Acton Memorial Library
|E (Davis Guards)||6th MVI
|Private, enl. April 16, 1861; must. April 22, 1861||must. out Aug. 2, 1861||Acton||age 20|
|E||26th MVI||Private; enl. and must. Nov. 1, 1861; re-enlist. Feb. 29, 1864; prom. Corpl. Feb. 1, 1865||must. out Aug. 26, 1865||South Acton||farmer||age 20|
|MASSCW, 1:382; 3:90|
|Co.||Regiment||Date Filed||Type||App. No.||Cert. No.||State||Beneficiary/Remarks|
|Dec. 23, 1891||Invalid||1 080 132||924 030||Mass.|
Recorded as member no. 31 in the membership roster of Isaac Davis Post No. 138 G.A.R., Acton, Massachusetts (Acton Memorial Library archives, 92.2.1).
Fifteen members of Isaac Davis Post No. 138 G.A.R. in front of the Telephone Office Building, West Acton, on May 30, 1924 (photograph, Acton Memorial Library archives, 24.1.1)
|Date||September 16, 1938|
|Burial||Mt. Hope Cemetery, Acton, Mass.|
Photographs above: left, Acton Memorial Library 2009.2.1; right: courtesy Acton Historical Society
Aaron Jones Fletcher was a member of the Davis Guards when they were called up on April 15, 1861. He was born in Acton, one of nine children. His older brother Aaron Swift Fletcher served in the Davis Guards both under Captain Tuttle in the 3-month call-up and under Captain Handley in the 9-month call-up. After the Davis Guards came home to Acton from that first 3-month call-up, Aaron Jones Fletcher enlisted in the 26th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He served at New Orleans under General Benjamin Butler and later under General Sheridan at the battles of Winchester and Cedar Creek. He was mustered out of service in 1865.
His diary from 1862 describes the time he spent on Ship Island, Mississippi, near New Orleans. It details daily life, focusing on drills, guard duty, and routine chores such as laundry and gun-cleaning. While in camp, he could watch Rebel vessels running the Union blockade. He spent several weeks guarding a drugstore on Canal Street in New Orleans.
After the war, Aaron Jones Fletcher joined his brother Aaron Swift Fletcher working in Maryland on bridges for the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad. In 1866 he married a Maryland woman and returned to Acton, eventually working as a bridge inspector for the Boston & Maine Railway until he retired at age 80.
By 1936 he was a 95-year-old widower living in the family home on Martin Street in South Acton. In an affidavit in his pension file, his doctor said, “His mind wanders and he does not remember well, except Civil War incidents. . . . He insists on doing a little work such as chopping a little kindling wood because he says ‘he feels better and has to do some work for his board,’ so I have let him do it but only when the nurse is in attendance.”
When he died, September 16, 1938, at the age of 97, Aaron Jones Fletcher was the last surviving member of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry that had marched through Baltimore. His body was interred in the family plot in Mount Hope Cemetery.
(Text from "Not Afraid to Go", exhibit at the Acton Memorial Library)
"Aaron James" Fletcher, age 14, is recorded in the 1855 Massachusetts State Census for Acton, in household of Aaron and Lydia Lucinda Fletcher, which also included Aaron Swift Fletcher, age 25, a rail road repairer; Hepsabeth Augusta Fletcher, age 10; and Jonathan Piper Fletcher, age 6 (Lainhart, 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Censuses for Acton, p. 38).
Aaron Jones Fletcher is probably the person recorded as "James F. Fletcher", age 19, in the 1860 federal census for South Acton, in household (no. 303) of Aaron and Lydia L. Fletcher. Also in household were Aaron S. Fletcher, age 30, a farmer; Hipsay A. Fletcher, age 15; and Jonathan P. Fletcher, age 11 ("1860 United States Federal Census," Ancestry.com).
Aaron J. Fletcher is recorded in the 1890 special veterans census as a resident of Acton ("1890 Veterans Schedules," Ancestry.com).
Name included on the Acton Memorial Library Soldiers' Tablet, "The Men of Acton Who Fought For The Union."
The Civil War letters of Aaron Jones Fletcher (Acton Memorial Library archives, 2007.6.1)
Transcription of the diary kept by Aaron Jones Fletcher while stationed at Ship Island, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana, 1862 (Acton Memorial Library archives, 1990.1.13)
Fifteen members of Isaac Davis Post No. 138 G.A.R. in front of the Telephone Office Building, West Acton, on May 30, 1924 (photograph) (Acton Memorial Library archives, 24.1.1)
Aaron Jones Fletcher (three photographs) (Acton Memorial Library archives, 1990.1.8)
Aaron Jones Fletcher studio portrait (photograph) (Acton Memorial Library archives, 2009.2.1)
Five Civil War veterans standing in front of stairs to a large stone building (photograph) (Acton Memorial Library archives, 2009.2.3)
Civil War veterans at Gettysburg (photograph) (Acton Memorial Library archives, 2009.2.2)
Hosmer, The Town of Acton in the Civil War, p. 42.
Post, Merry B. A Farm Boy in the Civil War: The Experiences of Aaron Jones Fletcher and His Family from Acton, Massachusetts. Iron Work Farm, Inc., 2012.
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