Pictures of the 7th New York
Formation of the 7th New York
This picture was published in 1862 for DT Valentines Manual. Titled as the Manual of the Common Council of the City of New York, it was an illustrated book with maps, pictures and information related to New York City. It contained statistics and information on elections, government, and social and public institutions and was published annually. The caption for the picture reads: “Interior of the State Arsenal, 57th St. occupied by the 7th NYV (Steuben Regt) 1861.”
New York State built the Central Park Arsenal from 1847 to 1851. Located at 5th Ave and 64th St, it was built far north of the city’s then center. It stored arms and equipment used by the state militia, and was the home of the 7th New York State Militia, until 1857, when the regiment moved to a new armory. The arsenal stood on land that the City of New York planned to use in the creation of Central Park, so it was bought by the city in 1857. Described as hideous and ugly throughout its history, it has survived a number plans to demolish it. Over the years, it housed a police precinct, the Central Park Zoo, the Museum of Natural History, a meteorological observatory, and is now the headquarters for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
In 1861, with the start of the Civil War, the arsenal became a place for the housing, mustering and training of soldiers before they left the state. According to the caption, men of the 7th New York Volunteers were housed here before they left the city on May 24, 1861. The only place mentioned that the 7th stayed before leaving was at Landmann’s Hamilton Park, which appears to have been a beer garden and/or hotel at Third Ave, around 68th Street. That is not to say the 7th did not stay at the arsenal at some point. The arsenal and Landmann’s were only several blocks away from each other and could easily move from one to the other. A number of other German units also stayed at Landmann’s before leaving New York City as well.
Homecoming of the 7th New York
This picture is taken from a publication by Frank Leslie, who published a weekly illustrated magazine during the Civil War and the second half of the nineteenth century. It is captioned:
“The Soldier’s Rest – The friends of the Seventh and Eighth regiments, New York Volunteers, welcoming the return of their heroes to New York, Tuesday, April 28th, 1863.”
Both regiments were German regiments with two-year enlistments that ended in April 1863. The building in the background is 291 Bowery, the Steuben House. It was a German social hall owned by Sixtus Ludwig Kapff, a former 1848 Revolutionary. In 1861, it served as a recruiting center for the 7th New York and was where the regiment received a set of colors by Mrs. Kapff, the wife of the owner, and Franceska Klein, who also embroidered the colors of the 52nd New York.
Sixtus served as the first Captain of Co. G, 7th NY, in 1861, and his brother Edward was the regiment’s first Lieutenant Colonel. Edward was later promoted to be it’s second Colonel.
Though 291 Bowery was torn down in 2006, a short video was made of its colorful history after the Civil War.
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