William L. (William Ladd) Chaffin.

History of the town of Easton, Massachusetts (Volume 3) online

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side the vessel with whiskey for sale. The venders were said to
be Rebel sympathizers, who had poisoned the liquor. The story
is doubtful, though it is certain that some who drank of it were
made sick; and one of them, an Easton man, died from the
effects of it in great agony. At four o'clock on the morning of
the 19th the steamer started for Fortress Monroe. Considerable
anxiety was felt by those on board, as it was not known who was
in possession of the fort ; but at sunrise on Saturday, April 20,
the soldiers on the steamer had the satisfaction of seeing the
Stars and Stripes unfurled to the breeze on the fortress walls.
For over a month the Fourth Regiment remained on duty at
Fortress Monroe, and then with a regiment from New York and
one from Vermont they took possession of Newport News.

A portion of this regiment, not however including Company B
of Easton, took part in the attack on Big Bethel, which ended dis-
astrously in the repulse of our troops. After being encamped at
Hampton until July 11 they marched to Fortress Monroe, and
on the 15th they embarked on the steamer " S. R. Spaulding,"
arriving at Boston after a pleasant passage. They landed on
Long Island and remained there until the 22d, when they came
up to Long Wharf, from whence they marched to the Common,
where they had an enthusiastic reception. The Fourth Regi-
ment was the first to leave Massachusetts, and the first to land
on the soil of Virginia.

On their return home the citizens of Easton gave their patriot
soldiers a most cordial reception. This reception took place in
a little grove just north of Unity Church parsonage, to which the
returned volunteers were escorted by a juvenile military com-
pany and by the town's people, and where speeches were made
by citizens of Easton.

The following is the muster-roll of Company B, Fourth Regi-
ment, omitting those who were not from Easton : —

Milo M. Williams, Captain. George Richards, Corporal.

Linton Waldron, \st Lieutenant. James N. Mackay, ,,

William E. Bump, Jr., 2d Lieut. Albert Tilden, ,,

John A. Lynch, Sergeant. William H. Willis, Musician.

Rufus H. Willis, ,, Charles Baker, Private.

Robert Clifford, ,, Charles Bellows, ,,

Alfred B. Richmond, ,, Daniel B. Blaisdell,

John W. Gerry, Cotporal. Oliver H. Blaisdell, ,,



William Crockett, Private.
George H. Davis,
Robert DoUard,
John Duffy,
David Fisher,
Bernard Galligan,
Reuben Harlow,
William H. Keenan

Charles Maguire, Private.
James T. Morley,
James H. Motherwell,^
David Mulhearn^
Jacob J. Randall,
Michael F. Sheehan
William F. Story,
Robert Watts,

Of these all returned except Charles Bellows, whose death has
been noted, and who was not mustered into service. Most of
them re-enlisted, and saw much more service in the war.

In Company A of the same regiment, which was composed
of men mainly from Canton, Sharon, and Stoughton, were the
following Easton men : Ellis B. Hewitt, William R. Roberts,
Frederick A. Smith, and Hiram White. They were in the second
detachment, which reached Fortress Monroe, May 19.

The second enlistment of men from Easton were those who
joined Company H of the Second Regiment, and were mustered
into service on the 25th of May, 1861. This regiment deserves
special notice, because it was the first loyal regiment raised for
three years, or the war. It went into camp in West Roxbury,
at Brook Farm, the property of the Rev. James Freeman Clarke,
who offered it free of charge for that purpose. It was there
thoroughly drilled by experienced officers. The ladies of Boston
presented it with its regimental colors. On the 8th of July the
regiment broke camp, and under orders from General Scott
started southward, arriving at Hagarstown, Maryland, July 10,
and joined General Patterson at Martinsburg on the 12th. Sub-
sequently they went to Harper's Ferry, and were afterward
under command of General Banks, who removed them to Sandy
Hook. The regiment did picket and other duty, having some
skirmishes with the enemy. In January, 1862, it encamped near
Frederick. We shall follow its fortunes further in succeeding
years, but give here the names of the men who enlisted in it from
Easton at this time for three years. They were in Company H.

