N.Y.S. GAR Posts and their Namesakes
by Benedict R. Maryniak
President, Buffalo (NY) Civil War Round Table
We're very pleased to post original research on New York State GAR posts and their namesakes done by Ben Maryniak, president of the Buffalo N.Y. Civil War Round Table. Ben spent several years perfecting his GAR data for a summer seminar sponsored by the New York State Historical Association at Cooperstown. According to Ben:
"One of the sessions was Local Heroes and it concerned the GAR post namesakes. For most of NYS's nearly 1000 posts, namesakes were neighborhood men who didn't make it back or came back badly injured or sometimes out of their minds. Over the years, the namesakes got jumbled and lost at the higher GAR organizational levels, so it wasn't easy getting 'em all back. I had to go through all the yearly printed proceedings of state encampments, find names and numbers, compare them with the rest of my lists, and then identify those named. I still have a dozen or so that elude me, and I'm sure I've made some mistakes."
If you have information about individual posts, or men for whom the posts were named, please contact Ben directly to share it with him.
#17 - Pvt Willard Allen, Co D 153rd NYV - Johnstown - 1871 to 1872
Joined August 1862 at Johnstown, age 19, and mustered 10-17-1862; WIA 9-19-1864 at Winchester VA, died next day.
#17 - MG Edward Richard Sprigg Canby - Gloversville - 8-1-1873 to 1915
Born 1817 in Kentucky; West Pointer; BG March 1862; sent to NY City to quell July 1863 draft riots and enforce conscription laws; MG May 1864; wounded by guerillas; rec'd surrender of Kirby Smith; BG in US army 1866; killed by Modoc Indians while trying to arrange a peace treaty 1873 - post named in memoriam.
#17 - 1st Lt Ansel Denison, Co F 77th NYV - Gloversville - 4-16-1915 to 1942
Joined at Gloversville Sept 1861 as 1st Sgt age 24; to 2nd Lt Feb 1862; to 1st Lt May 1862; MWIA Antietam, died 2-27-1863 at Gloversville NY
#242 - Colonel Simeon Sammons, 115th NYV - Gloversville - 11-15-1881 to 1915
(Post #242 consolidated with Post #17 during 1915)
Members of the Sammons family had fought in all the wars since the American Revolution; Simeon joined at Fonda 7-19-62 as Colonel; WIA 2-20-64 at Olustee FLA; WIA at Petersburg VA 7-30-64; discharged for disability 11-10-1864.
#257 - QM Martin McMartin, 115th NYV - Johnstown - 3-6-1882 to 1935
Joined at Fonda as regimental quartermaster July 1862; mustered out with regiment at Raleigh NC June 1865
#289 - Colonel James B McKean, 77th NYV - Broadalbin - 9-19-1882 to 1925
Joined at Saratoga Springs October 1861, age 40; discharged for disability 7-27-63; elected president of NY GAR 9-19-1866, through 1867; later elected National Vice-Cmdr of GAR.
#322 - Colonel Roderick Matheson, 32nd NYV - Northville/Ephratah - 12-22-1882 to 1913
(Briefly called "Hooker Post" during initial organization)
Joined May 1861 at NY City as Colonel age 37; MWIA 9-14-62 Crampton's Gap MD, died 10-2-62 at Burkettsville MD.
Johnstown - Fulton County Court House on North William Street, built 1772, is the oldest colonial courthouse in NYS and oldest in nation still in use. Johnstown Soldiers & Sailors Monument is a complex affair with three statues - a Minuteman, a CW soldier, and a Span-Am soldier.
Northville Soldiers Monument is three-faced block with plaques, topped by a stack of cannon balls.
Broadalbin CW Monument is column topped by an eagle, standing in Route 29.
#486 - Pvt William Henry Whitman, Co F 97th NYV - Wells - 1894
Enlisted at Wells, age 21, on October 3, 1861. Wounded August 19 1864 (?) at Weldon Railroad outside Petersburg VA; died August 24 at Campbell Hospital in Washington DC from gunshot wound to spine.
