This is the logo for the Normal School Company.

About this website:

This website is the product of a graduate research seminar directed by Professor Allen Ballard of the University at Albany. The seminar focused on the Normal School Company, which was organized, raised, and led by two instructors at the State Normal School, the predecessor of the University at Albany.

It is our hope that in delivering this website to the public we are able to create a new awareness about the University at Albany and its dramatic roots. Although it may appear that little is shared between the Normal School of yesterday and The University at Albany of today, one common thread does exist. The commonality that joins the two lies in the students who attended each. Both institutions have served as pivotal platforms from which young men and women have been provided with the opportunity to become a part of great events. Events that were great enough to be recorded and remembered throughout history. We hope that this website will spark an interest in anyone who visits and inspire those who do to explore the rich history surrounding the University at Albany.

44th New York Monument at Gettysburg 44th New York Monument at Gettysburg, from Devil's Den

In October of 1862, a group of nearly 100 men, mostly barely out of their boyhood, boarded a steamboat at the Port of Albany and departed to reinforce the depleted ranks of the Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Faculty, students, and alumni of the New York State Normal School at Albany New York became the core of "New" Company E of the 44th NY. As members of this regiment the "Normal School Company" participated in seventeen battles of the Civil War.

Gravesite of Elmer Ellsworth, whose death inspired the formation of the 44th NY, the 'Ellsworth Avengers'

The 44th NY had formed in the Summer and Fall of 1861, in response to the death of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth in Alexandria, the first officer to die in the war, and was known as the "Ellsworth Avengers." Ellsworth had grown up in nearby Mechanicville, NY, and his death spurred the formation of the 44th NY, which was intended to include one man from each town in the state. Although this was never achieved men did join from nearly every county in New York.

By October 1862, disease and battle had reduced the original 1100 members of the 44th to a number less than 200. The regiment needed new recruits, or else it would face possible absorption into another regiment and the "Ellsworth Avengers" would be no more.

So it came to pass that in the summer of 1862 a large number of the best and bravest of our young men left school and college- dropping their books only to pick up the sword and musket - rallied to the support of Freedom''s flag, and offered themselves to fill up the now more than decimated ranks of the Union Army

In September of that year, the "Normal School Company," numbering 100, was mustered in into the service of the United States "for three years of the war," and soon became an integral part of the "Army of the Potomac," then facing the rebel "Army of Northern Virginia"

-A.N. Husted (Normal School professor & 44th NYVI Officer )

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