Civil War Solon Perkins Saga Continues

Eileen Loucraft offers more insight into  the Solon Perkins – Civil War soldier saga. But questions remain: Why did Mrs. Perkins give the flag to the Middlesex Bank? Were there Perkins-Knapp connections? More research coming…

From E. Loucraft: His mother, Mrs. Wealthy Perkins received the gideon from the estate of Benjamin Butler. The General had been holding the sash of Solon A. Perkins and his Captain Henry A. Durivage, of 3nd Calvery Massachusetts. Captain Durivage drowned in the Mississippi River in April of 1862 and Lieut. Perkins commanded the 3rd until his own death. Captain Durivage was the son of 19th century author Francis Alexander Durivage of Boston and later New York City. So instead of the sash ending up at Memorial Hall it ended up at the bank.

My note: What is now known as Memorial Hall is located on the second floor of the now Pollard Memorial Library. Since the library was built as a memorial to veterans and with expectations that surviving Civil War veterans would have a place to occasionally meet – the expansive upper hall was the site of the meetings  of the   B. F. Butler Post 42, G.A.R. organization. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, Marines and Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War. The Lowell Post  42 was established in 1868. The furniture and accoutrements of the GAR were in the hall for many years. BTW – the LMA has the sash!

From the Lowell Daily Sun, December 15, 1894:

A Valuable Memento

Mrs. Wealthy Perkins, mother of Capt. Solon A. Perkins, who enlisted in this city when 27 years of age for the war, has the sash worn by her son when he was killed in the engagement with the rebels in Louisana. The sash, with another, was formerly in possession of Gen. Butler, and was enclosed by him in a receptacle for safe keeping, with the following memoranda. The sash and letter are to be put in Memorial hall.”

“The two sashes in this box belonged to two of the bravest cavalry officers I ever knew. The smaller one was worn by Henry A. Durivage, 1st lieutenant of the second company, Mass. unattached cavalry, who was lost overboard from the steamer North America on the Mississippi river at the head of the Passes, April 21, 1862. The larger one belonged to Capt. Solon Perkins of the same company, who was killed near Port Hudson, La., in June 1863. Both were dear friends, and better or braver men never lived.

B.F. Butler”

Check out this web page with a gideon in excellent shape –

5 Responses to Civil War Solon Perkins Saga Continues

  1. Sam Katz says:

    This is most exciting … but are the sashes gone for good? Do you know for a fact they were burned in the 1919 fire? I would love to see Henry’s sash in person … that would be extraordinary … to see something he wore. Henry and I are waiting for the next installment. By the way, what kind of a name is “Wealthy?!”

  2. DickH says:

    Sam – tracking down what happened to the artifacts at Memorial Hall – which is now the city’s library – will be added to my too do list. Solon’s father’s name was Apollos and his mother was named Wealthy although I’ve also seen it as Wealthea.

  3. snikreP evilC says:

    This, combined with Solon’s Find A Grave memorial, are 2 great finds for me, a distant cousin.

    Speaking of his memorial. Is there any other marker with a longer more detailed inscription? I think his may hold the record!

    The reason this is such great find. Uncountable genealogical morons have recorded the death of Apollos as 1797. And then they leave the 1832 birth of Solon’s brother, Henry, blank. They do not even include Solon, in their trees, in a rush to get to the fame of Solon’s Great Grandnephew, Anthony Perkins. The original Psycho!

    I do not know of any Perkins – Knapp connections, yet. Other than it is almost time for me to connect to my afternoon sleeping couch.

    I have to guess, Knapp owned the bank. And Wealthy thought, there was no better place for safe keeping.

  4. EileenL says:

    Charles Knapp and Solon Perkins were second cousins. Solon and Henry also had a sister Susan Jeanette Perkins born 19 Dec 1845 died 30 Jul 1879. She was a teacher and never married.