A great piece of History told through Relics, and the Isaac Davis post badge from Acton, Mass.
In reading the following journal you should feel the love and honor in our Nation’s history as these folks did, through the small fragments that represented the great accomplishments and sacrifices of the people and objects they knew, or were familiar with personally. The craftsmanship is purely secondary, compared to the patriotic reasoning these fragments were obtained, cherished and preserved together in this possibly unique three dimensional archive. Little can I add in regard to commentary, other than to allow you to explore for yourself the journal in its entirety.
From the Journal accompanying the Ruler and Box;
“U.S. Naval Station
Dec. 8th 1915
West Acton, Mass
Member of Isaac Davis Relief Corps (Women’s) #62.
I have the honor to present to you the Ruler made from the Frigate Constitution by an old friend Ruben F. Reed of South Action, Mass, and in doing so I extend to you my very best wishes and vouch that it is as represented to be and that it will be of great benefit as well as a (welcome?) of the history of days long passed that should remind us all of the glorious days and the honors received and long ago remembered by us all as the days come and go. May this little token remind you of all who are interested for our Country and Flag that we and our dear ones help to keep in tact. My best wishes be with you and may the good attend you.
Very Truly Yours
F.C. & L
Charles F. Ripley
Captain, Police Navy Yard.
History of the ruler; made from the wood saved from the old ship called the Frigate Constitution. This wood was saved by Captain Charles T. Ripley the Chief of Police United States Navy Yard, Boston, Mass. This ship is known as the Monument of the United States Navy.
History of the wood; Set in the ruler and saved and sent by reliable persons and what is written in this book is the truth the people who are interested in this work are doing it for Public benefit and in memory of the heroes of the Country.
Is wood saved from the Prison used in the Civil War known as the Andersonville Stockade. Here many soldiers suffered and died from abuse, they gave their lives that other might enjoy the Blessing of Liberty.
Is Earth saved from the Grave of the 22 hundred unknown Soldiers, whose bones were found on the battlefield where they were killed. This grave is in the United States Burying Ground, Arlington, Washington, D.C. Saved and sent with the compliments of Mrs. Mary A. Reed. Saved in 1876.
Is wood saved from the old Chain Bridge across the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., thousands of Union soldiers passed over this Bridge to save the Union and free the slaves. Many never returned altho dead yet they live in history. Saved and sent with the compliments of Albert J. Reed, Washington, D.C.
Is some of the rail that Abraham Lincoln Split to build a fence around his log Cabin in 1830. This wood was sold in 1864 to raise money to build a hospital in Illinois for the Soldiers.
Is wood from the home of Mr. Walter Kitridy of Reeds Ferry, N.H. who composed the song Tenting Tonight On The Camp Ground. This wood is sent with the compliments of Albert J. Reed of the Firm of David & Cornell Company, Manchester, N.H.
Is wood saved from the Battleground of the Battle of Winchester, Virginia. Fought Sept. 19, 1864. Acton had 17 men killed or wounded. This wood was saved by D.H. Hall in Memory of his Comrades who fought in that Battle with him.
Is wood saved from the Flag Pole that was set in Acton Monument in 1851 and remained there until after the war with the Southern States and when Mr. Abraham Lincoln was held up for president the second term a large Eagle rested on this Flag Pole for some time in Sept. 1864. Saved and sent with of the compliments….
Is wood Saved from the battleground of Gaines Mills.
Is from the Little Round Top on the Battle Field of Gettysburg.
This Battle was the turning point of the Confederate War. Fought July 1 to 3, 1863. 80 thousand men were engaged on each side and the loss was 23 thousand Confederate loss to 36 thousand. General Lee’s Army was reduced to about 40 thousand men and was never replaced. The third day of fighting saved the Union. Great Honor is due to Union Soldiers in the Battle. Saved and sent with the compliments of Mr. Charles Holbacks, member of Isaac Davis Post No. 138, G.A.R., West Action, Mass.
Is wood saved from the Tremont House Boston where the Commanding Officer of the Mass. 6th Regiment held a memorial to Taylor Lead (Ladd) and Whiting on their Return home from Baltimore July, 1861. Saved and sent with the compliments of Reuben L. Reed.
Is wood saved and sent with the compliments of Comrade Frank E. Martell, Bethel, State of Vermont, this battle was fought Nov. 24, 1863. The Battle is known as the Battle of Chattanooga. This Battle was one of General Grants most successful of the Battle, was one of the most Brilant of Grants Achievements.
History of the Box
Is made from wood of Faneuil Hall called the Cradle of Liberty, Boston, Mass, built 1741. Burnt 1763, rebuilt same year. Enlarged 1804, all wood removed in 1898. The voices of men and women have been heard in this Hall as representatives of different parts of the world. Soldiers of the French war in 1745 and was with others countries have met in this Hall. When the English Soldiers were in Boston in 1772, landing the Tea and in 1775 they camped in this Hall and the Union Army and Women’s Relief Core have met in this Hall. Temperance meetings, Society of G.A.R. have met in and drank in this hall. This wood was saved and presented to the Bunker Hill Historical Society, Boston, by the City of Boston in 1898; and when the women held their Convention in Fremont Temple, Boston, known as the World Represented 51 different Nations carried home pieces of the old cradle of Liberty.
