Biography of John M. Deane
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Deane, John M., merchant, was born in Freetown, Mass., January 8, 1840. He obtained a thorough academic education in his native town, and at Taunton and Foxborough. At the opening of the Civil war he was a lieutenant in the Assonet Light Infantry, Co. G, 3d Regiment Mass. Militia. He had joined this company in 1858 and was made first sergeant, and at the brigade muster at Wareham was elected second lieutenant. On the night of April 15, 1861, he responded to the call of President Lincoln for troops and served three months with his regiment at Fortress Monroe, Va., taking part in the destruction of Norfolk navy yard on the night of April 20, 1861. He was commissioned second lieutenant June 1, 1862, in the 29th Regiment Mass. Vols., and in this regiment was promoted first lieutenant, adjutant, captain and major and commanded his regiment during the Appomattox campaign. In the spring and summer of 1863 he served as post adjutant at Paris, Bourbon county, Ky.; he was in the fight with Cluke's guerillas at that place and has as a trophy which he captured, a weapon called the "Yankee Cleaver," which he found hid under the parlor carpet at the house of Colonel Cluke's father in law while searching the house in the effort to find the guerilla leader. In September, 1863, while near Cumberland Gap on the march with the 9th Army Corps into East Tennessee, he was ordered to take charge of a recruiting party and report with it at the draft rendezvous, Boston harbor. He remained on duty there until May, 1864, when he was relieved at his own request that he might join his regiment, which had been home on veteran furlough. While on duty at the draft rendezvous he was often detailed to take squads of recruits to the front, and in March, 1864, took about two hundred colored recruits to the 54th and the 55th Mass. Colored Regiments then on Morris Island, South Carolina. In the spring of 1865 he was made provost marshal of the 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, on the staff of Gen. O. B. Willcox, with the 29th Regiment as his provost squad. In May, 1865, he was made provost marshal at Georgetown. D. C., and in July, 1865, provost marshal and pass officer of the district of Washington, which position he held when mustered out of service. He was appointed major of U. S. Volunteers brevet "for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Fort Steadman, Va., March 25, 1865" and received honorable mention in the official records of the Union and Confederate armies published by the U. S. Government; and in the report of the adjutant general of Massachusetts for the year 1865 for his good conduct at Fort Steadman. He was awarded a medal of honor by the secretary of war "for most distinguished gallantry in action at Fort Steadman, Va., while serving, with other volunteers, a previously silenced and abandoned gun, mounted enbarbette, at Fort Haskell, being exposed to a galling fire from the enemy's sharp shooters." During the fight at Fort Steadman he captured and disarmed a North Carolina captain and a Georgia major and still has their revolvers in his possession. Excepting his service with General Burnside in the west and at draft headquarters in Boston, he was with the Army of the Potomac, where he experienced hard fighting with the 2d, 5th and 9th Army Corps. He was mustered out August 8, 1865. having served three and one half years. His discharge certificate gives him the credit of having been in twenty one engagements with an exceedingly brilliant and meritorious record. After the close of the war Major Deane returned to Freetown, and in May, 1866, began the retail grocery and provision business in Fall River in partnership with Alonzo Hathaway, under the firm name of Hathaway & Deane, on Bedford street. This partnership was dissolved in 1872 on account of the ill health of Mr. Hathaway and Mr. Deane then continued the business for himself. In 1876 he removed to the Borden block on South Main street, where he now has one of the best appointed general merchandise stores in New England, employing about thirty five men. Major Deane served Richard Borden Post as commander five years; was a member of the Department of Massachusetts, Council of Administration, in 1889, chief mustering officer in 1890, assistant quartermaster general in 1892, junior vice department commander in 1895, senior vice department commander in 1896 and department commander in 1897. November 22, 1866, he married Mary G. Pearce, and of their union are five children: Milton Irving, Richard Boynton, Charles Learned, Anna Louise Andros, and Wallis Pearce. Three of his sons are in business with their father. Mrs. Deane was department president cf the Mass. W. R. C. in 1892, and has served her corps in Fall River in some capacity ever since its organization. In 1897 she was chairman of the executive committee of the National Organization and also chairman in the Massachusetts department of the committee on patriotic teaching in public schools.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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