71st Regiment, New York National Guard

Nickname: American Guard

Mustered in: May 31, 1861
Mustered out: July 31, 1861
Mustered in: May 28, 1862
Mustered out: September 2, 1862
Left the State: June 17, 1863
Mustered out: July 22, 1863.

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
The. regiment, located in New York city and still in the service, was organized originally as a battalion of four companies, A, B, C and D in June, 1850; it was made a regiment August 2, 1852. The American Rifles, a battalion of four companies, formed the nucleus of the regiment. September 21, 1870, the 37th Regiment was consolidated with the 71st Regiment, Companies E, D, H, A, G, K and B of the 37th Regiment being consolidated with Companies A, C, D, E, F, G and K of the 71st Regiment, respectively. April 28, 1898, it received authority to organize as a twelve-company regiment, preparatory to its entry into the United States service, in which it was mustered May 10, 1898, as the 71st Regiment, N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, and mustered out November 15, 1898. December 8, 1898, it was reorganized as a National Guard regiment, composed of ten companies, Companies L and M being disbanded.
The regiment has received authority to place silver rings on the lances of its colors, engraved as follows:
On the National Color.— Alexander, Va., May 24, 1861; Aquia Creek, Va., May 31, 1861; Matthias Point, Va., June 27, 1861; Bull Run, Va., July 21, 1861; Tenallytown,D. C, 1862; Washington, D. C, 1862; Gettysburg Campaign, 1863; Kingston, Pa., June 26, 1863; near Harrisburg, Pa., June 29, 1863; Spanish-American war, 1898; Cuba, June, July and August, 1898; San Juan Hill, July i, 1898; siege of Santiago de Cuba, July 2 to 17, 1898.
On the State Color.— Dead Rabbit riot, 1857; Quarantine riots, 1858; Draft riots, 1863; Orange riots 1871; Railroad riots. 1877; Buffalo, 1892; Brooklyn, 1896.

Service in the War of the Rebellion

The regiment left the State (nine companies), under orders, April 21, 1861, en route for Washington, D. C., commanded by Col. A. S. Vosburg; was mustered in the United States service for three months, on the 3d of May; served at and near Washington and in the 2d Brigade, 2d Division, Army of North-Eastern Virginia; its Company I, armed with two howitzers, was originally Company L, 19th Militia, Parmenter's Riflemen. The regiment was mustered out under Col. H. P. Martin, July 31, 1861, at New York city.
May 28, 1862, the regiment (ten companies) was again mustered in the United States service for three months; it left the State the same day, commanded by Colonel Martin; it served in the defenses of Washington in Sturgis' Brigade and was mustered out in New York city, September 2, 1862.
On the return of the regiment from this last service a number of its members joined the 124th Volunteers, then being recruited and organized.
June 17, 1863, the regiment (ten companies), commanded by Col. Benjamin L. Trafford, left the State en route to Harrisburg, Pa., for a service of thirty days; it served with the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Department Susquehanna; and was mustered out of the United States service at New York city, July 22, 1863.
The regiment lost in its service in 1861, killed in action, ten enlisted men; died of wounds received in action, one officer, two enlisted men; died of disease, etc., one officer, four enlisted men; total, two officers, sixteen enlisted men; aggregate, eighteen; and it, or portions of it, took part in the occupation of Alexandria, Va., May 24, 1861; the attack on batteries, at Aquia Creek, Va., May 31, and June 1, 1861; the attack on Matthias Point on June 27, 1861; the battle of Bull Run, Va., July 21, 1861, where it suffered a loss of ten enlisted men killed, three officers and thirty-seven enlisted men wounded; one officer, eleven enlisted men captured; aggregate, sixty-two; a skirmish at Kingston, Pa., June 26, 1863, and at Oyster Point near Harrisburg, Pa., June 29, 1863, in which it had one enlisted man wounded.

