Hyde Park Honor Rolls
"The Town of Hyde Parkremembers our men and womenwho served to protect freedomCivil WarSpanish American WarWorld War IWorld War IIKorean ConflictVietNam War""To the rugged personalityand indomitable spirit of1748 - John McDaniels - 1834The first settler of the County of Orleansnow Lamoille CountyandThe Engineer - Patriot - Soldier1736 - Capt Jedidiah Hyde - 1832who led his companyat the battle of Bunker Hilland for whome this town was namedThis tablet and stone are placed bythe Town of Hyde Park1921"
It surprised me to see that no son of Hyde Park lost his life in World War I or It surprised me to see that no son of Hyde Park lost his life in World War I or VietNam, and just one each listed for World War II and Korea.
I couldn't find any information about Norris DeCell from the World War II list. Pvt Larry F Foster, was serving with Company F, 2nd BN, 7th Cav, 1st Cav Div when he was killed in action on February 11, 1951. He had previously suffered serious wounds on September 17, 1950.
Between 1860 and 1970 the population of Hyde Park had remained remarkably stable. The official census number didn't vary more than three hundred, up or down, in over a hundred years. The number of men that served in the 20th century conflicts are all about equal, yet the number that stepped forward to defend the Union during the Civil War in noticeably larger.
Also larger is the number of men that were killed or wounded in the Civil War. Ten did not come home. I found a bit of data for a few of them.
Lt Charles A Woodbury was killed in a curious skirmish on April 1, 1863. The action is known as the Skirmish at Miskel Farm or the Battle of Broad Run, and that seems to depend upon which history text you are reading.
Woodbury had risen from the ranks and was the junior officer to Captain Henry C Flint and Captain George H Bean and three or four other officers leading about two hundred mounted men of the 1st Vermont Cavalry. They had planned to go against a force of just about 70 Confederate Rangers led by Colonel John Singleton Mosby, also known as "The Grey Ghost" of the Virginia Cavalry's 43rd Battalion.
The Federals had learned that Mosby and his men had taken refuge from a winter storm at the Miskel farm, in Loudon County, along the Leesburg Pike. The Confederates and their horses were sheltering in a barnyard. A high wooden fence surrounded the area, leaving just one way in and out - through a wooden gate that opened onto a lane. In addition, natural obstacles like creeks and heavily wooded areas encircled the farmyard. Mosby could easily be trapped and crushed by Flint's force.
But Flint hadn't counted upon getting slighly lost on the way to the Miskel's farm. He stopped to ask directions of a farmer, not knowing that Ranger Dick Moran was inside the farm house. Moran went out the back like a traveling salesman escaping an angry father... and managed to reach Miskel's farm just moments before Flint, shouting "Mount up, the Yankees are coming!"
The element of surprise was gone. Captain Flint began to prove he wasn't the clearest thinker of his unit. Instead of using his overwhelming numbers to take the Confederate Rangers with rifles, or even to wait them out - he ordered his men to take up their sabres and charge through the gate in an avalanche of men and horseflesh.
Mosby's Rangers, being no fools, simply pulled out their pistols and began to fire rapidly as the Federals attempted to squeeze through the narrow gateway. Captain Fliht was the first to die - six shots square in the chest is almost always fatal. Woodbury, who was unfortunate enough to be near Flint as he passed through the gate,also fell and 15 other men were wounded.
Was Mosby captured? No. In fact only one of his men fell and just three were wounded. He was also able to capture 82 of the Federal troopers and 95 of their horses. Mosby's reputation as a wily commander was intact.
Other Civil War stories are hidden among the names on this memorial. I noticed one surname that likely had some strong connection to the generational history of Hyde Park - Breed Noyes Hyde.
Hyde Park was named from Breed's grandfather, Jedediah Hyde. Grampa Jed was a soldier of the American Revolution. He was only 13 years old when Jed and his father marched off to the Battle of Bunker Hill in May of 1775. After the battle a senior officer sent the youngster home for a chance to mature.
Jedediah Hyde continued to serve another five years before a back injury made it impossible for him to continue in the Army. Hyde didn't let that stop him from serving his new nation...he began to sail aboard a 14 gun Navy brigantine and remained in Navy service until the end of the revolution at the Battle of Yorktown.
Grampa Hyde's story didn't end there. He returned to Vermont, ultimately becoming a man of some means, and a politician. Breed Hydes was six years old when the old man died, but a bright future for his grandson had been assured.
Breed was educated in Canada and matriculated West Point Military Academy with the Class of 1855. For various reasons, Hyde and others like artist James Whistler left the Corps of Cadets early and didn't get their class rings. Thirty-four mendid graduate with that class and most of them went into the Civil War to lead with distinction.
In August, 1855, Hyde married and began to follow his grandfather's lead into a politically connected life. He was on the staff of Vermont's Governor Fairbanks when the war began and Hyde was quickly commissioned as a Lt Colonel, temporarily leading the Third Vermont Volunteers.
Lt Col Hyde's military history was checkered. He took his men into several major battles; The Peninsular Campaign, the Battle of Williamsburg and each of the Battles of The Seven Days. He and the Third Vermont encamped at Fort Monroe during the summer of 1862 and from there moved to fight with the Army of the Potomac...but Hyde's attendance beyond that point was, should we say - "irregular."
He had been promoted to full Colonel, but it was obvious that Hyde was struggling - he missed some of the largest and bloodiest engagements, claiming to be physically unable due to illness. His superior officers gave Col. Hyde a choice, resign or face a court martial on a charge of cowardice. Hyde took curtain number one and resigned his commission in January of 1863.
Breed Hyde re-entered civilian life as a mining engineer in Pennsylvania, leading a seemingly normal life as a respected veteran. He died in 1918, from the pandemic Spanish Influenza.
Are the more stories that could be told of the men on this monument. Yes, certainly. But I don't have enough time to tell them all. I regret that, but there are so many more miles to ride and thousands of other stories to gather. Why don't you look through all of the names and pick out two or three. Do a little research and learn the history of the United States from a different perspective - as a story about an old family friend or neighbor in your hometown.