Hubbardston

Hubbardston
Hubbardston monument (Worcester County)

Location: In front of Hubbardston Federated Church, 2 Main Street
Coordinates: 42°28’29.0″N 72°00’22.3″W
Date dedicated: June 17, 1885
Architect/Sculptor: Unknown
Number of names: 50 (possibly includes veterans who died after the war)

Funds for the monument were raised and planning was well underway shortly after the war, however the town went into debt after paying its share for the construction of the Boston, Barre and Gardner Railroad (completed in 1871) and for many years the monument project was tabled.

Hubbardston had been a hot spot of abolitionist activity before the war, and several inhabitants were active in the Underground Railroad. Large antislavery meetings were commonly held here featuring major abolitionists, including William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Wendell Phillips and Abby Kelley. As it was a controversial cause, not all inhabitants were pleased with these meetings. An early historian of Hubbardston wrote of the abolitionist gatherings with a tone of disapproval, “Sometimes three or four of these speakers came together, and held conventions for several successive days. And though their words of bitter denunciation and biting sarcasm were often like barbed arrows to the people, large numbers came to hear…meetings frequently became excited and stormy, and were liable to be protracted far into the night. These reformers were especially severe in their denunciations of the churches, sometimes formally declaring that the churches in Hubbardston were ‘compacted in blood and in league with hell,’ because they did not adopt the radical measures of the anti-slavery leaders.”

The monument prominently features the names of three battles, “New Berne,” “Port Hudson,” and “Cold Harbor.” A plurality of Hubbardston’s volunteers, 43 men, enlisted in the 25th Massachusetts and fought in the Battle of New Bern, North Carolina on March 10, 1862. They were also heavily engaged in the Battle of Cold Harbor in June 1864. Another group, with the 33rd Massachusetts, served in the Siege of Port Hudson in June/July 1863.

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