George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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gagements in which the 33d shared were Malvern Hill, Second Bull
Run, Antietam (where fifty were killed and wounded in this regiment).
The recruits before mentioned, many of whom were from Wayne county,
joined the regiment October 29, 1862. Then followed the battles of
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville (in 1863), and and the charge on Fred-
ericksburg Heights (May 5, 1863.) The regiment returned to Elmira
May 12, 1863, and was mustered out.

The 44th Regiment (known as the People's Ellsworth Regiment),
which was designed to be recruited in all the counties of this State, re-
ceived its proportionate number from Wayne, eight of whom were from
Sodus. The regiment was organized in the fall of 1861 and served to
October 11, 1864. Its principal battle was Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.

Towards the close of the year 1861 an attempt was made, to raise a
full regiment in Wayne county ; but when about 400 men had been re-
cruited, an order was given for consolidation, and the Wayne volunteers
were organized into three companies and united with seven other com-
panies from Franklin county to form the 98th Regiment. William Dut-
ton, a Wayne county graduate of West Point, was made colonel of the
regiment. The Wayne county men had remained in Camp Rathbone,
at Lyons, until February, 1862 ; the three companies were lettered F,
I, and K. They were respectively commanded by Captains Kreutzer,
principal of the Lyons Union School, Birdsall, a Lyons merchant, and
Wakely. Dr. William G. David, a leading physician of the county,
went out as surgeon. The regiment left Lyons February 21, 1862. In


the movement upon Yorktown in the spring - of 1862 the regiment par-
ticipated, and afterwards in the bloody engagement at Fair Oaks. This
was the last important battle in which the 98th participated down to
February, L864, when the men re-enlisted as veterans and went home
on furlough. In April of that year they were again at Yorktown, and
they soon became known as one of the best disciplined and equipped or-
ganizations in " Baldy " Smith's 18th Corps. In the operations of the
Army of the Potomac before Richmond in the summer of 1804, the reg-
iment was in active participation, fought in the battle of Cold Harbor,
June 1-4, where heavy loss was sustained. Within twelve days at this
period the 98th lost 121 killed and wounded. The regiment was then
sent to take part in the siege of Petersburg, and on June 21 entered the
trenches and continued to share in the operations in that vicinity until
about August 29. In the capture of Fort Harrison, September 29, the
regiment lost sixty men in killed and wounded, and on October 27 at
Fair Oaks it bore an honorable part in the second engagement on that
field. The 98th enjoyed comparative quiet from this time until the
evacuation of Richmond, and on the 3d of April, 1865, was among the
first to enter the Confederate capital. August 31 the muster-out order
came and the men returned to their homes.

The 111th Regiment, Col. Jesse Segoine, was recruited in the sum-
mer of 1862, in Wayne and Cayuga counties, to serve three years. Five
companies, A, B, C, D, and E, were from this count)*. The regiment
left Auburn for Harper's Ferry August 2, on which day they were
surrendered by General Miles to Stonewall Jackson, and were paroled
and sent to Chicago, and remained till December and were then trans-
ferred. After this regiment was transferred and camped near Wash-
ington, Col. vSegoine resigned, and Lieut. -Col. C. D. MacDougall was
appointed colonel. A. P. Seely succeeded Colonel MacDougall, who
was promoted to brevet brigadier general. During its term of service
the 111th participated in engagements at Harper's Ferry on September
15, 1862, and camped near Washington during the succeeding winter;
B and C companies were detached, and the balance of the regiment
was in the battles at Gettysburg (where 120 were killed and wounded);
at Bristow Station, October 14; Blackburn's Ford, October 15-17:
Mine Run, November \!8-30, and Morton's Ford, February 6, I Kill.
In the Wilderness, early in May the 111th shared bravely in three
days of almost continuous lighting, losing forty-four killed, 126 wound-
ed, and twenty missing — 190 out of 386 effective men. At Po River,


May 10-1-2, Spottsylvania, May 13, 14, 18; North Anna. May 23-4;
Tolopotomy, May 31 and June 1, and in several minor engagements
between June 3 and 1G, the regiment was conspicuous for its heroic
deeds. On June 21 the 111th participated in the movement upon the
Jerusalem Pland Road; fought at Deep Bottom July 26-8, and again
August 12-14; at Reams's Station, August 25; in garrison at Fort
Hell was long under constant fire; and March 25, 18G5, repulsed a fierce
attack upon their lines. At Gravelly Run, March 30 and 31, the regi-
ment shared in the fierce battle and then took up the pursuit of the fly-
ing Lee, which ended only at Appomattox. The regiment returned
home after the consummation of the great conflict, and was discharged
June 6, 1865.

