Folly ceremony set to honor Hoosick Falls, N.Y., soldier

Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, N.Y., where many Civil War soldiers are buried. A group from Hoosick Falls, N.Y., with the help of Patriot Guard Riders, will hold a brief ceremony Saturday on Folly Beach to honor Albert Hall. The Union soldier was interred on the island in 1863.

FOLLY BEACH - Albert Hall, a 36-year-old Union soldier from Hoosick Falls, N.Y., was one of more than 620,000 men who lost their lives during the Civil War.

But he will be singled out here Saturday morning, as supporters of the town crisscross the country to honor its war dead.

Records show that Hall died of disease at a hospital here on Sept. 18, 1863, slightly more than a year after he enlisted with New York's 169th Infantry Regiment.

He was interred on the island, and his remains may have been among the 19 later reinterred in the National Cemetery in Beaufort.

The Hoosick Falls group, with the help of Patriot Guard Riders, will hold a brief ceremony that involves flying a flag nicknamed "Liberty" - a 6-foot by 9-foot U.S. flag that flew for a day over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The group's goal is to fly the flag over the grave sites of all Hoosick Falls veterans who died during war.

The group will assemble at 9 a.m. at the 55th Massachusetts Regiment memorial in Folly River Park, and will fly Liberty from the Community Center flagpole because that is located closest to Folly's historically documented cemeteries.

Bob Lewin of North Charleston, who is serving as the Patriot Guard Riders' Ride Officer in charge of the event, said he isn't sure how many people will turn out. The guard has several hundred members in the Lowcounty.

"I think this is a pretty honorable mission that the town of Hoosick Falls is undertaking," he said. "I think it's a pretty cool thing."

Mayor Tim Goodwin said this was the first request of its kind that he has heard of, and he was happy to help. "It was just out of the blue," he said. "These people (from Hoosick Falls) went to a lot of trouble" researching where their town's soldiers were buried.

The Hoosick Falls group has held similar ceremonies at cemeteries in Virginia and North Carolina and will make its first South Carolina stop at Folly.

It plans to hold events at all 17 U.S. cemeteries where the town's soldiers are buried - as well as at European cemeteries.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.