Harvey S. Chatfield first enlisted, August 30, 1861, as Captain, Co. K, 43rd NYSVI and was discharged for transfer to the 78th NYSVI. He served in the 78th until July 12, 1864, at which time he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the 102nd NYSVI, "The Van Buren Light Infantry." On June 4, 1865, he was promoted to Colonel, and served in that rank until the regiment was mustered out, July 21, 1865, at Alexandria, Virginia.
During his service, the regiments he was part of participated in the following battles: Yorktown, Williamsburg, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Groveton, Second Bull Run, Antietem, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain, Resaca, Dallas, and Atlanta.
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