|Unit History Project|
Washington County, New York
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.
Near the close of the period of the first three months of the war, the war committee of the county was appointed and got into working order, for efficiently guiding the county in those important measures which the exigencies of the country demanded of us. Previous to our being thus organized for co-operating with and aiding the Government, four companies had been raised in May, 1861, for the Twenty-second regiment. These companies (B, D, G and H) were recruited in Whitehall, Cambridge, Fort Edward, and Kingsbury, the neighboring towns furnishing many of their members. A full company was also enrolled for this regiment in Salem and Hebron; but one or more of those most active in get-ting it up sot being able to obtain such offices in the regiment as they aspired to, caused it to be disbanded, whereupon several of the young men of these towns enlisted into the Cambridge com-pany.
It also merits to be noticed that, in these, first months of the war, many recruits from this county scattered themselves into various regiments of this and other States. A letter would be received from some familiar friend giving the information that he had enlisted into some regiment which was then being made up, and inviting the recipient to come aud join him. Thus a number of our young men were drawn into the service, and became enrolled at different and distant points. Several entered regiments which were being formed in the adjoining State of Vermont, and many others enlisted into the regiments of the Western States. It is currently reported and understood that the Western States furbished a larger number of troops in proportion to their population than we did here at the east. But it merits to he noticed that this disparity has been more apparent than real, many whose homes and legal residence was here at the east having enlisted themselves into western regiments, whilst very few from the west entered our eastern regiments. How this disproportion occurred is readily explained. From every town and every neighborhood here at the east one or more families have emigrated to some part of the western country, whereby every person among us has relatives or familiar acquaintances and friends who are thus located. It, moreover, is a new country, with more numerous and favorable openings for business than are presented here in the older States. In consequence of this, numbers of our young men are attracted, and are absent there, visiting among friends and looking for some employment more lucrative than they readily find here at home. When the war suddenly burst upon us, many who were thus absent and unemployed immediately enrolled themselves in western regiments, in company with their friends there. Others, too, repaired there purposely to go into the service with some old acquaintance and playmate of their boyhood, I now call to mind six residents of this town, and very likely these are not all, who in the first months of the war became enlisted into Illinois, Iowa and Missouri regiments. And the case was no doubt similar in the other towns of the county, and indeed of all this region. As this is a matter of some moment it may be well to illustrate it more plainly by briefly specifying one of the instances alluded to. E. F. Hill, a young man employed as a mercantile clerk and bookkeeper, having a desirable position in company D, First regiment Illinois artillery, tendered to him by its captain, who was one of his most cherished friends, sped from the banks of the Hudson to those of the Mississippi, and enrolled his name at Cairo before the end of the month in which Sumter was bombarded. Reenlisting when his first term had expired, he was promoted to a lieutenancy and was in command of one section of the battery, at the siege of Vicksburg, when a bullet aimed by a sharpshooter passed through his head a little forward of the ears. Singularly surviving and recovering from this wound with only the partial loss of the sight and hearing of one side, he was admitted into the Veteran Reserve corps, in which he still remains, Thus he has been in the service through the whole war, with no residence other than his paternal home in this town, and yet I suppose New York has no record, no knowledge of him.* And when the full military statistics of each town in the State are gathered and the returns made to your Bureau, I doubt not they will show many hundreds of our young men as having served in western regiments, whereby it will be found there has been less disparity in the percentage of soldiers furnished from our population as compared with theirs than is at present supposed.
*The Bureau was furnished in 1865 with a record of his services, and a photograph
so taken as to show the remarkable wound received by him.
The following tables are taken from Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau
of Military Statistics of the State of New York, Albany: Week, Parsons
& Co., 1867.
*No report received.
*No report received.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military