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

It was the morning of June 18, 1863. In the camp of the 39th New York, the men were hurriedly gathering together belongings in preparation for striking camp and marching. Rumor had it that General Lee, the gray wolf, had crossed the Potomac River with his entire army for a second invasion of the North, and the Union Armies in Virginia and Maryland were setting out to stop him. The late June sun bore down upon them with glaring intensity, and their dark blue four-buttoned fatigue jackets, that had long since replaced their hussar coats and Red Shirts, were already becoming soaked with sweat. Soon the order to fall in passed through the camp, the men headed for the color line, and the regimental band played the accompanying call. (1)

Not long before, a new organization of the Union Army under Joseph Hooker had placed the Garibaldians in the Third Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps under General Winfield S. Hancock. Their Division Commander was General Alexander Hays and Colonel George L. Willard of the 125th New York commanded the brigade. A few months before the Garibaldians had received a shock from which they had not yet recovered: the arrest and court-martial of Colonel D'Utassy. Nearly all of the original officers of the Guard had taken their leave, either by court-martial and dismissal, by resignation, or by their own volition. (2 Major Hugo Hildebrandt still commanded the four remaining companies, enough only for a battalion.

The Garibaldians swung into marching cadence, away from the open field on Sugar Loaf Mountain, Maryland, that had only this morning been marked off in company streets. Their destination, by order of "Fighting Joe" Hooker, was Frederick, but as they passed the Monocacy River, the news came through the grapevine that Hooker had been replaced by yet another in a long series of Union commanders--George Gordon Meade. Hooker's resounding defeat at Chancellorsville, a defeat that had been blamed on the Garibaldians' old comrades of the German Division, (now in the Union Eleventh Corps under General Oliver Otis Howard), had sent Lincoln searching for another answer to the seemingly endless command problems of the Army of the Potomac. Reacting to the changing strategic scenario, General Meade's first actions were to change the orders of his Army. The Garibaldians encamped early at Monocacy Junction, but were aroused at 4 A.M. with new orders for a forced march that lent a new note of urgency to reveille. But this night the men received a short reprieve. An accident somewhere in the camp postponed the march until 8 A.M. and the men sank to the ground for a few more treasured hours of sleep.

As the situation unfolded the men would need all the sleep they could get, for the next day, they covered thirty miles of ground under a relentless sun that offered no relief. Due to inaccurate maps, they had not reached their destination by 10 P.M., when they finally went into bivouac near Uniontown, Maryland. Here they stayed all of June 30 under an alert for a possible Confederate raid by Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. Stuart was ascertained to be at nearby Westminister, Maryland with a large force. But the attack never came, and the next morning the Second Corps moved north to Taneytown, near the Pennsylvania border. They arrived there an hour before noon, and as rumors of an alleged clash of arms to the north ran through the camps, the men built cookfires for the noonday meal. As the hour, progressed, the rumors gained more and more credibility: scon it was known that the Second Corps commander had galloped furiously away to the north to take temporary command of some Union forces at a small Pennsylvania town named Gettysburg, where the previous commander had fallen in battle and that Lee had amassed all of his hardened, confident and aggressive veterans to carry the struggle to Northern soil. Now under the command of General John Gibbon, the Garibaldians and the Second Corps hit the dusty roads once again in a hasty march into Pennsylvania. (3)

By late afternoon the sweltering sun began to shed its oppressive glare, and the cloudless sky had taken on overtones of dark blue-grey. The warm gentle breeze that had been blowing began to gain in volume, turning the leaves on the trees inside out, then subsiding and gaining volume again. After the humidity of the day, the tepid wind was a relief to the soldiers, except that it played havoc with the roads, sending dust-devils slapping into their faces. As they marched past marshy land, the noisy, insistent chirping of crickets against the background of swelling winds announced the first spattering drops of rain, cool and refreshing. Such passionate displays of nature must have been exhilarating to many of the men, drawing their attention from the tedium of the march, making it feel good to be alive. (4)

The rain continued into the night More uncomfortable now than they had been initially, the men encamped for a short time about three miles from the town of Gettysburg. Here they learned that the Federal Army had taken a serious whipping that day, the soldiers retreating in panic and disorder through the streets of the town. Only their defensive occupation of the town's Cemetery Hill and Farmer Culp's Hill had saved the Northern boys from complete destruction. Fate was on their side. The rebel General Dick Ewell had been given orders to take the two hills, but he decided instead to wait for reinforcements. (5)

