Civil War Records of Leonard Luther Potter


Obituary for Leonard Luther Potter

Concord Enterprise, June 15, 1904


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Was a Veteran of the Rebellion and Well Known in This Section

    Leonard Luther Potter, died at his home at Whitman’s crossing, at 6 o’clock Wednesday evening after an illness of about six weeks with heart trouble. He was well known throughout all of this section as “Major Potter” and his face will be missed by many people who frequent Boone pond.
     Maj. Potter first saw the light of day in the old fort at Castine, Me., when that part of Maine was a portion of the state of Massachusetts, the date of his birth being Feb. 7, 1819. He was the oldest of the six children of Andrew and Lydia Potter. His father, who lived to be 80 years old, was a veteran of the war of 1819 and continued in Uncle Sam’s services for several years after the war.
     When the major was two years old the family moved to Eastport, Me.,


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and it was here that his education was obtained. Very early in life he began to work in the fish packing establishments at Eastport. He learned the trade of a tailor when only 16 years of age and for 28 years he worked at this business.
    Following in the footsteps of his ancestors at the call of his country at the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted serving nine months in the coast defence of Maine in the artillery stationed at Fort Sullivan. At the expiration of his term of service there he was mustered out with the rank of second lieutenant. He immediately re-enlisted and from that time until 1867, or for over five years, was in continuous service. On his re-enlistment he was appointed first lieut. in the first colored regiment ever organized by authority of the government. This regiment was known as Ullman's brigade and was under the command of Col. Hamlin, son of Vice Pres. Hannibal Hamlin.
   Lieut. Potter rose to captain and was breveted major for extra duties in the field. He raised his company at Baton Rouge and went into the fray at the seige of Port Hudson, marching his men into Port Hudson himself in a rainstorm. The remainder of his service was passed on the Red River principally at Shreveport and Alexandria. He received an honorable discharge and was mustered out at New Orleans in 1867.







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Major Potter has many valuable souvenirs of the war, among them being a sword presented to him by Co. E. 80th U.S.C. Infantry. It is said that this is the first sword of which there is any authentic record, that was ever presented by colored troops in the United States. This sword, which was very highly prized by the major, occupies a prominent place in the parlor of the home at Whitman's Crossing. Besides the sword there is a number of firearms and a picture of the major taken at the time he was discharged from service.
    At the close of the war he returned to his home in Eastport and on May 11, 1867 he came to Whitman's Crossing. He purchased the house where he resided at the time of his death and for many years was employed in agricultural pursuits.
    Major Potter was twice married, his first wife was Miss Sarah Jane Calkins of Easport, the marriage taking place in that town Aug. 22 1844.
    The gold fields of California attracted him in 1849 and he went there but failing to make a strike returned to Eastport in two years time. His wife died in 1880, at the age of [?] years. Six children were born as a result of this first marriage, four of whom are of still living: Mrs Laura E. Underwood of Hopedale, Mrs. Carrie H. Volker and Mrs. Alice Dudkey of Southbridge and Horace H. Potter of Natick.
     In 1895[?] he married Grace Rice of Clinton who survives him. At 79 years of age Major Potter too charge





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of the station at Whitman’s Crossing and for 14 years he acted as depot master and for six and a half years as flagman. During that time he was faithful through sunshine and storm and his face became well known to the many from the surrounding cities and towns who frequented Boon pond. Some years ago he determined hat upon attaining his 84th year he would retire from active life. To that resolution he adhered and on his 84th birthday resigned his position at the station. Since that time his life has been a restful one, although his time has been occupied by the duties of his home and farm which he has owned for many years. He leaves besides his wife and children, four grandsons one granddaughter and a great grandson. One of the grandsons, son of Horace Potter of Natick, is teller in the Natick National Bank. He leaves one sister, Mrs. Itene Tercartin of New Haven.
     Mr. Potter retained all his faculties in good condition until the last and was alive to the topics of the day, interested in the progress of his town and country and ever ready with a kind word or helpful hand. He was an attendant at the Methodist church at Glessondale for many years and retained his membership in Eastern lodge, A.F. and A.M. of Eastport which he joined when a young man.