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[115]

Thomas Bayley Fox.

Second Lieutenant 2d Mass. Vols. (Infantry), August 14, 1862; first Lieutenant, November I, 1862; Captain, June 6, 1863; died at Dorchester, Mass., July 25, 1863, of wounds received at Gettysburg, July 3.


Thomas Bayley Fox, Jr., fourth and youngest son of Thomas Bayley and Feroline Walley (Pierce) Fox, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, February 1, 1839. He was a healthful, bright, happy child; affectionate, thoroughly good-tempered, requiring only the mildest government, fond of play, and equally fond of books. The peculiar activity and bent of his mind were shown in an artless inquisitiveness about subjects not apt to attract the attention of a sportive lad, an amusing fondness for argument, and a fanciful ingenuity in the contrivance of amusements for himself and his companions. He would say, in the most decided tone, that ‘he meant when he grew up, to go to college, study law, and plead the cause of freedom.’ From this almost instinctive choice of a profession, made when he was hardly beyond infancy, he never for a moment swerved. It shaped his whole intellectual career, and colored all his tastes and pursuits. The unfolding of his mental and moral character was a natural and harmonious growth. He received most of his elementary instruction in two of the excellent public schools of Dorchester, to which town his father removed in 1845. The following familiar letter from the then principal of the High School, Mr. William J. Rolfe, correctly describes Thomas's diligent and promising boyhood, while it has a further interest as indicating how he and others were unconsciously fitting themselves for a future then undreamed of.

Tom was, on the whole, the most remarkable boy in that very remarkable group of boys who formed the first class in the Dorchester High School. He was not the quickest scholar of the group. He had to work as hard as the average of boys to get his lessons. He was good in both the classics and the mathematics,

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