|Unit History Project|
Chemung County, New York
The following is taken from Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics of the State of New York, Albany: [The Bureau], (C. Wendell), 1866.
In the ardor and patriotism everywhere evinced throughout our State, Chemung county was actively interested. From its location as the gateway of the south, to the western portion of the State, Elmira was early designated as a military post and rendezvous for volunteers. Railway facilities were such that troops were rapidly concentred at this point. Excited by the outrage upon our flag, and the presence of thousands of volunteers who thronged her streets, the citizens of Elmira were behind none in their efforts to furnish men and means to maintain the government of our country.
The quiet of a country village was quickly changed to a military camp, and day and night the tramp of men and din of preparation resounded through the streets ; companies of volunteers from northern, central and western portions of the State were sent to this post, and the organization of a regiment was a matter of daily occurrence. Some of our best regiments were formed here, and many of the bravest Generals came to Elmira in command of companies.
General R. B. Van Valkenburgh had been placed in command of, this depot. Though aided by the citizens in every possible way, it was found impossible to prepare quarters in time to supply the rapidly arriving companies. In this exigency the churches and public halls were placed at the disposal of the Government, and for weeks the largest churches and halls were filled with volunteers awaiting orders to join the army of the Union.
The number of men volunteering from this county under the first call and during the first three months of the war, was, under the circumstances, proportionably large, but the exact numbers, cannot now be stated ; two full companies from Elmira went in the Twenty-third regiment, Colonel Hoffman. One company from Horseheads went in the Thirty-eighth regiment; other towns furnished parts of companies, and every regiment organized at Elmira had in its ranks some of our citizens, so that probably from this county enough to fill a regiment responded to this call of the President for men to defend the capital.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military