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the old survey-town.ship of Delft, — No. 12 of Scriba's pat-
ent. Since that time no new town has been organized, and
West Monroe is still the youngest of the Oswego County

By the United States census of 1840 the total population
of the county was forty-three thousand six hundred and
nineteen, an increase of only five thousand three hundred
in five years. This showed the result of " hard times" very
plainly, for during the semi-decade from 1830 to 1835 the
iiicrcjusc had been over eleven thonsand.



It was not until 1840 that the Oswego County Agricul-
tural Society was organized, that event occurring on the
1st of February in that year. The first president was N.
G. White, and the first fair was held at Oswego, coni-
mencing on the 7th of the following October. For fifteen
years the location of the fiiir was changed each year. A
more full description of the society will be given farther on.

With the new decade the condition of the county began
slowly to improve ; yet it was several years ere it had
fairly recovered from the " hard times." From about
1844, however, until 1857 was a season of very general
prosperity. The log houses almost entirely disappeared.
The old red frames which in early times had been the resi-
dences of the most prominent men in each rural district
now looked shabby and forlorn beside the handsome white
form-houses, with green blinds, which rose in every direc-
tion. The cleared ground was extended on every side, and
the greater part of the county took on all the characteristics
which distinguish an old from a new country. The com-
merce, too. which passed through the Oswego canal, Lake
Ontario, and the Welland canal continually

The appearance of the lake, too, at least in
changed with that of the land. Where once the broad ex-
panse had been broken only by the solitary canoe of the
savage, and later by the occasional bateau of the fur-trader,
now schooners and sloops and brigs swept in rapid succes-
sion befoi-e the breeze over the rippling surface, deeply
loaded with the grain of Canada and Ohio and Michigan,
and of still more distant fields, or bearing in return the
manufactures of the east and the immigrant of Europe.

Among these white-winged burden-bearers, too, was often
seen the dark cloud of smoke which denoted the presence
of the less picturesque but more rapid steamboat, crowded
with passengers of the better class, for whom, before the
completion of the Central railroad, the Lake Ontario steamer
was the principal means of summer travel. The " United
States," the " Bay State," the " Northerner," the " Onta-
rio," the " New York," the " Cataract," the " Niagara,"
and numerous other steamers navigated the lake, landing
and receiving passengers at and from Oswego by thousands,
and freight by hundreds of tons. The first propeller on
the lakes was built at Oswego, in 1842, by Sylvester Doo-
little, of that place, — now the proprietor of the Doolittle
House, — and numerous others speedily followed.

Meanwhile, however, another son of steam had been
born ; another agent had taken its place among the instru-
ments of modern civilization, destined apparently to surpass
the canal, the steamboat, and all the other methods of trans-
portation previously known. A company had been formed
to build a railroad from Oswego to Syracuse as early as
1839, and a route was surveyed the same year. But the
times were not propitious, and nothing moi-e was done for
over seven years. In March, 1847, the company was fully
organized under the name of the Oswego and Syracuse
railroad company, and work was begun the same season.
During that and the succeeding years the enterprise was
pushed rapidly forward. In October, 1848, it was com-
pleted, and the iron horse every day went screaming up
and down the west bank of the Oswego, where not so very
long since the Indian war-whoop had sounded ; where Eng-

lish and French and Americans had met in deadly conflict ;
where the burden-bearing squaw had been succeeded by the
ox-cart ; the ox-cart by the stage-coach ; the stage-coach by
the canal-boat ; and where now the valiant captain of the
passenger-packet saw his brief reign brought to an untimely
close by the advent of the locomotive engineer.

The Rome and Watertown railroad company showed a
much longer hiatus between its organization and the begin-
ning of its labors. The former was accomplished in 1832,
but it was not until November, 1848, that work was actu-
ally commenced at Rome. In the autumn of 1849 the
road was completed to Camden, Oneida county. The next
year the most of the work in Oswego County was done, and
in May, 1851, the road was in running order to Pierrepont
Manor, a short distance north of the county line. This
road crossed the towns of Amboy (barely a corner), Wil-
liam.stown, Albion, Richland, and Sandy Creek, and fur-
nished a market to a large section of the county which had
previously been almost without one. On being subsequently
extended to Watertown, it took the name of the Watertown,
Rome and Ogdensburg i-ailroad.

