It is with considerable diffidence that the writer undertakes to contribute to tire history of tire town of Weymouth a chapter upon the military history of the old town, knowing that there will be more or less omissions and inaccuracies. I have availed myself of all accessible source% of information upon the subject in hand and endeavored to make these errors as few as possible.
As the causes of the several wars in which our country has been engaged are treated in any good history of the United States in a far Inore comprehensive way than I can hope to do, I shall confine myself to the briefest allusion to these causes compatible with the object of this work, and shall endeavor to show that when men or means were needed for the protection of the public welfare, Weymouth has never been backward in her contributions.
Our town has the distinction - whether enviable or unenviable I do not undertake to say - of being the scene of the first armed conflict in the eastern part of the country in which the white race took part. I refer to the fight between Myles Standish, with his little army of eight men, and the Indians. Weymouth, unlike the colony at Plymouth, appears to have had no man of military training and experience, and when the conspiracy among the Indians to exterminate the white settlers was discovered, called upon the Plymouth Colony for aid. This call was responded to by sending the redoubtable Captain Standish with his little force to quell the conspiracy. This was done so effectually that no further trouble from the Indians was experienced for several years.
The next serious outbreak was the Pequot War in 1636-37~ 1 nis war wa- fought mostly in Connecticut. Weymouth had at that time about three hundred and fifty inhabitants. The town was assessed X27 and furnished five men, none of whose names are now known.
A treaty of peace made between the Plymouth Colony and Chief Massasoit was strictly observed during the life of Massasoit. After his death, his son Philip succeeded to the chieftancy and assumed the title of King Philip. Philip appears to have been a man of far greater mental endowments than the average Indian of his time. He saw the forests through which his people had roamed and hunted disappearing beneath the axe of the settler, and the land being fenced in under the claims of the white man. He did not acknowl-
edge these claims. He denied the right (f their fathe, to ,,, the land of their people. Philip foresaw that with their widely differing modes of life the time was not far distant when his People and the whites could not occupy the same land in peace, Asuierbroorodc(el Inder these things he concluded that either tile white
ian must perish from the land. Being a man of great sagacity and force of character, Philip was able to secure the joint act , ion of the several tribes in New England in an effort to exterminate Or drive out the white settlers.
The whole territory east of the Connecticut River ivas brought under the reign of terror occasioned by this war ' The first blow fell in the town of Swansea on Sunday morning, July 4, 1675, as the people were returning from church '
It may be of interest to note ' that Swansea was a part of the grant acquired under the name of Rehoboth I)v the Rev. Samuel Newman and his colony of about forty familieq ~Iio migrated from Weymouth in the year 1646, and was at that time a frontier town.
The war was fought with the utmost ferocity on both sides, each knowing well that its result was to determine which should occupy the land. Thirteen towns were devastated, six hundred houses burned, and about that number of the colorlims killed. About a thousand of the Indians are said to have been killed in one engagement,
Weymouth was the scene of an Indian inNasion on April 19 1676 , in which eight houses were burned, one of AvIlich slood near where the house of Henry K_ Loud, 563 Pleasant Street ' noa stands. This was the nearest to Boston that the war left anv marks.
Philip was killed Aug. 12, 1676. He had conducted the war from his home on Mount Hope, R. L
The Indians were defeated, and witit the death of Philip their tribal government east of the Connecticut River seems to have come to an end.
It is difficult to glean from the scanty records of the time just how many men from Weymouth served in this war. The following names are mentioned, all of whom were probablv of this town: Benjamin Poole, Thomas Bayley, John Pinchon, Joshua Phillips, John Record, Richaru Adams, Wiiliam Sewell, John Nk'hitniarsh,
Allen Dugland, Isaac King, John Ashdowne, Lieut. Phomeas Upham, Hezekiah King, Jonas Humphrey, John Reed, Joseph Richards, James Reed, John Lovet, Edward Kingman, Will Nellis, John Hollis, John Burril. As near as I have been able to determine there were about forty in all, probably in exc"~ of that number. It is impossible, I think, to learn how many of these lost their lives in this war.
While King Philip's War was the most terribic, '((urge suffered by New F- front Indian warfare, tire colonists were not suffered to live long in peace. King William's War broke out in 1689; Queen Anne's War in 1702- and King George's War thirty years later. For the purpose of tl!tis work I think best to treat of322 NfUtTARV (([STORY OF XkEVNIOUllf
these together, as they appear to have been of the same general character, in that they were all the outgrowth of European conflicts in which England and France were arrayed against each other. Canida then being under French control, the French, together with their Indian allies, naturally adopted the course of striking England whenever they had a chance. On this side of the water that chance came by the opportunity of attacking the English colonies in New England.
Ail the (mAns of the Massachusetts colonies were called upon for heavv contributions of men and means to combat these frequent inxasions from the north upon our frontier towns by the merc;'C-savages There is no rcL~..' ,f how many men were furnished by the town of Weymouth. The following names are mentioned, all of whom are assumed to have had a part in these Wars: 1688, Cornet Nash and Sergeant Phillips; 1690, Sergeant Holbrook, Sergeant Reed, Quartermaster French, Lieutenant Nash and Ensign Phillips; 1693, Lieut. Ebenezer White, Sergt, Samuel Holbrook, Sergeant Whitman, Capt. Ephraim.Hunt and Capt. John Holbrook; 1695, Sergeant Reed; 1716, Maj. Ephraim Hunt and Captain White; 1670, Lieutenant-Colonel Hunt; 1706, Sergeant Tirrell; 1708, Sergeant Pittie; 1709, Sergt. James Richards; 1711, Lieutenant Pratt; 1713, Lieut. Joseph Nash, Lieut. Jacob Nash, Lieut. John Pratt, Lieut. John Torrey, Major Thaxter and Sergt. Abiah Whitman; 1714, Ensign Joseph Nash; 1717, Capt. John Hunt; 1719, Lieut. John Torrey; 1720, Lieut. Enoch Lovell; 1725, Ensign Ezra Whitmarsh anti Sergeant. Tirrell; 1734, Captain Cushing; 1745, Lieut. Jacob Turner.
The barbarous character of these Wars, as Well as of the French and Indian War, which followed a few vear~ later, may be inferred from the following extract from the Province Laws of 1696:
A r~ivard of fifty pounds per head for P~ery Indian man, and twenty-five pcwnds per head for every Indian wornin or child, mile or female, under the aj~e of lourteen years. taken or brought in prisoner. The scalps of all Indians slain to be produced, the money to be paid from tfie province Treasury.
The next outbreak of open hostilities Was that which has come down in historv under the name of the French and Indian War. This, like the preceding Wars, had a close connection with the hostile relations of France and England in Europe, but it had, if possible, a more vital interest for the colonies than either of the others. It seem.,, nec"sary here to look briefly to the ' difference in the
The colonists, probably, had little interest in the quarrels of tire French and English on the other side of the Atlantic, but they had
verv vital interest in the development of the country west of the mountains. From their point of view the time had come when the question must be decided once for all whether they were to be pernut(ed to extend i~2:7 settlements into the valleys of the Ohio River and the Mississippi, or whether these broad regions Were to be left in the undisputed possession of the French and I udians.
To determine this question of possession, the War was waged from 1754 to 1763. At the end of that time Canada was war worn, impoverished and on the verge of famine, and was readv for peace.
France gave up to England all her continental territory east of the Mississippi.
The colonies Were in hardly less impoverished c(ndi tion than ~Canada. Fn0and furnished some troops With their leaders and munitions of war; but the brunt of the war was borne by the colonies. The Americans lost thirty thousand men and suffered the horrors of Indian barbarity. They also spent $16,000,001), of which England later repaid $5,000,000. We are told that in some instances the taxes equaled two-thirds the income of the taxpayer, but were borne without a murnmr. The names preserved to us of those who served in this war from Weymouth areas follows: Lieut. William Holbrook, John Canterbury, Hezekiab '~Vhite, Joseph Trufant, Ensign Nathaniel Bayley, Jonathan Darby, Benjamin Threll, Stephen Salisbury, Silas Lovell, Lieut. Solomon Lovell, Sergt. Caleb Eldridge, Scrgt. Jonathan Darby, Sergt. Thomas Cushing, Corp. Jo;m Canterbury Jr., Corp. Benjamin Nash, Corp. James Hunt, Silas Lovell, Be~jamhi Tirrell, Joseph Pratt, 3d, Noah Bates'
William Richards, Joseph Ford, Lemuel Barber, Joseph Blanchard, James Nash, Ebenezer Tirrell, Humphrey Burrell, Isaac Poole, William Holbrook, Jr., William Rice, John Lincoln, Stephen Canter hury, Benjamin Richards, Samuel Orcutt, David Orcut.t, Stephen Salisbury, Thomas Colson, Jr., Nehemiah joy, Isaac joy, John R. Vining and William Bates. Of the above, six died in the service viz.: Thomas Cushing, James Hunt, John Canterbury, Willi'~m Holbrook, Benjamin Richards and John R. Vining.
