South Milton Senator Eli Wentworth (1821-1863)

By Muriel Bristol |November 27, 2022

Eli Wentworth was born in Milton, February 19, 1821, son of Ichabod H. and Peace (Varney) Wentworth.

Ichabod H. Wentworth headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years [himself], one female aged 40-49 years [Peace (Varney) Wentworth], one male aged 20-29 years [Hiram V. Wentworth], one male aged 15-19 years [Eli Wentworth], one female aged 15-19 years, and one male aged 5-9 years. Four members of the household were engaged in agriculture. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of John Plumer, Jr., and William Wentworth.

Elder brother Hiram V. Wentworth married, circa 1842, Mary J. Nute. She was born Milton, circa July 1820, daughter of John C. and Sarah A. (Varney) Nute.

Eli Wentworth married in Milton, July 23, 1843, Mehitable Jane “Jane” Howe, both of Milton. She was born in Milton, in 1822, daughter of Jonathan and Mehitable (Twombly) Howe. Jacob Davis performed the ceremony.

Jonathan Howe of Milton made his last will, April 30, 1845. He devised to his beloved [second] wife, Abigail Howe, the sole use of the house, the use and income of the field in which the house was situated, one-half of the associated barn, pasturage for two cows, use of a horse and carriage, when necessary, four sheep, and whatever personal property she brought at the time of their marriage. He named his son Ira F. Howe, as executor, and devised to him the remainder of the real and personal estate, as well as his wife’s share after her decease. Ira F. Howe was also named as executor. He devised $12 each to his daughters, Lucy Durell, Hannah Cook, and Mehitable Jane Wentworth; and $1 to Stephen Twombly. Joseph Cook, Jacob Davis, and John H. Davis signed as witnesses (Stafford County Probate Docket 2771).

Daughter Clara Ann Wentworth was born in Milton, November 26, 1844.

Eli Wentworth, a shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Mehitable J. [(Howe)] Wentworth, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), Clara E. Wentworth, aged six years (b. NH), and John C. Plumer, a shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH). Eli Wentworth had real estate valued at $350. He shared a two-family residence with the household of [his elder brother,] Hiram B. Wentworth, a shoe manufacturer, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), who also had real estate valued at $350. The household of [his father,] Ichabod H. Wentworth, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), appeared next door. His property was valued at $3,500.

Eli Wentworth received an appointment as South Milton postmaster in 1852.

Miscellaneous Items. A new post office has been established at Northfield Four Corners, Franklin county, Mass., and Moses Tyfield appointed; also at South Milton, Strafford county, N.H., Eli Wentworth, postmaster (New England Farmer (Boston, MA), June 5, 1852).

The Milton selectmen of 1852 were Asa Fox, Eli Wentworth, and Ichabod Hayes. Those of 1853 were Eli Wentworth, J.S. Hersey, and J.N. Witham.

Eli Wentworth received an initial five-year appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, July 1, 1853.

The NH Annual Register & US Calendar of 1853 identified Milton’s Justices of the Peace as being Stephen Drew, John L. Swinerton, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, Jr., Daniel P. Warren, James Berry, Ichabod H. Wentworth, Joseph Pearl, Robert Mathes, Elias S. Cook, David Wallingford, John E. Goodwin, Charles C. Hayes, Jas. Jewett, Thos. Y. Wentworth, Asa Fox, James Connor, and Eli Wentworth (Lyon, 1853). (Justice Ichabod H. Wentworth was his father, and Justice Elias S. Cook was married to his sister-in-law, Hannah (Howe) Cook).

Son Charles Webster Wentworth was born in Milton, in April 1855.

Milton sent Eli Wentworth to Concord, NH, as one of its two NH State Representatives for the 1855-56 biennium. (The other was David Wallingford (1801-1878)). His mileage was rated as 100 miles. Rep. Eli Wentworth, acting for the House Committee on the State Prison, June 20, 1855, submitted its recommendation to the House.

The committee on the State Prison, have directed me to report the following resolution: ELI WENTWORTH for the Committee. Resolved, That the inventory of the State Prison be laid upon the table. and that the Clerk be directed to procure the usual number of copies for the use of the House. The resolution was adopted (NH General Court, 1855).

New Hampshire passed a prohibitory law on a third attempt in July 1855, only a month after the Portland Rum Riot. (See Milton Under “Semi-Prohibition” – 1855-02).

Eli Wentworth appeared in a State political manual of 1867, as having been the Strafford County Treasurer back in 1857 (McFarland & Jenks, 1866).

