Descendants of 154th New York Volunteers to hold reunion

SPRINGVILLE — Desc-endants of members of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry, a Civil War regiment raised in Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, will hold their 32nd annual reunion at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 15 at Fiddler’s Green Park at Franklin and North Buffalo streets in Springville, weather permitting. Should it rain, the reunion will be held in nearby Goddard Memorial Hall at 86 Franklin St.

The 154th New York — known as the Hardtack Regiment — was raised in the summer of 1862 and participated in many of the great campaigns and battles of the war, including Chancellors-ville, Gettysburg, Chatta-nooga, the Atlanta Campaign and Gen. William T. Sherman’s marches through Georgia and the Carolinas.

Mark H. Dunkelman of Providence, Rhode Island, the author of six books and dozens of articles on various aspects of the 154th’s history, will preside at the reunion, as he has every year since their inception in 1986.

Dunkelman is the great-grandson of John Langhans of Ellicottville, who served as a corporal in Company H of the 154th. Stories and relics of his ancestor inspired Dunkelman’s interest has led to a lifelong work as regimental historian. To date, he has connected with more than 1,270 fellow descendants of members of the 154th.

This year’s reunion will commemorate the regiment’s veterans in the postwar era. The program will explore how they remembered their service in the organizations they joined, the monuments they erected, the reunions they held, the trips they made to their old battlefields, the relics they preserved and the memoirs they wrote.

Anyone descended from a member of the 154th New York is encouraged to attend the reunion, which is free and open to the public. Descendants are asked to bring photographs and relics of their soldier ancestors to be copied and added to the regimental archives. Each attendee will receive a souvenir ribbon.

For more information about the reunion, contact Mark Dunkelman by phone at 401-369-0637 or by email at nyvi154th@aol.com.

For more information about his work, including summaries of previous reunions, go to www.hardtackregiment.com.

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