New Hampshire Veterans Association History
Historical Time Line of the Association
1.) Tenting on the Old Campground (Tenting Tonight)
2.) Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Prisoner’s Hope)
3.) Battle Cry of Freedom
4.) Marching Through Georgia
5.) Columbia The Gem of the Ocean
6.) Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)
7.) America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee) and
8.) When Johnny Comes Marching Home.
(Many of the above links are to the 97th Regimental String Band, highly recommended for their authentic versions of these songs.)
A large arc sign bearing the name of the Association is erected on New Hampshire Avenue. The large sign is 41′ in length by 2 1/2′ in width. In the center of the arc, suspended by a couple of iron hooks, is a smaller sign, 18′ in length by 1 1/2′ in width, that would feature the name of the hero of each annual encampment.
The Headquarters Building had a large meeting room with offices to sides and rear on the 1st floor, a large meeting room with smaller rooms to the rear, and the 3rd floor housed a dormitory and storage. The original colors were: deep buff for the 1st floor, the 2nd & 3rd floors were lighter shades of buff, the trim was in different shades of brown and the roof was brown. The porch floor was brown, with the ceiling a light blue, the pillars and brackets were chrome yellow and red, the cresting dark red with old gold.
The 16th Regiment building had a large reception area with three smaller rooms on the first floor. The second floor had 2 large sleeping areas and two smaller rooms in the front towers. The original colors were bright yellow with greening blue and red trim. The roof was dark slate.
The Cavalry building had an open reception area with a nest of three fireplaces on the first floor. The second and third floors were dormitories. The original colors were two shades of blue trimmed in yellow – cavalry uniform. The roof had a light and dark slate checkerboard pattern.
The 9th and 11th Regiment building had two large reception areas that were separated by folding doors with fireplace on each end of the first floor. The second floor was divided into two section, subdivided into three rooms. The third floor was a dormitory. The gables were painted straw with vermilion trim, the main body of the building was a darker straw. The roof was dark slate
The 15th Regiment building’s first floor was divided into two areas. The second floor was divided into three rooms. The building was painted light orange with bright red trim. The roof was light slate and the basement was brown stone.
This construction period is sometimes referred to as the High Victorian period. Most of the buildings were very colorful with ornate details. Sometimes called the Queen Anne Camp Style, using a “balloon” construction style with sweeping roof lines and wrap around porches, they were and are beautiful to behold. Many of the buildings boasted running water and sewer, long before other “camps” in the area. Most featured large open areas on the first floors with fireplaces and water closets. The second and third floors would consist of dormitory style sleep areas which could, in some cases, be broken up into smaller more private areas with partitions.
The front buildings were repainted during this time using surplus military paint, hence the various shades of gray, blue gray and off-white.
Over the years, more buildings were taken down due to their poor condition, than were lost to fire. Only four buildings burned. They were the Third Regiment (1924), 8th&13th Regiments (1950s), Artillery/Sharpshooters (1992), and 16th Regiment (1995).
The 1990’s harkened the newest efforts to save this distinct piece of NH’s cultural history. Structural repairs – foundations, roofs, windows, upgraded electrical wiring, plumbing, and grounds work. Cosmetic improvements of painting and landscaping are ongoing. What has been accomplished may not show outwardly, but lays in the foundation of a long term plan to maintain the NHVA’s holdings for future generations of veterans and the citizens of New Hampshire.
One of the two cannons on the lawn of the NHVA headquarters, on October 6, 2007. One cannon is placed on each side of the HQ building. The cannons were manufactured by the Ames foundry and cast in 1847. Initially, the cannons were kept in a shed at the rear of the HQ and “trotted out at Reunion week only.” But in 1933, the cannons were “polished, moved down in front of the headquarters, and placed on cement foundations for permanent display.” The current practice is for the cannons to be displayed during the summer, from mid-May through mid-September, and to be placed in storage the remainder of the year.
