On the afternoon of Oct.16, the Pond Village Church was full of excitement as the reenactment of the historical recruitment meeting of 1862 took place. The information about this event was an interview with Ira Carpenter when he was 90 years old and the last surviving Civil War Veteran in Brookfield. Twenty-eight men answered the call by President Lincoln and through our research we have been able to identify them.
Narrator, Perry Kacik introduced “Kit” Gage as Ira Carpenter, who told the townsfolk about the meeting that took place on that day so long ago. Allen Wilder as Lieutenant Governor Martin gave a rousing speech about the country’s need for men and challenged the men to enlist. Greg Wight as Town Clerk was at the table ready with enlistment papers. Ira and his brother Marshall were two of the five young men in the front row that had already decided to enlist that day and immediately rose to the occasion.
It was like going back 149 years, when the twenty-eight volunteers who represented each name of the original men, went to the table to sign the papers. Every time a man went forward, the people clapped and cheered and there was great excitement. The volunteers were from Brookfield and surrounding towns including two from Mass. and one (and 2 sisters) from Iowa who scheduled their trip to Vt. around this event.
The Civil War exhibit was on display in the church vestry and adding to that were artifacts and memorabilia of Edwin Hall, Edwin Sprague and Erie Ditty brought by their descendents. A potluck supper followed. The Brookfield Historical Society would like to thank all of you who participated and made an interesting part of the town’s history come alive again.
Photo courtesy of David Whitney.