Catt Co American Legions to Support CAMP’s Mission!

06-08-15, Exclusively for cattcomemorial.com by John Scarano, CAMP Web Master

On June 7, 2015 a Cattaraugus County, NY American Legion Convention was held at the Norton-Chamber Post 1434 in Hinsdale, NY at 1 PM. Attending Legion members voted on a resolution during the course of the meeting to support Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation in their effort to preserve the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building in Little Valley, NY. The resolution was passed by unanimous vote.

The American Legion resolution also calls for a copy of the resolution to be delivered to the Clerk of the Cattaraugus County Legislature as a declaration of the support from all 14 Cattaraugus County American Legion Posts. The resolution makes it clear that the American Legion opposes the destruction of any American War Memorial.

In addition to the resolution, the Convention agreed that petitions should be circulated throughout all Cattaraugus County Legion posts asking for the signatures of all Legion members as a second declaration of Legion support for the preservation of the Memorial Building.

The resolution carries the weight of over 2,100 current Cattaraugus County American Legion members.

The text of the American Legion Resolution (Click to enlarge photo and use your “Back” button to return to this page):

Am Legion Resolution

The American Legion Petition:

Am Legion Memorial Petition

Honor Guard Highlights CAMP’s Successful Memorial Day Activities

May 28th, 2015, Exclusively for cattcomemorial.com by John Scarano, CAMP Webmaster

Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) held its first Memorial Day Ceremony at the entrance to the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building at 11:30 AM on May 25, 2015. The grass roots organization also marked its first appearance in the Little Valley Memorial Day Parade.

A 5-man group of Civil War re-enactors from NY and Pennsylvania marched as an Honor Guard for CAMP in the annual parade. They were flanked front and rear by banner-carriers bearing banners asking for the community’s support in CAMP’s Memorial Building preservation effort. The re-enactors were Mark Lovelace for the 154th New York Volunteers, Chuck Copello, Bill Robertson, Doug Foster and John Stengel, all re-enactors for the 42nd Pennsylvania Regiment.

Several CAMPers, as CAMP members prefer to be called, canvassed the crowd of parade watchers who walked beside the Little Valley parade as it progressed down Court Street. They passed out brochures that detailed the plight of the Memorial Building and stopped to speak to many people who expressed interest in CAMP’s cause.

In the meantime, CAMPers, who manned a small booth near the entrance to the Memorial Building, engaged many parade watchers in conversation about the plight of an extremely historic building as they passed by it. (To date, CAMP is not aware of any other New York Civil War Buildings that are entirely dedicated to Civil War veterans.) Many of the inquiring passersby gladly signed a petition asking for the preservation of the Memorial Building.

A small crowd formed slowly as the start time for CAMP’s ceremony approached and numbered more than 50 individuals by the time the CAMP ceremony was scheduled to start. CAMP Chairman, Thomas Stetz, started the ceremony on time at 11:30 AM with his opening remarks.

When his opening remarks were finished, Mr. Stetz called for anyone in the audience who was a military veteran to identify themselves by raising their hands. One-by-one each of the several veterans present then identified themselves, their military branch and their military service. The audience applauded each veteran as they finished each of their brief speeches.

After recognizing the veterans present and veterans of all American Wars, Mr. Stetz led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with assistance by Noah Fuller, a boy scout from Little Valley who has a Cattaraugus County Civil War ancestor, Captain Henry A. E. Fuller. The pledge was followed by a stirring speech from Civil War Re-Enactor and CAMP member, John Stengel.

Mr. Stengel’s speech was followed by an impromptu speech by Retired Major Richard Williams of Salamanca, NY.  Major Williams spoke about his concern for the remembrance of Civil War veterans and of all United States military veterans. He also related a poignant story about a father and son who were killed in the same battle.

Major Williams was followed by Carl Edwards, Cattaruagus County Legislator for District 8. In his short and heartfelt speech he urged his colleagues to give CAMP enough time to study the Memorial Building and raise funds to preserve it.

Next, Mr. Stetz asked the crowd if there was anyone present who wanted to remember their Civil War ancestor. One-by-one again, many Civil War descendants from Cattaraugus County and beyond stood voluntarily before the crowd and announced with pride the details of their ancestor’s Civil War Service. A somber air fell over the crowd as they discovered how young many of the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors were when they gave their life for their country over 150 years ago.

