Photo contributed by the Wayne County Historical Society

Company M of the 17th Cavalry was made up of Wayne County recruits, mostly from Salem Township.

Honesdale businessman commanded locally-recruited cavalry

Company M, part of the 162nd Pennsylvania Regiment (17th Cavalry), was recruited in Wayne County—mostly in Salem Township—in the summer and autumn of 1862. It was commanded by Captain Coe Durland, who ended the Civil War as a lieutenant colonel and went on to become one of the most successful businessmen in Wayne County history. After initial assignments in the general area of Washington, D.C., and numerous skirmishes with the enemy, the regiment joined the Chancellorsville campaign. They were very active throughout the war, taking part in many skirmishes and battles, including Gettysburg and Sheridan’s Ride. On February 12, 1865, General Sheridan led the 17th in the Campaign of 1865, which led to the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. The regiment lost six officers and 98 enlisted men in combat; another 128 enlisted men were lost to disease. Coe Durland returned to Honesdale and, with his partner Robert Torrey, founded the Durland, Torrey & Co.’s Boot and Shoe Factory. At its peak, the company employed 75 people and generated about $300,000 a year.

From the collection of the Wayne County Historical Society, 810 Main St., Honesdale. The museum, research library and museum shop are open Friday and Saturday 10 a. m. to 4 p.m.

 

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