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Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Iain MacHarg Fundraiser Concert: Saturday, May 7 at 7 p.m.
Iain MacHarg will be performing a concert on the Scottish bagpipes for the Jaquith Library. MacHarg is one of the region’s leading pipers. His reputation as a teacher and performer has gained widespread acclaim. He is a founder of the Celtic rock bands Whiskey Before Breakfast and Prydein.  This is a fundraiser and the proceeds will go toward youth services. Cost: $8-10 for Adults, children are free. Please come join us at the Fritz’s barn in Marshfield on McCrillis Rd. Call 426-3581 or 426-3190 for directions.

 Mother’s Day Spring Wildflower Walk: Sunday, May 8 from 1- 4 p.m.
With Brett Engstrom. Sponsored by the Marshfield Conservation Commission and the Jaquith Library. We will meet at the Stranahan Forest parking lot at the beginning of Thompson Road (right off of Hollister Hill Road).

It's strange how quickly time passes when you are deeply involved in a project.  For the past few days, in between the normal everyday stuff, I've been corresponding with my friend, Barbara Carpenter over in the southwest corner of Cabot.  Barbara is writing a short article for next month's Cabot Chronicle, and together we are paring it to somewhere near the preferred 400 words.  The article is about a diary written by a young Cabot man, Adolphus Perry, who served in the Civil War and died of starvation at Andersonville prison in 1865. 

The diary had no name in it, no family members named to give clues as to who was writing it, but since it had been in the possession of the Carpenter family all those years, it  was thought to have been written by one George Carpenter.  Barbara is a wonderful researcher, and realized the author of the diary was not Carpenter, but Adolphus Perry.  She has been able to piece together personal details from the diary with historical data recorded on the war to create a wonderful report of the hardships and bloodshed Perry experienced.
The owners don't know where the original diary is now - probably lost in someone's attic,  so Barbara's report is a very important piece of history.  Watch for her article in the next Chronicle.

Also, Peter Dannenberg brought to my attention this week a discrepancy in historical accounts of the shooting of Brigadier General Patrick Gordon by Lieut. Benjamin Whitcomb.  This story is recorded in the Vermont Historical Magazine, in the Cabot portion, written by John M. Fisher, published about 1865.  This account makes it seem as if Whitcomb saved Gen. Hazen's camp on Cabot Plain from attack by the British soldiers, led by Gen. Gordon; there is a marker in the woods north of 215 on the route of the Bayley-Hazen Military road designating where Gordon was supposedly shot.  

However, other accounts put Whitcomb in the role of sniper on the outskirts of the British position near St. John's and LaPrairie, in Canada, and Gordon was alone and unarmed, thus making Whitcomb a murderer in the eyes of the British; another has Whitcomb observing a group of British soldiers near St. John's and taking aim at the officer and wounding him, sending the soldiers back to Quebec with their wounded leader.  

The story many of us have accepted for years has been the one written by Fisher, but according to the findings Peter has cited for me, it appears that is more folklore than fact, and Whitcomb was likely sent from Fort Ticonderoga to scout the British positions in Canada and Gordon was shot there, not in Cabot.  Gordon died in Chamblee, Quebec, about 130 miles from Fort Ticonderoga.

I need to pull all of this together and present the stories on our Cabot Historical Society website. We may never know the exact truth of what happened back in 1776, but one thing we will try to do is find that granite marker in the swamp off of Route 215 to see exactly what it has written on it.  I believe it was the Judith Lyford Woman's Club that set out granite markers years ago showing where the Hazen's soldiers camped, the site of the old military road, the yellow tavern, first school, and where Gen. Gordon was shot.  It's possible they got it wrong. 

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