Pictoral Essay of
Greene County Men
in the Civil War
the 120th NYSV and 20th NYSM
(with a few other Regiments thrown in)
From the Seward R. Osborne Collection unless otherwise noted
Should anyone want more info on any of these soldiers please
Osborne as he has more info on most of the soldiers listed below
such as birth, death, marriage dates, parents and children, etc.
If YOU have a photo of a civil war ancestor from the 20th NYSM or the 120th NYSV please contact Seward.
1. 20th New York State Militia Monument which was placed by
Seward R. Osborne on the Gettysburg Battlefield, July 3, 1981. This is on
2. 20th New York State Militia monument which the regiment placed on the Gettysburg Battlefield and dedicated on October 4, 1888. The monument is on Reynolds Avenue.
3. 120th New York State Volunteer monument at Gettysburg Battlefield and is on Sickles Avenue
4. Civil War monument to the 20th New York State Militia, designed, and
placed in Rondout [Kingston], on April 26, 2003, by Seward R. Osborne.
5. and 6. The marker to the 20th New York State Militia that
Seward R. Osborne placed on the Second Bull Run Battlefield, August 30, 1986. This is in the area where Colonel George W. Pratt received his mortal wound, on August 30, 1862.
Sergeant John I Spoor, Company D, 120th New York State Volunteers. He was from Coxsackie, NY.
Private Wellington Butler, Company G, 20th New York State Militia. He was from Westkill, NY.
Private George Showers, Company K, 20th New York State Militia. He was the Last Civil War soldier from Greene County, and is buried in Tannersville.
2nd Lt. James Stevens, Company A, 20th New York State Militia. He was in the 90 day service and was from Greenville, NY
Captain Gilbert Pettit, Company F, 120th New York
Volunteers. he was from Lexington, NY. To the right is a picture of
Gilbert's father, William Warren Pettit who was a NYS Assemblyman in 1864.
Captain Jonathan Webster, Company A, 20th New York State Militia, 90 day service. Buried in Cairo, NY.
First Lieutenant Edgar Simpkins, Company B, 120th New York
State Volunteer Infantry. Born, March 10, 1838, Norton Hill.
Died, March 31,1865. Drowned in the sea off Cape
Hatteras, NC, when the Steamer General Lyon burned and sank. Father, Jackson Simpkins, Mother,Rebecca Southard. Edgar married Roxanna M. Slater, July 17, 1858, Reformed
Dutch Church, Westerlo, Albany County. One child, Willis E. Simpkins, born July 27, 1861. Edgar is memorialized on his mother and father's gravestone in Locust
Hill Cemetery, Greenville. His body was never recovered!
Man at far right is Private Ira S. Reynolds, Company K, 120th New York State Volunteer Infantry. Ira was wounded in the thigh, July 2, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. He
was a farmer and school teacher in Windham and I believe some sort of clerk in the town. To his left is his wife, Mary Beals. I don't know who the other couple is.
Porter James Schermerhorn, son of Jacob D. Schermerhorn and
Ruth Butler and brother of William J. Schermerhorn. He was born
April 15, 1831, in Lexington, NY and died April 26,
1911 in Mechanicville, NY. He married Elizabeth B. Gillett on March 23, 1865. He is pictured as First Lieutenant, 19th Regiment United States Colored Troops and was taken in
New Orleans, La., December 25, 1863.
Colonel John Thomas Wilder, born in Hunter, January 31, 1830. His family moved west. He became colonel of the 17th Indiana Infantry and Brevet Brigadier General in 1864. He
also commanded the famous Wilder's Brigade.
Pvt. Asa Holmes, Company K, 20th New York State Militia. Born, November 20, 1826, Durham, NY. Married, Sarah Elizabeth Judd, July 5,1866 at Medusa, Albany County, NY.
Died, June 29, 1908, Albany, NY. Father, John Losee Holmes, mother, Curance Law.
Drummer George Dwight Van Hoesen, Company G,
120th New York Volunteer Infantry. He was born December 19, 1847 in Leeds,
Greene County, NY. He was the son of William
C. Van Hoesen and Jane Schermerhorn. Location of his burial as yet unknown, however it is believed he died between 1925-26. He married a Sarah S.
Left is: Sergeant Major Ambrose M. Barber, 120th New York Volunteer Infantry. Ambrose M. Barber was born November 25, 1840, in Windham, NY, the son of Ambrose Barber and
Elizabeth. He died August 20, 1900, in Kingston, Ulster Co, NY and is buried in Hurley.
Right is: Private Peter Merritt, Company B, 120th New York Volunteer Infantry
Ambrose M. Barber Jr, age 21 years. Enrolled July 23, 1862 at Kingston, to
serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. B, August 22, 1862; promoted
sergeant, November 1, 1863,
wounded in action at the Wilderness, Va., and promoted sergeant-major, May 5, 1864; mustered in as second lieutenant, Co. B, August 16, 1864; as captain, Co. I, January 16, 1865;
mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D.C. This is from the NYS Adjutant General records. Was wounded in the left elbow, fracturing it.
Dr. Edwin L. Ford to the right, later in life. Note the GAR pin on his lapel.
Philo Snyder was born about 1836 to Philip Snyder, a miller, and his wife
Margaret Hood. The family was living in Durham Co in 1855, where Philo is listed as one of the
age 19. His siblings were Elizabeth, aged 20, Nelson, aged 14, Demerest, aged 11, Eugene, aged 7 and Ella, aged 3. Philo's brothers Demarest and Nelson also enlisted in the Civil
Philo enlisted in the 169th Co. K. for a 3 year term at Troy, NY on July 27, 1864, He was discharged on May 9, 1865 at Hart's Island, NY.
