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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)
. 52 from this department, having been duly organized, said companies are hereby formed into a regiment, to be known and designated as the 121st Regiment of New York State Volunteers. The following 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. Company A. Captain, H. M. Galpin; 1st Lieut., Jonathan Burrill; 2d Lieut., George W. Davis. Company B. Captain, Irvin Holcomb; 1st Lieut., H. C. Keith; 2d Lieut., George A. May. Company C. Captain, C. A. Moon; 1st. Lieut., Thomas S. Arnold; 2d Lieut., Angus Cameron. Company D. Captain, John D. Fish
articipant in the melon-patch episode just outside of Philadelphia, while the train was waiting on a siding for other trains to pass. Colonel Cronkite says that the tedium of the wait was relieved by a raid on a neighboring melon patch in which more than half of the regiment participated; and that, led by an officer, they returned to the train laden with a melon each.) The regiment in box cars arrived in Washington on Sept. 3d, in the morning and arrived at Hyattsville in the afternoon. Major Olcott, having been sent ahead to get instructions, was asked by the commanding officer whether the regiment was from the country and had good choppers in it. The major answered that it was from an agricultural and dairy section, and did not contain many axemen. There the matter ended. This journey from Camp Schuyler to Washington, made so quietly and orderly, so soon after the muster of the regiment, demonstrates the remarkable character of the officers and the men composing it. They were not
for command in active warfare. After taking formal command Colonel Upton obtained a leave of absence for a few days, which left the command of the regiment to Major Olcott, Lieut. Colonel Clark being absent sick. Near the camp of the 121st was a large brick barn, the application for the use of which for hospital purposes had been refused. Major Olcott on his own authority took possession of this barn, and moved the sick from the cornstalk hospital into it. If over assumption of authority is ever justified, it certainly was in this case, and probably on that account Major Olcott escaped censure for his act. Immediately upon his return to duty, ColonelMajor Olcott escaped censure for his act. Immediately upon his return to duty, Colonel Upton began the system of discipline, and drill, that soon brought the regiment to the high efficiency for which it became noted and which placed it among the most reliable of the organizations of the Army. Colonel Upton was a young man, twenty-two years of age, a graduate of West Point, who had won recognition for efficiency a
Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 5: the battle of Fredericksburg (search)
lothes on to protect me from the penetrating chill of the damp, cold air and fog. We took turns watching the front. I do not think a sound escaped our ears, and I was very much vexed at one of our fellows who was off duty snoring for a time. Major Olcott went the round of the line and asked me quite a number of questions when he visited my post. I was on duty at the time. It was moonlight when the relief came, the 77th N. Y., I think. They came up so quickly and silently that I did not nod were honorably discharged. Also later Captains Campbell and Ramsay and Lieutenants Story, Kieth and Van Horn. Asst. Surgeon Valentine was dismissed for incompetency after trial by court martial. Captain Angus Cameron died of typhoid fever, Major Olcott was promoted to Lieut. Colonel, and Lieut. Mather and Adjutant Arnold to Captains. Cleveland J. Campbell of Cherry Valley was commissioned as Captain in the regiment, and Henry Upton as 2d Lieutenant. Lieut. Sternberg was promoted to Quarterm
Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 8: Meade and Lee's game of strategy (search)
ttle of Antietam. The 121st, now reduced to fourteen line officers present for duty, with Major Mather in command, took up the line of march through Boonsborough, Middletown and Burkettsville to the old crossing of the Potomac, at Berlin. Lieut.-Col. Olcott, Captain Gordon and Lieut. Bates were left behind sick. Captain Galpin and Lieutenants Paine and VanScoy with an escort of men, were sent to Washington to bring a squad of conscripts to the regiment. Having crossed the river at Berlin on the finest fellows in the regiment, a member of Company D, was killed. Our entire loss was four killed and twenty-two wounded. Major Mather was in command of the regiment and gained the high opinion of the men for his coolness and ability. Colonel Olcott was away, nursing the injuries he had received from falling off his horse some time before. It has always been a mystery to me why those Johnnies did not kill every one of us, and how any of us escaped. Colonel Upton not only encouraged h
Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 9: under Grant in the Wilderness (search)
