48th Infantry Regiment

Nickname: Continental Guard; Perry's Saints

Mustered in: August 16, 1861
Mustered out: September 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. 

Colonel James H. Perry received authority from the War Department, July 24, 1861, to recruit a regiment of infantry at Brooklyn. This regiment was recognized and numbered by the State authorities September 14, 1861. It was mustered in the service at the United States for three years, between August 16 and September 16, 1861. The regiment received by transfer, January 30, 1864, a portion of the Enfants Perdus. At the expiration of its term of service, the men entitled thereto were sent to New York city, September 17, 1864, and there discharged September 20, 1864, and the regiment continued in service. June 9, 1865, the officers and enlisted men of the 117th Infantry, not mustered out with their regiment, joined this by transfer.
The companies were recruited principally: A. C, G and I at Brooklyn; B at Brooklyn and Peekskill; D — Jersey Company and Die-no-mores—in New Jersey; E at Brooklyn and New York city, and in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut; F at Brooklyn and New York city; H at Brooklyn, and in Monmouth county, N. J.; K at Brooklyn and Galesville.
The regiment left the State September 17, 1861; served in Viele's, 1st, Brigade, T. W. Sherman's Expeditionary Force, from September, 1861; in Department of the South, S. C., from November 7, 1861; in Georgia, Fort Pulaski, principally, from February, 1862; at Hilton Head, S. C., from June, 1863; in Strong's Brigade, 10th Corps, Morris Island, S. C., except Companies G and I, which remained some time longer in Georgia, from June, 1863; at St. Augustine, Fla., from July, 1863; at Beaufort, S. C, from October, 1863; at Hilton Head, S. C., from November, 1863; in Barton's Brigade, Seymour's Division, 10th Corps, in Florida, from December, 1863, in the District of Florida; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 10th Corps, Army of the James, from April, 1864; in 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 18th Corps, from May 30, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 10th Corps, from June 15, 1864; in same brigade and division, 24th Corps, from December, 1864; in Provisional Corps, from March, 1865; in the 10th Corps again, from April 2, 1865; and it was honorably-discharged and mustered out, under Col. Wm. B. Coan, September I, 1865, at Raleigh, N. C. 
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 14 officers, 160 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 4 officers, 65 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 2 officers, 121 enlisted men; total, 20 officers, 346 enlisted men; aggregate, 366; of whom I officer, 53 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. 

Forty-eighth Infantry.—Cols., James H. Perry, William B. Barton, William B. Coan; Lieut-Cols., William B. Barton, Oliver F. Beard, James F. Green, Dudley W. Strickland, William B. Coan, Nere A. Elfwing; Majs., Oliver F. Beard, James F. Greene, Dudley W. Strickland, William B. Coan, Samuel M. Swartwout, Nere A. Elfwing, Albert F. Miller, James A. Barrett. The 4.8th, the "Continental Guard," contained seven Brooklyn companies, one from New York, one from Monmouth county, N. J., and one from Brooklyn and Monmouth county. It was mustered into the U. S. service at Brooklyn Aug. 16 to Sept 14, 1861, for three years; left the state for Washington Sept. 16; was attached to the 1st brigade of Gen. Sherman's force; embarked for Port Royal late in October, and was active in the capture of the fortifications of Port Royal ferry Jan. I, 1862. In the siege operations against Fort Pu-laski, Ga., the 48th took a prominent part and after the fall of the fortress was assigned to garrison duty there, with expeditions in September and October to Bluff ton, Cranston's bluff and Mackay's point. In June, 1863, the regiment with the exception of Cos. G and I, left Fort Pulaski and proceeded to Hilton Head, where it was there attached to Strong's brigade, l0th corps, with which it participated in the movement against Fort Wagner in July. In the assault of July 18, the loss of the 48th was 242 killed, wounded and missing, including Col. Barton wounded and Lieut.-Col. Green killed The regiment received high praise from the commanding Officers for its gallantry in this action. In August it formed a part of the Florida expedition; was posted for some time at St. Augustine; participated in the disastrous battle at Olustee, with a loss of 44 in killed, wounded and missing; then retired to Jacksonville; proceeded up the river to Palatka on March 10, 1864, remained there until April when it was transferred to the Army of the James at Bermuda Hundred, and was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 2nd divi-sion 10th corps. In the engagement at Port Walthall Junction the regiment again showed its mettle by heroic conduct in spite of severe loss. On May 30 it was assigned to the 1st brigade, 3d divi-siqn, 18th corps, and on June 15, to the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 10th corps. It took a prominent part in the battle of Cold Harbor; was in the first assault on Petersburg and in action at the explosion of the mine; and was engaged at Strawberry Plains and Fort Harrison. The original members not reenlisted were mustered out at New York city on Sept. 24, 1864, but 350 members having reenlisted in Dec., 1863, the regiment retained its organization. In Dec., 1864, with the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 24th corps, the 48th was ordered to Fort Fisher, N, C., was active in the capture of the fortifications there in Jan., 1865, and served for some months in that vicinity. In March it was attached to the provisional corps, in April to the l0th corps and during the summer months- performed various routine duties in the neighborhood of Raleigh, N. C., where it was finally mustered out on Sept. I, 1865. During its term of service 2,173 members were enrolled, and of these 236 or over 10 per cent were killed or mortally wounded in action, a loss exceeded among the regiments of the state only by the 69th and 40th. It was 17th in the list of all of the regiments of the Union armies in total loss. In the battles of the regiment 868 men were reported killed, wounded or missing, and it earned by desperate fighting its right to be known as a crack fighting regiment.


