Civic Center, 2 Park Street
Potsdam, NY 13676
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16th Regiment NYV

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FORMATION OF THE REGIMENT

The 16th Regiment, New York Volunteers was the first Northern NY Volunteer Regiment

"On May 9, 1861, in Albany, the 16th Regiment, New York Volunteers, came into being, and the first field officers were elected and commissioned. Chosen to command the Regiment was Col. Thomas A. Davies, a native of Oswegatchie and a West Point graduate. Second in command was a Potsdam resident, Dr. Samuel Marsh, a well-known physician, a teacher of mathematics at St. Lawrence Academy, and a lay preacher in the Methodist Church."

"It consisted of 10 companies, two from Plattsburgh and one from Moores in Clinton County, one from Malone in Franklin County, and six from St. Lawrence County, including one each from Ogdensburg, DePeyster, Gouverneur and Stockholm, and two from Potsdam."

"Potsdam provided two companies for the 16th regiment, Company B and Company F.  Company H was raised in Stockholm."

"Potsdam's Company B was commanded by Captain James M. Pomeroy. The lietenants were Wilson Hopkins, George L. Eastman, and William E. Hesselgrave. Edwin C. Knapp was sergeant. Captain Pomeroy resigned in July, 1861, and the command was taken over by Captain Frederick C. Tapley of Potsdam, who remained with the Company until its mustering out in May, 1863. 

"Company F was organized by John C. Gilmore, a student at St. Lawrence Academy, who became its captain. The lieutenant was John A. Vance, also a student at the Academy.

"The company from Stockholm, Company H, was commanded by Captain Warren Gibson, who had helped organize it in that area.  Gibson was blinded in both eyes in the Battle of Gaines Mill."






REGIMENT BAND

"The regimental band of the 16th Regiment was recruited by Lieutenant Wilson Hopkins in the Fall of 1861. It included eight men from Gouverneur, and the following from Potsdam: H. Chandler, William Knowles, F. M. Vickery, N.S. K. Miles, M. Washburn, and Ed Baker. An interesting story connected with the bank was a farewell dinner given on October 16, 1861, by Thomas S. Clarkson, who was noted for his generosity. The occasion was one of unbelievable splendor in decorations and menu. Many Potsdam citizens were invited to attend. The men were served punch from a punch bowl belonging to Mr. Clarkson, from which Generals Washington and Layfayette had been served."

FIRST BULL RUN

"After the battle of Bull Run, the Regiment remained in camp at Alexandria [VA] until the spring of 1862. In March of that year, Col. Davies was promoted to Brigadier General and was succeeded in command of the Regiment by Joseph Howland, who had been with the Regiment as Adjutant in the beginning and who had meanwhile been serving as Assistant General to General Slocum. One of the first acts of Colonel Howland as Regimental Commander was to present each soldier with a straw hat, so from then on the 16th Regiment was known as 'The Straw Hat Men of History'".