108th Infantry Regiment
Nickname: Rochester Regiment
Mustered in: August 18, 1862
Mustered out: May 28, 1865
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
Mr. John W. Williams was authorized July 10, 1862, as Colonel, to recruit this regiment in Monroe county; Col. Oliver H. Palmer succeeded him July 28, 1862; the regiment was recruited and organized at Rochester, where it was mustered in the service of the United States for three years August 16-18, 1862. The men not to be discharged with the regiment were, in May, 1865, transferred to the 59th Infantry.
The regiment left the State August 19, 1862; served in Whipple's Division, Defenses of Washington, D. C, from August, 1862; in 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from September 6, 1862; in the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, from March, 1864; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. Charles J. Powers, May 28, 1865, at Bailey's Cross Roads, Va.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 7 officers, 64 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 42 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 90 enlisted men; total, 9 officers, 196 enlisted men; aggregate, 205; of whom 18 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 Eighth Infantry.—Cols., Oliver H. Palmer, Charles J. Powers; Lieut.-Cols., Charles J. Powers, Francis E. Pierce; Majs., George B. Force, Francis E. Pierce, Harmon S. Hogaboom, William H. Andrews. The 108th regiment was recruited and organized at Rochester, where it was mustered into the U. S. service for three years, Aug. 16-18, 1862. It left the state the following day, and served in the defenses of Washington, until Sept. 6, when it was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 3d division (French's), 2nd corps, and engaged in its first battle at Antietam. The new regiment suffered a loss in the battle of 30 killed, 122 wounded and 43 missing. Its next battle was at Fredericksburg, where Gen. Couch commanded the corps, and the regiment again suffered severely, losing 92 in killed, wounded and missing. Its loss at Chancellorsville was 52, Gen. Hancock being in command of the corps and Gen. Alex. Hays the division. At Gettysburg, where the regiment again met with a severe loss on the second and third days, its casualties amounted to 102 killed and wounded. In October it was engaged with some loss at Auburn and Bristoe Station, a 2nd corps affair; was active during the Mine Run campaign at the close of the year, and at the battle of Morton's ford in Feb., 1864. On the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac in March, 1864, the 3d division was consolidated with the 1st and and, the 108th being assigned to the 3d brigade, 2nd division, 2nd corps, with which it crossed the Rapidan and engaged in the Wilderness campaign. It lost 52 at the battle of the Wilderness, 53 at Spottsylvania, suffered constant losses in the subsequent battles leading up to Petersburg, and in the battles at the Weldon railroad, Deep Bottom, Strawberry Plains, Reams' station, Boyd-ton plank road, Hatcher's run, the final assault on Petersburg, and fought its last battle at Farmville, two days before Lee's surrender. It was mustered out under Col. Powers, May 28, 1865, at Bailey's cross-roads, Va., and the men not then entitled to discharge were transferred to the 59th N. Y. Maj. Force was killed at Antietam, and both Col. Palmer and Col. Powers were promot-ted to the rank of brevet brigadier-general for faithful and meritorious services. The regiment lost during service 9 officers and 106 men killed and mortally wounded; 90 men died of disease and other causes, a total of 205. Among the many brilliant achievements of the regiment, it is related that in the fight at Morton's ford the 108th advanced rapidly and without firing a shot to a stone wall occupied by the enemy, when they delivered a volley and with shouts leaped over the wall and were soon in possession of an important position which virtually decided the contest.
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