Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rochester Royals 1951-52

My birthday (in June) present from my oldest son, an autographed picture of the 1951-52 Rochester Royals of the NBA.
Front row: Sam Ranzino, Bob Davies, Ray Ragelis, Red Holzman, Bob Wanzer
Back row: Arnie Johnson, Joe McNamee, Arnie Risen, Jack Coleman, Odie Spears

And those of you from Rochester will recall that at that time the Royals played at the Edgerton Park Sports Arena (next to Jefferson High School), probably the smallest arena in the NBA.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Draft Riots of 1863 - Continued

Earlier I did a post concerning the Civil War Draft Riots of 1863. At that time Rochester's 54th Militia Regiment and the 13th Volunteer Regiment (the Old 13th) were called up to go to New York City to help  put down the rioting.  Both regiments went as far as Albany but the rioting in New York City ended before they went on to the city. Following are Rochester newspaper articles from that period.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 14, 1863, p. 2

The 54th Regiment N.Y.N.G. Under Marching Orders
Brigadier General Williams received this forenoon a telegram from Inspector General Miller to hold his Brigade ready to march on receipt of further orders.  The 54th Regiment, which numbers at present some 300 men, is the only available force General Williams has.  While we write the members of the 54th are being "warned out."  They will assemble at the Armory, probably there to await further orders.  Their destination may be New York to assist in quelling the mob.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 14, 1863, p. 2

ATTENTION—The Field Staff and Line officers of the 54th Regiment are specially requested to meet at the room of Co. "D" this evening at 6 o'clock precisely, on business of importance.  A full and punctual attendance is desired.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 14, 1863, p. 2

ATTENTION, GRAYS!—All members and volunteers of the Rochester Union Grays are requested to appear at the Armory of the Grays at 8 o'clock P.M.  By order.
Rochester, July 14, 1863.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 15, 1863, p. 2

THE ROCHESTER GRAYS AND THE NEW YORK PORTS—From correspondence published between the militia of Albany and the State military authorities, it appears that Gen. Wool has all the troops he desires at present for garrisoning the forts of New York city.  If this be true, the Rochester Grays, who have been ready at any moment for several days to march at the word of command from the Governor, will not have a chance right away to enjoy a sixty days visit in forts erected for the protection of the Metropolis.  We opine that the boys will be disappointed at the turn things have taken.  The Grays have the satisfaction of knowing that they did their duty.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 15, 1863, p. 2

ELECTED CAPTAIN—Major Wanzer, late of the 27th regiment, was last evening elected Captain of the Rochester Light Guards, 54th Regiment, N.Y.N.G.  The Major was a member of the Guards before he entered the service of the United States, where he acquitted himself with credit.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 15, 1863, p. 3

No Telegraphic Communication with New York
For the past two days telegraphic communication has not been had with New York.  The rioters destroyed the line in the city and would not permit it to be rebuilt.  We understand that lines leading in other directions have been similarly served.  We received no report at 9 A.M. yesterday or to-day, and no 4 P.M. report yesterday, but hope for something this afternoon.  The 2 P.M. report from the east yesterday was made up from the New York evening papers and forwarded from Albany.—The Western news was received direct from the West.  Private dispatches are transmitted via Syracuse, Binghamton, and Jersey City.

The New York mail with last evening's papers due this morning failed to arrive; a fact indicating further trouble on the Hudson River Road, the cars of which run down only to Spuyten Divil Creek, the upper boundary of the city.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 16, 1863, p. 2

The 54th Regt. N.Y.N.G. and 13th V.R. Art. Depart for New York
About 9 o'clock last evening Brig. Gen. Williams received a dispatch from Inspector General Miller, stating that his command would be ordered forward at once.  Col. Marshall, of the 13th Heavy Artillery, which numbers some 300 men in camp on Lake Avenue, also received like orders.  Subsequently Gen. Williams received another dispatch ordering the soldiers to leave on the 12:30 train this morning.  The prearranged signal on the City Hall for the men to assemble at the Armory was struck, and at once there was "hurrying to and fro" of armed men through the streets.  Everything was ready but transportation and the men chafed somewhat at the delay.  About 11 o'clock a dispatch was received from Supt. Vibbard of the Central Road, saying that cars for the regiments could not be furnished before this morning and ordering the train carrying the soldiers to follow the 7:25 Express train.

At 6 o'clock the cars were ready and at 7 o'clock Col. Marshall's regiment, with about 200 men in line, were at the Depot.  It was nearly 9 o'clock before the 54th Regt. made its appearance at the Depot, when the cars were speedily filled and the train started.

The 54th numbered 400, and with the Heavy Artillery made a force of 60 men, who have left for New York.  Col. Marshall's men are without arms; they will be supplied with them at New York.  The Grays, (artillery,) attached to the 54th, did not take their guns—they will be furnished with a battery in New York.  This Company had, prior to the riot in the Metropolis, been ordered there to garrison the forts.—The company has been recruited nearly to the maximum number, going off this morning with 100 men.  Col. Clark is in command of the 54th, and Gen. Williams accompanies them to New York.  As the regiments passed through Exchange and State street to the Depot this morning they presented a fine appearance, and they will doubtless give a good account of themselves if called upon to quell the mob.  The 13th Heavy Artillery is mainly composed of old members of the 13th N.Y.V., who were engaged in every battle in Virginia since the rebellion commenced up to Burnside's massacre at Fredericksburg.  TheNew York mob will find them ugly customers to deal with.

We give below a list of the commissioned officers and the number of men in each company in the 54th Regiment:

Colonel—C. H. Clark.
Lieut. Colonel—Fred Miller.
Major—Nathaniel Thompson.
Adjutant—G. S. Stebbins.
Quartermaster—M. C. Mordoff.
Surgeon—Dr. Wm. H. Briggs.
Captain—W. M. Lewis.
1st Lieutenant—Thomas Barnes.
2nd Lieutenant—M. R. Quinn.
3d Lieutenant—Wallace Darrow.
Ninety-one men.
Captain—I. S. Hobbie.
1st Lieutenant—E. K. Warren.
2nd Lieutenant—A. Rosenthal.
3d Lieutenant—Cyrus Beardsley.
Sixty men.
Captain—______ Spohr.
1st Lieutenant—Adam Young.
2nd Lieutenant—John N. Weitzel.
Forty men.

Captain—Geo. G. Warner.
1st Lieutenant—J. Eichorn.
2nd Lieutenant—Chas. L. Vredenburg.
This company has forty men and is commanded by Lieut. Eichorn.

Captain—L. Sellinger.
1st Lieutenant—John G. Betzel.
2nd Lieutenant—M. Sellinger.
Thirty-five men.

Captain—Warner Wescott.
1st Lieutenant—A. Sawtell.
2nd Lieutenant—Gershom Wilborn.
Forty men.

1st Lieutenant—J. W. Wren.
2nd Lieutenant—J. C. Smith.
Forty men.

