Third Brigade, First Division
Members of the 79th New York State Militia
Seventy-ninth New York State Militia
Mustered in United States service for three years on 29 May, 1861, and arrived at Washington D. C. at 2 AM on 4 June, 1861. Redesignated the Seventy-ninth New York Infantry
COLONEL J CAMERON
Colonel J Cameron was assigned to the regiment on 21 June, 1861.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL S M ELLIOT
MAJOR D MCCLELLAN
- Company A: CAPT. W MANSON
- Company B: CAPT. J A FARRISH
- Company C: CAPT. T BARCLAY
- Company D: CAPT. D BROWN
- Company E: CAPT. D MORRISON
- Company F: CAPT. J CHRISTIE
- Company G: CAPT. J LAING
- Company H: CAPT. J E COULTER
- Company I: CAPT. R T SHILLINGLAw
- Company K: CAPT. H A ELLIS
- Company Unlettered Band: Band master W Robertson
First Lieutenant W Robertson was band master with seventeen musicians that were mustered out by order of the War Department on 18 August 1862.
Captain J J Shaw was assigned as an engineer but was not mustered and resigned in June 1861.
"Although the services of the Highlanders were among the first tendered under the call for 75,000 men for three months service, and authority had been given to prepare at once for the field, the membership was so small that stronger regiments were sent first."
"At two o'clock in the afternoon in 'light marching order' the march began; our knapsacks containing our uniform jackets and tartan pants, as well as all other extras, having been packed and left at camp in charge of the Invalid Corps. If any of our men wore other than the regulation dark blue blouses and light blue pants during the campaign, it was the exception, and they were few."
The Seventy-ninth Highlanders, New York Volunteers in the War of Rebellion 1861–1865, by William Todd of Company B
New York in the War of Rebellion, 1861–1865, Volume 1, byFrederick Phisterer
The 79th New York State Militia was not ordered to Washington D. C. under the first call for three months volunteers and was organised for three years under authority by the War Department at New York City. The regiment was mustered in United States service for three years between 27 and 29 May, 1861. The 79th New York State Militia was ordered to Washington D. C. on 2 June, 1861, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel S M Elliott, and arrived at 2 AM on 4 June, 1861. The regiment encamped at Georgetown College, Georgetown Heights, Washington D. C., and replaced the 69th New York State Militia which had been ordered across the Potomac River, via the Aqueduct Bridge, Georgetown D. C. on 24 May, 1861 (See the 69th New York State Militia). Colonel J Cameron was appointed to command the 79th New York State Militia on 21 June, 1861, and was ordered to Camp Lochiel, one mile north of Georgetown College, Georgetown Heights, Washington D. C., on 2 July, 1861. The regiment was ordered across the Potomac River via the Aqueduct Bridge, Georgetown D. C., on 7 July, 1861, and encamped at Camp Weed, near Fort Corcoran, Arlington Heights, Virginia. A guard was ordered to remain at Camp Weed, near Fort Corcoran, Arlington Heights, Virginia.
Advance to Centreville, Virginia, 16 July, 1861: The Third Brigade, First Division, Army of Northeastern Virginia, under the command of Colonel W T Sherman, was ordered to proceed to Vienna, Virginia, via the Georgetown Turnpike and the Leesburg Stone Roads, at 2 PM on 16 July, 1861. Colonel W T Sherman was ordered to proceed between Fairfax Courthouse and Centreville, Virginia, to Germantown, Virginia, at 5.30 AM on 17 July, 1861, and was ordered to proceed along the Warrenton Turnpike to Centreville, Virginia, at 7 AM on 18 July, 1861. The Third Brigade, First Division, Army of Northeastern Virginia, arrived at Centreville, Virginia, at 9 AM on 18 July, 1861, and was in reserve during the battle at Blackburn's Ford, between 12 PM and 4 PM the same day. The 79th New York State Militia was ordered to proceed along the Warrenton Turnpike to the Stone Bridge, on the Bull Run River, between 2 and 2.30 AM on 21 July, 1861.
Retreat to Washington D. C., 21 July, 1861: After the first battle of Bull Run the 79th New York state Militia was ordered to retreat to Centreville, Virginia, between 8 and 9 PM, and was ordered to Camp Weed, near Fort Corcoran, Arlington Heights, Virginia, via Vienna, Virginia, on 22 July, 1861. The regiment was ordered across the Potomac River, via the Aqueduct Bridge, Georgetown D. C., on 24 July, 1861, and encamped at Massachusetts Avenue, Washington D. C. The 79th New York State Militia was redesignated the 79th New York Infantry.
Mustered out: The 79th New York Infantry was consolidated as Companies A and B on 13 May, 1864, and the three years men were ordered to New York City, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J More, and mustered out on 31 May, 1864. Companies C and D, under the command of Colonel S McK. Elliott, were assigned in November 1864; Company E in January 1865; and Company F was organised in the field in March 1865. The 79th New York Battalion Infantry was mustered out near Alexandria, Virginia, on 14 July, 1865.
On 27 March, 1861, W T Sherman proceeded to St Louis, Missouri, and was appointed colonel of the 13th United States Infantry on 14 May, 1861 (See the United States Battalion Infantry). Colonel W T Sherman resigned as president of the Fifth Street Railroad and was ordered to Washington D. C. Lieutenant General W Scott, United States Army, assigned Colonel W T Sherman to inspection duty between 20 and 30 June, 1861, and assumed command of the Third Brigade, Firts Division, Army of Northeastern Virginia, formerly under the command of Colonel A Porter, on 30 June, 1861. Colonel W T Sherman's brother, J Sherman, was assigned as a volunteer aide de camp on the staff of Major General R Patterson, commanding the Army of the Upper Potomac (See the Army of the Upper Potomac).
The Military District of the Potomac was established on 25 July, 1861 by consolidating the Military District of Washington and the Department of Northeastern Virginia and redesignated the Department of the Potomac on 15 August, 1861. The 79th New York Infantry was assigned to Acting Brigadier General D E Sickles's provisional brigade, Army of the Potomac, on 5 August, 1861.
Orders of Battle
The above painting, 'New York's Bravest', is by Don Troiani, modern America's finest historial artist.