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Prescott Guards Records

Prescott Guards Records

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Open Finding Aid

PRESCOTT GUARDS RECORDS, 1793-1891, 1979

Sponsor:

Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Prescott Guards (Pepperell, Mass.)
Title:Prescott Guards Records
Dates:1793/1891, 1979
Quantity:2.25 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract:The Prescott Guards Records include organizational records, books, and photographs created by the Prescott Guards along with the research materials of Willard C. Cousins. This collection has been arranged into two series.
Identification:MM 17

Series List

SERIES I. Records of the Prescott Guards
A. Organizational Records
B. Books
C. Photographs
SERIES II. Records of Willard C. Cousins

Scope and Content Note

The Prescott Guards Records include organizational records, books, and photographs created by the Prescott Guards along with the research materials of Willard C. Cousins. This collection has been arranged into two series.


Series I. Records of the Prescott Guards include enlistment and membership lists, appointment and resignation documents, record books, receipts, public addresses, invitations, photographs, and oversize documents of the Prescott Guards. The record book includes meeting minutes from committee meetings. The photographs are of individuals connected with the Prescott Guards and its members. In addition books and publications on military tactics and militia law owned by members of the Prescott Guards are included.


Series II. Records of Willard C. Cousins include a monograph and photographs created by Willard C. Cousins. The monograph, The Prescott Guards, 1819-1857, is a history of the Prescott Guard written by Cousins circa 1979. Photographs include those used by Cousins as research material for his Prescott Guard publications along with original photographs of all artifacts and documents in the Prescott Guards Military Collection. Cousins donated these photographs to the Essex Institute in 1980.


Historical Sketch

The Prescott Guards, also known as the Pepperell Light Infantry Company, were an independent, volunteer militia company, organized in 1819 in Pepperell, Massachusetts. They were named after Colonel William Prescott, who is known for his service in the Revolutionary War, specifically at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Prescott Guards replaced the South Company, an infantry company under the command of Captain David Shed that had previously disbanded in the Pepperell area. Membership in the Prescott Guards and the nearby North Company was determined by the territory in which the individual claimed residence. Company musters were held six times a year, usually on the Pepperell Common or in neighboring towns of Groton, Littleton, Townsend, or Chelmsford.


From 1840 through 1854, the Prescott Guards constituted Company B, 5th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. In 1855, it became Company A, 6th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. In 1857, the company numbers fell below the minimum required by law and the company was disbanded. In 1861 an attempt was made to reorganize the company, but without success. At the beginning of the Civil War, many of the Prescott Guards’ former members served with the 6th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Cousins, Willard C.
Pepperell Light Infantry
Prescott Guards (Pepperell, Mass.)
Massachusetts--Militia
United States--History, Military
Pepperell (Mass.)
Diaries
Photographs

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Request for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Prescott Guards Records, MM 17, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Willard C. Cousins on May 22, 1980. Artifacts from the Prescott Guards Military Collection are found within the Peabody Essex Museum collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Halley Grogan, February 2012.


Related Material

Cousins, Willard C. The Pepperell Light Infantry, or, "Prescott Guards" 1819-1861. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Pepperell_Light_Infantry_Or_Prescott.html?id=VHroZwEACAAJ


Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Records, 1775-1908, MM 6


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