39th Infantry Regiment

Nickname: Garibaldi Guard; Italian Legion; Netherland Legion; Polish Legion; Hungarian Regiment; First Foreign Rifles.

Mustered in: May 28, 1861
Mustered out: July 1, 1865

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

This regiment, raised by the Union Defense Committee of New York city, under special authority from the War Department, was accepted by the State May 27, 1861; organized and recruited at New York city under Col. Frederick George D'Utassy, and mustered in the service of the United States for three years at Washington, D. C., June 6, 1861, to date from May 28, 1861. Three companies consisted of Germans, three of Hungarians, one of Swiss, one of Italians, one of Frenchmen, and one of Spaniards and Portuguese. May 31, 1863, the regiment was consolidated into four companies: A, B, C and D; new companies were organized in the field from recruits: E December 8; F December 14; G December 19; H December 30, 1863; I and K in January, 1864. Companies A, B, C and D were mustered out in New York city June 24, 1864, those not entitled to be discharged having previously been transferred to other companies; and the regiment, six companies, E, F, G, H, I and K, retained in service. In October, 1864, a new Company D, enlisted principally at Malone for one year, joined the regiment; June 2, 1865, the members of the regiment not to be mustered out with it were transferred to the 185th Infantry.
The regiment left the State May 28, 1861; served at and near Washington, D. C., from June 1, 1861; in the 1st Brigade, 5th Division, Army of Northeastern Virginia, from July 13, 1861; in Blenker's Brigade, Division of Potomac, from August 4, 1861; in Stahel's Brigade, Blenker's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October 15, 1861; in 1st Brigade, same division, Mountain Department, from April, 1862; in White's Brigade, Army of Virginia, at Winchester, Va., from July, 1862; at Harper's Ferry, W. Va., from September, 1862; at Camp Douglass, Chicago, Ill., from September 27, 1862; near Washington, D.C., 1st Brigade, Casey's Division, defenses of Washington, from December, 1862; in January, 1863, in 3d Brigade, Casey's, later Abercrombie's Division, 22d Corps; in 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from June 25, 1863; in the 3d, and for a time in the Consolidated, Brigade, 1st Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March, 1864; and was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. Augustus Funk, July I, 1865, except (new) Company D, which had been mustered out, June 7, 1865, at Alexandria, Va.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 5 officers, 62 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 3 officers, 49 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 158 enlisted men; total, 9 officers, 269 enlisted men; aggregate, 278; of whom 1 officer and 99 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.

Thirty-ninth Infantry.—Cols., Frederick G. D'Utassy, Augustus Funk; Lieut.-Cols., Alexander Repetti, Charles Schwartz, James G. Hughes, John McE. Hyde, David A. Allen; Majs., Charles Wiegand, Anton Vekey, Charles Schwartz, Hugo Hillebrandt, Charles C. Baker, John McE. Hyde, David A. Allen, Charles H. Ballou. The 39th, the "Garibaldi Guard," recruited in New York city, was composed of three Hungarian companies, three German, one Swiss, one Italian, one French, one Spanish and one Portuguese, most of whose members had already seen active service. It was mustered into the U. S. service at New York, May 28, 1861, for three years and left the state for Washington on the same day. Camp Grinnell was established near Alexandria and occupied until July 17, when the 39th participated in the movement of the army toward Manassas with the 1st brigade, 5th division, though in the battle of Bull Run the regiment was but slightly engaged. After a few weeks at Alexandria much ill feeling prevailed over the failure to receive some expected privileges and 50 members of Co. G mutinied, but returned to the command after being disciplined by arrest and imprisonment. Until November it was encamped near Roach's mills, when winter quarters were established at Hunter's Chapel. The brigade, originally commanded by Gen. Blenker, was in the spring of 1862 commanded by Gen. Stahel and served in Blenker's division of Sumner's corps. In April, 1862, the division was assigned to Gen. Fremont's command and joined his forces May 11, taking part in the engagements near Strasburg and at Cross Keys. On June 26 the 39th was assigned to the 1st brigade, 3d division, 2nd corps of the army under Gen. Pope, and encamped at Middletown, Va., during July and August. The regiment shared in the disaster at Harper's Ferry in Sept., 1862, and in the surrender 530 of its members fell into the hands of the enemy, but were paroled and proceeded to Camp Douglas, Chicago. They were exchanged in November, returned to Washington and established winter quarters at Centerville, where the regiment was assigned to the 3d brigade, Casey's division, 3d corps in Jan., 1863. In June, 1863, it became part of the 3d brigade, 3d division, 2d corps, and moved to Gettysburg, where it fought valiantly in the front of the left center, with a loss of 95 killed and wounded, the brigade losing six field officers killed or seriously wounded. Three battle flags were captured by the 39th, a Mass. battery was recaptured, and the regiment received official commendation for its valor. Moving southward with the army, the regiment encountered the enemy at Auburn ford and Bristoe Station in October; participated in the Mine Run campaign; went into winter quarters at Brandy Station, where in Dec., 1863, four new companies were received; in Jan., 1864, two others were added to the regiment, which had been previously consolidated into a bat-talion of four companies. In February it was active at Morton's ford; was assigned in March to the 3d brigade, 1st division, 2nd corps; shared in the Wilderness campaign, being active at the Wilderness, at Todd's tavern, the Po river, Spottsylvania, the North Anna, Totopotomoy and Cold Harbor. On June 25, 1864, the origi-nal members not reenlisted were mustered out at New York city, the remainder of the regiment was left in the field and moved with the Army of the Potomac to Petersburg. Seven companies, known as the 39th battalion, were assigned to the consolidated brigade, 2nd corps, and were engaged at Petersburg, Deep Bottom, at Reams' station, Hatcher's run, White Oak ridge, and in the final assault on the Petersburg fortifications April 2, 1865. The battalion then joined in the pursuit of Lee's army and performed various routine duties in the vicinity of Richmond until July I, 1865, when it was mustered out at Alexandria. The 39th lost during its term of serv-ice 119 by death from wounds, and 159 by death from accident, imprisonment or disease, of whom 94 died in prison.


