Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fort McClary, Kittery, Maine



Kittery Point is on the southern coast of Maine, and has been an important military defense spot since 1689.  William Pepperrell build an earth work and small blockhouse first known as Fort Pepperrell.   In 1715 six cannons were placed here to defend the mouth of the Piscataqua River. Later, on New Castle Island Fort William was built. 

Fort McClary is a wooden blockhouse built in 1844 on the southern coast Kittery Point.  This was a strategic approach to the U.S. naval shipyard in Portsmouth harbor.   This site was named for Major Andrew McClary, who was the highest ranking officer killed at the Battle of Bunker hill, and a New Hampshire native.  The fort began in 1808, and was important during the War of 1812 and during the Civil War. 

In 1924 the federal government sold the land to the State of Maine to be used as a state park.  During World War II parts of the fort were used for civilian defense, to match the concrete bunkers across the river at Odiorne Point in New Hampshire.  Fort McClary was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1969, and the blockhouse was renovated in 1987 and now is a museum.   You can look across the mouth of the Piscataqua River to Rye,New Hampshire, Whaleback Lighthouse and the Isles of Shoals.

The fort is a hexagonal blockhouse build on a first floor of cut granite blocks.  The second and third floors are logs, and were used as Officer’s quarters and now serve as exhibit space. There is a brick Rifleman’s house, powderhouse, parade grounds and large earthworks.  This park is open summers only, fee charged.


Antique postcard of Fort McClary's blockhouse


Useful information:

Fort McClary State Historic Site
and also

Friends of Fort McClary
PO Box 82
Kittery Point, Maine  03905
(A non profit group formed in 2000 by citizens interested In preserving this historic site.)

-----------------------------------
The URL for this post is
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/09/fort-mcclary-kittery-maine.html
If you are reading this blog post at any other URL you are reading stolen content

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Pierce Brigade ~ Fans of one of our least popular US Presidents

The Pierce Manse, Concord, New Hampshire

As a New Hampshire resident I am well aware that our state has produced only one US president, and that he usually rates a spot somewhere at the bottom of any given ranked list of the presidents.  Franklin Pierce (1804 – 1869) was the 14th president (1853 – 1857) during those contentious years leading up to the Civil War.  I’ve heard that he was a Copperhead, and he supported the violence in Kansas, and that he died of alcoholism.  It turns out that much of this was myth!

The Pierce Brigade is a group of volunteers who turned out to rescue Franklin Pierce’s home from destruction during the 1970s when a section of Concord was undergoing urban renewal.  This organization not only preserved the home of our 14th president, they also preserve his legacy and try to dispel the misconceptions about his administration that made him so unpopular.

During his presidency Franklin Pierce supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which led to extreme violence, and he was not re-nominated by his party for the 1856 election.  He was also a critic of Abraham Lincoln during his administration.  Why?  Well, according to the volunteers at the Pierce Manse in Concord, and according to Peter Wallner, the author of a recent two volume biography of Pierce, he was an ardent supporter of the Constitution.  Since the Constitution supported slavery, he thought it was up to him to uphold the right of the Southern states to own slaves.  He was not a fan of Lincoln suspending several constitutional rights, such as habeas corpus, during the Civil War.

The Pierce Brigade, being such loyal fans of Franklin Pierce, has produced a brochure titled Myths and Truths of the Pierce Administration.   It is based on “notes from a lecture at the Pierce Manse by Peter Wallner”.  I have heard Wallner speak twice about Pierce, once at a Mayflower Society luncheon and also at a library lecture.  He is a real Pierce fan, and his extensive research gives details of his life and administration that is usually just a brief note given in history classesThis little brochure dispels many of the stories I had heard from my own teachers and history professors.  According to Wallner “Pierce was a Jeffersonian/Jacksonian Democrat who supported limited power to the federal government, strict interpretation of the Constitution, and states’ rights.  He never wavered on these principles, which he applied to every political and social issue he faced during his political career.”

