Decoration Day (Memorial Day) in Lansingburgh – most years from 1868-1900 are represented below by at least some of the coverage from newspapers, though not by all the coverage given for each year for the planning and observance of Decoration Day. More examples are being added.
Memorial Day continues to be observed in Lansingburgh, of course, but the news items here primarily cover that period of time the holiday was observed while Lansingburgh was a separate Town and Village prior to annexation by the City of Troy. At the moment a small selection of items pertaining to 1901 and later are included.
List of many, but not all, of the veterans interred in the Lansingburgh Village Burying Ground and Old Catholic Burying Ground:
List of several of the veterans interred in St. John’s Cemetery on the Hill in Lansingburgh (far from complete):
List of some, but far from all, of the veterans buried in Oakwood Cemetery (the majority of the land for which had been within the Town of Lansingburgh):
“Their Last Resting-Place; Where the Veterans are Buried—Under the Tents of Green—Soldiers’ Graves to be Decorated.” Troy Daily Times. May 28, 1885: 1 cols 4-5.
Oakwood Cemetery’s own list of all known Civil War veterans buried there: https://www.oakwoodcemetery.org/oakwood_civilwar_list.pdf
—Mr. F. W. Ackley will deliver the oration on Decoration Day, at Lansingburgh. Mr. Ackley is an accomplished speaker and will do justice to the occasion.
“Home Matters.” Troy Press. May 25, 1869: 3 col 2.
At nine o’clock in the morning Post Dargen, accompanied by Doring’s Band, proceeded to the Old Village and Episcopal burying grounds, and there with appropriate exercises decorated the graves of soldiers, after which they returned to the rooms of Post Dargen, and there rested until one o’clock.
At one o’clock Marshall King and Assistant Marshals Seaman, Hyatt and Davenport made their appearance on Richard street [117th St], and soon after the various village organizations were formed in line. It was the largest turn our ever seen in this village. We give below the number of men in companies: Policemen, seven; Band, Twenty-two; Marshals, four; Post Dargen, thirty-nine; German Glee Club, twenty; Whipple Steamer, thirty-five; Franklin Hook and Ladder Company, eighteen; Fox Steamer, twenty-six; St. Augustine’s Sunday School, two hundred and twenty-one; ten carriages containing Town and Village Boards and Orators; making a total of 498 persons in line. The organizations enumerated above, with two exceptions—the Fox Steamer Company and German Glee Club—appeared in uniforms. For marching and appearance they deserve commendation. There never has been a procession in this village to equal that of yesterday.
The line proceeded up John street [4th Ave] to Canal [120th St], down Canal to State [2nd Ave], down State to South [111th St], up South to Congress [3rd Ave], up Congress to Market [115th St], up Market to Whipple Avenue [5th Ave], up Whipple Avenue to Grove [118th St], up Grove to Saint John’s Cemetery, where after a Dirge by the Band, and appropriate singing by the children of St. Augustine’s Sunday School, James C. Comstock delivered the following oration:
A nation inspired by gratitude bends to-day at the graves of its slaughtered heroes. With hearts swelling with tenderness and eyes shedding tears of affection, it scatters with pious hands the emblems of hope and immortality upon the resting-places of its honored dead.
Fellow Citizens—We mingle our sympathies and our tears, and join in these solemn services with our countrymen. The occasion is no ordinary one; the service one of peculiar interest. These men are dead, but when you and I shall have passed away from the scene of action and in the revolution of ages been forgotten, their memories will remain green in the hearts of their countrymen, and our children’s children will recount their deeds of valor and their deaths of glory. No man living to-day can estimate the importance of the struggle through which we have passed. No wars of former times at all approach this one in the magnitude of the struggle or the overwhelming grandeur of the results. Former wars were often in the interests of ambition, pride, conquest, or love of acquisition, but this was emphatically a war of ideas. […]
At the conclusion of the oration Rev. Father Dever made a prayer, after which crosses and wreaths were placed on the heroes’ graves by the children of the Sunday School. No more beautiful sight has met our gaze for many a long day than this simple tribute from the children to the memory of those who had laid down their lives, that they might grow up in happiness and innocence. The day was unusually beautiful. The heat of the bright sun was modified by a refreshing breeze which made every leaf and flower throughout that splendid park of the dead rustle and bend in seeming sympathy with the beautiful sentiment that found expression in the solemn ceremonial of the day; while the broad lakelet nestled in among the shaded hills broke in ripples over its dam and ran with melancholy murmurs down its precipitous gorge. “The brooks trip with laughter down the rocky steps that lead up to their beds, breaking the dead hush of the mourners’ grove. The birds are never silent that build there, trying to sing down the mere vocal waters, and all the slopes are beautiful with moss and flowers.” Truly a beautiful and fitting resting place for the dead.
