The 21st Century has been getting in the way of the 19th around me, more’s the pity, as I have been blessed with showers of Antietam-related material recently. Two of these cloudbursts just coincided; Colonel William B. Goodrich of New York at the focus.
Fellow blogger and Antietam Ranger John David Hoptak kindly sent me his biography of the Colonel, freshly written for the Antietam Volunteer Newsletter, to fill a gap on AotW. It’s up now. It is very fine.
Goodrich has the unfortunate distinction of being the only Union Brigade Commander killed in action at Antietam. Formerly commanding the 60th New York Infantry, as senior Colonel he was put in charge of his Brigade in the XII Corps on 16 September, the day before the battle.
It was back in February that I first saw the Colonel’s face, however, courtesy of the first of a series of emails full of local newspaper lore and her own research from avid genealogist Connie Sterner. Connie is master of the North Country (NY) history site, which apparently began, as these things do, as a small project and got completely out of hand!
There are many delightful threads in the large set of tidbits she’s dug up on the family Goodrich: one about the future Colonel’s partner in founding the St Lawrence Plaindealer, Seth P Remington (Frederick’s father), for example, and hints about William’s Mexican War and the Gold Rush experiences.
Among the trove of related newspaper articles Connie has clipped and saved to the web is one describing relics of the Colonel donated to the St Lawrence University in 1941. These included his campaign hat, gold epaulettes, broken sword, and several pictures. Mentioned is a ‘crayon’ portrait of he and his wife. I hope Ranger Hoptak has seen them all–St Lawrence was his main source on Goodrich.
Some of the clippings Connie’s copied me cite events concerning New York soldiers at Antietam which seem a little far-fetched, but make excellent reading. Enjoy these period gems:
She’s also teased me with a range of other material like an obituary for George Myers, who commanded the 18th New York Infantry in action at Sharpsburg, and that piece about McClellan’s removal under the patriotic flag at the top of this post (click pic for the full article). More grain for the mill …
By way of further torture, Connie recommends old newspapers online from the Potsdam (NY) Library, for those, like us, who revel in this material.
A sincere thank you to both John and Connie for their very hard work, and for so freely sharing it.