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Friends of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  William Putnam   William Lowell Putnam: Born in 1840, William Putnam (cousin of Charles and James Lowell) was a law student at Harvard College when the war broke out. At the age of 21 he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company E, 20th Massachusetts Infantry. Putnam died of a gunshot wound at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, October 21, 1861.
  Charles Cabot   Charles F. Cabot: Charles Cabot of Boston was 24 years old when he enlisted with the 20th Massachusetts Infantry as First Lieutenant on July 10, 1861. Cabot soon rose to the rank of Captain of Company F in his regiment. He was killed in a battle on the streets of Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 11, 1862.
  Paul Revere   Paul Joseph Revere: Born on September 10, 1832, Paul Revere served as Major of the 20th Massachusetts Volunteers Infantry, then as Lieutenant Colonel, and Assistant Inspector General, U.S. Volunteers. In April 1863, he was commissioned Colonel of the 20th Massachusetts. Revere died of a wound received at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863.
  Edward Revere   Edward Hutchinson Robbins Revere: Born in Boston on July 23, 1827, Edward Revere attended Harvard College and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1849. In September 1861, Revere enlisted as Assistant Surgeon in the 20th Massachusetts Infantry, the same unit as his younger brother Paul Joseph Revere. Dr. Revere was shot and killed while caring for a wounded soldier during the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.
  Nathan Hayward   Nathan Hayward: A Harvard College graduate and physician of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Nathan Hayward was 31 years old when he enlisted as Assistant Surgeon of the 20th Massachusetts Infantry in July 1861. On September 10, Hayward became the regiment's surgeon. Dr. Hayward was captured at the Battle of Antietam while tending to the wounded Lieutenant Colonel Francis W. Palfrey. He was later exchanged, then discharged at the expiration of his service in September 1864. Hayward died of cholera in August 1866 during an epidemic in St. Louis, Missouri.
Henry Patten   Henry Lyman Patten: Born on April 4, 1836 in Kingston, New Hampshire, Henry Patten was a student at Harvard College prior to his enlistment as Second Lieutenant of the 20th Massachusetts Infantry in November 1861. During his years of service, Patten was wounded five times, and was promoted to First Lieutenant, Captain, and Major. Patten died on September 10, 1864 of a wound received at Deep Bottom, Virginia on August 17, 1864.
Henry Abbott   Henry Livermore Abbott: Born on January 21, 1842, Henry Abbott was a student at Harvard College prior to his enlistment in the summer of 1861. At the age of 19 he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company I, 20th Massachusetts Infantry. A widely respected officer, Abbott was promoted to Captain and then Major of the 20th Massachusetts. Henry Abbott was killed in action at the Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864.
William Bartlett   William Francis Bartlett: Born on June 6, 1840 in Haverhill, Massachusetts, William Francis Bartlett was a student at Harvard College when the Civil War broke out. He served as a Private, and as a Captain in the 20th Massachusetts Infantry. Bartlett later served as Colonel of the 49th Massachusetts, then organized the 57th Massachusetts which he led at the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. Appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers, he later commanded the IX Corps, and was brevetted Major General in 1865. During his service, Bartlett lost his leg at the Battle of Yorktown in 1862, spent time as a prisoner in Libby Prison, and was wounded numerous times. He died on December 17, 1876.


Sources:,, copyright 2001 (accessed May 2001).

Harvard Memorial Biographies, edited by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Cambridge, MA: Sever and Francis, 1866).

"The Harvard Regiment": 20th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers Infantry, 1861-1865, by Bob Dame, copyright 2001, (accessed May 2001).

Making of America, University of Michigan, copyright 2001, (accessed May 2001).

Special thanks to Brian Pohanka for providing biographical information about Charles Cabot and Nathan Hayward. Images courtesy of Brian Pohanka. Images of Henry Abbott, Paul Revere, Nathan Hayward, and Henry Patten from the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


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