Posted tagged ‘Sharpshooters’

Pioneer Burying Ground Tour

October 17, 2009
Thomas Wood, 108th New York Volunteer Infantry

Thomas Wood, 108th New York Volunteer Infantry

Thank you to everyone who came out today for the tour of the Pioneer Burying Ground.  Despite the constant rain, we had a nice turnout.

Pittsford Town Historian Audrey Johnson started the tour at the Lusk family plot.  I described how Sarah Hincher Davis Lusk was a pioneer in her own right as she, her six sisters, one brother and parents settled in 1792 the area now known as Charlotte, New York.  After Sarah’s father, William Hincher, died in 1817, her mother Mehitable Moffet Hincher sold 3 1/3 acres of land to the United States Goverment for $400.  In 1822, that land became the site of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse.  Sarah became a young widow when her first husband, Franklin Davis, died.  However, several years later she met and married widower Stephen Lusk and together they raised a family of 6 children.

Audrey Johnson then discussed the families of Doctor John Ray and Silas Nye.  From there, we headed to the northwest corner of the cemetery to investigate the lives of the Armstrong family.  Caleb Hopkins, the man who gave us the name Pittsford after his hometown of Pittsford VT, followed.  Then we passed by Josiel Farr and his wife Rebecca, whose was the first burial at the Pioneer Burying Ground in 1797.  Ultimately, we concluded with the sad tale of Sarah Wood Osgoodby’s children after discussing her brother, Thomas Wood, who served in the 108th New York Volunteer Infantry.

Unfortunately, the rain cut our tour short and we were unable to discuss the lives of Civil War soldiers Ezra A. Patterson of the 108th New York Volunteer Infantry and George Walters of the 1st Battalion of United States Sharp Shooters.  However, I intend to post Hero Highlights for each of them in Illuminated History in the future.

Audrey and I are already hard at work planning a Spring tour at the Pittsford Cemetery.  Please check my Cemetery Tours & Speaking Engagements page for information about this and other upcoming events.

Hero Highlight – William H. Cook, Battery H, 4th NY Heavy Artillery

October 3, 2009
William H. Cook, Battery H, 4th NY Heavy Artillery

William H. Cook, Battery H, 4th NY Heavy Artillery

I stopped by his grave on this crisp, sunny October day.   Tears fell as I remembered him on the anniversary of his death, for it was on this day, 147 years ago, that William Cook died.

William Henry Cook, Jr., was the second child of William Henry and Phebe Rose Terbell Cook.  They must have been so proud the day he was born.  Already parents to a beautiful little girl, Phebe Elizabeth, William was another wonderful addition to their family.  Little did they know that nearly 24 years later William would be taken from them forever, a victim of typhoid fever contracted just a few months after his enlistment in the 4th New York Heavy Artillery.

After the birth of William in October 1838, another 7 children would be born to the Cook family within a 21 year span.  William was followed by brother Edward, then Nathan, Mary Augusta, Mary Star, Charles, Hannah and Ella.  Sadly, four of these children died in infancy.  Maps of the time show the Cook land south of today’s Monroe Avenue near the intersection of current-day Sutherland Street.  Father William worked as a nurseryman and by 1860, William and brother Nathan were working as farm laborers. 

The Civil War must have seemed exciting to two young men who had probably not traveled very far from Pittsford.  Did William discuss his decision to join the Union Army with anyone?  How long did it take him to enlist once his mind was set to go?  We will probably never know the answer to these questions.  What we do know is that William enlisted in Battery C of the 4th New York Heavy Artillery on August 14, 1862.  Brother Nathan, four years younger than William, was selected to join the 1st Battalion of Sharpshooters after his enlistment on August 21.  And with kisses and tears from their family, the boys set off on their journeys.

William is mentioned in George Wiltsie’s wartime diary.  William and George were both in Battery C, but were asked to transfer to Battery H just one month after enlistment.  This they did, but the transition was barely completed before both young men fell ill with typhoid fever soon after arriving at Fort Pennsylvania.  George B. Wiltsie recovered, but William Cook died of the disease at Fort Ethan Allen on October 3, 1862.  If he had lived just one more week, William would have celebrated his 24th birthday.

I stopped by his grave on this crisp, sunny October day.  A beautiful day to remember a soldier who is forever young.

Pioneer Burying Ground Tour on October 17, 2009

September 15, 2009

Pittsford Town Historian Audrey Johnson and I are hosting a tour of the Pioneer Burying Ground in Pittsford on Saturday, October 17th at 10:00 a.m. 

Over 30 soldiers now permanently reside at the Pioneer Burying Ground.  Those soldiers served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.  During our October 17th

Pioneer Burying Ground

Pioneer Burying Ground

 tour, the lives of Civil War soldiers Ezra A. Patterson of the 108th New York Volunteer Infantry and George Walter of the 1st Battalion U.S. Sharpshooters will be illuminated.  We will also discuss several of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans, as well as other notable pioneers of Pittsford.

The Pioneer Burying Ground is located at the corner of South Main Street and Mendon Road in Pittsford.  A limited amount of parking spaces are available at the brick schoolhouse on Mendon Road.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared for rain.


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