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Sketch of the Detachment of the Company of the New York Rifles Firing on Company B of the Same Regiment for Mutiny, near Willett's Point, New York (recto).
Civil War drawings collection, approximately 1861-1865.
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400
September 9, 1861
Drawing: Graphite and brown ink on paper. 5 7/8 x 8 in. View down road toward large house. Soldiers seen firing rifles in foreground. Inscribed along lower edge in brown ink: 'A detachment of the New York Rifles commanded by Lieu. Georges / firing upon Company B of the same regiment, under Cap. Cresto / while on its way to join Col. Fadella's Reg.t Monday, 9.' Continued on verso in graphite.
This incident occurred at Willett's Point on Monday December 9, 1862, near the encampment of the New York Rifles. Captain Cresto, of Company B, had a dispute with a lieutenant of his company and was about to leave the regiment with his men to join Colonel Fadella's regiment. Colonel Legendre stationed a guard of twenty-five or thirty men, with loaded arms, to prevent the desertion. Intercepted, Captain Cresto demanded the privilege of passing, which the guard would not permit. The antagonistic parties were drawn up across the road when a pistol belonging to Sergeant Thompson, one of Captain Cresto's party, went off, as the Sergeant said, by accident. The guard returned fire and two of the deserters were killed and four wounded. Captain Cresto fled but was captured, eventually convicted with most of his men, and sent to a military prison on Hilton Head Island. Reproduced in Frank Leslie's The Soldier in Our Civil War, (New York : S. Bradley, 1893), Volume 1, 132; with more soldiers in a somewhat modified composition. Also reproduced in Phillip Van Doren Stern, They were There: The Civil War in Action as Seen by its Combat Artists (New York: Crown, 1959), pg. 134, pl. 160. The image likely depicts the 1st Regiment, Missouri State Militia Calvary.
New-York Historical Society
New York (State)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865Military desertersSoldiers
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