35th New York Infantry Regiment's Civil War Historical Sketch

From the 3rd Annual Report Of The Bureau Of Military Statistics


The Thirty-fifth Regiment Infantry, N. Y. S. V., or " Jefferson County Regiment was organised at Elmira, June 3d, 1861. It was composed of companies recruited as follows, viz:

Co. A—Watertown, Jeff. co., Capt. Stephen L. Potter; accepted May 9th; mustered into the service of the United States at Elmi-ra, July 9th.

Co. B—Copenhagen, Lewis county, Captain William N. Angle; recruiting commenced April 22d and ended May 1st; accepted May 7th; mustered in at Elmira July 9th.

Co. C—Theresa, Jefferson county, Capt Geo. W. Flower; accepted May 15th; mustered in at Elmira, July 9th.

Co. D—New York city, Buffalo and Elmira, Capt. Alex W. Smith; accepted May 15th, 1861; mustered in at Elmira, July 10th.

Co. E—Watertown, Jefferson county, Capt. John Lacy; recruit-ing commenced April 15th and ended June 11th; accepted May 9th; mustered in at Elmira, July 10th.

Co. F—Corning, Steuben county, Capt. Geo. W. Elwell; ac¬cepted May 24th; mustered in at Elmira, July 10th.

Co. G—Adams, Jefferson county, Capt. Sidney J. Mendell; accepted May 7th; mustered in at Elmira, July 10th.

Co. H—Cazenovia, Madison county (embraced recruits from Madison and Chenango), Capt. John G. Todd; accepted May 13th; mustered in July 10th.

Co. I—Redwood, Jefferson county, Capt. Edgar B. Spalsbury; accepted May 20th; mustered in at Elmira, Jury 9th.

Co. K—Brownsville, Jefferson county, Captain Newton B. Lord; accepted May 9th; mustered in July 10th, at Elmira.

At a meeting of the State Military Board, held May 24th, it was, on motion of Lieut. Gov. Campbell, "Resolved, That the companies commanded by the following named captains, viz:
Captains Lacy, Lord, Potter, Mendell, Angle, Flower, Spalsbury, Todd, Nutting (Go. D), and Elwell, be organized into a regiment, to be numbered No, 35, and an election for field officers ordered to be held therein."

An election for field officers was ordered May 25th (Special Orders 225), and, on the 11th June (Special Orders 264), the elec¬tion of William C. Brown, as Colonel; Stephen L. Potter, as Lieutenant-Colonel; and Newton B. Lord, as Major, was confirmed, and the regiment directed to be immediately mastered into the service of the United States. The field and staff were mus¬tered at Elmira July 10th, and the date of service fixed at two years from June 11th, 1861.

Arms (muskets, model of 1842), uniforms, tents and camp equip¬age, were supplied to the regiment at Elmira. The expen¬diture by the State for organizing, arming and equipping the regiment was $38,607.10, exclusive of subsistence and quarters.

Flags were presented to the several companies as follows: Co. A, by the citizens of Watertown; Co. E, by the citizens of Water¬town; Co. K, by the citizens of Brownsville; Co. C, by the citizens of Theresa; CO. G, BY the select school of Adams. The first regimental flag was obtained by subscription among the officers. Subsequently, colors were presented to the regiment through the Hon. A. W. Clark.

The regiment left Elmira at 1 P. M., on the 11th of July, and proceeded by the way of Williamsport, Harrisburg and Baltimore to Washington, where it arrived on the 13th, and camped on Meridian hill. The following is a semi-official account of its sub-sequent movements and services, viz:
On the 23d of July, the regiment received orders from General Mansfield to report to General McDowell at the Arlington House, and on the 24th, in the morning, it bivouacked on the ground where Fort Tillinghast now stands. On the 27th of July, Gene-ral McDowell announced in orders that the Twelfth, Fourteenth, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-fifth and Thirty-seventh regiments, New York Volunteers, would constitute a brigade, under command of Col. Andrew Porter. On the 29th a new brigade was formed, and placed under command of Colonel E. D. Keyes. This brigade con-sisted of the Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-fifth, and Thirty-seventh New York Volunteers. In the latter part of August, the regiment was brigaded under Gen. James S. Wadsworth with the following regiments: Twenty-first, Twenty-third and Twenty-fifth New York Volunteers. In October the Twenty-fifth New York was exchanged from the brigade for the Eightieth New York (Twentieth miltia). No further change was made in the brigade organization during the subsequent services of the regiment—the brigade being the First brigade, First divi¬sion, First army corps.