After the ceremony the procession reformed and proceeded up the hill to Oakwood cemetery, where, after a prayer by Rev. Mr. McWhinnie, and a dirge by the band, and singing by the German Glee Club, Rev. Alexander Dickson delivered an excellent oration. A dirge was then played by the band, the graves decorated, and the benediction said by Rev. Mr. McWhinnie. The line then proceeded to Richard street and were dismissed. Quite a number of buildings along the line of march were tastefully decorated with evergreens, mourning goods and flags trimmed with black, more noticeable among which were Post Dargen headquarters, Patrick Nolan’s, John Zahn’s, Edward Smith’s, Fox Steamer House and Edwin Adams’. The flags on the building were at half-mast during the day, and the church and steamer bells were tolled while the procession was in motion. Great credit is due to Post Dargen, the Town and Village Boards, the members of the Fire Department and the ladies for the interest they manifested and the pains they took to make this celebration worthy of Lansingburgh.
“In Memoriam.” Troy Daily Times. May 31, 1871: 3 cols 4-5.
—Boshart’s Independent Veteran Zouaves will on Decoration day, by invitation of Post Dargen, G. A. R. of Lansingburgh, visit that village and participate in a grand procession. In the evening the Zoo-Zoo’s will give a kind of “Recollections of the times we had and what we saw during the war” at Rand’s Hall. Captain Boshart is a hard worker in the interests of his command, and his exertions should be appreciated by our citizens.
Troy Daily Press. April 29, 1872: 3 col 2.
—Carriages will be admitted to Oakwood Cemetery during the day.
Troy Daily Whig. May 28, 1873: 3 col 3.
Post Dargen have made the following arrangement for decoration day, May 31: David Comeskey and John H. Franklin were appointed as a subscription committee. It is to be hoped that the citizens will respond liberally, as the post is not in a condition to do much themselves toward paying the expenses. Mr. J. E. West was appointed a committee on flowers, and will request Miss Helen Hawkins to take her usual part for that day. J. E. West and Henry Wood were appointed a committee to procure clergymen to officiate at the different cemeteries, and also to invite the Rev. Mr. Hughes to deliver a memorial sermon at the Methodist church on the Sunday before decoration day. Invitations are extended to the town board, board of trustees, amateur dramatic association, Lansingburgh fire department, Sans Souci club, Concordia club and the order of American mechanics. A special meeting will be held next Tuesday evening, and all veterans are invited to attend and participate in the general arrangements.
Lansingburgh Courier. May 12, 1876: 3 col 3.
Post Dargen is making extensive preparations for the proper observance of decoration day. A band of music will be engaged.
“Lansingburgh—Fire—Miscellaneous.” Troy Daily Times. May 8, 1877: 7 col 4.
Sentiment is one of the noblest things in its way, that exists among men, but when “a man of sentiment” is nothing else, and shows no practical result of his lofty ideas, he becomes contemptible and ridiculous. Yet laugh as we may at Joseph Surface, we are in constant danger of becoming as contemptible as he, and for the same reason.
Decoration Day is one of the most honorable anniversaries observed in this country, and there is not a man or woman of patriotic feelings who does not hail its recurrence with pleasure, as a recognized opportunity for united effort in memory of the brave men who died in defence of their homes and of our nation’s honor.
By the untiring efforts of the veteran association the day in Lansingburgh was fittingly observed. In the morning details visited St. John’s, Trinity, Oakwood and the two village cemeteries where the grave of each fallen hero was decked with floral memorial tributes. In the evening Concert hall which had been appropriately decorated for the occasion was filled by a crowded audience to witness the concluding exercises of the day, the crowning feature of which was the scholarly oration of the Rev. Frank L. Norton rector of St. John’s church Troy. This finished and eloquent production, such an one as is rarely heard, won the admiration of all listeners and the learned gentleman received the heartiest praise on all sides.
Lansingburgh Gazette. May 31, 1879: 3 col 2.
