Plympton

IMG_5891Location: Town Green, across from 264 Main Street
Coordinates: 41°57’17.1″N 70°48’52.0″W
Date dedicated: November 20, 1889
Architect/sculptor: Unknown
Number of names: 99 men who served

Of the 99 who served from Plympton, 15 lost their lives in the line of duty. A monument in honor of all those from the town who served was dedicated in 1889.  The primary inscription reads, “Erected By The Ladies’ Memorial Association of Plympton to Commemorate the Deeds of Her Loyal Sons Who Imperiled Their Lives For The Preservation Of The Union 1861-1865.” It was constructed at a cost of $1,400.

The president of the organization was Mrs. William Fuller, who called a meeting of Plympton women to organize an association in 1886. They raised funds through parties, suppers and donations. The association would also become responsible for annual Memorial Day exercises.

The chairman of exercises on the day of dedication was Sgt. Samuel Cole Wright, formerly a soldier from that town and recipient of the Medal of Honor. The principal speaker was Rev. Edward A. Horton of Boston.

Wright, Samuel Cole
Sgt. Samuel Cole Wright, Plympton resident, Medal of Honor recipient

Samuel Cole Wright’s remarkable story warrants some attention. In May 1861, he enlisted as a private with the 3rd Massachusetts Militia. His company later became part of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Wright served in over 30 battles with the 29th Massachusetts. He was wounded five times and twice listed as dead.

During the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, he volunteered for a desperately dangerous task. The 29th Massachusetts, then part of the Irish Brigade (although not an Irish unit), made a harrowing charge on an entrenched Confederate position known as the Sunken Road. A fence impeded the brigade’s movement forward and resulted in many deaths as soldiers attempted to climb over it. An officer called for volunteers to pull it down and Wright was one of several dozen volunteers who sprang forward. He survived the ordeal but was shot while running back to his regiment. Wright refused to be taken off the field at Antietam despite his wound.

In June 1863, while stationed in Tennessee, Wright survived a brush with typhoid fever. On his way back to his unit after his hospitalization, he was involved in an army wagon accident and seriously injured in October 1863. In June 1864, he was shot in the left arm during the Battle of Cold Harbor. Finally, he was gravely wounded in the head during the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864. That wound finally sent him home. After the war, Wright received the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Antietam.

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