From the Front.
Grant's New Line for Movement Upon Richmond.
Puzzlement of the Enemy as to His Intentions
Sheridan's Calvary Raid.
"The steamer Connecticut, Capt Stranahan, which left the White House at half-past six yesterday morning, arrived here last night at 10 o-clock, bringing up 675 wounded, among whom were 28 officers. ... There were about 2,000 wounded remaining at the White House yesterday morning, but as there were several hospital steamers in readiness, they are doubtless all the way up to this city. The wounded brought up in the Connecticut were all very severe cases, and it was found necessary to move the boat along at moderate speed, as the working of the engine went at full speed affected them unfavorably. One captain and fourteen privates died on the upward trip. Among these wounded there were eighty-five with legs amputated, and twenty-seven with arms amputated.
The following is a partial list of the wounded officers brought up on this boat; Maj. E. A. P. Brewster, 23rd Mass, Capt. C. P. Boswell, 92d N. Y.; Capt. J. S. Nesbith, 55th Pa; Capt. A. S. Harding, 122d Ohio; Capt. P. S. Blodgett, 10th Vt, Capt. G Farr, 13th N. H.; Capt. H. P. Woodbury, 23rd Mass; Capt N. Shackford, 12th N. H. Lieut. Clark Smith, Aid-de-camp on General Martindale's staff. Nothing has been heard from Sheridan, who (as we stated yesterday) has gone on another calvary raid."
(Evening star. (Washington, D.C.), 11 June 1864. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1864-06-11/ed-1/seq-2/
Nathaniel Shackford (1826/7-1920)
Nathaniel was born Jun 20, 1826 or 1827[i][ii] in New Hampshire, the first child of William Shackford (1805-1843) and Sarah[iii]. He was the fourth great grandson of WILLIAM SHACKFORD (William-6, Nathaniel Cooper-5, Samuel-4, William-3, Samuel-2, WILLIAM-1). His grandfather, Nathaniel Cooper Shackford was a farmer in Newington and Wakefield.
In 1850, Nathaniel lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with his mother and younger siblings Edwin and Benjamin working as a shoemaker.[iv] He listed his residence as Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1851 when he married Miss Mary Jane Martin[v]. He then moved back to New Hampshire settling in Holderness where he worked as a cordwainer[vi], and in a stocking mill[vii] before joining Company E, New Hampshire Twelfth Infantry on Sept 8, 1862[viii]. The Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics announced his commission in this fashion "Nathaniel Shackford, a Portsmouth boy, and known to many as an active military man here some years ago, has received the appointment of Captain of a company in the N H 12th Regiment"[ix]
Nathaniel spent 1862-1865 fighting in some of the most intense battles of the Civil War - the Battle of Fredericksburg, Burnside's 2nd Campaign, Chancellorsville Campaign, the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Gettysburg Campaign, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, and Cold Harbor[x]. He was wounded multiple times: a minor wound at Chancellorsville[xi], bullets in his wrist and groin at Gettysburg[xii] and then in June 1864 at the bloody battle of Cold Harbor, bullets shattered his elbow, a shell bruised his hip, and finally was carried off the battlefield after he took a bullet across his back.[xiii] Amazingly he returned to his regiment three months later, and was promoted to the rank of Major and led the regiment into Richmond, Virginia where he mustered out in June 1865.
Nathaniel is described in Asa Bartlett's History of the Twelfth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, as "always ready for fun", one full of pranks such as exchanging the Major's spirits for water and then setting up the troops right outside the Major's tent so they could listen as the Major poured a drink.[xiv] Nathaniel was also described the "liveliest of the living"[xv] and as one with "fighting weight, bullets and all, was never more than one hundred and twenty-five pounds"[xvi]
Nathaniel didn’t let his injuries hold him back in life. After the war ended, he served as a State Prison Appraiser,[xvii] worked for a hosiery mill in Ipswich, Massachusetts[xviii], and then oversaw a hosiery mill in Gilford, New Hampshire,[xix] all while participating in the State National Guard where he was promoted to Lt Colonel and then Colonel.[xx]
Around 1881 Natt was elected secretary of the New Hampshire Veterans Association and immersed himself supporting his fellow veterans and planning an annual encampment for New Hampshire veterans[xxi]. While many of the leadership positions at the New Hampshire Veteran's Association changed each year, Nathaniel remained secretary for almost 40 years where he enjoyed the opportunity to greet many military leaders who attended the encampment including General Sheridan in 1884[xxii] and General Miles in 1903 [xxiii] In 1906 he was recognized by the Veteran's Association with a cane made from live oak used in the original construction of the U.S.S. Constitution[xxiv]. He continued to serve the organization up until the 1920 reunion where he participated on the Committee on Credentials and was described as "at the age of 94, having the same twinkle in his eye"[xxv]. He died later that fall on Oct 20, 1920. The next year, the New Hampshire Veteran's Association named their annual encampment after him and placed his name on their encampment ribbon.
