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Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 1: the organization of the 121st New York Volunteers (search)
ne in each Senatorial District. Under the latter plan the 121st was recruited in the 20th Senatorial District comprising the two counties of Herkimer and Otsego. To supervise the organization of the regiment, Governor Morgan appointed the Hon. Richard Franchot, and also a committee from the two counties which should appoint County Committees to prosecute the work in the several townships. The Senatorial Committee consisted of the following named persons: R. Ethridge, Wm. Gates, Ezra Graves, ing persons are hereby appointed field staff and company officers, and will be commissioned when the complete muster rolls of the regiment thus organized shall have been filed in the office of the Adjutant General of the State. Colonel: Richard Franchot; Lieut. Colonel: C. H. Clark; Major: Egbert Olcott; Surgeon: Wm. Bassett; 1st Assistant Surgeon: N. S. B. Valentine; 2d Assistant Surgeon: David M. Holt; Chaplain: J. R. Sage; Adjutant: Alonzo Ferguson; Quartermaster: Albert Story. Compan
ly assigned to organizations already in the field. The 121st was ordered to report to the Fifth Corps, then located in Virginia, south of Washington. When on the march to cross the Potomac, it was met by General Slocum, who was a friend of Col. Franchot, and by his influence the regiment was reassigned to the Sixth Corps. It was by this unexpected meeting of two old friends that in going to the front the 121st was put into one of the choicest brigades of the army; and we were marched out byve fatigue and exposure. Many subsequent marches were longer and more difficult, but they were made under experienced commanders, with the men more inured to exercise, and with facilities to better take care of themselves. The ambition of Col. Franchot to report at the front as soon as possible, led him to resume the march at 2 A. M. the next morning, thus giving the men only three hours for rest and sleep. Many who had not been able to keep up on the previous day, were deprived of even th
moved on quickly and passed us. We were front faced in line of battle, and moved forward a short distance and told to lie down, that we were in an enemy's country, and also told to keep out of sight and not expose ourselves to view, as the enemy were only a short distance in advance of us; and a battle would soon take place. We were also told that because of our being new troops, and undisciplined General Slocum had decided not to put us into battle unless it became necessary; although Colonel Franchot had appealed to him, to let his regiment take the lead, make the charge and do anything that brave men could be asked to do. Where we were, we could see nothing. Troops were passing along in rear of us in a steady, unbroken column; and although there were guards posted in front of us to prevent our moving forward, a lot of us moved along with the column past the regiment, attracted by curiosity and the increasing magnitude of the infantry fire. I went along with the troops in the road
ad died. Of the sick, both officers and enlisted men, some died, some were discharged for disability, and others returned to duty with the regiment. The other important event during the stay in camp at Bakersville was the resignation of Colonel Franchot, and the appointment in his place of Emory Upton. Colonel Franchot had shown ability in the enlistment and organization of the regiment, and is to be honored for his patriotism and zeal in his service for the country. But his education hadColonel Franchot had shown ability in the enlistment and organization of the regiment, and is to be honored for his patriotism and zeal in his service for the country. But his education had been wholly civilian; and military service was entirely new to him. He wisely decided to resign his command and return to civil life, and resume his place in Congress, of which he was a Representative. But before doing so, he used his influence to have Captain Upton appointed Colonel of the 121st, and for this he deserves the approval and gratitude of every member of the regiment. Colonel Upton was commissioned on September 25th, and being duly presented to the regiment was received with hear
th Lee at Sailor's Creek, suffering losses in eighteen different engagements, counted by superior officers the equal of any regular regiment, its surviving members are not willing to abate a jot from its rightful credit, and they glory in the fact that its place in every exigency of battle was in the front line from which it was never driven nor retired, except at command of its ranking officer. The officers of the regiment and their terms of service are given as follows: Colonels: Franchot, July 19 to September 25, 1862; Upton, October 23, 1862 to July 4, 1864; Olcott, April 18 to June 25, 1865. Lieutenant Colonels: C. A. Clark, August 23, 1862 to March 24, 1863; E. Olcott, April 10, 1863 to April 19, 1865; John S. Kidder, May 22 to June 25, 1865. Majors: E. Olcott, August 23, 1862 to April 10, 1863; A. E. Mather, May 3, 1863 to February 4, 1864; H. M. Galpin, March 31 to December 21, 1864; J. W. Cronkite, December 24, 1864 to June 25, 1865. Adjutants: A. Ferguson