Union Blue and Militia Gray:
The Role of the New York State Militia
in the Civil War -
Pennsylvania and New York City
The state National Guard continued to expand in 1863 in terms of strength
and professionalism. On 15 April the legislature appropriated $200,000 to pay
the expenses of the state militia. An additional act, on 24 April, appropriated
$500,000 for the purchase of arms and accoutrements. 
In the late Spring, the first 38 volunteer regiments reached the end of their
two-year enlistments. Many soldiers re-enlisted in other units to continue
their valuable service, and those soldiers who did so received a state bounty
of $150. On 11 February the 19th National Guard Regiment at Newburgh mustered
into the service for nine months as the 168th New York Volunteers. 
By the end of the year the entire state National Guard force stood at 31,500
men, distributed in 85 regiments. Because of the rapid turnover and the departure
of officers on active service with the volunteer regiments, 1,753 members of
the National Guard received commissions during 1863.  The quality of the
leadership varied widely. George Wingate, a private in the 22nd Regiment and
general officer, although impressed with the competence of the regimental and
company officers, commented on the senior leadership:
The majority of the regimental officers and men were soldiers, and the new
men soon learned their duties from their associates. But the experience that
had been acquired by the regiments did not extend to the division and brigade
commanders. Major General Sandford had held his commission since 1837, Brigadier
General (William) Hall since 1844 and Brigadier General (John) Ewen since 1847.
During this period their duties had been confined to street parades, with the
occasional exception of an annual brigade drill when the brigade commander
had his instructions carefully written out and put on his spectacles to read
them. There were no reports, no inspections, and no discipline outside that
maintained by the regiments themselves.
While these gentlemen were of high standing and character, they were utterly
destitute of either the military knowledge or experience to command troops
in the field and were too old to learn. Above all, they had not the slightest
idea of discipline or its enforcement. 
The inspector general later claimed, with some justification, that politics
played a strong role in the militia, since returning combat officers of the
volunteer forces often were unable to obtain commands in the National Guard
Major General Joseph Hooker, dubbed "Fighting Joe" by the press,
had been appointed to command the Army of the Potomac. Hooker endeavored to
reorganize the army and revive morale, yet his efforts were negated by the
humiliating defeat at the battle of Chancellorsville which ended on 6 May.
Shortly thereafter, Lee launched his second invasion of the North. In the early
part of June, the Federal government became convinced from reports received
that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would be threatened by invasion by Confederate
forces from the area of the Rappahannock River. To provide better administration
of the troops that would be called upon to defend that locality, the secretary
of war decided to create two new military departments. On 10 June Stanton issued
an order constituting the Departments of the Monongahela and the Susquehanna.
The Department of the Susquehanna consisted of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
lying east of Johnstown and the Laurel Hill range of mountains. Major General
Darius Couch received the command on 11 June. Three days later he moved his
headquarters to Harrisburg (see Map #2). Soon after the defeat at Chancellorsville,Couch
had requested relief of command of the II Army Corps, since he refused to serve
under Hooker any longer. He would prove an excellent choice for that new position.
The invasion of Pennsylvania took place generally as expected. Lee's Army
of Northern Virginia entered the commonwealth at Greencastle from Boonsboro,
and advanced along the Cumberland Valley to Chambersburg, with a part of Lieutenant
General Richard Swell's Second Corps going by way of Waynesboro. Ewell continued
his march toward Carlisle, and one division advanced to the Susquehanna River
On 12 June, Governor Andrew Curtin of Pennsylvania issued a proclamation
addressed to the people telling them of the danger which threatened them, and
for volunteers to meet the emergency. Stanton appealed to New York for 20,000
men to be hurried forward. As a private appeal to Governor Horatio Seymour,
it received a response as prompt as an order. Stanton had little faith in the
efficiency of the traditional state militia systems, and he decided to raise
a force of militia which would be recruited, maintained and controlled by the
national government. The Confederates, however, did not cooperate, and by appearing
suddenly at Winchester and Martinsburg in Virginia on 13 and 14 June respectively,
they forced the Union authorities to adopt more expeditious arrangements for
raising troops. For that reason Stanton appealed to the New York governor for
the assistance of cohesive, organized militia forces. For their part, New York
authorities became concerned that Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the expected Confederate
objective, was only 125 miles south of Elmira. 
