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1864 Photos Fort Pickering Winter Park Salem Massachusetts & Joseph Stearns Diary

Joseph Oliver Stearns living in Amesbury, Massachusetts was a Private in the 3rd Unattached Company, Massachusetts Infantry (Militia) Mustered in for 90 days’ service May 3, 1864, and on duty at Fort Pickering, Salem, Mass. Mustered out August 5, 1864.

His father Charles Stearns served as a selectman in Amesbury, Massachusetts and his obituary “Death of a nonagenarian” clearly shows a minion deeply respected, admired, and cherished. He was expert tanner, but held many vocations including California Gold Rush venturer. News clips furnished from the Archival room at Amesbury Library reveal a full life. He was present during the visit of Gen Lafayette and the laying of the Bunker Hill monument where Daniel Webster spoke. His 90th birthday was attended by his closest mates Captain Paul Bickford, Richard Currier, Hiram Foote, and L E Burbank.

All Photos from Stearns Family Collection Please DO NOT COPY WITHOUT PERMISSION

Joseph left  Newburyport Monday, May 2, 1864, with city cadets, to Readville, refers to as Camp Meigs. On May 13, transfers to Fort Pickering about noon. Gr He’s drilling or on guard duty, eats lots of soup, bread and beans. On May 11, the soldiers escorted the 26th Regiment to the depot. 26th Massachusetts Regiment was on leave March 22 through May 20, having been most recently in New Orleans.

Visit Mr. Peabody in Salem with his sisters Susan and Sarah. Maybe Sarah True, of Salisbury, a friend of Sarah and Susan Stearns married a John F. Peabody of Boxford MA, per census, she’s the same age as Susan.  In 1870 census John Peabody and Sarah living in Salem, she’s the right age, and they have several young children, oldest about 9.

Then visits Mr. Glaziers and Susan, sister of Peabody there. He home for a weekend May 24-26 1864.  Visits with his “girlfriend,” Helen Dennett (married in Amesbury MA 1 JAN 1867)  She went with him to Depot when he leaves Amesbury, Massachusetts. Helen writes in her journal for the same date that she “drove the horse back alone” which she would not have done before.

In his entries Joseph mentions the weather, what guard duty he was on and with whom, who he received a letter from and who he wrote, and any church services or lectures he might have attended.

He attends the military funeral for a Lieutenant Wheeler on June 9 1964 (per civil war records Richard P. Wheeler died June 2, 1864 from woulds rec’d in battle, residence Salem, place of death Fortress Monroe, Va)

Sometimes on guard duties at Fort Lee, also goes there to drill in big guns.  Has leave  again June 18-20 1864.

He goes for a sail with Rufus Greenleaf to Beverly Farms---see last photo above. And another day they went over to Marblehead in a boat.  Rufus Greenleaf is from Newburyport, Massachusetts s. of Jeremiah Greenleaf and Mary Ann Lamson. He married  Mary Jane Gowren “Jennie” Emery. Rufus d. at Newburyport, June 21st, 1880, buried at Oak Hill in Newburyport. Mary Jane married 2nd William Stone Coffin.

One day he helps mount gun in Ft. Pickering, another day moved ninety six barrels of powder from one magazine to another at Ft. Pickering.  He left Fort Pickering August 5.  went to the State House in Boston and mustered out in Boston Common.  Attended concert in the evening in City Hall.  Left for Newburyport the next morning. He received pay from U.S. $219.98.

Two days later he starts for Springfield, visiting Uncle William Stearns and Uncle Luther Stearns (Charles Oliver Stearns’ younger brothers)  He remarks a few days later he was 100 miles from Boston on the western Rail Road in West Springfield.

He heads for Worcester to Mechanics Hall and the Republic Convention, then on to Nashua, NH, staying with the Leonard Burbank family (Married to his cousin Fannie Stearns)

September 17 went to Lowell to the W.H. Hull family (his Aunt Mary Elizabeth Stearns Hull) in Dracut where his grandmother Dorcas Varnum Stearns lives, and heads home.

List of soldiers in 3rd Unattached Company, Massachusetts Infantry (Militia)  Mustered in for 90 days’ service May 3, 1864, and on duty at Fort Pickering, Salem, Mass.  Mustered out August 5, 1864. (soldiers mentioned in JOS Journal noted by date of occurrence)

  • Adams, Hazen M.

  • Adams Jr., David J.

