High School Master Enlisted in Civil War with Two Senior Boys

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High School Master Enlisted in Civil War with Two Senior Boys
John O. Buxton, Salem Evening News, Feb. 5, 1933

Peabody, Feb. 5 - In the school report for 1863 the committee says: "Although this school is common with others of the town, has not escaped this vicissitude which a state of war brings about ,we are happy to report that its past year has been one of almost unexampled prosperity.  Mr. Thomson, having been re-elected as principal, remained at his post until the close of the first term. He was then succeeded by Albert C. Perkins, under whose care it continued until the end of the year.  It gives us great pleasure to acknowledge the valuable service rendered by Mr. Thompson, now absent in the performance of military duty, during the time he has been connected with this school.  (Mr. Thompson, together with George F. Barnes, the principal of the Bowditch School, enlisted in Capt. Robert S. Daniels' company of nine months men, and received commissions as lieutenants. They were sent, I think, to Newbern, N.C. where they served their entire term - J. O. B.) He is possessed in no small degree of many of the natural qualities of a good teacher, enthusiasm and acquirements such as could not fail of success, even under less favorable auspices than greeted him here.  As a committee, having in view the best interests of the school, we regretted that he felt called upon to sever his relations to it in the midst of the year. But as citizens, we fully appreciated the motives which induced him to abandon a situation every way congenial to this taste, and obey the call of his country in the hour of her utmost need.  It was therefore voted to supply his place during his absence only, leaving it open to him on his return.  He was followed into this service by two members of his senior class, Alphonso P. Rhodes and Charles L. Manning.

"It may seem a departure from the strict line of our duty, yet we think the generous mind will deem it not quite out of place if we pause for a moment, and, taking our 'stand' here upon the topmost round of the ladder in the common school system of Massachusetts, contemplate from that point of view the heroism which compelled these and such as these, occupying as close a relation to that system in its highest grade, to risk all that they held dear, even life itself, to uphold in their purity those Republican institutions which they have been educated to revere.  As we recall the names of those who, having once occupied seat in this school....

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