Captain—W. T. Kennedy.
1st Lieutenant—Frank Hayden.
2nd Lieutenant—Frank J. Amsden.
Thirty men.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 17, 1863, p. 2

THE 54TH REGIMENT—For anything that we learn to the contrary, the 54th Regiment must have arrived in New York this morning.  At Jordan, near Syracuse, the engine drawing the train carrying the regiment broke down, causing a delay of a few hours.  It is quite probable that the 54th will not see service in putting down the mob.  That it may be detained there a few days is possible.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 18, 1863, p. 2

THE 13TH AND 54TH REGIMENTS AT ALBANY—On the arrival of the 13th and 54th regiments at Albany, they received orders countermanding the ones received previous to leaving this city, ordering them to New York.  The regiments were provided with arms and quarters at Albany, and will probably remain there for a few days.  The 54th were not supplied with rations when leaving here, and consequently the men were in a half famished state when they arrived at the Capital.  They were partially supplied with rations by order of Col. Marshall, commanding, from the haversacks of the 13th Heavy Artillery.  Subsequently the military authorities at Albany provided them with food.  Their arrival at Albany was considered quite opportune by the citizens of that place, as fears were entertained that an outbreak was imminent there, and there was no local military force on hand sufficient to suppress a riot, should it be a formidable one.  The infantry were supplied with Springfield and Enfield rifles, and the Grays were to be provided with howitzers.  A correspondent in another place furnishes details of the movements of the regiments since leaving the city.
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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 18, 1863, p. 2

TO REMAIN IN THE CITY—A telegram for Gov. Seymour, orders the Dragoons, the flank company of the 54th Regiment to remain in the city.  This sets at rest the report that the Dragoons would be going to Albany this evening.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 18, 1863, p. 2

From the 13th and 54th Regiments
ALBANY, July 17th, 1863
One O'clock A.M.
EDITORS UNION:—The 13th and 54th Regiments arrived here yesterday at about half-past nine o'clock and marched to the Arsenal, where we found the citizens consulting, on our arrival, on the safety of this city.  I learned that mob violence was proposed here last night, and the citizens were fearful that the State Arsenal would be attacked by the mob.  So you can see that the appearance of the regiments were a "God send" to the Albanians, for I understand they have no troops here upon whom they can depend.  The 25th Regiment, which is reported 600 strong, was called upon to protect the Arsenal, but less than 100 responded to the call.

As I write this (one o'clock A.M.) I understand that a mob is on the road from Troy to help the mobocrats of Albany along.  I think if they do come they will meet with a warm reception, and they will find it no boy's play.  There seems to be no little excitement in the city, and every word that is dropped is made into a mountain before it gets much of a circulation.

Captain Sullivan of the 13th, who is officer of the day, has just ordered 40 rounds of ball cartridge to his men, who are fully prepared for the "fray."  Lieut. Betzel of the "Union Guards," is officer of the guard.

In our haste to report at the Capitol for duty, some of the companies of the 54th neglected to prepare rations for their men.  In this emergency Col. Marshall kindly divided with the boys, and for which three companies at least wish to return thanks.

I wish here to say one word about the deserters from the 54th—the stay-at-home portion of it.  Company "R" has several such, and unless they report forthwith, they will be ordered under arrest, as they certainly should be.

The Quartermaster of the Arsenal has done all in his power to make us as comfortable as possible, for which he and his gentlemanly assistants will ever be held in kind remembrance by the officers and men of the 54th.  The report is that we go to New York by boat in the morning.  What truth there is in the report I cannot say.  Some also say we are to remain in Albany until further orders.  So you can see we are yet in the midst of uncertainties as to our destination.  When we move I will apprise you of the fact.

The Regiment numbers about 400 officers and men.  The Grays alone report 117 men.  The Dragoons are non est, but are to report to-morrow, I believe.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 18, 1863, p. 4

ALBANY, July 17th.—The 13th Volunteer Artillery and the 54th Militia arrived here from Rochester.  The order to proceed to New York has been countermanded.  Similar orders to the 46th, Oneida Co., and the 51st, Onondaga Co., were also countermanded to-day.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 20, 1863, p. 2

The 13th and 54th Regiments
We find the following in reference to the 13th and 54th Regiments in the Albany Journal of Saturday evening:

The troops from Rochester are to remain in the city until further orders.  The 13th artillery under Col. Marshall, is quartered at the Arsenal, and the 54th, Col. Clark, at the City Hall.  In the absence of the military authorities, there has been some delay about a proper supply of rations; but sufficient arrangements are now perfected.

Such of the troops who came here without arms, have been supplied.  The admirable appearance and soldierly conduct of the men, excited general attention.

The following card from the Mayor of Albany contains some things which may be of interest to the friends here of "our boys:"

CITY HALL, July 18, 1863
To the citizens of Albany:
I am informed that some evil disposed persons are circulating a report in the city that the draft is to take place here on Monday next, and that the soldiers that are now at the City Hall are fresh troops sent here to guard the wheel on that day.
The report is entirely false.  No draft has been ordered in this city, and none will take place (if at all) until due notice is given.

I take this opportunity to inform the citizens that the soldiers now at the Hall are the same who were ordered by the Governor from Rochester to the city of New York, and came to this city two days ago, and that no transportation could be given them on the evening they arrived.  They were ordered to remain here until his return.

As many of them as could be accommodated were sent to the Arsenal, and the remainder to the barracks, but owing to the filthy condition of the sleeping departments at the latter place, and the bad food that was offered them, they left the premises to take lodging at the City Hall until further orders are received from the Governor of their disposal.

                    ELI PERRY, MAYOR.

Letter received here yesterday from members of the 54th state that the impression prevailed there that the regiment would be ordered to New York this (Monday) morning.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 21, 1863, p. 2

The Rochester Military at Albany
A call at Albany yesterday enabled the writer to visit the quarters of the 54th Regiment now in that city.  This regiment is at City Hall in comfortable quarters, free from the vermin and filth which drove them from the Barracks to which they were assigned when they went to the Capital.  They sleep upon the floors of the building on blankets, and take regular meals twice each day at the best hotels of the city.  The men are in good health, as Dr. Briggs, the Surgeon of the Regiment, reports, and they appeared to be in excellent spirits.

The deportment of this regiment, its appearance on parade, and the conduct of its members in the streets is the subject of much praise from the Albanians.  It is gratifying to the pride of a Rochester man to hear the remarks of the citizens of Albany in reference to the 54th.

Captain Newman's fine Cornet Band attached to the regiment is a card of attraction, and as it discourses its eloquent music from the balcony of City Hall thousands gather about to listen, and while marching with the regiment through the streets of the city its melodious notes fall pleasantly upon the ears of the people.

Col. Clark and his staff are not idle while at the Capital, and if the 54th does no more than exert a moral influence in restraining those disposed to disturb the peace, it will not be an idle journey that it has made.  The Regiment has been supplied with Springfield muskets of the best quality, and with ammunition in liberal quantity.  The Grays have some excellent howitzers, and a full company to handle them in case of need.

Quartermaster Mordoff has been indefatigable in attending to his duties, and the officers and privates of the Regiment cannot find language that will fully express their approbation of his conduct.  It is proper to state, in this connection, that the line officers and men of the 54th are well pleased with the regimental and staff officers, and nothing has been omitted on their part which could conduce to the comfort of the soldiers.

When the Regiment arrived at Albany it was marched to the Barracks, some two miles out of city, and there invited to take lodgings in a place that a decent dog would not accept as a kennel, and fit only for swine.  The officers and men at once decided that they would not sleep in such a place and would return to the city.  Col. Clark told them he would stay with them while they remained and get a better place as soon as possible.  He did so, and soon after the Regiment went to City Hall, where it is now quartered.

The 13th artillery, Col. Marshall, are quartered at the armory, we believe, and doing well.

On Sunday night there was an alarm, and the men of both regiments were called to arms.  It is said that the cause of the alarm was the arrival of a number of "roughs" from New York, in the 11 o'clock train.  It was reported that they had come to lead in a riot at Albany, and preparations were made to meet them.  It afterward appeared that the suspicious characters were only fleeing New York.—Having been "spotted" by the police as participants in the late dreadful scenes in the metropolis, they deemed it discreet to withdraw to the country for a time.  The appearance of these characters at Albany, at a time when the public mind was sensitive, was calculated to alarm, and it is not strange that a sort of panic ensued.  Albany has no military force whatever of her own, and the sole dependence was and still is upon the Rochester regiments.  Col. Clark was called from his bed about midnight by Colonel Marshall, who is the ranking officer, and both regiments were soon ready for anything that they might be called to do.  No mob appeared, and after being in line two or three hours, the soldiers rested upon their arms till the return of day gave assurance that no foe was near.  An outbreak in Albany at that time would have been a rash undertaking on the part of ten thousand unarmed men.  Six hundred sturdy soldiers fully armed, with a battery of howitzers well shotted, could have held them in check, and subdued them without difficulty.  It is hoped that our gallant young men will have no occasion to show their metal in such an encounter, and we do not believe they will in Albany.  If the nervousness of certain prominent citizens of the State capital is an indication of the feeling there, danger certainly is not absent from Albany.

