16th Regiment Cavalry, NY Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
Sprague's Light Cavalry.—Capt. J. D. Schlafer is recruiting for this regiment in Troy—his quarters being at the Union House, near the Depot. Eleven men were enlisted yesterday;—Capt. S. is well known as one of the officers of the old Second, and many of the boys are enlisting with him. Troy has forwarded to this Cavalry regiment within two weeks forty-five men—mostly of returned infantry regiments. The bounty is $263.
CAVALRY FOR GEN. BANKS.—Orders have been received here for the despatch of about two hundred men of the Metropolitan cavalry regiment to the army of Gen. Banks. The men will go forward this week, by way of New Orleans.
THE SPRAGUE LIGHT CAVALRY--This organization, commanded by Col. Spencer H. Olmsted, has been numbered the 16th cavalry. One battalion was on Tuesday ordered from Plattsburg to report to Gen. Couch, at Harrisburg, Pa. Major Morris Hazard will command the battalion, which is mainly composed of Buffalo boys. A paymaster has been sent to camp to pay the bounties, and the battalion will be put into the field at once. Capt. C. E. Morse remains on recruiting duty for his regiment.
THE SPRAGUE LIGHT CAVALRY TO TAKE THE FIELD.—The Sprague Light Cavalry, one company for which has been recruited in this city by Capt. John Nicholson, have received orders to proceed to Harrisburg forthwith, under command of Major Harris, and report to Major General Couch for duty. Twenty-one recruits for the regiment left here last evening.
To Those Desiring to Enlist in Cavalry
Provost Marshal James, of this city, this morning received the following from Washington:
PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., May 22d, 1863.
All men who desire to join any particular regiment of cavalry now in the field, are hereby authorized to present themselves at any time during the next thirty days to the Board of Enrollment in their respective Districts. The Board shall examine them, and determine upon their fitness for the service, and if found to be fit, the Provost Marshal of the District shall give them transportation tickets to the general rendezvous, at the headquarters of the A. A. Provost Marshal General of the State. As soon as they present themselves at this general rendezvous, they shall be duly mustered by a mustering and disbursing officer, and paid by them the bounty allowed by law.
JAMES B. FRY, Provost Marshal General.
VOLUNTEERS.—By an order issued by the Provost Marshal General, May 23, 1863,—District Provost Marshals are authorized to enlist men in any Cavalry Regiment now in the field. Persons in this District desiring to engage in this branch of the service can do so by application to the Provost Marshal at his Head Quarters, in the village of Dunkirk, for thirty days.
If found after examination to be fitted for the service, they will be furnished transportation to the general Rendezvous where they will be paid the bounty allowed by law.
GEO. W. PALMER,
Provost Marshal, 31st District.
MILITARY —SPRAGUE LIGHT CAVALRY.—This fine regiment, which promises to be one of the best raised in this State, is quartered at Plattsburgh, N. Y., commanded by Colonel Spencer H. Olmstead, and is making rapid progress in organization, numbers now upwards of four hundred and seventy-five men. Colonel Olmstead has seen service in the field, and no doubt will give a good account of himself. Lieut.-Colonel Simpson, who is in charge of the recruiting in this district of the State, is an experienced and brave officer, and has on several occasions during the campaign under General Banks, in Virginia, distinguished himself. Nearly all the officers have served before in other regiments during the war.—N. Y. Herald.
Lieut. Chas. H. FARNSWORTH, who is recruiting for this cavalry regiment in this city, has already recruited about twenty-five men during the short time he has been here; and by his loyal efforts and gentlemanly deportment has shown that he is worthy the respect and confidence he receives as an officer. Those desiring to enlist, or re-enlist, will do well to call at his recruiting station near the TIMES office, before enlisting. His number is nearly complete and volunteers should call soon. There is no doubt but the regiment will be organized soon and be one of the best raised in this or any other State.
THE SPRAGUE CAVALRY.—EXTRAORDINARY INDUCEMENTS.—Capt. McPherson and Lieut. Pettit, who are recruiting here for the Sprague Cavalry, issue the following card to secure recruits:
Complimentary. National Theatre. Great Attractions! Admit the bearer and his friends to a front seat to view the great National Drama now being daily performed,) Stoneman in Richmond and The Union Preserved! Performers wanted to take part in this truly exciting National Drama. Salaries liberal. One hundred and fifteen dollars paid in advance, and engagements warranted to last for three years. For further particulars apply to Lieut. John Pettit, tent in front of the Court House, Rochester, N. Y.
