Saturday, November 25, 2017

Gettysburg: The Last Moments of Frank Gould; Part 4, Martha Ehler's Memoir

This is the concluding part of 4 parts.  If you haven't read the other parts you can find them at the links provided.

Read Part 1 Here.

Read Part 2 Here.

Read Part 3 Here.


My immediate concern after deciding to use Capt. E. D. Roath’s letter of September 9, 1863, on my website, was to find appropriate pictures to accompany his long text. Searching for information on the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster County brought me to Vince Slaugh’s blog; “Lancaster At War.”

Vince collects primary source material on the 79th PA Vols. of Lancaster County and secondary subjects that support that topic. A post of July, 2013, titled “Donations Collected From Drumore For Patriot Daughters” provided me what I wanted; pictures and biographies of some real members of the Patriot Daughters, and a short description of their work.

Another link on Vince’s site led to a digitized edition of the 1863 memoir titled “Hospital Scenes After The Battle of Gettysburg.” The short booklet was authored by Patriot Daughter Martha Ehler. It was published in August, 1863, as a fund-raiser for the Daughters. In the book, Martha relates some of her experiences as volunteer nurse for 5 weeks, at a Gettysburg Field Hospital.

I was in no hurry to read the booklet, as Captain Roath’s letter caused me to believe the Patriot Daughters serviced several of the many hospital complexes around Gettysburg. Chaplain F. D. Ward, 104th NY, was posted at White Church Hospital in Mount Joy Township. And, it was Ward’s hospital that received supplies from the Patriot Daughters, as mentioned in Capt. Roath’s letter. But I was mistaken. It turned out that the Daughters shared their supplies with all who applied for assistance, but Martha did her 5 week stint as a nurse at Christ Church hospital on Chambersburg Street, where several wounded soldiers of the 13th Mass were sheltered.

In her memoirs Martha wrote:

“We had until now, no systematic plan of action. All of us agreed that it would be better, if possible, to take the entire charge of one Hospital, and as all the Church Hospitals were sadly in want of care, our only difficulty was to decide which should fall to our lot. — Providence decided the point for us, for the only rooms we could obtain, were directly opposite Christ Church, the College Church, which had been occupied since the first day’s battle, by the 1st corps, 2nd division, (Gen. Reynolds’ men) designated by the white lozenge on a red flag.”

“…We had by tacit agreement arranged that some of us should cook, and prepare delicacies for the sick, while the rest should undertake the nursing. I was one of those upon whom the latter duty devolved. With what trepidation I crossed the street, for the first time, to enter the scene of so much sorrow and anguish, may be more easily imagined than described. Had I stopped one moment to think, my courage would have failed, I would have turned back, but I did not. I walked up to the Hospital steward and told him that it was probable that we should be associated together in our duties for some weeks, and asked him what his patients most needed; his reply, was “everything.” “These men are now lying with the exception of having their wounds dressed, as they were brought in from the battle-field.” Some were on a little straw, while most of them had nothing between them and the hard boards, but their old thin, war-worn blankets; the more fortunate ones with their knapsacks under their heads. And when you think that they were almost without exception, serious amputation cases, what must have been their sufferings. I went back to the rooms, and we all commenced assorting the pillows, shirts, sheets, &c. sending at the same time to the Commissary for some bed sacks, which the men attendants filled with straw.

When our patients were washed and dressed, and placed in their new beds, with a fresh white pillow under their heads, and a sheet thrown over them, they looked their gratitude, which was more eloquent than words. One of us handed them each a handkerchief wet with cologne, and we left them to make arrangements for their supper. Already was it in progress; the tea was already made, and the butter toast making on the stove, and with some nice jelly, kindly sent by those at home, the supper was complete; we took it over and gave it to each. Many having lost their right arm, had to be fed; while some, tempting though the meal was, were too sick to partake of it; all however, even those suffering worst, thanked us over and over again, and could scarcely be made to believe that we were to remain some weeks here, and that they were to be our special care. They all said that they had never met with such kindness, and that that meal had been the first glimpse of home life they had enjoyed since they entered the service two years ago. Thus ended our first day’s experience in our new and trying vocation; it was, however simply a beginning; we had only cared for those in the basement of the Church, (forty in number) while above, were a hundred more waiting for our services on the morrow.”

