Acton Memorial Library
|E||6th MVI (9 months)||Captain; comm. April 4, 1862; must. Aug. 31, 1862||must. out June 3, 1863||Acton||butcher||
|Co.||Regiment||Date Filed||Type||App. No.||Cert. No.||State||Beneficiary/Remarks|
|E||6th MVI||July 23, 1890||Invalid||831 211||628 875||Mass.|
|Nov. 20, 1896||Widow||643 813||508 855||Mass.||Lydia W. Handley|
Recorded as member no. 25 in the membership roster of Isaac Davis Post No. 138 G.A.R., Acton, Massachusetts (Acton Memorial Library archives, 92.2.1).
|Date||November 15, 1896|
|Obituary||Concord Enterprise, November 12, 1896|
|Burial||Woodlawn Cemetery, Acton, Mass.|
|Survived by||Lydia W. Handley|
Captain Aaron C. Handley had served as commanding officer of the Davis Guards prior to the Civil War. On April 15, 1861, he was at the South Acton railroad station to receive the note from Colonel Jones regarding the mobilization of 6th Massachusetts in response to Lincoln’s call for volunteers. After carrying the note to Captain Daniel Tuttle, he rode off to notify the Wilder brothers, sergeants in the company who lived in a nearby town and rode with them back to Acton, arriving late in the evening.
After returning home in August 1861, the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia was designated by the governor to be retained to respond to sudden calls for trained troops. The men of its Company E, under Handley’s command, enlisted on August 25, 1862, for nine months. They were called up and participated in engagements on the Blackwater River in Virginia, Deserted House, and the siege of Suffolk, Virginia. Prior to the siege, the regiment was assigned to building fortifications in the area. They also scouted and destroyed railroads belonging to the Confederacy.
Handley was 39 years of age at the time of enlistment and worked as a butcher in South Acton. His grandfather served in the Revolutionary War and his father saw military duty during the War of 1812. He and his three brothers served in the Civil War for a combined period of ten years; his brother Frank died from disease at Fort St. Philip near New Orleans.
In 1868, Handley was chosen as a member of the committee charged by a special town meeting to stop the withdrawal of West Acton from the town. Promoters of the plan wanted to annex West Acton to Boxborough to create a new municipality. The railroad through West Acton and the attendant commercial interests were the major factors in Boxborough’s support for the plan.
Captain Handley represented the 30th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1855. He was again elected to represent the town in 1863, 1889, and 1890.
On April 19, 1875, Handley led the company of Acton militia at the 100th celebration of the Concord fight.
Aaron Chaffin Handley is recorded as a 31 year old marketman in the 1855 Massachusetts State Census for Acton, in household (dwelling no. 295) with Herriet Handley, age 29, and Harriet Elizabeth Handley, age 3 (source: 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Census for Acton. Compiled by Ann S. Lainhart. Boston, 1989. Page 37.)
Aaron Handley, age 36, a butcher (born Mass.) is recorded as an inhabitant of South Acton in the 1860 federal census, in household with Harriet Handley, age 34, and two children, Harriet age 8, and Emma, age 3. (source: 1860 United States Federal Census. In: Ancestry.com [online database]).
Aaron Chaffin Handley is recorded as a 41 year old marketman in the 1865 Massachusetts State Census for Acton, in household (dwelling no. 269) with Harriet Handley and three children (source: 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Census for Acton. Compiled by Ann S. Lainhart. Boston, 1989. Page 72.)
Spouse Harriet Handley and daughter Carrie Etta Handley died of diptheria in June, 1865 (source: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910. From original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. In: NewEnglandAncestors.org [online database]. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004).
Aaron C. Handley is recorded in the 1890 special veterans census as a resident of Acton (source: 1890 Veterans Schedules. In: Ancestry.com [online database]).
Name included on the Acton Memorial Library Soldiers' Tablet, "The Men of Acton Who Fought For The Union."
Letter from Aaron C. Handley to Capt. Daniel Tuttle, April 28th, 1861. In: Letters from Acton. Acton, Mass.: Acton Historical Society, 1985. Page 12-13..
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