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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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.



[Anniversary and annual reunion of the 108th regiment New York Volunteers], 1890-1940.
Description:    2 volumes : illustrations ; 31 cm
Abstract:    Scrapbooks containing minutes and newspaper clippings of the reunions of the 108th regiment New York Volunteers.
Located at the Rochester Public Library.

Badger, Alfred Mason. Papers of Alfred Mason Badger,1832-1863
Diary (1832-1836) documenting Badger's merchant and building contracting businesses in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and Boston, Mass., and reflecting the growth of the nation's capital (1832-1833); letters from Badger to his family while on a trip in New England (1868); his obituary (1868); genealogies of the Badger family (1635-circa 1949), of the Beck family (1743-circa 1860), and of the Hamden family (1666-circa 1909); and a scrapbook of poems. Also includes Civil War letters from Badger's son, Frank Appleton Badger, 140th New York Volunteers, and from his nephew, Hamlet F. Richardson, 108th New York Volunteers, and photographs of the two soldiers. 
50 items. 1 container. 
Located at the Library of Congress, http://lccn.loc.gov/mm79011528
Rochester Public Library also has ledger books of Mason.

Burleigh, Hattie. The Hattie Burleigh papers, 1862-1865
Contains the following type of materials: correspondence. Contains information pertaining to the following war and time period: Civil War -- Eastern Theater, Civil War -- Western Theater. Contains information pertaining to the following military units and organizations: 108th New York Infantry Regiment; 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, II Corps; 57th New York Infantry Regiment; Quartermaster, 1st United States Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment; 22nd United States (U.S.) Colored Infantry Regiment. General description of the collection: The Hattie Burleigh papers include a collection of letters sent to civilian Hattie Burleigh in Laconia and East Sanbornton, New Hampshire. Letters describe Petersburg; Grand Review in Washington, D.C. (1865); Lee's surrender; Lincoln's assassination; and personal letters to and from members of Burleigh family in Boston and New Hampshire. Correspondents are Army officers. Letters with Hattie are affectionate. 1 box. 
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Byrd, Kenneth. "Pvt. Russell S. Disbrow." 1999
Available online at: http://11arkansas.com/yank/russell_disbrow.htm

Crooks, Terence G.  Rochester's forgotten regiment. 2001. 327 leaves ; 29 cm.

Crooks, Terence G. "Rochester's Forgotten Regiment: The 108th New York at Gettysburg" Gettysburg Magazine, 42, pp.96-110.

Crooks, Terence G. "Where Honor Lies: An Incident at Taneytown" Gettysburg Magazine 53 (July 2015).

Fellows family. Fellows family papers, 1, 1777-1938.
Description:    2 boxes
Abstract:    Letters to Juliett Woodworth (Mrs. Henry Fellows, in 1865) of Penfield, from various members of the Woodworth and Mead families, particularly from Mayfield, Fulton Co., N.Y. and from Michigan. Letters written during the Civil War from William N. Woodworth of the 140th New York Volunteers and Silas W. Allen of the 4th Michigan Battery. Letters from James Moore of the 108th New York Volunteers to John Fellows, Penfield, concerning the Civil War and various personal financial matters. Letters to Henry Fellows (Jr.) concerning financial matters.
Located at the University of Rochester.

Hallock, Bessie A. Rush in the Early Wars. [S.l. : s.n.], 1962.
Contains the journal of Morris Darrohn of the 108th NY.
Thank you to Terry Crooks for pointing out this resource.

Howard, William F. "The 108th New York Infantry and Its Guidon." Military Collector & Historian. 36 (Spring 1984) 10-12.

Kowalis, Jeffrey J. and Loree L. Kowalis. Died at Gettysburg! : "no prouder epitaph need any man covet" : illustrated biographies of the Union casualties at Gettysburg. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1998.

Marcotte, Bob. "For 108th New York Men, the effects of a single artillery shell epitomized Frederickburg's horror." America's Civil War. V15 N5 (November, 2002) p. 20.

Marcotte, Bob. "The Civil War battles of Lt. Col. Francis Edwin Pierce, 108th New York Volunteer Infantry." Rochester History 65:2 (Spring 2003) 1-28, ill.

Marcotte, Bob.. Perinton and the 108th N.Y. infantry. [Place of publication not identified] : [The Author], 2001.

McKelvey, Blake. Rochester in the civil war. Rochester, N.Y.: The Society, 1944. 

Murray, R.L. Before Their Appointed Time: The History of the 108th New York Volunteers at Antietam. Wolcott, NY: Benedum Books, 2001.

Newton, Arthur G. Parma NY Resident Arthur G. Newton Civil War Letters. [S.l. : Donald A. Stilson, 2009.
Thank you to Terry Crooks for pointing out this resource.

Nightingale, Henry. The Henry O. Nightingale Diaries.
Originals located: MSS 002, Special Collections, University of California, Merced Library.

