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Local student finds mistake in history book about Patterson soldier

Military records showed the soldier was from Paterson, New Jersey but he was actually from Patterson, New York.

Ben Nandy

May 29, 2023, 4:21 PM

Updated 385 days ago

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A local student found a mistake in the history books regarding a Civil War hero from Patterson.
Ellen Cassidy, a senior at Brewster High School, discovered the answer at Milltown Cemetery.
A soldier named Francis Oliver Myers fought for the Union Army in a unit of Black soldiers out of Massachusetts.
During a battle at Fort Wagner in South Carolina, Myers was badly injured and died two years later.
Historians got that part right, but the military records also said that Myers was from Paterson, New Jersey. Cassidy found several sources, including Myers' obituary, that said different.
Cassidy found that Myers was from Patterson, New York and he is buried at the Milltown cemetery.
The student has informed top American historians about this. She published her finding in The New York Almanack to help correct the record.
The Massachusetts Historical Society is now also clearing up its own records to state Myers was from Patterson, New York.
Local veterans are praising Cassidy for correcting the 130-year-old mistake.
The students say birthplace is an important part of any hero's legacy.
"There were a lot of primary documents that said he was from Patterson, New York," Cassidy says. "It was probably a silly mistake that went into transferring it, but it was a historically significant one."


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