At 3 A.M. the Garibaldians approached the fields of Gettysburg by way of the Taneytown Road. In what became the lull before the storm, they were halted "on a ridge nearly parallel with the road, facing westward." In front of them, below the crest of the ridge stood a stone wall and a quarter mile distant, a barn. Shielded from the immensity of the conflict by the microcosm of their ranks, they were simply veteran troops on a new field of conflict, different only because it took place on friendly Northern soil. Soon after daybreak, the Garibaldians were deployed as skirmishers and marched forward in scattered ranks to contest Confederate possession of the barn, which was found to be a haven for sharpshooters. As musketfire crackled, the men threw themselves down into kneeling and reclining positions, and it was not long before the Garibaldians had spent their first young blood on the field of Gettysburg. During four hours of brutal skirmishing, twenty-six enlisted men and two commissioned officers, almost twice as many as at Harper's Ferry, were killed or wounded in the valley between the Taneytown and Emmittsburg roads, a little southwest of Gettysburg's graveyard.

At high noon, as the treacherously hot sun loomed directly overhead, the regiment was ordered back to its place in the ranks of Willard's brigade, and the field in this place fell quiet for a time, giving the men and their officers the chance to examine their position. (6)

The Union line, south of the town, resembled a fish hook. The curve of the hook embraced Cemetery and Culp's Hill, the scene of the first day's conflict The length of the hook extended along the ridge starting at the cemetery and ending at Little Round Top and the giant rock formation that would be subsequently named Devil's Den. This left flank of the battleline would be the focal point of the second day's battle. A corps under General Daniel Sickles, the politician who had gained notoriety by killing the son of Frances Scott Key in a duel, held this position where the ridge flattened into level terrain. Without the protection of higher ground, Sickles feared a rebel assault. Consequently, he moved his entire line forward toward the Emmitsburg Pike, not realizing that he had left a gigantic gap in the Union line. He took position in a peach orchard, placing his guns on the Pike. General Meade was concerned with the reports of Sickles' movements. He rode out from his headquarters to find Sickles and reprimand him, but just then rebel General Longstreet launched a furious attack on Sickles' overextended line. Simultaneously, Confederate troops sprinted for Little Round Top, the mini-mountain above Devil's Den, which, like Harper's Ferry's Maryland Heights, was the key to the Union line. Luckily, swarthy and rakish General Governeur Warren, Meade's Chief of Engineers, realized the flaw just in time. He quickly ordered troops and artillery to the top of the hill, and they dramatically saved the position for the Union Army.

As the desperate hand to hand combat culminated at the summit of Little Round Top, the conflagration in the valley swept furiously forward. Torrents of rebels fell on Sickles' exposed flank and his front, slamming his troops out of the peach orchard. Counterattack after counterattack was repelled with ghastly losses. Meade was sending in reinforcements from all the corps of his army, and regiments were shattered one after the other by the Confederate offensive. (7)

At about 5 P.M. the Garibaldians and their Third Brigade comrades, with Winfield Scott Hancock himself at their head, were pulled from the Union center and marched a half mile to the left to be thrown into the furnace that had been the peach orchard. Just as they pulled into line, the rebel attackers plunged forward in another screaming assault on their right Hastily the brigade was ordered to the right to meet the advance. Shell and cannister rained death and agony upon them as they maneuvred to meet the Confederates head on. With the 39th New York again acting as a skirmish line, they advanced down the slope in perfect precision, not a man faltering or hesitating. They struggled through a dense, creeping underbrush interspersed with rocks, scrub oak and trees, still in good order, and then the rebel infantrymen, who had been hiding in the brush, opened upon them sending a volley of hot metal cylinders thudding into their ranks. Still, the line did not waver and the charge continued. They were a human steamroller now; nothing could stop them as they reached the base of the hill and fixed bayonets for the assault. Up the slope the men vaulted, cutting and tearing at the astonished rebels who had taken the position so easily from Union men in the previous hour. The Garibaldians were among the captured cannons of the Fifth U.S. Artillery now, some bayoneting, some using their muskets as clubs, others going for the throats of the Confederates, routing them from the hill in glorious revenge and planting their flag before the recaptured cannons, as other Union men came up to help drag the Union caissons back to the line. And still the brigade did not stop. The advance continued until the rebels opened with muskets, grape and cannister, that most devastating of projectiles, and the gaps blown in the line, the gaps blown in men's bodies, were too severe, too awful to go further. The commander ordered the men to retire now, and, performing a perfect right wheel, the men at the right end pivoting in place to effect a graceful diameter, they moved back over the ground saturated with the flesh and blood of their comrades, the wreckage of broken bodies, in keen sober regularity. They formed their line again in their original position, but even as the command to do so left his lips, Colonel Willard, their immediate brigade commander, was killed horribly and instantly by a shot from Confederate cannon on the hill. The men reacted coolly, and and another skirmish line went insolently forward, spewing fire as it advanced. The second day's battle of Gettysburg succumbed grimly and numbly to twilight now, brought on the sooner by the dense, black cloud of battle smoke that clung to the grounds and bushes. On the far right of the Union line at Cemetery Hill, one more Confederate attack was fended off by the Northerners, and the book slammed closed on the day's fighting. (8)

