The 71st, the 2nd regiment of the Excelsior brigade, composed of companies from New York city, Olean, Great Valley, Colchester and Kingston, N. Y., Newark and Orange, N. J., and Philadelphia, Pa., was mustered into the service of the United States at Camp Scott, Staten island, June 20 to July 18, 1861, for a three year term. It left the state for Washington on July 23; served for a time in the vicinity of the city; was attached to Sickles' brigade, Hooker's division; performed guard duty along the Potomac, and in the advance under McClellan was part of the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 3d corps. It was on trench and picket duty before Yorktown; was present at the battle of Fair Oaks, and lost 118 killed, wounded and missing during the Seven Days' battles. It left the Peninsula to go to the support of Gen. Pope at Manassas and at Kettle Run, Groveton and in the battle of Bull Run (second) lost 114 out of 250 engaged.
During the Maryland campaign the regiment was stationed in the vicinity of Washington and marched to Falmouth in November, arriving in time to participate in the battle of Fredericksburg, but did not occupy an exposed position. Winter quarters were established at Falmouth and camp was broken late in April, 1863,for the Chancellorsville campaign, in which the regiment took a prominent part. After returning to camp at Falmouth for a short time, it marched to Gettysburg and there participated in the thick of the fighting with a loss of 91 killed, wounded or missing. It was also engaged in the encounters at Wapping heights, Kelly's ford, in the Mine Run fiasco, and after a comparatively uneventful winter in camp near Brandy Station, Va., entered upon the Wilderness campaign in the 2nd brigade, 4th division, 2nd corps. It was transferred May 13, to the 4th brigade, 3d division, 2nd corps, with which it served until the expiration of its term of enlistment. The regiment was repeatedly in action through the month of May, at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, the North Anna, Totopotomy, Cold Harbor and Petersburg, and was mustered out at New York city, July 30, 1864, the veterans and recruits being transferred to the 120th N. Y. infantry. It lost during service 94 by death from wounds and 74 from other causes. Source: The Union Army, Vol. 2, p. 102; Phisterer, p. 2,722
Gettysburg after battle report: Report of Col. Henry L. Potter, Seventy-first New York Infantry. Hdqrs. Second Regt., Excelsior Brigade,Camp near Beverly Ford, Va., August 14, 1863.
Maj.: In compliance with orders, I would respectfully make the following report:
This regiment left camp near Falmouth, Va., June 12, and participated in all the various marches and movements with other regiments of the brigade. The regiment was engaged at Gettysburg, Pa., July 2, where, out of 230 men and 13 officers, it lost--12 killed, 68 wounded and 10 missing. Taking a large number of prisoners, and recapturing one brass gun lost by Battery K, Fifth U. S. Artillery.
July 3.--This regiment also participated with the brigade in the engagement, with a loss of only 3 wounded.
From July 3, followed the various marches and movements until July 23, when it was again engaged at Wapping Heights, near Manassas Gap, where the loss was 2 enlisted men killed and 13 enlisted men wounded.
The conduct and bearing of the officers and men was generally so patient under the fatigues of the long and tiresome marches, and so brave and steady in action, that it is almost impossible to particularize individual acts of gallantry and good conduct. Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
H. L. POTTER,
Col., Comdg. Regt.
Maj. J. P. Finkelmeier,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Excelsior Brigade.
Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 27. Part I. Reports. Serial No. 43
25 Mar 1862 at Evansport, VA.
30 May 1862 at Bottom's Bridge, VA.
31 May 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
1 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
6 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
10 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
12 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
15 Jun 1862 at Richmond, VA.
15 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
25 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
29 Jun 1862 at White Oak Swamp, VA.
29 Jun 1862 at Savage's Station, VA.
29 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
30 Jun 1862 at James River, VA.
30 Jun 1862 at White Oak Swamp, VA.
30 Jun 1862 at Charles City Cross Roads, VA.
30 Jun 1862 at Fair Oaks, VA.
1 Jul 1862 at Malvern Hill, VA.
1 Jul 1862 at James River, VA.
2 Jul 1862 at Watkins Farm, VA.
2 Jul 1862 at Carter Hill, VA.
4 Jul 1862 at Harrison's Landing, VA.
12 Jul 1862.
2 Aug 1862 at Bristoe Station, VA.
10 Aug 1862.
27 Aug 1862 at Bristoe Station, VA.
28 Aug 1862 at Groveton, VA.
29 Aug 1862 at Bristoe Station, VA.
29 Aug 1862 at 2nd Bull Run, VA.
30 Aug 1862 at 2nd Bull Run, VA.
2 Nov 1862.
13 Dec 1862 at Fredericksburg, VA.
3 May 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA.
2 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
3 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
23 Jul 1863 at Wapping Heights, VA.
23 Jul 1863 at Manassas, VA.
24 Jul 1863 at Wapping Heights, VA.
6 Oct 1863 at Culpeper, VA.
11 Oct 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA.
14 Oct 1863 at Warrenton, VA.
14 Oct 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA.
27 Nov 1863 at Locust Grove, VA.
5 May 1864 at Wilderness, VA.
6 May 1864 at Wilderness, VA.
7 May 1864 at Wilderness, VA.
8 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
10 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
11 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
12 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
13 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
14 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
15 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
17 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
22 May 1864 at North Anna River, VA.
23 May 1864 at North Anna River, VA.
25 May 1864 at North Anna River, VA.
30 May 1864 at Totopotomoy Creek, VA.
31 May 1864 at Totopotomoy Creek, VA.
31 May 1864 at Hanover Court House, VA.
1 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
2 Jun 1864 at Gaines' Mills, VA.
2 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
3 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
6 Jun 1864 at Pamunkey River, VA.
6 Jun 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA.
16 Jun 1864 at Petersburg, VA.
17 Jun 1864 at Petersburg, VA.
18 Jun 1864 at Petersburg, VA.