William S. (William Smith) Pelletreau.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) online

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this morning at 6 o'clock. He lias been in bad health the last
two years, but had rallied of late, and appeared to be gaining
strength, until his last illness. He died in the seventy-sixth year
of his age, much older than I, but an intimate friend and asso-
ciate for nearly forty years. He was one of a set who, although
my seniors, were very intimate companions about the time of
my entrance into society, and with whom I continued in pleasant
association until they drifted away one by one, and now I am
about the only one left. How many good dinners I have eaten
at poor Lydig's expense, and how many hours I have passed in
his society. He was a just man, prudent and careful in the
management of his aifairs, unexeeptionalile in his deportment,
with some old-fashioned aristocratic notions, an exceedingly
good liver, fond of old wine, which, liowever, he drank in mod-
eration, but less prudent in the enjoyment of the other pleasures
of the table. He was, in short, a gentleman of the old school, a
race which is nearly extinct, so, as the old ones decay and die olf ,
their places are supplied by an undergrowth less hardy, majestic
and graceful."

Mr. Lydig married Catherine Mesier, a member of one of
the oldest Dutch families of New York. Their only son was
Philip Mesier Lydig, who in 1824 entered into i)artuership with
his father under the firm name of David Lydig & Son, their
place of business being at 160 South street. For nearly a half
century he was connected with almost everj^ bank and insurance
company in the city, and he was recognized as one of the most
prominent business men of his time. Among the various pieces
of i3roperty owned bj^ Mr. Lydig were the famous Lydig Mills,
on the Bronx river. In 1680 the town of Westchester granted
to William Richardson the privilege of erecting mills at this
place. They afterwards passed into the hands of Everet By-
vanck, and were known for long years as "Byvanck's Mills.'!
His widow sold them to William Provoost in 1711- — "three grist
mills and a saw mill." He sold them to Stephen De Lancey, and
from his heirs they were purchased by Philiji M. Lydig. Through
the estate of Mr. Lydig the Bronx ran for nearly a mile, and it


was one of the finest country residences in Westchester county.
This tract is now included in Bronx Park and the Zoological

Phili]) Mesier Lydig, the only son of David Lydig, married
Katherine, eldest daughter of John Suydam, a member of one
of the oldest Knickerbocker families. They were the parents of
seven children: Philip, of whom a more extended notice will be
given; David, who married Pauline Heckscher, and is now living
in New York; Maria, who married Judge Charles P. Daly; Mar-
garet Jane, wife of Carl Otto; has three children: Philip,
Kate and Emma, wife of Henry Hoyt (who is now living at Sag
Harbor, Long Island, having inherited the estate of Hon.
Charles P. Daly) ; Katherine Matilda (who married Judge John
R. Brady, and has children : May M., wife of Albert Stevens, de-
ceased, of the famous family of Stevens Point, New Jersey, and
Katherine, who married Sidney Harris, and has one child,
Katherine C.) ; Rosalie, wife of John J. Stajiles; and Florence,
who married Frank K. Sturgis, ex-president of the New York
Stock Exchange.

Philip Mesier Lydig, the eldest son of Philip Mesier and
Catherine (Suydam) Lydig, was born in New York city, 1837.
Graduating from the Columbia Law School in 1861, he entered
upon the practice of his profession, but the outbreak of the Civil
war changed the tenor of his life. Among the tirst to enlist in
the service of his country, he was commissioned captain and
aide-de-cam]i. United States Volunteers, Januarj^ 9, 1862, and
served on the statf of Brigadier-General J. G. Parke, command-
ing the Third Brigade in Burnside's expedition, and was at-
tached to the Third Division, De]>artment of North Carolina.
In this position he remained till July, 1862. He was then with
the Third Division of the Ninth Army Corps of the Army of the
Potomac to September of the same year, and was with General


Parke on the staff of General Burnside from Se])tenil)er to
November, 1862, and continned nndei- tlie same eounnauder nntil
March. lS(i4. On ^fai-ch l'^. 1S(i4, lie was connnissioned major
and assistant adjntant general, I'nited States Vohmteei-s. and
served on the staff of Genei-al Bnrnside to Augnst, lS(i4. and
on the staff' of General Parke to Ai)ril, IHt;."). On Angnst 1, 1S(;4.
he was In-evetted lientenant-colonel of Tnited States Volunteers
"for gallant and meritorions services in the battles of the
Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Bethesda Chnreli, and during the
0])erations before Petersburg." and for similar services before
Fort Sedgwick. Vii'ginia, he was brevetted colonel of volun-
teers, April 2, 1S65.

