User:PerrysSaints/48th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment

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Regimental History[edit]

This regiment was formed in the New York City area in 1861, by Reverend James H. Perry, who was a graduate of West Point Military Academy. Colonel Perry had previously served in the Mexican War. He later bacame the regiment's first commander. In 1862, the men of the Forty-Eighth left for the seat of war from Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and sailed south to Hilton Head, South Carolina fighting in the engagements to capture Forts Walker and Beauregard.

The 48th headed farther South off the coast of Georgia where they took part in the siege and capture of Fort Pulaski, Savannah, Georgia in April 1862. The men of the 48th garrisoned the fort and assisted in the repairs through 1863, before they saw their first true test of combat, which would lead them to the shores of South Carolina, where they engaged the assault on Fort Wagner on Folly Island. Along with regiments which included the well known African American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, the 48th New York was heavily engaged and lost more men than any other Union regiment in this fight. Casualties listed: 54 killed, 112 wounded, and 76 missing.

Perry's Saint's, as they had become known after their first commanding officer, traveled to Florida in 1864 to take part in the Expeditionary force moving into the interior of Florida. They were heavily engaged in the Battle of Olustee, Florida, the largest land battle fought in the state of Florida during the war. Many of the men captured during the battle were sent to Andersonville Prison as POW's.

In mid 1864, the regiment moved northward to the Virginia Theater of Operations where it was heavily involved in the deadly fighting at the Battle of Cold Harbor, in which the regiment lost its colors valiantly when the color bearer was cut down in the Confederate trenches. They were engaged in the trench warfare outside the city of Petersburg, VA, and witnessed the Mine Explosion. The regiment also fought in the Battles of Drewry's Bluff, Strawberry Plains, Chaffin's Farm, and Bermuda Hundred around the Richmond, VA area.

In January 1865, the regiment was once again involved in a coastal assault, this time attacking Fort Fisher, the largest earthenwork fort in the Confederacy located just off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. The 48th New York marched through the eastern part of North Carolina and finally to Raleigh, where it witnessed the end of the war; the largest surrender of the war taking place on April 26, 1865 at Bennett Place near Durham Station.

The regiment remained in Raleigh, NC until September 1865 when it was finally sent home to New York, where the men furled their banners for the final call, and then mustered out of service.

The regiment left behind men in the National Cemeteries and smalltown distant cemeteries of Beaufort, SC, St. Augustine, FL, Cold Harbor, VA, Wilmington, and Raleigh, NC. The Forty-Eighth lost 859 men, killed and wounded, during the terrible fighting of its last twenty months of service-a noble record.