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Lawrence Memorial Guard Tells Story of Civil War Soldiers

Submitted by on November 4, 2016 – 4:28 pm
Members of the Lawrence Memorial Guard dress as Lawrence Union soldiers during reenactments.

Members of the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard dress as Lawrence Union soldiers during reenactments.

The story of the Lawrence men who served during the Civil War is kept alive by members of the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard. Members of the guard will share the stories of those who answered the call and those who remained behind to support them, during a White Fund lecture titled “Lawrence in the Civil War 1861-1865” offered in partnership with Northern Essex Community College on Thursday, November 17, at 7 p.m. in the Lawrence United Lodge; 43 Jackson St, Lawrence.

The event is free and open to the public.

On April 15, 1861, when President Lincoln requested that the northern states send 75,000 soldiers to the nation’s Capitol to suppress the rebellion, the people of Lawrence were more than ready to offer their assistance. In fact, the first soldier to fall mortally wounded during the Pratt Street Riot in Baltimore, Maryland, which marked the first deaths of the Civil War, was 33-year-old Sumner Needham of Lawrence.

Guard members Larry West and Dan Gagnon will discuss the young men’s involvement from the first bloodshed at Baltimore to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. A panel discussion will follow with fellow guard members Joe Bella, Elizabeth Charlton, and Sean Sweeney.

Through research into the lives of the Lawrence residents who served, to the beautification of Civil War soldiers’ grave sites, to public programs that educate the public about their service, members of the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard have worked to develop, enhance and support the preservation, education, and remembrance of Civil War history in, of, and about Lawrence.

The White Fund’s purpose is to have a free series of interactive presentations for Lawrence area adults, youth, and children. The audience is encouraged to seek wisdom, cultural enrichment, and intellectual enhancement by attending and participating.

Funded by a generous financial gift from the Honorable Daniel Appleton White, the White Fund Lecture Series has provided cultural conversation featuring well-known lecturers in fields such as history, literature, travel, the arts, and politics. The White Fund is collaborating with Northern Essex on this series.

The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series Presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.

For additional information or to be notified of upcoming events in the White Fund Enlightenment Series, contact Analuz Garcia at or call 978-738-7423 or visit the website.