115th and 153rd Regiments N.Y. Vol. Infantry
Held at Amsterdam, N. Y.
The spirit of '76, and Washington and of '61-'65 and Lincoln, dominated the reunion of 1925. Could the millions of men and women who with the shout of the union forever, crushed the gigantic spector of secession, have been with us at the Co. C campfire on the evening of August 25 and the reunion of the surviving members and friends of the gallant Civil War regiments, the 115th and 153d, that left the camp of rendezvous at Fonda, N. Y., in August and September, 1862, they would have shouted well done, you are worthy successors of those gone before, but not forgotten. In furnishing the sinews of war Amsterdam did nobly, responding heartily to the request for funds, to the tune of a purse of $200, and with this, your treasurer carried through a reunion second to none of its predecessors. The smiling efficient mayor, Carl S. Salmon, and our gallant Irish orator, Fitz-James imbued with the spirit of his heroic celtic ancestors, carried the gathering by storm into a patriotic wave of enthusiasm seldom equalled. Then with Minch Brothers' orchestra, they the sons of a Lincoln veteran, and the inimitable Heath, who regaled the occasion with song as only he can give on an expectant gathering, this reunion passes into history as the leading historical pageant of 1925. Unfortunately the slum reporter of the county's leading newspaper, the Recorder, was unable to be present and its readers failed to get a report of this bright and pleasant Co. C campfire. Once, hundreds strong, this time represented "though ably" by its lone representative, Comrade Edward L. Deming of Syracuse. The setting and proceedings were ably carried through by Mrs. Theresa Schofield, president of the Sons of Veterans Relief Corps, assisted by her helpers, was a scream from start to finish, which ended with a fine collection of home made cake and ice cream. Comrade C. J. Kellogg, 153d, was the Charles Chaplin of the occasion with his smile that would not come off.
Wednesday, August 26, greeted the old boys with sunshine - a beautiful day. Your secretary was early at his desk to greet comrades, assisted by Comrade Demsey, to receive dues and label them with badge and flag decoration, applied by Mrs. James Fox of the Ladies' Relief Corps of Post Young. It should be noticed in passing that this organization is an adjunct of Post Young and under no obligation to function for our reunion association, but it was grand to note the way they came to the rescue, as reinforcements, to see us through. The War Veterans hall, which needed renovating, was taken in hand by the treasurer, Major DeGraff, and with cleaning, new shades, lighting system overhauled, new gas stove and eight foot kitchen table and profuse flag and bunting decorations, presented a splendid sight. From 8 to 10 a.m. visiting comrades and friends registered and exchanged greetings, then our president, Alfred J. Casler, called attention and the following business program was carried through: Invocation of our chaplin, A. S. Clark; union chorus, one verse of America, led by orchestra, all standing; address of welcome by Mayor Salmon; response by Ambrose P. Fitz-James; reading minutes of last reunion by secretary; roll call of comrades present, to which 19 answered present, as follows: Alfred Allen, Co. E. 115th; Edgar L. Deming, Co. C 115th; Major Nicholas J. DeGraff, Co. D 115th; George Bishop, ---, 153d, Eli Brooks, Co. P. 115th; Martin Wagner, --- 153d, Charles F. Waite, Co. l 115th; Lieut. Charles H. Marsellus, Co. K 115th; Wilbur Alpaugh, Co. B 115th; James H. Britton, Co. D 115th; Alfred J. Casler, Co. A 115th; John Klinkhart, --- 153d; C. J. Kellogg, --- 153d; Warren Stienberg, Co. H 115th; John S. Ancock, Co. A 153d; Oscar Lockwood, Co. D 115th; W. H. Suits, Co. E 115th; John L. Abeling, Co. F 153d; Bryon Lefler, Co. B 153d.
Veterans of other regiments present: Thomas H. O'Neil, 88th Ill.; Charles W. Deming, 26th N. Y.; George Reynolds, 177th N. Y.; Isaac Cohen, 10th N. Y.; Irving Eaton, 30th N. Y.; John R. Howell, 14th N. Y. H. A.; Aaron Terwilliger, 143 N. Y.; John S. Maxwell, U. S. N.; M. J. Hayes, 96th N. Y.; M. W. Face, 7th N. Y. H. A.; William Campbell, 196th Penn.; Henry Bennett, 125th N. Y.
