Civil War soldiers of Mashpee

My recent post on the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry Regiment also touched upon the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and a recent book I had read – Thunder at the Gates – about the black regiments of Massachusetts that served in the Civil War. Another genealogical connection to these regiments concerned Civil War soldiers from Mashpee, Massachusetts treated in recent articles in the Mayflower Descendant.

Last year I co-authored, with Julia Colden-Walker, an article, “The Hicks Family of Mashpee, Massachusetts, Wampanoag Descendants of Pilgrim Richard Warren,” which chronicled descendants of Deliverance (Bump[as]) Hicks (1753-1850), a double Richard Warren descendant who married Brawn Hicks, of African descent, by whom she had two sons Francis and Abner, who lived in Mashpee, married Wampanoag women, and left descendants. The Hicks family was in the ancestry of Julia’s husband and was the earliest intermarriage that I am aware of between Mayflower descendants and Wampanoag people.

Click on image to expand it.

This issue also included another one of my articles, “Notable Mayflower Descendants: Sonny Dove,”  which outlined the numerous (Hopkins, Howland, Rogers, and Tilley, see chart) Mayflower descents of N.B.A. basketball player Lloyd Leslie “Sonny” Dove, Jr. (1945-1983), who was born on Cape Cod, the son of a Wampanoag mother and African-American father. Dove’s stepfather was also a member of the Hicks family in the earlier article. All of Dove’s Mayflower descents were through his white great-great-grandfather Nathaniel D.S. Bearse (1842-1928), a native of Cape Cod who moved to Mashpee and married a Wampanoag woman, Olive Gould Pells. Nathaniel Bearse and two men in the Hicks article appear as names planned for the new Veterans’ War Memorial in Mashpee.

One member of the Hicks family who served in the Civil War was Thomas L. Hicks (1843-1894), who enlisted as a seaman in the U.S. Navy on 11 December 1864. As he described in his Civil War pension application, Thomas “served about one year on the Tin Clad Steamer Nuamia in the West Gulf Squadron. Was then transferred to the Gun Boat Chucboro, where I served about sixteen months, and finished my time on the Steamer Minnesota European voyage and was discharged at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in January 1868.”  Thomas married his second cousin Elizabeth Ella Ann Amos. After her husband’s death, Elizabeth married John Young Gooch (1834-1909), widower of Elizabeth’s second cousin Mercy T. P. Low (who was a first cousin of Thomas, see chart). Gooch was the other Civil War veteran of Mashpee in this article.

Thomas “served about one year on the Tin Clad Steamer Nuamia in the West Gulf Squadron. Was then transferred to the Gun Boat Chucboro…”

Gooch came to Mashpee by virtue of his service in the war. Born enslaved in Missouri, he enlisted (under the name Young Gooch) on 30 May 1863 (noting his residence then as Bloomington, Illinois), and served as a private in the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, which was the second regiment (after the well-known 54th) of African American soldiers, largely comprised of men from outside Massachusetts. As a result of serving in the Massachusetts regiment, he ended up moving to Mashpee after the war, reportedly owing to the reduced racial prejudice amongst the Wampanoag people. While married twice, Gooch had no children. Gooch applied for a Civil War pension, noting that while he was in the line of duty at Folly Island, South Carolina in October 1864, he “incurred chills and fever by reason of hardship and exposure incident to the service, while on picket duty, which resulted in rheumatism.” In addition, he noted heart trouble and general debility after the war, making him permanently disabled. However, he was denied a pension due to being court martialed and dishonorably discharged 29 August 1865, four months after the end of the war.

The African American Civil War Memorial in Washington D.C. recognizes the contributions of 209,145 members of the United States Colored Troops, including the soldiers I mentioned in my previous post from the 29th Connecticut. While Thomas L. Hicks, who was of Wampanoag, African, and English descent, is not included in this memorial (as he served in the Navy), John Young Gooch appears on this memorial, and is the only soldier whose name appears on both this national monument and the planned memorial in Mashpee.

About Christopher C. Child

Chris Child has worked for various departments at NEHGS since 1997 and became a full-time employee in July 2003. He has been a member of NEHGS since the age of eleven. He has written several articles in American Ancestors, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and The Mayflower Descendant. He is the co-editor of The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton (NEHGS, 2011), co-author of The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2011) and Ancestors and Descendants of George Rufus and Alice Nelson Pratt (Newbury Street Press, 2013), and author of The Nelson Family of Rowley, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2014). Chris holds a B.A. in history from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

11 thoughts on “Civil War soldiers of Mashpee

    1. Yes, some passengers were on the Mayflower as families (like Hopkins and Tilley), some were single (like Howland, who married Elizabeth in Plymouth), some were alone with their families still in England (like Warren), and some were on the Mayflower with some of their family while other family members arrived later (like Cooke and Rogers)

  1. Always enjoy your posts, Chris, and this one in particular for two reasons. The fall issue of Vermont Genealogy has an article on four Vermont men, widely assumed to have been brothers, who fought in the Massachusetts 54th. All have Civil War Pension files that I am awaiting. Secondly, I have a number of missing “Fish” living in Mashpee that were never recorded in either Sandwich or Falmouth. DNA evidence has lent some support to conjectural relationships.

    1. Thanks Michael! Do let me know if you would be interested in writing an article on these Fishes of Mashpee for the Mayflower Descendant.

      Also I read your article on the Meros yesterday. Great stuff! I was checking to see if the Hazard family you mention on pages 8 and 27 had any connection to a Hazzard family I have researched which goes back to a Joel Hazzard who married Dolly Wallace in Stafford, Connecticut in 1832 and later lived in Brookfield, Massachusetts. Several of their descendants later lived in Woodstock, Connecticut. As far I can tell, I do not see a connection between the Hazzard family I researched and the Hazard family of Harvard, Mass. and Woodstock, Vermont you researched. Haz(z)ard is a somewhat common surname for people of color in New England.

      Allen Horace Hazard (1858-1950), mentioned in your article on page 27 was the son of James M. Hazard (1831-1890) of the Massachusetts 54th mentioned on page 8, which would make Allen’s son Alvah and his wife Julia Ann Mero second cousins.

  2. As a 11G grandson of Richard Warren, I read this article several times over with enthusiasm. Would it be possible for you to send me, or point me towards, a higher resolution copy of the tree chart you included here?


  3. Hi Chris, I find the graphic family relationship trees you do to always be so interesting in their construction and clarity. Thanks for the models!

  4. I’d love to review your cited works and records that contributed to this article. Very intriguing read, as a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Historic Preservation Officer for the Tribe it’s all very enlightening. As a member of the Town Select Board I’m supporting Town’s historical committee’s work on the war memorial.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.