Another public work of this era was the improvement of
the Oneida river. In 1846 a steamboat was placed on
Oneida lake, and the dwellei-s on its shores began to hope
for a renewal of the old times when that was the great
route of western travel and commerce. An appropriation
to improve the navigation of the river was obtained from
the legislature. A coffer-dam was built at Fort Brewerton
to deepen the channel. A lock was also built at Coughde-
noy, four miles below Fort Brewerton, and another at Oak
Orchard creek, five miles farther down. This furnished
ample means of communication between lakes Oneida and
Ontario, but has not resulted in diverting any great amount
of travel from the Syracuse route.

In this period, too, some one, tired of the terrible roads
of those days, conceived the idea of covering some of the
principal ones with four-inch plank (as being cheaper than
turnpiking or macadamizing them), the expense to be re-
paid by tolls. In 1845 a charter was granted for a com-
pany to build such a road from Salina, Onondaga county,
to Central Square, in the town of Hastings, Oswego County.
In 1846 the road was completed, being the first " plank-
road" built in the United States. This example was soon
followed in other localities, and for a few years there was a
mania for building plank-roads all over the country.

Nowhere was it more prevalent than in Oswego County.
The Rome and Oswego plank-road company was orgauized
in 1847, and the road, running through Scriba, New Haven,
Mexico, Albion, and William.stown. was built immediately
afterwards, being finished in the spring of 1848. During
the following summer it was crowded with business. Large
numbers of passengers came down the lake from the west,
landed at Oswego, took the stage to Rome, and thence went
eastward by rail. Others fi-om the east went over the same
route in the opposite direction. Five coaches were fre-
quently dispatched from Oswego the same morning, each
with nine passengers inside and eight outside, besides the
driver, making eighty-five passengers in all. Nothing
could be more exhilarating than a ride on the outside on
a fine day. With the sun shining brightly, and the air



full of vigor, the four spanking horses went at a rattling
gait over the smooth new road, whirling the deliglited pas-
sengers over hill and dale, past smiling farms, pleasant vil-
lages, and cool-looking groves, and landing theiu at Rome
after a ten-hours' ride of unsurpassed excitement. But all
the while the iron horse, as has before been said, was
making his way down the Oswego. Coaches went out to
meet him as he approached, and when, in October, 1848,
he came screaming into the new city, the great stage-route
was destroyed, so far as through travel was concerned.

The Oswego and Syracuse plank-road was begun in
184S. It ran from Oswego, thirty-two miles, to Liverpool,
Onondaga county, connecting there with a road to Syra-
cuse. The Oswego, Hannibal and Sterling plank-road,
built about the same time, ran from Oswego to Hannibal,
with a branch to Sterling, Cayuga county. The Oswego
and Hastings Centre plank-road was begun in 1849. The
Williamstown and Pulaski plank-road was another of the
productions of this period, while stiil another ran from
Constantia to FuTton. All these roads have been given up
so far as the plank part was concerned. The worn-out
planks have been removed and the toll-gates abandoned.
Railroad rivalry has ruined some of them, but the general
cause of their failure has been the rapid destruction of
their material under the wear of travel. Besides, as the
county progresses, the people can afford to make bettor
gravel-roads, and do not so much feel the need of any other

As railroads advanced the stages gave way. Yet as late
as 1857 there was a daily line from Oswego to Pulaski ;
another from Oswego to Kasoag ; another from Oswego to
Auburn, and still another from Oswego to Richland Sta-
tion, — while a tri-weekly ran from Oswego to Rochester.
Across these ran other routes, — south from Pulaski to
Brewerton, and thence to Syracuse and northward to
Watertown, etc. In twenty years nearly all have passed
away, — an occasional tri-weekly or semi-weekly route tra-
versed by a Concord wagon, with a span of horses, only
emphasizing more thoroughly the loss of the staging glories
of the past.

By the census of 1850, the population of the county was
sixty-two thousand one hundred and ninety-eight, an in-
crease of eighteen thousand five hundred and seventy-nine
over that of 1840. Business was evidently looking up. In
1854 the celebrated reciprocity treaty was entered into be-
tween the United States and Great Britain, by which
nearly all the natural productions of British America were
admitted into the United States free of duty, as were those
of this country into those provinces. By the operations of
this treaty the business of the Oswego canal was largely in-
creased. This, of course, increased the business of Oswego
city and the villages along the canal ; and these, again, by
furnishing a better market, and causing a general financial
activity, promoted the welfare of the towns. The imports
of the port of Oswego became by the close of 1860 more
than four- fold what they were in 1854.