Whole amount of dues paid, $69.00. $22.50 by mail from absent comrades and friends. Number of veterans and friends who paid 50¢ dues, 66. Eighteen paid $1.00 or more. One hundred and fifty enjoyed a $1.00 dinner, smoked Peter Schuyler cigars, and were entertained by a first class orchestra with continuous service. Your treasurer raised by subscription $200.
The Women's Relief Corps of Post E. S. Young, Mrs. Ludina Kelley, president, prepared without any compensation and served the exceptional fine dinner, and have our most hearty thanks.
MAJOR J. DE GRAFF
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COMPANY C CAMPFIRE
Mrs. Theresa Schofield, president of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Sons of Veterans' Corps, makes report of the 115th Regiment Co. C campfire, celebrated in War Veterans' hall, Amsterdam, N. Y., on the evening of August 25, 1925:
The setting for this occasion was strikingly interesting and beautiful. Minch Brothers' famed and excellent orchestra, thrilled the assembled audience with strains of choicest selections. The Auxiliary conducted the exercises and an excellent program. led by its president, Mrs. Theresa Schofield, was introduced as follows: Selection of orchestra; the opening ritual of the Auxiliary, with its beautiful flag salute was heartily acclaimed, all standing; invocation by Rev. Galbraith: one verse of "America", led by orchestra. Mayor Salmon brightened the occasion with his presence and cooperation in a pleasing address. Comrade John S. Maxwell followed adding lustre to the fire. The lone, but "live wire" member of Co. C, Comrade E. L . Deming, whooped it up for the old boys present. Past Department Ladies' of the G. A. R., Mrs. Sterling, followed with the eulogy to the soldier boys of '61. Solo by Mrs. Harriet Swart, with piano accompaniment by Mrs. Helen Lepper. Comrade Thomas O'Neil, 88th Ill., regaled the occasion with warm reminiscences of secession days. Medley of civil war days by orchestra. Solo by the versatile and only William D. Heath. Recitation, "Old Glory", by Miss L. Kimball,. Solo Mrs. Dorothy Thompson, orchestra accompaniment. Selections by orchestra, followed by pleasing and patriotic address by Ambrose P. Fitz-James, which was heartily applauded. Then followed addresses by Mrs. Nellie Carnwright, Mrs. Winnie Steiner and Mrs. Susie Smith, all of Schenectady, amid hearty applause. Solo by Mrs. Swart and remarks by Mrs. Brown, president of the Spanish War Veterans' Auxiliary. Congratulatory remarks by Rev. Alva E. Knapp, division chaplain of the Sons of Veterans, closed the exercises.
Ladies of auxiliary followed with collation of home made cake and ice cream, with orchestra selection. The campfire closing with one verse of "The Star Spangled Banner", and benediction by Rev. Knapp.
THERESA SCHOFIELD, President
Son of Veterans' Auxiliary, No. 56.
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VETERANS OF TWO REGIMENTS OF CIVIL WAR IN REUNION
"I hope and trust that before you shall assemble here for another annual reunion, the government will have done something substantial for you in the way of an adequate financial recognition of the services you rendered in the hour of need. Twenty years ago, ten years ago, and one year ago today, you gathered in Amsterdam. Those whom I saw last year and see again today, appear younger than they did before. You survivors oft he 155th and 153d regiments seem to have attained that which Ponce De Leon and the Spanish crusaders of old sought in vain - perennial youth. I congratulate you."
This was the concluding portion of the address August 25 by Corporation Counsel Fitz-James, to the gathering of the member of the 115th and 153rd regiments, New York Volunteers, of the Civil war, assembled in their 45th reunion in the War Veterans hall on Bridge street. The reunion was one of the most enjoyable held for some years, and was featured by several events of considerable importance to those concerned. A women's auxiliary was formed for the organization of the two regiments , for the sole purpose pf working during the year to raise money to pay the expenses of the annual reunion, thus saving the veterans the time and trouble. A vote was taken that Major N. J. DeGraff be presented with a gold badge in recognition of his services as secretary and treasurer to the organization for the past 35 years. Edward W. Harbinson of Schenectady, department senior commander of the state G. A. R. was present. There were delegations of the women's auxiliaries and the Sons of Veterans from Amsterdam and several neighboring cities, and the entire affair was marked by attendance and the spirit that might well have done credit to a similar affair of 30 years ago.
