…The Company was known as the “Westboro Company,” but men from Shrewsbury, Southboro, Hopkinton, and Upton were in its ranks.”
Sergeant Stearns does not go into more detail than that, about his hometown friends, but the town of Westboro kept impeccable records, and the Westboro Library has been digitizing many of their archival documents from the town’s 300 year history. Among them are a few papers documenting the Westboro Rifle Company.
From these, we can learn Stearns companions from Bear Hill, were William H. Gassett, his brother Thomas R. Gassett, Jonathan Stearns, Austin’s brother, Willard Wheeler, & Daniel S. Warren. This is because, the town of Westboro billed the town of Hopkinton for $128.27 to pay for the uniforms and equipments issued to these men, plus another recruit from that town.
Here’s what the men got:
The Town Selectmen of Westboro had voted at a meeting April 25, 1861, “that the Town appropriate Five Thousand Dollars, to be expended in the purchase of Uniforms — pay of men while Drilling — and for pay in addition to the amount paid by government.
The town of Southboro was billed $319.17 for 19 men on June 20. The town of Upton was billed $189.02 for 6 men on June 20. The Southboro bill included 5 weeks pay for drilling the men. A tally shows the total monies furnished by Westboro and the surrounding towns for outfitting and training the men.
Southboro furnished 18 men and paid their proportion for Uniforms, $327.17
Upton furnished 9 men and paid for Uniforming and board while drilling $189.
Shrewsbury furnished 9 men and paid for Uniforming with fatigue dress $34.58
Total = $550.75
HEY SHREWSBURY, PAY UP !!!
Much of this is documented in the wonderful book, “History of Westborough Massachusetts” by H.P. DeForest and E.C. Bates, 1891. But the town history leaves out the names of the individual recruits and the amount of money paid from neighboring towns.
Pictured are Dan Warren, left and John Flye, Company K Cooks, in camp at Williamsport, MD; 1861-62.
The Westboro Library Digital Collections contain some remarkable documents going back to Colonial Days. Local History Librarian Anthony Vaver has also done a great thing by digitizing the Ebenezer Parkman Diaries. Parkman was the town’s minister 1724 - Dec. 1792 and he kept a faithful diary for most of the 79 years of his life.
I'll post more about Sergeant Stearns next.