Because I frequent cemeteries which contain the last resting place of members of the 65th NY regiment, or their commanders, one of the things that my friend and colleague Larry sometimes calls me is a “ghoul.” Admittedly, he normally calls me that after I have accused him of photo-shopping himself in front of the Taj Mahal, or at the Great Wall of China, as he shares his travel photos with his freshmen classes. My accusation that he spends his summers in his Bronx apartment carefully photo-shopping himself near historic places, rather than traveling the world as is the reality, makes him quick to call out my own walks through historic cemeteries. However, I find them first of all beautiful and peaceful, and often I am the only one walking among the graves there. Secondly, with all the reading I have done about the battles and places where the men of the 65th NY fought and lived, I enjoy feeling the connection to their presence as I visit their gravesites.
For my 2nd book, with a working title of Following the Chasseurs, I envision one chapter called “Cemetery Walking,” with an explanation of why I choose to visit these sacred places, as well as photographs of the graves of the Chasseurs themselves, or of the officers that commanded them at either the regimental, the brigade, the division, or the Corps level.
Today I visited the beautiful cemetery at West Point, at the National Military Academy overlooking the Hudson River. The pictures that follow include some officers who commanded the Chasseurs as brigade, division, or corps commanders, as well as some noteworthy officers who served in the same battles as them, or just made a name for themselves in American history without necessarily being connected to the 65th NY. It was a beautiful, crisp, clear fall day at West Point.
And on the way home, I stopped to snap one picture in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, of the Civil War memorial and the graves around it. I didn’t find any members of the Chasseur regiment there, but it is a beautiful place nonetheless and I am glad I visited.