What Would Stephen Say in 1862

By David Barber

 (My brother is writing about the Civil War years for us. He is retired, Army. We are so grateful for his service and his help here.)


An Example of a Recruitment Poster

Reprinted in the Binghamton Republican, Aug 27, 1962 on the 100th Anniversary of the 1862 meeting that led to the formation of the 109th Infantry Regiment, Company E.

"The War Meeting at the Firemen's Hall last night (Aug 22) was one of the largest and most enthusiastic ever held in this village, and it is with pride we point to the results. ……….we have felt, for some time past, that our town was behind her sisters in efforts to facilitate enlistments, but we are all right now. ……..Judge Balcom, Capt Shipman and others spoke during the evening, all to the same effect and purpose-denouncing, alike, traitors at home or abroad-urging the importance of enlistments, and determined, with one heart and one mind, earnestly to sustain our Constitution and our National Unity."

As a former soldier myself, I think Stephen's account would be as follows:

And so this chapter of my life begins. On Aug 27th, we will muster. I have no idea where my enlistment will take me, what experiences and adventures lie ahead. I am sure the next three years will be much different than the farmer's life I have lived to date. I seek no glory. My service is in the belief that the country is worth fighting for. Ninety-nine and one, me, will form Company E, commanded by Capt Shipman, 109th New York Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col Tracey, with pride and determination, to sustain our Constitution and our National Unity.
-Steven D Wilbur, August 22, 1862, Binghamton, New York