CIVIL WAR MISCELLANEA
This one page info sheet of Civil War tidbits was provided to us by the Herkimer County Historical Society. Most interesting here is the description of State armories. References are to resources available for researchers to use when they visit the Society. I've typed it up "as is" and added basic information at the end about ordering records.
Men from Herkimer County who Served in the Civil War
|Division||# Left for War||# Returned from War|
|34th NY Vol.|| 786||400|
|97th NY Vol.||2,200||322|
|121st NY Vol.||1,076||425|
|152nd NY Vol.||360||unknown|
|81st NY Vol.||25||unknown|
|2nd Mounted Rifles||30 - 40||unknown|
|14th 1st Oneida||unknown||unknown|
|26th 3rd Oneida||unknown||350|
|44th NY Vol.||1,061||484|
|18th NY Vol.||16||unknown|
No accurate count of the men from Herkimer County can be made in five listed divisions. The first draft in Herkimer County was held on August 27, 1863. 1,888 men were drafted. Herkimer County men also served in other regiments. For the period of 1860 - 1870, the total population of Herkimer County was as follows:
Information for the above was taken from Vertical File #576 of the Herkimer County Historical Society and from Beers' "History of Herkimer County."
During the Civil War there were two military camps one of which was called Camp Schuyler. "Where Camp Schuyler had its neat rows of tents, the Thruway's broad ribbon of concrete now sweeps by." "It was located on the farm of Henry J. Schuyler, near the banks of the Mohawk River in Fort Herkimer." "The camp was a mile and one half south of Herkimer and a mile east of Mohawk." (Sources: "Valley of Yesterday - Camp Schuyler; 1856 map (in hallway) - H. J. Schuyler; 1868 map atlas under "George Washington ate lunch here")
According to several sources, an armory can be any of the following: a place where arms and instruments of war are deposited; a large building including also a drill hall and office; and also, a place where weapons are kept or made, usually a factory where rifles, pistols, etc. are made.
Using the above definition as a criteria for evaluation of armories, one finds that the Gray Armory was a place to house men and arms. The same is true of Little Falls, Newville, and Mohawk. The towns of Fairfield and Frankfort had armory funds that were established. The towns of Ilion and Watervliet (although Watervliet is located in Albany County) were the towns in which arms were produced for use during the Civil War. Armories that are located on the 1868 map (atlas) were: Little Falls, Newville, Mohawk, and Frankfort. Information about some armories is below:
GRAY was also the site of the armory, built by the towns of Ohio, Wilmurt, Russia, and Norway, for the purpose of training men during the Civil War. At the end of the war it was abandoned and later sold. It was used for a while as a theatre and had frequent medicine shows. It was threatened with destruction when Firman Ouderkirk bought it, planning to use the lumber to construct a mill further north, but many of the townspeople hated to see it demolished. An election was held to decide if the town would buy it. The opposition discovered some voting irregularities on the first ballot and when it was voted on the second time it was defeated. Ouderkirk, seeing what the building meant to some people, offered to sell it for the amount he had paid. Brad Madison and Delbert Bullock bought it for $300.00 and by running some medicine shows and other entertainment took in twice what they had paid for it. Later when the town needed a building for machinery, they sold it for $600.00. The Armory Hall is still a useful building in the town of Ohio, being used for a polling place, and sometimes to hold court; but it is no longer the scene of such uproarious proceedings as in days past. The building is now owned by Lapham Gray. (From: "One Hundred Fifty Years: Town of Ohio Sesqui-Centennial Celebration", 1973, p. 10)
The armory is now the Ohio Historical Society Headquarters of the National Muzzleloading Artillery and also home of the Gray Fire Truck. (From: "Victuals and Vignettes")
LITTLE FALLS ARMORY - in reference to the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, "Though small in numbers, the congregation soon took courage to buy the old Armory on Petrie Street for $2,000." (From: "Little Falls Sesqui-Centennial: 1811 - 1961" p. 31)
ILION ARMORY - the armory was located on Otsego Street. This building is now used by Remington Arms as it was in the 1860s. The word armory probably refers to the fact that the Remington Company produced arms (rifles) for the Union soldiers.
FAIRFIELD ARMORY - this town had an armory fund which had a total of $5,600.55. This fund was to be used for the volunteers' purpose. It is not clear where the money came from or what happened to it after the Civil War. Reference to it comes from "Board of Supervisors Minutes 1861".
WATERVLIET ARSENAL - Watervliet arsenal was also referred to as an armory. Along with Remington Arms they produced rifles for the Union army. They are not located in Herkimer County but are referred to as a major arms producer. (From "Little Falls Sesqui-Centennial: 1811 - 1961)
Note from site coordinator: I think most Civil War scholars and researchers would agree with me that one of the most authoritative sources of information about New York State's participation in the Civil War is:
Phisterer, Frederick, compiler. New York in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 Albany, NY: State of New York, 1912.
Phisterer's work is available at many large research libraries, although rarely available through interlibrary loan. Phisterer, after studying "The Official Records" of the War Department, records kept in Albany and locally, and other primary resources, describes every regiment and company mustered in New York State. Included are important statistics, mustering-in and -out information by regiment, alternate regimental names, and other basic regimental information. Officers are listed but rosters of individuals are not included.
If you already know your ancestor's regiment and company, Phisterer's book can help you determine where your ancestor, or his relatives and friends, may have lived or worked at the time of enlistment. Be aware, however, that men often traveled out of county to large villages or cities to enlist (e.g. Tompkins County men might travel to Owego or Elmira, rather than Ithaca; Chenango County men might go to Binghamton, etc., Frankfort men might go to Oneida County). Some men were "signed up" by traveling recruiters. The National Archives branch on Houston Street in Manhattan has the full series of alphabetical microfilms listing individual men who enlisted in New York State for whom military or pension records are at the National Archives in D.C.
If you've pinpointed the regiment you can order your ancestor's military and pension records from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington. These records often contain important genealogical information, especially the widows' applications. The cost is $10 each for military and pension records, which are ordered separately.
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