of the 149th Infantry Regiment
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.
The One hundred and forty-ninth Volunteers were organized and mustered into
the United States service at Syracuse, the 17th and 18th of September, 1862,
and departed for the seat of war on the 23d of the same month, passing Elmira,
Baltimore, and Washington on its way to join the Army of the Potomac, then
located about Harper's Ferry. On the reorganization of the Twelfth Corps, it
was assigned to duty in Greene's Third Brigade of Geary's Second Division.
When the army left Harper's Ferry in October, 1862, the Twelfth Corps, then
commanded by General Slocum, was left behind to guard that place against the
approaches of General Jackson, who was then in occupation of the upper end
of the Shenandoah Valley; but after Jackson went east the One hundred and forty-ninth,
with the Twelfth Corps, joined the main army then lying between Falmouth and
Aquia Creek in the middle of the winter, in time to participate in the battle
of Chancellorsville, which took place under General Hooker, May 2 and 3, 1863.
In this engagement, the Twelfth Corps took an important part, and the One hundred
and forty-ninth received its first baptism of blood, which occasioned a loss
of killed, wounded and prisoners of about 194. The losses of the regiment at
this time included Lieutenants Davis and Breed, who were killed, and Major
Cook, then commanding the regiment, who received a very severe wound in the
foot, disabling him from further service in the field.
The regiment was next engaged at Gettysburg, where, as a part of Greene's
Brigade, it performed the meritorious service of holding Gulp's Hill against
of Johnson's Division on the night of the 2d, and, with others, in defending
the position on the 3d of July, 1863.
Its losses in this engagement were also very severe. Lieutenant Colonel Randall,
commanding the regiment, received a dangerous wound through the shoulder
and side. At this place the flag presented to the regiment by the officers
Onondaga Salt Springs, and now in the Clerk's office of Onondaga County,
received over four score of bullets in its silken folds, and its staff, shot
was mended on the battlefield with splints and gun straps by Color Bearer
William C. Lilly.
In October, 1863, the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, under the command of General
Hooker, were transferred from the Army of the Potomac to the Army of the Cumberland,
and joined the latter command near Chattanooga, Tenn., just in time for the
One hundred and forty-ninth to participate in the night battle of Wauhatchie,
October 28th, which virtually raised the siege of Chattanooga, and opened the
celebrated " Cracker Line," which saved Rosecrans' army from surrendering
that valuable position. The casualties in this engagement were not heavy, but
among them was that of the color bearer, William C. Lilly, who received a mortal
wound, from which he died a few days afterwards.
The regiment afterwards, on the 24th of November, had the proud honor of
taking part in the celebrated charge on Lookout Mountain, where it met with
loss, but had the extreme gratification of capturing four flags from the
hands of the enemy, besides capturing a number of prisoners, far exceeding
those then present for duty in the regiment. The next day the One hundred
and forty-ninth took part in the charge on Missionary Ridge, which, although
attended with any material loss to it, was a matter of just pride to the
Two days afterwards, the regiment, as a part of the Third Brigade, participated
in the very trying and somewhat sanguinary battle of Ringgold.
In the spring of 1864 the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps were reorganized into
what is known as the new Twentieth Corps, and it is the pride of the Twelfth
Corps that its badge, a five-pointed star, was adopted as the insignia of
the new corps. The white star of the Second Division was worn by the One hundred
and forty-ninth during its entire term of service, both in the Twelfth and
Twentieth Corps, and is now a cherished memento of the service.
In the celebrated Atlanta campaign, under General Sherman, the One hundred
and forty-ninth participated in several engagements, and met with severe
losses at Resaca, New Hope Church, Pine Mountain, Lost Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain,
and at Peach Tree Creek. For more than three months it was never out of the
sound of firearms, and was under fire almost constantly. At the battle of
it was the proud privilege of the regiment to take a very material part in
the capture of the four guns, so often spoken of in connection with that
engagement, the men of the regiment for several hours being so close to the
pieces as to
be able to touch them with their muskets. At New Hope Church the losses were
very heavy, but not more so than at Peach Tree Creek, where nearly half of
the men present for duty were shot down in their tracks. Among the killed
in the latter engagement were Lieut. Col. Chas. B. Randall and Capt. David
Soon after the occupancy of Atlanta, Colonel Barnum, commanding the regiment,
assumed command of the brigade, and Captain Grumbach, promoted to major,
assumed command of the regiment. The One hundred and forty-ninth, as part of
Corps, participated in the march from Atlanta to the Sea, and afterwards
in the still more wonderful campaign through the Carolinas.
In the Grand Review at Washington at the close of the war, there was no command
that received more marked attention than that of General Sherman, and it
was the proud feeling of the One hundred and forty-ninth that by its meritorious
services it deserved all the attention bestowed upon it.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
June 21, 2007