Primary Source Material
on the Soldiers and the Battles
Home The Armies The Soldiers The Battles Civilians Articles
If this website has been useful to you, please consider making a Donation.

Your support will help keep this website free for everyone, and will allow us to do more research. Thank you for your support!

50th New York Infantry

Regimental History
Fiftieth Infantry.— Cols., Charles B. Stuart, William. H. Pettes; Lieut. -Cols., William H. Pettes, Ira Spaulding; Majs., Frederick E. Embrick, Ira Spaulding, George W. Ford, Orrin E. Hine, Wesley Brainard, William W. Folwell, Edmund O. Beers, James H. McDonald. The 50th, known as Stuart's regiment, and later as the 50th engineers, was organized at Elmira, of companies from the middle and western parts of the state, which were mustered into the U. S. service Sept. 18, 1861, for a three years' term. It left the state 850 strong, Sept. 21, for Washington; was ordered to Hall's hill, Va., and assigned to the 3d brigade of Gen. Porter's division. On Oct. 22, the regiment was converted by special orders from the war department into a regiment of engineers and ordered to Washington, where instruction was received by the men in their new duties. In March, 1862, with the volunteer engineers' brigade, Army of the Potomac, the 50th moved to Yorktown and worked faithfully in digging trenches, constructing bridges and earthworks, etc., until the evacuation of that city. At White House the command was divided into several detachments, which were engaged in escort duty and bridge building until reunited at Dispatch Station on June 1, when the regiment was employed in providing for the passage of the troops over the Chickahominy. It accompanied the army through the Seven Days' battles to Harrison's landing, where it was again separated, one detachment being sent to Hampton, Va. When the regimental headquarters was transferred to Hampton in August, a detachment was left behind at Harrison's landing, but on Sept. 3 the regiment was reunited at Washington. Four companies were detached on Sept 12 and ordered to Harper's Ferry, where they were engaged in constructing pontoons and later returned in charge of two of the pontoons to Washington, leaving a part of the detachment behind. Another detachment was sent to the vicinity of Fredericksburg with these boats, and the headquarters of the regiment were transferred to Acquia creek, leaving one company at Washington. Great assistance was rendered by the 50th in laying the bridges before the battle of Fredericksburg, when they were under continuous fire from the enemy's sharpshooters. Until July 17, 1862, the 50th was enrolled on the state records as an infantry regiment, but an act of Congress of that date accepted it as a regiment of the volunteer engineer corps, of the same rank as the regular army engineer corps. After passing the winter in the neighborhood of Fredericksburg, the regiment joined in the Chancellorsville campaign, where it aided effectively in conveying the army across the river and was highly praised by Gen. Benham. At Deep run in June the 50th suffered the loss of 11 in killed, wounded and missing, while engaged in laying a bridge. Cos. A, C, F, G, H and K remained in the field during the summer of 1863 and the others were stationed in Washington. In Dec, 1863, about three fourths of the regiment reenlisted and received their veteran furlough. At the opening of the Wilderness campaign in May, 1864, the 50th was again divided, one detachment assigned to the 2nd, one to the 6th, and one to the 5th corps, one company remaining in Washington. In the winter of 1863-64 two new companies were added to the regiment and the ranks filled with new recruits. During the operations of the Army of the Potomac in May and June, 1864, the main work of the regiment was that of laying bridges at various points, notably one 2,010 feet long, across the James. At Petersburg the regiment was in demand at all points for work of construction and repair on the fortifications, and it also assisted in destroying rail-roads. During its long service the men became very proficient in engineering and through its steadiness under fire is said to have lost during the last year of its service no bridge material of any kind. The original members not reenlisted were mustered out at New York in Sept., 1864, and after participation in the grand review at Washington, the veteran organization was there mustered out on June 13-14, 1865. The loss of the regiment by death from wounds was 17 and by death from disease and other causes 214.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 2

Whats New
About Us

Copyright 2010 by
A Division of