In the box, is from Mass State House, Boston, Mass and is from an old stair post in the old part of the house.
Is wood saved with the compliments of Captain Charles F. Ripley, Chief of the Police Navy Yard, Boston, Mass, this wood is a piece of the old English Man of War used in the Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775. The name of the ship was (HMS) Somerset.
Is wood from the Battle Field of Winchester, VA, in Memory of all that Fought in that Battle Sept. 19, 1864. John H. Fletcher was killed in that Battle. Also, Eugene L Hall Killed, Charles Phillips, Killed, Henry W. Wilder, Mortally Wounded. John A. Brown, Killed, Henry Gameage, Killed, Joseph Swift, Killed, Wm U. Carter, Killed, Signed D.H.Hall.
Is from the Battle Ship New York, the ship that captured the Pedra, the Spanish steamer this was the First prize Captured in the United States Navy in the war between Spain and America.
Is wood saved from the Pedra that was captured by the New York Battleship , Saved by Captain, C.F.Ripley.
The Flags are made from wood saved from the old North Bridge, Concord, Mass. The war ship Olympia and the Old Minnesota and the platform on which the Children stood and Represented the burying Flag when the Grand Army held their last Convention in1904; the Blue is from the old North Bridge, Concord, where Captain Isaac Davis was killed April 19, 1775.
The Stars are from the platform on where Children represented the burying Flag in the G.A.R. convention in Boston, 1904 The stripes are as follows, the stripes are from the Olympia, the white ones are from the old war ship Minnesota.
For the most part the journal is uncorrected as to spelling; I consolidated most of the descriptions to save space.
Box is 13 1/2 inches long x 2 wide x 1 1/2 high. Each relic has a die stamped number beside it to correspond to the journal. There are numerous small repairs with pieces of wood in the box, but these are not numbered and I assume that they are repairs.
The red cloth journal has some chewing damage on one corner, not affecting the text in any way. There are a few area and period post cards in the inner pocket of the journal.
One of the most historic collections of relics we have had, and the collection is all here in box and ruler. Time has not allowed me the privilege to research Charles Ripley and the Reed families, or the soldiers who are mentioned having served from Action in the American Civil War.
There is one item here that was most intriguing, that being the piece from Old North Bridge from Concord. I did look up the history quickly and found that the old bridge was torn down in 1793; later restored several times over in the 19th century and after. Whether this is a piece from the original “Rude Bridge ” of 1775 or no is unknown. It is the nature of people to preserve things for posterity for generations and this could be the case with the bridge fragment. This is the only one where I had any doubt; although the meaning still carries a great amount of weight.
To most folks I’m sure that this simple G.A.R. badge has little significance, and in essence they are correct. The badge is about 2 1/2 inches high, made of what appears to be a mixture of brass/bronze-tin metal. It was made by John Harriott, Boston. The badge reads, “ISAAC DAVIS POST NO. 138, 1890,” and on the pin bar “ACTON, MASS.”
Now where insignificance is overwhelmed by the significant is the intrinsic value of this piece. Isaac Davis was the captain of the Acton, Massachusetts militia company, in the town just west of Concord. In the days leading up to armed conflict in the Massachusetts Bay Colony against the British Army, Davis’s minuteman company was chosen to be the lead company against any action against the British due to his entire company armed with bayonets.
When the Acton minutemen responded to the Alarm of April 19th, 1775, that the “Regulars were out,” Davis and his men marched to Concord. When the first volleys had been fired at Old North Bridge, and the acrid smoke began to dissipate Captain Davis was counted among the first to fall in the war for American Independence; he was the first American officer to die in the Revolutionary War.
In his honor, the old volunteers of the Civil War from Acton named their Grand Old Army post after their famous heroic captain of old. Even more historical significance falls onto this badge, as the cherished old date of April 19th once again had great importance to the American Cause in the opening days of the American Civil War.
On April 19th 1861, These Middlesex County soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts Volunteers marched through the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, on their way to fortify Washington, D.C. in response to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops shortly after the firing of South Carolina artillery batteries on Fort Sumter; the opening guns of the Civil War.
The 6th Mass. was met with a mob of rioting southern sympathizers, that hurled rock, bricks, struck at the soldiers with clubs, tools, etc, and many were armed with weapons that were fired at the unsuspecting troops. Eventually the order was given to return fire, and the first casualties of the war once again were the same descendants of those who had fallen in 1775.
If this doesn’t give you goose bumps, then you need a huge shoot of red-white & blue patriotism!