The Famous New York Seventh, Just After Reaching Washington In April, 1861


The first New York State militia regiment to reach Washington after President Lincoln's call for troops, April 15, 1861, was the Seventh Infantry. The best blood and most honored names in New York City were prominent in its ranks. It eventually supplied no less than 606 officers to the Union army. Veterans now hail it as the highest type of the citizen soldiers who went to the front. The old armory at the foot of Third Avenue could not contain the crowds that gathered. At this writing (1911) it is just being demolished. The Seventh left for Washington April 19, 1861, and as it marched down Broadway passed such a multitude of cheering citizens that its splendid band was almost unheard through the volume of applause. On April 24th the regiment reached Annapolis Junction, Maryland. On that and the day following, with the Eighth Massachusetts for company, it had to patch the railway and open communications with Washington. The men were mustered into service on April 26th, and their camp on Meridian Hill, May 2d to 23d, was pointed out as a model. They took part in the occupation of Arlington Heights, Virginia, May 24th to May 26th, and assisted in building Fort Runyon. They returned to Camp Cameron on the latter date, and were mustered out at New York City, June 3, 1861, but those not immediately commissioned were mustered in again the following year, and in 1863.

Photograph taken from Soldier Life, Secret Service, vol VIII of The Photographich History of the Civil War, page 67.