|Birth: ||Apr. 29, 1818|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 10, 1906|
New York, USA
Colonel 34th New York Infantry Regiment.
Born in Herkimer, April 29, 1818. Lifelong resident of Herkimer. Received his education in the common schools and took up the trade of saddle and harness making at an early age, having been an apprentice in the shop of the late John D. Spinner. In 1840 he engaged in business which he continued alone for over fifty years with the exception of a few years when his brother, the late Augustus W. Suiter was associated with him. His first shop was located in rooms over a grocery store of which the proprietor was the late Charles Spinner. Twice did he interrupt his business to go to war, once in 1847, at the age of 31 when he became second lieutenant of Company E, First Regiment, in the Mexican War, in which he served until its close, having been mustered out at Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor.
His appointment as second lieutenant was secured largely through the influence of Congressman George Petrie, in whose election the young lieutenant had an active part.
Colonel Suiter was a member of the LaFayette Guards commanded by the late Gen. Francis E. Spinner. In 1851 he was elected captain of Company G, Thirty-eighth Regiment, New York State Militia, and later was made lieutenant colonel of the same regiment. At the first call for troops in April 1861, sent out by President Lincoln, the lieutenant colonel of the Thirty-eighth Regiment was the first man to enlist in Company G, of the new Thirty-fourth Regiment, which came to be known as the Herkimer County Regiment, and the members of which were characterized because of their bravery and courage. He was elected captain of Company G, then promoted to the lieutenant colonelship, and was commissioned colonel on March 10, 1862.
At the head of his regiment he lead his men successfully in the battles of Fair Oaks, Glendale, Antietam and Fredericksburg. His men participated in fourteen other engagements, and at all times their leader was at their head and in the thickest of the fight.
His horse, Old Billy, was wounded at Fair Oaks,
Antietam & Fredericksburg, but the colonel escaped injury.
He returned home in January of 1863.
At all times, as an officer, he commanded the respect and esteem of his men in a marked degree. Though firm and commanding, a main characteristic, his men fairly idolized
him, and this esteem he rewarded by obtaining many favors for them.
Suiter Post, named in his honor, was the first Grand Army Post organized in Herkimer. Its name was changed afterwards
to Aaron Helmer Post, because of an order from headquarters that all posts should be named for some hero who had fallen on the battlefield. Colonel Suiter was given the post of honor at the organization of the Thirty-fourth Regiment Association, and was elected unanimously its president, such honor to continue during life.
Active in Whig politics he led the party in Herkimer in many political engagements. He was appointed postmaster by President Zachary Taylor in the early fifties. His deputy was Warren Mack, grandfather of Orange W. Mack of Herkimer village. Colonel Suiter cast his first vote for William Henry Harrison in 1840. He supported John C. Fremont for the Presidency in 1856. He was Supervisor of the Town of Herkimer. He also held the office of Trustee, Treasurer and Assessor in the village, and was a Justice of the Peace for four years.
In a paper read before the County Historical Society a few years before his death, Colonel Suiter gave an accurate description of the village and the location of buildings as they were in 1840. His knowledge concerning early events in town, county, State and Nation was considerable and he loved to relate stories of earlier times.
History of the 34th New York Infantry Regiment
Mustered in: June 15, 1861
Mustered out: June 30, 1863
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
This regiment, Col. Wm. LaDue, was accepted by the State May 24, 1861; organized at Albany, and there mustered in the service of the United States for two years June 15, 1861. Part of the 38th Militia entered this regiment. June 8, 1863, its three years' men were transferred to the 82d Infantry.
The companies were recruited principally: A at West Troy; B at Little Falls; C at Graysville and Norway; D at Champlain; E at Addison; F and G at Herkimer; H at Crown Point; I at Hammondsport, and K at Salisbury.
The regiment left the State July 3, 1861; served at and near Washington, D. C., from July 5, 1861; in Stone's Brigade, Division of Potomac, from August 4, 1861; in 2d, Gorman's, Brigade, Stone's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October 15, 1861; in same brigade, Sedgwick's Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March 13, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from May, 1862; and was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. Byron Laflin, June 30, 1863, at Albany.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 1 officer, 65 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 26 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 67 enlisted men; total, 4 officers, 158 enlisted men; aggregate, 162
The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
Thirty-fourth Infantry.—Cols., William La Due, James A. Suiter, Byron Laflin; Lieut.-Cols., James A. Suiter, Byron Laflin, John Beverly; Majs., Byron Laflin, Charles L. Brown, John Beverly, Wells Sponable. The 34th, the "Herkimer Regiment," was composed of five companies from Herkimer county, two from Steuben, one from Albany, one from Clinton and one from Essex county, and was mustered into the U. S. service at Albany June 15, 1861, for two years. It left the state for Washington on July .3; was quartered at Kalorama heights until July 28, when it moved to Seneca mills and was there assigned to Gen. Stone's brigade. The regiment moved to Edwards ferry on Oct. 21, to Poolesville, Md., Oct. 23, and there established Camp McClellan, which was occupied until Feb. 24, 1862, when orders were received to move to Harper's Ferry. From Oct. 15, 1861, the regiment served in the 2nd brigade of Stone's division, which became in March, 1862, Sedgwick's division, 2nd corps, Army of the Potomac, and in May, 1862, the brigade became the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 2nd corps. The early part of March, 1862, was spent in camp at Berryville, Va., and later in the month the regiment moved to Washington, where it was ordered to the Peninsula. It shared in the siege of Yorktown; lost 97 members killed, wounded or missing at Fair Oaks, and again lost heavily during the Seven Days' battles. It was then in camp at Harrison's landing until Aug. 15, when it was ordered to Newport News, and there embarked for Acquia creek. Subsequently it returned to Alexandria and was again at the front during the Maryland campaign in. September. At Antietam it lost 154 in killed, wounded and missing, of whom 41 were killed or mortally wound-ed—over 13 per cent. of the 311 engaged. On Nov. 21, 1862, the regiment arrived at Falmouth; participated in the battle of Fred-ericksburg; then went into winter quarters near Falmouth; shared in the "Mud March;" returned to camp and remained there until the Chancellorsville movement in the spring of 1863. In April the regiment moved to Banks' ford; was active at Chancellorsville; returned home on June 9, and was mustered out at Albany June 30, 1863, the three years' men having been transferred to the 82nd N. Y. infantry on June 8. The total enrollment of the regiment was 1,016 members, of whom 93 were killed in action or died of wounds during the term of service and 69 died from other causes.
Louis Chapin's book: "A Brief History of the 34th Regiment"
34th New York Infantry Regiment Newspaper clippings
Henry Roback's book: "The Veteran Volunteers of Herkimer and Ostego Counties in the War of The Rebellion"
Colonel Suiter's report on the Battle of Antietam:
Catharine Bowers Suiter (1826 - 1897)*
A Walter Suiter (1850 - 1925)*
Mary Grace Suiter (1856 - 1935)*
Oak Hill Cemetery
New York, USA
Created by: Michael J. O'Brien
Record added: Aug 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75660602