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Showing posts with label Colby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colby. Show all posts

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Camp Berry & Civil War

Concord Civil War Camps (1861 - 1862), Concord Heights
Civil War training camps were Camp Belknap (1862), Camp Colby (1862), and Camp Berry (1861). Located at the "Concord Plains" on the east side of the Merrimack River.  See Chapter 7 Disgrace at Gettysburg: The Arrest and Court-Martial of Brigadier General Thomas A. Rowley, USA Camp Berry was a "depot for drafted men" Below are articles and other archival material.


The Portland Rolling Mills was built near Calvary Cemetery on the site of Camp Berry of Civil War fame in 1865-1866. It became a company town, with forty-seven homes and sixty-five families by 1870. The village, compromising eighty-five acres, would eventually include a school, auditorium, ball field, stores, and rows of dark barn-red houses. Some of the old military barracks were modified into dwellings, while other homes were built on and off from what became Central Avenue. The Mills was managed by Portland entrepreneur John Bundy Brown until 1878 and manufactured railroad, bar, hoop, and other iron products. In 1872 the company turned out 14,000 tons of rails and employed 200 men. The works was connected by a railroad bridge to Portland.

From Local towns played important role in Civil War
By Michael Kelley mkelley@keepmecurrent.com

Hiram Gregory Berry (August 27, 1824 – May 2, 1863)

Although much of the action took place hundreds of miles away, south of the Mason-Dixon line, southern Maine played a large role in the Civil War, which began 150 years ago this week with the firing on Fort Sumter.

Kathy DiPhilippo, a historian for the South Portland Historical Society, said one of the state's three camps to train soldiers was located along the Fore River in present-day South Portland. She said that camp, which was officially set up by the state in 1862 and named Camp Lincoln, before being renamed Camp Berry in honor of Hiriam Berry, a Maine native killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville, served as the training grounds for soldiers from York, Cumberland, Oxford and Androscoggin counties.

"Our role in the Civil War was significant because people came from all over southern Maine and western Maine to muster in and train here in South Portland," said DiPhilippo.

According to Paul Ledman, a Cape Elizabeth resident, history teacher at Scarborough High School and author of "A Maine Town Responds: Cape Elizabeth and South Portland in the Civil War," 410 men from Cape Elizabeth were credited as serving in the Civil War.

Ledman spoke Monday about the impact of the Civil War on Cape Elizabeth at a Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society event at the Thomas Memorial Library. Ledman's discussion this week was just the first of many events that will be held during the next few years as museums and organizations and historians throughout the state turn their focus to the Civil War.

DiPhilippo said last week that two of Maine's most famous infantries, the 17th Maine and the 20th Maine, both trained at Camp Lincoln in the summer of 1862.

The 20th Maine, the famed infantry lead by Brunswick native Joshua Chamberlain, came to the camp to train in August 1862, DiPhilippo said, before heading off for three years of battle, including the defense of Little Round Top in the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.


Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914)

Soldiers in Cape Elizabeth, which at the time also included the city of South Portland, played a significant role fighting for the Union side. Company E of the 17th Maine Infantry was almost entirely made up of Cape Elizabeth men. The 17th Maine was in service from August 1862 to June 1865 and saw action in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, including the battles of Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Locust Grove, as well as the Siege of Cold Harbor.

Of the 33 Cape Elizabeth men in Company E, commanded by Cape Elizabeth residents Captain Ellis Sawyer and First Lt. George Fickett, only five left the infantry in June 1865 unscathed.

In fact, of the 1,371 soldiers who were enrolled in the 17th Maine, 207 were killed, 552 were wounded and 163 died of disease. It is the highest loss of any Maine infantry.

"They were welcomed as conquering heroes and marched down Congress Street with the citizens wildly cheering them. Probably never had a returning regiment been so enthusiastically received in Portland," said William Jordan in his book, "A History of Cape Elizabeth."

While Maine sent many of its men to fight down south, Fort Preble, now the site of Southern Maine Community College, played a role in the only Civil War battle that was fought in Maine, the Battle of Portland Harbor.

On June 26, a group of Confederate raiders, led by Lt. Charles W. Read, entered Portland Harbor in a fishing vessel they had captured and attempted to destroy ships and shipping facilities in the harbor. The Confederates captured the Caleb Cushing, a cutter ship that belonged to the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, a precursor to the United States Coast Guard.


