Uniforms of the Twenty-Second New York National Guard

The dress uniform
The dress uniform

No military organization has ever been formed in any city which contained, in the first instance, so many well-known and influential men as those who composed the Union Grays. Through their influence, and under the prestige which was justly attached to the name of Colonel Monroe, the ranks of the regiment were rapidly filled up, in spite of the fact that the volunteer regiments in the field were absorbing almost everybody having military inclinations. It soon numbered over 400 men.

They adopted as their uniform a single-breasted frock coat, cut in the French style, with the skirt reaching to the knee, made of gray cloth, with red collar and cuffs, trimmed with white piping. The trousers were of gray, with a red stripe edged with white piping down the sides; the cap was a gray kepi, with red band and top, each edged with white piping. Yellow leathern leggins were afterwards adopted, which were greatly liked in the field, excluding the dust and keeping the trousers free from mud. The uniform and equipments were paid for by the men themselves. No more tasteful or trim-looking uniform has ever been seen in the City of New York than this, and the wearers were soon known as the Strawberry Grays. They also decided upon a gray fatigue jacket, but it was never procured.

Application was made at once to the State and Federal Government for arms for the new organization, but none were to be had, the authorities being at their wits’ end to supply the troops then at the front with guns. So great was the demand that Belgian guns of antiquated pattern, which were as apt to go off at half-cock as not, were being imported at high prices in order to arm the volunteers. Under these circumstances, the Union Grays purchased and imported Enfield rifles from England for their own use. These, unlike many of the guns which the Government was purchasing, were well-made and serviceable weapons. They were provided with sword bayonets, which presented a very formidable appearance, but which subsequent experience in the field led the men to think were inferior to the triangular bayonet. The average opinion was that they made the “rifles” “muzzle-heavy,” and were useless, even for chopping wood.

Unlike American rifles, the parts of which are made interchangeable, those of each of the Enfields used by the Twenty-second were different from the other. This difference was too slight to be detected by the eye, but it was sufficient to constitute an intense annoyance in service. If a man did not pick up his own gun, which was frequently the case on duty, his bayonet would not fit, and when the guns were taken apart to be cleaned, if the parts belonging to two guns were mixed, it was a most aggravating task to separate them. The sergeants’ rifles were much shorter than the others.


Resource:
History of the Twenty-Second Regiment of the National Guard of the State of New York, General George Wingate, 1896
Photos of troops in field at Harper’s Ferry, LOC Archives

The 7th New York State National Guard Fatigue Uniform

7th%20NYSM%201Fatigue Jacket.

Of gray cloth (Same as the coat), single-breasted, standing collar; nine large N.G. buttons on the front, the collar to meet and be hooked with two hook and eyes, and to be framed with a single stripe of black mohair binding, five-sixteenths of an inch wide (Herrington-bone pattern); black cloth shoulder strap, two inches wide, rounded at the top, to be sewed in the sleeve head, and extended to the collar, with small N.G. button sewn on the shoulder, to button through the strap; sleeves without cuffs; a black cloth strap, six and one-half inches long, and one and five-eighth inches wide, to be placed in the middle of the upper sleeve, commencing at the bottom, with three small N.G. buttons placed in the center and at equal distance apart; a black cloth strap, one half of an inch wide, and line with leather, to be placed on each hip to support waist belt, to be buttoned with small N.G. button.

Pants.

Gray cloth (same as coat), cut straight, with a strip of black cloth, one and one half inches wide; the black edge of which to touch the outside seam.

For Summer, – White duck, cut straight.

Chevrons.

05355u_previewFatigue Jacket.- Of black silk binding, five-eighths of an inch wide, cushioned upon gray cloth, to show one-eighth of an inch of gray between the binding.

Fatigue Cap.

Gray cloth body, with black band; sunken tip, four and three-quarter inches in diameter; height at the back, six inches, including band, and two inches in front; black worsted braid round the band, tip and up quarters; plain double japanned solid leather visor, without binding, one and three-eighth inches in depth; elastic chin-strap and N.G. buttons at side; three-quarters of an inch gilt figure 7 in front; silk glaze cover, with button-holes.

