9th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment

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9th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment, U.S. Volunteers
9th New York Heavy Artillery Battle Flag.jpg
9th New York Heavy Artillery Flank Marker
ActiveSeptember 6, 1862 – July 6, 1865
DisbandedJuly 6, 1865
CountryUnited States
TypeHeavy Artillery
RoleHeavy Artillery and Infantry
Size3,227 (Total Enrollment)
Part ofXXII Corps
and VI Corps
Garrison/HQFort Kearney, Fort Mansfield, Fort Simmons, Fort Bayard, Fort Gaines, Fort Foote, Fort Reno, Fort Summner, Fort Thayler, Fort Fisher (Petersburg),[1] other forts
Nickname(s)Second Auburn Regiment, Second Wayne and Cayuga Regiment, Seward's Pets,[2] Life Insurance Regiment
PatronSecretary of State William H. Seward[3]
ColorsRed and gold
MarchBelle Brandon[4][5]
RifleSmooth-bored Muskets, model 1842 (.69 caliber)[6]
EngagementsOverland Campaign

Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864
Siege of Petersburg

Appomattox Campaign
Battle honoursCold Harbor, Petersburg, Monocacy, Opequon, Cedar Creek, Petersburg, April 2d, and Sailor's Creek[7]
Regimental CommanderColonel James W. Snyder
(November 28, 1864 – July 6, 1865)
Regimental CommanderColonel Edward P. Taft
(May 21, 1864 – September 15, 1864)
Regimental CommanderColonel William H. Seward Jr.
(May 21, 1864 – September 15, 1864)
Regimental CommanderColonel Joseph Welling
(August 22, 1862 – May 20, 1864)
Colonel William H. Seward Jr.
Company M in 1865 in one of the Washington, DC forts

The 9th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment, U.S. Volunteers was a regiment in the American Civil War. It was one of the nine Heavy Artillery regiments to suffer over 200 killed.[8] It is also mentioned as one of Fox's 300 Fighting Regiments.[9]


Formation and Defences of Washington, D.C.[edit]

The regiment was originally mustered in on September 8, 1862, as the 138th New York Infantry Regiment, was quickly taken to Washington D.C. to be used in the defenses of the nation's capital. On December 19, 1862, it was redesignated as the 9th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment. On February 5, 1863, an additional Company M was created within the regiment with the transfer of the 22d N.Y. Volunteer Battery. Company L was organized in Albany between November 4 and December 9, 1863.[10]

Amongst the regimental commanders, William H. Seward Jr. stands out as he is the son of then-Secretary of State William H. Seward. Due to this, William H. Seward visited the regiment often, and as a consequence, it gained the nickname, "Seward's Pets."[11]

The Regiment was divided into three battalions. After the formation of the regiment, its duties were the protection of the capital. While there, it built and garrisoned Fort Mansfield, Fort Bayard, Fort Gaines, and Fort Foote until spring, 1864. A letter to the editor of the Dem. Press gives the condition of the regiment on March 11, 1864, about two months before the 9th began combat operations. The letter is taken from the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center.[12]

The 9th Artillery—their number, services, condition, &c.
Hospital Dep't, 9th N. Y. Artillery,
Fort Mansfield, Md., March 11, '64.
TO THE EDITOR DEM. PRESS:—There has been a great deal said in Lyons and vicinity respecting the number of men in the Ninth Artillery--the number ranging, as stated by different reports, at all points from eighteen hundred up to three thousand. For the information of those who are not posted, I will state that the aggregate number in the Report which was this morning sent to Brigade Headquarters was 1,674; of this number 79 are recruits who have lately arrived, and are not yet assigned to companies. The number of men in each Company is as follows: Co. A, 127; B, 147; C, 99; D, 121; E, 91; F, 132; G, 102; H, 146; I, 148; K, 147; L, 147; M, 137. These numbers, of course, do not include commissioned officers.
Allow me, also, to disabuse the minds of your readers in regard to another point. This regiment has been styled the "pet Regiment," Life Insurance Regiment, &c. Probably there is not a Regiment in the Defences of Washington that has done more fatigue duty and real hard work than the Ninth. If it has not fought as many battles as some Regiments, the work which it has done has been as valuable to the Government. Besides building Forts Simmons, Mansfield, Bayard, Gaines and Foote, (one of the largest in the Defences,) it helped build Forts Reno and Sumner, two very large Forts, and has dug miles upon miles of rifle pits and built miles upon miles of Military roads and in addition chopped over more land then a good many of the farms in Wayne County put together would compose. Notwithstanding this vast amount of "drill" with the pick, shovel and axe, Col. Welling has brought the Regiment to as high a state of discipline as can be desired. If the boys have not worked, who has?
Yours, W. L. G.

