Erie Community College is pleased to announce that student Mary E. Erckert's Civil War essay, entitled “A Call for Quarter,” recently notched second place honors in the state's annual David A. Garfinkel Essay Competition of the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York.
The competition—open to the state's CUNY and SUNY students—annually honors essays focused on specific historical topics, as determined by the Historical Society. This year's Civil War topic welcomed Erckert's rich and informative essay, dedicated to the honorable soldiers detained in Elmira, New York's Camp Chemung.
The competition's 2012 direction, entitled, “The Blue and the Gray: New York during the Civil War,” took its inspiration from Court of Appeals Judge Francis Finch's influential 1867 poem, “The Blue and the Gray.” For many years after the war, the poem was read at the graveside of Civil War soldiers during Memorial Day ceremonies.
The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York was launched in 2003 by its founder, former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, with the mission of preserving the legal and judicial history of New York. It seeks to foster public appreciation and a better understanding of the rich legacy of the New York courts, the legal profession, and their contributions to New York State.