Biography of Major Hiram Fifield Gerrish
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Major Hiram Fifield Gerrish, of Concord, N.H., the present Deputy State Treasurer, was born in Boscawen, N.H., September 27, 1839. His parents, Calvin and Ann S. (Fifield) Gerrish, were both lifelong residents of Merrimack County. Major Gerrish is a descendant of Colonel Henry Gerrish, one of the early residents of Boscawen, who was an officer during the war of the Revolution, serving as Lieutenant-Colonel in Colonel Stickny’s regiment, and was present at the battles of Bennington and Saratoga. Colonel Gerrish was one of the leading citizens of his town and State, holding many positions of trust and responsibility, being conspicuously identified with public affairs in the early history of Jacob was for many years a well-known, public-spirited citizen of the town and a large land-owner. Calvin Gerrish, the father of Major Gerrish, was a farmer and mechanic, and was at one time prominently connected with the State militia. He died January 31, 1890.
Major Gerrish attended the public schools at Franklin, Penacook, and Concord, but at the age of fifteen entered the employ of the Concord Railroad, continuing thus engaged until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted as a private in Company B of the Second New Hampshire Regiment, then commanded by General Gilman Marston, and was mustered into service in June, 1861. November 3, 1861, he was relieved from duty with his regiment, and placed on detached service at the headquarters of General Joseph Hooker, Commander of the Second Division, Third Corps, where he remained until after the battle of Gettysburg, when he was ordered to Point Lookout, Maryland. The May following he was appointed a Lieutenant, and assigned to duty on the staff of General E. A. Hincks, going from Point Lookout to City Point, Va. In June of the same year he was appointed Assistant Chief Quartermaster and Aide on the staff of Major-general W. H. Smith, then commanding the Eighteenth Army Corps, Army of the James. Upon the reorganization of that army he was appointed to the same position on the staff of the Twenty-fourth Corps, with the rank of Captain. The corps was commanded in turn by Major-generals E. O. C. Ord, John Gibbons, and Godfrey Weitzel, all of whom are now dead. Major Gerrish remained on this staff until after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, when he brought the flags of the surrendered army to Richmond, Va. He was brevetted Major, and was soon after promoted to the full rank of Major, and assigned to duty on the staff of Major-general Charles Devens, then in command of the Department of North-eastern Virginia, and was stationed at Fredericksburg, Va. In August, 1865, he was mustered out of the army. During his term of service he was at the battle of the first Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Fort Harrison, Petersburg, and at Appomattox, and was in many other minor engagements. With one exception his promotions came from recommendations made by Major-generals of the regular army with whom he served. After the surrender at Appomattox he was placed in charge of the railroad from that place to Farmville, and kept busy bringing the sick and wounded to the latter place and carrying supplies to the front.
In 1866 Major Gerrish returned to New Hampshire, and was employed here and in Massachusetts in railroad offices, going thereafter to Texas. In 1880 he entered the employ of the John A. White Machine Company of Concord, remaining ten years. In June, 1891, he was appointed Deputy State Treasurer, which position he still holds. In politics he is a Republican. On August 26, 1865, at Concord, he was married to Edith A. Eaton, of Concord. They have had four children, only one of whom is living, Blanche May Gerrish.