Civil War Union Colonels of Mount Auburn Cemetery

March 16, 2013

Mount Auburn is the resting place for more than 900 people who served in the Civil War. Among them are those who served as Colonels in the Union Army.

Thomas Cass (1821-1862)
Lot #1049, Chestnut Avenue

Born in Queen’s County, Ireland, Thomas Cass immigrated to America with his parents when he was nine months old. He became owner of a trading vessel and stockholder in a Boston towboat company. In 1861 Governor Andrews commissioned Cass as colonel and asked him to form an Irish regiment, the 9th Mass. Volunteers. Before Cass’s troops left Boston for battle, the governor attempted to ease ethnic tensions by presenting a flag to the regiment and raising an Irish flag for the first time among other nation flags on the Boston Common. After being severely wounded in the battle of Malvern Hill, Cass returned to Boston for surgery in 1862 but died the following day.

Phineas Stearns Davis (1818-1864)
Lot #2320, Chestnut Avenue

Davis was born in Brookline and worked as a book publisher in Cambridge. Belonging to the Putnam Lodge of Freemasons, he was an active Mason. The civil war broke out when Davis was forty-three years old and he was appointed brigadier general of the Mass. Volunteer Militia.  The following year he was named colonel of the 39th Mass. Infantry.  He led an independent brigade in the Defenses of Washington during the winter of 1862-63.  Davis was killed in action during the battle of Petersburg in 1864.

Charles Edward Griswold (1834-1864)
Lot #157, Linden Path

Griswold attended Norwich University in Vermont and became a commission merchant in Boston.  He was appointed major of the 22nd Mass. Infantry at the outbreak of the Civil War.  Recognized for being an efficient drillmaster, he was promoted the following year to colonel.  Despite being discharged for chronic stomach problems in October of 1862, Griswold was appointed colonel of the 56th Mass. Infantry the following summer and was part of the Army of the Potomac.  He was killed in action during the battle of Wilderness in 1864.

Norwood Penrose Hallowell (1839-1914)
Lot #4124, Indian Ridge Path

Norwood graduated from Harvard in 1861 and became a private in the Mass. Militia the same year. In July, he was promoted to the ranks of lieutenant colonel of the 20th Mass. Infantry.  While recovering from an injury he received at Antietam, he was appointed lieutenant colonel under Robert Gould Shaw in the 54 Mass. Infantry, the first African American regiment established in the northeastern states.  Joined by Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass, Hallowell held a rally at Boston’s Joy Street Church to promote the war and enlist African American soldiers. Hallowell remained in Boston to command the 55th Mass. Infantry that was formed from the surplus of enlisted African American troops. Due to the aforementioned injury, he was discharged for disability in November of 1863. After the war, Hallowell worked as a wool commission merchant and bank president.

Charles L. Holbrook (1816-1887)
Lot #1733, Cypress Avenue

Holbrook was born in Boston and spent the majority of his early life working as a commission merchant. He entered the army as colonel of the 43rd Mass. Infantry in 1862. After serving nine months, Holbrook and his infantry honorably mustered out of the army. After the war he became bookkeeper of the Suffolk National Bank, where he worked for the rest of his career.

Charles Holden Hooper (1836-1899)
Lot #463, Hemlock Path

Hooper began his military service when he was appointed captain of the 24th Mass. Infantry in 1861. He received a series of promotions and in 1864 he was named lieutenant colonel.  During the battle of Deep Bottom Run, he was captured and held prisoner in Libby, Danville, and Salisbury Prisons. While in prison he was promoted to the ranks of colonel. He was exchanged in February of 1865 and mustered out of the army the following month. After the war, Hooper became a partner in a stationary firm in Boston.

Samuel Crocker Lawrence (1832-1911)
Lot #2214, Central Avenue

After graduating from Harvard in 1855 Lawrence joined his family in running a distillery business in Medford. He was commissioned a colonel in the Lawrence Light Guard when the Civil War began and he was wounded in the first battle of Bull Run.  At the age of twenty-nine, he was appointed colonel of the 5th Mass. Infantry.  Lawrence restored order after the Boston Draft Riots in 1863. After the war, he became the sole owner of the distillery and worked as a director of financial and railroad corporations.  As a prominent Freemason, Lawrence was Grand Master of Mass. Masons between 1881-1883. He led a movement against the division of the town of Medford, and became its first elected mayor 1892. The Medford Historical Society discovered Lawrence’s collection of over 5,000 civil war photographs in 1990, it is one of the most extensive surviving collections.

Lucius Bolles Marsh (1818-1901)
Lot #4890, Pearl Avenue

Marsh was a wealthy wool merchant in Boston.  At the onset of the civil war he assisted the state in the procurement of arms and military equipment. He was appointed Colonel of the 47th Mass. Infantry in October of 1862. The regiment never saw action but was stationed in Louisiana and formed part of the Defences of New Orleans. Marsh recruited African American soldiers for service in Louisiana, initiating the formation of General Paine’s (Wisteria Path, Lot #4665) 2nd Louisiana Engineers.  Marsh honorably mustered out of the army in 1863.

Francis Jewett Parker (1825-1909)
Lot #1250, Elder Path

Born in Boston, Parker was a merchant and manufacture of cotton and mill products. He served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1858 and was involved in civic and church activities in Newton.  He was appointed major of the 1st Mass. Infantry in 1861. Promoted to the ranks of colonel of the 32nd Mass. Infantry in 1862, Parker fought in the battle of Antietam.  He resigned from the army in 1862 and returned to Boston, claiming “excessive loss occasioned by my absence from business.” He remained active in politics, serving a second term in the state senate in 1876. He wrote the Story of the Thirty Second Regiment of Massachusetts Infantry, which was published in 1880.

Arnold Augustus Rand (1837-1917)
Lot #750, Spruce Avenue

Born in Boston, Rand was educated in Switzerland and was employed in a Boston shipping firm and a banking house. He was commissioned private in the 4th Battalion, Mass. Militia in 1861. After a series of promotions, Rand was appointed colonel of the 4th Mass. Cavalry in 1864. He resigned in 1865 and attended Boston University Law School. Rand practiced real estate law and in 1898 became executive of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. He also was an avid collector of civil war photographs.  As Recorder of the Mass. Commandery MOLLUS, between 1881-1906, he worked to develop the library collection at Boston’s Cadet Armory. The collection, which is now at the United States Military History Institute in Pennsylvania, was used by Ken Burns in the production of his series The Civil War.

Powell Tremlett Wyman (1828-1862)
Lot #3262, Sweetbrier Path

Wyman graduated from West Point at the age of twenty-two and became a lieutenant in the U.S. army.  He was appointed Colonel of the 16th Mass. Infantry in 1861. The regiment was posted in Virginia and joined the Army of the Potomac. Wyman commanded his troops through a series of intense battles, including Oak Grove and Glendale, during the month of June 1862. Always concerned for the well being of his regiment, Wyman once ordered the arrest of a fellow colonel for ordering his men to march 26 miles in one day while carrying their knapsacks.  He was killed in action at Glendale on June 30th.

Sources consulted:

Hunt, Roger D. Colonels in Blue. Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military History, 2001. O’Connor, Thomas H. Civil War Boston. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997.;;;;;; and


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