GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2007-09 > 1191038177
Subject: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] Charles R. Prescott - died a hero in theAmerican Civil War aged 25 years.
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 23:56:17 EDT
Subject: Charles R. Prescott
Source: Prescott Memorial by Dr. William Prescott, Concord, N.H. 1870.
Charles R. Prescott b. Feb 22, 1836, son of C. W. Eustis Prescott & Mary A.
He died in Richmond, Virginia hospital of wounds received at the first
battle of Bull Run, August
16, 1861, aged 25 years, five months and 25 days. He was educated at the
Groton Academy and
then at Cambridge, as a civil engineer. We extract the following from an
obituary notice of him in a
New York newspaper:
Charles R. Prescott was the only surviving son of the late Eustis Prescott,
and the grandson of
Dr. Joseph Prescott, a surgeon of the army of the Revolution from
Ticonderoga to Yorktown; and
by inheritance, a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.
He was of slender frame, but determined, resolute and brave. He was favored
with superior advantages
of education, which he judiciously improved and became a competent civil
engineer. When the French
and Australian war was raging upon the plains of Italy, he became strongly
interested in the cause of
Italian liberty and despite all opposition, was determined to join the
Foreign Legion of France.
His friends endeavored to dissuade him, but these being unavailing, as a
last resort, he was intro-
duced to an old officer formerly of the French army, then residing in
Brooklyn, New York, who used
his influence to discourage him, but not succeeding, he boldly said to him,
"If you go you will be shot."
Young Prescott mildly replied, "I have thought of this - I have considered
it well and am ready to take
the risk." The old soldier could oppose him no longer, but said "go and the
glory of the army of France
awaits you." He immediately joined the Foreign Legion of France. He was
soon enrolled, but before
his regiment reached Italy, the peace of Villafranca was declared and his
regiment was sent to Africa.
There he served for about two years, and was promoted to Corporal. Through
the agency of his widowed
mother, whose heart clung to her only son, he was relieved from the service
and returned home to New
York. Here he followed mercantile pursuits, and seemed to have abandoned
his military spirit; but no
sooner had President Lincoln issued his proclamation for volunteers to
protect our government in the hour
of its peril, than he again flew to his arms, and he who had travelled to a
foreign land to serve the cause
of liberty, was prompt to offer his services to a higher and nobler cause,
that of the salvation of a country
bequeathed to him by the long and laborious services of an honored and
He joined the 55th Reg. New York Volunteers (LaFayette Guards) but they not
being ordered to the seat
of war so soon as he desired, he became impatient and with about sixty of
his company, joined the 14th
Regiment in Brooklyn, who had then received marching orders. In this
regiment he proceeded to Washington.
In a letter to his mother, written at that time, he announces his
satisfaction in the prospect of rendering
essential aid and service to his country. On the 21st of July, 1861, he
entered the bloody field of Manassas
and with a coolness and bravery which elicited the encomiums of his
comrades, he nobly performed his
duty in the struggle. He was wounded in both legs and lay helpless on the
battle field. In the retreat, a
comrade endeavored to remove him, but the enemy being in hot pursuit and
being satisfied that both would
be captured, Charles Prescott at his own request, was left behind.
He then fell into the hands of his country's enemies, and nothing was heard
of him until August 8th, when
a letter was received, dated at Manassas, July 28th, in which he wrote - "I
was severely wounded at the
battle last Sunday, but after two amputations am doing well." But
notwithstanding the encouragement
and hope which this letter inspired, he died in the hospital at Richmond,
Virginia, on the 16th of August.
Thus passed away, with thousands of others, a true and devout patriot. He
acted well and nobly his part
and gave his life for his country - of whom it may be said though -
"The sun of their being may set in the grave -
The light of their glory remains."
Transcribed with pride, by Janice Farnsworth
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