Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

April 24, 2008

The Minutemen of 1861

by @ 2:53 pm. Filed under History

It’s a few days late, but I can’t let Patriot’s Day pass without acknowledging the accomplishments of some volunteer soldiers from Lowell in the opening days of the Civil War:

At the top of the stairs leading to the third floor rotunda of the Massachusetts State House in Boston is a colorful mural, ten feet high and fifteen feet wide that depicts the soldiers of the Sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment fighting a well-armed mob of angry civilians in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 19, 1861. The regiment had left Lowell, Massachusetts, on April 17, just two days after the surrender of Fort Sumter, in response to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteer troops to put down the rebellion. En route to Washington, DC, the troops were attacked by Southern sympathizers in Baltimore. Four soldiers were killed, making them the first men to die in the Civil War.

Two of the dead, Luther Ladd and Addison Whitney, were young mill workers from the city of Lowell. The city erected a monument in their honor in 1865. It was to be dedicated on the fourth anniversary of the Baltimore riot, but the ceremony was postponed until the fall of that year because of President Lincoln’s assassination. That monument, a twenty-five foot high granite obelisk, sits on a grass triangle in front of Lowell City Hall which is also the final resting place of Ladd, Whitney and a third soldier, Charles Taylor.

The riot in Baltimore gave the Sixth Massachusetts an early prominence that was eclipsed by the enormous scope of the war and that regiment’s limited participation in it. In the early stages of the war, however, Ladd, Whitney, Taylor and Sumner Needham of Lawrence, were known as the “first martyrs to the rebellion.”

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