Sunday, October 9, 2011


Front side:
Ira Carver
Susan C. Ames
Ira Lysander Carver

Right Side:
George William Hight
Member of Company O
44th Regiment
Massachusetts Volunteers
His Wife
Lucy Barstow Carver

Back Side:
Lucius Carver
Born in Marshfield 1840
Enlisted in Boston 1863
Assigned to Michigan 7th Cav
As private. Promoted to Serg.
Co. M. Serg Major of the Reg.
And Lieu, Co.M. Killed in action
At Front Royal Va. Aug16 1864
A brave heroic soldier
Courteous and manly

Left Side:
Allyne Cushing Litchfield
5th Michigam Cavalry 1862
Liutenant Col.
7th Michigan Cavalry 1862
7th Michigan Cavalry 1864
Brevet Brigadier General
Volunteers 1865
"For gallant
And Meritorious Service"

I took these pictures at the Marshfield Hills Cemetery in August.
I hadn't read the inscriptions when I took them but when I was
transcribing them for this post I was overcome with curiosity. The
7th Michigan Cavalry was commanded by George Armstrong Custer.
How did two men from Massachusetts end up serving in his command?

My answers came in two different places online. The first was a website for
the Litchfield-French papers 1862-1918 at the William L. Clements
Library at the University of Michigan. (The French is Litchfield's son-in-law
Roy  A.French). A short biography told me Litchfield was born in Hingham
Ma in 1835 and working in the lumber industry in Michigan when the war
broke out which is how he wound up in the 7th Michigan Cav in 1862.
His connection to the Carvers was his wife Susan who was sister to
Lucius Carver. It wasn't uncommon in the Civil War for family members
to serve together in the same units so Litchfield might have arranged to
have his brother-in-law assigned to his so he could keep an eye on the
younger man.

The second spot where I found more information was the book
HISTORY OF AND BY MEMBERS OF THE Seventh Regiment MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER CAVALRY 1862-1865 COMPILEDBY WILLIAM O. LEE Late Q. M. Sergeant-Co. "M" (published 7th Michigan Cavalry Association detroit, mich. [no pub date given])
at the Internet Archive there is this short self written account by
Allyne Cushing Litchfield of his Civil War experiences:
Born July 15th, 1835, at Hingham, Plymouth County,
Mass. ; enlisted at Georgetown, Ottawa County, Mich.,
August 14th, 1862, as Captain in Co. "B," 5th Michigan
Cavalry; was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel,7th Michigan
Cavalry, November 14th, 1862 ; commissioned Colonel March
20th,1864, and mustered as Colonel to date May 15th,1865.
Horse killed at Gettysburg, and falling on me severely
jammed me, but not so as to prevent my continuing on duty
with the Regiment. Was taken prisoner on Kilpatrick's Raid
at Atlee Station on railroad, about seven miles from
Richmond, March 1st, 1864, and was in close confinement
with five other officers and four colored soldiers until
July 15th, 1864. For the last six weeks of this time we
were put on one-third of a prison ration; was then sent
to Macon, Ga., from thence to Charleston, S. C, thence
to Columbia, S. C, where for five and a half months we
received no meat whatever; was paroled for exchange March
1st, 1865. Brevet Brigadier General United States Volunteers
March 3d, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service.
Mustered out as Lieutenant Colonel May 21st, 1865;
mustered as Colonel May 22d, 1865, and mustered out
as Colonel May 26th, 1865. (pp26-27)

He also had this to say about the death of his brother -in-law:
I was terribly shocked when in prison at Charleston, S. C, to read 
in the New York Times the account of his death in the Battle of
Front Royal, Va., the following August, from which place I tenderly
removed his sacred remains to the village church-yard of his native 
town. (p32)
And that village churchyard was the Marshfield Hills Cemetery where
a century after Allyne Litchfield's death I took my pictures.


  1. Great photos and an even better story. I'm so glad you took the time to do that little bit of extra research!

    1. I live on Cape Cod and visited the Carver family plot in Marshfield today (9-5-2017). I have in my possession about 60 handwritten letters from Lucius Carver to his father Ira Carver who lived on Meridian St in East Boston. A few letters to other family members were also sent to the E. Boston address. Most of the letters are in
      great shape and are beautifully written. Lucius was clearly a romantic and quite poetic. The letters mention many famous civil war leaders and several references to confrontations later named. There are even small maps of troop positions and personal accounts of confidence and no confidence of certain generals. One letter mentions that "Abe's the man" and shows support for reelection. The letters start at Gettysburg and end at Front Royal with the last letter written by the Company Surgeon to Ira Carver with a very detailed account of Lucius Carver's death. One letter still has traces of blood stain. These letters are are incredible and I felt like I was taken back and placed on scene.
      Bob Horton: email

    2. Wow, that's a real treasure, Robert!