137th Infantry Regiment

Nickname: Ironclads

Mustered in: September 25, 1862
Mustered out: June 9, 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 Ireland received authority, August 31, 1862, to recruit this regiment; it was organized at Binghamton, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years September 25 and 26, 1862. In December, 1864, a company of recruits, mustered in for one year, joined the regiment at Savannah, Ga., and became Company L. Tune 8, 1865, the men not to be mustered out with the regiment were transferred to the I02d Infantry.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Binghamton and Sanford; B at Binghamton, Chenango, Conklin, Kirkwood, Richford, Union and Windsor; C at Owego; D at Ithaca; E at Binghamton, Chenango, Lisle, Maine, Triangle, Union and Whitney's Point; F at Binghamton, Colesville, Chenango, Conklin, Kirkwood, Port Crane, San-ford and Windsor; G at Berks-hire, Richford, Newark Valley, Caroline, Groton and Candor; H at Spencer, Candor, Barton and Owego; I at Ulysses, Newfield and Ithaca; K at Groton, Danby and Caroline; and L at Elmira.
The regiment left the State September 27, 1862; it served in the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 12th Corps, from September 30, 1862; in the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 2Oth Corps, from April, 1864; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. Koert S. Van Voorhees, June 9, 1865, near Bladensburg, Md.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 4 officers, 73 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 43 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 4 officers, 165 enlisted men; total, 10 officers, 281 enlisted men; aggregate, 291; of whom 8 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 Thirty-seventh Infantry.—Cols., David Ireland, Koert S. Van Voorhes; Lieut.-Cols., Koert S. Van Voorhes, Milo B. Eldridge; Majs., Wetsell Willoughby, Milo B. Eldridge, Frederick A. Stoddard. This regiment, recruited in the counties of Tompkins, Tioga and Broome—the 24th senatorial district—was organized at Binghamton, and was there mustered into the U. S. service for three years on Sept. 25-26, 1862. It left on the 27th, 1,007 strong, for Harper's Ferry, and was there assigned to the 3d brigade, 2nd (Geary's) division,—the "White Star" division—12th corps, to which it was attached throughout the whole period of its active service. The list of important battles in which the regiment took part includes Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie, Missionary ridge, Lookout mountain, Ringgold, Rocky Face ridge, Resaca, Cassville, Lost mountain, Kennesaw mountain, Peachtree creek, the siege of Atlanta, and numerous minor actions on the march to the sea and in the campaign of the Carolinas. Col. W. F. Fox, in his account of this regiment, says: "It won special honors at Gettysburg, then in Greene's brigade, which, alone and unassisted, held Culp's hill during a critical period of that battle against a desperate attack of vastly superior force. The casualties in the 137th at Gettysburg exceeded those of any other regiment in the corps, amounting to 40 killed, 87 wounded and 10 missing. The gallant defense of Culp's hill by Greene's brigade, and the terrible execution inflicted by its musketry on the assaulting column of the enemy, form one of the most noteworthy incidents of the war. The 12th corps left Virginia in Sept., 1863, and went to Tennessee, joining Grant's army at Chattanooga. In the month following their arrival the regiment was engaged in the midnight battle at Wauhatchie, where it lost 15 killed and 75 wounded; and, a few weeks later, fought with Hooker at Lookout mountain in the famous 'battle above the clouds;' casualties in that battle, 6 killed and 32 wounded. In April, 1864, the corps number was changed to the 20th, Gen. Hooker being placed in command. A large accession was received from the nth corps, but Col. Ireland and Gen. Geary retained their respective commands. The 137th shared in all the marches and battles of the Atlanta campaign, and then marched with Sherman to the sea." Col. Ireland succumbed to disease at Atlanta, and Col. Van Voorhes succeeded to the command. When the campaign of the Carolinas closed with the surrender of Johnston, the regiment marched with the corps to Washington, where it participated in the grand review and was mustered out near Bladensburgh, Md., June 9, 1865. The total enrollment of the regiment was 1111, of whom 6 officers and 121 men, were killed and mortally wounded—11.4 per cent. of the enrollment; 4 officers and 167 men died of disease, accidents, and all other causes, a total of 294. The total number of killed and wounded was 490.


137th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | National Color | Civil War

This silk national color carried by the 137th New York Volunteers includes 31 gold-colored, painted stars in the canton from an original 34-star…

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.

Archer, John M. "The Bullets Came Thick and Close: The 137th New York Infantry on Culp's Hill." Blue & Gray Magazine (Spring 2006): pp. 44-50.

Bayless family. Henry and Burtis Bayless Letters.
106 pages. Transcriptions only.
Originally transcribed by Bruce Bayless in 1970-71 
Albert Bayless was the source of the original letters, electronic files sourtesy of Robert Bowen.

