Portland (London, England)
March 13, 1863
Though the American Civil War was a distant conflict for him, Frederick Farr was determined to play his part.
Running away from his home in London, England, early in 1863. On March 13, he was in Portland, Maine. There, the 19 year-old promptly enlisted as a Private, in Company F of the 7th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
As some others did, Farr lied and gave his age as 21, and his name as Frederick Clark. Though not a resident, he was credited to the City of Portland.
Clark/Farr was the son of Dr. William Farr, the Chief of the Registration Office of England. Clark let his family know where he was because "Soon after being in our army he wrote to his father confirming his folly of running away secretly. And again, from time to time, he wrote to his family."
Farr, along with the 7th Maine, was at Gettysburg and later at the Rappahannock. There "he was said to have been taken prisoner. But no tiding of him have since been heard."
Toward the end of the war, Edward Jarvis, a family friend, tries to find out what has happened to Farr.
"His father, my friend & correspondent, writes me in great anxiety & distress," Jarvis writes.
Having no luck in tracking him down through the War Department or the Sanitary Commission, Jarvis turns to Maine’s Adjutant General, John Hodsdon, for assistance.
Jarvis explains why Farr ran away. "As Dr. Farr is a strong friend of the Union, probably Frederic caught the enthusiasm of his family & felt inspired to elope & aid in the cause his father taught him to love," Jarvis writes.
Clark, who had been captured at Rappahannock, died in a rebel prison on June 23, 1865.
- What does it mean to be credited to a town?