History of Oneida County New York (Excerpt from)
1667-1878 by Samuel Durant

Information submitted by Laura Perkins, in tribute to her
great great grandfather, John Hess, Company H, of the 146th Infantry.

Pictures of the 14th and 97th  Regimental Flags

 Oneida County performed well her part during the struggle of four years to prevent the dissolution of the union of States, and from the first alarm was up and ready for any emergency.  It is estimated that she furnished ten thousand men for the Union army during the war, and as their history shows, they everywhere covered themselves with glory.  Five regiments were organized almost entirely in the county, and many others had representatives from it.

The following information, on 5 Oneida County regiments, was obtained from the History of Oneida County New York, 1667-1878 by Samuel Durant, printed by Everts & Faress in 1878 and NY in The War of The Rebellion 1861-1865, by Frederick Phisterer, 1909:


 This regiment was the first raised in the county, and was familiarly known as the “lst Oneida.”  It was organized at Albany, New York, to serve two years, and was mustered into the United States service May 17, 1861, under the command of Col James McQuade.  Among the engagements in which it took an active part were Gaines’ Mills, Hanover Court-House, Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville, all of them bloody affrays.  The regiment suffered quite severely during its term of service.  It was mustered out at the expiration of the time for which it enlisted, May 24, 1863.
 The companies were recruited principally:  A – Utica Citizens’ Corps – B, C and E,  at Utica;  F at Boonville, Forestort and Port Leyden;  G at Rome;  H at Syracuse;  I at Lowville; and  K at Hudson.

“SECOND Oneida”

 This regiment was organized at Elmira, N.Y., under Col. William H. Christian, for two years’ service, and was mustered in May 21, 1861,and was known as the “2nd Oneida.”  This regiment also suffered severely during its two years of service, and the names of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg bring to its surviving members’ vivid recollections of the bloody days of war.  The 26th was mustered out May 28, 1863, at the expiration of its term of service.  The companies were recruited:  A, B, C and E at Utica;  D at Hamilton;  F at Whitestown;  G and H – originally intended for the 13th Regiment – at Rochester;  I at Oriskany;  and K at Candor. The men principally came from the counties of Madison, Monroe, Oneida and Tioga, with a few from Chenango, Herkimer and Seneca counties.

 The 97th Regiment, New York Volunteer’s, was organized in Boonville (Oneida Co., N.Y.), under Col. Charles Wheelock, authorization dated Sept. 13, 1861, and was also known as the “Conkling Rifles”.  The companies were mainly raised as follows:  Company A and C in Boonville;  B in Lewis County;  D and  F in Salisbury;  E in Prospect and vicinity;  G in Herkimer County;  H in Utica and Lowville;  I in Little Falls;  and K in Rome. It was mustered into service at Boonville, Feb 18, 1862.
 The 97th Regiment colors have been preserved, and have inscribed upon them the following list of engagements in which the regiment participated, viz:  Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock, Thoroughfare Gap, second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, Raccoon Ford, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Bethesda Church, White Oak Swamp, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Hicksford, Hatcher’s Run, Quaker Road, White Oak Road, Five Forks, Appomattox Court-House, and Lee’s Surrender.  It acquitted itself nobly throughout its entire service, and suffered severely from the casualties of war.  It was mustered out July 18, 1865, in accordance with orders from the War Department.

“Fourth Oneida Regiment”

 Colonel W. R. Pease received authority, July 19, 1862, to recruit this regiment in Oneida county; organized at Rome, and mustered in for three years on August 8 to 16, 1862.  The men not to be mustered out with the regiment were transferred, June 8, 1865, to the 48th Infantry.
 The companies were recruited principally:  A  at Rome, Utica, and Vernon;  B  at Utica, Camden, Verona and Vienna;  C  at  Utica, Westmoreland, Rome and Bridgewater;  D  at  Whitestown, Sangerfield, Utica, Vienna and New Hartford;  E  at  Rome;  F  at Oriskany, Trenton, Utica, Floyd, Rome, Steuben, and Deerfield;  G  at Rome, Clayville, Paris and Utica;  H  at Utica, Vienna, Rome, and Camden;  I  at Rome, Boonville, Ava, Utica, Western and Clayville;  and K  at Clinton Remsen, Augusta, Boonville, Deansville, Marshall and Vernon.  The regiment was mustered out, under Col. Rufus Daggett, on June 8, 1865, at Raleigh, N.C.
 Some of the engagements the 117th participated in were as follows: Siege of Battery Wagner, S.C. – August 1863; Bombardment of Fort Sumter, S.C. – August 1863; Drewry’s Bluff, VA, -  May 1864;  Bermuda Hundred, Va, – May 1864;  Cold Harbor, Va,  June 1864;  Chaffin’s Farm, VA – September 29, 1864;  Darbytown Road, Va – October 27, 1864;  Fort Fisher, N.C. – December 25, 1864 & January 15, 1865;  Capture of Wilmington, N.C., -  February 1865.
 Col. Pease spoke of the 117th as being “the finest body of men he ever saw.”  As a fighting regiment its qualities were well tested, and they never failed to come up to the standard.