Lt Charles W. Read
"To have the Confederates come right up to Portland Harbor, it was quite a bold move," DiPhilippo said. "You really didn't see activity like that here during the war."

That bold move was foiled, however, after it was witnessed from atop the Portland Observatory. News of the attack spread quickly, and the Confederates were not able to leave the harbor before Union forces intervened. The raiders were captured, but not before abandoning the ship and setting it on fire. They were held at Fort Preble for a few days, but because of the outrage of having Confederate forces in Cape Elizabeth, they were moved to Fort Warren in Boston.

During Read's raid, which lasted from June 6 to June 27, 1863, he traveled along the eastern seaboard commandeering ships and destroying them. In total, Read captured or destroyed 22 U.S. vessels.

These tactics by the Confederates disrupted the shipping economy in Cape Elizabeth, said Ledman. "It sent up insurance rates and it had a chilling effect on commerce," he said.

Ledman said while 410 men from Cape Elizabeth were credited as serving in the Civil War, only 140 of them were listed on the town's 1860 census. This, he said, can possibly be explained by the fact many wealthy men both locally and across the nation could pay either young men or immigrants to serve in their place. Because of this policy, he said, it is difficult to determine how many residents of Cape Elizabeth actually fought in the war.

Regardless of the number, Jordan noted in his book that the Civil War was something that was closely followed in town.

"As the war progressed, Cape Elizabeth continued to do its part," said William Jordan in his book. "There was hardly a public or private meeting held that did not involved some direct reference to the rebellion."

According to a section about the Civil War in Scarborough in the town's 350th anniversary book, Earlene Ahlquist Chadborne said Maine residents, including many in Scarborough, were quick to embrace the Union's fight against slavery.

"When the southern forces captured Fort Sumter signaling the war's start, the hills and valley's of Maine resounded with martial fervor," Chadborne wrote. "Several Maine communities raised volunteer regiments within 24 hours of President Lincoln's call to arms. Like Mainers everywhere, Scarborough residents supported the Union cause."

Chadborne said while many residents in Scarborough went to fight, many more were at home doing what they could to support the effort.

"The entire community rallied behind the troops. Residents in each section of town met at local schools to roll bandages, knit socks and gather provisions to send to the front."

That is not to say that everyone in the area was sympathetic to the Union's cause. The local opposition to the war, Ledman noted, could be seen in several of the 140 letters written to and from Scott Dyer, a Cape Elizabeth resident who fought in the war. The letters are in the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society's collection.

Below The 20th Maine Infantry, which was led by famed general and Maine native Joshua Chamberlain, reconnected for a reunion at Little Round Top in Gettysburg, Pa., in 1889. The regiment trained in Cape Elizabeth.




"Cape Elizabeth had a lot of opposition to the war," Ledman said. "This was a very conservative community in many ways."



Camp Berry Date: Thursday, January 26, 1865 Paper: Daily Eastern Argus (Portland, ME)



Camp Berry and Its Men Date: Wednesday, February 3, 1864
Paper: Daily Eastern Argus (Portland, ME)





Brevet Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Camp Berry Date: Saturday, December 5, 1863 Paper: Daily Eastern Argus (Portland, ME)



A Window on the Past Lost neighborhood: South Portland’s Ligonia By Craig Skelton
South Portland Historical Society
By all appearances, progress washed away all traces of Ligonia long ago. Except, I did find one small remnant tucked away in a distant corner of Calvary Cemetery. Difficult to make out in the accompanying photograph, the marquee is now hanging upside down, yet I’m sure I once saw a picture of this gate with the village name clearly displayed.

In the mid-1800s, the entire area from today’s Cash Corner to the waterfront was referred to as Ligonia. The area along the waterfront was the site of a Civil War training camp under the name Camp Abraham Lincoln and later was renamed Camp Berry. Following the Civil War, a company called Portland Rolling Mills built a facility along the waterfront and worker housing; a school and a church soon sprung up. Since roughly the 1880s, the intersection of Main Street and Broadway took on the name Cash Corner and the Ligonia village name became affiliated just with the area closer to the waterfront.

A historical researcher named Hazel Spencer Mack shared some of her fond memories of Ligonia, which were published in the “History of South Portland,” printed in 1992. She recalled there was only one grocery store, called Fuller’s, which was well-kept and clean. Customers did not frequent the store, however, because a driver would stop by in the morning for their grocery order and return to deliver the order in the afternoon. The children of Ligonia did frequent the store for its penny candy.

