This is one of the finest original 74th New York Infantry Civil War backpacks known to exist. The pictures tell it all….
Mustered in: June 30 to October 6,1861.
Mustered out by companies: June 19 to August 3, 1864.
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
This regiment was recruited under the special authority of the War Department, issued to Gen. D. E. Sickles; organized under Col. Charles K. Graham at Camp Scott, L. I., and mustered in the service of the United States for three years between June 30 and October 6, 1861. Pursuant to the orders of the Secretary of War of December 5, 1861, it received its State numerical designation December 11, 1861. August 3, 1864, the remaining men, not entitled to be discharged with their respective companies, were assigned to the 40th N. Y. Volunteers, forming new Companies G and H of the latter.
The companies were recruited principally: A, and B — U. S. Zouave Cadets — in part, at Pittsburgh, Pa.; B, in part, at New York City; C on Long Island; D at Cambridgeport, Mass.; E, G, H, I and K at New York City; and F at Tidioute, Pa.; a number of the men had been members of the 15th Militia.
The regiment left the State August 20, 1861; served in Sickles’ Brigade, Hooker’s Division, Army of the Potomac, from September, 1861; in same, 2d, Brigade, 2d Division, 3d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March, 1862; in 2d Brigade, 4th Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from April, 1864; in 4th Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from May 13, 1864; in 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from July, 1864; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Lieut. Col. Wm. H. Lounsberry, by companies, before Petersburg, Va.; Company D, June 19, 1864; A, June 21; B, June 26; G, June 28; C, July 6; and E, F, H, I and K, August 3, 1864. During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 6 officers, 82 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 3 officers, 33 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 2 officers, 68 enlisted men; total, 11 officers, 183 enlisted men; aggregate, 194; of whom 10 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.
The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 — records of the regiments in the Union army — cyclopedia of battles — memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
Seventy-fourth NY Infantry: Cols., Charles K. Graham, Charles H. Burtis, Thomas Holt, William H. Lounsberry; Lieut.-Cols., Charles H. Burtis, John P. Glass, William H. Lounsberry; Majs., William B. Olmsted, Edward L. Price, George H. Quaterman, Henry M. Allis, Lovell Purdy, Jr. The 74th, the 5th regiment of the Excelsior Brigade, which contained many members of the 15th militia, was recruited at Pittsburg, New York City, Cambridgeport, Mass., Tidioute, Pa., and Long Island and mustered into the U. S. service at Camp Scott, L. I., June 30 to Oct. 6, 1861, for a three years’ term. It left New York Aug. 20, for Washington; was attached to Sickles’ Excelsior Brigade and stationed along the Lower Potomac in Maryland during the first winter; embarked in April, 1862, for the Peninsula with the brigade, as part of the 2nd division, 3d corps; shared in the siege operations before Yorktown; took a prominent part in the battle of Williamsburg, for which the brigade won the highest praises, the loss of the regiment in this battle being 143 killed, wounded or missing, and in the ensuing engagements of Fair Oaks and the Seven Days‘ battles it was constantly in action. Upon its withdrawal from the Peninsula in August, the regiment was sent to the support of Gen. Pope at Manassas, after which it retired to the Defenses of Washington. In November it marched to Falmouth; participated in the battle of Fredericksburg; returned to its camp at Falmouth for the winter; was engaged at Chancellorsville in May, 1863; returned again to camp at Falmouth; marched in June to Gettysburg and there experienced the hard fighting of the second day on the Emmitsburg road, with a loss of 89 killed, wounded and missing. On the southward march it encountered the enemy at Wapping Heights and Kelly’s Ford; fought at Locust Grove during the Mine Run campaign, and went into winter quarters with the brigade. In April, 1864, the Excelsior brigade became the 2nd brigade, 4th division, 2nd corps and in May the 4th brigade, 3d division, 2nd corps. With it the 74th fought through the Wilderness campaign and was mustered out before Petersburg, from June 19 to Aug. 3, 1864. . The reenlisted men and recruits were transferred to the 40th N. Y. infantry. The regiment lost during its term of service 124 by death from wounds and 70 from other causes. It was noted for its courage and steadiness and is numbered among the “Three hundred Fighting Regiments.”