1st Battalion United States Sharpshooters

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

Major W. S. Rowland received, October 10, 1862, authority from the War Department to recruit a regiment of sharpshooters in the States of New York and Pennsylvania; the regimental organization failed and only a battalion was recruited, which as finally organized consisted of four companies, the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th; another company, the 10th, was contemplated, but not completed. (The first five companies of sharpshooters, organized as such prior to this date, were then Companies A, B, C and D, 93d, and L, 56th N. Y. Volunteers). The companies left the State February 3, 1863, and served at Washington, D. C., from the time of their departure; at Suffolk, Va., in Terry's Brigade, Peck's Division, 7th Corps, from March, 1863; on the Peninsula, Va., in 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 7th Corps, from June, 1863; in the defenses of Washington, D. C., 22d Corps, from July, 1863; in the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac, from July, 1863; in the 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from April, 1864; in the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 5th Corps, from August, 1864; in the 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 5th Corps, from September, 1864; and, unattached, in the 3d Division, 5th Corps, from November, 1864. Captain Joseph S. Arnold succeeded Major Rowland in command.

Sixth Company; Flank Company, 108th N. Y. Volunteers: This company was organized and recruited at Rochester, under Capt. Abijah C. Gray; it was mustered in the United States service for three years September 13, 1862; and honorably discharged and mustered out, under Lieut. Philip Hysner, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

Seventh Company; Company L, 112th N. Y. Volunteers: This company, Capt. Joseph S. Arnold, was organized at Jamestown, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years September 12, 1862. It was recruited principally at Ellicott, Kian-tone, Busti, Ellington, Ellery, Carroll and Jamestown. Commanded by Capt. Clinton Perry, the company was honorably discharged and mustered out near Washington, D. C., June 3, 1865.

Eighth Company: This company was recruited by Capt. Edward G. Robison, at Buffalo, Hudson and Chatham; the men enlisted by Lieut. M. P. Pierce, at Buffalo, Hanover and Aurora, were, January 13 and February 27, 1863, transferred to it; and it was mustered in the United States service for three years, January 22, 1863, at New Dorp, S. I. Commanded by Capt. John B. McDonald, the company was honorably discharged and mustered out July 10, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

Ninth Company: Recruited by Capt. Thomas S. Bradley, at Albany, Hudson, Canaan, Hinsdale and New Lebanon, and organized at Camp New Dorp, S. I.; it was there mustered in the United States service for nine months; it received by transfer the nine months' men enlisted for the 10th Company, and, commanded by First Lieut. Warren Blinn, it was honorably discharged and mustered out, August 5, 1863, at Albany.

Tenth Company, Capt. Charles M. White, was originally intended for a service of nine months, and organized January 13, 1863; April 21, 1863, the term of service was changed to three years; the company was, however, not completed, and the men enlisted were, June 9, 1863, transferred to the 9th Company, the Enfants Perdus. and the 178th N. Y. Volunteers. The officers recruiting for the company were Lieuts. Ernest Blackmere and Frank A. Tease.

The battalion, or portions of it, took part in the engagements named below, and lost by death, 6th Company, killed in action, 6 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 4 enlisted men; of disease, etc., 9 enlisted men; total, 19 enlisted men; of whom there died in the hands of the enemy, 4 enlisted men; 7th Company, killed in action, 4 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 8 enlisted men; of disease, etc., 8 enlisted men; total, 20 enlisted men; of whom there died in the hands of the enemy, 2 enlisted men; 8th Company, killed in action, 3 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 enlisted men; of disease, etc., 14 enlisted men; total, 19 enlisted men; of whom there died in the hands of the enemy, 8 enlisted men; 9th Company, of disease, etc., 1 officer, 5 enlisted men; total, 6.

NYSMM Online Resources

Unit Roster

Monument at Gettysburg

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.

Baum, A. Clark. Letters, 1863-1864.
Abstract: Letters sent to his wife from various army camps in Virginia. He discussed taking care of wounded soldiers, activities of the 1st Battalion United States Sharpshooterss, the battle at Cold Harbor, and other skirmishes near Petersburg.
Located at the New York State Library.

Bennet, John. No Word of Them: First Battalion New York Sharpshooters, 1862-1865. Lulu.com, 2007.
Resource submitted by Steve Isaacson.

Brainerd, Wesley and Ed Malles. Bridge building in wartime : Colonel Wesley Brainerd's memoir of the 1st New York Volunteer USSSineers. University of Tennessee Press, 1997.

Clapp, Channing ca; Lawrence, Amos Adams; Corp Author: United, States; Army; USSSineer Brigade, Volunteer; Band. Civil War Papers, 1861-1865.
Abstract: Civil War papers of the U.S. USSSineer Brigade Band commanded by Captain Channing Clapp, Assistant Adjutant General. Monthly returns, muster rolls, pay rolls, quartermaster's stores, list of musicians transferred from the New York 1st Volunteer USSSineer Regiment. Also some items pertaining to Company C, 1st Mass. Cavalry, commanded by Clapp prior to his promotion to the Adjutant General's staff. Includes two letters of Amos A. Lawrence to Clapp.
Located at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Graham, Robert H., b. 1865. Yates County's "boys in blue", 1861-1865 : who they were, what they did. Penn Yan, N.Y. s.n, 1926.

