United States Regiments & Batteries > New York > Infantry


“1st Excelsior”

The 70th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 9 officers and 181 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 2 officers and 62 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored on the Excelsior Brigade monument at Gettysburg along with its sister regiments in the brigade.

1861
Organized under authority of the War Department as 1st Regiment, Sickles’ Brigade, at Camp Scott, Staten Island, N.Y. Company C was recruited in Paw Paw, Michigan, Company E at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Company H in Boston, and Companies I and K in New Jersey.
June 29 Mustered in under Colonel Daniel E. Sickles, Lt. Colonel William Dwight, Jr. and Major Egbert J. Farnum
July 23 Left State for Washington, D.C. Attached to Sickles’ Brigade, Division of the Potomac and Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C.
September 3 Colonel Sickles promoted to brigadier general. Lt. Colonel Dwight promoted to colonel and Major Farnum to lieutenant colonel
September 15-
October 2
Expedition to Lower Maryland
October Attached to Sickles’ Brigade, Hooker’s Division, Army of the Potomac
November 1 Captain Thomas Holt of Company F promoted to major
December 11 Designated 70th Regiment New York Infantry
1862
March Attached to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 10 Advance on Manassas, Va.
March 18 Expedition from Dumfries to Fredericksburg and capture of stores
April 4 Reconnaissance from Liverpool Point to Stafford Court House, Va.
April 6
Action at Stafford Court House

1 enlisted man wounded

April 10-May 4
Ordered to the Peninsula, Va. and Siege of Yorktown

1 enlisted man wounded

May 5
Battle of Williamsburg

Captains Jacob Brunnn, William Bugbee, John Mitchell and Henry O’Reilly, Lieutenants Herrick Hayner, William Kilburn, Frank Nelson, Gorham P. Stevens and 101 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, Colonel Dwight, 11 other officers and 112 enlisted men were wounded, and 97 enlisted men missing or captured out of 700 engaged. Colonel Dwight was left for dead on the field, but survivied and was captured.

Sergeant John Nicholas Coyne earned the Medal of Honor for capturing a stand of Confederate colors after a hand-to-hand fight.

May 31-June 1
Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks

The regiment lost 2 enlisted men killed, Lieutenant John Coyne and 15 enlisted men wounded and enlisted man missing

June 12 The regiment lost 9 enlisted men wounded at Fair Oaks
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 25
Battle of Oak Grove

The regiment lost 7 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 1 officer and 5 enlisted men wounded, and 1 man missing

June 30 Peach Orchard and Savage Station, White Oak Swamp and Glendale
July 1
Malvern Hill

One enlisted men mortally wounded

August 5 -16 At Harrison’s Landing
August 16-28 Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Centreville
August 26-
September 2
Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia
August 27
Action at Bristoe Station or Kettle Run

The regiment lost 5 men wounded

August 29
Battle of Groveton
August 30
Second Battle of Bull Run

The regiment lost 1 enlisted man killed, 2 officers and 10 enlisted men wounded, and 10 men missing

September 1 Battle of Chantilly
September-November Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C. at Fairfax Station, Va.
November 10-12 Operations on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad
November 30 Colonel Dwight was released from Confederate capticity in a prisoner exchange and was promoted to brigadier general
December 1 Captain Daniel Mahen of Company B promoted to major
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg

The regiment lost 1 officer and 3 enlisted men wounded

December-April Duty at Falmouth
1863
January 20-24 “Mud March”
January 14 Captain Daniel Mahen of Company B promoted to major with rank from December 1, 1862
February 1 Lt. Colonel Farnum promoted to colonel, Major Holt to lieutenant colonel
February 5-7 Operations about Rappahannock Bridge and Grove Church
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 1-5
Battle of Chancellorsville

The regiment lost 4 enlisted men killed, Captain Charles Young and 11 enlisted men wounded and enlisted men 17 missing

May 16 – 17 Lieutenant Colonel Holt transferred to 74th New York Infantry as colonel, Major Mahen promoted to lieutenant colonel but not mustered, and Captain William Hugo of Company C promoted to major
May 19 Three years men from the 2nd New York Infantry transferred in
June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Colonel John E. Farnum. It lost 36 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, Captains William Hugo, William Kay and George Robinson, Lieutenants John Coyn, William Gage, Ransom Gaylord, Don Rogers and 69 enlisted men wounded and 4 enlisted menmissing.

From the monument:

On the afternoon of the 2nd of July 1863, the brigade of which this regiment formed a part, supported Carr’s Brigade in resisting the assault of the enemy along the line of the Emmittsburg Road. On July 3rd, supported the left centre of the army.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee
July 23
Wapping Heights, Va.

The regiment lost Captain Benjamin Price and 10 men killed, 1 man mortally wounded, and 20 men wounded.

July-October Duty on line of the Rappahannock
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 or Locust Grove

The regiment lost 1 enlisted man killed and1 officer and 6 enlisted men wounded

November 30 Lt, Colonel Holt returned to the regiment after serving as colonel of the 74th New York since May 16, 1862
December-May Duty near Brandy Station
1864
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
March Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 2nd Army Corps
May 3-June 15 Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River. Attached to 4th Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness

The regiment lost Lieutenant Henry Chamberlain and 3 enlisted men killed, Lieutenants Thomas Chafee, Charles Young and 18 enlisted men wounded and 5 enlisted men missing

May 10 Po River
May 10-21
Spotsylvania Court House

The regiment lost 2 enlisted men killed, 2 officers and 29 enlisted men wounded, and 10 enlisted men missing

May 12 Assault on the Salient or “Bloody Angle”
May 19 Harris Farm or Fredericksburg Road
May 23-26
North Anna River

The regiment lost 2 enlisted men killed and 8 wounded

May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
June 1-12 Cold Harbor
June 16-18
Before Petersburg

The regiment lost 1 enlisted man killed, Captain Morris Foot wounded, and 1 missing

June 22 Ordered to New York for muster out. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 86th Regiment New York Infantry.
July 7 Mustered out to date from July 1, 1864, expiration of term, under Colonel J. Egbert Farnum, Lieutenant Colonel Holt and Major William Hugo