background image

"The stories fascinated me as a
child," he said. "About 1964, I wrote
a letter to Fr. Irenaeus Herscher,
O.F.M., who was then in charge of
the Friedsam library, asking him if
the library had any material." At the
time the library did not, but Fr. Ire-
naeus wrote back telling Dunkelman
he would help in any way he could.
Dunkelman continued gathering
more research -- such as letters and
diary entries -- and it wasn't long until
he met Winey, who was also a 154th
regiment fanatic. Winey had compiled a
history of the 154th for his master's thesis
in the Cooperstown Graduate Program, so
the connection was an easy one for the two
Together, Winey and Dunkelman collected more ma-
terial and information and began writing their book, offi-
cially titled "The Hardtack Regiment: An Illustrated History of
the 154th Regiment, New York State Infantry Volunteers."
"I kept working on more and more stuff after our first
book," said Dunkelman, who has published five additional
books about the men of the 154th. "I have contacted more
than 1,200 descendants of members of the regiment, and they
gave me more material, some originals and some copies."
According to Dunkelman, his collection is one of the largest
collections of primary-source material about any single Civil
War regiment. About a decade ago he began to look for a
place to house their growing collection.
"The regiment is largely from Cattaraugus County," said
Dunkelman. "So I knew Cattaraugus County was its home. In
July 2002, Mike and I met with library director Paul Spaeth and
then later with archivist Dennis Frank and toured the library.
They were very receptive to the collection coming there, and I
knew it would be well curated and well taken care of."
General USA Hospital
No. 2 Chattanooga Tenn
July 11th/64
Dear Parents
Your letter came to hand to day with much pleas-
ure ... My wound was light flesh wound in the left
arm. The ball went through my tin cup & A piece of
the cup went in my leg but it all was slight I think
that I was lucky to some of them for I did not loose
any limbs...
Dell Ames
(Edson D. Ames)
>> >>
Letters Home
Among the many documents in
the Civil War collection are letters like
these from soldiers to their families
Oct the 25th/62
Fairfax Court House
Dear Father & Mother and Brothers & sisters & Granma
I not being very well I thought I would write a few lines
and let you know how the Chaut boys get a long. Pa they
stand it pretty well except the virginnia quick step that
is what ails me thay make us drill from 8 to 9 hours a
day and it keeps a fellow tierd so he can sleep ...
Write as soon as you get this good by to you all write
all the news wether you have got your crops in and if
they are good how manny potatoes.
From your afectionate son
Homer A. Ames
Boyd Myers (left) enlisted
in 1862 at age 29 in
Napoli. Captured in action
May 2, 1863, at Chancel-
lorsville, Va., he was
paroled May 16, 1863, at
City Point, Va. Myers mus-
tered out June 27, 1865, at
Washington, D.C.