Loyal Legion Vignettes
General Thomas Hamlin Hubbard was born in Hallowell, Maine on December 20, 1838; the son of Dr. John Hubbard, a prominent surgeon of Maine and Governor of the state from 1849 to 1853, and Sarah Hodge Barrett. He married Sibyl Amelia Fahnestock in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on January 28, 1868. She was the daughter of Adam Konigmacher Fahnestock of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Sibel Thompson Holbrook, who was born in Vermont. Sibyl Fahnestock was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1842. Sibyl and Thomas were a great niece and nephew of Borius and Elizabeth Enders Fahnestock.
Thomas prepared for college at the Hallowell Academy and entered Bowdoin College at the age of 14 in the fall of 1853. He ranked high in his studies and at the Commencement Exercises in 1857, he delivered the English oration. He was a member of Chi Psi, the Athenaean and Phi Beta Kappa Societies. From 1859 to 1860, he was Principal of Hallowell Academy. In the fall of 1860 he entered Law School in Albany and was admitted to the New York Bar, May 4, 1861. He then was employed by the law firm of Barney, Butler, and Parsons in New York City, becoming the managing clerk.
On September 29, 1862, Thomas enlisted in the 25th Maine Infantry Regiment, which was organized at Portland, Maine, with the rank of 1st Lt. Adjutant. The regiment proceeded to Washington, D.C. on October 16th and was attached to General Silas Casey's Division. The 25th performed garrison duty in the defenses of Washington from October 18, 1862 until March 24, 1863. The regiment then moved to Chanuntily, Virginia for picket duty until June 26th and thence ordered home on June 30. Thomas was mustered out on July 11, 1863. The regiment lost 20 men to disease or accidents.
Thomas was commissioned on December 19, 1863, as a Lt. Colonel in the 30th Maine Infantry Regiment and he assisted Col. Francis Fessenden, who had been his Captain in the 25th Maine, in organizing the 30th Maine Regiment on January 8, 1864 in Augusta, Maine. The regiment left for New Orleans, Louisiana on January 8th and arrived February 16, 1864. The 30th was attached to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Army Corps, Department of the Gulf. On February 18, the regiment left Algiers, Louisiana for Franklin, Louisiana and performed duty there until March 15, 1864. Under the command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, the 30th participated in the Red River Campaign, March 15 until May 22, 1864. They advanced to Alexandria by March 26 and to Natchitoches by April 2, 1864. They fought in the battle of Sabine Cross Roads on April 8 and at Pleasant Hill on April 9, followed by Cane River Crossing on April 23, 1864.
On April 30, 1864, construction of a dam at Alexandria was started and completed on May 10. Lt. Col. Hubbard received a citation from General Joseph Bailey for his superior engineering techniques, in raising the water level by a series of wing dams, which enabled General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks' fleet to complete its passage safely. He also received a special Commendation in Admiral David Dixon Porter's report for his conduct in aiding the construction of the Red River Dam at Alexandria, Louisiana for the passage of the federal fleet. On May 13, the 30th left for Morganza and went into camp. Lt. Col. Hubbard was promoted to replace Col. Fessenden, as Regimental Commander of the 30th Maine. Col. Fessenden was promoted to Brigade Commander. On July 2, 1864, Thomas H. Hubbard was promoted to Colonel.
The regiment then moved to New Orleans thence to Fortress Monroe and Bermuda Hundred, Virginia until July 18 and pulled duty at Deep Bottom until July 31. The 30th received orders to proceed to Washington, D.C., thence to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. General Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign commenced August 7 and Col. Hubbard distinguished himself once again. Colonel Hubbard then went home to recover from typhoid for a few weeks. He rejoined his command at Bolivar Heights, near Harpers Ferry and served around Washington until sent to Savannah June 30, 1865. The 30th Maine was previously designated as the Provost Guard, during the Grand Review March in Washington on May 23-24, 1865. The regiment lost during its period of service, five officer's and 285 enlisted men who were killed or died of disease. Colonel Hubbard resigned his commission July 23, 1865, ten days after he had been awarded a commission as Brevet Brigadier General of United States Volunteers, for meritorious service.
On Thomas' return to New York, he again took up the practice of law and on January 1, 1867, was made a partner in the firm of Barney, Butler, and Parsons, with which firm he was associated for twenty years. The firm name was changed in 1874 to Butler, Stillman, and Hubbard. He and his partners were among the organizers of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 1869 and of the New York County Lawyers Association, of which he was President at the time of his death. In 1896, he retired from active practice. His work had been largely corporate litigation and he tended naturally toward corporation management. He managed the Mark Hopkins Estate with Mr. Stillman from 1888 to 1898 and thereafter alone. It was said that for managing that estate he received the largest salary ever paid to an administrator - $75,000 a year. The estate owned one fourth of the Southern Pacific Company of which General Hubbard was a director for eleven years and First Vice President for five. He established the International Banking Corporation, the first American Bank to gain and retain a foothold in the Orient.
On February 9, 1867, he was elected into the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, as a member of the Commandery of the State of Maine, Class 1, Insignia Number 2392. He transferred to the New York Commandery on May 4, 1887. From May 6, 1891 - 1892, he served as Junior Vice Commander. General Hubbard was Commander of the New York Commandery from May 6, 1903 - 1907. On October 15, 1913, he was elected Commander-In-Chief of the Order and served until his death on May 19, 1915.
