John Leverett Merrill.

History of Acworth, with the proceedings of the centennial anniversary, genealogical records, and register of farms online

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Online LibraryJohn Leverett MerrillHistory of Acworth, with the proceedings of the centennial anniversary, genealogical records, and register of farms → online text (page 17 of 33)
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share of its officers and men. Under ambitious and efficient com-
manders, a friendly rivalry sprang up, and continued for many
years between the two old militia companies, each endeavoring to
excel the other in soldierly qualities and equipments. Each new
commander strove to improve upon his predecessor, until at length
every soldier was in complete uniform, arms and equipments in per-
fect order, and military fines unknown. For several years these com-
panies numbered about one hundred men each, and each had its own
pioneer force, its camp equipage, and its train of baggage wagons, —
each performing its miUtary drill and evolutions with as much preci-
sion and skill as the best volunteer company. This state of things
o-ave to Acworth an enviable military reputation among the surround-
ing towns. The modification of the militia laws in 1851 put an end
to all further military display in Acworth. The spirit^ however, still
slumbered in the breast of her sons, to be aroused at their country's
call in the late rebellion, when many of their number cheerfully left
home and friends to aid in her defense, and about one-third of whom
sealed their devotion to their country with their lives.

A military band of music was organized in 1834, and under the
skillful leadership of M;ij. E. Cummings, soon became popular. It
was afterwards merged into the South Acworth Cornet Band, and
now, under the same veteran leader, its efficiency is well known
and acknowledo;ed.



Spragne West, | James Wallace, | Daniel McClure.

Andrew Woodbury,

Itlnel Silsby,
Edward Woodbury,
Stephen Thornton,

Samuel King,


James Davidson,
Adam Wallace,

Samuel McClure,
Allen Haywood.


William Keyes, Joseph Greo;g, I Eusebius Silsby,

Daniel Mack, John Duncan, after- Jonathan Silsby,

James McClure, wards Colonel, | John Rogers.

William Orcutt,
Ebenezer Grout, after-
wards Colonel,
Gawin Gilmore,


Robert Clark,
Nathaniel Davidson,
Jonathan Gove,
David Blanchard,

Amos Woodbury,
Martin Mason,
Abel Bailey,
Orsou Hemphill,



Joel Tracy,
Amos Clark,
John S. Syinonds, after-
wards Colonel,
Ebenezer Grout, Jr.,
Samuel M. Angier,

Daniel Gay, afterwards

James L. Mitchell,
Robert Clark, afterwards

J. Sumner Gove,
John M. Barnard,


Alexander Graham,
Hugh Finlay,
Nathaniel G. Davis,
Daniel J. Warner,
Elisha A. Parks,
William C. Woodbury,
Charles M. Woodbury,
Joseph F. Wallace, after-
wards Colonel,

Calvin Wallace,
James M. Reed, after-
wards Major,
Joseph F. Moore,
Freeman Pearson,
Thomas B. Bachelor.

Benjamin S. King,
Samuel A. King,
James E. King, after-
wards Colonel,
Daniel Nye,
Shepherd L. Bowers,
Joseph Ware,
Orrison J. Williams.

James Dickey,
Joel Angier,
James M. Warner,
Larnard Thayer,
Eleb Hardy,
Daniel Nourse,
Jesse Slader, afterwards
Thomas Ball,

In 1806, the citizens voted to have a flag. The material was
procured from Boston, and the ladies of the village met in Samuel
Slader's Hall, and made a beautiful flag, twenty feet in length.
The eagle and stars were of white, cut out by David Wilson, and
sewed on blue ground. The flag was raised on a tall pole on
muster day near the hall, but a high wind nearly blew it to pieces.

The "company" and "general muster" days were the great
holidays of the year. The 4thof July was first celebrated in 1808.
The tables were set north and south on the common, and they
were furnished with a substantial dinner, prepared by Mr. Amoa
Keyes who then kept the tavern. There were also speeches and
music, and the affair was closed with a ball in the evening, in the
upper rooms of Keyes' tavern.


The settlement was but in Its infancy when the War for Inde-
pendence broke out, but the active part It took In the struggle has
been shown In the Centennial Address. Cheshire County was espe-
cially active and forward in the contest, and Acworth was not be-
hind her sister towns. A single Incident will illustrate the feeling
of the times :

By great industry, Christopher Ayres and his mother had built their cabin,
and harvested their first crop of rye. When an old man, Ayres would tell
how they threshed the grain out upon the ground, and put it "four bushels
in a bag," and then sat down and cried for very joy, and his mother fell on
her knees and thanked God. But the news of the need of men to carry
on the war with the mother country reached their ears. Theu" neighbor, Mr.



