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Union Reserves on Picket Duty
170th New York Infantry
Civil War Period

170th on Picket Duty

170th on Picket Duty

THE GERM OF THE "G. A. R." IDEA
William W. Silkworth, of Long Branch, New Jersey, a veteran who had an opportunity to inspect some of the pictures reproduced in the PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY, recognized this group as Company B, 170th Regiment, New York Volunteers. You cannot appreciate or understand fully my amazement and joy in the discovery," he wrote to the editors. "There right in the front of the picture sits my brother playing cards (You will note that he is left handed. We laid him away in front of Petersburg). With him is John Vandewater, Geo. Thomas and Wash. Keating. There is Charlie Thomas and all the rest as true as life. With the exception of two, I have not seen any of the boys for thirty years." It was at such moments as this, when the Federal soldiers played games and chatted and became acquainted, that the organization was being evolved which has grown into a leading national institution since its formation at Decatur, Illinois, on April 6, 1866. Between the men who had fought and marched and suffered together, who time out of mind had shared their last crust and saved each others' lives, who had nursed each other and cheered each other on when another step forward seemed to mean certain death, there arose a great love that extended to the widows and orphans of those whose dying words they had heard on the field of battle. Ever since that time the organization has lent assistance to those reduced to need by the inexorable war. It admits to membership any soldier or sailor of the United States Army, Navy or Marine Corps, who served between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865.

 

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: March 21, 2006
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/170thInf/170thInfPhotoGuardMillerVIII_183.htm

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