Thomas Moulton.

Porter, as a portion of Maine: its settlement, etc. (Volume 1) online

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Daring the last term of President Jackson's administra-
tion the last dollar of our national debt was paid, and a sur-
plus remained in the United States treasury. This surplus
was distributed by congress among the different states in
proportion to population. Maine distributed her share
among the different towns in the state in the same manner.
Porter received, April 19 and May 1, 1837, 12,174.00. At
several town meetings after its reception, the surplus reve-
nue was a theme of much discussion. Various propositions
for disposing of it were submitted to our voters. Finally,
April 2, 1838, it was voted " to distribute the town's pro-
portion of the surplus revenue as soon as may be." This
vote was carried into effect, and each inhabitant received

In the warrant to call a town meeting April 7, 1845, is
the following article : " 34th. To see if the town will in-
struct the selectmen to grant licenses to retailers of ardent
spirits," and at the meeting it was " voted that the select-
men grant licenses to all that may make application to them
to sell spirituous liquors the year ensuing." This vote, in



connection with what is now known to be the public senti-
ment of the town, shows a great and beneficial change in
the minds of our citizens since 1845. Should the same
proposition be now submitted to our voters, not one, I think,
would publicly approve of like instructions.

By more recent records it appears that the town raised by
taxation, for paying soldiers' bounties during the rebellion,
the sum of $29,215.40, and for recruiting, 1798.00 ; total by
town taxation, $30,013.40. Under the United States inter-
nal revenue act, from Aug. 28, 1862, to Sept. 1, 1869, the
taxable citizens of Porter were assessed, in consequence of
the war, 12,305.02, making a total war debt of $32,318.42.


In proportion to population, few towns have furnished
more soldiers to defend our institutions and common country
than Porter. Six of her residents had taken part in our
long and arduous struggle for independence. The war com-
menced by the battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775, and
closed by the treaty of Paris, Sept. 8, 1783.

For the war of 1812 Porter furnished twenty-eight volun-
teer soldiers, being nearly ten per cent of the whole number
of persons then in town. President Madison's proclamation
of war was issued (in accordance with a previous act of
congress) April 19, 1812, just thirty-seven years after the
battle of Lexington, and the war terminated by the treaty
of Ghent, Dec. 24, 1814. The battle of New Orleans,
however, was fought on the 8th of January following, the
intelligence of peace not having then reached Gens. Jackson
and Packenham, the American and British commanders.

For the Mexican war, commenced April 24, 1846, and
closed Feb. 2, 1848, by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,
seven young men enlisted.


To suppress the slave-holders' rebellion, commenced by a
rebel attack on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861, and closed by
Lee's surrender to Gen. Grant at Appomattox Court House,
April 9, 1865, eighty-one of our resident and native
young men volunteered. It is a peculiar incident that the
war of the revolution, that of 1812, that with Mexico, and
that of 1861 commenced in April. Accoixling to the report
of our late adjutant general, John L. Hodsdon, Maine fur-
nished during the great rebellion 66,669 soldiers. Of these
there died of wounds 2,805; of disease, 4,854; discharged
for disability, 12,863 ; and missing in action, 2,041 ; total
casualties, 22,563.

Historians, other than our own, give due credit for
Maine's sacrifices in crushino; the slave-holders' rebellion.
But what of Maine while an appendage to Massachusetts ?
What her history during the French and Indian war, that'of
the revolution, and the war of 1812? Behold, it is all writ-
ten in the book of the chronicles of Massachusetts, вАФ Maine's
history appropriated by Massachusetts ! There we shall find
that Maine regiments, in fact, were Massachusetts regiments
in name ; that Massachusetts and Maine won in battle, but
Massachusetts alone won in honor. When Washington, in
addressing and commending a portion of his troops for their
valor in turning the tide of a desperate battle in his favor,
said, " God bless the Massachusetts line," he spoke not to
men of Massachusetts, but to men of Maine, from our coun-
ties of York and Cumberland. A faithful history of what
Maine was instrumental in accomplishing for our common
country, during those many years of war's desolation, has
never been written, neither will it be. Of our history we
have been plundered as well as of our lands.

