Local Civil War Hero’s ‘Priceless’ Medal of Honor Donated to Dighton
One look at this week's proclamation from the Town of Dighton, and it is apparent that the life of Private Frederick C. Anderson was not an easy one.
The certificate of recognition outlines Anderson's early life. He was born in Boston in 1824, and was an orphan by the age of eight, living in what amounted to an insane asylum. At 14 years old, he was shipped out of Boston on what was called an "orphan train." The train was a welfare program that was designed to get orphans out of the city and out to the rural areas of the state. A farmer in Raynham selected him and he was put to work on the Wilbur Farm.
He joined the Union almost immediately after hearing about the Civil War and fought in a laundry list of the most historical battles including the Second Battle of Bull Run, and the Battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg.
But it was his heroic action in the Battle of Glove Tavern in Virginia that earned Anderson the Medal of Honor. In the heat of the battle, the private managed to capture the flag and the flag bearer of the South Carolina Infantry Regiment, which shut down communication with the rest of the Confederate Army, allowing the Union to retake the Weldon Railroad. A few weeks later, Private Anderson was awarded one of the first Medals of Honor ever to be awarded by the nation.
Incredibly, according to Wikipedia, a few months later Anderson was wounded in battle but returned to his regiment "in time to watch the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia on April 9 (1865) at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the war."
This week, local veterans and out-of-state family members gathered at the gravesite of Private Frederick C. Anderson at the Dighton Community Church cemetery. Private Anderson's great-great-granddaughter was in attendance to donate his 157-year-old Medal of Honor to the town. Shortly after the Medal of Honor Ceremony, the town dedicated a bridge to the Civil War hero.
"It was a great honor to be part of this ceremony and to meet Pvt. Anderson’s family," former Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein said. "Their donation of a priceless national treasure, part of the first-ever issued to the U.S. Army, to the Town of Dighton is beyond generous and we're a grateful community. I am thrilled to have been involved in this endeavor of recognizing Pvt. Anderson's heroic actions."