I have in my library a booklet published by Christ Lutheran Church titled “A Sanctuary For The Wounded.” The church is very active in remembering its history. On weekends the church presents a program titled “Songs and Stories of a Civil War Hospital, Candlelight at Christ Church”

Nurse Martha Ehler is quoted heavily in both the booklet of remembrance and the musical program. Reading Martha’s memoirs of August, 1863, I suddenly made the connection, between the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster County, and the nurses narrative I had read about in the Church booklet.  I also have a recording of the Candlelight at Christ program.  But I had never been able to place a name to any “specific” soldiers in these accounts. The stories were usually generalized. But in her memoirs, Martha does get around to mentioning a few specific cases. Something struck me in particular in one of these passages.

Martha mentions the date July 16. That is the muster in date of the 13th Mass. Vols. at Fort Independence, in 1861.

Keep in mind, when reading the following narrative, that Frank A. Gould, Co. K, 13th Mass. was wounded in the hip and back. His mother lived in Southboro, Mass. and family lore claims it was she who brought her son’s body home to be buried there.

Also, that George E. Sprague, of the same regiment and company, was wounded in the chest, or lungs. Sprague had a wife and son back home.

And, that the two comrades died one day after the other, Frank going first.  [Below is a cropped photo of a Carte deVisite of Francis Gould, Co. K, 13th MA.]

Martha wrote:

“I recollect particularly being called about this time to minister to the wants of a young New England soldier; I had taken care of him in a general way with the others, but did not know of his dangerous condition until one of his friends called my attention to him. I saw that he was very low, and he must have noticed by the expression of my face, that I regarded his case as hopeless. As soon as I came to him he said, “write your name on this piece of paper for me, and if I live I want it, if I die, send it to my mother, and tell her that though far away in Pennsylvania, I have found those who have been as kind to me as sister or mother.” “And, now,” said he, in the most solemn and searching manner, “must I die?”

I told him I feared it must be so. “Do not fear,” he exclaimed, ‘ ‘ to tell me the truth, for when I entered the army, I made up my mind that a man was not worthy to live, who for fear of death, shuns his country’s cause. I am willing to die, and join the ranks of those who have already gone, for it is glorious to die for one’s country.” He said he knew in whom he trusted; that religion was no new thing to him; he had a good, praying mother, and though the temptations were great in the army, yet for her sake, he had tried to do right. He then uttered a prayer for the loved ones at home, for his comrades, who stood around, and invoked God’s blessing on those who ministered to him. For some time he was quiet, and after having taken some nourishment, he asked me what day of the month it was? I told him the 16th of July. “Then,” said he, “it is two years since I enlisted, and one year from to-day my term of service will expire;” adding in the most submissive manner, “and sooner, if it the Lord’s will.” After a short interval he said, “see that I am decently buried, and may God for Christ’s sake have mercy on us all.” The light fled from his eye, the color from his cheeks, and then his parched lips only uttered confused sounds.

Around him, bathed in tears, stood the companions of many long marches, and hard fought battles, and by his side his nearest friend, who had shared his test since the commencement of the war. He was shot through the lungs, and lay but a short distance from him; he had scarcely been able to move since he was brought in from the battle-field, yet hearing his friend was dying, he insisted on going to him. I remonstrated, but to no purpose, and I was not surprised, when, after performing the last sad offices for his friend, I was sent for to attend to him. On returning to his bed he had immediately had a hemorrhage, and in about two hours he too was a corpse. Calmly he fell asleep, leaving kind messages for his wife and children at home.

