Our regiment was formed on October 23, 1850 in New York City. In those days it was part of the State Militia. When six companies were formed approval was given to form a battalion called "The American Rifles." This battalion was attached to the First New York Cavalry NYSM under command of Colonel John B. Ryer.
By 1852 there were eight companies active in the
battalion. Therefore, there was enough to start a regiment and the
Seventy-first Infantry Regiment was born with Abram Vosburgh as our
first colonel. We became known as "The American Guard" in 1853. The
regiment was called into service three times during the Civil War.
In 1861 Colonel Vosburgh died as a result of enemy action in May of
1861 becoming one of the Civil
War's first casualties (615,000 would follow). The 71st fought in the first battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861 under command of its beloved Colonel Henry P. Martin, served in the forts circling Washington, D.C. in 1862 and in the Pennsylvania Campaign of 1863, where they delayed the Confederate Army for over a week in their march toward the state capital at Harrisburg.
When the Spanish American War began in 1898 the
71st was the first to volunteer for service and fought in Cuba. The
regiment captured and held San Juan Hill (contrary to the Rough
Rider legend). The only New York State casualties of that campaign
were incurred by the 71st Regiment. A large monument commemorating
that service is located at the regiment's cemetery plot in Mt. Hope
Cemetery in Westchester County, NY. During World War One we served
in both France and Belgium as part of the 27th
Division. Our men logged over 200 consecutive days of combat in France, Austria and Germany during World War Two as members of the 44th Division, 7th Army. When the National Guard was reorganized after World War Two, the 71st served in the 42nd Infantry Division, the world famous "Rainbow Division." We were on call for the Berlin Crisis of the early 1960s, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
Headquarters for the regiment were based in New York City (Manhattan) from 1850-1988. From there the HQ moved to Freeport, Long Island until the regiment was disbanded on August 31, 1993. Throughout its active history the 71st Regiment remained a vital part of New York State's National Guard.
For additional Historical information about the 71st Infantry Regiment (New York) go to Wikipedia
71st Regt's History Book - This is book was published by the Regiment in 1919. The 901 pages cover the period from 1850 to 1919
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Veteran Association of the 71st Regiment please contact James Ksprzak at (718) 353-9167 and he will send you an application
For additional Historical information about the 71st Infantry Regiment (New York) go to Links