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. Readers may start with the link at the
top right or 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
PDF 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.
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
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 They are provided and published as an historical document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