Alden “Tom” Ellis is an independent Civil War historian. Upon his discharge from the United States Army in 1965, he attended Northeastern and Towson State University. He was a board member on Framingham’s Flag Day Celebration Committee for many years. He served veterans at a local outreach center. He served on numerous boards of local service organizations. He spent much time at the Massachusetts Military Archives when it was located in Natick, and was accessible to researchers.
After his son at a young age expressed an interest in Civil War re-enacting, Ellis soon reckoned he would be camped out with his son on weekends all summer long. He couldn’t pass up that opportunity. He would also have the ability to question Civil War re-enactors on their vast knowledge of the war. Mr. Ellis eventually became the Adjutant General of the Union and Confederate Volunteers of New England. In that position, he assisted in organizing re-enactments and living history venues. He also was responsible for safety issues during those events. He was engaged in the production of the Civil War movie, “Lady in Black”, as a consultant and advisor regarding authenticity.
Through his research, he learned that the Massachusetts Andrew Sharpshooters’ Civil War history had never been written. Traveling throughout New England, he gleaned all the information he could from local histories. He walked many battlefields in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia to further understand the soldiers’ plight, and he wrote their history. The book was published by McFarland Publishers: “The Massachusetts Andrew Sharpshooters – A History and Roster.”
Now retired, he finds towns with little history written about their detailed Civil War sacrifices. He commits more than a year of his time researching and writing that town’s history. He is positive it is an incredible resource for that community now and in the future. It allows the descendants of these brave veterans to gain an understanding of what their forefathers went through. He searches their parents’ names, and mother’s maiden name whenever possible. By citing the sources, there is a path available for deeper exploration by the family.
He and his wife Pam reside in Medway, Massachusetts. His two adult children also live in the area.