Since 2000, this cannon, always on the right side of the HQ building, has been fired annually on the July 4th holiday, and during the Association’s yearly August gathering. According to Fred Merrill, the official historian of the NHVA, the cannon shot six-pound cannon balls. (This likely identifies it as an M1841 six-pounder field gun.) Merrill stated that during the Civil War, the cannon would typically be loaded with three pounds of black powder to shoot its six-pound ball. When it is fired during the present day, it is loaded with only one pound of Pyrodex (a safer, smokeless, black powder substitute), a wad of paper towels, and a small quantity of flour. The flour spreads out into the air following the firing, giving the impression of smoke. The parking spaces and street are cleared in front of the cannon prior to a firing, so there is no damage to vehicles from the burning paper wad.
Starting in the 1920’s, the ribbons became repetitive in design, with the honors shared between two or more heroes. These ribbons no longer had hero portraits, the hero’s first name, or the encampment dates on the ribbon. Perhaps this was due to declining enthusiasm and participation in the encampments. After all, the 1920’s were 60 years after the Civil War, and many Civil War veterans had passed away. As a May, 1923 article in the Granite Monthly stated, “The gathering had been losing interest of late because of the rapidly thinning ranks of the members. But now comes the American Legion, to carry on in the spirit of the old soldiers, and to continue the annual encampment at the Weirs, New Hampshire’s School of Patriotism.” The very few surviving Civil War veterans continued to die out until, in 1942, the Laconia Evening Citizen noted that “For the first time in reunion history, no Civil War veteran was present.” (The 1942 reunion featured a speech by NH Governor Robert O. Blood on August 29.)
Typically, the encampments were 4 day affairs, beginning on a Tuesday and ending on a Friday during the last week of August.
The portraits of ten of these heroes hang on the first floor of the NH State House. These heroes have bios on the NH Division of Historical Resources and are linked in the table below. One, Commodore George H. Perkins, even has his own statue at the State House.
|John G. (“J.G”) Foster||1875||October 12-14||1st|
|Phineas P. Bixby||1878||August 13-15||2nd|
|Nathaniel “Natt” Head||1879||August 25-27||3rd|
|James K. Lane||1880||Aug 31-Sept 2||4th|
|James H. Platt||1881||August 13-15||5th|
|Evarts W. Farr||1882||Sept 12-15||6th|
|Richard Ela||1883||Sept 11-14||7th|
|William P. Ainsworth||1884||August 26-29||8th|
|Oliver W. Lull||1885||August 25-28||9th|
|Haldimand S. Putnam||1886||August 24-27||10th|
|Timothy B. Crowley||1887||August 23-26||11th|
|George H. Chandler||1888||August 28-31||12th|
|Edward E. Cross||1889||August 26-31||13th|
|Louis Bell||1890||August 26-29||14th|
|Henry W. Fuller||1891||August 25-28||15th|
|Aaron F. Stevens||1892||August 23-26||16th|
|Orlando W. Keyes||1893||August 22-25||17th|
|Mason W. Tappan||1894||August 28-31||18th|
|Alexander Gardiner||1895||Sept 3-6||19th|
|Chas W. Pickering||1896||August 25-28||20th|
|William I. Brown||1897||Aug 31-Sept 3||21st|
|Frederick M. Edgell||1898||Aug 23-26||22nd|
|John C. Jenness||1899||Aug 22-25||23rd|
|John W. Thompson||1900||August 21-24||24th|
|Harriet P. Dame||1901||August 27-30||25th|
|Alvah S. Libbey||1902||August 26-29||26th|
|Ira C. Evans||1903||August 25-28||27th|
|D. Arthur Brown||1904||August 23-26||28th|
|Thomas Cogswell||1905||August 22-25||29th|
|John C. Linehan||1906||August 28-31||30th|
|George H. Perkins||1907||August 27-30||31st|
|William Pitt Moses||1908||August 25-28||32nd|
|Edward E. Sturtevant||1909||August 24-27||33rd|
|John L. Thompson||1910||August 23-26||34th|
|Simon G. Griffin||1911||Aug 29-Sept 1||35th|
|Gilman Marston||1912||August 27-30||36th|
|John J. Railey||1913||August 26-29||37th|
