He enlisted on 9/3/1861 in Albany, New York as a Private. He was almost 18 years old.  Foote mustered in on Saturday, October 5, 1861. He had just turned 18 barely three weeks prior.  Company C of the 44th New York Infantry – otherwise known as Ellsworth’s Avenger’s – would be his new life.  From October 1861 through June 1862 Foote would see action in such places as Hanover Courthouse (May 27, 1862).

In late June 1862 (20th) Foote was commissioned as an officer – 2nd Lieutenant – in the 92nd New York Infantry, Company H.  It seems this was a strategic move that allowed him to join the staff of his uncle, General Henry Wessells, as an aide de camp.

Foote saw a lot of action with the 92nd NY leading up to April 1864, including the Wilderness Campaign (Fair Oaks, Richmond and Malvern Hill) in the summer of 1862; Kinston, NC (December 1862); Fort Anderson, NC (March and July 1863); New Berne, NC (March 1863); and Plymouth, NC (April 1864).