153rd Regiment New York Volunteers Infantry

William J. Griffis and the 153rd NY Volunteers

William J. Griffis enlisted, August 28, 1862, at Johnstown, New York to serve three years with the 153rd New York Volunteers. He mustered in as a private, in Company A, on August 29, 1862. He was quickly promoted to corporal on October 17, 1862. William was promoted to third sergeant on June 10, 1864 and again promoted before the regiment mustered out to first sergeant on September 1, 1865.

William J. Griffis Muster Roll documents: Muster-in and muster-out: National Archives

Overview

The regiment spent most of its time performing police and guard duty in the Washington, D.C. area, from October 1862 through January 1864. The regiment was first stationed at Alexandria, Virginia as provost guard and then was deployed as provost guards in the District of Columbia. In the second half of its tour of duty the regiment was transferred to the Department of the Gulf and took part in the Red River campaign and then returned to the Washington, DC area to assist in protecting the capital. The regiment participated in Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 1864 through November 1864. [1]

153rd Regiment New York Volunteers Flank Marker 13.75inches by 21.75 inches [2]

The 153rd New York Infantry Regiment was recruited in the counties of Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Clinton, Essex and Warren.  It was organized at Fonda and there mustered into the U. S. service on Oct. 17, 1862, for three years. The companies were recruited principally: at Johnstown (Company A); at Mohawk, Palatine and Root (Company B); at Glen, Florida, Root and Charleston (Company C); at Johnstown and Mayfield (Company D); at Minden and St. Johnsville (Company E); at Ephratah, Canajoharie, Oppenheim, Clifton Park and Lassellsville (Company F); at Mooers, Altona, Essex and Plattsburg (Company G); at Greenfield, Milton, Gal-way, Clifton Park, Ballston Spa, Moreau, Root and Wilson (Company H); at Champlain, Chesterfield, Plattsburg and AuSable (Company I); and at Queensbury, Ellenburg, Altona and Mooers (Company K). [4]

The regiment was originally attached to the Provisional Brigade, Abercrombie’s Division, Defenses of Washington, in October 1862 in the District of Alexandria, Defenses of Washington and XXII CorpsDepartment of Washington, to August 1863. Martindale’s Command, Garrison of Washington, D.C., XXII Corps, to February 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, XIX CorpsDepartment of the Gulf, to July 1864, and Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division, to February 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Provisional Division, Army of the Shenandoah, to April 1865. 2nd Brigade, Dwight’s Division, Department of Washington, to July 1865. Department of Georgia to October 1865.

Officers of the 153rd New York Volunteers Regiment [3]

In July, 1864, the regiment returned to Virginia with the 1st and 2nd divisions. On its arrival at Washington it was ordered into Maryland to confront confederate General Early. The regiment then served with General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley until April, 1865, when it moved with Dwight’s division to Washington, where it participated in the grand review in May. In July, members fo the regiment sailed for Savannah, Georgia. While stationed there the regiment “won the esteem and respect of the citizens by the gentlemanly conduct of its officers and men”. Colonel Davis was brevetted brigadier-general for meritorious service.

The regiment was mustered out at Savannah on Oct. 2, 1865, under command of Lieutenant Colonel McLaughlin. The regiment lost during its three year service 1 officer and 40 men who were killed or died of wounds; 1 officer and 160 men died of disease and other causes. The total deaths were 202.

Phisterer, Frederick (Compiler). New York in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1865, Volume 5, Albany: J.B. Lyon Co., State printers, 1912, Page 3780

The following is a newspaper article from Albany, New York that indicates that less than half of the regiment mustered out with the company in Savannah, Georgia.

Source: Albany Morning Express October 13, 1865, Front Page.
Month / DateDay / Engagement – Assignment
Oct 186217, Mustered in under Colonel Duncan McMartin, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Armstrong and Major Edwin P. Davis
18, Left New York State for Washington, D.C
Guard and police duty at Alexandria, Va., and at Washington, D.C.
Attached to Provisional Brigade, Abercrombie’s Division, Defenses of Washington and then to the District of Alexandria, Defenses of Washington
Feb
1863
2, Attached to District of Alexandria under Brigadier General John Slough
July
1863
20 – Reassigned to Martindale’s Command, Garrison of Washington, D.C., 22nd Army Corps as unattached troops
Feb 186418 – Ordered to the Department of the Gulf and attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Army Corps
Mar 186410, Red River Campaign Begins
14 -26, Advance from Franklin to Alexandria
April 1864Red River Campaign
8, Battle of Sabine Cross Roads 
9,  Pleasant Hill  regiment lost 5 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 24 wounded and 4 missing
23, Monett’s Ferry, Cane River Crossing
26-30, At Alexandria
May 186422, End of Red River Campaign
1-13, At Alexandria
13-20, Retreat to Morganza
16, Mansura and Avoyelle’s Prairie
Jun 1864Duty at Morganza until July 1
Jul 18641-12, Moved to Fortress Monroe, Va., then to Washington, D.C.
1 – Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Army Corps, Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division
12-13, Repulse of Early’s attack on Washington
14-23, Snicker’s Gap Expedition
Aug 1864Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28
Sep 186419, Third Battle of Winchester Major Jacob Klock and 18 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded and Captains John De Wandelaer and John Lassell, Lieutenants Hiram Argersinger and Cornelius Burns and 47 enlisted men wounded
22, Battle of Fisher’s Hill The regiment lost 3 enlisted men wounded
Oct 186419, Battle of Cedar CreekThe regiment lost 16 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Strain, Lieutenants George Hodges, James Veeder, 3 other officers and 48 enlisted men were wounded, and 10 men were missing
Nov 1864Duty at Middletown, Newtown and Stephenson’s Depot Begins
Feb 1865Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Provisional Division, Army of the Shenandoah
Apr 1865Duty at Middletown, Newtown and Stephenson’s Depot Ends
5, Moved to Washington, DC, attached to 2nd Brigade Dwight’s Division, Department of Washington
May
1865
Grand Review May 23-24. Ordered to Savannah, Ga., July, and duty in the Dept. of Georgia till October. Mustered out at Savannah, Ga., October 2, 1865.

Sources

Featured image: Officers of the 153rd New York Infantry, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA , Digital Id ppmsca 34203 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.34203

[1] 153rd New York Infantry Regiment, The Civil War in the East;

153rd Regiment, New York Infantry, The Civil War, National Parks Service,

153rd Infantry Regiment Civil War New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Last modified January 24, 2018

Rosters Of The New York Infantry Regiments During The Civil War. Rosters were compiled by the New York State Adjutant General Office. They were published as a set of 43 volumes between 1893 and 1905. Their official titles are Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of New York for the Year … : Registers of the [units numbers]. These should not be confused with the regular reports put out by the New York Adjutant General during the same period.

[2] 153rd Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry Flank Markers Civil War, New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. Last modified: Friday, 05-Aug-2016

“Mrs. Joseph Strain from Albany presented this silk swallowtail flank marker to the regiment in November of 1862. The 153rd Regiment carried the flag during the Red River Expedition and in the battle at Sabine Cross Roads, Pleasant Hill, Marksville, Cane River Crossing, and Alexandria, Louisiana. The flag is made of a single piece of silk cut away at the fly edge to create the swallowtail and includes three silk tie-backs for attachment to the staff. The red painted “153” appears on both sides.”

[3] Officers, 153rd Infantry, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, Digital Id ppmsca 34201 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.34201

Phisterer, Frederick (Compiler). New York in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1865. Albany: J.B. Lyon Co., State printers, 1912. Page

[4] 153rd Infantry Regiment, Civil War New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Last modified January 24, 2018

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