WEYMOUTH DURING KING PHILIP'S WAR
By SAMUEL W. REFii
King Philip's War was one of the most important events in the early annals of Massachusetts history- The immediate cause of the war was the execution of three Indians by the English for the murder of one Sausaman, air Indian missionary who was friendly to the English. Oil June 24, 1675, the Indians made an attack upon Swansea in Plymouth Colony, killing a number of the inhabitants. Troops from both the Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies proceeded at once to the scene of conflict where they attacked Philip's forces an(] defeated them. Philip himself fled and sought refuge among, the neighboring tribes whom he stirred up to join him in defence of their race. For the defraying of the expense of the troops from the Massachusetts colony on this expedition a tax was levied by the General Court on July 9, 1675, upon the inhabitants of the colony to be all paid in money. Three single country rates were also ordered to he levied this year upon the inhabitants payable in grain, such as pay in money to be abated one-quarter. These I understand to be the same as the ten rates, viz.: a tax of 10 pence per pound upon the property owned by the inhabitants. On July 13 ' 1675, the Governor and Council of the Massachusetts Colonv for the protection of the frontier directed the commander of the ;cgiment for Suffolk County to issue his order to the committee of the militia for the several towns, to provide twelve men each, with arms and ammunition, who, with fiv6 or six Indians under Captain Gookin, were to scout the woods between Menclon and Hingham. In the following October a fort was built at Punckepauge the garrison of which were to use all diligence in scouting and r~nging the woods between Weymouth and Natick. In Septe~iber, 1675, Hadley, Deerfield and'Northfield, towns on Connecticut River were attacked ' Capt. Thomas Lothrop, while engaged in transporting grain from Deerfield to Hadley, was attacked by about eight hundred Indians near Muddy River, on September 18, and was killed, together -with seventy men. Capt. Samuel Moseley came to his assistance and defeated the Indians. In this engageritent ' Thomas Bayley, a Weymouth man, was killed, and Richard Russ , a Weymouth mail who was in Captain Moseley's company, was severely wounded in the abdomen, being struck by a bullet which carried in with it the ring of his bandifeer. The ring, after remaining in the wound for about three years, was cut out by a Dutch chirurgion, who charged 40 shillings for the operation, Russ petitioned the General Court to lie allowed this amount, and his petition was granted. Afterwards at a meeting of the selectmen of Weymouth, held March 2 168t it was voted that, whereas Richard Ru~s was lame and d~crcpi~, and it was our duty to take care for his cure, SergtSamuel White be empowered to treat with
one Dr. Cutter and arrange for his cure. This was done and a bill for E2 11s. afterward% presented which was paid by the town. Oil Oct. 13, 1675, the General Court ordered that there should be levied seven single country rates, three of these rates to be paid at or before the last of November and the other four at or before the last of March, 1876, to be paid in grain, such as make payment in money to be abated one-quarter. The amount Weymouth was required to pay by each of these single rates was E25 9s. 4d, On Nov. 3, 1675, the General Court directed each town to provide, in addition to their town stock of ammunition, six hundred flints for each one hundred enlisted soldiers, and so proportionally for a lesser or greater number. On Dec. 1, 1675, a warrant was directed to Capt. William Torrey of the committee of the militia of Weymouth, requiring him to furnish twelve nren for the country's service. In response thereto, the following persons were provided for the service, viz.: Hezekiah King, Jonas Humphrey, Joseph Richards, Allen Dugland, John Whitruarsh, Zachariah Gurney, John Read, John Ford, John Lovell, William Mellis, John Burrell and Edward Kingman. In Capt. Isaac Johnson's company, in December, 1675, all the above-named persons appear as memhers except John Ford. There are also two other Weymouth men mentioned as members of that company, viz.: James Read and John Hollis. In what was known as the Swamp fight, which occurred Dec. 19, 1675, and in which Captain Johnson's Company took part, Allen Dugland was killed and Isaac King wounded. This Isaac King was doubtless the same person as Hezekiah King. On the night of Feb. 25, 1676, the Indians burned seven houses 'end barns at Weymouth. These belonged to John Rane, Sergt. John Whitmarsh and John Richards, and were undoubtedly situated upon Pleasant Street, or, as it was then called, the road leading into the woods. Capt. William Torrey probably applied to the Governor and Council for assistance at this time, for on the seventh day of the following March he acknowledged having received the ,assistance of fourteen men from Captain Jacobs' Company for the protection of Weymouth, Hingham and Hull. Captain Jacobs succeeded to the command of Capt. Isaac Johnson's Company upon the death of Captain Johnson in December, 1675, and his company included several Weymouth men. Oil March 7 Captain Torrey reports that lie has not under his command above forty men, besides two or three boys and some old men without arms; that the works are large, but he hopes defensible; and that lie has charge of the defence of many scores of women and children. On March 28 Captain Torrey presented a petition to the Governor and Council requesting that the ten able men furnished by the town for the country's service upon the Connecticut River be set Lit liberty because of the great want of men for the defence of the tmN it, The names of these men were Joshua Phillips, John Arnold, John Record, Benjamin Poole, John Ludden. Abrain Shaw, Robert (,ol)l)ctt (with Captain Gilhain); Isaac Cakebread of Springfield, 326 muxrARY HISTORY OF WFYMOUTH
Jeremiah Clothier, John Ashdown. This request was denied. About this time says Hubbard in his history of Indian Wars, "the enemv began to scatter about in small companies, doing what mischi~f they could about Massachusetts, killing a man at Weymouth, another at Hingham, as they lay skulking up and down in swamps and holes to assault any that occasionally looked never so little into the woods." This refers to the killing of Sergi. Thomas Pratt at Weymouth oil April 19, 1676, and John Jacob, Jr., at Hingham the same day. Oil April 20 Capt. William Torrey received a warrant for the impressment of six additional men front Weymouth. On the evening of that day five houses in Hingham were burned. That same evening Captain Torrey wrote to the Governor and Council setting forth the deplorable condition of Weymoutb, and requesting that the six men ordered to be impressed might be discharged so as to protect their own homes, adding to the letter the following postscript: "Just at this instant saw appearing of fire arid smoke about the town whereby we certainly know that the enemy is very near us," On May 3 the General Court passed an order that ten single country rates should be collected this year in specie, and that an abatement of one-quarter should be made for payment in money. On May 18 Capt. William Turner surprised and slew a large number of Indians at the falls in the Connecticut River in Greenfield, since called by his name. In this fight Benjamin Poole and John Ashdown, both of Weymouth, were killed. The death of King Philip on Aug. 12, 1676, practically ended the war so far as this part of the country was concerned, although the war was continued at the eastward until the spring of 1678. It is uncertain how many men served in the war from Weymouth. In addition to those above named doubtless the following persons served as a part of her quota, viz.: William Read, Jacob Nash. John Stuart, Capt. John Holbrook, John Poole, Joseph Shaw, Thomas Drake, Jonathan Torrey, Richard Adams and John Randall. Oil Dec. 4, 1676, the town's stock of guns and ammunition consisted of one hundred and twenty-eight flints, one hundred and forty-three pounds of powder, five hundred arid eighty-four bullets and fourteen pounds of shot. On Oct~ 9, 1676, the selectmen of Weymouth put in their petition to the General Court for allowance for losses sustained in the war. In this petition the only persons named whose property was destroyed are John Rane, Sergt. John Whitmarsh and John Richards. The only persons mentioned as having been killed are Thomas Bayley, Allen Dugland, Benjamin Poole and John Ford. The deputies voted to at(ow the town ~Q 6s. 8d. to be abated out of their last ten rates, provided the magistrates consented thereto. The magistrates refused their consent. On Oct. 17, 1677, William Read arid Eberiezer White, constables of Weymouth, petitioned the General Court to be freed from the payment of the taxes levied upon the four men slain in the country's service, and it was ordered that the amount due from these. men for taxes should be levied upon tile whole town.
Philip's War was bloody and devastating in the e\trenre. The colonies suffered more in proportion to their numbers and strength than in the Revolutionary struggle of 1776. Six hundred men fell in battle, alo; i'oee hundred perished otherwise or at other times. Six hundred buildings were burned. One mail in eleven of the arms-bearing people was killed, and one house in ever), eleven was burned. On Fell. 12, 1675, several houses in ~Veyrnoutli were burned by the Indians. About Match, 1676, a large body of Indians, divided into two parties, made a raid through Massachusetts, One party oil its way to Plymouth Colony burned seven houses and barns at Weymouth. On Feb. 25, 1676, the Indians killed four persons at Braintree (three men anti one woman), and also, if I mistake not, they killed, the same (lay, three men at Weymouth. On April 19, 1676, Sergt. Thomas Pratt wa~ killed bV1 Indians at Weymouth. In March, 1676, the following petition was sent:
enctio, already, all in danger wheresoever we go, unlike to have any help from any other, in expectation every day- and hour of being attacked, stand continualiv upon our guard, whereby planting is obstructed, and all things turning into con. fusion and desolation, not knowing how to dispose of our cattle which were wont to go into the woods, but now cannot; they will starve us, or we shall starve them, and this is a little of our deplorable condition.