More photographs of the 146th NY in full "Zouave" uniform

A reprint of the Regimental History of the 146th NY, "Campaigns of the 146th Regiment New York State Volunteers, by Mary Genevie Green Brainard, is now available.  This book has 155 new photographs and
biographical sketches.  For more information on the book and how to order, visit the author, Patrick Schroeder's website at:   http://www.civilwar-books.com/index2.htm

Colonel Kenner Garrard, Commander of the 146th NY

The 146th was organized in Rome, August 1862, under the command of Colonel Kenner Garrard, and mustered into service October 10,1862, originally known as “Halleck Infantry,” in honor of Major-General Henry W. Halleck, who was born in Westernville, Oneida County.  The regiment called themselves “Garrard’s Tigers as a tribute to Col. Kenner Garrard, a West Point graduate, who was known for his strict discipline.
 The companies were recruited primarily from:  A – Utica;  B – Vernon, Rome, and Annsville;  C – Utica and Rome;  D – Boonville, Hawkinsville, Rome, and Whitestown;  E – Camden, Augusta, Rome, Utica, and Marshall;  F – Utica, Lee, Rome, Florence, Annsville, Ava, Marcy and Whitestown;  G – Clinton, Kirkland, Bridgewater, and Plainfield;  H – Utica, Rome, and Sangerfield;  I – Trenton, Remsen, Western, Westmoreland, Steuben, Lowell, Rome, Vernon and Verona;  and K – Paris, Clayville, Utica, Marcy, Clinton, Deansville, Marshall and Whitesboro.
 After leaving the area with approximately 800 men, the 146th went into camp at Arlington Heights, Va. and then in November joined the Army of the Potomac, assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, Fifth Corps, under the command of General Meade. In May and June 1863, the 146th was strengthened with the transfers from the 5th New York Duryea Zouaves, the 17th NewYork D’Epeneuil Zouaves, and the 44th NY, which may have influenced their choice of the Zouave uniform in June 1863. The Zouave uniform closely resembled the one worn by the French Tirailleur Algerien (Turco) Zouave’s.  It was light blue, with baggy trousers, jackets with yellow trim, a red fez with a tassel in the back, and a long red sash that was wrapped around the waist.
The following, is the list of battles in which the 146th Regiment participated in, and by order of the War Department, were allowed to be inscribed upon its banners:
1. Fredericksburg,
2. Chancellorsville
3. Gettysburg
4. Rappahannock Station
5. Bristow Station
6. Mine Run
7. Williamsport
8. Wapping Heights
9. Wilderness
10. Spottsylvania
11. Laurel Hill
12. North Anna
13. Tolopotomy
14. Bethesda Church
15. Petersburg
16. Weldon Railroad
17. Chappel House
18. Hatcher’s Run, November 1 and 2
19. Hicksford
20. White-Oak Road
21. Five Forks
22. Appomattox Court-House (Lee’s Surrender)