1 Incorrectly given as John Motherwell in Adjutant-General's reports.

2 Mulhearn was left behind at Boston and went to Fortress Monroe afterward
with the Eighth Regiment. He was received by his comrades with three hearty



David A. Middleton, Corporal. John Murphy, 2d, Prh

Vernon Randall,
Jeremiah Murray.
Thomas Murray,
Thomas Duffy,
Patrick J. Healan.
James Lehane,
James McCread}\
John Motherwell.


Hugh S. O'Donnell,
James Powers,
Richard Powers,
Patrick Reynolds,
Silas K. Riple}^,
Richard Seavers,
John S. Smith,
John Welsh,


Ezra G. Whittemore, Private.

In Company K of the same regiment the name of Michael
McMullen of North Easton is given, and Hugh S. O'Donnell is
of Company H, but is incorrectly credited to North Bridgewater.
Richard Powers is credited to Boston, but by mistake. David
A. Middleton and Richard Powers left the infantry and enlisted
in the navy, Vernon Randall and Jeremiah Murray, for reasons
best known to themselves, left the service in mid-summer.^

The third enlistment of volunteers in Easton was in Company
C, — Captain Ward L. Foster, — in the SeventJi Regiment. This
regiment was commanded by Colonel Couch, of Taunton, a West
Point graduate. It was sworn into service June 15, 1861, left
camp July 12, arrived in Washington on the evening of the 15th,
and encamped on Kalorama Heights near Georgetown. In
August it moved to Camp Brightwood, District of Columbia, and
went into winter quarters.

Company G recruited in April and May. The town of Eas-
ton paid each member of this company fifteen dollars bounty,
and fifteen dollars per month. The Easton men in it were as
follows : —

Ward L. Foster, Captain.
Augustus W. Lothrop, \st Lietit.
Munroe F. Williams, id Lietit.
George W. Andrews, Sergeant.
Philander W. Fecto, ,,
Seth T. Dunbar, Corporal.
Freeman E. Wells, ,,
James A. Humphrey, I\Iusician.
Edward W. Hansell, ,,

James Wells, Wagoner.

Eustis E. Burt, Private.

Daniel Donovan, ,,

Jason F. Eldridge, ,,

Philip Fay, ,,

Billings Fisher, ,,

Matthew F. Flaherty, ,,

Samuel H. Gilmore, ,,

Frederic E. Healy, ,,

Caleb R. Holbrook, ,,

James H. Keenan, „

1 Record of Massachusetts Volunteers, vol. ii. pp. 4S, 49, 50, 51, 57.


Albert A. Lincoln, Private. Charles O'Brien, Private.

Charles F. Lothrop, ,, William O'Rourke, „

Michael McCool, ,, William W. Packard, ,,

James McCullough, ,, Henry W. Peck, ,,

John McKeehan, ,, Asaph W. Phillips, ,,

Thomas McNamara, „ Howard W. Phillips, ,,

James P. Middleton, „ Nathan P. Randall, ,,

George M. Murphy, ,, Charles S. Torry, ,,

James H. Murphy, ,, Samuel R. White, ,,
Charles E. Williams, Private.

There were a few later enlistments in this company that will
be mentioned in giving an account of it in successive years.
The above are those who were mustered in daring 1861.

In Company H of this Seventh Regiment there enlisted from
Easton Josiah Williams, corporal, Francis Drake and Mason A.
Hill. The last two named were privates, but both were pro-
moted to be sergeants.

Thomas McNamara, William O'Rourke, Charles E. Williams,
and Philip Fay, after a few days, repented their rashness in be-
coming soldiers, and concluded to serve their country by remain-
ing at home. This statement is rather a free paraphrase of the
record as reported on the regimental rolls. ^

The Eleventh Regiment had in 1861 but one Easton volunteer;
this was Simeon Randall, who enlisted December 12, and was
discharged in August, 1862, for disability, having very badly
sprained his knee, from which injury he has never recovered.

