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il^arfaart €allcQt iibraru
JOHN HARVEY TREAT
OF LAWRENCE, MASS.
(ClAU of itta)
FITTSFIKLD, N. H
n. L. ROBINSON
Call back that morning with its luiid light
When through our land the awful war bell t<)llc<l ;
When lips were mute and women's faces white
As the pale cloud that out from Sumter rolled.
— John Doylk O'Reilly.
PITTSFIKLD. N. H.
' OCT •?.?: ?909 )
To the present and future citizens of Piitsfield I consign
this book, hoping they may be inspired by the same love of
country that the men herein spoken of inherited from their
IJy II. L. RoiJiNSON.
The magnitude of the war cannot be conceived by any one
mind, and only by comparing it with other wars and the his-
tory of other nations does its colossal size become apparent.
There were over two thousand engagements, — eight hun-
dred of them as large in men and casualties as the Battle of
Bunker Hill, of which all New Englanders feel so proud.
There were more men killed on the field of battle than Eng-
land has lost in the whole eight hundred years of her exist-
ence, and more than all of the combined armies of Europe
have lost for the past eighty years ; and yet our war lasted
barely four years. No wonder that the young student of
history becomes confused as he contemplates all of this, and
confounds Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Williams-
burg, Petersburg, with all the other »» burgs" of the South,
and cannot tell the difference between Chattanooga, Chancel-
lorsville, or Chickamauga.
All other histories, as far as I know, deal with armies and
regiments, and make heroes of the officers who from a safe
distance directed the execution of their commands ; but in this
little volume, I have attempted in my feeble, blundering way
to lay before my readers the part taken by our townsmen in
the gigantic struggle, — a struggle unparalleled in the histo-
ries of nations. I would that the task had fallen to some
more competent person, but as I was urged to do so by men
who did not enter the semce as well as by my comrades, I
reluctantly consented, after months of consideration.
That there may be mistakes in this book no one is better
aware than myself, and I ask all who may criticise the work
to be as lenient as possible. It is utterly impossible to have
every statement agree with the recollection of every one.
For instance : One comrade says he was wounded in a certain
battle, while two of his company say he was not there at all,
but received his wounds in another fight ; and still another
comrade declares that the wounded man is right. Again : Of
one of our men who died in the service, his brother-in-law
claims, and his statement is supported by others, that the
dead man neither lived in town nor enlisted from here;
while the dead man''s brother, and his statement is also sup-
ported by good evidence, says that he did live here for some
two years before enlisting. Each party is sure he is right,
and of course I expect the opposition to say that I am wrong
in putting in what I have, but I have decided these questions
as it seemed to me that the strongest evidence showed to be
correct. Although I had memoranda of many of the events
herein spoken of, yet no one knows, unless he has tried it,
how much labor is involved in collecting complete data. I
anticipated something of this, but had I known the whole,
I doubt if I should have undertaken the task.
I cannot let this opportunity pass without extending my
thanks to those who have so kindly and promptly responded
to my request for facts.
Perhaps it may seem that I have given more prominence
to some men than I have to others. My reply is, that I
have used everything I could get hold of, that I thought
could interest those who would care to read this book :
** setting down nothing in malice," but giving all an equal
chance to contribute their story of the four years when we
made history so fast.
Another thing has surprised me, and has been a source of
the greatest gratification, encouraging me to persevere in my
work ; and that is, the interest taken by those who did not
enlist nor had friends in the army. The number of sub-
scribers who voluntarily came forward before I had opened a
subscription list, was also a delight.
I have avoided as far as possible two accounts of the same
events, but what I have said of one in a general way applies
to all who were there. For example : The terrible suffering
at Manchester, in that cold winter, was endured by all of our
men in both the Seventh and Eighth regiments alike.
I have also avoided giving descriptions of battles and cam-
paigns, bedause they belong more properly to histories of
regiments or brigades ; but I have given all the incidents
that I could procure of those engagements in which the Pitts-
field men took part. But the extreme modesty of some com-
rades prevents them from telling of their acts of bravery, and
I have, in a measure, been obliged to rely on those who
were with them for the facts.
Of the engravings of this book I will say a word. Some
of them represent the men at or near the time of their service,
while others were taken later in life. Nearly all of those who
enlisted were young men, as my readers will understand from
the text. Besides the soldiers, I have presented the pictures
of some of the town officials and leading men and women of
that time, which I trust will add to the value of this volume.
Pittsfield, N. H., April 17, 1893.
PITTSFIELD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
The people who have come upon the stage of action
since the War of the Rebellion have no idea of the
intense political feeling that existed previous to that
If a man belonged to one of the great political par-
ties, and his neighbor to another, then there was a
barrier between them that could not be passed ; even
if they belonged to the same benevolent society, or to
the same church and sat at the same communion
table, there was no fellowship. Even the church
must have a clergyman of the same political faith
with the majority, or he must sink his manhood by
keeping silence on the questions of the day. These
things are now happily passed, I trust forever.
Pittsfield, the scene of some of the historic events
of the contest against slavery, where resided some of
the men to whom the Southern states looked for aid
in their efforts to divide the country, was as patriotic
as any town in the North ; and those men who had
sympathized with the South previous to 1861 were as
energetic in prosecuting the war, in raising and equip-
ping troops and forwarding supplies, as any class of
men ; nay, more — many of them enlisted, and on the
battle-field proved their devotion to their country.
The men who remained at home poured out money
and supplies like water to maintain those in the field,
and since the war with a liberal hand they have done
everything they could to aid and honor the men who
went into the army.
8 PiTTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Pittsfield, at that time, was a small town, without
railroad or telegraph. It was connected with the
outside world by three stage-lines, — one, a daily, run-
ning to Concord, owned by True Garland, a man
well known throughout the state, and to whom the
soldiers were indebted for many acts of kindness ;
another to Dover, owned by our venerable townsman,
Jackson Freese ; and another, running to Laconia by
way of Alton, driven by Pike Davis. The last two
were tri-weekly ; not, however, like the one out West,
the driver of which, when asked what he meant by a
'^tri-weekly," replied that he went down one week
and tried to get back the next.
April 15, 1861, President Lincoln issued a call for
75,000 volunteers to serve three months. Two days
later True Garland's stage brought word that a recruit-
ing office had been opened at Concord. A young
man hurried to his boarding-place in Pittsfield, and
hired the man for whom he worked to carry him to
Concord that night. There he enlisted, but was
rejected for disability ; however, he afterwards enlisted
in a later regiment, and served nearly two years.
Orrin Brock and Henry M. Gordon started to walk
to Concord. When in Chichester they were overtaken
by Mr. J. O. Tasker, who kindly gave them a ride to
that city. There they enlisted. These were soon fol-
lowed by many more. They all enlisted to go in the
First regiment, but its ranks were filled so rapidly
that they were mustered into the Second, and their
term of service was changed from three months to
Sunday, May 5, 1861, was a beautiful day. The
sun shone out in all its splendor; vegetation was well
advanced ; the leaves of the trees and grass of the
fields had put on their brightest green for the early
spring-time. The people of the village were early
astir, and groups of men could be seen in earnest but
subdued conversation. At length the only bell in
town, the one on the cotton factory, rang out the
summons to worship. The people flocked to the
PITTSFIELD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR. 9
Congregational church, where special service was to
be held. The consecrated building had been filled
many times, but it never held more than on that May
morning. Soon the notes of fife and drum were
heard, — something never known before in our quiet
village on the Sabbath. The sound drew nearer, and
into the church marched some twelve or fifteen stal-
wart young men, who seated themselves in pews near
The services were participated in by the various
clergymen of the town. Prayer was offered by Rev.
James Morrill. Then the audience joined in sing-
ing "America." Rev. J. A. Hood, a most eloquent
divine, was at his best. He preached a sermon from
Isaiah xiii, 4: ^^The Lord of Hosts mustered His
hosts of the battle, ^^ It was a powerful discourse,
full of patriotism and encouragement to those who
were about to leave their homes to enter the service
of their country.
It was a novel sight to the crowds of people present
on that day ; but, alas ! enlisting soon became so com-
mon that scores of young men entered the army and
hardly a remark was made. I think Miss Mary E.
Brown presided at the fine old organ, and a choir,
composed of Mr. William Lake, Mr. Penniman,
S. Ambrose Brown, Misses Addie M. Knowles, Ellen
M. Perkins, Laura C. French, and Abbie J. Sanborn,
sang that glorious old hymn entitled " We will con-
quer or die," the first stanza of which was as follows :
"Go tread in the pathway your forefathers trod;
Remember your leader, your captain, is God.
Go spread your broad banners beneath the blue sky ;
Remember the watchword, ' We conquer or die.' "
Another hymn, written for the occasion, was sung,
the words of which I have been unable to obtain.
Then a procession was formed. John C French,
who in his boyhood had attended a military school,
played the fife, while Bradbury H. Bartlett acted as
drummer. The newly fledge<l soldiers were escorted
10 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
to the corner of Water street, where the last parting
words were said, and carriages were taken for Con-
cord, many citizens accompanying the recruits as far
Some of our citizens deplored the " desecration,"
as they called it, of the Sabbath, by playing on a fife
and drum in our streets, and to keep step to the mu-
sic, — they deemed a sacrilege. But, like all things
connected with the war, they soon became used to it.
Many of the men when they enlisted kept a diary.
Some of these were lost, but many were discontinued
because of lack of facilities for writing by the men in
the ranks. A few, a very few, have been preserved
until the present time. I have been able to obtain
some of them. When the comrades handed them to
me each said that I should find nothing of interest in
his, but I think my readers will join with me in say-
ing that they form the most interesting part of this
book. They let one into the private life of the soldiers,
so that we may know what they felt, saw, and suf-
fered ; and their experience was about the average
experience of the soldier, — some suffered more and
The reader will observe that the word bivouac
often occurs. It is rather a romantic word ; it is
very poetic — in fact, it is as picturesque as a tumble-
down house or a ragged urchin, and like them it is
very uncomfortable. It means that after a long, hard
day's march, with sixty pounds of trappings and a
rifle to carry through the dust under a hot sun, you
are ordered to halt. How gladly you do it ! You
would have done so before if that officer on horseback
had only invited you to do so. Then you are ordered
to stack arms and unsling your equipments. These,
too, are welcome words to you. If you are not detailed
to go on guard or to do some other thing about camp,
you can get your supper.
We read about '^ coffee-boilers** in the army. I
saw but very little of them, and a careful inquiry
12 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
among my comrades brings the same answer. In
Louisiana, when we were on the march and came
to a halt, the men were tired enough to lie down
without making a fire. Their supper consisted of
what they had in their haversacks — meat that had
been cooked perhaps two or three days, and hard
bread that had been baked for years. Then you lie
down on the ground and get what rest you can, with
nothing over you but the stars of heaven, unless it
should happen to be stormy ; then the clouds would
be so high above you, and they would pour so much
water down on you, that you would always prefer a
covering of stars to one of clouds. In fair weather
you would use your boots for a pillow ; in rainy
weather you would keep them on to prevent your
feet from getting wet. You would just get to sleep
when some mule in the wagon train would set up an
unearthly bray, or the orderly would turn you over to
see if you were the man he was hunting for, or
perchance the long roll would sound. ''Then there
would be hurrying to and fro,'* for the enemy was
upon you in the darkness ! At daylight you would
breakfast on what you had left from supper, with the
addition generally of a cup of black coflee that the
poor cooks, who had been called up by the guard two
hours before, had made for you. Then came another
day's march, the same as the day before, and another
night like the preceding, until weeks and perhaps
months had passed before you could get a good
square meal, or get on an average over four hours'
sleep out of the twenty-four. Oh, yes, a bivouac is a
very nice thing to read about, but anything but pleas-
ant to experience.
And yet some people think, or pretend to believe,
that the men who went to the war had " a jolly pic-
nic," and wonder why they should break down
twenty years before their time, taking the men who
remained at home as a standard. But to those who
experienced the hardships, who endured the heat and
cold, the thirst, hunger, fatigue, and exposure, the
ARMY LIFE. 13
wonder is that one is left to tell the story. When the
boys meet now, instead of recounting their hardships,
they indulge in some comical story, or with subdued
voices inquire for some comrade, and give a sigh
when they learn that he has been '' mustered out,"
and then in tender tones they will recount the good
and brave deeds of their friend. It is this, perhaps,
more than anything else that gives the impression to
those who never '' drank from the same canteen " that
there was more fun than fighting from 1861 to 1865.
PITTSFIELD'S REPRESENTATIVES IN THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION.
N. W. ADAMS.
No man is better known in this town than Wilson
Adams, who was born in Barnstead, December 15,
1840. His father was John Adams, his mother Sarah
(Seward) Adams. . Young Adams came to Pittsfield
in 1857, ^"^^ worked at shoemaking for a short time ;
and then at farming until he enlisted in August, 1861,
in the Third regiment and was appointed sergeant.
He was married, August 15th, 1S61, to Mary A.
Blake. Before the regiment was mustered into the
United States service he took a severe cold, which re-
sulted in a fever, so that he had to abandon the idea
of going with that regiment, whose ranks had been
filled up in the meantime. He went as a recruit to
the Second regiment, which he joined at Bladensburg,
Md., as a member of Company B.
His first '' active *' service was at the siege of York-
town ; then he was at the battle of Williamsburg,
afterward at Fair Oaks ; then in the Seven Days
Fight, and in both of the battles of Fredericksburg.
At Gettysburg his company was stationed at the
Peach Orchard. At Cold Harbor he was severely
wounded, and was sent to Chestnut Hill hospital,
Philadelphia, then to Concord, where he was dis-
charged. He now lives on Main street in Pittsfield
He was in every engagement in which the famous
Second New Hampshire was engaged during his term
N. W. ADAMS. 15
of service, except the second battle of Bull Run.
The way Wilson got out of this was as follows : The
regiment arrived at Port Royal at night. The next
morning Adams like a true soldier started out to find
something to eat. He discovered a mill about a half
mile away, and had just filled his haversack when the
bugles sounded. He rushed back to find his com-
pany in line. The captain, to punish him for being
tardy, made him fall in, in the rear among the short
men. Just then an order came for two men to report
to the colonel. Adams was one that was detailed.
These men were placed in charge of a sergeant and
left to guard the camp. Here they remained four
days, when an officer came 'with an order to destroy
everything, and so save it from falling into the enemy's
hands. Then commenced one of the greatest destruc-
tions of property known in the war, — tents and camp
equipage, and rations of all kinds were burned,
amounting to millions of dollars in value.
Then these men began their march to Alexandria.
At Drury*s Bluff Adams took a prisoner, the first in
that engagement. The regiment expected a charge
from the enemy, and procured a lot of telegraph wire
and stretched it from stump to stump, and when the
charge was made the enemy were piled in heaps.
While standing at the camp fire, near Fair Oaks, the
evening before the battle, a ball struck him in the
breast, penetrated his Bible, several letters from his
best girl, and made a severe bruise on the flesh that
was quite troublesome for some days.
His company were armed with Sharpfs rifles and
they were always used as skirmishers. ' They fired
the first shot at the Battle of Williamsburg, and pris-
oners taken at that time said they had men killed by
that discharge that were a mile or more away. These
rifles would bore a. hole in a man as big as your fist,
and consumed so much ammunition that every com-
pany armed with them had an ammunition wagon to
keep it supplied. At this battle they had used up all
but one round, when Gen. Heintzelman rode up and
1 6 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
asked who they were. When told, he ordered them
to charge into some bushes ; and in they went, only to
receive the fire of a hidden enemy, killing several of
the company. Immediately they discharged their re-
maining volley and rushed on, driving the enemy out
and capturing several prisoners.
At this same battle. Gen. Heintzelman rode up to
the brigade band and shouted, "Strike up Yankee
Doodle or some other d d Doodle !" The band
began to play at once, the order to charge was given,
our men rushed forward, and drove the enemy from
their position. It was learned that the rebels sup-
posed we had received reenforcements, from the fact
that they heard a band for the first time during the day.
Of course Adams has his stories to tell of that grand
old man. Colonel Oilman Marston. At Fair Oaks,
while his men were falling fast, an order came for the
regiment to make a charge. It was a nasty place, and
as the colonel received the order, he turned to his
men, while the tears rolled down his cheeks, and said,
''Boys, do your duty today and I will never ask you
to do it again." Ever after that he would say, "Boys,
I shan't ask you ; I know you will do your duty."
One day the colonel of another regiment called on
Marston and said that the boys of the Second New
Hampshire were stealing from his men. This so
enraged the old hero that he kicked his visitor out of
the tent, saying, "It's a libel. My boys never steal,
they only take what they want."
In 1861, John Clark had a checkerberry distillery
near where Berry brook crosses the road. The people
in this vicinity when they had nothing else to do
would pick checkerberry leaves and sell them to the
old man. In this way they would earn very fair
wages. On the morning of April 21, 1861, while at
breakfast, Orrin Brock learned that a recruiting office
had been opened at Concord and he determined to
ORRIN BROCK. 1 7
enlist ; so, as soon as he had finished his meal, he took
his basket and bag, ostensibly to pick checkerberry
leaves. He went behind his father's blacksmith shop
and hid his basket under the sling, then, making a
detour through the pastures, he entered the village,
where he found a friend of his, H. M. Gordon. After
a short conversation, they started for Concord on foot.
When part way to the city they were overtaken by J.
O. Tasker, who, as soon as he learned their destina-
tion, took them into his wagon and carried them the
rest of their journey. They at once enlisted. There
had been but very few enlistments in the state up to
that time, and Brock was the first man accepted from
He was born in Barnstead, December 13, 1842, a
son of Stephen and Lydia A. (Lee) Brock ; and
moved with his parents to Pittsfield in 1846. Besides
attending school he was employed as a hostler, being
a great lover of horses.
When he enlisted the intention was that he and his
comrade should go in the First New Hampshire, but
owing to some misunderstanding, which it is needless
to explain here, he was mustered into Co. E, of the
Second regiment, at Portsmouth June 3, 186 1, as a
corporal. The regiment soon left for Washington
and were encamped on Capitol hill. They composed
a part of the brigade under the command of General
Burnside at the first battle of Bull Run and covered
the retreat. After reaching Washington they were
sent to Bladensburg, Md., and then to * Budd's
Ferry on the lower Potomac. They took part in the
Peninsular campaign and the siege of Yorktown, and
were in the battle of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862.
At this battle Brock was wounded by the explosion
of a shell. His company were on the skirmish line,
and had advanced as far as they could when they
were ordered to lie down. Brock was on a brush
heap behind a tall stump, when a shell exploded near
him. A piece flew, striking him and injuring the
muscles of the arm so that it has been crooked ever
1 8 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
since ; another piece struck his finger, cutting it off.
This was near Fort Macgruder. They had silenced
the guns in their front, but this shell came from a
long distance to their right.
Twenty days later, June 25, 1862, Brock took part
in the battle of Fair Oaks. June 27, he was at the
battle of Savage Station ; the next day, at Peach
Orchard; on June 30, at Glendale ; July r, at the
first battle of Malvern Hill ; on August 5, at the sec-
ond battle of Malvern Hill, and on August 27 at Bris-
tow Station. By this time his regiment had become
so reduced that they were given a chance to recruit,
and Brock was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
The next regular battle in which he was engaged was
at Drury's Bluff, from May 14 to May 16, 1864.
He had already reenlisted in the field, January i,
1864. A year later his long exposure had begun to
tell on his strong constitution, and he was discharged
February 17, 1S65, for disability contracted in the
service. At that time he weighed scarcely 100
At Yorktown, when General McClellan was send-
ing up a balloon to observe what the enemy was
doing, the rebels commenced to fire at it, and one of
the shells struck the ground, killing ten of Brock's
company. All of these were standing near him.
When the rebels began to evacuate Yorktown,
Brock, who was hiding behind a tree, stepped out to
see what was going on. There was considerable
firing, *and Orrin thought he would get into cover.
He had but just stepped aside, when a ball struck the
tree where he had been standing.
His present home is on Catamount street in this
JOHN BROCK. 19
John Brock, a brother of the above, was a very
dark-complexioned man, with coal-black hair and
eyes, and the exposure to a southern sun had not im-
proved him in this regard. At one time the Seventh
regiment was sent to relieve a negro regiment that
had been doing guard and fatigue duty at the wharf
ofi Morris island. After stacking arms, Brock wan-
dered down to the beach. A sergeant from the col-
ored reginient came up to Lieutenant Jacobs, and,
saluting the officer, said, "Lieutenant, we have lost
one of our men ; have you seen anything of him ?"
"I guess that is your man,*' replied Jacobs, point-
ing to Brock.
"Thank you, sar ! thank you, sar!" said the ser-
geant, as he hurried away ; and approaching Brock,
he called out, "Here, you worthless nigger, git into
the ranks. What you loitering 'round here for?
You 're always loitering."
Brock looked up, and seeing that the negro was
addressing him, called out, " You black son-of-a-gun,
do you take me for a nigger.^"
"I'se beg your pardon, massa," replied the colored
man, who was frightened into the abject manner of
the plantation. "Fse beg your pardon. I thought
you *se Sam Jones, one of my men.'*
It was a long time afterwards before Brock heard
the last of this incident.
John Brock was born in Pittsfield, August 12, 1834.
He was mustered into Company G, Seventh New
Hampshire volunteers, November 23, 1861 ; was pro-
moted to corporal. Reenlisted February 27, 1864,
and served until the close of the war, and partici-
pated in every battle in which his regiment was en-
gaged. His captain, Lieut. Jacobs, above alluded to,
says that Brock was one of the best soldiers he ever
saw. He never was sick, and was always willing to
20 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
do his share of duty. He died in Pittsfield, April 14,
CHARLES H. BROCK.
Charles H. Brock, who is still a resident of Pitts-
field, was another brother of the above family. He
was born in this town July 13, 1832. He always
made his home here except for five years, when he
was at Sag Harbor, L. I., employed in a cotton fac-
tory. He is a shoemaker by trade. July 30, 1854,
he married Mrs. Almira H. Austin, by w^hom he had
He enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, September 5, 1862, and was at once
made a corporal. At one time, while in charge of a
detail cutting wood, an axe in the hands of a comrade
glanced, cutting off three fingers from his right hand.
He was transferred to the Invalid corps in March,
1863, and stationed at Fi^idley hospital in the city of
Washington. While here the rebels under General
Early made their famous raid on the city. The
Invalid corps turned out and defended the capitol
imtil reinforcements arrived. Then, on Early's re-
treat, they followed him up the valley. After his
return from this pursuit, Brock was discharged Sep-
tember 26, 1864.
STEPHEN BROCK, JR.
Stephen was a brother of the preceding. He was
born November, 1840, and died in this town Septem-
ber 15, 1872. He enlisted in the spring of 1S64 in
the Second regiment, but for certain reasons was not
mustered into service. He afterwards enlisted in
Troop D, First New Hampshire cavalry, and was
mustered into service July 25, 1864, and served with
credit until the close of the war.
Some of the ofl!icers in the army became petty
tyrants and would abuse the men whenever they
could, but the soldiers lost no opportunity to retali-
JOHN BROOKS. 21
ate. A major of a certain regiment who was noted
in this regard, rode out to a vidette post where Brock
was stationed. As he sat on his horse he began to
find fault with everything. While he was talking to
the sergeant in charge, Brock went to a fire in the
ground where the soldiers were roasting some sweet
potatoes. Raking open the coals, he took a potato in
the corner of his blouse, and going behind the major's
horse tucked it under his tail. The way that horse
hugged that hot potato with his caudal appendage
and started down the road toward camp, would have
surprised any one who saw it. In fact, the ride was
equal to the one made by the famous ''John Gilpin of
' London town."
was a son of Samuel and Eliza (Willey) Brooks.
He was born at Pittsfield, December 24, 1842, and
always resided here until he enlisted in Company H,
Third New Hampshire volunteers, August 23, 1861.
He was wounded June 16, 1862, was made corporal
September, 1863, and reeiilisted January 31, 1864.
He came home on a furlough in March, 1864, and
visited the grave of his cousin, C. O. Ring, with that
young soldier's mother. While standing there, he
said, "Aunt Mary, Charley fared better than I shall,
for his body was brought home, but I shall be laid in
At the time his company was surprised on Pinck-
ney island, where Ring was killed, he was sick in
the hospital. When he heard of his friend's tragic
death he left the hospital, although the surgeon told
him he would die if he did. To this he replied, '' I
do n't care to live now that Charlie is gone." (See
. sketch of Charles O Ring.)
Soon after his return to his regiment, the army
invested Petersburg. In just two years from his first
wound, June 16, 1S64, he was wounded again, and
was taken to Point of Rocks, where he died the next
day. He was in the service nearly three years.
22 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Whfen Brooks received the last wound, a comrade
hastened to assist him to the rear, but he declined the
proffered aid, saying, "Load my gun so that I can
give them villains one more shot." This he did until
his officers put a stop to it by giving orders to two of
the men to carry Brooks to the hospital.
HENRY PLUMMER BROOKS.
Henry Plummer Brooks, a native of Pittsfield, was
born February 28, 1849. December 28, 1863, when
only fourteen years old, he enlisted in Company H,
Third regiment New Hampshire volunteers, as a
private. He was engaged in the battles of Point of
Rocks and Fort Fisher, where he conducted himself
with great bravery. He escaped the bullets of the
enemy only to die of chronic diarrhoea at Fort Fisher.
The adjutant-general's report says he died at Wil-
mington, N. C, April 14, 1864, but several of his
comrades who were with him at the time say the
report is incorrect.
He was a brother of John Brooks of the same com-
pany, and stood by the latter's side when he received
his death wound. He mourned his brother's death,
and without doubt the shock hastened his end.
It is a singular coincidence that Pittsfield should
have the distinction of not only furnishing the oldest
man from the entire North (Israel Drew), but also
the youngest soldier. Plummer Brooks was but
fourteen years and ten months of age when mustered
For two years the National Tribune of Washing-
ton has been publishing the age of the youngest sol-
diers, as well as the oldest. The youngest claimant,
out of over 100 names furnished that paper, was fif-
teen years and eight months old. To be sure, there
were boys younger than that who were drummers,
but Brooks was the youngest by ten months of those
who carried a gun.
ASA W. BARTLETT. 23
BRADBURY H. BARTLETT
came to Pittsfield in 1854. He was a native of
Grantham, where he was born March 18, 1829. His
parents were Richard and Caroline O. (WiUiams)
Bartlett. He worked at farming and shoemaking
and attended the academy, and later studied medicine
with Dr. Charles Berry. October 15, 1859, he mar-
ried Mrs. Ruth French. He entered the army as a
member of Company E, First New Hampshire heavy
artillery, and was made hospital steward. He soon
had charge of the hospital at one of the forts near
Washington. He seems to have been peculiarly
fitted for the medical profession, as his success in the
army and his private practice shows. He was dis-
charged at the close of the war. He died about fif-
teen years ago, at Amherst, N. H., where he had
been in the practice of his profession for several years.
ASA W. BARTLETT,
a brother of the above and the youngest of the
family, was born at Epping, N. H., August 29, 1839.
His parents moved to Pittsfield when Asa was quite
small. Here he got his education in the town schools
and academy, working on a farm and studying for
the profession of law until the spring of 1859, when
he went West. There he taught school and contin-
ued his studies.
Being a ready speaker, he took an active part in
the political campaign of i860 in behalf of Abraham
Lincoln, and in other campaigns until 1SS6. He
returned home in 1863, and August 21 of that year
he enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, as a drummer, being of too small stature
to go in the ranks. He was soon detailed as clerk,
and served in diftcrent departments until he became
sergeant-major of his regiment. March 3, 1864, he
was made a second lieutenant of Company G, and on
24 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION,
July 15, 1864, he was made first lieutenant, and,
finally, he was commissioned as captain of Company
C, same regiment, September 28, 1864.
He was with his regiment in the battles of Chancel-
lorsville. Swift Creek, Relay House, Drury*s Bluff,
and Port Walthall. He had a thrilling experience in
the fight and retreat from the first-named battle, when
he took the national flag from the hands of a wounded
color-bearer and succeeded, in spite of rebel Minims
and a sweeping storm of shot and shell, in carrying
the flag safely from the field.
During his term of service he acted in many differ-
ent capacities, besides performing his duties as a line
oflScer in command of a company, some of which
were quite important and responsible. He was
selected by General Wistar to act for some time as
judge advocate general. For a while he performed
the duties of chief signal oflScer for the Army of the
James, having had but three weeks* instruction, al-
though all the old signal oflScers had had six months'
study and drill. He was the only one of several
examined who was found able to do quick signalling,
and in a few days was given charge of the important
transmission and observation station on the Bermuda
Front, known as Butler's or Cobb Hill tower, where
he was for several days a target for Whitworth pro-
jectiles. A picture of Bartlett and this tower appears
in Butler's book, page 680.
Later, while in charge of Crow's Nest ^ tower near
Dutch Gap, he was under fire of five of the enemy's
guns, three of them 200-pound rifles, from nine
o'clock a. m. until four p. m. During that time the
tower received one hundred and sixty-five shot, and
he was standing in it one hundred and thirty feet
from the ground. A soldier who visited this tower
soon after said, — " I do n't believe there was a whole
stick left in the structure ; all were either splintered
or broken. Even the boards of the platform on which
Bartlett and his companion stood were broken by
pieces of shell that had burst below them."
ASA W. BARTLETT. 25
At the battle of Chapin's Farm, Bartlett found that
two cannon had been planted the night before just
across the river on purpose to knock him out of the
tower while the heavier guns of Howlett's battery
were trying to knock it down. No wonder that when
the '* ball " opened on that eventful day, he turned to
his flagman and remarked, " We might as well make
our peace with God, for we shall never get out of
this alive.'' Yet, strange to say and impossible as it
seems, though the platform, posts, ladders, and braces
were rent, splintered, and broken, the tower stood,
and they did get out of it not only alive but unhurt.
Captain Bartlett has informed the writer that though
it was a mighty " uncertain balance of chances," he
has once or twice stood in places of greater danger,
but never where it required greater nerve power to
control himself. " To keep your eye," said he,
" steadily on the glass and keep cool enough to catch
and interpret every switch of the distant flag through
the smoke of battle, while a 200-pound shell explodes
within the tower directly beneath you, and spiteful
percussion lopounders are flying around your head,
is not, as you can imagine, a very easy thing to do.
There is an almost irresistible impulse to let the mes-
sage, however important it may be, go to the d 1,
and look around and see if you are not going the
same way yourself."
He continued in the signal service until December,
1864, when by reason of sickness and meritorious
conduct he was given a three-months furlough by
General Ord. At the end of that time, March 18,
1S65, he wrote his resignation while lying sick, as he
had been most of the time during his furlough, on
what it was thought would be his death-bed. It was
two years before he was able to resume the active
duties of life. After serving for a time as judge
advocate on General Wistar's staft' he was recom-
mended by that officer for promotion as post judge
advocate, with rank of lieutenant-colonel. At nearly
the same time a position as signal officer was tendered
26 PlTTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
him, "which he accepted, preferring an active life at the
front to a station at Fortress Munroe.
Comrade Bartlett is still living in this town, and is
well known throughout the state as a vigorous speaker.
A comrade tells the following incident: "The
Twelfth regiment was being moved from one part of
the field to another, when they passed a signal tower,
at the foot of which General Devens (I think) sat on
his horse, fretting because no officer could stay in
it long enough to take a dispatch without being
wounded. ' I can take that dispatch,' said Bartlett
to a comrade. ' Very well then, my little man, go
up and take it,' said the general, who overheard the
remark. Bartlett ran up the ladder like a squirrel,
took the dispatch and repeated down, and then came
down as fast as he could. The men had nearly all
passed, and in the meantime the enemy had brought
another battery to bear, and before Bartlett had gotten
away they knocked it over, so that the timbers in fall-
ing struck near him, while the amateur signal officer
ran away, clapping his hands and laughing like a
school boy at a game of ball."
Rev. J. A. Chamberlin, a member o£ the Christian
Commission, tells the following story : "I was sitting in
General Wistar's tent when Capt. A. W. Bartlett was
announced, and a slight boyish figure entered. Had
I seen him anywhere I should have thought him the
young son of some officer who had taken his boy out
to let him see something of the war. General Wistar
motioned him to a seat, and commenced to ask him
questions. These were readily answered — in fact
before I could comprehend them the answer came,
and it proved always correct. When the examination
was through Bartlett said, '' General, may 1 ask a
question ? " '' Yes, sir," was the answer. Tlien Bart-
lett stated his question.
''I don't know," General Wistar replied, "what
would you do in such a case.'"'
"I don't know either," answered Bartlett; "if I
WILLIAM HENRY BLAKE. 27
had known I should not have asked the question. It
occurred to me such a case might arise and I asked for
As Bartlett left the tent the general turned to Mr.
Chamberlin and inquired, '' Have you any more such
little boys up in New Hampshire? "
WILLIAM HENRY BLAKE,
who still lives in this town, was born in Loudon, May
10, 1S42, son of William T. and Joanna (Roberts)
Blake. He came to Pittsfield when but five or six
years of age, and attended school and worked with
his father in the blacksmith shop on Concord street,
that stood on the site of HartwelFs grist-mill. He
enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, September 5, 1S64.
At the Battle of Fredericksburg the regiment
marched over the hill and rested near the river. While
crossing the hill many of them were hit, but down by
the river the shells would pass over their heads. Still
it was a rather uncomfortable place for Blake. Look-
ing back about half-way up the hill he saw a tree that
he thought would make a good shelter ; so he ske-
daddled for that, but had hardly got behind it and
congratulated himself on his tine protection, when a
shell struck the tree just above his head and exploded.
He left his hiding-place pretty quick. After crossing
the river he was detailed on the skirmish line which
was advanced so far that when the army fell back the
skirmishers were forgotten. Soon he saw the lieuten-
ant-colonel of the regiment crawling towards them
and making motions for them to fall back ; this they
did with alacrity and none too soon, for they were
nearly surrounded. They afterwards learned that the
colonel had given them up as lost, and had advised
against the lieutenant-colonel going to their rescue.
They at last reached the bridge and hurried over it,
expecting the enemy to lire upon them, but while they
were going one way the rebels were going the other.
28 PIITSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
At Chancellorsville, Va., on May 3, 1863, was
fought one of the bloodiest battles of the war. When
our lines were driven back, Blake was captured, taken
to Richmond, and confined in Libby Prison ; here he
remained for several months with '* nothing to do,"
as he expressed it, '* but to pick lice by day [and there
were plenty of them to pick] and to sleep nights,"
when the lice and mosquitoes would permit.
One day a squad of men were to be taken out for
exchange. The men were formed to be marched
out, and surrounded by the guards ; one of the latter
turned to speak to a companion, and Blake slipped
into the squad unperceived and marched out with the
others. He was placed aboard a boat and taken to
Annapolis, and put in a hospital. At that time he
weighed but ninety-nine pounds. Here he remained
for a long time; his recovery was slow, and it was
found that he would not be able to rejoin his regiment,
so he was transferred to the Veterans' Reserve corps.
He was first sent to Washington and Georgetown,
guarding bridges, etc., and then to Elmira, N. Y.,
guarding rebel prisoners. Here he remained until
the close of the war.
When he entered the army he was very athletic ;
he would go on the parade ground, and after turning
several handsprings, would walk to his tent on his
hands^ much to the amusement of his comrades.
SOLON G. BI.AISDELL,
now of San Diego, Cal., was a harness-mi. ker by
trade, and had a shop, first on Water street and after-
wards on Main street. He was born in Danville,
Vt., February 11, 1834. His parents were Green-
leaf L. and Emeline (Babbit) Blaisdell. At what
time he came to town, I liave been unable to learn.
He married, December 17, 1859, Miss Annie G.
Clarke. He enlisted first in Company G, Eighth New
Hampshire volunteers, but owing to some misunder-
standing he was not mustered into service. In
WILLIAM T. BATCHELDER. 29
August, 1862, he entered Company F, Twelfth New
Hampshire volunteers, was made a sergeant, after-
wards promoted to first sergeant, and then to
brevet lieutenant. He participated in the battles of
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wap-
ping Heights, Swift Creek, Drury's Bluff, Port
Walthall, Cold Harbor, Bermuda Front. At Peters-
burg for seventy-two days he was under fire, and at
the capture of Richmond was one of the first men to
enter the city. At Cold Harbor, he was wounded
quite severely in the left arm and side, and also in the
foot. The captain of his company tells me that he
was one of the most reliable soldiers in the regiment,
and deserved promotion long before he received it.
W^ILLIAM T. BATCHELDER
came to Pittsfield about 1854 to work on a farm for a
Mrs. Berry who lived on the east side of Catamount,
and whom he subsequently married. He was a
native of Loudon, where he was born September 25,
1823. His parents were Jonathan and Lois (Wells)
He enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, August 22, 1S62. He was in all of
the battles that this distinguished battalion partici-
pated in until the Battle of Cold Harbor, where he
was severely wounded in his left shoulder, and ren-
dered unfit for further service.
He was one of those soldiers who would always
grumble ; if everything was going smoothly he would
find fault, if anything went wrong he would scold
harder than ever. At Chancellorsville he was
wounded in the head, but still he kept on fighting
and when the order came to fall back, though the
blood was running over his face and clothes, he called
out, — '* What is the use of retreating? I thought we
came out to fight, and we might as well fight now as
any time." When told that it was orders from head-
quarters he said, — " I thought Joe Hooker knew some-
30 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
thing ! Call him * fighting Joe '—he do n't half fight ; "
and turning to his comrades he said, " Let us go back
and give them rebels the d — I."
He was a man of rather small stature, yet from the
Wilderness to Cold Harbor he carried a musket and
a spade. When ordered to intrench, he would stick
his bayonet and gun in the ground and scold because
he could not fight ; then when the rebels would attack
before his trench was done, and he had to seize his
gun to drive them back, he would scold because he
could not finish his trench.
In private life he was a good citizen and a very
quiet man. He died in Pittsfield, June 24, 1891, of
disease contracted in the army.
In Company C, Eighteenth New Hampshire volun-
teers, were eleven Pittsfield men, among whom was
Charles Buzzell, a son of Oilman and Eliza (Watson)
Buzzell. He was a native of Tamworth, N. 11., and
came to this town with his parents when about four
years of age, and resided here until he enlisted,
September 6, 1864. lie was mustered into sei*vice
eight days later, and immediately started for City
Point, Va., wliere two of the companies of the regi-
ment were already stationed.
Here these men were employed through the winter
in building a stockade, in which prisoners captured
from the enemy were confined, and drilling for the
coming campaign. In February they were set to
building corduroy roads in Appomattox swamp.
While thus engaged they made several raids through
the surroundin<j country to drive ofi' small bands of
the enemy, who were continually annoying them.