For the third time in as many years, the 7th Regiment became the first National
Guard regiment to depart from New York. Rain fell in torrents on the morning
on 17 June, but did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd when the unit departed
with full ranks. Twenty-five additional regiments, totaling almost 14,000 soldiers,
left by 3 July. Of that number, one (47th) was assigned to Washington D.C.,
and five (6th, 7th, 55th, 69th and 84th) were ordered to Baltimore. All the
rest operated in the vicinity of Harrisburg (see Appendix
Couch's estimate of the situation anticipated Lee forcing a crossing of the
Susquehanna somewhere between Conowingo, Maryland, and Marysville, six miles
upstream from Harrisburg. The most likely crossing points seemed at Wrightsville,
and the commonwealth capital, where the highway and rail nets intersected.
In Summer, the river could be forded at various places north of Harrisburg
where there was a railroad bridge, and a covered wooden turnpike bridge. As
a further protection, he enlisted civilians and soldiers to build rather elaborate
fortifications on the west bank directly opposite the city. Here they threw
up trenches, built earthworks and prepared artillery positions. The two main
fortifications in this area were promptly named Forts Couch and Washington. 
Map 2 - Area of Operation
Pennsylvania and Maryland, 1863
For the New York National Guard units, the journey to Harrisburg proved eventful.
Feted at Philadelphia, George Wingate described how they had been cooped up
in railway cattle cars for three days, even though the trip from New York City
Harrisburg normally took only eight hours. In Harrisburg the first units either
bivouacked at Camp Curtin, on the northern outskirts of the city, or were put
to work on the defenses on the west bank of the river. Wingate noted that "digging
rifle pits (trenches) in a hot sun is so very like excavating a sewer that
axe-work was fun itself compared with it." 
If New York had not had a large number of militia ready and willing to serve,
Couch would have been without any kind of force on 22 June when Lee stood poised
to cross the Potomac with the main body of his army. Couch had under his control
near Harrisburg at the very outside 11,500 men, of whom a little over 8,000
were from New York. 
The New Yorkers remarked on the apathy of the citizens of Pennsylvania, and
especially the failure of local men to join the defense forces. Hundreds of
men loitered in the streets, indifferent to the presence of the National Guardsmen.
Reluctant to leave their homes to repel the threatened and imminent invasion,
the residents of Harrisburg remembered the call for militia the previous September
and how the "imminent invasion" never happened. At the same time,
the people of Harrisburg did not warmly welcome the out-of-state guardsmen.
reception confused some of the guardsmen, disgruntled others, causing the visitors
to assume an attitude of aloofness. Many New Yorkers viewed the Pennsylvanians
with outright contempt. Chickens and eggs were stolen by foraging parties,
whole orchards were pilfered, vacant houses were looted and buildings dismantled
firewood. Many disgruntled New Yorkers described the residents of Harrisburg
as "poltroons" as they observed them closing their houses and fleeing.
Camp Curtin, rapidly filling up with militia, must have been an unpleasant
place in mid-June 1863, with the heat and ever-present clouds of dust turning
and everything filthy. The top-soil became pulverized by thousands of feet,
and flooding became worse than even The rain drove the 74th Regiment out of
tents on the night of 21 June. Supply shortages still posed severe problems.
The 74th's quartermaster drew uniforms for 450 men together with camp equipage,
but of 450 Springfield rifle-muskets, not one was serviceable, having been
previously used by nine month Pennsylvania volunteers. 
For days a continuous stream of refugees, all telling stories of the gray
hordes right behind them, filled the roads from the south and west. Many of
people left their houses hurriedly and arrived tired and hungry by the time
Harrisburg. Also looking rather forlorn were the soldiers driving the supply
trains of Major General Robert Milroy's division, which had escaped the Confederate
attack on Martinsburg, Virginia the previous week. 
By this time all three of Swell's divisions moved toward the east with Brigadier
General A.G. Jenkin's cavalry brigade as the advance guard. While the divisions
of Major Generals Robert Rodes and Edward Johnson marched on 23 June toward
Chambersburg, Major General Jubal Early's division took a parallel route, eight
to ten miles
east. On 25 June Early received orders to march on York, by way of Gettysburg.
Early ordered Brigadier General John Gordon's brigade, and some cavalry, to
Wrightsville to seize the Susquehanna Bridge. He then intended to cross the
river with his
whole division, cut the Pennsylvania Central Railroad, advance upon Lancaster
and attack Harrisburg in the rear while the rest of Swell's corps threatened
it from the west. 
