At the outbreak of war, the nation witnessed a wellspring of patriotic fervor as young men rushed to join the army, North and South. For many, the war was an adventure – their first time away from home. Most people believed the conflict would be short and virtually bloodless, and that the whole affair would be decided in a single battle.
Following the disastrous defeat at Bull Run, the North began to come to terms with the prospect of a lengthy war to suppress the rebellion. On July 22, 1861, President Lincoln issued a new call for 500,000 volunteers to serve three-year enlistments. In New York, Governor Morgan oversaw the return of the 90-day militia volunteers while also organizing the new three-year regiments that needed to be armed, equipped, and sent to Washington. By the end of July, Congress authorized all new volunteer regiments to serve for the duration of the war.