9th New York Cavalry Monument

Alright, let’s move over to Col. Thomas Devin’s brigade in Buford’s cavalry division for their monument, memorializing their participation in the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.  The 9th New York is one of my favorite regiments – they were recruited and trained in upstate NY where my wife is from.  One day I hope to pen a modern regimental (I currently have a collection of hundreds of letters and some diaries of members).  Next I’ll post my biography of 9th NY trooper Alpheus Hodges, who vied with Marcellus Jones of the 8th Illinois Cavalry for the honors of firing the “first shot” of the battle that morning.

Photo by Pat Finnegan

The beautiful sculpture adorning the front of this monument is called “Discovering the Enemy” and shows the vigilant trooper spotting enemy elements, sculpted after 9th New York trooper Alpheus Hodges’ likeness.  The sculptor was Casper Buberl of New York.  The monument is located on Buford Avenue on the regiment’s main battle line on the first morning.  It is constructed of Hallowell Maine granite, resting on a base of Gettysburg granite, and cost approximately $2500.There is an inscription on the back which states that this was the “Position 8 am July 1st 1863, Picket on Chambersburg Road fired on at 5 am.”  There was some bitter controversy during the placement of this, and Lt. Marcellus Jones’ First Shot Marker west of here on the Chambersburg Road.  The 5 am time refers to the claim of Corporal Alpheus Hodges, Co. F of the 9th New York, that Rebel pickets fired on his vedette post west of Willoughby Run at that hour.  There likely was some limited skirmishing in that area prior to Jones’ shot, but Jones lays claim to the first fire at an element of the Confederates’ principal force.  When the theme of the monument was brought to the attention of  by the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, it was objected to on the grounds that its claims would not be historically accurate, in light of Jones’ and the 8th Illinois’ claim.  The committee, led by Colonel Wilbur G. Bentley, presented evidence of the regiment’s “first shot” and the Association then voted unanimously to allow the inscriptions, recording the following in its published proceedings:
“At a meeting held July 3, 1888, a committee of the Ninth New York Cavalry
appeared before the board, and established to the entire satisfaction of those
present that this regiment fired the first shot of July 1, 1863.”

The monument was dedicated on July 1, 1888, the 25th Anniversary of their first-morning action.The regiment was known as the “Westfield Cavalry” and was raised in the counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, and St. Lawrence, and Warren County PA.  It was organized at “Camp Seward” (the county fairgrounds) in Westfield NY and mustered in from September 9 to November 19, 1861.

Colonel William Sackett (pictured) commanded the regiment at Gettysburg, taking command after the first Colonel, John Beardsley, resigned after being forced out of the service in March 1863.  Sackett was born in Seneca Falls NY on April 16, 1839.  He had been a lawyer in Chicago at the start of the war.  He was mortally wounded on June 11, 1864 in the battle at Trevilian Station VA and died three days later.  The GAR Post No. 234 in Westfield NY would later be named the “William Sackett Post” in honor of their slain regimental commander.  The reverse of the regiment’s monument at Gettysburg features a bronze medallion bust of Sackett.

Of the unit’s 425 troopers at the battle, two were killed, two were wounded, and seven were missing.  The troopers carried Sharps and Smith single-shot carbines, and .44 caliber Colt revolvers.

Published in: on June 8, 2007 at 10:15 am  Comments (36)  

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  1. Fascinating!
    Now I will need to look around at more stuff whenever I am in Westfield (and have the time, from visiting my wife’s family.) And here I thought the only really interesting Westfield lore was Grace Bedell and, of course, Welch’s.


    • Wow… I can’t believe this. My ggg Uncle Henry James Gibbs from Dunkirk was in the 9th calvary and Mustard out of Westfield, NY. He was involved in the Battle of Beverly Ford (june 9th 1863) where he was wounded in the rt. leg and sent to the Hospital in Washington DC. He was later deemed unfit for duty and Discharged from duty. I still have a copy of his Certificate of Disability for Discharge. I’m proud of him because he was fron Stratford Upon Avon England, and didn’t need to serve.

  2. LOL, Dave, glad you liked it. My wife is from the little town of Brocton NY, just about 8 miles from Westfield. Are you familiar with the little park area just south of Main Street in Westfield? That was Welch Field (much larger in the 1800’s) and the drilling ground that the 9th NY Cavalry was trained upon. As mentioned in the post, the camp on Welch Field was called Camp Seward. William Seward was from Westfield, and his home is today a bed and breakfast. My wife and I were fortunate enough to get a tour of the place by the owners a few years ago.
    The statues of Lincoln and Grace Bedell that Westfield put up several years ago is pretty nifty. I saw it again a few months ago at my in-laws’ 50th Wedding Anniversary party, held just a block from there.

