New York State Militia
New York National Guard
12th Infantry (National Guard)
Left the State: April 21, 1861
Mustered in: May 2, 1861
Mustered out: August 5,1861
Left the State: June 6, 1862
Mustered out: October 8,186
Left the State: June 20, 1863
Mustered out: July 20, 1863.
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion,
3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
This regiment was organized as the11nth Regiment by
a general order dated June 21, 1847, and was of eight companies, viz.: Light
Guard of 106th Regiment;
Benson Guard, of 125th Regiment; Independence Guard, of 264th Regiment; Italian
Guard, of 252d Regiment; Monroe Blues, of 235th Regiment; Tompkins Blues,
of 51st Regiment; Independent Tompkins Blues, of 222d Regiment, and Lafayette
Federalizes of 85th Regiment. By a general order dated July 27, 1847, the designation
of the regiment was changed to the I2th. A new company, under command of
Henry Johnson, was organized and attached to the regiment, April 25, 1849.
Company H of the 3d Regiment was transferred to the I2th Regiment, April
25, 1849. Company D was consolidated with Company C, June 5, 1849. A new company,
under Capt. Adolphus I. Johnson, was organized April 15, 1850. Company L was
transferred to the nth Regiment, May 3, 1858. On March 16, 1859, Companies
A and C, B and H, and G and E were consolidated, and the consolidated companies,
with Company D, transferred to the l0th Regiment. On June 29, 1859, these
companies were disbanded. On November 16, 1859, five companies (A, B, C,
D and G) were organized in the 22d Regimental District. On November 22, 1859,
Company E was organized and an election ordered for field officers of the
Regiment. These companies were composed principally of former members of
the old I2th Regiment The designation of the 22d Regiment was changed December
19, 1859, to 12th Regiment. Company H was organized January 28, 1860, and
F, February 2, 1860. Company C was consolidated with Company E, March 21,
1861, and Company K was organized May 8, 1861. Company I, 23d Regiment, was
to I2th Regiment, as Company I, April 2, 1861. New Company C was organized
December 31, 1861. Company K was disbanded February 12, 1862, and new Company
K organized September 22, 1862. Company C was consolidated with Company H,
January 12, 1876. Company I was consolidated with Company G, January 12, 1876.
New Company I, organized February 21, 1876. Company D was consolidated with
Company E, March 11, 1876. New Company D was organized July 16, 1884, and new
Company C was organized June 3, 1885. The regiment performed duty during the
Astor Place riots in 1849; it was on duty during the Orange riots in July,
1871; during the Railroad riots in July, 1877; during the Switchmen's strike
at Buffalo, in August, 1892, and at Brooklyn during the Motormen's strike in
January, 1895. April 28, 1898, the regiment was authorized to be organized
as a twelve company regiment to enter the United States service, in which it
was mustered in as the 12th Regiment Infantry, N. Y. Volunteers, May 13, 1858,
and mustered out April 20, 1899; Companies L and M were disbanded April 24,
Service in the War of the Rebellion.
April 21, 1861, the regiment, ten companies, commanded by Colonel Butterfield,
left the State en route to Washington, D. C., where it was mustered in the
United States service, for three months, May 2, 1861. It served at and
from May, 1861, and in the Army, Department of Pennsylvania (General Patterson);
and was mustered out at New York city, August 5, 1861.
After the regiment's
return from this service a large number of its members entered the volunteer
service, for three years, in an organization known
as the I2th
Militia, which was, in January, 1862, consolidated with the 12th Volunteers.
27, 1862, the regiment, nine companies then commanded by Col. William G.
Ward, was again ordered to Washington, D. C., and left the State,
June 6, 1862;
it was mustered in the United States service for three months, served
at Harper's Ferry, W. Va., in the 4th Brigade; volunteered to stay over its
term of service,
and was surrendered with Harper's Ferry; it was mustered out at New York
city, October 8, 1862, and declared exchanged January 11, 1863.
1863, the regiment, ten companies, was ordered to Harrisburg, Pa., and
it left the State, under Colonel Ward on the 20th; it was
of the United States, for thirty days, served in General Yates' command
at Fenwick, Pa., and in the 1st Brigade, Dana's Division, Department
Susquehanna, and July
20, 1863, was mustered out of that service at New York city.
lost, died of disease, in its service of 1861, two enlisted men,; and it,
or portions of it, took part in the following engagements,
Occupation of Arlington Heights, Va., May 24, 1861; skirmish near
Martinsburg, Va., July 12, 1861; skirmish near Bunker Hill, W. Va.,
July 15, 1861;
skirmish on Maryland Heights, Md., September 12-13, 1862; siege and
Harper's Ferry, W. Va., September 12-15, 1862 (30 officers and 530
enlisted men were
The following is taken from Third Annual Report of the Bureau
of Military Statistics of the State of New York, Albany: [The Bureau],
(C. Wendell), 1866.