|Charles E. Buzzell||1914||August 25-28||38th|
|Dana W. King||1915||August 24-27||39th|
|Augustus D. Sanborn||1916||August 22-25||40th|
|Daniel B. Newhall||1917||August 28-31||41st|
|Henry W. Clark||1918||August 27-30||42nd|
|Mortier L. Morrison||1919||August 26-29||43rd|
|Martin A. Haynes||1920||August 24-27||44th|
|Natt Shackford||1921||August 23-26||45th|
|Lewis W. Aldrich||1922||August 21-26||46th|
|Joseph H. Killourhy*||1923||August 13-16||47th|
|Joab N. Patterson*||1924||August 26-29||48th|
|Edmund Tetley*||1925||August 25-28||49th|
|Dudley, Smith, Taylor & King*||1950||August 21-26||75th|
John G. Foster
Phineas P. Bixby
Nathaniel "Natt" Head
James K. Lane
James H. Platt
Evarts W. Farr
William P. Ainsworth
Oliver W. Lull
Haldimand S. Putnam
On July 18, 1863, during the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, Putnam was in charge of the 2nd Brigade, which consisted of the 7th NH, the 62nd and 67th Ohio, and the 100th New York. His brigade had taken the southeast bastion of the fort when, under heavy fire, Putnam was killed when a bullet blew off the back his head. This battle became famous as the first Civil War battle in which a regiment of African-American soldiers, many of them former slaves, had taken part. A 1989 Hollywood film, “Glory”, depicted the brave actions of this regiment, the 54th MA of the 1st Brigade, who had been in the vanguard of the attack on the fort.
Timothy B. Crowley
His son, James B. Crowley, became the Mayor of Nashua during the WWI period. James Crowley played the hero’s son role perfectly, giving many encouraging, patriotic speeches at “every gathering, demonstration, parade and send-off for the boys and their families.”
George H. Chandler
Edward E. Cross
Henry W. Fuller
On May 22, 1863, the Bureau of Colored troops had been established. Although the Union army was willing at the time to recruit “colored” troops as enlisted men, they were much against them becoming combat officers. By the end of the Civil War, there were only eighty-seven African-American officers in the Union Army, while 178,000 “colored” troops had been recruited. The Union army offered freedom for those who enlisted, as well as an opportunity to fight against slavery, but little chance for advancement. Instead, white men like Fuller were given leadership positions over the black troops.
Fuller remained in New Orleans for two years after the war, then moved back to New England. Living in Roxbury, MA, he was elected for two terms as a Representative and one term as a Senator to the Massachusetts state house. Click here for Fuller’s bio in Luther Townsend’s History of the Sixteenth Regiment.
Aaron F. Stevens
Orlando W. Keyes
Mason W. Tappan
Charles W. Pickering
There was another, even more famous Charles W. Pickering from NH, who was NOT the honoree of the 1896, 20th NHVA reunion. This namesake, Captain Charles Whipple Pickering, was a Portsmouth, New Hampshire native, whose naval career started when he was only 7 years old. His career spanned nearly five decades, from 1822-1867. During the Civil War, he was a Captain of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He was the first Captain of the USS Kearsarge*. Pickering’s greatest claim to fame was as commander of the USS Housatonic, which was blown up off Charleston on the night of February 17, 1865, by a torpedo fired from the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley**. This was one of the most famous incidents in Naval history, as it was the first time a submarine had successfully sank another ship.
As the Hunley attacked, Pickering appeared on deck and fired buckshot from a double-barreled shotgun at the sub. “I thought of going forward myself to get clear of the torpedo,” he reported, “but, reflecting that my proper station was aft, I remained there, and was blown into the air the next instant from where I stood on the port side abreast of the mizzenmast.”
