William Francis Bartlett (1840-1876)
William F. Bartlett accomplished much in war and peace during his 36 years of life.
Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1840, Bartlett was a junior at Harvard when the Civil Ware began. He answered President Lincoln’s first call to arms in 1861.
Serving with the infantry, Bartlett lost his left leg four inches above the knee. He returned to Harvard, finished his studies, and took his degree.
In 1862, Bartlett was chosen a Colonel in the 49th regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry, a Berkshire regiment, he was captured once, and when he was mustered out of the army in 1865, he had attained the rank of Major General. He was not quite 25.
On the same day President Lincoln was assassinated, General Bartlett married Mary Agnes Pomeroy of Pittsfield, granddaughter of Lemuel Pomeroy. He became a stockholder, treasurer, and general manager of Pomeroy Iron Works in West Stockbridge.
A member of the original board of trustees of the Berkshire Athenaeum, Bartlett was also on the committee for the Soldiers’ Monument at Park Square.
The General formed many friendships among his for enemies in the south, and became well know for several speeches in which he urged reconciliation between the north and south. He spoke at the Lexington, Massachusetts Centennial April 14, 1876, in the presence of President Grant.
Bartlett died on December 17,1876. A school and an avenue in Pittsfield bear his name. A bronze statue of Bartlett, done by the late Daniel Chester French of Stockbridge, is in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Boston.