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30th Regiment, New York volunteer Infantry
Historical Sketch from the
3rd Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics

THIRTIETH REGIMENT INFANTHY, N. Y. S. V. The Thirtieth regiment infantry, N. Y. S. V., was organized at the Troy branch of the Albany depot, on the 21st day of May, 1861. It was composed of companies recruited and accepted as follows, viz :

Co. Where recruited By whom recruited Order No. Date-of acceptance
A Lansingburgh Capt. Samuel King 231 April 25, 1861
B Troy Capt. Warren L. Lansing 256 April 25, 1861
C Schenectady Capt. Barent M. Van Voast 257 April 26, 1861
D Saratoga Springs Capt. Miles T. Bliven --- April 30, 1861
E Poughkeepsie Capt. Harrison Holiday 331 May 1, 1861
F Saratoga Springs Capt. Albert J. Perry 542 May 7, 1861
G Saratoga county Capt. Morgan H. Chrysler 551 May 7, 1861
H Hoosick Capt. John Van Rensselaer 554 May 8, 1861
I Troy Capt. John M. Landon 625 May 14, 1861
K Valatie Capt. Bartholomew Pruyn 637 May 14, 1861

The regiment was accepted by the State Board and organized May 21st, at which time the election of the following field offi¬cers was confirmed, viz: Edward Frisby, Colonel; Charles E. Britnall, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Wm. M. Searing, Major. On the 22d of May (Special Orders 213) the regiment was directed to be immediately mustered into the service of the United States; and on the 1st of June it was so mustered by Capt. Frank L. Wheaton, U. S. A. It was armed with smooth-bore muskets, pattern of 1842, calibre 69, (subsequently exchanged,) uniformed, and sup-plied with tents, camp equipage, &c., and left the State on the 28th of June for Washington via Camden and Amboy. The ex¬penditure by the State, on account of the regiment, up to August 15, 1861, was $38,432.49, exclusive of subsistence and quarters.

The regiment reached Washington on the 29th of June, and was temporily quartered at Caspari's hotel, from whence it moved front to "Camp Union," Brightwood, five miles from Washington. On the 23d of July it crossed into Virginia, and camped at Arling¬ton; from thence held the front at Hunter's Chapel; returned to Arlington, and from thence advanced to Upton's Hill, where it wintered. During this time it worked on forts, picketed the line west of the Leesburg and Alexandria pike, and had skirmishes with the enemy's pickets on several occasions.

The brigade, division and corps assignments of the regiment wore as follows:

 

Date First brigade First Division First corps
Sept., 1861 Gen. Keyes Gen. McDowell  
March, 1862 Gen. Augur Gen. King Gen. McDowell
June, 1862 Gen. Hatch Gen. King Gen. McDowell
Aug., 1862 Col. Sullivan Gen. Hatch Gen. McDowell
Sept., 1862 Col. Phelps Gen. Doubleday Gen. Hooker
Nov., 1862 Col. Phelps Gen. Wadsworth Gen. Reynolds

The regiments associated with it in September, 1861, viz: the Twenty-second, Twenty-fourth and Eighty-fourth N. Y., remained with it during its whole term of service, and shared with it the duties and the honors of the " Iron brigade," a title which it won in the first advance on Fredericksburg in the spring of 1862.

The general services of the regiment were as follows : On the 10th of March, 1862, it marched to Centreville and Manassas; on the 15th to Alexandria, expecting to embark for the Peninsula; on the 18th, corps detached and marched to Alexandria; April 5th, marched to Manassas; 6th, to Bristow and remained nine days; 15th, marched to within fifteen miles of Falmouth, skirmished with and drove the enemy over the Rappahannock. During this march the brigade was in the advance, and reached the heights opposite Fredericksburg while the camp of the enemy and the bridges over the Rappahannock were yet burning. The advance was delayed here for some time, rebuilding the railroad bridge. Fredericksburg was soon occupied, and the command moved for¬ward to the Massaponax, within thirty-four miles of Hanover Court-House.

While at the Massaponax, the order was received to march to Front Royal, to cut off Jackson's retreat, The regiment broke camp on the 29th of May, and reached Front Royal on the 1st of June passing through Fredericksburg, Falmouth. Catlett's Station, Bristow, Manassas Junction, Gainesville, Haymarket, Salem and Thoroughfare Gap. The bridge over the Shenandoah was found partially burned, and Jackson's forces passing Strasburg. On the 2d, started for Falmouth, and arrived on the 15th; 24th, made a reconnoissance to Orange Court-House, and found the enemy in large force at Gordonsville; had a sharp skirmish with the enemy and fell back to Falmouth. August 5th, went out to support Gibbons' reconnoissance toward Hanover Court-House; forage train attacked by Stewart's cavalry, and attack repulsed. Up to this time the services of the regiment mainly consisted in long and rapid marches. If had had no severe lighting, although a few of its men had been wounded in skirmishes.

On the 10th of August the regiment marched to Culpepper, and from thence to Cedar Mountain, but arrived one day after the battle. It held the Rapidan until the 18th, and then fell back to Culpepper; crossed the Rappahannock at Railroad station, and immediately faced about and disputed the passage of the river with the enemy. Heavy artillery firing continued for two days, when the enemy moved further up the river, and the brigade was advanced to White Sulphur Springs. On the 26th the regiment supported batteries all day; on the 28th it took part in the short but desperate battle of Gainesville, and held and picketed the battle field until near day-light, when it was ordered back to Manassas.