How long our troops will remain at the Capital, no one in authority there could tell yesterday afternoon.  The commandants had no other orders than to remain at Albany, and they had no intimation when orders would be given.  Speculation was rife, and it was the impression that the 54th would return to Rochester ere many days.  All thought of going to New York has been abandoned, as there were troops enough there.

Rumors of threatened disturbance in Rochester had reached Albany, but caused no sensation whatever among the soldiers.  No one appeared to think the regiment was needed at home, and the probability of any disturbance here was no even entertained.
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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 21, 1863, p. 2

THE 13TH OR 14TH HEAVY ARTILLERY—Col. Marshall's Regiment, now at Albany, has elicited much commendation from the citizens for its good appearance, and it deserves all the praise it has received.  The men have been furnished with Springfield rifles, to be used in case of emergency.  But the regiment is not full, and there is a fine chance to get it now.  A bounty of $552 is paid to each man who enlists.  Go in, boys, and get bounty enough for a small farm.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 21, 1863, p. 2

ROCHESTER DRAGOONS—Some inquiry having been made as to the reason why the Dragoons did not go to Albany with the 54th Regiment, we are requested to state that they remained at home under orders, and not from any disposition to evade the performance of any duty which they might be called upon to perform.  We do not regard this explanation as necessary in this community, where the corps is known, but make it at the request of the commandant.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 22, 1863, p. 2

The Fifty-fourth Coming Home
A special dispatch to this paper from Albany, states that the 54th Regiment leaves this noon for Rochester.  It will probably arrive between eight and ten to-night.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 22, 1863, p. 2

Our Regiments
                        ALBANY, July 18—18 o'clock M.
As anticipated, the mobocrat story about the Trojans coming down to take the State Arsenal was a great humbug.  I understand that some of the officers, who intended to stay downtown, go an inkling that the rioters were intending to seize all officers found out of the protecting care of the boys, skedaddled on a double-quick for our quarters, so as to be within the fostering of the regiment.  But as I said before, the whole thing ended in smoke—and nothing else!

The regiments, as an entity, after sleeping on the floor, rolled in their gray blankets, over night, are all right.  If our Rochester friends could have witnessed the scene presented in our quarters last night, and this morning by the "bould soldier boys," writing to the wives, daughters, sisters, sweethearts and the "dear girls left behind," they would have been not only astonished but amused, for every available spot was appropriated that could be found to scribble a few lines, with pen or pencil, to the "loved ones at home."

Yesterday afternoon we were marched to the barracks, and to-day we made up our minds that "Camp Louse" was no place for us.  The lice were so numerous that on the band playing, in the evening, they (the lice) formed not only in regiments, but in brigades, and paraded themselves in fine style, giving us a fair warning of their strength and readiness to attack, successfully, all intruders, especially those who encroached upon their rights.  They were of a size to reflect great credit on the keeper of the barracks here, and would cause no grumbling, in this respect, for I think they cannot be beaten by any west of New York city, even if they can be comparable.

"Camp Louse" was considered a very nice place for some, but we of the 54th failed to appreciate the fact.  We are under lasting obligations to the committee, consisting of Lieutenant Colonel Miller, Major Thompson and Surgeon Briggs, who were appointed by our preserving and indefatigable Colonel Clark, who, though green as yet, has proved himself equal to any and every emergency, for the promptness with which they succeeded in getting our release from one of the dirtiest and meanest camps in the Union.  This may be strong language, but I have nothing to take back in saying what I have in this matter, for I consider such barracks, and the rations furnished thereat, a lasting disgrace to any State.  And I have every reason to believe that the citizens of Albany, who, by the by, have done all in their power to administer to our comfort, are fully aware of the fact here stated, as his Honor, Mayor Perry, stated to us.  A hog pen is a palace in comparison to the eating or messing room of "Camp Louse."  The contractor of the post need not leave camp to furnish fresh meat for the men, for that is already furnished at no expense in the "limebacks" which are always to be found in great abundance.

His Honor Mayor Perry is entitled to great credit for the kindness and respect which he has paid to the every want of the 54th Regiment, and his name is never mentioned by any member of the regiment but with expressions of thanks for the interest he has taken in our welfare.  Our thanks are also due to the City Marshal.  We can truly say to our "friends at home," nothing has been left undone by the city authorities to make our stay pleasant and agreeable.

Our Quartermaster (Ald, Mordoff) is entitled to great praise for the promptness with which he has performed his every duty, though a new hand at the bellows, and this being his first camp.  He has emphatically proved the "right man in the right place."  In speaking of the officers of the 54th, I must say that the field, staff and line officers have all done their duty, with credit to the city from which they hail.  Col. Clark takes hold of the work manfully, as do also Lieut. Col. Miller, Maj. Thompson, Adj. Stebbins and Dr. Briggs.

                            MONDAY, July 20, 1863
Last night the regiment were under arms all night, fearing a riot.  The Grays at 12 o'clock were ordered from the City Hall to the Arsenal, and to prepare two howitzers with ten rounds each of grape and canister.  The will with which the whole regiment moved, showed that the men were ready and willing to do their duty.  They were in line within fifteen minutes after receiving orders.

The first battalion parade was had this P.M., under Lieut. Col. Miller, which elicited the approbation and admiration of the Albanians.  The maneuvers of the men were executed with that promptness and soldierly bearing, which has ever characterized the regiment.

The Grays now mess at Stanwix Hall, and a finer man never lived than the host of the St. Stanwix.  Mine host, Col. Rider, truly "knows how to keep a hotel."  Our friends at home who may wish or have business in this city, will find a first class landlord in Col. R., who is gentlemanly and courteous to his visitors.  When we say this much, we know from experience, what we say to be true in every respect.  The infantry companies are messed at Congress Hall.
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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 22, 1863, p. 2

MAJOR GAUL ON THE ALBANY BARRACKS—Major Gaul in command of the Albany Barracks, where the 54th were sent to quarter, is out with a letter denying that the barracks were filthy or the food bad, as stated Mayor Perry.  This Major Gaul says:

The true cause of the difficulty arose from the fact that while a portion of the troops from Rochester were quartered at the Arsenal and boarded at the "Delevan," the remaining were sent to the barracks and treated as United States soldiers.

The description of these barracks as we had it in detail from those who were there, is too sickening to hear or to publish.  Every straw picked up from the floor was alive with vermin.  As to the food, Dr. Briggs, Surgeon of the 54th, informed us that he tasted it and found that it was unfit for man to eat.

Major Gaul probably knew about as little of the real condition of the barracks as a man in California.  It cannot be possible that he would make the statement he has, if he had been there.

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Rochester, NY Union & Advertiser: July 23, 1863, p. 2

Return of the 54th Regiment
The 54th Regiment, Col. Clark, arrived here at 1 o'clock this morning and marched with Newman's Band to the armory.  All the evening till a late hour there was a large congregation at the Depot, awaiting the arrival of the Regiment, and several staid till the arrival.  At the corner of State and Buffalo streets the Regiment halted, came into line, and Adjutant Stebbins read the following:

Albany, July 22nd, 1863
Special orders No. 411

I.The 54th Regiment National Guards of the State of New York, Col. Charles H. Clark, commanding, is hereby relieved from duty in this city, and will proceed to Rochester, N.Y., and report to Brig.-Gen. John Williams, commanding 25th Brigade, National Guard of the State of New York.

II.The prompt response of this regiment to the necessities of the public service, together with the efficient and soldierly discharge of all duties, calls from the Commander-in-Chief his thanks for the timely service rendered by the regiment.

