Chapter 5: Dukes County.This county is formed of the Islands of Martha's Vineyard. These islands lie off and south of Barnstable County and Buzzard's Bay, and contain about one hundred and twenty square miles. They constitute five townships, as follows: Edgartown, Chilmark, Gay Head, Gosnold, and Tisbury. The town of Gay Head was incorporated in 1870, from a part of Chilmark; and therefore its war record is included in that of the mother-town. The shire town of the county is Edgartown. The population of Dukes County in 1860 was 4,403; in 1865, 4,200, being a decrease in five years of 203. The population in 1870 was 3,787, which is a further decrease in five years of 413. The valuation of the county in 1860 was $2,908,194; in 1865, $2,183,976, which is a decrease in five years of $724,218. By the returns made by the selectmen of the several towns in 1866, the number of men furnished in the entire county for the war was 240, which is only about half of the real number which the county furnished for the army and navy during the war. It filled its quota on every call made by the President, and at the end had a surplus of forty-seven men over and above all demands. The expenses of the towns on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, were $51,222.92. The amount raised and paid for State aid to soldiers' families during the war, and afterwards refunded by the Commonwealth, was $7,561.97. Total amount, $58,784.89. The following is the record of each town in the county:—
165] The selectmen in 1861 were Horatio W. Tilton, Tristram Mayhew, Stephen D. Skiff; in 1862, Tristram Mayhew, John W. Mayhew, Smith Mayhew; in 1863, Tristram Mayhew, Samuel T. Hancock, John Hammett; in 1864, Herman Vincent, Horatio W. Tilton, William Norton; in 1865, Herman Vincent, Tristram Mayhew, Moses Adams. The town-clerk in 1861 and 1862 was Josiah W. Tilton; in 1863, 1864, and 1865, James N. Tilton. The town-treasurer in 1861 was Allen Tilton; in 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865, Benjamin Manter. 1861. The first legal town-meeting, to act upon matters relating to the war, was held on the 16th of December, at which the town voted to authorize the selectmen ‘to act according to the law of the Commonwealth, in regard to the payment of State aid to the families of volunteers who have enlisted in the military service of the United States.’ 1862. A special town-meeting was held on the 14th of June, at which the selectmen were directed to pay State aid to the families of volunteers, or to those who are dependent on them for support, ‘as they may think proper.’ Another special meeting was held on the 12th of July, when the following vote was passed:—
Voted, To pay the sum of one hundred dollars to each of the first four volunteers, or, in case of no volunteers, the same sum to be paid to each of the first four persons hereafter drafted, provided such persons shall pass the necessary examination before the authorized officer.These were men for three years service. At a town-meeting held on the 26th of August, it was—
Voted, To raise six hundred dollars for each three-years volunteer, and that it should be paid them as soon as they are mustered into service. Voted, To raise three hundred dollars for each nine-months volunteer who may enlist before the quota is full. Voted, That the selectmen hire a sufficient amount of money to pay volunteers who may enlist in the United-States service, if it be needed. Voted, That the selectmen have authority to pay each of the three-years volunteers the sum of six hundred dollars, and pay to each of the  nine-months volunteers the sum of three hundred dollars, when he is mustered into the United-States service, until the quota of the town is filled.This system of paying bounties to volunteers and State aid to their families continued until the end of the war. The selectmen in 1866 reported that Chilmark had furnished twenty-six men for the war, which undoubtedly is only the number of residents of the town who were in the military service. Mr. Norton, the town-clerk, under date of January 16th, 1871, writes as follows : ‘As to the number of men furnished, we cannot tell. All we know, we filled all our quotas, and paid some five thousand dollars in bounties for volunteers.’ The truth is, Chilmark furnished about sixty men for the war; for, after having filled every demand made upon it by the President, the town had a surplus of one over and above all demands. One was a commissioned officer. The whole amount of money appropriated and expended by the town on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, was five thousand one hundred and fifty-one dollars and seventy-nine cents ($5,151.79). The amount of money raised and expended by the town for State aid to soldiers' families during the four years of the war, and which was afterwards repaid by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1861, $25.71; in 1862, $132.00; in 1863, $104.00; in 1864, $232.72; in 1865, $90.44. Total amount in four years, $586.87. The ladies of Chilmark did every thing they could for the soldiers. Their isolated position gave them small opportunity to do all they would have been pleased to do; as it was, they furnished, in clothing and money, to the value of about one hundred dollars.
Jeremiah Pease, John H. Pease, Nathaniel M. Jernegan; in 1862, David Davis, John H. Pease, Cornelius B. Marchant; in 1863, William Bradley, Cornelius B. Marchant, Tristram Cleveland; in 1864, Benjamin Davis,  John Vinson, Joseph T. Pease; in 1865, David Davidson, Samuel Keniston, Jeremiah S. Weeks. The town-clerk during each of the years of the war was Barnard C. Merchant. The town-treasurer in 1861 was Daniel Fisher; in 1862, 1863, and 1864, John A. Baylies; in 1865, Isaiah D. Coffin. We have not been able to obtain as full information from the town records, showing the action of the town during the war, as from the other towns. We know, however, that great activity prevailed during the whole time in raising men and money. In 1863, it having been believed that injustice had been done to the town at the State House in not giving it proper credits for the men which it had enlisted, and to whom bounties had been paid, it was—
Voted, That the selectmen of Edgartown be, and they are hereby authorized and requested, to take all needful measures to ascertain whether the full number of men, enlisted and paid for as the quota of Edgartown, are duly credited to this town, and if not to cause the necessary correction to be made at headquarters.We are not informed what kind of report the selectmen made upon the subject intrusted to them; but we have reason to believe that they were satisfied no fault could properly be attributed to those persons who had charge of the military rolls at the State House. The selectmen reported in 1866 that Edgartown had furnished one hundred and twenty-five men for the war, which was very far short of the number actually furnished and credited. Probably the men who served in the navy and men who were enlisted in other places were not returned, as Edgartown filled its quota upon every call made by the President, and at the end of the war had a surplus of forty-six over and above all demands. The number, therefore, which it really furnished, could not have been less than two hundred and thirty. Three were commissioned officers. The whole amount of money appropriated and expended by the town on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, was twenty-three thousand three hundred and twenty-five dollars and thirteen cents ($23,325.13).  The amount of money raised and expended by the town during the four years of the war for State aid to the families of enlisted men, and which was afterwards repaid by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1861, 00; in 1862, $390.10; in 1863, $944.06; in 1864, $1,088.82; in 1865, $700.00. Total amount in four years, $3,122.98.
