Early War Preparations and the Costs Of War – August 1861

War Preparations

After the Attack on Fort Sumter —The call had been made for troops. New Hampshire responded with her first three regiments.  The First Regiment was a three-month’s regiment. Its history, condensed, is as follows:

THE FIRST NEW HAMPSHIRE. (Three Months Service)

The regiment encamped at (near) Concord, on the easterly side of the Merrimack River, on “The Plains,” about a mile from the city. The regiment left Concord for the front 25 May 1861, and returned to Concord 5 Aug. 1861.

Discharged before leaving Concord         3

Discharged for disability                       13

Discharged by general court-martial        2

Died                                                     0

Captured                                              5

Deserted                                               0

Transferred to 2nd NH Infantry:             35

The First Regiment was officially received and welcomed 8 Aug. 1861, by public demonstration, procession, etc.

THE SECOND NEW HAMPSHIRE                (From Three Months to Three Years)

This regiment was originally designed for three months’ service; but during its formation, it was changed to a three years’ regiment. It was quartered at Portsmouth, in the old “rope-walk,” or “barracks,” at the southerly end of the city. The mustering-in began 31 May 1861, and extended over several days, ending 8 June 1861. The regiment left Portsmouth for war on 22 June 1861, via Eastern Railroad to Boston, where a dinner was given them in Faneuil Hall, and  then headed South.  The Second New Hampshire Regiment took part in the first battle of the war at Bull Run, fought at Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Mechanicsville and Gaines’ Mill, and took an important part and suffered its greatest loss at Gettysburg. In Company I alone, of this regiment, Newmarket had ten men, of whom four were wounded in battle.


The camping place selected was on the easterly side of the Merrimack River, on the side farthest from and opposite the city of Concord, and quite near the bank of the river, on the “intervals,” almost as level as a floor. This camp existed several days without a name. On the 11th of August a letter was dated thus:”Camp without a name,” and says “I was ordered into camp with my men on the 8th – AYER.”


Of the arrivals in camp and assignment to companies, the bills paid by the State for service, at $13 a month, from date of enlistment to date of arrival at rendezvous.

Company   Arrival Date by Company, August, 1861    Amount Expended

 A             13                                                                 $ 410.95

B             8,   9,   10,   12,   13,   14,   17,   23                   471.30

C             8,   10,   11,   13,   14,   19,   20,   21                 461.41

D             16,   19,   21                                                   1,183.86

E              8,   10,   12,   15,   16,   19                                419.53

F              7,   8,   15,   19,   20,   22,   26                          386.21

G             20,   21                                                             561.30

II             13,   20,   21,   22,   24,   25                               541.52

I               20,   21,   23,   26                                              431.24

K             20,   23                                                              642.09

Band      26                                                                        296.42

                                            Total all Companies             $5,806.13



This was a sort of gratuity, as the sum was so small it hardly deserved the dignified name of bounty. Later on, a bounty meant perhaps a thousand dollars. This ten-dollar bounty was distributed as follows:

Company   Amount         Company             Amount

A             $ 1,010               G                             $ 3,970

B                1,000                H                               1,010

C                1,010                 I                                 950

0                    930                K                             1, 000

E                    980                Band                            250

F                 1,010             C. S. and Q.M.S                  20

Total All Companies:                                            $10, 160


The authority for this disbursement was as follows:


General Order No. 2:      CONCORD, 31 July 1861.

It is hereby ordered that a bounty of ten dollars ($10.00) be paid to each man who has enlisted or who may hereafter enlist into the Third Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers, or any other regiment or company, and who may be accepted and mustered into the service of the United States. — Order signed by Governor Nathaniel S. Berry; Adjutant-General Anthony Colby, and the vote of the Council authorizing the above was 30th of July, 1861

Additional Costs

An Additional Cost not included was their board bills, which were $2.50 per week at the place of enlistment. The bills for the same, upon examination, appear incomplete in that no bills appear for Companies A and C, though it may be fair to infer by their absence and a knowledge of certain facts that no board bill was incurred by those companies, they both being military organizations (or partly so), and probably did not leave their homes till the day of departure for Concord. The board bills found amounted to over $2,500.

The railroad fares, stage fares, meals en route, the two dollars premium for each man recruited, etc., etc., must all be passed quickly over. The railroad charged two cents per mile. One special train from Concord to New Market Junction, 10 Aug. 1861, cost $154.90.  The heaviest bills for the carrying of men were on the Concord & Portsmouth Railroad: one for $510 from New Market Junction, and another for $393 from Portsmouth; the whole bill of the Concord & Portsmouth Railroad being $923.28.

Additional Mustering Out Costs for the Third Infantry

Actual Costs of the 3rd NH Regiment up t0 September 3rd, 1861

Recruiting ($2.00)      32,000

Board Bills     2,500

Pay ($13 per month)     5,300

$10 bounties     10,160

09 horses     11,767

22 wagons     3,230

Harnesses     1,353

Baud instruments     1,200

Caps     1,155

Drawers     8o9

Shirts     2,510

Cap letters     62

Blankets     5,611

Frock coats     6,052

Trousers     3,453

Overcoats     7,021

Shoes     1,480

Stoves     770

Haversacks     341

Knapsacks     3,202

Blouses     1,208

Socks     467

Rations      4,102

Canteens     420

Tents     4.150

1,030 Enfield rifles     30,140

Equipments     4,143

50,000 Cartridges     362

Hospital supplies     900

One bill for transportation, by Con., Man. & Law. R.R.      1,000

One bill (transportation) Boston, Con. & Mon. R.R.           279

One bill (only) Concord & Portsmouth R.R.                        923

State of New Hampshire to Steamer Connecticut, for detention    $8,365.00:

1,058 meals @ .25 cents                564.50

provisions not mused                    310.50



To the larger bills, add for such items as straw, hay, oats, wood, stationery, telegrams, express, pistols, swords, chests, freight, teaming, plates, spoons, knives, forks, clippers, camp-kettles, mess pans, axes, horse-shoeing, hatchets, shovels, drums, bean-pots, brands, soap, etc. —

 —on the basis of One Regiment (1,000 men), each man and his outfit has cost $120, and we have a grand total of over one $120,000.  


Revised Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion 1861 – 1866, as prepared and published by Authority of the Legislature, by Augustus D. Ayling (NH Adjutant General). Printer: Ira C. Evan, Public Printer, 1895.

All Published

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