Eli Wentworth of Milton and Chester R. Robinson (1819-1858) of Enfield, NH, were appointed doorkeepers at the NH House of Representatives, June 4, 1857 (NH General Court, 1857).

Mr. Norris, of Danbury, introduced the following resolution: Resolved, That Eli Wentworth of Milton, and Chester R. Robinson of Enfield, be appointed door-keepers of the House of Representatives for the ensuing year. … It was decided in the affirmative. So the resolution passed. 

Mr. Hayes, of Milton, presented the account of Eli Wentworth.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened, That the sum of seventy-one dollars and thirty cents be paid C.R. Robinson, in full for his account; the sum of seventy dollars and fifty cents be paid Eli Wentworth, [in] full for his account, and that the same be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

(Fellow door-keeper Chester R. Robinson received an appointment as an Enfield, NH, justice-of-the-peace, May 25, 1858. The same court roster indicated that he was “dead,” because he had died of a liver complaint in Enfield, NH, later that same year, aged thirty-nine years. He was a merchant).

Eli Wentworth received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, June 18, 1858. On this occasion he was also promoted to or designated as a “justice in quorum.”

Eli Wentworth, a shoe manufacturer, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included M.J. [(Howe)] Wentworth, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), Clara Wentworth, aged fifteen years (b. NH), Charles W. Wentworth, aged seven years (b. NH), and Martin L. Nute, a sh0emaker, aged twenty years (b. NH). Eli Wentworth had real estate valued at $2,000 and personal estate valued at $1,000. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of [his elder brother,] H. Wentworth, a shoe manufacturer, aged forty-one years (b. NH), and George W. Jones, a shoemaker, aged twenty-six years (b. ME). The household of [his father,] Ichabod H. Wentworth, a farmer, aged sixty-four years (b. NH), appeared just after that of George W. Jones).

Eli Wentworth served then as a NH State Senator for the 1860-61 and 1861-62 biennia.

New Hampshire. Concord, N.H., 5th – The Republicans have nominated Eli Wentworth, of Milton, for President of the Senate, and E.A. Romans, of Somersworth, for Speaker of the House. The Democrats nominated A.P. Hale, of Nashua, for Speaker of the House. Preparations are being made for a grand celebration of election day which comes off tomorrow (Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, MA), June 5, 1861).

Eli Wentworth, of Milton, NH, a farmer, aged forty years, married, mustered into the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Sixth NH Volunteer Infantry Regiment, November 28, 1861. (See Milton in the 6th NH Regiment – 1861-65).

The 6th New Hampshire regiment, at Keene, is full, and the 7th and 8th, at Concord, are nearly so; and all will be off to the war before the 15th inst. The Governor has therefore decided to issue commissions for the 9th regiment, intended for Butler’s brigade. New Hampshire has also four companies of cavalry full, intended for the New England regiment, Col. Lawton, organizing at Providence under the auspices of Gov. Sprague. Two companies of sharpshooters, the second of which is ready to leave, and a battery of artillery now in the service, complete the list of what New Hampshire has done, and is doing (Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL), December 6, 1861).

The Sixth NH Volunteer Infantry Regiment left New Hampshire for Washington, D.C., December 25, 1861.

Arrival of the Arago, with Gen. Scott, &c. New York, 26th. The steamship Arago arrived at 5.30 this afternoon. News anticipated. She brought full files of papers, but no mails, which are on the Edinburg. General Scott and J. Clancey Jones are among the passengers. The Sixth New Hampshire Regiment passed through here [New York, NY] today for Washington; also, a battalion of Massachusetts cavalry for Annapolis (Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, MA), December 27, 1861).

MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN NEW YORK. ARRIVAL OF THE SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT. The Sixth New Hampshire regiment, Colonel Nelson Converse commanding, arrived in this city yesterday from Keene, N.H., and mustered 1,023 men. They departed for the seat of war late in the evening. The following are the leading officers: Staff Officers – Colonel, Nelson Converse; Lieutenant Colonel, Simon G. Griffin; Major, Charles Scott; Adjutant, Phin. P. Bixby; Quartermaster, Alonzo Nute; Commissary, Eli Wentworth; Surgeon, Wm. A. Tracy; Assistant Surgeon, Sherman Cooper; Chaplain, Robert Stinson (Universalist); Sergeant Major, Timothy K. Ames; Quartermaster Sergeant, Albert Kimball; Commissary Sergeant, John H. Varney; Hospital Steward, James H. Noyce. Line Officers – Company A, Captain Joseph Clark: Company B, Captain Samuel P. Adams; Company C, Captain H.H. Bierson; Company D, Captain Samuel D. Quarles; Company E, Captain O.G. Dort; Company F, Captain Geo. C. Starkwell; Company G, Captain John W. Putnam; Company H, Captain John B. Sanders; Company I, Captain Robert L. Ela; Company K, Captain E.H. Converse (NY Daily Herald (New York, NY), December 27, 1861).

