The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Granite Monthly. Vol. II. No. 7. Apr., 1879

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Title: The Granite Monthly. Vol. II. No. 7. Apr., 1879

Author: Various

Release date: November 5, 2019 [eBook #60636]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Richard Tonsing and the Online Distributed
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Transcriber’s Note:

The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

_John H. George_


VOL. II.       APRIL, 1879.       NO. 7.



When a biographer encounters the duty of describing, in the abstract, a character which demands greater elaboration in order to do it reasonable justice, he must be excused for the roughness of the outlines, which, with the proper shadings thrown in, would give his descriptive picture more satisfactory approximation to its required fidelity. In the present instance limitation of space, and partial opportunity to glean matters of fact and incident suitable for biographical record, justify the claim on the reader for such excuse. In so far as details are given, however, they will be found correct.

John Hatch George, son of John George, Esq., and Mary Hatch, his wife by a second marriage, was born in the house in Concord, N. H., now the Colonel’s residence in that city, on the twentieth day of November, 1824, and is now, therefore, in his fifty-fifth year. The native place of his father was Hopkinton, but from his early manhood until the period of his death he was a resident in Concord, where he held the common respect of the citizens as a man of great energy and of unalloyed integrity. He died in 1843. Mary Hatch, mother of the subject of this sketch, survived her husband four years. She was a daughter of Samuel 195Hatch, Esq., of Greenland. Of the same family were the father of Hon. Albert R. Hatch of Portsmouth, and the mother of John S. H. Frink, Esq., both of whom stand high in professional and political relations in New Hampshire—worthy descendants of a worthy ancestry, noted for great native abilities, honesty, industry and perseverance.

The boyhood of Col. George, as contemporaries say, was unmarked by any special indication of that decided description which sometimes heralds a boy’s preference for a life pursuit. He was slow neither at learning or at play. If he had a prevailing passion it was for the possession and care of domestic animals, on which he lavished great wealth of kindness, a quality which has grown with his growth and strengthened with his strength. His farm manager is authority for the opinion that “he would kill his animals with kindness were they so unfortunate as to have his constant personal attendance.” His love for rural pursuits was a hereditament, and also clings to him with increasing vigor unto this day.

He was educated at the public schools in Concord, and was fitted for college at the Old Academy in that city. He entered as a student at 196Dartmouth college in 1840, without having any special profession in future view, and deported himself with credit while there. When his father died, some three years afterward, he had to resign his college course, but his graduating degree, and that of Master of Arts, was subsequently conferred on him by the Faculty of Dartmouth.

It was fortunate for him, and largely also due to the promising character of young George, at this most important period of his life, that his family enjoyed the friendship of Ex-President Franklin Pierce. All who were privileged with the personal acquaintance of that eminent man knew the peculiar skill he had in the discovery of latent merit among the youth whom he honored with his friendship, and the more than kindly interest he took in many, who, only for his encouragement, would have lacked the spirit to aspire. Without previous consultation concerning his inclination towards the study of law, Gen. Pierce invited young George to enter his office and prepare for admission to the bar. That the youth had what is called “a legal mind” had been a quiet discovery made by his friend and patron, who was then at the head of the law-firm, in Concord, of Pierce & Fowler. Here, for three years, Col. George applied himself diligently to his studies, passed a reputable examination, and was admitted to the bar in 1846, and at once entered into partnership with Gen. Peaslee, and on the practice of law under the firm-name of Peaslee and George, which united interest continued until 1851, when he formed a copartnership with Sidney Webster, Esq.

Prior to his majority Col. George had been hovering round the verge of politics, and, at every circuit of the whirlpool he was drawn nearer to its vortex. For many years, and with but few interruptions, the Democracy had guided the politics of New Hampshire up to 1847, when the Colonel held his first public office as clerk of the State Senate. This office he filled in 1848, and again in 1850. In 1849 he was appointed Solicitor for the county of Merrimack, re-appointed in 1854, and removed by address, solely for political reasons, in 1856.

The same year in which he was made Solicitor for Merrimack county he was married to Miss Susan Ann Brigham, daughter of Levi Brigham, Esq., of Boston. Mrs. George died in 1863, leaving five children—three sons and two daughters. In 1865 he was again married to Miss Salvadora Meade Graham, daughter of Col. James D. Graham, of the United States Engineers. He has had one daughter by this marriage. His eldest son, John Paul, graduated last year at Dartmouth college, and is now studying at Harvard Law School. His eldest daughter, Jane Pierce, is married to Mr. H. E. Bacon, of Portland, Maine, and his second son, Charles Peaslee, is at the United States Naval School at Annapolis, Md. A son and daughter—Benjamin Pierce and Ann Brigham—are at home.

Famous as the bar of New Hampshire has been for its eminent men, few of their number gained, so early in their legal career as did Col. George, such reputation for skill and devotion to the interests of clients. His success was remarkable, and yet it was simply the meet reward of the most devoted study and perseverance in professional duty. Gifted with a powerful physical organization he accomplished miracles of labor in the legal and political fields. He was fortunate in the sympathy and aid he received in both relations from his partners, Gen. Peaslee and Sidney Webster, Esq., and until the latter gentleman, in 1852, became the private Secretary of President Franklin Pierce, when the brief copartnery was dissolved. In 1853 he formed another partnership with Judge William L. Foster, with which Hon. Charles P. Sanborn, ex-Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, subsequently became associate. The firms thus severally constituted held high reputation in the locality and state, and managed, with admirable skill, and great success, many of the prominent civil and criminal cases in Merrimack, 197Grafton, and other counties in the state. Our gleanings are defective in their record of the leading cases—civil and criminal—in which Col. George had prominence as leading counsel, as public prosecutor, or otherwise. He was prosecutor in the case of State v. Haskell, a negro man, and wife, in 1855, when sentence of death passed on Haskell for murder, which doom was commuted to imprisonment for life. Being officially engaged on this trial the memory of the writer enables him to state that the conduct of this case by the prosecutor was managed with great skill, and without that redundancy of immaterial testimony, and surplusage of words in argument, which very often render trial proceedings, which ought to be of grave and dignified character, almost ludicrous. Other capital cases, defended by Col. George, and followed by acquittals, were those of State v. Scammel, tried in Grafton county; State v. Young, tried in Rockingham county, and State v. Sawyer, decided in Grafton county. Among Col. George’s more memorable civil cases were those of Smith v. the Boston, Concord and Montreal railroad; Concord railroad v. Clough; Frost v. the city of Concord; Tufts’ Brick Company v. Boston and Lowell railroad, and, recently, and still unfinished, the suit Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the pier accident case at Salem.

In 1851 and during the two succeeding years, and again in 1856, he was chairman of the Democratic state committee, during which he did much active service. He was especially prominent in organizing the Presidential campaign which resulted in the election of his intimate personal friend—Gen. Franklin Pierce. From 1852 until 1860 he was a member of the national Democratic committee; and, from 1853 until 1858, he was United States Attorney for New Hampshire. In 1853 he was elected a member of the state legislature, but he resigned his seat on accepting the appointment of U. S. Attorney.

It may properly be mentioned here that Col. George had a narrow escape from becoming Secretary for the territory of Minnesota. That appointment was offered him and accepted, and all arrangements were made to enable him to go to the north-west. On going to Washington he was informed by President Pierce that he need not hasten his departure for a couple of weeks, nor until the President and he should have an opportunity to talk over old home matters; but some business having been left undone in New Hampshire by the colonel, he sought permission to return and complete it, for which he had leave. On arriving at home such was the pressure brought to bear on him by his old clients, and such the importance and value of new encouragements presented him, as to induce him to give up the Minnesota appointment and resume his profession in Concord, greatly to the satisfaction of his friends in social, political and business relations.

Although primarily, in his military career, he was a member of that numerous body which hold colonelcies by a merely ornamental tenure, it cannot be said of him that he “never set a squadron in the field;” for, besides being aid-de-camp and chief of staff of Gov. Dinsmore during three years, up to 1850, for several years from the organization he commanded company A. of the “Governor’s Horse Guards,” one of the finest, best equipped and most thoroughly drilled cavalry corps in New England, and one in which the people of the state had just pride.

From 1847 until 1866, Col. George was clerk and counsel for the Concord railroad. In 1867 he moved his office to Boston, he having accepted the position of Solicitor for the Boston and Lowell and associate railroads—a position he now holds. He has a peculiar fitness for this office, through his being thoroughly conversant with railroads, their laws and modes of their management. In February, 1870, at the special request of the leading citizens of Concord, he delivered a public address on “Railroads and their Management,” which was exhaustive of the subject and created great local as well as wide national interest. It was reported by a shorthand 198expert, published and extensively circulated, and is held as reliable authority regarding the theory of railroad management. His connection with railroads has been intimate and extended. He is director of the Mount Washington, the Profile and Franconia, and also of the Peterborough railways. He was one of the originators and earliest advocates of the Concord and Claremont and Contoocook Valley roads, and has aided largely in the construction of the various lines which have conserved to Concord its centrality. There are ways and means whereby men receive much popular reputation and credit for services as hollow and objectless as those of Col. George were substantial and valuable; yet it is but just to say in behalf of the wise and discriminating among our people that they put the genuine patriotic value on his efforts and esteem the man accordingly as a people’s friend.

Last year Col. George was appointed a Trustee for the N. H. Asylum for the Insane. He has largely and influentially participated in local affairs in Concord. For many years he labored earnestly in the improvement of the public schools, and took deep interest in the elevation of the standard of education taught therein. He invariably upheld that the perfection of the school buildings was essential, as a precursor of the required improvement in the educational course. Because of this sentiment, he was employed on building committees chosen to manage the erection of several of our school buildings, which, for completeness and adaptability to their uses, Concord is so justly noted. In 1877 he was chosen a member of the Board of Education of the Union District. In course of his very active service in these relations, he has never made pecuniary charge on his fellow citizens for his labors, whether rendered as a lawyer or as a citizen. If the city records bear any evidence of such charge having been recognized, whatever it may be, the amount was never received by the colonel, but went back to the city schools in some shape or another, useful and necessary. When the effort to remove the State Capitol was made, he exerted every energy in his power to prevent the success of this design, and labored with great diligence and self sacrifice in that direction.

As previously stated, Col. George entered the arena of politics almost at the outset of his active life. Nature and mental acquirements combined to give him prominence in politics while yet almost a youth. His recognized energy and executive skill gave him the chairmanship of the committee appointed to receive President Franklin Pierce on his visit to his native State and home in 1854, and many will recollect the success attending that great event. In 1859 he was the Democratic nominee as candidate to represent the Second District in the House of Representatives of the United States, but failed of an election. In 1863 he was again nominated for that office, and made a vigorous canvass of the district—making twelve addresses per week during a month or more—but was again defeated after a very close vote. In 1866 he was the nominee of the Democratic members of the legislature of that year as candidate for the United States Senate. His fellow Democrats gave him the full strength of their vote, but the Republicans were largely in the majority against him.

A man may be mistaken in his notions, and be very earnest and persistent in their assertion, but he will be always respected when his views are believed to be honestly entertained and pronounced. The people only hold in contempt a man who has convictions, and who is afraid to express them when circumstances demand their explanation. Col. George is no such man. He is credited with thinking profoundly of what he says, and saying firmly what he has thought. He may offend men’s opinions or prejudices by what he says, but he seldom or ever loses their respect, because of their conviction of his rigid honesty of argument or purpose. Socially speaking, and notwithstanding his variance in political opinion with the majority of his fellow citizens of 199Concord, no public man can count more devoted personal friends and admirers amid his political opponents than he. His experiences have proved the falsity of the poet’s contrary assertion, and that honesty is not a ragged virtue, but a covering which no good and patriotic man, and worthy citizen, can reputably refuse or decline to wear. In all respects, aside from politics or matters of public dispute, Col. George’s social character stands high among his fellow citizens.

