The Second Regiment of the National Guard of the State of New York
The Second Regiment of the National Guard of the State of New York (2nd NGSNY) established its first connection with Rensselaer County in 1876, when a reorganization of New York’s National Guard reassigned the Second regiment from New York City to Troy. The Second lay dormant in peacetime, but was activated in wartime as several independent militia companies folded into the unit. The Headquarters company and Companies A (Troy Citizens’ Corps), C (Tibbits Veteran Corps) and D (Tibbits Cadets) came from Troy, and Company M (32nd Separate Company) came from Hoosick Falls. The Second volunteered as a unit for wartime service in 1898 for the Spanish-American War; the unit (known commonly as the “Second New York State Volunteers”) did not see action, but spent the conflict training at various camps in Georgia, Florida and Rensselaer County. The Federal government called up the Second again in 1916 for service along the Mexican border, supporting the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa; the regiment did duty along the Rio Grande, and suffered no losses. Upon U.S. entry into the First World War in 1917, the Second was again called for Federal service and assigned to the 27th Division, where it was redesignated the 105th Infantry Regiment.
This collection is a variety of memorabilia and scrapbooks of the regiment’s service. The vast majority of the materials deal with the Spanish-American War, with other items pertaining to the Mexican border service, First World War, and peacetime service of Troy militia units.
This box contains six envelopes and two scrapbooks, as follows:
Muster Roll of Company A, 2nd NGSNY: It covers the period 1 June – 31 August 1898. This is a list of all men who enlisted in Company A, with information on each man’s height, weight, where enlisted and by whom, and any additional remarks if necessary. Also included is a roster of Company A by rank and exact position in the line of battle, and a second (more informal) muster roll for August 1898. (41.21.10, 12,13)
Quarterly Return of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores for Company A, for the Quarter Ending 30 September 1898: This document lists all arms and equipment issued to Company A in detail. Every item the company received is listed here, except ammunition. (41.21.3-4)
Quarterly Return of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores for Company A, for the Quarter Ending 30 September 1898: This is a copy of the above document. (41.21.5-6)
Quarterly Return of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores for Company A, for the Quarter Ending 31 December 1898: This is the same form and contains similar information to the above returns. This document covers the period 1 October – 31 December 1898. (41.21.7)
Folder: This contains a souvenir program of the Second’s triumphal return parade in Troy on 27 August 1898. This program gives information on who was involved in the procession and what route it took through the city. (60.97)
Folder: This item is the program of the opening of the enlarged state armory in downtown Troy on 18 March 1903. It includes a list of all the companies that comprised the Second, plus a list of regimental officers. (60.99)
Scrapbook – “April 2. 1898 to June 1. 1898”: This book covers the period immediately before the outbreak of war, the regiment’s recruitment and dispatch southward. Materials of note include numerous newspaper clippings containing many rosters of NGSNY Separate Companies (some of which would fold into the Second), coverage of the Troy Citizens’ Corps (with a wartime roster), and formation of the Second Regiment NGSNY. Also pasted into the book are several original pictures of officers, including Colonel Edwin D. Hardin, the Second’s commanding officer. (74.46.21A)
Scrapbook – “June 1 1898 to July 23 1898”: This book is a continuation of the previous scrapbook, and contains more newspaper clippings about the regiment. This covers the regiment’s move to camp around Tampa, Florida, and has some interesting original photographs of the unit in the Sunshine State. Newspaper clippings discuss camp life, the possibility of going to Cuba, training and maneuvers. A few items discuss wartime Troy, but most clippings are about the Second. Two notable deaths are mentioned: a private killed by lightning in Tampa, and Sergeant Marcus D. Russell of Troy, who was a Rough Rider and “the first Trojan to fall under the Spanish fire.” (74.46.21.B)
This box holds two scrapbooks, which include:
Scrapbook – “July 24. 1898 to Aug 29. 1898”: This follows the two scrapbooks in Box 1. The book contains more newspaper accounts of the Second, and discusses camp life in Florida, the move to a new camp in Fernandina, rumors about going to Puerto Rico, and wartime Troy. Also included are several group photographs in camp, and accounts of other Rensselaer County men fighting in the war; among the latter is a good account of Santiago in the 24 July paper. A great deal of the clippings toward the end deal with the regiment’s transfer to Troy in preparation for muster out, and include good details about the Second’s triumphal return and camp (Camp Hardin) in Averill Park. (74.46.21C)
Scrapbook – “Aug 29 1898 to Sept. 30 1898”: This is the last scrapbook in the set, and covers the regiment’s arrival at Camp Hardin and muster out. The first page has a good sketch map of the camp’s location in Averill Park. Further clippings cover additional units at Camp Hardin and vignettes of other Rensselaer County men fighting in the war. (74.46.21D)
This box holds two books and two scrapbooks, covering a wide variety of topics.
Manual for Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry, 1917: On the inside front cover is the markings “Co. G No. 8.” This book was given to all NCOs and enlisted men upon joining up. It gives details on such matters as discipline, hygiene, French, and care of the 1903 Springfield rifle. Everything a soldier needed to know to survive in the First World War was in this book. (73.90.12)
Courts-Martial Manual, 1898: Inside bears the mark “Co. A, 2nd N.Y. Inf.” This book contains the legal Articles of War as they existed in 1898, and also gives all procedures necessary to settle military justice in the U.S. Army (the Navy and Marine Corps had a separate book). (81.6.1)
Scrapbook: It has a picture of a raven on the front cover, and quotes from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem: “Quoth the raven – NEVERMORE.” This scrapbook, which is in poor shape, contains a variety of materials pertaining to Troy militia units in the period 1890-1910. Most newspaper clippings and items deal with the Tibbits Cadets (21st Separate Company). Highlights include several pages of amazing pictures of the Second NGSNY during the Spanish-American War, newspaper clippings about the dedication of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Troy, and various items relating to the Cadets’ activities suppressing riots in Buffalo in 1892. Pasted in the back are orders, paperwork, and other miscellany from the 1890s. (73.72.2)
Scrapbook: This is simply titled “Scrap Book.” The inside markings identify this as the former property of Private James F. Matthews, and the book covers the Second’s Mexican border service in 1916. Among the items in this compilation are some pictures of the regiment and the places they served, interspersed with newspaper clippings about the Second’s operations supporting the Punitive Expedition. (76.56.114)