Acton Memorial Library
Acton , April 18. – The old Sixth Massachusetts Regiment celebrated its twenty-fourth annual reunion here today, and the town and its inhabitants have put on the gayest holiday attire to welcome the veterans to their midst. The day is full of reminiscence not only for the veterans of the old Sixth but for the inhabitants of Acton and the country around, for on April 19, 1861, this regiment marched through Baltimore and gave up the first blood that was shed to preserve the Union. The old monument which stands in the Green, surmounted by the flag of a united people, seems waving its welcome to its gallant sons who come in peace to celebrate the themes of war today, and all the flags and bunting which bedeck the town are symbols of the hearty good will that these veterans receive.
By the early morning trains the veterans residing elsewhere began to arrive, and they were met by comrades and greeted warmly. When about 200 comrades had arrived the annual business meeting was called in the lower Town Hall by President J. Stewart Brown. The various reports were read and accepted; then the members and invited guests partook of an ample dinner set before them. Among the distinguished guests and members present were Mayor Reed of Worcester, Mayor Noyes, ex-Mayor Stott, Congressman Allen and Representative Greenhalge of Lowell, Lieutenant-Colonel Watson of the old Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, now of New York; Captain Daniel Tuttle, Luke Smith, Captain Jack Adams, Major colgan and others. The Lowell City band played many fine musical selections.
When the dinner had been concluded a brief recess was taken, and then the upper Town Town Hall was opened, and almost at once all the available seats and standing places were filled. The newly-elected president, G.A. Reed of company E. called the meeting to order and thanked the comrades for the honor they had conferred upon him by electing him to be the president of the Sixth Massachusetts Association. On behalf of the association he then
And gentlemen present for their attendance, and thanked the citizens of Acton for the hospitality shown by them in their reception of the regiment today.
Captain Daniel Tuttle of Acton, who commanded Company E, Acton’s company in the regiment, was called on by the president.
Mr. Luther Conant was introduced by Captain Tuttle to speak for him. Mr. Conant rehearsed many of the incidents in the veteran’s career.
Captain Jack Adams was received with repeated rounds of applause. He said: “All who fought for the Union helped achieve the glorious result. We all did it, each of us doing his part and performing such duty as he found before him. Before the alarm of war sounded throughout the land we were the least war-like nation in the world. There was hardly any preparation for the war, for hardly a man foresaw it. But there were a few in Massachusetts who saw the little cloud gathering. Governor Andrew saw it, and had a few hundred overcoats ready, and you and others were ready to march to the front at the nation’s call; and, again, Massachusetts had the honor to be first in the field.
Mayor Noyes of Lowell said that, although before the rebellion the people of the North had been taunted with a lack of spirit and soldierly qualities, yet through the long years and many fierce fights of the war the soldiers of the Union had proven that the cool courage o the North was more than a match for the fiery bravery of the South.
Mayor Reed of Worcester spoke of the bravery shown by the Sixth Regiment in its eventful passage through Baltimore, and referred to the fact that Company G, which formed the Worcester’s contingent upon that occasion, was not originally a portion of the Sixth Regiment, yet he felt a
That this city, the heart of this glorious old Commonwealth, had been permitted to play its part upon so memorable and occasion.
Representative Greenhalge of Lowell said he understood that there had been a controversy between Acton and Concord regarding the fight of 1775, and the present state of the matter seemed to be while Acton has come off with all the honors of war Concord remains in possession of the field. (Laughter and applause.)
Hon. Jeremiah Crowley of Lowell spoke as to the good fruits the war had borne in eradicating slavery from our land, and at the same time all race prejudice.
Rev. Mr. Rhoads made a few remarks.
Comrade Scott of Lowell moved “that a vote of thanks be extended to the citizens of Acton for their hospitality to those ladies who attended, and to the members of the Grand Army post who had done duty as escort,” and the motion passed unanimously. Following are the officers chosen for the ensuing year: President, G.A. Reed of Company E; first vice-president, C.A. Colburn, Company K; second vice, James F. Noyes, Company H; secretary, GeorgeC. Fiffon, Company K; treasurer H.M. Woodward, Company A. It was voted to hold the twenty-fifth anniversary at Lowell, and Lieutenant Colonel B.F. Watson was invited to deliver the oration.