The “brethren of the mystic tie” have in him an exalted member of their most worthy fraternity. He exists among their number as a “Sovereign Grand Inspector” of the 33d and final degree in Masonry, and as an active member of the “Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States,” and has taken all the lower degrees. He is a member of the Blazing Star Lodge, and of the Mount Horeb Commandery of Concord, and was, for several years, Commander of the latter organization. Of most of our local charities, he is a quiet but liberal supporter; and the incidental demands of benevolence find him always a ready friend.

Notwithstanding the great pressure of professional and other duties, much attention is given by Col. George to agriculture, and those improvements connected therewith, sanctioned alike by modern science and experience. He owns a fine farm just over the western boundary of Concord, in the town of Hopkinton, where the improvement and enrichment of the soil, and the breeding and raising of horses and Jersey cattle form part of his summer pursuits. It is not certain that he will add largely to his fortune by his efforts as a “gentleman farmer;” but the external aspects of his management are such as to make those efforts valuable, at least, as examples. His rules providing for cleanliness, comfort and kindness towards his farm animals are seen in their fine condition, and reported to be profitably justified by their superior produce. No better proof of a man’s nobility in the ranks of humanity can be found than in his kindness towards his dumb animals.

And now, in conclusion, a few words as to Col. George’s status as a politician and a lawyer. As has already been shown he is a Democrat. Keeping always in view the foundation principles on which that policy rests, he is what may be properly called a progressionist. He recognizes—what many cannot do—the fact that the science of politics advances, as does every other, and that, while fundamental principles never vary, circumstances occur to change the rigid rule of their application, though not to materially vitiate its force or shut it out of due consideration. The political influences of today may not be fit to govern in what those of tomorrow may demand; and he can only be a narrow-minded man who can think otherwise and act accordingly. He certainly can have no pure element of statesmanship within him. But associated with this progressiveness there is no feature of vacillation or radical change and departure from the organic principles of his party in Col. George. He is as true as steel to both, and no man among the Democracy of New Hampshire has a larger share of the confidence and respect of his compatriots. His public addresses are held by his admirers as models of honest, terse, pertinent and well-judged and founded argument; and he certainly carries an audience along with him, not by the use of clap-trap and sensationalism, but by the bold, acutely analytical, and forcible representation of sound logical facts. He is held to be one of the most solid, as well as most influential, stump speakers in New Hampshire, and his political opponents do not deny this. His memory acts as an encyclopedia of political history, state and national, and this always gives him wonderful advantage as an impromptu orator—a duty he has invariably to attend to when many or few are met together for political deliberation.

When his reputation and character as a lawyer comes up the writer confesses that the task of describing the 200latter puzzles him somewhat. There is no room for hesitation in saying that, in eminence of ability, determination in arranging the means of success, preparation to meet and confute opposing arguments, and unwavering general devotion to what he deems the just interests of his clients, no professional man in New England is more than his peer. To gainsay this fact would be to controvert the opinions of the best men on the bench and at the bar, and to attribute solely to friendly admiration what is assuredly a well recognized truth. So much for reputation; but what can, or should, be said as to Col. George’s manner as a lawyer? It is confident, aggressive, bold and independent of every consideration but directness; it shows no aspect of favor for aught but the purpose in issue. Something has been here recorded of the qualities of his political addresses. The same bold fearlessness of men, and of opposing opinions, the same integrity of sentiment and expression, the same disregard of what offence the truth, as he views it, may give to the opposition, are characteristic of him as a pleader at law. Here, also, what may, and does seem to sound harshly from his lips is materially reconciled to the listener’s favorable judgment by the pleader’s manifest earnestness, honesty and unadulterated devotion to the truth, and the interest of his client, founded on his views thereof. There is no surplusage of words in Col. George’s legal prelections. He is a very Gradgrind for facts, and uses them always with direct and sledge-hammer force, cultivating catapult pith rather than the pelting of his opposition with roses. Every energy is directed towards power and conquering effect. To use the expression of one who thoroughly knows the subject of this imperfect sketch: “the man in trouble who has Col. George for his friend and advocate is lucky indeed: he who is in legal difficulty, and has him to oppose him is assuredly to be pitied.”

Col. George is of robust build, about five feet ten inches in height, approximates two hundred pounds weight, is of strong constitution, enjoys excellent health, has immense working power of mind and body; and, if all reports are true, it is not likely that he will live a long and active life and go “over the hill to the poor-house” at its close.



All through the summer’s rosy hours
I built my castle fine;
And not a soul should dwell therein,
Save only mine and thine,
My Love,
In loneliness divine.
No cost of make, or wealth of hue
I spared from base to dome;
Where lordly monarchs choose to bide
They rear a kingly home;
And so
This rose like silver foam.
Stand here upon the sunlit plain
And see how fair it shines;
Untaught I planned its airy towers
And shaped its perfect lines;
For love
All excellence divines.
But while I gaze, a dusky film
Across its splendor falls;
My purples and my gold are dim—
What ails the reeling walls?
What doom
Sends terror through its halls?
The keen air sweeps adown the hill:
Give me a hand to hold;
I shiver in these breezes chill
That grow so fierce and bold,
Yet hearts
May laugh at Winter’s cold.
That hand of thine, so fair and strong,
I thought could clasp me warm;
It melts within my burning grasp
Like touch of ghostly form;
I hear
No heart-beat through the storm.
Great winds from out the heavens leap;
No castle-dome appears;
Rain dashes on mine upturned face,
To quench the hope of years:
Pour, floods;
Yet faster flow my tears.



It was a fierce, wild March night. One can fancy such scenes quite comfortably in cheerful, well-lighted, close-curtained rooms; but to breast the driving storm of sleet and rain outside, is quite another matter. So thought Mr. Thorpe, a respectable tradesman in the thriving, bustling town of L—— as he hurried on through the darkness, and the ever increasing violence of the gale.

Visions of the cosy parlor, with its tempting tea-table so daintily arranged, and the pretty, charming wife who presides so gracefully, flit across his brain; but even their alluring promises cannot blind him as to the discomforts of the present; and with a gasp of despair he tucks the wreck of an umbrella under his arm, buttons his heavy coat closer around him, and strides on through the gloom. No one is astir tonight; no sign of life meets him in the usually well-filled streets. “Everyone is safely housed, but myself,” he mutters to the unpitying darkness. But even as he is speaking, a form, tall and slight, starts out from the shadows a few paces ahead, and pauses for a flash of time under the uncertain light of the solitary street-lamp, which lamps in our aspiring villages are placed at undeterminable distances from each other, wherever one long straggling street happens to meet another, seeming to say to the night pedestrian, “you have safely traversed the impenetrable darkness thus far, behold I invite you to a continuation of the same.”

As the figure, evidently a woman’s, stands thus for a moment clearly defined against the dark background, Mr. Thorpe is half inclined to fancy that it turns to meet his advancing steps with a gesture of entreaty; then suddenly and swiftly glides on, and is lost from sight.

I say he is inclined to fancy that she appealed to him for aid; but being an extremely practical man, he never allows himself such vagaries; so he banishes the fancy, and hurries on. At last he has reached his own home. The cheery, welcoming light streaming out from the windows, sends a cheerful, happy feeling through his entire being; and with a laugh of defiance at the mad fury of the storm, he springs up the steps to the sheltering porch, when suddenly at his very door his foot touches something soft and yielding, while at the same time, a little troubled cry is heard, mingled with the weird, uncanny voices of the wind. Half in wonder, half in fear he seizes a mysterious bundle at his feet, and presently appears before the astonished gaze of his wife, half drenched with the storm, a hopeless expression of bewilderment and perplexity upon his countenance, while in his arms he holds out for her inspection the same mysterious bundle, from which various small cries issue, from time to time, at irregular intervals. The contents of the aforesaid bundle being duly examined, they prove none other than a round-faced, 203charmingly beautiful, black eyed baby girl. There is nothing in the “make-up” of the child or its wardrobe that even the most fastidious might criticise; every article of clothing is of the finest texture, and delicately wrought. Evidently this is a waif from the very lap of luxury, and refinement; and yet an outcast and homeless.

Tenderly, lovingly, pretty Mrs. Thorpe touches and caresses the little stranger, saying half hesitatingly, “we will care for her tonight, Charles, and tomorrow we must make an effort to find her parents; or if they cannot be found, perhaps the matron of the orphans’ home would take her; she seems so unusually interesting, that I should like to be sure she is well cared for, if no one is to claim her.”

“Claim her!” impatiently interrupts Mr. Thorpe; “You talk like a woman! As if any one ever claimed what they were glad to be rid of.” “But,”—his voice softening a little as he spoke, for in spite of himself the remembrance of the unknown woman under the street-lamp, and her mute appeal to him for sympathy and help, clings to him; and for once, without arriving at his conclusion by a careful method of reasoning, very unlike his usual self, he in some strange, undefined way, closely associates in his mind the memory of this woman, and the presence of the little stranger in his home—

“But, Mary, you might as well keep the child; she seems as well disposed as such afflictions usually are, and although I don’t approve of babies, and therefore wash my hands of the whole affair, still it might be a good thing for you; the vacant place in the household, you know, will at last be filled.”

Still later, after Mrs. Thorpe had succeeded in coaxing the smiles to chase away the tears, and to play hide and seek among the convenient dimples in the baby’s cheeks and chin, she ventures the question, “What shall we call her?” for of course every baby must have a name.

“Call her March; it would be quite apropos,” suggests her husband quickly. “Yes, but,” said Mrs. Thorpe, “it seems almost like an evil omen to give her such a dreary, cheerless name.” “Nonsense, my love,” returns Mr. Thorpe, “What’s in a name?” And so it is settled, and baby March henceforth becomes an important member of the Thorpe household.

If I were giving a sermon, instead of attempting to write a story, I should here remark that Mrs. Thorpe was of the type of women that many men most desire for a wife—pretty, gentle, submissive, yielding, and for the good of the human race in general. I would urge the fair sex to fashion themselves in an entirely different mould; and, whether matron or maid, to stand firm and self-reliant in their own true womanhood; for, although these shy, helpless, clinging ways may seem to the masterful lover the very embodiment of womanly grace, yet they only tend to make the one selfish and arrogant, and the other abject and unwomanly. But as such is not my purpose, I shall leave all this unsaid, and proceed at once with the story.

Time drags wearily with the heavy-hearted, and all too quickly speeds with the gay. To Mr. Thorpe’s quiet home it has brought no sudden transformation. The head of the house has gone on in his matter-of-fact way, adding, year by year, to his well-filled coffers, until he has come to be acknowledged in business parlance, “one of the heaviest men of the town,” which is quite as true literally. Mrs. Thorpe, the matron, is as charming and pretty as the Mrs. Thorpe of earlier years; while March has grown from babyhood past childhood into dawning womanhood, the pet and idol of the home. No clue has ever been given as to her mysterious advent among them; no trace of the unknown woman who, solitary and alone, traversed the deserted streets on that wild March night. Incredulous people have long since ceased to regard this phase of the night’s experience. For how could any strange person, and a woman, go in and out among them, without the fact being noted and commented upon by some of the news-mongers. An utterly 204impracticable story! Thus the matter has been satisfactorily settled to their minds. And even Mr. Thorpe, from puzzling over the perplexing question so long, has been inclined to doubt its reality, and has even allowed himself to think that possibly it might have been a sort of optical illusion; or, more improbable still, an unreal presence from the shadowy land, supposed to be inhabited by the guardian attendants of finite creatures, and conditions. But be that as it may, he has somehow during these years fallen a victim to the strange lovableness and fascinating wiles of his adopted daughter; and has grown fonder of her than he would be willing to acknowledge.

