Singing by the Choir.
"Stew the fair garlands, where slumber the dead;
BRIDGEWATER IN THE REBELLION,
by Arthur Hooper (Civil War)
Late member of the Third and Fifty-Eighth Regiments
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
On the 17th of October, 1863, President Lincoln called for 300,000 more volunteers. Among the regiments formed in consequence of this call were the Fifty-Sixth, Fifty-Seventh, Fifty-Eighth, and Fifty-Ninth, called "Veteran Regiments," as it was intended to recruit them largely from the nine troops', which had returned home but a few months before. Quite a number of the Third Regiment enlisted in the Fifty-Eighth Regiment. Co. D, of that regiment, was commanded by Capt. Charles E. Churchill (formerly lieutenant of Co. K, Third Regiment), and was called the Bridgewater company. Some of the men of the Third Regiment enlisted in the Fifty-Sixth Regiment.
FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT Mass. Volunteers
This regiment was organized at Camp Meigs, Readville, and left the State, for the seat of war, March 21, 1864, and joined the Army of the Potomac; assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, Ninth Corps, Gen. Burnside, in which it remained during its term of service, and took part in the battles of Wilderness, Spottsylania, North Ann River, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Spring Church, Hatchie's Run, and the Seige of Petersburg. Mustered out July 12, 1865. The following Bridgewater men served in this regiment:
Joseph C. Norton Musician (fifer), Co. K; mustered into the United States service, for three years, Jan. 12, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, July 12, 1865. (See Third Regiment)
Joseph C. Norton, Jr. Musician, Co. B; son of Joseph, born Jan. 8, 1845; mustered into the United States service, for three years, Dec. 26, 1863. Discharged at expiration of service, July 12, 1865.
Isaac R. Alden Musician (drummer), Co. F; mustered into the United States service, for three years, Jan. 12, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, July 12, 1865. The above men were detailed in regimental band. (See Third Regiment)
FIFTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT Mass. Volunteers
This regiment commenced to recruit on or about Sept. 15, 1863. Eight companies left the State, April 28, 1864, in command of Lieut.-Col. John C. Whiton, (late of the Forty-Third Mass. Volunteers.) Col. Richmond, of the Third Mass. Volunteers, was commissioned colonel, but was never mustered; for at the time the other two companies joined the regiment, in the summer of 1864, the organization was so reduced in numbers, that it would not be mustered as a regiment. After leaving camp, the regiment proceeded to Alexandria, Va., and from there to Bristow Station, where it joined the First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, Gen. A.E. Burnside. May 6, one week from camp, it took part in the battle of the Wilderness, and lost seven men killed, twenty-three wounded, and four missing. The regiment remained in the Ninth Corps during its term of service, and was engaged at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Ann River, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Spring Church, Fort Sedgewick, Fort Mahone, and was mustered out July 14, 1865. The following men from Bridgewater served in this regiment:
John P. Townsend Second lieutenant; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 2, 1864; promoted first lieutenant, Aug. 8, 1864; captain, May 3, 1865. Was taken prisoner with seven officers and ninety-one men, Sept. 30, 1864, in battle near Poplar Spring Church; taken to Petersburg, Va., where he remained till Oct. 2; was then sent to Libby Prison, Richmond, and remained about ten days; was then sent to Salisbury, N.C., and from there to Danville, Va., where he was confined till about a week before his exchange, when he was sent back to Richmond; released Feb. 22, 1865; received a furlough, and came home; returned to the regiment, at Farmville, Va., April 9, 1865. Was mustered out with the regiment, July 14, 1865. (See Third Regiment)
Nahum Leonard Mustered into Co. C, April 1864; commissioned and mustered first lieutenant, Au. 8, 1864; captain, in Co. I, Nov. 1, 1864; appointed Judge Advocate Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, in May, 1865, and held the appointment till the muster-out of regiment July 14, 1865. Is now Superintendent of State Workhouse, in Bridgewater. (See Fortieth Regiment)
Seth W. Conant Private, Co. D; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1864. Killed in front of Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864. (See Third Regiment)
Lucius Conant Private, Co. D; son of Seth W.; born Nov. 5, 1847; mustered into the United States service, for three years, April 2, 1864. Killed in battle of Spottsylvania, Va., May 12, 1864. After the battle his father, who was in the same company, was detailed, with others, to bury the dead; the first one found and buried was his son Lucius.
Henry A. Washburn Private, Co. D; son of John B.; born Nov. 20, 1844; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1863. Killed in front of Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864.
James K. P. Chamberlain Private, Company D.; son of Nathan, born Feb. 18, 1847; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1864. Missing in action in front of Peterbsburg, Va., July 30, 1864.
Jonah Benson, Jr. Musician; son of Jonah; born Nov. 16, 1827; mustered into the United States service, for three years, May 31, 1864. Died of disease, July 30, 1864, on steamer going from City Point to Fortress Monroe; buried at Fortress Monroe.
Andrew H. Hayward Private, Co. D; son of Beza; born Oct. 1, 1846; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 4, 1864; wounded in battle, July 30, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, July 14, 1865; died at Bridgewater, Aug. 28, 1871; buried at cemetery near Episcopal church.
John A. Winslow Private, Co. D; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1864; wounded in the head, in battle of Cold Harbor, June 8, 1864; was sent to Washington, D.C., where he remained about two months; returned to his regiment, and served faithfully till he was taken prisoner, Sept. 30, 1864, in battle near Poplar Spring Church, with about one hunded men of the regiment; was taken to Richmond, Va., and from there to Salisbury, N.C., where he was confined about four months; returned to Richmond, and was released Feb. 22, 1865, and went to Annapolis, Md. Winslow was a man six-feet four inches tall, and weighed one hunded and sixty-five pounds, at the time of his capture, but was reduced to seventy-five pounds while in rebel prisons. He remained at Annapolis about a month, when he was able to come home on furlough, where he remained till April 9, 1865; returning to his regiment, he remained till the regiment was ordered home, and mustered out of the service, July 14, 1865. (See Third Regiment)
Arthur Hooper Commissary sergeant; mustered into the United States service, for three years, Jan. 14, 1864; came home on furlough, December, 1864, and was detailed in Commissary Department, at United States General Hospital, Readville, Mass., at which place he remained till his discharge, by order of the War Department, June 14, 1865. (See Third Regiment)
William T. Murphy Private, Co. D; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1864; taken prisoner in battle in front of St. Petersburg, July 30, 1864. Died at Danville, Va., Nov. 27, 1864. (See Third Regiment)
Adna P. Keith Private, Co. D; son of John A.; born Nov. 12, 1821; mustered into the United States service, for three years, April 2, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, July 14, 1865.
