Newton's Civil War Soldiers' Monument is 150 years old this year
One of Newton’s older serving soldiers, William Fell joined the Union Army on August 13, 1862 at the age of 44. Born in England, Fell, his wife Sarah and three children (as of 1850) lived on Chestnut Street in Upper Falls where William worked as a knitter. Fell enlisted as a Private in the Mass 32nd, Co. K infantry on the same day as 22 other Newton men who appear on the Newton Soldier’s Monument with him. Fell died of disease less than a year after he enlisted, and six days after fellow Newton soldier and Company K member Ferdinand Champion.
Of the 23 men from Mass 32, Co. K who appear on Newton’s Soldiers’ Monument, at least four of them, and likely many more, were from Upper Falls. At least another four hailed from Newton Center.
In late summer of 1862, the Mass. 32nd was sent to Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, Virginia. From there they marched to Centreville and fought at the Battle of Bull Run on August 30th. The Mass. 32nd also fought at Antietam, MD from September 16-17th; Blackford’s Ford on the 19th; and was in Sharpsburg, MD until October 30th. From there the regiment moved to Falmouth, Virginia and fought in the Battle of Fredericksburg. An expedition to Richards’ and Ellis Fords followed in late December. Fell died in Falmouth, Virginia not long after.
William Fell is buried in South Burying Ground, also known as Evergreen Cemetery (or Winchester Street Cemetery) located at the intersection of Winchester, Dedham and Needham Streets in Newton. The inscription on his stone reads: “William Fell. Died at Falmouth, Va., Jan. 11, 1863. Aged 44 years.” Fell’s widow, Sarah Fell, continued to live in Upper Falls until at least 1895. Fell’s name appears alphabetically on the monument and was listed when the monument was dedicated in July 1864.
Please write if you know more about William Fell or are a descendant!
(info obtained primarily from www.ancestry.com)