On March 25, 1S65, tlic rebels attacked Fort Sted-
man and captured it. The Eighteenth was ordered
out, and took an active part in retaking the fort.
The next day the men were put on the skirmish
line in front of Fort Stedman, and did dutv here until
JONATHAN W. IJARTLETT. 3 1
the second of April, when Buzzell and a few others
were sent out to draw the fire of the enemy. This
they did, and Buzzell says in his quaint way, "We
must have scared the enemy, for they could n't hit a
barn door. We lay down on the field — I think I stuck
my nose into the ground about six inches — and when
the order came to fall back, I concluded that it was
no place for Buzzell ; so I took my old gun in one
hand and my cap in the other, and I guess that the
reason the ' rebs.* did n't hit me was because I made
such a dust they could n't see."
The next day Petersburg was evacuated, and after
marching through the city, they were sent to the
South Side railroad to do picket duty, and remained
there until the surrender of Lee, when they went to
Washington and stayed until they were discharged.
Here Buzzell was taken sick ; so he did not come
home with his regiment, but reached his father's
house July 3, 1S65. lie has since removed to the
West, and is now living at Smith Centre, Smith
JONATHAN W. I5ARTI.KTT *
was born in Pittsfield in 1842, son of Josiah and
Hannah (Clark) Bartlctt. He enlisted September 3,
1864, in Company C, Eighteenth New Hampshire
volunteers, served with his regiment until the close of
the war, and was discharged June 10, 1S65. He is
now living at Woodland, Ind.
The small boys of Pittsfield were as patriotic as the
men ; some of them ran away from home to enlist,
and their parents would have to go for them to get
them back. Many a mother lay awake niglits, worry-
ing for fear her darling boy would leave home to go
in the army. There are scores of middle-aged men
who will tell how they tried to plan some way to pass
muster as eighteen years of age. One man relates
how he returned from his work and found his little
32 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
son some eight years old sitting on the doorstep,
looking very disconsolate.
" What is the matter?" inquired the father.
" I was thinking," said the lad, *' how ashamed I
shall feel when I grow to be a man. I shall have to
tell my little boy that my father did not go in the
A few months later his father did enlist, and served
until the close of the war.
was a native of Pittsfield, born about 1S45, ^ ^^" ^^
Samuel and Sarah (Cram) Bassett. In 1S62 he
enlisted as a recruit for the Second New Hampshire
volunteers, and was mustered into Company B
September 10, and became one of the best soldiers in
that famous company. He reenlisted February 19,
1S64, and served until the close of the war. He now
resides at Hampstead, N. H.
JAY P. BASSETT,
like his brother spoken of above, was a native of
Pittsfield. Being younger he did not enlist until
December 24, 1863. He became a member of Com-
pany H, Fourth New Hampshire volunteers, and
served with that regiment until the close of the war.
He is now living at Fremont, N. H.
CHARLES II. BERRY.
State lines did not control enlistments. Men from
New Hampshire, for various reasons, entered the
service in regiments from other states. Charles H.
Berry was one of these. He was a son of John C.
and Sarah A. (Bean) Berry, born in Pittsfield, and
had always lived in town until the war broke out,
when he entered the Fortieth Massachusetts in-
CHARLES T. BATCHELDER. 33
a brother of the above, also a native of this town,
enlisted at the same time, and in the same company,
with his brother. I have been unable to learn any-
thing further regarding these two men.
GEORGE W. BERRY,
a younger brother of the above, enlisted in Company
K, Thirteenth New Hampshire volunteers, was mus-
tered into service August 14, 1863, and immediately
joined his regiment in Virginia. He was wounded
severely June 15, 1864; was taken prisoner and
carried to Petersburg, and died the next day.
He was a jovial boy, but well behaved towards all.
In his first engagement, and at nearly the beginning
of the action, Berry captured a prisoner ; as he was
taking him to the rear, he saw the major of his regi-
ment, who called out, —
"That's right; bring your man up here, and 1*11
take care of him.*'
" Not by a darned sight," replied Berry, " if you
want one, go down there and get him ; there are
plenty more in those bushes," and he indicated
the place by pointing over his shoulder with his
CHARLES T. BATCHELDER.
John Batchelder and his wife, Martha C. (Willard),
were natives of Loudon. They moved to Northwood,
where they remained two years. Here their only son,
Charles T., was born. They returned to Loudon,
and subsequently moved to Pittslield, where their son
learned the trade of shoemaking ; but liis taste for
musical instruments led him to construct violins, of
which he made quite a number.
He enlisted in Company E, Fourth New Hamp-
shire regiment, and was mustered into the service
34 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
September i8, 1861. While doing guard duty he
contracted a severe cold, which produced pneumonia,
and he was honorably discharged December 5, 1861.
He immediately returned home, and died from the
effects of the disease March 27, 1862, aged 19 years, 4
This being the first death of a soldier in town,
it created much interest. At his death the military
guard was selected from the citizens of the town who
could procure a musket. Some of these guns were
of the old-fashioned flint-lock kind.
The services were held in the Congregational
church, and all the clergymen of the town took part in
WILLIAM S. BERRY.
I have been able to learn but very little regarding
W. S. Berry. He moved to Pittsfield from Loudon
some eight or ten years before the war. He owned a
house on Watson street. His wife was a Miss Wil-
lard, a sister to Ezra Willard ; he had no children,
but had adopted a son. He enlisted in Company G,
Seventh regiment, New Hampshire volunteers, and
was mustered into service November 23, 1861. He
served with his company until his discharge, June 5,
1863, for disability. He died in Chichester many
JOHN ED. BROW^N.
In July, i860, John E. Brown married Miss Lizzie
Leeds. He was in the tin business, and had a shop
on Main street. He was a native of Pittsfield, born
August 2, 1834; a son of Lowell and Hannah (Lane)
He enlisted and was mustered into Company G,
Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers, October 11,
1862. After he went into camp a son was born to
him. He served with his regiment until his term ex-
pired, and was mustered out August 13, 1863.
ALBERT F. BERRY. 35
While at Camp Parapet near New Orleans, he was
taken sick from exposure, and when the regiment
moved up the river he was left at the convalescent
camp, and did not rejoin his company until some time
He is with the Dover Stamping company, Dover,
ALBERT F. BERRY.
In October, 1857, ^ ^^^t met Albert F. Berry,
while he was engaged in helping his father make
a survey to bring water from Berry's pond to Pitts-
field village. From that day he was my boyhood's
friend, schoolmate, and army comrade ; of a genial
disposition, he had plenty of friends wherever he
He was a son of John and Mary A. (Hogan)
Berry, born in Pittsfield, September 8, 1841. He
attended the public schools and Pittsfield academy.
In 1 861 he entered the Chandler Scientific school at
One day in August, 1862, while at home on a
vacation, a friend who had been in the service was
writh him in his father's store. The old man was
very patriotic, and declared that if he was not more
than fifty years old he would enlist, as none of his
family had done so.
Albert said, '*I will enlist, father, if you will let me
" Let you leave college !" roared his parent. '^ D — n
it, sir, I will give you five hundred dollars in a minute
if you will go."
Albert said nothing, but winking to his friend they
went to Remick's store, where there was a recruiting
oflSce, and enlisted. Returning to his father's store he
said very quietly, '* I have enlisted." His father rose
from his seat, and taking a bunch of keys left the
room. In about half an hour he returned, and hand-
ing a bank book to Albert, said in his forceful way,
36 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
" There, my son, I have put a thousand dollars in the
bank for you. Now do your duty like a man ; if you
get injured or are sick come home, I will take care of
you as long as you live, but damn you, sir, do n't you
run. Remember, if you get shot in the back don't
you ever let me see your face again.'' This admo-
nition the old man often gave his son before he left
for the war.
One day at Long Island we crawled out of our
"pup" tents, where the rain had kept us for two
days, to stretch ourselves and dry our clothes by the
campfire, when the sergeant passed down the street
with the mail. Among others Albert had a letter
from home ; after reading it he said, " Father has not
got over worrving for fear that I shall get shot in the
He was mustered into Company G, Fifteenth New
Hampshire volunteers, October 11, 1862, as a cor-
poral, and was soon after promoted to be sergeant,
and was mustered out with his regiment August 13,
He was of rather spare build, and he had a pale
complexion. Soon after landing in Louisiana, the
regiment was inspected by one of those West Point
officers who thought he had all the knowledge the
world possessed. Coming to Berry, who stood in his
place as a file closer, he roared out, " When did you
come from the hospital, sir?"
'' I came from there this morning, sir," replied
" Who is your captain?" demanded the officer.
'' Captain Osgood, " Berry answered.
''Captain Osgood," roared the West Pointer, with
a look evidently intended to sink that individual into
the ground, " how dare you bring a sick man out on
inspection ? "
''I did not know that I had a sick man here,"
Berry, seeing that there was a misunderstanding,
interposed and said, "I am not sick. You asked
WILLIAM CAMPBELL. 37
me when I came from the hospital ; I told you this
morning. I had charge of the sick squad and took
them over there ; but I am not sick, and have not seen
a sick day since I was eight years old, when I had the
The West Pointer looked him over, as much as to
say, ** You are a liar, sir," and passed on.
Berry stood the trying service finely, never being
sent to the surgeon during his term of service. He
was a good soldier and a model officer, very cool
under fire. During one of the battles at Port Hudson
his gun became so foul that he could not ram the ball
down. It stuck fast near the muzzle. Taking his knife
from his pocket he sat on the ground and began to cut
it out. Just then one of his comrades was killed.
Berry threw away his gun, and taking that of the dead
man continued the fight.
Although the inspector general considered Comrade
Berry a sick man, yet he proved to be one of the
hardiest soldiers. During the siege of Port Hudson,
which continued forty-six days, and during which
time he was constantly under fire, when any one of
his comrades became disabled or exhausted he would
take his place and do double duty. At one time he
was on guard for twenty-four hours without being
relieved, and a large part of the time walking the beat
of a private who had been obliged to give up from ex-
haustion. Yet the next day he went into the trenches
and did a hard day's work with pick and spade,
although according to army regulations he should
not have done so.
He died a few years ago at some fort in British
William Campbell was born in Scotland, and came
to this country to avoid service in the British army.
He arrived at Pittsfield in the spring of i860, and
worked for a few months for Sir Moses D. Perkins as
a farm hand ; then for the late Jeremiah Berry until he
^8 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
enlisted in Company G, Seventh Regiment New
Hampshire volunteers, in the summer of 1861, and was
killed at Fort Wagner July 18, 1863. Although no
record of Mr. Campbell's service is found in the adju-
tant-general's report he was a hero nevertheless, and
laid his life upon the altar of his adopted country.
His comrades relate many incidents of their camp
At one time when he and three others, one of
whom had lost an eye, were engaged in a friendly
game of cards, Campbell detected the one-eyed man
cheating, and he exclaimed in his broad Scotch accent,
— *' I am a man of peace. I seek a quarrel with no
man ; neither do I intend to be personal, but if I catch
anybody cheating in this game again, he '11 lose his
JOSEPH M. CHESLEY.
Joseph M. Chesley was born, I think, in Durham,
N. H. His father died when Joseph was quite young,
and his mother afterwards married William George,
a blacksmith in this town. Young Chesley enlisted
in Company E, Second New Hampshire volunteers,
in 1861 ; he served with this famous battalion until the
Battle of Gettysburg, when he was killed July 2 or 3,
1863. Among the many battles in which he was
engaged, I will mention First Bull Run, Siege of
Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Savage Station,
Peach Orchard, Glendale, both battles of Malvern
Hill, Bristow Station, Second Bull Run, Chantilly,
Fredericksburg, Wapping Heights, Gettysburg. He
went through all of these without receiving so much
as a scratch, only to be killed as above stated. His
grave is No. 16, Gettysburg cemetery, New Hampshire
lot, section A.
WILLARD K. COBB.
Willard Knight Cobb, for whom the G. A. R. post
in Pittsfield was named, was a son of John B. and
WlLLARt) K. COBB. 39
Elizabeth (Knight) Cobb, and was born in East Pitts-
field near Jenness pond, December 6, 1843. When
he was six years old, in 1849, his father bought a
house on Watson street in the village. Here Willard
lived, attending school and working at his trade, shoe-
making, until he enlisted September 18, 1861, in Com-
pany E, Fourth New Hampshire volunteers. He
entered this battalion as a private, afterwards was
promoted to corporal, then to sergeant. He was with
the regiment in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida,
North Carolina, and Virginia. He was in over twenty
engagements, many of them regular battles. He was
wounded at Drury's Bluff, Va., May 16, 1864. He
was then on his second term of service, having reen-
listed January 30, 1864. After his wound healed he
obtained a furlough, came home, and after a short
visit returned to the army, and in tlie next engagement
was killed at Chapin's Farm, Va., September 29,
An old lady, speaking of one of the Revolutionary
soldiers in this town, said, '' He was a good Christian,
a good soldier, and a good citizen."
This is the highest eulogy that can be bestowed upon
any man. Everything is combined in these words.
But the same remark will apply to Willard Cobb.
Perhaps he was not a communicant of any church, nor
a subscriber to any creed, yet he followed the precepts
of the Christian faith, and, as a boy and young man,
was worthy of all positions to which he was called.
As a citizen he was exemplary, as a soldier he ranked
with the best, and it was eminently proper that his
name should be chosen with which to christen our
Grand Army post.
He was a representative of the rank and file, — of the
men who carried the rifles, who built the fortifications
and fought the battles, but, alas, got but little of the
honor and none of the glory. These were reserved
for the ofl[icers of high rank.
The post has kindly had his picture placed in this
40 PIITSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
EDGAR L. CARR.
One of our best known citizens is Dr. E. L. Carr,
who was born in Gilmanton, May 12, 1841, a son of
Isaac S. and Lucinda J. (Osgood) Carr. When six
years old his parents moved to Pittsfield. He worked
on his father's farm, and attended the town school at
"Upper City'* and Pittsfield academy. At the acade-
my he ranked among the best for scholarship. He
devoted a large portion of his time to the study of
Latin, to fit himself for his chosen profession, and at-
tained great proficiency in the use of the language.
In 1861 a large class was formed under the precept-
orship of Dr. John Wheeler for the study of medi-
cine. Carr was one of this class.
In 1862, however, he laid aside his books, and
enlisted in Company G, Fifteenth New Hampshire
volunteers, and soon after he was made hospital stew-
ard, and served in this capacity until his regiment
was mustered out August 13, 1863.
At Camp Parapet, La., he was taken sick with
malaria, yet when his regiment went up the river to
take part in the capture of Port Hudson, so anxious
was he tq relieve his suffering comrades that he went
with them, and performed his duties through that
long and terrible siege of forty-six days, his regi-
ment being constantly under fire. When he reached
home he was so reduced in strength that he could
hardly walk, but the bracing air of New Hampshire
soon brought back in a measure his former vigor.
He then took up his studies where he had laid them
down, and entered Bowdoin Medical college, whence
he was graduated in 1864. As all the New Hamp-
shire regiments were supplied with surgeons he went
to Boston, and was appointed as assistant surgeon in
the Twenty-first Massachusetts infantry. He joined
this regiment at Petersburg. At the end of two
months, the service of the original members having
expired, the remaining men were consolidated with
EDGAR L. CARR. 4 1
another regiment, and the officers mustered out.
Carr had hardly reached Boston when he was ap-
pointed as assistant surgeon in the Thirty-fifth regi-
ment Massachusetts infantry, with which he served
until the close of the war. He was recommended for
promotion as surgeon with the rank of major, but
the cessation of hostilities prevented this. When the
Thirty- fifth Massachusetts regiment was sent home
there was need of a surgeon in the Twenty-ninth
Massachusetts infantry, and Carr was appointed to
the place June 7, 1S65. He served until the regi-
ment was discharged, July 28, 1865.
Comrade Carr kept a diary while he was with the
last two regiments, and this he kindly placed at my
disposal, saying that I should find nothing of interest
in his notes. I would like to place the whole before
my readers did space permit, but must content myself
with a few excerpts :
Sept. 26, 1864. Off again for the war! started at 6 : 30
a. m., for Boston; stopped at the Hancock House.
Sept. 29. After much trouble and delay succeeded in
getting my pay, $250.41. [This was for his service in the
Sept. 30. Took a furlough, came home, attended a
levee at Academy hall.
Monday, Oct. 3. Came back to Boston; got my com-
mission for three years ; wonder if I shall stay two months
Oct. 4. Started for the front at 2 p. m., rode all night;
arrived in Washington at 10 : 30 a. m., next day.
Oct. 5. Went up to aunt's, stopped for dinner, started
for City Point at 4 p. m. As I write we are having a splen-
did ride down the river.
Arrived at Point Lookout at 10 p. m., spread my blanket
on the deck, had a good sleep.
Oct. 7. Took the cars, came up to the re<(iment, found
them within four miles of the South-side railroad and across
the Weldon railroad. Saw the steeples in Petersburg on the
Oct. 8. I was aroused from sleep this morning by an or-
der to be ready to march immediately. The regiment was
42 PITTSFIELD IN TH:E REBELLION.
under arms all day, but did not move. The lines on our left
were advanced some distance.
Oct. 9. All quiet along the line except a rebel band we
heard playing. I held the morning call for the first time ;
had to have an interpreter all the time for the benefit of the
Germans who cannot talk English, which makes it rather
tedious for me.
Oct. II. Saw John J. Drake, of the Eleventh New
Hampshire from our town ; found him quite disconsolate.
A conclave of generals near our quarters — Meade, Hancock,
Parker, Potter, Curtin, Griffin, Ingalls, and Campbell from
Canada. Considerable firing on our right.
Friday, Oct. 14. Witnessed a military execution to-day
— a deserter from the Third Maryland regiment.
Oct. 20. Had my tent logged up, so it is quite spacious.
Oct. 23. My tent caught fire, and but for timely help
should have been homeless quickly.
Oct. 25 J All is in confusion; ready to move at any mo-
ment. I am going to bed and sleep a short time if we do
not get ordered up ; where we shall go can only be conject-
Oct. 26. Slept all night. Order to move did not come
as we expected, but everything is being sent to the rear;
doubtless we shall move to-night.
Oct. 27. Aroused by the order to strike tents, at 3
o'clock a. m ; started about 4 o''clock ; began to rain just
as we started ; marched around to the left a few miles ;
held as a support, while the Second and Fifth corps have
taken the South-side railroad. Very hard fighting, but hope
to be able to hold the road.
Oct. 28. Was awakened by the firing on the left. The
Second corps, having been unable to hold the road, went to
the rear this morning; the Fifth following; then one divis-
ion of negroes, our division being the last. Our brigade,
and finally our regiment, bringing up the rear, being the last
to leave the field. The '* Johnnies" -"did not follow us to
any great distance. Now we are on our old camp ground,
having completely failed in the undertaking. It is reported
that Butler has taken Fort Darling. If such be the fact,
doubtless we have helped some by drawing away the troops.
Oct. 29. Very busy fixing up camp, getting ready to
keep house again. The *»Johnnics" are jubilant over our
defeat ; insulting — asking our boys when we are going to
EDGAR L. CARR. 43
take the South-side road again. [The reader will bear in
mind that the two armies were so near that conversation
could easily be carried on between them.]
Sunday, Oct. 30. The chaplain of the Fifty-eighth is
holding service, while a battery of six guns are drilling di-
rectly in front of him : quite a contrast.
Oct. 31 . Dressed up in my gay clothes — sash, etc. — for in-
spection ; mustered for pay. Had my house built to-day,
moved into it just at dark ; nice little pen — wish I had a
Nov. 2. A cold, rainy, disagreeable day, taking into con-
sideration the fact that we are in shelter tents with no fire.
Nov. 3. A rainy, disagreeable day ; been in the tent try-
ing to keep warm.
Nov. 4. Cleared off this morning ; had a horse race, in
which I beat.
Nov. 7. Rainy again to-day ; orders to be in readiness to
repel 3. charge from the enemy, which is expected to prevent
our troops from voting to-morrow. I guess they will get all
they bargained for if they come.
Nov. 8. Expected an attack to-day to interfere with the
voting, but they were too wise to do any such rash thing.
While the voting was going on our men cheered for Lincoln,
when the rebels gave three cheers for the devil ; one of our
men replied through an embrasure, *'A11 right! you hurrah
for your man and we '11 hurrah for ours." First heard of
the death of John J. Drake, which took place last Friday.
Nov. II. Four »* Johnnies" came in, and the medical in-
Nov. 15. Orders to log up tents looks as though we are to
remain here this winter. One man cut his leg quite severely.
Nov. 18. Expect to move soon, — where, is unknown.
Nov. 19. Much excitement about moving. Nothing is as
yet revealed. Several (icrmans got a discharge from the
war department on account of illegal enlistment. They are
feeling well pleased.
Nov. 23. A rainy, gloomy day, strongly reminds me of the
last Sunday at home. Sundays come and go, and no notice
is taken of them.
Nov. 24. Thanksgiving day. Kept in my tent most of
the time. One of our cooks had some turkey, etcetera, sent
out, and put it on our tal)le, we were not entirely without
44 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Nov. 25. We received some turkeys from New York,
Nov. 26. Received quite a Thanksgiving donation from
Nov. 27. Our boys captured a rebel brigadier-general. Had
quite a dinner to-day ; all of the absent officers were invited.
Nov. 29. Attended my sick call as usual, when I was sur-
prised by an order to be in readiness to march at nine o'clock
and take position on right of the army. Started about eleven
a. m., marched ten miles, and bivouacked beside the railroad
below Hancock junction. Built up large fires, and lay down
to sleep. We are now where there is plenty of firing and
shelling ; seems very much like last summer. As the colonel
has no blankets, we turn in together.
Nov. 30. Marched across the railroad and encamped near
Fort Hell ; now building camps for winter quarters, not far
from the railroad.
Dec. I. Took a ride with the major down to the old
camping-ground of the Twenty-first regiment when I was
with them ; also to the remains of the old fort which were
Dec. 3. Great deal of artillery firing ; the colonel and my-
self have been shovelling on the fortifications.
Dec. 6. Took a ride with the colonel, called on General
Hartranft Prince governor of Pennsylvania], took lunch
with him. Like his appearance much ; went upon the house-
top of his headquarters, and had a look at Petersburg
through a large glass. Could see the time of day upon the city
clock — twenty minutes of one. Considerable firing to-night.
Dec. 7. One man shot in the leg, slight wound ; sent a
package to Mrs. Drake.
Dec. 8. Under order to march at a moment's warning.
Dec. 9. Began to snow, the first of the season. Awaiting
orders to march ; already dark, still we wait. Things all
packed up ; expecting every moment to hear the clank of the
staff" officer's sword as he gallops up with orders to move.
Gloomy night to march, I assure you I Wind is gaining
strength as the darkness increases. Ten p. m., still waiting,
still snowing ; think I will turn in, and run the risk of being
Dec. 10. Contrary to expectations slept soundly all night;
attended the execution by hanging of two deserters ; and
then waited, in camp, the orders to move, which came at
EDGAR L. CARR. 45
five o'clock p. m. Started immediately, on the Jerusalem
plank road ; nearly twenty miles — not half the distance be-
ing accomplished when it began to rain, which with the
rapidly melting snow made the travelling exceedingly tire-
some, but the boys stood it nobly. I had a horse, or I
should never have got through.
Dec. 1 1 . Find ourselves on the Blackwater river, expect-
ing to cross on the pontoon bridge which we brought along ;
but gaining no definite information of the safety of the Fifth
corps, we return to camp, getting back at nine p. m., mak-
ing forty miles in twenty-six hours ; pretty well played out.
Dec. 12. Had a good night's sleep, and feel as good as
new. The wind arose last night, blowing a tree down upon
my tent ; did no damage further than to frighten me some.
Quite winterishy. Under orders to march again, but many
of the Thirty-fifth's officers and men cannot go, on account of
being used up entirely.
Dec. 13. Nothing new to-day ; the weather is exceedingly
cold. Had about half of the regiment at surgeon's call this
morning. No farther orders about moving yet.
.Dec. 15. Several recruits joined us to-day. The unfor-
tunate man who was to be hung to-morrow has been re-
prieved by General Meade ; do n't think he will desert
Dec. 18. An inspection was ordered to-day, but was in-
definitely postponed on account of the rain.
Dec. 19. Went down to the hospital to-day wath two men,
to have them examined for a discharge ; both approved.
Dec. 20. Got a stand of colors ; they are quite gaudy.
Several convalescent men returned to-day, so we have nearly
four hundred men. Can hear the nine o'clock bell in the
devoted city of Petersburg.
Dec. 21. Rained nearly all night and most of the fore-
noon, setting everything afloat ; cleared off" cold. Hard
night for the pickets.
Dec. 24. Thirteen *' Johnnies" came in last night ; report
great distress in their armies.
Dec. 26. Salute of one hundred guns fired for the capture
of Savannah. Sent a complaint to the headquarters that our
men were being cheated out of part of their rations.
Dec. 27. Our pickets were fired upon when being re-
lieved ; one man killed, three wounded.
Dec. 28. Went down to the hospital and assisted to take
46 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
off a man's leg. Another man wounded to-night, very
severely ; ball in the right lung, probably fatal. A great
amount of firing to-night. The scene is much more grand
than any of the fireworks at home, as those huge shells
shoot into the air with a tail of fire.
Dec. 29. Captain Johnston of the Twelfth was up to see
me ; he was looking first-rate. He is on General Butler's
staft'. Captain Dudley of the Eleventh was with him — a rela-
tive, I believe. The discharge for my two men came to-day ;
they are feeling happy to go home.
Dec. 31. The last day of 1864, sure as I am a sinner.
January i, 1865. A happy New Year to you all! By far
the coldest day we have seen, and I don't care to see much
colder. Tried to keep warm, with partial success.
Jan. 3. Another unfortunate man wounded to-day, not
severely I trust ; sent report of casualties to Surgeon General
Dale of Massachusetts.
Jan* 5. All quiet in the army of the Potomac! Another
man to be hung to-morrow for desertion.
Jan. 6. Quite a stormy, rainy day. Attended the execu-
tion of a deserter from One Hundred Seventy-ninth N. Y.
Rode up and felt his pulse after he had hung ten minutes ;
beating sixty per minute. After waiting five minutes found
his life had ebbed away. Those rivers of life which had
flowed unceasingly for nearly two score years were now
stilled forever ; the traitor„had expiated his heinous crime
upon the gallows. Thus perish every traitor ! These exe-
cutions are getting painfully frequent, this being the fourth
one it has been my lot to witness since I arrived here three
months ago to-day.
Jan. 10. Had a ** right smart" rain. Both the »*Johnnies"
pickets and our own stacked arms outside the pits, and
watched each other during the rain.
Jan. II. Hope paymaster will come soon ; paid $160 for
my horse and trappings ; had but $167 ; been living on
credit too long.
Jan. 12. (jOt a bedtick, and filled it with pine leaves ; so
shall have an easier bed to-night. Very little firing to-day.
Jan. 13. Went down to the hospital to get some men dis-
charged. Mud is prolific and disgustingly adhesive, so that
blacking on boots does not signify.
Jan. 23. Raining all day, glad to keep under cover.
Heavy cannonading on the right ; sounds like distant thunder.
EDGAR L. CARR. 47
Jan. 24. The firing last night was caused by the enemy
attempting to run their gun-boats past our fortifications, to
destroy government property at City Point or Bermuda
Hundred ; they were unsuccessful.
Jan. 27. Medical inspector visited me to day; well pleased
with looks of the camp.
Jan. 28. Coldest day I have seen in Dixie.
Jan. 31. The rebel Vice-president Stephens passed near
here to-day, on a mission of peace to Washington.
Feb. 5. A change has come over the scene. Our hereto-
fore quiet camp is disturbed by the order, ♦* Be ready to
march at a moment's notice ! " The Fifth corps has started
down the plank road ; doubtless we shall soon follow.
Feb. 6. Still in camp under marching orders. The
ambassadors of peace have returned to-day, having failed, as
we supposed they would.
Feb. 7. Heavy cannonading all day in the direction of the
Feb. 8. Some shelling near the site of the famous mine of
Feb. 9. Pickets sent out to-day, so we shall not have to go
on this march. We have taken three forts, so our guns com-
mand the road.
Feb. 10. Witnessed the execution of a deserter by shoot-
ing. It may be pretty fun to desert, but I do n't think it is
pleasant to be caught afterwards.
Feb. 16. Some cannonading to-day ; one of our men
Feb. 21. Salute of one hundred guns in honor of Sher-
man's victories. Rebel deserters come in now by the scores ;
they say the '* Southern Confederacy is played out." Much
firing in our front.
Feb. 22. Orders to be ready to repel an attack ; expecting
an attack to-night.
Feb. 23. We all were up all night, expecting an attack on
our front. It is a dark rainy night. Some firing on our
picket line ; good night for an attack.
Feb. 24. Some shelling to-day ; thirty-three deserters
came in last night.
Feb. 26. Seventy-three deserters came in to-day. Ap-
pearances indicate that the enemy intend to evacuate Peters-
burg soon ; hope they will wait until it becomes a little
48 PIITSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
March 5. Another expectation of an attack. Think if they
have the temerity to do so they will be sorely punished.
March 6. Not many deserters coming in now. They did
not attack us last night, but may to-night. Commenced to
have three meals a day, for now [since the paymaster came]
we have money to buy rations with.
March 7. The regiment moved into Fort Hell to-day; a
bad place ; do nH know whether I shall go in or not.
March 8. Very rainy all day, making it very disagreeable
to our boys who are moving. Think I shall live outside
with my friend and *» better half," the quartermaster.
March 9. Went up into the fort to hold sick call ; moved
our tent up a short distance, somewhat in rear of the fort.
March 11 . I have nothing to write today ; think it useless
to try to write under the circumstances. I went out to
the front line, so could see the rebels very plainly. Twenty
deserters came into our lines, in broad daylight.
Sunday, March 12. Everything after the same old sort.
The followers of the army '* esteem every day alike;"
thought to be the best fighting day, I believe. Sermons we
do n't have in the army, not having heard one since I last
entered it. The bullets whistle harmlessly over our heads
March 13. Went, in company with the colonel, to see
Colonel Harriman of the Eleventh New Hampshire. He is
a sociable fellow and a good officer. A little muss on
the picket line this morning. I saw the tongues of flame as
they leaped forth from the mouths of hostile muskets.
March 14. Orders to be ready to march. Some think the
** Johnnies" are evacuating; do n't see it.
March 15. All surplus baggage sent to City Point; also
March 19. The Eighteenth New Hampshire volunteers
have come into this division.
March 20. Saw the best display of shelling of the season;
no less than 100 were thrown over; some came much nearer
to me than was agreeable ; no one hurt.
March 22. Four of our recruits deserted to the enemy last
March 25. The rebels under Bushrod Jolinson made an
attack on the First division lines, capturing Fort Stedman ;
subsequently repulsed with a loss of 2,500 in prisoners, 500
killed and wounded. Our loss not over 500.
EDGAR L. CARR. 49
March 26. Quiet reigns along the lines which were only
yesterday in the utmost confusion. The Second corps made
an attack on the left; to what extent they were successful
I am as yet ignorant.
March 27. General Sheridan arrived here to-day with a
large detachment of cavalry. Our hospital is filled with
March 28. Those vicious rebels sent over some more of
those mortar shells, killing one of Sheridan's cavalry men.
The Twenty-fourth corps has gone to the left, to join in the
attack which is expected in a day or two. Generals Sher-
man, Sheridan, and Meade fnet General Grant at City
Point last night. We expect to hear of great events soon.
Quite a skirmish between the pickets this evening. We are
expecting to be in Petersburg soon.
March 29. Went down to the hospital. Talked with
some of the wounded prisoners ; they are treated equally well
with our own men. Rode over to where the cavalry were en-
camped a few days. Found a Spencer rifle, a seven-shooter ;
intend to carry it home if possible. The fighting on the left
has commenced ; results unknown.
March 30. Some mortar shelling last night; several in the
Eighteenth New Hampshire volunteers killed and wounded.
Heavy cannonading on the left, also the roll of musketry.
A deserter came into our regiment at noon today.
March 3 1 . Our brigade intended to make a charge on the
rebel works on our front, but General Meade getting word of
it, ordered the troops to repair immediately to their quarters,
and not to attempt such foolhardiness, such slaughter. No
authentic news from the left ; fear that we have not gained
Sunday, April 2. Fighting commenced on our front last
night at II o'clock, and continued all night and all day.
Four of the enemy's forts, and all the guns therein, are in
our possession ; many prisoners captured. Expect to go
into Petersburg to-morrow. This has been a bloody day;
and the almost incessant roar of huge guns, the shrieking of
hurtling shells, and the crack of musketry made the day
appear little like Sunday.
April 3. A day of rejoicing to the American people, and
especially to the brave army who have been in the trenches
around Petersburg and Richmond. Our army took pos-
session of both places this morning, the rebels evacuating
50 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
previously. We went through the city of Petersburg; it
is a fine place. No Union sentiment was exhibited, except
among the colored portion. It was gratifying in the extreme
to go into the city for which we had been striving for ten
months. General Potter, the commander of our division,
was badly wounded. President Lincoln rode past today.
We marched down the South-side railroad about five miles,
April 4. Started about 7 o'clock, marched twelve miles,
and bivouacked. Are marching through a pretty country:
trees are blossoming out, grass is springing up, and we are
following Lee's army. The number of prisoners captured
Sunday and Monday was 23,000.
April 5. Marched eighteen miles to-day, and bivouacked
in Nottoway county on the South-side. Nothing of interest
occurred. Are within 20 miles of Burkesville Junction ;
do n't know what our destination may be.
April 6. Started at i p. m. for Burkesville; marched
twenty miles ; the men are nearly tired out.
April 7. Seven general officers, including Ewell, were
brought down from the front with 8,000 prisoners ; our regi-
ment is guarding them. Rebellion just about played out, and
the war will be over soon.
April 8. One thousand more prisoners brought in to-day,
and all sent to the rear; they are very radical in their views.
Good news from the front.
April 9. Started this p. m., marched 11 miles on the
Lynchburg road, and bivouacked.
April 10. Started at 7 a. m., marched four miles, and en-
camped at Farmville, Va. News of General Lee's surrender
with his whole command. The soldiers are jubilant because
the fighting is over.
April II. Bobby Lee passed through here to-day on his
parole of honor, en route for Petersburg. General Grant
gone to Washington. Our army is falling back to Burkes-
ville. General Meade is in town ; gave a ball this evening,
which I attended.
April 12. Troops moving back to Burkesville. Rebel army
have been paroled, and sent to their homes. Made a call on
Mrs. Venable and daughter.
April 1 5 . The baggage came up to-day ; so we got a
change of clothing, which we very much needed.
April 16. Attended church to-day for the first time in six
EDGAR L. CARR. 5 1
and a half months. Citizen preached ; spoke very well for
the Union. Vague rumor that Lincoln has been assassi-
April 20. Marched from Farmville to Burkesville Junction,
distance, 18 miles. Are going to City Point; from there
expect to go to Washington.
April 21. Marched 18 miles; quite hard marching; I
should be tired out if I had not a horse.
April 22. Marched to Loveland station, distance of 20
April 23. Marched into Petersburg and bivouacked on
Cemetery hill. [Comrade Carr went to City Point, then on
transports up to Washington.]
April 28. Arrived safely at Alexandria at 2 p. m. ; en-
camped about two miles out of town. General Johnson has
surrendered, and Booth is killed. We lost one man on our
passage ; he fell overboard, and was drowned.
May 8. Got a tent for myself.
May 12. My birthday, 24 years old ; getting to be an old
May 18. We are having more sickness here than when we
were in the front, but are in no danger of being shot.
May 22. Started at 6 a. m. for Washington, marched
about a mile east of the capitol, and bivouacked for the night.
May 23. Passed in review to-day, and got back to camp
about played out. The soldier boys did not enjoy it quite as
much as the thousands of citizens did who witnessed it.
May 24. Went to Washington to see Sherman's army
pass. Saw any quantity of generals — Grant, Sherman,
Howard, Slocum, Logan, Blair, Davis, Meade, Hancock,
May 27. Nothing to do! This is the greatest loafing I
ever did. Keep two horses and a servant ; who would n't be
an assistant surgeon?
May 29. All are busy making out their muster-out rolls.
I do n't know whether 1 shall go home now, or not. I have
oifered to remain if I am needed. Expect to go into the
Twenty-ninth Massachusetts Veteran volunteers.
June 4. The Eleventh New Hampshire started for home
this p. m. I somewhat expect to be transferred to the
June 7. Appointed assistant surgeon of the Twenty-ninth
Massachusetts volunteers ; shall join them to-morrow.
52 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
June 9. Came over to the Twenty-ninth; marched out
about two miles, and bivouacked for the night. Saw Enoch
Joy ; he is expecting to go home soon.
June II. The Eighteenth New Hampshire left for home
this a. m., feeling very well.
June 15. Took a ride up to Fort Sumner, garrisoned by
Companies E and G, First New Hampshire heavy artillery ;
saw several acquaintances. They were mustered out this
p. m. ; expect to start for home tomorrow.
The diary of Comrade Carr continues until July
28, when he was finally mustered out. The only
item of general interest was that on July 7, 1865, he
went to Washington to see the assassins of President
Lincoln hung, but he failed to gain admittance.
ASA O. CARR.
Asa O. Carr, a brother of Edgar L. Carr, was born
in Gilmanton, October 31, 1S42. When five years of
age his parents moved to Pittsfield, and Asa lived with
them, working on his father's farm until he enlisted
August 16, 1862. He attended the public school at
'* Upper City" and a private school kept by the Rev.
He was mustered into Company F, Twelfth New
Hampshire volunteers, the fifth of the following Sep-
tember. He served with his company until the Battle
of Gettysburg, and during that time was never sick
nor excused from duty.
On the 13th of December, 1862, the Battle of Fred-
ericksburg was fought, and his company was sent to
support a battery in the streets of that city. After the
defeat of our forces two companies of the regiment, of
which Company F was one, were detailed to cover
a part of the retreat of the army, and were forgotten
by the officers. After the rest had crossed the river
they were remembered, and under cover of a heavy
fog an officer came back and found them. He told
them to run for their lives towards the bridge. Just
as they reached it, the fog lifted and they were discov-
ASA O. CARR. S3
ered by the rebels, who opened fire upon them. Such
running as those boys made has seldom been excelled.
The last one reached the bridge just as the pontoons
were loosed and the bridge swung down the river.
While at Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg, Presr
ident Lincoln, and Governor Berry of New Hamp-
shire, paid them a visit.
Then came Burnside's famous mud march. Soon
after the army was in motion it began to rain ; it
came down in torrents, the roads were quagmires of
sticky mud, the army could not move either way.
After a while the rain ceased, and then came the
heavy labor of building a road of logs so that the army
could once more get on solid ground.