For Fatigue.

Belt.- Black enameled leather, two inches wide; brass plate (with French Fastening) two and one-quarter inches long and two and one-half inches wide, corners cut off, with Company designation engraved in black figure, one and one-half inches long.

Cartridge-Box. – Body plain leather, six and one-quarter inches long, one and one-quarter inches wide, and three inches high, curved to fit hip, inside flap patent leather, with ends, patent leather outside flap, six and one-half by seen and three-quarter inches, with corners cut off; enameled leather back strap, two and three-quarter inches wide and two inches deep, to run on belt; tin cartridge-box, with partition; brass cipher letters N.G., with raised figure 7 on center, two inches long and two and one-half inches wide, to be placed on the flap.

Bayonet Scabbard.- To be eighteen inches long, with brass tip and enameled leather throg.

Cap-Box.- U.S. Pattern, with patent leather flap.

Knapsack.

To be made of black enameled leather, sixteen inches wide, twelve and one-half inches high, and three and three-quarter inches deep; the corners to be bound with the same leather; the inside flaps to be of black glazed twilled muslin; two plain black leather straps to be fastened at the inside top of knapsack, one and one-quarter inches wide, to be buckled at bottom; shoulder straps of the same width to be fastened at center of inside knapsack by four copper rivets; the upper portion of the shoulder straps to be fifteen inches long, with two holes to receive brass stud; the right lower strap to be fourteen inches long, to fasten at the bottom with buckle; he breast strap to be seventeen inches long and three-quarters of an inch wide, to fasten on each end by brass stud, and connect in the center by buckle; three straps on top of knapsack, three-quarters of an inch wide, to buckle around the overcoat when rolled; a white painted number 7 on the outside, three and one half inches in length.

Haversack.

Enameled leather, twelve inches long, ten inches deep, two and one-half inches wide, with welting in seams; corners rounded; rounded flat to ditto, bound with black roan, with five-eighths of an inch strap and buckle; five inches deep; white muslin bag inside; plain leather shoulder strap, four to four and one-half feet long, one and one-quarter inches wide, with black japanned roller buckle.

Miscellaneous.

The caps are not to be worn on one side, but are to be placed even on the men’s heads, and brought well down upon the forehead.

The bayonet scabbard and cartridge box should be placed so as not to be seen in front and entirely free from contact with the arms.

The top of the knapsack is to be in line with the bottom of the collar of the coat. In marching order, the overcoat is to be rolled and secured on the top of the knapsack, with straps placed there for that purpose.

When the men are provided with blankets, they will be folded square and placed under the outer straps of the knapsack.

Source:

The Manual of the Seventh Regiment, National Guard, S.N.Y.

Published in 1868

The Second Battle of Funkstown, Maryland

During the day of July 9th, at Middletown, General George Meade issued orders for his army to cross the SouthMountain range located along the South Mountain Battlefield and concentrate in the valley. The First, Sixth and Eleventh Corps would march through Turner’s Gap. The Third and Fifth Corps would march through Fox’s Gap. The Second and Twelfth Corps would march through Crampton’s Gap. That evening Meade would establish his headquarters near the Devil’s Backbone, located along the Antietam Creek.

Confederate General JEB Stuart positioned himself east of Funkstown, and was attacked early in the evening by Union General John Buford’s Union Cavalry. General Stuart was pushed back toward Funkstown. This would set the stage for the Second Battle of Funkstown.

As July 10th, 1863 dawned, the air was very humid and hot. A light drizzle would fall upon the rich fields of agricultural produce. Shortly after dawn, General Stuart was alerted of a large Union force working its way toward Funkstown, via the National Road. This Union force was that of General John Buford and his cavalry division. General Buford dismounted his cavalry near Boonsboro. Following behind General Buford was General Judson Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Division and the Union Sixth Corps, under the command of General John Sedgwick.