48th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Flank Markers | Civil War

The two silk flank markers seen here feature the regiment's numeric designation painted in gold in the center and yellow-colored, twisted and looped…


48th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | National Color | Civil War

In early October 1861, “Perry’s Saints” arrived at Annapolis, Maryland, the capital city in a vital border state where citizens supported both the…

NYSMM Online Resources

Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (pdf)
Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (spreadsheet)

Muster Roll

Unit Roster

Civil War Newspaper Clippings
This is also available in PDF format.
Pages 1 - 13
Pages 14 - 26
Pages 27 - 39

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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.

Abbott, John G. Diary, 1861 - 1863.
Transcription donated by Richard A. McGeary. Published with permission.
Original located at the Township of Hamilton Historical Society, Mays Landing, NJ.

Barton Dramatic Association (Fort Pulaski, GA). Papers, 1863.
Description: 5 items
Abstract: Contains information announcing the creation of the organization and the Olympic Theatre also begun by the regiment in Fort Pulaski, Ga. Also includes three handbills listing three comedies and RICHARD III to be performed by the group at the theater. Opening night was scheduled for sometime in February 1863. The regiment was under the command of William Brainerd Barton according to material in the collection.
Notes: Discrepancy in the collection about whether Fort Pulaski was in South Carolina or Georgia. According to WEBSTER'S NEW GEOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY, 1988, Fort Pulaski was in Georgia.
Founded by members of the New York State Volunteers 48th Regiment during the Civil War.
At Duke University library

Carlton, William J. "Company D, ("The die-no-mores") of the Forty-eighth regiment, New York state volunteers, 1861-5." Paper read at the first reunion of the surviving members, at Trenton, N. J., July 24, 1891, the thirtieth anniversary of the organization of the Company, by William J. Carlton. Privately printed. 1892.

Civil War (Federal, Miscellaneous) papers, 1860-1890.
Description:50 items
Abstract: Miscellaneous papers relating to United States forces during and immediately after the Civil War, including United States naval orders and correspondence, 1863-1865; muster rolls and pay rolls, 1864; a United States Bureau of Information manuscript, 1863, listing the organization of the Army of Northern Virginia; a narrative report of signal activities at Beaufort, N.C., in connection with seige of Fort Macon, N.C., 1862; a manuscript outline of General George Stoneman's last cavalry raid, 1865, written in 1867 by a participant; maps of waterways in Vicksburg, Miss., and Savannah, Ga.; an account of the siege of Fort Pulaski, Ga., by a member of the 48th New York Infantry Regiment, which operated siege guns on Jones and Daufuskie Island, S.C.; a Union soldier's description of treatment in "rebel jails," 1865; a letter of complaint regarding the federal occupation of the North Carolina Military Institute, 1865; and miscellaneous pictures, biographical sketches, and other papers.
Finding aid: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/c/Civil_War%28Federal,Miscellaneous%29.html
In the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#150-z).