Thus in life, these two noble men had been devoted friends, and in death they were not divided. I kept my promise, and saw them properly buried. Hitherto those who died, had been wrapped in their war-worn blankets, but their companions made them each rude coffins, and a sad and serious gathering followed them to their last home. The relentless grave has closed over them, and the grass waves silently over their resting place; and when in after days we visited the spot, we placed on each a few summer flowers.” *

The story of how the photo of Frank Gould above, came to me,  is in itself a story.  It was shared with me by an extraordinarily generous collector who read these posts, and was appreciative enough to contact me to share this rare image that happened to be in his collection !

Francis A. Gould is reported to have died, July 14. George E. Sprague, is reported to have died on July 15. Both are listed as having been buried, in the Presbyterian Church Graveyard on their records of death.

Although the recorded dates of death are off a bit, I believe Martha was describing the last moments of these two comrades, (both mustered into service July 16, 1861),  who died a day apart.  In checking a list of known soldiers who died at Christ Church, provided to me by one of the participants in the Candlelight service, I find only Frank, and George, who belong to the same Regiment and Company, who died a day apart, during the time nurse Ehler was working at the church.

The significance of July 16, to the story, re-enforces this idea, but it is by no means conclusive. This list of soldier who died at the church is incomplete at best. But the coincidental evidence is strong. And, so far, I have not found another unit known to have been at the hospital with a July 16, 1861 muster in date.

For the record, here is a list of other 13th Mass soldiers known to have died at the Church Hospital. Records are from the 13th Mass roster, with notes from Christ Church.

Edward Church; age, 28; born, Derby, Conn.; carpenter; mustered in as private, Company E, July 16, 1861; killed July 3, 1863. Wounded in the left shoulder and chest. Died at Christ Church, (roster says July 3rd) 28 years old.

Horatio A. Cutting; age 44; born, Attleboro, Mass.; bootmaker; muster in as private, Company K, August 1, 1862; died of wounds received at Gettysburg, July 22, 1863. Shot in head, Died at Fort Schuyler, NY July 22d.

Prince A. Dunton; age 20, born, Hope, Maine; farmer; mustered in as private, Company H, July 16, 1861; died of wounds received July 1, 1863. Shot in the right hip and foot. Died July 1st or July 8.

Edwin Field; age, 20; born, Chelsea, Mass. clerk; mustered in as private, Company B, July 16, 1861; killed, July 1, 1863. Shot in left lung on July 1st Died at Christ Church July 2nd or 3.

John Flye; age, 29; born, New Portland, Maine; blacksmith; mustered in as private, Company K, July 16, 1861; died of wounds received at Gettysburg, July 26, 1863. Wounded severely in the leg and captured. The Confederate who captured him exchanged his own worn out gray pants for Flye’s blue pair.

Frank A. Gould; age, 20; born, Clinton, Mass; mechanic; mustered in as private, Company K, July 16, 1861; died of wounds received at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. Wounded in hip. Died at Christ Church July 14th.

Michael O’laughlin; age, 21; born, Ireland; shoemaker; mustered in as private, Company K, July 16, 1861; died of wounds received at Gettysburg, October 8, 1863. Left leg fractured. Pleaded not to have the leg amputated because of his aged mother who was dependent upon him. The leg was removed but he died Nov. 8, at camp Letterman. Single, shoemaker.

George E. Sprague; age 27; born, Grafton, Mass.; shoemaker; mustered in as private, Company K, July 16, 1861; died of wounds received at Gettysburg, July 15, 1863. Shot in the right lung and forearm.

Martha Ehler recorded the dying moments of several brave soldiers in her memoirs. I believe this particular case is that of 13th Mass soldier Francis A. Gould, and his comrade in arms, George E. Sprague.

*This passage begins on page 20 of Martha's book.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gettysburg, The Last Moments of Frank Gould - Part 3

This post is part 3 of 4 parts.  If you have not read the other parts you can access them at the links below.

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

Read Part 4, the conclusion, here.

Part 3.

Company K of the 13th Mass was hit pretty hard at Gettysburg on Oak Ridge July 1, 1863.

