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29th Regiment, New York volunteer Infantry
Historical Sketch from the
3rd Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics

The Twenty-ninth Regiment Infantry, N. Y. S. V., or "Astor Rifles," was raised in the city of New York under authorization issued to Col. Adolph Von Steinwehr. The several companies of which it was composed were accepted and mustered into the service of the United States as follows :

Co. By whom recruited. Order No. Date of acceptance. Date of U.S. muster.
A Capt. Augustus Ch. Sass 497 May 7, 1861 June 4, 1861
B Capt. Charles Weinhold 617 May 13, 1861 June 6, 1861
C Capt. Gustav Seidel 618 May 13, 1861 June 4, 1861
D Capt. Gustavus Meiser 655 May 18, 1861 June 4, 1861
E Capt. Hans Von Mostitz 657 May 18, 1861 June 4, 1861
F Capt. Clemens D. Soest 658 May 18, 1861 June 4, 1861
G Capt. Ulrick Gellman 659 May 18, 1861 June 4, 1861
H Capt. Charles Bookwood 660 May 18, 1861 June 4, 1861
I Capt. Adam Eckel 661 May 18, 1861 June 4, 1861
K Capt. Adam Prahl 665 May 21, 1861 June 4, 1861

The companies were organized into a regiment by the State Military Board, May 18th, 1861, and the number "Twenty-nine" assigned. Capt. Prahl's company was accepted and added to the organization, May 21st, and an election of field officers ordered. (Special Orders 206.) On the 24th of May (Special Orders 219), the election of Adolph Von Steinwehr as Colonel; Clemens D. Soest as Lieutenant-Colonel; and Louis Livingston as Major, was confirmed, and Col. Von Steinwehr was directed to hold his command in readiness for immediate muster into the service of the United States. Under this order the companies were mustered as already stated, and the field and staff on the 6th of June, by Capt. S. B. Hayman.

The regiment was supplied with uniforms, tents, camp equipage and arms—the latter U. S. percussion muskets, smooth, model of 1840, calibre 69. On the 21st of June, it left the State for Washington via Jersey City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. The expenditure by the State, on account of the regiment, up to the 15th of August, 1861, was $38,142.56, exclusive of subsistence and quarters.

The report of the organization and services of the regiment made by its officers, sets forth the following facts, viz :
The Twenty-ninth regiment was sworn into the service of the State of New York, at "Camp Jones' Wood," on the 15th day of May, 1861. On the 18th it moved to Conrad's " Elm Park," where, on the 4th of June, it was mustered into the service of the United States for two years, by Capt. S. B. Hayman, U. S. A. At that time it consisted of 35 officers and 745 men—aggregate, 783. It remained in camp at Elm Park until the 21st of June, when it left for Washington via Jersey City, Philadelphia and Baltimore; arrived on the 23d and camped at " Camp Dorsheimer." It was here occupied in drill and camp duties until the 9th of July, when it moved to Arlington Heights. On the 13th it marched two miles west of Alexandria; on the l7th,beyond the Relay House; on the 18th seven miles, and bivouacked near the old Centreville road; on the 19th to Centreville, passing the earthworks; on the 20th, was on outpost duty, and on the 21st, was in the reserve of the brigade of Gen. Blenker.

Blenker's brigade (First brigade, Fifth division) consisted of the Eight, Twenty-ninth and Thirty-ninth New York, and the twenty-seventh Pennsylvania Vols, During the battle of first Bull Run, it was in the reserve and covered the retreat.* It was the last brigade of infantry which marched back from Centreville to Washington. During the action the Twenty-ninth regiment took up the abandoned guns of Capt. Varian's battery, manned and officered a company to take charge of the pieces in the held, and took a position with them near Centreville, and brought, them into Washington. The company thus detached was never returned to the regiment, but was formally organized as the First Independent Battery of the State of New York.

The regiment quartered in the Caspari house, Washington, on the 23d of July. On the 26th it again crossed the Potomac and marched to Roach's Mills. Here it remained until the 13th of October, and was occupied in drill and out-post duties, and in fatigue parties in constructing Forts Blenker, Scott, Cameron, &c. On the 12th of October, it moved to Munson's Hill; on the 26th to Bailey's Farm; Nov. 1st, to Bailey's Cross Roads; 10th, to Camp Hunter's Chapel, where it spent the winter. On the 18th of January, 1862, the regiment was supplied with Springfield rifled muskets, model of 1861, calibre 58. On the 14th of March, it was assigned, with its division, to Sumner's corps; 15th, marched to Fairfax Court House; 24th marched to Centreville; 25th, to Manassas Junction; 20th, to Turkey river; 27th, to Warrenton Junction. Here it was transferred (April 1st) to the "Mountain Department," under command of Gen. Fre-mont. On the 6th of April it marched to Warrenton; 7th, to Salem; 11th, to Paris via Piedmont and Upperville, and established pickets on the Blue Ridge mountains; 15th, marched via Upperville to Lake's House; 10th, to Snickersville and Snicker's Ferry; 17th, crossed the Shenandoah and marched to Perrysville and Opequam Hill; 18th, Gen. Rosecrans took temporary com-mand of the division; May 6th, marched to Black Creek via Winchester; 7th, to Hanging Rock; 8th, to Romney; 9th to Burlington (See Col. Blenker's Report. Documents, p. 33, Vol. II, Rebellion Record); 10th, eight miles from Petersburg; 11th, to Petersburg, where the head-quarter's guard detached at Hunter's Chapel, rejoined the regiment; 12th, towards Franklin; 13th, to Franklin; 25th, on the road back to Petersburg; 26th, to Petersburg; 27th, to Moorfeild; 28th, beyond Moorfield; 30th; to Martinsville; 31st, on the road to Winchester, near Strasburg; June 1st, attack by the enemy in front: 2d, marched beyond Strasburg; 3d, to Woodstock; 4th, to Edenburg; 5th, to Ockeretstown and Mount Jackson; 6th, to New Market; 7th, bivouacked near Harrisonburg, and marched through Harrisonburg on the road to Cross Keys.