The Tivelfth Regiment had during the first year of the war but
six Easton men ; they were mustered in June 26 for three years'
service, and were as follows : —

Co. F, George G. Smith. Co. I, Charles A. Gilmore.

Co. I, John Goulding, Corporal. ,, Peleg F. Randall.

„ Hiram F. French. ,, John Watts.

Seth L. French, of Easton, enlisted in Company E, and is
credited to Natick. Henry R. Packard, of Easton, was musician
in Company E. This regiment was commanded by Col. Fletcher
Webster ; it reported for duty at Harper's Ferry, July 27, and
remained in Maryland during the winter.

1 For this Seventh Regiment, see Record of Massachusetts Volunteers, vol. ii.
p. 63 f/ seq.



In the EigJiteenth Regiment there enlisted in i86r, in Company
B, two Easton men, — Martin Cunningham and John Mullen ;
and in Company K, Virgil Bird and Benjamin F. Boodry.

In the Tzveiiticth Regiment Reuben Harlow, who had just
been discharged from the Fourth Regiment, re-enlisted August
24, in Company G. This regiment took part in the battle of
Ball's Bluff, at which Harlow was taken prisoner. He was dis-
charged for disability December 20.

In the Tiventy-tJiird Regiment Robert Dollard re-enlisted Sep-
tember 28 as sergeant in Company E.

In Company A, of the Twenty-fourth Regiment, Charles Baker
re-enlisted September 12, and Charles H. McGuire ^ September
13 ; and in Company G there enlisted in 1861 —

George N. Blanchard, Sept. 24.
Irving Dickerman, Oct. 12.

Denison S. Drew, Sept. 23.
Henry T. Drew, Sept. 24.

In Company C of the same regiment Ellis R. Holbrook served
as musician, and in Company H William S. Mitchell enlisted
September 10.

The Twenty-sixth Regiment was recruited at Camp Chase,
Lowell. The colonel and many officers and men of this regi-
ment were of the gallant Sixth M. V. M. Company C, Capt,
E. W. Thayer, of Pawtucket, had the following Easton men,
who enlisted in September and October: —

John A. Lynch, \st Liejitenant. James L. Howard, Private.

Albert Tilden, 7.d Lieutenant.
William Crockett, Sergeattt.
Elijah G. Howard, Corporal.
George H. Davis, ,,

William E. Cole, Private.
Major Crockett, ,,

Joshua Hardy, ,,

Phineas A.

William H. Keenan,
Addison A. Lothrop,
David Middleton,
Charles Mitchell,
Theodore Mitchell,
Timothy Murphy,
George B. Randall,
Randall, Private.

This regiment sailed from Boston on the 21st of November,
and went to Ship Island, Louisiana. We shall see in the ac-
count of it for 1862 that Lieutenant Lynch became captain of
Company C, and that this regiment saw active service. In the

1 The middle initial H. was an unauthorized addition, but McGuire concluded
to let it stand.



printed muster-rolls the name of William H. Keenan is incor-
rectly reported on the quota of Attleborough. He happened to
be at work there ; but he was a resident of Easton, paid his taxes
here during the war, received no bounty from Attleborough, and
enlisted as an Easton soldier. This is his own statement, made
personally to the writer.

In the Twenty-eighth Regiment, which was composed princi-
pally of Irishmen, there enlisted in 1861 Cornelius Slattery in
Company D, and James McEvoy in Company F. Other Easton
recruits joined the latter company after this year, and will be re-
ported further on. This regiment did not leave for the seat of
war until January 11, 1862.

The Tzventy-ninth Regiment had seven companies that had
seen previous service in the Massachusetts Third and Fourth
regiments. These seven companies, without returning home,
had been organized for three years' service ; and after the other
companies of the Third and F"ourth left the seat of war, July 16,
1 86 1, this being the expiration of their term of service, these
seven companies were placed under the command of Captain
Barnes, of Company K, and were known as the Massachusetts
Battalion, performing valuable services. In December, three
other companies were added to the battalion, and it was then
organized as the Twenty-ninth. Of the Easton men who en-
listed in this regiment in 1861 there were —

Dr. George B. Cogswell, Ass't-Sur. Daniel B. Blaisclell, Private.

