2 - March 30, 2012 | Hudson - Litchfield News Hudson Soldiers in the Civil War
by Marc Ayotte The Hudson Historical Society recently sponsored a guest lecturer on the topic of Hudson soldiers in the Civil War. The presentation was given by Steven Robert Closs of Merrimack, who authored the book entitled Willing Sacrifice; Granite State Valor During the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The book is an accounting of the sacrifices of New Hampshire soldiers in the war while Closs’s personal presentations throughout the state are more fine- tuned to the communities of which he addresses. Closs is a retired captain from the Nashua Police Department, serving 24 years, while interestingly enough, his twin brother is also a retired captain, having served the same amount of time on the Hudson Police force.
Closs delivered a captivating accounting of several of the battles engaged in during the war. The small, but enthralled crowd in attendance at the Hills House in Hudson listened intently to Closs as he detailed New Hampshire soldiers’ involvement in the War. Specifically, the audience’s interest was heightened when the local author discussed the 71 Hudson men (total town population in 1860 of 1,222) who went to war as well as the fate of eleven of them who lost their lives while serving in the Union army. Inspired to write the book after he watched the movie Glory, Closs noted that the victims of the war became “personalized” to him. His passion for the subject was evidenced by his very detailed depicting
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Steven Robert Closs, author of an intriguing accounting of sacrifices incurred by New Hampshire soldiers during the Civil War, addresses a small gathering at the Hills House in Hudson as part of the Hudson Historical Society’s calendar of events
of individual battles in the war along with strategies implemented by, among others, General Robert E. Lee of the South and General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union troops. The lecture became very personalized to the Hudson residents in attendance as he intricately and vividly depicted the Hudson soldiers’ heroics and valor during the war.
Author Steven Robert Closs displays his book after his presentation at the Hudson Historic Society; joining Closs (L to R): David Alukonis (Historical Society President) along with Leona Shanholtz and Joyce Hurd (Board of Directors)
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In a fascinating recounting, Closs mentioned each of the Hudson soldiers individually and by name as well as their rank and duties in their respective regiments. All 11 died as a result of their service to the North’s effort to, as Closs put it, “bring back the South.” Among the soldiers from Hudson who fought in the war was William Jones. The intriguing element behind Jones’s service was that he was what was referred to as a ‘substitute soldier.’ At that time, if you had enough money or assets, it was possible to pay someone to fight in your stead. As Closs noted, such an act was not considered cowardice, but conversely was viewed as honorable. Private Jones (age 30) lost his life on September 27, 1864 in the Richmond-
Petersburg Campaign. Additionally, Closs spoke of the Battle of Fort Wagner in July of 1863 in which two Hudson resident/soldiers lost their lives in that charge; Private Andrew J. Berry (age 22) and Corporal Leander H. Cummings (age 20). The author also touched upon various topics such as compensation for the soldiers and their families after the war, the prideful and ‘uncensored’ letters written to loved ones back home, the incredible loyalty displayed by flag bearers, how the soldiers were recruited, the New York Riots which effects trickled as far east as Portsmouth and Concord, as well as the 33 men from New Hampshire who were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Alvirne High School Jazz Band Spreads Jazz and Goodwill in Germany and Austria
submitted by Bob Guessferd On February 23, the Alvirne High School
Jazz Band departed Hudson for a 10 day exchange trip and tour of the German State of Bavaria and Austria and returned on March 5 after the experience of a lifetime. Following a farewell concert at Alvirne, this group of 23 students, led by Mr. Daniel Wells, Exchange Coordinator, and Mr. Gerry Bastien, Alvirne High School Jazz Band Director, brought the music genre of Jazz as well as international friendship to Unterschleissheim, Germany, a suburb of Munich as well as other venues – for the fourth time in the last 13 years. This
group lived for ten days with German families, many of whose students will visit Hudson this coming summer, and performed at many venues, including Unterschleissheim’s Carl-Orff
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Mariah Goulet, Christina Guessferd, Lauren LeCraw and Eric Mealey having fun during their tour of Munich
Gymnasium, Augsburg, and Aichah, Germany as well as at the University of Salzburg in Austria, delighting audiences along the way. Whether it was performing traditional Jazz favorites as “Little Brown Jug” or pop favorites such as “Car Wash” or a traditional German Polka, they had audiences tapping their toes, clapping and even dancing in the aisles everywhere they went. In addition, they developed life- long friendships with their host partners and learned much about the history of Germany and Austria through visits to churches, castles, a salt mine in Salzburg and a sobering tour of the concentration camp memorial at Dachau, a small city near Munich. While these student
Te German and US students in Salzburg, Austria.
musicians showed how talented they are, more importantly, the Alvirne High School and Hudson community should be very proud that every one of them represented themselves, their school, their town and their country with the utmost in class and integrity. This group can be seen locally this weekend as they will be performing along with the other musical groups at Alvirne High School’s 15th annual Cabaret. Shows are at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, and 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 1.
Third Graders Make Change to Make a Difference
submitted by Mrs. Hurley On Wednesday, March 21, the third graders from Dr. H.O. Smith School organized a bake sale to benefit Pennies for Patients. Pennies for Patients is a three week long program in which students collect spare change to help those afflicted with blood cancer. This is sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. During the three weeks Mrs. Armstrong’s class came up with the idea to do a bake sale. All of the third graders were invited to participate. The parents were instrumental in getting all the scrumptious treats baked. The students raised $189! This bake sale was a great math lesson in making change, but a life lesson in helping others.
Selectmen Deflate Tires to Fire Chief’s Request for a Four Wheel Drive Tahoe
by Doug Robinson The Hudson Board of Selectmen voted to deny
Fire Chief Murray’s request to replace the 1999 Crown Victoria automobile with a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe, valued at $30,968. Murray was also an attempt to circumvent the established town procedure to secure purchase bids for any purchase over $10,000. “Town Code requires Solicitation of Bids for all planned purchases and contracts of goods and services estimated to total $10, 00 or more,” writes Chief Murray. “I am requesting that the Board of
Selectmen to award the purchase of the Tahoe to MacMulkin Chevrolet.” The Fire Chief also wrote that “his FY12 authorized funding replacement” was $8,700 per year for the four lease years. The trade in value of the Crown Victoria was listed as $1,500 Selectmen voted down his request. Selectman
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Ted Luzey questioned the Chief’s selection of a “luxury SUV” versus a “format” that the town needs. Selectman Ben Nadeau questioned the Chief as to “How many Tahoes do he have” and he further questioned the Chief as to “If we do not replace the Deputy’s position” do we need that vehicle at all. To the Chief’s thinking, “We are not increasing, we are swapping and moving down the line.”
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Chairman Roger Coutu also concurred with his fellow selectmen stating “I do not see the need for five Tahoes. “Is there a way for us to come with a car that makes more sense?” Selectman Nadeau suggested that the Fire Department look into a Chevy Impala or Trail Blazer for their needs.
Staff photos by Marc Ayotte
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