The battle of Cross Keys occurred on the 8th of June. On the morning of that day the regiment was ordered to move forward. It passed Harrisonburg and the battle-field of the 6th of June. At 10 o'clock the cannonade in front began ; at 12 the regiment and its brigade (2d) arrived on the field of battle, and was ordered to take possession of the woods in front, and to be in readiness to advance against the enemy. This position was occupied for about four hours. At 5 o'clock the command fell back and encamped for the night.

On the 9th of June the regiment advanced as skirmishers in front of the left wing. It marched forward, passed the battle-field of the 8th, and halted in the woods about five miles beyond. It was found that the enemy had crossed the Shenandoah, and an artillery fire was soon opened on their position. The regiment camped for the night near the river.

On the 10th the army marched back to Harrisonburg; on the 11th to New Market; 12th to Mount Jackson; 13th, camped near Mount Jackson; 17th and 18th, under arms at 3 A. M.; 19th, under arms at 2 A. M.; 20th, marched to Woodstock; 21st, to Strasburg; 22d, encamped behind the fortifications at Strasburg; 24th, marched to near Cedar Creek; 25th, General Sigel took command of the corps, vice General Fremont.

The regiment remained here until the 8th of July, when it marched to Front Royal; 9th to Milford; 10th to Thornton's Gap, and camped near Schenk's farm. Here it remained until the 8th of August, when it marched to Sperryville; 9th, to Culpepper; 10th, five miles beyond Culpepper; 11th, to Cedar Mountain, 19th, back to Culpepper; 20th, to Sulphur Springs; 21st, to Cat-lett's station; 22d, to Rappahannock station, but was not engaged in the battle at that place; 23d, marched to Sulphur Springs; 24th, battle of Sulphur Springs, in which the regiment destroyed the bridge and had a few wounded; 25th, to Waterloo; 26th, to Warrenton; 27th, to New Baltimore; 28th, to Gainesville.

On the 29th of August the regiment was detached from the Second brigade and united with the division under General Schurz, as a reserve, and formed in line on the edge of the, wood near the fence, to cover, if necessary, the retreat of the line of skirmishers already engaged with the enemy. In the course of half an hour the enemy drove back the line of skirmishers and advanced in such force that the Twenty-ninth fell back to the batteries in its rear. It was again ordered forward, with four companies as skirmishers in front. The enemy opened a severe fire and several officers were wounded. A forward movement of the whole line was then ordered, in which the regiment joined with fixed bayonets. The enemy was forced from the woods, and his repeated attempts to re-occupy the position were repulsed. The position was finally flanked by the enemy, and the command fell back and took position on the glacis of the railroad. The regiment was here, relieved and returned to the reserve under General Schurz. During the day it had 18 killed and 69 wounded.

On the 30th of August the regiment rejoined its brigade, was placed in the center and marched in a westerly direction. While on this march it received two solid shots from a battery of the enemy. The march was changed to southerly direction, a vale and a creek passed, and the enemy discovered in skirmish line and in mass, in front and on both sides, and an engagement at once ensued. Here it attempted to regain several pieces of artillery which had been abandoned on the day previous, but was unsuccessful, It defended its position until 5 P. M., when it was overwhelmed and commenced to retreat, and under orders of Gen. Sigel moved in an easterly direction. During the day the regiment lost two killed, 26 wounded, and 17 missing—showing, an aggregate loss of 20 killed, 95 wounded, and 17 missing. On the 1st of September the regiment marched to Fairfax Court House; on the 2d to near Chain Bridge; on the 10th to Miner's Hill, near Fall's Church; on the 23d to Bailey's Cross Roads; 25th, to Fairfax Court House; November 2d to Centreville, and bivouacked near Bull Run; 3d, passed the old battle-field and reached Hay Market; 7th, marched to New Baltimore; 9th, to Thorough-fare GAP; 17th, back to Hay Market; 18th, to Bull Run; 19th, to Centreville and Germantown, where it remained in camp until the 9th of December.

