Martin P Kennard.

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At the sight of each other the fortitude of these friends mutually
gave way. Upon the unexpected appearance of Candler, Wild's
indomitable spirit yielded, and he burst into tears. I will not under-
take to picture that meeting of these fond friends under those
circumstances. I leave it to your imagination. Everything was
then done that could be, for the General's comfort and to save his
life. Thus disabled, he was sent home again in December, 1862,
and when but partially recovered he again returned to duty and
assisted Governor Andrew in organizing the first colored troops. In
April, 1863, he was promoted by President Lincoln a brigadier
general of volunteers, and proceeded to North Carolina before
his wound was healed. Here he raised a brigade of colored troops,
chiefly from among the newly emancipated slaves by colonizing them,
with headquarters at Newberne. Later, in July, he took a large
body of these raw colored troops to South Carolina, where they
did valuable service in the siege of Charleston. Once more
he returned to the recruiting work at Newberne, and in January,
1864, was in command of the district of Norfolk and Portsmouth.
The opening of the spring campaign in May, 1864, found our
indefatigable soldier again in the field, in command of colored
troops, participating in the siege operations against Petersburg
and Richmond until the autumn. During a part of this time he
was in command of a division containing three brigades of
infantry, besides artillery and cavalry — a portion of the 25th
Army Corps, composed wholly of colored troops, — and on the
third of April, 1865, he was among the first to enter Richmond
as the Davis government departed forever. Subsequently he was



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on duty in pursuit of the fugitive Richmond cabinet into North
Carolina, and indeed into Georgia. Did time allow, one could
dwell on much of agreeable anecdotal interest in the romantic and
picturesque career of this almost unique character, who, in his
boundless devotion to his country's cause, knew no fear, and
no interest but that of her service. On May 24, 1864, when in
charge of important army stores on the James River, he was sur-
rounded by a greater force under General Fitz-Hugh Lee. This
rebel general, in a note couched in terms of studied and direct
formality summoned him to surrender. Wild's laconic reply was
evidently unstudied, and so characteristically innocent of diplomacy
that it provokes a smile. He returned the note with his endorsement,
as follows : "We will try it. Ed. A. Wild, Brig. Gen'l Vol's."

The struggle came and Wild was victorious in holding his position,
although attacked from both sides of the river. Had General Lee
known Edward A. Wild as well as some of us, he would have
realized how preposterous it was to make such a proposition to
him while life lasted.

Referring to my memoranda of conversations with General Wild,
I find much that, could it be related here, would be interesting, —
touching the last hours of that struggle in the rebel capital in which
he bore a part, and of his subsequent pursuit of those fugitives. His
later experience when in command of those raw colored troops in
North Carolina, and further southward whither he was sent after the
surrender of Lee and pending the adjustment of Union jurisdiction
in those States, is also notable. It will be remembered that as the
Union forces approached Richniond and its evacuation was immi-
nent, Jefferson Davis with his companions fled by train with certain
portable property which included the specie of the banks, etc.
They carried also an important quantity of treasure of curious
interest, consisting of gold ornaments and silver plate, — it being con-
tributions of the women of Richmond to the rebel treasury in its
extremity, — some of which was distributed on the way to meet
expenses, and bore well-known rebel names. Their progress was
impeded and their railway connections broken, but the officials kept
on their course, and in advance of others who prompted by the
flight of their leaders were led to join in the general ^^Sauve qui pent J*



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It having become known that the Confederacy was at an end,
and reported that Davis had been captured, trains were pillaged by
the confederates themselves, their soldiers, their teamsters and others,
intent on securing their dues, or at all events their need. In Rich-
mond the confederates who remained were destroying their records,
their fortifications, their war material, and setting fire to their city,
the suppression of which fell upon the Union troops. Those in
charge of the gold of the banks temporarily secured it, although it was
ultimately seized by General Wild in conjunction with the Freedman*s
Bureau Commission, with also a million dollars' worth of cotton. Sub-
sequently the treasure of the banks had other claimants, but it was
eventually turned into the treasury of the United States. General
Wild was mustered out of the United States service January 15, 1866.