The Sixth NH Regiment participated in an expedition into Hatteras Inlet, N.C., January 6–13, 1862, and remained on duty there until March 2, 1862.

Correspondence of the Baltimore Sun. Washington, Jan. 7. The Sixth New Hampshire regiment, which has just arrived here, has been ordered to join Gen. Burnside’s division at Annapolis. It is inferred that the operations of this expedition are not to be at remote points, since that Com. Goldsborough has chief command. It is understood in naval circles that no armed vessels have been sent in against any point on the Texas coast, and in respect to the stone fleet, the orders were that one channel should be left open to each harbor (Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), January 6, 1862).

THE NEW-HAMPSHIRE SIXTH TO EXCHANGE PLACES WITH COL. HAWKINS’ ZOUAVES – DEATH OF SEVERAL PRIVATES. On Friday the order was given to land the New-Hampshire Sixth Regiment Volunteers, Col. CONVERS, who have been assigned the duty of garrisoning Camp Wool in place of Col. HAWKINS’ Zouaves, who are to take part in the expedition. The reason for this change, in part, is the condition of the New-Hampshire Sixth respecting drill and general health. Since it left camp at Keene, where it had little or no opportunity for drill, it has been constantly on the move, which has kept them exposed, so that, besides having no proper time for practice in the manual of arms, a large number, some 160, from time to time have been down with disease, mostly measles, from which it has suffered considerably. There are still between 30 and 40 cases of this disease in the regiment, which makes their situation a very trying one, being obliged to land on this desolate sand beach with very inadequate accommodations for the sick. The surgeon endeavored to have the order revoked, and have these unfortunate men placed on board of the Recruit or some other comfortable vessel until better accommodations could be provided than existed at Fort Clark. One man, Mr. PIERCE, died from a relapse; a Mr. AMMIDON died from inflammation of the brain; and WARREN D. FAY, of Walpole, N.H., died on the passage down, from an apoplectic fit on the 16th of January. Fay was buried on the point near Fort Hatteras. The regiment, on the 17th of January, marched to Camp Wool, and encamped during a heavy rain. It is composed of excellent materials, but they appeared much worn out by hard work. They are now in comfortable quarters. The list of officers is as follows: Colonel, NELSON CONVERS, Marlboro’; Lieutenant-Colonel, S.G. Griffin, Concord; Major, Chas. Scott, Peterboro’; Adjutant, P.P. Bigsby, Concord; Quartermaster, Alonzo Nute, Farmington; Commissary, Eli Wentworth, Milton; Surgeon, Wm. A. Tracy, Nashua; Assistant Surgeon, S. Cooper, Claremont; Chaplain, Robert B. Stinson, Croydon (NY Times (New York, NY), January 29, 1862).

A Disastrous Expedition – Below we give a list of the vessels belonging to the Burnside fleet reported lost and stranded together with their armament and the names of the regiments on board: Gunboat Zouave; 4 guns – one 30-pound Parrott gun, two 12-pound rifled guns and one 12-pound mountain howitzer. Reported lost. Steamer Eastern Queen has the Fourth Rhode Island regiment on board. In that regiment there are about forty persons belonging to this city and Fall River, Rhode Island. Reported ashore. Steamer City of New York is the Flag Ship of the First Brigade, and had on board the 25th Massachusetts regiment. Reported lost. Steamer Louisiana reported ashore, had on board the 6th New Hampshire regiment. Floating battery Grapeshot with two guns reported lost. Bark Voltigeur had the Eleventh Connecticut regiment on board, and is said to have gone ashore. The Pocahontas, which is reported lost, we believe was a gunboat (Fall River Daily News (Fall River, MA), January 29, 1862).

The Sixth NH Regiment captured Roanoke Island, VA, March 2, 1862, and remained on duty there.