#531 - Pvt Wm Wood, Co E 118th NYV - Long Lake - 1-3-1885 to 1922
Joined 8-15-1862 at Newcomb, unmarried; killed in action 7-9-1864 at Petersburg VA, age 27, buried there; county history says he was killed in action and that "Patty Wood was paid a pension as a dependent mother, from July 1864."
#19 - Major Henry M Galpin, 121st NYV - Little Falls - 4-15-1873 through 1942
Born 7-4-1825; joined Aug 1861 at Albany age 26 as Sgt 44th NYV; 1st Sgt June 1862; WIA Malvern Hill; mustered as Captain Co A 121st NYV 8-4-62; Major 3-31-64; WIA Cedar Creek 10-19-64; discharged for wounds; died soon after the war; buried in Albany Rural Cemetery - stone says "Lt Colonel, 121st NYV".
#40 - Capt Nelson O Wendell, 121st NYV - Van Hornsville - 6-24-1878 to 1900
Joined 44th NYV at Mohawk as private Aug 1861 age 29; to Sgt Aug 1862; discharged Sept 1862 to become Captain 121st NYV; KIA 5-3-1863 Salem Church VA
#41 - Pvt Frank Mann, Co F 1st Iowa Volunteers - Frankfort - 9-7-1867 to 1872
"Named after the late Frank Mann, one of the first young men from Frankfort who went out and laid down his life on his country's altar"; KIA 8-10-1861 at Wilson's Creek MO, age 28; buried Oak View Cemetery, Frankfort NY.
#108 - Colonel James Anthony Suiter, 34th NYV - Herkimer - 1870 to 1875
Born 4-29-1816 in Herkimer; in Mexican War, 2nd Lt CoE 1st NY Vols; ran a harness/saddlery shop in 1860 (he learned the trade from "Genl" Spinner of the Treasury Dept), and "converted it into a recruiting station" during 1861; mustered as Lt Colonel June 1861, as Colonel March 1862; resigned January 1863; ran his harness shop until 1923.
#110 - Pvt James Chismore, Co L 2nd NY Heavy Artillery - Ilion - 9-8-1869 to 1929
"History of the Mohawk Valley" says he enlisted at the age of 16, was the first to volunteer from Ilion, and that he died in Libby Prison; NYS AGO says he joined January 1864 at Milford (Otsego County), age 18; missing in action at Petersburg VA 6-20-1864; died as POW 11-1-1864 in Florence SC.
#364 - Cpl Samuel G Button, Co B 121st NYV - West Winfield - 7-21-1891 to 1927
Joined at Winfield August 1862, age 20; promoted to corporal February 1864; KIA 5-10-1864 Spotsylvania Court House, age 22.
#404 - Sgt Aaron Helmer, Co G 34th NYV - Herkimer - 9-20-1883 to 1932
joinedas private soldier at Herkimer May 1861, age 32; promoted to Sgt April 1862; KIA Antietam MD.
#503 - Capt Jonathan Burrell, Co A 121st NYV - Salisbury Ctr - 8-4-1884 to 1913
joined July 1862 at Salisbury age 38 as 1st Lt; Capt 4-18-64; MW Cedar Creek
#532 - 1st Sgt Edward P Johnson, Co C 121st NYV - Poland - 1884
Joined July 1862 at Russia, age 24; commissioned 2nd Lt but never mustered as such; killed in action 5-10-1864 at Spotsylvania VA.
#604 - Frank Mann - Frankfort - 11-13-1886 to 1920
See Post #41
#664 - Brevet BG John Pembroke Spofford USV - Dolgeville - 9-8-1892 to 1923
born 1818 Brockett's Bridge; Colonel 97th NYV; merchant, manufacturer, & commercial agent; died 1884 Dolgeville.
Herkimer Civil War Monument - Obelisk at GAR plot in Herkimer Cemetery.
West Winfield Soldiers Monument, rte 20 - Erected 1867 in village cemetery. Stone with dead soldiers' names engraved in rock on three sides.
Middleville GAR Marker - In GAR plot at Middleville Cemetery.
Dolgeville Soldiers Monument - Restored by the town in 1991. Pedestal with names of soldiers who died in war, topped by soldier in greatcoat.