Houston, had told them if the king had his -way, a poor man might work all
day for a " calf's head and pluck," as in the old country. Ayres felt called
upon to go and fight for his independence, and communicating his thoughts to
his mother, she cried, " Go, Cris, and the Lord go with ye, and I will stay
and mind the cabin." While she was there alone in her cabin, the rye being
nicely stored in the loft " four bushels in a bag," the cabin took fire, when
out went the bags of rye as "easily as though they were bags of beach leaves,
for the old lady was apoicerful woman, weighing more than fifteen stone (two
hundred and ten pounds), and could put her son aside when he was a man."

Acworth lay very near the war-path by which the New Hamp-
shire militia flocked to cut off the advance of Gen Burgoyne's army
into Kew York, and her hardy sons, in great numbers, joined the
eager militia. They were among the so-called "backwoodsmen"
of Xew Hampshire who showed at Bennington, Stillwater and
Saratoga, what so many doubted, that the militia could face the
British soldiery without the protection of entrenchments. How
many of the following list were among the number, who, under
Capt, Bellows, joined the militia at that time, we cannot tell. Tliis
memorable and decisive campaign, however, was doubtless the occa-
sion of recording this list of men, who had, up to September, 1777,
served in the army from nine days to five months. It must be re-
membered that the quota of Acworth was only five, and that five
years before she had only twenty-five voters :

Samuel Harper,

1 year and 8 months,
John Wilson, Jr.,
John Duncan,
John Rogers,
Peter Ewins,
F. W'illoughby Willard,
Samuel Smith,
Henry Silsby, Jr.,
Frederic Keyes,
Ihomas Nott,
Lieut. Keyes,

Samuel Silsby, Jr.,
Alexander Houston,
Capt. William Keyes,
Christopher Ayres,
William Markham,
John Wilson,
Jedediah Smith,
Jonathan Silsby,
James W^allace,
David Cross,
Dean Carleton,
James Campbell,

Thomas Putnam,
Capt. Henry Silsby,
Robert WcClure,
William Rogers,
William Clark,
Solon Grout,
Joseph Chatterton,
James Rogers,
Julius Silt-by,
Paris Richardson,
Daniel Mack,
James McClure.


Joseph Blnnchard,
Lasell Silsby,
Lemuel Blood,
Supply Reed,
Jacob Hay ward,
Samuel Lufkin,
Amos Ingalls,
Joseph Markham,

John McKeen,
Robert McClure,
William Grout,
Joshua Lancaster,
Moses Warren,
Phineas Blood,
Daniel Campbell,

Charles Mathewson,
Samuel Bradford,
Stephen Thornton,
Issacher Mayo,
Joel Turner,
Aaron Blanchard,
Eusebius Silsby,




James Campbell, 2d,
Robert McClure, Sr.,
James McCluie.

Josiah Smith, Tbomas Slader,

Timothy Cross, John Reed was in the

Joseph'^Whitney, battle of Bunker Hill,

Mathew Grier, James Campbell, 1st,

To this list may be added the name of Thomas Davis, -who never would
take the i)ension, which he called " the wages of unrighteousness."

WAR OF 1812.

Several from this town enlisted into the regular army during
the war of 1812. The greatest excitement, however, was in 1814.
The people along the New Hampshire coast had lived in continual
alarm throughout the season, and many troops had been sent to
Portsmouth for its defense. Finally, on the 7th of September, or-
ders were issued for detachments from twenty-three regiments of
militia to march immediately to Portsmouth. So great was the
enthusiasm that whole companies were eager to go in a mass, and
a draft had to be made to see who should stay, rather than to see
who should go.

Of the Acworth militia, Cyrus Lufkin, James Brown, Thomas Oliver
and John Smith enlisted, September 21st, for three months, in the first
regiment of detached militia. On the 25th of September, quite a number
were drafted into the second regiment of detached militia, viz. : James M.
AVarner, Captain; David Blanchard, Third Lieutenant; Benjamin Grout,
Sergeant ; Thomas Ball, Matthew M. Campbell, Ambrose Alexander, Joseph
Barney, Calvin Clark, Thomas P. Alexander, David W. Clyde, James Da-
vidson, privates. The following persons were in Captain Glidden's company :
Silas Angler, John Smith, Samuel Graves, Rawson Angler. The following
persons were in other companies of the detached militia : Richard Tinker,
Asa Whitcomb, David Smith. The following were in the regular army :
Robert Rogers, John Graves, John Whitney, John McMurphey, Alexander