Alfred B. Richmond, Sei-gcant. Willard Drake, ,,

Robert L. Watts, „ Solomon R. Foster, „

Lemuel Capen, Corporal. Minot E. Phillips, ,,

James H. Ladd, Wagoner. Nelson M. Randall, ,,

John Bartlett, Private. Charles Roberts, ,,
Charles H. Smith, Private.

These twelve men were in Company G. Others afterward
joined them, and this regiment saw a good deal of hard service.

In the First Massachusetts Cavalry, Horace F. Pool was mus-
tered in as a member of Company I, December 1 1, 1861. Rufus
H. Willis had previously enlisted, and was credited to Bridge-



In the year 1861 the town of Easton took all needful means
to do its part in the opening conflict of the great Civil War.
On the 29th of April the first legal town-meeting to act upon
matters relating to the war was held, and it was then voted to
pay each inhabitant (except commissioned officers) of Easton,
when called into the military service of the country, fifteen
dollars as a gift, and "fifteen dollars a month for each month
he shall remain in said service." It was voted that the soldiers
who had already gone should have the same pay as those who
might go. The town treasurer was authorized to borrow ten
thousand dollars in aid of those who should enlist. Oliver Ames,
Jr., A. A. Rotch, and Lincoln Drake were appointed a commit-
tee to disburse funds, and to aid soldiers' families if needed.
This prompt action shows that the town was fully alive to the
exigencies of the great crisis.

July 1 1 the town voted to raise by taxation three thousand
dollars to defray expense already incurred, and to fulfil contracts
made with volunteers who had been mustered into the service
of the United States. The same amount was voted in aid of
soldiers' wives and families as State aid, to be reimbursed to
the town as provided by a law of the Commonwealth.


In the account of Easton volunteers for 1862, instead of fol-
lowing the precise order of time of the several enlistments, it
will be more systematic to notice the regiments in their numeri-
cal order.

In the Second Regiment there were already at the beginning
of the year thirteen Easton men. This regiment participated
in the battles of Winchester, Cedar Mountain, and Antietam, be-
sides sharing in many minor engagements. It saw hard fight-
ing ; and at Cedar Mountain and Antietam its casualties were
one third of the number engaged in action. There were no new
enlistments from Easton in this regiment in 1862. Thomas
Duffy was killed August 9 at the battle of Cedar Mountain, and
November 19 James McCready was discharged for disability.



September 29 four men enlisted from Easton in the Third
Regiment, M. V. M. for nine months. This regiment left camp
October 22 and went to Newbern, North Carolina, where it en-
gaged in arduous service in an active campaign, sometimes
marching with the thermometer one hundred and seven degrees
in the shade, and sometimes bivouacking on the ground without
shelter when the water froze in the canteens. It was mustered
out June 26, 1863, at the expiration of the term of service.
The Easton men were Henry H. Delano, Cyrus S. Howard,
George A. Lackey, Issachar K. Snell.

The Fourth Regiment had already served in 1861 at and near
Fortress Monroe. When the call was made in 1862 for nine
months' regiments it again volunteered. The Easton men en-
hsted September 23 ; the regiment left camp December 27, and
sailed for Louisiana. It saw severe service, participating in the
labors and hardships of the siege of Port Hudson, and taking
part in the assault ; but as this was in 1863, it will be spoken of
further on.

The Easton men who enlisted in the Fourth Regiment were
as follows : —

Co. A, John Duffy. Co. K, Michael Milrick.

„ Michael E. Roach.
Co. C, William C. Ashley.^
Co. E, Ichabod Dean.
Co. K, James H. Leach, Corporal.
Daniel W. Burrill.
,, David Howard.
„ Daniel Murphy.

David Whalen.

Enoch O'Shea.
George E. Packard.
William M. Packard.
Daniel Quane.
John Rigney.
Henry E. Strout.
George A. Tilden.