Wherefore our butuble petition and request to your Honors is, that if you cannot offer(] any hell) for the preservation of our lives, wbich now are in danger, (and which is the only thing we have care oQ that you will please to pity us and so far to lend an car to our linimble request, as I list our men now impressed may be discharged and returned to us again, and we hope we shall respectfully avknowledge it as a great favor, and still remain your honor's humble servants.'
As we approach the period of the Revolutionary War it ~eerrs; well that we should consider briefly one result of the half centurv of almost constant warfare with the Indians. The colonists had learned many things in the bitter school of experience, of which none was probably more emphatically drilled into them than the absolute necessity of co-operation. Among the foremost statesmen of the time the conviction steadily gained ground from the close of the French and Indian War, in 1763, that at no distant date an open rupture with England was inevitable. This conviction found expression in the slogan, "United we stand, divided we fall." Had it not been for the experience of the Indian wars it is extremely doubtful whether it would have been possible to have effected the co-operation of the several colonies in a war for their independence.
Dea. Nathaniel Bailey appears to have been a prominent character in the town at this time; on Sept. 28, 1774, he was chosen to represent the town at a Province Convention to be held at Concord on the second Tuesday in October of that year. On Jan. 30, 1775, he was chosen as a delegate to a proposed Congress to be held at Cambridge on February 1. Again, on May 24,1775, Deacon Bailey was chosen to represent the town at a Provincial Congress to be held at Watertown on the 31st of that month. The spirit of "preparedness" was certainly abroad in the land in the spring of 1775.
At a town meeting held May 29 a committee was chosen consisting of Captain Ford, Josiah Waterman, Major Vining, Samuel Kingman, Jr., and Josiah Colson, to procure guns at the expense of the town for those persons who are not able to purchase arms themselves, either by hiring them or purchasing them at a reasonable rate, and likewise to apply to such persons as are destitute of arms who are able to purchase them and make report to the town at the next meeting. Apparently it was considered a disgrace to be without a gun.
At the session of the Provincial Congress field at Canibiidge Feb. 1, 1775, it was voted to raise troops, a~ a conflict with Great Britain seemed inevitable. An address was piepared to the people arid a committee of safety appointed.
At a meeting of the Congress held May 4, 1775, it was voted that the town of Braintree (then including Quincy) and the town of Hingham (then including Cohasset) be each 'empowered to raise one company, and the town of Weymouth, half a company, for the immediate defence of the seacoasts.
A.t a town meeting held June 5, it was vote(] that the two small carriage guns weighing about. three hundred pounds each, delivered
Nlr. John Jenks by the Hon. Richard Darby, Fsq., in May, 1,2175, for the use of the town of Weymouth, be returned when done330 MIUTARY 111STORY OF WEYNIOUT14
with or made good if damaged at tile expense of the town, and that thanks be given to the Hon. Richard Darby, Esq., for his kindness to assist the town with said cannon.
Weymouth must at that time have had much the appearance of an armed camp.
The names of the first half company recruited in Weymouth for the provincial army have not been preserved to us in the records of the town. This is also true of by far the larger part of those who enlisted from Weymouth during the war. It is regrettable that pains was riot taken to perpetuate their memories to this extent.
Appended to this chapter will be found a list of the graves of soldiers of the Revolution which have been identified and now bear appropriate markers. This was accomplished by the indefatigable work of the Abigail Adams Chapter of tile D. A. R. The list contains ninety-six names. It is estimated by some authorities that the full list of those who served during thp war would be twice that number. The whole number of mate inhabitants of the town over twenty years of age at that time could not in my opinion have exceeded three hundred. I have no doubt that there were in the neighborhood of two hundred enlistments, but many of the men served two and some of them three enlistments. Not all of those buried here enlisted from this town. Some of them came here after the war and are buried here. On tile other hand, some of those who enlisted from Weymouth removed from town after the war and were buried elsewhere.
The terms of service under the several calls were for widely varying times, from two months to three years. Comparatively few appear to have served continuously for more than a year. To add to the difficulty of arriving at a correct conclusion as to the number who actually served from the town we find that it was riot uncommon for men - in the language of the records - " to do a turn on their own account." This apparently means that if higher bounties were at the time being paid by other towns, they enlisted for a term upon the quota of that town, Weymouth receiving no credit for the same. On the other hand, at various times when recruiting seemed to lag, committees were appointed to go out of town to hire men. The term "hire" appears in various instances.
The first mention we find of the appointment of such a committee was in June, 1775, when at a town meeting it wag voo-cl "that Col. )olomon Lovell, Lieut. E. Cushing and Deacon Samuel Blancher be a committee to go out of town to hire men for the Continental Army for the term of three years, and they be directed toget them ascheapas theycau, and that noorreof them 1-~ea)lciwed to give more than thirty pounds for a mail without the advice of another of the committee." The committee was "empowered to hire guns for six months at a dollar a piece for those that are riot able to purchase guns themselves."
At the same meeting it was voted "that the soldiers I rout the age of sixteen to sixty appear with arms oil the Lord's Dav on
penalty of forfeiture of a dollar each Lord's Day fur their neglect, and that soldiers who tarry at home upon the Lord's Day, except they can make a reasonable excuse therefor, shall forfeit two dollars."
As a result of the fortification of Dorchester Heights by order of General Washington, on the night of' March 16, 1776, General Howe, in command of the British forces in Boston and of the fleet, found Boston no longer tenable, and upon March 17 he evacuated the towns and set sail for Halifax.
The next day Washington entered Boston amid great rejoicing. No Massachusetts soil was again occupied by the enemy during the war.
The Declaration of Independence was read in Boston oil Juiv 18, 1776, and on the following Sunday was read in the church in Weymouth, and entry made upon the back that it hqd been so read.
At a town meeting held July 15, 1776, tile following vote was passed:
Voted, That the sum of one hundred and thirty pounds be jaised bythe estates, exclusive of the polls to be added to the Province bounty to enpourage tent pcrsaln~ to enlist which is the number ordered by the Court to be raised. That tile inhabitants of Weymouth be allowed two days to enlist in and after that, if there to~ any men wanting that Deacon Bailey and Captqin Sainuel 'Ward be a commutes to go out of town to hire men and t 've them the same that is added to the inhabitants of the town to enlist, who:W is thirteen poonds added to tloseven pounds allowed by the Province, which makes twenty pounds to tile man.
At an adjourned meeting, held a week later, eight more men having been called for in the meantime, it was voted that the foregoing amount to provide for bounties be increased to 1234, of which 9130 was borrowed from Capt. James White.
About this time four independent companies were raised for coast protection, one of which was stationed at Dorchester Heights, one at Braintree (now Quincy), one at Weymouth and one at Hingham.
At a town meeting held Dec. 23, 1776, it was votffl "that the sum of 198 pounds be raised to pay the twenty-two men that have gone into the Continental army with Lieut. Kingman, that is to say, that each man is to have three pounds per month additional to the Province or Continental wages, for the term of three months." The following aic ~,_pposed to be the names of the men of this quota: job Nash, Regilemuck Cushing, Jacob Porter, Samuel Bicknell, Levi Bicknell, Jonathan Bates, John Jeffers, Ephraim Pratt, Silas Holbrook, Theophilus Blancher, Samuel Bates, Abner Blancher, Gershom Copeland, Nehemiah White, Obediali Thayer, Jr., Ebenezer Thayer, Benjamin Orcutt, Fsau Lend, Ebenezer Hollis, Peleg Lend, Simeon Blancher, John Hunt, Jr. and John Burrell, Jr. Various other votes are recorded showing 6e amoums raised -,it different times for securing recruit-, for the army, but I have bee" unable to discover any other list of names or even the332 M11-FrARY HISTORY OF WE~MOUTH
number of men called for under the various quotas, with the exception of a call made Dec. 20, 1780, wherein nineteen men is the flumber called for, and one in July, 1779, for nine men.
At a meeting held Sept. 22, 1777, a proposal was introduced to raise men for the army by a draft. This proposal was decided in the negative.
A town meeting was held Nov. 0, 1777, for the purpose of raising men to guard the prisoners taken with General Burgoyne when he surrendered with his army of six thousand men at Saratoga on October 7. "Capt. Samuel Ward and Capt. Thomas Nash were empowered to raise the men according to their discretion as cheap as they call."
At a later meeting "Lieut. Joshua Torrey, Lieut. Asa Dyer, Nathaniel Bayley, Esq., and Mr. Micah Porter were appointed as a committee to assist Capt. Ward and Capt. Nash in raising the men that are to be raised at this time,"
A% an illustration of the temper of the people at this time the action of a meeting held March 2, 1778, is of peculiar interest. A committee was appointed to "lay a plan for all easier way of raising men." The report of this committee was brief and to the point: "The only way was to raise more money," The action of two subsequent meetings is of scarce less interest.
