Back to the Table of Contents
April 15, 1862—pg. 2

     PRESENTATION OF A REBEL CANNON TO AMHERST COLLEGE.—The six-pounder field-piece captured at Newbern, which has been mentioned in The Republican as being inscribed at Chicopee preparatory to being placed in the keeping of Amherst College, was formally presented to that institution Monday afternoon. This cannon, it will be remembered, was taken by the 21st Massachusetts regiment near the spot where Adjutant Frazer [Frazar] Stearns fell. Gen Burnside immediately ordered it to be given to that regiment, “in honor of a brave man.” The regiment in turn voted to place it in charge of Amherst College, because of her patriotic and noble sons engaged in that battle, and Capt Frazer was detailed to perform the act of presentation. The ceremony took place from a raised platform in front of the chapel, a large audience having assembled to witness the exercises. The cannon bears this inscription—
     This gun belonged to a battery of flying artillery, which was silenced by a bayonet charge of the 21st regiment Massachusetts volunteers, under Lieut Col W. S. Clark, at the battle of Newbern, North Carolina, March 14th, 1862. It is the piece first surrendered on that day, and was presented to the regiment by Major Gen R. E. Burnside, who so successfully directed the onset on the strongholds of the rebels. The officers of the 21st, with the approval of their gallant brigadier, J. L. Reno, have unanimously resolved to place it in the keeping of the trustees of Amherst College, many of whose members were on the bloody field, as an enduring monument to the memory of their lamented brothers who fell while bravely fighting for liberty and Union.
NAMES OF THE SLAIN First Lieutenant Frazer [Frazar] A. Stearns, acting adjutant; he was a model soldier, faithful, active, intelligent and brave among the bravest; his comrades in arms will never forget his many virtues or cease to mourn his loss. Color Corporal George E. Sayles. Corporal Charles E. Woodworth. Corporal Mitchell W. Paul. Privates Austin Barton, Patrick Cushing, James O. Fessenden, Thomas Hurst, Edward Laekoro, William H. Williston, Timothy Collins, Louis Dana, William Flint, William H. Johnson, Patrick Martin, Joseph E. Stone, James Sullivan, Henry Shepard.
     Prayer having been offered by Rev Mr Woodworth of East Amherst, Edward Dickinson, chairman of the occasion, made known the object of the gathering in a few appropriate remarks. He referred to the sacred associations of the day, it being the anniversary of the time when the great uprising of the people began. He spoke of the death of three of the sons of the college since the war began and closed by referring to the sacred memory of the brave adjutant, which the emblem of war brought so vividly and sadly to mind. Captain Frazer being introduced, briefly recounted the history of the gun, paid the tenderest and highest eulogy to Adjutant Stearns, and the other brave ones whose names are engraved upon the trophy. The cannon being formally committed to the keeping of the college, Prof Tyler was called forward to read a letter written from Newbern by Col Clark. The reception of the gun was then made in behalf of the trustees by their oldest member, Dr Vaill of Palmer. He thanked the regiment for their gift, and promised, too, that it should be forever sacredly preserved in the archives of the college. Other remarks were made in behalf of the college by Prof Seeley, and a hymn sung by the college choir. The exercises closed with a glowing description of personal adventure in the Newbern fight by Capt Frazer . His remarks were received with the greatest enthusiasm, deservedly, as Capt Frazer especially distinguished himself in the battle, having been taken prisoner, and then escaped with three rebel prisoners. With sad thoughts of the noble soul, whom the cannon commemorates, the audience dispersed to their homes.