Nathan Dunbar Private, Co. D; son of Lewis B.; June 26, 1847; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1865. Discharged at expiration of service, July 14, 1865.
Zephaniah Dunbar Private, Co. D; son of Lewis B.; born May 17, 1846; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March. 1, 1864; wounded at the battle of Weldon Railroad. Discharged at expiration of service, July 14, 1865.
W.W. Hayden Private, Co. D; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March. 1, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, July 14, 1865. (See Twelfth Regiment)
Daniel W. Leavitt Private, Co. D; son of Calvin; born Sept. 6, 1846, mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1864. Discharged for disability, May 17, 1865.
William S. Harlow Private, Co. I; son of Lewis, born April 17, 1842; mustered into the United States service, for three years, May 13, 1864; taken prisoner in battle in front of St. Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864. Died at Danville, Va., Nov. 11, 1864.
Ellias Frawley Recruit for Fifty-Eighth Regiment; son of Patrick; born May 17, 1749; enlisted about Jan. 25, 1865, and went to Galloup's Island, Boston Harbor, to await transportation to the regiment, which was then in front of Petersburg, Va. Was taken sick with measles, and died Feb. 15, 1865; buried at Catholic Cemetery, near the church, Bridgewater.
John Frawley Private, Co. D; son of Michael; born ------; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 1, 1864; wounded at battle of Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, Feb. 2, 1865. Discharged.
Albert Frazier Private, Co. D; son of Ruben, born Dec. 23, 1829; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March. 1, 1864. Discharged for disability, May 23, 1865.
Robert E. Smith Musician; mustered into the United States service, for three years, May 13, 1865. (See Eighteenth Regiment)
Eliab F. Dunbar U.S. Signal Service; son of Darius; born Aug. 18, 1841; mustered into the United States service, for three years, March 30, 1864, and served under Gen. Connors, in Department of Missouri. Discharged at expiration of service, Dec. 9, 1865.
Early in the year 1863 it was found very difficult to fill the quotas of the State by volunteers, and a draft was ordered. The first one took place about July 15, at Taunton, that being the headquarters of the Second Congressional District, to which Bridgewater belonged. Printed notices were sent to each drafted man, who had ten days to report to headquarters for examination, furnish a substitue, or pay $300; if they entered the service they were to serve for the war, not exceeding three years, having the same pay as volunteers. This draft did not amount to much, as the quota of the town was filled by the nine months' men. The second draft took place about May 20, 1864, and was much more formidable in its character. In anticipation of the draft, a meeting of the citizens was called at the Town Hall, Feb. 23, 1864, and a "Mutual Draft Protection Society" formed, for the purpose of filling the town's quota, under the call of the President. A committee was chosen to procure the number of men necessary, a committee to raise funds, and a treasurer to receive and pay out the same. It was understood that if any surplus remained, after the purpose was accomplished, it should be returned to the subscribers, in proportion to the amount paid by each. The members of the society were persons liable to be drafted, and, as most of them were men of means, preferred to pay their money and raise the men called for, rather than go themselves. During the year 1864, the society raised $4,198, the subscriptions amounting from $1 to $125; amount expended, $2,187.35; surplus over expenses, $2,707.80, a part of which was returned to the subscribers, and the balance was used as directed by the subscribers. The following persons furnished substitutes voluntarily: A.G. Boyden, Sumner Keith 2d, Oliver C. Wilbar, Samuel D. Keith, Rev. J.J. Putnam, Joseph Howard, Theo. C. Wilbar, H.W. Church, Caleb Alden, Geo. B. Stetson, Josiah L. Bassett, Samuel P. Gates, James F, Witherell.
THE LAST CALL
On the 1st of July, 1864, the Secretary of War, in order to relieve veteran troops, on garrison duty at various points, and send them into active services, called for militia regiments, for one hundred days' service, to take their places and perform their duties. Massachusetts furnished five regiments under this call; they were the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Forty-Second, and Sixtieth. Men from Bridgewater served in the Forty-Second and Sixtieth.
FORTY-SECOND REGIMENT Mass. Volunteers
This regiment left the State, for Washington, July 24, 1864, under command of Lieut.-Col. Steadman, and was stationed at Alexandria, Va., and remained until its muster-out. Bridgewater furnished but one man for this regiment.
Nathan Washburn Private, Co. C; son of Thomas; born June 22, 1844; mustered into the United States service, for one hundred days, July 14, 1864. Discharged for disability, Sept. 17, 1864; died at Bridgewater, Dec. 11, 1866, of consumption; buried at Mount Prospect Cemetery.
SIXTIETH REGIMENT Mass. Volunteers
This regiment left the State, under command of Col. Wass, for Washington, Aug. 1, 1864, and was afterwards sent to Indianapolis, Ind., where it remained until its muster-out. The following men, from Bridgewater, were in this regiment:
Beriah T. Hillman First sergeant, Co. C; son of Owen, born in Chilmark, Mass., Jan. 28, 1843. At the time of this enlistement he was a student in the Normal School; mustered into the United States service, for one hundred days, July 14, 1864; promoted second lieutenant, Aug. 1, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, Nov. 30, 1864.
George B. Smith Private, Co. C; son of James W.; born July 4, 1847; mustered into the United States service, for one hundred days, July 14, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, Nov. 30, 1864.
Frank D. Millet Musician (drummer), Co. C; son of Asa; born Nov. 3, 1846; mustered into the United States service, for one hundred days, July 14, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, Nov. 30, 1864
Henry V. Howes Private, Co. C; son of Phineas; born Jan. 1, 1847; mustered into the United States service, for one hundred days, July 14, 1864. Discharged at expiration of service, Nov. 30, 1864; died of consumption, Aug. 14, 1865; buried at Mount Prospect Cemetery.