III.Assistant Quartermaster Rider will furnish the necessary transportation to Rochester.
By order of the Commander-in-Chief,
            JOHN T. SPRAGUE
            Adjutant General

MAYOR'S OFFICE, July 21, 1863
Col. Clark of the 54th Regiment, N.Y.S.M.:

DEAR SIR:—In behalf of the citizens of Albany, I take this opportunity of expressing to you and the officers and members composing the Regiment which you have the honor to command, their heartfelt thanks for the prompt manner in which the call of the Executive of the State was obeyed by the Regiment when ordered to the city of New York.  And while detained in our city you will please accept my thanks for the kind and courteous manner which the officers and members of the Regiment have shown by their gentlemanly conduct as soldiers while here toward our fellow citizens.

With my sincere desire for the health and prosperity of yourself and Regiment in future.
    I remain Sir, truly with much regard,
        Your obedient servant,
            ELI PERRY, MAYOR

The people assembled gave the regiment cheers and it was then marched to the Armory and dismissed.

Our soldiers came home bearing the highest testimonials to their good conduct from the Albany people and press, and bringing Springfield muskets and two howitzers for the Grays.

The Journal of yesterday says:  The 54th (Rochester) Regiment, Col. Clark, who have been in this city for a few days, returned home at one o'clock today.  While here, they have behaved like gentlemen, and they take home with them the thanks and best wishes of our citizens.

The following resolutions were adopted at a meeting of the regiment in Albany:

Resolved, That the thanks of the officers and soldiers of the 54th Regiment of the National Guard of the State of New York be, and the same are unanimously tendered to his Honor Mayor Perry, of this city, and Capt. Rider, for the courteous and gentlemanly manner in which they have treated the Regiment while in this city—doing all in their power to make our stay pleasant and agreeable.  Also our thanks are due to the City Marshal for the promptness with which he has ministered to our wants.
Resolved, That the above be signed by the Chairman and Secretary of this meeting, and published in all the city papers, and presented to his honor the Mayor and Marshal.
                                C. H. CLARK, Cha'n.
                                WM. M. LEWIS, Sec'y

Col. Marshall's regiment remains at Albany and will probably be there for some time.  The Colonel is here to-day on business. 

Draft Riots of 1863

Up until 1862, both the Union and Confederate governments relied on volunteers to fill the ranks of their armies.  In that year, Confederate authorities determined that an all-volunteer army was not sufficient, so in April a draft had begun in the south.  For the Union authorities, it was not until the following year that President Lincoln determined that a draft was absolutely necessary and asked the Congress to enact the Conscription Act, which it did so on March 3.  It was hoped that the initial draft would fill the need for approximately 300,000 men.

The Conscription Act required that all men between the ages of 20 and 45 years of age enroll in the draft, and those individuals whose names were drawn in the draft lottery would serve for up to three years.  The act also specified that, in lieu of actual servicing in the army, there were two options available: one could find a substitute to fill one's place, or to pay a "commutation fee" of $300.

The use of substitutes to serve one's military service was not new to the Civil War.  It was a well-known practice in Europe for centuries and had been used here in the Revolution.  The use of a substitute generally required paying the substitute, and some city, county and state governments paid bounties to fulfill their quota rather than requiring an actual draft lottery.  Some individuals traveled from town to town collecting a bounty, quickly deserting, and moving on to another location.  The Union reports an incident in 1864 where 21 substitutes, sent to Elmira, escaped from there.  It went on to note that among these was "Paddy" Loughlin who had done this on thirteen previous occasions and had yet to see any actual service.  In those cases where bounties had not been provided by the communities, it was up to the individual seeking a substitute to provide the "bounty," which in some instances might approach as much as $1000.

The "commutation fee," paid to the government, released one from the current draft lottery but those in the applicable age bracket may still be eligible for subsequent drafts.

In either case—substitute or "commutation fee"—it was a luxury that the average, low paid worker, usually a recent immigrant, could not afford.  In New York City this meant the Irish.

Many in the North viewed the Conscription Act, with its options, as a rich man's statute.  The fathers of both Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt avoided Civil War service by paying substitutes; as did Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan, and future presidents Chester A. Arthur and Grover Cleveland.  New York Governor Seymour was a staunch foe of the Conscription Act and was of the opinion that the act was unconstitutional.  For all intents and purposes he urged the Irish and other low-wage workers to take to the streets—and they did—when he declared, "Remember this, that the bloody and treasonable and revolutionary doctrine of public necessity can be proclaimed by a mob as well as by a government."

On the morning of Saturday, July 11, the draft began in New York City and more than 1,200 names were drawn.  This was insufficient for the quota set for the congressional districts that comprised that city so it was announced that it would resume on Monday.  On Monday morning a mob of several thousand marched on the draft headquarters, swept the police guard there aside and proceeded to wreck the building and setting it ablaze.

As a result of the increasingly altercations between rioters and the New York City police, Governor Seymour called upon a number of the state's militia units, including the 54th Regiment.  The 54th along with the 13th Artillery Regiment, the "Old Thirteenth," under Colonel Marshall, left Rochester on the 16th of July bound for New York City via Albany.  Arriving in Albany, they found that communications between that city and New York had been disrupted and rumors were rampant that trouble would move up the Hudson and pose a danger to the state capital.  As a result, the Rochester units remained in Albany where the 54th would stay until the 23rd.

Leaving Rochester in haste, the 54th found themselves in Albany without rations and had to rely on the generosity of both Colonel Marshall's 13th and military authorities in Albany.  In addition, the usual army barracks outside the city was so terrible that, rather than encamp at "Camp Louse," as it was called, they chose to quarter themselves at the Albany City Hall and the 13th took over the armory.

The rumored trouble never came to Albany so the 54th returned to Rochester on the 23rd and the 13th Regiment followed a few days later.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Military Movements in New York - 1861

The following article appeared in the New York Times on May 4,  1861. The entire article is found at the Times web site. (Subscription may be required.)

ROCHESTER, Friday, May 3, 1861.
Nine companies of the Rochester regiment, under command of Col. QUIMBY, left this morning for Elmira via Canandaigua. An immense crowd of people turned out to see the volunteers depart, and the Fifty-fourth Regiment, the Fire Department and others gave them an escort to the depot. About 2000 spectators collected about the depot, and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. The Companies were all full and a number more are ready to leave as soon as they get orders. One Regiment has been recruited here, and it is understood that Col. J.H. MARTINDALE intends to get another ready if the State wants their services. The city has appropriated 10,000 to fit out the Regiment which has gone, and the citizens have subscribed $40,000 for the family relief fund. There is but one feeling here, which is for vigorous war to put down secession, and to carry out this policy, Rochester will furnish her full share of men and means.

One full company left Dansville this morning for Elmira. A splendid banner was presented to the company by the ladies. Over 70 carriages accompanied the volunteers to the depot.
 The "Rochester regiment" referred to in the article is the 13th NY Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. Isaac F. Quinby, a professor at the University of Rochester.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Only in Florida

Almost everybody is familiar with the term "Amber Alert" to denote a missing child. It is named after Amber Hagerman, a child abducted and murdered in Texas.  In Florida we also have "Silver Alert" to alert of a missing senior citizen. I kid you not. I noticed a "Silver Alert" flashed on I-95 this evening as we were driving home from Miami. (Grandson's fifth birthday.) When we got home I 'googled' the term 'silver alert' and find the following on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement:
A Florida Silver Alert has been issued for Louis Demeo.  He was last seen in the area of the 4000 block of Pinecrest Circle in Delray Beach, wearing a blue sports coat, a yellow and white button up shirt, dark brown dress slacks and brown shoes with tassels on them.  He may be traveling in a beige 2005 Dodge Caravan, Florida tag number S203IV.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Maloneys in 1905

Recently the FamilySearch genealogy site updates included additional New York State Census records for 1905 (New York has a census halfway between the Federal census taking). Among those added were records that included those of Fred Maloney and his wife, my maternal grandparents. Here is the record (line 45 on the left side page).

