Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Col William Batchelder Greene of Haverhill, MA

Col William B. Greene
William Batchelder Greene (April 4, 1819 – May 30, 1878) was born in Haverhill, Ma son of Peter Nathaniel Greene and Susan (Bachelder) Greene. He married December 22, 1845 in Boston, MA Anna Blake Shaw, daughter of Robert Gould Shaw and Mary Sturgis Shaw.

Mrs Mary Sturgis Shaw 

Robert Gould Shaw 

W B Greene was 2nd lieutenant in the 7th infantry in July, 1839 second Seminole War, resigned in November 1841.  Attended Harvard Divinity School---graduated 1845. Pastor at a Unitarian church in Brookfield, Massachusetts
Serve in the American Civil War and was a strong abolitionist
Colonel of the 14th Massachusetts Infantry and 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery and resigned his commission in October 1862.
Greene was a fine mathematician, and was versed in Hebrew literature and in Hebrew and Egyptian antiquities. below  the publishers preface to Greene's book Mutual Banking


A Short Sketch of the Author of this Essay on Mutual Banking.
WILLIAM B. Greene was a prominent figure among the Massachusetts idealists during the middle of the nineteenth century. He was more than six feet high, slender, somewhat high-shouldered, but with an erectness brought from West point, where he had been a cadet though not a graduate. He had served in the Indian wars in Florida, and his whole bearing was military and defiantly self-assertive.
"Greene became a Unitarian preacher and retired to a small country parish. He was a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, of 1853; later he left the ministry and went to Paris until the Civil War recalled him. Offering his services to Governor Andrew, he was made colonel of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery."
In 1849 he wrote a series of newspaper articles, which were afterwards published as a pamphlet under the name of Mutual Banking. They have been pronounced "the best exposition of finance ever written in the English language during that period". In the following pages this pamphlet appears somewhat reduced from the original. The reader is cautioned that Greene's use of the word "usury" designates not only the excess of interest permitted by law, but all interest whatsoever.
When the last edition of Greene's Mutual Banking was printed in 1895, several plans of currency reform had just been proposed by the three political parties, of. that time in U. S. A. and in the preface the question was asked of the leaders of those parties (which other followers of Proudhon had asked before). "Why is not the credit of a bank's customers as good a basis for currency as that of the bank itself?'' This question has been partly answered by that provision of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 by which Federal Reserve Currency can be issued in exchange for the re-discounted notes of the customers of member banks. “This is a distinct step forward, as it supplies the machinery for expanding mercantile credit, directly, and gives rise to, a hope that in future, a move would be made to decrease the cost of this credit.
The reader is requested to read the scheme and constitution of Proudhon's Bank of Exchange and People's Bank. Unfortunately these banks could not function because Proudhon was sent to gaol in connection with the defamation of President Bonaparte. We intend to publish these in future along with a short biography of Proudhon who is the originator of the Mutualistic idea.

From  A glimpse of William B. Greene in 1854

“For Turkey.—A Paris correspondent of the New York Tribune says, that upon the proposal of a medical student, twenty young American students volunteered in ten minutes to aid the Turks with their unpracticed skill. The same writer states that Americans were leaving every day for the Turkish camp. Among those who had gone, were Col. Macgruder, of Mexican war celebrity; Mr. Quincy Shaw, of Boston, and the Rev. William B. Greene, late Unitarian clergyman at Brookfield.” [Boston Investigator, April 26, 1854]

“We are gratified (says the Transcript,) that the Commonwealth has secured the services of Mr. William B. Greene as Colonel of the Essex (14th) Regiment. Mr. Greene is a native of Essex County, and is forty-two years of age. He left West Point at the end of two years on account of ill health, but after regaining his strength, was selected to drill troops for many months upon Governor’s Island. He then procured active service as a Lieutenant in 7th U. S. Infantry in the Florida war. He distinguished himself in that severe service, having, most of the time, the command of two companies, and at one time a Major’s command. He is not only a thorough-trained, modest, brave, and high-toned officer, but is a man of marked intellectual capacity. He has shown that he has the “born gift” of leading men. He will know how to temper strict discipline with kindness, and stern command with courtesy. Mr. Greene has resided with his family for several years in Paris, but as soon as he heard of the attack upon our troops in Baltimore, he sold his country-place, shut up his house in Paris, and came to offer his services to his native state. We congratulate the 14th Regiment upon its good fortune.” [Boston Daily Advertiser, (Boston, MA) Saturday, June 29, 1861]

