Mattapoisett, MA
From: History of Plymouth County, MA
with Biographical Sketches
Compiled by Simeon D. Hamilton Hurd 1884

Retyped for the web by: Steve Donahue

Mattapoisett is a word from the Indian language, and said to signify rest.

Indians living a few miles back from the seaboard used frequently to come down to the shore at this place for the purpose of obtaining fish and clams, and at an adjoining spring stopped to rest, and hence the name that they gave that locality, the river, and some of the surrounding country.

Mattapoisett was formerly a religious parish in Rochester, set off as such in 1773, during the ministry of Rev. Timothy Ruggles, and settling as their minister Rev. Ivory Hovey, who, in 1772, was succeeded by Rev. Lemuel Le Baron. These two gentlemen ministered in things spiritual to the people at this place for the full term of a century. Their next minister was Rev. Thomas Robbins, D.D., who was believed to be the owner of the most valuable private library in the State.

Ship-building formerly formed an important branch of business at this place, as did also the whale-fishery but both have now nearly or quite relinquished.

Rogers L. Barstow, Esq., as enterprising merchant, was largely interested in the whale-fishery up to the time of death.

He was an enterprising and influential citizen, and was mainly instrumental in getting up a light infantry at this place in 1842, and of which he was the first captain, with Loring Meigs, John T. Atsatt, and David Pratt as lieutenants.

This company belonged to the Bristol County battalion, then composed of the Norton Artillery, Cohanet Rifle Corps, of Taunton, New Bedford Guards(1) and Mattapoisett Guards. The battalion was commanded by Maj. Benjamin R. Gulliver of Taunton; Capt. Barstow next received the appointment as quartermaster on the brigade staff of Gen. Henry Dunham, of Arlington.

A few years later Capt. Barstow was promoted to the office of major of the Third Regiment of light infantry, Stephen Thomas, of Middleboro', being colonel, and Ebenezer W. Pierce of Lakeville, lieutenant-colonel.

Maj. Rogers L. Barstow was elected a representative to the General Court at Boston, and commissioned a justice of the peace for Plymouth County.

Probably the first or earliest company of light infantry raised in that part of Rochester now Mattapoisett was authorized by the following order:

"Commonwealth of Massachusetts - The Committee of the Council on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the petition of Ebenezer Barrows and others, representing that the village of Mattapoisett, in which the petitioners reside, is situated on Buzzard's Bay, and in times of war exposed to the approach of enemy in barges, which may be repulsed by well-disciplined infantry, and that the standing company in the village contains on its roll one hundred and ten men, and praying to be authorized to raise by voluntary enlistment a company of light infantry, ask leave to report: that the object of the petitioners appears to be approved by the commanding officers of the regiment, brigade, and division, in which the petitioners reside; and that it further appears that the facts set forth in said petition are true; the committee, therefore, for the reasons set forth in said petition, are of opinion that to grant the prayer thereof would conduce to the improvement of the militia, and, in time of war, add to the safety of said village. They, therefore, recommend that His Excellency, the commander-in-chief, be advised to issue his orders, authorizing the petitioners to raise by voluntary enlistment a company of light infantry, to be annexed to the Fourth Regiment of the First Brigade, Fifth Division, and when organized to be recruited within the limits of the town of Rochester: Provided, however, that before said company be organized, not less than forty-five members be associated to form the same; and that the organization thereof shall be completed in six months from the 1st day of July next , and not afterwards. Which is respectfully submitted.
"Marcus Norton, per order"

In Council, June 18, 1825-The within report is accepted, and by the Governor approved.
"Edward D. Barnes, Secretary."

"Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Headquarters, Boston, June 21, 1825. General Order;-The commander-in-chief, having approved the above-written advice of Council, directs Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln to carry the same into effect.
"by His Excellency's command
"William H. Sumner, Adjutant-General."

"Headquarters, New Bedford, July 5, 1825. Division Orders.-Brig.-General Ward is charged with the execution of the foregoing advice of Council and General Order of the 21st ultimo.
"By order of the major-general Fifth Division,
-- Timothy G. Coffin, Aide-de-Camp,"

"Headquarters, Middleborough, Aug. 5, 1825. Brigade Orders.-Lieutenant-Col. Benjamin Wood, commandant of the Fourth Regiment, First Brigade, Fifth Division, is directed to carry into execution the foregoing order of Council, General Order, and Division Order of the 5th of July, 1825, and to effect the complete organization of the company alluded to in said order, as therein directed.
"By order of the brigadier-general First Brigade, Fifth Division.
"Nathaniel Wilder, Brigade Major."

This company of light infantry was raised and Ebenezer Barrows selected and commissioned captain of the same.

At the first choice of field-officers of the Fifth Brigade, Capt. Ebenezer Barrows was promoted to lieutenant-colonel.

The following gentlemen, residing with the limits of what is now Mattapoisett, held commissions in the local militia higher than that of Captain:

Lieut.-Col. Ebenezer Barrows in Fifth Regiment, First Brigade, Fifth Division, from 1826 to 1827.

Maj. Rogers L. Barstow in Third Regiment Light Infantry, Second Brigade, First Division Massachusetts Volunteer militia, from May 1853 to 1858. Resigned and was honorably discharged,

Congregational Church (formerly First Parish, Rochester) organized 27th July, 1736.

First Christian Church organized 1820 or thereabouts.

Universalist Church organized April 25, 1859.

Friend's Meeting, belonging to Long Plain Preparative Meeting and to New Bedford Monthly Meeting.

Advent Chapel.

Mattapoisett was incorporated as a town May 20, 1857,

This town furnished two hundred and fifteen men during the war of the Rebellion, eighteen of whom died in the service, viz.:

Roll of Honor
Z.M. Barstow
John T. Barstow
Edward F. Barlow
William C. Dexter
Charles H. Hayden
John A. Le Baron
Franklin A. Lobre
George D. Snow
Edward F. Snow
E. Tripp
W. H. Taber
C. H. Tinkham
George W. Wilcox
William S. Wilcox
John Bates
John S. Dennis
William H. Kinney
E.W. Rendall.

(1) This is what came to be spoken of at New Bedford as the Old Guards, to distinguish it from another company that succeeded it a few years later, and was also called New Bedford Guards. The Old Guards was a large, elegantly-uniformed finely-equipped, and very excellently-drilled company. Hon. H.G.C. Colby was their first commander. Hon. Lincoln F. Brigham succeeded him. The last company had George A. Bourne for their first commander, and he was succeeded by Timothy Ingraham.

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