One item you would find very little of on the shelves was bread, as Hazel recalled that it was a disgrace for a housewife of that time to not bake her own for the family. In the early part of the 20th century when automobiles became more common, Fuller’s Grocery Store closed when people became more mobile and were attracted to bright new grocery stores in Portland.

An area of South Portland known as Ligonia has all but disappeared. A marker in Calvary Cemetery can still be found.
There were few conveniences before indoor plumbing and area residents would walk to a water spigot with their buckets each day to fill them. In the wintertime, the spigot frequently froze and residents would have to wait for hours while the water company tried to get the flow going again. 

Trenches left behind by the men in training when the area was occupied by Camp Berry served as an area for the kids to play “soldier” and it is also said those trenches were used by a manufacturer of sugar in the processing of beet sugar.
Many changes have occurred in this area and the proximity to the harbor fueled a transition from neighborhood homes of commercial and industrial uses. If you drive today on the spur from Main Street to Route 295 or Veteran’s Bridge, large brightly painted oil tanks and cemetery expansion occupy most of what was once Ligonia.
Although there may be fewer and fewer folks around that share memories of the village once located there, I find it interesting when listening to scanner frequencies that the police dispatchers still refer to this area around Main and Lincoln Street as Ligonia.
Note to readers: we are searching for a photograph of Bix Furniture Stripping, formerly located at 158 Pickett St. If you have a photo to share, please contact the society at 767- 7299.
Craig Skelton is a guest columnist and member of South Portland Historical Society.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thomas Foulds Ellsworth Ipswich MA Hero & Medal of Honor

Melissa Berry and Laurie Short Jarvis sharing Archives & Memorabilia Captain Thomas Ellsworth was one of four soldiers who earned the Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle at Honey Hill, South Carolina, on November 30, 1864. Under a heavy fire he carried his wounded commanding officer from the field, thereby saving his life and preventing him from being captured.



Thomas Fouls Ellsworth was born in Ipswich, MA November 12, 1840. He was the son of Benjamin Noyes Ellsworth (1812-1902) and Laura Ann Titus (1810-) daughter of John Smith Titus (1780-1868) and Sally Boyton (1784-1871). Laura was formerly married to Timothy Jewett Ellsworth of Salem, MA. (see records below) More family photos end of post Benjamin N Ellsworth son of William Ellsworth and Esther Noyes. Pictures of Benjamin Noyes Ellsworth and Laura Ann Titus below from Short family and Ipswich History



This is an early photo of Benjamin Ellsworth standing in front of the Ipswich lighthouse. Benjamin Ellsworth was keeper at the Ipswich Range Lights from 1861 until 1902. He was appointed by Abe Lincoln. The lighthouse was taken down and moved in 1939.


Thomas married Harriet Taylor Colby March 6 1861. Harriet born November 1 1841, was the daughter of George Curwin Ward Colby (Isaac4, Isaac3, Isaac2, Anthony1) and Harriet Kitchen
George married first Dorothy B. Philbrook, daughter of Simeon Philbrook on March 27, 1825. The family lived on the present Arthur Taylor place and then removed to Newburyport, MA.  George was a truckman and had extensive business for several years. The house was located on 62 Middle Street. Dorothy died Sept. 12, 1831, and he married Harriet Kitchen/Kitching April 27, 1832.

Harriet Taylor Colby Ellsworth
                                                       
Thomas and Harriet Children:
Elmer Foulds Ellsworth Born October 10th 1862 Massachusetts, Died November 28th 1915 in Pasadena, California.
Herbert Lee.  Born in Newburyport , Mass. October 19th  1866, Died Pasadena March 31st 1963 m  Mary Elizabeth Geyer
Alfred Hartwell. Born February 2nd 1868 Ipswich, Mass.  Died December 27th 1932 in Pasadena, Calif. 
Edward Kinsley., b May 20, 1871
Susie Taylor, b. June 15, 1874. Death April 1881 in (Scarlet Fever)
Info from "History of Sanbornton, New Hampshire, Volume 2" By Moses Thurston Runnels

Saturday, October 3, 1874 Boston Daily Advertiser


 