There are many Brookline names that find honorable place on the
muster-rolls of that war, to which we all refer with pride, for it is on
record that General Wild led in the list of forty-eight commissioned
officers fiimished by this town, with 880 enlisted men, which notably
included five brothers of one family bearing the name of Richard-
son, and four of another, bearing the name of Dwight.

Mr. Chairman, the records of General Wild*s distinguished military
services are permanent in the archives of his state and of the nation.
But we have thought it due to this gallant son of Brookline whom we
are here to commemorate — as well as to ourselves, — that the features
and individuality of such a citizen, after a career so notable, a service
so honorable, and a history so romantic, should not be allowed to
fade with his own generation, and without an especial recognition by
his fellow-citizens and his contemporaries ere their own stars are set.

I fain would hope that the day may come when the others of this
trio of young Spartans who from this town so readily enlisted in the
first company of the First Massachusetts Regiment for that
memorable struggle, may by their portraits likewise have place with
the Lares and Penates of our Brookline household.

General Wild's class of Harvard University made him a compli-
mentary presentation of a sword, at an early stage of the war, and
again manifested their appreciation of his character by an enduring
mural tablet of bronze in that Valhalla, the Memorial Hall of the
University, and also by personal subscriptions for this portrait.



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Realizing that his wounds disabled him from again practising his
profession, General Wild turned his attention to mining enterprises,
with wide and diversified experience, more especially choosing his
interests in California, and also about Lake Superior. He pursued
these researches for some years with great persistency, but his
fortunes were varied, and on the whole disappointing, and finally he
accepted a proposition of a valued friend, to aid him in the survey
for a railroad in an inviting country, from the Magdellena River to the
City of Medellin. in the State of Antioquia, Republic of Colombia,
South America. He left New York, July ist, 1891, and reached his
destination the 30th. His old love of adventure and the novelty of
enterprise in such a new field were the incitements for him, and asso-
ciated with the work was a warm friendship which he enjoyed. There,
enervated by the heat of a tropical latitude — to which he was
unused, although living at a considerable altitude — he succumbed
after a short residence, dying amid appreciative and loving friends,
and, as it was written, "passed away peacefully," the 28th of August,
1891.

It is gratifying to relate that already during his stay in South
America he had found many friends. Within an hour after the
General's death, the American Vice-Consul, Senor Lucian Santa
Maria, courteously proffered his personal and official services,
which were at that moment welcome.

The Governor, Secretary of State, and the Treasurer, paid their
official visits, and graciously tendered their services. The Com-
mandante called, by direction of the government, tendering his
personal services and military honors to the dead, as a General of
a friendly nation, and while a quiet and private funeral was desired,
his friends consented to an infantry escort. The Secretary of the
Treasury of the State was also attentive to the last. The invitations to
the funeral were delivered by special messengers of the government.

These obsequies were attended by the Governor, and by all the
officers of the State, who manifested their respects and paid every
honor, conceded from the friendliness he had inspired, and regard
due to his rank ; while the bells of the cathedral across the street
tolled a requiem as the procession moved.



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His friends there, and here at home, all hold with especial gratitude
the gracious conduct of that government and community on that
occasion. He had the friendly attentions of the Protestant minister
and his wife, an American lady, who in his illness furnished him with
delicacies, while English friends, with others, at the last laid upon
his coffin wreaths and garlands.

Perhaps it is not too much to say here, that that government and
the people recognized that they were rendering funeral honors to a
gallant Union officer who had fought and suffered for themselves, as
well as for the Great Republic — for that Greater Republic of which
Colombia and the United States are alike members — for the Com-
monwealth of American Nations.

Called unexpectedly to the preparation of these notes, I have
been more and again more impressed with the unique nature of our
heroic fellow-citizen and with the extraordinary and varied char-
acter of his career, for as the common phrase goes with his intimates,
" There was never but one Ned Wild." It is truthfully asserted that
through his whole service in the field he never used tobacco or tasted
intoxicating drink, not even beer. Wounded seriously and repeatedly,
and indeed crippled, still undaunted he persistently returned to the
service, and remained till mustered out at the very last.

