Unit History – 79th New York Infantry

14 03 2022

Cols., J. C. Cameron, Isaac I. Stevens, Addison Farnsworth , David Morrison; Lieut.-Cols., David Morrison, John Morse, Henry G. Heffron; Majs., Francis L. Hagadorn, William St. George Elliott, John More, William Simpson, Andrew D. Baird. This regiment, called the Highlanders, was the original 79th militia and was composed mainly of Scotchmen. It was mustered into the service of the United States at New York city, for a three years’ term, May 29, 1861, and left for Washington on June 2. It was stationed in the vicinity of Washington until the movement of the army to Manassas, when it was assigned to the 3d brigade, 1st division, Army of Northeastern Virginia and participated in the battle of Bull Run. This, the first battle of the regiment, was a severe initiation, for the command lost 198 in killed, wound ed and missing, Col. Cameron being mortally wounded. During September the regiment was posted near Lewinsville, Va., where it several times encountered the enemy and was engaged in a sharp skirmish at Bailey’s cross – roads. On Oct. 21, the 79th was attached to the 2nd brigade of Sherman’s expeditionary corps, with which it embarked for Hilton Head, S. C., and served in that vicinity until June, 1862. It shared in the gallant attack of Stevens’ division, at Secessionville, losing 110 out of 474 engaged. In July, the troops returned to Virginia and shared in Gen. Pope’s campaign, with the 3d brigade, 1st division, 9th corps, losing 105 killed, wounded or missing during the engagements near Manassas. At Chantilly, Gen. Stevens, former colonel of the 79th, was killed. The regiment was active at South mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, but was not closely engaged in the last named battle. It shared the discomforts of Burnside’s “Mud March,” returned to camp at Falmouth, and moved west with the 9th corps, to join Gen. Grant’s forces before Vicksburg. The regiment took part in the siege and in the pursuit to Jackson. It then fought at Blue Springs, at Camp bell’s station, Tenn., and aided in the defense of Knoxville. The men bore uncomplainingly the hardships of the return of the 9th corps across the mountains to Virginia and in May, Cos. A and B were transferred to the 18th corps. The regiment shared the opening battles of the Wilderness campaign and was mustered out at the expiration of its term of enlistment, May 31, 1864. The veterans and recruits served as provost guard at corps headquarters and were reinforced in the autumn of 1864 by the addition of several companies of new recruits. This battalion served before Peters burg until the fall of the city and was mustered out at Alexandria, Va., July 14, 1865. The total enrollment of the regiment was 1,385, exclusive of the battalion organized in 1864, and it lost during serv ice 116 by death from wounds and 83 from other causes. Its record is one of unfailing heroism and devotion to the cause for which it fought and it is ranked by Col. Fox among the “three hundred fighting regiments.”

From The Union Army, Vol. 2, pp. 108-109



One response

15 03 2022
Chris Van Blargan

I vaguely remembered the 79th being accused of mutuny early in its career.


Liked by 1 person

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