allens graveI’ll be there renaming our largest park after Acton’s only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Nathaniel Allen.  Allen carried the colors in battle in Gettysburg.  All around him men were falling, but he maintained the order and kept the colors flying high.  His job was simple, but essential.  The men needed to know that they were to stay and fight on.  Thanks to Cpl Allen, this message was clear.  If you’re in town, stop by tomorrow to see the ceremony.  I’m presenting flags to the town from Allen’s unit and the national ensign from that time.  We’ll be in NARA Park about 6pm near the bandstand for the presentation.  –Jim

This day always brings a special quote to mind from John Adams.

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Cpl Allen’s story:

Birth: Apr. 20,  1840
Death: Jul. 7,  1900
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. At the age of 21 he enlisted in the 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on May 23, 1861, and was mustered in as a Private in Company B. He would go on to be awarded the CMOH for his bravery on the Second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 2, 1863). His citation reads “When his regiment was falling back, this soldier, bearing the national color, returned in the face of the enemy’s fire, pulled the regimental flag from under the body of its bearer, who had fallen, saved the flag from capture, and brought both colors off the field”. Promoted to Corporal on January 26, 1863, he served until he was honorably mustered out on May 24, 1864 at Boston, Massachusetts. His Medal was issued March 29, 1899, barely a year before he passed away.

One Response to “Tomorrow in Acton – A Day of Celebration – A Park Gets a New Name”

  1. Casey Chapman

    Sounds like even back then, the government was bogged down in bureaucracy. If I were in charge, he’d have had the darn medal within 5 months of the end of the war. Not that they’d put me in charge at the time.