  3. Actually I’ll be out there (Westfield) next weekend for my wife’s grandmother’s 90th birthday.
    The Seward House was closed when I tried to see it last summer. I took some photos of the Lincoln-Bedell statues that day, though. I posted them on http://www.flickr.com, but I can’t access it from work to get the specific link to those pictures. I hope to have some time to photograph more interesting bits of Westfield when I can. I will keep my eyes peeled for 9th Cavalry information, and maybe My wife’s grandmother knows a few things. (I think she was in the Historical Society at one time…)

    Yep, I’ve been to Brocton a time or two, also.

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting post. I intend to explore the entire site when I get a chance, also.

  4. Thanks, Dave. I’ve been in the historical society there in Westfield a few times – the lady that ran the place was named Gerry or something like that. I’ve pulled just about everything 9th NY related from there. There was some good stuff on Cpl. Cyrus James (from Dunkirk) of the 9th NY Cavalry, who was killed early on July 1 and often touted as the first Federal casualty. He’s buried in the National Cemetery and I stop at his grave on nearly every visit.

    Have a good trip!


  5. Charles Fowler Brown; 1st Sergeant Company F 9th NY Cav Volunteers, wounded at Brandy Station and missed Gettysburg by injury received while on picket duty in June 1863. Was in military hospital at Washington, DC.
    According to Pension records, Sgt Brown was asleep and holding his horse by halter. A noise alarmed horse and he was dragged over 40 rods of road and then a wood pyle of ties used for fortifications.
    Due to his injuries from the war, Charles Brown could not perform manual labor as a farmer. He served as a clerk for his former commander Captain Martin at Martin’s Mercantile store near Jamestown, New York.
    !869, he went to Greely, Colorado for about 3 years and then about 1872 went to join his brother Oscar Brown (His brother Oscar was in Missouri at the outbrake of the war and served as a Cavalry Officer assigned to a gunboat on the Mississippi, a very unique assignment) in Schuyler, Colfax County, Nebraska and obtained 160 acres from the “Homestead Act”. Again he was severly limited on his manual labor and could only farm 40 acres of the 160 acres. In 1879, he went to Illinois and worked briefly as a sewing machine salesman.
    He returned to Nebraska and stayed until the 1890s. He then joined his son Persey in Santa Barbara, California and died in 1928.
    This Civil War Veteran and his wife lie in unmarked graves in Santa Barbara, California. My cousin Donald Hotchkiss from Las Vegas, Nevada recently obtained over 46 pages of Charles F. Brown’s pension application papers that outlined his injuries during the war and provided an insight into the veteran’s life from 1857 to 1928.
    Cousin Donald is a Civil War reanactor and has made arrangements for a stone to be placed on Charles Brown’s cemetery plot and a service honoring him on Memorial Day 2008.
    I am Charles Fowler Brown’s GG Grandson and grew up in Chautauqua County at Dunkirk. I have a 1921 family picture of six grandfathers at my brother Jack’s baptism in Westfield, New York. Grand father Brown sent a picture of himself from Santa Barbara, California which was included as an insert to this picture. I am planning on making a pamphlet on Grandfather Brown and his life.
    Kenneth L. Vogt from Rome, New York

  6. Dave,
    I live in he pacific NW and am wanting to visit Westfield, My gg gransfather served 4 years in the 9NY cav Co D and I am becoming a member of the duvcw in his honor, I have a great desire to go back to upstate NY and see everything, Thanks for posting this information.. in case I get the chance to visit

  7. I am looking for photos or any info on Franklin J. Leavitt, b. 1844, in New York. He served with the 9th New York Cavalry. He died in 1920 in Kansas City, MO. Any info on him would be deeply appreciated. Brian

    • Hi Brian, I probably don’t have any info that you’re looking for but I live in the house that was owned by his son and the that he passed away in. It has been updated over the years but the original hardwod floors and woodwork throughout the house remain. I have been doing a little research on the house came across his obituary. If you ever find yourself in KC, let me know and you’re welcome to come see the house.

  8. Pvt George Bradley, Company G, kia Berryville VA was a ggg cuz of mine. I have a regimental history book on the 9th. I enjoy yr site. tks

  9. I have a 1912 reunion medal from the 9th NY cavalry in the original box with a name of Sarah Hall and dated 1916. There were a number of Halls in the regiment and I’ve been trying to determine if any were married to or had a sister named Sarah.. so far no luck. Any ideas?