Notice that Bridget is listed by her middle name, Josephine.  The Maloney's were living at 4 Ronda Place. Ronda Place no longer exists but it ran east off Genesee Street just north of Clifton Street, near Bulls Head. The record states that Josephine had lived in the United States for eight years. I had previously found a ship's manifest for Bridget Hanley arriving at Ellis Island in 1895.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Who said that art is difficult even if you have no talent at all? There is obviously nothing to it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home From Our Cruise

Yesterday was the end of our seven day cruise in the Caribbean. It was enjoyable but our idea of a cruise is more than a week. We would much rather cruise for a month than a week although a week is better than nothing. Now we have to wait for our thirty-three cruise next March from Dubai to Fort Lauderdale.

This video was the high point of the cruise. It was made at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas - a private island owned by Holland American Lines.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turks and Caicos

Today as a part of our Fall Caribbean cruise we are in Great Turk in the
Turks and Caicos Islands. Actually we are not in Grand Turk but rather
we are anchored off the port. The winds are such that the ship is not
able to tie up at the pier and it is a question of whether or not we
will be able to go ashore at all here. Although it is windy, the
weather is very nice (in the 80s) and the sun is shining brightly.

Yesterday was a day at sea with reading, gambling and Bingo. The Bingo
session in the afternoon was very crowded which is good because the more
people there are, the bigger the prizes. We won the third game where the
prize was $330 but we had to split it with two other persons. Still it
was pretty good.

Yesterday was our 26th wedding anniversary but we are celebrating it
today with dinner this evening in the Pinnacle Grill.

That's it for now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Off to Sea

This morning we are off to sea for a week. Although we had already booked a thirty-three day cruise for next Spring, that was too far away so we booked a week's cruise starting today. This will be the fifth or sixth vacation or cruise to celebrate Thanksgiving and our wedding anniversary (tomorrow is the 26th).  

We will be stopping in Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay - a private island owned by Carnival Cruise Corp. and used by Holland American Cruise Line.  Weather this week in that area of the Caribbean does not look good with scattered showers for most days. We shall see.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Am I Too Old?

Next Monday one of my grandsons will have his 18th birthday and will be voting the next day. A grandson of voting age? What the hell happened???

Monday, October 25, 2010

Maxon Cemetery

This past weekend we were in Michigan for my father-in-law's 102nd birthday and I suspect that we will be attending more birthday parties for him in the future. Despite the fact that he doesn't hear very well and uses a walker he is in pretty good shape.  When we arrived in Michigan on Thursday afternoon and heading for Clinton Township, we headed west toward Jackson County. In the latter part of the 19th century my 2nd great-grandparents, Fellows and Mary Hare Weed, and later my great-grandparents, Francis Maloney and Sarah Weed Maloney, moved from Rochester, NY to Leoni Twp., MI.

The last time I visited the Maxon Cemetery in Leoli I saw the tombstones of my ancestors but forgot my camera. This time I didn't want to miss it. Here are some of the tombstones.

Francis Maloney and Sarah Weed Maloney Hawkins

Fellows Obel Weed
My 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Hare Weed is buried next to Fellows Weed but the stone is missing. The only thing left is the base. Additional photos to my great-grandmother's Maloney and Weed descendants graves are found at my Flickr account.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rochester Shop School

My father attended a vocational high school in Rochester, the Shop School.  In a brochure at the Monroe County Public Library titled "Your Child in School" has a brief section concerning the Shop School.

Originally named the Factory School, it was opened in 1908 at the site of School #34 on Lexington Avenue. The Shop School replaced the Factory School in 1911 at one of the abandoned buildings that were part of the old House of Refuge which was located at the present site of Edgerton Park. The entire school brochure can be found here.

Another Cruise?

During our Spring cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Amsterdam, Netherlands we booked a thirty-three day cruise for next March. This is the last leg of the 2011 World Cruise and sails from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Ft. Lauderdale. In addition to Dubai, we will visit new places in Oman, Jordan and Egypt along with a cruise through the Suez Canal.

Because next March is such a long way off we decided that a Fall cruise this year should carry us over. For that we have booked a one week cruise in the Caribbean starting November 20. This will be the fourth cruise we have had over Thanksgiving and also will again be celebrating our wedding anniversary (the 26th) aboard ship.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Eagan in Rochester

In March of last year I wrote about my grandfather, Stephen Eagan, the Traveling Man. In that post I mentioned that in 1880 when he was in New Haven, CT he boarded with a fireman named Eagan and his family on Adeline Street. In addition to the Eagan family that he boarded with, there were four additional Eagan families on the same block. At the time I asked the question, "Were they related to my Eagan family?" I have corresponded to Eagans in New Haven but none were related to the Eagans on Adeline Street in New Haven. I guess that we will never know.

Yesterday when reviewing Rochester City Directories and noticed that in the directory for 1870 there were eight Eagan entries plus additional Egan entries. One of these was my great-grandfather, Patrick M. Eagan, a grocer who lived at 55 Prospect Street. (The house at 55 Prospect St. is no longer there.)  Across the street at number 58 was a William Eagan, a blacksmith. (My grandfather Stephen was also a blacksmith - a carriage blacksmith.) In the federal census for 1870 William Eagan is listed as twenty-seven years old, born in New York, his wife  was Jane who was born in Scotland. Was this neighbor, William Eagan, relaled to my great-father? Who knows. I traced through the city directories and census records to see if I could see when he died as obituaries sometimes add additional family information.  William moved from Rochester to Chicago in 1896 and I was able to find him in the 1900 census but that was the last I could find. (I do not yet  found Chicago City Directory for that period.

One last curious findings for Eagans. In the Chicago census record for the area where William and Jane Eagan lived, the census taker was Frances J. Eagan!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Irish Colloquialisms

Even though the Usenet is pretty much on its way out, I still follow a number of newsgroups and among them is "soc.genealogy.ireland" and others.  Today an individual in that group posted a comment on Irish citizenship and obtaining an Irish Passport. Just in passing he used a phrase I had not heard in quite a while. It was, "Which foot you dig with" which means "which religion are you - Protestant or Catholic." Catholics dig with their right foot, the same hand they bless themselves, and Protestants dig with their left. Of course Catholics dig with both their right and left depending which way their brain is wired but the phrase is still used although now rarely. 

In a similar vein, although I don't know if it is limited to the Irish, is to refer to non-Catholics as 'left-handers.' Again, Catholics would be 'right-handers' as they use their right hands to bless themselves. I can recall both my mother and father using this term and I'm sure they would describe our friend and neighbor, Helen Neary, as a 'left hander.'  I can't recall the last time that I have heard this term.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baseball and Softball Collection

While on my bicycle each morning I am amazed by the assorted junk that is found in the street. Small things that I find such as coins, keys, broken cell phones, etc I save in an empty coffee can. One of these days I will lay it out and take a picture of that collection.  Because I ride through a couple of parks and schools I find quite a few baseballs and softballs. Here is my baseball/softball collection laid out in my garage.

This collection consists of thirty-four softballs, fifty-one baseballs, and one soccer ball. The soccer ball I found in the bushes beside the bike trail next to Lynn University. The most I have ever collected in a single morning was sixteen baseballs across the street from Parch Reef Park in Boca Raton. Because I had them stuffed in my shorts I had to go home to drop them off before continuing my ride. If I didn't, my shorts probably would have fallen off.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bridget Hanley at Ellis Island

For the last couple of months the Ellis Island web site have had problems displaying the actual ships' manifests but today I noticed that it was working again. To get a copy of the manifest you have to purchase a copy for $29 or find a way to download it. The normal way to download a page is to right click and "Save page as ..." unless that function has been disabled. It is possible to just ignore the 'disabled' message and continue to download it. I have been able to do it using an Epiphany, a Linux web browser. Here is a copy of the manifest:

Bridget is passenger number 396. The manifest is from the SS Campania (a Cunard ship) that arrived in Ellis Island on June 22, 1895 from Queenstown, Ireland. Today Queenstown in Co. Cork is called Cobh.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Griffith's Valuation and the Hanleys

Griffith's Valuation was a survey of Ireland completed in 1868 by Richard Griffith, British Commissioner of Valuation. Because there are no true Irish census prior to 1901, Griffith's Valuation is the closest we have to a census for Ireland in the 19th century. In County Limerick the survey was completed at the end of June in 1853.

