Stoneham

IMG_3483
Stoneham monument and veterans plot (Middlesex County).

Location: Lindenwood Cemetery, 60 Montvale Avenue
Coordinates: 42°28’54.9″N 71°06’27.0″W
Date dedicated: August 12, 1869
Architect/sculptor/manufacturer: H. Graves of Boston (architect); Rice, Peterson & Co. (manufacturers)
Number of names: 62 men who died in the war

Stoneham was one of the municipalities to immediately leap to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers to put down the rebellion after the firing on Fort Sumter in April of 1861. Stoneham men formed Company L of the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia that mustered in on April 16, and immediately departed for the seat of the war. The regiment met great fanfare in Boston, New York and Philadelphia but the reception changed on April 19 when their train reached Maryland. In Baltimore, a city known for its support of the Confederacy and secession, a portion of the regiment was forced to detrain and march through the city due to vandalism of the rails.

IMG_3485One of the men with the 6th MVM was 26-year old William H. Young, a shoemaker from Stoneham. With his company, as well as Companies C, D, and I, Young was cut off from the rest of their regiment by a mob numbering in the thousands. As the regiment marched down Pratt Street in the heart of the city, the mob threw rocks, bricks, bottles and other projectiles at the men, and finally, shots rang out from the crowd. The four companies of the 6th MVM answered in kind, in what became a running fight between the rebel mob and some 350 Massachusetts men. By the time C, D, I, and L reached the rest of their regiment, four men were dead (the first to Union soldiers to be killed in action), and 36 were wounded. One of the wounded was Young.

Young served out the 90-day term of the 6th MVM despite his wounds, first garrisoning DC (and spending the first night sleeping in the Senate chambers, and then occupying Baltimore so that the attack suffered by the 6th would not occur to other regiments passing through. Young reenlisted, serving with the 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry in Louisiana and rising to the rank of second lieutenant.

The monument was dedicated “to the men of Stoneham who died for their country in the War of the Rebellion,” according to the primary inscription. Senator Henry Wilson was the keynote speaker at the dedication exercises. Of the 511 men who served from Stoneham, 62 did not survive the war and their names are listed on the monument.

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