Welcome to the History Corner!
Celebrating the rich history of Port Byron, New York, an old Erie Canal village in the Town of Mentz. This site is dedicated to the legacy and heritage of our community as well as a variety of regional historical tidbits. I hope you enjoy your visit and will stop by again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cyrenus F Horton-Civil War Musician

I am truly amazed at the unusual connections that can be found from searching the residents of Port Byron. On the list of conscripted men who enlisted into the Civil War from Mentz, there is a man named Cyrenus F Horton. Interestingly he would not serve from the State of New York. He served the Union from the State of Indiana.

My first impression was that he was from the South and later moved to Port Byron. That assumption would prove false. Cyrenus was already a resident of Port Byron and his autobiography found after his death inside his shoe shop on Church Street tells his story. It was written to the Lockwood Post of Port Byron.

The autobiography indicates that he left Port Byron in July of 1859 for Petersburg, Pike County, Indiana. His travels would then take him to Memphis, TN but unable to get work there, he ended up at LaGrang, just West of Memphis. There he worked on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad until 1860. He would return to Petersburg where he would join a cornet band. In 1861 the 12 member band would be sworn into service and be assigned to the 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Additional members from the Indianapolis area would be added, making them an official full regimental band.

The autobiography is a little hard to read but I will include it here anyways, as many will enjoy reading his experience as a Civil War Musician.

Cyrenus Horton and his wife are buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Port Byron.