In 2001 and largely due to the Internet, Hitchcock descendants who now live all across America began a correspondence. Through their efforts Richard’s vandalized gravestone was replaced with a military marker on Flag Day, 2003 in a moving ceremony, attended by several descendants of Richard and of his brothers from as far away as California and as close as Scipio.
Two of those brothers had also served their adopted country in the American Civil War. Fred Hitchcock, later a furniture maker with a shop in Aurora, NY who is buried in Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn, enlisted in April of 1861 at the age of 22 in the 19th NY as a substitute for John H. Osborne, and was subsequently “veteranized” into the 3rd NY Artillery, and mustered out in July of 1865. The 19th, as the 75th, was mainly composed of Cayuga County men. Fred’s wartime injuries were minor although he did spend some time in a hospital during the War.
James Hitchcock enlisted in the 44th NY Volunteers, also known as “Ellsworth’s Avengers” in October of 1861 when he was 20 years old. Wounded in battle at Hanover Courthouse, and again more seriously in July of 1862 at Malvern Hill when a minie ball struck him in the chest and another broke his leg, James’ gallantry on the field is described and his picture shown in the book “History of the 44th” by Eugene Nash. James received promotions and eventually served the 44th as their Quartermaster Sergeant, participating in holding Little Round Top at Gettysburg among many other battles. He was mustered out with his regiment in 1864, and returned to live out his remaining years in Scipio as a farmer, also holding the post of Justice of the Peace for 25 years. James died at the age of 89 in 1930 and is buried in Ledyard’s Evergreen Cemetery. James was my great-grandfather.
This band of 3 brothers, living in this country and this county just a bit over 10 years, chose to follow their convictions and make the personal sacrifices that enlistment could require and gave years of their lives for their new country. All three spent time convalescing at some point during the War; none of the 3 were the same man who left Cayuga County when they returned.
Their sacrifices helped to shape our values and our country.