  • Armitage, Charles E.

  • Atkinson, Albert J.

  • Ayers, Charles L.

  • Bridges, Rufus

  • Brown, John A.

  • Burrill, James P.

  • Burrill, Henry M.

  • Carlton, William C.

  • Cheeney Jr., Charles

  • Cheever, Augustus E.

  • Cheney Jr., Charles

  • Clark, George W.

  • Collins, John H.  Salisbury;  6/4  6/29  7/1 7/27 7/30

  • Creasey, Edward K.

  • Creasy, Edmund K.

  • Currier, Albert E.

  • Currier, Frank P.   5/30 – he’s “friend Currier” that Nell mentions.  6/2  6/6  6/17 7/2  8/5  8/8

  • Currier, Alfred

  • Cutter, Henry P.

  • Dame, Luther  7/19.  Captain.  8/3

  • Danforth, Jacob I.  6/11.  Corporal.

  • Danforth, Calvin H.

  • Delano, James H.

  • Frothingham Jr., Joseph A.

  • Gerrish, Orrin B.  8/6

  • Goodwin, Daniel S.

  • Green, Charles M.

  • Greenleaf, Rufus L.  6/28   7/13 7/27

  • Greenough, Henry F.

  • Hale, Charles H.

  • Haskell, George W.

  • Haskell, William W.

  • Hodgdon, James W.

  • Holland, John E.

  • Horton, Charles F.

  • Johnson, Otis

  • Johnson, James H.

  • Keniston, James R.

  • Keniston, James R.

  • Knight, Joseph

  • Knight Jr., George W.

  • Lamson, William S.

  • Lane, Isaac J.

  • Lattime, Benjamin H.

  • Little, William A.

  • Lunt, Amos

  • Merrill, Paul A.

  • Morse, Joseph E.

  • Morse, Joseph F.

  • Morse, Albert

  • Morse, Edward O.

  • Mudge, William M.

  • Mumford, Frank E.

  • Mumford, Martin M.

  • Newhall, Preston

  • Noyes, Charles S.

  • Ordway, George

  • Pearson, George

  • Pettingill, John S.  6/2  6/29  7/1  7/23

  • Pillsbury, Harvey H.

  • Pilsbury, Harvey H.

  • Poor, Hiram R.

  • Porter, Albert W.

  • Pray, Joseph E.  5/9

  • Ross, Jr., George

  • Russell, Edward P.   5/9 5/10

  • Ryan, John

  • Sawyer, Albert P.   5/10 6/23

  • Stearns, Joseph O.  Salisbury

  • Stevens, George H.

  • Stickney, Benjamin

  • Stickney, Enoch P.

  • Swasey, William H.

  • Talbot, Tristum

  • Thurlow, Charles W.

  • Thurlow, Benjamin A.

  • Tibbetts, Calvin E.  Salisbury   6/3

  • Tibbetts, James E.  Salisbury

  • Tilton, W. Byron:  6/24 Corporal  6/27 7/25

  • Toppan, Roland W.  6/24 Sergeant 7/31

  • Towle, Edward B.

  • Varina, Edmund C.

  • Varina, William T.

  • Varina Jr., William T.

  • Vay, Charles P.

  • Walton, Joseph H.  Salisbury  Corporal.  7/31.

  • Wells, Wallace D.

  • Woodman, Charles H.

  • Young, Jacob H.


  • Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family James Edward Greenleaf

  • Salem Register, Salem Massachusetts September 10, 1863

  • “United States; Salem; Fort Pickering; Fort William.” Saturday, November 23, 1799  Greenfield Gazette Greenfield, Massachusetts

  • Newburyport and the Civil War William Hallett

  • The City of Newburyport in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865: With the Individual Records of the Soldiers and Sailors who Served to Its Credit, Also the War Records of Many Natives and Residents of the City, Credited to Other Places George William Creasey

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Les Haskell
Les Haskell
23 de jul. de 2023

Still curious if there is any identifying information about the soldiers in the photos.


Les Haskell
Les Haskell
19 de dez. de 2020

My great great grandfather is George Whitefield Haskell from Newburyport. He served the same 90 days and his name is in the above list. I don't suppose there are any captions that identify any of the people in the photos. It would be amazing to identify him.

Les Haskell
Les Haskell
04 de jan. de 2023
Respondendo a

Seriously, any info on any of the other people in the photos?

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