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2nd New York Cavalry

Online Books:
2nd New York Cavalry Soldier Roster - Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York For the Year 1893, Volume 1     View the Entire Book

Regimental History
Second New York Cavalry. — Cols., J. Mansfield Davies, Judson Kilpatrick, Henry E. Davies, Jr., Otto Harhaus, Walter C. Hull, Alanson M. Randol; Lieut. -Cols., Judson Kilpatrick, Henry E. Davies, Jr., Otto Harhaus, Edwin M. Cook, Mortimer B. Birdseye; Majs., Henry E. Davies, Jr., Edwin F. Cook, Henry Grinton, Alfred N. Duffie, William H. Mallory, John E. Naylor, Walter Clark Hull, Otto Harhaus, Samuel McIrwin, Mortimer B. Birdseye, Joseph O'Keefe, William R. Mattison, John F. L. V. Danesi, Enos B. Parsons, Andrew S. Glover, William B. Shafer. This regiment was organized at Scarsdale in the summer of 1861 by Col. J. Mansfield Davies, under authority granted him by the war department on July 25. It was called the "Harris light cavalry," in honor of the Hon. Ira Harris, of Albany, then U. S. senator. It was mustered into the U. S. service from Aug. 9 to Oct. 8, 1861, for three years, being designated the 7th regiment of cavalry in the service of the United States, but when it was turned over to the state it was numbered the 2nd N. Y. volunteer cavalry. The 2nd was finely officered and became one of the most famous of the New York cavalry regiments. It was one of the three hundred fighting regiments mentioned by Col. Fox in his "Regimental Losses in the Civil War," and ranks eighth in the list of mounted regiments which lost the most men killed and fatally wounded in action during the war. Col. Hull was killed at Cedar creek, and Maj. O'Keefe met his death during the final campaign in 1865. The several companies of the 2nd were recruited from New York city, Long island, Rensselaer and Washington counties, with two from Hartford, Conn., three from Indiana, and one (partly) from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The eight companies raised in 1864, were recruited principally from Cortland and Onondaga counties and were enlisted for one year only. The term of service of the original members expired in Sept., 1864, and these were mustered out and returned home, except about 350 who remained in the field, composed of recruits and reenlisted veterans. They were consolidated into a battalion of four companies. A, B, C and D, and the eight companies raised in 1864 were united with the battalion, raising it again to a full regiment. The regiment left the state in Sept. and Oct., 1861, and originally served with McDowell's division, Army of the Potomac. While on Pope's campaign in Aug., 1862, the 2nd lost 11 killed, 19 wounded and 45 captured or missing, a total of 83. It again suffered heavily in June, 1863, while serving with the 2nd brigade, 2nd cavalry division (Gregg's), Army of the Potomac at Beverly ford, where its casualties were 39 killed, wounded and missing. In the cavalry action at Aldie, Va., the same month, it lost 50 in killed, wounded and missing; at Liberty mills in September, its casualties were 87 killed, wounded and missing, and at Buckland mills, in October it met with a loss of 59 killed, wounded and missing. As a part of Wilson's division, afterwards Custer's, it saw much hard service in 1863-64; it participated in Kilpatrick's daring raid in March, 1864, within the defenses of Richmond, when the regiment approached within a mile and a half of the city. Maj. Cook was captured at this time and put in irons. The regiment again lost heavily during Wilson's raid to the South Side and Danville rail-roads in June, 1864, when its casualties amounted to 47 killed, wounded and missing. The 2nd served with the cavalry in the Army of the Shenandoah from Oct., 1864, to March, 1865, and with the Army of the Potomac during the final campaign up to the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. The regiment was mustered out June 23, 1865, at Alexandria, Va. Three of its six colonels rose to high rank for conspicuous gallantry. Col. Kilpatrick became a bvt. major-general; Col. Henry E. Davies. Jr., rose to be a major-general, and Col. Randol was appointed bvt. brigadier-general. Six members of the regiment were awarded medals of honor by Congress, viz.: Lieut. James H. Gribben, Sergt. Ivers S. Calkins, Corps. Irvin C. Payne and John F. Benjamin, and Pvts. William I. Brewer and Frank Miller. The total enrollment of the regiment was 2,528, of whom 9 officers and 112 men were killed and died of wounds; 2 officers and 234 men died of disease, accidents, in prison, etc.; 20 officers and 226 were wounded and recovered; and 14 officers and 545 men were reported missing. The regiment served almost entirely in Virginia and Maryland and took part in about 175 battles and skirmishes. It was a credit to the state which sent it forth, and few regiments in the service displayed more conspicuous gallantry and efficiency.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 2

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