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Sergeant William E. Peck was born in Taunton, September 21, 1841, and attended school three months in a year. At the age of nine, he went to work in a cotton mill, and at fourteen, went to sea, mostly in the Southern coast trade. When Fort Sumter was fired upon, he was on the Waccaman River, South Carolina. He then sailed for Wilmington, North Carolina ; from there he came home. He enlisted on his arrival in Taunton, May 20, 1861, in the United States Navy, and was assigned to the receiving ship " Ohio," then lying at the Charlestown Navy Yard. He was drafted, in a few days, on the gunboat, Massachusetts, and sailed for Key West; thence for Ship Island.
He was engaged in the taking of Fort Twiggs ; sunk the Confederate ram " Florida," and was in several other engagements. In March, 1862, on the ship being ordered to Brooklyn Navy Yard, he was discharged as Master-at-Arms, having been promoted three times in one year. Sergeant Peck enlisted in the Forty-first Massachusetts Infantry. In 1862 he was promoted to Sergeant, Company F, and was with the regiment in every engagement. When the Nineteenth Corps was ordered to Washington he was detailed to take charge of all horses that belonged to the officers on shipboard, and with the loss of only one, off Hatteras, landed them safety at Washington. He was also put in charge of an ammunition train at Tenallytown, D. C, and delivered it safely to the Army, passing over the Blue Ridge, Snicker's Gap, and crossing the Shenandoah River. Since the war, he has engaged in various pursuits as bread winner, but for the last thirty years has been a member of the Taunton police, and a Humane officer, in connection with the S. F T. P. C. A.
Note. After leaving the U. S. Navy, he enlisted in the 3rd., Massachusetts Cavalry, Co. F., September 16, 1862. Discharged on May 20, 1865.