The 138th Regiment was locally known as the Second Wayne and
Cayuga, and was recruited immediately succeeding the 111th, in Au-
gust, 1862. It was commanded by Colonel Joseph Welling, of Wayne;
lieutenant colonel, Wm. H. Seward, of Cayuga; major, Edward P. Taft,
of Wayne; surgeon, Theodore Dimon, of Cayuga; quartermaster, Henry
P. Knowles, of Wayne; adjutant, William R. Wasson, of Cayuga; first
assistant-surgeon, Samuel A. Sabin, of Wayne ; second assistant-surgeon
Byron De Witt, Cayuga; chaplain, Warham Mudge, Wayne; sergeant-
major, Lyman Comstock, Cayuga. Six of the ten companies were
raised in Wayne county and were lettered A, B, D, G, H, and K. The
regiment left camp September 12, and proceeded to Albany and thence
to Washington, going into camp on Arlington Heights. There the or-
ganization was changed to the 9th Artillery and placed in charge of
forts near Georgetown. In the spring of 1864 the artillery shared in
the fighting at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and North Anna. At the
beginning of June the command, as part of Burnside's 9th Corps, saw
active service at Cold Harbor. The regiment was engaged in skirmish
or battle between June 1st and 9th and lost during that time nine killed
and forty-two wounded. Other engagements in which the 9th partici-
pated were at Monocacy Junction July 9, losing heavily; on August 7
four companies were detached for service in the Washington defenses,
the other eight joining the 6th Corps and going into Western Virginia,
where, under Sheridan, in the fall of 1864, they participated in the
brilliant operations of that great commander. On the 25th of March,
1865, the 9th was posted at the extreme front before Petersburg, took
part in the recapture of Fort Steadman; was engaged April 2, and again
on the 6th, at Sailor's Creek. The greater part of the regiment was
mustered out in April, 1865.


What became the 160th Regiment, and the third from Wayne and
Cayuga counties, was recruited from the last of August, 1802, through
September. The first company (B) was raised in Palmyra and went
into the barracks August 29. The other three Wayne companies were
A from Newark; C, from Lyons; and D, from Marion. The regiment
went out under command of Colonel Dwight, left Auburn November 18
and was mustered into the United States service at New York on the
21st. Embarked on a transport, the regiment then constituted a part
of General Banks's celebrated expedition, and proceeded to Ship Island
at the mouth of the Mississippi, reaching there December 14. In the
extended operations to the southward of New Orleans, having the cap-
ture of that city as their main object, in January, February, March and
April, the IGOth took part, while attached to Weitzel's Brigade. While
this duty was arduous, the losses were small. In April the regiment
advanced with the brigade to Opelousas, and thence by a rapid three
davs' march to Alexandria. On the 24th of May Weitzel's Brigade
reached Simmsburg, at the head of the Atchafalaya River, whence it
went on transports to St. Francisville, fourteen miles by land above Port
Hudson. By easy marches the rear of Port Hudson was reached on the
25th of May. Here a part of the regiment shared in the attack on Port
Hudson, and on the 27th Company B lost one man killed and the regi-
ment about twenty wounded. In the succeeding charge of June 14
Richard Jones was killed and thirty-five wounded. Following the sur-
render of Vicksburg, on the 7th of July, Port Hudson did likewise on
the 8th, and on the 9th Weitzel's Brigade was the first to enter the
works. At evening the regiment embarked and the next day landed
at Donaldsonville, and on August I, proceeded to New Thibedeaux, and
went into camp. On Thursday, January 7, 1864, the regiment with the
1 9th Corps started for Franklin. In March Weitzel's Brigade was broken
up and the IGOth was brigaded with three Maine and one Pennsylvania
regiments. The next movement of importance in which the 160th
shared was the Red River expedition under General Banks. On this
service the IGOth found severe fighting several days and after an engage-
ment on the Dth of March, Lieutenant Colonel Van Petten was called
to headquarters to receive for his regiment the thanksof Generals Banks,
Emory, and McMullen. It was said that the heroism of the 160th
turned the tide of the day's battle. Eight of the regiment were killed,
among them two captains; thirty-seven were wounded and fourteen
missing. The 19th Corps was now ordered north to form a part of