Back of photo recorded by Laurie Short Jarvis  GGG Uncle Captain Thomas Foulds Ellsworth, son of Benjamin Noyes Ellsworth (Ipswich lighthouse keeper during the 2nd half of the 1800's) Received the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the life of his wounded commanding office who was trapped under his horse at the Battle of Honey Hill. He was in the 55th Black Infantry out of Mass, referred to as the 'overflow unit' for the infamous 54th of "Glory' fame. The men from the 55th were moved into the 54th after the 54th received heavy casualties. The 54th and 55th fought side by side at Honey Hill. Was wounded at Gettysbury 2/3/1863



Thomas was wounded in the ankle at Gettysburg July 3, 1863, but not considered disabled so he reenlisted. He was discharged January 19, 1864 on receiving commission of of second lieutenant in the 55th Massachusetts October 4, 1863. He became first lieutenant June 20, 1864 for his bravery and promoted to Captain December 1, 1864. He was awarded one of our country’s top honors for saving the life of his commanding officer in the battle of Honey Hill in 1864. Under heavy fire, and at great risk to his own life, he carried his wounded commanding officer from the field of battle. Ellsworth had joined the Union Army’s Second Massachusetts Volunteers as a private while still in his early twenties and went on to see action in numerous battles including Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.  He was promoted to an officer due to his reputation for bravery under fire. Ellsworth faced a major challenge when he was selected to serve as an officer of a company in one of the first regiments made up of “colored soldiers” in the Union Army, the Massachusetts 55. This regiment struggled to get the respect and support that they deserved, but went on to gain distinction for their valiant actions in battle in South Carolina. After the war, Ellsworth worked for many years as an officer of the Boston Custom House. In the 1890s, he moved to burgeoning city of Pasadena where he and his son ran a successful contracting business. He also organized Post 100 of the Grand Army of the Republic Friday July 16, 1869 in Ipswich.


Medal of Honor Valor Awards Earned The Medal of Honor During the Civil War For heroism November 30, 1864 at Honey Hill, SC







From Record of the service of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in North Carolina, August 1862 to May 1863







HISTORY OF 55th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY  by Katherine Dhalle
Copyright 1995. LWF Publications. Posted from Lest We Forget, Volume 3 - Number 2, April, 1995.
So much has been written recently about Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The movie “Glory” brought their story to the silver-screen and enhanced our historical and cultural awareness of the role black soldiers played in the Civil War. Yet few people know that there was a sister regiment to the 54th - - the 55th Massachusetts. Even fewer know that the 55th trained at the same camp as the 54th and like her sister regiment, went without pay for nearly 18 months. Ironically, on July 18, 1863, just hours before the 54th Massachusetts launched its historic, ill-fated charge on Fort Wagner in far-away South Carolina, the 55th was presented its regimental colors by Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew. Both regiments would experience the same bigotry at the hands of the government and their fellow soldiers, and both regiments would eventually be brigaded together and would fight and die, side by side at Honey Hill, South Carolina on November 30, 1864.



In January of 1863, after the incorporation of the Emancipation Proclamation, Governor Andrew asked for and received permission from the War Department to recruit a Negro regiment for the Union Army. Recruiting efforts began in earnest when George Stearns, a friend of the Governor’s formed a string of recruiting stations across the northern states. To complete his endeavor, he enlisted the help of John Mercer Langston. Langston was so successful in his assignment that when more men that necessary showed up for enlistment, the 55th Massachusetts was formed. Everywhere Langston went, he found “colored men enthusiastic for the Union, and ready and anxious to prove their loyalty by their deeds.” From Ohio alone, a total of 222 men enlisted in the 55th - - “a number almost twice as large as Pennsylvania and far greater than any other northern state.”

Recruits for the 55th began arriving at Camp Meigs in Readville and they immediately moved into the barracks recently vacated by the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry. Norwood Penrose Hallowell and Alfred Stedman Hartwell were designated Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel respectively, both having been promoted from the already-formed 54th. Charles B. Fox of the 2nd Massachusetts was promoted to Major.

On May 28th, Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts left Boston and marched into history. That same day, “the recruits of the 55th were transferred to the barracks thus vacated, and the routine of drill and discipline began” and continued until July 21st when orders were received for the 55th Massachusetts to embark for Newbern, North Carolina.

