Fitchburg Historical Society and Stratton Players Present
an Open-Air Tribute to Civil War Veterans:
“Still Chasing the Fire” September 10 at Forest Hill Cemetery
Release Date: August 23, 2022
Susan Navarre, Executive Director
Fitchburg Historical Society | 978-345-1157
FITCHBURG – Stratton Players and Fitchburg Historical Society present “Still Chasing the Fire,” a tribute to Civil War veterans who later became firefighters in Fitchburg on Saturday, September 10, at 11 am. The presentation will be followed by a walking tour. Admission is free, though donations will be accepted.
“This is the fourth collaboration between Fitchburg Historical Society and Stratton Players at Forest Hill Cemetery to honor Fitchburg residents of the past,” says Society Director Susan Navarre. “ Researchers Eunice Halbedel, Dr. Joe Cronin, and Sally Cragin (who wrote the script) have uncovered a trove of fascinating local history, which will be brought to life by a variety of veterans, members of the Fire Department, and Stratton Players.”
“One of our firefighters, Cyrus Granville, was also an iron-worker. Then, after the Civil War, he joined the Fire Department when he was 41 years old. He’d been a prisoner after the tragic battle at Ball’s Bluff and we will feature the story of how he was injured and then survived. Another veteran, Corporal Andrew J. Green, was a wheelwright and carriage maker in Fitchburg who rose to be the Fitchburg Fire Department’s Chief Engineer,” she adds.
“Most of these men were active at the Taylor Union, which was later Sumner Post No. 10 (the local chapter of Grand Army of the Republic.) The G.A.R. can be traced to a Veterans’ group organized in 1865 on the streets of Fitchburg. A few veterans had a conversation about some of their fellow vets who were in need of fuel, food, and support.
Now, a military historian discovered that shortly after the formation of the Taylor Union, an Illinois veteran brought copies of the by-laws to the Midwest – and from there local chapters of the GAR formed and spread. So Fitchburg’s influence in veterans’ matters can be seen to this day in our local, regional and national Veterans’ Councils. Even President Theodore Roosevelt honored Fitchburg’s Civil War veterans in the speech he made when he visited Fitchburg in September 1902.”
Support for the program has been provided by Trustees of the Public Burial Grounds, the 15th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, and the Fitchburg Fire Department. Ingrid Wheeler of “Gardens by Ingrid” provided the floral arrangements. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own portable seats, if needed.
For more information about the program, call 978-345-1157 or visit www.fitchburghistoricalsociety.com .