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92nd Has Proud Record

                             Company A, 92nd Regiment, NYV (P566)

The 92nd Regiment, Potsdam's second to go into battle, had a proud record in the War of Rebellion. It engaged in 16 battles and numerous skirmishes and reconnaissances, and often received the commendations of Generals. Its ranks were sadly depleted during its three year service, a period during which some of the most terrible fighting of the War took place.

Among others, the men of the Excelsior Rifle Legion fought in the battles of Willamsburg, Fair Oaks, Chickahominy Swamp, White Oak Swamp, Jones' Ford, Charles City Crossroads, Black Water, Kinston, White Hall, Goldsborough and Cold Harbor.

Toward the end of May, 1862, Col. Lewis C. Hunt arrived to take command of the Regiment, following the resignation of Col. Sanford. He was a West Point graduate and had served 14 years in the Army. He was eminently fitted for its job, and will liked by the officers and men.

Fair Oaks

A week after Col. Hunt had taken command, the 92nd regiment, as part of Casey's Division, engaged in the battle of Fair Oaks, on of the most hard-fought  and bloody battles of 1862. The Division numbered less than 5,000 men, when it was surprised and set upon by 40,000 rebels, who flanked it on both sides. The Division held its position for several hours, with casualties extremely heavy, including Col. Hunt, who was wounded in the hip.

There were extreme hardships that the Division had moving forward following a terrific rain. The water was above their knees and the Division attempted to cross a rivulet which had become a powerful stream. The horseman were engaged in catching the unlucky ones who had lost their footing: the men who were up to their necks in water and thousands were waiting to cross. Many of the men lost their clothing, their knapsacks and blankets.

Immediately after the battle of Fair Oaks, Gen. McClellan severely criticized Gen. Casey's Division for not hold their line in the battle.

While Col. Hunt recuperated from his hip wound, Lt. Col. Anderson, Massena, took command of the Regiment. Later Col. Hunt returned to the 92nd. When he was later named to the command of the Brigade, Col. Anderson again, commanded the 92nd.

Cold Harbor

The battle of Cold Harbor [sometimes referred to as Coal Harbor] in June, 1864, was also a terrible battle for the 92nd. Many were killed or wounded, including Col. Anderson who as killed in action while leading his men in a charge. Wounded slightly were Capt. Fay, in the head, and Capt. Boswell ("Paley"), in the leg. Both soon recovered from their wounds and returned to active duty. The Regiment was mustered out of the U.S. Army on January 7, 1865, in Albany, and the men returned home. On February 8, the Courier & Freeman published a letter written by Henry B. Sanford, Lt., 92nd Regiment, which describes in concrete terms the record of the Regiment.

Sanford's report also includes statistics of the men in the 92nd Regiment, as follows: recruites-109; killed on the battlefield-45; died of wounds and diseases-151; discharged for physical disability-506; deserted-123; missing in action-39; term of service expired in hospitals-55; transferred to the 96th Regiment NYV-120; mustered out of service at Albany on Jan. 7, 1865-68; a total of 1,106 men.