|from The Webster Times,
What Webster Has Done
By John Spaulding, Editor
The Worcester Transcript, in referring to the informal meeting of last week, reported in our last paper, to see what Webster would do in response to the call for more troops, is evidently fearful that out town will be behindhand in this matter. While we take occasion to assure our contemporary` that its apprehensions are unfounded, we wish to introduce a few facts showing what Webster as a town has done in former times, what she is now doing, and what she proposes to yet to do.
Early last summer, when the enthusiasm of Massachusetts in war matters was at its height, our citizens felt that Webster ought to be represented in the field , by at least one company of volunteers. Accordingly measures were instituted to accomplish that end. a company was formed, and drilled for months at the expense of the town, but their experiences before getting into camp at Worcester were in some respects very unpleasant; and nothing but the fortitude, patience, and patriotism of the men who composed the company, and our citizens as well, would have withstood the repeated refusals of a place in camp with companies from adjoining towns, and the evident cold shoulder which was turned upon them from certain quarters before they finally encamped with the Twenty-first. Their place was properly with the Fifteenth and nothing but the merest accident at last transferred them to that regiment from the Twenty-first.
Webster also furnished the nucleus, some fifteen or more members, of a regimental band for the Twenty-first. Prior to the formation of a company here, quite a number of our young men who were anxious to enter the service went to the other towns and enlisted, and after our company left, a still further number were recruited for regiments in this and adjoining states. The State of Massachusetts accredits Webster with one hundred and thirty-five men; and it has been stated, on what we presume to be good authority, that a sufficient number have left our town for the purpose of enlisting in other places, to swell the aggregate number to one hundred and sixty-nine. These men are known to be in nine different regiments, “and are exclusive of the recruits recently enlisted under the last call.
Now as to the matter of means. The report of the selectmen for the year 1862 show that, up to the first of march, four thousand dollars have been expended for the war, a very small portion of which was paid out with any hope of reimbursement by the state. Payments have since been made, which will swell this amount very materially. Our town is small, numbering less than three thousand inhabitants, and it is by no means wealthy; yet she has thus far expended four times as much as some towns we could name, which are more populous and possess vastly greater resources. It will be seen, then, that Webster has already furnished her proportion of an army of more than a million and a half, assuming the basis of calculation the late apportionment of the Adjutant General, while her expenditures have been on an average of two dollars to every man, woman, and child of her inhabitants; or nearly eight dollars to every thousand of her valuation.
But while this is a record to be proud of, three times as much as the average of towns in the Commonwealth, we are prepared to do still more. to promote enlistment, our selectmen are paying a bounty of $100 to each volunteer; and as there is no doubt that the quota will be at once recruited, already half the requisite number, having already placed their names upon the roll, the sum of $3,400 additional is already involved, and will be forthcoming as fast as wanted. Of the number thus far recruited, no less than eight have been examined and sworn into U. S. service, and have received from the selectmen their bounty of one hundred dollars each. the town has not yet been canvassed for volunteers, but we are informed that this work will be commenced forthwith; and we shall not be surprised if at the town meeting next Wednesday the selectmen will be able to report Webster’s quota full.
In conclusion, notwithstanding the Transcript’s solicitude, we doubt whether Worcester can show a fairer record of the past, or better prospects for the early future. And our fellow citizens of Worcester County may rest assured that although Webster has already more than double done her share in the prosecution of the war, she will never be caught napping when the bugle sounds her country’s call to the rescue.
Volume IV # 19 Webster Times July 19, 1862
ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BOUNTY
A meeting of the citizens of this town was held at the Town clerk’s Tuesday last, at which Hiram Allen, Esq., presided, and F. D. brown M. D. was chosen Secretary. the object of the meeting was stated to be to urge upon the selectmen the propriety of offering a bounty for volunteers, in anticipation of the action of the town at its meeting next Wednesday.
On motion of Wm Slater, voted that the selectmen be instructed to offer a bounty of $100 to all who will enlist for the war before the fourth day of August proximo, to the number of the town’s quota, 34.
On motion, a committee was appointed to obtain subscription to guarantee the above named sum to the selectmen, provided the town refuses or neglects to make appropriation for that purpose at its meeting on the 23d inst. The following named persons were named members of that committee: Asher Joslin, Wm. S. Slater, Emory Sibley, H. E. Bugbee, J. H. Stockwell, H. M. Dresser, and Eden Davis.
On motion, the meeting dissolved. The meeting was decidedly spirited and patriotic, and remarks from various gentlemen present indicated but one mind on the leading subjects brought before them.
F. D. Brown, ‘Sec’y.