39th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | National Color | Civil War

The 39th Regiment, or “Garibaldi Guard,” organized in New York City under Colonel Frederick George D’tassy and mustered into service for three years…


39th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Flank Markers | Civil War

The 39th Regiment , or “Garibaldi Guard,” mustered into service for three years by 6 June 1861. When their three year term expired, those entitled…

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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.

Aikey, Michael. "The Flamboyant Garibaldi Guards." America's Civil War. (May 1995) pp. 54-60.

Alduino, Frank W.; Coles, David J. ""Ye come from many a far off clime; And speak in many a tongue"." : The Garibaldi Guard and Italian-American Service in the Civil War." Italian Americana. 22 :1 Winter 2004. 47-63.

Bacarella, Michael. Lincoln's Foreign Legion: The 39th New York Infantry, The Garibaldi Guard. Shippensbury, PA: White Mane Publishing Company, 1996.

Campbell, Eric A. ""Remember Harper's Ferry!"." : The degradation, humiliation, and redemption of Col. George L Willard's Brigade - Part Two." Gettysburg: Historical Articles of Lasting Interest. :Eight January 1993. 95-110.

Cassani, Emanuele. Italiani nella Guerra Civile americana, 1861-1865. Civitavecchia, Roma: Prospettiva, 2006.

Catalfamo, Catherine. The Thorny Rose: The Americanization of an Urban, Immigrant, Working Class Regiment in the Civil War. A Social History of the 39th New York Volunteer Infantry. The University of Texas at Austin, 1989. Ph.D. Thesis. 
Now available online.

D'Utassy, Frederick George. Papers, 1861 Mar.-1863 June.
Description: 3 boxes (ca. 1,300 items)
Language: English; In English, German, Hungarian, French, and Italian.
Abstract: Correspondence, bills, receipts, and papers relating to his activities while commanding the 39th Infantry, N.Y.S.V. (ca. 1,300 items), mostly letters to him from other officers and friends. Many letters in German and other European languages. Correspondents include Mahlon D. Sands, Chaplain Anthony P. Zyla, Capt. Francis Takats, Theodore Talbot, Maj. L.W. Tinelli, Maj. Charles Wiegand, Lt. Alexandro Biscaccianti, J. Batory, Mrs. B.G. Bacon, Capt. John C. Gittermann, Mrs. E. von Hafften, Miss F. De Winton, and others.
Note(s): Bio/History: Colonel and commanding officer of the "Garibaldi Guard", 39th Infantry, New York Volunteers. "Count" D'Utassy, as he styled himself in New York society, raised this group of foreign nationals to fight for the Union and was court-martialed for incompetency as a soldier in 1863.
General Info: Access: open to qualified researchers at The New-York Historical Society./ This collection is owned by The New-York Historical Society. Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Library Director of The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024./ Organization: Arranged in chronological order./ Partial index available in repository.

