Amesbury Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument (Essex County)

AmesburyLocation: Union Cemetery, 9 Haverhill Road, Amesbury
Coordinates: 42°50’42.8″N 70°55’55.2″W
Date dedicated: May 30, 1874
Architect/sculptor/manufacturer: Unknown
Number of names: 5 veterans buried on that plot

The Amesbury Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument stands in Union cemetery near the heart of this old mill town. It is dedicated to the “Union Defenders” from Amesbury. The monument lists only five men–veterans who are evidently buried on that soldiers plot. Overall, Amesbury lost about 40 men out of roughly 400 the town sent to war.[1]

IMG_6412The first company of volunteers from Amesbury, about 80 men, formed in the weeks following the bombardment of Fort Sumter. They were commanded by Capt. Joseph W. Sargent and became Company E of the 14th Massachusetts Infantry. Some months later, this unit was reorganized as the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery and manned the large guns in various fortifications around Washington. During the spring campaign in 1864, many heavy artillery units were pulled out of the Washington defenses and equipped as infantry. In this role, the Amesbury company saw their first combat during the Battle of Spotsylvania on May 19, 1864.[2] Their regiment took very heavy casualties. They participated in the various operations of the Overland Campaign and were again very heavily engaged during the assault on Petersburg on July 16, 1864. The majority of Amesbury’s killed and wounded belonged to this company and occurred during Spotsylvania and Petersburg.

The Amesbury monument was restored through the efforts of the Amesbury Veterans Memorial Restoration Committee in 2015.

[1] Joseph Merrill, History of Amesbury, (Haverhill: Press of Franklin Stiles, 1880), 410-430.
[2] James Bowen, Massachusetts in the War, (Springfield: Clark and Bryan Co., 1889), 725-726.

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