A rare, beautiful creature she certainly has become, with a dusky, richly colored style of beauty quite unknown among the passionless, phlegmatic people of our sturdy north. A form, slight, childlike, with a peculiar undulating grace of movement, a complexion brown as the nuts of our own forests, yet crimson as the reddest rose; wavy masses of ebon hair, catching odd gleams in the sunlight, blue-black and purplish like a raven’s wing, eyes capable of wonderful transitions, now full of joy, laughter, and sunshine, now flashing scorn and defiance, or heavy with midnight gloom. A strange child, full of wild vagaries and incontrolable impulses. Mrs. Thorpe could no more understand her nature or check her fierce impetuosity, than she could with her weak hands stay the torrent of the mountain stream, or control the headlong speed of the wind, as it eddies and whirls in its mad dance. And so, unchecked and unrestrained, March has entered upon her regal, imperious womanhood.

Naturally, of course, there are many manly hearts eager to pay homage at so fair a shrine; but Mr. Thorpe with paternal pride, has set his heart on securing an eligible partner for his darling. And so it begins to be rumored around town, that Hon. Elwyn Reeves has out-distanced all competitors, and is in fact, the betrothed husband of the beautiful March. To be sure, he is her senior by many years, but he comes from a long line of aristocratic ancestors, and has added to his proud name a princely fortune, as his solid, elegant home, away upon the hill, frowning in its imposing stateliness upon its humbler, less aspiring neighbors, attests.

“A very good match indeed, considering her mysterious and somewhat doubtful parentage, a remarkable chef-d’œuvre of fortune for her;” say anxious mammas and disappointed maidens. Mr. Thorpe is pre-eminently satisfied, and if March herself shows no gratification in regard to her good fortune, it is to be attributed to her peculiar disposition, at times so reticent and reserved. Thus Mr. Thorpe quiets any scruples he may have entertained as he remembers how listlessly and wearily March replied, when he had mentioned Mr. Reeves’ proposal, and dwelt warmly upon the happiness in store for her as his wife. “It shall be as you wish, papa, you may, if you desire it, give Mr. Reeves a favorable answer when he calls.” But of course she was happy; any sensible person would be with such a future in anticipation.

All are therefore quite unprepared for the announcement that Mrs. Thorpe with ashen face, and broken, quivering voice, first communicates to her husband, that the servants quickly catch up and carry into the streets; that in an incredibly short time is upon every tongue—March has left them, as mysteriously and silently as she came among them.

“Where had she gone, and why?” These were questions with which speculative minds were for sometime busy, and anxious. Questions which were never answered to them. She had gone, leaving no trace behind. In a little note addressed to her foster-parents, she left them her dear love and a farewell. She should never, never forget their goodness and tenderness to her; she had been happy with them, but she had chosen for herself another life, and a happier, and she must needs live it. That was all. After a while other faces came, and crowded the 205memory of hers away. The house on the hill soon found a mistress, who brought to her husband as a dower in the place of March’s queenly beauty, a fortune equal in magnificence to that of its owner, and so he was content. It is one of the laws of compensation that gives one good in the place of another taken. Only Mr. and Mrs. Thorpe long remembered, loved, and waited for the lost one.

Every story must have its sequel, so has mine. I think it was five years before it came.

In a tiny cottage, embowered and hidden by luxuriant vines and thick, swaying foliage, in a quaint little town, in a clime where the warmth and glory and brightness of the midday sun is never paled and dimmed by snow-hung clouds, where the air is heavy with the perfume of a thousand flowers, and balmy with the luscious breath of tropical fruits; where over the senses, and into the soul, steal a dreamy, blissful languor, and a strange, beautiful peace, a woman in all her glorious womanhood lay dying. And yet, death does not seem very near to that young creature who reclines on a low couch by the open window, watching and dreaming with a far away look in the shadowy eyes, and a beautiful smile upon the radiant face. A man with blue eyes, full of woman’s tenderness, and hair and beard of silvery whiteness, is standing at her side. And now the woman, turning her large, dark eyes full upon him, speaks in a low, musical voice that thrills the listener with a subtile sense of pleasure and of pain. “Dearest and best of friends, I am come very near to the place where the finite and the infinite meet, and blend together, and are lost in one. The past is vanishing like a glad dream, so brief, and yet so full of joy and completeness. All the unrest, and wild, passionate longing seem very far away from me now, such a strange, restful life has come to me. I have been thinking, perhaps it may be that some lives gather their full measure of sunshine and beauty in a very little time, while others are longer upon the way. And so, I have taken my happiness in one delicious draught, and now hold life’s empty goblet in my hands. I have been waiting for this; my fate was sealed when, a twelve-month ago, they told me that my voice was irrecoverably gone; for with it I had lost my art, and that to me was simply life. Well, it is best so. It may be in that unknown beyond, whither I am hastening, I shall find mine own again, and my soul shall be satisfied. Today I have been living again my old life, a stranger and an alien, and yet tenderly cared for by warm, loving hearts. I suppose they mourned when they discovered that their wild, willful March had flown. The remembrance of the pain I caused them has been my only regret in this new life of mine—this wonderful, grand life—and I owe it all to you, my mother’s friend and mine. After I am gone, you will send to my dear foster-parents my good-bye message. I have told them all. Of my 206vain struggles to find my place among the eager, restless throng in the great, busy world, with only a wild, untrained voice and an unconquerable will to aid me. Of my finding a friend, the dearest friend of my angel mother, who patiently, lovingly bore with my capricious, impetuous nature, and with lavish prodigality helped me on toward the wished for golden goal. And then how destiny pressed close upon me, with his black pinions o’ershadowing me, and the fiat was—“Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther.” Possibly they may not understand it all. They will think sadly that my life has been a failure, and it may have been; still I am glad to have lived it. It has been grand, glorious, and yet I am a little weary, and am impatient for the end.

And very soon it came, and March went from the storm, and the tempest, the longing and the pain, into light ineffable, and peace eternal.


She held out her hands for the lilies,
Her blue eyes so eager and bright,
And holding them close to her bosom,
She murmured her soft toned “Dood night.”
“Ah! baby, my own little darling,
Though the lilies be never so fair,
The gold at their hearts is no brighter
Than the glinting strands of your hair.”
As you in my arms slumber lightly,
Your bright lashes kiss your fair cheek,
I pray the kind God to keep safely
My own little blossom so meek.
Then laying her safe in her cradle,
The lilies clasped close to her breast,
And kissing her dewy lips softly,
I leave her alone to her rest.
The breath of the flowers is no sweeter
Than the breath of my babe I ween,
The petals no whiter or purer
Than the soul of my wee heart’s queen.
South Boston, Mass.



That old Roman, Sallust, says: “Surely fortune rules all things. She makes everything famous or obscure rather from caprice than in conformity with truth. The exploits of the Athenians, as far as I can judge, were very great and glorious, something inferior, however, to what fame has represented them. But because writers of great talent flourished there, the actions of the Athenians are celebrated over the world as the most splendid achievements. Thus the merit of those who have acted is estimated at the highest point to which illustrious intellects could exalt it in their writings.”

Also, that latest of classical authors, Josh Billings, says: “Young man, blow your own horn!” These quotations express exactly the way in which the illustrious intellects of authors in Modern Athens (of America) have exalted the deeds of Massachusetts’ heroes to such a degree that most people, outside of New Hampshire, do not suppose our state had much to do at the battle of Bunker Hill, whereas New Hampshire men constituted nearly four fifths of all the men and officers in that battle. Therefore I think I have just cause to “blow my horn” for my native town, and my ancestors who fought in that battle.

Old Nottingham comprised a tract of land supposed to be ten miles square, and which is now Nottingham, Deerfield and Northwood. It was incorporated in 1722, and settlements commenced in it soon after, at the “Square,” a beautiful ridge of land about 450 feet above the sea level. At the beginning of the Revolution, Nottingham had 999 inhabitants, Deerfield 929, and Northwood 313. The records show that the people were making preparations for the coming conflict, and had sent generous assistance to the “Industrious Poor sufferers of the town of Boston” during the siege. During the winter of 1774–5, Dr. Henry Dearborn had a company of men which met at the Square to drill from time to time. In November, 1774, a town-meeting was held and a committee appointed to “Inspect into any Person,” suspected of being a Tory.

On the 20th of April, 1775, news reached the Square that a battle had been fought the day before, and in the evening a large number of citizens assembled at the store of Thomas Bartlett. On the 21st, at 4 o’clock, a company of nearly one hundred men commenced their march for Boston, being armed and equipped as best they could at such short notice.

Some say that Joseph Cilley was the leader of this band of heroes, but others say Dr. Henry Dearborn was captain, and probably he was, as he had been drill-master all winter, and was captain of the company after they arrived in Cambridge. They marched on foot all night, and arrived in Medford at eight o’clock on the morning of the 22d, some of the company having traveled, on foot, more than eighty miles since the previous noon, and over roads which were far from being in the best condition for rapid traveling.

I have searched records a great deal and inquired of the “oldest inhabitant,” whenever I could find him, that I might secure a complete list of the men who constituted this company, but of the hundred I can only give the following names with certainty. If any reader of this article can add a name he will do me a great favor by forwarding it to me:

Dr. Henry Dearborn, Joseph Cilley, Jr., Thomas Bartlett, Henry Butler, Zephaniah Butler, John Simpson, Nathaniel Batchelder, Daniel Moore, Peter Thurston, Maj. Andrew McClary, Benjamin Johnson, Cutting Cilley, Joseph Jackson, Andrew Neally, Samuel 208Johnson, Robert Morrison, William Woolis, Eliphlet Taylor, William Blake, Nathaniel Twombly, Simon Batchelder, Abraham Batchelder, Simon Marston, Moses Gilman, William Simpson, John Nealey, and Samuel Sias. Let us briefly glance at the record of some of these men in the years that came after.

Henry Dearborn was born in Hampton, Feb. 23, 1751. He studied medicine and settled at Nottingham Square as a physician, in 1772. He married Mary D. Bartlett, daughter of Israel, and sister of Thomas Bartlett of Nottingham. He was always fond of military affairs, and is said to have been a skilful drill-master and well posted in the tactics in use previous to the Revolution. He fought with his company at the battle of Bunker Hill. In the September following, he joined Arnold’s expedition to Quebec, accompanied by these Nottingham men,—James Beverly, John P. Hilton, Samuel Sias and Moses Gilman. They marched up the Kenebec river, through the wilds of Maine and Canada. In the assault upon that city, Captain Dearborn was taken prisoner. Peter Livias, the Tory councilor at Quebec, influenced the authorities to parole and send him home, on condition that Dearborn should forward his wife and children to him from Portsmouth to Quebec, which was done as agreed. In April, 1777, Capt. Dearborn was appointed Major in Scammel’s regiment. He was in the battles of Stillwater and Saratoga and fought with such bravery, having command of a distinct corps, as to win the special commendation of Gen. Gates. In 1778, he was in the battle of Monmouth, with Col. Cilley acting as Lieut. Col., and helped retrieve Lee’s disgraceful retreat. He was with Gen. Sullivan in his expedition against the Indians, in 1779, and was at Yorktown at the surrender of Cornwallis in 1781. Upon the death of Scammel, the gallant Colonel of the Third N. H. Reg., at the hands of a barbarous foe, Dearborn was made Colonel and held that position to the end of the war. After the war, he settled in Maine, where he was Marshal by appointment of Washington. He was two terms a member of Congress; Sec’y of War under Jefferson from 1801 to 1809; collector of the port of Boston between 1809–12; senior Maj. General in U. S. Army, 1812–13,and captured York in Canada, and Fort George, at the mouth of Niagara. He was recalled by the President, July 6, 1813, and put in command of the military district of N. Y. City, which recall was, no doubt, a great mistake. In 1822 he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to Portugal; recalled in 1824, at his own request: died at Roxbury, Mass. June 6, 1829. General Dearborn was a man of large size, gentlemanly deportment, and one of the bravest and most gallant men of his time.