Abraham C. White, John W. Gifford, Benjamin B. Church. The town-clerk for the same period was Samuel E. Skiff. During the years 1861, 1862, 1863, and until the 17th of March, 1864, Gosnold was a part of the town of Chilmark; and its war history up to that time forms a part of the history of the town from which it was set off. The only person who had a residence in the part of Chilmark which now forms the town of Gosnold, who was a volunteer in the military service, was Oliver G. Grennell, Jr., and he was credited to the quota of Chilmark; but, after Gosnold was incorporated as a separate and distinct municipality, he was transferred, and credited to the quota of the new town, where he belonged. Grennell, after his original term of service expired, re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, and served until the end of the war. In 1865 Gosnold furnished another volunteer for the military service, to whom a bounty of one hundred and twenty-five dollars was paid by the town; and this appears to have been the whole amount which was appropriated and paid by the town for bounties to volunteers. The whole amount raised and expended by the town for State aid to the families of volunteers during the years of the war, and afterwards repaid to it by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1864, $61.14; in 1865, $94.00. Total amount, $155.14.
169] 1860, 1,631; in 1865, 1,699. Valuation in 1860, $939,610; in 1865, $684,710. The selectmen in 1861 were Henry Bradley, David Smith, Bartlett Mayhew, 2d; in 1862 and 1863, Matthew P. Butler, Joseph S. Adams, Bartlett Mayhew, 2d; in 1864 and 1865, Henry Bradley, Charles D. Harding, Bartlett Mayhew, 2d. The town-clerk during each year of the war was Lot Luce. The town-treasurer during the same period was Charles Bradley. 1861. The first legal town-meeting, to act upon matters relating to the war, was held on the 7th of May, when it was voted that Henry Bradley, chairman of the selectmen, be directed to confer with the authorities of the Commonwealth, ‘to furnish an armed guard coaster, to be stationed in the Vineyard Sound, for the protection of commerce passing through the Sound; and to furnish the town of Tisbury with three or more rifled cannon and one hundred stand of small arms, and equipments for the same, to be used by the inhabitants of the town to repel invasion.’ The meeting adjourned for a week, when Mr. Bradley reported that he had attended to his duty, and the Governor and Council had given him an order for one cannon and carriage, and one hundred muskets. It was then voted that the selectmen act in concert with the Coast Guard Committee of New Bedford, and, if needed, to borrow money sufficient to sustain a steamer to ply in Buzzard's Bay for coast defence. On the 5th of November the selectmen were authorized to pay State aid to the families of volunteers, as provided by law. 1862. A special town-meeting was held on the 8th of July, at which the selectmen were authorized to pay a bounty of one hundred and twenty-five dollars to each volunteer for three years service, who shall enlist and be credited to the quota of the town; also, that he ‘shall receive one dollar a month for each member of his family that is dependent on him for support, during his term of service, in addition to what the State pays.’ On the 22d of August ‘a committee of three, in addition to the selectmen,’ were appointed, ‘by acclamation,’ to aid in recruiting men, with authority to pay, if necessary to fill the quota of the town, to each volunteer a bounty of five hundred  dollars, and the inhabitants of Tisbury to have until the 27th inst. ‘to come forward and fill the quota,’ which if not then filled, the committee shall procure the men elsewhere; and the committee were ‘to make this their special duty, and receive a reasonable compensation.’ It was also voted ‘that, if a man enlists in the town, and is rejected by the examining officer, his expenses shall be paid by the town.’ 1863. A special town-meeting was held on the 22d of July, at which the treasurer was authorized to borrow money to pay the treasurer of the Commonwealth, as provided in the act ‘to provide for the reimbursements of bounties paid volunteers.’ 1864. Several meetings were held during this year, to devise ways and means to procure volunteers, and provide for the payment of State aid to their families; also, to repay those citizens for money which they had advanced, to assist in filling the quota of the town. By the return made by the selectmen in 1866, Tisbury furnished eighty-eight men for the war, which must have meant only the number belonging to the town in the military service, as it filled its quota upon every call of the President. Tisbury had no surplus, but it furnished the exact number required of it, which must have been about one hundred and seventy. None were commissioned officers in the military service. The whole amount of money appropriated and expended by the town on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, was twenty-two thousand six hundred and twenty-one dollars ($22,621.00). The amount of money raised and expended during the years of the war for State aid to soldiers' families, and which was repaid by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1861, $54.12; in 1862, $509.20; in 1863, $1,312.78; in 1864, $1,170.88; in 1865, $650.00. Total amount, $3,696.98.