Newport During the Civil War

Just like everywhere else in the United States, the American Civil war had a major impact on the town of Newport. While the town itself did not see any of the actual fighting during the war, as it was located hundreds of miles from the majority of the fighting, it did send down soldiers to fight for the side of the Union. When Newport learned about the attack on Fort Sumter, the first shots of the Civil War, it did not take long for Newport’s citizens to join the war.

“Each subsequent quota was promptly filled by volunteers, no draft was necessary in Newport to keep up the required quota of the town. The townspeople on the whole were very much devoted to the preservation of the Union. The women formed themselves into a relief association in connection with other solders’ aid societies of the country, sewing uniforms, rolling bandages, raising money to send to injured troops.”[1]

Ultimately by the end of the Civil War 240 soldiers from Newport would serve in the Civil War, and 38 of them would die.[2] The population was about 2,077 according to the 1860 census meaning that 11.6% of the town’s population served during the Civil War and that 1.8% would die, which is nearly 2 percent of the population of Newport at the time. These numbers do not take into account the soldiers who were wounded during the Civil War, meaning that the overall casualty rate was much higher than the 2% that were killed during the Civil War, either through battle or disease, or both. Two Civil War veterans from Newport were well documented.

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[1] Jayna, Hooper. Celebrating Community: Newport New Hampshire 1761-2011. 250 Years and Beyond. United States: Newport Historical Society, 2011. 69.

[2] Hopper, 69.