"Cooley “saved the regimental flag from capture by stripping the colors from the staff and bringing them safely off the field.”
Cdv of Captain Alfred Cooley, 156th New York Infantry. Cdv and album page, on which Cooley is wrongly said to have been killed at Antietam.
Buffalo, NY photographer's backmark.
$175.00 plus shipping
"The 156th then fought at Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, and Cedar Creek where the regiment lost 92 men in the chaos of the see-saw battle. During the morning fighting on October 19th the entire color guard was shot down and Captain Alfred Cooley “saved the regimental flag from capture by stripping the colors from the staff and bringing them safely off the field.”
This regiment, known as the "Mountain Legion," was recruited in
the counties of Ulster, Greene and Richmond and was organized at
Kingston, where it was mustered into the U. S. service for three
years on Nov. 17, 1862. The New Paltz volunteers formed part of
the regiment, as did three companies recruited by Col. Minthorn
It left the state on Dec. 4, 1862, and sailed for New Orleans,
where it was assigned to the 3d brigade, 3d (Emory's) division,
19th corps, with which it participated in its first battle at
Fort Bisland, losing 22 killed and wounded. It took an active
part in the long siege of Port Hudson, including the assault of
June 14, when Lieut.-Col. Fowler was mortally wounded while
leading the regiment in a charge.
The total loss of the regiment during the siege was 30 killed and
wounded. After the fall of Port Hudson it spent the ensuing 9
months in post and garrison duties, with occasional
reconnaissances into the enemy's country. On March 15, 1864, in
Grover's (2nd) division, it moved on Banks' Red River expedition
and was engaged at Pleasant Hill, Alexandria and Mansura, but
sustained slight loss.
In July, 1864, when the first two divisions of the corps were
ordered to Virginia, the 156th embarked for Washington and after
marching through Maryland engaged in Sheridan's famous Shenandoah
campaign against Early. At the battle of the Opequan the
regiment lost 20 killed and 91 wounded, a total of 111.
Col. Sharpe had been promoted to brevet brigadier-general for
gallantry and was in command of the brigade at Winchester, while
Lieut.-Col. Neafie gallantly commanded the regiment. The 156th
was also in the fights at Fisher's hill, and Cedar creek, losing
in the latter action 92 killed, wounded and missing.
In this fight, when several of the color-guard had fallen, the
regimental colors were narrowly saved from capture by the bravery
of Capt. Alfred Cooley, who stripped the colors from the staff
and brought them safely off the field.
The fighting in the valley had now ended and in Jan., 1865, the
regiment proceeded with Grover's division to Savannah, Ga. Gen.
H. W. Birge was now given command of the division, which joined
in the final campaign in the Carolinas, temporarily attached to
the 10th corps as the 1st division.
In May it returned to Savannah, and the regiment continued to
serve in that vicinity until finally mustered out under Col.
Sharpe, at Augusta, Ga., Oct. 23, 1865. It lost during its term
of service 4 officers and 60 men killed in action and mortally
wounded; 4 officers and 163 men died of disease and other causes;
total deaths, 231.
Source: The Union Army, Vol. 2, p. 161