  10. Hi,

    I’m searching for any information and photos regarding Pvt David Miller, Company K. He was wounded in a skrimish near Haymarket on 18 October 1862 and died from his wounds at Centreville, VA on 3 November of that year. The church where he died recently discovered a photo with an inscription on the back saying it is a picture of Pvt Miller, 9th NY Calvary.

    I’m with a local history group and if you have any letters referring to Centreville that you would be willing to share, it would be wonderful. We’re putting together a nomination for a National Register Historic District.


  11. Am looking for any Cival War photographs of the 9th-my great grand father was Capt Albert Clark Robertson

    • Hello, Thomas! I believe you have met or at least talked to my nephew Chris Fowle.
      I have a portrait of Albert Clark, also my great grandfather, taken when he was quite gray. It is, without bias, a very good photographic portrait. There is a matching one of his wife Lucinda, who you may know was the daughter of Clark Smith.
      In any event I hope you get this msg and will reply.

  12. I am looking for any information that may help me with the research I am doing on family members. Sergent William Whitaker Baker and His brother Corporal Thomas I. Baker (rank as of when they mustered out). Thomas was captured prior to Gettysburgh and spent time at Belles Island, near Richmond, Va. before being sent to Camp Parole in Maryland and then exchanged. He rejoin the the 9th Ny calvary co. F and was later severely wounded at the Battle of Morton’s Ford. Anything anyone can offer on these two men would greatly be a big help

  13. I’m a GG Granddaughter of Private Charles Gron, one of the 19 unkempt & unshaven men, who escorted Genl Grant to Appomattox Court House, VA, when Genl Lee surrendered. Charles & his brother Frederick Gron, both born in Sweden, joined the 9th New York Calvary
    during the Civil War, to defend their adopted land. They both are buried in Chautauqua Couny, NY.

  14. Isnt it kinda funny that the little girl who wrote lincoln a letter asking him to grow a beard is from the same lil town connected to william seward his sec of state and close advisor? William seward was almost killed the night lincoln was assasinated. An assassin cut his throat.

  15. To Thomas Robertson: AC Robertson was also my great grandfather. You may have met or talked with my newphew Chris Fowle some time ago, if I remember correctly.
    I have photo portraits of AC and his wife Lucinda Smith, who incidentally was the daughter of Clark Smith.
    Looking forward to your reply
    Clark Robertson
    Ellington, CT

    • Clark-
      I can’t believe I just stumbled on your response.I’ve only seen 1 portrait of Albert and it was a formal photograph from his later years, many pictures of Lucinda and this Robertson family (my 3 brothers and father and myself)all bear remarkable resemblances to Lucinda. I sort of see it but others who are’nt even family say immediately when they see the pictures that is where the “gene pool” flowed.I would love to hear more,I have an old hardcover book on the history of the 9th New York Cavalry that I received from my great aunt Mabel Smith. When she saw or recognized my interest she pulled out more army docs. a letter he wrote his sister right after the Battle of the Wilderness, a picture of the homestead in Jamestown, but just that 1 picture of Albert. Would love to either speak or at least correspond more with you more-it’s one of my biggest passions. Have visited Gettysburg 4 times and of coarse have sat at their monument “Discovering the Enemy” each time. My home phone # is 401-884-3448 should you care to call. Living in East Greenwich RI currently. Looking forward to hearing from you further


  16. Also I have a quilt that was “quilted” if that’s the correct word, by the wives of the members of the 9th at the 1912 reunion-it’s beutiful(sp was never my strong suit)never wall hung- just doing my best to preserve it best I can-it’s a little raged but other than that in great condition and the only inscription is “quilted by the wives of the soldiers of the 9th- reunion 1912

  17. my gg grandfather was with the 72 Penn. infantry, but I now reside in the house that Lt. John R. Dixon and his brother cpl. Milton M. Dixon, both of the ninth New York Cavalry, grew up. I would love to find a portrait of one or both to hang on the wall. Any information on these two would be greatly appreciated.

    • HI there, are you still looking for a picture? I might be able to help you – if you mean John R. Dixon (b. 1832, I think) of Naples, New York. I have a picture of Catherine Dixon, John R. Dixon’s unmarried elder sister who lived with him in his later years. I am not a relative – just someone who loves genealogy and collects antique photos. I can contact the family who gave me this cabinet card, if you’d like – they have ties to the Milton M. Dixon (b. 1844) family through marriage. I found this site looking up details on the sister to share her info & pictures with family members who might be looking, but I’m happy to see if I can find a picture & more info of the brothers for you, too.

