The 62nd New York Volunteer Infantry
U.S. Civil War
AUSTRALIAN RE-ENACTORSThere are only a few Re-enactment groups from Down Under, but one group chose to honor the 62nd NY. Check out the celebrations at the 62nd NYSV Re-Enactment Society.
The 62nd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered into service on June 30, 1861. Most volunteers were from New York City, where the unit was organized, but soldiers came from Brooklyn, Troy, Albany, and New Jersey as well.
The regiment was attached to the IV Corps for its first months of service in Washington, DC. Brigadier General John J. Peck is reported to have complained that it was "mortifying to find so much neglect of duty, so much inefficiency, and so low a conception of the soldier's position.." as in the 62nd New York Regiment. It isn't clear as to what warranted such a remark, but the regiment more than redeemed themselves by the war's end. The 62nd fought in the many of the most famous and brutal campaigns and actions of the war. At the end of their 3-year terms they had almost 100% re-enlistment. Three members of the regiment, Edward Browne, James Evans, and Charles E. Morse, were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. A monument honoring the 62nd NY stands north of the Wheat Field Road near Plum Run at the Battlefield of Gettyburg.
The 62nd NY was transferred to the VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac, where it remained for the remainder of the war, except for brief service with the Army of the Shenandoah. The VI Corps had earned distinction for heroism on numerous fronts and earned a reputation as one of the best and toughest units in the Union Army. When General Philip Sheridan was assigned the mission of destroying the breadbasket of the Confederacy, he asked for, and received, the use of the VI Corps for his campaign in the Shenandoah Valley.
Their nickname, "Anderson Zouaves" was taken in honor of Major Robert Anderson, the commanding officer at Fort Sumter. Zouave units were characterized by exotic and colorful uniforms modeled after Franco-Algerian soldiers, who had dazzled the country with their precision infantry drills.
The regiment sustained losses of 3 Officers and 85 Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded. Disease took 2 Officers and 82 enlisted men, for a total of 172.