New York Infantry Regiment, 3rd
Historical Sketch from the
3rd Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics
THIRD REGIMENT INFANTRY, N. Y. S. V.
The Third regiment infantry, N. Y. S. V., or " First Albany regiment," was
organized at Albany. It was composed of companies recruited and accepted as
Co. Where recruited. By whom recruited. Date of acceptance.
A Williamsburgh, L. I. Capt. Abel Smith, jr........... Order. 13, April 20,
B. Ncwburgh, N. Y. ----- Capt. S. W. Fullerton, jr....... Order 15, April 20,
C. Albany, N. Y.......... Capt. Elbridge G. Floyd....... Order 14, April 20,
D. Syracuse, N. Y..... Capt. John G. Butler.......... Order 69, April 21, 1861.
B. Albany, N. Y..... Capt. Justus W. Blanchard..... Order 41, April 20, 1861.
F. do .......... Capt. Henry S. Hulbert ....... Order 98, April 22, 1661.
G. do ......... Capt. J. H. Ten Eyek jr....... Order 148, April 23, 1861.
H. Owego, N.Y........... Capt. Isaac S. Catlin........... Order 158, April
I. Albany, N. Y.......... Capt. Edward S. Jenny......... Order l79, April 27,
K. Havana, N. Y......... Capt. John E. Mulford......... Order 232, April 25,
On the 24th of April, Capts. Smith, Fullerton, Floyd, Blanchard Hulbert, Ten
Eyck and Butler were directed to meet and elect field officers, and on the 25th
the election of Frederick Townsend as colonel, and Samuel M. Alford as lieutenant
colonel, was confirmed. These proceedings, however, were set aside. At a meeting
of the State Military Board, held May 7th, it was, on motion of the Treasurer, "Resolved,
That the ten companies commanded by the following captains, to wit S. W. Fullerton,
jr,, Abel Smith, jr., E, G. Floyd, John G. Butler, Justus W. Blanchard, Henry
S. Hulbert, Isaac S. Catlin, Jacob H. Ten Eyck, jr., E. S. Jenny and John E.
Mulford, be and they are hereby accepted and organized into a regiment, to be
designated as regiment No. 3, and that the officers of said companies be authorized
to hold an election to elect the field officers for said regiment." Under
this resolution the election was held by Brig. Gen. Rath-bone on the 8th, at
which Frederick Townsend was elected colonel, S. M, Alford, lieutenant colonel,
and George B. Bayard, major. The State Board confirmed the selections made, with
date from the 8th. On the 14th of May the regiment was mustered into the service
of the United States by Capt. Frank Wheaton, U. S. A., and on the 16th (Special
Orders No. 192) Col. Townsend was directed "to proceed with his regiment
to New York May 18, and report for duty to Gen. Dix. Arms and equipments to be
issued upon their arrival at New York."
The regiment left Albany for New York on the 18th May, and arrived in that city
on the 19th, and took quarters in the Park barracks. It was armed with 720 muskets,
pattern of 1842, caliber 69 (May 27), which were changed (May 29) for Enfield
caliber 57. Equipments were also furnished, and (May 28-30) 100 common and 24
wall tents issued to it by the State. On the 31st of May it left New York for
Fortress Monroe. The expenditures by the State in behalf of the regiment up to
August 15th, exclusive of subsistence and quarters, was $55,624.81.
The regiment reached Fortress Monroe on the 3d of June. On the 9th it was ordered
to move in support of the 5th regiment in an attack on Little Bethel. The 1st,
2d and 7th regiments were also ordered to join in this movement While the 3d
was en route it passed in the vicinity of the 7th, and the latter mistaking it
for a force of the enemy opened with artillery and musketry upon Col. Townsend's
column. The fire was irregularly returned by the 3d, and fearing that it had
fallen into an ambuscade, it immediately retreated to an eminence near by. The
true state of facts having been ascertained, the regiments effected a junction
and resumed the line of march. Little Bethel was found to have been evacuated
by the enemy, and the command moved forward to Big Bethel, where, after a short
engagement, a retreat was ordered. In this movement the 3d lost two men killed
and twenty-seven wounded.