Joseph Cilley, son of Capt. Joseph Cilley of Nottingham, was born in 1734; died 1799. He was engaged in the attack upon Fort William and Mary, in 1774; appointed Major in Col. Poor’s regiment by the Assembly of N. H. in 1775; he was not present in the battle of Bunker Hill, as his regiment was engaged in home defence. He was made Lieut. Col. in 1776, and April 2, 1777, was appointed Colonel of the 1st. N. H. Reg. of three years’ men, in place of Col. Stark, resigned. He fought his regiment bravely at Bemis’s Heights, near Saratoga; and two weeks later was among the bravest of the brave, when Burgoyne made his final attack before surrendering his entire army of six thousand men. So fierce was the battle, that a single cannon was taken and retaken five times; finally, Col. Cilley leaped upon it, waved his sword, and “dedicating the gun to the American cause,” opened it upon the enemy with their own ammunition. He was with Washington’s army at Valley Forge, 1777–8; was at the storming of Stony Point; at Monmouth he was one of the heroes in retrieving Gen. Lee’s retreat; was at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, and in other hard-fought battles of the Revolution. After the war he was Major-General of the 1st Div. N. H. militia, and as such headed the troops which quelled the insurrection at Exeter in 2091786, with his own hand arresting the leader in the midst of his armed followers. Gen. Cilley was a man of great energy and industry, of strong passion, yet generous and humane. He was repeatedly elected representative, senator and councillor.

Thomas Bartlett was born Oct. 22, 1745; married Sarah, daughter of Gen. Joseph Cilley; was town-clerk twenty-six years; selectman thirty years; was the first representative from Nottingham to the General Court in 1784; was one of the Committee of Safety which managed the colonial affairs of New Hampshire during part of the Revolution; was captain of the 5th company of “six weeks” men at Winter Hill in 1775; was Lieut. Col. in Col. Gilman’s regiment, in 1776; Lieut. Col. in Col. Whipple’s regiment at Rhode Island, in 1778; also was Lieut. Colonel under Stark at the capture of Burgoyne. In 1780 he was Colonel of a regiment at West Point, when Arnold betrayed that fort. In 1790 he was appointed Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and retained that office till his death in 1805. He was Major-General of first division of New Hampshire militia from 1799 to 1805, in which office he was preceded by Gen. Joseph Cilley, and followed by Gen. Henry Butler.

Henry Butler was a son of Rev. Benjamin Butler, the first settled minister in Nottingham, and was born April 27, 1754. He was captain of a company in Col. Thomas Bartlett’s regiment at West Point, in 1780. He held many town and state offices; was the first postmaster in Nottingham, when Gideon Granger was Postmaster-General; and was Major-General of the first division of New Hampshire militia from 1805, for several years.

Zephaniah Butler, brother to Rev. Benjamin, was a school teacher in Nottingham for many years preceding the Revolution, and was one of Col. Cilley’s staff officers during several campaigns. He married a sister of Col. Cilley; Gen. B. F. Butler, whom everybody knows, is his grandson, he being son of Capt. John Butler of Deerfield, who was son of Zephaniah.

Cutting Cilley, brother of Col. Joseph Cilley, was born in 1738, and died in 1825; he held many town offices, and was captain of a company in one of the New Hampshire regiments during the Revolution.

John Simpson, born in 1748, and dying in 1810, is said to have been the man who fired the first gun at the battle of Bunker Hill. In 1778, he was lieutenant in Capt. Simon Marston’s company, Col. Peabody’s regiment; and was subsequently promoted to major. His brother, Robert, who also served in the Revolutionary army, is the great grandfather of General Ulysses Simpson Grant.

Nathaniel Batchelder, who was a brother-in-law of Col. Cilley, fought in the battle of Bunker Hill, under Capt. Dearborn, and was adjutant in Col. Drake’s regiment, which did brave service in the battle of Stillwater, Saratoga, and the surrender of Burgoyne. He died of fever at Valley Forge, March 28, 1778.

Daniel Moore kept the first tavern at Deerfield Parade; fought at Bunker Hill and in subsequent battles; was captain in Col. Stark’s regiment, and did valiant service during the war.

Andrew McClary was from Epsom and belonged to a family distinguished for its military men. He was plowing in his field on the 20th of April, 1775, when he heard a horn blow, which, on the instant, he knew was the tocsin of war; he left his plow in the furrow, and after the speediest preparation, hastened to Deerfield Parade and thence to Nottingham Square, where he joined Capt. Dearborn’s company. After they arrived in Cambridge he was active in helping organize the New Hampshire men into companies and was himself appointed major in Col. Stark’s regiment. He fought with his regiment at Bunker Hill, and was killed after the battle, in attempting to have “another shot at the enemy.”

Robert Morrison was born and lived on the Square; he was a member of Dr. Dearborn’s company, which drilled during the winter of 1774–5, and a private in Capt. Dearborn’s company 210in the battle of Bunker Hill. In the September following he was bearer of dispatches from Washington to the Committee of Safety in New Hampshire, by whom he was treated with distinguished honors. In 1777 he was a private in Col. Stark’s regiment, and fought bravely in all the battles till the surrender of Burgoyne. His son, Robert Morrison, Esq., resides in Northwood at the present time.

Joseph Jackson was sergeant in Capt. Dearborn’s company at Bunker Hill, afterwards served in several campaigns and was captain of a company.

Samuel Johnson was not in the Bunker Hill fight, but was in the campaign of 1777, at Bennington, Stillwater and Saratoga, and took an active part under a commission which gave him the rank of colonel. He was one of the first settlers of Northwood at the Narrows, and was one of the selectmen of the town for fifteen years.

Simon Marston was from Deerfield, having settled on the Longfellow farm in 1763; he lived in the garrison house, erected by Jonathan Longfellow. He was sowing wheat when the courier, shouting the news of the battle of Lexington, rode past the field where he was at work. Marston left the measure, from which he was sowing, rushed to the house, filled his knapsack with pork and other necessaries, seized his gun, and hurried down to the Square. He acted in the capacity of an officer in Col. Reed’s regiment at Bunker Hill; was an officer under Lieut. Col. Senter; was captain of 1st Co. Col. Peabody’s regiment; was afterwards commissioned major and fought at Bennington, Stillwater and Saratoga. He was a brave man in war and energetic in peace. The others named, although they held no office of rank, were no less brave and faithful in performing perilous duties, and deserve to have their names recorded where they will never be forgotten.

After the Nottingham men arrived in Cambridge, and saw there was no danger of another attack immediately by the troops in Boston, several returned home and commenced more thorough preparation for the coming conflict, but Dr. Dearborn and most of the men remained and were organized into a company, and Dearborn was elected captain the company became a part of Col. Stark’s regiment and was stationed at Medford, whence they marched on the 17th of June and participated in the glories of “Breed’s Hill.” Captain Dearborn’s company was No. 8, but he marched from Medford to the “Railfence,” by the side of Col. Stark.

The following list of men comprising this company is no doubt correct, as it was furnished by Judge Nesmith for Cogswell’s “History of Nottingham, Deerfield and Northwood,” and the Judge is one of the best authorities in the State in such matters. The men were nearly all from old Nottingham:

Captain, Henry Dearborn, Nottingham.
1st Lieut., Amos Morrill, Epsom.
2d Lieut., Michael McClary, Epsom.
1st Sergt., Jona. Clarke, Nottingham.
2d Sergt., And. McGaffey, Epsom.
3d Sergt., Jos. Jackson, Nottingham.
1st Corp., Jonah Moody, Nottingham.
2d Corp., Andrew Field, Nottingham.
3d Corp., Jona. Gilman, Deerfield.
4th Corp., And. Bickford, Deerfield.

Privates.—Simon Dearborn, Gideon Glidden, James Garland, John Harvey, David Mudgett (of Gilmanton), Simon Sanborn, Robt. Morrison, John Runnels, John Neally, Joseph Place, Abram Pettengale, Andrew Nealley, Peter Severance, John Wallace, Theop. Cass (of Epsom), Israel Clifford, Nathaniel Batchelder (of Deerfield), Jacob Morrill, John Simpson, John Wallace, Jr., Neal McGaffey (of Epsom), Jonah Libbey, Moses Locke, Francis Locke, Zebulon Marsh, Solomon Moody, Chas. Whitcher, Marsh Whitten, Noah Sinclair (drummer), James Randell (fifer), Nich. Brown, Benj. Berry (of Epsom), John Casey, Jona. Cram (of Deerfield), Jeremiah Conner, Elisha Hutchinson, Dudley Hutchinson, Benj. Judkins, Josh. Wells, Jere. Dowe, Jona. Dowe, John Dwyer, David Page, Jr., Beniah Libbey, William Rowell, Weymouth Wallace (of Epsom), Thomas Walsh and William McCrellis (of Epsom).



[From sketch of Lieut. Henry W. Baker, in Coffin’s History of Boscawen.]

The command had been entrusted to Gen. Trueman H. Seymour, who determined to make an assault. He knew nothing of the construction of Ft. Wagner. No information of the impediments to be overcome had reached him. Col. Putnam of the 7th, commanding the second brigade, opposed the contemplated movement.

“I do not think that we can take the fort,” he said; and when Gen. Seymour reiterated his determination to make the attempt, Col. Putnam said, “We shall go like a flock of sheep.”

The sun had set, and the twilight faded. The soldiers were ordered to remove the caps from the nipples of their rifles, and were told that they must depend upon the bayonet alone. In the 100th N. Y., which formed behind the 7th, this order was neglected.

In the darkness the assaulting column moved forward. The iron-clads, and the Union batteries opened a heavy fire, which was continued till the column was so near that further firing would endanger it, when, at a signal, all the Union batteries became silent. In an instant Ft. Wagner was aflame. Its heavy siege guns, howitzers, and forty-two pounder carronades burst forth, pouring a stream of shot and shell into the advancing troops. And now, in addition, the parapet of the fort swarmed with men, who, through the terrible cannonade of the day had been lying securely beneath the bomb proofs. Mingled with the roar of the cannon were their volleys of musketry.

The first brigade had the advance. Its ranks went down like grass before the mower. Some of the soldiers fled, panic stricken. The second brigade, led by the 7th N. H., pressed on and filled the decimated ranks. Suddenly they found themselves confronted by a ditch fifty feet wide and ten feet deep, with four feet of water flowing into it. Only at the south-eastern angle was it dry. It was enfiladed by howitzers. Into the ditch leaped the soldiers. Grape and canister mowed them down, but others crowded on. The 7th N. H., led by Lt. Col. Joseph C. Abbott, made its way unfalteringly into the ditch, through it, and up the slope of the parapet. Cannon and musketry blazed in their faces; and now there was a flash behind them—the 100th N. Y., not having removed their caps, were firing into the dark mass, not knowing who was friend, who foe. All was confusion. All order disappeared. In the darkness no one could be recognized. Amid the groans of the wounded, the shouting of officers, the rattle of rifles, the roar of cannon, the bursting of shells, it was impossible to maintain discipline. Col. Putnam, a few of his subordinates, and one or two hundred men entered the fort. The enemy charged, but were driven back. Col. Putnam was killed; one officer after another went down. The reserve, which should have rushed up, did not come. The assault had lost its force. Like sheep the Union soldiers fled as best they could through the devastating fire, leaving a ghastly heap of dead and wounded in the ditch, and on the parapet of the fort. Among the killed was Henry W. Baker. By his side were Dexter Pritchard, Liberty G. Raymond, and Alexander F. Stevens, from Boscawen, and of his company, also killed.