The Third Brigade had taken horrifying losses. More than one half of its men had fallen and for much of the night the men searched grimly for their dead and wounded comrades, cut down in gruesome ways on the field and in the underbrush. The night was nightmarishly clear, a moon, obscene in its brightness, illuminating sickeningly the grisly spectacle of broken, shattered bodies, amidst the other battle debris. All night the moans and heart-rending pleas of the wounded pierced through the eerie stillness in macabre cacophony, the morbid symphony of this manmade purgatory of war. It was later said that the Third Brigade in its hell-bent struggle on the Union left, had saved the day for the Union side.

Aided by the brightness of the night, rebel batteries opened afresh on the Union line south of Cemetery Hill, where the Garibaldians had resumed their Brigade's position, at about 3 A.M.. The men, frightened from an uneasy sleep by the continuing nightmare of reality fell into line in preparation for action and sent forward skirmishers to gauge the strength of the attack. A brief scuffle over the old barn began again, and finally, later in the morning, the barn was set afire in order to clear the Third Brigade's front. At 9 A.M. an ominous silence swallowed the battlefield, and the patchy clouds of powder smoke drifted lazily in the clear, sun-kissed sky. The sun became oppressive in its radiance, and the smell of death mingled in sickeningly sweet-sour scent with honeysuckle, black powder, and the sharp odor of sweat- drenched wool and fear.

The Union men could not fathom the mystery of the silence. They lounged in the grass, munching on rations, numb with fatigue. Just as the unearthly still began to be unbearable, one solitary cannon shot set spirals of white smoke to the sky. Then, another belched forth, and finally, on signal, a shuddering bellow moved along the line of rebel gunners across the valley on Seminary Ridge commencing an artillery duel that has been called the greatest noise on the American continent up to that time blasted forth. Colonel Frank Haskell, General John Gibbon's aide, described it as he stood on Cemetery Ridge:

To say that it was like a summer storm, with the crash of thunder, the glare of lightning, the shrieking of the wind, and the clatter of hailstones, would be weak. The thunder and lightning of these two hundred and fifty guns and their shells, whose smoke darkens the sky, are incessant, all pervading, in the air above our heads, on the ground at our feet, remote, near, deafening, ear-piercing, astounding, and these hailstones are massy iron, charged with exploding fire...These guns are great infuriate demons, not of the earth, whose mouths blaze with smoky tongues of living fire, and whose murky breath, sulfur-laden, rolls around them, and along the ground the smoke of Hades...[the cannonadings] at second Bull the Antietam, and at Fredericksburg...were but holiday salutes compared with this. (9)

The men of the Third Brigade crouched down behind every cover possible to escape the shattering bombardment. A stone wall near the crest of Cemetery Ridge offered some protection and miraculously, the rebel fire was aimed a trifle too high to do much damage to the Union infantry there. One officer was able to walk in front of his line unhurt, with the shells passing high over his head. The hellish din, which some said continued for two hours, began to subside as Union gunners ran slowly but surely out of long range ammunition. The purpose of the rebel fire was to do just that, to wipe out as many Union guns as possible to cripple the Federal ability to sustain further assaults. As Union guns failed to reply to the Confederate artillery, the rebels apparently believed that they had disabled all the Union batteries. No man could see twenty feet in either direction now, as an ocean of black, choking battle smog had completely engulfed the field turning it into a bizarre factory of devastation. As the last echoes bounced off of distant hills, the smog began to rise, and the men on Cemetery Hill were accosted by the most stupendous sight most of them would see in their lives. There, less than a mile away, it looked as though the whole Army of Northern Virginia had begun to advance in dress parade ranks! Thousands and thousands of tattered scarecrows in grey and brown, battleflags waving, were organized into their companies, regiments, brigades and divisions and were marching forward upon the Union line, stopping every now and then to dress ranks, assure precision. It looked like a damned grand review! And all the Union men could do was watch, in open-mouthed, pop-eyed wonder, as the neat Confederate lines paraded toward them.

