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2nd Cavalry Regiment
Civil War
Harris Light Cavalry; Seventh United States; New York State Cavalry

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

Mustered in: August 9 to October 8,1861
Mustered out: June 5, 1865

July 25, 1861, Co1. J. Mansfield Davies received authority from the War Department to recruit a regiment of cavalry. He recruited this regiment and organized it at Scarsdale; it was mustered in the service of the United States for three years, between August 9 and October 8, 1861. It was originally known as the Harris Light Cavalry; the War Department designated it, October 26, 1861, the 7th Regiment of Cavalry in the service of the United States, but when the regiment was turned over to the State as one of the State organizations, it was numbered the 2d Regiment of N. Y. Volunteer Cavalry. At the expiration of its term' of service those entitled thereto were discharged and August 29, 1864, the regiment was consolidated into a battalion of four companies, A, B, C and D, and, composed of veterans and recruits, retained in the service. In September and October, 1864, eight new companies joined, raising the battalion to a regimental organization again; these companies had been recruited for a service of one year.

The companies were recruited principally: A at New York city, Hartford, Conn., and Newton, N. J.; B at Newton and Deckertown, N. J., and at Newburgh, Troy, Watertown and Port Jervis; C and D Connecticut Squadron at Hartford, Conn.; E at New York city, Troy, Fort Edward and Cambridge; F at Covington, Ind., Fairhaven, Vt., Troy and Richfield Springs; G at New York city, Newburgh and Fort Edward; H at Chambersburg, Ind.; I at Lafayette, Ind.; K at Scranton, Pa., Hampton, Newark and Rockaway, N. J.. New York city, Troy and Richfield Springs; L at New York city, Hudson, Troy, Fort Ann, Fort Edward and Litchfield; and M at New York city, Newburgh Plattsburgh and Port Henry. The companies raised in 1864 were recruited principally: E Ticonderoga Cavalry Company-at Plattsburgh and Ticonderoga; F at Elmira and Syracuse; G and H at Manlius, Rochester, Elbridge, Onondaga, Syracuse, Cicero, Pompey, DeWitt, Chenango, Spafford, Lafayette, Albany, Salina, Skaneateles and Geddes; I at Hart's Island, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Jamaica, Tarrytown and Albany; K at Mt. Morris, Goshen, Farmington, Poughkeepsie, Avon, Hopewell and Elmira; Land M at New York city and Brooklyn.

The regiment left the State in September and October, 1861, and served in McDowell's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October, 1861; with the 3d Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March, 1862; with King's Division, Department Rappahannock, from May, 1862; in Cavalry Brigade, 2d Division, 3d Corps, Army of Virginia, from June, 1862; in Bayard's Cavalry Brigade, Army of the Potomac, from September, 1862 (Companies A and B, I and K, in 3d Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac, in September and October, 1862); in Gregg's Cavalry Brigade, Army of the Potomac, from December 15, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 3d Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, from February II, 1863 (a battalion with 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Corps, on the Peninsula, Va., from May to July, 1863); in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, Cavalry, Army of the Potomac, from June 14, 1863; in the 1st Brigade, 3d Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, from August 12, 1863; Cavalry, Army of the Shenandoah, from October, 1864, and with the Army of the Potomac from March, 1865. Commanded by Co1. Alanson M. Randol, Companies E, F, G, H, I and K were mustered out June 5, 1865, and the remainder of the regiment, June 23, 1865, at Alexandria, Va.

During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 7 officers, 67 enlisted men; died of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 47 enlisted men; died of disease and other causes, 3 officers, 246 enlisted men; total, 12 officers, 360 enlisted men; aggregate, 372; of whom 1 officer and 106 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer

Historical Sketch

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Monument at Gettysburg

2nd Cavalry Battle Flag 2nd Cavalry Battle Flag

Muster Roll

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 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.

De Peyster, John Watts. Corporal Casey; or, the history of a cavalry regiment. Citizen and round table. New York: 1870.

