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The History of the 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry

Contributed by John LaBarre

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The 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry served its term of service within the continental United States. It did not see service overseas.

Unit History:

In Accordance with orders issued on April 27, 1898, the regiment was formed from "the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth battalions of ... [Brigadier-General Robert Shaw Oliver's] brigade and designating it the 'second regiment, national guard, composed of organizations of the third brigade'. The regiment consisted of the sixth, seventh, twelfth, and twenty-first separate companies, constituting the thirteenth battalion; the ninth, eighteenth, twenty-second and thirty-second separate companies of the fourteenth battalion; and the thirty-first, thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh and forty-sixth separate companies of the fifteenth battalion."

The new regiment was ordered to Camp Black at Hempstead, on Long Island on April 30.

At Camp Black the regiment was re-organized as follows:

Company A was formed from the Sixth Separate Company
Company B was formed from the Sixth Separate Company
Company C was formed from the Twelfth Separate Company
Company D was formed from the Twenty-First Separate Company
Company E was formed from the Thirty-Sixth Separate Company
Company F was formed from the Thirty-Seventh Separate Company
Company G was formed from the Thirty-First Separate Company
Company H was formed from the Forty-Sixth Separate Company
Company I was formed from the Ninth Separate Company
Company K was formed from the Eighteenth Separate Company
Company L was formed from the Twenty-Second Separate Company
Company M was formed from the Thirty-Second Separate Company

The regiment was mustered into the federal service between May 16 and may 17, 1898 and officially designated as the "Second Regiment, infantry, New York volunteers." At the time of muster in, the regiment consisted of forty-five officers and 974 enlisted men.

The day following the completion of its mustering in, the regiment departed for Long Island City, where it was presented with a national color by the Sons of the Revolution (a regimental color being provided by the same source on June 4). The regiment then made its way to Chickamauga Park, Georgia, where Camp Thomas was being formed on the grounds of the old Civil War battlefield. The regiment encamped  near Lytle Station, but was subsequently moved to the southeastern part of camp, north of the Thedford Ford Road - Dalton Ford Road intersection.

Shortly, on May 30th, the regiment received orders to proceed to Tampa, Florida. On June 1st, the 2nd New York marched to Rossville, with twenty-nine mule teams. Finally, on June 3 and 4, the regiment  arrived at Tampa, where it was assigned to the Second Brigade (under the command of General Carpenter) of the Second Division (under the commande of General Snyder) of the 5th Army Corps (commanded by William Shafter). Also in the same brigade were the First District of Columbia Volunteer Infantry, the Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry and the Sixty-Ninth New York Volunteer Infantry.

The 2nd Division was left behind when the 5th Army Corps was sent to invade Cuba, and was redesignated as the 2nd Division of the 4th Army Corps, which was commanded by General Coppinger.

On June 24th, while the regiment was on a practice march near Tampa Heights, bad weather came up. In the ensuing storm Private Fred P. Nichols was killed and about twenty others were injured by lightning. All of the injured quickly recovered.

July 26th, the 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry was send to Fernandina, where it arrived on the 27th,  encamping about three-quarters of a mile east of Fernandina. On August 21, the regiment was transferred to the Department of the East and sent to Troy, New York, where it arrived on August 27. The regiment encamped near Sand Lake at Averill park, New York on August 28.

The regiment was furloughed for thirty days on September 15. It was mustered out of service between October 25 and November 1. At the time of muster out, the regiment consisted of forty-nine officers and 1,233 enlisted men. During its term of service thirty-two enlisted men died of disease, five more being discharged on disability. In addition, two enlisted men deserted.


Adjutant General of the State of New York, New York in the Spanish American War. (Albany: 1900).

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).

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