Francis Brown papers  1864-1865
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Biography

Brown, Francis

Rank : Private

Regiment : 1st New Hampshire Heavy Artillery Regiment. Co. C (1864-1865)

Service :1864 ca. August-1865 September?

Francis Brown, of Manchester, N.H., served in one of the many heavy artillery units manning the defenses of Washington during the latter stages of the war. Stationed first at Fort Williams, Va., but transferred shortly to Fort Smeades, near Fort De Russy, the move from Virginia foiled Brown's attempt to be detailed to a surgeon. Soon after his unit's arrival, however, the enlisted men forced the removal of the regiment's two cooks from their jobs, dissatisfied partly because the cooks had been selling portions of the company's coffee supply for personal profit. Brown was chosen to fill one of the cookhouse vacancies, and turned this appointment to profitable advantage by selling grease from the cookhouse.

A Protestant evangelical with strong religious convictions, Brown found the ugliness of the war and camp life a test of his Christian values. While he received encouragement from family members during these trials -- including his wife, Mary, and brother-in-law, Jonathon Sleeper -- his shiftless son Frank compounded Brown's worries, proving even a greater agitation for Mary.