The " war record " of Acworth in the late rebellion, is one for
which she has no cause to blush. Her selectmen, in nearly all
cases, performed the duty of recruiting officers, and the several
calls of government were promptly met, and her quotas filled.
Her citizens, very unanimously, were disposed to make the ardu-
ous and trying duties of a soldier's life more endurable, by grant-
ing generous bounties, and rendering material aid, if necessary, to

,2^^Vx^-<.^'^^'-L</ xC^?^-^'^ ''-^ o.-T^f^


the soldiers' families. Men from all classes of society responded
to the country's call, ready to face death, if need be, upon the
battle-field. Parents gave their only sons ; husbands and fathers
left their wives and little ones and the endearments of home, and
rushed to the scenes of danger ; while nearly one-third of their
entire number never again looked upon wife or children, home or
friends. Their blood mingles with the soil of many a hard-fought
battle-field, and many of their bodies lie buried where they saw
the last of earth. May their memories be cherished by every son
and daughter of Acworth.



Galen Grout. Second New Hampshire Regiment ; wounrled.
John G. Graham, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
Elisha M. Kempton, Third New Hampshire Regiment ; wounded.
William P. Scott, Company B. Third New Hampshire Regiment.
Samuel iMcDuffee, Company A, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
Samuel V. McDuffee, Company A, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
Melville C. Howard, Company A, Third New Hampshire Regiment; died

of wounds.
Asa M Dodge, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
John S. Osgood, Fourth Vermont Reo-iment.
James H. Hull, Company L, New England Cavalry.
Henry C. Lawton, Company L. New England Cavalry.
George Warner, Second New York Cavalry.

Carlos McNab, Vermont Regiment.

Samuel Bradford, Vermont Regiment ; died.

Frank Grout, Massachusetts Regiment.

Joseph Buswell, severely wounded.
Erskine Dickey.
Clinton Slader.

Charles D. Robinson, enlisted from Claremont.
Damon Bailey.

Nathaniel G. Brooks, Assistant Surgeon.
Milton P. Parks.

Jacob F. Hay ward, Quartermaster Ninety- Eighth New York Regiment.
Sylvester Campbell, Assistant Surgeon Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.
David E. M. Dodge, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment; died.
Milton C. Davis, Company B, Third New Flampshire Regiment.
Salmon T. J. Davis. Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
William F. Whitman, Company A. Third New Hampshire Regiment; killed.
Porter Monroe, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
Freeman H. Campbell, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment; wounded.
Calvin D. Peck, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
Theodore F. Finlay, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment ; died.
Henry M. Buckminster, Company B, Third New Hampshire Kegiment ; died.
George B. Field, Company A, Third New Hampshire Regiment.
Theron Duncan, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment; killed.
John B. Duncan, Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment; killed.


Edwin A. Howe, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Kegiment ; died.

Samuel 0. Smith.

George F. Youngman, Third New Hampshire Regiment, wounded.

Chester T. Wheeler, Company I, Fourth New Hampshire Regiment.

Charles W. Wheeler, Company I, Fourth New Hampshire Regiment ; killed.

Asa E. Howe, Company D, Fourth New Hampshire Regiment ; killed.

Daniel W. George, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment ; wounded.

A. Morrison George, Company E. Fifth New Hampshire Regiment; wounded.

Joshua Howe, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment.

Henry T. Buss, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment ; wounded.

Junius Hayward, Company E. Fifth New Hampshire Regiment.

William Dudley, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment; died.

Azal H. Church, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment.

Benjamin Howe, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment.

Joseph E. George, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment.

Henry N. George, Company E, Fifth New Hampshire Regiment ; died.

Lyman B. Hardy, Company F, Sixth New Hampshire Regiment; wounded.

James H. Wheeler, Company G, Ninth New Hampshire Regiment.

William Graves, Company I, Eleventh New Hampshire Regiment; killed.

George P. Dickey, Fourteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

George M. Gowen, Fourteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Charles R. Gowen, Fourteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Joseph A. Dickey. Fourteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Charles E. Foster, Fourteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Freeman E. Brackett, Fourteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Harlan P. Allen, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Edwin S. Chatterton, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Amos Harding, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment; died.

Charles H. Cooper, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Robert T. M. Prentiss, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Robert D. Gleason, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Henry D. Putnam, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment ; died, '

Horace Buswell, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

Willie Prentiss, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment ; killed.

Leonard 0. Bixby, Sixteenth New Hampshire Regiment.

William H. Severans, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

(Jharles A. Lawton, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

Marden Warner, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

John F. Paige, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

George C. Foster, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

Lsaac N. Chapman, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

Henry Hull, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

Amos Bixby, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

Joseph A. Allen, First New Hampshire, Heavy Artillery.

