HINSDALE, N.Y. - Descendants of members of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry, a Civil War regiment raised in Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties, will hold their 27th annual reunion at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 30 at the Norton-Chambers American Legion Post on Route 16 in Hinsdale, N.Y.
The 154th New York was raised in the summer of 1862 and participated in many of the great campaigns and battles of the war, including Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, the Atlanta campaign and General William T. Sherman's marches through Georgia and the Carolinas. Mark H. Dunkelman of Providence, R.I., the author of five books and dozens of articles on various aspects of the 154th's history, will make a presentation on his new book, "Marching with Sherman: Through Georgia and the Carolinas with the 154th New York" which was published in April by Louisiana State University Press.
"Marching with Sherman" follows the 154th Regiment through the three states on its most controversial campaigns and combines its experiences with those of civilians - many of them women and children - it encountered along the way. Dunkelman also examines the contrasting memories of the marches held by northern soldiers and southern civilians in the postwar years, and discusses the numerous legends that have evolved over time concerning the campaigns. He closes the book with an account of his own journey along the route in 2007, when he drove some 3,500 miles in six weeks while covering the 850-mile path of the 154th from Atlanta to Savannah to Raleigh.
A limited number of copies of "Marching with Sherman" will be offered for sale at a discount at the reunion. In addition, LSU Press is offering the book and all of its Civil War titles, including Dunkelman's two previous books, "Brothers One and All" and "War's Relentless Hand" at 40 percent off in a special salt running until Monday, June 25. Orders can be placed online at www.lsupress.org or by calling 800-848-6224 and using the code 04CIVILWAR.
Dunkelman will also offer a tribute to his late partner in the study of the 154th New York, Mike Winey of Mechanicsburg, Pa. The two agreed to collaborate on a history of the 154th in 1972 and reached their goal with the publication of "The Hardtack Regiment" in 1981. Dunkelman and Winey continued to research the regiment until Winey's death at age 70 on Jan. 28. At the reunion, Dunkelman will read a remembrance of Winey he wrote for "The Civil War News."
Descendant Merrie Ann Yosua of Bel Air, Md., has handcrafted and donated three small quilts and a number of other items to be raffled off at the reunion. Each attendee will receive a complimentary ticket so everyone has an equal chance of winning a prize. Yosua's brother, Bill Street of Fallston, Md., will conduct the drawing. All attendees will also receive a souvenir ribbon.
Anyone descended from a member of the 154th New York is encouraged to attend the reunion. The public is also invited. Descendants are asked to bring photographs and relics of their soldier ancestors to be copied and added to the regimental archives.