Sheridan's army in the Shenandoah Valley. In the active operations
in that region this regiment performed its allotted share. At the battle
of Winchester, September 19, the 160th behaved with great gallantry,
and saw the hardest fighting in which the regiment had participated.
The loss was about twenty killed and fifty wounded. After the rebels
were driven out of the valley the regiment was sent first to Savannah,
Ga., and then to Hawkinsville, whence it proceeded to Elmira and was
there mustered out in November, 1865. The number of men mustered
out then was about 240, under commond of Lieut. Col. H. B. Under-

The First Regiment of Veteran Cavalry contained a considerable
number of Wayne county men, who were chiefly from Palmyra. The
regiment was composed of several bodies of men, many of whom were
veterans, that had been- recruited in the summer and fall of 1863, and
was mustered in on the 24th of October. The regiment was sent into
Virginia over ground that was familiar to many of the veterans. It is
almost impossible to follow in detail the operations of a body of cavalry.
In the Valley of the Shenandoah, in the spring and summer of 1864,
the regiment was constantly in active duty and acquired distinction for
its gallantry. On June 1 the regiment, with the 28th Ohio Infantry,
was sent across the mountains in charge of 1,200 prisoners. The dis-
tance to Beverly, 110 miles, was made in four days. During the re-
mainder of the summer the Veteran Cavalry was in the saddle the larger
part of the time, and in October was placed in guard of the salt works
of Kanawha, in Camp Piatt, Western Virginia. On the 8th of January,
1865, the regiment went into camp at Gauley Bridge, at the headwaters
of the Kanawha. After two or three other changes in location the reg-
iment returned home about the last of July and was mustered out.

The Eighth Regiment New York Cavalry was organized for three
years' service, in Rochester, in the fall of 1861, was sent to Washington
and into Camp Selden. Though having enlisted to serve as cavalry,
the men were not mounted for nearly a year. Meanwhile the regiment
was posted for a time along the Potomac and Winchester Railroad. On
the morning of May 24, 1862, four companies were ordered to Winches-
ter and participated in fighting at that point. Colonel Samuel J. Crooks
resigned in February, and the command was given to Benjamin F. Davis,
of the Regular Army, his commission bearing date of July 7. On the
8th the regiment was stationed at the Relay House, and in a short time



the efficient commander had his men well disciplined, mounted and the
regiment recruited up to full number.

On the 11th of September the 8th was surrounded by Jackson's force
at Harper's Ferry. When it was seen the place could not be held, Colo-
nel Davis asked and was refused permission to break through the ene-
my's lines. He, however, called his officers together on the night of
the 14th, expressed his determination, and about midnight led his com-
mand across the pontoon bridge, dashed through the rebel army, cap-
tured Lee's ammunition train, which was on its way to Antietam, and
arrived at Greenfield at noon of the 15th, there finding McClellan'sarmy
marching towards Antietam. After sharing in the fighting of the 17th,
the 8th pursued and harassed the rear of the retreating army, and after
a short rest at Hagerstown, pursued the rebels up the Shenandoah to-
wards the Rappahannock. Other minor engagements of the remainder
of the year in which the 8th shared were at Snicker's Gap, Philemont,
Union, Upperville, Barber's Cross Roads, and Amosville. The regi-
ment went into camp at Belle Plain. A summary of the other principal
conflicts in which this regiment took part were at Freeman's Ford, April
14, 1863; Rapidan Bridge, May 4; at Chancellorsville, Beverly Ford,
Middleburg, Gettysburg (on which field it is said that the 8th was the
first to fire a gun), at Culpepper, Raccoon Ford, and at Germania Ford,
October 10; Stevensburg, October 11; Brandy Plains, October 13; Oak
Hill, October 15; Belton Station, October 26; Muddy Run, November
8; Locust Grove, November 27; at Barnett's Ford, February 6, 1864
(after wintering at Culpepper Court House); Germania Ford, May 5;
White Oak Swamp, June 13; Malvern Hill, June 15; Nottoway Court
House, June 23; Roanoke Station, June 25; Stony Creek, June 28;
Winchester, August 16; Kearneysville, August 25; Occoquan Creek,
vSeptember 19 ; Front Royal, September 21; Milford, September 23;
Fisher's Hill, September 30; Jones's Brook, October 9; Winchester,
November 12, after having gone into winter quarters; Lacy Springs,
December 31; Waynesboro, March 2, 1865, where the Eighth displayed
the most daring gallantry. Soon after this Major Compson was detailed
by General Sheridan as a bearer of dispatches to the secretary of war,
taking with him seventeen captured battle flags, ten of which had been
taken by the Eighth. In the operations in front of Petersburg in the
spring of 1865, which practically closed the war, this regiment was con-
stantly active. After the surrender at Appomattox the 8th returned to
Petersburg and thence went to Washington and took part in the grand


review, May 22. It reached Rochester June 28, with 190 of the 940
men who went away in 1861. The battle flag bore the. name of sixty-
four actions. Among the slain of the regiment were one colonel, eleven
captains, two lieutenants, and one color-bearer. The regiment was
disbanded Jnly 3.