The following is taken from Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics of the State of New York, Albany: [The Bureau], (C. Wendell), 1866.
The Seventy-first regiment, organized in the city of New York, is in the First brigade, First division, N. Y. S. Militia. It left the Station the 21st of April, 1861; strength 950 men.
The following were the field officers of the regiment:
Colonel—Abram S. Vosburgh, succeeded by Colonel Henry P. Martin.
Lieutenant-Colonel—Charles H. Smith.
Major—George A. Buckingham.
The Seventy-first went to Annapolis Junction, and thence to Washington, where they arrived on the 27th of April, and marched to the Navy Yard, where they were temporarily quartered upon a steamboat, and subsequently in barracks at the Navy Yard.
Colonel Vosburgh died at Washington, of pulmonary disease, on the 20th of May, and. his remains were sent home for burial. The command of the regiment then devolved upon Colonel Henry P. Martin.
" The regiment left the Navy Yard on the 16th of July, and marched up the avenue, over the Long Bridge, to their camping grounds, within five miles of Fairfax, where they bivouacked for the night in the open field, together with Colonel Burnside's brigade, consisting of the First and Second Rhode Island infantry, Second Rhode Island battery, and Second New Hampshire volun-teers." On the 17th proceeded on half a mile beyond Fairfax, and bivouacked on the old camp ground of the rebels. On the 18th the march was resumed and continued within a mile and a half of Centreville, where the regiment again bivouacked. They remained at this point until the morning of Sunday, the 21st, when at 2 A. M. the regiment marched for the battle-field, passing through Centreville just before sunrise. At the battle of Bull Run the Seventy-first served in the Second brigade (Burnside's) of the Second division (Hunter's). It was engaged in some severe fighting and behaved with gallantry.
Colonel Burnside speaks of the services of the Seventy-first in his regular report, and subsequently in his Supplementary report says: "I beg again to mention the bravery and steadiness, manifested by Col. Martin and his entire regiment (Seventy-first), both in the field and during the retreat." The loss of the regiment, including the killed, wounded and missing, amounted to 63.
The Seventy-first returned to New York on the 26th of July, and met with an enthusiastic reception.
In addition to the regiments heretofore enumerated, the Second, Ninth, Fourteenth and Seventy-ninth militia volunteered for the war, and were known respectively as the Eighty-second, Eighty-third, Eighty-fourth and Seventy-ninth New York Volunteers. An account of their services belongs properly to that of the State volunteer troops. The Second, Fourteenth, and Seventy-ninth participated in the battle of Bull Run. The Ninth at the time of the battle was at Harper's Ferry, under General Patterson. The Second fought in the Second brigade (Schenck's) of the First division (Tyler's.) Its loss, as reported a week after the battle, was 24 killed and 27 wounded. The Fourteenth was in the First brigade Second division. Its loss was 25 killed and 58 wounded, besides prisoners. The Seventy-ninth was in the Third brigade (Sherman's), First division. Its loss was 32 killed, 51 wounded and 115 missing. Among the killed was Colonel Cameron, the commanding officer.

NYSMM Online Resources

Muster Roll

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 Memorial of George Jones Bacon. New York: Baker & Godwin, printers, 1868.

Cook, Frederick N. Journal. [New York?] : s.n., 1861.

Demarest, Abraham G. Civil War papers, 1853-1893.
4 boxes, 6 v., and 1 folder.
Abstract: Letters (1862-1863) written to Eliza Demarest; letters (1862-1893) of the Demarest family; Civil War letters (1862-1865) received by Ellen Van Gieson from brothers Henry Clay and Augustus Van Gieson, including letters sent during service on U.S.S. Montgomery; letters (1853-1885) of the Van Gieson family; miscellaneous records (1857-1860) of 71st Regiment, New York State Militia; records (1862-1863) of 22nd Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers; and other papers. Places represented include Cresskill, Tenafly, and Paterson, N.J.
Located at Rutgers University Libraries (New Brunswick, N.J.).

