Today Geoff and I took a trip to South Weymouth, MA to visit Mount Hope Cemetery where his Civil War ancestor, Moses Beaulieu, is buried. Geoff has done a lot of research into Moses Beaulieu and recently discovered a photo of his headstone and rough location in the particular cemetery in South Weymouth.
Today is the anniversary of the death of John Wilkes Booth, the man who murdered President Abraham Lincoln. And it is also the anniversary of the surrender of the last large Confederate army in the field at Bennett Place, North Carolina. I assume that for the latter reason (although I have known at least a few people who argued it was for the former), today is also Confederate Memorial Day in Alabama, the state where I was born.
It’s funny that I have been a pretty serious student of the Civil War for almost 30 years, and yet I am still learning and discovering so many things that I really did not know much about. Lately a lot of that has been due at least partially to Private Moses Beaulieu. I have been trying to follow his (my Civil War ancestor’s) journey through the war. Most recently, I have been studying the last great campaigns of the war for his unit, the 11th Massachusetts Infantry, in the Army of the Potomac.
I hadn’t been posting as much on the blog lately, and after writing about Aunt Donna I feel like I should distract myself a bit by writing about Civil War history. So indulge me, if you will.
Among the Union troops at Gettysburg was a middle-aged French-Canadian soldier who had enlisted at the beginning of the war in the Boston Volunteers, a unit that later became the 11th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. His name was Moses Beaulieu, and he was a widower who had left his 4 year old daughter in the care of the woman who ran the boarding house where they lived in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. He was one of the first members of his family (my mother’s family) to move from Quebec to Massachusetts, where he had found work as a bootmaker in the booming shoe industry.
The May edition of Brimfield 2016 has come and gone. We haven’t photographed our purchases yet, that will come later. What we do have are the photos we took as we wandered around. These are the weirdest photos of items we encountered from Thursday-Sunday of last week. And some of them are truly odd. Others reminded us of The Bloggess, so we went ahead and snapped them. For posterity. We did not purchase any of these items.
Today I’m flying back to Boston from Dallas. As a matter of fact, as I write this I’m on the plane and we’re heading from the gate to the runway. I was surprised on my way down here how dramatic my process with the TSA wasn’t. The TSA is pretty much my nightmare of a government agency.
Today, when I went to my screening to leave Dallas, I lived my nightmare.
It seems that at least two of the whaling ships lost in the great Arctic whaling fleet disaster of 1871 have been found off the coast of Alaska. It is believed that their discovery may lead marine archaeologists to the sites of the other 30 odd ships lost that terrible autumn. The loss of these vessels, 22 of which were from New Bedford, Massachusetts, helped further the end of the whaling industry in the United States.