The 109th Infantry gathers together with Colonel Benjamin F. Tracy, of Tioga; Lieutenant-Colonel I. S. Catlin, of Owego; Major, Philo B. Stilson; Adjutant Peter W. Hopkins; Quartermaster James S. Thurston, in command, along with with surgeons and other officers in addition to the regiment soldiers. Colonel Tracy is a lawyer, 32 years old and a member of the New York State Assembly. He will win the Medal of Honor for service at Wilderness, VA, in May 1864, survives the war and goes on to serve as the 32nd United States Secretary of the Navy. He is our Stephen's leader.
There is little fear of engagement with the enemy that fall. The men march without arms to Annapolis Junction, Md., where they are issued Springfield rifles.
The 109th NY Infantry, Company E, spend the next year guarding the railroad from Baltimore to Washington so that troops and supplies make it to the Army of the Potomac and practice their fighting skills.
Dear Friend Amelia, the Civil War Letters of Private John Tidd, by Mary Jordan and Joyce Hatch is an account of what life would have been like for the men of The Railway Brigade.