His record during the war is a long and honoral)le list of
faithful and meritorious services, of which the following are
most conspicuous: Burnside's expedition to Hatteras Inlet and
Roanoke Island. Xortli Cai'olina, January, 18()2; cajiture of
Roanoke Island, February 7-8 (received special mention for gal-
lantry) : attack on Xewberne, March 14 (again mentioned in Gen-
eral F^arke's rejiorts); atta<k on Camden. April 11); capture of
Fort Macon. Ai)ril 25; Maryland cam])aign. September, October;
battles of South ^^ountain, Se]itenil)er 14; Antietam, Septem-
ber l(i-17; Fi-e(lericksburg, December 11-15 (received sjjecial
mention in report of General Bnrnside for courage and effi-
ciency); Burnside's second cam)>aign. January 20-24. 18()o;
inovement of Xinth Army Corps to Kentucky. March. 18()3;
meinl)er of the military commission to try Clement C. \"allandig-
ham for treason. May. 18(i:); siege of Vicksburg, June 17 to
July 4; siege of Jackson, duly li!-17; l^ast Tennessee cam]>aigii.
August 22 to ( )('tober 17; c;i])tnre of Cumberland Gap. Septem-
ber 10; Knoxville camjiaign. X'^ovember 4 to December 21!. In
all these important nu)vements he was rei)eatedly mentioned for
courage and efficiency. Ra])idan. Virginia. May-June. 18()4;

Vol. I — 26


battles (if the AMIdcriiess, May .")-?; Spottsylvaiiia, May 8-11;
S])ottsyl\-aiiia Coiivt House, May 1:^-21; Cold Harlior, June 1-2;
Betliesda Clmrch, June 2-3 ; siege of Petersburg, June 16, 1864,
to April 2. 1865; Fort Stedman, jNEarcli 25; fall of Petersburg,
April 2; pursuit of l^ee and his army. April 3-9. In these he
was ofte)i mentioned in (?orps re])orts for courage and faitliful
service. On April 25, 1865, he resigned from the army and was
iioiiorahly mustered out of the service. Colonel Lydig, after an
honorable and useful life, died in NeAv York. 1868.

Colonel F^hilij) ]\resier Lydi'^ married, Octolier, 18(i5, Paul-
ine, daughter of Chailes A. :\U{\ (ieorgianna Louisa (Coster)
Hcckshei'. Their ouIn' i-iiijd was

IMnli]! .Mesier Lydig (tlu- third of the name, horn on the
L>diu estate on Bronx river, .Vugust l(i, LS()7. He entered
Har>'ai(l Lniv(>rsity. graduating in LS8i). Huring the war with
Spain he was <'ommissioued captain 1»y I'resident ^IcKinley, ^iay
17, ISDr. and served as chief connnissary, artillery brigade, and
as chief and iturcha^ing connnissarv at Honolulu, Hawaii, and
was sent, heiore his resignation took effect, to France to make
a report, for which he received the thanks of the War Depart-
ment. He resif^tied July 1, 18f)!l.

('aptaiu Lydig married, l!)!t2, Rita de Alliay de Acosta.
daughter of Hicardo de Acosta and ^licaela Hernandez y de
Alba. Her father is a well known merchant of Havana and Xew
York, and ^Irs. Lydig is a descendant of the de Alba family,
famous m the history of Spain.





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Online LibraryWilliam S. (William Smith) PelletreauHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 26 of 26)