On May 23, 1778, it was voted "to raise 1,500 pounds for the purpose of paying men to be raised arid sent to General Washington and to other places."
On May 25 it was voted "that Elephas Weston arid Samuel White be a committee to go out of town to hire men for the ContiDental Army, and that they be allowed to agree to pay to every man that %hall be so hired to join General Washington for the term of nine months the sum of 100 pounds, or to agree with them at 40 shillings per month arid to pay them in beef or pork, Indian corn and rye, sheeps wool and flax and cord wood at the price those articles were when the war began." By the action of the town at a meeting held June 1, 1780, it is evident that the idea of a draft in some form was still favored by a large proportion of the voters. That action seems to have be~n rather crude in its provisions, and as the event turned, I judge it was never put into actual operation. It was as follows:
'I fiat the Assessors be desired to set off the inkabitants an near as they can into twenty parcels or district% as they stand in the tax bill (,it polls and estates and each district to be obliged to get a man to go into the service and if any one in said district shall fail to contribute according to what lie pays taxe~9, the captain of the company (Militia) to which lie belong~ be. deired to draft said person and return hun as a draftsman.
It was voted to adopt the proposed plan in substantial conformity to its wording. Notwithstanding this we find that on July 6 it was voted. " that Captain Abiall Whitman, Capt. 'rhomas Nash, and Lieut. Thomas Vinson be enpowered to hire the men we still want
for the qervice to make tip the number set on this town on the best terms they can."
The above drafting scheme evidentiv failed of popular support, as we find that on March 19, 1881, it was voted "]lot to continue the inhabitants in classes or districts in regard to raising men for the army as it was found to be too ineffectual for the encouragement of soldiers to join the arm), " "
As there were nineteen men to be raised kit this time the condition required heroic measures to be taken at once. It was accordingly voted "that 1,900 hard dollars be immediately assessed upon the inhabitants, one half to be paid in hard money and the other half to be paid in paper money at the rate of seventy-five to one, and that 300 hard dollars be given to each man who shall enlist for the town to serve as a soldier in the Continental Army for the term of three years." The above was to be paid in three equal, annual instalments. Lieut. Thomas Vinson, Capt. Elepbas Weston and Capt. Abiah Whitman were appointed a committee to secure the filling of this quota.
With the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781, hostilities ceased, though the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States was not signed for more than a year later.
When we consider that in 1775 Weymouth was scarcely more than it sparsely settled farming community with few men of wealth, even as wealth was considered at that early time, and realize, as we must to some extent, the terrible sacrifices of men and resources occasioned by t~o seven long years of the war, as feebly portrayed in the foregoing pages, we may well believe that our venerated ancestors regarded the closing words of the Declaration of Independence, "And for the support of this declaration, with a firrii reliance upon the protection of Divine Providence, we mutuallv pledge to each other our lives, o"r fortunes, and our sacred honor,;' as binding not only upon the signers of that memorable document, but upon each and all of them. I regret that I cannot record the names of all who fought, and especially of those who laid down their lives in defence of the Declaration.
The names of those whose mortal remains ire known to lie in the several cemeteries of our town, as alluded to on a previous page, are as follows:
Or" ITURIAL GROUND Orl,' PARK AvENUE
Capt. Thomas Nash.
~%c recently fo-nd a list of young men of about twenty-one years old who died of carup disorders or were killed during the Revolution. The list iN from the private notebook of Col. Thomas Vinson, a Nvell-known resident of South Weymouth. It may Hot be a complete list. The names are among the familiar names of to-day: Peleg Loud, John Vining, Samuel Holbrook, Noah Torrey, Benj. Orcutt, Ebenezer Tirrell, John Hunt, Thomas Porter, Nehemiah Pratt, Asa Reed, John Thayer, James Pratt, Christopher Colson, Noah Joy and Caleb Shaw. These names are familiar ones, and are doubtless ancestors or relatives of ancestors of many of our present citj?,tOs. Tbesc men we can honor to-day. Their graves may be unknown, but we, recalling the price of American liberty, can honor them in worthy lives. From this same private notebook of Col. Thomas Vinson we gather the names of those soldiers who were living in the year 1831, and who at this time received pension for their services. These aged men are remembered by the older ones of out community. We give the names without their titles: Matthew Pratt, John Vinson, Samuel Bates, Abner Blanchard, Daniel Blanchard, Thomas Vinson, Josiah Blanchard, Samuel Bailey, Ezra Reed, David Trufant, Benj. Tirrell, Barnabas Thayer, Williarn Loud, Eliphalet Loud and Azariah Beals. These men were living in 1831, Some of them lived some years after this, but their memories in these days have renewed freshness, and the mention of their names makes our hearts more loyal to the great principles for mhich they fought.
From the close of the Revolutionary War to the outbreak of the War of 1812 the only military history of Weymouth was that of the militia companies. Of these, I shall treat more at length in a later chapter.
The principal cause which led to this war was the claim of Great Britain of the right to stop our merchant ships upon the high seas an(? search them fin men who, as she claimed, were subject to military or naval service for that country. The claim of the United States was that when a man became a naturalized citizen of this country his allegiance to the land of his birth ceased, while, on the contrary, Great Britain maintained that "once an Englishman always an Englishman."
This practice of Britain of searching our ships inevitably led to a strained condition between the two countries, which culminated in a formal declaration of war on June 19, 1812.
The war was fought on sea and land and on the Great Lakes for more than two years, sometimes with victory for one side and sometimes for the other. The victory of Commodore Perry over the British Fleet on Lake Erie, on Sept. 10, 1813, and of General Harrison, at the Thames River, over the British Army under General Proctor, and their Indian allies under Chief Tecumseh is thought to have been the decisive point of the war, though it was more than a year later before defeat was acknowledged by the British.
The treaty of peace was signed at Ghent on Dec. 24, 1814. News did not then travel as swiftly as it now does, and before the news of the treaty was received on this side of the Atlantic the battle of New Orleans had been fought, in which the British lost two thousand men, while the American Army, under General Jackson, lost but seven killed and six wounded.
Singular to relate, the treaty of peace made at Ghent makes no allusion to the principal cause of the War of 1812. However, no claim has since been made by Great Britain of a right to search our merchant vessels. One of the important factors on the American side in this war was the fitting out of privateers to prey upon English commerce. These vessels were fitted out by private capital and were manned largely by met, from the fishing vessels of Gloucester, Hingham and other New England Ports.
Quite a number of Weymouth men served upon these privateers, some of whom were captured and field as prisoners during the war. Among these were Lovell Bicknell and Samuel Healey, both of whom are well remembered by many of our citizens living to-day.
The captains of the militia companies maintained in Weymouth at or near the time when war was declared were as follows: Captain Thayer and Captain Webb of the two infantry companies; Captain Shaw of fire Light Artillery Compativ and Captain Jones of the
Light Horse Company. Soon after the opening of the war a detail wa~ called for from each of the Weymouth companies, numbering in all forty-eight men. These appear to have been sent to Fort \%arren and Fort Independence.
I find that by the records of the Adjutant General'% office two separate and distinct companies were credited to Weymouth. Both of these companies appear a% Capt. Jonathan Cleverly's Company of Licut.-Col. Samuel Webb's Regiment. The first company served from June 16 to July 16, 1814, and the second from July 16 to Ang. 16, 1814. A majority of the names which are shown on the roll of the first company appear to be Hingham names, while nearly all in the second company are Weymouth names.
As these two companies are both credited to our town and show all of the names of which we have authentic record as having served in the War of 1812, it seems well that we should perpetuate them by recording the roll of each company, notwithstanding the fact that many of the names given are of Hingham men.The first company above named was as follows:
I think there was no particularly military spirit among the carIv ,ettlers of Weymouth, but in common with all the colonists they li\ vd under conditions requiring that all men of military age should he accustomed to the use of arms.
Training days are first mentioned in the records of the year 10SI, iflien all men of military age were required to appear with guns furnished by themselves and with ammunition for the same.
The natural outgrowth of this condition was the formation of militia companies, the first of which to be formed in lt~eymouth Oppears to have been a few years after the date above mentioned.
We find mention inade of the following-rianted officers from 1057 to 1662; Captain Perkins,'Cap(. William Torrey, Caplain 1,udden, Lieut. John Holbrook, Lieutenant Whilmarsh and Ensignhitman.
Fhe forests at that early date seem to have been Ruarded with jealous care. There is a record that "Lieutenant" Hothrook was ordered to pay 2 shillings and 6 pence for four trees lie (tit and tarried out of town. Also a record that Captain Luddeet was filled 16 shillings for cutting wood he had no right to cut.
The records of our militia companies appear to have been NerN nivager, but from the fragmentary glimpses we get, it seems safe to :1,11tiole that one or more companies were maintained continuously from 1657 to 1844. Between the years 1800 and 1844 there were four military companies in the town, -- two of infantry, one of (avalry and one of light artillery. If these were all maintained at (tic time, it would be about the equivalent of maintaining a regiinent with our population in this year 1920.