On May 3, 1863, was the Battle of Chancellorsville.
In this engagement Can* was hit in the leg by a piece
of shell ; a bullet struck him in the ankle, and after
cutting his stocking more than half off, lodged in his
boot. His cap was blown off by the discharge of a
rifle in the hands of a careless comrade.
After this fight the regiment went back to its old
camp at Falmouth. During the last days of June they
received orders to march, and started north in the
great race with Lee's army. On July i they were at
Emmetsburg, some fifteen miles from Gettysburg.
Quite late in the afternoon they got orders for a forced
march, and started at once, guided by a Pennsylvania
farmer. Just at dark they ran into the rebel picket,
and had to make a wide detour to get around the rebel
army. It was twelve o'clock at night before they
could stretch themselves on the ground, where they
slept soundly until daybreak. After drinking a cup
of coffee, and eating a hasty breakfast of hard bread as
they marched along, they arrived in line of battle just
at sunrise on the now historic field of Gettysburg.
This was July 2, 1863. This regiment was stationed
on the Emmetsburg road, but was not engaged until
about 4 p. m. A few minutes later a ball struck Carr's
belt-buckle with such force as to knock him over; he
was helped to his feet by Lieutenant French, and as
S4 t'iTTSFlELD tN THE REBELLION.
soon as he regained his breath, the regiment fell back
a few rods. Soon came that order most difficult to
execute while under fire, '* Change front to the rear !"
Carr had just loaded his rifle and had about-faced
without bringing it to a shoulder, when he was struck
by a Mini^ ball in the shoulder. The bullet passed
through his right lung and shattered two of his ribs.
He crawled away a short distance, and soon after saw
his regiment pass along to enter the fight. He tried
calling to them, but was too weak to make them hear.
Just then an officer rode up, and Carr asked him to
call George H. Sanborn (of Pittsfield) who was still
in sight, to help him off*. The officer asked if he was
wounded. Carr replied that he was, very badly.
The officer sat in thought for a moment, then said,
'' We can't spare a man : we need every one," and
galloped away. All night long Carr laid on the field
without food or drink. The thirst that comes to all
wounded men tortured him, and he had no means of
allaying it. At last, the next day, he was taken to the
field hospital, where he remained a month ; from there
he went to Baltimore, and still later was given a thirty
days' furlough. He came home, arriving at his
father's house October lo. His furlough was extended
for thirty days longer, and at length, January 4, 1864,
he was discharged.
Several pieces of bone came from his shattered
shoulder and ribs. These he has, with his canteen,
testament, and cap — there is a hole made in the last
by his comrade's bullet, — as mementos of the days he
While at Falmouth, just before entering the Battle
of Fredericksburg, Carr and some comrades got a
kettle of potatoes from a house and built a fire to cook
them, when a cannon ball from the enemy knocked
the kettle over ; so they had to leave the potatoes on
the ground. The night before, their blankets froze to
the ground on which the boys slept.
Comrade Carr has been a resident of this town since
JOHN H. CHASE. 55
Mr. Cate was an old man, too old in fact to go to
the war, but by the use of hair dye, etc., he managed
to elude the vigilance of the mustering officer, and
enlisted in Company G, Fifteenth regiment. New
Hampshire volunteers. Although his hair grew
white very fast, he performed his duties like a good
soldier. Before the first battle of Port Hudson he
gave away all of his little property that he had with
him, saying that he should have no further use for it.
That day. May 27, 1863, he was wounded, and died
at Baton Rouge, La., June 8, 1863.
I have been unable to learn that Mr. Cate had any
family. While in Pittsfield he worked as a farm hand
in the eastern part of the town. He was a son of
Eben Cate, was born in Chichester, and was grandson
of Deacon John Cate, one of the most prominent men
of Epsom .
JOHN H. CHASE.
John H. Chase was a member of Company C, Fifth
New Hampshire volunteers. He was mustered into
service October 12, 1861, at Concord. He served
with his regiment until his discharge, February 7,
1863. I have been unable to learn much about his
career. He was a son of Perley Chase, who owned a
farm on the Catamount road. His mother was Sophia
Garland, who died when John was quite small, and
he ever after made his home with his grandmother
Garland, on Main street in the village. I have been
unable to learn if this soldier is still living.
A certain captain, whose name for obvious reasons
I will not mention, was a very rapid and very poor
penman. One day he sent one of his men to the
quartermaster for something, telling the man what he
wanted, in addition to making out the requisition.
He also took occasion to write a note to the quarter-
master on some private matter.
56 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
That evening the quartermaster appeared at the
captain's tent, and after chatting a few minutes, said,
"Are you a good hand at deciphering manuscript?
The colonel said he believed you were."
"I can do something at it," replied the captain,
evidently flattered by his companion's remarks, " what
have you got.^"
"A letter," answered the quartermaster, handing
out the one the captain had sent him that morning.
The captain took it, looked it over, turned the paper
first this way, then that, and at last broke out, " I hopje
you don't call that writing. I should say that a
spider fell in the ink, then crawled over the paper."
Looking at it again, he continued, ''If any man
should send me such a scrawl, I should feel like kick-
ing him. Where did you get it?"
"One of your men brought it to me this morning,
and said you sent it."
"Said I sent it?" inquired the captain with a
puzzled look, — " Oh, yes," he continued, " I know
now what it is about, and I should think any blamed
fool might read that ; it is as plain as the nose on your
There was a shout outside ; several oflScers had
been listening to the conversation, and it cost the
captain a box of cigars.
CHARLES O. DURGIN.
When Charles O. Durgin was a boy he was noted
for his serious demeanor, and was known by his play--
mates as " Deacon." He was born in Pittsfield,
March 11, 1844, ^"^^ ^^^ ^ ^^^ of Levi and Susan O.
He w^as a member of Company F, Twelfth New
Hampshire volunteers, and was in every engagement
in which the regiment took part, except the Battle of
Gettysburg ; at that time he was sick with a fever, and
was sent to Chestnut Hill hospital, Philadelphia.
After he rejoined the regiment he was severely injured
JOHN J. DRAKE. 57
at Point Lookout while building a stockade in which
to confine rebel prisoners. As soon as he recovered
he was in a raid that about one hundred of the men of
his regiment made into Virginia.
At the Battle of Drurv's Bluff, a cannon ball came
so near his head as to knock his cap off. He, with
the assistance of Edwin Kelley, helped Rueben T.
Leavitt from the field of Chancellorsville, when he
was so badly wounded.
He was promoted to be corporal, May i, 1865 — a
tardy recognition of a good soldier. His home is now
at North Berwick, Me.
While at Point Lookout, Durgin was one of a squad
of soldiers who took out a lot of prisoners to cut wood.
Of course they wanted to escape, for as one writer has
said, " Confinement in a palace is unendurable," and
these men evidently considered confinement in a
stockade in the same way. They hid themselves
under a house, so that when their companions returned
to their quarters they would be left behind. Durgin
saw this movement on their part, and reported it to
the oflScers in charge, who detailed Durgin and a com-
rade to remain behind and watch, and when these
men crawled out, to fire but not hit them. This was
done, and then the two ^'Johnnies" begged like good
fellows for mercy, which of course was granted but
with seeming reluctance.
JOHN J. DRAKE.
John J. Drake was the only drafted man that went
to the war from Pittsfield. Mr. Drake was a .iiember
of Company D, Eleventh New Hampshire volunteers.
It was not from a lack of patriotism that he did not
volunteer; all who knew him were surprised at his
being accepted, owing to his being so very deaf. He
could not hear the orders of his commanding ofticers
unless he was very near them. He therefore was
detailed for duty in the hospital at the Pegram House
58 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
near Petersburg, Va. Mr. Drake was found dead in
his tent on the morning of November 10, 1864. He
was buried in the Ninth corps burying-ground, near
the terminus of City Point railroad.
He was born in Pittsfield, February 20, 1829, and
was a son of Ebenezer T. and Abigail (Berry) Drake.
He was educated in our public schools and academy,
and always resided in town, — except for a short time
when he was at work in Dorchester, Mass., as a
His father died when he was a mer^ lad, and his
mother, with that energy that is characteristic of her
sons, took the management of the farm, and when
John had grown to manhood he carried on the farm
for his mother.
Owing to some obscure disease when a child, he
lost his hearing, which was always a great affliction
to him. He was anxious to enter the armv, but knew
it was useless to volunteer, as he would not be
accepted. But one night he was notified that he had
been drafted. He ran across the fields and waked his
brother up, saying that now he could serve his
country, and he hoped to be accepted ; and so he was,
much to the surprise of his townsmen. But army life
did not agree with him. He soon contracted chronic
diarrhoea, that scourge of all armies, and died as
above indicated, aged 35 years and 8 months. He
had been in the service hardly five months, as the
records show that he was mustered in June 20,
JUSTUS C. DRAKE
was a son of James S. Drake, who was a grandson of
Major James Drake, one of the first settlers of Pitts-
field. Major Drake held the office of surveyor under
King George II, a very important office in those
days. It was a similar position that George Wash-
ington held in Virginia at about the same time.
Major Drake made a survey of this and some of the
neighboring towns, and all deeds of land in town are
MOSES E. DOW. 59
based upon his survey. Justus C. Drake was pos-
sessed of that genial disposition for which the Drake
family are noted. He enlisted in Troop B, First New
Hampshire cavalry^ commanded by Otis C. Wyatt,
and was mustered into service March 29, 1864. He
was captured by the rebels June 29, 1864, and was
taken to Andersonville, Ga., where he died of starva-
tion, August 14, 1864. His grave is No. 5^577.
Coin me a word, for the English language contains
no terms in which to speak of the heroic conduct of
the men who had rather suffer death by starvation
than betray the confidence which their country had
reposed in them, by enlisting in the ranks of the
enemy. We sing the praises of the commanding
officer who from a safe distance directs the men who
win the victories. Cannot we say something of the
rank and file who met death bv starvation in order to
make these victories possible? I confess that my
spirit bows in humble adoration to their memory.
MOSES E. DOW.
" Emery'* Dow was born in that part of Pittsfield
known as Dowboro. About 1849 his ^'ither moved to
the village, where at first he kept, a store, and later
owned a livery stable. Emery developed a love for
horses, which determined his occupation. When the
war broke out he wanted to go into the cavalry, so
when the New England cavalry was organized he
joined the New Hampshire battalion of that regiment,
and was mustered in as a private, December 24,
1S61, in Troop M. A few months later he was
promoted to be corporal, and was discharged for dis-
ability January 2, 1863. His father was Moses Dow,
his mother before marriage was Betsey Jones. His
home is in Center Harbor, N. H.
6o PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
JOHN L. DREW
was born in Quincy, Mass., September 7, 1840, and
was a son of John P. and Mary W. Drew. He
removed to Strafford, N. H., with his parents, where
he lived until he was nineteen years of age. He then
came to Pittsfield and worked at his trade, shoe mak-
ing, until he enlisted, September 10, 1862, being at
that time 22 years of age. He was assigned to
Company G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers.
He was mustered into the United States service
October 11, 1862, for the period of nine months; was
mustered out August 13, 1863, by reason of expiration
of term of service.
He reenlisted in 1864, and was mustered into Com-
pany K, First New Hampshire heavy artillery, on the
second day of September, for the period of one year,
or during the war. Was discharged June 5, 1865, at
Washington, D. C, by reason of General Order No.
5 (close of the war).
During his first enlistment he was engaged in both
battles at Port Hudson, besides taking part in the
siege of that place, which lasted from May 27 until
July 8, 1863. On the evening of the first battle, a call
for volunteers to go on advance picket was issued, and
young Drew was one of the number who presented
himself and was accepted. During the siege he was
always ready to carry rations to those on picket duty
or working in the trenches, when others declined thfe
risk. One night, while his company were engaged
in undermining the citadel of Port Hudson, Drew
was engaged in carrying food and drink to his com-
rades, when a shell burst, knocking him over; he
was taken up for dead, but soon recovered after
reaching camp. He was very handy in caring for
the sick and wounded — a natural nurse — and many a
poor soldier has reason to remember him for this.
He was standing near Lieutenant-Colonel Henry W.
Blair, since United States senator, when the latter
JOHN H. DOW. 6 1
was wounded, and he at once produced a tourniquet
to place on the officer's arm.
During his second term of service he was assigned
to a responsible position in the quartermaster's depart-
ment, the duties of which he performed to the satis-
faction of his superior officers, and credit to himself.
He is now living near Barnstead Center, N. H.
GEORGE W. DAVIS
was a well known musician in town for several years
before the war. Early in iS6i he enlisted in Com-
pany E, Fourth regiment, New Hampshire volunteers,
and followed the fortunes of that grand battalion until
he was taken prisoner. He reenlisted, after nearly
three years' service, February 20, 1864; had a short
furlough, during which he came home to see his
friends for the last time. In almost the first fight
after his return he was taken prisoner and carried
to Belle Isle, and from there was taken to Anderson-
ville. Here, reduced in strength by starvation, he
was robbed of his last cent and thrown out of his rude
shelter. He was soon removed to Savannah, but
after the fall of Atlanta he was taken to Charleston,
and with other prisoners placed where they would
receive the fire of our guns, the rebels hoping to
protect their city in this way. Finding that this
would not work, he with otliers was taken to the fair
grounds, and from there to Florence, N. C. Here
he was paroled and sent north. He died at Annapo-
lis, Md., fron the effects of starvation.
He was a native of Barnstead, a son of Moses and
Mary J. (Colby) Davis. He came to Pittsfield about
1S54, ^"^ married Miss Martha Fullerton. He had
two children, a son and a daughter, when he en-
JOHN II. DOW,
son of Benjamin W. and Mary A. (Evans) Dow, was
born in Gilmanton, May 3, 1844. I have been un-
02 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
able to learn when he came to Pittsfield. He was
mustered into Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, September 5, 1862. At Falmouth, he
was sick with small pox.- He took part in all of the
engagements in which his regiment was engaged up
to the investment of Petersburg. He was detailed as
a sharpshooter, and a very good one he made. In
speaking of him, his captain says that he was restive
under military discipline, but was a good soldier,
especially when he could rely on himself, as a sharp-
shooter must. He is now, I understand, a resident
* ISRAEL DREW
was born in Madbury, N. H., October 25, 1795, en-
listed in the War of 1 Si 2, and was stationed at Ports-
mouth. After his return home in 181 6 he married
Miss Nancy Ayers of Barnstead. In 1829 he moved
to Pittsfield, where he lived until the breaking out of
the rebellion. Being a young looking man, although
66 years of age, he passed muster as only 44. He
was mustered into Company G, Eighth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, December 23, 1S61. He was with
the regiment at Manchester, Fort Independence, Ship
Island, where he was as prompt to do his duty as the
younger men, but the climate undermined his strong
constitution and he died at Camp Parapet, La.,
August 22, 1862. He was without doubt the oldest
man that enlisted from the entire North.
Mr. Drew was a hard-working man, with quick
wit and an answer always ready. He never over-
came his repugnance to the use of tobacco, the smoke
of it making him deathly sick. One day he went
into a lawyer's office where several people were smok-
ing. He started to go out, but was so giddy he fell to
the foot of the stairs. Some one ran to help him and
exclaimed, *' Why, Mr. Drew, did you fall? "
" Fall ! No. The bottom stair flew up and hit me
in the face," replied the injured man.
ISRAEL DREW. 62,
General Butler in his book (page 481), speaking of
the health of his troops in July, 1862, says: "Indeed,
there were some regiments who could not bring into
line more than two hundred men." And these troops
had not been in the service on an average of over
So abrupt and complete a change in all the con-
ditions of life consequent upon the translation of New
England men from the bracing air of a northern
winter to the enervating climate of the Gulf of Mexico,
a change intensified by the ovenlike heat between
sun and sand, unrelieved by shade of tree or the sight
of a green growing thing to refresh the strained and
dazzled eye, could not fail to have a profoundly un-
favorable effect upon their constitutions.
The food, though abundant and of excellent quality
for strong men, was far from the requirements of the
sick. A healthy and hungry man could live well
upon the bread, beef, and pork that were issued as
rations. But when a man began to be sick, and to
have a" poor or capricious appetite and enfeebled
digestion, he must either continue to live upon the
regular ration or go without ; for there was no supply
of meat juices and other nourishments adapted to a
weakened stomach. So many and many a poor
fellow, loathing the hard-tack and salt-horse, did go
without until he grew weaker and weaker, and too
weak to rally, and finally he went under the sand.
The Sanitary and Christian Commissions doubtless
did a grand work for the sick soldiers, but their good
things were mostly distributed to the general hospi-
tals, while the sick in regimental hospitals and in
quarters failed to receive what they needed when they
needed it most, and so liundreds and hundreds of poor
boys succumbed to what amounted to actual starva-
Add to this what may seem to be largely a senti-
mental and unnecessary factor, but which actually
proved to be a very powerful influence to increase the
death record — homesickness. Scores and hundreds of
64 PlTTSFlELD IN THE REBELLION.
the boys, reduced by sickness and lack of nourish-
ment, only needed this additional depressing influence
to turn the scale against them.
Every man had to pass through the scourge of
camp diarrhoea. None were exempt, but some suffered
more than others. Many never recovered from it.
Others suffered and died from diseases that seized
upon a system debilitated and deprived of its power
to resist disease by this bane of army life.
The sinks were established on the shore below the
line of high tide, and a fourth of a mile or more from
the camps. No one who witnessed it will ever forget
the melancholy procession of living skeletons who,
day and night, staggered and tottered back and forth
between camp and sink, many of whom were obliged
to stop and rest by the way and turn back and repeat
the weary journey ere they had time to rest themselves
in their tent.
Later on diphtheria appeared, and made short work
of the debilitated svstems of the men. This dread
disease attacked us in its malignant form and carried
off its victims inside of twenty-four hours in many
cases. I do not remember a single case of recovery
from this disease. Some cases that occurred after we
went to the mainland, and had the benefit of the New
Orleans market, recovered ; but only to be prostrated
with paralysis for long months afterwards.
The next horror that came upon us was the scurvy
— sufficient proof of my statement in regard to the
lack of proper food. Men's teeth would turn black
as charcoal, loosen, and drop out of their heads.
Purple-and-black spots would appear on body and
limbs, from which the blood would ooze out in drops.
Inflamed and spongy gums would bleed upon the slight-
est touch. The whole mass of the blood would become
thin, watery, and devitalized. The flesh seemed to rot
alive, and when death closed the scene, the miserable,
half-decomposed body would have to be hurried under
the ground as soon as possible. The funeral proces-
sion, the muffled drum, the volley of musketry over the
ISRAEL DREW. 65
soldier's grave were daily and almost hourly sights
No wonder that the poor boys, far from home and
friends, when taken sick would lose courage, give up
to the fatal depression of homesickness, and die of dis-
eases that at home, and with all that that means,
would be considered trivial and easily recovered
The above may be called a gloomy picture, but it is
far within the truth and fails to portray the actual hor-
rors of the situation. Many times it has been said
that, next to the rebel prison-pens, the hardest place
that our boys were placed in was Ship Island.
On the afternoon of the 17th we began to hear
occasional heavy guns afar off. Gradually the sounds
increased, and for six days and nights we listened to
the incessant roar of heavy artillery. Sleep was out
of the question. Even at our distance the earth trem-
bled and shook with the awful concussions, as if the
world were being rent and pulverized by ten thousand
Through the night of the 23d, when the fleet ran by
the forts below New Orleans, it seemed as if all the
thunders and convulsions of heaven, earth, and hell
were let loose at once. We could only listen in won-
der and suspense. Contradictory reports of the con-
flict reached us. At one time we were told that our
fleet and army were beaten, sunk and dispersed, and
that we might expect the rebel fleet down upon us at
any moment. At another, that our forces had achiev-
ed a partial success.
When we learned beyond a doubt of the splendid
victory of Farragut, and that the forts, the great city,
and the mouth of the "Father of Waters'* were act-
ually in the possession of our army and navy, our
gratitude and enthusiasm knew no bounds, and we
felt that the suffering and death on Sliip Island were
measurably compensated by the brilliant success of
the Union arms.
66 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
JAMES R. C. DAVIS.
I think Comrade Davis was a native of Barnstead.
He was a painter by trade. He was married and had
two children. He enlisted and was mustered into
Company G, Seventh regiment, New Hampshire
volunteers, November 23, 1861. He served with his
regiment until the Battle of Olustee, Florida, when he
was wounded and captured, February 20, 1S64.
After remaining a prisoner two months he managed
.to escape, and rejoined his command, April 20, 1864.
Speaking of this battle his commanding officer says
that just one half of this company were taken prisoners
at that time, and Davis was the only one who ever re-
turned ; all the rest died in prison, most if not all of
them at Andersonville. Tne story of Andersonville
has been told and re-told by more able pens than
mine, nor would it come within the scope of this book
to tell it here. Of all the men from this town who
were confined in that prison, not one has ever returned
to tell the horrible story.
Comrade Davis is in the shoe business at Ayer,
JOSEPH C. DENNETT.
Joseph C. Dennett was a son of Moses B. and Eliz-
abeth C. (Small) Dennett. He was born in Pittsfield,
December 20, 1828. He enlisted in Company E, of
the Fourth New Hampshire volunteers, in i86r. He
was soon promoted to be color corporal, and still later
made a sergeant. He was wounded in a skirmish
near Hilton Head in 1862. After serving with his
regiment in South Carolina for nearly three years, he
was taken sick with chronic diarrhoea and sent to the
hospital at Hilton Head, where he died in January,
1864. He left a wife and three children when he en-
listed, only one of whom survives, Alonzo Dennett,
of Sutton, Vt.
CHARLES E. DENNETT. 67
DIXI C. DENNETT
is a brother of the above, born November 19, 1826 ;
came to Pittsfield with the family. He married Miss
Sarah Nutter, and had four children when he enlisted
in Company G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers.
Served with his company until he was taken sick at
Camp Parapet, and sent to the hospital. Rejoined
his regiment after the surrender of Port Hudson, and
came home with them, and was mustered out at Con-
cord, August 13, 1S63.
His post-office address is Milton Mills, N. H.
JEREMIAH W. DENNETT
was born November 7, 1824, in Gilmanton. He
was a brother of the preceding. When he was about
fifteen years old the family moved to Pittsfield.
After a shor.t time they went to Portsmouth, then to
Rochester, afterwards to Holderness, then to Pitts-
field, where Comrade Dennett lived until he en-
He married in 1846 Sophia Nelson, by whom he
had eight children. His business was that of teamster
and farmer. He was mustered into the United States
service, September 5, 1S62, as wagoner of Company
F, Twelfth regiment. New Hampshire volunteers,
and was employed in this capacity during his entire
term of service. The only time he was excused from
duty was for abont two weeks at Falmouth, Va., in
the winter of 1863. He has always made his home
in Pittsfield since his return from the army.
CHARLES E. DENNETT
was born in Pittsfield, September 10, 1847. He is a
son of Jeremiah W. Dennett. He attended school in
town, and worked for various parties until he enlisted.
He received the name of "Commodore," from the fact
68 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
that he was the only man to enter the navy from this
town. He entered in the service as a marine, June
1 6, 1864, and served on board the Sabine^ first at
Portland, later on the Potomac and James rivers. He
discharged his duties as " Captain of the Head," with
credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his superior
officers. He is now an inmate of the Soldiers* Home
W. H. DAVIS.
In a small house standing at the corner of Depot
and Bank streets in Pittsfield, William H. Davis was
born. He was a son of William and Shuah (Evans)
Davis, and lived with his parents, attending school
and working in his father's shop as a boot-maker, un-
til he enlisted in Company H, Fourth New Hampshire
volunteers. He was mustered into service, Septem-
ber 18, 1 861, and served with his regiment until No-
vember 3, 1862, when he was transferred to the First
U. S. artillery. Here he served the remainder of his
term. It would be needless to say that he was a good
soldier, for none but the very best could be transferred
from volunteer infantry to the regular artillery. He
was killed in a railroad accident in 1866.
One day while in Florida, I think, Davis went to a
public house to get dinner. The wash basin was on
a shelf in the porch, beside it was a bucket of
water with a gourd dipper, over the shelf hung a dirty
rag for a towel. Davis called out, '"Here, landlord,
can't you give us a clean towel?'* ''I reckon so,'*
said that individual, as he arose from the bench on
which he was reclining, and shuffled across the house
floor. He got the desired article, and as he handed it
to Davis, remarked, ''Yuse 'un is the most mighty
particular man I ever seed. I reckon that ar towel
has hung there three months, and more than five hun-
dred men have wiped on it, and you are the fust one
to find fault with it."
ALBERT C. EVANS. 69
ALBERT C. EVANS
was a carpenter by trade. He was born in Barnstead,
May 13, 1841, a son of William C. and Martha J. G.
(Carr) Evans. He moved to Pittsfield in 1850, attend-
ed our town schools and the academy. He enlisted
in Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers,
and was made corporal, September 5, 1862.
He was wounded in the hand and lost a finger at
the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. He was
very cool under fire. When our lines were driven
back in this engagement, Evans got behind a tree to
give one more shot to the advancing enemy. As Cap-
tain Bartlett passed him, Evans called out, " I say,
Asa, this is real old business," a favorite expression of
his. He was promoted to sergeant, November 7,
1863. He was also with this regiment at the Battle of
So well had he conducted himself in every position
in which he was placed, that he was discharged from
the Twelfth by order of General Butler, to accept a
commission in the First United States volunteers. This
was composed of men who had been taken prisoners,
and who had become tired of fighting against their
country, and were willing to enlist under the old flag,
provided that they should not be called upon to fight
their old comrades in arms. They were known among
our troops as '^ Galvanized Yanks," and were to be
sent West, where if they were taken prisoners they
would not be recognized ; for, according to the laws
of war, if caught they would be shot.
Evans joined this regiment at Norfolk, Va., and
soon afterwards was sent to Chicago, and from there
he went with his command to Camp Reno in Missou-
ri, and did provost duty at headquarters of General
Pope. The rebels had sent men among the Indians
of the Northwest to stir them into a revolt, and soon
Evans was sent to Fort Snelling in Minnesota. From
there he went to Fort Wadsworth, Dakota, where he
70 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
remained through the winter until the spring of 1865,
when he was transferred to Fort Ambercrombie.
While crossing Dakota Tnountains, piloted by an In-
dian who lost the way, the entire command came very
near freezing to death. His next place was St. Paul,
Minn. From here he was sent to St. Cloud, where
the savages were killing our settlers and burning their
dwellings. He was the first man to enter that place
after the massacre. After the Indians had been driven
off, he was sent to Fort Wadsworth, and from there
to Fort Leavenworth ; then he was sent on to the
plains and built Fort Fletcher, and remained through
the winter guarding the mail route to Denver. The
time of this regiment having expired, he proceeded to
Fort Leavenworth, where he was discharged May 10,
1866. During his services with this command. Cap-
tain Evans (for such was his rank) had many skir-
mishes with the Indians, and in every engagement he
was a prudent and brave officer. He was, I believe,
the last man from Pittsfield to be mustered out of the
United States service.
Comrade Evans is now a resident of Havre de
JOHN S. EATON.
One of the best known citizens in this section of the
state was John S. Eaton, a native of Pittsfield, who
always resided in town until he enlisted and was mus-
tered into Company E, Eighth New Hampshire vol-
unteers, December 21, 1861. The first duty to which
he was assigned was to select the horses for the use of
the regiment. He had the care of these as long as he
was able to do duty. I remember that soon after my
discharge at Ship Island in 1862, while lying in a tent
on the sand of that barren island, Mr. Eaton walked
two miles in the broiling sun to send a message home
to his wife and child, and when the soldiers came to
carry me aboard the vessel, I being unable to walk,
he walked by my side and bade me good-bye at the
gang plank. Poor fellow, he was sick at that time
CHARLES F. EATON. 71
and never recovered, for soon after he was discharged
and started for home. When off the coast of the Car-
olinas he died, and his body, sewed in his blanket, was
buried at sea. His wife was Olive True, also a native
of Pittsfield. Mr. Eaton, previous to his enlistment
in 1861, was a dealer in horses and it was said that he
owned more horses than any other man that ever lived
in town. His was a very genial disposition, and every
one was his friend. He had a horror of being buried
at sea, and often said that this alone prevented him
from becoming a sailor ; and yet he was the only sol-
dier from this town that received this sepulture. This
occurred November 2, 1862. He was a son of John
and Abigail (Green) Eaton.
One cause of the sickness of Eaton, and of many
others, was the poor food at Ship Island. The beef
was very salt, though sweet ; the pork was rancid,
having been cured in the Western fashion as bacon,
and then lain for a long time piled up on the hot sand
of the island. The bread was either wormy or moul-
dy. The former was sweet and nice after we had
shaken the " skippers" out of it, but the mouldy bread
was horrid. After thirty years I can almost smell the
stinking stuff, and my stomach recoils at the remem-
brance of this rotten food. Then the dessicated vege-
tables were nearly as bad. Of course the poor bread
was the result of an accident, or rather carelessness,
on the part of our quartermaster department, but this
abomination of dessicated vegetables was a deliberate
affair. I do not know who invented the stuff, and I
cannot conceive of a fate that would be sufficient pun-
ishment for him, unless it was to make him eat his
own food until he starved to death, which would not
take a very long time.
CHARLES F. EATON,
a son of the above John S. Eaton, was born in
Pittsfield in the year 1845, and always resided in town
until he enlisted. He was like his father, a lover of
94 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
then put on board a steamer and taken to Washington,
and placed in Stanton hospital.
Four men took Jenkins from the ambulance, one at
each leg and arm, and regardless of his cries of pain,
caused by lifting him by his shattered arm, carried
him in. Drs. Hammond and Lidell had charge of
this hospital, and Jenkins is very loud in his praise
of these two men. Dr. Hammond lanced his arm in
thirty places, and at each place the pus would spurt
out. A few days later the doctor said, "To-morrow
we will decide whether we shall amputate your arm
or not. "
Comrade Jenkins was very glad to hear this, hop-
ing to soon get rid of this painful member, but the
next day the doctor told him that they had concluded
not to do so. "For, " said he, " if we take it off, you
will not live twenty-four hours. With it on, there is a
bare chance that you will live. "
" How much of a chance?" Jenkins asked.
*' One in ten, " was the reply.
" Then I will take that chance, " said Jenkins.
He remained in this hospital sixty-three days. Soon
after his arrival his brother, William Albert Jenkins,
came to take care of him, and remained with him un-
til his discharge on February 26, 1863. His brother
took him in his arms and carried him as a person
would an infant, for Everett, although six feet tall,
weighed but 98 pounds. In the cars his brother
held him in his lap, and after a short rest in New
York they reached Concord, where a sleigh was in
readiness with a bed in it, and he was taken to his
home. At Stanton hospital he was taken with a
severe pain in his right leg, which Dr. Hammond said
was caused by blood poison. For a long time his life
was despaired of, and this trouble has caused him
intense pain since.
After his wounds had been dressed at Washing-
ton, as related above, Jenkins remained in a stupK)r
for a long time. When he opened his eyes, a sheet
had been spread over his face, and he could see some-
JONATHAN JAMES. 95
thing crawling over it. With his uninjured hand he
turned the sheet down, and discovered that he was
covered with lice. He called an attendant, and he
was moved to cleaner quarters, but it was a long
time before he was free from these vermin. While
in Washington his leg pained him severely day and
night. It became so tender that he could not bear
the weight of a sheet upon it. At last the doctor
lanced it, and it discharged over a gallon of pus. He
lay in one position so long that his joints were set,
and when an attempt was made to Jift him he was
as rigid as a log of wood, not a joint would bend.
Since the war he has been in the Massachusetts
General hospital twice, to have his leg operated upon,
and has had ten and one half inches of bone removed.
Strange to say he still lives, and can be seen walking
on our streets daily.
a native of Pittsfield, born in 1836, son of Edward
S. and Mary James, was a shoemaker by trade. He
enlisted September 5, 1862, as a recruit for Company
F, Fifth New Hampshire volunteers, and served with
that regiment until his discharge. Except for a short
time he was on detached duty as an orderly for Gen-
One time while on this duty they made a raid into
the enemy's lines. Stopping at a hotel they ordered
'' Tea, or coffee, sar .'^ " said the colored waiter stand-
ing behind James.
" Coffee," replied the soldier.
Soon a cup was placed before him containing a
"Do you call that coffee.'*" asked James, looking
at the negro and pointing to the cup.
" Oh, yes, sar, dat is coffee sure, sar, for I dug de
roots and parched 'em myself. "
Burnt carrots never made coffee good enough for a
96 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Union soldier, and James called for a glass of water.
He died in Lynn, Mass., several years ago.
SAMUEL p. JAMES
was a brother of the above, a native of Pittsfield, and
always resided here until he enlisted in Company E,
Seventh New Hampshire volunteers, and was mustered
into service November 7, 1861. He reenlisted Feb-
ruary 28, 1864, and served until the close of the war.
He made for himself a good record as a soldier. He
died soon after his discharge in 1865.
was for many years one of our best known citizens.
He erected a house on Crescent street, which at that
time was considered one of the best houses in town.
He and his wife were both natives of Waterford,
Maine, his birthday being May 12, 1813. They re-
sided there until the fall of 1837, when they removed
to Pittsfield. Mr. Jones enlisted in 1861 in Company
G, Seventh New Hampshire volunteers, but the
severe exposure at Manchester was too much for him,
and when the regiment reached New Jersey, he was
sent to the hospital, and discharged February 12, 1862.
He died in Pittsfield, October 8, 1876.
CALVIN A. JONES,
when a boy, was, like all healthy lads, always getting
into mischief. One day while playing beside the ca-
nal near the old grist-mill, he fell in and came near
being drowned. As he was going down the third time
he was rescued by Plummer Leavitt. Not daunted by
this mishap he soon after learned to swim, and later
in life, when in the West, he performed the feat of
swimming across the Mississippi river at the Falls
of St. Anthony, the distance being more than a mile.
After resting for a few minutes he swam back.
JOSEPH A. JACOBS. 97
He was a son of the above Leonard Jones, and was
born at Waterford, Maine, January 25, 1835. ^^
was but a year and a half old when his parents moved
to Pittsfield. He attended school and worked in the
cotton mill until he was twenty-one years old ; then
he went to Minneapolis, Minn., to work as a carpen-
ter. He remained there sixteen months, then returned
home and worked in the mills at Manchester. On
December 3, 1S60, he was married to May F. St
Clair, a Vermont woman.
He enlisted in Company G, Seventh New Hamp-
shire volunteers, but for certain reasons he was trans-
ferred with one or two others to Company D, of the
same regiment. After the command reached Dry
Tortugas island, Jones was detailed to work in the
bake-house. This was in Fort Jefferson. The three
ovens were in one of the casemates of the fort ; no
air or light could enter the room except through the
door and one port-hole ; it was a fearfully hot place,
and to men who had been exposed to the rigor of a
severe winter, as these men had (see account of J.
C. Morrill), it was no wonder that Jones broke down,
especially since he was obliged to work from 6 a. m.
to 10 or 12 p. m. It was necessary to do this in order
to cook bread for the i ,800 men who garrisoned the fort.
Such exposure and overwork produced heart disease,
and he was discharged July 20, 1862, but was unable
to reach home until two months later.
Mr. Jones is now living at West Chester, Penn.
JOSEPH A. JACOBS.
Perhaps no man has been better known in town
during the past fifty years than Comrade Jacobs, who
was l)orn in Wilmot, N. H., May 23, 1829. He
came to Pittsfield February 14, 1838, and has al-
ways made this town his home. He is a shoemaker
by trade, but for five years before the war he worked
as a painter. He married Sarah A. Eaton, December
29, 1852, and when he enlisted had two children.
98 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
He entered Company G, Seventh New Hampshire
volunteers, September 20, 1861 ; was made a sergeant
and then promoted to the rank of lieutenant December
29, 1863. For a long time he commanded his com-
pany. He served with his company at Manchester,
New York city. Dry Tortugas, and St. Augustine,
Fla. From there he went to Hilton Head, and then
to Folly island, S. C. ; next to Morris island, and
Beaufort hospital, where he remained until he recov-
ered from his wound ; then he went back to Morris
island, and from there to St. Helena island ; to Jack-
sonville and Lake City, Fla. ; back to Jacksonville,
then to St. Helena island, and from there to Bermuda
He was in the battles of Fort Wagner and Olustee,
Fla., besides sixteen skirmishes. At Wagner he re-
ceived a bad wound in the thigh, and the Mini6 ball
has never been removed. He has a calfskin pocket
book that was in his trousers at the time he was shot,
the ball cutting through it, and struck two cents, one
of them of the old-fashioned copper variety ; these
were badly bent, but caused the ball to glance, which
saved his leg from being broken, thus saving his life.
He was just crossing the ditch when struck. The
guns of the fort had been silenced mostly, but as the
regiment rushed forward to take possession, the rebels
opened fire with howitzers at each end, enfilading the
ditch, cutting our men down by the hundreds. At
the same time they opened the gates and let in the
water, drowning every man who was unable to climb
out. At Olustee he was again wounded.
He has a sword which has on the scabbard this in-
scription : ^^ Presented to Lieutenant y. A, yacobs
by his friends, Pittsjield^ N, H.^ Dec, 2^, j86j,'*
At one time during the Virginia campaign he wore
this sword continuously for eight days.
Jacobs always liked a joke- John Brock, whose
sketch appears elsewhere, was a member of his com-
pany, and Jacobs always speaks in the highest terms
of his comrade. Whenever Jacobs was sent on any
EDWIN A. KELLEY. 99
expedition he always took Brock with him. Now
Brock was a great hand to argue. No matter what
the subject of conversation was, he would want to get
up an argument, and so interested would he become
that he would take no notice ofanvthinc; else. One
time when they were on picket together, some subject
was started just as they had begun to eat tlieir dinner.
Brock kept talking, while Jacobs kept eating: the
result was that Jacobs ate up Brock's dinner.
Jacobs often took a man at his word. One day
while in camp in Florida one of the men had a severe
attack of homesickness. As he lay on the ground he
" Oh, I wish I was dead. "
Jacobs inquired, '• Why do n't you cut your throat
*'I can't," said the sick man, *'I wish some one
would cut it for me. "
*" All right ; I'll cut it for you, " said Jacobs, taking
out his pocket knife and opening the small blade.
Taking hold of the loose skin on the man's tiiroat, he
thrust the knife through and ripped it out, making a
gash only skin deep, but three or four inches long.
'^Oh, I'm killed ! I'm killed!" shouted the victim,
jumping to his feet; ** the blamed fool has cut my
throat ! he has cut my throat, " and he rushed to the
surgeon to have his wound dressed. He at least was
never troubled with homesickness, a disease, if I may
use such a term, with which many of our men suffered
and some of them died.
EDWIN A. KELLEY
was one of the most popular young men in town.