The reunion proper occurred August 26, but Tuesday night, August 25, a campfire was held in the hall which was fully as enjoyable, although not so largely attended. Major Salmon and the corporation counsel were the principal speakers on this occasion. There was a concert by Minch's orchestra, and songs, recitations and brief addresses by a large number of those attending.
The reunion this morning was opened shortly after 10 o'clock with the president, A. J. Castler of Amsterdam, presiding. The invocation was pronounced by Chaplain Clark, and was followed by "America", sung by all. Major Salmon delivered an address of welcome. He recalled the fact that last year Amsterdam was chosen as the place in which all the future reunions will be held. The speaker said that as mayor he was glad of this, and was further glad because it showed that Amsterdam had been noted as a city of progress; a place where such men as the assembly before him felt that they liked to be.
"I hope" continued the mayor, "that you are finding the people of the city are extending to you the hospitality that you deserve for what you gave in the time of need. In behalf of the city I welcome you. I hope that your stay with us will be pleasant, and that what business you may transact will be far reaching, and instrumental in bringing to you those things that you wish. Come to me when you want anything that is on my power to grant, and I will do what I can, not only on reunion day, but on the other 364 days of the year."
Corporation Counsel Fitz-James spoke next. After a few light pleasantries he said that the youth of today appear to have no real understanding of what the veterans of the Civil war did. The young man about to enter some athletic competition today, has a period of preparation, days of training. Such training was unknown to you men about to enter actual battle. Some of the Civil war veterans had enlisted, entered the field and died in a far less period of time that was given to the soldiers of the world war simply to prepare them for battle.
Further talk by the corporation counsel related to the results of the Civil war, its purposes and the far reaching effect the preservation of the union by the struggle of '61 to '65, had upon the World war. He concluded by expressing the hope that soon the government would recognize the services of the G. A. R. by an adequate pension.
Major DeGraff read the minutes of last year's meeting, which was followed by roll call. Mrs. Catherine Schaffer of Schenectady next proposed the auxiliary to the regimental organization, for the purpose of having money for expenses all ready at the end of each annual gathering. The membership will be from all the women's auxiliaries to the G. A. R. A few meetings will be had during the year to report progress. Money will be raised in any manner desired by the members of the auxiliary working individually, or by the concerted efforts of the body as a whole. Officers were elected as follows: Catherine Schaffer, Schenectady, president; Elizabeth Bates, Hoffmans, senior vice-president; Laura Brown, Amsterdam, junior vice-president; Rose Hare, Amsterdam, chaplain; Ella Falardo, Amsterdam, treasurer; Anna Jones, Amsterdam, secretary.
Major DeGraff expressed his appreciation of the auxiliary and its purpose and announced he had $200 contributed by Amsterdam citizens to go towards the expenses of the reunion this year.
The following were then elected officers of the organization of the veterans, all of the 153d regiment: Oscar Lockwood, Canajoharie, president; P. J. Kellogg, Schenectady, first vice-president, Edgar L. Deming, Syracuse, second vice-president. Major DeGraff of this city was re-elected secretary-treasurer.
The list of comrades who died since the last
reunion was read as follows: 115th regiment - John Van Deusen,
Gloversville, Co. A.; George B. Blowers, Mayfield, Co. A.; Kelly S. Tullock,
Fort Plain, Co. D.; Alexander A. Lee, Schenectady, Co. G.; Lieutenant James h.
Clark, Half Moon, N. Y., Co. H.; Lieutenant John J. Ashman, Mechanicville, Co.
I.; Eli Smith, Johnstown, Co. K.; John W. Hagadone, Johnstown, Co. I.; Job J.
