Then and Now: A Civil War Soldier Returns to Lynnfield

With Memorial Day right around the corner, we find a 151-year-old document for a Lynnfield soldier who apparently came home from the Civil War in 1862.

I'm glad I came across this item with Memorial Day just around the corner.

Over time, this weekly column is beginning to resemble an online museum of Lynnfield History. For our latest exhibit we have discharge papers from Private S.R. Moorland of the 22nd Mass. Volunteers from the Civil War on March 3, 1862. He was apparently a Lynnfield resident.

From what I can make out on this document, Private Moorland was actually a Lynnfield resident, not somebody who trained at the former camp - and that the Army paid him $38.52 to cover the cost of a 22-day, 440-mile journey home from what is very likely Hall's Hill near Alexandria, Virginia.

In an article back in the late summer of 2011, I talked a little bit about the history of Lynnfield in the Civil War, largely by way of the former training ground, Camp Stanton, which once stood near the junction of Route 1 and 128 in Lynnfield, not far from Green Street and the Peabody line. This area was also very closely located near the railroad. The image used in that 2011 story was provided by the Wakefield Historical Society, which is in possession of a painting by local 19th Century artist Franklin Poole depicting the camp.

There is a surprising amount of information that can be found online about the individuals who came from Lynnfield or trained in Lynnfield and went on to fight in some of the most significant battles of the Civil War. In 1911, a group of veterans returned to Lynnfield, meeting at the former Suntaug Lake Inn, for a 50-year anniversary gathering. A photo from that event once turned up on eBay as well and there's probably more about it out there somewhere.

Another Then and Now photo from the archives of the Lynnfield Historical Society has an image of the former military training camp, which if memory serves me correctly was closed down sometime soon before World War I.


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