Spinola's or Empire Brigade

The Hon. F. B. Spinola received, with the sanction of the general government, June 2, 1862, authority from Governor Morgan to recruit a brigade of four or five regiments; the strength of the brigade was limited to four regiments July 23, 1862. Mr. Spinola, who was later appointed Brigadier-General, United States Volunteers, by the President, was assigned, temporarily, as Colonel of the 1st Regiment, and July 14, 1862, James Jourdan was appointed Colonel to succeed him. Colonels W. B. Olmsted, Peter J. Claassen, Hale Kingsley and James C. Burke were authorized to recruit regiments for the brigade. Colonel Hale Kingsley declined and was succeeded by Mariott N. Croft, and he by F. H. Braulick. In September, 1862, the brigade consisted of the 1st Regiment, Col. James Jourdan, known as the 158th Regiment of Volunteers; the 2d Regiment, Col. Peter J. Claassen, known as the 132d Regiment of Volunteers; the 3d Regiment, Col. F. H. Braulick, known as the 163d Regiment of Volunteers.

The 4th Regiment, Col. James C. Burke, Phoenix Regiment, incomplete, was transferred to the Corcoran Brigade September 22, 1862, and was finally known as the 164th Regiment of Volunteers. Colonel Olmsted's regiment, the Thurlow Weed Guards, was merged into Colonel Claassen's regiment, which had also received, September 10, 1862, about 250 men of the 53d Regiment of Volunteers, second organization. The regiments did not serve together in the field as a brigade.


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

Subordinate Units

158th Regiment of Volunteers

132d Regiment of Volunteers

164th Regiment of Volunteers