Fayetteville

 

The Village of Fayetteville lies within the township of Manlius. Like most villages North and South, the Civil War took its toll on those men who answered their country's call to duty. Of the 530 men from the township who left their homes to serve; some 105 would never return. The Towns mortality rate for losses due to combat and disease was an astounding twenty-two percent! Volunteers from Manlius served as parts of the: 3rd NY Vols., 12th NY Vols., 101st NY Vols., 122d NY Vols., 149th NY Vols., 185th NY Vols. and the 193d NY Vols. Manlius men also served in cavalry, engineering, and light and heavy artillery units.





Fayetteville, N.Y. with its proximity to the Erie Canal and rich agricultural resources was able to supply food for Lincoln's army. Residents caught up in the spirit of adventure joined the cause to preserve the Union. Ladies' Aid Societies supported their troops in the field with clothing and other items (bandages, socks, food, etc.) as the war progressed. Towards the end of the war, Black residents were able to join Union forces in segregated companies under the War Departments Bureau of Colored Troops, later to become the U.S. Colored Troops.

Not all residents of the Town of Manlius were sympathetic to the Union's cause. Many believed that slavery was not an issue worth going to war over. Indeed, some were slave owners themselves! Those whose sympathies were with the South were called Copperheads by Union loyalists. In October of 1863 rival groups of both persuasions met about halfway between the two villages to promote their cause. Manlius copperheads threatened retaliation if the Fayetteville Unionist proceeded into the Manlius Village. However, since the Unionist outnumbered the Copperheads by a large number, cooler heads prevailed and bloodshed was avoided.




Near the main entrance to the Fayetteville Cemetery is a monument to the 103 men who died from battle wounds or disease during the Civil War. Some were a part of the 149th Regiment, Company F which was made up primarily of recruits from the Town of Manlius. The 149th Regiment was engaged in several major battle during the war including - Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Lookout Mountain. At Culp's Hill (Gettysburg) the fire was so intense that the staff of regiments battle flag was split in two. Color-guard, Sgt. William Lilly retrieved the flag while under heavy fire and spliced the two halves using splints and leather straps. The flag,, now revered by the men of the 149th, was carried in other battles; but Sgt. Lilly was fatally wounded in Battle of Wauhatchie (Tenn.) in Oct. of 1863. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Syracuse. This event became quite famous and is depicted in monuments at Gettysburg and on the Clinton Square Monument in Syracuse. The flag, the First National Colors, was returned to Syracuse by Col. Henry A. Barnum in 1864.


Of all of the regiments recruited from Central New York, men of Co. C of the 122nd and Co. F of the 149th were predominantly from Fayetteville and Manlius. On Aug. 25, 1862, Matilda Joslyn Gage, representing the ladies of Fayetteville , presented a hand-made silk flag of the National Colors to Col. Silas Titus and the men of the 122nd who were to depart in six days to join the Army of the Potomac. As part of the 6th Corp, the 122nd and Company C distinguished itself in several major battles and skirmishes throughout the war. During its three years of service,  the 122nd loss more than one-half of its original 1,000 volunteers. Though tattered and torn, the National Colors flag  was returned to Onondaga County
and has recently been restored. The inscription on the flag reads: Presented by the Ladies of Fayetteville to the 122d Reg't N.Y.S.V.

 The markers of Union Civil War veterans can be recognized by the pointed Gothic arch shape* of their government issue tombstones. Such is the case of Philip Pledger who served with Company B of the 20th Colored Regiment. He is thought to be the single black veteran buried in the Fayetteville Cemetery. The 20th Regiment under Col. Nelson B. Bartram, was organized at Riker's Island, New York harbor, February 9, 1864. The Regiment served in the Department of the East through March, 1864, and in the Department of the Gulf (of Mexico), through January, 1865. Company B was honorably discharged and mustered out, October 7, 1865. Pledger was one of the more than 180,000 Black soldiers and sailors who served on the Union side. Of that number, twenty-one African-Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor. Pledger survived the war and died in 1880 at the age of 61.

* Another common style of standard War Department issue tombstone consisted of a rounded top with the Federal shield on its face.

 Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826 - 1898). Born in Cicero, New York, Matilda Joslyn was the daughter of a well-know abolitionist. She married Henry Hill Gage in 1845 and the couple moved to Fayetteville, N.Y. in 1854. Her home at 210 E. Genesee St. becomes a haven for escaped slaves and a station in the "underground railway". When the Fugitive Slave Law passes in 1850, the outspoken Matilda signed a petition stating that she would rather go to jail for 6 months and pay the $2000 dollar fine rather than obey the law. Because of her work as an abolitionist as well as her activity in the women's suffrage movement, she drew national attention as a speaker and writer. Her most famous book, Women, Church and State, written in 1893, brought her to worldwide attention. Although the book was praised by none other than the great Russian author Leo Tolstoy, the Fayetteville School Board banned the book describing it as "too salacious".

When men from the Town of Manlius (122 Regiment, Company C) went off to war in 1862, Mrs. Gage was selected to present a ceremonial flag to the Fayetteville Company. In her speech to the men Gage tells the soldiers that they are fighting for an end to slavery and for freedom for all citizens. Matilda Joslyn Gage died at the Chicago home of her daughter Maud. Her grave is located in the Fayetteville Cemetery at South Manlius Street.

 Author, social activist, abolitionist,outspoken advocate for Native Americans, Blacks and Women:

"Let Liberty be your watch word and your war cry alike. Unless liberty is attained--the broadest, the deepest, the highest liberty for all,--not for one set alone, one clique alone, but for men and women, black and white, Irish, Germans, Americans and Negroes, there can be no permanent peace. There can be no permanent peace until the cause of the war is destroyed. And what caused the war? Slavery! and nothing else. That is the corner-stone and key-stone of the whole. The cries of down-trodden millions arising to the throne of God. Let each one of you feel the fate of the world to be upon your shoulders, and fight for yourselves, and us, and the future."

Matilda Joslyn Gage, August 25, 1862, Fayetteville, N.Y.