128th Infantry Regiment

Nickname: National Volunteers; Monitors

Mustered in: September 4, 1862
Mustered out: July 12, 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 David S. Cowles received authority, July 19, 1862, to raise this regiment in the counties of Columbia and Dutchess; it was organized at Hudson and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years September 4, 1862.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Hudson, Ghent, Chatham, Austerlitz, New Lebanon, Canaan, Germantown and Claverack; B at Washington, Amenia, Dover, Pawling, North East, Stanford and Pine Plains; C at Rhinebeck, Milan, Red Hook, Clinton, Stanford and Hyde Park; D at Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, Beekman, Fishkill, Pine Plains, Pleasant Valley, Clinton, Livingston, Greenport and LaGrange; E at Kinder-hook, Chatham, Valatie, Hillsdale and Austerlitz; F at Fishkill, Pawling, Pine Plains, North East, Washington, Amenia and Hudson; G at Stuyvesant, Hudson, Ancram, Cler-mont, Taghkanick, Gallatin, Claverack, New Lebanon, Stockport, Ghent and Hillsdale; H at Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park and Beekman; I at Poughkeepsie; and K at Chatham, Hudson, Claverack, Greenport, Hyde Park, Clinton, Germantown, Red Hook and Copake.
The regiment left the State September 5, 1862; it served in the Middle Department, 8th Corps, at and near Baltimore, Md., from September, 1862; at New Orleans, La., from December, 1862; in the 1st Brigade, Sherman's Division, Department of the Gulf, from January, 1863; in 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Corps, from March, 1863; in the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 19th Corps, from June, 1863; in 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Corps, from July, 1863; in 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Corps, from November, 1863; in 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 19th Corps, from February, 1864; in 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 10th Corps, from April 2, 1865; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Capt. Thomas N. Davis, July 12, 1865, at Savannah, Ga.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 2 officers, 41 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 20 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 3 officers, 203 enlisted men; total, 5 officers, 264 enlisted men; aggregate, 269; of whom 41 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-eighth Infantry.—Cols., David S. Cowles, James Smith, James P. Foster; Lieut-Cols., James Smith, James P. Foster, Francis S. Keese; Majs., James P. Foster, Edward Gifford, Francis S. Keese, George M. Van Slyck, Robert F. Wilkinson. This regiment, recruited in the counties of Columbia and Dutchess, rendezvoused at Hudson, and was there mustered into the U. S. service for three years, Sept. 4, 1862. The following day it left for Baltimore, whence it sailed for New Orleans a few weeks later. In Jan., 1863, it was assigned to Sherman's division, 19th corps, and was complimented by Gen. Sherman for the success of its first achievement—the capture of a large quantity of property at Gainesville in April. The regiment took a gallant and conspicuous part in the long siege of Port Hudson, fighting desperately during the assaults of May 27 and June 14. The splendid service rendered by the 128th is well attested by its casualties during the siege, which amounted to 22 killed, 100 wounded and 6 missing, a total of 128. Col. Cowles fell while gallantly leading his regiment during the assault of May 27, the command suffering its heaviest losses on this occasion. After the fall of Port Hudson, the regiment was ordered to Baton Rouge, where it arrived on the 22nd after a fatiguing march, and the next 9 months were chiefly spent in post and garrison duty, with occasional reconnoissances and minor expeditions. On March 15, 1864, in the 3d brigade, 2nd (Grover's) division, 19th corps, it started on Banks' ill-fated Red River expedition. During the battle of Cane river crossing, the 128th was the first to cross the river and plant a flag upon the hill. It also made a brilliant charge driving the enemy and taking many prisoners, its loss being 10 killed and wounded. It was also present at Alexandria and Mansura. In July it proceeded with the division to New Orleans, whence it sailed under sealed orders for Washington. On its arrival it was ordered into Maryland to confront Early's invasion and took part in the subsequent famous campaign under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. At the battle of the .Opequan the regiment lost 57 killed, wounded and missing, Maj. Keese and 4 other officers being among the wounded. At Fisher's hill its loss was 20 killed, wounded and missing, and the regiment was handsomely complimented by Gen. Emory for its services. At the battle of Cedar creek it lost 95 killed, wounded and missing. During the next two months it was engaged in garrison duty at Winchester and New Berne, and was ordered to Savannah with its division in Jan., 1865. In March it was ordered to North Carolina, where it was temporarily attached to the 3d brigade, 1st division, l0th corps, participating in the campaign of the Carolinas until Johnston's surrender in April. It returned to Savannah in May and was mustered out in Augusta, Ga., July 12, 1863. The regiment returned home with only 400 men of the original 960 and 173 recruits. It lost during service 2 officers and 61 men killed and mortally wounded; 3 officers and 203 men died of disease and other causes; total deaths, 269, of whom 41 died in the hands of the enemy.