Eaton, Hervey E. Letters, 1865.
17 pages.
Letters, March-May 1865, from Hervey E. Eaton of Company H, 2nd New York Cavalry, to his mother Emily Goodrich of Fayetteville, Onondaga County, New York, consisting of letter, 28 March 1865, letting his mother know that he has reached City Point, Virginia, where his regiment is joining the Army of the Potomac, informing her that he was part of the “great raid” by Philip Sheridan’s (1831-1888) troops; letter, 29 March 1865, sending news and a photograph (not included); letter, 26 April 1865, stating that Sheridan had taken some of the cavalry to North Carolina, but his regiment has remained behind and having a “soft thing” in camp life, informing her that he is acting quartermaster of the regiment, telling her he has sent home items, and providing personal news; letter, 7 May 1865, containing personal news and asking about news from home; and letter, 15 May 1865, informing her that his regiment may be mustered out soon as it has nothing to do since the war ended.
Accession 38474. Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.

Glazier, Willard Worcester. Battles for the Union, comprising descriptions of many of the most stubbornly contested battles in the War of the great rebellion, together with incidents and reminiscences of the camp, the march, and the skirmish line. Embracing a record of the privations, heroic deeds, and glorious triumphs of the soldiers of the Republic, by Willard Glazier. Hartford: Dustin, Gilman & co., 1875.407 p., illus.

Glazier, Willard Worcester. The capture, the prison pen, and the escape, giving a complete history of prison life in the South, principally at Richmond, Danville, Macon, Savannah, Charleston, Columbia, Belle isle, Millin, Salisbury, and Andersonville, describing the arrival of prisoners, and plans of escape, together with numerous and varied incidents and anecdotes of prison life. Embracing, also, the adventures of the author's escape from Columbia, South Carolina, his recapture, subsequent escape, recapture, trial as a spy, and his final and successful escape from Sylvania, Georgia, by Captain Willard Worcester Glazier. To which is added an Appendix, containing the name, rank, regiment, and post office address of prisoners. New York: R. H. Ferguson, & co., 1870. 446 p., illus.

Glazier, Willard Worcester. Three years in the Federal cavalry, by Willard Glazier. New York: R. H. Ferguson & co., 1870. 339 p., illus.

Glazier, Willard Worcester. Final Report on the Battlefield of Gettysburg (New York at Gettysburg) by the New York Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga. Albany, NY: J.B. Lyon Company, 1900.

Harris light cavalry, an accepted regiment to be mustered by companies. For each company wanted. By order of Col. J. M. Davies, W. H. Mallory, Adj't. New York: Isaac J. Oliver's print, [1863?]. Broadside, 47.5 x 61 cm.

Mattison, M. R. "A new Jersey cavalryman, the late Captain George V. Griggs [1839 - 1863] of the Harris Light Cavalry." Northern monthly I (1867) p. 548 - 59.

Mclrwin, Samuel. United States. Army. New York Cavalry Regiment, 2nd. From the 'Civil War Collection.'
Photocopies of letters from Libby Prison, Richmond Va., to family requesting food and clothing and hoping for exchange from prison. Oct. 5, 1863 and March 21, 1864.
Located at the New York State Historical Association – Research Library. New York State Historical Association – Research Library, Cooperstown, NY 13326

Meyer, Henry Codington. [Autobiographical sketch of Henry C. Meyer. New York: 1896] [2] p.

Meyer, Henry Codington. Civil war experiences under Bayard, Gregg, Kilpatrick, Custer, Raulston, and Newberry, 1862, 1863, 1864, by Henry C. Meyer, Captain 24th New York cavalry. New York: Privately printed [Knickerbocker press] 1911. 119 p.

Mott, George Scudder. Discourse delivered at the funeral of George V. Griggs, Capt. Co. K. "Harris Light" 2nd N.Y. cavalry, in the Presbyterian church, Newton, N.Y. by the Pastor George S. Mott, on the fifth of February, 1864. New York: Pratt & Grinton, printers, 1864. 1 p.

Owens, John Algernon. Sword and pen; or, ventures and adventures of Willard Glazier (the soldier-author), in war and literature. Philadelphia: P. W. Ziegler & co., 1881. 516 p., illus.

Owens, John Algernon. Sword and pen; or, ventures and adventures of Willard Glazier (the soldier-author), in war and literature. Philadelphia: P. W. Ziegler & co., 1882. 436 p., illus.

Randol, Alanson Merwin. Last days of the rebellion. The Second New York cavalry (Harris' light) at Appomattox station and Appomattox Court House, April 8 and 9, 1865, by Alanson M. Randol. Presidio of San Francisco, Cal.: 1883. 12 p.

Surgeon's journal.
Digital copy donated by the Warren Historical Society.


New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: February 8, 2018

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