121st Infantry Regiment
Nickname: Otsego And Herkimer Regiment
Mustered in: August 13, 1862
Mustered out: June 25, 1865
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
Colonel Richard Franchot received authority, July 19, 1862, to recruit this regiment in the counties of Herkimer and Otsego. It was organized at Herkimer, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years August 13, 1862. The three years' men of the 18th Infantry were transferred to it May 10th, those of the 27th, 31st, 16th and 32d Infantry May 215, 26, 30 and 25, 1863, respectively. The men not to be discharged with the regiment were, June 25, 1865, transferred to the 65th Infantry.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Manheim, Little Falls, Salisbury and Danube; B at Winfield, Plainfield, Litchfield, German Flats, Columbia and Stark; C at Fairfield, Russia, Herkimer and Newport; D at Frankfort, Warren, Manheim, Schuyler, Columbia and Salisbury; E at Middlefield, Milford, Cherry Valley, Hartwick, Springfield, Otego and Roseboom; F at Edmeston, Exeter, Unadilla, Otego and Maryland; G at Cherry Valley, Roseboom, Decatur, Middlefield, Westford, Worcester and Herkimer; H at Little Falls, Richfield, Salisbury and Otego; I at Milford, Laurens, Morris, Worcester, Pittsfield, Hartwick and German Flats; and K at Laurens, New Lisbon, Oneonta, Burlington, Otego, Butternuts, Pittsfield and Plainfield.
The regiment left the State September 2, 1862; it served in the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 6th Corps, from September 9, 1862, and it was mustered out and honorably discharged, under Col. Egbert Olcott, June 25, 1865, at Hall's Hill, Va.; having, during its service, lost by death, killed in action, 10 officers, 171 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 5 officers, 42 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 4 officers, 114 enlisted men; total, 19 officers, 327 enlisted men; aggregate, 346; of whom 20 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 Twenty-first Infantry.—Cols., Richard Fran-chot, Emory Upton, Egbert Olcott; Lieut.-Cols., Charles H. Clark, Egbert Olcott, Henry M. Galpin, James W. Cronkhite, John S. Kidder; Majs., Egbert Olcott, Andrew E. Mather, Henry M. Gal-pin, James W. Cronkhite, John S. Kidder. This regiment, recruited in the counties of Otsego and Herkimer, rendezvoused at Her-kimer and was there mustered into the U. S. service for three years on Aug. 23, 1862, and in May, 1863, the three years men of the 18th, 27th, 31st, 16th and 32nd N. Y. infantry were transferred to it. The regiment left the state Sept. 2, 1862, and was immedj-ately assigned to the 2nd (Bartlett's) brigade, 1st (Brooks') division, 6th corps, with which command it continued during its entire term of service. It joined McClellan's army in Maryland and was present but not active at the battle of Crampton's gap. The 6th corps was only partially engaged at the battle of Fredericksburg, though the 121st lost a few killed and wounded by the artillery fire to which it was exposed. The regiment fought with great gallantry and was exposed to a deadly musketry fire at Salem Church, Va., where it lost 48 killed, 173 wounded and 55 missing, out of 453 officially reported as present. All except 23 of those reported missing were killed, and the loss was the greatest sustained by any regiment in the battle. Col. Franchot resigned in Sept., 1862, and under his successor Col. Upton, an unusually efficient officer, •the excellent material of the regiment was molded into a finely disciplined organization. Col. Upton was promoted to Bvt. brigadier-general in Oct., 1864, and achieved an enviable reputation in the war. The regiment was in reserve at Gettysburg and was not again engaged with loss until the 6th corps returned to Virginia, when it lost 25 killed and wounded- at the battle of Rappahannock Station in Nov., 1863. It was not heavily engaged during the Mine Run campaign, at the close of which it went into winter quarters at Brandy Station. In May, 1864, the regiment moved on the bloody campaign of Gen. Grant, crossing the Rapidan on the 5th, and plunging into the sanguinary struggle of the Wilderness, where it lost 73 in killed, wounded and missing. In the battle of Spottsylvania Col. Upton commanded and led in person an assaulting column of twelve picked regiments belonging to the 6th corps, the 121st being placed in the advance, an honor which cost it dear. The losses of the regiment at Spottsylvania amounted to 19 Killed, 106 wounded. In the magnificent charge of Upton's storming party, the strong works of the enemy were carried after a hand-to-hand struggle. Said Gen. Upton in a private letter: Bayonet wounds and sabre cuts are very rare. But at Spottsylvania there were plenty of bayonet wounds, and no picture could give too exalted an idea of the gallantry of the 121st N. Y., 5th Me., and 96th Pa., as they led the assaulting column of twelve picked regiments over the formidable intrenchments which con-'rpnted them." The regiment was successively engaged at North Anna, Totopotomy, Cold Harbor, the first assaults on Petersburg, and the Weldon railroad. When Early menaced Washington in July, the veterans of the 6th corps were ordered there to confront him, and the 121st was engaged at Fort Stevens with a loss of 26 in killed, wounded and missing. It followed with the corps in pursuit of Early through Maryland, into Virginia, and up the Shenan-loah Valley, fighting at Charlestown, the Opequan, Fisher's hill, and Cedar creek, its loss in the last named battle amounting to 10 killed, 42 wounded and 5 missing. The 1st division was command-:d by Gen. Wright at the Wilderness; by Gen. Russell at the Ope-juan; and by Gen. Wheaton at Cedar creek. In Dec., 1864, the regiment returned to the Petersburg trenches and established win-:er quarters near the Weldon railroad. It took a prominent part in the final assault on the fortifications of Petersburg, April 2, 1865, and in the hot pursuit of Lee's army, during which it lost 34 killed and wounded, and fought its last battle at Sailor's creek. The egiment captured 4 flags at Rappahannock Station and 2 at Sail-or's creek. It was mustered out at Hall's hill, Va., under Col. Ol-cott, June 25, 1865. It took part in 25 great battles, and gloriously earned its title as an efficient and dashing fighting regiment. Its total enrollment during service was 1,897, of whom 14 officers and 212 enlisted men were killed and mortally wounded; 4 officers and 17 enlisted men, died of disease and other causes. Its total of 126 killed is 11.9 per cent. of its membership, and its total of 839 killed and wounded was one of the largest sustained by any regiment.
121st Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | National Color | Civil War
Approximately 85% of this national color carried by the 121st Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry is missing. Portions of two battle honors, Salem Church…
121st Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Guidons | Civil War
The NYS Battle Flag Collection includes two guidons carried by the 121st Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry. Each silk swallowtail guidon conforms…
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