The 22d Regiment of Cavalry was organized at Rochester, contained
a number of Wayne county men, and was mustered into service in Feb-
ruary, 1864. It was mustered out, after a comparatively brief term,
August 1, 1805. In the various military operations in Virginia of the
last campaign, the regiment performed efficient service. It formed a
part of the First Brigade, Third Cavalry Division. An order issued
April 9, 1865, after the surrender, paid the highest compliments to the
valor of this division.

These very brief incomplete sketches of the several organizations
which contained one or more companies or considerable numbers of
Wayne county men, do not, of course, exhibit in detail the deeds of the
men who took their lives in their hands in defense of the country. To
do this would require an entire volume ; and it is a gratifying fact that
such a work has been well performed in Wayne county by Prof. Lewis
H. Clark of Sodus, which permanently preserves the deeds of the sol-
diers of Wayne county.


Since the War — Internal Improvements — Legislative Acts — Agricultural Produc-
tions — Peppermint — Statistics, etc. — Civil List — Recapitulation.

The general history of Wayne county since the close of the civil war
may be briefly written, exept as it will be found in more detail in the
later town histories and chapters devoted to specific topics. With the
close of the war we entered upon a period of inflation and expansion in
all mercantile and manufacturing centers. Money was plenty, prices
of farmers' products were high, markets were active,- and a general
spirit of recklessness was abroad. New enterprises of various kinds
were established, while the older ones which had passed through a period
of success on a rising market, were not, as a rule, prepared for the time
of retrenchment that should, perhaps, have been more generally fore-


seen. As a consequence, when the inevitable reaction came, in 1872-73,
all kinds of business suffered severely. But the same reasons existed
to lighten the burden in Wayne county to which we have alluded in re-
lation to earlier periods of financial stringency. The county is largely
agricultural, and such districts, if healthful in other directions, are the
last to feel the effects of financial revulsion. During the period now in
question the general statement may be made that the people of this
county have enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity.

Considerable legislation has been effected since that before chronicled
in which the county at large was interested. Among the more impor-
tant of these acts was the incorporation of the Palmyra Academy and
the Palmyra Savings Bank in 1842, both of which are described in later
pages; the act of April 11, 1853, providing for the erection of a new
court house and jail ; an act of March 24, 1859, giving Hiram W. Brad-
shaw permission to establish a ferry across Sodus Bay "from where
the bridge road approaches on the west side, to the highway on the east
side;" the incorporation of the Wayne County Savings Bank, April 13,
1861 ; acts authorizing the building of iron bridges over the canal in the
town of Macedon and at other points. In the appropriation bill of 187] ,
the sum of $5,400 was set aside for the vertical wall of the canal in Mace-
don, and $2,000 for improvement of the canal in Newark ; act of April
26, 1871, appropriating $3,000 for a bridge over Sodus Bay " at or near
the site of the old bridge at Port Glasgow." This sum was to be raised
by tax, and Edwin H. Draper, ofWolcott; De Witt Parshall, of Lyons;
Merritt Thornton, of Sodus; James M. Cosad and William W. Gatchell,
of Huron, were made the commissioners. Act of April 24, 1872, au-
thorizing the Canandaigua, Palmyra and Ontario Railroad to construct
a draw bridge over the canal at or near Palmyra village; (this was not,
of course, ever built. ) Act of May 12, 1873, for the protection of fish
in the Clyde and Seneca Rivers (a part of the extensive and beneficent
legislation of the past twenty years tending to the preservation of the
fish supply of this State.) Act of May 19, 1887, authorizing the super-
intendent of public works to build a hoist bridge over the canal at Glas-
gow street in Clyde; and a similar act of June 9, 1888, for a bridge
over the canal at Geneva street, Lyons, for which $10,000 was appro-
priated. Act of April 15, 1887, authorizing the supervisor of the town
of ( hitario to pay and cancel the bonds constituting the town indebted-
ness. Act of April 9, 189], authorizing the superintendent of the town
of Galen to .borrow $5,000 on the town credit, to pay Thomas Reynolds


for damages and injury sustained by falling off of a defective bridge.
Act of February 24, 1891, making the office of sheriff of Wayne county
a salaried office, with salary of $1,200. Many other other acts have been
passed in recent years incorporating various institutions in the county
and amending the several village charters, to place them in line with
the best governed municipalities of the State.

