|Unit History Project|
19th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry
The several companies were accepted, under the act of April 16th, as follows: Companies A, B and D, April 24th; companies C and E, April 25th; company H, May 4th; companies F, G and I, May 7th, and company K, May 11th. The regiment was accepted and numbered, by the State Military Board, May 14th, and an election for field officers ordered. On the 17th of May, the election of John S. Clark as Colonel, Clarence A. Seward as Lieutenant Colonel, and James H. Ledlie as Major, was confirmed (Special Order 105), and the regiment directed to be mustered into the service of the United States immediately. On the 22d of May, it was mustered into the service of the United States for three months by Capt. W. L. Elliot. Uniforms were issued about the 25th of May; arms (U. S. percussion muskets, model of 1840, calibre 69), on the 5th of June, and tents (common and wall), on the same day. Fully armed and equipped, the regiment left the State, on the 5th of June, by railroad from Elmira to Williamsport, Harrisburg and Baltimore to Washington, where it arrived on the 6th.
The regiment was raised without organized aid. Individual donations, however, were made to most of the companies. Two national flags were presented to company C by the citizens of Seneca Falls; a national flag was presented to company H* by the citizens of Weedsport, and national and State flags were presented to the regiment by the ladies of Auburn. The total expenditure by the State, on account of the regiment, up to the 15th of August, 1861, was $41,313.57, exclusive of subsistence and quarters.
* The captain of this company, Solomon Giles, claims the honor of being the first to tender his services to the Government in case of war. This tender was by letter to GOV. Morgan, dated January 7th, 1861.
On its arrival in Washington, the regiment took up quarters in Woodard's Hall, on Pennsylvania avenue, and remained two days. On the 8th of June it moved to camp on Kalorama Heights, D. C., where it remained until July 6th. While here it was under the instruction of three officers of regular service, and its arms were exchanged for original Harper's Ferry smooth bore percussion muskets. On the 6th of July it marched, under the command of Gen. Sandford, via Baltimore, Harrisburg, Chambersburg, Hagerstown and Williamsport to Martinsburg, Va., where it arrived on the 8th; forded the Potomac, July 10th, and sent four companies (in company with a detachment from the Twenty-eighth N. Y.,) on a foraging expedition. This expedition wag attacked by about forty of the enemy's cavalry, and one man of the 28th was killed, and two of the 19th taken prisoners. On the 12th of July the regiment was formally brigaded under Gen. Sandford, as a part of Gen. Patterson's command; marched to Bunker Hill on the 16th, and from thence to Middleway and Charlestown. It reached Harper's Ferry on the 21st, during the battle of first Bull Run, and remained there until the 28th—Gen. Patterson being relieved and the command assumed (July 27th,) by Gen. Banks. On the 28th it marched to Pleasant Valley and Knoxville and camped. Companies B and F here crossed the Potomac (August 10th,) and attacked and routed 150 of the enemy's cavalry, and returned without loss. On the 20th it marched to Hyattstown and camped.
The same difficulty that had occurred in other regiments, mustered for three, months, now arose. The men had been led to believe that, at the expiration of the term for which they had mustered, they would be sent back to the State, or again given the option they were given at the first to swear in for the remainder of the two years or be discharged. They had seen 600 Pennsylvania men discharged under similar circumstances, and regarded the withholding of their pay and the refusal or failure to issue new clothing, as conclusive evidence that the view which they had taken was correct. Hence, when the order of August 2d, 1861 (Special Orders 323—see 12th regiment,) were promulgated (August 22d), two hundred and six men threw down their arms and refused to do duty. They were promptly put. under arrest, and, after remaining so for about one month, returned to duty, with the exception of twenty-three, who were sentenced to the Tortugas. At the Rip-Raps, however, they were pardoned on condition that they should join the 2d New York regiment and serve the term for which they were held; and this condition they complied with. Meanwhile, that portion of the regiment which accepted the new order of things was paid off and received regulation uniforms. Colonel Clark resigned, and, soon after Lieut. Colonel Seward also resigned. Commissions were issued to Major James H. Ledlie as Colonel, Captain Charles H. Stewart as Lieutenant Colonel, and Adjutant Henry M. Stone as Major.
On the 6th of September the regiment marched from Hyattstown to the bank
of Seneca creek near Darnestown, Md., and encamped until the 25th, when it
marched up Muddy Branch, half way between Darnestown and Rockville, and was
placed in charge of the division, supply train of quartermasters' and commissary
stores. It remained at Muddy Branch until the latter part of December, and
moved from thence, with General Williams' brigade (comprising the Tenth and
Twenty-eighth N. Y., and Forty-eighth Penn.), to Hancock, Md, where it remained
until the 21st of February, 1862, and performed its last service as infantry.
