(1836 - 1887)
Home State: Massachusetts
Education: Harvard College (1857), Harvard Law, Class of 1860
Branch of Service: Infantry
After graduation in 1857 he travelled to Minnesota, "living with the Sioux and Winnebago", went down the Mississippi to New Orleans, then home by ship by way of Cuba. He returned to Harvard to study law in September 1858 and was admitted to the bar in 1861. Then a 25 year old lawyer in Cambridge, MA, he was commissioned Captain, Company B, 21st Massachusetts Infantry on 5 August 1861.
On the Campaign
He commanded his Company in action at Fox's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September and at Antietam on 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He resigned his commission on 25 April 1863 as the regiment was reduced to a battalion. He then served as Captain of the 12th Company, unattached Massachusetts Infantry, a 90-day unit which manned a fort at Provincetown, MA, from 16 May 1864 until mustered out on 15 August. On 22 September 1864 he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the 61st Massachusetts Infantry and was promoted to Colonel on 9 November as the regiment came up to full strength. He saw his final action around Petersburg, VA in early April 1865 and mustered out of service on 4 June 1865. He was honored by brevet in March 1866 to Brigadier General to date from 9 April 1865.
After the War
He returned to his law practice in Boston and continued to practice for the rest of his life. Between 1866 and 1882 he wrote and finally published the History of the Twenty-first Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, in the War for the Preservation of the Union, 1861-1865. He "died suddenly" while camping with his son and an old Harvard classmate on Gooseberry Island, Salem Harbor in June 1887, age 50.
References & notes
Service from Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines 1 and his own History.2 Personal details from a sketch and death notice in Report(s) of the Class of 1857 in Harvard College (1882, 1887). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a late-1864 photograph with his wife, in the Library of Congress.
He married Anna Morrill Wyman in October 1863 and they had three children together after the War. Their eldest, daughter Anstiss (1867-1957) married in 1888 Robert Dickson Weston, son of Robert Dickson Weston-Smith, the old classmate who had been with Charles at his death the year before.
More on the Web
The Cambridge Room, Cambridge (MA) Public Library has a small "archaelogical collection" [objects, finding aid] of American Indian artifacts donated by General Walcott's grandson Dr. Charles F. Walcott in about 1980. "The only outlier to the Native American objects in the collection is a box containing two bullets and a minie ball from the Battle of Antietam."
12/22/1836; Hopkinton, MA
06/11/1887; Salem, MA; burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
1 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 2, pg. 607 [AotW citation 20741]
2 Walcott, Charles Folsom, History of the Twenty-first Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, in the War for the Preservation of the Union, 1861-1865, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1882, pp. 190, 198-203, 431 [AotW citation 20742]