d the campaign of 1864 began the regiment was officered as follows: Colonel Upton commanding the brigade; Lieutenant Colonel Olcott commanding the regiment; Major, H. M. Galpin; Surgeon, John O. Slocum; Asst. Surgeon, D. M. Holt; Adjutant, F. rdered in line, but before they could get to and seize their guns, the armed men were rushed to the scene of action. Colonel Olcott attempted to prevent this division of the regiment and did all he could to keep it together. Arriving at the point oThe firing in that direction was pretty well maintained, showing that the enemy was meeting with steady resistance. Colonel Olcott was at the head of the regiment and we hurried along moving by the right flank in column of fours. I do not know howand following in that direction a few moments, I came to the edge of the woods and saw Goodman of our company leading Colonel Olcott's horse, and a Company G man told me that the colonel was shot in the head, and a prisoner. As I came out of the wo
Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 10: the tenth of May (search)
Chapter 10: the tenth of May May 10th assault capture of enemy's works failure of support Orderly withdrawal responsibility for failure Colonel Olcott wounded and captured Upton's promotion to Brig. General. the Bloody angle From the 5th to the 10th of May the regiment, with the brigade, occupied several positions of importance, covering the left wing of the army, and on two occasions came into skirmish action with the enemy, and suffered several casualties. On the 10th of May the regiment formed a part of the first line of an assault on the entrenchments of the enemy, which was brilliantly successful and ought to have resulted in the utter rout of Lee's army. The account of this sanguinary assault is best begun by quoting Colonel Upton's official report of it: The point of attack was at an angle near the Scott House, about half a mile from the Spottsylvania road. The enemy's entrenchments were of formidable character, with abatis in front, and surmount
Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 16: with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley (search)
M. moved to Crook's left and remained in reserve. August 28: Marched at 1 A. M. and camped eleven and one-half miles from Charlestown, in position held on the 21st inst. September 3: Marched to a position near Clifton and remained until Sept 19. September 19: Broke camp at 3:30 A. M., crossed the Opequon Creek at 9 A. M. To fill in the incidents of this period of apparently erratic movement, resort must be made to Colonel Beckwith's narrative. He writes, While at Halltown, Colonel Olcott and quite a number of men, who had been away wounded and sick, returned to the regiment and increased its strength and appearance materially. On the 16th we started back down the valley, marched all night and passed through Winchester at 8 o'clock in the morning and got some pies and eggs with jewelry advertisements which the inhabitants mistook for greenbacks. On the 21st the enemy drove in our pickets and we were sent out on the skirmish line and skirmished all day. On the way out, w
Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 17: with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley (continued). Cedar Creek (search)
leasant, the nights cool, making a blanket comfortable. I remember I was corporal of the guard that day with but light duty, three guards in a relief, one at Colonel Olcott's headquarters, one at the commissary and one at the sutler's. One of the men in my relief had just come back to the regiment, and he entertained me with hiss time General Sheridan rode upon the field and along the line from our left. There were a number of officers with him, among whom I saw Colonel McKenzie and Colonel Olcott. He rode rapidly along, making some remarks I did not hear; but we cheered him enthusiastically. A few moments after he had passed the order to advance was were then ordered up and reaching our front line, charged forward and drove the enemy from the hill in front, and occupied it. Colonel McKenzie being wounded, Colonel Olcott took command and we held the crest for some time and kept up a continuous fire upon the Rebels who were posted behind some stone walls running nearly parallel
Isaac O. Best, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chapter 18: back to Petersburg and winter quarters (search)
vision of the 5th Corps, and occupied their finely laid out, and well constructed winter quarters near the Jerusalem plank road, the position we had left five months before. The regiment now numbered not far from 175 men and was commanded by Colonel Olcott. On the 9th of December a reconnaisance was made to the vicinity of Hatcher's Run. Rain and then snow made farther operations impossible, and the corps returned to camp and went into winter quarters. Of these weeks of rest and recuperatinter an effort was made to fill up the regiment so that the officers who had been commissioned, but could not be mustered in, because the number of enlisted men was below the required standard, might receive their full rank. These were Lieutenant Colonel Olcott, Captain Cronkite and Captain Kidder, who had been commissioned respectively Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel and Major. Several recruiting officers were sent home to Herkimer and Otsego Counties to obtain recruits, but their efforts did no
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