Clipped From Democrat and Chronicle
Our Black History David Wycoff defended on WILLIAM P0ULT0N MARILYN N0LTE GUEST ESSAYISTS David E. Wycoff was born in 1844. An only child, he lived with his parents on Hunter Street in Rochester. David's David's father was a religious man, referred to as "reverend" and active active in The United Sons of Rochester Rochester and the Colored People of the City of Rochester, groups promoting voting rights for men of color as early as the mid-1840s. mid-1840s. mid-1840s. Through his father's connections, Wycoff was able to attend Rochester High School. The Class of 1861 graduation graduation program documents documents his 10-minute 10-minute 10-minute oration in German. Wycoff Wycoff worked as a janitor, painter and in a window blind factory. As his father's rheumatism rheumatism worsened, Wycoff gave his earnings to his parents. Wycoff, listed as having a dark complexion, black eyes and black hair, nevertheless passed for white. On July 18, 1862, he enlisted in the all-white all-white all-white 108th New York Volunteer Infantry regiment. He received a $25 bounty and a $2 premium. Union in Civil War While he enlisted as a private, he was mus- mus- V tered into service as a K corporal. He saw action f at Antietam, Snicker's Gap, Falmouth and Fredericksburg. On Feb. 28, 1863, due to his outstanding outstanding intelligence and ability, he was promoted promoted to 4th sergeant. On picket duty, David contracted contracted a severe cold and inflammation inflammation of the eyes. In June of 1863, he was sent to the Division Hospital, then to Columbia General, General, then to DelMarres Hospital in Washington, D.C., and then to Satterlee Hospital in Philadelphia. Philadelphia. Surgery to give him some relief relief sadly resulted in "near total loss of vision." He died of "consumption" "consumption" on April 9, 1866. Sgt. Wycoff's unique story, like other "men of color" from Rochester who served the Union in the Civil War, was unknown unknown until recently. The Memorial Memorial Day Tribute to "men of color" interred in the Grand Army of the Republic plot at Mt. Hope Cemetery inspired a search that uncovered Wycoff's part in the Union's preservation. He was but one of the many local local young men (for example, Dr. Elisha Perkins Langworthy of Rochester, a Confederate surgeon, surgeon, who rests in Mount Hope) whose lives were cut short by the Civil War. Poulton is past camp commander, commander, Guy-Thurmon Guy-Thurmon Guy-Thurmon Camp 1928, Sons of Confederate Veterans; Nolte is Civil War historian, Mt. Hope Cemetery.