Sgt. Austin Stearns of Company K wrote:

“The skirmishers in our front commenced a brisk fire when we were ordered to advance into a piece of woods; this we did, and the firing became general in our front.

"In advancing up, being near the turn in the line, the farther we advanced the greater would be the gap between the two regiments until there was quite a space, the other regiment partially facing the other way. On our left but a little ways off was a little hill, or knoll; this was occupied by the rebels, [who] seeing our exposed position fired directly down our line. This was a most fatal fire for us. Many of our brave boys fell at this time; we being so briskly engaged with those in front we had not noticed them till we received their fire. My place being near the right of the company, I turned to see what had been the effect on old K. The first thing I saw was Sergeant Wheeler laying on the ground but a short distance away. There being so much noise and din, I could not tell by looking at him how bad he was hurt, for I could hear no sound. I went up and spoke to him, but received no answer. I saw that he was shot through the head, the bullet striking him in the left temple, and the blood and brains were oozeing out.”

William R. Warner of Company K, was promoted 2nd Lieutenant the night before the engagement, and attached to Company G. Regarding the battle July 1, he recorded the following in his journal:

“Passing through the woods, we attempted to form a line at a stone wall – possibly we were halted there a few moments to allow stragglers to get up – then across an open field to another piece of woods, and hardly before we could realize it we were in the midst of a battle.

"I had thought very little about it, I mean in the matter of dwelling upon it, & dreading it, and when once engaged, had no time to think. My first impulse, was to pick up gun & some cartridges, and I loaded & fired several times. Sergeant Wheeler of Co. K. was almost the first man I saw struck. - He fell over backwards, a ball having ploughed his forehead – About the same moment, six or seven of the tallest men of Co. K, on the right were wounded, Harvey Ross, H. Cutter, John Flye, M. O. Laughlin, Melville Walker.”

Melvin Walker wrote:

“My position in the ranks was on the right of my Company K, which was on the left of the regiment.  Of the first eight men four were mortally and three severely wounded.  I was so fortunate as to be carried off the field by two comrades of the Twelfth Massachusetts, which regiment had just been relieved and was moving to the rear.”

Melvin Walker, Pictured right.

Doubtless, Frank Gould, was one of these wounded men and he was probably carried to the Christ Church Hospital, on Chambersburg Street where Austin Stearns found him the next morning.

It is stated that Frank was wounded in the back and hip, which is important to this story, and that he died July 14; the date also being important to this story.

I duly noted the ambiguity of Frank’s final resting place, when I built the ‘Gettysburg Casualties’ page of my website. The tale would have ended there if I had not stumbled upon a reference to the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster County.

To continue with my research of the 13th Mass Vols after the battle, I had to consider that their division and brigade were nearly destroyed in the first day’s fight at Gettysburg.

The 13th Massachusetts Volunteers took 260 men into the conflict on July 1st 1863, and reported only 79 men and 15 officers present the next morning. Primary source material in the regiment was getting scarce. So, going forward with my web history, following the battle, I decided to look to other regiments of their brigade, to fill out the story. For instance, Chaplain F. D. Ward of the 104th NY wrote home to a New York Newspaper, in a letter dated August 12:

“The 950 who passed through Washington sixteen months ago, are reduced to less than 90 !  And where are the absent ones ?  At Gettysburg 25 officers and privates were killed;  86 wounded;  94 prisoners and missing.  Total, 205.  At Bull Run, Antietam and Fredericksburg this “cruel war” found victims from among us.  A letter just in from Capt. Geo. Starr, of your city, now a prisoner at Libby Prison, Richmond, informs us that nine of the 104th are confined there — the prospect of an exchange at present not being favorable.

“The regiment is at present in command of Col. Prey, Captain and Acting Adjutant Van Dresser, Lieuts. McConnell, Trembley and Richardson, who, with Quartermaster Colt and Dr. Rugg and the Chaplain, constitute the entire field, staff and line force.  Nor is this an isolate case.  The 16th Maine and 13th Massachusetts, in our brigade, are in no better condition.“

Another source I took for a reference was a letter written by Captain E. D. Roath of the 107th PA Vols.