Affairs at Roanoke Island. … Dr. BRYAN reports the troops on the Island in good condition, with the exception of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment, who are still a good deal troubled with dysentery and diarrhoea, and other camp diseases. The wounded left upon the Island, after the engagement which resulted in its capture, are doing very well. The present number of sick and wounded in the hospitals, and elsewhere, is about one hundred and fifty, having been reduced to that number from three hundred and fifty on the 7th inst. On the 24th inst., one hundred and twenty were discharged cured to rejoin their different regiments. Of those remaining in hospitals, there were fifty-six from the Sixth New Hampshire, fourteen from the Eighty-ninth New York, and twenty from the Ninth New York (Hawkins’ Zouaves). A new fort is being erected on the Roanoke Sound, side of the Island, within about an eighth of a mile of the old Raleigh Fort, and on the shore of the Sound nearly opposite Nag’s Head. It will be about 180 feet in diameter, and the ditch surrounding it will be filled with water from the Sound. The guns will be mounted en barbette, and so arranged as to command three-quarters of a circle. There are about sixty contrabands engaged in wheeling sand for its construction; and it will be sodded with the turf or peat, easily obtained upon the Island (Philadelphia Inquirer, April 5, 1862).

The Sixth NH Volunteer Infantry Regiment went next on an expedition to Elizabeth City, VA, April 7–8, 1862.

Fortress Monroe, 25th. – A schooner was captured by the gunboat Cohasset this morning on suspicion of an intention to run the blockade and enter Elizabeth river. The captain said he was bound to Hatteras Inlet. He had a cargo of beef pork &c. His papers were taken from him. The flag of truce sent to-day returned with the schr. Mississippi which brought from Norfolk yesterday 17 of the wounded prisoners of the battle at South Mills. The Union troops in that battle consisted of part of five regiments, viz: 21st Massachusetts, 51st Pennsylvania, 9th and 89th New York, and 6th New Hampshire, under General Reno, numbering 500 or 600 men (Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, MA), April 26, 1862).

The Sixth NH Regiment rook part in the Battle of Camden, NC, April 19, 1862, as a part of Brigadier Gen. Jesse L. Reno’s Second Brigade. (Gen. Reno would receive a fatal wound while commanding a Corps at the Battle of South Mountain, September 14, 1862. Reno, NV, was one of the places that would be named for him).

CONGRATULATIONS OF GEN. BURNSIDE. HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT of NORTH CAROLINA, April 26, 1862. GENERAL ORDERS, No.30 The General commanding desires to express his high appreciation of the excellent conduct of the forces under command of Brig. Gen. Reno, in the late demonstration upon Norfolk. He congratulates them as well upon the manly fortitude with which they endured excessive heat and extraordinary fatigue on a forced march of forty miles, in twenty-four hours, as upon the indomitable courage with which, notwithstanding their exhaustion, they attacked a large body of the enemy’s best artillery, infantry and cavalry, in their own chosen position, achieving a complete victory. It is therefore ordered, as a deserved tribute to the perseverance, discipline and bravery exhibited by the officers and soldiers of the Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fifty-first Pennsylvania, Ninth New-York, Eighty-ninth New-York and Sixth New-Hampshire on the 19th day of April, a day already memorable in the history of our country, that the above regiments inscribe upon their respective colors the name, “Camden, April 19.” The General Commanding desires especially to express his approbation of Gen. Reno’s strict observance of his orders, when the temptation to follow the retreating enemy was so great. By command of Major-Gen. BURNSIDE. Lewis Richmond, Assistant Adjutant-General (New York Times, May 4, 1862).

New York, 9th. – Steamer Eastern Queen has arrived from Newbern and brings the sick and wounded of the 6th New Hampshire regiment. – Many of them have wounds received in the Newbern, Camden and Roanoke battles and many are sick. They are being cared for by Colonel Howe and other State agents at the New England rooms (Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, MA), May 9, 1862).

The Sixth NH Regiment participated in the capture of New Bern, NC, June 18-July 2, 1862. It moved from there to Newport News, VA, July 2–10, 1862, and remained on duty there until August 2, 1862. 2nd Lt. Eli Wentworth received a promotion to 1st Lt., July 4, 1862.

New York, 21. A force of our troops, at New Berne, dispersed a rebel force some six miles above on opposite side of the Nouse River, and destroyed their fortifications, bringing in Capt. Latham prisoner (Dawson’s Fort Wayne Daily Times (Fort Wayne, IN), June 23, 1862).

The Sixth NH Regiment moved to Aquia Creek and Fredericksburg, VA, August 2–7, 1862.

Steamboat Collision and Great Loss of Life. A collision occurred on the Potomac river, on Wednesday night of last week, between the steamers Peabody and West Point. The West Point was bound to Aquia Creek from Newport News, with 250 convalescent soldiers of General Burnside’s army. She sank in ten minutes after the accident. Seventy-three lives were lost, including the wife and child of Maj. Dort, the wife of Lt. Col. Scott and the wife of Capt. Cummings, all of the New Hampshire 6th regiment (New England Farmer (Boston, MA), August 23, 1862).