Little Falls Soldiers Monument - In town green near library; pedestal with soldier in greatcoat.
Galpin Post GAR Monument in Little Falls Cemetery - erected to memory of deceased comrades.
#33 - Capt Elisha S Young, Co D 32nd NYV - Amsterdam - 4-10-1875 to 1938
Joined May 1861 at Amsterdam with above rank age 33; KIA West Point VA 5-7-1862.
#51 - Cpl Thomas Farrell, Co D 153rd NYV - Canajoharie - 3-25-1874 to 1924
Joined at Johnstown 9-6-62 as private, age 29; promoted to corporal July 1864; WIA 10-19-1864 at Cedar Creek VA; dicharged for disability 3-31-1865.
#57 - Capt Garrett Van Derveer, Co A 115th NYV - Fonda - 7-29-1875 to 1922
Joined at Fonda Aug 1862 as Captain Co A; died 2-24-64 at Beaufort SC of wounds sustained at Olustee FLA.
#70 - Major Jacob Clinton Klock, 153rd NYV - Ft Plain - 6-24-1876 to 1937
Related to Colonel Jacob Klock of the American Revolution; joined Sept 1862 at Fonda as captain age 26; to Major 8-27-64; WIA 9-19-64 at Winchester VA, died 10-15-1864 at St Johnsville NY.
#300 - BG Alfred Howe Terry - Amsterdam - 11-21-1890 to 1901
Born in Connecticut; non-West Pointer but a devoted militia member before the war; took Fort Fisher; remained in regular army after the war and rose to major general's rank; died 1890; post named in memoriam.
#356 - Pvt Alonzo Smith, Co B 115th NYV - St Johnsville - 3-29-1883 to 1926
Resident of St Johnsville, enlisted there July 1862, age 18; captured September 15 1862 at Harpers Ferry and paroled September 16; captured at Olustee FLA 2-20-1864 and later reported dead.
Amsterdam Soldiers Monument is a massive pedestal & column topped by an eagle, located in an Amsterdam cemetery.
Amsterdam GAR Monument is a columbiad tube on a concrete base marking GAR burial plot.
"GAR Park" Plaque on wall by Amsterdam City Playground next to City Hall.
Fonda Memorial to 115th & 153rd NY Volunteers is a small stone with bronze plaque next to the old county court house.
Fultonville Civil War Monument - cannon tube on pedestal with stack of cannon balls just off Thruway exit (to the south side on route 5 south).
St Johnsville GAR Monument - parrott rifle on stone base in stone enclosure with brass plaque; transferred from original site to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Park.
Ft Plain Soldiers Monument - Pedestal with plaque topped by soldier in greatcoat; in village cemetery.
#44 - no namesake - Lyons - 1870 to January 1875
Item in the Syracuse Journal for 5-31-70 describes Post 44's Decoration Day ceremonies under post commander Colonel Alexander D Adams.
#55 - Colonel William Dutton, 98th NYV - Wolcott - 7-16-1875 to 1879
Born 1-14-1823 Watertown CT; West Point graduate 1846; member of NYS Legislature 1852; mustered January 1862, age 39; died 7-4-1862 at NY City of typhoid fever which developed during the Peninsula Campaign; left a widow and four children; buried Glenside Cemetery (where Route 89 starts/ends in Wolcott).
#55 - Mr Adam Keeslar, father - Wolcott - Dutton Post name changed to this one; "Post 55 decorated graves in Wolcott, Huron, North Wolcott, Roe Cemetery, Fitch Cemetery, Hubbard's Cemetery, Miller's Cemetery, Butler Centre, Lovejoys, and Westbury"; the Post charter was surrendered in 1927.
An 1896 directory of GAR posts in Wayne County states that "This post was named for an honorable citizen who though not a soldier himself sent five sons to the war . . . and every one laid down his life." A Military History of Wayne County by Lewis H Clark, and the history of the 9th NYHA give the following:
1st Sgt David C Keeslar, Co A 9th NYHA - joined at Huron August 1862, age 28; promoted to sgt September 1862; discharged as 1st Sgt at Ft Baker April 1864 (this may actually be Daniel)
Pvt Daniel Keeslar, Co E 9th NYHA - joined at Camillus September 1864, age 30; died 4-4-1865 of wounds rec'd 4-2-1865 at Petersburg VA, buried there.
Pvt Simeon Keeslar, Co E 9th NYHA - joined at Camillus September 1864, age 21; died in Washington DC 4-18-1865 from wounds rec'd 4-2-1865 at Petersburg VA; buried in Huron NY Cemetery.
Pvt E Alfred Keeslar, Co B 27th NYV - died 12-15-1861 at Alexandria VA; buried in Huron NY Cemetery.
#56 - Lape - Clyde - 11-6-1867 to 1872
Named for the sons of Dedrick & Eliabeth Lape (Dedrick himself a War of 1812 veteran). This Lutheran family moved to Wayne County during 1841:
Captain Philip Ira Lape, Co B 111th NYY - Born 5-24-1820 in Claverack, Columbia County NY, married, occupation tinsmith; joined August 1, 1862, at Clyde NY as a sergeant in Company B, age 42. He was promoted to first lieutenant during November 1862 and to captain January 1865. Discharged with regiment June 1865. Ran a few businesses in Clyde before going west. Died March 9, 1893, in Hays City, Kansas.
Cpl Samuel Edmund Lape, Co B 111th NYV - Born 12-13-1834 in Claverack, Columbia County NY; joined August 5, 1862, at Clyde NY as a private in Company B, age 27. Sick in Alexandria VA June 1863. Wounded in right arm during action June 22, 1864, near Petersburg VA but returned to duty by December 1864. Promoted to corporal in early 1865, discharged with regiment. Moved in with a son in NY City, died 1-9-1906, buried at Cypress Hills Natl Cemetery, Brooklyn NY.
Cpl Jarius Wilson Lape, Artificer Co H 9th NY Heavy Artillery - Born 1-25-1822 in Claverack, Columbia County NY; joined August 20, 1862, at Clyde NY as a private, age 40. Promoted to corporal (no date), and artificer during 1863, he was killed in action July 9, 1864, at Monocacy MD; buried on the battlefield.
Jordan D Lape, Co F 83rd Illinois Vols (another son)
Hiram T Lape, Co B 1st Missouri Engineers (another son)
(a second cousin to the Lape boys) Pvt Cornelius Rysdorph Lape, Co D 111th NYV, was a laborer born 1843 at Sand Lake, Rensselaer County NY, when he joined at Clyde NY March 14, 1864. Wounded in left hand May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, he died July 6 of pyemia at Mt Pleasant Hospital.
#99 - Surgeon William B Vosburgh, 111th NYV - Newark - 7-5-1879 to 1929
joined at Auburn July 1862 age 36; mustered out with regt June 1865; after the war, settled in Lyons; died 6-15-1870; buried Willow Avenue Cemetery, Newark NY.
#109 - Col Chas C Dwight, 160th NYV - Sodus - 8-6-1879 to 1929
born in Richmond MASS 1830; graduated Wlliams College 1850; elected Wayne County judge 1860; Captain Company D 75th NYV; apptd Colonel 160th 9-6-1862, mustered November 1862; Commissioner of Prisoner Exchange for the Dept of the Gulf during 1864; discharged 5-25-1865; replaced Henry Wells on Supreme Court during 1868; "Judge Dwight acknowledged the compliment (of being made post namesake) by a handsome donation, and by many subsequent courtesies to the Post and to its members"; died 1902.
#153 - Col Alexander Duncan Adams, 27th NYV - Lyons - 4-15-1880 to 1929
resident of Lyons who was prewar lieutenant in Company A 54th NYSM; joined as Capt Co B 5-2-61 age 28; promoted to Lt Colonel 9-1-1861 for gallantry in battle; Colonel 10-4-62; discharged with regiment 5-31-1863; died at Lyons 10-28-1872.
#173 - Adrastus Snedaker, father - Clyde - 7-23-1880 to 1924
A Military History of Wayne County by Lewis H Clark says post was "named for ex-sheriff Snedaker who lost his two sons in the war." Adrastus Snedaker was Wayne County Sheriff 1859-61.
Second Lt James W Snedaker, Co D 111th NYV - The "eldest son of Sheriff Snedaker," he joined the 27th NYV as corporal of Company B May 1861 at Lyons age 21. He "volunteered to carry the colors at Bull Run and was left for dead on the field knocked unconscious by a shell blast." Returned to ranks 9-1-61. "In the very first battle on the Peninsula," a rifle ball passed through his leg while he acted as a volunteer flag bearer. "Resting the flag upon his arm, he bound up the wound with his pocket handkerchief and continued through the three hours of the battle, leaving bloody footprints on the ground." Mustered out with the 27th NYV during May 1863, he joined the 111th NYV at Galen as a private in Company D 1-2-1864. He helped with recruiting but declined a captaincy, accepting instead the rank of second lieutenant 4-13-64. He was killed by a bullet in his head 5-5-1864 at the Wilderness, "his body ruthlessly stripped by the enemy and left on the field." Buried Maple Grove Cemetery, Clyde NY.
Pvt Albert I Snedaker, Co D 111th NYV - captured May 1864 while helping a wounded comrade at the Wilderness; died 7-21-1864 at Andersonville GA; buried Maple Grove Cemetery, Clyde NY.
#186 - Cpl Albert Duane Shaw, Co A 35th NYV - Alton - 9-15-1902 to 1918
Born 12-27-1841 in Lyme NY, the son of a farmer. When the war broke out he gave up his studies in the Belleville Union Academy to enlist. He was the first volunteer from the Town of Cape Vincent. When he enlisted, his grandfather, Thomas Shaw, said to him, "My dear boy, I am so proud you are going to enlist. When I was 9 years old, I rode and drove a four horse team through a portion of New Jersey on Washington's great retreat through the state. I rode 36 hours without stopping, only as the horses were eating and resting." He was presented to General Washington who told him how impressed he was with him as he sat on his knee and was sorry that he (Washington) had no money for him. So he reached into his pocket and gave him his jackknife. After serving two years as a private and a non-commissioned officer, he was appointed a special agent of the Watertown NY Provost Marshal. He remained in this office until the close of the war. After his discharge from the army, Shaw entered St Lawrence University, from which he was graduated in 1867. During the year following his graduation he served as a member of the State Assembly. While serving in that capacity he was also appointed by Gov. Fenton as a Colonel of the 36th NYNG. He resigned to accept the position of United States Consul to Toronto, Canada, in 1868, and was promoted to Manchester, England, in 1878. In 1885 President Cleveland removed him from office for being "an offensive partisan." Instrumental in organizing the NY Dept of the GAR, he was elected Commander-in-Chief at the National Encampment in 1890. The Republicans of the 24th District nominated him to fill the vacancy in the 56th Congress caused by the death of CA Chickering, and he was elected by the largest Republican vote ever cast in the district. Shaw's body was discovered in his room at the Riggs House, Washington DC, on a morning in February 1901 after he had turn ed over national GAR command to his successor. His wifehad died exactly one year earlier. Albert Shaw and his wife are buried in the Watertown Center (Brookside) Cemetery just outside Watertown, New York. The caretaker says it is a 12-person plot but they are the only ones buried there and there is no indication of the organization or high rank he held. His father was Henry Shaw and his mother Sally Ann Gardiner. Post was named for Shaw after his death.
#193 - President Jas A Garfield - Palmyra - This post was chartered as the "John H Starin Post" on 9-15-1881 but the name was disapproved and changed to "Jas A Garfield" 9-20-1881 in honor of the assassinated President, who died 9-19-1881. Disbanded 1923.
#251 - 2nd Lt Daniel D Becker, Co I 9th NY Heavy Artillery - Red Creek - 2-13-1897 to 1928
joined Sept 1864 at Wolcott for one year as private age 23; to 2nd Lt March 1865; mustered out with regt July 1865; family plot on a mound in an old cemetery alongside route 104 as it goes north out of Red Creek village. Stone says "David D Becker 1840 - 1917." There is a Becker Funeral Home and Becker Pharmacy in the village.