You can now see why Pierce was so unpopular in his own hometown, home state and in the Northern states before, during and after the Civil War. And yes, drinking took a toll on his health and he died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1869.  He is buried in the Old North Cemetery in Concord, not far from the Pierce Manse.
This Myths and Truths brochure is passed out to anyone who would like to learn more about Pierce.  It is available at the front desk of the Pierce Manse in Concord, New Hampshire, which is staffed and operated by the Pierce Brigade.  I was there last week with my “Ladies Lunch Bunch” from my new condo association, and we all enjoyed our tour very much, and appreciated the efforts of these enthusiastic volunteers.   I cannot believe that after living in New Hampshire 30 years, it was my first visit to the Pierce Manse.   

Photographs were not allowed inside the Manse
but I was allowed to take a picture of these dolls
According to the label:
"In 1970 the Pierce Brigade commissioned Mrs. Ruth M. Barlome
of Sheffield Lake, Ohio to create molds for china doll heads
resembling Franklin and Jane Pierce.  Using photographs,
Mrs. Bartlome did create the molds and produced over 200 dolls
for the Brigade.  These dolls were sold for $25 each to raise funds
for the restoration of the Manse."

This bit of local history is interesting to me because President Pierce and I share a common ancestor- Thomas Pierce (1620 – 1683) of Woburn, Massachusetts.  I also share a common ancestor with Pierce’s wife, Jane Means Appleton (1806 – 1863).  I’ll post these charts below.

                                                Thomas Pierce & Elizabeth Carew
                                                                    |
                                                Thomas Pierce & Elizabeth Cole
                               |                                                                     |
Stephen Pierce & Tabitha Parker                            John Pierce & Deborah Convers
                               |                                                                     |
Stephen Pierce & Esther Fletcher                          Ebenezer Pierce & Mary Wilson
                               |                                                                     |
Benjamin Pierce & Elizabeth Merrill                      Deborah Pierce & Increase Wyman
                               |                                                                      |
Benjamin Pierce & Anna Kendrick                           Increase Wyman & Catherine Unknown
                               |                                                                      |
Franklin Pierce & Jane Means Appleton                  Jemima Wyman & Joshua Burnham
(F.P. is my 4th cousin 7 generations removed)                                |
                                                                                   Jemima Burnham & Romanus Emerson
                                                                                                      |
                                                                                    George Emerson & Mary Esther Younger
                                                                                                      |
                                                                                   Mary Katharine Emerson & George E. Batchelder
                                                                                                      |
                                                                                     Carrie M. Batchelder & Joseph Elmer Allen
                                                                                                      |
                                                                                    Stanley Elmer Allen & Gertrude M. Hitchings
                                                                                                 (my grandparents)

--------------------------------------------------

                                                     John Baker & Elizabeth Unknown
                                                                    |
     Thomas Baker & Priscilla Symonds                   Martha Baker & Thomas Andrews
                           |                                                                                    |
Priscilla Baker & Isaac Appleton                          Sarah Andrews & Joseph Swett
                            |                                                                                   |
Isaac Appleton & Elizabeth Sawyer                      Benjamin Swett & Elizabeth Norton
                             |                                                                                   |
Francis Appleton & Elizabeth Hubbard                 Elizabeth Swett & David Batchelder
                            |                                                                                    |
Jesse Appleton & Elizabeth Means                       Elisha Batchelder & Sarah Lane
                             |                                                                                   |
Jane Means Appleton & Franklin Pierce                Jonathan Batchelder & Nancy Thompson
 (J.MA. is my 5th cousin, 6 generations removed)                                       |
                                                                             George E. Batchelder & Abigail M. Locke
                                                                                                                  |
                                                                         George E. Batchelder & Mary Katharine Emerson
                                                                                      (my 2nd great grandparents – see above)

Jane Means Appleton’s maternal grandmother was Mary McGregor, wife of Robert Means.  Mary’s parents were David McGregor and Mary Boyd of Londonderry, New Hampshire.   Mary’s grandfather was Rev. James McGregor (1677 – 1729), the minister who brought his flock from Aghadowey, Northern Ireland to Nutfield (Londonderry, Derry and Windham, New Hampshire). 

