June 27 was a day to be remembered in Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Gouverneur, Malone and the north country.
The 16th New York state volunteers were recruited in 1861 for two years service. Company A was from Ogdensburg, Company G from DePeyster. There were two companies from Potsdam and others from Malone, Stockholm, Chazy and Plattsburgh.
On June 27, 1862 (150 years ago) the regiment commanded by Joseph Howland (a political appointee) from Fishkill on the Hudson, engaged in fierce combat at Gainesville, Va. They inflicted heavy casualties on the attacking enemy and sustained fearful losses of over 40 percent. Forty-one were killed, 17 mortally wounded, 50 were discharged due to wounds, including their brave colonel. Total loss to the regiment of 550 was 236.
The regiment later saw very heavy fighting and losses at Cramptons Pass (Antietam) and at Salem Church (Chancellorsville campaign). Although discharged after two years of service, most re-enlisted in other units. Some are buried in the large Civil War plot in the Ogdensburg Cemetery. They were all volunteers. Their heroism and sacrifice should be remembered 150 years later.
Gilbert C. Ashley