The whole number of men in the United States that en-
listed into the Union army was, according to the president's
annual message of 1872, 2,688,523. It is stated in Gree-



ley's American Conflict, vol, ii., page 759, that the numloer
enlisted for three months was 191,985 ; for six months, 19,-
076 ; for nine months, 87,558 ; for one year, 394,959 ; for
two years, 43,113 ; for three years, 1,950,792 ; for four
years, 1,040 ; total, 2,688,523, and that, as many of these
enlisted two or three times, while thousands deserted, it is
probable that not more than 1,500,000 effectively partici-
pated in suppressing the rebellion. The same author esti-
mates our loss of life as follows : 56,000 dying on the field of
battle, 35,000 dying in hospitals of wounds, and 184,000 dy-
ing in hospitals by disease. The number dying after their
discharge, by disease contracted in the service, we have no
means of ascertaining.


There is no plantation or town record of any vote for
representative to the legislature before our separation from
Massachusetts in 1820 ; although from 1810 to 1 819 inclusive
we were classed with other towns for the choice of represent-
atives. The classification has been as follows : In 1810 we
were classed with Denmark and Lovell ; from 1811 to 1814
inclusive, with Denmark, Lovell, and Waterford ; in 1815,
with Denmark, Lovell, Waterford, and Fryeburg ; in 1816
and 1817, with Sumner, Woodstock, Fryeburg, Hiram, and
Brovvnfield ; in 1818 and 1819, Oxford County formed one
representative district ; from 1820 to 1831 inclusive, with
Brownfield and Hiram ; from 1832 to 1841 inclusive, with
Hiram ; from 1842 to 1851 inclusive, with Brownfield and
Hiram ; from 1852 to 1861 inclusive, with Brownfield and
Fryeburg ; from 1862 to 1871 inclusive, with Brownfield and
Fryeburg ; and from 1872 to 1881 inclusive, with Brown-
field, Fryeburg, and Stow.




One saw-mill, at least, and probably two, were built here
as early as 1799. One was built at Porter village, another
on the same stream not far from the Stanley or Roberts
pond, called on the plantation map " Deer pond." The
saw-mill of Stephen Libby was built near the site of the mill '
now owned by John Weeks, and was in operation as early
as 1805. The first grist-mill in town, as stated by the late
David Colcord, was built in 1793 by Caleb Emery, on the
outlet of the Colcord pond, known on the map as " Ellen-
wood's pond," Mr. Ellenwood having occupied the farm on its
western border. This grist-mill and one at Porter village
were, doubtless, built about the same time. From the best
evidence attainable, the first bridge across the Great Ossipee
at Porter village was constructed between 1795 and 1800 ;
the second in 1808; and the present covered bridge there in
1876, costing this town $1,717.24. The first river bridge at
Kezar Falls was built by subscription in 1833, and the covered
bridge at the same place, in 1869, at a cost to Porter of

The population of Porterfield in 1800 was 272 ; of Porter
in 1810, 292 ; in 1820, 486 ; in 1830, 841 ; in 1840, 1,133 ;
in 1850, 1,208 ; in 1860, 1,240 ; in 1870, 1,105.

The state valuation of the town was in 1820, $27,939; in
1830, $36,311 ; in 1840, $113,984 ; in 1850, $165,198 ; in
1860, $186,204 ; and in 1870, $275,469.


Our auditors report the pecuniary standing of the town as
they find it on the 20th of February. According to their
report, the indebtedness of the town, aside from trust funds,
was, Feb. 20, 1862, $3,475.34; 1863, $8,407.04; 1864,
$11,747.31; 1865, $29,547.00; 1866, $22,920.59; 1869,


117,066.15; 1870, $12,282.62; 1871, 19,275.46; 1872,
$7,861.90; 1873, $7,396.91; 1874, $6,605.46; 1875, $5,-
929.35; 1876, $5,938.36; 1877, $5,613.95 ; 1878, $5,373.-
78 ; and 1879, $5,298.33.