TWELFTH REGIMENT, N. Y. S. MILITIA.
The Twelfth regiment is in the Second brigade, First division of the State
militia organization. It organized in the city of New York, tendered its
services through its commanding officer, Colonel Butterfield, immediately
on the breaking out of the rebellion, for the defense of the National Capital.
The friends of the regiment in the city, contributed liberally towards
its equipment, raising the sum of $10,000. New uniforms were ordered, but
without waiting for their completion, the regiment commenced at once recruiting
its ranks ; and although at the inspection in the fall of 1860, it showed
but 380 men, so great was the enthusiasm of the citizens and the popularity
of the Twelfth, that when it left for the seat of war its numbers had been
increased to nearly 1,000.
On the 19th of, April, 1861, orders were issued from General Headquarters, directing
Major-General Sandford to detail the Twelfth for immediate service at Washington,
and on Sunday, the 21st, the regiment took its departure from the State. The
regiment assembled in Union Square, the regular members and their substitutes
wore their old regimental uniform, but the recruits wore their ordinary clothing
with military belts and equipment. A supply of muskets had been obtained, and
guerrilla like, as the raw recruits looked, there was hardly ever a finer body
of men gathered together, and the spectators by their enthusiasm, showed what
they expected of them. Great masses of the population turned out to do honor
to the departing Militia. It was with difficulty that the regiment made its way
through the crowd to the wharf, and was obliged to leave Broadway and turn down
a side street into Mercer street, the throng was so great. The regiment
left New York in the steamship Baltic for Fortress Monroe. On the voyage, the
recruits were drilled into very serviceable shape. It had been intended that
the regiment should go up the Potomac, but orders were received from General
Butler, then in command at Annapolis, that the Twelfth should proceed to that
point. The Twelfth was transfered from the Baltic to the steamer Goatzacoatcos,
and the fleet of vessels (containing the different Mili¬tia regiments), as
they steamed up the Chesapeake, presented a grand appearance. On Friday, the
26th, the regiment landed and started on its march to Junction, where it arrived
the next day, after a bivouac in the fields over night; continued their march
on Saturday, and in the evening bivouacked in the woods. On Sun¬day afternoon,
took cars for Washington; were there placed in tem¬porary quarters until
the 7th of May, when the regiment moved to Camp Anderson, in Franklin Square.
About the same time they received from New York their new Chasseur uniform, which
was complete and acceptable. A severe course of drilling was immediately commenced,
which soon brought the regiment to remarkable state of perfection. Several officers,
who had just graduated at the United States Military Academy, were assign-ed
as instructors to the different companies, in consequence of the number of recruits,
and also drilled the officers in skirmishing.
Among those who were prominent in performing this duty, worn Lieutenants Upton
and Ames, both subsequently promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and the
latter of whom, (General Ames), was conspicuous for gallantry at Fort Fisher.
On the 23d of May, the regiment received marching orders, and on that night crossed
the Long Bridge under the direction of General Sandford, and matched into Virginia,
being the first regiment to invade the so called "sacred soil" of that
State. Established position at Roach's Mills, forming the extreme left of the
army. At that period, the regiment mustered present for duty, 829, and on the
rolls an aggregate of 981 men, Capt. B. S. Church, of the engi¬neer corps
of the regiment, reconnoitered the adjoining country for miles around, on horseback
and alone; he was once captured by a party of rebel cavalry, but managed to escape.
Subsequently he was detached from the regiment, on special duty, and engaged
in company with Lieutenant Snyder, of the U. S. Engineers, in choosing the sites
of the extensive fortifications on Arlington Heights, when he as repeatedly fired
upon by rebel scouts.
