Department of New York

CIvil War Monuments
in Waterloo


 

The Scythe Tree

ScytheTree01.jpg (24138 bytes)

Wyman Johnson.jpg (13306 bytes)
James Wyman Johnson

Present-day Photographs by Todd A. Shillington

 

ScytheTree02.jpg (22745 bytes)

During the Civil War, James Wyman Johnson
came in from the field one morning,
hung his scythe in the crotch
of a small tree and said,
“Leave the scythe in the tree until I return.”

He enlisted in the Union Army,
Co. G, 85th New York Volunteers,
on October 29, 1861.

He died from wounds received at
Plymouth, North Carolina in 1864.
His parents, refusing to believe the report,
left the scythe in the tree where it remains today, completely enveloped.

In 1918, World War I, two brothers placed scythes
in this same tree.
Raymond L. Schaffer when enlisting in
Company F, 33rd Engineers
and Lynn L. Schaffer when enlisting
in the United States Navy.
Both men returned.
But their scythes remain embedded.

 

Along Routes 5 & 20
Waterloo, NY


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