At Groveton, on the 29th of August, the regiment was ordered to the front at 4 P. M. It advanced at double-quick and marched into the fight by the flank. The enemy were in ambuscade, and reserved their fire until the advance was within fifty yards. They then delivered it with terrible effect. The advance was thrown into confusion and fell back about a mile. In the action of the 30th, the regiment was actively engaged. A correspondent writes:
" At 2 P. M., our brigade was ordered to the front and to form in two lines, the front line composed of the Thirtieth and Twenty-fourth, the second line of the Twenty-second and Eighty-fourth, and the Second U. S. Sharp-shooters deployed as skirmishers. The men were eager for close work; and they were gratified to their hearts' content. The front line passed the skirmishers and charged double-quick, driving the enemy, from the open field, at the point of the bayonet, up to within thirty yards of an old rail¬road embankment, behind which the enemy lay. Our position was an open field, without a cover of any kind, and for two hours the Thirtieth held that ground without a support. Four times the enemy moved back his shattered columns and replaced them with fresh troops. A short range battery was enfilading our left and thinning our ranks with grape, and our own batteries were shelling our rear. One hundred rounds had been fired and the men were using the cartridges from the boxes of their dead com¬rades. Eight times had the colors fallen in the hands of the brave boys who carried them; thirty-six balls had passed through the flag, and its staff was shot into splinters; two hundred out of three hundred and forty-one of our men were killed or wounded, and fourteen out of seventeen line officers had fallen, besides our gal-lant colonel, Edward Frisby. The regiment was compelled to fall back."

The regiment returned to its old camp on Upton's Hill, and from thence moved on; the Maryland campaign. It reached Mono-cacy on the 13th, and on the 14th participated in the battle of South Mountain—General Hooker in command of the corps, Gen¬eral Hatch of the division, and Colonel Phelps of the brigade. The conduct of the entire brigade in this battle was highly com¬mended. It was engaged in the severe contest for the possession of the crest on the loft of the ravine. A correspondent writes:
" At the battle of South Mountain the regiment was 110 strong, ten of that number were killed and wounded. The rapid marches, scant supplies and intense heat had told fearfully upon our men and officers, so that on the 17th (the battle of An¬tietam) there were but forty-nine officers and men reported for duty. On the morning of the 18th of September, the flag that had waved over seven hundred and eighty men fifteen months before, now cast its shadows over twenty-seven men and officers, all that remained of the Thirtieth regiment for duty."

The regiment moved from Antietam to Sharpsburg, where it received two hundred recruits and five officers. On the 30th of October it again, crossed the Potomac into Virginia at Berlin; crossed Bull Run mountain and drove the enemy out of Warren¬ton and occupied the town. From thence it marched to Brooks Station, on the Falmouth and Aquia Creek Railroad, where it re¬mained until the 12th of December.

On the 12th of December the regiment moved with the left grand division of the army, under General Franklin in the attack on Fredericksburg, General Reynolds in command of corps (First), General Doubleday of division (First), and Colonel Phelps of brigade (First). The First brigade was moved to the extreme front within rifle range, but was not advanced upon the enemy's works. It repulsed, however, several attempts of the enemy to turn the left flank of the army. During three days and nights the line of battle was not broken, although front was changed as often as twenty times in one day, to prevent the shifting batteries of the enemy from taking effect. On the night of the 15th the left grand division crossed the river to the north bank. Com-parties B, E and I, of the Thirtieth were left on picket, and were not withdrawn until near daylight. The loss of the regiment was forty, in killed, wounded and missing.

The regiment spent the winter in camp at Belle Plain. On the 28th of April it marched, with its brigade, to the Rappahan¬nock, crossed on the 29th, and participated in the movements of its division, and returned on the 5th with the loss of one killed. It left the field on the 28th of May, reached Albany on the 30th, and was mustered out on the 18th of June.

Statistics.

The statistics returned by the regiment are imperfect. From the official report the following items are taken of strength and loss on the dates named:

Sept. 14, 1862 Strength 137
Sept. 14, 1862 killed 4
Sept. 14, 1862 wounded 6
Sept 17, 1862 Strength 53
Sept 17, 1862 killed 2
Sept 17, 1862 wounded 11
Sept 17, 1862 missing 1
Dec. 13 Strength 406
Dec. 13 killed 23
Dec. 13 wounded 8
Dec. 13 missing 5

On the 10th of January, Lieutenant Colonel Chrysler reported that the regiment had received 270 recruits, which, added to its original enrollment (780) gave a total of 1050, and that it had then present for duty 397, showing a loss in killed, wounded, dis¬charged, ,and absent sick, of 653. The following is a semi-official statement:

Whole number of men on rolls   1,154
Killed in battle 96  
Died of disease 9  
Died of accidents 3  
Transferred to Seventy-sixth regiment 152  
Discharged for disability 342  
Mustered out 480  
Absent sick 72 1,154
Wounded in battle   231
Original members mustered out   196

The transfers to the Seventy-sixth regiment included five officers who were all either killed or wounded at Gettysburg of this regiment. In March, 1863, when their term of service was nearly expired the officers signed a memorial, offering and pledg¬ing the regiment, if allowed to go home as a regiment thirty days before their term of service expired, that they would re-enlist and return at end of leave, re-organized for the war. This memorial was shown to Senators Morgan and Harris, and presented to the Secretary of War by Col. Scaring, and urged upon his attention by others (see letter in Albany Express, last of March, 1863), but the request was refused. In the following fall the plan was taken up by the Secretary of War, and regiments having nearly a year to serve were given from three to ten months of old enlistment and granted the furlough and privileges asked for by the officers of the Thirtieth.

NOTE For history of THIRTIETH New YORK VOLUNTEERS. -The plan of re-organising and re-enlisting was originated by the officers

 

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: January 18, 2007
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/30thInf/30thInfBMSHistSketch.htm

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