Company D, 48th N.Y.S.V.

Coddington, Ronald S. Faces of the Civil War : an album of Union soldiers and their stories. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

Evans, Luis M. So rudely sepulchered: the 48th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the campaign for Charleston, July1863. Thesis (M.M.A.S.)--U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 2000. At Naval War College. 
Available at: http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA384227

Fasulo, Fasulo. "Forty-eighth New York Infantry at the Battle of Olustee."
Available at: battleofolustee.org/48th_ny_inf.html

Flaccus, Gillian. “The Burning of Bluffton.” The Island Packet.?

Himrod, James. James Himrod papers, 1861-1864.
Description:63 items.
Abstract: Civil War letters describing the movements and activities of Himrod's unit in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and elsewhere re the nature of camp life, and his feelings about the course of the war. Majority of correspondence originated from the sea islands of South Carolina or Fort Pulaski, near Savannah, Ga. Letter, 6 Mar. 1862, written from Daufuskie Island, S.C., notes that his unit was participating in the fight to take Ft. Pulaski. After the fall of Ft. Pulaski to Union troops, Himrod's unit was garrisoned at the fort until the summer of 1863. Himrod returned to Port Royal, S.C., in the summer of 1863 and participated in the campaign against Battery Wagner on Morris Island. Letter, 23 July [18]63, lists officers killed and wounded and indicates that Himrod was "virtually in command" of his company due to extensive casualties sustained. By June 1864 Himrod had been promoted to lieutenant and relocated to Virginia. Hospitalization prevented him from seeing action with his unit at the battles of Cold Harbor and Petersburg. Of particular interest is letter, 3 Oct. 1862, expressing jubilation over "the late proclamation of Abraham," the Emancipation Proclamation.
Notes: Union soldier who served in Companies A and C of the Forty-Eighth New York Volunteers; enrolled at rank of Corporal, promoted to Lieutenant; Forty-Eighth New York Infantry Regiment was organized at Brooklyn, N.Y., 10 Sept. 1861.
Finding aid: http://www.sc.edu/library/socar/uscs/2003/himrod03.html 
At the University of South Carolina.

Howard, William B. Diary
85 page diary, from September 17, 1861 to July 6, 1863.
Donated by James D. Livingston.  

Jones, William, b. 1843; Jones, Thomas, b. 1839; Jones, Maggie, ca. 1846-1912; Trimble, Richard M. Brothers 'til death : the Civil War letters of William, Thomas, and Maggie Jones, 1861-1865 : Irish soldiers in the 48th New York volunteer regiment. Macon, Ga. Mercer University Press, 2000.

Ingraham, Aaron H. Letters (1861-1863).
Description: 1 box (.25 cu ft.)
Abstract: Letters sent to Infraham’s parents regarding his work in the quartermaster store at Fort Pulaski, South Carolina. In one letter, Ingraham mentions the Confederate Navy’s unsuccessful attempt to break the Union Army naval blockade.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Lafferty, Charles. Letters to Lizzy Lafferty, 1861-1864.
Description: 12 items
Abstract: The collection consists of letters from Charles Lafferty to his sister Lizzy Lafferty of Salterville, Hudson County, New Jersey from 1861-1864. The letters describe Lafferty's daily activities; troop movements; provost guard duty in St. Augustine (Fla.); building fortifications and skirmishes at Palatka (Fla.); and fighting at Hilton Head (S.C.) from November - December, 1861 including number of casualties from the battle, the destruction of the fort and capture of a cannon, and description of the area.
Notes: Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.
Preferred citation: Charles Lafferty, letters to Lizzie Lafferty. Ft. Pulaski National Monument

