New York had an extensive militia system before the war, and after the outbreak of fighting in April, 1861 it authorized the creation of 38 regiments of volunteer militia. At first these were to be organized into four divisions and nine brigades commanded by general officers appointed by the state, but the War Department refused to recognize generals not appointed by the President. Regiments were thus accepted into Federal service and placed into brigades and divisions with units from other states.
The original New York organizations that left the state in 1861 were a mixture of volunteer infantry and state militia. Later in the year some militia units that continued on in Federal serice were given a state numeric designation, usually diifferent from their militia number. This led to some confusion and controversy. For example, the 14th New York State Militia fought heroically at Bull Run, and when they were redesignated the 84th Infantry they protested, and fought to retain their famous militia identity.
In April of 1862 legislation changed the designation of the armed and uniformed ‘Militia’ to ‘National Guard.’
Notes: ** = served outside the Eastern Theater; x= did not complete organization
|1st • 2nd • 3rd • 4th • 5th • 5th Veteran • 6th** • 7th • 7th Veteran • 8th • 9th
9th Militia (83rd Infantry) • 10th Militia (177th Infantry) served in the West