148th Regiment, New York State Militia Collection

Cover Image:
Return of Field Staff of 148th Regiment, New York State Militia taken on October 8, 1819
Return of Field Staff of 148th Regiment, New York State Militia taken on October 8, 1819 - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:

Historical Context

According to the 1793 “Act to organize the militia of this state”, New York’s militia were arranged into four divisions, which were broken down into brigades and regiments under the direction of the Governor. Each company, between 60 and 100 men, was required to meet to train or drill twice a year, with each regiment, made up of eight to ten companies, meeting once per year. Individuals were fined for not being properly equipped or failing to attend drill. By 1808, arms were provided to state militias by the Secretary of War based on the number of enrolled militia indicated by returns submitted by the states’ adjutant general. At this time, the militia was made up of all able-bodied, free, white men between the ages of 18 and 45, with officers being elected based on social status, wealth, prior military experience, and involvement in the creation and operations of the regiment.

Benjamin Dunning was born in the Town of Wallkill, Orange County, New York on May 6th 1781, and moved to Minisink in 1809. During the War of 1812 he served as a captain in a militia regiment commanded by Colonel Jonathan Varian, being called out from September 18th to November 29th 1814. That same year he was elected supervisor of the Town of Minisink, a position he held until 1820. In 1824 he was elected to the New York State Assembly and was later made a General in the New York State Militia. He married Isabel Wilson Dunning (1784-1869) and together had several children: Virgil Wilson (1804-1893). Angeline Dunning Dolsen (1806-1854), Benjamin Franklin (1819-1895), and William T. He and his wife are interred at Ridgeberry Cemetery, Orange County, New York.

Scope of Collection

This collection contains inspection returns for the 148th Regiment of New York State Militia, of the 19th Brigade of Infantry commanded by Colonel Benjamin Dunning (1781-1861), specifically for the Columbian Concert held on October 8th, 1819.