Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meeting 1.3.2008 of the Seaford Historical Society

Each time I attend a meeting of the Seaford Historical Society, I am impressed how the individuals who lead this organization show cordiality and competence. They welcome newcomers and strangers. They know the order and timing of the program, and they run the meetings well.
Harrison Hunt, historian and author of books on our Civil War, presented an excellent slide show, with narration, on Long Island's participation in that sad conflict (1861-1865). I have several pages of notes, but I will present items in my own order, attempting to begin with Seaford and move outwards.
1) The Seaford men who served in that war tended to be farmers and baymen, as these were the principal occupations. [Recall that the place name "Seaford" comes almost twenty years after the war.] We were part of the Town of Hempstead [town hall being in Hempstead], but the county was Queens and the draft board of 1863 met in Jamaica.
2) Apparently, the individual names of men from hereabouts who served in the war might be found in an 1890 census of Civil War veterans. Most seemed to have joined Company H of the New York 119 Volunteers. As Mr. Hunt addressed the Civil War from a Long Island viewpoint, instead of Seaford only, he did not provide individual names.
3) Moving a half-mile west of Seaford: The Wantagh Fire Department displays a bell from a Civil War warship outside its building on Park Avenue.
4) In North Bellmore, African Americans who served in the Civil War are buried in the Oakfield Road cemetery.
5) In North Wantagh, the cemetery on Wantagh Avenue (now adjacent to the church of St. Frances de Chantal) contains the grave of a doctor who served in the war and died there by disease, as many participants died.
6) Mr. Harrison displayed a photo of David Allen from Jerusalem (North Wantagh) in the Zuave uniform some regiments used. One must remember that the U.S. Army numbered fewer men than the volunteer regiments.
7) Delancey Floyd Jones served in both the Mexican War and the Civil War. A biography is in Wikipedia. A description of the Floyd-Jones of Massapequa (South Oyster Bay) is here.
8) In the early 1830's, having graduated from West Point, George Meade did survey work for the Long Island Rail Road, probably in Brooklyn or Queens, as the railroad began expansion eastward from Jamaica in April, 1836.
9) Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee were both stationed at Fort Hamilton sometime.
I may edit this post further. Corrections are welcome.

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