Henry J. Davis, (non resident,) First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

Francis Brown, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

John Buswell, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.

Sanford H. Bascom, Company E, First U. S. Sharpshooters.

Charles E. Spencer, Company E, First U. S. Sharp-shooters ; wounded. R. Bixby, Company G, Second U. S. Sharp-shooters ; killed.

Austin Grout, Fourth Vermont Regiment ; killed.

Harrison Grout, Fourth Vermont Regiment ; died.

Willie W. Davis, Fourth Vermont Regiment.


Gardiner Buswell.

Abram Buswell. ia a Massachusetts Regiment.

Thomas Clark, Lieutenant-Colonel Twenty-iSeventh Ohio Regiment.

Freeman H. Campbell, enlisted from Marlow.

George E. Warner, Captain..

Emery A. Howard, enlisted from Newbury, Vermont.

IMartin Woodbury, enlisted from Pittsburg, New Hampshire.

Albert R. Hull, enlisted from Wilton, New Hampshire.

Thomas McMillen.

Hiram 0. Thayer, Eighty-Third New York Regiment.


Aaron S. Finlay, Alexander G. Graham, i Dean C. George,

George Bailey, George Smith,

George Walker, Hiram N. Hayward,

John F. Dickey, Benjamin L. Eaton,

George M. Heard, Henry F. Burnham,

James M. Reed, James W. Fi.'^ke,

Samuel Slader, Francis S. Trow.
Liberty R. Hardy,

Galen Allen,
Joab N. Davis,
John F. Page.
James A. Dickey,
Solon S. King,
Solon S. Finlay,
Amos F. Buswell,




Damon Bailey, eldest son of Emlon A. and Polly Bailey, was born in
Acworth, December 27, 1843. In 1861 he enlisted from Joliet, 111., and
was assigned to Company F, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, and was with his
regiment in its various movements in Missouri and Arkansas, until disabled
by disease of which he died November 17, 1862.


Samuel Bradford, son of Augustus and Irene Bradford, enlisted from
Rutland, Vt., in the Seventh Vermont Regiment; was with his regiment at
the battle of Baton Rouge, and died of disease at New Orleans, aged about
40 years.


Asa R. Bixby, son of Nathaniel and Sally Bixby, enlisted in Company
E, Second Regiment U. S. Sharp-shooters, November 26, 1861, for three years.
He was shot through the head at Fort Schenck, September 22, 1864. His
age was 24 years. No account of the battles in which he fought has been
obtained. The verdict of his comrades was that he was a good soldier.


Leonard 0. Bixby, youngest son of Nathaniel and Sally Bixby, was
mustered into service, October 23, 1862, in Company I, Sixteenth New
Hampshire Regiment. Died of disease in the hospital at Caarollton, La.,
January 27, 1863, aged 17 years — without seeing active service.



Henry M. Buckminster, son of the late Jolin and Marian Buckrainster,
enlisted August 20, 1862,— was in Company B, Third New Hampshire Regi-
ment. Died of disease in the regimental hospital at Hilton Head, S. C,
January 24, 1863, aged 16 years.


. Henry J. Davis, son of Oliver Davis of Lempster, was a native of and
enlisted from Acworth, August 6, 1862; was of Company F., Ninth New
Hampshire Regiment. He participated in the several battles in which his
regiment was engaged in 1863-4; was taken prisoner at Poplar Grove
Church, September 30, 1864 ; was a prisoner about five months, and died
of disease at Annapolis, Md., March 14, 1865, aged 23 years.


David E. M. Dodge, son of Asa and Susan Dodge, enlisted August 20,
1862, and immediately was joined to Company B, Third New Hampshire
Regiment, at Hilton Head, S. C, where he died of disease December 15,
1862, aged 23 years.


William F. Dudley, was a native of Goshen, N. H., and was brought up
by Daniel Peasley in Acworth. He enlisted October 19, 1861, was of Com-
pany E in the Fifth New Hampshire Regiment. Died of disease January
15, 1862, aged about 28 years.


Theron Duncan, youngest son of the late Col. John, and Betsey Duncan,
at the age of 46 years, enlisted September 19, 1862 ; left his family, consist-
in o- of wife, six children and an aged mother, and with his eldest son joined
Company B, Third New Hampshire Regiment, at Hilton Head, S. C. He
was in the battle of Pocotaligo, October 22, and Morris Island, July 10,
1863 ; Fort Wagner, July 10th and 18th ; at the siege of Fort Wagner, and
in the final assault upon Forts Gregg and Wagner, September 7, 1863.