The Remembrance section of the ceremony was followed by a recitation of his original poem, Brave Men with Tears, by Clark Casler of nearby Jamestown, NY. Mr. Casler wrote the poem specifically for the Memorial Building. He received a great deal of applause from the crowd as he concluded his reading.

Another somber moment followed as Gail Bellamy, dressed as a GAR Widow, and Honor Guard re-enactor, John Stengel, walked the length of the sidewalk leading up to the steps of the Memorial Building. Ms. Bellamy carried a Memorial Day Wreath in one hand. They were flanked by the remaining 4 members of the Honor Guard who stood at attention in two’s at opposite sides of the short flight of stairs that leads to the Memorial Building’s entrance. Together Bellamy and Stengel climbed the steps and placed the wreath on a stand at the front door in honor of all Civil War and other United States military veterans.

Following the placement of the Memorial Wreath, Mr Stetz closed the ceremony with a plea for support for the preservation of the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building. Lastly, he thanked all of those present at the ceremony for their interest in the Memorial and its preservation.

All said and done, it was a very fruitful day for CAMP as they were successful in drawing needed attention to the service of over 3,500 Civil Veterans from Cattaraugus County, New York. And, also, for the need to preserve an important part of Cattaraugus County’s history.

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Honor Guard Re-enactors 2a

The Civil War Re-Enactor Civil War Honor Guard. They are from left to right: Mark Lovelace (representing the 154th NY), Chuck Copello, John Stengel, James Blaylock and Doug Foster (all representing the 42d PA). Photo: CAMP Archive

 

CAMP Announces Memorial Day Ceremony

May 19, 2015, By Thomas Stetz, CAMP Chairman

Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) will be holding a Memorial Day ceremony on May 25, 2015 at the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building, located at the corner of Court Street and Seventh Street in the Village of Little Valley, NY.

This brief ceremony will start at 11:30 am following the Little Valley Memorial Day parade and cemetery ceremonies. Appropriate Memorial Day speeches and comments will be made with Civil War re-enactors as an Honor Guard. A wreath will be placed at the Memorial to honor the Civil War soldiers and sailors from Cattaraugus County to which this Memorial Building was dedicated in 1914.

Everyone is invited to join CAMP at this ceremony to honor the memory of the 3,500 brave Cattaraugus County Civil War veterans who fought in the War Of The Rebellion to preserve the Union.

Memorial Building Map

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CAMP’s Donation Page is Live!

April 30, 2015, Exclusively for CAMP by John Scarano, CAMP Webmaster

CAMP is pleased to announce that all interested parties may make donations to CAMP through its Donate page. Your donation will be processed through our CAMP Paypal account. The process is simple, secure and very easy. Your donation is not tax deductible at this time.

Be assured that your donation will be used completely for our Memorial Building preservation efforts. All members of CAMP are volunteers who receive no compensation for their work towards the restoration of the Memorial Building in Little Valley, NY.

Thank you for your interest in our cause!

American Legion Magazine Reprints Poignant Memorial Day Speech

This month’s American Legion Magazine has a reprint of the Memorial Day speech that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. gave on May 30, 1884, at the John Sedgwick Post No. 4, Grand Army of the Republic, in Keene, New Hampshire. Entitled, “Why Memorial Day,” his speech certainly explains the reasons we need to move forward to preserve our Memorial Building in Little Valley.

In his address Holmes recalls not only his own experiences of the Civil War but also exhorts his fellow citizens to see why the day has meaning to all of us in the United States, whether they fought or not.

He also said, “I believe from the bottom of my heart that our memorial halls and statutes and tablets, the tattered flags of our regiments gathered in the Statehouses, are worth more to our young men by way of chastening and inspiration than the monuments of another hundred years of peaceful life could be. But even if I am wrong, even if those who come after us are to forget all that we hold dear, and the future is to teach and kindle its children in ways as yet unrevealed, it is enough for us that this day is dear and sacred.” That portion of his speech seems to foretell what is happening here in Cattaraugus County where monuments are not remembered and not held sacred.

