145th New York Infantry Regiment's Civil War Historical Sketch

By Philip S. Clark

Taken from Final Report on the Battlefield of Gettysburg (New York at Gettysburg) by the New York Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga. Albany, NY: J.B. Lyon Company, 1902.

The One hundred and forty-fifth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, was raised in New York, Richmond and Suffolk counties. It was mustered into the United States service at New Dorp, Staten Island, on September 11, 1862, and started for Washington, D. C., on September 25th under the command of Lieut. Col. Ole P. H. Balling. On arriving at Washington the regiment was reviewed by President Lincoln.

On September 28th the regiment was ordered to Frederick City, Md., and from there to Pleasant Valley. After camping for a few days in the Valley it proceeded to Bolivar Heights and went into camp, where it was assigned to Kane's Brigade, Geary's Division, Banks' Corps. While encamped on Bolivar Heights the One hundred and forty-fifth made frequent reconnaissance up the Shenandoah River and to Winchester, Va. Early in December, 1862, the regiment marched to Stafford Court House where it went into winter quarters. At that place it was transferred to the First Brigade, First Division, Twelfth Army Corps, and was joined by Col. E. Livingston Price, now of Newark, N. J., as its colonel.

In the latter part of April, 1863, the regiment left camp, and marched to the Rappahannock River, which it crossed by wading, and participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, where it left 1 officer and 5 enlisted men killed, and a large number missing, of whom many were never heard from afterwards, having evidently been killed or mortally wounded and not identified.

On May 5, 1863, the One hundred and forty-fifth recrossed the river and marched back to its old camp at Stafford Court House, where it remained until the corps started on the march. Which ended in the battle at Gettysburg. The regiment arrived on this field late in the afternoon of July 1st, and was placed in position on the slope of Gulp's Hill, near Spangler's Spring, where it assisted in throwing up the breastworks on that line. On the afternoon of the second day the One hundred and forty-fifth, with the rest of the division, was ordered to the left to the support of General Sickles' Corps, but arrived too late to take an active part in repulsing the enemy in his attack on that part of the line.

On returning late that night to its old position on the right, it found its works occupied by the enemy who, taking advantage of the absence of the division, had taken possession and opened fire upon the troops as they returned. The regiment halted and bivouacked for the night. At daylight, on the 3d, the regiment assisted in driving out the enemy, and reoccupied its line about 11 o'clock, a. m., losing 1 killed and 9 wounded, of whom 2 subsequently died of their wounds and were buried in the cemetery at Gettysburg.

On the retreat of Lee's army the One hundred and forty-fifth accompanied the corps in its pursuit of the Confederates into Virginia, and went into camp at Raccoon Ford on the Rapidan River. It remained there until September 23, 1863, when the corps was detached from the Army of the Potomac and ordered to Tennessee. On its arrival in Tennessee the regiment was placed on guard duty on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, with headquarters at Tantalon, where it remained until December 9, 1863. It's organization was then discontinued, and Companies B, C, G, I and K, were transferred to the One hundred and seventh Regiment; Companies E and H to the One hundred and twenty-third Regiment, and Companies A, D and F, to the One hundred and fiftieth Regiment, New York Volunteers.

The subsequent history of these regiments is the history of the men of the One hundred and forty-fifth. The good service rendered by them is attested by the following extract from a letter written by Col. A. B. Smith, of the One hundred and fiftieth Regiment, New York Volunteers, dated Poughkeepsie, N. Y., July 14, 1893: "About 100 as good men as ever went to the war came to us from your regiment."

Also, from a letter from Surg. John J. H. Love, Thirteenth New Jersey, dated Montclair, N. J., November 28, 1889: "The official records speak in a very creditable manner of the fighting qualities' of the men of your regiment, and uniformly bear witness to their good conduct in the Atlanta campaign."

The men who were thus transferred from the One hundred and forty-fifth retained their corps badge, the red star of Williams' Division, with which famous command they participated in the bloody battles of the Atlanta campaign, Sherman's March to the Sea, the siege of Savannah, and the battles of Slocum's army in the final campaign in the Carolinas. In the One hundred and seventh New York it was often remarked that, of the large number of casualties sustained by that regiment in the Atlanta campaign, the transferred men of the One hundred and forty-fifth suffered more than their share, a strange fatality seeming to pursue them in this respect.