During any war, there are hundreds, upon thousands of men who fight to protect their nation, but not everyone goes down in the history books as a hero. Horace B. Wood was one of those many heroes that got denied the chance of a spotlight. Horace was born in 1838 and his parents were Alonzo Hills Wood, and Abigail Glidden-Wood. Like his father, Horace grew up in Massachusetts with his family living on a cotton farm. Horace probably would have grown up to be a farmer or work in a factory, but that all changed the day the south seceded from the Union.
Like a lot of young men during the mid-to late 1800s, Horace wanted to protect his country, so he joined the Union Army during the Civil War. It all began on June 29th, 1861, when the 16th regiment, Company E, Massachusetts Infantry, recruited at Camp Cameron in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This was the day Horace began his journey that ended everything. Being in this regiment, Horace took part in many of the battles that dealt with the part of the Anaconda plan that was to march down the Mississippi River and cut supplies to the Confederate states off from the west. After a long march, Horace arrived at Fortress Monroe in Virginia on September 1st, 1862. After that was his first big battle, the Second Bull Run. He fought the last day, August 30th, under the command of John Pope. On this day, Pope attacked Robert E. Lee’s army, but sadly the victory was not in favor of the north. Fortunately, Horace had a break from fighting any major battles, until December 12th when he partook in the Battle of Fredericksburg. This time he was lead by General Ambrose Burnside, who decided to attack Lee again in Fredericksburg, Virginia. But, once again the Union army did not come out very victorious. The Battle of Chancellorsville was next on Horace’s list, and the Union army once again had to retreat after being outmaneuvered by Lee, but there was a speck of hope because the south lost Stonewall Jackson, an important General and Lee’s right-hand man. That tiny speck of hope must of given the men enough stamina because the next battle was Gettysburg and it started on July 1st. This was a three-day battle under the command of many generals, such as General George Meade, and John Buford. It looked as if the north would actually win because they had control of the high ground and were able to stop the south from taking it over each day. In the end, Lee retreated back to Virginia, and it was the Union’s first major triumph that was involved in the part of the Anaconda plan to split and cut off supplies to the south. In the final year of the war, 1864, Horace fought in two battles: “Wilderness” in Fredericksburg, Virginia and Spotsylvania at Cold Harbor. During this time, Horace was under the authority of General Ulysses Grant. This was the period of time when Grant was throwing his troops in battle after battle because the south was weak and the north could not ease up when they were so close to winning. It was the final push from Grant that resulted in the Union winning the war and now that all the fighting was over, all the soldiers would go home as local heroes.
Now, even though Horace’s regiment and company fought in all of those battles, that does not mean Horace was present for all of them. This is because records say Horace Wood died in battle, but there is no specific date when. But, that does not imply that Horace was not a hero because he fought just as hard, maybe even harder to have died for his country. Everyman, who went into that war as a nobody, came out as a hero to their family, town, and the entire country.