During the second decade of the nineteenth century, we find the olulles of the following officers: Capt. Samuel Webb, Capt. Robert Bates, Capt. Benjamin Dyer, Capt. Benjamin Derby, Capt. Joseph Livid, Capt. Joseph Porter, Capt. Noah Torrey, Capt. Levi Bates, ( apt. Joseph Tirrell, Capt. Lemuel Humphrey, Maj. Lemuel Lovell .111d Col. Ebenezer Humphrey.
For the benefit of the reader who may not be familiar with the luilitia ~vstem of that time, I would say that these companies were ~Irga,llized annually by the election of officers, which accounts for 1~vt rcqLICIICY with which the title of captain occurs. I surmise I I ~l tile captains were not always chosen with strict regard to ;~iililtiirv efficiency, but in some instances because "he was a good 11"w", and sometimes, I inistrust, as a joke.
I'lle litle of captain once acquired commonly followed it man 1111(ugh life. Several of these captains were 'still living in in), 1-01(and days. They were familiarly known by theii first names, .1, C,lptaili Oliver, Captain Jim, Captain Nat., Captain Jason, etc.342 MILITARY IIISIORY OF WEYINICUTH
The militia companies then, as now, could not be called upon for service outside the. State.
Since writing the foregoing I have spent considerable time in the office of the State Adjutant General's office, and have there gleaned many items of interest from the old records. I have before stated that for several years Weymouth maintained two companies of infantry, one of light artillery and one of cavalry. I found that in the Adjutant General's office there was considerable doubt as to whether these four companies were ever maintained at one time, I have not been able to satisfy myself of the facts beyond a doubt.The records show the issuing of variouN commissions to Wey
March 11, 1835. April 20, 1835. March 11, 1835. April 20, 1835. March 11, 1935. Aprit 20, 1835.
I am also able, by the kindness of Mr. Cowing, to present a copy of a commission issued by Governor Increase Sumner to Joshua Bates, as Licutenara. Commandant Colonel, which will no doubt be of intercqt to some readers.
" By Ili., Excellence Increa,eSturiner Esq. Gcoconor and Commander in Chief of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, To Joshua Bates, Esquire. Greeting-
You being appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Regiment in the First Brigade, First Division of the Militia of this Commonwealth. By Virtue of the Power vested in me, I do by these Presents. (reposing special Trust and Confidence in your Ability, Courage and good Conduct) Commission you accordingly: - You are, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the Duty of said Office, in Leading, Ordering and Excercising said Regiment in Arms, both inferior officers and Soldiers; and to keel) them in good Order and Discipline; and they are hereby commanded to obey you is their Licit Colonel Commandant." "And you are yourself to observe and follow such Orders and Instructions, as you shall front time to time receive front me, or your Superior Officers. To take Rank front May 18, 1797, the date of your original Commission.
Uven under my Hand, and the seat of the said Commonwealth, tire twentieth Day of August, in the Year of our Lord 1798 and in the twenty-third Year of the Independence of the United States of America."
Personally appeared the above Named Joshua Bates. Made the Declaration aid took and Subscribed the Oath, agreeable to the Requirement of the Constituti ... i of this Communmealth.
After the roll of the Weymouth Artillery Company, as furnished by Mr. Cowing, I find no Jul I her illusion to this company, except is in the before given commissioning of officers, until 1841. For that year, and also 1942 and 1843, 1 found in the office of the Adjutant General the rolls of the company, omitting, however, for some reason ]low unknown, the names of the officers and noncomillissioned officers. These rolls varied somewhat from year to year. To avoid repetition I ain giving the names of the members
Edward Bates, 3 years Joseph ( urtis, 3 years I (obert Curtis, 3 years ,Jacob Clapp, 2 years \X illiarn Canterbury, I year Js-on Farrington, 3 years .1,mford flollis, 3 years Asa Hollis, 3 years LLVIO Hatreq, 3 years John flunt, 3 years joint Load, 3 years F,iu Loud, 3 years Issac B. Loud, 3 years Albert B. Loud, I year -\nws Merritt, Jr., 3 years U'Oenezer Northey, 3 years Jason Orcurt, 3 years Washiqtcrn Orcurt, 3 years Benjamin Orcutt, Jr., 3 years Satimel Paine, 2 years
Apparent1v General - better known as Dr. Appleton -- Howe ,erN eel as a private in this company (luring the year 1842. 1 lenry A. Torrey was captain in 1843. On March 19, 1844, the
`lNvvmoutb Ligbt Artillery Company was disbanded. Since that dilte no Militia company has been maintained in Wevulouth.
I find a record of a detached company of artillery which was in e\i,tence in the year 1809, under the Command of Calif. Andrew
I'llomas, who was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Weymouth Artillery Company, as before shown, in 1781. The names of tire 1,41owing Weymouth men appear oil the rolls of that company:
Joseph C, Williams, Jacob Holbrook, Vinson Tirreli, Joseph ILmes. Reuben Blanchard and Zachariah Hunt.
Aher tile close of the War of 1812-14, the militarv zeal of the "Alutiv Seems to have abated, especially in tile northern sta(eg, Intel the Militia companies appear to have quite generally dishanded.
A( file outbreak of the Mexican War no compartv was main1;iurud in this town. The writer has been unable to learn of but One luall from Weymouth who was in the army of the United
in this war. This man was Joshua L. Toriev, who in tile ('i\il War serNed in Company A of the Fir~t Ma~sachusetts.%;drN.
From 1847 to t861 the militarv history of Weymouth can be briefly told. The town had for that tirrie no militarv history, The last militia company had been disbanded, and for many yeals before the Civil War the mdv soldiers seen here were the few who belonged to companies maintained in neighboring towns, To the great majority of our people, in common with the general sentiment of the tinie, there seemed little prospect of any need of military organization beyond that comprised in our litile regular army. We had no design on any foreign country, and had no fear of invasion from without or insurrection from within. There were a few persons who field to the opinion that the question of maintaining human slavery must sooner or later be the occasion of a civil war. This feeling was not at all generally entertained, and the few who gave utterance to such sentiments were regarded as alarmists, even as our Congressman, Augustus Gardner, was so regarded when he began preaching the doctrine of preparedness at the beginning of tile war in Europe in 1914. In the light of history we now see that the war was inevitable. We recognize the fact that the memorable words Littered by Abraham Lincoln in a speech made by him in 1860 were propbetic. He said at that time, "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect tile Union to be dissolved. 'I do not expect the house to fill; but I do expect it will cease to be divided.' It will become all one thing or all the other."
In December, 1860, tile Legislature of South Carolina passed in ordinance declaring the union of that state with the others dissolved. This was called the Ordinance of Secession. One after another, others of the southern states followed the example of South Carolina and united themsekes into a government under the name of the Confederate States of America.
This new government at once proceeded to raise and equip in army with which to resist by force of arms any attempt the United States government might make to coerce the seceding states to remain in the Union. Let us here pause a minute to observe the different interpretations which were at this time given to the term, "State Rights." The prevailing opinion among the people of the South was that in joining the Union the several states did not relinquish their state sovereignty, but retained it even to the extent of severing their connection with the Union when they deemed that the interests of the state so required.
At the North, on the contrary, file opinion prevailed that the membership of a state in the Union was inviolate, and that no cause was sufficient to justify the severance of a state from the
John A. Andrew was inaugurated Governor of Massachusetts 11 Jan. 5, 1861. He foresaw the probability that the government I ould need a military force at an early date, and knew that under a soinhern Secretarv of War our little regular army had been so distributed that it would avail little in case of need.
A few days after his inauguration, Governor Andrew issued an order as Commander-in-Chief of the militia of Massachusetts, rcquiring each company commander in the militia regiments of illv state to revise his muster roll, to ascertain whether anv of the members would for any cause be indisposed to respond to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, that they might discharge Midi men so that their places might be filled by men who would respond when called upon.
The members of the companies knew well that this meant thev might be called into service outside of the state. The places of those who were unwilling to hold themselves in readiness for such ~Ur% ice were promptly filled by men who were willing.
Benjamin F. White, F. R. Shaw, William Stoddard, Noah X ining, James Tirrell, Minot Tirrell, Elias Richards, George S. Baker, Cottington Nash, William Humphrey, Cornelius Tirrell Mid Warren Thayer, as a committee, reported a recommendation - that the Selectmen be instructed to pay the sum of $12.5. (The meeting amended and made it $150J to each inhabitant of XXO'mouLh who has enlisted or who shall enlist within ten day~ of this datc, as a volunteer soldier in the service of the United States for tile term of three years unless sooner discharged, as a part of [lie quota of the town of Weymouth under the call of the governor of the Commonwealth embraced in General Order No. 26, prox ided however, that such payment shall not be made to any person iNho has received the bounty of any other town or city oil account (,f his enlistment as aforesaid."
