Grandma's Cabin, Genealogy by Nancy Machuga



     The Town of Orange has many soldiers from Revolutionary times to the World War II era who are in their eternal rest in various town cemeteries.
     Representative of these courageous men is a Civil War Veteran, the late Thomas J. Horton, who is buried in the Old Methodist Cemetery off Main Street in the hamlet of Monterey, N.Y.
     Thomas J. Horton was born May 21, 1829 in Orange County, N.Y.  His great-grandfather, Thomas Horton II, fought in the American Revolution and was captured by the British.  He died aboard a prison ship in New York Harbor on January 30, 1778.  The fact that young Horton had a soldier ancestor may have prompted his own enlistment.  In August 1862, Thomas J. Horton enlisted as a Private in Co. I,  86th N.Y. Volunteers.  Keeping the home fires burning during her husband’s absence was Mary Ann Greek Horton who was originally from the Village of Altay, N.Y.
     The 86th N.Y. Regiment saw action at 2nd Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg.  During this last battle near the Devil’s Den, Private Horton suffered a musket-ball wound to his left arm.  After a brief recovery period at Fort Schuyler, N.Y. Horton rejoined his regiment.  Shortly thereafter, while on picket duty, he suffered an attack of rheumatism which was an affliction he would bear the rest of his life.  War-time conditions which included poor diet, lack of shelter and hard marches caused many similar afflictions with other veterans.
     On December 31, 1865, Private Horton was honorably discharged from U.S. service and, in due time, he made his way home to Monterey. He died April 8, 1893.
     Other Monterey men who saw action with the 86th Regiment were: Addison K. Randall, James Baird and Levi Randall. The latter died on November 6, 1864 at Petersburg, Virginia.
     These men, though not common, represented the common man who sought to do his duty when his country called. They are not to be forgotten.

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