Alanson Haines, First Newmarket Volunteer

 Young Haines was the first man to enlist in answer to the call for the “Nine Months’ Men.”  He left his family farm and was assigned to Company D, 15th N H Volunteer Infantry, 30 Aug  1862.  He served almost a year, having been mustered out on 13 Aug 1863.   He was born 12 Jan 1843 in Newmarket, a resident of Town ever since, and he  is credited to Newmarket.  When, in 1864, Massachusetts made her call for the “Hundred Day Men,” he hastened to the city of Lawrence, where he was again the first to sign the rolls and was mustered in, 14 Jul 1864, as a  private  and was assigned to Company K, 6th Infantry Mass. Vol. Militia, under Judge Sherman.  He was soon appointed corporal, and when his term expired, he mustered out 27 Oct 1864. 

After he left his second enlistment,  he joined the NH Sheridan Guards, Company G, and received a commission as Captain on 3 May 1880 Company G, Newmarket Guards. 

In 1868 he married Olevia Haley, who died in August, 1885.  In November, 1886, he married Clara Wiswall, daughter of Thomas H. and Hannah (Thing) Wiswall. They had one daughter, Hannah Wiswall, born 12 Aug 1889.  The Town directory of 1872 lists him as an assistant assessor, living on a house on Haine’s Falls (now Grant Road).  He was one of the charter members and most loyal supporters of George A. Gay Post, No. 18, G. A. R., of which he was a past commander, and he was also past department commander of New Hampshire G.A.R.

He was appointed a delegate to the National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic at Milwaukee, Wis., in 1896.  Mr. Haines was also a prominent member of Company G, First New Hampshire National Guards, for five or six years, during which time he was promoted from the rank of First Lieutenant to that of Captain.   In Masonry he reached the thirty-second degree; he also belonged to the Knights of Pythias, and also to Lamprey River Grange, No. 24o.

The following was published 16 Jan 1919  ”Civil War Biography”,  NH Granite Monthly:

Alanson C. Haines received his education in the Newmarket schools, supplemented by study in Pembroke, Merrimack County. He subsequently left the home farm to don the blue. After his return home, in 1870 he was appointed assistant assessor in the U. S. internal revenue service, which position he filled until the abolishment of the office.  For two years he served as bookkeeper with T. H. Wiswall & Co., until his appointment as clerk in the bank as noted. When the bank was on the verge of collapse, Colonel Haines brought it back to solvency.  The yearly deposits of the bank have Increased from $18,000 to more than $300,000. The Board of Directors adopted a vote of thanks to Col. Haines which is part of the record.   He has almost completed a quarter century as cashier of that institution and to him it owes much of its present success.  He was a member of the legislature in 1901.

In the Grand Army circles he was well known.  In 1901 he was elected Commander of the New Hampshire G.A.R. and for more than 20 years he has held some office in the local organization.  He has been selectman and in 1901 served in the House of Representatives

 On his return from the war he learned the cooper’s trade and followed it for a time.  The efficient Cashier of the New Market National Bank, was born here in, 1843, son of Washington and Abigail (Folsom) Haines, both natives of this county.Alanson’s father was born in Greenland, NH, but left there early in life, going with his parents to Loudon, NH.  His principal business enterprises were the manufacture of wood machinery and cotton batting.  He died in 1886.  His wife was a native of New Market. And lived til over eighty-six years old.

He afterward  he engaged in the manufacture of cotton batting cards. About this time Mr. Haines received the appointment of Assistant  Assessor in the United States Internal Revenue Service, and had filled the office two years when it was abolished.  During the next two years he worked for T. H. Wiswall & Co., paper manufacturers, as book-keeper. Mercantile pursuits then engaged his attention for a few years, after which other occupations were followed until 1883, when he entered the New Market National Bank as clerk.  Nine years later he was chosen Cashier, which position he has filled ever since.

In politics Mr. Haines was a Republican. In 1880 he served  as census enumerator, and in 1877 and 1878 he officiated as Selectman. He also served as Chairman of the Board, having been re-elected in 1895 and 1896.  Mr. Haines has been twice married. In 1868 he was united to Olivia Haley, daughter of John P. Haley, of Lee, N.H., who died in 1883. His second marriage was contracted with Clara Wiswall, a daughter of Thomas H. Wiswal, of Durham, N.H. Mr. and Mrs. Haines have one daughter, Hannah W. The mother is a highly respected member of the Congregational church. Mr. Haine’s acceptable prominence in military and Masonic circles contributes, no doubt, to his social popularity.

