Four Generals from the Mendon Region

    It is a rare distinction for a town or region to be the home of a soldier who is so
    dedicated that he has achieved the highest military rank of general.  Mendon's earliest
    militia men, Sergeant Joseph White and Sergeant Abraham Staples from the King Philip
    War, likely would have felt honored that over a period of time, four generals would live
    within, or close to, the town's original boundaries. They represented four different wars,
    but had they been contemporaries, they would have lived just a few miles from each
    other. As the towns have grown, boundary lines have changed. Mendon has a shared
    history with several towns, including Milford, Hopedale, and Upton, and these towns now
    share the honor of the distinctive military presence of these esteemed soldiers.  

    Alexander Scammell was a hero of the Revolutionary War. He fought in several battles
    from Bunker Hill to Yorktown. His friend, George Washington, appointed him Adjutant
    General of the Continental Army at Valley Forge in January 1778. He was captured at
    Yorktown and shot in the back during captivity. He died on October 6, 1781. He was
    born in Mendon, MA in 1744 (1747?) near what is now Crossroads (formerly knowns as
    The Larches) on Williams Street near the Milford/ Hopedale town line. General
    Alexander Scammell was Mendon's highest ranking officer to give his life for his

    William Draper served as an outstanding Civil War soldier, a businessman, and a public
    official.  He enlisted in the Union Army out of Hopedale (Milford) in 1861 in the 25th
    Regiment, Company B. He became a second lieutenant at age 19. He was assigned to
    the 36th Regiment and became a lieutenant colonel. He was part of combat action in
    several battles including Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Vicksburg. He was wounded at
    the Wilderness, and he was wounded again a short time later. For his diligence and
    bravery, he was brevetted with the title of brigadier general. After the war, he worked in
    the family textile business, Draper Company. He became the company's president in
    1896. He served in the U.S. Congress from 1893 through 1897, and as an ambassador
    to Italy. General Draper was a man of many talents, but from 1861 through 1865, he
    devoted his talents to preserving the Union of United States. He died on January 28,
    1910. He is buried in Hopedale Village Cemetery.

    Wayne Wagner was an engineering Army officer in Vietnam, whose special skills
    involved preparing the Vietnamese terrain for transporting troops and equipment for
    military operations. He was a commander of projects involving the construction of roads,
    bridges, airports, and buildings. His work facilitated the movement of military personnel,  
    trucks, tanks, and supply vehicles that were necessary to fulfill the goals and objectives
    for combat operations.  The country has a complex topography, being made up of
    forested mountains, hills, coastal lowlands, and deltas. Wayne successfully met the
    difficult challenges of creating appropriate transportation networks that were assigned to
    him. After completing his tours of duty in the Army, he transferred to the Massachusetts
    Army National Guard. His high level of abilities in engineering, management, and
    administration were acknowledged in1996 with his appointment as Adjutant General.  
    General Wagner also has an exemplary record of public service in his community of
    Mendon, where he was raised and has lived since the 1980's. He currently presides as
    chairman of the Mendon Historical Commission.

    Steven Wickstrom has been highly decorated for his military excellence in preparing
    troops for combat operations overseas and for domestic emergencies. At Camp Victory
    in Iraq in 2006, he was a team leader of the Center of Operational Analysis for the
    United States Joint Forces Command. He has been  decorated with many medals,
    commendations  and awards to acknowledge his many achievements. He is a graduate
    of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Army War College, and Texas A
    and M University. He was promoted to the rank of Major General in February 13, 2011
    and is in command of the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division of New York.  General
    Wickstrom and his family reside in Upton.

    Sergeants Staples and White of the 1670's Mendon Militia were the town's highest
    ranking military men of their time. To be appointed to their position, they must have
    demonstrated qualities of leadership and courage.  Surely, it was evident in their
    personalities that they inspired confidence in the soldiers who served under them, and
    that they were respected by them. They felt a strong feeling of patriotism, and they were
    willing to sacrifice for the sake of their homeland.  Obviously, these same qualities have
    been evident in our four generals.  Soldiers from Mendon and their offspring towns have
    a long history during times of war of rising above. The four generals have risen to the

    Richard Grady
    March 1, 2013

  Gen. Alexander Scammell            Gen William F. Draper      

Gen. Wayne Wagner                       Mendon Menu   

Gen. Alexander Scammell