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28th Regiment, New York volunteer Infantry
Historical Sketch from the
3rd Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics

TWENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT INFANTRY, N. Y. S. V. The Twenty-eighth regiment, N. Y. S. V., was. organized at Albany, on the 18th of May, 1861. It was composed of compa¬nies recruited and accepted as follows, viz :

Co. Where recruited By whom recruited Order No. Date of acceptance
A Lockport, Niagara co. Capt. Elliott W. Cook Order 559 May 6, 1861
B Lockport, Niagara co. Capt. Wm. W. Bush Order 560 May 6, 1861
C Lockport, Niagara co. Capt. Wm. H. H. Mapes Order 561 May 8, 1861
D Medina, Orleans co. Capt. Edwin A. Bowen Order 606 May 11, 1861
E Canandaigua, Ontario co. Capt. Theo. Fitzgerald Order 651 May 18, 1861
F Batavia, Genesee co Capt. Jas. R. Mitchell Order 538 May 9, 1861
G Albion, Orleans co. Capt. David Hardie Order 577 May 8, 1861
H Monticello, Sullivan co. Capt. John Waller, jr Order 630 May 14, 1861
I Niagara Falls, Niagara co. Capt. Theo. P. Gould Order 626 May 14, 1861
K Lockport, Niagara co. Capt. Henry H. Paige Order 596 May 10, 1861

At the meeting of the State Military Board, on the 18th of May, it was on motion of the Attorney-General, "Resolved, that the companies commanded by Captains David Hardie, Jas. R. Mitchell, Edwin A. Bowen, Theodore P. Gould, Elliott W. Cook, W. W. Bush, Wm. H. H. Mapes, H. H. Paige, T. Fitzgerald and John Wal¬ler jr., be formed into a regiment, numbered Twenty-eight; that the service of Dudley Donnelly, as Colonel; Edwin F. Brown, as Lieutenant-Colonel; and James R. Mitchell, as Major, be accepted, and the election confirmed."

On the 20th of May, (Special Order 202), the regiment was directed to be mustered into the service of the United States, which muster was made on the 22d, by Captains Sitgreaves and Whea¬ton. On the 30th, (Special Order 240), the regiment was assigned to " Camp Morgan," near Norman's Kill. Here it was supplied with tents, uniforms, and 720 Remington rifles, with sword bayo¬nets, and 50,000 conical ball cartridges, calibre 54. Fully armed and equipped, it left the State on the 25th of June, for Washing¬ton, via. New York city, Elizabethport, Harrisburg and Baltimore. The expenditure by the State, on account of the regiment, up to Aug. 15th, 1861, was $40,694.18, exclusive of subsistence and quarters.

The regiment arrived in Washington on the 28th of June. On the 5th of July, it joined Gen. Patterson's command, at Martins-burgh, Va., and while at that point sent out company A on a scout, (July 11th). The company encountered a body of Confederate cavalry and lost one man killed. On the 23d of July, General Banks succeeded General Patterson in command of the division.

On the 24th, the regiment crossed the Potomac at Harper's Ferry and encamped near Berlin. On the 10th of August, companies B and F crossed the river at Berlin, and during the night, marched nine miles, on the Virginia side, to Point of Rocks, surprised a body of the enemy's cavalry, killed one, wounded several, took ten prisoners and twenty-one fine horses, without sustaining any loss.

On the 20th of August, the regiment left Berlin and encamped near Darnestown ; October 20th, left Darnestown and encamped at Muddy Branch. From this point it was ordered in the move¬ment which resulted in the affair at Balls' Bluff. It reached Ed¬ward's Ferry on the 22d, too late to take parkin the battle. On this occasion it marched 22 miles in five hours, was under arms for 36 hours, and had details at work all night in transporting troops across the river. On the 5th of December, it left Muddy Branch and encamped near Frederick ; January 6th, left Frederick and moved to Hancock ; March 1st, left Hancock, crossed the Poto¬mac (March 2d), at Williamsport, and proceeded with General Banks' corps, (5th), General Williams' division, (1st), and General Crawford's Brigade, up the Shenandoah valley ; reached Winches¬ter, on the 13th; left Winchester, on the 20th, General Shields remaining at that point in command of forces, and company I re¬maining as guard for the supply train. On the 21st, General Jackson attacked General Shields position, and company I partici¬pated in the engagement General Banks countermanded his com¬mand to reinforce General Shields, but on arriving at Winchester found the enemy in full retreat up the valley. The whole force followed in pursuit.

While encamped near Woodstock, company E, while on duty at " Columbia Furnace," with a detachment of Ringgold cavalry and a company of Fifth Connecticut Volunteers, marched by a circui¬tous path, thirteen miles to " Cross Roads," during the night, and surprised and captured a company of Ashby's cavalry, sixty-four in number, with all their horses, arms and supplies. On the 27th, while encamped near Harrisonburg, company I engaged in a skir¬mish with three companies of Confederate dragoons, near Monte¬viedo, on the Gordonsville pike, seven miles from Harrisonburg, and repulsed and drove them back with loss.

On the 2d of May, the retreat from Harrisonburg commenced. General Banks' command separated from that under General Shields, moved down the valley and encamped near Strasburg.