Roath’s long letter to the “Weekly Mariettian” newspaper, touched on a variety of subjects, but of particular significance to this story, is this passage regarding the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster county.

“The 104th N.Y. Volunteers is attached to our brigade; they received their initiative with us at Cedar Mountain ; they have participated with us at Rappahannock, Thoroughfare Gap, Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg; as soon as they crossed the Pennsylvania line, up went cheer after cheer for the Old Keystone, with a determination that the rebels must be driven from its soil;  and their conduct on the 1st, 2d, 3d and 4th days of July, in battle, confirmed their determination; the regiment suffered;  their wounded were placed in a hospital about four miles from the town ;  they were in want of the necessaries of life and comfort; fortunately that hospital and the wants of the suffering was suppled by the Patriot Daughters.  When the wounded and sick were informed that these comforts had been furnished by the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster county, tears of gratitude could be seen standing in the eyes of these bronzed veterans. Three cheers were given of God bless the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster county, for their act of kindness and help.  Dr. Ward, their Chaplain, then offered up a prayer, in which he kindly remembered the Daughters;  asking God’s blessing for them, and for Him to crown their efforts in the good work they have undertaken for the comforts of the soldier, and as a reward for their services in the righteous cause of humanity, they might enjoy a blessed immortality hereafter.  I felt that I was from Lancaster county, and such heart-felt expressions from strangers in praise of the ladies of my county, made me feel doubly proud.  The daughters’ work is developing itself; many suffering soldiers are made comfortable and buoyant with the oil and food of kindness sent by those ministering angels among them.  It is the soldier that can duly appreciate their works — and may they never be found wanting.”

This passage was just one short part of Capt. Roath’s letter. My immediate concern in positing the lengthy letter on my website, was to find pictures to go with it. The Patriot Daughters seemed like an interesting subject to learn more about, — and hopefully I could find a picture or two related to them to accompany the letter.

My interest was only very general at this point. I had no idea that looking into the Patriot Daughters would lead me back to Christ Church Hospital, and what I think is a detailed description of the last moments of Frank Gould and George Sprague, both of Company K; 13th Massachusetts Volunteers.

To be concluded tomorrow.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gettysburg: The Last Moments of Frank Gould, Part 2

This story is divided into 4 parts.   This is part 2 of 4.  You can access the rest of the story at the links below.

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 3 here.

Read Part 4, the conclusion, here.

PART 2 - A Letter from Frank is Discovered

Seven years after my initial contact with Frank Gould's descendant "Nate," a letter written by Frank surfaced.  A collector friend of mine came upon it while corresponding with a colleague, who previously owned the item, then sold his collection to a Gettysburg Civil War artifacts dealer.  The former owner,  Mr. McHugh, really did his research and wrote up a profile of all the principal people mentioned in the letter, including Frank.

Here are Mr. McHugh’s notes followed by Frank’s letter:

Francis A. Gould, private, Company K, 13th Massachusetts Infantry, enlisted 7/16/61 and mustered 7/19/61, residence Southborough, age 20, mechanic, wounded in hip, 7/1/63 Gettysburg, PA and died of wounds 7/14/63 in hospital at Gettysburg, PA, born Clinton, MA, buried A-36 Massachusetts Plot, Gettysburg National Cemetery. (note: This is disputed and Frank is said to be interred at Southboro, MA —B.F.).

Joseph H. Hapgood, private, Company A, 15th Massachusetts Infantry, enlisted and mustered 7/24/61, residence Sterling, age 22, farmer, wounded 10/21/61, Ball’s Bluff, VA, transferred out 10/9/63 into 28th Company, Veteran Reserve Corps, 2nd Battalion, mustered out 7/19/64.

Luther M. Hapgood (this is the Uncle Luther who is the “replacement” for Joseph), private, Company A, 15th Massachusetts Infantry, enlisted and mustered 12/15/61, residence Leominster, age 42, farmer, discharged for disability 11/10/62.