Field, Ron. "Garibaldi's American Legion." Military Illustrated. N128 (September 1998) pp. 28-33.

The Heirs of Lafayette : Exploring French Immigrant Soldiers in the American Civil War. June 9, 2020. (Senior Capstone, Southern Oregon University)

Hoyt, Charles S.; Hoyt-Smith, Jean (ed.) A Surgeon's Diary : 1861-1865.

Hoyt family. Hoyt family papers, 1828-1956.
Year: 1828-1956
Description: 2.1 cubic ft.; volumes; map case items.
Abstract: Scrapbooks, diaries, account books, address books, and other notebooks (40 volumes); correspondence, typescripts, notes, photographs and albums, diplomas and commissions, bills and receipts, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous papers of Charles S. Hoyt of Potter, his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Burroughs Smith of New York City, Clinton, and Utica, New York, and letters and scrapbooks of his other children, Charles S. Hoyt, Jr. and Agnes Barnum Hoyt; the correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, and other papers of Charles S. Hoyt, Sr., relate to his activities as surgeon with the 126th and 39th Regiments, New York Volunteers, with whom he served in Maryland and Virginia during the Civil War; as New York State Assemblyman from Yates County (1853, 1867); and as secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Charities (1869+). Mrs. Jean Broughton Hoyt Smith's correspondence, manuscripts, scrapbooks, and other papers pertain to her training as a nurse at Bellevue Hospital (1902), her profession as an interior decorator, and other matters. Also, originals or copies of several letters to various members of the Hoyt family from or about Franklin Benjamin Sanborn and Charles James Folger, and a number of letters to Confederate soldiers from relatives and friends in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida describing conditions in the South as it was beset by Union forces.
Access: Materials specified: Finding aidLink to external web site
General Info: Guide available. Preferred citation: Hoyt Family papers, #1812. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Josika-Herczeg, Imre. "America's Ties With Hungary." Current History (1916-1940). 14 :2 May 1921. 222-224.

Künstler, Mort. The High water mark, Gettysburg July 3, 1863. [Oyster Bay, N.Y. ], American Spirit Publishing, 1988.
High Water Mark, Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. Prnit by Kunstler
Description: 1 art print : lithograph, col. ; 25 x 29 cm.
Abstract: This lithograph shows a scene from the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. The picture includes the Union troops behind the stone wall during Pickett's Charge, along with the Angle, copse of trees, and Big and Little Round Top. Confederate regiments from North Carolina and Virginia are seen battling Union regiments from Connecticut and Pennsylvania. According to Künstler, it shows the moment when the Confederates start to retreat. The work was created to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the battle.
Note: Publisher's website.
Note(s): Paper./ Image area measured in frame./ Bio/History: Mort Künstler has been painting images of the Civil War for over twenty years. He studied art at Brooklyn College, UCLA, and the Pratt Institute, and was an illustrator with National Geographic. Like many historical artists, Künstler works closely with historians to learn more about whatever subject is being painted at that time. His art has been featured in many television shows and books.

Lloyd, Mark, and Michael Codd (Illustrator). Combat uniforms of the Civil War. Volume one, The Federal Army. Philadelphia : Chelsea House Publishers, 1999. 
Material Type: Pre-adolescent.

Marraro, Howard R. "Lincoln's Italian Volunteers from New York." New York History vXXIV n1 (January 1943) 57-67.

Mitgang, Herbert. "Garibaldi and Lincoln." Civil War Chronicles. 2 :1 Summer 1992. 4-13.

Muster roll collection, 1775-1876.
Description: 1.2 linear feet (4 boxes, 1 oversize)
Abstract: Muster rolls, 1775-1876, including significant numbers from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The Revolutionary War material contains a few returns of clothing and receipts of stores, as well as muster rolls for the Royal Americans, regiments of artillery, and regiments from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Civil War material consists of muster rolls for the 7th, 39th, 52nd, and 57th Regiments of New York State Volunteers, with a few other miscellaneous papers. There are also muster rolls for the 6th, 9th, 11th, 55th, 71st, 84th and 96th regiments of the New York State National Guard, from 1866 to 1876.
General Info: Access: open to qualified researchers at the New-York Historical Society./ This collection is owned by the New-York Historical Society. Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Library Director of the New-York Historical Society, Two West 77th Street, New York, NY 10024.

Pellicano, John M. Conquer of Die: The 39th New York Volunteer Infantry Garibaldi Guard. Flushing, NY: 1996.

