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26 COMPANY I.
remained until becoming Co. H. of the Thirty-third N. Y., when they were transferred to the barracks. Captain Walker being chosen Lieut-Colonel of the Thirty-third, Lieutenant Platner was promoted to Captain, Lieutenant Drake to 1st Lieutenant, and S. C. Niles to 2nd Lieutenant.
Immediately after the President's proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers reached Penn Yan, a meeting was called.at Washington Hall. General A. F. Whitaker presided, and George P. Cornwell was Secretary. Several addresses were made, and the session continued till a late hour. A roll was presented, and thirty-four names obtained.
On Thursday evening, April 25th, a much larger gathering was held, bands of music parading the streets and playing patriotic airs. Resolutions were adopted to raise a company of volunteers, and recruits came forward freely. After the County Union assembly on Saturday, April 27th, the Finance Committee appointed at that meeting, Messrs. E. B. Jones, C. C. Sheppard, D. A. Ogden, and F. Holmes, circulated a subscription to raise funds to provide for the families of volunteers.
On the ninth day of May, 1861, the Company, which at this time was known as the "Kenka Rifles," was inspected by Major John E. Bean, of Geneva, and mustered into the State service. On the same day an election was held for officers, resulting as follows:
THE KENKA RIFLES. 27
Captain—James M. Letts.
First Lieutenant—Edward E. Hoot.
Second Lieutenant—William H. Long.
The Company continued to drill under its officers until receiving orders to go into camp at Elmira, on the 18th of May. On that day the Company departed, being escorted to the Railroad Depot by the firemen and citizens. A large concourse was assembled, and the ladies of Penn Yan presented a beautiful flag to the Company, which was addressed by Hon. D. A. Ogden and Mr. E. B. Jones. Each member was also presented with a Testament. Up to this period every effort had been made by the citizens of Penn Yan and vicinity to assist in its organization and contribute to the success of the command. This patriotic zeal extended to all classes, but to none more than to the ladies, who rendered every assistance and attention to the men. On their arrival at Elmira they were quartered in Rev. T. K. Beecher's church, and on the 24th May became Company I of the Thirty-third Regiment of New York State Volunteers. On the 3rd July, 1861, it was mustered into the United States service by Captain Sitgreaves, and from that time its history became identified with that of the Regiment.
COMPANY K. Americans will ever remember with gratitude the patriotism displayed by our adopted fellow citizens, during the progress of the great uprising.
28 COMPANY K.
Teuton and Celt alike manifested their devotion for ,their adopted country, by rallying to the rescue. This was true to a remarkable degree of the Irish population, of Seneca Falls. The call of the President for troops led to the immediate formation of an Irish Company. Patrick McGraw, who had served in Her Majesty's service for upwards of fifteen years, superintended its organization, and was afterwards chosen Captain. He was materially aided by Brig. Gen. Miller, and Messrs. John McFarland and George Daniels. On Sunday afternoon, April 11th, the Sabbath quietude of the village was disturbed by the music of bands and tramp of citizens. Every one was on the alert, and every eye turned towards one point, the Catholic Church, for there the organization of the Company was to receive, after Vespers, the sanction and benediction of the Catholic Pastor. A procession was formed at the Village Armory, composed of the Volunteers, headed by Capt. McGraw, the Jackson Guards, under the command of Capt. O'Neil, bands of music, and vast crowds of citizens. At 4 P. M. the procession arrived at the Church, which was immediately filled to its utmost capacity. Union flags gracefully hung around the sanctuary, and the choir sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and the "Red, White and Blue." Vespers ended, an address was delivered by the Pastor, who urged loyalty to the Union, the defence of a common country, and the perpetuation of the traditional bravery of the Irish race.
Tuesday afternoon, May 22d, 1861, the Company
A GENERAL HOLIDAY. 29
prepared to leave for Elmira. It was a general holiday in the village and suburbs. The factories ceased work, stores were closed, bells rung out their liveliest peals, the "Big Gun" blazed away, and every one was on the qui vive. The men were supplied with a graceful fatigue dress, of home manufacture. Equipped in their rakish caps, knit woolen shirts and dark grey pantaloons, they marched through the streets, accompanied by the Jackson Guards, the Fire Companies, and many thousands of loyal citizens. On the Fair Grounds the Company was presented with a flag, the gracious offering of the citizens. The Captain received, on the same occasion, a beautiful sword, Rev, Edward McGowan making the presentation speech.
The "Jackson Guards" and "Continentals" accompanied the men to Geneva, and escorted them to the steamboat provided for conveying them to Elmira. At the landing, the crowds were immense, and cheer after cheer went up from the assemblage for the Irish Volunteers, as the boat steamed away from the dock.
On reaching Elmira, the men were provided with quarters, and soon after became attached to the Thirty-third, as Co. K.
30 ORGANIZATIONS OF REGIMENTS.
Elraira a Place of Kendezvous.— Arrival of Troops.—Organization of the Thirty-third.—A Beef Incident.—Presentation of a Flag.—Mustering into the United States Service.
The reader will remember that Elmira had been designated as the point of rendezvous for volunteers from the central and western portions of the State. Battalions, Companies and squads flocked hither daily, and were consolidated into regiments. In this manner the 12th, 13th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 26th and 27th, among other regiments, were formed. The plan and arrangements for consolidation were to a certain extent left with the various commands, each one being permitted to select and act upon its own regimental organization.
On the 17th of May the officers of eight of the previously described Companies met and decided upon forming themselves into a regiment, the two other Companies afterwards joining them. On the 21st the organization was rendered complete by the election and appointment of the following field and staff officers:
Colonel—Robert F. Taylor, Rochester.