Preserving history is not really for our benefit. It is for the benefit of the generations that come after us. How can we define where we are going if we don’t have the foresight to preserve where we have been? As more and more Americans figure out their connections to family and events and places, what is there to attract them to see and to feel that history if all that exists are parking lots and rundown buildings? We have a great opportunity to preserve just a little piece of that history and for a lot of us, it includes our own family history

The full text of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s historic Memorial Day speech can be read at: http://people.virginia.edu/~mmd5f/memorial.htm

CAMP Receives Support from the Civil War Trust

CAMP Historian, Mark Dunkleman, received a letter of support from the prestigious Civil War Trust organization on April 21, 2015.  This letter of support is signed by Gary Adelman, Civil War Trust Director of History and Education. The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds.

In his letter that is addressed to CAMP Chairman, Thomas Stetz, Mr. Adelman states clearly that the Civil War Trust stands with CAMP in their efforts to preserve the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building. The Civil War Trust also recognizes the Memorial Building as a unique local monument dedicated to the service of Cattaraugus County soldiers and sailors in the Civil War. You may visit the Civil War Trust web site at: http://www.civilwar.org/

The following is a copy of the letter from Mr. Adelman. Please click on the images to enlarge them:

Civil War Trust Letter 1Civil War Trust Letter 2

CAMP Meeting is Set for April 15, 2015

CAMP is having its next meeting on Wednesday April 15, 2015  at 12:30 pm  at the Hughes Hotel,  129 Main St., Little Valley, NY (Phone: 716-938-6308)

Some CAMPERS get there early and have lunch. Come early for lunch and support this establishment.

CAMP plans for a Memorial Day Event will be discussed at this meeting. All are welcome to attend.

Hughes Hotel Map
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List of Cattaraugus County Civil War Sailors

Cattaraugus County Civil War Sailors

March 27, 2015, By Mark Dunkelman, CAMP Historian, Exclusively for cattcomemorial.com

The Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building was dedicated to the county’s Civil War soldiers and sailors. Almost 3,500 men served from the county, the vast majority of them as soldiers. But at least seventy Cattaraugus County men served in the Navy. This list is drawn from the rosters published in Franklin Ellis, editor, History of Cattaraugus County, New York (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 1879), and William Adams, editor, The Historical Gazetteer and Biographical Memorial of Cattaraugus County, New York. Syracuse: Lyman, Horton and Co., 1893). It names the sailor, his hometown, and in some cases, his ship, or notice of death in the service.

Adams, George W. Franklinville. Died of disease contracted in service.
Austin, Xina. Farmersville. Undine.
Banfield, George H. Hinsdale. Brooklyn.
Bannister, Adam C. Farmersville. Flambeau.
Brown, Patsy. Olean. Killed December 12, 1864, Bridgeport, Alabama.
Burch, Anson W. Portville.
Carpenter, Leonard. Farmersville. Undine.
Chadwick, Hosea N. Ischua. Transferred to the Navy 1862.
Chapin, Herbert F. Hinsdale. Cyane. Captured by the Alabama.
Cross, Hawley. New Albion.
Elmer, Austin W. Franklinville. Died of disease contracted in service.
English, John. Great Valley.
Frazer, James, Jr. Franklinville.
Freeman, Isaac. South Valley.
Gile, Merritt A. Hinsdale. Credited elsewhere.
Green, Henry F, Hinsdale. Credited elsewhere.
Green, Martin. Hinsdale. Credited elsewhere.
Groat, Jeremiah. Ashford.
Henry, William. Farmersville. Paw Paw.
Hogg, William. Franklinville. Paw Paw.
Holmes, C. W. Farmersville. Huntress.
Howard, Thomas. Farmersville. Undine.
Hutchinson, Daniel A. Carrolton. Brilliant.
Ingersoll, Hiram M. Hinsdale. Undine.
Jimeson, Cyrus. Salamanca. Native American.
Johnson, Francis E. Hinsdale. Credited elsewhere.
Johnston, William. Lyndon. Tara, Sincante, Carondelet, and Black Hawk.
Jones, Allen. Hinsdale. Credited elsewhere.
Laidlaw, William G. Franklinville. Tawa.
Latham, Russel. Franklinville. Died aboard gunboat Paw Paw, May 1865.
Leonard, Samuel J. Carrolton. Brilliant.
Lewis, Hiram. Hinsdale. Mound City.
Lockwood, James M. Hinsdale. Credited elsewhere.
Maloy, James. Great Valley.
McKee, Edwin. Hinsdale. Brooklyn.
McKinney, John J. Carrolton. Brilliant.
McVey, Archibald. Hinsdale. Montgomery.
Miller, Lamartine. Hinsdale. Credited elsewhere.
Murray, Thomas. Hinsdale. Brooklyn.
Newland, Thomas. Hinsdale. Paw Paw.
Nichols, James. Franklinvile.
Patterson, Samuel. Salamanca. Native American. Died at Belle Isle.
Perry, Charles H. Great Valley.
Persons, Daniel D. Farmersville. Paw Paw.
Pettitt, Stephen D. Hinsdale.
Randall, Addison. Olean. Brooklyn.
Reynolds, Buel. Franklinville. Died of disease contracted in service.
Reynolds, Cedric. Hinsdale. Paw Paw.
Rice, Abel. Ashford. Died at Philadelphia.
Ryder, Darwin. New Albion.
Scott, Bradner. Carrolton. Brilliant.
Scott, James. Lyndon. Undine and Huntress.
Searl, Walter. Franklinville. Tawa and Cincinnati.
Sessions, Albert. Farmersville. Undine.
Sherman, George. Otto. Re-enlisted in Navy. St. Louis.
Sherwin, Joseph B. Hinsdale. Undine. Killed on board the Undine in her engagement and capture on the Tennessee River, October 30, 1864.
Smalley, Leonard C. Napoli. John Adams.
Smith, Willard M. Portville. Vanderbilt and Brooklyn.
Valentine, Foster. Farmersville. Undine.
Wands, James B. W. Olean. Montgomery.
Warner, John. Great Valley.
Warren, Isaac. Hinsdale. Undine.
Weeks, Barzilla. Franklinville.
Wheeler, Thaddeus. Farmersville. Paw Paw.
Whipple, George D. Carrolton. Brilliant.
Williams, Charles P. Franklinville. Paw Paw. Died in action January 16, 1865, Memphis, Tennessee.
Wing, Charles. Franklinville.
Worthington, Jacob. Farmersville. Paw Paw.
Worthington, Sylvester. Farmersville. Undine.
Yarrington, Aury. Conewango. Transferred to Navy; died in hospital near Point of Rocks.

The Casler Memorial Poem

The following poem was written exclusively for the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building:

Brave Men with Tears

They have been silent now for many years,
Without talking or moving, but not without tears.

They are, on their next step of life’s sure game,
But residents of Cattaraugus County just the same.

Some have their name and rank carved in granite,
But others we know not where they may be present.

They are the many brave men, aged 18 to 44,
Who left family and all to go fight in the Civil War.

As patriots true and bold, they never received any gold,
But just some hardtack and hardship we are told.

Men they became within three years,
Those that made it home to see their peers.

For Cattaraugus County to remember them all,
They dreamed of a memorial that would never fall.

They wanted it fire-proof of brick and plaster,
In order to prevent a wood caused disaster.

A whole building with a museum it would be,
With artifacts and names of the men for all to see.

With a glass dome to light up heaven from the sky,
And see the stars at night, one for each man that had died.

It was in 1914 when they dedicated their dream,
A memorial that forever was supposed to gleam.

So why, then, the tears after one-hundred years?
Because we see our memorial bringing up the rear.

But all fruit eventually withers on the vine,
And even ivory piano keys yellow with time.

But when you cease to exist, you can no longer teach,
And our important history lesson will be out of reach.

Thus, to all, it should be quite clear,
It is their dream that we should hold very dear.

So once again let the marching bands sound aloud,
When all residents in the village felt so proud,

To welcome home our Billy Yanks who fought so hard,
For us to feel safe in our own backyard.

So is it not our duty to remember the favor,
Done for us by these fine soldiers and sailors?

Written by and posted courtesy of Clark Louis Casler, January 2015

Mr. Casler is a descendent of two Civil War veterans from the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry who are buried in the Randolph Cemetery located in Randolph, N.Y. As a professor of biology, writer and researcher, he has spent the majority of his life in Venezuela. He now resides in Jamestown, N.Y. where he grew up

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