Frank M Shackford (1855-1939) - married Ella Frances Martin, employed in hosiery mill, reporter for Boston Globe, and followed his father's career as secretary of New Hampshire Veterans' Association.
While writing this biographical sketch it was easy to get distracted researching Nathaniel due to his fascinating life. I wondered if he wrote to his wife Mary Jane during the years he was fighting, if anyone kept those letters, and how she learned about his injuries. I read and reread the details of the activation of the Twelfth Regiment and started to map out their journey from New Hampshire to Maryland thinking this may have been the first trip for many of these new enlistees. I also researched the descendents of Nathaniel to see if I could find any living descendents and learned that the Shackford name ends with Natt's grandchildren. There is a slight possibly that his granddaughter Edith May Shackford continued the family under the James name.
I'd love to hear from you if you know more about about Nathaniel!
Two other Nathaniel Shackfords fought in the Civil War, Nathaniel H Shackford, 28th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry, and Nathaniel Shackford (1835-1899), 6th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry.
After writing this article, I decided that someday I need to see the Weirs where Nathaniel organized so many New Hampshire veterans encampments.
[i] National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Applications for Headstones for U.S. military veterans, 1925-1941; National Archives Microfilm Publication: A1, 2110-C; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General; Record Group Number: 92
[ii] Bartlett, Asa W., New Hampshire Volunteers, page 216
[iii]William married a Sarah Dearborn in 1827 and Nathaniel's mother is listed as Sarah Rand in one document. They may be the same person.
[iv]Year: 1850; Census Place: Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire; Roll: M432_437; Page: 90A; Image: 186
[v] New-Hampshire Gazette, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Tuesday, January 28, 1851; www.genealogybank.com, accessed Mar 11, 2013
[vi] The Portsmouth Directory, 1850, p, 152
[vii] Year:1860; Census Place: Holderness, Grafton, New Hampshire; Roll: M653_670; Page: 76; Image: 81; Family History Library Film: 803670; www.ancestry.com, accessed Mar 10, 2013
[viii]Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire 1861-65
[ix] Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Saturday, September 27, 1862; www.genealogybank.com
[x]Bartlett, Asa W, History of the Twelfth regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion
[xi] The Twelfth at Chancellorsville, http://www.dc.net/jaburns/cville.htm
[xii] Democrat Extra, 12th Regiment! Correct List of the Killed, Wounded and Missing
[xiii]Bartlett, Asa W, History of the Twelfth regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, p. 216
[xiv]Bartlett, Asa W, History of the Twelfth regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, p. 411
[xv]Bartlett, Asa W, History of the Twelfth regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, p. 216
[xvi]Bartlett, Asa W, History of the Twelfth regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, p. 216
[xvii]Lowell Daily Citizen and News, Lowell, Massachusetts, Saturday, March 27, 1869; www.genealogybank.com, accessed Mar 11, 2013
[xviii]Year: 1870; Census Place: Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: M593_608; Page: 801B; Image: 837; Family History Library Film: 552107
[xix]Year: 1880; Census Place: Gilford, Belknap, New Hampshire; Roll: 760; Family History Film: 1254760; Page: 52B; Enumeration District: 005; Image: 0107
[xx] Bartlett, Asa W, History of the Twelfth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of
the Rebellion, published 1897, I.C. Evans, printer, p. 614
[xxi] New Hampshire Sentinel, Keene, New Hampshire, Thursday, September 8, 1881; www.genealogybank.com, accessed Mar 11, 2013)
[xxii]The State Journal, August 16, 1884, page 16
[xxiii]Boston Daily Globe August 27, 1903, page 2 of 26
[xxiv]The Boston Telegraph-Aug 27, 1906, page 2 of 8
[xxv] Journal of the Encampment of the Department of New Hampshire G.A.R Volumes 50-57, Grand
Army of the Republic, Dept of New Hampshire, 1917 -1920
The Library of Congress Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers SHACKFORD family history genealogy series includes newspaper clippings that mention a SHACKFORD followed by a digital transcript and a short biography of the person mentioned in the article.
Copyright Joanne Shackford Parkes 2013, All Rights Reserved