The Sixth NH Regiment participated in Gen. Pope’s campaign in northern Virginia, August 16-September 2, 1862. This included the Battle of Groveton, August 29, 1862, the Second Battle of Bull Run, August 30, 1862, and the Battle of Chantilly, VA, September 1, 1862. The Sixth NH Regiment formed a part of the First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps. Its commander, Col. Simon G. Griffin (1824-1902), led the regiment in the battles of Second Bull Run, Antietam and Fredericksburg.

The Sixth NH Regiment participated in Maryland Campaign in September–October, 1862. This included the Battle of South Mountain, MD, September 14, 1862, the Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, MD, September 16–17, 1862, and duty in Pleasant Valley, MD, until October 27, 1862.

The Sixth NH Regiment moved to Falmouth, VA, October 27-November 19, 1862. It was at Corbin’s Cross Roads, near Amissville, VA, November 10, 1862, and Sulphur Springs, VA, November 14, 1862.

General James Nagle (1822-1866) led several regiments, including the Sixth NH Regiment, in a charge up Marye’s Heights at the Battle of Fredericksburg, VA, December 12–15, 1862.

GENERAL NAGLE LEADS A CHARGE. A heavy fire was concentrated upon it as it advanced, so much so that a part of the column faltered and might perhaps have fallen back in disorder had not the veteran Second Maryland, Sixth New Hampshire and Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, led by General Nagle in person, started at a charge which inspired enthusiasm throughout the line [and] dissipated the confusion (Perry County Democrat (Bloomfield, PA), December 25, 1862).

The Sixth NH Regiment participated next in Gen. Burnside’s second Virginia campaign, which was called the “Mud March”, January 20–24, 1863; and then moved to Newport News, VA, February 11, 1863.

It appears that portions of Burnside’s army have crossed the Rappahannock but undoubtedly the reports of a battle and the wounding of Gen. Hooker are premature. Gen Burnside has issued an order in which he states that he is about to give battle. The weather had moderated on the Potomac yesterday, to such an extent as to render the roads almost impassable. It is not unlikely that Burnside’s plans may be somewhat changed by the mild weather and bad roads. It is evident from Burnside’s order that he believes or knows that Lee has weakened his army a great deal since the last battle. If the weather shall permit there is no doubt that we shall hear to-day or to-morrow of another bloody straggle. God grant success to the Army of the Potomac! (Lewiston Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME), January 23, 1863).

The Sixth NH Regiment transferred next to Lexington, KY, March 26-April 1, 1863. From there it went to Winchester, KY, and then to Richmond, KY, April 18, 1863. Then to Paint Lick Creek, KY, May 3, 1863, and to Lancaster, KY, May 10, 1863.

BURNSIDE’S MOVEMENTS IN KENTUCKY. … LEXINGTON, Ky., June 4, 1863. … Brigadier General Nagle, lately commanding the First brigade, Second division, of the Ninth corps, has resigned. A chronic affection of the functions of the heart has compelled him to desist from active service, and he parts with regret from the soldiers who have shared with him the glories and dangers of so many battle-fields. Colonel Griffin, of the Sixth New Hampshire, is at present in command of the brigade (Daily Progress (Raleigh, NC), June 23, 1863).

The Sixth NH Regiment left Crab Orchard, KY, June 3, and traveled, first on foot and then by train, to Cairo, IL, arriving there, June 8, 1863. From there it traveled by steamship down the Mississippi River towards Vicksburg, arriving there June 14, 1863.

Movements of the Ninth Army Corps. A New Hampshire man connected with Colonel Griffin’s Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, writes from Cairo, Illinois, under date of “Monday afternoon, June 8,” as follows: “We arrived here this forenoon. Got orders at Crab Orchard Tuesday evening (2nd inst.) about 8 o’clock to start the next morning at 4 with eight days rations. Started Wednesday morning and marched to Camp Dick Robinson the first day about twenty-two miles. Left the next morning at 4 and marched eighteen miles to Nicholasville. Took the cars Thursday night for Lexington, through there to Covington, arriving Saturday noon. Crossed the river to Cincinnati and had dinner, then took the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, going the whole breadth of the State of Indiana way into Illinois to the town Landoloce (?) where we changed cars. Took the Illinois Central Railroad for this place; arrived this forenoon. We shall probably go aboard the steamers to-night, bound down the Mississippi to Vicksburg. Bully for that; Tell everybody the old Ninth Corps is going down to help wind up this rebellion. Hope you will hear good news from us soon. We are all in good spirits” (Daily Telegraph (St. Albans, VT), June 16, 1863).