Luther S. Hapgood (my guess is that the “S” stands for Sawyer as mentioned in the letter), private, Company A, 15th Massachusetts Infantry, enlisted and mustered 7/12/61, residence, Sterling, MA, age 24, farmer, POW 10/21/61 Ball’s Bluff, VA (gained), discharged for disability 10/30/62.

Luther S. Hapgood, private, Company K, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, mustered out 6/17/65 Washington, DC, born Sterling, MA, member GAR Post #53 in Leominster, MA, died 11/17/1923.

The letter was written in December, 1861, after six months service in the field picketing the Potomac River from Harper’s Ferry to Sharpsburg.  Company K had seen a little action by then, and Frank sums up his six months with the regiment pretty accurately.

Head Quarters 13th regt Mass Vol
Williamsport Md

Camp Jackson, Dec.29 1861

Dear Uncle and Aunt
As I have an optunity to wright a few lines I will improve it by writing to you. I have been thinking of righting to you for a long time but have not seen eny good chance before now. I left West Boylston the first of last April and went down home to Southboro. I staid at home Just a week. When I enlisted into the Company at Westboro, We drilled every day for 7 or 8 weeks when we was attached to the 13 regt. Col. Leonard at Fort - Independence The 29 of June we went to the Fort in Boston Harbor. We staid their first one month when we started for the seat of war. We [went] to Worcester by rail from their to New York from their to Philadelphia from their to Haggerstown Md Where we put up our tents and staid over night We started from their and went to Sharpsburg the distance being 15 miles we walked. it was our first march and we thought that we had a pretty hard time of it We staid at Sharpsburg a bout four weeks guarding the Potomac river to keep the Rebels from crossing the river. We left Sharpsburg and went to Middletown We staid their over night when we started for Harpers Ferry We staid their 10 weeks guarding the river as before H-Ferry is situated on the banks of the Potomac, but it is almost entirely distroyed by fire by Gen, Johnson it was government property so the rebels destroyed most of it when we left their we came to Williamsport where we still remain it is 27 miles from here to harpers Ferry to Williamsport We have been here nine weeks We are still quartered in our tents We have been in four or five skirmishes We have lost 7 or 8 men from our regt We had a brisk skirmish at the Ferry with a lot of rebel Cavalry We had six riffled cannons with us We drove the rebels of and come of Victorious We had four of our men killed in that battle.*

Williamsport is a large and beautiful town situated on the banks of the river the town is a secesh town and it is under a martial law our Col. is actin a Brigadere General now We have here in this camp at the present time the Maryland first regt the Indiana 12 the Ilinois Second the Mass, 13 regt eight Hundred Cavalry the Philadelphia batery of riffled cannons Bess's batery of Regulars is here. We are all in one camp and all are under our Col. his name is S.H. Leonard, We all like him very much. I have a letter from home quite often the folks are all well now but the two youngest have had the whooping Cough Hattie is still in Northboro running a Stiching machien in the same place where She has been for onne year and a half She is doing pretty well their  Addie is in Southboro doing house work She is well last Tuesday I received a letter from Charlotte Hapgood She said the folks wer all well at home except Joseph You have of course herd of his case. he was wounded at Balls Bluff uncle Luther Hapgood has gone to take his place I should not of thought he would of gone. Sawyer was taken prisoner and is at richmond Va I am sorry for him.

The fleet ther has gone down South does not seem to be doing much at the present time but it has been a terrible blow for the South. our forces have done a good thing in Missouri it is the greatest Victory we have had What do you think of the Mason and Slidell affair - Uncle. We do not think that England will interfear with the case What do you think a bout I do not think that the government will let them go. I hope that they will not for I think that they had better hang them then to let them go dont you think so. I think if England keeps still we will give these rebels all they want next Summer if not before I think by the way things look now that next Summer will tell the story Well as it is getting late I shall have to close

Please Except this from your Nephew
Francis A. Gould

I should be very much pleased to have you
answer This for I would like to hear
from you
Direct To
Frank A. Gould
Co. K 13th Mass Vol
Williamsport Md
Camp Jackson

*Battle of Bolivar Heights, October 16, 1861.  The killed were men from the 3rd Wisconsin.