For more information on President Franklin Pierce:

The Pierce Manse
14 Horseshoe Pond Lane
Concord, New Hampshire
Phone: 603-225-4555

What is the Pierce Brigade?  http://www.piercemanse.org/Support.html

The Pierce Manse  http://www.piercemanse.org/

Peter Wallner’s two volume biography of Franklin Pierce is (Volume 1) Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son, 2004 and (Volume 2) Franklin Pierce: Martyr for the Union, 2007

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The URL for this post is
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-pierce-brigade-fans-of-one-of-our.html

Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Hunt for Alva A. Hunt, Civil War Veteran

Today's blog post was written by a guest blogger, Penny Webster.  I first met Penny through the Londonderry Historical Society.  She is also a member of the New Hampshire Mayflower Society, and she serves on the board as Elder.  I read about this story on Penny's Facebook page, and she agreed to write it up for my blog.  Thanks, Penny!

-------------------


Alva A. Hunt is my 2nd great grandfather.  He was born on May 20, 1843 in Nassau, NY and sometime during the mid 19th Century crossed over the Massachusetts border with his parents and siblings and settled in Pittsfield, MA.  There he worked as a teamster.  On March 19, 1864 he enlisted for a 3 year shift as a member of the 57th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers fighting against the Confederacy during the Civil War.  Alva’s military career would be cut short for he would be seriously wounded at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in Spotsylvania, VA.  A bullet that disabled his right arm led to his discharge.

Before being discharged, Alva married Julia Baker on October, 10, 1864.   They remained married for a little over 20 years and during that time Julia would give birth to 9 children.  Sadly, she would die from pneumonia in 1886 at the age of 36, a little over a month after the birth of her daughter, Grace.  Upon his discharge from the Army Alva continued working as a teamster but by the next census, he is listed merely as a farmer and this continued until his death in Pittsfield in 1901.  

Last fall I decided to take a trip to Pittsfield.  It was a new revelation to learn that my mother’s family came from Pittsfield.  I wanted to see Alva’s grave.  So my mother and I headed to Pittsfield and easily found the large cemetery on Wahconah Street.  I inquired at the cemetery office.  They told me what section of the cemetery to look for his grave but they had no indication if there was a gravestone or not.  We searched and searched but found no Hunt marker.  I returned to the office and asked for more assistance. This time I was given the surnames of his graveyard “neighbors.”  We found the neighbors, but no stone.  Was my great-great grandfather so poor that he couldn’t afford a grave marker?  Was it too hard to be a one-armed teamster or farmer?  Saddened we left Pittsfield. 

I remembered, a few months later that the Veteran’s Administration would pay for a marker for a Veteran’s unmarked grave. So I applied in February, filled out the FORM 1330 and coordinated with the Cemetery to validate my request and receive the marker.  Excitement was building.  The marker would be delivered to the cemetery in a couple of months and I would feel like I did something significant for Alva and my family. 


Recently, my mother and I made a second trip to Pittsfield to view the marker. It looked great but it seemed to be in an unfamiliar area.  To our surprise as we surveyed the ground we found a sizable monument nearby with A.A. Hunt’s name on the bottom! Also inscribed was Julia’s name with her birth and death dates. What a shock! It seems that last time we were sent to the wrong area. Alva wasn't in an unmarked grave after all! I feel better knowing that Alva wasn't poor.  He had bought this sizable monument for his wife when she died in 1886.  I wonder why his children neglected to inscribe his dates on it after his death,.   At least the VA marker solves this problem.     It does make me happy to know that Alva has received recognition for his Civil War service since his death.  We found an American flag planted next to our unpredicted find.



------------------------------------

The URL for this post is
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-hunt-for-alva-h-hunt-civil-war.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Penny Webster and Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Abolitionists and Doctors, Husband and Wife, Esther and John Hawks of Manchester, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire



ESTHER HILL HAWKS, M.D.
1833 - 1906
ARMY NURSE, ASST. SURGEON, TEACHER
OF FREEDMEN, PHYSICIAN.
HER FAVORITE MOTTO
"ON THE PROPER TRAINING OF THE CHILDREN
RESTS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD."

