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97th Infantry Regiment
Civil War
Third Oneida; Boonville Regiment; Conkling Rifles

History

Mustered in: February 18, 1862
Mustered out: July 18, 1865

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, Col. Charles Wheelock, was organized at Boonville, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years February 18, 1862. In May, 1863, it received by transfer the three years' men of the 26th Infantry; June 7, 1864, the men of the Sad Infantry, not mustered out with their regiment, and August 10, 1864, 103 men of the 94th Infantry. At the expiration of its term of enlistment, the men entitled thereto were discharged, and the regiment retained in service.
The companies were recruited principally: A and C at Boonville; B in Lewis county; D and F at Salisbury; E at Prospect and vicinity; G in Herkimer county; H at Utica and Lowville; I at Little Falls; and K at Rome.
The regiment left the State March 12, 1862; served in General Wadsworth's command, Military District of Washington, from March, 1862; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, Department of Rappahannock, from May, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 3d Corps, Army of Virginia, from June 26, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 1st Corps, Army of Potomac, from September 12, 1862; in 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 1st Corps, Army of Potomac, from December, 1862; in 2d Brigade, same division and corps, from May, 1863; in same brigade and division, 5th Corps, Army of Potomac, from March, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 5th Corps, from May 9, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 5th Corps, from May 30, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 5th Corps, from June 6, 1864; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. John P. Spofford, July 18, 1865, near Washington, D. C.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 7 officers, 97 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 5 officers, 73 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 156 enlisted men; total, 13 officers, 326 enlisted men; aggregate, 339; of whom 54 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
Ninety-seventh Infantry.—Cols., Charles Wheelock, John P. Spofford; Lieut.-Cols., John P. Spofford, Rouse S. Eggleston; Majs., Charles Northrup, Rouse S. Eggleston, Delos E. Hall. The 97th, called the Conkling Rifles, was recruited in Oneida and Herkimer counties and mustered into the U. S. service at Boonville, Feb. 19, 1862, for a three years' term. It left for Washington on March 12; was quartered at Fort Corcoran as part of Gen. Wadsworth's command until May, when it was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, Department of the Rappahannock and moved into Virginia, where it occupied various posts in the neighborhood of the Rappahannock river; was engaged at Cedar mountain, and lost 111 in killed, wounded and missing in the Manassas campaign. On Sept. 12, the regiment, which had served with the 3d corps, was assigned to the 1st corps and fought in the 1st brigade, 2nd division at South mountain and Antietam, suffering in the latter battle the most severe loss of any battle of its service—24 killed, 74 wounded and 9 missing. At Fredericksburg the regiment was prominently engaged, but not at Chancellorsville in the following May. It marched with the corps to Gettysburg and distinguished itself by the brilliantly executed capture of the colors of the 20th N. C. and 382 prisoners'. On the southward march it was present at Bristoe Station, and was in the Mine Run movement. While in camp at Brandy station, a sufficient number reenlisted to secure the continuance of the 97th in the field as a veteran regiment. In June, 1864, it was joined by the veterans and recruits of the 83d N. Y. infantry and in August, by the 94th, the 26th N. Y. having already been added to it in May, 1863. During Grant's famous campaign the 97th served in the 3d and 2nd divisions, 5th corps. Its heaviest losses during this campaign and subsequent operations were in the Wilderness, at Spottsylvania and near the Weldon railroad, but it shared in other engagements Of the brigade at the North Anna river, Totopotomy, Cold Harbor, White Oak Swamp, before Petersburg, in the Hicks-ford raid and the Appomattox campaign. It was mustered out near Washington, July 18, 1865, having lost dulring service 182 by death from wounds and 157 by death from accident, imprisonment or dis-ease, of whom 54 died in captivity.

Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Monument at Gettysburg

97th New York Volunteer Infantry Flank Marker97th New York Volunteer Infantry Flank Marker

Unit Roster

Further Reading
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 ng.ny.nyarng.list.historians@mail.mil 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.

Adsit, James. Letters, 1861-1862.
19 items.
Letters addressed to his wife, in which he complains of his poor health and afflictions from various diseases while encamped in Virginia. On e of the letters describes his wound received in the battle at Antietam, Maryland. Also included are two letters to his wife informing her of his death.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Backus, Clarence Walworth. "Closing war scenes." Magazine of history XX (1915) 251-9.

Bliss, Jerome. Diary, 1863 - 1865.
Excerpts only. Transcribed and donated by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Youker.
1863 excerpts (June 25 - July 6)
1864 excerpts (April 14 - June 15)
1865 excerpts (January 14 - March 24)
Jerome Bliss Obituary, Friday, July 25, 1913

BrakeColl
Brief regimental history (Extracted from 1893 pub, History of Herkimer County)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Cady, Rush P. Letters of Rush P. Cady.
This is a collection of 90 items including letters written either by or to Lieut. Rush P. Cady (1841-1863) during his service with the 97th New York Infantry Regiment.
Available online at: http://elib.hamilton.edu/hc/hc-main.php?id=col_spe-civ-cad&c=civ_cad

Chamberlain, Henry H. B. Henry H. B. Chamberlain papers. 1863-1898.
5 cubic ft.
Primarily letters written 1864-1868 by Chamberlain to Mary Jane Field of Bridgeport, Connecticut, whom he married in 1864. Includes detailed letters to her written while he was serving with the New York Volunteers 97th Infantry Division and a diary kept from 1863 to 1864 recording his participation in the battles of Pollocks Mill Creek, Va., Petersburg, Va., and Welden Railroad, Va. Also, letters with detailed descriptions of his capture at Gettysburg, his internment at Libby Prison in Richmond, and his subsequent escape and return to action. Letters from after the war, written while he served with Alexander McDowell Cook and the 26th U.S. Infantry on the Texas frontier, include colorful descriptions of military life along the Texas border. Other letters include one written by Chamberlain to his mother; one by Captain Charles F. Dibble to his niece Mary Field (with a postage stamp); and a few to Chamberlain from friends and relatives. Papers include a marriage certificate, commissions, discharge and pension papers of Anson B. Field (probably Mary's brother), a quit claim deed, and probate documents.
Located at Cornell University.

