Almanzo W. Litchard
Almanzo W. Litchard enlisted at the same time, Aug. 29, 1861, that his twin brother, Alexander, entered the service, and served in the same company (D, 86th Regt N. Y. V. I.) until December, 1862, when he was taken ill, and while in the hospital was honorably discharged. He soon recovered, however, and thinking that Uncle Sam still needed him, re-enlisted in August, 1863, was consigned to the New York Heavy Artillery, Third Division, Sixth Corps, and served until June 26, 1865. Side by side with Alexander he had part in the adverse second Bull Run battle, already described; afterwards went through the Cedar Creek fight under Phil. Sheridan, and subsequently was in all the principal engagements under General Grant, ending with the surrender at Appomattox, and had the satisfaction of being on hand when the Confederates marched to Clover Hill, north of Appomattox Court House, to stack their arms, April 12, 1865. His health continued unimpaired, and though many of his comrades were killed, and many all around him were wounded, he escaped without sustaining the slightest bodily harm. After Lees army was captured, Almanzos command made forced marches to join Shermans army, then chasing Johnston, but did not reach that valorous body under the night following Johnstons surrender. He expected to see some more ugly work by the clashing of arms, but his disappointment on reaching Sherman was not in any sense a disagreeable frustration of expectation. Every true soldier in his heart reflected the benevolent sentiment of Grant, Let us have Peace. The surrender to Sherman of all the insurgent forces of the South east of the Mississippi River now forever ended the days of bloody strife between the North and the South, and the rank and file of both armies, and many even of the Southern leaders, rejoiced. Our respected kinsman can well say with Captain Whiting, the Southern poet, who wrote the following affecting lines:
I saw the glazing eyes of those
I marked the charging squadrons
Sudden the hideous specters fled
Oh! brothers of the wintry North!
After returning from the war Almanzo took a commercial
course and graduated from Eastmans College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.
In politics he is a staunch Republican, and was elected by his party to
the Legislature of New York in 1898, 1899 and 1900. He is the President
of the Allegany County Farmers Co-operative Fire Insurance Company,
incorporated in 1883, and now having property insured to the amount of
$5,500,000. Is also the President of the Allegany County Farmers
Club. A curious biological fact pertaining to these twin brothers is that
when they were boys Alexander was much the stouter and heavier, but on
reaching the manhood the relative condition has been completed reversed,
as Almanzo is now the stronger, and, tipping the scales at 195, weighs
fifty pounds more than Alexander. Both are active, vigorous and useful
men. Both are also fervent members of the Grand Army of the Republic,
and it seems that, if possible, they never miss the opportunity to meet
their surviving comrades at the National Encampments (from Heinrich
Gernhardt and His Descendants, pp. 235-236).