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Seventy Sixth New York Infantry

Posted 1/26/2023

Finial Style: Brass Flagstaff Sleeve

Location Housed: Mike McLaughlin Collection

Measurements: 5.75" X 1.50"

Recovery Location: Beverly's Ford, Rappahannock River, Culpeper, Virginia.

Finial Attribution: Seventy Sixth {76th} New York Infantry

Additional Information: Samuel Campbell of New York Mills, Oneida County, New York, was born on February 14, 1809, Tarbolton, Ayshire, Scotland. Campbell has been described as a man, who in his entire life, represented sterling principles, lofty integrity, and great force of character. In 1831 Mr. Campbell came to America and eventually gained employment at a cotton mill in New York Mills, New York. Mr. Campbell worked his way up in the company, eventually becoming into partnership and ownership of the company. Mr. Campbell was a New York state senator among several other titles in his life that ended in 1885. In 1832, Mr. Campbell married Agnes Sinclair of Glasgow, Scotland, the marriage of which produced six daughters and two sons. One of those sons was Samuel Campbell. By the time of the Civil War, the Campbell family was very wealthy going as far as presenting the Colonel and Chaplain of the 76th New York each with a black war horse, with all the equipment needed for the rider and horse. 

In January 1862, the 76th New York had been organized and was now ready for war. Companys had been formed from all over New York. Nicknames of all sorts were used to identify the regiment; however, it seems the nickname "Courtland Regiment" stuck. The 76th made its way to the New York state capitol at Albany on January 17, 1862, while on its travels to the war front. At the capitol, Samuel Cambell, the son of Samuel and Agnes presented the 76th New York a stand of colors on behalf of his mother Agnes. The regiment then left for Washington. 

 The 76th New York Infantry was involved in numerous battles during the Civil War. The first occurred in August 1862 at the second Battle of Manassas where the regiment lost 147 killed, wounded, and missing. Prior to the battle at Gettysburg, the regiment was reinforced with men from the 24th, and 30th New York Infantry.

At Gettysburg, the regiment participated in hard fighting that caused the loss of 234 killed, wounded, and missing.

In February 1864, the regiment was camped for a period of time on the Rappahannock river near Beverly Ford and Culpeper, when they received a new stand of colors from the Ladies of Cherry Valley, New York back home. When the spring campaign started in 1864, the 76th participated in the Wilderness campaign causing in just two days, the loss of 282 men killed, wounded, and missing. In the New York Military Museum, the following information is furnished in reference to the national flag of the regiment," The flag was carried until December 1863 during which time it was borne in the battles of Rappahannock Station, Warrenton, Sulpher Springs, Gainesville, 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Upper, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Mine Run. It received fifteen musket balls and one twelve-pounder shot through it in action. The color-bearer, Sergeant Champ was killed at South Mountain. At Gettysburg, the color-bearer was wounded just as the regiment was falling back, and came near being captured, but was rescued by Private John Stephens, of Company H, who left the ranks under the fire of the enemy and recovered the flag in safety." 

By the fall, and winter of 1864-1865, the regiment was mustering out by company, which ended in January 1865. Sometime between January and April 1864 the national color of the 76th New York was received in New York, which was the original flag presented to the regiment in 1862 by Mr. Campbell on behalf of his mother. There is no indication in the records of the New York Military Museum that a staff for the original national flag was ever turned in. In 1870 the 76th 's Civil War Colonel deposited with the State of New York, the original State or regimental flag received in 1862. There is no evidence either of the original flags had a staff turned in with them. The New York Military Museum does not have either flag presented to the 76th in February 1864. 

Several years prior to the writing of this essay, a detectorist located a brass shaft, at Beverly's Ford on the Rappahannock river that appears to be the middle sleeve used on some flagstaffs during the Civil War. On the side of the sleeve is engraved the following words, "Presented to the 76th Regiment NYSV By Mrs. Sam'l Campbell New York Mills Dec. 28, 1861." The piece is now in the private collection of Mike McLaughlin. Also shown is the State flag of the 76th New York, courtesy of the New York Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York. 

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Sources:

New York Military Museum, Saratoga Springs, New York

Smith, A.P., History of the Seventy-Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, Cortland, New York, 1867

McLaughlin, Mike

Hauser, Nancy, www.submitted essay regarding Samuel Campbell, Sr. 

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