65th NY Militia

65th New York Militia

(Brief History)

The 65th NY Militia organized in 1848 in Buffalo, NY.  The 65th NY Militia was involved with the Canal Riot in Buffalo in 1849.

During the Civil War years, the 65th NY Militia in 1861 furnished men to the 21st, 48th NY Infantry and Battery I, 1st NY Light Artillery.

On June 18, 1863 the 65th NY Militia was mustered into United States Service (for thirty days) and was ordered to Harrisburg, PA; and left the state on June 19th, 1863, commanded by Lieut. Colonel William F. Berens.

The 65th NY Militia was involved with the Gettysburg Campaign, guarding and protecting railroad bridges, trestles and railroad crossings in and around the Harrisburg area.

Following General Lee’s retreat of his Army of Northern Virginia, the 65th & 74th NY Militia were both took part in a skirmish near Clear Springs, Maryland on July 10, 1863.

Following the skirmish, the 65th & 74th NY Militias were sent to New York City to help put down the draft riots.

The 65th & 74th NY Militia had returned to Buffalo and were mustered out of active service on July 30, 1863.

In October 1864, practically the whole unit of the 65th NY Militia had joined the ranks of the 187th NY Volunteer Infantry.

This concluded the service of the 65th NY Militia during the Civil War years.

In the years following the Civil War:

  • 1875 Companies K & I were disbanded.

  • 1879 a new Company I was organized and Company E was consolidated with Company H.

  • 1880 Company B was consolidated with Company A; and Troop L (a Cavalry detachment of the 8th Division was reorganized as a Company of Infantry and attached to the regiment as Company E.

  • 1881 Company D & E were disbanded.

  • 1885 a new Company B and a new Company D were organized.

  • April 28, 1898 the regiment received authority to organize as a twelve company regiment, preparatory to entry into the United States service.

  • May 17, 1898 the unit was mustered in the United States service, as the 65th Regiment, N.Y. Volunteer Infantry and mustered out of such service on November 17, 1898.

  • May 31, 1899 – Companies K, L and M were ordered disbanded.

    The regiment has received authority to place silver rings on the lances of its colors, engraved as follows: 

  • On the National Color.-Gettysburg Campaign, 1863 (as the 65th NY Militia)

  • before Petersburg, Va., October 20, 1864, to April 2, 1865; Hatcher’s Run, Va., October 27-28, 1864; Hicksford Raid, Va., December 6-11, 1864; Hatcher’s Run, Va., February 5-7, 1865; Appomattox Campaign, Va., March 28 to April 9, 1865; White Oak Ridge, March 29-31, 1865; Five Forks, April 1, 1865; fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865; Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865 (as members of the 1st NY Light Artillery Battery I, 48th NY Infantry, and 187th NY Infantry).

  • Spanish-American war, 1898 (65th NY Volunteer Infantry).

Other noted involvements:

  • On the State Color.-Canal riot, Buffalo, 1849

  • Draft riots, New York July 1863

  • Railroad strike, Buffalo, 1877

  • Railroad strike, Buffalo, 1892

  • Lumbermen’s strike, Tonawanda, 1893.


One of the more notable members of the 65th NY Militia is Major Michael Wiedrich – Michael born in France of Germany ancestry. Lived in Buffalo served in the 65th NY Militia. Major Wiedrich was Commissioned Captain of Company of Company I, 1st NY Light Artillery, then Colonel of the 15th NY Heavy Artillery. Colonel Wiedrich is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.

For Further reading and information:

  • The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.