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 hometown.

            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 14, 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 six days before his death.