Farlow, Pittsfield Mass., Co. B.; George H. Skyne, Glens Falls, Co. G.; William
W. Locke, Co. D.
Reports of the finance committee showed that there was sufficient funds on hand to defray all expenses this year and leave something to start for next year. In order that a beginning be well assured a number of the women who will be members of the newly organized auxiliary contributed, the sum given being started at a dollar in recognition of the fact that August 26 was Dollar Day in Amsterdam.
An original poem was read by Major DeGraff, written Chaplain Clark, in memory of his brother, Lieutenant Clark, one of those who passed away during the year. Major DeGraff sang several war time songs and music of their day was stirred by the major's renditions. Remarks were heard by Commander Harbinson of Schenectady, and the interval that elapsed between the conclusion of the business session and the serving of dinner was passed in all sorts of informal pleasures, many of the visitors walking about the business sections and making themselves at home generally. The dinner was served at 1 o'clock and the late afternoon was given over to the usual campfire gathering. The next meeting will be held in Amsterdam, August 26, 1926.
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COLORS OF THE 115TH REGIMENT, N. Y. VOLS.
This regiment was recruited in the counties of Saratoga, Fulton, and Montgomery and took part in the following engagements: Maryland Heights, Va., September 13, 1862; Bolivar Heights, Va., September 14, 1862; Harper's Ferry, Va., September 15, 1862; West Point, Va., January 8, 1862; Jacksonville, Fla., February 7, 1864; Camp Finegan, Fla., February 8, 1864; Baldwin, Fla., February 9, 1864; Sanderson, Fla., February 11, 1864; Callahan Station, Fla., February 14-16, 1864; Olustee, Fla., February 20, 1864; Pilatka, Fla., March 10, 1864; Bermuda Hundreds, Va., May 5, 1864; Chesterfield Heights, Va., May 7, 1864; Old Church, Va., May 9, 1864; Weir Bottom Church, Va., May 13, 1864; Drury's Bluff, Va., May 14, 1864; Proctor's Creek, Va., May 16, 1864; Port Walthall Junction, Va., May 16, 1864; Coal Harbor, Va., June 1-12, 1864; Petersburg, Va., June 15-19; Trenches before Petersburg, Va., June 20 to July 31, 1864; Mine Explosion, Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864; Strawberry Plains, Va., August 16-18, 1864; Bermuda Heights, Va., August 24-25, 1864; New Market Heights, Va., September 28-30, 1864; Darbytown Road, Va., October 7, 1864; Fair Oaks, Va., October 27, 1864; Fort Fisher, N. C., December 25, 1864; Fort Fisher, N. C., January 15, 1865; Fort Anderson N. C., February 19, 1865; Sugar Loaf Batteries, N. C., February 20, 1865; Wilmington, N. C., February 22, 1865; Mustered into service August 26, 1862; mustered out of service June 17, 1865.
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THE G. A. R.
The World War has made all other wars ancient history; and weighted with years, the few survivors of our war to preserve the Union have largely withdrawn from the turmoil and activities of life. Yet while the last of them live it must not be forgotten that they fought what was the greatest war of their times, the great Civil war of history, and by unifying the Nation made possible the equally glorious achievements of the manhood of this generation on foreign fields.
The Grand Army of the Republic fought more valourously for conscience's sake, for human liberty, for high ideals than any equal body of men who had ever left their homes and families and farms to battle for principle and the eternal right. Their losses were greater, their hardships greater- for surgery could do less for them in those days - and their service lasted longer than that of the legions we have since then sent abroad. These did their full part in shaping the destiny of the world, but on our Civil War soldiers the whole burden of the destiny of this hemisphere devolved. They made it American now and forever, as far as can be seen. They filled the world of their day with the glory of their sacrifices and achievements, and when they were mustered out after the Appomattox, the Old World knew that we had 1,000,000 disciplined veterans ready to march again, and our President had only to hint that we objected to foreign attempt to set up a monarchy in Mexico, and France and Austria lost no time in sailing away. Had our fighters of that war failed us, we should be two or three nations now; and the two Americas would be spotted with foreign flags.