With time running out, Couch began deploying his forces to meet the threat.
Two National Guard regiments (67th & 68th) garrisoned Camp Curtin, Brigadier
General Charles Yates, with his 5th and 12th Regiments, marched on 22 June
to the crossing at Fenwick, about six miles north of the capital. The 65th
Regiments, with some Pennsylvania militia, rode the railway to Mount Union,
about 85 miles west of Harrisburg. On 20 June, Brigadier General William F.
Smith of the regular army, reported to Couch who appointed him to command the
First Division consisting of five brigades. This force initially garrisoned
Fort Washington and its environs, along with six batteries from the 4th and
York National Guard Artillery Regiments. The first four brigades were composed
exclusively of regiments of the New York National Guard, and the last by two
regiments of Pennsylvania militia. 
On 18 June the 8th and 71st Regiments (1st Brigade) under Colonel Joshua
Varian moved from Harrisburg to Shippensburg. Brigadier General Joseph Knipe,
army officer and resident of Harrisburg, was at home recuperating from malaria.
He offered his services, and on 20 June Couch directed him to assume command
of Varian's brigade. Knipe received an almost impossible mission: use two small
regiments of citizen-soldiers that he had never seen before, to delay the advance
of an entire army corps of combat veterans. By Monday, 22 June, after some
hard marching, Knipe's brigade closed up south of Chambersburg when word arrived
his cavalry screen that Confederate forces were approaching rapidly. The 71st
skirmished with the enemy cavalry on the Greencastle Road, and about this time
Knipe received a telegraphic order from Couch to withdraw by rail to Carlisle.
The troops complied with this order in such a headlong manner that they left
their tents standing, with their extra clothing, some weapons and all their
rations on the ground. Two brass cannon were also abandoned. Jacob Hoke, a
observer, commented that the troops withdrew in a cowardly panic, and apparently
Colonel Benjamin Trafford of the 71st created even more confusion by his indecision.
In any event, the troops conducted a rapid foot-march the 22 miles to Carlisle,
and subsequently the local townspeople looted their deserted camp. 
Arriving at Carlisle, Knipe placed his two tired regiments in line of battle
to cover the western edge of the town. The New Yorkers remained there until
27 June when they began to withdraw toward Harrisburg. Despite their retreat,
New Yorkers were proud of themselves, and Couch later commended them by noting
that their small force, without support, had advanced 52 miles beyond the main
defenses and held the enemy in check for six days (22-28 June).
Knipe's brigade arrived at Oyster's Point, a small town a few miles west
of Harrisburg, to link up with Brigadier General Jesse Smith's brigade (23rd,
52nd and 56th
Regiments). Jenkins' cavalry appeared shortly thereafter and skirmishing commenced.
The Confederate horse artillery began to shell the forward edge of the woods
where the New York pickets were posted. The 71st began volley-fire, while the
8th and 56th Regiments withdrew. At the beginning of the cannonade, the rest
of the troops in and around the defenses sprang to arms. Additional forces
moved forward, and Brigadier General John Ewen's brigade (11th, 22nd and 37th
continued their feverish work on the fortifications around Forts Couch and
Washington. They also threw pickets out to the south. The skirmishing died
down toward the
close of the afternoon, but flared up again briefly the following morning.
Early's division had meanwhile arrived at Wrightsville where the defending
Pennsylvania militia burned the Columbia Bridge over the Susquehanna and withdrew
to the east
bank. The stage was now set for a major confrontation between the Confederates
and the militia forces defending Harrisburg. Fortunately for them, Lee ordered
the withdrawal of Swell's corps on 29 June. Apprehensive over the approach
of the Army of the Potomac, Lee began to concentrate his army at Gettysburg.
decision eliminated the probability of a major battle at Harrisburg which would
have involved the significant participation of the New York National Guard.
The gray tide began to recede, but on the morning of 30 June Ewen's brigade
deployed farther to the west where they skirmished with the enemy at Sportsman's
Small arms firing by the 37th Regiment gave way to an artillery response by
the Confederates. The 37th suffered some men slightly wounded, and the New
also confirmed the enemy's withdrawal. The campaign now entered a new phase.
The battle at Gettysburg lasted from 1-3 July 1863. On 1 July General W.F.
