Researcher: Tyler Dow
A brave soldier, a devoted family, and a citizen taken away from daily life, to do what was right, protect the nation. Volunteering to go to war was not a first option for anyone in the Union or even the Confederacy, but people such as Wales made a Union win possible. To leave his wife behind while he went off to potentially die in the Civil War, was not an easy decision to make. But, as many people thought in the 1800's, saving one’s country was a noble, and heroic cause fighting for. Abiram Wales was a hero for Franklin and the entire Nation, for the fact of risking his life to save his home country.
On November 8, 1835 in Franklin, Massachusetts, a hero was born. Abiram was not seen as a hero to the country as a whole, but to his fellow townsmen and myself included, he was truly a hero worth noting. He was brought into the world by his mother Jerusiah Wales and father Amos S. Wales. Before he departed for war, he had married a woman named Olive M. Ware (Maiden Name). He made a difficult decision to leave his wife in order to fight for his country in 1861, when he joined the 18th Regiment Massachusetts. This decision would land him in a number of important battles to come to a result of a Union victory.
As an infantryman, the dirty work of up close and personal battle was fought. This was the description of his military career, up close and personal, he fought in wars that were brought to the North (his home land) where losing a battle was simply not an option. After the battle of Chancellorsville which Abiram was in, the South made the war more personal than ever, they brought the war North. Now, the war was in Gettysburg, PA, in which the Union reveled in a marvelous victory. In the time when the Union had the most motivation of all, they came out with a victory, because they simply refused to lose on their "home turf." The 18th Regiment of MA was a factor in the three day battle, and helped defend Little Roundtop from the oncoming onslaught on Confederacy soldiers. Ultimately, the 18th Regiment was a factor in major battles such as Yorktown, Totopotomoy Creek, North Anna, Shepherdstown, Rappahannock Station, and Jerusalem Plank Road, to name a few. In these battles alone, there were 13,682 casualties among the two forces. In North Anna and Jerusalem Plank Road alone, there were 8,00 deaths. In the battle of Jerusalem Plank Road, the Union gained ground by dismantling the railroad tracks so the Confederates couldn’t make another move. Also, another key battle of the war was Hanover Court House, where only 397 Union soldiers were killed compared to the Confederacy’s 930 men. In this battle, Gen. Maj. Irvin McDowell, marching from Fredericksburg took out the Confederate Army after a rough fight. Under the control of Col. James Barnes (age 55), Gen. Stoneman, and Major Atherton A. Stevens, the 18th Regiment of MA fought in many key battles to ensure a Union victory.
Abiram W. Wales was a brave man who risked his own life for the safety and salvation of his beloved country. He put his country before his family, including his wife Olive Ware while in the Union Army from 1861-1864. Wales fought in major battles such as Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, and Hanover Court House, which were all considered highly regarded battles. Although not all battles he fought in were won, he still came out alive, and had the pleasure of seeing his work pay off, with the reconstruction of the United States of America.