Biographical / Historical
Ephraim L. Hackett was born on February 12, 1837, in Freeman, Franklin County, Maine. His parents were Ephraim Hackett (1802-1892) and Mary Anderson (1811-?). His brothers were Joseph L. (born 1840) and Henry C. The family lived in New Vineyard, Franklin County, Maine, in 1850, but by the time the Civil War began in 1861, Ephraim and his brother Henry had moved to Baraboo, Sauk County, Wisconsin. It seems that much of the family remained in Maine, and Ephraim’s pre-war correspondence reveals a lasting connection with his place of birth. His cousin, Nathaniel Davis Hackett, also lived in Baraboo, and the bulk of the Hackett letters are addressed to Davis’s Baraboo address.
When war broke out, Ephraim enlisted in the Wisconsin First Light Battery (Artillery), which was organized at La Cross in September 1861. He was elected sergeant. On October 17, 1862, Hackett was promoted to Junior 2nd Lieutenant and, in August 1863, became a Senior 2nd Lieutenant. While serving in New Orleans, an inspecting committee judged of the First Light Battery: “a more self sustaining, self-reliant body of men cannot be found in the US Army.” The battery mustered out on July 7, 1865, in Milwaukee.
Ephraim’s brother, Henry C. Hackett, also enlisted on September 9, 1861, as a private. He served with Ephraim for part of the war. He was promoted to Full Corporal and mustered out on October 11, 1864. Ephraim’s cousin, N. Davis Hackett, enlisted in the Wisconsin First Heavy Artillery on September 1, 1864. He fought and served garrison duty at Fort Corcoran, near Washington, D.C.
After the war, Hackett married Amanda M. Plummer on August 2, 1865, in Columbia County, Wisconsin. They had one child, Ephraim E. Hackett, born in 1868, and lived in La Crosse, Wisconsin. By 1910, Hackett had moved to East Ashland, Oregon, and by 1920 was living in Victor, Ravalli County, Montana, where he died in 1929.