomas Holt, Daniel Mahan; Majs., J. Egbert Farnum, Thomas Holt, Daniel Mahan, William H. Hugo. The 70th, the 1st regiment of the Excelsior brigade, was composed of companies from New York city, Port Jervis, Paw Paw, Mich., Pittsburgh, Pa., Boston, Mass., Patterson and Newark, N. J., and was mustered into the U. S. service at Camp Scott, Staten island, June 20, 1861, for a three years' term. It left for Washington on July 23; was quartered in the city for a.short time and then assigned to Sickles' brigade, Hooker's division, on guard duty at the forts along the Maryland side of the Potomac. Co. G joined the regiment in October, being mustered in at Washington on Oct. 8. In the disposition of troops preparatory to the advance on the Peninsula. Sickles' brigade became the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 3d corps, and reached Yorktown in April. In the battle of Williamsburg, the first battle of consequence in which the 70th took part it met with the heaviest loss of its service. Out of 700 engaged the loss was 330 killed, wounded or missing. At Fair Oaks and in the Seven Days' battles the regiment was active and embarked at Yorktown, Aug. 20, for Alexandria, whence it moved at once to the support of Gen. Pope at Manassas. In a sharp encounter at Bristoe Station, the 70th lost 5 men and at the second Bull Run 23. The regiment returned to Washington and was stationed in that vicinity until November, when it moved to Falmouth. It was present at the battle of Fredericksburg, returning immediately afterward to its camp at Falmouth, which became its winter quarters. It was next in the field at Chancellorsyille, and at Gettysburg lost 113, killed or wounded, and 4 missing. In the southward movement, the brigade met the enemy in a brisk engagement at Wapping heights, fought at Kelly's ford, participated in the Mine Run campaign, and spent the winter at Brandy Station. In the reorganization of the corps, the regiment was assigned in April, 1864, to the 2nd brigade, 4th division, 2nd corps, and on May 13, to the 4th brigade, 3d division, 2nd corps. It shared in the memorable cam-paign under Gen. Grant until July I, 1864, when it was mustered out at the close of its term of service, the veterans and recruits being transferred to the 86th N. Y. infantry. Although not in service as long as the preceding New York regiments, the 70th won its right to be known as one of the "three hundred fighting regiments" by many an instance of gallantry and the loss of 182 by death from wounds out of a total enrollment of 1,226. It also lost 70 by death from disease, etc.