A.E. Winship Private, Co. C; son of Isaac, born Feb. 24, 1845; mustered into the United States service, for one hundred days. Discharged at expiration of service, Nov. 30, 1864.
In addition to the list already mentioned, who served in the War of the Rebellion, from Bridgewater, are the following; some enlisted as a part of the town's quota, and some went from other places, but were either citizens of the town, or their bodies are buried in the town:
George L. Andrews Son of Manasseh; born Aug. 31, 1828; appointed cadet, U.S. Military Academy, July 1, 1847; graduated first in his class; appointed brevet second lieutenant, U.S. Corps of Engineers, July 1, 1851; second lieutenant, Feb. 2, 1854; resigned Sept. 1, 1855; appointed lieutenant-colonel, June 13, 1863; brigadier-general, Nov. 10, 1862, "for gallant and highly meritorious services in the battles of Winchester, Cedar Mountain, and Antietam;" brevet major-general, March 26, 1863, "for faithful and meritorious services during the campaign against the city of Mobile and its defences;" served with the command of Gen. Patterson, on the upper Potomac; with Gen. Banks, in the Shenandoah Valley, being engaged in several skirmishes, and the battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862; with the Army of Virginia, under Gen. Pope, being engaged in the battle of Cedar Mountain, Aug. 9, 1862; with the Army of the Potomac, under Gen. McClellan, in the Maryland campaign of 1862, being engaged in the battle of Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862, forwarding troops and supplies for the expedition of Gen. Banks to New Orleans, in the early part of 1863; chief of staff to Gen. Banks, March 6 to July 9, 1863, serving in the department of the Gulf, being engaged in the operations of the Teche campaign, including the combat at Fort Bisland, April 13-14, 1863, seige of Port Hudson, May 26 to July 9, 1863; in command of U.S. Colored Troops, Department of the Gulf, July 10, 1863, to Feb. 13, 1865, and of District of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson, Dec. 28, 1864 to Feb. 13, 1865; provost marshal-general of the Army of the Gulf, Feb. 27 to June 6, 1865, being engaged in the attack on Mobile and its defences, March 26 to April 12, 1875[sic], when he was mustered out of service. Appointed professor of French language, at the U.S. Military Academy, Feb. 28, 1871; to the department of instruction under his charge has since been added English studies; the professorship he still holds.
Samuel Breck Son of Samuel; born Feb. 26, 1834; entered the Military Academy, at West Point, July 1, 1851; graduated and appointed second lieutenant First Artillery, July 1, 1855; first lieutenant, April 1, 1861; captian, staff - assistant adjutant-general, Nov. 29, 1861; major, staff - additional aide-de-camp, May 23, 1862; assistant adjutant-general, July 17, 1862; brevet lieutenant-colonel, Sept. 24, 1864 "for meritorious and faithful services during the rebellion;" colonel, March 13, 1865, "for diligent, faithful and meritorious services in the adjutant-general's department during the rebellion." Breck served in Florida, against the Indians, 1855-56; in garrison at Fort Moultrie, S.C., 1856-57; at Fort Henry, Md., 1857-59; en route to Texas, marching from Helena, Ark., to Fort Clark, Texas, 1859; in garrison at Fort Moultrie, S.C., 1859-60, and at Military Academy, 1860-61; as assistant professor of geography, history and ethics, Sept. 14, 1860, to April 26, 1861, and principal assistant till Dec. 3, 1861; served against the rebellion of the seceding States, 1861-66, as assistant adjutant-general of Gen. McDowell's Division (Army of the Potomac), in the defences of Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 1861, to March 24, 1862; as assistant adjutant-general, First Army Corps, March 24, 1862, and of the Department of the Rappahannock, April 14 to June 20, 1862, being engaged in the occupation of Fredericksburg, Va., April 18, 1862, and expedition to the Shenandoah Valley, to intercept the retreat of the rebel forces, under Gen. Jackson; May and June, 1862; as assistant in the adjutant-general's office, at Washington, D.C.; since July 2, 1862, in charge of rolls, returns, books, blanks, and business pertaining to the enlisted men of the regular and volunteer forces, and of the records of discontinued commands, and the preparation and publication of the Volunteer Army Register, which postiion he now holds.
Samuel P. Gates Son of Pearly Gates; born in Ashby, Mass., June 8, 1837; mustered into the United States regular army, for five years, as sergeant, May 2, 1863, and detailed as clerk in adjutant-general's office, Washington, D.C.; mustered out by special order of the War Department, March 31, 1864. Gates also furnished a substitute.
Joseph H. Keith Son of Edwin; born April 23, 1836; mustered into the United States regular army, for five years, as sergeant, Dec. 31, 1863, and detailed in adjutant-general's office, at Washington, D.C.; mustered out by special order of the War Department, Aug. 20, 1866. Died at New Orleans, of yellow fever, Sept. 4, 1878.
James H. Schnider Chaplain, Second Regiment United States Colored Troops; son of Rev. Dr. Benjamin; born at Brusa, Asia Minor, March 14, 1839; drafted July, 1863, and appointed chaplain. Died at Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida, of yellow fever, April 25, 1864; buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y. At the time he was drafted he was a teacher in the Normal School.
Edgar H. Leonard Private, Co. H; Eleventh Regiment Vermont Volunteers; son of Orville; born Aug. 13, 1845; mustered into the United States service, for three years, (from Hartland, Vt.), Sept. 1, 1862; promoted corporal, Jan. 23, 1864. Died from wounds received at battle of Weldon Railroad, June 24, 1864; buried at Jennings Hill Cemetery.