  18. Is there any record of a unit or patrol having been dispatched away from the main body of the 9th at gettysburg?

    ie; a scout unit flank action or advanced probe??

  19. I Guess my post about Pvt. Henry James Gibbs who was shot in the Right Leg at the Battle of Beverly Ford isn’t important

  20. Hi Bob – sorry about that, I don’t really monitor this blog anymore. I’ve changed it over to blogspot and it’s now http://www.jdpetruzzi.blogspot.com if you want to see the new version.
    J.D. Petruzzi

  21. Hi I am doing a research project and was just wondering if there was any information you could give me about George J. Hammer, I know he was part of the Ninth Cavalry and part of Company K. Any information will be appreciated!

  22. Racheal – do you happen to have Newell Cheney’s history of the 9th New York Cavalry? It was published in the early 1900s and contains a roster in the back, with a paragraph of information on each member.

  23. Hoping this is still being used. I am trying to get more info on Camp Seward (which is walking distance from my house). It was not in the Welch field, as stated in an old comment. It was on the corner of Bliss and Union Extension, and was referred to as the Chautauqua Fairgrounds. I researched early deeds with the County historian to determine the edges of the camp. I have two letters written in the Camp, but would love to know if anyone might have others. And I would LOVE a map or drawing of the camp layout. Any information would be appreciated.
    David Brown

  24. Hi David,
    I’ve researched the camp as well, but I’ve never seen a map or layout of it. In 1861, as you may know, what is known as Welch Field today was much larger then. The camp was on what was then part of the field as well as the area used as the fairgrounds. If you do come up with a map or layout of it, I’d enjoy seeing it!
    J.D. Petruzzi

    • I’m curious what information led you to the Welch field. I had heard that years ago, but cannot find anything to confirm it. The deeds show the Fairground edges at Bliss Street and properties that were then on Union Street Extension (though I’m not sure that was called that then). I have heard a rumor that there is a letter in the archives of Fredonia State College that has a sketch in the return part of an envelope. Haven’t gained access to it as of yet.
      I reenact with the 9th and we are having a civil war weekend on the 9th and 10th of June, if you can make it. Should be great fun.
      Another question I am researching has to do with Lt. Col. William B. Hyde. He was appointed to drill the 9th, but I don’t know if he was ever in Westfield, as he seemed to join in on 11/1/61 in Albany and the regiment left Westfield on the 9th of November. I have discovered that the CW database has Hyde as 29 years old at the beginning of the war, and having done a genealogy search, discovered that in reality he was 19. And, he’s a hard looking character.
      The other issue you may know. Have you found anything that indicates which model of the Sharps & Hankin they were issued? It looks a little like leather (Navy) in the sketch at the beginning of the Ninth History, but hard to tell, though a fellow at the Mansfield Paper Show (Civil War) just told me something about a ring on the end of the muzzle on the Navy models (which is not in the sketch).
      Sorry to ramble. Any information is appreciated.

      • A friend just got done writing a book Armed Only with Faith, about Hyde, his name is Jim Quinlan, lots of research done to do this book.

  25. I stopped at the reinactment and chatted with Dave Brown. He was interested in the history of My ggg Uncle Henry James Gibbs jr. He asked me to bring my documents about Uncle Henry. So I took him all of the Documents and Discharge that I had on him. Maybe now people will reconize him as one of the heros of the Civil War. He should have a Purple Heart for the wound he received at Beverly Ford. Mr. Brown is the head of the “Westfield N.Y. Historical Society”

  26. Interesting article on the 9th NY Cavalry. I have a particular interest in this unit myself as my 2nd-Great Grandfather, James Pennington, served in Co. G. I have to wonder though… why this unit? James lived in Courtland, Michigan, just north of Grand Rapids, where he had a strong family unit and extensive family ties. Members of his extended family by marriage joined the 1st Michigan Engineers & Mechanics early in the war, but James would wait until Summer 1864 before enlisting and then having to travel all the way to Lockport, NY and Genessee Falls, NY to enlist.

    I have always wondered why? Would there have been local advertisements requesting volunteers for that unit in Grand Rapids? I would think not.

    And then I wonder if maybe James had family in that area. We don’t know much about him. Someone has suggested that this may have been a Irish unit and that James was really Irish. I don’t know. I sure would like to know more about him.

  27. My exwifes gg uncle served in the 9th and was captured fighting a rear guard action at Brandy Station Va in Oct.1863.He died in Andersonville in June 1864.Her family has a portrait of him in his Union uniform.His name is Jacob Armburst and was from Sheldon NY,Wyoming county.


    • If you find it might you let me know my ggg grandfather was to be in it possible. We just learned of this time in service.

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