The above recommendation was passed and $16,000 appropriated for said payments.
Under the urgent necessity of securing men faster than was being (lone under the three-year enlistments, the Pre~idcnt. on Aug. .1, 1862, issued a call for three hundred thousand men for nine month's service.
I ndvr this call Company A of the Forty-second Regiment NNas formed it, Weymouth and was mustered into seixice Sept. 13, 1862. This regiment did good service in the position assigned it. Through tile year of 1862 the war dragged its weary length. kt-ginn. is were depleted by the hazards of war, and reciuits were Zai~cdl ;11Y tile (fler of attractive bounties, to fill tile ranks. The348 MILITARY fits,rORY 01" WFYMOTIT[I
town was enabled by this means to meet the demands made upon it until the summer of 1863, when the United States law in relation to drafting was put in force. This law was never popular, and strenuous efforts were employed by those unwilling to go into the army to resist or evade the draft. Of the 32,079 drafted ill Massachusetts, but 743 actually did personal military service, 22,343 were exempted for physical defects, real or assumed, 2,343 provided substitutes, 3,623 paid commutation, arid others went over the line into Canada and remained until the close of the war. Twenty-two of those drafted in Weymouth passed the physical examination. The town contributed to each of these $78 for procuring substitutes. Many of those above the military age of forty-five sent substitutes to the war as a patriotic duty. The sum of $12,561 was raised by private contributions to defray the cost of procuring substitutes for those who were drafted.
On the 4th of March, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President. On April 12 the Confederate batteries in Charleston Harbor opened fire upon Fort Sumter, which was held by a small garrison under command of Major Anderson. The fort was gallantlv defended, but on April 14 Major Anderson was obliged to capitulate.
The war was now on. On April IS President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for twenty-five thousand men for three months' service.
Governor Andrew called out the Third, Fourth, Sixth and Eighth Regiments, which assembled in Boston on the 16th of April, and on the 17th the Fourth left for Washington.
The foresight of Governor Andrew in weeding out the militia companies and equipping them with blankets and overcoats enabled Massachusetts to be the first state to land troops in Washington. As before stated, Weymouth was at that time without any militia company.
The town was, however, not entirely devoid of martial spirit. Twenty-two of our young men belonged to companies in the Fourth Regiment, and were among the first to leave the state for the seat of war.
About May I Governor Andrew wrote to the President, in which letter lie stated, "We liaNe now additional men to furnish vou with six more regiments to serNe for the war unless sooner discharged."
The patriotic spirit in the North now rose to fever heat. Public gatherings were held, flags thrown to the breeze, and nearly every one seemed desirous of displaying the Red, White and Blue in some conspicuous way, even in ~otne cases by wearing neckties of those colors. It was a common sight to see horses with rosettes in Red, White and Blue attached to their bridles. One citizen went to the extent of having his chimnev painted with those colors. He could hardly have gone farther in all outward display of patriotism unless lie had his whole house so painted. This chimney
.liqd dre~sed in the national colors for several vears after the X%ar was closed.
On May 3, 1861, President Lincoln issued a call for thirtv-iiiiie (gillielits of infintrv and one of cavalry. The quota of Massa :lu]~Vlls under this call was six regiments, to be enlisted for three xvars of the war. In the light of rapidly succeeding events it is ,,f interest to note, as an illustration of how little the government realized at that time the magnitude of the task before it, that in ilie order of the Secretary of War authorizing the raising of these ,ix regiments, he states, "It is important to reduce rather than unlorgc this number, and if more are already called for, to reduce I , IC aLlYnber by discharge." Companies were being raised at that nine in various cities and towns in anticipation of such a call.
It is worthy of notice here that the 1st of January, 1863, marked one of the most important events of the war. The opinion had 1,ven held by many in the North and not a few in the South that the paramount issue was the preservation of the Union. If this (ould he secured they thought that slavery would eventually die i natural death. No one watched more closely or with keener insiLlut the trend of the events of the time than did President Lincoln. In the gloomy period which prevailed the latter part of the ycar 1862 the President became convinced that there was no longer any hope that the Union could be preserved without the desiruction of the institution which was the corner stone Upon %dii(h the Confederacy was founded. He therefore announced in ~4cptembcr of that year that unless the seceding states returned to their allegiance to the Union within a hundred days he should declare the slaves in those states free. It is relatc~d that when (~cncral Lee was making his invasion of Maryland, President l.incoln made a solemn vow before God "that if Lee was driven back lie would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves in those states." True to his vow the President on Jan. 1, 1863, issued his Emancipation Proclamation. This gave great satisfaction to those in the South, who had for many years t poused the abolition of slavery.
One of the immediate results of the proclamation was the forniation of negro regiments. These regiments made a good record for militarv valor, and were an important factor in the final military dveision, as a result of which the emancipation of their race in the Vnited States became a fact.
I )nring the years 1863 and 1864 about 180,000 negro troops were cillisted in the Union Army. No new company was formed in \NeNniouth during the year 1863. Lee essayed an invasion of Pennsylvania, and was met at Gettysburg by the Union Army. Here \%as fought what has been considered the decisive battle of ,he war. The Union Army under General Meade had eightN 111mi,and troops engaged, and the Confederate Army, unde r (itneral Lee, severity-three thousand. The former lost, in killed, \-1111ilvd and missing, more than oue-fourth of its total number,350 MILITARY IIISTORY OF WEYMOL;TII
and the latter, a total of over twenty-five thousand. The !-tle waged oil July 1, 2 and 3 with varying fortunes, LAIJLii finalk, victory rested on the Union arms, and Lee retreated into Virginia. On JuIv 4 General Grant scored a decisive victory at Vicksburg, and this tinie may safely be considered the turning point of the war.
These vi~tories were bought only by a great loss, and strenuous efforts were resorted to to enlist men to fill the decimated ranks.
These companies were quickly filled, organized into regiments, armed and equipped, and within foul weeks from the receipt of the order the First, Second, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Regiments of Massachusetts Volunteers were sent out.
In the above regiments there were thirty-two enlistments of Weymouth men.
Thus far the enlistments from this town had been without svstem, each man, as the spirit moved hint, joining such organization as he saw fit. The town, however, had not been idle or indifferent. Oil April 20 a public meeting was called at the town house, which was addressed by several speakers who urged upon the citizens assembled the dutv of enlisting for the conflict, and especially the formation of a company. This fervid oratory quickly took root in a fertile soil. Two days later a meeting was held in Loud's Hall, East Weymouth, for the purpose of enlisting men to form a company. The requisite number was soon raised. At tbat time companies hall a captain and four lieutenants. James L. Bates was appointed captain and Charles W. Hastings, Francis B. Pratt, Martin Burrell, Jr., arid Joseph Peaks, lieutenants.
Under the new army regulations but two lieutenants were allowed to a company, and the two latter named were not mustered in.
On June 17, 1861, Governor Andrew received authoritv from the War Department to raise ten additional regiments.
The Weymouth company went to Fort Warren on May 4, being escorted by the Weymouth hand and a mounted escort of about thirty men, from the town house to the Weymouth station. This compariv became Company H of the Twelfth Regiment., and was mustered into the United States service on June 26. The regiment left Boston for Washington on July 20, and was in the Army of the Potomac during its whole term of service, and did its share in the various campaigns in the Department of Virginia. Compariv H made a record creditable to itself and an honor to the towrl~
The ten regiments of the last call were raised within three months, and this town was represented in the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth. Still, the cry was for toore men, and before the end of the year nine more regiments of infantry and a regiment of cavalry liad been raised, and most of them forwarded to the seat of war. In the list of names appended hereto it will be found that men from Weymouth served
Twerity-eighth, Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Illfiolti-N, and in the First Cavalrv regiments.
In addition to the foregoing we find that during the summer .11111 fidl of 1861 the state sent out five batteries of light artillery. ~i,,Qtilar to relate, the Weymouth men seemed to have but little nt lination toward this branch of the service. We find but four il,iijiu, oil the rolls of the light batteries until we come to the si%teenth in the fall of 1864. This fact seems the more singular, ,,, (';iptain Ninis' Battery, the second, was encamped in the mii,,Illioring town_of Quincy, the nearest to Weymouth of anv militarv camp noting the war.
At a town meeting held on the 29th of April, 186t, it was voted -tt, appropriate the sum of $5,000 for the purpose of equipping ilw military company now being formed in this town, and for ,1], 11 other expenses as may occur in carrving out this vote."
It NN as also voted "that the Selectmen be instructed to pay $15 pi,r month to the order of each married mail and $10 per month to vat It single man, citizens of Weymouth, who have already enlisted ill ~cr\c in any military company that has been organized under the direction of the Commander-in-Chief of this Commonwealth ~o long as said persons are under the command of the officers of lclid companies either in actual service or in drill. And the same liallpensation shall be paid to such citizens as shall hereafter vidist in any military. company organized in this town under the dircittion of the Selectmen, while in actual service or drill. This (i v hall be in force until the next annual town meeting."
