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John M. Fisher
In 1861 the south seceded from the United States, formed the Confederacy, and started the Civil War. This war lasted until 1865, and brought about many battles and soldiers. Among these soldiers was John Murray Fisher of Franklin, Massachusetts. John enlisted into the Union army under the 38th regiment in company C. John was born on February 12, 1843. His father was Weston Fisher, his mother Marget. His father was a farmer born in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Marget was born in Waldoboro, Maine. John Fisher was never married. The 38th regiment for Massachusetts started August 24, 1862. A few days later they moved to Baltimore, Maryland and joined the defenses of Maryland. They left Baltimore September 8, 1862. They headed to Powhattan Dam after, and stayed there until October 12. After that they rode the Baltic steamboat for Ship Island, Mississippi on November 10th and arrived there December 14. They then moved to New Orleans and stayed there until February 11, 1863. March 6th they moved to Baton Rouge. On April 12 and 13th they fought at Fort Bisland in West Louisiana. This battle included around 684 casualties and a Union victory. Then May 22-25 brought about a battle at Port Hudson in east Baton Rouge. This battle included a long siege and an eventual Union victory that opened up the Mississippi River for traveling. There were also about 12,208 total casualties. After much traveling, April 23, 1864 brought about a fight at Monett’s Ferry. This fight was a Union victory with 600 casualties, but the Confederates had a chance to capture one army of the Union, and missed it. September 19 was the Battle of Opequan in Winchester. The battle of Opequan was considered a very important battle, which included the deaths of many generals for the Confederate and Union army. The Union won with a total of 8,630 casualties during the fight. Shortly after, on October 19 was the Battle of Cedar Creek. This was a key win for the Union in Shenandoah Valley, with the Confederates surprising them but counter-attacking to a victory. After that this regiment fought no more major battles and disbanded July 13, 1865. This regiment followed Generals Philip Sheridan and Nathaniel P. Banks. As for John Fisher, the war did not end well for him. He did not complete the war with his regiment, as he was M.I.A., he died in battle. He died at the Battle of Opequan in Winchester, West Virginia. Unfortunately, he departed this life at the young age of 21. He was buried on the battlefield. Since he passed away at such a young age and was in war for a long part of his life, John Fisher never married and probably had no job other than helping his father on the farm. John Murray Fisher valiantly died in battle, which is considered the best death in some cultures, but did not die in vain. He and his regiment were involved in many important battles and helped lead the Union to victory. Without efforts and sacrifices such as Fisher’s, the United States might still be two separate countries today or still have slavery.
George Patrick Cody served in the Massachusetts 38th Infantry from app. 1862 until the end of the war. He was discharged as a Corporal. George remained in Franklin/Wrentham until about 1874 when he moved to Dedham. He died in Dedham in 1916. George was born in Whitechurch, County Cork Ireland, came to the US in 1850 and had 13 children from two marriages. George had contracted malaria while serving in Louisiana at the seige of Port Hudson. He was a teamster in the Union Army. He injured himself with a mis-fired musket celebrating the 4th of July in 1870. George suffered greatly from his injuries and recurring bouts of the malaria- he was able to work, however, as a night watchman. ~Information submitted by Lorie (Cody) Wies
When the men of Massachusetts left eagerly for war, they did not realize that they had the possibility of not returning to their families and their life back in their hometown. Caleb W. Ballou was born in Wrentham Massachusetts, he was the son of Sally and Caleb W. He was a family man with four brothers and a veteran father, Ballou would spend his days in Franklin Massachusetts, as a farmer working alongside his family, they lived in a simple two-bedroom house on Pond Street in that small town. He married on August 5, 1856, at the age of 27 to Bridget McGee from Ireland; he would bare no children
The year was 1861 and the nation’s new conflict arose between the United States of America (the Union) and the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy). By 1861, just before the outbreak of the Civil War in the United States, serious economic differences among them was over states’ rights and slavery this divided the people of the young nation. These differences also divided the country geographically. Nineteen states prohibited slaves as fifteen southern states permitted ownership of slaves; this is what formed the Union vs. Confederates.
The civil war was known as the war between states, and Ballou was fighting for the Union under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant and Sherman. He fought with company H, regiment 40 in Massachusetts, which was titled as the mounted infantry where most “ common” uneducated but working class would serve under. The infantry was the combat arm of the army that was made up of units trained to fight on foot. They were to close in on their kill or capture their enemy, by use of many men on foot with light but deadly weapons. Ulysses S. Grant was a man who used strategies and unexpected tactics to be victorious. Grant’s main objective was to cut off the Confederacy’s supply base, which would force them not to move into Richmond, Virginia. William Sherman, was the type of leader who used planned attacks, with depicting the enemies’ tracks by use of maps, and directional tools, this in fact led him to many successful strikes, that later made him become a commander of the armies in the West. Caleb W. Ballou fought in the battles between the 15-18th of June; the men in the 40th regiment encountered long days and several engagements along rebel camps. During the regiment’s service in the Civil War they lost 5 officers, 67 enlisted men were killed or wounded as 125 were struck by disease.