Oellig, Charles; Bullock, Samuel A.; Bushman, Albert C.; Collard, James; Gridley, A. L.; Mick, Solomon; Nye, George H.; Rhodes, Silas R.; Wint, Louis H.; Crone, C. M.; Nissley, Howard; Swab, Percy. The Charles Oellig collection, 1848-1930
Abstract: Contains a collection of photocopied letters from the following U.S. soldiers: Samuel A. Bullock, Co. H., 34th Illinois Volunteer Infantry (1864); Albert C. Bushman, Co. I, 129th New York Volunteer Infantry (1862); a Union soldier's letter from Camp Hamilton, Va. (1861?); James Collard, Co. A., 38th Pa. Volunteer Infantry (1861); A.L. Gridley, Co. H., 1st New York Volunteer USSSineers (1864); Solomon Mick, Co. K., 7th Pa. Cavalry (1861, 1864-65), plus a marriage certificate (1848); George H. Nye, Co. K., 10th Maine Volunteer Infantry (1862).
Silas R. Rhodes, Co. F., 141st New York Volunteer Infantry (1864); Louis H. Wint, 2nd Pa. Heavy Artillery Battery (1862); "Raymond", Pa. Infantry Regiment 15th (1898); C.M. Crone, Co. F., 316 Infantry (1918); Howard Nissley, Co. K., 146th Infantry (1918); Percy Swab, 316th Infantry Band (1917-1919).
Other documents include: issue of DAILY DUTIES OF THE 179TH REGIMENT P.M." (n.d.); declaration for the organization of a company to be part of the Pa. National Guard (1873); programs of the Military Athletic League of Philadelphia (1912-1916); World War I maps and documents on the military career of Lt. Joseph Fornance and Base Section 2, S.O.S., A.E.F. France (1912-1929); special orders from the 28th Division, A.E.F. including registers of members (1918); some purchase agreements for land in Lebanon County, Pa. for Indiantown Gap Association.
Located at the US Army Military Institute.

Owen, Thomas James; Floyd, Dale E. Corp Author United States; Army; Corps of, USSSineers; Historical, Division. "Dear friends at home--." : the letters and diary of Thomas James Owen, Fiftieth New York Volunteer USSSineer Regiment, during the Civil War. Washington, D.C.: Historical Division Office of Administrative Services Office of the Chief of USSSineers For sale by the Supt. of Docs. U.S. G.P.O, 1985.

Rapson, William. Papers, 1854-1912.
Abstract: Two Civil War diaries, correspondence, printed documents, transcripts of the diaries and correspondence, and a family history.

Rhodes, Halsey A. Diary, 1863.
Abstract: Diary kept while Rhodes was a member of Company H, New York Volunteers, 1st Battalion United States Sharpshooterss Regiment.
Located at Syracuse University.

Spaulding, Ira. Letters, 1862-1863.
Abstract: These letters contain discussions of his principal activity of maintainging railroads and building and constructing bridges for the movement of troops and supplies for the Union Army at various battlelines in Virginia. He was not directly involved in combat since most of his work was done behind the battlelines. He did, however, come close enough to describe the action at Fredericksburg (1862).
Located at the New York State Library.

Vandermark, Hiram. Letters, 1861-1865.
Abstract: Consists of letters to, from, and about Vandermark, discussing his illness, the construction of pontoon bridges, various battles in Virginia, and his illness.
Located at Auburn University.

Van De Mark, family. Van De Mark family papers, 1862-1942, 1862-1908 (bulk).
Abstract: Photocopy volume of typed transcripts of Civil War letters of Hiram Van De Mark; photographs of family members including Hiram, James E., Valentine, Benjamin, Justis, Isiah, Helen, Phebe, Rachel, and James Van De Mark; Hiram's Civil War military service records; photographs of pontoon bridges and camp scenes; and excerpts from histories of the 1st New York USSSineer Regiment. Volume compiled by Gertrude Phinney Conant. Also, microfilm of VAN DEMARK OR VAN DERMARK ANCESTRY, 1942, compiled by John W. Van Demark, Walter B. Van Dermark, Bovey Kate Koon, Loretta M. Hauser, and Clarence E. Hauser.
Located at Cornell University.

Williams, Sam E. Roster of 1st and 15th Regiments New York State Volunteer USSSineers, Army of the Potomac. Rochester, NY: 1894.

Witmer, family; Witmer, Tobias; Witmer, Christian F.; Dodge, Anna E. Witmer. Papers, 1851-1913.
Abstract: Diaries of Tobias, Christian F. and Anna E. Witmer, 1851-1913, including Civil War diaries of Tobias and Christian F., 1861-1865. Also includes a family history written by Christian F. and a scrapbook kept while he was teaching in Kansas before the Civil War.
Located at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.

Worman, Edward (compiler). First Battalion Sharpshooters, New York, men of 6th, 7th, and 8th Companies----captured at Weldon Rail Road, Virginia, on August 19, 1864.


Items the museum owns are in bold.