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118th Infantry Regiment
Civil War
Adirondack Regiment

History

Mustered in: August 18-20, 1862
Mustered out: June 13, 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 Samuel T. Richards received, July 7, 1862, authority to recruit this regiment in the counties of Clinton, Essex and Warren; it was organized at Plattsburg and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years August 18 to 20, 1862. The members of the regiment not to be discharged with it were transferred to the 96th Infantry June 13, 1865.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Queensbury and Plattsburg; B at Chazy, Ellenburg and Saranac; C at St. Armand, Jay, Keene, North Elba and Wilmington; D at Horicon, Chester, Johnsburg and Luzerne; E at Crown Point, Moriah, New-comb, North Hudson, Schroon and Ticonderoga; F at Essex, Elizabethtown, Moriah and Westport; G at Luzerne, Bolton, Caldwell, Johnsburg, Stony Creek and Warrensburg; H at Plattsburg; I at Champlain, Chazy, Dannemora and Mooers, and K at Au Sable, Black Brook and Peru.
The regiment left the State September 3, 1862; served in the Middle Department, 8th Corps, from September 4, 1862; in the defenses and Department of Washington, later in Provisional Brigade, Abercrombie's Division, 22d Corps, from October 24, 1862; in the District of Washington, from February, 1863; at Suffolk, Va., in Reserve Brigade, 7th Corps, Department of Virginia, from April 22, 1863; in 1st Brigade, Getty's Division, 7th Corps, from May, 1863; in Wistar's Brigade, 4th Corps, from June, 1863; in Provisional Brigade, 7th Corps, from July, 1863; at Yorktown, Va., from August, 1863; at Norfolk and Portsmouth, Department of Virginia, from October, 1863; at Norfolk, Va., from November, 1863; at Newport News, Va., from December, 1863; in Wistar's Division, 18th Corps, from January, 1864; in Heckman's Division, 18th Corps, from February, 1864; in the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Corps, Army of the James, from April, 1864; in the 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 24th Corps, from December, 1864, and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. George F. Nichols, June 13, 1865, at Richmond, Va.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 5 officers, 55 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 1 officer, 43 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 188 enlisted men; total, 6 officers, 286 enlisted men; aggregate, 292; of whom 45 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.
One Hundred and Eighteenth Infantry.—Cols., Samuel T. Richards, Oliver Keese, Jr., George F. Nichols; Lieut-Cols., Oliver Keese, Jr., George F. Nichols, Levi S. Dominey; Majs., George F. Nichols, Charles E. Pruyn, Levi S. Dominey, John S. Cunningham. The 118th, the "Adirondack Regiment," was recruited in the counties of Clinton, Essex and Warren, organized at Plattsburg, and there mustered into the U. S. service Aug. 18-20, 1862, for three years. It was composed of excellent material and left the state, 1,040 strong on Sept. 3. It served in the defenses of Washington until April, 1863, when it was ordered to Suffolk, Va., in the reserve brigade, 7th corps. In the 1st brigade, Getty's division, same corps, it was present at Antioch Church and Baker's cross-roads; in Wistar's brigade, 4th corps, at Franklin; and in the provisional brigade, 7th corps, it was engaged at South Anna bridge, losing II killed, wounded and missing. It then performed garrison and guard duty for several months at Yorktown, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News, Va. As part of the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 18th corps, it took part in the campaign against Richmond with Gen. Butler's Army of the James, being engaged at Port Walthall Junction, Chester Station, Swift creek. Proctor's creek, and Drewry's bluff. In the last named battle, it lost 199 in killed, wounded and missing. It fought gallantly at Cold Harbor in June, when it lost 32 in killed and wounded. In the first assaults on Petersburg it lost 21 killed and wounded. It was next severely engaged at Fort Harrison, where it lost 67 killed and wounded, and during the advance on Richmond by the Darbytown road in October its ranks were once more fearfully depleted, 111 being killed, wounded and missing. Then attached to the 2nd brigade, 3d division, 24th corps, it was engaged without loss at the fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. During the long period it was in the trenches before Petersburg it met with losses amounting to 43 in killed and wounded. It was on the skirmish line of the 3d division when Richmond was finally occupied, and claims to have been the first organized Federal infantry in that city. It was mustered out at Richmond, under Col. Nichols, June 13, 1865, haying lost by death during service, 6 officers and 98 enlisted men, killed and mortally wounded; 188 enlisted men by disease and other causes, a total of 292; of whom 45 died in Confederate prisons.

Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Unit Roster

Further Reading
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@mail.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.

Brainerd, Carlos M.  Papers, 1862-1864.
Letters of Carlos M. Brainerd, Co. A, 118th Regiment New York Volunteers, describing a soldier's life in Maryland and Virginia, and prison in North Carolina; a volume of affidavits for pension claims when he lived in Appleton, Wisconsin; and a scrapbook of clippings and reminiscences. 0.1 c.f. (1 folder).
Located at the Wisconsin Historial Society Archives.

Cunningham, John Lovell. Three years with the Adirondack regiment, 118th New York volunteers infantry, from the diaries and other memoranda of John L. Cunningham, Major 118th New York volunteer infantry. For private circulation. [Norwood, Mass:, Plimpton press] 1920.

Dobie, David F. Letters, 1863-1865 : From David F. Dobie to Hattie L Jillson of Whitehall, New York.