As the Acworth soldiers were largely represented in the Third New Hamp-
shire Regiment, and were present at the fall of Wagner, the following inci-
dent in its history it is thought will not be out of place here. It is given by
an army correspondent, and vouclied for by the Chaplain of the Regiment.
On the 6th of September it was determined to try another charge upon Fort
Wagner, and Gen Terry selected the Third New Hampshire to lead the
" forlorn hope." Capt. Randlett was in command of the regiment, and the
following account of the afHur is given by the correspondent referred to : —
" A New Hampshire regiment had been engaged in several successive bat-

- I"


ties both bloody and desperate, and in each engagement the men had dis-
tinguished themselves more and more, but their success had been dearly
bou<yht both in men and officers. Just before 'taps,' word came that the
fort was to be stormed at day-break the next morning, and they were invited
to lead the 'forlorn hope.' The Colonel in deep anxiety of mind, consulted
his faithful Chaplain as to what should be done. He advised him to let the
men decide for themselves, and at the Colonel's request he stated to the reg-
iment all the circumstances. Not one in twenty, probably, would be left
alive after the first charge. Scarcely one of the entire number would escape
death, except as they were wounded or taken prisoners. No one would be
compelled to go. If he went it must be with all his heart, ' Think it over,
men,' said he, ' calmly and deliberately, and at twelve o'clock come back and
let us know your answer.' True to the appointed time they all returned.
AW? Yes, all, without exception, reported ready for the service and the
sacrifice. 'Now,' said the Chaplain, 'go to your tents, write your letters —
settle your worldly affairs, and whatever sins you have upon your consciences
unconfessed and unforgiven, ask God to forgive them. As usual I will go
with you, and the Lord do with us as seenieth Him good.' The hour came,
the assault was made ; on these noble spirits rushed. Scarcely an hour be-
fore the fort had been secretly evacuated by the enemy, and the ' forlorn
hope ' entered into full possession without the loss of a single man."*

Mr. Duncan fell in the desperate charge at Drury's Bluff, near Chester
Station, mortally wounded by a bullet in the head. May 13, 1864. In this
terrible but successful conflict, '' in the space of twenty minutes more than
tv^o hundred of New Hampshire's bravest and best, fell dead or wounded."


John Bell Duncan, son of Theron and Anna N. Duncan, at the age of
16 years enlisted as a recruit in Company B, Third New Hampshire Regi-
ment, September 19, 1862, and soon after joined the regiment at Hilton
Head, S. C. He participated in the battle of Pocotaligo, October 22. 1862 ;
Morris Island, July 10, 1863 ; Fort Wagner, July 18th ; and in the final as-
sault upon Forts Gregg and Wagner, September 7th. He was wounded by
a bullet through the hip, at the desperate charge at Drury's Bluff, May 13,
18G4 ; was in the charge at Deep Bottom, August 14th; at Flussell's
Mills, August 16th; at the siege of Petersburg, in September, 1864; in
a reconnoissance before Richmond, October 1st; again at New Market road,
October 7th; in the battle at Darby Town road, October IGth; at Darby
Town and Charles City road, October 27th ; and at the taking of Fort Fisher,
January 15, 1865. In this engagement, he was one of four picked men whom
the commander of the regiment selected to drive the enemy from an annoy-
ing position, and while thus engaged in nearly a hand to-hand fight, a bullet

* Report of Adjutant General of New Hampshke Volunteers, p. 491-499.


struck him in the right breast, passing through the lung and out near the
hack of the shoulder. Unconscious of the wound he continued fighting until
his comrade seeing the blood issuing from his wounds, hurried him to the
rear, still he persisted he was but slightly wounded, and was able to go back
and assist in taking the fort. "Is my arm broken?" he inquired of his
Lieutenant; "if not, I am going to the front to do my duty." Soon,
reduced by loss of blood, he was taken to Fortress Monroe, where he died
of his wounds January 27, 1865.

He was a model soldier — always at the post of duty, cool and self-possessed
in action, and brave as the bravest. A comrade, in announcing his death
to his mother, says: "Never has a death occurred in this regiment which
has occasioned so much sorrow as the death of your son." The following
incident is related by his Captain: "At the reconnoissance towards Rich-
mond, October 1st, as they were advancing, a murderous fire of shot and
shell was opened upon the regiment by the enemy, and a shell burst so near
John as to cover him with mud and dirt. The (Japtain, who was near, saw
him, cool and undisturbed as if in camp, and asked if he was hurt. Glancing
at his mud-covered uniform, he laughingly replied, 'No, Captain, not yet.'"

Online LibraryJohn Leverett MerrillHistory of Acworth, with the proceedings of the centennial anniversary, genealogical records, and register of farms → online text (page 17 of 33)