Now that the month has arrived where the flowers commence to bloom, Decoration day is a seasonable topic for local comment. In Troy, we believe there is to be no celebration. The Veteran Association of this village, a thoroughly alive and patriotic organization, are making extensive preparations for a proper observance of the day in the ‘Burgh. The Tibbits Veteran corps have accepted an invitation to participate in the parade, and the indications are that the 30th inst. will be observed in a manner unequalled on any former occasion. The tender memories which Decoration days refreshen, should not be forgotten. The day is a link which binds us to the brave deeds and patriotic valor in the days when this government was tottering on the precipice of civil war. Thanks to the heroism and human sacrifice of the men, who lie sleeping in our cemeteries and graveyards; the country was saved and placed on a stronger and more enduring foundation than ever before. The least that can be done now is to pay tribute to the memory of the heroic dead, by strewing their graves with the fresh blossoming flowers of May.
Lansingburgh Gazette. May 15, 1880: 3 col 4.
John Leatherbarrow, the ingenious wire-worker, of this village, has presented the Veteran association with a new design in wire admirably adapted for cemetery lots. Vines can be so trained over it that it will form a weeping willow, and costs $3. The peculiar adaptability of this wire work lately invented by Mr. Leatherbarrow to all kinds of garden culture recommends it at once to all who see it. The Veterans return thanks to the donor. The gift will be placed on some deceased comrade’s grave on Decoration day.
Lansingburgh Courier. May 13, 1881: 3 col 2.
The veterans have completed their arrangements for the observance of Decoration day. To-morrow, Sunday, delegations from the Association will visit St. John’s, Trinity, Oakwood and both the old village cemeteries for the purpose of marking every soldier’s grave with flags prepared especially for the purpose. Sunday evening the Rev. Joel W. Eaton will, by invitation, preach a sermon appropriate to the occasion and the Veterans will attend the Methodist church in a body. Tuesday morning at 9 o’clock squads will be detailed to the different cemeteries and each marked grave will be decorated with blooming potted plants. In the evening at 8 o’clock the exercises in Concert hall will commence with the reading of a poem “The Red, White and Blue,” by Mr. Augustus Holtz. The oration of the day by the Rev. Marvin D. Jump will follow. The entertainment will be interspersed with vocal music by a male chorus music by a male chorus of 20 voices. The poem entitled “The Blue and the Gray,” will be rendered, after which the exercises will close with appropriate ceremonies.
Lansingburgh Courier. May 27, 1882: 5 col 3.
—The members of the veterans association are making extensive preparations for the proper observance of Decoration Day. There are some 150 Lansingburgh soldiers buried in the cemeteries hereabout whose graves will be suitably remembered.
“Local Department.” Lansingburgh State Gazette. May 12, 1883: 3 col 1.
—All the soldiers’ graves in Trinity, St. John’s and the village cemeteries, also the graves of Lansingburgh soldiers in Oakwood, were handsomely decorated with blooming potted plants yesterday morning by details from the Veteran association. All business houses were closed from 12 N. to 6 P.M. In the afternoon the Veterans and Arthur cadets participated in the Troy parade.
“Home Matters; Village Notes.” Lansingburgh Courier. May 31, 1884: 5 col 2.
—A grave day.
—Honor the brave.
—Pay tribute to the departed. […]
—Veterans interested in the decoration of graves met at the residence of Crombie Bolton this morning. […]
—Comrades Kefner and Bolton faithfully marked the graves of veterans from the ‘burgh who rest in the various cemeteries the past week.
Lansingburgh Courier. May 30, 1885: 4 col 2.
—Memorial Day has become one of the recognized holidays of the country, not alone from the respect properly shown the heroes of the civil war, but because of its recognition as a proper time to recall to mind departed relatives and friends in the later days of peace that have happily followed the unpleasant episodes of an unfortunate internal strife.
Lansingburgh Courier. May 30, 1885: 4 col 3.
Its Observance in the ‘Burgh.
Memorial Day was very generally observed in this village. There was not any pretentious parade, nor rattle of drums, and the martial tones of the ear-piercing fife did not stir up a warlike feeling within the quiet bosoms of our residents, yet the quiet and earnest manner in which the day was observed shows that the hearts of our people beat in unison on the occasion of this great day.
There was a general cessation of business, and all seemed intent on showing a full measure of respect for the memory of the departed heroes. Sunday morning Post Bolton visited Oakwood and other cemeteries and decorated the graves of comrades. The post turned out in large numbers and made a fine appearance.
Sunday evening Post Bolton and Camp King, sons of veterans, listened to a Memorial day sermon by the Rev. Charles Townsend at the First Presbyterian church, from II. Kings, ix. 18, “What hast thou to do with peace?”