Vicksburg had been besieged since May 18, 1863. Its Confederate defenders surrendered to the Union army, July 4, 1863 (which happened to be also the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, PA).

After the fall of Vicksburg, the IX Corps – including the Sixth NH Regiment – was among the Union forces under General William T. Sherman (1820-1891) that advanced on the Mississippi state capitol at Jackson, MS, July 4–10, 1863. Jackson fell to them on July 17, 1863.

Eli Wentworth died of a fever at Snyder’s Bluff, Milldale, MS, July 18, 1863, aged forty-two years, six months. (He was a quartermaster in the U.S. Army). The Army death register had him as Lt. Eli Wentworth, a member of the Sixth NH Volunteer Regiment, which was then in the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 9th Army Corps. The Sixth NH Volunteer Regiment’s assistant surgeon, F.N. Gibson, recorded his death, from Feb. [Febrile] Typhoid.

MEMOIR: Hon. Eli WENTWORTH was born in Milton, N.H., Feb. 19, 1821. He lived in his native town the most of his life, and received many marks of distinction from his fellow citizens, having filled the offices of Selectman, County Treasurer, Representative and Senator, serving his State and Town in public office before his enlistment eleven years. When the present rebellion broke out his patriotism was fully aroused and he felt it his duty to do all in his power for his country. He was commissioned in the 6th Regt. N.H.V., Oct. 19, 1861. During his service with the Regiment he acted first as Commissary and subsequently was appointed to act as Quartermaster of the Brigade. He died of disease after a short sickness of only three weeks at Milldale, Mississippi, July 1862, aged 42 years 5 months. Mr. Wentworth was a valuable man and in his demise his family are bereft of a dutiful son, a confiding brother, a kind husband and a devoted father. As a Mason he was an ornament, represented by the perfect [ashlar?] and had found a certain point within a circle which taught him to walk uprightly before God and man and square his actions by the square of virtue, and to remember that he was traveling to that undiscovered country from whose journey no traveler returns.

General Sherman’s forces remained encamped at Milldale, MS, until August 5, 1863.

Finally, on the 8th of August, transports were furnished, and the regiment embarked, with its brigade, and slowly made its way up the river to Cairo, and thence by rail, arriving at Cincinnati on the 20th. The sickness that prevailed on board the transports, as the troops ascended the river, was terrible, and almost universal. Almost every night, as the troops “lay up” on account of low water, and the consequent danger from sand bars, a little party would be seen with lanterns, sadly making its way on shore to bury some comrade who had fallen a victim to disease. Lieutenant Eli Wentworth, Regimental Quartermaster, was one of the victims, he having died at Milldale on the 18th, while the regiment was absent at Jackson. Halting a few days at Covington, it proceeded by rail to Nicholasville, and encamped near Camp Nelson, both officers and men still suffering terribly from the effects of that southern climate. Large numbers were sent to the hospital, and many died (NH Adjutant General, 1866).

On August 20, 1863, the Sixth NH Regiment left Cincinnati, OH, for Nicholasville, KY.

Over the course of war, the Sixth NH Regiment would lose a total of 418 men during service; 10 officers and 177 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 3 officers and 228 enlisted men died of disease (Wikipedia, 2021).

Daughter Clara A. Wentworth married in Farmington, NH, May 25, 1865, Daniel S. Burley, she of [South] Milton, and he of Middleton, NH. She was a lady, aged twenty years, and he was a farmer, aged twenty-three years. Rev. Ezekiel True performed the ceremony. Burley was born in Newmarket, NH, June 10, 1843, son of Frederick P. “Plumer” and Martha J. (Wentworth) Burley.

Father-in-law Jonathan Howe died of apoplexy in Milton, December 21, 1866, aged eighty-four years, five months, and nine days. He was a married farmer. His last will of 1845 was proved in a Strafford County Probate court held in Dover, NH, January 1, 1867 (Stafford County Probate Docket 2771).

Stepmother-in-law Abigail Howe died of old age in Milton, December 4, 1869, aged eighty years.

Mehitable J. [(Howe)] Wentworth, keeping house, aged forty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. Her household included Charles W. Wentworth, works for shoe factory, aged seventeen years (b. NH), and Angeline Richards, runs stitching machine, aged thirty years (b. NH). Mehitable J. Wentworth had personal estate valued at $400. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of [her brother-in-law,] Hiram V. Wentworth, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), and Joseph B. Wakeham, works for shoe factory, aged forty-six years (b. NH).