Some of the Garibaldians may have thought of the hired death machines of Europe, the pomp and precision of royal mercenaries sent to enslave them, to perpetuate reaction. The rebels came closer and closer; the Union men, ordered to hold their fire, probably felt as though they were caught in one of those nightmares, where something's chasing you and you can't run, or raise your arms to fend off danger. Finally the Northerners could stand the tension no more. At one hundred yards, just within range, the Federal troops let loose spurting fire a mile long on the charge of Pickett and his Virginians; some had double loaded their muskets, turning them into shotguns today. This was almost too easy. The Union cannoneers opened on the rushing rebels now, tearing holes in the neat ranks, the Confederate gunners could not fire for fear of hitting their own men, so close were they to the Yankees, a mistake that had wounded several earlier in the day. Men were falling everywhere, and still the rebel ranks came on and on. They were at the stone wall now and hysterical hand-to-hand fighting broke out all along the structure, the Garibaldi Guard and the Third Brigade taking part in it Then the Union line began to falter, and a rebel general with his hat on the tip of his sword led an assault on a Union battery at the top of the ridge. History hung in mid-air as rebel troops were among the Federal guns and the general, Lewis Armistead, an old army comrade of Hancock's, placed a defiant and triumphant hand on a Union cannon barrel. A Union musket rang true, and Armistead pitched backward as the Union men fought body and soul to wrestle the rebels off the ridge. The savage intensity was too much for the decimated Confederate line. The Confederacy had reached its high water mark at the point in the Union line where the Garibaldians lay behind sited muskets. Now, the terrible, mournful moan that so many men would talk about later as the only human sound to be heard that day, reached a new pitch as the Confederate line melted away. Soon their retreat became a panicked rout, the Union men taking prisoners, and some Confederates falling to their knees to beg dejectedly for mercy from Union bayonets. Pickett's Charge had failed, but no European battle could compete with the gruesome, spectacular holocaust of the third day at Gettysburg. (10)

The Garibaldians lost at least 95 men at Gettysburg, including Major Hildebrandt, who was seriously wounded in the leg and returned to duty for only a short time before being subsequently discharged from the service. (11) They captured three rebel battleflags, fought courageously and unerringly to successfully retake a captured artillery battery, and were commended for their valor in the official reports of several officers. Their Harper's Ferry comrades vindicated themselves in their own blood. Three men of the 126th New York, those Harper's Ferry cowards, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their capture of Confederate colors. Brig.-Gen. Alexander Hays, commanding the Third Division, put it well:

The history of this brigade's operation is written in blood. Colonel Willard was killed, and next day, after the brigade had rejoined the division, his successor, Col. Eliakim Sherrill, One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, also fell. Colonel Clinton McDougall, One hundrd and eleventh New York Volunteers, and Major Hugo Hildebrandt, Thirty-Ninth New York Volunteers, were each severely wounded, leaving the brigade in command of a lieutenant-colonel. The loss of this brigade amounts to one-half the casualties in the division. The acts of traitors at Harper's Ferry had not tainted their patriotism. (12)

Some of the Garibaldians' dead comrades were buried in the Gettysburg Cemetery with their remains unidentified except by regiment. There is an obelisk on Cemetery Hill on the Union right, and in a farm yard, on what was the left of the Union line, a British bom farmwoman will allow you to climb her fence and sidestep her cows to observe a tiny monument to the Guard where the Third Brigade plugged with valor the hole that Sickles left.


