Friday, May 6, 2011

Hudson in the Civil War

The featured and most celebrated item in the DAR's exhibition commemorating the Civil War Sesquicentennial is the newly restored flag of the 128th New York Infantry Regiment, a volunteer regiment from Columbia and Dutchess counties. The 128th Regiment was organized at the fairgrounds in Hudson and mustered into service on September 4, 1862. On September 5, the regiment sailed for New York on the steamboat Oregon and from there went by train to Baltimore, where they trained at Camp Millington.

There's a historic marker at the corner of Fairview Avenue and Oakwood Boulevard--at the edge of the parking lot for Nothing But the Tooth--that marks the site of Camp Kelly, where the volunteers of the 128th Regiment assembled.

One of those volunteers was Edward Gifford, younger brother of Sanford Gifford, who at the age of 29 mustered in with the rank of captain. On May 26, 1863, two days into the Siege of Port Hudson in Louisiana, Gifford was captured in a skirmish on Slaughter's Field. Six weeks later, on July 3, he escaped, swimming across the Mississippi, and rejoined his regiment on July 4, 1863. He was promoted to the rank of major, effective from the day after his capture. A month after his escape, on August 8, 1863, he died of typhoid fever in New Orleans.

Other Gifford brothers traveled to New Orleans to claim his body and bring it back to Hudson for burial. Edward Gifford's was the first burial in the Gifford family plot, a site chosen by Sanford Gifford for its unusually beautiful view of the Berkshire Mountains.

Thanks to Don Christensen and Mary Hallenbeck for their help with this post.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what kind of historical marker could be put next to Hairy Situations