Boston – Engine of War

"Headquarters of the Recruiting Committee, Flagstaff Hill, Boston Common," 1862. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library Print Department.

Despite its physical distance from the actual fighting, Boston and its neighboring communities hosted many activities integral to the war effort. Recruitment of soldiers occurred on the Boston Common. Soldiers and sailors were trained at Camp Meigs, near suburban Readville, and Fort Warren on one of the harbor islands. Armaments were made at the Watertown and Charlestown arsenals.  

Through letters, gifts, and visits, wounded soldiers knew that those back home were doing everything possible to assist the Union cause. Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters provided comfort and assistance serving as nurses, sewing flags for local regiments, or simply making slippers.