77th NY Volunteers’ Chaplain
May 27, 2011
The 77th New York Volunteers were mustered into service on Nov. 23, 1861 at Saratoga Springs for a term of 3 years; many of the men reenlisted and were eventually mustered out on June 27, 1865 in Washington. Some of the battles they participated in included Yorktown, Williamsburg, Antietam, Crapmton’s Gap, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg (though not closely engaged), Chantilly, the Wilderness Campaign, Spotsylvania, Fort Stedman, and Appomattox Courthouse. Perry Special Collections has acquired 81 photographs of people and soldiers from the Civil War, the majority of them are volunteers from the 77th. Norman Fox Jr. was their chaplain and through some research we have found out some interesting things about his life before and after the war.
Reverend Norman Fox Jr. was born, the third of seven children, in Glens Falls, NY, Feb 13, 1836 (the very same hometown as Jimmer Fredette). In 1840 his family moved to Ballston Spa in the Saratoga Springs area about 25 miles away. He grew up there while his father served as a Baptist pastor. By the age of 19 he had graduated from the University of Rochester and the Rochester Theological Seminary. He followed in his father’s footsteps and served as a Baptist minister for nearly six years in Whitehall, NY before becoming the chaplain for the 77th. He enlisted on Dec. 1, 1862 and was mustered out on Dec. 13, 1864 in Saratoga, NY. After the Civil War he went on to receive his Law degree from the University of Rochester and married Julia McKnight. The same year their first child, Arthur, was born she passed away (1869). He then married Jennie Bleeker and they had two children, Alice and Noel, before she too died in 1880. A decade later a census report from Morristown, NJ indicated that he was living there with two of his children, Alice and Noel, presumably practicing Law. In 1906 Norman married Martha Dimmick and they moved back to Saratoga Springs, NY where he died the following summer on June 23, 1907.
Norman Fox’s picture is available in the Civil War display case here in the Special Collections (1130 HBLL). As we continue to commemorate the historic events of the Civil War we will be posting more historical notes on some of the members of the 77th NY Volunteers and other items.