Tuesday, July 16, 2013

horse of a different color

i think i mentioned that i had been in a cemetery in varick, NY.

besides the fossil, i also found the headstones of two men i thought interesting enough to photograph at the time.

stinson mcduffeeone of the guys had a lot of stuff on his headstone, including his two infantry units, which i thought might reveal an interesting story, and the other guy was listed as a corporal on his plain stone and often those guys have field promotions and there is something to learn.

so, first the guy with the two infantry units.

it's kind of a stylish headstone, not the usual veteran's benefit issue.
and we already know more or less the regimental history of the 148th infantry, because that's lemuel and james cross's  unit, although not the same company. he mustered in on 28 december, 1863 and when the larger part of the regiment's term of service was up he was transferred to the 100th infantry for the remainder of his time and was mustered out with that unit on 28 august 1865.

McDUFFIE, STINSON H.—Age, 18 years. Enlisted, December
26, 1803, at Varick, to serve three years; mustered in as private,
Co. D, December 28, 1863; transferred to One Hundredth Infantry, June 22, 1865.'

McDUFFEE , STINSON H.—Private, Co. D, One Hundred and
Forty-eighth Infantry; transferred to Co. G, this regiment,
June 23, 1865; mustered out with company, August 28, 1865, at
Richmond, Va.

the other guy, however, has kind of an interesting story. he is only listed on his headstone as a corporal, which may or may not be a political thing.

thomson barrickBARRICK, THOMPSON.—Age, 24 years. Enlisted, August 11,'
1862, at Albany, to serve three years; mustered in as corporal,
Co. E, September 25, 1862; wounded in action, July 2, 1863,
at Gettysburg, Pa.; discharged, March 26, 1864, to accept commission as first lieutenant in U. S. Colored Troops.

the 44th NY infantry regiment was formed as "ellsworth's avengers", and it's worth looking up who elmer ellsworth was. it's interesting, though, this sense of indignation that a soldier on our side might be killed in a war and have to be specifically avenged.

i think this is the same instinct that causes us in modern day to call everyone who is against us "terrorists".

new company E of the the regiment was formed primarily of students and graduates of the new york normal school, a predecessor of SUNY albany.

three men of this regiment were commissioned officers of US Colored Troops and it will be worth your time to read this article on the formation of those units and the obstacles they faced.

there's a photograph of the staff of this regiment, the white officers and in the background some of the black soldiers, and although the men are not identified beyond being the staff of the 39th USCT, it is likely that one of the lieutenants in this photo is thompson barrick.

so thompson barrick's headstone only bothers to list his service and rank with the normal school regiment and not his service or rank with the USCT.

paperwork oversight? political expedience? racial bias?

i don't know.

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