Ferguson, John V. "Letters." [This is a large Adobe PDF file]
Donated and Transribed by Leith Regan.
NOTE: John V. Fersguson was a Chaplain who was 31 years old when he enlisted at Boonsville, NY on 11/11/1861 at Boonsville, NY. On 3/10/1862 he mustered into Field & Staff NY 97th Infantry and he was mustered out on 11/10/1864.
Large file size.

Fical, George. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
(Cpl's letters, Oct 21, 1862-Aug 9, 1865; Pension documents, May 1, 1867-Aug 19, 1884)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Giles, George. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
(Enlisted man's letter, Dec 15, 1864)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Hall, Isaac. History of the Ninety-seventh regiment, New York volunteers, ("Conkling rifles,") in the War for the Union. Utica: L. C. Childs & Son, 1890.

Hayden, Charles H. Letters, 1862 - 1863.
Transcriptions and annotations donated by Al Grenning.

Hayden, Charles H. Diary, 1863-1864.
Digital copy donated by Al Grenning. The original is in a private collection in Boonville, New York.
Diary for December, 1863
Diary for January - March, 1864

Hough, Franklin Benjamin. History of Duryee's brigade, during the campaign in Virginia under Gen. Pope, and in Maryland under Gen. McClellan, and the summer and autumn of 1862. Albany: J. Munsell, 1864.

Hough, Franklin B. "The Battle of Fredericksburg." North & South (May 2004) 50-55.

Krutz, David P. Distant Drums: Herkimer County in the War of the Rebellion, Utica: North Country Books, 1997.
Thank you to Steve Glazer for pointing out this resource.

McNamara, Owen. "Spofford of the Conkling Rifles : Civil War adventures and sore travails of a Herkimer hero." Legacy. 4 :2 1989? 13-18.

Murray, R.L. New Yorkers in the Civil War. Wolcott, N.Y. Benedum Books, v. 3 c2004.

Norton, John T.  John T. Norton letter. 1863.
1 Item.
One Civil War letter written by Union soldier John T. Norton (Lieut., 97th Regiment New York State Volunteers) to his father, Morgan Norton of Norway, NY. The letter is dated May 23rd, 1863. Norton discusses the Battle of Chancellorsville and mentions the death of Stonewall Jackson, referring to him as"the bravest of the brave."
Located at the Virginia Military Institute.

Plass, Lewis E. Diary. 1864.
1 item ; 12 cm.
A pocket diary kept by the author while serving in the army during the Civil War. Generally, the daily entries provide a brief summary of his activities and experiences, such as camp life, drill, picket duty, and various campaign and battles, including the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna River, and Cold Harbor. A tintype photographic portrait of Plass is housed with the diary.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Roback, Henry. The Veteran Volunteers of Herkimer and Otsego Counties in the War of the Rebellion; Being a History of the 152d N.Y.V. With Scenes, Incidents, Etc., Which Occurred in the Ranks, of the 34th N.Y., 97th N.Y., 121st N.Y., 2d N.Y. Heavy Artillery, and lst and 2d N.Y. Mounted Rifles.... Utica, NY: L.C. Childs, 1888.

Roberts, William Warren. William Warren Roberts Diary.
Digital copy of the diary donated by Priscilla Goss.
Transcribed by Jerrie Hinchman.
Note: The official roster of the 97th does not list any person by the name of William Roberts.
Scan of the original - large file size, 12 MB
Transcription.

Roth, Steven. The Conkling Rifles: Civil War History of the Ninety-Seventh Regiment, New York Volunteers. 1998. 108 pages.
This is substantially based upon excerpts and information contained in History of the Ninety-seventh regiment, New York volunteers : ("Conkling rifles,") in the war for the Union, by Isaac Hall (Press of L.C. Childs & Son, Utica, N.Y., 1890).   

Shaw, Charles C. Where brave men sleep. Croghan, NY: 2001.

Stannard, Dwight W.  Letters,1862 Mar. 9-1864 July 10.
Contains 30 manuscript letters, some with envelopes, written by Dwight W. Stannard, Corporal in the 97th New York Infantry Regiment, mainly to his wife, Alma C. Stannard of Forestport, N.Y.
Available online at: http://elib.hamilton.edu/hc/hcbrowse.php?id=col_spe-civ

Snow, Archibald B. A waif of the Wilderness, a story of the war. Gouverneur: Grand Army Journal presses, 1896.

Williams, Richard. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
(Enlisted man's letter from another man in Co E, Dec 23, 1864; Letters to family, Mar 23, 1862-Apr 24, 1864)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Wolcott, Walter, 1859. The military history of Yates County, N.Y. : comprising a record of the services rendered by citizens of this county in the army and navy, from the foundation of the government to the present time. Penn Yan, N.Y. Express Book and Job Print. House, 1895.

Young, Jacob. WendellLangColl
(Enlisted man's undated letters, ca 1861-62)
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

 

Items in the museum collection are in bold.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: July 10, 2014
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/97thInf/97thInfMain.htm

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