(BINGHAMTON, NY) – 154 years after they trained for battle on Binghamton’s south side, a portion of NY 434 was officially designated in honor of the men of the 137th NY Volunteer Infantry. Named for their commander, the Col. David Ireland Memorial Highway was dedicated Thursday evening as descendants of the men of the 137th NY looked on. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Fred Akshar sponsored legislation that renamed the section of NY 434.
“These men fought valiantly to save the Battle of Gettysburg but unfortunately few know their heroic tale,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “I hope that when people see these signs as they drive by, they will be interested to learn more about the man and regiment they honor. I was happy to work with members of the community to finally give these men the proper recognition they deserve.”
“We are a community and a nation that remembers our heroes and that celebrates the honor, perseverance and excellence they stood for,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “It’s our job to do what we can to make sure that the principles that heroes like Col. David Ireland fought for endure and go on to inspire generations to come in our community.”
On the night of July 2, 1863 the 137th NY Infantry faced an assault from Confederate troops at Culp’s Hill. Under the cover of darkness, the regiment held its line, greatly contributing to victory in the war’s decisive battle. Before heading off to war, Colonel Ireland and the 137th NY trained on the south shores of the Susquehanna River in Binghamton.
The 137th NY went on to fight courageously in several other battles, and as a result was memorialized with monuments at Gettysburg and throughout the South. However, until last spring, the regiment’s ‘hometown’ had no memorial in its honor. A historical marker was dedicated last June near the site of ‘Camp Susquehanna’ where Col. Ireland trained the local soldiers, and now the highway designation adds to the 137th’s well-deserved honor.