Submitted by Judy Silberstein
For decades, Mamaroneck’s Civil War veterans were presumed lost – no one remembered them or their sacrifices. But on Sunday, April 23rd at 3:30 PM in the Larchmont Village Center at 121 Larchmont Avenue, John Jay Professor Ned Benton of Larchmont will present newly recovered information that begins filling some important gaps in our local history.
The villages had yet to be incorporated, but in the 1860s, the Town of Mamaroneck was a thriving community. J. Thomas Scharf explained in an 1886 history; “I regret much that there is no reliable official record accessible of the names of men, bona fide residents of the different towns in the count, who enlisted therefrom and died in the service.”
“That is not the case anymore,” says Professor Benton, a Larchmont Historical Society member.
Using rediscovered documents in Mamaroneck Town and recently digitized military records available on the internet, Professor Benton has been able to learn much about the local Civil War soldiers.
He credits Mamaroneck Town Clerk Christina Battalia and her staff for their assistance in finding important old files. They found the town’s original record of the 1862 draft that listed all eligible young men, including those who had already enlisted.
Professor Benton’s presentation on April 23rd will focus on three infantry regiments of “Fire Zouaves” (the NY 5th, 11th and 73rd) consisting mostly of volunteer firefighters from New York City and the surrounding area, including Mamaroneck.
The 11th was led by Colonel Charles Loeser, who years after the war lived in the Larchmont Manor House. The 5th included Private Lucius B. Watson, who is buried in the Gedney Cemetery in Mamaroneck, and Corporal Nicholas Hoyt, a Mamaroneck fisherman.
The program will honor these and others whose contributions can now be appreciated.