Sunday, December 13, 2015

John Francis Trask.


Sergeant John Francis Trask, son of David and Caroline M. Buffington TrasK, was born Oct. 3, 1833, in that one of the manufacturing villages of Warwick some-times designated "Old Lippitt." He attended school at Cranston, Allen's Village, and Scituate. Later he was employed in cotton mills at various localities, but in the all of 1860 was spinning at Arctic. In response to the first call for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the Rebellion, he enlisted in the Westerly Rifles, Company I, First Regiment Rhode Island Detached Militia, April 17, 1861.

At the first Bull Run, July 21, 1861, he was seriously wounded in the left lung and left upon the field as dead. However, he revived, was taken prisoner and confined in Libby Prison, Richmond, Va., eleven months. As soon as he was exchanged he returned to Rhode Island, took a brief rest and enlisted in Company H. He was mustered as sergeant.

His confinement in Libby and the wound in his lung had so impaired his constitution, that, ere long, it was evident he could not endure the hardships of active campaigning. Accordingly, Oct. 31, 1863, he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and stationed at Indianapolis, Ind. On June 30, 1865, he was mustered out as first sergeant, Company F, of the Seventeenth Regiment of that organization. For a while he was proprietor of a cigar store in that city, then for thirteen years a member of the Merchants Police force, and, finally, a hay and grain merchant.

The wound received in battle proved the ultimate cause of his death, for from time to time he experienced severe hemorrhages from the lungs. For several years he sought a pension, and, at length, one was granted (139,878) the very week he died. He passed from earth Oct 15, 1880. His remains were interred in Brown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis. Nov. 23, 1865, Mr. Trask was married by Rev. Henry Day, D. D., pastor of the First Baptist Church in that city, and earlier professor of civil engineering in Brown University, to Abbie Beaty, who was ten years his junior.

No children blessed their home. The widow subsequently married a Mr. Thomas. The bullet that perforated Mr. Trask had been recovered and was highly prized. In 1892 the widow's home was burglarized, and, as it was kept with a lot of jewelry, it disappeared also. A portion of the goods, however, were recovered, among them the treasured bullet. When the National Encampment of the Grand Army was held in that city, Mrs. Trask gave it to a cousin of her late husband, who was a comrade of that order. All that knew "Johnnie" were attached to him, so genial and so generous were his ways.

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