History of the Town of Schaghticoke

the results of research about the history of the town of Schaghticoke

Tag Archives: Gettysburg

Morgan L. Wood

The next of men connected with the town of Schaghticoke who served in the Civil War……the last of the officers and enlisted men of Company K of the 125th.

Morgan L. Wood was the 4th Corporal of Company K of the 125th. He was the son of William W. and Orpha Wood, both from New Hampshire. According to his New York State Muster Card, he was born in 1841 in Stillwater. William moved around the area, showing up in the 1850 US Census in Easton, and the 1860 US Census in Schaghticoke. At that point he was a 47-year-old master painter, with a personal estate of $500. His wife Orpha was 50; son Morgan L, the future soldier, was an apprentice painter. Also in the family were daughter Mary, 17 and two elderly ladies, Lydia Whitney, 83 and Phebe Jaquith, 73. Certainly one must have been Orpha’s mother.

morgan wood

The New York State Muster Card of Morgan Wood.

The Muster Card indicates that Morgan had blue eyes and brown hair, with a “sandy” complexion. He was 5’7”.  He enlisted at age 21 in Troy or Schaghticoke in August of 1862 as a Private, and was promoted to Corporal by April of 1863. In January 1863, George Bryan, writing from camp in Virginia, stated, “my tent is almost full now, Morgan Wood is here. He is well.” Morgan was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. He died of those wounds either July 21 or 24 in a hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Unlike some others who died of wounds or disease in the war, Morgan was returned home for burial in Elmwood Cemetery. Perhaps this was because he died a couple of weeks after the battle, when few others would have been dying. Also, Gettysburg is relatively close to Schaghticoke. His mother applied for a pension based on his service and death immediately.

morgan wood

Tombstone of Morgan L. Wood in Elmwood Cemetery

 

It must have been difficult for the family to have promising apprentice painter and only surviving son Morgan first enlist to fight, and then die.  They had suffered the death of six other children. The 1865 NY Census lists William and Orpha with their daughter Mary, 22, and a 15-year-old nephew, Dexter Bedford, living with them. Perhaps he became the new apprentice.  The census also records that Orpha had had eight children The veterans portion of the census records Morgan’s death, but just one dependent parent- I’m not sure why. In any case, father William died in 1870 at age 57.

Orpha and her only surviving child, Mary, moved to Stillwater. In the 1870 US Census they were living next door to another painter, Asa Wood. Perhaps he was Orpha’s brother-in-law. By the 1880 US Census, Mary had married and her mother was living with her in Michigan. Perhaps the distance is why Orpha is not buried with the rest of her family in Schaghticoke. In the plot in Elmwood besides father William and Morgan are William F., who died in 1850 at age 2, Sarah M., who died in 1855 at age 4 years, 9 months, Phebe, who died in 1846 at 14 months, and Elvira, who died in 1853 at age 12 years, 8 months. Elvira’s parents are given as A. and M. Wood, perhaps Asa and his wife. So she may have been a cousin of Morgan and his siblings.

 

 

 

Lt. Lee Churchill

 

Lee Churchill earns a place in this volume since he served as 2nd Lieutenant of Company K, from February to December of 1863, hence through the time of Gettysburg. Lee was born in Troy in 1836, the son of Joseph and Sarah Churchill. Joseph was a grocer in Troy. He and Sarah also had a daughter, Jane, and another son, DeWitt, a couple of years younger than Lee. The 1860 US Census showed Lee, 23, as a clerk in a shirt factory. The Regimental History of the 125th states that he began as a clerk for his father, then worked for his brother, who had a shirt factory.

Lee enlisted in the 2nd NY Infantry Regiment in Troy in April 1861 as a Lieutenant. I do not know what experience he had to earn him that spot. Nor do I know why he resigned his commission in June. He reenlisted in Company F of the 125th Infantry Regiment in August 1862, beginning as a Sergeant. His muster card described him as a clerk, with grey eyes and light hair, 5’7” tall, aged 26. He was promoted to First Sergeant by early 1863, then followed McGregor Steele as Lieutenant of Company K. His records are voluminous and confusing.

