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Framingham's Tercentennial
Civil War Encampment

"Zab" Adams, part of Framinghamís Civil War Heritage

By Debbie Cleveland

      Roy Lehto, re-enactor with the 32nd Mass Regimental Field Hospital, portrays Dr. Adams, a legendary Civil War surgeon and one of Framinghamís influential 19th century citizens.

      At the Framingham Public Library on Lexington Street, a portrait of Brevet Major Zabdiel Boylston Adams gazes out from behind the main desk. "Zab," as he was known, survived many Civil War battles as a soldier and doctor, only to die at age 73 after a fall from a local dam. According to his biography by Charles Peabody, "Zab" is the only doctor to be honored with a plaque on a Civil War battle field. He set up a field hospital at Gettysburg as close to the front line as he could to quickly tend to the wounded. The Memorial to the dressing station at Gettysburg has this inscription: "Behind This Group of Rocks, on the Afternoon of July 2, 1863, Surgeon Z. Boylston Adams Placed the Field Hospital of the 32nd Massachusetts Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 1st Div., 1st Army Corps. Established So Near the Line of Battle, Many of Our Wounded Escaped Capture or Death by its Timely Aid." Following his service, Dr. Adams settled and practiced in Framingham and founded the Framingham Union Hospital. As a long and active library trustee, he suggested the first bookmobile service by street railway. He also sponsored the installation of an indoor toilet and electricity in the Edgell Memorial Library. He observed that people would stay later for meetings if there were electric lights.

WARNING! Unattended Childred Will Be Used for Medical Experimentation       "Zabís" portrait will always be well cared for. According to Library Director Tom Gilchrist, the portrait has its very own trust fund for upkeep and cleaning. The Framingham Public Library and Framingham Historical Society both have copies of the "Zab" Adams biography if you care to read more about this interesting Framingham personality.

April 28, 29, 30, 2000 - CIVIL WAR ENCAMPMENT - Framingham Centre Common

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