In Griffith's Valuation the townland of Glensharrold in Co. Limerick lists twenty-nine households and among them was a household whose head was Mary Hanley. Without a doubt this Mary Hanley was a relative of mine and probably a direct ancestor. If I had to guess I would probably guess that this Mary Hanley was the mother or grandmother of Thomas Hanley, my great-grandfather.

In the description of the tenement, some included just a house, others house and land, and others house and bog. The tenement held by Mary Hanley was described as just a house. The immediate lessor, that is the actual owner of the land upon Mary's house sat was Thomas Carroll. Most of the land in Glensharrold was owned by Richard M. Yielding. Mary's house was valued at nine shillings.

Among Mary's neighbors in Glensharrold were a few Aherns that we have seen in the census for both 1901 and 1911. In addition, one of her neighbors was an Egan - Bryan Egan.  (Another one that misspelled their name!)

A copy of the original sheet from the valuation may be found here.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Sixty-five Years Ago Today

Sixty-five years ago today I was at a cottage near Braddock Bay with my family and my Aunt May and Uncle Eddie O'Brien. Sometime during the day the sirens at the fire house went off, cars driving down the street (probably Edgemere Drive) blowing their horns. The war was over!

I was probably not totally aware of what was going on as I was only six years old but I knew that it was big. Later that evening my father, aunt and uncle went downtown to see what was happening on Main Street. I'm sure that there were goings on there.

It is hard to believe that has been sixty-five years since World War II ended.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rochester's Military Companies

We have looked a number of times at the New York National Guard unit - the 54th Regiment - but there were other military companies prior to the 54th.  William Peck in his History of Rochester and Monroe County describes these companies.

Military Companies

This brings us to a mention of the military companies of that period, before the organization of the Fifty-fourth regiment of New York state militia, most of which occupied the different rooms of the basement of the city market for their respective armories, the two brass bands of that day, Adams's and Holloway's, having their quarters there also. The earliest organization in this region was a company of riflemen that was formed in Penfield as far back as 1818, which attracted enlistments from Rochester as our little community increased in number. Ashbel W. Riley, mentioned elsewhere in this volume for his heroic exertions at the time of the cholera, was early connected with this company, which under his command as captain, at the time of Lafayette's visit here in 1825, escorted the distinguished Frenchman from Rochester to Canandaigua; other formations of a similar character afterward associated themselves with this one and all were united together as the Twenty-second regiment of riflemen; Colonel Riley, who had then risen to the command of it, offered its services, with the consent of the whole body, to President Jackson in 1832 to quell the nullification disturbance in South Carolina, but the tender was not accepted, as the assistance of state militia was not required; the next year Colonel Riley became brigadier-general of riflemen, and then major-general, a position which he held till the dissolution of the brigade a few years later. The Irish Volunteers came into existence in November, 1828, a very creditable organization whose commandant for some time was Captain P. J. McNamara; it was attached to the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth regiment of infantry, with headquarters at Buffalo. Then came Van Rensselaer's cavalry, in 1834, named after the landlord of the Eagle Hotel and commanded by him, and the next year the Rochester Pioneer Rifles, under George Dawson, the "fighting editor," which was a part of General Riley's regiment.

In 1838 two crack companies were formed— Williams's Light Infantry, under Major John Williams, afterward mayor, and the Rochester Union Grays, whose first captain was Lansing B Swan, afterward general, who, with General Burroughs, codified the military laws of the state; it was originally infantry but later became an artillery company. Eight of the members were still surviving at the beginning of this year, with the average age of eighty-six. The next year the Rochester City Cadets came into existence, with James El wood as captain; a few years later, sometime before 1849, it was reorganized as the Rochester Light Guards, with H. S. Fairchild as captain; it was this company that furnished sixtyfive men to company A of the Old Thirteenth on the very day after President Lincoln's first call for troops, and many of its remaining members afterward joined others of our fighting regiments. The German Grenadiers, the first of our Teutonic companies, and the Rochester Artillery were organized in 1840, the Rochester City Guards in 1844, the German Union Guards in 1847 and the Rochester City Dragoons in 1850. The Fifty-fourth regiment of New York state militia, organized in 1849, was at first confined to the western half of the county, but in 1855 it embraced the whole of it at which time H. S. Fairchild became its colonel; although it did not go to the front during the Civil war it performed excellent service by doing guard duty over the Confederate prisoners at Elmira in 1864; it was disbanded in December, 1880, in accordance with a sweeping change in the militia system of the state, only one company, known as the Eighth Separate, being retained. The First Separate company and its military services are described elsewhere. While not connected with the period of time over which we have been going, it is as well to mention in this place the Rochester Union Blues, a fine volunteer company of patriotic citizens, formed in 1863, with Charles B. Hill as captain, for the express purpose of doing duty as a home guard during the war, though it continued its organization for some years after the conflict was over.

Friday, August 13, 2010


The following appears in today's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

Police investigating discovery of body in city backyard

August 13, 2010 

Rochester police are investigating the discovery of a man's body found in the backyard of a house on Lexington Street in Rochester.

The body of a man in his 30s was found just before 1 p.m. by a resident of 381 Lexington Street, according to Executive Deputy Chief George Markert. The body was located at the rear of the backyard, and there appeared to be trauma to the upper part of the body.

The death is being investigated as suspicious. Police are on the scene and have a portion of Lexington closed off at Dewey Avenue.
No identification has been made. Markert said the body appeared to have been in the yard for about a day.

Let's see if I have it correct. The body of a dead man is found in a back yard. The unidentified man has been there about a day. The "death is being investigated as suspicious." Of course it's suspicious, you jackasses!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Rochester's Immaculate Conception Parish

Recently I scanned the properties in Rochester listed in the National Register of Historical Places. Currently there are 87 properties listed. In addition, there are 74 properties listed in Monroe County but outside the City of Rochester.  The list includes individual properties and also areas within the city such as the Third Ward Historic District

One I was particularly interested in was the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church Complex. This was the Roman Catholic Parish of my parents in their youth and also my grandparents. My mother and father both went to grammar school in the parish school and were married there. Both  my Maloney and Eagan grandparents were buried from the church.  The thirty page registration form used when the Immaculate Conception complex was nominated for inclusion in the National Register is available at the National Parks Service site.

The complex that comprises the site has five contributing buildings. These are (1) the Immaculate Conception Church - built in 1864, (2) the former rectory - built in 1871, (3) the former parochial school - built in 1826, (4) the current rectory - built circa 1900, and (5) a garage - built circa 1926.