LeeChurchill muster card

One of a number of N.Y.S. muster cards for Lee Churchill

 

LeeChurchill letter

Letter attached to the muster card of Lee Churchill

 

Several sources say that Lee was “wounded in four places at Gettysburg”, but the circumstances are not recorded. Whatever the wounds, he was not hospitalized for long, and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and moved to Company B in December 1863. Just after our local Lieutenant George Bryan was killed before Petersburg, Lee was wounded again, this time in the arm, with an artery severed, on June 21, 1864. He resisted having his arm amputated and did recover, but not enough to go back into action. He was mustered out on October 14, 1864. He was promoted Captain and Brevet Major after he was wounded.

lee churchill ny cartes de visite (2)

Illustration from  NYS Cartes de Visites, on ancestry.com

The 1870 US Census for Troy listed Lee back home. His father, now 72, was working as a letter carrier. Lee, 33, and his brother DeWitt were “paper collar makers.” Lee married in 1874 and applied for an invalid pension in 1878. His arm must have been giving him trouble.

On the 1880 US Census his new family still in Troy. He was a 42-year-old collar manufacturer. He and wife Ellen, 30, had one son, LeGrand, aged 7. A daughter Nellie, was born in 1883.  I did not find him in the 1890 Veterans Schedule for Troy, but the entries seem quite chaotic. He was involved in the writing of the history of the 125th, so definitely participated in Veterans’ activities.

By the 1900 US Census Lee was working as a watchman. Both children were at home: LeGrand, 26, was a clerk, and Nellie, 16, still in school. The Troy “Times” reported that Lee was the Vice-President for Ward 6 for the Rensselaer County Veterans Association in 1904. Ellen applied for a widow’s pension in August 1905, pinpointing his death date pretty closely. She survived until 1928.

lee churchill oakwood

Tombstone of Lee Churchill at Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, thanks to find-a-grave

 

 

The First Captain of Company K, and the Colonel of the 125th Regiment

I will begin a series of bios of men with a connection to Schaghticoke who served in the Civil War with the first Captain of the company primarily raised in Schaghticoke, Company K, and continue with the heroic Colonel of the 125th NY Volunteer Infantry Regiment, George Lamb Willard.

John VanWort Vandenburgh

John V.W. Vandenburgh was the original Captain of Company K of the 125th. According to the “Regimental History of the 125th”, he was born in Schuylerville in 1833 and received a good education. After working as a carpenter and a master builder he went into the hardware business.  And there is a John V.W. Vandenburgh in the U.S. Census for the village of Schaghticoke in 1860- a 26- year- old hardware merchant with a wife, Lizzie.

While working in the hardware business, John set off on a military career as well. In 1856 he formed a N.Y.S. Militia unit called “the Black Plumed Rifles” and moved on to the “Ellsworth Zouaves” in 1858. The Regimental History calls him “the best drilled officer in the N.Y.S. Militia.” He was a friend of George Willard, Colonel of the 125th. The records of the N.Y.S. National Guard reflect this experience. John V.W. Vandenburgh was a Captain in the 29th Regiment in 1858, 1862, and 1863- and then a Major in the 106th and 107th Regiment in 1865 and 1867, after the war. Company K certainly started the war with an experienced leader, albeit not in combat.

 

john vandenburgh's muster card                                 John V. W. Vandenburgh’s NYS Muster card

 

George Bryan of Schaghticoke and Company K refers to Captain Vandenburgh in several of his letters home to Jennie Ackart. On September 25, 1862, he wrote, “At one time the shot and shell flew all around our company, yet not one moved from his place until ordered to by our captain. I sat next to the Captain smoking a cigar; none need doubt the courage of Captain Vandenburg.” He also refers to him as having accompanied the body of Ezra Burch home- Ezra died of typhoid fever while the company was paroled in Chicago in the winter of 1862, after having been captured at Harper’s Ferry. But Bryan was upset that Vandenburg only brought the body as far as Troy.

