James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 35 of 125)
Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 35 of 125)
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Third District Regiment — Fails to Complete
ITS Organization — Preparations for the
Draft — Suspension of the Draft — Call for
Additional Troops — Services of the 2ist
Militia Regiment Tendered and Accepted-
Departure for the Seat of War— Return
AND Welcome Home — Effect of the Draft
Riots in New York — Home Guard — The
Draft in Duchess County — Aid of the Mili-
tary Invoked— Call Of Oct. 17, 1863— Re-
cruiting Agents Appointed — Enlistments of
Colored Men — Call of Feb. i, 1864 — Sani-
tary Fair— Call of March 15, 1864— Call
of July 18, 1864— Progress of Enlistments —
Third Draft in Duchess— Statement of
Bounties Paid — Call of Dec. 19, 1864 —
Fourth and Last Draft in Duchess — Close
OF the War — Woman's Work in the War.

ALMOST simultaneously with the inaugura-
tion of the movement to form a Duchess
county regiment, a movement was set on foot to
form a third district regiment. August 29, 1862,
the district war committee met at the Worth House
in Hudson, and appointed a committee consisting
of Judge Peck and C. P. Collier, of Columbia
county, and Judge Emott and Hon. Stephen Baker,
of Duchess county, to represent to the Governor
that, in the opinion of the committee, unless au-
thority be given to raise a third regiment of volun-
teers in the nth Senate district, the camp to be
located at Hudson, " it will be difficult, if not im-
possible, to raise the men required from said dis-
trict by voluntary enlistment, and that with it the
men can be raised."

That regiment, which was designated the 167th,
made a good start under Colonel Homer A.
Nelson, who designated his headquarters Camp
Columbia, with Arthur Wilkinson, then late of
Sickles' brigade, as military instructor, and Mark
D. Wilber, of Poughkeepsie, as Quartermaster,

and during the succeeding few weeks was gradually
filling up mostly with Columbia county men, num-
bering 500 men from that county, besides those
who were recruiting in Duchess county, by the
middle of October, at which time it was rapidly
filling up ; but it failed to complete its organiza-

Oct. 14, 1862, five per cent, was added to the
quota of each town, to provide for any deficiency
arising from desertions after enlistment and other
causes ; but this order was revoked on the 27th
of the same month, and on the 3d of December
following the draft was suspended, volunteer en-
listments being continued up to that period. Dec.
4, 1862, the County Treasurer reported to the
Supervisors disbursements amounting to $93,000
from the Bounty Fund ; of which sum $73,475
was expended in the payment of bounties to 1,533
volunteers, of whom 566 were in the 128th regi-
ment, 914 in the isoth, 35 in the 159th, (which was
organized in New Yorkand mustered Nov. i, 1862,)
and 1 8" in other foreign regiments.

March 3, 1863, Congress authorized the raising
of additional troops to take the place of the two
years' men, whose terms of service were about to
expire, and otherwise to strengthen the army. Presi-
dent Lincoln issued a conscription proclamation
on the 8th of May to carry that law into operation,
and ordered a draft to take place July 23, 1863.
The execution of the law was entrusted to a Provost
Marshal General and a Provost Marshal in each
Congressional' District, in each of which, also, a
board of enrollment was appointed. Isaac Piatt,
of Poughkeepsie, was appointed Provost Marshal
of the 1 2th district ; and the following enrolling offi-
cers were appointed in Duchess County : Wm. T.
IngersoU, Amenia; Philo Baker, Beekman ; Edgar
Knapp, Clinton; Edgar Vincent, Dover; David
C. Griffin, East Fishkill ; Edward M. Goring, Fish-
kill ; Walter C. Allen, Hyde Park ; Daniel W.
Odell, LaGrange ; Philip H. Traver, Milan ; Wm.
H. Creed, North East; Harman Ferris, Pawling;
Neheraiah J. Boyce, Pine Plains ; Elias DeGarmo,
Pleasant Valley ; Wm. Pinckney, Poughkeepsie ;
John Winslow, ist and 2d wards, Poughkeepsie
City ; Wm. Graham, 3d and 4th wards, Pough-
keepsie City; Herman Ostrom, Rhinebeck ; Philip
H. Lasher, Red Hook; Alfred R. Vail, Stanford;
Philip Bennett, Union Vale ; Isaac Sisson, Wash-

