About Us

The recreated 9th New York Cavalry includes people from all age groups and all walks of life.  People become reenactors for many reasons, but all experience and enjoy reliving aspects of the Civil War era, as well as the company of many new friends.  We are a family-oriented unit and encourage any and all new members.  The idea of Civil War reenacting is to preserve and perpetuate the memory of the common people who did so much to shape our nation during the War Between the States.  While working to achieve this goal, reenactors learn more about the period through first hand experience.

Who Becomes a Reenactor?


Anybody can become a reenactor.  The 9th New York includes men, women, children, and families.  Active members of the unit range in age from 13 to 65 years old.  The unit welcomes soldiers, functional musicians (i.e. buglers), civilian gentlemen, ladies, children, and any other period impression a member can think of.  Reenacting has a role for anyone.  In general, reenactors are people with a special interest in the Civil War, although there is no requirement that you have any special knowledge about the war.  As reenactors, the culmination of this interest in the war is an accurate representation of a Civil War soldier or civilian to the public, your fellow reenactors, and to yourself.  If you think that you might be interested in joining the 9th, check out the Learn More page.

Organization of the 9th


The 9th NY Cavalry, Company B, is organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Our board of directors is comprised of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, elected from among our members at a general meeting.  We also elect one Captain, one Corporal, and one Lance Corporal for military rank structure.  Depending on the number of troopers at a given event, the officer and non-commissioned officers may "brevet" to the next rank, or be temporarily "reduced in rank" for the duration of that event.  Customarily, the highest ranking military officer or non-commissioned officer present from the unit is in charge of the unit and our bivouac area for the duration of any given event.  Our military rank structure is also responsible for ensuring the safety of all members on and off the battlefield.  For larger events, especially those of a national scope, we are members of the 1st Federal Cavalry Regiment of the Federal Volunteer Brigade, and will work together with other member units to form larger units for those events.

Officers for 2012


Board of Directors
President:  Terry Shultz
Vice President:  Bob Oaks
Secretary:  Jim Hurley
Treasurer:  Jim Fritschi

Military Officers
Captain:  Jim Hurley
Corporal:  Zach Bennett
Lance Corporal:  Nick LaVigne

Webmaster
Joanne Bennett

Civilian Coordinator
Samantha Bennett

The Historical 9th NY Cavalry


Arms Carried by the 9th N.Y. Cavalry

 

It would be truly impossible to tell the story of the 9th New York Cavalry during the Civil War as well or as thoroughly as one of its own members, Captain (brevet Major) Newel Cheney.  Cheney's book, from which the above image is taken, is titled History of the Ninth Regiment, New York Volunteer Cavalry.  War of 1861 to 1865.  Published in 1901, this work is and remains to be the definitive history of the 9th New York.  If you want to read more, check out Cheney's book, which is now public domain and may be found in its entirety on Google Books.  Below, we will attempt to give you the "brief version" of what these brave men accomplished during perhaps the most horrific four years in American History

Organization of the Ninth New York Cavalry


"The Ninth New York Cavalry began its organization in September 1861, by the volunteering of men for cavalry service in the counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Wyoming in this state and in adjoining towns of Warren County, Pennsylvania... ten companies from Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties, assembled at Westfield during September and October, established camp on the fair grounds and began taking lessons in camp duties and cavalry tactics.  The camp was named Camp Seward, in honor of Wm. H. Seward, then Secretary of State and who had at one time resided at Westfield... "

Flag of the 9th New York Cavalry

Battle Flag of the Ninth Regiment, New York State Cavalry

 

Major Battles and Campaigns


The Ninth New York took part in a total of 141 separate engagements.  Some of the more prominent battles and campaigns the Ninth participated in are listed below:

  • Yorktown
  • Williamsburg
  • Second Bull Run
  • Fredericksburg
  • Chancellorsville
  • Gettysburg
    Note:  One of the 9th New York's "claims to fame" is the opening shot of the Battle of Gettysburg, perhaps the largest battle ever fought on American soil.  According to Major Cheney, Corporal Alpheus Hodges, of Company F, fired several shots at advancing Confederates at around 5:30 AM on the morning of July 1, 1863.  This claim is, however, disputed, most notably by by Lieutenant Marcellus Jones of the 8th Illinois Cavalry.  Perhaps we will never know who really fired the first shots at Gettysburg.

  • Brandy Station
  • Wilderness Campaign
  • Yellow Tavern
  • Cold Harbor
  • Trevillian Station
  • 1864 Shenandoah Campaign
  • Cedar Creek
  • Appomattox
 

End of the War


The 9th New York was mustered out of service on July 17, 1865, having served in nearly every major campaign of the Army of the Potomac from the beginning of their service in the fall of 1861.  Seven members of the 9th were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions during the war.  The 9th New York was officially commended for its services during the Appomattox Campaign leading to the surrender of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, thus leading to the end of the war, by the commanding officer of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Colonel (brevet Brigadier General) Charles Fitzhugh in Special Order No. 27 dated June 4th, 1865:

"... At the battles of the Five Forks, Sailor's Creek, Scott's Cross Road and Appomattox C. H. their behavior under their gallant leader, Major Dinnin, elicited the highest commendation, and their stubborn valor on all occasions assisted materially in the success achieved over the enemy.  Their glorious record will always be one of the brightest chapters in the history of the 2nd Brigade."

A total of 1,963 men enlisted in the 9th New York Cavalry for service during the war.  Many of these joined too late to see active service during the war.  In addition, a large number were sick, on detached service, or at dismounted camp without horses, awaiting remounts.  These factors, coupled with casualties, meant that the 9th averaged about 350 to 400 effectives in the line of battle. 

There is a high price to pay to preserve freedom.  97 members of the 9th New York Cavalry gave their "last full measure of devotion," and were killed in action or died as a result of combat wounds.   127 men died of disease due to poor hygiene in camps and the limitations of medical treatment of the day.  In total, 224 men of the 9th gave their lives to preserve the Union.  In addition, 270 men were wounded in action but recovered, and 139 were captured.  Total combat losses of the 9th New York, including killed, wounded, and captured, were 506 officers and enlisted men.

Further Reading


If you want to learn more about the 9th New York Cavalry and their heroic contributions to the war effort, please see Major Cheney's excellent book.  The summary of the 9th's service presented herein is taken from that text.  Again, that book may be found online on Google Books.  There are also innumerable other works on the Civil War, about various units, battles, campaigns, armies, and even individual persons.  It would be far too difficult to list them all here, however, if you want a recommendation for further reading about any specific subject, contact us and we will do our best to provide you with a source to suit your needs.

References

Cheney, N. (1901). History of the Ninth Regiment, New York Volunteer Cavalry. War of 1861 to 1865. Jamestown, NY: Martin Mere & Son.