Funkstown is located east of the Antietam Creek and is where the National Road and the Baltimore Road intersect. To the east of Funkstown, were several farms, open fields and wooded areas, as well as a ridge. Funkstown is also just to the southeast of Hagerstown. For Stuart, he would have to contest this Union force to buy Confederate General Robert E. Lee time to complete his defenses of Hagerstown and Williamsport.

Examining the layout of his cavalry, General Stuart quickly realized that he needed reinforcements. Colonel Vincent Witcher and his 34th Virginia Cavalry Battalion were dismounted across the National Road, and were supported by Captain Roger Chew’s Battery. Positioned along the Baltimore Road was artillery support from Manley’s Battery A of North Carolina Artillery, which arrived after the fighting had begun. As the rest of Stuart’s force deployed, he would eventually have General Grumble Jones and General Fitzhugh Lee on the left, and Colonel Milton Furguson, Colonel John Chambliss, and General Beverly Robertson’s brigades of cavalry on the right, forming a crescent shaped defense. General Jones held the extreme left, occupying the open areas along Beaver Creek Road. Needing additional support to plug in the gaps, Stuart sent word for infantry support.   

Upon arriving near Funkstown, General John Buford deployed his division near Stover’s Woods. General Wesley Merritt’s Brigade was deployed on the right with Devin’s and Gamble’s brigades in reserve. Buford’s artillery deployed Lieutenants Calef’s and Graham’s Batteries behind Merritt on the National Road. At around eight in the morning, the Battle of Funkstown began as Merritt’s troopers moved out and the Union batteries opened. Merritt’s dismounted troopers moved forward along the high ravine with Gamble’s troops to his left, along the National Road. Devin’s troopers were moving to the left of the National Road and east of the Antietam Creek.

The fighting in the fields south and east of Funkstown were very hot as the morning wore on.  Troopers of Fitz Lee’s brigade skirmished with Merritt’s brigade and soon the Union artillery forced them back. Chew’s Battery limbered and redeployed closer to Funkstown. At one point during the battle, General Buford felt a tug on his uniform coat. As he inspected his garment, he saw several holes in it made from Confederate bullets.

Earlier in the morning, General Stuart had sent a courier seeking infantry support and by one o’clock in the afternoon the courier had found General George T. Anderson and his Georgia brigade. Colonel William White was commanding the brigade, and was under orders to guard the stone arch bridge that spanned the Antietam Creek. He also had a regiment on detach duty, his own 7th Georgia Infantry, and told the courier that he was under orders by General Law. Colonel White and the courier rode across the bridge to find Stuart. After a brief discussion, Colonel White rode back to bring up the Georgia Brigade. Moving behind White’s Georgians was Paul Semmes’ Brigade, under the command of Colonel Goode Bryan. General Kershaw’s South Carolina Brigade was moved to the stone bridge, where the Georgia Brigade was in position and held in reserve.

Under heavy artillery fire, General Fitzhugh Lee ordered Colonel White to bring his men up and deploy. White’s Georgia boys found the landscape difficult. Obstructions such as stonewalls, wooden fences, and farm buildings had but stalled his advancing line. To make matters worse, they were receiving heavy fire from the dismounted cavalry troopers and their artillery. Colonel Bryan deployed to the left of White.

Buford’s men had fought all morning, and by the mid afternoon were running low on ammunition. Needing reinforcements, General Buford rode to find General Albion Howe’s Second Division of Sedgwick’s Corps. General Howe told Buford he was under orders not to engage in an all out battle with the enemy. General Howe began communications with General Sedgewick, and finally obtained permission to send out reinforcements to Buford. General Howe ordered Colonel Lewis Grant and his Vermont Brigade to take up position where Buford’s men were located.

P1010073At a little past three in the afternoon, the Vermont Brigade arrived, and began to deploy skirmishers. The 5th and 6th Vermont Infantry were ordered to a wooded crest that was occupied by portions of Buford’s troopers. Seeing the Confederate infantry moving toward the crest, the Vermonters managed to beat the Confederates from taking the ground. Soon the 5th Vermont, holding the left closest to the National Road, and the 6thVermont, holding the right close to the Baltimore Pike, extended their skirmish line almost two miles.

