31 Island Farmers and Mariners
Served the Union in the Civil War 
by Patricia Moser Shillingburg

   This list of Islanders who served the Union in the Civil War comes from three sources. The Eagle atop the stone on Wilson Circle, which also commemorates the Island men who served in World War I; it contains 29 names. History of Suffolk County is a book celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of Suffolk County in 1682, published by the Suffolk County Tercentenary Commission, under the chairmanship of Robert David Lion Gardiner -- a direct descendant of Lion Gardiner, the first Englishman to settle on Long Island, in 1639. Itís alphabetized list of County citizens who served the Union in the Civil War contains 17 names from Shelter Island. Ralph Duvallís History of Shelter Island, 1932, includes the names of 25 men, not all of whom are listed in the other two sources.  I obtained more information on individuals from the 1860 Census, Jacob E. Mallmanís Shelter Island and the Presbyterian Church, 1885, and Alan Krausí Shelter Island Cemeteries, 2000. For some of the men, I could find no additional information..
    The 1860 Census found 509 people living on Shelter Island, of which approximately 140 men were between the ages of 13 and 45. This means that approximately 21% of the able bodied men left for war. One-fifth of the labor pool was a significant sacrifice for a community which depended upon the manual labor of all of its men for survival. 
    The identified men are as follows: (The symbols indicate their identification from three sources: * Tercentenary Commemorative Book; & Eagle Memorial; # Duvall.)
    Frank Barnes was 11 years old in 1860 and lived with Charles N. Jennings, a 25 year old farmer, and his wife Mary L. Jennings and their four month old son Gilbert. &
    George C. Case, lieutenant, 57th New York Regiment was wounded. * & #
    Robert J. Congdon joined the 139th New York Regiment. In the 1860 Census, he was listed as a farmer, aged 20. He died in a prison camp. * ? #
    James Monroe Conklin was born in 1842. He was the son of Edward Conklin and Jemina Havens. His grandparents were Remington and Jemina (Tuthill) Havens, and Henry and Phebe (Conklin) Conklin. James joined the Navy. He died unmarried in 1871. * & #
    John Conklin lost a leg in battle.  & #
    James Caton.  #
    David S. Dean. &
    Edward S. Dickerson. & #
    Marcus B. Duvall was born in 1844 and died in 1921. He was married to Elizabeth P. Congdon who was born in 1847 and died in 1922. They are buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery. & #
    Zebulon B. Glover was a member of the 159th New York Regiment and died in service. * #
    Randolph C. Griffing, age 17 in 1860, was a member of the 48th New York Regiment. He died in service at Hilton Head on December 10, 1861. He was the son of Maria (Havens) and Charles Griffing who died in Rio, South America in 1848 at age 47. Charles has a grave stone in the Presbyterian Church cemetery. * & #
    Charles C. Griffing. * & #
    Charles Marcus Griffing was a member of the 5th Rhode Island. He was born in 1838 and died in 1917. His wife was A. Terrie Cartwright. * & #
    William M. Halsey was born in Bridgehampton and was mustered into service on September 1, 1862. After the war he became a farmer and was the janitor in the school for 18 years. He married Martha Topping, and they had ten children. &
    J. Madison Hempstead was a 24 year old mariner in 1860. He lived with his 52 year old father James who was a farm laborer, his mother Rachael, 46, his 22 year old brother Henry, his18 year old brother William, an ìostler,î and his 19 year old sister, Mary. Madison died in a Confederate prison camp. The Hempsteads were an African American family. The other African American families on the Island identified in the 1960 Census were Jason Case, 102, and his wife Peggy, 97, and farm laborers William Ward, 52, and Jason Nichols, 55, and his wife Dorcas, 55. & #
    Thomas H. Harries was a member of the 93rd Ohio Regiment. This is probably Thomas W. Harries, son of Thomas H. Harries who was called to the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church in 1864 which he served for 20 years. Thomas was also the son of Joanna Van Zandt Duryea who was married to the Reverend in about 1839 and died in 1883 on Shelter Island. Thomas had three siblings, Charles D., Mary W., and Elizabeth. * & #
    Charles H. Havens, a member of the 127th New York Regiment, died in service in Washington, DC. In the 1860 Census, he was listed as a 19 year old farm laborer. The only Charles H. Havens in Mallmanís geneology was the son of Nathan Havens and Mahala Wilson born in 1842. Nathan (born 1798) was the son of Jeremiah and Bethiah (Youngs) Havens.  Jeremiah (born 1774) was the son of John and Abigail (Bostwick) Havens. John (born 1748) was the son of Jonathan and Patience (Tuthill) Havens. Jonathan (born 1711) was the son of John and Sarah Havens. * & #
