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Brookline Rifles, Bridgewater Town Green, April 15, 1863
In 1861, three young Brookline friends began forming a company of volunteers from the town to fight in the Civil War. They were Edward Wild, the young Brookline physician and ardent abolitionist; William Candler, who lived right across from Wild on Washington St.; and Charles Chandler. Daily training and drilling began and the townspeople joined in the preparations for going to war. The men also organized the “Brookline Rifles” a group of older boys, many from the high school, to prepare future recruits. The group became well-known for its proficiency in drilling and gave demonstrations throughout the state, like this one in Bridgewater. The leader of the group was sixteen-year old Moses Williams, a future town leader in Brookline and president of the State Street Trust Company.

Photographer: David T. Burrell, Bridgewater, Massachusetts