William D. Mitchell Private, Co. B, Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers; son of Daniel; born at Hopewell, Taunton, Mass., July 31, 1841. His father's family moved to Bridgewater about 1847, and moved to Kansas in 1857, when William was sixteen years old. In 1860 he joined a company, for home protection, in which he served till the war broke out, when he enlisted as above stated. In the summer of 1862, his regiment was ordered to report to Gen. Halleck, who was pursuing Beauregard through Kentucky and Tennessee, they being at that time mounted sharpshooters. In May, 1863, Mitchell was promoted to first lieutenant in the Fifth Kentucky Cavalry. In March, 1864, he was transferred to the Third Brigade, Third Divison, Kilpatrick's Cavalry, and was, through the summer of 1864, with Gen. Sherman. After the fall of Atlanta, a battle took place with Wade Hampton's forces, near Lafayette, N.C., in which our troops were victorious, and, going some twenty miles, camped for the night. In the morning (March 10, 1865), they were surprised by the enemy, who captured some of their artillery. Mitchell (now captain) rallied his men and attempted to retake the guns, when he was shot through the heart. His men, with whom he was a favorite, avenged his death in their way, and again defeated the rebels. Mitchell was buried near where he fell, but after the war his body was removed to Mount Prospect Cemetery, Bridgewater, and a headstone erected to his memory.
In addition to the list of men already mentioned, who served in the service of their country, from Bridgewater, are the following, who did efficient service in the medical department of the army:
Benjamin T. Crooker Son of Benjamin; born June 20, 1834; appointed acting assistant surgeon, U.S. Army, May 22, 1862, and served at U.S. General Hospital, at Mill Creek, near Fortress Monroe, Va., from May, 1862, till Jan. 1863; was surgeon-in-charge from Oct. 1862 till Jan. 1863; medical director of transportation, at Fortress Monroe, till July 1863; surgeon-in-charge and executive officer at Balfour, U.S. General Hospital, at Portsmouth, Va., till July 1865; inspecting officer at U.S. General Hospital, Hampton, Va., till Jan., 1866; post surgeon at Norfolk, Va., till the date of his discharge, Aug. 20, 1866.
Lewis G. Lowe Son of Abraham T.; born Aug. 17, 1828; appointed acting medical cadet, Aug. 1862, and ordered to report to Judiciary Square Hospital, Washington, D.C.; resigned Nov. 1862.
Calvin Pratt Son of Calvin B.; born March 24, 1842; appointed acting medical cadet, Aug. 30, 1862, and reported to Judiciary Square Hospital, Washington, D.C.; resigned Nov. 13, 1862; came home, but returned in ten days; was re-appointed, and served in the same capacity four months longer.
I have not been able to obtain much information in regard to the men who served in the navy, and can find the names of but four men, who entered this branch of the service from Bridgewater.
R. Harrison Keith Son of Edwin; born July 19, 1830; entered the United States Navy, Sept. 19, 1862, as acting third engineer; served on board United States steamer Augusta till about September, 1863; then as fleet engineer's assistant; was promoted, June 6, 1864, to acting second assistant engineer, and had command, for about three months, of ships Edward and India, which was the repair shop of the squadron; afterwards in charge of stores for South Atlantic squadron, which position he held till the date of his resignation, June 28, 1866.
Granville Gould Enlisted in the navy in June, 1864, and served on board United States steamer Fort Donalson, first as yeoman, then as paymaster's steward, and afterwards as paymaster's clerk; was engaged in both battles at Fort Fisher. Discharged July 20, 1865. (See Twenty-Ninth Regiment)
Lucius Pierce Son of Albert; born Dec. 19, 1848. He went to New York, shipped on a coasting vessel, and in his travels arrived in New Orleans, at which place he enlisted in the navy, but at what time I am unable to ascertain. He served on a gunboat, and was killed near New Orleans, La., by the explosion of the boiler, June 16, 1866. A headstone has been erected to his memory, at Mount Prospect Cemetery.
Timothy Driscoll Son of Daniel. I have not been able to find date of birth or date of enlistment. He was discharged from United States steamer Ladona, as landsman, May 9, 1865. Died at Bridgewater, March 27, 1868; buried at Catholic Cemetery near the church. He served in the army before he entered the navy, but I cannot tell in what regiment.
We have now reached the culminating point in the war. Four four long and weary years had the nation used its utmost energies to put down the most gigantic rebellion known in the history of Christian nations. On the 3d of April, 1865, Gov. Andrew received the following telegram from Secretary Stanton:
"The following telegram from the President, announcing the evacuation of Petersburg, and probably Richmond, has just been received by this department:
City Point, Va., 3d, 8:30 A.M. 'This morning Gen. Grant reports Petersburg evacuated, and he is confident Richmond also is. He is pushing forward to cut off, if possible, the retreating army. A. LINCOLN.'"
Later - "It appears by the despatch just received at this department, from Gen. Weitzell, that our forces, under his command, are in Richmond, having taken it at 8:35 this morning." Edwin M. STANTON
Immediately upon the receipt of this important news, Gov. Andrew telegraphed to Secretary Stanton:
"I give you joy on the triumphant victories. Our people, by a common impulse, abandoned business to-day for thanksgiving and rejoicing."
The information of the fall of Richmond, the advance of the Union army, and the retreat of lee, was everywhere received with the wildest demonstations of delight. In Bridgewater, as well as in other places, business was suspended, guns fired, bells rung, and everyone seemed to feel that at last the war was over, and peace would once more return to our distracted country. On the 9th of April, Gen. Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant, which virtually closed the war. On the 11th of April, Gov. Andrew telegraphed to President Lincoln:
"Will you proclaim a national thanksgiving, April 19? The anniversay of the battle of Lexington, and the attack on our troops in Baltimore, would be appropriate, if sufficient times remains."