Luyster, W.W. William W. Luyster letter, 1862Oct. 4. 
Description: 1 item (4 p.)
abstract: Civil War letter attributed to Corporal Luyster to "My soldier friend". Luyster writes from "Pulaski House Georgia" concerning his regiment's role on a raid up the May and Savannah rivers into the South Carolina countryside to destroy a salt work factory. He describes the salt works as being at "Stony's Plantation" near Bluffton, S.C., and writes of the fighting against Confederate forces in detail. In Bluffton, Luyten's regiment took two cannons aboard their gunboat, as well as "lots of" looted furniture, including a piano, a melodeon, and sofas.
Corporal William W. Luyster, member of Company H, 48th New York Volunteers, died in 1863 from wounds received in the battle of Fort Wagner, S.C. Attribution of the letter and its date is based on name inscribed on accompanying newspaper fragment and mention of Capt. Strickland as commanding officer.
Cite as: Luyster, William W., d. 1863. Letter: [1862] Oct. 4. (43/2184) South Carolina Historical Society.

Monaghan, Thomas. Only a Private, a sketch of the services of a private soldier, who took part in the battles of Fort Pulaski, Fort Wagner, and Coal harbor, by himself. Boston: Pratt Brothers [n. d.].

Nichols, James Moses. Perry's saints; or, the fighting Parson's regiment in the War of the rebellion, by James M. Nichols. Boston: D. Lothrop and co. [1886].

Nichols, James M. Diary, 1864. (Transcription)
1 January 1864 to 15 September 1864.
Approximately 260 pages. 
Thank you to Helen Kyle for transcribing this. 
Here is the diary in its orginal form. (** Extremely large file size: 18 MB)

Palmer, Abraham John. The history of the Forty-eighth regiment, New York state volunteers, in the War for the Union, 1861-1865, by Abraham J. Palmer (formerly Private, Company D). Brooklyn: Veteran association of the Regiment, 1885.

"Perry's Saints : Reunion of the veteran associations of the 47th and 48th regiments, N.Y. vols.." Grand Army Review. Aug 1885. 49-50.

Philippo, Christopher. Civil War Fort Green, Folly Island, SC named for Lt. Col. James Martin Green of Troy NY.

Robins, Frankie McKee and William James Carlton. William James Carlton diaries and biography, 1862-1877, ca. 1964.
Description: 375 items (0.6 linear ft.)
Abstract: The diaries of William James Carlton span the years 1862 to 1877; the biography dates to about 1964. There are transcripts of the diaries and a draft manuscript of a biography, "A Portrait of William James Carlton, 1838-1902," by Frankie Mckee Robins. The transcripts are slightly annotated. For the years from 1862 to November 1864, the diaries chronicle William James Carlton's participation in the United States Civil War. From 1864 to 1877, the diaries primarily describe family events and church-related activities. A December 1873 entry indicates that no diaries were kept for the years 1865 to 1872. The bulk of the biography describes the years from 1861 to 1862. Carlton's advertising businesses are mentioned only cursorily in the diaries. He formed Carlton & Smith with Edmund A. Smith, and they began to canvas for advertisements on December 5, 1864. After ending his partnership with Smith, Carlton later sold his own firm, William J. Carlton, to his employee James Walter Thompson in 1878. The firm was renamed J. Walter Thompson Company. There is little information in the collection about the J. Walter Thompson Company or its predecessor firms. William Carlton enlisted in the 48th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry in 1861. Ships carrying troops, supplies and mail are named in the diaries. The regiment was in the areas of Hilton Head and Daufuskie Island, S.C., and Fort Pulaski, Ga. On Daufuskie Island, the Stoddard Plantation on Calibogue Sound was occupied by Carlton's regiment. Entries from 1862 to 1864 include frequent discourse about specific books, magazines, and newspapers he read, with comments on authors and texts, and comparisons of different titles. There are observations about African Americans, some of whom were escaped slaves, while others were servants or in service to the Union. The diaries for 1873 to 1877 primarily discuss family life in Elizabeth, N.J. and nearby areas of N.Y. The Carltons were members of St. Paul's Church, probably a Methodist Episcopal church, in Elizabeth. William Carlton was a trustee of the church. There are notes about church activities and various preachers and sermons.
Located at Duke University Library.

