Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gallery: Old Soldiers (2), a New England brigade

John W. Robinson of Somersworth enlisted
in April 1862 and was mustered into the 9th
New Hampshire four months later. He
 served with the regiment as a corporal until
his discharge for disability at the war's end.
These are the faces of veterans from the Somersworth, N.H., area who served in the 6th, 9th and 11th New Hampshire regiments. They came to me from my friends Dave Nelson and Dave Morin, both early members of the 5th New Hampshire re-enactors. As I explained in an earlier post, the photos are from an archive of Littlefield Post No. 8 of the Grand Army of the Republic.

I have grouped men from the 6th, 9th and 11th because these regiments often marched, camped and waged battle together during the war. Along with the 31st and 32nd Maine and the 17th Vermont, they formed an all-northern New England brigade in Ambrose E. Burnside's 9th Army Corps.

The 6th New Hampshire came together first, training in Keene in late 1861. The regiment’s colonel, Simon G. Griffin, had been a captain in the 2nd New Hampshire. He led the 6th at the second battle of Bull Run, where the regiment lost 66 men killed. As a brigadier general during Grant’s Overland Campaign in 1864, he commanded the brigade in which all three regiments served.

In Our War I tell the story of the drowning of several soldiers of the 6th and the wives of three officers after a ship collision on the Potomac River in early August of 1862.

The 9th and 11th New Hampshire both mustered the same month as the drowning. Within weeks of reaching the front, the 9th fought at South Mountain and Antietam – another story I tell in Our War. Forty members of the 11th died at Fredericksburg, that regiment’s first battle.

Worse was to come. From the Wilderness in 1864 until the end of the war, 280 members of the three regiments were killed in battle, hundreds more wounded.

The men pictured here, all members of their century's "Greatest Generation," were survivors of fighting regiments.

William Pitt Moses, an Exeter native who enlisted from Somersworth at age 35,
served nearly three years as the quartermaster of the 9th New Hampshire.

Noah Smith of Somersworth served with
the 11th New Hampshire for its entire term.
He died in 1884 at age 44.  
Charles M. Jones, the 11th's hospital steward and
later assistant surgeon, was from Somersworth.

Albert N. Perkins served with the 6th New
Hampshire during the 1864-65 campaigns.
Lysander R. Mayo of Somersworth
fought with the 9th New Hampshire
throughout its service. He was wounded
at Poplar Springs Church, Va.,
on May 30, 1864.

George Hubbard, an 18-year-old private from Somersworth, was wounded at
Antietam weeks after joining the 9th New Hampshire. He was discharged in 1863.
Howard Hanson of Somersworth
was the 9th's commissary sergeant.
John A. Hayes, the 11th's assistant surgeon and
later surgeon, lived in Concord before going to
war. By war's end, for meritorious service, he had
won promotion to brevet lieutenant colonels.

Joseph Fountain, a native Englishman, joined the
6th New Hampshire as a private at the age of
44. He served two years before leaving the
regiment with a disability. 

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