| The Kneeling Soldier monument was dedicated on September 26, 2004, when the plaque entitled "Not for Conquest But for Country" was re-installed honoring the members of the First Methodist Church who served in the Civil War.
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The Dorchester Historical Society in conjunction with concerned citizens re-installed a Civil War plaque in Lower Mills. The plaque honors 51 members of the First Methodist Church who served in the Union armed services in that horrific war. Michael Sand designed a monument depicting a kneeling soldier to reinforce the poignant message of the plaque's title: Not for Conquest But for Country.
When the earlier building of the Methodist Church was demolished in the 1960s to make room for the new church, the plaque was lost. Concerned Civil War historians, who re-discovered the damaged six-foot plaque on Cape Cod, researched the names to determine that the plaque had come from Dorchester. They have donated ownership of this monument to the Dorchester Historical Society, and the Committee working on its re-installation has had the plaque repaired. The Committee decided upon an outdoor setting on the grounds of the Wesley United Methodist Church for the site of the new monument and for the earlier plaque. The site provides a place for quiet contemplation and is open to the public.
Many citizens and business owners have made contributions to this important project and to make this monument a thing of beauty and a respectful salute to those from Dorchester who served our country.
MEN OF THE FIRST METHODIST SOCIETY OF DORCHESTER WHO SERVED IN THE CIVIL WAR AND ARE INCLUDED ON THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE AT THE DORCHESTER KNEELING SOLDIER MONUMENT
Compiled by Fred C. Wexler
For the Dorchester Historical Society
July 20, 2004
Note: the men whose names appear on the plaque each has a page on this website.
The information contained in these pages comes from a variety of sources. Key among these are:
1. The individual service records of many of the men obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D. C.
2. The History of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts by John R. Chaffee, Boston and Chicago, Pilgrim Press, c1917. Also called: Episcopal society in Dorchester (records at State house for the year 1834, chapter 91) by John R. Chaffee. 247 pages. Available at Boston University, School of Theology Library, call number BX8481.D67 F5.
3. Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Civil War, compiled and published by the Adjutant General in accordance with Chapter 475, Acts of 1899 and Chapter 64, Resolves of 1930. Index to Army records. Wright and Porter Printing Company, Boston MA 1937. 8 volumes + index.
In some cases there are bits of conflicting information contained in the different sources. In putting together these pages preference was given to the individual service records for those men whose records were obtained, about half of the total number. Even within a particular service record there were sometimes conflicting information. In those cases a ?best guess? selection was made based on the remaining information.
The listings contain summaries of the service performed by the various units to which the men belonged. These are not intended to reflect all the various movements or engagements these units took part in. Consider the write ups to be a general summary of actions and other service performed by the units. In some cases it is possible that a particular man may not have been at a specific battle with his regiment due to any number of reasons, such as sickness, temporary assignment, leave, etc. Where known these are included in the write-up. It is also possible that a man may have been wounded, captured or served in a capacity not known by the author of this document. The listings were put together with the best information available as of July 20, 2004.
In all 7 of the 51 men were killed or died shortly after being wounded in action, died from disease during the war years or died during imprisonment following their capture by Confederate forces. 14 men were captured during the war with the largest number being captured at Galveston, Texas on January 1, 1863. 7 men are known to have been wounded (one twice) to some degree during the war. In some cases individual men qualified to be counted in more than one category.
Some men served for a long time (three years or longer) while others served shorter times (three months or less). Some saw lots of action and some enlisted late in the war and although assigned to units were never really needed by the Union in actual combat. No attempt is made to separate the men by the degree of action they saw. All enlisted to serve their country in a time of need and all were used by their country in ways consistent with the needs of the military at the time. Some served on the east coast. Some served as far away as Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Louisiana. Most were in the infantry but some served in the artillery, cavalry or in the Navy. All were enlisted men with some rising to the rank of Corporal, Sergeant or First Sergeant and in the case of the one Navy man, Paymaster?s Steward. Most served in Massachusetts units however one served in a New Jersey regiment and two others were in units from Maine. Most served a single enlistment but a number served either in two separate units or re-enlisted as veterans in their original units extending their time of service beyond their original commitment. Many of the men were born in Dorchester or Milton but a significant number were born outside of the United States in Canada, England and Germany.