The suggstion was not adopted by the President, and it is well that it was not, for in a few days our rejoicing was turned to mourning. On the morning of April 15, came the terrible news that President Lincoln had been shot by the assassin Booth. Never had there been so sudden a change from joy to grief. In commemoration of our late President, a meeting was held at the Unitarian Church, Wednesday, April 19, the several choirs uniting in the singing, and the ministers of the town joining in the service, each making an address of ten minutes. The house was packed with a most solemn and affected people. In the evening a meeting of committees, from the four Bridgewaters, was held at the Town Hall, Bridgewater, to make arrangements for a suitable commemoration service, and it was decided to hold such a meeting at the Agricultural Hall, June 1; and in accordance with that arrangement, a memorial service was held, with the following programme:
At 10 o'clock, A.M., a procession was formed at the Town Hall, under the direction of Dr. Asa Millet, assited by Capt. C.E. Chruchill, Capt. Thomas Ripley, Sergt. George H. Morse, Charles Colwell, Timothy O'Leary, of West Bridgewater, Sumner Keith, Hosea Kingman, E.C. Alden, Patrick Frawley, Samuel Bostick, of Bridgewater, J.E. Hayward, George E. Luzander, Tolman French, C.C. Whitman, of East Bridgewater, accompanied by the Bridgewater Cornet Band, and marched to the hall, which was filled to its utmost capacity. The meeting was called to order by A.G. Boyden, esq., and organized by the choice of the following officers: President, Hon. J.A. Shaw; Vice-Presidents, Hon. Artemas Hale, Hon. J.E. Crane, of Bridgewater, Austin Packard, James Howard, of West Bridgewater, Hon. James H. Mitchell, Ezra Kingman, of East Bridgewater.
Mr. Shaw, on taking the chair, made an appropriate address, after which Rev. Ebenezer Gay offered a fervent and eloquent prayer. The president then introduced the Hon. Thomas Russell, of Boston, who at once had the earnest attention of the audience, and held it for more than an hour and a half. The difficult task of saying anything new of Mr. Lincoln did not seem to embarrass the speaker in the least; he left the audience in a condition to listen patiently another hour. The band discoursed appropriate music, and after singing "Old Hundred," by the people, the services were closed by a benediction by Rev. Mr. Gay. The meeting was the largest ever held in the hall, and had the citizens of North Bridgewater joined in the meeting, as was proposed, no building in town would have held the people.
The following town meetings were held during the years 1865 and 1866, on matters pertaining to the war: June 17, 1865, a meeting was held, and it was voted "to refund to individuals the amount subscribed, paid, and expended by them, for the purpose of raising recruits to fill the quota of the town, under the call of the President or order of the War Department, during the year l864; provided, also, that those persons who have furnished substitutes, shall be paid by the town the amount which the agents of the town were at that time paying for recruits." Voted, "That the whole matter be referred to the auditors of accounts, with instructions to investigate all the facts relating to the subject, such as the whole amount expended, in accordance with the act of the legislature, and the amount individually subscribed, also the amount which should be refunded to each subscriber." Voted, "To adjourn to Sept. 2,"
The next meeting called was one to meet Aug. 19, 1865, to act on the following articles: 1. To choose a moderator. 2. To see if the town will take any measures to give a public reception to our returned soldiers, in testimony of our gratitude and respect to them, for services rendered in the subjugations of the late rebels. The following is the report of the meeting under the above call: Town Meeting, Aug. 19, 1865. A meeting was held, in accordance with the above warrant. 1. Chose Eli Washburn, moderator. 2. Voted to adjourn sine die. A true copy of this meeting. Attest: Lewis Holmes, Town Clerk
The citizens present, however, appointed a committee of nine, supposed to be in favor of having a reception, and a meeting was called on the following Monday evening. At that time four of the nine were present, and remained together about two hours, and decided it was inexpedient to have a reception. The meeting which was adjourned to Sept. 2, met on that day, and on motion to reconsider the vote passed June 17, to refund to subscribers, etc., decided in the negative, 87 yeas to 128 nays.
The last meeting held, in relation to the war, was held April 7, 1866, and it was voted: "That the following vote, passed by the town, be rescinded, viz: The vote of the town, passed June 17, 1865, recorded on page 384, when it was voted 'to refund to individuals the amount subscribed, paid, and expended by them, for the purpose of raising recruits to fill the quota of the town, under the call of the President, or order of the War Department, during the year 1864, etc., etc.'" On motion to adjourn this meeting, sine die, it was voted, "That the question be taken by the yeas and nays." The roll of the voters was called, and the result declared by the moderator to be 239 yeas and 189 nays.
At a meeting held April 23, 1866, the following resolutions, offered by Samuel Breck, esq., were read, and the meeting voted that they be accepted and placed on record: "1. That the people of Bridgewater, yielding to no body of men on earth, in deep devotion to the interest and honor of the country, will not raise, by taxation or otherwise, any sum of money whatever to refund monies contributed by individuals to release themselves, or others, from the military service of the country, in the time of great public danger. 2. That the people of Bridgewater hold it to be the highest and most solemn duty of every citizen, when lawfully called upon, to maintain the rights and honor of his country with arms in his hands. 3. That the gallant men of Bridgewater, who, during the late rebellion, in scorching sunshine and drenching storm, in the muddy camp by night and in the toilsome march by day, in the fierce assault and furious battle, with constancy and couraged faced the enemies of their country, 'we tender our heartiest thanks - our warmest admirations.' 4. That to thosee men who, by their own and the charitable contributions of their neighbors, obtained exemption from the same glorious service, 'we tender our conditional silence.'
Bridgewater furnished about four hundred and eleven men for the war, which was a surplus of forty over and above all demands; ten were commissioned officers. The total amount of money appropriated and expended by the town, for war purposes, exclusive of State aid, was twenty-nine thousand and nine hundred dollars ($29,900.00). The amount of money raised and expended during the war for State aid, and repaid by the State, was $15,683.07.
Fifteen years have nearly passed since the soldiers of the rebellion returned to their homes, and resumed their duties as citizens. They have settled in different parts of the country, and are engaged in all the various branches of industry. Not one of them has brought discredit upon the fair name of the town, or proved that he is less capable of being a good citizen, because he was a soldier.