One is tempted to characterize him as the Alpha and the Omega
of our service of that period. Let us preserve these memories and
render lasting the example of one who, with absolute unselfishness
and such vigorous loyalty in the great exigency, faithfully gave him-
self to the cause of his country.

We trust that this canvas may be treasured for its faithful por-
traiture, as also for its artistic worth. Painted from photographs
taken while he was in active service, it delineates an illustrious son of
Brookline, an heroic soldier, of gentle mold, an amiable and
exemplary citizen with a pure and unblemished record, who won
the respect, the gratitude and the unfeigned admiration of his
fellow-citizens.

" When hearts, whose truth was proven,

Like thine, are laid in earth,
There should a wreath be woven

To tell the world their worth."



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Acceptance of the Portrait by the Town.



The portrait of General Wild was accepted, on behalf of the
town of Brookline, by Mr. Horace James, chairman of the Board
of Selectmen, who spoke as follows : —

Mr, Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee having in charge
the matter of a Memorial Portrait of the late General Wild :
It gives me great pleasure to accept, on behalf of the town of
Brookhne, the portrait of one of her illustrious sons : the portrait of
one who stood in the front rank of the patriotic, self-sacrificing men
of his day and generation ; of one who at the call of his country
did not hesitate to give up business, comfort, life itself, if need be,
in defence of its flag and the union of States.

The committee have expressed the wish that the portrait may be
placed in the reading-room of the Public Library, and in charge of its
trustees. In compliance with this wish the Selectmen request the
Trustees of the Public Library to take charge of the portrait, and to
place it in some conspicuous place in the reading-room, with the
hope that those, especially the younger portion of the persons who
may visit the room, may be prompted to enquire who and what
manner of man he was whose memory we thus seek to perpetuate.
And may the record of his life, and the example he has left us,
serve to inspire all, both now and in the future, with the same senti-
ments of patriotism and devotion to duty which we have seen
exemplified in him.



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Acceptance by the Public Library.



The trust was accepted, on behalf of the Public Library, by
Charles H. Drew, Esq., chairman of its Board of Trustees, who
feelingly testified to the worth of the man whom the portrait repre-
sented, and spoke of the efforts of such patriots as General Wild,
which resulted in giving to us a united country.

Other speakers, who had been intimate friends of General Wild,
were : Hon. John W. Candler, Edward Atkinson, Clement K.
Fay, Moses Williams, Dr. Tappan E. Francis; Prof. Charles J.
Capen, of the Boston Latin School, and Mr. Shattuck Hartwell,
Harvard classmates ; Fergus B. Turner, one of the two surviving
members of the original BrookHne company now living in this
town ; Mr. Conant, of Boston, who served throughout the war with
General Wild, and Col. Charles E. Hapgood.



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Remarks of Hon. John W. Candler.



I appreciate the invitation to take some part on this interesting
occasion. It seems to me a gathering in which we all feel a sincere
and earnest purpose, and may congratulate ourselves that another
obligation we owe to our soldiers and posterity is being fulfilled.
Although the number assembled this evening is not large, we know
that we voice the patriotic sentiment of all the citizens of Brookline,
who have never failed, when the opportunity was offered, to recognize
the courage, the self-sacrifice and patriotism of the men they sent
to do battle for the Union. The portrait of this heroic man will
recall to all of us who knew him, how nobly and with what devotion
to the cause he aided in recruiting and organizing Company A of the
First Regiment, enhsted for three years by the State of Massachu-
setts.

General Wild was a marked and original character; true to
his convictions on all occasions, the personification of devotion to
principle, — a man of faith, he would have died a martyr for any cause
he believed in and espoused. He was a leader of men and called
about him kindred spirits in his devotion to freedom and his country.
The story of his life, which this portrait will suggest, will prove to
be an inspiration to the highest duties of citizenship in the "genera-
tions in this town that follow us.

