US GenWeb

This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Corporal Martin Sitterly
of Guilderland

Martin Sitterly was born March 29, 1838. He enlisted in the Forty-fourth Regiment for three years, August 8, 1861, and was killed at Hanover Court House, May 29, 1862.

All the information that we have received concerning him, after his enlistment, is contained in the following letters to his mother, and a letter from Lieutenant Roberts, and a short notice taken from a Rochester paper:

Camp before Yorktown, Va., May 3, 1862.

Dear MotheróAs my time will allow me to write a few lines this pleasant morning, I do so with much pleasure, knowing as I do, that you like to hear from me often. To begin, my health is as good as I could possibly expect; for, as I have written before, we are laboring under a great many disadvantages. But the hardships we endure seem light as long as one has good health. There is a great deal of sickness in this regiment at present, but we all hope it will disappear soon. Jesse White and I have made up our minds to stand together as long as life lasts, and you need not feel worried about us. We are making our works here as formidable as possible, but the rebels have annoyed us a great deal for the last forty-eight hours, and we do not get much sleep. We do heavy fatigue duty in the daytime, and at nights we go out and help support the field batteries. We lie on the ground all night witnessing the heavy shells, thrown by, and bursting inside of our entrenchments.* * * * Write soon and often to,

Your obedient and affectionate son,

Head Quarters, Forty-fourth Regiment, N. Y. S. V.,
Camp before Richmond, Va., May 22, 1862.

Dear MotheróWe are on the march, and have been for the last three days, and such warm weather I never experienced before. Jesse and I are enjoying the best of health on this long and hard march; although Jesse came pretty near, yesterday, giving out of the ranks on the road, and would have done so if we had marched half a mile further. As for myself, they can't tire me out, if my health is only good. This, indeed, is my only hope of seeing home again. When one can sleep on the cold ground, with only a thin blanket under him and one over him and take comfort, you would naturally think that we must be hardy. The heaviest of our marching is over, for we are within a few miles of the rebel capital. Within two or three miles of us there are one hundred and eighty thousand secesh troops, and they will give us warm work, I apprehend, when we attack them. The country through which we have been marching is the finest I ever saw. The wheat is all headed out, strawberries are ripe, clover in bloom, and the cherries almost full grown. If the weather was not quite so warm our marching would be very pleasant. Love to all.

Your affectionate

His character and the circumstances of his death are given in the following letter and notice of the battle in which he fell:

Camp near Newbridge, Va., May 30, 1862.

Mr. Sitterly:

Dear SiróIt is with feelings of the greatest sorrow that I communicate to you the sad news of the death of your son Martin. Since he became a member of this company his bearing has been such as to enable me to place every confidence in him, and to rest with satisfaction over any duty allotted to him. In the engagement, he stood by me until death claimed him. He fell in the front of the battle. To you as a father, I can only say your son nobly performed his duty, and died with his confidence and hope in God.

I offer you my warmest sympathy, and pray Heaven to sustain you and yours under this great trial. In his death I lose a good faithful soldier and friend. I beg leave to remain yours,


"Macauley," the army correspondent of the " Rochester Democrat," thus speaks of Martin Sitterly of Guilderland, who fell at the battle of Hanover Court House:

"The engagement soon became general. The Forty-fourth bore the brunt of the battle, and had a man flinched all would have been lost. We were badly cut up; sixty wounded and twenty killed. Among the latter was the gallant Martin Sitterly, Corporal of Co. C, Forty-fourth Regiment; a man of noble size, vigorous, patient and resolute; a born soldier. He was worth a score of common men. He fell, as I thought he would, in the first action in which he was engaged."

Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page