 From New York Times June 3 1878 Obituary

William Batchelder Greene, 42; clergyman; Haverhill; July 5, '61; resigned Oct. 11, '62.
Born in Haverhill, April 4, '19, son of (Peter) Nathaniel Greene the founder of the Boston Statesman. He was appointed to West Point in '35 but did not graduate, though he was made a second lieut. in the 7th U. S. Infantry in July, '39, the year in which he was due to graduate. At West Point he was associated with Isaac I. Stevens, another Essex Co. boy who, at the head of his division, was killed at Chantilly, H. W. Halleck, Jas. B. Ricketts, E. O. C. Ord, H. J. Hunt, E. R. S. Canby, and others who achieved fame in the War of the Rebellion. After serving through the Florida War, Lieut. Greene resigned in Nov., '41. He then entered Harvard Divinity School, from which he was graduated in '45. As a Unitarian clergyman he held a single pastorate, that of Brookfield, Mass. Sometime between '41 and '47, Col. Greene was a member of the famous Brook Farm Experiment at West Roxbury. A radical in almost everything, he was a pronounced Abolitionist, though a Democrat in politics; and later a Free Soiler. In 1853 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention. Having gone abroad for study and improvement, he was in Paris at the beginning of the war. He returned at once, offered his services and was assigned to the command of the 14th Regiment.
After his resignation he resided in Boston or vicinity till about a year and a half before his death when he again went abroad. He died May 30, '78, at Weston-Super-Mare, England, and his body was returned to America for burial in Forest Hills, Roxbury.
Extremely scholarly in his tastes, well versed in the classics and Hebrew, a writer of note on mathematical, philosophical and historical subjects, he was above all an idealist. How much the loss of his only daughter, Bessie, in the wreck of the vessel Schiller, off the Scilly Isles, may have contributed to his somewhat unfruitful life cannot be told. His wife, Anna Blake, was a daughter of Robert Gould Shaw, and an aunt of the Col. Robert G. Shaw, who fell at the head of his 54th Mass. Regiment at Fort Wagner. His uncle, Charles G. Greene, was the founder and for many years editor of the Boston Post, with which The Statesman had been merged, and the family stock, through which he came, included Gen. Nathaniel Greene of Revolutionary fame, and Judge Albert G. Greene, who wrote the noted poem, "Old Grimes."
In the Boston Advertiser, June 4, '78, soon after his death, a friend of Col. Greene gave a critical estimate of his character and intellectual life. "Mr. Greene, indeed, was one of the most powerful
in a planing mill. There he joined the Boston Fusiliers, continuing in the company until the war broke out, though he returned to Ipswich in the spring of 1857. From that time to the end of his life he made his home on the Shatswell farm and excepting when away in the civil and military service, followed farming there.
From the time he entered the service as captain of Company A, of this regiment, he was indefatigable in performing his duties and fairly won his promotion. On the fatal nineteenth of May, he was second in command, and when Major Rolfe was killed the command devolved upon Major Shatswell, the senior officer. During that battle he was severely wounded in the head by a minie ball and partly stunned. He was taken to the rear and the wound was dressed. Recovering consciousness he returned to the command of his regiment and remained until the retreat of the Rebels at dark gave him an opportunity for rest. During the fight June 16, his sword was shot away from his side. Two days later he was again struck by a minie ball in the side and thrown to the ground. But he quickly remounted his horse and continued to lead his men. A small book filled with papers and orders had saved his life, the bullet lodging in the cover of the book against his side. He had a narrow escape from capture, June 22, when he was surrounded by the enemy and remained concealed in the thicket from nine in the morning until after dark when he succeeded in rejoining his regiment. At the Battle of Boydton Road, Col. Shatswell performed one of the most difficult tactical movements successfully, changing front in line of battle while under fire. At Cold Harbor his favorite horse was killed by a Rebel shell, but fortunately the colonel was not in the saddle.
In January, 1865, he was obliged to take a leave of absence on account of illness, returning to his command March 5, 1865. Though he received his commissions as lieutenant colonel and colonel, he was not mustered into service, and remained with the rank of major, in command of the regiment until mustered out. Every man in his command regretted what they felt was lack of appreciation of his gallant service. This feeling finds expression in various contributions to this book. He had the honor of leading the regiment in the Grand Review in Washington.
Col. Shatswell was over six feet in height, of soldierly bearing, having a powerful voice and a strong personality. He was a natural leader, a discreet, brave and kindly officer. He was considerate of his men, tempering discipline with humanity and common sense, taking his share in privations and dangers. He appeared as calm under fire as on dress parade. Mention is made elsewhere of his devotion to his comrades after the war, his love for the regiment and his activity in the Regimental Association.
Returning to his farm after he was mustered out with the regiment, he tilled the soil, was in the teaming business and dealer in hay, etc. In April, 1869, he was appointed assistant superintendentof the county insane asylum and held that office until it was abolished, many years later. Afterward he was assistant master of the Essex County House of Correction. In town affairs he became a leader. He was chief of engineers, constable, chief-of-police, for many years a selectman and during his last term was chairman of the board. At that time the selectmen were also the overseers of the poor and assessors. During his later years he was curator of the Agricultural Building at Washington, D. C., until a few years before he died.
He was a member of General James Appleton Post, G. A. R.; of John T. Heard Lodge, Free Masons, of which he was Worshipful Master for five years; of Washington Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and Winslow Lewis Commandery, Knights Templar, of Salem.
As a town and country officer in civil life he displayed the same sterling qualities that distinguished him in the military service. An able executive, upright and honorable, efficient, courageous and conscientious in the discharge of every duty, Col. Shatswell was an exemplary public officer. In private life he was quiet and unassuming, social by nature, making many friends, generous in helping others. No wonder he was beloved and honored by his comrades in arms. He married June 15, 1861, Mary White Stone and had two daughters, Fannie W. and Annie L. He married, second, Sept. 3, 1899, Mrs. Susan Hobbs.

The roster of Union soldiers, 1861-1865, Volume 2
Massachusetts in the rebellion Gale Cengage Learning
First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Three Years
History of the First Regiment of Heavy Artillery, Massachusetts Volunteers, Formerly the Fourteenth Regiment of Infantry, 1861-1865 To Read Full Text  
Vital Records Of Haverhill, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849

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