April 17, 1863, the State Legislature offered a
bounty of $150 to each two years' soldier who re-
enlisted for two years, and $75 for one year. As



enlistments for less than three years were not then
received, a bounty of $150 was also offered for
three years' enlistments, $30 to be paid down if
the re-enlistment occurred within a month after
discharge. But notwithstanding these inducements
and the additional incentives to enlistment of
county and town bounties preparations for the draft

At the inception of Lee's raid into Pennsylvania
in June, 1863, Governor Seymour was called on
for 20,000 militia. This demand was promptly
met by the mihtia of Duchess County, and on the
17th of June the following communication was
telegraphed to the State Executive : —

"Headquarters, \
2ist Regt. N. G., S. N. Y. J
" To His Excellency Gov. Seymour : —

" Governor — Being authorized by the field,
staff and line officers of the 21st Regt., N. G.,
S. N. Y., I hereby respectfully tender to the Govern-
ment the services of this Regiment for a short
term of service.

" Respectfully your obedient servant,

Jos. Wright."
Immediate efforts were made to recruit the ranks
of the regiment to the maximum number. This
work was pushed vigorously and successfully —
Colonel Wright, commanding the 21st, received the
following reply to his telegram : —

" Gen'l. Headquarters, State of N. Y.,
Adjutant General's office,

Albany, June 19th, 1863.
"Special Order No. 313.

" The Secretary of War having made requisition
upon the Governor of this State for troops for a
short term of service, the 21st Regt. Nat. Guard of
N. Y., Col. Jos. Wright, commanding, will hold
itself in readiness to march on short notice.
" By order of the Commander-in-Chief,
J. B. Stonehouse,

Act'g. Asst. Adj't. Gen'l."
The 2 1 St left Poughkeepsie on the evening of
June 26, 1863, on the steamer William Kent,ixova.
the foot of Main street. Its departure was made a
grand ovation. Companies B, C, F and R, with
part of the Rhinebeck company, being unable to
procure uniforms on the 26th, did not leave until
the 27th. The work of enlisting was continued
till the day of starting. The following was the
field, staff and line officers : — Colonel, Joseph
Wright j Lieutenant-Colonel, James Kent ; Major,
Charles H. Fitchett; Adjutant, James E. Schram ;
Quartermaster, Joseph H. Marshall; Surgeon, Dr.
VanDuser; Asst. Surgeon, Dr. Schenck ; Com-
missary, R. M. Denton ; Quartermaster Sergeant,

J. Case ; Hospital Steward, J. H. Lindsley ; Co. A*
Poughkeepsie, (Ellsworth Guards,) Captain Hay-
man, Lieutenants Lindley, Darrow and Parker;
Co. B, Poughkeepsie, (Jackson Guards,) Captain
Chfford, Lieutenant O'Neil ; Co. C, Hudson, Cap-
tain MuUony ; Co. D, Poughkeepsie, (Scott Guards,)
Captain Tanner, Lieutenants Quigley, Hauben-
estel and Dennis; Co. E. Rhinebeck, "gone to
war ;" Co. F, Poughkeepsie, (Grenadiers,) Captain
Whelan ; Co. G, Poughkeepsie, (Duchess County
Artillery,) Captain Miller, Lieutenants, Prince and
Korner; Co. H, Fishkill, (Denning Guards,) Cap-
tain Hustis ; Ci?. .ff", Fishkill, (new company;) Co.
R, Poughkeepsie, (German Rifles,) Captain Heng-
sterbeck. Lieutenant Michaelis. The regiment
numbered 410 men.f

The regiment proceeded to Baltimore and were
quartered in Belger Barracks, then recently the
camp of the 150th. It left Camp Belger in July
and marched through a hard rain to Fort McHenry,
and thence proceeded on the 7th of July to Fort
Delaware, seventy-five miles south of Baltimore,
which was used for the confinement of rebel pris-
oners. It returned home, arriving at Poughkeepsie
on the government transport steamer Commodore
at midnight, July 28-'29, 1863, and notwithstanding
the unseasonable hour, received a hearty welcome
from the Home Guard and many citizens, amid
bonfires and brilliant illuminations. It was mus-
tered out at Poughkeepsie, August 7, 1863, by
Captain Chambliss, of the sth U. S. Cavalry.