In January of 1863, Bryan stated that “he would make a good Field Officer.” But by March his opinion had changed. Bryan had been reassigned to Company D, and he stated “I have a good captain. He is far ahead of Captain Vandenburgh as concerning his morals.” By May, he stated that Vandenburgh had “been dismissed from the service of the US for altering a pass, but a slight offence to be dismissed from the service. He thinks he will be reinstated again. Time will tell.” In one part of Vandenburgh’s service records, it states he was dismissed on April 22, 1863 for disability, in another that it was for being absent without leave and altering a pass.

The Regimental History adds that John had received a 30-day sick leave in December 1862, extended by 40 days by a furlough. Some paper work was apparently lost, ending in John first being accused of being AWOL, then of falsifying a pass. After an appeal to President Lincoln, he was recommissioned on May 31, 1864, though he didn’t get reassigned to a regiment.

john vandenburgh letter

This letter was attached to Captain Vandenburgh’s record card.

 

An article in the “Troy Times” on June 13, 1865, reported that Captain Vandenburgh of the 125th had been promoted to Major.

After the war, John remained in Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands until 1868. Better known simply as “the Freedmen’s Bureau,” this organization attempted to ease the transition of southern slaves to freedom by helping them find work and by providing education. Its mission was weakened by lack of funding by the time John left in 1868.  He then became a contractor in Washington, D.C., and acted as an aide to Henry D. Cook while he was Governor of the District of Columbia.

A tantalizing article in the “Saratoga Sentinel” on May 5, 1881 in the Stillwater column reports on Major John V.W. Vandenburgh, “a native of this town,” who “arrived here a few days ago from the wilds of Colorado.” It states that before the war, he was the captain of a “suave” (Zouave) company, and that he led his company to the front when the war began. “He survived the war”- quite an obvious statement, I should have thought- but perhaps the most that could be said about his service, given his problems, and “has been successful in many of his speculations, including some heavy jobs in Washington.” He was visiting George H. Lansing in Stillwater. What does “heavy  jobs” mean? His obituary states he was “engaged in mining and contracting in the West,” returning home when his health failed. (The Evening Star, August 27, 1892)

I have been unable to find John in any census after the war except the 1890 Veterans Schedule, when he merely stated that he had served in 1862.  He did stay in touch with the 125th Veterans Association, which gave his address as Brooklyn. He died in at Carroll Springs Sanitarium in Forest Glen, Maryland on August 12, 1892. 1892, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  John’s widow, Elizabeth M. applied for a widow’s pension on April 27, 1899 in Washington, D.C..

john vandenburgh tombstone

Tombstone of John VW Vandenburgh at Arlington National Cemetery

 

George Lamb Willard

George Willard was the first Colonel of the 125th Regiment. According to the Willard Genealogy, he was born in New York City in 1827, the son of John Moses and Susan Lamb Willard. John Willard was born in Saratoga in 1794. He began a career as a merchant there, then moved to New York. He died in 1834, leaving many young children. George enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in the Mexican War. He was cited for gallantry at Chapultepec and promoted to Lieutenant. An 1847 enlistment book of the U.S. Army records he was 19- years- old, with hazel eyes, brown hair, a clerk who was 5’7” tall. The 1850 US Census listed Willard as a Lieutenant, aged 22, in a garrison in Milam, Texas.

george willard

George Lamb Willard

In 1854 George married Mary Gould Plum, the daughter of banker and businessman Elias Plum from Troy, NY.  I don’t know how he met her, perhaps through General John Wool, prominent citizen of Troy and another hero of the Mexican War.  The 1861 Troy City Directory shows George as a boarder in the Plum home, 57 2nd Street, now Historic Rensselaer County.  By the time the Civil War began, George was a Major in the 19th U.S. Infantry. When what became the 2nd NY Infantry Regiment began recruiting at the start of the war, the organizers tried to get Willard as its Colonel. At that point, the Regular Army refused to release him.

By the time the 125th began recruiting in July of 1862, the Army had realized that these volunteer regiments needed qualified Colonels, and they did release Willard. The Troy “Times” was full of stories about Willard’s imminent arrival to become Colonel all during July and August. He got there just in time to take charge as the regiment left on September 1 for Virginia.

george willard muster card

New York State Muster Card for George Willard

 

Of course George was in charge of the 125th when the whole garrison at Harpers Ferry was surrendered to Stonewall Jackson a couple of weeks later. He testified at a government investigation shortly afterwards that his men hadn’t even gotten to fire their weapons. A few sources say that the 125th ran from the Confederates. That was not the case, though the men later felt they had to overcome the shame of having to surrender without firing a shot.

