GROUPING OF ITEMS IDENTIFIED TO CALVIN LITTLEFIELD OF THE 94TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

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The following is Littlefield’s obituary as printed in the Watertown Daily Times dated Thursday January 6, 1910:

 

 

COL. CALVIN LITTLEFIELD AND HIS DISTINGUISHED CAREER

LAST OF HIS GENERATION

Graduate of Union College Served with Distinction In Civil War and in State Assembly— Native of Ellisburg
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Belleville, Jan 6.—The death of Col. Calvin Littlefield removes the last of his generation of the descendants of two pioneer families. While he had lived nearly 17 years beyond the allotted span, yet the mysterious, inevitable change brings sadness and regret that we shall no more receive his cheerful greeting, or listen to his hopeful outlook upon life. The link connecting what seems to us the remote past and the present is severed and we may no longer look to him for verifications, or for personal reminiscences of other days.

Edmond Littlefield Littlefield, the progenitor, of the Littlefield family in America, came from England to Exeter, New Hampshire, in l637 and during the succeeding century his descendants were to be found in every New England state. Many of them served in the Revolutionary army, not a few as officers, from that of general down to minor places. Calvin Littlefield's Grandfather, Jesse Littlefield, Sr., and John Littlefield, his father, came to this town from Vermont in 1805. John Littlefield and two brothers, James and Jesse, Jr., served in the War of 1812, two being in the battle of Sackets Harbor, the other in that of South Sandy Creek, this town.

In 1804 John Barney came from Guilford, Vt, to Ellisburg and became neighbor to the Littlefield's and John Littlefield married Orrilla Barney. The Barney families were numerously and honorably represented in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Three children were born to John and Orrilla Barney Littlefield. Calvin, the subject of this sketch, Sept. 1, 1823, on the farm near this village, and where he died Dec. 29, 1909; Eunice, born [illegible] died 1877 , Horace, born in 1827, went to California in 1849, and died in 1850.

Calvin Littlefield was educated in Union Academy, Belleville, and in Union College, Schenectady, afterward. Becoming principal of Union Academy and later Aurora Academy. In the years 1834, '36 and '37 [dates may be incorrect fairly illegible] he was a member of the state assembly. He was at that time a Whig and later a Republican and could easily have taken high rank in state affairs, had he so chosen. In September, 1861, he enlisted in the NY 94th. Volunteers, was elected captain of Company K and the ensuing year was promoted to the office of lieutenant colonel. His regiment did valiant service in the battle of Cedar Mountain, Rapahannock Station, Thoroughfare Cap., Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain and Antietam, the command at the three last named devolving upon Col. Littlefield. Suffering from disabilities he resigned in 1862, but still did efficient service as a recruiting officer, being largely instrumental to securing the Jefferson county quota without a draft.

After the close of the war he opened a business office in New York, and himself and family spent a portion of the time in that city. But as the years went by he more and more enjoyed the quiet of the farm home, and finally retired from active business life, not to idleness, for he kept well abreast of the times, as his well-equipped farm buildings testify. He was a man of extensive reading and of fine memory, and was in consequence an interesting conversationalist, making it a pleasure to meet him. Col. Littlefield was a gentleman, dignified, courteous and cordial, a pleasing host and equally so as a guest.

He was twice married, first to Harriet L. Sprague, who died June 21, 1878, leaving a daughter, Mrs. Rollin Steward of Minneapolis, Minn. On Jan. 16, 1888, he was married to Miss Laura Hungerford, daughter of Philo and Caroline Davis Hungerford, who survives him. A daughter, Ruth, was given to this marriage, a beautiful child who's [death] left them with stricken hearts while yet a young girl.

Littlefield had been in failing health for some time, in fact for his wife giving him the most devoted care, her ministries doubtless prolonging his life.

On the afternoon of Jan [illegible], funeral services were held at the family home. Rev. R. K Sheffield of the Methodist church officiating. The Masonic fraternity, Buckley Post [illegible] and a large concourse of relatives and Friends were in attendance, the various organizations of which he was a member and others placing beautiful floral emblems of their esteem for the departed and sympathy with the he bereaved upon the casket as all that was mortal of Col. Littlefield was borne to its long rest in Woodside cemetery.

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Calvin Littlefield was 39 years old when he enlisted on 10/18/61 at Belleville, NY. Commissioned as a Captain of Co. K, 94th New York Infantry with rank to date from 11/6/61. Promoted to Lt. Col. on 3/17/62. Although his obituary refers to him as Colonel of his regiment, his military records do not bear that out. Most likely it was an honorary post-war rank afforded to him. Discharged on 11/1/62. He is buried in Woodside Cemetery in Belleville, Jefferson County, NY.

Included in the grouping is Littlefield’s double breasted dark blue wool frock coat with Colonel’s shoulder boards attached. Coat has eagle “I” buttons with “W.H. SMITH & CO. NEW YORK” (rmdc) backmarks. The coat is lined with the typical wool/silk blend dark brown material with some breast area quilted and a fancy “palm” leaf design in indigo blue thread. Overall the coat is in very good to very fine condition with a few small moth nips scattered around the coat. Also some period tears repaired on the shoulders. On NY staff button attached to the tail area with three other eagle “I” as on the front. Single border shoulder bars of a smaller than normal size with silver wing spread eagle. A nice coat which shows signs of field usage.

The second item in the grouping is a Smith and Wesson No. 1 Second Issue Revolver with “Col. CALVIN LITTLEFIELD” engraved on the back strap. 22. Cal. 7 shot revolver with rosewood grips and a fair amount of its original silver plate remaining. Octagonal barrel with dark patina. Action needs some work.

Also included is a grouping of war related documents:

  • New York State commission as Colonel of the 94th New York; signed by Gov. E.D. Morgan
  • Commission as Captain in the 94th signed by Morgan
  • Muster in roll as Lt. Col.
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Document dated 1890 conveying property to a relative

The final item is a letter/document cover with his name “Col. C. Littlefield New York” embossed on front.

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