Researcher: Brett Sabatini
At the start of the Civil War there were numerous amounts of men and women to enlist in the Civil War to fight and defend their sides. Just from Franklin there were many soldiers who served in the Civil War and Nathaniel Grow was one of the many. These people fought in various regiments under many different generals. They fought strenuous hours to defend themselves and gave it their all to win the fight. Although many civil War veterans died throughout this time, Nathaniel was one who survived.
Nathaniel Grow was not born in Franklin Massachusetts but eventually settled down, here in Franklin. The reason for doing so is Jane Whiting, his wife who was born in this town. She was born on March 12, 1820, coming from her two parents, Sidney and Olive Whiting. Before leaving, to serve for the Civil War, he and his wife produced a lovely daughter, by the name of Nellie Carrie Grow in March of 1861. This was their only child they had, while being married to each other in their lifetime.
Nathaniel himself was born in Hartford Connecticut which was a small little town back then. He had a loving mother and father, and the fathers name was Nathaniel as well. In the U.S. Censes, Nathaniel Grow was not recorded, so the information on his life background is slim to none besides his family and hometown place of birth.
After signing up and entering into the Civil War, Nathaniel was places on the 45th Regiment along with a few others who also lived in Franklin at the time. This was one of the many Massachusetts Infantry’s in militia. The Regiment he attended to was organized at Camp Meigs, Readville from September 26-October 28 in 1862. Later they were moved to Morehead City, N.C., on the steamer “Mississippi” on November 5 and took them 9 days to reach their destination on the November 14.
One of their first encounters was in Lenoir County, named Kinston, during the Goldsboro Expedition. They were under the charge of General John G. Foster. Their opponents General were Nathan Evans. They were ordered to disrupt the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. Throughout this battle there were a total of 685 casualties but the 45th came out on top of this fight. Another battle a little ways up the road was called White Hall in Wayne County, again under the Goldsboro Expedition. The opposing general was Beverly Robertson. And once again the 45th was victorious in this battle. Despite the great loss of soldiers in the earlier battle there were only 150 casualties in this battle.
Jumping ahead a few months brings this brigade to Fort Macon, where a long outlasting battle took place. Nathaniel was now under the general of John G. Parke, who led these soldiers through a month long battle to capture and win this fort. At the closing of this battle the Union (US) came out on top once again to take the victory. Throughout all of their battles they only lost a total of 51 men, 19 due to killings and 32 due to disease that carried along the way of traveling.
In Morehead City on June 24th, the 45 was embarked to head back to Boston to conclude their service in the Civil War, being a very efficient regiment at that. They then arrived back in Boston on June 30th, and went back to their respected towns to be welcomed home by their families on July 8, 1863.
Coming back to Nathaniel’s family is what all wives and parents hoped would happen once their sons and husbands served in the war. Nathaniel made it back to his wife and daughter to live the rest of his life in Franklin, on Central St. right here in Franklin today. After the war Nathanial became a laborer as well as a baker for the rest of his life where he is remember here in Franklin to this very day as a hero to our Country.