At the battle of Gettysburg, George was put in charge of a brigade. He was shot and killed on the evening of July 2, 1863. A marker put up years later by his men marks the spot.  A small fort built during the war in Fairfax County, Virginia was named for him.

 

george willard gettysburgh

Marker to Colonel Willard on the battlefield at Gettysburg

 

George’s body was returned home to Troy for burial. His body lay in state at his wife’s home,  and a funeral procession accompanied his body to Oakwood Cemetery, where he was interred on July 9.

Mary Willard remained in her father’s house the rest of her life. She applied for a widow’s pension in 1864, but certainly didn’t need it. The 1870 US Census recorded her father as a leather dealer with real estate worth $90,000, and a personal estate of $400,000. She never remarried and died in 1888, aged 50.

 

george willard tombstone

Tombstone of George and Mary Willard at Oakwood Cemetery, Troy

 

 

 

Chauncey Crandall, Civil War Casualty

 

I am returning to biographies of men from our town who served in the Civil War, written long ago, but not published before. Company K of the 125th NY Infantry Regiment was recruited mostly from Schaghticoke in August 1862. We are fortunate to have the letters of one of those recruits, George Bryan, written home to his friend Jennie Ackart, thanks to Joe Sticklemeyer, who published them as “Friend Jennie.” The 125th was part of the Army of 11,000 who surrendered to General Stonewall Jackson on September 15, 1862 at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The men were interned in camp in Chicago, as the Confederacy had no way to imprison that many men. They were paroled in the winter and returned to camp in Virginia, ready to fight in the spring.

Chauncey J. Crandall enlisted at age 18 in Company K. He was 5’10” tall, with black eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion. He was born in Schaghticoke, and gave his occupation as farmer. The 1850 US Census shows the family when Chauncey was just 8. His father, Albert, 45 was a farmer. His mother Amanda was 38, and he had two older brothers, Harvey, 12, and George, 10. By the 1855 and 1860 censuses, Albert listed his occupation as laborer, and just Chauncey lived at home. In the 1860 US Census he gave his occupation as farm laborer.

chaunceycrandallcard

NYS Muster Card of Chauncey Crandall

George Bryan referred to Chauncey quite a few times in his letters to Jennie Ackart. Either he was good friends with Chauncey, or he knew that Jennie was. While the 125th was interned in Camp Douglas in Chicago, Bryan wrote on November 2, 1862, “Channey Crandall is in the hospital. He had the fever but is doing very well now. By November 13, he added, “Channey Crandall is gaining slowly. I think he is past all danger…Channey Crandall has just been here. I have written two letters for him today…He says you have forgotten him as you do not write to him”; also, “You need not worry about Channey Crandall, he will not want for anything.” This tells us either Chauncey was not able to write or too ill to do so. He was not as well as Bryan thought, as “he was not able to come with us when we left Chicago…was left there in the hospital….The things you sent him I shall keep for him until he joins the company again.” By January 24, 1863, Bryan reported that “I read a letter from Channey Crandall a day before yesterday. He is getting better. I think he will be able to be with us soon. He is in Baltimore.”  By March 14, in their camp in Centreville, Virginia, Bryan added, “Channey Crandall has joined his company, he is well. He said he had sent for some money twice, but did not get it.  I think you had better not send him any more now; we will get paid this week.” March 28 Bryan wrote, “Chauncy Crandall is well as usual; and does his duty like a soldier.” On April 23, “Channy Crandall acts as though he liked to be a soldier.”

Chauncey was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Bryan wrote to Jennie on July 17, “Channy lay out in the rain all night…He was wounded in the shoulder. He was quite weak and exhausted. I did not think it dangerous. I went to see him as soon as he was brought in.”  George would have had to leave Chauncey, as the 125th moved on after the battle. Chauncey died July 9 of that wound. He was buried in the National Cemetery, section A, site 90, the cemetery dedicated by Lincoln with his famous speech.