Surviving the Housatonic’s sinking, Pickering subsequently took command of the Vanderbilt, and participated in the capture of Fort Fisher.
Under command of its second Captain, John Winslow, the Kearsarge battled and sank the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama off the French coast on June 19, 1864. Launched from Liverpool on July 29, 1862, the Alabama was aided by auxiliary steam power, which gave her a huge advantage in speed and manueverability over solely sail-driven ships. For nearly two years the Alabama rampaged throughout the Atlantic, capturing, burning or sinking nearly seventy Union merchant marine vessels, who, hopelessly outmatched by the Alabama, usually gave up without a fight. The Alabama finally met her match in the Kearsarge, which not only had steam power, but an equally powerful set of armaments.
**The Hunley, its Captain, Lieutenant George E. Dixon, and its crew of seven men did not survive the engagement with the Housatonic, sinking on the way back to base. The sub was found at the bottom, just outside of Charleston Harbor, in 1995, and was raised in 2000. The captain and crew were identified and buried with full military honors on April 17, 2004. The Hunley continues to undergo conservation and preservation for eventual display in a museum. The mystery of its sinking remains, with many theories offered, but none proven.
William I. Brown
Frederick M. Edgell
John C. Jenness
About six miles from the Fort, Company C of the 27th had erected a wagon box corral for protection, near a forest being cut for wood. The corral consisted of 14 wagon boxes set in an oval. When Chief Red Cloud attacked, the corral was being defended by only 26 men against an Indian force said to number nearly 800! Captain James M. Powell manned one end of the oval and Lieutenant Jenness manned the other. One of the defenders recounted, “Lt. Jenness cautioned me not to expose my person, and to hold my fire until I was sure of getting an Indian at each shot…”. However, Jenness exposed himself and was shot in the head and killed. The defender continued, ” …he (Jenness) was a grand, good man, and a fearless officer. I told him to keep under cover, but he stated he was compelled to expose himself to look after his men.” Only two other defenders died at the Wagon Box fight. Facing the Company’s far superior weaponry, bravery and unwavering defense, the Indians were driven off.
Jenness was originally buried in Fort Phil Kearny’s cemetery. The abandoned fort’s cemetery was disinterred in 1888 and Jenness’s remains were reburied on Last Stand Hill in Custer National Battlefield. His remains were disinterred and reburied again for the third and last time in section B, grave #79 in Custer National Cemetery in 1905.
John W. Thompson
Harriet P. Dame
Alvah S. Libbey
Ira C. Evans
D. Arthur Brown
John C. Linehan
Linehan’s greater claim to fame was as an author. He became an authority on the early history of the Irish in New England and wrote many articles, as well as a book on the subject. (At age 9, Linehan had immigrated to the US from County Cork in Ireland.) During the 1890’s he was the State Insurance Commissioner of NH. Linehan was active in veteran’s affairs; he was a G.A.R. commander, a director of the Gettsyburg Battlefield Memorial Association, and he was President of the NHVA from 1885-1886.
George H. Perkins
William Pitt Moses
Edward E. Sturtevant
John L. Thompson
Simon G. Griffin
John J. Railey
Charles E. Buzzell
Dana W. King
Augustus D. Sanborn
Daniel B. Newhall
Henry W. Clark
Mortier L. Morrison
Martin A. Haynes
Lewis W. Aldrich
Joseph H. Killourhy
The guest of honor at the 1923 encampment was Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt Jr., whose father President Theodore Roosevelt had spoken at the 1902 reunion twenty years earlier. The 47th encampment was held earlier than the usual customary last week of August, so as not to conflict with the celebration of New Hampshire’s tricentennial, from August 19-24, 1923.
Joab N. Patterson
The 1924 encampment featured an expanded carnival, with free movies at the Auditorium; dancing at the Pavilion; a balloon ascension and parachute jump; daily vaudeville acts and musical performances; a midway; and Friday evening fireworks.