15th Regiment Infantry

Organized at Concord 6-16 Oct 1862, for nine months’ service. Left State for New York  13 Nov 1862; thence sailed for New Orleans, La., arriving 26  Dec.  Attached to Sherman’s Division, Dept. of the Gulf, to Jan 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps, Army of the Gulf, to July, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th Army Corps, to August, 1863.

(photo: artist rendering of the Battle of Port Hudson)

SERVICE—Moved from Carrollton to Camp Parapet, La., 28 Jan 1863, and duty there until May. Moved to Springfield Landing 20-22 May. Siege of Port Hudson, La.,  27 May - 9 Jul.  Assaults on Port Hudson 27 May and 14 June.  Surrender of Port Hudson 9 Jul. Moved to Concord, N.H.,  26 July - 8 Aug. mustering out 13 Aug 1863.

Regiment lost during service 27 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 134 Enlisted men by disease. Total 161.


Extract from letter of A. C. Haines, Company D, of date May 3o. 

 Companies I and E were ordered out on the evening of the twenty-sixth as skirmishers, and went to the further edge of the woods, in sight of the enemy’s works. The next morning, just at daylight, we were ordered across a piece of cleared ground into another piece of woods and clear it of the enemy’s sharpshooters. This was on Wednesday, the twenty-seventh day of May, a day that I shall remember as long as I live.  We had to skirmish through the woods, and then through a piece of fallen trees up to within about fifty yards of the rebel breastworks.  The Zouavcs came up in the afternoon and intended to go on a charge.  As soon as they got into the cleared ground the rebels threw grape and canister, and it mowed them down like grass before the scythe. They were cut up in an awful manner; their loss was more than one hundred  WILLIAM S. STANLEY—Co. D. is killed and wounded, out of about four hundred men.

(photo: Private William Stanley, Company D, from Chichester. KIA, age 19, married)

 To the left of us three regiments went on a charge, but they could not stand the grape and canister. [ 1]     Six companies of the Fifteenth went on the charge. The loss in the Fifteenth was eleven killed, and between forty and fifty wounded. We had only one man hurt in our company, and that was by accident, it being a flesh wound with a bayonet. There were but five Newmarket men in the fight. They were John Hanson, N. Robinson, Free Dockum, George Taylor, and myself.  We all came out of the fight without a scratch, and are well and ready for another scrape, but I hope we shall meet with better success.

(photo: grape and canister - fired as one projectile, filled with a mass of small metal balls or slugs packed tightly into a canvas bag.)

The Fifteenth Yea, Hampshire Volunteers.  Next time. I can’t tell when we shall fight again, but I hope we sha’n’t leave this place till Port Hudson is taken. Our colors were riddled with bullets.  

In the Regimental History of 15th NH Volunteer Infanty — Diary section, A.C. Haines is listed several times for being on sick call, at hospital, when on guard duty or when assigned on special details.  The following is taken from the Section: Diary at Port Hudson:

“Comrade A. C. Haines fired at a rebel gunner just as he was about to pull the lanyard.  He was seen to throw up his hands and fall.”

(photo: Battlefield at Port Hudson)


Dear Parents;  

“I am well and feel in tip-top condition for another fight. I received two letters from you today. We have had to work pretty hard since the fight of May 27.  We have been digging in rifle pits and building breastworks so as to mount siege guns.  We were out forty-eight hours, came in this morning at daylight: we didn’t get any sleep during that time. We work right under the rebels noses. Last night we built a breastwork of cotton bales and dirt within less than four hundred yards of the rebel works, and they did not fire a gun on us, but our artillery kept up a fire on them, so did the mortar boats. I can’t think what the reason is that they don’t fire on us; it must be because they have not got ammunition.  I received three or four letters from you two or three days ago with some money and paper in them.  I answer in a hurry now, for we are to go out in about an hour, and if I don’t finish this and put it in tonight it won’t go. John Hanson (Sergeant) is well; so is Free Dockham, Nat Robinson and John Palmer. The rest of the Newmarket boys are all well. The artillery keeps firing all the time. I do not know when we shall fight again; we intend to be inside of Port Hudson in two or three days.  Our time is out the sixteenth of July; our time commenced the  day the last company was mustered into service.  We probably shall start (for home) just as soon as Port Hudson is taken, and we shall take it within a week, if  it is taken this summer.  I had a letter from Aunt Mary the other day, but can’t answer it now.  I am twenty years old to-day. Give my regards to all the folks at home. Good bye.

Your son, A.C. HAINES

 [1]  The charge referred to as on the left was that of Nickerson’s brigade.