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
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
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
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
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
Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826 - 1898). Born
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
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."
Gage, August 25, 1862, Fayetteville, N.Y.