The letter above gave a little insight into Frank Gould the person.  He wasn’t just a name any more.  I passed the letter on to Nate, Frank’s descendant, who told me it informed him of several other ‘relatives,’ the Hapgoods, he hadn’t  known about.  It was a bit more family history to look into.

I figure if there is one letter out there, there are surely more, and hope someday more of Frank Gould’s letters come to light.

To be continued.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gettysburg: The Last Moments of Frank Gould; Part 1

The following story is serialized, in 4 parts, to better represent events as they unfolded.  This is Part 1.   The rest will follow daily, over the holiday.  It is a sad story but one I am grateful to be able to tell.

Happy Thanksgiving !

You can read part 2 here.

Read Part 3 here.

Read Part 4, the conclusion, here.


Nate contacted me shortly after I volunteered to be a helpful resource for people interested in the 13th Mass regiment.   This was long before my friend and fellow 13th Mass. researcher, Greg Dowden, conceived our regimental website,   I had signed onto a reference/database site now defunct, called "Civil War Units," which I believe, was maintained by LSU, and Nate was one of my earliest contacts.

He was himself a Civil War re-enactor, with the 1st New Hampshire Cavalry, and was skilled at riding and shooting.  Connections to other ancestors who fought and died in the Civil War had planted the ‘bug’ early in his life.

His ancestor Francis A. Gould of Company K, was killed at Gettysburg.    Family lore held that Frank was wounded July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg.   The official record according to Nate, is that “he was wounded in the hip, lay in the field into the night, was removed to a field hospital and there died the next day.     …He is buried in Southboro, Massachusetts.”  Some other reports were contradictory and said Gould died July 1st.   Nate was looking for clarification of the family history.

The roster in the Regimental history only states that Frank Gould, “died of wounds received July 1, 1863.”

He was extremely happy to learn from me,  about Austin Stearns's published memoirs, “Three Years with Company K,”  and immediately purchased a copy.   In his memoirs, Sergeant  Stearns writes that he found Frank Gould, one of the wounded of Company K, interred at the Church Hospital on Chambersburg Street.   On the morning of July 2nd, after sharing a meagre breakfast with a friend,  Stearns’s wrote:

“I then went into the church to see the boys.  I found there in addition to Ross, Serg’t M.H. Walker wounded in foot, Privates G. E. Sprague in chest, M. O’Laughlin, in knee, Frank Gould in hip and back, Horatio Cutting in head, Albion Vining in foot.  Cutting, Gould, O’Laughlin, and Sprague all died in a few days. All the boys were in as good spirits as could be expected, and were all pleased to know that the old flag was still in sight. With the exception of Ross they were all in the same room, the vestibule of the church.”

This at least confirms Frank lived a short while beyond his wounding July 1st.

Nate was naturally very excited to get this bit of information, as he had no idea of being so successful in his query.   At the time we were both well pleased.   Information on soldiers, from primary sources,  is not always that readily available!   This all happened  in April, 2001.

Where is Frank really buried? That is the 2nd part of the mystery.

There is a stone marker with his name in the Massachusetts section of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, [pictured, below]  but family lore says he is buried in Southboro, Massachusetts.    Nate told me he had been there and seen the grave.   I confirmed this report many years later when I was working on the "Gettysburg Casualties" page of my website,

 On October 12, 2016, I called the Southborough Rural Cemetery, in Worcester County, Mass.  They have in their records Frank A. Gould, who was interred at the cemetery July 14, 1863; Section 3, Lot 20.

I included this information on the “Gettysburg Casualties” page of my website, and figured I had done a pretty good job with the story but there was surprisingly, more to come.  Some of it truly remarkable.

To be continued...