The regiment had originally been ordered to proceed to New York, but the recent Draft Riots in that city curtailed any such plans. “Owing to the excited state of the public mind, and a heavy shower, which commenced before the column reached the wharf, the comtemplated review by the Governor on the Common was omitted. The regiment marched through Boston with loaded muskets and fixed bayonets and five rounds of ball cartridges per man.”

Shortly after their arrival in North Carolina, news came of the severe repulse of General Gilmore’s forces at Fort Wagner and the 55th was ordered to report to Folly Island, next to Morris Island. For over six months the regiment was at work in the trenches on Morris Island, and on picket duty and fatigue duty. It was this duty that in September of 1863, led to the Confederate evacuation of Forts Wagner and Gregg as well as the construction of the “Swamp Angel” battery. On this battery was erected a 200 pounder Parrott gun which was used to shell the City of Charleston.

On September 24th, Colonel Hallowell left for the North on a 30 day furlough to receive treatment for an old wound in his arm that he had received at the Battle of Antietam. He would not return to the regiment and was obliged to resign his commission. Alfred Hartwell and Charles Fox were soon mustered in as Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel with Sigourney Wales as Major.

Ab out this time, rumors regarding the pay of the regiment’s enlisted men began circulating the camp. When first organized, the 54th and 55th had been assured by both the War Department and Governor Andrew that they would “receive the same pay, rations, and clothing,” as white troops.5 However, the men were offered the sum of only $10.00 per month, less $3.00 for clothing allowance. “The enlisted men refused almost unanimously to receive this offer, preferring to await a decision of the War Department, or the action of Congress, to give them their just dues."

Governor Andrew pressed the issue of a supplemental pay act and this law passed the Massachusetts Legislature on November 16th. On December 11, 1863, Major Sturges, paymaster for the state and Mr. Edward W. Kinsley, a Boston merchant arrived at the camp on Folly Island to offer the men the difference between the $10.00 a month, and the promised $13.00...but the men respectfully declined it. “They felt that their manhood was at stake. They were regarded as good enough to be killed and wounded, and to work in the trenches side by side with white soldiers, so they said they would wait until they got their dues."

In February of 1864, the regiment was ordered to Jacksonville, Florida to join an expedition under General Truman Seymour. On February 19th, six companies of the 55th were marched out approximately 13 miles in the support of Seymour’s forces (the 54th among them), who on the 29th, would fight and lose the Battle of Olustee. At no time was the 55th engaged and on the 22nd, the entire regiment would return to Jacksonville and later be moved to Palatka, Florida.

From that camp on April 7th, Colonel Hartwell wrote to his old friend Edward Kinsley: “I can hardly write, talk, eat or sleep, I am so anxious and indignant that pay is not forthcoming, or official assurance of pay, for my men. Can anything be done to hasten this thing? No man staying home can imagine how great and terrible is the wrong done these men, and the distress they suffer. I do all I can to make things right, and there is a great deal to almost discourage us. The wives of the men, they say, often reduced to degradation that drives the husbands almost crazy. Leave nothing undone; my dear sir, to get us the greenbacks very soon.” Upon the regiment’s return to Folly Island, Colonel Hartwell attempted to gain approval to go North in an attempt to pursue the pay issue. He left for Hilton Head on April 25th but would return to camp on the 28th having failed in his endeavor.

Because of the refusal of the Government to settle the pay issue, morale within the unit was faltering. Several mutinous disturbances among the enlisted men occurred that discouraged Hartwell even further. To counter-act these problems, he proposed the commissioning of men of African descent to the grade of 2nd Lieutenant. On May 24th, 1st Sergeant John Freeman Shorter was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant by Governor Andrew but the Department Commander, General John P. Hatch refuse to accept his discharge as Sergeant and muster as Lieutenant because ‘men of African descent could not be commissioned in the United States Volunteers.’

On June 5th Hartwell once again traveled to Hilton Head to gain permission to go to Washington regarding the pay issue. Armed with a letter of introduction from the Post Commander, Hartwell met with with General Foster who chose to send Colonel Edward Needles Hallowell (picture below) of the 54th Massachusetts in his place.