JOHN M. HAWKS, M.D.
1826 - 1910
ASST. SURGEON 22ND AND SURGEON
21ST U.S. COLORED TROOPS

HAWKS

Esther Hill, the daughter of Permenas Hill and Jane Kimball,  married Dr. John Milton Hawks, son of Colburn Hawks and Clarissa Brown,  5 October 1854 in Manchester, New Hampshire.  During their honeymoon in Florida, they were both abolitionists, she wanted to become a doctor to help the black people in the south.  Esther began to study her husband's medical books in order to attend medical school at the New England Medical College for Women.  In 1857 she was one of the first woman doctors in the U.S.

During the Civil War Hilton Head Island off South Carolina was occupied by the North it became a haven for freed black slaves.  NH native and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase sent a envoys to oversee the construction of new towns and services for the freedmen.  Plans were set in place for education, housing, employment and hospitals.  Dr. John Hawks joined the U.S. Colored Troops to care for the freed slaves at Hospital #10 and his wife, wanted to come as a nurse, since female doctors were not allowed.  Her application as a nurse was also rejected so she came as a teacher. 

Esther did serve as director of the hospital in her husband's absence during the war because replacement surgeons were not sent.  When the valiant men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry lost their attempt to take Fort Wagner (as seen in the 1989 movie Glory), the wounded were sent to hospital #10 and healed by the Drs. Hawks.  From her diary "The only thing that sustained us was the patient endurance of those stricken heroes lying before us, with their ghastly wounds, cheerful and courageous."

Esther Hawks spent the rest of the war educating Black soldiers and their wives and children. After the war the freedmen and the Hawks settled in Port Orange, Florida as homesteaders in their own right.  Dr. Esther Hawks was a teacher in the first integrated school at Port Orange until it was burned by protesters in January 1869.  They removed back North to Lynn, Massachusetts and she took up a medical practice again. She died in Lynn and was buried here at Pine Grove in Manchester, New Hampshire, her birthplace. Dr. John Hawks died in Hawks Park, now Edgewater, Florida and was buried there.  His name is on his wife's tombstone, as a cenotaph memorial. 

For more information:


Wikipedia John Milton Hawkes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Milton_Hawks  

------------------------------
The URL for this post is
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/06/tombstone-tuesday-abolitionists-and.html

Copyright 2014 (c), Heather Wilkinson Rojo


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Soldiers and Sailor's Monument, Nashua, New Hampshire

A tribute for Veteran's Day
(there are no individual names on this Civil War Monument)



In January 1889 the Nashua City council voted "For the erection of a Soldier's Monument and appropriation not exceeding twelve thousand dollars."    By March the Committee appointed chose a design present by T. M. Perry, of the Frederick & Field Quarry in Quincy, Massachusetts.

A cornerstone holding a time capsule was laid on 30 May 1889 by the Grand Master Masons of New Hampshire.  It was Decoration Day (now called Memorial Day).  There was a parade up Main Street to Abbott Square where the monument was to built.  Several long addresses, prayers and speeches were given.  You can read all about the festivities and a transcription of the speeches in the book below (pages 32 - 39).  On pages 39 to 40 you can find a list of the items placed in the cornerstone, too.  This was followed by more orations and speeches!

The Monument was finished and dedicated on 15 October 1889, just 10 months after the vote to build it.  I'm pretty sure that a project of this magnitude would take a bit longer in Nashua today. It was built of Quincy granite with bronze statues and plaques, so I'm also sure that it would cost much more than the $12,000 today, too.  There was another parade, with viewing platforms and more speeches, and you can read them, too, in the book mentioned below on pages 97 - 120.


This photo is from page 68 of the
book mentioned below.
The sword is now missing.