During (lie summer and fall of 1861 the war was waged with no doided permanent advantage to either side. Regiment after it-ginient went out, but still the cry was for more men.
It was now fully realized that it was to be a long conflict to the lit I er elld.
.S(attering enlistments continued to be made through the en~uing months by the men of Weymouth into the various regiments And into the naval service. Early in 1862 twenty men joined the Thir(v-~v(ond Regiment, then forming, this being the largest imoilier to any one regiment until early in August, when another ,onipany was formed here, which became Company H of the [hirit-fifth regiment, which was hurried to the front barely a nimith after being mustered in, and received its baptism of fire at Aillit-Mill September 17. This regiment did heroic service during Ill- v, ar.
'I lie three-year regiments were the backbone of the army during Ille (witilluance of the war, but the enlistments in them became 'it,, I(N% to meet the constandv increasing demands. A town Illucting had been held oil July 2~), to devise methods of promoting t 111i,inivills, it which a committee was appointed to report reconi mt lldation~. The following names appear upon this connilittee: 114,11j;kIllill F. Pratt, Elias S. Reals, Willard G. Torrey, Benjamin 1).\ Abner Holbrook, Cyrus Washburn and Albert Humphrc~ .
At a town meeting held on November 17, an appropriation of $4,000 was voted to defray the expense of recruiting. A centmittee of twenty was appointed to aid in this work, and se,urcal so favorable results that lh.2 lown was enabled to fill its quota.
This committee consisted of the following: James Humphrey, L. L. Bicknell, Atherton N. Hunt, Elias S. Beals, William White, John W. [,end, Abner Holbrook, David S. Murray, Samuel Lincoln, Nelson Blanchard, Jacob N. Baker, Bela Vining, John S. Fogg, Stephin S. Foye, Henrv Newton, James Tirrell, Benjamin F. White, Stephen W. Nash, Josiah Reed, Isaac N. Hollis, John 0. Foye and John P. Lovell.
During the late fall and early winter of 1863, the government, realizing that in all probability the war was to continue another year, experienced a good deal of uneasiness as to what would occur when the time of the three-year troops who enlisted in 1861 and the early part of 1862 should expire. To lose all these seasoned troops and have them replaced with new and untried men, even if the numbers could be made good, was riot encouraging, especially as the strenuous regulations in regard to physical examinations which were rigidly enforced in the earlier years had been much modified, and much of the material which was now being sent into the army was notoriously unfit for military service. It was not at all uncommon for new recruits to break down with a few months' service necessitating their discharge. To meet this prospect the government resorted to strong inducements for the three years' men to re-enlist by offering a two weeks' furlough and a liberal bounty. This secured many re-enlistments which were counted the same as new enlistments to the credit of the place from which they came. On the other hand, many, especially the family men, were war weary and longed for home. Could they be blamed if the inducements offered had for them little attraction? In the spring of 1864 the President issued a call for more men, arid Weymouth had to get busy arid secure recruits for what was fondly hoped would be the last campaign of the war.
General Grant had been placed at the head of the armies and made his headquarters with the army in Virginia. At a town meeting held May 20 it was voted "that the Treasurer be authorized to borrow 810,000 to aid in recruiting volunteer soldiers to fill the quota of this town tinder the last call of the President!"
On June 8 it was voted "that the town appropriate $125 to each volunteer who shall be recruited in anticipation of any future call of the President of the United States during the present year, and that the Treasurer be authorized to borrow $10,000 or so much as may be necessary for the purpose of paying the same."
It was voted " that the Chairman of the Selectmen be authorized to recruit in anticipation of any future call for volunteers by the President of the United States."
A committee was appointed, consisting of Elias S. Beals. Nathaniel Blanchard and the selectmen, to prepare resolutions in
In. ),(,settled to tile same meeting, and this counnittee reported the b.11oAving:
That this town believes and is fully satisfied that the enrollniek I, 'r 11 r, tow n is very nearly or quite twenty per cent larger than is the enrollof the " erage towns in the district, and that a large nuiribe. of persons been enrolled in this town who ought not to be enrolled, and who are :.tt,rl, incompetent to perform military services, and the io~n respectful:y ~ql ~, tire proper authorities to revise the enrollment of this town and lia," th, ~Iurolluient made up in a manner that shall be as equitable as possible.A,solred, That this town believes that their boards of Selectmen an(] A,-
o,ility and integri . ty with those of on, neighboring towns, and that we feel ,crie%ed that they have been entirely ignored in the whole matter of making ap the enrollment z' 'hii 'own, while in such neighboring towns cc,~essms and ~,th,r town officers have been appointed to that duty.
if I interpret aright the foregoing resolutions the enrollment list was made up by a board or committee appointed either by state or national authorities, and that while in other towns the town officers had been placed upon these boards, in Weymouth tile town officers had been ignored.
The inference is that had this work been performed by the local authorities the 20 per cent of incompetents spoken of would not haxe been included in the enrollment list, and the quota of the town would have been reduced to that extent.
Incidentally, fewer incompetents would have gotten into the ~Crvice.
The occasion which called for the above resolutions was the resignations of Zachariah L. Bicknell and James Humphrey from the board of selectmen. Apparently they considered the manner of niaking up the enrollment board a reflection upon the honor or integrity of the town officers.
Both of them being men of broad minds they felt that in those Irving times the town had a right to have at the helm men in %%from implicit confidence could be placed. They were asked to withdraw their resignations, which they did.
The board of selectmen at that time consisted of three members. IVIr. Humphrey and Mr. Bicknell served the whole period of the war. Mr. Allen Vining served during the years 1861 and 1862, when lie was succeeded by Mr. Noah Vining, who remained upon the ])card many years.
At the same meeting above mentioned, it was voted "that the Selectmen be authorized to receive in Boston Company H of the Twelfth Regiment Mass. Volunteers on their return from the
and that they procure a band of music and escort them free of expense to Weymouth Landing or such other place as they May agree upon." This regiment was now oil the front of Petersbing, arid its term of enlistment was about to expi . re.
The fourth and last company sent out from Weymouth was Colliparly H, of the Fourth Regiment of Heavy Artillery, which wIts enlisted in August of 1864 for a term of one year.354 MILITARY HIS'I'ORN OP WEYMOUTH
The officers of this company were, captain, Andrew J. Garev; first lieutenant, Charles A. Morrill; second lieutenant, John XV. Bates. This regiment did useful service in the forts around Washington until its discharge on June 17, 1865.
The fond hope which bad been cherished that the autumn of 1864 was to see the end of the terrible conflict was doomed to disappointment. Both armies held well intrenched positions, and it became to a large extent a question of which must first fail for want of men and means. The North was confident that the war would close by the defeat of the Confederate Army. The South must h---- seen that tois end was inevitable, but siill maintained the conflict with dogged determination. The principal militarv event of the fall of 1864 was Sherman's match from Atlanta to the sea, which commenced oil November 16, and which has been celebrated it) song and story. This army of sixtv thousand men, marching in four columns and living upon the country through which it passed, desolated a fertile region sixty miles in width and three hundred miles long.
This event had a most depressing effect upon the people of the South and the Confederate government. It had a corresponding effect to elate and encourage the people of the North and the government at Washington.
The early spring of 1865 found the armies of General Grant well recruited and supplied, and ready to deliver what proved to be the fatal blow to Lee's Army around Richmond and Petersburg.
The first move was made by Lee in an effort to open a way through the Union lines for the escape of his beleaguered armv to the south, there to join General Johnston, in the vain hope that their united armies might be able to prolong the struggle. This effort of General Lee failed.
On the morning of April I a concerted movement was made along the whole Union front in an overwhelming assault. The Confederate lines were carried, and that night Lee escaped with the remnant of his army along the north side of the Appomattox River. Ile eluded his pursuers ulitil April 9, when he surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox, and the war was practically at an end. joy reigned supreme throughout the North. The glad tidings spread like wildfire from city to city and from village to village. Bells rang, cannons roared, and people went wild with the hiring of the terrible incubus which had laid its deadly weight upon the ]and for four long terrible years.
Did I say "joy reigned supreme?" Well, let it pass. It might have been supreme, but it was not unalloyed. In many thousand, of homes there was a vacant chair. He who left it in the strength of his young manhood, with a cheerful good-bye though his heart was heavy, would return no more. There was many a heart wound which time did not heal.
