Natick acted swiftly to defend our nation in the Civil War. She reacted to the calamity 29 years before the outbreak of the war. It was 1832, when the Natick Antislavery Society was created. In 1841, she formed a militia, the Natick’s Mechanic Rifle Company, which included 205 members. In April of 1859, two years before the outbreak of the war, the membership had swollen to 1,430 men. In the spring of 1861, Governor Andrews called for the formation of regiments. A group of 94 men from that company answered the call. They became Company “H” of the 13th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
It is not known, but estimated that Natick’s quota of men throughout the war would be under 400 men after exemptions. The Commonwealth’s Adjutant General has accredited Natick with the service of 496 men, well above her obligations. Natick served in about 60% of the 114 military organizations created by Massachusetts.
She provided men for complete companies in two different regiments; that is about one hundred men in each company. They were the 13th Mass. Co. “H” and the 39th Mass. Co.”I”. Unfortunately, those regiments were in many precarious situations. Natick men severely paid for Union losses with 33 killed in action, 18 died from wounds, 45 died from disease, 39 were taken as prisoners of war, and 130 became disabled and were given disability discharges. Continue reading
Hopkinton acted early in the defense of our nation. Fort Sumter was attacked April 12, 1861. On April 19, 1861, Massachusetts troops were fired on in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the “Pearl Harbor” of that generation; the town’s people were appalled. The earliest Hopkinton could hold a Town Meeting was April 29, 1861. They did, and formed a War Committee. That committee acted to appropriate funds for soldiers and their families, as well as form a Militia Company.
Hopkinton was there from the beginning to the end. The first soldier to enlist was Edward Dove, on May 13, 1861. He was a sergeant in the 3rd Battalion of Riflemen known as “Dodd’s Riflemen“. Ironically, he would be among the last as on April 14, 1865, he accepted an appointment as Captain in the 103rdU.S. Colored Infantry. The last soldier to enlist from Hopkinton was Emory Watkins, February 17, 1865, into the 17th Mass. Vol. Inf. Continue reading
April 26, 1861, was the earliest legal date the Town of Medway could call a Town Meeting after the attack on Fort Sumner, and the call to arms of 75,000 men for three months by President Lincoln. On that date, a committee of twelve were appointed to recommend emergency measures that should be taken by Medway to support the war effort.
They put forward fourteen resolutions that formed and funded a militia company. They defined what actions the State and Nation had taken. They also recommended that a Military Commission of nine be selected to guide the town through its war efforts. That commission was formed of men from a generation that had never been engaged in a war, nor had ever planned for one. The wisdom and compassion from that committee were remarkable. They anticipated contingencies and planned for aid to families and soldiers that were unimaginable at that time. Continue reading
There have been countless books written on the subject of the Civil War. Many have described the details of battles and their leaders. This book is not intended to define the details of battles or depict their leaders. Instead, it is the story of two small companies of Sharpshooters from Massachusetts, and their exploits during that war.
Most units from the Civil War had their histories written soon after the war was over. The histories of the two companies of Andrew Sharpshooters were never written. The Sharpshooters were often used by other organizations, as their special skills of long-range shooting were needed. In some cases their histories were absorbed in those organizations. Continue reading
Years ago this author realized Framingham’s Civil War history had never been chronicled. Framingham’s tercentennial approached so he researched and wrote “Civil War Service of the Men and Women of Framingham, Massachusetts 1861 – 1865 a Memorial History” That book was sold out in a two-week period, but remained in demand. He later began a revised edition and titled it “Framingham’s Civil War Service, A History And Roster” This book concisely details’, with relevant illustrations, and a comprehensive index, the plight of the town of Framingham during that national cataclysm.
This book records when the town created a militia, long before Fort Sumter was attacked. It details how the town called its first meeting in May of 1861, and organized its War Committee, of nine citizens. It provides information regarding the States’ quota of 407 men from Framingham. It shows how that quota would be reduced to 386 men through exemptions, and that Framingham provided 530 men for the war effort. Continue reading