United States Regiments & Batteries > New York > Infantry

“3rd Excelsior”

The 72nd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 11 officers and 150 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 1 officer and 88 enlisted men to disease in the Civil War. It is honored on the Excelsior Brigade monument at Gettysburg with its sister regiments in the brigade.

Organized under authority of the War Department at Camp Scott, Staten Island, N Y., as 3rd Regiment, Sickles’ Brigade. Company C was principally recruited in Vermont, Company F in Newark, New Jersey and Company L from a variety of areas, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, with the balance of the regiment from New York.
July 24 Left State for Washington, D. C. under Colonel Nelson Taylor, Lieutenant Colonel Israel Moses and Major William O. Stevens
August Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C. attached to Sickles’ Brigade, Division of the Potomac
September 15-October 2 Expedition to Lower Maryland
October 13 Budd’s Ferry, Maryland

The regiment lost 1 man mortally wounded, and 1 officer and 2 men wounded.

October Attached to Sickles’ Brigade, Hooker’s Division, Army of the Potomac
December 11 Designated as 72nd New York Infantry Regiment
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, Va., and capture of stores
April 4 Reconnaissance from Liverpool Point to Stafford Court House and action at Stafford Court House
April Ordered to the Peninsula
April 10-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
May 5
Battle of Williamsburg

Captain Darwin Willard and 59 men were killed, Captains Patrick Barrett and and George Grecheneck and 22 enlisted men mortally wounded, Captain Robert Johnson, Lieutenants Samuel Bailey and Marcus Leopold, 2 other officers and 62 enlisted men were wounded, and 44 men missing.

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

The regiment lost 10 men wounded.

June 25-July 1
Seven days before Richmond

Captain Stephen Doyle and 15 enlisted men were killed, 6 enlisted men mortally wounded, 61 wounded and 4 missing in the week’s fighting.

June 25 Battle of Oak Grove
June 29 Peach Orchard and Savage Station
June 30 White Oak Swamp and Glendale
July 1
Malvern Hill

Captain Stephen Doyle was killed

August 4 Captain Horatio Pennock died of disease at Harrison’s Landing
August 5 Malvern Hill
August 6-16 At Harrison’s Landing
August 16-26 Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Centreville. William O. Stevens promoted to colonel.
August 26-
September 2
Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia

The regiment lost 7 men killed or mortally wounded, Captain John Sanford, Lieutenant Thomas Clark and 21 men wounded, and 7 men missing.

August 27 Action at Bristoe Station or Kettle Run
August 29
Battle of Brawner Farm
August 30
Second Battle of Bull Run
September Duty in the Defenses of Washington
September 9 Colonel Taylor promoted to brigadier general. Major William Stevens promoted to colonel and Captain John Leonard of Company F to major
October 20 Lieutenant Colonel Isreal Moses mustered out to accept appointment as surgeon, U.S. Volunteers
October 25 Captain John Austin of Company K promoted to lieutenant colonel
November 10-12 Operations on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad
November 25 At Fairfax Station
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg

The regiment lost 2 men mortally wounded, and Lieutenant James Fogerty and 5 men wounded.

December At Falmouth
January 20-24 “Mud March”
February 5-7 Operations at Rappahannock Bridge and Grove Church
February 25 Company L transferred to Companies A, I and K
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 1-5
Battle of Chancellorsville

Lieutenants Charles Hydorn, Harrison Ellis and William C. Brooks and 11 enlisted men were killed, Colonel Stevens, Captain Harmon Bliss and 2 enlisted men were mortally wounded, Captains John Holmes and William Post, Lieutenant John Mann, and 22 enlisted men were wounded, Lieutenants William Hall and Harvey Thomas were wounded and captured and 54 enlisted men were missing or captured.

Captain Bliss was wounded and captured in an attempt to bring the wounded Colonel Stevens off the field, and both fell into Confederate hands. Colonel Stevens died two days later, and Captain Bliss on June 6th, having been released and returned to a Union hospital on May 13th.

May 28 Lieutenant Colonel John Austin was promoted to colonel, Major John Leonard to lieutenant colonel, and Captain Caspar R. Abell of Company D promoted to major.
June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

Commanded by Colonel John S. Austin, who was wounded on July 2nd. Lieutenant Colonel John Leonard then took command.

Lieutenant Charles Foss and 13 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, Colonel Austin, Lieutenants Prentice Bishop, John Mann, John Robinson, Henry Steward and 66 enlisted men were wounded and 28 men missing in fighting in Sickles’ salient near the Peach Orchard.

Sergeant Thomas Horan of Company E won the Medal of Honor on July 2nd for capturing the regimental flag of the 8th Florida Infantry.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee to Manassas Gap
July 23 Wapping Heights, Va.
August-October Duty on line of the Rappahannock
August 27 Lieutenant John Sanford wounded near Bristoe Station
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

Captain Henry McDonnough and Privates George Conroy, George Schneider, James Palmer and Robert Marks were killed or mortally wounded, and Lieutenant Horatio Springer of Company C and 14 men were wounded.

November 27 Payne’s Farm
December Duty near Brandy Station
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 4 men wounded, 2 mortally, Lieutenant Henry Yates and 12 men wounded, and 3 men missing.

Two men from the regiment won the Medal of Honor on May 6th. Sergeant Henri Le Fevre Brown of Company B “Voluntarily and under a heavy fire from the enemy, 3 times crossed the field of battle with a load of ammunition in a blanket on his back, thus supplying the Federal forces, whose ammunition had nearly all been expended, and enabling them to hold their position until reinforcement arrived, when the enemy were driven from their position.” Private James Marvin Young of Company B “with 2 companions, voluntarily went forward in the forest to reconnoiter the enemy’s position, was fired upon and one of his companions disabled. Pvt. Young took the wounded man upon his back and, under fire, carried him within the Union lines.”

May 8-12
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

The regiment lost 4 men killed, 3 men mortally wounded, 3 officers and 24 men wounded, and 6 men missing between May 8 and 21.

May 10 Po River
May 12-21 Spottsylvania Court House
May 12 Assault on the Salient or “Bloody Angle”
May 19 Harris Farm, or Fredericksburg Road
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31

The regiment lost 3 men killed or mortally wounded and 9 men wounded from May 23-31.

June 1-12
Cold Harbor

The regiment lost 3 men wounded, 1 mortally.

June 16-18
First Assault on Petersburg

Lieutenant John Kiener and 3 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, and1 officer and 9 enlisted men wounded.

June 20 Companies A, B, D, E, F, I and K mustered out under Lieutenant Colonel Leonard. Veterans and Recruits and Companies C, G and H attached to 120th Regiment New York Infantry.
June 27 Colonel Austin discharged for disability
July 2 Companies C and G mustered out
October 31 Company H mustered out.