2018 Old Fort Niagara Civil War Artillery School
Civil War cannons roar at Old Fort Niagara Civil War Artillery School on May 19-20, 2018 at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York. Civil War soldiers garrison the Fort and fire cannons during the afternoon at the Old Fort Niagara Civil War Artillery School. The event is sponsored by Reynolds Battery 1st New York Light Artillery.
Although Fort Niagara was far from the action during the war, it nonetheless saw activity during the conflict. Paroled Union soldiers captured near Mesilla, N.M., arrived at the fort in December 1861 and remained there until October 1862. Later, the fort’s walls were strengthened against a feared British attack from Canada in support of the Confederacy. The fort’s massive brick walls and sturdy underground casemates date from this period.
This Old Fort Niagara Civil War Artillery School training weekend, whether you wear blue or gray the school is dedicated to one simple goal: the training of reenactors in the safe portrayal of their branch. To a lesser degree, it is the hope that, in brotherhood, we can continue to strive to make this hobby enjoyable and accurate to ourselves, our comrades, and the public. Except for general formations for colors, award presentations, and guest speakers, the Fort will be garrisoned, scheduled, administered, and certified by staff from their own school. In other words, the infantry will run the skirmish school, the artillery will run the artillery school, and so on.
Old Fort Niagara
102 Morrow Plaza
(in Fort Niagara State Park)
Youngstown, NY 14174
For More Information: Call (716) 745-7611
About Reynolds’ Battery 1st New York Light Artillery
Each year the Battery attends events throughout New York State and national events in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Maryland. Reynolds’ Battery L, 1st New York Light Artillery is chartered by the New York State Board of Education with the stated purpose and objectives to inform, instruct and educate the public
as to the life and trials of a Civil War Artillery soldier during the 1860s. In recognition of the training provided by the Battery to its members and the Reenactment community the 2012 George MacDonald Award for Outstanding Service was presented to Richard Henderson and John Beatty with Reynolds Battery.
History of Reynolds’ Battery 1861 to 1865
After the disaster at Bull Run, President Lincoln put out a call for 300,000 more men for service. The Rochester Union Grays, a New York Militia regiment at the time, answered the call. Recruiting was done by John A. Reynolds, Edwin Loder and Charles Anderson, and men from Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties flocked to the recruiting offices to join the artillery regiment.
On October 8, 1861, 81 men and officers swore an oath to the Union and were mustered into federal service while stationed in Elmira, NY. Under the direction of the State of New York, twelve artillery companies were formed with Reynolds’ Battery given the designation of Company L. They transferred to Albany on November 14, the training ground for all NY State Artillery, having reached full strength of 115 men. On November 23, 1861 Company L reported for duty at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. under the command of Captain John A. Reynolds. John Reynolds used his own personal funds as a guarantee to secured the first six Model 1861 3” Ordnance Rifles from the Phoenix Iron Works. These guns would not arrive until May 1862, but would bring a great deal of fame for Reynolds’ Battery as being the only battery in US Service to have the first six consecutive guns in any series of any cannon in their battery. On February 23, 1862, Reynolds’ Battery was assigned to Baltimore, Maryland to guard the Capital. After six months of waiting, they were called into action at Harper’s Ferry.
About Old Fort Niagara
Old Fort Niagara has dominated the entrance to the Niagara River since 1726. In American hands since 1796, Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813, and then ceded to the US a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812. Today, visitors can discover an amazing collection of military architecture, including the oldest building in the Great Lakes region: the “French Castle.” The fort is a New York State and National Historic Landmark and hosts several reenactments each year.
Mark your calendar today so you don’t miss the next Old Fort Niagara Civil War Artillery School in Youngstown, New York in May.
Tags: Old Fort Niagara Civil War Artillery School, Civil War Artillery School, Civil War Living History