Bibilographical Listing of NH Infantry Regiment Histories
Bibilographical Listing of NH Infantry Regiment Histories
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION LOCATION
|1st Regiment||Stephen G. Abbott||1890||Keene||Sentinel|
|2nd Regiment||Martin A. Hayes||1865||Manchester||Charles F. Livingston|
|2nd Regiment- expanded edition||Martin A. Hayes||1896||Laconia||Republican Press Association|
|3rd Regiment||Elbridge J. Copp||1911||Nashua||Telegraph Publishing|
|3rd Regiment||D. Eldredge||1893||Boston||E.B. Stillings|
|3rd Regiment||D. Eldredge||1899||Washington||?|
|4th Regiment||John G. Hutchinson||1896||Manchester||John B. Clarke|
|5th Regiment||William Child||1893||Bristol||R.W. Musgrove|
|6th Regiment||Lyman Jackman||1891||Concord||Republican Press Association|
|7th Regiment||Henry F. W. Little||1896||Concord||Ira C.Evans|
|8th Regiment||John M. Stanyan||1892||Concord||Ira C.Evans|
|9th Regiment||Edward O. Lord||1895||Concord||Republican Press Association|
|9th Regiment||William Marvel||1988||Wilmington, NC||Broadfoot Pub. Co.|
|10th Regiment||Josiah G. Davis||1890||Manchester||John B. Clarke|
|11th Regiment||Leander W. Cogswell||1891||Concord||Republican Press Association|
|12th Regiment||Asa W. Bartlett||1897||Concord||Ira C. Evans|
|13th Regiment||S. Millett Thompson||1888||Boston||Houghton, Mifflin|
|14th Regiment||Frances H. Buffum||1882||Boston||Rand, Avery|
|15th Regiment||Charles McGregor||1899||Concord||Ira C. Evans|
|16th Regiment||Luther T. Townsend||1897||Washington||Norman Elliott|
|17th Regiment||Charles N. Kent||1898||Concord||Rumford Press|
|18th Regiment||Thomas L. Livermore||1904||Boston||Fort Hill Press|
|New Hampshire In The Great Rebellion||Otis F.R. Waite||1870||Claremont||Tracy, Chase & Co|
|Berdan’s Sharpshooters*||C.A. Stevens||1892||St. Paul, MI||Price-McGill Co|
|First New England Cavalry**||Frederic Denison||1876||Central Falls, RI||E.L. Freeman & Co|
|First Light Battery/First Heavy Artillery|
A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion***
|Frederick H. Dyer||1908||Des Moines, IA||Dyer Publishing Co.|
***A detailed description of the New Hampshire 1st Light Battery’s service, as well as the organization of the 1st Regiment Heavy Artillery, can be found in in Dyer’s book, “A Compendium of the War of Rebellion” on pages 1346-1347. The organization of the 1st Light Battery, and its activities prior to its attachment to the Heavy Artillery as Company “M”, can be found in Waite’s book, “New Hampshire in the Great Rebellion”, from pages 555-559.
Useful links with further information can be found here:
20th reunion, 1896, Camp Charles W. Pickering
The alternative name of “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882. The Memorial Day name did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name of the holiday by Federal law until 1967. A Federal law moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May in 1971. However, New Hampshire did not recognize the federal law moving the date of the holiday until 1994.
Below is a poster promoting Governor’s Day and American Legion Day, which occurred on the same day of August 28th, 1924. The poster, in patriotic shades of red white and blue, called service men to “Ten=Sho=O=N”, and was printed by the John B. Clarke company of Manchester, NH. Among the activities for the 1924 reunion were band concerts, speeches, “chow”, camp fires, a parade and an athletic program.
American Legion Auxiliary
The VFW Auxiliary Department of New Hampshire held encampments in Weirs Beach. Shown below are ribbons from the 1943 (13th), 1944 (14th), 1946 (16th), and 1947 (17th) annual encampments of the Auxiliary.