My personal relations with General Wild were intimate. He was
my neighbor, companion and friend for many years. At some
other time I might speak of his humorous, quaint, attractive, social
qualities ; but tonight, under the shadow of a very recent event, as I
attempt to recall the garnered years, so many memories crowd upon
me with which he and my family are associated that I cannot attempt



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it. I feel too much in the mood and spirit of that beautiful poem of
Emerson's, as he revisited the old homestead in Concord : —

" Knows he who tills this lonely field,
To reap its scanty corn,
What mystic fruit his acres yield,
At midnight and at morn ?

" In the long sunny afternoon,

The plain was full of ghosts !
I wandered up, I wandered down.

Beset by pensive hosts.

" I touch this flower of silken leaf.

Which once our childhood knew;
It's soft leaves wound me with a grief
Whose balsam never grew."

I had many associations and conferences with the officers of Com-
pany A, and followed them with careful watchfulness on every march
and in every battle. I will refer to only one visit to their regiment,
which* indicates how little many of us comprehended in the early
months of the war, its magnitude and the sacrifices of the terrible
struggle. After the battle of Bull Run, I spent a week or ten days
with the officers of Company A, when their regiment was stationed
at Budd's Ferry, under General Joseph Hooker, who commanded
that brave and gallant Division of the old Third Corps. The
regiment was in fine condition, and although they had been in
battle, and were then often under fire, and knew something of the
hardships and dangers of a soldier, they were all cheerful and
hopeful, and music and amusement were part of their daily life. I
shared it with them, and enjoyed it with them. But when the day
came to bid them good-bye, just before the Peninsular campaign, I
felt the parting. Five of the officers of that regiment were intimate
friends and constant companions, — Lieut.-Col. George D. Wells,
Major Charles P. Chandler, Capt. Edward A. Wild, ist Lieut. Wm.
L. Candler, 2d Lieut. Charles L. Chandler. As I looked at them,
as they stood in the sunlight on that beautiful morning on the banks
of the Potomac, I said to myself : Some one of you I shall never see



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again. I did not then believe the fearful sacrifice of the war would
claim more than one in five, but when the war was over, three of
them had been killed on the field of battle, and Wild returned home
to us shattered and maimed by the bullets of his foes. This incident
connected with the history of one company, illustrates what the
heroic men of 1861 faced, to preserve to us the union of the States.

It is most gratifying that this portrait of General Wild is so suc-
cessfully painted, and we have reason to congratulate the citizens of
the town and to feel grateful to our fellow- citizen, Mr. Kennard, who,
in giving the portrait in charge to our town government, contributes
his comprehensive and eloquent address. We who knew General
Wild, recognize the tribute of a friend as well as a patriotic citizen,
who appreciated the importance of the war and all the results it
accomplished. His address will add an interesting and valuable
chapter to the history of the town.

We must not forget, on this occasion, that every monument we
rear, that every name we can inscribe on marble or bronze, that the
lineaments we can have traced on canvas for future generations to
look upon, are not personal alone to the heroic leaders, but emble-
matical that the people hold in unfading remembrance the heroes
they led — the rank and file that may have no monuments.

The three commissioned officers that Brookline sent, to lead her
soldiers on many a hard-fought field, have now all entered into the
silence. The " sound of the trumpet and the noise of the battle "
can reach them no more. Their record is finished. That record of
men so brave and true, who never faltered in their duty, I believe
will always be remembered and cherished with pride and honor by
tHe citizens of the town.



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Remarks of Clement K. Fay, Esq.



General Wild was a good many years older than I but my
acquaintance with him began in my childhood, when he was known
as the " Young Doctor," to distinguish him from his able and some-
what eccentric father, the " Old Doctor." It was at a time when
Brookline was much more rural than it is now. Its pleasant lanes
and shady streets, bounded by old-fashioned stone walls, and its
green fields and smiling meadows made it far more attractive, in my
humble judgment, than it is now, since it has undergone what is
commonly called "improvement." (Applause.)

