The 174th Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Army, New York Army National Guard. It traces its heritage back to the American Civil War, where it was called the 74th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The 174th saw service in the Civil War, and along the Mexico-United States border. It was deactivated in 1945.
The 174th Infantry Regiment was originally known as the 74th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Mustered in on 6 October 1861 for a period of three years, the regiment's men hailed from several states, but were given a New York designation. A and B Companies were Zouave Cadets from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a number of B Comapny men coming from New York City. C Company hailed from Long Island, and D Company was drawn from Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. E, G, H, I, and K Companies were all recruited from New York City, and F Company came from Tidioute, Pennsylvania.
The 74th New York was assigned to the Excelsior Brigade under General Daniel Sickles. During the Peninsula Campaign the regiment took part in the Siege of Yorktown and the Battle of Williamsburg on 5 May 1862, where the men won high praise and suffered 143 total casualties. Later, the regiment fought in the Battle of Seven Pines and was constantly engaged in the Seven Days Battles. In August, the 74th was relived of its fighting duties and was eventually sent back to defend Washington D.C. from a Confederate attack. The regiment rejoined the Army of the Potomac and fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862 and the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863; both decisive Union defeats. Four members of the regiment were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions at the Battle of Chancellorville in May 1863, for volunteering to advance on Confederate lines under heavy fire and bring back information: privates Felix Brannigan and Joseph Gion, Corporal Gotlieb Luty, and Sergeant Major Eugene P. Jacobson. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the 74th New York was heavily engaged on the second day of fighting (2 July 1863) along the Emmitsburg Road, where they suffered 89 casualties.
Marching south after Gettysburg, the regiment engaged Confederate troops at the Battle of Manassas Gap and the Battle of Kelly's Ford. The regiment fought in the Battle of Mine Run in December 1863 before entering winter quarters. The Wilderness Campaign was the last action the men of the 74th New York fought in, and they were mustered out by company 19 June- 3 August 1864. The men who reenlisted were transferred to the 40th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. By the end of the Civil War, the 74th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment suffered 124 battle deaths and 70 deaths from other causes (mostly disease). It was noted for its courage and steadiness and is numbered among the "three hundred fighting regiments."
On 19 July 1898, elements of the 74th New York mustered in for service in the Spanish-American War, but their units were soon absorbed into the 202nd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiments. On 15 April 1899, the 74th New York Infantry was reorganized in Savannah, Georgia. The regiment was again mustered for service on 2 July 1916 for service along the Mexican border, to guard against raids from Pancho Villa's banditos. On 24 February 1917, they were mustered out. This wouldn't last long, however, and the regiment was reactivated on 38 March 1917 for service in World War I. On 1 October, approximately 1,600 men from the 74th New York were transferred to the 108th Infantry Regiment, 106th Field Artillery Regiment, and the 102nd Engineer Regiment; all parts of the New York National Guard's 27th Infantry Division. The remnants were reorganized on 4 January 1918 as the 55th Pioneer Infantry Regiment at Camp Wadsworth, South Carolina, and they arrived in France in September 1918. They returned to the United States, and were deactivated on 8 February 1919 at Camp Hill, Virginia. They regained the title of 74th New York Infantry on 22 April 1919.
On 18 October 1921, they were redesignated as the 174th Infantry Regiment. On 16 September 1940, the regiment was inducted into federal service and was assigned to the 44th Infantry Division. After the Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the 174th moved west to defend against possible Japanese attacks on the West Coast. Moving around and training in the US, the 174th was relived of assignment with the 44th Division on 27 January 1943. They remained in the US for the duration of the war as part of Western Defense Command until inactivation at Camp Rucker, Alabama on 27 September 1945. The 174th was reorganized on 15 April 1947 in Buffalo, New York and assigned to the 27th Infantry Division. It was eventually broken up and converted into other units on 1 February 1955.