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Niagara County, New York
in the Civil War

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.

When the people of our county were aroused by the threats of traitors, and particularly by the attack upon Sumter, they waited calmly though anxiously for the movements of the Government.

On the announcement of the President's call for 75,000 men, measures were at once adopted by the people of Niagara county to furnish their quota. Public meetings were called in most of the towns of the county, and were uniformly largely attended. The first meeting was held in Lockport on the 18th of April, 1861. This was followed on the 20th of April, by a subscription in Lockport, by which over $8,000 in money was raised and disbursed to aid volunteers and in the support of their families. Very considerable amounts were also raised in other towns of the county.

On or as early as the 18th of April, Captain, afterwards Major Cook, opened his recruiting office in Lockport for a company of men. So prompt was the response from all parts of the county, that in two days he had men enough enrolled for two companies instead of one—140 men.

Within a few days five companies were organized in this county, under Captains Cook, Bush, Mapes and Paige, of Lockport, and Gould, of Niagara Falls, which,with two companies from Orleans county, under Captains Bowen of Medina, and Hardee of Albion, one from Genesee, under Captain Fenn, and two others which joined them at Albany, one being from Ontario, under Captain Fitzgerald, and one from Sullivan, under Captain Waller, composed the Twenty-eighth regiment, N. Y. S. V.

The regiment, or the part of it raised in this county, left on the 16th of May, 1861, for the rendezvous at Albany, in the presence of, and escorted to the railroad depot by, more thousands of people than ever before assembled in this county.

At Albany the organization of the regiment was perfected by appointing
As Colonel—Dudley Donnelly, of Lockport
Adjutant—Charles J. Sprout, of Lockport.
Quartermaster—Christopher L. Skeels, of Lockport.
Chaplain—Rev. C. H. Platt, of Lockport.

The regiment remained in Albany under drill and awaiting equipments and orders until June 23d, when they left for Washington, and is believed by those who observed their subsequent course, entered upon a career of efficient and effective service to the country.

The regiment was badly cut up at the battle of Cedar Mountain ; Colonel Donnelly was mortally wounded at the head of his regiment whilst leading them in a charge. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown lost an arm, rendering him unable again to take the active command,; Major Cook was taken prisoner ; Adjutant Sprout was killed. Many of the company officers or privates were killed or wounded. Colonel Donnelly, who was a good soldier and a capable and faithful officer, lingered a few days and died of his wound.

Lieutenant-Colonel Brown being laid aside by his wound, and Major Cook being a prisoner, the command devolved upon senior Captain Fitzgerald until Major Cook was exchanged, who then took command and led the regiment at the battle of Chancellorsville.

In June, 1803, the term for which the men enlisted having some months more than expired, the remains of the regiment were mus-tered out at Lockport.


See also The Communites of New York in the Civil War



New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: September 18, 2007

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