Smith, in command of the First Division, had advanced up the Cumberland Valley
Ewen's brigade and Brisbane's Pennsylvania militia brigade from the Harrisburg
area. They arrived at Carlisle that afternoon. Knipe received orders to join
him later with his own brigade. The troops had been ordered out in light marching
order, without overcoats and blankets, and they suffered accordingly in the
following days. During the afternoon, Fitzhugh Lee's brigade, of LE.B. Stuart's
cavalry division, arrived to find Smith's troops occupying the town. Smith
refused a demand for its surrender, and Lee opened with his horse artillery.
continued until about 1:00 A.M. on 2 July, and then, after burning Carlisle
Barracks, the Confederate cavalry withdrew toward Gettysburg. 
George Wingate later remarked that Knipe's brigade made the journey to Carlisle
by forced march and their brigadier refused to let them stop for food or rest.
The weather continued excruciatingly hot and men began to drop out "with
frightful rapidity." Arriving at Carlisle on 2 July, only 300 men were
fit for duty out of the original 1100. The citizens greeted them warmly, however,
and they immediately began to entrench. 
Late in the evening of 3 July, after the fighting at Gettysburg had ended,
Couch received information from Major General George Meade (who had succeeded
command of the Army of the Potomac on 28 June) that Lee would probably not
attack again, and that he might retreat toward Virginia. In that event, Couch
march in pursuit along the Cumberland Valley.
On 4 July Smith moved south from Carlisle with the brigades of Brisbane,
Ewen and Knipe to Mount Holly, and then on to Pine Grove. By the following
brigades covered the roads leading to Shippensburg, and by the 6th they marched
by different routes to the Chambersburg Turnpike, only four miles east of Cashtown.
The 8th of July found them at Waynesboro. During the first week of July, Smith's
troops marched through excessive heat and drenching downpours. The roads turned
to a "frightful mire" and the situation became alarming. At one point
the column broke up into a vast stream of stragglers with regiments and brigades
mixed "promiscuously together." The subsistence wagons had become
mired in the rear with no prospect of their catching up, and the soldiers felt "buried
in the depths of this untamed wilderness." 
On 7 July the 23rd Regiment (Jesse Smith's brigade) met up with troops of
the VI Army Corps around Waynesboro. The Union veterans regarded their gray
uniforms curiously and advised them to change into "Uncle Sam's blue" before
other, more trigger-happy Federals mistook them for Confederates. 
On 3 July Brigadier General Phillip S. Crooke's brigade (13th and 28th Regiments)
received orders to entrain for Carlisle. They had already spent a number of
days at Marysville and Harrisburg. Their orders directed them to leave everything
except blankets, haversacks and weapons. They arrived at Carlisle on 4 July,
and Crooke immediately telegraphed Couch for further orders. That morning he
received the following reply:
Harrisburg, July 4th 1863
An order was given to take rations last night. Do troops want me to tell them
to breathe. Always have rations in your haversacks. You want no buggy, you
are going in the mountains for a few days. Beef cattle go forward. Now is the
to aid your country; let trifles go; march.
D.N. Couch, Maj. Gen. 
Couch, a regular army officer, had little regard for militia (although virtually
all of his command at this point fell into this category), and in his exasperation
he attempted to inspire Crooke with the urgency of the situation.
About two miles south of Carlisle, a heavy rain storm broke, and here they
encountered a few stragglers from the battle at Gettysburg: rebel deserters
and paroled Union
soldiers. They met some members of the red-trousered 14th Brooklyn (84th New
York Volunteers) who had been captured on McPherson's Ridge on 1 July, and
this unexpected encounter with friends from Brooklyn in the middle of Pennsylvania
left them cheered and cheering. By 5 July they caught up with Ewen's brigade.
Inadequate rations, heavy rain and overflowing streams continued to impede
progress south and west. On 14 July, Smith's division, now temporarily under
the command of Knipe, crossed the Maryland border and went into bivouac about
three miles northwest of Boonsboro. 
It has already been noted that the 65th and 74th Regiments had been dispatched
to Mount Union to guard the lines of communication between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
These regiments established picket lines, and guarded passes by obstructing
roads through the mountains. On 5 July Colonel Hawley received orders to conduct
brigade to Harrisburg, and then on to Chambersburg. They eventually marched
as far as Mercersburg before the campaign ended. 