A TRIBUTE TO THE
MEN OF NASHUA,
WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY
ON LAND OR SEA DURING
THE WAR OF THE
REBELLION, AND AIDED IN
PRESERVING THE INTEGRITY
OF THE 
FEDERAL UNION
A.D. 1861 - 1865
--------------------
ERECTED BY THE
CITY OF NASHUA
A.D. 1889

The City Seal for Nashua, New Hampshire

"THE UNION OUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED AS
A MAIN PROP OF YOUR LIBERTY, AND THE
LOVE OF THE ONE OUGHT TO ENDEAR TO
YOU THE PRESERVATION OF THE OTHER"
                WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS

"OUR FEDERAL UNION:  IT MUST BE PRESERVED"
                            ANDREW JACKSON

"LIBERTY AND UNION, NOW AND FOREVER,
ONE AND INSEPARABLE"
                                 DANIEL WEBSTER

"THAT FROM THESE HONORED DEAD, WE TAKE
INCREASED DEVOTION TO THAT CAUSE FOR
WHICH THEY GAVE THE LAST FULL MEASURE
OF DEVOTION- THAT WE HERE HIGHLY RE-
SOLVE THAT THESE DEAD SHALL NOT HAVE
DIED IN VAIN- AND THAT GOVERNMENT OF
THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEO-
PLE SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH."
                              ABRAHAM LINCOLN

"LET US HAVE PEACE"
                     U.S. GRANT


SINKING OF THE ALABAMA BY THE KEARSARGE, JUNE 19, 1864



A book about this monument:
An Account of the Soldiers' and Sailor's Monument Erected by the People of the City of Nashua, Nashua, NH: James H. Barker, City Printer, 1889
You download this book from Archives.org or read it online at this link:
http://archive.org/stream/accountofsoldier00nash#page/n7/mode/2up

-----------------------

The URL for this post is
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-soldiers-and-sailors-monument.html

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, November 3, 2013

An Emotional Turn of Events

This family portrait was made about 1940.
It was three years after Moises Rojo Torres, the father in this group,
was executed in 1936 and buried in a mass grave during the Spanish Civil War.
His photo was pasted in post mortem. My father in law is the eldest child
on the left side of this family group. 

While we were in Spain a few weeks ago, one of Vincent’s distant cousins in Barcelona found my blog and sent us a message about his branch of the family.  We were able to add many cousins to the family tree with his help.  I reciprocated with information on Vincent’s branch, and we have been corresponding by email ever since.  We even took a quick trip to Aranda de Duero and the tiny village of Sinovas, where the common ancestors lived up until the 20th century. 

Then, unexpectedly this morning, this newly found cousin sent a very emotional email message.  Included was a link to a story in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.  It seems that on 1 November, All Saint’s Day, the bodies of 129 executed citizens of Aranda de Duero and the surrounding villages were re-interred in the cemetery in Aranda.  These men, and one woman, were from the ages of 16 to 70 years old, buried in mass graves.  They had been executed by the Francist forces during the Spanish Civil War.  We knew that Vincent’s grandfather, Moises Rojo Torres, was one of these men executed in 1936.



The remains of 129 individual excavated from the mass graves near Aranda de Duero, Spain


This was a very emotional development for the family.  We immediately called the family in Spain, and spoke with Vincent’s parents.  They had just seen a story about the ceremony on the TV news, but they didn't know if Moises was included.  Vincent was able to tell them that his name was on the plaque.  If we had known about this we could have delayed our visit to Spain by two weeks, and then seen the remains of grandfather Moises re-buried with dignity in the ceremony.  It will definitely be a destination to visit during our next trip to Spain.

You can read the article at this link at the El Pais website:  
 There are also a dozen photographs of the re-interment ceremony , including a photo of the plaque with the names of the fallen. In the very middle of the photo you can read the name Moises Rojo Torres.  The article is written in Spanish.  It explains about the executions during the Spanish Civil War, the mass graves that were found and excavated, and how the ceremony to re-inter the remains took place on 1 November 2013, 77 years after the executions.  The government did not fund any DNA tests on the remains, and so many of the bodies are unidentified.  No government officials attended the ceremonies. 

