Artemus Hastings was the son of Asa and Anna (Goddard) Hastings born 1836. He and younger brother Rufus enlisted in the 93rd New York Volunteer Infantry on November 15, 1861. Following the Peninsula Campaign the 93rd was assigned to Provost Marshall Duty. They served the commanding General of the Army of the Potomac until the spring of 1864. Provost Marshall Duty kept them out of the fighting but did not keep them out of harm’s way. At the Battle of Gettysburg they were serving General Meade. In the morning of the third day of battle the Confederate Army prepared for Pickett’s charge with an artillery barrage. Many of their shells overshot the Union troops landing in the camp of General Meade.
In March of 1864 Artemus reenlisted in the 93rd NYV. Many of the original volunteers did not re-enlist leaving the Union Army with a shortage of veteran soldiers. The 93rd was thus reassigned to Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corp, David B. Birney’s Third Division, Alexander Hays’ Second Brigade. There first action was in the opening Battle of 1864 at the Wilderness. Late in the day of May 5, 1864 the 93rd was pushed into action to prevent a Confederate break through at the Plank Road.
The Regimental History tells a story of the soldiers drinking their coffee after dark on that first night of the battle. Artemus and other members of Company A were wondering “how many of them would be around for coffee on the next night.” Details about Artemus end at this point but records show that he served, at times, leading his Company with the regimental colors. On May 6th, the second day of the battle, the 93rd and the Second Corp made a major push driving the Confederate Army three miles backward until General Longstreet arrived on the scene. At some point during this action Artemus was killed. His body was never recovered from the Wilderness Battle field. This was the battlefield where canon fire ignited the brush and undergrowth leaving the battlefield in flames. Many wounded soldiers were consumed by these flames.