The New York State WWI Centennial Commission website now contains links to oral histories with WWI soldiers and free access on Ancestry.com, through a partnership with the New York State Archives, to information compiled from federal WWI military service records for Army officers, enlisted men, sailors, Marines, and nurses who enlisted or were drafted in New York.
This service information is particularly valuable because most World War I Army service records were destroyed in a 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire. New York’s information, however, exists for exploration only because, shortly after World War I, New York’s adjutant general gathered the military records for New Yorkers. Continue reading
“These are mere deserts on both sides of the river St. Lawrence, uninhabited by beast or bird on account of the severe colds which reign there.”—Samuel de Champlain.
“One cannot see a more savage country, and no part of the earth is more uninhabitable.” —Pierre Charlevoix, 1756. And about winters in the north: “It is then a melancholy thing not to be able to go out of doors, unless you are muffled up with furs like the bears…. What can anyone think, where the very bears dare not show their face to the weather for six months in the year!”
The last quotation (1767) is from John Mitchell, who cited the above comments by Charlevoix and Champlain in assessing New England, New York, and Quebec during discussions about the future of the American colonies. His writings at that time supported a solution Mitchell had proposed a decade earlier, one that would have drastically altered today’s map of the Americas and seriously revised the history of the Adirondack region. Continue reading
On Saturday, May 13 at 2 pm, the Wilderstein Historic Site will host a lecture about the American ambulance field service in World War One, by Thomas Fife.
“Alsace Revisited: American Ambulance Field Service Section Three 1915 to 1916” will discuss the beginnings of the American Ambulance Field Service in France and chronicle American Ambulance driver Henry Suckley’s eldest son Henry’s participation with Section Three during its first two years in Alsace and at the Battle of Verdun. Continue reading
To mark the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery has unveiled biographies of more than 160 men and women, military and civilian, who served in the war to end all wars and who now are interred in the National Historic Landmark designated cemetery.
More than a year in the making, Green-Wood’s WWI Project covers the men and women who served in that conflict as pilots, nurses, infantryman, gunners, pay clerks, intelligence officers, logistics specialists, and others. The biographies were researched by a group of volunteers under the guidance of Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman. Continue reading
The Slate Valley Museum has been awarded a Library of America Grant for programming connected to the Library’s World War I and America project commemorating the centennial of World War I and the entry of United States forces on April 6, 1917. With the funds the Museum is planning three events through 2017 that will highlight writings and discussions around issues important to those who fought and the family and friends left behind. The first talk will be Saturday, April 29 at 2 pm at the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, Washington County. Continue reading
How did the colonists of Massachusetts go from public protests meant to shame government officials and destroy offending property, to armed conflict with British Regulars in Lexington and Concord?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, John Bell, the prolific blogger behind Boston1775.net and the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War, (Westholme Publishing, 2016), leads us on an investigation of what brought colonists and redcoats to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/129
The Brigade of the American Revolution will occupy the historic huts in New Windsor on April 30 from 10 am to 4 pm. A weapons firing demonstration takes place at 2 pm with uniformed soldiers firing muskets and maneuvering to the music of fifes and drums.
An 18th century marvel, the Continental Army winter encampment at New Windsor was constructed in about a month. Over 7,000 soldiers and their family members created the second largest community in New York, only New York City was larger. Visitors will meet some of the inhabitants of this city as well as the armed forces of the King of Great Britain and Parliament. Authentically dressed members of the Brigade of the American Revolution use this time to teach the latest knowledge in recreating life from that era. Through lectures and demonstrations, a wide variety of 18th century period life is revealed. New Windsor Cantonment site staff is present to do musket firings and presentations on military medicine throughout the day. Continue reading
On Thursday, April 27, from 7 pm to 9 pm. at the Senior Center (next to the Florida Library), at 4 Cohen Circle in Florida, NY, Civil War historian and re-enactor Yvonne Bigney will tell the story of 12 year-old Johnny Clem’s experience in the Battle of Chickamauga.
Clem was one of many children who served in the Civil War. In 1863, escaped slave, “Contraband Jackson”, served as a drummer boy and stretcher-bearer in the 79th Infantry Regiment – U.S. Colored Troops. It was an all-black unit that incurred heavy casualties. Fifteen year-old Tillie Pierce served as a nurse at Gettysburg. They were just three of the thousands of boys and girls engaged in the Civil War; whether on the front lines or back home, active in vital adult roles that would astonish us today. Continue reading
“New York State has prepared for war.” The headlines of the South Side Signal for April 6, 1917 announced the entry of the United States into conflict. “Local War Notes,” a new feature (later, simply, “War Notes,”) would chronicle Long Island developments through armistice.
On April 6th , it was announced, that, among other news items, Edwin N. Post, R.N. had been appointed head of the enrolling party for the naval reserves, establishing recruiting headquarters over Smith and Salmon’s drugstore in Babylon village. Recruits thronging to Babylon village, seventeen had already enrolled at Sayville and another fifteen at Bay Shore. Legislation had been introduced to increase the size of the naval militia, allow the state to appropriate lands, and expand punishments to those showing disrespect to the flag. Continue reading
The Fort Plain Museum’s 3rd Annual American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference is back for 2017 and registrations are now being accepted. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
The Conference will be held June 8 to 11, 2017. There will be 10 presentations, 2 bus tours, a colonial tavern/dinner, an opening reception and more. Continue reading