Our veterans of 1861 did their part superbly. Many of them were inheritors of family traditions to valor in our wars of 1840, 1812 and 1776. As a rule, also, they were men whose birth and training led them to set high value on the homely virtues and general rectitude of life; and when they melted back into population, a host of them became the foremost citizens of their States and times.
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THEN AND NOW
From 1861 to 1864 the soldiers of the Union army received $13 a month in a constantly depreciating currency. By May 1, 1864, the value of the greenback, in which they were paid, had approximately only half its face value in gold. Yet there was no complaint whatever among the soldiers as to this. All accepted their pay cheerfully as part of the hardships and privations that they were to endure for their country. Those who were married sent their meager stipend home when they could get it - once in three months, six months, or a year, as the case might be - with a sigh, to think, how short a distance it would go to the dear little wife in providing for herself and child or children. The sacrifices that these men and women every year the war lasted would far exceed the amount that the Government will pay the survivors during the remaining years.
Today the soldier who goes to the front gets $40 a month, with a liberal provision for insurance for any disability he may incur, and this is paid in good United States dollars, worth 100 cents each everywhere in the world. In the civil war the widows of those who were killed got $8 a month, given under the most stringent and humiliating requirements. If the widow could support herself in any way, she was denied a pension. Today, the widow gets at once, without regard to her financial circumstance, a pension not exceeding $50 a month, or six times that what the widow of 1861-'65 received, and this is given to her as her absolute right, without question or prejudice.
The soldiers of 1861-'65 suffered all manner of hardships from the inability of the government to properly clothe and feed them. They went without pay for many months; their clothes wore out and were not replaced; rations were of the coarsest and frequently cut down to the lowest point; hospital attendance was inadequate, and wherever the soldier turned he met deficiencies, privations and lack of what he should have had. On the other hand all the ingenuity of the Government and of the people is energetically helping to provide our soldiers with the best of food, the best of hospital accommodations, the best of uniforms, and all that he should have.
These are facts that are now forgotten, but we cannot bring them up too often, nor insist upon them too strongly to emphasize the debt which the Government owes the men of 1861-'65 in their old age and want. It is right to give the soldiers of today everything that money, science and forethought can contribute for their comfort, but it is absolutely as right to remember what the soldiers of 1861-'65 suffered from that lack of everything and what they much need today, when they have no longer the physical ability to provide their own comforts and subsistence.
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'TWAS SIXTY YEARS AGO
An original poem written for this occasion by the chaplain of the veterans, the Rev. A. S. Clark of Round Lake, was read by him during the afternoon program. It Follows:
"They give you boys the old flag dear, The time you marched away,
"You all were young and strong in heart, And ready boys to do
"Ah, great souls then were in demand, for hands of foes had riven
"That precious ensign pierced and torn, Had kissed the Southland's sod;
"The city of Liberty was heard, To arms from shore to shore
"You took the flag like men of old, Then with love's fond good-bye
"Midst blood and death; midst battle's roar, That rocked our land afar,
"How shine the names on glory's page! What deeds of courage done!
"Who could recall each field of blood, Where sons and brothers fell?
"That flag you bore so long ago, Is floating in the breeze,
"One land, one flag, one destiny, A nation bound together,
"Your locks are gray; your steps are slow, But still for truth and right,
"Soon, soon like comrades gone before, You'll hear the bugle call -
"When that hour comes, boys of the blue, And you must cross the bar,
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MUSTER IN ROLL OF CO. D., 115th REGT., N.Y. V. I.
Sworn in at Fonda, N. Y., August 26, 1862
Sidney D. Lingenfelter, captain, Fonda, N. Y.
Sworn in by Captain W. G. Edgerton, U. S. mustering officer, at Fonda, N. Y., August 26, 1862.
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Written and read by special request of committee at the annual community memorial, Crescent M. E. Church, June 7, 1925, in memory of his brother, Lieutenant James H. Clark, 115th Reg. Civil War Volunteers, who died March 4, 1925, by Rev. A. S. Clark.