The census of 1860 showed a population in Oswego
County of seventy-five thousand nine hundred and fifty-
eight, an increase of thirteen thousand seven hundred and
sixty during the decade.

This was a handsome, though not as large as
that of the previous decade. But the events of that and
the succeeding years put in the background questions of
increase of business and population, and concentrated tiie
thoughts of all American citizens on subjects of vital and
instant import;ince.

The election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidencj- by
the Republican party, in the autumn of 1860, was followed
by the revolt of seven southern States, while four others
stood ready to join them at the first excuse, and all the
rest of the south was exceedingly dubious in its loyalty.
The rebel Confederacy was formed. Treason organized its
forces and sharpened its weapon.s, and no power could be
found in the constitution to prevent the destruction of the
nation. The citizens of Oswego County, like all the h>yal
north, looked on with astonishment and anger. Thus the
winter and the early spring wore away, and all was rips for
a terrific explosion.



First War Me

ig— The Twcnty-fuurth Itegii

No portion of the Empire State exhibited more patriot-
ism, or responded with greater alacrity to the president's
call for volunteers, than the county of Oswego. The light-
ning had scarcely fl;ished along the wires, convoying the
intelligence to the expectant north that Major Anderson
and his gallant band had surrendered as prisoners of war,
when a meeting was held in the city of Oswego, April 16,
1861, and measures adopted for the immediate fin-raation
of a regiment. Recruiting was rapidly pushed forward,
and on the morning of April 26, 1861, a company, under
the command of the intrepid John D. O'Brien, who was
the first captain of volunteers commissioned in the State of
New York under the president's first call for seventy-five
thousand troops, proceeded to Elmira. His was the first
company to rendezvous at that subsequently celebrated sta-
tion. They found nothing prepared for them, and while
barracks were being erected wore tpiartered in a barrel-fac-
tory. While here they were joined by Companies B and
G, under command of Captains Edward M. Paine and
Frank Miller. These three companies established a mili-
tary encampment, and assumed the pomp and circumstance
of war.

The following companies soon after reported at Elmira,
and on the 17th day of May, 1861, were mustered into the
United States service as the Twenty-fourth Regiment, New
York State Volunteers, by Captain Sitgreaves, of the United
States Army : Company D, from the town of Parish, under
command of Captain Molzar Richards, subsequently lieu-
tenant-colonel of the Twenty-fourth Cavalry ; Company E,
from Volney, Captain Orville Jennings ; Company F, from
Oswego city. Captain Archibald Preston ; Company G,
IVom Sandy Creek, Captain W. D. Ferguson, subsequently
majir in the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth llegimeut ;



Company H, from A''olney, Captain Albeit Taylor, after-
wards major of the Twenty-fourth Cavah-y ; Company I,
from Oswego city, Captain Levi Beardsley ; and Company
K, from Ellisburg, Jefferson county, Captain Andrew J.
Barney, who was subsequently promoted to major.

The following were the regimental and line ofiBcers :

Colonel, Timothy Sullivan ; Lieutenant-Colonel, Samuel
R. Beardsley ; Major, Jonathan Tarbell ; Surgeon, J. B.
Murdoch, M.D. ; Assistant Surgeon, Lawrence Reynolds,
M.D. ; Adjutant, Robert Oliver, Jr. ; Quartermaster,
Charles T. Richardson ; Chaplain, Rev. Mason Gallagher.

Line Officers. — Company A, Captain, John D. O'Brien ;
First Lieutenant, Samuel H. Brown; Second Lieutenant,
Daniel C. Hubbard.

Company B, Captain, Edward M. Paine ; First Lieuten-
ant, B. Hutcheson ; Second Lieutenant, William L.

Company C, Captain, Frank Miller ; First Lieutenant,
John Rattigan ; Second Lieutenant, William L. Peavey.

Company D, Captain, Melzar Richards ; First Lieuten-
ant, Severin Beaulieu ; Second Lieutenant, William Wills.

Company E, Captain, Orville J. Jennings; First Lieu-
tenant, Richard J. Hill ; Second Lieutenant, Ten Eyck G.

Company F, Captain, Archibald Preston ; First Lieuten-
ant, Patrick Cleary ; Second Lieutenant, Thomas Murray.