Bloomer, Hiram. Letter, 1863 May 23.
Letter written at camp near Aquia Creek, Virginia that contains news about Company I in the aftermath of the battle at Chancellorsville, Virginia. Bloomer wrote about missing the battle, having rejoined the Company as they were retreating. He noted there were few casualties among the men of Company I. He also discussed the fate of fellow soldier, William E. Hopkins, who was captured in action at Chancellorsville. 
1 item. 
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

"Burt." Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
(Letters, Jan 6 & Dec 28, 1863, presumably from Burtis J. Bayless).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

David Cleutz. "137th Regiment, New York State Volunteers."
Available online at: www.davidcleutz.com/137th-regiment-nystate-volunteers.html 
Thank you to LTC Ben Gardiner for recommending this resource.

Cousin, Abram. LeighColl Bk 4: 20 
(Enlisted man's letter, Oct 25, 1862).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Eggleston, Amb. NorwichCWRTColl 
(Enlisted man's letters, Dec 25, 1863 & Dec 24, 1864).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Fennell, Charles C. The attack and defense of Culp's Hill : Greene's Brigade at the battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. 1992.

Fennell, Charles C. Battle for the barb :the attack and defense of Culp's Hill on July 2, 1863. Gettysburg, Pa. : Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg, 2001.

Fox, William F. and Sickles, Daniel Edgar. In memoriam :George Sears Greene, brevet major-general, United States volunteers, 1801-1899. Albany: J.B. Lyon Co., State printers, 1909. 106, [2] p. front., plates, ports., maps (part fold.) 28 cm.

Gale, Andrew H. Civil War letters and diary of Andrew H. Gale of the 137th Regiment, New York State Volunteers. Westminster, Md. : Heritage Books,2005. 182 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm.

Greene, F. V. (Francis Vinton). Diary of Francis Vinton Greene, 1863 June 13-August 18.
Greene kept this diary during a tour with his father, Brig. Gen. George Sears Greene of the Army of the Potomac.
Located at University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Greene, George S. "Address of Maj. Gen. George S. Greene." Final report on the battlefield of Gettysburg. Albany: J.B. Lyon Co., printers, 1902. 263-266.

Greene, George Sears. Col. Greene's speech before the McClellan Club of Ward eleven, Boston, October 28, 1864. Boston : J.E. Farwell, 1864.

Hazard, George Riley. Papers,1865-1919
The collection contains George Hazard's official Civil War service papers and diary in photocopy and the original of a drawing of Jeffersonville Army Hospital and grounds in Jeffersonville, Ind. The diary also mentions the hospital. 
1 folder.
Located at the Indiana Historical Society.

Hyde, J.S. NorwichCWRTColl 
(Enlisted man's diary, Jun 25-Jul 5, 1863).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Ireland, David. Papers, 1860-1864
Group of documents related to David Ireland's military service during the Civil War. Includes detailed letters / reports on the engagement of troops of the 137th New York Infantry Regiment at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Also includes commissions of appointments to officer ranks. 
11 items.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Jeffers, Ira S. Ira S. Jeffers Letter, 1864 : 137th New York Volunteer Infantry
Obtained from http://www.soldierstudies.org/

Jeffers, Ira S. Letter, 11 May 1863
4 pages.
Letter, 11 May 1863, from Ira S. Jeffers (1843-1932), Company F, 137th New York Infantry, encamped at Aquia Landing in Virginia, to his sister Catherine Jeffers, Binghamton, Broome County, New York, concerning the Battle of Chancellorsville and including descriptions of the battle and wounded men. Also includes a typed transcript of the letter.
Accession 40908. Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.

Jennings, Hudson. 137th New York Infantry, Co.K.Letters (1862-1863).
Letters sent to Jennings' sister regarding his experiences of military life. In particular, he comments on the primitive conditions of army camps and the long arduous marches each day. He also mentions the battles at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. 
8 items.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Jorgensen, Jay. Holding the Right : The 137th New York Regiment at Gettysburg." Gettysburg: Historical Articles of Lasting Interest. July 1996.

