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Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard 'round the world!
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn
The town of Concord, Massachusetts, is probably best known as the site of what may be called the first actual battle of the American Revolution, April 19, 1775, but it was also home to the group of literary intelligentsia known as Transcendentalists whose collective writings did much to foster Abolitionism and thereby bring on the Civil War. Unlike the way visiting a battlefield can help us to understand the course of events there, it's difficult to picture thoughts or ideas; but seeing places where these ideas originated can similarly put us in touch with those who thought and wrote about them.
Today, Concord is an exclusive suburb of nearby Boston, but remains far enough removed and protected by zoning restrictions by those fortunate enough to live there to retain quite a bit of its Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century charm. One of the most visited spots is Minuteman National Historical Park at Old North Bridge where the shooting began that April day. The famous statue of the Minuteman there was sculpted by a young Daniel Chester French whose later masterwork is the seated figure of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial at Washington, D. C. The statue was cast by the Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Mass., manufacturers of bronze cannon, swords, and sabers for both the Mexican War and Civil War. It was dedicated at the Centennial Celebration in 1875 by the leader of the Transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose Concord Hymn quoted above is reproduced on the base.
Subsequent posts will detail Emerson and his associates, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the family of Alcotts who also made their homes here, and are buried here as well.