Among the wounded was Samuel McEvely, and among the prisoners was John Clancy, who died in prison at Richmond.

In his first battle, Lieut. Baker gave his life to his country. Those who served under him speak of him with affection. He was cool and brave, and ever mindful of his duty. He was buried where he fell, with his commander, Col. Putnam, and his subordinates, Pritchard, Raymond, and Stevens.



On the wings of my faith I aspire
O God! to rise higher and higher,
And to quaff of the scintillate springs
That flow all exhaustless from Thee,
Who art fountain, and haven, and sea,
And canst satisfy all who aspire.
I mount and I mount through the air,
Borne up by the breath of my prayer,
Through waves of the sunshine of love;
Thy presence, O God! is the light,
Thou givest my spirit its flight,
Thou rulest below and above.
I live in the glories of God,
I know that His merciful rod
Extends o’er a sorrowful world;
I see how His Providence glows
With sweet hues of azure and rose,
His banner, the heavens unfurled.
The universe sings to my soul,
And I join with my voice in the whole,
And God is the spirit of Law;
The Power of blessing and blight,
The Giver of morning and night,
Whose judgments are all without flaw.
Behold! I am given to see
That the darkness and sorrow that be,
Lie low and cling closely to earth;
But the light of God’s glory descends,
And the might of His justice attends
The souls that are weeping in dearth.
A Hand that is brilliant with truth,
And gentle indeed in its ruth,
Shall point out the way and defend,
And the gloom of each fearful abyss,
The serpents that threaten and hiss,
Shall be conquered and slain to amend.



The events I am about to describe took place at a critical period of “the war to keep the Union whole,” and cover that date in the career of the army of the Potomac beginning with Hooker’s flank movement against Lee, entrenched on the heights of Fredericksburg, and ending with the disastrous repulse which attended that finely planned, yet poorly executed, and ill-starred campaign. Of course, I am not writing history, except in a small way; nor do I essay to describe in detail or with accuracy the events in question. My purpose is to give my own observations and experiences, mainly from memory, reinforced by a few scraps and half-illegible memoranda saved from the accidents by flood and field.

I was a participant in many of the earlier battles fought by the army of the Potomac; but my opportunities for acquiring accurate information touching the general aspects of the field were necessarily limited to that part of it within my own immediate range of vision, and even here—so rigidly did our commanders aim to reduce us to mere automatons—we were often in the dark as to the meaning of this or that movement. I strove hard to master the situation, but not until the war closed and the reports of commanders were given to the public, did I have other than a very indefinite conception of much that transpired about me. Why we made this or that change of front; why we were kept for hours in line of battle beneath a broiling sun with no enemy in sight; why we were rushed from one point to another in an apparently hap-hazard manner, enduring fatigue and hunger and subsisting upon wormy “hardtack;” why we were 213pushed against impregnable positions, when a flank movement seemed to our inexperienced eyes the proper thing to do—now fighting, now building corduroy roads, digging rifle-pits or supporting batteries in our rear, which did more execution upon us, by reason of defective ammunition, than upon the enemy—concerning all these points, and many more we were anxious to be informed, but not one atom of information could we get.

“Ours not to inquire why,
Ours but to do and die.”

Was this reticence in pursuance of the mistaken theory that machine soldiers are best? Or was it because “some one had blundered,” and ignorance or incapacity, or something still worse, could be the more easily concealed? Whatever the reason, the fact remains that to the rank and file much of the campaigning done up to 1863–64 seemed to them worse than needless;—and looking back over that period with the light of history thrown upon it, I am not prepared to say the rank and file were mistaken in their estimate. I was impressed then, and the impression has never been effaced, that the reticence observed toward the men in the ranks touching what was going on about them, was a grievous error on the part of our commanders. It is a question, certainly, whether it would not have been better to have kept the “boys” informed of the real military situation and of what they were expected to achieve. The belief that much of the hardship endured was the result of blundering generals, or, worse, of criminal indifference, did much to unman our soldiers and cause them to lose faith and hope. Our volunteers were not machine soldiers, as some of the West Pointers seemed to presume, but patriotic, thinking and observing men who could fight best when they fought understandingly. I am told that the rebel commanders pursued a different policy, and although their soldiers were mentally inferior to ours, kept them apprized of the general situation and of what they must do to accomplish the end sought. Who shall say how many of the confederate victories may be accredited to this fact, if it is a fact? But our commanders, instead of trusting their men, either kept them in utter ignorance of movements or foolishly deceived them. How well I remember at the battle of Gaines’s Hill, where Jackson thrashed Porter so soundly, and Sykes’s regulars failed to stand their ground, that the story was industriously circulated along the thinned but unbroken ranks of Bartlett’s Brigade, “McClellan’s in Richmond, boys. One more effort and the day is ours!” And Meagher’s Irish Brigade, hastening to our relief on the run, took up the cry and put on so determined a front that Jackson’s veterans halted and reformed, giving our officers time to re-establish their broken lines and hold their ground until night came down and afforded them an opportunity to withdraw to the left bank of the Chickahominy,—not to enter Richmond, but to begin that celebrated “flank movement” which ended at Harrison’s Landing. Again, at second Bull Run, when, after dawdling along all day on the road from Alexandria to Centreville, with the sounds of conflict in our front (making a long two hours’ rest at Annandale, and then marching at full speed in a hot sun), we reached Centreville, we were told that Pope had whipped Jackson, and that Lee with his whole army was in full retreat. But when we reached Bull Run, “Linden saw another sight.” Heavens, what a stampede! McDowell’s and Sigel’s corps in disastrous retreat,—cavalry, artillery, infantry, ammunition and baggage wagons in one confused, struggling mass, intent upon reaching the heights of Centreville. Our corps 214(Franklin’s, 6th) had just halted to rest, as the stragglers came into view. Deploying, we stopped the rout, and ended the retreat. Seizing the infantry stragglers, we placed them in our own ranks until our brigade swelled to twice its usual size. Night closed in, and we were marched to the front across Cub Run, and ordered to hold our position at all hazards. In that march every straggler deserted! Poor fellows, who could blame them? Had they been killed then and there who could have accounted for them? Most of them returned to their own regiments and thereafter did good service no doubt. Panics are liable to seize upon the best of troops. I cite these instances as partial corroboration of my point. What wonder if our troops came to distrust all reports and to depend only upon established facts. But perhaps our commanders were right in concealing information from the army in general, and Moore may have hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

“A captain has been known to think,
Even colonels have been heard to reason;
And reasoners whether clad in pink,
Or red or blue, are on the brink,
Nine cases out of ten—of treason.”

At any rate they conducted the war in harmony with such a belief.

One battle only did I witness from the vantage ground of a non-combatant, the first Fredericksburg fight, and I found it vastly more interesting and conducive to personal ease and safety, if less glorious. But this is not what I started out to tell the readers of this Magazine. I am to relate my experience during that memorable episode referred to in my opening paragraph. I must say at the outset that it was an exceedingly checkered episode, so far as my memory serves me, for within the time outlined I ran the gamut of a soldier’s emotions—anxiety, uncertainty, fear, hope, the thrill of victory succeeded all too quickly by the blackest despair; for success was followed by repulse, and from an elated victor I became almost in a twinkling, a captive in the hands of as ragged and as dirty a lot of Johnny Rebs as ever fought with a courage worthy of a better cause,—a part of Wilcox’s Alabama brigade, McLaw’s division. But I must not anticipate.

During the winter of 1862–63, our brigade lay encamped near White Oak church, a locality about equi-distant, if my memory serves me, between Falmouth on the Rappahannock and Belle Plain on the Potomac. It had had ample time to recuperate from the fatigue of the “mud march,” as Burnside’s second futile attempt to dislodge Lee from his entrenchments about Fredericksburg, was facetiously termed, and as spring opened the routine of life in cantonment was relieved by parades, reviews, inspections, drills, and, occasionally, target practice. Meantime Hooker had superceded Burnside in chief command, and a new and more vigorous life had been infused into all branches of the service. This was particularly true of the cavalry, which had fallen into general disfavor. Under Hooker’s discipline it became very effective. The high-sounding grand divisions had been broken up, and the over-cautious, phlegmatic Franklin, relieved. With other changes, came Sedgwick to the command of our corps—a great improvement in some respects on Franklin. The cool and sagacious Slocum, so long at the head of the red-cross division, had been promoted to the command of a corps, and Gen. Brooks, as brave, perhaps, but a far less skilful soldier, had succeeded him, having been promoted from the Vermont brigade. Gen. Joe Bartlett of New York, commanded our brigade—a fine officer, and a lion in battle. A brave man, too, was our Colonel, but deficient in tactical skill. He might not “set a squadron in the field,” but he could face the enemy’s line of battle without flinching. In action he was the embodiment of pluck, and at such times he looked as if he might be the very

Who galloped through the white infernal powder cloud.”

in continental days. But he did not appear to advantage on parade, being undersized and awkward gaited, with a shrill, piercing voice, not unlike that of 215the late Isaac O. Barnes, or the irrepressible Mel. Weston, and totally indifferent to all the niceties of drill so pleasing to the holiday soldier. On one occasion he forgot his place at a Brigade dress parade, and was then and there rebuked sharply by the general. Meeting the latter at headquarters the same evening, where a “reception” to the officers of the brigade was in full career and good fellowship, aided by copious draughts of “commissary,” abounded, the Colonel extended his hand and piped out in a high key which attracted the attention of all present: “Gineral, I’m not much at drill I confess, but I’ve got a hell-fired stomach for a fight!”