The reason why.—Because, upon being mustered into the regiment, you receive a State bounty of $75 and a U. S. Bounty of $25.
Because at the same time you will receive One Month's Pay in advance, making $113. Because you are at once into the service, with pay, rations, and relief for your families.
Because you will have the best Horse and Arms, and wear the Handsomest Dress in the Army.
Because, upon being discharged, you receive another Bounty of $75.
Because you would like to see Richmond and the Elephant, and be commanded by tried and capable officers.
Because there is no use hanging around home ignobly, when Capt. McPherson is ready to take you to see the "Great Show" on the banks of the Rappahannock and Rio Grande Rivers.
Now is your chance to change this Check for $175 and Clothing at the Show Tent in front of the Court House, Rochester, N. Y.
Capt. J. A. MCPHERSON.
The Orleans American.
Thursday Morning, June 18, 1863.
A recruiting office for Sprague's Cavalry has been opened at the Village Hall, in this place, by Sergeant Lane, who is authorized to enlist men for this branch of the service, to whom all the bounties will be paid amounting to $250.—Any information concerning the regiment, &c., can be obtained by calling upon Sergeant Lane.
IMPORTANT MILITARY ARREST.— Some days since, Provost-Marshal-General Nugent received information of a conspiracy which was being inaugurated in the Sprague light Cavalry, and giving the matter careful attention, he procured sufficient evidence to convict the guilty parties who were at once arrested, and are now in a fair way to receive merited punishment. It appears that Capt. John Abendorff, of the above mentioned regiment, devised the scheme of forming a band of guerrillas out of the above command, who were to be ready on their arrival at camp to skedaddle, and commence a career of robbery and bloodshed indiscriminately on friend or foe. The Captain's principal confederate was Sergeant Buckler, who was stationed at the camp at Plattsburgh, N. Y. A letter was secured, written by Capt. Abendoff, in which was written a cypher alphabet, with the key of explanation, informing the Sergeant that thereafter all communication must be in this cypher. Capt. A. was at once arrested and sent to Fort Lafayette, at which quarters his Sergeant is about to join him. As the men who joined the organization claim they did so for the purpose of exposing it, they are, at present, only detained under arrest in camp.
SOLDIERS' MUTINY AT PLATTSBURG.—Four or five hundred men, recruited for the "Sprague Light Cavalry," and rendezvoused at Plattsburg, were last week ordered to move from that point to Harrisburg. But a portion of the battalion refused to obey orders until they received their full bounty. From their proximity to Canada, affording the disaffected unusual facilities for desertion, it was not deemed prudent to pay the bounty until some more interior point was reached. A flat refusal to march was the result. When informed of this inexcusable insubordination, Gov. SEYMOUR promptly ordered a hundred and fifty picked men from the 34th, (quartered at the barracks in this city,) under command of Capt. CORCORAN, to proceed to Plattsburg to compel obedience. The squad proceeded thither Saturday evening, and have probably, ere this, accomplished their mission.
P. S. The detachment from the 34th returned at 1 o'clock to-day. They reached Plattsburg Sunday morning before daylight, surrounded the barracks of the mutineers, took possession of the cannon on the ground and of all the avilable [sic] arms, and were prepared to make prisoners of all the disaffected before they knew what was going on.
When the mutineers saw the position of things, they blustered a little, but finally quietly succumbed; agreed to behave themselves, came down with the detachment, and are now on their way to the seat of war.
The detachment of the Thirty-fourth deserve great credit for their management of this deliate [sic] affair.
Col. Olmstead, of the Sprague Cavalry, who is in town a day or two on business connected with his regiment, that it now numbers over 900 men and is rapidly filling up. He has already one battalion of 400 men in the field, and they have done some service within the past few days. Men who had been in the saddle only three days had commenced the work of capturing rebels from Lee's shattered and disorganized forces. Col. Olmstead sends forward from here to-morrow 50 men recruited by Capt. McPherson, and on the same day a detachment of 30 men from Buffalo. Col. Olmstead informs us that the flying reports about the mutiny of a portion of his regiment at Plattsburg, a short time since, were greatly exaggerated and calculated to give an erroneous impression. The men seized no arms and made no hostile demonstration. They had been promised their bounties before they marched, and the paymaster agreed to be in camp and pay off the men by a certain day. He did not come on that day and the men refused to move until the matter was explained to them. As soon as this was accomplished the men took up their march and obeyed orders with alacrity.