The services of Memorial Day have been observed nearly every year since the close of the war, either by a committee appointed at the annual town meeting, or by the citizens. In the year 1878, the town appropriated a liberal sum, for the purpose of erecting suitable headstones for all unmarked soldiers' graves, some twenty in number. The day was observed, in 1880, as usual, with the following programme by a committee appointed by the town, at the March meeting, consisting of Arthur Hooper, Isaac R. Alden, Robert E. Smith, Alexander Dove, Jr., and Sumner Keith. At sunrise the American flag was run up at half-mast on the staff on the common; soon after a detail of the committee started to decorate the graves in the cemeteries at Jennings Hill, Prattown, Cherry Street, Hillside, Conant Street, South Street, Titicut, Scotland, and the Catholic and Episcopal cemeteries. Large contributions of flowers were received by the committee, from ladies and children near each cemtery. At half-past two o'clock, P.M., on the arrival of Justin Demick Post 124, Grand Army of the Republic, of East Bridgewater, headed by the Campello band, services were held in the Central Square Church as follows:
Reading of Scriptures, by Rev. J.C. Bodwell.
Prayer by Rev. Isaac Dunham.
Music - Decoration Hymn.
God of the living and the dead,
We bow before Thy face;
Pleading Thy goodness and our need,
We supplicate Thy grace.
As in the days that once were ours,
In camp, on march, in field,
Our strength was in Thy mighty arm -
Thy guardian love our shield;
As when the storm of battle lowered,
Our courage was in Thee,
And for one country and one flag,
We fought on land and sea;
As we have mourned with aching hearts
The love of comrades brave,
And gather here to scatter flowers
Upon each cherished grave;
So muster back our dead, that they
With us our ranks may fill,
And stand in glad fraternity,
Shoulder to shoulder still;
So give us faith in human right,
In justice and in Thee,
That we may hold those once our foes
In Christian charity.
So make each patriot soldier's grave
A sacred shrine to be,
That a high altar it may prove
Of stalwart loyalty.
Then, when the great inspection day
Shall sound its bugle call, May we, in Heaven's grand parade,
Give answer one and all.
Address by Rev. D.W. Waldron, of Boston.
At the conclusion of the services at the church, a procession was formed, in the following order, and marched to Mount Prospect Cemetery:
Campello Band. Post 124, G.A.R., of East Bridgewater. Public Schools. Citizens.
Arriving at the cemetery the graves were decorated, which closed the services of the day.
EXTRACTS from Rev. D.W. Waldron's ADDRESS
But I must not detain you to review the years of war. The hand of the historian has placed them in enduring colors upon time's canvas. I now turn to the practical question, "Are we going to perpetuate our heritage?" Do we intend to carry out the designs of the generations of the past and of Providence? It is a debt we owe to our fathers, and to our posterity, to convey the treasures, accumulated through all these years of sacrifice and blood, to the generations yet to come. It is for us to decide whether this country, in whose earth repose so many brave men, whose past history has been vocal with the song of glories yet in reserve for her, shall continue to be the channel of happiness to man and glory to God. A few years ago it seemed we might be recreant to the tremendous charge. It seemed that the nation was about to abdicate its imperial sovereignty, bare its bosom to the assassin's dagger, and die in shame. Its authority was defied by those whom it had brought up as children, and crowned with the fairest honors; its forts were seized; its renowned flag was trampled in the dust, and all the world echoed the exclamation, "The Republic has burst!" The correspondent of the London Times, passing through New York, found, as he said, the people in a state of indifference. But, as we know, that was an illusion, or at least the dead calm that precedes the whirlwind. And now, having, by the blessing of Almighty God, put down the rebellion, liberated the people of the South from its despotism, planted the Stars and Stripes over every city from the Chesapeake to the Rio Grande, and shown that the firest of patriotic devotion never burned with a purer or more intense flame in the palmiest days of Greece or Rome, or any other land rendered classic by struggle for freedom and national existence, let us regard it as a debt we owe to the past and the future - a debt of gratitude to our honored forefathers, and a debt of service to our posterity, to perpetuate this nation; for we form the mystic bridge, across which, if at all, its untold treasures, accumulted by the toil, the blood, and the wisdom of many ages, must be conveyed, to bless and enrich the generations yet to come. It is for us to decide whether this country, in whose earth sleeps the dust of so many wise and good men, whose air has been vocal from the landing of the pilgrims until now, with the prayer and praises of innumerable saints, whose history has been so full of providence , and so prophetic of a grand future, which has already sent out its boughs unto the sea and its branches unto the river, whether it shall be handed down to those who shall come after us, in unshorn beauty and thought.
Assembled here on Memorial Day, I would impress upon you this thought, in reference to the work to be done. What an immense power is here for its accomplishment. We smile at the man who stood by Niagara, as, gathering her waters from a hundred lakes, she rolled them over the falls with the roar of a hundred thunders, and who, instead of being filled with a sublime admiration of the scene, began to calculate how much machinery the water power would turn. But it is a solemn, inspiring thought to think how much moral machinery all this power now before me could turn for the perpetuity of this nation, were every scheming brain, and busy hand, and willing heart, engaged in the noble service. What glory would accrue to God, what benefit to humanity! What power was latent in steam till it was made to turn the iron arms of machinery. What power was latent in the skies till science climbed their heights, and, seizing the spirit of thunder, chained it to our earth, abolishing space, outstripping the wings of time, and flashing our thought across rolling seas to distant continents. Yet what area these to the moral power that lies latent in this audience? And why latent? Because you do not appreicate your individual influence nor estimate your individual responsibilties. You cannot do everything, so you do nothing. You cannot blaze like a star, so you will not shine like the glow worm. The few do all the work. The many look on. The woods are clothed in green by each leaf expanding its own form. The fields are covered with golden grain by each stalk ripening its own head. The coral reef uprises from the depths of ocean by every little insect building its own rocky cell. Look at the coral reef, where it encircles the fair isles of the Pacific, or, by Australian shores, stretches its unbroken walls for a thousand leagues along the sea. How contemptible the builders. The aggregate of their labors, how colossal. So would it be among you and throughout the nation, did all feel their individual responsibilities. The greatest things ever done on earth have been done by littles.
