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8th New York Artillery Heavy

Online Books:
8th New York Artillery Heavy Soldier Roster - Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York For the Year 1893, Volume 11     View the Entire Book

Regimental History
Eighth New York Artillery (Heavy).— Cols.. Peter A. Porter, Willard W. Bates, James M. Willett, Joel B. Baker; Lieut. -Cols., Willard W. Bates, James M. Willett, Lawrence Kipp, Joel B. Baker, Joseph W. Holmes; Majs., James M. Willett, Joel B. Baker, S. Dexter Ludden, Edwin L. Blake, Joseph W. Holmes, James Low, Jr., Erastus M. Spaulding, Henry M. Starr. This regiment was recruited by Col. Porter in the summer of 1862, in the counties of Genesee, Niagara and Orleans. It was organized at Lockport as the 129th infantry and was there mustered into the U. S. service Aug 22, 1862, for three years. It was changed to heavy artillery in December, and two additional companies were organized at Lockport in Dec, 1863, and Jan., 1864, and mustered in for one and three years, respectively. These companies, designated L and M, joined the regiment in Feb., 1864. Few regiments in the service achieved a higher reputation for hard fighting and efficiency than this splendid organization. Says Col. Fox, who includes it among the three hundred fighting regiments: "The regiment performed garrison duty until May, 1864, when it was sent with the other heavy artillery commands to the front to reinforce Gen. Grant. It was in action for the first time at Spottsylvania, Va., where it lost 8 killed, 21 wounded and 4 missing. At Cold Harbor the 8th lost 80 killed, 339 wounded and 86 missing; total, 505 — it having twelve large companies engaged there. In that battle Col. Porter led the regiment in its grand charge upon the enemy's works and fell dead in the extreme advance. Eight officers were killed in that action. In the assault on Petersburg the regiment made another gallant attack on the Confederate lines, in which Col. Bates and Maj. Blake fell mortally wounded. In the actions around Petersburg in June, 1864, the regiment lost 42 killed, 261 wounded and 5 missing, a total of 308. Though known as an artillery regiment, the men carried rifles and were drilled as infantry. When they took the field, their full ranks — twelve companies of 150 men each — made them a very efficient organization, but their heavy losses in action soon reduced their long lines, until but few were left to witness the last fight at Appomattox. During all its service in the field, in 1864-65, the regiment was attached to the 2nd division (Gibbon's) of the 2nd corps." In addition to the severe losses enumerated above, the regiment lost 6 killed, 28 wounded and 210 missing at Reams' station; 5 killed, 32 wounded and 11 missing at Boydton plank road, not to mention the constant losses sustained in the trenches before Petersburg. During its term of service it lost 19 officers and 342 men killed and mortally wounded; 4 officers and 298 men died of disease, accidents, in prison, etc., a total of 663. Including the mortally wounded, it had 37 officers and 707 men wounded. It also sustained an unusually heavy loss in prison, having 1 officer and 113 men die in the hands of the enemy. In killed and mortally wounded, the 8th suffered the most severely of any of the New York heavy artillery regiments, and ranks second in the whole list of such regiments in killed and mortally wounded. Its percentage of killed, 14.0, is only exceeded by that of one other New York organization, the 126th infantry, with a percentage of 14.7. The total enrollment of the 8th was 2,575. On June 5, 1865, Cos. A to K were mustered out at Munson's hill, Va., under the command of Lieut. -Col. Holmes, and those not mustered out were transferred to the 4th N. Y. artillery and 10th N. Y. infantry (q. v.).

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

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