While at Roach's Mills, the regiment was frequently drilled in skirmishing. The
citizens of Washington, however, residing in the vicinity of Franklin Square,
were desirous that the Twelfth should be recalled to its old quarters, fearing
that some less orderly regiment might be stationed among them. The War De¬partment
acceded to their request, and accordingly on the 2d of June, the regiment was
marched back across, the Long Bridge, and returned to its former camp in the
The regiment, remained in Washington until the 7th of July, when, ordered to
join the army of the Shenandoah, it proceeded by railroad to Baltimore, and thence
to Harrisburg and Hagers¬town, arriving at the latter place on the evening
of the 8th. Left Hagerstown on the 9th, marched to Williamsport, forded the Potomac
and marched all night; arriving at Martinsburg, Va., early on the morning of
the 10th, having accomplished 80 miles without a pause. Colonel Butterfield,
there reported to Major-General Patterson, and was immediately appointed an acting
Brigadier-General, his brigade consisting of the Fifth and Twelfth N. Y. S. Militia,
and the Nineteenth and Twenty-eighth N. Y. S. volunteers. Lieutenant-Colonel
Ward then took command of the Twelfth. While at Martinsburg, a foraging expedition
was formed, consisting of three companies of the Twelfth, and three of the Twenty-eighth
regiment N. Y. S. V., which was quite sucessful,
and enlivened by a slight skirmish with the rebels, a detachment
of whom endeavored to interfere with the operations, but were
dispersed by a volley from company H, commanded by Capt McCormack. This was
on Friday the 12th of July. On Monday July 15th, the army advanced to Bunker's
Hill; where they were
encamped for a day, the Twelfth being stationed near the Sulphur
Spring, at a foot known for the time as Camp Patterson.
On reaching Bunker's Hill, found it occupied by the rebel advance, who retreated
in great haste after a slight skirmish, in which a Rhode Island battery threw
several shells, killing one and wound¬ing two of the rebel cavalry. On Wednesday,
July 17th, left Bunker's Hill and marched to Charlestown, where the regiment
encamped, and on Sunday, the 21st of July, marched to Harper's Ferry, and occupied
a position on Bolivar Heights, close to the spot where the rebel batteries had
been planted by Johnston, who had also fortified the place by building block-houses
on Loudon Heights across the Shenandoah. Doubleday's battery was sta¬tioned
on Bolivar Heights, and took possession of several large guns which had been
abandoned by the enemy, when they hastily evacuated Harper's Ferry, as untenable.
Col. Butterfield tendered the services of the regiment to the Government, till
the 2d of August, and the tender was promptly accepted by the War Department.
On the 26th of July, four companies of the Twelfth crossed the Shenandoah river
in flat-boats, and occupied the block-houses built by the rebels on Lou-don Heights.
They remained there until after the evacuation of Harper's Ferry by Gen. Banks,
being the last troops, save a Mas¬sachusetts company, to leave the Virginia
side, and being obliged to wade the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers to rejoin the
army. Harper's Ferry was evacuated by the Federal troops on Sunday, July 28,
1861. After leaving Harper's Ferry, the Twelfth was encamped at Knoxville until
ordered to New York, on Thursday, August 1st. The regiment arrived in the city
about dusk of the next day, and was received with the greatest enthusiasm by
the citizens who assembled in crowds in Broadway to extend a cordial welcome
to the returning soldiers. The regiment was mustered out of service on Monday,
August 5th, in Washington square, by Lieutenant-Colonel Sheppard. Col. Butterfield
soon after resigned his commission, having accepted one as Lieutenant-Colonel
of the Twelfth U. S. infantry. His connection with the regiment terminated August
27th, 1861. The vacancy caused by Col. B.'s resignation, was not filled until
the 25th of October, when Lieutenant- Colonel Ward was elected Colonel
of the regiment.
See here for a brief history of the State
Militia / National Guard.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Baldwin, Henry. Military papers. [New York]: 1860-1865.
Note(s): Binder's title./ Scrapbook of clippings, letters, official orders, etc.,
dealing with various military bodies with which Henry Baldwin was connected,
chiefly the New York zouaves (9th regt., N. Y. infantry) and the Independence
guard, 12th regt., N. Y. state militia.
Located at the California State Library.
Barlow, Francis C. Francis C. Barlow letters,
Description: 1 box.
Abstract: Letters sent by Francis C. Barlow to his mother Almira in Brookline,
Mass. and brothers, 1861-64, while serving with the 12th New York State Militia
and the 61st New York Volunteer Infantry. Barlow describes various campaigns
including Antietam, Maryland, where he received a groin wound; Chancellorsville,
Virginia; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where he was left for dead on the battlefield;
the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and other campaigns; and warns his mother
not to believe rumors of his death. Also includes letters received by Barlow
from other army personnel regarding promotions and commands, 1865; and typewritten
transcriptions of the letters.
