Throughout Acton’s history, a large number of its citizens have served their country. Some of their stories and the experiences of those on the home front are the subject of the new exhibit opening Wednesday at the Hosmer House.
The Society is fortunate to have a number of documents containing the stories of Acton veterans and their families. One wonderful collection is the letters of Henry Hapgood and his family. Henry, son of John Hapgood and Mary Ann Hosmer, went off to the Civil War in 1862 at age 20 in a company of Acton men including two of his first cousins. Henry’s letters describe his army experiences and try to reassure his worried family. His family’s letters are full of their concern for him, tidbits about life in Acton at the time, and news of their family, friends, neighbors and many cousins who were also serving. The letters are at times touching, at others quite entertaining, and always full of character and real life.
Henry, sadly, came home from his service sick and only survived another six months. We are lucky that through his letters, saved and generously shared, we can catch a glimpse of him and his tight-knit family.