Due to the skirmish line stretching so far with so few men, a gap soon opened on the left flank of the 5th Vermont Infantry, near the Antietam Creek. Two companies of the 2nd Vermont Infantry were ordered to fill the gap, while the rest of their regiment was held in reserve. The 3rd and 4th Vermont Infantry regiments were ordered to support the 3rd New York Battery under Captain William Harn.

Soon the Confederate artillery began shelling the Union line. Thinking that an infantry attack would soon follow, Colonel Grant ordered the 3rd Vermont Infantry forward, to the right of the 6th Vermont, becoming the extreme right of Vermont’s skirmish line. The 4th Vermont Infantry was ordered to be positioned between the left of the 6th Vermont Infantry and the right of the 5th Vermont Infantry. Eight companies of the 2nd Vermont Infantry were held in support of the 3rd New York Battery.

Soon the Confederate infantry began to move forward against the Union line. The Confederate infantry had to move across open fields, and the stone walls proved to be deadly for them, forcing them to stop, climb over, and then reform their lines. A member of the 59thGeorgia recalled his position “Was on high ground, with not so much as a twig to protect it from the murderous fire in the front and the heavy converging fire from the right.”

The Vermonters did not yield one inch of ground and forced the Confederate infantry back after a fierce contest. The Confederate infantry reformed their battle line and began to move forward. One regiment was sent across the Antietam Creek to threaten the Union left flank.

Seeing this, Colonel Grant ordered the remaining companies of the 2nd Vermont Infantry forward, extending the Vermonter’s skirmish line even further. The Confederate advance was repulsed. The fighting was so intense at Funkstown that at one point the Vermonters had gone through their ammunition and more had to be brought up by stretchers to re-supply them.

After the battle, many of the Vermonters wrote letters telling about their ordeal. One Union soldier wrote “Mr. Johhny Rebs thought he was going to crush our thin picket line but the whistling minnies from our accurate rifles came most too thick and close for their courage to stand. With a few more Vermonters we could have annihilated the whole crew.” Colonel Grant stated “As the center of the enemies lines went back in confusion, some of our men jumped upon a fence, and, tauntingly calling them cowards, told them to come back, that there was nothing there but militia.” Taunting the Confederates would prove deadly as nine Federal soldiers fell dead, and 59 fell wounded.

Funkstown was also one of the only battles, since the closing of the Battle of Gettysburg, where infantry fought against infantry. The Vermonters had won the day, however the fighting that took place during the day bought the Confederate army more time. Many soldiers of the Sixth Corps saw the Vermonters fight, and saw first hand their display of gallantry.

The town of Funkstown lost the most. Much of the rich agriculture and produce was destroyed by the battle. The town itself became a vast hospital, and several homes were hit by the destructive Union artillery. The Union casualties for the Battle of Funkstown were as follows:  Buford’s Division lost 99 troopers in the fight; the Vermonters lost 97 men. The Confederates had lost about 183 men, with more than half of that number from Stuart’s cavalry.

As night fell the Vermonters began to dig in.  Private Cutler recalled “We dug holes out with our bayonets and piled dirt up in front of us to cover ourselves, for we expected as soon as daylight came they would commence to pop away at us but they did not so we got up and walked around in sight of them and their batteries.” 

Resources:
United States War Department.  War of the Rebellion, A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.  Volume 128.  WashingtonD.C. 1880-1901.
North and South Vol. 2, No. 6, August 1999. 
Brown, Kent Masterson. Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign. Retreat from Gettysburg. University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
Moore, Robert H., II. The Chew’s Ashby Shoemaker’s Lynchburg, and the Newton Artillery. H.E. Howard, Lynchburg, Va.1995.
Schildt, John W.  Roads from Gettysburg.  Burd Street Press, 1979
Wittenberg, Eric J., Petruzzi, J. David., Nugent, Mike. One Continuous Fight, The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July4-14, 1863. Savas Beatie, New York and California, 2008
Zeller, Paul G. The Second Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1861-1865, McFarland and Company, North Carolina, 2009.