 

gettysburg crandall tombstone

tombstone of Chauncey Crandall at Gettysburg

gettysburg lincoln monument

Chauncey Crandall was buried very near this monument at Gettysburg, which marks the spot where Lincoln gave his famous address.

The Crandalls remained in Schaghticoke. Mother Amanda filed for a Civil War pension in 1868, based on her son’s service. Chauncey’s brother Harvey and his wife named their son born in 1867 for Chauncey.

 

 

 

The Schaghticoke Boys at the Battle of Gettysburg: The 150th Anniversary

monument at Gettysburg marking the high water mark of the Confederacy- including the 125th

monument at Gettysburg marking the high water mark of the Confederacy- including the 125th

July 1-3, 1862- 150 years ago-, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in and around the small city of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Even people who know nothing about the Civil War know of the battle of Gettysburg. For those of us in upstate New York, this is the closest Civil War battlefield, which lets us know that it marks the farthest north the Confederate armies reached in the war, or as they call it at Gettysburg, “the high water mark of the Confederacy.” Gettysburg is about 350 miles from Schaghticoke, about 225 miles south of Binghamton, NY.
At the beginning of the summer of 1863, the Confederacy was in trouble. The Union Armies were growing and putting more and more pressure on Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capitol. In the West, the Union Army of the Tennessee under General Ulysses S. Grant had Vicksburg, Mississippi under siege. If Vicksburg fell, the Mississippi River would belong to the Union, and Confederate communications with the western part of its territory would be ended. It was increasingly difficult to supply the Confederate Armies, with the South having been fought over so many times. The solution of General Robert E. Lee to this dilemma was to invade the North. He had been stopped in his previous effort, in September 1862, at Antietam, Maryland, but set out again, heading for Pennsylvania. Lee and his Army had success at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863. He moved on. He also hoped that continued success would bring the aid of Great Britain.
This time the invasion was halted at Gettysburg, where the Union Army of the Potomac with 90,000 men under General George Gordon Meade defeated 70,000 Confederates under Lee over the first three days of July. 11,000 men, about 5,500 on each side, died over the three days. On July 4, Vicksburg fell. The two losses sealed the eventual defeat of the Confederacy, though the bloody war would go on for almost two more years.
That’s the big picture, but let’s makes it more local. The Rensselaer County Regiment, the 125th NY Infantry Regiment, fought at the battle of Gettysburg. About 500 of its men were involved, with losses of 26 killed, 104 wounded, and 9 missing, about ¼ of its number. The 100 men of Company K of the 125th were almost all from Schaghticoke and Pittstown.
The 125th had spent the winter and spring in camp at Centreville, Virginia, being trained, but also suffering some boredom. The “Troy Times” newspaper reporter, Henry Wheeler, had reported a spirited baseball game between men of the 125th and an artillery battery from Pennsylvania on April 29. Then he reported that at the end of June, the 125th had marched from Centreville, crossing the Potomac River on a pontoon bridge, plodding all night into Maryland, reaching Monocacy Junction Maryland on June 28. They marched 50 miles in 4 days, 3 of the days in the rain. Then on June 29, they marched to Uniontown, Maryland, 33 miles in one day, also in the rain. They rested on June 30, and stragglers had a chance to catch up. We know now that the long march occurred as the Union Generals finally figured out where the Confederates were headed and sent its Army to meet them.

Col. George Willard, killed on July 2 at Gettysburg

Col. George Willard, killed on July 2 at Gettysburg


On the first day of the battle, they were still arriving at the field, but the 125th was in place in Gettysburg on July 2, the bands playing as they deployed near Cemetery Hill. They watched the fighting at Little Round Top and the Peach Orchard all that day from behind a stone wall, finally going into action at 7 p.m., as the sun was setting. The Union Army was being pushed back and had to be stopped or the battle would be lost. They charged General Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade, driving it back in fierce fighting. Their Colonel, George Lamb Willard, was killed in the assault, along with 100 others, in just a half an hour.
map from the NPS showing the location of the 125th at the time of Pickett's Charge

map from the NPS showing the location of the 125th at the time of Pickett’s Charge


