from The Webster Times, 8 June 1861 (Volume III # 12), 
Visit of the Oxford Volunteers

Our citizens were favored with a call from our military friends of Oxford last Tuesday. The company marched to this place attired in their new appropriate uniforms, and bearing their muskets. Most of our people were taken by surprise. The first intimation of their intended visit being their approach by way of the North Village. They reached here soon after ten o’clock in the morning and after marching and counter marching on Main street, their arms were stacked at Sheriff Shumway’s auction room, and the company were allowed an hour or more to themselves.

Threw the exertions of a few of our citizens, a cold lunch was served to the members in squads, at the various saloons, which under the circumstances was made to answer in lieu of something more substantial which would have been provided had due notice been had of the intended visit. Our Oxford friends were however, apparently well satisfied with their treatment, as in the language of one of their number, they only “happened down” and did not expect or desire to be the victims of a ceremonious reception.

Unfortunately Capt. Young of the Webster Volunteers was absent, and his company were excused from drill Tuesday, or they would doubtless have extended some sort of military courtesy to their “comrades in arms.” Tuesday was also a town meeting day with us, and the attention of our citizens was much occupied with matters relative thereto. A more unfortunate combination of circumstances could not have well occurred; and the facts must excuse any apparent lack of sympathetic courtesy on our part toward our martial neighbors.

The Oxford Volunteers are deserving something more than a passing notice. We do not profess to a capacity for military criticism, and are not qualified by theoretical or practical knowledge to judge in detail of the excellence of military maneuvering. We do know when a body of men keep step to a drum and fife; we do know the difference between a gentlemanly soldier and a rowdy. On these points then, we can speak. Without being obnoxious to the charge of flattery, one can speak of Capt. Watson, as a thorough tactician, a ready commander, and possessing the confidence and esteem of his company.

Of the other officers and privates their movements evinced to what a degree of perfection in military skill “raw recruits” may attain under a couple months of efficient drill. We are told that the company has been two or three times sifted down, so that now they may be regarded as picked men, every one of whom will stand the test of a rigid examination. they are deserving a compliment no less for their orderly and quiet deportment in our streets and saloons than for their soldierly acquirements.

We hope our town will be favored with a second call from the oxford men before they go into camp, and we will try to receive them with a company of our own, who with the aid of Capt. Young, will be prepared to do the military honors of the occasion in a style satisfactory to all concerned.


15th Massachusetts VI