Saturday, February 7, 2009

NYS Archives CIvil War Records

Because I was in the middle of listing the names of Scipio men who served in the Civil War, I sent away to the NYS Archives to see what they could add to my knowledge.
I have checked many websites, and have some information from the National Archives,, rootsweb, Sons of Union Veterans - the list is extensive so I really didn't expect to learn much but it was only $3.00 so I sent in the form.
I asked for records on my 2 great-grandfathers, James Benton Hitchcock and Frederick Augustus Peckham. I knew that James had 2 brothers who also served and I asked for information on them, as well as one of the Scipio names, Alfred Burlew.
I wanted to compare what I got to the Town Clerk and other records that I have.

The info is good, showing enlistment and muster in and out dates; rank and company, place of birth and age, occupation and identifying facts such as height, color of eyes and hair. But the best part is the remarks section.
For example, my great-grandfather's paperwork was thorough, covering his enlistment and enrollment, and eventual promotion following a stay in a convalescent camp in Virgina for recovery from taking a minie ball in his knee at Malvern Hill. It was inaccurate about his place of birth (England) instead they had listed Seneca Falls, which is where he lived at his enlistment. I did learn he was a stove maker at that time, so I was pleased since I don't know much about his Seneca Falls years.
Next I reviewed the paperwork from James' brother, Frederick Hitchcock. Fred ran a furniture and upholstery shop in Aurora for many years, so I was not surprised to see his occupation listed as upholsterer. I also knew he was a private in the 19th Infantry, later changed to the 3rd Artillery; a story for another day.
What I was surprised to learn was that Fred was sick in a hospital in Rochester, NY for 2 months before being mustered out. I also did not know that he had gray hair at the age of 26, and served as a substitute for John H. Osborne.
A person could pay someone else to serve in their name during the Civil War; also a subject for more discussion another day.

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