Letter from the 16th N. Y. Cavalry.
CAMP 16TH REG'T N. Y. VOL. CAVALRY,
Near Fort Buffalo, Va., Sept 23d, 1864.
EDITORS COMMERCIAL:—-As a large number of your readers take an interest in the "16th," it being largely composed of Buffalonians, I send you a brief account of our recent raid, on the Rapidan. We left, camp here September 17th, on Saturday morning at half past three o'clock, with about 300 men cnmmanded [sic] by Col. H. M. Lazelle, commanding cavalry brigade at this place, and proceeded towards the Rappahannock. We crossed "Wolfs Run," and after a long and rapid march, reached the Rappahannock, which we crossed at Kelly's ford. During the night we rested two hours and resumed our march to Rapidan Station, which we reached early Monday morning. The advanced guard charged into the place, capturing six prisoners, among them a Captain and a Quartermaster belonging to the Confederate army.
Col. Lazelle took a detachment and immediately commenced the destruction of the fine railroad bridge crossing the Rapidan. In a few minutes the bridge was a mass of flame. Also the Depot, Station houses, Telegraph office, &c. Farther on we find a mill containing 5,000 barrels of flour, and other government property, all of which was totally destroyed.
During this time Major John Nicholson with another detachment succeeded in capturing one hundred and fifty mules, and between fifty and sixty horses, all with the "C. S." brand on them. After completing the destruction of the bridge and other public property, the column moved on towards Culpepper Court House, eleven miles distant. When we arrived within a mile and a half of Culpepper we found the enemy in force, strongly posted on a hill crowned, with a complete series of earthworks mounting six guns. Capt. Washburn formed his squadron in line of battle in front of the fort, and brisk skirmishing immediately ensued.
The remainder of the column having come up, we moved farther to the right, to ascertain their strength, and, if possible, flank them on their left. We found, however, they had a strong line of infantry posted on the edge of a piece of woods, which opened a rapid and destructive fire on our approach; the guns in the Fort at the same time opening on us with shell, grape and canister. Notwithstanding the shower of bullets and their greatly superior force, Capt. F. M. Baker, of Co. E, and Adjutant Gail gallantly led a charge against them, but failed to reach them on account of the unfavorable nature of the ground they were obliged to cross. They retired in good order, notwithstanding the severity of the fire to which they were exposed. At this time, none failed to remark the self-possession of Major Nicholson, who coolly rode along the line, smoking his meerschaum, and giving his orders as though he was on an ordinary parade. The hearty, bluff old Major is a great favorite of the men, who esteem him for his soldierly qualities and genial disposition.
Finding the enemy in greatly superior force, they having nearly a division of infantry, cavalry and artillery, and as we were in great danger of being surrounded, we fell back towards the Rappahannock. We made a forced march to Kelly's Ford, fearing they would cut us off, and precent [sic] our crossing. The advance crossed without opposition, but their cavalry overtook the rear guard and charged them several times, but were as often repulsed.
They continued the pursuit, however, to "Wolf Run Shoals," annoying our rear and wounding several severely. The column reached camp Tuesday afternoon, in good spirits but very tired, having been, with but slight intermission, in saddle four days and nights.
Our total loss in killed, wounded and missing will not exceed twenty-five, and when we consider that, with but three hundred men, we made an incursion of over one hundred miles into the enemy's country, doing an immense amount of damage in the immediate neighborhood of a large force, and getting safely back to camp without serious loss, it must be conceded that it will compare favorably with any cavalry raid of the war, both for boldness of conception and daring of execution. The railroad bridge destroyed was one over which Early was transporting the rich crops of the Shenandoah Valley to the Army in Richmond, and its destruction must be a heavy blow to him in his retreat from the victorious Sheridan.
I cannot at present send you the names of the killed and wounded, but will endeavor to do so in my next.
To-night we start on another scout. The result I will send you in my next.
Yours truly, ***
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
October 1, 2008