The following is Colonel Townsend's report of the participation of the regiment
in this affair, viz :
HEADQUARTERS, CAMP HAMILTON, June 12, 1861. To Major R. A, PEIRCE, Brigade Inspector,
Sir—I have, the honor to report, for the information of Brigadier
General Pierce, that on Sunday evening, June 9th, I received orders from him
to have my command in readiness, with one day's rations, (Quartermaster Chase
supplied three days' rations) to move that night to form a part of a column
of two regiments from Newport News, Colonel
Duryee's and my own, intended to make a reconnoissance in force towards Yorktown.
In obedience to these orders, with the concerted sign of a white badge upon
left arm (at midnight), I marched my regiment to Hampton, where the general
met the command and accompanied it.
On approaching a defile through a thick wood, about five or six miles from
Hampton, a heavy and well sustained fire of canister and small arms was opened
regiment while it was marching in a narrow road, upon the flank, in route step,
and wholly unsuspicious of any enemy, inasmuch as we were ordered to reinforce
Colonel Duryee, who had preceded us by some two hours, and who had been ordered
to throw out, as he marched, an advance guard two miles from his regiment,
and a sustaining force half way between the advance and the regiment ; therefore,
had Colonel Duryee been obliged to retreat upon us before we reached his locality,
we should have heard distant firing, or some of his regiment would have been
The force which fired upon us was subsequently ascertained to be only the regiment
of Colonel Bendix, though a portion of the Vermont and 4th Massachusetts regiments
were with it, having come down with two six-pounder field pieces from Newport
News to join the column. These regiments took up a masked position in the woods
at the commencement of the defile. The result of the fire upon us was two mortally
wounded (one since dead, three dangerously, and four officers and twenty privates
slightly, making a total of twenty-nine. At the commencement of the fire the
General, captain Chamberlain, his aid-de-camp, and two mounted howitzers, were
about two hundred and fifty paces in advance of the regiment. The fire was
opened upon them first by a discharge of small arms, and immediately followed
by a rapidly
returned volley upon my regiment and the field-pieces. My men then generally
discharged their pieces, and jumped from the right to the left side of the
road, and recommenced loading and firing. In a few minutes the regiment was
in the midst of this heavy fire, and by the General's directions retired in
a thoroughly military manner, and in order to withdraw his supposed enemy from
his position. On ascertaining that the enemy were our friends, and on our providing
for the wounded, we joined Colonel Duryee and Colonel Bendix. The former having
returned and proceeded on the reconnoissance to Big Bethel.
Some seven or more miles on we found the enemy in force, well fortified with
a battery of said to be of twenty guns in position, some of them rifled cannon.
The information in reference to the guns in position at the Bethel battery
was given to me on the ground by Colonel Duryee, who informed me that he received
it from reconnoitering officer whom he had sent to the front to ascertain the
position of things. On arriving at this point, in order to feel the enemy,
was immediately given by the orders of the General. We were ordered to take
up a position in a field about eight hundred paces from the battery. I was
directed by the General to advance to a position in a road at right angles
to the main road leading to the battery and about two hundred paces from it
left of Colonel Duryee. I was then directed to send out skirmishers to ascertain
the strength of the enemy's right for which purpose I detailed captains John
G. Butler and Edward S. Jenny, with their companies, to cross the field immediately
in front of the right of the battery, and so to skirmish as to draw the enemy's
fire, which they gallantly performed. The enemy's fire was delivered vigorously
almost immediately upon these companies.
Entering the field and crossing it myself, and considering that there might
the a possibility of our capturing the battery, I moved the regiment up to
where our skirmishers were engaged, a movement which the regiment performed
in line of battle, as if on parade, in the face of a severe fire of artillery
small arms, and in a manner entirely to my satisfaction. By the time the regiment
had arrived at its position, it became evident that the right portion of the
battery had been strongly reinforced by men from the enemy's left, and that
an effort to take the battery there was useless; besides, a company of my regiment
had been separated from the regiment by a thickly hedged ditch, and as the
moved forward towards the skirmishers, this company marched in the ad-joining
field in line with the regiment.
This was not known to me until after the engagement. I sup-posed that when,
the regiment approached, that it was the entire regiment; consequently, upon
among the breaks in the hedge the glistening of bayonets in the adjoining field,
I immediately concluded that the enemy were outflanking us, and conceived it
to be my duty to retire and repel that advance. I resumed, therefore, my original
position on the left of Colonel Duryee. Shortly after, all the forces were
directed to retire, the design of the reconnoissance having been accomplished.