Lt. John M. Young, Co K., 20th New York State
Militia [80th NYV]. John fought in the Florida, Mexican and Civil Wars. John was born between 1814 in Scotland to William
Margaret Young. About 1849 he married Rachel A. Overbaugh, daughter of Frederick and Hannah Overbaugh. His children were: Ida, born about 1850, Elizabeth, born about
1854, Mary, born about 1859 and George, born about 1865. He was wounded "severely" at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He was described as being "high-spirited and insensible to
fear". John died in Catskill, April 25, 1873 and is buried in Thomson Street Cemetery.
Pierce was born June 20, 1844 in Greenville, Greene Co, NY, the son of Seth
Pierce and Mary Chesbro, who were both born in
Durham, Greene Co, NY. James married Helen Eliza Clark on December 5, 1868 at the Reformed Church in New Paltz, Ulster Co, NY. Helen
was born about 1844 and died January 25, 1912. James and Helen had four children: Scott Sylvester, b. January 18, 1869, Chace B., b.
November 12, 1870, Lilian, b. July 19, 1872, d. August 13, 1878, Elva, b. March 20, 1874 and Osborne, b. May 30, 1878. James was a steamboat
fireman and railroad engineer during his lifetime. He enlisted in Kingston, Ulster Co, NY to serve 3 years and was mustered in as a Drummer into Company C, 20th New York State Militia on September 5, 1861. He was honorably discharged October 24, 1864 in Kingston. He was a trap drummer and violinst of some note during his lifetime. James died September 29, 1934 in Kingston, Ulster Co, NY and is buried at Rosendale Plains cemetery, Tillson, Ulster Co, NY. James was buried without a headstone. Thanks to the efforts of Seward Osborne he now has a headstone that commemorates his service to the country.
Captain Theodore Fredrick Overbaugh, Company F, 120th New York State
Volunteer Infantry. He was born June 6, 1836, probably Leeds or Catskill and
christened, July 31, 1836 in the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds,
Catskill, NY. His parents were John Overbaugh and Heleanah Manning. Theodore
married Geraldine V. S. Jennings on May 25, 1859. The captain was wounded at
Gettysburg, however he died on November 11 or 15, 1863 in Catskill from lung
disease. He is buried in Catskill Village Cemetery.
Corporal William H. Hisard, Company D, 120th NYV, taken on July 21, 1866. Born, October 10, 1838 in Athens, NY
George B. Sharp, who served with Co. B, New York 43rd during the Civil War. This photo was taken at Washington D C in 1865, where he was discharged from the military. George married Ann E. Stewart and they had two daughters, Nellie Harriet Sharp b. May 3, 1867 married Jefferson D. Boice and Mae Sharp 1884, who married George W. Vincent. Both children were born in New Baltimore. George is buried in Chestnut Lawn Cemetery, New Baltimore. George is in uniform, but it is not a regular issue civil war uniform. There is some questions around what kind of uniform it is!
Photo courtesy Em Martin.
Contributed by Mignon Matthews
the reverse of John's card, it states: Sergt. John Wright , Co. D
120th N.Y.V., from Coxsackie, N.Y.
Wounded @ Gettysburg on July 2,1863, Transferred to V.R.C.
The 1850 federal census shows John living in the household of
William Whitbeck in Coxsackie. He is aged 16 and is
listed as a farmer.
The 1855 state census shows John living in the household of John Clow in Coxsackie, aged 19. He is a laborer and
his location of birth is not identified.
Is this the John Wright in New Baltimore, aged 36, born in
Ireland, who is a quarryman in the 1870 federal census? He
is living with his wife Margaret, aged 35 and his five children, John 12, Kate 10, Ellen 7, Anna 4 and George 3?
Contributed by Michael Rausch, Coxsackie Town Historian
Brigadier General Amos Beebe Eaton, born in Catskill, NY
Amos B. Eaton was born in Catskill, New York. He graduated from West Point in 1826; he was an infantry lieutenant until the Florida campaigns of the late 1830s. After that, his only fighting experiences took place in the Mexican-American War, for which service he was appointed a brevet major. Eaton served for 12 years as a field officer in the U.S. Army, then joined the commissary department for 23 years.
lieutenant colonel and assistant commissary
general in 1861, Eaton was given the task of creating an effective supply
system for the fledgling Union army. The large number of troops entering the
Army at the beginning of the war was overloading the existing system. His
work provisioning and distributing supplies to the troops led to President
Abraham Lincoln's July 6, 1864 appointment
of Eaton to the rank of
brigadier general, U.S. Army, to rank from
June 29, 1864. President Lincoln formally nominated Eaton for the
appointment on June 30, 1864 and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment
on July 2, 1864. Eaton took over the position of commissary general of the
Regular Army at the same time due to the
death of Brigadier General
Joseph P. Taylor on June 29, 1864. On March
8, 1866, President
Andrew Johnson nominated Eaton for
appointment to the
brevet grade of
major general to rank from March 13, 1865,
and the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination on May 4, 1866 and re-confirmed
it on July 14, 1866 in order to have line officers precede staff officers in
He retired May 1, 1874, with the grade of brigadier general, USA, and
commissary general of subsistence. He then moved to
New Haven, Connecticut. Eaton died in New
Haven, on February 21, 1877, and was buried there. (From wikipedia.org)
Colonel Eliakim Sherrill, born Greenville, February 16, 1813
Mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, PA, July 3, 1863 and died in
Gettysburg on July 4, 1863.
Unidentified Greene County, Federal private. The
photographer's back mark is: "H. B.
Aldrich, Over Van Loan's Bookstore, Catskill, N. Y."