Company G, Captain, William D. Ferguson ; First Lieu-
tenant, Calvin Burch ; Second Lieutenant, Henry B. Corse.

Company H, Captain, Albert Taylor ; First Lieutenant,
Henry Sandorel ; Second Lieutenant, Edson D. Goit.

Company I, Captain, Levi Beardsley ; First Lieutenant,
Theo. Dalrymple ; Second Lieutenant, Noi-man Holly.

Company K, Captain, Andrew J. Barney ; First Lieu-
tenant, John P. Buckley ; Second Lieutenant, Jonathan
R. Ayers.

After being uniformed and equipped the regiment pro-
ceeded to Washington, via Baltimore, marching through
that rebellious city with loaded muskets and bayonets fixed.
They first encamped on Kalorama Heights (Mud Hill), and
soon after marched to Meridian Hill, where they remained
until the battle of Bull Run, disciplining and perfecting
themselves in the school of the soldier.

On Sunday, the 21st day of July, 1861, was fought the
disastrous battle of Bull Run. During the day the boom-
ing of the guns from that sanguinary field was plainly
heard in the camp of the Twenty-fourth, and at the close
of the day an order was received to move to Chain Bridge.
Night had already set in when the regiment marched to the
arsenal and exchanged their Springfield muskets for the
more effective Enfield rifle. While preparations were being
made during the night, an order came to move to Fort Al-
bany, about three miles distant from Washington. On the
morning of the 22d the First Oswego Regiment steadily
and beautifully marched down Fourteenth street, in Wash-
ington, and, notwithstanding the heavy shower there was
falling, they were cheered and animated by the waving of
hats, handkerchiefs, and small flags, which were occasionally
to be seen along the march through the not over-loyal capital
city of our country, and nowise disheartened by the retreat-
ing and demoralized forces in full flisiht from the scene of

our first defeat. In twos and threes and larger groups they
met the Garibaldi Guards and other regiments, with broken
weapons and lost accoutrements, and bleeding with wounds,
filled with dismay and tidings of disaster, with stories of
pressing hordes of Black Horse Cavalry, — men without
oflBcers, and ofiicers without men. It was any other than a
cheering prospect for the members of the Twenty-fourth,
but, never daunted, they passed them by with words of
encouragement and pressed to the front.

At Bailey's Cross-Roads the regiment was deployed as a
picket guard, and through the night rested on their arms, —
the only organized force between the victorious Confederates
and the city of Washington. An occasional shot exchanged
during the night told to the pursuing and victorious army
that it had met with a barrier to its further progress.

During the following three weeks, without a tent, blanket,
or baggage of any description, the Twenty-fourth held the
picket-line, and awaited the organization of the scattered
army. It is a part of the history of this regiment, and
merits mention, to state that while ■ statiolied at the cross-
roads it was supported by two guns of Sherman's battery,
and when, at the close of the three weeks, it was relieved
by another regiment, its discipline and bearing was in such
marked conti'ast with that of the Twenty-fourth that the
ofiicer commanding the battery deemed it no longer safe to
remain on the outpost, and retired within the earthworks.

On being relieved they encamped in the pine-woods, and
soon after on Arlington Heights, where they were brigaded
with the Fourteenth New York (Brooklyn Zouaves), the
Twenty-second and Thirtieth New York Volunteera, and
some three months later the Second United States Sharp-
shooters, under the command of General Keyes.

During the fall the regiment broke camp and moved
to Upton's Hill, where they built Fort Upton, and passed
the first winter. During the winter Brigadier-General
Keyes was relieved by General C. C. Augur in the com-
mand of the brigade. While here General McClellan
assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, and the
Twenty fourth at once entered upon a life of dress-parade
and reviews, held in awe by the ominous-looking Quaker
guns at Manassas and Centreville. In the spring of 1862
the grand Army of the Potomac moved. The Twenty-
fourth advanced to Bristoe Station, where they remained
about one week, and then marched to Catlett's Station, six
miles farther west. Here began its severest duty and
heavy marching. They started for Fredericksburg, and,
after a weary march of twenty miles, halted, and had
scarcely divested themselves of their accoutrements when
they were startled by a rifle-shot immediately in front. It
was soon learned that a Federal sharpshooter in the van of
the brigade bad shot a courier for refusing the countersign,
and upon his body was found an order requiring the com-
mand to press forward. There was no time for questions
or delays. They immediately pressed forward, and on the
following morning reached Falmouth, where they had an
engagement with the enemy, defeating and driving them
across the Rappahannock river. The artillery at once
opened a destructive fire, dislodging the enemy and driving
them from the river. The Twenty-fourth was warmly re-
ceived in Falmouth by the colored population, who lined the


