Sunday, April 29, 2012

Civil War Sunday - Music and Muskets

Welcome, future Blogathoners, to my Civil War Sunday posts.  I will explain them more next Sunday but for now, please know that I concentrate less on major battles and more on the people, and the "times", of the 1861-1865 era.  I will also sometimes blog about Civil War era people and what they went on to do after the war.  Today's post is about Binghamton, New York.

Phelps Mansion Museum, on the edge of downtown Binghamton, New York, was built in 1870 for Sherman Phelps, a businessman and judge here in Binghamton.  The architect was Isaac Perry, who went on the later fame as the New York State architect.

So many towns and cities in the United States have their own hometown Civil War heroes - Binghamton, New York is no exception.

Our "hometown hero" here in Binghamton, New York wasn't even born in the United States, but in Scotland.  His family came to the United States when he was about 8.   His name was David Ireland.

Ireland fought in a number of important battles of the Civil War, including Gettysburg, where some historians believe he played a pivotal - but unsung - part, at Culp's Hill..

Like so many who fought in this tragic war, Ireland didn't die in any of the battles he fought in.  Instead, he died of dysentery in 1864. 

But what does David Ireland have to do with a building that wasn't built until six years after his death?

In 1863, David Ireland married Sara Phelps, daughter of Sherman Phelps.  Afterwards, he left to went back to war.  He never made it back home to see his bride, and did not have any children.

Today, a Civil War reenactment and special music event will be held in the Phelps Mansion Museum.  This is a yearly event - this year's event is called "Music and Muskets".  In past years, there has been a reenactor playing David Ireland.  This year there is to be a musician playing Civil War era music on actual instruments from the era.

When Phelps Mansion was built in 1870, it was in a mainly scenic, rural area.  Today, there is very little scenic about where it is located, in an urban area that (I must admit) is a bit run down.  But it is well worth visiting if you are in your area, especially if you can take one of the free tours offered the first Friday evening of each month.

1 comment:

  1. I have always been utterly in awe of historical writers, usually because they put such painstaking detail into their work. "HOW could they know all of this?!" I ask myself - or my husband if he's nearby. Research, I believe, is the answer, and you evidence that in spades here. I'm particularly captivated that you concentrate "more on people and 'the times.'"

    I will look forward to reading more!

    Laura (aka Marcie Brock)


Thank you for visiting! Your comments mean a lot to me, and I appreciate each one. These comments are moderated, so they may not post for several hours. If you are spam, you will find your comments in my compost heap, where they will finally serve a good purpose.