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Seneca County and the Civil War


Though hundreds of miles away from the death and destruction of the battlefield, Seneca County, New York, contributed more than its share for the preservation of the Union. Many brave men left home to fight, suffering hardships and casualties. John Hoster was captured in 1864 and held at the infamous Andersonville prison camp, and his journal has provided invaluable insight into what soldiers held there endured. At home, Seneca farmers fed Lincoln's hungry army, and the legend of the Scythe Tree is a reminder of those who never returned from battle. After the war, Waterloo's celebration in remembrance of fallen soldiers was mimicked around the country, and Waterloo is recognized as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Local historian Walter Gable recounts the remarkable story of Seneca County during the Civil War.