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[235]

Sidney Willard.

Captain 35th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), August 13, 1862; Major, August 27, 1862; died December 14, 1862, of a wound received at Fredericksburg, December 13.


Sidney Willard, the eldest son of Joseph and Susanna Hickling (Lewis) Willard, was born February 3, 1831, at Lancaster, Massachusetts, where, nearly two hundred years before, Major Simon Willard, the earliest New England ancestor of the family, leading a hardy band of Puritans, had planted the little town upon the frontier. Sidney Willard was but an infant when his parents removed to Boston, and his boyhood and manhood were wholly passed in the city.

At an early age he showed a love for out-door activity, in marked contrast with a certain quiet and reserve of nature, and an aptitude (but imperfectly perceived by himself) for the sober pursuits of a scholar. To him, as to every lad whom the watchful care and gentle influences of home surround, a knowledge of himself and ready use of his own powers came but slowly. Shy and yet self-possessed, respectful to age and authority by nature and education, yet singularly fearless and independent, and with a frame of whose boyish awkwardness he was conscious, knowing not that it was the sign of great coming strength, he was slower to develop the natural points of his character than most of the companions of his early years. But through all this somewhat tardy growth there worked a steady and ripening purpose of self-development, which seemed almost to have been born in him, and which gradually brought order out of the chaos of his boyish nature.

He became a pupil of the Latin School of Boston at the age of ten. The good influences upon his nature here were twofold. The admirable drill which gives this school a fair rivalry in exact scholarship with Eton or Harrow, taught him by degrees to know his own powers of study; and though he did not

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