128th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Camp Colors | Civil War

The New York State Battle Flag Collection includes two printed wool camp colors carried by the 128th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry. Each camp color,…

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.

"128th regiment, a complete list [roster] compiled by M. P. Williams, editor Hudson gazette, and revised by the War committee." In The Hudson city and Columbia county directory for the year 1862-3, 178-208.

128th Regiment New York State Volunteers Infantry Veterans Association. Records, 1887-1928.
3 v.
Records of this Civil War veterans' association consist of minutes, membership lists, reports from reunions, and clippings.
Located at the Dutchess County Historical Society, Poughkeepsie, NY.

American Legion. The Columbia County American Legion presents a Civil War Centennial commemoration, Sunday, July 22, 1962 at the Hudson Fish and Game Club. [Hudson, NY?] American Legion, Columbia County (N.Y.) [1962].

Ashley Family. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection 
(Adjutant's letters, Mar 4, 1863-1864). 
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Brown, Ben H. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
(Enlisted man's letter, Oct 21, 1862). 
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Crowther, Joseph W. "Joseph W. Crowther and the 128th NY Volunteers." 128th Vols. www.wquercus.com/crowther/128th.htm.

Crowther, Joseph W. Joseph W. Crowther diary. 1864-1865. 
Diary of Union soldier Joseph W. Crowther, who served during the Civil War with Company H., 128th New York Infantry Regiment. Diary is bound in leather, ca. 3 1/2" x 6" x 14", 131 pages; entries begin November 9 1864 and end July 23 1865 when regiment is disbanded. Crowther describes camp life; foraging; skirmishes; winter quarters in Winchester, Virginia; transport via steamship to Fort Monroe, Virginia and Savannah, Georgia; soldiers receiving news of the assassination of President Lincoln; description of soldiers'return to New York at end of war. Locations mentioned or described include Kernstown, Front Royal, Winchester, Martinsburg, Harper's Ferry, Baltimore, Savannah, and Goldsboro. diary 
1 volume (131 p.) : bound in leather 9 cm. x 16 cm. 
Located at the Virginia Military Institute.

De Peyster, John Watts. "Address delivered at Hudson county, N.Y., 6th Sept., 1887, by Brevet Major General J. Watts de Peyster, to the 128th regiment, N.Y. vols., on the 25th anniversary of the departure of that regiment for the war."

Fabris, Dino. "A Civil war diary." New York history XLIX (1968) 76-88. Based on the diary of James Onderdonk, 1845-1863, of Company D, 128th New York infantry.

Guinan, Michael.  Letters, 1862-1864
Letters of Guinan, an enlisted man with Co. A, 128th Regiment, New York State Volunteers, who participated in the occupation of Louisiana, the siege of Port Hudson, La., and the retreat from the Red River Expedition. Topics include Guinan's unfavorable comparison of New Orleans to New York and unsympathetic views on the black Union troops, enjoyment of Mardi Gras, friends, the situation at home, and news of other men from the Hudson, N.Y., area. 
67 items.
Located at the The Historic New Orleans Collection, http://www.hnoc.org/

Hanaburgh, David Henry. History of the One hundred and twenty-eighth regiment, New York volunteers (U. S. infantry) in the late Civil war, by D. H. Hanaburgh, Chairman of the Committee appointed by the Regimental association. Poughkeepsie: [Press of Enterprise pub. co.] 1894.
Available online at http://books.google.com/books?id=aNNYAAAAMAAJ

Hanaburgh, David Henry. History of the one hundred and twenty-eighth regiment : New York volunteers (U.S. infantry) : in the late civil war. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Co. 1894, 1998.