Further frustrated by the receipt of anonymous threatening letters from the enlisted men, Colonel Hartwell took it upon himself to pen the following letter on June 13th to the Secretary of War: “Sir: Application is respectfully made that this Regiment be mustered out of the service of the United States, for the reason that the men have not been paid according to the contract made by the Government.” Shortly after, Hartwell received a reply from Major J. F. Anderson, Aide-DE-Camp of General Foster: “General Foster is in receipt of your favor of the 13th inst., and directs me to inform you that...he considers the letter to the Secretary of War as ill-timed. The General Commanding is afraid that your letters show an inclination to make trouble, or at least appears that your course is not calculated to allay the existing difficulties.”11

On July 2nd, the 55th was brigaded with the 103rd New York and the 33rd U.S.C.T. and ordered to attack Fort Lamar, a large Rebel earthwork fortification on James Island, South Carolina. Although the Fort was not taken during this skirmish, (known as the Battle of River’s Causeway), two brass 12-pound Napoleon guns were captured by the 55th from a Confederate artillery group that had been stationed about a mile in front of Lamar. These guns were returned to Folly Island and permission was received from the Commanding General to have them placed in front of the 55th’s headquarters, where they remained for a long time as trophies.

August 22, 1864 finally brought the pay issue to a close. Word was officially received that all colored troops were to receive equal pay “from January 1, 1864, and providing for payment on the same basis, from date of enlistment, of all enlisted previous to that date who were free ‘on or before April 21, 1861,’ to which latter fact each man was required to make oath.” The task of administering the oath fell to Lt. Colonel Fox. He wrote of his experience: “Never may I have such another three hours experience. I felt that I must not fail and I knew that no two companies could be treated alike...I had to use all the little eloquence I was master of to try to turn them from selfish thoughts of themselves...to the thousands of their brethren in the living death of slavery, until the last man raised his hand, saying with tears and bred a freeman to submit to such a humiliation.”13 In the end, only a few men refused to take the oath, more out of stubbornness that principle and only two or three acknowledged having been slaves.

For the regiment, October 7th turned out to be a banner day, the day they were all finally paid off. The process took three days to complete and when it was finally completed the men had sent home to their families the amount of over $60,000. As well, “it is not known that in a single case any man present with the regiment failed to repay his debts.”

On October 18th Colonel Hartwell left for the North on a 30 day furlough. During his absence, the regiment continued at Folly Island until November 23rd, when instructions were received from General Hatch to be ready to move at a moment’s notice. The expected expedition was to be the destruction of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad and then an advance on the village of Grahamville which would leave Savannah and Charleston vulnerable. When the regiment arrived at Hilton Head on November 28th, Colonel Hartwell was there to meet them. He had been appointed to command a brigade consisting of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts as well as the 102nd and 26th U.S.C.T.



The Battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina, took place on November 30, 1864. In Hartwell’s words: “We landed at Boyd’s Neck, and at daylight next morning started for the railroad. After Marching a few miles and encountering slight opposition from the enemy, we came upon them, heavily entrenched behind an earthwork, and a battery of field pieces.” Hartwell continues: “The leading brigade had been driven back, when I was ordered in with a portion of my brigade; and I was also knocked out. I was hit first in the hand just before making a charge, then my horse was killed under me, and I was hit afterwards several times while they were taking me to the rear. One of my aides, Captain Crane, was killed, and another, Lieutenant Hill was blown from his horse by a concussion of a shell and taken to the rear.” During the furious fight, the Color-bearer was shot and killed and it was Private Andrew Jackson Smith (later promoted to Color- Sergeant), who would retrieve and save both the State and Federal flags.

 Corporal Andrew Jackson Smith of the 55th


De spite the fact that the expedition and its goal was unattained, Savannah would be taken by Sherman in December. The coastal railroad would survive less than two months, Grahamville would burn, and Charleston would fall. To the men of the 55th, “this engagement gave the opportunity which the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts had at Fort Wagner, of proving that a black regiment, well disciplined and well officered, could behave as gallantly under fire as the best troops in the service.”

While Colonel Hartwell was recuperating from his wounds, the 55th stayed encamped at Boyd’s Landing until January 11, 1865, when the men were ordered to board steamers and head for Fort Thunderbolt near Savannah. During his convalescence, Hartwell had been Breveted a Brigadier General for his bravery at Honey Hill. Now, on the 30th of January, the regiment was pleasantly surprised at his arrival at the camp.

February 10th would find Hartwell and the 55th involved in yet another attack on James Island. Known as the Battle of Grimball’s Causeway or the Last Fight for Charleston, each side would retreat after the brief skirmish with no sufficient gains made.

