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Confederate town in New York

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by sf46, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. sf46

    sf46 Corporal

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    A while back I read an article in the Confederate Veteran, July/August 2007 edition, page 53 about the town of Town Line, NY that supposedly seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy in 1861. The article also states that the town did not officially rejoin the Union until 1946. The article seemed pretty credible with a lot of good information about the details, etc. I attempted to verify the story online, but can only find two sources. The first is this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_Line,_New_York#History and this publisher: http://www.nyfolklore.org/pubs/nyfq/voliino3.html that apparently has an article about it.

    Does anyone else know of this story or any other sources or info on it?
     

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  3. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    sf46,

    I am not sure, but I think this was brought up before on this forum many years ago.

    Sure would like to get some more information on it.

    I also seem to recall an article from long, long ago that stated the further one went North from the Ohio River in Ohio, the more one found people sympathetic to the South, or at least found more Democrats.:smile:

    Thanks for posting this.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  4. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    Interesting story, but I too could not find much information about this.

    It was a small village in upstate NY. I do not think Albany found out about this or they may have sent in the Fighting 69th to set those secesh straight.
     
  5. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dear List Members;

    I did a search of the Official Records of the Rebellion; Confederate Military History and Southern Historical Society; with negative results.

    Respectfully submitted for consideration,
    M. E. Wolf

    Only thing remotely close:
    Southern Historical Society Papers.
    Vol. XVII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1889.
    The Monument to General Robert E. Lee.
    [excerpt]
    THE LEE HOUSE--GREAT CROWDS BEFORE IT--INCIDENTS OF INTEREST.
    Several incidents of interest occurred before the "Lee House" prior to the hour for the procession to pass and afterwards. At about 10 o'clock the handsome body of New York veterans, with their Commander Colonel A. G. Dickenson and Adjutant-Major William S. Keiley, on their march down to the point at which they were to join the procession, halted in front of the "Lee House" with heads uncovered, whilst their elegant band played "Carry me back to Dixie." On their return from the monument after the exercises they made a graceful detour of the space in front of the house, and with hats raised and a bend of the head marched to the familiar air, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot," especially appropriate for those who having made homes upon other soil have returned to do honor to their mother State as to their loved commander.
    -----------------
    Southern Historical Society Papers.
    Vol. XVIII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1890.
    Robert Edward Lee.
    THE NEW YORK VETERANS. Their First Annual Dinner.
    The Confederate Veterans' Camp of New York gave its first annual dinner this evening in the great dining-room of the New York Hotel. The hall was tastefully decorated with the Stars and Stripes and in the centre there hung a portrait of General Robert E. Lee. The music during the dinner was rendered by the Confederate Veteran Camp quartette. The menu was engraved on satin paper and bound by love-knots of red, white and blue ribbon.
     
  6. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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  7. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    I think I heard about the secession, but I don't recollect reading about their joining the Confederacy

    In any event, apparently no one took the town seriously or, at least, paid no attention.

    Ole
     
  8. cedarstripper

    cedarstripper First Sergeant

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    The Wiki articke lists as one of the reasons for the 1861 secession vote was treatment of confederate prisoners at Elmira....which didn't even open for another three years.

    In 1861, while townships here in Western NY were busy filling their quotas for enlistments, I'm having a hard time imagining a small farming town voting to join the rebels.
     
  9. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    As the other link refers to folk lore, this seems...very fishy.

    Stranger things may have happened at times. But this seems very far fetched.
     
  10. elektratig

    elektratig Sergeant

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    This is a new one on me.

    I'd be skeptical. Hardly conclusive, but if you look at the map of county-by-county 1860 voting returns, Erie County apparently produced at least a 40% plurality for Lincoln (it's a little hard to tell the colors apart). So did every other adjoining county, every county in western and central New York, and every county in the northern tier of Pennsylvania. This certainly does not look like secession country.

    On the other hand, a county-by-county map of the 1864 election seems to indicate (hard to see, couldn't find a higher resolution) that Erie County went for McClellan that year, the only county in the area to do so. Odd.

    1860: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8d/1860prescountymap.PNG

    1864: http://geoelections.free.fr/USA/elec_comtes/1864.htm
     
  11. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dear Freddy;

    Lovely article link you posted.

    But, if memory serves me correctly; the article mentioned that General Sickles was at the Appomattox surrender. [Hummm...don't recall he was there or anywhere near.]

    Name SICKLES, Daniel Edgar
    Born October 20 1819, New York NY
    Died May 3 1914, New York NY
    Pre-War Profession Lawyer, politician, acquitted of the murder of his wife's lover.
    War Service 1861 raised the New York Excelsior Brigade, September 1861 appointed Brig. Gen. of Volunteers - not confirmed by Senate, re-nominated and confirmed as of September 1861, commanded 2nd Bde/2nd Divn/III Corps in the Peninsula campaign, Seven Days, commanded 2nd Divn/III Corps at Antietam, November 1862 promoted Maj. Gen. of Volunteers, Fredericksburg, commanded III Corps at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg (w), performed special missions for Pres. Lincoln, military governor of South Carolina.
    Brevet Promotions Brig. Gen. U.S.A. March 2 1867, Maj. Gen. U.S.A. March 2 1867.
    Post War Career Army service, US minister to Spain, US congressman.

    And I did read the full article; to which I understand General Longstreet was unable to attend, along with other notables.

    General Sherman was invited but did not RSVP--which the article relates that he may not have received it.

    I enjoyed reading about Col. Charles Marshall's speech about General Lee.

    Over all -- a wonderful article--even with some slight flaws. :smile:

    Just some thoughts.

    Respectfully submitted for consideration,
    M. E. Wolf
     
  12. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    I am glad you liked it. My guess is the reporter would have not known. He is quoting ex-Confederates who are remembering almost three decades after the surrender. My guess is they did not know Sickles lost a leg at Gettysburg and was not given a field command after the battle.
     
  13. cedarstripper

    cedarstripper First Sergeant

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    Not entirely different from today. Erie county and downstate tend to vote one way (today its Democrat) while the rest of the state tends toward the other. Urban (and ethnic) vs rural, I suppose.

    While the hamlet of Town Line was in Erie county, it was a rural farming community like all of the communities surrounding it. That it would secede in 1861 while its neighbors were mustering for service is practically inconceivable. The townsfolk couldn't have all possibly got THAT drunk one night and made a motion.
     
  14. sf46

    sf46 Corporal

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    Perhaps I'll buy the book listed as one source to see what further information or resources it may contain (if any). And yes it does seem a bit far fetched, which peaks my interest, as I love trivia.
     
  15. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    Recently, I discovered a distant ancestor, one Michael O'Brien, who left NY and went South. He fought for the Confederacy and was not heard from again.
     
  16. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brigadier General Moderator

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    I've read a lot of diaries from New York troops and never once heard this mentioned..And with the way the men were writing about the people in the draft riots in NYC and the Copperheads; if they had heard of the treason from this town and it seceeding Im sure it would have been wiped from the map...
     
  17. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Major Retired Moderator

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  18. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Captain

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    It was like boldly declaring, the Income Tax law is Unconstitutional and do not have to pay it. You can talk all you want, but..... .
     

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