Longstreet Museum Living History Oct 24-25 2015

Join the 79th for a living history event at the Longstreet Museum in Russelville, TN this weekend  Oct 24-25    The address is:

5915 E Andrew Johnson Hwy, Russellville, TN 37860

Information on the museum can be found at  http://www.longstreetmuseum.com/index.htm

Please join us and experience drill, soldier life, and learn about the hidden history in our area!


The Story of Lieutenant David Grey Falconer, 79th NY

Webmaster note:  This entry courtesy of Pvt. Tom Vaselopulos, 79th NY

I have always enjoyed history, especially the Civil War.  It was one of the main reasons for joining the 79th New York Volunteer Infantry (NYVI); as it is one of the most interesting units of the American Civil War.  Comprised mainly of Scottish immigrants to the United States, they flocked to the colors of their new country during its time of need and served with distinction in nearly every theater of the conflict and in were involved in some of the bloodiest fighting.

Starting with 895 members when they mustered into Federal service in New York City on May 29, 1861, for three years service, there were less than 130 of the original members of the unit when their terms of enlistment ran out on May 13, 1864 in Spotsylvania, Va.  They returned to New York City to be discharged.

So it was with great interest when I moved to Lexington, KY that I found out a member of the original 79th NYVI is buried here. His name is Lieutenant David Grey Falconer, Company B, 79th NYVI.

The official record of Lt. Falconer is listed in the, “Rosters of The New York Infantry Regiments During The Civil War.”  These rosters were compiled by the New York State Adjutant General’s Office. They were published as a set of 43 volumes between 1893 and 1905. Their official titles are Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of New York for the Year____.  These rosters were digitized by the New York State Library. For a complete list of the documents the library has digitized see www.nysl.nysed.gov/scandocs/.  Also, information about the 79th NYVI can be found on:  http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/79thInf/79thInfMain.htm

FALCONER , DAVID.—Age , 21 years. Enrolled, May 13, 1861, at New York City, to serve three years; mustered in as second lieutenant, May 27, 1861; as first lieutenant, January 19, 1862; wounded in action, September 17, 1862, at Antietam, Md.; discharged, July 31, 1863, for appointment in Veteran Reserve Corps. Commissioned second lieutenant, May 27, 1861, with rank of same date, original; first lieutenant, April l3, 1862, with rank from February 28, 1862.

Official records are very impersonal and the remaining information comes from a rededication of Lt. Falconer’s stone marker in Cavalry Catholic Cemetery, Lexington, KY, on July 14, 2001 as reported in the local newspaper The Lexington Leader.

David Gray Falconer was born in Early Vale, Mid-Lothian, Scotland December 14, 1837.  He immigrated to New York City in 1856 and continued his education.  He joined the 79th New York State Militia soon after its organization and went off with the regiment when it mustered into Federal service as a second lieutenant.  He saw action in the battles of Blackburn’s Ford, Bull Run, Lewinsville, Pocataligo Bridge, Port Royal, Chantilly, South Mountain, and Antietam.

It was at Antietam that Lt. Falconer was wounded in the right hand and right knee resulting in the amputation of his right leg.  According to the unit history of the 79th , found in Wikipedia, the following is an account of the units action at Antietam:  “During the battle, the Highlanders fought near Burnside’s Bridge and were deployed as skirmishers leading an advance along the Sharpsburg Road near the Sherrick House. Despite heavy Confederate fire, they pressed on, managing to drive in part of Jones’ Division and capturing a battery of artillery. However, the arrival of A. P. Hill‘s troops drove the 79th back into the suburbs of Sharpsburg, where they engaged in a vicious firefight around the Sherrick House. In spite of heavy fighting, the regiment escaped relatively lightly with only 40 men killed, missing or wounded.”

After recovering from the amputation, Lt. Falconer was discharged from active service, July 31, 1863 to enlistment into the Veterans Reserve Corp at the same rank. He was stationed in the Louisville and Lexington, KY area detailed to the Medical Department to make a record of soldiers buried in Camp Nelson and vicinity until July 1866.  He eventually obtained the rank of Major while with the Veterans Reserve Corp.

