September 23rd marks the 159th anniversary of the 149th NY Volunteer Regiment departing to join the Union Army of the Potomac in Harper’s Ferry VA. Robert Searing is curator of history at the Onondaga Historical Association. He tells us about how, from that date in 1862, more than eleven hundred soldiers of the 149th NY fought courageously in some of the most significant battles of the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg. Over the next two and a half years, the 149th NY Volunteer was among the most decorated infantry regiments in the Union Army, including five Medal of Honor winners.
Bob Searing talks about how the soldiers of the 149th NY fought courageously in some of the most significant battles of the war, including at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and the sieges of Atlanta and Savannah during General Sherman’s “March to the Sea.” Bob fills in details about landmarks you may have looked at many times, like the sculptures on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Clinton Square. And he remembers Medal of Honor winner John Kiggins of the 149th, who braved Confederate fire to hoist the American flag at the Battle of Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.
You can learn about this and other local history by visiting the Onondaga Historical Association’s museum at 321 Montgomery Street in downtown Syracuse. You can also check out the OHA website at CNYHistory.org, or connect with them on social media.