At tlie commencement of the war of 1861, the bills of our
solvent banks were equal in value to gold. Jan. 13, 1862,
gold was first sold at a premium. Since that time the high-
est current premium was paid July 11, 1864, one dollar in
gold being sold for $2.85 in bills ; in November, 1865, for
$1.46i ; in July, 1867, for $1.38i ; in Feb., 1870, for $1.18 ;
in Nov., 1871, for $1.10 ; in Dec, 1876, for $1.07 ; in
Sept., 1877, for $1.03^ ; in Jan., 1878, for $1.01i ; April
13, 1878, at New York, for l.OOJ ; and Dec. 17, 1878, at
the same city, for $1.00, resumption by law not being re-
quired until Jan. 1, 1879. There were a few sales in 1864,
when the gold dollar brought $2.98 in greenbacks.


The first Post-office in town was established at Porter
village, in about 1820. For several years before the gov-
ernment had granted the privileges of an office at Par-
sonsfield middle-road, and the benefits dispensed thereby,
were, in part, ours. At an earlier date the nearest office
was at Saco.

Our first postmaster was James Coffin, who held the of-
fice until the time of his death, in March, 1823. His suc-
cessors have been William Towle, jr., Mrs. Jane Coffin,
Eben. Blazo, John Higgins, William Stanley, and James
French, jr. William Towle, jr., and Mrs. Coffin, held the


office eight or nine years, Mr. Higgins about one, Messrs.
Stanley and French about four years each, and Mr. Blazo,
the present nicumbent, about thirty-nine years.


At the organization of the Post-office department, the
postage of a single letter (i.e., one composed of a single
piece of paper), under 40 miles, was 8 cts., under 90 miles,
10 cts., under 150, 12i cts., under 300, 17 cts., under 500,
20 cts., and over 500, 25 cts. By act of Congress of 1825,
and the amendatory act of 1827, the rates adopted were as fol-
lows : for any distance not exceeding 30 miles, 6 cts., over 30
and under 80 miles, 10 cts., over 80 and under 150, 12^ cts.,
over 150 and under 400, 18| cts., and over 400 miles, 25
cts. If a letter was composed of two pieces of paper, double
postage was required, of three pieces, triple postage, etc. In
1845 the postage of a letter not exceeding 1-2 oz. in weight,
was reduced to 5 or 10 cts., as the distance was under or over
300 miles. A further reduction was made in 1851 and in
1852. In 1863 the present rates (3 cts. for every 1-2 oz. to
any part of the United States) were established. Postage
stamps and stamped envelopes were ordered by Congress in


Our Registry of Deeds was at Alfred until 1800, when
one was established at Fryeburg. The registers at F, have
been James Osgood, John Bradley, Daniel Clement, Rich-
ard Clement, James O. McMillan, Asa Charles, and Sey-
mour C. Hobbs.



Samuel Brooks, James Brown, John Fox, David Moul-
ton, Joseph Pearl and Josiah Wood.


Job Bailey, William Bickford, John Brooks, Samuel
Brooks, Nathaniel Cook, Nathaniel Cook, 2d, Edward Fox,
Ephraim Fox, John Hays, jr., David Hodsdon, James Lib-

by, John Libby, Jacob Mason, Francis Mathews,

Mclntire, John Moulton, John Pearl, Simeon Pearl, Dia-
mond Pearl, Jonathan Philbrick, Perkins Philbrick, Simon
Philbrick, Daniel Sargent, Samuel Stanley, Samuel Tibbetts,
John Thompson, Hugh Tucker, jr., and Daniel Wentworth.


Samuel Brooks, 3d, Edward Fox, George W. Kennard,
George W. Pearl, James Peters, Thomas B. Peters and
Jonathan Stacy.


Of the resident Revolutionary soldiers named, all died in

Samuel Brooks was born in Buxton, March 19, 1761,
enhsted March 14, 1777, and died in April, 1825.

James Brown was born in Virginia and died in 1851.

John Fox was born in Gilmanton, N. H., and died April
17, 1834.

David Moulton was born in Hampton, N. H., enlisted in
1778 and die I Oct. 18, 1838.

Joseph Pearl was born in Rochester, N. H., and died in


Josiah Wood was born in Dracut, Mass., and died in 1844
or 1845.

In the war of 1812, Jacob Mason, the eldest son of John,
was the only soldier from this town who did not return. He
died of disease, Oct. 26, 1813.

In the Mexican war, Samuel Brooks, 3d, son of Thomas,
died in the city of Mexico, March 19, 1848.