The 7th Regiment had arrived in Baltimore on 5 July to garrison Fort Federal
Hill. While on guard duty, they received orders to entrain for Frederick, Maryland,
to participate in the pursuit of Lee's army. The 7th departed in light marching
order with three days of cooked rations in their haversacks, and sixty rounds
of ammunition per man. They turned over Fort Federal Hill to the 55th (Lafayette
Garde) and 69th Regiments. At Frederick, Colonel Marshall Lefferts was appointed
to the military governorship of that city, relieving Major General William
H. French, who replaced Daniel Sickles in command of the III Army Corps. 
Lee's army, largely unimpeded by the Army of the Potomac, crossed the Potomac
into Virginia near Williamsport on 12 and 13 July. In the midst of the relief
that the rebels had been thrown back, events in New York City began to take
center stage and everyone's attention. On 3 March 1863, President Lincoln had
the National Conscription Act, which provided for the enrollment of all males
between the ages of 18 and 45 for active military service. It set up provost
marshal offices in designated enrollment districts and stipulated that at an
unspecified date, the draft would be carried out under the direction of the
various provost marshals. A complicated system of quotas evolved for each area.
of enrollees would be placed in a large lottery wheel, and drawn pending completion
of each district's quota. The draft law caused violent protests all around
the country as being un-American and unconstitutional, and no more
so than in pro-Democratic New York. 
On Saturday, 11 July, the first names were drawn in New York City. As newspapers
published the names on the next day, crowds assembled in the streets. For some
time, there had been unrest in the city, particularly because of the provisions
that allowed substitutions and the purchase of exemptions. The situation brought
further complications, since some state politicians were not giving their full
support to the war. Some citizens would later attempt to avoid the draft by
enlisting in the organized militia which gave them an immediate exemption.
When the drawing resumed on the morning of 13 July, mobs gathered, and they
soon engaged in widespread rioting. Draft headquarters was stormed, dwellings
entered and business establishments were looted. The insurgents started numerous
fires. The rioting unfolded in two phases: through early afternoon of that
Monday, much of the violence bore the stamp of rioters who conducted a one-day
against the administration of the Conscription Act. By Tuesday, 14 July, rioters
proceeded to connect the draft to many of the social ills of the community.
Much vehemence, for example, was directed against the black sections of the
immigrant groups, concerned over losing their jobs. 
The mobilization of most of the state National Guard for duty in Pennsylvania
left New York City undefended except for some regular army troops in the harbor
defenses and marines in the Navy Yard. The city police likewise could not effectively
deal with the escalating violence. For those reasons the governor forwarded
an immediate request to the president and the secretary of war for release
National Guard for return to New York. On 14 July, Stanton released five regiments
from duty in Maryland, and on the following day a further six regiments were
relieved from Federal service to be forwarded to New York as soon as possible.
On that day the National Guardsmen, camped around Hagerstown, Maryland received
copies of the Baltimore newspapers which carried reports of the riots in New
York City. The emotions of the soldiers were "turned with sharp vengeance
against the insurgents at home," and throughout that evening observers
demonstrations of joy in camp" at the prospect of their quick return to
New York, George Wingate reported that most men were angry over news of the
riots and "they set their minds against this group of Copperheads which
had undertaken a counter-revolution in our own homes." 
The following day, formal orders directed Smith's division to march to Frederick,
there to entrain for New York. At Frederick, lack of transport caused further
delays. The 22nd Regiment had already marched 170 miles in three weeks in inclement
weather, over abominable roads and through mountain passes, on only ten days'
rations and without a change of clothing. This represented heavy campaigning
indeed, and especially for citizen-soldiers more accustomed to the factory
or the office rather than the forced-march and the line of battle. The troops
not in good humor at the prospect of fighting insurgents in their own home
The 23rd and 56th Regiments packed themselves aboard 30 cattle cars at Frederick
on 17 July. Between York and Harrisburg a new bridge over the Susquehanna had
given way under a freight train only a few hours before their arrival. This
accident caused a "frightful wreck," but in their haste to get home,
the troops crossed over on a temporary light pontoon bridge, or clambered over
timbers and wrecked cars to board another train on the other side. 
Meanwhile in New York, a political impasse had developed. Major General Sandford,
in command of the militia forces in Manhattan, reacted to Mayor George Opdyke's
plea and established himself at the arsenal at 7th Avenue and 35th Street.
