Skip to main content

Simpson, Lewis L. (Lewis Legare), 1843? April 16- 1918 September 30



  • Existence: April 16, 1843 - September 30, 1918


Lewis Legare Simpson (spelled Louis in Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War) was born in Hingham, MA on April 16, 1842 or 1843 to George Whitney Simpson and Eliza (Freeman) Simpson. He was one of 14 children and the great-grandson of Asher Freeman, a Black Revolutionary War soldier who served in the Continental Army from 1777 to 1781.

On February 23, 1860 at the age of 18, he married Maria Dean Johnson. Maria was 16 at the time of their marriage and the daughter of Benjamin Johnson of Bridgewater, MA. Lewis worked as a shoemaker, and they lived in Hingham, MA until he enlisted in the Union Army on November 25, 1863 as a Private in Company G of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, referred to as a “colored” unit at the time of the Civil War.

Lewis Simpson’s foot was wounded at Honey Hill in South Carolina on November 30, 1864. He was discharged on May 25, 1865 while in the hospital in Worcester, MA by order of the War Department. He joined the Bridgewater chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) on December 10, 1890. Maria joined the Women’s Relief Corps. During his time in the Bridgewater GAR, Lewis served as post commander and various other chair positions.

After the Civil War, Lewis and Maria Simpson moved to Cottage Street in Bridgewater, MA where he lived until their deaths, he on September 30, 1918 at the age of 78 and she a few weeks earlier. They had 11 children including Ruth Butler and Isabelle Talbot of Brockton, Lora Frye of Boston, Benjamin Simpson of Worcester, Preston Simpson of Worcester, and Geroge, Alden, Carl, and Howard Simpson of Bridgewater. They attended the New Jerusalem Church where Lewis worked as a janitor for more than 11 years. At one point Lewis also worked as a gardener for Marcus Barney and was reported to have taken great pride in his home garden, described as “one of the finest gardens in town.”

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lewis L. Simpson and Maria D. Simpson Civil War papers

Identifier: MSS-010

This collection includes a portrait of Lewis L. Simpson, his Civil War service papers, Grand Army of the Republic badge, and Maria Simpson’s Women’s Relief Corps certificate.

Dates: 1865-1911; undated