The Seventh Regiment was in winter quarters in the District
of Columbia in 1861 and 1862. March 29 it arrived at Fortress
Monroe. April 5 it participated in the engagement before Wil-
liamsburg. May 31 and June i it was in the battle of Fair
Oaks, took some part at Antietam, and also in the battle of
Fredericksburg, and performed difficult and dangerous service

1 Ashley was a temporary resident, perhaps only a visitor, in Easton. Our very
imperfect Town Rebellion Record reports him as sick when the regiment left camp,
and states that he was furloughed, but was never called for. The Record of Massa-
chusetts Volunteers credits him with service and with a regular discharge. See
Record of Massachusetts Volunteers, vol. i. p. 185.



during the year. This regiment contained a large number of
Easton men, already reported as enlisting in 1861. There en-
listed in 1862, in Company G, Edward E. Randall and Charles
H. Willis. George E. Willis enlisted in Company B, and Albert
M. Hayward enlisted for Boston in Company H. Munroe Wil-
liams was commissioned first lieutenant, November i ; George
Andrews was made second lieutenant, August 1 1 ; Augustus
W. Lothrop resigned July 17; Charles H. Willis died at Fort-
ress Monroe, October 10 ; James A. Humphrey died at David's
Island Hospital, September 30, and not at Alexandria, as re-
ported in the official record ;^ Jason F. Eldridge died at Bellevue
Hospital, Virginia, August 27 ; and Matthew T. Flaherty and
Josiah Williams were discharged for disability. Albert A. Lin-
coln and William W. Packard no longer put in an appearance.
Samuel H. Gilmore had returned home and died at Easton,
January 4, 1863.

In the Twelfth Regiment six men from Easton, as before re-
ported, enlisted in 1861. In 1862 Franklin H. Godfrey, Web-
ster Howard, and Tyler F. Clapp enlisted in the same ; the
latter was discharged for disability, December 6. This regiment
in 1862 was engaged in the battles of Cedar Mountain, second
Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.

In the EigJiteenth Regiment Hiram A. Randall enlisted Au-
gust 13. Martin Cunningham was killed at Bull Run, August
30 ; and Virgil Bird was discharged for disability, September
28. This regiment was in the battle of Bull Run, Fredericks-
burg, and other engagements. At Bull Run it lost in killed,
wounded, and missing one hundred and sixty-nine men ; and at
Fredericksburg, one hundred and thirty-four. This indicates
the perilous and active service in which it engaged.

In the Twe7ity-third Regiment Robert Dollard was made
second lieutenant, December 29.

The Twenty-fourth Regiment served in the expedition of
General Burnside in North Carolina, seeing arduous service ;
but no changes were made among the few Easton men in the

1 Humphrey belonged to the band, and ought to have been released when the
band was mustered out ; but in order to oblige Captain Foster he agreed to serve
temporarily as a corporal. He was not allowed to leave, was taken sick, and died
soon after his father found him at the hospital.



regiment, except that November 24 Denison S. Drew was dis-
charged for disabiHty.

There were no new enlistments in the Twenty-sixth Regiment,
but there were several changes. John A. Lynch was promoted to
be captain, September 30 ; Albert Tilden became first lieutenant
July 22 ; Joshua Hardy was discharged for disability, October 13,
and also George B. Randall, September 17. Theodore Mitchell
died at New Orleans, July 5 ; and on the next day at the same
place Phineas A. Randall breathed his last. This regiment
served in Louisiana. From November 28, 1862, to June 20,
1863, it remained on provost duty in New Orleans. Seth L.
French was discharged for disability, December 30.

The Twenty-eighth Regiment, with six Easton men in it, saw
service near the coast in Georgia and South Carolina, and later
came northward and participated in the battles of Antietam,
Fredericksburg, and other important engagements. The changes
for the year among the Easton men were James McEvoy, dis-
charged for disability, September 25, having been severely
wounded in the head ; Cornelius Slattery, killed at Fredericks-
burg, December 13 ; Thomas Conway enlisted January i and
vanished before August 25 ; Nicholas Murphy enlisted January i,
and Timothy Murphy enlisted August 12.

