Acton Memorial Library
This is a collection of letters written to and by Aaron Jones Fletcher of South Acton, Massachusetts while he was a soldier during the Civil War. The letters were given to the Acton Memorial Library in 2007 by the Estate of Leonard Adams, his grandson. Previously, in 1990, Mr. Adams also gave the library Fletcher's diary chronicling his service at Ship Island and in New Orleans, as well as a number of other artifacts that are now part of the library's permanent exhibit "Not Afraid to Go: Acton’s Part in the Birth and Preservation of Our Nation."
Most of the letters were written to Aaron Jones Fletcher by his mother, family members and friends. A few of the letters are from fellow soldiers who were friends from Acton.
Aaron Jones Fletcher was born April 28, 1841, the seventh of nine children of Aaron and Lydia Lucinda (née Jones) Fletcher. His father was a farmer in South Acton.
On April 16, 1861 Fletcher enlisted in the Davis Guards, Co. E. Sixth Massachusetts, responding to President Lincoln's call for Federal troops to defend Washington. His older brother, Aaron Swift Fletcher, mustered into the same company as a 4th Lieutenant. During the Civil War Aaron Jones Fletcher served two additional enlistments. In November 1861, he enlisted in Company E, 26th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry for a period of three years. He re-enlisted in February, 1865 for the duration of the war. He was promoted to Corporal on February 1, 1865 and mustered out of service on August 26, 1865.
In 1862 Aaron Jones Fletcher was stationed in New Orleans, first on Ship Island and then on provost duty in the City. He guarded Symes Drugstore on Canal Street. His regiment was in Virginia during the fall of 1864 and he fought in the Battles of Winchester and Cedar Creek.
After re-enlisting in 1865 he came home on furlough. Upon his return to the battlefront, he was attached to Sheridan's headquarters until the end of the war, on guard duty in Savannah, Georgia.
After the War, he joined his brother Aaron Swift Fletcher building railroad bridges for the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad. While living and working in Maryland, he married Mary Eliza Pruner. They returned to Acton, Massachusetts in 1866 and he worked for the Boston and Maine Railroad inspecting bridges. He and his wife had four children. Retiring at 80 years of age, he lived out his final days at the family home on Martin Street with his son-in-law William A. Charles and grandson Robert F. Charles. When he died in 1938 at the age of 97, Aaron Jones Fletcher was the last surviving member of the Sixth Massachusetts regiment that marched through Baltimore on April 19, 1861.
The letters were transcribed by library volunteer Irene Cavanagh and edited by Wanda Null. Spelling, capitalization, abbreviations, punctuation and line breaks are retained. If we are unsure of a word or character we use a question mark in square brackets following our interpretation [?]. If a word is completely undecipherable we insert [illegible]. If clarification is needed we provide clarification in square brackets after the original spelling: iside [inside].