Portage in Livingston County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Letchworth State Park
This picnic area once served as the camp and parade grounds for two Civil War volunteer units. The 14-acre camp, hastily constructed in mid-August 1862, consisted of officer's headquarters, two mess halls, and ten quarters for soldiers. Colonel George Williams, who owned the land on which Camp Portage (also called Camp Williams) was constructed, sold the barracks at public auction in January 1863.
The 1st New York Dragoons
The 130th New York Volunteer Infantry was recruited from Allegany, Livingston, and Wyoming Counties. The 130th New York arrived at Camp Portage in mid-August 1982 and left for Suffolk, Virginia, in early September 1862. About one year later, the 130th was transferred to the mounted service and designated the 19th calvary. Shortly thereafter, its designation was changed to the 1st Regiment of Dragoons. The regiment was mustered out and discharged on June 30, 1865, at Cloud's Mills, Virginia, having participated in numerous skirmishes and engagements, including major battles in Virginia at Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Trevilian Station, and Cedar Creek. During its service, the regiment suffered 274 casualties, including 5 officers and 269 enlisted men.
The 136th New York Volunteer Infantry
The 136th New York Volunteer Infantry, made up of volunteers
(upper left) This August 1898 photograph depicts some of the 187 survivors of the 1st Regiment of Dragoons at the Council House grounds. They are raising the flag during a commemoration of the end of the Spanish-American War. After the Civil War, the Dragoons held regular reunions, known as he “Soldiers' Picnic,” on Letchworth's grounds.
(lower left) 1st New York Dragoon Flag The arms of the United States are painted at the center of this blue silk standard. The regiment's designation, 1st New York Dragoons, appears in the scroll beneath the eagle. “Semper Paratus,” or “Always Ready,” is painted in the scroll that flies from the eagle's beak. The names of battles in which the regiment participated have been painted on the flag. Image courtesy
(center) 1st New York Dragoon Monument This monument to the 1st New York Dragoons was dedicated in 1903. It was erected near the parade grounds, but was relocated to the west side of the Genesee River in 1917. Local citizens, including William Pryor Letchworth, contributed to the monument's construction fund.
This mounted photograph of the monument to the 1st New York Dragoons includes a list of members of the monument committee and a brief history of the unit. It may have been produced around the time of the monument's dedication as a souvenir. Note W.P. Letchworth's name. Photograph courtesy of Tom Cook
(upper right) This photograph was taken on October 10, 1888, at the dedication of the monument to the 136th New York Volunteer Infantry at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Photograph courtesy The J & R DuBois Collection
(lower right) 136th Volunteer Monument This monument to the 136th New York Volunteer Infantry is located at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The circular medallion visible on the base is the New York State Seal and the bronze crescent is the Corps symbol. The sculpture at the top of the monument depicts military equipment, such as a canteen, a saber, a haversack, and a drum. Image courtesy Victor Gavin, National Park Service
Erected by Letchworth State Park.
Location. 42° 35.072′ N, 78° 1.98′ W. Marker is in Portage, New York, in Livingston County. Marker is on Parade Grounds Entrance Road 0.6 miles north of Portage Street (New York State Route 436). Touch for map. Marker is in Letchworth State Park, parade grounds area, at the corner of the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Hunt NY 14846, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First New York Dragoons / 136th New York Infantry (here, next to this marker); Civil War Parade Ground (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Pryor Letchworth 1823 - 1910 (approx. ¼ mile away); Genesee Valley Canal (approx. 0.3 miles away); This Ancient Seneca Council House (approx. half a mile away); To the Memory of Mary Jemison (approx. half a mile away); In Grateful Memory of William Pryor Letchworth (approx. half a mile away); Nancy Jemison Log Cabin (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portage.
More about this marker. Marker faces the parking lot and is next to an outstanding spherical stone to which two Civil War memorial/historical plaques are affixed on opposite sides; one for the 1st New York Dragoons, the other for the 136th New York Infantry.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Memorial at Gettsburg for the 136th.
Also see . . .
1. Letchworth State Park - New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. (Submitted on July 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Letchworth State Park History. (Submitted on July 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 271 times since then. Last updated on August 1, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.