He was a son of Samuel G. and Amanda M. (Sleep-
er) Kelley. While he lived here, he attended school
in the old brick school-house on the west side of the
river, and worked at shoemaking, as a seamster, for
He was born in Gilmanton, March 5, 1843. When
lOO PirrSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
his father moved to Pittsfield young Edwin came with
him, being at that time only five years of age. He
enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, and was mustered into service September
At the terrible Battle of Chancellorsville he went to
the rear to assist a wounded comrade, R. T. Leavitt,
from the field. He had but just laid his friend upon
the ground and seated himself upon a drum by his
side, exhausted by his excessive labors, when he was
struck in the head by a piece of a shell and killed
instantly. His age was twenty years and two months.
Comrade Leavitt as an act of remembrance has
placed Comrade Kelley's picture in this volume.
WILLIAM T. KNIGHT.
I have been unable to trace the early history of this
brave soldier. He spent his boyhood in Northwood,
with an inhuman family who deprived him of every
advantage which boys should have. He came to
Pittsfield about 1858, being at that time man grown.
Here he learned to read. He worked first for Charles
Jackman, then for John B. Merrill, and last for
ElbridgeTrue. He was a very gentlemanly appearing
fellow, and was among the first to enlist, perhaps be-
cause his shopmate, H. M. Gordon, had already done
so. He was mustered into Company E, Second New
Hampshire volunteers, June 3, 1861. He was in the
Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, and on the retreat
'* broke down, *' from the excessive heat, was sent to
the hospital, and discharged and came home August
After his discharge from the Second New Hamp-
shire volunteers, he married Miss Sarah Pitman, of
Barnstead, and bought a house on Watson street.
He enlisted again in Company B, Twelfth New
Hampshire volunteers, and was made corporal. He
served with his regiment in all the various campaigns,
and was in some twenty battles and skirmishes without
JOHN F. LOCKE. lOI
getting hit. He was a member of the color-guard,
where the best men are put, and at last, in the terrible
battle of July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, he was shot to
pieces, — one ball through the body, one in his foot,
another in his arm, and one in his leg and others else-
where ; his back was also broken. It seemed as
though fate, which had defended him before and
brought him through so many conflicts, deserted him,
and that the death angel determined to make sure that
he did not escape. He was a true soldier, comrade,
and friend, and if he had had the early advantages of
most boys, he would have been, had his Life been
spared, an honor to the town and a blessing to the
JOHN F. LANGLEY.
John F. Langley was from Nottingham. He en-
listed first in the Third regiment, and was a lieuten-
ant in Company E. He resigned July 3, 1S62, and
came home to Pittsfield where his father had lived, in a
house at the east end of Main street, for many years.
He was commissioned captain of Company F, Twelfth
New Hampshire volunteers, September 8, 1S62.
After the Battle of Chancellorsville, the colonel of his
regiment commanded the brigade, and he, having
been raised to the rank of major, February, 1864, and
the other oflficers above him being either sick or dis-
abled, commanded the regiment until after the Battle
of Gettysburg, where he was injured. Just before the
Battle of Swift Creek he lost his voice, and never has
been able to speak aloud since. He was honorably
discharged September 22, 1S64.
Of his early life I have been unable to learn any-
His address at present is Amherst, N. H.
JOHN F. LOCKE
was born in Roxbury, Mass., March 8, 1840. He
came to Pittsfield about 1857, ^"^ married Miss Sarah
I02 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Watson, by whom he had two children. He enlisted
in Company D, Fifteenth New Hampshire volun-
teers, and was mustered into service October 8, 1862,
and served with that regiment until the expiration of
his term of service. He was mustered out August 13^
1863. He was a shoemaker by occupation. He re-
turned home and died a few years later.
JESSE P. LANE.
During the winter of iS6o-'6i, Jesse P. Lane at-
tended the academy. In March he left town to work
at his trade as wheelwright, in Lawrence, Mass. The
call of President Lincoln for three-months troops was
answered by the governor of that state by ordering
out the militia. There was a vacancy in Company
H of the Fourth regiment, which Jesse P. Lane
gladly filled. The Fourth Massachusetts regiment
was the first from the entire North to go to the defence
of the country. They sailed from Boston April 17,
1 861, and landed at Fortress Monroe on the 19th.
They were part of the brigade commanded by Gen.
Butler, two regiments of which went by land, and
were in the ever memorable fight at Baltimore on the
19th of April. During this service Comrade Lane
contracted a severe cold, which terminated in con-
sumption, of which he died September 8, 1865, at
his father's house, aged 27 years, 7 months.
He was born in Pittsfield, January 28, 1838, was a
son of Paul C. and Eliza (Perkins) Lane, and was a
young man very highly esteemed by all.
HENRY B. LEAVITT
was born in Chichester, on Loudon road, not far from
Kelley*s corner. He attended school in his native
town, and then went to Parsonsfield (Maine) semi-
nary. He was a powerful exhorter in the Freewill
Baptist denomination, and for several years a success-
ful teacher. In 1850 or 1851 he commenced the study
HENRY B. LEAVITT. 103
of law with the late Charles Butters of Pittsfield, and
in February, 1853, ^^ ^^^ admitted to the bar and
opened an office in Barnstead, where he remained one
year. Then he returned to Pittsfield and to the office
formerly occupied by United States Senator Moses
Norris, Jr. In 1856 he stumped the state for Fremont.
He was a ready debater and a most eloquent speaker.
A plea that he made in court at Concord about this
time created a profound sensation throughout the
state, and is often spoken of at the present time as one
of the most powerful arguments ever delivered at
He recruited Company G, Seventh New Hamp-
shire volunteers, and was commissioned captain No-
vember 23, 1861. He served with his regiment until
he was wounded at Fort Wagner, at 2 p. m., July 18,
1863. He lay on the battle-field in the hot sun for
over twenty-four hours without food or drink, and
was then taken to Charleston, S. C, where he died
from the amputation of his leg July 22, 1863.
He was a Mason, and was cared for by members
of that fraternity while a prisoner, and his gold watch
and nearly $3cxd in money were sent through the lines
to his family.
About twenty years later a sword was found on the
battle-field of Wagner, on the scabbard of which was
engraved *' Presented to Captain H, B, Leavitt
by twenty 'jive loyal citizens of Pittsfield^ N, H, "
Correspondence was opened with the postmaster of
this town, and the rusty weapon was sent to his
His father was Moses Leavitt, who at one time
kept toll-gate at Chichester, on the old Portsmouth
Captain Leavitt was a man of overbearing temper
but of dauntless courage. Even while a boy this trait
was prominent. A friend relates that at one time his
father's pig escaped from his pen. Young Henry
with others attempted to capture it. As it passed
him he grappled it and was thrown, but he held on
104 PITl'SFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
and was dragged some distance before the others canio
to his assistance. At last the shote was placed in his
pen, and it was discovered that Henry*s arm was
broken. This same bull-dog courage was one of the
leading ttaits of his life.
REUBEN T. LEAVITT, JR.
One of our best known citizens is Reuben T.
Leavitt, a native of Pittsfield, his birthday being No-
vember II, 1839. ^^^ ^**^ ** ^^'^ of Reuben T. and
Nancy K. (Brown) Leavitt. While quite young his
parents moved to Concord, but after a few years re-
turned to Pittsfield. They afterwards lived in Suncook.
Then they moved to Concord, where Mr. Leavitt was
register of deeds. Here they remained several years,
but the father was appointed keeper of Whale's Back
lighthouse and thither the family went and remained
over six years. Young Reuben, then' man-grown,
was able to aid his father in his duties. But the old
man's heart yearned to return again to Pittsfield,
where he had lived so many years; accordingly he
bought a farm on the east side of Catamount moun-
tain, to which he removed about the year i860. There
he and his wife, after being married nearly seventy
years, died, and there the son Reuben still resides.
Comrade Leavitt enlisted, August 16, 1862, in
Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers.
He went with his regiment to Washington, and was
in the Battle of Fredericksburg, through which he
On Sunday morning, May 3, 1863, he was in the
Battle of Chancellorsville, when he was struck in the
knee by a Mini6 ball and fell to the ground. His
comrades, Edwin A. Kelley and John H. Philbrick,
carried him from the field and placed him behind a
log house. The rebels were massing to make another
charge on our lines, and our artillery were trying to
prevent them. A shell from our guns burst over their
heads, and a piece struck Kelley in the head, killing
JOHN C. MORRILL. I05
him instantly. As he fell he lay across the leg of
Comrade Leavitt, who had to call for help to have the
body removed. Our forces were driven back, and
Leavitt was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy.
Not until Wednesday did they get any food, then only
a little flour, which they mixed with water and drank.
For twelve days he was held a prisoner, and no care
was bestowed on his wound except to pour a little
cold water on it. If proper care had been given it he
would not have been disabled for life. At length he
was paroled on the field, and our ambulances came
and got him and his wounded comrades, and took
them to Potomac creek, and placed them in the hos-
pital. His brother, Charles B., came and took him
home, where careful nursing saved his life. The
surgeons in the army wanted to cut his leg off, but
Leavitt would not consent.
JOHN C. MORRILL,
a well known citizen of Pittsfield, was born in this
town, March 14, 1837. ^^ ^^^ ^ s^" ^^ Jacob and
Mary Morrill. He lived in Pittsfield, attending school
and working on his father's farm until he enlisted,
Dec. 5, 1 86 1. He was mustered into Company G,
Eighth New Hampshire volunteers, at Manchester, on
the 23d of the same month and was at once made ser-
geant. He remained with the regiment until his dis-
charge, July 5, 1862, at Camp Parapet, La. The
exposure which this regiment suflTered I described in
our local paper January 28, 1892, as follows:
Thirty years ago, on Jan. 24, 1862, the Eighth New
Hampshire regiment left the state in a driving snow storm.
In the fall of i86[ the Seventh and Eighth regiments went
into camp on the old fair grounds in IVIanchester, bounded
by Elm, Webster, Union, and Penacook streets. During
October and the first of November the weather was very
pleasant, but after that we had a regular old-fashioned winter.
During December the weather was extremely cold ; the senti-
Io6 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
nels as they walked their beats froze their faces, ears, and
hands. A part of the time we were short of rations, for,
according to regulations, a company could draw rations for
what men there were the day before ; if there were twenty-
five men we drew rations for them, and if a squad of twenty-
five more arrived during the night then all hands must sub-
sist on half rations. Then we had a lot of visitors and of
course these must be fed, but army regulations made no pro-
visions for them. When we could get permission to go to
the city, those of us who had money would get a square
meal. Most of the men of Company G, Seventh regiment,
belonged in Pittsfield and surrounding towns, and in the
Eighth regiment were many of our citizens. When the for-
mer regiment left, how we envied them ! The snow then
was about two feet deep on a level, and we had nothing but
canvas tents to protect us from the inclement weather of a
New Hampshire winter.
Ten days later we received orders to march. On digging
away the snow we found our tent pins frozen fast in the
earth, and only by splitting the pins could we release the
ropes that held our tents. Down Elm street we marched,
caring not for the fast falling snow. We took the cars and
in due time arrived in Boston ; here the snow had turned to
rain. We were taken out into Haymarket square, where we
remained in the pouring rain some two hours while the
officers could find a place to put us. Finally we were
marched through the slush, half-knee deep, to Fanei^il hall,
and two companies of us put in the attic of the building,
where there had never been a fire, and the next mornjng our.
clothing was frozen stiff. During the day we had some
boiled ham, brown bread, and coffee, the first warm food
for forty hours. That evening we went on board a tug-
boat for Fort Independence. How the wind cut us as we
sailed down the harbor ! It was after dark when we arrived
at the fort and we were huddled into the casemates without
food or fire. There was not room for us all to lie down at
once. The next morning our company were given the best
rooms in the fort. There were three of them, one a bed-
room, which our officers occupied, a kitchen of ordinary
size, and another room about twenty feet square. Here our
company of loo men were huddled for three weeks. The
only fire was in the range in the kitchen. This range was a
small affair intended for the use of an ordinary family; of
JOHN C. MORRILL. I07
course we could furnish to the men warm food but once a
About the 12 th of February there came a storm of sleet
that froze as soon as it fell, covering everything it touched
with a coat of ice. On the 15th we went on board the ves-
sels, four companies on the »* E2iza and Ella,'''' the rest of us
on the ** E. Wilder Farley ^^ a full-rigged ship. It was Sun-
day night, and very cold. The vessel was covered with ice ;
the ropes were so stiff that but few of them could be worked.
A steam tug took us down the bay, while we soldiers hud-
dled together in the dark hold to keep from freezing. Mon-
day morning the sailors shook out what canvas they could,
while we land lubbers, in our overcoats and blankets, were
crowding between decks like a flock of sheep to keep warm.
Soon most of us were sea sick, and between that and the
extreme cold I think it was the most miserable day of my
life. Tuesday morning we struck the gulf stream, and it was
as warm as June. As we crawled on deck the water was
running from the rigging, chunks of ice were continually
dropping, and one man was severely injured by an icicle
dropping on his head. The warm air was full of sea birds
seeking their morning meal. Soon we, too, began to think of
breakfast, but there was only one stove for six hundred men
and during the voyage we had but one meal a day, except
hard tack ; this we took from Fort Independence. It was
baked in 18 10, but was sweet and good but very hard. On
Friday we passed the Bermuda islands ; the thermometer
stood eighty in the shade.
Some people are surprised that men should be used up so
soon in the army, but I wonder that there is one of that
ship's load of soldiers alive to tell the story of our sufferings.
Living as we had done, short of food and almost unprotected
from the extreme cold of a severe New England winter, then
to be transported so suddenly to a hot climate, no wonder
the men sickened and died.
When we got among the Bahama islands a calm came
upon us. Not a breath of air rippled the surface of the
ocean. The long swells of the tide caused our vessel to rise
and fall, but we did not move a rod. There was not air
enough to even flap our sails against the masts. The sun
poured its torrid rays straight down upon us. Between
decks, where our bunks were, the air was stifling. The wind
sail, that had been rigged to give ventilation to the hold,
Io8 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
hung idle and flat over the deck. The sailors stretched some
old canvas to give us shade. Under this the soldiers lay and
panted with the extreme heat, and thought of the icy north
they had left but a short time ago.
The short pipe from the cook's range would not ** draw,"
so nothing could be cooked, and we had to content ourselves
with hard tack and water. The men spoke in subdued tones
as though in the presence of the dead, and were we not?
All nature, as far as we knew, was dead. The porpoise and
sea-birds that had followed us for days had disappeared, and
not a fish rippled the glass-like surface of the ocean. It was
the stillness of silence. This was having a terribly depress-
ing influence on the men, so Colonel Fearing organized, on
the second or third day, an election. We would vote for
governor of New Hampshire, — to be sure we did not know
who had been nominated in our state, nevertheless, we
named our own candidates and went through the entire form
of town meeting, — and I will say that the Democratic ticket
had three times as many votes as the others, showing the
previous affiliations of the men of this regiment.
At the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico stand two light-
houses ; from the deck of a vessel no land can be seen.
These lighthouses rise sheer out of the water and the sailors
call them the ** stick in the mud,'" but on the chart they are
named the Great and Little Isaac's lights. The water is very
clear and shoal. As we stood on the deck of our vessel we
could see the rocks at the bottom of the water. No vessel is
allowed to pass after the lamps are lighted at night. We
arrived there just as the first flash of the light shone across
the sea, and at once dropped anchor. Before dark eight
vessels were anchored near us, two of them had French
troops aboard on the way to Mexico, and one other contained
the Seventh New Hampshire that had left us in Manchester.
They were on their way to the Dry Tortugas. We commu-
nicated with the other vessels by writing with chalk on a
blackboard and hanging it over the side of the vessel. How
we cheered our comrades when we learned who they were.
IIEZEKIAH B. MORRILL,
now of Haverhill, Mass., was a man of prodigious
strength and of an iron constitution. Coming from a
line of long-lived ancestry he inherited a vast amount
PETER P. MOODY* 10$
of vitality, and it was owing to this fact that he alone
of all the men from this town was able to withstand
the trying climate of Ship Island and serve out his
time. Gen. Butler in his farewell address, published
Dec. 15, 1862, speaking of Ship Island, said, '* With-
out a murmur you sustained an encampment on a
sand bar so desolate that banishment to it, with every
care and comfort possible, has been the most dreaded
punishment inflicted upon your bitterest and most
He was a brother of the above J. C. Morrill and
was born in Pittsfield in 1S31, and always resided
here until he enlisted. He married Sarah A. Sanders,
and had two children, when mustered into Company
G, Eighth New Hampshire volunteers, December 23,
1861. He endured all the hardships which this regi-
ment sufl^ered until after the Battle of Baton Rouge,
when he was taken sick and sent to the Marine hos-
pital at New Orleans. When he wanted to return to
his regiment, the doctors refused to let him, saying
that he was so broken down he would be of no use
there. Therefore he was transferred to the Invalid
Corps, where he remained during the remainder of
his term of service.
PETER p. MOODY,
son of Wm. P. and Lucy J. (Moore) Moody, was
born in Loudon, March 18, 1844, and moved to Pitts-
field, Dec. I, 1 85 1, where his father had bought a
house near Chichester line. Here Plummer, as he
was always called, lived until he enlisted in the Fifth
Massachusetts Cavalry, Feb. 12, 1S64. He served
with this regiment until his discharge, June 23, 1865.
For a time this regiment was employed in guarding
prisoners at Point Lookout, Md., then they were
engaged in what is known as tlie siege of Petersburg.
After the evacuation of that stronghold, they chased
Lee's army up to and through Richmond, it being the
first regiment to enter the city. While on duty here
no PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Moody was injured in the knee by coming in contact
with an artillery caisson, making a stiff joint for life.
was born in Sherbrooke, Province of Quebec, Nov.
12, 1830. His father's name was John Mulligan, his
mother's maiden name was Mary Kelley. He first
came to Pittsfield about the year 1852, and was
employed as a farmer previous to enlistment — was
never married ; served in Company D, Fifth New
Hampshire volunteers. He was discharged in Janu-
ary, 1863, from the general hospital on account of
disability. Reenlisted October 19, 1863, in Com-
pany D, Third Massachusetts cavalry, as a private.
He was in the battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks,
Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, and Nichols Gap, and
was also in the Red River campaign. He received
a gun-shot wound in the left fore-finger at Oak
Swamp ; was at one time detailed to guard stores at a
place called Soldiers' Rest, in the rear of the White
He has pleasant recollections of President Lincoln,
who frequently visited the guards, sometimes accom-
panied by Mrs. Lincoln. At one time in the Red
River campaign, when on a retreat, Mr. Mulligan
met a colored man with a mule. On the back of the
mule were two "bags of corn, and as Mulligan had just
had his second horse shot from under him he ordered
the colored man to give up his mule and corn to him,
which he reluctantly did. Afterwards, when in camp,
Mulligan used the mule to draw camp wood by tying
a tent rope to the wood and tail of the mule. He was
discharged at the close of the war on the 28th day of
JEREMIAH M. MARSTON.
I have been able to learn but little in regard to this
soldier. He was a native of Pittsfield, a son of Jere-
JOH|^ B. MERRILL. Ill
miah and Rhoda (Maxfield) Marston, and always
resided in town until he enlisted in Company F,
Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers. He was mus-
tered into service September 5, 1862, and served until
the close of the war, taking part in nearly all of the
battles and skirmishes in which his regiment was
engaged. He is reported by his comrades as being a
first-class soldier. He is now living somewhere in
owned a house on Concord street. He was mustered
into Company G, Seventh New Hampshire volun-
teers, November 23, i86f, re-enlisted February 27,
1864. He came to this town from Candia, I am told,
and was fireman in the cotton factory for several
DAVID C. MARDEN
was a son of the above. He was employed in the
cotton factory, and enlisted at the same time and in
the same company with his father. He was wounded
February 20, 1864, and mustered out of seiTice
December 22, 1864. Both of these men lived to
return home. After searching a long time to find
them I only got the address, of David the day of his
funeral, and have therefore been unable to learn anv
farther particulars concerning them.
JOHN B. MERRILL
was a son of James and Mehitable (Hradly) Merrill;
was born in East Concord ; came to Pittsfield about
1849. He was a shoemaker and brickmaker, and mar-
ried Miss Eleanor Johnson, by whom he had several
children. Enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New
Hampshire volunteers, September 5, 1862, and was
killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863.
Mr. Merrill's father was a soldier in the War of 1812,
and was captured by the British and held as a prisoner
iii PiTTSFiELD IN TllE REBELLIOI^.
for some time, being taken to England and confined
in the celebrated prison at Dartmoor. His mother
was ^ daughter of Richard Bradly, once governor of
Mr. Merrill was a man of sanguine temperament
and always in good spirits, but for two or three days
before the BattJe of Chancellorsville he seemed to be
down-hearted, and his face wore a solemn expression.
Some of his comrades rallied him for this, asking if
he were sick. No, he was not sick.
*' Then what does ail you, any way?"
*' Boys," he replied, *' it is no matter to laugh at,
but I shall be the next man killed in this company,
and it will be at the beginning of the next battle."
And his words proved true, for scarcely had the fight
begun at Chancellorsville when he was killed. An
officer who heard him make the above prediction said
that he watched him particularly. At first he seemed
to waver for an instant, then stepped foward to duty,
the next instant to fall. The premonition of death
often was felt in the army, but it as often proved to be
only a nervous feeling, and as soon as it passed away
no more was thought of it, but when it proved too
true then the dead man's comrades treasured up the
remembrance of the incident. No matter whether
this feeling was a forewarning of death or not, it
required the highest kind of courage to go forward
and do one's duty, believing that it would be the last
act of life, and that certain death awaited you ere jou
could accomplish your undertaking.
J. D. MESERVE
was a member of Company B, Seventh New Hamp-
shire volunteers, mustered into service November i,
1861. He was missing at Fort Wagner, S. C, July
Of this man I have been able to learn but little.
I found his name among my memoranda kept during
the war, and the town books show that his family
WILLIS MOSES. 113
lived here, for they drew state aid, to which all
families of soldiers were entitled.
A careful incjuiry among the families of that name
living in this vicinity fails to discover one with the
above initials or one who served in the Seventh regi-
ment, but from statements made by other parties I am
satisfied that he was a son of Ira and Sarah (Garland)
Meserve. He was known among his friends as Dana
CHARLES W. MOONEY
was a son of Rev. S. S. and Martha Mooney. His
father bought a farm on Berry Pond road, where he
lived about the beginning of the war. Charles at
that time was too young to enlist, but in the summer
of 1864 he entered Troop D, First New Hampshire
cavalry, and was mustered into service June 25, and
served until the close of hostilities. His present resi-
dence is unknown.
now of North wood, N. H., was a member of Com-
pany F, Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers. He
was mustered into service September 5, 1862, and
served until the close of the war. He was at the Bat-
tles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At the
latter he was severely wounded in the head by a piece
of shell, but recovered in time to take part in the Bat-
tle of Gettysburg.
While stationed near Portsmouth, Va., he was
taken sick and sent to the hospital at that place.
From here he was transferred to Fort Schuyler in New
York harbor, and after his recovery he returned to his
regiment and participated in all the engagements in
which this famous regiment took part. At the close
of the war he was mustered out with the rest of the
He was born in Epsom, March 28, 1839, ^"^ ^^^ ^
son of Samuel and Mary (Tricke}') Moses. His
114 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
early life was one of great hardship. He came to
Pittsfield when but sixteen years of age and worked
at shoemaking until he enlisted.
.In another place I have spoken of the raid from
Point Lookout into Virginia under command of Colo-
nel Oilman Marston. This expedition was composed
of about two hundred infantry from the 2d and 12th
New Hampshire regiments and one hundred regular
cavalry. The intention was to capture a conscript
camp near Heathville, Va. Moses was a member of
this expedition, and he recalls the following incidents
of the four-days* raid :
When near Heathville, Orren Brock, of this town,
and another soldier started for a house that stood at the
end of a lane. As they approached, two rebels ran
from the house to the woods. Brock told his com-
panion to watch the house and shoot any one who
might appear, while he. Brock, would run up and
capture an ambulance, with a pair of fine horses
attached, that stood near the building. This was
done. Brock turned the team, his companion got in,
and they soon overtook their command. Colonel
Marston rode up and asked what he had got. Brock
told him that the ambulance contained a fine saddle
and bridle and a lot of papers. The colonel told him
to take care of the ambulance and pick up any men
who might tire out, but to give him the papers, and he
and his adjutant, Lawrence, would look them over.
They proved to belong to the ofl^cer in command of
the conscript camp. That night Brock was detailed
to go on guard, but he told the sergeant that Colonel
Marston had ordered him to care for the ambulance,
and that some one else must take his place. The
officer had barely gone, when Brock put the saddle
and bridle on one of the horses and rode out about
half a mile, where he found a negro woman driving a
fine pair of oxen attached to a pair of wheels. He
rode up to her and demanded the whip with which
she was driving. This was given him, and he rode
into camp, and was received by his comrades with
GEORGE F. MESERVE. II5
cheers, for it was a novel sight to see a man on horse-
back drive an ox team.
The next day, Colonel Marston, his adjutant, and
an orderly rode to a house, out of which ran several
of the enemy. The adjutant fired his revolver at
them. Just then the orderly's horse jumped so that
the ball struck the poor soldier in the head, killing
him instantly. His body was placed in the ambu-
lance and taken along.
The enemy had fled, taking away the conscripts, so
the expedition turned toward the coast. When they
arrived at the place of embarkation, the vessels could
not get near tiie land, owing to shoal water. So
Brock's horses and oxen were put to work to haul
lumber and build a wharf. This was hardly com-
pleted and the troops aboard, when the enemy
appeared with about a thousand cavalrymen, but too
late to capture the daring Yankees from New Hamp-
An old adage is, " Familiarity breeds contempt."
These men had become so used to death in all its
forms that I have been told that when those who
became exhausted on this march were placed in the
ambulance, they would go to sleep, using the dead
body of the orderly for a pillow.
GEORGE F. MESERVE
enlisted in 1862 in Company F, Twelfth Regiment.
He was made a corporal, and was wounded May 3,
1863. He was reported as missing at Petersburg,
Va., May 16, 1864. He was taken prisoner at that
time and carried to Richmond ; from here he was
transferred to Andersonville, Ga., where he died from
starvation. He was a son of Frost Meserve, who
lived in the east part of the town. He married a Miss
Emerson a short time before he enlisted, who lived
with her uncle, Ira Emerson.
There is some question whether Meserve enlisted
from this town or not. Most of the evidence shows
Il6 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
that he resided here at that time, and from the fact
that he married a lady who had always lived here and
who continued her residence for years afterwards, I
have concluded to place his name among Pittsfield
A soldier of this town, who had been away on a
furlough, was returning to his command, when he
reached Bladensburg, Md., 1 think. A man came
into the car, shouting, " Right this way for dinner,
only fifty cents ; right this .way, train will stop thirty
minutes for dinner — only fifty cents." Our friend
thought he could do justice to a good dinner, so he
followed the man into the dining-hall, took a seat at
the table, placing his haversack and canteen in a chair
by his side. After eating what he wanted he went to
the desk to pay his bill, and was told it would be one
" But," said the soldier, "your man in the car said
it would be fifty cents."
"It is fifty cents a seat," was the reply, "and as
you occupied two seats you must pay for both."
The money was paid, and our soldier went for his
things. Taking up his haversack, he said, "Now I
have paid for you, darn you, you have got to eat," and,
to the consternation of the proprietor, he stowed away
three days' rations.
RICHARD S. MORRII.L
was a sailor, who made his home with his brother,
Zelotus W. Morrill, formerly a well known citizen of
Pittsfield, with whom his wife resided when he was
After a voyage he was at home in 1861, and enlisted
and was mustered into Company B, Fifth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, October 23, 1861 ; was soon after
taken sick, and died November 13, 1861, at Epping,
where he had gone to the home of his wife's parents.
He was buried in that town.
JESSE M. MASON. II7
WILLIAM WARREN MORRILL
was a brother of the above Richard S. Morrill. War-
ren, or " Wad," as he was called, was also a sailor, a
very strong, rugged man. He enlisted in Company D,
of the Seventh New Hampshire volunteers, and was
mustered into service, November 6, 1861, and was dis-
charged for disability, July 20, 1862. He came home
and died at his sister's in South Pittsfield, and is
buried in that part of the town.
HENRY B. MORRILL
was another brother of the above. He, too, was of a
roving disposition, and during his army life it got
him into trouble. He enlisted first in Company G,
Eighth New Hampshire volunteers, but not liking
the restraints ot camp life, was not mustered. He
enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, and was allowed to make up his lost time
by serving in the Second regiment without pay. He
was not a deserter, but had a habit of being " absent
without leave'* when there was any service to per-
form. He is supposed to be dead.
JESSE M. MASON
was born in Chichester, N. H., February 22, 1830;
son of Edmund and Clarissa (Ingals) Mason. He
moved to Pittsfield in 1854, and by occupation was a
shoemaker, and lived here until he enlisted, Aug. 11,
1862, and was mustered into Company F, Twelfth
regiment. New Hampshire volunteers. After passing
through the various battles in which his regiment was
engaged, he was wounded at the Battle of Cold Har-
bor, June 3, 1864.
His regiment was ordered to charge with the bayo-
net upon the enemy. As Mason was rushing forward
in the position so well known to all old soldiers, his
right hand clasping the breech of his gun, with the
Il8 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
arm thrown back and elbow bent, he was struck in
the shoulder by a Mini^ ball, which entered near the
collar bone and came out at the elbow, causing a fear-
ful wound. He was taken to the rear, his wound
dressed, and then sent to Finley hospital, Washing-
ton, D. C. Here he remained for some time, and
was then sent to a hospital at Augusta, Me. From
here he went to Concord, N. H.,and was placed in bar-
racks on the plains east of that city. Gangrene, that
dread of all wounded men, had set in, eating away
the walls of one of the arteries, and all at once the
blood spurted out, covering the clothes of his bed with
the crimson tide. Trueworthy Eaton, a citizen of this
town, who happened to be present, says that it looked
as though a hog had been stuck, the bed-clothes were
so covered with blood. When the wound broke open
the blood spurted some three feet into the air. A
surgeon who was on duty at once took up the artery,
and for several days Mason remained in an uncon-
scious condition. Although the gangrene dissolved the
ligaments that held the collar bone in place so that it
came out, giving Mason a stoop-shouldered appear-
ance, yet he recovered so that from Concord he was
sent back to Augusta and then transferred to Webster
General hospital at Manchester, N. H., where he
was discharged, June 3, 1865. His wound is rated
as equal to loss of arm at elbow.
He married Mary J. Lewis, daughter of Rev. Sim-
eon Lewis, of Dover, N. H. She died December 25,
1862, leaving four children, the eldest scarcely six
years of age, the youngest but a few days. There
were no relatives of either father or mother to care
for these children. He is now living at Keene, N. H.
JAMES M. MASON
belonged to a patriotic family. He was a brother of
David B. Mason, of Company G, Seventh New
Hampshire volunteers, also of John C. Mason, Com-
pany G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers, and
DAVID B. MASON. II9
another brother, Charles F., enlisted from Loudon in
Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers, the
same company in which the subject of this sketch
served. These four brothers were nephews of
Jesse M. Mason, also of Company F, Twelfth regi-
James M. Mason served very faithfully until Decem-
ber, 1862, when he was taken sick and was neglected
by the officers whose duty it was to look after him.
It is thought by his comrades that if he had had proper
care he might have recovered. On January 12, 1863^
he was discharged at Falmouth, and carried on board
a boat for transportation home, where he died.
When the regiment went into winter quarters at
Falmouth, Va., in the winter of i862-*63, one of
the Company F boys sent home for a barrel of dried
apples, and procuring an old stove, started in making
pies. He complained that the inside would run out
in the oven between the upper and under crusts. One
of his comrades told him that he must do as Aunt
Betsey did at home, spit on his fingers and rub it on
the under crust, then the upper crust would stick to
it, "for,*' he continued, " spit is a good deal better than
water, and twice as handy." It is said that he fol-
lowed these directions with entire success.
DAVID B. MASON,
a brother of the above James M. Mason, was born in
Chichester, November 12, 1839. He came to this
town in 1859 *^ work with his uncle, Jesse M.
Mason. He enlisted from Pittsfield and was mustered
into Company G, Seventh New Hampshire volun-
teers, November 23, 1861. He was discharged at
New York city, January 8, 1863, being at that time
sick and pronounced incurable. He returned home,
and died in Loudon in May, 1865. He is buried in
a sniall graveyard in Chichester near the Pittsfield
I20 PITl'SFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
JOHN C. MASON,
a native of Chichester but residing in Pittsfield when
he enlisted, was mustered into Company G, Fifteenth
regiment, New Hampshire volunteers. He had one
of those happy dispositions that are always merry.
Under all circumstances he was cheerful and happy.
He was a faithful soldier, ever ready for duty. He
belonged to a patriotic family ; all of his brothers
and uncles enlisted. When his regiment was home-
ward bound he was taken sick at Sandusky, Ohio,
from drinking milk thought to have been poisoned,
and when the regiment reached Cleveland young
Mason was dead. This was August 3, 1863.
was a very quiet young man. He was a son of
Orren C. and Susan M. (Marston) Marston, and was
born at Tam worth, N. H., April 10, 1843. ^®
moved to Pittsfield with his parents in 1854, and
worked with his father as a shoemaker. In the sum-
mer of 1862, with his neighbor and friend, R. T.
Leavitt, he came to the village and enlisted in Com-
pany F, Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers. He
served with his company and took part in nearly all
the battles in which they were engaged until June 3,
1864, when he was struck in the groin by a bullet and
bled to death before medical aid could reach him.
GEORGE E. NUTTER
owned a house on Concord street. He enlisted in
Company G, Seventh regiment, New Hampshire
volunteers, and was mustered into service November
23, 1 861, and was discharged for disability June 5,
1863." His comrades speak in the highest praise of
him, but of his history I can learn nothing more. His
post-office address is Farmington, N. H.
John W. Paoe, J. H. Pbescott.
Oeorgb Reynolds. L. W. Osoood.
H. L. KOGINSOH. J. M. Mason-
LEWIS W. OSGOOD. 121
JOHN D. NUTTER
was a shoemaker by trade. He came to Pittsfield in
1858 from Barnstead, where he was born, a son of
Samuel D. and Ruth M. (Knowles) Nutter.
He enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, September 5, 1862, and went with
the regiment south. On the 17th of October the regi-
ment moved from Washington to Knoxville, Md.
The night before Nutter had been on guard. The
day was warm, and he climbed to the top of the
freight cars in which the regiment was riding. Just
at dark he fell asleep, and as the train rounded a
curve he rolled off into the bushes. He was not
injured, but, thoroughly awake, he at once started
after his comrades. It was a long tramp for a tired
man — nine miles — but he reached his regiment early
the next morning.
He was engaged in all the battles of his regiment
except Chancellorsville ; at that time he was detailed
to drive team. He was a good soldier and an expert
shot, and generally in every fight he was detailed as a
sharpshooter. At the Battle of Gettysburg he was
wounded in the left ankle, while helping his comrade,
Ira Merserve, from the field. He served until the close
of the war, and was mustered out with his regiment.
His home is now in Lynn, Mass.
LEWIS W. OSGOOD
was captain of Company G, Fifteenth regiment, New
Hampshire volunteers. He was one of the finest
looking men who went into the army. A lady in
New Orleans said that he resembled very closely Cap-
tain Semmes, of the rebel pirate, Alabama, — indeed,
when she first saw him she thought it was her friend.
Captain Osgood was full six feet high, broad should-
ered, with a very pleasant countenance and pleasing
address. He was a son of Greenleaf and Nancy (Mer-
122 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
rill) Osgood ; his father was a well known merchant
of this town. He was born in Belmont, then a part of
Gilmanton, July 31, 1835. ^^ attended school in that
town, fitted for college at the seminary in Tilton, and
entered the Wesleyan university at Middletown, Conn.,
While getting his education he paid his way by
teaching. For some time he, assisted by his sister,
Augusta, taught the academy at Loudon Mills, N. H.
As soon as he graduated, he commenced the study of
law in the office of Minot & Mugridge in Concord.
In 1862 he raised a company of men, a large part of
whom were from Pittsfield and adjoining towns.
So popular was he with his men before they left the
state, that they voluntarily subscribed money and
bought him an elegant sword, which they presented
to him, — indeed the sword was so fine that, according
to army regulations, a line officer could not wear it,
and permission had to be obtained from the command-
ing officer to allow him to do so.
He served with the regiment at Long Island, Car-
rollton, La., Camp Parapet, La., and Port Hudson.
At one time he was assistant provost-marshal of Car-
rollton. During the siege of Port Hudson, Captain
Qsgood was wounded in the leg. The wound was
considered slight at first, but, owing to the debilitated
state of his system, he was sick for a long time. He
was first sent to Baton Rouge and placed in a hospital ;
from there he went to New Orleans, but finally
rejoined his regiment at Port Hudson a few days
before they started for home. But he did not take
command of his company again ; for months after
he reached Pittsfield he was confined to his room.
His discharge is dated August 13, 1863 — cause, expi-
ration of term of service. He lived in or near Boston
when he died, twenty years ago, from disease con-
tracted in the service.
JOHN W. PAGE. 123
JOHN W. PAGE
was born at Hampton Falls, September 10, 1833. He
was a son of James and (Smith) Page. He
came to Pittsfield to live in the year 1852 and married
Mandana Lock, of Epsom, and had two children liv-
ing when he enlisted in Company I, of the Sixth New
Hampshire volunteers, being the only man from this
town in that regiment.
He was mustered into the United States service,
November 28, 1861, at Keene, N. H., and soon after
left for Washington. This regiment was a part of
Burnside's expedition to Cape Hatteras, and was after-
wards stationed at Roanoke Island, then at Newbern,
N. C. From here they went to Aquia Creek, Va.,
then to Falmouth, and soon after took part in the
engagement at Slaughter or Cedar Mountain. They
then went to Washington Junction, and were in the
fight at that place ; then to Mannassas Junction, and
were in the second Battle of Bull Run. From there
they marched to Fairfax Court House, and crossed into
Maryland, and were in the terrible Battle of Antietam.
Here his comrade, G. Melvin Sherburn, lost a leg, and
Page was detailed to care for him, so was not in the
next two battles in which his regiment was engaged.
The regiment then went to Kentucky; they first
guarded a stockade to protect the bridge at Frankfort,
then they went to Louisville, from there to Bowling
Green, then to Russellville in Tennessee. While on
this march Page says they were short of food, and one
of his comrades got a can of cucumber pickles, hold-
ing about two quarts, and ate them all, — which killed
While in this section the men got very lousy, one
man's shirt was so full of these ^^greybacks" that it
would move, as the insects crawled over it. One of
the men did a lot of washing for the company, and so
many lice came to the surface of the water that it
looked like a kettle of rice.