Father Ichabod H. Wentworth made his will, presumably in Milton, October 28, 1871. He devised $200 and an undivided share in West Milton land to his son, Hiram V. Wentworth; $50 to Mary J. [(Nute)] Wentworth; $50 to Mehitable J. [(Howe)] Wentworth; $10 to Clara M. [(Wentworth)] Burley, wife of Daniel S. Burley; a life estate in all notes, bonds, money, and personal property to his wife, Peace [(Varney)] Wentworth; and, after her decease, the household furniture to Mary J. [(Nute)] Wentworth and Mehitable J. [(Howe)] Wentworth. He devised the remaining undivided share in the West Milton land to his grandsons, Henry H. Wentworth and Charles W. Wentworth, as well as any rest and residue not devised. (The land was bounded north by land of H.H. Pinkham, west by land of Joseph Horn, south by land of Joseph Barker, and east by land of David Furbush). John F. Hart, Ira S. Knox, and Ezra H. Twombly signed as witnesses (Strafford County Probate, 83:99; Strafford County Probate Docket 3678).

Father Ichabod H. Wentworth died of paralysis and a fever in Milton, July 19, 1872, aged seventy-six years, seven months. (He was a son of Ichabod and Keziah [(Clement)] Wentworth). His last will was proved in a Strafford County Probate court held in Dover, NH, in August 1872 (Strafford County Probate Docket 3678).

Mother Peace (Varney) Wentworth died of catarrh and age in Milton, August 14, 1873, aged seventy-six years, ten months. (She was a native of Dover, NH, and a daughter of Aaron and Annie Varney).

Brother-in-law Ira F. Howe died of dropsy in Milton, December 16, 1873, aged sixty-seven years.

Charles W. Wentworth, a farmer, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his mother, Mehetabel J. [(Howe)] Wentworth, keeping house, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of [his cousin,] Henry H. Wentworth, a butcher, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), and George W. Jones, a farmer, aged forty-seven years (b. ME).

Civil War veterans had founded their own fraternal organization as early as 1866, calling it the Grand Army of the Republic (or G.A.R.). It was organized in state-based “departments,” with sequentially numbered chapters or posts within each department. Milton’s G.A.R. “Post” was the eighty-ninth one formed in the New Hampshire Department and was named the “Eli Wentworth Post, 89, G.A.R.”

LOCALS. Carlton Post received a friendly visit, last Friday, from about fifteen of the members of the Eli Wentworth Post of Milton. Our soldier boys were ready to receive them, and, after greetings were exchanged, a collation was served. The Women’s Relief Corps also participated in part of the exercises (Farmington News, November 4, 1887).

Under this system, the Carlton Post, No. 24, G.A.R., of Farmington, NH, would have been founded earlier than the Wentworth Post, No. 89, G.A.R., of Milton, NH. (The women’s auxiliary of the G.A.R. was called the Women’s Relief Corps (W.R.C.).

Mahetabale [(Howe)] Wentworth, widow of Eli Wentworth, appeared in the surviving Veterans’ Schedule of the Eleventh (1890) Federal Census. Her late husband had been a 1st Lt. in the Sixth NH Infantry Regiment.

Brother Hiram V. Wentworth died in Milton, September 12, 1890, aged seventy-one years, ten months, and seventeen days. C.D. Jones, M.D., signed the death certificate.

MILTON. Mrs. Wentworth of South Milton is very sick from the effects of a shock. Her daughter, Mrs. Dan Burley of Newburyport, is with her (Farmington News, April 26, 1895).

Mehitable Jane (Howe) Wentworth died in Milton, April 30, 1895, aged seventy-two years.

ELI WENTWORTH POST, NO. 89, Milton, November 19, 1896. – November 19. I inspected Eli Wentworth Post, and I found there the same condition as in the other Posts I have inspected. A long distance for many to come and increasing years make it hard for many attend. I found the records well-kept, orders properly filed, and that close attention to the detail work which keeps a Post healthy. The emphatic determination expressed by those present to hold the line, has given me new courage to believe our smaller Posts the equal of our large ones in pluck and endurance. – H.L. WORCESTER, Assistant Inspector (G.A.R., 1897).

Sister-in-law Hannah (Howe) Cook died of old age in Milton, January 11, 1899, aged eighty-two years, four months, and twenty-seven days. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the death certificate.