The brigade to which the regiment was attached was commanded as follows, viz: General James S. Wadsworth from September 1, 1861, to March, 1862; by Colonel W. F. Rogers, of the Twenty-first New York, at different intervals; by General M. R. Patrick from April, 1862, to October, 1862; by General G. R. Paul from November, 1862, to January, 1863; by General M. R. Patrick from January 10, 1863, when the First brigade, First division, First corps was designated as the Provost brigade of the Army of the Potomac, and its place in the First division, First corps, sup-plied by a brigade of new regiments.

The division to which the regiment was attached was commanded as follows, viz: General McDowell until March, 1862; General Rufus King from March to September, 1862; at South mountain by General Hatch; General Doubleday from September 14th to January 1st, and from that time by General Wadsworth.

The corps to which it was attached was commanded by General McDowell until September 5, 1862; by General Hooker until September 17; by General Meade until October, and subsequently by General Reynolds. This corps was in the army under General MClellan until April, 1862; under General McDowell until July, 1862 ; under General Pope until September 5th; under General McClellan until November, 1862; under General Burnside until January, 1863; under General Hooker until May, 1863.

The regiment was commanded from June 3d to August 2d, 1861, by Colonel William C. Brown; from August, 1861, to Feb-ruary 10, 1863, by Col. N. B. Lord, and from February 10 to June 5, 1863, by Col. John G. Todd.

Soon after the arrival of the regiment in Virginia, it furnished details to work under Lieut. Col. Alexander, U. S. Engineers, in forming abattis. Col. Alexander placed the work in charge of Col. Lord, and the regiment felled timber from the forests surrounding the camp, and formed abattis several miles in length, and four hundred feet in width. After this it worked on the lunette forts near the Arlington House, and during its service here felled twelve hundred acres of timber and built one seven-gun lunette fort. The forts upon which the regiment performed most of its labor were afterwards named Fort Tillinghast and Fort Craig.

On the 27th of September the regiment moved, in the first advance of the army, as far as Fall's Church, and about the 1st of October formed camp at Taylor's tavern, on the Leesburg turn¬pike, on a hill overlooking the village of Fall's Church. Here it was occupied in drilling and in picket duties. During the five and a half months that it was on picket duty it had only one man wounded and none killed. It captured two lieutenants and twenty-seven men, and killed three men. The other incidents of daily occurrence were similar to those of other regiments of the brigade.

In January, 1862, the muskets with which the regiment had been supplied by the State were exchanged for Austrian rifles; calibre 54. In March, it participated in the advance on Centre¬ville, and its experiences were those of all other regiments. On the return of this regiment to the, vicinity of Alexandria, a large number of men were unfit for further duty. The camp near Fair-fax seminary, in which the regiment lay until McDowell's corps was moved for Falmouth, was appropriately named " Camp Misery." Up to the arrival of the regiment at Falmouth (April 17th), its experiences were severe. The marches were long and exhausting, with the exception of short halts at Bristow and Cat¬lett's stations. For many days water could not be easily ob¬tained, and the men suffered from thirst, and from the effects of the sun.

