News and Event Updates from the Office of the Orange County Historian

WWI Centennial Continues
This memorial can be visited on the grounds of Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh. It is located along the east wall of the Hasbrouck House.
One hundred years ago...

In December of 1919 peace talks between the Bolshevik government and the Central Powers began in Brest-Litovik and although a treaty would not be signed for three months, it opened up the possibility that the German soldiers on the eastern front could be relocated to fortify operations in France. At the same time, the US Army was beginning to arrive on European soil to reinforce the Allied forces. Although Congress had declared war in April of 1917, it had taken the US Army several months to raise, train and transport soldiers and supplies. With these diplomatic and operational factors in play, strategists on both sides of the war knew that getting their men to the front was imperative to having the advantage in the Spring.
Many of the commanders during the Great War had a connection to Orange County via their education at West Point Military Academy. In June 1917, an 1886 graduate of the Academy, General John Pershing arrived in Europe with 190 staff members but by the war's end was overseeing 1 million deployed troops. General Pershing assigned command of the 1st Division to a fellow classmate, General Robert L. Bullard, who arrived in France one hundred years ago this week. The US troops under Bullard's command experienced several attacks in the early months of 1918. In March, Newburgh soldier 1st Lt. Judson Galloway, was gassed during a raid alongside French troops. While recovering in a field hospital, Galloway was the first local soldier to be awarded the "Cross of War" for his heroics.
Goshen resident, Pvt. Horace Pippen of the 369th New York Infantry Regiment chronicled the war with drawings in his diary.  
After several defensive engagements with the enemy in April and May, General Bullard commanded the first US-led attack at Cantigny on May 28, 1918. Two days later, enemy troops to the south, fought across the French countryside capturing 60,000 prisoners, 2,000 machine guns and 650 artillery pieces. They advanced to Chateau-Thierry -- only 50 miles from Paris. Alongside the French soldiers, local African-American men including Pvt. Horace Pippen from Goshen, serving in the 369th New York Infantry Regiment, fought so bravely that they earned the nickname the "Harlem-Hellfighters." One Marine battalion from the 3rd Division arrived in advance of the main US forces and took up position on the north side of the Marne River but they were cut off when French engineers blew up the bridge before they could reach it. They barely survived as they scrambled along the riverside to find an escape route. The rest of the 3rd Division, as well as the 2nd Division, arrived by June 3rd to counter attack and continued to block the enemy from reaching the French capital.
A certificate issued in memory of Corp. W. Allen Hoyt courtesy of the Chester Historical Society.
It was near here, in Belleau Woods, during the offensive on June 6, 1918, that 1st Lt. Judson Galloway exhibited another episode of "exceptional courage" as "after being mortally wounded, he continued to direct the steady advance of his platoon in the face of heavy machine-gun fire until struck a second time and killed." Galloway is still remembered locally in the naming of our chapter of the American Legion Post 152 and with the bit of soil from his grave carried back from Belleau Woods and placed at Washington's Headquarters where it is still marked with a memorial. On the same day as Galloway's death, Orange County also lost Corp. W. Allen Hoyt from Chester who served in the famed 3rd battalion of the Marine Corp. In the following week, another local Marine, 2nd Lt. James S. Timothy of Highland Falls, "was instantly killed by a high-explosive shell" and two infantrymen, Pvt. Louis C. Green of Middletown and Corp. Daniel O'Connor of Tuxedo Park died of their wounds.
More to come as we research the local soldiers of the Great War and prepare to send a memorial delegation to Belgium and France to honor the fallen in the centennial year.
Community Highlights
On November 29th, the Good Work Institute hosted a discussion about the historical roots of contemporary issues in the Hudson Valley. Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun presented contextual information related to NBC documentary "The Battle of Newburgh" which aired in 1962. (Pictured l to r) Managing Editor of La Voz Mariel Fiori, Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun, Director of American Studies Program at Bard College Christian Crouch, and freelance journalist Kavitha Rao
Isaac Diggs' photo series featuring the renovation of the Paul Rudolph Government Center in Goshen opened at GritWorks in Newburgh on November 25th. It will remain on display through the month of December.
Assemblyman James Skoufis  stopped by the Woodbury Historical Society on Nov. 30th to present Alex Prizgintas (17) with a citation for his dedication to both preserving and promoting our local history.  Pictured: James Skoufis, Alex Prizgintas (trustee of Woodbury Historical Society), Leslie Rose (WHS Historian), and Herman Galberd (WHS Treasurer). Herman Galberd gave Alex his first milk bottle from Arden Farms five years ago. Today Alex has collected nearly 300 milk bottles that tell the history of Orange County's Dairy Farms. Once there were more than 2,900 dairies in Orange County. Sadly, only 40 remain today. 
Upcoming Events, Training & Conferences
Candlelight Christmas Tours

Saturday, Dec 9th & Sunday, Dec 10th
Saturday, Dec 16th & Sunday, Dec 17th

 Join the Friends of Hill Hold to celebrate a Colonial Christmas with the annual candlelight tours of Hill Hold -- the 1769 Historic Homestead of Thomas Bull. Visit

Located on Route 415 between Montgomery and Goshen
Historic Marker Unveiling in Monroe

Saturday, December 16th at 10AM

The Monroe Historical Society invites the public to the unveiling  of a historical marker to honor Rest Haven, the vacation home for blind women which was established in 1923 by Monroe resident Moses Migel, who was the first President of the American Foundation for the Blind.  
Rest Haven was purchased by the HRR Corporation, which it is restoring and preserving this 1902 mansion. It is a showcase for our community.
This marker is a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation of Syracuse, NY.  It will be the fourth marker erected in Monroe, with a grant from the foundation.
This will be the 12th historical marker to be erected in Monroe since the 1980s.
Rest Haven, 236 High Street, Monroe, NY.
Centennial Tour: The 107th NY Infantry Regiment in World War I

September 24 -October 2, 2018

Throughout Belgium and France, the influence of WWI can still be felt. As you visit memorials, trenches, and museums, you'll learn about the important role American forces played in the outcome of the war. Explore the locations that were the backdrops for pivotal battles and take time to honor the sacrifices made by the Allied soldiers.

On September 29, 1918, the 107th New York Infantry Regiment was ordered to attack the Hindenburg Line in an Allied attempt to pierce through the German's strongest defenses. They encountered fierce resistance and were engaged in the heaviest fighting on the line. The severe loss of men was compounded by the fact that, as a National Guard regiment, most of the men were from tight-knit communities back home. The impact of the Battle of St. Quentin Canal on Orange County specifically was so devastating, that the 40 men who died together that day are still remembered each year in a memorial service. For the centennial of this battle, join us as we travel in the footsteps of the 107th NY Infantry Regiment in Belgium and France.

Sign-up for the trip here. Space is limited.
History in the News
"Captain Molly's" remains not in West Point Cemetery as believed

WEST POINT - Revolutionary War heroine Margaret Corbin, known as "Captain Molly," was thought to have been buried in the West Point Cemetery, but a construction accident next to the gravesite, proved differently.

In 1926, the Daughters of the American Revolution received approval to have Corbin's remains moved from Highland Falls to the cemetery at the US Military Academy.

The DAR used records and local accounts from the community to locate the remains believed to be Corbin. They were disinterred, examined by surgeons and reinterred at West Point.

But, during a crypt installation in 2016, a construction contractor using excavation equipment inside the burial section around Corbin's gravesite caused significant disturbance to the buried remains. The Army ordered all excavation stopped immediately and secured the site.

Continue reading here.
Orange County Historian | Goshen, N.Y. |  845-545-7908 |  jyaun