120th mon

Washington Guards     

The 120th Regiment N.Y.V. (also known as Washington Guards)  consisted of men from the counties of Ulster and Greene. The regiment was mustered in for three years at Kingston on August 22, 1862 under Colonel George H. Sharpe. Six men from the 1863 Enrollment book, William H. Barret, Lewis Coe, Charles Johnson, Cyrus D.B. Polhemus, William Peck, and William Lawrence were listed as members of the 120th at the time the book was recorded. The 120th saw more action than any other regiment in the Hudson Valley. Significant battles they were a part of include Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Appomattox. The unit suffered many casualties during the second day of the battle of Gettysburg after General Sickles advanced his Third Corps into the Peach Orchard. At the end of the battle of Gettysburg, the 120th’s casualties included 54 men that were killed, 154 that were wounded, and 19 that ended up missing. At Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the Kingston native General George H. Sharpe was appointed to collect the parole of the Army of Northern Virginia. Essentially, the parole was an agreement that the Confederate army would not take up arms against the Union forces now that they had surrendered. The 120th was mustered out of service on June 3rd, 1865 near Washington D.C.

Image credit: 120th Monument at Gettysburg taken from New York Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga.