[p. 83] Erie
, which gave to our fleet the control of the lakes.
In this war eighteen Medford
citizens enlisted, two of whom, Edmund Gates
and Abiel R. Shed
, were killed in battle.
Another distinguished son of Medford
, Alexander Scammell Brooks
, eldest son of Governor Brooks
, made a good reputation in this war. Born in Medford
in 1777, he entered Harvard College in 1801, and leaving it in 1804 entered the merchant service as a mariner.
But the Embargo of 1808, so destructive to the mercantile prosperity of New England
, closed that career for a time, but it was renewed soon after, and he returned to his chosen profession.
But when the war broke out he received a commission as captain in the army, and remained and did good service in the army as long as he lived.
He was brevetted major for gallant conduct at the battle of Plattsburg
, and afterwards received a commission as lieutenant-colonel.
He once told me a little incident of his experience during the war. A company of sailors had been drafted for service in the fleet on the lakes, and were to march under his command from the North End of Boston
to go into camp at Roxbury
They marched through Hanover
and down Court streets, and on reaching Washington street he gave the order, ‘Right wheel.’
Whether as sailors they did not understand the order, or the strong breeze coming up State street with its familiar smell of the sea attracted them, the order shouted out with all his strength was disregarded, and they continued to head straight for Long wharf.
His old instincts as a sailor prompted him, and with a yell as from a speaking-trumpet came the order, ‘Luff, d—n you, luff!’
This they understood, and coming up handsomely into the wind's eye took the road for Roxbury
The incident was a source of amusement in the papers at the time, and caricatures of it were printed.
, though stationed from time to time