By September of 1862 and the surrender at Harper's Ferry, the Garibaldi Guard was down to half its regimental strength. (13) After the battle of Gettysburg only four skeletal companies remained. By December 1863, after a small engagement at Bristoe Station, Virginia, 90% of the original Garibaldi Guard was gone. Barely a company of men remained from the original muster. In December of 1863 and January of 1864, recruiters returned to New York to fill the depleted ranks of the 39th New York with primarily Irish and American conscripts, unwilling victims of the new draft laws. (14) Simultaneously, a rash of fraudulent enlistments broke the monotony of winter quarters for the few remaining Garibaldians. Apparently someone thought it a great joke, (and a good way to collect a recruitment commission) to apprehend drunken French and Italian sailors, change their names and enlist them in the Garibaldi Guard Waking up the next morning to the headsplitting squeal of the bugle, with little memory of the night's events and a tremendous aching hangover, the new "recruits" would be prodded into line, unable to defend themselves in the English language. When the mistakes were discovered, and aliases matched to the names of those missing from their ships, the impressed sailors were discharged and turned over to the French and Italian legations in Washington. (15)

By February 1864 the 39th New York, with fewer than one hundred of its original members, was almost a brand new regiment. Six new companies had been added, and the number of foreign-bom veterans continued to dwindle. Even so, in February 1864 the new Third Brigade commander, Brigadier General Joshua Owen, reported that the 39th New York sentinels appeared to be "very poorly instructed" and "extremely inefficient..partly owing," Owen thought, "to their ignorance of the English language." Owen did not consider the "pickets of the 39th as safe against any attempts to penetrate their line." Owen demanded a "rigid exam of all officers in knowledge of the English language and duties of picket guard." (16) It is difficult to believe that, given the new composition of the regiment, those unable to speak English were numerous enough to stand picket duty together, especially since the veterans were spread out in different newly reinforced companies, veterans who had served many hours of previous picket duty with few problems.. One wonders if nativism was operating even at this late date against the reputation of the Garibaldians, now that their commanding officers were all native born.

On February 6th, 1864 the one hundred remaining veterans were used grouped together as a combat unit for the last time at the battle of Morton's Ford. Lieutenant Colonel James G. Hughes, the 39th's regimental commander ordered Captains Baer and Schwickardi to deploy the "old soldiers of the regiment" as skirmishers. In the cold and wet Virginia morning fog, they crossed the frigid and deep Rapidan River "in gallant style" and drove the Confederate forces from their rifle pits, and unfinished abatis, taking fifteen rebel prisoners. (17) Although the battle resulted in a Union victory, the rest of the 39th, less than two months in the service, and never previously under heavy fire, did not fare so well. Faltering under fire, the new conscripts and substitutes weakened the line causing tremendous casualties considering the shortness of the engagement. The 39th's losses included one man killed, seventeen wounded, and seventeen missing, out of only 390 troops. (18)

By June 1864 the end of the three year enlistment period of the original 39th New York Volunteer Infantry, only a handful of veterans remained. On June 25, 1864, these last Garibaldians were mustered out of the United States service in New York City. (19)


Footnotes for Chapter 9

1 The Union sack coat was actually a "modern" replacement for the old fashioned military shell jacket that the Confederates used. In the late 1850's, the "Tweedside" coat began replacing the fulltailed frock-coat for sporty men's wear; this was the ancestor of the modem men's "sport coat" and dress coat with four or five buttons and a straight body reaching the thighs without a defined waistline. The coat had a muslin lining and kidney shaped inner pocket to hold belongings like a toothbrush, testament, diary, etc. It was the regulation Union infantry coat. The regulation shirt was dark grey flannel with a placket opening but many soldiers procured muslin shirts for warmer weather. Shirts that opened all the way down the front were new in the 1860's, becoming prevalent by the late 1870's. The sky blue kersey wool pants were held up by duck or leather "braces" (suspenders). Unlike modern pants, Civil War era men's pants did not "fit" the waist and hips. There were no belt loops or belts integral to the pants. Without the braces the pants would fall down and they were worn under the ribs rather than at the waist They had a watch pocket in the waistband and two pockets either slit-pockets or "mule ear" pockets in the sides--none in the back. They were loose, wide bottomed and covered the instep of the bootee. The front fly was an innovation of the 1830's. As a young West Point cadet, George Pickett returned from Europe one semester with not only his perfumed curls, but the new "French fly" He was nearly expelled for obscene dress. Unlike the fall front pants of previous decades, the new style accentuated a part of the body that was off limits to the Victorian imagination. For marching and fighting pants were tucked into woolen socks or gaiters. Many men wore a vest over the shirt which for the Union men was either sky or navy (it was called Prussian) blue, with a dark brown, medium brown or black polished cotton lining and back. The regulation vest resembled in cut a shell jacket without sleeves. It had a high military neck and small brass buttons. Civilian vests were also worn, or none at all. Both the button fly pants and the vest were cinched at the back waist with small buckles. All kinds of hats found their way into the Federal army. Wide and moderate brimmed felt hats, similar to the Garibaldians' hats, slouchy "bummer" caps, regulation French kepis, even straw hats. Army of the Potomac men tended to be more "spit and polish" than the Western men, so you found more kepis worn by them. Extant examples are the primary source for these comments.

