United States Regiments & Batteries > New YorkInfantry

“Polish Legion”

The 58th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 4 officers and 28 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 officers and 60 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

August –
Organized at New York City under Colonel Wladimir Kryzanowski, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Gellman and Major Theodore Lichtenstein. The regiment was formed from two partially formed regiments that were merged together: four companies of men under Kryzanowski, who were known as the United States Rifles, and six companies of men under Gellman, called the Morgan Rifles. Gellman’s companies included men from the Polish Legion, the Gallatin Rifles and the Humboldt Yaegers. Almost all were immigrants in the New York City area and included Danes, Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, Poles and Russians.
November 7 Left State for Washington, D.C. Attached to Bohlen’s Brigade, Blenker’s Division, Army of the Potomac for duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C.
November 13 Left Washington and crossed the Potomac to Hunter’s Chapel in Virginia, where it would camp for the winter.
late December Picket duty at Annandale Church
mid January Returned to camp at Hunter’s Chapel
March Attached to 2nd Brigade, Blenker’s 2nd Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 1 Captain William Henkel of Company A promoted to major
March 18-April 5 Advance on Manassas, Virginia via Burke’s Station and Fairfax Court House.
April Attached to 2nd Brigade, Blenker’s Division, Dept. of the Mountains
April 5-20 Movement to Winchester, Virginia, via Warrenton, Salem, Paris, and Millwood.
April-June Operations in the Shenandoah Valley
May 2 Crossed the mountains into western Virginia via Romney and joined Fremont.
May 24 Returned to the Shenandoah Valley under Fremont in pursuit of Jackson.
June 8
Battle of Cross Keys

In its first combat the regiment launched a bayonet charge which was praised by General Bohlen. It lost 11 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 1 officer and 13 enlisted men wounded, and 4 men missing.

June Pursuit of Jackson to Port Republic and march to Middletown.

The brigade was redesignated as the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Corps, Army of Virginia.Colonel Kryzanowski took command of the brigade as senior colonel.

July 7 to August 8 Duty at Sperryville
August 16-September 2
Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia

The regiment lost 16 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 2 officers and 28 enlisted men wounded, and 11 men missing during the campaign

August 22 Freeman’s Ford
August 23 Sulphur Springs
August 24 Waterloo Bridge
August 29

Battle of Groveton

August 30

Second Battle of Bull Run

Commanded by Major William Henkel while Kryzanowski commanded the brigade. The regiment lost 14 men killed, 32 wounded and 11 men missing. Major Henkel was wounded, but remained in command on the field for three hours. Lieutenant Max Schmidt was also wounded.

Captain Frederick Braun took command of the regiment after Major Henkel left the field.

September-October Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C. encamped near Fairfax, Virginia. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. 
October 31 Major Henkel was discharged for disability.
November 1-18 Movement to Centreville, Virginia
December 9-16 March to Fredericksburg, Virginia
January Marched to Stafford Court House, Virginia, and went into winter quarters.
January 11 George Harvey mustered in as major
February – April At Stafford Court House
March 7 Lieutenant Colonel Gellman resigned his commission and was discharged
April 27-May 6

Chancellorsville Campaign

April 29 Broke camp at Stafford Court House and marched to Chancellorsville under the command of Captain Frederick Braun.
May 2

Battle of Chancellorsville

The regiment was commanded by Captain Frederick Braun of Company C, and brought 238 officers and men to the field. The division was struck just after 5 p.m. by Jackson’s attack. It held for about half an hour before being outflanked on each flank and retreating. Captain Braun was mortally wounded, and 30 other men were killed, wounded or missing.

Captain Emil Koenig took command. The regiment was not engaged for the rest of the battle, and afterwards returned to its camp at Stafford Court House.

