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153rd Infantry Regiment
Civil War

History

Mustered in: October 17, 1862
Mustered out: October 2, 1865

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
Colonel William T. Miller, succeeded, September 5, 1862, by Col. Duncan McMartin, received authority, August 23, 1862, to recruit this regiment in the then 15th Senatorial District of the State; it was organized at Fonda, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years October 17 and 18, 1862. The regiment organizing,, under orders dated September 17, 1862, at Plattsburg under the command of Col. Thomas A. Armstrong, was consolidated with this regiment October 8, 1862.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Johnstown; B at Mohawk, Palatine and Root; C at Glen, Florida, Root and Charleston; D at Johnstown and Mayfield; E at Minden and St. Johnsville; F at Ephratah, Canajoharie, Oppenheim, Clifton Park and Lassellsville; G at Mooers, Altona, Essex and Plattsburg; H at Greenfield, Milton, Gal-way, Clifton Park, Ballston Spa, Moreau, Root and Wilson; I at Champlain, Chesterfield, Plattsburg and AuSable; and K at Queensbury, Ellenburg, Altona and Mooers.
The regiment left the State October 18, 1862; it served in the defenses of Washington, in Abercrombie's Division, from October 25, 1862; in Casey's Division, 22d Corps, from February, 1863; in the Department of the Gulf and 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Corps, from February, 1864; in the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Shenandoah, from March, 1865; in the 2d Brigade, Dwight's Division, at Washington, D. C., from April, 1865; in the Department of Georgia, from July, 1865, and, commanded by Lieut-Col. George H. McLaughlin, it was honorably discharged and mustered out October 2, 1865, at Savannah, Ga.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 20 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 1 officer, 20 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 160 enlisted men; total, 2 officers, 200 enlisted men; aggregate, 202.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
One Hundred and Fifty-third Infantry.—Cols., Duncan McMar-tin, Edwin P. Davis; Lieut.-Cols., Thomas A. Armstrong, William H. Printup, Alexander Strain, George H. McLaughlin; Majs., Edwin P. Davis, Alexander Strain, Stephen Simmons, Jacob C. Klock,. George H. McLaughlin, C. F. Putnam, Abram V. Davis. This regiment, recruited in the counties of Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Clinton, Essex and Warren, was organized at Fonda and there mustered into the U. S. service on Oct. 18, 1862, for three years. It left the same day for Washington, was first stationed at Alexandria as provost guard, and during most of the year 1863, did garrison and guard duty about the capital. It was then transferred to the Department of the Gulf, where it was assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st (Emory's) division, 19th corps, with which it took part in the Red River campaign, meeting with severe loss at Pleasant Hill. It was active at Mansura and was warmly commended for its bravery in these battles by the commanding general. In July, 1864, it returned to Virginia with the 1st and 2nd divisions; on its arrival at Washington it was ordered into Maryland to confront Gen. Early; and then served with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, taking part in the battles of the Opequan, Fisher's hill, Stras-burg and Cedar creek, besides numerous lesser skirmishes. Its loss at the Opequan was 69 killed and wounded, and at Cedar creek, 81 killed, wounded and missing. The regiment continued to serve in the valley until April, 1865, when it moved with Dwight's division to Washington, where it participated in the grand review in May. In July it sailed for Savannah, Ga., and while stationed there won the esteem and respect of the citizens by the gentlemanly conduct of its officers and men. Col. Davis was brevetted brigadier-feneral for meritorious service. The regiment was mustered out at Savannah on Oct. 2, 1865, under command of Lieut.-Col. McLaugh-lin. It lost during service 1 officer and 40 men killed and died of wounds; 1 officer and 160 men died of disease and other causes; total deaths, 202.

Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer

Seth Hill Diary, 1864
A transcription is here.

Hill Family Letter Collection

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

153rd Battle Flag 153rd Battle Flag

 

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 ng.ny.nyarng.list.historians@mail.mil 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.

Davis, Edwin P. Papers (1870).
5 items.
Letters and an autobiographical narrative related to the battles at Cedar Creek and Opequon, Virginia. They provide detailed information about the strategic maneuvers and the regiments that were deployed in these battles.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Enders, Jacob Henry. Papers, 1855-1901.
Abstract: The papers of Jacob Henry Enders document mainly his career as a student at Union College (Schenectady, NY), 1857-1858 and more importantly, his service as a chaplain for the 153rd New York State Volunteers (regiment of infantry) during the Civil War, 1862-1865. The main component of this collection is his unpublished manuscript of the history of the 153rd regiment. Comprising approximently two hundred pages, it covers the entire history of the regiment from its origins at Fonda, New York, its shipment south to defend Washington, D.C., and thence participated in the Red River Louisiana Campaign, the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia Campaign, and finally its disbanment at Savannah, Georgia. The regiment was comprised mostly of men from Fulton, Montgomery, and Saratoga Counties, of New York State. He has given much attention to describing details concerning the people and places where the regiment was stationed, the everday life of the soldiers, in camp and when engaged in combat. Battle details, deployment of troops, foraging for food and supplies, and dealing with camp sickness are described. As the only comprehensive history of the 153rd regiment, it is an invaluable source for studying the impact of the Civil War on regiments of the Mohawk Valley.
This collection also includes letters and other assorted items relating to his years of undergraduate study at Union College, 1856-1858. In addition, there is a copy of Enders last published sermon, an eulogy on behalf of the late President William McKinley.
Original Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Hall, Otis. VannameFamily-ThomasStoneColl
(Letters to enlisted man, May 5 & 17, 1863).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Klock, Jacob Clinton. "Letters to friends from Major Jacob C. Klock, One hundred and fifty-third regiment, New York volunteers." In Fifth annual report of the New York state Bureau of military statistics, 1868, p. 661-77.