Combat Operations[edit]

Overland Campaign[edit]

In May 1864, Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant took command of the Union Army, embarking on an aggressive campaign, called the Overland Campaign, against the south. Due to heavy casualties suffered by Union Army, more troops were needed to embark on the campaign. To achieve this, General Grant ordered most of the troops defending the capital, including the 9th New York Heavy Artillery, to the front to increase troop numbers.[13] They would now be Heavy Artillery in name only, donning their rifles and assuming the duties of infantrymen. Two battalions, 1st and 2nd, of the 9th joined the VI Corps and the Army of the Potomac as infantry, while one, the 3rd battalion (Cos. C, I, L, and F), joined the Artillery Brigade. They numbered 1,944 men on May 26, 1864, as reported by Maj. Charles Burgess, before commencement of combat operations.[14]

Battle of Cold Harbor[edit]

The 9th New York Heavy Artillery joined the VI Corps on the banks of North Anna River on May 26, 1864, and then marched to the Pamunkey during the nights of May 27 and 28. From there, it departed for Cold Harbor on May 29, guarding the wagon train along the way, where it saw its first offensive action on June 1, 1864, at the Battle of Cold Harbor, where the brigade they were part of charged at 6 pm and captured several hundred prisoners, and also managed to hold against several counterattacks on June 2.[15] It also participated in the major attack on June 3, being placed second and third in the line of battle in Keifer's Brigade (110th Ohio and 122nd Ohio Infantry in the first line of battle, and 6th Maryland, 126th Ohio, and 138th Pennsylvania Infantry in the fourth line) in the 3rd Division, where they were ordered at 6 am to proceeded to advance 200 yards, where upon they entrenched under heavy fire.[16] Over the course of the Battle of Cold Harbor the 9th numbered 43 killed and mortally wounded, 99 wounded, and 6 missing, for a total of 148.


Defense of Washington D.C. (September 1862 – May 1864)

May 18, 1864: Joines the Army of the Potomac, begins to march torwards it

Overland Campaign (May through June 1864)

  • May 26–28: On line of the Pamunkey River

Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 (August 7 – November 28)

October 3:*3rd battalion (Cos. C, I, L, and F) rejoins the regiment
  • October 19: Battle of Cedar Creek,[29] lost 64 killed and mortally :wounded and 144 wounded, for a total of 208 casualties[30]
  • October through December: Duty at Kernstown
  • December 3: Moved to Washington, D.C., then to Petersburg

Siege of Petersburg (December 1864-April 1865),[31] 15 killed

  • March 25, 1865: Fort Fisher

Appomattox Campaign (March 28-April 9)

2 men died on picket in Virginia and 2 at an unknown location. 41 died as Prisoners of War.

Total Regimental Losses and Calculated Percentages[edit]

Regiment losses included 6 Officers and 198 men killed or mortally wounded. 3 Officers and 254 Enlisted men died by disease. The total deaths were 461.

Killed and Died of Wounds: 204[33]
Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 257[34]
Died in Confederate Prisons (Previously Included): 41[35]
Total Dead: 461
Total Wounded: 363
Total Casualties: 824[36]
Total Percentage Dead: 14.29%
Total Percentage Killed (Previously Included): 6.32%
Total Percentage Wounded: 11.25%
Total Casualty Percentage: 25.53%

Post War[edit]

After the war, the soldiers of the Regiment not eligible for discharge from service were transferred to the 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Regiment. They formed four companies, I, K, L and M.[37]

Notable Members[edit]

This list of notable members (in no particular order) is based on bios given in Alfred Seelye Roe's book, "The Ninth New York heavy artillery, a history of its organization, services in the defenses of Washington, marches, camps, battles, and muster-out, with accounts of life in a Rebel prison, personal experiences, names and addresses of surviving members, personal sketches, and a complete roster of the Regiment".

