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149th Infantry Regiment
Civil War
Fourth Onondaga

History

Mustered in: September 18, 1862.
Mustered out: June 12, 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 Henry A. Barnum received authority, August 28, 1862, to recruit this regiment in the then 22d. Senatorial District of the State; it was organized at Syracuse and there mustered in the United States service for three years September 17-18, 1862. June 10, 1865, the men not to be mustered out with the regiment were transferred to the 102d Infantry.
The companies were recruited principally: A, B, C and D at Syracuse; E at Syracuse, Pompey, Onondaga and Geddes; F at Manlius, DeWitt and Fabius; G at Syracuse, Skaneateles, Van Buren, Lysander, Elbridge and Manlius; H at Syracuse, Brewerton, Cicero and Centerville; I at Syracuse, Otisco and Fabius; and K at Syracuse, Baldwins-ville and Tully.
The regiment left the State September 23, 1862; it served in Casey's Division, defenses of Washington, from September 26, 1862; in the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, I2th Corps, from September 30, 1862; in the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 2Oth Corps, from April, 1864; and, commanded by Col. Nicholas Grumbach, it was honorably discharged and mustered out June 12, 1865, near Bladensburg, Md.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 5 officers, 77 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 47 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 79 enlisted men; total, 5 officers, 204 enlisted men; aggregate, 209; of whom 7 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 Forty-ninth Infantry.—Cols., Henry A. Bar-num, Nicholas Grumbach; Lieut.-Cols., John M. Strong, Abel G. Cook, Charles B. Randall, Edward D. Murray, Jr., Nicholas Grumbach, Henry W. Burhaus; Majs., Abel G. Cook, Charles B. Randall, Robert E. Hopkins, Nicholas Grumbach, Henry W. Burhaus. This regiment, recruited in the county of Onondaga, was organized at Syracuse and there mustered into the U. S. service on Sept. 18, 1862, for a three years' term. Col. Barnum was an experienced officer, having served with distinction as major of the 12th N. Y. infantry. The regiment left the state on Sept. 23d, 1862, for Wast ington, where it was immediately ordered to join Gen. McClellan army, and was assigned to the 3d brigade, 2nd (Geary's) division 12th corps, "in which command it, fought at Chancellorsville, l01 ing there 15 killed, 68 wounded and 103 captured or missing. A Gettysburg the regiment participated in the famous defense ( Culp's hill, made by Greene's brigade, in which the 149th, fighting behind breastworks, lost 6 killed, 46 wounded and 3 missing, but inflicted many times that loss on its assailants. With the 12th corps, it was transferred to the Army of the Cumberland and the Onondaga boys fought as bravely in Tennessee as in Virginia or at Gettysburg. At Lookout mountain, they captured 5 flags while fighting under Hooker in that memorable affair, their casual-amounting to 10 killed and 64 wounded. Before starting on the Atlanta campaign the 12th corps was designated the 2Oth, its com-mand being given to Gen. Hooker. The regiment started on the campaign with 380 fighting men, of whom 136 were killed or wound-ed before reaching Atlanta. Lieut.-Col. Randall, a gallant a: skillful officer, was killed at Peachtree creek, in which action the regiment sustained its heaviest loss on that campaign, its casua-ties there aggregating 17 killed, 25 wounded and 10 missing. The regiment, after marching with Sherman to the sea was active engaged in the siege of Savannah, and then marched through the Carolinas on the final campaign which ended in the surrender Johnston." (Fox, "Regimental Losses in the Civil War.") A list the important battles in which the regiment fought would include Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie, Lookout mountain, Ring gold gap, Resaca, New Hope Church, Lost mountain, Kennesa mountain, Peachtree creek, Atlanta, Missionary ridge, Rocky Face ridge, Averasboro, Bentonville and Bennett's house. After the sur-render of Johnston, the regiment marched to Washington, when it took part in the grand review in May, and was mustered out on June 12, 1865, near Bladensburgh, Md., under Col. Grumbach. 1 149th had a total enrollment of 1,155, of whom 486 were killed a wounded. Of these 4 officers and 129 men—or 11.5 per cent.—were killed and mortally wounded; 78 died of disease and other causes total deaths, 211. The following men were awarded medals honor by the war department for the capture of battleflags at Look out mountain: 1st Sergt. Norman E. Potter, and privates Peter Kappesser and Phillip Goettel.

Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer

Historical Sketch of the 149th Infantry Regiment

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Monument at Gettysburg

149th Regimental Flag

Song of the 20th Corps

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 int-historians@ng.army.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.

Collins, George Knapp. An abbreviated account of certain men of Onondaga county who did service in the war of 1861-65 in the 149th New York volunteer regiment infantry. Collected by Captain George K. Collins, for the Onondaga historical association. Syracuse: 1928. ports. On spine: Record 149th N.Y. volunteer regt. infantry, 1861-65.

Collins, George Knapp. Memoirs of the 149th regt. N.Y. vol. inft., 3rd brig., 2d. div., 12th and 20th A.C., by Capt. Geo. K. Collins. Syracuse: Published by the author, 1891.

Failing, E. P. Failing-Knight papers,1840-1904.
A small collection of papers dealing with the families of E.P. Failing and Thomas S. Knight of New York. The collection includes: three diaries kept by E.P. Failing while serving with the 149th Regiment of New York Volunteers from 1863 to 1865, including the battle of Gettysburg, the capture of Atlanta, and Sherman's march to the sea. Letters written by Failing to Julia Mintard, 1863. An 1850 diary of Thomas S. Knight describing a voyage from New York to California and back. An 1851 commonplace book of Thomas S. Knight. An 1853 diary kept while serving on a Hudson River steamship. Miscellaneous letters including some by Thomas S. Knight to Catherine (Vosburgh) Knight, his wife, 1840-1872.
ca. 25 items.
Located at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Fennell, Charles C. The attack and defense of Culp's Hill : Greene's Brigade at the battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. 1992.

