Posted tagged ‘33rd NY Infantry’

A Wicked Affair: The Story of Clum & White, Part 1

July 8, 2011

Even as a boy he had been trouble.  As a man, the bad reputation followed him still, and it was well deserved.  Edward F. Clum had gotten into scrapes with the law in more than one state, but this time he couldn’t escape.  There was a hangman’s noose with his name on it.

Ed Clum was born in Germantown, New York in July 1844. His father, Ferdinand, was a well-to-do farmer who was highly regarded in the little community of Walworth, New York, where Ed grew to adulthood.  Yet Ed was a wild child whose temper could not be curbed.  His parents despaired of him, and had hoped Ed’s older brother, Chauncey, would be a good role model.  Then the war came and Chauncey went off with the 33rd New York Infantry to fight.  It took him two weeks to die, two agonizing weeks of pain from the wound he received at Antietam.  Chauncey couldn’t help Ed now.

Ed most probably knew John Jay White even before they enlisted in Co. B, 9th New York Heavy Artillery together.  After all, they lived just two miles apart in Walworth.  Ed and Jay even enlisted in the 9th on the same day – December 7, 1863.  To all who knew them, they were an odd pair.  Ed was coarse, and would have been forgettable had it not been for his bad temper.  Jay was more refined, more intellectual, and had a charm that belied his inner demons.  Who would have suspected that this singular friendship would lead to murder?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of A Wicked Affair!

Greenvale Cemetery Tour – Saturday, May 7th at 1:00 p.m.

May 4, 2011

Beautiful Greenvale Rural Cemetery sits beside the canal in the village of Fairport, New York.  On Saturday, May 7th, I’ll be conducting a tour of Greenvale to introduce residents to a few of the nearly forty Civil War soldiers buried here.  After the war, many of these veterans became leading members of Fairport society and of G.A.R. Post 211. 

The tour begins at the Gazebo in Kennelley Park at 1:00 p.m. where a member of the Fairport Museum will lead the way to Greenvale Cemetery.  Once the group arrives, I’ll get the tour underway beginning with the grave of Samuel Larwood of the 33rd New York Infantry.  We will weave our way through the cemetery and hear tales of cavalry troopers, infantry soldiers and a drummer boy before ending the tour at young Shadrick Benson’s final resting place.

This Illuminated History Greenvale Cemetery tour is held in conjunction with the Fairport Merchants Association and the Fairport Museum.  We hope you can join us!

Picnic at the Polyandrium

July 8, 2010

Last week, my children asked to go on a picnic.  “Sounds like fun,” I replied.  So we packed up a picnic lunch and off we went.

“Where are we going for our picnic, Mom?  Are we going to the playground?” my son asked.  I couldn’t help but snicker.  Which child would be the first to guess our secret picnic location?  It turned out to be my oldest daughter.  As soon as we turned onto Golf Avenue she stated, rather timidly, “We’re going to the cemetery, aren’t we?”  I was surprised it took them so long to figure it out.

“You guessed it!  We’re going to Pittsford Cemetery for our picnic!  Won’t that be fun?”  The lack of an enthusiastic response hinted that perhaps a cemetery wasn’t their idea of a perfect picnic spot.  As we drove around the bend and parked on Maple Avenue beneath the shade of the large trees, their leaves swaying gently in the summer breeze, the kids perked up a little.  My original plan was to picnic by my Cook boys, Nathan and William, who died within weeks of each other in 1862.  However, their graves were in full sun so we settled in the shade just north of the boys, in front of the Knickerbocker plot.

As lunch and drinks were distributed, I told the kids about the time I met my Dad at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on Lake Avenue and how we lunched at the grave of his Uncle George.  That is one of my favorite memories because Dad really opened up and talked about his family.  In the Victorian era, it was common for people to picnic at cemeteries.  They would stroll the lovely grounds and picnic by their loved ones who had passed on.   It was not considered at all odd or morbid as it seems to most people today.

After lunch was over, we cleaned up and then made the rounds to water the flowers I had planted for Memorial Day.  As the kids fed the flowers, they learned a little about Edwin J. Armstrong of the 33rd New York Infantry and his brother, James, who was a brakeman on the railroad.  The graves of Buckley and Frederica Bacon were next, followed by their son, Lieutenant Colonel Howard R. Bacon, a veteran of both World Wars, and his wife Elisabeth.  I told my children about William & Nathan Cook and their young siblings – Charles, Hannah, Mary Augusta and Ella. 

When we got in the van and started out of the cemetery, a smile lit my face as I heard my little one say, “Bye Nathan.  Bye William!”  These soldiers will be remembered, not only by me but by my children.  Mission accomplished.

Greenvale Cemetery Tour – June 8, 2010

June 8, 2010

Nathan C. Jeffrey, 54th Massachusetts Infantry

What a beautiful evening for a walking tour of Greenvale Cemetery in Fairport, New York!  Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the perfect weather while hearing the incredible stories of the Civil War soldiers who permanently reside there.

We began our tour with Samuel Larwood of the 33rd New York Infantry before moving over to meet Nathan C. Jeffrey, the young soldier who served under Colonel Robert Gould Shaw in the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry.  Chester Hutchinson of the 108th New York Infantry amazed everyone with his own description of the wound he received at the Battle of the Wilderness.  The sad story of Charles E. Moore, musician in the 108th New York, followed.  He was just 17 years old when he died of disease.  Charles will not be forgotten.

The “white bronze” Hitchcock monument was next.  It has truly stood the test of time.  The 6th Michigan Cavalry was represented at Greenvale by Doctor Daniel G. Weare, who “looked like a preacher though he could swear like a pirate.”  John D. Kohler of the 140th New York Infantry preceded Joseph S. Kelsey.  Joseph assisted his sister and brother-in-law, Josephine Martha Clarke and Oliver P. Clarke, as caretakers for Mount McGregor, the cottage where President Ulysses S. Grant spent his last months and ultimately died.

Frederick Prouse and the strong military influence in his family were discussed next.  Two of Frederick’s grandsons, Lyle Prouse and Dean Shaw, both served during WWI.  A great-grandson, another Lyle Prouse, was a radio operator on a B-29 bomber during WWII and died when his plane crashed on Iwo Jima.  We then discussed Andrew Abrams, who lost his leg at the Battle of Petersburg, and his brother-in-law George C. Taylor who established the Fairport Herald in 1872.

Everyone was so patient as we overran our time to discuss George S. Filkins, Alanson W. Pepper, William H. Jerrells and Simeon Pepper Howard before ending with Shadrick Benson of the 3rd New York Cavalry.  Special thanks to Alan Keukelaar, Vice-President of the Perinton Historical Society, for setting up the tour, and to Laurie T. Hall and Katie Profitt for their assistance.


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