On the morning of the 28th of April, 1863, our regiment was ordered on picket duty, but scarcely had we relieved the old picket guard when orders came to return to camp, strike tents, and prepare to move at once in heavy marching order. This meant work, but was an agreeable change. I had only joined my regiment the day previous, after a brief leave of absence, and was resplendent in a new uniform, sword, etc. Of course I packed the uniform away, and left it in care of the sutler, while I donned a knit blouse, and with a due regard for sharpshooters of which the Confederacy had, as it always seemed to me when on the skirmish line, more than its share, put myself in condition for serious work, having nothing in the way of wearing apparel save my side-arms to indicate military rank. Meantime a great change had been effected in our winter quarters. The tents had been removed from the log huts to which they had served as roofs and windows, and now the bare interiors, with the debris strewn about, and broken chimneys and blackened walls alone remained. A more dismal or melancholy sight than a deserted cantonment cannot be conceived. “Warm work ahead, boys,” gaily and cheerily remarked our jovial, stout-hearted adjutant, as he rode up to the head of the regiment. It proved to be particularly hot for him, for he received a wound in his head, in the charge on Marye’s Heights, that he will carry to his grave, and which ended his military career, but not his usefulness; for he is now a popular clergyman, a true soldier of the cross, settled in Philadelphia, I believe. Our progress was slow, and darkness intervened just as we reached a ravine leading down to the narrow valley which skirts the river on that side. We bivouacked in our tracks, not being allowed to kindle fires. Back over the route we had come could be heard the rumble of artillery wagons and the tramp, tramp, of marching columns. In front, silence reigned. Orders are issued in a low tone; and that stern composure which soldiers assume when about to encounter the enemy was apparent in the bearing of all. The officers gather around their adjutant, who is a favorite at brigade and division headquarters, to learn his views touching the movement. He thinks we are in for a fight, and gives his opinion as to Hooker’s intentions. He is sanguine of success.—We have hardly closed our eyes in sleep, when some one calls out in a voice seemingly loud enough for the rebel pickets to hear, “Where is Colonel Blank?” “Here, sir,” responds that officer, rubbing his eyes. “What’s wanted?” “Gen. B. directs me to say that you are to march your regiment to the bank of the river, form in line of battle, and await further orders. You are to move expeditiously, with as little noise as possible, following the pontoons.” The order is obeyed; the regiment marching away in almost spectral silence. Debouching from the ravine, the darkness deepens, for a dense fog hangs over the valley of the Rappahannock like a pall. We file past the pontoon train, from which the engineer corps are detaching the boats, silently and with all the celerity possible—and stand upon the river’s brink. In our rear come other regiments, until our whole brigade is closed in line five regiments deep.—It was a critical time. I recall it well. The silence was almost oppressive; orders were given in low tones, and nothing but the rattle of accoutrements 216broke the silence. The fog resembled a mirage. Objects a little way off took on gigantic proportions. I remember that a pontoon boat, borne on stout shoulders to the river’s brink, resembled the immense hulk of a ship as it loomed into view, while at the distance of a few feet men took on colossal dimensions. Meantime we are tolled off in detachments to occupy the pontoons, along with the engineers who are to do the navigation, and our orders are to form instantly on reaching the other shore, dash forward and capture the enemy’s picket line, or whatever force may be there to oppose us. At length there are sounds of commotion on the other side. The Johnnies suspect something. Splash! goes a pontoon into the water, followed by a deep curse from the officer in charge, brave old Gen. Benham, who cannot restrain his rage over the carelessness of his men. Meanwhile the fog has been gradually rising, and the gray of dawn appears. More stir on the other side, a rattling of equipments, hurried commands—then a sharp challenge, (some of our scouts are nearly over), followed by a single musket discharge, then a volley, and the whistle of bullets. Instinctively we do them low obeisance; the lines waver for an instant, then firmness and silence. So heavy a fire was not anticipated. It told of a large reserve which must have been brought up in expectation of an attack. All hope of a surprise was over. “Will the pontoons never be launched?” Yes, Benham has done his duty, and into them we scramble and push off, each boat for itself. The stream is narrow at this point, but we are not swift enough to check another volley, which being better directed than the first, killed and wounded a number of our boys in the boats. Almost at the same instant our pontoon touches the shore. There is a rush, a charge, a brief struggle, and that picket guard is hors du combat. Quickly deploying on the bank we advance, but the enemy retires more quickly;—and we have established a firm foothold, the pontoon bridge is laid, and the whole corps is streaming across as the morning sun rises above the horizon. The fog still clings, however, to the rising ground on which Franklin fought at the first battle of Fredericksburg, and we move with due caution, skirmishers well out, not knowing what sort of a reception Stonewall Jackson, whose corps is known to occupy the wooded heights beyond, may have in store for us. But no serious opposition is offered after the affair of the pickets, and gradually we occupy most of the ground previously held by the centre of Franklin’s grand division. The fog lifts at last, and the sight revealed is a picturesque one. Before us, a level plain, extending on the right to the suburbs of Fredericksburg, and on the left, cut with ravines and hillocks somewhat, for a long distance. Back of us, the river; fronting, on either hand, the plain ending in a range of wooded hills, semicircular in shape, and dotted with fortifications. The enemy’s picket line is well out upon the plain but touching the river above us near the city. Extending our left it soon came in contact with Reynolds’ corps, which had effected a crossing a mile or two lower down, after a sharp artillery fight in which the enemy showed superior metal, but was obliged to retire after the infantry got over. Midway from the river to the range of hills, and parallel with the former, is a deep ravine where partial shelter from the concentric fire from the artillery posted on Marye’s Heights on the right and on the hills in front, was afforded Franklin’s troops in the previous battle. A few artillery shots are fired, soon after establishing our lines, and then all becomes quiet. What does this inaction portend? Evidently, Lee is acting on the defensive, and waiting for the development of Hooker’s strategy. He does not have long to wait. Before us is the whole rebel army. Will it swoop down upon us before Hooker can develop his left and crush us? This is the conundrum with which we wrestle, as the hours wear away, varying it with a conjecture as to whether we shall be ordered to assault the enemy, in his chosen position, against which Burnside had thrown the 217flower of his army only to be hurled back discomfited. Another artillery duel between Reynolds and Jackson later in the day closes the fighting, and a night of repose follows. The succeeding day proved to be one of quiet, also, but there was a constant movement of troops in our rear on the heights of Falmouth, the line of march being directly up river.

“You see them on their winding way,
About their ranks the sunbeams play.”

That night our regiment went on picket. Never shall I forget it. Strict orders had been received, prohibiting fires, or conversation above a whisper, and requiring the most vigilant watchfulness to prevent surprise, as the enemy in heavy force was directly in our front. Our eyes were kept constantly on the rebel sentinels moving ghost-like upon their beats. A dense fog settled down, cold and damp. The hours seemed leaden. The suspense became intense, unbearable. Suddenly a tremor sweeps along the line. Our boys are doubly alert. What does it mean? A message comes down the front line—“The enemy are advancing. Hold your ground until the reserves are formed, then rally upon them!” With muskets firmly grasped the Union pickets await the onset. A night attack is always dreaded by soldiers, and nothing is more trying to the nerves of veterans than the expectation of a conflict with an unseen foe. But our boys do not flinch; they feel the responsibility imposed upon them and resolve to do their duty. Minutes go by, and still no advance, although the weird line of sentinels has been succeeded by a line of battle. Momentarily we expect to see a sheet of flame burst from that compact mass, the components of which are indistinguishable in the fog and darkness, although hardly six rods distant. But it comes not. The mass recedes and fades out, leaving the sentinels pacing their posts, and we now know that the movement was only a reconnaissance. Morning dawns at length, and we are relieved without firing a shot. As we gain the shelter of the ravine near the bank of the river, we notice that Reynolds has recrossed with his whole corps and is marching in the direction taken by the main army. Looking toward the rebel position on our left, dark masses of men are seen moving over the hills, as if in retreat. Here again we have food for speculation. Has Hooker, whose guns are now heard on the right, outflanked the enemy? Later on we learned that these troops were Stonewall Jackson’s rear guard, that intrepid commander being then in the process of executing that famous flank movement which put the 11th corps to rout and turned a Union success into a Confederate victory, the most signal ever achieved by its armies. About noon our troops made a demonstration, driving back the enemy’s pickets, and later in the day rifle-pits were dug under cover of army blankets hung up as if to dry—a device so simple as to deceive the Confederates, for otherwise, being commanded by their guns, it could not have been effected without serious loss.

The next day (Saturday, May 2), was comparatively quiet, although far to the right could be heard the deep, yet muffled sound of artillery firing, telling that Hooker was engaged. We made demonstrations all along our front, but did no real fighting. During the night, the firing on the right became very heavy,—and I was called into line at about 2 a. m., to go through ere another chance to sleep was afforded me, the most exciting experiences of my life. We were marched to the front, and posted in a ravine. With the first streaks of dawn came sounds of musketry firing on our right. It was the Light Division in the streets of Fredericksburg. Marching by the left flank we emerge from the ravine and take a position on the left, the second, and third and light divisions of our corps extending to the right. As we leave the ravine the enemy opens a heavy fire upon our devoted regiment, the hills on our front and right being aflame with the flashes of the “red artillery.” We advance rapidly, our general leading; our batteries gallop to the rising ground, and open on the enemy’s guns posted near the railroad embankment 218and which are doing the most execution. Our guns are splendidly served, and soon the rebel battery in front and its infantry supports are seen making quick time for the fortifications in the woods at the base of the hill. Now the guns on the hills redouble their fire, and the din is terrible. Men are falling at every step, and so fierce is the concentric artillery fire of the Confederates that our batteries have to be withdrawn. Not so the infantry. It is our part to keep the rebel force in front employed while the divisions on our right storm Marye’s Heights. So we keep steadily on until a ravine is reached running at right angles with the one we have left, and leading nearly up to the rebel entrenchments. The air is full of screaming shot and whistling shell, and as we near the entrance to the ravine, which is filled with a thick undergrowth of trees and bushes, our boys are ready to insist that at least five hundred rebel cannon have the range and are peppering us accordingly. Through the hell of fire we go, marching by the left flank and closing up our ranks with each breach, and into the ravine from which the enemy’s sharpshooters are seen to scamper like so many rats, as much to escape the range of their own cannon as that of our musketry, for we had not as yet fired a shot.—Here, by hugging the steep sides, we were partially sheltered and within half rifle practice of the foe posted behind their breastworks at the base of the hill. A brisk fusilade was kept up, and although we were unsupported and “in the air” we kept the Johnnies so busy that they did not attempt a sortie. By this time, also, the batteries on Marye’s Heights, which had enfiladed us, had as much as they could do nearer home, for Howe and Newton had begun their advance. It being deemed useless to attempt to do more than keep the enemy in our front employed, our regiment was withdrawn from the ravine and the Parrotts were again opened on the position, which we had, supposed was to be stormed.—“The war which for a space did fail,” now opens furiously on our right, and we watch the advance of the light division with interest, although our regiment is still exposed to a galling fire from riflemen behind the railroad embankment.—The spectacle was a thrilling one. The 6th corps batteries were playing upon the heights, with might and main, and up the steep ascent our brave boys were climbing with all speed. Our hearts were in our throats as we watched. Could the heights be stormed? Could Sedgwick with 10,000 men do what Burnside failed to do with ten times that number? Our Colonel, who has been watching the conflict through his field-glass, electrifies us at last by exclaiming, “The heights are ours, boys!” “Our flag is there!” Such a cheer as went up must have astonished our friends just opposite. A rebel brigade, which had left the entrenchments near our front and was making all speed to succor its friends, suddenly halted, then taking in the situation turned about and ran back again, its pace being accelerated by shots from cannon just taken. The victory was ours thus far, but at what a cost! It was a brief triumph, alas! for disaster had overtaken Hooker, and he was a beaten general at that moment. We knew it not, however. Contrariwise it was announced that Hooker had been even more successful, and that Lee’s routed army was in rapid retreat on Richmond. Joy filled our hearts, even though we mourned the death of many brave comrades whose last roll call on earth had been answered that morning. Hence, when orders came for our brigade to fall in and take the lead in the pursuit on our side, they were obeyed with alacrity, and up and over the battle-stained heights we marched, munching our hardtack as we went, and out upon the Chancellorsville pike, driving the enemy before us like chaff before the wind. Two miles out, a battery opened upon us, but we took little notice, pushing our skirmish line rapidly forward. It was a fatal discharge, however, to an officer on Brooks’ staff, who fell from his horse, nearly decapitated by a shell.—One of our batteries is hurried to the front and a single discharge causes the enemy to retire 219on the double quick. We reach Salem church, nearly exhausted by our rapid marching, hoping for rest. But the worst is yet to come. Our skirmish line is held at bay. It cannot advance, and our brigade is formed for a charge—my own regiment, through the negligence of some one, going into the fight in heavy marching order, with knapsacks strung, and blankets strapped. Meeting a heavy fire of musketry at the edge of a piece of woods, the brigade halts. But Gen. Brooks, who has orders to effect a junction with Hooker, and deeming the enemy in front to be the same we have been driving, orders another advance. Into the woods we go to be met by a terrific fire. We charge and drive the foe from his breastworks, but can go no further. Heavily reinforced he advances with yells. There is a continuous roll of musketry. The Pennsylvania regiments on our right and left give ground. We are outflanked and enfiladed. Then comes the order to fall back. It must be done quickly if we would not be entirely cut off from the second line. Burdened as many of our men are by their knapsacks, and fatigued by the march, they can not run. Such is my condition. Although with only a blanket to carry, I am quite used up physically. The double-quick is beyond my powers, and with every disposition in the world to run I cannot to save my life. Suddenly, one leg refuses to move, and I fall. A call to my men is unheard, or if heard, unheeded. I try to regain my feet, but cannot. My leg seems paralyzed. Am I hit? wounded? A brother officer sees me; hears my call for assistance; and proffers aid; helps me to my feet, and I stagger along for a few paces. Meantime, we have been left far in the rear and are between two fires. The air is laden with missiles. It is madness to proceed, and so we both hug the ground. Doubtless our lives are saved by this device, but, although we had not the faintest idea then that such was the case, it involved our capture and imprisonment. “The combat deepens.” The din is awful. Line after line of Lee’s veterans surges forward; they intermingle; halt, yell, fire; then rush on like a mob. It is not until they have fairly run over us that we realize our position—that capture is inevitable. Two lines pass us unnoticed, when a squad of skirmishers who have hung on our flank come up and demand our surrender. There is no alternative, and that brand-new blade goes into the hands of a rebel sergeant whose straight, black hair runs up through a rent in his hat like a plume. We are taken to the rear amid a rain of shot from our batteries, three men helping me along and two keeping close guard over my companion. They seemed in a hurry to get out of range, and glad of the opportunity our capture afforded them of retiring with eclat from the strife. Soon we came upon Gen. Wilcox and staff nicely ensconced in a position not accessible to Yankee bullets. He questioned us, but not getting satisfactory replies, sent us still further to the rear (after his Adjutant-General had purchased my sword of the hatless sergeant), where we were placed under guard near a field hospital. Here I found, upon examination, that I was not injured, but that my inability to 220walk without help was due to fatigue and a slight abrasion on the hip, occasioned probably by a spent ball. We were courteously treated by our guards but could get no food, Stoneman’s raid having sadly interfered with the rebel commissariat. Next day we were taken to Spottsylvania court-house where we met nearly half of the 11th corps and learned for the first time the disaster that had befallen “Fighting Joe” Hooker. Of the kindness of one of my captors, Billy Peyton of Memphis, Tenn., but a member of the 9th Alabama, and his peculiarities, I should like to speak, but this sketch has grown on my hands, and I am compelled to omit an account of my first visit to Richmond, introduction to Major Turner, and incarceration in Libby. Should this sketch please the readers of this Magazine, I may essay another describing my prison life, and how near I came to being annihilated by a fierce Virginia home guard officer who commanded the escort which conducted the detachment of prisoners, of which I made one, to the flag of truce boat on the James, going by the way of Petersburgh.