124 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
From June 15 to July 4, 1863, he was with Gen-
eral Grant's army besieging Vicksburg,and scarcely had
this stronghold surrendered when his regiment, with
others, was sent to Jackson, Miss., and from July 8
to the 15th they were engaged with the rebel army at
Page reenlisted in the field December 19, 1863,
and came home on a furlough, after which he rejoined
his regiment at Washington. He was in the Battle of
the Wilderness May 6, 1864, then the disastrous Bat-
tle of Cold Harbor, and through the siege of Peters-
burg without getting wounded, although his clothing
was pierced several times. Just as the rebels evacu-
ated the last named place, a spent grape shot struck
him on the head, rendering him unconscious for a sea-
son — not breaking the skin, but raising a large lump
on his forehead. His regiment marched through
Petersburg and were stationed at Burksville when Lee
As soon as the war closed the regiment came home
and was mustered out of service at Concord. Page
immediately returned to Pittsfield, where he has since
JOHN II. PRESCOTT
was born in Pittsfield, where the high school building
now stands, October 14, 1840, and was the oldest son
of John and Mary (Clarke) Prescott. A few years
later his father exchanged his village residence for a
farm in the southern part of the town, where he spent
his early years, having but little time or opportunity
for mental culture ; but his ambition to acquire knowl-
edge, strengthened by his own native energy, and
aided by such assistance as his parents were able to
render him, su fibred not the years of his adolescence
to pass without securing for himself so much of an
academic education as was sufticient to lay the founda-
tion of his future usefulness.
On the 1 8th day of August, 1862, he enlisted in
Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers,
JOHN H. PRESCOTT. 1 25
and acted as commissary sergeant of the regiment un-
til receiving his first commission, in December of the
following year. From that date to the end of the war
he was most of the time on detached duty, acting as
aide-de-camp on the staffs of Generals Wistar, Stead-
man, Smith, Weitzel, Potter, and Donahue, and par-
ticipating in the battles of Bermuda Hundred, Swift
Creek, Drury's Bhiff, Port Walthall, Cold Harbor,
Siege of Petersburg, Cemetery Hill, and the capture
He was also present with his regiment, although
not in the ranks, at tlie great battles of Fredericks-
burg, Gettysburg, and Chancellorsville, in all of which
he stood manfully at his post of duty, regardless of
toil or danger, and in the last named proved that the
blood of his grandsire, Samuel Prescott, of the Revo-
lution, still coursed in his veins, by begging permis-
sion of Colonel Potter to leave the supply train and
follow his regiment into battle, which he did until a
rebel bullet pierced the visor of his cap, and he found
himself busy, far in advance of the stretcher-bearers,
in caring for the wounded and dying, and in disarm-
ing the stray '^ Johnnies " that he found inside our
At Port Walthall, while dismounted for the purpose
of reconnoitering the position of the enemy, he sud-
denly but unwillingly presented himself as a conspicu-
ous target for a score or more of rebel cavalry, who,
with levelled carbines, demanded his surrender, and
only saved himself from capture or death by a cool
head and swift feet.
He was brigade officer of the day when Richmond
was evacuated, and one of the first, after the picket
line, to enter the city ; and probably the very first
Union soldier that ever voluntarily entered within the
walls of Libby prison. Finding himself at early morn
inside the fortifications of the rebel citadel, his first
thought was of the Union soldiers confined in that
loathsome prison-house, and he immediately hastened
thither, only to find it, like the Southern Confederacy,
126 PHTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
but an empty shell. A large key that he picked up
on one of the floors he carried away and kept as a
prized relic of that noted building, and a quick re-
minder of the day when he first visited it. Many
other interesting incidents of his army life, illustrative
of his experiences as a soldier and characteristic of
the man, might be written if space permitted. Sep-
tember 2, 1864, he was promoted to captain, which
rank he held, though deserving a much higher, when
discharged from the service June 21, 1865.
Captain Prcscott was a fine scholar and did not
entirely relinquish his studies even while in the army,
for he sent home by a comrade and secured some
books, which he studied while in winter quarters. He
was very popular, not only with his schoolmates and
friends, but with his comrades in the army as well.
His death xit Salina, Kan., in 1891, caused deep
mourning among his many friends.
JOHN H. PHILBRICK
came to Pittsfield about 1S57, ^^ work at shoemaking.
He was a son of John H. F. and Martha (Ham)
Philbrick, and was born in Epsom, January 17, 1836.
January 5, 1859, he married Mary A. Durgin, of
Pittsfield. and when he enlisted, in September, 1862,
he left two children with his wife.
He was promoted to corporal February 2, 1863.
At the Battle of Chancellorsville, the following May
3, he was slightly wounded. He was promoted to
sergeant December i, 1863. He took part in the
battles of Fredericksburg, Swift Creek, Drury's Bluft".
At Petersburg he was again wounded, this time in the
While the regiment was encamped at Point Look-
out, during the winter of i863-*64. Sergeant Philbrick
was sent home on recruiting service, and after his
return he served with the regiment until his discharge
at the close of the war. I understand that Philbrick
is now in Danvers, Mass.
ALBERT G. H. RING. 1 27
ALFRED C. RICHARDS
was a well known musician in*this town. For many
years he taught the art of singing in this and adjoin-
ing towns. He was born in Goffstown, N. H.,
November 3, 1835. He was a son of Eaton Richards
and Lucy J. Moore. He first came to Pittsfield with
his mother, who had married William Moody, in
1842. Two years later he moved to Loudon, and
from there to Chichester; then in 1852 he came to
Pittsfield, and resided here until he enlisted. In 1857
he married Miss Susan P. Eastman, and is now living
On the 29th day of July, 1861, he enlisted in Com-
pany B, Third New Hampshire volunteers, and served
continuously until his discharge, July 28, 1865, by
reason of the close of the war, — making exactly four
years' service. Having enlisted the first time for three
years, he reenlisted at Hilton Head, S. C, on the
24th day of February, 1863.
He was on detached duty for some time in the
ordnance department, and stationed at Botany Bay,
S. C, under Captain Ordway. After Morris Island
he was again detailed as cook in the hospital at that
place. He took part in every engagement that his
regiment participated in, except that at Fort Fisher,
being at that time on detached duty. He was severely
injured at Graham's Plantation, on Hilton Head
Island. He served in the army under the name of
ALBERT G. H. RING
always made his home in Pittsfield, where he was
born April 29, 1825. He was a son of Richard and
Mary F. Ring. He was a painter by trade, and often
went to Massachusetts to work for a season. While
in Boston he enlisted a year or two before the war in
the afterward famous Nims' Battery.
When the war broke out this battery went into
1^8 PlTTSFIELt) IN THfe RfeBELLIOlSfi
camp near Boston, and while drilling Ring was injured
so that he could not be mustered into service. He
came home to Pittsfield, and as soon as he recovered
he enlisted in Company G, Seventh New Hampshire
Volunteers, and went into camp at Manchester. There
was such a demand for men that understood battery
drill that he was transferred to Comstock's battery,
which became Battery M, of Third Rhode Island
When his son, Charles O. Ring, was killed, he
applied for a furlough to go to Pinckney Island and
get the body, but could not get one. lie called on
General Hunter and laid the case before him, and this
officer issued a special order directing Ring to procure
the body of his son, transport it to Concord, and then
report for duty at Washington. This he did, and
remained in the fortifications around that city until
the close of the war.
While waiting here for transportation to his regi-
ment, the rebels under General Early made their
famous raid on the capital. Ring volunteered in a
regiment of infantry that was organized for tempo-
rary service in Washington, and did good service in
defending the city from the enemy. This action of
Ring's caused a confusion of the accounts of the pay-
master, for Ring had drawn pay while in the tempo-
rary service, and was also borne on the rolls of his
battery as a member. It was several years later before
he secured his pay. He died August 2, 1889, at
Comrade Ring was very active in forming the
Grand Army post in this town, and they have had
his picture inserted in this liistory.
CHARLES O. RING.
One of the popular young men in this town in 1861
was Charles O. Ring, who was born in Barnstead,
March 14, 1844. When but nine months old his
mother, Mary A. Ring, moved to Pittsfield. Here
ALBEE R. REYNOLDS. 1 29
Charles grew to manhood, attending our public school
In 1 861 he enlisted, August 23, in Company H,
Third New Hampshire volunteers, in the same com-
pany that his cousin, John Brooks, served. The regi-
ment left the state September 3, and proceeded to
Port Royal. On the night of August 21, 1862, while
his company were sleeping in a house on Pinckney
Island, the enemy surprised them ; some of them
jumped from the windows and saved themselves, but
young Ring seized his rifle, rushed out of the door,
and took his place beside his captain. Here he
received five bullet wounds, and as he fell he crawled
under the house ; but the rebels were not content to
let him die thus, and stabbed him seven times with
the bayonet. After the enemy was repulsed he was
taken to the hospital, where he lived twelve hours.
On the way he begged of his comrades to take his
knife and cut the boot from his wounded foot for he
suffered intense pain from the bayonet wounds ; they
did so, and it relieved him at once.
His father, A. G. H. Ring, who belonged to the
Third Rhode Island heavy artillery, obtained per-
mission, went down, secured the body, and brought
it home, reaching Concord September 11, 1862.
He was buried in the rear of the town hall, but
after the new cemetery was opened his body was
removed to that beautiful resting-place of the dead.
ALBEE R. REYNOLDS
enlisted in Company G, Seventh New Hampshire vol-
unteers, and was mustered into service November 23,
1S61, and was mustered out December 22, 1864.
He was born in Candia, September 21, 1843, and
when about twelve years of age he came to Pittsfield
to live with his uncle, the late Owen Reynolds. He
was a shoemaker by trade ; married Miss Josephine
Eaton, and had one child. If alive, his residence is
130 PI'ITSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
HENRY L. ROBINSON
was born near Ewer's Mills, East Concord, N. H.,
May 13, 1841. October 11, 1856, be came to Pitts-
field to live rtnd learn the trade of shoemaking. He
attended the public schools at Concord and Pittsfield,
and at the academy in the latter town, — working at
his trade night and morning to pay his way.
On the breaking out of the war, he at once enlisted,
driving to Concord the same night that news had
been brought to town that a recruiting office had been
opened there, but was rejected for physical reasons.
Again in July he enlisted, and was again rejected.
October 28 he enlisted, and was mustered into Com-
pany G, Eighth New Hampshire volunteers, and was
made company cook. He served with his company
at Manchester, N. H. ; Fort Independence (Boston,
Mass.), and "Ship Island, Miss., where he was taken
sick and sent to the hospital, and discharged April 10,
As there were no ambulances on the island, he was
carried in a blanket by his comrades some two miles,
and laid on the sand in a tent to wait until a ship was
ready to convey him home. He was carried in the
same manner on board the Undaunted and placed in
a bunk. There were some six hundred sick on board
beside the crews of two blockade-runners, and only one
doctor, and the only remedy he had was Epsom salts.
But as soon as the ship sailed, and the '* wind-sails"
were put in place, giving a cool draught of air, many
of the sick began to revive.
General Butler, in his book, in speaking about the
water on Ship Island, and telling how it was pro-
cured by sinking a headless barrel in the sand, says. —
"But I learned another fact about it; and this was
that after a few days the water would become impure,
emitting a very perceptible and offensive odor of de-
caying animal matter, and then that barrel would have
to be abandoned." Now General Butler don't know
HENRY L. ROBINSON. 13I
how Ship Island water can stink. The Undaunted
was, supplied with iron tanks on deck. These were
very rusty, and were filled with Ship Island water
for the use of the troops. The rolling of the vessel
washed the rust off so that the water was the color of
floor paint ; and as it rotted, as all stagnant water
will, the smell was so offensive that the men had to
hold their noses when they gulped it down.
When off Cape Hatteras the vessel was struck by a
squall ; the main and mizzen masts were broken off,
and all of the sails of the foremast but one were blown
away, and the beautiful ship was a drifting hulk. The
vessel had sprung a leak, and the pumps had to be
worked every day to keep her afloat. When off Cape
Cod, signals were made, and a tug came out and
towed the transport to Boston where she arrived June
2. Robinson was conveyed to Camp Cameron, near
Boston, where he was paid the first money he had
received since enlisting.
After the Undaunted was wrecked, the men were
put upon an allowance of one pint of water, such as
has just been described, per day. The thirst of the
men almost crazed them. As they lay on the hot
decks of the vessel, visions of cool springs at home
were constantly in their minds. Robinson wrote, soon
after reaching home, to a friend :
On the east side of Catamount mountain, opposite the
Berry school-house, is a spring of the purest water that ever
gushed from the bosom of earth. This water is cool and
delicious in summer, and never freezes in winter, the green
moss around it showing amid the snow, like a handful of
summer thrown into the lap of winter. After our wreck this
spring was continually before my mind ; I would think of it
by day and dream of it by night.
The sailors had plenty of good water aboard, but we were
not allowed any of it. Once, while between decks where
our bunks were, I tried to find a cooler place near the ship's
water tank. It was perfectly dark. In feeling along the top,
my hand came in contact with the cover of the man-hole
that was used in cleaning out the tank when in port. It was
132 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
fastened so that I could not move it. That night I secured
a bar, and, with the help of one or two comrades that I had
let into the secret while the others were at breakfast,
removed the cover. But the water was too low for us to
reach with our dippers, so one of us procured a bottle and
some **spun yarn." We got a sailor to show us how to
** gauge" the yarn to the bottle; then we lowered it into the
tank, and by working it back and forth were able after a long
time to get a swallow of pure water; but it was a slow,
tedious process, and but a very few of the six hundred men
aboard the vessel received any benefit from it.
Soon after his return to Pittsfield bis health began
to improve and he enlisted in Company G, Fifteenth
regiment, October 11, 1862. I make the following
extract from the history of the Fifteenth, written by
Charles Mc Gregor of Nashua :
The next day after landing at Carrollton, La., he (Robin-
son) was sent on detached duty, driving team for a few days ;
then he went on a flag-of- truce boat, the Zephyr^ to Sabine
Pass in Texas to get a lot of men, women, and children that
had been held as prisoners of war by the rebels for twenty-
two months, having been surrendered by General Twiggs.
It was the Eighth regiment of regulars. The condition of
these poor people he says was extremely deplorable. They
had received no pay or clothing during all of this time.
There was only a piece of an overcoat in all of the regiment,
no tents — only a tent-fly — and these people had marched
eleven hundred miles, the men carrying the women and
children when any of them were sick. One child was born
on the march. After resting for three days, the mother and
child were placed in the tent-fly and carried along by the
After his return to Carrollton from this expedition,
he was made ambulance master for the Department of
the Gulf. Atone time he was to go to Bonet Carrie
to examine some ambulances. As the distance was
some thirty miles, most of which was outside of our
lines, he made arrangements to go with a wagon-
master by the name of Miller, who was to make the
HENRY L. kOBlNSON. I33
trip the next day. That night Robinson was restless
and could not sleep. The moon was shining brightly
so he concluded to saddle up his horse ''Stonewall,*'
and make the journey in the night. Taking a^ose-
bagofoats for his horse he started. When he got
about half way at a place called the Doctor's planta-
tion, he stopped, fed his horse, took a bite of hard-
tack himself, and then pushed on. He arrived at
Bonet Carrie by daylight and at 8 o'clock had com-
pleted his business.
Now he had had many disputes with Miller in regard
to "Stonewall,*' Robinson claiming that his horse could
go farther in twenty-four hours than any other horse
in Louisiana. By 9 o'clock he was again on the road,
thinking to meet Miller at the doctor's or the little
red church at noontime.
As he ncared the spot, intending to surprise
Miller, he was himself surprised by seeing Miller's
wagon train making east on the road that led in that
direction from the doctor's house, across the country.
They were some three fourths of a mile away.
Taking off his hat and swinging it he gave a terrific
yell, and drawing his revolver he discharged it in the
air, at the same time urging his horse forward. He
passed the doctor's house, and around the corner of
the road he then saw that the teams had halted.
Thinking that Miller had lost his way he then jogged
When he reached the wagon train he learned that
while the mules and men were eating their dinner, a
company of rebels had swooped down on them,
made them their prisoners, and were taking them off
into the Confederacy, but when they saw him coming
they had abandoned their booty, and taking Miller
with them had fled.
Taking charge of the teams Robinson started for
CarroUton. At an abandoned plantation he loaded
up with sugar, putting two hogsheads in each of the
twenty -two wagons. He did not reach the Parapet
until after dark and was passed through by the officer
134 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
of the guard, who happened to be Lieutenant Joseph
G. Ayers of his own company.
The next morning he turned over to Post Quar-
term^er Holmes over thirty tons of sugar. This
officer placed Robinson in charge of this wagon train,
which position he retained as long as he was in the
A few days later Miller returned, having been
paroled. He said that the rebels thought (and he
shared their belief) that a whole company of our cav-
alry were after them, while Robinson declares that
if he had known the situation, he should have turned
and fled to Bonet Carrie.
After that Robinson was busy moving supplies,
hauling wood, etc., to the various regiments at Camp
Parapet. One time while getting wood he was shot
at by a bushwhacker, and his horse was wounded so
that he died. He also went on an expedition to Bloxi,
Miss., with a Texas (Union) regiment of cavalry.
When General Banks made his first movement to
Port Hudson, Robinson went with his teams, and
after Banks's return, he started with the army up the
Tesche, but was taken sick and sent back to Carroll-
ton, then to Camp Parapet ; but when he arrived at
the latter place, his regiment had gone to Port Hud-
son, where he rejoined it after an absence of nearly
Soon after taking charge of the wagon train he
went with a lot of wood to the Fifteenth New Hamp-
shire. While his men were unloading, one of the
lead mules kicked over the traces. Robinson took a
whip, and commenced striking the animal to make him
kick back. Lieutenant-Colonel Frost came along and
"Stop striking that mule! Take«hold of his foot
and put it back.*'
" I do n't dare to," was the reply.
" I will never ask a man to do what I dare not do,"
said the officer, as he stepped forward and reached for
the quadruped's foot. But that mule had no respect for
DANIEL W. ROmNSON. 1 35
shoulder-straps and let drive, striking the lieutenant-
colonel a terrific blow, landing him in the mud some
two rods away. Soon afterwards the officer resigned.
DANIEL W. ROBINSON,
better icnown as " Webb," a brother of the above, was
born at East Concord, May 10, 1843 ; came to Pitts-
field in 1858, to work at shoemaking with Samuel D.
Davis ; remained in town until he enlisted and was
mustered into Company A, Fifth New Hampshire
volunteers, October 12, 186 1.
He served with this regiment through the Peninsu-
lar campaign. While engaged in building bridges
across the swamps of the Chickahominy he contracted
rheumatism and disease of the heart and was sent to
Shipping Point and placed in a hospital. He was
discharged May 14, 1862, and sent home. He arrived
at his father's house in Concord on the night of June
I, a mere skeleton. He was at that time hardly able
I cannot refrain from giving an extract from Colonel
Cross's report of the service of the Fifth New Hamp-
shire in 1862, showing some of the hardships which
the men of this regiment had to endure. On the loth
of March thev were ordered to Warrenton. Colonel
Cross says :
* * On the marcli to Warrenton Junction the entire force were
obliged to ford creeks and rivers — some of them waist-deep,
crossing five of these fords in one day. Guard and picket
duty was severe, the weather cold and rainy, the roads almost
impassable. Often the men could build no fires, often the
ground was so wet and muddy that they could not lie down.
There were no tents, no wagons, no cooking utensils but
tin cups. We endured these hardships for thirty-one days.
The weather was cold and wet when we reached Shipping
Point (April 5), and the men were obliged to wade ashore
from the vessels and camp on the water-soaked earth with
136 PiTTSFIELt) m THE REBELLION.
no tents. My regiment was at once set to work making
* corduroy roads ' through a swamp, and building bridges.
Added to this hard labor in mud and water, the locality itself
was very unhealthy."
As soon as he was able he returned to Pittsfield and
worked at his trade. He married Ann, daughter of
the late John C. Berry, and had one son. Not satis-
fied with his first experience as a soldier he enlisted
in Troop D, First New Hampshire cavalry, June 25,
1864, and served with them until the spring of 1865,
when his old enemy, rheumatism, again attacked him
and he was discharged just as the war closed. He is
now a prosperous farmer at Wautoma, Wis.
GEORGE H. REYNOLDS
was born in the town of New Durham, May 29, 1840,
and was shot at Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. Mr.
Reynolds was a student in the academy at the break-
ing out of the war. He had previously lived in town
for several years, and both among the citizens and his
schoolmates he had manv warm friends. On his last
visit to Pittsfield he met many of his friends in the
academy hall. He told them he should never see
them again ; when he left the state it would be never
to return. His friends tried to get this idea out of his
head, but in vain. While aiding a wounded comrade
he was shot and killed, as above stated.
He was a member of Company F,. Twelfth New
Hampshire volunteers. He was as popular among his
comrades as he had been among his townsmen.
WILLIAM O. RING.
In the western part of Pittsfield lived Jeremiah
Ring and his wife, Mary (Nutter) Ring. They had
but one child, W. O. Ring, who was born on the old
homestead, August 21, 1841. He lived with his
parents until the breaking out of the war, when he
W. O. Kino.
C. L. SWBATT.
A. O. H. Kino.
WlLLtAM O. RtNG. I37
Wanted to enlist, but his parents opposed it and in-
duced him to go to Newport, Vt., and work in a
sash and blind shop.
Soon after the raid by the rebels on St. Albans, Vt.,
he joined a company of cavalry at Newport to serve
in the state; but finding that he would see no active
service, he left, went to Boston, and enlisted in Com-
pany E; Twenty-third Massachusetts infantry, and was
sent to Galloupe's Island. He had been here some time
before his parents learned what he had done. He
went with his command to Fortress Monroe, from there
to Norfolk, Va., then to Roanoke Island, from there
through the Dismal Swamp canal to Morehead City,
then to Newbern, N. C. He was in the skirmish at
Kingston, and the Battle of Goldsboro. From there
they marched to Raleigh, then back to Newbern.
This was what is known in history as the "Goldsboro
Raid." It helped Sherman in his march through the
Carolinas, which finally closed the war. The regi-
ment was so reduced that it was placed on provost
duty guarding the city, and forwarding supplies to
the army that was fighting Johnson. Ring remained
here until the close of hostilities, when he was dis-
charged, and has ever since lived in this town.
During the raid already alluded to, Ring was de-
tailed to act as a forager. In company with a comrade
he rode up to a house that stood some forty rods
from the main road. The buildings were of the same
character found in that portion of the South. In the
lane leading to the house they found a sow with a
litter of pigs some eight or ten weeks old, that were
plump, pretty little fellows. The two men hitched
their horses to the fence and at once sjave chase.
The hog and her babies ran into a building that was
evidently intended for their home, the only door being
about two feet high. Ring's comrade ran around the
building to drive the occupants out by pounding on
the boards, while Ring got down on hands and knees
beside the door to catch the pigs when they ran out.
So intent was he in peeking through a crack,
138 PITl'SFIELD IN THE REBELLION. ^
watching the pigs, that he paid no attention to the
woman who appeared on the scene with a hickory
broom, and he received a blow on his person where
he least expected it, and where he has never been able
to examine it — in fact it was where his mother applied
the slipper when she chastised him.
Just then the pigs made a dash for the door. As
they rushed through Ring caught two by the hind
legs, who at once set up a most unearthly squealing.
Armed with these he commenced to defend himself
from the attacks of the woman and broom, and soon
he was chasing her around the buildings and finally
into the house, — he continually swinging the pigs, and
she making double-quick time with her broom at
" right shoulder shift." More of his comrades com-
ing up, the rest of the booty was soon secured.
JAMES W. ROGERS.
Jacob Rogers kept a hotel in the brick house on the
corner of Main and Bank streets, now owned by John
A. Goss. Here, on the 7th of June, 1839, ^^^ born
his son, James W. Rogers. Mrs. Rogers, whose
maiden name was Hannah Kelly, was a cousin of ex-
Governor Anthony Colby, who was adjutant general
of New Hampshire at the time James enlisted.
He spent his entire boyhood in this town, and
enlisted in Company B, Second New Hampshire vol-
unteers, in June, 1861. His comrades speak in the
highest terms regarding him as a soldier. His tent-
mate, N. W. Adams, says that he was one of the best
in that famous regiment.
At Point Lookout, where the Second and Twelfth
regiments were guarding prisoners, Rogers one dark
night walked off from the stage and fell the distance
of 16 feet, putting out of joint both wrists. The pris-
oners were confined within a stockade that was about
twenty feet high. The stage on which the sentry
walked was on the outside of this stockade and about
three feet lower than the top of it. The outside of
JAMES W. ROGERS. 1 39
the stage was protected by a hand-rail. At each
corner were stairs or ladders by which the stage was
reached from the ground. It was at one of these cor-
ners that the accident happened.
In the second Battle of Bull Run he was wounded
in the shoulder quite severely. Again, at the Battle
of Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, he was wounded in
the foot. He was subsequently sent to the hospital at
Philadelphia, where he remained until his discharge,
August 20, 1864. After a while he again enlisted,
but was rejected on account of the wound in his foot,
which would not allow him to make long marches.
At Harrison's Landing, the rebels were between
two fires — our gunboats on the river James and our
army. Some of the shells from our gunboats did not
burst at the right moment, but passed harmlessly over
the enemv to burst in our own ranks. One of these
struck not three feet from Rogers and exploded in the
ground, enveloping him in a cloud of dust and smoke,
from which he emerged terribly frightened, but with-
out a scratch or bruise resulting from the affair. He
is supposed by his friends to be dead. •
While on one of the long marches, food was scarce
and our friend was hungry. All the houses along the
route had been cleared of eatables. Jim found an old
house or hut away from the road, with no one at home
save a slatternlv lookingf woman and two or three tow-
headed children. He inquired if she had anything to
eat that she would sell. She replied that she had some
corn pones that she had just baked, which she would
sell at ten cents each. Jim and a companion seated
themselves on a log and began eating the bread. Jim
had devoured about half of one of the pones when
he found a feather in it. Pulling it out, he called
" Here, old woman, is a feather in your pone ! "
and she replied :
*' Lor', yes ; I 've been tell in' my old man for more'n
two weeks that he 'd got to either move the hen's
roost or cover up the meal-barrel."
140 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
EDWARD S. SMALL
was a grandson of John Small, a Revolutionary sol-
dier, who lived near where the depot now is. Ed-
ward's mother married the late Thomas P. Woodman.
He was a native of this town, and always lived here
until he enlisted in Company B, Second New Hamp-
At the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, he was
wounded, but recovered and served out his time, and
was finally mustered out September 8, 1864. I regret
that I have been unable to secure more complete data
for so good a soldier. I am told that he is still living
near Boston, Mass.
The Battle of Williamsburg was fought in a cold,
drizzling rain. Our army had bivouacked the night
before (which means that they had slept on the bare
ground, with nothing over them but the clouds of
heaven). The fight had barely opened when General
Grover came riding up to the Second New Hamp-
shire and said, — " I want that New Hampshire com-
pany with the patent rifles. Where are they.?" (This
was Company B, armed with Sharp's rifles.) They,
with Company E, were detached and sent forward as
skirmishers. In these two companies were the Pitts-
field men. While they advanced, the brigade formed
in line of battle. The skirmishers soon came upon an
abattis of felled trees almost impossible to get through,
but they wormed their way along, sometimes over,
but always getting in a shot where there was a chance.
After passing this abattis, there was an open field and,
beyond it. Fort Magruder. From this fort a storm of
shot and shell was poured into the abattis, but our boys
replied with so much vigor and such deadly aim that
for three hours they kept the overwhelming rebel
force at bay. Our men acted as sharpshooters.
'' There," shouted Small, who had been waiting
and watching a particular place in the fort, and then
fired at his man, " I hit that fellow in the head, and
he was black enough to be a negro ! "
CHARLES L. SWEATT. 141
The next day an Indian sharpshooter was found
dead at the pkce indicated by Small, with a hole
drilled through his head.
Again : At Chickahominy, these same men were
detailed as sharpshooters. An old chimney stood
midway of the field, where a house had been burned.
A squad of our men, most of them were from this
town — Adams, Brock, Chesley, Rogers, Small, and
perhaps some others — took possession of this advanced
post; and from this vantage-ground poured a fire
into the enemy, with such rapidity and deadly effect
that the enemy abandoned that part of the field for a
while, and sent a battery to tumble the chimney down
about our boys* ears. But their comrades in the rear
were prepared for just this move and had two pieces
of artillery ready, and before the rebels could unlim-
ber their pieces we planted one shot fair in their
ammunition chest, and next killed two horses on one
of their guns, while the men at the chimney, who had
received a new supply of ammunition, poured in such
a deadly fire that the enemy got away from there as
quickly as they could.
CHARLES L. SWEATT.
For years previous to the war Charles Sweatt was
considered the "crack shot** of this section of the
state, and after his entry into the service he maintained
his reputation as a marksman. He was born at Bos-
cawen, June 4, 1836, his parents being Stephen and
Judith (Little) Sweatt. In 1844 the family moved to
Pittsfield, where Charles has since resided, except
three years in Penacook and one year each in Man-
chester and Worcester, Mass. By occupation he has
been a miller and general mechanic. He was mus-
tered into Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, September 5, 1862, and served with his
regiment most of the time until the close of the war.
Soon after the Battle of Fredericksburg, in which
he was engaged, he was detailed as orderly at General
142 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Whipple's headquarters. Here he was taken sick,
sent to Fortress Monroe general hospital, then to Man-
chester, N. H. He rejoined his regiment and par-
ticipated in the battles of Drury's Bluff, Cold Harbor,
Petersburg, and several other engagements.
Besides being a crack shot he was a noted forager.
He did not believe in going hungry if the enemy had
anything to eat that he could get hold of. He was
fond of organizing little parties and scouring the
country for food. In this matter his views did not
coincide with those of General Sturgis, in whose com-
mand his regiment served, and who did not want to
injure the feelings of the rebels by taking their beef,
corn, or mutton, because they might get so mad that
they would never return to the Union.
One day while our friend and four other comrades
were busily engaged in helping Uncle Sam supply
the needs of the hungry soldiers, a squad of General
Sturgis's men came down upon them and made them
prisoners for two days ; but this did not stop these men
from hunting for something to eat when they were
During what is known as the siege of Petersburg,
the soldiers were fed on dessicated vegetables, the
most abominable food ever served to man. I hope
the inventor of it was hung long ago. Sweatt and
George H. Sanborn of this town got tired of this, so
securing some sacks they started out, and after a
tramp of many miles they filled their bags with cab-
bage, beets, and turnips, and slinging them on poles
marched back to camp. The next day Sanborn
cooked a fine boiled dinner — enough to feed every man
in the company — and took it to them in the trenches
when he was so fearfully wounded.
At another time, they had been living for a long
time on salt meat, when he discovered a stray calf.
He did not dare shoot it, for fear of attracting the
attention of some lurking enemy, so he and his com-
panions gave chase. It was a long run across fields
and through woods. At length the animal was
SYLVANUS SMITH. 1 45
caught, only to find out that it was so poor that no
one could eat it and they had to let the poor thing go.
He calls this one of the great disappointments of his
life. His home is still in Pittsfield.
We now come to one of the most unique characters
of the war. Mr. Snell was born in Barnstead, March
29, 1806. His parents were Thomas and Hannah
(Meserve) Snell. When nine years of age, his family
moved to Pittsfield, where they remained a short time.
They then went to Wakefield, and remained one year.
This was in 1816, known as the famine year. From
here they went to Rochester and lived four years, then
to Chelsea, Mass.
Here Mr. Snell was employed as a brickmaker in
the yards at Charlestown, and was in the gang with
John R. Buzzell from this town, who was arrested
for burning the convent at Somerville, and whose trial
for the crime of arson, and subsequent acquittal, was
the most famous that ever took place in New England.
After this Mr. Snell removed to Pittsfield and took
up the trade of shoemaking, which he followed for
thirty-five years. His first wife was Miss Hannah
Watson, by whom he had three children. After her
death he married Miss Louisa Jones.
In September, 1862, he enlisted in Company G,
Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers, and followed
the fortunes of this regiment until the expiration of
his term of service. For a man of his age he did
excellent service at Carrollton and Camp Parapet,
and also during the long siege of Port Hudson. His
familiar form is still seen on our streets nearly every
was born at Meredith Neck, some time in February,
1831. He was a son of Elisha and Phoebe (Ring)
Smith, therefore a nephew of the |ate Richard Ring.
144 PITTSFIFXD IN THE REBELLION.
He came to Pittsfield about 1853 or 1854, and worked
as a butcher for the late J. H. Foss, and still later as
clerk in a store, and was also at one time in business
for himself. He married Miss Lizzie Batchelder.
He enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, September 8, 1862, as first lieuten-
ant, and acted as commissary of the regiment. He
resigned February 3, 1863. His present address is
a son of Judith Sargent, was born in Pittsfield and
always worked on a farm until he enlisted in Company
G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers. He served
out his enlistment and was a good soldier. While on
the way home he was taken sick and left at Cairo,
III., and was probably carried to Mound City and
died there. Swain was a man of very small stature,
too small in fact for a soldier. By putting false soles
inside of his stockings and combing his hair to stand
up, he managed to pass muster. One day before be-
ing mustered the regiment was inspected. As Swain
stood at the foot of his company he scraped with his
feet a pile of dirt, on which he stood ; as the colonel
looked him over he said, — ''I guess you will do, for
what you lack in height you make up in sand."
In the early annals of Pittsfield the name of Green
stands prominent and for one branch of this family one
of the streets of our village is named. Charles Spurlin
was a son of Benjamin and Sarah (Green) Spurlin,
and was born in Pittsfield, November 7, 1S37. ^^
early life he had an attack of scarlet fever that always
affected his after life. He was, previous to enlistment,
He entered Company G, Seventh New Hampshire
volunteers, November 23, 1861, and served with that
organization for three years, taking part in all of its
EBENEZER B. SARGENT. 1 45
marches, and was in nearly every engagement in
which the regiment took part. While in the service
he contracted the small pox, which affected his eyes
for nearly a year. He was mustered out of service
December 22, 1864, and is now living at Epsom, N. H.
Some people think it smart, if a person is a little
weak, to guy him. A man who kept a store in town
would on all occasions talk to Comrade Spurlin in
such a way as to make the crowd of loafers that hung
around his store laugh at the expense of our friend.
One day he had been a little more overbearing than
usual, when Spurlin said, " Can you tell me the dif-
ference between a pancake and a potato?" After a
minute's thought the trader replied ''No, I am sure I
can't ; what is it.^*"
Charles answered, "If you don't know enough to
tell the difference between a pancake and a potato,
I should n't think you would know enough to sell
GEORGE S. SMITH
was born in Pittsfield, April 14, 1841. His father,
Nathaniel Smith, moved to Chichester, where George
resided until his marriage to Miss Arvilla Fellows,
when lie returned to this town, where their child, a
daughter, was born. He was mustered into Company
D, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers, October 8,
1862, and was mustered out August 13, 1863. Com-
rade Smith went into camp at Concord. While on
guard he contracted a severe cold which produced
pneumonia, and this ended in consumption, of which
he died in December, 1865. He did not leave the
EBENEZER B. SARGENT,
Uncle Ben, as he is familiarly called by his comrades,
was born in Loudon, April 11, 1821. His father was
Ebenezer Sargent, a son of Benjamin Sargent, the
first minister of Pittsfield. His mother was, before
146 PIITSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
her marriage, Miss Annie Batchelder. When Com-
rade Sargent was quite young his parents moved to
Pittsfield and lived here until he was eleven years of
age, when his parents went to Epsom to reside.
There he remained until he was seventeen, when the
family returned to Pittsfield and ever after made this
town their home, although for a time Mr. Sargent
worked in Gilmanton and other towns. Mr. Sargent
was a shoemaker and farmer, owning a very produc-
tive farm on the Dowboro road, where he still resides.
In 1849 ^^ married Miss Abigail Philbrick, and they
had a family of nine children.
At the breaking out of the war, besides this large
family he had his aged father and mother to care for,
but in 1864, when the First New Hampshire heavy
artillery was raised, he enlisted in Company E of
that regiment, and sei'ved until after the close of the
war. During his service he was taken sick and sent
to the hospital. When he had partially recovered the
physicians discovered that he was apt in caring for
the sick, and his services were retained for six months.
He was mustered into service September 5, 1864.
On the 15th of June, 1865, the regiment was mustered
out of service in Virginia and the next day started for
home, where Mr. Sargent arrived three days later.
Mr. Sargent at the time of his enlistment was 43 years
of age, and was looked upon by his comrades as al-
most a patriarch.
He often speaks very highly of his comrades from
this town, but more especially of Dr. B. H. Bartlett,
who had charge of the hospital where he was sta-
tioned for six months, and he delights to get with
"the boys" and recall the days when they went
Every Memorial Day finds Uncle Ben on hand with
flags and flowers, to honor the memory of his com-
rades who have gone before by placing the emblem
of the country they loved so well, upon their graves,
and to adorn the same with a wreath of the season's
GEORGE H. SANBORN. I 47
GEORGE H. SANBORN
was among the best soldiers that went from Pittsfield.
He was born January 18, 1836, a son of Abram and
Abigail (Brown) Sanborn. He was a shoemaker.
He entered Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, September 5, 1862. He passed unscathed
through all of the terrible battles in which the regi-
ment took part, until the investment of Petersburg,
August iS, 1864, when he was shot through the lungs,
tiie ball passing through the left shoulder. It was
thought to be a fatal wound, and his comrades visited
him and bade him a sorrowful farewell. He was
taken to Point of Rocks hospital, then to Foi tress
Monroe ; from there he went to Grant hospital at
Wilkes Point, Long Island, and from there was sent
home. Eight months after reaching home he coughed
up a piece of the shirt he had on when wounded, the
ball having carried with it into the wound a fragment
of that garment. Strange to say he lived some twenty
years after being so fearfully injured.
One night at Drury's Bluff he was on picket duty.
During the time several of the Twelfth New Hamp-
shire,— among whom was John D. Sherburn — under
the command of Capt. A. W. Bartlett, tore from
the poles a lot of telegraph wire and strung it from
stump to stump in their front. Towards morning the
rebels made a charge on our pickets, driving them in.
