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Bradlee, Samuel J. (14th Battery Massachusetts Light Artillery)

Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Bill Bradlee, the great grandson of Samuel J. Bradlee, for granting me written permission to publish his ancestor’s letters.  With the exception of one, these letters are owned by Bill Bradlee and may not be reproduced without his written permission.  All rights reserved.  Mr. Bradlee also passed along materials from Samuel’s pension file which offer fascinating insights into the Siege of Petersburg.  These are included here as well.

Samuel J. Bradlee’s Service Record


Samuel J. Bradlee. This image is owned by Bill Bradlee and may not be reproduced without his express written consent. All rights reserved.

8/16/1862 Enlisted, Residence – Boston, Broker, Age – 29

9/9/1862 Mustered, private, 10th Battery Massachusetts Volunteer Light Artillery, sergeant

11/13/1862 Near Washington, DC; Letter to home – naming his newborn daughter

9/22/1863 Culpepper, VA; Letter to home – marching to Richmond

11/24/1863 Commissioned, 2nd Lieutenant, Age – 31

12/2/1863 Discharged for promotion

1/4/1864 Mustered, 3rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery

1/23/1864 Discharged by Special Order #35, War Dept., to accept promotion

2/10/1864 Commissioned, 1st Lieutenant, Age – 32

2/27/1864 Mustered, 14th Battery Massachusetts Volunteer Light Artillery

5/21/1864 Near Spottsylvania Court House, VA; Letter to home – a private servant boy named Burns

8/21/1864 Wounded, near Petersburg, VA

12/25/1864 City Point, VA; Letter to home – Christmas memories and the loss of his horse

Jan. 1865 Resigned and Discharged

6/15/1865 Mustered Out


Samuel J. Bradlee’s Obituary

born – Dec. 9 1832, died Nov. 16, 1911

Mr. Bradlee was a great-grandson of the Samuel Bradlee who was one of the figures in the Boston Tea Party. He graduated from the Chauncy Hall School at the age of 12, studied law with Rufus Choate, was admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1853 and practiced till the outbreak of the Civil War. He served as recruiting officer, then as an aide on the staff of General Bancroft, and later as first lieutenant and acting captain of the 14th Massachusetts light artillery under Grant, seeing hard service throughout the whole war, being seriously wounded both at Spottsylvania and the Wilderness. After the war, he resumed his practice, and in 1876 retired, moving to Ashburnham, where he was for years a trial justice. Some years later, he moved to Ashby.12

Link to Samuel’s Find a Grave Page


Letters of Samuel J. Bradlee (14th Battery Massachusetts Light Artillery):
(Note: Individual entries will appear below as they are posted at the Siege of Petersburg Online.)


  1. “Samuel J. Bradlee obituary.” November 21, 1911 Boston Herald, p. 7.
  2. Bill Bradlee offered the following correction to the above obituary: “Also, of interest as I am writing up my history, the obituary does say that his great-grandfather Samuel took part in the Boston Tea Party. They got that name wrong — his grandfather was Samuel, but his great-grandfather was Nathaniel and he and his 3 brothers and sister Sarah Bradlee Fulton did take part in the Boston Tea Party.”
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ron Guilmette January 14, 2016, 1:32 pm

    I am interested in the history of Samuel J. Bradlee. We believe that he served as a Massachusetts State Police Constable from 1867 to 1868. This year we are celebrating our 150th Anniversary 1865-2015 and we are trying to identify as many of the first constables as possible. Everything you have matches with my research so far. I have an August 22, 1867 newspaper article announcing his appointment by Chief Constable Edward J. Jones. I also have a couple of interesting cases he was involved in Roxbury.
    I would like to use the photograph you have or if you have another not framed.
    Thank you,
    Ron Guilmette (Lt. Colonel Retired)
    Massachusetts State Police Museum & Learning Center
    Grafton, MA

  • Brett Schulte January 14, 2016, 8:46 pm


    Thanks for commenting. I don’t actually own the picture or the ability to grant you the right to use it. I’ll put you into email contact with Bill Bradlee via email to discuss your ability to use the image.


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