The reader of the foregoing pages has learned that the attention of
the farmers of this county was largely devoted to the growing of wheat
in early years. It was the grain that would sell most readily and, of
course, supplied the inhabitants with flour. Other grains were culti-
vated, but in a more limited way ; and the surplus of all was converted
into whisky in the numerous small distilleries that abounded in every

Apples and pears have always been extensively produced in Wayne
county. For the first named fruit the soil and climate seem to be par-
ticularly well adapted and the quality of the fruit rivals that of Orleans
and Niagara counties, which is the highest praise that can be given it.
The first settlers in Sodus, Palmyra, and at other points, planted apple
seeds almost as soon as they arrived, and ere long they were supplied
with the ever-welcome fruit, the excellent quality of which led to the
extensive planting of orchards. Large quantities are shipped annually
to market. The first grafted apples brought to Wayne county were
brought by William Bond from Long Island and were termed the Long
Island, the Long Island Greening, and the Billy Bond. Pears also have
been produced successfully in the county, the locally celebrated Sheldon
pear and the Osband pear having originated in the towns of Huron and
Palmyra respectively.

In recent years raspberries have been extensively cultivated, espe-
cially in the north and northwest parts of the county. This fruit is mar-
keted generally in an evaporated form.

Another product which has given Wayne county a world-wide fame
is peppermint. The first production of this herb was about 1820, and
from 1825 until quite recently the quantity grown was on the increase.
For many years the quantity of oil distilled in this county constituted
by far the larger part of the product of the world. By the year 1837
considerable quantities of the herb were offered for sale. In 1841 H. G.
Hotchkiss was keeping a country store at Phelps, Ontario county, and
in the course of his dealings with the farmers of that vicinity he had
taken their peppermint oil in payment for goods until he had on hand


so much that he would lose money if he could not dispose of the lot for
§1,000. He attempted to sell it in New York but without success.
This led to the attempt to produce oil at home and was the initial step
in what became a very extensive and profitable manufacture. After
the year 1841 Mr. Hotchkiss gave his entire attention to this business.
Other enterprising men took up the work of manufacturing the oil, and
the farmers were thus inspired to further ciiltivation of the herb, until
it became almost if not quite the chief agricultural product of the coun-
ty. The average annual yield of peppermint oil in this county is 150,
ooo pounds, nine-tenths of which is controlled by the Hotchkiss family
of Lyons, which is virtually dictating the peppermint oil market, as
Wayne county is practically the only peppermint-growing district where
the plant is cultivated and the oil distilled. Wayne county oil com-
mands from forty to fifty cents a pound more than any other peppermint
oil. Twenty-five pounds of oil to the acre is the lowest general average
of the crop. It is not uncommon for the market to reach $3 a pound,
and it has been as high as $5 a pound. Some farmers distill their own
oil, but the product is usually treated by regular distillers, of whom
there are about 100 in Wayne county. They toll the crop for the dis-

In 1801 the prices for various products were as follows : wheat, 75
cents; corn, 3 shillings; rye, 50 cents; hay, $6 to $12 per ton; butter
and cheese, 11 to 16 cents; salt pork, 8 to 10 cents; whisky, 50 to 75
cents per gallon; salt, $5 per barel; sheep, $2 to $4 per head; neat cat-
tle, $3 to $4 per cwt. ; milch cows, $16 to $25 per head; horses, $100 to
$125 a span; working oxen, $50 to $80 per yoke; laborer's wages, in-
cluding board, $10 to $15 per month; suit of clothes, $4 to $5; shoes,
$1.75 to $2 per pair.

In 1858 the county had 254,451 acres improved land; real estate val-
ued at $12,308,024; personal property, $1,364,222; there were that
year 23,964 male and 22,796 female inhabitants, 8,708 dwellings, 9,376
families, 6,844 freeholders, 219 school districts, 17,222 school children,
1 t, 928 horses, 21,695 oxen and calves, 104,845 sheep, 29,799 swine; the
county produced that year 45,272 tons hay, 289,734 bushels winter and