Meyer, Eugene L. "The Soldier Left a Portrait and Her Eyewitness Account." Smithsonian Magazine. 24 :10 (Jan 1994) 96-104.

Snow, Norman Leslie. Letters (1863-1866).
7 items. (Surgeon, 153rd New York Infantry).
Letters written by an army surgeon that provide information on medical care provided to soldiers wounded or injured in battle. Also included are comments about the crowded and unsanitary conditions of army hospitals.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Swarts, George, and James H. Stone. Civil War letters [manuscript], 1863-1864.
Summary :Nine letters written between Feb. 1863 and July 1864 by George Swarts of Company E, 153rd New York Volunteer Regiment. One letter from James H. Stone of Compnay E, 43rd New York Infantry Regiment, dated Mar. 10, 1864, is also included as is one empty envelope, dated Sept. 28 and addressed to Swarts.
Summary :A Feb. 2, 1863, letter addressed from Alexandria and written to Deal Swarts, discusses rainy weather and snow, being paid, and the behavior of soldiers after payday ("some go in the city get tight others will rob them that is the way it goes"). He asks that Pa take good care of his tools and grease them. He "cant tell [Deal] nothing about war, we are a-picketing around the city."
Summary :An Apr. 9, 1863, letter addressed from Alexandria, reports being in good health, getting new guns for the regiment, and that their cook is going on furlough. He needs a watch because he has "10 or 12 men on gard and have to relieve them every 2 hours to the city and have no time." He expects to be paid off "this week" and has plenty of everything but money and stamps. He concludes the letter by reporting "my weight is now 204 lbs., fat as a hog."
Summary :A June 12, 1863, letter addressed from Alexandria and written to Alonzo Waterman, reports being well at present. They are still at their old campground, a splendid one, with evergreen trees around it, guarding the city. "Two weeks ago there was quiet an excitement here. They expected a raid here, they went in the city got all the counterbands they could and set them digging rifle pitts around the city." He also writes about an incident at nearyby Fort Lyons where exploding powder killed "nearly all the men" [in a magazine]. "This week they burried twenty two and a number mortally wounded." He reports picking up body parts and that the explosion threw pieces of timber 3 to 4 miles. He cannot report much about the war other than what is in the papers, but he likes soldiering very well and gets plenty to eat and wear.
Summary :A Sept. 23, 1863, letter addressed from Wash., D. C., and written to ? Swarts, inquires about money sent home and asks that money be sent to him. Their captain has not got back yet but they expect him soon and their Lieutenant Ward has resigned and is coming home.
Summary :A Nov. 21, 1863, letter addressed from Washington, D.C., reports that he is well and enjoying good health and "that the 153rd are relieved from all duty expecting to leave every hour for some part but don't now at present."
Summary :A Dec. 23, 1863, letter addressed from Washington D.C. to Sister Deal, reports that he is in as good health as can be expected, that the weather is splendid, and "happy hollowdays." A postcript reports "that Miss Winnie has got the Smallpox and two of her children but they are getting along finely" and "a boy in our Co was taken away yesterday, he has got it two, his name is James Graham."
Summary :A Jan. 14, 1864, letter addressed from Washington, D.C., to Adelia Swarts, reports enjoying as good health as ever. Ed Wagoner (Wagner?) has started for home. Miss Winnie and her children are over the smallpox but James Graham died with it. He asks her to "ask Dan if that one thousand dollar bounty ain't tempting, it ain't the wright time of the year, all fish don't bite just yet."
Summary :A Mar. 10, 1864, letter addressed from Brandy Station, to My Dear Mary and written by James H. Stone of Co. E, 43rd New York State Volunteers, reports rainy weather and being lonely, monotony of camp life, and "that the only pleasure we have is talking over the good times that we have had" when his "mind allmost instantly flies back to your company." Their acquaintance, although only a short one, has left her image indelibly stamped in his memory. He finishes the letter by asking Mary to send him a picture and signs the letter "Jimmie."
Summary :A June 26, 1864, letter addressed from Morganza, La., reports beng in good health and fat as a hog. He inquires about a check sent home. They will stay for a while during the hot weather and "quiet a number dies every day around here with some disease of some kind, the general complaint is dierrehea chronick." "News of war flies around like hot-cakes, I think this fall will tell the story or never."
Summary :A July 13, 1864, letter addressed from Washington D.C. mentions an eight-day crossing of the Atlantic and that the Confederates have been trying to make a raid on Washington. They tore the railroad some and a caught a train of cars, the general opinion being it was done to draw Grant from Richmond. He again inquires about money sent home.
Located at the University of Virginia Library.

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 153rd (1862-1865). Veteran Reunion Association of the surving members of the 153d Reg't, New York State Volunteers. 1884.
Original located at Princeton University.

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 153rd (1862-1865). The 18th annual re-union of the 153d N.Y. Veteran Association, 1899 [Gloversville, N.Y.]: 1899.

Wakeman, Sarah Rosetta and Lauren Cook Burgess. An uncommon soldier : the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers. Pasadena, Md: The Minerva Center, 1994.

Walster, Fred.  The Fred Walster collection,1865.
Collection consists of one diary (leather bound, five inches by three inches and three-quarters of an inch thick). There are 411 pages with 312 entries, plus notes and cash accounts. The diary was written from January through December, 1865.
1 item (315 cubic in.)
Located at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Watson, Winslow C. The military and civil history of the county of Essex, New York : and a general survey of its physical geography, its mines and minerals, and industrial pursuits, embracing an account of the northern wilderness : and also the military annals of the fortresses of Crown Point and Ticonderoga. [Ithaca, NY] Cornell University Library Digital Collections, [1995].

 

 

Items in the museum collection are in bold.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: November 21, 2014
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/153rdInf/153rdInfMain.htm

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