Sandford, who only controlled two companies of the 10th National Guard Regiment,
to concentrate on guarding the arsenals around the city. He was soon engaged
in a dispute with Brigadier General Harvey Brown, Federal commander of the
harbor and New York City. A verbal argument resulted, after which Sandford
to Major General James E. Wool, commander of the Department of the East, who
issued the following order:
New York, July 13th 1863 Special Orders,
All the troops called out for the protection of the city are placed under the
command of Major General Sandford, whose order they will implicitly obey.
By command of Major General Wool
C.T. Christensen, Ass't Adjutant General. 
Brown initially refused to serve under a militia general and more valuable
time was wasted while this matter straightened itself out. In the end Brown
command of all Federal forces while Sandford supervised the militia. Brown
later received credit for devising a plan to divide the city into quadrants,
forces at strategic points to deal with "plague spots." 
Reinforcements from Pennsylvania at last began to arrive. The 65th and 74th
Regiments, both Buffalo units, reached the city on Wednesday evening, 15 July.
The 7* Regiment
disembarked at 4:00 A.M. the following morning at the foot of Canal Street
and marched north on Broadway.
In 1857, Colonel Abram Duryee, the 7th's commander, had stated his own maxims
for putting down a riot. He noted that "temporizing with a mob should
be avoided; for any indication of timidity and weakness on the part of the
gives confidence to the timid and wavering, who are thus led to join the popular
tumult." Officers were directed to acquaint themselves with any areas
which they might have to protect, and operations were to be performed with
energy and courage. "In a disturbed area, the troops ought to be formed
the width of the street, allowing room for the companies to move to the rear
after firing , reload and move forward again. Mountain howitzers are considered
invaluable in street fighting as effectual antidotes to the most infuriated
Arriving in strength, the National Guard proceeded to put those maxims into
Wednesday, 15 July, was the critical day of the riot. The police and few
Federal troops were worn out with the constant marching and fighting. The newspapers
told of trouble over the draft in Boston, Hartford, Newark, Jersey City, and
the communities of Hastings-on-Hudson, Tarrytown and Rye north of the city.
65th Regiment went into action right away, fighting its way from 23rd to 28th
Street in Manhattan, continually firing as it advanced. The 74th Regiment deployed
its companies in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island, at Forts Hamilton and
Lafayette, and Jersey City. On 19 July, one
company was dispatched up the Hudson River to garrison various locations. 
Sandford reported that Major Fearing, of his staff, was seriously wounded
while leading a charge upon the mob on 42nd Street. One soldier was killed
and 53 officers
and men wounded at the storming of barricades erected by the rioters on 29th
Street, and in other conflicts which followed. 
Upon the outbreak of the riot in New York, Major General H.B. Duryea, commanding
the Second National Guard Division in Brooklyn, retained only the 70th and
part of the 16th Regiments to contain the rioting there. Duryea decided to
supplies at the Brooklyn arsenal and also to safeguard the Atlantic docks where
the crowd had burned two large grain elevators. Fortunately, the timely arrival
of the 13th, 23rd, 47th, 52nd and 56th Regiments from Pennsylvania and Virginia
prevented further problems. 
The worst of the riots extended over a four-day period. However, many of
the National Guard regiments continued on active duty through August; some
embodied through mid-September. The draft lottery resumed, even though Brigadier
General John Sprague, the adjutant general, traveled to Washington to recommend
postponement of the draft until more regular troops could be assembled in New
York to forestall further outbreaks of violence. 
Like everyone else in the city, Governor Seymour had become convinced that
Sandford was not fit to command troops in combat, and as the Manhattan regiments
from Pennsylvania and Maryland, he put them under the orders of Brown. To no
one's surprise, Wool was relieved of his command and retired. He was quickly
replaced by Major General John A. Dix. Sandford's dispute with Brown continued
for a considerable time, and Brown's responses left little standing of Sandford's
By late July, considerable forces of the Army of the Potomac began to arrive
to relieve the National Guard forces which began to disperse. The 68th Regiment
arrived in Elmira on 23 July for mustering-out after a miserable trip from
Pennsylvania. The preparation of new company muster-rolls caused more delays,
and the unit
awaited the arrival of the paymaster. Colonel David Forbes, the regimental
commander, endeavored to persuade the Federal quartermaster to allow his soldiers
their blankets "to which they had become attached," and which had become
very worn and filthy in the recent campaign. An appeal by the regimental chaplain
helped to win approval for this request, even though the blankets were technically
Federal property. When word arrived that the paymaster would not arrive for another
week a near-mutiny ensued. Forbes managed to arrange transportation as quickly
as possible to get his unit back to Dunkirk where they were dismissed on 31 July.
