New York State Militia
New York National Guard
Left the state: June 4, 1862
Mustered out: September 6, 1862
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, then located in the counties of
Greene and Ulster, but now not in existence, was ordered, April 23, 1861,
to proceed to Washington, D. C.
May 3, 1861, this order was revoked, the regiment being already at New
York city en route. It was finally permitted to leave and left the State, May
7, 1861 (nine companies), commanded by Col. Geo. W. Pratt. It was mustered
in the United States service May 11, 1861, to date April 23, 1861, at Annapolis,
Md., to serve three months. It served at Annapolis, and at Baltimore, Md.,
and was mustered out at Kingston, August 2, 1861.
Shortly after its return it
volunteered, organized and was accepted for a three years' service, and December
7, 1861, it received the designation 80th
under which head its volunteer history will be found.
The regiment lost during
its three months' service in 1861, by death, of disease two enlisted men.
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.
TWENTIETH REGIMENT N. Y. S. MILITIA.
The Twentieth regiment was organized in the county of Ulster, and is in
the Eighth brigade, Third division of the State Military organization.
The following were the field officers:
Colonel—George W. Pratt.
Major-Theodore B. Gates.
The Twentieth regiment, had long been favorably
known in the
militia organization of the Slate, and its gallant commander, Col.
Pratt, had for many years been identified with every measure hav ing for
its object the elevation of the militia system.
Most of the uniformed regiments,
composing our State force, at the breaking out of the rebellion, were within
the large cities and towns. The Twentieth
was made up from citizens of the rural districts, men whose lives had
been passed among the hills of Ulster and Greene, hardy sons of toil, many
them employes in the large tanneries in that section of the State. The
record of the regiment, which went through the entire war, is an honorable
one. Its commanding officer lost his life from a wound received in the
second battle of Manassas. Its ranks were over and over again recruited
from the counties in which the regiment was originally raised, and
there is scarce a battle-field in Maryland, Virginia or Pennsylvania,
which was not moistened with the blood of members of the New York Twentieth
Major-General Cooper commanding the Third division, had been directed
by Special Orders No. 76, of April 23d, to detail the Twentieth regiment
immediate service, to report at Washington. Many delays however attended
its departure, and even after its arrival in the city of New York en
route; for the National Capital, it was quartered for more than a week
Park Barracks, before receiving final orders to move. These delays were
very annoying to all the members of the regiment. They reached New York
on the 28th of April, and up to the 5th of May no transportation had
been provided for them. They then received orders to return to their homes,
as advices had arrived from Washington, calling only for volunteers to
serve for two years--and for this reason it was alleged, no more militia
regiments could be accepted.
This order caused great consternation among the rank and file. They had
enlisted in the hope of being engaged in the impending conflict. Many
of them had given up lucrative positions, left homes and families, for
purpose of manifesting their patriotism and sustaining the honor and
integrity of the flag. On the following evening, May 6th, a special order
was received directing them to proceed onward at once. When this news
to the troops, a scene of genuine enthusiasm ensued. The President, the
Governor, General Scott and Colonel Pratt were successively cheered.
The Colonel himself was deeply affected at the enthusiasm manifested
by his men, and took no measures to check their outbursts of joy. He
made a few remarks, thanking them for the manner in which they had borne
many disappointments to which they had been subjected, and congratulating
them upon the prospect of a speedy entry upon active service. He said "they
would come back covered with glory."
How true was this prophecy! How literally has it been fulfilled! He
who uttered it sleeps with the honored dead, "covered
with glory," and the regiment of which he was so proud, and of
whose every interest he was so watchful, can point with a melan
choly pride to its tattered banners and depleted ranks, while the
battle-fields of the Peninsula, of Manassas, Antietam, South Mountain,
Fredericksburg and Gettysburg bear eloquent witness to its devotion and
Upon leaving New York on the 7th of May, the regiment went by railroad
to Perryville and thence by steamer to Annapolis, and spent its three
months term of service
in guarding the railroad, on picket duty, and on guard at Baltimore. The strength
of the regiment at the time of departure from the State was 785. It passed
an inspection in presence of its officers and several military celebrities
who had assembled to witness its departure, after which the line of march was
taken up, and the command wheeled out of the west gate of the Park, (New York)
and filed down Broadway to Cortland street to the ferry. The officers were finely
mounted, and the general appearance of the regiment elicited great praise from
Upon the return of the regiment to Ulster county, on the 3d of August, after
the expiration of its term of service, the military, the firemen, and a large
number of citizens of Rondout and Kingston turned out to receive them. They
were shortly after mustered out of service, when Colonel Pratt offered the
for a period of three years to the
Government. It was accepted, and was at once re-equipped and uniformed, and
entered the United States Service, being known as the Eightieth New York
Volunteers, as well as by the title of Twentieth N. Y. S. Militia.
NY State Militia Regimental Color
NY State Militia Regimental Color
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 email@example.com 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.
Osborne, Seward R. The Three-month service of the 20th
New York State Militia, April 28 - August 2, 1861. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House,
Items in the museum collection are in bold.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
August 3, 2011