I was curious about the school - built in 1826 - and wondered what had preceded it as I know that my Mother and Father went to school there prior to 1926. The Parish History describes both the church and the school. The history notes that a school was established in 1864 but does not specify where. The Immaculate Conception Parochial School known as the Plymouth Avenue School for many years, was opened in 1870.  The school was built on the Edinburgh side of the church and faced Plymouth Avenue. A new school and hall was built and dedicated in 1894, accommodating 250 pupils. The new school, that is the current school building, was built in 1926. Therefore I assume that Mother and Father (and their siblings) attended the school built in 1894.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Consequences of Gay Marriage

The folks at National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have their panties in a knot following the judge's decision concerning Proposition 8 in California. This is the group that warns of all the evils that would come about if gay marriages were allowed. The following pie chart shows all the things that will happen if gay marriage were allowed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Now Available - Rochester's 54th Infantry Regiment

Sometime last year I took the entries that I had captured from the Rochester, NY City Directory having to do with the 54th Regiment and posted this on Scriptd. Today I noticed that so far more than 1,000 persons had accessed it. I thought, why not charge for the document? As a result, it is now available on Lulu, the self-publishing site, for only $2.50. Such a deal!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Breweries in Rochester, NY

Recently one of my cousins sent a copy of photo of a birthday picnic held in her back yard in 1948. Here is the photo:
I was curious as to the brand of beer on the table so I enlarged it and saw that it was Tam O'Shanter beer, one of the many different beers brewed in Rochester at one time or another. I knew that as I grew up I can remember Genesee (I was weaned on Jenny!) and Standard Ale (my father's brand) and others but I wondered how many breweries were there in Rochester. The answer could be found in A Brief History of Brewing History in Rochester. There were a total of forty-nine breweries in Rochester at one time or another. prior to prohibition in 1920. Some of these different breweries were new names after consolidations of existing breweries but still forty-nine were a lot of breweries. This may reflect the large numbers of German families in Rochester at one time.

Following prohibition the following brewing companies resumed operations and the year that brewing ended.

American Brewing Company - 1950
Cataract Brewing Company - 1940
The Genesee Brewing Company - Still in business
Rochester Brewing Company - 1956
Standard Brewing Company - 1956
Standard Rochester Brewing Company - 1970

This list was compiled in 1976 and I know that there are newer brewing companies in Rochester today.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Today we are in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In fact, this moment we are in the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam waiting for a flight to Milan, Italy. From Milan we will the train to Florence where Julie/Bill will pick us up. This is the start of the second phase of our trip. This is about a week and a half in Tuscany with children and grandchildren. Look forward to that.

Update: It is now Wednesday and we are in Tuscany. Bill and Julie picked us up at the train station in Florence and it is beautiful here.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Dover and Canterbury

Yesterday we were in the port of Dover and spent a portion of the day in Canterbury. We wanted to see the Canterbury Cathedral and the exact spot where Thomas À Becket was murdered. That we did and, in addition, we were able to see the tombs of King Henry IV and his wife there. Spent a couple of hours checking all the nooks and crannies in the Cathedral. After the Cathedral and on the way back to the ship we stopped at Dover Castle. That is shown in the photo attached.

This morning we are in Amsterdam were we will end our cruise. After a tour of the city we will check in our hotel located near the airport. Tomorrow we will fly to Milan and then take the train to Florence. Then a week and a half with Julie, Bill and the kids. I expect it will be a
bit warmer in Italy. Today in Amsterdam it is in the 50s and damp.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

La Havre, France

This morning it is 8:00 AM and we just arrived at the port of Dover. The outside temperature is listed on the ship's channel on the TV as 75 degrees. I just stepped out on the balcony and it ain't 75 but it is not that bad. The problem is the fog. Twenty minutes ago you could see the white cliffs but right now you can barely see the next pier. Hopefully it will burn off when the sun gets higher.

Yesterday we were in the port of La Havre, France but spent most of the   day in Honfleur on the other side of the Seine River. We had been there  a couple of years ago on another transatlantic crossing and wanted to see a particular church in Honfleur. The Church of Saint Catherine was built sometime in either the 15th or 16th century. The church along with its separate bell tower is all wood. I suspect that originally its walls were wood, daub and wattle (mud and straw). Now the mud and straw was been replaced with cement. The columns in the church are all huge wood beams. While we were there the main altar was set up for a wedding and the wedding party was outside the front of the church with the priest.

The church is just off the old basin (Honfleur used to be the port for the Seine) which is ringed by about what seems to be a hundred restaurants. There may not be a hundred but it is close. Being Saturday, the basin area was mobbed. On one end of the basin is the old excise office where duty was collected from ships. It was probably built in the 16th century. It has plaques on the wall dedicating the building to the Champlain that scouted portions of New York and Canada and for whom Lake Champlain which separates New York and Vermont is named.

Last night was the last night for one of our dinner mates, Manny and Dotty. They are leaving the Connecticut and Florida. I hope that I'm in as good shape as Manny when I am his age. He is 84. If you looked at the range of passengers on the Prinsendam you would note that Nancy are among the young crowd!

Today at about noon we will take a bus to Canterbury and see the cathedral there. I want to see the particular spot in the cathedral where Thomas À Becket was slain. I would also like to see the tomb of King Henry IV and others. Should be an interesting tour.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Falmouth, England

Today we are in Falmouth on England's south coast near Lands End. Although we were warned of cold weather it was quite nice especially in the sun. The temperature is in the low seventies.

Last night was another time that we had to change our clocks by an hour  and will be changing every night for the next couple of nights. Portugal and the British Isles are in one time zone and the rest of western Europe is in another. As a result, going from Spain to England requires a change backward; tonight we turn the clocks forward as we approach La Havre, France; the next night we set the clocks back as we go to Dover, England; the last night we change the clocks forward again as we sail to Amsterdam, Netherlands. If a clock change is necessary on a day that we are at sea the change is made at noon, otherwise the
change is made at 2:00 AM. You would be surprised by the number of people find it confusing.

We are docked in Falmouth at Queen's Quay and we share the pier from the Royal Navy, the HMS Echo. Its difficult what type of ship it is but it is somewhat small and has no apparent armament on the decks. I suspect it is a maintenance ship or something.

UPDATE: HMS Echo is a multi-role hydrographic survey ship according to Wikipedia.

This is the second time we have been to Falmouth (or more if you add the Falmouth Harbour in Antigua) as we stopped here on a transatlantic cruise on the Royal Carribean's Brilliance of the Seas. Because the Brilliance was a much larger ship than the Prinsendam we had to anchor out then but the Prinsendam is able to get into the harbor. From the pier there were shuttle buses to the beginning of the high street. Our first stop there was the Church of King Charles the Martyr, dedicated to King Charles I, the second of England's Stuart monarchs. During the English Civil War, Charles was attained by the parliament and was beheaded in 1649. The photo is a copy of Charles's Death Warrant signed by members of parliament including Oliver Cromwell. I asked a volunteer
in the church why the folks were Royalists (as opposed to Parliamentarians) during the Civil War and she said that the major land owner in the area was a Royalist so the local people depending on him were naturally also Royalists.

We strolled down most of Market Street and Church Street and the small streets the cut off of them. One of the unique streets is called Jacob's Ladder which is about a hundred or so steps straight up! The walk up is a bear but going back down is a snap. We neglected to hit it the last time here so we had to do it this time.

Back to the ship it was a typical afternoon with Bingo. Only one more session of Bingo and that will be in Dover. This cruise winnings in Bingo has been scant. Who knows, maybe we'll win the big one in Dover. (Yeah, right!)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Bilbao, Spain

Today we are on our way to Falmouth on the southwest coast of England. Yesterday we were in Bilbao on Spain's northern coast on the Bay of Biscay. This area of northern Spain and southern France is Basque country. The Basque people have their own culture, language and even a unique DNA. Street and other signs are generally in both Spanish and Basque.

The port where the ship was just into the Bilbao River but the city of  Bilbao is about a quarter hour bus trip up river. Therefore we took the bus into the city. Unfortunately the bus dropped us off in the downtown shopping area (think Rochester's Main Street from the Four Corners to East Avenue) so to get any of the things we would have liked to see it was quite a hike. As a result we walked some of the picturesque side streets and some of the parks and squares. One of the squares (its name escapes me) is in the photo. After a while we took the bus back to the ship for a very enjoyable afternoon. It was in the 70's and sunny so it was nice out in our balcony.

In the afternoon we played Bingo and won again. Unfortunately there were not a lot of players so the prizes were small. The game we won we had to share the prize with another winner. Our winning portion was $19. We had paid $20 for our Bingo cards. So, is a minus $1 a win? I don't know.