When Sanborn reached the wire it tripped him up,
injuring him quite severely in the wrist, and he had
barely got up and run when the rebels came on in
a wild rush, three lines deep, and they too fell head-
long over the wire, and hundreds of them were killed
or taken prisoners. Hardly a man escaped. Sanborn's
comrades all speak in the highest terms of him as a
During the winters of 1863 and '64 the Twelfth
and Second regiments were guarding prisoners at
Point Lookout. Some time in February Sanborn got
148 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
an inkling of a plan for a wholesale escape of these
prisoners. He reported the facts to his officers. The
two regiments were put under arms and the prison
thoroughly searched, when the whole plot was re-
vealed. It was the most gigantic plot of the kind
attempted during the war, with possibly one excep-
tion. The ingenuity displayed by these southern
men would have done credit to a Yankee. Their
bunks had been made into boats, the cracks filled up
with grease, and oar locks cut in the sides, with which
they intended to cross the Potomac river. Even sev-
eral muskets with ammunition were discovered. How
these were obtained is a mystery. Several tunnels
were also found. Of course extra precaution was
taken after that to prevent an escape.
Comrade Sanborn died several years ago in Pitts-
field. He was very popular with his associates and
his personal friends here have made arrangements to
have a correct picture of him in his soldier days
appear in these pages.
JAMES W. SHAW,
a native of Loudon, N H., was born February 5,
1837. He moved to Pittsfield with his father, Madi-
son Shaw, and was engaged at shoemaking until he
enlisted. On the 30th day of January, 1857, ^® ^^s
married to Mary J. Nutter, of Gilmanton, by whom
he had two children. He was mustered into Com-
pany G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers ; and
was promoted to sergeant, which position he held
when he was mustered out, August 13, 1863. He
died August 16, 1S63, only three days after his dis-
charge. Sergeant Shaw made many warm friends
while in the army. Always ready for duty, he
expected those who were with him to do theirs.
The commissioned officers, as a rule, were puffisd
up with a little brief authorit}' ; and, although they
were very punctilious with the enlisted men about
obeying orders, were indifferent in regard to them
GEORGE TUTTLE. 1 49
when applied to themselves. At one time the line
officers were in the habit of gathering in the tents of
each other after taps and having a quiet game of
cards, or something else.
The colonel had issued orders that all liglits must
be out at taps, except at the guard-house and hospital.
Calling on the guard one day, he found that Sergeant
Shaw's tour of duty was from 8 to 10 o'clock p. m.
The colonel told him to see that this order was en-
forced. That evening Sergeant Shaw went through
the regiment, and wherever he saw a light ordered
it out. He had been the rounds of the line officers,
but as he approached the field officers' tents he saw a
bright light in the colonel's tent. Going up, he tapped
on the tent and called out, —
" All lights must be out after taps, by order of
the commander of this regiment," when out went
that light. The next day the colonel met him and
'^ Sergeant, you did just right to make me obey my
own orders, but I intended to except my quarters as
well as the hospital and guard-house, — but you did
moved from Barnstead to Pittsfield in 1S45. He was
a native of the former town, where he was born
March 20, 1810. He was married, September 29,
1834, to Miss Judith Davis, by whom he had two
sons — Hiram A. Tuttle, recently governor of New
Hampshire, and Henry F. W. Tuttle, who served in
the Eighteenth New Hampshire volunteers.
For many years after George Tuttle moved to this
town he was employed in the cotton factory. Upon
the breaking out of the war, he enlisted in Company
G, Seventh New Hampshire volunteers, and was mus-
tered into service November 23, 1861. He served
with his regiment nearly seventeen months, but the
exposure incident to the service was too much for his
150 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
constitution, which was never very strong, and he was
discharged June 5, 1863.
The terrible cold during his encampment at Man-
chester is narrated in this book under the sketch of
John C. Morrill, of the Eighth regiment, which was
encamped near the Seventh. Such exposure to a man
of Mr. Tuttle's age caused him to be sent to the hos-
pital when he reached New York city. After he had
somewhat regained his strength he was detailed as a
nurse, in which capacity he acted, when able, until his
He died in Pittsfield, a few years after the close of
the war, from disease caused by exposure while in the
HENRY F. W. TUTTLE,
a son of the above George Tuttle, was born in Barn-
stead ; came to Pittsfield when a child ; attended the
public schools, and worked at shoemaking. He mar-
ried Angeline Scriggins, and had one child when he
enlisted in Company C, of the Eigliteenth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, September 14, 1864. He served with
the regiment until the close of the war. While en-
gaged in building fortifications near Washington, he
had the big toe on his right foot cut off' by an ax in
the hands of a careless comrade. He died January
BENJAMIN MANSON TILTON
was one of the nineteen children of John Tilton. He
was born on Pancake hill in Pittsfield, January 13,
1843, and is one of the best known men in town.
His mother before marriage was Sally Nelson, who
died when Manson and his twin brother, Daniel P.,
were but two weeks old. Mr. Zachariah Leighton
took Manson and cared for him two years. His
father married again.
He then went home and remained under the parental
roof until he was seven years of age, when he went to
BENJAMIN MANSON TILTON. 151
live with his uncle, Daniel Watson, on Tilton hill,
and remained with him five years. He then went to
Barnstead and lived with Oliver Waldron one year,
returned to Pittsfield and worked for A. J. Pillsbury
and Edwin Batchelder, when he left to work for his
brother Nehemiah in Chichester. After a time he
returned to this town and worked for Thomas Mar-
shall, Winthrop Page, and George W. Nutter, until
the first call for troops, when he, in company with
two others, walked to Concord in the night and
enlisted in the First New Hampshire volunteers under
Captain Sturtevant. Owing to some misunderstand-
ing between the different members of the company, a
part of them were transferred to Captain Drown and
taken to Portsmouth as a part of tlie Second regiment.
Tilton felt verv badlv at this, for he feared the war
would be over before he could see any fighting. He,
like all new recruits in those days, was full}' armed
with dirk knives and pistols, and if the Rebellion
should cease within thirty days, as some predicted, he
would have no chance to rip a man up with one, or
shoot him with the other weapon.
When his regiment was changed from a three
months to a three years term he had to subdue his
warlike feelings, because he was not of lawful age and
his father would not give his consent for him to enlist
for the longer term. So he returned to Pittsfield, and in
the summer of 1862, August 14, he enlisted in Com-
pany F, Twelfth New Hampshire volunteers, and was
promoted to be corporal about January i, 1863.
He passed through the Battle of Fredericksburg
unscathed, but at Chancellorsville he saw a rebel
hiding behind an upturned root. He said to a com-
rade, ''See me pop that fellow over." Just then a
Mini^ ball from another direction struck the lock of
his gun, glanced, passed through his lungs, shattered
his shoulder blade, and lodged in his knapsack. He
has it yet, as a gruesome reminder of that terrible
fight. Tilton felt no pain, but had a dazed sort of
feeling. He remembers that he thought he would
152 PITTSFIELD IN THE kEBfiLLION.
get another gun, as his was ruined, and as he stooped
to pick up one he saw blood running from his shoe.
He thought then that he was wounded in the leg, and
he began to feel faint and started for the rear. Soon
thirst, that terrible thirst that all wounded men suffer,
took possession of him. He found a brook and
plunged in and drank deeply. Then he crawled onto
the bank and laid down. His shoulder was now
paining him fearfully and he was too weak from loss
of blood to move farther. The rebels came up and
made him a prisoner. This was May 3, 1863.
They marched him to their rear, how far he does
not know; he remembers passing some others of his
regiment who were captured. He walked until he
fell from exhaustion. The next he knew it was
night. He lay between two furrows of land and the
rain was pouring down in torrents. This revived him.
It has often been remarked that after a severe battle
there has been a downpour of rain ; this is a blessing
to the wounded, as it allays in a measure the raging
fever that alwavs follows severe wounds.
Comrade Tilton was held a close prisoner for
thirteen days. During this time no food had been
furnished him. He saw a rebel with a loaf of bread
and asked him what he would take for it. The rebel
inquired if he had any money. Tilton took out his
pocket-book and said, '' Here is $36 in greenbacks. If
that will do you any good you can have it for the
bread." The rebel replied that they were not allowed
to have Yankee money, at the same time reaching for
the wallet. Tilton took hold of the bread and then
the exchange was made. In a very short time the
bread was devoured. During these thirteen days his
wound was not dressed and got full of maggots.
The doctors when they dressed his wound passed
a silk handkerchief through it and tied the ends
together over his shoulder ; this they would move
every day, and the pain that it caused was almost
When he was paroled he was put in an ambulance
fiENjAMlN MANSON TtLTON. 1 53
and taken to Potomac Creek hospital. He remem-
bers but little of his trip. When he came to himself
he was in a large tent with hundreds of other
wounded men, and as he opened his eyes the first man
he saw was R. T. Leavitt of his company, who was
wounded and had been a prisoner like himself. A
few days later Charles B. Leavitt arrived from Pitts-
field to take his brother home. He declared that Til-
ton was his wife's brother. By this subterfuge he
obtained a furlough for him for thirty days, which was
subsequently extended thirty more. When they
arrived in Concord they were dirty and lousy to the
last degree. They were met at the depot by Nathan-
iel Shaw, formerly of this town, who married
Leavitt's sister, and were taken in a nice hack to his
house. The boys begged to be allowed to sleep in the
stable, saying that they were too dirty to get into a
bed ; but their kind friends would not listen to anything
of the kind, but put them in the best bed and room in
the house, which had been prepared especially for
their comfort. After remaining here for a short time
they came to Pittsfield. Tilton was under the care
of Dr. Wheeler.
At the end of his furlough his time, was extended
for thirty days more, when he reported at New York
city. As he was a paroled prisoner he was sent to
the parole camp at Indianapolis, Ind. This place he
did not like, and the next morning he took the train
for Washington. He had no ticket or pass and but
little money. When the conductor would put him
off the train he would walk to the rear of the train
and get on again, but if the railroad men prevented
this he would tramp to the next station and board the
first train that came along. At last he reached the cap-
ital without a cent in his pocket and not knowing
where his regiment was. As he was passing along
the street he saw a soldier with the silver letters of his
regiment, "12 N. H. V.", on his cap. Tilton says,
'*! never was so tickled to see any one in my life as
to see this man, although I did not know him, yet he
154 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
belonged to my regiment and I felt as though I had
got almost home. I went up to him and asked him
where the regiment was, and he told me at Point
Lookout. I asked him how to get there, and he told
me at a certain wharf a steamboat was lying, ready
to sail in about an hour. He asked me if I had a
pass. I told him I hadn't. He said, '* You can't go
down then." I told him I should try. I went on
board the boat, and after we had got some ways down
the river the captain came to me for my ticket. I
told him I had neither pass, ticket, or money.
"Then," said he, "I shall have to put you ashore."
"All right," I said, "only put me on the Maryland
shore and I'll hoof it the rest of the way and get there
then as soon as your darned old boat will." He gave
me a look I shall never forget, and passed on.
As soon as he reached his regiment he reported or
duty. He had not been exchanged, and of course his
officers had no right to put him in the ranks; but
Tilton insisted, and he was allowed to have his own
way. He was not entitled to rations, but his comrades
were like all soldiers, ready to share with him.
One time he was sent on picket duty at Bermuda
Hundred. The rebels came down on them and cap-
tured every man but Tilton. This was risky business
for him, for if captured, by the laws of war he would
have been shot for breaking his parole. He escaped
in this way, when he saw his danger. He ran towards
the enemy, while they paid their attention to those
who were trying to get away. When Tilton had got
well in their rear he found a creek. By this time it
was dark and raining hard. He followed the creek
along until he came to our lines.
He reached his regiment the next morning, to find
an order awaiting him detaih'ng him to act as quar-
termaster-sergeant at Norfolk, Va. Here he remained
under Captain Laws of the Eleventh New Hampshire
volunteers for several months, when he asked to be
relieved so that he might rejoin his regiment. At'
one time volunteers were called for to fill up Berdan's
BENJAMIN M ANSON TILTON. 1 55
sharpshooters. Tilton was one of those who offered
his services, and was accepted. He remained with
this organization one month. He was engaged in
thirteen battles and nineteen skirmishes, most of these
while on parole, as he never was exchanged.
At the Battle of Cold Harbor his company went in
with forty-two men, of whom ^ve were killed, twenty-
two wounded, and only ten remained for duty, with
Tilton in command, he being at that time acting as
orderly sergeant. In this battle a bullet grazed his
right cheek, another cut the bottom from the left side
of his cap, another cut the straps of his canteen and
haversack, while his blanket, which was rolled and
hung across his shoulder, was perforated with a num-
ber of holes by the bullets of the enemy.
At the Battle of Drury^s Bluff, Capt. John H. Pres-
cott came upon him and George F. Meserve with
the rest of Company F, and told them to get out of
that as soon as possible, as the rebels were close upon
them. Looking in the direction indicated they saw
the enemy but a few rods away. They started to run
and soon came to a deep, narrow ravine, across which
lay a log. Meserve called out, " I can't cross that
log." Tilton took to the log, while Meserve jumped
into the ravine. Tilton escaped, while poor Meserve
After his return from Drury's Bluff his company
were supporting a battery, when a splinter from one
of our shrapnel that was being fired at the enemy
struck him on the hand, making a slight wound.
At Petersburg, George H. Sanborn came out to
bring him food while he was on duty. Sanborn said,
" Let me take your gun for one pop at those fellows."
'^All right," replied Tilton, "I will load for you.''
It was while sitting on a box by Tilton's side that
Sanborn received his terrible wound.
I have already spoken of the very large family of
which Mr. Tilton was a member. After his enlist-
ment, and before he left the state, they held a reunion
at the old homestead. His father had been breaking
156 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
up a piece of field the day before. The plow was
still standing in the furrow, and the young folks, for
a lark, took hold of the chain, pulled the plow across
the field and back, while the father held the plow and
turned a good furrow.
DANIEL p. TILTON
was a twin brother of B. M. Tilton. On the death of
his mother, as already related, he went to live with
his uncle, David Tilton, with whom he made his
home until the summer of 1 86 1, when he enlisted in
Company G, Seventh New Hampshire volunteers.
He served with this regiment until the Battle of
Olustee, Fla., February 20, 1864, when he was cap-
tured and taken to Andersonville prison, where he died
from starvation, July 26, 1864. His grave is num-
bered 4,072. His captain, in speaking of him, says
that he was a good soldier.
All history, both sacred and profane, is filled with
deeds of heroic men, — men who, by their valor, have
made nations out of tribes and clans, who have
given us civilization in place of barbarism, and peace
instead of perpetual war. We all admire true cour-
age, both moral and physical. If those who die on
the field of battle amid the rush and turmoil of strife
are heroes^ what can we call those who calmly face
death from starvation in a prison pen? Shut out from
all communication with the outside world ; waiting,
hoping, longing, for relief that never comes ; dying
slowly from hunger, their scanty food the refuse that
swine would not eat, their drink the water from a
muddy ditch polluted by the sinks of their guards ;
tortured by disease, with no loving hand to soothe
their brow or relieve their pain, and none to applaud
their heroic acts. Even the elements conspire against
them. The hot sun of summer pours its fervid rays
upon their ragged, unprotected bodies ; the winter's
cold chills what little blood is left in their veins: but
D. P. T[LTOH. HaXIEH W. WlLLBV.
QEOSaE WCSKLEV. A. 9. WllLBV.
B. «. TuTON. W. W. W.^Walkbb.
WiLLtAM W. W. WALKER. 1^7
they will not yield to the blandishments of their cap-
tors. Their guards hold out allurements to them.
They should be fed and clothed and receive good pay,
if they will only abandon their country, which seems
to have abandoned them. These offers are rejected
with scorn. Not one man from Pittsfield ever ac-
cepted this bribe, but slpwly and surely numbers of
them sank into unknown graves. Can you point in
history to a more sublime heroism than this.'* No
wonder that the Grand Army of the Republic resei*ves
each spring-time the choicest flowers in honor of
these men. No wonder that they have a special ser-
vice in memory of the unknown dead. No wonder
that in eloquent words they pay tribute to the heroism
of these their former comrades.
As we think of their suffering, of their squalid
misery, of the long, long days and of the still longer
nights of waiting and hoping for the relief that never
came, the tear must come unbidden to the eye and
the sigh from the heart.
See to it, young men, that these soldiers did not die
in vain ! Keep our country undivided and our flag
WILLIAM W. W. WALKER
was born October 17, 1838, in Barnstead, a son of
Andrew C. and Sarah T. (Willey) Walker. He
came to Pittsfield when a very small boy, some five
or six years of age. He was educated in our public
schools and academy. He worked on his father's
farm until about twenty years of age, when he opened
a clothing store on Main street, where he remained
about a year and then sold out and went West.
He returned to Pittsfield in i860, and married Miss
Lizzie Norris. They had one child, who died before
the father returned from the war. On the breaking
out of the war he enlisted as a private, and was soon
made a sergeant of Company G, Seventh New
Hampshire volunteers, and then first sergeant. On
January i, 1864, he was promoted to be first lieu-
158 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
tenant of the same company, and a few weeks later
for meritorious service was again promoted to be cap-
tain of Company I. He was discharged December
22, 1864, by reason of expiration of term of service.
He was with his regiment at Manchester, N. H.,
New York city, and Fort Jefferson, on Dry Tortugas
island, and Beaufort, S. C, and was encamped on
the " Shell Road." This he describes as a most beau-
tiful place. A large mansion standing back from the
road with ample grounds, surrounded with live oak
trees, from which the beautiful Spanish moss hung
in graceful festoons. These residences were the homes
of some of the prominent men of South Carolina.
Seabrook island, on which Beaufort stands, is one of
the noted Sea Islands, whose cotton for a century has
been famous the world over. It is separated from the
mainland by Broad river. On each side of this river
were picket posts, and the men on duty often ex-
changed shots across the stream. He was then sent
home on recruiting service, being at that time unfit
for active duty by reason of malaria. On reaching
New York he was seriously ill with this complaint,
but soon after reaching New Hampshire he rallied,
and was very active in enlisting men, securing several
in Pittsfield for the Fifteenth regiment, but his regular
station was at Ossipee.
While on his way south, after this recruiting ser-
vice, he was detailed by special order from the war
department to take charge of the recruits at Fort
Hamilton in New York harbor. This was during
the draft riots in the city. He had charge of some
2,000 or 3,000 men. Here he had a controversy with
an officer of a little higher rank in the regular army,
who thought a graduate of West Point was a little
better than a volunteer from the Granite state. From
this dispute W^alker came out with flying colors, and
the military snob learned to mind his own business.
Upon his return to his regiment he took part in
the investment of Fort Wagner on Morris Island, and
after the reduction of that stronghold his regi-
WILLIAM W. W. WALKER. 1 59
ment went to Florida, where they remained some
time, taking part in the Battle of Olustee or Island
Pond. The night before the battle was bitter cold.
It was the 19th of February, 1864. He and a com-
rade slept on a rubber blanket. In the morning it
was found frozen to the ground, so when they were
ordered to march they were obliged to leave it
behind. This was at Barber's Station.
The infantry of this little army took the railroad to
march on, while the cavalry and artillery marched by
the highway. After a long and weary march they
found the enemy, under the command of General Col-
quitt, posted across the railroad and road behind strong
fortifications shaped like a horseshoe. The Seventh
regiment was in the van, and Company G was the
front company. Walker looked around as soon as
the battle had fairly begun, but could not see one of
his men. Going back a short distance he found some
of the officers trying to re-form the regiment on the
colors. While doing so a man on each side of
Walker was hit, — one of them severely wounded, the
other killed. A batterv of the Fifth United States
artillery that went into the fight in the road beside
the Seventh New Hampshire, had every horse killed
at the first discharge. After a hard fought battle the
army began to retreat. Some of the men were" so
exhausted that they fell out and were captured by the
rebels, and when Company- G reached their camp-
ground for the night they had marched that day forty
miles and fouji^ht a hard battle.
Afterwards the regiment went to Hilton Head, and
remained a short time, and was then transported to
Virginia, and in November," 1864, it was sent to New
York city to quell the election riots, in which duty
Walker performed conspicuous service.
They soon returned to Virginia. During all his
service in that state he says it was almost one continued
march. It was Bermuda Hundred, Yorktown, Peters-
burg, around the James river, up the Appomattox,
south of Manchester, and back again, — then over
l6o PlTTSFiELD IN THfi REBELLiOJJ.
another route. One time they got so near Richmond
that they could hear the church bells ring.
At Fort Darling, the regiments were ordered to
charge up the hill. As they did so the enemy opened
upon them, but did not depress their guns enough,
and as Walker looked back he could see the grape
and canister pass over their heads. The rebels kept
depressing their guns, but the Yankees ran so fast un-
til they got to the abattis that little damage was done.
One day they started out from Deep Bottom. Col-
onel Abbott called on Walker, and told him, as he
expected a long march, he had better go to the com-
missary and fill his canteen. The march was long,
and towards night the rain came down in torrents.
Still the army pushed on ; they entered a wood and
marched as long as they could see, then dropped down
where they were. Walker was sitting beside a tree,
trying to protect himself from the pelting rain, when
in the darkness he heard some one talking to the men
and trying to find his way along the line. Soon he
came to Walker, and told him that Colonel Abbott
wanted to see him. It was so dark that Walker could
not see anything, but starting out he at last found the
colonel, who said that if Walker had any whiskey he
wanted some. So many of the men were worn out
he had used all he had, and more was wanted. Walker
gave him what he had. As soon as morning broke
they found where they were. In the darkness and
rain they had come within a very short distance of a
rebel fortification — so strong that ten times the num-
ber of men that they had could not have taken it.
At one time while out reconnoitering, as they were
working their way towards the enemy, a sharpshooter
fired at Walker, striking a small tree just above his
hand. This sharpshooter was concealed in a house
with several of his comrades. A battery of the Fifth
United States artillery was brought up, and that house
was soon knocked in pieces. As the Seventh ad-
vanced they ran into Longstreet^s entire corps, and
of course had to retreat.
WILLIAM W. W. WALKER. I^I
At one of the fights near Petersburg, the ammuni-
tion gave out and a lot of railroad iron was fired by
our artillery. A prisoner whom Walker had cap-
tured, said, "We uns could fight as long as you uns
fight fair, but when you went to shooting blacksmith
shops at us we uns had to run.'*
At Deep Bottom, Colonel Abbott's horse was shot
under him. Walker was acting adjutant. The regi-
ment was armed with Spencer repeating rifles, an
arm but a short time invented. It would fire eight
times without reloading. The regiment had worked
itself nearly through a piece of wood. Beyond the
clearing in their front was another piece of woods.
They could hear the enemy moving around over
there, and word was passed along the line not to fire
until the command was given, which would be when
the rebels were about half way across the clearing.
Every man in that small regiment clung to his rifle
closer as he watched for the expected foe.
Not a man moved. Not a word was uttered.
Everything was as quiet as though every soldier were
asleep or dead. The minutes seemed hours. It is
such a time as this that counts on the soldier's nervous
system, the draft of which must be paid, with inter-
est, at some time in the future.
Soon the enemy burst from their cover, a whole
brigade of Texas troops, shouting their peculiar yell.
When they were about midway across the field, came
the order to fire. What a murderous fire that was!
Not a man of those rebel soldiers returned, — every
one was either killed or captured.
Walker speaks in the highest terms of Colonel
Abbott. When Walker's time had expired, and he
was about to return home, the colonel sent for him
and begged him to stay, saying that if he would, he
would secure for him a commission in the regular
army as soon as the war closed, which he thought
would soon be.
He still resides in Pittsfield.
1 62 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
JOSEPH J. C. WALCOTT.
I have been able to learn but little of this soldier,
who, previous to the w^ar, worked in the cotton-fac-
tory. When the war broke out, he with some com-
panions started in the night and walked to Concord
and enlisted in the First New Hampshire volunteers,
but, for reasons already explained, his squad was put
into the Second regiment as a part of Company E.
(See sketches of Orren Brock, H. M. Gordon, and
He served as a sergeant, having been promoted to
that position, until March i8, 1863, when he was dis-
charged for disability. At the Battle of Williamsburg
he was severely wounded in the groin. He declined
all assistance, and using his gun as a crutch, hob-
bled to the rear, had his wound dressed, and was sent
to the hospital. This was May 2, 1862.
From his comrades I learn that he was in the fol-
lowing battles: First Bull Run, Jul}^ 21 ^ 1861 ; Siege
of York town, April 11 to May 3, 1862; Williams-
burg, May 2, 1862; Fair Oaks, June 23, 1862;
Savage Station, June 27, 1862 ; Peach Orchard, June
28, 1862 ; Glendale, June 30, 1862 ; Malvern Hill,
July I, 1862; Malvern Hill (2d battle), August 5,
1862 ; Bristow Station, August 27, 1862 ; Second
Bull Run, August 29, 1862; Chantilly, Septem'ber i,
1862; Fredericksburg, December 11 to 15, 1862. In
all of these engagements he bore himself like a true
son of the Granite state.
After the war he went West, and all trace of him
has been lost.
HAZEN W. WILLEY.
Among the early annals of the town of Barnstead,
the names of Willey and Bunker often occur. Enoch
Willey married Polly Bunker, and from them sprung
a large family of children, at least four of their sons
HAZEN W. WILLEY. 1 63
enlisting in the army during the War of the Rebellion,
three of them from this town.
The subject of this sketch was born at Barnstead
Parade on March i, 1828. When he was seven or
eight years old his parents moved to Pittsfield, and for
many years lived in a house that stood north of the
town hall, nearly opposite the freight depot. Pre-
vious to its discontinuance in 1868 the road from the
town hall to the house of A. H. Young was known
as the Willey road.
Hazen Willey was a shoemaker by occupation.
September 28, 1849, ^^^ married Miss Eliza S[)urlin
of this town, by whom he had two children. He
enlisted in Company G, Seventh New Hampshire
volunteers, on the 21st day of October, 1861.
He participated in all of the hard campaigns in
which his regiment was engaged until July 18, 1863,
when, in the terrible Battle of Fort Wagner, during
a charge upon that fortification, he and a few of his
comrades gained the slope of the parapet and were
climbing up its surface when he was wounded so
badly that when our forces were repulsed he was
left in the hands of the enemy. He was taken to
Charleston, S. C, where he died. One authority
says his death occurred on the 20th day of July,
another says it was the 21st, while still another puts
the date as tiie 22d of the month.
His captain, speaking of him, says that he was one
of the best soldiers that ever shouldered a musket, —
always ready for duty and faithful in its discharge,
very quiet while in camp, yet in battle he had that
cool courage that makes an ideal soldier. No matter
how long the weary march might be, no matter how
cold or wet the weather was, no matter how hot the
sun poured his fierce rays upon the glaring sand, no
matter how hungry or thirsty the soldier was, Hazen
Willey never uttered a word of complaint but did his
dutv in a cheerful manner.
164 PITTSFTELD IN TH£ REBELLION.
ALFRED S. WILLEY
was the oldest brother of the above. Alfred was born
in Barnstead, and moved to Pittsfield with his parents
about the year 1835. He married Miss Susan Clark,
and they had seven children, when she died. He
afterwards married Mrs. Nancy (Young) Emerson.
He was a shoemaker by trade and a very industrious
man. In the fall of 1864 he enlisted in Company C,
Eighteenth New Hampshire volunteers. After serv-
ing until nearly the close of the war he was laken sick,
was discharged for disability, came home, and was a
great sufferer for many years before he died, October
16, 18S0, in Pittsfield.
was but a lad when the war broke out, being the
youngest of the family that sent four sons into the
army. As a boy he was noted for tiie tender care he
bestowed upon his crippled mother. He was mus-
tered into Troop D, First New Hampshire cavalry,
June 25, 1864, and served with credit until the close
of the war. He was a brother of the above Hazen
and Alfred Willey. His brother George enlisted in
Company F, Eighth New Hampshire volunteers,
from the town of Candia. Ira died at Fremont,
N. H., a few years ago, — date unknown.
Willey was a man of medium size, but strong and
active as a panther, with curly, black hair and mous-
tache, wearing his cap jauntily on one side, — a dash-
ing-looking fellow. Near Leesburg he was captured
by a couple of rebel cavalry, he being on foot. Each
one taking him by the hand they hurried him off into
Dixie. For some two miles they made him run, the
sweat pouring from his face, but at last they came to a
walk and Willey begged for a drink : their canteens
were empty, but at the foot of the hill which they were
descending they knew of a spring to which one of
EZRA C. WILLARD. 1 65
them went to fill their canteens leaving the other on
guard while Willey held the horse. The man on
guard had his carbine in his hand. Soon he leaned
forward and peered into the woods down the path his
companion had taken. Quick as a flash Willey
snatched his carbine away from him with one hand
and with the other grabbed his foot and gave him
such a boost as to send him sprawling in the dirt on
the other side of his horse. Then springing upon
the horse he had held, he dashed up the hill, fol-
lowed by the other horse. In less than two hours
from his capture he was again in camp.
C. B. WALLACE
came to this town a stranger, worked in the cotton
factory, and married, about 1856, Mrs. Peace Crosby,
a sister to Ezra C. Willard. He enlisted in Company
E, Seventh New Hampshire volunteers, and was mus-
tered into service November 7, 1861. Promoted to
be sergeant November 28, 1863, he reenlisted February
2, 1864, and served until the close of the war. Mr.
Wallace was in every way a good soldier. His wife
died while he was in the service, and he never returned
to this town to live ; his whereabouts are unknown.
EZRA C. WILLARD
was born near Howath*s mill in London, January 9,
1827, and was the youngest of the nine children of
Nathaniel and Susan Willard. His father died when
he was six years of age, and the widow had a hard
struggle to maintain her family, as there was but little
property. After he came to man's estate Ezra took
good care of his parent, until her death in 1852.
In October, 1842, he experienced religion and was
baptized at Loudon Ridge by the Reverend Peter
Clark, and since that time has been a consistent mem-
ber of the Free Will Baptist church.
1 66 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
On his eighteenth birthday he moved to Pittsfield,
and has since that time made this town his home, ex-
cepting a few years he spent in Boston, Newmarket,
When he first came to town it was with the inten-
tion of learning the blaci<smith's trade, and for that
purpose he entered the shop of the late Jonathan
Langmaid, where he remained a year. He was then
offered a desirable situation in the Pittsfield mills,
where he remained fifteen years, except a short time
he spent at Tilton seminary. September 2, 1852, he
was married to Miss Sarah Garland of Nottingham.
They have had one child, who died while an infant.
He enlisted vSeptember 12, 1863, in Company G,
Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers, as a private, and
was, soon after going into camp at Concord, promoted
to be corporal. On November 13 he left New
Hampshire with his regiment for Long Island, N. Y.,
where he remained until December 5, when the regi-
ment marched to Brooklyn and his company with
five others went on board the Prometheus and
sailed for New Orleans. The regiment first camped
at Carrollton and afterwards at Camp Parapet. •
Comrade Willard kept a diary, and it would be in-
teresting to publish it entire did space permit, but I
will give a few extracts from it :
February 17, 1863. I go on picket about noon. It com-
menced to rain in showers, harder and harder it pours.
At 3 o'clock we were called out to go to our posts. The
ditches are filled with water, the roads are overflowed, the
rain still falling in torrents. We start for our posts, one and
a half miles distant. We march but a short distance when
one of us steps into a hole and away he goes into mud and
water. Before we got to our destination we were as wet as
we could be. We had no shelter but slept on the ground.
After a long, dark, dreary night, morning came at last. This
is one of the times that tries men's souls, health, constitu-
tion, and temper.
February 18. I go on picket about noon, I return to
camp with a rebel prisoner. (This was the first prisoner
captured by the regiment.)
EZRA C. WILLARD. 1 67
Sunday, March 22. Went to a negro meeting; arrived
just in time to witness a marriage ceremony. It was quite a
curiosity to me. It was performed something liice the Epis-
copal form of ceremony ; a ring is put upon the finger of the
bride by the bridegroom. Everything was done in a very
orderly manner and their dress was very appropriate. After
an hour's intermission a funeral sermon is to be preached.
I waited for the service. First they sang a hymn, then read
from the Bible, then a prayer, then anotner hymn, then the-
discourse, which was plain and reasonable. The pulpit was
trimmed in a very appropriate and tasty style and in no way
inferior to that of a northern community. Then the meet-
ing-house was worth going to see. It was, I should say,
forty by twenty-four feet. There is not a board or shingle
on or in it. It is covered with split staves and the seats are
the same, so if you think the negro has no ingenuity or
capacity to learn, just look at that church ; and best of all,
hear the prayers and exhortations.
April 14. We went to-day to get cane poles to shade our
tents. (Canebrake poles such as are used for fishrods.)
April 15. A rebel shot to-day, while trying to steal past
April 27. Had a dreadful time with the mosquitoes last
night. (These were a terrible pest, and each man was furnished
with a mosquito bar. When on the march he might throw
away everything else, but not this very necessary protector.)
On Wednesday, May 20, the regiment started for
May 22. We started again up the river at 8:30 ©''clock.
Landed about 18 miles up the river at 1 1 o'clock. At 2 p. m.
started on a march of 15 miles. It is very hot. About 4
o'clock had a shower, and the worst of it was they hurried us
extremely. At last we stopped and laid down about ex-
hausted and didn't know anything until next morning. It
rained in the night.
Saturday, May 23. Started again at i p. m., marched 4
miles, when we camped in the woods. During the night a
heavy shower came over, and as we had no tents we got very
Sunday, May 24. Oh, I am sick this morning. I hope
I shall have strength according to my task. Started at 5
p. m., marched one mile to the rebel pits, and camped.
l68 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Tuesday, May 29. Go about one half mile to support
Wednesday, May 27. Commenced battle at Port Hudson
about noon. Several hundred killed and wounded.
Thursday, May 28. Quiet to-day, — finding and burying
May 29. Not much doing to-day, only strengthening
May 31. Received our knapsacks.
June I. Still here, near the battle ground.
June 2. One man killed in Company A, that lay next to
us last night, and one wounded by a bursting shell. (A
piece of this shell went through a handkerchief that was
spread over my head to keep the dew off.)
Here follow a few days in which Comrade Wil-
lard was too sick to write.
Tuesday, June 9. Laboring yet on fortifications. I drank
some whiskey for the first time in my life.
Saturday, June 13. We are yet in the woods. One hun-
dred and fifty sharpshooters attempted to gain (rebel works)
Sunday, June 14. Dreadful battle. We were ordered out
at 3 o'clock this morning to make another charge, but failed.
Laid in the scorching sun all day. Many wounded and
Tuesday, June 16. Promoted to be fourth sergeant.
To be promoted on the field was an extraordinary
honor, and when we consider that he passed over
eight who outranked him it shows the estimation in
which he was held by his superior officers. For the
next few days he was at work in trenches.
Sunday, June 21. Pickets (skirmish line) advanced last
night. Several wounded.
Several days more working in trench. This trench,
I will say, was an approach to the mine that was
placed under the citadel to blow it up. Most of the
labor was performed by the Fifteenth New Hamp-
EZRA C. WILLARD. 1 69
Tuesday, June 23. Battery opened fire upon the rebels
at 3 p. m. We lay in the rifle-pits through the night.
For several days more he only mentions working
Tuesday, June 30. Mustered to-day for pay in rifle-pits
at Port Hudson.
July I . Called out last night to make a charge, but did not.
July 2. Confined in camp with a sore foot (scurvy).
Wednesday, July 8. Port Hudson surrendered.
Thursday, July 9. We marched into Port Hudson this
Saturday, July 18. We got our tents to-day.
After the regiment left Camp Parapet, on May 20,
they had no shelter until July 18, yet in this respect
the Fifteenth fared as well as any other regiment, and
better than many, for some of them had not had a
piece of canvas since March and did not get any until
still later, sleeping in swamps, in rain or heavy dews,
and enduring the scorching sun by day; — yet some
people think it was a picnic !
At the surrender, the Eighth New Hampshire was
given the post of honor and allowed to enter the works
first. The Fifteenth soon followed, and Company G
was selected to do guard duty at the landing, that be-
ing the most responsible position in which any com-
pany could be placed.
Saturday, August 26. Started for home on **The City of
Madison," at 10 o'clock a. m.
We will not follow his diary further, however inter-
esting it may be, but will say that he arrived home
with his regiment though in a very sick condition. A
local writer says :
From the time Mr. Willard was attacked with the several
diseases his appearance changed. Then his look was any-
thing but natural. His flesh was much wasted away. His
lower limbs were badly swollen with large scurvy sores re-
sembling carbuncles, and it was thought he would never live
170 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
to get home. His wisest course would be to go to the hos-
pital, but he decided otherwise. So with feet and legs ban-
daged and cane in hand, he managed to get on board the
Mr. Willard was attacked with bilious colic just before
starting for home, and got along quite comfortably on board
the boat, but when changed at Cairo for cattle cars, the suf-
fering was the greatest he' ever endured. For seven years
after his return he was able to do but little work, and never
any of a laborious nature.
A comrade relates the following :
It was Saturday evening, the 6th of June, I think, when
an officer came to our company and wanted three men for a
hazardous enterprise. Ezra Willard, John Chesley and Wil-
liam Chesley, two brothers from Barnstead, volunteered.
When they reached the place of rendezvous there were some
hundred or more men, and the officer said, ** Now, if there is
a man among you that is afraid to die to-day, let him step
out and he can return to his regiment honorably ; " but not a
man from the Fifteenth moved.
They were then instructed what they were to do. They
were to deploy as skirmishers and advance as near to the rebel
works as possible. Then to get into any cover they could,
and at a given signal they were to begin firing ; the object
was to attract the attention of the enemy while a charge was
to be made on another part of the line. They marched
silently forward until within a very short distance of the for-
tification, when they lay flat upon the ground, and working for-
ward they came to what is known to farmers as a *'dead furrow."
The weeds in this were about a foot or a foot and a half
high. Our boys lay down in this. Soon it was daylight,
and they waited for the expected signal that never came.
The commanding general had changed his mind. What
little food they had with them was soon eaten. By ten
o'clock their canteens were empty, the sun shone with tropi-
cal heat, but these men dare not move, for if they did so it
would disclose their whereabouts to the enemy. They could
not communicate with each other for the same reason.
About noon one man started to run. He had not taken a
dozen paces before he was pierced by twenty rifle balls, and
as his body lay on the field the rebels would shoot at it, dur-
EZRA C. WILLARD. 171
ing the rest of the day. About two o'clock a black snake
made its way towards the men. Now Ezra, in common
with all mankind, had a horror of these reptiles ; but his
snakeship cared nothing for this, but made straight for our
friend and crawled across his body, and he, poor fellow,
dared not stir. Comrade Willard said that perhaps the
snake was not larger than many others, but it seemed to him
that it was the biggest snake that ever lived.
The sun sinks slowly, so slowly to these men ; at last the
day ends and darkness at once comes on, and then they can
crawl out of their hiding-place and make their way back to
their lines. They cannot speak, but seizing the first canteens
they drain them, then they hunt for their regiment. It has
been moving all night. They wander around and just at
morning they find their comrades.
No wonder that Willard's diary for the next few
days should be broken.
The negroes flocked to our lines by thousands.
