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Veterans

TICONDEROGA Veterans Day will be observed in Ticonderoga with a tour of Mount Hope Cemetery. On Hallowed Ground; A Veterans Memory Walk at Mount Hope Cemetery will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 11. People are asked to meet at the cemetery vault. Rain date is Nov. 18. The program is free and open to the public. Presented by Bill Dolback, Ti town historian, the Ticonderoga Historical Society and the Town of Ticonderoga Cemetery Board, the program will feature comments by Craig Lonergan followed by a tour of veterans graves. At each grave a brief history will be presented. Dolback said the tour will include the graves of veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War. Weve found some pretty neat stuff about these veterans, Dolback said. I think well have an interesting program. It will also include a visit to the grave of Lester G. Hack, a Ticonderoga soldier who won the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War. A member of Company F, 5th Vermont Infantry, Hack was cited for his valor during the Third Battle of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. According reports: After heavy fighting and realizing that a Confederate officer and his company were rallying around their standard Lester rose and letting out his battle cry ran towards the enemy firing his Springfield from the hip knocking down the color-guard, then in hand-to-hand combat stabbing with his bayonet, swinging his rifle butt and knocking men down, he ordered them to surrender. Some did and others skedaddled. He picked up the flag, tied it around his waist, and marched a considerable number of prisoners back to the Union lines. Hacks family farm was located on the shores of Lake Champlain, now the location of International Papers Ticonderoga mill. Dolback noted Mount Hope Cemetery itself is historic. Mount Hope Cemetery is one of the four municipal cemeteries administered by the Ticonderoga Cemetery Board. The spot is unique because it is also part of the military complex that was fortified to protect the vital transit route between Lake George and Lake Champlain during the Colonial and American Revelatory War eras. Located upon an elevated ground was an irregular star-shaped entrenchment, or fortified camp constructed by the American Army during the fall of 1776, Dolback said. This redoubt was built to protect the sawmill and blockhouse at the lower falls. On July 2, 1777, the British army captured this post as it prepared to attack Fort Ticonderoga during General Burgoynes invasion of northern New York. Civilian burials began at Mount Hope in the late 1800s with a number of the earliest families being laid to rest upon the remains of the old military fortifications, Dolback said. It also contains a vault that is a repository for the remains of those who have died during the winter months for not only Ticonderoga, but for other cemeteries in the surrounding area. The Mount Hope Cemetery Association was formed in 1871. In 1999, because of financial difficulties of the association, New York State removed the board and turned the cemetery over to the town of Ticonderoga. At that time the town established a cemetery board to care for Mount Hope and the three other historical burial grounds in the township Inglass, Streetroad and Vineyard. Several years ago Fort Ticonderoga tore down the blockhouse and removed all military equipment, Dolback said. In recognition of the importance of this site, not only as cemetery but as a significant historical site the cemetery board has been developing the grounds as a memorial to its historical past and making a special effort to recognize the many veterans that have been buried here. Following the cemetery tour, the Hancock House will host a special exhibit on local military history and refreshments. Dolback said the Ticonderoga Historical Society is now working on the creation of a Lake George-Lake Champlain soldier data base. When complete there will be an on-line index of the data, which will be kept at the Hancock House for research purposes. Were looking for pictures, service records, briefs histories each veteran, Dolback said. People with such information can call Dolback at 585-6662. The data base will include veterans from throughout the region, he noted. Its already generated a lot of interest, Dolback said of the data base project. Its a lot of work, but were finding lots of great information.

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