New York State Volunteers
The Salt Point Rangers
"The Fourth Onondaga Regiment"
Welcome to the home page of the 149th NYSV Civil War reenactors, aka "The Salt Point Rangers".
We are a "progressive campaigner" type Civil War reenacting group based in Syracuse, New York, home of the original 149th NYSV. We are a unit that is highly motivated by historical correctness and authenticity. We portray the soldiers in the 149th New York State Volunteer Infantry, and recreate their lives and times through Civil War battle reenactments, encampments, living histories, parades, and more.
To bring honor and memory to the original men of the 149th NYSV, a regiment raised solely in Onondaga County New York in September of 1862. To educate the public about the daily life of a typical soldier in the American Civil War.
Their Heroic Acts
The 149th NYSV fought in over 30 battles, including Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and Peach Tree Creek. They also were with General Sherman in his famous March to the Sea.
No less than six members of the 149th received the Congressional Medal of Honor, one of whom was Color Sergeant John Kiggins.
Kiggins act of bravery was to expose himself to even greater risks and danger than he already faced as color bearer by jumping up onto to the stump of a tree that had been sheared off by an artillery shell, raising himself up to the better view of Union artillery batteries that were firing upon them by accident. He frantically waved the colors upon this elevated perch so that it could be noticed by the batteries that they were firing upon friendly forces. In making himself more visible to Union forces, he also made himself more visible to enemy forces and his clothes were riddled with rifle balls. Some grazed his skin, and one plowed a furrow in his scalp, but he was spared great injury.
Not a Medal of Honor recipient, but a hero non the less, was Color Sergeant William C. Lilly. Sgt. Lilly's image and act of bravery are forever captured on the bronze relief sculpture affixed to the monument to the 149th New York on Culp's Hill at Gettysburg National Military Park. The image depicts Sgt. Lilly mending the broken flag staff of the regimental colors with leather from his knapsack and wood slats from a cracker box. This he done after climbing over the breastworks exposing himself to a torrent of enemy fire to retrieve the broken staff and colors after a bullet hit the staff and effectively cut it in two. This heroic event was also immortalized in a bronze sculpture on the Soldiers & Sailors Monument at Clinton Square in Downtown Syracuse. The colors would receive eighty or more holes during that battle at Gettysburg at Culp's Hill on July 2nd, 1863.
Sergeant Lilly survived the battle at Gettysburg, but would be mortally wounded later at Wauhatchie in Tennessee. Sergeant Lilly is buried in the Civil War section of Woodlawn Cemetery in Syracuse, New York.
Sergeant Lilly was posthumously awarded New York State's highest honor.
To learn more about the men and deeds of the 149th NYSV, I suggest reading "Memoirs of the 149th N.Y.V.", by Capt. George K. Collins, 1891. Some other books with information on the 149th NYSV are "A Perfect Storm of Lead", by R. L. Murray, 2000, "Letters From the Front, Onondaga County Troops in the Civil War", by R.L. Murray, 2002, "Slocum and His Men", published by J. B. Lyons, 1904, "Gettysburg, Culp's Hill & Cemetery Hill", by Harry W. Pfanz, 1993, and also a new book "Culp's Hill at Gettysburg, The Mountain Trembled" , by John M. Archer, 2002, and "Culp's Hill", by John D. Cox, 2003. Many of these books can be purchased online right now at the "149th NYSV Store".
Dan Houde - Unit Founder
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