Intense excitement prevailed in Poughkeepsie
on the reception of the news of the draft riots in
New York in July, 1863, and in the absence of
the 2ist regiment, measures were at once set on
foot to organize a home guard, as a means of pro-
tection against riot if such was attempted. On
the evening of July 14, 1863, several meetings
were held in the city on short notice, and the
Poughkeepsie Eagle of July rs, 1863, announced
that three companies had been formed ready to
assemble at a moment's warning. Railroad and
telegraphic communication with New York was
interrupted for three days, and the only means
of getting authentic information from that city was
by the morning and evening papers brought by
boat. The number of companies was subsequent-
ly increased to six, (one of which was composed
of returned volunteers,) in addition to the Grant

* This Company, during tlie war, says tlle Poughkeepsit El^k of Sept.
1, 1864, "has sent over 200 recruits to the war."

t Companys A, D, G, H, K and R, and a few men of Co. F, went
with the 2ist, the other companies refusing to do so.— Poughketpsie
BagU of July 25, 1863.



Cavalry and Capt. Van Cleef's artillery corps, the
whole under command of Col. Joseph Williams.
Active drilling was kept up even after the riot
alarms had ceased.

The suspense which had hung over the people
of this district respecting the draft was at length
terminated. The draft was ordered to take place
on Monday, Sept. 7th. The quota for the district
was 2,013, of which number 1,202 fell upon
Duchess and 8 1 1 on Columbia. To these figures
fifty per cent, were added to cover exemptions,
making the entire number to be drafted in the
district 3,019— in Duchess, 1,781, and Columbia,
1,239. The following table shows the number
enrolled in and the quota to be furnished by each
town or sub-district in Duchess county : —

No. No.

Enrolled. Quota. Drft'd

Amenia 271 52 79

Beekman 147 26 39

Clinton 217 40 60

Dover. 197 36 54

East Fishkill 279 52 79

Fishkill, ist, 2d and 4th Districts.. 47 5 87 130

" 3d and 5th Districts 231 43 64

Hyde Park 360 67 loi

LaGrange 2n 38 57

Milan 160 33 49

North East 210 39 58

Pawling 191 34 ^i

Pine Plains 151 27 40

Pleasant Valley 177 32 48

Poughkeepsie 297 56 84

Poughkeepsie City, 1st & 2d Wards 847 157 235

" 3d & 4th " 607 116 17s

Rhinebeck ... 362 69 104

Red Hook 421 76 114

Stanford 212 39 59

Union Vale 133 24 36

Washington 237 43 65

The Sheriffs of Duchess and Columbia counties,
the Mayors of Poughkeepsie and Hudson, and the
following named gentlemen were invited to attend
the drawing and see that all was fairly done, viz :
Hon. James Emott, Hon. John Thompson, Joseph
H. Jackson, Wilson B. Sheldon, Albert Van
Kleeck and Charles W. Swift, Republicans, and
Homer A. Nelson, Charles Wheaton, Joseph F.
Barnard, Edgar Thorn, James H. Weeks and
Edward B. Osborne, Democrats.

At the hour appointed for the execution of the
draft in this district, a large number of citizens con-
gregated in and about the Provost Marshal's office
to witness the proceedings. The place selected for
the drawing to commence was the front room of
the building No. 7 Union street, which is still
standing and is now occupied for law offices.

The general failure of this draft to supply men,
owing to exemptions and commutations, led to
another call Oct. 17, 1863, for 300,000 men, for
three years or during the war, and a draft was or-
dered to fill the quotas unless otherwise filled by
Jan. 5, 1864. The quotas under this call were as

follows : —

No. Enrolled. Quota.

