"He became not a man but a member. He felt that something of which he was a part -a regiment, an army, a cause, or a country -was in a crisis. He was welded into a common personality which was dominated by a single desire."

-Red Badge of Courage


The 105th NY Regiment was mustered in from November 1861 to March 1862 in LeRoy and Rochester, N. Y.. The Regiment was under the command of Colonel James M. Fuller and was placed under the command of the Army of Virginia in June 26, 1862 (do not confuse with the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia). 

Postcard view of what was Camp Upham in Leroy when Adrian Fay's regiment was organized. The stone building on the left was still standing in 2018 on Church Street. The buildings, owned by State Senater Alonzo Upham, were used for rail car maintenance before they were turned into muster and training facilities. [Phil Palen donation]


The year 1862 was an intense time for the Army of Virginia. The Army of Virginia was involved in three campaigns, first Jackson's Valley Campaign, then the Northern Virginia Campaign, and finally the Maryland Campaign. During this time the 105th along with other N. Y. regiments engaged in battles such as Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. During this time the 105th will suffer heavy casualties, which would eventually lead to the combination of the NY 105th and the NY 94th regiments on March 10, 1863, forming one regiment under the 94th

1863 In the year of 1863 the 94th Regiment would be involved in the Chancellorsville Campaign, the Battle of Gettysburg, and two more minor campaigns in Northern Virginia. Throughout the year and the war, the 94th Regiment was reorganized again and again within the Army of the Potomac.   

1864 In 1864, the Army of the Potomac, now under the command of George Gordon Meade pushed into the interior of Virginia during Grant's Overland Campaign. The 94th was involved in crucial battles such as the Battles of Cold Harbor, White Oak Swamp and Hatcher's Run which slowly and surely led to the fall of Petersburg, Virginia.

Prisoner of War

At the battle of Cold Harbor, 30 men of the 94th Regiment were reported missing, including Adrian Fay who was captured on a skirmish line. Fay does not write letters from the prison camps. Fay's family received letters from Colonel Adrian Root the commander of the regiment and Chaplain Philos G. Cook informing the family of Fay's capture.

We've also included links to material about Camp Parole where Fay spent time, particularly the book A Low and Dirty Place by Rebecca Morris.


In 1865, with Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia on their last legs, Grant relentlessly pursues Lee. Grant began the Appomattox Campaign and the 94th was in the heat of the fighting. The 94th was involved in the Battle of Five Forks that cut off Lee's supply line. The Regiment was involved in other skirmishes such as Sailor's Creek. NY 94th Regiment finally engaged in their last battle of the war, the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, which would eventually lead to the surrender of General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. 

NY 94th Regiment was mustered out on July 18, 1865 near Ball's Cross Roads, VA. During its service the regiment lost 115 killed and mortally wounded, 352 wounded, 103 who died of disease or from exposure, and 449 missing or captured; a total of 917 casualties. Its last act was to contribute a liberal sum of money towards the erection of a monument to the memory of the late commander of the First Corps, Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds. At the close there were present 336 officers and men. 

Miscellaneous Letters These letters contain information throughout the war written by Adrian Foote Fay. However, we do not know the exact dates they were written or the exact place where they were written. Phil Palen, who donated the collection, made educated guess on where and when the letters were written. There are nine miscellaneous letters in the collection and all but two were written to Sarah (Flint) Fay.

People mentioned in the letters This is a list of people from the NYS Adjutant General's report who are mentioned in this collection of letters . It includes some biographical information as well as the dates of the letters where the names appear.
Sarah Flint's 1864 Diary 1864 Diary of Sarah Flint, Great Valley, N.Y. Sarah's diary gives a glimpse of the home front, and her particular activities and concerns while Adrian, her future husband is at war.
Adrian Fay's Family These pages, still in progress, contain images of members of Fay's family and his life outside of the Civil War years.


Phil Palen

Patrick Gallagher

Hollis Harvey Reed

Phil Palen acquired many of the Adrian Fay letters in two separate purchases about 22 years ago.  Most came from a book dealer in Cattaraugus, NY and a dozen or so from a dealer in Westfield, N.Y.  Circumstantial evidence points to Adrian Fay's daughter, Hollis Fellows, who lived in Dunkirk and died around 1959 as the source. The letters may have made their way to an antique shop in Maple Springs on Chautauqua Lake, then to Westfield and Cattaraugus.

About half the collection came from Patrick Gallagher, a great-grandson of Adrian.  The letters passed from Adrian's youngest son, Carl Adrian Fay, to Carl's daughter, Jane Hollis Fay and then to William Patrick Gallagher, the donor. Phil first made contact with him about 20 years ago while looking for Fay descendants in Great Valley.  Pat grew up in Ridgway, Pa.

The Xerox copies of more letters came from another great-grandchild, the late Hollis Harvey Reed of Berwyn, Pa.. This path went through his daughter, Hollis Fay Fellows, to her daughter Doris Fellows Harvey, thence to Hollis Harvey Reed and now to her daughter Lorna Reed.

Corporal Adrian Foote Fay The Collection

Adrian Foote Fay was born on May 19, 1840 in the town of Little Valley, New York. His parents were Alcander and Electa (Clement) Fay and was one of seven children, five sons and two daughters. Adrian married Sarah Flint on April 12, 1865 and had five children. Adrian Fay and his family moved to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1890 and lived there until his death on December 28, 1915. Adrian Fay is buried, next to his wife, who died in 1917, at Willoughby Cemetery in Great Valley, N.Y.

Adrian Fay enlisted on January 3, 1862 in Great Valley. He mustered in with the 105th Regiment in LeRoy, N.Y., Jan. 11, 1862. He was transferred into the 94th NY Regiment in March 1863. He served throughout the war, re-enlisted, was wounded and was captured in 1864. He was placed in several P.O.W. camps in the south before being paroled March 3, 1865 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Fay was transported back to the Washington, D.C. area and was mustered out on June 12, 1865. During his time served, Fay was in the thick of the fighting at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor and many skirmishes. During his time as a prisoner of war he was initially sent to the infamous camp in Andersonville, Georgia. However, he was eventually transferred to other prison camps in the Confederacy. After Fay's internment, he rejoined his regiment, which was now in the 5th Corps. The end of the war was near and Fay received furlough and went home to marry his wife Sarah Flint and returned to the Washington, D.C. area and waited out the rest of the war.

Adrian Fay and family on Find a Grave The site has images of his gravesite as well as links to his family members, including parents, siblings and children.

The Adrian Fay Civil War Collection includes 175 war time letters that contain Adrian's first hand experience of battles such as Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Rull, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Cold Harbor, his experiences in hospitals, and his experiences of being a prisoner of war. The collection also includes letters from Adrian's family and future wife Sarah (Flint) Fay. The collection also includes diary extracts from Sarah Flint, pictures of Adrian and his family, and other information relating to Adrian.

Phil Palen has created transcripts of the letters which add tremedously to the accessibility of the material. Palen also analyzed the letters to create a list of names mentioned and the dates of the associated letters.

The web site currently focuses on Adrian Fay's wartime adventures. The broader story of his family, based on the images and research provided by Phil Palen, will be added in the future to cover the pre- and post-war periods.



New York State Military Museum:

94th Infantry resources; 105th Infantry resources Home page for Civil War units Civil War unit rosters

Historical Data Systems Inc:


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