On the 10th of December the regiment marched to Fairfax station; 11th, to Wolf's Run shoals and Occoquan Hill; 12th, to Dumfries; 14th, to Stafford Court House; 15th, to Rappahannock; 16th, to Falmouth, and encamped. The movements during January, 1863, were quite limited, and consisted only of a march (Jan. 20th) to Scottsville and a return to camp on the 21st. On the 5th of February it marched to Potomac creek, and on the 6th to Stafford Court House, where it went into winter quarters.

On the 13th of April the regiment marched, with the command to which it was attached (First brigade Second division Eleventh corps) to Hartwood Church; 14th, to Kelly's ford, where the regiment was detached and sent to Rappahannock station to observe the enemy and defend the railroad bridge; on the 18th returned, to Kelly's ford; 28th, detached and sent forward to the Rappahannock to protect the pontoons; and was the first regiment that crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's ford; 29th and 30th marched to the Rapidan, and from thence to Chancellorsville.

During the battle of Chancellorsville (May 1st, 2d and 3d) the regiment occupied several positions. On the 1st it was ordered to support Weiderich's battery (Thirteenth N. Y.), and took position at 4 o'clock P.M. The engagement had already begun on other parte of the field, and soon after 4 opened with shell on the position occupied by the Twenty-ninth, and continued for about one hour. At 51/2 P. M., on the 2d, the enemy attacked this position in force, on the right, and after a half hour's engagement the wing gave way. The regiment, meanwhile, was moved to the opposite side of the road, and held that position for some time. It was then out-flanked and fell back to its rifle-pits of the previous day. The right wing was soon after again out-flanked and again fell back. The regiment marched back through the woods alongside of the road, passed an open field, and fell in behind the line of the Twelfth corps. On the 3d it was ordered to a position on the left wing of the army, where it remained until the army had re-crossed the Rappahannock, on the 6th. It reached its winter camp, at Stafford Court House, on the 7th, having sustained a loss of 96 in killed, wounded and missing.

On the 2d of June the regiment left camp and marched to Aquia creek; reached Washington on the 3d, and arrived in New York on the 4th, where it was mustered out of service.

A re-organization of the regiment was authorized July 25th, 1863, but was not effected.


  Officers Enlisted Men Officers Enlisted Men
Strength, June 4, 1861     35 745
Gained to January 1, 1862     15 59
Total     50 804
Lost - Died 0 9    
Lost - Discharged 1 34    
Lost - Transferred 7 72    
Lost - Promoted 0 5    
Lost - Resigned 8 0    
Lost - Deserted 0 56    
Total Lost     16 170
Strength January 1, 1863     34 634
Gained to January 1, 1863     25 87
Total     62 721
Lost - Killed in battle 0 27    
Lost - Died of wounds &c. 2 17    
Lost - Discharged 1 83    
Lost - Transferred 3 0    
Lost - Promoted 0 16    
Lost - Resigned 20 0    
Lost - Dismissed 2 0    
Lost - Deserted 0 61    
Total     27 204
Strength January 1, 1863     34 517
Strength January 1, 1863     7 11
Total     41 528
Lost - Killed in battle 1 3    
Lost - Died of disease. 0 2    
Lost - Discharged 0 22    
Lost - Transferred 0 2    
Lost - Promoted 0 5    
Lost - Resigned 6 0    
Lost - Dismissed 2 0    
Lost - Deserted 0 7    
Total     9 41
TOTAL     32 487
In this final number was embraced:
3 officers and 60 enlisted men for 3 years, transferred.
1 officer and 33 enlisted men missing, absent.
4 officers and 49 enlisted men wounded, absent.
  16 enlisted men wounded, August 29, 1862.
  12 enlisted men sick, absent
8 170  

On its arrival in New York the regiment had 23 officers and 339 enlisted men.

On leaving the field, the regiment was addressed by General Von Steinwehr, as follows :
" Officers and Soldiers of the Twenty-ninth regiment, New York;
" The term of service for which you enlisted has expired, and tomorrow you will leave this command to return to your homes. My best wishes tor your future welfare accompany you. May you find the relatives and friends whom you left two years ago, in health and prosperity. May you meet in your undertakings that success which you have so well earned by your devotion to your adopted country. You were among the first who came forward to sustain this government, and by your untiring zeal, your bravery on the field of battle, and your soldierly conduct in your duties, you have won just claims upon the esteem and gratitude of your fellow citizens. You took part in the first battle of Bull Run, where your regiment was the last to leave the field, and in the campaign under General Fremont, which terminated with the reverse at Cross Keyes ; afterwards in the campaign under Gen. Sigel on the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers, and the second battle of Bull Run, and lastly, in the sanguinary battle of Chancel lorsville, where again you sustained your old fame, by stubborn resistance to the overwhelming forces of the enemy. It was on this field that you, together with the other regiments of the First brigade of my division, bravely defended your position, when all around you fled in confusion. History is jusf, and will exempt you from all blame that may attach to others for the disasters of that day.


New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: January 11, 2007

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