Edward Fox, son of Ephraim, died in Vera Cruz, Mexico,
July 23, 1848.

G. Washington Pearl, son of John, died in the city of
Mexico, about Dec. 3, 1847.

Jonathan Stacy, son of Oliver, having been discharged,

returned home in August, 1848, and died Feb. 17, 1849,

of chronic diarrhcBa, contracted in the service, aged 25 years.

James and Thomas B. Peters, sons of Thomas, are supposed

to have died in the service.

In the Great Rebellion, John C. Bridges, Co. G, 10th
Me. Regt., died at Knoxville, Md., of diphtheria and ty-
phoid fever, Dec. 1, 1862.

Ezra Blazo, Co. A, 20th 111. Regt., died at St. Louis,
Mo., of chronic diarrhoea, about Sept. 10, 1863.

Joseph M. Davis, Co. K, 23d Me., died on Long Island
Sound, on his homeward voyage, of consumption, Jan. 7,

Randall French, Co. A, 11th Me., died at Yorktown, Va.,
of typhoid fever. May 29, 1862.

Ira Floyd, Co. K, 23d Me., died at Camp Grover, Md.,
of typhoid fever, Nov. 13, 1862.

Osgood F. Floyd, Co. C, 29th Me., died at Annapolis, Md.,
of typhoid fever, Aug. 9, 1864.

William W. Fox, Co. G, 10th Me., died at Harper's
Ferry, Va., of typhoid fever, Oct. 30, 1862.

George Henry Fox, Co. B, 29th Me., died in U. S. Gen-
eral Hospital at Patterson Park, Baltimore, Md., Nov. 5,


1864, in consequence of a wound received in battle at Ce-
dar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864.

Albion P. Fox, Co. G, 7th Recvt. N. H. Vols., died Mar.
31, 1865, at Wilmington, N. C, of typhoid fever.

William F. Foster, Co. G, 13th Me., was discharged at
New Orleans, La., for disability, Oct. 27, 1862, and died at
Porter, of chronic diarrhoea, Nov. 13, 1862.

Samuel N. Gibbs, Co. K., 18th Penn. Cavalry, was taken
prisoner Oct. 10, 1863, and died in Libby prison, Va., Feb.
11, 1864, murdered by exposure and starvation.

Elias R. Gibbs, Co. K, 18th Penn. Cavalry, died in An-
dersonville prison, Ga., July 19, 1864, murdered as was his
cousin in Libby prison, by rebel officials acting under the or-
ders of Jeff Davis.

Randall Libby, 2d, Capt. of Co. A, 11th Me., died at
Porter, May 8, 1871, of pulmonary consumption, contract-
ed in the United States' service.

Benjamin H. Ridlon, Co. E, 9th Me., mortally wounded
in the head while skirmishing at Bermuda Hundred, May 20,
1864, was sent to Fortress Monroe, and, without doubt, died

Oren W. Rogers, Co. I, 3d Me. was supposed to have
been killed in battle at Spottsylvania Court House, Va.,
May 10 or 12, 1864.

Frank Robbins, Co. K, 23d Me., rendezvoused with his
company at Portland, Me., returned home by the direction
of the surgeon, and died of tjq^hoid fever, Nov. 17, 1862.

Ezra Towle, Co. G, 10th Me , died Sept. 27, 1862, at Sharps-
burgh, Md., in consequence of a wound received in battle.

Nelson Towle, Co. E, 9th Me., was killed in battle, Sept.
29, 1864, in the charge on battery Gilmore, near Richmond,
Va. He was appointed Lieutenant by the Governor, but
died before his commission reached its destination.

John F. Wiggin, Co. F, 133d Penn. Regt., died at Doug-


las Hospital, Washington, D. C, Dec. 31, 1862, in conse-
quence of wounds received in battle.

Isaac D. White, Co. G, 13th Me., died in 1863, at sea, on
his passage from Texas to New Orleans, on board of Steam-
er Clinton. '

James M. Wilkinson, Co. A, 11th Me., died in the hos-
pital at Point of Rocks, of chronic diarrhoea, Sept. 2, 1864.


For the materials of this chapter I am indebted to such
soldiers as could be consulted, to the friends of other
soldiers, and to the various reports of our late Adjt. Gen.
John L. Hodsdon.

