Category Archives: Military History

William Bastin: Pre-Teen North Country Civil War Soldier


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p1youngsoldierlocRecently in this column appeared the story of Selden Clobridge, a teenage Civil War soldier from Turin, New York, whose battlefield career ended at the grand old age of 18 after multiple wounds that included limb loss. About 85 miles northeast of Turin, an even younger soldier took it to the extreme, receiving his discharge from the army before he became a teenager.

William R. Bastin was born in December in the town of Lawrence, near the St. Lawrence County line, east of Potsdam. A headstone gives his birth year as 1852, which corresponds with his age in three of six census records and his obituary. Other census records disagree by a year, suggesting he was born in 1851—but by any measure, he was far too young to become a soldier.

When William enlisted at Malone on September 14, 1864, he gave his age as 16. But by most indications, including interviews as an adult, he was actually three months shy of twelve years old when he joined the army, purportedly as a drummer boy. Things didn’t work out as expected, though, and he instead became a child soldier. Continue reading

Edmonston House Revolutionary War Program


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Edmonston House The Edmonston House will host “Your Excellency’s Dog kennel at Mount Vernon, is as good a Quarter as that I am now in” on Saturday, November 19 from 5 to 8 pm. Visit this Revolutionary War headquarters and learn about General Horatio Gates and his time at the house.

The home of James Edmonston has stood for over 250 years. Rescued in the 1960’s by the National Temple Hill Association, the house by that point was a junkyard showroom filled with old car parts. Nicely restored, the house serves as the headquarters for this local historic organization. Continue reading

American Revolution Round Table of the Hudson, Mohawk Valleys


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american-revolution-roundtableThe American Revolution Round Table (ARRT) of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys is a new group of history enthusiasts dedicated to the studies of the American Revolution. The ARRT’s mission is to provide an opportunity to socialize, network, and present material for those interested in the American Revolution.

The ARRT was created by historians, tour guides, and historic site and museums professionals who are enthusiasts of American Revolution history. Continue reading

Battle of Fort Anne Program at Schoharie Crossing Tuesday


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Fort Anne Battle Hiill MarkerSchoharie Crossing State Historic Site will host Hudson Valley Community College professor Mathew Zembo to present on the Battle of Fort Anne during the second installment of Tuesday Talks, November 8th.

Zembo will discuss how the battle, usually overlooked as a minor skirmish on the way to Saratoga, was one of the fiercest fire-fights of the American Revolution as 190 British Regulars fought off the determined attacks of over six times their number of American Continentals and Militia. Continue reading

American Revolution: War on the Middleline, Saratoga County


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast, hear James Richmond, author of War on the Middleline – The Founding of a Community in the Kayaderossras Patent in the Midst of the American Revolution (Lulu.com, 2016)  The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 was a major turning point in the Revolution.  Richmond’s book tells a different story, including an account of fighting later in the war in a section of today’s Saratoga County called the Middleline. You can listen to the podcast here.     Continue reading

George Rogers Clark & The Fight for the Illinois Country


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ben_franklins_worldIn the Treaty of Paris, 1783, Great Britain offered the new United States generous terms that included lands in between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.

Why did the biggest empire with the greatest army and navy concede so much to a new nation?

Because George Rogers Clark and his men seized the Illinois Country and held it during the American War for Independence.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, William Nester, a Professor of Government and Politics at St. John’s University and author of George Rogers Clark: ‘I Glory in War’ (University of Oklahoma Press, 2012), leads us on an exploration of the life and deeds of George Rogers Clark. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/102

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