Tag Archives: Civil War

New Book: Northern Men with Southern Loyalties


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northern-men-with-southern-loyaltiesIn the decade before the Civil War, Northern Democrats, although they represented antislavery and free-state constituencies, made possible the passage of such pro-slavery legislation as the Compromise of 1850 and Fugitive Slave Law of the same year, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and the Lecompton Constitution of 1858.

In Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis (Cornell University Press, 2016) author Michael Todd Landis contends that a full understanding of the Civil War and its causes is impossible without a careful examination of Northern Democrats and their proslavery sentiments and activities. Continue reading

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

Memorial to Civil War Nurses Dedicated


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civil war nurses memorialThe Tompkins County Civil War Commission has dedicated a memorial to Civil War Nurses. Located on the Tompkins Cortland Community College campus, off of Route 13 in Dryden, New York, the memorial honors the sacrifice and bravery of those women who went to war: from the very first nurse, Susan Hall from the Town of Ulysses, who served through out the war, to those who served in camp and hospital at a time when it was believed that “war was no place for a woman.” The sculptures were created by artist Rob Licht. Continue reading

Almanzo Wilder Homestead Harvest Fest Saturday


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civil war reenactorsThe Almanzo Wilder Homestead’s annual Harvest Festival and Civil War Living History Encampment will take place on  September 24th at the farm in Burke, NY.

Saturday’s festivities will include pumpkin painting, 19th century games and scarecrow stuffing for children, and a variety of craft and farm market vendors. There will be on-site demonstrations of spinning, shingle making, blacksmithing, and others. Children are invited to participate in the scavenger hunt in the barns. The Wilder buildings will all be open from 10 am to 4 pm for self-guided tours. Continue reading

Two Jefferson County Men Who Made Good in Illinois


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P1RockfordMfgCo1889A pair of North Country men, born just a few miles apart in Jefferson County, left New York in their adult years and settled about 65 miles apart in Illinois, where each left his lasting mark. Together, their names were also attached to an institution in Arkansas that lives on nearly a century and a half later.

John Budlong was born in February 1833 in Rodman, New York, about eight miles south of Watertown. The Budlong family has many historical connections dating back to the Revolutionary War. John attended several of the best schools in the region: the Rodman Seminary, the Jefferson County Institute at Watertown, the Adams Institute, and Falley Seminary at Fulton in Oswego County. At the age of 18 he began a wide-ranging teaching career, working in North Carolina, Texas, and Missouri before returning to Rodman, where he continued teaching and began studying law. Continue reading

With ‘Leaves Torn Asunder’ An Adirondack Historian Turns Novelist


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leaves torn asunder book coverAfter two award-winning Adirondack non-fiction histories, author Glenn L. Pearsall of Johnsburg has turned novelist.

Leaves Torn Asunder: A Novel of the Adirondacks and the American Civil War was published by Pyramid Press of Utica.

Inspired by true events, Leaves Torn Asunder portrays a time rarely covered in Adirondack literature. Pearsall’s research included soldier diaries and letters, town enlistment and cemetery records, regimental histories, and visits to the exact places on Civil War battle sites where local men fought and died. Continue reading

Slavery and Freedom in Early Maryland


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ben_franklins_worldHow do you uncover the life of a slave who left no paper trail?

What can her everyday life tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some slaves made the transition from slavery to freedom?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the life of Charity Folks, an enslaved woman from Maryland who gained her freedom in the late-18th century. Our guide through Charity’s life is Jessica Millward, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine and author of Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland (University of Georgia Press, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/089

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24th Peterboro Civil War Weekend Set For June 11-12


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petersboro civil war weekendThe Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend committee is completing plans for Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2016.

The 12th US Co A Infantry will once again host the event under the military reenacting leadership of Lt. Neil MacMillan (Syracuse, NY) with Lee Houser (Clifton Springs, NY) of the Civil War Heritage Foundation.

The ongoing encampment demonstrates military and civilian life in the mid-1800s. Visitors walk among the campsites talking with soldiers and their families as they go about their day. The reenactors also provide scheduled programs such as the skirmish each day at 2 pm, a children’s drill, and a Sunday morning sermon. Period games for children will be on the green all weekend. Continue reading