Captain Charles H. Watson
The many friends of Capt. Charles H. Watson well known in Worcester, Oxford, Sutton, and Webster will be pained to hear of his death last week of pneumonia at his home at Westfield Mass..
Captain Watson was born at New Braintree Mass. March 13, 1824. At the age of 16 years he enlisted in the regular army, serving at Holden Maine, Newport R.I. , Fort Barrancas Fl., and in the Mexican war at Brownsville, Vera Cruz,, Black Pass,Cerra Gordo, and other places. He located at Sutton a short time after the close of the Mexican war, engaging in making womens shoes. About 1852 he moved to Oxford, living in the old Joslin House at the north end of Oxford Plains untill the rebellion broke out.
He organized the “Dewitt Guard,” was commissioned as Captain by Govenor John A. Andrew, and assigned as (to) Company E. 15thMassachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and served out his three year enlistment. He was subsequently given charge of troops in the later part of 1864 and 1865 at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, for two years.
He participated in the Battles of Balls Bluff, Berryville, Peach Orchid, seige of Richmond, Seven Days fight, ;Savage Station, Malvern Hill, White Oaks, Fairfax, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg. He was wounded at Antietam in the thigh. He was a loyal soldier and one of the best drill officers in the army.
He located at Westfield in 1868, where most of his time was spent on the regulal and special police force. Deceasd was a musician of more than local repute. He was a member of the Oxford and Westfield brass bands, and a basso singer. He was twice married; his first wife was Miss Elizabeth Perior of Woodstock, New Brunswick, and his second wife a Miss Annie Hooker of Boston Mass., who servived him; also three sons, Charles F., William F., and Arthur M.; four daughters, Mrs. W.A. Cleveland of Staten Island, Mrs. Rose Geary of New York, Mrs. J. Ralph of Ravenwood L.I., and Mrs. John D. Whitney of Webster Mass., and a sister, Mrs. W.A. Hall of Northbridge Mass. Captain Warson was a member of the Westfield Post of the G.A.R. , and of Mount Tekol(?) Temple of Honor.
A large number of relatives and citizens attended the funeral, Friday, and at the tomb a bugler from Fort Warren stood in the doorway of the tomb and sounded several calls incident to the fine services of the Grand Army burial obscequies. Among the floral tributes were a wreath from the G.A.R., with the words “our Comrade”, a bunch of calias from the Temple of Honor and Easter lillies from the band, also a sheaf of wheat. The bearers were members of he G.A.R.. He had only been ill three days. His last visit to Oxford was at the annual gathering of Co. E in 1890. The westfield Times and newsletter says “He was a familiar and prominent figure on our streets.”
Lines Composed in His Memory
Death came and claimed him for his own,
the soldier brave, he singer sweet,
And we are left to grieve alone,
No more his kindly face to greet,
Death’s claim was settled far to swift!
Oh that we could have held him fast!
But let us now our voices lift,
That we may join his at the last
I scarcely yet believe our loss,
it seems but yesterday that he
his grandchild on his knee did toss,
And gayly looked from it to me.
Today we’re here, tomorroe gone,
As swift as chaff before the wind,
Who knows what comes with every dawn.
What grief the setting sun may find.
And he who fought at Malvern Hill,
As brave as any boy in blue
Submitted gently to the will
Of Him whose outstreched arm he knew.
The wreath so sweet, the lillies fair;
His comrades placed upon his grave,
Proclaimed that they, our grief did share;
And freely floral tributes gave.
Let us not think of him as dead,
He’s risen yes, he sits above,
He’s singing as on earth he led,
the grand refrain, “Yes, God is Love,”
Lets think of him as doubly blest,
For death is freedom fom all pain,
The promise is, we shall find rest
If we but die to live again.