To the editor:
Since around 1999, Bill Hallett has organized a group of locals to march in Civil War attire for the Yankee Homecoming parade. It was inconceivable to Bill that Newburyport, so rich in history, should go without a Civil War unit. This parade was especially important, since this year marks 150 years since the start of that terrible conflict. The amount of planning, preparation and funding that goes into the effort is extensive (we're still drying uniforms and cleaning rifles), but without the men and women to fill period attire, there would be no presence.
I wish to thank Bill and Liz Hallett of the Civil War roundtables of New Hampshire and the Merrimack, former teachers Bill Claffey and Lt. Col. Dwight Kranz, John Jancewicz, Eric Neale, Dan Bennis, Dan Talbot, Patrick Kelly, Aileen Kelly, Logan Morrison and our fantastic drummer, Todd McGrath. I also wish to thank former Sons of Union Veterans state commander Kevin Tucker, Richard Nichols and The Boston Volunteers for assisting us in outfitting the unit. Thanks to parade chair Mike Volpone for his hard work and devotion. In my youth I can still recall such historical displays, the thrill of the drum beat and rifle fire as I stood in awe atop Lime Street. I can only hope that the efforts of our volunteers have helped to inspire and engender a love of history and a respect for a valley so rich in heritage. Since 2000, The Boston Volunteers have been dedicated to the mission of Civil War remembrance.
Best wishes to Bill and Liz as they seek to further commemorate the anniversary of America's most terrible conflict and to continue to remember those who gave the "last full measure."
aka Capt. Sam'l Black