They finally received their pay on 10 August at Fredonia. The men of the 68th
considered themselves quite fortunate since they returned with every man that
departed with the regiment at the start of the campaign. 
The year 1863 had been one of crisis for the entire state National Guard.
At no time during the war were resources so strained, and its members so willing
to endure hardship in the defense of their state. Much of the National Guard
may have operated as a social club, but no question existed that when the alarm
was sounded the Guard responded with exceptional promptness and dedication.
Chapter Five Footnotes
1. New York State, Annual Report of the Adjutant General (Albany, NY: 1864),
14. Hereinafter cited as
2. Ibid., 9.
3. Ibid., 14.
4. George Wingate, History of the 22nd Regiment NYSNG (New York: C.S. Westcott & Sons
5. New York State, Inspector General's Report (New York: C. Wendell, Legislative
Printer, 1863), 114.Hereinafter cited as IG.
6. Frank J. Welcher, The Union Army 1861-1865, The Eastern Theater (Bloomington,
IN: Indiana University Press, 1989), I: 24.
7. Jacob Hoke, The Great Invasion (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959), 93;
William A. Swinton, History
of the Seventh Regiment (New York: Charles T. Dillingham, 1876), 294; Edwin
Gettysburg Campaign (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1968), 135-136.
8. Swinton, Seventh Regiment, 298; U.S. War Department, The
War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington D.C.: U.S.
Office, 1880-1901), Series I, Vol. XXVII, Part II, 227. Hereinafter cited
9. William Nye, Here Come the Rebels (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University
Press, 1965), 233;
Coddington, Gettysburg Campaign, 146.
10. George Wingate, Last Campaign of the 22nd Regiment N.Y.S.M. (New
York: C.S. Westcott & Sons
Printer, 1864), 4, 7.
11. Coddington, Gettysburg Campaign, 143.
12. William J. Miller, The Training of an Army: Camp Curtin and the North's
Civil War (Shippensburg,
PA: White Mane Publishing Co. Inc., 1990), 163, 170-171; John Lockwood, Our
Gettysburg, 23rd Regiment N.Y.N.G. (Brooklyn, NY: A.H. Rowe & Co.,
13. Miller, Camp Curtin, 168.
14. Lockwood, Campaign Around Gettysburg, 44.
15. Coddington, Gettysburg Campaign, 169.
16. Welcher, Union Army, 127.
17.. Hoke, Great Invasion, 130; Nye, Here Come the Rebels, 250.
18. Nye, Here Come the Rebels, 333.
19. AG, 1864,333.
20. Ibid., 50; Welcher, Union Army, 128.
21. Wingate, Last Campaign, 21.
22. Lockwood, Campaign Around Gettysburg, 104.
23. Ibid., 122.
24. AG, 1864,343.
25. Ibid., 343.
26. OR, Series I, Vol. XXVII, Part II, 274-275.
27. Swinton, History of the Seventh, 322.
28. Irving Werstein, July 1863 (New York: Julian Mesner, Inc., 1957), 13.
29. Welcher, Union Army, 13.
30. Ibid., 14; Iver Bernstein, The New York City Draft Riots (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1990),
31. James McCague, The Second Rebellion: The Story of the New York City
Draft Riots (New York: The
Dial Press, Inc., 1968), 145.
32. Lockwood, Campaign Around Gettysburg, 147; Wingate, Last
33. Ibid., 41.
34. Lockwood, Campaign Around Gettysburg, 163.
35. AG, 1864,312.
36. Bernstein, New York Draft Riots, 61.
37. Adrian Cook, The Armies of the Streets (Lexington, KY: The University
Press of Kentucky, 1974), 46.
38. AG, 1864,398.
39. Ibid., 313.
40. Ibid., 316.
41. Ibid., 25.
42. Cook, Armies of the Streets, 173.
43. OR, Series I, Vol. XXVII, Part II, 269-270.
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April 6, 2006