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  • 8th New York Heavy Artillery / Sold

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    8th New York Heavy Artillery - Inventory Number: IDE 072 / Sold

    Union Officers (Left to Right): Colonel Peter A. Porter, Lt. Colonel James M. Leete, Lt. Colonel Willard W. Bates, Major James M. WIllet, Henry Winter Davis.  Several of these men were subsequently killed in action.

    Porter was shot through the neck while leading a charge at Cold Harbor.  

    Nicely framed, measures 12 1/4" x 10".  

    Peter A. Porter:

    Enlisted on 8/22/1862 at Lockport, NY as a Colonel at 35 years of age.

    On 8/22/1862 he was commissioned into Field & Staff NY 8th Heavy Artillery

    He was Killed on 6/3/1864 at Cold Harbor, VA

    The following was submitted by:  Brian Heintzelman

    This item, from Harper's Weekly of June 25, 1864. 

                COLONEL P.A. PORTER.

    "In the fierce assault of Grant's army on Friday morning, June 3, Colonel Porter fell at the head of his regiment, the Eighth New York Artillery.  The regiment had been long stationed at Baltimore, and went to the front only about three weeks before the action.  It was advancing across an open space when a masked battery opened upon it a withering fire, by which the Colonel was instantly killed, the Major dangerously wounded, and more than half the men disabled.

    Colonel Porter was the son of the late P.B. Porter, of Niagara Falls - a conspicuous figure upon the frontier during the last war with Great Britain.  The son graduated at Harvard College about sixteen years ago, traveled and studied in Europe for several years, and returned to the enjoyment of an immense property, and the delights of a society of which he was a most brilliant and genial part. Without devotion to any especial pursuit, he amused himself and others by the mere play of his fine powers until the war aroused and enlisted all his sympathy. 

    He appeared in the Union State Convention of 1861 and went in the following winter to the Assembly.  At the second great call in the summer of 1862 he raised a regiment in his neighborhood and departed for the field.  Nominated as Secretary of State by the Union Convention of 1863 he declined in a manly letter, saying that he had promised his men and their kindred that he would not desert them. He kept his word in this as in all things.  Steady and cheerful in his garrison life at Baltimore, he was not less so in the field, and fell in his first battle. 

    Like so many others whose names have become precious since the war began, he had all things to live for, and the sacrifice was complete. Brave, gifted, young, well, bound to life by the tenderest ties, his devotion to the cause was the more admirable because of the drawings of blood and association toward the South. But his clear brain and true heart never swerved for a moment; and his life is added to the costly price with which we buy the unity of our country, and the national peace which shall endure."

    James Madison Leete:

    Enlisted on 7/21/1862 at Lockport, NY as a Surgeon.

    On 8/22/1862 he mustered into Field & Staff NY 8th Heavy Artillery

    He Resigned on 10/28/1863

    On 10/9/1863 he was commissioned into

    US Volunteers Medical Staff

    He was Mustered Out on 8/5/1865


    * Asst Surgeon 10/9/1863 (As of Medical Staff)

    * Surgeon 1/19/1864

    * Lt Colonel 3/13/1865 by Brevet

    Other Information:

    born in New York

    died 4/17/1897


    William W. Bates:

    Enlisted on 4/30/1861 at Rochester, NY as a Sergeant.

    On 5/14/1861 he mustered into "F" Co. NY 13th Infantry

    He was discharged for promotion on 12/1/1861

    On 12/1/1861 he was commissioned into "C" Co. NY 25th Infantry

    He was discharged for promotion on 8/21/1862

    On 8/22/1862 he was commissioned into Field & Staff NY 8th Heavy Artillery

    He died of wounds on 6/25/1864 at City Point, VA Hospl

    He was listed as:

    * Wounded 6/27/1862 Chickahominy, VA

    * Wounded 6/22/1864 Petersburg, VA


    * 1st Lieut 11/7/1861 (As of Co. C)

    * 2nd Lieut 12/1/1861

    * Capt 1/20/1862

    * Lt Col 8/22/1862 (As of 8th NY Heavy Artillery)

    Intra Regimental Company Transfers:

    * 1/10/1862 from company C to company I


    James M. Willett:

    Enlisted on 8/22/1862 at Lockport, NY as a Major.

    On 8/22/1862 he was commissioned into Field & Staff NY 8th Heavy Artillery

    He Resigned on 1/14/1865

    He was listed as:

    * Wounded 6/3/1864 Cold Harbor, VA


    * Lt Colonel 1/4/1864

    * Colonel 7/12/1864


    Henry Davis:

    Enlisted on 3/8/1864 at Brooklyn, NY as a Private.

    On 3/8/1864 he mustered into Unassigned NY 8th Heavy Artillery


         Col. Peter A. Porter received, July 7, 1862, authority to recruit a regiment in the counties of Genesee, Niagara and Orleans.  This regiment was, August 28, 1862, designated the 129th Regiment of Infantry.  It was organized at Lockport, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years, August 22, 1862.  It was converted into a regiment of artillery, and December 19, 1862, designated the 8th Regiment of Artillery.  Two additional companies were organized at Lockport in December, 1863, and January, 1864, and mustered in the United States service for one and three years.

         Three companies were recruited in the county of Genesee, three in the county of Orleans, and four in Niagara county; Company L at Bennington, Bergen, Lewiston, Pavilion, LeRoy, Oakfield, Bethany, Pembroke, Alabama, Darien, Alexandria, Batavia, Rochester, Middleburg and Stafford; and M at Warsaw, China, Rochester, Sheldon, Lima, Lockport, Avon, Java and Wethersfield.

         The regiment (ten companies) left the State August 23, 1862, and served as heavy artillery and infantry at Baltimore, Md., and vicinity from August 27, 1862; at Harper's Ferry, W. Va., from July 10, 1863; at Baltimore, Md., and vicinity from August 3, 1863, in the Middle Department, 8th Corps.  Companies L and M joined in February 1864, and the regiment served in Tyler's Division, 2d Corps, from May 17, 1864; in the 4th Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, from May 29, 1864; and in the 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, from June 26, 1864.

         June 5, 1865, Companies A to K were, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Joseph W. Holmes, mustered out and honorably discharged at Munson's Hill, Va.; the men not discharged with their respective companies were transferred, those of Companies G, H, I and K to the 4th N. Y. Volunteer Artillery, and those of Companies A, B, C, D, E and F, and also Companies L and M, to the 10th N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, of which the men of Companies A, D and F formed Company K; those of B, C and E Company I; Company L became Company H and M Company G.

    Inventory Number: IDE 072 / Sold