At first, worship, both private and public, was conducted in the primative homes of the settlers of the township. On the erection of military posts, or forts, such edifices became natural, social centres, and worship was conducted in one or more of them. Rev. James Scales, first minister of the town, was ordained in Putney’s Fort, in 1757. During the ministry of Mr. Scales, public worship was sometimes conducted at the Parsonage. The erection of a church determined a permanent place of public religious services.

The first meeting-house in Hopkinton represented a much larger territorial expanse of population than any church now extant. Denominational controversies had not divided the ranks of the worshipers, nor had local patrons of the one church demanded special privileges of their own. The distance to church was long in many cases, and 221the conveyances often only the locomotory means of nature.

In olden times in this vicinity, though people had the instinct of personal adornment the same as now, they often lacked the means of gratifying it. Extra articles of dress were so rare that people frequently walked to church in their daily accustomed garb, or trod the Sunday path with a most scrupulous care for their extra wardrobe. Women sometimes carried the skirts of their Sunday dresses on their arms till they arrived near or at the church door, when they let them fall. The Sunday shoes were often carried in the hand till the journey to meeting was nearly ended, when they were put on for entrance to the sanctuary. Present readers can comprehend the necessity of such care, when they reflect that in the olden time the price of a week’s work of a woman was only equivalent to a yard of cloth, or a pair of shoes.

Church services in the former days were long, and savored of dogmatic theology. The principal prayer was much longer than the present average sermon, and the discourse proportionally extended. Such prolonged services were conducted in winter, at first, without the favor of any artificial warmth. In contemplating the situation of the worshipers in those old wintry days, the bleakness of the characteristic meeting-house of the times is to be taken into account. In the old Baptist church was an open aperture in an upper wall, where the crows have been known to perch while worship was in progress. The advent of foot-stoves gave much relief to the chilly congregations of earlier times, and the introduction of the general heater put an end to the extremer experiences of the wintry Sunday.

The representative minister of the olden time was a person of eminent scholarly culture and gentlemanly bearing. A thorough scholar and rhetorician, his discourses were framed with strict regard to the logical sequences of his subject. The numerical divisions of his theme often carried him among units of the second order; firstly, secondly, and thirdly were only preliminary to thirteenthly, fourteenthly, and fifteenthly; the grand category of predications was terminated by a “conclusion.” In his loftier intellectual schemes, he sometimes elaborated whole volumes of disquisitional matter. Rev. Ethan Smith, third minister in the town, was the author of several profound theological treatises. There was a dignity and austerity of manner pertaining to the characteristic primative clergyman that made him a pattern of personified seriousness. His grave demeanor on his parochial rounds, when he spoke directly upon the obligations of personal religion, made his presence in the household a suggestion of profound respect and awe. He impressed his personality upon the receptive social element of his parish. The deacons became only minor pastors, and the whole congregation of believers expressed in subdued form the character of the shepherd of the flock.[1]

1. The austere influence of religion upon society in the olden time was attested by the legal strictures upon traveling, idling, etc., on Sunday, of which conduct the tything-men were to take cognizance. Tything-men were chosen in this town as late as 1843, when Charles Barton, Samuel Frazier and Daniel Chase were selected. The law requiring such choice had even then become virtually a dead letter.

The support of a “learned and orthodox minister” was implied in the original grant of this township. In the strict construction of the text of the original compact, “orthodoxy” meant Calvinistic Congregationalism. The disturbed condition of the early settlement prevented the establishment of a permanent local pastorate till 1757. On the 8th of September of that year, it was voted to settle the Rev. James Scales, and that he should be ordained on the 23d of the following November. His salary was to be sixty Spanish milled dollars, or their equivalent in paper bills, a year. When the town became incorporated in 1765, the formal acknowledgment of Mr. Scales as legal pastor was renewed, it being the 4th of March, and his salary was named at £13, 10s.

222In progress of time different religious societies became established in this town, but the Congregational alone drew support from any portion of the populace by a direct tax. People were taxed for the support of the Congregational ministry in this town as late as 1810. The warrant for a town-meeting called for the 12th of March, 1811, contained this article:

“To see what method the town will take to raise money for the support of the Congregational minister in town the ensuing year, how levied, and how divided between the two meeting-houses.”

At this time a meeting-house had been, for about ten years, in existence at Campbell’s Corner, in the westerly part of the town, and since its erection the funds for the support of Congregational preaching derived from taxes had been divided between the east and west meeting-houses, as they were called. However, at the town-meeting called for the above date, it was voted to “pass over the article” relating to the proposed support of Congregational religious services by the town, and we think the subject was never taken up again.

The minister’s tax was never collected of any person who acknowledged a belief in the religious principles of any legalized society, other than the Congregational. The following vote, passed on the 25th of March, 1799, illustrated the method of raising the minister’s tax:

“Voted to lay a ministerial tax on the Congregational inhabitants at twenty cents each on the poll, and upon all ratable estate in the same proportion, Congregational inhabitants to be ascertained by consent, individually, to either of the selectmen at the time of taking the inventory.”

People liable to pay a minister’s tax sometimes publicly, in town-meeting, declared their adhesion to the principles of some one or other of the societies exempted from the payment of that tax.

The lease of the parsonage lands in 1798, incurred an annual revenue which was proportionately divided among the existing societies till the year 1853. In the year 1842, when the town for the first time published a printed report of its pecuniary transactions, the last division of parsonage money was declared to be as follows:

1st Congregational society, $27.88
2d Congregational society, 4.39
Calvinist Baptist, society, 13.88
Union Baptist, society, 16.12
Episcopalian society, 9.64
1st Universalist society, 4.21
2d Universalist society, 10.31
Methodist society, 1.43

The round total was set down at $88.00.

The 2d Congregational society dropped out of the list in 1851. The last allowance to this society was fifty-six cents. The town report of the year 1853, contained the following and last list of apportionments of parsonage money:

Congregational society, $30.09
Union Baptist society, 19.04
Calvinist Baptist society, 15.72
Episcopalian society, 4.40
1st Universalist society, 7.57
2d Universalist society, 7.10
Methodist society, 4.18

The total of this list was also set down in round numbers as $88.

The above figures are suggestive in presenting a view of the relative strength of the different societies at the specific times stated. It is interesting to note that certain of the societies soon lost all traces of even a nominal existence, after the suspension of the parsonage revenues. For some time they had kept up a show of vitality by making their portion of the parsonage fund a nucleus of an outlay for a few days’ preaching in the year.

In the march of the years, the old peculiarities of local religious life have given place to new features and forms. It is needless to say that some of the old formalities died hard. Innovations were distrusted. The experience in view of proposed changes was substantially uniform in all the churches. Even the staid Episcopalians were ruffled by 223unaccustomed ceremonies. When, for the first time, the choir of the Episcopal church chanted the Gloria Patri, which before had been read only, an indignant lady abruptly shut her prayer book in unfeigned disgust. The greater jealousy formerly existing between different denominations is well known. It is said this inharmonious feeling was once sought to serve an innovating use. A person prominent in musical circles sought to influence the leading minds of the Congregational church in favor of the purchase of a bass viol. As an extreme argumentative resort he suggested, “The poor, miserable Baptists have got one.” Tradition, however, doesn’t relate the effect of this suggestion.


The country store of the earliest times was a more emphatic collection of multitudinous varieties of articles, if possible, than the later place of local public traffic. Then, as now, the local store was the principal resort of the great commonalty. Men of special vocations sometimes took a stock of products to the lower country and bartered for goods to bring back and distribute among their neighbors, and the itinerant merchant, or pedlar, reaped a much better harvest than now; but the country store was a popular necessity and well patronized. At first there was less trading in domestic luxuries; the goods in store represented the common necessities. Since the popular idea of necessity does not fully exclude the illusory principle, we have to admit rum, gin, brandy, etc., into the former list of domestic staples. Cash and barter were entertained by every tradesman, to whom the populace largely looked for advantageous exchanges of substance. The progress of the settlement was attended by the extension, and to some extent by the classification, of trade till the time when Hopkinton assumed the commercial importance described in a previous article.

The currency employed in the transaction of business was at first nominally English, though Spanish milled dollars were in circulation. One of the inconveniences of the early settlers of New England was a scarcity of money. The different provincial governments sought to relieve the public financial burdens by the issue of Bills of Credit, a currency mentioned in the records of this town as “old tenor.” Such a circulating medium in such a time could only depreciate in value, but, following a custom obtaining in the old country, the purchasing value of these bills could from time to time be fixed by the local legislatures. About the year 1750, it was established throughout the provinces that £1 in the currency of the Bills of Credit should be equivalent to two shillings and eight pence lawful money, and that six shillings should be equal to one dollar.

The preliminary events of the Revolution involved the establishment of a system of Continental currency. At the time of the first issue of a paper circulating medium, in 1775, the Continental notes were nearly at par with gold, but they soon fell to comparative nothingness in value. The effect of this collapse in monetary matters was amply illustrated in the public transactions of the town of Hopkinton. At a town meeting held in 1781, it was voted that the price of a day’s work on the highway, by a man, should be $30; the price of a day’s work by a yoke of oxen, $30; the price of a plow and cart, $10 each. The salary of the Rev. Elijah Fletcher, second minister of the town, was also voted to be $4000 for the year, but the reverend pastor preferred to accept £70 in gold equivalents, and declined the larger nominal sum. The success of the American cause, and the permanent establishment of the public credit, gave a correspondingly improved aspect to local affairs, and in later times this town has experienced fluctuations in prices in common with the general country.