After the war, Major Falconer decided to stay in Lexington while he studied the law at Kentucky University where he graduated and was admitted to the bar in February 1868. He continued his relations with his old comrades by his membership in the 79th Veterans Association after the war. Major Falconer remained in Lexington and continued to practice law for 58 years.  He resided in the city with his wife Martha and his son D. Gray Falconer.  Major Falconer was involved in many local community and church activities.  Major Falconer passed away after a brief illness in March 8, 1926 at 89 years old.

Below is a photo of the stone rededication:







Battle of Blountville, TN, Oct 10-12, 2014

Please join the 79th for the Battle of Blountville, TN, Oct 10-12 2014.

This reenactment, which  was recently awarded  the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Pinnacle Award for Special Event 2013, is held at Old Hawley Farm 1173 Hawley Rd Blountville, TN, near Northeast State Comm. College. More info can be found on http://www.battleofblountville.com/reenactment.htm

This event is sponsored by Co. H, 79th NY Infantry and is part of an effort to establish a military park for the battle. This is in addition to the Blountville Historic District which is recognized on the National Register of Historic Sites.



Earl Fletcher, longtime 79th member, dies at 65

Scan0001-crop1Earl Fletcher, a longtime member of the 79th NY and friend to all in the hobby who knew him, has died at age 65. Earl was director of the Nathanael Greene Museum and was recently elected to the Greene County Commission. He formerly was a teacher and coach in the Greene County Schools, and served as an alderman in Mosheim. He was a veteran who served aboard sub hunting aircraft out of Iceland.

To those who knew Earl, he was a kind, generous man who always had a kind word for his friends and fellow re-enactors.

His warm and welcoming presence will be sorely missed around the campfire, and we will always have a spot in the company street for him.



East Tennessee History Fair, Aug 16, downtown Knoxville

Please join the 79th NY at the East Tennessee History Fair, Saturday August 16 from 10-5  downtown Knoxville as we help celebrate the unique history of our area.

The fair will  cover areas in and around downtown and will feature not only the different booths, but historical films ( free ) at the Bijou, music, historic home tours, etc.

 The 79th will be part of a timeline of reenactors from the French and Indian War to World War 2 held at Krutch Park just off Market Square in dowtown Knoxville

The fair is put on by the East Tennessee History Center, for more information: http://www.easttnhistory.org/events-programs/east-tennessee-history-fair

Hope to see everyone there!


Mabry-Hazen House Knoxville, Living History June 14-15 2014

The historic Mabry-Hazen House ( 1711 Dandridge Ave, Knoxville ) is hosting a Living History event on June 14-15  (  http://www.mabryhazen.com/Mabry-Hazen_House/Civil_War_Living_History.html )

This is an excellent opportunity to not only visit one of Knoxville’s historic homes, but to see military drill, talk to the troops, and get an idea of life in Knoxville during the war.

Information can be found on the website above.


Battle of Blountville Reenactment Wins Award

The Battle of Blountville, Tennessee reenactment ( Oct 10-14, 2014 ) was recently awarded  the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Pinnacle Award for Special Event 2013.

The Battle of Blountville is part of an effort to establish a military park for the battle site. From the website:

“The Battle of Blountville Civil War Park and its development will primarily begin in the Historic District of downtown Blountville as recognized on the National Register of Historic Sites.  The Battle of Blountville Civil War Park and its development will primarily begin in the Historic District of downtown Blountville as recognized on the National Register of Historic Sites. ”

This is an important effort, as battlefields all over the country are slowly being lost to development. More info can be found at http://battleofblountville.com/index.html 

Congratulation to the Blountville event organizers, and thanks for helping to keep the history of our area alive.

Battlefield Preservation

This past Monday, members of the  79th NY  had a chance to visit Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Wilderness battlefields in Virginia.  As we drove around, we noticed that, particularly at Fredericksburg, modern civilization has encroached on many fields. Houses and businesses now sit where battles took place, and only a marker remains. 

While it would be impossible to protect every acre of ground, we should strive to protect what we can.  A  Park Ranger  at Spotsylvania told us that the park recently was able to get several hundred acres, allowing them to protect vital parts of that field.

It is important that we protect those places where our ancestors fought and died ( regardless of what color uniform they wore ) and that our descendants won’t have to only read about places like Fredericksburg in books.

Donate to a park, pick up trash at a battlefield park or historic site if there is one near you. It is up to us to preserve the past.