Gen. Alexander Scammell

Hopedale History
November 2023
No. 421
Gen Alexander Scammell

Hopedale in November  


Twenty-five years ago – November 1998Voyager 1 overtakes Pioneer 10 as the most distant man-made object from the Solar System, at a distance of 69.419 AU (1.03849×1010 km)

A Russian Proton rocket is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying the first segment of the International Space Station, the 21-ton Zarya Module.

A declassified report by Swiss International Olympic Committee official Marc Hodler reveals that bribes had been used to bring the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City during bidding process in 1995. The IOC, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Department of Justice immediately launch an investigation into the scandal.

Fifty years ago – November 1973Pan Am cargo flight 160, a Boeing 707-321C, crashes at Logan International Airport, Boston, killing three people.

Congress overrides President Richard Nixon‘s veto of the War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.

President Richard Nixon signs the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Alaska Pipeline.

The Senate votes 92–3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States.

One-hundred years ago – November 1923 – Adolf Hitler is arrested for his leading role in the Beer Hall Putsch.

Hyperinflation in Germany reaches its height. One United States dollar is worth 4,200,000,000,000 Papiermark). Gustav Stresemann abolishes the old currency and replaces it with the Rentenmark, at an exchange rate of one Rentenmark to 1,000,000,000,000 Papiermark.

News items above are from Wikipedia. For Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago, see below this textbox.


General Alexander Scammell

Milford Daily News
August 3, 1955

One of Milford’s gallant soldiers, a hero of the Revolutionary War, is mentioned in the historical novel, “Blind Journey,” by Bruce Lancaster. The reference is on page 283, “They call him Bloody Tarleton.”

“A few days ago, some of his men captured Alec Scammell.”

“Not the Scammell from Milford?” cried Caleb. “He’s one of the best combat officers we’ve got.”

“Was,” said Ward shortly. “Tarleton’s men shot him in the back after he’d surrendered.”

Rachel C. Day of 17 Daniels Street, Hopedale, Emerson College librarian, and local historian, traced the background of Scammell, bringing the reference in the novel to the attention of the Daily News.

Records state that Alexander Scammell belonged to the family owning a farm on Freedom Street comprising land on which Hopedale’s “Larches” now stands. Graduated from Harvard in the class of 1769, he taught in district schools while completing his education, including a school situated where now the Roman Catholic Church in Hopedale stands.

The “Annals of Mendon” give this account of Alexander Scammell’s war service. “…was appointed Brigade Major in New Hampshire in 1775, and Colonel of a New Hampshire regiment in 1776. He was wounded at the Battle of Saratoga, in 1777, and became Adjutant-General of the Continental Army in 1780.

A memorial shaft in Milford’s Pine Grove Cemetery marks the last resting place of Milford’s gallant soldier. (Error. The memorial shaft is in Depot Street Cemetery as shown in a picture near the top of this page. None could be found in Pine Grove.)

Adin Ballou’s History of Milford lists the Scammell family as “justly distinguished since 1737.” Samuel and Alexander, natives of Portsmouth, England, came to this country in 1737.

Alexander was a doctor, and his wife, Jane, came to America with him. They had four children, Alexander of Revolutionary War fame, Samuel and Ann. Another child died while young.

Son, Alexander entered Harvard before he was 19 years of age, and graduated in the class of 1769. He was tall, well-built and handsome, six-foot, two inches according to historical writings.

He taught district schools in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, later entering the study of law.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, he entered the Army. His bravery, pushed him from rank to rank until he reached the grade of adjutant-general.

He was numbered among the closest of confidential friends of George Washington.

Scammell was field officer Sept. 30 1781, at the siege of Yorktown, when he was surprised by a party of the enemy’s cavalry while reconnoitering. After capture he was inhumanely wounded by a Hessian mercenary. He died of wounds in Williamsburg, Va., where he was being taken as a prisoner.

Click here for much more about Gen. Scammell.

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