During the period of Hopkinton’s greater importance as a commercial station, a bank was maintained here for a few years. The institution was known as the Franklin Bank, and was incorporated in 1833. The grantees were Horace Chase, Nathaniel Gilman, Isaac Long, 224Jr., William Little, Joseph Stanwood, Matthew Harvey, Andrew Leach, Moses Gould, Ebenezer Dustin, Timothy Chandler, Stephen Darling, and James Huse. The operations of this bank seem to have been exceedingly bungling during the short term of its existence, and it finally settled with its creditors at ninety cents on a dollar. The Franklin Bank occupied the building now used by the Hopkinton Public Library.

The standard of quantities to be recognized in commercial transactions has, from remote times, been a subject of legal regulation. The weights and measures first used in this town were the standards of older communities. In a record made in the year 1804, the town of Hopkinton declared the local standard to be as follows:

1 56 lbs.
1 28 lbs.
1 24 lbs.
1 7 lbs.
1 4 lbs.
1 2 lbs.
1 1 lb.
1 ½ lb.
1 2 oz.
1 1 oz.
1 ½ oz.
1 ¼ oz.

For the use of the above weights the town recognized “two small scale beams with brass dishes,” and also “one large scale beam with boards, and strung with iron wires.” The wooden dry measures were specific as 1 half-bushel, 1 peck, 1 half-peck, 1 two-quart, and 1 quart; while the copper liquid measures were started to be 1 gallon, 1 two-quart, 1 quart, 1 pint, 1 half-pint, and 1 gill.

By legal requirement, the standard of weights and measures is regulated by a town sealer to this day, such officer being chosen annually at the town-meeting in March, but the modern improvements and facilities for determining quantities have made a practically dead letter of the present law requiring his selection.

For many years a public hay-scales occupied a site in the rear of the Congregational meeting-house. It was simply an immense scale beam and platform, the whole apparatus being covered with a roof. It long ago passed away to give place to the modern hay-scales.


In the earlier history of this town, politics and religion were closely related. For many years the affairs of the legally established, or Congregational, church were arranged by vote of the town. The intimate relation existing between the church and the town made the meeting-house and town-house at first identical. The earliest town-meeting held in the first meeting-house was on the 2d of March, 1767. Previously, town-meetings had been held at private houses. Town-meetings continued to be held in the church till 1799, when use was first made of the old Hillsborough county Court House, the annual meeting of that year being held in the upper room of the county edifice. Town-meeting has since been held annually on the same spot.

At the time of the incorporation of the town, in 1765, annual town-meetings were legally held only on the first Monday in March. In the year 1803, the State legislature fixed the date of annual town-meetings at the second Tuesday of the same month. Till the year 1813, when the State established a law requiring the use of an alphabetical list of voters at town-meetings, public legal gatherings in town had been conducted with less formality than has been maintained since, but the regard for parliamentary proprieties had been sufficient to prevent any disorder or unskillfulness of a serious nature.

The instincts of the people of this town have always largely partaken of a Democratic character. There has been a prominent jealousy of individual rights. This feature of local political life was exhibited in the very earliest times, when individuals frequently appeared at the moderator’s desk to record their names in opposition to some measure or other passed by the majority. 225Even to this day the doctrine of individual rights is strongly asserted by the mass of persons of whatever party name. In the days of the prolonged supremacy of the Democratic party, the lines of party distinction were drawn so clearly that scarcely a Whig was ever permitted to represent the town at the General Court. Once, in 1844, there was a kind of general compromise between parties, and Moses Colby, a Whig, and Samuel Colby, a Democrat, were sent to the legislature together. For quite a number of years there was a compromise on the subject of selectmen, and a general consent gave the Whigs annually one member in a board of three; but this arrangement was broken up by a fancied or real attempt of the Whigs to take more than their customarily allotted portion of the chosen.

Till the year 1855, when the Democrats lost the general control of political affairs in town for the first time, the constantly prevailing superiority had prevented the practice or necessity of much caucusing. A few leading ones put their heads together and gave a definite impulse to the party movement. The process worked very well, except when now and then an accident would happen, as, for instance, when a refractory candidate insisted in pushing his private claims at all hazards. Caucusing, however, had been practiced more or less previously to 1855, but since this date the closeness of the popular vote has often led to a degree of figuring and planning that can be easily comprehended by all accustomed to watch the movements of political leadership in New Hampshire during the last quarter of a century.

We have shown, in a previous article, that the Democrats of this town held a majority on the Governor’s vote till 1865. However, in 1855, the American party elected two representatives—Paul R. George and Timothy Colby—and three selectmen.




[This article from Miss Connor, written from Malaga last summer, having been mislaid, after its reception, is published at this time as not without interest, notwithstanding the delay.—Ed.]

The streets of Malaga always present an animated appearance. One never sees here that dead calm which pervades many of our northern cities in midsummer. At all hours of the day the air resounds with the sonorous voices of men and boys calling out whatever they may have to sell. Fish of all kinds, fruits, live turkeys and many other things may be obtained in this way, with the additional entertainment of listening to a loud and heated discussion between the servant and vender regarding the price. If the latter chances to be a boy, he summons a flood of tears to his assistance, having acquired, as a part of his occupation, the faculty of crying when occasion demands. The servant, accustomed to mechanical weeping, is immovable and the youthful imposter is finally compelled to receive a fair price for his wares.

Every afternoon at five o’clock, an old man with a bright, cheerful face passes our window calling out “barquillos” in a clear, musical voice which makes itself heard at a long distance. The children crowd around him while he takes from a green box strapped over his shoulder, a tube made of light paste, on one end of which he puts a white foamy substance, composed of the whites of eggs and sugar. At this juncture, the little ones become frantic and jostle each other in a most unceremonious manner, in their eagerness to possess the delicate morsel. Each one is served and the poor old man goes on his way rejoicing ever the few quartas which will buy his daily bread. Barquillos are also obtained at restaurants as an accompaniment for ices, and seem to be relished by children of a larger growth, as well as others.

The business of the ware houses commences at an early hour and continues through the day; carts drawn by mules are constantly passing while the industrious little donkeys may be seen marching in a line, following their leader, who has a bell to announce his coming. During the vintage, long lines of donkeys laden with boxes of raisins come from the vineyards, horses never being used except in cabs and private carriages. The cab horses are poor, old animals which seem to have lived as long as nature intended, but are kept alive by some mysterious agency, and by dint of much urging and whipping manage to move at a slow pace. One day, when we were taking a drive, the horse suddenly stopped and the driver dismounted. To our inquiry, as to the cause of delay he replied, “no es nada” (it is nothing), resumed his seat and we started again, but had not proceeded far when the animal absolutely refused to go; this time we insisted upon alighting and were coolly informed that the horse was only a little cansado (tired). Many more instances might be cited illustrating the manner in which dumb animals are abused in a country where there are no laws prohibiting it, or if such laws exist they are not enforced.

The animation prevailing through the day by no means diminishes as night approaches, although of a very different character. At twilight, the higher classes sally forth to the Alameda 227or Muelle (mole), to enjoy the refreshing breeze from the sea, while those of lower estate seek some place of rendezvous and indulge in their idle gossip. An occasional troubadour steals to some obscure corner and sends forth plaintive sounds from his faithful guitar, not unfrequently some youthful swain is inspired to add the charms of his voice, and the “Malaguenas” bursts forth in all its primative sweetness. The enthusiasm of the Spaniards on hearing their national airs is something remarkable, they become quite wild with excitement and applaud in the most vociferous manner. Foreigners, also, who have spent some time in the country, share this enthusiasm, which seems to be caused more by a certain rhythmical peculiarity, than by any extraordinary merit of the music itself.

The romantic days of Spain are past, when the lover stood beneath the balcony of his sweetheart, wooing her with the gentle strains of his guitar. To us it seems a matter of regret that this ancient custom no longer exists, but it undoubtedly relieves many anxious parents as it particularly favored clandestine courtships. A Spanish gentleman of our acquaintance who is blessed with seven daughters, and occupies a house containing twenty balconies, congratulates himself upon the change in love-making as it would be impossible to keep watch over all, even by constantly rushing from one balcony to another. At the present day the suitor is admitted to the salon, where he may converse with the object of his affections, but always in the presence of her parents. Spanish mammas would be shocked at the freedom allowed American girls in receiving visits from the opposite sex and accepting their escort to places of entertainment.

The feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated in Malaga with much eclat. For two weeks previous preparations were going on for the fair, which takes place at this time, booths being arranged on one side of the Alameda and filled with a variety of articles, useful and ornamental, calculated to please the eye and lighten the pockets of passers-by, while others were provided with these substantial things needful to satisfy the wants of the inner man. At night the Alameda was most brilliantly illuminated by long lines of lights extending the whole length on either side, also across the centre at intervals, with occasional circles and clusters, producing a most dazzling effect. At each end, in front of the fountains were erected two pavillions, one under the direction of a club styled the “Circulo Mercantil,” the other by the members of the “Lycio” both of which were handsomely decorated with flags and flowers and provided with comfortable seats. We availed ourselves of the opportunity to attend the balls given in these pavillions, and found them exceedingly diverting. In the centre, a space was reserved for the dancers, who tripped the “light fantastic” with apparent enjoyment, notwithstanding the disadvantages of little room and much heat. The toilettes of the ladies were varied and elegant, displaying a taste which would do credit to Worth himself, while the national costume, worn by a few young ladies, far exceeded the most charming conceptions of that famous artist. This costume, called the “Maja,” is extremely picturesque, especially when combined with the piquant faces and nonchalant airs of the Spanish girls. It consists of a skirt of bright red or blue satin, edged with a broad trimming of black chenille; with this is worn a black velvet bodice, the hair is arranged in finger puffs, with a high comb placed jauntily on one side, and a few flowers gracefully twined among the dark tresses; a Spanish mantilla, and laced slippers, just disclosed beneath the short skirt, complete this beautiful costume, rich in fabric, but simple in design, and above all allowing a graceful freedom which our present straight laced fashions render 228impossible. Weary of the brilliancy and animation of the ballroom, we passed to the garden where tables were arranged for refreshments, and amid the sound of inspiring music and the gentle murmur of the fountain, partook of delicate viands served by attentive waiters. The arrangement of these pavillions was perfect in every respect, contributing in the highest degree to the comfort of the guests, and long shall we bear in remembrance the pleasant evenings they afforded us.

On Corpus Christi day a long and imposing procession marched through the principal streets, carrying an image of the “Virgin” robed in black velvet elaborately embroidered in gold, and a large “Custodia” of solid silver containing the “host.” The clergy, in their clerical gowns, with their faces plump and glossy, walked along in a self-satisfied manner, confident of good cheer in this world, whatever may await them in another. The civil and military authorities added their dignified presence, followed by a large concourse of people with wax candles. The streets and balconies were filled with men, women, and children of all ages and classes, every available space being occupied. In the afternoon a bull fight took place, and a ball in the evening ended the programme of the day.

In the midst of the festivities of the week, the Queen’s illness was announced, causing a suspension of all gayety, and her subsequent death was followed by a season of mourning. The Alameda was stripped of its superfluous adornings, and the sound of music no longer filled the air with its sweet harmonies. Funeral services were solemnized in the Cathedral, and many a fervent prayer ascended to Heaven for the repose of the dead, and the resignation of the bereaved young King.


  1. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.
  2. Anachronistic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings retained as printed.