I gratefully endorse all that has been said this evening in praise of
General Wild's conspicuous bravery and his many other manly
qualities, but I trust it may not seem inappropriate to recall some of
the other traits and accomplishments of this many-sided man. He
had a keen sense of humor and a lively appreciation of fun, and his
hearty laugh was most contagious.

Before the war, he was the leader of a select amateur musical
organization in Brookline called " The Hypnophonians." This name
was derived from two Greek words signifying " Sleep-Destroyers."
It was a brass band and its members were well-known citizens of the
town. Our worthy friend Dr. Francis, who sits on my left, was the
president of the organization and played the triangle. Our gallant
and beloved Colonel Candler was an enthusiastic member and could
play on almost any instrument. Our esteemed fellow-townsman,
Mr. James P. Stearns, played the trombone. The Hypnophonians
used to rehearse in a vacant room over Palmer's paint shop, in an
old wooden building which stood where Mr. Goodspeed's stable is
now. The rehearsals were kept up to a late hour, and General



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Wild used to continue his practice on the bugle as he walked up
Washington Street to his father's house, next the Blake estate,
regaling the inhabitants of the town with solos in the stillness of
midnight.

I well remember attending some of the concerts given by the
Hypnophonians, when I was a boy, in the old Town Hall which
stood on the site of the present one. Their repertoire was com-
paratively limited and they did not attempt anything very ambitious
in a musical way — at least in public. The two pieces that they
knew and played best were the "Fireman's Fest March" and the
"Amelia Waltzes." (Laughter.) It is needless to say that these
two selections were sure to find a place on every programme, whether
at a concert or serenade. Several of the inhabitants used to be
serenaded more or less, especially those who would be most likely
to throw open their doors and extend their hospitality to the
members of the band.

During the war several of the Hypnophonians, besides General
Wild, were in active service in the field and the meetings were
suspended for several years, but after the war they were resumed
with the addition of several new members, among whom I had the
honor to be counted. At these meetings it was customary to recall
some of the experiences of the Hypnophonians before the war and
I shall always remember, with great pleasure, the almost boyish
interest that General Wild took in hearing and recounting them.
His merry laugh still lingers in my ears. It was thought at first,
after the band was reorganized, that the General, who had formerly
played the bugle, would be unable to take an active part but with
characteristic ingenuity he surmounted that difficulty by playing the
bass drum and cymbals — two instruments instead of one. He
used to put the bass drum in an arm chair and place one cymbal
on the floor, tying the other one to his foot, so that he could beat
on both at the same time.

One night, before the war, the Hypnophonians started out to
serenade Mr. Moses Williams, the father of my life-long friend and
contemporary who is here with us to-night and who bears the same
honored name. That name was then, as it is now, the synonym in



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our town for genial and generous hospitality. It was to be a
serenade of more than ordinary interest as they were to try, for the
first time, a patent lamp which was fastened to the breast of each
member so that he could see the notes of the music. They
assembled in Mr. Williams' orchard, under the window, and began
as usual with the "Fireman's Fest March." (Laughter.) Either
from haste or inexperience the wicks of the lamps were not properly
adjusted and some of them began to smoke and choke the players so
that the opening piece came to an abrupt and disastrous ending, and
they had to readjust the lights, which occupied some time. When they
were ready to begin again, General Wild had taken off his lamp and
fastened it to the bow of an apple tree. As he gave the signal for a
second start the sight was so ludicrous that the members broke down
again with a burst of laughter. Meanwhile Mr. Williams, to whom
these serenades were no novelty, had risen and hurriedly dressed
himself, and rushing down stairs invited the members into the house
and entertained them in his usual hearty fashion. After the coUation
one of the band suggested that they should continue the serenade
in the house, where there was a good light. General Wild used to
tell us that he could never forget the eager and fervent way in which
Mr. Williams assured them that he would not think of troubling
them to finish the serenade as he was sure they must have several
other places where they wanted to go that evening ; so they reluct-
antly withdrew. (Laughter.)


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Online LibraryMartin P KennardAddress of Martin P. Kennard → online text (page 2 of 3)