I on eitlier hand, and as the troops marched through,
with fla^ flyhig and the bands phiying "Dixie," could but
clasp their hands in thankful prayer, while some upon their
knees, with tjars streaming down their black faces, ex-
claimed, " Bress da Lj'd ! Bress de L )'d ! I knowed ye
was comin", and here ye is." They had endured one of
the severest marches of the campaign, and, in consequence
of the condition of the roads, and the incredibly short time
in which it was made, received from the commanding gen-
eral the name of the "Iron Brigade," a designation worthily

Camp-life at Falmouth was varied by frequent inarches
and countermarches from camp to Spott.sylvania and Front
Royal, in Shenandoah valley, to intercept Jackson and
liis raiders. While camped at Falmouth this brigade
pjtssed from the command of General Augur to the com-
mand of General Hatch, the son of a former Oswegonian,
M. P. Hatch. The command of the division pas.sed from
General McDowell to General King, the former assuming
command of the corps, and General John Pope the Army
of Virginia. By these changes the Twenty-fourth became
the senior regiment of the First brigade and First army
corps of the army, which they maintained until the First
corps was terminated by the exjiiration of term of service
of the two-years' men.

General Burnside relieved them at Fredericksburg, and
they marched to Cedar Mountain, where Pope fought the
battle of Cedar or Slaughter Mountain. From this place,
August 9, 1862, commenced what is known as Pope's re-
treat, the First Oswego Regiment occupying the post of
honor, the rearguard. About this time was fought the
battle of Sulphur Springs, in which the Twenty-fourth
Regiment was under fire, supporting a battery of artillery.
At times the cloud of dust that betrayed the position of
the foe was plainly seen, and oftentimes was uncomfortably
near. At Rappahannock Station the regiment was under
fire, and Company B, being deployed as skirmishers, beheld
without protest the planting of a rebel battery ; the first
shi)t from which killed a man in Company D. After an
artillery duel, which lasted during that day and part of the
next, the march was taken up along the main thoroughfare
known as the Warrenton turnpike, and continued until
August 28, when Gainsville Wiis reached. Here commenced
a series of engagements known in history as the second
battle of Bull Run.

The following was the po.sitiou of the opposing forces:
The Army of Virginia, numbering forty thousand strong,
under General John Pope, was in retreat towards Mana.ssas
railroad, for the purpose of forming a junction with General
McClellan. Pope was closely followed by Stonewall Jack-
son, with an army of thirty thousand ; while General
Longstreet was pressing up the valley of the Shenandoah,
his objective point being Thoroughfare Gap, in Bull Run
mountain. Pope in the mean time thought to arrest Jack-
sun by decoying him to press our retreat until Franklin's
division, hourly expected from Alexandria, could attack
him in the rear, and thus destroy Jackson before Longstreet
could arrive with his force. The latter, however, was one
day's march nearer the Gap than General Pope had sup])osed,
and when he charsxed Jackson, that wily general drew in

his flanks, thereby leading Pope to believe him in retreat,
who rapidly pressed forward, with the assurance that
Franklin would soon open a rear attack. Franklin, how-
ever, was not there, but Longstreet was with his force of
thirty thousand men, and the entire army under the com-
mand of General Robert E. Lee.

During the night of the 28th of August, the Twenty-
fourth supported Gibbon's brigade. Some time during the
night word w;is silently passed that the enemy had out-
flanked them, and were close on them both front and rear.
In the dead hour of the night, silently and stealthily King's
division crept out from between these superior forces. Not
a sound was heard as on a double-cjuick they escaped from
this trap, marching upon the soft sod and in the grass until
daylight brought them to Manassas Junction. After a
brief halt at this point they proceeded to Ccntreville.

At five o'clock in the evening of August 29, 1862,
General Pope, •believing that Porter was advancing, in
compliance with orders sent him, ordered an attack on
Jackson's right, supposing it to be the right of the entire
Confederate force in the field. The attack was made along
the Warrenton turnpike by King's division, then com-

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