Herbert Lincoln

Researcher: Amy Kussmaul

 

            Herbert L. Lincoln was born in Franklin,

Massachusetts on October 3rd, 1840. He was the son of

Manly and Fidella Lincoln. He lived on what is now

East Central Street. He was not the only historic

character to grow up in this area. Horace Mann, the

founder of public schools, lived down this street

close to the Lincoln's. Not much is known about the

Lincoln family today. They were a fairly wealthy

family. Upon their son's death, Manly and Fidella had

his body brought back to Franklin to be buried. Most

soldiers were buried where they fell, due to lack of

funds by the families to bring them home. However, the

Lincolns could afford to have Herbert buried in his

home town.

            Herbert Lincoln enlisted in the army at a young age.

He was in the 35th Massachusetts Regiment, Company A.

His rank was a corporal. The regiment was involved in

the second part of the Anaconda Plan. The Anaconda

Plan was a three fold plan developed by the Union to

conquer the Confederacy. Named after a snake that

suffocates its victims in its coils, the first of the

three parts of the Anaconda Plan was to blockade the

southern ports, stopping importing and exporting,

especially of cotton. The second part of the plan was

to divide and conquer the Mississippi River. Using

riverboats and armies, the Union planned to move along

the river and split the Confederacy in two. This was

the part of the plan that Herbert Lincoln's regiment

was involved in. The final part of the plan was to

take over the Confederate capital of Richmond,

Virginia.

            The first battle the 35th regiment fought  in was the

battle of South Mountain. In Maryland on September

14th, the battle broke out in the Fox's Gap and

Turner's Gap area. The battle was started by

Confederate soldiers opening fire on the Federal

forces moving toward the base of South Mountain. The

battle was significant because it was where the Army

of Northern Virginia's first campaign north was

stopped. Though it is commonly believed the campaign

was stopped at the battle of Antietam, it was in fact

at the battle of South Mountain. Robert E. Lee had

wanted to carry the war into the north, hoping to take

advantage of the sentiment toward the war in the

region. He hoped to encourage northerners to pressure

their government to push for peace. The Federal army

cleared the gaps, where the shots first broke out, and

established a position on the same side of the

mountain as the Confederates. Once this happened, Lee

realized his campaign could not possibly continue. Lee

and his army began their withdrawal back into

Virginia. It was after this battle that Union soldiers

stumbled upon a copy of Lee's orders wrapped around a

bundle of cigars where the Confederate army had

previously camped out. Had Lee's army been allowed

past South Mountain the war may have gone differently

than it did.

            This first battle at South Mountain took place only 8

days into the service of the 35th regiment. It was at

this battle that Herbert Lincoln was injured. Though

he fought bravely in his first battle, Herbert did not

move on to fight in any more. He died a few weeks

after the battle of South Mountain, on October 9th,

1862. Herbert was barely 22 years old when he died.

His 22nd birthday was 6 days before his death.