I would not close the subject of the Civil War leaving the in,pression that it was only by the men that a self-sacrificing and
licioi( part i%as played. Hundreds of devoted women gave them"i%c, up to nursing the sick and wounded who filled the hospitals, lainging cheer and comfort and hope to their lives, writing letters 1~, them to the folks at home, and in general acting the part of ,uni,iiii ing angels, -at least, many a boy thought so. Nor were thl, women at home idle. There was lint to be scraped and I.,oulages to be rolled, which might alleviate the pain, or possiblv ,,I%e the life or limb of somebody's boy, and these occupations %%cre carried on in thousands of households throughout the land. % vs, the women cuid norich more than to say "God speed " with braxe words when their hearts were breaking. It was no light task to run the household with a family of small
hildren in those trying days. Specie was at a premium and finalb, "cut out of circulation entirely, the fractional currency being mplaced by paper money, familiarly known as shin-plasters. At the time of greatest disparity between the gold dollar and tile paper one it took $2.90 of the latter to equal $1 of the former. A, paper was all the money in circulation prices were regulated bv paper values and ranged much as we have seen them the last three years, although some things were much higher; for instance, (alico cloth reached 60 cents a yard, kerosene oil, 50 cents a gallon and various other things in proportion.
Many a man sent home $12 a month out of his scantv SU, and bc it remembered that the government rations were not upon the generous scale of these later years. The family which hail ,111 adequate supply of bed linen was indeed fortunate. The State of Massachusetts was liberal with the soldiers' families, allowing trorn S8 to $12 a month. At least, it was thought liberal for those times, Many a family had no meat upon the table during the '11111mer months and but a scant supply at other times. We may well wonder how the house mother managed to keep her flock from suffering for want of food and clothing. Perhaps she was not always able to do so.
I might state here that during the war the use of bosom shirts zind linen collars by men went entirely out of practice. French I annel for shirts and paper for collars were the order of the dav,
i)uring the war the town paid $80,320 for the encouragement (if enlistments.
'I'lie State of Massachusetts has always maintained a liberal policy toward the soldiers and sailors who were engaged in thei%i( War.
The payments of state aid are administered through the local ;tuthorities. In Weymouth it has been the custom of tile selectmen to place as liberal interpretation upon tile law as is allowable.
During the years 1861 to 1866, inclusive, there was paid in this 1"un tile surn of $117,977.
In tire years which have elapsed since 1866, including 1919, aid 1,, the soldiers and sailors and their families has been distriOuted356 MILITARY 111STORV OF WLYNIOUTH
to the amount of $318,289; in addition to the above, the town has paid in soldiers' relief $99,547, making a total of $417,836.
Massachusetts furnished 159,165 men, including re-enlistments, to the army, and 26,168 to the navy from 1861 to 1865, a total of 185,333. Of this number, 13,942 died in the war.
Weymouth sent out 936 men, including about 100 re-enlistmem~,, of whom about 120 never returned.
Benjamin F. Foss was the first man from Weymouth who was lost. He belonged to Company F, Eleventh Massachusetts Infantry, and was killed in the first battle of Bull Run, Julv 21, 1861.
The last man from Weymouth known to have been killed was Josiah Q. Pratt, Company B, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, who was killed at Manning, S. C., Feb. 19, 1865.
The following list of men who enlisted in the army from Weymouth during the Civil War is gathered from the A~jutant General's Report. It undoubtedly contains some inaccuracies and emissions, but is the nearest to a complete record of anything we have. There is no even approximately complete record of the naval enlistments. The names below given are taken from the town records. They are, however, but a fraction of the number of those who enlisted in the navy from Weymouth during the war. I regret that no complete record of the naval enlistments from this town is in existence.
The various organizations in which Weymouth men served are here given in the order in which they appear in the report of the Adjutant General, commencing with the three-year infantry regiments. The rank given is that held at date of discharge; the age, that given at time of enlistment.358 MILITARY HisTORY OF WEYMOUTH THE CYVIL WAR, 1801-65 33 9
A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
35 38 37 36 35 45 26 is 38 38 30 31 25 27 28 29 20 32 30 41 45 21 18 19 24 25 25 18 19 22 27 33 23 21 19 40 43 37 32 28 26 30 22 18 39 23 22 22 35 18 18 28 31 21 30 26 38 33 Is 40 27
A A , k A
A A A A A , k A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
A A A A A C D D D D D D D
21 2, 25 25 23 22 40 27 30 18 22 44 25 18 20 32 24 22 18 29 19 21 35 19 20 20 20 20 26 23 18 18 24 19 18 22 38 35 34 30 18 42 45 44
Jnha Q. Bi,knell, Car,. Ansra F. Bicknell John Bod'ue Eli C.U'v
A 11 B D D D E
E IF F G I I M
27 23 29 39 18 37 22 20 30 24
G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G
30 23 26 21 34 25 26 34 21 40 38 21 23 is 22 19 25 20 21 28 29 25 20 18 18 22 Is 24 27 37 21 27 42 18 38 32 19 34 32 Is 38 39 31
is G G G G G G G G G G G G
G. G Cl G G G Cr G G C; G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G C. G G G G
C; G f; G G G. G
18 47 29 24 22 22 21 18 28 21 19 28 37 33 23 42 30 20 21 31 21 33 37 22 23 27 42 zz 29 26 35 30 20 Is 40 29 33 22 40 41 22 J2 37 18 30 27 33 20 19 27 39 37 43 23 34 39 19 30 31 24 Z7 20 44 Fi,tt Battalion Heary Artillery, Massachusetts Volunteers (Three Years)
A A A A A A A A B C C
20 24 '34 27 29 25 24 26 33
K K K K K K
37 24 21 22 21 19 21 21 17 26 23
Fourtb Regiment Cavalry, Atiosachu,lis Volunteers (Three Years)
Non-Conamissi(tied Staff. Her,, T, Dagget. Chief Bugler
A A it it it
29 '31 23 28 22
27 19 31)
21 33 19
30 20 18 23 22 21 21 20 18 is 18 18 19 23 29 21 23 23 20 25
44 23 29 25 32 29
18 Is 19 40
18 17 27 28 17
Oidnarne Coi,a. Ordnance Corps. Oldronto Coto. Ordinate, Corp.. Oldn.rucc Corps. ouda.", Co"'I. Oudnarr, C.,,s. Old..ne, C.,Ps. Codii Cow, Engineer Corps. Musician.
Ce. G. let I S InfAuls, Co. E, 3d U. S. Infants 372 MILITARY IIISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
Of the hundred or more who were in tile naval service during the Civil War, the following are the only names found in the records:
We find from the foregoing list that Weymouth was represented in the Civil War in forty-severl different military organizations. Not all of the names given were residents of the town at the time. It is practically impossible to determine accurately the number of non-residents included. On the other hand, quite a good many Weymouth men enlisted to the credit of other towns. I find there were about thirty of those who enlisted to the credit of this town who are classed as deserters. I have not recorded their names.
To the credit of the town I would say that the greater part of those so classed were men enlisted from out of town, who, in the vernacular of the time, were known as bounty jumpers. When larve bounties were being paid for recruits there were many of these unprincipled men who did a thriving business by securing 0ounlies from a number of towns or cities. Having enlisted in one place and received the bounty, they were on the lookout for the first opportunity to desert safely which presented itself. This was generally effected before they left the state. By assuming another name and going to a town where they were not known they would repeat the operation.
When all the towns and cities were exerting themselves in filling a quota, the history of the man presenting himself was not, I
unagiric, gone into very thoroughly. If secured, and accepted I)v the government, he counted one on (fie quota.
It was not all uncommon thing for a man to be reported as a deserter through no fault of his own. With the hospitals filled with sick and wounded, there was always a great number ol men separated from their commands, and when for any cause one of these was lost from the record he was classed as a deserter.
]it preparing this history I have been greatly assisted, tip to the time of the close of the Civil War, by having it) my hands papers %%ritten by the late John W. Bates, who took great interest in the railitary history of the town and gathered inuch valuable data, no doubt with the idea that it would be useful for the purpose to uhich it is now applied. I cheerfully acknowledge any indebtedness to Mr. Bates for the valuable aid his papers have contributed to this work.
All of the men whose names are above recorded received all honorable discharge from the service.
In the report of the Adjutant General no distinction is made between those who were discharged from the result. of wounds and those who were otherwise physically disabled to such all extent as to necessitate their discharge before the end of their term of enlistment.
No effort has been made in the foregoing pages to portray individual deeds of valor or merit, where all are presumed to have done their dutv in the positions assigned them.
There was, however, one act which it seem-, well to record. There has been considerable controversy as to what organization is entitled to the lionor of having raised the first Union colors ill (lie city of Richmond after its evacuation by General Lee.
I have made careful investigation of what should be reliable ,sources of information, and have interviewed members of the regiment a part of which was the first Union force to enter Richmond, and am satisfied that the following is a correct statement of t lie facts.
A detachment of the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry were the first Union troops to enter the city, tinder command of Maj. Atherton 11. Stevens, provost marshal. This detachment had with it the guidons of Company E and Compativ 11, but no stars and stripes.
By command of Major Stevens these guidoris were raised over tile State House, that of Company H being hoisted by Jeremiah Quinn of Weymouth, and were the first Union colors to lie raised over the Confederate Capitol, where theN flew for some hours before being replaced by the national colors.
I have therefore no doubt that a Weymouth mail had ;in ac(ke part in raising the first Union colors flown in Richmond after its cNacuatioll.