Fox, William F. In memoriam : George Sears Greene, brevet major-general, United States volunteers, 1801-1899. Albany: J. B. Lyon company, state printers, 1909.

Greene, George S. "Address of Maj. Gen. George S. Greene." Final report on the battlefield of Gettysburg. Albany: J.B. Lyon Co., printers, 1902. 263-266.

Gates family. Gates family letters,1861-1864.
Letters home from Adelbert and James F. Gates written while serving in the 149th New York State Volunteers, Company E, in which they describe army life, illnesses, hospital stays and packages from home.
1 folder.
Located at the Onondaga Historical Association Research Center, 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.

Grumbach, Nicholas. Civil war letter,1864 Dec. 25.
Letter written by Col. Nicholas Grumbach to Colonel Gustavus Sniper describing how his men were the first to enter Savannah, Ga., and posting flags throughout the city so that the remainder of the Union forces could see them as they entered the city.
1 item (4 p.).
Located at Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas

Kiggins, John C. John C. Kiggins papers,1806-1932.
Civil War memorabilia of Sergeant John Kiggins, Company D, 149th New York Volunteers; photograph, appointment and discharge certificates, and letters relating to the Medal of Honor, awarded for gallantry at Lookout Mountain; also, clippings.
1 folder.
Located at the Onondaga Historical Association Research Center, 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.

Morgan, Hance. Diary, 1862,1865.
Typewritten transcript of a diary, 1862-1865, which describes his service in Co. A, 1st Infantry New York Battery or the New York Volunteers, 6th Army Corps; Fredericksburg (Md.); review by Hooker (4/1863); transferral to the 121st Regiment; deserters being shot; Spotsylvania (1864); the Smithsonian Institut being burned (1/24/1865); taking Rebel prisoners (4/1965), visiting the soldiers cemetery at Lee's farm (Arlington National Cemetery) (6/1865); being mustered out of service from the 149th Regiment (6/1865). Notes of a family friend of Morgan's grandson describing Morgan's life are also included.
1 folder.
Located at the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.

Murray, R. L. "A perfect storm of lead" : George Sears Greene and his New York Brigade in defense of Culp's Hill. Wolcott, N.Y. Benedum Books, c2000.

Murray, R. L. Letters from the front : Onondaga County troops in the Civil War. Wolcott, N.Y. Benedum Books, c2002.

Murray, R.L. (ed.) New Yorkers in the Civil War. Wolcott, N.Y. Benedum Books, v. 4 c2004.

Northrop, Homer A. Family correspondence,1862-1967.
Civil War correspondence to Northrop's family (1864-1865); diary (1864) relating to his service with 149th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment near Atlanta, Ga.; land patents; history of Baldwin Township, Barnes County, N.D.; newspaper clippings; and miscellany. No papers dated 1866-1889 and 1903-1959. 54 items.
Located at the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies (?).

Onondaga County Savings Bank (Syracuse, N.Y.). Onondaga County Savings Bank records,1855-1900. Charter petition, statements, amendments, leases, manuscript maps, business correspondence, articles of agreement, abstracts, and other legal papers of a Syracuse bank; also, allotment records for soldiers and dependents of the 122nd and 149th regiments of the New York State Volunteers.
0.3 cubic ft.
Located at the Onondaga Historical Association Research Center, 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202..

Randall, Charles Bertrand. Presentation of the old flag of the 149th to the Onondaga Historical Association. :Presentation of a new flag and guidons. Speeches of presentation and reception. Onondaga, N.Y.: s.n.,1864. 1 sheet ([1] p.) ; 61 x 32 cm.
Located at the New York Historical Society, New York, NY.

Smith, James M. Letters (1863-1865).
18 items.
Group of letters sent to Smith's family regarding his involvement in the Battle of Gettysburg and later in Sherman's campaign from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Smith suffered wounds during both engagements that he described in great detail.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Slocum, Henry W. "Reunion of Greene's New York Brigade, Gettysburg, PA., July 3, 1893." Final report on the battlefield of Gettysburg. Albany: J.B. Lyon Co., printers, 1902. 258-263.

Song of the Twentieth Corps.
Scan donated by Marilynn Wienke.

Sword, Wiley and mike Shotwell. " Two New York Swords in the Fight for Culp's Hill: Col. James C. Lane's and Capt. Nicholas Grumbach's." Gettysburg: Historical Articles of Lasting Interest. Issue 10 (January 1, 1994) pp. 36-41.

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment. Greene's Brigade. Syracuse, N.Y. : Published for the comrades of the renowned defenders by the Acme Pub. Bureau,1893. 
15 (i.e. 14), [2] p. : ill. (incl. ports.) ; 18 cm.
Located at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment. Greene's Brigade. 30th anniversary, 1863-1893, souvenir of the reunion, July 1st to 3rd, 1893, of Greene's Brigade : 3rd Brigade, 2nd Div., 12th Corps, the 60th, 78th, 102nd, 137th, and 149th N.Y. Vols. : who, alone at Culp's Hill, in the 2nd day's battle saved the right at Gettysburg. Syracuse, N.Y. Published for the comrades of the renowned defenders by the Acme Pub. Bureau, 1893.

"Welcome to their old chief : Major Gen. Greene's Brigade Gathered at Culp's Hill." New York Times. July 3, 1893. Page 2, 1759 words.

Whittier, Edward, "The Left Attack (Ewell's), Gettysburg." by Brevet Captain Edward N. Whittier, U.S.V. Fifth Maine Battery. A Paper Prepared and Read before the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, (MOLLUS) February 10, 1891.

 

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: November 1, 2010
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