The wall was restored around Jerusalem by each man building the breach over against his own door. From an humble birthplace and a lowly family came forth the mightiest of all deliverers, whose dominion shall be from the river to the ends of the earth. The soil of our world was redeemed from gloomy forests by each emigrant cultivating the land arond his own log cabin. The greatest battles have not been won by generals, who got their breasts blazoned with stars and their brows crowned with honors, but by the rank and file - every man holding his own fort and ready to die on the field of battle. They won the victory. It was achieved by the blood and the courage of the many. And if this nation is to continue, it is by every man and woman doing their individual work; this nation so full of sore places for you and me to heal, dark places for you and me to brighten, rough places for you and me to smooth, sad places for you and me to cheer, and wicked places for you and me to fill with the saving love of the gospel of our dear Lord. For your encouragement I wish to say, that your ability to do your part in this work does not depend on great intellectual attainments. With much or little intellect you can fulfill your mission to your country.
The dewdrop will bend the violet to the earth, while the giant oak can defy the wind, the storm, and the hurricane. But one is alive as much as the other, one is as beautiful as the other. So the most humble man, who with energy, affection, and obedience, toils in a narrow path, using his one talent for the benefit of his fellow-men, does his appointed work as well as would a Milton or a Bacon, a Franklin or a Webster, with all their mighty powers. In the eye of Jehovah, the elephant is no better than an insect, the Atlantic ocean no better than yonder lake, Niagara no better than a little rill. The Hudson may be of far more importance, because of its deeper channel, broader bosom, and larger course, than a little brook that meanders through the meadow of some country valley. One is a broad highway over which passes the commerce of great States; the other gives grass to the meadows, drink to the cattle, and beauty to the landscape. But the Hudson is entitled to no special praise for being what it is, and is no more beautiful in divine estimation than the brook. God hath made every thing beautiful in its season. All He requires is that every man shall be faithful to himself, his fellow-men and his Creator. The name of Luther or of Paul is of no account before the King of Kings, nor the office of reforemer or apostle, only as meaning mighty labor accomplished for the cause of Christ. One stood alone before a corrupt church, the other before a sinful world; and although their influence has been wide-spread, and the result of their work most glorious, I do not believe that they receive any more honors in the presence of God than he who wrestles bravely and successfully with a sinful habit, than he who humbly labors, bearing the heat and burden of the day in some hidden corner of our national vineyard, and labors faithfully to the end. Our heavenly Father will give his heartiest heavenly welcomes to those who have lived according to their intellectual capacity. I wish also to say that your ability to do your part in this work does not depend upon your social position.
A man cannot excuse himself from responsibility on the ground that he has no influence. That farmer, or mechanic, or clerk, says, few know me; those who do, regared me of very little importance; but if I was a minister, a physician, a lawyer, or a prominent merchant; if I could talk with the eloquence of the orator; if I held the pen of a ready writer, then I should feel that I had some responsibility. And yet there is a work for him. No one else can do it. In Maryland in the summer they have an abundance of little winged creatures, resembling bees in their power to sting and in their appearance, which they call yellow jackets. During the late war, while a battle was in progress, a battery of field artillery was ordered to a certain hill to, where it soon planted itself and opened a destructive fire upon the enemy. Unfortunately for the parties concerned there was a nest of yellow jackets in the grass which covered the eminence; and as the guns thundered, each little fellow who was provoked at the situation said within himself, "I am ready to do all I can to capture this artillery." Not one of the swarm was afriad of the cannon; not one appalled by the magnitude of the undertaking; not one depressed by the apprehension of his own comparative insignificance. Every atom in the mass of winged life went to work in such a lively fashion that in a few moments officers, men, and horses were gone, and the yellow jackets held the guns. It might have taken several regiments of soldiers to capture the battery; but, owing to the fact that each little fellow devoted himself completely to the task, the band was soon victorious. Every assailant did his best, and the battery was silenced.
If each one were to do his own work, how many batteries in our country, that now flame and smoke against the best interests of humanity, would be silenced. If every one would do his best for his fellow-men, how much greater progress would be made. Let each one do what he can.
Suppose the sunbeam were to refuse to shine upon the far Atlantic or Pacific, because, only here and there, at remotest intervals, a white sail reveals the presence of animate intelligence, because it has no social position, and is in danger of being unknown. The naturalist tells us that if the solar ray were thus lifted from the sea, the immense evaporation from its surface, amounting to the literal skimming of the ocean, to the depth of three-fourths of an inch daily, would cease, all the atmospheric phenomena would become deranged, fertile climates would be rendered barren and unsupportable, and the whole arth would be out of joint. In nature everything has a sueful and a vital part to perform. It is so with men. The commander of an ocean steamer is a very important person, but it is seldom that his skill is called into exercise. Wre it not for the importance of there being some one person on board the steamer invested with the supreme authority, and from whose decision there is no appeal, the subordinate officers and crew could navigate the vessel, load and unload her cargo, and in every way meet the demands of the voyage. The commander is the man whose name is advertised and meets the public eye and possesses the public confidence. But the men who sweat before the hot and roaring fires, the men who climb the icy rigging, who with stiffening limbs battle with the frozen rails, and watch hour after hour amid cold and darkness for danger, are little thought of. We see a notorious leader of armies surrounded in the hour of triumph by a brilliant staff, music, bursts and rattles upon the air, proud horses paw the ground, the mulitutdes shoult and cheer. How few think at such a time of the thousands of graves where men lie who paid the costly price for this hour of their leader's triumph. Few think of the lonely watch on the distant picket line, the desperate charge on fortification, the carnage of the battle field. Few think of the hospitals, with their long row of narrow beds, like so many graves, their inmates just escaped. Few think of the homes where they mourn in the very bitterness of grief for those who went and never returned and never shall. We crown the leaders, their names are on all lips, their praises are sung everywhere and by all, but the men are forgotten whose heroic courage gave them triumph. The common soldier is just as essential to the conquering army as the commander-in-chief.
The day laborer, who, with sweaty hand and sweaty brow, split out of the quarries yonder monumental shaft, did a work as essential to its graceful beauty, as did the sculptor who brought out the designs upon it and engraved the names it will bear for ages to come. Thus every man's position is influential. It was a clerk, a postmaster, and a few farmers who were the illustrious founders of this republic. It was an unlettered man who gave us Pilgrim's Progress, one not found among the distinguished writers of his time, but one whose toughts have shed their light through the ages. And when God wanted to bring out the power of prayer and effort, He called Harlan Page, a house carpenter, who won more than one hundred souls to Christ, and the value of whose efforts eternity alone will disclose. The final reckoning will be according to what a man hath. As Napoleon sent the same grand cross of knighthood to the general commanding his own army in the Crimea, and to a common solider in the English rank and file, in testimony of the admiration entertained by the French people for their respective bravery, so the estimate and reward we receive in the great day will not be effected by our social position.