The brigade was sent over the river at Falmouth, and for a time the regiment lay near Fredericksburg as a part of the line of pickets around the city. The position of the regiment was on the telegraph road to Richmond, at the foot of a hill near a place which the enemy had used for a horse burial ground. "Dead horse camp," which the regiment established here, was occupied by it for nearly three weeks in May. It moved with the brigade on the Bowling Green road to meet a reported advance by the enemy, reached the Bernard House and then returned. On the 20th it moved with the brigade against General Anderson, who was supposed to be a few miles in front. It proceeded along the telegraph road unsupported, with a skirmishing front of one com¬pany and proper flankers, and tools; camp Anderson after eight miles travel, The camp, however, had been vacated about twenty-four hours previous, to the arrival of the regiment, Near this camp the regiment remained until the last part of May. Part of the time it picketed the road and part of the time it patrolled the country; but most of the time it had two or more companies at the Massaponax church, While at this camp the Thirty-fifth and Eightieth supported the Harris Light cavalry, under lieutenant-Colonel Kilpatrick, in a reconnoissance to near Hanover Court House. Soon after, the enemy under Stonewall Jackson struck Gen. Banks, and Gen. McDowell's corps moved to the latter's assist¬ance. A tedious and almost fruitless march ensued, first to Cedar Mountain (August 8th), and second back to Rappahannock sta-tion, where (August 20th) the brigade took position on the river near Freeman's ford-the Thirty-fifth supporting battery L, First New York artillery. For four hours the men lay upon the ground under fire, but received no injury, the regiment being closed up snugly between the cannon and caissons of the battery, on a sand hill, which protected it. While the artillery duel was in progress the enemy's sharp-shooters crossed the river, but were speedily driven back by company B. After driving the enemy back the regiment took up its position of the morning, and placing a picket force in front, lay on its arms until daylight. The artillery then opened fire, and the regiment remained until the brigade was re¬lieved by General Hatch, about 10 A. M.

From Rappahannock station the regiment proceeded by easy marches to Warrenton Springs. Here it was exposed to a fire of artillery and sharp-shooters. In the dispositions made the regi¬ment occupied two positions—its right wing supporting the right half of Captain Reynold's battery, audits left wing supporting the left half of the same battery, both halves being at the right and left of the spring houses. In this position it remained during the day. At 11 P. M. the regiment moved to the support of Captain Gareche's New Hampshire battery of howitzers, at the ford, and remained there until daylight.

Marching with its division the regiment reached Gainesville about 5 P. M. on the day of, the battle there, but remained in the road, headed for Washington, during the entire engagement, and without participation in it beyond a slight fire sustained by two skirmish companies. After the battle, which was principally sus¬tained by the Wisconsin brigade, the regiment was placed on picket duty, and on the withdrawal of the division towards Man¬assas in the morning, had five men captured by the enemy.

Marching and countermarching with its division during the day of the 29th of August; the regiment at last reached Bull Run, and after the famous charge of the turnpike, found itself on the right of that road, in the front of the army. While it was \ying here with its left against the turnpike (the Twenty-third New York in rear and the Twenty-first and Eightieth New York on the right), the enemy came down the road and delivered a sharp fire. It immediately rose and returned the fire, but at that moment the Twenty-third mistaking the Thirty-fifth for the enemy, rose and delivered its fire, killing five and wounding eight of the Thirty-fifth. The firing was continued for a few moments and then Col. Lord ordered the Thirty-fifth to charge. This movement was exe¬cuted with vigor and the enemy driven from the field. During the engagement the regiment had nine killed and thirteen wounded. In the charge it captured three of the enemy's force, which was thus proved to be the Twenty-third South Carolina, of General Longstreet's corps. After the charge the brigade was formed in divisions and moved to a hill in the rear (where Captain Reynold's battery was posted), and remained during the night. On Saturday, early in the morning the brigade was moved nearly a mile to the right and rear, and it was thought that no fighting would be done by it during the day. At about 9 1/2 A. M., however, orders came to move to the front, where it formed part of the first line which advanced in front of our artillery, and lying upon the ground, received the enemy's fire for three or four hours without returning it. The position of the regiment here was be-hind a stone wall, near the turnpike, where it lost 72 in killed and wounded. When the retreat commenced it was withdrawn; and reached Centreville about 7 P. M. It did not fire a gun during the day.