They were placed in colonies, that is, they were
marched into the open field and bivouacked. In
other words, they could sleep on the ground as the
soldiers did, but they would soon gather some barrels
or boxes and make a shelter. Colony number 8 was
near the writer's stable, where he was quartered for
a short time. One of my hostlers was sick. I went
to see him and measured his house; it was eight feet
long, four feet wide, and four feet high in front. Here
my man William lived, with his wife and two chil-
dren. It was as good as any house in the colony of
1.500 inhabitants. There was not a building in it but
that a man could look over the top while standing on
the ground. In other words, two men standing
upright in any part of the village could see each
other. On the other side of my stable was the church
spoken of by Comrade Willard. The size was 30 by
50 feet. There was no floor. Posts were set in the
ground and poles spiked to them. In this way the
frame was made. Then the shakes^ or split staves
as Comrade Willard calls them, were nailed to these,
172 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
and a tower was built over the front entrance.
Crotched stakes were driven into the ground inside
the church, in which poles were laid, and on these
were placed shakes for seats. There was not a board
in the whole building, except the top of the pulpit.
These shakes were made out of a species of cedar that
grew in Louisiana. It had so good " rift " that a
log twenty feet long could be split with an ax and
then the whole reduced to shakes one inch thick and
the width of the diameter of the log. The men and
women in these colonies were employed, most of
them, in cutting wood on government land, and when
they came to a tree of this kind they would split it up.
and ''tote" (carry) it two miles to the spot to build
their church, although they needed this material to
build them shelters.
One day, while removing sugar from an abandoned
plantation, I took the bell that had been used to call
the slaves from their work and carried it down to this
church. The negroes cut a tree, leaving two prongs
on it, and set it up before their edifice, and in the fork
they hung this bell.
JOHN B. WILLARD
was a member of Company F, Twelfth New Hamp-
shire volunteers. He was born in Loudon, October
19, 1835, son of John and Ann (Batchelder) Willard.
In 1854 he came to Pittsfield and worked at shoe-
making with S. D. Davis. In 1S60 he married Mrs.
Susan Clough. In 1862 he enlisted, and was mustered
into service September 5, 1862.
He took an active part in the Battle of Fredericks-
burg and at Chancellorsville, after which he was taken
sick, but recovered sufficiently to be engaged in the
Battle of Cold Harbor. Here he was sun-struck, so
that he was unable to do much duty afterwards, but
was not discharged until his regiment was mustered
out of service. He died in PittsHeld, of disease con-
tracted in the service. May 5, i88r.
J. N. Youi
E. C. WiLi
E. M. You
NATHANIEL WILLIAMS. 1 73
was a native of Barnstead, N. H., a son of Deniiison
and Mary A. Winkley. He was a wheelwright by
trade and was considered a superior workman. He
came to Pittsfield about 1856, and built a house on
Crescent street, now owned by Asa O. Carr. He
married Mary A. Jones, a daughter of the late Leon-
ard Jones, by whom he had two children. In 1862 he
enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New Hampshire
volunteers, and died at Falmouth, Va., May 24, 1863.
Winkley, while in the service, had an abnormal
appetite, eating enough for two men. He was sick,
but the surgeons could not tell what the matter was ;
and at last they refused to excuse him from duty. His
comrades grumbled because, as tlvey thought, he was
"shirking." He was detailed to go on picket, but he
complained that he was not able to go. Still his
comrades lauglied at him, and his captain would not
excuse him ; so he started for his post, some three miles
away. He had gone but about half a mile when he
said to the ofHcer in charge, "I can go no farther;
you may do what you please with me, but I am too
sick to go another rod."
They left him there, and when they returned they
found that he had died, and had been found and
buried by soldiers of another regiment. To have
some obscure disease in the army was far worse than
to be violently sick, for the other soldiers would chaff
one most unmercifully.
lived in that part of the town known as '' Upper
City.'* He was a tin peddler, and, like all of his occu-
pation, was widely known and well liked. I have
been able to learn but few facts concerning him. He
married Miss Ann Barton and had several children
when he enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New
174 PITTSFTELD IN THE REBELLION.
Hampshire volunteers, August ii, 1862. Reserved
with that regiment until he was mustered out, July 10,
1865. He was captured at Fredericksburg, but how
long he was held a prisoner I am unable to say. He
is now living in Manchester, N. H.
WILLIAM H. H. W^ATSON
was born, September 29, 1843, in that part of Pitts-
field known as Jenness pond district. He was a son
of John and Betsey Watson. He attended school at
the Jenness pond and Berry school-houses in winter,
and in summer worked on his father's farm. His
father died while young Watson was but a lad, and,
as he was the oldest of the family, much of the care of
the farm fell to his lot. In 1862 he was married to
Mrs. Lydia Eaton. In January, 1864, he enlisted in
the Fourteenth New Hampshire volunteers (infantry)
and joined his regiment, which at that time formed a
part of the Nineteenth army corps. While stationed
at New Orleans he was taken sick with fever, and died
May 30, 1864.
CHARLES W. WATSON,
a well known comic singer before the war, was born
in Fittsfield, March 3, 1836. His father was Timothy
W^atson, who built many houses in the village, and
for whom Watson street is named.
Charles enlisted in Company F, Twelfth New
Hampshire volunteers, September 5, 1862. He
cared more for dancing and singing than for military
duties. On the march to Gettysburg he fell out, and
wandered from hospital to hospital playing his guitar,
and did not rejoin his regiment for some time. He
was transferred to the Second New Hampshire volun-
teers March 3, 1865, to serve out the time thus lost.
He died in Fittsfield, August 9, 1884.
When brought before a court-martial he was asked
why he fell out of the ranks on the march to Gettys-
CHARLES H. WESTON. 1 75
burg. He promptly replied that he did so to guard
the rear of the army from surprise. The next ques-
tion was, " You are charged with leaving the ranks at
Chancellorsville ; what have you to say to that?" He
replied, ** Some of the boys were wounded and
I went back to look after them ; surely you would
not condemn a man for taking care of wounded men."
The very audacity of his replies undoubtedly saved
him from a worse punishment.
He wanted to get a discharge, so he stole a lot of
dried apples and after eating them went to the sur-
geon's tent, said he was sick, told his symptoms, and
said he thought he had dropsy and wanted his dis-
charge, but this the *' major" failed to get.
After Watson failed to get a discharge for dropsy,
he complained of having rheumatism in his shoulder.
Of course his comrades were disgusted with him, and
one of them got a bottle of Spalding's glue, an arti-
cle highly advertised at that time, and, telling him it
was a liniment that was a sure cure for his complaint,
bathed his back and shoulder with the liquid, which
caused his shirt to stick to his skin, and it was weeks
before he could get the garment removed, and then
only in small pieces, for it stuck closer than a brother.
But it cured the rheumatic trouble in his case, at least
he never complained of it again.
CHARLES H. WESTON
was a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born
July 17, 1 841. His mother died when he was but
three years of age, and his father removed to Massa-
chusetts. In January, 1859, Charles came to Pitts-
field to work in the cotton mill, and in the following
May he married Miss Ellen Jipson, by whom he had
In 1861, while he was stopping in Massachusetts for
a short time, the war broke out and he enlisted in
Company G, Thirteenth Massachusetts volunteers.
He served with his regiment until, at the Battle of
176 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
Antietam, Wednesday, September 17, 1862, he
was wounded, a ball passing through his arm and
entering his right side, dropping down inside the ribs.
He was immediately taken to the hospital, where he
remained until his discharge, December 13, 1S62,
when he returned to Pittsfield.
He remained at home until the fall of 1864, when,
his wound having partially healed, he could not resist
the call of his country. He enlisted in Company A,
Eighteenth New Hampshire volunteers, and was pro-
moted to be second sergeant, September 13, 1864.
He served with this regiment until the close of the
He returned home and lived in town until he died
from the effect of his wound, June 12, 1890.
FRANK W. YOUNG,
a son of Henry and Louisa O. (Morrill) Young, was
born in Pittsfield, March 11, 1841. He remained
witli his father until he enlisted, except two years
that he worked in Strafford. He enlisted first in
Company G, Eighth New Hampshire volunteers, but
being under age his father refused his consent, and he
returned home, but in 1862 he again enlisted in Com-
pany G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers.
At the siege of Port Hudson he was employed in
the trench and mine that was intended to blow up the
citadel of the fortification. He was taken sick with
rheumatism and chronic diarrhoea, but it did not pre-
vent his taking part in the battles of May 27 and
June 14, 1863. Although sick he would always go
on the picket or skirmish line whenever his turn
came, and would scold if the sergeant in charge
attempted to skip him in making out the detail. He
was a good soldier, a shoemaker by occupation, and
still resides in Pittsfield.
JOHN N. YOUNG. 1 77
ENOCH M. YOUNG
was a brother of the above and was better known as
'' Mack." He was born in Pittsfield, October 27, 1842,
and always remained with his parents until he enlisted
in Company G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volun-
teers, October 11, 1862. He was with his regiment
continually until the spring of 1863, when his com-
pany was ordered to Port Hudson. "Mack" was
sick, but against the advice of his comrades he
declined to be left behind. On the way up the river
some of the men claimed to be sick and were put off
from the boat, preferring their safe quarters behind the
parapet to facing the enemy. In derision the soldiers
pelted them with " hard tack." Again " Mack "
was urged to remain, this time by the surgeon, but the
noble boy said, " No, I will go to Port Hudson if it is
the last thing I do." The regiment debarked at
Springfield Landing and on the 26th day of May
came in sight of the fortifications of Port Hudson.
"Mack" fell, while in the ranks, from sheer exhaus-
tion, and was taken back to the landing and sent to
New Orleans, where he died, June 2, 1863, aged 20
years and 7 months. Thus passed away one of our
most beloved young men, — one who had not an
enemy in the world and no friend by him when he
JOHN N. YOUNG
was another brother of the two preceding soldiers.
He was, like them, a~ native of Pittsfield, where he was
born August 24, 1844, and with them enlisted in
Company G, Fifteenth New Hampshire volunteers,
and was detailed as attendant to Captain Osgood.
He performed his duties faithfully, whether in camp,
on the march, or on the field of battle. He took part
in the Siege of Port Hudson, and in several engage-
ments in which his regiment participated. His genial,
happy disposition drove away the homesickness from
178 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
many a soldier's mind and made his presence a bless-
ing to all.
His present residence is Newark, N. J.
ALVIN F. YOUNG.
One of the very few men who entered the service at
the beginning of the war, remained until its close, and
came home without a wound or having been sent to the
hospital from sickness, was Alvin F. Young. He
was in over forty engagements, eighteen of which
were regular pitched battles, and was never hit.
He was born in Barnstead, near Gilmanton town
line, February 20, 1842, a son of Andrew J. and Sally
(Seavy) Young, and moved to Pittsfield in 1849. ^"
the breaking out of the war he ran away from home
and enlisted in Company E, Second New Hampshire
volunteers; was mustered into service June 3, 1861,
and reSnlisted January i, 1864; was re-mustered
February 2, 1864, and was in every engagement but
one in which his regiment was engaged.
When our forces were driven back at Chancellors-
ville, while engaged in clearing a road through some
fallen timber he wrenched his back, which laid him
up for a few days. This was the only time that he
was ever excused from duty.
Before the Battle of Williamsburg, Comrade Young
had been troubled with rheumatism. When he
learned that there was to be a fight, he begged per-
mission to join his company. While lying in an old
ditch (said by the natives to be a rifle-pit dug during
the Revolution), not far from Fort Magruder, Young
said to the man at his side, ''See me pick that man
off from his horse," indicating a rebel who had just
appeared at one corner of the fort. Young raised his
rifle and fired. The man gave a convulsive grasp at
the mane of his horse and fell from the saddle, while
the animal ran riderless away.
All day long the rain poured down, but despite his
rheumatism he continued in the battle with his com-
ALVIN F. YOUNG. 179
rades. He was considered a crack shot, and several
times during his service he was detailed to act as a
sharpshooter, and in this capacity he served with the
members of Company B. His father had been a cap-
tain in the old New Hampshire militia, and was
known far and wide as Captain " Andry.'
When Alvin enlisted some of his friends advised
his father, as he was under age, to take him out of the
army. "I won't do it," replied the old man, '*what
good would it do? He would go again, and I don't
blame him. If I was young enough I'd go myself."
Alvin Young was drowned in Strafford, N. H.,
December 9, 1875.
There were a very few others who enlisted, but after
taking the oath to defend their country from all ene-
mies they basely deserted their flag and forever were
held in detestation by all men ; only one of them ever
dared to return to Pittsfield to live. For the sake of
their families let their names sink into oblivion, but
for those brave men who died in the service, no words
of mine can exalt them in the memory of their towns-
Illustrious dead ! Had I Apollo's lyre
1 M breathe an ofFering worthy ot their name,
Applauding heroes should their feats admire,
And countless thousands should their deeds proclaim ;
1 'd paint their valor in auroral beams,
I W sing their toils in symphonies untold,
I M search the empires for their sweetest dreams,
And 'grave its charms on leaves of burnished gold ;
I M shield their names from " the shock of time,"
And bear their memories to a race unborn ;
The sage should praise in eulogy sublime
The sterling virtues which their lives adorned ;
I 'd rob the seasons of their brightest gems,
1 'd snatch the rainbow from the vaulted sky,
And with sunbeams wreathe them diadems, —
To crown their brows with immortality.
SOLDIERS' AID SOCIETY AND NURSES.
What were the ladies of Pittsfield doing these four
long, trying years? To be sure they had their families
to care for while the men were away, and they had
work to do to gather supplies for the soldiers. I am
told that they had no real organization, but they met
by scores in the old academy hall, made shirts and
drawers, and scraped lint and made bandages in large
I have been shown a letter written July 26, 1861,
to Mrs. R. L. French, by Mrs. Mary S. Perley, of
Concord, who was president of the New Hampshire
Soldiers' Aid society, thanking the ladies of Pittsfield
for their very liberal donation.
Again, November 23, she writes to the same lady,
I acknowledge with pleasure the receipt of another box
from Pittsfield, and beg to return to the donors our most
cordial thanks. Tittsfield has already done so much that
perhai)s it is si)urring tlie wiUing liorse to death to ask for
more, liut we are in need of assistance, and naturally turn
to tliose who have helped us most, to help us more.
Then came the request for what was needed, and
of course it was granted. For the women of as
small a town as Pittsfield was in iS6r, to make three
hundred shirts in three weeks was quite a task, but it
Mrs. Miranda Swain, whose home was on Concord
hill, took a more prominent part in the war than any
lady from Pittsfield. For nearly three years she was
employed in the hospitals at Washington. Many
MBa. R. L. Fbbnch.
Mas. J. Ii. Thorhdikb.
Hbs. Levis Buhebb.
SOLDIERS^ AID SOCIETY AND NURSES. l8l
soldiers remember her with gratitude, and I cannot
refrain from giving an extract from one of her graphic
letters to Mrs. R. L. French :
NEW HAMPSHIRE SOLDIERS' AID ROOMS.,
517 7TH Street, Washington, D. C,
July 27, 1864.
Dear Mrs, French:
Having a few spare moments I will improve them by writ-
ing to you.
• • • •'• • • • ■ •
Since my return we have had much to do — first the Fred-
ericksburg campaign commenced, and our association was
very busy in its efforts to do. for the wounded men. We
sent down a large amount of supplies. I hardly got time to
eat or sleep for several days, I might say weeks. Then the
wounded commenced coming in, and sorrowful sights they
were, too. We never have had such terribly wounded men
as during this campaign.
It would astonish the good people of New Hampshire did
they know the deaths from any one hospital for a day.
Then to take them in the aggregate, it is perfectly awful.
From Howard (hospital), for instance, they have averaged for
weeks from thirty-six to forty per day. At first it was from
seventy-five to one hundred, and that is only one hospital
like many others down here.
Now we are directing our efforts principally to the men
in the trenches. They have been living for weeks in the
trenches before Petersburg; are getting worn out, are bil-
ious, have diarrhoea, and are despondent. We find it much
easier by expending a few dollars to keep them there than to
get them returned again to duty, and then they lose their
clothing or get it worn out and are unable to draw more.
We send them underclothing and crackers, gingerbread,
cider, ale, cheese, corn-starch, farina, dried fruits, lemons,
boiled cider, vinegar, pickles, etc.
Also we endeavor to take especial care of every man in
the hospitals in and around Washington. There are four-
teen large hospitals in the city, and as many more in Alexan-
dria. We have especial visitors appointed to every one, and
we know that almost without exception they are faitliful.
They visit them nearly every day, some not more than three
times per week, as they have more or less severe cases. I go
1 82 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
here and there, as it happens that I am most wanted, but my
business just now is to remain in the ** rooms'' to attend to
the supplies and the thousand little things that are constantly
coming up to be attended to.
Miss Dame is with the Eighteenth army corps as matron,
working very hard. She is a faithful laborer for the soldiers.
I suppose you have heard all the rumors and truths of the
visit of the rebels to the suburbs of our city, and the getting
in of a few, to their sorrow. It was truly quite an exciting
time with us. We did not know how large a force they had
— one thing we did know : we had very little force to op-
pose them with for a few days. From Saturday until Mon-
day night citizens, clerks, and invalid soldiers were put on
guard. Many of the members of our association did regular
guard duty — two hours on, two off, for some days. The
music of cannon and bursting shell I never expected to hear,
yet the reports were quite distinct above the noise of the
city, and one night we sat upon the top of the house watch-
ing the flashes following every discharge — quite a brilliant
display of fireworks.
Old linen was a necessary and scarce article. Mrs.
Hogan, a lady over 80 years of age, lived on Main
opposite Bank street. She had some linen sheets that
had been the pride of her early wifehood in the old
country. Tradition says she spun and wove them
before her marriage. She bought a weaver's steel
comb and with it combed them into lint, making a
large boxful, which she presented to the Soldier's Aid
society and it was fowarded with their other articles
to the hospitals of the army, to be used in dressing
wounds. Mrs. Young, who sent three of her sons
into the army, came to the academy hall one day
bringing a bed-tick, saying, '' My poor boy had no bed
under him when he died, and I want to send this so
that some other mother's son may be more comfort-
able than my boy was."
No one regrets more than I do that no record was
kept of what these noble women did. Said one
bright matron, in answer to a question :
HbS. B. H, BAHtLBTT.
Mbh. a. J. YOCKG.
Hh«. W. H. Bbbht.
COMMISSIONER D. K. FOSTER. 1 83
No, we did not have an organization. We met to
work, and when it was time to go home, we took the
unfinished garments with us and finished them ; we
ransacked our houses for old sheets and pillow-slips
to make bandages, and every bit of linen we could get
we scraped into lint. Some ladies who were invalids
and unable to leave their homes, did as much as any
of us. I recall Mrs. W. C. Osgood, Henry W.
Osgood's mother, who was confined to her bed most
of the time, yet she managed, with the help of her
daughter, to do as much as most of us." Another
'' Oh, the terrible waiting, the anxiety and suspense !
We would run to the post-oflSce for a letter, and if none
were there we would almost cry; but if there were
one from our friends in the army we dreaded to open
it, for fear it would bring bad news. Every paper we
took up we scarcely dared read, fearing we should see
the name of some loved one either killed or injured.
Then the home-coming was in many cases as sad as
anything in those sorrowful years. We sent forth
strong young men, we received back wrecks. Oh, it
was terrible ! It was terrible !" And she burst into
tears over the remembrance of thirty years ago.
Comrades : The suffering was not all ours. These
noble women underwent trials, as well as we in the
army, and — God bless them — they have not forgotten
us yet, for they have organized a Woman's Relief
Corps, and nobly do they aid each other and any
soldier or sailor of the late war who is sick or in dis-
I assure my readers that it is with pleasure that I
am able to place in this book the portraits of eighteen
members of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Pittsfield.
COMMISSIONER D. K. FOSTER.
July 13, 1H63, Governor Gilmore sent a commis-
sion of five men to look after the wounded men at
Gettysburg. D. K. Foster of this town was a mem-
184 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLIOI^.
ber of this board. After his return he published a
racy account of his trip in the New Hampshire Pat-
riotoi September 9, 1863, which created a great sensa-
tion in the state but is too long to publish here. I
have some letters from Mr. Foster to Isaac S. Carrof
this town, from w^hich I make the following extracts:
Camp Hospital, 3D Army Corps, 2D Division, near
Gettysburg, Penn., July 19, 1863.
I wrote a letter on my arrival here and how I found Asa,
etc., which I suppose you have received. He is still doing
well. I conversed with the doctors yesterday about Asa's
going home, his ability to endure the journey and the expe-
diency of attempting to move him, etc. Their opinion is
that from the nature and position of his wounds it would be
neither wise nor safe to remove him at present, but to let
him remain here for a week or fortnight, till the wound heals
within, so as not to incur the danger of rupture which the
jostling and excitement of travel might produce, and if they
should, would be liable to kill him on the way.
I am doing all I can for his comfort, and not neglecting *
altogether other New Hampshire boys who are here on all
sides with legs off and holes through them in all places and
Yesterday I walked to Gettysburg over the battle-field with
a New Hampshire boy of the Twelfth regiment, who showed
me the ground where they fought, pointed out the ground
of the alternate charge and retreat, the spot where Lieutenant
French fell and died, but no trace of his grave could we find.
There is one trench with a board set up telling ** Here lie
seventeen bodies," and they are so near the spot where
Frencli was killed that the probability is that he is one of the
number. Still he may liave been carried farther away by
those detailed to bury the dead. I mean to look farther if I
have time and strenj^th.
July 20, p. m. Am now at (icttysburg. Walked down
with a Twelfth New Hampshire boy, Currier, from Hristol.
This morning went blackberrying again with five or six of
our Granite boys and brought in a bushel or more. I bought
milk of an avaricious Dutchwoman at seven cents a pint, and
Hbh. H. a. Tuttlb. Mrs. W. W. Pm>OTOB.
Ms». W. A. Mack. Mbs. Hbhkv Youhh.
Hbh. Olivbb Pbbeihb. Mbs. Hammas Fboctob.
REV. JOSEPH HARVEY. 1 85
she wanted to skim it at that price, but I blew her up for the
jnsult and put her under oath that it was not skimmed when
she returned from the milk room. I then paid her, hoped
she would have a peaceful conscience, and departed for camp,
and cheered Asa and others with a draught of the milk and
D. K. Foster.
I am informed that the dairy women of this part of Penn-
sylvania keep their milk in earthern vessels with a handle on
one side, shaped like certain pieces of crockery found in all
well regulated bedrooms in New England.
REV. JOSEPH HARVEY.
On that memorable Sunday morning on May 18,
when the first men left Pittsfield for the army, an
account of which has been given in another place in
this book, Rev. Joseph Harvey was holding service
in the meeting-house at Kelley's Corner in Chichester.
When the teams containing the men came in sight.
Elder Harvey said, " My friends, there comes a noble
band of men who are going to help fight the battles of
our country; let us take a recess of ten minutes and
cheer them as they go by."
Then the entire congregation, led by their pastor,
stood by the road-side and cheered with a hearty will
each wagon as it passed.
Elder Harvey took great interest in the war until it
closed. In 1862 he was appointed chaplain of the
Twelfth regiment. While he was preparing to
assume the duties of that office, another clergyman
persuaded him not to do so, telling him that he could
do more good where he was, aiding the wounded and
sick and looking after the welfare of soldiers' families,
than as chaplain of a regiment.
During the war he went to the front five times to
bring back the sick and wounded. He brought home
Asa O. Carr, C. L. Sweat, J. M. Marston, G. H.
Sanborn, and C. O. Durgin of Pittsfield, besides sev-
eral from other towns.
1 86 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
He got Geo. H. Sanborn from the hospital under
the care of Miss Harriet P. Dame, who thought it very
doubtful if Sanborn lived until he reached home, his
wound was in such a frightful condition. When they
reached Worcester Elder Harvey bought a sheet, and
folding it into sixteen thicknesaes he bound it on to
Sanborn's wound ; and yet before they reached Pitts-
field the wound discharged so much matter that it
soaked through all of this cloth.
One time while in Washington, Elder Harvey
applied to the provost-marshal for a pass to go to
Harrison's Landing. This was refused.
"I have orders from higher authority than you to
go down there," said the elder, "and if the Lord is
willing I shall go.'*
''I should like to see you do it," said the official
with a chuckle.
Our friend at once started for the secretary of war.
Going up to Mr. Stanton, he asked for a pass.
*' You can't have it," replied the secretary.
'^But I have an order here from the governor of
New Hampshire to go down there and bring back
these men who are wounded," and he produced the
paper bearing the seal of our state, *'and you would
not want me to go back and tell the people of our
state that you would not allow me to execute the gov-
ernor's orders ! "
The secretary then gave the required pass. As the
elder was leaving, Stanton said, " I believe you have
been here before."
''Yes, once," replied Harvey.
" Well, don't come here again," Stanton said.
" I assure you I will not if I can get what I want
without," was the elder's reply, as he hurried away,
and he was the only civilian who got through to the
army while at Harrison's Landing.
At Point .Lookout he applied to General Marston
for permission to take a man home on very important
business. His request was denied. ''Now, general,"
said the elder, '' you are a pretty good man, I like
JOHN BERRY. 1 87
you first-rate, and I wish you would n*t swear so
much, but I must have this man, and if God is
willing, I will have him back in ten days."
Just then an officer came up, and throwing his arms
around Harvey, said, ''I am glad to see you. Elder, I
want you to preach to us."
''I will do so," he replied, " if you will have the
men ready in ten minutes."
In less than that time over 1,500 men had gathered
to listen to him. As soon as he had finished speaking,
before the closing exercises, an officer came up and
" You must run to catch the boat, the man you
came for is on board waiting for you."
He had a faculty of getting from all, regardless of
rank, what he wanted : some perhaps might call it
One of the men whom he brought home was in so
low a condition that the elder brought him all the way
in his arms, as if he had been an infant. His pro-
digious strength enabled him to do so. He had
boundless courage, and yet he was as gentle and sym-
pathetic as a woman.
Perhaps it may cause jealousy to speak in partic-
ular of one man who did not go to the front, when so
many of our townsmen who stayed at home did so
much, but no soldier or soldier's family can ever for-
get " Uncle John Berry."
The old man took great interest in the war, and
acted as agent for the Soldiers* Aid Society. He
visited every man from this town after he went into
camp, and would inquire if the recruit wanted any-
thing, and if he did he would furnish it at once.
This is how he appeared at the camp. He carried
a huge gripsack filled with articles furnished by the
good ladies of the town — testaments, handkerchiefs,
suspenders, socks, and in cold weather mittens, and
1 88 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
many other articles. Going up to one of our men he
would inquire for his health. Then he would pull
out from his sack one of each of the above articles
and sav, —
" Here is something the women-folks sent down to
you. Now ain't there something more you want?"
If he could find out that there was, he would buy it
out of his own pocket. He spent hundreds of dollars
'in this way. It was amusing to hear him talk.
" D — n it, sir, can*t I do something more for you?
Where is your knapsack ? "
This he would overhaul. If he could think of
anything he was sure to provide it ; a shirt, a pair of
drawers, or socks.
"Now," he would say, '* where is that d — d thing
you carry your victuals in? "
The haversack would be produced and into this he
would put something.
'' D — n it, sir, you have n*t any liniment ! You must
have some liniment, just the thing for bruises or to
keep out the cold," and in would go a pint bottle of
Every one has some story to tell of " Uncle John."
He furnished a large quantity of material for the
ladies to work up at the Soldiers* Aid Society. He
was always with them, helping in every way he could.
A middle-aged man says, '' I was too young to en-
list, but I remember how Uncle John Berry would
find me on the street and ask me to ride. He would
have a lot of baskets and bundles in his wagon. He
would drive to a house and send me in with a package
for the family, and I remember it was always a
soldier's family, and when the wife came to the door
to thank him, he would say, 'Jump in here, young
man,' and then to the woman, 'Never mind about
that ; your husband is a d — d good soldier.' Then he
would swing his bumble-bee, as he called his whip,
and his old horse would jog along to find another
During 1861 there was no need of meetings to stim-
ulate enlistments, indeed more men enlisted than
could be equipped. Some who had enlisted in the
summer of that year did not leave the state until Jan-
uary, 1863, owing to the want of arms. Then came
a lull in the enthusiasm. The first meeting to encour-
age enlistments was held in the town hall, June 28,
1862. S. J. Alexander of Concord made a stirring
address, but he induced but one man to enter the
company that he was raising for the Ninth regiment.
August 4, an open-air meeting was held in the
evening. The people congregated in front of W. B.
Drake's hotel, then standing on the lot now occupied
by Governor Tuttle's residence. Stirring speeches
were made by several men, among whom were S. H.
French, Benjamin Emerson, R. T. Leavitt, L. W.
Clark, L. W. Osgood, Charles S. George of Barn-
stead, and others. The most effective one was that
delivered by a lady on the steps of the Baptist church.
It was as follows : Her husband asked her what she
thought about his enlisting.
" Think of it ! '* she shouted at the top of her voice.
'' Why, if I were a man I would enlist before I
slept ; I should be ashamed not to go ! "
A few evenings later another meeting was held in
Washington Square and enlisting went forward as
rapidly as the year before. June 3, 1863, a mass
meeting was held at the town hall, but enlisting was
afterwards conducted more by personal solicitation
than by public appeal.
So rapid had been the enlisting during 1861, that
the government could not furnish equipments as fast
IQO PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
as the recruits arrived in camp. Indeed, some men
whp enlisted from this town in August, did not leave
the state until the following January, owing to the
lack of arms.
During the winter and spring of 1862, there was no
recruiting at all. June 28 of that year, Samuel J.
Alexander of Concord, who had just graduated from
college, came to Pittsfield and spoke to an audience
in the town hall on the all absorbing topic of the
war. The result was, that he received one recruit,
an Irishman who worked in the cotton factory, who
was mustered into Company B, Ninth New Hamp-
shire volunteers, — of which company Mr. Alexander
became captain — July 24, 1862, and with the regi-
ment left for Washington, August 25.
On Sunday, Sept. 14, Delaney was wounded at
the Battle of South Mountain. As soon as his wounds
were dressed he returned to his company and three
days later was in the Battle ofAntietam. The next
regular battle in which he was engaged was Freder-
icksburg, December 13. The regiment was then sent
to Kentucky and Tennessee, and remained .until June
4, 1863, when they left to take part in the siege of
Vicksburg. After the fall of that city, the regiment
was sent with others under General Sherman against
Jackson, Miss., and in one of these battles near that
place, either July 12 or 13, 1863, Delaney was again
wounded, this time quite severely.
After remaining in various hospitals for some time,
he was transferred to the Veterans' Reserve corps,
January 15, 1864, and stationed at Elmira, N. Y.,
guarding prisoners, until the close of the war.
His death occurred some twenty years ago.
The quota of men from Pittsfield, under all the calls
of the president, was seventy-eight. The number en-
listing from this town, including one drafted man, was
one hundred and forty-seven. The number of men
left in town in April, 1865, between the ages of 18 and
45, as returned by the enrolling officer, was ninety-
five. This number included "the lame, the halt,
and the blind," the lunatics and idiots — men who had
already served their country and been discharged for
disease or wounds, or expiration of term of service.
It is doubtful if there were fifty men in town who
would have been accepted by the government as sol-
At one time, fourteen men who had been drafted
appeared at Concord. Everyone of them was reject-
ed by the board of examiners, and one of the doctors
asked Mr. French, who was the agent to fill the quota,
*' Have n't you got one sound man in Pittsfield ? "
Mr. Drake, the only drafted man who wjent into the
army, was so very deaf that it was almost impossible
to converse with him. Some may ask why any one
from Pittsfield was drafted when her quota was more
than full. The explanation is as follows ; The larger
part of the enlistments were during the first years of
the war, when the patriotic sons of Pittsfield enlisted
by the score. When the draft was ordered in 1863,
these enlistments were allowed, but soon it was found
that people living in a town whose quota was not
complete would claim residence in a town where the
people had answered the call to arms, therefore it
was decided to subject every man to the chance of the
draft, so that Pittsfield, that had sent nearly twice the
number of men required, was obliged to see some of
192 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
her sons drafted. Various schemes were started
to evade the law. Some men who had been per-
fectly well, boasting that they never had a doctor
in their lives, were turned at once into decrepit inva-
lids. Others went to Canada to " guard the frontier,"
but the most common and perfectly honorable method
was to form clubs of say twenty members, paying a
certain sum, generally $25, making $500. If any
member was drafted he was allowed to draw from the
common fund sufficient to obtain a substitute ; if more
of the club were drafted, they would assess themselves
to make up what money was needed. If none of the
members were drafted, then the club would disband,
each taking his share of the money.
It has been customary to sneer at the men who pro-
cured substitutes, but all men are not constituted alike,
and if a man had not the courage to enlist it was far more
honorable in him to secure some one to take his place,
than to go himself and be obliged to ^' show the white
feather," in the face of the enemy, and thereby en-
danger his comrades by creating a panic. Again :
most people look upon a substitute as a poor des-
picable being ; while the truth is, the large majority
of them were good, honorable men, many of whom
had already seen three years' service, and were willing
to enlist again, but they found that by going as a sub-
stitute they could get several hundred dollars in addi-
tion to the regular bounty, and they took it.
There was another class of men whose business
prevented their leaving home, on whom vast enter-
prises depended, or who were the support of a whole
community, as we might say. These men were
mostly patriotic, and contributed of their means very
liberally to support the war ; and to evade the draft,
sent a representative (or substitute), and so they were
exempt, for in the eye of the law such a man was
already in the service. But here was a singular thing,
if the representative died, the principal was subject to
At the annual town meeting held on the 12th of
March, 1861, Jackson Freese and William W. Proc-
tor, M. D., were chosen representatives to the legisla-
ture which met at Concord on the first Wednesday of
the following June. Sylvester H. French, Moses L.
Norris, and Reuben T. Leavitt were chosen select-
When the voters of Pittsfield separated on that cold
night and rattled over the frozen ground to their
homes, they little thought that they would so soon be
called together again.
To be sure they knew that several of the southern
states had passed an ordinance of secession ; they
knew that a vessel sent to relieve the garrison of one
of our forts had been fired upon ; they knew that for-
tifications were being built to reduce or capture Fort
Sumter; they knew that the people of the south
were arming themselves as if for a conflict, but they
believed that a peace would be patched up, that new
compromises would be effected and that harmony
would be restored. Had not the United States an
army of ten thousand men, and what state or combi-
nation of states would dare to confront such an army
as that? Had they dreamed of what they must pass
through during the next four years, had they known
of the blood and treasure to be expended, the homes
to be made desolate, they would not have rested as
quietly as they did. Fortunate it is for us that we do
not know what the future has in store for us ! We
would turn away heartsick from the task we must
On the 25th day of April the selectmen issued a
194 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
warrant for a special town meeting to be holden on
the nth of May. Among other articles in the warrant
To see if the town will furnish and present to each and
every person who has, or may volunteer and be accepted from
said town, and go into the active military service of said
state or the United States government during the present
war, a complete equipment of side-arms and articles of com-
fort. To see if the town will support and assist and take
care of any and all families of such volunteers which may in
any way be in need of such support, assistance, and care of
their respective homes.
At the meeting so called it was
Voted, To furnish and present to each and every person
that has, or may volunteer and be accepted from said town,
and go into the actual military service of said state or the
United States government during the present war a rubber
That the selectmen be directed and authorized and empow-
ered to borrow or hire, on credit of the town, certain sum or
sums of money from time to time, as the same may be needed,
not exceeding in all one thousand dollars, to be appropriated
by a committee of two, to be chosen by said town for the pur-
pose, towards the support of any family residing in town
whenever the husband or any member of the family upon
whom the family are dependent for support, has enlisted or
may hereafter enlist and go into service of the United States,
said family needing assistance in the opinion of said commit-
tee and no such support to be furnished to any such family not
needing it, and no such support to be withheld so long as
such family may need it and such husband or other person
remains in said service, said assistance is considered as gra-
tuitous and voluntary on the part of the town and has noth-
ing relevant to or in any way or manner touching pauperism
or pauper laws, said committee to make annual returns of
their doings to the town treasurer.
This was the first vote taken by any town in the
state for carrying on the war, and, as far as I have
been able to learn, in the entire north. The commit-
tee chosen was Benjamin L. Cram and James Drake.
TOWN RECORDS. 1 95
The following resolutions, drawn by J. C. French
and introduced by Lewis W. Osgood, were adopted
by the meeting. After their introduction Mr. French
made a ringing address to the voters, and men who a
few weeks before would have nothing to do with each
other politically, for the first time were found working
and voting together.
Resolved^ That we, the legal voters of the town of Pitts-
field, being justly alarmed at the present perilous condition
of our country, do earnestly hope and pray that the kind
Providence which has prospered us as a nation in the past
may overrule and direct the affairs of our nation in such a
manner that we may be spared from any further evils of this
civil and fratricidal war. And while we so earnestly depre-
cate the great national calamity we do pledge in support of
our country our lives and fortunes and our sacred honor.
Resolved^ That in the present excited state of our govern-
ment, we are utterly opposed to all discussion and agitation
of the question of American slavery and other political issues
which have a tendency to prevent a union of sentiment and
effort to support and defend our common country.
Resolved, That we extend our most sincere thanks and
regards to all those of our townsmen who have left their
homes for the defence of our country, for their noble and
patriotic response to its call, and we pledge them on our
honor that we will cheerfully protect their wives and children
at home, and we will most cheerfully protect the wives and
children of those who may hereafter volunteer.
How well the citizens of Pittsfield kept this resolu-
tion the following pages will show.
There are two facts brought out by reading the
records of this meeting ; one is the crude ideas people
had in regard to war ; the other, the intense patriotism
of the people.
It did not occur to any one until after the meeting
was called but what the town had a right to arm and
equip its citizens with arms, which of itself would be
an act of war ; therefore no action was taken to buy
side-arms for those who enlisted. As soon as it was
found that money could not be raised legally by the
196 PIITSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
town to buy side-arms for the men who enlisted, a
subscription paper was at once started and money
enough raised to purchase for every man who had
enlisted up to tliat time a revolver and dirk-knife, —
two of the most useless things an infantry man could
Each man who went in the Second New Hamp-
shire regiment received a rubber blanket. One sol-
dier says that they were the best of their kind that he
ever saw. It was found that the state could furnish
them cheaper than the town, so the subsequent regi-
ments were supplied by the state, thus relieving the
town from its obligation.
Let us turn for a few moments and see what our
townsmen were doing at Concord in that summer of
1 86 1. Dr. Proctor, one of our representatives, had
died. Dr. R. P. J. Tenney was a member of the
governor's council. The legislature was in a terrible
turmoil. Each party was trying, then as now, to
make all of the political capital they could out of the
affairs of the country, regarclless of everything else.
