The First German Rifles

The Eighth New York Infantry "The First German Rifles"

The 8th New York Infantry was noted as having very distinctive grey uniforms. The grey was trimmed in green, the traditional color of riflemen or sharpshooters. (The picture at the left is from Dyer's A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion.)

  • Organization and Affiliations
    • Organized at New York City and mustered in April 23, 1861.
    • Left state for Washington, D.C. May 26.
    • Attached to Blenker's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to October 1861.
    • Blenker's Brigade, Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac to January 1862.
    • Stahel's Brigade, Blenker's Division, Army of the Potomac to March, 1862.
    • 1st Brigade, Blenker's Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac to April, 1862.
    • 1st Brigade, Blenker's Division, Dept. of the Mountains to June, 1862.
    • 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps, Pope's Army of Virginia, to September, 1862.
    • 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April 1863.
  • Service
    • Duty in the defences of Washington, D.C.m til July 16, 1861.
    • Advance on Manassas, Va., July 16-21, 1861.
    • Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.
    • Duty in the Defences of Washington till April, 1862.
    • Operations in the Shenandoah Valley, May to August, 1862.
      • Battle of Cross Keys, June 8, 1862.
    • Duty at Sperryville and Centreville till August 1862
    • Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia, August 16-Sept. 2, 1862.
      • Fords of the Rappahannock, August 21-23, 1862.
      • Gainesville, August 28, 1862.
      • Groveton, August 21-23, 1862.
      • 2nd Bull Run, August 30, 1862.
    • Duty in the defences of Washington, till December, 1862.
    • Reconnooissance to Snicker's Ferry and Berryville, November 28-30, 1862.
    • March to Fredericksburg, Va, December 10-16, 1862.
    • "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863.
    • Duty at Brook's Station till April, 1863.
    • Mustered out April 23, 1863, expiration of term.
    • Three years' men consolidated to a Company, April 22, 1862 and transferred to the 68th Regiment New York Infantry, may 5, 1863.
  • Losses
    • 90 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded.
    • 1 officer and 42 enlisted men died because of disease.
    • Total wartime deaths- 133.

Note: There were three regiments of infantry from the state of New York with the number 8 as their designation. The Eighth Regiment Infantry ("The First German Rifles") should not be confused with either the 8th Regiment State Militia Infantry "Washington Grays" nor the 8th Regiment National Guard Infantry.