In September, Captain Stevens and Lieutenants Squires and Day of company F,
and Captain Angell and Lieutenants Carr and Forsting of company K, were mustered,
out at their own request Captain Giles had been elected major, and Lieutenants
Fields and Nichols, of his company (H), resigned. Colonel Clark was detained
from duty, and Lieutenant-Colonel Seward sick and absent. A consultation of
the officers of the regiment was held, and a proposition made for consolidation
with the 28th, but finally it was agreed that Major Ledlie should go to Washington
with an application for conversion into artillery, with power to recruit new
companies. This order applied for was granted. Companies F, H and K were consolidated
with the other companies September 28th. Captain Kennedy, of company B,
obtained leave early in September to recruit, and raised a battery of artillery,
which, on his arrival at Washington, was designated the 1st N. Y. independent
battery. His lieutenants in the 19th (Poison and Day) resigned, and his old
company was consolidated. In November, Major Giles returned to Cayuga county
to obtain recruits. In December Captain Angell, who had previously resigned,
had succeeded in raising a new company (K), which was mustered in about the
20th of December. The recruiting officers were successful, and on the 20th
of February, 1862, left New York with 500 men, in companies B, F, H
and M, and some men unassigned.* The old portion of the regiment left Hancock
on the 17th, reached Washington on the 20th, and on the 21st was united
with the new companies under Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart. The 3d New York artillery
was now fully organized under the order of December 11th, 1861; and the 19th
infantry in name and duties ceased. The companies added to the regiment
recruited as follows, viz :
The field and staff officers of the new regiment took rank as
On the 22d of February the regiment, marched from Washingington to Arlington Heights, and occupied Forts Corcoran, Bennett, Haggerty, Albany and De Kalb. It remained in this position until the 27th of March, when it was assigned to Burnside's command in North Carolina. It took the cars at Washington for Annapolis, and from thence by steamer to Newbern, where it arrived on the 2d of April. At Newbern it received some captured guns, both light and heavy, as its first artillery armament, and was assigned to duty. In due time guns and horses were procured, and companies B, E, F, H, I, K and M organjized and drilled as light artillery, leaving companies A, C, D and G as heavy batteries. This arrangement, however, was not fully effected until the winter of 1863.
Soon after the arrival of the regiment at Newbern, companies C, D, G and M took charge of the building of Fort Totten and mounting its guns; conmpanyA took charge of Fort Rowan, and company I went to Carolina City and participated in the reduction of Fort Macon, April 26th. This company worked the mortar batteries in the bombardment and was put in the fort as a garrison on its surrender. Company G was sent to build and garrison a fort at Washington, N. C, and was there, and participated in the action of September 9th, 1862. Company H was also present on that occasion, having stopped at the fort while en route for Edenton. The enemy obtained complete possession of the town, but were finally driven out with heavy loss. The companies (G and H) engaged lost five killed, eight wounded and nine prisoners. Company M was sent to Roanoke Island in June, and afterwards transferred to Hatteras Inlet.
On the 30th of October, companies B, F, H and K, under command of Major Kennedy, went on an expedition under Gen. Foster towards Weldon, and had a skirmish with the enemy at Rawles' Mills, but sustained no loss. On the 11th of December, companies B, E, part of I, F, H and K, under command of Col. Ledlie, accompanied the expedition under Gen. Foster to Goldsboro'. At South-West creek, battery B in advance, shelled the enemy out of a fort defending the bridge across the creek, and retook the old brass howitzers captured by the enemy at Bull Run, recaptured by Burnside at Newbern, and again taken by the enemy in the surprise of Washington, N. C., September 6th. On the 14th, all of the batteries were engaged in the battle at Kinston bridge, batteries B and F having the advance, the former on the left hand road, and the latter on a right hand road leading across a thickly wooded swamp to the enemy's position on the right bank of the river, covering the bridge. Scouring the woods with canister, the batteries advanced, with the infantry, through them and took positions beyond. The infantry charged with the bayonet and the batteries moved up — B and F on the right and left, being pushed close up to the bridge, and the former talcing forty prisoners. The enemy then set the bridge on fire. Battery F poured in canister on those thus engaged, and assisted in putting out the fire. The bridge was saved and our forces crossed into Kinston in the evening. The loss to the batteries engaged here was four killed and twenty-five wounded.
Proceeding up the Neuse on the 16th, the enemy disputed the road at Whitehall, but were speedily dislodged by the artillery. The batteries were all engaged and lost a number of horses and men. On the 17th, at Goldsboro', another contest occurred, in which the enemy were again routed. Here a whole brigade of the enemy charged on company B, but received so much canister from its six twelve-pounder Napoleons, that they fell back. After destroying the bridges and a long distance of the railroad track at this place, the expedition commenced its return to Newbern.
Here occurred an incident that may not be improperly inserted in an outline history of this character. As the batteries came off the field to take their position in the order of march, the infantry lines spontaneously cheered them. "Here comes Morrison's battery—three cheers and a tiger!" "Here comes little Ashby with his big howitzers—give him a good one!" "Here comes Capt. Jenny's Wiards—three cheers for them!" and so on to the last. No communication from headquarters could have had greater effect than this tribute from the infantry.
About four hundred of the regiment went to Hilton Head in January, 1863, and participated in the siege of Charleston. All but batteries B and F returned in April. Battery G gained great praise from Gen. Foster for its good conduct during the siege of Little Washington, N. C, in April, 1863.
On the 22d of May, the term of service of the two years portion of the regiment expired, and 527 of its members returned to Auburn and were mustered out on the 3d of June. Seven light batteries, of about 700 men, were left in the field. The losses and gain of the regiment from February. 1862, to January 1863, were as follows: Deaths from disease, 65; from wounds, 1; killed in battle, 8; wounded, 46; missing and prisoners, 15; discharged, 57; deserted, 29. The original strength of the regiment was 780, and it received, up to May 22d, 1863, 1,308 recruits.
The subsequent movements of the regiment more properly belong to a new organization, and will be considered in connection with the artillery regiments from this State. It may be stated here, however, that from its first organization as the Nineteenth infantry to its muster out in June, 1865, as the Third artillery, it had on its rolls 4,408 men, of whom 217 were killed in action, 233 were wounded 247 died of disease, and 355 deserted; and that, as infantry and artillery in detached batteries, it was engaged in sixty-four battles, sieges and skirmishes.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History