from The Worcester Spy, 14 August 1861 (Volume 90 #32),
|Fifteenth Off for the War
The fifteenth regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, who have been encamped on the Brooks farm since the 28th of June, left their encampment Thursday afternoon. They marched into the city and countermarched through Main street, in full army uniform, with their knapsacks and muskets, and equipped throughout for the war. The long array of muskets, borne by a thousand stalwart men, presented a novel spectacle to the multitudes who thronged the sidewalks, and filled almost every window and balcony upon the street. Loud hurrahs and cheers , and the waving of handkerchiefs, greeted the troops as they passed.
Col. Devens , the field and staff officers were mounted. The men wore their new army uniforms, and, with their handsome banners and their military band, made a brave show and looked worthy to bear the regimental number that Worcester county soldiers had made memorable in the war of the revolution.
The regimental band was preceded by the tall and erect form of the new drum major, Mr. Paul Bauer. Crowds of people followed them into the cars, many of them friends to the departing soldiers, among whom many sad faces were seen. The train , consisting of twenty-four long cars , left the common with the Old South clock was striking six, amid the parting cheers of the assembled thousands. The complete roster of the fifteenth regiment, including the field and staff officers, and the commissioned officers of the several companies , is as follows:---
Colonel---Charles Devens Jr. of Worcester, formerly major of the Third Battalion Rifles.
At the close of the afternoon service of the congregational society in Grafton the following letter was read from the pastor, Rev. William G. Scandlin, chaplain of the fifteenth regiment.
To the Congregational Society of Grafton.
DEAR FRIENDS---One of life's many changes, showing the mutable character of all earthly relations, leads me to ask a release (permanent or temporary) from my pastoral office. Under the present national emergency, no man can slight the call of his country. and if those who peril their lives for its interest ask of me the word of truth can I do ought but sacrifice with them and bear it?
It is to the consideration of such a call that your attention is invited. I pray you to lay aside all personal consideration and do that which shall most enhance your own spiritual interest. If best for you that our relations now cease, let your action so decide. If otherwise, I am willing in God’s good time, to offer the word of life, or break with you again the bread of life. May God’s loving guidance be our portion and may His watchful providence protect us in our absence one from the other.
Truly and affectionately your pastor.
The society unanimously voted to him a temporary leave of absence, commencing immediately. The letter from the society announcing the result to him says: “Though the vote was unanimous it was given in sadness and tears, by a people strongly attached to their pastor, and with feelings of love and union that would not be mistaken. Our best wish's and prayers go with you. Mr. Scandlin has been associated with this society in Grafton upwards of three years, and there existed between them an unusual degree of harmony and affection. His accession to the regiment is a fortunate one for his new charge.”
Lieut. Col. George H. Ward, previous to the departure of the regiment, was presented with a pair of field glasses and a handsome revolver, by some of his many personal friends.
John B. Gough has placed in the hands of Col. Devens $100 to be expended for the benefit of the men under his command.