On February 18th, news was received that Confederate General Hardee had evacuated Charleston. The 55th was ordered to bring up the rear of the advancing Union troops on their way to occupy this seat of secession. Along the way, the regiment was ordered to forage for cattle and to supervise the large numbers of contrabands who joined in the march. “After a few days upon Sullivan’s Island, we were transferred to Charleston. We landed just before sunset and I [Hartwell] had the pleasure of marching through Charleston with a brigade at the head of which was the Negro regiment, the 55th Massachusetts.”

In the latter part of February, and all of March and April, the regiment was involved in Expeditions into the interior of South Carolina to ascertain the number of enemy forces that might still be in the area. During this time, the 55th was ordered to rebuild several bridges over the Santee and Biggin Creeks. Two companies of the regiment participated in the rescue of four members of the 54th New York who had been captured by rebel cavalry at Moncks Corner, South Carolina. As well, the entire regiment would be placed on call as a reserve unit to back up General Potter’s movements within the interior and they would also return to James Island. Since the Confederates had recently evacuated the area, the 55th Massachusetts was responsible to visit, garrison, and dismantle all the rebel guns at the line of batteries on the island.

O n May 1, 1865, Hartwell was placed in command of a brigade consisting of the 25th Ohio, 55th Massachusetts, 102nd U.S.C.T., and a section of Battery B of the 3rd New York Artillery. This brigade was ordered to Orangeburg, South Carolina, and would be a part of the Northern District, Department of the South. Their assignments consisted of provost duties, giving the oath of allegiance to civilians and paroled southern soldiers, and setting up a Commission on Labor to ensure that ex-masters and freedmen entered into equitable contracts for work and remuneration.

 2nd Lieut. William H. Dupree, 1865 Of The Renowned 55th Massachusetts Dupree was one of the three fully commissioned black officers of the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The chaplain of the famous regiment called Dupree and his two fellow black officers, “Three as worthy men as ever carried a gun.” They were promoted from the ranks in 1864 but the army refused to muster them in as officers until the end of the war.

While all of this was going on, the contracts between the black soldiers and the government was still unsettled for those Sergeants who had been commissioned but not mustered as 2nd Lieutenants. But things were to change, for on the 22nd and 28th of June, Sergeants John F. Shorter, William Dupree and James M. Trotter were finally mustered into the regiments as 2nd Lieutenants. However, despite this bit of goodness, Trotter wrote: “There in much feeling in the Regiment among the officers against these promotions of colored men in Regiments with white officers; but all the best officers are in favor of it...Some talk of resigning on account of these promotions. I cannot say that they will do so...I do not know how it will all turn out, but Dupree and I will try to do our duty as officers let prejudice be as great as it may.”

On the same day, Hartwell penned the following to Governor Andrew: “The colored Sergeants are mustered. The result is now uncertain...I propose to await the resignation of officers who have declaimed against this action of the government, and then if I find their influence not for the best and that the policy of having colored officers is not to be adopted by the government, I shall recommend them to resign for their own good and the good of the regiment.”

Fortunately, General Hartwell never had to ask for the resignation of these black officers and the regiment was mustered out of service August 29, 1865. The war that had taken so many lives had also seen fit to form many survivors into the leaders of a new, reunited country. Despite frustrations, disappointments, obstacles, and restrictions, the men of the 55th bore their military office well. Instead of retreating in the face of adversity, whether it be the enemy, their fellow officers, or their own government, they continued in their quest to promote freedom and preserve the Union at all costs. For this they deserve our unending respect and admiration. As well, the brave men of the regiment, both black and white, who fought side by side, and lived through the inequities of a discriminatory government, deserve to be remembered as the heroes they are. Nothing less would be acceptable.

From Pasadena's Progressive Spirit Began With Pioneers 


Clockwise from top left—some of the city's abolitionist forebears: Ruth Brown Thompson, Benjamin F. Ball, Jabez Banbury, Thomas Foulds Ellsworth, Jason Brown, Amos G. Throop. 

Thomas' brother Timothy Ellsworth
                                                  
Thomas' brother William Ellsworth
                                           
Thomas' sister Mary Houghton Ellsworth


  John Smith Titus 1780-1868
Sally Boyton Titus 1784-1871
                              
Benjamin Ellsworth with children in Ipswich