The actual merits of every soldier are not to be estimated
solely by the facts herein stated. Some of them have been
able to give a full and correct account of the stirring events
in which they were actors, others equally meritorious, have
failed in imparting information so as to do justice to them-
selves, or were, as soldiers, by no fault of their own, placed
in positions unfavorable to an exhibition of their true charac-
ter. Death, too, has precluded the rehearsal here, of much
that Avould heighten our regard for the memory of many who
went forth from us to do battle for the right.

In the short time^ allotted me in the preparation of this
chapter, I have spared no reasonable pains. Interviews with
soldiers have been* had, and letters written in all instances
where it was supposed that facts of any value might be ob-
tained. My exertions in this direction have been, in many
cases, successful ; in some, partially so, and in others a total

' It was not contemplated to add this chapter until after most of the previous portion
of this work had been printed.


failure. Hence the result as here presented, must, by the
want of better mformation on the part of the writer, be nec-
essarily defective, and to a certain extent, unsatisfactory to
the reader as well as to the writer.

Banks Ivory H., Com. K,'23d Me.,
Capt. Moses N. Stanley, was mustered into the U. S. ser-
vice for nine months, Sept. 29, 1862, and was mustered out
of the service and discharged July 15, 1863.

Berry John, Com, A (probably), 44th Mass.,
was mustered into the U. S. service in August, 1862, for
nine months. About Jan. 1, 1863, he was in the battle of
Whitehall, N. C, where he received a severe wound in the
wrist. He was shortly after discharged for the disability

Bickford Isaac, Com. H, 1st Regt. Me. Cavalry,
Capt. Henry C. Hall, was mustei-ed into the service Dec. 28,
1863, for three years, and was discharged Dec. 28, 1864,
for disability.

Blazo Ezra, Co. A, 20th 111.,
Capt. John S. Wolf, Col. C. C. Marsh, was mustered into
the service April 19, 1861, for three years, was taken pris-
oner in the Britton's Lane fight, gave his parole, and was
sent to St. Louis. While there he was exchanged, joined
his regiment, and was in the following battles : Fort Henry,
Fort Donelson, Pittsburgh Landing or Shiloh, and in all of
Grant's battles at the siege of Vicksburgh. During the most
of his service he was under the command of Gen. Logan.
He died.*

Boston Benjamin F., Cora. A, 11th Me'.,
Capt. Randall Libby, was mustered into the service Oct.
12, 1863, for three years, and was in the following battles :
Drury's Bluff, May 14, 15 and 16, Bermuda Hundred, from

* The star (*) denotes that the time, place and cause of the soldier's death are stated
under "In memoriaui," page 52,



June 2 to June 20, Strawberry Plain, July 26, Deep Bot-
tom, Aug. 14, Flusser's Mills, Aug. 16, Siege of Petersburgh,
from Aug. 25 to Sept. 29, and several battles before Rich-
mond, from Oct. 1, 1864 to Jan. 1, 1865. The above dates
are as stated in his company memorial. In March, 1865, he
was in the battle of Five Forks, and April 1 and 2 in that of
Hatcher's Run, where he was wounded by a minie ball
through the band. He was discharged for the disability in
Sept., 1865.

Bradeen Erastus W., Com. B, 23d Me.,
Capt. Horace C. Little, was mustered into the service
Sept. 29, 1862, for nine months, was appointed corporal, and
mustered out July 15, 1863. He re-enlisted, and was mus-
tered into Co. B, 29th Me., Capt. Benj. M. Redlon.

Bridges John C, Com. G, 10th Me.,
Capt. Jonathan Blake, was mustered into the service Sept.
18, 1862, for two years, and died.*

Brooks John M., Com. I, 12th Me.,
Capt, James M. Thompson, was mustered into the United
States service March 17, 1865, for one year, and was mus-
tered out March 17, 1866.

Cole John W., Cora. F, 27th Me.,
Capt, J. Plummer, was mustered into the service Sept. 30,
1862, for nine months.

