The "Highlander Regiment", also known as the "Cameron Highlanders", was made up primarily of emigrant Scots and Scottish-Americans and was originally organized in 1859. The militia unit modeled itself after a British unit, the Cameron Highlanders, and adopted the numerical designation of 79, the Cameron tartan and regimental name of that famous unit. The 79th New York was one of the first volunteer units to rush to the colors after Ft. Sumter and when mustered into Federal Service in May of 1861 numbered 795 men and suffered over 558 casulaties during the war. The 79th was well respected as a hard fighting regiment throughout the war.
In keeping with its Scottish identity, the 79th dress uniform consisted of Cameron kilts or trews, glengarry caps and New York State Militia coats with red trim. After the battle of First Bull Run, the unit adopted the standard Federal uniforms, but many men retained the glengarries and trews and wore them throughout the war. The 79th welcomes anyone, Scottish or not, who would like to join this noble band of brothers.