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L.A. Fish

L.A. Fish

Federal (USV)


Latham Avery Fish

(1842 - 1909)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 9th New York Infantry, Company K

Before Antietam

From old New England money, he had been Secretary of the Star Base Ball Club in Brooklyn by 1857 in the early days of the sport. In April 1861 at age 19 he enlisted for brief service in Company C of the 7th New York Militia, being discharged at the end of his term in June. On 2 August 1861 at New York City he mustered in as Private, Company C, 9th New York Infantry (Hawkins' Zouaves) to serve two years. He was promoted Corporal on 1 October 1861, was transferred to Company K on 9 August 9 1862, and was promoted to Sergeant on August 19.

On the Campaign

He was with his battery at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was discharged 13 November 1862 by promotion to Second Lieutenant, Company E, One Hundred and Seventy-fourth Infantry (mustered 6 November). He was promoted to Captain on 1 November 1863 and discharged 25 January 1864.

After the War

A banker in New York, he was a member of the Atlantic, Shelter Island, and New York Yacht Clubs and part owner of the yacht Atlantic - an America's Cup hopeful. In the 1870s he owned and sailed the schooner Agnes (painting). He commissioned and owned Grayling (1883-c. 1900), a somewhat experimental shallow-draft centerboard racing schooner. She was unsuccessful in elimination racing for the Cup in 1887. Fish was on the America's Cup Committee in 1889 and 1895.

Latham Fish, a banker, died one year later at his summer home in East Marion across from Shelter Island where he had a private golf links. When he joined the [Shelter Island Yacht] Club in 1890 he was the proud owner of the famous Grayling. An 1891 news item in the New York Recorder characterized the Grayling as "a rule-of-thumb boat whittled out by Philip Elsworth" which proved its worth by twice winning the Goelet Cup for schooners. "Under a cloud of canvas, she is one of the prettiest sights a sailor ever saw. The cups she has won would fill a large safe. Mr. Fish is one of our most experienced amateur yacht sailors ..."

References & notes

Service information from the State of New York1 and Phisterer2. Some details from Thomas W. Lawson, The Lawson History of the America's Cup (Boston: Lawson, 1902). Death information from a notice in the New York Times of 22 September 1909. The quote above from the History of the SIYC. His birth and burial places from Findagrave, source also of his picture, from a photograph of unknown provenance posted by Dennis C. Schurr.

More on the Web

See the jacket and cap he wore at Antietam in a photograph in the Image Bank, from the collection of artist Don Troiani. More about the Grayling and her unfortunate sea trials in an 1883 article [pdf] from the New York Times; a series of beautiful 1890 photographs (1, 2, 3) of her are at the Library of Congress.


1/21/1842; Brooklyn, NY


09/21/1909; East Marion, Long Island, NY; burial in Sterling Cemetery, Greenport, NY


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, Issue 18 (for the year 1899), pp. 663 - 674  [AotW citation 12674]

2   Phisterer, Frederick, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 6 volumes, Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1909-12, Vol. 5, pg. 3982  [AotW citation 12689]