140th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment

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The 140th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was a United States Federal military Regiment that was mustered on September 13, 1862 and was mustered out on June 3, 1865 for service in the American Civil War.

Citizens of Monroe County, New York made up the majority of its members. Companies B, C, E, F, K and part of G were men from Rochester; the remaining four and a half companies were populated by citizens of the neighboring towns and villages.

The 140th left Rochester on September 19 of 1862 and after a brief stay in the defensive fortifications around Washington, DC, saw some action at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. The regiment went through its first severe punishment in battle on the second day of July in 1863 at Gettysburg. No sooner had it arrived on the battlefield when the 140th was ordered into action on the slopes of Little Round Top. Summoned by Brig. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren to reinforce Vincent's 16th Michigan, the 140th charged over the hill led by Col. Patrick "Paddy" O'Rorke, pushing back the 4th and 5th Texas. Although the 140th was successful in its defense of the Hill, it cost the regiment 133 casualties: 37 dead including Colonel O'Rorke, 78 wounded and 18 missing.[1]

In the winter camp of 1863-64, the regiment was outfitted as Zouaves.[2] These flamboyant uniforms were patterned after elite French army units which had earned military glory in the 1850s, and they even were "awarded" to the 140th in recognition of the regiment's seamless record.

During 1864, General Grant assumed command of all Federal forces and began a relentless push toward the Confederacy's capitol of Richmond. The 140th's participation in this campaign cost 384 of its men in 39 days, as well as the life of Colonel George Ryan. The heaviest losses were at The Wilderness and Cold Harbor. By the war's end, Sgt. Robert F. Shipley had won the Medal of Honor, but only 245 of its original members answered to its final muster.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gdg.org/Research/Authored%20Items/benn2.html
  2. ^ page 30 American Civil War Zouaves, Robin Smith ISBN 1-85532-571-3