  The 146th fought bravely at the battle of Gettysburg on July 2nd and defended their position on Little Round Top, alongside the 140th NY and the 91st and the 155th Pennsylvania Regiments, and held it during the entire engagement against Confederate forces, with both sides suffering heavy losses. Among those killed were Brigadier General Stephen Weed, commander of the Brigade, Colonel Patrick O’Rorke of the 140th NY, and Captain Hazlett, commander of Battery D, 5th US Artillery.  As a result of their deaths, command was given to Colonel Garrard, and for his gallant conduct, he was commissioned Brigadier General.  Colonel David Jenkins then took command of the regiment until his death at the battle of the Wilderness, whereupon the command fell to Colonel James Grindlay, who held command until the close of the war.
 In the spring of 1864, when the First and Fifth Corps were consolidated, the 146th was then in the First Brigade, Second Division, Fifth Corps, with General Ayres commanding.
  On May 5, 1864, at the battle of the Wilderness, the 146th NY suffered almost total annihilation. Charging onto an open clearing, known as Saunders Field, a fierce and deadly battle ensued. Rebel muskets fired rapidly and with deadly aim, as the soldiers crossed a small ravine. The 146th was part of the second line formation, to the right of the Orange Turnpike, alongside the 91st and 155th Pennsylvanian’s. In front of their line were the 140th NY and several battalions of US Regulars. As they advanced to the woods, thick with underbrush and creeping vines, smoke so thick, that it was almost impossible to see. In the confusion, they found themselves flanked on all sides by rebel soldiers. At the end of this battle, nearly 400 men were killed, wounded, and prisoners out of over 600 men. Of those who were captured, most found themselves in Southern prisons including the infamous Andersonville.
The regiment was complimented in general orders for distinguished gallantry at Laurel Hill, Cold Harbor, and at Hatcher’s Run.  At the battle of Five Forks, the 146th seized the works in front of it, securing three times its own number in prisoners and for the capture of battle flags, Medals of Honor were given to the following individuals:

GRINDLAY, JAMES G., Colonel, 146th New York Infantry,
The first to enter the enemy's works, where he captured 2 flags.

MURPHY, THOMAS J.,  First Sergeant, Company G, 146th New York Infantry
Capture of flag.

EDWARDS, DAVID, Private, Company H, 146th New York Infantry,
Capture of flag.

 The regiment lost 7 officers killed in battle, two by disease, five by resignation due to wounds received, and one by transfer; 16 of its officers and 525 enlisted men wounded in battle; 162 of enlisted men were killed in battle; 105 died of disease; 550 were discharged for wounds and disability; 324 were transferred;  and 427 mustered out of service at the close of the war.
The 146th New York Infantry was mustered out July 16, 1865, near Washington, D.C., and its long and arduous service brought to an honorable close.

 The following letter was received from a former brigade commander, Brevet Major-General Ayres.
    Headquarters Third Division Provisional Corps,
July 15, 1865
Colonel James Grindlay, Officers and Men of the 146th New York Volunteers:
 As our official relations are about to terminate, I take the occasion to express to you my deep regret, therefor, though rejoicing in its cause.
 During the two years that your regiment has served in my command, and the many battles it has participated in, I have ever felt entire confidence in its discipline and gallantry.  I have never called upon it save to see the duty assigned, nobly performed.
 I believe there is not a more distinguished regiment than yours.
  Gallantly have you borne those torn and tattered banners.  Defiantly have you shaken them in the very jaws of death, and triumphantly waved them on fields of victory.
 Well assured that in your reception on returning home will be evinced the deep gratitude of an admiring people, and with my best wishes for your welfare and happiness, I remain sincerely your friend,
     (Signed) R. B. Ayres
      Brevet Major-General Commanding
 KENNER GARRARD, from October 10, 1862, to July 23, 1863
 DAVID T. JENKINS, from July 23, 1863 to May 5, 1864
 JAMES G. GRINDLAY, from March 1, to July 16, 1865

Lieutenant – Colonels:
DAVID T. JENKINS, from October 11, 1862 to July 23, 1863
JESSE J. ARMSTRONG, from October 23, 1863 to April 1, 1864
JAMES G. GRINDLAY, from January 1 to March 1, 1865
PETER C. CLAESGENS, from April 1, to July 16, 1865
 DAVID T. JENKINS, from September 17 to October 11, 1862
 WILLIAM S. CORNING, from October 11, 1862 to September 23, 1863
 HENRY HASTINGS CURRAN, from November 1, 1863 to May 5, 1864
 JAMES G. GRINDLAY, from June 8, 1864 to January 1, 1865
 PETER C. CLAESGENS, from January 1 to April 1, 1865
 ISAAC P. POWELL, from March 30 to July 16, 1865

DAVID T. JENKINS, from August 18 to September 17, 1862

Copyright©1998 / 2000
Laura Perkins
Photograph, Col. Garrard, from the book, "Campaigns of The 146th Regiment New York State Volunteers," by Mary Genevie Green Brainard, 1915.