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2nd New York
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
|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