On July 3, they were back behind their stone wall. They suffered through several hours of an artillery barrage by the Confederates before Pickett’s Charge at 1:30 p.m. Fortunately, the Confederate artillery was aimed a bit long, and the cannon shot and shells landed beyond them. When the barrage ceased, they watched as Pickett’s Charge, the valiant attack of 12,500 Confederate infantry over a mile toward entrenched Union positions, came toward them, opening fire when ordered. A few of the Confederates made it to the wall, but they were quickly killed, and the survivors retreated with 50% casualties. The battle was over. The 125th was located just a few yards from the grove of trees that was the focal point of the charge, and is labeled today as “the High Water Mark of the Confederacy.”
July 4 it rained on the dead and wounded. People at home knew that there had been a great battle by that time, and must have been very anxious about their soldier relatives. The “Troy Times” reported on July 11 that Company K, mostly made up of men from Schaghticoke, had lost Lafayette Travis, killed, and Lt. Lee Churchill, Sgt. WW VanSchaack, Corporal McMurray, Morgan Wood, C. White, J. Mabb, WN Tice, George Kelsey, HL Bliss, CJ Crandall, J. Conlon, JK Simons, W. Fisher wounded, and AJ and CJ Doty, missing. This is not a terribly accurate list, as I will explain later. In addition, the “Troy Times” reporter, who was a soldier, and not just a reporter with the troops, had a foot shot off in the battle. The intrepid young man was already reporting again by July 8.
We are fortunate to have both the account of the “Troy Times” reporter of the battle and that of our own Lt. George Bryan, of Schaghticoke, who wrote home about the battle to his friend Jennie Ackart. The reporter wrote, “How well, nobly, and bravely the men fought. …they pressed forward to wipe out forever the name of Harpers Ferry.” The 125th had traveled from Troy to the front in September 1862, just in time to surrender with 10,000 other Union troops, when they were surrounded by General Stonewall Jackson’s Army at Harpers Ferry. Though the surrender was not their fault in the slightest, it had earned them a reputation as cowards, which they now erased forever.

Lt. George Bryan of Schaghticoke described his experiences in the battle of Gettysburg in letters home

Lt. George Bryan of Schaghticoke described his experiences in the battle of Gettysburg in letters home


George Bryan wrote of his own experiences at Gettysburg, “I was in the sharpest of the fight but did not get a scratch. There were men killed on all sides of me…I do not see how I escaped unharmed…I was no coward, I would sooner be killed than be called a coward. ..after the fight, the dead and wounded lay very thick, so thick that you had to be careful not to walk on them.” Of the artillery barrage preceding Pickett’s Charge, he wrote, “…It was like one loud peal of thunder. Pieces of iron filled the air like hailstones.” Then on the night of July 3, after the battle was over, “I laid down to sleep, but it was impossible to sleep. Just over the fence…was hundreds of wounded…some praying, some cursing, others groaning and dying.” For two days, he and his men were sent out to go over the battlefield, and pick up weapons left behind. Then they marched away,..”there was such a stench that it was hard to stay near the field…the ground was still covered with dead men and horses, and destroyed cannons, old guns and broken wagons.” This was the baptism by fire for the 125th- none of the men had known how they would react in battle; now they knew.
Monument to the 125th on the battlefield at Gettysburg

Monument to the 125th on the battlefield at Gettysburg


George also wrote of men he knew who were killed or wounded. My own research has found that Sgt. William VanSchaack, a 42-year old family man from the village was severely wounded. He never went back to the 125th, but did serve in the Veterans Reserve Corps, made up of men who had been ill or wounded and were well enough to guard Washington, D.C., but not to go back to regular duty. He was able to practice his trade as a sign, carriage and ornamental painter while in Baltimore, before coming home. However, he was disabled by his wound, and died in 1885.
Morgan L. Wood, the 22-year old 4th Corporal, was wounded as well. He was also a painter, apprentice to and only son of carriage painter William Wood. Morgan died of his wounds on July 21 in a hospital in Newark, New Jersey. His body was transported home for burial in Elmwood Cemetery.
One of George Bryan’s good friends, Chauncey Crandall, was also wounded. He was 19 years old, son of a farmer from town. Chauncey had been ill for some time in fall and winter of 1862, but recovered. After the battle, George reported that he had been wounded in the shoulder and “lay out in the rain all night. He was quite weak and exhausted. I did not think it was dangerous. I went to see him…” But George had to march on with the regiment, leaving Chauncey in a makeshift hospital He died July 9, and is buried in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg in Section A, site 90. This is the cemetery dedicated in November of 1863, where President Lincoln gave his now famous “Address.” Why his parents did not have his body transported home, we do not know.
monument in the Gettysburg National Cemetery marking the spot where Lincoln spoke

