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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Adam & I Visit the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York

My son, Adam, and I enjoy history, especially military history.  We drove to Saratoga Springs to immerse ourselves in New York State military history.

The New York Military Museum
is housed in the Saratoga Springs 

New York was the site of
numerous Revolutionary
War battles.

British armies tried, in vein, to take New York and split the rebel colonies into two and crush the rebellion.  One third of the battles fought from 1775 through 1781 were fought in this state.

After the war with England ended, militias continued to meet and drill.  Fast growing America was experiencing regional tensions.  Would slave ownership remain part of American life?  There was sometimes open conflict over whether a newly admitted state would be slave holding or free.

After Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1861, Southern slave owning states seceded from the Union. Fort Sumter was attacked and the Civil War began.

New York State answered President Lincoln's call for troops early in the Civil War (1861 - 1865). By the end 1861, 100,000 New York State Militia were serving under Union commanders.

Weapons & memorabilia
from the Civil War.

Though willing to enlist and fight, New York residents and politicians became deeply divided over the War as casualties mounted as a total of over 200,000 men from New York volunteered to serve in the Union Army.  And even more men were needed in the fight.  Congress passed the Conscription Act In 1863, creating the first wartime draft.  Men ages 20 to 45, including immigrants planning to become citizens, were required to register for the draft.  Exemptions included paying $300.00 to obtain an exemption or finding a replacement draftee.

Slips of paper with the names of
draft eligible men were put into
"Draft Wheel" for random
selection for service.

The burden of fighting in the ongoing Civil war was falling heavily on working class men and immigrants.  Tensions boiled over and riots broke out in New York City on July 13, 1863, as officials were trying to enforce the draft.  Street battles raged for two days resulting in 119 deaths.

Battles raged across the
Southeast, Midwest
& New Mexico.

The Confederate States of America (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas) bore the brunt of Civil War carnage.

Doctors, nurses, soldiers &
civilians worked hard to
the wounded.

Homes, schools & churches
were filled after each battle.

After the Battle of Fort Pillow, prisoner exchanges stopped.  The North and South put up make shift prison camps.  Union and Confederate soldiers suffered from exposure due to lack of housing, malnutrition and unsanitary conditions due to lack of sanitation

Andersonville Prison, in Georgia,
became infamous.

Thousands of Confederate soldiers
died of malnutrition & exposure
at Elmira Prison in New York.
After four long years of fighting, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse.  It was time to heal a badly wounded nation.

State Militias continued to meet and drill regularly.  In New York, the construction of armories started in the late 1860s, armories were built to guard the coastline, to store arms and to house the state's part time Militia.  Besides regular military drills, members socialized and played sports together.

New York State sent soldiers
to fight in Europe in
 World War I (1914 - 1918.

War was waged across Europe and into Turkey.  The United States joined with Great Britain, France and Russia to defeat Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy in 1917.

Machine Guns & Mortars were
used by the Triple Alliance 
Triple Entente.

Soldiers built & fought
from trenches.

The war had come to a
stand still.

My son, Adam, reads a poems written by Alfred Joyce Kilmer while he served in Europe... Prayer of a Soldier in France and from Rouge Bouquet.  

World War I ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November, 1918.

raged around the world.

The United States joined Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union to stop Axis aggression by Germany, Italy and Japan.

New Yorkers served in Europe,

Women served in the Armed
Forces, freeing men for
active combat.

Millions of military and civilians died around the world.  The world later plunged into The Cold War, the international standoff that wore on for decades.  The Korean War, 1951 - 1953 ended with neither side being able to claim victory.

U.S.sent troops to Vietnam
to stop Communists from
taking over countries in
Southeast Asia.

The first U.S. military advisers arrived in South Vietnam in 1955.  Troop escalations started in the early 1960s while the U.S. attempted to prop up the weak South Vietnamese government. Following the North Vietnamese attack of two U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, more and more troops were sent to South Vietnam to fight the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong fighters.

2,594,000 American servicemen 
& women served  in Southeast Asia 
throughout the Vietnam War
(1960 - troop withdrawal in 1973).

303,664 Americans were wounded.  58,220 Americans died on the battlefield or from their wounds after evacuation.

Over 200,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the Vietnam War.  1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong fighters died in the war.  An estimated 2 million civilians, in North and South Vietnam died.

New Yorkers in the Armed Services are stationed all over the world.  They have served in the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War and Iraq War.

 is located at Stratton

The National Air Guard flies
missions to Antarctica to
support the National Science
Foundation's polar research project.

Adam and I enjoyed learning more about New York State's participation in our country's military history.

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