On Sunday night the regiment was ordered down the turnpike towards Fairfax for the purpose of preventing a raid on the trans¬portation of the army. It reached Fairfax early in the morning of the 1st of September, and from thence moved back on the road towards Chantilly. During the battle of Chantilly it lay in the rifle-pits on the right of the turnpike, and was not under fire. After the battle it marched by the way of Fairfax to Fall's Church, where it arrived on the 3d, and camped near its old camp of the previous winter. On its arrival at Fall's Church, for music it had two drums and one bugle. Its regimental band, of twenty-four pieces, had been discharged, and the drum corps had lost its drums while attending the wounded at Bull Run. It was also without knapsacks, coats or, blankets. These had been left at Centreville and destroyed on the retreat of the army.

On the 6th of September the regiment marched by the way of Long Bridge through Washington. Ten miles from Washington it went into camp for two or three days. On the 14th the First brigade was at the head of the division column, and the regiment at the head of the brigade. When the foot of South Mountain was reached, the division was divided. At 4 1/2 P. M. the regiment was ordered to deploy as skirmishers, on the right of the turnpike, and ascend the hill. One company was left with the colors; three companies moved on the left, supported by the Twenty-third New York in column; six companies on the right were supported by the Second brigade in the first line and the Fourth brigade in the second line, under General Doubleday. The line advanced up the hill, halted several times by order of the brigade commander, until about dark, when it was peremptorily ordered forward by General Hatch, commanding the division. General Hatch was soon after wounded, and General Doubleday took command, and the enemy was driven from the hill. The regiment was then re¬lieved and reached its colors at the foot of the hill about 3 A. M. of the 5th. Its loss during the day was nineteen men in killed and wounded out of the three companies on the left.

On the 13th the regiment passed through Turner's gap, and, on the morning of the 16th, reached the bank of the Antietam, where for an hour, it was exposed to artillery fire and lost three or four in wounded. At 11 A. M. it changed position, and during the day crossed the creek at a ford made by the division. About 7 P. M. it reached the battle ground of Antietam, and, while moving across an open field to take its position in a piece of woods, received, fire from one of the enemy's batteries, and lost three killed and five wounded. It lay upon its arms in the woods until 5 A. M. of the 17th when the brigade was formed in column by regiment de-ployed in line and led by General Patrick corps by General Hooker, towards Bunker's church. On the left of the turnpike the Second brigade was drawn up in two lines under Colonel Phelps, on whose left were two regiments of the Third brigade. On the turnpike was one regiment of the Third brigade, and battery B, fourth United States artillery, As the enemy's lines were ap¬proached a scattering fire was opened and the First brigade was suddenly marched to the right across the turnpike into the woods in rear of the church. The regiment remained here under a light skirmish fire for about one hour, when it formed parallel to the road in the rear of a cliff for the purpose of attacking the flank of a line of the enemy which had advanced against the Second and Third brigades. In this position it tired about thirty rounds, when the enemy's line gave way and the regiment advanced to the turn-pike. Here it lay down behind the fence and ditch of the turn¬pike and opened fire on the enemy's line, which had been re-formed and re-enforeed, and was kept up until that also gave way. It then moved forward its left wing and captured the battle flag of the 7th Alabama. At this time a line was formed by the enemy in the woods on the right and rear, and a strong fire poured into our lines. The Twenty-first New York fell back down the turn¬pike, and the Thirty-fifth and Twenty-third fell back to the cliff and returned the enemy's fire. Ammunition was soon exhausted, and the Thirty-fifth and Twenty-third were marched by the left flank towards the rear of the army. Reaching the hill where the batteries were posted, the two regiments were halted and faced about in the edge of the woods to give General French an oppor¬tunity to reform his division. The enemy's fire became intensely severe, and French's division was again thrown into confusion. The two regiments then moved back for cartridges, and on being supplied, were placed in support of two batteries, where they remained until the morning of the 18th. In this action the Thirty-fifth lost thirty-two killed and forty-three wounded.