The Memorial day exercises at Concert hall, Monday night, were attended by a large audience. The address by Rev. Henry Gordon of Coila abounded in incidents and personal reminiscences of the war, and the speaker was frequently applauded. The singing by the double quartette was excellent. On the stage were the clergy of the village and Commander Lewis E. Griffith of Willard Post, Troy. The whole affair reflected credit on Commander Wait and his able assistants.
Lansingburgh Courier. June 5, 1886: 3 col 4.
[…] Flowers and plants for the decoration of soldiers’ graves, with the names attached of the soldiers for whose graves they are intended, may be left at the residence of Crombie Bolton, No. 589 Third Avenue. Post Bolton will take charge of the gifts and use them on Decoration day in accordance with the wishes of the givers.
Troy Daily Times. May 13, 1887: 3 col 3.
—The Memorial day committee of Post Bolton, G. A. R., meet Thursday evening. Sub-committees were appointed. It was decided to hold memorial services at St. Augustine’s church Sunday.
“Home Matters; Notes About Town.” Lansingburgh Courier. May 5, 1888: 3 col 2.
[…] Post Bolton, G. A. R., last evening perfected arrangements for the observance of Memorial day. Sunday morning the post, with Post Sheridan of Waterford, will attend services at St. Mary’s church, Waterford. In the evening the post, with Camp King, will attend Trinity Episcopal church, at the invitation of the rector, Rev. C. M. Nickerson. Memorial day the soldiers’ graves at Lansingburgh will be decorated, and the post will take part in the parade preparatory to the laying of the corner-stone of the monument in Troy. While in Troy Post Bolton will be the guest of Post Willard.
Troy Daily Times. May 22, 1890: 3 col 3.
[…] The committees from post Bolton and Camp King marked yesterday the graves of veterans in St. John’s, Trinity, the village and Oakwood cemeteries. There are about 185 veterans buried in the cemeteries.
Troy Daily Times. May 25, 1891: 3 col 5.
—Business was generally suspended in the village on Memorial day, and flags and bunting were displayed in profusion. During the morning Post Bolton and Camp King decorated the graves of the 224 soldiers in the various village cemeteries notwithstanding the rain was falling most of the time. At St. John’s cemetery Rev. Father McGowan was present and read memorial prayers.
“Local News and Seasonable Jottings.” Lansingburgh Courier. June 2, 1892: 3 col 1.
—At St. John’s cemetery Tuesday morning a delegation of veterans decorated the soldiers’ graves in St. John’s, Trinity and the village burying grounds. At St. John’s the exercises were solemn and impressive. The memorial service was read by Rev. Father McLoughlin and St. Augustine’s choir rendered appropriate music.
“Local News and Seasonable Jottings.” Lansingburgh Courier. June 1, 1893: 3 col 1.
—Post Bolton and the Sons of Veterans visited St. John’s, Trinity and the old village burial grounds and Oakwood cemetery in carryalls yesterday and placed flags over the graves of soldiers. All soldiers’ graves will be decorated Thursday and any person having flowers which he wishes to place on particular graves can leave the flowers at the residence of Crumby Bolton, with a note designating for what grave the decorations are intended.—At the Methodist church last evening memorial services were conducted by Rev. J. A. Hamilton. A large attendance of Post Bolton,t he woman’s relief corps and Sons of Veterans was present. Mr. Hamilton preached a patriotic sermon, and national airs were played and songs sung. For the opening organist Charles M. Coonradt and Clarence Philip, violinist, played national airs. The quartette sang a memorial anthem and the offertory was a selection for violin and organ.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. May 27, 1895: 4 col 3.
Members of the Memorial day committee from Post Bolton and Camp King visited St. John’s, Trinity and other cemeteries yesterday and placed about 250 flags on the graves of veterans. Those who marked the graves were: From Post Bolton, Crumby Bolton, Z. Kepner, Jacob Wood and James Flynn; from Camp King, Edward Bolton, G. F. Wood, John H. Tracey, E. A. Van Voast and D. B. Clark.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. May 25, 1896: 4 col 3.