The Twenty-nintJi Regiment at the beginning of 1862 con-
tained twelve Easton men. January i, Charles S. Packard en-
listed ; and June 20, Alfred Lincoln. Charles F. Roberts also
joined in 1862 ; he and Alfred Lincoln enlisted in i86r, but
were rejected as being too young ; they were however taken as
orderlies to Newport News, and afterward placed on the rolls of
Company G. August 7, Dr. George B. Cogswell was promoted
from assistant-surgeon to the rank of surgeon. Minot E. Phillips
was taken by the Rebels near Richmond, became sick, and
died at Belle Isle in July. Alfred B. Richmond and James H.
Ladd were discharged for disability, — the former, September
20 ; the latter, November 20. Daniel B. Blaisdell was reported
a deserter, July 2, but the case needs explanation. Colonel
Pierce engaged him for a body servant to serve him while he
was at the front ; in order to do this it was necessary for Blais-
dell to be enrolled as a soldier, but it was with the understanding
that he was to act only in the capacity named. When Colonel



Pierce came home, Blaisdell came with him, and was naturally
unwilling to return and serve as soldier, contrary to contract ;
hence the report of his desertion. This excuse for Blaisdell
came to the writer from apparently good authority.

The Twenty-ninth served at Newport News, Norfolk, Ports-
mouth, and other places in Virginia early in 1862. June 9 it
was assigned to the " Irish Brigade," commanded by General
Thomas F. Meagher, and was engaged in the battles of Gaines's
Mills, Savage's Station, Malvern Hill, Antietam, and Fredericks-
burg. It would be very interesting to follow in detail the excit-
ing account of the marches, battles, and various experiences of
this regiment, but to do so would too much extend the limits of
this chapter. The well-written " History of the Twenty-ninth
Regiment" gives full and interesting details.

Linus W. Drake's record is not reported, but the town-book
states that he was discharged March 15. The other enlistments
for 1862 were as follows : —

Nathaniel B. Lincoln enlisted, August 9, in the Thirty-fifth
Regiment ; but his record is blank, for he did not go to the
front, an extemporized colic serving to get him left behind.

Edward E. Randall, January 31, enlisted in Company I, of
the Thirty-seve}it]i Regiment.

In Company A of the Thirty-ninth Regimejtt, August 18,
George J. Boodry, Jr., and Thomas Bean enlisted.

Gustavus Alden joined Company F, of the Fortieth Regiment,
September 3.

Frank A. Mitchell, September 12, joined Company F of the
Forty-fourth Regiment, and served for nine months.

John McCready enlisted in Boston in Company I of the Forty-
fifth Regiment, October 15, but soon after was missing, and en-
listed in the Navy as explained further on.

In Company G, Forty-eighth Regiment, John Richards en-
listed October i.^

Hosea S. Packard May 30, and Wilson P. Packard June 16,
enlisted in the Eighth Light Battery of sixth months' troops, the

^ The Record of Massachusetts Volunteers, vol. ii. p. 328, incorrectly states that
he served to the expiration of his term of enlistment, September 3, 1863. In fact he
died at the United States Hospital at Albany, August 31. His widow is in posses-
sion of letters from hospital officers proving this, and his body was sent on and
buried at Randolph.



former enlisting for North Bridgewater. This battery left Bos-
ton for Washington June 25. A melancholy accident occurred
a short distance south of Trenton, New Jersey, the train being
thrown from the track, and Hosea Packard and another man
killed. Wilson Packard was discharged November 29.

In the Ninth LigJit Battery, August 10, Peter Fisher, Jr.,
Thomas Fisher, and John W. McDonald enlisted.
' Thomas McGrath of Easton enlisted, October 22, in the
TzvelftJi Battery, and is credited to Boston.

October 8, ten Easton men enlisted at Providence in Battery
H, First Rhode Island Light Artillery. (In the town-book this

Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Ladd) ChaffinHistory of the town of Easton, Massachusetts (Volume 3) → online text (page 49 of 78)