I wish also to say that your ability to do your part of this work does not depand upon a long life. It is recorded the Xerxes, the Persian monarch, reviewing the mighty host, numbering more than two millions of men, with whom he was then invading Greece, burst into tears at the thought that in less than a century no one of that teeming multitude would then be alive. Our hearts are often made sad because so many of those who fought the battles of our country were early taken home. But the brief time of labor with one may equal the extended service of another. Not how long, but how much; not in what position or with how many talents, but how faithfully, are the questions that will be asked when we seek rewards.
"Oh! not by hours, or full or few, Our gracious Lord the toil computes - Some, ere exhales the early dew, At morn retire with sheaves of fruit."
Oh, fellow citizens, how much is comprehended in the years, be they few or many, we spend here, the time of earth's pilgrimage; its years and months, and week, and days, and moments; the means of grace granted to us; the Bible, with its doctrines, its precepts, and promises, its invitaions and threatenings, Sabbaths and sermons, and sacramental seasons; the instructions of parents, the counsels of friends, the words of the living preacher and the books of the author; the strivings of God's spirit, the remonstrations of conscience, and all the opportunities for doing good. Oh, my soul! what a landscape to look upon, what a scene to review, what a history to read! And all these are bestowed that religion may enlarge and purify our hearts, that grace and glory may come in beauty upon us to give us that elevation and grandeur of soul, that sacred heroism imparted to prophets, apostles, and martyrs, to make us mighty instruments of power for the well-being of others, that we may help in hastening on the day when the deepest groans of creation shall be hushed, the bitterest tears of humanity shall be wiped away, the beauties of holiness shall cover every region, and the song of salvation float on every breeze.
Fellow citizens, you live in an age of perils arising from the temptations to intemperance, dishonesty, and extravagance. You live in one of the most eventful eras in the history of the world. Whatever valor has done, science explored, art contrived, labor achieved, has come down to you. For you heroes have bled in the field, martyrs suffered at the stake, statesmen legislated, and the traveller crossed the desert and the ocean. You reciever the benefit of reformation and of revolution. Bible, tract, and missionary societies have been made ready to receive your treasures. You enter into the labors of all nations, ages, and generations. You are surrounded by the spoils of time, the wealth of nations, the achievements of men, and the gifts of Providence. Oh, then, in your generation, help to emancipate our country and the whole earth from the thraldom of misery under which they have so long been groaning. Labor for the glorious freedom of truth, holiness and happiness.
But I must not trespass farther on your time. You are waiting to deck yonder graves with flowers. I will delay the coronation no longer.
Ring out the strains like the swell of the sea;
Heartfelt this tribute we lay on each bed, -
Sounds o'er the brave the refrain of the free;
Sound the refrain of the loyal and free,
Visit each sleeper and hallow each bed;
Waves the starred banner from seacoast to sea;
Grateful the living and honored the dead.
Dear to each heart are the names of the brave;
Resting in glory, how sweetly they sleep;
Dewdrops of evening fall softing on each grave,
Kindred and strangers bend fondly to weep, -
Kindred bend fondly and roooping eyes weep
Tears of affection o'er every green grave;
Frseh are their laurels and peacful their sleep;
Love still shall cherish the noble and brave."
SOLDIERS' GRAVES DECORATED, MEMORIAL DAY, 1880
Nathan Washburn................... 42d Mass. Regt.
Nathan Mitchell...................... 39th " "
A. Bartlett Keith...................... 7th " "
Rufus W. Wood...................... 18th " "
Chas. W. Clifford.................... 29th " "
Wm. B. Wrightington............. 24th " "
Isaac Dunham, Jr................... 7th " "
Philo Carver............................ 89th " "
Henry V. Howes..................... 60th " "
Joseph H. Keith.................... U.S. Regulars
S. N. Grosvenor.................... 19th Mass. Regt.
Roscoe Tucker..................... 4th " Cav.
Lucius Pierce....................... Navy.
James W. Lee...................... 43d " Regt.
Frank E. Lee......................... 38th " "
W. D. Mitchell....................... 5th Ky. Cav.
Joshua S. Ramsdell............... 29th Mass. Regt.
Woodbridge Bryant................ 38th " "
Jerome B. Shaw.................... 20th " "
Edgar H. Leonard................... 11th Vt. "
Wm. D. Burtch...................... 1st Mass. Heavy Art.
Francis A. Tuttle.................... 31st Mass. Regt.
J. K. P. Chamberlain............. 58th " "
Henry A. Washburn............... 58th " "
William J. Tuttle..................... 24th " "
James L. Keith...................... 38th " "
William S. Harlow................. 58th Mass. Regt.
Samuel Jones...................... 3d " "
Jonah Benson....................... 58th Mass. Regt.
William Mitchell....................... 4th " "
Lysander W. Mitchell............ 4th " "
Seth W. Conant................... 58th Mass. Regt.
Lucius Conant..................... 58th " "
Alvin Conant........................ 38th " "
(Father and two sons.)
James Ellis........................ 32d Mass. Regt.
Homer S. Leach............... 16th Mass. Regt.
Edwin A. Hayward............. 88th " "
Charles S. Wentworth............ 18th Mass. Regt.
Joseph A. White..................... 11th " "
John C. Lambert..................... 29th Mass. Regt.
Andrew H. Hayward................ 58th " "
Geo. F. Graves....................... 7th " "
Elias Frawley........................ 58th Mass. Regt.
Timothy Driscoll.................. Navy.
Wm. T. Murphy...................... 58th Mass. Regt.
Bart. Coughlin....................... 3d " "
Cornelius Splaine.................. 41st " "
William Sheehan................... 175th N.Y.
Patrick Frawley, 2d................ 29th Mass. "
Singing by the Choir.
"Stew the fair garlands, where slumber the dead;