BRACKETTS – Father and Sons

Father – David Brackett  —  

enlisted at the age of 40, along with 40 other men (of various ages)  from Newmarket on 8 Aug 1862 as a Private in Company E, 13th Infantry. 

He mustered in 19 Sep 1862, and  mustered out 10 Jun 1862.  David died in Newmarket 22 Feb 1866 at age of 43  only seven months after mustering out of the Army.  Company E experienced extensive fighting, some engagements ended in hand-to-hand combat.    When the Regiment mustered out, 84 of the enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded; 92 died of disease or accident.   David was born 27 May 1822 in Newmarket.  He resided in and his service was credited to the Town; as well, hs name is engraved on the G.A.R. Memorial. The 1860 Census lists his occupation as a saddle & harness maker.  He married Elizabeth Francis (b. 1830; d. 1884) and they had two sons, Charles E. and Franklin A. Brackett.

   (photo: Flags of the 13th Infantry)

Son Charles E. —

(born 1847) – Charles E. Brackett enlisted 25 Jul 1864 at age 18 with his brother Franklin as a Private in the NH Houghton’s Infantry for 90 Days, mustering out on 16 Sep 1864.  They then re-enlisted in Company K, NH 1st Heavy Artillery on 19 Sep 1864, with a rank of Private, mustering out 15 Jun 1865 at Washington, D.C.  Although born in Durham on 13 Mar 1847, and residing between his grandfather’s (Robert Francis) farm in Durham and his Father’s home in Newmarket, he was credited to Portsmouth.

(photo: gathering of 1st NH Heavy Artillery)

By 1868, when he was 21 he had moved to Lowell, MA and married Angie K. Silloway (age 21) on 29 Aug of that year.  She is the daughter of Seth and Lois P. Silloway. He was a machinist still living in Lowell in 1880 with 2 sons and 2 daughters, and by 1910, he owned a Machine Shop and was self-employed.  On Jan 1912 he filed for a Soldier’s pension in MA based on his NH record.  He died 6 Jan 1926; although his name does not appear on the Newmarket, G.A.R. Memorial, it is on the Lowell, Mass Memorial.

Son Franklin A. —

(born 1846) – (AKA Franklin Augustus Brackett) enlisted and mustered in 25 Jul 1864 at age 19 as a Private in the Martin Guards, Manchester.  Although born and residing in Newmarket, he was credited to Manchester.  He re-enlisted with his brother in the 1st NH Heavy Artillery as a Private on Sept 17 1864, age 19; mustered out Washington, DC June 15 1865.   After the end of the War, he joined the NH National Guards, Company G (Newmarket Company), and received his commission as Second Lieutenant 3 May 1880.  In March 1892 he applied for a military pension as an invalid at age 46.  He listed his service as being in Houghton’s Company and Company K., NH 1st Artillery.

(photo: Franklin A. Brackett, Newmarket NH Historical Society)

Born in Newmarket to David and Elizabeth Brackett in 1848.   He and Charles were the only volunteers from Newmarket to enlist in the Martin Guards.  He married Sarah F. Plummer, daughter of Daniel and Lilian (Caswell) Plummer of Epping on 27 Aug 1868.

In the 1870 Census he is living with his wife Sarah and his mother, and was employed in the cotton mills.  The Town directory of 1872 lists him living on High Street employed by the Newmarket Manufacturing Company.  He was a Mason and a member of Rising Star Lodge of Newmarket.  And the 1880 census lists his wife Sarah and their 4 children: Herbert A.(age 9), Carl E. (age (6), and Alice E. (age 4).  Franklin remained employed with NMCo., in 1921 he operated the elevator for NMCo.

Sarah died Jan 8, 1925 and Franklin died June 8th, 1934.  They are both buried at Riverside cemetery.  When Franklin died he was the last of Newmarket’s Civil War veterans.   The Sons of Veterans led a  large procession escorting  him to the family gravesite.

Under the headline “His Two Commands” The Boston Sunday Globe printed on January 15, 1911 a story on Franklin Brackett, then Newmarket’s Police Chief.

Newmarket NH has probably the only man in the United States who has been commander of a post of the Grand Army of the Republic and also captain of a company of the Sons of Veterans. He is Franklin A. Brackett, aged 62 years, alert and active.  He is now serving his town as chief of police.  Mr. Franklin Brackett is a native of Newmarket. He was born in 1846, the son of the late David Brackett.

Shortly after the opening of the Civil War his father, David Brackett, enlisted and served his full term in Co. E, 13th N.H. Volunteer Infantry. He participated in several battles.  Two of his sons, Charles E. Brackett and Franklin A. Brackett, enlisted in the Heavy Artillery, and were assigned to Co. K, N.H. Unattached Heavy Artillery, better known as the Martin Guards. They served 90 days at Fort Constitution in Portsmouth harbor.  Though only a boy, the younger son re-enlisted within a few months, and Franklin A. Brackett found himself in Co. K, 1st N. H Artillery, early in 1861, in which he served to the end of the war.

“When George A. Gay Post, G. A.R., was formed, Brackett became a member. He also joined John J. Hanson Camp, Sons of Veterans. In both these military organizations he has been through the chairs and served as presiding officer. Following the Civil War he joined the old militia company of infantry, and for a term of years — in the late 70’s and early 80’s — was captain and drill master of the company which was known as the Newmarket Guards.

“Mr. Brackett has been noble grand of the Odd Fellows, belongs to the Rebekahs, has been chancellor commander and district deputy grand chancellor in the Knights of Pythias, marshal of Masonic Rising Star Lodge, No.47.  He is also a member of the Portsmouth Yacht Club, and he has membership in various other historical and political societies. He entered the Newmarket fire department when a young man and served the town several years as its chief.”


Martin Guards, Fort Constitution

(photo: Fort Constitution, Newcastle, NH)  

This company was organized at Manchester, by Maj. Gen. John A. Dix, 30 June 1864, directing that two companies of militia be mustered into the service of the United States for the period of ninety days, to assist in relieving the National Guards and Strafford Guards at Fort Constitution.  The company was mustered in July 25, and during its term of service, it formed a part of the garrison at Fort Constitution.
It was mustered out September 16, and on the 24th left for Manchester.  A large number of the members of the company re-enlisted in Company K, First Regiment New Hampshire Volunteer Heavy Artillery.  They mustered into the service of the United States July 25, 1864, at Manchester, by William M. Graham, Capt. 1 Art., U.S.A. Mustered out September 16, 1864.  Each man was a volunteer appointed or enlisted for ninety days.

During the U.S. Civil War construction was begun on a massive three tiered Third System casemated fort. Advances in rifled armament during the U.S. Civil War made the Third System forts obsolete overnight and the upgrade of Fort Constitution was never completed. During the first year of the war the fort was armed with only 25 pieces of ordinance.

After 1867 the fort was placed in caretaker status and remained that way until construction began on the Endicott Period gun batteries in 1897.

(photo:  these blocks of granite lay in the same spot today as they were when construction was stopped. The concrete masonry wall was never finished. Photos by Ladynomad on the Road to Nowhere)