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Dover's Participation in the War of the Rebellion

    During the Civil war the part borne by the Dover companies has emblazoned their names on the scroll of fame. On the evening of the President's first call the citizens met in the city hall; the mayor, Alphonso Bickford, presided, and resolutions were unanimously adopted, commending the President's action and pledging their support to the government. Companies were formed and the patriotism of the citizens was unbounded. On Wednesday, April 17, 1861, by authority or the governor of the state, George W. Colbath opened a recruiting office in our city hall. On Thursday he informed the Governor that the first company was full. He was directed to proceed with enlistments. On the next Monday 150 men were on the muster roll. On Monday, the 29th the first two companies were to leave home, to become Companies A and B of the First New Hampshire. The day before they had listened to a stirring sermon in the old First Church, from a successor of that minister who had preached to the soldiers here on the same spot as they were to take up their march to Cambridge in 1775. At ten o'clock Monday morning, they were in line in Central Square, 145 men in the ranks. Four thousand people witnessed the scene. The women had been working day by day to supply needed clothing, some of them whose tears dropped as they sewed. Prayer was offered by one who soon after went himself to serve in the navy, Rev. T.G. Salter.

    A third company was meanwhile formed from the excess of enlistments. Orders now came, however, to receive only those who would enlist for three years. On the 11th of May the choice was given to each, -three years or be discharged. Seventy-one on that day chose the three years, and five days afterwards the number was 104. On the 25th that company left the city to become company D in the gallant Second New Hampshire.

    Of how many men this city furnished during the four years that followed the record is not perfect. Even in the imperfect rolls there were Dover men in each of the first fifteen regiments and in the eighteenth, in the cavalry, the navy and marine corps. From the call of July 2nd 1862, 582 names are on record. Some examinations of the rolls shows that more than 800 enlistments were made by this city of 8,500 inhabitants. Dover men served in the Shenandoah and in the first disastrous march to Bull Run; they were in the Peninsula battles and marches; in several battles before Washington; in the bloody charge at Antietam bridge. They were in the charge up the heights of St. Marie. They were in the burning woods of Chancellorsville. They were where Lee hurled his legions against Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg; in the long and bloody march from the Wilderness to Petersburg. They were in North Carolina. They were with Burnside in Tennessee, and with Sherman back of Vicksburg, and they sailed the coast, and watched the harbors, and manned the war boats on the Mississippi.

    To raise and put its quota of men into service, under the various calls which were issued, the city advanced upwards of $250,000, increasing its expenditures from $52,272 in 1860, to $233,462 in 1865. A soldiers' monument was erected in Pine Hill burying ground by Charles W. Sawyer Post, G.A.R., and dedicated Sept. 17,1877.   
        From City of Dover, N.H.; a series of comprehensive sketches, c. 1901.

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