Civil War Saturday in Sackets Harbor

Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site
Saturday August 13, 2022
10am to 4pm

SACKETS HARBOR, NY —  The Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site’s annual Civil War Saturday offers stories of the US army and navy during the war years. But like many people, loyalties were strained. Sackets Harbor’s Navy Yard US Commandant Josiah Tattnall left his post near retirement to start a new career fighting in the CSA navy for his native state Georgia.

Tours in the historic site’s Commandant’s House help us imagine how his family lived before their untimely departure, some fled to Georgia, some to places unknown, and Tattnall himself resigned. Those stories tell us what transpired in the family that changed people’s lives forever.

Across the harbor at the army’s Madison Barracks, in 1861 Walter Bicker Camp headed military recruitment for the Union army. More stories of preparing for war.

Soon, the 94th Regiment formed; the soldiers described as “splendid material.” The 10th NY Heavy Artillery then formed. But the army’s 7th US Infantry stationed at the Barracks had to share space with these new recruits, crowding several thousand men together causing disease to flourish and tense conflicts.

As the war progressed, the 20th NY Cavalry formed here, the draft began, soon followed by draft dodging, and all the turmoil with it.

In Sackets Harbor, John Hadley’s story stands out. A young local African American, John joined the 8th US Colored Infantry. Wounded twice during the war in Virginia, he mustered-out at war’s end in Brownsville Texas.

Stop by the Sackets Harbor Battlefield site’s Navy Yard this Saturday to hear these compelling stories.