Here was enacted one of. the most dramatic scenes
that ever took place in a legislatiye body. A bill had
been brought in entitled '''An act to aid in the
defence of the country." It gave the governor and
council almost unlimited power. The opposition
fought against it for all they were worth. A power-
ful influence was brought to bear on Mr. Freese to
make him vote with his political friends, and as their
leader rushed down the aisle swinging his fists, and
shouting *' Traitor ! traitor ! " to Mr. Freese, some
who had favored the bill gave way and opposed it.
Mr. Freese stood firm by what he believed to be
right and recorded his vote accordingly. It must be
a source of gratification to him to know that although
he alone of all his party voted for it, yet he has lived
to see his act endorsed by every lover of his country.
As we look at it to-day we can see that it was a dan-
gerous precedent, but in time of war risks must be
TOWN RECORDS. 197
After the committee chosen at this meeting in May
had expended over seventy dollars as directed, it was
discovered that it was not legal, so a petition was sent
to the legislature and an act was passed to authorize
towns to aid the families of volunteers, and another
meeting was called on Saturday, October 12, to act
under the new law, when the business was gone
through with again ; but as it was thought that the
old committee could not settle with themselves for
what was illegally expended, a new committee, con-
sisting of Josiah Carpenter, William H. Berry, and
Granville L. Remick, were chosen in their place.
Then the meeting adjourned for one week. At the
last meeting everything was decided as legal and the
committee qualified and entered upon the duties of
At the annual election in March, 1862, the old
board of officers to manage town affiiirs were reelec-
ted, and it was voted that the sum of one thousand
dollars be raised to aid the families of volunteers, and
that the selectmen be a committee to appropriate the
Josiah Carpenter and Lewis Bunker were chosen
as representatives to the legislature.
At a special town meeting held July 26, the sum of
three thousand dollars was voted to be borrowed to
aid in enlisting men. This was the beginning of our
town debt that remains unpaid to this day. Previous
to this time no bounties had been paid, and most of the
men who had entered the army were unmarried.
There were manv men who did not want to leave
their families unprovided for, and many had a small
homestead encumbered by a mortgage, and they felt
that if this could be raised, so that their loved ones
might have a home, they could go.
The large issue of paper money had depreciated its
value, so that thirteen dollars per month had not the
same purchasing power that it had the year before,
and the only way to equalize this matter was by
bounties. To be sure, the men who had already
198 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
enlisted had to make the best of their bargain and
trust to the honor of their government to make good
the deficiency, and they have trusted until this day,
but in vain.
A special town meeting was called August 18,
1862, among other things, to see if the town would
vote to increase the state bounty of fifty dollars to
one hundred dollars ; that is, to see if the town would
pay fifty dollars in addition to what the state paid.
This the town refused to do. The reason for this
refusal was that the bounty was not large enough.
Previous to holding the last meeting another had
been warned, which was held August 23. At this
meeting, the following resolution, oflTered by Josiah
Carpenter, was adopted :
Resolved^ That the selectmen be instructed to pay three
hundred dollars bounty to each volunteer for filling up our
quota of the call of the commander-in-chief for three hundred
thousand men to serve for three years, or during the war,
and that they be paid in the order of their enlistment until
the quota shall be filled, and furthermore, that the select-
men be authorized to borrow, on the credit of the town and
on the best terms obtainable, a sum of money sufficient to
pay said bounty.
The following amendment was ofliered by P. J. Hook
by leave of said Carpenter : After the words '' be filled "
insert the words, '^ when they are mustered into the
United States service;" and on motion ofM. V. B.
Edgerly, voted to further amend the resolution by in-
serting after the previous amendment, " and to other
persons who shall enlist in the United States service
for the term of three years, or during the war, prior to
the first day of September next, when they are mus-
tered into the United States service.'' The meeting
then adjourned for one week.
Up to this time Sylvanus Smith had been town
clerk, but having enlisted he resigned his office, and
Edward O. Sanderson was appointed to his place.
At the adjourned meeting, August 30, it was voted,
TOWN RECORDS. 1 99
on motion of William Yeaton, that the town pay a
bounty of two hundred dollars to each volunteer who
enlisted to fill up the quota of men for nine months,
and voted that the selectmen be authorized to borrow,
on the credit of the town and on the best terms
obtainable, a sum of money sufficient to pay such
bounties and pay the same to said volunteers as soon
as they are mustered into the United States service.
At a special town meeting holden October 4, it was
voted, on motion of John Berry, that the selectmen
be authorized to borrow the sum of twelve thousand
and six hundred dollars on the credit of the town, and
on motion of Geo. Snell it was voted to instruct the
selectmen to apply the same in liquidating the debt
already incurred in paying bounties to volunteers.
Many men had enlisted at that time, but had not re-
ceived their bounty.
At the annual meeting, March 11, 1863, the town
chose Charles T. B. Knowlton as clerk ; Josiah Car-
penter and Lewis Bunker as representatives ; Sylves-
ter H. French, John J. Jenness, and Joseph E. Green-
leaf as selectmen. The town debt had now increased
so that twelve hundred dollars was needed to pay the
interest. It was also voted that the selectmen be
authorized to borrow on the gredit of the town, at
such times as may be necessary, a sum not exceeding
three thousand dollars for the aid of families of vol-
On Tuesday, the eleventh day of August, 1863, a
special meeting of the town was holden to act upon
the following articles :
Second. To see if the town aforesaid will vote to pay
a bounty of three hundred dollars to each and every person
who may be drafted or conscripted from said town under the
laws of the United States, to serve during the existing rebel-
lion, and who shall be actually accepted and go into the ser-
vice of the United States, or to each substitute for such con-
script, and raise money therefor.
Third. To see if the town will vote to pay to the United
States the sum of three hundred dollars for each and every
200 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
person who may be conscripted or drafted from said town
under the laws of the United States and is not by law
exempt therefrom, as an equivalent which the act of con-
gress provides may be paid by drafted or conscripted mem-
bers of the enrolled militia in lieu of actual service of him-
self or his substitute in the army of the United States, and
raise money therefor.
The records of this meeting show that on motion
of Hiram A. Tuttle, it was
Voted, That the town pay a bounty of three hundred
dollars to each and every person who may be drafted or con-
scripted from this town under the laws of the United States
to serve in the army of the United States during the existing
rebellion, and who shall be actually accepted and go into the
service of the United States, or to each substitute for such
conscript; and that the selectmen be authorized and in-
structed to borrow on the credit of the town the sum of
eight thousand dollars therefor, and pay out the same agree-
ablv to the laws of the state.
Voted, That the third article of the warrant be dismissed.
Pursuant to a warrant issued by the selectmen, the
voters of the town met in a special meeting, Novem-
ber 30, 1863, and on motion of Jonathan Palmer it
Voted, That the sum of ten thousand dollars be appropri-
ated for the purpose of encouraging voluntary enlistments to
fill the quota of this town under the call of the president of
the United States of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volun-
teers, and that the selectmen be authorized to apply the sum,
or so much thereof as they may think proper, for the pay-
ment of such bounties or making such advances to volunteers
for that purpose as they may think proper, and of expenses
in procuring such volunteers ; and that the selectmen bolrow
said sum of ten thousand dollars, or so much thereof as they
may think proper, on the credit of the town and to give the
notes of the town therefor.
The meeting adjourned for two weeks. At that
meeting the clerk was absent and Daniel Sanderson
was elected clerk pro tern. It was
J. E. Obbenleaf, S. H. Fbbhcb.
J. J. Jenhesb. Jebehiah Clabk.
A, C. Walkbb. B. T. LbaVitt.
TOWN RECORDS. 20I
Votedy To raise the sum of two thousand dollars in addi-
tion to the ten thousand dollars voted at the original meet-
ing of which this is an adjourned meeting, the said two
thousand to be raised and appropriated the same as the said
ten thousand dollars.
The next annual meeting was held on Tuesday,
March 8, 1864, at which Owen Reynolds and Jona-
than Palmer were chosen as representatives, and John
J. Jenness, Joseph E. Greenleaf, and Andrew C.
Walker were elected selectmen, and Charles T. B.
Knowlton town clerk.
It was voted to hire, upon the credit of the town,
thirty-five hundred dollars to aid the families of vol-
unteers, and also to hire the sum often thousand dollars
to encourage enlistments. Up to this time, John J.
Pillsbury had been moderator of every meeting, but
on May 28 a special meeting was held, and Mr.
Pillsbury having left town Henry H. Huse, who
had served as captain in Company G, Eighth New
Hampshire regiment, was chosen to preside, and
Charles T. Cram was chosen clerk pro tem. At this
meeting, on motion of Josiah Carpenter, it was
Votedy That the sum of ten thousand dollars be raised and
appropriated for the purpose of encouraging enlistments to
fill any quota of the town during the present political year,
and to pay bounties to such persons as may, during said
year, be drafted or conscripted from the town for service in
the army of the United States, during the existing rebellion,
or to their substitutes as provided by law. That the selectmen
be authorized to borrow such portions of said sum of ten
thousand dollars as they may from time to time think proper
on the credit of the town, and to give the notes of the town
therefor. That the selectmen be authorized to pay such a
bounty, not exceeding three hundred dollars, as they may
think proper to each volunteer, to fill any quota of the town
during the present political year, and such a bounty, not
exceeding the sum which may be authorized by law, to
such persons who may during the year be drafted or con-
scripted from the town for service in the army of the United
States during the existing rebellion, or to their substitutes, in
202 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
accordance with the provision of the law therein found
On August lo, 1S64, another special meeting was
called. Henry H. Huse was chosen moderator, and
Fr.ank E. Randall clerk pro tern. After a long dis-
cussion as to what method to pursue, it adjourned
until the next Monday; at that time it was voted to
choose an agent to fill the quota, and on ballot Syl-
vester H. French was chosen unanimously. This I
claim was the highest compliment ever paid to any
man by the town. As an agent he handled the
town's money by the tens of thousands of dollars, and
without bonds, and was never called upon to make a
The reason Mr. French did not give bonds was be-
cause the law limited the amount to be paid to each
recruit as bounty, but men could not be had for that
amount, as other states were bidding for their ser-
vices. So Pittsfield had to pay more than the law al-
lowed, and her agent performed his duties in a very
discreet manner, and to the satisfaction of his towns-
After his election Mr. French asked to have a
committee of five appointed to bring a resolution to
specify how much money to raise and how the same
should be appropriated. The committee so named
were Jonathan Palmer, Hiram A. Tuttle, William
Knowlton, Joseph Roby, and Sylv:mus Smith, who
reported as follows :
Resolved^ That the selectmen be authorized to borrow a
sum of money not exceeding thirty thousand dollars and
give the notes of the town for the same, to be appropriated
by the agent of the town for the payment of bounties to
soldiers who may be mustered into the service of the United
States to fill the quota of the town under the last call of the
president for five hundred thousand men, and the expenses
of procuring said soldiers, at his discretion. And the treas-
urer of the town is hereby authorized to pay said sums of
money to the said agent as he may order.
TOWN RECORDS. 203
The meeting then adjourned till one week later,
when it was voted to raise thirty thousand dollars on
the best possible terms, and it was also voted that the
amount of bounty paid to citizens of this town who
should enlist and be mustered into the service of
the United States, should be double the amount paid
by the state. The meeting then adjourned one week,
but as nothing new had developed in the meantime,
the meeting dissolved.
September 3, 1864, another special meeting of the
town was held, and after choosing Capt. H. H.
Huse as moderator, it was voted to lay aside the
warrant for the present, so that an expression of the
people might be obtained. Ringing patriotic speeches
were made by Jonathan Palmer, Isaac S. Carr, Josiah
Carpenter, James Drake, John L. Thorndike, and sev-
It was then voted to raise the sum of thirty thousand'
dollars, and to appropriate the same to pay bounties
according to the provision of the '' act of August 19,
to facilitate the raising of troops," as follows:
To such persons, except those enlisted in or from insur-
gent states, who shall be mustered into the military, naval,
or marine service of the United States to fill the quota of
this town, under the call of the president of July, 1864,
whether volunteer, enlisted man, or volunteer substitute for
an enrolled or enlisted man, a bounty according to the term
of his enlistment, of one hundred dollars for one year, or of two
hundred dollars for two years, or of three hundred dollars for
three years' enlistment, or in the same proportion for any
other term of service.
To such persons drafted for one year from this town, and
mustered into the service of the United States as a part of
the quota of this town under the call aforesaid, a bounty of
two hundred dollars.
To such inhabitants of this town for three months previous
to enlisting, who may enlist to fill the quota of the town
under the call aforesaid, and actually mustered into the mili-
tary, naval, or marine service of the United States, a bounty,
according to the term of enlistment, of one thousand dollars
for one year, of twelve hundred dollars for two years, of
fifteen hundred dollars for three years' enlistment.
204 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
It was also
Voted, That the selectmen be authorized to borrow such
portion of the aforesaid sum of thirty thousand doUars as
they may from time to time think proper on the credit of
the town, and give the notes of the town therefor, and the
same be applied to the payment of bounties according to
the foregoing notes.
The meeting then adjourned until the next Wednes-
day, thinking that perhaps something might occur
that would necessitate further action, but it appears
that they only met to adjourn without date.
At a special meeting holden December 3, 1864,
Abram French, 2d, was chosen moderator, and Moses
L. Norris, clerk pro tem. It was voted to raise the
sum of twelve thousand dollars and appropriate the
same to pay bounties, according to provision of the
act of the legislature of the state to facilitate the rais-
ing of troops, as follows :
To all persons who shall or have been mustered into the
military, naval, or marine service of the United States to fill
the quota of this town, in anticipation of any future call of
the president for troops, whether volunteer, enlisted men,
enrolled in this town, or volunteer substitutes for enrolled
men, a bounty according to their term of enlistment, of
one hundred dollars for one year, or two hundred dollars for
two years, or three hundred dollars for three years' enlist-
ment, or in the same proportion for any other term of
Then followed the usual vote for borrowing the
money by giving the town-notes.
The annual meeting for 1865 was held on Tuesday,
March 14. Abram French, 2d, was unanimously
chosen moderator, and Charles T. Cram clerk ;
Owen Reynolds and Jonathan Palmer as representa-
tives ; Jeremiah Clark, Peter J. Hook, and John E.
Shaw, as selectmen. At this meeting it was voted
to raise three thousand dollars to aid the families
of volunteers. The following resolution, submitted
W. W. Pboctob. Jackson Pbbbbb.
J.W, D. Knowlton. John Bbrbv.
O. L.. Rbhice, Jobiah' Cabfentbb.
TOWN RECORDS. 205
by John J. Jenness, was, on motion of Josiah Car-
penter, adopted :
Resolved^ That the selectmen be authorized to borrow on
the credit of the town a sum not to exceed twenty thousand
dollars for the purpose of encouraging enlistments and pay-
ing bounties to those who may procure substitutes, said
bounties to those who enlist and count on the quota of the
town for one year to be two hundred dollars, for two years
to be four hundred dollars, for three years six hundred dol-
lars ; and to the procuring of substitutes for one year one
hundred dollars, for two years two hundred dollars, for three
years three hundred dollars. And furthermore, that the
said selectmen be empowered, should they at any time think
best, to procure substitutes in anticipation of a future call.
This was the last meeting of the town before the
close of the war, and I doubt if any other place can
show a record equal to it.
The promise made by the town on that nth day of
May, 1861, was faithfully kept, for the records show
that Pittsfield expended $159,100 towards support-
ing the families of soldiers and as bounty to those who
enlisted. This was about twenty-five per cent, of the
valuation of the town in 1861.
A history like this would be incomplete did it not
devote at least a small space to the domestic affairs of
the good people of the town who remained at home.
If any one is disposed to find fault with their present
condition, to talk of hard times as people have always
done — and I doubt not always will — perhaps reading
the following pages may make them more contented
with their lot.
Soon after the war broke out all coin disappeared.
The speculators, those vultures who feed and fatten on
the people, bought up all the coin they could, and at
once it became the craze for every person to hoard
what little coin he possessed. Soon tradesmen paid a
premium for small change to do business with, there-
fore they charged more for their goods. Farmers
could do better with their produce at the stores than
they could if they tendered bank bills in payment for
goods, but something must be had for use as small
change, and at once postage stamps were chosen as
the medium. They could be obtained everywhere
and were something that everyone was supposed to
use more or less of, but they were inconvenient, for
they would stick together or become soiled and ren-
I remember a very penurious citizen, of Loudon,
who visited the camp ground at Concord in 1S62, sell-
ing apples at three cents apiece. The boys would
buy some, then wetting the stamp, stick it to the
measure in which he carried his fruit. Soon he had
postage stamps enough affixed to his measure to carry
it around the world. Of course he could not get
them off without tearing them, so instead of getting a
big price for his fruit as he intended, by taking
advantage of the soldiers, who were not allowed to
leave camp, he made a complete loss.
But something had to be done to aid the people.
In our country, if the government does not supply the
people's needs they will do it themselves. It was so
in this instance. Change the people must have to
make small purchases with, so the traders issued
small scrip. This was done in many towns and
cities. I have samples of this scrip issued by 13. G.
Parsons, at that time one of the leading merchants of
the town, and I will insert here a fac-simile of the
same. To my younger readers it will be a curiosity,
to the older ones it will bring up memories of long
Pittsfield, A'ov. /, 1864.
Payable in current Bank Bills, when pre-
sented In sums of even dollars.
"B. G, Parsons.
Pittsfield^ NoiK /, 1864.
Payable in current Bank Bills, when pre-
sented in sums of even dollars.
'B. G. Parsons.
The reader will observe that the above were issued
in the latter part of 1864. There had been previous
issues by the same party, and when one was returned
it was never again sent on its travels, but was
2o8 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
destroyed. In this way Mr. Parsons was able to
know how many of these bills were never returned.
The government put a stop to this business by issuing
what was known in the slang phrase of the time as
" shin plasters," or *' fractional currency." Samples
of these can be found in almost every collection of
coins or curiosities.
Of course under such conditions, with money scarce,
all kinds of merchandise advanced to an enormous
price. I have collected from various day books of
our traders, bills of sale, receipts, etc., the following
prices: Japan tea, $i.6o per pound; flour, from
$18.50 to $22.00 per barrel; corn meal, $4.25 per
bag; kerosene oil, $1.50 per gallon (and it was of
very poor quality, ranging from only 95 to no fire
test, and of course explosions were frequent) ; sugar,
35 cents per pound, or 3 pounds for $1.00; cheese,
30 cents ; butter, 50 cents per pound ; men's kip
boots, from $7.00 to $8.00 per pair ; ladies' peg
boots, $2.50 per pair; sheeting, Amoskeag A, 75
cents per yard, a lighter grade, such as is in ordinary
use, 65 cents ; by the web, 60 cents per yard ; a very
thin article was sold for 50 cents ; prints were from
48 to 50 cents per yard. These were of the grade
known as " Cocheco." Of ticking I have found
but one recorded sale, which was at $1.00 per yard.
Thread was 15 cents per spool. One trader had a lot
of '' hank " thread that was so poor he could not sell
it at any price. He kept it for years, yet during the
war he sold it at a large profit. Rosin and tar, used
by shoemakers to make wax, sold at 40 cents per
Some of the products of the farm were very high.
Beans were $5.00 per bushel, 20 cents per quart;
salt pork was from 28 to 30 cents per pound ; round
hog, 20 cents per pound. John B. Berry sold one for
$101 .00. Hay, from $35.00 to $40.00 per ton. Seven-
foot cattle were worth from $250.00 to $300.00 ;
lambs, from $9.00 to $12.00 each. One of the select-
men of that time says that he used to follow the
DOMESTIC AFFAIRS. 209
drovers around to borrow money for the use of the
Taxes, too, were high. A poll tax in 1864 was
$3.54; in 1865, $4.88; in 1866 it reached the highest
point, being then $5.56; in 1867 it was $4.82.
I could give many more items, but I think I have
given enough to convey an idea of the high prices
prevailing at that time.
Let us turn for a few minutes and see what labor
was worth. When the war broke out soldiers \yere
paid $1 1 .<x) per month. This was afterwards raised to
$13.00 per month. To those who had families their
wives got from the town $4.00 per month and
$2.00 for each child, but no family could draw over
$8.00 per month. Girls at domestic service got $1.50
per week, while laboring men had $1.50 per day.
Shoemakers, and there were many in this town
before the war, got $15.00 for welt shoes, and $10.00
for turned shoes per case of 60 pairs ; at this price a
man could earn about $9.00 per week.
Farm hands received $150.00 per year and board.
Stephen Lougee worked for seven months in the sum-
mer of 1864 for $18.00 per month ; for the remainder
of the year he received $10.00 per month.
Wages in cotton factories were equally low, indeed
many factories had to close for want of stock. I
find that weavers got, in 1862, 75 cents per day ; in
1863, 87 cents per day ; and in 1864, $1.00 per day.
It may occur to the reader that it was a strange condi-
tion of affairs that wages should remain so low when
so many men had gone into the army, but it must be
remembered that many industries were at a standstill,
especially in cotton and leather, and our shipping had
been driven from the seas and has never regained the
importance it had before the war ; and then women
entered upon occupations that had always before
been held by men, as clerks, book-keepers, salesmen,
and operatives in many manufacturing industries,
and many of them went into the fields and cultivated
and harvested the crops that the men had abandoned.
2IO PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
I recall one young woman who came into the village
with a yoke of oxen, drawing a load of potatoes that
she with her mother arid sister had raised, and our
older residents will remember the girl who drove her
father's four-horse team, handling the reins like a vet-
eran '' whip."
It was no uncommon sight to see a woman trund-
ling a wheelbarrow, carrying home supplies to her
family. The older matrons of to-day recount with
pride their experiences of those days when they had
to saw and split their wood.
It was only by practising small economies that peo-
ple lived at all ; for instance, matches were very high,
and people would lay a card of these on a board and
with a sharp knife split each match, so as to make one
do the work of two. Such methods were carried into
all the affairs of life. As one person remarked, "It
is surprising on how little a person can live if he only
All kinds of makeshifts and substitutes were used,
both in food and drink, many using a compound
made of various roots and grains in place of coffee.
Cotton twine entirely disappeared, and a coarse string
made of hemp took its place. But this scarcity
proved a blessing in the end, for many substitutes
proved so much better that they have remained in
use until the present time. This was most notably
the case in making paper. Before the war only rags
were used, but it was found that wood could be util-
ized, and now more wood than any other material is
made into paper.
One of our traders was selling a piece of cloth to a
lady. She demurred at the price. '' Why," he said,
" it is very cheap ; I will warrant it to be half cotton.'*
She took it without further parley, as though cotton
were warmer than woollen.
Cotton underwear entirely disappeared, and men
appeared with colored woollen shirts at all seasons
of the year, at church, at weddings, at funerals, every-
DOMESTIC AFFAIRS. 211
Families that had cotton mattresses would exchange
them for those made with curled hair, and get quite a
sum of money besides.
I have been unable to learn that any one suftered
from want. All had enough to eat, drink, and wear.
There was plenty of food, though some of it was high ;
water was as plenty then as now. As to clothing, peo-
ple wore their old garments. Ladies introduced the
fashion of making their dresses out of two or three
kinds of material, and they were very charming in
One thing that helped out poor people was that
rents were very low : a good tenement could be hired
for three dollars a month.
TIDINGS FROM THE FIELD.
Before tlie war tliere was only occasionally a daily
paper to be found in town. Dr. W. A. Mack, who
kept a drug store opposite the Washington House,
after the breaking out of hostilities began to keep
them for sale. Every evening throngs of people
would be waiting in groups around the stores, hotels,
and on the streets, and when True Garland's well
known whistle was heard, as his lead horses struck
the factory bridge, the people would gather at Doctor
Mack's for their papers.
Saturday evening, April 3, 1865, the Boston Her-
ald contained the news of the evacuation of Peters-
burg. So strong was the desire to learn the news as
soon as possible, that teams were run to Concord to
bring the papers that arrived there on the morning train.
On Saturday, the nth, the welcome news was
brought that Lee had surrendered. The driver of the
team announced his approach by blowing a horn.
Great was the rejoicing. Preparations were at once
made to celebrate the event. Materials were col-
lected, and bonfires blazed the whole length of Main
street, cannon boomed from " Rocky Dam," and the
bells were rung. The people flocked in from the
country and crowded the streets or listened to speeches
from various parties. The revelry was kept up until
The next day in all the churches a thanksgiving
service was held. Although no proclamation had
been made by the governor for such an event, yet it
was a thanksgiving, the most heartfelt and sincere
this century ever witnessed. But this did' not satisfy
the people, so on Monday evening another celebra-
tion was held, that people might give vent to the joy
that swelled their hearts.
April 15, 1865, while Rev. Henry Snow, who had
been a captain in the army but at that time was pas-
tor of the Freewill Baptist church in this town, was
in Concord, there came over the wires the news of
the death of President Lincoln. Mr. Snow at once
started for home, spreading the news along his route.
When he reached Pittsfield the village was thrown
into the greatest excitement. Mr. Snow delivered an
address from the steps of the Congregational church.
It was just dusk. The people thronged the streets,
asking one another, What will the outcome be.^
Boxes were piled around the flag-staff on Washington
Square and used for a platform, from which addresses
were made by various citizens. If volunteers had
been called for to enlist, every man, both old and
young, would have come forward, so great was the
indignation. It was believed that the rebel govern-
ment was at the bottom of the plot. To show how
soon all political feeling was lost in the great national
sorrow, I will say that the Democratic flag on the
staff in front of Drake's hotel, which had been used in
two political campaigns to defeat Mr. Lincoln's elec-
tion, was the first in town to be draped in mourning
for the dead president.
The next day, when the facts became more fully
known, the rejoicing that had taken place in the town
over the surrender of Lee was turned to mourning
over the death of the president. When Lee surren-
dered it was believed that the war would soon end,
and our citizens looked forward to the speedy return
of our soldiers in the field, but now all seemed
changed, for the mind that had controlled public
affairs was dead.
214 PITTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
The new president, Andrew Johnson, was a south-
ern man, whom the rebels hated with a most bitter
feeling. They looked upon him as a rebel to his
state of Tennessee, for it was their cardinal belief that
a man's allegiance was due first to his state, then to
When the funeral of the dead president was held in
Washington on the 19th of April, services were held
in the various churches in this town. W^hen the
funeral cortege reached Chicago, June i, another mass
meeting, with appropriate exercises, was held in the
Congregational church, and at the very hour when the
remains were placed in the vault at Springfield, Illi-
nois, minute guns were fired by the citizens, and all
flags were draped in mourning for thirty days.
. It was in this manner that Pittsfield paid tribute to
the character of Abraham Lincoln, who, born in
obscurity, reared in poverty, for his honest courage in
defending the right was raised to the high seat of
power, from which he fell by the assassin's bullet
into the arms of the American people, who as ten-
derly, reverently, laid him at rest as a child would
place a parent upon the bed of death, and who have
preserved his memory in their hearts with a remem-
brance as sacred as a mother has for her first-born.
It has been vouchsafed to but few men to be em-
balmed in history as a liberator and emancipator.
Then was the home-coming of the soldiers. Dur-
ing the entire war men had been returning from the
front, — some- to recruit, others discharged for disease
or wounds, many of whom, as soon as they recovered
sufficiently, reenlisted in the service. The first men
from this town that were discharged by reason of
expiration of term of service were the members of the
Fifteenth regiment (nine months troops). They had
seen hard service in the swamps of Louisiana, and
had been roughly handled at Port Hudson, where
they had been under fire for forty-six consecutive days.
Along the route home they left nearly fifty men who
were sick, to die ; several from Pittsfield were among
them. The remnant of the regiment arrived in Con-
cord, Saturday, August 8," 1863.
Hon. L. D. Stevens of Concord said that these men
looked more like men coming out of their graves, so
emaciated and dirty were they, than like human
beings. Word was brought by some one that the men
of this command would be at home that night, and
the citizens organized a procession and went out on
the road to Chichester to meet them and escort them
into the village. But the men were too exhausted to
care for the plaudits of their townsmen. They would
give more to lie down on the floor to sleep than to listen
to praise from their fellow-citizens. Something to
eat, then rest, was what they wanted. They staggered
to their homes and greedily devoured the food set
before them and then lay down on the bed to sleep.
But they could not sleep, they seemed to be sinking,
suffocating ; they got up and laid down on the floor,
and at once went to sleep and slept from fifteen to
2l6 PriTSFIELD IN THE REBELLION.
twenty hours, and then wakened only to eat and sleep
again ; and, alas, some of them never to waken again.
This was the only organized welcome to the return-
ing soldiers. The people saw^ that it was far better to
let the poor fellows get into their homes and rest
quietly, and recover from their hardships in the
bosom of their families, than to make any demonstra-
tion over them.
But Pittsfield has never forgotten her veteran sol-
diers. She has honored them in every way, not only
by public office, but her citizens have done so in their
private capacity. The town has erected a beautiful
monument in their memory (see frontispiece), and
each recurring spring-time she with a liberal hand
assists the Grand Army of the Republic in decorating
the graves of their dead comrades, thereby stirring the
ambition of the living by keeping alive the memory of
the heroic dead.
The cost of the war to this town alone is beyond the
comprehension of any one mind, for no one can meas-
ure its far-reaching results. Of the one hundred and
forty-seven men who entered the army from this town
fifty-nine either died in the war or were discharged
as unfit for further service, and forty-two died before
the close of 1865. Of the remainder, but very few
escaped without wounds or impaired health, and their
lives have been shortened by the exposure and hard-
ships endured while in the army. To this must be
added the anguish and distress of those who remained
at home, when they learned of the death or witnessed
the sufferings of their loved ones.
I doubt if there was a family or an individual in
town who was not aftected in this way, for nearly
every family had its representative or some near and
dear friend in the service. Then if we consider the
amount of money expended by the town ($159,100)
and add to this the sums contributed from private
sources, bringing the total up to at least two hundred
thousand dollars, one can get a faint idea what the war
To Pittsfield belongs the following distinctions :
1. It was the first town in the state and perhaps in
the entire North to vote aid to soldiers' families, and
that, too, without hope of being reimbursed from any
2. That this town expended more money according
to its valuation to carry on the war than any other
3. That it sent not only the oldest but the youngest
soldier into the army.
4. That she had a son in the first regiment that left
the North to preserve the integrity of the Union, and
one in the last regiment of volunteers that was mus-
tered out of service.
5. That no other town sent a larger proportion of
its inhabitants — nearly twice its quota, and with one
or two exceptions her sons acquitted themselves with
credit, more of her sons winning commissions in the
field than even her large contingent would indicate.
6. That Pittsfield's percentage of loss of men was
higher than that of any state in the Union, and as
far as we are able to learn, greater than that of any
other town or city.
7. That her soldiers served in every state south of
Mason and Dixon's line from Virginia to Texas, and
were engaged in nearly all of the important campaigns
of the Rebellion.
I cannot close this little volume without again
expressing my regret that the task had not fallen to
some one better able to tell the story of the four years'
struggle than myself, — that some other person with a
better command of language had not recorded the suf-
ferings of my comrades, and the intense patriotism of
this glorious old town of Pittsfield in the great Rebel-
PRINTED AND ILLUSTRATED BY THE BBPUBLICAN PRBSS ASSOCIATION,
CONCORD, N. H.
l*liotograi)liic views made on tlio battle-fields of
As these views are pliotograplis of historic places, they
should be found iu every veteran's home. Mounted and
handsomely bound in an album containing twenty-five dif-
ferent views. Per vol., $5.00, single numbers 50 cents.
Postpaid on receii)t of i)rice.
IMiotograpliic views in and around Pittsiield, N. H. Thes<5
views, like those of the Battle-fields, are mounted on 7x10
cardboard, and handsomely bound in an album containing
twenty-live ditl'erent subjects. The catalogues contain a
list of over 100 ditTerent views. Seiul a two-cent stamp for
one. Purchasers may select the numbers from the list and
have them bound at the sanu^ rates. The price per album,
either series, is :?5.00, single numbers 50 cents, sent postpaid
to any address on receipt of price. Address
mm\ W. OSGOOD, Plttsfield^ll.
CONCORD. N. H.
Our large four-story Printing House on Rail-
road Square contains every facility for turning
out the finest work promptly and economically.
One of our specialties is the illustrating of
Books, Pamphlets, Circulars, Etc., by the
Half-Tone and Line processes. Specimen en-
gravings and estimates of cost furnished upon
Established Job Offict, 1S62. Eslahlished Local Paper, iS&].
DANIEL T. NEAL,
BOOK AND JOB PRINTER,
PITTSFIELD, N. H.
LiiTO'sl ami MdsI I'omiili'ti' (inc-M:iii (Hfiiv in NVw Ihmpshirc
ao to S^INTDERSOl^'S
For Prints, Ginghams, Shirtings, Sheeting, Ticking, Table linen,
Crash, Outing cloth. Lounge covering. Ladies', Gents', and Child-
ren's Hosiery, Corsets, Handkerchiefs, Edgings, Collars, Soaps,
Perfumery, Towels, Flannel, Ladies' Undervests, Blankets, Bat-
ting, etc., etc.
Also take a look at his 5 and 10 cent counters, full of useful articles*
E. O. SANDERSON,
No. 1 Depot St., - - - Fittsfield, N. H.
Dry Goods, Small Wares,
Ladies' Cotton Underwear,
Hosiery, Gloves, Ladies\
Misses^ and Children's Footwear.
Butterick's Patterns kept in stock.
^ ^ P? A TSJTI COR. MAIN AND ELM STS.,
1. O. lX.^f^iNJ_J, PITTSFIELD, N. H. '
IF IN NEED OF
OF ANY KIND, SEND IT TO THE
TIMES OFFICE, • • PITTSFIELD PUBLISHING CO.
B. F, K A I m: EJ ,
who opened the first store in Pittsfleld for the sale of boots, shoes,
and rubbers, September, 1856, is now in Union Block. The business
has shown a constant growth, and has always been the leading
BOOT ^]VI> SKLOX: ©TORE
Dealer in FOREIGN and DOMESTIC
Dry and Fancy Goods, Beady Made Clothing,
Hats, and Gents' Furnishings.
Under the Hotel, PITTSFIELD, N. H.
A. W. BAUTLETT,
Attorney and Counsellor at La^v.
OFFICE AT RESIDENCE, ... - PITTSFIELD, N. H,
E. A. LAISTE,
ATTOENEY AND OOUNSELLOE AT LAW.
Fire and Life Insurance Agency.
TUTTLE'S BLOCK, PITTSFIELD, N. H.
M. SWAIN CLOUGH,
Livery, Boarding, and Sale Stables.. Also Dealer in Carriages and
Depot Street, - - - Pittsfield, N. H.
LEWIS C. ADAMS, Proprietor.
Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, and Canned Goods.
Agent for Pratt's Food.
First-class Goods and Low Prices.
GRAND ARMY BLO€K, DEPOT STREET, - - Pittsfleld, N. H.
•TOHiv o. 3Li. ism:itjh:,
and GENERAL BLACKSMITH.
Rear M. S. Clough's Stables, Pittsfleld, N. H.
W. B. HARTWELL'S Mills on Concord St., Pittsfleld, N. H.
At his Grist Mill he has a large stock of FLOUR, CORN, MEAL,
GRAIN, and Feed of all Kinds.
At his Saw Mill he has a full assortment of SHINGLES, CLAP-
BOARDS, BOARDS, and LUMBER, that any one may need.
FANCY BAND and JIG SAWING, TURNING, and HARD-
WOOD PLANING a specialty.
T. F. GAY & CO.
ELM STREET, PITTSFIELD, N. H.
THE VARIETY STORE.
Always on hand a complete line of Fine Stationery, Blank Books,
English Tissue Paper, and many other novelties in this line too
numerous to particularize.
Also Crockery and Glass-ware. Headquarters for 5 and 10 cent
goods, Fishing Tackle of every description, Gentlemen's Under-
flannels, laundered find unlaundered Shirts, Neck-wear, Suspen-
ders, Hosiery, Cutlery, and Fancy Goods.
Agents for Ankarloo's Steam Dye House, and the
Troy Steam Laundry, Manchester, N. H.
All orders promptly attended to, for Books, Papers, and Maga-
zines of every description.
PLEASE CALL WHEN IN TOWN.
(4th N. H. V.)
looo Elm Ht., m:^]vcitestje:ii, ]V. h.
Jobber in all grades of Plug Tobacco.
L A L3 I KS!
When in doubt what to wear, or where to buy it, go to
MliS. M. «. CLOTTG^tl,
Elm IJlock, Pittsfield, N. II.
Where you will find one of the prettiest stores in New England,
having a full line of Millinery, Fancy Goods, Ribbons, Gloves,
Small Wares, et<i.
Particular attention given to trimming hats and bonnets in the
latest styles and at the lowest prices.
H. A. TUTTLE & CO.
The largest clothing establishment in Nev^
The oldest business house in Pittsfield.
Established on Water street in 1853.
Moved to Thorndike block in i860.
Removed to Tuttle's block in 1876.
H. A. TUTTLE. N. DURRELL,
L. D. MARSTON, Prop., PITTSFIELD, N. H.
Livery Stable Connected. Carriage to all trains.
Hardware, Paints, Oils and Varnishes, Agri-
cultural Tools, etc.
BERRY'S STAND, MAIN STREET, PITTSFIELD, N. H.
TUTTLE'S BLOCK, MAIN STREET. ESTABLISHED IN 1875.
A full line of Meats and Provisions constantly on hand.
DR. W. IT. I^OOLE,
i> t: N T I IS T .
UNION BLOCK, MAIN STREET, PITTSFIELD, N. H.
Teeth FiUed with Porcelain, Gold, Araalp:am, Oxy-Chloride of Zinc,
and Plastic Enamel.
Teeth made on Gold, Aluminum, Silver, Rubber, and Celluloid.
Gas and Ether administered. Odontunder for painless extraction.
JHLl-srlaa. C- Toaa-es, DPxop-
Particular attention given to cutting ladie»' and children's hair.
Cairaer Creacent and "Water Sta.t Fltt«fiel<ft £¥• R»
iRt door Went Of Opera HouNC, .... PITTNFIELD, N, H.
B. M. TTLTON
(Co. F, 12th N. H. v.),
Manufacturer of Fine Hand-Made
^'pittsflltd, N. H. H ARNI^SorLo.
FOEEST F. HILL, Froprietor.
A pleasant home for travellers.
Free carriage to and from Jill trains.
Br0a.cL-ncra.3r, ----- DPIT'OrSFITIT iP, iT- 131-
CHOICE FAMILY GROCERIES, FLOUR,
Hay, Orain, Etc., «ran<l Army Block, PTTTSFIELD, N. H.
This book should be returned to
the Library on or before the last date
A fine is incurred by retaining it
beyond the specified time.
Please return promptly.
II ') ax 7s'/