Acton Memorial Library
ACTON.—Incorporated July 3, 1735. Population in 1860 1,726; in 1865, 1,660. Valuation in 1865, $854,719.
The selectmen in 1861 and during the war were James E. Billings, James K. Putney, J. K. W. Wetherbee.
Town-clerk during the same years, William D. Tuttle. The town-treasurer in 1861 was Winthrop F. Conant; in 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865, John E. Cutter.
1861. A legal town-meeting was held, April 27, "to see if the town would appropriate a sum of money for the assistance of the needy families of the Acton "Davis Guards,"* now in the service of the United States," at which it was resolved,
first, "that the citizens of Acton, one and all, whatever may have been their former political opinions, will unite and rally around the Constitution and flag of our Union, and be ready to imitate the noble example of our fathers, who shed their blood in defence of our civil and religious liberties; "
second, "that it is the duty of every citizen to come forward, and do all in his power, to assist in maintaining the rightful authority of the national government;"
third, "that the soldiers of the Acton Davis Guards, starting, like their namesakes in 1775, at a minute's warning, with the Sixth Regiment—being the first to respond to the President's call, armed and equipped for the defence of the national capital—have honored themselves and the town, and shown by their gallant conduct that they are true lineal descendants of Davis, Hosmer, and Hayward,—men who were 'not afraid to go,' and who fought and fell in defence of our liberties;"
fourth, that the town appropriate five thousand dollars" for the benefit of the families of soldiers in the town of Acton, who are, or may hereafter be, engaged in the service of the United States."
A committee was appointed to superintend the expenditure of the money; "also, to purchase pistols for the use of the Davis Guards."
July 16th, A meeting was held to make preparations to receive the Davis Guards on their return from their three months' service. It was voted to give a dinner to the soldiers, their wives, and families. " A band of music, and powder and cannon, were furnished." The reception was a very pleasant occasion for the soldiers and the citizens.
1862. July 16th, The town voted to pay a bounty of one hundred dollars to each volunteer enlisting to the credit of the town, and the selectmen and treasurer were authorized to recruit the men, and borrow the money to pay the bounties.
August 20th, Voted, to pay a bounty of one hundred dollars "to each resident of the town who volunteers in the Davis Guards for nine months," and the further sum of twenty-five dollars to each of the twenty-three recruits for three years' service.
December 2d, Voted, that if any more men are required from Acton the same bounty shall be paid as before; and if any man is drafted and enters the service he shall receive the same bounty.
1863. At a town-meeting held November 3d the selectmen were authorized to keep on recruiting men, and to pay such bounties as they might think proper. This system was continued to the end of the war.
Acton furnished one hundred and ninety-five men for the military service, which was a surplus of thirty over and above all demands. Twenty were commissioned officers. The total amount of money raised and expended by the town for war purposes, exclusive of State aid, was thirteen thousand and seventy-two dollars ($13,072.00).
The amount of money raised and expended by the town during the war for State aid to soldiers' families, and which was afterwards repaid by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1861, $731.05; in 1862, $2,416.01; in 1863, $2,556.71; in 1864, $1,883.26; in 1865, $1,150.00.. Total amount, $8,737.03.
* The Davis Guards was in the Sixth Regiment, which passed through Baltimore on the 19th of April, 1861.