Archive of Lieut. Col. Alfred Neafie, 156th New York Infantry
Lot of 10 items related to Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Neafie, including: CDV studio portrait of Neafie in uniform, posed with his wife Anne Preston; 2 Captain's shoulder straps; 3 Lieut. Col. straps; 1 Brigadier General's star; 2 spurs; and a silk ribbon from the 7th Reunion of the 156th New York Regiment, held in Ellenville, NY; all of which belonged to Neafie, matted and framed together, 15 x 36.5 in.
Alfred Neafie (1832-1917), born in Walden, NY, moved with his family to Ellenville, NY, to establish a cotton mill. At the age of 19, Neafie journeyed from New York around South America's Cape Horn to California, where he spent two years prospecting for gold. He returned to Ellenville in 1854, living there until the start of the Civil War. Neafie helped raise a militia consisting primarily of troops from Ulster Co., NY, which was later organized in the Union Army as the 156th New York Regiment. Known as the Mountain Legion, the 156th was involved in various campaigns and battles at Port Hudson, LA, Fisher's Hill, Winchester, and Cedar Creek, VA. Towards the war's end, Neafie served as Chief of Major General Couvier Grover's staff at Savannah, GA, and during this time, Neafie received, on behalf of Gen. Grover, Jefferson Davis' surrender.
Neafie mustered in as Captain of the 156th NY in August of 1862, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 1863 after the fall of Port Hudson. He then assumed command of the 156th NY through the Red River and Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864. Twice, during the Battles of Winchester and Cedar Creek, Neafie assumed command of the Third Brigade, Second Division of the 19th Army Corps. In March of 1865, Neafie was brevetted to Colonel, and then Brigadier General.
After mustering out of service in October of 1865, Neafie returned to Ellenville to work in the glass factory that was operated by his father-in-law, A.B. Preston. In the 1870s, Neafie was part of a group of investors that reorganized the Ulster Knife Co., and in 1879, he moved to Goshen, NY, where he conducted a real estate and insurance business. Neafie died in Goshen in 1917. (Information obtained from the New York State Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections, October 18, 2011.)
The Ed Steers Lincolniana & Civil War Collection