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7th Vermont Infantry

The Adams Brothers, of Chester

[From: Families of Cavendish and the Black River Valley of Windsor County, Vermont, Vol. 3, by Linda M. F. Welch, (forthcoming Fall, 1998 from the Cavendish Historical Society, Cavendish, Vermont) For more information contact:, or write her at: 179 Meriden Road, Lebanon, NH 03766]

Biography of John Sidney Adams, Chester, Vt: -- Corporal in Co. G", 7th Reg't Vt. Vols.

John Sidney Adams was born in Rockingham (Windsor County) Vermont, 14 July, 1841, son of Luther and Mary (Campbell) Adams. John was a Civil War soldier serving as a Corporal in Co. G", 7th Reg't Vt. Vols. He was not planning to enlist in an early regiment, but his 17 year old brother Elmer hastened his decision to join the Army. Elmer enlisted against his father's wishes and John felt compelled to enlist in the same company to look after Elmer. But not even a brother's love and care could save someone when disease takes it's toll as in the case with Elmer. John was never the same after Elmer's death. He served his term out and re-enlisted. He took chances on the battlefield and was promoted corporal on 22 Feb., 1864. He was mustered out of service on 14 March, 1866. He returned to Chester and attended school at the Chester Academy, but war memories plagued him. He became extremely melancholy and unable to shake depression. When he became engaged to Miss Lizzie Fuller of North Chester, he began to find some joy and hope for his life. Still, at times, fits of despondency overcame him, and when in this mood he was often liable to seek liquor for its calming effect. On a Wednesday before his death, he went to Charlestown, NH to escort his fiancee home, she having been visiting there. He met some friends and at the hotel he became somewhat intoxicated. On Thursday the couple returned to Chester and they had a disagreement over his drinking.

All day on Friday he visited with Miss Fuller at her sister's, Mrs. Finley. On Friday evening, Miss Fisher told him she should not accept him for her future husband if he touched liquor again. She promised again to marry him if he would make her the pledge. He did so and everything seemed satisfactorily settled. He returned home about midnight. His father let him in the house, but they spoke nothing of John's trouble. On Saturday morning, John was about home in seemingly good spirits and attended to duties in his father's law office until about ten o'clock when he proceeded to Mrs. Finley's. While there he conversed pleasantly with Mrs. Finley. In a few moments, he showed her something which he stated was poison, remarking that he was going to swallow it. Mrs. Finley was shocked. She endeavored to take it from him, but before she could accomplish her purpose, he had swallowed a fatal dose of citrate of potassium and fell to the floor in five minutes, and was a corpse in ten. The suicide at North Chester took place on Saturday noon, 29 April, 1876 (age 30).

From George B. French's letter to his father Calvin French, dated 1 May, 1876:

"... I am very sorry to hear of John Adams' suicide. He was a strange boy, always. " From his obituary: "He was well known in this section as local correspondent for several newspapers. The funeral took place Monday afternoon and was largely attended. The members of Yosemite Engine Co. (of which he was a member) attended in a body. He was a lawyer and well respected with a pleasant disposition. His death has cast a gloom over the whole community."

Elmer L Adams (brother of John Sidney) b. 10 Nov., 1844. Elmer was a Civil War soldier serving as a Private in Company "G", 7th Reg't Vt. Vols. He enlisted at Chester on 26 Nov., 1861. He was mustered in 12 Feb., 1862. He died of disease and is buried at Ship Island, Fla., 23 May, 1862