14th Brooklyn “Red Legged Devils” – (New York State Militia)

The 14th Brooklyn is one of the most famous and iconic units in the United States Army and was known as the Red-Legged Devils. This single regiment from New York was the most decorated regiment in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. This Page takes a look into why the name Red-Legged Devils developed, who were the members of the 14th Brooklyn, and how they were as soldiers.

Red Legged Devils (New York State of Militia)

History of 14th Brooklyn

The 14th Brooklyn was an infantry regiment of the United States Army during the American Civil War. The regiment was raised in Brooklyn, New York, in 1861 and saw action in a number of major battles, including First Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. The regiment was mustered out of service in 1865 and disbanded shortly thereafter.

The 14th Brooklyn was one of the first infantry regiments to be raised in the wake of the American Civil War. The regiment was mustered in Brooklyn, New York on April 18, 1861, and saw action in a number of major battles during the course of the war. The 14th Brooklyn was particularly active during the early stages of the war, seeing action in the First Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam. The regiment also saw action at the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Gettysburg. The 14th Brooklyn was mustered out of service on July 1865 and disbanded shortly thereafter.

How did 14th Brooklyn (14th Brooklyn Regiment) got its name?

The 14th Brooklyn Regiment, or 14th Brooklyn, was a military unit of the New York Army National Guard, which was originally formed during World War I. The regiment was first organized in 1846 as the 14th Brooklyn Battalion. It was the only regiment in the New York State Militia to have the number “14” in its name.  The regiment earned eight campaign streamers for actions during the Civil War, which makes it one of the most decorated units in the entire U.S. Army National Guard. The 14th Brooklyn was later reorganized into the 14th Regiment. In 1898, it was mobilized for the Spanish–American War, and it was a major component of the famed “Fighting 14th” in World War I.  The 14th Brooklyn has mobilized again during World War II, and it earned 28 campaign streamers in six different campaigns.  More than 20,000 members of the regiment fought in the Korean War, and over 2,000 more fought in Vietnam. The 14th Brooklyn was deactivated in 1972.

Why 14th Brooklyn didn’t become part of the 13th Brooklyn Regiment?

When the 13th Brooklyn was organizing, many of the members of the 14th Brooklyn thought it just as well not to associate with those who had been active against the war. So for that reason, the 14th Brooklyn did not come together with the 13th Brooklyn. However, the 14th Brooklyn did send representatives to the First Corps of Cadets, one to four officers and about twenty-five men. In total, the 14th Brooklyn sent about seventy soldiers to the First Corps of Cadets.

14th Brooklyn Regiment and their role in the Civil War

The 14th Brooklyn Regiment had a very unique role in the Civil War. The regiment was created by the people of Brooklyn and was made up of men from the same community. The state had no intention of sending the 14th Brooklyn to war but the men decided to organize themselves into a regiment and join the Union army. The men of the 14th Brooklyn were the first to join the Union army. The 14th Brooklyn was a volunteer regiment. The men of the 14th Brooklyn raised their own money to pay for their uniforms and equipment. The regiment was given the name “The Brooklyn Boys.” The 14th Brooklyn was the first regiment to show up to fight for the Union army.



Colonel: Alfred M. Wood

Colonel: Edward Brush Fowler

Lt. Colonel: William H. DeBevoise

Notable commanders: Ardolph L. Kline

Who was Alfred M. Wood

Colonel Alfred M Wood was born in 1832 and died in 1892. He lived in New York City and was an American businessman. He was born in Philadelphia and was the son of an engraver and joined his father’s business. He was also a colonel with the 14th Brooklyn New York Volunteers. His unit was in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was a key founder of the 14th Brooklyn. He was also a founder of the American Legion and is considered one of the founders of the American Red Cross. Colonel Wood used his own funds to supply uniforms and equipment for his soldiers. One of the founders of the American Legion; the American Red Cross and the founder of the Brooklyn’s 14th Regiment.


Who was  Colonel Edward Brush Fowler

Colonel Edward Brush Fowler led the 14th Brooklyn in the Battle of Malvern Hill. A resident of New York, the Colonel was commissioned in the Regular Army where he attained the rank of Captain. When the Civil War broke out, he volunteered for service and was assigned command of the 14th Brooklyn Regiment . Colonel Fowler led his regiment in many battles, but is best remembered for his heroic actions in the Battle of Malvern Hill. He was severely wounded by a bullet to the head and expired on July 3, 1862.

Who Was Lt. Colonel William H. DeBevoise

William H. DeBevoise was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1867. DeBevoise served as a lieutenant colonel in the 14th Brooklyn, New York Volunteers during the Spanish-American War in 1898. In public life, DeBevoise served as a member of the New York State Assembly from the 14th district from 1896 to 1898, and served as a member of the New York State Senate from 1899 to 1908. DeBevoise was a delegate to the 1904 Republican National Convention. In 1909, DeBevoise was appointed by President William Howard Taft as Postmaster of New York City, and served until 1913. DeBevoise died in New York City in 1939 at age 71.

Who was Commander Ardolph L. Kline

Ardolph L. Kline (1838-1905) was a Union officer in the American Civil War. Kline graduated from West Point in May 1861, right as the war began. His first posting was in Florida, where he helped build batteries and prepare defenses at St. Augustine. He was then posted to serve in the Department of the East. He served in the defenses at Baltimore, and then was made commander of the 14th Brooklyn, New York Militia (bombardment regiment), holding that position from February 1863 until June 1865. He commanded the monitors and the harbor defenses of New York from 1864 until the end of the war. During the war, he was wounded twice. Ardolph Kline was promoted to major in December 1864 and to lieutenant colonel in March 1865.


That was the complete detail of 14th Brooklyn “The Red Legged Devils”. If you need more information regarding this Regiment you must visit them on Wikipedia. Thank You so Much