Charles M. Nason
Charles M. Nason was born in Franklin, Massachusetts on June 10th, 1829. He was the only child of George W. Nason and Hannah C. Nason, who were both born in Massachusetts. As a farmer and day laborer, Charles’ father worked relentlessly in order to provide the best life for his wife and son. Charles spent his childhood in Franklin, living with his parents until he reached his early twenties and made the transition into having his own family.
At the age of twenty-two, in the year 1851, the birth of Charles’ first child, Oramel B. Nason, put forth the start of his new life. Following Oramel’s birth, Charles married Sylvia A. Newell on July 4th, 1860 in Providence Rhode Island, not far from Sylvia’s hometown of Cumberland, where she was born in 1831. Charles and his wife began their life together in Franklin, where they lived for the rest of their years together. Three years following the birth of their first child, Charles and Sylvia were blessed with the birth of a second son. Willie Oscar Nason was born on March 24th, in the year 1854, and being the last of their children, completed Charles’ family. To provide for his family, Charles followed in the footsteps of his father and worked as a day laborer, who later specialized in stone masonry.
Charles lived peacefully with his family for several years without any unrest. This changed however, in the early 1860’s , when tensions between the Northern and Southern states of the country created turmoil for the entire nation. The Civil War had begun and tore many men away from their homes and families. However, each soldier was crucial to the success of General Grant’s three part plan to win the War. The plan included a Union navy blockade of southern ports, splitting the Confederacy into two parts boy traveling down the Mississippi river, and capturing the Confederate capital at Richmond Virginia. Charles Nason took part in many battles which had vital impacts towards dividing the Confederacy.
After the first battle at Bull Run, President Lincoln called for an additional 500,000 men to enlist to serve for three years, rather than the original three months. Charles Nason dutifully and bravely volunteered to enlist and serve his country. At the age of thirty-three, Charles enlisted on July 28th, 1862 as a Private. On August 9th, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, in the 35th infantry.
The 35th Regiment was organized at Camp Stanton, Lynnfield and was composed mostly of men enrolled in Eastern Massachusetts. Its members were mainly recruited between July and August of 1862. The regiment left for war on August 22nd under the command of Colonel Edward A. Wild. The regiment fought it’s first battle at the Battle of South Mountain under Colonel Wild’s command on September 14th , 1862. During this battle, Colonel Wild lost his left arm and the command of the regiment fell to Lieutenant Colonel Carruth.
Under Carruth’s command, the Regiment faced Robert E. Lee’s army in one of the War’s bloodiest battles beside a creek named the Antietam on September 17th. During the battle of Antietam, the Regiment lost 214 men, 69 of which were killed during the fight. From this battle, the Regiment moved to Fredericksburg, where they fought on December 13th under Major Willard. Regrettably, the Regiment lost yet another leader during this battle when Major Willard was killed, and the constant loss of commanders deteriorated the Regiment’s morale. However, the soldiers were brave enough not to lose hope and went on to reinforce Grant in Vicksburg, Mississippi under the command of the current Colonel of the Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Carruth. Shortly after, the Regiment participated in the pursuit of Johnston’s army to Jackson, Mississippi, and defended Knoxoville, Tennessee against Longstreet. On November 11th, 1863, Charles Nason transferred to the 22nd Regiment of Company D. As a part of this Regiment, Charles fought in several battles in Virginia before being discharged.
Despite the high casualty rates, poor living conditions, and lack of proper medical care, Charles Nason was lucky enough to return safely to his wife and children. After being discharged on July 02, 1865, Charles returned to his home in Franklin and was able to spend several further years with his family. He witnessed such important dates as his son Oramel’s marriage to Claretta W. Gibbs, and was there to support his sons when they lost their mother in 1876. Nine years later, at the age of 56, Charles M. Nason passed away and is currently buried with his wife and son, Oramel, in the Davis Thayer Cemetery, in his hometown of Franklin, Massachusetts.