By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | January 22, 2019
Milton men serving in the Sixth NH Regiment returned home in July 1865. Here, a Connecticut newspaper includes them in a list of units passing through New York City.
Returning Soldiers. New York, July 21. The 61st Massachusetts regiment, 420 men, Col. Stone, arrived here this noon, and left at 5 o’clock for Readville. The 6th New Hampshire, Col. Bixby, 408 men, arrived here last night, and left this afternoon for Concord. The 13th Massachusetts battery, Lieut. Nichols, 100 men, arrived from New Orleans last evening, and left at 5 p. m. to-day, for Boston. The above were attended to by Col. Howe, and received the usual hearty salute from the New England rooms, as they marched homeward. The 5th Connecticut regiment, 390 men, left Washington this morning, for Hartford, Conn., and are expected by Col. Almy in this city, Saturday p.m. (Hartford Courant, July 22, 1865).
Of the nine Milton men that had enlisted in this regiment in 1861, only Dudley F. Brown and William Nettles would have been present on this train. (Milton natives Moses W. Cook of Dover and Charles H. French of Rochester too).
Riot at Concord, N.H. Concord, Thursday, July 27. Demonstrations of a serious riot were made here during last night by some two hundred returned soldiers, which commenced by their threat to “clean out” the clothing store under the Eagle Hotel, the proprietor of which charged a soldier with attempting to steal a suit of clothes. After breaking some windows the soldiers proceeded to the jail, and demanded the release of two of their number who had been arrested, and threatening to demolish the jail. At this time two companies of veteran reserves were ordered out, and the riotous soldiery scattered in different directions. There is much sympathy felt for the soldiers, who, it is alleged, are unnecessarily kept out of their pay and discharge papers (New York Times, July 28, 1865).
A regimental history explained this last as episode thus: “Payment being delayed for a week, the men became somewhat impatient and many left temporarily, but all were present on the 29th of July, when they were paid off and each man went his way to his home.”
Some of Milton’s soldiers served in the Second NH Regiment. It was part of the occupation force that moved into the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA, on April 3, 1865, after Confederate forces withdrew. President Lincoln and his son visited the city on the following day. The Second NH Regiment remained in Richmond until July 10, 1865.
RETURN OF THE SECOND NEW HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT. This veteran regiment returned to Concord on the evening of [December] the 23d, 450 strong, under command of Brevet Brig. Gen. Patterson. A public reception was given the regiment on Christmas day. A large number of people witnessed the ceremonies. This is the last of the New Hampshire regiments to return and it was the first to leave home on the outbreak of the rebellion. Its record has been a proud one (New England Farmer (Boston, MA), December 30, 1865).
Ten Milton men had marched away with the Second NH Regiment in May 1861. Six of them had already been discharged at the expiration of their three-year enlistments in June 1864. (Two of those re-enlisted in other units and had mustered out with them). While several of the ten had been wounded, some quite seriously, only one had been killed in action, while another one had already received a disability discharge. (And one had deserted).
Only 1st Lt. Charles E. Jones might have stepped off the train in Concord in December 1865. Perhaps some of the others were there to meet him.
National Park Service. (2018, February 1). Lincoln’s Visit to Richmond. Retrieved from www.nps.gov/rich/learn/historyculture/lincvisit.htm