I've blogged about Vincent’s Grandfather in the past, and Footnote Maven was even kind enough to let me write up a longer story about Moises during the Spanish Civil War for her online magazine Shades of the Departed.  You can find those links below (warning, some of the photos of the excavation of the common graves are disturbing):

The Mass Grave at Monte Costajan

Shades of the Departed article, see page 78
http://issuu.com/shadesofthedeparted/docs/mementomori/93




Participating families formed a human chain to help bury the remains





You can read the name "Moises Rojo Torres", Vincent's grandfather, 
in the middle of the top section of names on this plaque at the cemetery in Arande de Duero.

These photos were taken from the El Pais newspaper website www.elpais.com 
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The URL for this post is
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2013/11/an-emotional-turn-of-events.html 


Copyright © 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Ancestors were Prisoners of War ~ Just like on “Who Do You Think You Are?”


Samuel Mears
GAR member
Beverly, Massachusetts

I was fascinated with the opening episode of the 2013 season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” on TLC last week.  When Kelly Clarkson found out her ancestor was a prisoner of war, I was jumping up and down yelling out “Me, too!”    I wonder how many Americans did the same thing?  Do you have prisoners of war in your family tree?

Over the years I've found the following eight prisoners of war in my family tree:

 1.       William Munroe (1625 – 1718) My 7th Great Grandfather was a Scotsman, captured at the Battle of Worcester during the English Civil War.  He was sent on a prison ship in 1650 to be auctioned off as a servant in Boston, Massachusetts.  His descendants lived in Lexington, Massachusetts.

   2.    Johann Daniel Bollman (abt 1751 - 1833) My 4th Great Grandfather was a Hessian soldier.  At the Battle of Saratoga he was captured, but since he was an officer and a surgeon he was exchanged quickly.  He removed to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, which was a German settlement, married a German widow, and left many descendants in Canada and the United States.

   3.    Levi Younger (1786 - 1858) My 4th Great Grandfather was a mariner from Gloucester, Massachusetts.  He was "impressed" during the War of 1812, and offered himself up as a prisoner instead of doing service for the British.  His father, (4) Levi Younger, my 5th Great Grandfather, was also captured as a seaman during the Revolutionary War and sent to New York on a prison ship. He was kept at Forten Prison in Portsmouth, England. He was released during a prisoner exchange.  This was a very lucky father and son!
     
5. William Stacy (1734 – 1804) My 2nd cousin, 7 generations removed, was a shoemaker from Gloucester, Massachusetts.  He served in the militia during the American Revolution and was taken prisoner by Indians in Cherry Valley, New York in 1777.  He was a prisoner for four years, survived the war and went to Marietta, Ohio in 1788 with most of his children.

6.   Moises Rojo (1902 -1936) is my husband's Grandfather.  He was captured as a civilian (not a combatant) during the Spanish Civil War for unknown reasons.  All the men who had been rounded up were imprisoned in a wine cellar beneath the streets of the city of Aranda de Duero, in Burgos, Spain.  One day in 1936 they were taken to a forest, executed, and buried in a mass grave.  

7. John Ross Roberts (1925 – 2003) My father’s first cousin was a nose gunner of a B-17 Liberator in WWII.  He was captured on 28 February 1945 and served the duration of the war a prisoner of war in Germany.

8. Rufus Elvin Mears (1841 – 1864) My 3rd Great Grand Uncle, brother to Samuel Mears (1823 – 1904), my 3rd Great Grandfather.  Both brothers served the Union in the Civil War. Rufus was 21 years old when he enlisted in the 39th Regiment, Company A, under Colonel P. S. Davis and Captain George S. Nelson.  He was in the Battles of Mine Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Bethesda Church and Petersburg.  He was taken prisoner at Wheldon Railroad on 18 August 1864, and died in the rebel prison at Salisbury on 26 October 1864.

It was the story of Rufus Elvin that I remembered most when I saw the TV show WDYTYA.  The story of the suffering at Andersonville Prison is notorious, but I remembered researching the Salisbury Prison years before this television show aired.  I was horrified then at the conditions, and those memories all came back to me when I saw the TV show.  

