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Military History of Yates County, NY
By Walter Wolcott, 1895

Walter Wolcott?s grandfather arrived in Penn Yan in 1803, on a day when the local militia company was practicing maneuvers during its weekly get-together. Years later he remembered their solemn demeanor while bearing arms no more deadly than broom-handles and wooden swords.

Western New York was still the frontier in those days; many of those awkward Sunday soldiers had seen service during the Revolution, or their fathers, uncles and older brothers had. The old enemy still held forts on the Niagara, and rumors of renewed Indian uprisings flew constantly. The local settlements sent far more soldiers to fight the British a second time in 1812 than their proportion of the state's population would suggest.

In Walter Wolcott?s own lifetime the cataclysm most Northerners of his generation called the War of the Rebellion broke out and profoundly changed American life. His youngest son and namesake was at Vicksburg, Mississippi when the war began, volunteered on the Confederate side and was killed during the second day?s battle at Gettysburg. The boy was buried in the family plot in the new cemetery at Dundee.

In 1895 Wolcott decided to write about the soldiers who went to war from Yates County, and compiled a little book called The Military History of Yates County, NY. Its table of contents is duplicated below, and it will immediately be noticed that by far the larger part is devoted to the Civil War, the most recent combat at the time of Wolcott?s writing. However, he made also made a determined effort to list the names and service of soldiers in the country?s earlier wars.

Wolcott?s Military History has been scanned and posted on line at Cornell University?s Making of America site. The book is short, 158 pages and a few more for introduction at the beginning. The table of contents is reproduced here, and a name index to the entire book may be accessed through the links below. To see the actual page, you will need to go to http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/MOA/MOA-Journals2/WOLC.html which will allow you to enter a page number and see its image.



Chapter I

The Senecas, a war-like tribe of the Six Nations? Red Jacket? Sir William Johnson? Massacres at Wyoming and at Cherry Valley? Invasion by the American Forces under General John Sullivan? The Battle of Newtown? Destruction of an Indian Village within the present limits of the town of Benton? Effects of the Invasion on the Indians? Jemima Wilkinson, the ?Universal Friend?? The Friend?s House in the town of Jerusalem used at the close of the Civil War as a Soldiers? Home? James Parker and General William Wall? Soldiers of the Revolution who settled in Yates County....1

Chapter II

Close of the Revolution? The Phelps and Gorham Purchase? Captain Charles Williamson? The Genesee Country One Hundred Years Ago? British Insolence? The War of 1812? Citizens of Yates County Who Fought in this War? Organization of Yates County? The War with Mexico? Soldiers of the War from Yates County? Results of the Mexican War .... 9


Chapter I

Sentiment in Yates County before and during the War for the Union .... 16

Chapter II

The Thirty-third Regiment of Infantry .... 35

Chapter III

The First Regiment United States Sharpshooters? The Third, Twenty-third, and Thirty-fourth Regiments, Infantry .... 47

Chapter IV

The Fourty-fourth Regiment of Infantry .... 51

Chapter V

The Seventy-sixth, Eighty-fifth, Ninety-seventh, One Hundred and Second, and One Hundred and Fifth Regiments, Infantry .... 57

Chapter VI

The One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment of Infantry .... 63

Chapter VII

The Eighth, Twentieth, and Twenty-second Regiments, Cavalry? The Norfolk Brigade Band? The Fifteenth and Fiftieth Regiments, Engineers .... 78

Chapter VIII

The One Hundred and Forty-eighth Regiment of Infantry .... 88

Chapter IX

The First Independent Battery? Battery B (Third Light Artillery)? The Fourteenth and Sixteenth Heavy Artillery .... 97

Chapter X

The One Hundred and Seventy-ninth Regiment of Infantry .... 105

Chapter XI

The One Hundred and Eighty-eighth and One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Regiments, Infantry? Grand Review at Washington at the end of the War .... 114

Chapter XII

Citizens of Yates County in Other Commands? Colored Soldiers? The Confederate Service? The United States Navy .... 121

Chapter XIII

Post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Yates County? J. Barnet Sloan Post, No. 93, at Penn Yan? Decoration Day Observances at Penn Yan in 1869 and 1870? Memorial Volume Presentation? William H. Long Post, No. 486, at Penn Yan? Edwin and Foster P. Cook Post, No. 71, at Dundee? Hayes Post, No. 115, at Potter? Scott Post, No. 319, at Rushville? The Woman?s Relief Corps? The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic .... 126

Chapter XIV

Militia Organizations? The First Separate Company, N. G. S. N. Y. .... 142



This is apparently the first full-scale index created for the Military History. It was submitted on disk by Jim Beardsley and converted to a format suitable for posting on line by Fran Dumas. Wolcott's book has long since passed into the public domain, but the index has not. It is copyrighted and may only be copied in part for genealogical or other personal use. It must not be copied in full for commercial use or indiscriminate distribution. Credit the source if either the book or the index is quoted, either in private or in public.