■■ 271 38



Amenia .

Beekman j .-

Clinton ' " 317

East Fishkill ; /'

™l-V 707' xo'o

Hyde Park ^60

LaGrange 211

Milan '_''"_ igo

North East 210 30

Pfwling igi

Pine Plains igi

Pleasant Valley xyy

Poughkeepsie 297





City, ist Ward 492

"2d " .... 352

" 4th " .... 280

Rhinebeck 362

Red Hook 42 1

Stanford 214

Union Vale , . 133

Washington 236

A committee appointed for that purpose selected
as recruiting agents the following persons, being two
in each Assembly District in this county : John C.
Pudney, Poughkeepsie ; John M. Keese, Rhinebeck;
Samuel Underhill, Fishkill; Horace D. Hufcut,

Strenuous efforts were made to fill the quotas
under this call without the necessity of having
recourse to a draft. Dec. 8, 1863, the Supervis-
ors resolved to tax the county $250,000 for a
bounty fund, and to pay to each volunteer accept-
ed and mustered into the service a bounty of
$300. The County Treasurer was also authorized
to pay $5 to any person furnishing a volunteer
under this resolution, when such volunteer was
accepted, sworn in and credited on the quota of
the county, which was 904. Dec. 9, 1863, the
Supervisors authorized the Provost Marshal to
draw on the County Treasurer and pay the recruit-
ing agents $5 for every man enlisted by them and
accepted by the Government from this county.
This made the united national. State and county
bounties $690 to each new recruit and $865 to
each veteran.

The colored citizens of the county werp alive to
their privileges and duties, and within six weeks



after the New York draft riots, had organized in
Poughkeepsie a company of their own race num-
bering some sixty men. August 31st, Sergeant
Robinson of the 20th R. I. colored regiment left
Poughkeepsie on the steamer Mary Powell with
a number of colored recruits. The Poughkeepsie
Eagle oiDtc. 14, 1863, says: "Amass meeting
of colored men is called to assemble this evening
at the African M. E. Zion Church to raise colored
volunteers. The motto they place on their bills is
worthy of the cause. ' Prepare to arm ! Our time
has come ! If we would have a place in this
country's record, we must write it with the bay-
onet.'" During the succeeding two months a
large number of colored men were enlisted. Re-
cruiting was brisk and the towns generally had filled,
and many exceeded their quota. This excess was
credited on the subsequent call of Feb. i, 1864,
(known as the deficiency call,) for 200,000 men.

Feb. 15, 1864, the Supervisors extended the
time for the payment of county bounties until the
quota under the last call was filled. The same
date they resolved to pay $25 to any person
bringing a recruit credited to this county. This
resolution revoked the one of Dec. 9, 1863, offer-
ing $5 for such service.

Enlistments continued with great rapidity, and
within twenty days from the issuance of the call
the quota of the district was full. The Poughkeep-
sie Eagle of Feb. 20, 1864, says : —

" We are officially requested to make public the
■fact that the 1 2th district has its quota full. * * * An
official communication has been received by Lieut.
Medary,* that our quota under the call for 500,000
menf is 2,2ri ; volunteers credited to the district
up to Jan. 31st, 1,121 ; drafted men who served or
commuted, and substitutes, 927 ; total to be cred-
ited, 2,048, leaving 163 to be raised. Since Feb.
ist there have been mustered in 310 men, so that
we have raised one hundred and forty-seven men
over our quota. This result will be hailed with
general satisfaction, and we think the more so be-
cause it proves the order to draft for 500,000 was
not a call for more men, but merely to clear ur
the old calls." ^

The men raised under these calls, (Oct. 17,
1863, and Feb. 1, 1864,) were mainly appHed to
filling the old regiments, which were numerically
reduced by the exigencies of the service. They
were allowed to select the regiment with which they
desired to be attached, and were, consequently,
united to various organizations.

