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8th Cavalry Regiment
Civil War
Rochester Regiment

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

Left the State: November 29, 1861
Mustered out: June 27, 1865

Col. Samuel J. Crooks received authority to recruit this regiment; it was organized for a three years' service, November 14, 1861, at Rochester, where Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, I and K were mustered in the United States service November 23d, and Companies G and H November 28, 1861, only ten companies being organized; Company L having been consolidated into Company G and Company M merged into H, November 14, 1861. A number of the enlisted men of Company K were in December, 1861, transferred to other companies of the regiment, and March 8, 1862, the remaining men were transferred to the 1st Battalion of Artillery, Companies A, B and D, later 29th, 30th and 32d Batteries. A new Company K and Companies L and M were organized in August, September and October, 1862, and mustered in the United States service at Rochester for three years, September 29th, October 15th and 14th, respectively. At the expiration of the term of service of the regiment, those entitled thereto were, October 29, 1864, ordered to Rochester to be discharged and mustered out, and those remaining were, November 1, 1864, consolidated into a battalion of eight companies and retained in service. In this consolidation Companies A, B, C, D and E retained their letters and organization, Company K became Company F, L became G, and M was designated H; the enlisted men of the original Company F were transferred to Company A; those of original G to Companies B, C, D and M, old; those of original H to D and L, old; those of I to Company E, old. On the 30th of April, 1865, new Companies I, K, L and M were formed of recruits, mustered in for one and two years' service, and the regimental organization again completed.

The companies were recruited principally: A at Rochester, Penn Tan, Penfield, Webster and Canandaigua; B at Rochester, Avon, Brighton, Lima, Rush and Honeoye Falls; C at Rochester, Newark, Sodus, Palmyra, Marion and Williamson; D at Rochester, Clyde and Phelps; E at Rochester, -Hartland, Middleport and Royalton; F at Rochester, Albion, Carlton, Kendall and Newark; G at Rochester, Rushville, Seneca Falls, Montezuma and Waterloo; H at Rochester, Brockport, Bergen, Clarkson, Fairport and Hamblin; I at Rochester, Clinton, Penfield, Paris, Deansville, Waterville, Ontario, Webster, North Bay and Walworth; second Company I at Buffalo and Auburn, and K at Rochester, Brockport, Batavia, Norwich, Pitcher, Pharsalia, Sherburne, Spencerport and Webster; second Company K at Rochester; third Company K at Lockport, Canandaigua, Rochester, Buffalo and New York city; Companies L and M at Rochester; second Companies L and M at Rochester, Auburn, Elmira, Canandaigua, Buffalo, Binghamton, Lockport, Oswego and Syracuse.

The regiment left the State November 29, 1861, and served in the defenses of Washington, D. C., from December, 1861; in the Department of the Shenandoah from March, 1862; in the Middle Department, 8th Corps, from June, 1862; in the 5th Brigade, Pleasanton's Division of Cavalry, Army of the Potomac, mounted, from August, 1862; in the 1st Brigade, same division, from December, 1862; in the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, from February, 1863; in the 2d Brigade, 3d Division, Cavalry, Army of the Potomac, from March, 1864; in the Army of the Shenandoah from October, 1864, and with the Army of the Potomac from March, 1865.

The regiment, commanded by Col. Edmund M. Pope, was mustered out and honorably discharged June 27, 1865, at Alexandria, Va., having lost by death during its service, killed in action, 8 officers, 60 enlisted men; died of wounds received in action, 5 officers, 32 enlisted men; died of disease and other causes, 6 officers, 213 enlisted men; total, 19 officers, 305 enlisted men; aggregate, 324, of whom 3 officers and 70 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Monument at Gettysburg

Historical Sketch

8th Cavalry Standard 8th Cavalry Standard

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.

Bell, Thomas. At Harper's ferry, Va., September 14, 1862. How the cavalry escaped out of the toils. A swift night march including a brief history of the Regiment, from its organization to this thrilling night's work, by Thomas Bell, Brevet Major, Eighth New York cavalry. [Brooklyn: 1900].

Huntington - Hooker Papers.
Size: 16 boxes (145 folders, 4 diaries, 3 scrapbooks)
Abstract: Letters to and from the Huntington-Hooker family members and friends, chiefly personal in nature. Included are letters written by Albert Huntington and Horace Hooker during the Civil War, and their Civil War papers and documents.
Located at University of Rochester.
Thank you to Patrick Fultz for pointing out this resource.

Murray, Sharon. Benjamin Franklin "Grimes" Davis: Some Family Secrets Revealed.

Norton, Henry. A sketch of the 8th cavalry, unwritten history of the rebellion, by Henry Norton, a member of Company H, 8th N.Y. cavalry. 1888.

Norton, Henry. Deeds of daring; or, history of the Eighth N.Y. volunteer cavalry, containing a complete record of the battles, skirmishes, marches, etc., that the gallant Eighth New York cavalry participated in, from its organization in November, 1861, to the close of the rebellion in 1865. Compiled and edited by Henry Norton. Norwich, NY: Chenango Telegraph printhouse, 1889.

Owen, Myron. Myron Owen diary, 1864
Myron Owen served with the 8th New York Cavalry Regiment and joined the Army of the Potomac. He served the quartermaster, managing supplies of forage for the horses. He was present at the battles of Harper's Ferry, Antietam, Chancellorsville and Rich Mountain.
Located at University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.

Pope, Edmund Mann. "Personal experience, a side light on the Wilson raid, June, 1864, by Brevet-Brigadier-General Edmund M. Pope." MOLLUS-NY IV 585-604.

Van Dusen, Charles Theron. Van Dusen Civil War Diary.
A transcription of the diary kept by Charles Theron Van Dusen during the Civil War. The Van Dusen’s are among the earliest families to have settled in New York City.
Available online through the New York Times:
Resource submitted by Patrick Fultz.

Wert, Jeffry D. "Dark Passage Through Rebel Lines." Military History. June 1985, 27-32.


New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: June 24, 2019

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