2 A complete list of resignations, dismissals etc. can be found in the Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States Army for the Years 1861-1862-1863-1864-1865 (Washington D.C. Adjutant General's Office, 1865) in the National Archives Military Records Division, Washington D.C. By December 1863, those who had resigned included two Majors, 12 Captains, 11 First Lieutenants, 10 Second Lieutenants, a Surgeon and a Chaplain; Those who were discharged included 2 Lieutenant Colonels including Repetti, and two Majors, including Waring and Hildebrandt, 3 Assistant Surgeons, 6 Captains, 11 First Lieutenants, 5 Second Lieutenants, and Chaplain Anthony P. Zyla. Those dismissed from the service for wrongdoing included Col. D'Utassy, 4 Captains, 9 First Lieutenants, 3 Second Lieutenants and 1 Assistant Surgeon.

3 Report of General Winfield S. Hancock, OR I, xxvii-1, 367-369.

4 Several accounts mention the fact that it did rain the night of July 1. It also rained on the 110th anniversary of the battle under similar atmospheric conditions. I attended and participated as a Confederate soldier in a historical re-enactment of the battle in July 1973.

5 The recapitulation of the general history of the battle of Gettysburg throughout this chapter was gleaned from the following sources: Bruce Catton, This Hallowed Ground (New York: Doubleday, 1956), 239-257; Catton, Glory Road (New York: Doubleday, 1952), 268-337; Don Congdon, Ed., Combat! The Civil War (New York: Delacorte Press, 1967), 341-387; J. G. Randall and David Donald, The Civil War and Reconstruction (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1961), 399-406; Frederick Tilberg, Gettysburg (Washington D.C.: National Park Service Historical Handbook Series, No. 9, 1954). On Sickles' movements see also Report of Maj. Gen. David B. Birney, commanding First Division, Third Corps, OR I. xxvii-1, 482-485.

6 Report of Lt. Col. James M. Bull, MR-HI. xxvii-1,472-474; Report of Brigadier General Alexander Hays, OR I. xxvii-1,453.

7 See note 5.

8 Bull's Report, 472-4; Hays Report, 453-455; Report of Colonel Clinton B. MacDougall, OR I, xxvii-1, 474-475; Report of Captain Aaron P. Seeley, 475-477.

9 Frank Haskell, The Battle of Gettysburg, ed. Bruce Catton (Boston: Houghlin Mifflin, 1958), 78.

10 In my opinion, the best account of the third day at Gettysburg was the only American counterpart to Keegan's Face of Battle: George Stewart's Pickett's Charge: A Microhistory of the Final Attack at Gettysburg (Boston: Houghlin Mifflin, 1959);. Also used, besides the sources in note 5 were the essays in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, III. 244-441. 11 Return of Casualties in the Union forces..., OR-I xxvii-1, 177.

12 Hays Report, 453.

13 Putnam's Rebellion Record, 442.

14 Lonn, 141-142.

15 Regimental Order Book, Jan. 27, 1864, Jan. 30, 1864. Later on in 1864, someone actually arrested a drunken Italian seaman named Antonio Cutormini, drugged the man and enlisted him in the 39th.

16 Regimental Order Book, February 2, 1864.

17 Report of Lieut. Col. James G. Hughes, Feb. 9, 1864, OR I, xxxiii, 134.

18 Hughes Report, 135; Report of Brig. Gen. Alexander Hays, Commanding Third Division, Feb. 13, 1864, OR I. xxxiii, 126-127.

19 "Thirty-Ninth New York". The Union Army: History of Military Affairs, II (Madison, Wisconsin: Federal Publishing Co., 1908), 76-77.

Copyright by Catherine Catalfamo, 1989