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Dutchess County, New York
in the Civil War

The following is taken from Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics of the State of New York, Albany: [The Bureau], (C. Wendell), 1866.

The old county of Duchess was fully represented in the field during the war. The first war meeting in Poughkeepsie its capital, was on the evening of the 18th of April, when James Blan-chard was called to the chair, and William Thompson was appointed secretary. Steps were taken for the formation of a military company. A call was made for recruits, and the first response was from a lad seventeen years of age, named John Sanders, who served throughout the war, and came out of it with the commission of First Lieutenant and Adjutant of a New Jersey cavalry regiment, which performed active service with Colonel Grierson in Mississippi, Alabama and Northern Georgia. A company of volunteers was speedily organized, and left for the army on the 4th of May, in command of Captain Harrison Holliday, afterwards known in the army of the Potomac, as company E Thirtieth regiment, N. Y. S. V.

There was another large meeting in Poughkeepsie on the 23d of April, over which the Hon. James Emott presided. Several Germans left the city in a body on the 24th, to join a German Turner's regiment in New York city. On the same day Col. Van Alen opened a recruiting office in Poughkeepsie, and this was the first step towards the organization of the famous corps known as the Van Alen (Third N. Y. V.) cavalry. On the 25th a meeting was held at the City Hall, over which the Mayor (Bowne) presided, When a subscription was opened for the benefit of the families of volunteers. In the course of a few days the citizens subscribed about $10,000, and the city corporation appropriated the like amount. The whole county was now alive with enthusiasm, large assemblies of the people were seen everywhere, listening to patriotic speeches—assisting in raising the national flag upon staff and mast-head and public buildings, and in taking measures to raise funds for the promotion of volunteering and the assistance of the families of volunteers. On the 28th of May the city autho-rities raised a very tall flag staff in the center of the town.

A considerable number of citizens of Duchess left at about the middle of May, to join the Fifth New York regiment, Duryee's Zouaves and were with it in the fight at Big Bethel, on the 10th of June following. At about the same time, a Women's Relief Association, auxiliary to the Central Association in New York, was organized in Poughkeepsie, and continued to work efficiently with auxiliary associations in other parts of the county throughout the war. In almost every household were seen the busy fingers of women and children preparing lint, bandages, have-locks and hospital clothing for the soldiers.

On the 10th of June a body of men left the county for Camp Scott, on Staten Island, under Captain Arthur Wilkinson, to join Sickles' brigade, then forming there; and a fortnight afterward Flockton's band, of Poughkeepsie, left to join the Thirtieth regiment, N. Y. S. V. Before the battle of Bull Run, on the 21st of July, it is estimated that at least 300 citizens, of Duchess county had entered the military service in various corps.


Civil War Newspapers
This is also available in PDF format. These are large files; however, they are exact images of the pages.
      Pages 1 - 10
      Pages 11 - 16


See also The Communites of New York in the Civil War



New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: February 9, 2012

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