I am not
of course, speaking of the movements of other corps, excepting as immediately
connected with my regiment, and it were especially gratuitous, inasmuch as
their General was upon the field and directed the movements of the various
in person. FREDERICK TOWNSEND, Colonel Third Regiment.
The regiment returned to Fortress Monroe, and from thence (July 30th) to Baltimore,
where it remained in camp at Fort McHenry, until April 1st, 1862, when it was
sent to Fort Federal Hill. From Federal Hill it was transferred to Suffolk,
it remained until September 12th. It then returned to Fortress Monroe, where
it performed guard duty until the expiration of its term of service.
The regiment lost eleven by death and fifty-five by desertions; one captain
and sixteen subalterns were promoted; two captains and two subalterns dismissed
forty-six were discharged for disability ; twenty-two by order of the Secretary
of War, and two by court martial. On leaving the service it received the following
"Headquarters, Dept. of Virginia, 7th Army Corps,
Fortress Monroe, Va., May 12, 1863
To the Third New York Volunteers: The Major General commanding cannot withhold
the expression of his deep regret that the term of service for which a large
number of the men of the Third New York Volunteers enlisted, is about to expire,
and that he is compelled to part with them.
In discipline, good conduct, and a faithful discharge of their duties, under
all the circumstances in which they have been placed, he ventures to say that
they are not surpassed by any other regiment in the service.
Through the care, vigilance and fidelity of their officers and their able commander,
and through their own just sense of all their obligations, under the military
laws by which they have been governed, they have earned a most enviable reputation.
To those who have re-entered the service, with an unshaken determination to
uphold the cause of their country against its faithless enemies, he tenders
his sincere thanks ; and if those who are about to return to their families
and friends for a while, should rejoin their comrades whom they leave behind,
they will receive as warm a welcome as that which awaits them at home,
JOHN A. DIX,
Major-General Commanding Official : Wilson Barstow, Aid-de-Camp."
The regiment took the field with 796 officers and men. During its period
of service it received 162 recruits, who, with about two hundred re-enlisted
men, and the re-enlisted men and recruits of
the 9th regiment N. Y. V., who were consolidated with it, remained in the field
and continued its organization under Col. Alford, who bad been promoted to
the command of the regiment
on the resignation of Col. Townsend (July 2d, 1861.) It commenced its service,
as a veteran command with about 800 men, and subsequently received 700 conscripts
and about 200 recruits, as well as a number of men by the consolidation with
it of the 112th New York Vols.
The re-organized regiment was sent to Folly Island, where it participated in
the siege of Fort Wagner and Charleston. In April, 1864 it visited Gloucester
Point and West Point, and made a reconnoissance to within a few miles of King
William Court House. It then moved up the James river, under Gen. Butler, as
a part of the first brigade (Col. S. M. Alford), second division (Brig. Gen.
J. H. Turner), tenth corps (Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gilmore.) It was actively engaged
and suffered severely in the advance made by Gen. Butler, May 12th, 14th and
16th, and lost fifty wounded, five killed, and seven missing, out of about
two hundred and eighty-five engaged. About the 31st of May it was temporarily
assigned to the third brigade, third division, eighteenth army corps, and moved
to Coal Harbor where it remained until the 12th of June, when it returned to
Bermuda Hundred. On the 15th it started for Petersburgh, and reached a point
within about two miles of the city, where it encountered the enemy, charged
his works, captured 230 men of Wise's brigade, the battle-flag of the 26th
Virginia, and some nine or ten pieces of artillery. It fell back on the 12th
and resumed its old position in the tenth corps. It was subsequently in action
at Bermuda Hundred, in front of Petersburgh, Petersburgh Mine, Fort Gilmer,
Chapin's Farm, Darbytown Road, first and second Fort Fisher, and Wilmington,
N. C. At Fort Fisher, the State color which it carried was the first regimental
color which was hoisted on the enemy's works. It was mustered out of service
in August, 1865.
Taken from New York (State). Bureau of Military Statistics. 3rd
Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics. Albany: The Bureau,
Back to 3rd Regiment During
the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
September 28, 2006