Located at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
A brief memoir of Lieut. Colonel Chas. B. Randall, who
fell in battle before Atlanta, Ga., fighting for the maintenance of our Union.
New York, 1870. 66, 11 p. Mustered in 12th New York infantry, May 13, 1861;
mustered out, May 17, 1863; mustered in 149th New York infantry, June 8,
1863; killed in
action, July 20, 1864.
Butterfield, Mrs. Julia Lorrilard (Safford). A biographical
memorial of General Daniel Butterfield including many addresses and military
writings. Edited by Julia Lorrilard Butter-field. New York: Grafton
press, 1903. xii, 379 p. plates (facs., illus., ports.). Partial contents:
Commanding officer 12th regiment infantry (three months), 14-42; Taps and
other bugle calls, 47-50; Corps badges, 116-18.
Dowley, Morris Francis. History and honorary roll of
the Twelfth regiment infantry, N.G.S.N.Y., containing a full and accurate
account of the various changes through which the organization has passed
since the date of its formation (1847) to the present. Also biographical
sketches of General Butterfield, Ward, and Barlow and Rev. Stephen H. Tyng,
Jr., as well as the names and rank of several hundred members of the "Twelfth" who
rose to distinction during the War for the suppression of the great rebellion,
by M. Francis Dowley. New York: T. Farrell & Son, 1869.
Independence guard. Dedication of the new armory, 12th reg't
infantry, N.G.S.N.Y., Thursday, April 21st, 1887, the twenty-sixth anniversary
of the departure of the Regiment for the seat of war. Official programme.
[New York: Pusey & co., 1887] 54 p.
McBarron, Hugh Charles and Frederick Porter Todd. 12th regiment,
New York state militia, 1861- 1869. Military collector &• historian iv
(Washington 1952) 98. col. plate (illus.).
Old Guard Association. Report:
annual reunion and dinner of the Old Guard Association, Twelfth Regiment, N.G.S.N.Y.
New York: The Association, 1800s-?.
Old Guard Association. Souvenir of the annual reunion,
1894: with historical sketch of the Twelfth Regiment, N.G.S.N.Y., 1847-1861,
of 'sixty-one, with muster rolls. [New York]: Old Guard Association,
Report annual reunion and dinner of the Old guard
association, Twelfth regiment, N.G.S.N.Y., Saturday, April 21st, 1894. .
. . [New York,
Ronalds press, 1894] 6, vi, -223 p. facs., illus., ports., 2 plates (illus.,
fold. map). "Proceedings of this year are devoted more generally to the
Regiment in its connection with the war in 1861."
---Another printing with added title page: Souvenir of the
annual reunion 1894 with his torical sketch of the Twelfth regiment, N.G.S.N.Y.,
1847-1861. Campaign of 'sixty-one with muster rolls. Illustrated Old guard
associ ation series. Limited edition, 1895. [New York: Ronalds press, 1895].
Report of the proceedings in connection with the monument
erected by Maj.-Gen. Daniel Bntterfield, at Fredericksburg, Va., in honor of
the Fifth corps, Army of the Potomac, and presentation of a tablet by the 12th
N.Y. regiment association to the Oneida historical society, Utica, New York.
1900] 39 p. 3 plates (illus., 2 ports.).
Scrymser, James Alexander, 1839-1918. "In President Lincoln's
kitchen." Magazine of history xv (New York: 1912) 42-3.
Scrymser, James Alexander, 1839-1918. Personal reminiscences
of James A. Scrymser in times of peace and war. [New York: 1915] 151,
(1) p. plates (illus., double map, ports.). Mustered in 12th New York militia.
May 2, 1861 (enlisted April 19, 1861); mustered out, August 5, 1861; mustered
in 43rd New York infantry, October 2, 1861; discharged, February 26, 1863.
Waud, Alfred R. Col. Wards quarters.
Description: 1 drawing on brown paper : pencil and grey wash with Chinese white
; 19.4 x 27.2 cm. (sheet)
Note(s): Title inscribed lower right./ Inscribed on verso: Lt. Col-W.C. Wards
quarters Franklin Square Washington DC 1861 - 12. reg N.Y.S.M. Camp 1861./ Formerly
Waud no. B-72.
Located at the Library of Congress in the Civil War drawing collection (DLC)
Located online at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c07259 [link
opens new window].
Items in the museum collection are in bold.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
August 23, 2017