“The Orange Blossoms”

The 124th New York Volunteer Infantry was formed from volunteers in Orange County, New York, giving it its nickname. It lost 11 officers and 137 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 1 officer and 92 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.

The regiment is honored by two monuments at Gettysburg.

1862
Organized at Goshen
September 5 Mustered in under Colonel A. Van Horne Ellis, Lt. Colonel Francis M. Cummins and Major James Cromwell
September 6 Left State for Washington, D.C.
September Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C. attached to Piatt’s Brigade, Whipple’s Division, 3rd Army Corps
October 18-19 Moved to Point of Rocks, then to Pleasant Valley, Md. attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
October 24-
November 16
Movement toward Warrenton, Va.
November 5-6 Reconnaissance to Manassas Gap
November 18-24 Movement to Falmouth, Va.,
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg

Four enlisted men captured or missing

December 16 Duty near Falmouth
1863
January 20-24 “Mud March”
February-April Duty near Falmouth
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
April Colonel Ellis issued orange ribbons to the men to be worn in combat. This would remind them of their home in Orange County they were fighting for, help identify the men of the regiment to each other during the coming battle, and would result in their nickname of the Orange Blossoms.
May 1-5
Battle of Chancellorsville

The regiment lost Lieutenant Henry Gowdy, 1 other oficer and 55 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Captains David Christ, Henry Murray and Charles Weygant, Lieutenants William Brownson, Thomas Quick, Theodore Roberson, Daniel Sayer, Lewis Wisner and 135 enlisted men wounded, and 6 enlisted men missing or captured.

Sergeant Thomas Bradley of Company H was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Chancellorsville on May 3 when he volunteered to run, alone and under heavy artillery and rifle fire, to obtain ammunition for the regiment. Bradley would be promoted to captain after the battle and serve as an aide to General Gershom Mott.

June 9
Beverly Ford and Brandy Station

The regiment losr 2 enlisted men killed, Lieutenant John Houston and 11 enlisted men wounded, and 14 missing or captured.

June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign. Assigned to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel Augustus Van Horne Ellis, whose figure tops the monument. In the thick of the fighting by the Devil’s Den, Colonel Ellis ordered the staff’s horses brought up and he, Major James Cromwell and Adjutant Henry Ramsdell mounted. When a captain protested that they were making targets of themselves Major Cromwell replied, “the men must see us today.” Both he and Colonel Ellis were killed, but the 124th bought an hour’s time for the south flank of the Army of the Potomac.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis M. Cummins took over command of the regiment despite also being wounded.

The 124th brought 279 men to the field and lost 28 killed, 57 wounded and 5 missing.

From the monument:

The Orange Blossoms went into action on this spot with 18 officers and 220 men. Lost in killed and wounded 7 officers and 85 men.

Killed

Col. A. Van Horn Ellis
Captain Isaac Nicoll
Sergt John D. Drake
Corpl Jacob Lent
Priv William Lamereaux
Priv Benjamin F. Flagg
Priv James Roke
Priv William H. Cox
Priv James E. Homan
Priv Charles Edwards
Priv James Partigton
Priv William Whan
Priv John Carroll
Priv Cornelius S. Allen
Priv George H. Stephens
Priv Ambrose S. Holbert
Priv Walter Barton
Major James Cromwell
Lieut J. Milner Brown
Corpl Orlando U. Knapp
Corpl Isaac Decker
Priv Harrison Storms
Priv Robert J. Holland
Priv John Glanz
Priv James Pemberton
Priv John W. Leeper
Priv James B. Moore
Priv Hezekiah Harris
Priv John Scott
Priv Amsey W. Quick
Priv Isaac G. Gillson
Priv William D. Dawkins
Priv. William Campbell
July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee to Manassas Gap, Va.
July 23
Wapping Heights, Va.

The regiment lost 1 enlisted man killed and 1 wounded

August – October Duty on line of the Rappahannock and the Rapidan
September 16 Captain Charles Weygant of Company C promoted to major with rank from July 2
October 6 Major Wegant was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Henry S. Murray of Company B promoted to major
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 7 Kelly’s Ford
November 26-
December 2
Mine Run Campaign
November 27 Payne’s Farm
November 28-30
Mine Run

The regiment lost 2 enlisted men mortally wounded and 14 wounded.

December Duty near Brandy Station
1864
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
February 11 Lt. Colonel Cummins promoted to colonel
March Transferred to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps
May 3-June 15 Campaign from the Rapidan to the James
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness

The regiment lost 8 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Colonel Cummins and 48 enlisted men wounded and 1 enlisted man missing or captured

May 8-21
Spotsylvania Court House

The regiment lost 1 officer killed, 19 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Lt. Colonel Wegant and 6 enlisted men were wounded, and Lieutenant Charles Stewart and 6 enlisted men were missing or captured.

May 8 Laurel Hill
May 10 Po River
May 12
Assault on the Salient “Bloody Angle”

Captain James Benedict and Lieutenants Edward Carmick, John Houston, William Mapes and Charles Wood were wounded

May 19 Harris Farm, or Fredericksburg Road
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31
Totopotomoy

Captain David Crist was killed

June 1-12
Battle of Cold Harbor

The regiment lost 1 officer and 2 enlisted men wounded

June 16-18
First Assault on Petersburg

The regiment lost 1 officer and 2 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 16 enlisted men wounded, and 1 man missing

June 16
Siege of Petersburg begins

Lieutenant William Benjamin is wounded.

June 18 Captain William Jackson killed at Petersburg
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon Railroad
July 14 Lieutenant Charles Cressy died of fever in the hospital at Daavids Island, New YOrk
July 27-29 Demonstration north of the James
July 27-28 Deep Bottom
August 13-20 Demonstration on north side of the James
August 14-18
Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom

The regiment lost Captain William Mapes and 2 enlisted men wounded

September 19 Colonel Cummins was discharged for his wound at the Wilderness
September 29-
October 2
Poplar Springs Church
October 22 Lieutenant Jonathan Birdsall killed in camp
October 27-28
Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run

The regiment lost Lieutenant James Finnigan and 3 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Lt. Colonel Weygant, Captain Edward Carmick, Lieutenants Thomas Bradley and Ebenezer Holbert and 7 enlisted men wounded and 2 men missing

December 9-10 Raid on Weldon Railroad
1865
January 11 Lt. Colonel Weygant was promoted to colonel. Major Murray, in Confederate prison, was promoted to lieutenant colonel with rank from September 19, 1864 and Captain James Benedict of Company D was promoted to major. None of the officers were mustered at their new rank, however.
February 5-7 Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run
March 25
Watkins’ House

The regiment was attacked early in the evening. Lt. Colonel Charles Weygant allowed the attackers to advance within 80 yards of the field works, when the regiment opened fire and drove them back. They then counterattacked, capturing the the battle flag of the 59th Alabama and dispersing the attackers.

March 28-
April 9
Appomattox Campaign

The regiment lost Captain Edward Carmick and 8 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Lieutenant John King and 20 enlisted men wounded and 2 men missing

March 29-31 Boydton and White Oak Roads
March 31 Crow’s House
April 2 Fall of Petersburg
April 6 Sailor’s Creek
April 7 High Bridge and Farmville
April 9 Appomattox Court House. Surrender of Lee and his army.
April At Burkesville
May 2-12 Moved to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
June 3 Mustered out under Colonel Weygant, Lieutenant Colonel Murray. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 93rd New York Infantry.