The payment of these large bounties, if gener-
ous, was unwise and unjust, and, though it stimu-

* Lieut. Medary was then acting Provost Marshal in his district
1- The calls of Oct. 17, 1S63, and Feb. i, 1864, were merged in one.

lated enlistments, attracted a rabble element, and
was a vice which pandered to base passions, fostered
corruption and extortion, increased in its enormity
as the war progressed and seriously interfered with
the levies for such an army as should have been
the dependence and defense of our noble Republic.
The county was to some extent victimized by
bounty jumpers operating in Poughkeepsie, and
desertions of whole squads were of frequent occur-
rence during this period, necessitating the employ-
ment of strong guards, with loaded muskets, as
the recruits were removed from the recruiting sta-
tion to the " Soldiers' Rest,"* or to other places of
rendezvous in the city, which were infested with
numerous sharpers, whose presence and operations
compelled the officials to be constantly on the

March 15, 1864, the*," Poughkeepsie City and
Duchess County Sanitary Fair " was opened and
continued to and including the 19th. Among its
attractions were the tattered and battle-stained
colors of the 128th regiment. Over $18,000 were
reahzed by the fair.

March 15, 1864, a call for an additional 200,000
men was issued. Volunteers were received until
April 15th, after which a draft was ordered to
make up any deficiency then existing. The quota
of the i2th district under this call was 913. The
following table exhibits the condition of the towns
in Duchess county at that time with reference to
previous calls : —

Amenia 20 Surplus.

Beekman 9 Deficiency.

Clinton x\ "

Dover i Surplus.

East Fishkill 19 Deficiency.

Fishkill 6 Surplus.

Hyde Park 15 Deficiency.

LaGrange in "

Milan c "

North East 17 «

Pawling i-y 't

Pine Plains 1 1 «

Pleasant Valley 6 Surplus.

Poughkeepsie 24 "

" City, ist Ward 15c

"2d " 23

"3d " IS

" 4th " 30

Rhinebeck j "

Red Hook 20 Deficiency.

Stanford 20 "

. Union Vale 6 Surplus.

Washington 13 «

*This building, which is surrounded with many interesting associa-
tions of the late war, and as the years roll by will be an object of increas-
ing interest, is still standing— 394 Main street— and is now occupied as a



March 29, 1864, the Supervisors adopted the
minority report of a committee appointed to con-
sider the matter of continuing the county bounty,
to the effect that it be continued and the men en-
listed credited to the towns then deficient, till the
deficiency was met.

In the early part of April, Sheriff Judah Swift
and Treasurer John F. Hull went to Washington
" to have veterans enlisted credited to the quota
of the county." "A feeling of apathy settled upon
the people at home," says the Poughkeepsie Eagle
of April 7, 1864, "and little or nothing was done
to promote enlistments." This spirit was the
precursor of the draft which took place at 10
o'clock on Tuesday, May 31, 1864, at the Provost
Marshal's office in Poughkeepsie, to fill the defi-
ciency in the quota of the district. This draft was
completed in about two hours. There was scarcely
any excitement visible. Not more than twenty-
five or thirty persons were present in consequence
of the short notice given. Columbia county,
Poughkeepsie city and several towns in Duchess
county having filled their quotas, were exempt
from the draft. The following table shows the
number enrolled and the deficiency in each of the
towns in which the draft took place : —

No. Enrolled. Deficiency.

Clinton 282 10

Dover '. 302 10

East Fishkill 347 20

Fishkill 959 28

Hyde Park 419 9

LaGrange 273 21

Milan 202 9

Pawling 252 6

Pleasant Valley 241 4

Rhinebeck 437 12

Red Hook S4i 3'

Stanford 279 16

June 13, 1864, the Supervisors voted a bounty
of'$3oo to every drafted man held to service, "or
$325 to every man who furnished a substitute or
went himself"

