The Communities of New York and the Civil War:
Ulster 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.
The Twentieth regiment, N. Y. S. M. (for to that honored designation it clung,
though ranked as the Eightieth regiment, N. Y. S. V. in the lists) at the outbreak
of the rebellion was one of the few well organized and officered regiments
in the State It was the fifth from this State stepping forward to the defense
of the capital. The regiment bore the synonym of the "Ulster Guard," and
represented this county in the early months of the war. A brief reference to
its services will mark the part taken by the county.
In April, 1861, the regiment proceeded to Washington with full ranks, led
by Colonel George W. Pratts, its commandant for several years. In the three
service, for which it volunteered, the Twentieth did its full duty, being
stationed successively at Anabolic and Baltimore, and was honorably recognized
as one the most efficient in the
The rebellion assuming the form of a persistent struggle, the
Twentieth, on its return to Ulster in the summer of 1861, filled
its ranks with volunteers for a three years service, and in September returned
to the front under Colonel Pratt once more, and took a full share in all
the perils and labors of the army of the Potomac,
losing an unseal proportion of officers and men in the desperate
conflict on the fighting line of the front, its gallant Colonel
falling at the encounter of second Bull Run, in General Page's retreat.
The history of the Twentieth would epitomize the war; for it
bore its full share of disaster as well as did more than its portion for
the triumphs following the retreat of the Rapidan. Colonel Theodore B.
Colonel Pratt, and it was under his command that the Twentieth fought during
the three desperate days at Gettysburg, where the Union army achieved its leading
triumph, and the prestige of Lee and the rebel cause was broken never to he
retrieved. Following the Gettysburg campaign, at the expiration of its three
years term, the Twentieth was again enrolled for three years or the war, Colonel
Gates resigning, he was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Jacob B. Hardenbergh.
In the subsequent campaigns on the Potomac, under the generalship of Burnside,
and his successors, until the triumphant advance to Richmond extinguished
the rebellion for all time, the Twentieth was charged mainly with the
provost duty of the army, and was always a reliable and hard tasked regiment,
in a sphere of duty not likely to include them in bulletins and dispatches.
But when the final advance of Grant was made, the Twentieth once more
was in " the fighting line" of the extreme.
front and on the fiery edge of battle ; and after the downfall of the
Confederacy and the surrender of Lee, this regiment was selected to hold
and maintain order in Richmond—its Colonel, Hardenbergh, and Lieutenant-Colonel,
John McEntee, with other officers being charged, with responsible duties
under Major-General Terry.
Subsequently a portion of it was on duty at Norfolk, and it was not until
January, 1866, that the Twentieth regiment, N. Y. S. M., united its scattered
companies, and took up the line of march for home—the last regiment
of the army of the Potomac to leave that field.
Civil War Newspapers
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military
May 29, 2013