#291 - 2nd Lt Volney H Sweeting, Co C 75th NYV - South Butler - 6-30-1900 to 1924
"a South Butler boy" who joined September 1861 at South Butler as private age 24; rec'd a gunshot wound to his lung At Port Hudson on 5-27-63 - bullet remained in his lung; promoted to 1st Sgt 4-10-64; to 2nd Lt 4-13-65; discharged June 1865; died years after the war due to the bullet's movement. "Also recognized in the name selection was US Navy Ensign Chas E Sweeting who lost his life from effects of sunstroke in Honolulu." A whole row of Sweeting graves in the South Butler Cemetery on Route 89 includes the USN Ensign (born 1861) but not Volney.
#320 - Hance Brothers, 3rd NY Cavalry - Williamson - 1-19-1886 to 1921
Pvt John Hance, Co K 3rd NY Cavalry - joined February 1864, age 18; died of disease 9-19-1864 at City Point VA and buried there; an 1896 GAR directory added that John "died from the result of overexertion on the Wilson Raid.
Pvt Samuel E Hance, Co K 3rd NY Cavalry - joined Company I 17th NYV February 1861, age 22, and was discharged for disability April 1862; he joined the 3rd NY Cavalry February 1864; he and his horse were blown to pieces at Reams Station VA 6-29-1864; his brother was said to have been distressed at not being able to gather any remains for burial.
#401 - Pvt John E Sherman, Co C 111th NYV - Rose - 9-20-1883 to 1917
Joined July 1862 at Rose; KIA at the Wilderness 5-5-1864 and was buried on the field.
#406 - Pvt Myron M Fish, Co B 9th NY Heavy Artillery - Ontario - 10-11-1883 to 1921
Joined at Williamson age 20; KIA Winchester 9-19-1864 "and left dead on the field"; buried there in National Cemetery; Myron was the son of Captain Chauncey Fish, Co B 9th NY Heavy Artillery. "The Captain entered the army first, came home on furlough, and took his two sons back to the war with him."
#444 - Capt John B Burrud, Co D 160th NYV - Marion - 1-19-1884 to 1923
Born in England, came to US as a child; joined at Auburn 9-1-62 age 33; mustered out with regt 11-1-65 after being commissioned Lt Colonel (but not mustered as such); died 4-25-1883 near Marion, aged 59 years.
#449 - Colonel William Dutton, 98th NYV - Wolcott - 3-6-1884 to 1885
See Post #55
#450 - Pvt George S Bradley, Co K 98th NYV - Macedon - 3-12-1884 to 1919
Former resident of Macedon who joined Co K 98th NYV 12-10-1862, age 21; reenlisted as a veteran violunteer 1-2-1864; captured at Petersburg VA 6-24-1864; died at Andersonville Prison October 1864, buried there.
#501 - Pvt Charles A Remington, Co B 111th NYV - Sth Butler/Savannah - 7-22-1884 to 1927
Joined at Savannah August 1862, age 18; died 1-24-63 of typhoid fever in an Alexandria VA hospital.
#509 - Wormoth - Savannah - 8-19-1884 to 1885
(Charter document at NYS Library, Albany NY)
- Pvt Daniel Wormoth, Co H 9th NY Heavy Artillery - joined August 1862 at Savannah, age 21; discharged June 1865
- Pvt David Wormoth, Co H 9th NY Heavy Artillery - joined December 1863 at Savannah, age 29; discharged June 1865
- Cpl William Wormoth, Co G 193rd NYV - joined March 1865 for a year at Savannah, age 22; promoted to corporal July 1865; mustered out January 1866
James & Jabez Blyth, Walworth NY - grave of James Blyth 3rd Mississippi Infantry (1824 - 1886) is in Walworth Cemetery while brother Jabez Blyth, Co B 9th NY Heavy Artillery (1840 - 1898), is buried in the Baker Cemetery west of Walworth.
Marion GAR Monument is tall tiered column topped by soldier in greatcoat in Marion Cemetery.
Palmyra Town Hall Plaque lists names - "In memory of the brave soldiers who died for their country during the Civil War of 1861-65."