Odell, Simeon Kenny, et al. Simeon Kenny Odell and John Odell letters, 1858-1868.
Description:    14 letters
Abstract:    Letters to and from brothers Simeon Kenny Odell and John Odell and their family members and friends; many date from their time serving in the Union Army. Topics include farming; the possibility of a war with England in 1861; the burning of Charleston on Dec. 11, 1861; life in camp; illness and medical issues.
Located at the New York Historical Society.

Palmer, Oliver Hazard and Peter L. Garrett, . The Civil War diary of Oliver Hazard Palmer. Santa Monica, CA : Peter Legh Garrett, 1997. 104 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

Palmer, Oliver Hazard. Oliver H. Palmer Papers, 1862,
Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas.

Pellett, John. The John Pellett papers, 1862-1900
Contains the following types of materials: correspondence, discharge, postcards, pension documents. Contains information pertaining to the following war: Civil War -- Eastern Theater. Contains information pertaining to the following military unit: Company A, 108th New York Infantry Regiment. General description of the collection: The John Pellett papers include enlisted man's letters to family; forced march under Burnside's command to Fredericksburg, November 1862; Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) postcards; property deed, Nebraska, February 1875. 1 box. 
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Pierce, Francis Edwin. "Civil war letters of Francis Edwin Pierce of the 108TH New York volunteer infantry." Rochester historical society publications XXII (1944) 150-73.

Pierce, Francis E. "I have with the reg't been through a terrible battle." Civil War times. 51:6 (Dec. 2012), p. 56-61.

Porter, Samuel. Porter Family Papers.
"The Porter's older son, Samuel (1843-1881) was eighteen years old at the outbreak of the Civil War. Leaving the University of Rochester, which he had entered in 1859, he joined the army on August 9, 1862 with the rank of Second Lieutenant of Company F, 108th Regiment of New York State Volunteers and emerged from the war with the rank of Brevet Major. He was wounded at the Battle of Antietam, at Gettysburg and at Bristoe Station, and a fourth time during the Battle of the Wilderness. The bulk of his letters to the various members of his immediate family have been kept as a unit in the collection and are of particular interest and value, giving, as the do an almost daily account of the movements of the Company with which Porter was associated, and the conditions under which his men lived and fought, and first hand observations on the war. As such they form a coherent and fairly complete story of one man's experiences in the Civil War. "
Collection located at the University of Rochester.

Primer, Sylvester. Sylvester Primer Family Papers, 1866-1959.
Description:    14 ft.
Abstract:    Correspondence, diaries, financial records, literary productions, account books, diplomas, photographs, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia comprise the Sylvester Primer Family Papers, and relate to the Primer family's personal and business affairs during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Located at the University of Texas at Austin.

Puffer family. Puffer-Markham family papers, 1794-1910.
Description:    2.5 linear feet.
Abstract:    The Puffer-Markham family papers (1,875 items) are comprised of business letters, personal letters, legal documents, and financial records related to an extended family with business and agricultural interests in Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, and South Carolina. Also present are letters from five Civil War soldiers, containing descriptions of their wartime experiences.
Located at the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.

Schlosser, Mickey et al. Writing home : Civil War letters from the Hinchey Family Archives. Gates, NY: Gates Historical Society, December 2013.

[Donald Scott collection, 1827-1869].
Description:    2 folders.
Abstract:    Photocopied Bible records of the Davis, Lewis, and Toles families, no location given. Photocopies of Civil War letters by L. J. Davis, New York 108th Regiment and a Davis family record book with births, deaths, and marriages.
Located at Western Michigan University.

Seiser, Charles E. "August Seiser's Civil War Diary." Rochester historical society publications. XXII 1944. 175-198.

Skinner, Gordon. Wounded at Gettysburg. AuthorHouse, 2007.

Stockton, Mark L. Samuel B.: the life and adventures of Samuel B. Delano (1845-1917). United States: M.L. Stockton, 2003. iv, 73 p. : port. ; 22 cm.

Suss, Christian. "Civil War Papers of Christian Suss."
Donated and transcribed by Jim Suss.

United States. Army. New York Volunteers, 108th Regiment. New York Volunteers, 108th Regiment. 1863-1864
Quarterly ordnance and ordnance stores returns, invoices, muster rolls, and miscellany of Company A, Volunteer Infantry, of which Dwight H. Ostrander was lieutenant and later captain; also, a muster roll and clothing receipt for Company B. .4 cubic ft.
Located at Cornell University.

Wafer, Francis M. and Cheryl A. Wells. A surgeon in the Army of the Potomac. Montréal ; Ithaca : McGill-Queen's University Press,2008. xliv, 225 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.

Washburn, George H. A complete military history and record of the 108th regiment N.Y. vols., from 1862 to 1894, together with roster, letters, Rebel oaths of allegiance, Rebel passes, reminiscences, life sketches, photographs, etc. Rochester: [Press of E. R. Andrews], 1894.


Unit bibliography from the Army Heritage Center

Items in the museum collection are in bold.