Veteran's Day, 2014, Milk Row Cemetery

We hereby acknowledge the sacrifice, the blood, the pain and heroic efforts of the men of Somerville in doing their part in helping to preserve the nation of the United States during one of the darkest epochs in its history, The Civil War, when approximately 600,000 people from across the land died, and in which a president was assassinated. 
                                                                                                                ---Skip Murray

The following presentation was prepared by Historic Somerville, Inc by Lawrence Willwerth.
SOURCE: "Somerville Past& Present." Edward A. Samuels, 1897
Somerville's Proud Tradition of Military Service
Somerville and the American Civil War 1861-1865

Wreath Presentation at Civil War Soldiers Monument, 

Milk Row Cemetery, Somerville, Massachusetts.

"Four days after President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to serve the Union, on April 15th, 1861, the men of Somerville, the Somerville Light Infantry, initially organized in 1853, left for Washington, DC, from Faneuil Hall, Boston. 

In 1860 Somerville's male population eligible for military service was approximately 2,500, out of a total population of 8,000. Sixty percent of Somerville's men served in the military for the Union during the Civil War. The men of Somerville were asked to volunteer five times during the Civil War and served in the 5th Massachusetts and the 39th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. They served with distinction in the battles of Bull Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg and Appomattox. 

1,485 men from Somerville, 10 percent more than required, enlisted in the Armed Forces of the Union from 1861-1865. The men of Somerville paid a high price for their service. Ninety-eight soldiers died directly due to their war service. Forty-four were killed in action or wounds. Fifty-one died in hospital, camp, or as a Prisoner of War. Three were missing in action and approximately two hundred and fifty suffered battle wounds. A twenty-three percent casualty rate for the Civil War.

The men of Massachusetts have a proud tradition of service in the American Civil War. 136,000 Massachusetts men served (6th in number of troops furnished). Massachusetts Regiments were the best trained, first to mobilize, first to deploy, and first to fight in the Civil War. The 5th Massachusetts and 39th Massachusetts were among these units.

The Somerville residents felt there needs to be erected a monument fitting for the service and sacrifice the men of Somerville were making in defense of the Union. 

In 1861, the only burial ground in Somerville was Milk Row Cemetery. Enoch Robinson, locksmith and builder of the Round House on Atherton Street, donated his cemetery plot in Milk Row Cemetery for the proposed monument.

This monument, erected under the supervision of the Military Committee of the Somerville Light Infantry, was paid for by private contributions and funds contributed by citizens of said company. It was constructed by Charles E. Hall of Powell & Hall, was dedicated one hundred and fifty-one years ago, July 1863. 

Somerville's Milk Row Cemetery Civil War Monument is the First Civil War Monument of the American Civil War".

1. Start of Ceremony- City of Somerville & Veterans honor Somerville & Massachusetts Civil War Veterans.

2. Reading of the Presentation, COL Lawrence Willwerth, US Army Retired, Somerville, Vietnam Veteran, Officer In Charge.

3. The Ceremony


5. Robert Flynn, Charlestown, AHAC.

6. MSG Brian Ward escorts wreath presenters:
(L-R) Somerville Alderman, Dennis Sullivan, Massachusetts State Representative Denise Provost,  Historic Somerville President Barbara Mangum, & MSG Brian Ward.

7. Wreath Presentation.


9. Render Honors: (L-R)
            MAJ James Marques, Somerville, Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran
            SGT Larry Epps, USMC, American Legion Post 19
            COL John Arthur Moore, MANG, Retired

10. Wreath Presentation.

11. Taps, played by MSG Gerald Davidson.


13. In deep remembrance, Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran, Benny Benich.

14. Somerville Alderman, Dennis Sullivan.

15. Massachusetts State Representative Denise Provost.

16. Observing Wreath Presentation.

17. Wreath adjustment (COL Willwerth & MSG Ward).


19. 75 years of service:  WWII to Afghanistan (L-R) Joe Cauley & MAJ James Marque.

20. Korean War Veteran, Joe Cauley, in a somber and remembering moment.

21. COL John Arthur Moore, MANG Retired.

22. MSG Gerard Davidson, AHAC.

23. MAJ James Marques, USAR.

24. SGT Larry Epps, American Legion Post 19.

25. Left: Barbara Mangum. Right: MAG Brian Ward, MANG, Retired.


27. On hand to acknowledge this day, Brandon Wilson, Somerville Historic Planning Commission Executive Director.

28. Also attending this day, top left: Barbara Mangum, President, Historic Somerville Board of Directors. Top right: Brandon Wilson, Somerville Historic Planning Commission Executive Director. Sitting left: Evelyn Battinelli, Secretary, Somerville Museum. Sitting right: Denise Provost, Massachusetts State Representative.

Veterans Day 2014, Milk Row Cemetery Observance 
Sponsored by the Historic Somerville and The City of Somerville.
Conducted by Somerville Veterans in conjunction with the local members of the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.

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