Schurz, Carl, and Ludwig Knoth. Papers, 1841-1906.
Description: 3.0 c.f. (5 archives boxes, 1 flat box, 6 volumes) and. 2 reels of microfilm (35mm)
Abstract: Papers touching upon the Wisconsin connections of Carl Schurz, a German "forty-eighter" who came to Watertown, Wis., in 1855, and on his public career as a Liberal Republican leader, journalist, and cabinet member. Correspondence includes originals and copies of letters to his family in Germany describing his participation in the revolutionary movement of 1848-1849, his exile, and his decision to come to America; photostatic copies from the Library of Congress of letters received by Schurz from men of Wisconsin connections, 1857-1861; copies of letters from the Hayes Memorial Library, written by Schurz to President Hayes, 1867-1887; letters by Schurz, 1889-1906, to Mrs. Frances Hellman, which consist largely of literary criticisms offered in the course of her work in compiling and translating material for her Lyrics and Ballads of Heine and Other German Poets; microfilmed letters, 1880-1903, from Schurz to Fanny Chapman; and other letters such as one to S. J. Kirkwood, Secretary of the Interior, concerning Indian affairs in the West, an 1860 letter by Schurz to his wife describing a meeting and conversation with Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, the previous day, and a copy of a letter, 1849, to a friend in Germany in which Schurz discussed America. Many of the letters are in German, some with English translations. Also present is the original manuscript of Schurz's four-volume Life of Henry Clay; an address at the funeral of William Steinway; one volume written in German by Dr. Ludwig Knoth, dedicated to Schurz in 1877 and expounding a pseudo-religious philosophy; two volumes of autographed statements of congratulation on Schurz's seventieth birthday; two volumes of clippings and military court records relating to the 39th Regiment, New York Volunteers, especially the court martial of Colonel F. G. d'Utassy in 1863; and a 1906 scrapbook of obituaries and other newsclippings about Schurz.
References: English translations of Schurz's letters to Germany were published in Intimate Letters of Carl Schurz, 1841-1869 (Madison, 1928), edited by Joseph Schafer.
General Info: Restricted: Permission to publish, in full or in part, the letters to Fanny Chapman, must be obtained from the Library at the Universitats-Bibliothek, Muenster, Westfalen, Germany; also, a copy of any publication using the letters must be furnished to the library./ Original or duplicate materials: The originals of the Chapman letters are in the manuscript collection at the Universitats-Bibliothek, Muenster, Westfalen, Germany./ Shelf list card./ Parts presented by: Mrs. John Downes, Chicago, Ill., 1963 and 1977; Frances Hellman, Jan. 18, 1933; C. A. Evans, Dec. 6, 1933; Clara Leiser, Nov. 30, 1932, and Jan. 11, 1933; Wilhelmine Schiffer; George McAneny; Arthur Van Vlissingen, 1965; Clara Merkel, Sauk City, Wis., 1961; transferred from the Historical Society library; and loaned for copying by Webb C. Hayes, Fremont, Ohio. Chapman film purchased in 1958.

Seward, William Foote, 1853-1928. "The Civil War--The War With Spain--The World War." Binghamton and Broome County, New York : a history. New York, Chicago: Lewis historical Pub. Co. 1924.

Soldiers memorial Company I, 39th regt. New York volunteers. Washington, D. C.: C. G. Case, R. G. Walrad [and] B. C. Baker, c1863. ilIus. broadside, 56 1/2 X 46cm. Lith of Sarony, Major & Knapp, New York.

Todd, Frederick P. "39th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Garibaldi Guard), 1861-1862." Military Collector and Historian.

Waring, George Edwin. "The Garibaldi guard." The first book of the Authors club, liber scriptorum (1893) 568-75.

Waud, Alfred R. Surrender of the revolting Garibaldi Guards to the U.S. Cavalry.
Description: 1 drawing on olive paper : pencil, Chinese white, and black ink wash ; 18.6 x 27.2 cm. (sheet)
In: Civil War drawing collection at the Library of Congress
Standard No: LCCN: 2004-660019
Access: Materials specified: color film copy transparencyLink to external web site http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g05172
Note(s): Signed lower left: A.R. Waud./ Title inscribed on verso./ Dated derived from text in NYIN.
General Info: No known restrictions on publication./ Forms part of: Civil War drawing collection.; Published with descriptive text in: New York Illustrated News, July 22 1861, with caption: Surrender of mutineers of the Garibaldi Guard, p. 188.
Original located at the Library of Congress.


Unit bibliograhy from the Army Heritage Center

Items in the museum collection are in bold.