The Salisbury Confederate Prison was built in 1861 after the first battle of Bull Run at Manassas.   Prisoners from that battle joined Southern political prisoners, conscientious objectors and Confederate deserters. The prison was an old cotton mill with a large yard.  At first conditions at Salisbury prison were tolerable, but when it became overcrowded and there were no supplies to feed the prisoners, the conditions deteriorated.


In the stockade there was a creek that supplied water to the prison.  The lower end was a latrine.  In those days they didn’t know that bacteria could flow upstream to the area where the prisoners took drinking water.  You can imagine what happened next…

Many of the prisoners who died were buried outside the walls of Salisbury Prison, which became the Salisbury National Cemetery.   11,700 Union soldiers are buried in 18 trenches, each 240 feet long.   These mass graves are now marked by a head and foot stone for each trench.

At the end of the war, the prisoners from Salisbury had all been transferred to other places.  The Union forces burned the prison, and the commander, Major John Henry Gee, was tried for war crimes and found innocent.  The commander at Andersonville, Major Henry Wirz, was found guilty and hanged.

It is sad that young Rufus Mears died at Salisbury Prison, and exciting for Kelly Clarkson that her ancestor escaped Andersonville and lived a long life and left descendants.  My 3rd Great Grandfather, Samuel Mears, the brother of Rufus, was a proud member of the GAR for the rest of his life.  His portrait still hangs in the GAR Hall in Beverly, Massachusetts. (see above)

For more information:


Salisbury Confederate Prison Association  http://www.salisburyprison.org/

Wikipedia article on Salisbury Prison  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salisbury_Prison

Salisbury National Cemetery, Salisbury, NC  http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/salisbury.asp

Wikipedia article on Salisbury Cemetery http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salisbury_National_Cemetery

The GAR Hall, Beverly, Massachusetts http://www.members.tripod.com/GARpost89ma/ 

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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


Friday, June 7, 2013

Prospect Hill Monument, Somerville, Massachusetts



Prospect Hill Monument

As you travel from Boston towards New Hampshire on Route 93, you can see a large hill in Somerville, with a tower and an American Flag waving day and night.  This is Prospect Hill, which was of strategic importance to Charlestown and Boston during the Revolutionary War.  It was originally called “The Citadel”.   Nearby is Union Square, which was an old mustering station for the Union during the Civil War. 

The castle tower you see today was built in 1902 to commemorate the soldiers of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  There is an annual ceremony here every year to raise the “Grand Union Flag”, an early version of the US flag with thirteen red and white stripes.  It is a local myth that George Washington was the first to raise the Grand Union flag here on Prospect Hill on 1 January 1776, but historians have shown that it was flown earlier in other places.   Still, the tradition continues every year…

I had driven by this hill for many, many years.  One day we were coming home from one of my daughter’s crew races on the Charles River, and we had a camera.  So we stopped to take these photos of the Prospect Hill Monument.  Enjoy!

The Prospect Hill Monument "The Citadel"


From this aminence
on January 1, 1776
The flag of the United Colonies
Bearing thirteen stripes and the crosses
of Saint George and Saint Andrew
First waved defiance to a foe.

"The Flower of the British Army"
Prisoners of War
Who surrendered at Saratoga
Were quartered on this hill
From November 7, 1777 to October 18, 1778
Guarded by American Troops
under General William Heath.

On this historic hill
Answering their country's call
in 1862
Encamped the soldiers of Somerville
Whose record of patriotism and fortitude
in the Civil War
Is Worthy of highest honor
and commemoration


The view of the Boston skyline from the top of Prospect Hill Monument


The tower interior


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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Monday, May 27, 2013

Honor Roll Project, Memorial Day 2013

East Derry, New Hampshire


Memorial Day 2013 ~ New Contributions to the Honor Roll Project

Thank you to the following bloggers who contributed posts for the Honor Roll Project.  These volunteers have photographed their local war memorials and honor rolls, and transcribed the names engraved on them.  These transcriptions make the names available to search engines online, and thus family members and descendants will be able to find out more about their ancestors’ service to the country.  Click here to read all the Honor Roll Project contributions:
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/p/honor-roll-project.html
 
We had 10 contributors this year!

Cincinnati Federal Courthouse, World War I, Cincinnati, Ohio
By Pam Seavey Schaffner

Derry, New Hampshire Civil War Memorial

Franklin Township, Michigan, by Carol A. Bowen Stevens

Fryeburg, Maine by Diane L. Jones, Fryeburg Historical Society (needs transcribing)

Greenhills, Ohio by Robert Burnett

New London, New Hampshire,  June Butka

Here are a whole bunch of entries from the Central Texas Veteran’s Cemetery, by Cheryl Cayemberg

Arlington, Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Massachusetts by Liz Loveland
http://adventuresingenealogy.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/in-honor-of-memorial-day-some-war-memorials-and-associated-sites-eastern-massachusetts/

Southborough, Massachusetts by Midge Frazel
http://granite-in-my-blood.blogspot.com/2013/05/honor-roll-in-southborough-ma.html

Manchester, Vermont War Memorial by Elroy Davis
http://greenmountaingenealogy.blogspot.com/2013/05/monument-monday-war-memorial-manchester.html

Amherst, New Hampshire World War I Honor Roll by June Butka
http://damegussie.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/honor-roll-world-war-i-amherst-new-hampshire/

Amherst, New Hampshire, Civil War, by June Butka
http://damegussie.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/military-honor-roll-monday/

Wallingford, Connecticut World War II, by John Tew
http://filiopietismprism.blogspot.com/2013/05/for-heathers-honor-roll-project.html
(this one needs transcribing, any volunteers?)
 
Thanks to everyone who contributed!
This will be repeated again on Veteran’s Day, 2013

Honor Roll Project Page http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/p/honor-roll-project.html
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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Goshen, NH's Military Honor Roll

The Military Honor Roll for the Town of Goshen, Sullivan County, New Hampshire


HONOR ROLL
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION

Abel Blood                    Capt. Samuel Gunnison         Thomas Rogers
Stephen Bartlett               Lieut. William Lang               James Libby
Edward Dame                 Sam'l Gunnison                  Samuel Sischo
Hatevil Dame                  Daniel Grindle                Stephen Scranton
Benjamin Rand               Geo. Walker Lear          Daniel Sherburne
Capt. William C. Meserve Privateer                                              .

WAR OF 1812
Nathaniel Marston     John Gunnison Esq.     John Lewis
Daniel L. Stearns          Vinal Gunnison         John Sholes

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WEST
*Capt. John W. Gunnison - Top'l Eng'rs USA

CIVIL WAR
*Liet. John S. Baker                   *John M. Stevens            Parker T. Dow
*Lieut. Woodbury Maxfield        Horace Gunnison             Hiram A. Credo
Oren E. Farr                          Aaron Wyman                 *Perley A. Smith
*Alvah A. Smith                  Edward Hall                    Henry Jones
Elias W. Pike                       Henry Whitaker             *Carlton Sholes
Charles Bingham                *Arnold Mummery              William Emery
*Henry Baker                       Charles H. Hall              *George F. Blood
Barzillai Cofran                 Cyrus Thompson                William Hardy
*John M. Scott                   Amos B. Thompson              George B. Lear
John E. Messer                    Erastus B. True               Henry S. George
*Arthur E. Parker                   William B. Dow               Nathan P. Gilmore
*Thomas J. Rogers               Manly Peasley                              Ira Hurd
*Daniel W. Thompson

SPANISH AMERICAN WAR
Fred W. Baker          *Russell Clement               Oley J. Lear
Fred A. Darrah

WORLD WAR
*Harold F. Cove         Neal C. Teague            Russell Whitney
Harold L. Hewson         James R. Cuillow          Ralph K. Whitney
George E. Cuillow      Leon T. Malouin          Leon J. Fortune

TOWN OF GOSHEN
1923


Photo given by permission of the administrator of the Facebook group "Images of New Hampshire History" at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Images-of-New-Hampshire-History/281503221933793

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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo