Welcome to the Hardtack Regiment website. This site is intended to serve as a link between people interested in the Civil War history of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry and me, the regimental historian, Mark H. Dunkelman.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
My interest in the 154th New York began during my childhood in the 1950s, when I learned that my great-grandfather, John Langhans (pictured above), served in the regiment. I soon discovered that the 154th’s legacy was neglected — a situation I was determined to change. During decades of research I have contacted more than 1,300 descendants of members of the regiment, who have graciously allowed me access to more than 1,700 wartime letters, a score of diaries and accounts, 250 portraits, and other material. I have used these primary sources to write several books and numerous articles on various aspects of 154th New York history. Here are links to lists of my publications:
My books listed on Amazon.com
Are you related to a member of the 154th New York? If so, I would very much like to add you to the roll of descendants of the regiment to represent your ancestor. Please e-mail me and include your name, postal mailing address, ancestor's name, and your relationship to him. I will look forward to hearing from you:
Here are links to a roster listing the men's vital statistics, where known, and a PDF file of their service records, as recorded and published by the New York State Adjutant General and digitized by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. Additions or corrections to the Vital Statistics are welcome:
Since 1986, we descendants of the 154th New York have been gathering to represent and remember our ancestors at annual reunions in Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, New York, where the regiment was raised. To mark our tenth reunion we raised funds and erected and dedicated a regimental monument at Chancellorsville, Virginia, the 154th's bloodiest battlefield. Here is a link to a summary of our reunions:
Summaries of the Annual Reunions
In addition to my talks at the annual reunions, I've had the pleasure of speaking about various aspects of 154th New York history to a variety of audiences. Here is a list:
Presentations on the 154th New York
During the Civil War, the 154th New York earned the battle honors painted on its state flag: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Atlanta, Savannah, and the Campaign of the Carolinas. Combat casualties in the 154th totaled approximately 630; 232 members of the regiment died in the service. For a summary of the regiment's history, follow this link:
A Brief History of the 154th New York
To chart the regiment's service from its organization until the end of the war, follow this link to an interactive map created by geographer William Spiking, great-great-grandnephew of Private Thomas D. Spiking Jr. of Company F:
A Geography of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry
In 2002 my late partner Mike Winey and I toured the Friedsam Memorial Library at St. Bonaventure University and decided it was the ideal home in Cattaraugus County for our collection of regimental materials. The Mark H. Dunkelman and Michael J. Winey Collection of the 154th New York was formally inaugurated at St. Bonaventure on August 1, 2015. The portion of the Collection already housed at the university is inventoried here.
Since October 2013 I’ve been involved in the fight to save the endangered Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building in Little Valley, New York, which the county has slated for demolition. The Memorial was dedicated to the county’s Civil War soldiers and sailors, which of course includes most of the members of the 154th New York. I’m currently serving as historian for Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP), which is striving to save the Memorial. For information about the cause, please visit the CAMP website.
Since August 2005 I’ve been sending a bimonthly e-mail Hardtack Regiment News letter to the descendants and friends of the 154th New York. These summaries of my work are archived here.
Collectively and individually, the soldiers of the 154th offer scores of subjects touching on many aspects of the war. The goal of my research and writing — and other commemorative projects — is to tell their stories and to make a once-forgotten regiment one of the best-documented units of the war. I dedicate my work to the memory of the soldiers of the Hardtack Regiment.
"What Mark Dunkelman has done for Civil War scholarship through the medium of the 154th New York reminds me of the panorama of the Old South that William Faulkner painted without leaving the imaginary confines of Yoknapatawpha County. Who would have thought that anyone could have wrung so much from a single regiment?" Award-winning Civil War historian William Marvel
"How many Mark Dunkelmans are there in our futures? How many future historians will lovingly research and re-create our past?" Author and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris
Links to Related Websites
Last revised October 11, 2021.
Copyright © 1999-2021 Mark H. Dunkelman
Special thanks to Karl Dunkelman, great-great-grandson
of Corporal John Langhans,
for his invaluable assistance in developing and maintaining this site.