John Watts DePeyster

John Watts DePeyster

Susan and Eric Wittenberg says:

Hi, GDG--
I wanted to pass on an interesting read for those interested in a different twist on the Sickles controversy. One of Sickles' closest friends was a man named John Watts DePeyster, Bvt. Maj. Gen. of the New York State Militia. DePeyster, who was a first cousin of Phil Kearny, apparently wrote a series of anonymous arictles under the pen name "Anchor". I first became aware of Anchor when I wrote my Buford article, and am now, after a good bit of dialogue with Bill Cameron, finishing a mansucript for G-burg Magazine on Anchor and another manuscript written regarding Buford's role on July 1. I originally thought Anchor was Buford's signal officer, Aaron B. Jerome. However, after tonight finishing re-reading the entire text of a short book called "Gettysburg and After", published by DePeyster in 1867, I have come to conclusion that DePeyster was probably Anchor. Anchor may have been Jerome, but there are a few clues which arise in subsequent articles which have caused me to re-evaluate my original opinion that Anchor was Jerome.

In any event, Anchor and DePeyster both (DePeyster signed a piece or two in this book in his own name) strongly advocate for Sickles, and provide some interesting insight into the whole Sickles controversy. The book was reprinted by Olde Soldier Books in 1987, and is available from Morningside. I recommend it for those interested in reading more about this controversy.

From: (Benedict R Maryniak) (Benedict R Maryniak) says: Thought I'd add a bit more on Major John Watts De Peyster. He was the namesake of New York GAR Post #71, Tivoli, Dutchess County. Post #71 was chartered in 1873, and the charter was revoked 1876. De Peyster was the son of a wealthy old Dutchess County family who met with what he perceived (and declared) to be prejudiced resistance from Abe Lincoln on down when he attempted to raise regiments. He joined 11th NY Cavalry as 1st Lt Co I June 1862 and was mustered out the same month. He was mustered as Major 1st NY Light Arty 6-26-1862 and dismissed 8-14-63, but dismissal revoked 7-3-1866 and he was listed as discharged to date 8-14-63. Eventually named brevet colonel US Vols, brevet colonel NY Vols. By a special act of the NY legislature (apparently very, very special), De Peyster was named brevet major general of NY National Guard. He died 4-12-1873.

Ben Maryniak, Buffalo CWRT