A Look Back in Time: How Some Cattaraugus County Men Went to War

How Some Cattaraugus County Men Went to War

Transcribed by CAMP Historian, Mark Dunkelman, from a clipping provided by William Watkins, Machias, New York

Cattaraugus Freeman,
Ellicottville, New York,
Thursday, September 26, 1861.
Departure of Volunteers for Elmira.
Correspondence of the Cattaraugus Freeman.

Waverly, Sept. 24, 1861.

Company C [64th New York Volunteer Infantry], under Capt. J. B. Maltbie, left Otto on the 19th inst. for Elmira. This Company numbered 55 men, was organized in about two weeks from the towns of Otto, East Otto and Mansfield, and composed of the most industrious, intelligent and respectable young men of those towns, who, almost at a moment’s warning have left their homes and business, and what is dearer than all their families and friends, to join the army to protect and maintain our Union.

Thursday was a very interesting day for Waverly. Capt. Maltbie called out his Company at 10 o’clock A.M. for drill, people came pouring in from every direction, and our village was soon filled to overflowing. The Captain marched his Company to the Green near the School House at half-past eleven, where the Rev. W. W. Norton, in behalf of the Ladies’ Aid Society of Waverly, presented each soldier with a copy of the Holy Bible . . . Immediately after this ceremony, Caleb Jewett, Esq., for and in behalf of the Ladies of Otto, presented the Company with a beautiful flag. He made some eloquent and deeply affecting remarks, which drew tears from the eyes of all who heard them. His remarks were responded to by Capt. Maltbie and Dr. Lake on behalf of the Company, returning thanks for this kindly token of remembrance, and asking that their families might not be forgotten, in their absence.

The Company was then marched to G. W. Skeels’ Hotel, where an immense table was spread with the necessaries and luxuries of life, and there the soldiers, surrounded by their families and friends, spent one hour with joy and sadness mingled together. The procession was then formed by Nathaniel Walker, Marshal of the day, and proceeded to Cattaraugus Station in readiness for the train. The procession numbered 138 teams well loaded. After bidding them farewell, we returned to our homes, and are now recruiting more soldiers for this Company. W. E. H.