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Battle Flag Preservation Poster

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New Leafletts

The NYSMM & VRC now  offers two new and free one page leaflets. One is a "Guide to the Library and  Archives." This  lists or discusses the organization's mission, their collection, their resources and ten "Collection Highlights."

Briefly, these  highlights are: Unit Histories,  Civil War Newspaper Regimental Files, the Civil War Photograph Collection, Officer Service Record Cards, Burial  Record Cards, Armory Unit Collections, Individual Military Service Record  Jackets, the NYS Veteran's Oral History Project, the 27th Division Collections and the NYS Adjutant General's Reports and General Orders.

The second leaflet is "Genealogy Resources in the New York State Military Museum and  Veterans Research  Center" (Information Handout Number 1).

This is an annotated listing of the rich collection of genealogical resources at the NYSMM & VRC. These materials include Commissioned Personnel Record  Files, Registers of Officers Terminated Prior to 1916, and Service Card File of New York National Guard Enlisted men and Noncommissioned Officers Activated for Federal Service During World War II.

For a  free copy of either or both, write NYS Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, 61 Lake Avenue,  Saratoga Springs, NY l2866, or call (518) 583-0184, or email

The material in these leafletts are listed on the Veterans Research Center page, and the Genealogy Resources page.




Veterans Research Center Volunteers


The Veterans Research Center looks  for volunteers to assist in answering the growing number of research inquiries coming into the Center. This is a great opportunity to work with the Center's wonderful historical collections and give the Center a hand.  Work schedules can  he tailored to your available time. If you have any interest in being a Veteran Research Center volunteer, please  contact Michael Aikey at the Veterans Research Center (518) 583-0184 or email at




NYS WWII Memorial

NYSMH Institute  Trustees Chair NY State WWII Memorial Committee

6 June 2001 saw  the groundbreaking ceremonies for New York State's World War II Memorial. This is a tribute to the service and unswerving sacrifice of WWII's veterans.  Governor Pataki officiated at the the site, located next to the  State Museum in Albany's Empire Plaza.

The Governor recognized Trustee Herm Harrington for his Chairmanship of the NYS WWII Memorial Committee and John Edwards (NYSMHI President) and Rob von Hasseln for their committee work in fund receiving and design of the Memorial.

On May 30, 2002 Veterans Day, Governor Pataki, State Legislators, and our own Col. John Edwards dedicated the now finished New York State World War II Memorial.

The New York State World War II Memorial

Col. John Edwards speaking at the dedication ceremonies

Col. John Edwards thanking Govenor Pataki

The New York State World War II Memorial

Col. John Edwards Speaking

Col. John Edwards thanking Gov. Pataki

The State of New York celebrated World War II Remberance Week with the WWII Memorial dedication ceremony being one of the highlights of the week’s activities. Our Col. John Edwards was one of the speakers and gave an emotional description of being freed as a prisoner of war.




Veteran Oral History Program

Congress, by overwhelming  vote, created a project in 2000 to preserve the memories of men AND women in the  armed forces, or civilians,  who were involved in all of America's wars from WWII to the Gulf War. Among other Congressional sponsors was Amo  Houghton, R-NY, a WWII Veteran.

According to the January issue of the AARP Bulletin: "AARP, a major sponsor of this new project is working with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress to  create a national archive of experiences and documents for future generations."

AARP has pledged $3 million over three years and has asked its members to cooperate with this project. "The  L of C is seeking audio and  video recordings, letters, diaries, photographs, maps, home movies, drawings - anything that will help you to tell your story."

The L of C offers a project kit with advice and sample questions. You can write the  Veterans History Project,  L of C/AFC, 101 Independence Ave. Washington, DC 20540-4615 or call (888) 371-5848 or go online at

But remember, you saw it here first! The Institute started its  own "Veterans History Project" over  ten years ago!

The Questionnaire Project, based upon an 1864 model, was one of the first efforts undertaken by your fledgling organization. Another and concurrent project was a  request to veterans for historical memorabilia for the museum we then maintained.

To day we have well over a thousand questionnaires  and we are certainly interested in getting more. If you would like a copy (ies) of the Questionnaire please write or call the Director at the Museum address found on the cover page of this issue.

The artifacts which we collected a decade ago we were  forced to give up when our Washington Avenue Army was closed. However, most of these items were transferred to  DMNA and  will be available for eventual display/use in our new Saratoga Springs museum.

Our Questionnaire Project was the genesis for DMNA's current and very successful Oral History Project, written about in a former issue. If  you would like to propose yourself or someone else as a candidate for Oral History,  please call (518) 583-0184 or write to the Lake Road  address.




Speakers on Military History

Michael Russert will be giving a talk “Reading The Civil War, Creating a Basic Civil War Library” on Thursday September 5, 2002 at 6:00 PM at the Saratoga Public Library, 49 Henry Street. The program is free and open to the public.

Michael is the coordinator of the New York State Veteran Oral History Program. He is also a book reviewer for - The Civil War News, Multicultural Review, and The Military Book Review.  Michael is a member of the Capital District Civil War Round Table and The Company of Military Historians.

The talk is co-spomsored by the Saratoga Public Library, the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, and by the New York State Military Heritage Institute.

LTC Rob Van Hesseln delivered a talk Saturday  February 9 to the General Peter Gansevoort Chapter of the National Society of the  Daughters of the American Revolution.  His talk covered military activities around the Chapter's "new" house,  the 1735 Van Schaick mansion on the Hudson river at Cohoes.  He mentioned many of  the noted New Yorkers who were in the NY Militia and later served the nation - such as the chapter's General Peter Gansevoort, President Theodore Roosevelt, and Alexander Hamilton.

Mike Russert has delivered two addresses pertaining  to the Civil War in a program sponsored by Borders Books of Saratoga and the  Institute.  He is planning to broaden this program with assistance from Mike Aikley.  Mike indicated that he is continuing to work with teacher groups and is planning future visits with them at the  Saratoga Armory.

Last November four Institute members visited Schenectady High School to speak with history teachers about the Korean War.

Invited by Dr. Frederick N. Como of that faculty, the  speakers addressed about eighteen teachers. Speakers were Institute President John Edwards, a  veteran of three wars; Joseph Notar, a veteran of Korean War USMC service; Harold Brown of the 25th Division, a PoW of the Communist Chinese, and Robert Mulligan.

 See our January 2002 newsletter for all the details on the Activities page.






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Copyright New York State Military Heritage Institute July, 2002