Cook Joseph B,, Com. G, 10th Me,,
Capt. Jonathan Blake, was mustered into the service Aug.
18, 1862, for three years, was transferred to Com. B, 10th
Me. Battalion, and again transferred to Com. D, 29th jNIe.,
was taken prisoner, gave his parole, and was discharged in

Coolbroth Thaddeus W., Cora. G, 13th Me.,
Capt. Joshua L. Sawyer, was mustered into the service
Dec. 31, 1861, for three years, re-enlisted, was mustered in-
to the same company Feb. 29, 1864, and was transferred to


the 30th Me., Nov. 18, 18G4. The 30th regiment was mus-
tered out Aug. 20, 1865.

Coolbroth Wilham J., Com. G, 13th Me.,
Capt. Joshua L. Sawyer, was mustered into the service Dec.
31, 1861, for three years, and was mustered out Jan. 6, 1865.

Danforth Samuel, Com. K, 23d Me.,
Capt. Moses N. Stanley, was mustered into the service Sept.
29, 1862, for nine montlis, and mustered out July 15, 1863.

Davis Joseph M., Com. K, 23d Me.,
Capt. M. N. Stanley, was mustered into the service Sept. 29,

1862, for nine months, was dischai'ged for disability Jan. 5,

1863, and died of consumption on the 7th of that month.
Day Wentworth,

enlisted and was mustered into a New Hampshire regiment.

Downs Joseph,
was mustered into a New Hampshire regiment.

Durgin Henry D., Com. E, 9th Me.,
Capt. A. G. Marston, was mustered into the service Sept.
22, 1861, for three years, and was discharged for disability
Jan. 2, 1863.

Duroy John B., Com. C, 9th Me.,
Capt. George VV. Brown, was mustered into the service
Aug. 11, 1862, for three years, was appointed an orderly by
Maj. Gardiner, was slightly wounded in the battle of Morris
Island, and was discharged July 24, 1865. In 1863, July
10, he was in the battle of Morris Island, S. C, July 11 and
18 in the attacks on Fort Wagner ; in 1864, Feb. 20, he was
in Gen. Seymour's disastrous defeat at Olustee, Fla., May
20 in the battle at Bermuda Hundred, June 1 at Cold Har-
bor, June 30 in front of Petersburgh, Aug. 16 and 18 at Deep
Bottom, Sept. 29 at Chapin's Farm, Oct. 27 at Derby Town
Road ; and in 1865, Jan. 15, in the assault upon and capture
of Fort Fisher by Gen. Terry, a portion of the 9th Me. par-
ticipating in the attack.


While in front of Petersburgh, ten men from each company
of his regiment were detailed for a particular service. Mr.
Duroy was of the number. Six-tenths of them were slain,
owing to their commanding officer's misapprehension of his

Floyd Ira, Com. K, 23d Me.,
Capt. M. N. Stanley, was mustered into the service Sept. 29,,
1862, for nine months, and died.*

Floyd Osgood F., Com. G, 10th Me.,
Capt. Jonathan Blake, was mustered into the service Aug. 23,
1862, for three years, was transferred to Bat. 10th Me., and
from 10th Bat. to Com. C, 29th Me., and died.*

Foster William F., Com. G, 13th Me.,
Capt. Joshua L. Sawyer, was mustered into the service Jan.
16, 1862, for three years, was discharged for disability Oct.
27, 1862, and died.*

Fox Albion P., Com. G, 7th N. H. Vols.,
was mustered into the service Sept. 23, 1861, and died.*

Fox Daniel J., Com. K, 23d Me.,
Capt. M. N. Stanley, was mustered into the service Sept. 29,
1862, for nine months, and was discharged July 15, 1863.
He re-enlisted for one year, was mustered into Co. B, 11th
Me., Capt. Chas. Sellmer. He was in the battle of Hatcher's
Run, in the last Petersburgh, and in Gen. Grant's final con-
flict with Lee at Appomattox Court House. His final dis-
charge was dated June 12, 1865.

Fox David M., Com. D, 5th Me.,
Capt. Edward W. Thompson, was mustered into the service
June 21, 1861, for three years. He re-enlisted Jan. 4, 1864,
in Com. B, 1st Regt, Infantry, Veteran Vols., Capt, Charles
H. Small, for three years, and was mustered out July 2,
1865. He was severely wounded in the thigh in the battle
of Cold Harbor, and was wounded in the leg and back while
in front of Petersburo^h. He was in the followino- eno-aoe-

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