'Twas Sabbath Day, no time more dear, To him who seems tonight so near,
For four score years from childhood's morn, One noble record he had borne-
A faithful friend, a neighbor dear, Ready another's load to share -
A man of peace, he hated war; Yet, when our land imperiled sore
We'll ne'er forget that war-time night - When some were called to stand for right
All young, in beauty's years, the pride, Of home and country, side by side,
Behold our banner floating high, In the soft breezes of the sky
Among the honored of that band, Who hurried forth to save their land,
As lovers of our country all, O hear ye not the bugle call In new ennobling fight?
Goodbye! fond brother, comrade, friend, Though ties most sacred here must end,
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COLORS of the ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH
1. National color. silk; no staff; much worn and tattered; three-fifths gone; lower third union wanting, lower half and end of stripes gone.
2. Regimental color, silk; no staff; rent in center; torn from side to side; eagle and shield
in center with National motto in scroll beneath, and thirty-four stars in field above. It bears the inscription, "115
N. Y. Vol. Regiment, Infantry," in scroll.
The National color (No.1) was presented to the regiment by the ladies of the fifteenth Senatorial District, August 20,
1862. The regimental color (No. 2) was presented by the state authorities while the regiment was organizing at Camp Fonda,
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ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH REGIMENT OF INFANTRY
Colonel Simeon Sammons received authority, July 19, 1862, to recruit this regiment in the counties of Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery and Saratoga, with headquarters at Fonda, where it was organized, and August 26, 1862, mustered into service of the United States for three years. The men not be mustered out with the regiment (301) and a few officers were transferred to the 47th Infantry June 17, 1865.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Fonda, Mohawk, Glen, Palatine, Root and Canajoharie; C at Milton, Galway, Edinburgh, Clifton Park, Northumberland, Day, Greenfield, Malta and Ballston; D at Amsterdam, Charleston, Florida and Mohawk; E at Johnstown, Mayfield, Northampton, Oppenheim, Ephratah and Stratford; F at Saratoga, Wilton, Moreau, Greenfield, Corinth, Northumberland and Hadley; G at Saratoga, Moreau, Greenfield, Corinth, Amsterdam, Charlton, Fonda and Hadley; H at Halfmoon, Clifton Park, Stillwater, Minden, Waterford and Amsterdam; I at Canajoharie, Fonda, Charlton, Malta, Ballston, Milton, St. Johnsville and Providence; K at Caroga, Broadalbin, Wells, Johnstown, Mohawk, Amsterdam, Ephratah, Glen and Palatine.
The regiment left the state August 30, 1862; served at and near Sandy Hook, Md., in the 8th Corps, from September 1, 1862; at Harper's Ferry, W. Va., where it was surrendered, from September 4, 1862; at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., from September 28, 1862; in Casey's Division, defenses of Washington, D. C., from November 24, 1862; at Hunter's Creek, Va., from December 12, 1862; at Yorktown and Gloucester, Va., in Busteed's Brigade, 4th Corps, from December 2[6 or 8], 1862, at Port Royal and Hilton head, S. C., Department of the South, Terry's Brigade, 10th Corps, from January 26, 1863; at Beaufort, S. C., in Saxton's Brigade, 10th Corps, from June, 1863; at Hilton Head, S. C. from December, 1863; in Barton's Brigade, Seymour's Division, 10th Corps, District of Florida, from January, 1864; in District of Florida, from February, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 10th Corps, Army of the James, from April, 1864; in 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 18th Corps, from May 30, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 10th Corps, from June 15, 1864; in 3d Brigade, same division and corps, from July 26, 1864; in same brigade and division, 24th Corps, from December, 1864; in Provisional Corps, from March 1865; in 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 10th Corps, from April 2, 1865; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, commanded by Col. Nathan J, Johnson, June 17, 1865, at Raleigh, N. C.
During its service, the regiment loss by death, killed in action: 5 officers, 17 enlisted men; of wounds received in action: 2 officers, 55 enlisted men; of disease and other causes: 191 enlisted men; total: 7 officers, 323 enlisted men aggregate, 330; of whom 54 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy; by the explosion of the magazine at Fort Fisher, N. C., January 16, 1865, 10 enlisted men were killed.
Officers of the Regiment
COMPANY I - CAPTAINS
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