May 19 Major Harvey was discharged
May 29 August Otto joined the regiment as lieutenant colonel.
June 11-July 24

Gettysburg Campaign

June 12 Left Stafford Court House for Centreville via Hartwood Church.
June 13 Marched to Goose Creek
June  25 Crossed the Potomac at Edwards Ferry and bivouacked at Jefferson, Missouri
June 26 Marched to Middletown
June 29 Marched to Emmitsburg
June 30 The regiment mustered 11 officers and 211 enlisted men present for duty, equipped. After dark Captain Koenig was ordered to take 100 men on a reconnaissance to Creagerstown looking for Confederate cavalry. After marching about 5 miles he halted so his men could sleep. Before resuming he received an order to return to the regiment, which was ordered to resume the march.
July 1

Battle of Gettysburg

Part of the 58th New York Infantry Regiment reached the battlefield as the battle was beginning. Lieutenant Colonel August Otto led two companies into Gettysburg and into battle on the north side of town. After the line collapsed the companies fell back through the town to Cemetery Hill.

Captain Emil Koenig brought his Creagerstown reconnaissance detachment back to Emmitsburg and collected a squad of men from the regiment who had been on picket duty. They made their way towards Gettysburg but were slowed by ammunition and supply trains. They arrived in late afternoon and joined with the rest of the regiment on Cemetery Hill.

In the evening Lieutenant Colonel Otto was ordered to General Schurz’s staff as chief of staff, leaving Captain Koenig in command of the regiment.

Monument to the 58th New York Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg

Monument to the 58th New York Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg

From the monument

Two companies of the regiment held this position July 1, 1863 until ordered to Cemetery Hill. Were there joined by the other companies and engaged on the 2nd and 3rd. After the repulse of Pickett’s Charge, skirmished into Gettysburg.

Casualties: killed 2, wounded 16, missing 3. Total 20.

July 2-3

Battle of Gettysburg (continued)

The regiment supported artillery batteries on Cemetery Hill, enduring heavy shelling all day.  First Lieutenant and Adjutant Louis Dietrich and Private Louis Krause were killed and Captains Gustavus Stoldt and Edward Antonieski were mortally wounded.

At dusk the Confederate attack on Cemetery Hill overran Wiedrich’s battery. The regiment and the 119th New York moved to retake the pieces but the battery was recaptured before they arrived. The regiment remained with the battery in case of further attacks, with the company of Lieutenant Schwartz sent out as skirmishers.

After Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd Lieutenant Schwart’s company moved into town, exchanging fire with Confederate sharpshooters. Lieutenant Lauber and twenty men joined Schwartz. They captured 200 prisoners during the night, many of them sleeping sharpshooters who had not been told of the Confederate withdrawal.

July 19 Crossed the Potomac in pursuit of Lee’s army.
July-September Duty along Orange & Alexandria Railroad
September 24-October 3 Movement to Bridgeport, Alabama. Transferred to Army of the Cumberland. Captain Michael Esembaux commanded the regiment while Colonel Kryzanowski continued to command the brigade.
October 19-27 Operations in Lookout Valley, Tenn
October 26-29 Reopening Tennessee River
October 28-29

Battle of Wauhatchie, Tennessee

The regiment was commanded by Captain Michael Esembaux.

November 23-27 Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign.
November 23 Orchard Knob
November 24-25 Tunnel Hill
November 25 Mission Ridge
November 28-December 17 March to relief of Knoxville
December Garrison duty at Bridgeport, Alabama, and guard duty along Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Two hundred members of the regiment reenlisted and were sent home for 60 days Veteran’s furlough.
April Attached to 4th Division, 20th Army Corps, Dept. of the Cumberland. Colonel Kryzanowski returned to regimental command.
April 5 Lieutenant Colonel Otto was discharged
July Attached to 3rd Brigade, Defenses of Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Department of the Cumberland
November 12 Captain Michael Esembraux of Company K promoted to major
February Garrison and guard duty at Stevenson, Ala., and Nashville, Tenn. attached to District of North Alabama, Dept. of the Cumberland
July Attached to District of Nashville, Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland
October 1 The 58th New York Infantry Regiment was mustered out under Colonel Kryzanowski