On 26 May I participated in the Memorial Day ceremony at the Fredricksburg National Cemetery in Virginia. I went with a recently found cousian (Sue) to recognize Liberty Richards, my GGGrandfather, born in Salem, Maine in 1814. His contribution is a family history of service to preserve our nation.
Liberty married Abigail Baker in Weld, Maine in August of 1835. All but his last 2 sons, George and Frank, were born there. Sometime between 1848 and 1855 , he and his family moved to Saco, then Farmington, NH. He was a farmer and lumberman .
He enlisted in Farmington, NH., 19 September 1862 with the 13th NH Infantry at the age of 48. He lied and said he was 43. He joined after his son Silas, born in Weld, Maine lied about his age. He was 16. Both survived the battle, bur Liberty died of heart failure related to the weather and conditions of the battle field on his birth day, 26 December 1862. Silas survived the war and was discharged in 1865. He was wounded at the battle of Cold Harbor in 1864.
At the time of Libertys death, he left a wife expecting a child, 2 daughters, and 3 sons at home. In addition to Silas, 3 additional sons fought in the war. Louis Richards 16th Maine, buried in Limrick, Maine, Joseph Richards 4th NH, captured at the battle of Winchester and was a prisoner in Andersonville, Libby, and Florance, buried Biddeford, Maine, Gorham Richards 1st NH Light Artillery, buried Tagus, Maine. His brothers Ansel and Chandler Richards served with the 29th Maine Infantry. His third brother Freedom was 46 and did not serve. Ansel is buried in Mansfield, MA., Chandler in Salem, Maine.
Libertys father was Nathaniel Richards, himself a veteran of the War of 1812, born in Saco, Maine. Circumstantial evidance indicated his Grandfather may be Joseph Richards, a Revoluation vetern.
The National Park Service has indicated they will include Liberty in their visitors guide to the cemetery to bring the individual recognition to the soldiers buried there. Only 6000 of the 15000+ are known.