Caleb’s family had traveled along to battle with him, having four brothers in the
service and a father Caleb W. Ballou Sir, being a veteran in favor of the Union. His
brother Perry A., a private in the service fought along with him in the 40th mounted
Infantry regiment but was soon captured in Drurys Bluff, Virginia on May 16 1864
while proceeding to upper Virginia. He was sent to Andersonville Prison and
survived. His other brother Owin, Adin, and William also fought, and contributed in
the Civil War.
The mounted infantry was organized in Lynnfield in August of 1862, then moved to Washington, DC on September 8, and joined forces with the 2nd Brigade to the Abercombie’s division. The men supporting the Union dominated their first major
victory “Siege of Suffolk”. The regiment’s main service was towards the duty in the
defense of Washington DC, the nation’s capital. “ It seems that they ordered us to march to far into the states and we came upon thousands of our enemies and a terrible battle ensued… Yesterday was one of the most anxious days of my whole life,” is stated in the letters sent home from the men of the 40th Massachusetts Infantry. The 40th infantry fought in such battles as Morris Island (August 7-14), against Fort Wagner and Gregg, Swift Creek on Arrowfield Church (May 9-10), the battle of Drewry’s Bluff (May 14-16), Cold Harbor (June 1-12), where they had planned siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond. Cold Harbor was one of the major, and bloodiest battles the regiment fought in during the Civil War, the battle was fought in Virginia. It happened when the Union army of the Potomac, which numbered about 110,000 men under General Ulysses S. Grant, attacked the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, about 60,000 men under General Robert E. Lee.
Towards the end of Caleb’s service he was wounded in battle, that caused him to live with a permanent disability. Caleb W. Ballou’s is now buried in the Davis Thayer Cemetery in his childhood hometown of Franklin.
Company B (cont)
John D Wales
One of many unsung heroes in the
American Civil War was
Wales had a large family and some of them also contributed to the war fighting
John D. Wales served a long and
honorable military career for the Union Army throughout the civil war. During
the Civil War John fought in the western theater down south. He was first
organized at Reedville on July 22, 1862; he was called in as a private and
asked to serve a one year term. John Wales was deployed down south to Bayou
twelve miles northeast of
Before and during the war John D. Wales was a very productive individual. Before the Civil War John helped support a family and then went off to fight for what he believed was right, which was a united country. John Wales, a married man with a steady job volunteers for the army and fights in the western theater, this is the kind of man that should be honored and praised. John Wales risked everything for the good of his country and did so with a lot of pride.
Company B (cont)
Lewis E. Wales, a man who, after death, was buried in this
very town. Born in 1844 to Otis and Jerusha Wales,
Lewis lived his childhood in the town of
56th MassachusettsJames E. Snow
On the twenty-sixth of December,
James E. Snow was born on an unknown date in the year 1834, in
The fifty-sixth regiment’s campaign started on March 21, 1864, in which they
northern border in the Anaconda plan, which eventually trapped and crushed the Confederates and their citizens from all geographical aspects of where they were located.
The soldiers lived and fought throughout the course of the Civil War serving their countries as their duty, yet they should be considered hero’s due to what they experienced. Not only did they witness the power of death, nut the suffering of living during the time of war. Civil War soldiers did not have good transportation, even if they had any transportation at all, and they marched for several hours at a time on foot, in which some men were not equipped with shoes. When a soldier finally was able to rest they were not fed sufficient amounts of food and a lot of times the supplies that were needed to keep the soldiers healthy were scarce. Also, if the bullets or bayonets in battle did not kill them, diseases from unsanitary sewage water did. Conditions were made even worse by bad weather or the ultimate fear of becoming a prisoner, which is how many soldiers depart from earth. The fifty-sixth regiment lost six officers, with 120 men killed or mortally wounded, and another 100 men dying from these conditions and diseases, for a total of 226 men lost at war. James E. Snow was not one of these men who died, and he was also not one of the men that a recorded in history books presently, yet it is justified to say that what he did for his country by protecting and preserving the Union while risking his life is clearly enough for him to be recognized and viewed as a true American hero.
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This Web site has been developed for the benefit of residents, schools, businesses, and anyone who is interested in the town. It is a work-in-progress. We welcome your questions, comments, and feedback on how we can make it more useful and enjoyable to use. Please contact the Webmaster.
"An investment in
knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin