(Oneida, NY – Jan. 2013) In his program Letters to Home at Oneida Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m., Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz will reveal the bitterness, frustrations, homesickness, humor and gallantry of Madison County volunteers on the battlefields of the Civil War in their own words written home to family and neighbors.
As part of his bit to celebrate the Civil War Sesquicentennial, Urtz has scoured the county and made contacts around the state to retrieve and copy the surviving letters of the local Civil War veterans. He has also culled Civil War memoirs long out of print that provide contemporaries’ views of the principal letter writers.
Chief among them was Lt. Col. George Arrowsmith, who served in the 157th New York Volunteer Regiment from its mustering in September 1862 in Hamilton to his death at the Battle of Gettysburg at the age of 24. Arrowsmith, a graduate of Madison College (now Colgate), was a prolific writer and contributed a series of reports on the battles fought by the 157th to local newspapers.
Other letter writers to be featured are Col. Philip P. Brown (157th NYSV), Dr. Henry Carpenter (117th NYSV), William H. Clark (157thNYSV), Benjamin Nichols (1st Artillery) and Marlow Wells (157th NYSV).
Letters to Home is free and open to the public.
Pictured is Arrowsmith.