Robinson, Charles Seymour. A memorial discourse, occasioned by the death of Lieut. Col. James M. Green, Forty-eighth N.Y.S.V., by his pastor, Rev. Chas. S. Robinson. Troy: Daily Times print, 1864.

Sherman, Thomas West and Oliver T. Beard. Thomas West Sherman order, 1862 Jan. 23.
Description:1 item
Abstract: Order from Brigadier General Thomas West Sherman to Major Oliver T. Beard establishing a countersign for federal troops at headquarters in Hilton Head, S.C.
Notes: This manuscript group includes materials originally accessioned as Mss. 3871./Brigadier General Thomas West Sherman was a native of Rhode Island and a veteran of the Mexican  War. Sherman commanded land forces of the Port Royal Expedition from October 1861 to March 1862. Major Oliver T. Beard served with the 48th New York Infantry Regiment.
Preferred citation:Thomas West Sherman Order, Mss. 3871, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

"Skip." LeighColl Bk 42: 109 
(Enlisted man's letter, Oct 4, 1864 & 1864 newspaper clipping). 
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Snair, Dale S. "Perry's Saints." : A History of the 48th New York Volunteers." Military Images. 3 :1 July - August 1981. 32-35.

St. John, Miles. Civil War letters of Miles St. John, 1862-1864.
Description: 6 items
Abstract: Six letters (20 June 1862-19 Aug. 1864), written by Miles St. John to his friends, describing his unit's movements, prisoners and casualties, his attitudes towards women, and the Battles of Cold Harbor and Drewry's Bluff, and taking prisoners in the vicinity of Bermuda Hundred, Va.
Union soldier; enlisted (1862) as a private in 48th New York Infantry Regiment, Company I; promoted several times, and attained rank of 2nd Lieutenant, 1865; mustered out, 1865.
General Info: Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information./ Forms part of: Pearce Civil War collection./Cite as: St. John Miles Papers, 1862-1864, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas.
Finding aid: http://www.pearcecollections.us/fa_ind.php?fid=457

Storrs, Richard Salter. One who laid down his life for his brethren, a sermon, in memory of Robert Sedgewick Edwards, preached in the Church of the Pilgrims, Brooklyn, N.Y., by R. S. Storrs, Jr. Brooklyn:"The Union" presses, 1864.

Strickland, William Peter. "Methodism and the war." Methodist quarterly review XLV (1863) 434-55.

Trimble, Richard M.  Brothers ‘til death: the Civil War letters of William, Thomas, and Maggie Jones, 1861-1865:Irish soldiers in the 48th New York volunteer regiment. Macon, Ga. : Mercer University Press,2000.

A voice from Rebel prisons, giving an account of some of the horrors of the stockades at Andersonville, Milan, and other prisons, by a returned prisoner of war. Boston: Press of Geo. C. Rand & Avery, 1865.

White, Amasa B. - CWMiscColl (Enlisted man's diary, Sep 1861-Oct 7, 1862). Owned by the United States Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA.
Wood, William F. Civil War letter of William F. Wood, 1862 Oct.4.
Description: 1 item
abstract: Signed letter, written on patriotic stationery by William Wood to his brother and sister, relating to experiences at Fort Pulaski, Ga. Includes descriptions of weaponry, an expedition resulting in the acquisition of Rebel furniture and other items, his attitudes concerning battle strategy, details of camp life including the food, Sunday sermons, and his irritation at some of his commanding officers.
Union soldier; enlisted (1861) as a private in the 48th New York Volunteer Infantry in Brooklyn; unit was also known as Perry's Saints; 1864, promoted to corporal; seriously wounded at Drewry's Bluff; died of these wounds in Annapolis, Md., 1864.
General Info: Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information./ Forms part of: Pearce Civil War collection.
Cite as: William F. Wood Papers, 1862, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas.
Finding aid: http://www.pearcecollections.us/fa_ind.php?fid=477

Worman, Edward (compiler). 48th New York casualties at Morris Island and Fort Wagner, SC on July 10-18, 1863. 2015.

Wyckoff, James S. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
(Capt's military record, Jan 17, 1862-Jul 16, 1864)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.


Unit bibliograhy from the Army Heritage Center

Items in the museum collection are in bold.