Daniel Burley, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Newburyport, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty years), Clara A. [(Wentworth)] Burley, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), his brother-in-law, Charles W. Wentworth, a shoe cutter, aged forty-five years (b. NH), his boarder, John P. Stevens, a shoe manufacturer, aged thirty-three years (b. MA), and his servants, Nora Finnegan, a servant, aged twenty-five years (b. Ireland), and Hannah Finnegan, a servant, aged eighteen years (b. Ireland). Daniel Burley owned their house at 191 Summer Street, free-and-clear. Clara A. Burley was the mother of five children, of whom none were still living.

Son Charles W. Wentworth died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Newburyport, MA, August 5, 1908, aged fifty-five years, three months, and thirteen days. He was retired, residing at 191 High Street. (Mrs. D.S. Burley supplied the personal information).

Son-in-law Daniel S. Burley died of progressive paralysis in Newburyport, MA, March 10, 1909, aged sixty-seven years, and two months.

ESTATE OF ABOUT $750,000. Will of D.S. Burley of Newburyport Remembers Family Employes and Y.M.C.A. – Remits Church Debt. NEWBURYPORT, March 24 – The will of Daniel S. Burley, shoe manufacturer, reputed to have been worth about $750,000 has been filed in the probate court. The bequests include the following: Clara A. Burley, his wife, $150,000; John P. Stevens nephew, $50,000; John P. Stevens, Mr. Burley’s real estate and personal property at his summer home at Eastlake, N.H.; Elisabeth S. Stevens, wife of Jacob B. Stevens, $1,000; Jacob B. Stevens, Peabody, sister’s husband, $1,000; Lydia F. Mitchell, Union, N.H., $500; Charles Wentworth, Newburyport, $3,000; Helen B. Fierneman, Rochester, N.H., $500; Thomas E. Medcalf, Newburyport, for faithful services, $2,500; Isaac W.C. Webster and Augustus W. Garland, Newburyport, faithful employes, $1,000 each; Union Congregational Church, Union, N.H., all money due Mr. Burley; H.B. Little, L.B. Cushing and Charles Thurlow, $10,000 in trust for the Newburyport Y.M.C.A. The remainder of the estate is bequeathed to the testator’s wife, Clara A. Burley, who is named as executrix of the will (Boston Globe, March 24, 1909).

Clara A. [(Wentworth)] Burley, own income, aged sixty-five years (b. NH), headed a Newburyport, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. Her household included her servant, Bessie Cronin, a private family servant, aged twenty-two years (b. Ireland), her boarders, Elma Stevens, a shoe factory finisher, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), and Bennett J. Samson, a laundry manager, aged thirty-six years (b. MA). Clara A. Burley rented their house at 193 High Street.

Clara A. [(Wentworth)] Burley, a widow, aged seventy-five years (b. NH), headed a Newburyport, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. Her household included her cousin, Angie Hanson, a widow, aged seventy-nine years (b. NH), her maid, Katharine Carroll, a private family houseworker, aged thirty-five years (b. Ireland), and her boarder, Bennett J. Samson, a laundry manager, aged forty-four years (b. MA). Clara A. Burley owned their house at 191 High Street.

Daughter Clara A. (Wentworth) Burley died in Newburyport, MA, June 2, 1925, aged eighty years.

MRS. CLARA A. BURLEY DIES AT NEWBURYPORT. NEWBURYPORT, June 2 – Mrs. Clara A. Burley, 80, widow of Daniel S. Burley, formerly a prominent shoe manufacturer here, died today at her home, 191 High st. She was born in Milton, N.H. and came here nearly 40 years ago. Mrs. Burley was a member of Central Congregational Church and a generous contributor to the work of the Young Men’s Christian Association, of which her husband was a former president and benefactor and for whom the boys and girls’ Summer camp at Angle Lake, Hampstead, N.H., was named. Her nearest relative is a cousin, Mary Abbie Howe of West Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, June 3, 1925).


Find a Grave. (2021, October 21). Clara A. Wentworth Burley. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2011, December 31). Aaron Varney. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2009, August 27). Eli Wentworth. Retrieved from

G.A.R. (1897). Journal of Proceedings of the Thirtieth Annual Encampment of the Department of New Hampshire, Grand Army of the Republic. Retrieved from

Jackman, Lyman, (1891). History of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment in the War for the Union. Retrieved from

McFarland & Jenks. (1866). Statistical Almanac and Political Manual. Retrieved from

NH Adjutant. (1866). Extract of Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New Hampshire for the Year Ending June 1, 1866. Retrieved from

NH General Court. (1855). Journals of the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the State of New Hampshire. Retrieved from

NH General Court. (1857). Journal of the House of New Hampshire. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2021. May 21). 6th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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