United States Regiments & Batteries > New York > Infantry

“Bemis Heights Regiment”

The 77th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 9 officers and 87 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 officers and 175 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg and another in Monument Square of Saratoga Springs, New York.

Organized at Saratoga, N.Y.
November 22 Mustered in under Colonel James B. McKean, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph C. Henderson and Major Selden Hetzel. Colonel McKean was a U.S. congressman and continued to serve until March of 1863.
November 28 Left State for Washington, D.C.
December Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C. attached to 3rd Brigade, Casey’s Division, Army of the Potomac
March Attached to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 10 Advance on Manassas, Va.
March 22 Ordered to the Virginia Peninsula
April 5 Near Lee’s Mills
April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
April 16 Lee’s Mills
May 5 Battle of Williamsburg
May Attached to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
May 23-24
and June 24
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 27 Garnett’s Farm
June 28 Garnett’s and Golding’s Farms
June 29 Savage Station
June 30 White Oak Swamp and Glendale
July 1 Malvern Hill
At Harrison’s Landing

Captain Windsor Brown French was promoted to major and then lieutenant colonel

August 16-28 Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Centreville
August 28-31 In works at Centreville
August 30 Assist in checking Pope’s rout at Bull Run
September 1 Cover Pope’s retreat to Fairfax Court House
September 6-22 Maryland Campaign
September 14 Crampton’s Pass, South Mountain
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

The regiment was commanded by Captain Nathan S. Babcock. It lost 6 men killed, 1 officer and 4 men mortally wounded, and 2 officers and 19 men wounded. Captain Babcock was promoted to major after the battle dating to August.

From the War Department markers (double marker number 74) on the Antietam battlefield:

Irwin’s Brigade came on the field about noon of the 17th, and formed across the Smoketown Road in rear of a line of Artillery.

After an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the Confederate line south of the Dunkard Church, the Brigade rallied behind the ridge east of the Hagerstown Pike and between it and Mumma’s Lane, the left of the Brigade resting a few yards west of the lane, where it was exposed to a severe fire of Artillery and Sharpshooters.

About 5 P.M., the 7th Maine, on the left of the Brigade, crossed Mumma’s Lane, moved obliquely across the front of Brook’s Brigade, charged over the Bloody Lane at this point, dispersed the Confederates in its front and in the orchard on its left and reached the low ground North of Piper’s Barn, when the enemy from behind the stone fence on the Hagerstown Pike and the hill adjoining poured a severe fire on its right flank and front.

The regiment then obliqued to the left, passed through an opening in the fence into the orchard and to within 70 yards of Piper’s House, here it was met by a withering fire from a column of the enemy moving down the hill east of the house and driven back through the orchard with great loss.

It reformed a short distance east of this point and returned to the position from which it had advanced.

At noon of the 18th, the Brigade was relieved by Cochrane’s Brigade of Couch’s Division.

From the War Department marker (number 75) on the Antietam battlefield:

Irwin’s Brigade reached the field about noon of the 17th, formed line across the road at this point, and charged through the Batteries and across the fields in their front to check the advance of the Confederates from the West Woods. The direction of its advance was south of the Dunkard Church and, when its right Regiments, the 33d and 77th New York, were nearly abreast the Church, they received such a destructive fire on their right and rear as compelled them to retire to the cover of the ridge in front of the Church, the remainder of the Brigade forming on their left. Late in the day the 7th Maine charged across the Bloody Lane to Piper’s Barn and was repulsed with great loss.

About noon of the 18th the Brigade was relieved by Cochrane’s Brigade of Couch’s Division, and withdrawn to the rear.

September-October Duty in Maryland
October 29-November 19 Movement to Falmouth
October 30 Company K merged with Company F and a new Company K was recruited.
November 2-3 Union
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg
Decmber At Falmouth
January 20-24 “Mud March”
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
April 29-May 2 Operations about Franklin’s Crossing
May 3
Battle of Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg

The regiment lost Captain Luther Wheeler and 11 men killed or mortally wounded, 1 officer and 40 men wounded, and 30 men missing.

May 3-4
Salem Heights
May 4 Banks’ Ford
June 5-13 Deep Run Ravine
July 2-4
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Lieutenant Colonel Winsor B. French. It brought 424 men to the field, and had no casualties, as it was assigned as support to artillery batteries in the Union rear on Powers Hill.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee
July 23 Colonel McKean resigned his commission due to illness. Lieutenant Colonel French was promoted to colonel and command of the regiment.
August-September Duty on line of the Rappahannock
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 7 Rappahannock Station
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign
December-May Duty near Brandy Station
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
May 3-June 15 Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness

The regiment lost 14 men killed or mortally wounded, 4 officers and 39 men woundedm and 2 officers and 7 men missing.

May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

The regiment lost 3 officers and 27 men killed or mortally wounded, 5 officers and 51 men wounded, and 2 officers and 19 men missing.

May 12 Assault on the Salient or “Bloody Angle”
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
June 1-12
Cold Harbor

The regiment lost 5 men killed or mortally wounded and 7 men wounded.

June 17-18 Before Petersburg; Siege of Petersburg begins
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon Railroad
July 9-11 Moved to Washington, D.C.
July 11-12
Fort Stevens 

The regiment lost 6 men killed or mortally wounded, Colonel French and 12 men wounded, and 1 man missing.

August 7-
November 28
Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign
September 13 Gilbert’s Ford, Opequan Creek
September 19
Third Battle of Winchester

The regiment lost 6 men killed or mortally wounded, 4 officers and 30 men wounded, and 2 men missing.

September 22
Fisher’s Hill

The regiment lost 1 officer mortally wounded, and 1 officer and 3 men wounded.

October 19
Battle of Cedar Creek

The regiment lost 4 officers and 8 men killed or mortally wounded, 3 officers and 18 men wounded, and 3 men missing. Colonel French took over brigade command with the death of General Bidwell.

Duty in the Shenandoah Valley

Major Babcock was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

December 13 Moved to Washington, D.C. The regiment was mustered out under Colonel Winsor B. Franch. Veterans were consolidated into a battalion of five companies (A-E).
December 13-16 Moved to Petersburg, Va. and returned to Siege of Petersburg.
March 25
Fort Fisher, Petersburg

The regiment lost 2 officers and 2 men killed or mortally wounded and 7 men wounded.

March 28-April 9 Appomattox Campaign
April 2 Assault on and fall of Petersburg
April 6 Sailor’s Creek
April 9
Appomattox Court House

Surrender of Lee and his army.

April 23-27 March to Danville
May 24-June 3 March to Richmond, Va., thence to Washington, D.C.
June 8 Corps Review
June 27 Mustered out under Colonel David J. Caw