John H. Chipman, Jr. Post #89
Grand Army of the Republic Hall
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Stephen P. Hall
117 Cabot Street
Beverly, MA 01915
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[Photo ca. 1915, 254 1/2 Cabot St. location]
John H. Chipman, Jr.
Post # 89
Grand Army of the Republic
[Note: When this story was written in 1897, the names Civil War battles and names of Union Generals like Pope, Banks, and Butler etc., were well known. To aid the modern reader the webmaster has added links to other sites that will provide additional data relating to the people and events mentioned in this article. The underlined text on this page contains links to pages at other web sites. Please use the back button on your browser to return to this page after visiting these sites.]
[From "Beverly, Garden City By The Sea", published in 1897]
"Any enumeration of the fraternal, benevolent and social orders of Beverly, would be incomplete, if it failed to include the Grand Army Posts and their faithful auxiliaries, the Woman's Relief Corps and the Sons of Union Veterans. The Civil War brought many hundreds of thousands of the young men of the nation into close relationship of soldiers on the "tented field." Mutual service and suffering in the great struggle to preserve the nation had forged strong bonds of brotherhood. These fraternal feelings found development though Surgeon Stephenson and Chaplain Rutledge in the organization of the Grand Army of the Republic at Decatur, Illinois.
In the growth of the order among the recently discharged soldiers and sailors, who had rendered service in the late war, Beverly's representatives were prompt to organize and on the tenth of June 1869, Post 89 G. A. R. was formally mustered in with about forty members. The post was named in honor of Capt. John H. Chipman, [Jr.] one of Beverly's gallant soldiers, who had already "crossed the river." In the twenty-eight years of it's existence, [in 1897] the muster rolls of the Post has borne the names of 398 honorably discharged soldiers and sailors of the nation.
Many of these have long since "joined the silent majority" and today [in 1897] but one-third of the aggregate membership are borne on its rolls of members. The first commander of the post was the late Colonel Francis E. Porter and he has been succeeded by the following comrades some of whom have served more than one term: Edward L. Giddings, William R. Driver, Isaac H. Edgett, Henry P. Woodbury, William H. Morgan, James Maguire, Joseph W. Stocker, George A. Woodbury, Josiah Woodbury, Orange R. Taylor, West D. Eldridge, William F. Early, Winthrop E. Perry, James A. Wright, John W. McKnight and Issachar Foster, Jr.
Post 89 has made a worthy record as an organization an has been a constant lesson in patriotism. Assisted by the Sons of Union Veterans and the Woman's Relief Corps, with appropriate and solemn ceremonies the Post each year decorated the increasing number of soldiers graves in Beverly's cemeteries. It has been both diligent and faithful in its fraternal and relief work, not confining to its own membership, but extending it to all old soldiers. Many thousands of dollars have been collected and disbursed through its committees to needy veterans, their families and widows.
The patriotic work of the Post Corps and Camp cannot be definitely calculated, but it has made its impress on the community which will be felt and productive of good, long after the last old soldier is laid to rest. The soldiers monument and flags on schoolhouses are some of the visible effects of its patriotic influence. Post 89 has had its headquarters in the following locations: Old Armory Hall, now the common council chamber, where it organized; Union Hall, in the basement of the building which it now occupies, Bell's Hall, Norwood Hall, and the present quarters, known as Grand Army Hall."
[Editors note: The GAR Hall building was moved from 254 1/2 Cabot Street, a few blocks to it's current location at 8 Dane Street in the 1940's. The old Cabot Street lot is now occupied by the Beverly Co-op Bank]
"An extended review of the past and a personal mention of the name and service of each member, would be interesting and instructive but the limits of this chapter permits only a brief reference to their service in the field. The individual histories of the membership of the Post, if collected, in the aggregate make almost complete history of the late war, on land and on sea. There are those still with us [in 1897], who answered Lincoln's first call for men and reached the capitol with General Butler by the way of Annapolis, and others who fought under McDowell at Bull Run. Post 89, can boast of sailors who were interested in great operations along our coast from Maryland to Texas and some who sailed the seas to foreign lands in pursuit of the country's foes.
On her rolls are also men who fought to capture New Orleans and Port Hudson, and open the Mississippi, that it might, in the language of Lincoln, "run unvexed to the sea." Others who served with Farragut, before Mobile, or in the operations about Charlestown, Port Royal, etc. One who assisted in the capture of Fort Fisher, another who served on the Congress, when the Merrimac sunk her, the day before the fight with the Monitor an engagement which revolutionized modern warfare the world over. There are soldier comrades who fought in the Grand Old Army of the Potomac from Bull Run to Appomatox, some who were at Roanoke, New Berne, Little Washington, Olustee, Cold Harbor, Burmuda Hundred and Petersburg.
Others who were with Banks in the Shenandoah Valley, Cedar Mountain and on the Red River. Some who shared the fortunes of McClellan on the Peninsula and Pope on the Rappahannock and some who did valiant service at South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorville, Gettysburg and Mine Run. Some were with Hooker in his "Battle above the clouds," at Chattanooga and Mission Ridge, some who fought near Sherman in his fierce battles before Atlanta, and assisted in opening the "gateway of the South" and marched with him from "Atlanta to the sea."
Others who were with Grant in his great campaign through the Wilderness and in the bloody battles about Petersburg, and participated in the closing scenes at Appamattox. There are comrades who rode with the great cavalry leaders in their daring raids, and one who scouted for Banks in his Red River expedition and duty along the Texas border for nearly a year after the war was over. Field batteries and heavy artillery are both represented by men who have done gallant service and who know by experience how to sight a gun or pull a lanyard. There are comrades who can count their battles by the score, and in some of them, judged by the service rendered, or by losses sustained by their organizations doubly discounted the famous charge of the Light Brigade.
Is not this a grand and worthy showing? And can men who have served their country so well and along such lines as these, be otherwise than proud of such a glorious record? Beverly takes a just pride in Post 89 and all of her veteran soldiers."
Above is a photo of the future G. A. R. Hall taken in the late 1860s when the former Baptist Chapel was being used as a secondary school or "High School." Note the absent "bay window" over the front door that is seen in later photos.
Accession # 53039 © Beverly Historical Society, All Rights Reserved
[ca. 1974 photo of G. A. R. Hall at it's current location on Dane Street]
[Note: The G.A.R. Hall located at 8 Dane Street, Beverly, MA, is currently owned by the City of Beverly, MA, and it now is the home of Beverly's Veteran Services Office. Most of the "old G.A.R. records" and other artifacts not lost to time and decay, were given to the Beverly Historical Society & Museum many years ago. This site is NOT CONNECTED with the City of Beverly, or the Office of Veterans Services but is rather designed by Stephen P. Hall, webmaster, using various items from the G.A.R. Collection of, and in co-operation with, The Beverly Historical Society & Museum, 117 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915, ®ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
It is hoped that this data will make people aware of the many historical items contained in the various collections of the historical society, and also will help to create for the society a presence on the world wide web. All questions and requests for additional information should be directed to me at the society via snail mail at the above address or e-mail me at email@example.com ]