Chenango in the Civil War: The 76th Regiment New York State Infantry – “The Cortland Regiment”

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the Chenango County Civil War Commemoration Project Team, The Evening Sun will present a monthly series chronicling items of local interest during the war between the states, compiled and written by a number of local history enthusiasts.

By Vicky House

Oxford Historian

This is part one of an article on a few of the men from Chenango County who served in the 76th Regiment.

Even before Abraham Lincoln’s call for 300,000 more men was announced in July 1862, the 76th Regiment NYS Infantry was formed in Cortland, NY.

Colonel Nelson W. Green, of Cortland, received authority to recruit a regiment of infantry in Cortland County, and commenced recruiting September 2, 1861, drawing men from surrounding counties which, eventually, included Chenango County. A total of 71 young men from this county served with 41 of those being from the Town of Pitcher.

The men of this regiment were proud of the suggestive numerals in their regimental title and, by their gallantry and patriotism, proved themselves worthy of the historic figures emblazoned on their colors. An example of their bravery was recorded in Camp Correspondence on July 6, 1863 when Wm. Mantayne wrote: “As soon as we got into Gettysburg, we were ordered to “double quick,” and soon brought up in line of battle about a quarter of a mile west of the village. The enemy was seen advancing upon us and we opened fire upon them immediately. Our Brigade was the only one up at this time; the 76th was leading the Brigade so we were the first in the fight. The enemy kept advancing upon us and outnumbered us so much as to out flank us on both right and left, and poured a tremendous cross fire into us.”

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