On the 19th the regiment went into camp about one and one-half miles from Sharpsburg, hearse bend in the Potomac river, and remained about one month. It here suffered greatly for want of clothing and shoes, and from typho-malarial diarrhoea and fever, incident to the occupation of a battle ground and to the vicinity of the mounds of the dead. One-half of its officers arid then were unfit for duty. About the l5th of October, the division moved up the river towards Bakersville, and the Thirty-fifth was sent to do picket duty on the river near dam No. 4. On the 26th the division moved to Berlin, where the regiment crossed the river on the 30th, about three hundred and eighty strong—forty of whom were without shoes and without arms. On the 15th of November the ground occupied by the regiment in the affair at Rappahan¬nock station was again occupied by it. On the 24th it reached Brooks' station on the Aquia Creek railroad, and remained until the 8th of December. Here it was supplied, with clothing and blankets', and several of its officers and men returned to duty.

The First division of the First corps crossed the Rappahannock near the Bernard House, on the 12th of December, and was placed in lines parallel with and in front of the river, where it remained during the day under fire from the enemy's artillery on the heights. It had never been placed in reserve in any of the battles in which it had previously been engaged, and hardly knew how to accom¬modate itself to its new position. It was, however, formed in column of battalions in mass, and so remained until 9 A. M., when the regimental columns were deployed, and the division moved down the river nearly one mile. The First brigade was at the head of the column under command, of Col. Rogers. (Gen. Paul being absent.) Skirmishing with and driving the enemy, the division was at length formed parallel to the river, near the Bowl¬ing Green road, the left bending around to the river. During the loth, the Thirty-fifth occupied an exposed position on a ridge of land, where it received fire, from the enemy's artillery for six hours. During this cannonade it lost twelve killed and nineteen wounded—fifteen of the latter suffering amputation of limb. Near night it was reported that the enemy was preparing to charge with cavalry, and squares were formed by several regi¬ments. The Thirty-fifth formed one in rear of two large straw stacks, where it remained until after firing for the day had ceased. After dark the division was drawn in towards the Bernard House about a quarter of a mile, and pickets were established upon the line occupied during the day—two companies of the Thirty-fifth being placed between the straw stacks and exposed to a heavy fire of grape and canister. During the night the Thirty-fifth exchanged places with Col, Cutler of the Wisconsin brigade, and in the morning found itself in the front line at the angle made by the division from the river to the Bowling Green road, and here it remained during the 13th and 14th, and the picket duty of the brigade was done by the regiment during the two days. Up to this time the regiment had not fired a shot, and the opportunity now being given, the men fired their sixty rounds with a will.

During the night of the 15th, the army recrossed the river— the Thirty-fifth losing six men prisoners on picket. After cross¬ing the river the regiment changed camp eight or ten times, picketed the river for two days, and finally camped (Dec. 27th) near Belle Plain. Here it remained until the 10th of January, when Gen. Patrick, then Provost Marshal of the army, made an exchange with Gen. Paul of the First brigade, for five new regi¬ments, numbering about 4,000 men, and the old First brigade ceased to exist, so far as the Regiments hitherto composing it were concerned. The Thirty-fifth, under Gen. Patrick, performed pro¬vost duty at Falmouth, and guard duty along the Aquia Creek railroad in detachments.

On Tuesday, the 19th of May, previous orders having been received to return to Elmira for muster out, the regiment was got together on dress parade, at Falmouth, for the first time in four months. It was then addressed by Gen. Patrick, who shook hands with each man, as an earnest of the feeling with which he bade them good-bye. On Wednesday it took the cars for Aquia Creek and proceeded from thence, en transport, to Washington, where it was received by Capt. Camp of Co. E (then on detached duty as aid-de-camp to Gen. Martindale) with a full band. It reached Elmira on the 22d, and was mustered out of service on the 5th of June.

Strength of regiment, July 24, 1861-officers and men   688
Strength March, 1862   971
Strength April 17th, 1862   827
Strength August 30th, 186   400
Strength September 6th, 1862   436
Strength September 18th, 1862   288
Strength October 26th, 1862   380
Strength December 12th, 186   441
Strength June 5th, 1863   593
Total on the rolls of the regiment   1250
Mustered out June 5th, 1863 593  
Transferred to Eightieth regiment 43  
Killed in battle 130  
Died from disease 70  
Discharged for wound 90  
Discharged for disability 140  
Deserted after August, 1861 40  
Deserted in the State (including fictitious musters) 120  
Officers resigned and dismissed 24 1250