The civil war letters of Cyrus J. Hardaway were originally published in the New Berlin Gazette. The letters and the commentaries written by William Beardslee and Barbara Dundas are reproduced in this website. Access the Calendar to see an overview of existing letters along with relevant events in the life of Lt. Hardaway and wider events of the Civil War. Each letter contains a link at the bottom to an file containing the historical commentary for that letter.
All material copyright William Beardslee and Barbara Dundas, and may not be used for any purpose without express written permission.
Lt. Cyrus J. Hardaway was born in 1838 and served for two years in the Union Army's Berdan's Sharpshooters. In 1863, he transferred to Chenango County's 114th New York Infantry Regiment.
Hardaway's New Berlin connection was life long. After his father's death circa 1840, his mother, Mary Ann Chatfield Hardaway, remarried Pittsfield's Jesse Beardslee whose own wife, Adaline Angell Beardslee, had died in 1843. The young Hardaway grew up in a large household, with his step brother, Augustus ("Gust") Beardslee and his younger half brother, Nathan Summers ("Sommers") Beardslee His "letters home" to his mother written between 1861-1865 have been recently transcribed and are published for the first time in the Gazette. Lt. Hardaway's letters have been edited by Barbara Beardslee Dundas and William Beardslee, brother and sister, who live in Australia and Colorado respectively, and retain strong affections for Pittsfield and New Berlin. In addition to the historically edited letters, brief historical commentary will be provided so that the readers might fully understand the historical context.
Readers of the Gazette will hopefully find the letters entertaining and educative of the times, the American Civil War, and one of New Berlin's own as he experiences the reality of this most important event in American history. Hardaway's letters will be provided in an historical form of transcription. No corrections in spelling, grammar, syntax, or language are attempted. The letters occasionally use language, express values, and or make observations that may offend citizens of the late 20th century. They are provided and published as an historical document and should be considered in that context.
See this page for additional images related to this archive.
As Hardaway writes of his own experiences, he often relates information about his friends, colleagues, and acquaintances serving in the Union army during the war. Many of these names will be instantly recognizable to the modern descendants of those persons. This reason alone justifies the publication of these letters in Cy Hardaway's home town newspaper.
Barbara Dundas and William Beardslee welcome comments, questions, and inquiries from interested readers. They may be reached at the following
Barbara Dundas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wm Beardslee: Puritan13@Prodigy.net