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Charles D. Sanford

Charles Durand Sanford was born in Pontiac, Michigan, March 20, 1840. He was the son of the Rev. Miles Sanford, who came with his family to North Adams in 1852, to occupy the pulpit of the First Baptist Church. After spending some months as a student at Drury Academy, Charles Sanford entered Williams College from which he graduated in 1858, having won his degree in three years. He then entered the Albany Law School from which institution he graduated in 1861. At the authorization of Governor Andrews, Major William M. Brown offered Sanford a commission as First Lieutenant, on the condition that he raise a company for the Twenty-seventh Regiment, then being recruited. Sanford entered the work with great spirit and soon had his full complement of men. Entering the service as a lieutenant, in less than a month he was promoted to the captaincy of the Twenty-seventh Mass. Volunteer Infantry. He served with distinction in all the battles in which his regiment was engaged, until he met his untimely end at the battle of Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, on May 16, 1864. His father and Dr. H. J. Milliard recovered his body in 1865. He was reinterred in Hillside Cemetery, North Adams, with military honors. 

The 25th day of February, 1869, at North Adams, Massachusetts William McKay, George L. Rice, Henry J. Milliard, William W. Montgomery, John C. Robinson, C. Frank Luther, H. C. Cunningham, William F. Darby, Wells B. Mitchell and Miles Sanford, all of North Adams, signed an application to General Francis A. Osborne of Boston, Grand Commander of the Department of Massachusetts, Grand Army of the Republic, requesting that they be organized as a Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, to be located at North Adams. The 24th day of March, 1869, by virtue of the following order, Post 79, Dept. Mass., G. A. R. was duly organized in the parlors of the Wilson Hotel at North Adams, by Horace C. Lee, Junior Vice-Commander of the Department of Massachusetts. 


167 Tremont Street, Boston, 

March 18, 1869. 
Special Order No. 4. 

A charter having been granted, upon the application of Wm. McKay and others, for the formation of a Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, in the town of North Adams, Comrade Horace C. Lee is hereby designated to organize said Post, to be known as Post 79, Department of Mass.,G. A. R., and install the officers thereof at such time as the applicants may select, and make returns of his proceedings to this office. 

A. Q. M. Gen. W. S. Greenough is instructed to furnish the necessary books and blanks for Post 79 upon requisition. By order of, THOMAS SHERWIN, Jr, FRANCIS A. OSBORNE, A. A. G. Grand Commander. 

The Post, having been duly organized, the Junior Vice Grand Commander announced the next business in order to be the election of officers. This was proceeded with and resulted as follows: 

Post Commander . WILLIAM McKAY 

Sr. Vice Commander . . C. FRANK LUTHER 

Jr, Vice Commander . . GEORGE L. RICE 

Adjutant . . WELLS B. MITCHELL 

Quartermaster . WM. F. DARBY 


Chaplain . . MILES B. SANFORD 

The officers-elect were installed by the Vice-Grand Commander. The second meeting of the encampment was held in Martin's Hall, on Main Street. This hall was secured the following week for a term of six months. 

On July 9, 1869, the Post voted to adopt the name of U. S. Grant, thus becoming U. S. Grant Post 79. The following year the Post was notified that another Post, organized prior to 79, had taken the same name, U. S. Grant. This necessitated a change. After due consideration, it was decided to rename the Post in honor of Charles D. Sanford.