Chapter 8: Hampden County.This county is bounded north by Hampshire County, east by Worcester County, south by Tolland and Hartford Counties, Connecticut, and west by the county of Berkshire. The Connecticut River passes from north to south through the centre of the county. Springfield, the shire town, is one of the most beautiful and enterprising cities in the Commonwealth. The Boston and Albany, and several other railroads, centre there. The United-States arsenal, for the manufacture of fire-arms, is located in Springfield. The ‘Springfield Daily Republican’ has a national reputation for ability and enterprise. ‘Some parts of the county are mountainous, but the principal part of it is rather undulating than hilly.’ The occupations of the people are farming and manufacturing, and altogether it is one of the most thriving and intelligent counties in the Commonwealth. The population of the county in 1860 was 57,866, in 1865 it was 64,438, which is an increase in five years of 6,572. The valuation of the county in 1860 was $28,252,663, in 1865 it was $33,253,177, which was an increase of $5,000,514 in five years. In 1870 the population of the county was 78,409, which was an increase in five years of 13,971. The county contains twenty-one towns and one city. The number of men furnished by the county for the war, as returned by the city and town authorities in 1866, was 6,239, which was about the true number that it furnished. The aggregate amount of money appropriated and expended by the various municipalities in Hampden on account of the war, exclusive of State aid to the families of soldiers, was $630,031.89.  To which add $34,851.51 of individual contributions, making the total $664,883.40. The amount of money raised and expended for State aid to the families of soldiers during the years of the war, and which was afterwards repaid by the Commonwealth, was $314,944.90, making the total amount $979,828.30. The following is the war record of each city and town in the county:—
Josiah Johnson, Charles Colton, Isaac Roberts; in 1862, Charles Colton, Frederick Johnson, Joseph Bedortha; in 1863, Joseph Bedortha, John G. Freeland, Joseph L. Smith; in 1864, Joseph Bedortha, Joseph L. Smith, Grosvenor Marcy; in 1865, Joseph Bedortha, John G. Freeland, Elijah D. Allen. The town-clerk and town-treasurer during the years 1861, 1862, 1863, and 1864, was Ashbell Sykes; in 1865, Charles C. Wright. 1861. The selectmen having refused or neglected to call a town-meeting to act upon matters relating to the war, a meeting was called by Charles C. Wright, a justice of the peace, upon the petition of Hinsdale Smith, and twelve other legal voters of Agawam, on the 4th of May; at which it was voted to appropriate five hundred dollars to furnish arms, equipment and uniforms for volunteers in the military service of the county who may belong to that town. A committee was appointed to carry the vote into effect. August 3d, This committee reported that they had expended $153.01 for uniforms and for assistance to soldiers' families. The selectmen were directed ‘to pay the family of George M. Scott twelve dollars, and the family of E. P. Smith ten dollars, a month, from July 8, 1861, and while they remained in the service.’ 1862. April 7th, Four hundred dollars were appropriated for aid to soldiers' families. April 21st, Two hundred dollars were added to this sum. August 1st, The selectmen were  instructed to pay a bounty of one hundred dollars to each inhabitant of the town, to the number of seventeen, who shall volunteer for three years service, and be credited to the quota of the town; and to borrow seventeen hundred dollars to pay the same. At a meeting held September 2d, eighty-four dollars and eighty cents were added to the amount appropriated on the 1st of August; and a bounty of two hundred dollars was authorized to be paid to volunteers for nine months service. 1863. September 21st, Voted, ‘to raise twenty-nine hundred and five dollars and eighty-four cents, in obedience to a law passed April 29, 1863, entitled an act “for the reimbursement of bounties paid to volunteers.” ’ 1864. April 4th, Five hundred dollars were appropriated for aid to soldiers' families. Two thousand two hundred and sixty dollars were raised for reimbursement of money paid by citizens to volunteers since Oct. 17, 1863. July 15th, The bounty to be paid volunteers was fixed at one hundred and twenty-five dollars, and so remained until the end of the war. 1865. April 3d, The selectmen were authorized to borrow money to refund to individuals the amounts of money they had voluntarily contributed to aid recruiting, and to those who had furnished substitutes for the army. Agawam furnished one hundred and seventy-two men for the war, which was a surplus of ten over and above all demands. Four were commissioned officers. The whole amount of money appropriated and expended by the town on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, was seventeen thousand and seventy-seven dollars and fifty-five cents ($17,077.55). The amount of money raised and expended by the town for State aid to the families of volunteers during the years of the war, and which was afterwards repaid by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1861, $228.10; in 1862, $1,197.46; in 1863, $1,919.62; in 1864, $2,060.74; in 1865, $1,313.22. Total amount, $6,719.14. The ladies of Agawam formed a Soldiers' Relief Society in October, 1861. They met once a week during the war, and made lint, bandages, and under-clothing, which from time to time were sent to the front. The value of these contributions  in money was between eight hundred and a thousand dollars. One lady volunteered, and served three months as a nurse in one of the hospitals near Washington.
Thomas S. Chaffee, Lyman R. Norton, David Bates; in 1862, James C. Hinsdale, William M. Lewis, Alfred Peckham; in 1863, Watson E. Boise, Francis Bates, Eli A. Cross; in 1864, Samuel A. Bartholomew, William M. Lewis, H. D. Tinker; in 1865, William M. Lewis, Eli Osborne, George C. Collister. The town-clerk and town-treasurer in 1861, 1862, 1863, and 1864, was Norman V. Lewis; in 1865, B. B. Norton. 1861. The first legal town-meeting, to act upon matters connected with the war, was held on the 13th of May; at which D. P. Robinson, George C. Gibbs, and William E. Hinsdale were chosen to consider and report what action the town should take. This committee reported as follows:—
Whereas the President of the United States has called for volunteers to assist the regularly constituted authorities in maintaining and executing the laws against armed traitors who are seeking the overthrow of the Federal Government,— Resolved, That the citizens of Blandford, in town-meeting assembled, do recognize the propriety and necessity of the action of the President of the United States in calling out volunteers to maintain and execute the laws and put down treason. Resolved, That we will encourage our citizens to enlist in the service of the United States; that we will furnish money and means to uniform and equip all who will enlist in said service, and will provide liberally for volunteers and their families. Resolved, That in all suitable ways we will aid the Federal Government in crushing treason and restoring its authority in every part of the United States.1862. July 19th, The selectmen were authorized to pay a bounty of one hundred dollars, ‘in addition to the sum paid by the Government,’ to each volunteer who shall enlist for three years and be credited to the quota of the town; and twenty-two  hundred dollars were appropriated to pay the same. September 2d, W. E. Boise, Francis Bates, E. W. Shepard, and F. E. Knox were chosen ‘to act in concert with the selectmen,’ to immediately fill the quota of the town; in doing which they were authorized ‘to use the whole amount of the surplus revenue fund of the town,’ in the payment of bounties to men who enlist. This committee were not to charge for their services. December 6th, The selectmen were authorized to borrow money to pay aid to the soldiers' families. 1863. September 21st, The assessors were instructed ‘to abate the poll-taxes of our volunteers now in the service of the United States.’ 1864. March 28th, One thousand dollars were appropriated to encourage enlistments and to fill the quota of the town. At a subsequent meeting the selectmen were instructed to borrow four thousand dollars for these purposes.