Sergeant John Lyon and Corporal Melvin Tucker of the 16th New York Volunteer Infantry holding their regiment's stand of colors. Regimental colors at right and National colors at left. ca. 1863
Regimental colors of the 16th New York.
On June 26, 1861, the 16th New York Volunteers arrived in New York City from Albany, New York. The men marched to Washington Square where, later that afternoon, the regiment received this regimental color from Robert Hone, a New York City lawyer, on behalf of Eliza Woolsey Howland.
At Gaines’ Mill, Virginia, June 27, 1862, after three color bearers in succession received wounds, Private John Moffitt heroically took up the regimental colors until wounded himself to earn the Medal of Honor.
While most regimental colors were made with a single piece of blue silk, this flag includes 13 individual strips of blue silk pieced together. The painted design, the Arms of the State of New York, appears on both sides with the design on the reverse in mirror image.
The 16th, the 1st Northern New York regiment, was recruited mainly in St. Lawrence and Clinton counties, with one company from Franklin county. It was mustered into the service of the United States at Albany, May 15, 1861, for two years, went into camp near Bethlehem and left the state for Washington on June 26. Assigned to the 2nd brigade, 5th division, Army of Northeastern Virginia, it moved to Alexandria on July 11, from there to Manassas, where it was engaged but a very short time on the 21st and returned immediately after to Alexandria. On Sept. 15 it was ordered to Fort Lyon and attached to the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 1st corps, Army of the Potomac, which division later belonged with the same number to the 6th corps. The winter of 1861-62 was passed at Camp Franklin near Fairfax seminary, Va., where the regiment remained until April 6, when it was ordered to Catlett's station, but at once returned to camp and was then ordered to Yorktown, where it arrived on May 3. The regiment was in action at West Point, and at Gaines' mill, its loss being over 200 killed and wounded. It was present through the remainder of that week of battle, but was not closely engaged, then encamped at Harrison's landing until Aug. 16, when it returned for a brief period to Alexandria. In the battle at Cramp-ton's gap it was in advance and lost heavily in a brilliant dash; was held in reserve at Antietam; at Fredericksburg was posted on picket duty, and after the battle went into winter quarters near Falmouth. It shared the hardships and discomforts of the "Mud March" under Gen. Burnside and was active in the Chancellorsville campaign, with a loss at Salem Church of 20 killed, 87 wounded and 49 missing. A few days were next spent at Banks' ford, then a short time in the old camp at Falmouth, and on May 22, 1863, the regiment was mustered out at Albany. During its term of service its loss was 112 men killed or mortally wounded and 84 deaths from other causes. The three years men were transferred to the 121 st N.Y.
More detailed history of the 16th New York.