    Benjamin Hudson was the son of Joseph Bellamy Hudson and Maria Louisa Griffing, daughter of Moses and Asenath (Conkling) Griffing. His mother died when he was ten days old, and he was raised by Mary Ann (Havens) Hudson, Josephís third wife. Benjamin was a volunteer in the 139th New York Infantry Regiment. He lost an eye by a bullet wound. He married Sarah Ann Cartwright on May 29, 1867. He died in 1868 at age 27 years 6 months, a month before his only child, Eva Benjamin Hudson, was born on March 22. Eva eventually married David Harries Young who ran the general store with Byron Griffing in what is now the Dinkel Real Estate Office on Bridge Street.  Benjamin Hudson is buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery. & #
    Joseph Howard Hudson, Benjaminís brother, was killed in battle on May 7, 1862 at age 22. #
    Samuel B. Jennings, in 1860, was a 39 year old farmer of means. He joined the 165th New York Regiment. He died in 1900 at the age of 76. He was an active member of the Presbyterian Church in whose cemetery he is buried. * & #
    Ray Littlefield was in Company D of the 12th Rhode Island Regiment. He was born in 1835 and died in 1907. &
 Cornelius B. Martin served with Company F of the 90th New York Battalion. He died in 1909 at age 65 and is buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery. &
    David Macomber. &
    Sylvester Nicoll was a captain in the Navy and was killed by accident on the gunboat ìPicketî at Norfork, Virginia. * ? #
    Joseph H. Parish * & #
    Elias Havens Payne was born in 1816 and died in 1881. He was 45 years old in 1860. He was a master carpenter and a man of means. His wife was Louisa (Havens) Payne who lived from 1814 to 1898. He was a sergeant in the 81st New York Regiment and was wounded in the thigh during the Battle of the Wilderness. He was for many years an elder in the Presbyterian Church and is buried in their cemetery.. * & #
    Henry Howard Preston, son of Medina and Glorian (Cartwright) Preston, joined the 6th New York Calvary as a sergeant. He followed General Sheridan on his famous 20 mile ride from Winchester to Cedar Creek. At Appomattox he received a wound to the ankle which never healed. He was born in 1845 and died in 1919.  He was Assessor, Superintendent of Highways, and one of the founders of the Library. In 1902 he was elected Sheriff of Suffolk County, and he lived in Riverhead during his term as sheriff. He believed in ìprogressî and was the first owner of an automobile in Riverhead. He was married to Asenath W. Congdon who lived from 1844 to 1912. He is buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery. * & #
    Jeremiah Sullivan joined the 127th New York Regiment and returned. * & #
    Max Walther was the son of Vanard and Catherine Walther who had immigrated from Germany. In the 1860 census, Vanard was a 40 year old farm laborer, his wife was 38, and Max was 13. Max, who was born in 1847 and died in 1914, married Henrietta Konrad, who was born in 1844 and died in 1904. They had two daughters, Sophie, who died in 1931, and Anna Katherine, who died in 1968 at the age of 95. Max is buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery. (I knew Anna Katherine as ìAunt Kate.î My parents bought the Walther family 20 acre homestead from her in 1946 and she spent her remaining years in a small cottage on an acre adjacent to my familyís summer home. Aunt Kate and Sophie Turner who lived next door to Aunt Kate were my solid best friends throughout my childhood. I remember many happy summer evenings playing Canasta with them.) * & #
    Nathan T. Wilcox joined the 1st Rhode Island Calvary.  He was born in 1833 and died in 1920 and is buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery beside his wife, Phebe, who was born in 1835 and died in 1899. Their children were Clarence, Will, and Frances. Nathan purchased the land which is now Piccozziís Wharf in 1876 and ran a coal, wood and grain business there. After Phebe died, it appears that he married Esther Crumb whose name appears on later documents including the sale of the wharf area to his son Clarence in 1933. * & #
    George C. Worthington was born in 1836 and died in 1867 at age 31. He was married to Mary G. Raynor who was also born in 1836 and died in 1885. They are buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery. & #

This is by no means an exhaustive study, and I welcome any information which the reader can provide to round-out the story of the 31 men who served the Union in the Civil War.