McPheeters family.  The McPheeters family papers,1861-1865
Contains the following type of materials: letters. Contains information pertaining to the following wars and time periods: Civil War -- Trans-Mississippi, -- Western Theater, -- Northern Interior. Contains information pertaining to the following military units and organizations: Company E, 21st Illinois Infantry Regiment; 20th Company, 1st Battalion, U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps; Company B, 11th Regiment, U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps. General description of the collection: The McPheeters family papers include letters from civilian, Mrs. Rankin McPheeters of Illinois from January 1863 until the war's end. Letters of her husband, Rankin P. (Pogue) McPheeters, of the 126th Illinois Volunteer Infantry and 11th Ohio Light Battery from September 1862 to May 1865 are found. Rankin's letters contain material about camp life, food, quarters, disease, mail, politics and Copperheads at Vicksburg and Little Rock. There are also letters from his family in Moultrie Country, Illinois and Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Addison W. McPheeters, Jr. letters describe camp life and activities while on march. Letters from the McPheeters' father from 1863 to 1865 are also found within the collection. 
1 box. 
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Miller, Harold (Harold Rupert). Full measure of devotion, the Columbia companies of the 128th N.Y., a narrative written and illustrated by... [Chatham Center, New York]: 1977.

Moore, M. P. Diary, 1864.
1 v.
Pocket diary kept during his service with Company A, 128th New York Volunteers during the Civil War with entries on the weather, military events, his furlough home, and other events, 1864.
Located at the Daughters of the American Revolution. Hendrick Hudson Chapter, Hudson, NY.

New York (State). Bureau of Military Statistics. Roster of Staff Officers and Enlisted Men of the 128th Regiment, New York Volunteers, 1862-1865.
Quantity: 0.3 cu. ft. (11 volumes)
This series consists of volumes providing the names of enlisted men and officers who constituted the 128th Regiment, New York Volunteers. It is unclear what specific office compiled this roster but it may have been the Bureau of Military Statistics since its enabling legislation directed it to acquire "a record of the services of the several regiments" which fought in the Civil War.
In addition to name, the roster provides: rank; birthplace; date of discharge; wounds received (usually a brief description); date and place of death, if applicable; date deserted, if applicable; promotions received and dates, if applicable; and date of discharge.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle Newpaper Clippings relating to the 128th, 150th, and 156th Regiments. Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle. July, 1863.

Reynolds Family.  Correspondence, 1862-1871
Collection consists almost entirely of personal letters written by Alfred C., Charles E., and James W. Reynolds to sisters and parents detailing Civil War experiences in 128th. regiment, N.Y.V. and 11th. Light Artillery, New York. Of particular interest are accounts of the capture of Fort Morgan (1864, Aug-Sept), reflections on the copperheads, African American troops, General Lee, and slavery. 
48 items. 
Located at Brown University.

Smith, James.  A resume of the services of the 128th Regiment New York Volunteers, from Sept. 4, '62 to Jan. 1, '64 :with a list of losses, &c, &c. Baton Rouge, La. : Printed at the Gazette and Comet Book and Job Office, 1864. 15 pp.

Van Alstyne, Lawrence. Diary of an enlisted man, by Lawrence Van Alstyne. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor co., 1910.

Van Vort, Charles. Letter, 14 September 1864.
4 pages.
Letter, 14 September 1864, from Charles Van Vort (b. 1845), 128th New York Infantry near Berryville, Virginia, to his uncle. Van Vort provides an excerpt from his diary concerning his unit's skirmishes, picket duty, and the construction of breastworks.
Accession 41188. Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.


Items in the museum collection are in bold.