Exercises incident to Memorial day were initiated last evening, when Post Bolton, G. A. R., the Woman’s Relief Corps and Camp King, S. of V., attended service at the Millis Memorial Baptist Church on invitation of the pastor, Rev. W. N. Thomas. The edifice was filled to overflowing and the service throughout was appropriate to the occasion, the music splendidly arranged, being of a patriotic character, and the sermon by Rev. Mr. Thomas a most inspiring one. Early yesterday morning, in preparation for to-morrow, committees visited the cemeteries and flag marked the graves that are to be decorated. The post members, with members of Camp King, are to meet at Grand Army hall at 8 o’clock to-morrow morning, and will go in carryalls to St. John’s and Trinity cemeteries, the old village cemetery and thence to Oakwood. Post Bolton will join with the Troy organizations in parade.
In the evening the Woman’s Relief Corps will entertain Post Bolton and Camp King at Grand Army hall, an interesting program having been prepared, to be followed by refreshments.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. May 29, 1899: 4 col 2.
—Camp King, Sons of Veterans, will attend divine service at Hedding Methodist Church next Sunday evening. The members will report at the rooms at 7 o’clock and will proceed to the church in a body. On the morning of Memorial Day the members will meet at the rooms at 8 o’clock and will go to the different cemeteries to assist Post Bolton, G. A. R., in decorating the graves of comrades.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. May 21, 1900: 4 col 4.
—The Memorial Day Committee, including Messrs. Bolton, Reed, DeFreest and Prescott, will visit the schools in Upper Troy Wednesday afternoon for the purpose of collecting flowers and plants contributed by children for the veterans’ graves.
Troy Daily Times. May 23, 1901: 4 col 2.
—Post Griswold, G. A. R., last evening tendered a vote of thanks to Prof. J. B. Shirley and the children of the Upper Troy schools for the admirable musical program at the soldiers’ plat in Oakwood Cemetery Memorial Day, and also complimented the general Memorial Day Committee for the successful manner in which the proceedings were carried out. The post will tender a reception to Past Commander Robert W> Hunt of Chicago at the post rooms Tuesday evening, June 17. Chairman Wales and the Committee on Entertainment intend that the event shall be a fitting recognition of the faithful services rendered by Captain Hunt while Commander of the post. Associate members and Commanders of other posts will be invited.
“Among the Societies.” Troy Daily Times. June 5, 1902: 3 col 4.
—Camp King, Sons of Veterans, has issued to its members an order in reference to the observance of Memorial Day. The members are requested to attend the memorial service at the Third Avenue Church of Christ Sunday evening, wearing dark suits, white gloves and the badge of the order. Monday morning the members will assist Post Bolton, G. A. R., in decorating the graves of deceased soldiers in the various Upper Troy cemeteries. In the afternoon they will take part in the Memorial Day parade and exercises at Oakwood Cemetery. The members are also requested to attend the ceremonies in Music Hall in the evening.
Troy Times. May 24, 1904: 6 col 2.
—The Upper Troy school children who will sing at the soldiers’ plat in Oakwood Cemetery Memorial Day afternoon will rehearse Saturday morning at 9 o’clock at Bolton Hall. Professor Shirley will be in charge and Doring’s full band will be present to accompany the singing.
Troy Times. May 26, 1904: 6 col 2.
—The Mason Hose Company’s baseball team will play the Whitney Athletic Club at Mechanicville Saturday instead of the Greenwich team. Two games have been scheduled with the Greenwich team for Memorial Day. […]
—The Building Committee of Lansingburgh Council, Knights of Columbus, will report at a special meeting of the council Friday evening. Arrangements will also be made for the decoration of the graves of deceased members May 30.
Troy Times. May 23, 1906: 6 col 2.
Decorating the Graves in the Various Cemeteries—Addresses by Prominent Clergymen—Special Service in Honor of Deceased Sailors.
Memorial Day in Upper Troy was observed this morning by Post Bolton, G. A. R.; Camp King, Sons of Veterans, the Woman’s Relief Corps and the pupils of the public schools and St. Augustine’s Academy. […]
At the close of the services “taps” were sounded over the veterans’ graves by the Camp King buglers. After the services at Trinity Churchyard the Woman’s Relief Corps members and the public school children proceeded to the Cohoes and Lansingburgh bridge at [One Hundred] Twelfth Street, where memorial services were held in honor of the sailors of the Civil War. Quantities of flowers were strewn upon the waters of the Hudson by the school children and patriotic songs were sung.
Troy Times. May 29, 1906: 10 cols 4-5.
—The Memorial Day and Relic Committee of Camp King, Sons of Veterans, will report this evening at the meeting of the camp.
Troy Times. May 7, 1907: 6 col 2.