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Historical Sketch
of the 136th

Taken from Final Report on the Battlefield of Gettysburg (New York at Gettysburg) by the New York Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga. Albany, NY: J.B. Lyon Company, 1902.

Breaking camp on May 1, 1864, the regiment started with Sherman's army on the Atlanta campaign. With faces turned southward the men commenced the long victorious march on which there was to be no retracing of their footsteps. The enemy's forces were first encountered at Buzzard Roost and Rocky Face Gap, Ga. They were driven from their position, an action in which the One hundred and thirty-sixth participated, but with slight loss.

On May 15, 1864, the regiment was actively engaged at the battle of Resaca, Ga., in which it sustained a loss of eighty-one in killed and wounded. In this battle Butterfield's Division captured a battery of four brass Napoleon guns,— twelve-pounders. After daily skirmishes, the principal ones occurring at Cassville, Dallas, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Pine Knob, Lost Mountain, and other localities, in some of which the fighting involved the whole regiment, the division found itself in position July 2oth, at Peach Tree Creek. Here the line of the Twentieth Corps was attacked by the Confederate army under General Hood, which made repeated and desperate assaults on the Union position, only to be repulsed with terrible loss. The men of the One hundred and thirty-sixth bore an honorable part in this battle, during which one of their number, Priv. Dennis Buckley, of Company G, captured the battle flag of the Thirty-first Mississippi, knocking down the Confederate color bearer with the butt of his musket and wrenching the colors from his grasp. While Buckley was waving the captured flag defiantly at the ranks of the enemy a bullet fired at him struck the flagstaff, glanced, and hit him in the forehead, killing him instantly. A year or more after the war closed the War Department gave a Medal of Honor to be delivered to the mother of Dennis Buckley, in recognition of his heroism at the battle of Peach Tree Creek and the capture by him of one of the enemy's flags.

On the morning of July 22d the brigade advanced within two miles of Atlanta, where it occupied various positions during the siege that followed. For six weeks the One hundred and thirty-sixth lay in the trenches before the city under fire daily, many of the men being killed or wounded while in the works, which, towards the close of the siege, were advanced to within close range of the enemy's lines. The Confederate troops evacuated Atlanta during the night on September 1st, and the Twentieth Corps, now under command of General Slocum, entered the city and took possession. "Atlanta was ours, and fairly won."

With the occupation of the city came a period of rest and quiet for ten weeks, a pleasing respite from the privations and dangers of the previous campaign. On November 15, 1864, refreshed and strengthened by its stay at Atlanta, the regiment started with Sherman's army on the March to the Sea. The corps was under the command of Gen. A. S. Williams, General Slocum having been placed in command of the left wing, which composed of the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, was designated the Army of Georgia. The division was commanded by Gen. William T. Ward, who had succeeded General Butterfield, while on the Atlanta campaign; the regiment was under Lieutenant Colonel Faulkner.

The army arrived at Savannah, December 11, 1864, and immediately laid siege to the city, which was evacuated on the 21st.

After a month's stay at Savannah the army started northward January 16, 1865, on the campaign of the Carolinas, arriving at Goldsborough, N. C., on March 24th, after a march of 454 miles, part of which was made over difficult roads and over many rivers and swamps, some of which had to be waded through. In crossing the Edisto River the men waded half a mile in water from twelve to thirty-six inches deep. Skirmishing with the enemy was a frequent occurrence, while a general engagement with Johnston's army occurred at Averasborough, N. C., March 16, 1865, and at Bentonville, N. C., March 19-21, 1865. In the fighting at Bentonville, Maj. H. L. Arnold, who was in command of the regiment, was severely wounded. During the campaign in the Carolinas the brigade was commanded by Gen. William Cogswell, formerly colonel of the Second Massachusetts, an able and fearless officer.

Leaving its camp near Goldsborough, N. C., on April 10th, the regiment started on its last, homeward march. Passing through Richmond, Va., May 11th, and then the battlefields of Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania, it arrived at Alexandria on the 19th. On the 24th it marched proudly in the final Grand Review at Washington, and thence out the Bladensburg Pike, where it encamped while waiting for its muster out.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: March 20, 2006

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