The 115th New York in the Civil War

A Regimental History


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About the Book

The 115th New York began as part of the largest surrender of U.S. troops before World War II and ended as part of the largest successful amphibious landings of U.S. troops before World War II. In between, its odyssey through the American Civil War is unique among Union regiments. Not only did it fight mainly in theaters and battles unknown to all but the most seriously well informed, but it endured mass arrest and a conspiracy of its own officers against its commander. In earning distinction as one of “Fox’s Fighting 300” Union regiments, the 115th fought in campaigns along the Southern coast, joined briefly in the famous combat between Grant and Lee in Virginia, fought alongside African American units, witnessed the liberation of thousands of slaves and captured Union soldiers, and ended up with William T. Sherman’s western army.
The soldiers of the 115th New York were common men from Saratoga County, the Mohawk Valley, and Adirondack Mountain areas of New York State. The author uses the words and recollections left by 67 of these men and a great amount of source material; the result, states National Park Service historian John J. Hennessy, is “Truly exceptional…both excellent history and engaging narrative.”

About the Author(s)

Civil engineer Mark Silo lives in Loudonville, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Silo
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 61 photos, maps, chronology, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2007]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7720-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1105-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword      1

Preface      3

1. Camp Mohawk to Charles Town: “I fear they will have bad luck”      5

2. Chased from Maryland Heights: “We could easily have held”      15

3. White Flags at Harpers Ferry: “It was like a dagger to every heart”      26

4. Penned in Chicago: “Our boys are very unruly”      34

5. Fire and Consequences: “Thunder clap from a clear sky”      43

6. Idle Year in the South: “Even in paradise itself”      52

7. Olustee: “Like a mountain of adamant”      68

8. Bottled on Bermuda Hundred: “Nothing has been accomplished”      89

9. Brief Triumph at Cold Harbor: “The boys felt ugly”      108

10. War in Trench and Crater: “What a fearful thunder”      120

11. Decoying at Deep Bottom: “We were mowed down like grass”      138

12. Fort Gilmer and Darbytown Road: “It looked like suicide”      149

13. Two Calls on Fort Fisher: “Win or die”      161

14. Peace and Home Again: “Great rejoicing! Our fighting is ended”      181

15. Epilogue: “Your colors have been foremost in the fight”      192

Afterword: “Riding a white horse and carrying the U.S. flag”      199

Appendix A: Chronology of the 115th New York      201

Appendix B: Regimental Roster      205

Notes      279

Bibliography      297

Index      303

Book Reviews & Awards

“a masterfully written study of a regiment that deserves to be better known…an important study…well-written and informative”—Civil War News; “an exemplary regimental history of the 115th New York…Silo tells the story of this regiment with great skill, compassion, and insight. Potential writers of regimental histories should obtain a copy of this book if only to see how it ought to be done. Silo well deserves a bow in the spotlight for his accomplishment in kneading all this material into a book that is a pleasure to read and to review”—North & South; “splendid”—North Carolina and the Civil War blog.