Waltham

Waltham 2.JPG
Waltham, Middlesex County. (Public domain image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Location: On the Common behind City Hall at 610 Main Street, Waltham
Coordinates: 42°22’32.1″N 71°14’08.2″W
Date dedicated: May 29, 1868
Architect: George F. Meacham
Number of soldiers listed: 54 lost in the war

The was monument was designed by George F. Meacham (the architects of the Public Garden in Boston and many other parks and buildings). The key note speaker during the dedication ceremony was General and former Governor Nathaniel Banks, a native of Waltham. A statue of Banks on a large pedestal stands not far from the Soldiers Monument.

Among those listed on the monument are two brothers, 1st Lt. George F. Brown and Sgt. Charles L. Brown who both served with the 16th Massachusetts Infantry. Both died as a result of wounds received during the Battle of Gettysburg. During that battle, the 16th Massachusetts, part of Sickles’s III Corps, was posted on the Emmitsburg Road north of the Peach Orchard. When Anderson’s Confederate division struck their lines in the late afternoon of July 2, the 16th Massachusetts was forced to retreat. Lt. George Brown was shot twice and died instantly. He was buried on the field. Sgt. Charles Brown was wounded three times, taken to a field hospital and was expected to survive.

IMG_0446
Monument to the 16th Massachusetts Infantry at Gettysburg. Near here, Lt. Brown of Waltham fell and Sgt. Brown was wounded.

On July 6, 1863, three days after the battle, Mr. Leonard Greene of Waltham (brother-in-law of the two Browns) left Massachusetts for Gettysburg, hoping to recover the bodies of the seven men from Waltham who died in the battle. Private Patrick Connolly of the 16th Massachusetts showed him the spot were Lt. Brown had been buried. Greene was very grateful to him as he had little hope of locating his brother-in-law’s remains. Greene was also able to recover the body of another of Waltham’s sons, Private L.F. Fairbanks. According to the Waltham Sentinel, the resting places of the other five remained unknown in the weeks after the battle. They may have been recovered at a later time.

Greene also found Sgt. Charles Brown in the III Corps field hospital. A doctor pronounced him well enough to travel and Greene intended to escort him home. However, Brown’s condition rapidly deteriorated and he died in the field hospital on July 9. The two brothers were buried in Waltham’s Mount Feake Cemetery on July 21, 1863. A tremendous procession including veterans, various civic organizations, and citizens endured torrential rain and winds to accompany the fallen two miles from the church to their resting place.

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