Palmer, David W. The forgotten hero of Gettysburg : a biography of General George Sears Greene. [Trenton, NJ : Xlibris Corp.], 2004, 343 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

Roberts, E.F. NorwichCWRTColl 
(Chaplain's letter to father of Charles H. Williams, informing him of Sgt's death).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Scofield, William S.  William H. Scofield letters,1865
This collection consists of photocopies of four letters from William H. Scofield to his father and sister. All of the letters, written from Savannah, 1865, concern Scofield's role in the march from Atlanta to Savannah. In the first letter, Scofield describes his march from Atlanta to Savannah and remarks on the kindness of the residents of Savannah. In the second letter, he states that he does not want to leave Savannah, a beautiful city, but that he has been ordered into South Carolina; he also notes that the weather is more like a northern spring that winter (the letter was written in January). Scofield writes to his father "Camp in the pines, three miles from Sister's Ferry, Savannah River, Georgia," in the third letter, explaining that he thinks his troops should have been permitted to remain and guard Savannah since they captured the city. He warns the people of South Carolina to beware of the invading "Yankees" (to whom he belongs). The fourth letter reveals that all the troops are elated over the recent peace terms and everyone is anxious to return home. 
1 folder (.05 cubic feet). 
Located at the Georgia Historical Society.

Smithtown Historical Society (Smithtown, N.Y.) Military records, 1808-1918
Orders for 137th Regiment to assemble and commission of Richard F. Blydenburgh as Quartermaster, 1828; certificate of promotion of Thomas Young, 1808; certificate of exemption for Richard F. Blydenburgh, 1863; roster of the Smithtown Home Defense Corps and roll of honor of members gone to U.S. Army and Navy, 1917-1918; Civil War muster roll, 1862; and typescript "Long Island and the Civil War" by Joseph Covas, 1972; photocopy of Special Federal Census Schedule of Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines and Widows, etc. for Smithtown, 1890. 
7 items. 
Located at the Smithtown Historical Society, Smithtown, NY.

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment. Greene's Brigade. 30th anniversary, 1863-1893, souvenir of the reunion, July 1st to 3rd, 1893, of Greene's Brigade : 3rd Brigade, 2nd Div., 12th Corps, the 60th, 78th, 102nd, 137th, and 149th N.Y. Vols. : who, alone at Culp's Hill, in the 2nd day's battle saved the right at Gettysburg. Syracuse, N.Y. Published for the comrades of the renowned defenders by the Acme Pub. Bureau, 1893.

Welman, Lysander. Civil War diaries, 1857-1863.
3 v.
Diary reflecting Welman's service with Company F, 137th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the war.
Located at the Neville Public Museum of Brown County, Green Bay, WI.

West, Samuel. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection 
(Enlisted man's diary, Sep 22, 1864-Jun 20, 1865).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA. 

Whittier, Edward, "The Left Attack (Ewell's), Gettysburg." by Brevet Captain Edward N. Whittier, U.S.V. Fifth Maine Battery. A Paper Prepared and Read before the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, (MOLLUS) February 10, 1891.

Willson, Lester S. (Lester Sebastian), Lester S. Willson diaries, 1863-1865.
Description: 2 v. and laid-in documents (0.2 linear ft.)
The first volume of Willson's diaries contains entries made from 3 July 1863 to 5 Sept. 1864, with substantial gaps. Willson's terse entries describe his final days at Canton, N.Y., recuperating from a wound he received at Chancellorsville up to his reunion with the 60th New York Infantry in northern Virginia on 11 July 1863. The diary resumes on 26 June 1864 as Willson's regiment prepared to move on Confederate positions guarding the approaches to Atlanta through their subsequent capture of the city. These entries cover in some detail the construction of field works and battle actions at Peach Tree Creek. The second diary begins on 3 Nov. 1864 and ends on 2 May 1865, again with substantial gaps. Willson records his experiences on Gen. William T. Sherman's march from Atlanta to Savannah on the Georgia coast. The actual surrender of Savannah was not recorded by Willson, but the subsequent march from that city to Columbia, S.C., received many entries. The diary concludes with the 60th New York on their campaign into North Carolina and the surrender of the Confederate army of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. Willson describes the logistics of marching with Sherman's army, the destruction of property by Union troops, and the liberated slaves who accompanied the army. As a staff officer, Willson also touches on the arguments and in-fighting among officers on matters of promotion and command organization. A folder of laid-in material from the second diary consists of numerous receipts for the shipment of bodies home from the front, regimental record notes, and an original hand signed battle report by Col. Abel Goddard, 60th New York Infantry, for his regiment's part in the battle of Resaca, Ga., on 15 May 1864. Officers mentioned most frequently in Willson's diaries include Goddard, Col. David Ireland, 137th New York Infantry, and Capt. Loren Tuller, 60th New York Infantry.
Finding aid available at http://www.lib.montana.edu/collect/spcoll/findaid/2508.php

Woods, Francis H.  Correspondence,1863-1865. Civil War correspondence of Woods writing from Fortress Monroe (Hampton, Va.) and the siege of Petersburg, Va., describing his duties as cook, camp life, and prayer meetings. 
17 items. 
Located at Duke University.


Items in the museum collection are in bold.