Civil War Records of James R. Lawrence

James R. Lawrence


Co. Regiment / Ship From To Residence/ Credit Occupation Notes
USN Recg. Ship Ohio, USS Housatonic, USS George Mangham enl. July 30, 1862, at Boston, for 1 yr., as Landsman disch. Aug. 10, 1863 credit Essex   age 20
56th MVI
Private; enl. Dec. 31, 1863; must. Jan. 12, 1864; comm. 2nd Lieut., June 16, 1865; not must; comm. 1st Lieut., June 26, 1865; not must. must. out July 12, 1865 as 1st Sergt. Cambridgeport bookbinder age 21
MASSCW, 4:788, 8:295

Service Record (select pages from the National Archives): x
Service Ledger (Town of Acton): x


Co. Regiment Date Filed Type App. No. Cert. No. State Beneficiary/Remarks



56th MVI

Ohio, USS Housatonic, USS George Mangham

Feb. 29, 1892 Invalid 1 094 513 1 127 945 Mass.  
March 12, 1927 Widow 1 573 231 A-7-27-27 Conn. Abbie Lawrence

Pension File (select pages from the National Archives):  7 pages  (PDF*)

Grand Army of the Republic

Recorded as member no. 10 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)

G.A.R. Personal War Sketch


Date February 16, 1927
Place Concord, Mass.
Age 83
Obituary Concord Enterprise, February 23, 1927
Burial Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Mass.
Survived by Abbie Lawrence

Additional Information

Born in Cambridge in 1844, James Richard Lawrence first enlisted in the Navy in July 1862, as a landsman and served for one year on the Ohio, the Housatonic, and a mortar barge called the George Mangham. At the end of December 1863, he enlisted as a first sergeant in the 56th Massachusetts Infantry. Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in June 1865, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant within the month. He was in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna River, Cold Harbor, Weldon Railroad, Pequam Farm, and the siege of Petersburg. He was never wounded, confined in hospital, or taken prisoner After the war he worked at Hall Brothers pail factory in West Acton for a time, but in 1890 he took a job at the Reformatory in Concord and worked there for 25 years until retiring. He died in 1927. (Text from "Not Afraid to Go", exhibit at the Acton Memorial Library).


James R. Lawrence is recorded in the 1890 special veterans census as a resident of Acton ("1890 Veterans Schedules,"



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