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.
Throughout the war, Hopkinton’s quota would be 409 men. After exemptions, the quota would be reduced below that number. Hopkinton supplied 478 men, well above her obligation. Hopkinton men went on to serve in 55% of all military units sent out by the Commonwealth. Fortunately, no one battle destroyed a high number of Hopkinton men.
Still, twenty-six men would be killed in action, thirteen would die from wounds they received in battle, twenty-seven would die of disease, seventy-nine were wounded, and seventy-seven would become disabled and discharged.
The Commonwealth, throughout the war, would raise two black infantry and one black cavalry regiment. Hopkinton would provide black men to serve in the two Infantry units, and an officer for the cavalry unit. Hopkinton also provided white men as officers in National black regiments.
On the home front, the women of Hopkinton would also exceed expectations. They created an Auxiliary Association of the United States Sanitary Commission, through which they provided much needed supplies for the comfort and survival of the soldiers in the field.
Hopkinton’s contributions to the Civil War should never be forgotten; it is this book’s intention to ensure that never happens.