monument in the Gettysburg National Cemetery marking the spot where Lincoln spoke

New York Monument at the Gettysburg National Cemetery

New York Monument at the Gettysburg National Cemetery


chauncey crandall tombstone
James E. Mabb was a 34-year old farmer with a family. His military record card reports he was “sick” as of July 2, but he certainly was wounded. Years later he reported that he had been wounded in the shoulder and leg. He survived the war, though somewhat disabled, and lived until at least 1900.
John McMurry was an Irish immigrant who lived in Pittstown just before the war. He was 18, and a good soldier, who was promoted to Corporal just before Gettysburg. He was wounded in the battle and lost an arm. He recovered at the hospital at Fort Schuyler in New York harbor, and was discharged from the service in December. John lived on his pension for the rest of his life. He married, but had no children, participated in the Veterans Association of the 125th, and lived until at least 1900.
William Tice was 25 years old when he enlisted in the 125th. He had worked both as a farmer and a cooper before the war. He had gone absent without leave in winter of 1862, but returned to duty in the spring of 1863. He was wounded at Gettysburg, but returned to duty, only to be wounded again in August of 1864. He recovered again, and made it through the rest of the war. He came back to Schaghticoke and made kegs for the Schaghticoke Powder Company for a while. He moved to Michigan, where his parents already lived, and stayed there the rest of his life. He was active in the Grand Army of the Republic- the big association of veterans- and survived until about 1890.
Lafayette Travis was a wagon maker from the area, who enlisted in the 125th at age 23. He was killed on July 3 – probably during Pickett’s Charge. His body was returned home and is buried in the Millertown Cemetery in Pittstown.
Chauncey White was also killed at the battle of Gettysburg. He was a farm laborer born in Stillwater, who worked at farms all around the area before he enlisted in the 125th at age 27. He also was absent without leave for the winter of 1862, but returned to duty in April. He was married to a woman named Malissa Myers from Schaghticoke, and they had two small children. She thought he had died at the battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862- so maybe he didn’t go home when he was AWOL? I’m sad to say I don’t know where Chauncey was buried, though the National Cemetery at Gettysburg includes the graves of many “unknowns.” Atwater Lohnes, another local man, who was in the 104th NY Infantry, was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg and died there in August. I did not find where he was buried either.
The biggest loss for the 125th NY Infantry Regiment was its Colonel. George Lamb Willard was killed in the attack on the evening of July 2. His body was immediately returned to Troy and he was buried from his father-in-law’s home, 57 2nd Street, (now the Rensselaer County Historical Society) on July 9. He is in Oakwood Cemetery.
the author of the blog at the 125th monument on the battlefield at Gettysburg

the author of the blog at the 125th monument on the battlefield at Gettysburg


The Battlefield at Gettysburg is well worth a visit. There is a gorgeous museum and the battlefield is filled with beautiful monuments. The National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation offer many specialized tours. If you like crowds, go this summer. If not, it will be there whenever you are ready to go. You can stand on the exact spot where the Schaghticoke boys of the 125th stood, peering across the field as Pickett’s men advanced, and put yourself in their place as they experienced a pivotal battle of the Civil War.

Bibliography:
Sticklemyer, Joe, “Friend Jennie”
NY Monument Commission, “New York at Gettysburg”
Clark, Champ, “Gettysburg”
“Troy Times”, articles from June-July 1863
Ancestry.com: NYS Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts
Federal Census: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890. 1900. 1910. 1920
NYS Census: 1855, 1865
Cemetery records of Rensselaer County