On the sunny morning of October 21, 1861 – to cheers from tens of thousands of citizens, with bands playing and the roar of cannons – Calvin W. Preston, Galway farmboy boarded a towboat-drawn barge at the Albany, NY docks with other soldiers of the Ellsworth Avengers regiment for the beginning of a dangerous and arduous journey that would lead to perhaps the most important battle of the Civil War: Gettysburg. [Read more…] about Calvin Preston: A Survivor of Two Calamities
Among the first African Americans to buy land in the community, he also served in the Union Army during the Civil War, organized politically on behalf of African American citizens in town, and built a series of homes that today still define a neighborhood in the village of New Paltz. [Read more…] about Black Builder Jacob Wynkoop Exhibit Goes Online
For more than two decades, the US Colored Troops Civil War Digest has been published with the support of Hartwick College and the membership of the United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History and Family Research (USCTI).
The Ticonderoga Historical Society is set to present its first program of the year, “One Man’s Impact: U.S. Grant and Our Memory of the Civil War,” on Friday, July 31st. [Read more…] about Ulysses S. Grant Program Planned in Ticonderoga
During the American Civil War – which, despite attempts to argue otherwise, was in effect America’s crusade against slavery – several hundred thousand citizens from New York State enlisted in the United States Army.
Many from Saratoga County (and also some from Essex and Fulton Counties) joined the 77th Regiment, its unit number chosen to recall the 1777 Battle of Saratoga during the American Revolution. It was known as the “Bemis Heights Regiment,” the place so evocative of the “turning point” of the War of Independence. [Read more…] about The Life and Death of Saratoga’s Statue to the 77th Regiment
During the Civil War personal identification of soldiers killed and severely wounded in combat was daunting, because of inadequate record keeping in both the Union and the Confederate armies.
An early attempt to ID them was called “name discs” or “soldier pins,” but these met with limited success. Historians estimate that 50% of those killed in the Civil War were simply marked unknown. [Read more…] about To Identify The Dead: World War Two Student ‘Dog Tags’
This week on The Historians Podcast, Wanda Burch tells stories from her book The Home Voices Speak Louder than the Drums: Dreams and the Imagination in Civil War Letters and Memoirs (McFarland, 2017). [Read more…] about Dreams of the Civil War Soldiers (Podcast)
Johannes LeFevre was born in New Paltz on May 26, 1837, to Josiah P. LeFevre and his wife, Elizabeth. Around New Paltz, his family was known as the Bontecoe LeFevres because of their large farm, just outside town.
The oldest child of seven, Johannes was born in his father’s stone house on what is today White Duck Road in New Paltz, off Route 32. The home had been built by Daniel LeFevre. Later, Josiah built a home in 1849, on the opposite side of Route 32. Both houses remain standing and look much as they did during Johannes’s lifetime.
On Friday, May 24, 1861 President Lincoln received two visitors: a Senator and a reporter.
Years later the reporter gave this account of the occasion: “As we entered the library we observed Mr. Lincoln before a window, looking out across the Potomac….. “Excuse me,” he said,” but I cannot talk.”… Then to our surprise the President burst into tears, and concealed his face in his handkerchief… After composing himself somewhat, Mr. Lincoln sat down and invited us to him. “I will make no apology, gentlemen,” he said, “for my weakness; but I knew poor Ellsworth well, and held him in great regard.” [Read more…] about Elmer Ellsworth: Lincoln’s Friend, Killed By A Confederate Sympathizer
The Albert Wisner Library in Warwick, Orange County, is set to host researcher Marisa Hayes, who will share her studies of headstone design in the Hudson Valley’s oldest cemeteries.
Her talk will focus on styles from the colonial period through the Civil War and participants will discover how decorations and motifs reflect the social identities and views of death held by people of the region. [Read more…] about Grave Encounters: Hudson Valley Headstone Design