Left Strasburg, May 24th, and continued the retreat, pursued by the enemy. When near Winchester the regiment was ordered to the rear to assist in covering the retreat. It countermarched five miles and engaged with the enemy's skirmishers till dark. On the 25th of May, the enemy attacked General Banks' lines at Winches¬ter al daybreak. The command fell back in good order and crossed the river into Maryland. While on this retreat, the regi¬ment marched 70 miles in two days, and had four men wounded and 64 taken prisoners. On the 2d of June crossed the river again at Williamsport; marched up the valley and encamped on the banks of the Shenandoah, near Front Royal. July 6th, left Front Royal and marched to Culpepper C. H. August 9th, participated in the battle of Cedar Mountain. The regimental report of this action is as follows :
" On Friday, August 8th, at about 12 o'clock, noon, we were ordered to march at once, as General Bayard's cavalry had been attacked and the enemy were advancing in force. As usual, we marched on very short notice, thinking it to be nothing but a ' cav¬alry scare,' the men took nothing with them but arms and ammuni¬tion. The day was extremely hot, and after a march of seven miles, the command was halted, and we bivouacked for the night. About 12 o'clock, noon, August 9th, a cannonade was opened on our side, which continued about one hour ; was opened again at half past four in the afternoon, and the action soon became general. The First brigade, (Gen. Crawford's), was brought into position, (Col. Donnelly commanding the infantry regiments, the command of the regiment falling upon Lieutenant-Colonel Brown), to drive the enemy from a skirt of woods. This the Fifth Connecticut and the Twenty-eighth New York, succeeded in doing in gallant style. The woods were some ten or twelve rods through, and on the other side were three or four regiments of rebel infantry 'en masse,' with two pieces of cannon. The guns were turned upon us and discharged once, but before they could reload we were ...upon them. They ran off with the limbers, leaving the guns in our possession. We also captured two standards. A most per¬fect panic ensued among the rebel regiments beyond the woods, and we might well say with Sir Walter Scott,' Our fresh and desperate onset bore Our foes three furlongs back or more.'

"At one time we had more prisoners than wo could guard, one man having charge of half-a-dozen at a time, conducting them to the rear. A little help at this time would have turned the entire fortunes of the day in our favor. The enemy reinforced, rallied and returned to the charge, and after a terrible resistance we were forced to give way, having in fact held our position too long, being at the time entirely surrounded.

" We now had to cut our way hack through the woods, and retreat across a cleared field some sixty rods, exposed to a most galling fire poured in from all sides. It was in crossing this field that Colonel Donnelly fell mortally wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Brown received a shot in the left arm, shattering it to such a de¬gree that amputation was rendered necessary. Adjutant Charles P. Sprout was killed. Our total loss in killed, wounded and prisoners was 207. The officers and men all behaved with great coolness and decision."

The regiment fell back to Culpepper Court House, and from thence through the Rappahannock valley to Rappahannock station, where it was in action from the 21st to the 25th of August. From this time until the 30th, the corps supported Sigel's corps, and the regiment was several times under artillery fire. During the battle of second Bull Run, the regiment was at Manassas Junction, and that night fell back about five miles. In the evening General Pope sent an order to General Banks to fall back, but the courier lost his way and the order was not received until next morning. A large train of cars was immediately burned, and Banks' com¬mand marched to Brentsville, and from thence to Centreville, joining the main army at that place in the evening. From Cul¬pepper it fell back to Alexandria. Here ended a campaign of about three weeks, during which time the regiment marched every day and lay on its arms every night.

On the 3d of September the regiment crossed the Potomac into Maryland, the Twelfth corps being under command of General Williams; reached Rockville on the 5th, Middleburgh on the 9th, Damascus on the 10th, Frederick on the 13th, and South Mountain on the 14th, reaching the battle-field about dark. On the 15th General Mansfield assumed command of the Twelfth corps. On the night of the 16th, the regiment crossed the Antietam and bivouacked with its corps on the farm of J. Poffenberger, about one mile in the rear of General Hooker's position. At daylight on the 17th, Hooker's corps became engaged and drove the enemy for a short distance, when the fight became obstinate. Mansfield's corps was then ordered up and moved promptly to the scene of action. The First division (General Williams) was deployed to the right on approaching the enemy—Crawford's brigade on the right, its right resting on the Hagerstown turnpike. During the deployment General Mansfield was mortally wounded, and the command of the corps fell upon General Williams. The position taken was held against great odds for two and one-half hours. Through the whole light the indomitable courage of the men of the Twenty-eighth was conspicuous, and was appropriately ac¬knowledged in General Orders. In this battle the regiment was under the command of Captain Wm. PL PI. Mapes.

On the 20th of September the regiment went into camp at Harper's Ferry, and aided in the construction of the heavy fortifi¬cations at that point. On the 10th of December it crossed once more into Virginia, marched over almost impassable roads and through an almost deserted country, to Neabsco river, within three or four miles of Dumfries; bivouacked one night and returned to near Fairfax Station and encamped on the 18th. It soon after moved to Stafford Court House and there spent the winter. The losses of the regiment during the year were 22 killed in battle and 41 died of wounds and other causes.

At Chancellorsville, the Twelfth corps supported the Eleventh, and in the retreat of the latter the former was thrown into confu¬sion. The old First brigade, however, behaved with its accustomed gallantry. The regiment was in action on the 1st, 2d and 3d, and lost 78 men, in killed, wounded and missing. This was the last action in which the regiment was engaged. It came home on the 14th of May and was mustered out of service soon after.

 

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: December 15, 2006
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/28thInf/28thInfBMSHistSketch

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