|Unit History Project|
Yates 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.
The people of Yates county are almost entirely agricultural in their pursuits; staid, intelligent, sturdy farmers. They had watched the progress of secession with interest and anxiety, but without particular excitement. The feeling was quite general, that in some way an open rupture would be avoided. Intense excitement was manifested everywhere, in town, in county, among farmers, artizans, laborers, men, women and children; as without regard to occupation or sex, so without regard to party, the feeling of indignation was as general as it was intense, on the fall of Sumter. Impromptu public meetings were held in all parts of the county; flags were raised and speeches made. It was literally an uprising of the people.
The President's proclamation and call for 75,000 men followed the attack on Sumter, then the attention was turned to practical questions and real works.
The Republican County Central Committee, immediately on the news of the fall of Sumter, addressed a note to the Democratic County Committee, proposing to unite in a call for a mass meeting, irrespective of party, to deliberate upon and adopt measures, proper for a patriotic people in such an emergency. The Democratic committee cordially and promptly responded, and the respective chairmen, Hon. Daniel Morris, and Hon. John L. Lewis, in behalf of their committees, united in a call for a mass meeting, to be held in Penn Yan on the 27th of April, 1861. Meantime recruiting stations were opened in Penn Yan and in Potter Centre, and perhaps in one or two other places in the county. In Penn Yan the recruiting was under the charge of Captain Letts, and Lieutenants Root and Long, and at Potter Centre, Doct. Chas. S. Hoyt was the active man. Without organization or particular knowledge of military, and without special authority, recruiting went on briskly under the impulse of patriotism, inspired by the passing events and threatened dangers to the country.
On the 27th of April, the people of Yates met pursuant to the call of the committees, and in the Court House yard was organized one of the largest public meetings ever held in the county; it was presided over by Hon. Morris Brown, assisted by eighteen vice-presidents. During the proceeding's of the meeting, it was proposed that each for himself should then and there swear to support the Constitution and uphold the flag, and the vast assembly, with uncovered heads and uplifted hands, repeated after Judge Briggs the solemn oath, a service most impressive.
The meeting passed a resolution to raise a fund of ten thousand dollars, to aid volunteers and their families, and some five thou-sand dollars were pledged on the spot. The " Keuka Rifles," the company then, being raised, was on the ground, and during and after the proceedings, several enlisted. A committee of finance, to take charge of and disburse the fund of $10,000, was appointed. A vigilance committee was also appointed.
The military company was soon filled up, and on the 18th of May, they left for Elmira, and from thence to the seat of war. They were escorted to the depot by the brass band and a large concourse of citizens; before they took the cars they were drawn up in line, and E. B. Jones presented each soldier with a Testament in behalf of the Yates County Bible Society, and D. A. Ogden, in a brief address in behalf of the finance committee announced, that for the Captain a sword had been ordered, and for the Lieutenants each a revolver by the committee, and that for the families left behind, provision would be made for their comfort, &c., and amid the huzzas and the tears of the people the first company of volunteers for the war left Yates county. This company was incorporated into the Thirty-third regiment, Col. R. F. Taylor, as company I, and rendered good service for two years.
In addition to this company, many others left the county and volunteered into regiments or companies, some at Elmira, some at Rochester, and some at other places, and probably as many as two companies enlisted and entered the field from Yates county.
The finance committee organized a system of relief for the families of volunteers, and gave monthly allowance in proportion to the size of family, which system was continued, and payments made, until the county, through the Board of Supervisors, relieved them from duty.
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