Before martinis and dinner we did our daily stop in the casino. The Prinsendam does not have a very large casino as it has only about 700 passengers and most are not big gamblers. There is one craps table, one roulette table and three Black Jack tables. There are a quite a few slot machines but most of those used are the penny and two penny slots. Nancy and I always play the penny slots because a five dollar bill will take quite a bit of time. We are not big gamblers.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Coruna, Spain

Yesterday we were in the port of A Coruña at the northwest corner of Spain where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Bay of Biscay. We spent the better part of the day on a trip to Santiago de Compastela, where legend says the body of St. James the Apostle is buried. I somehow think we are on a religious pilgrimage rather than a cruise with visits to any number of churches, Fatima and Santiago de Compostela. When we reach Dover we are going to see Canterbury Cathedral and eventually see the many churches in Florence.

Santiago de Compostela is about an hour or so drive from Coruña and the town is completely devoted to the basilica and its component parts. Had we been there on a Sunday it probably been mobbed but it being Tuesday it wasn't bad although there were quite a number of tourists there. In addition to visiting the basilica and some of other buildings we had wine and hors d'ouvres plus music by a group shown in the photo.

Back at the ship we again had dinner in the Pinnacle Grill which, as is always the case, excellent. This morning we are in Bilbao, Spain and we will walk through town in a bit.

Monday, May 31, 2010


It is 11:05 AM and we are leaving the Tagus River and out into the
Atlantic after a stay in Lisbon since yesterday morning. I assume that
all cruise lines have the cabin stewards make towel animals while making
up the cabin in the evening. This was the one our steward make last
night - a towel animal doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Yesterday was a very full day. In the morning after breakfast we boarded
a bus at 8:30 AM and headed for the shrine at Fatima. Fatima is about an
hour and a half drive from Lisbon. Before we reached Fatima though we
stopped at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victory, a huge church in a very
small village. It was built about the 15th century to commemorate a
battle of the Portugese over the French. (Can you imagine St. Monica's
Church on Genesee Street being dedicated to some battle?) Mass was going
on in the basilica when we arrived there and there were probably a
thousand people attending mass as it was the Feast of the Holy Trinity
which apparently is big in Portugal. Along the right side aisle were
almost a hundred decorated carts filled with loaves of bread. Following
the mass was to be a procession through the village with the carts a
part of it. A portion of the basilica is the burial sites of a number
of Portugese kings and members of their families.

Leaving the basilica, we then drove to the Shrine at Fatima. As was the
case with the basilica, mass was also in process when we arrived. This
mass was celebrated outside with the huge altar in front of the basilica
and the crown in the square was probably close to a hundred thousand
people. The photos from there will be posted on Flickr when we get back

Last evening we took a tour of the city and then ate at a Fado
restaurant. Fado is Portugese folk entertainment with music and singing.
We were there until probably 11:00 PM and it was a very enjoyable
evening. The only downside of the evening was the menu was a fixed
menu. The entree was duck and rice. I have had duck before and
absolutely hate it. It is probably the greasiest fowl known to man. I
absolutely did not eat it - stuck with the rice.

Right now (11:55 AM) it is very foggy on the ocean and the ship sounds
its horn ever couple of minutes. I hope that doesn't last. I had hoped
to read on the balcony this afternoon as the sun was out. We will have
to see.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Portimao, Portugal

Today we are in Portimao, Portugal, another small coastal village on the
Atlantic. After breakfast we took a shuttle bus into the center of the
town and spent about three hours touring. That includes any church we
come across! The photo enclosed is an old chimney/tower used as a nest
for storks. There were two towers along the river and both had stork
nests. I was on the impression that in the winter storks migrate to
Africa and come back in the summer. The natives say that the storks in
these two towers stay here year round.

Update: It is now Sunday morning as I write this. We are arriving in
Lisbon and we just passed under the bridge on the Tagus River. After
breakfast we are off on a excursion to Fatima.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cadiz, Spain

Today we are in Cadiz on the south coast of Spain just west of
Gibraltar. This is the third time we have been in Cadiz the other two
times also part of a transatlantic cruise (once going to Europe and
another going home). After coffee and juice in our cabin (I am
reluctant to call it a suite even though Holland America calls it that)
we had breakfast on the Lido deck. Leaving the ship there was a "hop-on
hop-off" bus parked just outside the port gate. The "hop-on hop-off"
buses are very popular in European tourist towns and cities and a quick
way to see a lot of a city. As the name implies, you can hop off the
bus to see something in particular and later hop on to continue. As you
can see from the photo it is sometimes difficult to get a picture
without including a part of other bus riders. This photo is of the
gates of the old city (and the back of a guy's head). There is a
narration of what you are seeing as the bus proceeds.

Tomorrow we will be in Portimao, Portugal and then on to Lisbon where we
will stay overnight.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ponta Delgada

Yesterday we were in the port of Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao
Miguel, the largest island in the Azores. Although larger ships have to
anchor in the harbor and use tenders to shore, the Prinsendam was able
to dock right 'downtown' in Ponta Delgada. After breakfast Nancy and I
left the ship and walk through the streets of the town for three hours
or so visiting the big churches: Sao Pedro, Sao Sebastiao and Sao Jose.
We had visited the town before on another of our Transatlantic cruises.
Before returning to the ship we stopped for a beer in one of the
waterfront cafes.

In the late afternoon it was Bingo again on the ship and finally we won
a game. Not much but it was $43 for a first game which is generally the
smallest prizes. Maybe this is the start.

Today is the first of two sea days before we reach Cadiz, Spain.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Horta, Azores

Today we are at Horta in the Azores, a small town or village, probably
most famous for its volcano. The volcano formed the island and it is no
longer active. Among other things it is a port for boats and yachts
crossing the ocean on their way to Portugal, Spain or the Mediterranean.
The photo shown is the paintings done by yachts, boats and ships the
first time that they visit Horta. As we were walking along this area
there was a man updating his painting on the wall - it looked like a new
date on the painting.

We arrived in the harbor at about noon time. After lunch we took a
tender from the ship to the town where we walked down the waterfront
quite a way to look at the Church of Sao Salvador. The church is on a
bit of a hill and the road and sidewalk are cobblestone. Also it is
necessary to wind around different streets to get to the church because
the streets from the waterfront are not straight. We took some photos
at the interior of the church that we will put on Flickr when we finish
the cruise/vacation. We also looked at a couple of parks and gardens
and then the rains came down! When we arrived in the harbor the sun
shone and it was nice although a bit cool. When the rain came down it
was windy and cold. It was miserable.

We ran back to the harbor station where the tenders from the ship was
located. Luckily one was just about to leave for the ship so we hopped
on. Back to the ship and change into dry clothes.

I almost forgot to note that there was a single special Bingo game this
morning. The prize was a cruise for two in the Caribbean. Nancy one
one of these a few years ago on our Asia/Australia cruise. This time no
luck came our way. We are still winless in Bingo but we still have two
more weeks.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Still at Sea

This is among the activities we participate in on those days at sea.
(Shortly after this picture was taken, Nancy was sould asleep.) Among
other activities include the lecture series that Holland American has on
all their ships on cruises that a longer than two weeks. On this cruise
there is a gentlemen who was previously an historian from the National
Park Service. This week he has lectured on Atlantic cruises by St.
Brendan and Leif Ericson, and an Englishman in 1910 who murdered his
wife in London and then fled by ship to America. He was spotted by the
Captain who informed Scotland Yard by the first use of wireless
telegraphy at sea. Yesterday he talked about the Roanoke Colony and Sir
Walter Raleigh and today he talked about the talks by Churchill and
Roosevelt held in Nova Scotia aboard ship in 1941. All very interesting.

Tomorrow we will stop at our first port after a week at sea. We will be
stopping at Horta, a small town on the island of Faial, in the Azores.
I know that we had been to the Azores before on transatlantic crossings
but don't recall whether it was Horta or not. I know that we have
visited Ponta Delgada, our next port after Horta.