The second Civil War veteran selected to be profiled in this column on the Highland Cemetery is Richard C. Boynton. He is buried in his family lot with his wife, a daughter, and his son and members of his family.
Much appreciation is extended to Roberta Rhodes, who has done extensive research on Richard Boynton and his participation in the Civil War. The information she shared is included in this article.
Boynton, 1838-1897 (59 years), was born in Jefferson, son of Richard and Mary Boynton. In 1861 he married Emily Perkins York, daughter of J. Madison and Nancy (Perkins) York, of Nobleboro. Later that fall he enlisted to serve in the Civil War and met the rigorous qualifications to become a member of the 2nd Regiment U.S. Sharpshooters, Co. D.
The U.S. Sharpshooters were a specialized and independent unit during the Civil War. They attached to various regiments as needed. Initially each soldier was required to s
upply his own rifle, but Abraham Lincoln did approve that the Sharps rifle, a model with extreme speed and accuracy, be supplied to these units. The soldiers wore green uniforms, which acted as camouflage, and they communicated via bugle calls, which relayed messages and directions.
On the way to his first assignment after receiving his training in Washington, D.C., Boynton was seriously injured in a train wreck. He spent three months in a hospital recovering from a fractured limb.
After returning to his regiment, Boynton was involved in various battles and was traveling from Manassas to Gettysburg in June-July 1863 when he was overcome by sunstroke and ended up in a hospital. He never reached Gettysburg, although documents such as “Maine at Gettysburg: Report of Maine Commissioners. Prepared by The Executive Committee” (Portland: The Lakeside Press, 1898) have him (incorrectly) listed as being taken prisoner at Gettysburg on July 2 when the 2nd Regiment U.S. Sharpshooters, Co. D worked with the 20th Maine at Little Round Top.
Following his discharge from this hospital, Boynton did not muster out. Instead, he completed his tour of duty in the Invalid Corps, later called the Veteran Reserve Corps, in Elmira, N.Y. Soldiers in this unit were assigned light duty, such as guard or patrol duty.
Richard and wife Emily, 1842-1916 (73 years), settled in Damariscotta Mills in the house that later was owned by Florence (Jones) Bell and is now owned by Mark Becker and Deb Wilson. Richard listed his occupation as farmer and he also managed the town landing.
When Richard died in 1897, wife Emily commented that the war had killed him; a doctor attributed his death to heart disease and a burst hernia. Richard is buried in lot 32 in Highland Cemetery. The family monument pays tribute to his war service with a carving of a flag. The inscription for wife Emily is below that for Richard.
The right facade of the monument has the inscription for their young daughter Nanie, 1870-1871 (1 year).
The back panel of the family monument is dedicated to son Louis, 1867-1937, and his family who had lived in the family home in the Mills. Louis and his wife Nettie (Hall), 1863-1943 (79 years), had only one child, Mary Weeks, who lived less than a year (d. 1909). At the back of the lot are four small stone markers for Mother (Emily), Nanie, Louis, and Nettie. Next to Nettie’s marker is a small gravestone adorned with a carved lamb, symbolic of the innocence of a child, on top for young Mary W.
Another of Richard and Emily’s children was daughter Ella, 1865-1915 (49 years). She married Joseph Leander Bartlett, d. 1926 (81 years), and is buried in the Bartlett lot in Highland Cemetery (lot 1).
There are two other burials in the Boynton lot – matching headstones for sisters Sophronia “Fronie” Hatch, 1861-1926 (64 years), and Eudora E. Hatch, 1858-1931.
With no obvious (to the author) family connection, their family lines were traced back for several generations to great-grandparents Zaccheus and Persis (Dunbar) Hatch. Further research showed that Zaccheus and Persis were also the great-grandparents of Emily Perkins York Boynton, which may explain why the two sisters were buried in this lot. There was a family connection.
Additional research revealed another interesting fact. Sarah Rice Rankin, wife of C. Jacob Rankin, the subject of the previous Highland Cemetery article, was also a great-granddaughter of Zaccheus and Persis Hatch.
(The information in this column was researched by the late George F. Dow, Nobleboro town historian, recorded in his cemetery notebook, which is kept on file at the Nobleboro Historical Society building, and compiled by Laurie McBurnie, a member of the Nobleboro Cemetery Committee.
Members of the cemetery committee have updated Dow’s original descriptions and directions. Additional information has also been taken from “Old Bristol and Nobleboro, Maine Vital Records” (also one of Dow’s sources) as well as Dow’s two Nobleboro history books.
As the vast majority of Nobleboro’s 85 cemeteries are located on private property, specific directions will not be included in this column out of respect to the landowners. If an individual would like information as to the location of a cemetery, for family or historical purposes, please contact either the Nobleboro Cemetery Committee – Laurie McBurnie, firstname.lastname@example.org, 563-5347 – or the Nobleboro Historical Society – Mary Sheldon, 563-5376.)