June 17, 1864, another draft took place to sup-
ply the places of those exempted. At this time
the deficiency had been reduced to 62, by reason
of recruits received from Albany, and credits
allowed for veteran recruits. Following are the
towns which stood this draft and the number
drafted in each : Dover, 5 ; East Fishkill, 7 ;
Fishkill, 13 ; Hyde Park, 3 ; LaGrange, 10 j Milan,
3; Rhinebeck, 7 ; Red Hook, 14. The quotas
of CUnton, Pawling, Pleasant Valley and Stanford
were filled by credits referred to.
1 June 30, 1864, another draft took place to sup-

ply a deficiency of 23, caused by a number of the
recently drafted men proving, on examination, to
be physically disabled. This deficiency was dis-
tributed among the towns as follows : Dover, 2 ;
East Fishkill, 4; Fishkill, 3; Hyde Park, 7;
Rhinebeck, 2 j Red Hook, 5. July 14, 1864, a
supplementary draft was made in East Fishkill,
Fishkill, LaGrange, Rhinebeck and Red Hook,
to make up deficiencies caused by exemptions
from the last draft, the number drafted from the
towns named being respectively 2, 4, 5, 2 and 8.

The severe losses sustamed by Grant in the
spring and early summer of 1864, made it ap-
parent that another call for troops would soon
have to be met, and thoughtful minds were casting
about them for the means to meet this anticipated
requirement. The Poughkeepsie Eagle early and
strenuously urged the matter on the attention of
officials and citizens, and certain of the towns
(Amenia and Washington) were early alive to the
importance of prompt and energetic action.

The quotas of the several towns and the num-
ber enrolled under the call of July i8th, 1864, for
500,000 men, are exhibited as follows : —

No. Enrolled. Quota.

Amenia 24 1 39

Beekman 131 21

Clinton 302 48

Dover 321 51

East Fishkill 434 70

Fishkill 1,218 195

Hyde Park 435 70

LaGrange 310 50

Milan 206 33

North East 315 51

Pawling 187 30

Pine Plains 222 36

Pleasant Valley 262 42

Poughkeepsie 460 74

" City, ist Ward 712 114

" " 2d Ward 480 77

" " 3d Ward 546 87

" " 4th Ward 434 70

Rhinebeck ' 457 73

Red Hook 588 94

Stanford 303 49

Union Vale 193 31

Washington 251 40

Total 9.008 1,445

The several towns followed the example of
Poughkeepsie in paying increased bounties. Indeed
the sharp competition for recruits and substitutes
made that necessary if they would escape the
dreaded draft. The money for this purpose, which,
in previous years, had been raised on individual or
unauthorized town securities, was now secured by
town bonds, the State Legislature having passed



an act Feb. 9th, 1864, authorizing the issue of
bonds to repay moneys borrowed to pay bounties,
or to aid the families of volunteers. The Super-
visor, Town Clerk and Justices of the Peace in
towns, and the Common Council of cities, were
made ex-officio boards of relief, to afford needed
aid to indigent families of volunteers in the ser-
vice, not exceeding $ 15 at one time, at the expense
of such towns and cities. Supervisors were also
authorized to raise or borrow money to fill quotas
or to aid families, subject to the approval of elect-

Men were recruited with a good degree of rapid-
ity, and within a month from the date of the call
the towns of Amenia, Pleasant Valley and Pough-
keepsie, had filled their quotas. Up to Sept 4th,
1864, 1,356 men had been recruited and ap-
plied on the quota of the district. On Saturday^
Sept., 3d, 50 enlisted, a greater number than had
previously enlisted in one day under the call, and
Captain Johnson, the Provost-Marshal, was in-
structed not to begin the draft till further ordered.
44 were accepted on the sth, 33 enlisted on the
6th, 19 on the 7th, 5 on the Sth, 23 on the loth,
II on the 1 2th, 44 on the 13th and 42 on the 14th.
The quota of the town of Washington was full on
the 1 3th of September, and that of Poughkeepsie
City on the isth. " With the exception of Red
Hook and Rhinebeck," said the Poughkeepsie
Eagle of September i6th, all the towns in the
county " are about ' out of the wilderness,' and
some of them have a surplus."

Notwithstanding these exertions however, the
county did not entirely avoid the draft, which took
place in this district on the afternoon of Sept. 19th,
1 864, in the Sanitary Fair building on Main street,
which had then recently been made the headquar-
ters of the Provost Marshal. This is a brick build-
ing, and was erected by Mr. Burnap for a carriage
shop. There the Provost Marshal's office was kept

Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 35 of 125)