The children of General Thomas Hamlin Hubbard and Sibyl Amelia (Fahnestock) Hubbard, the first born in Brooklyn, New York and the others in New York City, were: John, born February 13, 1870; a son, born November 21, 1871 and died December 9, 1871; Thomas, Hamlin born July 30, 1874 and died March 7, 1879; Sibyl Emma, born February 11, 1877; and Anna Weir, born September 29, 1878.
He was always close to the interests of Bowdoin College, from which he had A.B. and M.A. degrees and in 1894, Bowdoin bestowed upon him the degree of LL.D. He was an Overseer of the college from 1874 to 1889 and a Trustee from 1889 until his death. He presented to Bowdoin College the Library and the Hubbard Grandstand. In 1901, he endowed the chair of legal ethics in the law department of Union University, known as Albany Law School, of which Law School he was a Trustee. He was President of the Peary Arctic Club in New York and Admiral Robert E. Peary, as a tribute to his friend and helper, named Cape Thomas H. Hubbard for him.
General Thomas Hamlin Hubbard, a distinguished lawyer, financier, Civil War hero, philanthropist, and the man who made possible the discovery of the North Pole by Admiral Peary died on May 19, 1915, at his home, 16 West 58th Street in New York City, after being ill only six days. His death was due to Erysipelas, which is an acute infectious disease caused by streptococcus.
The news of General Hubbard's passing came as a shock to his wide circle of friends. A week prior, he was at his office at 60 Wall Street, although in his seventy-seventh year, still with a keen mind and a very active six day a week schedule. On April 15th, he attended the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Loyal Legion in Philadelphia and looked fit and well. Admiral Peary was informed at his home in Washington, D.C. and was deeply affected by the news of his long time friend.
With the sudden death of Commander-In-Chief Hubbard, five months short of his two year term in office, the void was immediately filled by Rear-Admiral Louis Kempff U.S.N. The following communique was released on May 20, 1915, by the Order's new Commander-In-Chief:
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
CIRCULAR No. 4
Series of 1915
Whole No. 290
PHILADELPHIA, May 20, 1915
- The Commander-in-Chief, in great sorrow, announces the death on Wednesday, May 19, 1915, of Companion Brevet Brig. General Thomas H. Hubbard, U.S.V., Commander-in-Chief of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
- Funeral services will be held at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, Saturday, May 22, 1915, at 10 o'clock.
- Appropriate action will be taken by the Commanderies of the Order, and as a mark of respect the Colors will be draped for three months.
By Command of:
Rear-Admiral Louis Kempff U.S.N.
John P. Nicholson
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel U.S.V.
A published release from his New York Commandery, paying tribute to General Hubbard is an overwhelming expression of praise for their fallen leader. Several excerpt's are in order.
The passing out of earthly life of a man like Thomas Hamlin Hubbard, who, on the nineteenth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifteen, reached the quiet haven of us all, leaves a void in any community that is difficult to fill. And doubly so in a great and united family like the Loyal Legion in which for nigh half a century he had been a prominent, loyal and ever helpful presence, and for four successive years the honored Commander of the New York Commandery. His great abilities were ever ready and at the service of his beloved Commandery in the solution of any besetting problem, and his later presence as Commander-in-Chief of the Order, was, like the King's name, a tower of strength, and he to-day is mourned by men who never saw him.
An old member of the Legion writes of him: General Hubbard met me, when I was a new Companion in the New York Commandery, with a sympathy and welcome which, general in our fraternal Order, was particularly gracious and attractive in his manner and interest. Though of dignity and some reserve of manner, his association never indicated coldness of heart nor lack of cordial appreciation. The friendship which grew between us was a part of his relation to all of his Companions. I think that there have been few men of our Order more admired for high traits of ability and character and more esteemed in personal associations.
He was in every way a big man, made for big things, and while well past the scriptural limit of three score years and ten, His eye was not dimmed nor his natural force abated, and his interest in passing events continued to the end.
The funeral for Thomas Hamlin Hubbard was held on Saturday, May 22, 1915, at Madison Square Presbyterian Church at 10:00 A.M., and was attended by probably the largest number of Companions of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion ever assembled at a burial. The church was filled with leading citizens, bankers, judges, and lawyers, who all held General Hubbard in the highest esteem as a man and fellow citizen. One of the pallbearers was his dear friend Admiral Peary. His body was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Sibyl Amelia Fahnestock Hubbard passed away on May 12, 1921, in New York City and is buried beside her husband.
It is also interesting to report that Thomas Hamlin Hubbard and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, of the Battle of Gettysburg fame and who later was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery at Little Round Top, were good friends for many years. Their lives paralleled each other for 60 years.
- Both were from the state of Maine,
- Both were graduates of Bowdoin College,
- Both received Phi Betta Kappa honors at Bowdoin,
- Joshua taught at Bowdoin on a Professorship from 1855-1862; Thomas was a student at Bowdoin from 1853-1857,
- Both were Regimental Commanders (Colonels); Joshua, the 20th Maine and Thomas, the 30th Maine,
- Both were Generals; Joshua, a Bvt. Major General (March 29, 1865) and Thomas, a Bvt. Brig. General (July 13, 1865),
- Both were members of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States,
- Thomas' father, John Hubbard, was a Governor of Maine from 1849-1853. Joshua was Governor of Maine from 1866-1871,
- Joshua was President of Bowdoin from 1871-1883 and Thomas was a large alumni supporter of Bowdoin; an Overseer from 1874-1889. He also received A.B. and M.A. degrees, and in 1894 received a LL.D Degree and was a trustee from 1889-1915,
- Both Joshua and Thomas had families and solid marriages, and
- Joshua died in 1914 at age 86 and Thomas died in 1915 at age 76.
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