Dobie, David F. Civil War reports of David F. Dobie, 1864 April 25 to June 30.
The papers consist of a monthly return and invoices of camp and garrison equipage and clothing, and ordnance and ordnance stores at Yorktown, Va., Bermuda Hundred, Drewry's Bluff and Petersburg, together with an order to Dobie to assume command of Company H, 118th New York.
9 items.
Located at the University of Virginia.

Estes family.  Papers, 1856-1916.
Primarily consists of Civil War letters of James Henry Estes concerning his health, weather, local men in the Regiment, prices, camp life, the hanging of Dr. Wright of Norfolk, battles, and marches, 1862-1865, and the Civil War letters of Shubael Merrill discussing his health, hospital stays, and other camp news. Other items include family letters, 1856-1916, and the marriage certificate of James Henry Estes and Elizabeth B. Lee, 1876.
2 cubic ft.
Located at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. Feinberg Library, Special Collections, Plattsburgh, NY.

Hagar, Charles L.  Papers, 1862-1895.
Papers consist chiefly of letters written by Charles L. Hagar to his family in Plattsburgh, New York, regarding his experiences of serving in the army during the Civil War. These letters include information on the battles and campaigns of the 118th New York Volunteers as well as details of his duties as an army chaplain. These papers also include letters written by other family members that concern mostly personal and family matters.
1 box (0.25 cubic ft.).
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Clinton and Franklin Counties, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co. 1880.

Northrup family. Northrup family papers,1853-1929.
Box 1. miscellaneous correspondence, papers relating to the Sand Lake Collegiate Institute of New York, Civil War Quartermaster records, lumbering papers -- Box 2. papers relating to the East Saginaw Post Office 1871-1892.
1 linear ft.
Located at the Public Library of Saginaw.

Parmenter family.  Papers, 1848-1955, bulk (1861-1862).
These papers consist chiefly of correspondence between Jacob and George Parmenter, while the latter served in the U.S. Army from October 1861 to May 1862. George wrote about his experiences of military life, news of his fellow soldier, and his personal health problems. His father replied with words of encouragement and hope that someday he would see his son home from the war alive and well. However, his hopes were dashed as he received the letter informing of his son's death. Other letters include one dated February 12, 1865 from Eugene Parmenter, a soldier of the 47th Wisconsin Volunteers, who wrote about his experiences of camp near Madison, Wisconsin; and two letters written circa 1872-1873 by James Parmenter regarding his service in the 6th U.S. Army Infantry that was charged with protecting white settlers from raids by Native Americans. Lastly, these papers include a muster roll of Company K of the 118th N.Y. Infantry Regiment and miscellaneous printed items.
1 box.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Sexton Family. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
(Enlisted man's letters, Nov 1862-Apr 1865)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Smith, Oakley H. HCWRTColl
(Cpl's letters, Aug-Dec 1862; Pension claim papers& muster rolls, 1862-1915)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Theroux, Peter. Peter Theroux Letters, 1863.
Donated by Lorraine Martin.

Watson, Winslow C. The military and civil history of the county of Essex, New York: and a general survey of its physical geography, its mines and minerals, and industrial pursuits, embracing an account of the northern wilderness : and also the military annals of the fortresses of Crown Point and Ticonderoga. [Ithaca, NY] Cornell University Library Digital Collections, [1995]
Available online at: http://www.archive.org/details/militarycivilhis00wats

Way, Daniel.  The Adirondack Regiment in the Civil War. S.l. : s.n, 1986. 23 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.

Wells family. Papers,1823-1946.
11 cubic ft. (in 23 boxes, 4 Ov. folders, 2 Ov. v.) : ill.
C. W. [Charles William] Wells (1841-1893) was the son of G. L. B. "Benjamin" and Jane Ann (Wadhams) Wells. Benajmin Wells (1802-1889) moved his family to the AuSable River in Essex County (N.Y.) where he served as a deacon of the Congregational Church and Post Master. Jane, C. W.'s mother, (1804-1885) was from Vermont. She married Benjamin in 1826 and together they had at least six children. C. W. grew up his parents' farm and attended school locally and in Rutland (Vt.). He worked as a clerk before enlisting as a private in Company K of the 118th New York Volunteer Infantry. During the war C. W. was promoted for merit and gallantry, eventually being mustered out in 1865 as a Major. After the war, C. W. moved to Saginaw (Mich.) in 1867 where he engaged in the lumberman's supply business of Northrup, Wells & Company, which supplied lumber camps and villages with groceries, fodder, tools, and general merchandise. He was extremely successful and became a wealthy merchant and businessman associated with numberous other business dealing with land and railroads. On Oct. 22, 1868 C. W. married Mary Eliza "Mollie" Bingham (1844-1892), the daughter of Reuben P. Bingham and Mrs. Eliza J. (W. V. K.) McLean. Mollie and C. W. had four daughters, two of whom lived to adulthood, Jean W. Wells (1876-1947), later Mrs. Wallis C. Smith, and Mary H. Wells (1880 or 1886-1930), later Mrs. Paul F. H. Morley of the wealthy Morley family. Jean and Wallis had two daughters: Jean C. Smith (1906-) and Martha W. Smith (1908-). (This information is from the collection and the History of Saginaw County, Michigan, 1918. Additional family information is in the finding aid.)
Located at Clarke Historical Library.

 

Items in the museum collection are in bold.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: August 17, 2011
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/118thInf/118thInfMain.htm

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