  • Colonel William H. Seward Jr., son of Secretary of State William Henry Seward
  • Private John Henry DeVoe, who married Emma Smith DeVoe, a famous Woman's Suffragist, and assisted in her campaigns.
  • Major Dwight Scott Chamberlain, a surgeon during the Civil War, Medical Doctor, banker, and prominent citizen of Lyons, New York, United States.
  • 1st Lieutenant Reuben Burton, prominent Reverend and businessman.
  • Major George W. Brinkerhoff, assemblyman for eastern Wayne, supervisor of the town of Wolcott, abolished fees for the services of county clerks and sheriffs
  • Private Alfred Seelye Roe, a teacher, author, member of the legislature for Massachusetts, and State Senator. He was also chronicler and amateur historian for the 138th New York Infantry/9th New York Heavy Artillery, and other regimental histories.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.nps.gov/hdp/standards/CRGIS/earthworks7.htm
  2. ^ Roe, "The Ninth New York heavy artillery" pg. 34
  3. ^ https://archive.org/stream/ninthnewyorkheav00roea#page/34/mode/2up/search/Seward
  4. ^ https://archive.org/stream/ninthnewyorkheav00roea#page/290/mode/2up/search/regimental+band
  5. ^ http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/R805.html
  6. ^ Volume 14 (Ordnance Returns for the Second Quarter, April–June, 1864); 9th New York Heavy Artillery Entry, Page 12; Summary Statements of Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand in Regular and Volunteer Army Organizations, 1862-1867, 1870-1876. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1281, Roll 7); Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1797-1969, Record Group 156; National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
  7. ^ Roe, Alfred S., The Ninth New York Heavy Artillery. A History of Its Organization, Services in the Defenses of Washington, Marches, Camps, Battles, and Muster-out ... and a Complete Roster of the Regiment, pg. 287
  8. ^ The Union army; a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers, Volume 2, pg. 215
  9. ^ Fox, William F., "Regimental losses in the American Civil War, 1861-1865. A treatise on the extent and nature of the mortuary losses in the Union regiments, with full and exhaustive statistics compiled from the official records on file in the state military bureaus and at Washington", 1889. Print , pg. 189
  10. ^ Alfred Seelye Roe (1899). The Ninth New York heavy artillery: A history of its organization, services in the defenses of Washington, marches, camps, battles, and muster-out … and a complete roster of the regiment. The author. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  11. ^ Roe,"The Ninth New York heavy artillery", pg. 34
  12. ^ http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/artillery/9thHeavyArty/9thHeavyArtyCWN.htm
  13. ^ Hattaway and Jones, pp. 527–28; Salmon, p. 252; Eicher, pp. 660–61.
  14. ^ The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XXXVI, pg. 740
  15. ^ The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XXXVI, pg. 734
  16. ^ The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XXXVI, pg. 734-35, 740
  17. ^ "Civil War Defenses of Washington". www.nps.gov. National Park Service. June 23, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  18. ^ "National Park Service: Fort Foote". www.nps.gov. National Park Service. June 20, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  19. ^ "National Park Service: Fort Foote – History & Culture". www.nps.gov. National Park Service. June 20, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  20. ^ Report of Maj. Charles Burgess, Ninth New York Heavy Artillery, of operations May 26-June 8
  21. ^ "Richmond National Battlefield Park: The Battle of Totopotomoy Creek, May 29-31, 1864". www.nps.gov. United States National Park Service. June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  22. ^ National Park Service Cold Harbor web page within the Richmond National Battlefield website
  23. ^ National Park Service Petersburg National Battlefield website
  24. ^ National Park Service Monocacy National Battlefield Park website
  25. ^ https://archive.org/stream/reglossescivilwar00foxwrich#page/188/mode/2up
  26. ^ http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/artillery/9thHeavyArty/9thHeavyArtyCWN.htm
  27. ^ https://archive.org/stream/unionarmyhistory02madi#page/214/mode/2up
  28. ^ https://archive.org/stream/reglossescivilwar00foxwrich#page/188/mode/2up
  29. ^ "Battle of Cedar Creek web site". Archived from the original on 2011-06-18. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
  30. ^ https://archive.org/stream/reglossescivilwar00foxwrich#page/188/mode/2up
  31. ^ Pamlin park web site
  32. ^ Petersburg web site
  33. ^ https://archive.org/details/reglossescivilwar00foxwrich
  34. ^ https://archive.org/details/reglossescivilwar00foxwrich
  35. ^ https://archive.org/details/reglossescivilwar00foxwrich
  36. ^ https://archive.org/details/reglossescivilwar00foxwrich
  37. ^ Unit History: 9th Heavy Artillery Regiment New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History. November 9, 2006 .

Further reading[edit]


  • Roe, Alfred Seelye "In a Rebel prison; or, experiences in Danville." Personal Narratives Rhode Island soldiers and sailors historical society 4th ser, no. 16, 1891.
  • Roe, Alfred Seelye "Monocacy, a sketch of the battle of Monocacy, Md., July 9th, 1864", read before the Regimental reunion Oct. 19, 1894, in Weedsport, N. Y. Worcester: [F. S. Blanchard & co.] 1894.
  • Roe, Alfred Seelye "The Ninth New York heavy artillery, a history of its organization, services in the defenses of Washington, marches, camps, battles, and muster-out, with accounts of life in a Rebel prison, personal experiences, names and addresses of surviving members, personal sketches, and a complete roster of the Regiment" Worcester, Mass.: Published by the author, 1899.
  • Roe, Alfred Seelye "Richmond, Annapolis, and home." Personal Narratives Rhode Island soldiers and sailors historical society 4th ser, no 17, 1892.
  • Roe, Alfred Seelye "The youth in the rebellion, address given before Geo. H. Ward post 10, G.A.R. in Mechanics hall, Worcester, Mass., June 3, 1883, by Alfred S. Roe" Worcester: Press of Charles Hamilton, 1883.
  • "Recollections of Monocacy." Personal Narratives Rhode Island soldiers and sailors historical society 3d ser, no 10, 1885.
  • Saunders, Lisa. Ever True: Civil War Letters of Seward's New York 9th Heavy Artillery of Wayne and Cayuga Counties Between a Soldier, His Wife and His Canadian Family. Heritage Books, 2004. More information is here www.authorlisasaunders.com/ (link opens new window)
  • Snyder, Charles M. "A teen-age G.I. in the Civil war." New York History xxxv (1954) 14-31.


External links[edit]