Alexander Bates of Homer was the son of Joseph and Amelia Babcock Bates of Homer, Glenwood. Alexander was the drum major for the 157 NYSV who mustered in in Hamilton, N.Y. in 1862. He was medically discharged for a heart problem. His son Newton, classified as a deserter, left the unit to be with his Dad. Alexander was married to Lavina Yale, a descendant of Eli Yale of University Fame.
Alexander was the principal musician or Drum Major for Co. D. He was retired out early for health reasons and never saw Gettysburg. He did however attend all of the 157th reunions held in Hamilton and was at Gettysburg in 1888 for the 25th anniversary of the battle.
Alexander was the 4th of 8 children of Joseph and Amelia Babcock Bates of Homer, all of whom are buried in Lot 22, Sec 6 of Greenwood cemetery.
Alexander was a carriage maker and noted blacksmith in Homer and was also active in the underground railroad located near Little York outside of Homer. His daughter Lura Bates Blashfield of Little York was married to a prominent lawyer and statesman H. Wilson Blashfield of the area. Alex and his boys were all musicians and had interest in minor league baseball in later years. His wife Lavina Yale Bates died in 1888 and in 1890 Alex remarried to a widow named Hannah J. Andrews Paddock of Wolcott,Wayne County. It was Hannah who eventually collected Alex's Civil War Medical Retirement pension long after Alex died of heart complications in 1892. His son Newton still remains a mystery regarding his "deserter" status during the War. I suppose that he deserted upon hearing about his dad Alexander's heart problems occurring at Camp Chase in Virginia early during the first of the 157th's battles and wanted to be near him. Newton was the only child of Alex's 7 to have served during the War. Alexander was a volunteer and at age 50 in 1862 when the unit formed was quite old to be very useful other than a musician. He was a non-combatant per se.
He died on 7 Jun 1892 in Homer.
For a complete listing of the Bates descendants, follow this link.