Honoring a Civil War legacy in Hancock

By Kelly McCarthy

October 3, 2013 Updated Oct 4, 2013 at 12:08 AM EDT

Hancock, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A Civil War statue is now standing tall in Hancock after a community member donated the funds to have history on display. It's the first statue to grace the town of Hancock, as well as the first civil war monument.

In order to keep a piece of Hancock history on the minds of its community, it's going to take more than six tons of concrete and statue that stands 11 feet tall.

"The 101st regiment during the Civil War was formed here in Hancock," said Judge Herbert Buckley of Hancock. "In today's day and age, that's mostly been forgotten by this generation."

A statue now stands in the newly constructed Hancock town square.

"They were trained over on what we call Fireman's Park now," said Jerry DeBrescia of Hancock, "But it was Camp Hill House at the time. They were there from October 1861 to March of 1862."

The regiment then went on to fight in Gettysburg and all the other major battles. One private returned to Hancock after the war ended and lived out his life with the community. Civil War Private David Hewitt returned to Hancock after the war was over.

"Fought all the major battles, including Gettysburg in the slaughter pen," said Buckley, "Came back here and lived out his life."

Buckley purchased and donated the statue. He also left a note along with the statue, he says it's his message to future generations.

"Most people locally aren't even aware of the 101st regimen," DeBrescia said.

The statue will now be standing tall in a new town square. It's part of an ongoing effort to replace an old village eye sore with open green lawn.

"What you need is a focal point in the middle of the community," said DeBrescia, "That's a very attractive focal point, that people will really notice it's not just a park it's a selling point."

A selling point for those driving through, and a proud piece of history for those who decide to stay.

The town square's grand opening of the park will be this Saturday. Family members of David Hewitt will be in Hancock to see the memorial.

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