Dustan, Charles William. Letters, 1861-1865.
Description: 40 items.
Abstract: Civil War letters from Dustan, a federal officer in the 71st New York Militia Regiment, the 53rd New York Regiment, and other units, to his mother and sister on Staten Island, N.Y., written from Virginia and Mississippi, 1861-1863, and from Memphis, Tenn., 1863-1865, where he was captain in the U.S. Army and brigadier general of enrolled militia. The letters discuss camp life, troop movements, morale and discipline problems, including a mutiny in the 53rd Regiment, conditions and events in Memphis, and family matters.
Located at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Ellis, John Stoneacre, Samuel C. Ellis and Augustus Van Horne Ellis. John, Samuel, and Augustus Ellis papers, 1842-1896.
Description: 7 v.
Abstract: Collection consists of journals, personal accounts, and scrapbooks (1842-1896) of the brothers John, Samuel, and Augustus Ellis. John's journals/account books (4 v.) cover the dates 1847-1848, 1875-1876, and 1892-1896. His early journal records amounts spent for clothing and entertainment, and brief entries recall his daily activities in New York City such as riding, boating, and Spanish lessons. Two volumes from 1875-1876 record in detail his trip to Europe where he traveled to Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and London. The final two volumes cover 1892-1896 and function as notebooks as well with brief entries of daily activities, mostly his summers spent in Maine; lists of letters written and books read; drafts of business memos; and accounts. Samuel's scrapbook (1861-188?) contains invitations, clippings, calling cards, albumen prints, two cartes-de-visite, and other memorabilia related to his life as an army officer in San Francisco in the 1860s and later when living in New York City in the 1880s. Items in this scrapbook have been pasted into a roster book of the Second Brigade, California. Augustus' scrapbook contains primarily clippings but also several drawings (1842-1861) pertaining to his career as a steamship captain, news of ship accidents, British boxing matches, and his participation in the Civil War with the 71st New York.
Located at The New-York Historical Society.

Francis, Augustus T and George E. Lowen. History of the 71st Regiment, N.G., N.Y., American Guard. New York: Veterans Association, 71st Regiment, N.G., N.Y., 1919.

Millard, H. "In memoriam" of A.S. Vosburgh, late Col. of the 71st Reg. N.Y.S.M. [Washington, D.C.,: 1861.
Description: Broadside. 21 x 13 cm.
Located at The New-York Historical Society.

Millard, H. and (Harrison) Polkinhorn. "Only 9 miles to the junction". [Washington, D.C.]: Printed and sold by H. Polkinhorn, 1861.
Note(s): Song in four stanzas on the march of the 71st Regiment New York Infantry from Annapolis to Annapolis Junction, April 25-26, 1861; first line: The troops of Rhode Island were posted along./ Printed area, including ornamental border, measures 21.2 x 10.5 cm.
Located at The New-York Historical Society.

Vosburgh, Abram S. "Head Quarters American Guard 71st Regiment Light Infantry New York State Troops: Washington Navy Yard, April 28th, 1861. General order no. 1." [Washington, D.C.] : Polkinhorn's Steam Printing Office, D Street bet. 6th & 7th Sts.,; United States; District of Columbia; Washington, Year: 1861.
Located at The New-York Historical Society.

Vosburgh, Abram S. "American Guard, 71st Regiment Light Infantry New-York State Militia: General order no. 7. Head-quarters, April 18th, 1861." New York, N.Y.: s.n. 1861.
Located at The New-York Historical Society.

New York (State). National Guard. Regiment, 71st. Report of the Seventy-First Regiment, National Guard, State of New York, of services rendered in the late war. New York: J.J. Little & Co., 1882.
Located at the New York Public Library.

New York Infantry. 71st Reg't. Grand dramatic entertainment and ball N.Y.: Scott, 1885.
Located at Princeton University.

Official souvenir celebration of the opening of the new armory, 71st Regiment, N.G., S.N.Y., April 20, 1894. [New York? : s.n.,] 1894.

Presentation of a flag to the 71st Reg., N.Y.S.M. [New York], 1862.

Sutliffe, Robert S. Historical sketch seventy-first infantry N.Y.N.G. [New York]: Worthy Printing Co., Inc., 1933.
Located at The New-York Historical Society.

Telfer, William D. A reminiscence of the first battle of Manassas a camp-fire story of the Seventy-First Regiment, N.G.S.N.Y. Brooklyn: W.D. Telfer, 1864.

Whittemore, Henry. History of the Seventy-first regiment N.G.S.N.Y., including the history of the Veteran association with biographical sketches of members.New York: W. McDonald & Co., 1886.


Items in the museum collection are in bold.